Home for the Holidays

Hi all!! I am so excited to be writing to you today from MY desk…my very own desk at home! The semester is finally over (actually, my last exam is virtual today) and I am back home for the holidays. That means… another update on my life! I did this a little while back but I figured I would let you all know what I am up to for the break, and what my plans are for next semester. Sometimes like to switch up the content from my college miniseries and bullet journaling to talk about me:) That is what a blog is all about, right?

Well, I am back home until the beginning of January and I am so excited. I am very much a homebody. While I’m home, I will go back to work at the coffee shop in my hometown where I have worked since high school. I am thankful that my boss is letting me come back because I don’t have to find another job, which would really suck. At school, I do not work yet, but I probably will in the future. I am thinking an on-campus job because they are really flexible with your schedule. Since my class schedule is a little hectic, it would probably be difficult to find an off-campus job. Plus, a flexible schedule is nice because I like to go home on the weekends sometimes.

As for the break, I hope to keep up on my blog and produce some amazing spreads for you all. With a little more time on my hands, I want to focus on making more spreads for my bullet journal. So, stay tuned for that! Besides blogging, bullet journaling, and working, I of course want to spend a lot of time with my family. My mom and boyfriend are my biggest supporters and the people I want to spend the most time with at home. That means lots of Christmas movies and hot cocoa! Another goal is to do some really amazing crafts. If you have any ideas, PLEASE leave them below! I always love doing crafts but love them even more when I get to give them away for Christmas presents. I think making presents for someone just makes it so much more special. Especially cards… why buy a card when you can easily make one AND make someone feel super special and loved?! Let’s just say my basement may turn into a little bit of a craft shop for the next two months (sorry mom!!).

When I go back to school, I will be in more education classes that will help me with my elementary education major. Let me tell you… I am beyond excited. If you read “An Update on Me” back in early October, you know that this semester I took a few classes from the nursing major thinking I might want to be a nurse. Probably not for me. Especially since I ripped a scab off of my foot and could barely control myself. Anyway, I wanted to talk to you about my next semester and the classes I get to take! I have an educational psychology class that focuses on the growth and development of children academically, socially, etc. It also has a field placement where I will either work at a school or teach children online. I am so looking forward to that and I hope to be able to go into a real classroom. This semester, I had a field placement in my special education class but I had to teach it over Google Meets. While I absolutely loved that opportunity, it would be even more amazing to be able to actually go into a school. Unfortunately, schools are trying to limit the people coming in and out right now. This semester’s field placement was special education and next semester will be general education. It seems like they would have me do general education first, but I guess not! Although I loved doing special education but I think that my path is more general education. The background is amazing because even in general education you will have children who receive special education. It is really important to me that all teachers are trained to help all students. If you have not noticed before, education for all is a really important topic to me. Just like I don’t understand how children cannot go to school but we can still go retail shopping.. but that’s a topic for another day… LOL.

So… along with my general education class and field placement, I also have an educational history class. This class focuses on the development of education through the years. If we’re being honest, history is NOT my strong suit, but hopefully it won’t be too bad. I probably should have a background on the history of what my job is, right? Next is a class focusing on teaching P.E. Even though I don’t want to be a gym teacher, everyone in the education major has to take this class. I also have to take a class on teaching art, so it must be just to have a background on all the “specials.” I also have an “encounter with cultures” class that looks at the foundations of many diverse cultures. I am taking this class as part of my ESL (English as a Second Language) endorsement. I honestly do not know much about that class right now but will keep you posted! My last class is Calculus 2, which I have to take because I have a math concentration. I will be able to teach anything from K-5, but be able to teach math up to eighth grade with the concentration. This also means I have to take about five more math classes before I graduate. Most people I talk to think that sounds just horrible but I am actually excited. I am much better at math than science or english, which is why I chose that as my concentration. Anyway, I probably won’t be teaching elementary children calculus, but you have to take it to complete the math concentration. I guess they want teachers to be really educated on what they are teaching, who would’ve known?? It is crazy to think that in four short years, I will know how to teach children! I am so excited for that day:)

Finally, I want to apply to the education department next semester. In order to take the higher level education courses you have to be in the department. This means the 300 and 400 level courses (which I want to take next fall). However, to apply for the department, you must have completed a few beginner classes, such as the special education class I was in this semester and the educational psychology class I am taking next semester. By the end of this semester, I will be done with all the minimum requirements. As long as you will have completed all the minimum classes by the end of the semester, you can apply, which is why I can do it this spring. I was debating waiting until the fall to apply so I could get to know more teachers for the teacher recommendations (you can apply in the fall or spring), but it is recommended that you do it as soon as possible to start those higher education courses. So that is what I will do! When I apply, I will let you know, so wish me luck!

Thank you all for reading a little bit more about me today! I can’t wait to share more with you. Stay tuned next week for a bullet journal themed blog:)

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!