Hi everyone!

I hope the new year/semester/quarter is going well for all of you. I’ve been super busy getting adjusted to new courses, a TA position, and continuing with my internship, so I’ve decided to change how this blog works. Instead of me coming up with the topics for each post and posting on a weekly basis, I will be posting on an as-needed basis — if there’s a general topic or question that you’d like me to address, send it to tipstricksandtea@gmail.com and mention that you’d like to see a blog post about it, and I’ll write about it (or refer you to an existing post if I’ve already covered it)! This way, I’ll cover the topics YOU, my audience, really want to learn about and save us all some time and energy. Life is all about making changes as you learn and as you grow, so this is one of many that I’m sure are to come.

Have a great weekend & stay safe!

Hi everyone!

 

Now that we’re all back to school from winter break, it’s time to get organized again. One tool I’ve found myself using a TON, especially in college, is the Calendar app on my phone and computer. Between classes, extracurriculars, jobs, family responsibilities, and everything else life is throwing at us nowadays, students are BUSY! Using a virtual calendar is an easy way to manage your time and make sure you don’t miss anything important.

 

I’d recommend setting up your calendar at the beginning of a new semester/quarter, but it’s never too late! First, choose the calendar platform you’d like to use. Most devices have Calendar apps built in, but there are also others available for use online or as downloadable apps. Choose one that you’d like to do and stick to it!

 

Next, you have to enter all of your commitments into your calendar. When I make my calendars, I do it by “type” of commitment. First, I’ll enter all my classes, then my work meetings, then extracurriculars. Of course, you can add new time commitments as they arise. In fact, meeting invitations often come with ways to automatically add them to your calendar! Be sure you get the time and date of your activities right in your calendar and use the daily/weekly/monthly scheduling functions when applicable to ensure there aren’t any mix-ups.

 

Finally, keep up with your calendar! I check my calendar often throughout the day to check how much time I have before a meeting or plan out what I’ll accomplish and when. Add new meetings or activities as soon as you find out about them to ensure you don’t forget or create scheduling conflicts. Overall, while a good calendar takes some work upfront, it can really simplify your life and boost your time management!

Happy New Year everyone! 2020 was a tough year, and I’m sure we’re all ready for the changes that 2021 may bring.

 

I took a few weeks off from writing blog posts over the holiday break – I was busy spending time with my family and working on side projects, and I realized all of you were likely just as busy. But now, it’s a new year and I’m so excited to see what 2021 brings!

 

In 2021, Fridays will continue to be my weekly blog post publishing day. I’ve also decided to launch TWO new services in 2021: 30-minute one-on-one consultations AND asynchronous consultations! Only THREE slots will be available each week for each type of consultation, so be sure to make your reservation in advance. You can find more information about them here, including suggested topics, pricing, and how to make a reservation.

 

As always, I would love to hear from you guys about what you want to see in my blog posts and services. If there’s a particular question or need you have, please email me at tipstricksandtea@gmail.com, I’ll be more than happy to help!

 

I hope you all have a wonderful start to the new year!

Hi everyone! As finals season comes to a close, I hope you’re all doing well and taking care of yourselves. Also, happy holidays! It’s been a crazy year and hardly feels like winter here in Texas, but I’m excited to see what the holiday season brings.

 

In this week’s blog post, I’ll be covering ways to stay productive and active over winter break. Keeping busy during school breaks is a good way to ensure you don’t get overwhelmed when school resumes in the new year, but it also serves as an opportunity to learn something new, develop a new skill, or engage in a new hobby.

 

Some examples of things to take up during winter break are an online course about a subject of interest to you or to develop proficiency in a skill that you find fun or useful. This could also be a great time to work on learning a new language or read a book! These options are all very flexible and do not require much time, so they are an easy way to continue learning even when school is out for a few weeks.

 

Some more time-intensive ways to stay active during holiday break include finding a new hobby, finding a seasonal job, or starting a seasonal small business. Without the stress and pressure of school and extracurriculars, you’d be surprised by what you can come up with! Keep an open mind and find something that challenges, interests, and benefits you.

 

Overall, finding ways to stay active and continue learning, even when school is out, can have major benefits for you in the long-term. You may be able to develop a whole new skill, give a presentation on a topic you knew nothing about, or even have some extra spending money by the time you return to school! Of course, winter break should also be a time of rest, but it doesn’t hurt to use your temporary free time to work towards your goals, even in small ways!

Hi everyone!!

You may be wondering what happened to my weekly blog post for last Friday. Admittedly, I was finishing up finals for the quarter and the post slipped my mind (nobody’s perfect!).  BUT, I have something to make it up to you guys!

