My Winter Netflix Favorites 2017

This post is sponsored by Panasonic, but all thoughts and opinions are my own! Thank you for supporting The Wise Willow! 🙂

Happy December! I woke up this morning to the first snow of the season, and it made me feel all the more excited about the holiday season! My semester abroad is coming to a close, and amongst final papers and projects (and travel planning to return home!) I have been relaxing with my recent Netflix favorites.

This year, watching Netflix movies and shows has been one of my favorite ways to relax. I downloaded the app on my phone before my summer travels, and was able to watch my favorite shows on my long plane journeys! When I can, though, I love to watch Netflix on bigger screens like my laptop or the Panasonic Oled 4k TV. I have been watching a variety of shows, ranging from intense mysteries to holiday films. I wanted to share with you what I have been watching recently, because I have found a few amazing films on a whim!

Stranger Things 2

I joined the Stranger Things bandwagon quite late–I watched the first season right before the release of the second. I hesitated about watching it initially, because the premise reminded me of Super 8 (which was a movie that definitely freaked me out–I’m not much of a Si-Fi fan unfortunately). But I gave it a go and was captivated by the plot line. There were definitely moments when watching it alone at night was probably not the best idea, but I couldn’t help it! It was my go-to show for relaxing after a long day of classes this semester. Once I finished the first season, I went right on to the second!

I don’t want to give any spoilers for the second season, but I highly recommend that you watch it if you’re at all interested. The second season got even better (somehow!) in my opinion, and was something that I could talk about with family, friends, and people on Twitter as I watched each episode!

Riverdale

This is another show that I was a bit late with, but I decided to give the first episode a try in October and I haven’t looked back. I didn’t think it would be my kind of show (dark mystery and suspense) but I look forward to each episode of season 2 that is released. The next episode is coming out December 7th and the season ends on the 14th! I really hope there is a season 3 of the show, because I have come to love the characters and storyline. The second season has definitely taken on a more serious and intense tone (as many second seasons do), and every Thursday night I look forward to seeing what new developments are made.

Supergirl

This is another show that I didn’t think I would like as much (I have watched a few superhero movies and never felt completely interested in them), but it has been a show I enjoy watching when I’m looking for a more uplifting yet engaging TV show. I enjoy the humor and the plot in this show, and new episodes are released regularly!

Shadowhunters

This is a show that I have been watching since over the summer, and the third season is set to air on TV in April. The first and second seasons are available on Netflix, and I highly recommend starting them! This is more of a fantasy series, and because of that I wasn’t sure if I would like it (I read the book series and didn’t like the movie made a few years ago too much). But I’m so glad I started watching it because the character development is amazing, and the cast works really well together. The show is directed really well, and you never know what’s going to happen next!

The Spirit of Christmas

Last weekend I wanted to watch a holiday film, and I stumbled across one that was set in Vermont at an old in. From the Netflix description I thought it was going to be really cheesy, but I decided to give it a try. I’m so glad I did! When I finished watching it, I immediately messaged a fellow New England friend and told her she had to watch it (she also loved it)! The humor and plot was very engaging, and it was a great holiday find!

I am always looking for more Netflix recommendations, and would love to know what shows and movies you have been loving lately! Also let me know what you think of any of these shows if you start watching them! 🙂

©2017 The Wise Willow and Alyssa DeBella.

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Minimalism: Organizing for Your Lifestyle

 

I received a copy of Organizing for Your Lifestyle in exchange for my honest review. 

Over the past few months, my travel has taught me that minimalism has benefits that extend beyond your own home. I’ve been traveling with three bags since May of this year, and I packed them all with minimalism in mind.

I have one bag for clothes, one for my health essentials (shampoo, conditioner, skincare, vitamins, etc.), and one for my electronics and school essentials. Three bags has been a manageable amount to carry as one person, and they fit all of my essentials for my everyday life.

My three journey bags

Before I left on my summer trips, I read Organizing for Your Lifestyle by Jane Stoller for packing inspiration. This was an amazing read that gave me ideas for both my home/dorm organization and for minimalist packing!

One of the challenges this summer was packing for both cold and warm weather in one bag. It was winter in Chile, and very much summer in Costa Rica. At first I was at a loss for how to pack for these two conditions, but Organizing for Your Lifestyle had wardrobe tips to help minimize what you carry and maximize your options.

