Online Semester – Tips & Tricks

Hey my loves,

Like many of you I am bound to stay at home and have my summer semester at home. This is a scary time, so I thought it would be nice to tell you some of my tips and tricks on how I organize while studying and working from home. 

I am actually doing two master’s degree so my situation might be a little different than yours, but I feel like what I am about tell you applies to pretty much every college student. My semester was supposed to start early April, but because of the current situation my college decided to push the start off the semester for two weeks. Both my colleges actually pushed their start date, which meant I had a little bit more time to get adjusted to the new normal.

Now, I had a pretty rough period of adjusting around the end of March, but I made quick changes with my situation, so I could bare the situation a lot easier. If you want I can write a post about how I stay sane during this quarantine. Let me know in the comments.

Schedule your day

I know, everyone keeps saying this, but this actually does help. If you have a set schedule for each day you are likely to be more motivated and get stuff done. My lecturers have for the most part decided to not use any form of Zoom, although a handful does like to keep that option open. If you have classes that are on Zoom that actually helps a lot, because you need to sit at your laptop and actually do some school work. But, if your situation is like mine, here’s how you can schedule your day.

Set an alarm 

Sleeping in sounds good until you have to go back to normality. What I like to do is to set an alarm each day, even if it is a late one, just so I get out of back and start my day. 

Take time in the morning for yourself

Now, I’m normally an out of bed in my clothes and makeup and let’s-go type of gal, but since I am home I can actually take some time for myself. What I like to do is, first thing, is to wash my face or shower and put on some casual wear, sweatpants are totally okay. It helps me so much to wake up and feel productive if I get a little ready, so on some days I even put on a little bit of makeup, mostly for the days I have a Skype Call for work. I would do it normally, so why not in Quarantine, too.

Separate eating from work

One thing I learned is: take time to make a decent meal and eat it not while you’re working. It is so easy to just snack all the time or not eat healthy during this time, so taking time out of your day to cook and prepare good and nutritious food is so helpful. But, in my case cooking everyday can actually be difficult because I am that busy, so what I like to do is on the days I have a little more time I cook a bunch more so I have leftover’s for the days where I don’t have the time.

Write a To-Do List

Writing down each task you want to accomplish is essential for me. I like to do a weekly to-do list and write down deadlines next to it, so that I am free to do each day what I want to do but also am reminded of what definitely has to be don. If you get what I mean. And also, checking of something of a physical to-do list is just SO satisfying. Don’t you think?

Limit your work time

It is so easy to overwork yourself at home. Trust me, I know. While it is sometimes hard to get motivated, once you are it’s easy to stop yourself, because, well you basically have nothing stopping you. So what I like to do, is make sure to stop at a decent time each day. If I have a later start to the day I let myself work a little longer, and vice-versa. 

Go outside.

Confusing, right? But, you are actually for the most part allowed to get some fresh air into your system. I like to go on a 20 to 40 minute walk each evening, just to move my body a little and get some fresh air. If you are not allowed to do so, open a window and do a quick workout at home. Physical activity is so important especially for your mental health.

Make time to talk to people.

I know what gets me into a good mood and that is talking to friends and family, before, after and during work. It just gets me motivated. Talking to a friend is so helpful, because you can motivate each other. Just find what works for you.

Don’t stress yourself.

The most important thing during this whole thing is: DON’T STRESS YOURSELF. Seriously, if you don’t get something done, if you are stuck in front of Netflix an entire day, if you eat crappy: that is okay. This is a difficult and weird time and we don’t have to be perfect and productive each day. Be verbal about what you need and what you can do. If it’s too much, just tell someone. It helps.

I hope I could give you a good insight into my day and that some of the tips may help you too.

Stay safe.

XoXo, Jasmin.

How I Became Motivated for College

Hey my loves,

today I am going to talk about how I struggled for years with motivation and how I changed my life around to be motivated for college.

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I started this blog a little after I started college, that was in 2014. 2014-me seems like a different person now that I reflect back on it. I was motivated when I started back in October 2013, but that quickly changed after I felt misplaced. I was struggling with a lot of self-confidence and doubt about my abilities as a student. That was mainly because I was NOT happy with my courses or with what I studied.

This all changed in October 2015.

It was a slow progress and it took some hard work and some hard choices, but I am currently very happy and very motivated. And here’s how I did that:

I found my perfect combination of fields of study.

I started off with English as my major and History as my minor. Now, I am studying German as my mayor and English as my minor, and I am very happy with this combination. I get to combine two things that I love and can exclude thins that I am not good at. I love reading, I love writing, but I am no good with linguistics in English. And now that I have English as my minor I do not have to worry about getting bad grades in linguistics, but rather be focused on my love for literature.

I discovered that I don’t have to be perfect.

What I mean with that is: Every time I got a grade that was not as I expected, it got me down. I felt stupid, but the truth ist: I am not. I wouldn’t be where I am today if I were. But I needed the change in order to see that. I’ve needed to see that hard work, dedication and studying something you care and love is what it’s about. I am not an A-student, but with the grades that I get I am more than okay.

I found motivation in doing the work.

The truth to motivation is, in my opinion, just doing the work, setting goals that you can realistically achieve and work on stuff that you love. Loving what you do will keep you motivated, because you don’t feel the pressure as much. You do it – you are motivated -because you love doing the work.

I accepted that I procrastinate sometimes.

Everybody does it: PROCRASTINATE. Sometimes we just don’t feel like doing anything, sometimes we are just unmotivated and want to binge Netflix. And you know what? That’s okay, too.

You need days like these, because they help you stay focused and will help with overworking. How? Well, it’s simple: you start getting more organized. There is a saying: you don’t have a problem, until you have time problem. And with that comes organizing your time. Because, in order to get things done, you have to schedule them.

Here’s how you can motivate yourself:

  • do one thing a day that you love doing
  • find purpose behind what you are doing
  • create to-do list, they will make you feel accomplished
  • don’t overwork and accept bad days
  • you don’t have to be motivated EVERY SINGLE DAY
  • you don’t have to be productive every day, but it helps if you do one task a day, even if that is just making your bed, accomplishing a task sets hormones free that make you happier
  • BELIEVE IN YOURSELF

Here is how I stay organized when I have a lot to do for College:  How to stay organized when you have a lot to do – College Edition

What do you do to motivate yourself? Tell me in the comments, I would love to know.

I wish you all a wonderful day!

XoXo, Jasmin.