Posts Tagged studying


leah-85Don’t let the title confused. I’m not going to ramble off about a blanket. I want to talk about someone who will comfort you through the good, bad and ugly.

In college there are going to be times where you studied your brains out for an exam or you put lots of hours into a paper and the result is something you weren’t expecting. Disappointment. Failure. Rejection. Sometimes it can seem unbearable. But you really need someone to hear your story and say they understand. You will need someone to give you a big hug. This is where friends really come in handy. They are there to eat your food, distract you but most importantly to comfort you. I’m so thankful for my friends. But, I can say I really am getting my strength from God. He really understands what I need. So, for my religious readers check out Ps. 119:76 for this final push as a senior or even when you’re starting your freshmen year!

If Time is Money, I’m SO Broke

jenny-85Time just seems to run away from me. There are never enough hours in a day to do the things I want to do. Can’t take a nap. Can’t go to the movies. Can’t go read a book for leisure because I’ll definitely end up reading it instead of the books I need for class. And then I can’t do the things that I need to do. Like study for that exam that’s coming up. Finish my homework. Can’t finish the insane amount of reading I have for my writing class. Time-management? Not my forte. It’s harder than I thought it’d be.

You’d think that you would have more time in college. Classes don’t start till nine or ten. Some classes don’t meet every day. You probably thought, “YES! Freedom!” Nope. Not at all. Between classes, lunch lines, laundry, coursework, clubs and sleep, me-time is cut down severely.

One thing I do is keep a planner. In this age, phones seem to have this application too, so no excuses. I first list the things that are due. For example, papers for writing class or problem sets for my science courses. Then I split them up into parts I can take on day by day. Do these things by Tuesday and then move on to the next part on Wednesday. Don’t take on everything on one day. Trust me. Papers don’t turn out too well when you’re writing while sleep-deprived.

Once things pile up, they can start to affect your grades. So, you may have to drop something, whether it be reading manga, watching Glee or gelling your hair Super-Saiyan style. Yes, all of these things are very important. But grades are more so. I, for one, realized that Korean dramas took up A LOT of my time. I would wait for them to air and then check if anyone put in subtitles. Then I would procrastinate too often to watch the shows. I understand how hard it is to quit cold turkey. But you gotta do what you gotta do!

You don’t come to college to socialize or play, so if it really comes down to it, you can be a hermit in your room for a few days and study or catch-up with classes. Your friends will understand. The disappearing act is only for a while. If they don’t, they might have a few attachment issues. (Ahaha.)

Meeting Shakira. I was melting…

jesse-85Times have been VERY hectic for me these past couple weeks, to say the least. A lot of work, a lot of studying, a lot of events to go to and organize. The new challenges that college puts forward can be a little overwhelming sometimes but be sure that with each new obstacle you overcome, you’re getting stronger.

And don’t think that all the hard work won’t pay off! It most definitely does. In big ways. Everything I’m learning, I can apply to my actual life and see things from a whole new perspective. I’m noticing things that I’ve never noticed before… It’s incredible.

And not only that, I’m having amazing experiences and meeting incredible people!

For example, guess who I met a couple weeks ago?

Give up?

SHAKIRA!! It was amazing. I don’t get star struck but I’m not going to lie, I lost my breath when Shakira waved and winked at me from the table across from where I was sitting. It was a platonic wink but nonetheless, I was melting.

This was all due to a Harvard event called Cultural Rhythms where the community gets to celebrate the diversity of Harvard students. It was a great time and the performances (and the FOOD) were phenomenal. Shakira was pretty cool too haha. Check out the video to see how it went!

And don’t forget that pretty soon, you’ll have the chance to meet AMAZING people when you get to college too.

But mom…I don’t want to do my homework yet!

jordan-85Hey everyone, I’m sorry for the delay between posts. I have been bombarded by never-ending essays, which brings me to what I am going to talk about today, time management!

Time management is crucial in all schooling, especially college. In high school I didn’t ever have to study extremely hard, like never hours on end, but college has definitely been a wake up call. Learn to manage your time wisely right away, no matter what age you are, because it will benefit you more than you can imagine.

The beginning of my first semester of college was sort of a crash course on time management, if you will. I learned early on that if I didn’t structure my day and allot sufficient time for studying and schoolwork, things wouldn’t be good. My first calculus test grade wasn’t good, and it was because of my lack of time management skills. Since then, I have improved greatly in managing my time wisely, but definitely still have some work to do.

I have a couple tips for you to help you manage your time the best you possibly can.  First off, make sure you place high importance on homework and studying. It may sound cliché, but focusing on homework and studying first before doing other things will be highly beneficial to you and your school performance.

