The Lazy Student’s Guide to IB (International Baccalaureate) Program

The summer is going to be over soon and some soon to be 11th Graders will start the IB program in international schools around the world. I have finished doing this program about a year ago before attending college. For those of you unfamiliar with the program, it’s similar to the AP classes, only you have less flexibility over what you choose and you also have to do something called CAS, Theory of Knowledge, and the Extended Essay. I’m going to apologize right away and say that if you are not in this program or are planning on doing this program, this post will not be that useful for you. However, a lot of people had asked me about my experience with this program so I felt like writing this honest reflection about it. Here, I will be discussing the large concepts about the program rather than stuff like study tips.

A lot of people say that the IB program is incredibly difficult and that you will have no sleep for the 2 years (11th and 12th Grade) while you are doing it. And those people are liars. The IB program is actually incredibly easy and manageable. In my 2 years of IB, I pulled 0 all nighters, spent 1 semester watching Game of Thrones instead of studying, and ended up with all 6’s on my exams without even studying for them (I probably would have gotten 7’s if I did study). The trick of doing this is to manage your time properly and to not make your life more difficult than it should be. So in this post I will give you a step-by-step guide of the IB and how to do well in it, with the least amount of work.

Choosing the Right Subjects

So let’s start at the beginning: with picking your classes. Chances are, you will have some choices (options) when it comes to the classes that you will have to take. Each school is different in terms of the classes that they offer so this part might not be 100% applicable to your situation. In total, you will have 6 classes. The basic framework for classes is that you need to have 1 Math course, 1 foreign language course, 1 English language course, 1 science course, and 1 Social Studies course. For the 6th Course, you can choose between an Art, another Social Studies course, or another Arts course. You also have to have 3 of those courses at Standard Level (SL) and 3 at Higher Level (HL).

When it comes to picking those courses, pick what you are good at. Despite what other people will want you to believe, the IB is NOT the time for you to take risks. So choose courses that you know you will do well in. If you are not that great at a certain subject, choose it at the standard level. It’s better to get a 7 in SL Math than a 3 at HL Math. If you are good at memorization, pick subjects such as Psychology, History, or Biology for Higher Level. If you are better at problem solving and applying your knowledge, pick subjects such as Math and Physics for HL. If you are good at making stuff up and bullshitting essays, take Economics or Language and Literature as your HL.  If you are bilingual and your second language is offered as a foreign language at your school, take that language as HL. On the other hand, if you are not bilingual, do not take a foreign language as your HL. Don’t make your life more complicated than it has to be. Also, don’t get creative and pick 7 courses instead of 6 (or 4 higher levels instead of 3). This will only make your life more difficult than it has to be. Keep it simple. Pick only the required courses and the ones that play to your strength.

I personally picked HL English Language and Literature, HL Economics (because I’m good at the art of bullshit) and HL Psychology (because I also have a good memory). For SL’s, I picked Chemistry, German (because I’m not a native speaker) and Math. This combination turned out to be pretty easy for me because it played to my strength. So do the same with your subjects. Remember. It’s better to get a 7 in Sport Science than a 2 in HL Math.

The Recommended Workload

Your workload through out this two years will not (and should not) be equal. At the beginning of 11th Grade (1st Semester), you will not have that much work to do, a lot of concepts in your classes will be relatively easy, and you will still have a lot of time a head of you for major assessments (in my school, we didn’t even start with the major assessments at that point.) My Psychology teacher called this “the honey moon” period.  Therefore, I would recommend for you to use the first semester to work on getting your CAS out of the way as much as possible. The second semester of 11th Grade will be harder than the first one. You will be introduced to more harder topics and you should start working on your long term assignments. During the summer between 11th and 12th Grade, you should get your major assignments (Extended Essays, IAs, etc…) done. The beginning of 12th Grade (until about November) will be incredibly difficult because you will be busy with college admissions as well as your normal academic work. After that, (if you follow through on everything in this guide) your life will become incredibly easy and a bit boring. You will be walking around and complaining about having nothing to do. So make a list of TV Shows that you want to watch for this time.

CAS

CAS is the Creativity, Action, and Service requirement that you will have to do. Different schools deal differently with this requirement and the rules have changed from the time that I’ve done the IB. However, the advice that I can give is: find your school’s rules and do the bare minimum. Ask yourself, “Do I really need to run for High School’s president to fulfill this requirement or will a less demanding activity/role allow for me to complete the requirement?”. If the answer is the later, don’t run for High School’s president and do the less demanding role. Even if you do the bare minimum, you will still have plenty of stuff to write about on your college application so don’t make your life harder.

Choose the activities that you can tolerate in each category. Don’t make your life more miserable than it has to be. And, obviously, if an activity gives a higher number of “hours” for the time spent, do that activity (if your school still counts hours). For example, in our school, one MUN conference gave 50 Creativity hours for one week and the school didn’t even check if you prepared for it or not. All you had to do was show up wearing a suit for the day and sit in your place, pretending to know what’s going on. On the other hand, Art Club only gave 4 Creativity hours per week. I think we can all agree that the first choice was a better way to full fill the requirements (back in my day, you had to get to 150 hours to be done).

For your CAS reflections, simply write them out and don’t get creative. Don’t make videos or something else. Simply write a paragraph reflection for everything. Also, feel free to bullshit (lie about) the learning outcomes. It’s not like the IB can read your thoughts. For example, for the ethical dilemma learning outcome, I wrote about how I felt tempted to overlook the mistakes that my High School team had made when I was refereeing for Volleyball. This was a complete lie and bullshit. I didn’t care about my High School team’s success and spent more time fighting boredom rather than trying to influence the game. Basically, if you can bullshit your way into making an activity match with the learning outcome, do that instead of doing an activity that would actually match the learning outcome. Also, don’t try to get a CAS award or extra points for doing CAS. It’s much easier to do well on your subjects than to get this extra points and your CAS award will not matter in the long run.

Time Required: will very wildly depending on your school.

Extended Essay

The first part of making your life easier when it comes to the extended essay is choosing the right subject. I would recommend choosing psychology or literature or language and literature and avoiding subjects such as economics or natural sciences. For natural sciences, you will have to do experiments and for economics, you will have to collect primary data. This is extra work and it will also make it harder for you to write your extended essay over the summer (if you decide to write it during the summer).

