How Goal Setting Can Lead to a Successful Semester

Heading back to school after a relaxing summer can seem chaotic and overwhelming, and settling back into a daily routine sometimes takes a while. Whether you’re juggling a job with clubs and classes, or just focusing on academics, it’s important to consistently keep your 20/20 vision in check with goal setting and planning.


Using a planner is extremely helpful for organizing daily, weekly, and even monthly events and deadlines. Writing out your schedule of classes, work, and clubs helps to visualize how much free time you have. It’s suddenly much easier to make time for school work, friends, and most importantly, yourself, once everything is laid out.

Some great planners can quickly get on the expensive side, but that shouldn’t deter you from organizing and planning your little heart out. You can always create your own scheduling or to-do list templates on a spreadsheet program like Microsoft Excel or even Google Sheets. Creating your own planner will encourage you to keep up with it, and even allow your creative juices to flow every once in a while. All it takes to create your dream planner is a few clicks and colorful pens.

PHOTO: Kenia Viezcas

Goal Setting

While using a planner is great for the smaller picture, goal setting is just as important. Planning for the future can be intimidating and overwhelming, but setting up a plan for achieving your dreams makes it much easier. The most important step in goal setting is writing them down. Whether you keep them on your computer, journal, or hang them up in your bedroom, it’s important to be able to look at them on a daily basis. Whenever you’re struggling, simply think back to your goals to remind yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing and give yourself a little pep talk.

Breaking down your goals into manageable bits makes them much less intimidating. Your goals should always be specific, measurable, challenging, and timely. For example, if you want to work towards an active lifestyle, challenge yourself to exercise at least three days a week. Once that becomes too easy, start working your way up to six days a week, or simply increase the amount of time you spend working out. Always keep a record of your progress to remind yourself how far you have come from wherever it is you started (and don’t be afraid to occasionally reward yourself.)

PHOTO: Madison Paloski

Above all, your goals should be achievable. Don’t try to make the big leap at once because it’s easier to lose motivation that way. Start with the smaller steps and create a schedule for yourself, no matter how long it takes. Once you set your goals, write them down, plan your timeline, and you’ll be able to take on this (and every) semester with a clear vision and a new dose of productivity.

What goals are you currently working toward? Tell us all about them on social media by tagging @Cfashionista.

Additional photos by Emily Truong

3 Reasons to Maintain an Active Lifestyle This Semester

As college students, the many aspects of our lives on campus often come with overwhelming demands. You may have exams and assignments due for each class in one week and you still might have to try to find time to work a few shifts. Most days, it’s a struggle to breathe freely. Somehow we find the time to squeeze each of these important events into our already tight schedules, so why should we make excuses when it comes to an active lifestyle?

Like most things in life, it’s always a good idea to weigh things out from a cost-benefit viewpoint. When it comes to getting active, the cost is valuable time. Meanwhile, among the list of benefits are stress relief, an increase in energy, and overall balance, just to name a few. Setting aside an hour of your day just a few times a week can help make micromanaging the chaos of life much easier.

PHOTO: Jordyn Wissert

Natural Stress Relief

When blocking out that hour of your day, don’t think of it as an hour of working out—think of it as an hour to yourself. Whether you detach from social media and school work to go for a nice walk around campus, grab a yoga mat, or hit the gym, focus all of your energy into that moment. Let your body’s chemistry take over for a bit and allow yourself to leave behind the insignificant tasks for a while. Once you’re finished with that sweat sesh, simply return to your duties with a more open, productive, and active mindset.

Energy Boosts

Contrary to popular belief, working out can actually leave you with more energy rather than tear you down. Setting your alarms just half an hour earlier can help make your day more productive rather than leaving you dragging your feet. Once you get that blood flowing (and maybe grab a cup of coffee or tea), you’ll be ready to throw on your favorite shoes and walk into that 8 a.m. class with a smile on your face and a little pep in your step.

Overall Balance

Designating time to workout helps you fall into a routine of healthy habits. Before you know it, you won’t have to force yourself to get to the gym or to disconnect; you’ll grab your gym bag on your way out the door in the mornings already pumped for that time to yourself. Staying active may even help you sleep better (and what college student actually gets enough sleep?) Think of working out as a midday reboot. Productive time to focus on yourself essentially leads to clearing and relaxing your mind, allowing you to slay the day with productivity.

