5 Finals Tips For The Underdogs

I wanted to get this post out quickly before it becomes May 4th and my blog gets even more behind! With studying for finals, I haven’t had much time to brainstorm and really plan out all of my posts for this month just yet. So I’ve had to come up with this on the fly so just stay with me here. I decided that the most appropriate post was one about the main thing on my mind at the moment…finals! So here are 5 quick suggestions and tips that you probably already know but I hope you find them at least a little bit relevant and helpful anyway.

1. Get some sleep!

I know this is like impossible for any college kid to the point where most of us have just gone ahead and embraced the whole no sleep thing. But, I still believe that you can get at least a little bit of sleep. It’s important to do everything you can not to be up all night cramming at the last second. If you want to cram at all, make sure it’s right before you actually take your exam. Sleep is really important, red bull isn’t your friend. Chances are, if you take it, you might end up crashing right when you’re taking your exam and no one wants that. The best way to be fully focuses is with plenty of sleep.

2. Minimize your distractions

Setting aside some time where you just sit down and study all your materials for each exam is the best way to just center yourself on what you’re doing. I realize this is pretty much impossible but try to just stay inside your own little bubble. Don’t bring in any electronics or anything of that nature because you’re bound to get seriously sidetracked.

3. Use some white noise or instrumental/classical music

Music with words can be dangerous while studying because you start to simply focus on that and not what you’re studying. However, there are other types of music that work quietly in the background as you get to work. White noise is a great tool for when you want to buckle down and study. You can also never go wrong with some classical music to get you in the study zone. Modern classical music is good too but some (like the ones that are the instrumental versions of your favorite songs) may be a bit distracting, so watch out for that!

4. Work with others

There are both pros and cons to spending all your time studying for finals for other people, but sometimes it can be a very helpful thing to do. I recommend this one when you share a class with a friend. You both can share your notes and you can get some feedback if they caught something that you didn’t or vice versa. They might also give you some cool study ideas that you’ve never heard of before!

5. Find an organization strategy

Everyone has a different method to studying that works for them. Most students never had any need for them in high school so some of us may still be developing this as we go along in college. That being said, you know what works for you. I just think it’s crucial to at least have something set in place that is your own personal method that you know has worked for you in the past.

Advice For The Nonathletic Type

Here is one question that I used to ask myself when I realized that sports wasn’t exactly my thing. What am I supposed to do with my time if I’m not going to play sports? Playing sports gives you the chance to interact with many different types of people and you get the chance to form lifelong friendships. However, there are definitely alternatives for those of you that know that sports just aren’t your thing.

For me, I turned to theatre. Obviously, different things appeal to different people. This was something that I started up in the third grade because many of my friends were taking drama class at my school. So I would also have the chance to interact and spend more time with my friends, I also took the class. Theatre soon became something of a passion to me and so I started taking part in productions in my community. Doing this allowed me to meet friends from all over my community that didn’t attend my school. Out of that experience, I ended up making friends that I still have today.

Sometimes, these types of activities can seem a lot like high school, you have your own little cliques that consist of those that are the stars and those that aren’t the stars. However, it surprised me that there are many people, especially in theatre (I can’t speak on behalf of other activities since I never took part in them) that don’t care about how great they are, they just hangout with everyone regardless of what part you’re playing. I’ve learned to love those moments that happened in theatre because it gave you that indescribable feeling that you truly belonged.

My point is, everyone has a place where they belong. For some of us, we are comfortable while playing sports. For the nonathletic types like myself, we have to find a different place, which isn’t too hard to discover. Sometimes you just have to look around for a little bit until you find it.

What Makes A Good Athlete

What makes a good athlete? Well, that right there is the million dollar question. I don’t really have one simple and straight forward answer to that question. Here are some qualities that I personally believe are important. Take my opinion with a grain of salt. What I think may not be similar to what others say at all.

1. Team player

A good athlete makes choices based on the good of his whole team. They do whatever needs to be done with little to no complaints.

2. Being a leader

If you want to be a star athlete, you need to have the gift of leading. This is one of those things that you pretty much have or you don’t have it. Yes, you can work on becoming a stronger leader. But you have that natural talent of leading, you just become more mature with time.

3. Dedicated

You need to be beyond dedicated to your sport. You want to get continually better. You also desire playing your sport of choice pretty much all the time. You can’t just play it sometimes, there has to be a high level of dedication to it.

