Finals week survival guide | Last one. . ever!

I’d like to think that after 7+ years of college, that I am pretty experienced in the whole how-to-survive-college field. Does that mean that I haven’t gone through some days, weeks, or semesters kicking and screaming? Hell no. It just means that I am here, I survived, and you will too.

In honor of my last-ever finals week, I have pondered the thought of creating a list of ways to survive finals week. After some deliberation, I decided to myself, “why the hell not?!” So, without further ado, here it is. Kick some ass, y’all.

  1. Find your study spot. This is, by far, the most important item on this list. Whether it is in an eerily silent library, a Starbucks full of hustle and bustle, or alone on your couch in your basement, find what works for you. If you and your pals have differing preferences, maybe it’s best to study without them. I will admit, I did learn this the hard way! I promise, what works best for you will give you the best, and most promising, results.
  2. Take a break. Cramming for 36 hours straight with no sleep, gallons of caffeine, and little time to breathe will not give you the best results. Everyone needs to stop and take a breath every once in a while. So, do it. Take a step back from that book. Go for a walk. Take a drink of water. You got this.
  3. Sleep well. I have lived both lives: the life of an all-nighter and the life of a good night’s rest. And, let me tell you, the nights I got some sleep, not only did my grades improve dramatically, but my happiness skyrocketed as well. Sleeping gives your brain the downtime it deserves. Walking into an exam with an over-tired, dazed mind will do you no good. Do yourself a favor, lay your head on that pillow.
  4. Eat healthy. Sure, McDonalds is the most convient meal when it is 1am and you are starving in the library. Is it the best thing for you at that specific time? Absolutely not! Your body is fueled by nutritious, energizing foods that keep you going instead of weighing you down. Pack some fruits and veggies, and skip the fries.
  5. Workout. Go for a walk. Go for a run. Punch a punching bag while imagining it is your professor who unfairly gave you way too much information to study [just kidding]. But, really. Getting some exercise will not only make you feel great, but it will improve your efficiency when you go back to hitting the books.
  6. Visit your professor. There is no such thing as a stupid question. Cliché? Yes. But a question that is hanging over your head, no matter how big or how small, can be answered through conversation and insight on the final exam. Don’t have the means to visit during office hours? Shoot your professor an email. Plus, asking questions will show the effort you are putting in and how much you care about acing this test! Can you say brownie points?
  7. Realize that finals week is only a week, and it will end. There is always and forever light at the end of the tunnel. This week is, without a doubt, the hardest, longest, and most stressful week of any semester of any year of college that you will ever experience. However, the feeling you get once the week is over is unlike any other. Keep on keepin’ on. You got this!

xoxo.

How is it already Friday?! | TGIF

It is literally the third Friday in November.

Another week has come and gone. We are six days away from Thanksgiving. One week away from Black Friday. Two Fridays away from the first day of December. And all I can think is.. HOW.

I swear, these weeks keep going by faster and faster. While they may seem to drag for me most of the time, I always get to Friday and I think to myself, *whoa can my life slow down?*

I feel as if I am totally not ready to turn 25 in just short of 7 weeks. I feel as if I am totally not ready to graduate with a Master’s Degree in just about a month. I feel as if I am still a junior in high school anticipating graduating and moving off to college and starting my life. But then, another Friday rolls around and I realize that life is moving faster than I can even handle.

Last night, I was inducted into the Alpha Alpha Beta chapter of the Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education. If you know me, you know that there is nothing I hate more than “bragging” about myself and my accomplishments. However, at almost-25, I am finally shouting from the rooftops that I am so damn proud of myself. I am about to graduate with a Master’s Degree and a 3.9 GPA. All while balancing this crazy life going on around me. So much has changed this year, for better and for worse, and I really don’t know how I pulled this one off.

This Friday feels good. And I thank God for getting me here. xoxo.

‘Tis the season for football.

