How to DIY Floating Shelves on a Budget! || DIY and Decorate With Me

Hey everyone! Today’s blogpost is a little different from the ones I usually write. Today I’m showing you all how I made these floating shelves by myself under $50!

I have been wanting to put up these floating shelves on this blank wall in my room for MONTHS now, and THANKS TO QUARANTINE (and my procrastination on my summer class homework) I finally got around to doing it! Could you probably get the same shelves on Amazon for roughly the same amount of money without spending three straight days breathing in paint thinner fumes and probably decreasing your life span by about 6 months? Yes. But something something trust the process, amirite kids? and also something something stop donating to the Jeff Bezos trust fund something something ok i’ll stop now

For real though, I really enjoyed this whole process, and I LOVE how they turned out. They are such a nice starting point for the room makeover/declutter that I’m doing now, and now I finally have a place to store my mug collection! They match perfectly with the bookshelves in my room, and with some fairy lights on them? *chef’s kiss* PERFECTION.

I filmed the whole process, and here is the process, in all its glory. Enjoy!


VERY IMPORTANT QUESTION: do you also collect mugs? Leave a comment and let me know! For wanting to be a minimalist, I have way too many mugs, but it’s definitely not a problem . . . is it?

P. S. Are you subscribed to my YouTube channel yet?

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!

 

My Social Distancing Bucket List || 25 Things To Do Now That You Finally Have the Time

Hello everyone!! I hope you all are staying safe and healthy!

My school announced that we’ll be having an extended spring break, then at least two weeks of online classes after that. And because my lil type 6 self simply WILL NOT REST until I have made a list of and categorized EVERYTHING, I IMMEDIATELY began making my “Social Distancing Bucket List,” and I figured I would share it! Here are 25 things to do now that you always said you’d do when you have time and that you now have time for:

  1. Put your phone away. There is SO MUCH news about what is going on, and the more I scroll, the more stressed I get. I’ve limited myself to once in the morning, once in the afternoon, and once in the evening, and it’s helped a lot.
  2. Find your new favorite book. There are SO MANY good books out there to read! If you need some recommendations, here are my top reads of 2019. Alternatively, I’m holding an Anne of Green Gables Readalong and it’d be the perfect time to hop on!
  3. Write happy mail! It can be a letter, or a bookmark, or an art piece, or anything really. On my instagram the other day, I asked for people who wanted some happy mail, and I’m going to be sending it out soon! (and if you want in on the happy mail, go comment on that post!!)
  4. Start a garden. Although it might not be warm enough yet to have plants outside, it’s the perfect time to start seedlings indoors! When I was younger, I loved gardening and I want to get back into it! The ones I suggest are tomato, potato, pumpkin, and peas.
  5. Clean out your phone! How many apps do you have that you haven’t used and are taking up space? Delete them from your phone!
  6. Deep clean your house/room/apartment. If you’re anything like me, you’ve let some things slip during the semester. Even just deep cleaning one area will make that space so much more welcoming to live in for 3 weeks 😅
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  7. Prewrite some blogposts! Stock up on some blogposts that you can just pull out and post on a busy week. They are so helpful and really a life changer!
  8. Update/refresh your playlists! I don’t know about y’all, but my spotify platlists are kind of a mess. (just me? okay) Go through your playlists, take out songs that you don’t want to listen to anymore, and add new ones in!
  9. Go through your camera roll! Raise your hand if you’re a photo hoarder. 🙋‍♀️🙋‍♀️🙋‍♀️ I always have 50 million photos in my phone, and I need to just go through and delete about 40 million of them 😂😅
  10. Go on a picnic. Social distancing doesn’t mean you have to stay inside all the time, and this weather is too gorgeous to pass up! Grab a sibling or a “safe” friend, and go on a picnic!
  11. Purge your closet. It’s almost time to switch out your winter clothes with your summer clothes, and what better time to also get rid of all the clothes that you haven’t been wearing?
  12. Catch up on your school work. I knowwwww. It’s technically spring break!! I have some notes that I need to finish transcribing and some study guides I didn’t get to finish up before school ended, so I’ll be doing that with my time!
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  13. Start a notebook! The start of a new notebook is always incredibly cathartic for me, and gets me more productive and more creative. I started a notebook for this break, and it’s the best thing ever.
  14. Check up on your friends. Everyone’s going through this together, so reach out! See how they’re doing or if they need anything, and just virtually hang out!
  15. Watch that show that you’ve been meaning to watch. We all have that one show: why not do it now?
  16. Spend more time with God. Take some focused time away from the world and just be with God. It’s been a while since I had in-depth one-on-one time with God, and this is the perfect time to do it.
  17. Find a new podcast. There is so much wisdom that people share in podcasts, and I’m always on the hunt for new ones (please comment your favorites!). My new favorite right now is The Kate and Abbie Show about creativity, healthy living, and writing.
  18. Workout at home! Although gyms are closed, your living room floor is not! Pull up a workout video on YouTube and get your blood pumping!
  19. Clean up your social media feeds! Go through your feed and clean out the stuff you don’t want to see anymore! Here’s a post I did about cleaning up your social media.
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  20. Try out a new recipe! Although grocery stores are empty, make something with the food you already have in your house. Cinnamon rolls are a fun one that don’t require a ton of supplies!
  21. Have a spa night! Light a candle, put on a face mask, and just enjoy yourself for an evening. Relax, listen to some music, and just chill.
  22. Redecorate your room. If you’re going to be in it all the time, you might as well make some use out of the time. I haven’t redecorated my room in a while, and I have lots of ideas that I could implement!
  23. Find a new phone game to play. This is where I pull out my Best Fiends sponsorship (LOL JKJK 😂😂😂).  But for real though, finding a game you really like can be pretty hard, and now is the perfect time to do it! My new favorite right now is Animal Kitchen, which is super cute and super fun!
  24. Learn something new! A language, or a creative skill, or a new art form, or an instrument. Think of something you’ve wanted to learn forever but never had the time to, and learn it!
  25. Just relax!! There is NO RULE out there that says you need to be hustlin’ while you’re on coronavirus break. Just chill out and enjoy your free time!

