Another Update About Me!

Hello again and welcome to another update on my life! Today is another really exciting update, and I hope you agree with me. I love the support of all my followers and hope you appreciate being able to learn a little more about me. Most of the time I just post about my bullet journal spreads, the mini series, etc., so I like a little change in topic once in a while! I should have posted this a few weeks ago, but I was working on telling all my family before I posted about it on the blog.

So… what is this post even about?

As many of you know, I am going to school to be an elementary teacher. You have to choose one subject to focus on, and mine is math. If you haven’t read any of this before, I would recommend going to the “Update” from November. I am in my second semester of college and have been trying to help other college students through my miniseries. Also, when I blog about different tips and tricks, it reminds me to focus on them as well. Practice what you preach, right? Anyway, last semester I went to a small college about an hour away from home and lived in the dorms, but I didn’t love it. At the end of the semester, I began to think about transferring. I will talk you through all my options, my choice, etc!

My options

Where I live, there is a community college along with a big university. This gave me a few options:

  • Give my college another semester and then think about transferring
  • Go straight to the university in my hometown
  • Go to the community college in my hometown, then transfer to the university

The big decision…

I thought about what to do until the very last minute. I decided to go to the community college, but will transfer to the university in the future. I can only get an associate degree at the community college, so I have to transfer at some point no matter what (you need a bachelor degree to teach). I may or may not get the associate degree at the community college because it requires a few extra classes the university does not need. That means I would have to pay a bit extra to do this. Instead, I could just take the general education classes at the community college, and just receive a bachelor degree from the university.

There are quite a few elementary education courses that transfer easily from the community college to the university, which is a really nice way to save money. I can also dual enroll next year depending on what classes are available!

I struggled!!

I had a really hard time trying to get into classes because I made the decision only a week before the start of the semester. There are MANY problems associated with this. First off, the university I want to transfer to in the future has a four year plan for the education program, and I wanted to follow that. I couldn’t follow it exactly and here’s why…

  • A class was full: when you wait until the last minute you get the last of the classes
  • I needed a prerequisite: a lot of the classes I wanted needed a basic “English 100” class. Even though I got the credit for that in high school, they wouldn’t be able to send my transcript in time for the semester.
  • Classes were only offered in the fall, meaning I will have to wait until next semester to take them

Why??

As for why I transferred, I honestly didn’t love the other college. I struggled a little bit with dorm life and COVID. Just the thought of going back made me sad. However, the bigger reason is the education program. I began to compare the programs of the college I was at with the university I will now go to. The university has many more classes that are interesting to me, and that I think will help me more as a teacher. Not only are the classes more interesting, but they actually pertain to teaching. As you know, I am focusing in math. Here is a comparison of the math classes I have to take…

UniversityCollege I was at
Number Concepts for the Elementary/Middle School TeacherCalculus (1 and 2)
Teaching of Elementary/Middle School Mathematics Math for Elementary/Middle school teacher (1 and 2)
Statistics for Elementary/Middle School TeacherStatistical Methods
Geometry for Elementary/Middle School TeacherApplied Statistical Methods
Number Systems/Proportional Reasoning for Middle School TeacherMultivariable mathematics
Functions and Modeling for Middle School TeachersBridge to Higher Mathematics
Teaching Middle School MathHistory of Mathematics
Computing for Middle School MathCollege Geometry

At the end of the day, this was a HUGE factor for me. Before deciding where to go to college, I didn’t really look into any elementary education programs specifically. Thinking back on that, I probably should have. One college may seem amazing, but it all comes down to the program you want. As you can see, all the classes in the university are for teachers specifically, while the college only offers “higher” math classes. I feel much more prepared with the university’s classes.

How do I feel now??

You may be wondering how I feel about the decision a week into my new classes? My answer is; amazing! I love all my new classes and all the professors. Even though I don’t love all the subjects (a couple of them are pretty boring to me), each professor makes it worth it. Here is a list of my classes:

  • Intro to Anthropology
  • Number Concepts for The Math/Elementary School Teacher
  • American Government
  • Geology: Maps and Media

I love math so I obviously love my number concepts class! I am interested in geology, even though it’s a little difficult for me. However, government and anthropology are definitely NOT my favorites. In fact, government was my least favorite class in high school. However, the teacher is really funny and makes the class much more intriguing. As for anthropology, it is completely online. There are no scheduled Zoom classes, only due dates. You are expected to follow the assignments and have them turned in anytime before it’s due. This was a bit daunting to me at first, but I am learning to appreciate it. It really puts me in control and makes me be responsible for ALL my work. All in all, I am loving it so far!

Do what makes you happy my friends ❤

As always,

with love,

EmmaGrace

Semester 2 Bullet Journal Spreads

College Life with EG: Part 11

Hello everyone and welcome back to College Life with EG! I paused this mini-series in November when semester one ended, but now that school has started back up, so will the series. I love to relate these posts to what is going on in school, so today I will show you some bullet journal spreads to get you prepared for the semester ahead! I hope you enjoy the second “round” of my mini-series, and please do not hesitate to give me some suggestions on what you want to hear about!

Grade Tracker

This first spread is perfect for keeping track of big assignments in all of your courses. It isn’t meant to track every grade, just the major ones: essays, tests, and quizzes. It’s a pretty simple design but can keep you on top of all your classes. With just a glance, you see what classes you are doing well in, and what classes might need some help. To make this spread, just write grades at the top of the page along with the semester name right below. I said winter/spring because it goes through both seasons, but you can call it anything you want. Next, divide your page into however many classes you have. After the title, my page was 48 boxes tall, and I have 4 classes, so each class takes up 12 rows. Then, make a box for each class, leaving one row for the class name. For example, mine were only 11 boxes tall. Once you have the boxes, write the names of your courses on top; you can either write the entire name (like American Government) or just the department and course number (PSI 101). In each box, I made sections for what the assignment was, the date, the weight/value of the assignment, and what grade I received. You can section these off however you like. Then, draw vertical lines to separate each section, and you’re good to go!

Semester Overview

If you read my other post on college bullet journal spreads, you have seen this one before. I mixed it up a little, but I think this spread (or something like it) is crucial when beginning the semester. On this page, I write down all the dates of my major assignments throughout the semester. You can use it for any assignments you want, but I only use it for tests, quizzes, essays, and BIG assignments (anything I should prepare for far ahead of time). I did this in two pages for the last spread, but I wanted to conserve room this time so I condensed it into one. It shows what the assignment is, the date it’s due, what class it’s for, along with mini calendars for each month so you can visualize everything at once. To make this spread, start with a fancy title, as always. I used my favorite brush markers, the Tombow Dual Brush Pens! Then, I divided my page into four equal sections by dividing it down the middle vertically and horizontally. For each month, I started by writing the name of the month in the middle of the section and a calendar below. Each day of the calendar took up one box in my spread. For the rest of the space, I made a big box (which ended up 19 by 16, so I can write down 16 assignments). At the top, I made one legend to show what each assignment was and one legend to show what class it was for. For example, sociology is orange, and tests have a box around the date. I use the shapes (for what type of assignment it is) in the mini calendar around the date. Then, I write the assignment in the box below and highlight the assignment (based on the legend) for whatever class it is. If you want to make another section in each box for the due dates, you can do that as well.

