My Top 5 Tips for Moving Away From Home, from a Christian Homeschool Graduate in College || College Lifestyle

Hello friend! Recently, I’ve been getting a lot of questions about moving to college, and the transition between living at home and living in a place by yourself for the first time, especially as college admissions are rolling in. There’s a lot I could say about this topic, but today I thought I would start by writing down some of the most important things that I’ve learned living alone at school.

A little bit about my background: I attend a public university in the United States, so that’s where I am coming from. I was homeschooled from K-12, and while I currently live in an off-campus apartment with friends, I have also previously lived in a dorm for almost 2 years (I didn’t get to finish out my second year due to the pandemic). I still live in the same state as my family, so I’m able to see them as often as I like, which was very frequent in the beginning and less so as I’ve become more independent.

Obviously I don’t have all of the time or space to cover all of the intricate details about living alone and moving out and all of that, but today I thought would give a broad overview about moving out and some tips I would give to someone who is thinking about moving out for college, particularly in a dorm, but also just in general.

  1. Own who you are and where you came from. Moving somewhere new is always the perfect excuse to reinvent yourself, and start a lot of your things in your life afresh: your friend circle, your likes and dislikes, and a lot of small pieces within your personality, and that’s great! As you do that, though, don’t try to completely reinvent yourself. Hang on to the parts of your personality that make you who you are, and although it might be tempting to completely start over, own who you are! Own your story, and don’t be afraid to share it with the people that you meet. Chances are, they’re going to think it’s cool instead of strange, and if they do think it’s strange, well, it’s their loss.
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  2. Listen to your body and don’t overexert yourself. The first month or so of moving to college, I put a lot of pressure on myself to make friends, and be constantly hanging out with people, afraid to miss out on anything. While it’s definitely important to put yourself out there and make friends, also listen to what your body is telling you. Is it telling you to sit alone in your room while your roommate is out and reading a book? Then do it. Is it telling you to sit in the lounge, but not participate in the conversation? Do it.
    Although I went into college an extrovert, by the end of my freshman year, I’d become a hardcore introvert. What changed? When I was homeschooled, I’d never had to be around someone else 23 1/2 hours of the day, but when I got to college, that changed: when I wasn’t in class, I was with friends, and if I wasn’t with them, I was with my roommate. Even the bathroom was a floor-wide communal one, so even in the bathroom I wasn’t completely alone. Your mental health is important, and you don’t have to be hanging out with people constantly if your body is telling you not to.
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  3. No one is out to get you. A lot of the narrative about going to college, especially to a public university from being Christian and homeschooled, is that people will constantly be drinking and doing drugs and having sex blatantly, and that they’ll try to get you to join. Nothing is farther from the truth. While there are definitely people who go out partying, and who smoke weed in their room, no one is going to pressure you to do anything you don’t want to do. While there are certainly people who might be like that, my personal experience is that everyone is very respectful with your boundaries and choices, and so long as you’re clear about your boundaries are to yourself, you will be fine. (Obviously still be alert, because once people are drunk, they might do things that they wouldn’t normally do, so definitely keep yourself safe! but in general, it’s way less of a problem than people make it out to be.)
  4. Keep an open mind. You are going to meet so many people who have had different life paths and stories than you. They may have made different personal choices than you that you don’t agree with. Listen to their stories. Listen to what they have to say, and don’t dismiss what they have to say just because they have made decisions that you don’t agree with. This particularly applies to topics such as homosexuality, race, and money. Just as you don’t want people interfering with your life choices, don’t interfere with theirs.
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  5. College (or wherever you’re moving) is not your mission field. When I was getting ready to start college, I had a lot of people say that they were praying for me to “be a good witness” or “show Christ to others”, and while being Christlike is obviously SUPER important and if people are interested in what you believe in, seize that opportunity to tell them about the gospel, but you are not responsible for the salvation of your friends. That is simply too much pressure, and if sharing the gospel in where you’re living is your calling, then 100% go for it! When I first moved to college, I felt a huge sense of responsibility for the people who I lived with, and I eventually realized that it was not a healthy mindset to have. Simply being a Christlike example is enough, and the Holy Spirit will work in the hearts of those around you with your witness as an example.
    My first roommate was not Christian, which we discussed the first day we lived together. She was very respectful of what I believed in, and while she wasn’t interested in becoming a Christian, we had a lot of good discussions about what I believed, and why I believed it. At the end of the semester, she understood the gospel a lot more and had a much more favorable perspective about Christianity than she did in the beginning.
    Is it important to hold tight to your morals and faith? Absolutely. Do you have to convert your roommate and friends to Christianity? Absolutely not.

