Realistic Study Schedule

Creating your detailed Study Schedule – And keeping it realistic

I’ve seen a handful of bloggers post a study schedule planner on their blogs or even on Pinterest. A lot of them are great; however I find that some of them lack the realistic portion of it all. Sure we’ve pretty all said “I’ll never get this done” or “I don’t have time” or my personal favourite “Here comes exam time, the days where I have no life whatsoever.”  I’ve used this one once or twice, and by twice I mean about a thousand times. Until I actually got my priorities straight and discovered what managing my time really meant. Let’s face it, if Beyoncé can do all that she does and STILL rule the world, you can manage your personal-school-work balance.

These next steps may not work for you, and that’s totally fine, but they do work for me, and probably will for some of you.

Step 1 – Knowing your exam schedule

MID-TERMS: Check your syllabi. Every single syllabus will have all those dates marked. So take note of it in whatever planner system you use.

FINAL EXAMS: I know for our university, the exam schedule is up on the website in October and February, which is a whole 2 months before the exams even start. So write them down and keep looking about every two weeks to make sure that it hasn’t changed. Again, write these down in the planner system you use.

Step 2 – Create a typical week

This is the part where you’ll write down everything that you normally do in a week. I usually break my days down in 30 minute increments. Obviously add your classes, but also add your work hours and extra-curricular activities (dance, workouts, guitar lessons, etc.), add your normal sleeping hours, homework time, lunch hours, TV shows you usually watch (you’ll see why soon) and other responsibilities.

Step 3 – Know yourself

Probably the most crucial part when it comes to actually building your study schedule which I feel a lot of people forget to put emphasis on is to know yourself. Know when you’re most productive and the least.

For example, I know that I’m at my productivity peak from 10:30 am to 1pm and from 3pm to 6pm. Now, it doesn’t mean that I don’t retain information at other times of the day; it just means that I tend to be way more focused during those times. Knowing this is pretty much key to creating my study schedule because I’ll arrange my study sessions (as best as I can) according to those times.

I also know that I’m least productive from 8:30am to 10am and from 8pm to 10pm. This means, I get ready for my day in the morning and at night, I sit back, relax and get ready for bed.

Once you know all of this information, insert blocks that you will reserve for studying within your current weekly schedule

Step 4 – Setting your priorities

When you get closer to your exam dates, make sure that you set your priorities straight. That invitation for a shopping date with your friend or those three parties happening this weekend, they can be declined. If you really feel like focusing on something else for a little bit, choose an activity that will benefit you in one way or another.

I’d suggest to study according to which exams are coming up first and also allotting yourself more time on the subjects in which you have more difficulty.

Also, if you work part-time and feel like you need more time to concentrate on your studies , ask your boss for some time off.

 

 

There you have it guys! Like I said, this may not work for everyone, but I’m sure it will for some of you. It’s definitely a method in which you need to get yourself in gear and create some self-motivation.

 

 

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Decoding and planning my agenda

If you’re like me, you write EVERYTHING in your planner. From your To-Do list to your Grocery List with everything in between. Once everything is written down, it’s not always easy to determine what needs to get done by when without marking your whole planner and ending up with a mess. It also all depends on the type of planner that you have. Everyone is different in the way they like their layouts, and for me this year I chose something different in that I can see 1 week at a time with a full page to add notes next to it. Because I don’t have the appointment calendar inside, I had to come up with a way that I was going to make sense of all that needs to be done.

Major Due Dates. First thing first, once I’ve been to my class and my prof has gone over the syllabus with us, I write down all my due dates for my major assignments and exams in red on the due date.

Upcoming Major Due Dates. All those due dates are then re-written a week before they are to happen and highlighted in orange as a warning that this project is coming up.

Starting Upcoming Major Assignments and Studying. Knowing the date of my exams or my assignments, I try and determine a time frame, about a month in advance (if I can) to start that project or study plan. I highlight those tasks in blue and add the word START beside it.

