Productive procrastination

Today’s post comes as a continuation of last week’s positive procrastination!

Watch TED Talks | Whenever I watch TED Talks, I’m always in awe of the powerful messages the speakers share, in awe of how articulate they are, and in awe of how fun learning can be. Learning is more than just textbooks!

Netflix Khan Academy and Chill | It’s what all the cool kids do nowadays. Trust me. I’m a science.

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Write for Her Campus | Have something you want to talk about but don’t have a platform to share it on? Her Campus got you!

Organise | Your room, your planner, your email inbox, etc.

Positive procrastination

I think we’ve all procrastinated something at some time in our lives. If you haven’t, please teach me your ways. Now, we can either feel bad about procrastinating, work on not procrastinating, or work with procrastination.

Here’s an article from the New York Times about positive procrastination and it brings to attention two approaches:

  1. Procrastinate the high-priority task by doing a bunch of low-priority tasks.
  2. Give yourself the options of doing the high-priority task or doing nothing.

Before reading this article, I had always gone with the first approach. And the author was right, procrastinators with this kind of habit (me) have a reputation for getting a lot done.

Now let me summarize how the author proposes the second approach works (and maybe even persuade you to attempt this method). If you’re the kind of procrastinator who procrastinates high-priority tasks by doing a bunch of low-priority tasks, then this second approach will most likely work for you. This is because even though procrastinators aren’t getting done what is most urgent, they’re getting a lot of other things done, probably to assuage the guilt of procrastinating the high-priority task. “Procrastinators seldom do absolutely nothing.” So if you give yourself the option of doing the high-priority task or doing nothing, it’s likely that you won’t be able to stand doing nothing, and you’ll finally get around to starting that high-priority task.

Give this method a go! And if it doesn’t work out, I’ll be back next week with a list of ways for you to productively procrastinate 😉

Combatting homesickness

I’m not the kind of gal who gets homesick too easily, but there was one point during my first year at college when I did get a little homesick. I blame it on the fact that I was getting tired of the dining hall food and thus eating pizza for almost every meal, which sounds like a good idea, but actually made me feel a little sick after awhile. To combat homesickness, I went on Youtube and searched up a video of someone making 煎饼 (jiān bǐng), my favourite Chinese street food. I admit that it did little to help, but a little help it did!

I tried to come up with a few more effective ways to combat homesickness and thought I’d share it with y’all. It’s that time of year when students start missing home a bit. Stay strong, fall break is only a week away!

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Be open

If I had one piece of advice to give my first-year self, it would be to be open to different things.

I came into college thinking I wanted to be an econ major. I took the intro course and it turned out not to be my cup of tea, which made me nervous, because I thought I had a clear plan of how I wanted to graduate from Bryn Mawr. I made a slight adjustment to my plan and decided to explore international studies, which involved some econ but not only econ. Then I took my intro to computer science to fulfill my scientific investigation requirement, and it clicked for me in a way that econ never did. The following semester, I took intro to linguistics on a whim, because it seemed like all my friends from my clubs were linguists and I wanted to see what all the rage was about. I saw what the rage was about. I’m now a computer science and linguistics double major. Who woulda thunk?

I wish that I did more exploring as a first-year and even as a sophomore, instead of locking myself on the path of an economist. I’m not gonna lie, scheduling courses throughout my junior year was quite stressful because the credits I had accumulated towards my supposed econ/international studies major didn’t really count for anything in the end as I was now a computer science and linguistics double major.

You’d think that being open to different paths would be an obvious choice to make, especially since we’re all here for the liberal arts education and have a more holistic outlook on life yadda yadda. But another thing we are are achievers. We have clear goals in mind. Which is an excellent strategy most of the time. But it can also blind us.

Your first year is definitely a year to explore. You have time. Use this time to figure out what you want, even if you think you already know what that is. You need to get those college-wide requirements out of the way anyway 😉 Who knows, you might find something better!

Now I’m at another crossroad. Once I decided I was a computer science and linguistics double major, I started looking for software engineer internships for the summer. Because that’s what you’re supposed to do as a computer science and linguistics double major, right? But I found this very difficult, and it wasn’t until recently that I discovered I was having so much difficulty finding a software engineering internship because I wasn’t interested in being a software engineer, despite being a computer science and linguistics double major.

Again, what I thought I wanted turned out not to be what I wanted. If I had taken the time to explore other options, I might have discovered what it was I did want.

So now as a senior, I’m challenging myself to intentionally look for non-software-engineer jobs that align with my interests and my skills. And I challenge you to try something new as well.

How I made my first friends at Bryn Mawr

When I was 10 years old, I made a big move from Los Angeles to Beijing. But as a kid, it didn’t feel like a big deal. As long as there was food to snack on and places to play, I was fine. It was easy to make friends. If someone shared their snack or shared a jump rope or played tag, then we were friends.

I then stayed at the same school for eight years, from 5th grade all the way to 12th. I was comfortable with my friends and knew everyone at our school. I hadn’t had to make friends in years. So you might understand why I was nervous about going to a new school (college!) and not knowing a single person.

As a senior, it’s crazy to think that I’ve only known the friends I made in college for three years. All the support we’ve had for each other and all the fun we’ve had together has felt like so much more!

If you’re a first-year, you might feel like having friendships like this is impossible. You might doubt that your friendships in college could amount to anything close to your awesome friendships from high school. Or maybe you’ve already heard so much about the life-changing friendships people have made in college, and you might begin to doubt yourself if you feel like you haven’t found that yet.

I admit that it took me awhile to find my place and my people. But I did find them, and I know that you can too. I thought it’d be fun to take it back to the beginning and share how I made my first friends at Bryn Mawr:

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Planners for the school year

Bryn Mawr was so kind to slide academic planners into our mailboxes; if you haven’t checked yet, go grab yours! It has all the important information you’ll need for the school year, giving you space to jot down all your activities and assignments, and also providing helpful resources.

However, I’m a little picky when it comes to organising my planner. I currently use a blank gridded notebook with a simple black cover, and this system has worked very well for me. Nevertheless, I still have fun browsing online for pretty planners.

If you’re looking for a pretty/modern/fun planner, check out some of the ones I found below. They’re all either Aug/Sept 2017 – Dec 2018 planners, or undated planners, which are perfect for the school year!

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