This past weekend was spent in Akron visiting my brother and going to my first football game of the season. This was the first time seeing my brother since he moved in a month ago, and we surprised him by bringing along his girlfriend for her first visit of his new “home.”

Before the game, we tailgated, naturally bringing way too much food for our own good. Pulled pork, chili, fruits, veggies, dips, desserts, and beverages – enough for a small army. During the tailgate, we met the President of the university and got some free swag to boot.

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The football team at the University of Akron, not so great. The stadium, beautiful. The band, wonderful. The fact they sold Papa John’s pizza? Made my boyfriend’s day.

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Sunday brought about exploration of the city of Akron. Having the university plopped right in the middle of the city made this extremely accessible. We visited Lock 3, aka the spot Lebron James’ celebration party after the Cavs championship, as well as his high school! We were able to walk alongside the Erie Canal, making it a legitimate realization that Akron really isn’t that far from home!

Overall, the experience was great. [Although, we all sweated our little butts off, as it was 85 degrees – happy September!] Looking forward to family weekend in a few more weeks! xoxo.

So, you’re two weeks into college.. now what?!


If you are a college student, have been to college once or twice, or know all things college in general, welcome to a survival guide for us kids finally getting into the swing of the semester.
DISCLAIMER: Yes, I am 24 years old and a grad student. Yes, I still struggle to get that motivational push once the semester starts, even 12 semesters later.

  1. Organize every aspect of your life. This could not be any more essential. Let me tell you a little bit about me, here. My entire life needs to be organized. Without organization, I am a failure. I crash and burn. And let me tell you, it is worth the extra time to sit down and organize everything into your calendar, your planner, your Google Docs drive, whatever it may be. Why stress over something so little a few weeks down the line when you can have everything laid out and ready to go now? Three weeks from now, stress over that term paper, girl. Not your planner organization.
  2. Read the textbooks. If you haven’t figured it out by now, almost 99% of the time reading the assigned chapters in your textbooks [or journal articles, or PowerPoints, or whatever your professor assigned to you] will actually help you. I know, it seems like I am a mom relaying this information to you, but I can tell you from personal experience that 9 times out of 10, when I actually took the time to read, my grades reflected this extra effort!
  3. Do laundry on party nights. My brother learned the importance of this little trick real quick. Are you sick of seeing that dirty laundry pile build up? Sometimes it is worth the sacrifice to skip the party and take the time to do your laundry when literally nobody else is around. Any night between Thursday and Saturday, every college student is out on the town, this is no secret. So, it only makes sense that the more people that are out, the more washers and dryers are available! [And the less likely your clothes are to end up on the top of the washer!].
  4. You will end up eating the extra food your Mom packed for your dorm room. Chances are, when you moved into your dorm room, you rolled your eyes at your mother for bringing an insane amount of food and snacks to keep in your room. I will admit, I was totally guilty of this when I lived on campus. However, it was about this time of the semester when I started getting sick of eating the same food over and over again. All of a sudden, Mom is your hero! In fact, [I know, another connection to my brother], my brother just texted me last night thanking me for pushing him to buy some EasyMac for his dorm, because he needed to eat something different and was getting sick of the same routine. It’s okay to need this change, everyone does.
  5. Your grades will get better. By now, it is more likely than not that you’ve had your first college exam. *yikes* In the days leading up to the exam, you were probably stressed out of your mind, studying like a mad-man, and ended up not getting quite as good of a grade as you thought you would. And you know what? Not only is that normal, but it is okay! The first test in every single class will most likely be your lowest test grade of the semester. You are still trying to get a feel of the professor, the exam layouts, and what is expected of you. Once that first exam comes and goes, you will feel like a pro. You will now know what to expect, and you will go into the next exam ready to take it down. Things get better, don’t worry.

If you made it through this blog post, totally feeling like you can relate to anything I just said, welcome to the college club! Take what you’ve read, take what you’ve learned, and run with it! The future’s yours!

