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.

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!

Fiction Friday- Book Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer (The Lunar Chronicles #1)

Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #1)Cinder by Marissa Meyer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was hooked from the very beginning. I love the world building here. This book is well-written and impossible to put down. This is a futuristic retelling of the fairytale Cinderella…where Cinderella is a cyborg.
Cinder lives with her evil stepmother, one horrid stepsister and one nice stepsister. She works as a mechanic to help support them. When Cinder’s skills bring Kai to her, trouble begins. Cinder is about to discover more about her mysterious past and her real family. This book was impossible to put down. This entire series needs to be read all at once!

View all my reviews

Jewellery Storage Ideas

1) Jewellery Dress- This is my favorite and possibly the most effective. A jewellery dress is a jewellery holder in the shape of the dress. Models vary but Sass Diva has a great one with compartments on one side and hanging space for necklaces on the other. I have a jewellery dress and its used to store most of my jewellery. An added bonus is that its easier to see all your available jewellery at a glance.

2) Cup Holder- A cup holder is great for holding bracelets. And its large size enables it to hold more bracelets than a normal bracelet holder.

3) Storage Containers- Strapped for cash but desperate for storage? Plastic containers can be used to stored jewellery. A good idea is to keep a container for each item- necklaces, rings, etc.

4) Jewellery Boxes- Often items such as watches come in boxes that can fit more then the item itself. Square watch boxes can be used to store a collection of rings.

5) Jewellery Wardrobe- I’ve never actually seen a wardrobe that could accommodate my great jewellery stash but jewellery wardrobes are cute, small wooden wardrobes that are used to store jewellery. It looks good and does it job so its a definite must for me.

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