Tips for the First Semester of College

 

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Obviously I am no expert on college, but I’d say I have learned a thing or two to pass along. My first semester wasn’t too bad. I performed well in school, made some great friends, and got involved in a couple activities I plan on continuing throughout my undergraduate years. So here are a few lessons I learned to have a great first semester.

1// Make the first move

Making friends can be hard, especially if you are going to a school where you don’t know anyone going in with you. But the easiest way to put yourself out there is to make the first move. Ask someone to lunch, invite someone to study with you, propose coffee with someone, etc. Chances are, there are plenty of people in the same position just waiting to be asked to hang out. Everyone needs a lunch buddy!

2// Prioritize

This can be tricky, especially with so many options for the different ways to spend your time. I made it a point to put my classes above my social life but I put mental sanity above everything and sometimes that meant taking a break and hanging out with friends. It’s all about balance! It can be hard to choose between doing all the different things the new environment has to offer, however you have to decide what is most important and what can wait.

3// Don’t be afraid to go to a meeting alone

There are so many different opportunities and sometimes taking advantage of those means going to an introductory meeting alone. I know in high school it would take some serious mental preparation before I could go to a meeting where I didn’t have a friend with me. I found that every meeting can be a good way to get to know more people and get involved in something new!

4// Join something

This goes along with number three in that you have to go to meetings in order to get involved in something. But keep in mind that college is not like high school where it is so easy and encouraged to get involved in every single club and hold every single leadership position possible. In college it’s best to just choose one or two things to devote your time to because as I found out, the classwork takes up a good chunk of time, making it hard to devote more time to extracurriculars.

5// Talk to your professors

Believe it or not, they want to help you and after every discussion I had with my professors, I felt more confident and better off. I discovered that as scary as it can be to talk to a professor, in the end they are the ones determining your grade so it can be helpful for them to see you are actually putting an effort into the class and desire to learn and grow.

As I said, I’m still learning and working towards a successful college career. However, these are a few of the things I found to be most important in finding my place in a new college life.

Let me know what helped you in your first semester of college and feel free to email me with suggestions for content you all want to see!!

xo Carolyn

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Everyday Makeup Look

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Let me preface this by saying I am in no way a makeup expert.  In fact, I would call myself a beginner who doesn’t really know what I’m doing.  I’ve found certain things that work for me and have pretty much been sticking to my super simple makeup look for the past few years.  Yes, there are occasions when I go all-out, but for the most part this is the routine I stick to.

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I’ve been subscribing to Birchbox for a couple years now and could not recommend it more.  Every month you get a box with five beauty samples in it that are personalized to what you put on your profile.  The majority of the makeup I use comes from Birchbox and honestly the sample sizes are so big that I hardly ever buy makeup anymore because everything I need just seems to come in the mail at the perfect time!

I try not to use too much foundation. In fact, most days I skip the foundation.  Normally I just put a little bit of concealer on the problem areas and jump right into my eye makeup (the most fun!).

The Urban Decay Naked 2 palette is my goto.  I start with “bootycall” all over my eye.  In the crease I use “tease” and for the lid I mix it up but have been really into “half baked” recently.  I like to use “blackout” as liner most of the time.
Side note: I do recognize how weird the names of the eye shadows are:)

My all time favorite mascara is the Benefit Roller Lash Curling Mascara.  Some days I just stick with that mascara and nothing else!

For blush I use Laura Geller New York Baked Blush-n-Brighten in Tropic Hues and sometimes I use the Laura Geller New York Baked Gelato Swirl Illuminator in Gilded Honey highlighter.

Most days I finish off my look with Burt’s Bees chapstick.  Sometime I add lipgloss but not very often.

I tend to keep my makeup routine simple and easy.  If there are any products you can’t live without, leave them in the comments below!  I love new ideas!

xo Carolyn

 

 

 

Where Have I Been?

