Back in the grind: Stress without suicide

Hi there, busy bees.

If you’re like me…you don’t have time to make long blog posts, so let’s get to the point here.

I am smack dab in the middle of the semester—classes are going at full speed. I’ve been spending ALL my time in class, at meeting, volunteering, in the lab, and only occasionally relaxing. I had the absolute WORST day yesterday and the reason being is that I didn’t make ANY time for myself!! My schedule was completely filled—every second of every hour. It was just the worst.

So, how to be stressed without killing yourself in the process? DON’T go through a day like I did yesterday. I specifically wrote in my planner “Don’t ever schedule another day like today.” I didn’t even have time to write that in until this morning!! That being said, here are XX ways to have a stressful day without going overboard:

1. Wake up earlier than you have to

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Rise and shine! Pending that you went to bed early enough to do so, wake up an hour or two earlier than you have to so that you can start your day the way YOU want to. What you have a super busy day so you can’t eat that new cereal you bought at the store that you wanted to try? DO it! Wake up and having an hour or two for yourself—trust me, it will make your day go much smoother and you will be a such a better mood when you finally have to accomplish some of those tasks of the day.

2. Dress with confidence AND comfort in mind!

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The worst thing about having a super long day is wearing those itchy jeans or that shirt that you feel like you look like a hobo in. Then, in the middle of the day, you’re stuck in that outfit…feeling uncomfortable or sludgy, and it really just drags you down. Next time, put on something that address both of these problems. Something comfortable, yet stylish and makes you feel confident. This is a long day…you don’t get to crawl back to your apartment in the middle of the day to change because your potato sack looks gross and its itchy. Have some go-to outfits readily available for this purpose!!

3. Remember to schedule time to eat

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HA! Totally forgot to do this yesterday. I ended up having to skip out on one of my meetings, because lunchtime rolled around, passed, and Yin was STARVING! Please, please remember that nothing is more important than your health and nutrition. A girl’s gotta eat, no matter what impending tasks are upon her. Trust me, that meeting can be rescheduled for another time.

4. Schedule “YOU” time

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Remember, this is your life. A day without showing appreciation to yourself is a day wasted. Half an hour devoted to doing something that makes YOU happy is just what you need to avoid insanity. Sometimes it’s hard to go through a whole day, realizing that nothing that you’ve done is what you enjoy or really wanted to do. Combat that. Clock in an hour of “me” time!

5. Don’t be afraid to say “no”

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One of the hardest things for me. I am always saying “I can do it” or “I’ll do it!” with excitement and joy, without realizing that I simply do nothavethetime. At some point, volunteering your time for every little thing isn’t even helpful anymore, because with your physical and mental exhaustion…you won’t be of any use. I like to tell myself that if I can’t fully devote enough time to an event or task so that I can accomplish it to my absolute best, then I don’t have time for it. Remember, you are human, and you can only do so much!

6. Remind yourself that this is temporary and that everything will be okay!

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You know what? Your stressful day will end. This long and boring meeting will adjourn. This incredibly difficult class will be over. The exam will be over soon. And you’ll survive it! You wouldn’t believe how amazing our bodies are and what we, as humans, can endure. You’ll look back and remember how crazy the day, week, or semester was…but you will have grown and you will have survived it. Yay you!

7. Reflect

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Once you finally get home in bed, reflect on how everything went. Was it good? Bad? Was it too much? Too less? What could you have done to make it better? What helped you get through the day? What didn’t help at all? I think sometimes we have to realize what our breaking points are and learn strategies to persevere through them or change the situation so that we can live our lives comfortably, happy, and healthy.

 

Lately, I’ve been super busy. Although I am the type of person that likes to stay busy, yesterday was just a little too much for me.  I hope these tips can help you cope with any stressful times that come your way in the next little bit. Feel free to share any other thoughts about how to combat stress or just tell me about your day! Let me know if you try any of these tips and how they worked for you.

 

Thanks for reading,

Yin

College Tips: Make the most of your flash cards!

Hi all!

It’s been a really REALLY long time since I’ve posted anything, but college is hitting hard as always. Just know that it’s usually a good thing that I’m not blogging because it means I’m STUDYING! (Unlike I am right now, even though I probably should be). But, hey, we all need a break sometimes, and this is what I will choose to do with mine today 🙂

So, back in the grind, it is an exam week. Not exactly finals, but when your Organic Chemistry exam counts for 20% (yes, I said 20!!) of your entire grade, it’s definitely something to be working at. It being exam week made me want to share a few tips on how to make your flash cards effective, especially in a class like Organic where memorization is key!!

