September 17, 2017

What's In My College Backpack


My absolute favorite part about back-to-school is getting new furniture. I just get super excited to go furniture shopping!

This year i did almost all of my back-to-school shopping at Staples, partly because my friend works there and i wanted to get some discounts.

Writing utensils

  • Mechanical pencils: I always try to have as many of these as possible. This is a utensil i never like to run out of. Plus, people often ask to borrow my pencils and never give it back. So i like having extras as back-up.
  • Erasable pencils: I mentioned these in my last post and as promised, i went ahead and got them. I’m super excited to use them!
  • Flash cards: My math professor this summer made it absolutely mandatory we use flash cards. I really didn’t care much for these before, but after using them consistently enough, i found them pretty helpful!
  • Post-it notes: I have to remind myself to do things ALL.THE.TIME. Post it notes help with that tremendously.
  • Eraser: pencil erasers run out all the time. Always got me some back up.


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Notebooks: There’s only one notebook pictured here but i have two. I just forgot to take a picture of the other one. The notebook pictured is a 5-subject notebook i’m using for all my classes except for one.

The other notebook i have is a one subject notebook, which i am using for my math class. I use a lot more paper in math for notes and whatnot, so i definitely needed more paper than what is available in the 5-subject notebook.

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Planner: This is one of the items that is not from Staples. I actually got this planner last semester at Target. It’s a fairly good planner but i do want to try other planners in the future just to see if i like anyone of them better.

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Cosmetic bag: You may recognize this “Play Beautifully” bag from last December. It’s one of the things i received from my Blogger Secret Santa.

I basically have things like lip gloss, lipstick, a mini bottle of lotion etc. inside the bag.

Eyeglasses cleaner: If you didn’t know, i have four eyes. I wear prescription glasses pretty much all the time and i got two bottles of these lens cleaner at Costco for a pretty good deal! I can even go back and get a refill when i run out!

Pencil case: If you’re wondering why they’re puzzle pieces in my pencil case, i use to have a phone case with those in. You could rearrange the pieces to your liking. The phone case eventually broke, i just really like to look at those pieces. I also have extra lead for my pencils.

Now inside the pencil case i have the usual. Pencils, pens, highlighters, markers, eraser, white out, and some glue (you never know when you’re gonna need some glue).

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Calculator: Can’t do math without this one.

Flash Drive: My old flash drive recently broke out of nowhere and i never thought to backup my documents (i know, how dumb is that). So all my documents were G O N E with the wind. It makes me upset just to remember all the 4 years worth of documents i lost. I definitely will not make the same mistake with this one. I learned my lesson.

House Keys: I have been locked out of my house too many times. I try to always keep my keys in my bag.

Phone Charger: Always need my phone charger with me.

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Water bottle: I have lost so many water bottles in the past and i forbade myself from buying anymore. Until, i went to Dave & Buster’s and got this water bottle at their store. Technically, i didn’t really buy it since it was one of the prizes at their store. I'm pleasantly surprised i haven't lost this one.

Book: I have a fairly long commute to school, i would much rather have a book with me rather than being on my phone. I always try to keep an interesting book in my bag.

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Sunnies: i love my new sunnies from GlassesUSA. I literally parade them everywhere. I’m actually sad it’s about to be cold and i won’t be able to wear them.

Wallet: always need my wallet.

Body Spray: I have to smell good! I’m not the biggest fan of the smell, but i can deal until i run out.

Deodorant: This deodorant smells pretty good but i’m looking for a more natural deodorant. If you have any suggestions, leave them in the comment section.

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Backpack: Last but not least, the backpack! I actually got this backpack at the thrift store (I love shopping at the thrift store!). I really like it because it has a bunch of pockets, everything has its place.

I got my “RESIST” pin you there at the climate march in DC. That’s where it has been sitting ever since.

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What’s one thing you absolutely have to have in your backpack?

-Yvanne

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August 29, 2017

How To Beat The End Of Summer Blues


This is a sponsored post in partnership with UniDays and Her Campus Media. All words and opinions are my own.