 

IMG_209B80FEEB1C-1.jpegWow. It’s been a long time since I’ve sat down to actually write a blog post! So what has happened? Before starting school, I thought I had my whole blog planned out through October. I had pictures ready and content planned out. Nothing was written, but I was more than ready to knuckle down and crank out at least a post a week, if not two.

But then college hit me. I was completely unprepared for the amount of time I would lose to studying, classes, extracurriculars, and social obligations. This past semester has been one big, long, learning experience that I have been so grateful for (more posts to come about the specifics). I thought I had perfected time management and was on top of everything happening in my new, crazy life. Boy was I wrong! My blog started to slip through the cracks. Even when people would ask about it, I kept brushing it off in my mind. It wasn’t until recently that I realized how much I missed it and how important it is to keep up with.

I don’t know how consistent I’ll be able to post, but my plan is to use last semester as a learning experience and as a way to figure out how to fix my timing and incorporate this blog into daily life. My goal is still to expand and improve and I know I can only do that if I put in the time and energy and make it a priority,

Sorry for the abrupt reentry into the blogging world. Rest assured, this post will not be the last time you hear from me. My plan is to restart consistency this month and continue as I return to school in three weeks. Bear with me as I navigate the life of a college blogger.

xo Carolyn

 

My Favorite Way to Exercise

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I am not consistent with working out at all.  It is a major struggle.  I go through spurts where I’m all in and workout super consistently for a few days (or a month if I’m really good) and then I just stop.  Currently, I’ve been working out consistently and am trying to find a way to make it stick.  If you have any recommendations for keeping consistent motivation for working out, leave them in the comments below!

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Whether I’ve been working out regularly or am in a workout dry spell, there’s one thing I love doing-yoga!  I did ballet all through elementary and middle school and I think I’m reminded of that when doing yoga.  The flexibility and leg strength involved pushes me enough to feel the workout days later.

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In Ohio I’ve gone to 3 Sisters Yoga Studio and at home, I use the P90x3 yoga video.

I’m not the best at yoga but it’s a fun way to workout!  The stereotypes can make yoga seem like a relaxing experience, but not if you make it hard for yourself!

xo Carolyn

Miracle Hair Product

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I have tried SO MANY different hair products.  My hair is always my primary focus when I’m getting ready and because it’s thick and textured, most of the time I don’t wake up with it looking perfect.  When I need a quick fix, many times I use sea salt spray.  But the issue with salt spray is that your hair ends up crunchy or sticky and you aren’t capable of changing it up later in the day.  Thus, most of the time I resort to lots of heat.  I blow dry, straighten, or curl and basically ruin my hair.  Of course I use a heat protectant but that much heat every day takes a tole on the hair.  That’s why I was so so so happy to discover this product!!

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Phytodefrisant Straightening Balm is by far the best product I have every used in my hair.  And I’m not exaggerating in the slightest!!  All you have to do is put it in wet hair and if you want, you can be done!  My hair dries so smooth and straight just letting it air dry!  The product is also super light and doesn’t make my hair feel heavy or weighed down whatsoever.

But that’s not all!!  If you don’t want to air dry, the product also works amazingly well when you blow dry!  The label says it’s heat activated and I believe it!  After using a blow dryer I barely have to go back through at all with a straightener!  There’s no frizz, no fuss, and it takes hardly any time at all to make my hair look great!

Yes, it is called a straightening balm however I’ve used it and then curled my hair and get super big and loose curls that hold.

I would recommend this product to anyone looking to get gorgeous hair with no fuss!  Waking up for early classes and not having to worry about how my hair is gonna look has been a blessing in college!

xo Carolyn

Phytodefrisant Straightening Balm

P.S.
This post was not sponsored.  Everything I have said has been my own opinion without any prompting by the company.

How I Relax (without technology)

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Sometimes decompression is necessary.  After a long day of getting work done or running around, an hour or two of rest can feel so good!  I have certain goto ways to decompress that have so far worked wonders!