So those are my top 5 tips that I would give to someone who is worried about moving away from home for the first time! I would be more than happy to answer any more questions that you might have, and if you have any more topics that you would like me to share about, feel free to suggest topics for me to talk about!


If you haven’t moved away from home yet, what are questions you still have about living alone? If you have moved away, what is something you would tell yourself at the beginning of your journey? Is there anything else you want me to discuss? Leave a comment and let me know!


P. S. I have a new video up on my YouTube channel! It is a productive day in my life, and I’m very pleased with how it turned out, so I would love if you checked it out!

5 Peaceful Habits You NEED to Implement This Semester & My First Day In My Apartment || College Lifestyle

Hey everyone! It’s been a while since I’ve written a productivity themed blogpost, and I’m super excited to be sharing one today! Today I’m here with 5 Peaceful Habits To Add To Your Day!

Since starting quarantine, I’ve done a lot of staring at screens, video calls, and not interacting with a ton of people, and it’s super easy to get caught up in the virtual world and forget to take care of yourself. At least, that’s how it’s been for me.

To help combat that, I’ve been experimenting on habits that I want to implement into my life to help me become a better person overall. I haven’t figured them all out yet, but I’ve been playing with them and I think they’re helping. Taking the time to slow down, step away from my screens, and practice some self care has been life saving to me and I hope these habits and tips help you out as well!

  1. Journaling. If you go back in the archives of this blog, you’ll see that there are a BUNCH of posts where I set a goal to journal more. I started journaling at the end of last year, and I’ve been doing that this year as well. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still doing it on and off (at the time of writing this I haven’t journaled in 3 days #oops) but it has been a habit that keeps me grounded and sane. It also reminds me of the day to day, and I have never once regretted having done it. My friend Grace Anne was the one who really encouraged me to start journaling, and she has two posts on her blog that have really helped me start journaling. You can find them here and here.
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  2. Drinking tea/having a ritual drink. Pre-quarantine, I never really drank tea: it would get cold too fast, or it wasn’t a flavor that I liked, or I didn’t have time to make it, and the list goes on and on. Since quarantine started, though, I have begun making a cup of tea in the evenings (and sometimes during the day too!) and just enjoying the calming process of doing so. If tea isn’t your thing (& I get it, it wasn’t for 20 years of my life!), any drink works for this. Whether it be hot coffee in your french press, making an iced matcha, even a glass of cold lemon water, slowing down and making yourself a drink is such a relaxing thing that you can do to create a peaceful spot during your day.
  3. Reading for pleasure. Since starting the semester back up again, I’ve been reading less and less. Textbook readings and recorded lectures have been my sink of free time, and I haven’t felt like picking up a book and just reading, like I used to do. Yesterday night, I finally sat down and finished the book that I was currently reading and it felt so. good. I know most of the people who follow me already read a lot, but if you haven’t in a while, here’s your reminder to go read a book, just for fun! You’ll love it, I promise.
  4. Making your space somewhere you enjoy. This is very much tied to my having moved recently (which, haven’t updated the blog on that! but I did!) but I’ve decorated my space here at college, as well as redone my space at home (you might remember my floating shelves project over the summer) and it’s just been so so good for the soul. I still haven’t finished my room here at school, but once it’s done I’m excited to show you! (hint: read more of this post for a clue 😉 ). Having a space you like being in is SO important right now, when we’re all staring at the same walls all. day. long.DSC_0365
    Declutter your stuff, print some photos and put them up, buy some plants for your space, or even just rearrange the furniture already in your room! Making a change in your everyday workspace will make you feel more free in your space. If you don’t have the time to invest into switching up your space, then just commit to keeping it clean! Having a neat and tidy space will make it so much easier to work and give you more peace of mind.
  5.  Take time to do something you love! Obviously, this can’t happen every day, but at least once a week, turn off your computer, put on some music, and do something that fills your spirit. Last weekend I sat down and wrote a bunch of letters, which has been my new favorite hobby. This week, I edited a video and will probably write more letters later on in the week. If you’ve been on my page, you know I’m a huuuuge proponent of doing the things that you love, and that is definitely a habit I recommend you work into your life.

