could also apply to school notes

College Advice


I thought I’d share some tips I’ve learned in college so far (in no particular order) 

1) Understand the Ebbinghaus Curve of Forgetting. Basically, constantly revise your notes or else you’ll forget all of what you learned from the previous day/week/etc. Plus, it’ll be easier come midterms and finals season when you’ll have to review all the material anyway. 

2) Don’t cram. The brain is not built to process a lot of information very quickly. All cramming does is make you overwhelmed and stress, and stress won’t do you any good. Going along with this, used space repetition, and keep revisiting your notes.

3) Use active recall. When reading from a textbook, don’t take notes. Once you finish a section of the chapter, close your book, and write down notes from memory. Then go back and fill in the gaps. Forcing your brain to think this way best consolidates memories. 

4) Don’t overlearn. If you feel like you understand it well, you probably do. Don’t over-revise, that may sometimes make you more confused. This tip is best if you have an exam coming up soon and you’re worried about it. You’re going to do fine :D

5) Figure out your music situation soon. If you like listening to music in the background, listen to instrumental music, but not music you already know. 

6) Take practice tests. I can’t stress this enough. Ask your professors for some. Google some. Do whatever you have to do, but definitely do them. 

7) Study before sleeping. Sleep consolidates memories.

8) Do you have test anxiety? Write your concerns on an index card/post it note/loose leaf paper/etc! If you put your concerns on paper, it clears your mind so you can focus on the test. :D

9) Vary your study locations. Everyone needs a little change and sometimes this can make recall easier. For example, say on a quiz the question is, “What is Hofstadter’s Law?” You can link the information to a specific place, as in you studied that at a library as opposed to your usual studying spot, homeroom.

Speaking of Hofstadter’s Law…

10) Hofstadter’s Law states that things will always take longer than you expect them to. So, make a home-stretch schedule. For example, if you want to do homework from 12-3 thinking it’ll only take three hours, add an extra half hour to one hour. You’ll more than likely find something else to study. (but don’t forget to take breaks!)

11) Find out what study methods work best for you (flashcards, mind maps, concept maps, etc.) but don’t forget to vary them, and tailor them towards the subject(s) you are studying. Also, if something isn’t working for whatever reason, don’t be afraid to fix it, even if you think it’s too late. It’s better to realize something isn’t working and change that before you actually lose any points. This could be applied to note taking as well. :D 

12) Don’t be afraid to use apps! There’s nothing wrong in utilizing sources. Rather, you should take advantage of all resources, that’s how to optimize your learning, whether that’s school related or general life related. 

13) Go to Office Hours. I did an entire post on this. It will save your grade :D

14) Get a planner and organization system down the first week of classes. This will help you to not fall behind. Especially with research projects. (Post coming soon!)

15) Don’t constantly study. Take a break, go out, have a good time with loved ones. You’ve got your whole life to study :D

anonymous asked:

I've only read the 13 main series books. I what order do you recommend I read the other books? (Mainly, Autobiography and Beatrice Letters before or after ATWQ and 13 Suspicious?)

An interesting question. Here’s the chronological order:

  • “29 Myths on the Swinster Pharmacy”,
  • “Who Could That Be At This Hour?” & “When Did You See Her Last?”,
  • “File Under: 13 Suspicious Incidents”,
  • “Shouldn’t You Be In School?”, & “Why Is This Night Different From All Other Nights?”
  • “The Dismal Dinner”,
  • “The Bad Beginning” and the notes from “The Bad Beginning: Rare Edition”,
  • From “The Reptile Room” to “The Hostile Hospital”,
  • “The un-Authorized Autobiography” and “Calendar of Unfortunate Events”,
  • From “The Carnivorous Carnival” to “The End”,
  • “The Beatrice Letters”.

And here’s my prefered, recommended order:

  • From “The Bad Beginning” to “The Grim Grotto”,
  • “The un-Authorized Autobiography”, “The Dismal Dinner”, “Calendar of Unfortunate Events” and the notes from “The Bad Beginning: Rare Edition”,
  • “The Penultimate Peril”,
  • “The Beatrice Letters”,
  • “The End”,
  • “29 Myths on the Swinster Pharmacy”,
  • “Who Could That Be At This Hour?” & “When Did You See Her Last?”,
  • “File Under: 13 Suspicious Incidents”,
  • “Shouldn’t You Be In School?”, & “Why Is This Night Different From All Other Nights?”

A lot of the supplementary material can’t really be enjoyed if you don’t have a basic knowledge of what happens during most of “A Series of Unfortunate Events”. This also applies to “All The Wrong Questions”, which is admittedly difficult to understand if you don’t have any idea of  what VFD actually involves.

