Tuesday, January 19, 2016

How To Study...No, Actually

Hello! I have seen post after post about study tips, (I am guilty as well). But none of them actually tell you HOW to study. Now, most people have their own method, but I have had some people tell me that they just don't know how to study. I feel like either people figure out how to study in high school, or they just never really quite find their own method. I'm going to do my best to lay out the ways that there are to study.

Everyone learns differently, but there are 4 basic types of learners:
1. Visual Learners: Learn best by seeing things explained down on paper. These guys learn math best by seeing the process done.
2. Auditory Learners: Learn best by having something explained to them. Make sure you go to class! You'll get the most information from the professor's lectures.
3. Reading/Writing Learners: Learn best by reading instructions, reading the explanation that the textbook provides, etc.
4. Kinesthetic Learners: Learn best by doing something themselves. Want to know how to put something together? Just sit down and try to do it.

Methods of studying:
1. Flash cards: Do you learn best by repetition? Flash cards are great for vocab words. I also use flash cards for stepped processes. I also used them as fact cards for the different disorders when I was taking abnormal psychology. When studying flashcards, put aside the ones you got correct and mix the ones you got incorrect back into the deck in your hand.

2. Mind Maps: These are a great ways of writing down all the details associated with something in no particular organization. I don't do mind maps because I'm a little too much of a perfectionist to do mind maps. However, I know that they can be very helpful for some people, especially on the topics that have a good chunk of detail.

3. Practice Problems: This was so important for me during all of my math classes in high school. I did practice problem after practice problem. Practice problems are pretty much best for STEM classes, however, they can be modified to other classes. For example, if you're going to have short or extended response questions on an exam, you could come up with a list of possible questions and practice what you would say to each question. If I remember correctly, we were given practice extended response questions in AP American History. If your professor doesn't give your practice problems, ask around. If another professor is teaching the same class, perhaps he gives out practice problems to his students. Also, look around on the Internet, many professors at other universities put their materials online.

4. Record Lectures: If you are an auditory learner, this is a great option. Record your professors lectures and then play them back and listen to them. Take extra note of things that were said that seem important. I've seen some people listen to their lectures while they're doing every-day things like cooking, or walking on the treadmill. If you're going to do this, make sure that you're listening to your recorded lectures while you are doing tasks that don't require a whole lot of thought. That way you can pay attention to the recording.

5. Talk about it: This one is again great for auditory learners. You get to take the information and kind of kick it around. Find a way to talk about it. Teach your cat about the nervous system. Talk to your roommate about the symptoms of schizophrenia. Get together with a group of classmates and discuss your material. If you're with a group of classmates, y'all can discuss any questions. Chances are that someone in the group knows the answer. 

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Second Semester

Good Morning! (In my head, you all read that as gooooooooood morning!!!)

Some schools have already started their new semesters, which is crazy to me. I'm also super jealous of those schools! I am ready to get back to university! So, what about the new semester? I feel like this is such a no brainer, but I do want to throw my two cents in. I feel like they're aren't nearly as many things to do before second semester as opposed to before first semester. Probably because first semester, you're dealing with moving back to campus. There are some pretty self-explanatory things to do before classes start back up again, and then there are some things that you might not think of.

Step One*: Clean up from last semester.
This can include multiple things: your desk, your room (although hopefully you tidied up before you left for break), your backpack, your computer files. Make sure you throw out any unnecessary papers (I don't think you need that 10-point worksheet from September). Double check your computer files. Some people (like me) keep everything,  some people pick and choose, and some people dump it all. It's however you live your life. 

Step Two: Buy new school supplies
Who doesn't love this part? Granted there are no big set ups in the store like there are in August and September, but that almost makes it better because you aren't trying to enjoy your supply shopping while attempting not to get hit by the mom's with school-provided shopping lists. Stock up on pencils, highlighters, notebooks, all of the essentials! Check out my post on the essential College Supply Must-Haves

Step Three: Reflect on last semester
Look back on last semester. Your greatest successes. Your greatest failures. What worked? What didn't work? Did you discover a great new way of studying that got you great exam scores? Awesome! Did you finally start studying for finals? Cool! Did you figure out how to get yourself into a good rhythms? Great! The important thing is to remember to reuse what worked for you and toss out what didn't. 

Step Four: Set goals
Now, we're not talking new year's resolutions here. Take some time and really think about what you did last semester that you want to change this semester. For example, I didn't make any time for personal reading last semester. I haven't finished a book since maybe July, and that makes me sad. So, this semester, I am going to make sure that I make time for reading.

Step Five: Buy textbooks
Obviously, new semester means new textbooks. Check out my post on  Paying Less for Textbooks. No one should ever have to pay full price for textbooks, your school bookstore is a complete rip off. 

Step Six: Take a look at your schedule
Take a look at the way your classes are laid out during the day. Where can you fit in lunch? When will you go to the gym? When will be your best time to study? When will your me-time be? Have a general idea of how your days are going to look before you just dive right it.

Step Seven: Get excited (last one)
Get excited! Its a new semester! New classes, new people, new routines. Get excited for new things and then they won't be as daunting. 

"Take the attitude of a student, never too big to ask questions, never know too much to learn something new."

*These are in no particular order, though they should be followed in a logical sense. 

