By Moira September 7, 2018 In College

Semester Snapshot: Back to School!

College has begun and the fall semester is in full swing. Let me tell you, I am already exhausted. This semester is going to be a busy one for me. Between my jobs, blogging, 19 credits, and attempting to gave a social life, I’ll be happy to make it out of this one alive. It’s going to take a lot of balancing, but it’s totally doable:

Fall Semester Classes

My semester class schedule dictates pretty much everything else I do. No matter what, school comes first. I budget time & money, sacrificing a lot to make sure school stays a priority. Short term, definitely not fun, but definitely for the better in the long term, I’ll have a post on that soon!

4 in-person classes covering 3 days a week, then my Tuesdays are dedicated to internship & independent study. So far, my classes don’t seem too too tough, but it’s definitely not going to be an easy semester. The independent stuff is definitely going to be tough, and I am absolutely dreading the Management Information Systems the most, because what even is that?? I guess I’ll find out!

Work Schedule

Next comes work. I’m really lucky that my boss is so flexible. My work schedule varies every semester, depending on my school schedule. My boss’s only ask is that I try to avoid having two days off in a row, since it makes a little backlog in the office. I work in the office from 9-3 on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. Occasionally I do little things on the go, and on snow days I usually work from home.

On top of this, I also tutor two days a week, and volunteer with Family Promise of Southern Ocean County. My tutoring schedule can change some, but this semester, it’s going to be pretty tight on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I work with Family Promise on an irregular schedule, unfortunately not as often as I would like to! I run their Instagram, with most posts on Facebook too. I’m hoping to dedicate more time to them, once my schedule settles down.

All of that together, looks something like this:

Tips for Surviving a Busy Semester

Surviving with a crazy busy schedule can be hard, and thriving with it can feel impossible! As someone who tends to over-pack her schedule, I have been on both ends of that. I have succeeded wildly beyond expectations, but I’ve also fallen ass-over-tea kettle into a stressed out ravine. It is definitely not easy to do, so don’t let anyone fool you! I’ve learned a lot from both the successes and the failures, so learn from my busy, stressed out mis/adventures with these top 4 tips:

1. Use a Planner

I never used a planner or agenda in high school, and I got by just fine. But when I got into college, all of that was out the window. Definitely use a planner to write down appointments, homework, quick notes, and anything else that strikes your fancy! I used to use the Lily Pulitzer agendas, but recently splurged to get a leather bound Filofax (similar) that I love! A great investment, and I get my new yearly fillers from Etsy!

2. Build in a Social Life

When I built up this crazy schedule, most importantly I wanted to make sure I made time for the beau. It’s not the only time we go out/see each other, but it’s the one day that I promised I would put away the textbooks and laptop to dedicate to spending time together. Set a day to go out with the girls, to see the boyfriend, to have a family dinner. A way to make sure you’re turning off for a little bit, and seeing the outside world.

3. Schedule a Workout

really like working out. To me, there is no better way to unwind. A good hour plus of sweating is the perfect way to start of end a day. It’s how I get my stress out, it’s how I turn my brain off, and it’s how I feel less bad about eating way more Taco Bell than I should. I use a combination of Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide, classes at the gym, and Yoga with Adrienne, but you can do whatever you feel works best for you! Getting up and moving is so good for your physical and mental health, there is just no substitute for it

4. Use Google Calendar Reminders

I have so many reminders, my Google calendar looks like it belongs to a crazy person. I have them for upcoming events, for class, for projects, for classes at the gym, and best/worst of all, I have them to remind me to drink water. It sounds strange, and it was super weird to get used to putting reminders for everything, but it really is nice to not have to worry about forgetting things as much. Reminders are great for school, using them for long term projects or papers, as well as work, reminding you about that file your boss needed by the end of the day. One of my favorite creative uses is to set a reminder for a random amount of time, say 19 days and 7 hour from now, and remind myself of something nice, a little quote or link to a cute picture. A quick breather from whatever I might be doing nineteen days from now!


This fall semester is going to be a super crazy busy one, but I’m really looking forward to it. Staying organized, being on top of everything, plus improving my self care habits with Slow Down September is really going to get me though it. After this, I will have just one year left until I graduate college. I really, finally am almost done! I’ll check in again with another Semester Snapshot sometime after midterms, probably mid-late October-ish. In the mean time, what are your tips for dealing with hectic schedules and surviving busy semesters?

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