Getting back on track

It’s a little over a month into the spring semester, and I don’t know about you, but I am starting to get behind on things. My apartment looks pretty disastrous, my to-do lists (when i have the time to make them) are getting longer, I am finding loose papers scattered in my binders, books, and room, and I am simply not using my time well because I am so tired. I am determined to get back on track though. If you want to too, here are a few tips that have helped me before.

1. Make the decision to change your ways. Lent just started so it’s the perfect opportunity to get your act together, but you have to make a commitment to yourself to make a change, to become organized, to be more productive. Maybe ask someone to hold you accountable and check in with you.

2. Take it slow if you need to. Try doing 1 thing a day. If you apartment looks as bad as mine, take 10 or 20 minutes of your day and focus on the kitchen or laundry or your desk. You don’t have to do it all in 1 day.

3. Schedule everything. Some people have a hard time with this, but if you want to make sure something gets done, scheduling it will force you to manage your time wisely. I use Microsoft Outlook because I can color-code everything :) You can even schedule in naps and veg time.

4. Don’t feel guilty about taking some time to do nothing productive. It’s good for your mind to get a rest by reading something for pleasure, catching up on your favorite shows on Hulu, or taking a nap. The problem comes when you do this for an extended period of time. I am very guilty of accidentally watching 4 hours worth of Netflix before I remember I have a paper due the next day. This is when scheduling everything is helpful.

5. Make sure you are eating well. I have noticed the more unbalanced my meals are, the less productive and more tired I am . Try not to grab anything just to get food in your stomach. Take the time to eat a real meal at least twice a day. Don’t forget to drink water through out the day too.

Do you have any tips that have helped you? Share them below!

St. Edward’s University Homecoming 2012

I love February! Not just because it is my birthday month, but because it holds my favorite week of the whole year: Homecoming week.

Homecoming week at St. Edward’s is the most fun, spirited, and exciting week in the entire year. I never feel more at home on the Hilltop than I do during this week. Why? It is a time to simply celebrate being a part of one big family, a time to celebrate being a Hilltopper, a time to celebrate our mission, values, and the impact St. Edward’s has had on so many lives. There is a spirit in the air during Homecoming week that I can’t help but react to.

Competing for the Topper Cup, gambling and dancing at Casino Night, tailgating with friends, cheering on our athletic teams, celebrating mass with and blessing our parents (or pseudo-parents), eating the best brunch ever made. These are a few of my favorite (Homecoming) things. Here they are in pictures:

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Localing

So I invented a new game. A few weeks ago I was driving home from my internship and was not looking forward to another game night, Netflix, or homework. I just wanted to take my camera and do what I promised myself I would do this semester: take time to do what I love and experience Austin. So I called up a few friends, we got in my car (Tuscon Joe), and I started driving. We ended up at Mozart’s, a local coffee shop on Town Lake. We bought a brownie, took a few pictures, and caught up.

Once the sun had set we debated on what to do next. Unfortunately the 3 of us are the most indecisive people ever. So we decided to ask a stranger. Our stranger of choice was a barista behind the counter. He suggested Halcyon, a coffee house, bar, and lounge downtown. So we got in Tuscon Joe and started driving again inventing my new favorite Friday night activity I am going to call Localing.

Here’s how you play:

1. Get some friends and a camera and drive to any new place in whatever city or town you are currently in. You can just start driving until you see a new place with a cool name or you can pick a random spot on a map. It doesn’t matter. Just start driving and stop eventually.

2. Once you get there, take it in and experience wherever you are. Have a drink, read a book, take some pictures, play a game, whatever you want.

3. After you feel like you have experienced this new place, ask a stranger where to go next. Tell them about localing or make up a story about how you are the host of a new TV series that explores local spots in different towns. It doesn’t matter. Just get a new placeĀ  to go to.

4. Go there and repeat all the steps until you are ready for bed.

To add to the difficulty, make up some more rules. You can make it a competition among a larger group of friends and see who can find to coolest or most unique places. You can make it a rule to not turn down any new place a stranger suggests. Do whatever you want. Just get out of your house and experience your city or town.

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