How to Cope With Stress – My Solution

I WORK OUT

Happy first day of June!

With the last week of school and finals quickly approaching, things have been getting pretty stressful. Finish this, write that, turn in something else – it’s hard to keep up with everything and sometimes I can only think of giving up. Yeah, that sounds a bit discouraging and depressing, but I think we’ve all been there at one point or another.  Read more

Her Campus Guide to College Life

Her Campus Cover

If you are a high school student looking forward to college, applying to college or a student in college already, this post is for you. A few months ago I got a chance to join the Her Campus Blogger Network, which is a networking site for high school and college bloggers. They have grown quite a bit now and on May 19th published their first Her Campus Guide to College Life! I decided not to wait too long and purchased my copy on Kindle and can now read it on the go as I’ve been going for more compact ways of carrying my books and notes throughout the day.

The book covers everything from academics to relationships to safety to instructor communication and is an invaluable introduction to everyday college life. I only wish I read it two years ago as a freshman, it would have made things so much easier!

My two favorite sections were Landing Jobs and Internships and Study Abroad, as the two have been my main focus in life these past few months. When I just began thinking about looking for a job in my field, I didn’t really know where to start. These chapters give a very nice and complete overview of things to consider and to search for.

Jobs and Internships Studying Abroad

All in all Her Campus Guide to College Life is definitely worth a read whether you are a high school or a college student and want to get the full college experience.

Have you read this guide? What other similar books can you recommend for fellow students? 

Yoga for Stress Management?

First of all, some personal news: I just got a wonderful internship at butter LONDON makeup company based here in Seattle. Super pumped about that. Also, planning a super awesome trip to Europe in the summer. Also, I think I’ll die of stress very soon.

I have finally found something to do besides homework and driving back and forth between school and home. Yoga! Gosh, it has so many wonderful benefits that I simply couldn’t not share them with you guys. If you are prone to anxiety of stress, I think this could definitely be your solution! Yoga gives you both great exercise and a way to relax your body and mind, which is what attracted me to it in the first place. After two horribly stressful midterm weeks and a few nervous breakdowns, I decided that I need to get myself together and find an activity to get involved in. Having a minimal amount of money to spare for this stuff, I looked through Groupon for yoga deals in my area. The one I found was 10 classes for $40, as compared to $99 regular price. This was definitely a steal, so I bought it almost without thinking (as always) and headed for the studio.

If you are like me and are worried that you don’t know anything, chances are that you’re not the only one. Yoga is a very accommodating activity, which means that every excercise has variations suitable for your level of skills. Of course, at my first class I tried to do every pose and failed miserably. It must have been kind of funny to the instructor, but she was super sweet and even helped me get into the poses I wanted while everyone else was doing headstands and whatnot. Anyways, I am now on class #7 and have improved immensely. Here are some poses for inspiration:

If you are a stressed student or simply want to try out a couple classes, I’d recommend starting simple. Vinyasa is a flowy type yoga, where you switch poses very gracefully (I have yet to master this skill) and breathe in a special pattern. I also went to a Meditation class, which was a whole other level of experience – I’ve never felt so peaceful in my whole life. This one I’m definitely going back to. The instructor guided me and one other student throughout the entire class, but in such way that it wasn’t distracting. In a way, mediation is supposed to help you let go of all your thoughts and worries and just focus on one thing, like your breath. If you concentrate on how you breathe, you feel like you’re slowly flowing into deep, deep trans. As much as I’d like to say that I was totally enlightened, that didn’t happen. I think I still have 30-40 years to go. If you are looking for a more work-out type yoga, you can test out Power Yoga or Bikram and Hatha. Power yoga focuses on your muscles and core, and you hold a few difficult positions for some time. Bikram or Hatha yoga are types of hot yoga. These are made for you to sweat your worries away in a 104° F room. I usually get crazy light headed, but I think it’s because I don’t drink enough water before the practice.

Anyways, that’s my experience right there. I love having an activity, especially one that helps me feel less stressed and more relaxed, besides school. with only a 15-minute drive, I enjoy a whole hour of peace and some much needed exercise three times a week. If you have such an option – try it out. Yoga classes are often offered by independent studios and fitness centers. Check Groupon for some possible deals in your area. Do you do yoga? What’s your experience? What do you do besides school? Tell us in the comments below!

Also, thank you all for sending me such wonderful messages and questions! I promise I read through all of them and try my best to answer them :c It seems like Tumblr is working much, much better than this site, so I’ll see what I can do. Maybe transferring back will be a good idea. What do you all think?

The Do’s and Don’t’s of Retaking Classes

I have a confession to make: I had to retake the easiest class in my college curriculum last quarter. It was embarrassing to talk about – most people consider the class a joke. I felt terrible about my parents paying extra when I could be taking a more important class. And the worst part was explaining to other students why a Psych major has to retake a first requirement.