If you’re looking for some more posts to read, check out:
this post from Erin that’s a similar concept but more relaxing
my friend MacKenzie’s top 10 list
this one I wrote several years ago that’s a funny version of this post


How are you holding up? Are you on social distancing, or do you still have to work? What is your college doing? What have you been doing over this break? What podcasts do you like? Leave me a comment about ALL THE THINGS!

 

How I Wrap Up a Year || 12 Days of Blogmas 2019 Day 4

Hi everyone! Today I have a super exciting blogpost to share with you all: it’s how I wrap up a year! Every year, I take the week between Christmas and New Year’s to wrap up my year, and today I’m showing you all what I do!

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You may or may not have gathered this already, but New Year’s is a big deal for me. I love seeing what the past year brought and looking forwards to what the new year will hold. I love introspecting and analyzing my own personality and seeing how I’ve grown. I love making my new bullet journal for the next year. It’s my faaaaaaaaaaaavorite time of year, honestly. 😂

So how do I wrapup my year? There are several components to wrapping up a year for me, and I’ll describe each of these, and how it benefits me:

Books I’ve Read. This one’s pretty easy: I read a Lot of books, and I like seeing stats on what I’ve read this year. I do this in conjunction with my GoodReads reading challenge, and it’s been really fun looking at what books I’ve read throughout the year and remembering my favorites. 🙂 || Books I Read in 2019
People In My Life. I started doing this when I saw a friend do it years ago. I write a list of all the people that are important to me/that have made an impact on me this year, and I write a short thank you note/open letter to each of them. It’s not so much for them as it is for me, and having done it for several years now, I can see all the people who’ve made me who I am, and all the friends that have stayed with me throughout the years versus the ones who’ve gone! || People of 2019
Highlights of the Year. When you’re wrapping up a year, it’s really easy to look at all the things that you didn’t do and think about all the bad things that happened that year. However, I am nothing if not an optimist, and I always really like looking at all the things I’ve accomplished/places I’ve been/people I’ve hung out with/adventures I’ve been on throughout the year! After I make my list, I write them all in my little wall calendar (since I don’t write in it during the year, it’s blank at the end and I fill it up!)

