December 29, 2017

Top Blog Posts of 2017

Here's a look back on the top 10 posts of 2017 that got the most reads and greatest feedback! Favorite law school blog posts of 2017. Most popular law school blog posts of 2017. Top 10 law school blog posts of 2017. law school blog. law student blogger |

Happy end of the year everyone! My new years plans are packing and moving because Dallas is right around the corner, but I hope y'all have a more fun NYE planned. This year I wanted to start a new B&B tradition where I recap and reflect over the top posts of the year. As a blogger, it's always so intriguing to see which posts are the most popular because every time I publish a post I just hope y'all like it and then when one has a tremendous I'm relieved that y'all found it useful. Plus it's always surprising when I post that I quickly write in like 30 minutes turns out to be one that y'all really loved because I never know what your reactions will be!

1. 16 Great Law School Finds from Etsy

top blog posts of 2017 #1 - 16 great law school finds from etsy |

Okay guys so I'm an Etsy addict and this post has actually grown to 23 (and counting) law school finds! But honestly some of this stuff is so cute and I love supporting small businesses so I'm glad this has been the top post I've written this year. The She Wants The JD coffee mug is seriously still the funniest thing I've seen in a while! And TBH, I'm obsessed with the Hidden Owl Boutique that I discovered when working on this post.

2. The Law School Binder System

top blog posts of 2017 #2 - the law school binder system |

This is one of those posts that I'm talking about when I say that I was surprised at how many reads it got! It actually was a guest post by my little Jordin of Petite Thoughts and was one of her first blog posts to write. I was so excited to snap her and show her that it had thousands of reads and be able to help her get her new blog off its feet. Plus, we had some amazing feedback from y'all about how much this helped y'all, which is always a win for any blogger to get to help your readers! And now that it's been all over Pinterest, I roll my eyes for choosing pens for the photo when the whole post is about binders haha.

3. Professional Post-Grad Planner

top blog posts of 2017 #3 - professional post-grad planner |

I'm so glad that I stumbled upon Plum Paper Planners my 1L year and have been able to help so many of y'all find a planner that's super customizable so that it can be just right for you. It's funny because now I have planner buyer's guide posts Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4! I think planners help not just with school but with organizing your life as well so I love seeing y'all hop on the planner train with me too. And I will just quickly throw this out there that if you're wanting to get a 2018 planner or a planner for next semester, my 10% off code BRAZEN10 is ending soon at the end of this January so order now to save a little!

4. Perfect Movies for Law Students

top blog posts of 2017 #4 - perfect movies for law students |

The summer after my 1L year I wrote a post about my Favorite Law TV Shows that was a huge hit so almost a year ago I wrote this as a follow-up post and it's also been super successful! They're fun as a pre-law to watch to get you pumped to get to go to law school and they're fun as a newly cynical law student to point out everything they get wrong or quiz yourself to see if you can spot an objection before the actor calls it. Plus like who doesn't love a good movie binge?? And now I'm randomly craving popcorn....

5. A Law Student's Study Schedule

top blog posts of 2017 #5 - a law student's study schedule |

This was a fun post for me to write because I got to show y'all a behind-the-scenes look at what my day is actually like (hence why it was originally named 2L Year They Work You To Death). It was a little stressful getting a snapchat right on the hour, but I still am proud of that idea. I also just realized that I've been majorly slacking on saving and uploading snapchats of a law student so I'm going to try to get better about that in 2018 but in the mean time you can catch some by following me on snapchat. Anyways I think why this post was so successful is because I always get emails and comments of people wanting to know what law school is really like and this is a pretty good glimpse for them to prepare!

6. Understanding Your Law Student

top blog posts of 2017 #6 - understanding your law student |

This is just a post that I wrote after my friend voiced frustration when her parents said oh you only have to read 80 pages tonight? so you'll be done in like an hour right?? because people who aren't in law school just kinda don't understand. I hope that if this got shared with any of your friends or family, it helped them get just a little better idea of what you're going through. Like I said when I first shared it, nobody understands us except us haha.

7. Why I Decided to Go to Law School

top blog posts of 2017 #7 - why I decided to go to law school |

I got an email from a reader on the fence about law school because she didn't already know what kind of law she wanted to practice or anything like that yet and so she felt that maybe she wouldn't belong or would be starting off behind. This post just goes to show you that sometimes you can just fly through life by the seat of your pants and you'll figure it out along the way! It was fun getting to do a personal post because I don't often get the opportunity to share very personal posts with y'all. Lol I'm also surprised that it took me until I was halfway done with law school to share with y'all how I even decided to come here in the first place.