Before the Semester Starts (.5 pages)

This is the perfect spread for getting last minute items checked off your list before the semester starts. If you’re like me, you want to be overly prepared by the first week of classes. If you start off ahead of the game, it boosts your confidence for the rest of the semester. It make seem like a lot of work, but trust me, it really helps. I wouldn’t copy my spread entirely (obviously) because I am doing things that pertain to each of my classes. However, you can totally use the layout AND this can help give you an idea of what you might want to get done. I would start doing the items on this list a week before your first class, so you don’t have to rush anything.

If you noticed, I don’t have a space to buy any binders, notebooks, or folders on this list! That’s because I like to buy everything like that in the summer, when everything is really cheap for back to school. I buy all the supplies I will need for both semesters so everything will be ready to go when winter semester starts. Here is a list of my favorite school supplies (I did these off of Amazon because I know a lot of people are more comfortable doing online shopping right now).

Anyway, here is how to make the spread! I started off by writing “what to do before class begins” at the top of my page. I would choose a different color combination because mine doesn’t really match. Then, I made sections of different categories of what I need to do. For example, I do need to buy a few things. Then, I want to customize different items, prep for my math class, etc. However, you can make any categories you would like! The one I would highly suggest is prep work fir each class. Sometimes professors send out an email of a few things you can do to get ready for the first day, and I would always do that so you can start the class ahead of the game. As you noticed, this spread is only a half page, and the other half is a broken down description of each class schedule, so I will discuss that next!

Class Schedule (1.5 pages)

I made this spread into one and a half pages because I had extra room on the bottom of my “Before the Semester Starts” page. However, you can make it as long (or as short) as you like. This spread gives a layout of the entire course schedule, from course topics to due dates. This is different from the overview spread because it focuses on just one course at a time, and it shows exactly what I will be doing for every class period. For this spread, I pulled the information right off the syllabus. I just copied any information with dates onto here, which is why the sections are different for each class. This page will change a lot based on the class, but I will break down each of mine for you. To begin, I wrote the name of the course, the time, and the Zoom ID and password. Since all my classes are online this semester, I figured it would be a good idea to have all the Zoom information in one place. Below this information, I made a big box and started to section it off.

  • MATH 140: I made three sections: week of, Tuesday, and Thursday. Under the week of, I simple wrote the first day of the week we have class (Tuesday), Under the Tuesday and Thursday sections (the days I have class) are the planned topic for the class. Then, I highlighted every time we have an exam.
  • PSI 101: this class only meets once a week, so there is only one topic for the whole week. My sections were: week of, subject, quiz?, assignment, and read. We have a quiz every couple weeks, so in each box I either write what quiz it is or a simple line if there is no quiz. We have mini papers and discussions that go in the assignment section, and I write what chapters I have to read and take notes on in the read section.
  • SOC 101: As you can see, there is no meet time for this class because it’s truly all online. For each week, we have assignments, lectures, etc., and we are expected to get them done by the due date. So, my sections were: week of, topic, and due date. To save paper, I put two weeks into each row (meaning I wrote each of those sections twice). When there was a paper or exam, I didn’t section off the columns but instead kept the row as one whole section.
  • GEO 102: the outline of this class is a little different because each topic takes a couple weeks. Instead of breaking it down by individual weeks, it is in sections of a couple weeks at a time, which is why I just wrote the date range under the “week” category. My other categories were: topic, read, disc. (discussion), and HW (homework). Under read, I just write the chapter that we have to do for that topic, and under discussion and homework are the due dates of each.

Office Hours

This spread is nothing more than the office hours my professors posted for each class. I wrote it down because I had a little space at the end of the class schedules!

Thank you for looking through my spreads! I hope these can be helpful to you all as we start the semester. If you are not in college, I appreciate you just taking the timne to look through this and support me:)

As always,

wtih love,

EmmaGrace

Supplies

  • InkJoy Gel Pens: In “Grade Tracker,” I used this for the accent in the title, the boxes, and all of the pink writing. In the “Semester Overview,” they were used in making the boxes and the legends. I used them ifor all the writing in “Before the Semester Starts” as well as in “Class Schedule.”
  • Pentel Brush Pen: I used these for the calendar and month names in “Semester Overview” as well as the course names in “Grade Tracker.” I also used them in part of the title for “Before the Semester Starts” and the course titles/schedule/zoom information in “Class Schedule.”
  • Tombow Brush Pens: these were the title and the legend in “Semester Overview.” I also used them in the title of “Before the Semester Starts” and to highlight in “Class Schedule.”
  • Paper
  • To buy sticker in “Before Class Begins” (from Happy Planner seasonal stickers)

Another Christmas Blog

At the beginning of the month, I showed you all some gift giving bullet journal spreads. If you have not seen that post, you can read it here! Today, I am staying in the holiday spirit but focusing on something other than gifts: a holiday bucket list and a scavenger hunt that you can do in the safety of your own car! I know it’s hard to go out and do a lot right now, so these ideas are COVID safe to get you out of the house and having some fun. I also wanted to add that I will be linking my supplies in the END of the blog posts for my bullet journal spreads from now on. So if you want to see what I use, scroll down for the links:) With that being said, my first spread today is a bucket list for the winter months.

Bucket List

I chose to make this bucket list into a tic-tac-toe board! However, the goal is to cover the whole board, not just one line ;). Every activity is “COVID conscious” (most you can do right from your home, but a few are outside, such as taking a walk in the snow or having a car scavenger hunt). You can choose to make this spread yourself, or just use some of the ideas for a weekend full of fun. Either way, I hope you enjoy! If you have any other fun ideas for the winter months, leave them in the comments! I love being adventurous and trying new activities.

P.S. I posted my fall bucket list below to show you how I did. I wasn’t able to do everything on my list that I wanted, but I think I did pretty well! If you read the post with my fall spread, go to my Fall Spreads post.

Winter Bucket List
Fall Bucket List

Car Scavenger Hunt

I heard someone talking about doing a Christmas scavenger hunt at my work, so I knew I had to make one for you all to try! Do this scavenger hunt with just your family or have a race with a bunch of your friends (safely in your cars!). I love this because there are so many COVID safe ways to play, and it allows you to do something with others. Here are a few ways to do this scavenger hunt…

  1. Go with just your family: try to find as many of the items as you can. Either set a time limit (maybe an hour?) and see how many you can find in that time, or see how fast you can find all 25 items.
  2. Go with a few families (part 1): start off by making point values for each item. Harder items, such as an outdoor gingerbread house, have higher point values. Everyone goes in their own car and you give everyone a limit of one hour to find as many items as possiblele. At the end of the hour, everyone counts up their points to see who won. If you really want to be competitive, have everyone take pictures and show each other on a Zoom call so you have no liars!
  3. Go with a few families (part 2): everyone starts at the same time and the first family to find ALL 25 items wins!
  4. “Advent calendar” style: every day, you go out and find one item on the list (sorry, you will have to go a little after Christmas because it didn’t come out at the beginning of the month). There are 25 things to find, so you will have something to do for 25 days!

Just to clarify a few items on the list: the “projectors” category means finding the houses with projector lights. They have many different patterns, so you have to find all five. A saying would be a light that projects something like “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays.” The outdoor gingerbread house will probably just be a blow up, same with the candy canes!

