Monday, September 29, 2014

Dorm Room Tour (Sophomore Year)

I know there has been a decent bit of anticipation for this post especially after y'alls positive responses to last years so I am really excited to finally be sharing it! One of my hesitations for posting this post is that the lighting in the pictures is kind of crummy and because of the way things are angled in our room it was incredibly difficult to get a shot that really captured the look and feel of my space. Que sad blogger. If only I could have each of you pop by and pay me a visit to see it for yourself (individually of course since it's itty bitty) because it's much brighter and inviting in person.

Despite those qualms your requests will always win and I am excited to show you how changing a couple of things can completely transform your space. I mixed up maybe five or six things and this room looks completely refreshed from last year.

This desk organizer was such a life saver in our itty bitty space this year. Whoever decided to make rooms L shaped without enough room for a bed to fit in the L is not on my good list. Regardless, I love the extra storage and display space I have on my desk and you really can't beat the price tag! I adore organization so deciding where to put various items on my shelf made me more excited than it should. The bright white of the organizer and the colorful trinkets placed on them adds some life to typically drab dorms.

I decided to print out some of my favorite pinterest inspirations out and hang them up with washi tape in the awkward space between my desk and the other wall. They are the perfect thing to see when I first wake up!

How cute is this camel print by Evelyn Henson? I hope to continue to add her fun prints to my collection. I never even hung it (or in dorm room terms, attached a command hook to it) because of how perfectly it looked perched on my shelves. 

(This is when the lighting gets weird…sorry) I used the same headboard as last year as well as the same dry erase white boards. This year I hung them horizontally instead of vertically and hung photos of some of my favorite people and events on it with a bit of washi tape. From this angel it honestly looks as though my desk is an extension of my bed but I promise there is a chair and a bit of room between the two!

You can kind of see in these photos the awkward space between my desk space and bedside table but don't think that space goes unused. It is the perfect place to store my mini ironing board and reusable shopping totes. While the space may look odd I really had to make do with what I had to work with. On top of the bedside table I have a couple of my favorite coffee table books with my lamp perched on top for some added height, two picture frames, a small painting, a monogrammed silver dish, and a jewelry organizer making it very multifunctional.

I used majority of the same bedding I had last year and threw in some great additions from Leigh Deux Dorm to update my room a bit. I love the way it turned out and surprisingly I love having my own little nook of an area for all of my stuff! This tight space is especially convenient when I am already in bed and need to grab something since it is all within my reach.

I love having the windowsill to put picture frames and most importantly put my cacti on! I also decorated either side with picture frames although there main purpose is to hold down my curtains since they blow due to the air conditioner if they aren't held down. I used the same fabric memo board that matches my headboard as I did last year and was able to perfectly fit it between the wall and opening of the closet. The D beneath it was used on my door last year and I love the way it was repurposed as decoration this year. 

At the end of my bed I have another cubby shelf like the one I use for my bedside table and it is the perfect little printer stand! I like to keep a square glass dish on top of the printer as a catch all for my keys and I also keep a few picture frames in this area since it really personalizes the space. 

I hope you loved this peek of my side of the room, hopefully soon I can take some better lit photos of my room to share with y'all but for now hopefully y'all will find this suitable! I love to hear your feedback and would love to know what you love about my room.

Fun Ways To Be Active Without Hitting The Gym

After a fantastic parent's weekend here at Furman I will definitely need to take some of these to heart. The weekend was so fun and filled with its fair share of food that was a nice change from our typical dining hall meals. Honestly, last night it was hard to get back in the swing of college food after so many delicious meals with even better company.

Regardless, there are so many ways to walk off that slice of cake (or two in our case) that don't involve going to the gym. In college it can be especially difficult to make the time for working out and everything else in your agenda (organization strategies here) so that's why I try to multitask. Surprisingly, I really like going to our workout center (see my weekly workouts here) but for a change of scenery and intensity here are some of my favorite fun ways to be active without hitting the gym!


Be sure to let me know your favorite ways to workout without going to the gym in the comments. Clearly I really enjoy participating in all of these activities with friends so I'd love to hear any ideas you may have!