8. The Time I Almost Almost Dropped Out of Law School

top blog posts of 2017 #8 - the time I almost dropped out of law school |

This post is probably the most personal/vulnerable I've ever gotten with y'all. I really didn't want to share it because it was a really rough story and I would hate to scare someone off from following their dream of being a lawyer when they read about the dark side of law school. It was also hard for me to open up because who I am to write advice about law school when I was struggling so hard with it myself. But I think the moral of the story is that law school is hard at some point for everyone and it's better to just admit that than to pretend like everything's fine and you're fine and school's fine. I also am really happy that it helped those of you who were at that rough part of being a 1L feel reassured that you're not alone!! (side note I really like how it came out that my why I came and why I almost left stories ended up back-to-back on this list)

9. Law School Books: Buying New v. Buying Used v. Renting

top blog posts of 2017 #9 - law school books: buying new vs. buying used vs renting |

I wish I would've thought about writing this post last year or the year before just because I think it's a really handy post! Some people say buy new all the way and others say rent all the way so this post was more to help y'all learn the advantages of both to make an informed decision for yourself. Plus, it always helps to save and find some stuff for free online!

10. How to Find Law School Scholarships 

top blog posts of 2017 #10 - how to find law school scholarships |

First off let me say how stupidly proud I was when I made this post about taking a screenshot of the post and then putting that on the laptop in the image and making it a picture-within-a-picture concept haha. I know, I'm lame. This post is for those of us who are smart enough to get into law school but we just quite didn't have what it took to get a full-ride or significant scholarship to law school. And that's okay! Lots of little scholarships can add up and end up being a big help towards your overall school debt and that's what this post was all about. 

But to be honest with y'all, my favorite post of 2017 was my Giving Tuesday post! I've been wanting to find a way to brag on my sister and share her story with y'all and hopefully inspired some of y'all to give back in some small way or another. Anyways, it's been another fun year of blogging and I'm so grateful for y'all sweet readers coming back here to hear what I have to say and for all of your emails and comments! Have a great NYE and I'll see you in 2018!

December 27, 2017

Time Balancing in Law School

How to juggle your time as a law school. How to balance your time in law school. How to manage your time in law school. Law school time management. law school blog. law student blogger |

I sent out a calling the other day for post requests from y'all and the overwhelming theme of every request I got had to do with managing your time in law school, which I totally get because that's one of the things that can be the most overwhelming to figure out as a 1L and also one of the things that I feel like all law students complain about.

Manage your expectations

College did not prepare you for law school, time-management wise, at all! In college, your day was like 3-4 hours of school and then 20-21 hours of free time. This led to lots of parties and opportunities for part-time jobs and just a whole bunch of Netflix. Coming from this to law school can make you feel like you have no free time at all when suddenly you realize you're spending like 14 hours a day either in class or reading for class or preparing for class. It's a big life-style change! So if you're not in law school yet, you might as well go ahead and accept your fate that your daily schedule is going to change.

Your free time isn't really free time

Another big change is how you actually spend your free time. In college, in between classes gave you plenty of time to go out and be social with friends or run errands all over town. In law school, by the time you are finally done with class and reading, you're exhausted. Mental exhaustion is a totally new feeling that probably up to this point you've only really felt after you're finally done with finals and therefore a string of all-nighters. But in law school it can be like an every day thing. So instead of being productive when you finally have nothing to do and cleaning your apartment, or being social and meeting up with friends, all you have the energy to do is just lay on your couch for like an hour and stare at your ceiling, not really thinking about anything because your brain is exhausted (this literally happens to me). All this to say that it just gives this allusion that you have no free time in law school because you never feel like you have free time to get shit done.

Make your time efficient 

I will preach time management as one of the keys to sanity in law school until I am blue in the face. I'm telling y'all if you aren't good at time management before law school, you'll learn fast. This is kinda a trial-and-error thing because what works for one person might not work for you and what works for one semester/year might not work for the next. Whatever system works for you, if you schedule out your day you will feel like you have so much more free time because you will get a block of a solid 6 hours or whatever of free time to truly relax instead of an hour here and 30 minutes there, which will feel like you never actually have time to just take a break.

