Wednesday, November 4, 2015

grace upon grace

I am tired. So tired. I am at my end. With school, with figuring out my life. With having to wear pants. I am over it all. I am over trying to be a functioning adult. It seems like a waste. I want to do great things, big, world changing things but some mornings I can’t even remember to put on deodorant. So much goes into being a functioning member of society that I am destined to fail at something. Why even bother? I am tired and desperately asking God for energy, stamina and some grace.

As I have been seeking God in the midst of this exhaustion, the phrase 'Grace upon grace' repeatedly echoes in my mind. I am weak and I fail often but I have been lavished with grace upon grace in even the darkest corners of my dusty heart. When I feel as though I cannot possibly overcome, multiple times a day, I pray for an ounce of grace. But the thing about grace is there is no ration. No quota. No Grace threshold that we have to be careful not to cross. God gives free refills on his Grace. It’s marvelous.

God does not go about handing out small amounts of Grace, afraid he may run out or stumble upon another sinner who needs the Grace much more. Grace is not withheld from anyone who asks for it. God is generous and his grace is bountiful. When I feel I need just a small amount of grace to push me over the finish line- God covers me with grace upon grace upon grace. In the emptying hallow moments where I am sure I cannot endure another second I need not to reach inside myself for strength, I reach out to him. He covers it all for me. I get to rest in his shadow and dance in his light because of the unending, healing power of his grace. I try desperately to never fail and inevitably I do but I am a sinner saved by grace and every day I am renewed by that same grace.

If you are tired too. If you are done. Weak. Imperfect. Struggling. Call to Him. He has never ending, free flowing Grace upon Grace upon Grace for you tired, imperfect heart. Rest in him and his free refills of Grace.


Friday, October 30, 2015


I disappeared again, you guys. Fell off the face of the earth. I am sorry if I am causing you to develop a complex or commitment issues, I will help pay for your therapy. Okay, I won’t but it’s the thought that counts. I have no excuse except for I am dying. School is killing me. I am dramatic and I am also dying. I have not seen sunshine or the outside of my school library in weeks. My starbucks cup has started to infuse itself to my hand. The dexterity of my thumbs has decreased substantially because I have not worn pants that require buttoning in 2 months. I have not blogged in months because I am dramatic, negative and over-emotional. No one wants to read that but I am going to make you anyway. This week I got about 3.345 hours of sleep. Not a night. All week. My first, complete all-nighter in years. All-nighters take practice, commitment and a certain level of insanity. They are not for the faint of heart or the flaky. Being a desperate, sleep deprived zombie clutching your coffee mug at 3 am crying over your laptop, desperately trying to engrave the basics of psychology into your memory is a level only few achieve. I know you are sitting at your computer thinking, “I want to be you. Tell me your secrets.” You did not have to say it, I already knew. I know you are desperate for a guide on how you too can dangerously toe the line between stressed college student and certifiably insane. I will indulge you and give you an hour by hour guide of how to pull an all-nighter. Buckle up- it will be a wild ride.
6 p.m. Look over your butt ton of work and cry a little bit. Put your head down. Close your eyes just to make sure you are not dreaming. You are not dreaming. It is this sucky. Look again through teary eyes as you talk yourself into the inevitable. Accept your fate. You will not be going to sleep tonight. Convince yourself it will be fun. Invite friends to join in the awful, horrible, depressing misery fun. Google search all-nighters so you feel less alone in your desperate attempt to make up for poor time management or your inability to say no to new commitments, leaving you with no other option than to actually completely give up sleep.
(Look, all-nighters are basically exercise!)
8 p.m. The festivities begin. Start by taking a selfie. It will come in handy for when you lose your mind in the middle of the night and run away without any notice so your loved ones have a record of what you were wearing to give law enforcement. I mean for memories, it's good for the memories.
9 p.m. Work diligently. Set an alarm for every half an hour so you can your friends can complain about how awful everything is without interrupting each other. At this point you are humorously aware of the long night ahead of you. It is time to find a funny picture from the internet so you can complain about staying up all night, but in a back-handed humorous way. If you are using humor you are not breaking the bible verse "Do everything without complaining or grumbling" Everyone knows that.
10 P.M & 11 P.M. These are uneventful hours. Continue to work. At the turn of the hour your productivity will take a hit worse than the fathers on America's Funniest Home Videos playing baseball with small children. Once midnight rolls around, like a baseball to the crotch, your ability to achieve anything will be depleted. Ride this wave of motivation while it lasts. But make sure you frequently update your twitter so the world knows that you are still in fact, pulling an all nighter. Bonus points if you come up with a creative hash tag. Towards the end of this time you actually begin to lose your mind a little bit. Make sure you capture it on camera.
12 A.M. This is quite possibly the saddest moment. The clock strikes midnight, the date on the iPhone screen you shouldn't be looking at changes. Suddenly it's tomorrow. You have not completed a single thing despite actually working. You sip shamefully drink buckets of coffee and look over your tear stained agenda book. This is the moment you truly accept that sleep will not come tonight. It's okay to cry. We all understand.