Monday, January 4, 2016

A Fond Look at 2015

I feel like the general consensus of the internet was that 2015 wasn't that great. I have my days where I agree, 2015 was a little rough. But what is the point of life if we only focus on the negatives? So, I take a look back on the fun, positive things that happened in 2015.

I started off the year with some new ink and a new semester. I was especially excited for the classes I was taking, beginning the actual classes for my major and starting to learn Italian.

February and March:
February was a very exciting month as my best friend since the 4th grade got engaged!! (geez are we old!) I also got involved in a research lab during the beginning months of the semester. It has proved to be an absolutely amazing opportunity. I also should probably have my own room in the psych building, I'm there so much. I spent these two months studying, in the lab, and in the dance studio!

The 2014-2015 Miami Ballet Corps
April was a very busy month! I had my first show with the Miami Ballet Corps on the 13th. Two days later, I did one of the craziest things I've ever done! I cut my hair! *gasp* I have not tried to change my hair style pretty much since the 7th grade. Then this year, I just decided to make a change. I cut something like 7 inches off and never felt better!
Goodbye long hair!
The MBC Spring Showcase
I finished my first year of college!! After the stress of finals week, I was more than ready to pack up my room and go home. But saying goodbye to the friends I had made, the horribly wonderful 13x9 dorm room, and the amazing roommate I spent too much time with was very bittersweet. As I said goodbye to Miami for the next three months, I looked forward to the summer with eager anticipation. Soon after getting home, it was time for my favorite weekend of the entire year. Rock On The Range!! Three full days of stadium food, band merch, and amazing concerts. I got to see one of my top five favorite bands and was absolutely blown away!
The aftermath of unloading everything from school... Where am I supposed to fit?
The crowd at Rock On The Range day 3... something like 100,000 people.
I turned 19! Woo hoo? 19 seems like a pretty lame-duck age. Nothing exciting happens and you're already an adult. I did take a birthday road trip with my best friends and roommate to Cedar Point!
You might as well call us the Three Musketeers.
Our dorm room was 307. Our hotel room was 307. Aren't we cool.
My beautiful roommate and I continued our tradition (does two years count as a tradition?) of attending the Alternative Press Music Awards. I had a summer filled with concerts (just as it should be) and this was a wonderful one.
Our annual Celeb Selfie ft. Tony Perry of Pierce The Veil
Another new tattoo! I wish I could successfully explain to you how busy my August was! The weeks leading up to going to school were filled with to-do lists and lots of apartment shopping. Speaking of: I moved into my own apartment! That's not a big deal or anything. A new apartment and a new semester! August was a big month!
Who doesn't want a selfie with Frank the dog?
She said it was wet, so she wanted to dry it off. (It had healing stuff on it)
Our trip to Ikea for apartment shopping. 
Our own apartment!
So. Much. Lab. Work. I spent a good chunk of time in the lab, but more time in the lab means more time filling up the experience meter! I spent September being a social butterfly (weird, right?) and finally got my roommate to come out with me and enjoy the night life that Oxford has to offer.

Labor day family fun! 
The name of the party was Red, White, and Jew... Them frat boys think they're so clever.
Our fall photo shoot for dance was a success!
We love our new apartment, but really we love that we aren't in a tiny dorm and have room to do things like lay on the floor.
October was a very, very busy month. I went to my first NFL game! Go Bengals! I spent a good chunk of time in the studio choreographing and teaching my first group number (just a tad scary.) I also had many late nights finishing up an application for a undergraduate research award (and was approved!!!). Also, did a pretty kick butt job doing my roommate's halloween makeup!
First NFL game with the beau. Go Bengals!
This gem came up from UK to visit us.  
Our second halloween together. <3 I would say that she's only not smiling because of her costume, but she very often doesn't smile in pictures.
November and December:
Three concerts in two months! Had some fun exploring the night life in Dayton (who doesn't love a good drag show?) Also, has some cute impromptu middle of the night driving fun with the beau. Seriously struggled my way through finals and yet pulled out the best semester GPA I've gotten so far. I was very pleased with my efforts during finals weeks and couldn't have been more happy!
Late night drives to the middle of Indiana produce fun memories and interesting photographs.
The Instagram caption on this reads: "All Time Low with All Time Bae." I know I'm a caption connoisseur. 
How was your 2015? Life has its ups and downs, but if we only focus on the negatives then we aren't really living life, are we? Make sure to take time to reflect on the great things that happened in your life in 2015, and be thankful that you made it to 2016. (Hmm, did that get a little to cliche? Oh well)

Thank You, Dearest Followers

Hello all you lovely people!

It has been a while, I know. Fall semester was a lot of work; and truthfully, I didn't have time to blog at all. So, instead of squeezing in maybe 1 or 2 blog posts, I instead went on a blog hiatus. But, it is now time for my wondrous return to my little corner of the web!

We have many thing to discuss over the next few weeks. As the new years begins and new semesters start, I have multiple posts for all you lovely ladies and gentlemen. But, before we get into that, I wanted to say thank you. Over my hiatus, I periodically checked my numbers, and you all surprised me. My page views stayed a very steady number even in my absence. I am definitely thankful for your continued interest and loyalty. 

Thank you! Happy New Year!