How Geography Helps Writers With Worldbuilding

So… we’re just going to pretend that I haven’t been gone since Christmas, okay? It’s been quite a few semesters, and I am just glad to be back with everyone here in the blogosphere. (Believe it or not, I actually enjoy writing on the internet.) And that’s all we’re going to say about it.

Get it? Got it? Good. Now for the post.

image of title "How Geography Helps Writers with World Building"

As some of you may know from my incessant twitter complaining, the bulk of my time recently has been devoted to college. (Final semester, guys—whoop whoop.) As an education major, I was dragged kicking and screaming into needed to take a geography class, because apparently a teacher should know that Taiwan is in Asia, not southern Africa. *cringe*

Now, I thought I didn’t like geography that much. My expectations consisted of stuffy maps, no interesting historical facts, and textbooks that talk of nothing but global warming (don’t @ me). And while all that was true to an extent, I was surprised to discover that geography is genuinely useful… for worldbuilding?

What does geography have to do with worldbuilding?

Most writers probably know this (or could figure it out), but worldbuilding is exactly what it sounds like—building a miniature world so your characters have somewhere to live. It can involve drawing population maps, researching real-world cultures, inventing languages, writing treatises on political history, building 3D models of city streets… well, the list goes on because worldbuilding is never truly complete.

This is where geography comes in. See, geography is basically all of the above research categories organized into one meta-genre. So, while drifting in and out of the four-page zone, I found myself wondering, “If this stuff is useful for geographers in the real world, and writers are fake-world geographers, shouldn’t I be able to use this for building my own worlds?”

Grab your fancy gel pens and a notebook, or pull up the encyclopædia I told you to make all those years ago. We’re going to be geographers for a day. To do that, we’ll need to think like geographers: using the five categories or “themes” of geography.

Theme #1: Region

Key questions: What makes it a region? How cohesive is it? Where are the boundaries? How does it complement (or compete with) the other regions around it?

Region is mainly about drawing circles on maps. You’ll rarely find a real-world map with just a bunch of castles scattered here and there with nothing but miles of beaten track in between (looking at you, younger self); people stick together and develop their towns in an outward pattern.

Also remember that region can be formal or functional. A formal region is what a region looks like on the map; a functional region is how the people who live there interact with each other. Formally, Dallas and Fort Worth are two different regional places on a map, but in functionally, the two cities work together so closely that we call the resulting metroplex DFW. Ask yourself what the differences are between what the map says and what the world actually looks like.

If you don’t know what this is… okay, I guess I can still be your friend.

Think about where people would naturally choose to live. If your sci-fi culture lives on a mountain range, farmers can only grow crops below a certain altitude and on one side of the mountains due to the rain shadow effect. On the other hand, maybe the more scientific people in the culture have figured out how to build homes and farms farther up on the hills using some fancy irrigation methods. Or maybe a specific type of alien race can eat a type of food that only grows in high altitudes. How would that affect the way the town works?

Theme #2: Location

Key questions: Where is it located on a map? How does that location affect its daily functioning?

As with region, you can describe Location as either absolute or relative. Absolute location is about address, latitude, and longitude; relative location is more about the landmarks and other locations you use to find a place (“the restaurant is three blocks down Main Street, to the left of the hotel”).

Once you know where a given area is located relative to its neighbors, you can begin answering other important worldbuilding questions. So what if Lake-town doesn’t have enough arable land to grow its own vineyards? It’s located so close to the rich soil of Mirkwood, maybe the townsfolk can buy wine from the wood-elves. Though I don’t suppose something like that is ultimately important for Bilbo’s adventure, is it?

Theme #3: Place

Key questions: What makes it unique? What is most apparent or memorable about the culture?

Exhibit A: Wakanda.

What makes a house a home? To geographers, it’s Place. Here’s where you can get fancy with culture, languages, and wars. Different cultures have different collective personalities and values (some people have even tried to give each country a Myers-Briggs type). Sometimes these traits appear in the physical landscape as well as the human one. You can guess at the different personalities of the Wakandan capital and countryside just by looking at the buildings (or lack thereof).

Exhibit B: also Wakanda.

A good question to ask about Place is “How could someone tell what region my character is from?” One of my sneakier characters knows the rigid fashion standards of his country, so he can identify people’s social status just by looking at the length of their skirts or coats. A soldier character could discriminate against people who have a certain accent because he associates them with the space pirates who killed his father. A queen from an absolute monarchical country may be completely out of her element when she visits a more parliamentary-style country.

