A College Girl’s Guide to Creating an Inspiring Study Space

The fall semester is in full swing and it’s time to hit the books. Balancing your course load, internship, and personal projects is hard enough. But staying inspired to keep up the good work while trapped between those totally blah dorm walls? That’s a completely separate struggle. Before the semester gets too crazy, I encourage you to read these simple steps on transforming your dorm desk from bleak to chic. Creating an inspiring study space will help you in the long run, I promise.

PHOTO: Jordyn Wissert

1—Organize, Organize, Organize

When you’re living that college life, space and furniture are limited. Often your dorm desk doubles as your study space, makeup vanity, and dining room table. While that’s perfectly okay, it can get super distracting. The key to avoiding the chaos is organization. Make sure everything has a specific place—from your contour brush to your biology notebook—and studying in your dorm will be a breeze!

PHOTO: Valerie Cammack

2—Get Planning

Similar to organization, keeping planning essentials on your desk is a must. With calendars, agendas, and other scheduling supplies at your fingertips you’ll be constantly aware of deadlines, upcoming events, and goals you’ve set for yourself inspiring you to get your work done.

PHOTO: Anna Coke

3—Liven it Up

No matter how organized your study space is, your cinderblock walls and bland wooden desk won’t be inspiring without a little décor. A major key to making your space perfect for those long hours of studying is decorating in moderation. One of my favorite ways to decorate my study space is with greenery. Plants keep your space feeling lively, but don’t add too much clutter to your desk. Pictures with friends, mementos from home, or posters of your favorite bands are other great ways to add pops of inspiration to your space without being too overpowering.

PHOTO: Anna Coke

4—Set the Mood

Hands down, my favorite way to make my space inspiring is by creating a mood board. Whether you choose to make a wall collage or bulletin board, use magazine cutouts or motivational quotes, mood boards are the perfect way to curate a collection of what is inspiring to you. Whenever you’ve hit a workload roadblock, you can take a quick glance at your mood board and feel instantly inspired.

How are you creating an inspiring study space this semester? Sound off in the comments below.

Featured photo by Jordyn Wissert.

5 Apps Every Freshman Should Download Now

If you think about it, our smartphones are like clothing; we don’t leave the house without wearing clothes just like we don’t leave without our phones. Grabbing your phone is a natural instinct, like taking off your heels the moment you get home. Checking a notification on your phone is like that annoying zipper on your favorite pair of jeans that just won’t stay zipped, so you’re consistently checking it throughout the day.

Now, think of the App Store as shopping and trying clothes on at the mall. If you see an app that looks like it will be useful, you download it like you would impulse buy a floral, cold-shoulder top at Forever 21.

Then, you explore the app, use it for a couple days, but after that, you probably forget about it, as it stays there for months wasting memory on your phone. This unused app is the same as that top you bought that you wore twice and now it sits in your closet taking up space.

Just like clothing, there are some apps that you use all the time and some that you never even click on. From studying to cooking, here are five functional apps for a college student I guarantee you will use at least once a week!

PHOTO: Lex Kelly

1—Amazon Kindle 

Regardless of where you buy or rent your textbooks from, it is going to be expensive! In my experience, depending on the textbook, I have found that downloading the E-book with the Amazon Kindle app is often cheaper than purchasing the actual textbook. You can download a free sample or the entire book to your computer, smartphone, or tablet.


If you’re like me, writing things down in my agenda is helpful, but I still need more reminders. Egenda is an electronic agenda in which you to enter in all of your assignments for the semester. It also sends you notifications on due dates and reminds you to study for upcoming exams.

PHOTO: Daisa Harris


This budgeting app allows you to track your expenses and see where you spend your money the most. It separates your expenses into categories such as eating out, gas, groceries, etc. Then, it helps you create a budget for yourself. If you forget to enter your purchases, CoinKeeper sends you a daily notification reminding you to keep track of your money and stick to your budget!

4—Thrive Market 

As a college student, eating healthy or organic can be challenging, especially if you’re on your school’s meal plan. Plus, grocery shopping can be an all day affair if you lack your own transportation. With Thrive Market, you can get a vast variety of organic and gluten-free food for half the price that the grocery store sells them—all delivered to your door! A membership is $65 a year; however, there is a free 30-day trial!

