How to Have No Free Time and Not Drown in Sadness

Lately, I have had no free time. By “lately,” I of course mean “since November, when I decided that combining going to school full-time with an internship and a job and some freelance copyediting was a good idea.”

Both because I am a glutton for punishment and the idea of quitting anything or truly letting anyone down gives me the sweats, I have not dropped any of these responsibilities. All of this means that something has got to give, and that something has been my free time, and in turn all of my hobbies, interests, and stupid research holes I spend four hours in.

Every once in a while, when I do find a precious, precious spot of free time, I have felt legitimate stress to use it to its very fullest. Over the past five months (and god help me how has it been only five months), these are some of the solutions I’ve found.

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Screw This, I’m Going to Florida

Those familiar with the television program The Office (U.S.), which is to say every single person who has so much as glanced at a Twitter feed or made passing eye contact with someone with a Netflix subscription, may be aware of a certain subplot in which a few members of our beloved gang of beleaguered paper company employees travel to one of the closest things America has to a tropical paradise: Florida. (Sigh.)

While there, one of their numbers — Stanley, given a blessed portrayal by Leslie David Baker — really goes all in on the Florida aesthetic. He wears sunglasses; he drives a convertible with the top down; he truly rocks myriad Hawaiian shirts. Generally, he seems unwilling and unable to give two sh*ts.

And, in just six weeks, I plan to become him.

My roommate and I are moving to Florida.

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My Startup in YouTube Again

Every weekend as a teenager, I would stay at home and watch YouTube videos hours at an end. I was never bored and there would be times that I would act if I was on camera saying, “I hope you guys liked my video so make sure you like, comment, and subscribe!” I always imagined how life would be like having a YouTube channel, going to VidCon which I still haven’t achieved yet, and doing meet and greets. I wanted my own channel so bad!

Ever since I was 14 years old, I wanted to create a YouTube channel because at the time that was one of my passions and dreams that I had at the top of my list and with a hard “No” rejection from my mom, I turned around and thought that “Well, I guess that’s it for me.” For some reason, as I went onto high school and entered college, I’ve always kept in the back on my mind that I will create my channel one day and live up my YouTube dreams.

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Things To Do During Christmas in College

Being in college only allows you to get out more during the Christmas spirit. It’s time to take a break during this winter season and get out with your friends who are also stuck in their dorm rooms. With more freedom, you can explore the Christmas lights during throughout the night and plan Christmas festivities during the weekends. Here a just a few things that you can do during this Christmas time while in college:

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My Thanksgiving College Haul

My small Kanken backpack, a small duffel bag, and a medium suitcase. All filled up except the suitcase.

Now, why would I need all this for a 5 day Thanksgiving weekend? And I only traveled about 4 hours from Boston to New York City. It may have looked like I have overpacked, but that’s not the case. The suitcase was designed to bring back all the things that I have been craving and needing in the past 2 or 3 months that I have not been home. So, as unravel my suitcase back in my dorm, let me give you a little Thanksgiving break haul.

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When Your Roommate is Your Best Friend

I hate making new friends. It is awkward, and stressful, and involves “putting yourself out there” and “taking risks,” two of my all-time least favorite activities. Also, like most things I hate, I am bad at it.

Which is why after my freshman year of college, I decided to leave a place where I was comfortable and had friends and knew people and was so close to home I could go home any weekend. It makes complete sense that I would abandon that for a city six to eight hours away where I knew no one and would be living with total strangers.

Especially considering the fact that I handled my first new-college experience very well. (Narrator: She did not handle it well.)

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How to Stay on Top of School (Without a Mental Breakdown)

When it comes to school, I have precisely two modes. Either I am living my life as if I have never before attended school, as though for all intents and purposes I am the human equivalent of a tumbleweed, drifting through life with no burdens or responsibilities; or I am a sleepless zombie editing the same sentence of a paper that isn’t due for three days until the sun rises. There is absolutely no in between.

Since high school, I have dedicated all of my energy to making sure that I do not revert into Anthropomorphic Tumbleweed Mode, which means it’s been all school obsession all the time. In the hopes of preventing a mental breakdown or two, I’ve been trying to chill out a bit. Here are some of the ways to maintain that balance.

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How to Survive Commuting

Ah, the city school. There are so many upsides to attending a college in the heart of downtown: the exciting nearby events; the discounted access to museums and fancy cultural stuff; the jaw-dropping number of CVS franchises in a one-block radius. (It is truly mystifying that so many identical retail pharmacies can exist in such close proximity to each other without any threat to business whatsoever.)

However, with all upsides come downsides. Such is the way of the universe. There are two exceptions to this rule: the film Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again, which is perfect, and the food known as the buttered popcorn jelly bean, which is one hundred percent downside and so unabashedly evil it is concrete evidence of the existence of the devil.

Going to college in the city has a downside, and it is this: it is expensive to live in a city, so unless you live on campus, you might have to move to the outskirts. And moving to the outskirts means spending a lot of time on transit. Here are some of my hard-won strategies to surviving my time on the train.

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Tips for Managing Anxiety As a College Student

Coming into college, I experienced some of the worst anxiety of my entire life. The tiniest of problems set me off, sending me spiraling into a fray of worry. I start to sweat, and my heart begins to beat so fast that I feel like I’m running a marathon. Even as the semester comes to an end, I still worry about minor things like whether or not I’ll get to class on time, if I’ll have enough time to do all of my work, and if the library printer is going to have paper (which is a valid worry here at Emerson to be honest).

Some days are worse than others. At times, I’ll spend an entire day almost anxiety free. These are usually the days when I feel most in control of my life, when everything goes exactly to plan. However, there are those days when almost everything falls apart, and I spend every waking hour panicking, a slave to my brain’s irrational worries.

For chaotic days like these, I’ve come up with three foolproof “hacks” that help me manage my life, and thus my anxiety. Please note that these tips won’t work for everyone, and that if you’re dealing with a serious form of anxiety, consult with a medical professional or therapist. However, if you’re looking for some simple ways to try and reduce moderate anxiety throughout your day, keep reading!

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Transferring is Haaaard

Let me paint you a word picture. Remember fall/winter of your senior year of high school? Ah, memories. Memories mainly of the grueling, painful, next-level difficult college application process. Perhaps you did not vehemently hate applying to college, and perhaps even did not irrationally procrastinate doing so whenever possible, but if that is the case then you and I are not the same. Despite this … Continue reading Transferring is Haaaard