SASHP Senior Spotlight: Sarah Lin

Sarah Lin Senior Spotlight

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Read Much?

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Swamped with school work, club meetings, sports meets, social outings–the list goes on–it can be really hard to just sit down and relax. For those of you who are bookworms, do you find it sort of impossible to do what you love? Read? When’s the last time you’ve honestly opened up a glorious book that wasn’t for your courses? 

Speaking from my own experiences as a current junior, I can say that yes, it’s incredibly difficult to find time to read for relaxation, especially during the semester. However, it’s not impossible! In fact, I’m doing it right now. Even as the spring semester is kicking in hard as we enter our third week, I’m reading a couple of fiction books! (If you’re interested, I’m reading: Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson; The Name of the Star also by Maureen Johnson, and Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs.) How am I doing it? Well, do what you do best and read on to find out!

1. In Between 

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You might be surprised with how much time we can find in between classes, meetings, or particularly, when you’re just waiting. Don’t let the wait time for getting your Hidden Grounds Nutella Mocha go to waste: whip out your book and start reading! Considering you carry around a book at all times, like I do (don’t laugh at me). During these times, we may become aimless and restless, so what better way to quench our boredom than read?! The minutes add up, you know.

2. Before Sleeping

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Reading before you go to sleep can be quite a calming activity. It helps you de-stress from your hectic day. It may even help you sleep better! There are several scientific benefits of reading, actually. Find out more about them here. Don’t underestimate the reading you can get in before your eyes start to droop!

3. Keep Motivated

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You were so busy that you didn’t even have time to breathe? Well, guess what? You’re in luck. Why? Because you can attempt to read–even if it’s just a few paragraphs for just a few minutes–the next day, or the day after that! Don’t lose hope, fellow avid reader. I aim for at least fifteen minutes of reading per day, and I have to admit, that doesn’t sound like much time at all, but 1) Even that is a challenge but 2) It’s doable. Try to not set a goal to read for an amount of time that will be difficult to achieve. It’s all about setting goals that are attainable, anyway! And of course, don’t be too harsh on yourself. Rejoice in those precious moments you are able to feast your eyes on the intricate words of a story. Take pride in the fact that you read for even a minute while waiting for your coffee amidst your busy schedule. Remember, it’s not about finding time to read; it’s making it!

So, my fellow readers, carry around a book, stay calm, and READ!

How to Get Work Done, Like Actually

A new year and a new semester has begun, so you know what that means. A new you! Just kidding. As someone who doesn’t believe in temporary new year resolutions, I try my best to set long-term goals for myself.  Specifically, I like taking tangible and practical steps to improve myself, rather than creating fluffy and whimsical hopes like “I will work hard this year!” for myself.

Keeping a clear goal of getting working done efficiently and without distraction in mind, I have come up with six ways that are actually effective when it’s time to be productive.  These are things I’ve picked up after years of experimenting which conditions work best for me. Keep in mind that they may not apply to everyone.  Without further ado, I present to you ways to actually get work done.

1. Self Control

The biggest hindrance to being productive is all the distractions that are present around us. Especially if the work involves using a computer or the Internet, social media, YouTube and texts are just waiting to interrupt your work ethic. I know it’s hard, but do yourself a favor and keep your phone on Airplane Mode or your Mac on Do Not Disturb when there’s a big assignment due.  Your notifications can wait. Also, resist the urge to keep checking your email or Facebook so often.  Just attempt to not click on those websites for a certain period of time. Not working? That’s okay.

Possible solutions include:

  • Delete bookmarks of distracting website so it is not so easy to reach them
  • Do not have them open in other tabs. Just close them.
  • If you still cannot control yourself, then the most effective solution is getting a website blocker. If you have a Mac, you can download Self-Control. It is one of the best ones I’ve ever used. Once you block the websites for x amount of time, you cannot undo that action.  You have to wait it out. Instead of crying out of regret, might as well use that time to work!

2. Organization

It is so important to keep your life organized to get work done.  This includes everything. Keep your work environment clean: a clean desk, a desktop with minimal apps and a clear state of mind. Most importantly, having a schedule and to-do list is a must. I never understood the point of planning out my day and writing down what assignments I have to complete in one place. I’d think it’s too tedious and extra. But, trust me- it helps so much. Instead of trying to memorize your tasks or logging them in ten different places on your phone, have a homework or reminder app that keeps it all in one place. I recommend iStudiez, myHomework Student Planner, and The Homework App. You can upload your entire schedule and class times on it. It’s a great way to mark your due dates and set priority for your assignments.