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Sophomore Slump { + A Reminder Everyone Needs Every Once In A While}

Sometimes you just have weeks that are a bit less than stellar. 
For me, that was last week and in all honesty it wasn't that bad. It wasn't one thing that set it off but instead a combination of instances that had built up. I've heard the term "sophomore slump" before and I've always heard it defined as laziness academically. For me, I think mine is coming in quite different terms. I honestly don't have time during the week for anything of an unproductive or lazy nature (y'all saw that in yesterdays agenda organization post), I am in a sense going full force weekend to weekend. 

My "sophomore slump" revolves around how hectic this semester is becoming. Being crazy busy, a perfectionist, and stressed pretty frequently, my sophomore slump is in terms of my energy. By Friday, I am running on empty. Last week isn't the best representation of how my semester has been thus far but it's the truth. I ended up having two quizzes and two tests last week, I was tired, I had a bunch of meetings, my friendships felt a bit off, I was spending more time in the library than I care to admit, and on top of all of that somehow half of my voice decided to take a break.
(As life tends to even out…this week has been great!)


So far my semester really has been awesome don't let me being real with y'all give you the wrong idea. Being a sophomore is very different from being a freshman in the very best way. Living on my sorority hall has been a blast, I am genuinely enjoying some of my classes, and I am meeting loads of new people as well as becoming closer friends with some people I already knew.

However, I think this slump is teaching me something. The biggest realization I've had thus far is that I really need to stop letting my grades and school assignments attempt to define me. I've known this, this isn't any new information, but it is something I need to take to heart.

I have always been a perfectionist when it comes to school but when you go to a school surrounded by other perfectionists and academic and extra curricular overachievers it can be especially difficult. Sometimes I feel like failure here is making a B and it really shouldn't be seen that way since Furman is so academically rigorous. I am super lucky to go to a college where everyone is so motivated and driven because that attitude really does transfer through the student body but sometimes it can be overwhelming and leave you feeling like you could do a lot better, make better grades, or be more involved. The only problem? When you are doing your very best that is all that you can do causing this mindset of academic excellence to be overwhelming. 

As long as I am doing the best I can do then I really shouldn't compare myself and my grades to everyone around me. This is by no means an attempt to make an excuse for lower grades (I haven't even gotten any grades back yet) but instead a hopeful shift in mindset that I thought could be helpful to share. My parents have been telling me this for years, especially encouraging me to throw fun experiences into school when I answer their question of "what did you do fun this weekend" with "I got ahead on homework." In no ones world (unless they are incredibly passionate about their classes) should thinking of getting ahead on school work be a fun thing to do on the weekend. There comes a point when caring about your grades translates to obsessing. I can't control what the teachers put on the test or how they like my responses on assignments so all I can do is my best and hope it is good enough. 

As the weeks continue to get busy (which they definitely are, yay for all of my tests occurring in the same weeks) I hope to continue to realize that when I feel in a slump to step back and know that I am more than the grade at the top of an assignment. I really hope y'all don't interpret this in the wrong way and realize that I really do love Furman and the opportunity I have to be here but that stress is something that can completely consume me and I am sure some of y'all can relate (my reason for sharing these thoughts)!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Agenda Organization Tips & Tricks

One of the most asked questions I get asked is "How do you organize your agenda?" I'm excited to be addressing this question again this year in the best way I can with what works best for me (only a few things have changed from last years post). Keep in mind that the way I organize my agenda may not be the most practical way to organize yours and that it is imperative to organize in whatever way works best for you. With that being said, hopefully some of these tips will prove to be useful for your own organization!

I'm going to start with the tips and then show y'all specifically how my agenda is organized! Also, I am including the agenda organization video I did to hopefully clear up any other questions you may have!

1. Make a plan and stick to it.

This is the most important thing you can do in order for your agenda to appear organized. By writing things down in the same place or color each day your agenda is bound to appear more organized even if that isn't the case. For me, I write down what color pen I am going to use for each subject and activity on a sticky note and move it from week to week until the colors are associated with my subjects, don't worry it will soon become second nature!