Thank you for reading! Let me know how you do with your bucket lists! And, if you do the scavenger hunt, let me know how it goes! I haven’t done it yet, but I plan to next week!

As always,

with love,

EmmaGrace

Supplies

  • Dotted grid paper
  • Seasonal stickers-I bought it at Walmart, but I think they discontinued it
    • Happy Planner website (19.99, on sale now for 15.99)
    • <a href="http://<iframe style="width:120px;height:240px;" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" src="//ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ac&ref=qf_sp_asin_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=lifewitheg-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=B07YN3K1SY&asins=B07YN3K1SY&linkId=f74d0eac2fad3b25582f469fa23b4fd7&show_border=false&link_opens_in_new_window=true&price_color=333333&title_color=0066c0&bg_color=ffffff"> Amazon (16.41 + 5.08 shipping)
  • Calligraphy markers (fall bucket list page)
  • Brush markers (heading on car scavenger hunt)
  • Erasable pens (winter bucket list page)

The Background on my Blog

Good morning all! I hope you had a wonderful weekend and are ready for an amazing week ahead! Now that school is done, I have a lot more free time and a lot more time to blog. However, I have to come up with some new ideas besides the College with EmmaGrace miniseries. I have decided to pause the miniseries until class starts back up again in January. I like to do the posts based on what is happening in school, which is difficult when you aren’t in school! So, if you have anything you want me to talk about, please let me know in the comments! With that being said, I wanted to take today to talk to you about why I started this blog, and what I hope to do with it in the future.

When did I start the blog?

I bought the website domain in January 2020. In December 2019, I started to use a free Google website builder but upgraded to this WordPress site about a month later. I wanted to really take off with my site, and I needed more customization than with Google Sites. However, if you ever want something free and easy to use, Google Sites is a great place to start.

(PS: we are coming up on the one year anniversary of this site!!)

Why did I decide to start the blog?

In the beginning, the blog was just a way for me to express my creativity. I did not mean for many people to read it (but I hoped that one day it would grow a lot) but instead just blogged for something to do. I love to bullet journal, so why not combine it with my other love of blogging? The entire blog was supposed to be dedicated to my bullet journals and the different spreads I made. In order to spice things up, I added the daily quotes (which I will talk about in the next question). I also hoped that people would be able to look at my posts and be inspired to start their own bullet journals.

Why do you do the daily quotes?

I started doing the daily quotes as a way to give inspiration to everyone reading my blog. With the quotes, you can log on to the blog daily and just have a little happiness to start your day. The quotes come from a quote book that my boyfriend gave me for Christmas last year. I’ll have to admit that I do forget to update sometimes, so I am very sorry about that! Anyway, I think the quotes are a great addition to the normal blog posts and and something I hope you all look forward to reading. If you cannot make it to the blog to read them daily, I also keep a log of all the quotes from each month. You can look up each month in the search bar, find each month under “Quotes from the Year” in the homepage header, or I have linked the December quotes here! Hopefully my boyfriend gives me another quote book for Christmas this year and I can continue to do daily quotes (hint hint;)).

How has the content evolved?

In the beginning, I was only writing about my bullet journal and posting daily quotes. I posted every couple of weeks and it was very inconsistent (besides the quotes, which have always been once a day). I just posted my bullet journal spreads whenever I got them done, or shared other posts if I had something really important to say. Over quarantine and the summer, I didn’t blog much but decided to get back into it when I went to school in the fall. In August, I decided to start my College with EmmaGrace miniseries as well as post twice a week. I wanted to really start diving into the blog and growing my influence. Each week, I usually posted once about the miniseries and once about something else, such as my life or my bullet journal spreads. In October, I decided to start posting only once a week so I could focus on bettering the content. Most of the time, I did posts for the miniseries. Now we get to the present. I still post once a week, and I usually post about anything and everything. I decided to pause on the miniseries until I go back to school. Also, at the beginning of each month, I post monthly spreads. Throughout the month I post a conglomeration of many different things. Also, I hope to start sharing my weekly spreads more in the future. Maybe do those twice a month? Let me know what you guys think by giving me an email or commenting below!

What would I suggest for others wanting to start a blog?

Do it! I started this blog with absolutely no experience and you do not need it. Whether you want to do a personal blog or share it with the world, it is a great way to express your thoughts while improving your writing skills. You can literally talk about anything you want! There are so many types of blogs out there and I know there is something for everyone. If you want to talk about really personal information like a journal, you could just make the blog for yourself. Or, if you want to write book reviews or talk about your experiences or anything in between, you can blog for the world! You will start off with a really small following, but make social media accounts to promote yourself. Let people know when you are going to post and get your voice heard. I would even send a message to your friends and family that you are planning on starting a blog and would love their support. Unless you dont want anyone you actually know to read your blog, which is that case for some. If that is you, no worries! You can start following and connecting with other blogs you like, and chances are they will connect with you as well. Also, promote yourself whenever and wherever you can!

What is your hope for the future of the blog?

Honestly, I really just want to reach and inspire more people. It would be amazing if thousands of people could read my blog and be inspired to start a bullet journal, a blog, or anything in between. Even though I do a lot more than bullet journaling now, that is still where I started, and would love if all my followers began their own! I love to bullet journal because it organizes my life as well as lets me be so creative. If bullet journaling is not your thing, I just hope to inspire you to be creative in any way possible. Furthermore, I plan to continue the miniseries once school starts back up and hopefully help some other students out there! One day, I would love to make a little money off of my blog but that is pretty low on my priority list. I blog because I love it and want to reach many people, so money doesn’t have a very big influence on me:)

Thank you all for reading this post. If you have any questions about my blog, always feel free to ask. Or, if you have any suggestions for the future of the blog, please let me know. I am always up for advice! Have a wonderful rest of your week!

As always,

with love,

EmmaGrace

My backpack essentials

College life with EG: part 7

Happy Monday everyone! I hope you had an amazing weekend! I got to go home this weekend and that is always so refreshing. I had a “pumpkin-themed” weekend and carved pumpkins, made pumpkin pie and pumpkin seeds, and had a pumpkin spice latte. Honestly, carving pumpkins is one of my favorite activities but I don’t even really like pumpkin pie. However, I didn’t want to waste the pumpkin guts and I have a huge love for baking. I was thoroughly impressed with my pie, especially with a lot of whip cream on top! As for the PSL (pumpkin spice latte), it is a staple for the fall season! I have gone this much of my life without trying one, and I figured it was time. My boyfriend and I went to Starbucks to get a pumpkin spice latte, and I have to say… I am not a huge fan of pumpkin. Sorry to offend all you pumpkin lovers out there! Anyway, I hope you had some time to do some fall themed activities this weekend:)

Today, I am going to talk to you about my backpack essentials that are so important to me whether I am going to class, a study date, or anything else. First of all, I want to say that I use my backpack a whole lot less than normal because I have so many online classes. A lot of the time I can take the class right at my desk, so I have everything I need right next to me. However, when I leave my room to do a call, I make sure I have everything packed that I could ever need. Since I have classes really early, I try to always pack my backpack before I go to bed. It keeps me from having to wake up even earlier, as well as waking up my roommate.

What should you consider in a backpack?

