5 MORE Things to do Before Classes Start

Hi, friends! School is starting soon, so I wanted to do a part 2 to last year’s post: 5 Things to do Before Classes Start, dedicated to preparing for a semester. Preparing and planning for a semester is very important to set yourself up for a successful semester, so here are five more things you should do before classes start.

5 more things to do before classes start | Preparing and planning for a semester is very important to set yourself up for a successful semester before classes start. Here are more things you should do before classes start.

Find the textbooks you need

Any experienced college student will tell you to buy your textbooks from a discount website, not under any circumstances, from the school bookstore, where they are very overpriced. First, figure out which textbooks you need. You can usually find this information on your school’s student portal (like Blackboard). Then, do your research. Compare prices for your required textbooks across different websites, like Chegg and Amazon. You can even decide to rent the book if you know you won’t need it after you finish the class. You can also ask your friends who have taken the class before if they still have the textbook and if they are willing to sell it to you.

Also, you don’t even have to buy or rent the textbook right away. Many students like to wait until after the first day of class to get their books to find out if they will truly need them. Personally, I don’t recommend this. I’d much rather have my books and send them back to Chegg if it turns out I don’t need them. (Chegg will let you send back your rented books for free within 21 days of ordering them!)

Preparing and planning for a semester is very important to set yourself up for a successful semester. Here are 5 things you should do before classes start! Click To Tweet

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Effective Goal Setting for 2018

Hi, friends! I’m so excited for the new year. A new year is a great opportunity to begin a new chapter in life. It’s a perfect opportunity for making changes and for goal setting. Many bloggers, including myself, have taken advantage of this opportunity and have set goals for 2018. I have decided to change things up and write this post about my goal setting method. This is the method I used to set my goals for the upcoming year:

Effective Goal Setting | A new year is a perfect opportunity for making changes and for goal setting. This is the method I used to set my goals for the upcoming year!

Divide Your Life

One of the first steps in goal setting is to divide your life into “categories” (ex: professional/educational life, spiritual life, blogging life, personal life, physical fitness, etc). Dividing makes it easier to create the list of goals, and it causes the list to look much less intimidating.

Then, take each “category” of your life and scribble a quick list of the things you would like to improve in that area. Use this preliminary list as a brainstorm. Turn off your inner editor and let the ideas flow.  Don’t worry about the goals being too general or too small; you’ll have time to edit them later. For now, just get everything out of your head…

A new year is a perfect opportunity for making changes and for goal setting. This is the method I used to set my goals for the upcoming year! Click To Tweet

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How to Achieve Your New Years Resolutions

Hi friends, now that we’ve entered a new year, many people are rightfully thinking about how to achieve your New Years resolutions and goals. Unfortunately, many people give up on their resolutions, because let’s face it: it’s HARD to stick to a resolution. However, there is a simple way to help you achieve your goals: to make them a part of your routine! In this post, I’ll teach you to do this to help you achieve your New Years resolutions.

How to Achieve Your New Years Resolutions | Many people fail at keeping their New Years' Resolutions, but with these tips, you'll be able to achieve them!

How to Set Your Goals to Achieve Your New Years Resolutions

The way to start forming a habit is determining exactly what you want to do. Take a minute to figure out which habits you want to form and what steps you need to take to form it. Write them down and put them in a place you’ll see them. A sticky note on your bathroom mirror or on your desk at work would be a great place to keep your goals!

Here are some tips to help you keep your New Years' Resolutions! Click To Tweet

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Spring 2018 Semester Goals

Hi, friends! I hope you all had a happy and safe break! I can’t believe it’s finally 2018 and that my final semester of undergrad is starting soon. A new year is a great excuse to re-evaluate our lives and set new goals, so that’s exactly what I did. Here are some of my goals for this upcoming semester!

Follow a skincare routine

I never felt the need to follow an elaborate skincare routine because I don’t have acne. However, I have little red bumps on my forearms that have recently begun to bother me (not because they are painful, but because they are not pretty). I asked my doctor about it and it’s a common, harmless condition called keratosis pilaris. She recommended I use a lotion and a sunscreen every day. In 2018, I want to keep this skincare routine to hopefully eliminate these little spots!


Exercise multiple times per week

As a busy college student, it can be tough to keep up with an exercise routine. I want to do some cardio and two or three rounds of the 7 Minute Workout at least three times every week. Do you guys have any exercise routines/regimes that you can recommend? If you do, let me know in the comments!


Post on the blog twice per week

I want to keep up with posting on the blog, too. Last semester was tough, and that caused me to neglect my blog. I don’t want that to happen again this semester! I want to plan posts in advance so that I publish two posts every week. (Cue the editorial calendar!)


Pray daily

My faith is a big part of my life, and I want to continue that this semester. I want to set aside some time every morning to pray and read the Bible. I did this last semester and it really gave me the energy to take on the tough semester.


Limit social media time

I have been spending way too much time on social media lately. I don’t want to cut it out completely because I still want to promote my blog posts, but I want to reduce the time I spend on it. I will try to spend more time reading and writing rather than mindlessly scrolling through Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, or Instagram.


Bucket List:

Along with goals, I decided to write a bucket list. The goals I just mentioned were more like habits that take time to build, while these bucket list items are accomplishments I can check off a list. Here we go!


Attend graduate school interviews

The last time I checked in with you guys, I mentioned on my Becoming Dr. Aly series that I was working on graduate school applications. Over these past few weeks, I finished them and have gotten a couple of interview invitations! This coming semester, I will be traveling to these schools not only to interview, but to see the campus and to meet current graduate students.


Get straight A’s

Since this is my last semester of undergrad and I will be traveling quite a bit, I am taking a lighter course load this semester. I want to finish off my undergraduate career well by getting straight A’s in the classes I’m taking. It’s going to require work, but I’m willing to do it!


Watch Marvel’s Infinity War

Marvel movies are my favorite, so I am definitely looking forward to Infinity War. Even though I had seen the trailer on YouTube, I got chills when I finally saw it on the big screen at the movie theater. If you haven’t seen the trailer yet, you should!


I love using a new year as an excuse to set more goals, and I encourage you to do the same. Setting goals inspires me to work hard to better myself, and that’s exactly what I plan to do in 2018.


What are your goals for this upcoming semester?

Grad School Application Timeline: Senior Year

Hi, friends! Today’s post is the second part to my earlier post on the “Grad School Application Timeline: Junior Year”. In today’s post, let’s talk about what you can do to prepare for graduate school during your senior year!

During your senior year, things get tough because now you REALLY have to worry about applications along with your regular classes. It’s time consuming, but you can do it! As long as you give yourself enough time and are organized about it. Here’s the graduate school timeline for your senior year:

Fall (August-December), Senior Year

Take the GRE again, if necessary

If you’ve taken the GRE once, you need to wait 21 days before you can take it again. This is good, because it gives you a chance to continue studying before re-taking it. Spend some more time studying the concepts you feel weak in. Then, go for it again!

Here's what you should be doing during your senior year to prepare for graduate school applications! Click To Tweet

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