Tag Archives tips

8 Steps to Mastering Virtual Meetings

By Posted on 0 Comments 4 min read 82 views

Working from home means virtual meetings. These days, with platforms like Zoom enabling conferences, seminars, office hours, even lecture all online, knowing how to successfully attend virtual meetings is more important than ever.

Regardless of whether you’re a student or a full-time company executive, preparation for an excellent virtual meeting is the same. Keep reading for some pointers that will help you understand how to conquer your virtual meetings. 

1. Wear appropriate attire from the waist up.

One of the benefits of #WFH is that we can get away with wearing sweatpants during a work meeting, class, or whatever it may be. (Of course, don’t make the mistake of standing up and revealing this secret to others.)

Unfortunately, the same can’t be said about the top half of our bodies. If you’re in a more formal meeting, try wearing a polished, proper top, blouse, or sweater. That’ll give off the impression that you’re serious about the meeting, despite it being online.

Pro-tip: collared necklines and blazers look great on Zoom.

2. Apply some light mascara, lip gloss, and powder/concealer.

Of course, these things are optional – but recommended. With the camera’s focus on your face and neck, a little makeup and jewelry will go a long way towards making you appear more polished and put-together. Now, the key is that less is more.

I’m not advocating for a full face of foundation, contour, eyeshadow, red lipstick, and winged eyeliner for these virtual meetings. After all, you don’t want it to look like you’re wearing makeup at all.

Pro-tip: keep the makeup low-key.

3. Know how to work the virtual platform.

This means figuring out all the tech stuff before the meeting begins. If you don’t know how to mute your microphone, turn off your camera, share your screen, etc., spend a few extra minutes sorting out these details so that your meeting can go as smoothly as possible.

Pro-tip: always mute your microphone when you aren’t speaking.

4. Look at the camera to make “eye-contact.”

It’s well known that eye contact is fantastic for the psyche. Good eye contact equates to confidence, trust, engagement, curiosity, respect for yourself and the other person. Since we’re all looking at a screen these days, the new way to make eye contact is to look at the camera.

According to Business Insider, “whether or not other people make eye contact with us changes the way that we think about them and their feelings. For example, we are more likely to remember faces with which we’ve experienced mutual gaze, and we consider displays of anger and joy to be more intense when shown by a person making eye contact.” 

Pro-tip: hide your “self-view” if you tend to look at yourself and not at the camera.

5. Be mindful of your facial expressions.

Virtual meetings are not the time for RBF. As I’ve stated before, the focus is all on your face with these virtual meetings. Be extra aware of the facial expressions you’re displaying. If you feel bored or uninterested, it will show unless you make it a point to look otherwise. 

Pro-tip: nod now and then, and smile periodically. You may be engaged, and you may be in a pleasant mood, but it’s harder to tell when we’re all behind the screen. Show this with your facial movements and gestures!

6. Prepare your background, lighting, and surroundings.

Unfortunately, there is no point in following steps 1-5 above if your background is sloppy. With virtual meetings, one needs to pay careful attention to their environment. Are you revealing an unmade bed? A pile of laundry off to the side? The sound of your kids’ playing with Legos behind you (cute, but not professional)?

If so, do what you have to do to make the setting as non-distracting and professional as possible. The best setup is generally a simple (white) wall next to a window. That way, you’ll get natural lighting from the sun, and your background will not distract from your face.

Lastly, gently remind anyone in the proximity of your upcoming meeting and to keep their noise level as low as possible. (Perhaps it’s worth investing in noise-proof earbuds if you find yourself unable to hear the discussion clearly due to your environment.)

Pro-tip: if you are stuck with a messy background, try using a high-quality virtual background instead.

7. Get enough sleep.

Eye bags are a natural part of life, but the best treatment to feel and look well-rested is sleep! People are different, but most generally require 6 to 9 hours of quality sleep. Make sure to hit the hay early enough the night before your meeting so you can showcase your best self – physically and mentally. Your body will thank you! 

Pro-tip: check out this article on self-care.

8. Be present.

Try refraining from browsing Pinterest, scrolling on Tumblr, or taking any Buzzfeed quizzes during your virtual meeting. I repeat: try NOT to take these insanely awesome quizzes while you’re in your discussion (:P). In all seriousness, it really can wait until after the meeting is over.