1 a.m. and 2 a.m. These are the more desperate, mentally instable sisters to 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. You are working diligently but diligently has a new definition at 2 o'clock in the morning. If your text book is at least open or you are not on facebook, you qualify as diligently working. This is the point in which the first pot of coffee has worn off so you impatiently wait as the coffee brews. You realize for the first time how unreasonably loud your coffee maker is. It sounds like a person trying to slurp soup with just their face. You are trying not to wake the lucky souls who are asleep around you and fighting off the urge to strangle them out of jealously.  It is a confusing paradox. You've developed a bit of a twitch and wonder if it will be permanent.
3 a.m. You convince yourself you have completed enough work to go on a sheetz run (if you do not know what Sheetz is; it is the embassy for heaven here on earth. The cashiers are angels and you hear the celestial choirs sing as you enter. It is also a questionable gas station that is open 24 hrs. It just depends on the angle you are standing at.) The real reason you leave the house is because you cannot be quiet anymore, you scream at the top of your lungs and risk being arrested for disturbing the peace. You get to sheetz and sink into a pit of despair as you cry over your mac & cheese bites. This is the moment you knew would come. Collapse on the floor of sheetz and tell your friends to go on without you.
4 a.m. You have one more burst of energy and manage to complete what you set out to complete. At this point it is too late to go to sleep so you begin working on the next assignment. This is also the hour where all heck breaks loose. You begin to roll around on the floor and your friends consider calling for help.

5 a.m You refresh the coffee one more time and stare into the black, meaningless void of your computer screen that has entered sleep mode because you have not done actual work in that long. All of you have lost it completely. You switch back and forth from giggling to crying. You do not know what life is anymore. Hang in there, you have almost made it.
6 a.m. The morning has arrived. People begin stirring around you. You realize that you will not wake up this morning. You wonder if that means you are dead. Your mental health has taken a plummet off of mount Everest. You are absolutely sure that everything in life is meaningless. You regret you decision and begin to cry. Again.

7 a.m. You pull yourself together and try to get ready for the day. You begin dropping like flies. Some of us just can't hang.

8 a.m. Put on your cutest outfit. Go to class and pretend you have it all together. You pulled an all-nighter AND look cute. Rock it. Ride this out while you can because the crazy train is hurling towards you at lightening speed. By noon you will have reached an all time high of mental instability.
The rest of the day is a distant blur. Most will assume you are drunk and you will wish you were. Do not expect to be productive and try not to drive a car. As time separates you from this night you will convince yourself it was not so bad. I suggest wasting more time by creating an hour by hour recap of the experience to review next time you consider an all-nighter.
xoxo hope this helps!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

10 study tips I wish I knew my freshman year

Oh, freshman year. What an interesting time. My freshman year was so strange, odd, challenging and just all around difficult. In every area, but mostly academically. I am not a naturally gifted student and I am particularly challenged in the area of organization. Also, I'm lazy. A fatal combination when it comes to college. It took a whole lot of trial and error to figure out how to nail this whole college education thing. While this list could go on for miles, I will spare you the boredom. I have looked high and low at every "freshman tips" page I could find. Some of these are common suggestions but I want to share with you my favorite, unique and most necessary tips I wish I knew freshman year. 

It is a lot easier to bring down a high grade than it is to bring up a low grade. In other words, stay on top of things. I repeat, STAY ON TOP OF THINGS. The worst thing you can do is miss a major deadline or assignment, it will wreck your grade. Once a grade is low, it is literally an uphill battle to get it back up. 

