Tis the season for more books. And coffee. And late study nights. And less sleep. And the tiring effort of trying to balance work, classes, and a social life (or the lack thereof). School is back in session. For those of us who aren’t morning people, despise the bombing of back to school commercials in the middle of June, and are lucky to make it through the day hitting every box on our checklist, back to school can mean an added layer of stress to an already packed schedule. Although it can be a lot, having a game plan is better than having no plan at all. Here are some tips to make your days easier and your year run a bit more smoothly.
Planners Are Your Friend: If someone would’ve asked me how much I thought planners are worth I’d tell them one million dollars. Yup to me, they’re beyond valuable. They help me keep track of everything from errands, due dates, and side projects. If you work or currently in an internship, I advise getting two planners so you don’t mix any important information up. Make sure they’re cute and inspirational as you have to look at it every day. If writing things down isn’t your thing, there are apps like Planner Pro (free), iStudiezPro ($2.99), and Wunderlist (free).
Leftover Loving: If you always find yourself spending way too much money on lunch or struggling in the mornings to figure out what to pack, try making your lunches the night before or better yet, save what you made for dinner in a container to take for lunch the next day. All you’ll have to worry about come morning time is getting ready. I also love container dividers so you can pack multiple things without having to worry about food mixing together (ranch flavored grapes anyone?) You can get them at practically anywhere like Walmart, Target, or even Amazon.
Set Aside Pamper Days: This may sound like more work trying to set aside time that you may not necessarily have to just lounge around but it’s so much more than that. Making sure you have a day off or indulge in something special for yourself is vital to your physical, mental, emotional, and overall wellbeing. You’ll avoid burnout, lower your chances of getting sick from exhaustion and stress, look and feel younger, refreshed, and re-centered. Whether it’s taking a bubble bath with a glass of wine or doing something fun on the weekend, try to make time for yourself at least once a week. You’ll thank yourself.
Highlight of Your Life: Highlighters. They will save your life. Use a different highlighter for each class so it makes it easier to pull out your notes and study. I also use this same method when it comes to folders and notebooks.
Get Moving: No matter what try your best to stay active. There’s nothing worse than being out of breath after going up one flight of stairs. Or feeling stuffed with greasy and heavy food and feeling tired by 1:00pm. Whether it’s choosing to take the stairs instead of the elevator or having a piece of fruit or serving of vegetables one meal out of the day, you need to take care of yourself physically. Physical stamina + Good health= mental endurance.
Kits to the Rescue: Ever been in that situation where you needed a tissue? A mint? Or worse yet, a product for that time of the month? Fear no more! Build your own emergency kit so you’re never left out in the dark. I always include hair ties, gum/mints, tampons/pad, mini deodorant, Excedrin, mascara, and lipstick. I can’t control every situation but knowing that I can be prepared when things come puts me at ease.
As someone who’s going into their second to last semester of college, I can’t say that finding the balance is any easier. It will take practice and there will be times where you question if you can have it all; a healthy workout regimen. Study time. Making sure your mental health is on point. Staying on top of all your classes. Time for a social life and if you’re lucky? A relationship. What I do know, is that it is possible and finding your balance or “groove” isn’t going to be like the next bronzed beauty and that’s okay. Stick with it. You’ll find it.