Stay Ahead Of The Game And Rule This Semester

Rule This Semester, Don't Let It Rule You: Five Tips To Stay Ahead

You can, and will, kill this semester.

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You heard it here first, this queen of procrastinating and putting things off, is retiring. Instead, this semester will be focused on getting ahead of the game, not putting things off until the last minute or overworking myself, and optimizing my study time. This semester is going to be my best one yet. I can guarantee it with these tips.

1. Work a week ahead

It is very easy to put things off until the last possible moment. If you are working a week ahead, you are already ahead of the game. This way you can have a little break because you won't constantly be playing catch up. By working a week ahead (and staying ahead) you give yourself more time to focus on the small details, study and, at the end of the semester, focus on your finals, not the final assignment you have been putting off all semester (even though you knew about it from day one). It is possible to kick that procrastinator right out of you.

2. Give yourself time to be 20-something

School can be so consuming, especially if you also work on top of that. It can cause serious FOMO, which often means you are sacrificing school for doing those 20-something activities that everyone else seems to get to do. Well if you set aside time for that, like one weekend night a week, you can actually go have fun with your friends, and both work and school aren't going to take the brunt of it. Scheduling time for you is just as important at scheduling time for homework. It will pay off in the long run and it will guarantee you have time for some fun.

3. Put your quality foot first

I am quite guilty at taking too many credits which means I am not giving those classes my best work. It's time to stop. Try and limit yourself from taking too many credits; the fewer credits you take means the more quality work you can provide for that class. It ultimately means you can give more of your time to less classes, raising that GPA. It is not the number of credits that matters, it is the amount of work you put in. You should be focused on putting more quality work into fewer classes then less quality work into more classes, it will pay off in the end.

4. Prepare for finals as you go

finals

I always think of outlining my readings at the end of the semester because it is helpful for studying, but it's also SOOO time-consuming when you save it for the end of the year. If you keep up on it, not only will you be learning the readings as you go, you will also be saving yourself a headache when it comes to studying for your finals. Thinking long term and how you can start preparing for finals now, is going to change your dead week life.

If you think ahead and make notecards, rewrite your notes, and keep up on readings and outlines, you aren't going to be flustered to do that at the end of the semester. That way when it comes to dead week all you have to do is study. You don't have to worry about spending long hours in the library trying to make the study material to study.

5. Get a game plan from the start

I am so good at using my planner. It's my life saver. One tip that helps you to stay ahead is having a game plan for the semester. If you write out paper, assignment, and test dates at the start, you already know when it is due. Use your planner to stay ahead that way you can plan for the upcoming months in advance and that test doesn't come as a surprise when the professor mentions it the week before. This way you know what your semester will look like. You also will be able to plan around weeks with a lighter load, so you can go do something fun, or grind out even more.

Remember, if you can stay on top of this semester, you will be ruling it instead of it ruling you.

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30 First-Apartment Essentials College Kids Forget To Buy At Target And Later Order On Amazon

Don't wait until you need to take something out of the oven to realize that you don't have any oven mitts.

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If you're anything like I am, you're beyond excited to start planning and shopping for your first apartment. It's easy to get wrapped up in the fun stuff for your first apartment, trust me, as a former Bed Bath & Beyond employee I could spend hours wandering through shower curtains and bedding.

Before you get too carried away there are just some essential things that you'll need, but they aren't as much fun to pick out. Don't wait until you need to take something out of the oven to realize that you don't have any oven mitts, because I really don't see that ending well for you (I may or may not know that from personal experience).

1. Oven mitts

Gets those oven mitts because the sleeve of your sweater might seem like it will work, but I'm living proof that it won't, most sweaters have holes.

2. Trash bags

Don't wait until you need to throw something away to realize you don't have them.

3. Hand soap

It's not like a dorm bathroom where the maintenance staff refills a soap dispenser that's drilled into the wall. You're on your own kid.

4. Toilet paper

Again, no staff replacing it for you. Stay on top of it and make sure you always replace an empty roll, especially if you have roommates.

5. Water filter or pitcher

This one depends on whether your water is safe to drink or not, but be prepared. You don't want to move in under the summer sun only to realize you don't have any drinkable water at your snazzy new pad.

6. Tools

Hammers, screwdrivers, all that jazz. If you're moving in some furniture you're probably going to need tools to put it together.

7. Lighting

You don't want to be unpacking and stumbling around a new space in the dark your first night. Know what lighting is built in and where you might need to add some light.

8. Silverware organizer

Ok, so you probably remembered to pack the silverware, but do you really want to throw it all in a pile in a drawer? That's a good way to grab the wrong end of a knife by accident, maybe get some dividers to keep your silverware nice and sorted.

9. Dish towels

Most people think about bath towels, but if you're not used to having a kitchen you might not have thought of dish towels. You're going to need those when you're whipping up your favorite dinner.

