da-best!

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Day 25 [25.2.17]: Study routine

Establishing a study routine every night is super important and helpful. I come home and rest for a bit, then start on work after dinner. Also, thank you to @eintsein for the beautiful February wallpaper  and @thearialligraphyproject for the February printable!

#optomstudies here with a post about university studying! I’ve been reading many study tips masterposts in the community, but some of these won’t work that well for university. So here are 3 tips for adapting to uni study!

Loose leaf? Notebook? Neither! (but if you must choose between the two, I recommend hole-punched loose leaf - easy to file :D) There is just no time, especially once you get to your higher years, that you will be able to write paper notes especially considering the level of detail that you are required to learn things to get good marks. 

When I was studying therapeutics, lectures were more like an essay crammed into 60-80 ppt slides! Using 10pt Calibri, 1.15 spacing, custom 1cm margins - I still had 12 pages for a 2 hour lecture (see below)

Two lectures / week, for 12 weeks! Although this was the most-content heavy subject, my other courses were still way too time consuming to write notes for. Sadly, you can’t summarise much, because MCQs pick at details.  

As for laptops, cheap netbooks are only ~$300, but I’d recommend these really great student laptops

And yet, you have to wonder why #studyblr doesn’t have more digital notes? Isn’t every studyblr the owner of a computer as a tumblr user? I’m trying to encourage everyone to feel more confident about posting their digital notes as part of the “#studyblrs get real” tag (see here), so if you have some great typed study notes, please tag me with #optomstudies and I’ll be happy to reblog you!

Read through your lecture slides so that you have a basic grasp of the topic before classes. If you have any readings assigned, do them too. This means that you’ll

  • go in knowing what concepts you need clarified
  • revise one more time (remember the forgetting curve?)
  • be much better placed to answer questions and participate in class discussions (get those participation marks!! ;))
  • find it easier to follow along with much more complicated topics than you’ve experienced in high school!
  • remember a lot more of the topic when you come back to revise later on!

Yes, I know, studyblr blasphemy right? But this is what you do when strapped for time. Particularly with biological/chemical sciences, lecturers will have basically summarised what you need to know on the slides. 

Before your lectures, read through the slides (should take about 30 minutes for a 2 hour lecture) and mark/circle anything you don’t understand - then when you get to the lecture, jot down a clarification in your own words based on the professor’s explanation. Eventually, you’ll find that you have studied the topic well enough to not need your own footnotes. 

It takes a little experience to know which professors have slides you can study off (tip: it’s usually the ones where you don’t have to write down much) but it’s totally worth the time you save!


Hope this has been an informative post about the differences between university and high school studying! Please follow me for weekly study tips, study pics and now kpop vocab lists!


MY WEEKLY STUDY TIPS

WHAT I WISH I’D KNOWN BEFORE UNIVERSITY STUDY TIPS SERIES

SEE ALSO My Tips This Past Month - It’s too long to list everything, see all original posts here and my study tips directory (web)

 + my cute stationery + my spreads!

Ich glaube ich werde immer Angst haben, dich zu verlieren. Ich werde immer Angst haben, nicht gut genug zu sein. Egal wie oft du sagst, dass du mich brauchst, dass ich die Einzige für dich bin. Ich werde immer Angst haben, dass du irgendwann jemand besseren findest. Denn so war es bisher immer. Alle, die sagten sie wären da wenn ich sie brauche, sind gegangen. Ja ich weiß du bist anders als die anderen. Du bist besser. Das beste was mir je hätte passieren können. Und genau deshalb habe ich solch schreckliche Angst.
—  Eigene

Lots of people, including myself, have included “read more books” on their list of New Year’s Resolutions. So I thought I’d compile some book recommendations to provide you guys with inspiration! In no particular order, here’s a list of 101 books I’ve read and loved.