Little assignments add up. If you have a class that has 50 small, 10 point assignments compared to 2 big ones, it may seem like no big deal to skip a few. However, somehow those little suckers add up fast. Keep up with the little assignments along the way to score the ‘easy’ points. You will thank yourself at final exam time when your whole grade isn’t riding on just your exam score. The little assignments allow you some 'wiggle room'

OFFICE HOURS ARE YOUR FRIENDS! Every professor is required to have designated office hours- use them. Go in to ask for clarification on concepts, to ensure you are on the right track with a project or even if you just pop in to introduce yourself- it will matter! Professors are human too, they appreciate a friendly face and an engaged student! Forging a relationship may also save your butt if you ever find yourself in a pinch with a deadline.

Sleep. This is not a recommendation, this is a MUST. Late night pizza parties, sheetz runs and all-night chats with the girls down the hall are amazing activities- for the weekend! Get in at least 7-8 hours every night that you can. Nobody can kick butt all semester when they’re averaging 3-4 hours a night. It’s just not healthy.

Find your ‘golden hour’. Everyone has a time the function best. For me I am most alert and can focus best in the AM. As much as I love to sleep in, I wake up at the butt crack of dawn to study and get important tasks out of the way first thing. Find your best time and utilize it.

Go to every class. Do not fall into the stereotypical college cliché and skip a bunch of classes because you’re tired, hungover or lazy. It’s not cool. It’s dumb and a waste of money. Go to every class you can- save your skips for when you actually need them (illness, family emergency, etc)

Your agenda will save your life. Everyone is different so your system may not be as intense as mine but an agenda of some type is a must. The first week of every semester you will be handed every reading assignment, every project, and every paper for the entire semester. For each class. That is a lot of information. Find an agenda that fits your lifestyle and keep up with it. Write every assignment down in it as soon as you get it.

Re-write your notes. This one took me a while. It is a PAIN in the butt but let me tell you IT WORKS. After every class either revise or rewrite your notes. Date them, write the topic at the top and file them away. The information will stick better and come exam time your notes will be organized and legible.

Write everything down. Biggest lie you tell yourself “I don’t need to write that down, I’ll remember it.” Whether it be a change in a due date, a small fact the professor says will be on the exam or a reminder to do something for class- WRITE IT DOWN. It takes 3 seconds and will save you a whole lot more time than that.

Leave the computer behind. Unless you absolutely cannot hand write your notes, do not even give yourself the option of having your laptop. If your professor puts your power points online, print them out beforehand. Having a computer in front of you is such a huge distraction and temptation. 

Thursday, August 6, 2015

There are no words

I made a promise to myself that what happened last year when I returned from Honduras would not happen again this year. On one front, I was successful in that I have not had diarrhea for the past 2 weeks. On another front, not so much. I swore that when I came back I would have formulated an amazing combination of words and sentences to convey to you all how great, amazing, wonderful and life altering the trip was. I was convinced I would somehow be able to find the words that last year hid from me for months, the words I am not sure I ever quite found. Somehow though, I am back and as speechless as ever. When someone asks me to tell them about my trip I stumble over my words and struggle to say anything other than, "it was great." or "I'm not ready to be back". When they ask why I mumble an incoherent string of words and end with, "I don't know, I just love it." Which is a sorry excuse for an answer. That is an answer I would give for a trip to Hershey Park or a movie. Not a mission trip to a third world country in which I came face to face with the poverty and beauty and wonders that most Americans (including myself until last year) do not ever acknowledge or even know exist.

I am dumbfounded at my complete inability to sum up the strong, intense emotions I felt everyday as I saw God move in and among each person I came in contact with. I realize now that the only explanation for that is because there are no words. There are no words to sum up the experience because it is one that transcends what can be communicated orally. It is so much more than words. The emotion and the sights and the sounds and the smells. There are no words.This sensation feels similar to the way I feel an emotional bond with people I could only communicate with through hugs, smiles and the occasional translator. A language that is above that which we speak and write. A language that can only be felt. It can only be experienced first hand.