With the amount of back-to-school commercials on television, it is pretty hard to ignore the unavoidable end of summer. In less than a week, i’ll be turning my morning alarms back on and reading endless pages of overpriced textbooks. Is it me or summer always feels like it only lasted for about a month while the school year almost never ends.

Instead of dreading the beginning of the new school year, i choose to make the best out of the free time i have left. You guys know the really popular quote that goes “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” I choose to be thankful for the relaxing summer i had, in lieu of asking the universe why it has to end so soon. And you should too.

Here are a couple ways you can say your farewells to summer and welcome fall with open arms.

Frame your memories

How many pictures of “SUMMER ‘17” do you have on your phone (don’t lie!)? My guess would be double, if not triple digits. I personally  love to seeing pictures of some of my favorite adventures on my desk. I almost feel like i can go back in time and experience those moments once more.

You could either frame some of your favorite pictures or make a scrapbook out of them. I promise you will have the biggest smile on your face while doing it. The end of the summer might not sound as bad anymore because you will be reminded of all the good times you had.

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Go back-to-school shopping!
You may not be thrilled about school starting again, but don’t you just love back-to-school shopping? If i didn’t discipline myself to only get what i need, i would probably get everything at the store every year (not really. Can’t afford that lol).

One thing i’m excited to get is erasable pens. I can’t believe i didn’t know about them until someone from my summer class let me use one. Ever since then, i have been obsessed and i have to get one for this semester.

As a college student, i’m always looking for ways to save money any way i can, so when i learned about UNiDAYS i could not keep them to myself. UNiDAYS provides free services for students where you can get exclusive discounts on brands such as Apple, Urban Outfitters, GlassesUSA, ASOS, Bed Bath Beyond, Lyft, and many more.

UNiDAYS also offers weekly member-only giveaways from $500 for back-to-school shopping,  new phones to style-your-self outfits and more! There is no reason to pay full price for items UNiDAYS will give you great discounts on!

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Lose yourself in a good book
I have a long reading list i need to go through. I love taking book recommendations from some of my favorite bloggers! And what better way to avoid reality than to immerse yourself in a good book?  Take advantage of the free time you have remaining  to relax and unwind while you still can.

I personally like to read around this time rather than doing so during the school year. When i start reading a really good book, i have the tendency to not put it down until i’m completely done with it. Which doesn’t look good for me because i consequently put all my responsibilities in the back seat.

Make the best of the time you have left
Although summer is ending, it hasn’t ended just yet. Meaning, you still have the opportunity to have lots of fun. This is the perfect time to finish off your summer bucket list.

I don’t to see a lot of my friends often enough during the school year, so when we all have some time off, we don’t let it go to waste. We still have plans set up until the weekend before school starts.

My favorite part so far has been my best friend and i restaurant hopping and pretending to be food bloggers.

I have a question: am i the only who gets excited for summer mainly because i get to rock my sunglasses? Which leads to my next question: Does anyone else wear sunglasses more so as a fashion statement than sun protection? Just me? Well then.

I’ve been trying to match all my outfits according to my sunglasses ever since i got a new pair  from GlassesUSA, a partners of UNiDAYS. If you like what you see, you can get yourself a stylish pair of sunglasses like mine through UNiDAYS at a discounted price! As a broke college student, “free” and “discounts” are two words i love to hear.

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Get excited for fall TV schedule
It’s always good to have things to look forward to. Think about all your favorite TV shows coming back. Are you still sad about the end of summer? I know i’m not!

I CANNOT wait for Scandal (last season *insert Kim K’s crying face*), The Big Bang Theory, How To Get Away With Murder, Stranger Things and Black-ish. I still don’t know how i’m gonna find time to watch all these series, but i’m pretty excited nonetheless.

Prepare for fall activities
Halloween is closer than you think! What will you be this year? If you already have an idea of what you’re going to be, you can start working on it. It’s always better to DIY not only because it’s fun, but it’s also FREE!

Summer may be coming to an end but that certainly doesn’t to be a bad thing. There are so many other fun things to look forward to. All you have to do is figure out what those things are.