Layered outfits!

I was packing for both professional and casual settings, which can definitely be challenging with limited space. However, I learned that packing layers provided many opportunities for mixing and matching. You can see what I ended up packing for my summer journey here!

I have been embracing a minimalist lifestyle since the summer of 2016, and have refined it to suit my lifestyle. As I have mentioned in previous posts, minimalism is about owning only what you use often—not about owning as few items as possible. I’ve found that eliminating excess from my life has allowed me to eliminate emotional weight and to feel more carefree.

Jane Stoller wrote about her own experience with minimalism, in a piece that emphasizes it’s unique embodiment in everyone:

 

My Minimalist Lifestyle by Jane Stoller

The Japanese have long been the experts on knowing how to have a minimalist dwelling, and Japanese organizing guru Marie Kondo’s best-selling book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up (2014) is a gem for people who want to move toward a less cluttered lifestyle. Kondo places a lot of emphasis on keeping only items that give you joy, and getting rid of everything else. In her book, Kondo argues that it’s important to create a space in your heart for the things that really matter to you, and that it’s important to give thanks for these things—even literally, by talking to the items in your home. This might sound a bit “airy fairy” to some, but I found that Kondo’s insights helped me to really appreciate what I have, while reminding me not to accumulate stuff I don’t need. Kondo also warns against organizing too much, as this can actually create additional things, and additional clutter.

One particularly valuable trick I learned from Kondo was to never keep all the extra buttons you get with the clothes you buy. I used to be very proud of my button collection, which was, of course, meticulously organized. However, I never used even one of the buttons; when I did lose a button, I would usually go to a tailor, and he would put on a new button that matched. But my button collection just kept growing. When I do feel it’s important to keep a button—from an expensive or unique coat or blazer, for example—I sew it on the inside.

De-clutter your space and your life by embracing minimalism. Personally, I don’t take this one to the extreme, but I do try. I recently read a book written by Francine Jay, who describes herself as Miss Minimalist. After reading Jay’s book, I think she’s earned the title. Jay gives simple strategies on how to begin to live a minimalist lifestyle. My favourite idea from Jay’s book involves downsizing by one thing each day, either by donating it, selling it, tossing it, re-gifting, etc. If you do this, by the end of the year, you’ll have de-cluttered an awe-inspiring 365 items. Jay’s minimalist style might be a bit extreme for some; case in point, she states that black is her staple wardrobe colour, and claims she only has 6 pairs of shoes. But her passionate discussion of her process, and her claims about how much lighter she feels after having made the switch to minimalism, may just be enough to convince you to follow her example. The opening of the book is a letter to her “stuff” which, although comical, really compels you to evaluate why our stuff is so important to us. You might even find it a useful exercise to try and write a similar letter to your own stuff. After all, if you can’t explain the benefits of an item to the item itself, it probably needs to go.

To get you started, here are a few things you can get rid of to live a more minimalist lifestyle: books (they take up so much space!), expired toiletries and products you never use, clothes that don’t fit or that you haven’t worn in years, and of course, those extra buttons.

 

I highly recommend Organizing for Your Lifestyle if you are interested in learning how to embrace a minimalism that helps you get rid of clutter and embrace a more organized lifestyle! You can purchase it from a number of stores, including Amazon!

I am preparing to go abroad again, this time for an entire semester. I am going to implement the same techniques to pack for this journey, and I will post about the final result! J How have you embraced minimalism in your life? Do you have any minimalist travel tips? Share them in the comments below!

©2017 The Wise Willow and Alyssa DeBella. All rights reserved.

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The Power of the Past: Poems from my Childhood

On August 8th my blog will be two years old. Just writing that out makes it feel more real! I started this journey in a time that feels so different from the present, and my blog has grown with me. Today I was going through storage boxes as I prepare to leave for a semester abroad, and I stumbled upon books of poetry that I wrote in elementary school.

