Write It Out

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Not an exciting travel post, and no pretty pictures of Edinburgh today. Instead, I'm talking about calendars! Because that's really exciting!

agenda: Ban.do (sold out)

One of the biggest things that stressed me out when I first arrived in Edinburgh was the thought of being here until May. There was something about the blank space of 140 days between January first and May twenty-first that really, really freaked me out. I knew in the back of my mind that pretty soon school would start and that would help fill in some of the time, but it still scared me. It felt like forever. It still feels like a pretty long time.

On February first I was really excited. I had made it an entire month in Edinburgh, despite telling myself over and over on day three that I was going home, that I wouldn't have to stay. I'd been desperate to go home, I'd told myself that I would be going home, I'd cried and wished I would wake up at home, but I had made it an entire month. But then I realized, or remembered, that I'm here for four months. And while I had made it through the first one, I still had three more to go. I wasn't even halfway there yet.

A few days later I had a meeting with two of my program directors here in Edinburgh, who have all been so massively helpful to me. I mentioned the way I'd felt on the first of February, and the biggest advice they gave me was to really go all out and create a calendar with color blocking to help, literally, fill in the days. I had made a calendar when I first arrived in Edinburgh, but it's small - just a sheet of paper folded into a square and stuck to my bulletin board. I was really exited to make a bigger one, actually. I follow a few "studyblrs" on tumblr, and I've always been impressed by and envious of their beautiful, colorful planners and bullet notebooks. I know I'm not quite as artistically talented, but I loved the idea of trying to create something similar of my own.

my original calendar

So, heeding Deirdra's advice (because I have, so far, found that she's usually right), I worked on a calendar when I got back to my room that afternoon. There are so many adorable free printable calendars online, and I chose this lovely one from chantelemma.com. I printed out the five months I'd be here in Edinburgh, and set about coloring it in.

full shot of my calendar on the wall
I used highlighters and colored pens to create a key and mark different things: pink for birthdays and to mark when people would come visit me, blue for trips I'd planned, green for school things, purple for my days-left countdown, and so on. It is obviously nowhere near as beautiful as anything I've seen on a studyblr, but I love it nonetheless. It's rewarding to cross days out and see how far I've come, and I think the color brightens my room up a little, especially because I generally prefer cool, muted tones. Deirdra was right in that this really helped me visualize the days as being filled in - with color and with things to do.

February and March, as they stand now. April and May aren't filled in yet, because I don't know what's happening yet. It's really fun to get to fill the calendar in as the days go as well.

I would absolutely reccomend this to anyone who is easily overwhelmed or has trouble with comprehending larger periods of time, like I do. I think I prefer this to buying a calendar from the store - it's more interactive and you get to customize the calendar to make it feel like it's really yours. It's both helpful and fun, and I can't wait to do it again. Hopefully, I get better and better at making and filling in calendars and eventually they'll be just as pretty as the ones I admire online.

These are two pages from my planner by Ban.do. I'm absolutely in love with this planner, and I liked the way these two weeks were filled in so I decided to share them.
Until next time! xx g

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