The second part is choosing the right research question. The question should be easy to research, straight foreword, related to the subject, and be complex enough to allow for you to have a discussion. This question doesn’t have to be something that you are interested in. As long as you can research it, provide arguments and counter arguments, and have an intelligent discussion in your Essay, you are good to go. Make your life easier and pick something that is easy to research.

The third part is actually writing it. This is the hard part and you can either do it my way (lock yourself in your room for two weeks during the summer and get it done) or the proper way (write it slowly over the year that you have). Both ways are fine and you should do whatever works for you. I have written mine in Psychology but different extended essays have different rules that you need to follow so I can’t say exactly what you will need to do. What I can say is that you should read the rubric and focus on making your extended essay meet all of the requirements. You should also focus on making your essay sound academic. You can procrastinate on it and get it all done over the summer. If you pick the right subject, it will be doable. However, a better approach would be to not procrastinate and get about 1/2 of it done before the summer and 1/2 over the summer. Than, after you will be done with it, find a friend who is good at the subject to have him/her edit it for you and give you constructive feedback.

Time Required: I wrote my first draft  in two weeks (about 12 hours each day) over the Summer and then spent one week (about 4 hours each day) editing it.

TOK (Theory Of Knowledge)

The TOK  should be renamed “the art of bullshit”. For this subject, you will need to write an essay and do a presentation. For the presentation, it will be best for you to stick with the Power Point presentation and to not make it too fancy. You are not being graded on how pretty your slides look so why bother making them look pretty? However, you are being timed and graded on your ideas as well as on how you can convey them. Therefore, you should practice the presentation. Also, make sure to adhere to all of the required parts of the presentation and the written assignment. You can gain or lose a lot of points if you do or don’t follow the rules.

For both of this assignments (the presentation and the essay), the trick is to make yourself sound profound. Raise questions and than answer them without a real conclusion by using different perspectives. Choose something controversial for the questions to come more naturally to you. Pretend to be a philosopher, who is debating the meaning of life with himself or herself to get yourself in the mood. Basically, bullshit the presentation and the essay and you will be fine.

Time Required: 1-2 weeks (about an hour/day) for the essay. About 2 weeks (about 2 hours/day) for the presentation.

IAs

For your subjects, you will also need to do IAs (internal assessments). Different subjects will have different IAs so I can’t say exactly what you should write for them. However, I will go through the subjects that I had and the tricks to writing/doing easier IAs for those subjects:

Language and Literature: In this subject, the IAs are written tasks (one creative and one analytical), an Individual Oral Commentary of one text, and a Further Oral Activity.

For the creative written task, do not actually get creative. I know. This sounds Ironic. However, you will not get extra points for being super creative, while you might get points deducted for not following some things in the rubric. Make sure that the written task is relevant to the course work and pick the text type that’s easy to work with. Writing an 800 words news article is much easier than writing 800 words of poetry. It’s also much easier to write a good written task about the literature part rather than about the language part (so you should prioritize doing well on the literature written task.) Just like everything else in IB, the major component of how well you do will depend on your ability to bullshit. What I mean by this is that one of the most important parts of your creative written task is the rational, in which you should explain how your creative piece relates to the course. Even if your written task is not that great, itself, if you write the rational well, you will get a 5 or 6. Therefor, you should spend about the same time on this part as you spend writing the actual creative piece.

Time Required: 2-3 school days

The analytical written task is simply you writing an essay about some text. This part is easier to be done on the language part. Simply pick an article online that relates to the language part of the course and write an 800-1000 words essay on it. That’s it. (I really can’t add anything else to this part).

Time Required: I wrote mine in 1 school night. And than spent about 1 day editing it.

For the Further Oral Activity, pick an article or an advertisement and analyze it. Make a Power Point presentation. Again, the Power Point presentation doesn’t need to look fancy. Therefore, don’t waist your time making it look fancy. Instead, focus on your analysis. Again, if you are good at the Art of Bullshit, you will be fine.

Time Required: I spent 2 hours making my best FOA at the last minute.

The Individual Oral Commentary will be like an exam. Your teacher will pick a passage from one of the texts and it will be your job to analyze it. You will most likely know the passages in advance, which means that you will have some time to prepare for this exam and practice analyzing them at home. Record yourself doing the analysis and than listen to it. Or practice with a  friend who is good at the subject. Also, as part of your preparation, you should write what happened before and after each passage and memorize it. This part should be in your introduction and you will gain some easy marks by simply stating the “context”.

Time Required: I studied for about a week for it.

Psychology: This IA is all about following the rubric. As long as you follow the rubric and write everything that is required of you in an academic tone, you will get an IB 6-7. For this IA, your writing style should be as concise and academic as possible. Do not write anything poetic or get too creative with your experiment. Remember, the less creative you will be, the better.

Time Required: 1-2 weeks

Math: The Math IA will be extremely long and will actually require for you to put in the effort. However, just like everything else in IB, the effort is not the actual Math part. Yes. Your math should be correct. You should not have any incorrect calculations. You should also make your math relevant to the course. However, it is only about 20% on the rubric. Your “presentation” or things like grammar, your ability to make the equations look pretty, the use of graphs and charts, and your writing counts for the rest. Therefore, spend most of your time on making your IA look pretty.

Time Required: I wrote mine over the summer

Chemistry: For the Chemistry IA, you will need to do an experiment and your IA will basically be a write up of that experiment. Doing the actual experiment will be the most time consuming part of your IA. If you screw this part up, feel free to make up the data  for your experiment. Is this ethical? No. Will you get caught? Probably not. Is it easier than redoing the experiment from start if it failed? Of course. Just make sure to make your data look realistic. With this said, you do need to actually do the experiment (or pretend to do it). What I mean by this is that you have to show up to the lab, even if you will be making up numbers. You don’t want your Chemistry teacher to know that you plan on making up data.

Just like the Psychology IA, the Chemistry IA is also all about following the rubric. As long as you do everything on the rubric, you will get an IB 6-7.  So go over the rubric as if it was a checklist.

Time Required: Due to the experiment part, it was about a month. But I did love smelling one of the chemicals so I probably would have gotten done faster if it wasn’t for this part.

German: For your foreign language, the IA’s will be written tasks and they will be incredibly short. Your main focus should be on getting the grammar and the format right. The content should obviously relate to the course. Make sure to pick an easy format/text type. You will also need to do an individual oral and an integrated oral. The best thing that you can do for your foreign language class is to study the language and worry less about the actual assignments. You can’t really prepare for the speaking IAs in a day or even in a week. If you know the language well, you will do well. If you don’t know the language well, you will not do well, no matter what you do.

