Everything You Need to Know About Study Abroad

This past semester (fall 2018) I decided to accept an offer to study abroad in Budapest, Hungary. I have been here for just over two months, and I can truly say it is one of the most amazing and changing decisions I have ever made. Immersing yourself in a different culture can be so rewarding if you let it be. That being said, I see many people not allowing this to be their experience! This is truly heartbreaking because like I said, this experience can teach you so much about yourself but you just have to let it. Below you’ll find everything you need to know about studying abroad!

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The number one, and I mean NUMBER ONE PRIORITY thing I can recommend to abroad students is to honestly linger away from people from your home country. You are going abroad for a reason, if you wanted to just be with the same people from your school you probably should’ve just stayed home. Now, I’m not saying you need to cut off all your friends studying abroad with you. What I AM saying is that you should really try to branch out and meet people from new countries! You can get such a unique cultural perspective if you push your comfort zone a bit and talk to someone from somewhere else. Luckily, most study abroad programs will make this process super easy for you. In my experience, the first two weeks of school were really just about acquainting us with other people. We had events, bar nights, pub crawls, dances, dinners…. like so many different opportunities to meet people. Even now, we still have weekly events to bring everyone together that have been coordinated by our program. Use this time to get out of your normal box of comfort and meet some new people.  Not entirely sure about other places, but if you are in Europe this is a CAKE WALK. Not to generalize but honestly…Europeans are some of the most open and welcoming people I have ever met, so don’t be shy!

Next, pack accordingly! I know, it seems all like “woah I’m studying abroad I’m going to bring all these cool clothes that I never wear at home, cause I’ll definitely wear them here.” Wrong. I promise you, your desire to wear sweatpants and a v-neck every single day is not going to change just because you are in a foreign country. Chances are when you are packing you will have one checked bag, your carry-on, and your personal item. In your head this feels like a lot of space, but when you realize you are trying to pack for 4+ months it really isn’t much at all. What I can say is most important is to bring pieces you can wear in multiple ways. I packed my must-have’s, but I also made sure I packed a lo of basics and things I could layer like sweatshirts, v-necks, and cardigans. Also, research the weather of the area you are in before you come. Don’t bring only summer clothes if it’s only going to be warm two months (ok, me.) I was lucky to have my dad bring my coat when he was on business in Europe and got to see me, but most people don’t get this lucky.

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Another thing to remember is that this is not going to be your home country. Everything is about to be so different, and that’s not a bad thing. The food will more than likely be different, as will the culture, the way people act, and maybe even the way people dress. Even though this may feel off and a bit uncomfortable at first, I promise it will be what makes your experience. Also, it’s important to remember that if you don’t adjust automatically, then that’s okay. I know so many people who had serious culture shock for the first couple of weeks and now they are having the time of their lives.

Last, and most importantly. Do every spontaneous thing, follow every crazy dream, do every bucket list item you want, and take in every single moment. I feel as if I have blinked and now I’m down to only one month left. This has truly been the craziest and most eye-opening three months of my life, and I don’t know how to handle leaving this beautiful city I love so dearly. Fall in love with your abroad city. Spend weekends exploring new spots and find your favorite places. Have Wednesday wine nights by the bridge, or take a weekend trip to Croatia to see that waterfall you’ve always wanted to see. Stay up too late, go out too much, ignore your parents asking if you are “actually” studying, spend all your money, and never blink an eye because it’s over before you know it.

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Things You Should’ve Been Telling Yourself All Along

My mind flows the most freely when I am stressed. Before sitting down to write this, I told myself I was going to lay in bed all day today. It’s raining, and it’s cold. That alone can take my mood from a 10 to a 3 in a matter of minutes. So that combined with the normal issues of life puts me at a strong 1 today. However, when I laid down, I kept thinking “what do I wish someone would tell me when I am down?” So here we are. It feels like you have such a huge circle sometimes, but then when the bad days roll around it really is like *crickets.* This is of no one’s fault, especially when you aren’t reaching out and telling people you need help because hey, everyone gets busy. Is this a post of me mostly just babbling…yes! So here we go.