PHOTO: Cassidy Clark


Buzzfeed’s Tasty app has video tutorial recipes from breakfast to dessert. The tutorials are simple and easy to follow, especially for someone who is at the beginner stage when it comes to cooking.

Find any of these apps interesting? Have any other apps you love to use while at school? Let me know in the comments below!

5 Steps for Last Minute Transitioning from Summer to School Mode

Our lives are completely composed of college for eight months of the year. We section ourselves off from the real world by living on campus, surrounding ourselves with students, and paying for overpriced textbooks. However, as soon as summer rolls around, we take advantage of the opportunity to disregard student duties. As much of a relief as this may be, the four months of blatant neglect only makes transitioning back to student life that much harder.

Each summer we vow to keep up with reading and stay somewhat current with our academic lives. No matter if you spend summer in the sun or an office, it is oh so easy to lose your school persona. Here are the five simple steps to transitioning back.

1—Buy an agenda (and use it!) You either swear by your agenda or you haven’t bought one yet. One of my favorite annual purchases is my agenda. With so many different varieties and styles, it’s easier than ever to make an organized life look good.

2—Bunker down. It sounds simple, but it is easy to get restless after a non-stop summer. So, pack your Longchamp with headphones, chargers, and a pact to bunker down and crank some work out.

3—Find a buddy. It’s an age-old mystery how two hours at Starbucks can go from productive to a waste. Although spending hours finding the perfect social dress may fall under back to school efforts, it probably isn’t exactly what you had in mind going in. This is why having a second person to keep you on track is perfect.

4—Dress the part. The age-old saying may be “dress well, test well” but I find “dress well, transition-back-to-school well” to hold just as much truth. Nothing puts me back into scholar modes like classic pieces such as a good pair of frames and a trusty button-down.

5—Coffee, coffee, coffee. Remember those three cups you would drink before your Monday 8 a.m.? As long as you’re bunkered down with promises of productivity, you might as well build back this tolerance and treat yourself to an iced coffee. It’s a win-win in any book.

There’s a reason we put off a back to school transition for so long. However, by following these simple steps, the transition may become that much less traumatic. How do you cope with back to school trauma? Tell us on social media by tagging @Cfashionista. 

5 Lessons I Learned From My First Year in College

Since school for most people is starting soon, I want to share the five lessons I learned from being a first-year student at the University of Washington. Even though going to college as an incoming freshman is exciting, it can be nerve-racking at the same time. Hopefully, my advice can help those who are feeling a bit anxious about entering college for the first time!

1—Not everybody is going to be the same as you. Back in high school, I usually surrounded myself with people who are similar to me.  However, in college, I was exposed to many different personalities. Sometimes, I got frustrated whenever my college friends do not follow the same habits as me. But I learned to accept who they are because I realized that not everybody can be like me. Because of this, I became more open minded!

2—Dress well to not only impress but also feel less stress. College can be very tiring and even as a fashionista, I often found myself in a pair of sweatpants and a T-shirt. However, I learned that when I put an effort to wear a nice outfit, I feel happier because when you look good, you feel good. Thus, you become more motivated to do well in school! For example, a cute outfit can be like what I am wearing for this post! My look consists of a black off the shoulder top from American Apparel, denim shorts from Abercrombie & Fitch and Adidas shoes.

3—Join as many student organizations as you can. The best way to meet new people in college is to join clubs. Not only you are able to make new friends who share the same interests as you, but also to connect and create a network for finding internships and jobs. For instance, you can find business related organizations if you are a business major. Planning to pursue a career in the medical field? Join co-ed medical fraternities! The options are endless.

4—Take advantage of the school resources. Not many people know about the various resources available in college, so be sure to use them whenever you can! Some include academic advisors, tutoring, workshops for building resumes and counseling centers. These will make your school year a lot easier and smoother.

5—Always remember to relax and have fun. One of my biggest regrets is not reminding myself to take it easy and not let my grades dictate my life. I do not know about you but I get very stressed out about exams and homework. Because of this, I was not able to spend my first year in college to the fullest. Therefore, you should take breaks and do the activities you love, either it is playing a sport, reading a book or spending time with your friends!

