What to Pack: Mexico Edition

If you’re like me, you are notorious for overpacking for any vacation. But, I think I have some tips and tricks for how to pack light and optimize space. This year, I’m doing a girls trip with my mom to Playa del Carmen, Mexico, (cue all the excitement!!). We are leaving this Sunday out of Dallas and are running around to get everything we need packed. I think we have compiled all the necessary things to pack for a super fun trip to Mexico!

 

We are going to Playa del Carmen and have two excursions planned. We are going to the Mayan ruin sites for one day and we are going to a lagoon with cliff jumping, ziplining, and lounging around the next. So, we kept that in mind when we packed for this trip.

 

We packed 4 nice outfits for dinner and picture purposes. We got the majority of our outfits from J. Crew and packed colorful tops and paired them with neutral shorts. For the excursions, we packed 2 outfits of lululemon shorts with a t shirt and our bathing suit underneath. I found that the best way to save space in a suitcase is to roll the clothing and pack them into a gallon sized ziploc bag. I would roll an outfit into each gallon sized ziploc bag and mark on the outside what day I would wear it. I know that may sound silly, but it really helps when trying to make sure you have enough outfits for days you’ll be there.

 

The shoes that we brought were our Chacos for excursions and then we brought neutral sandals to pair with every outfit. A tip for packing tennis shoes is to put all the socks inside the shoes to cut down on space in the luggage.

 

In addition to all the outfits, we both will share shampoo, conditioner, and dry shampoo, that sort of thing. She and I both get eaten alive by bugs, so we were sure to pack bug spray and sunscreen.

 

After all the basics, we are packing our Nikon camera and our GoPro to take photos and video. We were sure to pack headphones, chargers, and all of our devices.

 

Make sure to pack only the clothes that you need because you will more than likely buy t shirts and other souvenirs and want to make sure that you have the space to take it home!

 

Hopefully those are some little tips that will guide you on what to pack for your next beach trip!
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School Supplies Essentials

The 3 school supply essentials that helped me manage school, a job, and several clubs.

I’m sure I’m not the only one that gets a little giddy when I see brand new school supplies showing up in Target! In the spirit of the best time of year, I listed a few items that always end up in my shopping cart when it comes time to buying school supplies.

 

  • Accordion Folder
    • They make cute ones, I swear! This is by far the most important item on this list. I have used one since middle school, yes I was that girl. But, I have never lost any handout, homework, book, anything. You will be surprised how often kids lose something and it ends up harming them in the long run. Most teachers set up an online resource for students to get all the papers they need, but if you’re like me and like to have tangible papers, definitely grab this. Five Star makes some that run horizontal and vertical that come in cute colors! Like here.
  • Agenda
    • If I didn’t have my agenda, I wouldn’t show up to anything or turn in a single assignment all year. Some people may choose to use their phone instead of a physical agenda, but I have found that taking the time every week to plan everything out is more helpful. It’s nice to have a physical reminder of what needs to get done in a given week. This will allow for you to lay everything out for your week and manage your time to fit everything in. You are too busy to be able to keep track of everything in your head, treat yourself and get an agenda! My personal favorite is from Lilly Pulitzer that lasts a year and a half.
  • Color Coded Spirals
    • I have always color coded a spiral with subjects in school. For example, blue was always math, green was science, red was Spanish, so on. I also had block scheduling in high school, so my backpack was different from day to day. I found that it was easier for me to pack my backpack the night before, or more often rushing out the door the next morning if I knew what colors I was reaching for. I usually opted for the college ruled Five Star notebooks to accommodate for my obnoxiously large handwriting.

 

Hopefully these tips will help you get organized and proactive this upcoming school year. Happy shopping!

 

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How to Apply for College

Tips I used to get into the University of Oklahoma!

With college application season upon us, I have compiled a list of tips I used when I applied to college. I was accepted to the University of Oklahoma and will attend this fall (Boomer!), but I also applied and was accepted to the University of Arkansas. Both schools had very different applications, but these tips should help you with just about every application.

1. Be early

Do your research and figure out what schools accept what application. For example, all public Texas schools will accept the ApplyTexas application. Other schools like the University of Oklahoma will accept the Common Application. And some schools like the University of Arkansas have their own application for their school. But either way, know when they come out. This is as simple as a Google search. Be aware of when they come out so you can begin working on it. The earlier you submit your application, the better. Schools have a limited number of spots for their incoming class, so it’s better to get it in early to secure your place. Also, it shows an admissions counselor that you are interested in their school.

