Marginalia, Graduate Blog

Top 10 Things Getting Me Through the Last Semester

Ali Porter

Chicago puzzle

Chicago puzzle

The final semester of my grad school experience is in full swing, so I wanted to write a post about a few of the things I am relying on to get me through it.

Notebooks: essential

Notebooks: essential

1. Organization

Notebooks, planners, calendars. Whether you note things down by hand or type them into an electronic device, keeping track of all that info you accumulate on a daily basis is essential. Devise a way to keep track of contacts, appointments, and deadlines. I like a trusty notebook of the Moleskinesque variety.

2. These pens

These pens rock

These pens rock

Are awesome. Smooth writing and a pleasure to grip with a nice satisfying click when you click the clicky bit. Grad school = writing. Good pens are invaluable.

3. Jeffery Morgenthaler

This man is a cocktail making genius. I needn’t elaborate more.

4. Sleep

This is very important. We all need this. I make sure that at least once a week I get a good lie-in.

5. No sleep

This is also essential. When there are not enough hours in the day to do what you have to do, something has to give.

6. My bamboo steamer

I recently hosted a lunar new year party for which I decided to cook dim sum. As I live in the Vietnamese neighborhood of Chicago, I decided to buy a bamboo steamer in which to make them. The reason I love the steamer is that it makes for delicious and healthy food. When we are busy and stressed out, keeping healthy is vital!

Columbia College Chicago on a jigsaw puzzle

Columbia College Chicago on a jigsaw puzzle

7. My awesome puzzle of Chicago

When I am faced with a daunting task or burdensome project, I tend to start procrastinating. Suddenly I become super keen on cleaning the apartment or polishing my shoes. Recently I have taken to completing a retro puzzle I bought at a flea market. It features all the the major businesses that used to exist in 1980s Chicago. It even has a piece or two dedicated to Columbia College Chicago! Can you spot them in the pic above?

8. Music

The thing I love and live for. A good tune will get me through anything.

9. Classmates

Who could do it without the support of an awesome bunch of people? I am so fortunate to be part of such a dynamic and diverse group. We support each other, and we challenge each other. Balance.

10. The “light at the end of the tunnel.”

This is the last semester. Soon we will be homework-free!

Top 10 Things Getting Me Through the Last Semester

The final semester of my grad school experience is in full swing, so I wanted to write a post about a few of the things I am relying on to …

Arts, Entertainment & Media Management MAM Ali Porter, alistair.porter@loop.colum.edu
600 S. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60605