Of course, these are from my personal experiences. What are some of the things you learn in college? Let me know in the comments below!

5 YouTube Channels Every College Student Should Follow

Life as a college student is hard. You have to juggle studying with sleep, deadlines, internships, saving money and a social life. Did I mention you must do all of this while maintaining some illusion of your sanity? It can get a little stressful at times, so to cut through the confusion, here’s a list of invaluable YouTube channels to add to your subscription feed.


Studyign focuses on bringing organization skills to the masses. It’s the perfect YouTube channel for those looking to up their stationary game. This channel offers tips on how to get the most out of sticky notes, pens, and notebooks! It even shows you how to set up your own bullet journal for maximum organization. This channel also gives great advice on building effective study routines, so if you regularly experience due-date anxiety, this channel is for you.

Anne Le

If you need a break from studying and want to let your creative side shine, then you need to subscribe to Anne Le. This YouTuber regularly shows you how to spruce up everything from your closet to your living space with easy to follow DIY projects. So, if your dorm room is in serious need of a style injection on a budget, this is your go-to channel.

The Domestic Geek

If you could go for some simple, fun, delicious recipes to feed your brain, look no further than The Domestic Geek. This channel shows you how to make everything from smoothie bowls to overnight oats and even shows you how to make your own Starbucks-esque coffee creamers. If you’re into that morning lecture caffeine kick, this channel is for you.

The Financial Diet

Are you in need of some advice on how to save money as a student? Look no further than The Financial Diet! This business-savvy duo explains the basics of money management in a fun, engaging way and it is particularly aimed at millennials. So, if you are looking to save up to go traveling, or just want to have a little more in the coin bank, this channel needs to be in your subscription feed.


Is exam stress getting to you? Lavendaire is the channel to click on! This YouTuber specializes in giving advice to help expand the mind and bring balance to a busy lifestyle. Whether it’s practical tips on how to set up good rituals, exercises in mindfulness, or guided meditation, this YouTube channel is guaranteed to bring positive vibes into your life.

Will any of these YouTube channels make your subscription feed? Let me know in the comments below.

5 Reasons Why You Should Study Abroad While in College

College is the time to create new experiences. This time in our lives is for trying new things, to experience life, and to find out what we love. One thing you must take advantage of while in college is the opportunity to study abroad. Whether it is because students do not know this is available at their university or just because they are not interested, this is something that not many students do. These are five reasons why you should study abroad while in college.

You Are Young and Full of Energy 

College is the time to get crazy and to go on adventures; and what age is better than when you are in your 20s? When we are this young we tend to be more reckless, which makes us more willing to try new things. Living in a new country for a period of time is already one crazy thing to do. Now, think of all the other things you can do while abroad. You can enjoy pub-crawling in Dublin to skydiving in Thailand while you’re still young.

You Get to See Amazing Places While Still Getting Your Degree

Why wait until spring break gets here to get out of the country when you can be out of the country and travel every other weekend? Seriously, traveling while you are studying abroad is really easy and in continents that are small like Europe and Australia, everything is really close. You can find yourself planning a trip to a different country every weekend by just taking a two-hour flight; all that while you are getting your degree.

You Will Become Open-Minded

The longer you are in a foreign country and surrounded by a culture other than your own, the more tolerant and accepting you become. Surrounding yourself with people from different backgrounds and nationalities will help you break any stereotypes you have in your mind.

You Will Make Friendships for Life

This reason is one of my personal favorites. Many students from around the world venture the globe just like you. Sharing an experience like this with someone will help you create memories and friendships that will last a lifetime.

It Will Help You Grow as a Person

Moving out for college to another city or state is life changing, but moving countries is a complete 180. It will help you grow, find yourself, and become more independent. I realized this when I wanted to book a trip to London but none of my friends were available to come with me. At that moment, I got rid of all my fears, grabbed my passport, and booked a flight solo. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

Have you ever studied abroad? Show us your pictures on Instagram by tagging @Cfashionista.