I could go on, but you get the picture. Place is basically what makes your fake people seem like real people.

Theme #4: Movement

Key questions: How does it work logistically? Is there sufficient transportation for goods, money, and people? How connected is it to the rest of the world?

A better word (in meine humble opinion) for Movement would be connectivity. If you want to know anything about how a country works on a day-to-day basis, you need to ask how the people move things through and out of the region: armies, crops, tourists, waste, and everything else.

This may sound boring, but Movement is actually a great source of inspiration for subplots. If your kickbutt assassin gal wants to overthrow a 1760s-style government, all she needs to do is hack the mail system; without a good communication infrastructure, the officials can’t get diddly crap done. If your villain lives in an affluent city, he probably has access to better transportation to and from neighboring cities than your Chosen One from a tiny subsistence-farming town does. And if your rebellion is based in a colony of an empire, the emperor had better have a fast highway or canal to get his armies there in case of an uprising.

Image of the Millennium Falcon, from the film Solo: A Star Wars Story.

Thanks to Location, we now know how hard it is to make the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs. (credit)

Theme #5: Human-environment interaction

Key questions: What is the natural environment like? How do the people and environment impact each other on a daily basis? How do the people manage their natural resources?

Regardless of what other differences might exist, every inhabited place has something in common: it’s made out of humans (or elves, or Twi’lek) and environment that have to interact with each other. And this doesn’t have to be boring or political.

First you need to ask: How have the people changed their natural environment (for better as well as for worse, ya hippies)? When settling in a new area, people usually cut down trees for timber, which can lead to soil erosion, a lack of good farmland, and wildlife emigration. On the other hand, maybe a resilient group of settlers have learned how to irrigate the desert plains. How does that impact the economy?

But don’t stop there. This interaction is a two-way street, so now you need to ask: How has the environment impacted the way people live? People who live on the frigid tundra icecaps are naturally going to build different kinds of houses and tools from those of people who live on tropical coasts. In a chilly environment, waterways are going to freeze over and close during some months of the year, meaning people need to get all their seaborne trading done during the warm months. And of course, we already talked about mountains and farming under Region.

Image of a farm in winter, from the movie Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.

Most of this movie depends on an avalanche that was Totally, Definitely An Accident. (credit)

That’s all I’ve got, folks.

I never thought I’d say this, but geography can be fun. Use your imagination and see what you come up with. The more you build your world, the more real and amazing it will become.

Did you have any brilliant flashes of inspiration? Please tell me some of your worldbuilding ideas in the comments! 


What Happened This Semester

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Do I just disappear so I can use the wealth of Sherlock gifs available in this glorious age of information?

No. I swear I wouldn’t do that to you, kids. But… the Sherlock gifs are a plus.

Anyway, I’m back, so hello! Sorry for disappearing, and you’re welcome for turning back up. I realize we haven’t talked in awhile, so here are a few things just to update you on my life in the last… *checks* semester. Yikes.

I accomplished a lot of Very Important Tasks.

Such as…

  • Finishing my second-to-last semester of college. *bows to applause* Yes, yes, thank you.
  • Writing a parody of The Phantom Menace (yes, I’m playing Qui-Gon, no, you may not see the script).
  • Watching Star Wars and the original Wrath of Khan for the first time. Yes, I liked the prequels better than the originals, and yes, I liked Benedict Cumberbatch better than Ricardo Montalban. Please don’t eat me.
  • Watching The Greatest Showman, which I loved, and The Last Jedi, which… well, I still don’t know what I think about it.
  • Reading the Revenge of the Sith novelization. I’m officially prequel trash, I guess.
  • Dyeing my hair temporarily auburn (which I’m totally going to do again, btw).
  • Finally reading A Picture of Dorian Grey and the first two Mistborn books (ugh, feels).
  • Reaching 20,000 words in my NaNo project and 21,000 in my other super-secret project.
  • Learning how to live with and (eventually) overcome depression and anxiety.
  • Realizing in a much deeper way just how much I need God and realizing just how much He loves me, even when I don’t believe it.

Honestly, so much happened that I’m having trouble figuring out how to put the last few months into one post. So for now, the list will have to do, and I’ll share a bit more in the blog posts to come.

Speaking of writing, I started my other novel.

And I suppose I haven’t actually… told you anything about it yet, have I?

bilbo GIF

Well, let’s remedy that. Have another list.

