Wednesday, September 23, 2015

6 "No Brainer" Tips on Getting Straight A's in College.

Going back to school is a big deal. It's exhausting and it's expensive, but when you're going for what you want, it is so worth it.

Even though it's been a good two years since I graduated, I remember exactly what kind of student I was in college. I did the bare minimum to get by with a decent GPA, showed up when I needed to but definitely skipped the occasional class, and when I did go to class, I scoured through Pinterest for an hour and a half. I had countless all nighters, deadlines that I procrastinated until the night before, you name it.

Now that I'm going back for round two, I'm a little wiser (perhaps because I'm a little older). The way I study and even the way I learn has completely changed, and I like to think that I'm a better student because of it. While I may only be one month into the semester, I've taken several quizzes and exams, and I'm doing better than I ever have in any semester of my undergrad. My secrets? They're pretty obvious. Read on:

  1. Do the readings. In the four weeks I've been in school post-bacc, I've probably done more textbook reading than I have during my entire undergrad and believe it or not, it actually helps me understand the material. Shocking, I know. 
  2. Go to class. Again, pretty obvious. As an undergrad, I didn't think much of skipping a class here, skipping a class there. #YOLO and all that. But actually going to class and truly paying attention is what can take you from a "B" student to an "A" student. Which brings me to my next point...
  3. Put your phone away during class. Just stuff it into your back pack and forget it's there for the next hour and a half. You'll actually start to understand what you're learning if the material and the professor has your undivided attention.
  4. Work smarter, not harder. All nighters are sometimes necessary, but certainly not for every exam, quiz, or paper. Spend just one hour per day prepping for a test the week before it's scheduled. Make note cards early and review them, read a chapter per day, etc. This way, you never feel like you need to "cram" the night before because you've already been slowly retaining the information.
  5. Find a study buddy. Sometimes I prefer to work alone, but when it comes to exam prep, I like to have someone to bounce ideas and concerns around with. 
  6. Keep the end goal in mind. It's so easy to get caught up in due dates and feeling like the stress is never going to end. Remember: it will end, and you will have a career. When you're feeling frustrated, take a few minutes and remember your "why." 

My classes this semester are significantly harder than any classes I've ever taken, yet I have A's in all of them (okay, I have a B in hearing science, but I'm a speech major...clearly there's a reason!). I think that 100% correlates with my change in studying habits and general behavior toward my classes. If you're struggling with classes, maybe reevaluate how you're studying. It could make all the difference!

What are your go-to study tips and tricks? I could always use more of them!


Sunday, September 20, 2015

Sunday rambles.

In case you couldn't tell by my severe lack of posts, it's been a little crazy around these parts. It's also been hard for me to stay positive sometimes. Everyone has a bad day or two, but when it turns into three or more, it's easy to sink into a sad little place and stay there.

I'm a big believer that even the littlest things can have the biggest impact, whether that's an unexpectedly clean apartment (thanks, babe!) or a fresh batch of homemade chocolate chip cookies. This weekend, I made a promise to myself to make the next week matter, and to keep the negativity at bay. No small feat, but with a little planning and purposeful acting, there is no reason why this week shouldn't be an excellent one.

To start off this whole "positivity kick," I decided to whip up these bad boys on Friday night. I was out of pumpkin (GASP!) so I went through my Pinterest boards and landed on these fudge chocolate greek yogurt cookies. If we're being honest, my measurements were a little off, and I think I used too much greek yogurt and not enough sugar, but I loved the brownie-like texture. Even Ryan (who is not a big sweets person at all) has eaten at least four cookies so far, so I'd still say they were a hit. I used to bake all the time, and it's something I really want to get back into again.

Speaking about things I want to get back into, I'd really love to get back into blogging again. I feel like I had so many plans for this guy (my blog, that is), and they just fell to the wayside as life got busier and my spending capabilities got smaller. It almost feels like between work and school, my life isn't interesting enough to document anymore. Maybe it's just a slump? Ah. Working on it. If anyone cares enough to let me know, what kind of posts do you like to see on here? I know my following isn't big (at all), but I want to keep it interesting for those who do keep up!

Have a happy rest of your Sunday, guys! I'm off to shift numero dos of the day. Sunday Funday turned Sunday Make Money day, AM I RIGHT?


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

On transitioning.

This whole "transitioning into a new career" thing is hard. It's also exciting. But this week? This week it is just plain makes-me-want-to-cry-in-my-closet hard.

Knowing that it isn't just getting through the next year of school, but getting through the next three years of school can feel excruciating. Looking at a bank account that constantly maintained a comma dwindle into the double digits is blind siding. Remembering that I already have a degree that can land me a $30-50k salary tomorrow and yet here I am trying to pick up take out shifts on my nights off makes me want to gauge my eyes out with a spork.

And yet, here I am, doing it all again on my own dime; spending most of my down time doing school work and trying not to offend my friends when I tell them I can't do anything because I have to pay rent. As spoiled and privileged as it sounds, I'm in a position I've quite literally never been in before, and I don't have to be in it. I'm choosing to be. Which to be honest, feels a little crazy.

We all have bad weeks, and it's been a couple of rough ones for me. At the same time, I don't want to look back in three years and think, "if only I'd stuck with it." I just hope this will all be worth it in the end, because I'm less than a month into all this and I might actually be losing my mind.


