Thursday, September 3, 2015

Bookish School Days

When I was accepted to my grad school program, I had a lot of thoughts cross my mind. It was seven years since I had previously been in school and working toward a degree and a lot had changed and was continuing to change. Unlike my undergrad experience, I was now working full time and had bills to pay. I wasn't going to be going to school full time but, instead, focusing on one class per term. I wasn't entirely sure how I would be juggling it all and it stressed me out a little. And yet, there was a light at the end of the anxiety tunnel: going back to school also meant I could go school shopping.

From the age of five straight through to my senior year of college, I was always jumping with joy when the school year began winding down. I loved summer vacation but, like clockwork, once August hit I began being antsy. As a kid I would play school constantly and I eagerly awaited back to school shopping. I loved everything about it. There were only two times a year that my mother would take me out to buy a lot of clothing: at the start of the school year and when the weather warmed up in the spring. Beside this, I loved buying school supplies. The smell of erasers and pencils filled the air and I eagerly clutched my school shopping list while going through the aisles of my local Walmart. I'd pick out my folders and favored Trapper Keepers and Lisa Frank when I was young (Five Star as a teen) and organized and reorganized my book bag up until I went to school that first day. I always felt a little sad when my new school supplies "broke in." You know, the first crumbled corner of a folder or lost pen, things like that.

During the six autumns that came and went while I wasn't attending classes, I would always go out of my way to browse the back to school aisles for that comforting smell of new supplies. I rarely had any need to buy any of the products, although I'd always pick up fresh pens (I hoard them) and post-its. Now, this year, I had a real reason to go school shopping!

But I'm an adult that likes order and consistency. I like things to match as best as they can. So I decided, what better way to welcome the new school year and the start of graduate school than to make a theme of my school supplies? A bookish theme seemed obvious considering I'm studying creative writing!

My boyfriend purchased the Pride and Prejudice bag and notebooks as Christmas presents back in December. This was long before I had decided to pursue my master's but I held onto them all with the intention of putting them to use. Maybe it was a sign. Like the dork I am, I put my name and classes on my first notebook of choice. This way, once I fill multiple notebooks with school notes, I'll be able to easily see what class notes are in each notebook.

As earlier mentioned, I hoard pens. I really love gel pens and just about anything that has a smooth, even line that makes writing effortless. I have a collection of Sharpie pens which I really love, but earlier in the summer I was introduced to Staedtler Triplus Fineliner pens. These pens are fabulous and come in an array of colors. I picked mine up at Target -- the only one they had on stock! -- and have been switching back and forth from color to color for each week's lessons. I also have started color-coding my planner which has been a great help for me to differentiate all that I have going on from day to day.

The Simplified Planner by Emily Ley has been a godsend. I'm particular with my planners and always have been; I favor the academic planner feel because I like being able to list all that I need to get done. Crossing off each item gives me a high and I certainly need that push sometimes when I'm exhausted from work but still have reading and writing to do. What's great about the Simplified Planner is that you get the best of ALL planners: a monthly calendar for your full outlook, a to do list for each day, and an hour-by-hour breakdown list as well.

There's also nothing better than little pick-me-up coffee cups. If you're going to be working full time, going to school full time, doing a little bit of one and the other, or doing both (how can you handle it? I can't imagine taking more than one class per term!) you're likely going to need a caffeinated fix if caffeine is your thing. I love coffee that has mostly creamer but I also enjoy various teas. Luckily, I have an assortment of really fabulous coffee mugs that I've purchased over the years. My Shakespearean insult mug is one of my most used mugs as it is huge. If I could, I'd collect coffee mugs like I collect my pens.

Decorating my bag is always something fun. Bags are cute, they hold a lot of personality, but I don't see why we can't add more to them. Adding pins to my bag is something to spice it up and bring a little bit more of my personality to the bag as a whole. I also like keeping odds and ends handy in case I need them for any reason. A book light in case there's some dim reading or note taking and a handy writing notebook that my friend gifted me. This notebook is fabulous as there's inspirational quotes as well as daily writing advice, which I may need as I am quite acquainted with writers block. And needless to say: a USB drive is your best friend. I like emailing myself documents I right but I've had poor experiences with that method in the past where important documents have gotten lost in my inbox or deleted completely. Having everything saved on the USB drive is a great help for having the assurance there are multiple copies pigeonholed through out my internet realm, but I also find it helpful to be able to switch between my laptop to my desktop if need be.

If you're interested in the items shown above, check out the handy links to where you can purchase these for yourself. As a note: this isn't a sponsored post but totally my own opinionated thoughts. Have fun and happy school year!

School Supplies

Staedtler 20 pack marker pens
Out of Print notebooks: banned books, library card, and Pride and Prejudice
Out of Print tote bag: Pride and Prejudice
Simplified Planner: academic planner - happy stripe
Shakespearean insult mug
French Bull reading lights: mosaic
The Creative Writer's notebook
Doctor Who pins have been picked up at various places, the "Open Books" pin was picked up at City Lights in San Francisco.
USB picked up at Target, I like that there's a little pattern on it!

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