Are you lacing up your sneakers yet? Share your favorite workouts with us on social media by tagging @Cfashionista!

ALL IN THE DETAILS: Living for Lace

When Mother Nature finally makes the executive decision to call it spring, it’s pretty hard to contain your excitement. There’s just this indescribable feeling of happiness when you can say “See you later” to each of your bulky, marshmallow-like winter coats. But when a day or two of summer weather slips into the mix? Well, let’s just say that you could smell the excitement in the air as you walk through campus.

On this particular day, it was near 90 degrees, so it was time for this Fashionista to break out her summer wardrobe. The best part of this outfit is how simple and effortless it is to put together. This Fashionista decided to opt for a solid tank top with a bright pop of turquoise to celebrate the weather. With this, she also added a pair of gray and black acid wash shorts. The duo-toned material helps add some much-needed texture into an outfit that is otherwise plain and basic.

To tie the texture from the shorts in with the rest of her outfit, she opted to show off a black lace bralette. Bralettes are a go-to for any summer look. Not only do they tend to have intricate lace patterns that add flair to any outfit, but they are also extremely comfortable. In the case of this Fashionista’s outfit, the black lace helped the black in her shorts stand out. It also adds that little something that basic tank tops seem to yearn for. To finish off this comfortable look, she framed her outfit nicely with her trusty black Converse, but any sneaker would perfect this look.

The next time you’re surprised with a day filled with summer weather and vibes, try reaching for a bralette, something with a pop of color, and all things lace. None of the above can ever steer you in the wrong direction.

STLYE GURU STYLE: Back to Basics

Here in New Jersey, the weather seems to be having trouble remembering what season it is. One day, it will be nice enough to go out and about without a jacket. The very next day, you may as well be bundled up because it will be snowing. Mother Nature’s hasty decisions can most definitely lead to difficulty when it comes to deciding what to wear on a daily basis. But, I for one, tend to stick to my favorite outfits of all—those cluttered with basics.

On an average day filled with work and classes, it’s important to make sure my style is on point, but also that I am comfortable enough to spend 12 plus hours out of my dorm. That’s why my go-to tag team seems to be jeans and a trusty sweater. When you put in the extra effort to wear a pair of jeans, it sends off that exact message to everyone else. It shows that you are ready to take on the day and that you didn’t just roll out of bed and throw on a pair of leggings, for instance. A sweater is also that perfect middle ground where you can still add another layer on the cooler days, yet be comfortable enough when it’s a little warmer out.

Shoes and accessories truly depend on the temperature. When it is on the colder side, like it was on this day, I will throw on one of my favorite pairs of combat boots. When the sun decides to shine bright, I love to cuff up my jeans and throw on a casual pair of Vans or Converse. Last but not least, you cannot forget to add a chic bracelet and a choker or two. I mean come on, how can you successfully take on a day without at least one choker?

BEAUTY BAR: Snow Day Smokey

As a child, the best part about the snow was always the possibility of a day filled with sledding, snowmen, and most importantly, no school. Once you get to college, you’re more than likely going to be found wrapped up in the comfort of blankets, pajamas, and hot chocolate in your dorm room when those snow days actually roll around. But when the last snowstorm hit, this Fashionista had another idea.

Instead of spending the day binge watching her favorite Netflix series, she took the extra time to play around with makeup and ended up creating this sultry yet subtle smokey eye that was perfect for this winter day. She smoked out her classic wing and lined her waterline in a dark blue for a twist on a classic look.The pop of glitter on her eyelids glistened just like the fresh coat of snow, which was a nice touch. Can one really go wrong when it comes to glitter, though? She finished off the classic look with a bold lip in order to tie it all together. To recreate this twist on a classic, try using gel eyeliner or eyeshadow for your wing so that it is easier to smoke out. You could also try intensifying this smokey eye by adding darker eyeshadow to help transition from day to night.

