How I Dealt With Stress While Writing 3 Papers Simultaneously

Hey my loves,

Last week I talked about my personal development story so I thought it would only be fitting to talk about how I deal with stress in a little bit more detail and especially focus on how I managed to write three papers simultaneously and prepare an oral exam.

Now the ideal procedure is to write one paper after the other and have about two months to finish each of them. Well, I didn’t have that pleasure, I had to write them simultaneously and two of them actually had their due date in the same week. But I managed to do them, and I actually did pretty good.

And here’s how I did it.

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I made an individual plan to follow for each of the papers, as well as one for the oral exam. The only thing I didn’t to is set myself due dates for certain aspects, because I, for myself, know that it does not work for me. And, because usually you have at least two or three problems with the paper – may it be just phrasing problem or a blockade.

Here’s what I did before I enrolled my papers:

  • I discussed with my lecturers possible topics and then I researched it.
  • I compiled a list of literature that I wanted to check out and then I actually went into the library and copied anything that was remotely connected to my thesis.
  • After reading all of the secondary literature I wrote out the citations on my computer and then organized them after the sub-topics. That way it was easier for me to keep an overview of the citations.

I did these steps for all four exams. And then I enrolled my papers, the enroll-time for the oral exam is only four weeks before the date.

Here’s what I did after enrolling:

  • I made sure to only work on one paper on a day. This meant that I wouldn’t have as much time as I should have, but allowed me to have a better overview of my work.
  • I also made sure to spend some quality offline. Meaning I spent time with friends or family that gave me enough space to never feel burned out. I feel like the time I spent with them or went into the gym gave me the needed energy.
  • I am a person who works and does not like to stop until a certain thing is achieved. So on the day I was working on a paper I set myself mini goals, approximately so far apart that I could take a break for lunch and be finished around dinner time. That way I was able to finish two to four sub-items each day, sometimes more, sometimes less.
  • I also made sure to write with the correct formalities, so that I would not have to alter them after I was done. Furthermore, I made sure to write down every secondary literature into my bibliography as soon as I used one. Also in the correct and asked for formality.

I also had a friend proofread for me, which was super helpful, because most of the time after writing so much, you don’t see your own mistakes anymore.

Here’s how I dealt with the stress:

  • As I said I made sure to spend quality time offline with friends and family.
  • In also liked working out on the days I worked on my papers or go for a walk just so I get a little bit of exercise that day.
  • Furthermore I made sure to eat good and healthy meals, so my brain was fueled with energy and had the tools to work in overtime.
  • I also made sure to never work longer than 9 pm. So that I had enough time to switch off my brain and have some me-time before bed.

I hope that this gave you a good insight on how I deal with stress especially in regards to College time management and stressful finals time.

I wish you all a wonderful day!

XoXo, Jasmin.

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My Personal Development Story

Hey my loves,

Last week I talked about my final year of College and mentioned my personal development story. I thought I would touch on that a little more and tell you what I mean with that. 

This year has been a year of change for me. I do not even know where I should start, but I guess I start with the beginning.

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I always said that I felt comfortable in my skin and while to a certain degree that was true it changed in the last three years. I was getting to a point where life just seemed to throw bigger and bigger rocks at me. And last year towards the end of it, I decided that it is enough.

I didn’t want to live in a world where I felt displaced and out of order yet alone not in control and I started to look what I can change and I found myself at a mountain of possibilities. So instead of changing my surroundings or dive into something that I would not have been able to do, I decided in order to better my life: I HAVE TO BETTER MYSELF FIRST.

So I did, am still doing.

I decided that I would start with seeing everything as a challenge that I can do, instead of letting myself be muffled by anxious feelings. It was hard at first and to some degree still is, so I would say it’s a work in progress. Everything that was thrown at me I started to handle with these thoughts in my mind:

Will it affect my life in two years?

If it does not matter in two years, why make a big scene? Just accept that something is going wrong or not going the way you imagined it to be. Learn that not everything is in your control.