  • The working title is The Flower Assassin. 
  • It is about a) a depressed INTJ assassin, b) his bossy older sister, c) a flirty intern, and d) a lonely governor who are all thrown by fate (ie, a cynical author) into one another’s lives.
  • The scene outline is currently 20 pages long. (I’m a planner, okay?)
  • It is a spec fic (the specifics of setting are still tbd) that involves murder, infinite sadness, and kissing.
  • There are Pinterest boards for it here.
  • The story in my head is awesome, and frankly I’m terrified that I won’t be able to do it justice. (But that won’t stop me from trying.)

And I guess that’s it for now. I really am sorry for disappearing, guys. I’ll try to do better now that I actually have brainpower and a life outside of school. I have a lot of good ideas for blog posts… they just have to get written.

Deus vult, I’ll see y’all next week. Until then, happy writing or reading or whatever you do.

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Why We Hate Our Old Writing (and how to stop)

Have you ever noticed that your old writing is really bad?

Like, really bad?

Yeah, so have I. I shudder at the idea of people I know personally reading my books. Whenever I see a new review on Goodreads, I’m afraid of what people will say. What if readers judge me? What if they never read my books again?? What if I was never supposed to publish a book at all??? It’s ridiculous, of course, but from what I’ve seen, most other young authors have the same paralyzing fear. It really needs a name. Lateral Author Syndrome, maybe?

Well, here’s my unfortunate thesis: Your old writing will always seem awful to you, and that’s a sign you’re doing it right. Why? Because it shows you’re growing as an author. You grow as an author because you grow as a person. It’s inevitable! As long as you’re writing honestly, you’ll automatically become a better writer as you experience life.

But that’s a bit vague, isn’t it? We always talk about “writing honestly” and allowing ourselves to “grow as writers,” but what do those #writerslife cliches really mean?

Glad you asked. That’s what we’re talking about today.

A Brief History of a Teen Author

Most teen authors have the same (or similar) story, so let’s take a look at *shudder* my old books.

Son of Ren seems pretty awful to me right now, and that’s probably because I wrote most of it between the ages of 15 and 16, when I was still technically a kid. (Yeah, a kid who can stop a bus with their bare hands, but still a kid.) My characters were adults grappling with adult issues like political change and parent/adult-child conflict, and though I did my best to tackle them, I couldn’t fully identify with those characters. I just hadn’t experienced a whole lot of their world.

Then, at age 17, I wrote Alen’s War, which seems slightly less awful. I’ve never fought a war or led a rebellion. I’ve never so much as been on a pirate ship, let alone set one on fire. But I had wrestled a bit with my own fears and had seen other people fighting theirs, and that provided a bridge for me to identify with my characters and the issues they faced. My real life affected the fictional world I’d created. I learned to empathize with the characters on the page by letting them be real people, and the story was that much better for it.

Now, age 19, I have two main projects that have a lot in common- with each other and with me. They both feature main characters with severe depression, and they both deal with many of the heavy emotional issues I’m trying to deal with in real life. And to be honest, it can be hard to write about things that are so personal to me, but I have to. I know this story needs told because other people are struggling with the same issues. For that reason, the story becomes more and more real.

Same old story, right? Teenage authors almost always grow in their writing at lightning-fast speeds, and their books are here to document those changes. And that is not a bad thing. The fact that you realize that your old work could be better shows that you understand what writing is all about: putting a little bit of life down on a page.

Getting Under Readers’ Skin

This is what it means to “write honestly.” Real life bleeds into the words on a page. Even what seems like escapist fantasy can teach us something about the real world when the author writes honestly. It’s why geeks love utterly ridiculous stories like Captain America or Star Wars; even though the plots are fake, the people are real.

Here’s what I really want you to remember: Don’t be ashamed of your old writing, because it’s better than you think. As I’ve said before, it’s a picture of you when you wrote it. If you don’t believe me, ask the people who are reading them right now; the stories you wrote are still having an impact.

While you are worried that someone is annoyed by your incomplete worldbuilding, a reader is overjoyed that you took a chance to explore the evils of racism and the heroes who fought against it. While you’re over here stressing about your head-hopping in that one scene, a reader can breathe with relief because you gave them hope in their struggle with anxiety. While you’re agonizing over the trees, the readers are refreshed to see the forest. 