Stop living in any other time besides right now

I wish I could actually tattoo this on to my forehead. If you are living in any time besides right now, there is no chance of you enjoying the moment you are in. Stop thinking about what could’ve been in the past, or what you wish you would’ve done differently. Stop thinking about deadlines and what-if scenarios. Although it sounds a little chaotic and stressful to stop planning or thinking (especially if you are a micro-manager like me,) sometimes it is exactly what you need.

Unplug

There’re so many things happening in the world right now. There’s a hurricane here, and a wildfire there, and Peggy’s baby is sick with cancer, and Roger’s dog just got hit by a car. Social media can be so amazing. It’s given me a way to connect with so many amazing people, and it also allows me to be up to date with what is happening in the world. At the same time though, that can become so consuming. You can either get in the comparison game and compare everyone’s best moments on social media to your not-so-great moments in real life…or you can just become overwhelmed with how utterly downhill the world seems to be going and the fact that it feels like there’s nothing you can do (not true.) So, with that being said take some time to just be in the space you are in. Stop being concerned with the world that is in your phone.

Be kind to yourself 

We are humans. We have good days, and we have bad days. Sometimes we even have bad weeks, or bad months. That is truly just life! When those days, or weeks, or months come, and they will, be kind to yourself. Don’t beat yourself up for being human and give yourself the time you need to be okay. Healing is not linear, sometimes we think we are getting better and then we get bad again. But the sun will come out eventually and it can’t be dark forever. Don’t forget you should be the most kind to yourself.

Stop listening to other people

I don’t know how else to phrase this, but just stop. Stop listening to other people’s expectations. Stop listening to what other people want you to be. Stop listening to how the world is telling you to feel, or act, or dress. Sometimes you must be selfish in life, and sometimes in those times of selfishness you don’t fit into the boxes people want you to fit into. WHO CARES? This is your life, and if you are living it for anyone besides yourself you aren’t going to live a life that is fulfilled. Shut out the noise and listen to yourself. There are over 6 billion people in the world, the opinions of a few are truly irrelevant.

Why to Start Embracing Being Unapologetic

For the longest time, my life centered so much around others. I was constantly thinking  things like “was it stupid to say that,” “do they think I’m weird,” “what if I say this and they don’t like me?” Even though I felt independent, I was living a life based off of what other people expected and wanted from me. To be real, I just wasn’t being 100% me. My anxiety and depression played a HUGE role in this, although looking back I didn’t even realize at the time that that’s not how most people were living. Then, after moving to Chicago + getting out of a long-term relationship I suddenly had this urge to re-brand myself. You see, the town I grew up in was for lack of better words…garbage. It’s one of those small towns where everyone is into everyone’s business and everyone has an opinion of what other people are doing. The brutal honesty is just that people are so bored with their own lives and the fact that there’s nothing to do, that they worry about other peoples.

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So when I got into my first couple of months in Chicago, I sat myself down and honestly told myself over and over that I was a bad bitch and that I was unstoppable. I’m serious people, if you keep telling yourself positive affirmations will really make you believe them. So eventually, I had built up a ton of confidence which is something I never had before but also didn’t realize I was missing. Suddenly, I was a force of nature. I started talking all the time in class, I started telling people no more often, and I started to see my goals so much more clearly and what I needed to do to attain them. MANIFEST YOUR GOALS GIRL INVEST IN YOURSELF.

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A lot, of the time I see that women are the people that have the biggest issue with allowing themselves to be unapologetic. As women, we are taught to make ourselves smaller and fit into the parts of society that women are “supposed” to fit in. We are supposed to carry ourselves with poise. We are supposed to be dainty, and kind. Gentle and sweet and mannerly and all things nice. When we detest those things, we are seen as three things: inappropriate, slutty, or manly. Welllll, I say SCREW THAT. In my little journey toward confidence and unapologetic-ness I found that the best way to live, is to live in a way where you are the least concerned with what other people think. So if I want to not wear a bra, I’m going to not wear a bra. If I want to say “fuck this bullshit” in my blog post, I’m going to say it. If I want to get political, I’m going to get political because that’s just what I care about. Once you start living a life where you are 100% doing it for you and no one else, you will find you are living a much happier life.