Will it matter next week? Next month? Next year?

This is basically the same thing as I said before, but in a short period of time. Is it just bad right now? Or will it be bad for a longer time? What can I change? How should I deal with it?

What can I do to make the situation more comfortable for me?

Obviously this won’t make everything go away, but I have found that talking about why I am uncomfortable or that I do not wish to do a certain things is more likely to be accepted by my friends/family than I ever thought. Just be honest to yourself and to the people in your life. They won’t judge you for what you’re feeling, even if they don’t understand it.

What can I change about it that I can do right now?

Is there a way that I can change the situation and if so what do I have to do to make a change? Should I maybe start with myself? Or does the problem lie somewhere else?

While early on in my life I would have had a freak-out or a desperate crying session I now surround myself with tools to handle these types of situations. Sometimes a big old breathing in session is all you need, trust me. Just give yourself a couple of seconds to think about it, to let it sink in. It might not seem as bad a couple of minutes later.

Another thing I changed in myself is my body.

And that started with my mind. While I’ve always been comfortable in my skin, I always felt like an outsider simply because of my weight. But here’s the thing, if you don’t care about it, it’s more likely that everybody else won’t care about it either. What I mean with that is, I let myself be strung back by my weight, I pushed myself down and had thoughts like “Well they wouldn’t like me anyway!” or “Nobody that looks like me would do that”.
So I changed my mindset, I told myself:

Your weight does not define the person you are. You do.

Your weight is not holding you back. You are.

And I tried to figure out what I can do to change my thinking. And for me it was pretty clear that in order to change my thinking I have to lose some weight, because, truth be told, I did not feel comfortable in my skin anymore. In order to lose the weight, in a healthy and continuous way, I had to change my lifestyle. I want to be as healthy as I can. I have not set myself a goal weight, because I believe that the number on the scale should not define the way you feel. I don’t count calories or follow a diet or at least no longer. But that is a story for another time. Instead, I am going to the gym and portion control my food and I chose healthier options.

My body has changed, my mind has changed.

I’ve lost over 20 pounds so far. I am proud of my achievement, but what I am more proud of is that I managed to stay on track, that even though some day might not be a good and healthy day, that as long as I am active and live 80 percent of my time healthy that it was okay. I am a happier, more confident and a more positive person: and I did that.

I got a job beside my studies, I can barely sit still and I do much more with my friends than before. I pulled myself out of hole and plastered it up. And I am still working on it, on me. I have so many more things I want to do to change my life around, but I will do it one step at a time. For now, what I am doing is working and in a year’s time, who knows where I’ll be at.

I hope I could give you somewhat of a good insight into my personal development story. If you have any question, feel free to ask them in the comments or DM me on Instagram or Twitter. You’re also more than welcome to shoot me an Email if you prefer that.

I wish you all a wonderful day!

XoXo, Jasmin.

My Last Year of College

Hey my loves,

In today’s blog post I am going to touch on some things I felt while entering the last final year of College being a bachelor degree student. While I have been studying for a lot longer than the usual student, I have quite a lot of mixed feel considering my last year.

But first, let me get started with the beginning of my college journey.

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In October 2013 I’ve started college, I had English as my mayor and History as a minor. I quickly realized that History wasn’t for me, so I switch to Linguistics. After failing miserably for three consecutive semesters, always with the hope of getting better, I decided to switch one last time. I applied for German as my mayor at my College and I got in.

Since October 2015 I am studying German as my major and English as my minor and that has been one of the best decision I have made in my college experience. Not only was I finally able to just do the courses I was good in, but I also got motivated again to go to College and actually attended the courses. After my first semester I fell ill, and had to dial back on College stuff so that I wasn’t able to finish in the regular time. But I think that’s okay, I believe your health is more important than that.