I know this sounds a bit pretentious and that is not at all my intention. Quite the opposite- actually, I feel as though my words cannot do justice to what I felt, saw, smelled, tasted and heard. It is just that after returning home I feel almost ready to burst at the seams with too much. Too much of everything but specifically too many words. In Honduras, I communicated so much with my students by simply making faces, using hand motions and learning a few key phrases. It worked. I somehow portrayed my sarcasm and sass without even speaking so much as a full sentence in their language. I feel as though I cannot communicate in words that which was never spoken to begin with.

The lack of words reminds me of a moment I had with a little girl in the school yard. I was in our classroom tidying up supplies during recess when I noticed a small figure lingering by the doorway. I turned to find a small girl, probably 1st grade, watching me closely. She carefully observed as I pulled out my camera, as though she were memorizing my every move. She was shy and hesitant, you could feel the uncertainty in the way she moved- slow and unsteady. I knelt down to her eye level and held out my hand. She looked at my hand, looked in my eyes and then back at my hand. After a moment of hesitation she reached out and I pulled her closer to me. I then held my camera in front of her and using only motions showed her how it worked. After about 5 minutes she was sitting on my lap taking selfies with a camera the size of her head. Her demeanor had changed, her comfort had changed and her trust for me had changed. There were no words communicated but yet a loud, clear message was delivered. I cannot find the words to describe my time there because the message I received was never spoken, it was felt.

So, I am sorry. This is a sorry excuse for a re-entry post. This does not even begin to do justice to the trip. Maybe someday the words will find me or I will find the words. Do no be alarmed if I come back in a month with words, lots of never ending words because historically, finding words has never been a problem for me. For right now though, there are no words. I can leave you with this: Above all, I spent a week in Honduras and God was there. He has been there and is still there. Like any country, there is crime and poverty and desperation. But there is also God. There are God-loving, Christ-centered people. There are people trying to make a difference and change their land for the better. There are people who have more grace, humility and sacrificial love in their left hand than I have in my entire body. Some of the strongest, most influential people I have even known I met in the 16 total days I have spent in Honduras in the last two years. I can tell you that I did not know you could fall in love with an entire country, but I did. I can tell you that I was so deeply changed that I have begun applying to orphanages and other mission opportunities in Honduras for post graduation. It feels strange that long after any evidence of the trip is gone, I still feel stained, marked and changed by the experience. I can tell you that the dirt washed off my feet but the stains remained in a place deeper than my skin. I can tell you that I feel different, I am different and I wish to never be the same again. I do not know what else to say except, I was there, God was there and it was amazing. I'm sorry, there are no other words.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Research Papers 101

One (of the many) things I was clueless about prior to college: Research papers. APA Citations; Literature Reviews; Peer Reviewed Articles; In-text citations. All of the things that haunt my dreams during the semester. I will tell you right now as a disclaimer: I am by NO means a research paper expert. Reading research in fields of interest may be growing on me but it is not yet a hobby of mine, nor will it ever be. After a few semesters of nonstop Literature Reviews and research papers, I developed a bit of a system that helped me not want to murder my professors.

Preparation and research 
  1. Start Early. As soon as possible after I get a research paper or assignment I will begin to brainstorm and gather research. Maybe this is my ADHD- but the sooner I start and the more work I have in the beginning, the less likely I am to be scrambling the night before it's due (although I am almost ALWAYS scrambling the night before it's due)
  2. Give yourself a timeline. I will be honest, I am AWFUL at keeping self-imposed deadlines. When the fake dead line creeps around on my planner, the procrastinator in me laughs at the organizer in me. When it comes research papers though, I stick to these deadlines as though they were the law. If there is an article amount, I break it up into small chunks and vow to have those articles read, cited in the reference sheet and color coded (more on that next). 
  3. Develop a system. For me, I color code. I make a key of what I need to look for in my research articles and color code as I read. That way, as I am referencing back it is easy to find what I am looking for in a given article faster instead of re-skimming the entire article. I also have a large note card for each article and write on the front the key points in the article I find pertinent to my paper. 

