BTS Series | Back-to-School Tips

back to school tips

Everyone has tips that they think of whenever you think of back-to-school. This is, personally, my favorite time of the year. All the school supplies, kids getting back to learning, and, let’s be real, I’m just a huge nerd. Being the nerdy teacher’s pet that I am, I’m going to give you some tips for you to take while going into the new year, semester, or whatever you call it in your neck of the woods!

back to school tips

  1. Get a planner. I cannot tell you how many times having a planner has saved my butt whenever I have been stressed to the max during a hard semester. I have to write everything down. It’s also a good place to just have your life fully planned out and ready to tackle each time you open it.
  2. Set-up your sleep schedule. Let’s face it, you’re going to be busy during school. Whether it is cramming for exams or just going to class, you need energy. You have to sleep and you can’t just live on coffee and Redbull (unfortunately). Make sure you set-up your sleeping schedule so you have the amount that you need to succeed each day.
  3. Pace yourself. Don’t go too hard in the paint and overwhelm yourself with things to do every single day. I do this a lot and almost always end up regretting it. We all need “self-care” days and you need to make sure that you have the time to fit those into your busy schedule.
  4. Keep up with your schoolwork. This seems obvious but we all can let the hussle and bussle of life take over and forget that we are actually in school to learn. Whether you’re in high school or a senior in college, you have to make sure that your studies are your number one priority. This is your future!
  5. Plan ahead. This is in all things. Whether you’re planning next week’s schedule, your workout routine, or what you are wearing for class the next day, plan it! This helps you be less stressed and keeps things from being forgotten because you were trying too hard to do it all.
  6. Keep on smiling! There may be tough times but it is nothing that you can’t combat with a little positivity and a smile. You can make it through anything that life throws at you. You are amazing, beautiful, and perfect for the job that is life. Keep on keepin’ on, baby doll!

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BTS Series | “Today’s Schedule” Printable

today's schedule printable

Got another printable for you lovely people to help out with all your back-to-school needs. This is one that I honestly think could be used for anyone, even if you aren’t in school, but I love to lay out my schedule each day and this gives you an easy format to do it in 30-minute increments!

today's schedule printable

Click here to download the “Today’s Schedule” printable!

You can even print a ton of these and make your own binder so you can just turn to a new page each day you have something you need to plan for. I think this is an awesome way to make sure you are hitting all your goals and planning each day thoroughly.

Let me know in the comments if you download and share on social media with #lokprintables with all your planning updates to this gorgeous template.

xo Kimberly Signature

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BTS Series | Backpack Essentials

backpack essentials

Back to school is around the corner and you will be living out of your backpack soon enough. Knowing that, there are some things that everyone should have in their backpack (yes, even you men out there!) whenever you are walking around campus all day. Now, if where you live is like Kentucky right now, it is blazing hot so you’ll need to keep a couple things specific to your own location if those do not apply to you but I am going to share some basics that I always felt necessary when starting up a new semester.

backpack essentials

#1 Notebook

I always kept a five-subject notebook for my courses and just had all my notes in one place. Some people prefer one notebook for each course or using a binder with loose leaf paper. Whatever works best for your personal taste should be just fine but just make sure you have something to take notes, make reminders, and just start off the semester on a good note.

#2 Writing Utensils

Being a college student, it doesn’t much matter what your preference is for this but I usually stick to mechanical pencils and Papermate Flair pens or gel pens. Those are my personal favorites for notes and my planner so I always have them on hand. Pens, pencils, markers, or whatever you want to write with should be perfectly fine but I always suggest having some type of pencil at the very least.

#3 Planner

I am a planning gal. I write down everything including meetings, classes, important dates, work schedule, reminders, etc. I need to have all these things written down somewhere or documented some how or I will forget about them. This is why a planner is essential to my backpack during classes. If you work better out of technology then you may consider carrying your phone (which you probably already do) or a tablet/computer to help you keep things “written” down.

#4 Water Bottle

I normally either reuse water bottles or get one that I can just fill up whenever (but I always seem to lose these, unfortunately). I always suggest water because you are going to be going nonstop most days and will need to stay hydrated to keep up with class and all the walking to different buildings, especially if your college’s town is as hot as mine is right now).