3. Determination

No matter how distraction-free and organized you become, it’s all useless if you don’t like what you are doing. And I get it, sometimes the task is mundane and uninteresting. So, if you have a list of tasks to complete, save the one you are most excited about until the end.  This way, you have something to look forward to.  Most often, the boring assignments are the ones that are the most time-consuming and take the most effort. Get them done first when you have the most energy. Leave the fun stuff for later.

4. Rewards

If you are doing something that takes a long time to complete, break it down into sections.  For example, if you have to read 50 pages, reward yourself after every 10-15 pages with a YouTube video.  If you have been working for 2 hours at a stretch, watch an episode of Parks and Rec on Netflix.  If you have a lot of tasks to complete, take a break after finishing two.  Try to manage your time well by either giving complete focus to your work or truly relaxing during your break time. Do not attempt to do both because it just slows everything down.

5. Be Excited

Time flies when you have fun, doesn’t it? Well, guess what? Work can actually be fun when you like what you are doing. Just think about. Say you are really passionate about biology. Anytime you do biology homework, you give it your complete attention and finish quickly. So, even if you are doing work that doesn’t excite you, try to find things that are exciting about it. For example, if you have to write a research paper to complete, and you hate finding sources, but love writing, look forward to that. If you are reading a history textbook and find it boring, try to formulate it as a story in your head to connect ideas and events. If you don’t understand a concept and are more of a visual learner, find videos and graphics online to clear your doubts. Even the dullest things become exciting when you understand them well!

6. Just do it.

Nike’s slogan “Just Do It.” is pretty motivational. The best way to stop stressing about a task is to just do it and get it over with. Procrastination makes things worse. Instead of worrying about your workload and complaining about how much you are not looking forward to doing work, actually being productive is much more efficient. Once you start working, it becomes easy and you feel a burden lifted off of your shoulder.

Remember kids, it’s all about your motivation and prioritization. With just a little bit of self-control and a few rewards along the way, nothing can stop you from hustling hard.

 

My One (1) New Year’s Resolution

Maybe it’s because I can never stick to them, but I really only made one (1) New Year’s Resolution this year in the hopes that I could just focus all of my energy into following through. About a month into the year, I’m probably managing it about 30% of the time, but, you know, I’m a work in progress.

Now, before I tell you what my one (1) resolution actually is, I just want to say that I don’t want to come across like one of those cheesy motivational posters that have a picture of a landscape with some cheesy slogan underneath it that just seems empty of everything it’s trying to say. I also don’t want to come across as some sort of sad, Eeyore of a person (No offense to Eeyore. I love Eeyore.)

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One of the good ones

It’s just…unless you’ve been living underneath a rock for the past few years, you know the world has more or less plunged into total chaos – politically, economically, culturally, socially, a dozen other “ly”s that I’m not at all qualified to talk about. It’s exhausting. It’s terrifying. It’s also kind of surreal and baffling.

And maybe we’re feeling the brunt of this uncertainty because we’re in the most uncertain times of our lives. I live in a constant state of not knowing what I’m doing with my life and uncertain of the future in general. Throw in the vague possibility of a nuclear war and you’ve got yourself a recipe for existential terror.  

2016, I think, was the year when everyone realized that the world was falling apart and therefore started to make memes about dying. They were funny, not really all that serious, but they tapped into this weird impulse in people that I can’t really describe, but I’m going to go ahead and try. I guess it was a sort of gallows humor, making light of a seemingly hopeless situation, trying to find laughter in events that really weren’t that funny at all.

There’s nothing wrong with that. As far as coping mechanisms go, laughter is the best medicine for a reason. But, I don’t know, eventually even joking about the terrible things happening got exhausting. (I, personally, turned to wholesome memes for comfort.)

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It died down a little in 2017, but 2017 is also the year we began to truly feel the effects of everything that had happened in 2016 so 2017, I feel, was a year of all of us trying to reorient ourselves to our reality that no one particularly liked, trying to figure out where we stand.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I love the internet, maybe a little bit too much, but the internet has bestowed upon us the ability to consume every bit of terrible news that happens. It got to the point where I wasn’t even really surprised anymore – horrified, yes, but not surprised – and it formed the expectations that bad things were going to happen.

I’ll get to my one (1) resolution soon, but first, a brief anecdote:

I took a class about postmodern literature last semester because I’m an English major and that’s just the kind of thing we do. One of postmodernism’s things is deconstruction, taking things apart and breaking them down and seeing what makes them tick. Towards the end of that class, I asked myself, “So if nothing is definite and everything is subjective, what do we do now?” It’s not like we can change the fact that everything is a construction. And then I thought my own question, “Well, there’s really only one thing we can do.”

