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something that students know all too well is how difficult it is to find a healthy medium between our own health and working hard in school. as somebody who personally has dealt with multiple mental issues and is still in recovery, i completely understand that sometimes it seems impossible to do both. however!!! it IS possible to maintain good grades and good mental health- it’s just a matter of figuring out what works for you and making your health a priority. i thought i’d compile a list of some of the resources that help me with this, and i hope that they can help some of you!! remember that my messages are always open if you ever need anything, and i believe in you!!! you can do anything you set your mind to and so much more <3


general tips

- get enough sleep: ohmygosh this is so so important. i’ve gotten a total of sixteen hours of sleep over the last three days- don’t be like me, kiddos. try to get at least eight hours every night!! it’s so much better to sleep and recharge your brain than stay up all night trying to cram in exhaustion

- don’t skip meals: no matter how busy you are. i know, it can get so hectic, and sometimes you can be just be too stressed to sit down and eat properly. but ur brain and ur body need food!! it’s gonna fuel you and make you have so much more energy, i promise. breakfast is the most important, but make sure to sit down and eat something nutritious when you get hungry!

- make your bed: honestly this just makes me feel like i have my shit together so much better. plus it stops me from turning into a ball of blankets and taking a 10 hour depression nap (but!!!! if you really need to sleep please do!!!!)

- write. down. everything: plan, plan, plan. it’s cliché but seriously, just do it. it can help you feel more pulled together, more in control, and give you a way to visualize what needs to get done. it’ll also help you to remember everything you have to do! this is the other way i feel like my have my shit together

- stay hydrated: another cliché but!!!! essential!!!!!! it’s good for ur skin, good for ur brain, and can almost instantly make you feel better. keep a drink of water near you and sip on it from time to time!

- be gentle with yourself: things didn’t go as planned??? that’s perfectly okay you’re human and we all make mistakes sometimes. bad days happen. take a deep breath, take care of yourself, and trust that things will turn out okay. i believe in u friend!!!

when you’re having a bad day

- supportive lin manuel miranda tweets

- explore the world through a door

- sort through your thoughts

- explore the stars!!!!

- the dawn room

- vent & watch your thoughts burst into stars

- daily puppy!!

- stress analyst

- having a bad night???

- giant self help masterpost by @teacomets !!!

- self care by @lazyhermione

-amazing stress relieving masterpost by @studykouffee

-need to calm down???

- MENTAL HEALTH MASTERPOST by @420normani

motivation/studying

- motivation masterpost

- inspirational harry potter quotes!

- conquer the school year by @merakinotes

- complete guide to studying well by @scholarlysquad

- awesome time management masterpost by @studyign!!!!

- 40 study tips and tricks by @studywithmariana

-101 study tips by @areistotle

- masterpost of studying by @xmayjayx

- my masterpost on studying/improving grades!

helpful apps/websites

apps- i’ve personally used all of these!!

-pacifica: an absolute godsend of an app that has helped me so much in my recovery, ohmygosh. it’s a mental health tracker with so many incredible tools to meditate, deconstruct repetitive/negative thoughts, keep a board of things that give you hope/inspire you, track health habits, and so much more!!!! i would 11/10 recommend (available on ios, android, and website)

- mystudylife: an awesome app for tracking homework and schedules!! you can customize your classes/schedule/calendar and whatnot, and also keep track of all of your homework assignments. the app will send you a reminder if you haven’t marked an assignment as complete a day before its due! (available on ios, android, windows, and website)

- rocketfocus: an adorable pomodoro timer! you send a spaceship with a cute little onigiri in it to explore space while you work (i love space can you see why i adore this-). once you’re done, you collect a new visited planet and some coins that you can use to customize your spacesuit/spaceship! it also times your breaks. honestly amazing! (available on ios)

- soundcloud: it’s a music platform, need i say more?? you can make playlists/like various uploaded songs! I can‘t live without my music so this helps me live honestly (available on ios, web, android, sonos, chromecast, and xbox one)

- calm: daily meditations with a calming image. awesome for just clearing your mind for a while! (available on ios and google play)

websites

-coffitivity: coffee shop background noise!

- hemingwayapp: an editing tool that analyzes your sentences and helps make them more concise

- zenpen: a “minimalist writing zone“ where you can work free of distractions

- some more background noise: tide | noisli | rainycafe | calmsound | myNoise | soundrown |

- google scholar: like google, but for finding academic articles/papers. awesome for research!

- written? kitten!: get rewarded with a kitten picture after writing a certain amount. if this isn’t motivating idk what is

- mathway: math problem solver!!!

- wolfram alpha: and another!!

self-care ideas

- comfort baking 

- self care flowchart!!

- go out for a run, dance, whatever gets ur heart pumping!!

- have a shower or a bath

- if you’re into makeup, give yourself a makeover!!

- paint something, anything! this really helps me

- go through a lil skin care routine. moisturize all the way!!! (herearemyfav skincare products!!!)

- paint ur nails

- burn a yummy smelling candle! (oneofmyfavoritebrands)

- put on some fuzzy socks

- make a nice warm beverage and cozy up! (some hotchocolate recipes)

- watch ur favorite movie

- cook & experiment with your favorite meal!