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5 Ways You Can Actually Save and Make Money

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I try to travel as often as I can, but I’m also a full time student so I don’t really have the skills or the time to have a like real life “career,” that will give me a salary to easily support all my travel ventures. That being said, I often have to get creative with how I save and make money if I want to keep up with the lifestyle I’ve been living. There are honestly so many small things you can do in your every day life to make money, especially if you are living in a more urban setting.

Stop spending all your money on food 

I get it, I’m a foodie. I’m always thinking about my next meal and how soon I’ll get to eat it. The thing is though, going out to eat is EXPENSIVE. Even if you try to justify it by saying “well it’s usually only just $5-$6,” if you are doing that every single day you are basically spending more than $35 a week on food that’s probably not even that high in quality. If you multiply that by four, it ends up being $140 which is basically over half a plane ticket. I know for me especially, it can be really challenging to not go out to eat. I live in a dorm and my kitchen is limited. However, I still find ways to make it work! For example, you can get a package of pasta and 2 or 3 different sauces for around $7-$8. That can literally last you so long, and it also will save you so much time when you are getting your meals together if you go ahead and make the noodles in advance so all you have to do is add sauce. Another really inexpensive meal to have is sandwiches, they are literally so good and have so much variety. I get that it can be annoying to eat the same stuff all the time, but honestly the reward is much higher than the sacrifice especially when you are saving money so you can do what you want to do

Utilize money making apps

This one is best for people in urban area (sorry rural people) but this is a great way to make money! So you have a couple of great options for things you can do, and all of them allow you to work 100% on your own time. Let’s dive in!

  • WAG- Dog walking app, and super easy to get approved for! Basically you send in your availability, and once you are approved they will start sending you walks to do in your area. You 100% have the ability to turn these down and you won’t be penalized
  • ThredUp- This is perfect for those of you who don’t live in a big city. Thread up is basically a consignment app that will send you a bag with a prepaid shipping label (no cost to you) and then you fill the bag with your gently used clothes and send it in. They will look through your clothes and either recycle the ones they don’t want or they will send them back to you at your request. This isn’t the best app if you need money on the spot because it does take a bit to get money since you have to wait for your clothes to sell
  • Postmates- The app we know and love, but you can also be a delivery driver for them as well. This is a great way to get some extra cash, and like WAG it allows you to work 100% on your own time and decline jobs that you find to be too far or just aren’t interested in
  • Field Agent- I love this app! This is a great way to make money by doing what you are already doing every day. You earn money from this app by completing tasks such as going to Walgreens and taking a picture of a product and verifying it’s price. You can make around $3-$16 per task
  • ShopKick- Another great app that is also perfect for people in not as urban places, and like field agent you get paid to do everything you are already doing. The way it works is you get “kicks” for literally walking into stores, scanning items, and taking pictures of your purchases. This app works in places like Best Buy, Target, Ulta, Walmart, and so many more

Give up a couple of those weekends out 

This is especially a must for those 20-something age readers. People my age constantly ask me “how do you travel so much?” “how do you have money to do all of this?” but they are also almost always the people who I see going out to parties or the bars every Friday and Saturday night. It’s the little purchases like the $2 shots or the $3 beer that really add up and end up doing the most damage to your bank account. I know that FOMO is so real, but you know what’ also real? Being broke and not being able to do anything

Sell your old electronics and textbooks

You know that old iphone that’s been in your drawer for the past 4 years…well it’s time to send that baby off for some cash. Websites like Craigslist, Ebay, and Amazon will allow you to sell your old electronics and make some really good money depending on the condition of the items and how old they are. Companies like Gazelle will also buy your phone off of you, since there is a huge market for refurbishing phones. BookScouter, Decluttr, and TextbookRush are also all great websites that will buy your old textbooks from you

Lead walking tours on Viator

This last one is really only for my city people out there, but if you are a people person and know your city really well this is the perfect job for you. You can start out by just doing free tours, and at the end if the tour was good naturally people are going to tip you. As you build a reputation you’ll be able to start asking for money for the tours, it’s also a great way to network and meet new people

Thanks for joining in for this quick little read, if you all have any suggestions or ideas about how to make/save money drop them in the comments below. Also, be sure to check out my post on how I travel on a budget, linked here

 

How to Pack With a Backpacker’s Ticket

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“Backpacker’s tickets” have honestly saved my life. If you don’t already know, they are the cheapest of the cheap when it comes to airline tickets. Yes, you will load the plane last. Yes, you will probably be in the middle. And finally, yes you will not have access to overhead bins. When I first read this while booking a ticket for my first solo trip my over-packing mind thought “how will I bring every thing I need without at least a carry on?” But after extensively going through each item I thought I needed, I found ways to minimize my packing list but still bring my must-have’s.

