RIP my social life, leisurely reading, and tidy apartment… Reviving some school TIPS instead!

The rest of that article absolutely destroyed me! I haven’t even mustered up the motivation to read my fun book yet! Although I do have a bit of time to finish, so I’m less concerned about being behind on that particular reading.

And I totally forgot to shower today. That’s a new one for me. I usually do that early, but today I was so hyperfocused on finished that damn article that I completely forget that I meant to shower before studying so I could get it out of the way! Is this a thing that’s just going to happen to me now?

I think I even wrote “shower” on my study planner time table, but obviously putting it at the bottom was a mistake because I made it a low priority. I know this is such a weird thing to write, but it’s a consequence of me figuring out a balance between life, chores, and schoolin’! I want to have it all and do well and make sure my cats aren’t neglected to boot. It’s not easy!

I think I can access my upcoming online course at midnight tonight… I know I probably won’t be asleep by then, and I don’t think I can sleep knowing it’s just there anyway, so I’m totes going to check it out tonight so I at least know what I’m up against.

I don’t recommend checking your email or classes after a certain time of day unless you’re unsure if you missed something because it just adds stress and will invite the insomnia monster. But… I’m breaking my own rule because I have been sleeping heckin late anyway so I might as well be productive instead of just laying there reading my leisurely book until my eyes burn and then still not being able to sleep anyway.

Some advice that helped in undergrad that I am also following now:

Get organized, break up your assignments, give yourself time to roll over lower priority tasks, check your student emails often, outline your work before writing, try to be finished before deadlines in case you need more time to review, participate in class!

Challenging readings can be broken up, too. If they won’t eat up your time, do them first! Annotate all your readings in a way that helps you retain effectively. Review your notes!

Learn how to skim and speed read like a PRO! Not everything you read is going to be light and interesting. Come up with techniques to get the most out of dense readings. Yes, they will break you at times, but they can be managed if you approach them with good techniques!

Get great (or kawaii!) supplies because you’ll enjoy doing work more with your favorite tools. Keep your devices charged!

Study before you socialize or do fun things. (I didn’t always follow this rule in undergrad tho heheh.)

Play with your pets when you have the time so they don’t feel sad. A few times for a few minutes throughout your time home. Keep up with their chores, too!

Cook, clean, and do laundry with a plan in mind so things don’t build up and overwhelm you. Cooking is hard, but having some fast, easy meal plans can save you from buying expensive takeout or junk food too much!! Share the housework with your roommates or partners or family fairly — teamwork makes the dream work!

Start thinking about big assignments way ahead of time! Start brainstorming in that time. Collect your sources before you have to start writing, read and annotate them! Create an outline or proposal waaaay before you need to start writing — organize your sources in that outline so you know where you want to use them.

Do your bibliography/works cited page first! This is soooo easy nowadays because you can use a citation generator. It’s the most annoying part and once that’s done, you can fully focus on your writing without that final annoying bit.

Go to the writing tutoring center at your school!! Seriously! (I used to work at mine in undergrad and I plan to take advantage of this awesome resource in grad school!) Whether you’ve already finished, or you have no idea what you’re doing, they’re there to help! Genius does not happen in isolation!

Talk to your professors face-to-face whenever possible, especially if you have questions about how you’re doing! You never know if they’ll end up being a mentor or reference down the line. Either way, talking to them in person (or virtually, if you do online school) will show that you care about the class and help them get to know YOU!

Volunteer to do presentations ASAP instead of waiting ESPECIALLY if you are afraid/anxious/shy!!! Get it over with or the pressure will build up and make it feel worse! Sit in the front of the classroom! Second row if you’re not that brave! Channel Hermione’s energy into your academic career.

Having a regular sleep schedule is idealistic, and in my case, unrealistic. I think it’s better to come up with a bare minimum: if I’m asleep by this time, I will feel okay. GET ENOUGH SLEEP! Not perfect sleep, not the sleep schedule your friends brag about having, not the perfect amount of sleep you read in a pop article… Get enough sleep for YOU to function properly whenever it is possible.

Having defenses for insomnia helps too: sunshine in the morn, food at appropriate times, exercise, no caffeine or sugar after a certain time, reading before bed, devices off, sleep in another room if necessary, getting up and doing something else if it’s really too hard. Melatonin is okay, I guess, but imo sleep aids are useless. It’s better to self-regulate when you can!

If my sleep schedule gets totally fucked up, everything else will crumble after that. When inevitable insomnia happens: it’s okay! It sucks, but you’ll just have to adapt and try to get back to a good place before it gets out of control.

Take a break so you don’t get burned out, but plan your work schedule BEFORE so you know what’s coming and you can truly relax. Keep free time aside as “catch-up” time for chores and school. Keep additional free time aside for LEISURE! It’s okay to let yourself take a break, but it feels best when you know you’ve made headway in your work, and you aren’t about to get slammed with unknown work when you go back to reality.

And finally: take a damn shower when you need one! Don’t let those little things slip by too often because they WILL affect your health.

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