The truth is, I’m happy I took the class again. It raised my grade from 3.0 to a 3.8 and improved my overall Psych GPA to the point where I could safely apply and know I could be accepted. I don’t want to blame the first professor entirely…but I want to blame the first professor at least a little. As hard and I tried to study and memorize for that class, it wasn’t enough to receive my desired grade. The guy didn’t adjust the mean grade, which ended up being 2.2 on a 4.0 scale! In my opinion, this is unacceptable for a beginning Psychology class. To make things worse, there’s no way to file a complaint..

Enough rambling now, let’s talk about the do’s and don’t’s of retaking those fun fun classes!

The Don’t’s

  • When retaking any class, easy or difficult, don’t take it as a joke. It’s easy to think that you’ve learned the material before, but remember that the reason you’re retaking the class is because you didn’t learn the material well enough or correctly.
  • Don’t use your old notes and study guides. It’s possible you missed something in your studying last time, so it may not be a good idea to use the same materials.
  • Don’t miss any information. Listen carefully to the lecture and soak it all in.
  • Don’t feel bad about it. Don’t put yourself down because of a minor set back like this, don’t get distracted.

The Do’s

  • Adjust your study habits, take better notes, and use all the resources you’re provided with. Clearly something went wrong last time so changing up your strategies may be a game changer.
  • Make friends in the classes. Connections, connections, connections. Form study groups and ask for help all the time.
  • Try hard. It would be a bummer if by the end of the quarter the grade could be improved and you’d realize that you could have worked harder.
  • Do what you gotta do and everything will be okay!

Good luck in classes!

Decluttering For The New Quarter

My oh my has my desk suffered through a lot this year! I’ve been trying to come up with a nice little system to keep things in their places for a while now, and now the opportunity has come! As part of these Christmas/New Year’s gifts, my favorite person ever built me an organizer to keep all my papers, pens, sticky notes, and other office supplies. It has a very nice rustic look, which I love, and comes with a variety of pockets and dividers for all sorts of things. I’ve placed it near the corner of my desk so it wouldn’t cover anything, and am very happy with how things are looking here.

before and after

If you are looking for a nice excuse to reorganize a desk – look no more! I definitely recommend getting one of these super duper awesome organizers. They are sold in our regular office supply stores like Staples, Office Depot and Target for sure. If you’d like to get a more artistic, handmade or vintage look, here are my favorites:

Show me how you organize your desk on Twitter or Tumblr

Where to Buy Textbooks

Buy Textbooks

It’s no secret that college textbook costs makeup a significant amount of money every quarter – the maximum I’ve paid was about $500 per quarter for all new textbooks. Well, that was dumb, but that was also the first quarter of my freshman year in college, so no judging please. Since then I’ve rented, borrowed, bought and sold over 30 books, so here are some good websites I’ve used to do that.

Format Variety

2. New Textbooks: buying books new deliciously shiny textbook is always nice, but also expensive. Unfortunately, there’s no way around it if you’re buying a custom-made book, but I’ve always been able to find used copies for more generic textbooks.

3. Used Textbooks: the textbook can be lightly (or heavily!) used by someone before you, but that means that it costs much cheaper now. I’ve owned used textbooks and saved tons of money, but found that there’s no guarantee as to what you’ll get, how much writing will be in it, and which pages will be all highlighted. Risky, but if you’re trying to save money – perfect!

4. Renting Textbooks: similar to purchasing a used textbook, but much, much cheaper. Rentals can cost up to $40 dollars a quarter, but most of mine have cost me about $19. Really nice, but again, no guarantees that every single line won’t be highlighted already.

5. eBooks: alternatives to paper copies, these will save you a ton of space in you bag. Most of the time you’d be able to download these on your tablet or reading device (like a Kindle) and take it anywhere with you. Highlight by tapping on the words and add notes between the lines. Everything is great about these, except they cost about the same the new textbooks and you don’t get the advantage of writing in your own hand.

In terms of paper textbooks, I’ve found that using a looseleaf book is sooo much easier than a hardbound one. It comes with three holes to put into a binder, and you’d be able to pick out as many pages as you want and take them with you. I’m sticking to these in the future.

Now, the Websites

1. Chegg

chegg
They mail you your purchased textbook in a box with a return label in the box. All you have to do is get through the quarter, put the books back in the same box and drop it off at the post office! Super easy.

2. Amazon

Student_Kindle_BB_v7._V352239404_
Amazon is very similar to Chegg in terms of purchases, rentals and eBooks. If you have Prime Membership, you’d be able to receive your orders within two days (by the way, if you are a University student, you can get Free Prime Membership!!). In addition to that, purchasing an eBook on Kindle may be easier, as you can get free trials and fast downloads.

