i'm stressed and tired and need to do work as well as find some time to relax

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Fic: Expectations

5k words, R rated

It’s the first time Scorpius and Albus have been to the Manor together since they started dating. They can’t help but think about how far they’ve come since they first met, and they also can’t help but take the new-found opportunities that being properly alone together as a couple can offer. 

This was written as a birthday present for the wonderful @abradystrix. Thanks for being an awesome beta, advice-giver, and friend. I hope your day is full of cake and happiness, and that you feel better soon! <3 

My logistical advice-giver and brilliant beta for this one was @bounding-heart.

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anonymous asked:

Hi, I'm really losing motivation to learn my target language and feel stuck at a beginner level. Do you have any suggestions? I only speak English and learning another language feels so impossible.

Story time. I learned English since i was 9, and for 6 years all i could do was to say hello and to recognize some random words. I wasted 6 years understanding nothing and if that isn’t the most unmotivating thing, i don’t know what it is, oh yeah, i wasted another 5 years on not knowing French and recognizing only random words again.
See, some people can have a harder time but the key is to not give up. You are unmotivated because you don’t make any progress and that it’s depressing, especially when you see how good others are, right? And you also wonder how they can? What’s their secret?

Well, half of them know how to study and half learned how. If you feel tired, take a break. A couple of days off won’t kill anyone. Relax, try to not think at irregular verbs, or tenses or any other thing related to your target language. After these days, make a list with pro and cons, see why you learn that language. You need a reason to go on. Why did you choose that language and not another one? After you find out what motivates you, try different methods of studying, see what works for you, what you like, what’s not a burden.

Many use duolingo but for me, it’s stressing. When i get a mail from that evil owl all my motivation disappears. However, i have a song where i like how one of the singers sings and i start to read or watch smth in that language because that motivates me. Summary of this: find some triggers. A song, a person, a movie, an actor, anything really. As long as it motivates you, it will work.

Another idea, get a study buddy? Find someone who will study with you or fin someone who will listen what you did in order to improve. If you did nothing, ask them to scold you a bit but it won’t be necessary since people avoid embarrassing themselves usually.

Try to have mini goals daily. Don’t think “i want to be fluent”, think “i want to read 1 chapter of this book today”. Every day have a mini goal. Write these goals (after you accomplished them) in a notebook and write how you feel. When you have that unmotivated aura again, read these pages.

Find a motivational movie or serie to watch. Legally blond is good and master of study (if you are into korean dramas) is amazing too. Just watch something like this, usually when i see someone working hard i want to be better than them.

I told you about mini goals, now it’s time for prizes. ^^ Every goal should have a prize like chocolate or a new book or a nap or a movie, anything that makes you happy.

Change your learning methods. When you have the same routine you get bored.

Use apps like Forest and FocusNow. Study 25min with a break of 5 and after 2 hours take a break of 30 min. You’ll be surprised how good this technique is.

Think of how you were when you started or think at something that you mastered because you worked for it.

Last but not least, take breaks from time to time. You need rest and other activities, not only your target language.

Hope these help you. ^^ Good luck with your studies~

Weekly Voltron Fic Recs #19

Rules: You can find past rec lists here. This is stuff I like, and I have a huge bias toward Lance, hurt/comfort, and general fluff, in that order. Gen unless otherwise noted. Please comment on the fics if you read and enjoy them!

Welp, this will be the last rec list before Season 2. I feel like a tornado is coming. Time to hide in the cellar and batten down the hatches. We’ll see what survives the storm, including my heart.

happy birthday, hope it’s out of this world by brosura
Words:  5,866
Author’s Summary:  Everyone’s acting very unusual around Hunk today, and he can’t think of a reason why. People keep giving him things, Pidge and Coran are strangely anxious to keep him away from part of the castle, and strangest of all, he hasn’t seen Lance even once.
My Comments: This is sweetest thing. Everyone’s gifts to Hunk very lovely and sentimental, and somehow he DOESN’T CATCH ON. This made me grin through the entire thing, and Lance’s gift was the sweetest of all.

