I am currently in my second semester of graduate school. I took a year off after undergrad to start my big girl job and decide if I wanted to go back to school or not. I am now earning my master's degree in Public Administration at the same place I earned my undergrad degree. Last semester was a bit rough at times since I was juggling a full-time job and taking classes, but I think this semester will be a lot better even with taking more hours. Currently I work an 8-5 day with night class once a week. One class is pretty much entirely online and the other two classes alternate being in the classroom and being online the same night a week. I plan to be in the library at least three other nights a week.
Here are things that I use to ensure that I stay awake during class, manage my time effectively, and have fun while in grad school:
- Sturdy bag- My sister gave me a monogrammed bag for my wedding present earlier this year. It's large enough to fit my laptop, notebook, and folders without being too large that it's hard to carry. It has easy accessible side pockets so I can stuff by phone and keys during class and grab them to make a quick escape as soon as class is over. I prefer a bag over book bag because I can also use it for a work bag, gym bag, or even a grocery bag when needed. I think my sister ordered mine from a thirty-one gift consultant. I can't find my print but here is the bag.
- Pencil pouch- I keep a small bag in my tote to keep up with my pens, index cards, sticky notes, and most importantly, a spare iPhone charger. You can use a random makeup bag or even a zipper baggy, but I like to use a canvas pencil pouch that my company makes.
- Highlighters- I cannot stress how important highlighters are to me. I color code my wall planner and desk planner with highlighters to show when my classes meet and when assignments are do. I also use them to highlight my notes or textbooks while studying.
- Infinity scarf and cardigan- My school's library is notorious for being 0 degrees even in the middle of summer. I like to bring a lightweight scarf and cardigan with me to class and the library because they are easy to layer and dress up any outfit, even one consisting of yoga pants and an old sorority tee. Here are two affordable options from JC Penney.
- Protein shakes- I bought a Magic Bullet after the holidays and am in love with it! It seriously takes about a minutes to put everything into the cup and stick it on the blender to make a delicious protein shake. I use 1 cup of 1% milk, 1 scoop of Muscle Milk Light powder, and 1 cup of frozen berries. For a total of 6 Weight Watchers points I have a delicious meal or snack that keeps me full until my next meal time.
- Lilly Pulitzer Large Agenda- Unlike most of the sorority girls I know, I'm not a huge Lilly fan. I love the prints but can't justify spending so much money on things you can't wear a lot or clash with other prints. However, I do love the brand's large agenda because it has plenty of room to make daily lists and the graphics make me smile every time I open it. The best thing about it? It is a 17 month planner, so it doesn't run out of pages as soon as the new year is over.
- Pilot G-2 07 pens- I use these pens for everything whether I'm at school or work. They have a fine tip and smooth ink that doesn't transfer. I'm partial to the red ones because that's what I use to edit papers at work.
What are your must haves for surviving school? I would love to learn some new tips and products!