-Yvanne

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August 24, 2017

5 High School Habits To Drop Before College


Remember in elementary school when your teachers would often say “oh when you get to middle school things will be so much different and you won’t be able to do this and that...” but then you get to middle school and lo and behold, everything is pretty much the same. Then you would hear the same lecture in middle school about high school and once more, it was all just talk to scare you a little.


Although it would make sense to believe that college wouldn’t be much different than high school, i can assure you it’s definitely not the case. In order to have a successful high school to college transition, it is imperative that high school students break and replace the common habits listed below.


Not reading your class’s assigned books
News Flash: You actually have to read your textbooks instead of using them as coasters and whatnots. I was talking to my friend the other day and she was telling me how annoying it is that she actually has to read her textbooks now that she’s in college instead of barely cracking them open like she had done in high school. It was so funny to hear her rant about it because all i could do was reminisce on the time i was in her place my freshmen year, ranting about the same thing.


When you think about it, we really had it easy in high school. We had free textbooks which we barely read. Meanwhile in college, you have to pay for your own OVERPRICED textbooks and you have to read them. Sparknotes won’t come to your rescue anymore either. You’re going to have reading quizzes and sometimes you might not even get a heads up from your professor. All to say, when you get reading assignments, it’s in your best interest to follow through.


Not studying for tests
Oh how i miss the good ol’ days in high school when i barely worried about exams. Most of the time i would study for an exam the day before and call it a day. Meanwhile in college, i have done everything but pull my hair out during finals.


You absolutely cannot take this habit to college. I repeat you can NOT take this habit with you to college. You’re going to have to learn to study over a period of time for upcoming exams and not the day before. Not only is it a better study strategy, but you will also learn a lot more than you ever will with the day of or day before habit.


Procrastination
If i’m being honest, this will likely follow you to college (it followed me!). Procrastination is a pest you can’t easily get rid of. With that being said, i advise you to try your hardest to get rid of this habit, which has the potential to make your life a living hell in college.


Procrastinating in college is a whole different ball game than it is in high school. You could procrastinate in high school and still be able to turn in a decent assignment. Whereas, a lot more is expected of you in college and the amount of time you spend working on an assignment will reflect on your grades.

Don’t be surprised if what would have earned you a B+ in high school may earn you a C- or worse in college. Moral of the story? It is always best not to procrastinate at all, but if you do, do so at your own risk because you will not receive any favors from your professors



Expecting teachers to remind you about missed homework
assignments.
College is whole new ball game than high school. You get a syllabus that tells everything you need to know about the class. All your assignments will be on it and sure your professor will verbally present them to you, but after then you’re on your own. This is especially tricky with long term assignments that students often tend to forget about. If there’s a big research paper due a month or two, don’t expect your professor to remind you about it every other day.

It is your job and your job alone to remember when your assignments are due. And if you happen to forget about them, that’s on you as well.  

Not asking for help when you need it
At this point we’ve pretty much established that college is almost nothing like high school. While you were able to do most if not all of your work on your own in high school, you are probably not going to be able to follow the same pattern in college for the fact that more is demanded of you.

Whether you’re struggling with your chemistry homework or your literature paper, there are multiple resources on campus readily available to help you. Your professor most certainly has office hours, don’t be afraid to stop by and ask for help. That’s what office hours are for.

If you would much rather have things explained to you by your peers, there are students tutors available for most subjects. If you’re feeling under the weather, there are counselors you can surely talk to.  Remember, a lot of these resources are made available with the help of your tuition money. You’re simply using what you’re paying thousands of dollars to your college for. I know being in college we all want to learn how to “adult,” but asking for help when you need it does not make you less of an adult than the next person.

-Yvanne

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August 13, 2017

How To Survive 8AM Classes In College


Ah, the dreaded 8AMs. As most people do, i have avoided early morning classes throughout my college journey like no other. That is, until I had to take a class this summer and my only options were to either register for the class at another campus which was farther than my regular commute, or take the class at 8am sharp at my usual campus.


