TEN THINGS: TO DO.

I’m a serial list maker and I probably have been since someone first put a pen in my hand. (Or more accurately, a Crayola crayon.) I know this is true because not only am I a list maker, I’m also a hoarder, (oh, winner winner) and STILL have these lists stored away.

(Confession: These notes consist of all the boys in my class I consider “cute”, what I want in my house when I grow up, and my favorite colors at the moment… Real deep stuff, of course. End confession.)

Anyway, my lists have gotten a little bit more substantial over the years. Just a little bit.  And I can’t function throughout the day with out a good list made with pen and paper.  It’s as if my brain is in constant info overload, and the only way to digest and comprehend anything new is in the form of lists. Complete sentences and grammar is totally pushing it.

One of my favorite bloggers, LOVELY INDEED, started a recent installment, “ten things.” And yes, it is EXACTLY what it sounds like. She shares the lists she makes in her journal of ten random things. She is a lovely woman after my own heart, indeed. (See what I did there?)

Most recently, her list was of ten words that gross her out. And you know what, you should check it out because they weren’t so obvious. MOIST WASN’T EVEN ON IT. By the way, have you read this hilarious suicide note from the word “moist”? If you haven’t, you must click this and read now. (Oh, and that was probably the only appropriate time I could use the word “hilarious” and “suicide” in the same sentence. I don’t know how I feel about that.)

But I digress…

Being able to completely resonate with LOVELY INDEED and her addiction to lists, I decided to share mine as well! (: Except it isn’t gross words, it’s my to-do list.

*Also, for all you list makers out there,  is it just me, or do you also have MULTIPLE to-do lists occurring at the same time? For example. I have a list for things that must be done that day, a separate one for the month, and a separate one for things that should be done eventually. Sometimes the lists break up even further based on the role — student, work, church, etc. Is there a better way to do this? Please do tell.

HERE IS A PEEK INTO MY LIST LIFE (+ doodles from my journal.)

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Mid-Semester Slump

It’s half way through October and that excitement of being back on campus is starting to wear off. The snooze button gets pressed more often, the effort to attend office hours dwindles, and you’re counting the days until Thanksgiving break. (46 six days to be exact). Trust me, I’m right there with you.

But we can’t stay in this slump forever. It’s all about finishing strong; and it will be good practice for the future. And I’ll practice what I preach by sharing a few tips that help keep me sane…

Plan your semester out. Pull out your syllabus— yes, those two sheets stapled together, crumpled up at the bottom of your book bag— pull ’em out!  Locate all the important dates your professor so kindly gave to you as prior knowledge. No sarcasm there, professors who plan assignment and exam dates in advanced give you the luxury of planning out your schedule and deciding whether or not you should drop it. So, find those dates; assignment due dates, no lecture dates, exam dates, etc. And mark all of them in the calendar so you never show up to class one day in a panic that you completely forgot to study for that exam.

google calendarFill out your Google calendar. Wondering where you can jot down all those important due dates? One step ahead of you. In that handy Google calendar of yours. I do and it has changed my life (for the better). This is what mine looks like for this following week:

– It allows you to color code all your future engagements from class to nap time.
– There’s also a section to place your “to-do” list; both as a side-note or on top according to their days.
– If there’s certain appointments that happen on a regular basis such as class or church, it allows you check a box and will then automatically place it on those particular dates for all following weeks. This is really handy so you don’t have to sit there placing the same thing week after week.
– It gives you reminders based on your preference: 1 day before, 1 hour before, 30 min before, etc.
– It syncs to your smart phone and reminders pop up there, as well.
– It’s digital. So it’s easy to rearrange or delete events as needed, so don’t worry about your flexibility.

Go to professor office hours. I have three midterms coming up this week and as I’ve (kind of) started studying, I’m realizing there’s a chunk of material I don’t understand or I didn’t quite write down in my notes. Yes, I can email my professor to get a quick response; but personal interaction is always more preferred. Professors like to put a face to a name, and when they can, they’re more likely to bump you up when you have a borderline “A,” as well as write you a recommendation later in semester. Go to office hours as often as you can; whenever you have a question regarding lecture or just their study of academia. It’ll only benefit you and flatter them.

Find a friend. Find a friend in that class.First, going to class will be more enjoyable because you have someone to share material with, as well as complain with. Complaining isn’t always bad; if class material is at the point of discussion, it just helps make the content tangible and easier to digest. Also, if you ever oversleep and miss a lecture, having a friend will secure a set of notes. And like most people, they’re competitive when it comes to grades; another person in the class can stir up motivation and push you to work hard. A little friendly competition is a good thing.