Not only is it self-evident when someone’s on Facebook instead of giving their full attention to the meeting, but it’s also not a great look. As harmless as it may be, it can come off as offensive or rude to whoever is speaking at that moment, as well as to your fellow virtual attendees.

Pro-tip: keep your phone away from you if you don’t need it for the meeting, and avoid opening up Safari or Google Chrome in the first place

If you got this far, you’re definitely on the right track for having the most smooth, productive, and respectful virtual meetings. I wish you the best of luck with all of your endeavors, and remember to stay safe and healthy while working from home. We’re all in this together!

Thoughts or comments? Leave them down below!

For similar articles, check out this page.

4 Proven Methods For Staying Sane In Lockdown

By Posted on 0 Comments 3 min read 21 views

As COVID-19 continues to favor staying home, those in relationships must navigate even more unfamiliar territory: lockdown, aka, 24/7 with our S/O. This shift in dynamic means that both partners must work extra hard to preserve the fruits of the relationship and be extra mindful of staying sane.

If this lockdown has you feeling overwhelmed with emotion- that’s okay. Expected, even. I’m writing this article today to reassure you that your relationship CAN and WILL make it through this terrible time if you both want it to.

Because this lockdown can be stressful for couples living together, keep reading for some great advice to keep your relationship healthy.

1. Remember to have gratitude. 

Before you complain about sh*t, check yourself, sis!

You gotta realize how fortunate you are in getting to go through this challenging time with your S/O. Never lose sight of that fact.

Many people are going through this time alone and would trade places with you in an instant. In doing so, you are actively taking the first step in preserving your relationship and not thinking anything but thankful thoughts. 

2. Give your partner some space. 

In doing so, you’re giving yourself some space as well. Maintaining some degree of latitude is critical during this time – since time to ourselves allows us to rest and recharge, we can give our best to the people around us.

With this time, you can enjoy one of your favorite hobbies (or get into a new one!). Use this time constructively – either for some self-care or to start learning something you’ve always wanted to.

You’ll need to think outside the box: the window, the garden, kitchen, bathroom counter, or even a corner will do. This space will benefit your relationship because it will make you a much more agreeable and more pleasant person to be around.

Taking care of yourself first is going to allow you to take better care of your partner.

3. Dress it up once in a while.

Who doesn’t like to dress up and feel glamorous once in a while? Just because restaurants are closed doesn’t mean you can’t still dress up and spark a lil’ romantic setting for each other. So, throw on your fave heels and skirt, have your partner dress up too.

Both of you can enjoy a home-cooked meal together with some music and candles. This activity is great to do once in a while, as an excellent (albeit superficial) reminder of how sexy your partner is.

4. Get hooked on a new show/movie together.

This activity is an entertaining one that you both can do collectively, perhaps at the end of a long day or on the weekend. You can spend quality time together invested in a great show, and watch a few episodes a week.

It will be something with which you both can escape the COVID-19 reality and dive into a genre of your choice. For some excellent TV show recommendations, check out this article. (If you don’t watch TV, how about a podcast? Audiobook?)

Ultimately, I hope you find these tips as useful as I have. I wish you the best of luck with your relationship and your endeavors! If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to leave a comment below.

🚨⚠️ COVID-19 RESOURCES:

22 Life-Lessons I’m Still Learning at 22

By Posted on 0 Comments 2 min read 94 views

At 22 years old, I believe I underwent sufficient life-experience to share some of my wisdom with you all. Some people go their whole lives without genuinely understanding these things, thus compromising their ability to become their true selves. I am aware of these lessons, but truthfully, I don’t always act according to them. Still, the wisdom is worth sharing, so here we are. Whatever age you are, these tips will either serve as reminders or enlighten.

So without further ado, here are 22 life lessons I’ve gathered thus far.

