6 Small Changes I Made That Make Life So Much Easier

We've all wondered how to deal with stress in our lives; Coming from a student who's trying to balance school, work, a social life, and personal time, I'm here to tell you that it is possible to alleviate some of the stress that might arise from all of that - and it's easier to manage than you probably expected.

1. Putting Laundry Away Right After It’s Done

This sounds like common sense, but we’ve all been there: you put the clean laundry on your bed - intending to put it away in a few minutes - but a few minutes turns into a few hours, then a few days, and then you’re trying to live around the clothes that are now occupying much of your room’s space. Trust me when I say that having a clean, organized room improves your quality of life significantly. There’s something super satisfying about having a tidy space, and it’s easy to maintain if you don’t let it get out of control.

Yasmine Boheas

2.  Getting Started on Long-Term Assignments Early in the Semester

Again, I’m not going to judge because we all know what it feels like to have an assignment due at 11:59pm and see that the clock says 12:06am. I recommend creating an outline or general idea for how you plan on approaching the assignment - that way you can feel like you’ve accomplished something. It sounds crazy, but I only started making outlines for my papers during my freshman year of college. If you’re able to work on assignments throughout the semester rather than all at once, it’ll be less likely that assignments creep up on you.

3.  Combining My Syllabi Into One Word Document

This might sound like a lot of work, but I promise that it makes the semester a lot less intimidating. Personally, I organize it by week and color-code each class. I label each week, and write the big assignments in bold or italicized font. I thought it was easier than having to frantically flip through five different syllabi everyday to check when things are due. Here’s an example of the format I use (but imagine it's color-coded):

 

WEEK 1

(Art History) Mon. 2/24: Read chapters 4-6 for Wed.

(Seminar) Tues. 2/25: Make appt. with Prof. by 3/12

(Poetry) Wed. 2/26: CH. 5 QUIZ FRI.

(Art) Thurs. 2/27: Sketches due Tues.

(Poly Sci) Fri. 2/28: PAPER DUE NEXT WED.

The Lalalaptop Phone Coffee

4.  Buying A Planner

An alternative to combining your syllabi is to buy an in-depth planner. I think it’s helpful to have both, but it certainly won’t make or break your routine. You’re only as organized as you try to be. The planners I’ve been using for the past few years all have monthly calendars where I can write small reminders to myself. Having a calendar is nice if you want to see what your month is going to look like. They also have pages with room to write in what you have to do day by day.

Silver macbook by planner and flowers

5.  Making Lists to Stay Organized

My mom has always made lists like it was her job, but I’m honestly so glad I inherited that trait from her. Whenever I get overwhelmed, I always feel that writing down everything I need to do improves my mood significantly. I don’t know how, but by pinpointing what it is that I need to get done, my stress is partially (but magically) alleviated. Having a lot on your mind can make you feel scattered, but making a list neatly sums up what’s going on.

new years resolution no resolution

6.  Checking the Weather for the Week

Okay, I know this sounds weird, but hear me out: Checking the weather app for the week’s forecast can help you have an idea of what you want to wear each day. I’m not saying you need to plan out your outfits in advance every day (but go ahead if you want to). This is something that I’ve found pretty helpful because if I know that tomorrow’s going to be sunny, I don’t have to scramble in the morning trying to figure out how to dress - which is especially true now that the weather’s allowing for some beautiful days here in NYC!

Window Sun Curtains Plants Apartment

 

These are some things that I've started to live by, as they've had a positive impact on my day-to-day life. I hope some of these tips help you feel a little more organized, a little more in control, and a little less stressed!