An Aftermath of Sorts by wolfsan11
Words: 2,451
Author’s Summary: Shiro forgets sometimes that Allura is a princess in all the ways that no one would wish to be. That she is a princess born into happiness but brought up alongside a war, that she is a princess who had once known her enemy as a favored guest in her kingdom. He forgets sometimes that her strength is hard-won and bitter, and entirely her own.—In the aftermath of the corrupt wormhole, Shiro seeks out Allura.
My Comments: This is well-written and sad, and really highlights how strong and protective both of them are. Also, paladin cuddle pile.

Reconnaissance by mumblefox
Words: 5,680
Author’s Summary: They’d gotten Sendak off the castle, and everyone should feel safe again. Thing was, they didn’t. But they had time, now, to fix what they could, and Pidge had a plan that would help.
My Comments: APPARENTLY this is the first of a series and there is going to be MORE? By some of the BEST GEN WRITES in the FANDOM? Holy crap, y’all, we are blessed. This fic is amazing. Climb on board or the train will take off without you.

Trials Before the Dead by birdzilla
Words: 3,139 (WIP 1/7)
Author’s Summary: When the paladins land on an alien planet looking for refuge, they’re instead brought to trial by the natives for the deaths of innocent Galra prisoners. Shiro attempts to take on the burden of guilt for the rest of the paladins and ends up on a spiritual journey through his paladins’ trials-by-ordeal, depending on the strength of their bond to carry him through.
My Comments: What an absolutely terrific concept, and the writing is super great. I am on tenterhooks for more.

And I Lie Awake And Miss You by Leonawriter
Words: 753
Author’s Summary: Lance finds Allura by accident, kept awake by his own fears after the way the day had gone. Lance is just too stubborn and too unwilling to let things lie when she’s clearly still upset. Not that he can blame her.
My Comments: Short, sweet, and sad. I love platonic Allura and Lance interaction. They both miss their families.

A Moment of Respite by To_Shiki
Words: 1,341
Author’s Summary: The other Paladins get Shiro to relax after post-battle exhaustion wears off.
My Comments: Yes, good. Let him rest. Everyone takes care of Shiro, and this is really the only way he can let his guard down.

All There (In a Way) by Skalidra
Words: 2,410
Author’s Summary: When Shiro wakes, after his crash-landing back on Earth, he’s strapped down onto a table, three people hovering over him in full quarantine suits. But he remembers every moment of the year he’s been gone, and he’s been Champion for far too long to be alright with being restrained, let alone being sedated.
My Comments: Shiro with all his memories of struggling for survival in the arena is SAVAGE. This is a darker take on that first encounter back on Earth, but it absolutely makes sense. 

Wolves by Utsukushin (UserFromPluto)
Words: 2,498
Author’s Summary: Keith’s hands shook, and for a second he allowed himself to give in to weakness, slumping forward so his upper body rested on Red’s dashboard. His eyes slipped closed, and immediately he was assaulted with a brutal wave - flashes of laser blasts and screams, the violent jolting of his lion in combat, tiny droplets of blood flying off his sword… “Keith?” (Keith has a hard time calming down after battles)
My Comments: Stressed-out, hyper-vigilant Keith is really well-written and vivid, and the team’s concerted effort to surround him and make him feel safe again is lovely. 

No Martyrdom Allowed by IntelligentAirhead
Words: 3,442
Author’s Summary: Hunk tries very hard to help their friends. It would go a lot easier if they weren’t so self-sacrificial, but considering the extenuating circumstances of an entire galaxy depending on them, it’s understandable. That doesn’t mean Hunk’s going to give up on suggesting healthier coping mechanisms or opening avenues for conversation, though. Especially when Allura is so insistent on putting her grief aside and charging ahead
My Comments: Hunk and Allura interaction! How rare and beautiful. I really love this version of Hunk, so rambly and sweet, but stubborn when need be.

Think Before He Cheats by 15Strawberries
Words: 1,232
Author’s Summary: Hunk likes country music. Specifically, scorned woman country music. His friends are concerned.
My Comments: And this is just adorable. Everyone loves Hunk, as well they should.

No Chill Zone by JamtheDingus
Words: 3,070
Author’s Summary: It’s Hunk’s birthday! Lance and Pidge planned something special, just for their favorite boy.—“Pidge, seatbelt!” Hunk shrieked, narrowly avoiding a collision. She blew a raspberry directly into his ear before she plopped back into her seat, loudly clicking her seatbelt.“I thought you only listened to country music.” Lance says, as if the words physically repulse him.“Don’t make me bring up your song choices, Mister ‘Naruto Opening 7 Is In My Playlist Eight Times In A Row’.” She huffed.
My Comments: College AU. This is a fun, funny, and relaxing fic. It’s nice to see these three just hanging out and enjoying each other’s company.