What are some tips you can give to us college kids out here? xoxo.

Here’s to a new chapter.

I left my best friend in Ohio.

Is that a dramatic statement? Yes. Are we surprised? No.

It has been five days since we moved my brother into the University of Akron, and this is a family shift that I am still getting used to. Yes, he is only three and a half hours away, but he is not home. When I moved away to college [30 mins away, but still], I didn’t realize how much of an impact this was on the rest of my family, simply because I was not there. I was on my own, busy, walking along this new path of life. But now that the roles are reversed, I see what my Mom was talking about for all those years.

The relationship that my brother and I have is one unlike many I’ve seen. I don’t know if it has to do with how close our family is or how far apart in age we are, but whatever it is, it is something that I am thankful for. Because we are so close, it makes the loss of him not being around 24/7 that much greater. I know it’s only been a few days, but I’ve already caught myself about to text him asking if he would want my leftover lunch, or if he wanted to run with me to the store later.

Although he is states away, he has talked to me every single day since he’s been gone, which makes me feel still so involved in his life when he fills me in on everything going on, and makes me feel like he isn’t out of town. Little things like this have already made the difference.

Today is his first day of college classes, whereas it is the last first day of college I will ever have in my lifetime [shoutout to grad school almost being over!!]. I am so overwhelmingly proud and excited for him.

Unpacking all of his things and setting up his dorm took away any ounce of sadness that I felt. In fact, it made me want to go back to undergrad, moving away, myself, because I remember that feeling. I remember the excitement I felt to be on my own, away from home, ready to start this new chapter in my life. Remembering this makes me feel like a total mom, because I am so excited that he gets to experience all of these things, too.

So, little bro, kick ass. Kill it. Good luck. Can’t wait to hear about your new adventure. xoxo.

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Pack it up, pack it up. 


Today’s day consisted of bringing this 12-seated beauty into our lives to pack up my brothers room and send him off to college. Right now, it’s about 10:30PM, making it only 7 hours until we are en route to Akron, Ohio. Packing up this beauty is undoubtedly the easy part of this journey, but I am so excited. Both for him, and for the fact that I will finally be seeing this campus for the first time tomorrow [my family has been there 4x already, but sadly, I was at work]. 

Onward and upward. Here we go. xoxo. 

To my brother, the high school graduate.


To my “baby” brother:

As I sit here writing this post, I wonder how this is even possible. Six years ago, it was me. I was graduating from high school and about to go to college. Three years later, I was graduating college and you were about to go to high school. Well, here we are, four years later, and you’ve walked across the stage as a high school graduate.

In three months, you will be packing your belongings into boxes and moving to a brand new city in a brand new state, in a entirely new environment. You will be surrounded by strangers who will soon become your closest friends. You will have freedom to learn and grow. You will face challenges. You will be homesick. But you will never be alone.

The amount of love I have for you cannot be described, but if I had to pick a word to describe it, I would pick unconditional. I couldn’t possibly think of a better person to have shared the entirety of my life with. Soon, you and I will not have the ease or convenience of being a hop, skip, and jump away. It will be tough, even though we both don’t want to admit it.

You are my best friend – a friend I have had both the honor and privilege of watching grow up from a crazy, curly-headed toddler to a well-rounded, respectable young man. You are the most intelligent, focused, driven, talented, kind person. You are a team player. You are perfect.

I am so unbelievably proud of you and everything you have accomplished. Countless championships, awards, honors, scholarships – more pieces of paper and plaques than I ever knew exited. I have great faith in you and what your future has in store. I hope you continue to be intelligent, focused, driven, talented, and kind, and that you stay true to yourself and who you are. I cannot wait to see how your life plays out from here. Take the world by storm, kid. It’s yours to have.

I love you, bro. xoxo.

Workin’ 9 to 5.

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Hello blog world! Exciting news today!