Since I know a lot of my followers are going into high school this year, I decided to do a cliche Freshman Year Tips post. Maybe these are only relevant to me/my school, but I thought I’d post anyhow :)

  • When they say freshman year determines the ground for your GPA for the next four years, they’re mostly not lying, as surprising as it may seem. Do the best you can freshman year. I promise you, it’ll pay off, even if it’s stressful.
  • If you’re not sure about a class, like you’re not 100% about taking AP chemistry or something, especially in later years, don’t. I took a math class that was just a little over my experience level and it messed up my GPA. It’s honestly best to play it safe. If you’re not all that worried about grades or you have some room to play around, go ahead, take that advanced/enriched/honors class. But if you don’t, then don’t.
  • On the first day back, don’t bring anything but your bag, pens/pencils, and a notebook or folder or maybe a small binder. You don’t need everything on the first day. Your teachers will give you your supply requirements usually within the first week. If you need to take advantage of school sales, then grab what you know you will absolutely need. Otherwise, wait until all of your teachers have given you requirements. It’s much better to take one trip to the store than seven.
  • You will need, for at least one class or just for emergencies: red, blue, black pens; pencils (both #2 and mechanical/whatever you use); a minimum of one notebook; *most* teachers want a separate binder for each class, but they don’t have to be monstrous, so maybe 1-1.5″ binders; I’m serious, you need so many pencils; some kind of pencil container like a pouch or box or something; a small box of bandaids; travel size deodorant; an agenda/planner if your school doesn’t provide one; menstrual products if you menstruate (I’m extremely serious about that, keep them even when you’re off–you never know who will need it); highlighters for at least your English or other language class
  • I promise you, you don’t need that mirror or shelf or other decoration for your locker. You will barely be at your locker unless you’re lucky enough to have classes so close to each other or lots of time in between periods. I go to my locker 3 times a day. 
  • Don’t be embarrassed to sit alone at lunch. Everyone does sometimes. There’s no shame in it, and I promise you, no one’s judging you. I’d bet no one will even notice.
  • But also don’t be afraid to make friends. High school provides so many new people and so many new opportunities to join a new friend group. You may think you’ll stick with the same people all four years, but that’s not always the case. So have backups just in case, however rude that may sound.
  • Don’t be afraid to see the intervention/crisis counselor. They are there for a reason. If something is interfering with your ability to be at school or do your work, go talk to them. They can help you.
  • If you’re taking a class that isn’t a core or required class (such as an elective) and you’re failing, drop it. You don’t need it. You don’t need the stress or the lowered GPA. Study halls can be beneficial.
  • If there are volunteer opportunities, don’t pass up on those. If you want to be in National Honors Society, you need at least 25 hours to even apply, and another 25 after you’ve been accepted. Even if NHS isn’t your goal, they look awesome on college applications.
  • If there’s a chance to add something to your student resume, do it. Even if it seems small, it could be the difference between going to your dream school and getting your second or last pick. 
  • Apply for scholarships early on. Write essays. Start as soon as you can.
  • Your teachers can be brutal. Teachers can also be wonderful. They are all there to help you. If you feel as though you deserved a different grade on something, talk to them. Every teacher is different, but most will at least listen to you.
  • Do not get your parents to do things for you, such as write notes to get you out of classwork or calling/emailing them when your grades are slipping. You’re in high school. You need to start taking responsibility for your actions, and having your parents confront your teachers for your mistakes is the opposite of that.
  • Take a few days off per semester or even quarter if you’re not feeling mentally well enough to go. Your mental health is just as important, if not more so, than your physical health. If you have to fake the flu for that, fine. Just make sure you’re okay.
  • If you miss a few days, I promise you, it’s okay. You can make up the work. Most teachers will be lenient about it because they understand you have multiple classes and so much work. Reschedule your missed tests. Please. 
  • Never take a 0 for something. Even if your homework is half done, turn it in. Half credit is better than none.
  • Extra credit opportunity? Take it. Even if you have a 100% in the class, take it. You never know when you may need it to fall back on.
  • Take some fun classes, but not until later on. Get your required classes out of the way.
  • Freshman year is the easiest. Teachers will baby you, even if middle school says they won’t. They will. Prepare for sophomore year. It’s much tougher. But you can do it.
  • Don’t stop in the middle of the hall in between periods. If you decide to have an extensive conversation with Nancy, grab her and go to the side of the hall or into a locker bank or something. Don’t stop up traffic. You will get yelled at by an upperclassman.
  • You are the bottom of the food chain. Don’t try to swim up. You cannot. Being labeled as a freshman already did it for you. The older kids will pick on you because you’re the youngest, but don’t worry, you’ll be in their shoes one day. 
  • Don’t try any tricks. Honestly. One kid did the chapstick on the scantron sheet thing, and broke a $700 machine that he had to pay for. Study. Do your best. Don’t rely on “life hacks” to get you through it. They’re not foolproof.
  • Remember, everyone is trying to make it, just like you. Everyone is fighting their own battles. Everyone is struggling in some way. Everyone is tired and stressed, no matter how well-put they seem. Be kind. High school is when you become more than just a student; you’re a person. You will be remembered for your behavior. Make sure it’s one you’d want to be remembered for in thirty years at your reunion.

undeadfoxxie  asked:

Hey! A basic "how to study" would be so rad. (I was one of the "gifted kids" and now college is kicking my butt cause i don't know how to study.)

I plan on eventually making a big “how to study” masterpost with tips that link to my previous posts for more in-depth explanations. The problem is that I haven’t written enough content yet, so that masterpost will likely not be coming out anytime soon.

