Stirring the Pot: Stayin’ Studious Without Losing a Screw

Trying to survive in college is stressful in and of itself; add exams, lack of sleep, and anxiety to the mix and you’re in for a rough time. Here are some helpful tips to stay sane yet studious.

Typically, I like to do investigative pieces — this is a bit of a deviation from my normal style but I found it quite fitting as we’re finishing off midterms and on the cusp of finals season. Yep, the exams and deadlines are here and we’re all in a frenzy of stress, anxiety, and a lack of sleep (which we all know we desperately need). The eyebags are forming, and so is the long, expensive list of Venti Starbucks Nitro Cold Brews, Monsters, and Guayaki Yerba Mates. But to be honest, I just hope you’re all doing okay. Or at least surviving. Anyways, I just thought I’d share some ways to not go completely batshit crazy from all the damn stress you’re probably facing right now. (And trust me, I’m  quite knowledgeable on the subject, as I’m a literal human ball of worry.)

ORGANIZE!

I know this isn’t a fresh, new idea, but it’s honestly the best way to assure you don’t feel as if you’re literally drowning in an ocean of papers, projects, and deadlines. And it’s a lot simpler than it seems — you don’t need to buy an expensive planner or be a bullet journaling master to tackle time management. Simply get a piece of paper (or use your phone notes app if you prefer) and just write out everything that’s stressing you out — all the things you have to do, and when they need to be done by. Literally just spill your brains out onto the page.

By releasing everything from your head to a documented place allows your mind to be relieved from all the pressure of remembering these tasks. Then plug them into your calendar! Plan out the week day-by-day and suddenly your tasks will seem much less daunting: as long as they’re spread out into time chunks — cramming is not the move! 

PRIORITIZE YOURSELF!

Assure you’re keeping your best interests in mind when making decisions. If you know you have a fat paper to write in TWO days that you have yet to start, then it’s probably in your best interest to take up your friend’s last-minute, yet extremely enticing offer to go to that party. Let yourself have enough time to complete your task without the pressure of the deadline waving over your head — pulling an all-nighter while chugging two sour apple reigns from the 7-eleven across the street is not the best situation to be in (coming from personal experience!). Not only can this lead to a mental breakdown (guilty), but it means you’re not doing your best work. But I know you’re still going to procrastinate, so to assure your all-night cram/work session won’t completely destroy your health, make sure you’re taking short breaks in which you leave your workspace and take a stretch or stroll. If you’re going to consume high quantities of caffeine, make sure to balance your water intake with the caffeine (not only will hydrating keep your mind sharp, but it will make the caffeine much more effective and long-lasting). Also, assure you’re eating healthy snacks — some of these could include nuts, berries, granola bars, or yogurt. NO TAKIS. PLEASE.

SLEEP!

Sleep is a precious gift. I know us college kids cherish (and I mean CHERISH) our sleep despite sacrificing it constantly. I know all the doctors tell us we need roughly 8 hours of sleep but honestly, I know I’m not getting it and it’s completely MY FAULT. Sleep is extremely crucial if we want our mental health to be in tip-top shape — one way to combat the lack of sleep I know we all have is by taking power naps. No, not four-hour naps that send us into another dimension of time, I’m talking about 15-20 minute naps in between classes. This short bit of sleep can give you the power to push through the day and be productive when you’re feeling like you can’t keep goin’ anymore. But make sure to be self-disciplined: don’t keep hitting snooze, but give yourself an incentive to get up, such as a good ol’ cuppa joe.

BALANCE YOUR TIME!

One of the most important tips I can give you is to just be self-aware of your productivity. If you know you’re overworking yourself, make sure to give yourself time to relax, let loose, and have fun! Reward yourself for your hard work when you know you deserve it. Make plans with friends or just let yourself sit back and veg on the couch! But this goes both ways: if you know you’ve been slacking a bit and you’re stressed from your lack of productivity in the face of a million daunting tasks, don’t be too hard on yourself.

