How to Rest in College

The topic of rest is not often talked about in our world. The majority of people and blog posts will tell you how to move forward, keep pressing on in the stressful times, and how to strive towards a more fruitful and successful life. The world will tell you to do MORE, but I’ve learned that the only way to do more is to let myself rest first.

College is a stressful time, and more often than not, my day is packed from 7 AM to 10 PM, Monday through Friday. With a schedule like this, many of you may ask, is time for rest available, attainable or practical in college?

In this blog post, I will answer these questions while also providing ideas on how to rest while maintaining your full schedule!

  1. Make rest a priority: Just like everything else in life, if something isn’t a priority, it will not be accomplished, especially as a college student when there are always things to do. Save room in your schedule to rest and relax, at least a couple times a week. Plan for the times of rest before your week even begins, and think of them as “non-negotiable” periods in your day.
  2. Define what rest means to you: It could mean taking a nap, getting a cup of coffee with some friends, or watching Netflix. For me, it is being outside, talking with friends, or reading and journaling. Clarify what gives you rest and makes you feel refreshed afterwards, and keep these options in mind.
  3. Take a second look at your schedule: Is there enough margin in your life? Is there enough time every couple days to stop and breathe for at least 30 minutes? If not, find out practical ways to make these times throughout your day and week. Some examples of this would be to wake up earlier to journal or have a quiet time or using meal times as a period of time to stop and relax.
  4. Learn how to say no: A million and one clubs and programs will ask you to join, especially near the start of the semester. Learn how to say no. In one of my college advice posts, (see here) I mentioned the importance of researching and looking into things that interest you, even before you leave for college. It is vital to your success as a student that instead of saying “yes” to everyone and every opportunity, set a list of priorities on what kinds of things you want to accomplish or be a part of in college.
  5.  Give Yourself Grace: If you are in need of rest, restoration and a time to relax, give yourself the freedom to take a break once in a while. Don’t go to that club meeting this week, go to bed at 9 PM and feel free to say no to a hangout with your friends once in a while. Taking a break shouldn’t make you feel guilty or lazy, but instead, reenergized and motivated to keep going.

College is a time of constantly being on the go, but everyone needs time to breathe. In order to succeed, move forward or be productive, rest is absolutely necessary.

I want you to know that this is something I am still trying to figure out. I don’t give myself enough margin, grace or time to rest. However, I have noticed that I am happier, more pleasant to be around, and more successful when I take care of myself and listen to what I need everyday. I notice that I become the best version of myself when I give myself time to relax, which motivates me to prioritize rest.

Rest is something that I will consciously have to choose to do, perhaps for the rest of my life, and I challenge you to do the same.

Love,

Jennifer

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Tank and Shorts: Loft // Sandals: Target // Necklace: Francesca’s

 

Wardrobe Essentials for College

Packing for college? Don’t know what clothes to bring? It can be a bit overwhelming, but have no fear! As a soon-to-be junior in college, I know what clothing pieces have proved to be necessities in my closet and what items are best to leave at home.

First things first: Bring plenty of tee shirts, leggings, Nike shorts, and sweatshirts. Many others have probably already told you that comfy clothes are the name of the game in college, especially in the dorm or at the library, so for this post I decided to focus on items that are more practical for everyday wear and several occasions that can (and will!) come up.

1. Pull-on shorts: These are a part of my everyday uniform in college. While they make you look put together and cute, they are extremely comfortable. In fact, I would compare the comfort level to that of Nike shorts, so I’d call that a win. Mine are from Madewell, but Old Navy  and J. Crew Factory have some great options as well, for a more affordable price. DSC_0654DSC_06902. Everyday Purse: Even though I recently purchased this purse from Old Navy, it has been my go-to bag all summer. It is the perfect size to be able to fit the essentials: my wallet, chapstick, phone, keys and my planner. An everyday cross-body bag, that isn’t overly expensive and therefore can be easily replaced, is a MUST for college! DSC_06693. Versatile tanks and tees: Running to class? Going out to dinner? Hanging out at the library? These are all occasions that I would choose to wear this oh-so-soft striped peplum tank from Anthropologie (which is currently on sale!!). To dress the top up a bit, just add a necktie or a necklace and a nice pair of jeans! DSC_0588DSC_05474. Slip-on Tennis Shoes: While I haven’t been wearing these as much this summer, these shoes are still one of my most worn pairs of shoes. You might be surprised about how many steps you have to take in an average day of college, so comfortable shoes are a necessity. In order to switch it up and look a bit more put together, swap out those Teva sandals or Birkenstocks for a pair of slip-ons. Mine are from Steve Madden but Vans also offers a wide selection. I promise, your feet will thank you later! DSC_05655. Little Black Dress: I cannot tell you how many events and occasions I have worn this dress to! From banquets, to birthday parties to class presentations, this dress has seen it all. Invest in a flattering dress that can be paired with different accessories to create countless outfits! When you are running a little late for your class or dinner date, a dress like this one will help deciding what to wear a breeze. I got this one from Buffalo Exchange, but Forever 21 and H&M have plenty of options. DSC_0628DSC_0620

Hope you enjoyed and found these tips helpful! Happy packing!

Love,

Jennifer

 

How to Get Organized For College Before Move-In Day

The start of the school year is just around the corner! (I’m so sorry to be the one to break this news to you, but ignoring it won’t make it go away.) This is both extremely exciting and terrifying, especially if you are about to start college.

Moving in and starting school can be stressful and difficult, especially if you are not prepared or organized prior to leaving home.

