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.

May Theme

Wow, I can’t believe that May is already here. Finals are just around the corner (Monday and Tuesday for me) and that’s just crazy to me that I’m already nearly finished with my first year of college. So I’m off to a late start for the month of May and I contemplated not doing a theme at all. But then I realized that sticking to one theme for the whole theme has helped me become a lot more organized and consistent with my blog posts so I might as well continue doing them. So this month I’m going to talk about underdogs: the washed up, those that have all the odds against them, and just those that you can’t help but root for and be inspired by. Some of these underdogs don’t ALWAYS win, but you always want them to due to the fact that they never give up. Some other words to describe them and just general words to think about this month are: outcasts, misfits, freaks, geeks, weirdos, round pegs in square holes, rebels, and dreamers. Basically the best way to sum up this month is this quote from Apple,

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

So this is the quote that helped me come up with this theme because it’s a quote that I come back to fairly often. Underdogs seem to have the whole world against theme but somehow they manage to find something or someone to believe in and they find a way to reach some level of success. Some of the things I’ll be talking about this month include: Broadway musicals, Disney movies, books about the world being against you, movies about finding a way to overcome, and also a few rad playlists, one of which will definitely be for those of you studying for finals. Plus there will be many more things that are going to be a surprise so stay with me this month!

Sidenote: Since I’m a day late getting started, I’ll also put my first post that should have been today sometime later on in the day so I don’t get too behind with my posts.

How To Dress Like Ariana Grande

Here is an article that I wrote for Teen Scene about how to dress like one of my big fashion icons Ariana Grande! I think the girl is straight up gorgeous. I love her hair and just her style in general. She always looks extremely classy and she knows how to accessorize. I could even update this more, let’s just talk about how fabulous she looked at the Grammy’s?! It’s crazy to see how far she’s come since her Broadway days! But anyway, here is a link to the article which I hope you enjoy reading!

Spring Break Update!

Here is a quick update involving Spring break. I’ve talked about this break endlessly throughout the month so far. Now it is actually time for the break. At least it is for me, I’m not sure if that’s earlier than everyone else or not. The break is a whole week off school. The question now that’s left to answer is: What are you going to do all break? Here are some fairly general ideas of what to do. This is just my first list, I’ll follow up with more specific lists according to what you should read/listen to/watch throughout the week.

  • Sleep in

This is the most obvious yet one of the most important of all. It’s also the one I look forward to the most.

  • Hangout with people you don’t normally

Do your best to interact with people you normally aren’t able to during the school year. Take advantage of the time you have to do what you want with some old and important friends.

  • Spring cleaning

This sounds really boring and not a great way to spend your time off. However, it can be nice to be productive. Getting things done can feel pretty good.

  • Organizing stuff

This goes hand in hand with cleaning. The difference is this one is more moving stuff around instead of just cleaning things up around your house. Providing some organization and moving around your furniture is a good idea to prepare for the upcoming season.

  • Get out of the house at least once a day

Staying inside your house all day is a waste of your break. You need to take advantage of being able to get out and not being stuck in classrooms for the majority of your day. Even if the weather turns out to be too cold, at least go to a movie or the mall. Go with relatives if you have to, just get out there and enjoy being able to do whatever you want for the week. You won’t regret it.

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!

Useful College Studying Sources

Flickr via Clay Shonkwiler

Flickr via Clay Shonkwiler

One of the biggest things I’ve struggled with when it comes to studying in college is not having many sources to turn to. It can be hard to endure studying for midterms and all your exams when you’re not sure the best methods of studying. Here are some of my favorite sources for finding what studying strategies work best for you!

How To Study

This website is really helpful because it has different guides and methods by subject. It also has general study tips, reading comprehension tips, and organizational tips. What I linked to was reading comprehension tips because I found those especially helpful. Sometimes reading my college textbooks can get a bit overwhelming and these tips really helped make that less daunting.

Study Guides and Strategies 

Some of these seem pretty basic knowledge you may already know but there are plenty of helpful guides as well. I found the time management guide especially helpful. I found the memorizing strategies helpful as well because I can always use those!

Study Guide Zone 

This one has so many different study guides that it can be overwhelming. There’s a lot of options here but that’s a good thing! Just find what works best for you. It’s pretty guaranteed that these site will have whatever subject you’re struggling with. They also have guides for those of you that are graduate students as well!

Academic Tips 

Yet another useful website filled with interesting tips. This one consists more of general tips than in depth looks by subject. However, the information is very specific and might be helpful for you guys for whatever you may be struggling with. It also may be useful for students that are not in college yet and are looking to get a head start on figuring things out.

SR Trends

SR Trends isn’t specifically a study blog. But it is a blog dedicated to college life and I found these basic study tips extremely helpful. It’s well researched and also has super pretty pictures to go along with it. What could be better than that?

Study Hack

Study Hack has tons and tons of cool resources and strategies. I personally enjoyed the speed reading, flash cards, active reading, and memory techniques that Kat gives us. It’s a really awesome and well organized blog that I strongly recommend!

Dani Dearest 

This is a personal college blog which is something I always enjoy since these are students that are actually going through this currently. I love Dani’s post about making your own binder dividers and I found that to be seriously helpful. I also love all of her posts about organizing and there’s ton of them! She gets really specific about organizing your computer and other applications which can be useful for those of you who are balancing all of your college assignments, schedules, or whatever else it may be!

Nitty Gritty English

A tool for those of you that may be struggling with writing college essays. This site has tips about avoiding plagiarism, proofreading, finding a topic for a research paper, and much much more. I think every college student could learn a few things from checking this one out.

Hopefully you’ll learn some new information from these 8 different resources!

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!

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.

5 Reasons Not to Change Who You Are

1. There’s only one you

No one else in the world has your exact looks (well unless your a twin) or your personality. Your thoughts and beliefs aren’t exactly like everyone else’s, you have a combination of different beliefs that make you unique.

2. Changing for someone else isn’t worth it

How many times have you heard someone say something along the lines of, “Never change who you are just because someone else has a problem with it,” that quote is still a relevant one. We can still learn a lesson or two from it.

3. Accept yourself

Accepting yourself is really the key to everything. You’re the one who’s stuck with yourself all the time so you have to do what you know makes you happy and a better person.

4. Your beliefs are your own

Only change them because you’re growing as a person, not due to the pressure of another person.

5. Don’t do it just because you want to fit in

Fitting in isn’t worth it, do what makes you happy. I can’t stress that enough.

I’ve spent a lot of time this month focusing on accepting yourself and not pleasing other people. The reason why I stress that so frequently is because it’s something I’ve personally dealt with many times, as I’ve kind of talked about in several other posts. I’ve learned that changing myself doesn’t make me any better, it just makes me feel worse about myself. So choose your actions wisely.