Top 10 Favorite Literary Films

Friday, November 13, 2020

Hello, lovely people! So I don't know if you know this about me, but I absolutely love watching a good film!! Yes, there are dozens of Netflix shows I adore & BBC mini-series I enjoy binging... but there is something about a good, standalone film that is just so charming. The stories just seem to stick with me longer. Particularly the ones that have literary themes hidden (or not-so-hidden) in them!!

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How I Am Graduating College Debt-Free

Monday, August 24, 2020

Yes, you read the title right. I am graduating from college completely debt-free. That's right—no loans.

No, my parents aren't loaded. No, I didn't rob a bank. And no, the title is not clickbait. I truly am getting my degree without going a penny into debt.

You might be wondering how that's even possible. After all, everyone goes into debt for their degree, right? My friend, this is so very wrong! What if I told you that it is actually very possible to graduate without having to worry about paying back thousands of dollars and wondering how you're going to make ends meet after you graduate?

Keep reading and I'll tell you.
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5 TED-Talks Every Student Needs to Watch

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

If you're anything like me, you try your best to study for exams but look up 12 hours later only to find that you've somehow gone on a YouTube spiral and are now watching videos of baby goats at 2 am...

While this is definitely a problem (seriously, please study), sometimes hearing a pep talk is all you need to help you get your head back in the game. And what better to do that than a TED-talk?

So to help you find your focus and get your school life back on track, here are my Top 5 TED-Talks for College Students to watch.

1) If you're dealing with failure

2) If you need the strength to push harder

3) If you're worried about your resume

4) If you're dealing with stress

5) If you can't stop procrastinating

(My favorite TED-talk ever!!!)

I hope that these TED-talks help you to gain some perspective and help you get your head back in the game. Remember, just do your best, stay strong, and do your homework!

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How to Make Extra Cash as a Broke College Student

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Hey, everyone!

So listen, I know what it's like to be a "broke college student." Believe me, you're not alone.

As of today, I've been a student for a total of 4 years. During my four years, I've experienced nearly every type of living situation, from living in the dorms, a group housing situation, a studio apartment, an amazing luxury apartment (story on that in a later post), and even living with my family. For about a year and a half of that time, at the age of 20-22, I was completely financially independent.

That being said, I know a thing or two about what it's like to survive solely off of ramen noodles and the will to live... but I've also seen the other side to that and been able to live in my dream apartment and have amazing, balanced meals every day!

It all seemed to come down to one thing.

Ahhh, yes... the elusive element of life that so many college students do without.

But how did I get the money?? Well, that's what this post is about. I'm going to give you some of my tips and tricks to earn money as a student (or as a young person in general), which will hopefully encourage some of you to take better care of yourselves. Seriously, guys, ramen is really bad for you! Please, try to eat some veggies, okay?

{Disclaimer: This post does contain affiliate/referral links. By clicking on them and joining the services, I may receive some compensation for the referral.}

I feel like this is the most obvious one, but this is also the most effective one. You're not going to make a ton of money without working for it. There are tons of jobs out there that are flexible, especially if you are located in or near a college town! Here are a few of the jobs that I've had while being a student...

  • Administrative Assistant in an Office (answering phones, taking messages, filing paperwork)
  • Sales Associate at a Boutique (cash register, inventory, customer service)
  • Merchandiser (fixing displays, security tagging items, inventory)
  • Music Teacher (giving music lessons to little kids)
  • Nanny (pretty self-explanatory; babysitting on a larger scale)

The best-paying job for me was by-far my nannying job! My most flexible job, however, was my merchandising job. Nannying paid more because I made more per hour, but the merchandising job was better suited to my schedule because I could schedule work around classes. At the end of the day, there was a trade-off like with anything else; you have to weigh the pros and cons to see what works best for you and your situation.

I also highly recommend browsing jobs in your area to see what's available and even checking to see if your university has any job postings. Many schools offer tutoring positions, writing lab positions, and many other job opportunities that will work with your school schedule. I have several friends who take classes and go to work without ever having to leave campus!

