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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July Goals

july goals

Goals always help me get organized for the month ahead so what better way to dance into the month of July than a goals post. These are all things that I really need to do because it’s crunch time for me. This is my last month of summer “break” and I am going straight into schools and student teaching within the first two weeks of August. So much to do and so little time!

july goals

July Goals

  • Get organized for student teaching next month (!!!): As many of you know, I am a special education/elementary major and I am starting my final semester in school, the “internship” or student teaching on August 11th! I am so excited and I cannot wait to move forward with this journey. It has taken a lot and so much time and effort for me to make it here. I just wanna say a huge thank you to all my family, friends, and you guys for always supporting me.
  • Start using my planner again: I usually slack a lot with my planner during the summer because I don’t have a lot going on but then I feel like I still forget things and I really need to start planning better so these types of things don’t happen. I am so pumped as well because I got a Teacher Planner from Erin Condren on sale when they were having either 30% or 40% off. It wasn’t too expensive and I got some cute accessories to go with it as well. I will do a whole post dedicated to that soon!
  • Stay focused on blogging: I always seem to fall off as a new semester starts with blogging and I cannot and will not allow myself to do that this time. I know I always say this but I get so down and disappointed with myself whenever things get too busy for me and I forget about LOK. This place has helped me in so many ways and I truly enjoy getting to write so often.
  • Start my YouTube channel (finally)…?: I really want to know y’all’s opinion on this as it has been something I have wanted to do for a looong time but never done. I get so nervous behind the camera and I truly hate the way I look when I talk in videos… but I have so much makeup and so much love for blogging and I think YouTube is like the next step for me! Plus it would make doing reviews, makeup looks, and tutorials so much easier to follow and create.

july goals

That’s about it for my goals! I’ve got a lot going on these next few weeks so I don’t want to overwhelm myself too much but setting goals is always an awesome way to keep me motivated and plus I love reading other bloggers’ goals so I figure somebody else probably enjoys reading them here.

xo Kimberly Signature

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How to Study Efficiently

how to study efficiently

Studying is something many people claim to do but never complete successfully. I’m just as guilty of it as the rest of us. I’ll say, “I’m going to go study at the library,” pack my bag and laptop, get there, and I surf social media for four hours… productive, right? It’s crazy how distracted you can become when you don’t set a purpose for your studying or reward yourself for a successful session. These are just a couple of things that will help you study more efficiently in high school, college, or whatever reason you have for studying information!

how to study efficiently

Tip #1: Make an end goal for your study session.

Study sessions are always bad whenever you go in without something in mind. Whether it’s for an exam, completing a project, or doing a daily assignment, you need to have a goal for your study session so you know what you are working towards. If you do not have a goal then you are working mindlessly and you’ll eventually get distracted.

Tip #2: Bring snacks and plenty of water.

We always get hungry (and inadvertently distracted) whenever we are studying. Whether we forgot our lunch or we get too bored and start eating as a result, it will happen. Pack yourself some healthy snacks to nom on during your session. Additionally, stay hydrated! Water is the best thing for you (although coffee and tea have their benefits) and I think it’s the best drink to bring during a study session so you never feel like you’re running out of steam.

Tip #3: Try to eliminate using the internet so you avoid getting on social media.

I know not using the internet seems entirely impossible when you are studying but it isn’t hard! If you’re working from your textbook, just use your Word software and hard copies of your research to keep you from gravitating towards your Twitter profile. Get your posting and sharing out before you begin. Another alternative would be getting one of those website blocking programs and disallow your computer to allow you on those websites for a set period of time (for those of us like myself with no self-control).

Tip #4: Check items off as you complete them.

There is no better feeling than completion. Whenever you get something important done, you feel like you’ve conquered the world. That is why it is great to use your list of goals as a to-do list as well. As soon as you finish one part of it, mark it off, highlight it, put a checkmark, rip it to shreds… whatever suits your fancy! Allow yourself to feel accomplished throughout your session.

Tip #5: Reward yourself for your hard work!

Rewards are the best part of doing something we don’t necessarily like. If you need motivation, set up a reward system for each study session you plan. Whether it’s an hour of Netflix, a chocolate bar, or going to get a pedicure, make sure you allow yourself to relax and have down time whenever you are recovering from a hardcore study sesh.

What are your favorite ways to prepare for studying?
How do you successfully study for your classes?
Leave your own tips down below!

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xo Kimberly Signature

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How to Organize Your Planner

how to organize your planner

With the new spring semester coming around the corner, being able to organize your life is a must. Being busy when I’m not in school means that I’m that much more so once my classes begin again. I’m going to show you some good tricks to help keep your planner in order so your life will be, too!

#1 Color code by types of entries.

This may be a color for each class, a color for appointments/meetings, a color for each organization you’re in… the list can truly go on! You can color code your planner any way that fits your own personal needs, as long as it does not make it harder for you to organize your life, then it can work!