Today, I received an offer for a full-time, big-girl job in my field of study. To say I am ecstatic is a complete understatement. I was so nervous before, during, and after my interview, as it was the first one I had ever been on for a career of my choice.

When I received the phone call today, I almost fell out of my chair at my desk at work. I couldn’t believe it and it took me a solid 10 seconds to process what was even happening.

The sense of freedom I immediately felt knowing I would never have to work retail again, would never have to work weekends again, and would never have to work nights again hit me so hard, I was ready to run sprints around the mall, hugging random strangers along the way.

All I’m gonna tell you is that you might feel like school or volunteering or intern/externships are a waste of time, but they are not. All the work I have put in has gotten me to this point today. Keep working your cute little butts off. Keep pushing. The time spent and stress felt will not last forever. And the reward of knowing you did it, it’s all worth it.

All that is left to do is tell my boss, finish out these two weeks, and the rest of my life will start to begin. xoxo.

Syllabus week?!

Here we go. Time for a new semester.

While it is dreadful getting back to the craziness that is mid-semester life, one thing most college kids look forward to is ahead of us – syllabus week. I’ve never really ever had an easy syllabus week, so I’m not sure where this semi-superficial stigma of the easiest week of the semester comes from, but we’ll go with it.

Here’s some things that are sure go to through that lil noggin’ of yours this week.

  1. Why is my alarm so loud?
  2. Is it really this early?
  3. How does anyone function at this time?
  4. God, this is the longest drive ever.
  5. How is break already over?
  6. I wish I was home.
  7. Do I really even need to go to this class?
  8. *first thing you check on the syllabus – the attendance policy*
  9. Why is it so cold?
  10. Why do you have to sit right next to me?
  11. Whoever invented icebreakers can rot in hell.
  12. How is paying $260 for a textbook logical?
  13. I mean really, it is only a giant stack of papers.
  14. This is the longest class of my life.
  15. Great, we still have 37 minutes left.
  16. Good God, I am so hungry.
  17. I have actually never been this hungry.
  18. I have no idea what is going on in this class.
  19. Yes, no tests!
  20. But theres 78 papers due, makes sense.
  21. Why do people ask 8,000 questions?
  22. Can’t we just go home?
  23. If I push this slow walker away from me, will he move faster?
  24. 56 slides on Chapter 1?! On syllabus day?!
  25. I wish I bought the XL coffee.
  26. How is it only Monday?!
  27. Is it May yet?
  28. Oh hey, theres my friends!
  29. Yes, we have class together!
  30. I love this school.

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xoxo.

Things that college + grad school have taught me.

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I’m currently furthering my education and working toward my Master’s degree, so it’s pretty safe to say I’ve learned a lot being in enrolled in college for the last few years.

Not everyone’s experience in college will be the same, but here’s a couple thing’s I’ve learned so far:

 