In order to avoid this stress and worry, I compiled a list of things that can be done prior to move-in day that will make the transition much easier and smoother!

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  • Meet up with your roommate. Even if you have known them for years, grab a cup of coffee with them or call them up to talk about their expectations about living together and what they are bringing so you can share some general appliances and household items. Communication is key, especially with your future roommate.
  • Invest in a backpack.  I’m talking a heavy-duty, strong and sturdy backpack. A cute tote bag from Target or Vera Bradley won’t do the trick in college. My favorites are from the brand Herschel or Northface. They may not be the most stylish, but trust me, your back will thank me later!
  • Research the clubs and opportunities available at your new school.  Getting involved, especially in your first year, is extremely important! However, before saying yes to everyone who asks you to be in their club, do your research. Find out what clubs interest you and what kind of opportunities are offered throughout the year, so you can plan ahead.
  • Clean out your closet.  For real though. Clean out those clothes, shoes and accessories that remind you of high school. Starting college means starting a new chapter in life and your wardrobe should reflect that as well! Make room in your closet for more pieces that fit your lifestyle.
  • Determine your goals and priorities for the semester.  I’m big on setting goals and things that I want to accomplish, as it motivates and inspires me to keep moving forward. What do you want your grades to be at the end of the semester? How many times a week do you want to workout? Do you want to read or write more? Think about these things before school starts, and you will be more successful with these areas of your life. DSC_0033
  • Buy some basic school supplies.  Make sure to stock up on some notebooks, folders and pencils before the school year starts. Professors will tell you if they want you to have anything special, like a certain binder or notebook, but normally they are not too picky. Plus, Target and Office Max become a zoo after the semester starts, so beat the crowds!
  • Look up local restaurants and shops that are located in the town of your new school.  If you are moving or going to a college in a new town, get excited by researching some of the best local places and shops! This will get you excited to explore your new city and it will make you appear knowledgable when you suggest a cute and charming hole-in-the-wall brunch place to your new friends!
  • Spend time with your loved ones and plan for the next time you will see them! Be intentional when spending time with your family and friends! Be present, appreciative and in the moment. To curb homesickness, plan a weekend for them to visit you or for you to come home! Having something to look forward to will make saying goodbye become a “see you later.”DSC_0046

Hope you enjoyed these tips and found them helpful!

Love,

Jennifer

Things I Wish I Knew: Freshman Year of College

Are you starting college in the fall? Are you close to nearing the end of your high school career? Then this post is for you.

To kick off my back to school/college series, I’m sharing with you 10 things I wish I knew before starting my freshman year in college! Even if you have older siblings, have read a million of these posts, or have a general idea of what college may look like, one can never be too prepared. (Take it from the girl who probably wasn’t prepared enough.)

1) Everyone feels as nervous/weird/unprepared as you do. Even if no one is showing it, every freshman who is starting college is FREAKING OUT. They don’t know what to expect either, so it is okay to let your guard down and quit pretending like you have a clue of what college is like.

2) The friends that you make the first couple weeks of school, or even throughout the first semester, are not guaranteed to be your BFFs all throughout college. Friend groups are constantly changing in your freshman year. It wasn’t until sophomore year that I felt like I had a steady friend group. Learn to enjoy the time that you are spending with others around you as you meet lots of new people.

3) There is never a time that you don’t have homework. Yes, your homework might not be due until the following week, but throughout my college career, I have almost always had some assignment to do or work on. Take advantage of those days where the “only” thing that you have to get done is that end-of-semester project. You’ll thank yourself come finals week.

4) It is possible to avoid the “freshman 15.” If you choose to eat well, move and exercise regularly, and regulate your sleeping patterns, there is a good chance that you can dodge the freshman fifteen. It isn’t inevitable–it just depends on the individual’s choices and habits.

5) It takes a lot of effort to keep up with friends at home or at other universities. If some of your friends live at home or are going to a different college and you want to keep pursuing a friendship with them, be intentional about it. Call them while you are walking to class, send them a quick text, FaceTime them while you are doing laundry! If you are good enough friends, both of you will find time and put in effort to talk to each other.

6) It’s okay to say no. Whether it is a small event in your residence hall, an event that the university is putting on, or a group of friends wanting to catch a bite, there is always something social going on. It is okay to put yourself and your priorities first and say “no.” (I’m still learning this, FOMO is a real thing.)

7) You don’t need to bring that many “cute” clothes to school. Throughout high school, I was the girl who always wanted to look cute and I paid special attention to what I was wearing. However, after the first couple weeks of college, I found my regular uniform to be a t-shirt with my school’s logo on it, a pair of leggings and some Nike’s. Sure, bring a couple of cute pieces to mix and match, but comfort wins over cuteness when you are rushing off to class, running on 3 hours of sleep.

8) Scheduling is important. The only way that I have found to survive is to plan on how I use my time and my energy, before the day even begins. Get a planner, look at it at least three times a day, and keep track of what you have to get done and what you would like to. Plan, plan, plan!

9) It’s okay to rest. Similar to number six–more on this later, in a future post!

10) Independence has its’ benefits and disadvantages. This isn’t meant to scare you–trust me, I love being independent. However, sometimes independence can feel a lot like loneliness. Not always, but sometimes. This is a growing pain of growing up, but it will get easier. Take comfort in the fact that friendships form slowly, family is one call away, and most of the other students around you feel the same way.

Know that this first year will be an incredible adventure, whatever it may bring. College is a wonderful and unique time of growth, maturity, freedom, and fun. I hope that you feel more prepared, and more excited, after reading this post!

Love,

Jennifer