Spring Survival Guide

Meredith Backman ‘22

Mid-March had officially marked a year of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. For us students, that means staying home and taking remote classes, or going back to campus and living under strict restrictions. Nothing in this past year has been “normal”, but we all have found ways to manage and adjust our lifestyles in order to be successful. As midterms are upon us and the end of the school year is quickly approaching, here are some products that I have found helpful in the age of the pandemic and as a remote student. 

  1. Planner

A life-saving staple in the lives of students and those trying to organize their daily lives, a planner is necessary for staying on top of assignments, appointments, and to-do lists. A planner I have and can’t live without is the Erin Condren Academic Planner. Priced around $40 (most styles currently on sale for less than $20!), the planners are formatted to keep track of each of your classes every week, as well as what tasks/goals you wish to achieve by the end of it. The detailed weekly schedules and to-do list features are extremely beneficial in staying on top of assignments and tasks in a time that leaves most of us scatter-brained.


  1. Headphones

Headphones: every has a pair of some form. When studying, completing assignments, or going to the gym, I cannot get by without a quality pair of noise-cancelling headphones. Whether you are living in a dorm with 4 other people or at home with family members and pets, it can be hard to escape the constant noise distractions when it’s crunch time. A tried-and-true pair of headphones I use daily are the Beats by Dr. Dre – Beats Studio³ Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones. The battery life is a staggering 22 hours, they offer wireless and corded usage, and the sound quality is hard to beat. They are pricey, coming in at around $350, but considering you won’t want to take them off makes them worth it. If you want a cheaper alternative,  Audio-Technica ATH-M50X Professional Studio Monitor Headphones are an amazing option that I loved. You might recognize these headphones from many of your favorite podcasts, and that is because the sound quality and durability of the headphones is hard to beat. They are not wireless, but have an extremely long cord that will allow you to move around freely. Coming in at $149, these headphones will last you a lifetime and will fulfill all of your anti-distraction needs. 



  1. Smart Kup

A random Amazon purchase I made over a year ago became one of my favorite purchases ever, and that is the Smart Kup. I have a 32 oz. HydroFlask, and in every car I got into it would never fit in a cup holder. One day, I was fed up with my bottle rolling around the passenger seat, leaking, or falling onto the footwells, so I went on Amazon, as one does. I found the $15 Smart Kup and have never looked back! The cup has a lower portion that fits into a standard cup holder in a car, and then a larger platform on top that fits a 32/40 oz. HydroFlask or other large bottles. My bottle fits securely in the Smart Kup and I have never had any issues with it. If you have a large water bottle and don’t know where to put it in your car, get the Smart Kup, you’ll thank yourself later. 


  1. Colorfulkoala Leggings

In the past year, TikTok has spewed out trend after trend for everyone stuck at home looking for something to do or purchase. We’ve seen whipped coffee, tie-dye sweatsuits, and hair-dying tutorials. One trend that has proved its longevity are Amazon hauls, or Amazon dupes. As far as leggings go, I’m a Lululemon girl through-and-through. While the quality of their products is amazing, it makes me cringe thinking about the price tag on my legging collection. Many creators have posted videos about Lululemon legging dupes, and I was all ears. I bought a pair of Colorfulkoala High-waisted Pattern Leggings because they were promised to be like the Align leggings, which are my go-to’s. At around $25, these leggings are a steal. They have essentially the same look as the Aligns when it comes to the seams, even some of the patterns offered are eerily similar. They fit pretty well, depending on your proportions. If you have a smaller waist than your legs and hips, I would recommend sizing down from your regular size as they have a ton of stretch. They feel a little more like the nulux material rather than the Align material, but at a 1/4th of the cost, it’s hard to complain.


  1. Grammarly 

Grammarly is a free browser-extension that I downloaded a year or two ago, and has helped me tremendously in writing emails, discussion posts, and everything in between. Many people know of Grammarly because of the viral TikTok sound, “this sentence is grammatically correct…”, but it really is a lifesaver for students that are constantly writing on their laptops. It helps with spelling and grammatical errors, and offers different phrasing to make your writing more professional and succinct. It’s free and non-invasive, so I would recommend downloading this writing assistant as soon as possible. 


Valley Girl does not own the photos used in this article.

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