As I have mentioned before, my love for writing started around the second grade, when I would fill notebooks upon notebooks with stories and poems and let my imagination run free. Reading back through these poems, I am reminded of why I started my blog in the first place. It’s so easy to get caught up in the marketing side of blogging, and this has helped me remember that my blog is a place to share my journey with the world. I’ve learned more than I thought possible by learning about marketing and business, but it’s always important to remind yourself why you started.

I wanted to share a few of the poems that I found today with you, so that you can see where my love for writing came from, and where my blog inspiration took root.

 

 

 

 

As I read back over these poems, I was reminded of my love for the written word. I haven’t written poetry since 2011, but I now feel inspired to start anew. All of my gratitude goes to you, my readers, because you have allowed me to live my dreams.

© 2017 The Wise Willow and Alyssa DeBella. All rights reserved.

 

 

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Home.

Home. A place of refuge and warmth. Familiar and welcoming. Withstanding the test of time.

 

Home. A place of community, laughter, and memories that last a lifetime.

 

 

 

Home. A place of peace and calm among unfamiliar surroundings.

 

Home. A place that resonates with your soul, and brings back memories of a past long gone.

Home. A place with furry tails and frosted faces that remind you of the unconditional love you have been given for eight years.

 

Home. A place of true connection, despite its physical location.

 

Home. A place of adventure with others who share life visions.

Home. A place you will always have in your heart, no matter where you are.

Home.

©2017 The Wise Willow and Alyssa DeBella. All rights reserved.

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6 Minimalist (and green!) Travel Tech Essentials

This post has not been sponsored. There are affiliate links within this post, which means that I get a percentage of a purchase you make when you click on them. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make The Wise Willow possible! (Also, as always, everything I promote I personally love! 🙂 )

I have been traveling abroad for one month and two days now, and I have learned a lot about what I use on a daily basis. As a minimalist traveler, I had to choose carefully what I packed with me on this trip. After one full month I have realized that I keep reaching for the same six items over and over–so I wanted to share them with you!

1. RFID Blocking Passport Holder

I knew that I was going to be traveling through airports and streets, and was aware of having my passport physically taken or lost. However, I was not aware of digital data that can be taken from passports as you travel. I decided to get the Travelambo RFID Blocking Passport Holder, and store my passport with all of my important IDs in it. Not only does this make it easier for me to keep track of my passport (I got it in purple, my favorite color and one that is easy to see in my bag), but it gives me peace of mind during my extended travel. It also makes it easier to go through security!

2. PowerAdd Portable Charger

I have definitely been in one of those travel situations where my phone is running low on battery and there are no charging stations available. This adds extra stress, especially if you are traveling somewhere you have never been before. I bought the PowerAdd Slim Portable Charger to use for my phone, and I can tell you that I have reached for it quite a few times after long travel days. Each full charge will give me an extra 8 hours of full phone use, which has saved me from many a stressful situation. On my second weekend we had a massive storm that cut the power where I was staying for a full day. I had charged up my portable battery in preparation, and am so glad that I did! I was able to let everyone know that I was safe, and to keep updated on conditions and use my phone flashlight.

3. Eagle Creek Undercover Money Belt

Many of you know that I own what I call my “keychain of life” aka a lanyard that has the most anyone has probably tried to put on a lanyard… and I knew that this would not be the ideal wallet to use while abroad. It had many items I did not need (cards for local stores, etc.), and was bulky to carry around. I knew that I would be carrying three bags on my own, and have only one free hand. I decided to use this Eagle Creek Money Belt to store my cash and credit/debit cards under my clothes. This made it discreet, but also allowed me to easily access money without being worried about holding on to lots of items. It is also very comfortable for walking long distances or wearing for long periods of time (I have definitely tested this out), and sometimes I forget that I’m wearing it!

4. Reusable Water Bottle

I decided to leave my Nalgene water bottle at home for my travels, because one liter is simply too big to carry around consistently and with ease. However, sustainability and health are two of my primary concerns when it comes to minimalist travel so a reusable water bottle was a must. I opted for one that was easy to distinguish, and that holds half a liter of water. It is easy to clean, and has saved me lots of money at airports when I can pass on buying $6 disposable plastic water bottles. As someone who recognizes the importance of hydration as well, it has ensured that I stay healthy and minimize dehydration risks from long travel days and changing climates.