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Goals and Achievements. I like looking at my goals from the previous years to see what all I’ve done towards them. Sometimes it’s not a lot, sometimes it’s quite a bit. Usually, it comes around to 50%, which isn’t the worst success rate in the world! (lol) I reevaluate the goals to see if I still want to implement them in my life, and also appreciate how far since when I set them! ||  2019 Reflections/2020 Resolutions
Setting New Goals. After I look at my old goals, it’s time to set new ones! I think about what things I want to be different in my life, and what habits I want to implement. Most of my goals are more habits, rather than goals goals, and I really like it that way! I see my New Year’s Resolutions as steps to make me a better person than who I am right now, and not as something that will change who I am as a person, and that helps guide how I set my goals. || How To Achieve All of Your 2020 New Years Resolutions
Making My New Bullet Journal. This one’s pretty self explanatory, but I set up my new Bullet Journal for the year, which is my absolute favorite thing to do! I reevaluate what has worked in my bullet journal the last year, and I look at some new spread ideas to log all the new habits I want to be working on! This is hands down my favorite thing to do when wrapping up a year, and it’s awesome! || My 2020 Bullet Journal Setup
Journaling and Introspection. This is really important as well; I’m really prone to just . . . putting everything online, and don’t take the time to introspect, but there’s always a side of wrapping up a year that doesn’t go on the internet. I take some time to journal and pray and introspect and just really think about who I am and how I want to grow and how I’ve already grown, and just look back at my last year of life. I always put it off for a really long time (it really should be the first step, haha), but it’s so important!


I hope that sharing my end of year routine helps you out! It’s not too late to wrap up a year, and I really hope that you do it! Obviously you don’t have to do all of these steps, but take what works for you and run with it! Try some things out, and have fun!

How do you wrap up a year? Are there things that I do that you also do? Are there things that I do that you want to do? Let me know in the comments! I’d loveeeee to chat about the end of the year; it’s my absolute favorite time of year!

How To Achieve All of Your 2020 New Years Resolutions || 12 Days of Blogmas 2019 Day 3

Welcome to Blogmas Day 3! Today, we are going to talk about what I do to achieve all of my New Year’s Resolutions! I have been setting New Year’s Resolutions for six years now (!!!?!), and while I haven’t done The Best™ at achieving all of them, I think I have a pretty good idea on how to actually achieve my New Years Resolutions and today, I’m going to be talking about what I’ve learned!
How To Achieve Everything You Want To Do in 2020

Step 1: Set Good Goals. We’ve all heard the tips about setting good goals: make them specific, break them down, etcetera. But what do they mean exactly? Here is what I think about when I set New Year’s Resolutions:

  • What do I want to change in my life? For example, next year, I want to start waking up before 7:30am. I don’t do that normally, but I want to in 2020! I like listing out all of the things I want to change in my life, however large or small it is. Goals of mine have ranged from “drink more tea” to “practice intermittent fasting,” but they are all things that I want to change in my life in the new year.
  • What is the most reasonable way of accomplishing this goal? Or, how much of this goal will I need to do to feel accomplished? For instance, I set the benchmark for my resolution of waking up early at 7:30, because that is a reasonable time to wake up. Although I would like to wake up earlier, setting my goal to be “wake up at 5am” is not going to be sustainable (for me at least) and will more likely result in my not accomplishing this goal.
    When I set the goal lower than I want, then being able to check the resolution off my list will be a lot easier! While that might mean I won’t be able to exactly accomplish something I want to change in my life, it is a small step in the right direction, which is more than I was at before!
  • How can I break this goal down to make it achievable? One of my goals for 2020 is to start living a more nontoxic lifestyle. Since I’m not currently consciously living a nontoxic life, any step will be more than I’m currently doing. One of the first steps I want to take is to research which products that are the most toxic and begin working on getting those switched out.

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Step 2: Get Started On Your Goals Early It takes three weeks to begin establishing a habit, and two months for it to become ingrained in your life. Getting started with your goals a couple days (or even weeks!) before the New Year hits allows you to test out the feasibility of your goals before the real pressure hits. 