- reread a favorite childhood book

- put on some comfy clothes. be cozy. bury urself in a hoodie (that’s what im doing right now)

- mug recipes: cookie in a mug | brownie | another brownie! | 

- hot chocolate recipes

some awesome music

- disney soundtracks!

- bts

- exo

- kard

- seventeen

- hamilton soundtrack

- the book of mormon soundtrack

- dear evan hansen soundtrack

- falsettos soundtrack

- all time low

- twenty one pilots

- fall out boy

- panic! at the disco

- waterparks

feel-good movies/shows

- the big bang theory

- the office

- full house

- elf

- the incredibles

- ratatouille

- aladdin

- how to train your dragon

- willy wonka and the chocolate factory

- night at the museum

- beauty and the beast

- kinky boots

- kung fu panda

- finding nemo

- despicable me

- lilo & stitch

- the lego movie

- spirited away

- back to the future

- grease

- singin in the rain

- ferris bueller’s day off

reminders

- sit up a little, straighten your back, stretch

- eat something if you haven’t today!

- you aren’t alone, you are important, you are loved. ily!!!

- you probably aren’t drinking enough

- if you’re finding it hard to keep your eyes open, please take a nap!!!

- take a few deep breaths

- bad days don’t last forever

- you are good enough, you are strong enough, you are smart enough, you are worthy enough, you are enough

- your health comes before your grades

- you are unique

- you are worth it

- you can do this

Taken from Sophia Chua-Rubenfeld, daughter of the Tiger Mother

Preliminary Steps

1.Choose classes that interest you. That way studying doesn’t feel like slave labor. If you don’t want to learn, then I can’t help you.
2.Make some friends. See steps 12, 13, 23, 24.

General Principles

3.Study less, but study better.
4.Avoid Autopilot Brain at all costs.
5.Vague is bad. Vague is a waste of your time.
6.Write it down.
7.Suck it up, buckle down, get it done.

Plan of Attack Phase I: Class

8.Show up. Everything will make a lot more sense that way, and you will save yourself a lot of time in the long run.
9.Take notes by hand. I don’t know the science behind it, but doing anything by hand is a way of carving it into your memory. Also, if you get bored you will doodle, which is still a thousand times better than ending up on stumbleupon or something.

Phase II: Study Time

10.Get out of the library. The sheer fact of being in a library doesn’t fill you with knowledge. Eight hours of Facebooking in the library is still eight hours of Facebooking. Also, people who bring food and blankets to the library and just stay there during finals week start to smell weird. Go home and bathe. You can quiz yourself while you wash your hair.
11.Do a little every day, but don’t let it be your whole day. “This afternoon, I will read a chapter of something and do half a problem set. Then, I will watch an episode of South Park and go to the gym” ALWAYS BEATS “Starting right now, I am going to read as much as I possibly can…oh wow, now it’s midnight, I’m on page five, and my room reeks of ramen and dysfunction.”
12.Give yourself incentive. There’s nothing worse than a gaping abyss of study time. If you know you’re going out in six hours, you’re more likely to get something done.
13.Allow friends to confiscate your phone when they catch you playing Angry Birds. Oh and if you think you need a break, you probably don’t.

Phase III: Assignments

14.Stop highlighting. Underlining is supposed to keep you focused, but it’s actually a one-way ticket to Autopilot Brain. You zone out, look down, and suddenly you have five pages of neon green that you don’t remember reading. Write notes in the margins instead.
15.Do all your own work. You get nothing out of copying a problem set. It’s also shady.
16.Read as much as you can. No way around it. Stop trying to cheat with Sparknotes.
17.Be a smart reader, not a robot (lol). Ask yourself: What is the author trying to prove? What is the logical progression of the argument? You can usually answer these questions by reading the introduction and conclusion of every chapter. Then, pick any two examples/anecdotes and commit them to memory (write them down). They will help you reconstruct the author’s argument later on.
18.Don’t read everything, but understand everything that you read. Better to have a deep understanding of a limited amount of material, than to have a vague understanding of an entire course. Once again: Vague is bad. Vague is a waste of your time.
19.Bullet points. For essays, summarizing, everything.

Phase IV: Reading Period (Review Week)

20.Once again: do not move into the library. Eat, sleep, and bathe.
21.If you don’t understand it, it will definitely be on the exam. Solution: textbooks; the internet.
22.Do all the practice problems. This one is totally tiger mom.
23.People are often contemptuous of rote learning. Newsflash: even at great intellectual bastions like Harvard, you will be required to memorize formulas, names and dates. To memorize effectively: stop reading your list over and over again. It doesn’t work. Say it out loud, write it down. Remember how you made friends? Have them quiz you, then return the favor.
24.Again with the friends: ask them to listen while you explain a difficult concept to them. This forces you to articulate your understanding. Remember, vague is bad.
25.Go for the big picture. Try to figure out where a specific concept fits into the course as a whole. This will help you tap into Big Themes – every class has Big Themes – which will streamline what you need to know. You can learn a million facts, but until you understand how they fit together, you’re missing the point.

Phase V: Exam Day
26.Crush exam. Get A.

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