5. Mable Bamboo Toothbrush

Sustainability is something that I am very passionate about, and bamboo products are one of the best ways to manage your environmental impact while traveling. MABLE bamboo toothbrushes are self-standing and gentle on the gums, which makes them perfect for my sensitive teeth. They also have removable bristles so that you can reuse the handle for sustainable projects! (I think I am going to use mine as a label for an herb garden). For $10 they are more than worth the investment! You can read more about their initiative and goals here!

6. Dollar Shave Club Razor

Last–but not least–is a Dollar Shave Club razor. I joined back in May when I realized that I was paying way too much for a razor. As someone with dark hair, I shave quite often. I was intrigued by the idea of a razor subscription service, and decided to give it a go! Now I am someone who uses blades for longer than they probably should, but the Dollar Shave Club lets you change how often you receive replacements. As someone who cares about the environment but who knew that a safety razor would be hard to take traveling, this made perfect sense. The handle is durable and well-made, with detachable razor blade cartridges. It cost a grand total of $5 for me to get a razor and five blades, and I still have four of them left. I used to pay $10 for a good disposable razor that would last me a few months, but would have to throw the entire thing away and repurchase). Not only did I spend a lot of money, but I created a lot of trash. Now I have reduced my costs and my environmental impact! If you are interested in joining, click here!

These are the six items that I find myself using almost every day, and ones that I know I will continue to use as I travel through Costa Rica and Serbia for the rest of the year. What are your minimalist travel tech essentials?

©2017 The Wise Willow and Alyssa DeBella. All rights reserved.

 

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How to Be More Productive as a Student: 5 Tips by Guest Blogger Melanie of Unicorners.co

Today’s post is a guest post by Melanie of Unicorners.co, and is perfect for students currently going through final exams (like me!) or students planning to take summer courses. I am so excited to have her featured on my blog, and I know you will love this post! 🙂

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We all have them: days where we feel lazy and don’t want to do anything but to lay in bed and eat. If you feel like you are struggling daily to motivate yourself and get things done then this post might be exactly for you! I have tried so many different things to improve my productivity as a student. Now I want to share what has worked best for me. These are my top 5 tips on how to become more productive as a student.

1) Plan your day, week, and month

I can’t stress this one enough. It is my number one tip that I always share with people who feel sluggish and don’t really feel like doing anything. People tend to be very visual, and writing down all the tasks for the day seems to be very effective.

But don’t just plan the next day. Try to divide your workload into days or weeks. When seeing all the tasks you have to get done in a week you won’t feel like procrastinating that much because you know that each task that stays undone will fill the next day with even more tasks you don’t really want to do. This helped me to sit down and check things off the list step by step. It is a wonderful feeling when you look at the to-do list in the evening and everything is crossed out.

2) Set a timer

I wish I would have known that tip at the beginning of my studies because I struggled a lot to find a way to motivate myself. The problem was, that I sat on my desk the whole day literally just looking at all the notes in front of me. At the end of the day, I didn’t get a lot of things done but felt exhausted because I felt like I wasn’t getting anywhere, even though I studied a lot. If you just give yourself the span of a whole day you will never be as concentrated as if you set a timer and have a good break afterward.

I recommend trying the Pomodoro technique, but you can also just set the timer for 60 minutes. Turn off all devices, get everything off your desk and JUST STUDY. When the alarm goes off, get up and do something completely different. Allow yourself to do anything you really like in that short break. I like to set a timer for 60 minutes to study and then take 20 minutes to have a break. I get so much more done in a day now that I use this technique. I even feel like I enjoy studying because it is very intense and productive but I also have time to do whatever I feel like doing during the breaks.

3) Have something to look forward to

My days have become so much more productive when I started planning something for each evening. This might be going to your favorite café and eating that delicious piece of red velvet cake, or watching the new episode of your favorite tv show. I get so excited and work faster to be able to do whatever I want to do in the evening. Sometimes I even jump out of bed in the mornings and want to start as soon as possible because I just can’t wait to be finished with my work.

The tricky part is, that you have to be really strict and you have to have a lot of self-discipline. Otherwise, you won’t wait until the evening or until you finished that boring assignment. Having something to look forward to each day as a kind of reward, you will find it a lot easier to study hard.

