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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How to Boost Your Self-Esteem

how to boost your self esteem

Now, taking the title in mind, there is NO sure-fire why of boosting your self-esteem… HOWEVER, there are many things that we can do that slowly improve it over time, with some effort on your part. We all struggle with body image issues, feeling like we’re not good enough, and many other low self-esteem factors. I myself have struggled with all of the above for years. I am a curvy, short girl with acne, crooked teeth, and a ton of emotional scarring… but I make it through! I still have my bad days, like I talked about in my last blog post, but most of the time I can look in the mirror and find something that I like about myself. I believe we should all be able to do this! So, I have some tips that help me make it through each day with a little boost, and I hope they help you, too!

how to boost your self esteem

  1. Take care of yourself. This goes without saying but many of us do not do the things we should each day for our body. We were only given one and we need to take care of it. Whether that means getting a pedicure when you’re feeling it or just lowering your soda intake, whatever it is.. do it and do it for you.
  2. Counter your negative thought with a positive one. I do this A LOT whenever I am feeling down. I will think bad things about myself and knock myself down but then I’ll look in the mirror or think to myself, “Hey, this may be something I think is wrong but I really love this about myself.” It really does help. Eventually, you won’t have to think about doing it because you’ll do it automatically and hopefully someday those negative thoughts won’t come around!
  3. Work towards improving the things you don’t like. The only want to improve is to change it. If there is something about yourself that you don’t like, work towards making it what you want it to be. Don’t do it for anyone but yourself, though. I have been guilty of this many times, trying to change myself to find friends, a guy, etc. You need to change for you and only you.
  4. Dress to impress. This is a must for me. Whenever I want to feel good, I dress better. I will wear those heels and nice lingerie to class because I want to impress MYSELF. It automatically gives you a boost of confidence when you are feeling the outfit you’re wearing.
  5. Be nice to others! I often find that when I am mean to others or snap off, I am also doing the same things to myself. Whether it be a bad mood or a hormone imbalance, it is always nice to just say something nice or nothing at all. Plus, being kind to others can lead to friendships (which can also boost your self-esteem!).
  6. Be nice to yourself. This is a biggy. No one really thinks that being nice to themselves is going to get them anywhere. This directly relates to the counterargument tip above. You have to treat yourself with respect or no one else will. You deserve the world and you best believe that!
  7. Start slow and work your way up. Even if you just start with exercising once a week or taking a me-day twice a month, whatever baby steps you can make towards a more confident you, do them! They can’t hurt if they’re positive and you are still working towards that ultimate goal of improving yourself.
  8. Do something you enjoy. I always feel better when I am doing something that makes me happy. Whether is hanging out with my friends or reading a good book, whatever it is that makes me happy, I go for it whenever I am feeling down. Do this! Call the girls over for a Netflix sesh or go on a shopping spree. Whatever makes you smile is what will do the trick.

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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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Blogmas Day 19 | Recent Pins: Dec. 19th

recent pins dec 19th

Even though it’s after midnight (yes, I’ve been writing this for awhile), I’m still making this my 19th day of Blogmas. But ayyy, back at it again with the Recent Pins posts. I really just love getting to review my pins and it makes me go back and actually use them as well as get more active on Pinterest than I normally would be (even though it’s one of my favorite social media outlets). I’ve got another look at my recent pins on Pinterest. Be sure to leave your favorite recent pins below for me to check out!

Bullet Journal 2k15

From littlestudiousflower; pinned to Bullet Journaling board

30 Inspiring Smile Quotes

From Quotes Words Sayings; pinned into Positive Vibes board

The Groovy Teacher

From Twitter; pinned into Future Teacher board

DIY Navy Blue Eye Makeup

From; pinned into Makeup Hoarder board

20 Printables That Will Help Organize Everything

From; pinned into Organization board

Monthly Cleaning Tasks

From; pinned into Cleaning board

A Full Face of Makeup Dupes – Half High End, Half Drugstore

From Meg O. on the Go; pinned into Makeup Hoarder

7 Rules for Life

From; pinned into Positive Vibes board

Free Holiday Fonts

From Bloglovin’; pinned into Christmas board

My Ride or Die Makeup Kit: Makeup That Will Never Let You Down

From Ashley Brooke Nicolas; pinned into Makeup Hoarder board

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Blogmas Day 2 | How To ROCK Finals Week

how to rock finals week

I bet I can guess what you’re stressed about right now. Two words. Many exams. Lots of anxiety. FINALS. WEEK. Yup, finals week is upon us for many universities, including my own. Now, as an education major, the majority of my courses do not do final exams. I have one cumulative final and that is on Monday (positive vibes plz) but other than the things I needed to complete were lesson plans, projects, papers, reflections, and just “end-of-the-unit” exams. I am extremely blessed and grateful that I do not get bogged down with exams in the last week of the semester but I know maaany friends, bloggers, and readers that do. That’s why I’m here to help you ROCK finals week and kick it in the pants!

