My Life is NOT Perfect! Dealing with Future Anxiety, Rejection and Comparison

15/02/2017


“Anyone can find the dirt in someone. Be the one who finds the gold.“

Aberdeen Scotland Beach

Hey loves! Long time, no see. Lately I have been a little bit MIA here on my blog, mainly because I have run out of pretty photographs, my schedule with university, internship and job is quite busy and I was just lacking inspiration and motivation to blog. Also, my overall mood during the last few weeks was just not the best and shaped by many ups and downs. 

Being at university I have experienced a lot of overthinking, questioning and wondering - much more often than what is usual for me. I have also been going through many applications for part-time jobs and internships, which the former didn’t go that well unfortunately. All of that has brought up feelings of rejection, comparing myself with others as well as future anxiety. When people look at my social media and my blog, they sometimes think that my life is more perfect than it actually is. On social media we tend to only show the happy moments - travel adventures, achievements we are proud of, night outs with our friends - we create a highlight reel of our life. And truth to be told, that is all it really is. I only post the positive, because I think that this is what inspires the people most. What I don’t realise is that this is exactly what triggers comparison. We compare ourselves people that don’t even exist in that way. We get jealous over illusions. I know that everybody has to deal with those thoughts and feelings at some point in their lives. Therefore I would like to write down some of my thoughts and share with you guys, why my life is NOT perfect either

Aberdeen Scotland Beach

REJECTION
 “Trust that when the answer is no, there is a better yes down the road.“

Coming back to Scotland after Christmas, I was so motivated and keen on getting my first ever part time job, so I sent out loads of applications and even got some interviews. Unfortunately, I never succeeded at scoring the job. And with me never having to experience that kind of rejection before, it obviously sucked a lot. I was really upset, I cried my eyes out and I annoyed my friends with messages that were only consisting of crying emojis. I don’t think that there is anything that can prevent rejection from hurting so bad. It is is absolutely okay to be sad and also completely normal to be fed up with trying, at least for some time. However, what I think then makes the biggest difference between successful and unsuccessful people, is that successful people get over themselves and keep trying. I know that you naturally don’t want to do it, but in order to succeed you just have to force yourself. I once read this quote which was something like “What makes people successful is that even when 10 doors get slammed in their face, they put on a smile and walk happily to door 11“. People who succeed, are the people who fail most, as they are the ones who try again and again. Did you know that Walt Disney was fired from a newspaper for “lacking imagination“ and “having no original ideas“? Rejection doesn’t define you. It re-directs you to something better. 

COMPARISON
“The fastest way to kill something special, is to compare it to something else.“ 

As millennials we spend majority of our time scrolling through social media and seeing what everyone else is doing. That naturally triggers comparison, which sadly makes us feel bad about ourselves. Comparison is the biggest thief of joy. Lately I compared myself quite a lot to my friends, seeing how they are successful at finding a job, scoring internships and getting good grades at university. However, I always try to remind myself that you can’t compare your university courses, your grades or your jobs - you can compare nothing at all. You have to learn that you can’t compare yourself to others, because everyone is unique and everyone has their own unique lives under different circumstances, with different values and different talents. The key to deal with comparison successfully, is to only evaluate your doings and accomplishments in your personal set of opportunities, and not in someone else's. Everyone gets their own unique paths to choose from. So it is not about what path the others choose from their selection, but which path you choose from your selection. It is about what you make out of your chances, not what others make of theirs. You must only focus on yourself. 

FUTURE ANXIETY
“Our anxiety doesn’t come from thinking about the future, but from wanting to control it.“ - Kahlil Gibran

In the last few years I have grown into a person, that values having everything planned out. I love organising, planning out my time, having routines - being a little bit of a control freak, you know. It has its good sites: getting stuff done, being organised and productive and having an inner ambition and motivation. However, it also has its bad sites: overthinking, overanalysing and overdoing. Some weeks ago, I somehow got really stressed out about the upcoming summer in Germany as I don’t have a summer job yet and I also haven’t scored any internships. I started getting anxious so much, that I started crying and my chest felt really heavy. The only thing that helped me in that situation was writing down all my thoughts and making (as vain as that sounds) a pro and contra list about if it is really the end of the world if I don’t have a paid internship in my first year of university. And I obviously came to the conclusion that it was not! I wrote down in my journal: “It is the fear of a future that I haven’t planned and the fear of regret that I might waste my time“. To be fair, the thought of the unknown can be quite daunting, and not wanting to regret anything is understandable as well. But sometimes you just “have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future“ - Steve Jobs. Because “maybe happiness isn't in the choosing. Maybe it's in the fiction, in the pretending: that wherever we have ended up is where we intended to be all along.” - Lauren Oliver. (Yeah I am quite obsessed with my quotes). What I just want to say is that you don’t need to have it all figured out to be able to move forward. Sometimes the most amazing things happen unplanned. You never know what will be tomorrow.