Thursday, September 10, 2015

Why I Hate the Word "Basic."


I've grown to hate this term, but like most millennials, I use it all the time.

"Don't mind me, just bein' a basic bitch with my pumpkin spice latte in September."
"Staging a photo for Instagram? You're so basic."
"You mean to tell me you like wearing yoga pants and going to Pure Barre and taking 'candid' pictures and listening to Taylor Swift? AND you have a lifestyle blog? BASIC."


But really. What is it with society and deeming those who enjoy universally liked things as "basic"? Am I the only one who gets borderline offended? It's like telling someone their interests and thoughts and feelings are unauthentic.

Maybe it hits me hard because growing up, I listened to Hilary Duff, Britney Spears, and the Backstreet Boys; I didn't start listening to the Beatles at seven years old and I had zero desire for the majority of my parents' "throwback jams." I watched the Disney Channel and Nickelodeon until I was 16, and I've never had an 'unnatural' color in my hair. I've never spent my time in old record stores, or feeling like no one really understood me. As I've gotten older, I still prefer top 40 to most underground bands. I drink white wine instead of red, and you'll never catch me with a whiskey anything. I've never seen Breakfast at Tiffany's, and I don't think of myself as an old soul. And I'm not hating on people who do/have done all these things. In fact, it's quite the opposite.

Growing up, I've always wanted to be that kind of girl - different, edgy, intriguing. The kind of girl you read about in books. The kind of girl who orders whiskey waters and spends her time reading classics in the back of a used book store and discovering new music no one else has ever heard of. I wanted to be the kind of girl who can dye her hair a different color every other week and absolutely love it.

But I'm not.

I make an ugly face every time I take a sip of any kind of whiskey drink. The excessive use of semi colons in old time fiction bothers me to no end, and I really, really love Spotify and my wireless bluetooth speaker. And frankly, I'll never have the guts to dye my hair violet or pink or even red.

As I'm getting older, I'm finally realizing that it's okay. It's okay to be myself. It's okay to like pumpkin everything, to order all my swim suits from Victoria's Secret, to count down the days until the next Taylor Swift album comes out. It's also okay to not to any of those things, because that's what makes us all different. Maybe to some people it looks like I'm conforming, but you know what? I like what I like, and I'm over feeling stupid about it.

And on that note,



Thursday, September 3, 2015

Oh, how times have changed.

Five months ago today was my last day working in sales at my first post-graduate job. It was my last day of comfortability, and my last day of a cush paycheck. It was one of the last times I went to Starbucks as a "work break," and the last time I sat in a cubicle next to my best friend. 

Five months later, I'm sitting in a Starbucks, finishing up my phonetics homework. I'm counting the number of phonemes in words and memorizing the International Phonetic Alphabet, and then moving on to start outlining chapter one of Essentials of Audiology. 

I work about four days a week to pay for rent and gas and the occasional margarita, and I've drained my savings account to about half-full (not half empty!...heh) on tuition and books and parking permits. I'm starting to stress about letters of recommendations and observation hours, and I have about 3958284 to-do lists scattered between my planner, my notebooks, and random Excel documents. 

In short, I am losing my mind...but I'm exactly where I want to be. 

If I think about everything I need to accomplish and everything I want to do between now and the end of the semester, I want to cry a little bit. Okay, I do cry a little bit. It's really overwhelming and stressful and feels damn near impossible. 

Once I talk myself out of a mental breakdown, I'm really proud of myself. I don't like to pat myself on the back often, but I like to think what I'm doing is kind of brave. It's like scrolling through all your "inspirational quotes" you've posted on Pinterest over the years and being like, "hey, yeah, I'm doing that. I'm pursuing a dream. I'm taking small steps every day. I'm making goals and plans and doing all the things." And that's a pretty cool feeling. Moments like these, weeks like this, years like this - it's what life is all about. 

Has anyone else gone through a major life transition as of late? How are you holding up? 


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

September in Florida.

Ah, September 1st. The first month of fall for some. The sixth month of summer for Floridians.

However, that didn't stop me from buying pumpkin coffee creamer yesterday. And it sure hasn't stopped me from pinning all the fall-inspired fashion trends here. And it won't stop me from baking all the pumpkin things. Because around these parts, we like to live in denial...or delusion. Whatever works, honestly.

I've lived in Florida my entire life, and I often wonder what it would be like to live some place that has real seasons. A place where I can wear a scarf with purpose come the end of September; where I can bake pumpkin goodness with the windows open; where the leaves change and the air turns crisp and boots can be broken out before Christmas.

Maybe one day that will happen. I'm applying for a few out-of-state graduate school programs in just a few months, so it will be dependent on where I get in (and where I don't). Although I should probably pump the brakes on thoughts like that, considering our new apartment is hardly put together. Opaaaaa.

But seriously. I think it's every Floridian's dream to experience crunching leaves under our brown knee high boots, to buy a pumpkin spice latte to warm ourselves up and not just because it's the "season" to do so. Or maybe that's just me.

Then again, if you get a "fall," you probably also get snow, and I don't know how to drive in snow. Thus, I guess I'm destined to be a Floridian forever. California works, too. Pumpkin spice what?

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