3.  Half.com by Ebay

Half
This is not the same as eBay, but the site is run by eBay. I’ve found all of my textbooks for next quarter on it, so give it a try!

4. Barnes and Noble

bn
A bit on a higher end here, but very similar to Amazon. Delivery could be cheaper as you could order the textbooks to the closest store. Haven’t quite used it myself, but will definitely look into it!

5. BookScouter

scouter
Made specifically for college and high school students. You can buy books from various vendors through book scouter, much like Amazon.

5. Facebook groups

If you are in college, there most likely is a “Textbook Exchange” group, where people post their used textbooks or seek to purchase some. Ask around and/or look it up, this can save you so much money!

Where do you purchase your textbooks? Share in the comments!

Finding a Job in High School and College

Getting a Job in High School&College

In High School

Here the job market mostly depends on your age. Since all of the jobs are part-time and relatively easy, you only need to take your pick and pursue the position. Your future career may not depend on this choice, but it sure will help with making the first job experience more pleasant. Since high school students don’t have a degree in a specific subject area, most of the jobs require simple skills. Some options are:

1. Babysitting – ask your neighbors and family friends if they need some help or know someone who might! Let your friends know you’re open to recommendations. I can’t count how many times my friends weren’t able to make it to their babysitting jobs and gave my number to the families, so it worked out quite nicely for moi. In addition to babysitting, I worked at a child care since sophomore year of high school. It was a fairly easy job, and I was even able to sneak in my homework at times. So a lot of children were involved in my high school career, but everything worked perfectly fine for me. More options: pet sitting, house sitting, yard sitting, and basically anything that has the word sitting in it.

2. Store/Restaurant/Small Business – working at a small business enables a more personal work environment, which to me is very important. Restaurants require a food handling license most likely, and stores won’t let you touch the money until you’re 18, but there are definitely some possibilities at getting a job not related to that. For example, stacking shelves, being a host/hostess at a restaurant, helping out customers, etc. Even if you think you’re not old enough or qualified for a position, it never hurts to ask. That way the employer will know that you’re looking for something and keep you in mind.

3. Tutoring – if you know someone who needs help with homework, why not help them out? It can be a friend or a classmate, and maybe even someone from a grade or two below you. You can also work as a tutor in the community center, the library or the YMCA. The best way to get to this position is probably to volunteer first – ask around (have I mentioned that already?) and see if anyone needs help. Volunteer, get some experience, and soon you’ll be able to tutor others for pay.

4. Volunteer/Internship – while internships aren’t as available during high school years, there is plenty of volunteering opportunities out there. Pick an organization, sign up and get that experience on! If you are planning ahead for college applications (which you definitely should), make sure to pick something useful and worth talking about on the application. Red Cross, YMCA, care homes, maybe even online companies – all it takes is a couple of phone calls and/or emails to find out! Remember, it never hurts to ask.

All in all, make sure to get your name out there and let me know that you’re available and looking for work. While you probably won’t get a job that requires high qualifications, it will definitely be a good start for your CV and first job experiences.

In College

Most college students look for jobs for either one or both reasons: get a little extra income or work experience for a future job search. While it is important to find a position that you like, it’s also important to relate it to something you’re interested in or your intended career path.

1. Career Center – although it sounds like the University’s career center only helps out with graduating students, they can definitely provide you with some tips about the job search. Some websites for looking up part time and full time jobs in your area, making your resume sound crazy awesome, and dates for some internship and job fairs.

2. College-owned website for job search – I found my campus job on UW’s website huskyjobs. It lists for me all on and off campus jobs, I can upload my resume and cover letter for employers to look at. It’s a great site and most college career centers provide this kind of websites for students.

3. Sales/Food nearby – if you’re looking just for some small monthly income, it may be a good idea to look into nearby shops, cafes and clothing stores. Although the competition is high, most students who look for a job are actually able to get one. Look around, ask around. You know the drill.

4. Start with an internship – if you’re having a hard time finding a paid job, maybe look in the direction of internships. Some of them are paid, some are not, but they are a great way to start getting experience in the field you’re interested in. Career centers usually hold internship fairs where you can walk around, talk to potential employers and share your resume for them to look at.

5. Blog! My favorite one, obviously! A part-time job consists of at least 10-15 hours of work every week. If you blog every day and try your best to promote a blog, find sponsors, etc., you can actually get quite a good income! I’ve recently found a few blogs written by college students who use it as their source of income – MostlyMorgan, for example. Morgan writes up monthly income reports, which are very useful to look at if you are trying to promote your blog. If you are new to the blogging community, check out her guide on how to start your own blog.