A Very Simple Update

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Things are a'changing around here, and I'm just going to get right into things today.

In my New Year's Resolutions post a few weeks back, I said I wanted to make my blog more of a priority in my life this year. Even though it may look like I didn't commit to this goal since I haven't really published much since coming back to college for the second semester of my freshman year, I can guarantee that I was not kidding.
I came back to school this semester thinking I had a schedule for my life set and ready to go, and then the unforeseeable happened...

Opportunities kept coming.

I literally feel swamped right now with everything that is suddenly happening for me. Now, don't get the impression that I'm not thankful for every new chance that has come my way these past two and half weeks of school already because I definitely am. I am always up for anything that allows me to stand out as a leader and improve upon my skills while additionally enhancing my assets for the future, but that's what has been keeping me from really committing to my blog lately.
(That, and I have a little bit of blogger's block.)

But I'm ready to follow through now. And although that means every once in a while I may possibly miss a post, I know that it'll be fine. I'm fully aware that I am a student first and a blogger second, and my more dedicated readers will respect that.

Until I know for sure that I can completely commit, I will be cutting down my posts to only two times a week on Tuesdays and Fridays. I may or may not have occasional posts on Sundays, but I need to ease myself back into my original Monday-Wednesday-Friday schedule. If you really love me that much and you absolutely need three posts a week or you'll just die, I am a writer for Her Campus here at my college which I publish for every week. Feel free to check that out here.

My blog is additionally still undergoing a bit of work that I started back over the winter break, but it's gaining momentum. I have a professional camera for pictures now, so I'm extremely excited to get to put that to use in my posts from now on. I've been very focused on expanding my networks while I've been away from my blog these past few days and I have actually gained an enormous amount of followers on my social media accounts. For more info on those, click on the icons to the right of this post next to the image of myself (follow me on Pinterest and you'll definitely see a follow back - I'm kind of obsessed).

I take my goals very seriously. I'm not the kind of person who creates a resolution for themselves and then forgets and moves on from it after a week. You'll be seeing a lot more of me again around here starting now, and that's a promise.

Here's to a prospering year for A Southern Sunshine!

5 Ways to Start the Semester Off Right (With Checklist!)

Monday, January 4, 2016

A new year for college students means a new semester. With a new semester comes new memories and opportunities... and unfortunately stress. I'm here today to provide a list of 5 things you can do as soon as the semester starts in order to hit the ground running and keep you from worrying too much - all in an ordered checklist that you can even save to your computer/phone or print out for memory!

1. Cleanse and Prep to Start Over
Clean out your backpack/tote, folders, and even your laptop files and email accounts. This is the first step to starting off your semester organized and ready to go! Additionally back up/store any old course work or notes that you think you may need in the future, you never know when they could come in handy again one day.

2. Buy The Supplies You Know You'll Need
When it comes to school, all I ever really need are the basic necessities: pencils, pens, a 5-subject notebook, printer paper and ink. Flashcards are additionally nice to use for studying purposes and a planner is always a plus for sorting out my hectic schedule. It's easy to know what I'll need before even entering the class most of the time, because most courses don't really require too much in this day and age besides a steady internet connection and Microsoft Office applications. Get the basic things that have always worked for you so that you have items to start off with, and if there end up being other items on your syllabi that you need, you can just go out and grab them later!

3. Utilize Your Syllabi
As soon as you receive your class syllabi, start filling dates in on your calendar or agenda. If you prefer not filling that kind of stuff in ahead of time, keep the assignment schedule parts of your syllabi in a safe place that you know you'll look at often; I like to hang mine on my bulletin board above my desk, that way I can see them every single day and cross off completed assignments as I go. Creating a combined assignment schedule of all your classes is also a great idea that I have heard works for many students that I will be trying out this semester.

4. Order Your Textbooks
If there is anything I learned my first semester of college, it's to make sure to not order my textbooks until after my first class when my professor expresses whether or not I truly need the textbook(s) listed for the course. Had I waited and also chosen to purchase from other outlets besides my school bookstore, I could have saved hundreds of dollars. Don't make the same mistake I did - wait until you know for sure that you need the book before you purchase it, but also don't wait too long.

5. Schedule The Extra Time Around Your Classes
Now that you know when your classes are and how much time you should dedicate to completing each course's assignments each week, you can finally schedule any extra time you want to leave yourself for all the other stuff in your life. From extracurricular activities to me-time, make sure you provide yourself with opportunities to have a break from your everyday life of school work. A consistent schedule will keep you balanced and less stressed!

What actions are you taking to make this semester your best one yet?
With a productive and positive attitude, remember that you can do anything. Get out there and make this term great!

New Year Resolutions 2016

Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy 2016, readers! As we all know, a new year calls for new resolutions, and that's what today's post is on. This year I feel as if mine are very intricate for some reason; maybe it's that they require a large amount of commitment compared to my past resolutions. I love a good challenge though, so I'm excited to get moving on them. Here are my 2016 resolutions...
1. Make my blog more of a priority.
These past few months, I had a rough time getting adjusted to everything I was trying to commit to. Now that I have had the chance to experience what a typical busy college semester is like, I am able to coordinate my time more accordingly so that I may add my blog back into my daily life and contribute to it way more than before. I hope to really enhance my blog this year and bring it many more opportunities as well.

2. Focus on my health, physically and mentally.
I can definitely without a doubt say that 2015 was the most stressful year yet. I had countless moments where I thought I was going to lose it, and I don't ever want to feel the way I did this past year on a day-to-day basis ever again. Additionally, I got back into working out on a regular basis and I feel inspired to focus on my physical health even more too.

3. Establish my presence, both in the organizations I am a part of and online.
When I first enter anything, I start off very shy. People assume I'm the quiet one when in reality I can talk to people for hours on end, and they don't figure this out for a very long time. I have yet to believe that I've truly established myself in all the clubs I am a part of, and I'm looking to finally do that this year and never have to suffer through that shy phase ever again with anything I do. Online presence is also a part of the presence reasoning and is obviously just great for any blogger.

4. Truly define my style and wardrobe.
I've been looking to establish my style for the longest time, but a whole brand new wardrobe involves money obviously. I have been slowly adding and replacing articles of clothing so that I can transition over to what I want my style to be, but I'm looking for this year to be the year that I finalize it.

5. Become whole.
There are many different ways to define what being whole means. To me it means being at peace with yourself and really embracing who you are and understanding your surroundings, using appropriate knowledge towards your decisions and life choices. Some people find wholeness through their religion, personal selves, and many other methods. In order for me to find wholeness, I believe it's going to take me feeling as if I am achieving in all important aspects of my life to the best of my own ability. The reason I say my own ability is because I know there is no perfect, but that if I'm doing the best that I can, that is enough. Becoming whole is my next step towards embracing my positive outlook on life that I accepted a few months back.

What are your resolutions for the new year?
If you're worried about sticking with your resolutions, don't be - I'll be posting some really helpful tips for keeping up with them soon. May 2016 be the best year yet for all of us!

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