The Importance Of Making Lists

The Importance Of Making Lists

And how they can help shape your summer
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When spring semester ends, the first thing to cross all of our minds is "Finally, a break! I can't wait to do nothing." I myself have spent the last few days loafing on the couch and binge-watching some television while scrolling through my social media feeds and eating lots of snacks.

There is nothing wrong with doing nothing for a while; in fact, I think it's important to give yourself time to relax without any obligations for your physical, mental and emotional health. What may be difficult and potentially problematic, however, is breaking out of the couch potato cycle, especially if you are not starting a job, internship or some other program that will force you out of this routine (or lack thereof).

I make lots of lists. I make to-do lists, grocery lists, lists of books I want to read or movies I want to watch, lists of jobs I want to apply for or literary magazines I want to submit to. I even make self-care lists that include items like "Take a bubble bath one day this week" or "Paint nails on Thursday" or "Go to mall."

When I make lists, I don't always stick to them; in fact, it's probably more common that I veer from them than not, but this is just a reflection of life and its various twists and turns. So why write lists if I know they're going to be altered?

For me, the act of making a list is more psychological than practical. When I see everything I want to do or need to accomplish all written down on a single sheet of paper (or possibly more than one), it becomes much more tangible, and the amount of time required to accomplish these tasks becomes easier to grasp.

In addition to visual impact, list-making has a kinesthetic effect as well. I am a firm believer in the power of putting pen to paper, whether that be through taking notes for school, writing thank you notes, or making lists. Studies show not only that handwritten class notes are more easily retained, but also that writing down one's goals, or at least sharing them verbally with someone else, increases the likelihood of achievement of these goals. And just as a handwritten note or card is always seen as more thoughtful than an email or phone call, so too are handwritten lists or goals. Besides, there's nothing more cathartic than placing a check-mark next to an item on a list, or better yet, drawing a line straight through it.

Your summer should by no means be a jam-packed schedule of events, deadlines and tasks (that's what the school year is for); however, I have spent too many summers procrastinating and putting off things I really want to do, from day hikes to books I want to read, because I get so wrapped up in working my summer job that I feel too exhausted to do anything else, even if that is a much-needed self-care activity. So write down a few things you would like to do for yourself this summer. You'll be surprised how many things you'll squeeze into your schedule simply because that list is staring you in the face just waiting to be littered with check-marks.

Cover Image Credit: Get Better Headquarters

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What Your Hogwarts House Says About You

Get yourself sorted and find out where you belong in the world of witchcraft and wizardry.
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Sorting at Hogwarts is a big deal. Being sorted into a house is essentially being placed into a family while you are away from home learning about witchcraft and wizardry. Your house is made up of the people you will live with, go to classes with, play Quidditch with and everything in between. You basically spend 24/7 with them. Your Hogwarts house is your home away from home.

When you get sorted into a house, it is based on your personality traits. The people in your house are typically like-minded people who display the same characteristics as you.

When you’re a first year at Hogwarts, the minute you set foot in the castle you are swept into the Great Hall to have the ancient Sorting Hat placed on your head. This Sorting Hat decides which “family” you’ll be spending your seven years with.

For some, it is very obvious which house they will be in, due to certain personality traits they possess. For others, they may exemplify traits that fit a multitude of houses and are uncertain where they may end up.

To find out where you belong, you can take the official "Harry Potter" Sorting Hat quiz at Pottermore.com. For all you muggles out there, these are the characteristics that the houses possess and what your house says about you:

Gryffindor: The house of the brave, loyal, courageous, adventurous, daring and chivalrous. Those who stand up for others are typically Gryffindors. Brave-hearted is the most well-known Gryffindor characteristic, and Gryffindors are also known for having a lot of nerve.

Gryffindors are people who hold a multitude of qualities alongside the ones listed, making them a very well-rounded house. People who are Gryffindors are often people who could fit nicely into another house but choose to tell the sorting hat they want Gryffindor (there's that bravery). "Do what is right" is the motto Gryffindors go by.

Being a Gryffindor means that you're probably the adventurous and courageous friend, and you are usually known for doing what is right.

Ravenclaw: The house is known for their wisdom, intelligence, creativity, cleverness and knowledge. Those who value brains over brawn can be found here. Ravenclaws often tend to be quite quirky as well. "Do what is wise" is the motto they strive to follow.

Though Ravenclaws can be know-it-alls sometimes, they most likely do know what the wisest decision is.

If you are known for being the quirky friend, the smartest in the group or just great at making wise decisions, you're definitely a Ravenclaw.

Hufflepuff: This house values hard work, dedication, fair play, patience, and loyalty. Hufflepuff’s are known for being just and true. "Do what is nice" is their motto.

Hufflepuff is known as the “nice house” and believes strongly in sparing peoples feelings and being kind. This is not to say that Hufflepuffs aren't smart or courageous. Hufflepuffs just enjoy making others happy and tend to be more patient towards people.

If you ever find that you are too nice for your own good and cannot bear to hurt someone’s feelings, congratulations, you are a Hufflepuff.

Slytherin: This is the house of the cunning, prideful, resourceful, ambitious, intelligent, and determined. Slytherin's love to be in charge and crave leadership. "Do what is necessary" is the motto of this house.

Slytherin is a fairly well-rounded house, similar to the other houses. They are loyal to those that are loyal to them just as Gryffindors are and are intelligent as Ravenclaws.

Slytherin house as a whole is not evil, despite how many dark wizards come out of this house. That is merely based on the choices of those wizards (so if your friend is a Slytherin, don’t judge, it doesn’t mean they are mean people). Slytherins do, however, have a tendency to be arrogant or prideful. This is most likely due to the fact that everyone in Slytherin is exceedingly proud to be there.

What Hogwarts house you’re in says a lot about the person you are, the traits you possess and how you may act in some situations. But in the end, your house is really just your home that is always there for you. Always.


Cover Image Credit: Warner Bros Pictures

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Things To Do When You're So Bored All You Want To Do Is Cry

Do something artsy

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Everyone has times when they have nothing to do and boredom strikes way too hard. From experience, I have found some top things to do when you literally have nothing else to do!

1. Clean

Not super fun, but will keep you busy.

2. Netflix

Find a new show to binge watch. Watched them all? Rewatch something you haven't seen in a while!

3. Shopping

Retail therapy can always keep you busy.

4. Make a home cooked meal

Spend some time in the kitchen and make something yummy! Even invite some friends.

5. Visit friends/ family

Pop in on some people you care about that you haven't seen in a while!

6. Write

Writing is something we all do and is a great way to express ourselves!

7. Exercise

Hit the gym or go for walk, do something to keep you nice and fit.

8. Volunteer

Go to an animal shelter, food bank, museums, or anywhere in your area that needs help.

9. Look for a job

If you're bored, maybe getting a part time job will keep you a little occupied. Plus it's extra money in your pocket.

10. Draw/ do something artsy

Even if you think you're a bad artist, drawing is something fun to do! You'll get better in time.

11. Join an Odyssey Team!

Writing articles through the Odyssey is an amazing experience and can always keep you busy!

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