My favorite backpacks are from The North Face. When you look for a backpack, make sure you consider all the options: size, pockets, weight, etc.

  • How much do you need to carry at once? If you only need a few things, go for a smaller backpack so you don’t hurt your back with too much weight
  • Color: do you want a fancy color, or something plain that will always match what you’re wearing? For me, I love to go for the bold colors!
  • How long do you want it to last? I always go for North Face backpacks, but they are on the pricey side. However, I have kept them for many years without them breaking! If you want the backpack to last, I would recommend spending the extra money: it will be worth it in the long run.
  • What material do you need? Do you want fabric, or do you need something more durable? I tend to spill things all the time so I always get the waterproof bags. Plus, I still have to walk to class in the winter and the rain, so I want to make sure my backpack will keep all my belongings safe!

A filled pencil case

If you are like me, you love all sorts of pens, pencils, and highlights. However, there is a limit on everything you can put in a pencil case (I know, I wish it had an endless bottom). My suggestion would be to always have two pencils: if they are mechanical, you may run out of lead, and if they are traditional, one may get dull. I try to carry at least four pens on me at all times, but usually I have more. I think you should always have at least a red, blue, black, and green. My favorite pens are the Sharpie pens and the PaperMate InkJoy. The Sharpie pens have a bold clean line and will never smear! Sometimes the InkJoy pens do smear, but they write so smoothly, and they have a 20 pack of so many amazing shades! Other than the pen and pencil, I would recommend keeping at least one to two highlighters (my favorite are the Zebra Midliners) and a calculator (only if you have a class you would use it).

Notebooks, binders, and folders

Never go to class without all the correct materials! I have a specific notebook and folder for each class that I always pack the night before. I put in every notebooks for the next day just in case I don’t have time to make it back to the dorm between classes. I would highly recommend the Five Star notebooks and folders. The folders have lasted me since the beginning of high school, and the notebooks always hold up! A cheaper notebook option I have found is the Exceed brand notebooks, which can be found at Walmart! These have the plastic cover (a necessity if you spill things on it all the time like I do), a pocket on the inside, and a guide sheet (with the map, different measurements, etc.). I know a lot of people type notes on their computers now, but I am traditional and love the notebook. I love writing things down, and it is shown to help you remember better than just typing.

Textbooks

You obviously want to bring all your textbooks to class! I like to pack all my textbooks the night before, just like my notebooks and folders. You never know what might happen between classes!

Water bottle and a snack

I usually keep a plastic AND reusable water bottle in my backpack at all times. I try to drink a lot of water thoughout the day and normally I have my Yeti on me. I absolutely swear by yetis, and drink my water, tea, coffee, and everything else from them. However, I also keep a plastic water bottle in there just in case of an emergency. I do this because I always take out my Yeti when I get to my room, and drink it at my desk. If I forget to pack the Yeti, I always have the other one on hand. I would recommend carrying one or both, anything to make sure you stay hydrated.

Also, just a granola bar or a pack of goldfish is an essential. You never know when you are going to get hungry in class, or doing anything else. Sometimes I will go study somewhere and I always like to have a snack with me. Or, maybe you have a three hour class through dinnertime (like me). At least you can get something in your body before class is over!

Chargers

If you have an iPhone, you’ve probably experienced it dying in the middle of the day. Planned obsolescence, isn’t it great? I always keep an iPhone charger in my bag just in case that happens. Since Apple took away the USB slots form their computers, I also keep a converter so I can plug my phone into my computer. I keep a block on me as well. I would also recommend keeping a computer charger in your bag! I only have one, but I try to remember to pack it if my computer is under 50 percent.

Tissues or napkins

You never know when you’re going to need to clean up a mess! If you’re anything like me, it happens probably once a day. Maybe you spill something in your backpack, or need to clean something off a table. Or, maybe you need to blow your nose! Tissues are a great option over napkins because they can be used to clean things up and are more gentle on your nose. I always get the small packs in the travel section at Walmart: they’re only about a dollar!

Earbuds

No matter what I am doing, I love to listen to music. Who doesn’t?? I love my AirPods, but any sort of earbuds will do! My favorite thing about the AirPods is that I don’t have to worry about a cord getting twisted in everything. They also connect to my computer and my phone automatically without me having to do anything!

Maybe you are going to class and you aren’t able to listen to music, but you should always have them on you! I usually listen to music while I do homework and study, and this makes it so you dont have to disturb the people around you. If you ever want to listen with over the eat headphones, beats are a great option and produce the best sound.

Computer

Everywhere I go I bring my computer because I am always doing work on it. Even though I love to take notes by hand, I have a lot of my work to do on my computer as well. Wherever I go, I always want access to my computer. I may have to do research, online quizzes, or work on my blog. If you need to buy a computer, I use a MacBook Pro because of the Apple ecosystem between the computer, iPad, iPhone, and watch.

Planner

This one shouldn’t come as a surprise to you all. I use my planner all the time and I have it with me wherever I go. That was when someone asks if I can have lunch next Tuesday, all I have to do is pull my planner form my backpack to say yes or no. You always want to be able to figure out what you’re doing and when. Plus, when I go to class I always write down all my assignments at the end of the hour. Read how I use my planners here!

Band-aid

You never know what’s going to happen, so it’s always good to be prepared. If someone(like me) falls and trips, you always have a bandaid ready to go. If you feel like you really need it, you can bring a first aid kit as well.

Lip balm and hand lotion

Always want to keep your lips and hands happy and healthy! Especially with the cold winter months coming this is extra important. Plus, when you run from one side of school to the other, the wind can really get at you! I know if I don’t carry lip balm on me I will continue to bite at my lips until they are completely raw. Same with the backs of my hands. I would recommend keeping these in a little Ziplock because it would be horrible for them to spill all over your backpack. That has happened to me before, and trust me, it is a pain in the butt to clean up.

Hand Sanitizer

In the world we live in, hand sanitizer is a must. Everywhere we go, we are touching things around us: door handles, tables, chairs, everything! And ,sometimes you want to eat a snack when you don’t have access to a bathroom. If you have sanitizer on hand (hah, get it) you dont have to worry! Even if you aren’t eating, it is always good to sanitize your hands every now and then. Especially for me, I have a big habit of touching my face! I have found the cheapest hand sanitizer at Walmart, but it is all pretty pricey right now because it is in high demand.

Polytails (and a comb)

I almost always keep my hair in a pony tail because I hate when it is in my face. If you have long hair, you know how crucial it is to have random ponytails on hand. I usually have one on my wrist as well as one in my bag. If your hair gets really knotted throughout the day, you may want to keep a collapsable brush or comb on hand as well. There is nothing worse than knotted, out of control hair!

Sleeping at College

College Life with EmmaGrace: Part 6

Welcome to part six of my “College with EmmaGrace Miniseries!” I hope you are enjoying this miniseries so far, and are happy about a little change in content. I try to throw a little bit of everything in my posts to give you some variety, which is why I don’t ONLY post the miniseries. Back when I started this blog in January, it was going to be all about bullet journaling. The goal was to show my spreads and give you some inspiration for your personal bullet journals. Then, I started sharing other craft projects and updates on my life. When I got to college, I decided to try this series out. A little change of content is always good, but I never want to forget what I started with: the bullet journal. That being said, I hope this miniseries can reach many people and help you on your journeys! I know it is labeled for college but many of these posts can be applied to everyone, at all points in life 🙂 Today I want to share a few ideas on something I think everyone can use a little help: sleep.