Time Required: Learn the language as best as you can in a year of IB or in a year before IB. The assignments, themselves, will be incredibly easy this way.

Economics: The hardest part of this IA will be finding the article to write the commentary on. You should find an article, with which you can use two different concepts in order to explain it. The IA, itself, will not take you a lot of time to write and it is mostly about you making logical things up, in accordance with the subject. As long as it’s logical and makes sense, you will get points. With this IA, you will actually have to get a bit creative, since it’s hard to find a news article to which more than one concept will relate at the same time but which will be narrow and specific at the same time. This is the reason why I said that the ‘Art of Bullshit” is important in this subject. You will have to write 3-4 of those articles, focused on different sections of the course.

Time Required: About a week to find the article. About 8 hours to write the actual commentary on it and edit it.

Predicted Vs. Actual Scores

Your predicted scores are more important than your actual scores, if you plan on studying in the US. Your predicted score is what your grade is based on. Which means high predicted score = high GPA. Therefore, your priority should be on getting a high predicted score rather than an actual. If you plan on staying in Europe or going to UK, if you get a really high predicted score, you can get an “unconditional offer”. An “unconditional offer” means that it doesn’t matter how you do on the final exams. Your University can not resign your offer over you IB score results. Therefore, my recommendation would be to suck up to your teachers and show a lot of potential to get those high predicted scores. And than relax your final semester of IB and not bother actually doing well on the exams. I had gotten an unconditional from my University, which is why I didn’t even study for the finals.

So here you have the basic recommendations that I can give about the IB program and how to do less work in it. Keep in mind that a lot of those things will be specific to your school and some of them will be out of date. I might make a follow up post to discuss the actual exams. However, over all, if you focus on the right things and not make your life harder than it has to be, the IB program will not be as hard as people make it out to be.

 

Remember. IB is IBS,

 

XOXO

 

Katy Bronsk

 

 

How to Deal With Failure? 

Chances are, you will fail at some things in life, and, maybe, you will succeed at something. Failure is normal, inevitable, and good, in some cases. At the same time, there are certain things that are better not to fail at.

I separate failure into 3 categories:

  1. Important Things: in this category we have things like failure to cheat successfully and getting caught, failure to get good grades, or failure to stay out of massive debt without a good and sound strategy to pay it off.  This type of failure is serious and should be avoided because it will decrease your chances of success.
  2. Learning mistakes: Whenever anyone starts out at anything new in life, he or she will fail many times. At first, everyone is a loser. Nobody is born being incredibly good/talanted at anything. So at the beginning it is inevitable that you will make mistakes. Those mistakes are ok. They are part of learning. In this case, failure is actually good because it shows that you are at least trying.
  3. Not My Thing: not everybody can be talented at everything. Chances are, you will be a winner at 2-3 things in life (if lucky and work hard) and a loser at everything else. At some point, you have to admit that something isn’t your thing and that you will never be successful at it. This type of failure is also good and inevitable because it means that you are trying to “find yourself” by trying out new things.

Of course, with all 3 categories, you should try to avoid failure. No one ever sets out to do anything with the desire to fail. However, failing at the last two categories is ok and good, while failing in the first category will cause for you to have issues in the future. This means that you should actually put a lot of effort not to fail in the first category and not care so much about what happens with the other two. It is always possible to come back from any failure. If Trump became president, anything in this world is possible. However, if something will significantly decrease your chances of succeeding in the future, you should avoid that type of failure (for example, getting all F’s in High School, if you dream of going to Harvard.) This also means that you should avoid taking unnecessary risks in this category. What you also have to understand is that if you fail at category #1, you will have to try extra hard to make up this failure with something else. I will not dwell on the first category anymore because I think you all get the point by now and move on to #2 and #3.

For category #2, you have to expect that you will make mistakes and you will be a loser at whatever it is that you set out to do, at first. That is normal and there is nothing wrong with that. Nobody starts out a professional right away. The main thing to remember is to learn from your mistakes and to not repeat them again. Also, it’s probably better to start out learning whatever it is that you want to learn in a non-high stake environment so that when you do screw up, it does not turn into category #1 and does not end up having a significant impact on your future. For example, if you want to learn how to draw, (assuming you know absolutely nothing about it) take some classes outside of school/college instead of taking advanced courses in Art that will count towards your GPA. This way, if/when you screw up, your GPA will not be effected and you will also be able to learn at your own pace. Similarly, if you want to start an internet business but know absolutely nothing about it, do not invest all of your College fund money into this idea. You do not want to end up not going to your dream school because you thought that you would become the next Mark Zuckerberg in your senior year of High School.

You should also be realistic in your progress and understand that in the beginning, you will suck. And if it’s something that you actually want to be good at, the beginning will be extremely difficult. You will feel like a “failure” and a “loser” (which is true, by the way. But so is everyone else when he/she started out). In my experience, trying to fight this feeling and running away from the truth will only make things worse. Instead, you should use this feeling to motivate yourself to practice more at whatever it is that you want to be good at so that you can get out of the “loser” and “failure” zone faster. And, in this case, you shouldn’t be afraid to take risks and fail. Over and over again. The more mistakes you make and the more often you fail (assuming you don’t do it on purpose and learn from it) means that you will get out of the “failure”/”loser” zone faster and become successful at whatever it is that you want to achieve sooner. Also, once you start making improvements, don’t forget to compare yourself to your past performance and recognize how far you’ve come. At the same time, you should recognize that you still have a long way to go before becoming your best. This way, you will not slack of and continue improving.

However, if you try to learn something and you are not making significant progress, at some point you have to admit that this failure is in category #3 (that this activity is simply not your thing) and that you should do something else instead. Everyone is different. Not everyone can be as good at doing something. If this was the case, everyone would be an Olympic champion or a billionaire. Different people can learn different skills with different speed. Some people have won the genetic lottery at certain skill sets (for example, athletics). Some people might have been more lucky with the family that they were born into and have more opportunities that way. No matter how much Einstein will try, he would never look like Bred Pitt. Call it nature, God, or whatever you like, but people are not born equal. Some are more gifted in certain skills than others. This means that, if you are unlucky, no matter how much you try to achieve something, you might never get there.  At some point, you have to admit this to yourself and move on.