Pride by Eghfeithrean
Words: 3,485
Author’s Summary: The lions reflect on their respective Paladins following the events of episode 11, and prepare for what lies in store for them in the future. For the Voltron Season 2 Countdown event.
My Comments: Lovely character study of the lions and their paladins.

Can’t Take the Sky From Me by isabeau25
Words: 6,586
Author’s Summary: Shiro was just trying to escape the ever expanding Galra Empire. He hadn’t planned on picking up any passengers along the way.
My Comments: I love everything about this. Cannot possibly recommend it highly enough. LITERAL space dad Shiro is excellent, and all the kids are well-drawn, if heartbreaking. Allura and Coran are a fantastic addition, and there’s a great Firefly vibe to the whole thing that really, really works. And it’s now a series! If I were you, I would subscribe and read every single thing.

Squash by isabeau25
Words: 749
Author’s Summary: Shiro is very sleepy, and his team is full of squash.
My Comments: CUUUUUTEEEE! This fic killed me. I have such a thing for sleepy paladins, and also Shiro using endearments for the younger ones. And Coran just accepts it, because humans are weird.

Infection by 5557
Words: 73,271
Author’s Summary: While exploring an alien planet, Lance is nearly killed by a mysterious monster. Now he’s convinced that he is infected with an alien sickness. Why doesn’t anyone believe him? It must be Keith’s fault. This is a horror-comedy (but like, also a romance?), and I drew pictures.
My Comments: Here, have some epic Klance hurt/comfort. It’s really well-done.

Raised By Lions by earthstar
Words: 9,640
Author’s Summary: The Galaxy Garrison ask Shiro to speak with 11 year old Keith who they believe has dangerous knowledge. As Shiro becomes attached to the kid, he has no idea just exactly what kind of trouble the boy has gotten himself into.
My Comments: I LOVE this fic and I really really really want more. Oh, and yeah, it’s almost another literal space dad Shiro. Space big brother, anyway. Because Keith needs to be adopted, like, twenty times.

One Week to Say Goodbye by squirenonny
Words: 1,986 (WIP 1/7)
Author’s Summary: After King Alfor places Allura in stasis, Coran has one week before Alfor sends Allura and Coran to Arus to await the arrival of a new generation of paladins. One week to think about everything he’s going to lose. One week to search for another solution. One week to remember. One week to say goodbye.
My Comments: Past one-sided Coran/Alfor. I almost didn’t read this fic, because I didn’t want to be sad. But this author is SO good I couldn’t help it, and now I’m really eager for more. 

Hunkaversary by Geoduck
Words: 2,168
Author’s Summary: Hunk always gives so much–and it’s time to give back. His birthday is coming.
My Comments: Another super-cute birthday fic. Hunk deserves all the hugs, and he gets them.

Love and Other Questions by squirenonny for May
Words: 10,978 (WIP 2/?)
Author’s Summary: One week after news of the Kerberos disaster broke, Pidge receives a new Mark–proof that Matt is still alive. She breaks into the Garrison to find him, only to find herself caught up in the fight for the fate of the universe. Keith keeps his arms covered so he doesn’t have to watch Shiro’s scars compounding on his skin–but doing so means cutting off contact with his romantic soulmate, who greets him each morning with a new (and terrible) pickup line.Shiro and Matt thought they were the luckiest people alive when they found out they were going to Kerberos together. But Shiro hasn’t seen Matt’s untidy scrawl on his arm in almost a year, and he has no idea if his soulmate is even still alive. [Canonverse Soulmate AU with romantic and platonic soulmates (and some gray areas in between)]
My Comments: Multiple pairings both romantic and platonic. I just love the way this author does relationships, and while I’m not usually a big fan of soulbonds, this idea is really, really intriguing. Very cool concept, well-written and well-characterized. I can’t wait for Hunk and Lance to show up.