FICTION

  1. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (my all-time favorite!)
  2. Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn
  3. The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
  4. Sabriel by Garth Nix
  5. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
  6. Room by Emma Donoghue
  7. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
  8. I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
  9. A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
  10. The Yellow Wallpaper and Other Stories by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
  11. The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto by Mitch Albom
  12. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
  13. Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill
  14. The Way We Live Now by Anthony Trollope
  15. Edgar Allan Poe: Complete Tales and Poems by Edgar Allan Poe
  16. Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
  17. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  18. Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai
  19. Animal Farm by George Orwell
  20. Wild Awake by Hilary T. Smith (an underrated but oh-so-beautiful book)
  21. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
  22. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  23. The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
  24. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling (duh)
  25. Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
  26. Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
  27. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  28. Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell
  29. The Odyssey by Homer (I recommend the Robert Fagles translation)
  30. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  31. It by Stephen King
  32. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
  33. All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
  34. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (even better if you can read it in the original French!)
  35. The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien
  36. Savvy by Ingrid Law
  37. The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket
  38. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
  39. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
  40. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne
  41. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
  42. The Once and Future King by T.H. White
  43. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  44. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
  45. The Odds of Loving Grover Cleveland by Rebekah Crane
  46. The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
  47. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
  48. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
  49. Hunger by Knut Hamsun
  50. Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper
  51. The World According to Garp by John Irving
  52. Macbeth by William Shakespeare
  53. The Old Man and The Sea by Ernest Hemingway
  54. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell (love, love, love!)
  55. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
  56. All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
  57. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  58. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
  59. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
  60. My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult
  61. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
  62. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
  63. It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini
  64. 1984 by George Orwell
  65. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
  66. Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
  67. The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg
  68. The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen
  69. It Can’t Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis (a book whose message is especially relevant in light of the recent election)
  70. Lucky Boy by Shanthi Sekaran

NONFICTION/POETRY

  1. Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
  2. When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
  3. Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be by Frank Bruni (a must-read for anyone stressed out about college admissions and the Ivy League hype)
  4. Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow
  5. The Reason I Jump by Naoki Higashida
  6. salt. by Nayyirah Waheed
  7. Killing the Rising Sun by Bill O'Reilly
  8. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
  9. The Princess Saves Herself in this One by Amanda Lovelace
  10. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
  11. Night by Elie Wiesel
  12. Ariel by Sylvia Plath
  13. Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance
  14. A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn
  15. Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom (this is the memoir that baby memoirs want to be when they grow up)
  16. Cosmos by Carl Sagan
  17. Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
  18. The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
  19. The Ethics of Ambiguity by Simone de Beauvoir
  20. Black Skin, White Masks by Frantz Fanon
  21. How to Become a Straight‑A Student by Cal Newport
  22. The Color of Water by James McBride
  23. A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson
  24. Shoe Dog by Phil Knight
  25. We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  26. The Road to Character by David Brooks
  27. Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell (all of Gladwell’s books are great tbh)
  28. The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown
  29. Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
  30. No Matter the Wreckage by Sarah Kay
  31. Our Numbered Days by Neil Hilborn

P.S. If you’re trying to read more in 2017, check out my posts about goal-setting and habits!


Thanks for reading! If you have questions, feedback, or post requests, feel free to drop me an ask.

+Click here for the rest of my original reference posts!

Sophia :)

Hello, it’s #optomstudies here again with another Sunday Study Tip on catching up when you’ve fallen behind!


A masterful skill that not even the best studyblrs may have tackled. A lot of advice in the studyblr community regarding this seems a little airy-fairy (I almost question if they remember what they themselves went through), so hopefully my post will shine a different light on it (or so I hope anyway!)


1. Work out what’s essential and what isn’t. You’ve basically wasted time right to get to this point right? With limited time left, use an Eisenhower matrix of Important vs. Urgent to determine what you need to do left. 