How to Study Without Getting Bored

I’m not going to lie, studying is something that very few people enjoy; however, it is something that must be done. Whether it’s writing a paper the night before it’s due or studying for an exam multiple weeks in advance, it’s important that you stay concentrated in order to retain the information you need to learn. Here are some tips to make studying a (somewhat) enjoyable experience.

1—Find a place that makes you want to study. Some people can study no matter the environment they are in, but it may be a more productive experience if your surroundings are interesting. It helps to study in places that are aesthetically pleasing, because it makes you feel like you are at a museum admiring the artwork or architecture instead of sitting in a room doing homework. Explore the buildings your campus has to offer. Try art museums, search for a new room in the library, or study in a quiet area outside.

2—Don’t dress like you just got out of bed. Although it is tempting to quickly throw on your most cozy sweatpants and sweatshirt, that may not be the best option when trying to get work done. It helps if you dress a little bit on the nicer side. For example, you could wear jeans, a sweater, and some fashionable sneakers. If you’re in clothes that resemble pajamas, the only thoughts you will be having are about your bed. Try dressing in nicer clothes so you are not tempted to snuggle in bed with a good movie.

3—Take notes in an engaging way. When taking notes, it can get extremely boring if it goes on for thirty pages and you’re writing with a black pen on lined paper. To make the process more engaging, try color-coding your notes using highlighters and colored pens. This allows the note-taking process to turn into a coloring project as well. Color-coding can also help you remember the information.

When it’s time to study, why not make it enjoyable? Comment below with your study tips!

The Best Way to Clear Your Head During Finals

June has quickly approached, and with it brought the promise of sunshine and summer festivities. As students get closer to the end of another school year, it is easy to prioritize the importance of finals over the importance of mental health. As busy college students, we often get sucked into a fog of school-related activities, forgetting how important it is to take some personal days to alleviate stress and focus on the importance of self-care. Here’s how I clear some of that student fog.

It is amazing what getting outside on a sunny day can do to benefit your mental health. In an article titled, “Effects of Weather on Human Emotions,” Psychologist, Stanley C. Loewen explains, “Because light prevents melatonin production this in turn means that it also makes us more awake, switched on and alert and with more energy”(5). Have you ever noticed that after studying for hours in the library you become tired? That’s not just because you are working hard, it is also caused by a lack of sunlight. The next time you are studying during the day and feel like you aren’t retaining any information, go outside! Take a break in the sun and allow the light to aid your cramming sessions.

My next favorite way to alleviate some stress: taking a hike! Every Tinder profile might be onto something when they say, “I love hiking!” because let’s face it, hiking is great. Take a friend, pack some snacks, and pick a destination. It doesn’t have to be the most challenging hike in the world, just a bit of a climbing to get your heart rate up and your blood flowing. Not only does sun aid mental health, but so does exercise.

We use the term “hike” lightly because it doesn’t have to be an all-day commitment. A friend and I spent a total of three hours on a local trail for this specific excursion. At 10 a.m. we set out in our hiking shoes to a location about 15 minutes away, hung a hammock between two trees and spent the rest of the time relaxing and appreciating nature.

My advice to you all would be to take a hike and see how you feel after. It may not be for everybody, but you will never know until you try.

Comment below, or share a photo of your favorite activity that helps keep you sane during the hectic times in life. Don’t forget to tag @Cfashionista so we can see too!

5 Tips to Get Organized and Reduce Stress

I think we can all agree, college is not all filled with fun times. It is hard and staying organized during our hectic schedules is even more difficult to do. There is always a point in the semester where you just realized that you haven’t finished your assignments or have any clean pants because you forgot about your laundry. Because of this I came up with these top five ways to a stress-free and organized lifestyle.

Planner. While I never thought planners were useful in high/middle school, college is a little bit different. It is extremely helpful to have something that you can write down assignments, due dates, and important events to keep you on track!

Colored pens. Another tip is to color code everything you write down in your planner. Coding things like school, sorority events, and personal stuff is an awesome way to keep things clear and straight to the point. I personally use the Stabilo Finalizer pens in the point-four millimeter point.