#1. Get into a routine

Figure out when you have to get up each morning, and make sure you are planning to sleep for at least eight hours. Even if you have varying morning classes, I would recommend going to bed around the same time every night. That way your body can get used to going to bed at a certain time, and you will start to get tired around the same time every night. Benefits also include falling asleep faster, academic success, improved metabolism, and much more.

Waking up at the same time is helpful as well and eventually your body will start to wake up by itself.

I know it’s unrealistic to go to bed and wake up at the exact minute every day, but getting into a fairly routine sleep cycle will help your internal clock, allowing you to go to bed and wake up easier. However, an occasional day to sleep in never hurt anyone ;).

#2. Pay attention to how much caffeine you drink, and when

I’ll admit it: I love my caramel lattes… nearly every day. I will also be the first to admit that you can easily get addicted and not be able to wake up without one. But that’s beyond the point. The point of this post is sleep, which means watching how much caffeine you have and what time of the day you have it.

True story: I decided to drink an entire latte at 8PM one night. My boyfriend bought me a new coffee mug that day and I just HAD to use it. I had to buy a coffee because you can’t put water in a coffee mug… right?! Anyway, I went to bed that night around 11PM and I didn’t fall asleep until past 4 in the morning. I had to wake up for an 8:30 class, and, as you may have guessed, I was miserable.

The point is: was when you drink your caffeine. On average, you should try to stop having caffeine about seven hours before you go to sleep. I usually go to bed about 11PM, so I would want to stop drinking caffeine by 4PM at the latest. The average adult can have UP TO 400 mg of caffeine a day, which is about four cups of coffee. BUT! That doesn’t mean you should do it, and if you do, make sure it’s earlier in the day.

#3. Work some exercise into your schedule

There are many different reasons behind why exercise helps sleep but a main factor is that it raises your internal body temperature. After you’re done exercising, your body temperature goes back down to normal and this can promote sleep. The timing of exercise matters to some people, but not to others. Most researchers would recommend working out in the morning to afternoon range, for about 30 minutes a day at least five days a week.

#4. Practice different breathing techniques

Practicing breathing calms your mind and body, and can help you fall asleep much faster. One thing I find really beneficial is that my mind can focus on breathing instead of all the stress of the day, or what I have to do the next day. A few breathing techniques include the 4-7-8, roll breathing, and belly breathing. You can learn more about breathing techniques here!

#5. Allow relaxation time before bed

For a lot of us, going to sleep is when all the anxiety of the day comes back. I understand that but try to get all your worrying out before you even get in bed. There is obviously a lot of stress from the day, but the best thing to do is worry about it earlier on. If something happened that day, address it then, and don’t wait until going to sleep to think about it.

Also, when you get in bed, you should be able to turn off your phone and just sleep. Before you go to sleep, turn off your phone and read, or do some meditation. Turning off electronics 30 minutes before bed allows your brain to shut down, but we’ve all heard that one before:)

#6. Finish work during the day

Finish studying and working 30 minutes to 1 hour before you go to sleep. Some nights it may be hard to do this, but that’s why you should try to get your work done all throughout the day. If you don’t have class in the morning, wake up early and get some stuff done. Or, if you only have morning classes, use the afternoon to your advantage and plug away at homework then. The more work you can get done during the day means the more time you have to relax before bed.

Of course, there will be nights that you stay up all night studying for an exam. However, if you study gradually throughout the week you should never have to do this. Plus, cramming doesn’t actually help you memorize, so don’t leave anything until the last moment… I will talk about this in a future blog post 😉

#7. Invest in some earbuds (and a sleep mask?)

One of my biggest struggles at night is falling sleep with distractions. Usually, it’s the voices in my own head, but outside noises keep me up as well. Honestly, if the room is not completely quiet I can’t go to sleep. With that in mind, buying some earbuds to listen to music while you sleep is a wonderful idea. You can drown out all the outside noises while listening to relaxing sounds that are meant to help you relax. PS: YouTube has a great selection of sleeping music.

Another great item is a sleeping mask if your roommate stays up later than you, and you need it to be dark to fall asleep.

#8.

Use your bed for JUST sleeping

This one may be a little weird, but if you do your homework or eat in bed all the time, your brain may be confused. If you only sleep in bed, your body will start to know and recognize that your bed is just for sleep. Plus, eating in your bed causes dirt and crumbs to go everywhere. You don’t need that while you sleep!

I hope these tips help you get some better sleep whether you’re in college or not! Sleeping is something I struggle with as well, so just know you’re not alone. These are just a few things that help me, but if you have any more suggestions, feel free to leave them down below!

As always,

with love,

EmmaGrace

Advice for Eating at College

College Life with EmmaGrace: Part 5

There are so many new adventures at college and so much to get adjusted to: of course, eating is one thing that will be very different than before. Whether you made all your own meals at home, or you went out a lot, life at college will be very different. You are going to be running around to classes, and you might forget to eat lunch or dinner sometimes. Or, maybe at lunch you only have ten minutes between classes and you have to skip it for the day (I would suggest not doing this, and I will let you know how to avoid it). No matter what, dining at college is going to look at lot different than at home. Plus, dining this year(with COVID) is going to be even tougher. I am here to share with you a few tips on getting adjusted to college eating.

Dining hall hacks: How to get students to eat on campus |

#1. Look at all the options

When you get to college, scope out all the dining halls have to offer. Does each dining hall have separate options, or all they all the same? If you are vegetarian, or have other dietary needs, is there a specific dining hall for that? Most colleges provide special services and foods to people with have dietary needs. For example, we have a vegan zone, and a gluten free zone.

You should really get to know all the options of each dining hall, and what they provide each day. There may be a salad bar you really like at one hall, or a really good hot meal line at another. Make sure you know when each hall opens so you know the times you can go eat. You may realize one hall is only open for dinner, or one has extended hours. Lastly, figure out if they post the meals ahead of time, so you can look at them before you enter the dining hall.

#2. Understand your body’s needs

The most important part of eating in college, and out of college, is to listen to your body’s triggers. Eat when you are hungry, your body deserves it. With everything going on, sometimes we forget to take the time to eat, but try not to let that happen. If you skip meals, your body will feel it later. You will most likely get into a routine of when you eat each day, and your body will get used to that as well. For me, I eat every day around noon and I start to get hungry right around 11:30. If you aren’t hungry but you know you should eat, maybe just make a smaller snack. But, when your body IS hungry, never deprive yourself of a meal.

#3. Plan your meals out

Plan a time for breakfast, lunch, and dinner each day. It may be different times daily, or it could be the same. It’s super easy if you always eat at the same time, but if not plan time the night before for all your meals.

If you can see the dining hall menu ahead of time, try to look at that so it alleviates some stress walking into the hall. It also helps you choose the healthier options if you can plan out a meal ahead of time. Sometimes walking into the hall, we just pick the first thing we see, but looking ahead of time allows you to figure out what you will or won’t like. If you can’t see the meals ahead of time, no worries. When you get into the hall, navigate it with a good mindset. Try to balance your meal with fruits, veggies, and proteins.

