Senior Year STARTS NOW

Gosh, what an insane month. Today, its a beautiful October day, and I’m working my little tush off to get in front of all that is to come this quarter. Easier said than done. I’m going to provide some details on how, as a college senior, I have formulated the most efficent methods of organizing and planning for my life.

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I run on two binders, one for school, and one for work. I am currently keeping all my personal planning shenanigans in my a5 planner at home and don’t take it to school. If I need to jot down personal lists or notes to myself I have a small gridded bullet journal in my backpack, but I don’t follow this religiously. I need to cut down on my planning as is.

So lets talk about how I set up my school binder:

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  1. I print up all the weekly planning inserts and monthly calendars from my 2017-18 school planner and three hole punch them.
  2. Looking at the monthly calendar, I mark out major holidays and things I’ll have to miss school for. I then fill in little personal meetings, and midterm and final dates.DSC_0270
  3. I transfer this information into my weekly school planner pages. I add in homework due dates if I have been provided those already. I color code based on class.DSC_0277
  4. In the remaining dividers, one for each class, I add the syllabus and my assignment and class planning pages. I also print out any helpful materials that I dont want to write in my notebook like a periodic table, identification charts, etc.
  5. print out my weekly school schedule, color code it, add in work times, and place that in the front pouchDSC_0279

I take notes BY HAND

  • I am working to re-use some notebooks that I only half filled. I try to find subjects that have a little overlap when doing this

My 2017-18 school planner is getting some good press at UCSB and I am very excited to be getting a wider audience for my planning supplies. A couple of requests have been made to make a physical planner. Will I do it? Only time will tell.

Make sure to check out all of my other school planning advice!

Wishing you all insanely good luck this fall quarter or semester! You’ll kill it!

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What the heck is a gratitude journal

Chances are if you’re reading this blog you can see that I would be really into a thing like gratuity. I am here to convince you that the more you force yourself to keep track of what you love in this world, the more you will actually love it!

I was introduced to gratitude planning from pinterest a couple years ago, and I love the concept. Every day, write down one thing that you are thankful for. It could be anything big or small.

If the category of ‘anything you like’ is too broad, I encourage you to follow a theme each month. For example, your location (city, state, country, etc.) I plan on doing a month just focusing on things I like about my college town.

This upcoming month (September) I have made a printable (free, obviously) so that anyone reading this can follow along! I encourage you to try. I have seen so many amazing things this summer and I think its only appropriate to be appreciative instead of sad. By dedicating a minute to reflect every day on one thing in particular that you are thankful for, it might make you more inclined to practice being thankful more than before.

**If your planning needs extend beyond keeping track of the little things in life you love, make sure to check out all my planners.**

Join me! I am not going for a particular theme this month, and I am excited to see what it ends up turning into as time goes on. Lets get thankful!!

Free lil Gratitude Journal

Planning abroad

Whats up planner fam! Im gonna take a little break from my obnoxious abroad kid posts and get to some good ol plannin!

IMG_8200.jpgBeing abroad I am *trying* to learn how to go with the flow. To a certain degree I have been successful! I am not planning my hours. I am not planning weeks ahead *sorta*. I am taking more time to walk around and relax and its going great!… But not planning at all is a nightmare.

Heres what I have going on:

DSC_0706.jpgMonthly: month on one page (available at my etsy store) I’m just using this to show when I’m going on trips and when friends are visiting (yay)

DSC_0715Weekly: I am using my day on one page setup (also available on my etsy store) I made this layout a while ago, and it really fits everything perfect! In general I am toneing it down on the stickers (look at me how adult) On these pages I put:

  • weekly to do list
  • inspirational quote (which I have replaced with common danish phrases while I’m here)
  • appointments, important meetings
  • large tasks

IMG_8228.jpgTravel: I finally feel like im using this section. I have nifty travel planners (also avalible on my etsy store)(sorry for all the plugs) and on the back of them I write things I would like to do/see. Nothing crazy

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IMG_8205.jpgWork: I don’t actually use this planner at work. My desk has two monitors and a laptop and all the software I could possibly want. This is more for my own personal reference/ motivation, nothing crazy. These pages came in my Webster’s Pages a5 planner when I bought it, I’m just repurposing them. Keep on the lookout for a separate intern organization post (ur dying of excitement I know)

DSC_0720.jpgBlog / Etsy: I’m keeping this the same as always. I try to brainstorm and if I do decide to go along with a post I keep track of the dates. This is completely unnecessary. Totally overkill.