My other piece of advice is that you must make sure not to rush through your homework and studies! I know it is tempting to scribble down the last few answers to your English homework, even if they are wrong, because your favorite television show is about to come on. Skimming over the pages of your textbook without actually reading them is also something most students do; I know I have. There will be time to watch TV and do whatever else it is you want to do, but getting schoolwork done first is a must. I know it might not be fun right now, but you will thank me one day!

Study, Nap, or Call of Duty? Decisions.

sophia-85Class. Nap. Library. Class. Class. Homework. Call of Duty. Sleep.

Yeah, that’s pretty much my week in a nutshell. Time management in college is extremely different than it was in high school. There is way more independence and prioritizing.

In high school, your day is scheduled for you. You have class and breaks are placed between them for you.

College is trickier. Your classes vary. I have a class at 6 p.m. on Monday and classes scattered throughout the day on Tuesday and Thursday. During the breaks, it’s up to me to decide where I’m going to go or what I’m going to do.

I usually schedule my breaks between classes in the library. I am able to finish all my work throughout my school day, leaving the time after school free for me to do other non-school related tasks.

There is a big difference in understanding what is more important to you, going out or studying. Everything revolves around your decision and what you feel like doing. Your time is truly under your control, which makes college a great place to grow and realize your goals.

One of the tips that has helped me the most is basically writing out my schedule every week. What I need to do, what classes I need to take, what meetings I have, and other important dates.

It helps me to have a visual of all my tasks so I can prioritize myself and realize that I cannot just waste my time.

It also helps me to have a friend help motivate me. If I need to study, I’ll let a friend know and they remind me or ask me if I’ve studied. It surprisingly helps.

One of the hardest aspects of college to deal with is being lost sometimes. You don’t even know where to start with time management, but thankfully there are people to help.

Academic advising allows me to talk to a professional and have them give me advice in what direction I should head in.

College is a whole lifestyle and time management might be the most dramatic change for me.

Better College Student

leah-85Sorry for not posting sooner. This was meant to be posted in December:

I have been in my own world lately. Papers, projects and finals were stressful that I made sure never to touch my computer because I knew Facebook would take over my life. Let’s just say I need to work on my self control.

So first semester at Swarthmore was a success. I don’t know how I made it exactly but I did. The course load was unbelievable. Every week I found myself reading two books, completing two problem sets, and writing papers. It was hard and everyday was a challenge. But, I took that challenge head on. I spent hours studying, rewriting, visiting office hours, and in the end things had a way of working out. Some days I didn’t think I would make it. I didn’t have faith in my abilities or myself. I started to doubt myself, until I realized I am not alone. Friends are great resources. Their attitude, advice, and gestures motivated me to do better and work harder. They encouraged me and taught me that working hard is not enough, you need confidence. You need to know when to ask for help, when to take a break, when to yell, and when to complain (because everyone needs to vent).

What could have possibly made my experience better? Well first off, time. I wished I had more time with everything. I wished lectures weren’t crammed in 50 minutes and I wished they days were longer so I would have more time to study. Second, a well thought out plan. Honestly, in college there are people who want to be a chemist for instance at the age of four. And, they dedicated their entire time prepping. That means taking summer classes, doing internships, or going to a high school that specialized in that field. So when it comes down it, they are exceeding expectations and things are natural and easy for them. They have preparing to do what they want to do forever. I wished I knew then or even now about my future. But, I still remain clueless. Lastly, I think what’s important is that your high school values your independent thinking and asks you to learn things on your own. It’s important to have analytical skills and think theoretically at all times.

As for me, I am happy to be going home. I can finally get eight or more hours a sleep. I am still not used to handling college. I need to work on studying, socializing, and sleeping. But, I know that I’ll get into the motion and this break I will prepare myself to be a better college student.

Flash Cards!

joseph-85Big Surprise: Finals time was stressful.  Couple that with the other assignments that have been looming at the end of the syllabus and everyone can tell you the time is overwhelming.  For a while though I thought I had it beat.  Every semester I get better at finishing assignments earlier.  This semester I was doing very well, albeit not talking to many people, and sitting in exhaustion at the circulation desk at my library job about to fall asleep.

I had thought long and hard about the phrase “Idle hands make sin;” about how in high school I had 7 classes and a great deal of other activities to engage in and I seemed to have so much more time.   I did recognize that at my high school there was almost no homework (and by oxy standards no homework at all.)  At oxy though, I serve on a couple committees, work, and volunteer with a few clubs.  Compared to high school I’m not doing anything, and I have very little free time to be spontaneous.  So I signed up for a fifth class hoping that my self-regulating academic capabilities could help me through.