My one (1) resolution is to keep going on and think positively while doing it. I’m trying to go into 2018 an optimist and like I said, I’m probably managing it about 30% of the time, but it’s a start. The world is terrifying and confusing and I am terrified and confused, but nothing about that is going to change if I just go through life thinking everything is going to end badly.  

Maybe you’re already an optimist and I’m just saying things that are obvious to you and I sound like a robot who’s learning what love is for the first time.

But if you’re anything like me, who tries not to hope too hard so she won’t be disappointed, maybe a little positivity will make a big difference.

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So if you’re going through life asking yourself:

“What do we do now?”

Keep your head high and believe that good things will happen if you try to make them happen.

(I almost made my one (1) 2018 resolution “Get my life together”, but I’m trying to be optimistic, not unrealistic).

A GPA-boosting Semester!

Hey guys! Happy New Year! Wow! It is already 2018! I thought I would share with you some tips and tricks to make this semester a GPA booster. Enjoy and be sure to leave any other tips you have down below!

  1. Try to make at least one friend in each of your class.

This may seem a bit crazy, but trust me, with all those due dates and imminent exams, you will be glad you have a friend to contact. I found this was very helpful because instead of emailing professors or TA’s once a day about assignments or exam formats because I was too busy zoning out in class, I could just text that friend and ask him or her.

2. Keep the syllabus and due dates handy.

This is a really important one because when you have a million things due, small assignment dates can easily be overlooked. Even for procrastinators, if you suddenly realize a three-page paper is due tomorrow at 12pm, it might be a bit late. I find it helpful to print out syllabi for all the classes, and the real trick is to keep them all in one place (e.g in the same folder). This way, you have a lower chance of misplacing them, and it will be much easier to just peruse through all your classes beginning of the week and see what is due when.

3. Before buying all the textbooks, see if they are actually needed.

Every professor, or at least most of them, are obligated to encourage students to get a textbook as part of the course material for their classes. However, this does not necessarily mean that you need the textbook. There are plenty of classes in which the professors’ lecture notes alone will suffice and are actually much more coherent with the material that will be on the exams. Most likely, if you do the required assignments and attend the lectures, you may just get around not buying the textbook. I usually think of textbooks as supplementary material; if I find particular topics rather abstruse, then I turn to the textbook.

4. If you don’t want to fall asleep, sit up close.

There is nothing wrong with sitting up front. It will coerce you to pay attention a bit more, and prevent you from going on your phone every 20 minutes, or chit-chatting with your friend next to you.

5. Try to print readings out.

This may seem a little cumbersome at first, but come on, you have $30 to use up in printing, and we all know it is not that easy of a task to do that when it is the last day of the semester, so why not start using that money to print those pdf readings? By reading it on paper, and physically making notes and highlighting key points, you glean much more from the readings.

6. Keep course notes organized from now.

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Now, the beginning of classes is the BEST time to start to take notes in an organized manner, so that in the last week of finals, you won’t be scouring your fat notes-folder of five different subjects for that one particular chart of useful equations. When taking notes on the laptop or on paper, try to have separate folders for the classes or at least limit a folder to maximum two subjects. This goes for taking notes in composition notebooks too.

Thank you! Have a GPA-boosting semester! Good luck!

Making Goals and Sticking with Them

It’s 2018, and although some of us are sick of hearing it, many of us believe in a “New Year, New Me”. We all have goals to achieve or things that we want to change in our lives, and the new year is the perfect time to be inspired to do something different. But most of the time, we have a surge of inspiration at the beginning of the year, and then that quickly dies down and we fall into the same habits that we had the previous year. I am personally tired of watching my years go by without making changes in my life, so I am trying a new method to achieving my goals this year.

This year, one of my goals is to consistently bullet journal. Last year, when I started bullet journaling, I made too much of an effort to make it fancy, and I quickly grew exhausted and dreaded making spreads. So this year, I am going with simple but colorful spreads that do not require too much effort, and get the job done. Bullet journaling helps me keep track of what I do each day, and helps me make sure that I am keeping on top of my goals. One of the tools that I use to keep track of what I do each day is a habit tracker.

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Here is a gorgeous example of a habit tracker!