Type up your notes in class.  My professor gave me this advice freshman year and I’ve been (trying to) keep it. Your professor probably talks fast. Faster than you can neatly hand-write each bullet point before Professor changes to the slide. (the entire class groans and slams their fist on their desks). When your professor is a chatty cathy, bring your laptop. Most people can type faster they can write. Then after class, open up your notes and rewrite them with by hand; studies show that muscle memory helps your brain absorb the info. If your professor is not a chatty cathy, stick to old school pen and paper. You will be less distracted to just “quickly” check Facebook or shoot an email; then after class, type up on your laptop. In case you only wrote a word down, you can elaborate on Word and neatly organize it.

What are your tips on fighting mid-semester slump? Share here. And good luck with exams, everyone!

XO.

GOALS: OCTOBER

It’s that time of the month again!

GOALS:

  • Again, blog 4x a week. But this time, set a schedule.
  • Do my homework earlier during the day, not the night before.
  • Be healthier— get an adequate amount of sleep, drink more water.
  • Do not buy clothes.
  • Meet up with at least 2 professionals in the advertising industry.
  • Apply for MAIP.
  • Learn to discern when to say yes, and when it’s alright to say no.

This is what October is already starting to look like…

Goals: September

Hello! That’s my excited face. And I’m EXCITED to share on this blog my goals for the upcoming month, September. 🙂 This week has been an awkward one because we’re in the middle of transition— from summer to fall, from a lazy bum to a (kind of) diligent student, and from being blog-less to blog-filled(?). You get the point.

Starting this Monday, I will be a junior at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign majoring in Advertising, with a minor in Communication. That’s a mouthful. That’s what she said. I joke.

But this year is exciting for several reasons:

  • My roommate is one of my best friends.
  • The two of us are sharing a room meant for three people. Hellllo, extra closet space!
  • The class load for this semester is solely concentrated on media/communication classes, meaning I’ll be studying the stuff that (I think) makes me passionate.
  • The following semester, my roommate and I will be in… wait for it… BELGIUM! Aw, yeah. (Side note: I JUST watched, “Taken,” this past week, and every time I think of the words, “studying abroad,” my anxiety level starts rising and I may or may not want to crawl back into my mother’s wombs where it’s safe and prostitution is far at bay. Ignorance really may be bliss. Welp, good thing I’m serving on the Executive Board for the organization that faces the reality of prostitution/sex trafficking.)
  • And yup. This will be my first year on the exec board for the organization, International Justice Missions (IJM). The org. is all about raising awareness and money for the social injustice currently happening in the world, helping victims of the social injustice, and doing work through prayer, because even an issue like this is the in the Lord’s hands. My official title is called: Fundraising Director; I’m basically in charge of bringing in all the cash money for the campus organization and coming up with all the clever ways to do so.
  • Lastly, not to sound like a total nerd, but this is one of my favorite times of the year. Notebooks are fresh, pens are fully inked, the planner is just waiting to be filled with appointments and meetings, and ambition is at its peak.

I’m determined. And my determination usually materializes itself in a form of goals.

Fun fact: I’m a goal setter and a strong believer in “to-do” lists. I think time is meant to be spent with productivity, and personally, I NEED a vision of some kind of finish line; whether it be getting an A on an exam or checking off the box on the “to-do” list. (Come on, I know you know EXACTLY what I’m talking about. It’s awesome and liberating.)

But rather than making a year-based resolution that I’ll probably never even get close to finishing, I’m making goals based on the month. That way, the goals are more appropriate for the time, it’s easier to envision, and much easier to accomplish.

So, without further ado, the goals for September 2012 are as follows:

  • Read a book. (Or two.)
  • Save up to purchase the Adobe Suite.
  • Blog at least 4x a week for all four weeks.
  • Study during the day; do not pull a single all-nighter.
  • Find a Zumba workout video. And then do it.
  • Keep the closet organized.
  • Do not skip a single class.
  • Make it to office offer for each professor.
  • Go to morning prayer.
  • (under construction)

And there you have it.

You may or may have not noticed that the “goals” are vague and definitely not measurable. There are no numbers or dates or anything. And that’s the point. Goals aren’t meant to be daunting shadows hanging over your heads forcing you into waves of guilt and hiding; they’re meant to guide, inspire, to keep you on track. At least that’s what I’m telling myself. So yes, my goals are vague, but one thing that is NOT on my list is perfection, and THAT’S intentional. I’m not aiming for perfection, but progression. So, so what if I only make it to MP once or read only half a book? I will rejoice because it’s all about the progression.

What are your September goals?