How To: Staying Creative In College

How To: Staying Creative In College

Or on Any Busy Schedule
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Classes started about two weeks ago, and I was on campus the full week before for leadership training. It’s a little hectic. You’d think I’d be used to this by now—I’m a senior in my last semester—but somehow I still find myself on the brink of exhaustion twenty-four hours a day, and my creative output has dropped to almost zero. Now, I’m a writer. Being uncreative for more than two days sends me into a spiral of crankiness and a string of consecutive existential crises.

Unacceptable.

Over time, including my years at summer camp, I’ve accumulated some techniques on how to stay creative in college, or on any busy schedule. There’s no guarantee these will always work, especially given the ever-shifting student’s schedule, but at least it’s a place to start. The important part is that I’m making the effort to keep the creative juices flowing. And if you’re at all creative or have a hobby/passion you hold important, you should make the effort too.

First, the philosophy. Writing is my thing—I’ve done it for six years straight and I’m about to receive a Bachelor of Arts in it. So, when you have an 8:00 a.m. class and you’re missing meals and sleep is hard to come by, remember what it’s all really about. Academic responsibilities are key, but neglecting creativity in the long run can damage the way you view your passion. I know I’ve come close a couple times. But I’ve also made the necessary adjustments to get back on track. With that in mind, here are a few tricks to remaining a good student but also remaining a good writer.

a) Make time. Schedule writing sessions as you would homework. The more serious you are about it, the easier it will be to find time. At first it can feel like a chore, especially when you only have a spare half hour here or there, but stay on course. Over time, your brain will understand what writing time is for, and will click into gear when you really need it to (well… most of the time). Don’t expect immediate results, but don’t give up, either. Like any healthy habit, you will be glad to reap the benefits when they come to fruition.

b) Take all mental energy into account. This is a little more abstract, but I fully consider daydreaming, listening to ‘muse’ music and sketching characters as writing time. If my mental capacity goes toward a story, I count it as creativity well-spent. Actual writing doesn’t have to make up 100% of the time. It’s all story-building and creativity-boosting.

c) Enjoy solitude. Writing takes focus, and it’s beyond incredible to have time for yourself just to kick back, put on your writing music and pump out a few good pages. This can apply to both of the previous tips; being alone can clear your head and hone in on the creative flow. Even the most social butterflies can benefit from an hour alone just to write. Especially in a busy environment.

d) Snack. This doesn’t strictly apply to writing, but hey, who doesn’t appreciate a good handful of M&Ms or Chex mix now and then? Portion it out so you get a piece of candy (or whatever you’ve got) for every certain amount of words or pages. It’s motivational and delicious!

Three years of college have taught me all these things and more. In all seriousness, academics should be priority, but please don’t underestimate the sheer importance of writing when you’re a writer. It will sharpen your skills, boost your confidence, and help you learn to tap your creativity when you need it most. By the end of the semester, you’ll have written all the words you wanted and more. It’s creative fulfillment, and you will thank yourself later for a job well done.

Plus, you can snack.

Cover Image Credit: Stocksnap.io

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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Body Image Lessons That I Didn't Learn From A Professor

What I realized about body image my freshman year of college

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Girls usually struggle with self image in general. But the game changes when it's time to go to college. When you are constantly surrounded by your peers, you begin to compare all of the little things they do to you. You compare their bodies to yours. You try to figure out what they are doing that you're not. Or vice versa, why they don't have to do anything to look the way they do. But by the end of my first year, I realized that I would never be happy with myself if I kept thinking this way. So I recorded some realizations I had throughout the year that helped me to improve my body image.

My body is, and never will be the same as any other girl... and that's okay

Different sized and shaped strawberries

https://picjumbo.com/strawberries-with-yellow-background/

It can be so easy in college to compare your body to the girls that surround you. Like the one's live with and you see on a daily basis. There is no point in comparing apples to oranges, so why would you compare your body to a girl who was made completely different? So what you can't fit into her party pants, you can rock another pair just as well.

What works for her, might not work for me

Daily Planner

https://kaboompics.com/photo/9447/planners-organizers-in-bed-women-s-home-office

With different body types, comes different food and exercise needs. Some girls don't need to work out or eat healthy to keep a slim frame. Some girls are naturally muscular. Your routine needs to be catered to you, and there is no need to analyze what someone else eats or does to try to attain their stature. You have to do what feels right for YOUR body to have a good self image.

Don't spend too much time on istagram

https://stocksnap.io/photo/JUC6R3PPLE

Obviously social media effects our body image because of how easily and frequently photos are edited and then presented for the most likes. So if there is a certain account that always makes you feel bad when you see their content, unfollow, and take that aspect out of your life. However, because social media is unavoidable you can't completely escape all the provoking images. So when scrolling, think positively about those who's pictures you see, don't compare, and be aware of the previous lessons.

It's okay for your body to fluctuate

https://pixabay.com/photos/scale-diet-fat-health-tape-weight-403585/

The weight and look of your body can easily fluctuate, It's just natural. And in the same way your life fluctuates, your body may follow along and thats not a big deal! In exam season, there might not be enough time to go to the gym everyday. Or during the holidays there might be an increase of indulgence in treats. But its all okay as long as your getting things done or enjoying life. The only time it becomes an issue if the fluctuations turn unhealthy.

Cut out the negativity

https://snap-photos.s3.amazonaws.com/img-thumbs/960w/4JS6X4XCW1.jpg

If a friend is constantly complaining to you about their body, it can trigger distress in you, and set you back. So if someone else's body image issues are interfering with you mentally, you need to call them out on their B.S. or stop allowing them say those things in front of you.

Wear clothes that you feel comfortable in

https://cdn.cliqueinc.com/cache/posts/216319/-2084176-1487185433.700x0c.jpg

If you wear things that you feel comfortable in, then you wont constantly be thinking about how your stomach, legs, or arms look throughout the day. Wear something that you are confident in, even if it means wearing leggings every day of the week!

I'm not a little kid anymore, therefore my body is not going to look like one

https://unsplash.com/photos/sGSBkfK1hJU

Curves and changes that come after high school can take anyone by surprise, but it's supposed to happen. You can't really be mad at biology...you can only find the beauty in it.

Everyone has their own insecurities

https://jimsomerville.files.wordpress.com/2012/12/girl-looking-in-mirror.jpg?w=640

Even if someone has your ideal body, odds are they still despise theirs. I have met friends in college that are stick skinny, yet are self conscious about it. I know curvy girls that are very insecure. And even an "average" body type has a thousand things that they nit-pick about themselves. No one has their dream body and never will, which is why I had to learn to love the little things about mine.

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