Thursday, September 29, 2016

Top 5 Necessities for Being Productive

College is a complete change of pace. I went from spending eight hours a day in eight different classes, two hours practicing for dance and then going home and attempting to study, sleep and eat with the remainder of my time. My high school schedule was definitely extremely fast-paced, but it was a good way to keep busy. But, it was certainly easy for me to become easily frustrated and stressed out over small things because there was constantly something going on.

In college I'm currently taking four classes (plus one other class, but it doesn't have outside work) and so far am not involved in anything on campus. I have plans to rush a sorority sophomore year and hopefully join a service organization, but I'm still getting acclimated with the school. I have a lot more time on my hands than usual, but it's so nice to finally be able to dedicate the time needed to succeed in classes, the time I didn't have in high school. In high school I often half-assed things because there was just always so much work that it seemed impossible to get it all done. Now, the workload is definitely heavier, but it's very refreshing being able to fully learn about a topic and reflect on the learning targets. 

Being productive is especially important because although there's more time available, I definitely do not want to waste too much time procrastinating and avoiding work. I pulled that crap way too much in high school. These are my top five necessities for being productive.

1. Make A List
Start off by using an agenda (let me know if you'd like to see how I organize my agenda!) and make a list of all the tasks you need to accomplish. This does not only have to include academics, this could be a reminder to do laundry, clean your dorm or workout. 

2. Get Rid of Distractions
For me this means blocking myself from going on YouTube, Netflix, reading other blogs, etc. I use SelfControl and this has seriously changed the game. It restricts you from going on your own set list of websites. No matter what you do, close the application or restart your computer, you will not be allowed to access any of the websites on your blacklist. This is especially helpful because I'm forced to finally focus.

3. Find Your Spot
I've actually enjoyed doing homework in my dorm, but recently it's been so hot that I need to get out of there. Also, the dorm is open for distractions because if my roommate or friends stop by the room I love chatting with them. Going to Starbuck's or the library has been very helpful for me because the risk of seeing someone I know is pretty slim (even though my school is pretty small). 

4. Prioritize To Manage Your Time
Jot down all of the things that you need to do in order of priority so that you don't waste time working on a project that's due in two weeks when you have a paper due in two days. Prioritize exactly which assignments you must accomplish on a given day that way you ensure that things that have sooner due dates are finished in a timely fashion.

5. Take Productive Breaks
Just because you're taking a break from studying doesn't mean you can't be productive. Get some of your work done, then take a quick break to have a snack. Or go throw a load of laundry in. Getting up and getting out of your seat and taking a quick mental break is often beneficial, but whatever you do do not go on YouTube or Netflix to watch "just one thing" because you will immediately be sucked in! 

What are your tips to being productive?

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

What's on my iPhone {College Edition}

I haven't done a post like this in the longest time, and these types of posts (or videos on YouTube) are some of my favorite to watch. I'm not sure if I'm just super nosy and want to see what's on people's phones, or if I just always like learning about new apps that are useful! My iPhone has been organized practically the same way for some time now because I think it's pretty well organized and everything is easy to find. I also want to share with you some of my absolute favorite apps! PS. Have you guys updated your phones yet? I'm not quite sure how I like the new update...especially how you have to click the home button to log on now. 

On the first page I have your pretty standard apps that come on the iPhone. I use Spotify for all my music (follow me @heyitskmay) and I highly suggest it. Premium has seriously changed my life and made finding new music and having awesome playlists so much easier. Of course I have Snapchat because what human on this earth doesn't!? I use Chase for all of my banking needs to keep track of my debit card balance and also see where exactly my money is going. GoPro is basically a way to upload videos and photos straight from your GoPro to your phone so it is especially useful. It can also be used as a remote for your camera if needed!

Mint is an app that I absolutely love because it really helps me keep track of my spending. It allows you to set monthly budgets for different things like restaurants, shopping, gas and groceries and notifies you when you exceed this budget. It also tracks the different categories you're spending your money in and allows you to see what you're spending most of your money on. Sonos is a sound app to connect to the speakers in my house to play music, but it's definitely irrelevant now that I'm 2,000 miles from my home. Fitbit is how I connect my Fitbit band to my phone and log what I'm eating, how much water I'm drinking and also my fitness minutes.
Moving on to the next page I organize all of my apps by category. I use VSCO for practically all of my editing needs and love publishing different photos that never make the gram on VSCO. I also love using Boomerang!
In college I definitely use Uber and Lyft way more than I used to. I'm constantly Ubering around Los Angeles or visiting friends in different locations so it's super convenient to call a car to my dorm and share it with whoever I'm traveling with. A lot of parties are in houses off campus so Uber/Lyft are definite necessities. 

All of my social media apps are pretty self explanatory and keep me connected. Ever since coming to school I've been using Venmo and Tapingo very often. Venmo is a super easy way to transfer money to friends if you owe them for something and can't pay them in cash. Tapingo is offered on different college campuses and is basically an online food ordering service. It's super convenient because I can order Starbuck's from my school ID and it will be ready to be picked up when I get there. This saves so much time--one thing I don't seem to have as a college student. 

Are there any apps that I definitely need to add to my phone?