As my final project for one of my courses this quarter, I decided to write a blog post with the intention of posting it here on tips tricks & tea. As the quarter progressed, I came up with the idea of submitting it to another blog as a guest post to try to gain more traction for my own website. Guess what — the FIRST site I sent it to accepted it!

The blog post was written as the final project for a course called “Volunteerism and the Ethics of Help.” I learned SO much in this course but was able to condense it into this blog post for a more general audience. This method of summarizing the highlights of the course really demonstrated just how much I had learned and I am so excited to share it with you. 

You can find the post here: https://www.teenlife.com/blogs/volunteering-right-way 

I hope you guys like it!

Happy (late) Thanksgiving everyone! This week’s addition to the Building a Successful Resume series will go over some tips & tricks on how to actually write out your resume content to strengthen your overall resume.

 

First, you want to be sure to use strong action verbs when describing your experience and contributions. I always start each bullet-point description with a different action verb; some examples that I use in my own resume include “managed”, “created”, “spearheaded”, “represented”, and “collaborated”, among many others.

 

You also want to be sure to check for consistency in tense, formatting, and punctuation throughout your resume. I choose to write my entire resume in past tense, even when describing positions that I am currently working in, to maintain consistency. I also choose to not include any end punctuation – my bullet-points are not technically full sentences because they start with action verbs and do not explicitly include a subject (me). Ensure all spacing, bolding, italicizing, font style, and font size are consistent and visually appealing throughout.

 

Finally, be sure to ask someone to read over your resume for you and give you feedback, while it is still fresh in your mind. A different set of eyes will be more likely to catch any mistakes, inconsistencies, or confusing wording. Of course, you’ll want to get feedback from several people before sending your resume out to your #1 school or desired employer, but getting that initial feedback is essential to ensuring consistency and quality!

Now that you know how to find and pursue the opportunities, experiences, and skills that will make your resume stand out, it’s time to get organized and decide how to display them on your resume.

 

One of my biggest pieces of advice is to keep a journal, planner, or even just a file on your computer where you keep track of all of your activities, including your individual tasks and any major dates associated with them. It can be so difficult to remember exactly what you did and when in retrospect, so keeping notes on your progress will help you TREMENDOUSLY long-term. The more detailed you can be when describing your experiences, the better!

 

Another step in this phase of the resume building process is choosing a resume template. Different industries have different standards, so if you already have an industry in mind be sure to research what a typical resume within the industry looks like and what is important to include. If you’re still in high school or don’t have a specific industry in mind, there are plenty of general templates to choose from. I’d suggest sticking to something simple, organized, and visually appealing – stay away from super colorful or crowded templates. Templates will often have the sections of the resume already named and set up, but you can change and move them to best fit your information. The sections on my resume, which I’d recommend including in yours (in some format) are: General Information (Contact info, school year/major/GPA), Relevant Experience (any work/volunteer experience relevant to what you are applying for), Leadership Experience (which you can use to highlight your extracurriculars), and Skills & Interests (mention any other activities/interests, skills you have that contribute to your qualifications). There are tons of ways to organize your resume – these are just my recommendations based on my experience and what I have learned from others! Above all, ensure the template and sections you choose make sense given your experiences and are easy to look at and to read. Good luck!

 

Welcome to the first post in what will become a series on how to build a successful resume! A strong resume is essential at all stages of life, from when you’re in high school to even when you’re well-established in your professional career. However, any good resume starts with quality experience and skills. So, this first post in the series will focus on the quality opportunities that will best highlight your skills and experiences.

 

Your resume should be a reflection of you, your interests, and what you have to offer a potential school or employer. Therefore, the jobs and extracurriculars that you devote your time to should relate to your overall goals and interests in some way! Recruiters can tell when you are passionate about an experience or a subject, and people don’t want to hire boring people – be sure to choose experiences that actually interest you so you can talk about them! This means not joining a club or taking a job just because you think it’s what you “should” do. This also means choosing to join 3 clubs that you can meaningfully participate in instead of 10 different clubs that will help fill out your resume.

 

Sometimes, your options may be limited. Maybe your school doesn’t offer clubs in the subject areas that interest you, or you were unable to find a summer job that closely matches your career goals. Don’t worry! There’s no need to overcompensate here; focus on the opportunities you have and make the most out of them. Just because an activity doesn’t relate directly to your interests doesn’t mean there aren’t skills and experience you can gain from it – they may even benefit you in the future!

