What’s In My Backpack?

whats-in-my-backpack

Now that the school year has started, I thought it would be fun to share what I’ve been carrying around everyday. I don’t always have all of these things in my backpack at any given time because my classes are at not always everyday, but this is usually what I have with me!
notebooks

Basically these are the main stays that are almost always in my backpack. I’m kind of a snob about what notebooks I use, so I stick to the same brand.

These Miquel Ruis notebooks are my absolute fave. They’re split into 4 subjects with different colors on the most buttery, smooth paper that’s an absolute delight to write on. Usually I get about two notebooks because they’re kind of expensive at $6.99. Since I take 3 classes, I use one notebook for a class that’s everyday and then use another notebook for my two classes that are only twice a week.

Lastly in the notebook-ish category I have my planner the Get to Work Book. I’ve really been enjoying the layout, greyscale color scheme, and flexibility this planner has been allowing me. I originally thought I wouldn’t carry this planner around with me because of how thick it is, but honestly it hasn’t been that much of a trouble.

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How I Prepare for a New Academic Quarter

how-i-prepare-for

I start school this Wednesday and while I’m excited to get back into the swing of things, I’m also super stressed. It’s not really the classes that stress me out, but more so that I’m starting my junior year of college this year. This means  that in the next year I’ll have to start getting serious about applying to grad school and about planning what I want the next phase of my life to look like. But, that’s a stress for another day.

Plus, I’m working a new job 15 hours a week with a night shift. I’m a bit nervous that it’ll be really hard for me to balance the new job with school.

For now I’m just getting ready for the next quarter. I know that for some of my readers, you all have maybe already been in school since August or earlier in September, but I think that these tips can still be really helpful.

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How I Chose My Majors

jordan-travel-diary

Well howdy doody! While most people have already started school already, being that my university is on the lovely quarter system, I don’t being school until the 28th of September.

The beginning of the 2016-2017 school year marks the start of my junior year of college…well..actually I’ve been a junior technically since last Winter quarter, but now is my real third year of college.

When I started college back in 2014, my intention was to be a psychology major. After seeing the 400+ person lecture halls that comprise my university’s intro psychology classes, I decided that was not the life for me. In the Winter of my freshman year, I thought that since I didn’t want to do psych anymore, International Studies would be a great replacement major since I love traveling and learning about new cultures.

Basically for that entire quarter and the following, I was sure that I was going to major in International Studies, so I started taking the boo-boo awful required courses to apply for the major like Intro to Microeconomics. That class was so awful that it shook my desire to even continue in the major. I’m not a particularly math-y person and beyond the fundamentals of economics, it doesn’t really follow how my mind works. Plus, it was a bit off putting that my professor was insistent that people only do things for their own self-interest and no actions are ever truly altruistic. Even after my uncertainty if International Studies was something that I wanted to do, I continued down that path.

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Sophomore Year in Review

SOPHOMORE YEAR

The quarter is finally over #blessed #yaaas. On June 8th, I’ll wrap up my sophomore year of college (well it’s also sort of almost the end of my junior year, but that’s a confusing topic for another day). This year of college has been the literally struggle, but also it’s been really rewarding too. The most notable thing that happened this school year is that I declared my majors! Now I’m officially doing a double major in Anthropology and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations. I’m super jazzed about my course of study because I’ve found a way to incorporate my interested in culture and language into a dual degree program that seems pretty sweet. I’m also happily ending this quarter with a new job for next school year that is a much more positive, accepting, and wonderful work environment.

If you’ve seen my other post, my Freshman Year in Review, you’ll know that my first year in college was not great. To be honest it was one of the toughest years of my life because of my increased anxiety, struggle with depression, and the passing of my grandfather. This year began on a similar foot as I lived in one of the worst living situations of my life. Living with my roommate was truly one of the most awful living situations of my life that made it basically hell for me, but in Spring I was able to move into a single room!

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A Day in the Life

A DAY IN THE LIFE

5:30am

I have just been roused my the annoying trill of my alarm clock. I’m tired because I’m always tired…and I also get 6 hours of sleep every night, which certainly doesn’t help. I roll out of bed, stand on my tip toes to reach my bathroom caddy, and walk ever dragging my feet to the bathroom.

Of course the bathroom is dirty. Hair, toothpaste, and used towels litter the floor because of course they do. My inner neat freak desperately wants to whip out a bucket of all natural cleaning solution and a rag to clean everything immediately. My inner anxiety desperately wants to leave immediately using only a paper towel to open the door and run back into the safety of my bed.