Making this call is incredibly difficult (and painful), since different people learn at different pace and simply because you are slower at learning something doesn’t necessarily mean that you will never be able to succeed at it. However, if you are trying to get good at something for more than a year and you are getting no where, it’s probably time to call it quits. No. I’m not saying that you should become a pro in a year. What I am saying is that if you have tried to do something for a year and are making 0  (or minimal) progress, it’s definitely time to try out doing something else. If you really love doing it, you can still do it as a hobby but don’t try to turn it into a career. You don’t want to turn a Category #3 failure into a Category #1.

There is nothing embarrassing about admitting that something is simply not your thing. For example, I tried to play volleyball for over 3 years. I suck at it. I know that I will never be great at it. It’s just no meant to be for me. I admit it. It’s impossible for you to be good at everything in this world. No one is. Those people simply don’t exist. So once you understand that you are not getting anywhere, you should admit it to yourself and move on to trying out other things. Just because you suck at one thing, doesn’t mean you will suck at everything in this world. Eventually, you probably will find something that is “your thing” and that you can get good at. What you should also remember is that the sooner you find “your thing” in your life the better, since you will have more time to develop that particular skill. Therefore, you should not be afraid to fail at Category #3. Trust me, I tried out dozens of different activities until I discovered 3-5 that I can potentially get incredibly good at. Unless you try doing something, you will never know if you enjoy it and (more importantly) if you can get good at it. So if you don’t know what you “want to do with your life” yet, you should be trying out different activities and potentially failing at them in order to figure out the type of activities that you can get good at. This will help you avoid failing to find a meaningful career (which would be a failure in Category #1).

 

Don’t be afraid to fail,

 

XOXO

 

 

Katy Bronsk

P.S. Thank you to all of the new people for following. This blog had reached 15 followers, which feels like a milestone. So thank you guys. You are awesome. Also, I’m sorry for not writing sooner. I was just flying back to College and obviously couldn’t post during the flight. If any of you have any topic suggestions, want to contribute to the blog, or have any other ideas, feel free to comment or email me.

 

 

 

The Time of No Excuses

Through out my life, I have heard (and was guilty of) making a lot of excuses and complaining about different things in life, all the time. However, the amount of excuses and complaints that my friends seem to be making have increased in recent years. So, in this blog, I will talk about some of the most popular and memorable excuses that I have heard over the past year and give my opinion on what I think about them.

I’m Too Poor To Work

Yes. I’ve actually heard one guy say this one, while he was depressed and hoping that money would fall from the sky into his hands (news flash: it never does).

While it is true that you need money for certain ventures, there are a lot of ways that you can start making money from nothing. For example, you can get yourself a part time job, do small tasks for other people, or, even, fill out stupid surveys online and get paid for doing that. Yes. Some of those ideas might fail. Miserably. But if you are going to sit around not trying and complaining about being “too poor to make money”, you are not going to make any money for sure. 2/3 of billionaires in the world right now are self-made. If the “I’m too poor to become rich” logic was true, this would definitely not be the case.

So don’t complain about being “too poor to work” and instead at least try to find yourself some form of income. Complaining about being poor never helped anybody become rich.

I Don’t Have Enough Time

I used to make this excuse incredibly often. In fact, this was one of my favorite excuses in terms of starting this blog. I would always complain about “not having enough time to do it” until I set down and did it.

After I’ve done this, I realized that what you actually mean by this excuse is: “I don’t really want to do this thing and would rather be doing something else. Because if I want to do this thing really bad, I would have found the time to do it.” There is nothing wrong with not wanting to do something or not doing something. Not everyone has to write a novel, win a Nobel prize, and become an Olympic gold medalist. If you don’t want to write a novel, don’t write a novel. If you don’t like sports, don’t do sports. But don’t say “I want to play sports but I don’t have time” because if you actually really wanted to play sports, you would have found the time to do it by not doing something else, such as by not watching so much TV, not spending so much time hanging out with friends, or not taking on such a rigorous academic program. Your priorities would have shifted and you would have made it work. Yes. With whatever you decide to do with your time, there will always be trade offs. However, if you really want to do something, you will find the time to do it and will be OK with those trade offs. Otherwise, you are simply lying to yourself about wanting to do it in the first place.

Parents

Yes. Until you turn 18 years old, this is a valid excuse/complaint. Before you legally become an adult, if your parents don’t want you to do something, they can legally stop you from doing it. Therefore, unfortunately, you have to play by their rules until that point. Your parents own you, which is why I often said, “happy parents, happy children”. And, yes, I do have a lot of sympathy for you if you have parents who don’t let you follow your dreams.

However, after you turn 18, you do not have this excuse any more. You are legally an adult. Which means that if your parents are holding you down, you can get yourself a job, start living on your own, and do whatever it is that you want to do. If you choose to live with your parents or listen to them, that is your choice. Therefore, if your parents are holding you down, you should either accept it and not complain about it or start living on your own, making your own money, and doing your own thing. I do not have a lot of sympathy for you if you are older than 18 and complain about your parents not letting you do something.

I Do Not Have Enough Education or Experience

This excuse is sometimes valid. For example, if you want to be a surgeon, you will have to go through medical school first before you can start operating on people. If a job requires an official certificate and/or is dangerous, you should get the required training.

However, for all other things in life, this is simply an excuse. I was also guilty of making this one. I would always think that I needed to get another degree/diploma/volunteer, etc… before I could start doing something. The problem with this approach is that the only way to have enough experience to do something is to start doing something. Also, the only way to learn certain skills is to start practically doing that particular activity in the real world. The best example of this is sales. If you want to get good at selling, selling lemonade outside your house or going from door to door selling make-up will teach you more about sales than any class or professor ever will. If you are sitting around and thinking, “who on Earth will hire me with no experience to do sales?”, I would like to remind you that loads of start ups and small companies always need help selling. (Yes. I’ve worked in sales for a small start up for a month this summer so, trust me, I know what I’m talking about. They didn’t even asked me for my resume when hiring me. Most of the work was called calling random companies and I did not enjoy it but the point is, it was not hard to get this job).

Similarly, if you want to write the novel, go and write a novel. If you want to dance, start dancing in the basement. If you want to start a blog, go and start a blog. When you run into difficulties, you can always use Google or ask somebody to help you. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t take classes to improve on your chosen endeavor. What I’m saying, however, is that you should not let your lack of education or experience stop you from pursuing what you want to do and if you can (legally) start doing something today and you want to do it today, you should start doing it today rather than waiting for the “right time” or “when you will be ready”. The time will never be right and you will never feel truly ready.

Those are probably the main excuses that I can think about (or remember) right now. I might end up expanding this list if I remember any others.