Clean out your backpack. Another way to stay organized is to clear out your backpack, purse, or whatever you take to class with you at the end of every day! Gum wrappers, random pieces of notepaper, broken pencils are not a pretty sight. Emptying my backpack everyday is a good way to keep open space for each new day in class. Something I have learned throughout my past three years at Western Michigan University is that things pile up fast! You need to keep up or you’ll be drowning in notepaper by the end of the semester!

To-do list. To-do lists are especially relevant to our busy college schedules. If you were to take anything away from these tips, it should be that to-do lists are your best friend in college. For example, my planner this past semester was filled with different to-do lists for all my classes and personal life! It makes what you need to do extremely clear. When you cross something off your list, it’s a huge weight lifted off your shoulders!

Make time for yourself. My last tip to all students is to make time for yourself, because it is hard to balance a healthy lifestyle and a successful semester! You will always feel a little overwhelmed or maybe a little more run down that you would like. Allowing your body to recover from your stressful week is just as important as your homework! College life is fun; I think we can all agree on that. However, if it takes staying in one night to catch up on some sleep and do your favorite face mask, then so be it!

How do you destress and keep an organized lifestyle? Show us on Instagram or Twitter and tag @CFashionista.

Here’s Everything You Need To Do Now So Final Exams Aren’t The Worst

The school year is coming to a close and summertime is (finally) in sight. It’s nearly time to throw on those shades and head to the pool for hours on end. But, before the three month-long hiatus can begin, college students have to make it through the looming week of exams, papers, and projects known by two of the worst words ever: finals week.

While finals week is never fun, there are ways one can make it bearable. (Don’t roll your eyes—I promise, it’s true!) Check out our tips and tricks to help you sail smoothly through the most dreaded week of the year (and hopefully snatch up a few A’s in the process).

(Photo via laviajamani)

Pick a good study space. While grabbing a table at Starbucks with your friends with snacks and coffee at-hand sounds like fun, surrounding yourself with other people can make it hard to focus. Make sure to find a study space that is quiet and distraction-free; whether that’s in the confines of your own room or in a quiet corner of the library. Know what kind of space is best for your studying needs (which might be different than an environment to satisfy your social needs).

Triple check your exam schedule. Know how many exams you have and what times they are at. While this may sound silly, it won’t be funny when you show up for your 8 a.m. exam on Wednesday to find out it was actually on Tuesday.

Make a studying schedule. Analyze each class individually then as a whole. From there, you can plan out exactly how much you to prepare for each final, and delegate the appropriate studying time for all of them. For example, you may be a whiz at Econ (side note, if this is you, who are you?), but may need to dedicate more time to the thorn in your side known as Renaissance Literature. Creating a schedule will help you focus on one project or exam at a time and help you avoid any additional stress.

(Photo via @sarahgargano29)

Set aside some time for yourself. Whether it’s taking an hour to watch an episode of your favorite TV show (keyword is one; no binge-watching!), going out to dinner with friends, popping into a yoga class, or simply scrolling through Instagram for a few minutes, breaks are essential if you want to keep your cool during all the finals week chaos. A little bit of downtime will allow you to clear your mind and recharge for your next studying push.

Back up your work. While for a lot of us finals week means exam after exam (after exam), final papers and projects are a big part of it too. Make sure to constantly save your work—and in multiple places. Save to your hard drive, a flash drive, and email your work to yourself. You never know when technology might fail you, and finals week is not the time to let it get the best of you. (Photo via @tstacyy)

Eat well. With such a busy schedule, it may be tempting to order takeout or make a quick trip through the drive-thru. As delicious as a chicken fingers and fries may sound, the post meal carb crash isn’t doing you or your study sessions any favors. During finals you need all the extra brain power you can get. Try to eat healthy foods that are nourishing and high in fiber. And definitely do not skip meals. You may feel like you are too busy to eat but simply munching on some fruits or vegetables can help you stay energized.

Sleep. Be sure to set aside time for a full night’s rest (six to seven hours, at least). Without sleep, it will be more difficult for you to retain information, and sleep deprivation can lead to headaches or heightened stress levels. Definitely avoid all-nighters—chances are you will not retain the information you spent so many hours trying to absorb, and you will go into your exam feeling exhausted. (Photo via @asmillz)

Have any additional tips to survive finals week? Let us know in the comments below!