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My University Study Routine During The Semester

01/02/2017

“Push yourself. Because no one else is gonna do it for you.“

My university study routine during the semester

At Robert Gordon University Aberdeen the second semester of the academic year 2016/2017 has just started *yay* although I am pretty sure that there are mixed feelings towards this fact. However, I am excited for the new semester with my timetable looking fun and being filled with interesting subjects such as short film making, social media, email marketing, SEO, writing skills and much more - a lot that I can apply and benefit from when working on this blog. As teaching starts again, so are lectures, workshops, tutorials and study sessions at the library.

Last semester a few of my friends approached me how I am always so organised and up-to-date with the lecture materials during the semester and how I get the motivation to not leave it to the last minute before the exam. Personally, I consider myself having indeed a quite effective, productive and strategic daily study routine during the semester as well as during exam time. Therefore I thought it might be helpful to walk you step by step through my study routine as it may inspire some of you guys to take a more thoughtful and strategic approach to studying. Today I am bringing you my strategy to productive and efficient university studies during the semester as well as some good study habits for college, which is both PART 1 of my study routine. I obviously know that everybody studies differently and puts varying effort and priority in/on studying. So even if you can’t apply my strategy to your studying habits in detail, just see it as an inspiration to think about your study strategy and how you could make it even more time-saving or effective.

My university study routine during the semester

Before the lecture: Study the given materials 
At my course we get the lecture slides and additional research or reading material some days ahead of the lecture - I think most universities are doing it that way. I would highly recommend you to do as much reading and work on the given materials as possible before the lecture as I find it being more productive overall. I know it can sometimes be hard to get yourself together and start studying before you are actually “forced“ to do it (the night before the exam). When that happens always remind yourself that studying doesn’t get easier when you postpone it. At a later point in time you will still be the same person, with the same amount of work and the same wishes of what you would rather do.  

What to do some days before your lecture: 

  • copy the notes from the slides the professor will use in the lecture into a separate word document (or on a piece of paper, whatever you prefer) as it will be much easier to follow your own compensated, summarised and well-arranged notes during the lecture
  •  
    PRO TIP: for journal articles it is often enough to read abstract & summary in detail and skim over the rest
     

    During the lecture: Listen and only add bibs and bobs
     I find that when I prepare for the lecture in advance I can concentrate more easily during the lecture as I already know what the professor is talking about and I can therefore follow his thoughts better. When I don’t prepare in advance, I often feel overwhelmed with information as I can’t keep up with copying the slides, listening to the professor and jotting down notes all at once and I tend to give up and switch off. 
     However, when I am prepared I always keep up, take in the information and I only have to: 

    • add little pieces of extra information the professor is giving away to your prepared notes, however: don’t waste time re-arranging your layout listen carefully and attentively to the professor 

    After the lecture: Combine 
    What is great about having prepared everything in advance is the relief you get knowing that you don’t have to get through that whole big mountain of reading material after the lecture when you are tired and exhausted. It honestly is the best feeling to be able to almost tick off that topic immediately after the lecture because now I would advise you to just: 
    • add the extra knowledge/industry examples/references you got from the reading materials and additional resources to the corresponding paragraph or subtopic of your lecture notes 
    •  perfect your layout and make everything look neat and tidy

    My university study routine during the semester
      Phone case - New Look / Planner - Filofax / Notebooks - John Lewis 
     4 Quick Tips for Effective Studying 
    • Set a timer on your phone at 30 minutes and work through that time without interruption. I find that most of the times I easily get into the workflow, then simply ignore my timer and just continue studying. So the timer a perfect motivation to get started because as it gives you the prospect of a break. 
    • Use the same fonts and colours for each: your headings, sub-headings, definitions, bullet points etc. It makes your notes so much more organised and it also looks quite pretty. I always choose the colours of my headings in the order of the rainbow colours. I know, quite weird. 
    • Find your productive time. We all study best at different times - so whereas I get most things done in the morning person, others might be night owls. Just try studying at different times of the day and keep track of when you get most stuff done. When you ultimately find your “productive time“, always try to do your studying then as it will be easier and quicker. 
    • Make sure it is bright and light. When the lighting in the place I am studying at is dimm and dark I often can’t concentrate, I get tired and I get a headache. Make sure your place has good lighting - I love to study in front of a big window. 

    I really hope that this little guide can simplify and optimise your studying process during the semester and acts as a little motivation. However, I have to admit that I think that ultimately there is no trick, hack or tip that can replace the honest and true ambition to learn. I think that I study so well, not necessarily because of my strategy or my habits, but because of my will, endurance and high standards I demand of me. 

    So wanna know the real secret for succeeding in university? Stop doing sh*t you hate.


    Wise words by the one and only. 

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    My university study routine during the semester
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