The Playlist

Now, you know Mama needs a good playlist to rock out to during her study time. I’m sure many of you are the same so I’ve come up with the ultimate INSTRUMENTAL jams list for all your studying needs. Some have some minor parts that say a single word but most of it is either unrecognizable or so quick that it doesn’t bother me. I do have an eclectic music taste so there is everything from EDM to metalcore in this playlist. I personally cannot listen to lyrics while studying or else I’ll write them instead of my notes, I’ll sing them and won’t remember anything I read, and it’s just bad.

The xx – Intro: Seriously my all-time favorite studying song to put on loop. And the link I gave you is an almost three-hour seamless loop of the song. 😉
Brian Eno – The Big Ship
Skrillex & Rick Ross – Purple Lamborgini (Instrumental)
AndrezoWorks – Injection
AndrezoWorks – Neon Lights
AndrezoWorks – My Will
DEAF KEV – Invincible
Jacob Lizotte – Seven Years
Sam Whitaker – Creation
Sam Whitaker – Structure

The Supplies

The perfect set of school supplies to study with is a must have when beginning an all-nighter sesh at the library to study for those three finals you have back-to-back on the same day (Don’t you love have schools schedule that?). These are what I use when studying and what I think you definitely need to have when diving in.

  • Pencils
  • Pens (of assorted colors)
  • Notebook paper or assigned notebooks
  • Textbooks and class notes
  • Laptop computer or tablet
  • Headphones
  • Water bottle and snacks
  • Money (in case you need to buy a new brain or some coffee)
  • Highlighters
  • Notecards
  • Any study guides or important information from classes
  • Sticky notes

Helpful Posts

Lastly, I’ve gathered some awesome blog posts that will also assist you in all your finals week needs. Everything from destressers to study methods to keeping you on task. There are tons of posts out there, just look it up on Pinterest, but I found these to be very helpful and great posts overall.

Finals Week Essentials
Tips to Study Effectively For Your Exams
10 Ways to De-Stress During Finals Week
5 Tips to Improve Your Focus During Finals Week

Don’t let the heat get you down! You got this, fam. I believe in YOU.

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How I Built My Credit at 20

Many people think that it is impossible to have a good credit score in your twenties. They automatically assume that we all are terrible with money, can’t save to save our lives, and will max out our credit cards the moment the companies give us that piece of plastic. I have to say… I OBJECT TO THIS STEREOTYPICAL ASSUMPTION. We aren’t all the same! Yes, some people can’t handle the responsibility of having credit cards without maxing them out every time they get a chance, but not everyone is like this. Some people use them as a way to build up their credit (even at twenty years old!).

I’m going to share with you how I was able to build my credit score (after less than a year and a half) up to a 733. That is only 77 points away from a perfect score, which is an 800. Pretty amazing for a twenty-one-year-old with makeup addiction, right? My credit is one thing I don’t mess around with. Yes, I’ve used my credit cards A LOT… but I use them responsibly. Let’s talk about that.

I don’t spend what I can’t pay back.
I always think ahead when making purchases, whether it is $30 or $200. If I didn’t think I would be able to pay it back before my bill was due, I wouldn’t make the purchase. And when I say pay it back, I mean pay all of it back – in full.

I always pay my balance back in full every time.
I never pay the minimum suggested payment. I have never once let my credit card bills collect interest. This is how they get you. They tell you that you only have to pay so much back a month, but that interest adds up and you’re paying back 50% more than what you would have before if you had just paid it all off at once. Sucks, right?

I always pay my bills on time.
Most places have some kind of “no late fees for the first year” type of deal, especially for new credit card users. Don’t even think about utilizing this “deal”. Just pay it back on time, every month. Not only do you need to pay the entire bill but paying it on time will keep it from collecting interest and causing you late fees (most of the time, you’ll get late fees after that deal is up so you might as well avoid the habit).

Each of my credit cards for a purpose.
I currently have two credit cards through clothing stores and one general card. The two stores that I have cards through are stores that I shop at, at least, twice a year, if not more. I try to limit myself because paying back big bills can be stressful on me and my wallet. However, I use the times that I already know I will be purchasing from these stores to build my credit. It helps me and it was something I was going to purchase one way or another. My general card is my gas card. This is all I use it for. I never put any other purchase on it. That way, the highest bill I’ll ever have will likely be $60 and that’s only if I have to fill up twice in one month!

