Back to school tips can get played out real quick. With September around the corner, you already know the drill; buy notebooks, your favorite brand of black-ink pens and remember to color code your notes. We know, we know.
But time and time again I would always find myself feeling like I forgot to check something off my list. One year it was binder dividers and the next year it was test-taking strategies. The struggle was real.
Luckily, I’ve revamped some of those tips and thrown in some oldies but goodies to keep things relevant.
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Knowing what type of learner you are is just as important as knowing at what times of the day you learn the most, or as I like to call them, your “productivity peaks”. Over the years I’ve heard different things; my teachers have told me to study as soon as I got home from school, and my roommate suggested the hours of 4:00-6:00am because they saw the statistic on a meme and it made total sense— but everyone is different. Take the time to experiment with the different hours of the day and find out what works best for you! The best method is to start early on in the semester when your workload is still light. As your initial assignments start rolling through, try studying at a set time for one week, then change that set time for the next week and so on, really paying attention to when your productivity is most optimal. The effort will be worth the less amount of effort in the long run.
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While most of us spend all our time swiping left for the “dog filter” and obsessively watching “Instagram Stories” on our phones, it’s become easy to forget that school/college-life related apps that have become just as accessible. One application that I found to be really useful is Mint. With the expenses of college life and dilemmas of the modern fashionista, budget is everything. This app is a great option for those of you that need an extra helping hand when it comes to managing money. It offers features like bill reminders, expense tracking and even categorizes your spending. So even if you are living off of the ramen-college-diet, with the help from this app, you can sleep a little easier at night knowing you have more than enough for the next 24 pack of noodles.
Image credit: Etsy
Personalization is Key
Planners prove to be the most efficient tool when it comes productivity. The great thing about planners is that you can pick the one that is best suited to your inner-organizational-goddess. There are passion planners, Moleskine planners (my personal favorite) with different calender-views and simple agendas with cute motifs throughout. But what you do with your planner is where your success truly lies. By consistently writing in due dates or updating notes on times and locations of meetings, you can easily make planning something enjoyable rather than something tedious. It’s true that people tend to love what they’re working on when they love what you’re working with. So color-code. Create events with special-handwritten font. Just remember that the time you invest into your planner will pay you back ten-fold.
When you’re studying for an exam or reviewing your notes, reward yourself with your favorite snack! Studying isn’t an easy task and self-appreciation can optimize your efforts as well as your end result. I love having something bite-sized and healthy to snack on when I’m studying. Mostly because it helps satiates the loud, embarrassing noises that come from my stomach, but also because each little bite gives me the surge of energy I need to power through. If you aren’t sure which snack is right for you, start out by trying this healthy, no-bake, energy bite recipe that can serve as a great incentive when you’re grinding out those 8-hour long study sessions.
Image credit: the36thavenue.com
For those of you living on your own for the first time, I know it can be overwhelming. Grocery shopping should not be one of those things. Rather than trying to remember what expires when, snap a couple pictures of your fridge and pantry as an easy reference guide. Save yourself the thirty minutes, step away from the yellow legal pad, and maxamize your time by taking pictures of your fridge, so that you can stock without the hassle and get back to the things that are higher on the priority list.
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Does it sound a little silly? Yes. Does it work? Yes! The good people of the internet have found a way to protect your thighs from the searing heat of your over-worked laptop. By cutting out the bottom half of an egg carton, you can create a base to place under your computer. This simple hack not only serves as a heat protectant, but as a convenient laptop stand, so that it reaches eye-level, simultaneously saving your neck from cramping.
Image credit: Ringly
We all know the professors. The one’s who on the first day of class start off by reading the syllabus only to spend most of their time talking about cellphone usage and how it will result in the dismissal for the rest of the lecture. Well, The Fader has found the solution and I think it’s pretty unique. Ringly has combined technology with wearability, offering accessories that can alert you when your phone is receiving incoming messages or calls. This device also allows you to decide which notifications are most important. That way you can take notes without the worry of having to reach into your bag every five minutes. Function and fashion have met it’s match.
Image credit: @saraeshu
As students you’re always on the go, whether it’s from your dorm to class, the class to the gym, or the gym right back to the dorm. Life doesn’t stop moving and neither do you. One of my best kept secrets is in my weekender bag. By gathering a few travel essentials and clothing basics, either from your already exisiting wardrobe or an entirely new one, and packing it into an overnighter, you can stay prepared 24/7 without having to think twice. I promise. This tip is a total life saver.
Image credit: Hydroflask
Here on the west coast the weather has been both unpredictable and unforgiving. The winters have been warmer than ever and the summers keep getting hotter and hotter. Hydroflask is a great option for those of you that have a hard time remembering to re-fill your Brita but also struggle with the pet peeve of drinking warm water. So avoid the thirst. Stay hydrated and trendy with this minimalist flask.
Image credit: PopSugar
Study Session Playlists
For years there have been studies on the effects of music while studying, and the studies have proven consistent. Although Mozart can provide a calming atmosphere, I can’t promise it’s always going to be the first choice. Soundcloud has been my go-to platform when it comes to creating the ultimate-study-playlist, not only for the music options, but for the ability to search and find other people who have created and shared their own study playlists. This is music made for your ears.
I hope some of these tips help you when getting ready to head back to school or college! Have a wonderful semester!