4) The biggest workload comes first

This one is very important as well. I like to start with the easier tasks because it feels good to cross off things on the to-do list. But actually, it doesn’t do you any good, because after all the easy tasks you will feel tired and won’t feel like doing the really big and annoying task. Often we just procrastinate and leave it for the next day.

However, by starting with the biggest workload first, you won’t have that problem anymore. Your mind is the sharpest a few minutes after waking up. Using it for the biggest task will make it a lot easier to finish it fast. All the little tasks that come after will be done soon and you will feel satisfied in the evening.

5) Have a goal in your mind

This is not comparable to number 3 of this list. Number 3 is important for your everyday motivation. But – it can fail you on those days that you really want to buy a ticket, get on a plane and leave this country forever. That’s when this tip comes into play: have a bigger goal in your mind. This might be your dream job that you can only do if you finish your studies, or maybe the car you’ve been longing to buy but can’t afford if you don’t get a well-paying job after your graduation. This might even be the accomplishment of finishing your studies with a magna cum laude. Whatever it is, keep that in mind. If you are, like me, a very visual person, make a vision board. You can find a lot of examples online but the idea of a vision board is, to print pictures of your goals; your dream house, a job, a bag you want to buy, vacation etc. You can draw, pin and decorate whatever and however you like it. Put the vision board in front of your desk and look at it every day.

This helps me to do whatever it takes to get to my goals.

I hope my 5 tips on how to become more productive as a student have helped you! Tell me your favorite tip, as I like to get in touch with my readers.

Love,

Melanie

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Melanie is 23 years old, a half Colombian and half Dutch girl living in Switzerland. She applied to a University in Amsterdam where she will start her Bachelors in International Business Administration in September 2017. With her blog she likes to share her journey of moving abroad, and all her tips and tricks on how to study smarter, not harder. www.unicorners.co

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Being a Bawse

This post has not been sponsored. There are affiliate links within this post, which means that I get a percentage of a purchase you make when you click on them. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make The Wise Willow possible! (Also, as always, everything I promote I personally love! 🙂 )

I started watching Lilly Singh (aka Superwoman)’s YouTube videos way back in high school, during my homework breaks. I found her to be an inspiration, someone who was able to make me laugh and relate to her experiences. I followed her progression as a creator over the years, noticing how she grew as a person but always stayed true to the vision she had started with.

At that point in time, I had never thought of myself as a creator. In fact, if there was a project in high school that was described as a creative endeavor I would inwardly panic, thinking I had no creative ability whatsoever. I had always known that my drawing/painting/anything art related skills were far and few, not recognizing that there were other ways to be creative. I had boxed in a definition of creativity, and dismissed myself because I happened to fall outside of those characteristics.

I always love hearing how other creatives started their blogs, channels, and other media because these stories usually have something in common: whether they thought of themselves as creative or not, they recognized this ability and what they can share with the world. As I have said before, I had a lightbulb moment of recognition when I saw a Pinterest post about starting a blog written by the lovely Morgan Timm. It was as if I was seeing myself in a new light, suddenly remembering how much I used to love writing when I was younger. All of the journals, diaries, and short stories that would escape my imagination and leave imprints on the pages of my childhood. How I dreamed of becoming an author one day. All of these feelings came back in a rush, for they had been buried for so long.

I have seen a similar progression in my own creative endeavors from when I started until now. In August I will have been blogging for two years, and I find it difficult to put all that I have learned into words.

When I saw that Lilly had written a book (something I have always dreamed of doing!), I knew that I had to get a copy. I was fortunate enough to stumble across a signed copy, and could barely wait for it to arrive. It came to my campus mailbox this past Monday, and was one of the best ways to start the week. I started reading it with no preconceived notions of what to expect.

Words cannot even describe how I felt as I turned each page. It was almost as if I was hearing the echoes of my own heart. Each vivid page brought my own dream to life, and more than that it made me feel like I wasn’t alone.

To give you some background, I try to put my all into everything that I do and am quite busy as a result. I enjoy putting my best foot forward, but it hasn’t always been an easy journey.

