October 15, 2015

Sharpie Pen Review

Note: this is not a sponsored post, I receive no compensation for this post, and all opinions are entirely my own. 
Currently my favorite writing utensil is the Sharpie Pen. I especially love the green and pink colors.
These felt tip pens do not smudge while I'm writing and have minimal bleed-through. I am able to write on both sides of notebook paper without issues.
Since it is felt tip, I do not even have to wait before the ink dries to use my highlighters. The ink also does not smear when I highlight over it.
written with sharpie pens
The fine tip works well for small handwriting.

Favorite Features:

  • slim design
  • fast drying
  • comfortable to use
  • fine felt tip
  • bright, cheerful colors
  • minimal bleed-through

September 16, 2015

4 Things Overachievers Should Keep In Mind

I have recently taken the time to self-reflect and evaluate the unhealthy aspects of my overachiever tendencies. Here are four things I have discovered.

1.) Perfectionism doesn't equate competence

If you are like me, you strive for everything to be perfect. It is important to remember that no one is perfect. Just because you did not make a 100 on that assignment doesn't mean you don't know what you are doing. I often find myself being disappointed in myself for silly, insignificant things.

As an example, while studying with a classmate today I casually said "Oh, I didn't do too well on assignment 1." I received a score of 91 on the assignment in question. My classmate thought this was absurd. And you know what, it is!

2.) You don't have to be the best

I have a compulsion to be the best. If I don't have the highest test grade, highest overall average in the course, or something similar, I once again feel like I have let myself down and I am not good enough. But life doesn't work this way. You can't be the best at everything, and that is okay.

3.) You deserve the recognition you receive 

Often times, when I have won an award or some other recognition, I often feel like I don't really deserve it. I devalue the awards I receive and find myself thinking that I was awarded because it is a really easy award to earn. Other times I wonder if the only reason I won is because I am a woman in my field. Both conclusions are unwarranted. All your hard work has paid off, instead of questioning yourself, go celebrate!

4.) Setting unrealistic goals is of no benefit

You should be setting goals that are high enough to challenge you, but low enough that they are attainable. If you are setting unrealistic goals, you will often find yourself falling short.

Remember, it is important to keep your well-being in mind.

June 17, 2015

5 Tips for Packing Everything in a Carryon

Today I would like to show you how I packed my bag for my summer internship. Although I will be here for 10 weeks, I still chose to pack light. I just don't like dealing with a lot of luggage.

1.) Figure out exactly what you will be taking. If feasible, I suggest picking clothing items that are made of thin fabrics. Select items that can be mixed and matched for the widest range of outfit options.

2.) Don't fold. Instead, roll all your clothing.

3.) Now start putting your clothing into the suitcase in layers.

4.) I forgot to take a photo, but all my solid beauty/personal care items were placed in a makeup bag that I put in the center of the suitcase with a "wall" of clothing on all four sides. Any liquids were placed in a ziplock bag and put into the front pocket for quick retrieval. Don't bring items that you can inexpensively purchase at your destination (such as sunscreen and toothpaste).

5.) I put my notebooks, folders, and tablet on the top since flat items tend to fit really well here. I wore my bulky shoes with me to the airport the white shoes shown in above photos were placed on top of the notebooks.

That is pretty much how I pack for any trip. Do you have any special methods you use for packing?

June 10, 2015

9 Tips for Saving Money In College

Money is often a concern for many full-time college students. Paychecks from part-time jobs aren't much. Luckily, if you play it smart you can make that money last and avoid becoming completely broke.

 1.) Don't live on campus.

After your freshman year, consider finding a place off-campus. Chances are, you can find an apartment or room for rent that is less expensive than on-campus housing. Additionally, you will no longer be required to have a meal plan.

2.) Eat at home.

Save money by cooking your own food instead of eating out or getting delivery. No time? Get a slow cooker and dinner will be ready when you get home from classes.

3.) Take the shuttle. 

Skip the expensive parking pass and save on gas. The shuttle fee is typically already included in your student fees, so you might as well use what you are paying for. Another perk of taking the shuttle: your commute becomes additional study/social media time.

4.) Avoid coffee shops. 

Instead, make coffee at home. I am super into espresso drinks, so I invested in an espresso machine for under $100 and an inexpensive coffee grinder. They paid for themselves quickly in terms of how much money I saved. Other coffee making options include drip coffee pots and french presses.

5.) Limit entertainment spending.

Look for options that won't cost you anything. See if there are any free events, such as festivals, plays or concerts, being put on by the city or your college. Instead of going to the movie theater, take advantage of any free movie nights offered at your college or rent a movie.

6.) Shop smart for textbooks. 

Buy books early, look around to find the best price, and look into economical options such as loose leaf bundles and old editions. Decide if renting really will save you money. Often times the rental price is within $10 of buying a used copy. If this is the case, buy the book and you will recover most of your money when you resell.

7.) Apply for scholarships.