Call it Magic by BossToaster (ChaoticReactions)
Words: 5,856
Author’s Summary: Tuesdays are Hunk’s favorite. Or, at least, they’re supposed to be. A Hogwarts AU based on this fic by Buttered_onions for Hunk’s birthday.
My Comments: Really lovely day-in-the-life kind of fic. I love all the relationships and how protective everyone is of Hunk, and the world is well-integrated. Good stuff.

Piece of Goo by genericfanatic
Words: 1,207
Author’s Summary: Lance is sad and eats terrible food.
My Comments: This is an excellent portrayal of depression and UGH I just want to give Lance a hug.

No Desert For You by Mikiri
Words: 5,373
Author’s Summary: They may have won, but what happens after? Keith worries of returning to Earth and the team comforts him as best they can.
My Comments: SO sweet and comforting. Wonderful paladin pile, and I love how they just went around the room taking turns telling Keith that he’s been adopted and he’s not going back to the desert alone. Ever.

A Better Life by BlueRoboKitty
Words: 2,142
Author’s Summary: “You can have a better life.”She really, really could make it better, couldn’t she? Turn this ship around. And go back.
My Comments: Really interesting Nyma character study. Actually made feel bad for her, which is a trick, because I really don’t like her because of the way she treated Lance. (I know, I know, he kind of deserved it, and it was played for laughs, and everything turned out fine. I’m biased. I told you that.)

we sat on the edge of worlds by stelian
Words: 4,481
Author’s Summary: As far as rescue missions went, this wasn’t the worst one ever. No one was near death, none of the lions were severely damaged, they were still together, and both were in one piece. Mostly. So what if some weird electromagnetic storm was keeping them from contacting the Castle, a wave sent out by a Galra commander had deactivated Shiro’s arm, and Hunk may or may not have more than a slight concussion? At least no one was dying.The hardest part was trying to survive through the night while the temperatures continued to drop. {or; Hunk and Shiro have a bonding moment while trying not to freeze to death}
My Comments: Hunk and Shiro interaction is slowly growing to be some of my favorite. And I’m always a sucker for huddling for warmth. Just a good hurt/comfort tale.

the great (drunk & failtastic) galactic bake off by ShirosRedKnight (HalcyonWritings)
Words: 2,482
Author’s Summary: “I got it!” Lance pointed triumphantly across the sunk-in couch at Keith, who was eyeing his third glass of jumbu’v juice with a mild frown. “We should do a bake-off!”–A GBBO parody fic because why not.
My Comments: This one is hilarious. Poor Shiro. He tried.

Previously Recced Fics That Updated:

Someplace Like Home by squirenonny
The Final Act of Mercy by ptw30
Beast You’ve Made of Me by BossToaster (ChaoticReactions) (now complete)
Parasite Knight by VelkynKarma
Aid by Haurvatat
Engine Won’t Turn by yet_intrepid (THIS CHAPTER MADE ME SO HAPPY)
Planet of Gold by rexlover180 (now complete)
Light Up the Dark by BajillionKittens (yay it’s back!)
Where No One Goes by earthstar
I’m Seeing Stars by BossToaster (ChaoticReactions) 
Bundle in Blankets by KnightNuraStar (now complete)
He Sleeps in the Sky of Ice by jadencross

