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College Life

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Inside my VoxBox: Pilot FriXion Erasable Gel-Ink Pens

I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.
 

When I opened up my VoxBox, these Pilot FriXion Erasable Gel-Ink Pens were not the first thing I picked up. When I did, however, pick them up, I was amazed to discover that they were erasable! I had no idea. They looked so clean and professional compared to the stereotypical erasable pen that I used in middle school and always picture. I didn’t know a gel, retractable, erasable pen existed.

Further inspecting the eraser, I found that it isn’t the typical eraser either. It’s rubber and didn’t wear down after use. A never ending eraser? I think so… The Pilot pen website explains it like this: The heat generated by erasing friction causes our unique thermo-sensitive gel ink to become clear so the words disappear completely from the page.”

And to further my love for these pens, they erased just as well as they went on the page. All that’s left is a slight indentation on the page, which is perfect to write over again after your mistake. No one would ever know it’s there.
Good job, Pilot!

My First Plum Paper Planner & Life Lately

Call me crazy but I love buying anything organization related (files, planners, folders, drawers, etc), so the beginning of the year is such a fun time for me. Last year I wrote a post about my planner from May Designs, and I loved the customized cover (they have a new watercolor collection that you’ll want to drool over) and the feel of the cover paper, but as the year went on, and I removed and replaced the book from my backpack multiple times a day, the design started to wear off, which resulted in splotchy white spots. I decided that at this point in my life, I am just too rough on my planner to use such a delicate one, so this year I was on the search for my perfect planner again.

Through browsing on Etsy, I found Plum Paper. Initially, I was turned off by the 30 dollar price tag and 10 dollar shipping, but as I searched more, I realized what a great option it really was, so I revisited it again and again until I finally decided to purchase. One of the best things about Plum Paper is that you are able to customize the pages. You have four options:

1. Days divided by morning, afternoon, and evening
2. Days separated by 30 minute increments
3. Days with blank lines
4. No weekly spreads

I chose the days divided every 30 minutes option, and I am extremely pleased with it. When I have a lot of classes/ meetings that I have to remember, I have a nice system to write them all out, and on easier days where I just have a lot to do, I can also just fill in the times with my to-do list!

The other big feature that intrigued me about Plum Paper is that they have a sturdy wire coil and a strong plastic cover to protect the decorative front. Thanks to these key features, my notebook still looks brand new!

As for what’s inside the planner, I’ve been spending these first few weeks of school busier than ever. I endured work week and sorority recruitment as well as the new addition of homework in my life. For excitement, I joined The Daily Illini and Her Campus Illinois as a copy editor! I think it’s going to be a good year.

How do you stay organized? What planner do you use?

College Checklist & Brita® Filter

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Brita. All opinions are 100% mine.

Yesterday I went shopping for a few back to school items that I didn’t need for my freshman year of college, but I thought might come in handy this year, and it really got me thinking about what I brought to school last year, and what I found most useful compared to what was a waste of storage space. I couldn’t be more excited that I’m getting the opportunity to work with Brita®, because even though a water filter was not on my college shopping list last year, it should have been. Here’s how my story goes:

As I was hauling all of my luggage/furniture into my dorm on move-in day, I noticed a drinking fountain on the first floor. Convenient, I thought. Well it wasn’t; that drinking fountain looked clean, but up on the 7th floor where I lived, the drinking fountain looked old and unappealing. With so much chaos going on around me, drinking water was the last thing on my mind, but as things settled down, my newly acquainted roommate and I decided we should get some groceries. There, we bought jugs of water, and we continued to do that for a few weeks, but it made me realize just how much water I drank, and I started to realize that even at $1 a gallon, the price quickly adds up. We stopped buying water jugs, and I started running down to the first floor water fountain every time I wanted to fill my bottle. This worked for a while until I would wake up at 2 am and not want to run all the way downstairs for drinking water.

