Tanesha’s Guide To Back To School (Tips & Tricks)

plan the perfect

I don’t know about you, but I am super excited for this new school year! Not only am I in an amazing grad program, I am able to get back to my first true love: learning (in school)! For some, I know a new school year causes a lot of anxiety because you want to be organized and want to start the new year off on the right foot! I would like to say that I am generally a SUPER organized person, at least when it comes to school work. I am going to share some of my best tips and tricks!

  1. Time Management is the MAJOR KEY to success! I attribute all my success in undergrad at Hampton University to having great time management! I wrote about time management before on the blog (click here). But I wanted to recap and add some other things I’ve learned since this post.
    1. Set A Schedule (and stick with it!). There is literally no point in putting together the perfect schedule if you don’t follow it or if you don’t put everything in it. I personally like to use my iPhone calendar because it syncs across all platforms. I have multiple calendars going at once. For example some of my calendars include: Tanesha’s Calendar (for events), Pittsburgh things (for school), Family Calendar, Ladies&Co Calendar, Renae’s Calendar Schedule, and even one for birthdays!
    2. USE A PLANNER. It really doesn’t matter if your planner is digital or an old-fashioned handwritten one. It helps to have a planner so you don’t forget assignments. No matter how amazing you say your memory is, be sure to write down assignments and things you need to do. Not only will this keep your organized but it will help to physically see all the things you need to do. I used to put my assignments in my phone calendar but it began to get to cluttered, which is why I switched to this system. However what I will do is schedule time to study/do homework on the calendar which would be based on my assignments/things to do in my planner. Get it?
    3. Self-care and Rest are apart of your schedule! You cannot run on empty you must set aside time to just relax and get yourself together. If you are running at 100% all the time, your body will literally give out on you. Trust me, mine has done it before. Your body giving out might be you getting sick a lot more, headaches or fatigue. Everyone is different – some people need just one day a week, while others need a little time everyday. Listen and care for your body! Just be sure to have a good balance of being productive and taking care of yourself. Also, during this self-care time – be sure to set aside time to work on the things you’re interested in. Work on knitting, video games, blogging, vlogging, etc.
  2. Take Effective Notes! For me, I like to take physical notes in class and then as a study method I go back and TYPE my notes on Microsoft Word or Microsoft OneNote. When I type my notes, I use the textbooks to supplement my notes and fill in any gaps or things that I wasn’t understanding. When I am writing my handwritten notes in the margin I often write questions and if I don’t ask the teacher, I will use my textbook/google to find the answer and put it in my TYPED notes. But I suggest you use a note system that works for you! For me, Microsoft OneNote has literally become my lifeline! I absolutely love that I can use it across multiple platforms: my MacBook, my iPad, and my iPhone. Especially if I want to study on the go or on the bus, I don’t have to whip out the huge laptop. Just a little tip tho, make sure you are paying attention in class and taking really great notes! This will make studying a breeze!
  3. Make an assignment check sheet. What I do when I first get all my syllabi, I like to write down all my assignments in Microsoft Excel (or Microsoft Word) and sort them by due date order. So I normally make a table with Assignment Name, Course, Points (or the percentage it’s worth), and Due dates. I then print out the list and put it in my planner and remember to makeGo thru your syllabi and write down all your assignments in excel, then sort by date! Mark off as you go so you can see your accomplishments!

I think that is it! If you have any questions or even have some tips of your own – Share below in the comments! I would love to see your tips too!

XOXO,

– Tanesha Renae

Dear Give It Up

So my ex-boyfriend and I have been broken up for about a year now… We travel in the same circles, for the most part, so we’re always running into each other. But now it is to the point where he doesn’t even speak to me at all. I still somewhat care for him, but I refuse to keep trying to be friends when he doesn’t try at all… What should I do say forget him, or reach out to him one more time? – Give it up?

Dear Give It Up,

I can definitely understand your situation as I was in a similar one in high school. If I was you would I would cut him off completely. I would still be polite and cordial towards him and don’t be rude, however, I wouldn’t go out of my way anymore to attempt to be friends with him. It’s obvious that he’s trying to get over you, because you’re such a wonderful young lady, and you should also take that time to heal as well. Maybe sometime in the future you both will be able to develop a friendship again. I would be kind, and avoid being rude, however, I would say forget him, and move on!