#4. Get in your essential nutrients

We all know that protein, carbs, and fats are necessary macronutrients for life. But… how many of us strive to get the nutrients we really need? In college(and any other time in your life), it is really important that you fuel your body. Make sure you are getting in your fruits and veggies in every meal, and some source of protein. You need energy to function, which is why it is so necessary that you eat food that will keep you full and give you energy for the day.

While it is really important to fuel your body right, eat what you want as well. If you have a dessert at night, that’s okay. Enjoy your food, go get ice cream with your friends, eat out at a nice restaurant sometimes. Everything is okay in moderation, never let anyone tell you you can’t eat something! I am a big advocate in doing what makes you happy, and if that is having dessert with dinner, do it.

#5. Take what you ACTUALLY want

When you get into the dining hall, it will usually be a buffet where you can take as much or as little as you want. You may see a soup and salad bar, a hot line, a breakfast bar, and much more. Some bigger campuses have huge dining halls with fifteen choices, and you may have no idea what to get. Like I said before, it is really useful if the college posts the menu ahead of time. Then you can walk in on a mission knowing exactly what you want.

While it may be temping to get a little bit of food from every part of the hall, try to think about what you will actually eat in one sitting. Think about how much you would normally eat at home and try to base it off that. That way you don’t leave with so many meals that you either try to eat all at once or just leave in your room forever. If you take it back to your room, chances are it will just get thrown away at some point. One exception is if you know you won’t have time to go to the hall later that day or for your next meal. For example, maybe you have a class that goes all the way through lunch. In that case, I would plan on grabbing some food for your next meal or a snack.

#6. Relax while you’re eating

One thing I always strive for is to take a break from school and work while I am eating. Your brain really needs a rest because it is unhealthy to just sit there and study for hours at a time. Rather than watching Tik Tok every fifteen minutes as a brain break, use your meals as a time to relax. It may only be half an hour, but it is a set time in the day where you can give yourself a break. I try to eat with friends a lot too because it is a great time to socialize and you know everyone has to eat. If you want to eat alone some days, that’s fine too. My advice is to just get out of the room for awhile and enjoy yourself.

Of course, there will be times when you have a huge test to study for and you don’t have time to take a break. When that happens, at least eat while you’re studying, and try not to just skip a meal.

#7. Try something new

College dining is a great time to reach out of your comfort zone and try some new foods. At home, we tend to resort to the same types of food all the time. In college, the meals are always rotating and there are always so many options. Whenever I look at the menu, there is always something I’ve never heard of. There may be a new vegan meal with a special type of tofu, or there may be a new type of ethnic dish. Whatever it is, try something new at LEAST once a week. Plus, you can always grab a salad or something just in case you don’t like it.

Who knows, you may get some ideas for making dinner when you get back home!

#8. Stock up on some healthy snacks

If you’re anything like me, you get hungry at the most random times. Like 10 pm, right when you want to go to bed. It’s the worst! This is why I always think it is important to keep a few light, healthy snacks in your room.

The point is: you might get hungry when the hall isn’t open, or you may not have time to actually go get food one day. So, if you get some healthy snacks from the store(or from the dining hall) you will always have something easily accesible. Try to make these snacks things that won’t go bad quickly so you can just keep them and not have to worry. You don’t want a week old burger sitting around rotting! Lol.

Something I really appreciate in my dining hall is that they always have cereal, fresh fruit and granola up for grabs. I like to stock up on these in my room just in case of emergency. I also try to keep some more filling snacks, like protein bars and peanut butter. Since I have a lot of early classes, I often don’t have time to run to the dining hall before. So, I will just eat some fruit that I grabbed from the dining hall the night before, or a granola bar.

Like I said in #4, try not to grab more than you know you will eat before it goes bad. However, if you stock up on some cereal, it’ll stay good in your room for awhile and you know you always have it.

#9. Eat all your meals

Eat three meals a day! Try your absolute best not to miss meals! Like I mentioned before, if you know you don’t have time to get to the dining hall for a meal, grab something before hand. You may have a class that goes right through lunch time, but that doesn’t mean you just shouldn’t eat lunch. If you miss meals, you won’t be fueled and ready to go for the rest of the day. With all the added stress that college brings, you really want to make sure you’re fueling your body.

That also means that you SHOULDN’T skip breakfast. I have a lot of early classes, and I always want to sleep in until the very last minute. Instead, I make myself get up to eat some breakfast. Plus, I usually don’t have time for a snack between breakfast and lunchtime, which is why it is so important I have a real breakfast early in the morning. So, wake up an extra ten minutes early to eat, and don’t press that snooze button. If you don’t wake up in time for breakfast, make sure to have a snack to get you going until lunch.

No matter how busy you are, always make time to eat. If that means planning out your day by the hour so you ensure you have time, then do that. If you know you can eat everyday at noon, do that! And, if you’re hungry throughout the day, get a snack. The best thing you can do is listen to your body.

#10. Give yourself, and your body, a break

The MOST important piece of advice I can give!!

We’ve all heard about it and we all fear it: the freshman fifteen. It is a common belief that when you go to college, you will gain “fifteen pounds in your first year”. The truth is, you might gain a bit of weight, and that happens. Going to college is a huge life change, and you will likely be eating much different than at home. Give your body time to adapt to the change, while doing what you can to stay healthy and happy.

A part of the problem is stress and lack of sleep! Sometimes you may be so stressed that you don’t sleep, or you just don’t go to bed until two in the morning. Remember that this hurts your body, and you need sleep! It may contribute to weight gain, but I encourage you not to think about that part of it. Instead, focus on how your body needs sleep to function. If you get a good amount of sleep, you will feel so much better physically and mentally.

Yes, you might gain some weight, and that is totally okay AND totally normal. Forget about the scale and focus on your mental health remind yourself that you are beautiful no matter what, and don’t be so hard on yourself.

Monthly Spread-September

I can’t believe we’ve already made it to September! It seems like just yesterday was March, and we were all in lockdown. Now, we’re getting into corn maze season! If you didn’t know this already, I am so excited for fall because I love all fall activities (except for haunted houses, no way!!). I can’t wait to go through corn mazes, pick apples, and carve pumpkins.

ALSO! I have not been very good about this recently, but I wanted to start getting into the program of providing you all with monthly spreads at the beginning of each month. Today, I am going to share with you my gratitude and expense trackers.

September(October and November) Gratitude Tracker

This gratitude tracker is a new spread that I’ve never tried before, but I think it will be really awesome for my mind to write down one thing I’m thankful for everyday. Being stuck at home during COVID made me really think about everything and everyone that I love in my life. It inspired me to make this spread because we often take so much for granted, and I think taking just a moment each day to think about what and who you love is essential.

I combined the next three months just to save some paper, knowing I can write pretty small. If you prefer to write bigger, feel free to make this spread for only one or two months per page. Basically, all this spread has are the dates of the month, and you write down one thing you’re grateful for next to each number. This can be anything simple, such as your family, to something more specific, like an event that took place during the day.