If you didn't get a scholarship your freshman year, don't be discouraged. Continue to apply for scholarships throughout college. There are ton of scholarships that don't require you to be an incoming freshman. Also, don't take out any loans that are not absolutely necessary. If you do have to take out loans, stick to direct subsidized loans and avoid private loans.

8.) Take advantage of student discounts. 

Need a haircut?  Look around for a salon that offers a student discount. Same goes for tailors, movie theaters, museums, and more. Get the most out of your student ID!

9.) Cut back on impulse spending. 

Create a monthly budget and stick to it. There are a lot of apps available that can help you track your expenses and spending habits.

Of course there are plenty of other ways to save; what tips do you have?

June 5, 2015

Tips for Effective Time Management

As I mentioned in my previous post, the past couple of months have been extremely busy for me.

I had a lot of tests, presentations, projects, papers, and speeches for all my classes. Additionally, I was working on wrapping up my research for the semester and getting a poster ready to present at a research conference. Then there were finals. Because all my time was taken by the aforementioned, I had to prioritize my time and give up some non-essential activities, blogging unfortunately being one of those.

Now that everything has settled down for me, I want to share some tips with you on how I managed my time. Without time management, I would not have been able to get it all done.

1.) Once a week, set aside time to plan out the upcoming week

2.) Write a to-do list of everything that you want to get done for the week.

3.) Prioritize the list

4.) Begin dividing the tasks among the days of the week, starting with the high priority tasks.

5.) If you do not have time for all the tasks, you will need to determine which tasks can either be moved to the following week or dropped all together.

6.) Now write down everything in your planner.

June 1, 2015

I'm Still Around

Hello all! Sorry for the long hiatus, the past couple of months have been extremely busy for me. Unfortunately, there are times when you just can't do everything you want to, and for me it was blogging. Part of being effective at time management is prioritizing tasks and recognizing when an activity just isn't in the time budget.

Here is a brief update regarding what has been keeping me so busy:

  • College, of course (ended the semester with all A's).
  • Working on my research project.
  • Getting ready to present at a poster conference.
  • Applying for summer internships.
  • Moving to Colorado for the summer! (for a research internship)

I hope everyone had a wonderful end to their semester and that your having the summer of your dreams.

March 19, 2015

How To Effectively Prepare and Study For Midterms

7 tips to help you do your best

Sorry for the lack of posts lately, I've had a lot of schoolwork, tests, and work-related stuff taking up most of my time.

This week was my spring break, which finally gave me a little extra time to just relax. It is also about half-way into the semester, which means it's time for midterms. Half of my midterms fell on the week before spring break, and the other half are the week after spring break.

Today I would like to share some tips on how to prepare for midterms. I follow these seven steps, written in the order that I do them, for every test. By doing this, I find that I am able to cover a lot of material in a short amount of time.

1.) Make a study plan

Time management is crucial. Write a list of all material that will be on the exam. Next, write down all the tasks you need to do in order to review the material. In this list, you should also include an estimated time to complete each task. Once you have done this for all your upcoming midterms, transfer the tasks into your day planner. Be sure to schedule the most important tasks first and include time for breaks, classes, and work.

2.) Read the chapter outline and chapter review

This helps jog your memory of the material you are reviewing. For each headline of the chapter outline, you should be able to explain its key concepts. A good way to do this is to turn the headline into a question and be able to provide an answer. If you can't answer the question, you should mark it as a section that you need to re-read.

3.) Do the chapter quizzes

If your textbook has end of chapter quizzes, make sure and do them. I use them to determine how well I know the material before I start studying. If I score low, I know I need to study the material more in-depth. In contrast, if I do well on the quiz, I will only lightly review the material.

4.) Read your lecture notes

If you revise your notes on a regular basis, your notes should be well organized and this step won't take much time. If not, it will take more time to read and sift through all the information.

In my notes, I always put a star next to anything the professor said is important to remember or makes any hints that it will be on the test. When I review my notes, I focus on these concepts and write them onto a separate note card for quick reference.

5.) Go over in-class examples and old homework

Exam questions are often similar to homework questions and any examples done during lecture. Therefore, it is important to make sure you fully understand how to answer these questions.

6.) Write a study guide

This should be a condensed version of your notes that contains key concepts and terms. I also include any helpful diagrams or drawings.

7.) Use flashcards

Flashcards are especially useful for foreign language courses, classes with a lot of vocabulary you need to know, or for memorization of formulas. Don't forget to keep them organized.

Lastly, don't panic!

While a small amount of stress can be good for keeping you motivated, stressing out too much can make it difficult for you to study, recall, and retain information. While you're studying, be sure to take short breaks, such as getting a cup of tea, a snack, or going for a quick run. If you are struggling with a specific concept, instead of getting frustrated, mark it for later and move onto the next concept.

If you get test anxiety, take a moment to clear your head before the test by writing down everything that worries you and then throw the paper away.

Good luck on your exams.