Education

fall supplies 2014

‘Tis the season for going back to school, and we all know what that means: new school supplies. Start your semester off on the right foot with these handy notebooks, planners, and tools. Don’t start your new classes without these seven necessities:

1. Big Monthly Planner – A big calendar made for big plans and big dreams. Mark all of your important dates, and never miss a meeting, class, or event again.

2. Thought Cloud Sticky Notes – Have a brilliant idea? Write it down! Don’t want to forget something brilliant your teacher said? Note it.

3. Moleskine Classic Notebook – Take notes, write down your to-do’s, and jot down your ideas and accomplishments.

4. Sharpie Chisel Assorted 8 Pack – When you want to make a statement, do so in a big and colorful way. Sharpies are perfect for labeling, notes, and crossing things off of your to-do list!

5. Pencil Case – A durable pencil case will hold your statement Sharpies, writing tools, school ID, and anything else you need for class. We like the handle at the end for easy access from your backpack.

6. Camelbak Water Bottle – You all know very well that water is incredibly important. Stay hydrated throughout your classes, sports practices, and after-school clubs with a reusable water bottle.

7. Lime Green Streamer Binder – Your backpack can get pretty packed. Avoid wasting time searching for specific class binders and just assign patterns and colors to each class. This binder definitely stands out.

Image: Laiwan Ng, Flickr (edited)

HealthSkills

Like many returning college students, the next few weeks will be a whirlwind of textbook hunting, syllabus sighing, and alarm clock slamming. Being a senior (and preparing for a thesis… or two…), I would love to say that I’m used to the First Week hustle and bustle. But like the Freshmen who are moving into the dorms, and like the underclassmen who I’ve come to know, I end up losing a bit of sleep due to all the excitement. There are a few things that I’m sure people get nervous about, like meeting professors, finding your place, and academics. Here are a few things I tell myself, and they might help you out too!

“I’ve done this before.”

Freshman or senior, this applies. You’ve taken those SATs, AP exams, midterms, and finals. You’ve met new people, made new friends, and survived an awful prom night with terrible acne (eck). College is a little better because you (hopefully) like what you’re doing and you can change your mind if you don’t. If you don’t know what you’re doing, this is a good chance to explore. The tip here is to be confident in yourself. You might be worried about the workload, and the syllabus may look intimidating, but that’s okay. You’ll meet upperclassmen who can tutor you and classmates who will study with you. You’ll meet people who relate to you more than ever. Do your best and fear not. Take one step at a time.

“I am who I want to be.”

This comes in handy often. In a new environment, you might find yourself wondering if you will fit in somewhere. You might see yourself change a bit (your clothes, your music tastes, your interests). That’s a normal and healthy thing to do. Don’t feel too pressured to do something if you don’t think it fits you, but do embrace things that seem to feel right. For example, I didn’t particularly like watching movies until I got into college. I was a bookworm and that was the end of it. Now I try to watch one or two a month because it gives me something to talk to people. I didn’t become a movie ­snob (a term I use endearingly), but I am giving it a shot and it has added to my view of the world. You are always you, and no matter who you meet, who your new professors are, or who your peers are, that one fact will never change. Be open-minded but be honest with yourself. This will help you keep a good balance.

“It’s okay to mess up.”

This applies for both of the previous things, but people forget this one often. Anxiety, nervousness, fear. These things come from the feeling that we humans can’t understand or control something. That’s natural and everybody feels these emotions. You might be nervous about a test, or you failed one and you’re afraid of failing the next one. But who will find you ten years from now and ask you, “How did you do on that one quiz in Freshman year Design in that class in room 912 in building C with Professor Twitts?” Probably nobody. And who’s going to come up to you and ask, “Do you remember that one time when you went to that party and stood around awkwardly?” Also probably nobody. Chances are, everyone is feeling like you – they’re freaking out about who they are and what they want to be – and they’re so occupied with that they won’t remember the little things that might consume you at the moment.

So incoming Freshman and fellow seniors, and everybody in between… are you ready for a new semester? Put your worries and fears aside. All of your experiences will be great stories one day, so have no fear, and go forward with confidence!

Image: Unsplash

EducationHealthSkills

Is the excitement of heading back to school wearing off? While there are changes happening everywhere around you (just look outside at those leaves turning orange), you might feel like you are in need of your own change when you feel your energy levels crashing. Exams, projects, presentations, and homework might be piling up, and since school just started, there’s no break or end in sight. In order to stay on top of all your work without completely burning out, pick and choose which of these 8 ways might help prevent back-to-school burnout and keep your enthusiasm at its peak…

1. Take breaks. Preventing burnout doesn’t have to happen on a grand scale, but instead you can incorporate little changes into your everyday life. Schedule mini-breaks into your routine, giving yourself 15 minutes to do whatever you want. After 1 hour of studying or essay writing, give yourself 10 minutes to listen to music, practice your new hobby (see #3), or have an impromptu dance party. Do anything that makes you feel great and takes your mind off of work for those precious 10-15 minutes.

2. Plan a fun weekend activity. Get a group of your friends together for a fun weekend activity. When you have something to look forward to during the week, there’s a good chance you will keep your energy levels up so you can get through your work and enjoy your Saturday plans. Instead of doing your regular weekend activities, organize something new and out of the ordinary. Plan activities that are inspired by the season, such as picking apples at your local orchard, seeking out early haunted houses, or hosting a pie-making party.

3. Learn a new hobby. This might sound ridiculous, since you probably have zero time to add anything to your plate. However, even the smallest changes could change-up your entire routine and give you a fresh perspective. For example, learning a new hobby such as knitting or painting are calming hobbies that work around your schedule. You have complete control and practicing your hobby for just 15-30 minutes a day can be a total game changer.

4. Review your routine. Every now and then, it is important to step back and evaluate where you are in your life. In this case, step back and review your routine for the past week. Are there changes you can make that would give you more energy, such as going to sleep 10 minutes earlier? Perhaps sitting in a different seat in class would positively affect your interactions with your teacher and classmates? Pack a snack for when your blood sugar level drops and you need a quick boost. Changing your routine doesn’t have to be a lot of work – little changes can make a big difference.

5. Remember your goals. Did you set goals for the beginning of the new school year? Maybe you set a goal of meeting with your teacher once a week for an entire semester, or you wanted to focus on learning how to do Derivative and Integration formulas like a pro. If you didn’t set goals for yourself, this would be a good time to think about what you want out of the school year. When you start thinking about your goals and what it is you truly want to accomplish, you may become re-motivated and avoid feelings of burnout.

6. Sleep. It might be as simple as catching some zzz’s in order to get back to your energetic self. With the loads of work, extra-curriculars, and team practices, your body might be telling you to slow down and rest. Whether you need to take a long afternoon nap or just work on trying to get 7-8 hours of sleep every night, be conscious of what your body is telling you.

7. Take a stroll. Sometimes you just need to drop everything and walk it out. When you feel yourself getting exhausted from work, chores, or school, stop drop and stroll. Surrounding yourself with nature and breathing in fresh air will clear your mind and give you a new perspective on what is happening in your life.

8. Talk it out. Oftentimes we tend to keep our feelings to ourselves. Talking out how to feel is healthy, and one way to prevent burning out is to talk to your friends, family, and teachers about how you feel. You might learn that your friends are feeling the exact same way. It feels great to know that you are not alone, especially when you are feeling vulnerable and exhausted. Your school year is just getting started, don’t burnout now.

How do you prevent back-to-school burnout?