A Day In The Life of a Griffin

Fontbonne University is my home Monday through Thursday from August to May. I spend almost all of my week at Fontbonne in the grand scheme of things. Fontbonne is my second home, and I cannot imagine going to another university. I am going to tell you know about my typical day as a Griffin.

7am: Wake up, shower, get ready for the day, eat breakfast.

8am: Leave for school. I am a commuter so it takes me about 45 minutes to drive to school everyday.

9am: Go to my first class

10:15-10:30am: Walk around the Golden Meadow from AB and make my way to my work study location in the Graduate and Professional Studies office in the East Building.

10:30-12pm: I work at my work study office. I love my work study because it allows me to work on campus and do my homework in the office if I need to. The office focuses on school first, but it gives me real world office experience and helps me learn to work well with others and work to get the job done.

12pm: Go to lunch with my friends outside at the DSAC. I spend time with my friends almost every day, and it is important to find time to do fun things with friends, especially as a commuter and with the stress of classes.

12:30-4:30pm: I go to two more classes. I have my first class in the art building and I love that I am able to have all of the classes in different buildings so I can experience all that Fontbonne has to offer. I walk passed the Golden Meadow and I see people eating lunch, students holding events, people playing in the meadow. It is refreshing to see people taking the time for themselves and not freaking out about school and work.

4:30-10pm: Typically, I have work right from school. I work at a small boutique and I like working directly from school. On days that I do not work, I am typically on my way home around 4:30 and have dinner with my family. Then, I may run errands and go to the store. Then, I typically watch some TV and start my homework. On the days I work, I like to have my homework done the day before, or I stay up late. On days I do not work, I have meetings for some of the clubs I am involved in.

11pm: I usually go to bed around 11pm, but sometimes later and I’m thankful when I get to go to sleep a little earlier.

 

Overall, a typical day as a Griffin is pretty great. Come onto campus and maybe you can have a great day as a Griffin, too!!

 

Xoxo,

Claire

Tips to Stay on Top of Assignments

One of the most important concepts to master in college is time management!  No matter if you’re a freshman or senior, you have experienced what it feels like to have responsibility for how you use your time.  Here are a few tips I follow to stay on top of assignments:

1) Prioritize by listing Lists are a college student’s best friend.  Make your list and number items on your list (Example: #1 would be what you need to get done first thing, #5 can wait).  Writing down your to-do list will also let your mind rest easy, so that you don’t have to have your monstrous to-do list hovering above your head all week long.

2) Take small breaks Think cramming in homework for 5 hours straight is the best way to get the job done?  Wrong!  Taking small break every hour will help you from homework burn-out and will let you come back to your homework or studying refreshed.  Still don’t believe in breaks?  Try stretching or grabbing coffee during study sessions.  You’ll be more alert and focused!

3) Get rid of pesky distractions Yes, I’m talking about Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and unfortunately, your cell phone as well.  You will get more done in a short period of time without an army of distractions tempting you!  Turn your phone on do not disturb, log out of social media, and focus!  There’s always another time for social media.

4) Have a meal or snack every 3-4 hours A few brain boosting snack examples include yogurt topped with granola, a banana dipped in peanut butter, or whole wheat crackers with low-fat string cheese.  Going too long without fueling your mind and body can wreak havoc on your study efforts because low-blood sugar can cause a slump in energy.  That being said, the more sugar does not mean more energy!  A modest 100-250 calorie snack with carbs and protein will do.  If it’s meal time, try filling 1/2 your plate with fruit and veggies, 1/4 of your plate with meat or dairy, and another 1/4 with whole grains like whole wheat bread, whole wheat crackers, brown rice, or quinoa.

 

Finding Your Balance

College, jobs, family, friends, extra-curricular activities: a lot of college students juggle some or all of these things in their daily lives. The real challenge, however, is finding the right balance with everything and still find time to sleep. After almost three years of college life, I’ve come up with a few tricks of my own. Organizing and keeping to a schedule, setting goals, quality over quantity, “Me” time, copious amounts of coffee, and learning to say “No”.