Lord knows i looked for every alternatives in order to avoid the dreaded morning class, but in the end i had to give it up and take the 8am class. While sobbing of course (okay not really but i felt like it).


As someone who’s used to going to sleep late and waking up even later, the first week seemed like hell on earth. Peeling myself out of bed suddenly became the hardest task known to man. I probably had 27 alarms with 3 mins intervals because i could not wake up to save my life. I walked around campus like a zombie.


And then, slowly but surely, getting out of bed became a lot easier day by day.Having a bunch of alarms turned out to be more annoying than helpful, so i sized down to 3 alarms. My zombie look disappeared and sometimes i would catch myself singing my way to class!


I still don’t understand how i did it for 4 years in high school,yet the thought of attending a class that early in college was like asking me to climb mount kilimanjaro. Makes no sense.


Go to bed early!!
As a night owl, my bedtime hours typically ranged from midnight to 3am. So the first week of school, my genius self thought it was okay to still go to bed at these hours. Let me just tell you,  the STRUGGLE taking myself out of bed was very real. This is when i had to set up a million and one alarms along  with a live band to get me out of my covers.


Having to wake up a lot earlier than usual is already pretty hard enough. Learn from my mistakes and don’t make things worse. Breaking my habit of not going to bed until after midnight was not easy but it was definitely worth getting a couple more hours of sleep. A restless night is a recipe for a disastrous day.



Have your outfit ready the night before
Do this and thank me later. I seriously didn’t realize how long it took me to pick out an outfit until my 8am class started. It amazed me because i would take the longest time to choose an outfit, as though i was getting dressed to meet the queen. But after all that time, i would come up with the most basic outfit i could find. Yes, i took me 20 minutes to come up with jeans a shirt. Don’t ask how.


I saved close to an extra hour more of sleep for myself by simply taking  a shower and picking out an outfit the night before. Instead of waking up earlier the next the day to do all that jazz, all i had to do was wash my face and brush my teeth. This definitely helped improve my mood in the morning.


Also, do yourself a favor and have your bookbag ready to go the night before class. I used to leave all my stuff scattered on the table after studying and it would take me too long to put everything back in my bag before school. Especially if you’re rushing out the door.



Don’t skip breakfast
Guess what? “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day” isn’t just something people say for the heck of it, it’s actually true! Even if you only have time to a grab a banana or a nutrition bar, do so. Eating a nutritious breakfast will give you the energy you’ll need to get through your class and the entire day.


Do your work during the day
The good thing about having morning classes is that it makes your day seem longer. After your class you still have a good amount of time to get some work done. This was definitely my favorite thing about having a morning class. I loved knowing that i still had the whole day ahead of me after getting out of class.This was great because i could get most of my work done after class instead of doing it in the evening and not going to bed until midnight and after like i used to. Getting myself out of bed in the morning became a lot easier to do, along with staying awake in class.
Set your alarm clock
I like to set my alarms  for an hour before i actually have to wake up. So let’s say i have to wake up at 6:00am, i will set up my alarm at 5:00am, then 5:30am, then 5:45am, then 5:55am and finally 6:00am. The way i see it, i’m slowly waking myself up so when the clock does reach 6:00am, getting up won’t be as brutal. I also have a couple alarms with 5 minutes intervals for when i lie to myself by saying that i’m only going to sleep for a couple more minutes then find myself sleeping for a whole hour more. This may seem like a lot, but my professor would not let you hear the end of it if you came late to class. I didn’t want to take any chances. It’s also a pretty good idea to set your phone away from you so you’ll force yourself to get up and turn off your alarm.


Have a positive attitude
This is may be the most important one of them all. A positive attitude makes some of the hardest things a little easier to deal with. Waking up early in the morning may be a big pain in the you know what but try to associate something positive with it and  watch what happens.

See? Morning classes aren’t THAT bad. You can totally pull it off as long as you discipline yourself. Good luck with your morning class!

-Yvanne

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July 6, 2017

5 Ways Positive Thinking Can Increase Your Productivity

"In every day, there are 1,440 minutes. That means we have 1,440 daily opportunities to make a positive impact." -Les Brown


If you want to be more productive but haven’t been able to do so, your attitude might have something to do with it. We have all heard of the saying “you get what you put in.” Which pretty much means, you can’t go into a situation with a negative mind and expect to get anything more than just that, in return.

