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.

Going on Vacation – When Everything Goes Wrong – Guest Entry by Miri – Part Two

If you haven’t read part one, check it out first:  Going on Vacation – When Everything Goes Wrong – Guest Entry by Miri – Part One

The Weather

The weather is the one thing no human can influence, so I couldn’t be mad about that at anyone. Weather is inherently unpredictable. When we got there, the sky was partially blue, partially cloudy, and it wasn’t hot, but it wasn’t cold, either. Perfectly acceptable weather for bathing, one may assume, but the issue we had was that there was a chilling, unforgivingly sharp wind that made you feel like you would freeze to death when you got out of the water if the sun wasn’t shining on you in full blast. Therefore, whenever there were clouds in the sky, swimming in the ocean was out of the question. One day, I still went ahead and swam in the ocean anyway, because the clouds in the sky were so few and the water looked so enticing, and wasn’t swimming in the ocean what I was there for in the first place? The thanks I got was a cold. Runny nose and sore throat that I still haven’t managed to shake. But that is nobody’s fault.

The Area

The area of Albena is divided into two kinds. Walking toward the southern end of the beach, there is nothing but hotel after hotel after hotel (it is a hotel city, after all), and after the one five-star hotel we saw, the hotels get shabbier and shabbier. It is kind of depressing. Walking toward the northern end of the beach, however, leads you into a completely different world. The supervised hotel beach areas come to an end, so you enter the unsupervised, natural beach. At some point a sign tells you that you are leaving Albena, but it doesn’t tell you where that leaves you, just that you are not in Albena anymore. It leaves you in a kind of zero zone, away from civilization. Since there are barely any humans around now, you hear nothing but the rushing of the waves. The nature here was undisturbed. My mother and I were suddenly surrounded by butterflies, almost stepped on a lizard, collected some seriously beautiful seashells, found the seagulls’ secret hangout spot and a small waterfall. Peaceful, idyllic, that was the kind of place where I could have stayed forever.

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Then we also made a trip to Nessebar, which is a gorgeous little peninsula in the southern corner of Bulgaria, and this was a truly wonderful place. Full of old churches, and so small you could not get lost even if you tried, it was just lovely. We ate the best food of the entire stay in Bulgaria in a restaurant directly by the ocean, on a veranda that gave us a view of the water with the sun’s rays dancing on the waves. The sky was blue, and the ocean was calm, and to round it off, we did a short trip around the coast on a small boat. In short, I loved it.

We visited Nessebar on Saturday, and on Sunday I already felt a little sniffly, yet I couldn’t help it—I still needed to go swim in the ocean. I got stung in the foot by a jellyfish, but it was one of the harmless kind, blue-purplish as they occur in large numbers in that area. At first, my foot burned quite uncomfortably, but soon the burning only returned sporadically, to give way to an annoying itchiness later on, and the next day everything was fine, so that didn’t spoil the rest of our stay. We left on Tuesday.

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The Worst Flight Ever

The transfer bus picked us up at 5:30 pm. Our flight from Varna was scheduled to depart at 8:40 pm. We arrived at the airport in Varna around 7, and after the check-in, which took quite a while because of the sheer mass of people in line, we still had half an hour left before boarding was set to begin at 8. Thus, we picked up some snacks and a bottle of water and settled in to wait. Now, 8 pm came and went, without any sign of progress. We just sat there and waited, not knowing what exactly was going on. 8:40 pm came and went, as well, and we hadn’t even boarded the plane. One guy who sat behind us at the gate was well-informed and told us the plane we were supposed to board had not even left Düsseldorf yet. At some point after we had been waiting for more than an hour, there finally was an announcement: our flight was delayed for two hours and twenty minutes and would now depart at 11 pm. In the end, we departed at 11:30. What had happened was that the plane had been supposed to depart from Düsseldorf at a certain time, but two undeclared suitcases caused a security breach, and subsequently everybody had to leave the already boarded plane and identify their luggage.

But all of that hardly mattered to me at this point. I was sickly, my head was hurting, so was my stomach, and I was dead tired by the time our plane finally left Varna airport. I was just glad we were finally in the air. I just wanted to go home. I was also very sorry because a friend of mine (who’d also been taking care of the cats in our absence) had promised to pick us up from the airport in Düsseldorf, but of course she’d been expecting us at 11 pm, not in the middle of the night. Additionally, it was unclear whether we would still be landing in Düsseldorf, because Düsseldorf airport only accepts arrivals until 11 pm. There are special exceptions to this rule, and I was desperately hoping we would be one of those.

About half an hour into the flight, the flight attendings asked if there was a doctor on board. Three people stood up and were led to the front of the plane. My mother and I couldn’t really see what was going on, but we did see that the physicians didn’t return to their seats. Some time later, the plane started dropping, and an announcement was made. There would be an unscheduled pitstop at Nuremberg airport because of a medical emergency.