I plan ahead.
If I know I’ll need something that one of my credit cards can cover, I’ll use it and just save the money I had for it to pay the bill. This is a great way to build your credit. And you won’t have to worry about paying it later because you were already planning to just buy it outright.

I take advantage of the deals.
Although this doesn’t directly affect your credit, I wanted to talk about it because it can! I always wait to buy things with my store credit cards until I have coupons or there’s a sale going on (unless I really have to have something for a specific purpose). Even though using your credit cards can build your credit, using them too much and using more money on them can actually hurt your credit. This is how taking advantage of the sales will help you in the long run!

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BTS | How to Get Straight A’s in College

Getting all A’s in any school setting can be tricky but it seems so much easier in high school. You don’t have nearly as much personal responsibility and many times teachers walk you through every step. College isn’t like that. It’s up to you to make sure you get that 4.0 GPA. However, lucky for you, I have some awesomely fantastical tips to make this a bit easier on you.

Disclaimer: Even though these tips work for me, they may not work for you. You have to find what is best for you and roll with it. Everyone is different. I’ve seen some pass every class without ever opening a book and some that need to read every night for it to sink in. We all have different learning types and, if you know yours, you should definitely roll with it!

#1 Use. Your. Syllabus.

I really don’t think some people realize the importance of a syllabus in college. Your professors basically map out the entire semester in one little 2- to 10-page document (depending on the professor and type of class). Some include an entire course schedules with all assignments, projects, exams, etc. Some just include what chapters you’ll be covering when. Some just tell you when the midterm and final are. Whatever they give you, utilize it. If you ask them about it and it’s in the syllabus, they will likely tell you that you should already know and ignore your questions. Some professors are nicer than others but I’ve had many get upset with me for missing something in the syllabus and then asking about it later. If you don’t understand something in your syllabus, ask the professor. They will almost most always explain something to you if you’re just not sure what it means… as long as you don’t wait until the day before whatever that applies to happens.

#2 Take the lead. Always.

Group projects, man… you’ve had them, I’ve had them, we all have. They’re the worst. Not only because most of us are antisocial caterpillars but also because we don’t want to depend on others for a good grade. The great thing about it is… you don’t have to. Yes, it may require more work, but if something isn’t getting done, don’t just sit around and get a D because your partner didn’t want to do their part. Do it. I almost always have group evaluations whenever I have these projects and I always and 100% honest on them. Tell your professor who didn’t do what and, on the reverse side, who the best group members were! If you don’t have evaluations, go to your professor’s office hours and tell them that so-and-so isn’t doing their part. Normally they will either speak to them and or lower their grade on the project individually whenever the final grades are given (Sounds harsh, but people who don’t do the work don’t deserve the A that you and your best group member had to push out while the other two played on their phones during every group meeting.).

#3 Use some type of organizational method.

A planner, a to-do list, a calendar app, or whatever it may be, use something to organize your life! You will need this desperately in college. Actually, you’ll probably need this for the rest of your life after high school. Having your life organized keeps you from forgetting things that could easily be fixed with writing it down in a planner or saving a reminder on your phone and it also makes you get in the habit of having something to look back on. Even if you have the best memory in the world, you are bound to forget something… this will make sure everything, including feeding the cats, gets taken care of.

Side Tip: Make a to-do list every week to organize your weekly tasks and thoughts. This really helped me when I started getting closer to the end of the semester and big projects, daily assignments, and studying for exams all started piling into one week. It was difficult. I would make a list every time when things like this happened (first things are what needed to be completed first and in order to the least important item at that date).

#4 Find your best study method and stick to it.

I know so many people that say that you should use tons of different ways to study so you don’t get sick of something but I completely disagree with this. If I used something other than flashcards and note lists, I wouldn’t pass a single class. I tried the Quizlet app and, although it wasn’t the worst way I’ve tried to study, it didn’t do the trick for me because I didn’t have to physically write out everything. If I write it down, especially several times, then I’m bound to remember it. That’s how my brain works. Writing my notes in class, writing a “note list” of important things that can’t be in flashcard form, and then making flashcards helps me keep things fresh in my mind. Then studying those materials makes sure that I’ve got them locked in and ready for my exams.

#5 Don’t take notes with your computer.

Honestly, unless your professor says that you’re going to need it, don’t even take your computer out during class. It is a distraction more than anything. You’re going to want to get on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and who knows what else before you ever open that Word document and get a single sentence of notes written out. That’s just how our brains work these days – “Hi, I’m Kimberly, and I’m addicted to social media.” Taking notes on a piece of paper, in your favorite notebook, or whatever physical writing material you choose is the best way to avoid this. You’ll pay more attention to the lecture and presentations rather than what your best friend did with that girl you don’t like last week.

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