Tag Archives: graduation

Re-Learning Self Motivation

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Hello everyone! Happy Summer! (Almost.) I’m back in London for a few weeks and I wanted to start doing something a little different on my blog. Well, not so much different as more. I wanted to start branching out on the types of things I blog about. I’ll still do traditional outfit posts, but I might started adding some other categories as well. For today, I’ll catch you up a little on what’s going on. The photo set is a little jumbled because I just wanted to post some images of my first week here. For more, you can even check out my first London vlog of the season.

Now, as you may or may not know, this May I graduated from college! Yes, yes, I got my bachelor’s degree in English and I am fully an adult now. I went back home, where I’ll be for a bit, and to be honest it doesn’t quite feel real yet. I think it will once September rolls around and for the first time ever, I’m not going back to school. That’s why changing my mindset about life and “what now?” has been a bit difficult. I’m still working on a novel and blogging and working and all those fun things, but getting into a new routine that is healthy and effective has been quite the learning process. I realized that for the first time in nearly 18 years, I’m not accountable to someone else’s deadlines. 18 YEARS?! That’s nearly my entire life. From homework and projects to essays and exams, I’ve always been on the clock for school. Now, I’m not. No one is telling me, “Katie, finish your novel or you’ll get a bad grade.” I have to finish this novel on my own and bring it out into the world and then hope. It’s not a guarantee that it’ll “pass” (aka be published). But I still have to do it. It’s still my dream and I will never give up. The problem is not letting myself say, “I’ll start tomorrow.” Waking up in the morning to sit on my laptop just doesn’t scream the same sort of urgency getting to class once did.

Organization is key. I hate clutter; it jumbles my mind as well as my surroundings. So the first thing I did upon realizing my summer-laziness cannot turn into life-laziness was clean out my bedroom. I had lugged everything from my apartment back into my childhood bedroom and it was madness. There was simply too much. So I spent a few solid days cleaning out nooks and crannies, donating clothing and books and toys and dusted places that haven’t seen the light of day in a while (I’m still not done yet and will probably continue when I’m home).

Once my physical space was organized, I started crafting a routine. Having a schedule, while seemingly daunting, is actually more calming to me than endless hours of nothing. While hard work can make a day or two like that appreciative, no one can live like that. I certainly can’t. Fortunately I already had a habit of schedule- and list-making, I just had to fine-tune it. I use this journal to plan out the days. What’s great about it is that the dates aren’t pre-marked, so if you know you have a day where you’ll be with family or having a well-earned lazy day, you don’t waste the page. I list out the things I want to do, mark what will happen when and remind myself of long-term or ongoing projects. There’s also a handy note-section that you can fill out as the day goes, to report to yourself how you handled the amount you gave yourself, if you need to adjust, or to just doodle or have space to do some extra thinking. Having everything written down (in pencil, my favorite) is really great to help make yourself accountable. You’re making a record of what you should be doing, one you can track and look back on.

Exercise is essential to my productivity. It wakes me up in the morning, makes me feel more positive and energetic and has overall healthy benefits. I do Pop Pilates with Cassey Ho (her blog is here). It’s great because it’s at home and completely free. After having free access to an amazing rec center at school, I didn’t have the heart to start paying for one. I do prefer group fitness to being alone, but I’ll take what I can get right now. Besides, I can take Cassey with me via my laptop whether I’m in Amherst, at home, or in London. My routine doesn’t have to be put on pause.

I’ve been following these principles for a few weeks now and I feel a lot better than when I was just lounging around before and after work, not doing much besides reading. Reading is still a part of my daily routine — something I completely recommend — but I only read for up to an hour (not a lot for someone like me). As little as ten minutes before bed is equally effective. Much better than having the last thing you see before sleep be a screen.

Well, I think that’s all from me for today! If you got through all of this, give the post a like! And comment to let me know what you thought, or if you have any tips for self-motivation. There will be a style post up on Wednesday. See you then! x.

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Earn Your Stripes

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Happy last Monday, everyone! This is in fact my last Monday as an undergraduate here at UMass. In less than two weeks I’ll have graduated and be out on my own with nothing but an English degree, a young adult novel that isn’t stapled and a record of my best outfits. Well, not really. I’m moving back home for a bit to work and write, but you see my point. This week I’m bringing you what I’m dubbing Senior Chic. This outfit is super comfortable and look! it even comes with a sweatshirt. Basically, it’s perfect for everyone like me, who is pretty much all set with school for now, but doesn’t want everyone to know that. I love a good pair of tailored-looking trousers and these ones are light enough to work for these flip-flopping chilly-to-warm days. These Steve Madden beauties are a college student’s version of the Gucci loafers every blogging foot has been in since last fall. I think they’re a great affordable alternative and I’m surprised at just how good they turned out. (Note that they run a little small.) They fall into the same category that the basic loafers I wore a few weeks ago do: close-toed summer shoes. And as I embark on my last two days of class, all I can think about is all the plans I have for this blog coming up — stay tuned! x

Shop:

Uniqlo sweatshirt (similar) | Zara trousers (similar) | Steve Madden loafers

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Photography by J