Category: College

10 Ways College is Better Than High School

You wouldn’t know it since it’s a million times more stressful but here are 10 reasons why college is better than high school.

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1) Unlimited WiFi- if you know me, you know I’m obsessed with WiFi. Having access to WiFi on campus makes life so much easier.

2) You Get to See Your Friends More Often- it’s like you guys are living together. And in some cases, you might be. Even as a commuter, the long hours mean you’re going to be spending the entire day with your friends (so making friends who keep the same hours as you is a major advantage).

3) Food- in high school, the only food items we could buy was junk food and pie. In college there’s no end to the variety of food available. There’s vegetarian options, pizzas, pastas, etc. Don’t even get me started on the beverages. *drools*

4) You Have Interesting Subjects- my first semester at college consisted of Criminology, English, Zulu and Academic Writing. Okay Zulu was something offered in high school but I was fascinated by Criminology and Academic Writing. High school didn’t have subjects like that. Which brings me to…

5) You Choose Your Subjects- You have greater freedom choosing subjects in college than in high school. Bye bye Maths you colossal-waste-of-time.

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6) The Subjects Are All Very Different From High School- instead of basic comprehension and editing, English forced us to read and analyse text. We had discussions on Freud, Foucault and a local author who went insane while writing his last book (which made the ending of the book senseless but oddly intriguing).

7) The Dependence on Technology- remember when we weren’t allowed cellphones in classes? College doesn’t have that rule. You might even need your cellphone to take notes (or in some cases, take out photos of notes). You may also require a laptop or tablet. That combined with the WiFi makes for a dangerous combination.

8) The Strange Hours- you may start at ten. You may finish at twelve. Hell you may even start your weekend on a Wednesday. Okay that only happened to me once but it was AMAZING. College has more flexible hours which can be a blessing or a curse.

9) Attendance is not mandatory- if you skipped a day of class in high school, you were required to bring a note. No such rule exists in college. Of course there are a few classes that have registers but that’s because they’re evil. Stats, I command thee to leave my college syllabus.

10) It’s Not High School- College does not have the same drama as high school. Yes there might be experiences where you feel like you never left high school (we’ll get into the horror of my Freshman year some other time) but here’s the great part- you can leave. College has thousands of people so if you’re having issues with someone, simply remove them from your life and keeping moving forward.

What’s your favourite part of college?

Why I Love Typo

Since the very second I walked into my first Typo store (February 2015), I’ve been obsessed with them. Here’s why:

1) Their stuff has fun sayings such as this cute little notebook

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2) Typo has great organizers. This one is a daily organizer that you can use to keep track of what you want to get done in the morning, afternoon and evening as well as a more general to-do list, a budget tracker, meal planner and a shopping list.

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3) Typo has cute products. I absolutely adore their pens. Look at those patterns! The pen right on the top looks just like a pencil.

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4) I love their notebook covers as well as their variety of notebooks.

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How cute are these???

5) Their notebooks have a section for you to hide letters (or worksheets)

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6) Their sales!!!
I’m pretty sure the “Things to Do” notepad pictured above was about R20. (If not it was just really cheap and I’ve been using it for well over a year).

Do you shop at Typo? What’s your favourite product?

How to Pack for a Holiday Without Sacrificing Style

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It’s finally the time for the holidays!!! If you’re a college student chances are you just have a week (who cares?! It’s a holiday!). If you’re lucky enough to be going away for the week here are a few tips for packing:

1) Pick your style- Choose the kind of look you want (glam, boho, etc). Since my looks are always based on fictional characters, I decide my holiday based on that. Jo’burg has always been a Blair Waldorf place (hello leggings) while I chose to channel my inner Elena Gilbert for Cape Town. The logic behind this was that Cape Town required lots of walking and I wanted to be comfortable.

2) Pick your neutral- Choose a colour that will tie together all your looks. My neutral colour is always black. It doesn’t stain and I have several bags and accessories in black. Pack things in the shade of your neutral so that you automatically have something that matches.

3) Choose basic jewellery- Choose jewellery that can go with any and all of your outfits. This is why choosing a style beforehand is so important- you know precisely what look you’re going for.

4) Use versatile items- Use items that can be mixed up. A dress top can be used with leggings as well as jeans. Voila- one item with two looks.

5) Roll don’t fold- Rolling your clothes instead of folding allows you to store more items.

6) Make a list beforehand- Make a list of what you plan to take before you pack. This ensures that you don’t miss anything out not matter how small. Be sure to take into consideration the weather and any possible changes in the weather (ie if a cold area suddenly has a heatwave, etc).