Homework and Readings Due. In university you normally have some chapters to read for a specific class or homework that needs to be done to be able to understand the following lecture. For all those due dates that aren’t as important as exams or assignment hand-ins but still crucial to understanding the class, I write it down on the due date and highlight it in pink.

Normal Homework and Readings. Anything that had to do with normal homework that needs to be done that night is simply left in black or blue ink. This could be anything from read chapter 5 to type up history paper. If it’s something simple, I usually mark it to do it 2 days prior. If it’s something I know might take a little longer, then I write it down for 4 days ahead to give me enough time to revise it.

To-Do & Grocery Lists. I’m lucky to have an agenda that allows me to write notes on the side, so that’s where I put those.

Social Events & Work Hours. These are written in purple.

Meetings & Appointments. These are written in yellow.

Money. Anything that has to do with bill payments or payday I write in green

Done. When I’m done an item I usually just cross it out with a black marker. It’s pretty satisfying.

Things I love: September Issue

Fall TV shows. I don’t know about you guys, but come September all my favourite series come back on the small screen and some new ones that I just HAVE to watch. For instance, Dancing with the Stars and TGIT is back!

Birthday. Yep! My birthday is in September and this year, I celebrated with close friends and family and had such a blast. Also, my s.o got me a ridiculously cool Tattoo Adult Colouring book and I am simply in love with it. Colouring has always relaxed me, but now I can focus even more on intricate details. Way cool!

happybirthday

Tres Emme dry shampoo. I have searched and searched for a dry shampoo that would actually stay and take some oil out of my hair, and finally I have found it! This is a great product that works!

The City of a Thousand Dolls. A murder mystery in a fantastical place. Yep. Pretty epic YA novel. AND, it’s a series.

Tomato Timer. University classes started again, which means homework time for a few hours everyday has also started again. This year I’m using the pomodoro method and it’s been great so far. It allows me to actually concentrate on the task at hand, and once the bell rings, I take a five minute break and I switch subjects, or just keep doing my task until I finish it completely.

pomo

Best websites for students

It’s official! Class is in session! I thought for this week’s post I’d let you guys know the websites I usually use during my school year to get things done. I’m sure that you’ve heard of most of them, but if not, click on the links and discover for yourself why I do.

Easy Bib: Hello simplicity! I love this website! Whatever type of bibliography your prof wants, they have it on EasyBib AND they generate it for you! Simply enter as much information as you possibly can, and voilà!

Amazon: Some of you might wonder why the hell I use Amazon for school. Well my answer is pretty simple: textbooks and  school supplies. As a student, you’re entitled to some perks (like 2 day shipping) and I love it!

Pinterest: I. Love. This. Website. Not only does it keep my sanity in check with a bajillion ideas on how to stay organized, but it also allows me to search items that may not come up on the first few pages of google. You’d be surprised what can come up when you enter “Political Science” in the search bar.

Google Scholar: This is website that I use predominately for research. It allows you to skip the unnecessary babble that would be on the normal Google page.

Tomato-Timer: If you’re looking for a way to stay focused for a certain amount of time, I’d definitely recommend the Pomodoro Method. It gives you a timer set at 25 minutes which in turn gives you a 5 minute break afterwards. For me, this method helps me truly focus on one task, and when the timer ends, I move on to something else. I go back to the previous task if need be.

Keep me out: I like this website because it works on any type of device you have. It gives you a warning if you go on different types of social media used on a regular basis and allows you to really concentrate on your task at hand.

Youtube: Perfect for learning a new language, viewing the most recent news for that political science class, or reviewing cases for your law class. Or even just as a break, Youtube is a great place to have especially if you’re a visual person.

Songza: If you didn’t know already, the music app on your phone is also available online. When studying simply go to the concierge key, click activity and select work/studying. You’ll find a great selection of music or sounds to have as a background noise if that’s what you need.