This is an example of someone else’s tracker that I used as a reference for my own. In my January habit tracker, I have activities like: exercise, drink green tea, read, draw/color, and Bible reading. Each night, I reflect on my day, and color in the little box that corresponds to what activity I did that day. Of course, each day I do not accomplish every goal/activity, so there are some gaps in my spread, but nobody’s perfect! Making a habit tracker, whether in a journal, or on a loose-leaf sheet of paper, is helpful, because it helps me to keep in mind what my resolutions are, and then I don’t forget about them.

Another way that I am keeping track of my goals, is by using my phone/laptop reminders. I am one of those people who cannot survive without reminders. I use reminders for due dates, for events, for homework, anything and everything you can think of! I have also started using my reminders to help me with daily activities. For example, I have a reminder that pops up every day and tells me to take my vitamins  (I always forget about them!). You can also set a reminder in the night to tell you to floss, or you can set one in the morning to remind you to do yoga before you officially start your day. These are really helpful, because although it is possible to forget about a journal, our phones are constantly with us. So why not use them in a way that will help us achieve our goals!

This year, we can all be successful in achieving goals. Don’t be discouraged if you feel like you can’t keep on top of every goal. Even keeping up with one resolution will make a change in your life, and that’s a huge accomplishment!

Lessons Learned as a Commuter

Rutgers has a lot of commuter students, and as a commuter student myself, I love to read about everyone’s experiences. I always learn something new! This semester was my first being a commuter student. Unfortunately I had a few days that my classes were spread out, and I would have as much as four hours between them. Personally, I found it really hard to make the most out of this time, as I would lose concentration, or not be sufficiently prepared. Here are some of my own tips that I lived by this semester as a commuter:

1. Bring your laptop charger.

During days when you are on campus for a long time, your laptop battery will drain. It goes especially fast if you are using it to watch Netflix during a break or listening to music on it. There were so many days that I forgot my charger, and I had to use the computer labs because I had to save my laptop batter for my evening class. There are actually a lot of charging spots all around buildings and at the libraries, so you will mostly likely always find an outlet to use.

2. Use the computer labs.

I used to only use the computer labs when I had to save my laptop battery, but I found that you can be really productive there. When I work at the computer labs, I am surrounded by people who are also doing work, and it helps me concentrate. I don’t feel tempted to go on Netflix or Buzzfeed, and I just finish my work instead. Also there are usually printers so you can print out study materials that you might need.

3. Bring enough snacks with you.

The biggest reason for my distraction is hunger. I get hungry really quickly, especially when I am doing work. So I always keep snacks that aren’t messy and keep me full. Some of my favorite snacks that I keep with me are grapes, Belvita bars, mixed nuts, and granola bars. If you don’t have enough time to grab food between classes, snacks can be very helpful!

4. Get study buddies in every class.

Things happen all the time. Whether it be illness, traffic, or something else, it is always helpful to have someone in class who you can talk to about homework or exchange notes with. I try to make at least one friend in each class, that way if I need to get the notes from someone, I have their contact information. I have also set up study meetings with those same people before exams, and they have always been very helpful. Many people in your classes are also looking for a study buddy, so it should be easy to find one!

5. Make time to meet up with your friends.

This I think is the most important tip for any commuter student. When I lived at school, it was so easy to meet up with friends for lunch or study with them because they all lived nearby, or just a bus ride away. Now that I don’t live at school, it is harder for me to meet with them. Sometimes it requires me staying at school later, but in the end, it is worth it to make time for my friends. Whether we are studying or just hanging out, I always feel recharged and happy after spending time with people who make me laugh!

The experience of being a commuter student is different for each person depending on the length of their commute and the way their schedule is set. In the end, it does help you to learn how to be more productive during breaks between classes, and does force you to plan your days more so that you make the time to spend with friends or working. I learned a lot from my first semester as a commuter student, and am excited to see what it will be like next semester.

Lessons I’ve Picked Up After One Semester

I can’t believe I am one-eighth of the way done with college! While I still have a long way to go, here are just a few things I’ve experienced and learned after my first fifteen weeks in college.

  1. Time flies. Whether you are having fun or not, time really does fly in college.  It feels like just yesterday, the semester had begun. It’s remarkable how much I have learned in my classes in a matter of a few months.  If only high school were the same…

  2. You miss high school. Throughout high school, all I wanted was to go off to college and fulfill my aspirations.  But now, I want to go back.  Well, not go back, but I do miss the simple things: how close my classes were to each other, a constant day to day schedule, a tight group of friends, going out for lunch and basically how approachable and convenient everything was. Now, there are no bells, no lockers, no guidance counselors, and no one running at the back of me telling me that I need to go to class. It’s a whole new life.

