Five Apps for the Overcommitted Individual

Confession: I’m an over-committer. It’s not even that people are asking me to do things for them, and I’m just too much of a “yes-man” to say no. I’m amazing at saying no, so that’s clearly not the issue. Actually, I just love the feeling of getting involved in something that interests me and then putting every ounce of my passion into it that I wonder how I’m still a semi-functioning human.

Symptoms of being an over-committer include:

-Questioning all of life’s decisions

-Staying up late at night thinking about what you have to do the next day

-A very messy looking calendar

-Several checklists tacked up on your wall with red yarn connecting them all like a serial killer would do

With the help of some great apps on my phone, however, I’ve finally managed to get all my ish together and organize myself. Some of these apps also help me squeeze a little more “me-time” in my day. After downloading these, I’ve been able to be the ultimate hustling boss lady that I’ve always wanted to be.

For the over-committer with plans every minute of every day, try Calendar Op.2

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Costs: Free, or $2.99 for no ads

At first glance, this app doesn’t look any different from the heinous iOS calendar app that comes with every iPhone. However, I’ve found that it so much cleaner and effective than Apple’s calendar. The calendar screen on this app is a lot more colorful and vibrant, while also maintaining that sleek feel. You can color coordinate your events to denote whether the entry is pertaining to family, work, home, etc.

Unlike the Apple calendar, whenever you have an event that spans multiple days (like a vacation), a line runs through every day that the event is scheduled. It’s a simple difference, but I find it a lot more visually organized. The name of the events also pop up right when you open the app—no more having to click that grey little dot to see what’s going on. It does also sync up with your Apple calendar app, meaning you can view what’s going on in your life across several of your devices.


For the over-committer who needs help scheduling a couple of minutes of “me time” into their day, try Headspace

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Costs: Free to download, but need to buy a subscription

I really thought meditation was a bunch of crap that yoga moms in Fabletics were trying to sell me before I tried it out for myself. Meditation actually works, especially for someone like me who suffers from generalized anxiety disorder. Among all the meetings, classes, and writing going on in my life, it’s nice to take about 15 minutes out of my day to just spend with myself. Headspace will let you download it for free and try out its meditations with a ten-day basics course. After that, however, you’ll have to pay for some kind of subscription. Good news, though: there’s a $9.99 a year subscription rate for students.

When you unlock the entire Headspace library, you get access to dozens upon dozens of guided meditations, as well as their section of sleep-related meditations and sound wind-downs, and a new “meditation of the day” that’s updated every 24 hours. There’s also a really nice British man that talks to you in every meditation. The meditations range in time from five to twenty minutes (sometimes even more) so even the busiest of over-committers can do some meditating in their life.


For the over-committer who forgets self-care amidst all of their work, try Pacifica

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Costs: Some aspects are free, but others can only be unlocked under subscription

This is another mindfulness/meditation app I use. However, I don’t really use its meditation features, because most of them are only available under subscription, and Pacifica doesn’t currently offer a student discount. However, I do use the soundscape feature when I’m doing some yoga. I throw on a timed, ten-minute burst of scenery sounds while I’m doing my yoga routine, and it keeps me focused on what I’m doing, but also relaxes me.

That being said, I actually use this app just for one of its basic features: a habit tracker. Under the free version of the app, it helps you track three of your habits you want to accomplish throughout the day. For example, I track how many hours I’ve slept, how much water I drink in a day, and for how long I’ve done something that’s not work-or-school-related. You can set goals for yourself, and at the end of the week, the app will send you an overview of how you did. This really helps to keep me on track with making sure I’m keeping up my mental health along with the 72 projects I’m working on.


For the over-committer who needs to create and distribute quality content on-the-go, try Canva

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Costs: Blissfully free, no strings attached… unless you’re extra and want to upgrade to their business package

God bless Canva. This app has helped me look hella professional in my everyday life. On this app, you can create and order prints of business cards, resumes, flyers, newsletters…you name it, they got it. You can also create downloadable content for platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter. Canva is great for anyone involved in the marketing side of an organization on campus as well. I’ve made tons of event posters and social media posts to promote clubs. They have an incredible online library of templates, pictures, art, and backgrounds.

I will say, the mobile app is pretty clunky. I would recommend creating Canva content on either your laptop or on a tablet. Since you have to create an account to start making content, you can sign in from any device and print your pretty creations anywhere. It’s great to be able to do some quick edits to my stuff on my phone, or to email people my resume right from the app on my phone, without having to open up my laptop.