4. You have to love it

This is basically a given, if you don’t love something, you’re probably not going to be very good at it. This is mostly due to the fact that you will most likely dread playing the sport so loving it is a big factor in how good you will potentially be.

5. You have to balance fun and serious

Having fun with your sport of choice is important. If you take the sport too seriously, it becomes less of something that you look forward to. However, you have to take your sport seriously and not as if it’s completely a joke. So there’s got to be a balance which can be a hard thing to do. But I think if you take all of those above qualities, then you also will have some ability to balance both fun and serious.

Thoughts On Homeschooling

When I was younger, I didn’t understand why I couldn’t be homeschooled. Both my parents work full time so there was basically no other option for schooling. Now, most of the homeschoolers are taught online and don’t even need an instructor supervising since they have an online teacher. This is really interesting to me and it has many pros and cons to it. I’ve decided to explore those here and see what you guys think about it!

Pro:
This is a pro for the student: getting to sleep in and not having to get ready or even move to go anywhere. You can do everything right where you are and you don’t always have a schedule or at least you can pick your own schedule.

Being able to do things at your own pace.

Not having that loud classroom atmosphere.

You can also be ahead other students- this goes hand in hand for doing things at your own pace. But for the previous one, I mostly meant that for those who may struggle with finishing assignments quickly. This one has to do with those who are ridiculously ahead and don’t want to be held behind.

Many teachers just teach things you already know and you don’t have to deal with listening to that.

Con:
Limited interaction- you don’t get to be around people your age or even experience teachers. It can be pretty lonely.

Sheltered- Being sheltered isn’t always a bad thing but it can be a rude awakening when you enter the world without ever having any experience that those in public school have.

Having someone to help and ask questions to- Yes, you have an online teacher. But that isn’t exactly the same thing. It feels different when you get the chance to actually be around the teacher and you get to work one on one. It has a more personal feel than just asking questions online and asking. If you have a parent who’s homeschooling you, it can get boring to just interact with your mom or dad all day. And what happens if they don’t have an answer to your question? That’s not to say public school teachers are always going to know the answer, but at least you get to have the experience to be around everyone.

10 Quick Tips On Cramming

Cramming is something that chronic procrastinators are forced to do. Studying for any test in college can be overwhelming and waiting until the last minute isn’t the smartest decision. However, many of us just get busy and forget to study ahead of time. Here are some tips for those of you that are currently cramming for a big college exam.

1. Get some sleep

Prep up as much as possible before you sit down and study consistently for X number of hours. You’ll need energy if you want to study for long periods of time.

2. Make sure to eat

Try to get your energy up by eating at least a snack. Don’t skip any meals, make sure you’re getting the nutrition that you need as much as possible.

3. Highlight what you need

Make sure you single out the important points in the chapter or whatever you’re reviewing for. Don’t just study the whole chapter again and again, make sure you talk back to the text. Ask questions about what you don’t understand.

4. Make a practice exam

Read and answer the questions at the end of each chapter. Looking over these and analyzing how it’s set up is important. You can follow that before you make questions for a practice test. A practice test will help you prepare properly for the upcoming exam.

5. Type your notes

If you have handwritten notes, typing them helps. Looking over these will help you review as you type them up. Taking handwritten notes is important because it helps you retain information while you’re in class. This is a strategy I recommend trying.

6. Review graded assignments/quizzes/tests

Look over what you got wrong and do your best to see what you did wrong. Looking over this several times will help you retain this information and remember the right answers.

7. Work in the library

You need a quiet studying space and what spot is better than the library? It’s quiet and has a positive environment where you can get your work done with minimal distractions. Probably a lot better than any dorm will be.

8. Breathe!

This is an obvious yet one that we sometimes forget. When we’re under a lot of stress, we can forget to breathe. So just relax and keep on breathing as you get through this intense study session.

9. Have study buddies

Having a group to study with can be extremely effective if you stay on task. It can be fun to have someone else there to quiz you and to share ideas with. Just make sure your able to focus on studying only!

10. Use flashcards

Making your own flashcards on the particular subject your studying for is a strategy that pretty much always works. Make sure that the flashcards are filled with necessary information. You can use any other strategies to help you remember the information but this is probably the most common and effective one I can come up with. Then just keep on quizzing yourself and you’ll retain the information in no time!