In high school I was quite stressed. Beyond that, my life was void of the creative energy that fills every gap in my life today. I was trapped in the box that I had drawn around myself, committed to living a scholarly life that never tested my creative ability. Lilly describes her own struggle with feeling as though she wasn’t pursuing her passions, and just living a life she thought she was meant to live. Though she experienced this after college, I resonated with the idea completely. I was stuck in my own idea of what my best life was, restricting my own growth.

When I started my blog, I started to erase the box and draw lines in new directions. I journeyed into the unknown, guided by the creative voice that I had subdued for so long. Instead of critiquing all of my creative choices, I embraced them. I made mistakes, I learned, and most of all I loved. The color started to seep back into my world, and I could feel my creativity growing with each day.

Lilly took on creativity as a full-time job, and does an amazing job of balancing it all despite the criticisms that she receives. As a student blogger, it’s common for me to have my motivations questioned. My day is scheduled nearly hour by hour, and I am always reading, writing, working, and creating. There are many who don’t understand why I choose to spend this much time on creativity, but for me it can only be explained by passion. It never feels like work for me, and as I sit here right now typing in the early hours of the morning I feel surrounded by joy and positive energy.

Blogging has allowed me to embrace my true self, and erase the rigid lines I had thought were permanent. There were many creators who inspired me to take this leap, and I can only hope that I inspire others to do the same.

If you haven’t read How to Be a BawseI highly recommend that you grab a copy! I read it in one day, and haven’t stopped thinking about it. How have you embraced your creative self?

©2017 The Wise Willow and Alyssa DeBella. All rights reserved.

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Advice from a Double Major

For this week’s post I decided that I wanted to focus more on my college life, seeing as the semester is already progressing to a close. It’s hard to believe that I am almost halfway done with my college experience as a whole! I’ve been a double major since October of this year (and an intended double major for quite some time before that!), and thought I would talk about all that I have learned.

When I started my college journey, I thought I was going to major in Economics and potentially specialize in studies of global development. However, as I progressed on my college journey and through my college classes, I felt a spark of passion for Religious Studies. I declared this as my first major in my second semester of college, and only then did I start to think that I might want to add another major to the mix. I had always been interested in politics and policy, and after taking a few classes officially added Political Science as a major last semester.

Being a double major is definitely not easy, but if there are two subjects that you are interested in it’s well worth the effort! Since my college does not offer minors, double majoring is an in-depth study of two disciplines. Here are a few things I’ve learned along the way:

Be Prepared for Many Advising Appointments and Four-Year Plan Drafts

Planning for one major can be difficult in of itself, and planning for a double major is much like figuring out a difficult puzzle: it takes a lot of work to make it all fit. But once it does the effort is more than worth it! I think I have made about seven or eight full four-year plan drafts in my almost four semesters of college so far. I’ve made countless appointments to meet with both of my major advisers, and have also met with the career office and registrar. Because each major has different requirements, it’s important to talk with both of your advisers to see if a department allows dual credit for a class–that is, the class counts for major credit in both disciplines.

Think About the Type of Work that Each of Your Majors Requires

Both of my majors are reading and writing intensive, and because of this planning is key. I usually have a paper due each week at the minimum, plus reading assignments and other commitments. Using my planner effectively was a skill that I learned to value during my first year of college.

That being said, don’t let your double major prevent you from participating in extracurriculars and campus/community events! I volunteer and participate in a number of community organizations, have two campus jobs, and am on the student committee for one of my majors. I also blog and make YouTube videos. 🙂 But I manage to fit it all in, and still focus on self-care.

Don’t Let your Double Major Prevent you from Studying Abroad

This is important. I wasn’t going to study abroad because I thought that it wouldn’t be physically possible for me to fit it into my schedule. When people asked if I was going abroad, I told them that my double major was too full to let me do so. But I still decided to look at the programs being offered, and I found one that resonated so completely with the goals of both of my majors and my future aspirations.

Intrigued, I made appointments with both of my advisers and the registrar to see if it would be possible. And to my surprise it was! The application process was a bit stressful since I waited so long, so I recommend looking into it ahead of time if you have any interest in studying abroad. Don’t eliminate the possibility until you check the requirements! 🙂

Use Your Double Major to Pursue What You’re Passionate About 

A double major allows you to become immersed completely in two subjects that you’re passionate about. The downside to this is that there isn’t much room for exploring other classes or topics, but many colleges offer the option to audit classes you’re interested in! I’m taking 18 credits each semester this year, with Italian being the two credit class that I added on to my usual schedule. Plus with two majors you can usually take a wide variety of classes despite being “limited” to two subject areas.