Despite all odds, I stay in the bathroom. My pre-gym routine is fairly basic, I brush my teeth, put my contacts in, and attempt to make the braids I slept in look somewhat attractive (I fail every time at this).

Once my face looks mildly more alive, I venture to my room once more, making sure to be quiet as my delightful roommate sleeps. In the darkness of my dorm I struggle to put on my gym clothes. I’m likely to put on my shirt and sports bra on inside out, heaven only knows how often I walk out of my room with my clothes on backwards.

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Get Your Best Letter of Recommendation Ever

Get Your Best Letter of Recommendation (1)
Letters of recommendation are a key component to getting into college, graduate school, study abroad, and college majors. Letters of recommendation add an additional perspective of who you are as a  student that is (hopefully) more comprehensive than just essays and transcripts. For many applications processes, letters  of recommendation provide a much needed outside perspective on the student that can make or break the application process, so it’s important to make sure that you get a good one!
I’ve applied for a lot of study abroad programs and scholarships in my day and for all of these applications you need anywhere from 1-3 letters of recommendation. I’ve had applications ask for letters from language instructors, professors, and even community members to get a myriad of perspectives on myself as an individual.
It’s really easy to get a lame letter of recommendation. By lame I mean letters that sound like they came from a template. The letter is rife with vague information and show that the writer of the letter doesn’t really know the person at all. Even worse, you’ll run into almost verbatim versions of the stuff that you sent that doesn’t even seem wholly integrated in the letter. I’ve even had instances where a teacher in high school asked me to write the letter of recommendation for him and he would just edit it!
While it’s quick and easy to get a bad/lame/ineffectual letter of recommendation, getting an awesome and helpful letter of recommendation requires cultivation, interaction, and supplemental materials. In my past couple of years of college, I’ve mastered getting solid letters of recommendation and creating relationships with professors that have helped me get into the programs I’ve applied for. It’s take a bit of time, but once you develop a meaningful relationship, it’s pretty easy. So let’s begin!

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A College Student Guide’s To: Creating a Homework Schedule

Since my freshman year of college I’ve taken on average 15 credits (this breaks down to 3 classes). I did take 18 credits my first quarter in college, which is the max amount of credits you can take as a full time student. For some reason I thought it would be a good idea to work my butt off when I began college and take 5 classes for kicks and giggles.
In high school, I had no trouble making a routine for my homework and studying because honestly, I didn’t have one. High school didn’t prepare me for college in that regard. I never developed the skills and habits
that are necessary to be an organized student until I was already in college. High school me was content with doing my homework whenever and spending an absurd amount of time not doing assignments. Though I did really well in high school because I’m infatuated with the idea of good grades, I didn’t have a
routine that was conducive to my goals. Most of my high school homework time was packed full of cramming, waiting until the last minute, and feeling stressed on a daily basis.

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16 Great Habits for the New Year

The New Year is a great time to start setting goals and making positive changes in your life. Though I make New Year’s Resolutions every year (and this year I’m going to try to stick to them!), sometimes it a lot easier to develop more positive habits, instead of overhauling an entire lifestyle. Creating positive habits is a helpful tool in creating better behaviors.

 

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School? Social Life? Good Grades? Oh My!

We’re the generation of kids who want it all. We want 4.0 GPAs, amazing social lives, and time to cultivate our interests. It’s difficult and seemingly impossible to reach attain all of these huge goals. I promise you though, while it may seem incredibly challenging,  by creating a balance and prioritizing, we can little by little make reaching each of these goals realities in our own lives.

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Making the Most of Your Winter Break

I can’t believe it’s finally Winter Break! After one of the toughest quarters of my academic career thus far, it’s going to be nice to have a break to recuperate from a really intense quarter. I don’t have to many big plans for the break beyond working a ton, blogging, and spending time with my friends.
However, while Winter Break is a time to relax for a couple weeks from the intensity of school, I try to still be productive. I don’t mean that I’m going to write academic papers in my free time or get a head start on next quarter or anything, I like to focus my efforts on making sure that I have a great New Year whether that be by spending break relaxing, working my butt off, or doing something else entirely.
It’s really easy for me to slip into the habit of just sitting around all of my school breaks watching entire seasons of shows and while that is an important part of self-care, in this post I’m going to share some ways to make your Winter Break relaxing, productive, and fun!

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