Beating yourself up and calling yourself a failure isn’t going to do you any good. Remind yourself that you are capable of doing great things, pull your bootstraps on, and get your shit done! Take it little by little, assuring you’re not trying to get too much done in a short period of time. Honestly, the hardest part of doing anything is just starting. Type out that title page, start that outline, pull out that textbook, and break out those highlighters. Tell yourself that the task is NOT bigger than you and that you can take it.

Make sure to stay focused though — as I said before: if you know you haven’t been too productive lately, make sure to be intentional about how you’re spending your time. Don’t lay in bed for six hours if you know you have things to do, even if they’re stressing you out. In the end, your lack of productivity will make yourself feel MORE stressed in the end, and can affect the way you view yourself, which has a direct correlation to the quality of your mental health!

LOVE YOURSELF!

I hope some of these tips help you out. But honestly, give yourself a damn break. You’ve got this! You’re doing great. I know all these things are easier said than done, but just make sure you’re taking it all little by little. It’s not the end of the world if you mess up. We all do it – none of us are perfect students – or perfect people at that. Just try your best, plan as much as you can, and make sure you’re doing everything that’s in your best interest. You’ve made it this far, and honestly, that’s a huge achievement in itself! And as I’m sure you don’t hear this enough, I’m proud of you.

Written by: Olivia Flores
Featured Image: Prescence.io

Looking at the Styles of Harry

Harry Styles was a teenager thrown into stardom and afraid of the world’s judgment. Now, Harry Styles is a confident 25-years-old ready to express himself in spite of judgment. He has grown, and I have grown with him.

I have been a fan of Harry Styles since elementary school. When I was younger I kept a picture of him in my binder and today I have a painted picture of his album cover hanging over my bed, so clearly I have not grown out of my adoration for him. Since I have been a fan for quite a while, I remember seeing pictures of him walking around in Jack Wills hoodies and baggy pants thinking he is the coolest guy in the world to working with Gucci and still believing that he’s the coolest guy in the world. A large part of why I admire him is because I got to witness his transition from dressing like a typical teenage boy to someones who’s unafraid to experiment with his looks while still knowing himself.

His Famous Suits

When people think about Harry Styles’ style, their minds often go to his suits. His suits can vary from looking posh and classic to striking, fun, and unique. Although I don’t want to give Harry Styles much credit for changing the way we see clothing and gender, I respect that he explores femininity and mixes it with his sense of masculinity. If I didn’t have to drop out of college to be able to afford them, I would love to wear many of his suits (we all know suits look better on women).

A Casual Style Icon

Even if Harry isn’t performing or attending an award show in one of his famous suits, he still manages to be a style icon on his casual days. He often wears bright floral shirts that make him stand out since people definitely would not recognize him walking around town. Not only do I love the colors and designs of his floral shirts but I love them because it is a look that is easy for me to copy, even though our price ranges are significantly different. Sometimes Harry is seen wearing sweater vests that remind me of an older gentleman feeding ducks at a pond, which means his sweater vests are some of my favorite looks.

Love on Tour

With Harry Styles releasing his tour dates recently, it may seem like I’m writing this article and calling him a “style icon” in hopes that he will happen to find this article and give me free tickets to his show, and that’s part of the reason, but I truly do love his style and what he stands for. Harry often emphasizes the importance of kindness and acceptance, which can be seen at his shows. When performing, he sometimes wears outfits that may seem too flashy or unusual but that shows he is unapologetically himself. By being comfortable with himself, he is showing fans that it is acceptable to be whoever they want to be and wear whatever they want, even if someone else doesn’t approve. His concerts have become a safe haven for fans, like myself, around the world because we got to grow up with him. I don’t have tickets yet, but I am already getting my outfit ready for Harry Styles’ Love on Tour.

Written By: Maya Dixon
Photos By: Michael Leckie, Getty Images, Shutterstock, Helene Marie Pambrun, Robert Kamau

Peep This Joint: Dave East – Survival Album Review

The buzz around Harlem rapper Dave East is larger than ever with the release of his debut album, Survival executively produced by the legend Nas himself. 

The album recently dropped on November 8th and features a star-studded cast of guest appearances such as Nas, Rick Ross, Teyana Taylor and Ty Dolla Sign. With a total of 20 songs that run for a little over an hour, it’s clear to see that East came prepared to tell his story to the masses.