  • Important and Urgent - any and all due assessment tasks
  • Important but Not Urgent - studying lectures for exams, compulsory readings
  • Not Important but Urgent - additional homework tasks that need to be handed in but aren’t worth much, like logbooks
  • Not Important and Not Urgent - additional readings (although it’d be great if you did this, sorry, you’re out of time)

Then cross out everything that you can afford to not do. Ironically, I find that when I use the Eisenhower matrix when I am not strapped for time, studying (in the Important but Not Urgent category) usually gets the short end of the stick. But when I’m already falling behind, all the additional readings and homework tasks get thrown out the window and I just work on studying instead. 


2. Do everything that will take you less than 10 minutes to complete. Get all those pesky emails out of the way, all the small team meeting notes, everything else you need to do for someone else. That will cross out a whole chunk of things from your list. You’ll be left with the meaty stuff like studying, completing assignments, etc. 


3. It’s a little damn late for you to regularly revise, so just binge everything. Honestly, this is the best way to get everything done. Don’t switch tasks or subjects. You don’t want to spend about 20 minutes just getting into the flow before switching subjects once the hour’s up. Plus, since you’re already panicking, turn that fear and panic into motivation for you to really focus for long chunks of time - just think about what you do the day before a final exam - because the threat of the exam is imminent, you basically study the whole day right? Trust me, if you’ve really screwed up your study schedule, you won’t have to worry about common procrastination (assuming you don’t want to fail). 

University is just one assignment done, moving onto the next before you even have time to breathe. It’s usually quite different to high school in that everything is quite closely packed together since it’s a 13 week semester. In high school I thought that 3 assessments in a week was the end of the world (lol pls kid). 

So just do whatever needs to be done first, and then if you finish before the day the assignment/exam is done, then great, you can study for the next assessment task. 

Still, I do recommend chucking your phone out the window just in case, since people usually all study last minute, meaning they’ll be asking you “hey do you know wtf Prof was talking about in lec 5?″


4. Break up your courses into hour-long chunks. Although we’re bingeing, it’s important that you make a list, even if it just says “Lecture 1, Lecture 2, Lecture 3″ so that you have a direction to go. Don’t allocate too much time for any one lecture, but at the same time, be realistic about how much you can cover in an hour. For example, if you’ve got 6 hours until an exam, you’re either going to study Lectures 1-3 really well, Lectures 1-6 so-so, and Lectures 1-10 superficially. 

So choose wisely based on what you know or don’t know. If there’s a topic you know quite poorly, consider if it’s worth the time to study and learn the concept, or just bank on the subject not showing up in your exam. I’m actually pretty poor at gambling what will be in the exam, so I always choose to just study everything at a basic level. 

A common pitfall I find in this area is skipping the basic stuff. You think you know it, but when you close your book and try writing it out on a blank piece of paper, you suddenly falter. This has happened to me repeatedly in an exam. I know all the really complex stuff like the back of my hand before I get into the examination room, and then I suddenly get a really simple question and I’m like wait, what was the answer again? I advise making lecture outlines that you just rote learn - this comes in useful for long response questions because you’ll often remember the small details, but will forget the next section, meaning you miss out on a massive chunk of information if you forget. 


5. Rinse and repeat. Usually after about 2 weeks(?) of catching up like this I finally see the light of day and I can return to my normal schedule. If need be, I usually cut back on sleep to about 6 hours vs. 7.5 hours, but never pull an all nighter. You cannot do this unless you have breathing room the next day (which you won’t because you screwed up in the first place). Unless it is the very last assessment task, there’s a massive risk of ruining your next exam. 


6. Try and never do that last minute ditch again. 

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. - George Santayana. 

Never again right? Remember that starting early and finishing early is the key to good grades. We’re all just young uni students at the end of the day though, so do remember to forgive yourself if you end up repeating the procrastination. I’ll be cheering you all on! 


MY WEEKLY STUDY TIPS

WHAT I WISH I’D KNOWN BEFORE UNIVERSITY STUDY TIPS SERIES

SEE ALSO