Other options you could consider are remote positions or online jobs. In my experience, these are hit or miss, but I've known people who've managed to make these work for them. These at-home jobs can include customer service positions (talking on the phone/answering emails), data-entry or transcription work (typing up information for other people), and even personal/digital assistant jobs (scheduling meetings, sending emails, etc...). If any of these things sound like something you could do, definitely do a quick Google search for job listings. You might be surprised!
This is one that not many people think about, but selling clothes you never wear anymore or stuff around the house that you never use can be a huge money-making opportunity. You won't make as much as you would with a job, but sometimes it can mean the difference between paying rent that month or not. I, personally, have made at least $100 in a week by simply selling my old things online; the trick is knowing where to sell and what to sell.

  • Facebook Marketplace is a wonderful yet terrifying place, but it is this site that I have to thank for my $100 in a week. The thing you have to understand with FB Marketplace is that it's a fast-paced environment, which uses your approximate loction to help find other people who are near you to sell to. People often buy and sell within seconds of posting, but that is part of what makes it so easy and effective. It also really helps if you join local buying/selling/trading pages. (I've sold everything from dorm decor to dishes on there!)

Pros of FB Marketplace: Most people have a Facebook account these days, so you have a wider audience, which means a higher chance of selling your items quickly. You get instant feedback (if you have FB Messenger) and can communicate directly with the buyers. It's also completely free to use!

Cons of FB Marketplace: Most of the time you have to meet up in-person with the buyers to deliver the item you are selling, which can potentially be unsafe/uncomfortable (always take precautions and meet in a public place). You won't always sell your items for the prices you want, so you have to be willing to be flexible.

  • Ebay is another good place to sell online. Depending on what you are trying to get rid of, this might be the place for you. (I've personally had good luck with selling old video games and technology-related stuff, but definitely feel free experiment and see what sells.)

Pros of Ebay: It's really nice to be able to ship everything and not have to meet up with anyone. Ebay also provides shipping labels for you, which you can purchase online and print out directly. Payment is also instantaneous, through PayPal.

Cons of Ebay: Once the customer buys an item, you are on a time-clock to get it in the mail to them because Ebay keeps track of it. Also, after a certain period of time, Ebay charges you a small amount of money per item listing.

  • Poshmark is the only one of these that I have little-to-no experience with... but I've heard good things! This one is a website/app that is specifically for selling clothes that are still in good condition. Designer brands and boutique brands do very well on there, so if you are selling things that sit into those categories, you're in luck.

Pros of Poshmark: The app/site gives you the pre-paid and addressed label to ship the items (no meetups involved). You will most likely be able to make a little more money for nicer items due to the fact that Poshmark is known for selling higher quality items than your typical thrift shop.

Cons of Poshmark: They do take a small cut of your sales, which they call a "seller fee." The app can be a little confusing at first.
This isn't a solution for quick cash, but if you are willing to put in the time and effort, filling out surveys can be a godsend! Typically speaking, you don't get cash for filling out surveys online. Most of the time you earn "points" by filling out the surveys, which accumulate until you can "cash out" with gift cards. (This isn't always true, though. Sometimes you will come across online surveys that will eventually send you money via PayPal, but I've found that the gift card ones are easier to earn.)

My personal favorite to use is because it gives you so many options for ways to earn points, including coupon printing and online shopping, and they offer dozens of different gift cards at some of my favorite places to shop (Starbucks, Target, and Barnes & Noble, just to name a few...) There are many other websites where you can do this, but I've definitely had the best luck with MyPoints.
A lot of college students don't even think about this, but companies, interest groups, and local governments need data in order to grow and change for the better. One of the many ways they gather information is through focus groups. And the best part?? A lot of them pay for participation.

Essentially, a focus group is like a group interview where a number of people that meet certain requirements are brought in to discuss the topic(s) that the company, interest group, etc. needs feedback on. The questions, group of people chosen, and length of time taken will vary depending on the topic of whatever is being researched.