One of the most important things in this journey is making sure that your one personal item is a spacious backpack. Now, I’m not talking packed to the ceiling type deal but you can pack your typical day hiking bag to the brim and it will still fit under your seat. Some of my favorite backpacks are High Sierra, and Teton. They are usually light weight, have a water bladder, and built to last. You don’t have to drop tons of money to get a nice bag though. TJ Maxx, Marshall’s, Ebay, and even Facebook market place usually have some great deals on usually very expensive backpacks.

Next is learning how to pack in a more *minimalist* manner. I know at the time it really feels like you do need all 5 sandals, 12 sundresses, 8 bikinis, and 7 pairs of leggings but I promise you will survive (beautifully.) You can still have all of your essentials, while still managing to get away with not paying the ridiculous fee’s to check a bag. Sort out all the items you want to take, immediately get rid of any of those items you are packing in case you “might need them.” 90% of the time those items sit in the bottom of my bag and never get worn, so why even pack them.

From there, try to bring pieces that you can wear multiple times, and know what you can sacrifice. So maybe instead of bringing three pairs of black hiking leggings, just bring one. Or bring a skirt that you can wear with multiple tops, things like that! This saves you a lot of room if you can get multiple outfits out of one piece. Lastly, with shoes make sure you are wearing your bulkiest shoes (ex; hiking boots) on the plane so you can save room in your bag. My personal rule for shoes is to bring 1 pair for comfort and 1 or 2 pairs for fashion.

If you are a blogger like myself, most of us are also packing a camera and a laptop for editing. These things can take up HUGE amounts of space. Try to narrow down what kind of shots you are going to take, and from there decide what lenses you need. I try to bring just one if I’m only bringing my backpack because as I said, lenses can get pretty bulky. Lastly, REMEMBER WHAT YOU CAN BUY. Travel size items are sold nearly every where, why take up space bringing your own travel size items when you could purchase the same ones there?

 

Thanks so much for reading everyone if you want to check out how I travel on a budget, click here!

 

 

How You Can Help the Environment this Summer

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Summer is finally here, which means exploring new places for so many people. So many of our national and state parks reach their peak activity levels in the summer, which unfortunately means there’s a larger number of people acting carelessly in our protected lands. If we don’t treat these places with the respect they deserve, we won’t have them around to enjoy anymore. Be mindful of the spaces you are in. Our environment is begging us to treat it better and we aren’t listening. Here’s a couple of the easiest things you can do this summer that will help out mama earth.

Pack Out What You Bring In

Although this may seem like common knowledge, we all know from experience many people don’t do this. Park rangers have things much important to do than pickup after you. It is so sad to see some of the most beautiful wonders being cluttered with trash from previous visitors. More importantly, animals can eat your leftover trash and become sick or even die from it. Leaving food out attracts animals as well and puts them in danger. Even if it seems like a hassle, respect these places and clean up after yourself.

Go Strawless

This is a movement that’s been gaining a lot of traction lately, and for good reason. Straws have a drastic impact on our environment and it’s time we #stopsucking. American’s use around 500 million straws each day, for on average of 20 minutes before they are thrown in the garbage to go to a landfill. The plastic will break down overtime, but never completely biodegrade. Plastic straws are filling up our oceans and causing our marine life to become ill. If you feel like you need a straw, there are PLENTY of biodegradable and inexpensive options available like this one on Amazon.