To complete the look, this Fashionista decided to go for an outfit with lots of layers in order to keep herself warm, yet still stylish. By adding a pair of black tights, she was able to introduce her favorite summer dress to the snow. Opting for the dress also allowed her to showcase her Japanese socks, which not only perfectly framed her outfit with gray accents but had an inspirational message for onlookers to appreciate. A chunky scarf and beanie also topped the list of this Fashionista’s snow day essentials.

The next time Mother Nature decides to surprise you with a day off from classes, think twice about spending the day in front of your laptop. Instead, take the time to do the things that you wouldn’t normally have much time for like reading a book or revamping your makeup routine for a new go-to look.

STYLE GURU BIO: Jillian Reyes

Hey fellow Fashionistas! The name’s Jillian, or Jill for short—I’m not too picky. I’m a sophomore at Rutgers University, studying journalism and media studies, and returning for my second semester with CollegeFashionista. As exciting as being a Style Guru was last semester, I decided to amp it up a notch and join the Editorial Society this time around. The amount of valuable information that I was able to take with me after just one short semester left a craving for anything I could get my hands on to expand my horizons into the world of fashion.

Aside from the love for fashion that we all share, all things beauty and fitness also seem to occupy my heart. I am that person that needs at least a half hour warning before leaving the house to ensure that my winged eyeliner is perfectly even and my smokey eye is blended to perfection. But at the same time, I am also the one who wakes up at the crack of dawn, even when my classes don’t start until noon for the day, for a morning gym session. I am an avid coffee drinker and concert goer alike, and I cherish every moment I get to spend on various adventures with friends.

As for my style, I’m not sure where to begin. If you catch me on a day riddled with essays and exams, you will likely find me suited in my favorite leggings (which happen to fall into the beloved athleisure trend we all seem to adore). Comfy and chic at the same time? That’s a winner in my book. However, on your typical day, you’ll likely catch some aspect of the ’90s in my outfit as the fashion of this beloved decade seems to be making a comeback, and I’m living for every moment of it. What even is a good day without chokers and flannels?

Well, that’s enough babble for this post. Make sure to check back throughout the semester to see what I’m going on about next. For now, may your coffee be strong and your eyeliner be even.

STYLE GURU STYLE: Comfort Over All

The leaves are finally falling and the weather is beginning to chill, so that can only mean one thing: sweater weather! Sweaters are most definitely among the warmest, cutest and comfiest ways to approach the colder temperatures.

On any given day of the week, you can most definitely find me wandering campus wrapped in the arms of my favorite knit sweater. One of my favorite aspects of the staple wardrobe piece is the versatility. You can easily pair a sweater with your favorite pair of jeans, or even your favorite pair of leggings if you’re looking for that extra step of comfort. Whether you’re dressing up for a long day on campus or a night out with your friends, sweaters can do you no harm.

To make my go-to outfit seem even more cozy, I love to add in my favorite pair of booties. These maroon booties add the perfect touch of warmth and color into any signature outfit. A small heel also screams out both comfort and style as you strut through the center of campus.

On top of the cozy sweaters and perfect heeled booties, I can’t help but wear a vest. The perfect puff of the vest makes it seem like you are walking around wrapped in a pillow (and who doesn’t want to do just that?). They are also perfect for those mid-fall days where it’s too warm to break out the winter jackets, yet too chilly to venture out without some sort of outer layer, really just the perfect middle ground.

While keeping style in mind throughout those chilly fall days, I for one will never rank such looks over comfort—I like to live the best of both worlds.

ALL IN THE DETAILS: Trinkets, Tricks and Treats

Now that fall is in full swing, and Halloween is right around the corner, one can’t resist trying to fit in as many seasonal festivities as possible into the shortest span of time. But as much as we may hate to admit it, there are only so many outfits that seem to scream “fall!” at us. That’s exactly where accessorizing comes into play. Adding an intricate necklace to an outfit can help in making it seem brand new, and can also aid in adding a personal touch. With just the right necklace, and maybe the perfect pair of shoes, an outfit can easily be transformed from either bleak to chic or from one season to another.