About a year and a half ago, I took part in a focus group that related to young women's health in my city, which happens to be a college town. The group I was with was made up of 18-25 year-old women because that was the "target audience" for the research being done. We were asked various questions pertaining to our health, local healthcare options, and things like whether or not we had insurance. The whole thing lasted about 2 hours, and I walked away with $100 in my pocket and a free lunch in my tummy. (A double-score for a college student, am I right??)

It might be worth looking up different focus group opportunities in your area, or even for ones to participate in online!
This is one option that is not for the faint of heart or those with a fear of needles. I have sadly never been able to participate in this one due to having too-tiny veins, but donating blood/plasma is another way for many college students to earn a little extra cash and help others while they're at it.

Every donation center is a little different, so start with doing a quick search to find your nearest donation center. Read all of the information you can get your hands on so you can be fully informed before you make the decision and see if you're eligible. Many places will compensate you for your time, which can be a nice way to earn a little extra money. But be sure to check before you go! Not all donation centers offer that option.

Some people do this on a regular basis, but if it's for quick cash, I personally would use this as a last resort (i.e. you're not going to make rent or you don't have gas money for the week). You may end up bruised or sore, so make sure you're well-read on the side effects.
Yes, you read that right. As a college student/young person, you have skills and ideas that can be put to use in the world of business. Some of the most successful businesses today started as a college student's dream. Now granted, you may not be the next Steve Jobs, but you may be able to make a little extra cash along the way.

Start by looking at the skills and resources you currently have... what goods or services can you offer people? Are you good with a camera? Do you have a killer cookie recipe? Are you good at explaining your professor's confusing notes? Do you have knowledge about a niche topic that other people might want to learn?

You may not create an empire in the field you decide to go into, but these are all small business ideas in the making.

  • Photography
  • Tutoring
  • Lawn Mowing
  • Writing E-books
  • Baking
  • Handmade Jewelry
  • Thrift Flipping online

There are thousands of possibilities out there, but you have to take the time to look objectively at the skills you already have and connect that to a paying audience. And if you don't have any skills? EARN SOME. As a young person/college student, know that nearly anything and everything can be put on a resume, which helps you stand out in job interviews. Being able to say that you built and owned your own small business while in college/in your early twenties looks very impressive to future employers.

There are many ways for a young, broke college student to make a little extra cash along the way, but it doesn't happen without being willing to hustle. Like with everything else in life, you can't get something out of nothing; you have to put in the time and effort to make it work.

Your early twenties/college life doesn't have to be all gloom, doom, and ramen noodles. You can have a great time while getting your degree and make money while you're at it! You just have to find the way that works for you.

I hope this helps some of you young people out there and makes it a bit easier for you to get by during school. Be sure to comment down below to share some of YOUR quick money-making tips and share any thoughts you have on this post. 

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Living Alone // learning to love the single life

Sunday, October 21, 2018

(July 2018)

Hello, lovely people! It's me, Hannah Marie. Today, I am here to talk about an important topic... SINGLEHOOD & LIVING ALONE.

Yes, I went there.

In case you don't follow me on Twitter (which, if not, you totally should??) earlier this summer, I moved out into the scary world of adulthood. In other words, I have an apartment. Alone. By myself. With no one around.

On top of that, I'm living in a town where I basically know NO ONE. 

Not to be dramatic, but IT'S KINDA DRAMATIC.

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What You ACTUALLY Need for Uni // packing list

Friday, August 24, 2018

It's nearing the end of August & Back-To-School Season is officially upon us! Most elementary/primary school through highschool/secondary schools (in my area, anyway) have started by now. Most universities, however, will begin within the next couple of weeks. It's pretty insane that it's already that time of year again, but who cares?? I never turn my nose up at another excuse to go shopping... Especially if it has anything to do with stationary & notebooks. *cheeky wink*
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