Study smarter, not harder

Speaking of time efficient, here's the thing I'll let you in on... it's literally not worth your effort to spend 5 hours preparing for one class. Yes you should be be reading for class, and book briefing will help, and making a case brief (IRAC) will help, and there's always more that you can do. But once you get down the basics, you can slowly stop doing so much because it doesn't take as much effort for you to understand what the legal concepts are. I'm not saying start slacking, but I am saying start figuring out what gives you the most help and stick with that. If you start to feel like you're slipping behind, just use some supplements to fill in the gaps to make sure you're fully understanding what's going on. I promise you that if all you do is kill yourself trying to study every waking moment, you're going to end up burnt out on law school and hate yourself.

Tackle things in pieces

You will basically have two assignments your 1L year of law school— readings every day and then a big memo or brief (an appellate brief, not a case brief) for your writing class. Some people prefer to get their readings out of the way on the weekends and some people prefer to do a little reading each day. Try out both and don't just assume that one is better than the other because reading is your life for 3 years. Just whatever you do, don't get behind on your readings!! 

Which brings me to the big writing assignment. Start early because this is seriously harder than anything you've ever written before. I don't care if you whipped out a 30-page paper one time in college by pulling an all-nighter and still got an A. This has lots of case researching, argument brainstorming, argument organizing, and lots of citing to figure out and you will have a full panic attack if you wait. Plus, it's easier to squeeze in just a little extra work on top of your every day assignment for a few weeks instead of being that person stuck choosing between reading for class or working on your paper. 

let's be friends!

December 20, 2017

Putting the Law School Curve Into Perspective

4 truths about the law school curve that no one else will tell you, 3 tips about beating the law school curve, and why you shouldn't be afraid of the law school curve as a 1L. how do law school grades work? what is the law school curve? explain how a law school curve works. law school grading curve. how to understand the law school curve. does the curve help or hurt your law school GPA? how does the curve affect your law school GPA? law school curve grade distribution. what 1L's need to know about the law school grading curve. law school blog. law student blogger |

It's me again! Sorry I accidentally took like a month off from blogging but honestly with finals and then Christmas coming up it really felt like I only took 2 days off! But I know that right now is the hardest time of the year to be a 1L. You took your finals that were probably harder than you anticipated and now you just sit back and wait for your grades. I remember coming home from my first semester of law school and family friends would ask me how school was and my honest answer would be, "I don't know. I could've flunked out or I could be on the Dean's list so we'll find out once grades are posted." And it takes like a month for your grades to be posted! 

It's so nerve-wrecking because for almost all of your classes, your grade comes down to that one test. None of this oh if I make an 83 I'll get an A in this class math because you don't have any other grades to calculate and because of the curve, you don't know what you'll get in the class. I feel like the curve can be a major source of anxiety for anyone who isn't used to it, so I thought I'd dedicate a whole post to it since I've just mentioned it in passing before.

It's not as bad as you think

The curve was explained to me once as You don't have to outrun the bear, Just the other campers. This is the curve at it's most basic part, but isn't really the whole truth. I mean, yes, technically, if you do better than everyone else, you'll get a good grade. And yes, technically, this didn't really happen in college because if everyone else did just as good as you, then you'd all get a good grade. But here's the thing I've come to find out, the curve doesn't punish you like you'd think it would. 

In all actuality, law school is generally made up of some of some really smart people to begin with. The curve can show you who really understood the material (beyond just word vomit) and who really worked for it. The people who get A's actually do write a really great answer and the people who get F's actually do write a really blah answer. And the people who get B's/C's (whatever the curve median is set to) actually do write really average answers.

Most people know the right answer

Here's a very basic difference in the curve:
Dan punched Paul. Discuss the potential outcome of a lawsuit between D and P.

F answer: Paul can't sue Dan because it's totally legal to punch people.
D answer: Paul will win.
C answer: Paul will win because this is a battery by Dan. The elements to battery are... 
B answer: Paul will win because this is a battery by Dan. The elements to battery are... The elements of battery where met when... 
A answer: Paul will win because this is a battery by Dan. The elements to battery are... The elements of battery where met when (applying the facts to the rule)... This is similar to case X; there, the Defendant slapped the Plaintiff and the court found that the slap was a battery because...