 

Overall, when searching for activities to get involved in or employment opportunities, try to imagine how a given experience could contribute to your future success. Whether the experience aligns perfectly with your interests or not, there is something to gain from any opportunity as long as you make the most of it. Focus on a few quality opportunities instead of overwhelming yourself – it’ll make your experiences much more meaningful and beneficial in the long run!

 

Happy Searching!

This week’s blog post is going to be about the importance and benefits of using a planner. I’ve used a planner consistently since I was in elementary school to keep myself organized and on top of my responsibilities, from schoolwork to extracurriculars to even personal tasks. Over the years I’ve shared this strategy with my siblings and my peers, and now it’s your turn!

 

One of the most important factors into using a planner is actually purchasing one that you like and will want to use. My middle school and high school provided students with school-branded planners, so I always used those, but once I got to college I had to find and choose one for myself. You can find the planner I currently use herebut you can find all sorts of sizes and designs on the internet or in stores that sell school/office supplies. Be sure to choose a planner design that you like and that suits your needs! If you don’t enjoy looking at it, you’ll be much less likely to actually use it.

 

The second key to transitioning to using a planner is deciding on an organization system that will work best for you. My strategy has always been writing down assignments as soon as I find out about them. Most planners are broken down on a weekly basis with sections for each day of the week. If an assignment is due on Wednesday, I will write the assignment down under Tuesday. As a result, on any given day I can go through the assignments I have due the next day and cross them off as I complete them. For larger assignments, I often put reminders on the days leading up to the due date to encourage myself to work ahead if possible. There are many ways to organize your planner, so choose a strategy that works best for you and your workload!

 

Finally, be sure to take advantage of the other tools that planners may have to offer. Many, including  the planner I use, have pages dedicated to each month. I use these pages to keep track of major responsibilities such as midterms or project due dates. Planners also usually have a spot to keep track of contacts, goals for the year, and other information that can be very useful to have written down! Above all, be sure to have your name and phone number or email address written in your planner in case you lose it. I know I’d be lost without my planner, so be sure to keep track of it and store it in a safe place!

 

Overall, using a planner will help you stay on top of your assignments and responsibilities in an organized and manageable way. While it may take some getting used to at first, you’ll quickly catch on and learn to love the process!

 

 

Happy (almost) Halloween!!

 

This week, it finally feels like fall in Texas (maybe even winter)! The cooler weather means you’ll be spending less time outside, so why not put that extra time indoors to use? Last weekend, I cleaned out and organized my entire bedroom, bathroom, and closet. Using these easy steps, you can do it too!

 

  1. Decide which areas of your space you want to organize.

 

I decided to spend the whole weekend going through ALL of the items in my room. However, you do NOT have to tackle an entire room in one project! Deciding which areas to prioritize if you do not have the time to complete the entire space will help you when deciding how to arrange things in the meantime.

 

  1. Find or purchase some organizing bins and some trash bags.

 

If you don’t have anywhere to put items as you sort them for future placement, the whole process is going to get very messy and very overwhelming. For my organization project, I purchased several bins (like this one) to put in my closet. Storage bins keep the clutter out of sight and allow you to organize your items by category or type, making them easy to find when you need them. You can find all sorts of bins on the internet or at home décor stores to fit your style and your needs. I also put everything that I did not want to keep into either a donation bag or a garbage bag (label these so you don’t confuse them!).

 

  1. Begin with one drawer/area within the space and remove everything one item at a time.

 

When you pick up an item, decide which category it belongs to: Keep, Donate, or Trash. Be sure to have a separate area for each of the categories (trash bags for Donate and Trash), and sort by sub-categories within your Keep section (Sentimental? Clothing? Paperwork?). Don’t be afraid to get rid of things! If you haven’t used it in the last year and do not have sentimental ties to it, it’s probably time to part ways. Once you’ve completed a drawer/area, assess whether your Keep items should go back into that drawer/area or if you’d like to relocate them and use the (now empty) drawer/area for another purpose.

 

Repeat this process until you have gone through all of the items in the space you have chosen to organize.

 

  1. Now that your space is now organized, treat yourself!

 

You put so much hard work into cleaning up and organizing your space. Now, invest in yourself! When I finished my room organization, I decided to buy an essential oil diffuser and a new lamp to accessorize and finish off my new space. Making your space more visually appealing and enjoyable is another incentive to keep your room organized and clean!

 

I have found that I’m in a better mood and feel much less stressed when my room is clean. As overwhelming and time-consuming as it may seem, the outcome is definitely worth the effort. Setting a few hours aside to go through one area at a time or dedicating a whole weekend to completing the project are just two of many ways to accomplish this feat.

 

Good luck, and happy fall-cleaning!