At this point, I was close to tears. I was exhausted and tired and frustrated, and of course nobody can help it if there’s a medical emergency, but that was just the cherry on the damn cake. After everything, now we had to endure this, too; as I’d told my mom when we were still waiting at the airport, this vacation was jinxed. So we landed in Nuremberg, and we were told that it would just be a quick pitstop, 20 minutes, half an hour tops. I was now nauseous from the quick descent on top of everything else. I texted my friend the newest update, who responded with tons of laughing emojis and disbelief, which was sort of the adequate response to this horror of a trip. Her laughter inspired me to make light of the situation, as well, which helped a little. As it turned out, then, the plane’s brakes were too hot, so we would be staying in Nuremberg a bit longer so they could refuel the tank, because why not, I guess. Ultimately, we stayed there for over an hour.

Finally, then, the plane was up in the air again, and we were told that we would NOT be landing in Düsseldorf anymore, but we would be redirected to Cologne, from where we would be transferred to Düsseldorf airport via bus. Another thing that almost made me cry. So we landed in Cologne at about 2:30 am, and the people just couldn’t wait to get out of this cursed plane. Baggage claim took forever and ever because while my mother’s suitcase was one of the first to be sent down the conveyer belt, mine was one of the last ones, as it always is. A baggage claim curse just follows me around wherever I go. Then we had to run toward where we were told the busses waited for us, and I ended up dragging both suitcases behind me because my mother had to light a cigarette and I was done waiting, for anybody or anything.

The bus was a giant red double decker with a luggage trailer attached to it that looked way too small, so the guy who loaded it had to play real-life tetris to fit all our things in. I didn’t stick around to watch our suitcases get smushed, however; I dragged my mother behind me to find a seat. The bus left Cologne at 3:15 am. I dosed and fell asleep, drooling on myself and feeling no shame whatsoever when I realized; I think every occupant on that bus was beyond shame at that point. We arrived at Düsseldorf airport at 4 am, and I texted my friend to let her know where we were; she’d been waiting for us for over an hour, and after we’d pulled our dented suitcases out of the pile, she found us and took us home. I was abundantly grateful to her since I knew she had an appointment in the morning, and yet she’d gone out of her way to save us from having to take a train home, which probably would have finally made me cry for real.

Thus, we arrived at home at 5 o’clock in the morning, a measly five hours later than scheduled, and the vacation was over. Surprisingly, the only thing not to survive the tetris in the luggage trailer was my mother’s small make-up mirror, which was in shards. Everything else, even the delicate seashells I’d collected made it out intact. Maybe the broken mirror was the reason for our bad luck, only it worked in reverse; we had bad luck, and then the mirror broke. Who knows. I guess the lesson here is: if you go to Bulgaria, only book a five-star hotel, and even the worst times come to an end.

The Bully Project

Hey my loves,

I’m going to deviate from my usual topic now. For personal reasons, but also to start a new series called “Motivational Monday“. But most of all to spread awareness.
The following words come from a person who became a very dear friend of mine in the last half-year. She has agreed to work with me on this blog as a co-author. The first project I have given her was to “write something about the documentary The Bully Project”.
I personally was bullied at a young age. I managed to survive – thanks to people like my two best friends and my family, without them I would haven been stuck in that dark place longer.
I have the opinion, Miri has brought it quite to the point. Therefore, without much saying: Read on and stay strong!

XoXo, Jasmin.

We focus so much on our differences, and that is creating, I think, a lot of chaos and negativity and bullying in the world. And I think if everybody focused on what we all have in common – which is – we all want to be happy.
Ellen DeGeneres

~ The Bully Project ~

In 2009, 17-year-old Tyler Long from Georgia hung himself in his closet after a few fellow students at his high school told him that he’s worthless and should kill himself.
“Bully”, formerly called “The Bully Project” which is the title given to the internet project inspired by the film, was directed by Lee Hirsch, who himself had been bullied in school. The movie starts out with an interview of Tyler Long’s father David who talks about his firstborn son, Tyler. From an early age on, David saw signs that his son would be victimized at some point. According to a Facebook site arranged for Tyler post-mortem, Tyler was diagnosed with Asperger at an early age, which made his interactions with other people difficult and awkward, especially for him.
David and Tina Long tried desperately to change something after they lost Tyler, tried with all their might to make people aware of the issue called “bullying”, but the only response of school board representatives, predictably, was the obligatory “kids will be kids”. Still, David Long does not give up. “My voice will not fall silent” he says into the camera. “I will make a difference.”

Happiness is a journey, not a destination.

Alex, a 12-year-old from Iowa, has two younger sisters and two younger brothers and lives an apparently happy life with them and his parents. But, and this is not a complicacy easily managed by a teenager just hitting puberty, Alex also has an unattractive face and awkward social skills. As an obvious consequence to that, peers and older students treat him badly. Alex claims he doesn’t mind them calling him “fishface”, asserting that they “don’t mean it”, but all the while viewers as well as Alex himself know this is just a defense mechanism. Alex DOES mind, and the other kids DO mean to hurt him.
He has severe issues making friends, and he’s regularly threatened and physically abused on the school bus. Alex takes the abuse with an “Okay” and a careful attempt at being friendly to his tormenters.
Kim Lockwood, assistant principal at Alex’s school, tries her hardest to do something against bullying, admits her helplessness at facing hundreds of possible bullies and bullied.
When the situation on the school bus is close to escalating and becoming more and more dangerous for Alex, the filmmaker shows the video material to Alex’s parents, who directly turn to Lockwood, asking for Alex to be put on another bus, fearing for their son’s safety. Alex feels just as helpless as Kim Lockwood, even though they’re on different sides of the equation.

