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Start Strong this Spring!

31 Dec

Going back to school isn’t easy after a long winter of sleeping in, movie marathons, and enjoying the cool weather, but now it’s time to start the ball rolling on a bright new semester. With a little push at the end of your break, you can make the transition easier.

Here are a list of tips to help you get back to Bear Down mode!

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Start a Sleep Schedule

Instead of cracking the whip over your head with an alarm clock on the first day of class, give your body a break and prepare it for the new schedule you’ll be operating on once school starts. By setting your alarm a little earlier each day, you can work your way up to that 8am wake-up you’ve been snoozing through this winter.

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Pre-Spring Cleaning

Set up your study space before you need to use it and you’ll have less in your way when it comes time to cracking open those new textbooks. Getting the extra clutter out will help you clear your mind and get back to that razor sharp focus school requires.

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Do a Campus Walk with your Schedule

Nobody likes to walk into the wrong classroom on the first day of class. Try taking your class schedule on a campus walk before school starts to eliminate the kinks when it comes to finding your new classes.

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Review for the New

If you’re taking classes in new subjects, try doing a little research to get ahead. Buy a phrasebook before your first class in a second language, or review your notes if you’ve studied the topic before. Not only will your professor know you’re super smart, but you’ll be the best study buddy in your class.

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Start Making Meals in Advance

Start preparing lunches for the week now and you’ll have a healthy habit by the time school starts. Not only will this save money, but it will save you from a diet of fast food and vending machine snacks. Sometimes picking a day on the weekend to prepare meals for the week is the best way to streamline your schedule.

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Get Your Supplies Early

Getting those school supplies lined up before the semester starts will ensure your preparedness. If you’re like me, this will also kick start your enthusiasm with shiny new pens and notebooks you just can’t wait to use.

This also goes for your wardrobe! Instead of buying random items and trying to mix and match, lay out some outfits and see what you need to up your game fashionably.

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Start making a list of your expenses and create a budget for yourself. This will help you when financial aid comes in and begins burning a hole in your pocket. It’s better to plan wisely and stick to your limits than to end up starving during finals! If your funding looks a little weak, then you’ll know in advance if you need a student job or a loan from a family member.

Try out a few of these ideas and Bear Down for Spring!

Happy 2017!

-Amanda

 

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#DreadedDecember: Winter Cleaning Session

26 Dec

For my Dreaded December blog, I decided to do something I ABSOLUTELY HATE.

Cleaning out my wardrobe.

This is something I truly dread every time my mother tells me to clean my closet at home. I really like to hold on to things. I am a very sentimental person, and because of this nature of mine, I really never let go of things like clothes. I also hate wasting things, and since I buy most of my clothes from thrift shops, I find letting go of items that were so cheap to be difficult. I always convince myself that maybe I will end up wearing a random piece of clothing later on, or maybe someone will want to borrow my obscure band t-shirt.

The reality is, you have to remind yourself none of that will ever happen, and if you continue to make excuses, more often than not it will just create more of a mess for you later.

All of this makes cleaning out my closet a real trouble for me, and something I truly put off for as long as I can. The first step I did was take all my clothes in my closet and put them on my bed. After rummaging through everything, then I started separating clothes into piles and throwing the ‘undesirables’  on the floor. There were little piles everywhere that you couldn’t even see the floor. I had to separate everything once my bed was completely filled.

I had piles for my pants. Piles for my shirts. For my dresses. For my shoes. There were so many piles I was starting to lose track.

Once I had separated everything, I had to try on some things I wasn’t sure about, and this is what took the longest and was honestly the most painful. Regardless I trudged on and kept going since I was so close.

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Clothes were flying left and right as I was trying things on, and I guess you don’t realize how much you’ve grown until you see clothes from 4 years ago buried in your drawers. Regardless, the whole process took less than two hours, which surprisingly isn’t that much time.

After I had gathered a nice-sized clothes monster at the end of this process, I placed everything in a plastic bag and now I am off to sell these clothes at Buffalo and make a nice little chunk of change for myself. I try my best to hold on to clothes and to only shop and trade clothes to reduce waste, and this is truly a necessity if I want to continue this process. It would have been fun to go through my clothes with a friend since I am letting my friends go through them and pick what they want before I try and sell/donate my clothes. I will have to remember for last time. Nonetheless, this was a great exercise in organization and determination, and I highly recommend doing this at least twice a year!

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Make sure to clean out your closet every once in awhile, you might be surprised by what you find 🙂

~Mandi

#StudiousSeptember: Study Tips for the Chronic Procrastinator

20 Sep

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If you’re like me, you procrastinate everything. It doesn’t matter if it’s studying for a giant exam that’s worth 25% of your grade or the smallest assignment that should ideally take you 10 minutes to complete.  Admittedly, pushing everything back to the last minute in college isn’t necessarily a good or easy thing to do. While this may have worked in high school, it can easily come back to bite you if you aren’t careful about planning and time management. Over the years, however, I’ve learned a few things about how to effectively get things done and limit procrastination.

  1. Write down EVERYTHING! Not only will you be able to see what days or weeks your schedule is busier, but if you write it down the chances of you forgetting to do it are slim to none. Even if you’re sure you’ll remember to do that last minute homework assignment, chances are you’re eventually going to forget to do something. But if you write it down, you’re much less likely to forget and resort to writing a five-page paper in the hour before class.Bruce Almighty.gif
  2.  Overestimate how much time it’ll take to do things. So many times I’ve thought “That assignment will only take 30 minutes” and then end up spending 2 hours on it. If you overestimate time, you won’t get stuck being unable to finish because you didn’t allocate enough time. Plus if you plan for something to take you 3 hours and it only takes 1, you just made an extra two free hours in your schedule!
  3. Plan specific times to do tasks. If you look at what you have to do and just say “Oh I’ll just do that later”, chances are “later” will just keep getting pushed back. But if you say “I’m going to do that at 2:00” then you’ll be more likely to do it because you gave a specific time.later
  4. Be very explicit about what you need to accomplish. Similar to doing something “later”, if you plan to “read your textbook” or “study”, you’ll crack open a book, pull out your notes, and call it a day. But if you specify to “read and highlight chapter 4” or “work through 5 practice problems”, not only will studying be easier because you know exactly what you want to do, but you’ll also see yourself making a lot more progress.
  5. LIMIT DISTRACTIONS! It’s way too easy to get roped into Netflix, your phone, video games, etc., and end up wasting hours without accomplishing anything. If you don’t have the self-control to stay away from distractions (because, let’s be real, binge-watching Friends is way better than reading a biology textbook), use an app or other site to block distracting sites for a specific amount of time, or get a trusted friend to hold your phone while you study.Distraction.gif
  6. Find the best place for you to focus. If you can’t get anything done in your dorm or home, go to the library. If you don’t like the big space of the library, try a study room. If you hate studying indoors, go outside for a while. It’s better to move than be unproductive where you are.
  7. Lastly, JUST DO IT! It’s so easy to put things off until you absolutely have to do them. But trust me when I say it’ll feel so much better just to get things done early. Not only will you not be continuously stressing about them, but you’ll also find yourself with so much more free time that you’ll definitely appreciate.

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I hope these study tips could help you some! Procrastination is a dangerous habit to get trapped in. But with a bit of motivation, discipline, and planning, you can beat the addiction and find success in studying!

-Jessica