28 August 2014

Your Back to School Backpack

Me in freshman year of college (in 2010), Me just out of college (in 2014), in the same room. The more things change, the more things stay the same.

College is an experience..... a good one at times, a bad one... ultimately I'm so thankful I went, especially to a public school institution, and that I studied what I wanted and not what my parents wanted me to study. I had a really rocky freshman year and a very strange senior year.....and as my friends still settle into their post-grad lives and some of them, back into academia, I find myself contemplating if I miss it or if I plan to go back. I don't think so, to either of those things. I wanted to graduate two years early! But I'm glad I had enough time and resources to learn what I did learn, and I'm excited for all of you who are still in school or just jumping in. School was so fun, and you should be excited about it, too. So with that in mind, I've put together a little back to school guide of my favorite materials, articles, and videos as well as a back to school supplies list so you're both practical and super babely in your educational endeavors. There are zines, self-help books, calming videos, and my favorite #takewhatisyours supplies after the jump. 

  • Poppin Journals have honestly kept me more productive and prolific than other journals I’ve tried. They have columns perfect for my handwriting size (I like college lined…and only college lined). I carry mine around with me everywhere, and keep documents in the back accordion folder as well. 
  • Now, for studying: I highly suggest writing all your notes (if you write them on your computer) directly into the cloud, via Google Drive. This way you'll never lose your work. You can also use Evernote or Dropbox. If you sign up for Dropbox via your school you can usually get additional free storage, FYI. 
  • If you ever get stressed out, you can always read through my #SURVIVAL zine, or any of the other zines available online. There's also the survival tag full of a bunch of different motivational stuff and resources. 
  • I'm serious about this: find out who your financial aid adviser is immediately, and regularly meet with your assigned Dean at the beginning of every semester. You want to know what you need to do to graduate, and possibly what methods and scholarships you can apply for to get more money out of your school because every little bit counts. Also look into Career Services -- they can help revamp your resume(s) and link you to possible job opportunities long before you graduate. 
And now for some books I think you might find useful in your Self-Care Arsenal.

  • The Decision Book: 50 Models of Strategic Thinking - One of the basic questions I get asked is how or should you do things. I do not have the answer. There are no guidelines to life that I am aware of. Read this book and figure it out yourself! It's a great book.  
  • When Things Fall Apart - My coven mom mailed me this book when I was having a hard time. I haven't read it through yet but the fact she sent it to me makes me feel a lot better. Every time I read it, I feel a lot more collected and at peace with my life. 
  • A book from my wishlist! When I'm bummed, it's either go out (expensive), buy lingerie (expensive, but always worth it), or buy a book for a cent on Amazon. Here are the ones I really want. 
Here is a back to school video that I find so fascinating and great, I think you'll like it too:

Here are some articles you can consider a crash course on college adulting, some by me, some by my friends.
  1. How to Pay for College for Teen Vogue - I talk about financial letters, options for getting more financial support, and more.  
  2. Budgeting 101 for Teen Vogue - I'm actually obsessed with budgeting and finances so I wrote about some of the best apps to help you with all that. 
  3. Adulting 101 - Here's a crash course on what you need to be thinking about as a college student -- or just someone with money of your own to deal with!
  4. Free Textbooks Masterpost - There are a bunch of these roundups on Tumblr, here's one that might be very useful! 
  5. Community College: A Primer for ROOKIE 
  6. Doing College Right for ROOKIE
  7. How to Get Rejected from College for ROOKIE
And finally, here are some bags and shoes for your actual day to day life. I believe in comfortable shoes -- I walk at least two miles every day, I don't want to be doing it in uncomfortable shoes just because they look good, and I don't like switching out pairs at work! And I need big bags because I'm always carrying crap around. Here are my fave options.

Okay -- I think that's about it! I hope this helps you feel a little bit more prepared for your semester back. Feel free to drop a comment with questions about college down below and I'll get back to them with my input as soon as I can! I wish you so much luck (and infinite "textbooks not required for this class" moments). xoxoxoxoxo.