Writing the paper
  1. Start with an outline. I know, I know this gives flashbacks to middle school English class. I HATED outlines. I used to find joy in being a rebel by writing a paper without an outline. I use my outline to conceptualize how each article will fit into the paper and the general flow of the article. It will help you to develop the theme of your article prior to writing so you do not spend time writing paragraphs and reading articles you end up not needing later. 
  2. Start with your thesis statement. It took me an embarrassingly long time to figure this one out. Having a clear statement of what your paper will be about really helps you write your paper, go figure. Frame your introduction around your thesis (basically fluffy language that helps your meet your page count) 
  3. Have a timeline for this too. After my research and outline is done I set a new timeline. I normally vow to write a page a day. Sometimes it's less, occasionally it's more depending on whether I get inspired. I pull out an article I determined was useful and bang out a page based on this information.
  4. Edit as you go. After each page I go over the whole paper and do some light editing. I look for grammatical errors, run-on sentences and other minor details. I try to keep the restructuring of paragraphs and bigger edits for the end, as I tend to change these pretty frequently. 
Editing and submitting the paper
  1. Major edit. Once the paper is written, conclusion and all, do one major edit. Read it aloud many times. Most grammatical errors should be taken care of at this point. The point of this edit is to check the flow and structure of the paper. Does the order of the paragraphs make sense? Do you address all of the points in your thesis? Are all of the points addressed in your paper talked about in your thesis? Is the page length met? 
  2. Edit your formatting. I try to keep up with this as much as possible throughout the paper, especially in-text citations, but I wait until the end to make sure the entire paper fits the requirements. I believe for most people this will be APA but I know some majors that use MLA and Chicago style. I do a sweep through and make sure the title page, headers, headings, and in-text citations meet the expectations.
  3. Have a friend or tutor look over your paper. If your college has a writing center like mine, that would be a great resource to utilize. I always have a roommate, tutor or my mom read over my paper to make sure I didn't miss anything. 
  4. Turn it in and breath a sigh of relief. 
What are your methods and tips for keeping sane while writing research papers?

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Summer 2015 Bucket List

Recently a friend of mine was reading me her rather impressive bucket list. I have mulled around with the idea before and even jotted down a few ideas. I definitely have goals and dreams. Most of them ambiguous but some well defined. Some serious, some professional, some spiritual and some silly or playful. Regardless they are all things I want to complete, achieve or make habit of during my time here on earth. My lifetime bucket list is still a work in progress. I honestly have not even found the time to sit down and get all the ideas out of my head. HOWEVER, I was able to formulate a Summer Bucket List. I do far better with short term goals anyhow. Without further ado, here is my Summer 2015 Bucket List.

Summer 2015 Bucket List

  • Read 3 books for leisure
  • Read 15 minutes a day
  • Save $1,500 for the fall semester 
  • Have all of my textbooks rented (and here) before the semester starts
  • Read the entire strategies book (textbook we have to read over the summer)
  • Read strategies text for 15 min a day
  • Run 100 miles this summer (41/100 done) 
  • Keep 'new' car clean all summer
  • Finish all strategies homework (15 articles, annotated bibliography) 
  • Begin tithing regularly 
  • Do devotions 15 minutes a day
  • Declutter material belongings (get rid of excess clothes, papers, etc.)
  • Blog once a week
  • Declutter computer files and back up computer
  • Go on a road trip
  • Journal 4 times a week
  • Go camping
  • Go to an amusement park 
  • Have a picnic
  • Go on a new hike 
  • Go white water rafting
The list is still a work in progress but this is what I have to start with now. I am certain the list will be added too and updated as necessary. 

What do you want to accomplish this summer? 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Freshman Year Survival Kit

Giving gifts stresses me out. I want it to be personal and creative. I want it to be useful and practical. I want it to be pretty. But I am poor so ultimately I would like it to be affordable. This is a hard combination to land on and frankly I do not often succeed. There have been a few knock out gifts that I could not help but share the idea. Honestly, I get most of my basic ideas from pinterest and modify it. My all time favorite present was one we blogged about over on my best friend and I's blog and it was "19 reasons I'm glad you were born" for my best friends 19th birthday. This next present is another idea I am proud of. To be fair, I stole it from pinterest but I honestly cannot find the original post or else I would give credit. However, this is my modified version of a "Freshman Year Survival Kit" This one is the first of 3 or 4 I will be giving this year. I have quite a few high school graduates in my life this year and I wanted to do something special.

Each 'kit' is going to be different, as most of this one was created on the fly. This is what I did for my first one!

