Back to School Tips from a {Former} Type-A Student

Summer is quickly drawing to a close which means students are gearing up to head back to school. As strange as it seems, once upon a time, back to school season was my favorite! My parents still joke to this day that if I could be a professional student, I would – which isn't necessarily wrong. In honor of my former favorite season, I thought I would share some helpful tips that helped me conquer the school year, and I hope they help you out as well!

  • Buy an agenda and keep up on it// I cannot tell you how many times my agenda saved my ass throughout college. When you get your syllabi at the beginning of the semester, take the time to fill out when each assignment is due and test dates. You can even color code your classes if you're feeling ambitious. This also helps for extra-curricular activities such as Greek life and sports. Some of my favorite agendas throughout the years include Lilly Pulitzer, Erin Condren, and Day Designer.
  • If you're new to campus or if the buildings you have classes in are foreign to you, check out your daily class route// Once upon a time, an ill-prepared freshman Kourtney got lost on her way to class and had to walk in embarrassingly late on the first day. Don't let yourself be that Kourtney! A day or two before classes start, take a stroll around campus and make yourself familiar with the daily route you'll be taking to class.
  • Take advantage of free amenities on campus// Let's face it, being a college student can be pricey. If your schedule allows, take the time to attend the various back-to-school fairs occurring on campus. You'll be able to snag some free goodies including t-shirts, food and school supplies. At my alma mater, we even had local businesses bring coupons with discounts for students. Other free amenities include the cafeteria if you live on campus (I always took an extra piece or two of fresh fruit to snack on during the day), the gym on most campuses, and the library – these will be your best friends during your time at university.
  • Don't neglect your physical health// College is stressful; You'll be driven to eat a lot of foods that are not the best for you, and your physical health may take a backseat when times get tough. Make an effort to be active at least three days a week. Whether you're going to the gym or taking an extra long route to class if timing allows, every little bit helps keep off the freshmen 15.
  • Learn to take proper notes// There are several blog posts and YouTube videos such as this one to help you learn how to take effective notes. You may need to try several different varieties before you find the one that fits you, but once you find the one that works, stick to it!
  • Your professors will offer office hours, utilize them// Whether or not you're struggling in a class, it's always a good idea to build a relationship with your professors. This is one thing I regret the most from college – I did not use office hours enough. If your professors see you putting in the work and effort, they'll go the extra mile to help you succeed.

What are some of your back to school tips? Best of luck to all returning students!

-K

Holy $#!% I’m A Senior: A Reflection

Holy $#!% I’m A Senior: A Reflection

Today I embark on a new journey and begin my senior year of college. It seems like just yesterday I was a shy, clueless, awkward freshman that didn’t know how lame it actually was to wear your keys on your lanyard around your neck.I also had little to no social skills whatsoever coming from a ridiculously small private school. Nonetheless, I was bound and determined to become a nurse anesthetist as I intended to my whole life. This, my friends, was my first mistake in my college career.

Innocent freshmen with no idea what we were getting ourselves into
Innocent freshmen with no idea what we were getting ourselves into

About halfway through my first semester, I realized that I was not on the path that I was supposed to be on; my grades were slipping, I was constantly exhausted, I lost all motivation, and- in all this chaos- I managed to lose myself. You see, I’ve always been a planner, type-A personality, and OCD, so when I came to the realization that I wasn’t where I was supposed to be, I lost my zest for life; I just wasn’t the same person I was before. Because of this, my mental health and relationship at the time began to deteriorate. I broke up with my boyfriend of two years and just wanted to be alone, I knew I had to get better and turned to working out and going out in order to make myself happy again. After countless meetings with my adviser, and more aptitude tests than any human being should ever take, I found myself pursuing a career in communication and public relations- an umbrella category for all of my passions- and something I had always wanted to pursue, but did not think was actually possible.

Finally able to let my preppy flag fly
Finally able to let my preppy flag fly

My sophomore year, I took a huge leap of faith and tried out for the competitive dance team on campus. By some crazy miracle, I made the team despite not dancing for five years. I also did something I swore I never would do and went through sorority formal recruitment. You can probably imagine my surprise when I fell in love with Alpha Delta Pi and accepted a bid from them on Bid Day. Thanks to both of these organizations, I became more confident and started to break out of my introverted shell. That fall, I unexpectedly met a boy who turned out to be the man of my dreams even though I swore I was going to focus on my career for the rest of my life. I became more social, and things started to turn around. I was genuinely happy once again.