 

Feel free to share your favorite excuses/excuses that annoy you the most in the comments,

 

XOXO

 

 

Katy Bronsk

 

 

Your Teachers are Not the Best People to Give Advice  

In most cases, your teachers are NOT the best people to give you advice. This will most likely anger a lot of teachers (if they will ever read this blog). However, I don’t really care because I’m writing my honest opinion on this matter and it might help a lot of naive students out. 

Now, let me be clear, by “Advice”, I don’t mean when a teacher tells you that 2+2=4, he is wrong. Or when an English teacher teaches you grammar, you should ignore those lessons. To a certain extent, good teachers are mostly competent at what they are teaching you (there are always exceptions to the rule so if you feel like your teacher is teaching you things that don’t make sense, it’s always a good idea to double check with Google). What I do mean by “advice” is when your P.E. teacher tries to teach you how to trade stocks or when your English teacher starts giving you fashion advice. 

The first issue with teachers giving advice is that they often do so when students don’t want it or need it. In most cases, it is only important to seek advice only when it’s relevant to what you want to do with your life. For example, when an English teacher starts talking about how to write a novel, most students don’t want to write a novel and, therefore, should not listen to this advice. Regardless of wether or not this advice will actually help one write a novel, this advice is simply irrelevant unless the student actually asked the teacher for it. However, most teachers don’t wait to be asked and want to “share their wisdom with the next generation” instead. And than they feel offended when students (rightfully and understandably) ignore this type of unwanted “wisdom”. 

The second issue is that their advice is often too general and not applicable to your particular situation. For example, my High School counselor gave advice to go into “the cheapest University”. While this advice makes sense to students who want to become teachers or social workers (or other professions where brand names don’t matter as much), it makes absolutely no sense if you want to work for an elite law firm or do investment banking. Therefore, if you are searching for career related advice, a better option would be to ask and listen to people in your desired career rather than to listen to your High School counselor. They know better which degrees you need and, believe it or not, it’s not that hard to ask them for help. 

This brings me to my next point: if your teacher is not an expert in his field and he didn’t “walk the walk”, his advice is, by definition,  bad, because he doesn’t know what the hell he is talking about. For example, when your English teacher starts giving Financial advice, you should probably ignore it (especially if your English teacher doesn’t even know what a Hedge Fund is and thinks that it’s “something similar to a government bond that rich people trade”.) In order to be “qualified” to give financial advice, the person must be an expert in the field and/or at least be a self made millionaire him or herself. If not, this advice should be ignored. When it comes to fashion/beauty advice, you must want to look like that person. If not, than again, you should ignore it. If you are looking for studying advice, you should get it from honor roll students, not guys who are about to fail High School. If you want to get lifestyle advice, you should want to imitate the lifestyle of the person, from whom you are seeking such advice. Most teachers do not have more than $1 million net worth, do not look super attractive, and do not lead lives worth imitating. Therefore, they can’t possibly give you good advice in those areas. 

Now, what about teachers giving advice in the   subject that they teach? This advice may be valuable, in some cases. The teacher might have friends who actually do practical work in the field that relates to the subject and/or the teacher might have done some work in the industry him or herself before turning to academia. This does happen, although not often. Also, in some rare cases, the teacher might be an expert in the area that he or she doesn’t teach. For example, I met a consultant from McKinsey who was teaching PE at a school as a hobby. In those cases, before taking the advice of that person at face value, you should check the background of the teacher. Now days, it’s not that hard to do with Google. 

However, in most cases this is not the case and the teachers do not have the in depth understanding of their subjects or how things are done in the industry rather than in academia. If they did, they probably wouldn’t be teaching. 

To quote Jim Simons: 

Why don’t we have enough teachers of math and science in the public schools? One answer is well, if they knew the subject well, they’d also know enough to work for Google or Goldman Sachs or God knows where. 

Teachers do not get paid a lot. While we all go around pretending like money doesn’t matter, it does. So if the teacher was actually good enough at the subject that he/she teaches, he/she wouldn’t be a teacher in the first place (of course there are exceptions to the rule). This does not mean that you should ignore your teachers or that they can’t teach you anything useful. What this does mean, however, is that after you learn the basics, you will have to start learning on your own and experimenting with your desired subject on your own at some point, if you want to be truly great at it. Your teacher will not and can not give you enough knowledge on any  subject for you to go out and make a career out of it. Remember, in most cases, you are not learning from “the best” because “the best” are not interested in teaching you anything. They are too busy doing research, making money, and living their lives for themselves. 

So to conclude this very long rant about teachers and our current education system: have some common sense and don’t listen to everything that your teacher tells you. 
XOXO 

Katy Bronsk 

What You need to Buy or Bring with you for College

It seems like the summer vacation will be over soon and it’s time to start thinking about College, again. One of the important decisions to make before the next academic year is what to bring or buy for college. So in this post I will discuss the most important things that I bought/brought with me to College (and that you will probably need/want to have with you). 

Keep in mind that I’m not living in a dorm and so have more space to keep more stuff. I’m also majoring in Finance so some of this things might end up being major specific. 

1.) Laptop and/or a Computer 

We live in the 21st Century, people. Which means that you need to have a laptop or a computer. You need it to write essays, do research, check your classes, browse Facebook, and watch Game of Thrones when you get bored. Right now, everything is online. We live in a digital world. 

Trust me, you do not want to be stuck in the computer lab writing all of your essays and assignments. Also, you need to get yourself a real stationary computer and/or a laptop, not a tablet, iPad, or some other device. They are not as functional as a computer/laptop and will only make you angry. Don’t get me wrong. They are great toys. But they are not great for doing assignments and studying. 

Also, I would recommend getting yourself the basic software for your computer: Excel, power point, and Word. Those 3 software programs were incredibly useful for me through out my freshman year. 

2.) Calculator, Noteboks, books for different classes, etc… 

If you are taking courses for which you need a calculator, you should go and buy a calculator. If you need to buy certain books, again, you don’t have much choice but to buy them. Whatever is necessary for you to buy for certain courses, you have to buy. 

Now, when it comes to notebooks, there are some students who prefer to take notes online. However, I believe that writing by hand is always better because you can include things like drawing and diagrams into your notes more easily. Also, writing information down in a notebook helps me remember it better. I usually buy a notebook for each of my subjects at the beginning of the year.

 Speaking of the obvious, you should also buy pens, pencils, and other writing utensils. I personally do not keep them in a pencil case but if the pencil case method works for you than getting a pencil case is a good idea.