Learn How to be Meaningfully Busy

When you pursue a double major, you will definitely be busy. Between all of your classes and appointments, scheduling will be an art! But there is a difference between being busy just for the sake of it, and being meaningfully busy. This might be one of the most important things that I have learned as a double major, because I definitely used to fill my schedule with things when I had the time. But now I have found out what I love to do, and how to prioritize what I love. I fill my time with interesting campus events, working in the community, classes, assignments, spending time with friends, and self-care. I am still very busy, but the nature of my schedule has completely changed.

I hope you enjoyed this post about being a double major! What have you learned in your college studies, or from being a double major? Are you looking to double major but still have questions? Leave a comment below or feel free to send an email! 🙂

©2017 The Wise Willow and Alyssa DeBella. All rights reserved.

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Minimalist Spending Tips for College Grads

During college it’s easy to get used to dorm or apartment living where the furniture and other necessities are already provided for you. Even though I have yet to graduate from college, I found myself starting to think about the investments that I am going to make and how to save for them ahead of time.

One of the common misconceptions of minimalism is that it means owning the least amount of materials possible. In reality, it simply means consuming with intention. In this way, you have to think through each purchase that you are considering in order to determine how much you would use this item on a daily basis. Since minimizing my life, all of the items that I have in my dorm room are things that I use consistently on a daily basis. Everything has a purpose, and everything is being used regularly.

I want to continue this lifestyle once I graduate from college, as it has been refreshing and rejuvenating to have only what I need for day-to-day life. In thinking about what I want to invest in once I leave college, I came up with a list of items that I think would be important to research and invest in for an apartment or living space post-graduation. When researching items to invest in, one of my main considerations was purchasing something that would last for a long time and be of high quality.

As someone who loves quality sleep (because in college quantity can often be lacking…), investing in a mattress is one of my primary considerations. This is something that very few people think about until moving in to a new space, but doing research beforehand is definitely worth it! I personally like really soft and supportive mattresses for my sore muscles at the end of my long college days. Casper mattresses come in all sizes and they even get shipped to your door! They also have sheets and pillows so you only have to shop in one place for everything. They are space-saving mattresses with a convenient, and there is only one model so you don’t have to do extensive research to figure out which mattress to buy! They combine softness and support, which is perfect for many different preferences. They even have dog mattresses, which is perfect for a dog-lover like me!

Another worthwhile investment, both monetarily and time-wise, is an indoor herb garden or herb jars. As someone who is passionate about plant-based living, fresh ingredients, and cooking, having fresh herbs to reach for many recipes would be well worth the effort. They make your space look bright and fresh, and also make fresh ingredients readily available and inexpensive! Along these lines, investing in cookware and environmentally friendly food storage is also very important. I know that I will want to invest in environmentally friendly cookware that has many functions, having the fewest number of high-quality cookware items as possible. Ecolution and other brands have different lines that allow you to pick and choose what you will use the most (for me it’s soup pots and sauté pans). This will give you reliable cookware that will last, and serve many purposes.

Dishware, bakeware (measuring cups, etc.) and spices are also worthwhile investments. I like to think about what I do every day (sleep, cook, work, and exercise) and base my purchases off of this. I’ve always wanted to have a small space, but have it encompass all of my favorite things within easy reach. I also like to support smaller businesses (especially for spices and cooking oils), and the products are very high-quality!

I hope that these suggestions help to get you thinking and budgeting for what you want to invest in post-graduation! Do you have any minimalist spending tips or favorite investments that you have made? Share them in the comments below!

©2017 The Wise Willow and Alyssa DeBella. All rights reserved.

*This is not a sponsored post, and all thoughts and opinions are my own 🙂 

 

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Alyssa DeBella

21 | Lifestyle blogger | Minimalist | Dreamer ✨| Language Lover 💕| Animal Obsessed ❤️🐶| Double Major 📚| Vegan 🌱 |Traveler ✈️ (currently in: Europe)
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