10. Measuring cups

I'm a huge advocate for estimating and guessing in the kitchen, but if you're baking anything at all you should probably at least have some measuring utensils as a guide.

11. Bottle opener and corkscrew

You're going to want to crack open a drink and celebrate your first night in the new place. Wouldn't it be a buzzkill if you couldn't even get the drinks open?

12. Sponges

You have to be able to clean the counters and the dishes when you're done being an expert chef!

13. Paper towels

Spills happen, and you don't always want to clean them with your nice towels.

14. Toilet plunger

It's one of those things you never really think about... that is, until you need one.

15. Air freshner

You know, for after you use the toilet plunger.

16. Extension cords

You probably have a larger space than you're used to, sometimes those cords that come with all your new electronics just aren't quite long enough.

17. Utensil container

A little round pot or bucket is the perfect place to put all of your kitchen utensils. Things like spatulas and whisks will take up space in your drawers and create clutter. Plus, keeping them out makes them easier to grab when you're whipping up some food.

18. Batteries

There's nothing worse than getting your new TV all set up and realizing you can't use the remote.

19. Curtains

If you need darkness to sleep, you want to make sure you get those bedroom curtains up and ready to roll.

20. Toilet bowl brush

Sorry, but I'm certainly not reaching in there with my hands.

21. Ice cube trays

To keep you cool as a cucumber during this stressful time.

22. Can opener

Try prying a can open with your hands. I dare you.

23. Stain remover

For when you try to pry the can open with your hands and manage to spray tomato sauce all over yourself.

24. Carbon monoxide/Smoke detectors

Cause we don't want any tragedies here.

25. Collander

We both know you will be making pasta every night, so you're going to need to drain it.

26. Coasters

You definitely don't want to ruin your super fancy new Ikea table.

27. Dry erase board

No need to argue over who should take out the trash, just make sure to write down everyone's chores.

28. Underbed storage

On a college budget there's no way you can expect a walk-in closet, those clothes and shoes will have to go somewhere.

29. Drying rack

For when the dryer in your building inevitably stops working.

30. Step stool

If you're short, like me, you need a little help reaching that top shelf.

Hopefully this list has helped you feel a little more prepared to move into your first apartment. The decorating and planning is so much more enjoyable when you know you have all of your bases covered. I wish you the best of luck with your first major endeavor in the world of adulting!

Note: As an Amazon Associate, Odyssey may earn a portion of qualifying sales.

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How To Stay Mentally Healthy In College

Our mental health is just as important as our physical health.

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Staying healthy in college seems really, really hard to do. Classes, friends, clubs, and the whole fact of living by yourself can create a lot of stress and anxiety. Most students, and people in general, don't really know how to deal with stress or how to take care of themselves mentally, leading to unhealthy behaviors physically and mentally. If you don't take care of your mental health, your physical health will suffer eventually. Here are a few tips and tricks to help take care of your mental health:

1. Eat a well-balanced diet

Eating fruits, vegetables, grains, and other healthy foods will help you feel more energized and motivated. Most people associate eating a balanced diet as beneficial for your physical health, but it is just as important for your mental health.

2. Keep a journal and write in it daily

Writing can be one of the most relaxing and stress-relieving things you can do for yourself. Writing down the issues you are struggling with or the problems you are encountering in your life on a piece of paper can help you relax and take a step back from that stress.

3. Do something that brings you joy

Take some time to do something that brings you joy and happiness! It can be really easy to forget about this when you are running around with your busy schedule but make some time to do something you enjoy. Whether it be dancing, writing, coloring, or even running, make some time for yourself.

4. Give thanks

Keeping a gratitude log — writing what brings you joy and happiness — helps to keep you positively minded, which leads to you becoming mentally healthy. Try to write down three things that brought you joy or made you smile from your day.

5. Smile and laugh

Experts say that smiling and laughing help improve your mental health. Not only is it fun to laugh, but laughing also helps you burn calories! There's a reason why smiling and laughing are often associated with happiness and joyful thoughts.

6. Exercise

Staying active and doing exercises that energize your body will help release endorphins and serotonin, which both act as a natural antidepressant. Keeping an active lifestyle will help you stay happy!

7. Talk out your problems

All of us deal with stress and have problems from time to time. The easiest and probably most beneficial way to deal with this stress and anxiety is to talk it out with a close friend, family member, or even a counselor.

8. See a counselor, peer mentor, or psychologist

Just like it was stated in the previous point, it is beneficial to talk out your problems with a counselor. We all have issues, and it is OK to ask for help.

Keeping up your mental health in college can be a struggle, and it may be hard to even admit you are not mentally healthy. This is OK; you are not alone. If you want to see a psychologist or would like to learn more about mental health, there are resources. You can also take a self-assessment of your mental health. If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide, please, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

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