3.) Backpack 

You absolutely need a backpack to carry your notebooks and laptop with you to class. A bag will most likely not do. You will be doing way too much walking around to carry the books from class to class in your hands. When choosing a backpack, you should chose the one that will be comfortable. Comfort is more important than style. Although there are definitely a lot of stylish options now days. So if you are into fashion, your backpack will not make you less fashionable. 

4.) Shoes and Clothes 

For shoes: most of your shoes should be flats and incredibly comfortable. You should not bring a lot of high heels with you. You will be doing a lot of walking around campus. I love wearing high heels and if I couldn’t handle it, chances are, you will not be able to, either. 

For clothes: you should wear whatever you think looks good. Most Universities also don’t have a dress code so you can get more creative with fashion when it comes to clothes. I mostly wear jeans, T-shirts, and jackets when it comes to clothes.  You should also buy a raincoat and an umbrella and have that with you. You have to get from class to class, even if it’s raining. 

With this said, you should buy and/or bring a couple of suits and business professional outfits. You need to wear something for interviews, for internships, and to networking events. Also, a lot of recruiters will require for you to dress in this attire when attending their “recruiting events” (which often include free food). 

5.) make up, hairbrush, etc… 

You should obviously bring those types of personal items with you, if they are significant and you are picky about them. It will be difficult for you to easily get certain brands of make up or perfumes at certain campuses. Also, buying it and bringing it eliminates the hassle of needing to find it right when you are starting the new academic year and have more important things to focus on. 

6.) prescription medications (or the prescription for it)

This one is a cautionary tale from one of my friends rather than what I brought with me. I don’t have any prescription medication that I have to take. 

My friend (I will call him John, but that’s not his real name) had a prescription for a really popular drug. You know, the one that college students often take because they think that it will help them study better and pull all nighters. John forgot his prescription and the drug at home. He also did not got that prescription for 100% legitimate reasons. (I do not support his decision to do this, although I do understand why he did it but this is a story for another time). 

John had an incredible fun first semester, buying this drug from other college students at inflated prices and than trying to get that prescription from University Health Services and local doctors in the area (which was an extremely expensive and time consuming endeavor for John. Keep in mind that John’s time was more valuable during the academic year than it was before it began because John now had to study). So the moral of the story is: don’t be John and don’t forget to bring your meds, if you need/want to take them. If you are coming from another country, than get this issue sorted out before the semester starts, if possible. You do not want to spend your time on doctors through out the semester unless you get sick and have to. 

So those are some of the main things that I consider are important to bring with you or buy for college and think through before the academic year. This is obviously not an all encompassing list and I’m sure that you can come up with other points to add. To be honest, this post was written incredibly quickly and I will probably add more ideas or do a Part 2 if I come up with other items to add. 
Feel free to comment with your ideas as well, 
XOXO 
Katy Bronsk 

What I think about Cheating in School? 

This question is incredibly easy for me to answer: I don’t care. I don’t care if other people cheat. I don’t care if other people don’t cheat. I honestly don’t see an ethical or moral issue with it.

Now, should teachers catch students for cheating? Absolutely. It’s part of their job and it also teaches students how to be better at cheating. In the old days, cheating used to be a science and an art. You can only achieve such a situation if students participate in cheating and teachers are good at catching them, which forces the students to improve (or weeds out the students who can not improve).

Do I think that students who cheat on exams are stupid? No. In fact, I think the students who cheat and never get caught and have good grades are the smart ones. Maybe not at the subjects that they are cheating on but definitely at life.

I have such a positive view of cheating in school because most of the stuff that you learn is artificial, anyways. You will end up forgetting most of  it and never using it in your job or your personal life. The teachers who teach you this subjects are also most of the time not the best people to teach you (sorry teachers). And they do so in a more theoretical rather than practical way.

The way you are tested on your knowledge is also artificial (again. There are some exceptions to the rule. But we are talking about the standard essays and exams here). How many times have you been asked to fill out a multiple choice exam at your part time job? Or can you imagine being asked to write a 12 page essay with a bibliography for a board meeting? This situations sound ridiculous because they are. Most jobs do not require for people to write essays and take exams as part of the job. Yet. This is how we test people in schools and universities.

Cheating, on the other hand, reflects the real world better than any exam ever will:

  • The rich kids get ahead by hiring ghost writers to write their essays for them just like they get the best jobs due to nepotism in the real world. Than, if teachers have suspicions of those rich kids cheating, the rich kids have to persuade and convince the teacher that they did not cheat and that it’s their authentic work. Just like sales, the rich kids have to “sell” their assignments to the teachers, if the teachers start getting suspicious.
  • Students sharing answers on homework questions or dividing the workload on homework helps them practice collaboration and management of the workload between different people. They also manage to cordinate everything with each other and do so without getting caught. It also means that worser students have to be better at networking. They have to find the right people to help them out and convince them to do so. Currently, it is incredibly rare that a single person creates something from start to finish. Most real life projects are created due to teamwork and collaboration. So students who work on exams/homework have to be pretty good at teamwork, which is an important skill in a lot of areas in life. In fact, there are some (pretty high paying) jobs that are almost completely based on this skill.
  • Students writing what teachers want to hear in essays (although technically not cheating) means that those sudents are talented at “reading people” – a skill that is arguably more valuable than whatever the topic of that essay is about.
  • Students cheating during exams and never getting caught means that they are really good at acting and pretending like they are doing their job while in reality doing something else (cheating). Students who are the best at this could easily perform magic tricks. They are so darn good that even if you film them, you will not see them cheating. The amount of creativity and imagination that goes into creating this cheating methods are incredible and sometimes way more time consuming than actually studying for exams.
  • Risk management: cheating on exams, assignments, etc…. always has risk. There is always a risk of being caught. Students who cheat and never get caught are good at assessing risk and deciding when cheating is worth it and when it’s not.
  • Kids who figure out how to cheat on stuff like community service hour requirements are good at gaming the system. They can figure out what “proof” is required and how to get that “proof” while doing the minimal amount of work. It also often requires knowing the right people (again, having a good network). And if you think people don’t “game the system” in the real world, than you must be incredibly naive. Just ask a tax lawyer who helps rich people pay minimal taxes by doing complicated tax schemes, which involve numerous different countries and legal entities. Or an immigration attorney who advises people on how to get a citizenship in a certain country through “investment schemes.” (Also, pretty high paying jobs, by the way.)
  • Oh. And students who cheat, get good grades, and don’t get caught actually DO study. It’s impossible to cheat your way 100% of the time through Middle School, High School, and than College without getting caught and getting good grades. Most students who chose to cheat and are good at it, cheat sometimes and study other times. So to all of you teachers who are saying that this students “are not learning” or “are cheating themselves”, you are wrong. Because they are studying/learning. Maybe not as much as other students. But they are still doing it. And if they are smart about it, they are not cheating themselves (since most of the stuff is artificial/useless in the real world to begin with).

