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Posts Tagged time management

Presencia Latina at Harvard!

jesse-85College is a place where self-expression is a daily accomplishment. Not only are you learning about the vast array of cultures that this world has to offer, you have the chance to teach others about yours. Every year, the students at Harvard organize an event where the student body is able to come together and celebrate the Latino culture through a showcase of Latin arts. This event is called Presencia Latina. From Aztec Dance to Spoken Word poetry performances, Presencia Latina is a place where the Latino culture is brought to the forefront and shared with the entire college campus.

One aspect of Presencia Latina that I especially appreciate is the fact that you don’t have to be Latino to participate in the performances. All of the group performances were made up of people from very diverse cultures and backgrounds whose appreciation of the Latino culture brought them together to perform. Presencia Latina is one of my favorite events of the year for all of these reasons!

Oh yeah, and guess what? I was asked to host the show this year! I was a little nervous but so ready. Check out  the video below to see the steps I took to prepare for the show and also a few clips of some of the performances of the 9th annual Presencia Latina!

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.)

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.

The Perfect Balance

shaun-85One of my more recent posts described my decision to join a sorority, Pi Beta Phi. I absolutely LOVE my sorority and every single experience that comes with it, which of course includes being encouraged to embrace the social aspect of college, i.e. going out to parties, mixers, and other events. A challenge I have faced lately is being able to successfully balance my academic responsibilities and my newfound social opportunities. Even if you do not decide to Go Greek, with college comes an incredible amount of freedom, which challenges the time management abilities of even the most diligent students.

One suggestion I have for students entering a university next year is to expect to have to alter your usual study habits. In high school, I essentially just went to classes, attended to required meetings and practices, studied for hours, and retired to bed, because we were so restricted at my boarding school there really wasn’t an opportunity to do much else! Here at W&L, of course, that is far from the case. Especially now that I am in a sorority, I have been invited out more often, and my usual Type-A, diligent, studious self has experienced inner turmoil: should I go out and have fun, or stay in and get ahead on next week’s economics reading?

What I am beginning to realize is that it is more than possible to do both. I have adopted the classic motto “work hard, play hard.” As long as I have everything finished that is due for the next day of classes, and a solid plan to finish the rest of my work by its due date, I allow myself some down time. I find that I am much happier, and I am really enjoying college life. Even though I am at a challenging and respected university, I have found that I do not have to devote my life to textbooks in order to be successful; all it takes is carefully planned time management.

I highly encourage all of you to allow yourself to explore and enjoy every aspect of college life. It is stimulating and motivating to do well academically and learn new disciplines, but it is also healthy and rewarding to let yourself relax, embrace the freedom of college, and have some good old-fashioned fun!

New Year, New Semester!!!!

angelica-85A new year, a new me!!! Oh no, I’m not going to sit here and tell that lie. It’s a new year, that’s true, but I am still the same old Angelica. Of course I plan on improving my self, maybe find a new job, and study a bit harder. This year I plan on obtaining my dream GPA, which is a 4.00. Last semester, I was just two points away from a 3.00, and I tell you that was a blessing.

I had very rocky fall semester because I changed my Major from Mass Communications to English. I had a lot of catching up to do and that was a lot of hard work. I took on 15 credit hrs and worked two part-time jobs. Yes, last semester was horrendous and I am looking forward to spring semester being just as crazy.

Now that I am a second semester Sophomore, I’ve learned to manage my time so that things won’t overwhelm me. In college managing time is pertinent. I’m looking forward to spring semester being enlightening and a lot of hard work. I’m also looking forward to snatching up my dream GPA, 4.00 all the way, but if not, a 3.00 will be just as good. When things get rough, I  always keep in mind that those things are temporary; temporary discomfort in order to gain long term success!!!

Peace, love, enjoy your journey…

Working During the Year?

jesse-85It feels so good to be home after a semester full of great experiences. Looking back on my Sophomore Fall, some of the best memories have got to be while working with Crimson Summer Academy. Remember that job I had during the summer? Well, I loved it so much I continued on into the school year.

Working and balancing schoolwork can be challenging but if you find a job where you learn, have fun, and enjoy what you’re doing, the balance comes a lot easier. If you’re wondering how my job went this semester, check out this video where you can get a brief look at how it went!

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.

Oh great, here we go again (sophomore year)

khadijah-85Ok, so honestly, first year, freshman year, you will probably get your butt kicked. Seriously- different environment, high expectations, you’re on your own- even if you’re a beast academically, you will get your butt kicked. Even if you are a social butterfly, you would have to adjust to peers who seem like they have so much money, they don’t know what to do with it, and be kicked in the butt by your empty, angry wallet, or work hours and hours to afford a burger from the overpriced restaurant down the street (but those burgers are soo GOOD). Class matters at Harvard, (so many of my black peers at Harvard come from private school, high income brackets, or another country) and so does race - “the black experience, the poor black experience”(everyone turns to me- share your wisdom, oh poor black girl). Not obviously, of course, but definitely more than I expected. I was and am sometimes disillusioned, and to top it all off, I had more work than I knew how to deal with. Although I know this is a crazy thought now- I thought I was going to fail out of Harvard, be a disgrace to low-income, homeless and black females everywhere, and I thought I was a failure socially. Shouldn’t I be the social butterfly? It’s only a few papers and exams, why is this so difficult? WHY so much reading? I don’t want to see my report card. No. Intro Economics, I’ll pretend it doesn’t exist.

So, since I’m still posting, you can see that I did make it to sophomore year. And oh my goodness, I finished my first semester of sophomore year! And you know what, it was harder in many ways, but easier in many other ways. First off, those 300+ pages of reading a week, it’s doable, it really is. The papers, I’m figuring out my formula, and I’m using it to try to work on my papers. I’ve had to ask for extensions, but you know what, this time I knew what I needed, I hadn’t a clue before.

Basically, what’s easier about sophomore year is this awareness I now have. I’m aware of my own rhythms- I know never to do heavy reading late at night, and I know I must start a paper on Friday because it’s not getting done during the week. It’s just not. I know that 9 am class, even if I get up at 8 am every day (including weekends) should absolutely be considered cruel and inhumane treatment under the constitution. I’m aware of the importance of time management, looking at the syllabi and talking with professors in September- “So uh, I have 3 papers due within three days, may I turn in my paper in December on a different date?” Yeah, you can do that! (Ask, you never know, professors are pretty nice typically). What makes sophomore year different than freshman year is that you know better who you are, and you know your strengths and weaknesses. You get into a routine, you find your clique of friends, you’re more comfortable turning on and off the social butterfly (or keeping it off indefinitely, if that’s your thing).

So I promise, even when your butt gets kicked freshmen year, and your gpa makes you cry, it will get better. Your feelings of not belonging, of being a failure, the doubt, is all normal, and trust me, it won’t always be like this. Sophomore year, you’ll look back at your freshman self and wonder why, instead of cranking that paper out and getting the crappiest grade, you didn’t simply ask for a day extension. It will get better, because you’ll not only know yourself better, you’ll know how to work with, not against, your natural self. And with knowing yourself better, everything else begins to fall into place.