#2 Use to-do lists!

You can write them on the pages of your planner, use the notes section in the back, or even add in some sticky notes to jot your lists on. To-do lists always keep me organized because it narrows down what I need to do in a certain time period without overwhelming me, like looking at your monthly/weekly view in your planner can do sometimes.

#3 Plan at least one week in advance.

A planner does no good unless you use it to plan. That’s why I like to lay out everything I can as soon as possible. However, sometimes that just isn’t plausible. So, my rule of thumb is just to plan everything at least one week in advance. If I know about events, assignments, etc. more in advance, I’ll write them down but if not, I stick to the rule!

#4 Make your planner appealing to the eye!

When your planner is nice to look at it, you’ll want to use it more and look at it more! That’s why I try to pick out a “pretty” planner that makes me want to use it then use various colored pens (because my planner is color coded!) to keep it looking sharp. Whether it’s a $10 planner or a $50 Erin Condren, you can make it your own!

How do you organize your planner?
What’s your favorite planner?

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xo Kimberly Signature

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Blogmas Day 7 | Fall 2016 Semester Review

fall 2016 semester review

Now that I have finished my last final, I can officially say that I am DONE WITH THE FALL 2016 SEMESTER! 🎉 I am so excited to get some relaxation time where I’m not working on homework every single day. I have decided to go back to work so I’ll be working throughout the break but that doesn’t bother me because I always want something to do. I hate being so bored during breaks that all I want to do is go back to school (even though that will happen anyways).

Fall 2016 Semester Goals

#1 Reach 10,000 steps at least 3 days a week. ✖️ I definitely did not complete this goal. I honestly had a lot fewer steps each day because I took a hiatus from my job to focus on school and my extracurricular activities. I wish I would have tried harder but, after my mom passed away, doing what I needed to in school was the most that I could handle.

#2 Set a gym/work-out schedule and don’t stray from it. ✖️ It’s safe to say that I also did not complete this goal. I am still planning to do so next semester so look out for my goals for the Spring 2016 semester!

#3 Continue my streak of all A’s every semester. ✔️ I actually DID do this! Although I thought the semester was going to go downhill after mom’s passing, I made myself a promise to make her proud of me and I think I did just that.

#4 Read at least three books for fun. ✖️ I started more books but I definitely didn’t finish any. I’m a little disappointed with myself for this but I’m hoping to finish them all during this break from school.

#5 Stay involved in my organizations. ✔️ I definitely did stay active in all of my organizations, with exceptions for those that did not do much during the semester. I made sure to get super involved with Alpha Delta Pi and try to get more people active in SCEC. Things did not go as planned but I still made sure I was active.

#6 Take time out for myself. ✔️ I didn’t do this as much as I had hoped but I definitely did do it. I made sure to have some fun with my family, as much as I could without Mom, spend time with my boyfriend, and make the most out of the worst thing to happen to me in my entire life.

I completed half of my goals, which is pretty good for me, so I would like to think it was a successful semester. Considering the circumstances that I was under during this fall, I did more than I ever thought I would. How did your semester go? Did you do all the things you planned to? Let me know in the comments below!

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xo Kimberly Signature

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Chit Chat | Semester in Progress

Heeeeello everyone! I can’t believe it has been so long since I’ve gotten to sit down and blog. I miss you all so much. I hate that I get so busy during the semesters but such is life – you gotta do what you gotta do! Plus, adding being in a sorority to my plate really didn’t help my already busy schedule.

Let me just give you a little peep into what a week in the “Life of Kimberly” REALLY looks like:

  • Monday: Classes from 8:30am-2:45pm with a 40-minute break for lunch from 12:20pm-1pm, SCEC meetings will be held on this day (previously had them on Fridays but our info meeting was on a Monday)
  • Tuesday: Class from 9:30am-10:45am then a loooong break until 5pm where I have a night class from 5pm-8pm; during my break I normally do homework or I have things that I have to do (e.g. I went to an education abroad workshop this past Tuesday during my break and I’ve also had meetings with friends/peers during that time when I can fit it in)
  • Wednesday: Classes from 8:30am-2:45pm again with that same break but I may or may not work a closing shift that night (normally like 4pm or 5pm to close, which is 11pm but I won’t normally leave until almost midnight); any break I get in between, or if I don’t work, will be used for homework, cleaning the apartment, running errands, etc.
  • Thursday: Class from 9:30am-10:45am then I have tons of meetings to catch up on; this Thursday I have an advising session for study abroad (though I may skip this as I think the workshop helped me with all that I need), a phone interview with an organization that I’ll be a Peer Buddy for, a date with a sister, then dinner with my best friend
  • Friday: Always work pretty much ALL weekend because I can’t normally work during the week (aka Monday-Thursday) and I try to work at least three days a week as much as possible; I don’t have classes on Fridays but I have job coaching for a mentor program from 2pm-3:30pm and then normally a closing shift from 4pm or 5pm to close. This week I also have an event for an organization from 12:30pm-2pm right before my job coaching
  • Saturday: Usually work like 11-8 or 12-9 on this day so I wake up at like 10am-10:30am, get ready for work, and head there; once I’m off, I’ll usually clean up my apartment some and work on homework (or just pass out because I’m exhausted)
  • Sunday: I can only work an opening shift on this day, which is normally 7:30-3:30, because I have meetings for my sorority every Sunday at 5pm and I have to go to them; these meetings can last any length of time and I have a “new member” type meeting shortly after our official meeting each Sunday; once I get done with all this, I’ll normally get any homework that HAS to be done by Monday finished then crash because I’ll have class at 8:30am the next morning (although now most of our classes will be “online” for the rest of the semester so I get a bit of a break from this – YAY!)