Age 16, I didn’t understand monarchical political shifts, but I did understand Elkay’s passion for doing something big, and I knew all too well how arrogance can destroy that big something. Age 17, I’d never grappled with a nationwide revolution, but like Alen, I had fought my own wars with perfectionism and forgiveness. So those are the things I wrote about, and those are the things that readers loved.

Raw, honest bits of life are what impacts readers. Hardly anybody cares about your overuse of speaker tags or your flat secondary characters, especially when they know you were pretty young when you wrote the book. (Usually, if they mention those things in a book review, they’re giving you some pointers for next time.) Readers remember how you impacted their emotions, and if your book makes them feel like they’re on a journey with real people and real problems, you’ve done your job.

So say the readers:

13 Contradictions Only True Book Lovers Understand

Happy Labor Day. And, as we like to say, happy writing.

A Liebster Award

I’ve been nominated for the Liebster Award!


Thank you so much for tagging me, E.J W! Kids, go check out her blog, One Word At A Time. She’s got some really helpful (and practical) writing tips, plus she’s writing a pretty awesome book.

Now let’s see what this tag is all about. First of all, guidelines.

The Rules of the Tag

  • Acknowledge the blog who nominated you and display the award.
  • Answer eleven questions that the blogger gives you.
  • List eleven random facts about yourself
  • Nominate up to eleven other bloggers that you think are deserving of this award (with less than 200 followers)
  • Let the bloggers know you nominated them
  • Give them eleven questions to answer

(I love this tag already. It says “up to eleven,” which means it can be less than eleven. It will probably be less than eleven.)

The Questions

If you had a whole day with nothing to do and nothing that needed to be done in the future, how would you spend it?

I guess I’d write. Write, write, write. I have so many books that I need to write, and having a whole day to crank out as much writing is possible is a wonderful idea.

What is your favorite book and author?

Favorite… book?

Of… all… time?

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Okay. *deep breath* For now, I can give you some of my favorite books. Three books that have most impacted me as a writer are The Hobbit, The Book Thief, and Animal Farm.

Oh, and my favorite author is C.S. Lewis. (Although I’ll give a close second to Tolkien or Austen.)

Ice cream or cake?

Ice cream, especially since I’m not allowed to eat gluten for the next few months. I could take or leave cake.

What is your favorite mythical creature?

Svartalfar! No, wait, dragons! No, wait, Maiar! No, wait…

It’s too hard to pick; I love them all. But let’s say that if I could have any one of them for a friend, I’d choose a dragon. You can’t go wrong there.

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What is the one chore that you absolutely hate doing?

Shopping. I haaaaaate shopping. There’s just something despicable about navigating a concrete building filled with fluorescent lights and grumpy people who don’t want to be there any more than you do. Shopping is a character-building exercise, to be sure.

Which is your favorite season?

Fall, of course. I used to live in Pennsylvania, and not to brag, but we pretty much have the best autumn ever, with colorful leaves and pumpkin candles and gentle rain.

What is your favorite breakfast food?

Waffles, except for… ahem… the gluten-free thing. I miss waffles.

Why did you decide to become a blogger and what do you hope to accomplish by it?

Ah-ah-ah, two at once! That’s cheating.

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Why become a blogger? On the more philosophical side, I blog (and just generally write) because I have the freedom and therefore the responsibility to share truth with others. That’s just part of being a Christian. On the rubber-meets-road side, I just think a lot about a lot of things, and that naturally spills over into blogging. People like talking about writing, about the Bible, and about the struggles that we all face, and a blog is a great place to do that.

And what do I want to accomplish? Well, I guess I already answered that- I want people to be able to talk with and learn from one another, whether we’re talking about writing tips, theological insights, or how to survive a particularly difficult four years of your life.

Would you rather fly or be able to breath underwater?

Fly. Then I could wear a special cloak and fly through cities and fight evil sorcerers and basically be Dr Strange.

strange cloak | Tumblr

Yes, we really did need a random Dr Strange gif thrown in.

What is your favorite genre of music?

Does Hans Zimmer count as a genre?

What is the most recent crazy thing you have done?

Eh, I don’t really do crazy.

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Well, a few weeks ago I did dress up as Galen Erso and let my younger siblings (dressed as Krennic and Co.) throw me into the trunk of my car for a film project. Looking back, I see how that was kind of crazy.