Here is where I learned the usefulness of a Brita® filter… My suitemate had one, and she was kind enough to share. From then on all we had to do was fill up this pitcher of water in our bathroom sink, it cleaned out all of the impurities, and the water tasted great. As a result I was drinking more water, because it was always at my disposal, we were able to drink fun, flavored water by adding Crystal Light flavor packets in it, we were saving money by not having to buy water jugs, and not to mention the fact that we were subsequently helping the environment by reducing plastic waste. It was our perfect solution. Even if you’re not looking to share, Brita® has individual water bottles, and for those upperclassmen in apartments, they have filters for your faucet! They’re even easy to buy… Brita® products are available at Target!

A water filter isn’t the only thing I should have put on my packing list. Some other things that I never thought to bring to school but definitely found useful were an iron, ironing board, sewing kit, mattress pad, pictures and posters to create that homey vibe, postage stamps, extension cord, and batteries.

Happy back-to-school shopping,

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10 Things I Learned My First Semester of College

10 Things I Learned My First Semester of College | What I realized my first semester of college.

Well guys, as you know, I have finished my last final of my first semester of college and have come home for winter break. You know what that means? My college experience is already 1/8th of the way over! Okay, no need to panic yet. I still have plenty of time, but it never fails to amaze me how much quicker life seems to fly by year after year.

In honor of completing the first half of my year, I’ve decided to share ten of what I thought were the most important things I’ve discovered in going away to college (outside of the classroom…. Because no one but me really wants to learn about morphology, phonology, etc.)
So without further ado…

There is something out there for everyone. You just have to find it.

Whether it be theatre, intermural sports, going Greek, or the squirrel watching club, you should never feel like you have to do something you don’t like just to meet friends.

You don’t realize how much money you really spend. 

I went to school with what I thought was a decent chunk of change, but it’s the end of the first semester and I currently have $20 to my name. Now,  I can blame that on Christmas gifts and a sweet new tattoo, but being at school has really made me realize the value of a dollar. It honestly might be one of my best lessons. Like groceries… who knew how easy it was to spend $50 on some fresh produce?

You can maintain old friends and new friends.

You just need to find balance. Keep in touch with your old friends (I do), but make sure you don’t let it take over your life and prevent you from having a good time at school. I’ve found that when I go home, things haven’t changed with the friends I don’t keep it touch with, so don’t sweat it out, because with that being said…

Things are going to change. If you don’t let them, you’ll be miserable.

I’ve seen it happen with my own eyes. People are too attached with friends and family back home that they sit in their dorm rooms and tweet about how badly they want to be anywhere but “this hell hole”. They are too busy being sad and miserable about what they don’t have that they miss out on all of the opportunities right in front of them and miss out on enjoying what are supposed to be the happiest years of your life.

You are the person most able to take care of yourself.

Whether it’s at a party or walking home alone, you know that you can trust yoursf to be aware of your surroundings and make smart decisions. Sometimes your friends slip up, so don’t always rely on them for your own safety. 

Family is still number one.

You might not be with them all the time or even talk to them everyday, but they are still the ones who will be there for you no matter what. That also means you shouldn’t hesitate to drive three hours home for your mom’s surgery.

Get along with your roommate… at least try.

 It will make your life so much better. My roommate and I had a rough start. She had her friends over to all hours of the night, and that elicited some issues amongst our suite. In fact, I was miserable some nights, but the minute we decided to openly discuss the problem, and we started putting in an effort, the mood in our room immediately shifted. Now I love her to death, and I couldn’t imagine rooming with anyone else! If you have an issue, just talk about it. You’re adults now, and it might be awkward, but it’ll be worth it. There’s nothing worse than just waiting for your anger to boil over.

There is always someone at the library. 

Even at midnight on a Friday night, I promise you that you will not be alone. I have learned that if you have a test Friday morning, so you have to stay in and study on a Thursday night, you should… even if your friends tell you that you’re lame for not going out with them. You really aren’t the only one making the responsible choice. Grades come first and you should never be afraid to admit that. It will save you a lot of regrets later.

You are on your own but never really alone. 

You might start off at a school where you know absolutely no one, but no matter how alone you feel, you are never ever truly alone. Listen to the voices in the hallway outside your dorm room. Knock on your neighbors door. Sit on the quad. Go to the recreational center. There are people all around you. Reach out when you first get to school, because most people are in the same boat as you are.

“Real life” isn’t that far away. 

Don’t lose sight of your goals and what you want your life to be like after school is over.