“I Can and I Will”

If you’re a college student, there’s a good chance you started classes this morning, like I did.

It’s cold. It’s windy. It’s gloomy. But none of that matters–it’s the first day of a brand new semester. I love the beginnings of anything; the feeling of knowing that endless possibilities and opportunities to succeed exist without you even walking out the door. Failure hasn’t happened yet, and success is just at your finger tips if you put in the work. It’s comforting and exciting.

My morning actually started at 6 AM for my last first day of volleyball offseason. Ever. It’s incredible how fast time flies. It just feels like a short while ago that all I cared about was getting a volleyball scholarship–now I begin my last year as a student athlete.

This semester also marks the first of the two semesters I have left to earn my degree in English literature. I cannot tell you have excited I am about this semester’s classes. I love everything about school: the material I get to read, the fresh supplies, the blank page of a notebook, the meticulous upkeep of a planner.

Here are some of my tips of staying organized and motivated for school:

  • Keep a planner. Seriously. Do it. I happen to have a Kate Spade agenda, and I absolutely love it . It was worth every penny–I write down everything. Assignments, personal appointments, holidays, birthdays, my volleyball schedule, the days the movie I want to see comes out. I recommend writing these in ahead of time, in the space allotted for the day that event falls on.
  • Use highlighters for scheduling your busy life. I color code accordingly: yellow for school, pink for personal, blue for volleyball, and green for work. I can take one glance at a week and have a pretty good idea of what I have on my plate.
  • Take notes. I have five classes I am taking this semester, so I just bought one five subject notebook. I’m telling you people, taking notes simply keeps you engaged in the class. Even if you don’t use these notes later on, actively participating helps you pay attention.
  • Have a folder for each class. This keeps papers and assignments separated; I’m all about compartmentalize-ing.
  • If you have an online class, set a time for each day/week to work on your assignments. I plan on pretending I have my Intro to Film class (which is online) on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the afternoons for about an hour and thirty minutes, instead of trying to cram all of my work in on Saturday night at 11:00 (my assignments are due at midnight Saturdays).
  • Find what works. All of these tips work for me, but we are all different people. Experiment.

I hope everyone has a bright, shiny, wonderful first day of the new semester! Arm yourself with coffee and the right attitude: to quote Gina Rodriguez, winner of the Golden Globe for best actress in a television series (comedy or musical):

Today is going to be a great day. I can, and I will.” 

Have a great day, friends!


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