#5 Snacks

I have low blood sugar so having granola bars, mints, gum, etc. is engrained in my head. I think you should always carry light snacks just in case you don’t have time to run through a drive-thru or make it to lunch at the dining hall. You need to stay energized and food does that!

#6 Highlighters

I am a firm believer in highlighting in my notes, textbooks, planner, etc. I always like to have them with me, even if I barely use them for a certain class. It’s something that I always want to grab for and regret not having when they aren’t in my bag.

#7 Sticky Notes

Or notecards. Whatever works best for you. I prefer sticky notes because I put them in my notebooks or planner have the time and that way they don’t fall out and I have less of a chance of losing them. I use these for to-do lists, notes on assignments, important information, etc. They’re handy and easy to pack!

#8 Headphones/Charger

Running around all the time can be boring and that can cause the usage of technology to be a lifesaver… unfortunately it does not save your battery. Having headphones will give you something to do using the off times but I’d make sure you always have a backup phone charger in your bag for emergencies. Additionally, if you prefer to just bring a laptop, this might help save your phone from the brunt of the battery loss!

Those are all the things I suggest having in your backpack going into the new semester. Obviously, things change depending on where you go to school, what you need in your courses, and just you as a person but these are things that I generally see myself and my friends having whenever we are starting off. Let me know your must-haves in the comments!

xo Kimberly Signature

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BTS Series | Assignment Calendar Printable

Assignment Calendar Printable

So, I have something new for you guys to kick off my back-to-school series! If you didn’t know, I did graphic/web design as a hobby for many, many years. I do not have any training or schooling in this area, though. I did start with that major but I didn’t like the idea of it as a career so I never moved further. I have so much love for those who do it for a living because some of the work I have seen is absolutely stunning.

Anyways, I decided to use my dug up skills to create a FREE printable for you guys! I am super in love with how it turned out. I didn’t love it at first, as always, but I kept messing with it and got this gorgeous textured look that made me fall in love.

Assignment Calendar Printable

Click to download the Assignment Calendar printable!

Definitely comment down below if you download this and tag me/hashtag #lokprintables on social media to show me how you guys are using these during the new school year!

xo Kimberly Signature

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BTS | 4 Proven Ways to Avoid Pulling an All-Nighter (Featuring Welcome to Aly’s World)

Back at it again with the guest posts! Not really… I haven’t had any on my blog since I moved over to Life of Kimberly! I have been working with Aly from Welcome to Aly’s World on this idea for a couple of weeks and she finally got back to me with this amazing post. We decided that she should add on my Back to School series by making a college-related post! This one is all about how to avoid that all-nighter habit. We all know what it’s like to feel like you’ve got to do it or you won’t be able to pass that one exam… but it’s avoidable! And Aly’s going to tell you how… enjoy!

Avoid Pulling an All-Nighter
Hi, friends! The classic college student is known for pulling multiple all-nighters. The truth is that it’s possible to get good grades and get all your work done in college without having to pull all-nighters. Being a science student means that I have a crazy amount of work to do, and in addition to that, I work in a lab, participate in extracurricular activities, run a blog, and actively attend a church. Despite all that, I have never had to pull an all-nighter. Want to know why? Good planning and time management.

In a few words, the best way to avoid all-nighters is to be on top of things. Be aware of what’s going in all of your classes, especially pay attention to what’s due in the next few weeks. When you’re aware of what’s going on (and when you’ve acted on it), you won’t be pulling all-nighters and waiting until the last minute to do things.

Plan, Plan, Plan

Planning helps you be aware of what’s going on in the first place. It let you know exactly what you need to get done. It’s much easier to start once you know what you need to do. Take each class syllabus and pencil into your planner each important date and assignment (I said pencil because plans often change). If you do this and if you look at your planner often, you won’t miss another deadline, and when you go to study you won’t have to spend 10 minutes figuring out what you need to do.

Create a Study Schedule

Now that you know what you need to do, you can create a study schedule to make sure you stay ahead of the game. This schedule will let you know what you need to work on and when. Preferably, try to adjust this study schedule to keep you ahead of the class. If you stick to the schedule, you won’t have pull an all-nighter because you’re already finished with tomorrow’s homework. Be sure to include breaks, eating, and time for self-care in your schedule, too!