Needing to do a 180-degree turn-around on January 1st is a lot, and if I don’t already have a plan to implement a goal into my life, then the chances of my accomplishing that goal is that much lower. The easier I make my goals and resolutions on myself January 1st, the easier keeping these habits in my life are going to be. 

Step 3: Give Yourself Some Grace Even on the beset days, you mess up. Sometimes you take a step forward but then two steps back. Sometimes you sleep through your alarm. Sometimes, the only option you have is to eat before 9am, or use the not-non-toxic shampoo. That doesn’t mean failure! Get back up and try again.

So often, we aim for perfection, but the whole point of New Year’s Resolutions is not perfection. It’s about trying, and becoming a better person in the end. If you mess up one day, just try again the next! It’s not the end of the world: you are still taking steps to make yourself a better person. And in the end, that’s what matters, isn’t it?


Do you set New Year’s Resolutions? What is one you have for 2020? What are some things that you use to help you achieve your goals? Drop me a comment and let me know!

How I Shoot and Edit my Instagram Photos || 12 Days of Blogmas 2019 Day 2

Hey everyone!! Welcome to the second day of Blogmas!! Today, I’m going to be sharing how I shoot and edit my Instagram photos!

How I Take and Edit My Instagram Photos

In 2019, I’ve been making an effort to curate my Instagram feed: the beginning of this year was when I actually started trying to grow my instagram and make it something that I was proud of. I’ve almost doubled my account since the start of the year (just under 400 to almost 700, so shh not quite double but we’re almost there) and I’ve had a lot of fun while I was at it! I’m not confident enough in my skills to grow an Instagram to write a blogpost about it yet, but I’ll do some more research and experimenting in 2020 and hopefully do a post about that too!

Here’s my feed (@HanneasinHannah):

I try to make it a mixture of bookish and lifestyle (i.e., college), interspersing in bullet journaling, bible journaling, and art as I do it, which is not as often. So how do I do it? I have five steps that I go through to make my feed:

  1. look up inspiration
  2. take photos
  3. select and edit photos
  4. sort into a feed
  5. post

For looking up inspiration, I base my method loosely off of Abbie’s method, (where she looks up photos that match her brand on Pinterest and curate a sample feed that she then matches) but with my own variation. Since my “brand” is basically just . . . bookish hygge, it’s easy to find photos and feeds that I can get inspiration from on Instagram. Obviously, Pinterest is helpful as well (I have a board on Pinterest that I use for Instagram inspo). Instead of having an idea of what feed I want to make before I take the photos though, I just take inspiration from the individual photos and curate them into a feed I like.

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Next, taking the photos. I shoot my photos in bulk, and generally I take a day every couple of months just to shoot a bunch of photos all in a row. I prepare for shooting days by stockpiling all of the books/supplies/props I need, and looking up inspiration, like mentioned above. I don’t usually consciously stockpile books, but I do time my shoot days with days that I’ve gotten a particularly large library haul.

I shoot with a Nikon D3400 camera, but have also shot with a point and shoot. I don’t use my phone camera because it has really bad quality, but obviously you can use anything to take your photos with! I take photos on days with direct sunlight but with my blinds closed. (I have translucent blinds, so they let just the sunlight through but don’t cause shadows as badly)

After I’m done shooting my photos, I edit my photos by uploading them to VSCO (the desktop uploader is a LIFESAVER, btw, if you don’t already use it: 10/10 recommend). I play around with the different edit styles, but generally the formula I use is:

  • +2.0 exposure
  • +1.0 contrast
  • +1.0 saturation
  • +3.0 tint
  • +12.0 HB2

Obviously, I adjust it more if there was something that was wonky, and I’ll play around with the white balance, highlights, shadows, and clarity if needed, but generally my formula works pretty well.


And that’s it! There’s how I shoot and edit my Instagram photos! I hope it was helpful and helped inspire you with your Instagram journey! Have you followed me on Instagram yet? Follow me here: @HanneasinHannah! Drop your handle and we can be Insta buddies!

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!

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