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Clearly my style has improved over the years as well
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Ryan and I at ADPi’s Debutante Diamond Formal

My junior year was a growing experience for my maturity as I conquered the challenges and lessons life threw my way. My classes were extremely difficult, I took an executive board position in my sorority, my boyfriend informed me that he decided to serve in the military, I was in a terrible car accident, and my anxiety was at an all new height. I promised myself that I would not revert back to the person I was freshman year, and with the help of my family, friends, and boyfriend, I began to set small-scale goals for myself (this was a huge step due to my type-A personality). I achieved my goal of making the Dean’s List, and I figured out how to prioritize my time because it really is so precious.

If you would have told me four years ago that I would be sitting where I am today, I would have laughed in your face and told you that you were absolutely crazy. However, as I sit here reflecting on the past three years of my college career, I wouldn’t change a thing. College is a time to not only learn what is necessary in the classroom, but to make mistakes and learn from life experience. I am so lucky to have stumbled so clumsily to where I am now, standing with more poise and confidence than I ever could have imagined. Bring it on, senior year, I’m ready for ya!

Cheers!

-K

Style Watch: Fall Nail Colors

Style Watch: Fall Nail Colors

Happy Last Day of August!

As my favorite season quickly approaches, I am left pondering a multitude of questions: Is it too early for my favorite winter dark shades? Is it too late for my favorite pastels? In light of my latest predicament of which hue would best flatter my nails in the upcoming fall months, I have compiled a list of some of my staple fall colors according to the latest trends out of my personal nail polish stash.

**This list is in order of the shades you see in the featured image above*

  1. Essie, “Ballet Slippers”- this beautiful pastel/opaque color can be paired with everything; it’s charming, but does not take away from the outfit.
  2. Essie, “Go Ginza”- another pastel (think a light lavender) that fairs well in early fall. An excellent pop of color for back to school days.
  3. Essie, “Sand Tropez”- nude can be worn in every season, this just happens to be my personal favorite
  4. Essie, “Mochacino”- possibly the only shade of brown I would ever sport on my nails, plus it has a hint of sparkle
  5. Nicole by O.P.I., “My Empire…My Rules”- a chic grey with hunter green undertones, an unexpected winner in my book!
  6. O.P.I., “Glitzerland”- my go-to polish to add some sparkle! I wear mostly silver rings so the gold adds the perfect glittery contrast
  7. China Glaze, “For Audrey”- Tiffany blue, need I say more?
  8. O.P.I., “I Have A Herring Problem”- a unique blue-gray with gold sparkles, I don’t wear this shade nearly as much as I probably should; it’s definitely an underrated color
  9. Essie, “Bahama Mama”- love love LOVE this dark magenta color
  10. Essie, “Forever Yummy”- Because red looks absolutely fabulous in every season!

What are some of your favorite fall nail colors? Comment below and I’ll be sure to check them out!

-K

 

Back to School Essentials

Back to School Essentials

It’s almost that time of year again: School Time! While I do admit I love going back to school, I must say I’m dreading this year solely because it will be my last first day of school EVER (Shoutout to all my fellow college seniors! Whoop whoop!) With the school year, rapidly approaching, I thought I’d share some of my back to school must-haves for new and returning college students. There’s just something about brand new books, clean notebooks, and brand new pens that just fills me with so much excitement for the upcoming year!

So, without further ado, here are my essentials for the upcoming school year:

  1. Simulateously cute and durable backpack or tote bag (or both!)- In my case, three days of the week I only have one class during which I’ll most-likely be using my Michael Kors tote, however, I am on campus all day for the other two days which means I’ll have a lot more to carry around. I bought this particular backpack from PB Teen my freshman year so it has held up extremely well compared to those I’ve used in the past.
  2. Agenda– If you’re constantly on the go and are balancing school, work, and extracurricular activities, you definitely need to keep your everyday activities on-track with a planner. My personal favorite is Lilly Pulitzer‘s jumbo agenda which I purchased for this year in the print Red Right Turn; not only does it allow a large space for recording daily tasks, but it provides a fun travel list section, as well as colorful patterns.
  3. Durable Water Bottle– For obvious reasons, it’s important to stay hydrated during long lectures. I depend on my Camelbak Eddy to not leak nor crack while toting it from class to dance during my busy days.
  4. Pencil Case/School Supplies– As aforementioned, I love school supplies, especially of the cute variety. I carry my necessary supplies around in an adorable cream and gold polka dot Kate Spade pencil case purchased at Paper Source. A few of my preferred supplies includes Sharpie fine-point pens, Bic velocity pencils, Sharpie highlighters (in multiple colors), and post-it notes.
  5. Notebooks or a Reliable Laptop– While I am a huge fan of modern technology, I prefer to take my notes with the old-fashioned pen and paper. I’ve discovered through trial and error that I am more susceptible to remembering my notes if I hand-write them.

While these are just a few of my many essentials, I hope this gives you an idea of items that will help you survive your next school year. Best of luck to everyone returning to school!

-K