After I got better I decided to change my life around. To change the things that I believed made me sick as well as trying to be a happier and healthier person. I also wanted to use my motivation for school to try and find out what I eventually want to do with my degree. And in the beginning of this year, I decided that I am not willing to leave College just yet. That I enjoy it. So I decided that I want to do my master as well.

Now that my plan for after my bachelor’s degree is all set, I want to touch on what I’m feeling about my last year as a student. As a bachelor’s student – at least.

I’m feeling mixed feelings about it to be completely honest with you. While I’m excited for a new and fresh start I’m also sad, since I will probably leaving my College I am at right now, and I have built so many great friendships and memories here. But I guess with evolving you kind of have to leave some things behind. I’m also thankful, thankful for the opportunities that have arisen out of my experiences, thankful for the person I am today and much more.

This year, a lot of things changed for me. Personally and College-wise, but it only got better. I didn’t start my journey thinking I would end up being, well happy?! I never knew what I wanted, or at least I told myself that. And now, while I learn what my strengths are and I step out of my comfort zone, I realize what I can and what I want to do. All possibilities are open for me, I just have to work hard enough and realize that if I want something it won’t just fall into my lap, that I actually have to work to achieve something. And while doing so it is the greatest feeling in the world if you actually reach your goals.

My last summer was filled to the brim with work for College. I had to write three papers simultaneously as well as prepare an oral exam. While the old-me would have crumbled under the pressure and probably would have given up, I have risen above it, and even surprised myself by doing it all, with just one minor freak-out right before the submission of the last two papers (which FYI was in the same week).

The upcoming semester will be filled with a lot of courses for my minor and I can’t wait for them. I only have two papers left and a test and hopefully (fingers crossed!) I am able to register my bachelor thesis in early 2019. I also started working at my College as a student helper, and so far I’ve been really enjoying it and I feel like it is a good opportunity to gain some work experience as well as learn new things and step out of my comfort zone.

My last year of College will hopefully be filled with lots of fun, new experiences and will hopefully be as much part of my journey as the past nine months has been in my personal life. Would you like me to touch on my personal journey and my development in the past nine months? Let me know in the comments or by liking this post and I will write a blog post about it.

I hope you all have a wonderful day!

XoXo, Jasmin.

What I eat in a day – Healthy Edition – 2016

Hey my loves,

today I am sharing with you what I ate one day last week. It has been a full week of eating healthy now and I already feel a lot more energized. So here they are!

Breakfast

Baked Oatmeal with Yogurt, Almonds, Chia Seeds, Flax Seeds, Blueberries & Banana

Breakfast

Ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup steel-cut oatmeal
  • 60g almonds
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. fine salt
  • 90 to 185g berries (I used blueberries)
  • 475ml milk
  • 80ml honey (I used agave syrup, but you could also use maple syrup)
  • 1 large egg
  • 45g unsalted melted and cooled butter
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
Instructions:
  1. Mix together your dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet ingredients in another.
  2. Line a baking dish with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 180C.
  3. Stir in the berries and almonds. Fill the mixture into your baking dish and bake for 55 to 60 min.
  4. Allow to cool for a few minutes before serving.

In the fridge it can last up to 5 days. And it’s very delicious and I think you can verify your mixture however you like.

lunch

Cucumber Black bean Corn Tomato Salad

Lunch

Ingredients (for 2 servings)
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 diced cucumber
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup feta cheese
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1 lime
  • salt & pepper
Instruction:
  1. Dice the bell pepper and cucumber, half the cherry tomatoes and cut up the feta cheese and onion.
  2. Squeeze the lime and add salt and pepper. Mix together! Enjoy!