Generally, though, my studying process looks like this:

  1. In school: Gather all information needed by taking good notes, participating in class, and communicating with the instructor.
  2. For homework: Practice what I’ve learned by doing the readings, practice problems, essays, and other assigned work. Immediately seek additional resources/help if anything doesn’t make sense. Use scores and feedback from returned assignments to identify gaps in comprehension.
  3. Preparing for tests: Implement active studying techniques— my favorites are flashcards, the “blank page” method, and teaching the information to others. You could also try studying in a group. Create mnemonics, draw diagrams, research opposing viewpoints, etc. For easy multiple-choice quizzes: I might just use flashcards to memorize a pile of facts (keep in mind I’m only in high school; I assume rote-memorization assessments are rare to nonexistent in college). For harder tests where I have to actually implement the concepts: I’ll do a variety of practice problems to see the different ways in which information can be applied, practice writing short-answer or essay responses, and maybe turn my notes into mind maps to see how everything fits into the bigger picture.
  4. In general: I manage my time wisely and plan ahead to make sure everything fits into my schedule. I focus on studying better, not necessarily studying more.  I organize my materials/study space to clear my mind and save time looking for things. I stay disciplined by setting goals, avoiding procrastination, and giving myself rewards. And I make sure to take plenty of breaks, sleep well, eat well, stay active, and journal to avoid burnout and stress.

I can totally relate to being the “gifted” kid too. I had to essentially learn how to learn from scratch when I hit high school. The thing to keep in mind is that “studying” isn’t this elusive, mystical process— of course I switch up techniques depending on mood/class/subject, but it really boils down to a cycle of plan, learn, practice, implement, reflect, rinse and repeat. You’ve definitely been doing at least part of the process for your entire academic career, and the rest is straightforward (albeit often tedious and difficult) to implement.

So the best advice I can give for “how to study” is to follow the general process outlined above, don’t expect yourself to be a superstar studier right away if this is new for you, continually adjust your methods based on your results and goals, and stay tuned to this blog for more strategies you can test out! Let me know if this was helpful or if you have questions about anything I mentioned. Best of luck in college and beyond. xx

scholarships and how to get more of those sweet, sweet aid dollars

this is something i havent actually brought up before which is a bit of an oversight bc it’s a pretty important part of the school applying process.

basically getting scholarships does take a bit of effort on your part but it isn’t as scary or overwhelming as it sounds!

first, first, first, get your fasfa done ASAP. the fafsa is available now and due by april 1st, i believe. the sooner you get your fafsa done = the more $$$ you will receive.

the way federal aid (which the fafsa controls) works is the college has x amount of money given to them for scholarships/grants/work study. federal aid is need based aid and is given out first come first serve, basically. now if you’re like me and you have to do all this by yourself or your parents don’t do their taxes until april, it’s okay! ask them to give you their estimated tax info- you can go back and update it later and be totally fine, as long as you get it in as early as possible. (special note: a lot of colleges have early fafsa deadlines if you want to be eligible for work study, and believe me, you want to be, it’s free money.)

second: figure out what kinda aid you’re eligible for and want. need based aid is obviously based on low income (for example my school has a grant for families who make under 30k a year), merit based is based on your portfolio/GPA/test scores (and sometimes essays/recommendations). 

third and most important (after doing ur fafsa): talk to your admissions counselor. the job of the counselor is to convince you to come to this school. so most schools will start with an “opening offer” scholarship (for example i received a 12k a year board scholarship upon being accepted to moore), but do not think you are stuck with JUST that!

what you do is write a letter.

email your counselor, thank them for all of their help, how generous the school is, make sure you let them know how grateful you are for the aid you’ve already recieved, and then politely explain that it isn’t enough. something along the lines of “i am so incredibly grateful for all the help you have given me, however because my financial situaton looks like [x], i am writing to ask if there is anything i can do to make myself eligible for more aid.” it’s really important you don’t come across ungrateful or like you’re begging; let them know you are willing to make the effort. it goes a long way!

keep in communication with them like this. they may ask for documentation, or they may find other scholarship/grants to give you.

for an example, a friend of mine was having lunch with her admissions counselor, and they mentioned that they really loved to travel and hoped to do so in the future. two weeks later they got a phone call that they had received a special additional scholarship that granted them 4k to travel before their senior year. 

another thing you can do is play schools against each other. if you’ve applied to multiple art schools and gotten multiple offers, don’t be shy to tell the college that. (for example if risd is giving you, say, 10k and mica is only giving you 5k, you can write them and tell them very politely that you are also considering another school and while you really want to come to their college, this school is offering more.)

scholarships/financial aid is kind of a complicated game but it is playable, i promise. 

(side note: you can also apply for third party scholarships and i strongly recommend that! fastweb has a lot, there are other websites, most major corporations have them – and mostly you only have to write an essay. like.. one little essay and you could get reimbursted thousands of dollars for it? go for it!!)

this is a pretty simple overview but if you have any questions (esp about fafsa since i know its so confusing) dont hesitate to ask me!