2. Color coordinate by class/activity.

As I hinted at above, I have my assignments written down in a specific color that coordinates with one of my classes or activities (for example, this semester I have blue-costume crafts, pink- finite math, light blue- human development, lime green- biology in the environment, purple- Furman events, orange- CLPs, teal- meetings w/ people, green- Kappa Delta). This is a great way for me to avoid writing the subject or activity by an event or assignment each time I have a meeting or something is assigned. I also find this helpful when looking at my monthly calendar since the colors apply both weekly and monthly.

3. Organize in a way that works best for you.

I can not stress this enough. If these tips don't work for you then it is very important for you to instead organize your agenda in a way that does! You won't be as productive or feel as organized if you are organizing in a way that is not convenient for your lifestyle or habits.

4. Write down assignments when they are assigned and when they are due.

This is most important if you struggle to meet deadlines or remember assignments. The first weeks of school when I am handed my syllabus for a specific class I force myself to sit down and write all of it down for the entire semester (I know this probably can't happen in high school but that is ok!) even if something isn't due until December.I have found it super helpful for myself to write down my homework on the night I need to do it as opposed to the day it is due. My reasoning behind this is that if I am just seeing the assignment on the day it is due then it is already to late to complete it. For big assignments however such as tests, projects, or papers, I write them down when they are assigned as well as when they are/due. This is one thing that I know varies from person to person but again, this is what works best for me!


5. Cross assignments off once they are completed.

This is without a doubt the biggest motivation for me to complete assignments and the reason I find to-do lists so productive! I love taking my yellow highlighter and crossing off an assignment once I finish it and I feel so accomplished when all of my tasks for a day or week are highlighted meaning they have been completed. For consistency, I've always crossed off the events on my weekly calendar with a yellow highlighter however, I do not cross things off on the monthly overview calendar.

6. Utilize your monthly calendar.

I never did this before coming to college and I honestly don't know how I survived. While it can be stressful to see all that needs to be completed or attended during the month it is the best way for me to get an idea of how to productively manage my time. It's great to get an idea of how your week looks with all of the miscellaneous events going on in order to better plan ahead!  I'm not going to lie, more frequently than not I get a little overwhelmed when checking the monthly calendar but I am convinced that it helps to motivate me.

7. Use Post-it Notes.

I am an avid user of Post-it notes as I am sure you could tell from these posts (1 & 2). Flipping back through some of my weeks I have a post it note on each day as well as a few piled up on my weekend on my weekly agenda view. You may think this is excessive but sometimes it is the only way you can remember that something needs to be printed or that your laundry needs to be done otherwise you won't have any socks left. I personally don't want to write that on my days assignments directly in my agenda so Post-its are my perfect solution!

8. Make it Fun.

Stickers and fun paper clips are all it takes for me! I use super cute Kate Spade paperclips to mark where in my agenda I am clipping one side on my weekly view and the other on my monthly view. As for stickers, I adore using Lilly Pulitzer's academic and greek sticker sets and use them on both my weekly view as well as my monthly one. It makes the fact that you have an exam or chapter meeting coming up look that much more fun and colorful.


Below are a few more images of my agenda and how I have it organized based on the tips I have given you above.


For reference, my agenda is the Large Lilly Pulitzer agenda in the Lilly Lovers print. The pens I use are from the brand Le Pen and I usually purchase the 18 color pack since color coding things is kind of my weakness. (here are my favorite colors I use though… 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 ) They last for such a long time, have a fine tip, and don't bleed through your pages all qualities that are essential when it comes to my agenda organization!

Hopefully this will help you buckle down and organize yourself for anything you may have going on this semester!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Step Into My Week: 9/12 - 9/18

This weekend was pretty fun filled and led me into a library and studying filled week.

Saturday Nell and I went to the Indie Craft Parade in Greenville. Needless to say, I didn't quite feel cool (or indie) enough to go but we had such a blast! There were so many cool products to purchase and tasty treats to consume.


We both left with a popsicle and bouquet of felt flowers to brighten up our rooms!

Since Saturday was Caroline's birthday a big group of us went to dinner down town with her parents since they came to town for the occasion. We went to one of my favorite places, an italian restaurant downtown.