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

10 Going Out Tops Under $50

When it comes to going to class I'm usually pretty simple. A big t-shirt, leggings/running shorts and Rainbows. Monday, Wednesday and Friday I don't start class until around 2 so sometimes I try and dress a little cuter, but that doesn't always happen. When it comes to going out at first I was totally confused on what I was supposed to wear. Recently for me it's been black pants, high waisted shorts and some form of trendy top whether it's lace up, cropped or high neck. For shoes I've always been wearing my white, high-top converse, but I've decided I need a pair of Vans. I've compiled a few of my current favorites and a few that I'd like to add to my closet for going out. All of these are under $50 too! 

Monday, September 12, 2016

{A Guide To} Applying to College

Tis the season of college applications! I'm here to share with all of you all of the things I wish I had known while applying to schools. I'm very satisfied with my college choice as of now and completely feel made the right decision, but if I could go back in the process I would definitely do a couple of things differently. 

1. Apply to more schools than you think
I'm not saying apply to 13 schools if you're dead set on one, but applying to more schools has its benefits. For me, it was applying to 8-9 schools. I had my heart set on one particular school, but also wanted to keep my options open. Throughout the entire college process I was extremely indecisive about what exactly I wanted in a school and where I wanted to attend school geographically. I always had my heart set on going to school in California so I opted to apply to 5 schools in California and 4 schools elsewhere. Of these other four 2 were in the midwest, 1 was in the south and 1 was on the east coast. I regret not applying to more schools on the east coast, just because for a while I strongly considered going to school there. The list of schools I applied to is as follows:

UC Santa Barbara
UC San Diego
Loyola Marymount University
Chapman University
University of Missouri
University of Alabama
Lehigh University
Miami University

If you're borderline about applying to a school I say just go for it. I actually didn't apply to LMU originally, but then ended up applying last minute. Who would have guessed it's where I ended up going to school!

2. Start & apply early
It was very helpful taking a college English class at my high school because it forced me to begin writing my college essays early. You're going to have a lot of essays to write so it's best to pace yourself and begin the process early. I'm sure many of you that are applying to school this year have already begun your college applications, but if you haven't it's not too early to get started! I also highly recommend applying early action to as many schools as possible. This is an awesome option because it is non-binding, but you find out your admission decision earlier and are often considered for more scholarships than if you were to apply regular decision.

3. Find your space
College applications were very independent for me and I didn't want my friends to interfere with my focus. Don't get me wrong I love studying with friends, but when it comes to my future of the next four years I like to take something like this very seriously. I opted to go to Starbuck's often and work in a productive space. This got me out of my house and let me focus in a new environment.

4. Trust the process
There's only so much you can do while applying. You have full control over the essay you write and any other supplements, but when it comes to determining if you actually get in...sorry, but you're out of luck. Many schools look at applicants holistically meaning they look at more than just your GPA and test scores. This includes extracurriculars and your personal statement. Let the college decide if it's right for you.

I hope these tips helped! Are you applying to school this year?

Friday, September 2, 2016

TGIF & Links

So, the first week of college is finished! And a long weekend to finish off the week. I can't wait to hopefully head to places in LA with my new friends and explore all that the city has to offer. So how was my first week of college might you ask? Well, it was great! My campus is I swear to God the most beautiful place. If you don't believe me just check it out here to take an aerial tour. The campus is pretty small, which I absolutely love. It was super easy to find all of my classes without leaving 30 minutes before. I ended up dropping my yoga for dancers class because it was actually so difficult and an hour and a half of yoga isn't really my thing. I'm more into 45-60 minute classes. My other classes, however, are going pretty well! I can tell that they'll be a lot of work, but they're all very interesting and in small class sizes so it's easy to stay focused and participate. 

A few of the things I'm loving on campus so far include Jamba Juice, my dorm hall and Iggy's, the diner we have on campus. The nearest Jamba to me at home is a 20 minute drive so I never really went that journey just to get a smoothie. Now I am loving their green smoothies and my current favorite: their acai bowls. Seriously so good. It's a California thing. Living in California has made it so easy to be healthy, even as a college student. There are so many different options at all of our dining halls that it's really easy to constantly eat salads, drink smoothies or juice and avoid processed food. With that said though I've been loving Iggy's, our school diner. It has late night munchies-type food such as milkshakes and fries, and stays open super late. I've been loving their salads as wraps! My dorm hall is also super fab. The girls are all the sweetest and my roomie is super awesome too! I can't wait to see what the weeks ahead hold for me. And let me just say, the weather...absolutely beautiful. Every day you wake up and it may be a little overcast in the morning but soon enough the sun is shining and it's glorious!

Here are a few things I'm loving this week!

+A must know for college students! Use Scholar Google to find scholarly articles for research! A huge game changer for papers and research projects

+These Free People bralettes are now only $20! I need to stock up because it's an endless summer here in LA

+I just realized ASOS has a tall section on their site! Being 5' 9" it's super difficult to find rompers that aren't super short but this super cute one is made for tall girls!

+I'm currently loving my dorm, but I think this mirror would look so cute on my dorm walls. The color scheme of the room is black, white, grey and gold and my roommate and I have such a coordinating room!

+I absolutely love avocado toast and this recipe looks amazing! 

+Nordstrom is has some amazing products on sale! I'm totally loving (and may have purchased) these jeansthese jeans, and these sandals

Have an long amazing weekend!