January 29, 2015

Casual Grey Outfit with a Girly Touch

Hello! I hope everyone has been doing well. School and work has been busy for me the past week, so this week's post is short and simple. I would like to share with you one of my favorite outfits from this month.

This grey sweatshirt is very soft and I love the girly touch that is added by the embroidery. It is perfect for a laid-back outfit for the library.

For jewelry and accessories, I continued the girly theme by including a silver kitten necklace, rhinestone studded shoes, and a Betsey Johnson purse that features small golden hearts.

January 22, 2015

The 5 Best Studying Apps Every College Student Should Have

Today I would like to share with you my favorite and most used free apps for studying/school. I have an android device, so all the apps I am familiar with and can recommend are mostly for android devices.

These apps help me stay organized, keep track of assignments and grades, and study on the go.

1.) Quizlet  [Android & iPhone/iPad]

Quizlet Turn your morning shuttle ride into a study session! While you can create sets using the app, I prefer to create my sets using their website, then study on my phone. I find this method easiest simply because I can type faster using my laptop and copy and paste directly from lecture slides.

2.) Studious  [Android]


Studious Keep track of assignment due dates, exam dates, and your class schedule.

While there are similar apps with more features, I love the simplicity of this app. It is easy to use, has a clean layout, and the ad placement is not distracting (I barely notice them). I like that you can set a color for each class, making it easy to see which classes have upcoming assignments when viewing the calendar.

Additionally, you can avoid those embarrassing moments when your forgot to turn off your phone by selecting the option for the app to automatically silence your phone during class time.

3.) Grade Tracker Pro  [Android]

Grade Tracker Pro Easily keep track of your grades and GPA throughout the semester. This app is great for seeing where you currently stand and setting clear goals. Features include weighted grade categories and custom GPA grade scales. This app also allows you to input old GPA from previous semesters.

4.) Mathematics  [Android]

Mathematics This app has pretty much everything you'll ever need for math! Solve linear equations, graph functions, take derivatives and integrate, unit conversion, and more. I love using this app as a graphing calculator and for checking my answers on homework. You can even do 3D plotting with this app (super useful for Calculus 3).

5.) Thesaurus Free  [Android]

Thesaurus Free Stop using the same old words. Instead, expand the vocabulary in your essays and papers by utilizing a thesaurus. With this app, you can effortlessly look up synonyms of words from your mobile device.

What are your favorite apps for school?

January 12, 2015

Preparing for the New Semester: 6 Tips for a Stress Free Start

With the new year comes the end of winter break and the start of a new semester. Personally, I am looking forward to this semester and excited for the opportunities it will bring.

Each semester I follow a few simple steps in order to help ensure I have a stress free start to my semester. By preparing early and getting organized, I give myself enough time to address any issues that may arise and prevent any last minute scrambles. The semester will be here before you know it. Are you ready?

How to Get Ready for the New Semester

1.) Download Syllabi

As soon as a class syllabus has been made available, I print it out and review all the information. Highlight any important dates, deadlines, and other important details. This is also a good time to copy all the dates into your planner.

2.) Email Professors

If you have any questions, it is a good idea to send an email to your professor a week or two before classes begin. In my emails, I introduce myself, ask any questions, and find out if the textbook is actually required and/or if an older edition is acceptable.

3.) Buy Textbooks

By this point, I have already shopped around and have everything bookmarked. Then, as soon as I find out what textbooks are actually required, I start buying them. You can read my tips for purchasing textbooks over here.

4.) Gather Supplies and Required Materials

Make sure you have a good supply of notebooks, loose leaf paper, pencils, ect. Make a list of any supplies that need replenishing, as well as required course materials, then hit the stores.

5.) Organize

Create folders on your computer for all your classes. Put together three ring binders for each class, with dividers, clean paper, and any course material you already have.

6.) Adjust Your Sleep Cycle

If you are like many college students, chances are your normal sleep cycle might be out of sync after the break. If you've gotten into the habit of sleeping in during break, you should begin adjusting your sleep schedule a week or two before the semester starts. By resetting your sleep cycle, it will be easier to wake up the first day of classes and you'll be less likely to be tired at the start of the semester.

How soon do you begin preparing for the new semester? What steps do you take?

Wishing you your best semester yet.

January 6, 2015

6 Tips for Buying Textbooks

The average cost of textbooks is $1,270 per year according to the College Board's 2013 report.
Luckily, if you shop smart, you do not have to pay nearly that much. My average book cost per semester is under $200. Last fall I was enrolled in 4 classes and I managed to spend only $92 on books. Here are my tips on how I save money buying my textbooks.

1.) Email your professor.
Often times a book that is listed as required on the syllabus is not actually required by the professor. Additionally, the professor might allow an older edition. Also, I have had professors who list the textbook, but do not actually require the book.

2.) Shop around to find the best price.
I usually end up buying my books all from different sources. Just because somewhere has the cheapest price on one book doesn't mean they have the cheapest price on all books.

 Be sure to check ebay, amazon, and craigslist. These are the places that typically have the lowest prices on used books. When checking ebay, do a search using the ISBN numbers as well as a search using the title. Often times you will get better results with one versus the other.

3.) Look for loose leaf packages.
Because it uses less materials, the publishers charge a lower price.This is a good option for brand new editions for which used copies are not available.

4.) Buy early.
The longer you wait, the more expensive books become. Many Amazon sellers and websites like Chegg raise their prices the closer it gets to the start of the semester. On top of that, most of the cheap books have been bought up.

5.) Don't buy access codes directly from the publisher.
If your class requires a student access code, don't automatically buy the book new or purchase the code from the publisher's website. Instead, carefully review the exact product you need, then head over to ebay.

I have purchased my student access codes from ebay sellers who have unused codes that came with their textbooks. I have done this for 4 different classes over the years and have never had any issues. And the best part, I saved around 50% each time.

6.) Look into rentals.
Renting your books instead of buying can save you a lot of money, especially if the book is not available used. Don't forget to figure out if it is more economical to buy the book or rent the book. If you can purchase the book for around the same price (within $10) as it costs to rent the book, buy it. You can recover some of your money when you resell it at the end of the semester.

January 3, 2015

A Winter Walk By The River

Today was another beautiful, clear day. I'm enjoying the last remaining bit of my break before school starts up again. Around sunset, I went for an evening walk near the river. Days like this make me happy that I live in a climate that has mild winter weather.


Hope life is treating you well.