  3. You have adjusted to this new lifestyle. Despite losing that sense of familiarity and routine that I’ve been used to for the past 12 years, transitioning to college has not been too rough.  I have classes all over the campus, classes so large that it seems impossible to get to know people, and teachers not forcing you to do things. You can go wherever you want, hang out with whoever you want (or no one at all), and participate in anything you want.  The independence is the best part of college.                                                                                                                                                                                         

  4. Friends? Who? Just kidding, but not really. College friends are quite different from high school. If you are anything like me, you take time to open up and make close friends. I know I am not the only one. Every day, I see people eating alone, walking alone and chilling alone in the library.  This is totally normal.  With every new semester, my friend group will change and I am okay with that. I am still holding on to my high school friends and even though we are miles apart, whenever I run into them or call them over the phone, it feels like old times again.

  5. Food is everywhere. Literally.  Everywhere you turn, there is food. College is really the time when you are left on your own and free to splurge on whatever you desire. It has been a struggle to refrain from spending money on Starbucks, Dunkin, or a quick snack anywhere, but I’m getting there.

  6. Stress kicks in right before exams.  The majority of the semester has been pretty relaxed for me.  Why? Because college courses do not have rigid due dates, daily assignments, and so on. Instead, you already know what the syllabus is and what readings are expected of you to read.  So, if you have been slacking off and not managing your time well, be prepared to pull all-nighters before midterms and finals.

  7. There are so many people. In just a few months, I have met so many different kinds of people.  It’s crazy.  I rarely run into the same people and each person has their unique style and beliefs. Whether in my classes or at the bus stop, it’s cool to meet and be around new people every day.

  8. Netflix is your new best friend.   Whenever you have free time (or, sometimes even in class), you resort to Netflix.  It’s comforting and offers a variety of TV shows/movies to complement any mood or genre you may desire.

  9. It is your choice to pay attention in class. Only in college can you go to lecture, pay no attention and still feel proud that you at least went. Attendance is no longer important, sick days are the new norm and seeing classmates watching Netflix or playing video games is not uncommon.  It is really your choice to pay attention and there are no immediate consequences for slacking off. Until finals of course.  So, it is important to prioritize.  Finish binging Stranger Things or put in some effort and pass Expos? Hmm…

  P.S. I’m writing this post while I sit in my sociology lecture.

After just a semester, it is clear that college is a great experience to discover yourself.  It presents a boatload of opportunities and it is exciting to anticipate what the future holds.

How to Study…

Hey everyone! I hope you all had a stuffed Thankgiving. Get it? I am so lame. Anyways, this week I thought I would share with you some of my study tips and methods because, sadly, finals are only a few weeks away! Now, I am aware that not everyone (ahem, me) starts studying for finals until well, a few days before (or the night of). Whenever you study and whatever you study, here are some things I find are helpful to do to ace an exam.

  1. Flashcards

Now before you roll your eyes and say “been there, done that”, hear me out. The key to using flashcards to study is not have a million to flip through when you’re already on the verge of a mental breakdown from studying for twenty hours. I found that it was quite useful to only limit yourself to making a set amount of flashcards; only make flashcards for things you know you will forget. For example, make flashcards for key facts that are pure memorization. This could be pKa values (oh, Orgo), important dates, essential amino acids, enzymes, etc… Also to further minimize the number of flashcards, group terms together. For instance if all the amino acids are non polar, then try to put as many as you can on one card. Try not to write paragraphs or even sentences on flashcards. It also helps if you spend time really categorizing the flashcards so when you nearing the end of your studying (it never really ends), you can go over only the ones you still haven’t memorized by heart. Oh, and when I am saying flashcards, I mean classic WHITE index cards (not the hard-to-see dark colored ones or online Quizlet)!

2. Rewrite notes

I am sure you have heard many professors bring up the point that writing notes with a pen (or pencil) will ingrain the information better in your head. I cannot stress to you how much this is true! Try to take time to just rewrite notes and you will see that half the material is already going in your brain as you write.

3. Colorful pens and white paper

Believe it or not when you make notes in specific colors, and you go over them multiple times, on exam day, you may be able to recall a piece of information because it was in a specific color! No joke! An important thing to remember is not to go crazy when it comes to the colors. Please don’t use ten colors. I personally like using dark colors such as black or blue to write out my main notes. Then, I have a bright red to box, underline or write VERY IMPORTANT information such as key terms or concepts. You might want to use this color to highlight those hints that your professors drop in class about what “might” be on the upcoming exams. I also find it more fun to take notes on a white paper because you have so much more room and you can write however you want! It’s like your study canvas (again, lame I know).

