Tips & Tricks for staying organized during midterms & finals.

It’s midterms week for many, including myself, and instead of actually studying here I am writing to you all. Though, I swear I have a logical reason for it. Personally, I’m the kind of person who is an absolute freak about being organized. This isn’t about me, though. I am here to hopefully help you all succeed and improve upon your academics through being organized! ( these are not my own ideas and by far are not in any way scientifically proven anywhere. these are things I have tried at home and noticed help me in my personal studies. ) Without further ado, let’s get into it!

  • USE AN AGENDA!! you guys, this is my number one tip for a reason! Agendas may seem like just another notebook you have to lug around with some extra lines and words in it, but this will seriously be a life saver. Agendas not only are a glorified, adorable notebook to write down your thoughts and important dates. It also means you have all your important dates, times, appointments and so on in one place. So when you go to look up what time you scheduled that study session with your friend from psychology class, there’s your friendly reminder that the day after that you have your next midterm. how useful is that?
  • Color code // doodle in your notes – okay so you’re probably reading this and thinking, huh? yes! draw all up in those notes. put bubbles around the main topic, lines under your sub topics. use purple on the definitions, green on your bullet points. Color coding and doodling has helped me immensely when it comes to taking notes and remembering certain things. If you have messy handwriting, colors can help the important things pop out so you’re less likely to miss it. If you have lecture and you type out notes, use colors and highlights with bold letters in word. Whatever makes note taking fun to you will help you absorb that information better!
  • Spread out the studying // take breaks – Cramming for tomorrow’s history exam at one in the morning and then throwing back three cups of coffee before you even leave the house is NOT the right strategy to get you a solid A on the test. It may seem like the best  option at the time when you’ve just gotten back from dinner with a friend or a party at the frat house but I promise you, nothing gets retained like it should. Instead, set aside a couple of hours in your day to study. Take on one or two chapters at a time depending on the length, read and take notes. Then, PAUSE! stand up, stretch, meditate. Turn on your favorite song and dance like nobody is watching! Whatever you need to do to de-stress and take a few ‘you’ moments can help you start back up on new information like you just sat down.
  • Fuel up – So maybe I’m being biased because, well, I love my food. That being said, it is so important you eat and do it right so you can keep focused while you push through those dreaded three chapters of science homework you have due. However, throwing back a big meal like a turkey dinner or eating a piece of cake that makes you feel all sorts of full won’t do you any good. You’ll simply become lethargic and ready to crawl into bed. Instead, things like apples and peanut butter, or maybe a small salad loaded with yummy vegetables will help you keep satisfied but also still alert while you finish that homework.
  • Location is key! – Sitting in your bedroom or your dorm with the tv on, or your comforter thrown over you like you’re about to fall asleep likely won’t help you focus on your study guide in front of you as much as it will put you to sleep. Find a desk or  a nice straight chair and keep good posture so that blood keeps flowing and you keep thinking! Something as small as a straight back can make the biggest difference in your attention while working on that homework.

I’m no scientist, nor am I an expert on studying strategies, but I’d like to think that in my 10 + years of schooling, I’ve learned and developed good habits of study that have helped me achieve better grades and ultimately feel better about myself as a college student. Hopefully you try out some of these tips and see a difference in your perfomance, too! If you try any of these comment below because I’d love to see what works for you.

 

XX BW

The struggles of being a community college student.

Hi all! Happy Thursday (or more excitingly so, happy Friday eve).

Today, I was sitting at school trying to come up with ideas of what to write about next and figured what better thing to write about than college!

For starters, let’s get into the basics about college for me. If it wasn’t already obvious, I attend a community college about fifteen minutes away from my parent’s house on a good day. Community college is basically like high school with more in depth content. At least, that’s how it is for me. There are more people from my high school and middle school than I would have ever liked to say go to college with me. However, the main reason I – like most people at community college – chose to attend was to save money. The plan that I had set up for myself, along with my parents input, was to attend community college for two years and get my gen-eds out of the way before I go to a larger university for the next two years (and likely the last). I did end up taking half a year off after high school for personal reasons and now I’m in my second semester as a college student. So, without further ado let’s get into the very struggles I have encountered so far as a community college student (though most college students in general could relate):

  1. Having an hour or more breaks in between classes and having no dorm to go home to. and if you’re like me, which most aren’t, you don’t drive so there’s not even a way to leave school.
  2. Being surrounded by so many people from not only high school, but middle school also. Maybe for some of you this is a benefit but in my case, it is most definitely not.
  3. Too rich for financial aid, too poor for tuition in full. payments plans are the best and worst thing ever invented.
  4. The lack of social events & opportunities. unless you play sports or are just a very overly-social person, making friends in community college that you didn’t have prior is near impossible.
  5. Working at your job every day you aren’t at school. Now, I totally know that university students who live on campus have like on campus jobs or even ones off campus but living at home always seems to mean more time for a job and even less time for a social life / studying / real college stuff.
  6. Study groups / Group projects / anything related to groups at community college. it’s impossible. plain and simple. one person works Tuesdays but everyone else works Wednesdays, and one person only has the car on Thursdays. oh, but the last person doesn’t even drive. the word group makes me cringe.

Six seems like an awfully random place to stop, but hopefully you all found this somewhat easy to relate to or at least got a good laugh out of it. Feedback is always welcome.

 

XX BW