Eleven Random Facts

  1.  I am a Christian. (As if it wasn’t terribly obvious.)
  2. In real life I’m much quieter and saltier than I seem on my blog… if that’s even possible.
  3. I’m exactly the same height as Napoleon. (5’6″, if you want to know.)
  4. I often lose count of how many siblings I have. I have a lot of them.
  5. My Spotify playlist is currently paused on a song called “I See Dead People in Boats.” Like I said, Hans Zimmer.
  6. I have never watched Star Wars: A New Hope all the way through.
  7. Rude people scare the heck out of me.
  8. I prefer to subsist on tea and turkey sandwiches.
  9. I’ve thought about becoming a film director.
  10. I’m allergic to pretty much every furry pet known to man.
  11. I like sweaters.

And now, the real good feature…

The Bloggers

For this award, I hereby nominate:

Congratulations, y’all!

The New Eleven Questions

  1. What’s your favorite thing about blogging?
  2. What’s your personality type? (Or, if you don’t know, your Hogwarts House.)
  3. Who are three of your real-life heroes? (They can be living or dead, but they have to be real.)
  4. Axe or sword, or some other weapon?
  5. Describe yourself with a gif.
  6. If you could play any fictional character in a movie adaptation of your favorite book, whom would you be?
  7. Hot tea or sweet tea?
  8. What is your favorite song/band?
  9. What’s a skill you’d really like to learn if you had the time?
  10. What’s your favorite non-fiction book?
  11. In one sentence, how would you explain the meaning of life?

That’s all the time we have today, kids! Until next time.

Just a little tidbit for Alen’s birthday…

Hey, kids, listen up! I have a very important announcement.

Today marks one year since I published Alen’s War!

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Now, I’m characteristically forgetful about anniversaries, blogiversaries, any versaries… but this year I somehow remembered. So, luckily for all y’all, I was able to prepare a little celebration.

I present, for your consideration, a personality quiz: Which character from Alen’s War are you? (I made it myself, which means it’s 100% scientific and psychologically accurate.) If you’re curious, you can head over and take the quiz to find out! Oh, and please do share your results in the comments below. I want to see just how many villainous revolutionaries we have running around.

Also, if you happen to have any other ideas for how I can celebrate my book-versaries in the future, let me know that too! Fanart contests, Twitter trivia threads, more Ship’s Log… I want to hear all your ideas.

That’s it! Have a happy Friday.

How to Survive College

For lack of a better opening, here’s a Twitter-sized anecdote.

Mom, to teenage brother: “You know, you should ask Hannah for ideas about college. She’s been doing it for awhile now.”

Me: sherlock success anderson emma makes things sherlock spoilers GIF

But I guess, after accidentally doing college in cuttime and surviving, I really do know something about how it works.

Let’s be honest. College is an amazing opportunity (thanks for the blessing, God) that’s also terrifying and awful and will probably suck the life out of you (thanks for the sanctification, God). We do it, because we know that higher education can actually benefit us later in life provided we do it right and survive to graduation. But how? How to survive college?

Glad you asked, because it just so happens I have a list. (Mycroft has a file.) To cut to the chase, this post is about basic hacks that will help you survive college. These are just things that I’ve found useful, and maybe they’ll work for you too. And the best part is, you can start using some of them right now.

Step 1: Begin before the semester.

After all, a villain must always be one step ahead.

  • Ask advice from other people who go to college- preferably, your college. Find out about the hardest courses and how to ace them, and look for little life hacks from other students. (Hint: You’re already doing that!)
  • Do everything ahead of time. Don’t procrastinate. Figure out what courses you’re taking, get them all set up, and fill out all the forms well before the semester starts. This leaves you extra time in case you miss something.
  • When you’re not in school, practice writing essays. If you’re still in high school or are taking a summer break, now is the ideal time to practice writing a generic five-paragraph essay. Find some prompts, set a timer for 40 minutes, and see what you can crank out.
  • Update: Learn to speed-read. I neglected to mention this before (facepalm) but if you do it right, speed-reading can help you study effectively by teaching you different types of reading. Try this article for starters.

Step 2: Go in with a plan.

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Don’t get beaten by a cat.

