Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Quit Scrambling: how to feel on top of everything

Two weeks ago, I wrote about how I wanted to make a difference with the school year and feel refreshed with a new year. I really think I've been doing a better job at those when I'm in a position of being stressed, but it made me realize that there are little things that I can do so I don't have to get to the point of being stressed. 

The thing is that you can do all your work and get it done, but to me, the way in which you get it done can be the game changer. Last year, I was getting things done at odd hours, not having a routine, and constantly feeling like I was scrambling. When I was scrambling, I was anxious and felt like I couldn't ever get anything done. This year, I'm working on trying to stay on top of things as they come so I never feel like that.

Make up your bed every morning. This is one that my mom always taught me and it never made sense, but I think especially in college, making up your bed changes it all. You feel better by not having your sheets all crumpled, losing things in your sheets as you throw things on the bed, and by having a comforter to sit on top of so you don't feel tempted to take a nap. If it seems to intimidating of a thought- I promise it doesn't have to be. Pull your comforter up at least.

Shower regularly. Wake up early enough to get ready for the day. I like to shower in the morning and I used to skip out on morning showers last year, only to come back and shower and then sit in my room when I could've just felt prepared for the whole day by waking up early enough to get ready. I'm not a fan of waking up early, but I feel a million times better the rest of the day if I have time to shower, do my hair and makeup, and make sure I'm ready for the day. This also includes little routines. I like to get ready and wake up by having coffee in my room, turning on all my lights, and playing music. Little routines like this get me amped for the day so I don't feel rushed and stressed.

If you have something little to do, go ahead and do it. I used to be the worst at this. If I had some little email to reply to, something to register for, or something to buy, I would just wait until I was "in the mood" to do it, meaning when I was in the library or something. Which is ridiculous. If it takes as long to put it on your to do list as it would to just do it, then JUST DO IT (This post is not sponsored by Nike). It'll make you feel accomplished as the day goes on to know you have nothing on your conscience. 

Lay out your clothes the night before. I struggle with diversifying my wardrobe until I look in my closet and think "Hmm, I should've worn this more." Think through what you're going to wear the night before so you don't just end up grabbing a tshirt and shorts.

Clean each night before you go to bed and follow little routines. THIS IS SO IMPORTANT. This is my favorite. I love to clean and have my whole room clean before I go to bed because I wake up in a better mood. When I was little, I physically could not go to sleep if my room was a mess. I'm trying to do this more now because I spend so much time in my dorm room. Pick up clothes on the bed, trash on the table, and straighten up your stuff. I also try to follow a very similar routine every night by filling up my water bottle before I go to sleep, setting my coffee pitcher for the next morning, and packing all of my bags each night. It makes everything easier in the morning and makes it more pleasant to wake up.

Use your planner efficiently, but don't overdo your crazy organization system. I know, I know, I love the color coding aspect too, but sometimes if you don't have your particular color of pen or you don't have your ruler to make everything straight, it doesn't matter. As soon as you hear an event, write it down. Even if you're not going to attend. Don't just write down what it is, be sure you get the time and location so you're not scrambling the day of the event. Some professors will only say a due date once, or scheduling a lunch with a friend may be forgotten. I don't care how minuscule it seems, write it all down so you can visualize your day in advance. And keep your planner with you at all times! Don't just write things on random scraps of paper.

Keep chargers with you at all times. I don't leave my room in the morning without my phone charger, even if it's at 100%. Because life happens and maybe I won't be back in my room for the rest of the day-- don't make going back to get your charger the reason you sit in bed all day when you could've been productive.

Use pockets of time efficiently. I tend to sit on my phone on social media, but I'm trying to knock out little things when I have time. Don't spend your other free time socializing. Maybe that's something of my own that I do enjoy being alone, but I know it's another thing that some people don't get work done when they're with other people. At night, I am by myself to get things done early.

Go ahead and read assignments and reach out for help. You don't have to do the entire in depth reading at once, but go ahead and make sure that you have the textbook, that you understand the gist of the material, and if there's a problem, go ahead and reach out. You don't want to be waiting until the last minute to realize that you don't actually know the page numbers for your reading due in 8 hours. 

Organize your email. This has always been a favorite of mine, but UTILIZE labels in a Gmail inbox. You can make them colored, you can nest them under certain tabs, you can do anything. As soon as I read and do whatever I need to an email, I label it and archive it if I don't need to see it everyday. If I know it's an email I need to thoroughly read (such as my NY Times emails that I don't want to just delete and need more time to read), then I don't open it until I can read it. If an email has a date in it, write it down and delete it if you don't need it. Keeping tons of emails out of your inbox is key to being able to not miss anything.

Take time to go ahead and reach out to people in your life. Nothing hurts. If you miss a friend, text them to see if you can get lunch (...and then write it down!). If you know someone's struggling or has a problem in their life, just let them know you're thinking of them. I think the most refreshing part of sophomore year is that you don't have to worry about sticking to just friend groups as much, you can talk to anyone and hang out with different people. 