So there you have it! There are some of the ways that I’ve been keeping my life peaceful, and if not peaceful, at least sane. I hope they help you, or at the very least, inspire you into making your life something that you enjoy, rather than something that you go through.

To go along with this blogpost, I have a new video up! It’s a video of my first day in my new apartment! I moved in (just shy of a month ago at this point) to my college apartment, and I filmed the first day I was here. It was so much fun to film and edit, and it’s the best video I’ve made so far (at least, I think). I really love it and I’m really proud of it and i hope you check it out!

What is something you do to help you when you are stressed? What drink are you a fan of? What is your favorite hobby at the moment? Leave a comment and let me know!

5 Online School Tips YOU NEED TO KNOW from a (former) Homeschooler || COVID-19 Social Distancing Tips

Hey everyone!! If your college is doing what most of the colleges around the country, and even around the world are doing, then you’re going to be doing online school for the rest of the semester, myself included. Although obviously this situation isn’t ideal for anyone, we all have to make the best of it we can to help the world recover from this pandemic.

As a homeschool graduate, I probably have more experience with online school than most other college students right now, who may be taking online classes for the first time. Since a lot of people are starting online classes today, I thought I would share some of my top 5 tips for online school as a homeschool graduate!

  1. STAY ORGANIZED. My biggest piece of advice would be to write down what you need to do so that you can keep track of what you are doing and stay organized. You can make a schedule or a to-do list, or even both; just make sure that you know what is required of you and what you need to do.
    This is HUGE because when you take online school, there is so much less overhead supervision: less people reminding you of due dates, no in class exams, and nothing to physically turn in. You’re going to have to be all of those things for yourself so that you can keep yourself on track and complete all your work!

    You may be interested in: Bullet Journal Inspiration and Tips
  2. Have a set schedule. It’s so much easier to slack off on your work while you’re at home and not at school, and it’s also a lot harder to motivate yourself to do things. Having a set schedule, such as starting your “school day” by 10am and ending it by 5pm, will keep you from slacking off until 4pm and THEN realizing you have four assignments due that day.

    You may be interested in: The 5 Best Productivity Apps That Will BOOST Your Productivity
  3. Go to class! Like, duh, right? You’d be surprised. There is so much less motivation to go to class when your class is on your laptop, especially when it since there is a lot less accountability, but CLASS IS SO IMPORTANT. If you want to do well, you need to be in class. No, you’re not going to be able to catch up. No, you’re not going to just “google the topic” later. JUST GO TO CLASS.
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  4. Get ready for the day. Getting dressed and doing work at your desk feels a lot different than waking up, rolling over, grabbing your laptop, and going to online class. Put on some real clothes, make a good breakfast and a strong cup of caffeine, and write a to-do list before starting to work! Getting yourself mentally ready to be “attending class” and doing work puts you in the right headspace and gives you a better chance to learn.
    You may be interested in: 5 Ways To GUARANTEE Yourself a Better Morning
  5. Still make time to do what you love. Whether it be hanging out with friends, working out, playing an instrument, playing computer games, it’s really important to not let college consume your whole life. When you were at college, you didn’t only go to class and study, did you? At the very least, you got out and walked between classes. Make sure to make space to do things other than school and sleep: this is not high school!
    You may be interested in: My Social Distancing Bucket List || 25 Things To Do Now That You Finally Have the Time

I hope these tips were helpful to you in some form or another! Remember: you’ve got this! If you have any more specific questions about online school, feel free to leave a comment or reach out to me on social media @hanneasinhannah!