What are your tips for packing? Are you going anywhere for the holidays? I’d love to know.

Amazing Android Apps: SimpleMind

SimpleMind is an app that allows you to create mind maps easily.
This app provides you with a central idea box and then subtopics which you can add more information to.
If you’re a student who learns from mind maps this is a great app to try.
For me, I personally like to use SimpleMind as a sort of brain dump. I gather all my to-do lists, ideas for blog posts and story plot lines on various mind maps. The app has never steered me wrong.
SimpleMind is available for free on the Play store.

The Importance of a Mental Health Day (and how to take one)

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I’m not sure if I haven’t adjusted to campus yet or if third year is just really hard. It’s become impossible for me for make it through the week and I’m so stressed I feel like I might break down in tears. The last time I felt like this was last year second semester. I responded to those feelings of hopelessness by staying at home for three days(three weekdays btw). Whether you’re working or studying, sometimes you just need a break. Your brain needs breathing space away from all the stress and deadlines. Here are my tips to help you take a mental health day.

1) Ensure that nothing important is happening on your mental health day- I was able to miss those three days of campus because I had already handed my assignments in and I had done all the work already. Making certain that you’re not missing out on anything allows you to spend your day just focusing on you.

2) Speak to the necessary people to take the day off- Whether it’s your employer or your driver, let the relevant people know that you won’t be available. For me this is my lift club so that they know not to pick me up.

3) Make it obvious that you won’t be available… At all- this time is for you to relax and recharge. You’re not going to be able to do that if people are calling or texting you about things that are only going to stress you out more.

4) RELAX- read a book or take a nap. Do whatever is necessary for you to renew your energy. This is your day and it’s all up to you as to how to spend it.

Do you take mental health days off work/school? What do you spend them doing?

College Tips for Commuters

For some reason, the majority of college blog posts are targeted to those who live on campus. In fact, until my cousin went to college (which was when I was when I was sixteen), I had assumed that everyone lived at college. No one told me about commuters. As a commuter, your college experience is pretty different. Your have different expenses and different issues (instead of stressing over chores, you get to spend time stuck on campus in between classes). Here are my tips if you’re a commuter student:

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1) Budget for YOUR expenses– As a commuter you may have pay for gas or public transportation to get to campus. Depending on how many hours you spend on campus, you may also have to budget for food and snacks. I had days where I would take my three meals at campus instead of my house but there were also days when I ate all the food I brought with me and had to go buy something from one of our food stalls.

2) Do homework during campus hours– Travelling to and from campus is exhausting and when you get home, you probably just want to sleep. Save your precious nap-time by doing most or all of your work on campus. This ensures that your time away from campus can be spent doing something that isn’t related to campus. Like binge-watching Riverdale. I did this and I never had to pull an all-nighter.

3) Pack snacks– This is very important. Whether it’s because you miss breakfast due to your early commute or you simply spend a really long day at college, pack snacks to ensure you don’t get hungry. Bringing snacks from home also means you don’t have to spend money every time you need a nibble. Trust me on this. My first month of college, I spent around R800 on food.

4) Make friends in your classes or through your commute– When your time is divided between campus, commuting and home, making friends can be difficult. Introduce yourself to the person next to you in class or the girl who takes the same bus as you. You guys will already have one thing in common (The long commute or the long class).

5) Download ebooks– Whether it’s recreational reading or your college textbooks, try as much as possible to buy ebooks. They take up less space and won’t hurt your back. As a commuter you don’t have the luxury of being able to pick up textbooks from your dorm room so this solution works great! I also have a few tips on how you can avoid buying textbooks here

6) Be prepared… For anything– there’s no predicting the weather so carry a jacket with you at all times as well as closed shoes. It’s always amusing to me when people walk in heels and are then attacked by rain. (I’m not a bad person, I swear! They just make for a really funny sight. Also, why are you wearing heels when you’re going to have to walk to class?) This leads me to my next point:

7) Wear comfortable shoes– Can you imagine the horror of wearing shoes you can’t walk in and then having to suffer the entire day? I can (because I’ve done it before) and it is not fun. Be sure that your shoes are durable and comfy. You’ll probably be in them a while.

Are you a commuter? What are your tips for surviving college? I’d love to know.

How to Get Things Done (even when you really don’t want to)

Adulting sucks. There’s decisions to be made, budgets you need to follow and errands to run. I thought being at college meant putting these things off for a while but I was so wrong! College is just adulting on a minor scale (Sorta like Adulting 101 instead of Adulting 301). Here are the tips and tricks I use to help me get everything done.