  1. You need to sleep. Even if it is for 45 minutes, sleep is absolutely necessary. I am not saying that you will never pull an all-nighter, [I am guilty of that myself] – what I am saying that 2 or 3 all-nighters in a row is insane. Nobody likes a walking zombie! You do your best work when your mind has a chance to rest and recuperate and get ready for the next day. Whether it is at 3:30AM or 3:30PM, everything will get done.
  2. Everybody is perfect in their own way. Never ever compare yourself to others. You are smart, you are beautiful, and you are worth it. Your degree is just as good as the next person’s. Everyone is choosing a path that they love. Don’t beat yourself down when you should be building yourself up. No two people are exactly alike, and that is what makes you special!
  3. Getting your degree is a big deal. Not everybody makes it this far, and not everybody chooses to go to college or grad school, so that in it of itself is something you should be proud of! For the endless of hours I’ve put in thus far, I’ve gotten the amazing payoffs of not-perfect-but-still-freaking-amazing GPA’s. One of the most important things is to know that you have put in your best work and maximum effort at the end of the semester. You get what you give, so give it your all!
  4. It is better to be one step ahead rather than one step behind. Professors always tell you to keep on track and to make a schedule to ensure that all of your readings, coursework, research, and internship hours get completed in a timely manner to allow some time to breathe. Being one step ahead insures all is done in case something out of the blue comes up, preventing future stress. Showing up to class early is better than showing up late. Submitting assignments early as opposed to 11:59PM on the dot will prove you didn’t rush through it. If your assignment is due on the weekend, try to get it done during the week. This will allow time to unwind.
  5. It is okay to ask questions. Especially if any of your courses or coursework is completed online. I am not shy when it comes to attending office hours or emailing millions of questions for further clarification. Plus, it helps you to stand out in a group of many other students, while also showing you care! Nothing wrong with making a name for yourself.
  6. Don’t buy your textbook from your college or university’s bookstore. This is a giant waste of money. I repeat, THIS IS A GIANT WASTE OF MONEY. Buy it used. Rent it. Don’t buy it at all. Do whatever you’ve gotta do. But if you do buy it, please, please, trust me when I say to look online. I have [more times than not] literally saved up to $100 off each book when I purchased it elsewhere. From Amazon to Chegg, there is always a cheaper option. Do it!
  7. Sometimes you will feel like you’ve hit rock bottom. Things will get overwhelming. It will seem as if nothing will get completed, that 24 hours isn’t enough time in the day, or that you are failing at everything you do. Even though you may succumb to the stress and feel as if you are at the bottom of the barrel, the good news is, that the only place to go from there is up! Assignments will get completed, you will get through the semester, and you will realize it was all worth it in the end!
  8. Don’t forget to take time to breathe. Even if there are a million things that you have to do during the semester, you can’t forget that me time is important. Whether it’s taking a walk, grabbing a coffee with a friend, or going for a run, focusing on yourself and your mental health should always come first. Even if it’s only 5 minutes stress-free, it will help you feel better at the end of the day.
  9. You will create and lose friendships during this time in your life. I went to college having a solid group of friends from high school and, to nobody’s surprise, my group of friends is no longer the same! Everyone’s priorities suddenly become different. Everyone is trying to figure out their own lives, and your texts will not always be answered in 0.6 seconds. But while it seems as if your core friendships are dwindling, you will create some pretty kickass friendships in the process. At the end of the day, you will always have a couple solid BFF’s that stick with you through it all. These solid few, you will learn, are more important than the 8,000 acquaintances.
  10. You are not alone. There are 8 million times that I can think of that I have had to remind myself that I am not the only one out there that can get overwhelmed. There are people out there that have struggles way worse than being tired from having to pull an all-nighter trying to complete your work. It is important, though, to remember to reach out for help if you need someone to talk to. Sometimes talking to your classmates or friends will help you realize that everyone is overwhelmed and that everyone is in the same boat. It helps when you build a system to support each other. You will get through it together.
  11. You can get just as much work done at home than you will in the library. Just because you don’t spend a countless number of hours in the library doesn’t mean you aren’t as serious about school as the person who does. Not everybody will find success working in the same types of environments. One of my college roommates enjoyed working at cafe’s whereas another couldn’t focus anywhere but the quiet study. Where you complete your assignments does not amount to the type of student that you are. Your best work will be done when you are in an environment that makes you comfortable.
  12. Don’t stress over the little things. The barista didn’t put enough sugar in your coffee? You have a giant pimple on your chin? You broke the tip of your pencil? So what! Focusing on things that don’t matter will only take time away from focusing on the things that do. Stressing over everything will only create one giant avalanche of stress as opposed to one little snowball.
  13. Once you get handed your diploma, you will realize everything was worth it. The feeling you get once you’ve gotten that sacred piece of paper and achieved your goal is something that cannot be put into words. Put in the time and effort. Keep on fighting, power through, and get to that light at the end of the tunnel. Trust me, you won’t regret it.