The Perks of Being a To-Do-List-er

Do you see what I did there with the title this afternoon? Got to love a little play on a book/movie title! Today’s post is a tribute to my love affair with list making.  Ever since I was little, I’ve loved getting a new notebook, and once the initial fear of writing in it (the panic of making a mistake and spoiling the first page is very real, am I right?) subsides, I love to make lists of any kind.  As a student, however, a to-do list can actually be one of the most useful things you can do to help yourself take charge of your workload.  Whether it’s a to-do list for school, university, work, home, whatever – here are, what I consider to be, the perks of writing a to do list!

perks-of-writing-a-to-do-list

You’re less likely to forget something

This seems like I’m stating the obvious, but it’s true.  Having a to do list on paper, or on your phone, is much more reliable than keeping it in that head of yours. Why? Because that paper or note on your phone won’t get distracted by texts from friends, new episodes of something on Netflix, or even just something as simple as popping out the shop to buy groceries.  It’s natural that when you have a lot of work to do, your brain picks and chooses the pieces to prioritise – if you write everything down, there’s less chance that the last minute presentation your tutor scheduled just a week in advance will be forgotten about!

It can help to calm you down

Especially during your assessment periods, whatever you’re studying, it’s easy to become a little overwhelmed.  With essays or reports due in for every class, and time dedicated to prepping for group presentations, with exams looming, it’s very natural to feel panic stricken.  You might start to think there is no way you’ll manage to get all of this work done, because your mind runs away with it and distorts it.  By writing everything down in a to do list, you can see exactly how much work you have to do, and by when.  Of course, it’s still a lot, but it becomes much more manageable when you have a list of dates to work towards.  You can start to prioritise more easily, and set specific blocks of time aside for specific projects, instead of sitting in the library, staring at seven folders for seven different classes and not knowing where to begin!

There’s a huge sense of satisfaction in ticking things off a list!

It’s hard to explain, but there really is something satisfying about ticking things off a to do list! Having a physical list of everything you have to do, and scoring or ticking things off can make you feel much more in control of your workload.  Seeing things disappearing from the list creates a sort “light at the end of the tunnel” feeling, and there’s a massive sense of relief when the first item goes – it signals that you’re on your way!!

Those are just three of the reasons you should grab that notebook and pen and get writing a to do list! Look out for Monday’s post and video – I have an exciting book review/giveaway coming up, and this book has a particularly useful section on the benefits of list making.

Are you a to-do-list-er? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks so much for reading – have a great weekend!

Lynsey x

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5 Reasons Not To Skip Class!

There’s a certain freedom associated with heading off to university.  For the past thirteen or even fourteen years of your life, you’ve been in school, with a strict timetable setting out exactly where you have to be and when, from 9 in the morning until 4 in the afternoon.  If you don’t show up to class, your teacher will notice, you will be pulled up for it, and if you miss enough, your parents or guardians are probably going to receive a call from the school!
When you go off to university, however, it’s like a whole new world! You might only have two classes in a day, and what’s more, you’ll find that there’s no-one there to chase you to them.  Suddenly it’s your responsibility to get yourself to class and do the work! While some universities have a clock in system for their classes to monitor your attendance, no one really has time to run around after you.  There can, then, be a temptation to relish that freedom a little too much!