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1) Invest in a planner of some sort- I prefer using a school diary but your cellphone works just as well. The trick here is to actually use whatever item you choose to keep you organised. If it’s your phone, enter in deadlines and important dates. The same applies to planners.

2) Write down everything- I mean every single thing. You need to buy your mum a gift? Write it down. Accounts needing to be paid? Write it down. You don’t want anything slipping by you so write it down. You’ll be able to see everything that needs your attention.

3) Get it done!- I use Any.Do to keep a daily to-do list. It allows you to divide items into categories as well as decide when you are going to do it (today, tomorrow or eventually). The great thing about Any.Do is that it sends out a reminder daily for you to update your to-do list. You’ll never forget an errand ever again.

4) Don’t Overdo It- There is only so much you can do (before your TV shows start calling) so make sure that you don’t tire yourself out. Start with doing three items on your to-do list per day. If you feel up to tackle more then you can. Be sure to list items in order of importance so you can the most relevant things done first.

5) Say No- Sometimes our lives are busier than they need to be. Sometimes you just need to say no to things. Last year I was falling behind on my class, my blog and my role as a community moderator and beta tester for Her Campus. It hurt me but I had to drop out as a community moderator and slow down my blogging in order to focus on my schoolwork. The decision hurt me at first but it made focusing so much easier.

What are your tips for getting things done? What apps do YOU rely on? I’d love to hear from you below!

Dorm Room Organisation

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How many times have you struggled with your million pairs of shoes? Or tangled your necklaces because they all simply lay in a heap?
Today I will be talking about simple and easy way to store and organise stuff in a small room.
Most dorm rooms are small- as is my bedroom- and a small space for a shopaholic is torture. Nonetheless I’ve figured out a way to store all of my stuff and still have my room looking decent.

1) Box It Up
The easiest way to store something that isn’t currently in use is a box. Choose one in a cool pattern so it adds to the room. Boxes can be used to store shoes, bedding and anything else that you want to keep hidden out of sight.

2) Ottaman/Window Seat
Storage ottamans are amazing. Now I’m not sure if you can fit one in a dorm room(I definitely have no space for one in my room) but it’s always nice to have. It’s part seating-plan and part storage-facility. Super-useful and effective.
A window seat is pretty much the same but unlike a ottaman, cannot be moved.

3) Hooks
Hooks are great for hanging necklaces, hats, bags and belts. Put a few on the inside of your wardrobe for easy access to your accessories. It’s a quick and easy solution.

4) Jewellery Dresses
I love love love jewellery dresses! They have spaces for necklaces, rings, bracelets, etc. They also fit easily into your wardrobe if need be. They can also be hung from hooks attached to the wall.

5) Cupholder
This sounds insane but a cup holder is great for storing bangles. Cupholders are also larger than regular bangle-stands.

Do you have any useful storage tips of your own?

Free Printables (for a limited time)

Here is a link to some free printables I created for college a while back. They include a master to-do list as well as a daily to-do list. Have fun with them and save them if possible because I will be deleting the site that they’re stored on soon!

How to Cope with a Difficult Class

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I don’t know about you but each time I’m excited for a semester, there’s always that one class that ruins everything. Last year it was Translation and this year it’s Research Methodology: Criminology.
What makes this module so intimidating is that it involves graphs and statistics (stuff I suck at). Granted the majority of my fear stems from the fact that I don’t know what to expect but the entire course is terrifying. Here’s how to deal with a difficult class.

1) Speak to your lecturer- most of my fear comes from not knowing what is expected or from not knowing if I’m able to cope with the workload. Speak to your lecturer one-to-one and explain your concerns. Sitting down and talking through the module can help you decide if you really can or can’t manage with it.

2) Meet with your lecturer regularly- if the module is compulsory it helps if you meet with your lecturer to go over concepts you find difficult. When my Translation lecturer found out I was anxious about her class she made certain to check with me often to see if I was coping (I was fine but her thoughtfulness was much appreciated anyway).

3) Work on your own- Do the readings or work out the problems before the class. This way you’re exposing yourself to the work an extra time and you can ask for clarification while in class. My Translation seminars and lectures were less terrifying when I engaged with the material beforehand.

4) Look for extra help- when I first started at campus I had no idea how to write an essay. I did a module that taught students how academic reading and writing worked but I failed at my first essay. Thankfully there were people in campus who specifically helped students with essay writing. Look for opportunities such as these where you’re able to get the additional help you need. It’s a tiresome effort but so worth it.

What are your tips for dealing with a difficult class?

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