Rate my Professor: Not sure what to expect for your next class? Want to warn people about a certain prof? This is the place to go! Whether you loved you prof, hated them, this is where students gather to release information about classes they have taken. Let’s just hope that the profs you get are the good ones.

Linked In: The professional Facebook. Need I say more? Connections people, connections.

Pocket: Forget the bookmarks on your computer. Download Pocket to be able to access any file you save on any device at any time.

Mint: Want to make sure that you don’t go over your budget? Want to know if you can splurge on that doughnut, or those shoes? This is the website that allows you to have all your bank accounts managed and alert you of any purchase you’ve made, what you’ve saved, if there’s been any unwarranted activities, etc. This site is awesome! It’s also an app, so you have all the info on the go.

 

I do hope that these websites help you through your school year! If you have any recommendations, I would love to hear about them. You can email me at lipsticklabels@gmail.com or leave a comment below.

Tuesday Tip

notebook

 

 

Wherever I go, I always have a small notebook on hand. This way, whenever I think of something I need to do, or I get some inspiration for a project that I’m working on, I always have somewhere to write it down. At the end of the day I take all the relevant information and transfer it where it needs to be, whether it’s my planner or another notebook.

Prepping for your first day of university

Prepping for your First Day of

Being a freshman in university is nerve wracking. Being a freshman on the first day of university classes, probably even more. And to be honest, freshmen are usually easy to spot on campus. With their astonished looks, campus maps in hand and full backpacks, it’s almost impossible to miss them. No worries freshmen, we’ve been there and we’ve done that. I’m here to share with you my 5 tips to prep your first day of university.

Do a campus tour before hand. Once you get your schedule, you’re most likely to also get your class locations. Campus is opened a few weeks before school starts, so head out and do a campus tour with or without a guide. The perks of having a guide is that they’ll give you some history on the place and also where students tend to hang out. They’ll also show you all the safety features on campus as well as the gym facilities. The thing is you may not be able to get a private tour, so having them take you from one class to the other might be tricky, but you can always do that after your main tour. Make sure to add the school cafeteria and library on your tour to-view list cause they may be places where you spend a lot of your time. Having done this will save you a bunch of time on the day of and you’ll even be able to help out the other freshmen that seem a little lost.

Get your textbooks. This one might be tricky. A lot of people will tell you to wait and see what the prof says on the first day in case there’s a change, which I do think is very valuable information, especially for some classes like law classes. However, there are other classes such as language classes that usually don’t get different editions a few times a year and those are safe to get in advance. Or any prof that asks you to have a specific reading done by the first day (then I’d definitely get the book and have that chapter read.)

Get your student & transit pass. SKIP THE LINES. I can’t stress this enough. You’ll already be waiting a stupid amount of time waiting for your textbooks (unless you got them online) so seriously, avoid these if you can. Most universities offer appointments to get these, so make one! And don’t forget all the required documents needed to obtain both of these very important cards.

Attend Frosh Week. This is the time that you’ll be making the most friends for your entire university years. Granted, you’ll most likely be making new ones throughout, but since the frosh week freshmen are divided by faculties, it’s clear you’ll actually be surrounded with people that at least have a few things in common with you. You don’t have to attend all of the activities, but try and participate to as many as you can. You’ll get to meet great people and do some networking.

Don’t overload your backpack. Only bring the necessities. These include your notebook and pencil case or laptop (depending on what you will take notes with), your day’s textbooks and your lunch. No need for those 2” binders right away.

Hope this helps! Feel free to leave a comment below or email me at lipsticklabels@gmail.com

-D

RMTS101 – Roommates Introduction

Roommates Introduction

I’ve heard horror stories about people and their roommates and how they just wanted to rip each other’s throat out.

I, on the other hand, was lucky enough to have an amazing roommate with whom I shared an abundance of laughs, streams of tears, lazy days, movie nights and cooking mishaps with. She was truly amazing and to this day we’re still really close.