Those are my online school tips! What is going on at your school? Is it cancelled? Moved online? Fellow homeschoolers/homeschool graduates: what are some tips you would give to someone who’s never taken an online class? Leave me a comment and let me know!

 

What’s in my Bullet Journal: College Edition || Spring 2020 || Bullet Journaling

Hey everyone!! Today I have a post I’ve been really excited to share: my bullet journal  set up for this semester! I’ve been in school for a couple weeks now, but am only just now getting to posting this! I don’t have a lot of pages just for the semester, so this is going to be a shorter bullet journal post than usual, but I wanted to show it anyways!


First up is my semester goals and my schedule for the semester. I haven’t filled out my goals all the way yet, but I have them ranked by how important they are to me (so 1 is most important and 10 is least).

The calendar/schedule is pretty self explanatory: it’s just my schedule of classes! I have each class color coded (this will come up later) and drawn into my schedule! (My inspiration for the semester goals page is this photo by @elizabethjournals and my inspiration for the schedule page is this photo by @probably.studyingg.)

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Next up is the page where I list all of my assignments! This is for mostly bigger assignments, such as projects and exams (homework will be on a page you’ll see in a minute). This is where the color-coding comes back into play: each color on this calendar reflects a class, which allows me to see when I have a major assignment for each class at a glance, which I’m sure will be helpful during the semester!

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The last spreads I have for the semester overview for each class. I have 5 of these pages, all the same with the exception of the first one. The first page is a list of important dates regarding the school (so like first day of school, spring break, last day of school, etc).

I also have a page for each of my classes with more I have the name, email, and office hours for each professor and TA for the class, then I have a detailed breakdown for each of the assignments. This allows me to keep track of all the assignments I have to do this semester and keeps me organized! (Inspired by this photo by Elizabeth Journals and this photo by @b.studies).

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So those are the spreads that I am using this semester to help me stay organized and be productive! What was your favorite spread? Are you in college? high school? out of school? working?? Leave me a comment and let me know!

5 Ways To GUARANTEE Yourself a Better Morning || My Morning Routine || How to Survive College

Happy Weekend, everyone! I haven’t actually put up an actual blogpost up in a LONNNNNNNNNNG time but I’m here today with 5 Tips to Guarantee* Yourself a Better Morning!

*obviously it’s not /guaranteed/ guaranteed but I’ll do my best to make sure you have a better morning

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I’m currently in the throes of my sophomore year of college, and free time is few and far between. I don’t have time to have an entire get-ready morning-routine much of the time, and time to myself is rare.

However, what I’ve come to realize is that if I get some time to myself in the morning and have a set morning routine, the rest of my day goes so much more smoothly and I have a much better mindset about the day. With that, I am more productive, I have a better attitude, and am overall just happier. (my introvert-ness is showing, huh?)

So what exactly do I do to guarantee myself a better morning? I’m about to tell you, right now!

