25th Hour

End of Year Review 2016-2017

What a year! In a whirlwind, I’m ~officially~ halfway done with college and I made it out (mostly) alive. Remember those goals I had for the year? Well, here is how they went and a sneak preview of what the summer could have in store for me!

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This year was a rollercoaster of emotion. Life knocked me down a few times, but I came back better than ever, and am ready to take on the world. As you know, at the end of every quarter, I try to do a comprehensive life review-here are the Fall and Winter incarnations- to make sure that I am on the right track.

The Review

I borrowed these questions from Lisa Jacobs from Marketing Creativity, and they incorporated well with the ranking system I already had going to track my progress towards my goals.

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The punchline is that even though I accomplished a ton, I did spread myself a little to thin towards the end of the year. With classes and a part-time job, in addition to race training, things would fall through the cracks.

I wouldn’t trade the experiences I had this spring for anything, but looking at next year, I’ll probably try to focus a little more on the things I am truly passionate about rather than trying to do everything that sounds cool.

So What Happened with those Goals

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Exercise: I am stronger and faster than I have ever been before. Even though I didn’t end up going to Yoga once a week, I more than achieved the rest of my goals (I’m running a marathon in 2 weeks, which was beyond my wildest dreams when I made this list). Instead of getting up to 8 and 10lb weights, I’m using 20lb free weights and have started lifting regularly. I exercise almost every day and I finished that half marathon so I had to change the last goal to read a marathon.

Food: Ok let’s be real, I still can’t cook. I order a lot of take out. I am eating healthier than I ever have, though (because when I eat delicious, sugary, fatty trash I feel like trash when I exercise). My diet has always been a work in progress and hopefully this summer, without my precious meal plan, I’ll get a lot better at this.

Mental Health: When I made this section of goals, I was in a rough place mentally and the rest of this list seemed like a tall order. Even leaving the apartment daily was monumental, so I cannot describe how meaningful it is that this quarter I didn’t think once about this section of the goals.

Money: I still don’t know how to budget so that I actually save money, but I did a better job of spending money on useful things rather than one-time pointless purchases (I’m looking at you, late night candy runs). I also made money at my job during the year, so I had money to spend on transportation every now and then.

Academic: My spring grades aren’t out yet, so I don’t know about this section. Through the year, I just about maintained where I was. I did spend a little too much time on my other commitments rather than my academics this spring, and I think it will be reflected in the grades.

Career: I just finished an awesome job downtown, which opened tons of doors for me and gave me a little extra spending money. Even though I had to cut back on my tutoring hours, it was a job I was excited about and I learned tons about the field I hope to work in one day. It helped me get that awesome summer internship I cannot wait to start next week.


I cannot say how excited I am that it is finally summer. I was so caught up with everything that was going on in the last two weeks between finals and finishing my job, that I didn’t realize how different life without them will be.

I start my full time job next week, which means I will have to commute to work every day and feed myself (if anyone in Chicago can teach me to cook, please call me so I can eat something other than pb&j). I will also be working a part-time job on the weekends, as well as continuing to post about my life here, on my Instagram @xoxorosana.blog, and on my new Facebook page!

In a couple weeks, I will be running my first full marathon (which sounds ridiculous no matter how many times I say it)! After that, I’m going to take a quick break from running to try some other kinds of exercise (that hopefully will keep me from getting hurt).


Do you have any tips for me before I start my job? Is there anything in Chicago this summer I should make sure to check out?

Most importantly, can you teach me to cook?

Join me, as I try to find that 25th hour this summer.

Xoxo, Rosana

25th Hour

Bullet Journal Set Up: Spring Quarter

After moving into my Leuchtturm 1917 Notebook last quarter, I experimented with a bunch of different spreads to track my academic progress through the quarter. Now, a few weeks into the spring, I think I’ve finally found a way to make my Bullet Journal work for the quarter system.

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Why the Bullet Journal

Bullet Journaling is still the best method I’ve found to organize my life in college. I’ve mentioned this before, but the adaptability of the system that gives me the freedom to change things up frequently is the best part of the system.

So for the last nearly 6 months, I have been trying all kinds of cool spreads to track schoolwork and help me balance my extracurricular activities.

These are the systems that I’ve found to be most effective.

Future Log For the Quarter

Instead of using a full future log, I make one for individual quarters. I find its an effective way to see the break down of assignments by date. It also makes it easy to know when to commit to other events and things.

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I also use a class tracker that includes the contact information and office hours for my professors and TAs. It also has space for me to track grades or add any additional information. Last quarter, I tried a full grade tracker, but didn’t end up using it.

Finally, I create an ideal week spread that blocks out the time that would be spent on specific events and ideal work time. Although I don’t refer to it often, the exercise of creating it over the first couple weeks of school makes it easier for me to stick to it during the quarter. I also used it when I decided whether I could take on a new job this quarter.

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In addition to the spreads for the quarter, every month I have a set of spreads that help me keep my life together. This includes a general monthly spread with events that I make using the future log for the quarter.