F completely gets the answer wrong. D just barely answers the question. C answers the question and gives a rule and some elements. B does that plus applies the facts of the case.  See, up to this point, all answers that were right technically passed. A just goes that extra step and shows that they truly do understand and know everything they've learned about battery. There's nothing wrong with B but between the two responses, it's obvious who deserves an A. And there's nothing wrong with C but between the two responses, it's obvious who deserves a B. Law school doesn't just hand out 4.0's; you have to really work hard to earn them.

You'll still get the grade you deserve

I say this because it can be really easy to either be completely afraid of the curve or blame it for your grade. But just like in my example, it's usually pretty obvious who deserves the F and who deserves the A so it's not like people aren't getting the grades that they deserve. And actually, the curve can really help you. For example, in undergrad if there was a really hard test and most of the students got like 30-50% wrong, then they'd all fail. But in law school, if a test is really hard and most of the students got that, well then what do you know getting 50% correct is a C! That's right, sometimes the curve can pull you up!

It get's better after 1L

Here's another glimmer of hope about the curve: it gets easier after your 1L year (but also double check with your school before you rely on this). A lot of schools see the 1L year as a way to test out the class. Some people are only in law school because it was there backup plan (yes this is a strange concept to those of us who dreamed of only this for years). Some people are only in it because they were pressured by their parents to be a lawyer. Some only are here because they just want to be rich. Law school will test you to see who really will dedicate their time and effort to it and who will ultimately need to be weeded out because they just don't need to be a lawyer. And future interests in property are a way to haze you just for fun! Back to my point, once you survive to be a 2L and your school knows you're in it to win it, they don't have to test you as hard. This means that hopefully your GPA will go up just a smidgen. 

Related: A breakdown of the 1L curve and An example of the 1L curve

Beating the curve: review your finals

So, how do you beat the curve? The easiest way is to point chase, my friends. In the spring when you get your grades back, go to office hours and review all of your finals! While you're there, hopefully your professor will offer to let you see the best responses to each question. If he doesn't offer, ask to see it! If they don't allow this, then ask them to go over your final with you and see where you can improve. Usually really all you need is to just explain yourself just a little bit more!

Beating the curve: point chase

The secret key to point chasing is attack outlines! Condense all of the material from each chapter down to the main topics that you can fit on one page. So for this, I would have battery, the elements, and a relevant case name if there's one. If it's a closed-book final, memorize this and then write it down on scrap paper during the first minute of your test. This way, you have a little checklist of everything relevant to include on any one issue so that you can make sure you're covering your basis.

Beating the curve: be time conscious

Another tip is to use your time wisely. If you read a fact pattern and realize that you don't really see any issues, skip that question and move on. It's better to spend your time answering questions that you truly know the answer for and get all the points on that one than to waste your time thinking shitshitshitshit for 20 minutes and then only having time for a half-hearted answer to the question that you do know the issues.

And unless your professor specifically tells you he wants a lot of info about the cases, don't get caught in a case time-trap. Hit the cases hard and fast. For example, just say Pennoyer instead of Pennoyer v. Neff. And spend no more than one sentence stating the facts and comparing/contrasting them to your facts, and no more than one more sentence stating the rule/holding and applying that to your facts. Lots of points in just a few sentences, and then move on. 

Related: How to point-chase in a final and More finals tips

How not to think of the curve

But ultimately, you're not going to have peace with yourself until you accept the curve. Yes, there are people who actually have perfect 4.0's in law school (my friend is one of them and I'm amazed). However, most likely you're going to be a B/C student and there is nothing wrong with that! Reread that sentence again and again until you can accept it. It's really hard for law students to accept this statement because usually we've always being overachievers and we've just come accustomed to have stellar grades. But if you're sitting there embarrassed about your 2.5 GPA, you're worrying and stressing over nothing. If anything, take comfort that a majority of your classmates are sitting right in the same boat with you. 

Also, don't waste your energy being jealous of the people with better GPA's than you. As you saw above, the people getting C's and the people getting A's generally understand the material the same amount, one just did a little better job explaining how she understood the material. And I swear if I ever find out any of my readers are trying to sabotage their classmates because you're in the mindset of "the worse they do, the better I'll do," I will save what little money that I make off this blog to personally fly out to your school and yell at you. Seriously though, that mindset is what leads to "if I hide this exculpating evidence then I'll for sure get a guilty conviction" behavior. It's just a slippery slope and if that's the only way you're getting good grades then brutally and honestly you didn't deserve that grade. I'm not saying bend over backwards to help your classmates study, but I am saying that a much more realistic and sane way to approach the curve is to just put your nose down and try your hardest.