  1. Get ready for the day THE NIGHT BEFORE. For me, it’s packing my backpack, picking out an outfit for the next day, setting out my Bible and journal, and making my coffee so I can just pour it over ice in the morning. Since I’ve been getting up before my roommate, I try to eliminate as many steps as I can so that I can just wake up, grab my stuff, and leave the room before making too much noise or turning on the light.
  2. Wake up EARLIER! I know we all have nights where we have to stay up late studying (or socializing) and LIFE just happens, but I’ve been waking up before 7 every morning (which is 2 hours earlier than I used to 🙈) and just spending that time on myself (which sometimes does come in the form of studying) before the day officially starts.2019-07-19 05.20.33 1.jpg
  3. Spend some time with God before other things. I’m super prone to putting quiet time on the back burner, and forgetting about it for large amounts of time, but I’ve been back on the quiet time game, and it really is the best thing 😍 I’ll be the first to admit, my quiet time sometimes involves more Instagram than actual Bible reading, but I’ve been making the effort and prioritizing some time with God, and it’s been amazing. (more blogposts on this topic coming soon!)
  4. Calendar block out your day. I have other blogposts that touch on this here and here, but I really really like planning out my day before I start it, so that I always know what I’m supposed to be doing and what I’ll be doing at any given point during the time. It used to stress me out and make me think I needed to have stuff in place for every single minute of the day, but then I realized I could calendar block in relaxing time, and now I love it again!
  5. Study some before your classes start! I really REALLY don’t like showing up to class unprepared, and I always feel behind if I don’t have a little background knowledge/done a little background reading before I show up to class (where are my premed/bio/chem kids at?) so studying a little before I go to class has helped me understand the material so much better and just makes my classes for that day so much easier and smoother!

For the past couple weeks, I’ve had this morning (and evening!) routine, and my life is CHANGED. I’ve been able to face the day so much more prepared (I used to wake up, muddle around some, probably finish some homework, and then run off to class. Yes, it was as much of a mess as it sounds), and I feel so much more organized and productive in the morning!


Let’s chat in the comments! Do you have a morning routine? What are some things that make you feel productive in the morning? Leave a comment down below; I’d love to chat with you!

College Advice We Wish We’d Known feat. Abby from Story Eyed || Collab

Hey everyone! Today I have a super special and exciting post: my first official collab!! I’m doing a collab with Abby from Story Eyed. We’re both going into our sophomore year of college, so we decided to put some thoughts of what we’ve learned now that we’ve survived a year of college.

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Hi, friends! I’m Abigail Lennah, and I blog over at Story-Eyed. I’m a rising civil engineering sophomore who enjoys writing poetry for theater performances, riding Lime scooters, and playing Red Flags with friends. It’s so exciting to do this collab with Hanne, as both of us are rising sophomores at our respective universities. Today, we’re showering some advice and experiences garnered with the first year under our belts.

Hanne and I have different schooling backgrounds which transformed into the transition period between high school and college. I went to a Montessori school in kindergarten, through the public education system, and now attend a private Jesuit university, whereas Hanne was homeschooled throughout the first thirteen years and attends a public university. We brainstormed a bunch of questions. Hanne’s answers are on my blog, so go on out and read them once you finish this post!


What is something no one told you about going to college?
People say this in passing, but the weight of their words never settled until the first several months past: you grow so much in college. For the first eighteen years of your life, you’re swarmed by the comfort of the people, places, and environment. Then, college strikes, thrusting you into liminality where you’re forced to learn about your identity without familiarity surrounding you. It’s scary because you’re put outside of your comfort zone, but if you stand your ground and open to new opportunities, it will stretch your character in ways you never expected to grow.

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What has your biggest struggle been since starting college and how have you overcome it?
My biggest struggle is dedicating time to self-care. Engineering is a time-consuming major. Add in balancing five different external commitments, balancing a social life, and trying to get enough sleep calls in for a grand mixture of intimidating proportions. Any one of my friends could attest: yes, I’m out doing all the things. In some cases, I embody Hamilton’s ability of working non-stop. This contributes ramifications such as burnout and poor mental health. It’s not something I’ve overcome—the chart waxes and wanes—but I’m taking steps to try to make it easier on myself this year.