Recycle and thrift your clothes

Did you know textile dying is the second largest contribution to polluting water in the world? Many of the chemicals used to give fun and exciting colors in our clothing comes with a cost. These chemicals are carcinogenic and can disrupt an animals hormones as well. With the fashion industry always trying to keep up with the newest trends that means that there’s tons of clothes just being thrown out because they aren’t “on trend.” Lessen these impacts this summer and start recycling your clothing. Companies like ThredUp allow you to get paid for donating your clothes, then they recycle the ones they don’t accept. This not only gives customers incentive to recycle our clothes, but also allows us to be helping the environment. In addition, by buying second-hand clothes you are keeping more environmental waste from being made (plus thrifting is honestly so fun.)

Composting

Summer means fresh fruits and veggies, but that also means there’s a lot of waste when these foods go bad. Instead of throwing them out turn them into compost for your flowers or fruit/veggie garden. There’s so may benefits to composting like protection from diseases in your plants, prevention of pollution, healthy soil, and no more chemical fertilizers! Composting only requires a little extra work, but the benefits are plentiful.

Below I’ve added a link to some more ways you can be environmentally friendly and also save some money, check it out!U

Living With Anxiety, and How to Manage It

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For as long as I can remember, I’ve had anxiety and it wasn’t always easy for me to open up about. Anxiety is more than just worrying about things, anxiety effects you both mind and body. Being in such a transitional stage in life is difficult at times. At this age it feels like the people around you are either barely hanging on by a thread, or have the perfect balance and everything figured out.

What makes it even harder is that no one wants to be transparent about their struggles. People feel like dealing with every day struggles isn’t a normal part of life, so everyone ignore it and pretends it’s not happening until they can’t anymore and just lose it. In addition to that, many of us college age 20 somethings are going through huge transitions. First real job or internship, living on our own, being alone more often, balancing all the things that have to be done, taking care of ourselves, the list goes on. The fact that we have to get thrown into this all at once is extremely overwhelming, and can bring out a lot of anxiety that feels like it’s consuming us.

Although I know medicine is necessary in some cases, and can be extremely effective, I have found in my case that there’s plenty of natural remedies that help me better than medicine. I am in no way a doctor, but I’ve found these things to be the most effective for me. Check it out below!

Healthy Diet 

When we love our body, it loves us back. If you want to feel good, you need to nourish your body. Foods with dyes, artificial sugars, and high fructose corn syrups have been shown to increase anxiety. Now look, I get it. Nearly everything has at least one of these things in it, but you don’t need to cut these things out completely just practice them in moderation. Lessening my consumption of foods with these things in them not only helped my anxiety, but also helped my overall health. I didn’t feel so exhausted after eating, my acne cleared up more, and you could tell my body was reacting positively to eliminating these toxins. Instead of picking up foods with those ingredients, grab something like blueberries, bananas, or cashews which have all been shown to decrease anxiety.

Exercise 

I am not a gym girl, I’ve never been one to enjoy a morning run or going on the elliptical for hours. That doesn’t mean I can’t be active though! It’s all about finding what exercise is right for you. For me, I love hiking. Being outdoors has been shown to decrease anxiety, and it’s definitely my biggest stress reliever. Even if it’s just going on a 30 minute walk each day, staying active is extremely important. When we exercise, our brain releases chemicals that help make us feel happy and relaxed.

Meditation

This is a huge one for me. Taking time to reflect and be honest with yourself about your struggles can do wonders for you. Many people thing meditation needs to be some full on session with a gong and a monk leading you, but it doesn’t have to be like that AT ALL. Finding a quiet place each day to be alone and mindful about your thoughts can be amazing. I love to light some candles, hit the lights, and meditate while I’m in the bath each night. Meditation is as simple as closing your eyes, focusing on your breathing, and allowing your mind to wander. I try to do this for at least 30 minutes a day because I’ve found it really clears my mind and especially makes the physical symptoms of anxiety go away.

Let things go 

We are only in charge of ourselves and our emotions. We can’t change how people feel, or think, or react. Anxiety tells us to hyper-focus on everything, and constantly replay how things could’ve gone differently over and over. However, we must learn to let things go, not for other people but for ourselves. We are all still growing and learning, and at some level we have to let things go and forgive ourselves for the mistakes we have made.

These are just a few things, but I would love to hear about what everyone else does to manage their anxiety and stress. Having an open conversation about this is key to helping ourselves and helping our eachother. Have a great day!