 

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The rest: I have passwords and keepsakes and thats pretty much it! I can’t keep track of all of my work login information and I don’t even want to try (but you can get this insert on my etsy) (BUY MY INSERTS) (DID YOU KNOW I HAVE AN ETSY)

IMG_8213.jpgI have a little moleskin notebook where I dump my thoughts, danish translations, and anything in between. I’m keeping a running list of what happened every day just in bullet points. Time seems to be flying so fast and my diary entries turn into little emotional short stories so just in case I miss something it’ll be in my moleskin. I also take it to work and scratch notes in there.

IMG_8273.jpgOf course I have to give a fat shoutout to my diary. Even if you hate planning, you should dump you thoughts and emotions into a notebook and then its the notebooks problem! I cant show you the workings of my diary but I can tell you it was a super generous gift from a family whos children I tutor. It was pressed individually in MILAN (I know right??!!) and it was such a sweet gesture. Its hard not to smile when I look about it.

How I’ve somehow acquired internships in college

I have to preface this post saying I am not, nor do I pretend to be, a STEM-superhero-guru type that has privileged knowledge or is trained in job searching.

IMG_7348.jpgI am, however, a little craftier than the average bear because my GPA is not very competitive, and the baseline tips they give college students isn’t what helped me personally.

Fortunately, in my college experience I have been blessed with some awesome opportunities to participate in research and some pretty cool internships. Many of my friends have asked how I ran into these jobs and how to even know where to look.

DSC_0695.jpgSo, although I am 21 years old and probably don’t know what I’m talking about, here is how I gained research experience in my first three years of college:

  • Talk to professors you’re interested in. Sophomore year I took an atmospheric-oceanic interaction class and genuinely enjoyed the stories and personal input my professor had to give on the subjects. I went into office hours and pestered him about how he decided to get into the field, his career path, his advice for a young mind, etc. Although he didn’t have any available research positions, he was able to recommend me to talk to a number of other faculty that shared similar interests. Since then I have done a similar thing for every class I have been extremely interested in. Even if it dosen’t amount to anything in the short term, establishing good relationships with faculty can lead to jobs in the long run, letters of rec, and a great resource for discussing future career or graduate school plans.
  • Befriend grad students. Grad students are awesome! They are not very far from where you are right now and can be a little bit more real with you than a professor can. Similar to professors, they know who to recommend you speak to. What a grad student can provide that a professor cannot, however, is time. Grad students are busy, but they more often than professors sit down and chat about whatever is on your mind.  They ALSO can provide a lot of help with your resume and writing a cover letter.
  • Send some emails. One day my sophomore year I read through all the bio’s of the graduate students in my schools graduate environmental science program. I eagerly emailed about 20 of them (no joke) explaining how old I was, what they were doing that I had interest in, and my interest in gaining research experience or an internship. Maybe five emailed me back, but of those five, two genuinely appreciated my enthusiasm, and from then on they were my allies. Currently, I am working on a senior thesis that was almost entirely the idea of a grad student I befriended my sophomore year. She met with me a few times during the year, and as she got to know my interests better, she suggested I model an equation established in a previous paper she had written.
  • Don’t be a stranger. When you have a good conversation with a professor or grad student, remember to at least write down your name, email, and interests on a post it and if it seems appropriate, hand it to them when you leave. OR you can send a follow up email within the next day or so thanking them for their time and mentioning your contact info in case any opportunities arise. Anytime you see someone you have received guidance from around campus, give them a wave or have a little conversation if you have the time. Don’t be weird, even if you think they don’t remember you, they probably do.
  • Use your department advisors. More often than not, department advisors have a pretty good idea of what is going on with large internship offers, professors looking for undergraduate help, etc. Many majors offer an independent research class- talk to your advisor about how it works and what previous students have done in the past.
  • Check your email. Most departments and majors at UCSB have a mass email list and this is frequented with weekly research opportunities. If you get those use them. This tip is almost too obvious to mention
  • Use connections. Major key. Although it may seem unfair, its true that connections have a lot of weight when you’re looking for a job, no matter the field. My mom mentioned to me that my dad had made software for a clean energy company in Denmark and that I would be interested in their work. Six months later I am about to leave for Copenhagen to work for that very company! Even if what you have connections for might not be explicitly what you’re interested in, something is better than nothing, and I believe you learn a lot from any job. Go for it!
  • Look at small companies. This may be more stem applicable, but a lot of small startups are always looking for interns. It may take an intense amount of google-ing, but you may find some better opportunities than just searching “internships near me”
  • Consider international opportunities. Obviously, this tip requires a little more desire for adventure. If you are set on gaining a lot of experience, however, going abroad to work is an option not many people consider. It also shows a lot of initiative if you are willing to spend a summer in another country just to work.

