No Success Without Self-Care

It’s nearing the middle of the semester, which means midterms are upon us! Take note of these important self-care tips because they can make or break your success!

By: Kristin Butler

The To-Do List Trap

There’s something about me that makes me love seeing a long to-do list. I used to clutter my list with tasks I knew were pointless to put on post-its, just so I could see a long list that I could check off at the end of the day. After writing lengthy to-dos jumbled with short term and long term tasks, I realized this technique didn’t actually help my progress, it just stressed me out.

Solution: Make two to-do lists. And don’t just fill it all for the hell of it. The organization is as follows: The Today list, things you want to accomplish today, in order of importance, and the extended to do list, the important things you want to do by the end of a certain time, like next week. Don’t make the to-do list too long, or you won’t feel accomplished at the end of the day. Be realistic, what can you do in one day? What do you have time for? And, if you find yourself with a lot of free time during the day, look at your extended list and see if you could accomplish something a little extra- look how your optimizing your time! Making your to-do list is supposed to be in your favor, don’t set yourself up for failure the moment you wake up and make your list. Examples for post it notes:

To-Do List (Today)                                  To-Do List (Extended)

Finish essay by 3pm                               FaceTime mom this week

Pick up Package                                     Submit internship applications

Go to the gym with Erica                         Go to Walmart

To-Do list technique Influenced by Organize Today Tomorrow (a great read):

Set a School Curfew

Set a time at night that you aren’t allowed to do anymore school work. After a certain time, say 10:30pm or 11pm: Don’t look at your emails. Don’t do anymore work. Don’t even talk about how stressed you are. Plan your day so you can end at the time you want, and then wait until tomorrow to do anything regarding school. Schedule your time effectively and have a set curfew where you leave your work at your desk and don’t come back until the next day. When you work in small increments of time you can stay more focused than when you work for hours on end. This will help you be the most productive you can be. After the curfew, this is you time, and it leads into my next very important point.

Set Time Aside for Yourself

Whatever you are passionate about, make sure to pencil it into your busy schedule. It can be hard, but that doesn’t mean it’s not important. If you need to go to the gym to feel accomplished, make sure to go- even if it’s just for twenty minutes. If you need to time to nap, watch Netflix, or spend time with friends to de-stress: you need to make sure you do it. Give yourself something just for you.

Don’t Be (Too) Hard on Yourself

If I’m not perfect, I beat myself up about it. It’s not irrational to want to be the best version of yourself, but when there are bumps in the road and you punish yourself for not accomplishing everything you’ve wanted it, it doesn’t help you progress. It sets you back. And, even if you don’t accomplish something to the degree you want to, that doesn’t mean it isn’t something you shouldn’t be proud of. Don’t ever compare your accomplishments with other people. This can be so difficult and everyone does it at one point, but don’t live your life to please others, or to beat others. If you aren’t happy with how you’re performing, tell yourself “I can do better, and I will.”

Then push yourself to do better, and think about all the positives.

Stay Self-Aware

Give yourself what you need when you need it. No one knows you better than you. If you’re having a bad day, you know how to turn it around. If you need to be alone, make sure you give yourself that time. Reflect inward often. Don’t depend on other people to make you happy or give you what you need. At the end of the day, you are your own best friend, and you have to fulfill what you need personally in able to have the best outcome for your personal and academic success.


Want more information or advice on self-care? Visit this Ted Talk playlist:



Tis’ the Final Season

By: Hannah Byron

It’s the most wonder…STRESSFUL time of the year! With the thought of everything magical having to do with “home,” finals seem like one of the last things that would cross our minds as college students. Alas, with the first snowfall complete and the sound of fingers furiously typing those last minute study guides, home seems even more distant.

Where do you start when you have 47 things on your to-do list? Which assignment should you start first? Why am I the only one in my group who is doing the work? What even is sleep?

As I have learned from both my own study habit mistakes and successes, here are 5 recommendations to having a productive and bearable finals week:

1. Prioritize That To-Do List

Listing upcoming assignments, papers, and exams will set the tone for your week. Prioritizing items on your to-do list and designating time to each item makes a world of difference for actually getting the work done.


2. Shut Your Phone Off

At the very least, put it on do not disturb. It forces you to actually do work and takes away all those meaningless and addictive distractions.

3. Get Out of Your Apartment

Library, campus pub, local coffee shop, ANYWHERE but your dorm room, apartment, or house. Personally, I am the most productive when in an environment where other people are working. It makes me feel more energized and motivates me to do work.


4. Treat Yo Self

Use insomnia cookies and copious amounts of caffeine to award yourself after an hour of studying or finishing a paper.

5. Take A Break

Studies consistently find that students can only effectively study for an hour max without taking a break. Taking five to ten minutes to go for a walk or have a dance party is re-energizing and allows your brain to return to studying feeling refreshed.