Shopping was the best part. I went to Target and Five Below mostly. For some of the other kits I went to walmart and for this one I went to Foot Locker too. For the 'Survival Kit' I wanted to include some fun things as well as things the graduate actually needed. My favorite part is that it is put in something more college students will need. In this case I used a storage container. You could also use a shower caddy, a plastic storage container, a dorm room trash can, a decorative basket, etc.

I did not end up using everything pictured below in this particular kit. For this one I got some of the graduates favorite candy, some running things (we're training for a half marathon), some school supplies and some fun extras.

Next I split the kit in to categories for humor, organization and presentation. I used rubber bands and paper clips to give it that 'back to school look' (also because they were quick). This first bundle is The things that always disappear- lip glass and hair ties.

 I thought of these categories on the spot as I was looking over what I had purchased. I was also thinking through how I would present these in the letter I gave her. Lip gloss and Hair Ties seems to be essentials that girls are always asking a friend for because theirs are missing.

 Next bundle is some stuff I didn't know I would need- Thank you cards and a sewing kit. I have said in previous posts, I was severely unprepared for my first semester. These were a few items I did not show up with. I added some insides jokes with the notes I put about these items.
 Next up is the necessities- chocolate, chocolate and chocolate. This needs no explanation.
 This next one was just a common thing we say to each other wanna go for a run? With some of the items we had said we wanted to get for our training- running socks and an arm band for music.
 Last and kind of least is The boring stuff.. a.k.a. school supplies-Post its, glue, high lighters, index cards and pens.

 It took me a solid 20 minutes to display this the way I wanted it and I was even late to the party. It was worth it.
 I also printed out the little sign and typed up a note explaining each bundle, added in some insides jokes, ended with a serious sentence or two and BAM- Freshman Year Survival Kit. 

Some other things I wanted to add: 

  • Small blanket
  • A journal
  • A planner
  • Make-up bag
  • Shower flip flops
  • Gift cards
  • Flash Drive
Have you ever given a gift like this? What is your favorite graduation gift? What would you add to the kit?

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Devotions and consistent quiet times have always been a source of frustration for me. I know, I know, that sentence in itself seems wrong. Devotions are supposed to be just that: a quiet, sacred time devoted solely to God. A time to worship him and hear from him. However, my ADHD mind races 500 miles a minute. One second I am praying the next I am thinking about why donuts have holes. I have literally tried every possible thing in an attempt to find a method that is both worshipful and keeps my attention. Unexpectedly, pinterest saved the day. Literally one blog post was a complete game changer for me. I came across an intriguing pin called "Bible marking + Journaling 101" . Her system is little more developed than mine (she's been doing it for years) and hers is a littler be different but the basic concept is there. 

Bible Marking as she calls it is a way to mark specific verses, words or concepts that stick out to you. For me, it kept me engaged and helped what I was reading 'come alive' in a sense. I am a visual and kinesthetic learner so seeing different themes and concepts in color helps me make connections and interact with the Word. I started out of curiosity one afternoon in a bible I am pretty sure I my mother let me borrow. As I ventured further into it I also did some research. I came across numerous different keys and methods of bible journaling. I did not find one specific way that fit my own so I did as the author of the blog post above mentioned and made my own. 

My key: I started out (as mentioned in the post I linked) with a few concepts. Two were hers (Christian living and marriage) The others were my own (God's promises and Prayer, etc.) I added words or themes which are significant to me as I ventured further into different passages. My 'key' is still developing and likely will change. 

Taking it deeper: I also take the verses that stick out to me and enter them into a commentary to tear apart the verse a little bit and dig deeper into the meaning. I journal/document the things that stick out to me (this is shown in the first picture).  

Materials I use: 
  • Bible
  • Spiral bound sketchbook
  • Color pencils (I use the erasable kind)
  • Index card
  • Anything else that suits your fancy!
I went with colored pencils because I did not have to patience to wait until I could get out to get bible highlighters that wouldn't bleed. I also use some colored pens and pencil if I want to write in the margins. I prefer to write in a journal unless I feel it's very significant because my handwriting stinks. 

I do not claim that this method is my original idea, that it will work for everyone or that is is the best way. However, it is the best way for me! These last few weeks that I have done it have been the most consistent devotion/quiet times I have ever had.