 

IMG_6874.jpgA couple final notes- Don’t worry about your GPA. Obviously try to have the best GPA possible, but don’t let that discourage you from real hands on experience! You can do it!! My GPA is terrible if that makes you feel any better! Learn how to shake a hand, and say proper pleases and thank you’s. Finally, don’t be discouraged if people don’t reply or show any mutual enthusiasm. Professors are busy, grad students are too. It takes a lot of reaching out to find opportunities but the search in and of itself is a great learning opportunity.

Good luck in your academic endeavors!

The Basic Life Planner Kit

Exciting news! For all of my friends new to planning, I have assembled some of my basic and useful products into one easy to use kit! (in both letter and a5 sizes!!)DSC_0668.jpg

I designed the pages in this kit to be simple but still have lots of utility. I currently have some friends trying it out and I will have their reviews within a week or two.

Heres what the kit includes:

  1. Monthly calendar. This is a good page to mark large events on!DSC_0642.jpg
  2. Monthly Overview. The purpose of this page is to really show all of your big to-do items and projects in one place. Things I would include on this would be appointments, birthdays, house tasks, etcDSC_0647.jpg
  3. Weekly Planner. The title says it all! I think filling this out at the beginning of every week should adequatley prepare you for the days to come.DSC_0676.jpg
  4. Daily Planner. If youre anticipating a busy day or if you just want some piece of mind, fill this out in the morning before you get on with your day.DSC_0674.jpg
  5. Password Keeper. This is obvious.
  6. Travel checklist. If you’re planning any trip, large or small, this list will get the basics you need to have down all in one place.
  7. Weekly Routine. This is a printable I featured for free a couple of months ago. I’m including it so you have the ability to visualize the parts of your schedule that stay constant (for example your school schedule) When I need to schedule an appointment or find time to see someone, having this handy is necessary!DSC_0664.jpg

I am so excited about the idea of more kits on my Etsy. Let me know what you would like in a simple planning kit!

Make sure to also check out my Pinterest full of study and planner #goals

How I get off to a good start in a new quarter

“This is the quarter”

You might say,

“This will be the one. 4.0 here I come!”

or you might be along the lines of,

“I’m going to get all my work done before the weekends. I’m going to have a lot of great time for adventures and tanning.”

or you might be somewhere in between. Regardless of your specific priorities, one thing that almost all students can benefit from is starting the quarter or semester off with a bang. If you get on top of everything from the get go, the remainder of your time in school will be significantly less stressful. Everyone should have time to do what they love!