You can probably add more skills/examples to the list of “skills that student have who are good at cheating” but I think you’ve got the idea.

If the education system was less artificial and the subjects were more practical, I probably would have had more of an issue with this. However, currently this is not the case and I do not feel like defending the integrity of an incredibly artificial system, which rarely focuses on or teaches useful skills. The students who “game” the system (either through the conventional definition of cheating or doing things that are considered ethical but leads to them doing the minimal amount of work) and get good grades are often the smart ones. You can’t cheat often and never get caught if you are an idiot (assuming your teacher is competent at catching people who cheat).

Do I think that you should cheat on exams? I don’t know you so can’t make any recommendations. There is a risk of getting caught and you always have to be careful (and be good at it.) And also use your best judgement. I do not encourage you to cheat (because I don’t know you) but will not look down on you if you choose to do so. And, to be completely honest, I will admire you if you are good at it.

So, to all of you people who like to cheat on exams (and are good at it, while getting good grades), I don’t think that you are stupid. In fact, I think you are pretty clever. 

 

XOXO

 

Katy Bronsk

 

 

How to Have a Fun Summer while Not Turning into a Sloth

It’s summer break and a lot of people have different ideas about what to do during the summer. However, just like everything in life, some of those ideas are simply better than others.  Most people end up watching Game of Thrones, getting drunk, and eating ice cream at 4 AM in the morning all summer long, which are all bad ideas and my definition of being a sloth. So, in this post, I will discuss how to avoid being a Sloth (or super lazy) and have a productive summer, while having some fun. This will apply to people in High School and College.

Things Not To Do

This is one of those cases when it’s easier to say what not to do than what to do:

  • Staying Up Late: My definition of late is anything later then 2 AM in the morning. The only legitimate reasons are if you have a very demanding internship that requires you to do this, you are doing some sort of a summer job and you are working the night shift, or you are talking to your childhood friend who lives in a different country and you have to do this because of time zone differences. Most of the other reasons are excuses. (Watching Game of Thrones at 4 AM is not a valid reason).
  • Sleeping in (unreasonably): If you don’t do the previous point, you will avoid doing this one. My definition of sleeping in too much is waking up later than 11 AM. (You are still getting more sleep than normal and relaxing but it’s reasonable)
  • Forgetting About Basic Hygiene: It’s the summer so there are no excuses about not doing it.
  • Eating too much Junk food: I would say, maximum once a week. It’s summer so you have more time to watch what you eat.
  • Getting drunk all the time: You actually want to remember your summer. I do not have a set definition for alcohol in terms of amounts but I would say, don’t go out drinking more than 3 times a week and don’t drink so much that you can’t function normally. What I mean by this is: you should be able to do (physically, not necessarily legally) everything that you can do sober, with the amount of alcohol that you have chosen to consume. If not, you are too drunk. If you are one of those rare people who likes to drink every day, drink one glass of wine a day. Anything more is too much. (Assuming you are old enough to legally drink.) 
  • Watching TV shows, movies, etc.. all day long: Yes. Watching TV shows is O.K. After all, summer is an excellent time to catch up on pop culture. Watching them all day long is not. My definition of too much is more than 1 series a day or more than 1 movie every 2 days. Same goes for doing unproductive/non fun things online, playing video games, etc… (Come up with your own rules for what’s too much for this activities.)
  • Doing Summer School/Taking Summer Courses: Unless you absolutely have to (you failed, transferred and need extra course credits to graduate, etc…), don’t do it. No matter how much your academic advisor advertises it. I’ve done this once and it was a horrible experience. Ironically, by doing school during the summer, you increase your chances of turning into a sloth. Summer courses are much slower/easier than normal courses, in most cases. Which will cause for you to procrastinate and increase the likelihood of you doing the things listed above. It will also be the opposite of fun, there are better options to be productive (jobs, internships, etc..), and you don’t want to end up being one of those boring “academics” people.
  • Paying for Internships: This one is just stupid. Internships should either be free or you should be the one getting payed for them. If you are paying for one, you are waisting your time and money.
  • Study Abroad: Doing study abroad during the summer combines points 6 and 7 (you are studying and paying for it). The only exception to the rule is if you got a scholarship for the study abroad for the summer. In this case, you should definitely go for it. Exploring another country for free should be a lot of fun (even if you will have to study to do so.)
  • Getting caught doing something illegal: You do not want to end your summer in a police station with a criminal record.

 

Things To Do

So what can you do (and things that I’ve tried) instead of the ideas listed above? Keep in mind this list is a list of different suggestions and things that I’ve done. You don’t have to do everything on the list. Picking and choosing works great.

Summer Job or Internship

I think that a summer job or an internship is the best way to avoid turning into a sloth during the summer. You will learn a lot and might even earn some cash.

Preferably, try to get payed (you are the one getting payed) or an unpaid internship (payed is obviously better than unpaid). It will be the best thing you can do for your resume and you will learn a lot by actually doing practical stuff (which will help you avoid becoming too “academic”). If you are in High School, you can also focus on doing volunteer work instead of an internship during the summer. (Just make sure it’s fairly easy and you are not paying for it). If you fail at this (story of my life), get a summer job. Ideally, you should get yourself a summer job that will be fairly easy (not manual labor), take about 20-25 hours a week, and have you do something that has transferable skills (sales, talking to customers, etc…). However, any summer job will do if your goal is to not turn into a sloth. A job will force you to wake up and show up to work. It will force you to maintain reasonable hygiene. It will also force you to interact with other people and get out of the house. If you can, get one for the whole summer. However, even having one for a month will be a great experience.

What you can also do is ask your family and friends to help out with random work and chores. This will not be as great as an internship or a real summer job because they will allow for you to slack off more, but it is better than nothing (and might be an option if you are too young to get an internship or a job) It will also make your parents happier. And we all know that happy parents=happy offsprings (you).