Within all of this, I have random events that happen on different nights for my sorority, different meetings/events for my other organizations, priorities that I have to complete tasks for in my officer positions, and so on… it’s really been running me into the ground here lately. I haven’t had ANY time to myself until now… and it’s 11:51pm.

HOWEVER, although stressful, this semester seems to be going well so far. All the grades I’ve gotten already have been 100s and I couldn’t be more pleased as I don’t know how I’m even surviving at this point (basically on coffee and concealer – maybe that should have been my blog’s name). I really am enjoying being a member of the Greek community and a sister of Alpha Delta Pi. I’ve been buying waaay too many t-shirts to prove it! I’m super proud to have letters that I can call home and I love sharing it. My other organizations seem to be having a lot going on too, which I’m always excited about. Part of me loves when my planner is chalked full of fun things to do and the other part dreads looking at what I’ve got going on each and every day. Thankfully, I AM organized with my planner so it saves my life on a day-to-day basis.

Honestly, I really just wanted to get on here and talk to you guys. You know it’s one of my favorite things to do and I can never stop talking most of the time… heh. (Looking at my current word count of 798… oops.) So, on that note, I’m going to finish this off with a motivational quote to keep you all moving (and myself because, let’s face it, I’m basically dead right now).

Today I will do what others won’t, so tomorrow I can do what others can’t.” – Jerry Rice

Love & positive vibes always.

xo Kimberly Signature

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BTS | Fall 2016 Semester Goals

Goals always get me in the right mindset for a prosperous future. That’s why I’ve collected my goals for the month, personal and blogging that is, in a previous post. Being in college is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I love being able to learn something new all the time and study what I love while I do it. This is probably why I want another three degrees after I finish this one… Regardless, I need to set goals for myself in order to make sure I keep myself on track for success.
#1 Reach 10,000 steps at least 3 days a week. This is a bit harder to keep up with right now because I am not allowed to have my phone in my pocket or on me at all at work so it stays up front. I’d probably get a bajillion steps in each day if I was able to but such is life. I want to make this goal specifically for days that I won’t be working.

#2 Set a gym/work-out schedule and don’t stray from it. I always say I’m going to go to the gym every single day or work out at home but I do it for a couple of weeks and then flake off. I can’t keep doing that. I need to make a schedule and stick to it. I think setting something more realistic like 3 days a week would be easier than every single day.

#3 Continue my streak of all A’s every semester. I’ve gotten all A’s for at least two semesters (maybe even 3 but I can’t remember at the moment) now and I want to keep that trend going. I have a whole post about how to get straight A’s (using my own methods), if you’re interested.

#4 Read at least three books for fun. I always neglect doing things for me during the semester. I either get too caught up in school or am just too tired to want to do things that I enjoy. I’m currently reading a book and I want to keep up with my reading throughout this semester. I think setting a goal for one book a month will surely help!

#5 Stay involved in my organizations. As you all know, I accepted a bid from Alpha Delta Pi this semester so I am very excited to add this on to the organizations that I take part in at my university. I am also president of our local Student Council for Exceptional Children, vice president of our Kappa Delta Pi chapter, and vice president of social media for our National Society of Collegiate Scholars chapter. This, as you can imagine, should keep me pretty busy (which is how I like it!).

#6 Take time out for myself. This is going to be the hardest one. I am always so focused on school and helping everyone else that I never take time for me. I will not do this anymore. I am going to go out with friends, have a glass of wine at night, binge watch Netflix, read those books I set a goal for, and just relax sometimes. It may seem scary (ha) but I know I can do it if I really stick to my goals.
That is all for my goals for this semester. I can’t believe that it this time of the year again already. I know it happens twice for me but I get equally excited every time (until all of those assignments start rolling in). I can’t wait to see how I do with this goals.

Share your goals for the next few months with me below!

fall 2016 semester goals pinterest image

xo Kimberly Signature

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