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3 Tips for School Survival

How is it already the middle of August?! The sun is starting to visibly go down earlier and the nights are getting slightly cooler. Pumpkin spice lattes are on the brink of their return (August 27th for the crazed fall drink lovers who are wondering) and cute flannels are lining the racks yet again. Amidst all the fun, back to school looms, meaning parents are given supply lists for their children, and young adults face their daunting textbook bills.


Since I graduated with my bachelor’s in illustration a couple of weeks ago (finally!), I figured I could share some advice to those who are going back to school this fall! There is so much I could talk about in this post. From lunch meal plans, to wardrobe choices, to surviving the long days in the college classroom. However, reflecting on the last four and a half years of college life I was able to compile a little illustrated survival guide for all you students out there heading back to school this month.


1. Treat Yo Self.

Truer words have never been spoken by Donna and Tom (Parks and Rec). Though in this instance, you’re most likely broke and can’t afford going out for mani pedi’s and spending everything you have on cute new outfits. But that doesn’t mean you can’t give yourself a little reward for showing up to class and working hard! I’m one of those people who enjoys coffee for its flavor rather than the caffeine boost (though sometimes I need that as well). I spent many of my breaks between classes at coffee shops on campus, where I found solitude and rewarded my efforts with a coffee and the occasional sugar cookie. This occurred once or twice a week, normally on Mondays which were incredibly hard to push through, and Fridays to celebrate getting through the week! It doesn’t have to be something that breaks the bank, maybe get yourself that cute sticker pack you’ve been obsessed with the entire week, buy yourself a new pair of silly socks, or even find a snack at the grocery store you’ve never tried. Make it small, but exciting!


2. H20

Whether you exercise or not, water is VITAL to keep away those drowsy headaches and keeping your body balanced! I can’t tell you how many days I would have unexplained headaches or feel extremely lethargic even if I had enough sleep the night before. Hydration aids in waking us up and keeping the fluids in our body constantly moving. Get yourself a nice, cute water bottle and personalize it to be yours! This way, you’re not wasting disposable bottles and you don’t have to go searching for a water fountain just to have a small sip of water that definitely wont hold you over for long. Metal water bottles are wonderful for insulation and keeping it cool for longer, glass water bottles are also great but, honestly, I’m terrified of breaking those so I stick with the metal.


3. Hype Playlist

I assume every high school and college kid has a smartphone and a pair of headphones. If you lost your pair or you broke them, you can get some incredibly cheap headphones for $10-20 that will work just fine! I firmly believe every person needs a playlist to kick off the school year hyped and energized. If you’re one of the sad saps that unfortunately has 8am classes, a mellow set of music can at least set the tone of the day and help you wake up a bit on the way to lecture. I’ve compiled a list of Zesty Tunes here that get me ready to go no matter the circumstance!


These are just 3 of the biggest things that really made a difference for me throughout my schooling. Just listen to your body and your mind and make sure that you pay attention to yourself even if its just a little bit each day. It’s easy to be overwhelmed and filled with stress, but these are simple tips that will help you along the way! Good luck this semester!


What class are you most excited for this fall? Let me know in the comments down below!


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© 2023 by Natalie Young. Proudly created with Wix.com. Illustration Portfolio.

Zesty Creatives is based out of Colorado.