Dinner

Teriyaki Chicken with Quinoa

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Ingredients (for 4-6 servings):
  • 2-3 chicken breasts, chopped
  • 2 handful of fresh broccoli
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 4-5 carrots, sliced
  • 2 tbsp. Olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1 cup quinoa
For the Teriyaki Sauce:
  • 2 tbsp. ginger, chopped
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup cold water
  • 3-4 tsp. cornstarch (or flour)
  • 1/4 cup honey (or agave syrup)
Instructions:
  1. In a bowl mix the sauce ingredients.
  2. In a saute pan, over medium to high heat, add the olive oil and the chicken. Let it cook for about 2-3 minutes on each side.
  3. Cook your quinoa according to the instructions on the packing.
  4. Add the broccoli and carrots and stir occasionally for 10-12 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
  5. Add the sauce to the mixture in the saute pan and stir until it thickens.
  6. Enjoy!

I hope you like this sort of entry. I’m planning on doing them once, maybe twice a month! Let me know in the comments!

I wish you all a wonderful day!

XoXo, Jasmin

Guide to University Success – 10 Tips

For students at universities or colleges all across the world, a new academic year has either already begun or will begin soon. Summer is over, and we need to get used to using our brain again, to getting up early in the morning.

For those who are only enrolling in university now, it is far more than that: you are facing new challenges, a new world with new people in it. I remember my very first day in university, when I was only 19 years old, very shy and pretty much overwhelmed with everything. I will say, it’s scary, but worth it.

What I would have wished for back then are a few helpful pieces of advice on how to be successful at university. I didn’t have that, though, so I had to make my experiences on my own, and some of them I learned the hard way. So when Jasmin asked me to do a Motivational Monday about the start of the semester, I decided to give you ten tips on how to survive life and studying at university and graduate in the end.

1. In every building, find the cleanest and most quiet bathrooms.

Because usually, people like to pee in peace. From experience I can assure you, the best toilets are never on the first floor (or ground floor, if you’re a Brit). They’re used by far too many people.

2. Don’t get lost on campus.

Make sure you know where the rooms are your lectures take place. If you want to make extra sure, be there a week before lectures start and look for ways to get there, you might even find shortcuts.

3. Make acquaintances in every course.

They don’t need to be your best friends, but you need someone you can ask for help should you ever not be able to show up (be it because you’re sick or because you’re skipping) or should you have serious issues with the subject. If you think you can manage university without help from others, you’re only kidding yourself. And there is a saying that friends you make in college are friends for life.

4. Bring your own food.

At least whenever possible. Trust me when I say that relying on the cafeteria can be fatal when they either have only shitty food or too many people were faster than you and there’s nothing left. Besides, paying for lunch every day will make you indigent faster than you know.

5. Be there early.

In big universities with 20,000 students or more, it is vital you be there early enough to get a seat if you don’t want to end up standing, or sitting on some stairs, or the floor, even. If you’re there half an hour before the lecture starts, you get a seat, I guarantee it. If you’re there even earlier, you still have time to go to the bathroom and get a coffee without being in a hurry, a great thing if the lecture is in the morning hours.

6. Don’t do homework at the last minute.

For homework that you need to hand in to pass the course, don’t do it. Just don’t. It puts you through an unnecessary amount of stress, and since you don’t have enough time to properly proof-read what you wrote, you could fail because of too many minor mistakes.

7. Divide your revising wisely.

Do less work for the courses you know you’re good in, and in return do more work for the courses you are having trouble with. Every lecturer will treat their course as the absolute priority, but you need to figure out in which course you need to invest the most time. In the end it comes out even.

8. Find a studying method that works for you.

For some people it is enough to just memorize the contents, but others also need to practice applying their memorized knowledge to exam-format questions to be able to succeed. You need to find out what applies to you.

9. Don’t panic.

Some lecturers like to make you nervous by rattling off statistics about their exams, like e.g. the failure rate is seventy-five percent, for every lecture you need to do two hours of revising or you will not make it, yadda yadda. My advice is: don’t listen to them too much. If you make yourself crazy before an exam, that doesn’t help anybody, least of all you. You should go into an exam with the appropriate amount of respect, but don’t be scared. If you’re really nervous, you can always find higher semester students and ask them about their experiences.

