I find mind mapping one of the best ways to organise things as it looks so pretty, is perfect for colour coding and allows you to see the relationships between all the different topics.

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(please excuse my floor and the random ribbon in the background)

While small private schools can often afford to provide their students with tremendous hand-holding, large public high schools across the country struggle with staggering ratios of students to guidance counselors. Nationally, that ratio is nearly 500 to 1, a proportion experts say has remained virtually unchanged for more than 10 years. And when it comes time to apply to college, all of the students need help at once.
DIY Straight A's

I feel like this is a very important topic, and I have a VERY intensive approach to schoolwork than other people. I’m currently a junior in high school taking really difficult courses and this method has continued to hold up. I’m currently taking: AP US History, Precalculus, AP Composition and Literature, Honors Chemistry, Street Law (its just a super easy and fun elective; no school work really), and AP Biology. This method of studying really morphs into a lifestyle and kind of takes over your life. That being said, it is VERY time consuming. This may not work for everyone but I thought I would share my method…..take what you will from this post and feel free to message me feedback!

 

NOTE TAKING/CLASS WORK

For in class, I carry around ONE notebook everyday that I take notes in plain black pen or pencil for Precalculus, AP Bio, and Honors Chem (I have all these courses in the same day). Just a cheap $1 notebook from Staples. During class, rather than focus on pretty colors or highlights and neat handwriting, I just like to scribble notes and try and listen as much as possible. During class, I also sometimes get handouts with notes on them from my teachers so I’ll annotate those as well.

 

When I get home everyday, I use a three subject notebook (one for every subject; Precalc, AP Bio, and Honors Chem) and use a combination of the notes, classwork, textbook, and handouts to re-write my notes. I do this first when I get home so I can review what I learned that day before beginning my homework. Being home gives me more time and materials to be able to write my notes more neatly. This comes in super handy as memorization as well for future reference.

 

For APUSH, we are required to take notes on a chapter a week. In this class, we don’t really do much formal notetaking; more discussions and activities. I take the notes for the week the weekend before, and if I get additional important information during class I will annotate my notes by adding post-its and writing in the margins. I also like to do a list of the key terms and if I have time make flashcards.

 

For AP Comp, I have a notebook and folder that I bring to class everyday. The notebook is kind of a catch-all; we write a lot of essays and do exercise. I use the folder for handouts. Since the class is taught through reading and writing essays, we don’t have much note taking.

 

HOMEWORK

I like to do my homework after I finish re-doing my notes. It helps me to review and re-learn everything.

 

PLANNER

I am a crazy planner lady. I use a Lilly Pulitzer large planner, and I have since my freshman year of high school. I use one color for every subject and a color for all my extra curriculars. I use red to draw attention to tests. The planner includes a monthly overview, where I write down big due-dates and test dates for a better overview of the month. The planner then has a weekly overview that is divided up into days (below). Here I put day-to-day assignments as well as big dates. After I’ve completed a task I highlight it with yellow highlighter.

STUDYING FOR TESTS AND QUIZZES

I’m going to break this up into subjects because studying completely changes depending on what subject.

History:

For history I like to re-read my notes, make flashcards, and annotate chapter outlines. The textbook I use for APUSH has online chapter outlines that I’ll annotate with my own personal notes and stick into a huge binder full of annotated chapter outlines. I also always use my crash course (its my bible). Additionally, John Green has a bunch of great history videos on youtube that are super easy to watch.

Science:

For science classes I always make a digital study guide. This makes it easy to find good diagrams and pictures. If its a math-ish test (like Chemistry) then I’ll do practice problems. I also like to make flashcards if I need to recognize certain molecules, concepts, or terms that I have trouble with. I also really love my crash courses.

Math:

For math, I like to make a practice test that I make and do over and over again until I get 100%. I also like re-read my notes. For math, practice problems are the best.

English:

I don’t really have english tests but we do have in class essays. For in class essays, having a thesis and taking time to plan is really important.

 

REFERENCES/RESOURCES:

  • Khan Academy Videos

  • Crash Course Videos By John Green

  • Best Essay Formula EVER: http://thoughtcatalog.com/ryan-holiday/2013/05/how-to-write-a-great-essay-about-anything/

  • 30/30 App: It sets timers that you can set to go off and assign a certain task to. Best app ever, hands down.

  • Crashcourse Books; buying books at Barnes and Noble or Amazon, can be a bit expensive but buying books that can be written in are very helpful. I would definitely go look at the books before blindly buying them off amazon though.


Please feel free to message me and I hope this helps! Also would this be helpful in video form? Please let me know if you want a specific post/video on one particular topic!

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How to get your teachers to call you by the name you are most comfortable with, even before your name is legally changed. 

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30 Day Study Challenge Day 1

Find something that inspires you to hit the books
Probably the things that inspire me the most are my fear of failure and my desire to prove people wrong.

When it comes to the fear of failure I’ve always been terrified of not being pleased with how I’ve done. I have pretty low self confidence and high expectations of myself so when I do achieve something it makes me feel really good and pleased with myself. I’d also hate to be stuck later in life and unable to do what I really want simply because I didn’t work hard enough while I was at school and I think that knowing I could have done more and been happier would be unbearable.

The second part of my inspiration just illustrates my stubbornness and comes from two different influences. Firstly I have spent a decent amount of my life being told that I’ll never get to where I want to get to both because I am female and because I am not straight. Part of my family are very traditional and believe that a woman’s place is simply in the home cooking and raising children while if you are not straight it somehow affects your mind and so they constantly tell me that my ambitions of going to a good university are merely dreams. Therefore I want to get into a university that I am happy with so that I can prove them wrong and show that not only straight males are able to get somewhere academically.

Due to my poor mental health and mental health issues I have also had multiple people tell me to lower my expectations in order to help myself. I have battled with (and still suffer from) anxiety, depression and self harm and so people seem to think that I am unable to do well academically because of these. For example in October when I was having a really bad period I had my mum, my school and some medical staff all urging me to drop one of my subjects as that way I would be under less stress and so do better however I refused. I could see that they didn’t believe that I would be able to get anywhere because of the mental health issues and so were expecting me to fail my mocks in December. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever felt as proud as when I came out of my mocks with all As because I had managed to battle through my problems and prove that whatever else may be going on, I am still able to do well at school. Because of this, I feel that getting into a good uni and doing well at A Levels will prove to them that I can do anything I set my mind to even though I may struggle during the course of getting there and I am desperate to prove that to them.

freshman year I was trying to be funny so I said to my sisters friend “hey whats that disgusting thing growing out of your neck.” and I was going to say “oh its just your face” but before I could say anything the kid pulled his collar down and was like ” THIS ISNT MY FAULT OKAY” LIKE I DIDNT KNOW THERE WAS AN ACTUAL GROWTH