September Expense Tracker

I love this expense tracker because it highlights so much in just one spread. I started off with a couple doodles at the top. Of course, you can feel free to draw whatever you want. I didn’t have any stencils at the time, so don’t mind my attempt at drawing:). Below my doodles are where I will put my goals for my checking and savings accounts, with a start and end balance. I also have goals for how much money I should spend on needs, wants, and anything in between. I have a section for what I WANT to spend(to fill out at the beginning of the month), and a section for what I ACTUALLY spend(to fill out at the end of the month). Below that is a section for bills, and then I have a tracker for the days I don’t spend any money. Each day is a 2×2 box, and when I don’t spend any money that day, I color in the box. That way at the end of the month I will know how often I spent money. You can also make a goal, such as only spending money 15 days of the month. Lastly, I have a tracker for money spending. In April, I made one of these as well. It has a category for the day you bought the object, and what exactly it was. What store did it come from, what category(food or crafts, for example), and total amount you spent. Next to that is where it gets a little complicated, and of course where I messed up. C and DC are cash and debit card; you just put a check mark on whatever one you used. N and W stand for need and want, which you would also just check off.

I hope you loved these new spreads for September, and are inspired to make them for your bullet journal! Email me or let me know in the comments if there are any specific spreads you would like to see for next month.

As always,

with love,

EmmaGrace

Surviving the First Week of College

College Life with EmmaGrace Miniseries: Part 2!

Now that you’ve made it to the first week of classes(maybe you’re a little farther in than that), how do you feel? For me, I have done a lot of introductory work and I haven’t been too stressed out about my workload… YET. I’m sure I will be in the future, but for now I wanted to give you an idea on how to handle the first week of classes, so YOU won’t have to worry about stress. My goal is for you to read this post and feel way more prepared to take on the first week of classes!

#1. Give yourself a few extra minutes to walk to class

If you read my last blog post, titled “What to Do Before the First Day of College”, you remember how I recommended walking around campus to each classroom at least once. And if you haven’t read my last post yet, you can read it here! Even if you think you know the campus really well, leave yourself a few extra minutes to get there for at least the first week. You never know if you will have a makeup malfunction before you leave the dorm, get stuck talking to a friend, or lose your way. Worst case scenario, you show up to class a few minutes early, which is much better than a few minutes late. For morning classes, I would recommend getting up a few minutes earlier than you were planning. So if you plan on getting up at 8:10 for an 8:30 class, maybe get up at 8. This allows you to have a few minutes to breathe and wake up before class starts.

#2. Write down ALL assignments

On the first day of class (or maybe even before), you will probably get a syllabus from all of your teachers, which should have all your major assignments on it. These can range anywhere from quizzes to tests to papers. You will want to make sure you have all of these written down in a monthly AND weekly part of your planner. College professors don’t always remind you when you have something to do or when there will be a test, which makes it so important that you have all the dates written down somewhere. You can even create an assignment log in your bullet journal. I will talk more about the spread in a later post, but below I’ve attached a picture of my August and September assignment logs (before I filled them out). You can highlight each class a different color, or highlight based on what type of assignment it is. Whatever way you choose to organize your assignments, it must make sense to you so you will know far in advance when you have something due. If you do not get a syllabus with the dates of all your assignments, make sure you write them down as soon as a teacher announces anything. You will want to start big assignments as soon as possible because they usually take more time than expected For example, a paper might take you more than a few weeks to write, and you should probably start studying for tests at least a week prior.

August and September assignment logs

#3. Go to all the campus activities you can

In the first week, there will be a lot of activities for you to participate in, such as involvement fairs and outside festicals. For me, there were a lot of activities within my hall and a few involvement fairs. Truth be told, with Coronavirus and social distancing/masks, it is even harder to make friends than in past years. Howver, I know colleges are giving their best efforts to make sure you still get a great college experience with great events. While it is so hard to socialize right now, you still need to make the best effort to appreciate the opportunities colleges are giving you to meet new people and do new things. Sometimes you will really not want to go, and that IS totally okay. I don’t want to make it seem like you have to go to any and every event possible. However, if you can make it to just a few things your first week(and beyond), you will most likely find something you want to be involved in. For example, you might make a friend at an outdoor event ora really interesting club at a fair. And yes, it is possible that some of the activities will be a complete bore, but you can just go home after and choose not to attend the same event again.

#4. Make your bed and do a “ten minute tidy”

Every morning, make your bed as SOON as you get up. William McCraven, a retired Navy Admiral Seal, once said, “If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day.” I talked about this (and the ten minute tidy) in my post “This Storm.” Making your bed will make you more productive throughout the day, and if you do it right when you wake up, you don’t have to worry about it for the rest of the day. Furthermore, a ten minute tidy is something I do once a day to maintain the cleanliness of my room. It’s exactly what it sounds like: a quick room clean up that takes no more than ten minutes. I just make sure all my notebooks are put away, my clothes are in the laundry, etc. It doesn’t take long and will keep your room from looking like a complete disaster. If you don’t clean your room until it is just a tornado, you will be so overwhelmed. The ten minute tidy will keep you from ever having to feel this way. Also, I would suggest doing a thorough cleaning once a week (I like to do it on Sundays), which includes a little dusting, maybe a quick vaccum if you have one, etc.

#5. Take some self care time

At least once a day, allow yourself at least 10-15 minutes to do something you want to do. During this time, don’t think about anything else; just be in the moment. You can do anything from reading a book to journaling to just sitting by yourself. I know it is hard to find any spare time in college because you always have so much work, events, etc. However, you will stay so much less stressed if you can find just a little bit of time every day to set everything aside and only think about you. If you can wake up fifteen minutes early and do this, that’s great. Otherwise, you can just plan a little bit of time day by day. I would also suggest taking a day or two every week to do a larger self-care activity, such as getting your nails done or doing a craft. This could even be taking a nap. I have a friend who doesn’t do any homework on Wednesdays and makes this her self care day. If you can do that, that’s amazing, but for me personally, it is hard to take a whole day without work. This is why I like to break it up day by day and plan a larger activity for myself on the weekends. If you need some help coming up with self care activities, there is a list below

Self Care Tips

  • Meditate
  • Do your nails
  • Get your hair done
  • Read
  • Nap
  • Write ten things you love
  • Get a massage
  • Do your makeup
  • Go outside and take in the scenery
  • Stretch/yoga
  • Drink some water
  • Write down your favorite quotes
  • Exercise
  • Practice breathing
  • Journal
  • Blog
  • Vision board
  • Write down what you’re grateful for
  • Take a nice drive
  • Light a candle/essential oils
  • Get some coffee
  • Do a good deed
  • Try something new
  • Give a loved one a call

#6. Plan out your goals each day

Whether you have a weekly, daily, or hourly planner(or all three), or just make a checklist at the beginning of every day, make sure you prioritize your goals. The first goal can always be making your bed, which means you will ALWAYS accomplish the first goal of the day. From there, I would suggest doing one task in your room every day, which I will include a list of ideas below. A good idea would be to plan out what homework you want to get done that day, or what parts of assignments. Maybe you want to get your essay introduction done or finish studying vocabulary for Spanish. Either way, set SPECIFIC goals that are realistic for that day. For example, you may want to cover one chapter of biology and one lesson in chemistry, but it is probably not realistic to try to read and take notes on five chapters in one day. If you have all your assignments in your planner, like I suggested before, you will always know what’s coming and never have to read five chapters in one day. I would suggest making your to-do list at the beginning of the day, or the night before, then adding to it as you go to class and get more homework. Also, when I get a homework assignment, I always write the day it is due and add it to my to-do lists until that day. Then, I know I should be working on it at least a little bit until the due date. If I finish before then, I can just cross that task off!