1. Prioritizing your well-being is not selfish.

2. Canceling plans is never a good look.

3. Proper email etiquette is hugely underrated.

4. Respond to texts & emails promptly.

5. Always send a thank-you note.

6. Never show up to an invite empty-handed (bring drinks/snacks for the party, a card for the host, whatever it is).

7. Feeling anxious at times is okay. Accept it.

8. Start the day slow, calm, & collected.

9. Every relationship, romantic or not, takes effort.

10. Listen to understand, not to respond.

11. Always remind your parents how much you appreciate them.

12. Nicotine really is addictive.

13. Never depend on or seek out outside validation. It’s always better to be confident from the inside outward.

14. Learn about finance management sooner rather than later.

15. Books are timeless. Keep reading.

16. Be consistent with a skincare & fitness routine.

17. Stop feeling insecure. It’s all in your head.

18. Either they like you, or they don’t. It’s not your problem.

19. Work hard now; put aside short-term enjoyment to focus on long-term goals.

20. It’s okay not to have everything figured out.

21. Use less heat on your hair; your 6-month-from-now self will thank you.

22. Everything in moderation.

That’s all that came to mind at the moment. I hope you enjoyed this post and gained some wisdom as well.

For some great quotes, check out this article.

8 Tips for Motivation (It’s One of Those Days)

By Posted on 0 Comments 3 min read 62 views

We’re human. We feel happy, sad, anxious, overwhelmed, relieved, jealous. And we all have one of those days. You know what I’m talking about – those days where you have sh*t to do, but all you want to do is crawl under the covers, erase your to-do list, scroll Pinterest, watch Youtube, binge Netflix, eat Ben n Jerrys, or play Animal Crossing on the Switch…

The next time you feel this way, I’ve got you covered. With these tips & tricks, you will feel energized and ready for some productivity. Keep reading if you’re interested. 

1. WRITE A TO-DO LIST.

Take five minutes and quickly jot down anything you need to get done for the day. Writing things down makes you more likely to actually get it done. Crazy, right?

2. DRINK A TALL GLASS OF WATER.

Drinking a cold glass of water always wakes me up and leaves me feeling refreshed. If you don’t like the taste of water (like some people I know…), try spicing things up with some Crystal Light powder or flavor it by infusing lemon wedges / cucumber slices. 😍

3. TAKE A COLD SHOWER.

It is well documented scientifically that cold showers significantly boost your mood and productivity. It turns out, that high you feel after a long run or a good workout is exactly what occurs after a cold shower – your brain pumps out endorphins because it thinks you’re in “pain,” but really you’re just covered in cold water for a few minutes. Hallelujah!

4. EAT A HEALTHY MEAL / SNACK.

If you know me, you know I love a good salad. If you’re not a fan, there must be a favorite fruit or veggie of yours. Eat it. You will feel much better than binging that tub of Ben n’ Jerry’s, trust me…

5. CALL YOUR FRIENDS / FAMILY.

Give yourself a half hour to catch up with those you love. Especially if you’re feeling isolated during this lockdown, this is essential, and will boost your mood, and hence your productivity.

6. MOVE YOUR BODY.

A short walk around the block will offer you a change of scenery, while a Youtube Blogilates workout will have you really breaking a sweat. Whichever modality you prefer, you can’t go wrong with either.

7. READ MOTIVATIONAL QUOTES / WATCH INSPIRING VIDEOS.

Check out a compilation of most favorite quotes here.

8. GIVE YOURSELF A FEW HOURS TO RELAX.

@kendalljenner‘s famous avocado face mask

Even the best of us require time for ourselves. You may be feeling burnt-out, especially during this pandemic. Remember that sometimes the best medicine is relaxation. Give yourself some time to do exactly what you wanted – take a nap, do a face mask, listen to your favorite music, read a book, play games on your Nintendo Switch. Check out my best self-care tips here.

Ultimately, make sure to never feel guilty about having one of those days. They happen to all of us at some point or another, and for some more than others. What’s more important is what we do to overcome these emotions. What are your favorite things to do on days like these? Leave a comment below.

The College Survival Guide: 10 Tips from a Recent Graduate

By Posted on 0 Comments 4 min read 19 views

Since graduating about a year ago, it’s time I share these tips while my memory’s still intact. Fellow college-degree-seekers, may you benefit from my wisdom.

Students in a dining hall

1. If you aren’t buying a “Dining Plan,” make sure you cook instead.

When my Junior Year came, I decided to cook my meals rather than purchase a Dining Plan. It’s cheaper, healthier, and saves money.