Why the curve won't kill you

Which brings me to my last point (getting off my soap box now), I said it in my podcast episode and I'll say it again: all you need to do with the curve/finals is to try your hardest and have faith that your hardest was enough. You'll pass; you'll survive; you'll move on to the next class that you think will be your law school career; and then you'll graduate. Law school  is just about learning how to ride out the storm, my friends. 
let's be friends!

November 29, 2017

Dealing with Sickness During Law School

4 things to do the moment that you realize that you're sick but have school. how to deal with being sick right around finals. how to quickly recover form being sick. what to do when you're sick and in law school. sick day tips and tricks. the 12 products that help me feel better when I'm sick. law school blog. law student blogger |

If you guys have me on Instagram or Snapchat, then you probably know that I've been sick for the past week 😔 Normally I don't get sick at all (this is my first time really since my junior year) so when I finally do, I'm such a big baby. So of course I'm sure that literally zero of you reading this right now aren't surprised that today's post is.... dealing with being sick when you're in law school!

Don't go to class if you can

Look, you get absences for a reason. This is one of those reasons! (here's another) Also I'm just going to put this out there that I'm pretty sure the whole reason why I'm sick is because someone else selfishly went to class.

What you can do instead is e-mail your professor that you're out sick and ask for any slides or handouts that they might go over during class. Also send a quick text to a friend or two updating them on your situation and ask them to give you a copy of their notes. While you're at home, try as hard as you can to get at least some work done so that you're not playing catch-up for the next few days. But if you are truly feeling miserable and doing practically nothing but sleeping all day and feeling completely wiped-out while you're awake, it's worth a shot to email your professors and see if you can get an extension on anything that's going to be due soon.

Related: How to miss a law class without falling behind 

If you have to go to class... 

But realistically I know that sometimes it's not feasible for you to skip class. Although I did last Tuesday when I woke up with my really bad cough, I knew I had to go in this week because A) I'm pretty much out of absences this late in the semester and B) my finals start next week. So if you must go, again email your professors telling them that you're sick and ask them if you can vary from the seating chart and sit isolated in a back corner so you don't contaminate any of your classmates (and hopefully this will make him take pity on you so you won't get called on). Yesterday I had class from 9-3 but my medicine said to take it every 2-4 hours so you can bet your sweet behind I brought that bottle to class with me.

4 things to do the moment that you realize that you're sick but have school. how to deal with being sick right around finals. how to quickly recover form being sick. what to do when you're sick and in law school. sick day tips and tricks. the 12 products that help me feel better when I'm sick. law school blog. law student blogger |

Other good things to bring with you to class: tissues, hand sanitizer (plus lotion because it can dry out your hands when you're using a boatload), and an extra large water bottle for when you get a dry/itchy throat.

Go to the doctor ASAP

Whether you have to drag yourself to class or can skip, go to the doctor! I've found that quick little walk-in clinics are the best so you don't have to wait to get an appointment. It's important to go to the doctor and find out if what you have is bacterial or viral because that will completely change how you need to tackle your sickness. Or like in my instance, I just thought I had a little cold since all I had was a cough and so my bronchitis progressed to the point where I haven't had a voice for several days now (and as a talker this is really lifestyle-dampening!). 

While you're there, get a flu shot! Even if you don't have a flu you might as well since they're so cheap and can keep you from getting even more sick. I say this because last night I was telling my sister about how I have bronchitis and she upped me by having strep and the flu. And yes we just spent 4 days nonstop around each other so I'm glad I had my shot.

At home

Stay at home as much as possible (duh) while you're sick. Wash your sheets and pillows in hot water since you've likely been coughing all over them in your sleep and now they're contaminated. I also like to get a cheap disposable toothbrush while I'm sick and I clean it after every brushing (here's how to clean your toothbrush). It's worth it to buy some antibacterial tissues to keep you from spreading germs around your house, but still remember to wash your hands constantly.