10. Decide whether you actually want it.

This is the most important advice I can give you. If you only enrolled in university because

a) your parents wanted you to do it, or

b) you didn’t know what else to do, or

c) both of the above,

there is a high chance of it leading you nowhere. Sure, the experiences you make at university are great ones you will not want to miss, but if you know you don’t actually belong there, you should reconsider. When you are studying something you don’t really want to study, going through with it is incredibly hard, and I admit that I could not go through with it when I first enrolled. If you think you are strong enough, go for it. But think about what it is that you want, and pursue that.

“Never give up on what you really want to do. The person with big dreams is more powerful than the one with all the facts.” ~ H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

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Diverge

What I want to talk about this Motivational Monday is something that has been on my mind for a while now, rooted in the behavior of a friend of mine who is unfortunately loaded with preconceptions about a lot of the modern media. A few months ago, another friend (for privacy’s sake, let’s call her Daisy) and I struck a deal: She would go and see “Godzilla” with me, a movie I really, really badly wanted to see in 3D, under the condition that I go and see “Divergent” with her. I had read and heard reviews about “Divergent” from news outlets that I completely trusted in their opinions on movies because they had never called a movie good that I detested, and those reviews were unfortunately mostly negative, so I did not particularly feel like watching “Divergent”. But like I said, I really wanted to see “Godzilla” and since this was Daisy’s one condition, I said, “Okay then, let’s do it”.
I had low expectations, and a lot of them were fulfilled. This is not a movie review of “Divergent”, but in a nutshell, it was a mix of recycled ideas from “The Hunger Games” and a dash of “Twilight”, with a few minor plot holes. But you know what? I let myself enjoy it. I know this is not the best movie I’ll ever see, and emotionally it did not quite reach me, but I was entertained. I had fun. The actors were good, the story had a few original ideas that were really good, the images were beautiful and the heroine’s love interest was a seriously hot guy. What can you want more in a movie from which you expected nothing?


Now, here’s what I am trying to say. If I had said no to Daisy’s condition, I would have missed this movie. I would have lost not only two really fun movie nights with a dear old friend of mine, but also the opportunity to be well entertained by something I did not expect to entertain me. I would be missing this experience now, and in retrospect I can say with certainty it’s an experience I would not want to miss, under no circumstances. And that is why I decided to forget preconceptions when it comes to media now. I decided that I would not let myself be led by preconceptions in deciding what movie I would watch next, or what TV show, or what book I was going to read next, because I could be missing out. I watched “Escape Plan” with Stallone and Schwarzenegger, another movie towards which I had next to no expectations, and I had a lot of fun watching it. I watched one of the “Universal Soldier” flicks with Van Damme, and well, it was as bad as I thought, but at least now I know with certainty. What this gave to me was the realization that whatever you think a story might be, it might be the complete opposite, and you’ll never know if you don’t try it yourself. So what if I detest Mel Gibson? I’m still going to watch “The Expendables 3”. So what if Uwe Boll’s movies were 90 percent garbage? His next one might be better. So what if Charlie Sheen is unappealing and a bad actor? “Anger Management” might still be funny, and I sure as hell will give it a try.


The point I am trying to make to you is this: you can not know whether you like something if you have not tried it yourself. This friend of mine who is loaded with preconceptions is missing out on a world of fun because she thinks she knows what’s good based on… well, I really don’t know what she thinks her opinion is based on. As far as I can tell, it’s based on nothing. Don’t do that. Don’t be this person who thinks they know it all when it’s clear they don’t. You will be making a huge mistake. That’s why, for this Motivational Monday, I am daring you to watch a movie that you never wanted to watch, for whatever reason, and go through with it until the bitter end. Diverge from your usual patterns. You might be surprised. In any case, then you’ll know for sure. Because in my book, there are few things more unappealing than not being open to change.

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“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I – I took the one less travelled by, And that has made all the difference.” ~ Robert Frost