We know who we are, but not what we might be.
William Shakespeare

Kelby, 16 years old, lives in a small town in Oklahoma. She’s the only openly gay girl in the entire small town. Neither Kelby nor her parents are welcomed at church anymore, and people who Kelby’s parents had been friends with pass them by now without looking at them twice. Students and teachers (!) at Kelby’s school discriminate and insult her. “If anyone comes around and is the least bit different” Kelby states matter-of-factly, “they make sure to put them down.” She admits that she used to harm herself. Kelby tried committing suicide three times. Still she never wanted to leave this town because, as she put it, “if I leave, they win.”
“I’m the one in this town that could make a difference” she says. Because in the end it does all start with one.

Be sure of yourself, don’t let anyone bully you, be a strong and independent woman or boy.
Nicole Polizzi

Ja’Meya, 14 years old, Mississippi, is a passionate Basketball player and an honour student. She’s also in custody for bringing her mother’s gun on the school bus because she didn’t see any other way to defend herself against the students who bullied her. Ja’Meya never planned to hurt anybody, she just wanted to scare them off. A surveillance camera on the bus captured the occurrences: Nine or ten students were throwing things at her and insulting her when she drew the gun. In that moment, according to the police, she had 22 counts of kidnapping, 22 attempts of aggravated assault, 45 felony charges against her in total.
In the end all charges against Ja’Meya are dropped, and after a few more weeks in inpatient psychological care, she is released and free to go home. But it is obvious that her life has suffered a significant change.

I realized that bullying never has to do with you. It’s the bully who’s insecure.
Shay Mitchell

Ty Field-Smalley from Oklahoma only lived until his eleventh year because he shot himself after having been bullied for a very long time. Kirk Smalley, Ty’s father, started reaching out to other parents of bullied children all over the world through the internet, building up a network to somehow fight this thing that cost his son and so many others their lives.
At the end of the movie we meet Kelby again as she visits the event “Stand for the Silent” in Oklahoma City where Kirk Smalley holds a speech about changing the world. “We’re doing it for each other” he says. Parallelly to Oklahoma City, there are similar events in Lansing, Michigan; Johannesburg, Illinois; Joshua, Texas.
“We’ve all got to continue what we started today” Kirk Smalley says. “I will never, ever, stop fighting bullying wherever I find it. I will fight bullying forever, because my son will be eleven years old forever.”

Say what you want to say and let the words fall out, honestly I want to see you be brave.
Sara Bareilles – Brave

It was a personal matter for me to write about “Bully”. I myself have been the victim of severe bullying when I was in school. I was ignored, I was called a c***, I was called ugly, I was told to my face by students I barely knew that they hated me, I had the most peculiar things thrown at me – blackboard erasers, tennis balls, pencils, gums, paper balls, and those are only the things I remember clearly. When I hit puberty, I suffered from acne and had to get glasses. As you can imagine, it didn’t make things better.
Yes, I wanted to kill myself. I thought about it quite often in the course of the first four years in secondary school. I cried myself to sleep a lot, and I cried to my parents that I didn’t want to go to school anymore.
And then at some point, I had The Epiphany. I am not the one with the problem. THEY are. It is that simple. The bullying slowly started subsiding when I was 15 or 16 years old, and at some point maybe a year or so before I graduated it stopped. The Epiphany came after that. And now, at almost 24 years old, I am at a point where I can look at myself in the mirror and say, “I really like myself” without lying.
If you are wondering how I managed that, well, it took me long enough, but in retrospect it appears so simple – the first step is to realize that anyone who is cruel to you without reason has a problem, and it’s a problem that’s not yours. The second step is to like yourself. I know that’s not the easy part, but remember to tell yourself something good about yourself every day. Think about your talents, think about what you can do better than someone else. It can be the little things that tip the scales. And the third step is to do things that you like. Wear clothes you feel comfortable with. Get a hobby that you love, ideally one that you can share with friends. If you don’t have friends, getting an interactive hobby is the best way to meet them. And the fourth, and most important step:

Get an opinion. Stand up for yourself. Know that your life counts. Know that you’re special. See your own uniqueness. There’s no-one in this world who is like you.

As one person alone, unfortunately there’s not much you can do about bullying except not letting it affect you. I wish I could tell you something else. As a group, though, it can work. That’s why this movie was made.

It all starts with one.

Miri

Follow Miri on her personal Twitter: OriginalSGreenD

Playlist: Music about & against bullying – Playlist

The Bully Project Links:

Facebook “Bully Movie”

Facebook “Tyler Lee Long Memorial”

Facebook “The Bully Project”

Twitter “Bully Movie”

Other Links:

Twitter “The Bully Project for Teens and their Families”

The Bullying Project

Stop Bullying

Kick Bully

Mobbing Web (German)

Schüler Mobbing (German)