weekend horoscopes!!
  • I know that a lot of people finish their first week of school tomorrow, and that can be stressful, so I thought I'd post this and give everyone some advice and just an idea of what's happening transit-wise. Hope it helps somehow <3
  • Aries: The Sun is squaring Mars right now and that's really difficult for you - you may like what you're passionate about and what's best for you aren't the same right now. I know that having Uranus in your sign for so long must have been messing stuff up anyway, so it's not really looking that good for you, I'm afraid. Just relax, I promise staying still for a while won't kill you. Try to be calm and have some you time.
  • Taurus: Venus is in Libra at the moment, making this a top time for you. Virgo isn't a bad sign for the sun to be in, either. So make the most of the favourable transits and pamper yourself this weekend, or spend time with friends. The Moon and Venus are in sextile currently which makes this a good time for deepening relationships or opening up to partners emotionally. Good luck with whatever you choose to do!
  • Gemini: You really do hate a Mercury retrograde, don't you? There's a slow on your usually quick thoughts and you may have had trouble adjusting to school again (if you go.) Try and put academia out of your mind this weekend by getting any homework done soon, and then engaging in a hobby of yours that doesn't need your brain to not be sludge! Make sure you concentrate hard on that work, though, and don't rush through it.
  • Cancer: The Moon is currently moving through Sagittarius, encouraging you to explore emotionally and this is very important for you. Its sextile with Venus means it could be time to confess to someone your deeper feelings, testing out new ground in a relationship. Don't be afraid - I know that it sounds cliched, but you'll never get anywhere if you don't try. You can do this. Don't worry.
  • Leo: You're always charging ahead, and Mars in Sagittarius is making you want to do so even more, but Mercury retrograde is a time to reflect, not to create, unfortunately. Think back over the past week. What went right, and what went not so right? Think about how you can make sure that the rest of the year goes as smoothly as possible, giving you space to have fun, too. Don't make all the same mistakes again.
  • Virgo: This Mercury retrograde is probably more annoying for you than anyone, because being confused and forgetting something will be stressing you out even more than usual. It is in conjunction with Jupiter right now though, so I would try writing down your feelings - communicating them through any medium could well turn out for the better, and you might even get a stroke of luck and find it's a masterpiece.
  • Libra: Jupiter's about to move into your sign! It's tremendously exciting. Time to prepare for a year of (let me be eloquent about this) pure awesomeness. It's not about to happen straight away, but pretty soon. My advice is to keep your chin up and don't worry too much. Whatever happens now will be easier to sort out when Jupiter moves - you'll feel more at ease, and have a sense of hope and luck.
  • Scorpio: Right now the Sun is trining Pluto; the most beautiful of aspects, and the planet that you feel most at home with. This will result in a general positive feeling for you, although the Moon having recently left your sign may have left you feeling a little disoriented. Try to enjoy the good while it lasts and don't do anything you don't want to, this is a good time for you to be you and no-one else.
  • Sagittarius: The Moon's in your sign and you're lapping it up. Your feelings are going in all sorts of crazy directions, but hey! That's fine by you. You've also got Mars lumped in there and you'll be full of energy if you let yourself. Don't let school tire you out, because this weekend will be crazy fun if you let it. Staying in all the time will drive you insane, so go out and enjoy yourself! You deserve it.
  • Capricorn: Pluto's been in your sign for a while, which was always going to bug you, but right now it's squaring Venus, meaning that your tendency to destroy and rebuild right now could be messing with your love life. For the next few days, stop trying to weed out all the bad, and just enjoy the good for what it is. Perhaps it would be better to address your problems once the Moon moves into Capricorn.
  • Aquarius: Mercury retrograde's getting on everyone's nerves and you're definitely no exception. Don't beat yourself up if you forget the answer in class a couple times, or leave your bus pass at home by mistake. This weekend, get your homework over with quickly and spend time with friends. Don't talk about school, it'll just end up stressing you out, and you won't be in the right mindset to make next week better.
  • Pisces: Neptune's a slow moving planet, so you've been enjoying the effects of it being in its home sign - yours! - for a while now. But currently, it has unfavourable aspects with both the Moon and the Sun, so try not to get stuck in dreams as you often do. Doing so will not be best for you and could land you in a bit of trouble.

anonymous asked:

Can you tell us your schedule each day? I know you posted one before where you start at 5:30 and end at 10:30, but what's it like the other days? I go to UCLA as well and I'm struggling with time management

Here is a glimpse of my schedule after deleting all my social media: 

4:30am: Wake up, pack clothes and food for the day.

5:00am: Leave to school to beat traffic. Listen to lecture podcasts while I’m driving.

5:30am: Get to gym right when it opens so I can lift weights without too many men around. Usually alternate between upper body and lower body and always end workouts with 30 mins of interval sprints. (Exercising is incredibly important to me to keep my body in shape which really helps with confidence and overall feelings towards myself)

6:30am: Go to grocery store if I don’t have food and usually buy fruit, greek yogurt or tuna. I try to keep a healthy diet because I like to be nice to my body. I need it to work for me for a long time. I usually consume protein shakes after working out. Most mornings I eat peanut butter and banana on wheat bread. After fulfilling my bodily needs, I change and put on makeup because “look good, feel good” right? 

7:30am: Walk through the UCLA campus and find a new place to sit and read. I started giving myself more time to enjoy leisurely things to make my days feel somewhat different. 