4. Use images or animation videos

In many of my science classes, we talk about complex processes such as protein translation or aldol condensation. When there are a million steps involved, I often find it very helpful to just Google animations or even just images to simplify things. Reading the textbook (who does?) is sometimes harder because I personally find it more difficult to grasp complex processes by mere paragraphs and paragraphs explicating each step. Instead, scan and print out key images from the book or search them online!

5. Talk out loud

This may sound crazy and may be a bit harder to do when other people are around. However, this is also another way I found really helped me get the material in my head. Hearing yourself say the words out loud can further encode the information in your long-term memory (fancy terms but so true). See if you can find a room at the library or find an empty classroom to just……talk to yourself. Become your own study buddy.

6. Put your phone away

Now, I may sound like an annoying parent, but trust me, I get distracted by my phone a lot. It is not even that I am messaging people, but come on, who can resist taking a twenty minute break every five minutes to go on Instagram or play around with the Snapchat dog filter. Turn your Wifi off (and no cellular data!) and just keep your phone out of sight. You can only touch your phone to check the time….occasionally!

7. Don’t study on your bed!

As comfy as your bed may seem, it is not good a place for studying. Try to sit upright on a desk or at a table. Also, make sure you are in a well-lit place  because dim places may even make you a bit drowsy. Temperature is important too. You can’t study if you’re too cold or too hot, so try to study in an area with the right temperature. In addition, I try not to study in my pajamas. Even if I am studying in my room, I try (most of the times) to wear track pants. Be comfortable enough to study but not enough to fall asleep! It also helps if you don’t eat too many carbs or eat so much food that you go into food coma right before studying!

I hope these tips help some of you! Let me know if you have any tips of your own! Happy studying! Good luck on upcoming exams! You’ll do fantastic!

3 Ways to be Creative

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Helllooooo folks! As we come back (to reality) from our Thanksgiving break, we may be at that point in the semester (or we were already there since Week 1?) when our brains have had enough. Need some me-time? Well, how about you relax and rejuvenate by engaging in fun, creative activities (and give Netflix a rest, maybe)? After all, November is International Creative Child and Adult Month! So here, you’ll find 3 cool ways to be CREATIVE! 

1: WRITE!!!

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As a Creative Writing minor and just someone who loves writing in general, I guess I’m just a little biased in suggesting that y’all should write if you’d like to be more creative. I’m talking about poems, creative essays (NOT Expos haha), short stories, flash fiction, fan-fiction. Maybe even venture into the realm of writing a NOVEL! It’s definitely not easy to write–or to be creative, to be honest. But I think as soon as you forget what others might think about your writing–the whole judgment thing–writing becomes easier. Journalling helps, too, for expressing your thoughts and feelings. Overall, writing is a cathartic activity that can undoubtedly help you cope with the stress that comes with college–or life!

2: Color!

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Stress-relieving coloring books are quite popular nowadays. Apart from having intricate and eye-catching templates, they also help you hyperfocus on the activity of coloring, allowing your brain and you some breathing space. This type of activity helps you enter a relaxed state of mind and asks you to creatively decorate a picture that is half-done. You’re the other half that completes it, which is something that tells your brain: “This is worthwhile!” Coloring in these books can hone your art skills, too! Ever want to be the next Picasso?

3: Start an Instagram Account!

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It is not uncommon for people around the world to use social media platforms, like Instagram, to showcase their creative talents. So, this is something you can take on to motivate yourself to channel your creativity! What is something your passionate about? Transform that passion into something that you can keep track of and market to the rest of the world. This is especially helpful when you’re trying to attain a certain goal. For example, several individuals out there create an Instagram account to solely track the progress of a project that they’re working on, like a novel. Each day or once a week–how ever many times they choose to post–they may upload quotes or scenes from their writing, or take pictures of objects and people that relate to their work. This is a self-esteem booster, as well as a way to share your talents and passions! Personally, I created an Instagram account–@4linespoetry–in which I can post poetry along with my own hand-drawn sketches or digital representations (using Adobe Illustrator) of the poem. Though it is challenging to manage the account with all of my other activities, it is still worth my time.

So, there you have it! Take risks, try something new! I promise that adding some extra creativity into your inexplicably busy college lives can ease the stress and worries! 

~Tanya B.