Easy hacks to help you pretend you have your life together

We’re a mess sometimes… but why not pretend we aren’t?

It’s pretty easy in college to fall apart. Your grades can slip, stress can be heightened, and sleep can definitely be lost. We’ve all been there, done that. But even if things aren’t picture perfect, there’s no harm in pretending otherwise, right? Hell, it can even help you feel better and do better.

Here are some hacks to help you seem like you’re doing just fine — in time, these things might actually change you for the better.

Have professionally taken headshots as profile pictures

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I log onto Facebook, loosely scroll down my feed, watch some videos and then go do something else…unless there’s a high quality photo of one of my friends. Thoughts race through my mind: Who took them? For what reason? Is this going to be our next president? CEO? Quality headshots give the impression of leadership, goals and stability. So go ahead, ask a random photographer friend to shoot away!

Walk around with a cup of coffee

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Coffee is great — and the people who walk around with a cup of it look greater. Coffee looks sophisticated, academic and important. Oh, how do you like your coffee? Oh, you need coffee to keep being productive like you always are? Yeah man. Productivity and style level, increased.

Bring your laptop everywhere


Laptops also look academic. They keep you “busy” — you could be using it to study, or you could be watching Netflix. Who will know the difference?

Don’t underestimate Post-Its

Jotting down to-do lists? Oh, how organized you are. In a matter of ten seconds, you have your life basically together.

Be the ONE person with a stapler


“Hey, does anyone have a stapler I can borrow?”

That one person: “Oh, I have one!”

Wow… who carries around a stapler? Oh, right: people who have their life together.

Carry a reusable water bottle


Personally, I care about the environment, and quite frankly, I think you should too. But if you don’t give a rat’s ass about it, at least carry around a reusable water bottle. Yes, you will be helping the environment. You will also look prepared for the rest of your day and give the impression you like to stay healthy. Go you!

Keep a pen handy

Next time you see your professor, look at his shirt pocket. Is there a pen there? Now do the same. Okay, maybe not in a shirt pocket, but keep it somewhere on you. Next time someone asks for a pen, you’ll be the one person on top of it. Pat yourself on the back.

Throw on some lipstick


You get up late after getting nearly no sleep, and have no time to look presentable. You have 10 minutes to get ready, so what can you do? 3-minute shower, throw on some jeans and a nice (but comfortable) shirt, put on your favorite lipstick, grab some snacks (don’t forget your reusable water bottle) and head out the door. Seize the day!

Own a planner

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If all else fails, do this. Go out and buy a planner. If you’re feeling extra fallen apart, grab some highlighters, too. Use it for everything. A classmate asks you when the next midterm is, pull out your planner. A friend asks when you are free to hangout — consult your planner. You will definitely seem (and actually be) organized. If you’re really feeling motivated, you might even stick to it.

So there we have it. Do some of these tips, and you won’t look like such a mess. A side note, though: it is OK to sometimes fall apart, just don’t make it your lifestyle. Give yourself time to reevaluate the situation, cope and then move forward.

UC Davis