Here are some of the resources I used after starting this method to help develop my key:


I'm sure an update will come soon at I continue this!

How do you do devotions? What are your favorite methods?

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The 6 things you absolutely must do before you even think about studying for finals, writing papers or turning in projects.

It's that time of the year again.that time. That point where dropping out and becoming a stripper suddenly isn't the worst idea in the world. The best math you have ever done is right now, calculating the lowest possible grade you can get and still meet your personal minimum grade requirement. You actively avoid your calendar and eye contact with your professors so they do not sense the brewing mental breakdown. I know you're dreading the studying and writing and researching that will consume these next few weeks. Well, before you strap in and get to work there are 6 things you absolutely have to do before you start.

//Make a to-do list// 
Then rewrite the to do list. And then do it in a pretty color. Maybe you should color code it by class. Or by least favorite assignment to most favorite? Or hardest to easiest? Or maybe in alphabetical order? Taking a foreign language? Try writing it in that language. Maybe you should make copies just in case. And copy the important tasks onto post its and post them around. Oh while you're doing post its, you should write motivational things on the post its and put those around too. Oh while you're making a to do list for schoolwork you should make a list for nonacademic tasks that need done like laundry and groceries. You know what, just go ahead and do your laundry, you shouldn't procrastinate that too long or your dorm will smell. Also, just go ahead to the grocery store. You need proper nutrients before you can study. Okay, now make sure your list is finalized and you didn't miss anything. Whew. That was a lot of work, you deserve a break. Watch a show on netflix. or 15. You deserve it.
//Make a snack//
I mean, since you went grocery shopping already you might as well make a snack. You cannot study on an empty stomach, that would be the worst. But you do not want just any snack. Nothing processed or microwaved. Guess that means you need to cook. If you're going to cook you might as well go all out. Look on Pinterest for the perfect recipe. Go ahead and pin a bunch. If you start planning your wedding, that's fine. You're probably going to meet the man of your dreams before graduation anyway- so why do you need to study? Okay, once you find the perfect recipe and realize you don't have any of the ingredients or the culinary ability to master it, grab yourself a poptart and give up.

//Reorganize your room//
Girl, you absolutely cannot study for psychology if your sock drawer is not in proper order. How can you expect to work under those conditions?! Organize your sock drawer, fold your underwear. It's also almost spring so make sure all of your winter clothes are out of your closet and folded away. Is your bookshelf in alphabetical order? Then you must attend to that too. Go organize your spice cabinet. Don't have spices? Go get some! Then you can make the recipe you didn't have the ingredients for in number 2!

//Take instagram pics of your study space//
What is the point of studying if no one is going to know about it? Set up your notes, textbooks and the miscellaneous office supplies you aren't even using in an artsy, well lit manner. Bonus points if you have coffee. Bonus, bonus points if the mug has an inspirational or snarky message. Bonus points x3 if it's starbucks. Allow at least 20 minutes to find the perfect angle, lighting and arrangement of materials. Spend 15 minutes picking a filter and at least 10 more deciding on a caption/hashtags. 

//Make sure all of social media knows you're studying//
Again, WHAT is the point of studying if nobody knows about it? Update your facebook talking about all of the things you have to do, but aren't doing. Carefully craft these messages so they are not overly dramatic, unless you want to take the dramatic route. In which case make sure it's loaded with hyperbole's and exaggerated language so others can sense the sarcasm. Try to find a funny meme or picture to share your struggle. If you're having trouble finding inspiration, try looking in your time hop at last years finals week complaints. You could also try live tweeting your death by studying. Make sure all of Twitter knows about the kid asleep on the floor of the library and the girls that won't stop talking. 

//Maybe you should actually study now// 
Honestly even I am running out of unimportant urgent, must do tasks to divert your attention from the inevitable, impossible, infinite to do list. You should probably get off of the internet and just start typing stuff and writing things on note cards. Maybe just look like you're actually doing something? I hear the 'fake it till you make it' thing actually kind of is well, a thing. So I don't know, I'm in the same sinking boat as you but I guess we should actually like, do something. 

{warning} These are the worst possible study tips, time management guide and general life advice you could ever receive. E for Emily takes no legal, moral or ethical responsibility for your poor academic achievement as a result of following the above advice.