Think about specific things you'll do and accomplish each day so you don't have a blanket to-do list. If you have one to-do list with 50 things on it, you're not going to be able to do any of them. Think about your main things for that day.

Plan out your meals so you're not scrambling. Our dining hall is on the opposite side of all the classes, but there are lots of fast food places near our classes. I try to make sure and plan when I'm going to dhall so I don't spend as much money at the fast food places. Also, planning out when you'll eat is a good way to make sure you're not overeating or eating too little and it affecting what you're doing.

Don't go to your room between breaks. I already sort of touched on this, but going back to my room during small breaks is a definite way for me to goof off and not accomplish anything. Go somewhere so you'll get stuff done.

Be alert in class and ask questions. I'm totally guilty of just thinking "I'll read it or figure it out later". Which is so bad because then I lose all opportunities to ask questions and clarify my thoughts. Be alert and pay attention to what's going on.

Keep track of your money and spending. I'll spend a few dollars here and a few there and it ends up really adding up. Keep track of what you know you're going to have to spend money on and what's more flexible. We have dining dollars, which come on our card for us to use at various places across campus, and it's even easier to just mindlessly spend them wherever and whenever. Keep track of what you're doing.

I think my new general rule is to stay in one weekend night and be by yourself. When everyone's out socializing, I love being able to be by myself and go to bed early and know that I can sleep in. It allows for me to collect myself and feel put together the next day when I can relax all day.

Set goals for each week. Don't mindlessly set goals for the year that you can't follow through with because they're not detailed: set a few goals for each week, write them in your planner, and try to accomplish them. Achieving small goals will make you feel like you can do bigger ones.

These are the things that have made me just feel so much more positive and happy with this year and I hope they can help for others too! If you have any other thoughts on it, let me know, I'd be happy to hear!


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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Why the Bralette is a Gamechanger

Hi friends! I write for the Odyssey, as I've mentioned before, and usually I would just reuse the article on my blog, but I'd really love if you read my newest article on the Odyssey... all about bralettes and boobs that should be comfy.

I wrote about bras, bralettes, and boobs. Does that bother you? Then please read.

Share on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, wherever!


Monday, September 14, 2015

Charles River

Hey friends! It's another giveaway on Monogram Meredith, brought to you by Charles River! Remember my post last fall with them?! That's my absolute favorite pullover and now I have a new favorite rain jacket. I got to wear it in Europe and am also giving away one on my Instagram-- head over to @meredithscroggin on Insta later to see how you can win one of your own! Or better yet, go ahead and buy one of your own!


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Thursday, September 3, 2015

$4 Jeans

You know, I really think good things come to those who wait. Especially when it comes to jeans. I'm really kind of a cheap-o. I get a lot of questions/comments about how I afford nice clothes and it kind of makes me laugh because I am so hesitant to spend much money at all when it comes to anything, including clothes. Yes, I think a lot of time quality comes over quantity, but in so many cases, I can't justify expensive clothes when I know I can get several things for the same price. And this is the prime example.

I was at Old Navy a few weeks ago, and honestly, me and Old Navy are straight up pals. I love Old Navy so much and I don't care who says they don't. The only issue really is that some of their items start with such expensive prices but then are inevitably marked back down, so I never buy full price there. But I had seen this commercial--

And first of all, thought it was incredibly funny, but also wanted to look into the $8 jeans. Ya girl loves a bargain. But, much to my dismay, not all jeans are $8. I wanted a pair of light colored, high waisted jeans (okay, whatever, I'm just like every other girl my age) and have been looking for the perfect pair. Tried a pair on at Old Navy and YUP, THEY WERE PERFECT. But they were still $34 and yes, this is a great price to some, but I could only think of the 34 iced coffees from McDonald's or 8 shirts I could get from TJ Maxx for that price. #sorrynotsorry. I left empty handed-- okay, actually, I take that back. I never leave there empty handed-- but without the jeans. (Also, obviously I don't hate Old Navy, I'm, again, just very frugal.)

The next day, I went to get my hair cut and right next to it was a store called Bargain Hunt. Okay, okay, I know there are probably lots cringing at the name and thinking of that episode of Lizze McGuire where she tries to win Best Dressed but her mom wants to take her shopping to some store with a similar name and Lizzie dies of embarrassment and instead buys the expensive jeans.

But as you all remember, the lesson learned from this episode was that when Lizzie changes into her bargain jeans, she gets a ton of compliments. SO I THINK ALL Y'ALL KNOW WHERE I'M GOING WITH THIS...

I found the best pair of jeans at this store called Bargain Hunt. It was definitely a store that you would have to search to find good things, but the store that's incredibly rewarding when you do find that perfect pair of jeans. They were originally from Target and the Target tags were still on them, but I tried them on and loved them. Thinking they were $10 because that's what the tag said, I was ecstatic when they rang up for FOUR DOLLARS. I was so excited that I went and bought a donut that day.

And speaking of other good things for less, these Jack Rogers were part of that philosophy. My classic platinum Jack Rogers broke and are actually deemed "unfixable" and I was devastated. But rather than fork over another $100 for the same exact pair, I found this pair (the "Liliana") on 6pm that was ON SALE. For $39. 6pm is a great website for things like this, and I was so excited to find a much cheaper, different replacement..... Good things come to those who wait, y'all (or search furiously on all discount websites).