For the over-committer who loses their creative spark in the chaos of life, try Brainsparker

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Costs: Free, but you have the ability to purchase expansion packs that cost $0.99 each

A teacher once told me there’s “dramatic content” happening every moment of our lives, but sometimes you’re so busy with what’s going on in your life that you miss it. When I sit down to write and am straight outta ideas, I open Brainsparker, which is an app of creative writing prompts. The prompts range from quotes to single words, to concepts to get you started on whatever it is you’re trying to write.

The usefulness of this app goes beyond just creative writers, though. I can easily see this being a great way to find inspiration if you’re trying to write a song, an essay, or looking to find something to draw/paint. There are something like 200 cards in the original free pack, and then you can buy expansion packs later on that have specific themes, like journaling, photos, and segments of dialogue.


At Last, the Break From College

At last, finally, you can catch a break from college. Finals week is over and all you have to is pack up and escape the college reality. This time, you have a whole month! What? Yes, I said the whole month. You finally have the time to sleep in from all those 8 a.m. classes and endless group projects. The only thing you have to type into Google is what you would like to buy online and all the weird question that wonder in your mind. Here’s the tough thing, while you’re on break everyone else around you may not, so here’s just a few things to keep you busy during this break from college.

Get a Job

Photo by HendersonStateU on Flickr

If you want some money in your pocket, I think it’s time for a job! Yes I know, I know. Now even though you just got off from doing work and you finally have a break. Think about the extra money you could earn before you go to campus. You can save up the few weeks before Christmas and have money to buy some presents. You can do jobs like babysitting, dog walking, your old high school job, or even a seasonal job at a department store or local supermarket. It may not be the most exciting idea at the time, but maybe try to work the hours everyone else is so that when you get off you’re available to hang out with the rest of your friends and family when they’re not busy. Probably, it may even pay off part of your tuition. Getting a job is a productive way to keep busy and earn some cash.       

Get Active                                                                                                          

Photo by Dizzy Reyes on Flickr

Today’s the day to get active. Being cooped up in your dorm and eating late night snacks, you may have found yourself lacking some fitness or just some motivation after a tough semester. Probably you find that you have more time to go outside, get some fresh air, and take a walk through your neighborhood. Finals week may have driven you off the path of your daily routine and since you have this long winter break, now is the time you can get back to it. This break may just be a way to incorporate some new skills of training and you can finally try out some of the workouts on YouTube or Pinterest that you have been saving.

Start a New Hobby

Photo by T G on Flickr

Now you may have a lot of time on your hands around this season and you may not know what to do. You can start doing arts and crafts or even start a YouTube channel. Try starting up a business for your future career or make lists about what you want to achieve in the future. So much time on your hands and without any assignments, projects, essays, or extracurriculars, you don’t want to feel stuck or lost because sooner or later you will have to go back on campus. Try to keep yourself occupied so that when you go back to your old school routine, you are not in the downward slump of not being productive. Small simple tasks are just ways to keep you on an effective cycle once you come from a long restful break.

Quality Time

Photo by brantly on Flickr

Don’t forget to hang out with your friends and family. Being away for a couple months, may have not allowed you to keep in contact with them as much as you would’ve before. It’s time that you catch up and just talk about what’s been going on while you were away and what they have been to. Many of your friends are probably back home or in town and now you are able to schedule a time in person to catch up. You can grab a bite to eat with your folks and even endure on various activities for this holiday season. There are also a few holiday activities out there that you and your group can enjoy such as ice skating. This time you won’t have to rush and miss out on plans, but have time to live in the moment.


Take this time to enjoy your long winter break from college. As finals week comes to an end, you have plenty of time to now think about what you will being doing with all this free time on your hands.


Grocery Store Cookies: The Definitive Ranking

I love cookies. This fact probably forms one of the cornerstones of my personality, alongside my semi-nocturnal sleep schedule and my hatred of the B line. Another sad fact of my life is that I am debilitatingly lazy when it comes to cooking. Meals I have eaten this week include: half a bagel; three mandarin oranges, paired with a handful of tortilla chips; one of those Chewy granola bars that are basically candy.

Basically, we’re thriving.

All of this means I never have cooking and/or baking ingredients on hand, because they would absolutely expire before I used them up. Which means I am forced to seek out a homemade-esque cookie alternative elsewhere.