5-reasons-not-to-skip-class-uni

Picture this: you’ve been on a brilliant night out with your flatmates/classmates, and you have a lecture at 9am.  You wake up at 8 o’clock feeling a little worse for wear, running on about three hours sleep and instantly regretting that bag of chips and cheese that you just had to have the night before on the way home!
Your friend texts you and says: “No chance I’m making this class – it’s fine, lecture notes are all online anyway.”
So what do you do?! Drag yourself out of bed and make your way to class, or hit the snooze button and snuggle back up for another couple of hours?
Here are 5 reasons to do the former and get yourself to as many of your classes as possible!!
1. Not everything is in the lecture notes!
The internet is a wonderful thing, and the ability to post information for students to access out of class is amazing.  Despite what people tell you, however, not everything is included in the online lecture notes.  They are usually just that – notes! Bullet points, or snippets to get you started.  It’s often when the lecturer gets properly into the discussion that some of the most useful information comes up! A question from a student can lead the lecturer to say something that makes everything click into place for you – something that happened to me in one of my first year classes! If you don’t go to class, you run the risk of missing out on that crucial information!
2. Going to class gets you noticed!
In school you’ll probably be one of about thirty children in a class, sometimes less.  In a first year English literature lecture, you might be one of hundreds of students.  Making the effort to go to your classes, your seminars/tutorials in particular, means you will be able to build a relationship with your lecturers/tutors.  This can be helpful in the event that you’re struggling with an assessment, or need a reference for a future course or job.  If your tutors see that you’re putting in the work, they are much more likely to want to help you!
3. You’ll make friends!
This one is particularly relevant if you haven’t moved away from home to study, but it applies to everyone! If you deliberately skip class, you won’t get chatting to the people who are studying the same subjects as you.  If you make friends on your course, future group work projects will be easier, and you’ll have people to turn to for help/notes if you do end up having to miss a class at some point. Regardless of that, these are the people who have applied for the same course as you, so you’ll instantly have common ground and something to bond over – don’t miss out on the opportunity to meet people who might become lifelong friends!
4. Self-Motivation is a powerful thing!
Pushing yourself to go to that 4pm lecture on the topic you’re least interested in when a Netflix binge in your pyjamas sounds like so much more fun is a great thing! Working on your self-motivation means that when you go out and get a job, or even more so, if you decide to start your own business, you’ll be used to making yourself do the work when there’s no-one else there to push you!
5. You went to uni to learn, right?!
There are so many amazing things about university – the friends you make, the confidence and independence you gain, the nights out you might go on (if that’s your thing – it’s totally okay, however, if it isn’t, but more on that another time!) and the inspirational people you’ll encounter. When it comes down to it though, you didn’t spend all that money (depending on where you live, it can be A LOT of money!), just to have fun nights out, did you? You could have had fun nights out and saved yourself a whole heap of cash by just going straight into a job after school! If you’ve gone to university it means that to some extent, you are interested in the course you’ve chosen, so don’t let that passion go to waste and enjoy the experience of learning about that subject! You might find that this isn’t the course for you and end up changing to study something else, but you won’t know that unless you go to your classes!
So those are my top five reasons why you should fight the urge to curl back up under your duvet and get yourself to that next 9am tutorial!!
What are your top tips for keeping motivated during term time?
Lynsey x
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Study Playlist #1

Afternoon everyone! Hope your Monday has been going well so far!
During my Masters, I spent a lot of time seeking out the perfect study soundtrack, and I thought that I’d share some of the hidden gems I discovered along the way with you this afternoon!
study-playlist-1
Some people study best in complete silence – I am not one of them.  Others find it comforting to have the television on for background noise, but that can become distracting if an episode of [insert-the-name-of-your-favourite-show-here] comes on! Music, then, is usually a happy medium! Different styles of music will work for different people, but for me, upbeat music with no words worked best.  I love piano music, but sometimes that just wasn’t energetic enough, and anything with words (hello Taylor Swift) just tempted me to sing along in my head.
So here, for your listening pleasure, are three of the albums that got me through my crazy assessment period last April…
1. Tycho – Dive

I’m listening to this as I type this post and I genuinely feel so relaxed and focused.  I love this album.  Wikipedia describes Tycho as an “American ambient music artist and producer”, and the tracks on this album are all soothing but upbeat enough that there’s zero chance it’s going to lull you to sleep over that jargon-filled journal article you’ve been trying to get through all day.
2. God Is An Astronaut – Origins

I found God Is An Astronaut through Tycho – this album appeared in the recommendations in the YouTube sidebar! They are known as a post-rock group, so their sound (particularly on this album) is a bit heavier than Tycho, but I found that it really motivated me.  Again, there are no words, so there’s no danger of finding yourself having a sing-along – check out track 11, “Red Moon Lagoon”, it’s my favourite!
3. Prince Avalanche – Full Soundtrack by Explosions in the Sky & David Wingo

I’m not sure I can put into words how much I adore this album.  I have to be honest – I haven’t watched the whole film (I watched half of it on Netflix late one night, but I will watch the whole thing at some point!), but the soundtrack is just incredible.  I’m a fan of Explosions in the Sky at the best of times, but this? Beautiful, soothing music, and the perfect backdrop to your next essay.  You’re welcome.
That concludes my first Study Playlist post, but I’m definitely planning more of these in the future. I hope you enjoyed it, and I hope these lovely albums help you concentrate on the next task you have to tackle!
What songs have been on repeat on your study playlist lately?
Lynsey x
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Introducing The Student Switchboard!