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I also have a spread of my projects for the month. This keeps me on task for my School Year Goals. I break them down into Personal, Academic, and Extracurricular because I find it is an effective way to track these long term projects without being too broad.

This spread also includes a focus word (“Balance” is for April), which I try to keep in mind while taking on all these projects. I started doing this in February and I’ve found it is a nice reminder of my effectiveness


My weekly spreads haven’t changed too much over the last few months.

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I added a meal planning section, which breaks down each day into breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Although I don’t usually stick to the breakfast plan, it has helped me make the most of my dinning plan because I plan the meals that I will be on campus for.

On the top right page I include a section called Top 5 that I use to prioritize my big projects that week. I take it from my projects spread for the month. It helps me keep perspective going into each week and helps me make progress towards my overarching goals for the school year.


For each day, I use a typical spread with my time tracker.

At the end of the week, I compile everything that I need to tackle for the weekend into one spread. This works for me because typically I don’t time track my weekends.


These are the spreads that worked best for me, but they might not work for everyone. The beauty of the Bullet Journal system is that you can always change spreads so that they fit your needs.

What do you use to organize your quarter (or semester!)? If you try any of my spreads, I’d love to see them!

Good Luck!

Xoxo, Rosana


Beginner’s Guide to Calligraphy and Hand Lettering

Since I started Bullet Journaling, I’ve seen hand lettering and calligraphy everywhere on Instagram and Pinterest. My handwriting isn’t a work of art by any stretch of the imagination, so I figured I’d leave that part of Bullet Journaling to the professionals. However, for Christmas my mom got me a calligraphy set for me to experiment with, and this week with midterms finally over, I had a chance to give it a try!


Experimenting with Hand Lettering

I first tried hand lettering in my first bullet journal back in August. I played with different styles, without any prior planning. It turned out pretty well for a first try, especially using my Pilot G2 .07 rollerball in black.


In “wreckage” and “beautiful” I knew some parts of the letter should be thicker than others, but I didn’t know which ones. It wasn’t until this week that I really understood what the letters were meant to look like.

Faux Calligraphy

In addition to the proper calligraphy toolkit I got for Christmas, I also got a set of worksheets to practice. On the first page of the worksheets was a page about Faux Calligraphy, which I’m embarrassed to say I had never heard of before. This completely changed the way I saw hand lettering and calligraphy, and made it infinitely more practical.

The way calligraphy works is that the tip of the nib of the pen splits during the downstrokes, which creates the different thicknesses of the strokes. In Faux Calligraphy, you just outline the downstrokes. By creating line parallel to the downstroke line in the letter, you give the letter dimension and all you have to do is color in the lines.


The best part about Faux Calligraphy is that you don’t need anything besides a normal pen. I added this style into my Bullet Journal for my February spread. It didn’t take very long and I found it to be easy to do. Although the letters aren’t well spaced out, with a little more practice I think Faux Calligraphy could become a permanent feature in my bullet journal.

#handlettering my list of work in my #bulletjournal counts as being productive, right??

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Real Calligraphy Tools

For Christmas, my mom gave me a slew of calligraphy tools that I had no idea how to use.


She got me a set of Zig Calligraphy Markers in 8 different colors. These dual tipped markers are Acid Free and Archival Quality, which means they’re less likely to fade. I tried them out, but haven’t worked with them very much.

She also got me a dip pen set for calligraphy. It came with one nib (the metal thing in the black) and two nib holders (the black and green). She also got me Yasumoto Sumi Ink in black. I put the nib in the nib holder and poured some of the ink into the cup.

Dip Pen Calligraphy

I am not the most coordinated person, so the idea of leaving an open container of ink on a table that I am working at sounded like a call for a massive black stain on my carpet. I laid down some mats and started writing.

I used some of the worksheets that my mom got me, and they were deceptively hard to replicate. The nib scratched the paper at first, which was disconcerting, but once I put a few pages underneath, it moved smoothly. This was thick paper and there was no bleed-through.


I learned the hard way that I like to rotate my pen while I write. Since the nib always has to be oriented to allow for the correct thickening of the downstrokes, this posed a bit of a problem for me. It also resulted in my getting ink all over my fingers when holding the pen. Dipping the pen was also tedious since it forced me to stop mid-word to get more ink. You have to remember to clean the ink off the nib after use.

Dip Pen Calligraphy was easier than I thought it would be, but that made it frustrating when it didn’t turn out the way I wanted to. I’m not an artist, and at its core, calligraphy and hand lettering is more art than anything else.


In many ways, my attempt at hand lettering  reset my artistic brain. In high school, I would make time to pursue some kind of artistic project, but in college I’ve lost sight of how important it is to make time to be creative.

Hand lettering and calligraphy are super easy to get started with, and I would recommend giving it a try to anyone looking to add some art into their lives. Especially since Faux Calligraphy is so accessible!

Over the next few weeks, you should expect to see lots of calligraphy and hand lettering on my Instagram @xoxorosana.blog ! If you post pictures of your hand lettering, tag me in them!!

Good Luck!

Xoxo, Rosana