2. Take your Time

Review, review, review and take your time! It is so easy to overlook a mistake simply because you were rushed. Yes, turn in your application early, but be sure to have several sets of eyes take a look. Giving yourself ample time to review and look through everything ensures that you provide the university with all the necessary tools to grant admission. Ask people you trust to take a look at your application and make sure you emphasize that you want them to give honest criticisms so you can create the strongest application possible.

3. Edit, edit, edit, and edit a little more

Going hand in hand with #2, edit your application. There is no way that it is perfect and ready to submit the first time you run through it. I know I sound like a nagging English teacher, but there’s some merit to this. It is so easy to miss a simple error because you didn’t edit enough. Make sure to have someone you trust look over your application and have them mark all over it. A simple error or misspelling in an essay can be the difference between getting into the school or getting wait listed.

4. Be realistic about your options

Make sure to establish your safety, mid, and reach schools. It is important to assess where you rank among your peers. There is no need to apply to an ivy league school if you graduated last in your class. The way to figure out where you rank among those who are also applying to this school is to find out the statistics. This is as simple as “Who is the average student applying to (college/university)”, this will give you an idea of what you are up against. For example, the average student attending the University of Oklahoma had 3.62 GPA, 26 ACT score, is a business major and from Texas. If those bare bones criteria sounded a lot like you, then you know that the University of Oklahoma may be a good mid school for you. Contrarily, the average Harvard student had a 4.10 GPA, 35 ACT score, is Social Science major from the United States with a heavy foreign student population. If that didn’t sound like you, but you still want to apply, know that it will be your reach school. Collegedata.com is my favorite source for all this information.

5. Have a Resume Ready

Time to brag about yourself! Woohoo! In your application, there will be a spot for you to list out every achievement with a short description. Before the application goes live, go ahead and write up a list for every little, miniscule achievement you had since freshman year. Be sure to list any clubs you were involved with, especially those with any leadership role. It comes across very well if you were involved in some club or organization all throughout high school. So if they limit you on how many you can list, be sure to prioritize those clubs first. Don’t be shy about your accomplishments! Especially if you were involved in a variety of things in school. Make sure to list that you were the captain of your drill team and was the senior editor for your yearbook (if you actually did that of course). It is important to show an admissions counselor that you are a well rounded individual.
Hopefully these tips will help as you power through all of those applications! Good luck!

 

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Sources:
“Harvard College – CollegeData College Profile.” COLLEGEdata. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 July 2017.
“University of Oklahoma – CollegeData College Profile.” COLLEGEdata. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 July 2017.

 

 

* I have no affiliation with the admissions department at the University of Oklahoma. The criteria for admission varies from school to school.

 

5 Ways to Get an Internship

Want to know how I’ve had an internship since I was 15?
Here are my tips!

1.Research, research, and some more research

It’s important to first determine what field you’re interested in. If you know that you want to have a career in law, then go to some effort to figure out what type of law you’re interested in and who is the best at it. Make sure you put some effort into finding out what the general public feels about this company to know what you’re getting into. Go to local events that have to do with your area and see what they have to offer.

 

2. Ask around

Ask your parents, teachers, neighbors, anyone! You’ll be surprised to find out how willing other people are to help you find a summer internship. Remember, it’s more about who you know than what you know. Make sure to work on those networking skills and having contacts in a variety of different fields.

 

3.Build that Resume

Make sure to have all previous work experience and list of achievements ready to go. Employers understand that you may not have a ton of work experience at a young age, but they do expect to see that you were involved in something in school, and hopefully relating to your major! It’s important to try and show that you have a variety of different skills or organizations you belong to. Be sure to list any skills you have whether that be that you can speak Spanish or are a wiz at photoshop.

 

4. Be Eager

Attitude is everything. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to be engaged. If you don’t invest yourself into finding the right internship for you, then it likely won’t shake out. No employer wants to hire you as an intern if you’re not enthusiastic about the work.

 

5. Utilize Social Media

Create a LinkedIn profile to help with the search and you can put up a post on Facebook seeing if anyone is looking for a summer intern. Social media makes it easy to find what companies are offering internships.