Read//

I’ve made a couple posts about books I enjoy (this one and this one) so clearly reading is a good goto for me!  There are so many books out there that you can decide if you want some light fluffy reading or something more serious or thought-provoking.  Depending on my mood, I like to mix up the books I read.

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Knit//

My grandma taught me how to knit and it’s so relaxing!!  I like to knit while listening to music (preferably the John Mayer Pandora station) with a nice cup of tea next to me.  Once you get the hang of knitting, the repetitive motion let’s your mind wander and you it’s such a good decompressor.

Card Games//

A good card game can fun!  Especially if it doesn’t get super competitive and is just a fun way to relax.  It does involve finding someone else willing to play but if you can do that, you’re golden!

Life can get busy and work can get hard, but finding ways that allow you to relax without pulling out your phone or turning on the tv can work wonders on calming down the mind.

How do you like to relax?

xo Carolyn

7 Tips for a Long Drive by Yourself

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I’ve been making longer drives by myself for awhile to my hometown in Kentucky and to my college and know these drives are going to get more frequent after starting school.  I’ve never driven longer than seven hours by myself but any long drive can get rough by yourself.  Luckily, through trial and error, I’ve developed some strategies for making the drive easier on the mind and body.

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1// Be Prepared Mentally

If you start the drive by accepting that it is going to be long and could be rough in parts you’ll be much better off.  Yes, you probably will run into traffic and no you don’t have control over a lot of what goes on along the way so it’s okay to play some things by ear and be ready to change gears.  Alternate routes might become necessities and as long as you know that’s a possibility you’ll be fine.

2// Snacks and Drinks

I make sure to have easy to open snacks within an easy reach, generally in the passenger seat.  I also always have water in the cupholder, again in an easy to open and drink out of bottle.  I don’t want to have to be fiddling with wrappers or water bottle lids while on the interstate.

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3// Good Music

A playlist is the way to go.  You don’t want to be fiddling with the radio every time you change cities and you don’t want to deal with commercials so developing your own personalized playlist is the way to go.  Make sure you update the playlist the night before so every song is something you’ll want to hear because you don’t want to be skipping through every song you own trying to get to a good song.  I use Spotify and have different playlists for every trip I’ve gone on.  I can share those in a later post!

4// Podcasts

The last drive to Centre I listened to a podcast the majority of the drive and let me tell you it made the ride go by much faster than I expected!  I prefer podcasts with a storyline and not just interviews or information.  The last one I listened to was S-Town and I would highly recommend it!

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5// Stop When You Need To

This is something I’ve struggled with.  The very first long drive I did by myself I had to drive through a horrible torrential downpour for 45 minutes and by the time the rain stopped, I had no desire to get off the highway so I never ate dinner and just barely made it to my destination with the gas I had.  Since then I’ve made sure to take care of myself and my car by trying to coordinate when I ate and got gas.  Luckily for me I’ve been making the same long drive so by now I know the best exits for stopping.  That’s something you’ll probably have to discover along the way.  It’s hard to prepare for this sort of thing.

6// Give Yourself Plenty of Time

If you are trying to get somewhere by a certain time, make sure you give yourself at least an extra hour and a half for stops and random traffic jams.  Hopefully you won’t need that much extra time but it’s better to be early than late because you didn’t give yourself enough time.

7// Wear Comfortable Clothes

I would hope this goes without saying, but wherever you are headed you can wear comfy clothes.  Even if you are driving straight to some formal event, there will always be a bathroom to change in.  I’m all about comfort when it comes to driving on mini road trips.  There is hardly ever a time when comfortable clothes won’t work.

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Traveling is what you make of it.  If you let yourself get stressed out or nervous about it, it won’t be fun.  Long drives by yourself don’t have to be horrible!  Jamming out to your favorite songs in the car without fear of embarrassment can be the one thing making the drive bearable!  I wouldn’t say I look forward to long drives, but I’ve learned enough to not stress or be worried about it.

xo Carolyn