Remember to try to drink as much water as you can and get extra sleep to try to help your body recover faster. I've personally found that steamy showers with shower tablets, running a humidifier while you sleep, and rubbing Vicks on before bed can really, really help! 

Oh, and soup is your friend. Speaking of friends, warn them all that you're sick so they'll know to keep a safe distance and definitely not drink after you. 

And a few other must haves for when you feel like you're slowly dying...
the 12 products that help me feel better when I'm sick |

body pillow // because cuddles make everything better
fuzzy socks // these also make days better
lip balm // because your lips are bound to be chapped
baseball hat // to hide your unwashed hair when you make a run to the pharmacy to pick up your medicine
sports bra // because duh you don't need uncomfortable underwire at a time like this
sweater // to keep you cozy
sweatpants // to keep you comfy
slip on shoes // to make pharmacy trips a little faster and easier
water bottle // stay thirsty, my friends
humidifier // again, it helps you breathe
tissues // duh
amazon fire // because you finally have an excuse to do nothing all day except binge watch (here's some suggestions)

let's be friends!

November 27, 2017

10 Ways to Give Back for Giving Tuesday

10 ways to give on #givingtuesday and make a difference in your community and be a good person. 10 cheap and easy good deeds to do today. 10 random acts of kindness to do for Giving Tuesday. Creative ways to give back to others. Best ways to give back to community. Inexpensive ways to give back. |

I know Christmas shopping season is now in full-on swing and everyone's in a buy, buy, buy mode, but I wanted to write a short post about something else for you to think of— give. I know you're like well duh I'm going to give people presents on Christmas day, but that's not what I'm talking about. Tomorrow is a day called Giving Tuesday and is something I knew nothing about until last year, which I'll get to later. And I know you're probably very busy with wrapping up the semester and surviving finals (shameless finals prep tips posts plug here), but taking the time to do a little good is a great little study break that I'm sure will give you some feel-good endorphins to help with the pre-finals stress that's bubbling up. Here's 10 ideas for you to get in on #givingtuesday and #dogood (lol sorry I can't help being a DG).

Donate your hair

I actually did this last year! The way I see it is that I'm fortunate enough to be able to grow as much hair as I want but there's lots of little girls and women who can't for various medical reasons. And all it takes is one really bad haircut for you to understand just how much having the hair that you envision for yourself can really influence your self-confidence. 

Everyone's heard of Locks of Love but I personally prefer Pantene Beautiful Lengths because Locks sells the wigs and Beautiful Lengths gives their wigs for free. This is relatively cheap and easy to do because all you do is make a hair appointment and tell them you're donating your hair so they can keep it all together (or you could even do it yourself), then mail off your donation! 

Donate pet food

Animal shelters always could use more cat and dog food! Pet food isn't very expensive and the animals really, really need it. You can drop it off one day after class and then stay a little bit and hang out with the dogs and cats and feel better about yourself. Here's more on how you can help.

Another unexpected place to donate pet food is to a Meals on Wheels location because I've actually found out that a lot of people who receive meals actually portion out their own food to share with their pet because they don't always have help getting food for their friend. This way, the dog or cat gets their own meal and their owner gets a full meal. 

Sign up to be an organ donor

Here's a fact of life: when you die, you no longer need any of your organs. But one of the thousands of people on an organ wait list will literally have their life saved by one of yours. Signing up to donate your organs is free ridiculously easy on your iPhone- here's how

You can also sign up for Be The Match bone marrow registry! I signed up like 2 years ago I think and all you have to do is swab your cheeks for your DNA and you're all done. I know this seems like a long way off but just wait until you take Wills&Trusts and you'll be like oh shit I can die at any time I need to have my whole end-of-life plans put together. 

This brings me to how I know about Giving Tuesday... exactly a year ago tomorrow will be my sister's one year anniversary of having only one kidney. She donated hers to a family friend of ours and I literally couldn't be more proud or happy for her that she changed this man's life in a just a few hours (here's her story). If you're a kind soul willing to be a living kidney donor, you can learn more here.

Donate blood

Another bodily part (kinda) that you can give is your blood. I recently donated blood through my law school's blood drive with United Blood Services and it was really easy! Just make sure you have a full stomach and you've been drinking water and then you lay in a chair squeezing a stress ball for a little bit. It's something so small and easy to do that again can literally save a life!