Prioritize

This plays into your schedule because you should schedule more time for the things that are truly important. Learn to spend your time on what’s truly important, like school, work, family, and God. This doesn’t mean to completely cut yourself off from other things. This means to know how to find a balance between work and play. Take a good look at your commitments. Do you have time to give your best to each individual commitment? If so, great! If not, figure out what activity you can cut. It’s not worth being in an activity if you can’t give 100% effort because you’re so busy. Let someone who can give the best take over the job. You’ll thank yourself in the end.

Don’t Procrastinate

This goes with the previous point, but it’s so important that I want to dedicate an entire point to it. Avoid spending time on time sucks like social media or TV. As I said before, this doesn’t mean to get rid of them altogether. It means to know if it’s the right time to do those things. Don’t be afraid of work; instead, face it head-on. If you must, put your phone away or turn off the WiFi to reduce the temptation to go online.

Although the classic college student may have to pull a few all-nighters throughout his/her collegiate career, you don’t have to, even if you’re a science student.

Further Reading

How I Said Goodbye to All-Nighters by Rebecca from Life as a Dare | I’m going to be honest, Rebecca’s post was a big inspiration for this post!

Have you ever had to pull an all-nighter? Do you think it helped or hurt you in the end?

You can find Aly’s blog here and follow her on Twitter here!

xo Kimberly Signature

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BTS | How to Use Your Syllabus

Now, if you’re like me, you like to keep everything nice, neat, and organized whenever you’re in school. Being able to tell what your next move is will make sure that you never fall behind or end up with poor grades due to just not being on top of things. One of the ways to do that with your studies is to learn how to utilize your syllabi. Now, if you’re in high school, this may not be as effective for you as many high school classes, at least in the United States, do not really make use of their syllabi. They make them as a requirement for the classes and students toss them to the side. In college, your syllabus is everything. It holds the magical key to an A in your ALL classes (Yes, I’m dead serious.). You can get a 4.0 GPA by just utilizing these tips and then following through with the needed processes after!

 

#1 Try to print off your syllabi before classes start!

Some people don’t think that is a good idea but I really feel like it gets me in the school mindset before I even get started! Sometimes your professors will actually give you copies of the syllabus in your first day of class but some just say, “You can get it online,” or “Read it online.” I don’t like this. I feel like I have enough to print off without them not giving it to me. However, this is why I’ve gotten into the habit of just printing them ahead of time. If you can’t find a place to print for free, try to print them there in smaller fonts and with less color to save some $$$.

 

#2 Talk with your professors about anything you don’t understand.

Your professors are your resource. They are there to help you. If there is something in the syllabus that you don’t understand, or eve don’t agree with, talk with them about it. They can either explain why it is there, tell you how they can accommodate you, or just assign you with whatever you need in regards to it. I always talk to my professors on the first day of classes if there’s something I don’t understand or something I feel is missing from the syllabus. It’s good to get all of that out of the way ahead of time.

 

#3 Write down all important monthly, weekly, and daily projects, dates, assignments, etc.

This is a vital first step before classes get fully started. As soon as you get your syllabi, write down EVERYTHING. All the important things you need to remember should go in your planner, to-do list, or whatever you record these things in. If you don’t use a planner, a later tip might be of more use to you for this part of things!

 

#4 Make a monthly checklist for big items for ALL classes for your planner/binder.

I think this is the best thing to do for big assignments. Whenever you make checklists (or at least for me), you always are more inclined to work on things ahead of time because you know exactly when they’re due and how much more time you have to complete them. Combining them all onto one checklist also keeps you from missing something because you’re flipping through syllabi every day to see what you have due. Big projects normally take a lot of time so this helps you manage that.

 

#5 Create an assignment list for day-to-day things that will need to be done sooner rather than later.

This is the same concept, except for same, everyday assignments! I recommend making this list all at one, just like the monthly checklist or doing it weekly (this is what I do). Writing down everything you need to accomplishment each week keeps you updated on everything, just like the monthly checklist does. If you want, you could combine both lists to make for a HUGE master list but I think splitting it up making it easier to tackle and more organized!