That night we headed back to Furman to watch her open her presents and hang out.

Sunday was spent pretty much entirely in the library beginning to prepare for the biology and math tests I have today (wish me luck because I'm going to need it!).

The library was a definite trend all week long although on Monday night Nell's grandparents were in town and treated us to a delicious dinner with even more enjoyable conversation and Wednesday I opted to study off campus at Panera.

Sadly, unless you want to see images of the countless hours I spent in the library this week (which I figured you didn't) my week has been a bit photo free. However, there are a couple of fun new photos on my instagram, @prepinyourstep.

At least I go to school at the prettiest school ever.

My radar has been a bit honed in on bio and math but when it takes breaks these are the things that have caught my eye…

This dress would be so fun to wear to homecoming or some kind of formal.

I love the way this post turned out. 

I've been sticking to this routine lately and love it!

AND my parents come in town next weekend for parents weekend and I am so ready to see them and for them to be here.

(I'm also super pumped for the nap I have planned to take this afternoon since Sunday, wahoo!)

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Fall Bucket List + Fun Fall Activities

For some the calendar tells them when Fall begins for others, Starbucks bringing out their Pumpkin Spice Latte transitions the change in season. For me however, I always associate the start of Fall with early to mid September!

I can't complain too much about the end of summer since Fall is one of my favorite seasons! I especially love experiencing it at school! The leaves changing color in South Carolina is much more eventful than it is in south Alabama! The burnt orange and red hues lining the mountains and eventually scattering along the ground soon to be crinkled come as no complaint to me!

I feel like I always have a mental checklist of fun things I want to do each season and the semester flies by leaving me at exams before I know it with a half completed checklist. This year I hope to be more successful when it comes to my Fall Bucket List! 

(illustration in image above from Inslee)
Below are some of the fun things I am hoping to accomplish this fall! This will be the perfect way to make sure I don't spend an entire weekend studying and instead get out and have some fun completing some of my list.

I also think that some of these events would be perfect places for taking pictures so hopefully you'll be seeing some posts with these as their subject!

Which of these "tasks" would you want to accomplish first?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Group Studying With The Post-It Study Collection

No one really looks forward to studying for a test, however sometimes it is easier to be motivated by studying with a group. Although I am not a huge fan of studying with groups (with school related assignments I like to be in control and on task) however, one of my secrets for studying with a group or working on a group assignment is to utilize Post-it Notes. 

You may be thinking that those are only helpful for leaving notes to your roommate or writing your daily to do lists however, they can be an awesome study companion (check out my previous post all about how to utilize Post-it Study collection for research paper prepping). One thing that is essential aside from Post-it Notes and a group would be that each member of the group studies some in advance. Bouncing the knowledge you have for different subjects will make for a more efficient use of your time instead of spending the entirety of your time as a group reviewing vocabulary you could have known before you met up! 

You can easily mark any essential pages, points, or questions you may have with a Post-it Study Flag in advance, describing the importance you found on a page with a Post-it Study Note to ensure that you remember it! Encouraging fellow group members to do this as well will make the group's time as a whole more productive, and speaking about different key points allows you to retain the information better. Another tip is to listen up during class when teachers hint at what information may be on the test, and be sure to flag these points with Post-it Study Message Flags, which is super helpful when trying to decide what to study.

After your group has gone over any questions they may have, separate some Post-it Study Super Sticky Notes onto your workspace (preferably a conference style library table) designating a color to a certain topic within the class. Say you are studying for history: green for people, pink for places, and yellow for anything else. Write the major term in bold at the top of the page and take turns writing down what you believed to be the main point. (Image below)

This allows you to see the information others thought was important while contributing your own thoughts. Once everyone has filled something in on each note, discuss the information and have all people in the group take a photo so that they can quickly study these key points while walking to class!

While this method works great for a group it isn't ideal when you choose to study solo but that does not mean that you can't utilize Post-it Notes when studying individually. Personally, I use Post-it Notes to keep track of any key information I find important from the textbook or my class notes, as well as keeping a to-do list of what content needs to be studied!

(This post is sponsored by Post-it Brand however, all opinions are my own).
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