Just remember, this will ALL be over in a matter of a week. One week until you can overindulge in eggnog and become a slug for the month of January. Just a little longer. You can do this.

5 Professional Development Tips & Tricks

By: Kristin Butler

tips-and-tricksIt’s nearing the end of another first semester at Ithaca College and that means two things:

  1. Winter Break is right around the corner
  2. If you want to take advantage of summer job opportunities, you need to start thinking about applying for internships… now.

So many people focus on how to apply, what to do on a resume, and how to update your LinkedIn, but I want to talk about what you should keep in mind once you’re there. 

Last year during my freshman year winter break I had the opportunity to shadow an Ithaca Alum at an Advertising agency. If you are shadowing an employee over the break like I did, these tips and tricks can also be applied to your experience.

1. Dress For Success.

One of the first articles I wrote for PRSSA was about dressing for success. This was crucial then and it is crucial now. It always will be. Whether on the job or in the office, dress everyday like your best self. Why? Other than the obvious reasons of feeling great…

  • You look more professional, and this can compensate a little for the age gap. It’s important you are taken seriously, and I always feel like being the best dressed gives you a little boost of confidence and credibility.
  • You’ll never know what you are doing or where you are going. During my internship this summer, there were a few days in the office that turned into “We just scheduled a meeting with someone and it’s in an hour.” I looked at myself and knew this outfit was appropriate for the office, but had to ask myself “is this appropriate for meeting a client?” Thankfully, many times my answer was yes, because I dressed for success for work in and out of the office.


I’m not kidding. I’m a type A kind of person so I always like to log everything I’m doing, but this is especially important for people that aren’t like that naturally. Whether it’s getting someone’s business card at a conference and writing a few facts about them on it for your follow up email, or just writing down important quotes and behaviors you observe while in a meeting, everything can help you in the long run.

When I was shadowing my freshman year, I wrote down everything in a journal during the experience, so I could remember what I was learning and could look back on it when I wanted a refresher. Every experience you have is a wonderful opportunity to learn, but if you forget the experience, you won’t learn anything. But I’d be cautious how much you write in comparison to how much you interact, because you don’t want to be so invested in it that you actually miss the moments.

Small bullets or comments, even just a few thoughts you are thinking in a meeting or writing down someones name and a quick fact can be helpful. Relationships are very important, and you want to remember everyone you meet. Especially if your boss texts you and asks who that one person was that you met two weeks ago for 5 minutes in a room with 50 other people. And of course, you can’t remember off top of your head. But it’s your boss and you always want to deliver. It’s okay to have to “phone a friend” and to make that friend be a notebook because you know your notebook will always remember!

Startup Stock Photos

3. Read what you can when you can.

Especially for companies you are working for or in an industry you are unaware of, you want to be knowledgable among colleagues and in meetings to be able to understand what they are talking about. You can’t learn from a meeting if you don’t understand what the meeting is even about. Read industry articles to broaden your knowledge and research about the company. It’s never bad to be informed.

Having good knowledge about the topic at hand also increases your self-esteem while interacting with people. When it comes to meetings with really powerful people or even just strangers, read about them before you get to sit in on a meeting. Know one or two things about them that not everyone would, just in case you have an opportunity to interact. And if you don’t interact, that’s okay, it’s great practice for when you do. You can easily find things like this on LinkedIn. I love looking at volunteer work, past experiences, or what kind of things they post, since I think it gives me a better understanding of who they really are in their business.

4. Ask Questions.

When I first started shadowing and interning, everyone that I asked for advice said “be imagesseen, not heard.” I get that, you don’t want to be arrogant or pretend you have suggestions for something you don’t know anything about, but I feel like this quote deterred me from wanting to say things at all. This included questions. I know everyone is afraid of asking stupid questions and I won’t lie… there certainly are questions that can be easily searched online, but if you have a question about something within the company or a client you can’t google yourself, please ask. If you are genuinely interested in a concept or idea mentioned while talking with your boss, you can ask about it. Don’t feel like your questions aren’t valid, especially if there are people in positions you aspire to be in one day. You should have curiosity for what their advice is to get there. You’re there to learn. So, learn.

5. Say Thank You.

No one ever complains about anyone being too humble in an industry. Be thankful for where you are. Be thankful for where you’ve been. No one has to hand anything to you. If they do, it’s an opportunity you should be grateful for as someone starting out. Not everyone gets to shadow. Not everyone gets to be an intern. No one has to invite you to shadow their job. No one has to hire you as their intern and mentor you. Thank your boss for bringing you on to the team. Thank your co-workers for giving you the behind the scenes de-brief so you feel welcomed. Thank your mom for buying you those clothes from J.Crew. Thank your dad for always supporting you. Send an email to those that you meet that really leave an impression on you. Thank everyone that matters to you. Let them know you appreciate them, and every opportunity they’ve given you.