8:30am: Go into the research lab, if no one is there, I’m usually reading something related to our research, or reading for class until the lab assistant gets in and we start our experiments. 

12:00pm: I leave lab to go eat food and give myself more soul time, usually reading one of the fifty books I recently bought or writing in my journal, or reading for class. Giving myself this time outside really helps me stay interested in my schoolwork. There’s just something about nature that makes me feel okay about life. 

2:00pm: Go to class. Sometimes I don’t want to go, I’d rather be outside. But I usually convince myself by saying that I can mess around on the internet if I get really bored/hate it in there. At least I am in the class I am paying too much money for. :) 

3:15pm: Go back to the research lab. I’m taking 4 units of research which means I have to be in lab at least 12 hours a week so I try to get in there as much as possible. Plus its the one thing I’m passionate about. I’d rather spend my time doing something productive and useful for the world. (The pros of leaving social media behind)

5:00pm: If I’m hungry at this point, I’ll go find food before I head into the library to wait for traffic to clear. Some days, I’ll be nice to myself and go to happy hour sushi. I like going out to eat by myself. I usually eat and read a book. By reading everywhere I go, I am constantly growing which is why I make it a point to read, read, read because I want to grow, grow, grow. :)

6:00pm: I like to switch up my study spots. Some days I’ll study in Powell Library, other days I’ll go to the biomedical library at the med school. Other days I’ll seriously go find an outlet in a hallway in one of the buildings and just sit in the hallway. I make the effort to make the same day in day out activities more desirable by never going to the same places.

7:00pm: I always give myself a break when studying…can you guess what I spend my time doing during that break? READING YES! I don’t give myself a time limit usually. I’m adult enough to know when I need to get back into it. By being relaxed about time, I’m never really stressed out. I leave a lot of space for other things, though my life is very centered around school. 

8:00pm: Usually head home around this time. If i haven’t eaten, I may stop at in n out. Sometimes I stop at jack in the box for milkshakes. I love milkshakes. I love myself. So I do that like once a week. :D 

8:45pm: I get home. Usually too tired to do anymore school stuff. Might do some push-ups, read a little bit. Text some friends. Bullshit on the internet. Figure out life plans for the next day. Write down things I’m grateful for to keep me motivated. This is my main down time. I generally use it productively. 

10:00pm: I am passed out hard to wake up again the next day at 4:30am. 

anonymous asked:

Hi! I'm a junior in high school and my grades haven't been so good as of late. I just can't seem to find motivation to do my work and as a result I procrastinate almost everything. Do you have any tips on how to motivate myself to do my studying and work on time?? Also do you have some study tips/tricks?? Thank you so much:-)

Hi there lovely! Oh no, I’m so sorry you’re in this situation ♥ When you home from school, frazzled and stressed, because the list of things you should be doing is a mile long, it’s a horrible feeling. But I think it’s really good of you that you’ve realised it’s not a good situation to be in, and that you want to change it. That’s the first step into feeling better - and you’ll do great!

First things first, I think you need to be very very honest with yourself and ask yourself why you’re procrastinating so much.

  • Is it because you’re hungry/thirsty? 
  • Is it because you’re sick/tired/otherwise not feeling well?
  • Is it because of your current grades? 
  • Is it because your family is pressuring you to do well?
  • Is it because you don’t understand the material you’ve been set?
  • Is it because you don’t feel good enough?
  • Is it because you hate the teacher?
  • Is it because you just don’t feel like it?
  • Is it because of a reason that I didn’t list here?

Because all these questions require different answers. But usually, it’s really just that hurdle of “oh no, I have to sit down and study” that becomes a barrier. Once you just don’t do it, because you feel bad. And then you feel bad for not doing it, and it becomes more difficult to sit down and study. So you don’t do it. And then it becomes this horrible circle, which ends with you being sad and anxious, because you’ve a list of things you need to do that are a mile long.

So, honestly, the first place I’d start is damage control. Right, you’ve had a bit of a dark time, but you’re going to get out of it now, because you’re strong and amazing and smart and dedicated. So you can totally do this. Start by making a list of all the things you know you should do/should’ve done. High school moves fast, and it’s easy to fall behind. Then start creating a study habit. Take the list, take yourself somewhere quiet, grab your school things, and start on the first item on the list. Just dedicate 10 minutes to it, grab a pen, whatever. Take a break. Relax. Play a game on your phone. Then do another 10 minutes. Take a break. Relax. You’ll see, in a while, that you’ll have finished that first item. Cross it out. Be smug. You’ve conquered that stupid hurdle, and you’ll only do better now.