Hello everyone, and welcome to The Student Switchboard!

The-Student-Switchboard-Blog

For those of you who don’t know me already from my original blog Allsorts and Anecdotes, and YouTube channel, my name is Lynsey! I’m a twenty something year old social media and YouTube addict from Scotland, who loves to talk, tweet, drink tea and wear a lot of winged eyeliner.

Last month I decided to embark on a new little online project called The Student Switchboard.  I’ll just put it out there right away – I LOVED being a student. And not just in a “the student lifestyle suits me” kind of a way; I genuinely love learning, and studying is something I got so much out of.  I left high school and went off to Glasgow University to start what was the amazing next chapter of my life!  I graduated with an MA Honours Degree in Film and Television Studies in 2011, having had four of the best years of my life to date.  I made some incredible friends, wrote about some amazing films and shows, read some amazing books and gained confidence in leaps and bounds.  I was a shy teenager, and University made the biggest difference to my self-belief and brought me out of my shell.

Then I graduated and things all got a bit more complicated.  I managed to graduate in the midst of the recession, at the toughest time to be in the market for a job, and getting an interview never mind an actual job was proving to be near impossible.  It was made harder by the fact I wasn’t entirely sure what it was that I wanted to do – all I knew was that I really loved social media.  So I did the only thing there was to do – I got myself some work experience, working unpaid internships and doing freelance bits and pieces (that’s where my love of blogging and YouTube really came in handy!).  Then, at the beginning of March 2013, I took the plunge and jetted off to Australia for two months, travelling via Hong Kong, and exploring Sydney, Melbourne and Port Douglas.  It was one of the scariest, best things I’ve ever done. I vlogged the trip, which you can see on my original YouTube channel here!

The Student Switchboard Travelling
Chilling with my kangaroo friend in Port Douglas, Queensland!

When I arrived home, I was once again looking for a job, and it was an exhausting process.  I managed to land a part time job with a magazine, but what I really craved was the routine I had had when I was at University.  I wanted to work in social media, but every interview I went to ended the same way – “Your CV is really interesting, and you’ve got great experience – but you don’t have a marketing qualification.”

So, in August 2013, I applied to Glasgow Caledonian University to study my Masters Degree in International Marketing, and I never looked back.  Last year was one of the busiest, and most intense years of my life, and I learnt so much, so quickly.  I loved being back at University, wrote a dissertation I was extremely passionate about, and I graduated last November with Distinction. It was an amazing day.

The Student Switchboard Graduation
Obligatory pose on graduation day!

Fast forward to last month – January 2015.  I was thinking about how much I loved being a student, and all the tips and tricks I learnt along the way, and it occurred to me that I hadn’t ever seen a dedicated YouTube channel, solely set up to chat about all things college, university, and student life.  Being a student comes with a lot of practical and emotional ups and downs – from the costs of buying books, to finding productive ways of studying, to settling in after the transition from high school.  Having been through it all twice, and having the passion for YouTube I already have, I decided I was going to start a YouTube channel to do just that – to discuss any possible topic that could apply to student life.  And I’m really, really excited about it!!

So, a month later, here we are! The Student Switchboard is live, with two videos for you to check out, and all social platforms ready and raring to go! I’ll link them all at the end of this post for you to check out.

Thank you so much for stopping by, and please leave me a comment letting me know what you’re studying, or if you can think of any topics that might be useful for me to cover – I’m all ears! And if you’re interested, you can follow this blog at the link below, or subscribe to my channel so you never miss a video!

Hope you all have an amazing day!

Lynsey x

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