Keep It Classy,

– T.Renae

The Weekend After The First Week of School

After the first and hectic week of school, I always try to just get through the week without doing any organizational things. I do this because it is often easier to organize everything at one time, as opposed to going back and forth as you add, and drop classes, and change your schedule around. So here’s how I get organized and ready for a productive school year.

First things first, I always buy a planner/agenda for the upcoming school year. Normally this happens before the school year because I am obsessed with planners! I’ve always had a strong love for planners if I am being completely honest. 
Put all the important academic calendar dates in my planner. It is good to always have these dates already in your planner, so you won’t have remember them all off hand, they will already be put down!
Whether it be in your phone, or in an excel sheet. Make a schedule of what your daily life will be while in school. I normally use both my phone and planner. Just so I am sure not to forget anything. I like having a schedule because it makes me accountable for every half hour, of every day.
Next I go through the syllabi for every class and make a list of important dates. So every assignment, project, exam goes into this master task list. I put the name of the assignment, teacher, class, and due date. I also sort the list by date and print. Won’t have everything but close enough. This semester I am using one notebook/binder thing for all my classes and I taped the list to the inside cover.
Lastly, I try to do any easy assignments I can before the semester begins to get too busy. Doing these assignments now, will eliminate undue stress later in the semester.
The only way to stay organized during the school is to remain dedicated to the process. Sometimes you may fall a little short, but just pick yourself back up, and keep it pushing!
How do you stay organized for the school year? Let us know in the comments!
-T.Renae

Dear Best friends or more,

So hi Ladies and Company, I just graduated [from high school]. And there’s this guy and he has been my boy best friend the whole way through my senior year of high school. He was talking to my friend and having sex with her. But he didn’t want a relationship with her. She thought that she could keep him that way, you know with sex. And me and him being “best friends,” we workout together, go bike riding together, talk on the phone for hours and are always there for each other. I like him a lot but considering the fact that he was kinda with my friend, i dont know. My feelings don’t have an on and off switch. Am I wrong for wanting to be with him, since I’m pretty sure he likes me back but he’s been with my friend? – Best friends or more.

Hi sweetie,

I don’t think that your feelings are wrong, but I would not act on these feelings, for numerous reasons. The first reason is because this is your friend, your boy best friend. You don’t want to jeopardize/ruin your friendship over these feelings, that may or may not be reciprocated. The second reason is because even though they (your boy best friend and your friend) aren’t in a committed relationship, they are still engaging “activities,” which could potentially grow into a relationship (It also could not – we never know with these things). Even though he says doesn’t want to have a relationship with the friend, he’s already smashing. As a woman, and young lady you really only have two options: (1) approach your friend and tell her how you feel and ask her to back off, or (2) tell her how you feel about the best friend and tell her you want her to be happy so you are backing off.

If it was me, honestly I would pull a Frozen and just let it go. You just graduated high school, and there will be plenty more (better) fish in the sea for you!

Keep It Classy, 

T.Renae

Dear Stressed Virgin,

Hi Ladies and Co. I’m in high school (10th grade), and all my friends are not virgins… I am still a virgin. should I feel like a lame, because I still am? Should this bother me the way it does? I’m so stressed about it. – Stressed Virgin.


Dear Stressed Virgin,

Don’t let your friends indirectly pressure you to lose the most precious gift that you have. True story, I almost lost mine because I didn’t want to be seen as a lame in college. But it was a great decision to wait because I realized that there is still a significant amount of people in the world that are virgins and proud to be one. I am really glad I did not just throw my virginity away because I would most likely regret it now because I am not ready. I know that when the time is right and I decide to lose my virginity it will feel right. It shouldn’t bother you nor stress you out. When you are ready to lose it, and the time is right, you will know. But for now just focus on school, graduating, and wear your virginity badge proud!

Keep It Classy,

-T.Renae

Advice Column: Relaunch #AskTheLadies.