What You Do and Don’t Need For Your Dorm

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Ahh, dorm shopping. Nothing feels quite as anxiety provoking, but also exciting as buying things for your first college dorm. I remember reading so many different blogs, and by the end of it I felt 1) overwhelmed, 2) like I needed to buy every single item in Target’s home section. However as the year went on, I realized there were so many things I had bought that were completely useless. Below I’ve included a list of the things I found to be most useful and essential for your dorm and the things that really aren’t worth it.

Don’t buy a drying rack

I know, your mom is insisting your sweaters and delicate clothes will shrink if you put them in the dryer and then they will be ruined! Here’s the thing though, I promise you that you will NEVER use it. I saw so many people claiming this as a must have, but for me it just took up space in my dorm. If you feel like you really have to wash your sweaters just lay them flat over the air conditioning, promise it works the same.

Do buy a quality mattress pads

While shopping for your things you may think, “oh, i’ll just pick up this cheap mattress pad, the beds can’t be that bad.” But they can, and they are that bad. Imagine prison quality with a fireproof cover and that’s exactly how your bed will feel. When you get there, you will thank yourself so much for investing in a thick and quality mattress cover because now you can actually sleep.

Don’t buy 30 different towels 

Seriously just don’t. I get the vibes you feel right now. You want to be independent, you want to spread your wings and feel grown. Buying so many towels though is going to just take up space. My roomie and I both came with 5 towels each and it was by far too many. Stick to two and maximum three, that’s seriously more than enough.

Do buy an electric tea kettle

You guys…. I seriously can’t stress enough how much this thing saved my life. Even if you aren’t a tea drinker these things have SO much use to them. If you don’t know what they are, they basically are an appliance that boils water super fast. Not only can you use this for coffee and tea, but you can also use it to make things like oatmeal, ramen noodles, mac and cheese, and a bunch of other really easy meals. This was super helpful for me especially in the mornings when I didn’t want to walk to the dining hall before class.

Don’t get boxes of plastic forks and spoons

Although it feels easier to buy these, use them once, and throw them away, it’s super harmful for the environment. If you don’t want to have tons of different silverware either, invest in some of the eco-friendly utensils like these  they can be thrown away and don’t cause the damage that plastic does! This not only saves the environment, but also keeps you from the hassle of having to do dishes

Do buy an essential oil diffuser

Many dorms don’t allow candles, and buying the plug-in’s can get really pricey. I opt’d to buy an essential oil diffuser for my room and it’s worked wonders. Essential oils are relatively inexpensive (I found a set of 4 at tj maxx for $10,) but the diffusers themselves are usually under $20. Plus essential oils have been shown to have positive effects on your mood depending on the oil you diffuse.

Don’t buy extras of everything 

I know at the time your parents are stressing, and you’re stressing and it feels like you should buy 2 sets of extra light bulbs, batteries, sheets, link rollers, ect. For me though, I found at the end of the year that over half of the things I got extras of didn’t even get used. Save yourself the space and the money, even if you do run out of something dorms are very communal and there’s a good chance someone down the hall has an extra of what you need.

Do buy a Brita Water Filter

Even if you don’t mind tap water, most of the time the faucet in your bathroom (if you even have that) isn’t going to be big enough to fit your water bottle in and fill it up. Rather than spending money on plastic water bottles every month, invest in a Brita. My roommate and I alternated filling it up every morning and it saved us so many trips to the water fountain downstairs to fill up our bottles.

THINGS I FOUND MOST NECESSARY 

  • Command hooks for towels
  • String lights to make the place more home-y
  • Re-usable bags ($1 at TJ Maxx)
  • Ethernet cord (wifi is unreliable in college kids)
  • Amazon Fire Stick (you need this)
  • Cozy throw blankets
  • Bathroom bag
  • Slides (shoes)

 

 

 

College Study Tips

Being a college student is hard enough as it is, it feels like there’s constantly a deadline or a test or a project due and it’s easy to become overwhelmed. With midterms coming up in the following weeks I thought I would share the study tips that have helped me the most with getting prepared for exams or honestly just retaining the content that is being taught.