While out and about, I spotted this Fashionista in the pumpkin patch near campus (which is very exciting within itself). While first noticing the lace detailing in her shirt, her necklace is what really caught my eye. At first, I just thought that it was a very interesting piece. With a second look, I noticed the levels of detail put into such a small piece of art. The way the seastone is enveloped in twine adds a rustic and naturalistic vibe to the outfit as a whole, and truly adds a unique touch. To top it all off, she bought this handmade necklace from a flea market in São Paulo, Brazil. One can only hope that some of the heat traveled with her now that the fall temperatures are slowly but surely dropping.

While the necklace brings in the summer atmosphere, the construction boots bring us back into this much colder reality (at least in New Jersey). The color of these boots  adds flair to the outfit since they match the twine on the necklace, helping connect the outfit from bottom to top. Construction boots are also among the list of best boots for the season because of their levels of comfort, warmth and versatility. The sweater-like trim on these boots really helps in making this outfit seem extra comfortable, cozy, and perfect for fall. Now going against my personal set of Halloween rules, I’m going to have to avoid the tricks and treats this year and go for the trinkets because they truly do make a world of a difference when putting together your favorite fall outfit. 


WHAT TO WEAR: Back to Rompers

Now that pumpkin spice lattes are back, it’s safe to say that it’s officially fall. Now even though fall is most definitely my favorite season, it  has its ups and downs. For starters, it means that it’s time to head back to campus and get back into gear with school work and college life. But, that also means reuniting with your friends, and also time to kick back into (arguably) the best season for fashion.

The start of a new semester is always one of my favorite times of the year because everyone still has enough motivation to dress their best. During free time between classes, one of the best activities is to simply sit outside and watch out for the best Fashionistas/os on campus to pick up some quality inspiration. I spotted this Fashionista one day who seemed to perfectly sum up fall fashion with one article of clothing—a romper.

Rompers are definitely a go-to outfit for fall. They are perfect for those chilly fall mornings since you can find them with long sleeves, or they are thin enough to throw a light jacket or cardigan over. But at the same time rompers themselves are hearty enough to suffice as an outfit on their own once the afternoon sun swings into full gear. This romper in particular features a trendy criss-cross neckline which definitely adds flair into such a simple outfit. With a rustic color scheme to top it all off, this Fashionista is ready for fall.

When it comes down to heading back to campus in style, rompers should definitely be a staple in everyone’s closet. They are versatile, simple yet classy enough to rock from day-to-night. They are perfect for those difficult days where you simply can’t decide between comfort or style, and for the days where it seems like nothing in your closet is worth wearing. Rompers truly are the best of both worlds.

STYLE GURU BIO: Jillian Reyes

Hey friends, my name is Jillian! I am a sophomore at Rutgers University currently majoring in journalism and media studies. My main goal in life is to able to spend my time doing what I love. In my case, that just happens to be doing anything and everything that revolves around fashion, so I am thrilled to be able to be a part of CollegeFashionista this semester!

As a little girl, you could always find me “designing clothes” in my free time at home, as well as in the margins of my notebooks at school. I have always been grasped by the surplus of creativity and inspired minds surrounding the fashion industry—I simply can’t get enough. I spent my high school years studying fashion design and merchandising. There I got a taste of both the designing aspects of the industry, as well as a sneak peek into the business side. I quickly learned that I didn’t love sewing as much as I thought I would. But around the same time, I rediscovered my passion for reading and writing. Now with a little bit more knowledge under my belt, I know that I am ready  to take the steps to thrust myself into the world of fashion and to one day thrive in the journalism sector.

Aside from the love for fashion that we all share, I also love everything to do with beauty and fitness. I am that person that needs at least a half hour warning before leaving to go out because I need to make sure my winged eyeliner is perfectly even. But at the same time, I am also the one who wakes up my roommates on the weekends to join me for a morning gym session. I am an avid coffee drinker and concert goer alike, and I cherish every moment I get to spend on various adventures with my friends.

To kick off the fall, I decided to pair a flowy tank top with an intricate neckline with my favorite pair of ripped jeans. I couldn’t resist adding a classic pair of black heeled booties because booties just seem to scream fall, or is that just me? This outfit tends to mirror my personality quite well if you ask me: fun, edgy and basic.

I am looking forward to a great semester ahead, I can’t wait to see what’s in store for us all!