I met my roommate in college. We were in the same program and had all the same classes, but we never really hung out outside of school. Then one day during our final semester, one of our teachers asked us what our plans after graduation were and both our answers indicated moving to Toronto at some point and start our career. BAM! We knew right then. At that time we were more like acquaintances, but at least we weren’t complete strangers and wouldn’t have to live through a move away from home on our own with absolutely no support system.

But even before we started packing, we met up and sat down to discuss our questions, concerns and “demands” if you will, or what we absolutely could not live with or without.

I’ve written down a few things to keep in mind and consider when you’re moving out and going to live with roommates.

BEFORE THE MOVE

  1. Meet up and discuss everything you want to lay on the table. Don’t hold back. You may regret not asking about her relationship with that person and have to hear them “together” all night long in the bedroom next to you or hear them argue over and over again.
  2. Discuss your boundaries. You need to make sure they know you don’t want them to borrow your stuff without your permission, hog the couch all day or go into your bedroom when you aren’t there. If those are the cases, let them know!
  3. Discuss chores. No one likes doing them, but at one point, they will have to be done. If you don’t mind doing dishes, then say so. If you don’t mind dusting the entire place, then speak up. This will ensure that everyone is doing their part equally without making you resent them or vice-versa.
  4. Discuss furniture. Write down everything that you have and are planning to bring with you, then compare. There’s no sense in taking 2 microwaves or 2 Panini presses when 1 will do just fine. If you guys are missing a big item piece, decide together who will be buying it and keeping it afterwards, or if you guys want to buy it together and then sell it once you move out. Whatever works for you.

AFTER THE MOVE

  1. Leave notes. They’re a fun way to communicate when you guys miss each other because of your busy schedule. And sometimes it’s just nice to receive a cute little booster left on the bathroom mirror.
  2. Spend some time together. Yes you both are busy bees, but it’s still important to take the time to get to know the person you’re living with on a deeper level than just knowing what they do for a living. Go out grab a bite to eat, go for a walk or attend an event. Really the possibilities are endless, but you’ll build a solid friendship (or more) for the rest of your life.
  3. Talk it out. Arguments happen. To everyone. So take the time to express your frustration with them if that’s the case and explain why you’re feeling this way without putting blame. The sooner the better too. Don’t wait for another argument to bring up something that happened 3 months ago, that’s just low, and to be honest, you should have spoken up earlier about that specific issue.
  4. Keep your promises. If you said you’d clean the bathroom that day then do it. If you said you’d wash the dishes then do it. Yes, some emergencies come up and every now and then we get sick, but take the time to keep your promises and stay on top of things so that your roommate doesn’t have to pick up your slack and you find yourself having to deal with number 3 again.
  5. Be reasonable and courteous. Not everyone lives the same lifestyle you do. Yes, that means that not everyone likes waking up at 5:45am for their morning workout. So if that’s you, try to be as quiet as possible in getting ready or doing your workout as to not wake your roommate. Also, don’t take all the hot water in the shower. Oh and warn your roommate if you’re inviting people over. You don’t need their approval, but just as a courtesy, so you know, they’re extra diligent in how they’re dressing around the house (and not have a face mask on).
  6. Listen and be there. Some painful moments happen in everyone’s lives. It could be a breakup, a failed class, a rant on how your prof is the absolute worse, or something else. Just sit tight and listen to what they have to say. Give advice if asked and just let them know that if they need anything, you’re there. Emergencies also happen and one of you may end up in the hospital at some point. Go with them. I’m saying this out of personal experience, there’s nothing worse than waiting in the emergency room in the middle of the night alone. Unless that person’s family is around and are meeting them there, grab a book and head over to the hospital with them, call their family or significant other and be patient. You know you’d want that for yourself too.

 

That’s it guys, if you have any roommate stories you’d like to share, please email us at lipsticklabels@gmail.com or comment below. I’d love to hear your stories!

D