Here are ten tips to make the most of your flash cards!

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I thought it would be fun to make a little poster for all these tips. Let me know what you guys think!
Here's an example of one of my flash cards from Organic Chemistry!
Here’s an example of one of my flash cards from Organic Chemistry!

1. Use blank flash cards

This isn’t really a “must,” but it definitely helps. When it comes to index cards you have several options now-a-days. You can get them in different sizes, you can have them lined/blank, you can even get them in colors! But what I strongly suggest is getting blank cards so that you can use them in multiple ways (which saves money in the end). Plus, it gives you the freedom to customize them more and not be so distracted by those darn lines and colors!

2. Make them aesthetically pleasing!

Also not a “must,” but it helps because who wants to look at ugly cards? Personally, I am more likely to utilize them if they are pleasing to the eye.

3. But don’t go overboard—Keep it simple.

Definitely don’t fill up your cards to the point where they are obnoxious and distracting. I am so the type of person that gets carried away with things like this (obviously…I mean did you see my doodle page?), but simple is key. You don’t want anything to distract you from the content!

4. Color Code

This can be really beneficial, especially if you’re a visual learner. If you look at my cards for Organic, you can see that the “H” (hydrogen) is in green rather than purple. This makes it stand out to me and is a key component to understand the acidity of the compound. Now, if all that science confused you, I am simply color coding to point things out or categorize specific material so that they stand out and I can remember the material better.

5. Provide Instructions

This might just be a pet peeve of mine. But I can’t stand when cards have just ambiguous notes. WHAT are you asking me? I highly doubt your exam will just have 1 word or drawing and expect you to provide an answer. So, give yourself instructions so that you know what you are doing/studying!

This also helps when you eventually put your cards away (say, after the semester is over?). Eventually, this topic might come up again (for example, the second level of Organic chemistry). I can reuse these cards without forgetting about what it’s asking me to do, because I’m sure after a while of not looking at them I will totally forget!

6. Provide chapter headings to refer back to

If you look at my example cards, you’ll notice a small number in the bottom right-hand corner. This the the chapter of the book I got this material from. This is there in case I’m not too sure about the topic. I can easily refer to this corner and then go to my book and read up on the material! This saves me time and lets me know what topics I should be focusing on and looking back in the chapter for!

7. Incorporate important concepts

A lot of the times, flash cards are used for definitions/equations/other straight memorization topics, but don’t forget that you can incorporate concepts as well. For example, I made one that said “Is an acid with a higher pKa more or less acidic than another with a lower pKa?” This tests whether I know the relationship between pKa and acidity. You can make flash cards for just about anything, and I would definitely recommend throwing some key concepts and ideas into your cards, just so that while you’re studying, you will pick these up on the way!

8. Make use of your time—study while you make them!

While I’m making the cards, I try to see how much I can remember beforehand. This helps you know what you know and don’t know (if that makes sense). It is also good to make one, then memorize it before you make the next one. Then keep adding until you’ve virtually remembered them all (even for a short time). This gradual memorization will really help in the end!

9. When you use them, mix them up!

It doesn’t help if you’re memorizing them in order—the material will most likely not be in order on the exam! Mix them up. Know them backwards AND forewords AND in any other order. Know the material inside and out so that there are no surprises when it’s time for your exam!

10. USE them!

I can’t stress this enough. What is the point of making the cards if they are going to sit on your desk? USE THEM! Carry them around in your purse/backpack. Pull them out while you’re eating lunch, while you’re waiting at the bus stop, while you’re standing in line, while you’re waiting for your class to begin, etc. Use them, or there’s no point in them!

I hope you’ve enjoyed these tips and that they really help you during the studying process. I’ve used so many flash cards in the past, and am finally learning how to actually put them to great use. I am so happy to share what I’ve learned with you all, and I hope that you get something out of it!

I know that studying can sometimes be overwhelming, so I also wanted to remind you that you can do ANYTHING you put your mind to. You made it this far, keep going. You GOT this!

Thanks for reading,

Yin

How did you like this post? Do you have any other tips in mind to making your flashcards effective? Let me know in the comments below!