Right. But only if you actually cook, Sabine.

I was too busy studying for the exam the next day that I slurped on instant ramen and Naked juice.

I was probably spending more than if I had a dining plan or had I meal-prepped and cooked at home for the week. Gah!

Pro tip: Replace the occasional Starbucks with a delicious whipped coffee.

Textbooks on shelf

2. Don’t buy textbooks before your first day of classes.

I didn’t know about this until too late.

Holding off on buying textbooks is the best college tip for a few reasons:

  • You save yourself from having to go back to the bookstore to return a book.
  • You might find it for a lower price on Amazon.com.
  • Or online as a free PDF (seriously).
  • You may talk to someone whose taken the class before and admits they’ve never used the book.
  • Your professor might say it’s optional.

So wait on it.

Chegg logo

3. Get Chegg.

A tip for the more academically inclined. Personally, Chegg was beneficial in explaining some concepts for my Neuroscience major.

You can either buy a subscription yourself or share an account with a friend to split the cost. Even if your major is not STEM, chances are you’ll have to take the necessary prerequisites that include math, science, and a language.

Trust me; you will not regret this!

Academically inclined student

4. Don’t slack during your freshman or sophomore year (or any year, for that matter).

I admit — my priorities during my first year were to socialize as much as I could and explore the new city of Boston I moved to.

Although I did okay in my classes for the first two years, it wasn’t great, especially since I’ve always had graduate school in mind.

I improved my last two years (#UpwardTrend), though unfortunately, the improvement was not enough. I was .01 points away from earning a Cum Laude on my diploma.

.01 points away.

If I could go back with the knowledge I have now, I would have made studying the priority starting the first day. Please don’t make the same mistake I did.

Decorated college dorm room

5. Invest time and money into decorating your dorm.

At first glance, your raw dorm room may look like a jail cell.

You must transform it to how you like.

After all, your dorm is your sanctuary to wind-down, wake-up, laugh, cry, eat Ben & Jerry’s at 3 am, hang out with friends, call home, whatever.

So definitely decorate this jail cell into precisely what you’re wanting.

Check out affordable places like Dollar Tree or the 99 Cents Only stores.

If you have a roommate, you guys can also coordinate amenities before move-in day and some design aspects if you guys want to!

Student running on treadmill

6. Move your body.

Freshman 15 is not just a funny hashtag. It’s real. And from personal experience: too much dining hall apple crisp + lack of exercise = before you know it, definitely a few (20!!!!) pounds.

So, for my sophomore year, I made it a point to eat less apple crisp and sweets and go to the gym more. Lo and behold: I shed those twenty pounds without really even noticing!

Again, please don’t do what I did. The healthiest college tip on this page is just going to the university’s or local gym a few times a week and eating a balanced diet from day 1.

Rate my professor image

7. Use RateMyProfessor when choosing your classes.

A wise woman once said, ‘the difference between a great class and a boring class is not the content — it’s the professor.”

This statement could not be more accurate. This website provides student reviews for a bunch of professors at different universities. It is a platform that allows you to leave your review after the term for other students’ benefit as well!

ET

8. Call home.

Everyone misses you. Calling your family and old friends will take barely any of your time and is hugely appreciated.

Make new friends, but keep the old; Those are silver, these are gold.

Joseph Parry

Please do it. Even if you feel overwhelmed/don’t want to.

Image from super bad of hawaii driver license

9. Be smart when going out.

If you are a woman who is determined to get a fake ID (make sure it’s a good one), don’t.

If you are a man wanting to get one, don’t. (Seriously, don’t.)

Sorry men, but bars and clubs are one area in which women have it better. The world is more strict towards you for a fake ID. Bouncers favor us, women, when it comes to bouncers, clubs, and underage drinking. And if you don’t think so, please enjoy this fairy-tale land you live in.

Have some legal fun — take a walk, play a board game, until you’re of age.

happy ethnic woman sitting at table with laptop

10. Be present, safe, have fun, and enjoy these few years.

College really does fly by.

Most importantly, be present, safe, have fun, and enjoy these few years. They really do fly by!