That is where the grocery store comes in. Most grocery store chains have some sort of eerily identical allegedly homemade cookie, in the following varieties: chocolate chip, M&M (or whatever generic word meaning M&M suits your fancy), oatmeal chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, sugar, peanut butter, brownie.

In an astonishingly short amount of time, I have managed to try each and every one of these cookies. Except oatmeal raisin. Oatmeal raisin cookies are simply granola bars.

Now, it’s time to rank them. This will be done through a rubric based on chewiness (a must), overall flavor (obviously), whether they are somewhat gross (an occupational hazard of factory-line desserts), and if I could make quick work of a whole bag.

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My Crazy Christmas Day Schedule

The Christmas season is, without a doubt, one of the craziest times of the year. There never seems to be enough time to accomplish everything before the big day, and when December 25th finally rolls around, the chaos comes to a boiling point. Little cousins are running around asking someone to open up their brand-new easy bake oven. Wrapping paper and elusive twist ties are strewn about the place. Your weird uncle is too busy talking about the Christmas party he went to last week to pass you the mashed potatoes.

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Christmas Items at Target: A Review

There are very few purely, truly, unambiguously one hundred percent Good things in this world. It is the nature of living. But there are fully good things to be found. That picture of Orlando Bloom delightedly bicycling with a small dog in a makeshift Babybjörn, for instance. Or the cinematic masterpiece Zendaya is Meechee.

Three such gifts to humanity are Target, Christmastime, and ridiculous and unnecessary items that cost less than $10. As Justin Bieber once said, “It’s the most beautiful time of the year”: the time when the Target dollar spot is transformed into a shrine to yuletide.

The only thing that could make these items better is a full, thoughtful, very serious review.

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Things To Do During Christmas in College

Being in college only allows you to get out more during the Christmas spirit. It’s time to take a break during this winter season and get out with your friends who are also stuck in their dorm rooms. With more freedom, you can explore the Christmas lights during throughout the night and plan Christmas festivities during the weekends. Here a just a few things that you can do during this Christmas time while in college:

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The Unconventional Christmas Movie Watchlist

It’s finally here, guys—we’re in deep into the Christmas season, which means you no longer have to sit on your couch and watch reruns of Law and Order: SVU on your television (I mean, you do you, sister!). It’s time to get holly freaking jolly and break out those Christmas specials.

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Keeping Up with Faraway People

I hate beginning friendships, but I love maintaining them. There are few things as great in this world as talking to someone you may not have spoken to in a while, but whom you know you could pick up with like no time had passed at all. In fact, probably only two things are better: warm cookies, and that occurrence when you get inside and just as you get in the sky opens up and boom torrential rain, but it couldn’t get you, because you are more powerful than nature itself.

Anyway. It’s not always easy to keep up with people who aren’t physically near you, but it is worth it, both because it’s nice and it makes going home for the holidays a hell of a lot less awkward. You try meeting up with your old group of friends if you’ve ghosted them for a semester.

Not cute. Here are five tips to avoid that direness.

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My Thanksgiving College Haul

My small Kanken backpack, a small duffel bag, and a medium suitcase. All filled up except the suitcase.

Now, why would I need all this for a 5 day Thanksgiving weekend? And I only traveled about 4 hours from Boston to New York City. It may have looked like I have overpacked, but that’s not the case. The suitcase was designed to bring back all the things that I have been craving and needing in the past 2 or 3 months that I have not been home. So, as unravel my suitcase back in my dorm, let me give you a little Thanksgiving break haul.

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The Christmas 2018 Gift Swap Guide

It’s finally December, which means there’s probably one or two fated gift swaps looming on the horizon for you. Whether it’s between family, friends, suitemates/roommates, or classmates, gift swaps can be incredibly stressful.

The anxiety can be even worse when you’re the one organizing a swap. Geez, I can just feel the sweat dripping down my back from thinking about it. Between all the bureaucracy and scheming that goes on during a gift swap, there’s definitely lots to be worried about.

With that in mind, I’ve devised to create a 2018 gift swap guide to help alleviate the unwanted, unnecessary stress associated with this Christmas gift-giving staple. Gift swaps might look complicated from the outside, but don’t let them fool you—they’re actually not as daunting as they appear to be. Read ahead, and learn to conquer your fear of gifts swaps—you’ve got this, sweetie!

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