Tips For Fitting In At College Parties

As Spring break draws near, here are some tips for fitting in at college parties. This is an article that I originally wrote for The Prospect. The Prospect is a really great resource for college study tips and just general advice that helps student survive college. I’m not just saying that because I write for them, I’m a big fan of how the blog is ran in general! It’s filled with helpful articles to help you through anything you might face throughout your academic career and I highly recommend checking it out!

Education Tips: Studying

Flickr via Steven S.

Flickr via Steven S.

These are some of my own education tips that I will highlight from time to time on my blog. This first one is going to be about studying.

1. Write down questions 

When you’re reading a textbook, don’t just go highlight crazy. Interact with the text and ask questions within the margins or on a separate piece of paper. I’m sure you’ve been told these tips before but I’ve found that it can really work.

2. Make sure you have no electronics near you 

It’s important to study with no distractions. Having electronics near you during that set study time is a major distraction. Make sure to put them in a different room or in a place where you refrain from touching them for an hour or so while you take time to study.

3. A quiet study spot 

Having a quiet place to study is definitely one of the big keys to having an opportunity to actually get things done. Having a place where you can just completely focus on what you’re doing and not worry about any noise or interruptions is really important.

4. Color code your notes

Sometimes when you take notes during class, they can get a little bit sloppy. You just try to write down as much as what the professor says as possible so your notes may not end up to be all that organized. Once your on your own and studying in your quiet space, make sure you go back and organize what you can. Use whatever works for you but I think it’s a good idea to dedicate one section such as key terms will be highlighted blue, important statistics and facts in green, and anything else you need to know in pink.

5. Have a schedule 

Scheduling it out is extremely significant. If you schedule it, you will be more likely to stick to it. If you just sometimes take an hour or two here and there, it becomes scattered and not set. Once that happens, you don’t have a consistent routine. Just make it much easier on yourself by taking out your calender and marking what times you have free and take it week by week.

Here are five tips that I hope you find kind of useful. You may know most of these, but hopefully this helps you see the importance of it all!

Other Forms of Love

So today, I’m going to quickly breakdown the types of love that are out there.

Self-love, romantic, friendship, parent-child, and much more.

Sometimes, we might confuse love with some other emotion. When it comes down to it, we know deep down what’s love and what it isn’t. It’s some kind of human instinct that people have. Basically, we all know what this is so you don’t need me to tell you.

Self-love is the one that I talked about just the other day. It’s an important thing but also a rare thing. We don’t love ourselves as much as we should. I’m not going to get into the whole thing because it’ll start to just sound straight up preachy. So I’m just going to say that this is something we need and hopefully continue to get better about as we go through life.

Friendship is a really strong form of love. It’s something that you count on. We always love and depend upon our friends whenever we need them the most. It’s just nice to know that someone has our backs and that’s why friendship is so incredible.

The parent-child love is another form of love that is a bond that isn’t easily broken. I know that there are exceptions that I don’t want to get into, but I’ve always heard that there’s just something about having your own child. You become so attached to the little baby that you helped make. And most people have that natural instinct to protect them, love, and care for them. I’m thankful to have those kind of parents that provide unconditional love and support for me.

There’s other type of loves: the romantic one is really obvious. It’s the one that’s probably subject to change the most. Obviously, that differs from person to person but that’s what I’ve found from personal experience. Romantic love is a whirlwind and it can be nice to feel wanted by that person for however long it happens to last.

Whatever love it just so happens to be, my advice is to just hang on to it and be grateful for it. Don’t take any second for granted.

Pros and Cons to Being In a Relationship

Sometimes it can be hard to determine whether or not you’re ready to be in a relationship. It depends a lot on particular circumstances. It’s hard to tell someone what to do or not do when all the circumstances aren’t known. This is just my list of the pros and cons to being in a relationship.

Pros:

Having someone to comfort and support you. 

This is a major plus that I always miss when I’m not in a relationship. Knowing that someone is willing to run errands for you and drive to come see you and show you any kind of support possible is an incredible feeling. It sucks whenever that’s no longer there.

Someone to talk to. 

This may be different for some people, but I love just having a boyfriend to talk to. He’s pretty much obligated to text you back and let you know he’s going to bed or tell you if he can’t come to his phone for a few hours. When you’re no long together, all that changes and it can be hard. If you’ve never dated and are thinking whether or not you want to be involved with this person, just think about the honeymoon phase. That’s a glorious period when he pays attention to you and shows interest but that ends at some point. Use your own judgment about whether or not you think this honeymoon period will end or not.

