Trick yourself into thinking you have your life together

Jamin Kim-Sanders/Staff
Jamin Kim-Sanders/Staff

With midterms finally beginning to wrap up and finals approaching at full tilt, it’s all too easy to feel like our lives are spiraling out of control. As college students, we’re held together by caffeine, junk food and a few random hours of sleep, and it’s starting to catch up to us. At this point in the semester, we know we’re falling apart and we really want to get our lives together, but that just isn’t going to happen. To make ourselves feel better, though, here are a few easy ways to trick ourselves into thinking that we know what we’re doing with our lives. Fake it ‘til you make it, right?

Order a salad at the GBC

Next time you’re going to grab lunch, skip the burrito line and order a salad instead. Sure, you’ll be hungry for the rest of the day, but nothing says “I have my life together” like choosing to eat a salad. As everyone else struggles to take a bite of their burritos or sips their smoothies, you’ll look poised and elegant as you eat your veggies with a fork. Not only is it neat, it’s healthy too. This will give the impression that you’re a student who manages to make time for nutrition, which just screams “I’m really responsible.” Everyone around you will see it and be impressed, and you’ll begin to believe it too.

Wear collared shirts

Next time you reach for a T-shirt before a midterm, think again and grab a button down. By dressing up your typical jeans-and-shirt routine with a starched collar, you’ll instantly look and feel more professional. You can throw a sweater over it to hide any coffee stains or grab a blazer for business casual. You’ll look like you mean business or like you have an important job, and you’ll feel like you are as organized as your collar makes you seem.

Order black coffee

People who drink only black coffee are hardcore. If you’re anything like us at the Clog, you’re weak and usually dilute your coffee with half-and-half until it’s practically beige — but everyone knows that CEOs, presidents and people who know what they’re doing chug straight black coffee like there’s no tomorrow, so black coffee it is. Next time you’re in line at Strada, avoid the temptation to reel off your latte order, and instead ask for straight coffee without room. Sure, your taste buds will be crying from the bitterness, but not only will you be extra caffeinated, you’ll feel like you might actually understand the Socrates you’re reading.

Carry textbooks/notebooks

Get a couple of textbooks in a neat stack and carry them around campus. It’ll be just like this is a high school movie and the love of your life is about to bump into you and help you pick them up. We at the Clog can’t explain why carrying a bunch of books in your arms instead of your backpack makes you feel smarter, more prepared and thus like you have your life together, but it does.

Go to the library in the morning

Next time your roommate wakes you up annoyingly early or the construction right outside your window just won’t shut up, get out of bed and head to Doe. Sure, nobody really wants to get up at the crack of dawn, but if you’re already up, you might as well get your work over with. The libraries are pretty empty in the morning, but if you’re able to get it together enough to drag your sleepy self to one and do some homework, then you must have your life together. Right?

Download a walking app

Pull out your smartphone and download an app that keeps track of your steps and miles walked. With all the walking we do as UC Berkeley students, you’re sure to walk several miles each day, and most likely, you take many more than 5,000 steps. You don’t have to change anything in your life, just glance at your phone every day and realize that you walked six miles without knowing it. This is great because it feels like you’re exercising, even though you’re just going to class. It’s even better if you get an app (such as Pacer) in which you can set walking goals. Set it nice and easy with a goal that you know you’ll meet, and then you’ll feel accomplished every day when your phone tells you that you’ve met your goals. This will help you pretend you have your life together so well that you may even forget that you actually don’t.

Use a shoulder bag

Backpacks are characteristic of college (or high school) students, just like panic and exhaustion. Class up your daily look by investing in a shoulder bag or briefcase to carry your books and papers. For whatever reason, these bags automatically make you look more serious, so you look put together and like you spent more than five minutes getting ready in the morning. You’ll feel more efficient and professional, and maybe you’ll trick yourself into thinking that you actually are efficient and professional.

Read the news

Sure, you see vague headlines about what’s happening in the world on Twitter and Facebook, but actually take the time to read an article or two. You can even do this during lecture, if you so choose. Having specific knowledge of what is actually happening in the world will make you feel 10 times smarter and let you participate in educated discussions about current events. This will make you feel way more organized because, after all, people who have time to actually read news articles must be on top of their homework, right?

Contact Taylor Follett at [email protected].