How do I accomplish this? How do I start my quarters on the right foot?

  1. Organize your computer. Do it. NOW. I store all my old files in folders pertaining to the class, quarter I took that class, and back them up to a cloud drive my school provides for students for free (thanks UCSB) This is such a simple step so many people neglect, but as someone who works with a lot of data in my classes, I understand how stressful disorganized documents can be. Clean it up, its so easy.Screen Shot 2017-04-05 at 4.31.49 PM.png
  2. Create a rough weekly schedule. If your computer calendar dosent do it for ya, I have this weekly layout printable for free and a bunch more organizational printable on my Etsy as well. Even if your appointments and things change, knowing roughly when you will have free time will help you find time for homework, playtime, etc. I make a physical copy of my schedule as well as updating my iCal which syncs to my phone in case I completely forget my schedule when I dont have my planner.DSC_0593.jpg
  3. Print out a syllabus for every class. Read it, highlight dates and assignments, know that thing forwards and backwards. I like to copy down the grading scale in my notebook so I can reffer back to it at anytime during the quarter. You might find some ambiguity in the syllabus, which is a great opportunity to go in and ask your professor personally what he/she meant. It shows that 1. you read the syllabus carefully, 2. you care about your success in the class.DSC_0599
  4. Exercise. This one I am a firm believer in if you are capable of it. You dont need to go at 6am every day, but trying for maybe every other day or a long walk in the evening after you eat dinner or something of the like will get your endorphins going, stimulate your brain, and make you really feel like things are happening already, even if its only the start of school. Also we all need vitamin D so make sure to soak in that sun.IMG_6647.jpg
  5. Get a planner. Even if its printables (like these) or a tiny lined notebook you throw into your backpack, you should get ahead before you fall behind. I have lots of resources on all kinds of planning including bullet journaling and larger printables!DSC_0581.jpg
  6. Drink water. This is general life advice but still worth mentioning.
  7. Establish a sleep schedule. It is critical that you get enough sleep, and that you are sleeping at relativley similar times every day. Your body will be confused if you switch your bedtime from 10pm to 2am every other day. This is also basic life advice but sometimes college kids like to pretend they can cheat the system on this one.
  8. Call an old friend (that you like) and wish them good luck! Good karma!!
  9. This may be old fashioned, but I like to write thank yous to TA’s from previous quarters that really helped me. I have established a lot of important connections doing this, I kid you not. Even an email with what you found helpful about their teaching style or asking about the resarch they are doing is a good move. Really, I am so glad I started doing this.
  10. Refresh your room. Tidy up, put up new photos (sign up for shutterfly emails and youll get 101 free prints) and burn a candle. Make your home base a sanctuary!DSC_0597.jpg
  11. SMILE! You got this!

For some more studying and organizational motivation make sure to check out my Pinterest.

How do you prep for a successful semester/quarter? Let me know in the comments below!

Monthly Calendar: the backbone of planning

Dead week is here (lame) but this week I made some free monthly calendar printables for you to use wherever you need organization (not lame)

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Heres the calendars for March, April, May, and June!

I spent some time this weekend thinking about how to organize things is a more simple manner. For anyone not interested in getting a planner just yet, or even if you have one, I would suggest using a simple monthly calendar to keep track of big dates and appointments.

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I also highly suggest everyone in college goes and buys a bulletin board! It is perfect for sticking random things you don’t want to loose. I use it as a half scrapbook half monthly calendar.

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I also understand that March is half way over but if you’re having a freak out about your finals or spring break scheduling writing whats most important down can really ease your mind.

If you haven’t had a chance to check out all my other free printables already, make sure to take a look! If thats not enough for you, my Etsy page should have more than enough to satisfy your needs!

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On a personal note, I had the opportunity to volunteer at the Santa Barbara Zoo this weekend and it was beautiful! Just the right dose of motivation before a very very busy dead week.

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Have a beautiful week! Happy Studying!