I am an absolute nerd when it comes to school supplies. My favorite part of back-to-school shopping is Staples, or Target, or wherever I happen to go. My last semester of college was a little bit different because I didn’t need a whole lot. So, I put a lot more thought into the items I selected.


  • think happy be happy Notebook – I found this at Marshall’s while Christmas shopping over the holidays. This notebook is pretty thick and I’m planning to use it for all 4 of my classes. My online class shouldn’t be many handwritten notes, and I’ve found over the past semesters that I don’t usually fill up a notebook with just one class. My favorite part about this notebook is that the edges of the pages are gold-plated.
  • Marble Hard Shell Macbook Cover – I found this cute case on Amazon for only $20, and I am really impressed with the quality. The Apple logo even shines through the case, which looks really cool.
  • Staedtler Ballpoint Pen 10 Color Pack – These pens are my favorite because they don’t smudge, have a convenient case so I don’t lose them, and come in colors that aren’t too bright. I use these pens for my planner to make the pages more vibrant and happy.
  • Moleskine 2016 Weekly Notebook – I’ve been eyeing a Moleskine planner, and I finally decided to get this one because I like the layout of the pages. On the left are the days of the week, and on the right is a lined sheet of paper to take notes. I find this is especially handy for to-do lists or providing details about events that you note on the weekly view. It also has monthly calendars, a map, an address book, and a few other handy pages.
  • Solo 2 Beats By Dre (not pictured) – I got my first pair of Beats as a bonus when I purchased my Macbook Pro this year. I wasn’t really interested in them at first because I am not a fan of large headphones, but they have become a staple for studying or doing work. The best part about them (besides the great sound quality) is the noise-cancelling.

Balancing Work, School, and Play

Next semester, I’ll be in 12 credit hours, working a part-time internship, and attempting to enjoy the best (and last) semester with my friends.

I was going to write this post about tips and tricks for balancing your life in a way that you don’t have to sacrifice any of the things you care about, but then I realized that that isn’t possible.

Yes, there are things you can do to cut corners and squeeze as many things into your busy schedule as possible, but then, are you really making time for anything at all? Or are you just half-assing it all, and in doing so not really putting the right amount of time into anything?

This is a hard subject for me because I am a really busy person who wants to think that she can do it all. There are way too many experiences out there that I want to have, and I want so so badly to be there for my friends at all times, but you just can’t do it all.

This is where priorities come in. Priorities are evil. Not really, but sometimes I feel as though they are my enemy. Why can’t I prioritize everything equally? Why can’t I have three separate lives in which I focus on one area of my life in each of them?

I don’t know the solution, or the secret key to unlocking this problem. It is something I’m currently trying to work through. I suppose that’s my answer – it takes time and soul-searching to be able to really look at your life and honestly decide what areas on which you want to focus your precious (and scarce) time. But I have a strong feeling that making a decision will lead to a better outcome. Putting more effort into the things you do and giving up the things you just can’t make time for will show people that when you do something, you do it right, and you do it because you care. I think that that sends a better message than trying to be in one thousand places in once because guess what? You can’t be. And when you aren’t all in, it shows.

As the new year approaches, here’s my challenge for myself, and for you if you wish: pick a few things in your life that you care about and be all in.

You don’t have to give up everything in your life, but try to shave off a few things that you know you don’t have the time or effort to dedicate yourself to fully. Also, make sure you forgive yourself for this. One thing that weighs heavy on me every day is that I don’t play piano as much as I used to. However, beating myself up about it isn’t going to change the fact that I just don’t have the time or desire to make it a priority right now. Forgive yourself and hold onto the idea that maybe one day circumstances will change and you can revisit it.

All that being said, I’m looking forward to the best semester yet with my friends (who I love and appreciate so much) in blue heaven. I can’t wait!