  • Read the syllabus. Just… read the syllabus.
  • Download everything: all assignment instructions, rubrics, source articles, and anything else you might find useful. It may seem ridiculous, but it’s so much easier than desperately hunting for that old article a day before your paper is due.
  • Organize your files using your computer’s file explorer, Google Drive, or Microsoft Office Suite. Downloading stuff is no good if you can’t find it later.
  • While you’re at it, organize your tasks by day. I use Google Calendar and Tasks, which lets me assign daily tasks to myself and check them off as I go. Other people use planner apps which basically do the same thing.
  • Keep track of your textbooks. When you’re buying and renting multiple books (see below) for a whole semester, it’s really easy to forget which ones belong to you and when to return the ones that don’t. Ergo, write it down.

Step 3: Get the right resources.

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I watched one episode, so I’m allowed to use this gif, right?

  • Rent your books instead of buying them. Chegg Study and are great resources for this.
  • If you can, earn credit in other ways. CLEP and DSST exams give you credit for subjects you already know, and ALEKS courses give you a fast-paced review until you’re getting good grades. P.S. ACE Credit can store your credit on a transcript until you’re ready to send it to a college.
  • There are also some great study sites. Free Clep Prep is technically for CLEP and DSST, but the site has all kinds of resources for pretty much every intro-level course and subject.
  • InstantCert is great test-prep, designed for CLEP exams.
  • Quizlet is also good. Personally I hate studying with flash cards, but if they help you, Quizlet is the way to go.

Step 4: Work.

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Don’t let your dreams be dreams.

  • College is basically a job, so treat it like one. Work hard and take it seriously.
  • Do your school from nine to five. School starts promptly at 9am and ends right before dinner (with good breaks in between), and then you can watch Netflix. This way, you probably won’t have to pull any all-nighters.
  • Get over yourself. The truth is college often makes you work hard at things you don’t even like- for example, recording videos of yourself talking. Just do it anyway. Chances are you’re a lot better at school than you think.
  • Sleep at night. I shouldn’t have to say this to you adults (and almost-adults), but put your phone away and go to sleep before 11pm.

Step 5: Make it fun.

Image result for gif sherlock just happy to be alive

Life can be fun.

  • Make yourself have fun. Let’s face it, college isn’t always fun, so you have to find little ways to enjoy it. It’s as simple as talking yourself into being excited or choosing essay topics that sound interesting and don’t stress you out.
  • Listen to music that makes you happy and helps you study. Try Spotify or Pandora, or just plain old YouTube if you can resist the cat videos. (I’ve heard video games soundtracks can help people focus on tasks.)
  • Reward yourself with snacks. After thirty solid minutes of writing that dull essay, give yourself a snack. A healthy snack. Maybe a little chocolate if it’s a really dull essay.
  • Find fun ways of studying. Do you like to sit and read outside? Can you make up a song to memorize the rulers of England? Do you learn better mind palace-style? Try it and see.

Step 6: Think twice before making a dumb decision.

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See, Cap said so. Better listen to Cap.

  • Keep at it. Everyone feels awful in the heat of the semester: some people are tempted to cheat, others just want to give up trying. Both of those are wrong. College really is a huge opportunity, regardless of how you feel now. Don’t waste it.
  • Talk about your problems. Ask your mom for advice when you’re stressed out, or have your friend group ask you every week how you are doing. It does wonders for accountability.
  • Don’t be stupid. Cheating is always a wrong decision, and it almost never improves your grades even if you’re not caught. (For example.) Remember, school is for learning, not proving what you already know.
  • Get the help you need. Try Chegg Study or check out the resources in your university’s library. Think about it: for 30 bucks, would you rather buy two crappy essays or actually learn how to put your thoughts on paper?

Step 7: Live a life outside of school.

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Sorry. This gif is too much to resist.

  • Start a project outside of school. Volunteer, learn to make bread, or get a part-time job. This gives you balance and lets you invest in something besides three months of papers.
  • Don’t let college kill you. Drink water so you don’t die. Find some kind of exercise that you like (or, at least, you don’t hate); if you live close enough to your campus, try walking to school instead of driving.
  • Talk to other humans. Don’t just be grumpy about how misrepresented the Puritans are; go rant to a friend about it. It helps you process and understand the facts better, and in the meantime you’ll actually be talking to people.
  • Give your brain a break. Try watching a movie on repeat (like, ahem, Doctor Strange) or re-read your old favorite book. Just find something to help your brain relax.
  • If you need to, quit during the summer. Most people take a summer break. College is brain work, and sometimes you just need to rest.

And here we are. This list is not a lifesaving device, but hopefully something on it will make your life at college a little bit better. At the very least, you should be able to survive.

Enjoy the rest of your summer. *evil cackling*