Hobbys

Whatever interests that you have that you were avoiding doing during your academic year, you can do during the summer because you have more time. You can use the summer to focus more on your hobbies. If your hobbies require for you to meet up with other people or be at a certain place (things like team sports), find that place and some people and make a commitment (or a club or a class that focuses on your hobby). The one that you have to do outside of your house is preferable when it comes to not turning into a sloth because you are making more of a “commitment” by going out of the house, which makes it harder for you to procrastinate.

If your hobby is done at home (writing, drawing, etc..), than you will have to keep yourself more accountable and responsible. Come up with the schedule of when and for how long you will dedicate to this hobby and stick with it. Set reminders on your phone if you have to or find a friend and ask him/her to keep you accountable.

Your hobby should take you a minimum of 2 hours/week (and by this I mean each hobby. If you have 2 hobbies, that’s 4 hours/week). Unless you are doing a very demanding internship, if you can’t find 2 hours/week for your hobby, you are either lying to yourself when describing it as your hobby or you are turning into a sloth.

NOTE: Playing video games, watching Netflix, or eating chocolate are not hobbies and shouldn’t be treated as such.

Stuff That You Want to Make Money From:

If you plan on doing something, from which you want to earn money, such as making Youtube videos as a business, blogging as a business, writing a novel and getting it published, etc.., you can start doing it during the summer.

I would advise you against this option because this “Business idea” will most likely take up more of your time than one summer to complete. It’s better to start it during your school year so that you can understand if you can handle consistently working on it while managing your school work. However, if you do decide to start during the summer, than you should combine it together with other big points on this list (for example, also do an internship or a part time job or 5 hobbies). You should spend a minimum of 2 hours every day working on your personal project. If you can’t handle doing this during the summer, than you can’t handle doing this during your academic year.

If you already have a “business”, you should spend more time on it during the summer because you have more free time to do so. In this case, you should treat it at least as a part time job (with the same hours), especially if you are already earning income from it.

Reading:

Since it’s the summer, you don’t really have an excuse not to read. Reading will be more important for you if you are in High School or before that because it will relate to your academic performance through out the school year. It will improve your vocabulary, reading speed for when it matters, etc… You should read from 30 minutes to 1 hour every day. Anything more than that will intervene with you doing other fun stuff that you want to do during the summer. Anything less than 30 minutes, will not be enough for you to enjoy the book or notice any significant improvements.

If you are in High School or younger, pick books that you enjoy reading. At this point in time, what you are reading is not as important as the fact that you are making a habit and reading something. With this said, you should be reading real books. Stuff like comic books or websites don’t count as reading. Bonus points if you can do this in a foreign language that you are trying to learn. You will learn a lot and your teachers will be impressed with you. In college, start paying more attention to quality and reading books that are related to what you want to do with your life. Also, it’s a good idea to start reading the real news instead of getting it from your newsfeed on Facebook.

NOTE: I didn’t say anything about Math or other subjects here because forcing yourself to do this subjects will be much harder than forcing yourself to read for the majority of people. If you are one of those people who loves doing Math, feel free to substitute reading with doing Math problems.

Taking Care of Yourself:

Summer is an excellent time to take care of yourself and work on improving your appearance. If you feel like you want to improve your appearance, work on this one through out the summer. Go on a diet and work out if you think that you need to lose weight or get more toned. Go shopping if you can afford it. Get your hair trimmed. If you have long hair, experiment with different hairstyles. Learn how to wear makeup and walk in heels.  When it comes to this topic, the possibilities are endless and can end up consuming your whole summer. (This happened to me in 8th Grade. I did look much more attractive when I started High School, though.)

If you do decide to focus on this topic (knowing how time consuming it might be), your goal is to significantly improve your appearance through out the summer in the way that will make you feel happy. I will not make any estimates about how much time this one will take because I don’t know your situation, your goals, and what specific steps you will have to take in order to reach them. It might take anywhere from 8 hours every day for the whole summer to one shopping spree on the weekends with your best friend. However, when you are done and start going back to school/college, your friends should have a “wow, you look so different” reaction. Also, once you are done with this step, maintaining your new look will take you significantly less time than getting there so don’t worry about that when deciding to change your appearance.

If you live near the beach or in a warm climate, you should also definitely go swimming and sunbathing. This point is almost mandatory. The sun is almost guaranteed to make you feel better and more confident about yourself. Don’t worry about not having a perfect “beach body”. You are not doing this to show off your appearance or get guys. You are doing this to get some vitamin D, to get tanned, and to make yourself feel happier (because it’s almost impossible to chill on the beach and feel unhappy).

Speaking about aesthetics, you should also work on making your environment pretty. I don’t mean this in a philosophical sense. I mean this in a practical, you should clean your room, sense. Most likely, your room is a bit of a mess. That’s ok. Most people’s rooms become disorganized during the school year. However, now that you have the summer break, you can work on organizing all of your books, cleaning your desk, and sorting your wardrobe. If your parents allow it, you can also decorate your room with posters to make it look even prettier. A clean and organized room is always the right step towards success.

Travel:

Traveling is fun if you can afford it. The emphasize here is on the “if you can afford it” part.

If you do decide to travel, it should be done in style. If you don’t have the money to do it in style, you are better off not doing it at all. Yes. You don’t have to be a trust fund kid in order to travel. But you also shouldn’t be head to toe in college debt and thinking of traveling (with the exception of paid internships, of course).

You should be able to afford a reasonable hotel or apartment to stay in. You should also have some money for restaurants, clubs, and other entertainment options. If you do not have the money for this, your travel experience will be much less awesome and, in some parts of the world, even dangerous. It doesn’t have to be a 5 star hotel and it’s OK if you can’t afford to rent out a yacht but the hotel should be clean and safe and you should have enough money for excursions, restaurants, and miscellaneous expenses.

If you do chose to travel (or you go traveling together with your friends and family), the What Not To Do list still applies. There is no point traveling somewhere if you are going to spend the whole time watching Game of Thrones.

Catching up/spending Time With Friends/Family. 

You are probably too busy during the school year to catch up with your friends and family (or to spend a lot of time with your parents). Therefore, the Summer becomes a perfect time for such activities. 

If you are in college, your parents probably missed you a lot so you should definitely spend more quality time with them. (As I already said, happy parents = happy kids). Since you have more free time, you can make your family more of a priority. 

So this are my main points about what you can do during the summer in order to have some fun but also not turn into a sloth. This list does not include all of the activities that I usually do over the summer and I will probably make a part 2 to this list.

Have fun for the rest of the summer, 

XOXO 
Katy Bronsk