Daily task Ideas

  • Laundry
  • Dust
  • Vacuum
  • Clean out fridge
  • Trash/recycling
  • Bathroom cleanup (may split this with many people, or there may be people that come do it)
  • Dishes (>once/week)
  • Disinfect surfaces (>once/week)

#7. Give a call back home

Let’s face it: being away from home this long can really suck. As much as you are homesick, your family probably misses you just as much. Give a call back home to your mom, who will want to know what you’re doing to keep busy, or to your boyfriend, just to tell him that you love him. A call to your family back home will mean so much to them, and it will also be a little reminder that people are here for you. You may be apart in distance, but your family and friends back home love you just as much as they did before. Anytime you need a little support, give them a call, and they can let you know everything will be okay. Yes, there are people that would argue talking to your family too much will cause more issues, and make you more homesick. Truthfully, I think it is about who you are and how close you are with your family. Calling your parents six times a day may be a little excessive, I don’t think a check-in call once a day is too much. Again, it’s all personal preference. For me, a quick call to my mom or boyfriend once every day or two is a reminder of the support and love I will always have back home.

What To Do Before the First Day of College

College Life with EmmaGrace: Part 1

Happy Monday! Did you have any fun plans for this week, or did you just plan on getting some work done Good news is that I don’t have too much homework yet, which hopefully means that I will have some time to relax and hang out with friends. Oh, and bullet journal of course;)

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BREAKING NEWS: I am really excited to introduce a new type of post to you: “tips and tricks.” My goal is to turn this into a mini series, where I share different college tricks/hacks each week. This is my first time trying this type of post, so please bear with me! Also, if you have any type of post you want to see, please feel free to leave a comment or email me at anytime. You can also fill out a form at the end of the post!

#1. Get your room done right away

With COVID restrictions, you probably won’t have much time to move all your stuff into the dorm (if you’re reading this at a later time, you can skip the next couple sentences). In my case, we had three hours for parents to move us in, then they had to be out of the dorm room. To add on, it was a very staggered move in, meaning my roommate and I weren’t able to move in on the same day. This makes it extra crucial to have everything packed neatly. Make sure everything is in a suitcase or bag, so you can carry everything in the room easily and in fewer trips. Once everything is in the room, start to unpack. Hopefully your parents are able to help you start hanging everything up, which is probably the most difficul part of setting up your room. It may seem easy to put everything off, but trust me it helps to have everything hung, your desk set up, etc. Once your bed is made and you have some pictures on the wall, you will feel so much more at home. Try to organize all your clothes and food as well, then you won’t have to do it at a later time and it eliminates some stress from your first week.

  • PRO TIP: if you start off with everything organized and your bed made, you are much more likely to keep it that way. Try to KEEP everything organized as long as you can because it is so much easier to maintain organization than to not clean the room until it is insanely messy.

#2. Go outside and make new friends

If you read #2 and said “yikes,” don’t worry: it’s very common. While you may just want to stay in your room and go on your phone, trust me it will be so much better if you go out and meet people. My best recommendation is to go somewhere with your roommate, so you have someone to make you a little more comfortable. With the circumstances(social distancing, masks, etc.), it is even harder to make friends and get to know people. Start with something simple like asking someone to sit with you who likes like they’re alone. Chances are, they’re looking to make new friends just like you are.

#3. Organize your classes

Write down everything you know about your classes in a planner or notebook. Bonus points if you can put it in a bullet journal ;). This can range from the class teacher, number, building, and location. Usually, you will have your professor’s email on your schedule, and this is a great place to keep it. It’s so important to keep track of what days and times each class is. There are a few ways to do this, the first is making a timed schedule of the week. You can do this by writing out the hours of every day, and writing each class in its assigned hour. The second way is make a notebook section for each class, and include all the information about a class you have. You can do this in a bullet journal if you are really crafty, otherwise just write it in a lined notebook. You will want to make sure that you leave some extra room below each class for information teachers tell you on the first day, such as their phone numbers. If you really wanted to, you can write your important assignments for each class here as well.I have both the schedule and information section in my bullet journal, and will include them in next weeks blog for you!

#4. Recognize you’re not alone

Here’s the truth you’ve been waiting for: you are doing the exact same thing everyone else is, and you have the same feelings as them too. Whether you’re a freshman or a senior, leaving your family is hard. Everyone around you is trying to adjust just like you are, and they may be struggling even worse than you. Whether you’re totally excited to leave home and be somewhere new, or it totally freaks you out, you will get homesick at some point. As a freshman, it’s even worse because you’ve probably never been away from home this long. Trust me, I am experiencing that right now. Your roommate feels the exact same way, and so do thousands of others all around you. If you can recognize you’re not in this journey alone, it will make you feel so much better. Go and talk to someone about how you are feeling, whether it be a friend on campus or a staff member. If it’s a friend, they will more than likely tell you they’re feeling the same way and you can strategize together. Staff members can be helpful too because they have seen so many other kids go through being homesick, and know how to help you get through your first week and beyond.

#5. Familiarize yourself with the area

Pay attention if you’re directionally challenged like me, because this is even MORE important. Before you start the first day of class, it is so crucial that you get familiar with the campus and the buildings. If you have some extra time, explore the town you’re living in: find the closest grocery store, gas station, and your favorite fast food place. If you can’t do that before class starts, no worries, but DO make sure you at least find your classes. First, start by either writing down or printing off your schedule, with all the rooms and buildings included. Kudos to you if it’s already written in your bullet journal. Furhtermore, a really important item is a map of the campus, whether you have it printed out or bookmarked on your phone. Locate all the buildings you have class in and circle them on the map (a lot easier if you can just get it printed). Write the room numbers on the map as well. Then, you should go into all the buildings and walk to each of your classes, in order, starting with Monday morning. If the buildings are locked (most of the time they will be open) and you are unable to walk to each individual class, make sure you know the room number and leave yourself a few extra minutes to walk to each class on the first day. If you can find a building layout somewhere online, that can be really helpful as well, so you at least know what side of the building to go to. Once you have all the rooms down, just walk to each building one more time like you’re going from class to class. No need to go into the buildings again unless you feel like you need more practice with it. Lastly, find all the resources that you might need on campus, such as the library, dining halls, and campus safety.

Just be aware that if you’re on a bigger campus, it might take a few weeks to get into the groove of things. If you follow these steps, at least you will have gotten an idea of wehre evrything is before classes start. I would recommend leaving early on the first day no matter what because we all get tripped up sometimes.

If you didn’t make it through #5, here’s a more condensed version

  1. Print out or write your schedule with room numbers. Make sure you have a campus map too.
  2. Locate all your buildings on a map
  3. Physically walk to each classroom
  4. Walk to each building one more time (don’t have to go in)
  5. Find other campus resources
    • Dining halls, library, safety office

Final Words

If you’ve made it to the end of this post, congratulations! I hope these tips prove helpful to you as you embark on your journey! If you liked this style post, let me know! If you didn’t, or you have any other suggestions, feel free to let me know in the message box below as well! I hope you have a wonderful week!

As always,

with love,

EmmaGrace