What was one thing you did outside of school while you were at college?
I overcommitted to engaging in different activities, from joining a sustainability leadership group advocating energy reduction education to weekly volunteering at local elementary schools! I spent lots of my time in engineering and writing clubs who helped construct my perceptions on both subjects, but the biggest club I’ve been apart of is the Filipino-American Student Union. Surprisingly, this wasn’t a club I entertained joining when first arriving on campus—I went to the first meeting due to mutual friends dragging me along. I didn’t realize how much I would love learning about my cultural identity until many event planning and Tuesday nights later! Now, I’m one of the festival coordinators for the upcoming school year.

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What do you do when you’re procrastinated until the last possible second? Do you give something up, and do one thing well? Do you do two things haphazardly? What goes through your head then?
I seldom procrastinate.(note from Hanne: cannot relate) Putting things off rattles my anxiety to high gear, but when procrastination does happen, it’s usually during group projects due the following day. I’ve been fortunate enough to work in groups with more subdued and calm personalities to balance my franticness. Sometimes, this means spending ten minutes during break laying on the floor listening to reggae. It may also mean listening to choral music at 2:30 in the morning. Usually the work gets balanced out well and we complete it with some hours of sleeping to spare but does become a panic fest for some time.

How has college caused you to readapt your schedule, in comparison to high school?
You have autonomy on how you spend your time. This can be a strange power to wield, especially if much of your time was dictated by an external force. There are over a thousand minutes in a day, and you get to decide what to do. If you want to watch a discounted movie Tuesday morning because your sole class got cancelled, go ahead! If you want to stay in over the weekend instead of going out, that’s fine too. It’s strange to wield what you do in your time, but you are your own self-advocate and dedicate your time however you want.

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As a STEM major, how do you balance & partake in activities outside your major?
I’m a civil engineering student who’s crazy about creating sustainable infrastructure in cities, especially moving forward when climate change and our contributions towards it is a big deal. Some of the activities I take part in—such as joining a women’s engineering club and a sustainability leadership program—reflect that. Yet, I’m also a writer, creator, and hot chocolate consumer, too! They’re important identities, and it’s important to give time to nurture them. I try to dedicate at least two hours to other non-STEM related activities, such as writing poetry for theater performances! It also helps give a breath of fresh air, especially when Newtons stress you out.

Time management is a big thing, and in college you’re given independent over what to do. How do you manage your time to have a balance of a healthy, social, & academic life?
The number one tip to balancing everything without falling apart is understanding how much time you have and what your abilities are. Is there truth about choosing only two from the triangle featuring school, social life, or sleep? To some degree. (For me, DEFINITELY sleep.) I’m still able to accomplish a lot because I try not to waste time, knowing the demands of my major. It also comes down to priorities. Sometimes, you can combine aspects together, like group studying, the ultimate combo of socializing and school. But you also need to fulfill your own needs, and if studying by yourself needs to happen, then let it happen. Be honest with what you can fulfill, and don’t take on too much.

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College can sometimes be a place to meet new people—discuss how you morphed into the new environment.
The people I met throughout college made the transition smoother than I perceived it. I spent the first several weeks entrapped in my dorm room, gorging on KIND bars and not talking to anyone. It was scary because one, it was a new environment, and two, my senior roommate already had a preestablished group, so I didn’t come in with a buddy. I felt a bit lonely, something which I didn’t shy away from mentioning to others. Spending time in the common room helped, though. It’s funny, because my interactions with my closest friends initiated with me being the enthusiastic outgoing one when the reality of our personalities is quite the opposite. The friends I made aren’t a coherent group, and sometimes, not being in a group is sometimes sad. You don’t have a connection or comradery to be nestled in a comforting bubble. Despite this, I still spend lots of time with them and they bring out the best parts, encouraging exploration, self-care, and a positive outlook on the future.


Go check out Abby’s blog and social media: you won’t regret it! Make sure you read my half of the post, with my answers! Are you in college right now? If you’ve been to college, what are some questions you wish had been answered? If you’re heading to college soon, what are some questions you have? Drop us a comment and we’ll try to get back to you!

Find Abby: Blog || Instagram || Facebook || Twitter || YouTube