Being organized and keeping to a schedule is extremely important for my balancing act. Knowing when my classes are, what days and times I work, and when I have free time help keep me on time and on task. This isn’t to say that every minute of my days are scheduled, spontaneity is a good thing, but the bulk of my week days are planned out, mainly for classes and work. I also write everything down in my calendar, this is a definite safe guard against forgetting something for class because I was cramming for a test.

Setting realistic goals is also at the top of my list. My biggest goal is to get through my bachelor’s in two years, then tackle my master’s. But goals can be small too, like finishing a paper early so I can take a day trip somewhere. In that sense I get to check something off my list and get a reward for the hard work. It’s a win, win situation.

Quality over quantity and learning to say “No” have been the two biggest challenges for me to learn so far. Before college, and even at the start of it, I had a very active social life. I would do things and go to events, even if I wasn’t really interested, just be seen or keep from insulting anyone. The fact was, however, that it wasn’t realistic for my schedule and I wasn’t enjoying myself most of the time. With college being my main focus, I had to learn to decide which events I wanted to attend the most, who I wanted to spend my free time with, and politely say no to anything I didn’t want to go to. With the explosion of social media event invites, the trick is deciding which ones are best for you and your free time.

Scheduling in some “Me” time is an underrated event. Everyone, even really extroverted people, should invest in some alone time to de-stress, breathe, and recharge those batteries. It can even be something as simple as your favorite café, a walk in the park, a favorite book, or an afternoon nap.

Last but not least, copious amounts of coffee is the life blood of most college students. I am proud to say that I am an avid coffee addict. I like mine black and preferably strong enough to degrease a jet engine, but however you take it, coffee has helped millions of student survive and balance the rigors of a hectic college schedule. It has kept us awake during the driest history lectures, the most confusing math problems, and those late night paper writing sessions. So caffeinate often and find that balance. Cheers!

“Naps are always a good thing!”

Hello, everybody —

Fontbonne Lacrosse kicked off their season over the weekend with a big game against Rockhurst. They took a loss but they showed signs of a promising season behind Freshman goalie Seth Yance! In other news, the men’s basketball team extended their winning streak to 5 games and secured the 4 spot in SLIAC rankings this week. The Griffins take on cross-town rival Webster University on Wednesday at 8 PM! The two teams met earlier in the season as Webster defeated the Griffins in regulation. Both teams are tied for 3rd place in conference so come support the Griffins this Saturday!

This week is about juggling the life of a college student with the other 500 things in my life. Some strategies work for me that won’t work for others, but I think i’m getting along just fine. Every single morning, my alarm sounds at 7:15 AM, except on Fridays when it sounds at 6:45 AM. Whether it’s work study in Fontbonne’s Kinkle Resource Center, morning workouts for basketball, class, or my job at Northwestern Mutual, I am always up with the early birds to get the worm! (some days I feel like i’m up before the worm!) I enjoy having a busy schedule because life is short, why not experience it. However, there are some setbacks to being such a busy student and there are even more setbacks to waking up so early every morning. Here’s how I get through it…

First things first, I always make sure I’m getting enough sleep. Sleep deprivation can lead to sickness, depressed mood, weak immune systems, lack of focus in classes, and lack of performance in athletics. I’m sure everybody has heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and they’re right. Here at Fontbonne, the cafeteria serves a buffet breakfast every morning. Conveniently, the cafeteria is right in the middle of campus! Being so active, I take pride in the food I put into my body because it helps me get through my days. Plus, coffee. I really like coffee… When getting my homework done, I try to remove all distractions both physically and emotionally. Sometimes it’s okay to have a few hours away from Instagram (follow me @evanj_247) or Facebook while doing homework. Once again, I am extremely active. This brings me to my next coping strategy – naps! Taking a nap is always a good thing. If somebody ever says that taking a nap is a bad thing, they are wrong. As human beings, we need sleep. When we don’t get enough sleep, our bodies feel tired. This is why we crave sleep. I try to take a nap every day because I do not get 8 hours of sleep every night. While I can’t just add up my hours and say, “I slept 8 hours and took a 2 hour nap, therefore I got 10 hours of sleep,” I still need and enjoy the feeling that a nap can give me. Keeping me sane, giving me a break from everything, and helping my body repair — naps are pretty magical.

