How I’m Keeping Myself Well-Grounded This School Year

Oh deeeeaaaar, another school year is upon us but, though I’m entering my fourth year, I’m determined not to let those pesky fourth-year-frumps get the better of me. In this article I’ve compiled just a few ways that I plan to keep myself well-grounded this semester in the hopes that I will learn to take better care of myself and that you will find inspiration for better shaping your life.

Writing down everything.

No one has a perfect memory, least of all me. I’m no stranger to getting lost in my own thoughts or forgetting something that I told myself I had to remember. I’ve recently unearthed a remarkably simple solution my problem, however: just write it down. As of late my dreams have been quite vivid (and bizarrely topical considering I have no conscious control over them) so I’ve taken to writing about them. It’s a lot of fun to look back on my notes and try to decipher my dreams. In the same vein, I’ve determined this year to begin writing down everything on my schedule and keeping a journal on my thoughts. If I have a big assignment due, I’ll write it down and put the memo in a visible place. If something interesting happens to me over the course of the day that may be a neat story to tell my friends, I’ll jot it down in my journal. If a crazy idea for a new invention pops into my brain, guess what I’m going to do. Why let important dates and excellent ideas slip away when pen and paper can immortalize them for me? Doing these things takes next to no effort and I hope they will aid me in keeping my mind organized.




(Photo courtesy of


Doing something completely different from my area of study.

I worked in Charlottesville this summer as a camp counselor and part of the job was to decorate the walls of my campers’ suite (my theme was Game of Thrones and it looked ~sick~). Working with my hands turned out to be very therapeutic. I’m a history and government major and, while I love both of those subjects and the work that goes along with them, it was refreshing to make something tangible and get a little messy rather than reading and writing as I ordinarily do for school. While I pored over my artwork, I found that my mind was on only it. All other stressors in my life seemed to vanish. My plan this year, therefore, is to do small art projects alongside my curricular work. If all goes well, my projects ought to be a good creative outlet and my stress levels will be substantially lessened.



Not to flex but here’s one of my  GOT-themed dorm decorations ;)

(Photo courtesy of Colin Little)

Thinking above myself.

On far too many occasions have I found myself being far too unproductive for far too long. Hours can go by while I watch YouTube videos, scroll through Twitter, or play games and I should be doing something else. I know it’s good to take breaks while you work but I take loooooooooooong breaks and it really eats into my productivity. Recently, however, I happened upon a new way of thinking that should help. Rather than thinking on my own level - about what might make me happy in the moment, about all the things I don’t want to do, etc. - I plan to think above myself. I will take a bird’s-eye-view of my own life. If I were to watch a movie about Colin Little, would I be interested in what I saw? If a friend or loved one of mine were to view the Colin Movie, would they be pleased or disappointed? I know I wouldn’t enjoy watching me watching hours of YouTube trash. I would much rather see a film about a person working hard, meaningfully enjoying themselves, and doing something important with their time. So when I inevitably find myself putting off important tasks for a quick procrastination-fix, I’ll remind myself that there’s definitely going to be a movie made about my life one day and I really want people to enjoy it.




(Photo courtesy of


Of course you the reader don’t have to do exactly as I plan to this school year, but I hope these ideas will inspire you in some way to be the best student you can be. This is a new semester, a fresh start. Best of luck to everyone!