Buy someone's drink

This is more small scale than the others, but still can make someone's day. All you have to do is just buy the coffee of the person behind you, whether that's at Starbucks or your on-campus dining area. Finals are rough and we're all needing a little extra push so make someone's day just a little bit easier for them and pay the extra few dollars for their drink!

Give out care kits

This one could get a little pricey so it'd probably be easiest if you and a friend or two shared this (or side note if you're in a student org this would be great for y'all to do). Go to a place like Sam's Club or Costco and buy in bulk: toothbrush/toothpaste (I also learned while studying abroad the Colgate whisps work really well), baby wipes, socks, deodorant, band-aids, tampons, non-perishable snacks/food (think tuna/granola), and ziploc bags. Then give out as many as you can to any homeless person you see!

In the future, when you travel you can take the freebie toiletries that are given out at hotels and then regift them to someone who needs them. This is a free way that you can give back even if you have like no money! If you have a bunch of trips coming up in your life, then you can do a lot of good by doing this. And if you don't feel comfortable going up to homeless people, just drop these off at a local shelter or church that help out homeless people.

Collect Box Tops

This one will take a little more time but is something completely free that you can do year-round. You probably forgot about it, but when we were in elementary school it was like the thing to cut Box Tops off cereal boxes and soup labels and then bring them in for your school so your school could buy a new computer or something. Well, I never really stopped because as a DG we had to do this for DG's school for the blind. You probably already have tons of these lying around your house so you might as well cut them out and drive over to the nearest school and give them some.

Donate old glasses

Another thing I've become aware of because of DG is that you can donate your glasses to Lions Club! Your eyesight probably has become worse thanks to law school and although your old glasses aren't enough for you anymore, they could be just the right prescription to someone else who can't afford new glasses. You can also ask around to your parents, grandparents, and siblings and I'm sure you'll get a few more pairs to donate!

Be someone's eyes

Speaking of people with vision impairments, another free thing for you to do is download the Be My Eyes app and you can help someone who is blind! This app puts you in a queue to provide 24/7 service to someone who can't see for themselves so they always have eyes on hand. All you have to do is basically FaceTime them and answer their question based off what you can see (so like they FaceTime you their milk carton and you read them the expiration date). Easy peasy do-a-good-deed lemon squeezy.

Use Amazon Smile

The easiest way to give (and again can do all-year) is through because all you have to do is use this version of Amazon and it will donate up to 10% of your purchase to whichever charity you choose. Think of how much you could donate just while doing Christmas shopping now and back-to-school shopping next year! 

Run for charity

Not necessarily one of those run-for-a-cause events. Download the Charity Miles app on your phone and then just have it going in the background while you walk or jog around a park and you're helping out! It's a system kind of like Amazon smile where you pick a charity and then they'll donate a quarter for every mile you run. 

It doesn't sound like much but if you just run 2 miles a day, you're donating $3.50 a week/$14 a month/$168 a year! And it's a great little incentive when you want to stop exercising and then you tell yourself okay I'll just walk one more mile to get another 25 centers and then bam you're also burning an extra 100 calories. Win-win!

Go plogging

This is also an exercise give back. Plogging is basically where you go jogging (use the app I just talked about) with a trash bag and pick up trash you see on the ground as you go. On a little 30 minute walk (because yes you don't have to run) you can easily fill up your bag with litter and then throw away/recycle what you've picked up. Just wear some gloves for sanitary reasons. If exercise gives you endorphins and makes you happy, imagine how you'll feel from endorphins + the feel feeling you get by giving back!

Click for a cause

This is literally free and so easy!! Just go to The Greater Good and click on the big button that says "Click to Give — It's Free" and a sponsor business will donate to the featured cause on your behalf. They have websites for you to do the same click for a sponsor donation for Hunger, Veterans, Diabetes, Breast Cancer, Autism, Literacy, Animals, Alzheimer's, and the Rainforest. Click on all of them and then get 3 friends to visit the sites and to click/get sponsors to donate too.

Shop through partner brands

What do PopSockets, J. Crew, Corkcicle and Madewell have in common? If you shop their sites through this link, a portion of the money you spend goes towards a charity called charity: water. This is a great charity spends 100% of its donations on providing clean water to communities without access to it. Like Amazon Smile, all you have to do is shop through a special link and you'll be helping communities have clean water.

let's be friends!