They did, but since I can’t focus on work for more than 45 minutes to an hour without some irresistible compulsion to move or walk around, I ended up staying in the library until 5 in the morning quite often.  But my studying this semester was revolutionized, especially for Econ and German. I was saved by some advice from my German instructor. Two words: Flash Cards!   For just about forever I’ve been stubborn about flash cards.  When I was a reading mentor for younger students years ago, I was supposed to use flash cards to help the kids.  The kids never responded positively to them and I had grown a sort of dread and hatred myself towards what appeared to useless little pieces of paper that taunted the poor children who didn’t have parents that taught them to read when they were younger.  Reading books with them I always thought was much more effective.  Also flash cards just mean memorization, and I’ve never been good at that or found it particularly useful.

Anyway, don’t let biases keep you from doing something that can help you.  For me, it was the simple act of writing the information down onto the flash cards that I found so helpful.  It ended up making this an A- semester and made Christmas break all the more sweeter, until I got this flu that has lasted literally a week.  I should write a post about how much I get sick.  Thankfully, I’ve got this over the break, because it would have been a disaster during the school year.

What is more important than getting good grades? Reflection

khadijah-85I want to start this blog post with an apology. I have gotten so caught up in the demand and flow of college, that I forgot my responsibility as a blogger. My lapse in blog posts does not reflect how important I think this blog is- what it does reflect, however, is that I need to review my own post on time management (ehem, Khadijah!).

But I also want to thank CSO, not just for how it helps students who are where we bloggers were a few years ago, but also for helping us bloggers. For you see, sometimes, when college life gets hectic, it is so easy, so tempting, to move on without thinking or assessing. College life is fast paced. You blink, and several things happen and pass you by, and you can’t and don’t want to miss a second of it. You get into the grind, and your nose is down low- you have so many expectations, you gotta meet them, surpass them! Yet, I believe that stopping and reflecting is crucial to success. As important, and in many ways, more important than studying those extra hours. CSO assists me and other bloggers in this process by having us, just for a moment, reflect on our experiences in college.

Reflection is important to success.  College is more than academics and partying, it’s discovering who you are, what you love, who you want to be. It’s not to be molded into the perfect image of middle class society, although it may seem that way. For me, in particular, it has helped me come to terms with my past, and look at what  I have done because of, and not merely despite my past. Reflection helps me understand how it still affects me, and how it gives me strength. Reflection allows me to process what I am going through in college- what study strategies don’t work for me? Do I enjoy my classes? What do I love and hate the most about being at college? Am I happy with myself, with who I am now? Why am I here in college? What do I want? Are my expectations mine, or someone else’s?  Am I ok with that? Sometimes, it’s simply meditation, sitting and staring off into space in my room, on the grass, or it’s talking with a counselor, with friends, with parents, with adults. It’s writing in your book, your journal, or a diary. There is no right way to reflect, but it’s important that you do it, in your own way.

College is such a life changing experience, that it requires processing. Reflection can be spontaneous, it can be planned, as long as it’s regular. Reflection helps you grow and mature. It grounds you in a time of hectic uncertainty and organized chaos. I sound all new-agey, but trust me, try it, you’ll think it’s great or your money back.

So CSO, thank you for providing this forum to reflect on our experiences in college. Not only does it provide a great resource for students who want to go to college, but it is a great resource for us bloggers as well.

Staying the Course

jordan-85I am sorry I haven’t been able to post for quite a while. I have been very busy with classwork and then finals. However, finals are finally DONE! I am so happy to have finished my first semester of college. It went so quickly, and now I have seven more semesters to go.

I have definitely enjoyed my time in college so far. Although it has been challenging, it has definitely been just as rewarding, if not more. All the hours of studying paid off, and I am well on my way to getting a degree and starting my life as a working man. I want to encourage all of you that think school is just too much stress and meaningless work, to stay strong and keep on giving 100% in all of your work and studies. If you keep working hard it will all pay off in the end, there is not a doubt in my mind. When you are stuck with projects and essays and loads of work, just remember that this is all worth it, and is just a stepping stone on your way to a successful and rewarding life. Trust me, I have gone through this as well. I always have to remind myself of why I am doing what I am doing. Perseverance and determination are a couple of the most desirable and important qualities a person can have, so please remember that and stay strong.

As for me, I am happy to be home and to have a break from all this schoolwork. This first semester has been great, and I am looking forward to my future at USC. If you guys have any questions, let me know through comments and I will try to answer as many as I can. Thank you very much and I can’t wait to talk to you all again, God bless.