Studies have shown that student's attitude towards math will actually affect their success. The simple fact of going to your math class with a negative attitude will truly help you fail. Not because you’re not intelligent, but for the fact that you’re constantly expressing your discontentment of math and whatnot. I wasn’t aware of this study until recently, but my performance in my math classes make a lot of sense now.

Having a great work ethic is an important component of productivity, but so is a positive attitude. Here are 5 five ways a positive mindset will help you be more productive:
1. You avoid the complaints club.
Not only will you be saving time, you’ll also be saving energy because let’s face it - constant complains are exhausting. Especially when they don’t amount to anything. If you’re performing a difficult task, you are more likely to waste time writing an entire book on the many ways this task is annoying.
Whereas, performing the same task with a positive attitude will encourage you to figure out a more efficient way to complete the task at hand. You will even be able to detect and prevent problems before they arise, which also saves any more time that would have been spent solving the problem. They don’t say “an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure” for nothing.
2. You aren’t as stressed

It is no secret that most people don’t perform well under stressful conditions. When stressed, you’re worrying about however many different things you have to take care of, while barely paying attention to the task you’re currently performing.

When performing a task with a positive attitude, your mind is at ease and you’re able to remain focused. Your productivity significantly increases because your mind isn’t clouded and overwhelmed by stressors.
3. You work better in teams

No one likes to be around people who constantly complain. I don’t know about you, but i try to steer clear of negative people as much as i can. Especially when i’m doing a group project at school, i avoid that individual like the plague. My end goal is an A and complaining is definitely NOT going to get me there.

Just as they ( don’t ask me who “they” is) say a smile is contagious, the same could be said about a positive attitude. Not only is it easier to work with others, but everyone is able to work efficiently. People tend to be a lot more productive when they’re in a positive working environment. Negativity often drags tasks way longer than they should have originally taken and seems to make them a lot more tedious.



4. You have more energy

Cheerful people tend to be more energetic. If you’re full of energy, there’s no reason why you wouldn’t be more proactive than someone who isn’t. Negative people tend to look at the more gloomy side of things and inadvertently deplete their energy. Because those with a positive mindset prefer to look at the brighter side of things, their job performance consequently tends to be better.

5. You’re more likely to make good decisions

Negative thinking clouds your judgement and often leads to poor decision making. Have you ever made a decision and then later wondered what in the world you were thinking? Yeah same. Chances are, your mindset at the time wasn’t the best.

A positive mindset strengthens your problem solving skills and rids you of the distractions brought by negative thinking. Instead of reacting to problems with your emotions, you will be able to take the appropriate steps needed to resolve the problem accordingly. Plus, a positive minds makes way for creativity, which is always very helpful when solving problems.

How To Be More Positive

Now that we understand the immense impact a positive attitude has on productivity, you might be wondering “well, how do i go about being more positive ?” Wonder no more, i got you covered. Being more positive doesn’t mean you have to be in la-la land all the time, all it takes is some effort.

  • Surround yourself with positive people: You may not realize it, but your environment plays a crucial role in determining your outlook on life. If you constantly confine yourself with people who spread nothing but negativity, chances are you’ll do the exact same thing.  Those you hang out with the most can either uplift you or drag you down with them.
  • Make a conscious effort to smile: Smile right now. Yes, for no reason. Doesn’t matter if you’re in a good mood or not. Just smile. Most of us believe that we smile when we’re happy. This is correct, but so is the opposite. We can feel happy because we’re smiling. This basically means that you can force a smile at any time and trick your brain into thinking that you’re genuinely happy. Not only will you better your mood, but you’ll also reduce stress.
  • Meditate:  Practicing mindful meditation is a great way to relieve stress. When you take time to settle your mind from all the worries of life, you’re able to focus on what really matters.

Next time you have to tackle that do-to list of yours, make sure you to do with a positive mindset.

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