things that you probably don’t need but also definitely need

This post will look like it was on its way to the BuzzFeed headquarters but got distracted by my a e s t h e t i c s and ended up on my blog instead. Now that it’s officially December, I’ve rounded up a few cool gift ideas that hopefully your friends and family have yet to receive so you can still claim originality! And if I’m being super honest, I want everything on this list so if any of you are wondering what to get me for Christmas…well. The real challenge is buying it for me before I crack and just buy the things for myself.

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essential apps for your mac

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Beyond the apps that you should have installed already for general computer usage (Chrome, Drive, Dropbox, VLC, Spotify) I have other favourite apps on my Mac that I use quite a bit. They either make my life easier, or make it easier to procrastinate and be lazy. Either way, I love technology.

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on the quest for motivation

It’s exam season and I’m sick. I thought at first my throat was just blown from going way too hard at The Killers’ set at Wayhome. But now it’s been more than a week and I’m still feeling under the weather (read: coughing fits, phantom smells??, headaches, sore throat) so I don’t think I can blame this one on Brandon Flowers.

Couple that with general dread at the thought of final exams and you have one very unmotivated human who never wants to leave her bed. I’ve taken so many naps in the last week I’ve slowly become quasi-nocturnal. But that’s not conducive to a good finals season so in case you’re anything like me, here are some things I do to help find that elusive motivation.

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on fear

I love fear. And by that what I mean is that I love the feeling of getting over my fears. I don’t actually like the feeling of being terrified. If I wore any kind of heart rate monitor during my classes, you would be able to see visually when I’m hyping myself up to prepare to contribute to the class, and then the actual contribution – because that’s when you see my heart rate go off the charts. I hate it, but I’m also fairly sure that I’m less anxious about it now than I was 3 years ago when I first started university. And I don’t know what kind of a sadistic person came up with this concept, but there’s a particular brand of terror that comes with knowing that 15% of your mark hinges on the fact that you have to muster up the courage to talk in almost every class, all the while knowing that everyone else is fighting for the chance to speak as well. But I digress.

I think it’s healthy to be afraid of things, even if they’re things that you really want to do. Actually – especially if they’re things you really want to do. If you’re not scared then maybe you’re not pushing yourself far enough.

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EXCEL-ing at organization [pt. 3 of HIOML]

Straight up, this title is a lie. I used Google Sheets instead of Excel but only because of *the cloud*. Sorry Excel, I still love you though.

Being a political science major means that I have stacks of readings to do. Really, we students all have readings to do I just whine about mine. Sometimes it’s straight forward, like ‘read this 60 page chapter’ and sometimes you take a block course (double the workload but half the run time) and you get thrown 10 readings per week. If you couldn’t tell with the previous instalments of the HIOML series, I really like making sure I stay organized during school. So last year I created a readings tracker.

Yeah, you read that right – I track all my readings because I’m not even going to try to hide that I’m a neurotic nerd. Nerd-rotic? Oh, that sounds kind of…inappropriate. Disregard.

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calen-do’s! [pt. 2 of HIOML]

HIOML = How I Organize My Life
I know, what a cheesy acronym right?

Part 1 (which I’m going to go an retroactively change the title of right now) is the post from last year about me and my course tracker Excel sheet, which you can read if you still need to do that thing.


Honestly, this post should have been posted closer to the beginning of the term but I needed a couple of weeks to get my own life in order. Okay fine, the truth was that it took me this long to come up with the title. (I’m really kidding here because the title is possibly the worst title I could’ve come up with, but I have almost no regrets about it.)

Being in class is so much crazier than being on a work term, especially since I forgot about the constant stress of ever-present, never-ending assignments and tests. Not that I rely solely on other people to tell me when things are happening, but there is an element of being able to relax knowing that friends will remind each other of upcoming due dates in shared classes. Unfortunately because of my unscheduled 8-month co-op, I have no friends in my program on campus this term. The solution? Google is now my new best friend.

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essential extensions for chrome | productivity edition

This list of extensions are mostly productive, I swear. I can’t help you if you use Firefox or Safari because I’m unfortunately a Google supporter through and through. Watch this post resurface in a couple of decades when Google turns out to have ignored their entire mantra of don’t be evil and have recreated SkyNet.

But in the meantime Chrome is the way to go guys, and there are thousands of extensions that you can download to make your life easier. In this post I go over half a dozen extensions that I use typically when I’m in studies.

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what’s in my bag | june 23rd 2015

I want it known on the record that I do not have a bag problem. It’s totally in check and I only have like 15, and everything is fine. That being said I bought another bag last week (to reward myself for surviving all the papers/presentations/midterms) and it’s just super cute. It also fits all my stuff, and is big enough for my laptop which is actually a struggle I deal with often.

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What’s in my front pocket: Little Burgundy bag, Urban Outfitters cat wallet, earbuds, WatCard, NYX Butter lipstick, keys.

What’s in the bag: Macbook Air, Nexus 7 tablet, bluetooth keyboard, portable charger, pen, lotion, lip balm, mirror.

essential apps for your phone: university edition

My phone is my life. I guess in this day and age (very, very sorry I just used this phrase), this sentiment isn’t surprising but seriously I would be lost without it. Not only because I have this need to take pictures of everything in my life, but because I use it to keep track of everything in my life. At one point, I owned a Windows Phone and while I loved the OS, the lack of apps available for the phone was absolutely killing me. Then I smashed the screen on my friend’s floor (completely by accident, I swear to god) and I had to get a new phone. I’m telling you, getting an Android phone felt the way that the people in Plato’s cave must have felt after leaving the cave and seeing that there was so much more to the world. See, I retained some of my philosophy knowledge!

So here is a list of apps that I use to keep myself on track during school, I’ve included links to the Play Store and Apple Store as available.

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spring course load [pt. 1 of HIOML]

Note: in May of 2016 I decided I was dorky enough to warrant more posts of this organizational nature so this title has been retroactively changed and now is the first part of a series called How I Organize My Life.

This isn’t the most fun topic that I’ll be writing about here, but I think it’s really important, especially as a university student.

This Spring 2015 term is my first term on campus during the summer and I don’t know why past!Vicky did this to future!Vicky, but I’m sure she was vindictively laughing as she signed up for 6 courses. Okay, I’m being melodramatic, I know exactly why I took 6 courses this term and it has a lot to do with poor planning in my first year. I basically didn’t figure out that I wanted to minor in anything until my 2A term and I didn’t get a good start on those minor requirements. What I did do was knock out all of my breadth requirements for my degree so I guess, win/lose situation for me?

So I plotted out the rest of my courses from now until I graduated and figured that I need to be taking either an online course during a work term to catch up, or slip in a 6th during this term. It helped that this term I already had an online English course so I wouldn’t be spending additional time on campus. It also might have something to do with the fact that taking a 6th course is free, whereas taking a course during a work term will cost me upwards of $600.

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