Hello, lovely followers of Ladies and Co., We are officially relaunching our Advice Column portion of the blog. We have renamed it #AskTheLadies

So the authors that will be participating in the advice column portion are all women in the pursuit of their college degrees mostly in psychology and communications.

The Advice column is geared towards 13-year-olds – 26-year-olds, men or women, especially those of color.

The advice column will mainly focus on questions about love, college, relationships, and everyday life! The response to a weekly question will be on every Tuesday Mornings!

If you would like to submit a question – click this link. You can ask a question through Ask.fm, and we will respond to it on the blog. We will also let you know on Ask.Fm when it has been responded to!

Be sure to submit your questions today!

XOXO

– Ladies & Co.

Motivational Monday: Productivity

Hey Ladies, last week I had the BUSIEST week of my entire life. By time the weekend rolled around, I was sooooo drained. Normally the weekends are my most productive times, because I have hardly anything to do, or have any commitments. However that was not the case. So in an effort to motivate you, as well as myself for a very productive week (because we have things to do and accomplish this week!).

  1. My first piece of advice is to make a TO DO List. I know this sounds childish and minimal and whatever. BUT when I feel extremely overwhelmed with work, I always make a list. Now the downfall of this is, you may find that you have more work than you initially anticipated, however sometimes you have less work (I live for those days). So, I always attempt to make my list due date based. So the things that are immediately due go first, and then next week, and so on and so forth. I also sometimes have to have multifaceted list, for example if I have a project to do, and it requires a lot of little pieces, I will list those things under the initial task (see picture at the bottom for an example from last semester). It may seem OCD, but would you rather forget to do something, or a project? Exactly, no one wants to forget anything. The greatest feeling in the world is marking off something you have done or a task you have completed! You can mark it with a sharpie or highlighter, or check the box anything.
  2. An alternative to TO DO lists, would be to purchase a planner (my planner picture is at the bottom as well), which essentially you would put your TO DO List within. So you could follow the same tips. Only thing is remember to actually look at your planner. Don’t just write something down in it, and then never look at it again. I often have that problem with my planner, thats why I use both a planner as well as lists. As my best friend once said, “there is no way you can be organized and successful without one [a planner].” I personally use an Erin Condren Life Planner, and I ABSOLUTELY love it! There are tons of ways to personalize it, and use it in different manners. This planner is great for anyone!
  3. Work in a productive space. Beds are not productive spaces for me, so I know never ever try to get work done there. But for you, it maybe where you work the best! My ideal productive space is working at a desk in the library, or my desk, or in my department’s office (as long as its clean with minimal distractions), with my homework playlist bumping in some headphones, with water and my TO DO list, at any time of the day after 10:30am basically. Your productive space may be in the middle of the night, in your bed, in complete silence. Everyone’s productive space is different. Some people can work in clutter, while others absolutely cannot. It takes time, but you should be able to learn where YOUR productive space is, through trial and error.
  4. Next thing I would suggest is to work on the hardest thing first (if you don’t work by due dates, or you have multiple projects and assignments due on the same day). I know this seems backwards, but doing the biggest and hardest assignments first, make every other assignment seem super easy. You will be breezing through all your other assignments. Trust me!
  5. Give yourself breaks. You cannot work for 6 hours straight without any breaks. So for every 2 hours I work consistently, I will give myself a break. Maybe a break for a snack, stretch, walk arounds, social media, or anything thats a reward. Our brains need time for our neurons (the cells that make up the brain) to make connects with other neurons, and also if you reward yourself with something (whatever makes you happy) the brain is more apt to remember it. Some brains function better on a reward based system most of the time, however everyone’s brain is as unique as they are.
  6. Don’t give up. Being productive takes time and practice. It’s just like a muscle in your body, you have to use it and push it to its breaking point to get stronger, the same goes for productivity. You have to work extra hard, even when you don’t want to, to make your productivity muscle stronger.

I hope this helps you get on the right path of productivity! Feel free to leave your productivity tips in the comments as well!

Keep it classy, 

– T.Renae

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