 

#6 FOLLOW THROUGH!

This is the most important tip of all. If you don’t use all of these resources you’re making, doing your assignments, and following the rules and information stated in your syllabi then none of this is going to help you! Your syllabi are there to guide you through your semesters with ease. Utilize them to do so!

 

I hope you all found this post useful and I wish you all the best of luck with organizing your semester! If you have any requests for back to school posts for this series, leave them in the comments down below.

xo Kimberly Signature

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BTS | Must-Have School Supplies for College

Welcome to the first post in my back to school (BTS) series! I’m so excited for this as I love being in college and back to school helps us celebrate that. It’s so much fun to be able to buy new supplies, meet new people/teachers, and enjoy all the new things you’ll be learning. So, if you did not know, I am a college student. This fall, I am going into my SENIOR YEAR of college. It’s crazy. I’m terrified. Just… wow. I will be in school for an extra semester for my student teaching as I changed my major a couple of times but that’s okay! I’m in noooo hurry to be an adult just yet. 😅

The first post that I am including in this series is what school supplies that I find to be essential in my own schooling and hopefully this will help you narrow down what you’ll be needing as well! This can be great for anyone that is an incoming freshman this fall or even someone who is already in college and just needs a refresher for their shopping spree.

#1 Planner: My number one, definite, most important item is a planner. If you can only buy one thing besides paper and pencils, get a planner. I can’t tell you how many times mine has saved me. It keeps me grounded, my life and school work organized, and I just feel a whole lot better when I’ve got my trusty planner by my side during the semesters.

#2 Highlighters: These are my favorite way to organize my notes! I love to highlight main topics and important information in my notes as I’m writing them so I can go back and find topics easily as well as read my notes over again without any issues. These can also be great to highlight your textbooks for important information, use them in your planner, and more!

#3 Colored Pens: I love to organize my planner with colors. Color coding is great so you know exactly how everything is supposed to be whenever you’re going back to look at it. I want to start using them for my notes but it’s harder to switch pens every few seconds than it is to pick up a highlighter every few minutes. My pens are mainly for my planner but they are sooo worth it!

#4 Notecards: This is the only way that I study for exams, quizzes, papers, etc. I often read over my notes but in order to truly remember things, make flash cards of my own to quiz myself with is the best way for my to retain information. Most people think that it’s awful because you’ll forget everything right after but I don’t really have this problem all that much. Some small things may slip my mind but I remember most of the information that I study this way with ease!

#5 Binder(s) with Tabs: I used the optional “s” because I normally only use one binder for all of my classes and use the tabs to divide up my classes. HOWEVER, I’ve also done individual binders for each class with dividers to divide up things like notes, handouts, homework, exams/quizzes, etc. I like everything to be organized no matter what so either way, the dividers are a must for me. It is honestly up to personal preference on whether you want to use one binder or several. I think sizes for the binders should be 1/4-inch to 1-inch binders for individual classes or a 1 1/2-inch to 2-inch binder for all classes.

#6 Notebook(s): Notebooks has that optional “s” as well! This is because I have been using either a three-subject or five-subject notebook for all of my classes for awhile now. My “organization” for this is weird, though. I don’t divide them up into sections for classes! I actually just flip to the first unused page and write whatever I need to on that for whatever class I’m in then label the top right corner with the class name (e.g. SED 537). However, I know many people who get a one-subject notebook for each class and organize them that way. I actually am thinking about switching to this method for the upcoming semester!

#7 Sticky Notes & Flags: Last, but currently not least, sticky notes and sticky flags are an amazing way to organize your notes, planner, and anything else you can stick something to! I even put them in my textbooks. I love them for quick notes, to-do lists, marking important pages or just marking where I was on something, and so much more. They’re so versatile that you can literally come up with so many uses for them.

And that’s it for my school supplies essentials for college! I can’t wait for all the other posts to come. If you have any suggestions and requests for posts in my back to school series that I should add to the quota then leave me a comment down below! Also, tell me your must-have school supplies for whatever level schooling you’re currently in! I’m always up for adding new organization methods to my routine!

xo Kimberly Signature

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