Lastly, I try to spend as much time as possible doing leisure activities OTHER than working out. Personally, I am 23 years old. I enjoy having a few drinks during the week to relax and step away from the ‘grind’ of being a student-athlete. Between watching Netflix, reading my new favorite book 50 Shades of Grey, and listening to music, I keep myself sane, focused, and alive, ready to take on the next day!

Ev

 

Getting Back into the Routine

Getting back into the groove of things isn’t the simplest of tasks. This week, I really began to feel the impact of this semester flying by! I can gladly assure you that I survived my first few tests and papers, all while managing to be a part of campus life (SAFACS and STARS), and working weekends (Sometimes I wonder, “How?!”).

Through it all, I have vowed to stay active at least 30 minutes to 1 hour per day and always have a healthy meal on hand.  Any college student can agree that this isn’t an easy vow to keep — but it’s not impossible!  Here are a few ways I stay on top of things even when time is scarce:

Prioritize!

I keep a personal agenda and a school agenda. This way, when I know I have a thousand things to do, I can jot them down in my calendar and free my mind from worrying if I’ll remember to do something. When I get seriously busy, I like to schedule my day by the hour. Listen, it sounds tedious- but I reserve this for my really busy days, and it gets the job done! Don’t forget to schedule time for music, relaxation, a walk, or however you choose to spend your allotted “free time”.

Use Your Time Wisely

If you’re surfing Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram in between classes, you’re not the only one! Let me warn you though, mindless surfing adds up! This results in a big time-suck in your day. Now I’m not suggesting you completely give up Instagram-ing your Iced Mocha Lattes with your best friend, but rather, start becoming aware of how much time you spend mindlessly using social media, such as watching cat videos on YouTube.

Give Yourself a Break

Although this may sound counter-intuitive, giving yourself a break every so often will improve your studying, not hurt it!  Giving yourself a chance to grab a coffee, chat with a friend, or go on a run will give you more energy towards the projects you are in the process of conquering.  Personally, my favorite ways to give myself a break are: Watching an episode of my current-show on Netflix, cooking, taking pictures on Instagram (mindfully, of course) and going to the gym.

How do you like to give yourself a break during a busy semester?

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Snap shot of dinner & snack for my Tuesday evening class

One of my priorities: packing healthy foods for long school days!

There’s Lots of Learning To Do

You might notice that this text of this blog post is in pink, and of the font “Verdana.” Very observant, you are. I’ve been experimenting with HTML ever since we made a practice web page in my Server Technology class, and I had to go big for my final post of the semester.

Anyway, I’ve mapped out my schedule for next year, and it’s looking like it’ll be a tough one. (Hey, I’ve switched to Comic Sans MS! Did you catch that?) I’ve got Linear Algebra, Advanced Statistics, Software Engineering, and Artificial Intelligence lined up, and then I’m taking Newspaper Workshop and Graphic Design, as well.

What’s crazy is that Linear Algebra follows Advanced Stats, so I’ll have four straight hours of difficult math all together twice a week.

Such is life, I guess.

(…You may have missed it, and I’ll forgive you the first time, but you just had the privilege of seeing my new catchphrase in action.)

Fortunately, I’ve got a couple of months of SUMMER to gear up for a grueling fall semester!!! (…provided I make it to summer after surviving the last 2 weeks of school here…)