Also, this is my new Daniel Wellington watch that I'm obsessed with. I have been lusting over Daniel Wellington for forever and when they reached out to me, I was beyond excited. Head on over to my Pinterest for my discount code!

Also, just because I've explained every other aspect of this outfit, this shirt is from TJ Maxx. But honestly, what else did you expect? (.....and this ice cream was purchased on $1 scoop nights at Baskin Robbins....)

So, you guys, this is where I'm trying to keep it real. I'd love to say I get all of my basic clothes at J. Crew or expensive boutiques or something, but I don't and that's not realistic for the average budget. Besides, that gives a little more wiggle room for fun things like ice cream on summer nights. 

What do y'all think? What are your fun ways to save money?


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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Back to School Refreshment

I've thought about this blog post a lot. And much like my post from the end of freshman year, which came from a lot of stress, I'm still at a little bit of loss. A lot of my close friends at home are a year younger than me and about to start their freshman year. Sometimes I still feel like I'm about to enter college with no experience and really have nothing to say to them about what it will be like. We all go to different schools and have different experiences and lives and personalities, but it kind of got to me that maybe there are a few things that I learned and could benefit from. Of course, I write all of these with some being things I actually applied and some being things I know now that I need to apply. So know that even though these may look like good ideas, that I'm still learning. We're all still learning.

Keep up with what you love. In high school, it was easy to find those sorts of things that truly made me happy, but that was during a time of ease of living at home where I got to discover those things. College can be so new and exciting and a time where you feel like you can drop habits and routines you developed while at home and completely change and be your own person, but remember those routines of comfort. This summer, I've read a ton, and I've realized how much I missed it while at school. Reading has always comforted me and brought me peace, but I didn't read one single book for pleasure while at college. If you de-stress by running, keep up your running. If you take photos, keep taking photos. I kind of just abandoned a lot of things that used to relieve so much stress and replaced it with napping, playing on my phone, or socializing. Not that there's anything wrong with those things, but the concept of a routine that's something familiar to home is something I wish I had kept up with better.

Get off campus more. This one is one that I'm really excited about doing more of this year. The days I was able to get off campus last year were the ones that always made me feel so refreshed. I had a field trip for a program I was in that went downtown for lunch and a few other events and once I came back, I felt so much more refreshed. I often got too stuck in our little bubble of campus, feeling like there was never a new environment. I love that bubble more than anything because it provides a feeling of comfort and safety, but sometimes it's a little claustrophobic.

Surround yourself with good people. 'Good' is so vague, but I'm trying to refrain from saying 'like-minded' people. Some of my best friends were people that were so similar to me and some of my best friends were people that were just so different than me-- both were good. It's best to have a good balance, but I say 'good' because it is absolutely not worth it to surround yourself with people who don't care for you or don't respect you. If someone treats you poorly, drop them and don't let them push you around. Toxic people are the worst and if someone is making you feel insecure about yourself, don't keep them in your life.

Don't feel like you have to do what everyone else does. If you don't want to go out one night or any night, don't. I think there's a strong sense of FOMO in college and especially freshman year, but don't let that change who you are. I'm someone who likes to be by myself in quiet at times, and there's nothing wrong with doing that on a Saturday night. Don't be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone, but don't be afraid to do what you like to do.

Keep things clean. This goes along the same lines of keeping a routine, but I think there is something to be said about staying up to date with laundry, showering, and clean sheets. Bad days for me start when everything is a mess, so take a few minutes every day to keep yourself organized and clean. You'll feel better and won't get into a bad mess.

Don't be a negative person and don't talk bad about people. This is 10487428x more true for people at a smaller school, but also important and a good thing to remember if you're at a big school. You live with all of these people and you will for the next four years, so don't let one piece of gossip ruin your relationships with future friends. Just be nice.

Take accountability for yourself. It was easy in high school to blame poor grades on a bad teacher, or blame things you did on your parents, but this easily one of the biggest give/take things in college: you are responsible for only yourself. If you make a mistake, own up to it and learn from it. Don't blame others for your problems.

Go to people when you have problems. If it's with a class, talk to your professor, go to a tutor. If you're feeling under the weather, go to the health center. If you're feeling like there are things you simply can't deal with, go to a professional that can help guide you in the right places. Whatever you do, don't feel like you have to hold your problems all to yourself. There were so many times where I didn't want to share my struggles because I was finally on my own and wanted to try and prove I could do everything all on my own, but we need to lean on others and college has so many resources to take advantage of.

Try to eat well and exercise. This is one I do struggle with a lot and especially because it's so easy to stress-eat, but I'm trying to get into a better habit of eating well and exercising more. It's your only body, so take care of it because it affects every aspect of your life. And you'll feel better, I promise.

I hope some of these help in some way-- they're all on my list to remember and act upon! If you have any other ideas or tips, let me know! I love hearing from y'all. Best of luck with this new school year to all!


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