Getting to do sweet things for each other just to show how much you care.

There are some gifts and stuff you might buy a significant other that’s kind of weird to buy someone you’re not dating. When you’re in the awkward talking stage where you’re not sure where you’re going, it’s important to keep in mind just how much you’d do for this person. If the answer is not a whole lot, you might want to think more about the state of the relationship and where it’s heading.

Something to talk about with your friends. 

Talking about boys with your friends is always the best. It can always make you feel like the odd one out when you don’t have a boyfriend. However, don’t feel pressured to jump into a relationship you’re not ready for. This is just a plus to brag about how sweet and awesome your boyfriend is if you’re ready to take things to that place.

It’s something extremely mutual. 

This should be an obvious one. But sometimes guys may jump into something or even you might jump into it due to a number of different reasons. You know deep down whether or not you’re doing something for the right reasons. You can tell his deal based on his past relationships and don’t get too caught up on talking about the future. For instance, if he’s just gotten out of a relationship that’s fairly long term (3 months or longer) then don’t go there. He’s just looking for some kind of rebound and no one wants to be that girl.

Cons:

Feeling like you have someone to impress. 

Looking cute all the time or feeling like you have to live up to the image of his ex or just the girls around in general. It can really suck and put a damper on the relationship but also on your own self-esteem. Avoid that at all costs.

When life gets in the way. 

It can be stressful when you can’t control your plans. Like if one of you is super busy and you hardly get to see each other. This applies more to long term but sometimes even those who live close can find themselves barely getting any quality time.

The drama and fights. 

It may just be me but it seems like a lot more fighting and drama happens once the relationship is official. You have more to argue about since your boyfriend and girlfriend and become more controlling and needy in a sense. Again, this might just be a Rachel thing but I’ve found this to happen in previous relationships. If I felt like I wasn’t good enough for him or something, I’d always fight and I don’t think that’d happen so frequently if we would’ve stayed in the talking stages for a while longer.

Jealousy!

This is by far the biggest con and yeah, it can happen when you’re talking but I feel like the green monster comes out more when it’s made official. When you aren’t together, you feel as if it’s not your place to say anything if you feel like he’s interested in someone else. He isn’t yours so why should you care in the first place? Is something we always ask ourselves at that point. While that still sucks, being together makes it even more serious. You get jealous over any girl he even glances. Again, I’m basing this on me and I get jealous over everything that a guy speaks to BASICALLY. I get jealous of ex girlfriends and all that. But, the jealousy can be overwhelming at times which just causes unnecessary stress and tension.

Guide to Crushes

This is a tentative guide to having crushes. Having a crush is such a devastating and overwhelming feeling. What are you supposed to do when you have a crush on someone that you’re not likely to end up with? What I mean is, the person we have our first crush on is typically unattainable. Maybe I’m just speaking from my own experiences here but that’s what I’ve found to be true. These are some tips on how to deal with having a crush on whoever it might be. Take what you will from this “guide.”

1. Don’t be ashamed of it.

Let’s just say you have a crush on your older brother’s best friend. (Again, this is just what I’ve felt.) Don’t be embarrassed because it’s okay to have a crush on someone, even if you really can’t be with them. But don’t be like me and announce it everywhere you go. Take from it what you will and maybe even doodle in your notebook or something. You don’t have to tell everyone you know.

2. Don’t borderline stalk the kid.

Stalking isn’t a good method of getting this kid’s attention. You’ll just end up scaring him off and rightfully so. He’ll likely be flattered that you like him but don’t expect him to be your Knight in Shining Armor.

3. Crushes are supposed to suck.

Crushes are your first experience with really liking someone. It’s unlikely that it’ll develop into something more. If it does, then you are much luckier than I am. Don’t be devastated if it doesn’t work out for you. There will be other guys that you will feel the same way and even deeper feeling that they will return and that’ll be some of the best experiences of your life. It can only go up from having this crush.

4. Move on

Some crushes last a REALLY long time. Sometimes it really hurts not to be able to tell the other person how you feel. But sometimes we just can’t tell them for whatever reason. I think the best way to get over that is to move on and notice someone else that is willing to be with you and give you a really nice relationship. A lot of the time, crushes are going to hurt. I know that I’ve said that over and over again but I can’t say it enough. I just think that’s really important to keep in mind.