He holds respect in the rap game as he has released numerous mixtapes and is adept at collaborating with both veteran guests such as Nas and Cam’ron as well as younger emcees like Gunna and A-Boogie. Over time he refined his signature gritty New York sound and it reflects with how polished Survival sounds. Since the release of his first mixtape in 2010, his debut album clearly portrays a seasoned rapper comfortable in his element as he gives listeners a glimpse into different parts of his life. 

A standout track from the album is the song, “On My Way 2 School” where he invites listeners to be in his shoes as he retells harsh experiences walking to school. East vividly paints how violent and dangerous the journey was just to go to school in a rough neighborhood: 

“On my way to school (On my way) / 

Nike’s and Adidas on my way to school (Either or) / 

You ever seen a homicide on your way to school? (Boom!) / 

You never seen your homie Mama cry on your way to school (Never).” 

Another standout song is “Mama I Made It” which is a love letter to the woman who raised him. The track exudes a classic ‘90s feel as East boasts his admiration for his mother. Reminiscing on the past when his mom slapped him when he “used to try to cuss” to brighter days today where “she aint never gotta worry ’bout no rent,” it’s clear to see the love. Having a song dedicated to your mother on an album is always a respectable and welcomed move and Dave East clearly outdid himself on this one.

The Harlem rapper revealed in an interview with legendary west coast radio host Big Boy that he listened to all of his favorite rappers’ first albums to prepare his mindset for his own.

“I went and played 50’s Get Rich or Die Tryin’. Snoop’s Doggystyle, Nas and Illmatic,” East said. “I played everybody’s first album just to see what their energy was at. Like ‘What time was you on when you knew this was your debut to the world?’.”

Overall the decision proved to be a wise move as his debut album is a shining example of his lyrical gift and vivid storytelling. This album is definitely one of the most solid albums released so far this year and is a must-listen. 

Go peep this joint right now!

Rating: 9/10

Written by: Johann Oribello

The Outfits of Cherbourg

As I was getting dressed, I was thinking about where my style comes from. I knew it definitely has some influences and after looking at all of my favorite pieces, I realized that I dress like the women from the movies and television shows I watch.

When I find myself relating to a character I start to incorporate pieces of them in myself because even though their reality is fictitious, the emotions that their stories make me feel are real. Lately, my style has been largely influenced by the character Geneviève (Catherine Deneuve) from the movie The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, directed by Jacques Demy. I have never experienced heartbreak from my significant other getting drafted to go to war, but I know the feeling of seeing life as soft, bright, and clear only to have your expectations that you assumed were true be altered by unforeseen circumstances. I will not spoil the story of the movie in case you haven’t seen it, but I will mention my love for Geneviève’s clothes that I wish to make my own. 

1. Sweaters

Geneviève’s sweaters are what ties many of her simpler outfits together. Her cardigans matched with her bows create a dainty and charming look that I adore.

Credit: The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964)

2. Coats  

I hope the weather finally gets colder in San Diego because I am ready to wear coats! Geneviève’s coats make her look elegant and pristine, a look that I strive to emulate.    

Credit: The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964)

3. Color

Color is an important aspect of this film because the colors of the characters’ clothing often match the background colors, which can also show how the characters are feeling. I chose blue clothing for this collage because I think blue best captures the feeling of despair and loss that the movie is trying to convey. Colors are very important to me when I’m considering my style because bright colors remind me of the vibrancy of youth. Although as we get older we may see our lives less and less through the perspective of a technicolor lens, sometimes through bright colors we are reminded of the fun, hope, and liveliness we carried as children. 

Credit: The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964)

I can watch movies repeatedly simply for the costumes.

Not everyone enjoys watching musicals, especially ones that involve the characters singing every single line, but I believe that The Umbrellas of Cherbourg is a great movie to watch for those of you who admire when a significant amount of care is put into the details of costumes and cinematography. If you’re looking for a change in your style you should watch some of your favorite movies to see if any of the outfits represent you.

Written By: Maya Dixon