Always have something to keep you hydrated, along with a little snack to keep your energy up. I prefer to have salted almonds and hot tea or a naked juice

If you’re a music listener, have a playlist or queue ready before you sit down to study. This way, you don’t lose focus or end up taking unnecessary time up to pick out songs

Try writing using different colors. Psychology shows that using different colors helps your brain stimulate your creative side and later recall specific details because our brain is “mapping” the different ideas. Colors like red, yellow, and orange have shown to be the most effective with memory.

If you’re reading lengthy texts try using techniques like annotating, highlighting, and rephrasing what you are reading into your own words rather than copying the text word for word

Take breaks in between. Studying for hours on end only makes us physically and mentally drained. This makes us end up losing focus and not retaining anything. Make time for breaks in between studying to go outside for about 15 minutes and just breathe.

Good luck with midterms!

How I Travel On A Budget

How I TravelOn a Budget

Being a college student, it’s no secret that most of us don’t have just a plethora of money laying around to travel the world with. Between all the papers and projects we have it’s challenging to be able to make money to travel as much as some of the older people in the blogger community can, but that doesn’t mean it’s not possible! I am someone who possess major wanderlust, so because of that I’ve done everything I can to be able to travel. Because of the tips and budget tricks I practice I’ve been able to go to Phoenix twice, San Francisco, LA, and New York all in the past 6 months. I know how important it is to travel, traveling opens us up to new cultures and allows us to broaden our horizons. We also get that escape from reality we all need sometimes. Below I have included my favorite tips and trips for traveling!

 

Getting there can sometimes be the most expensive part of the trip. Driving isn’t always an option, and flights can be so expensive sometimes. To make sure I’m getting the best possible deal I always use Momondo, a website dedicated to helping you find the best possible flight deals. Through this website I’ve been able to find ridiculously cheap flights to places like Phoenix for $200, NYC for $145, and LA for $230. Another thing I like to do is if I have the option of a 5 hour layover in a cool place or a 12 hour layover, I always pick the longer one if it means it’s cheaper. This gives you a chance to maybe mark a place off your bucket list without having to spend any extra money.

 

 Another tip is that if you are going to have to rent a car once you reach your destination, DO NOT rely solely on the large rental car corporations to help you find a car. There’s so many apps like ZipCar or GetAround that offer rental cars for about half the price that a big car rental company would. These apps only require you to be 18+ which is great because most car rental places require you to be at least 25. In addition, these apps are really SO inexpensive so it’s easy to find something within your budget and they are also a lot more flexible with their cars and prices. Another cool thing is that many companies like enterprise often partner with universities, do if you are a student then you can rent a car through them as well. While we are on the subject of transportation, I cannot tell you the amount of money I’ve saved from using public transportation. Trust me, I know public transportation can be daunting especially if you are from a small town like me where it’s not common. 90% of the time though your phone will show you the exact route you need to take, and once you get the gist of public transport it’s pretty easy to navigate in any city.

I’m a huge foodie, and often times I’m always thinking about what I’m going to be eating next. Buuuut, food can be seriously expensive. Whenever I’m paying for the trip with my own money I try to pick maybe 2 and max 3 places I want to eat out at. Other than that though, I’m buying groceries the whole time. I usually pick up a throw away cooler from a grocery store and get lunch meat, cheese, bread, and a couple snacks and that’s what I eat for most of the trip. It’s not exactly gourmet, but it keeps me sustained and allows me to keep doing what I love.

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Lastly, I know it would be perfect if we could all afford to stay in a 5-star-hotel in Mykonos, however that is just not within the budget sometimes. Hotels and Airbnb don’t mess around, and that can break the bank. One tip I have to keep from that is using Momondo! I know I’ve touched on it a few times throughout this post, but that’s honestly because I love it so much. Momondo and other websites like Hotels.com, Kayak, and Booking.com can save you so much money when booking hotels. A way I’ve saved money using Airbnb is by getting a shared room vs. the whole house. I know it may seem awkward, but more times than not the host is extremely welcoming and helps create a more home-y environment for you during your stay, plus most are more than happy to give you the local scoop. Finally, if you are in a country outside of the US it’s completely common to find hostels to stay in for next to nothing. This allows you to have a cheap and safe place to stay, plus meet other travelers along the way.

Happy Travels!