So try and make studying a habit. Do it every day. Start by sitting down 10 minutes, then do 15 minutes, then do 20 minutes, then do 1 hour, and so on. You’ll realise that it becomes easier for you to just sit down and do it after a while. It probably won’t be easy in the beginning. You’ll probably want to quit, or shout, or not do the work. But you’re going to do it anyway, because you’re GOING TO BE AMAZING.

And, when it comes to motivation, the best motivation is to feel that relief. That relief of that you’ve handed everything in, there’s no last-minute “oh no, I haven’t done my timeline for History and it’s due tomorrow!” kind of stress; there’s just you, in your room, free to do whatever you wanted. If nothing else motivated me, that feeling of just being done and feeling accomplished helped so much. But regardless of that feeling, motivation can be super hard to come by. Why not try and imagine that you’re doing this for you? With the degree you’re working so hard for, you’re going to get a job. That job is going to buy you that car you want, to take you to place you want to go (the mall, the beach, the airport on that impromptu trip to Paris), get you a house, get you food. You’re working for your future, and you’re going to be splendid at it. I absolutely believe this. I hope this was helpful! x

theworldisnotquiethere  asked:

I'm freaking out... I'm studying for the JLPT N3 and I feel I haven't made any progress. Last week I did the HSK 3 (chinese) and decided to rest for a week and start studying after that. Now I'm kinda regreting that. I alredy failed it once, and in my country we can only do it once a year on December. I really need to pass the exam so I can apply for a scholarship to Japan. All I have in my mind now instead of kanji is hanzi, so my vocab got fucked up. It's 41 days to go,...I wanna die...

Hi @theworldisnotqu thanks for your message. First off try not to panic, as that never helps.

I’m going to recommend far more intense study than I typically would because a) you’re on a tight deadline and b) there’s a scholarship at play.

You have about a month left until the test. I’m ot sure how prepared you are and if you’ll be able to pass but here’s what I believe to be the best way to make this manageable:

  1. Take a full N3 test under exam conditions. Work out your strengths and weaknesses.
  • Make a realistic study plan: this will depend how many free hours you have a day and how much you can realistically handle.
  • Aim to study up until 5-7 days before the exam and then spend the last few days reviewing and refining what you know, you may not finish everything (I didn’t get through all my kanji or vocab), but throwing new information at yourself at the last minute may stress and confuse you.
  • Study your weak points first and when you need a break or are tired, work on the stuff you’re stronger at.
  • Make sure you cover timed reading comprehension, kanji, vocabulary, grammar and listening.
  • Set a small study target and write a list of rewards you can give yourself every day you meet your target to stay motivated.
  • Work out how you will look after yourself and relax every day.

2. Work out which resources are best for you, here are some ideas:

  • If you already have textbooks or test books use them- stick with what you’ve started and a format you’re familiar with, at this point switching things up is likely to waste time.
  • If you don’t have the necessary resources consider the following:
    • Use Nihongonomori for vocabulary videos for listening and vocabulary practise.
    • If you have them definitely use the Kanzen Master books- they’re the most reflective of the scope and difficulty of the real test. If you can do the Kanzen Master questions, then you’ll be well prepared for the real test.
    • If you can get hold of the Power Drill series then I recommend these for timed test practise and because my teacher says they’re quite accurate in terms of the kanji/vocab presented (apparently Nihongo Sou Matome has a lot of unnecessary vocabulary, which isn’t a problem unless you’re short on time, which you are).
    • If you can’t get hold of the Power Drill series right away then use japanesetest4you.com in the meantime.

3. Get a grammar list and work out which points you’re strongest at, review those weekly. For the other grammar I generally try to learn things comprehensively, rather than skim a lot of stuff, because I won’t remember the details of the rules if I do that. I figure it’s better to know fewer things well than to skim a lot of stuff but not really know any of it when it comes to the crunch.

  • Try to make sentences using your new kanji or vocab with the grammar points to consolidate everything.

4. Use whatever system you’ve been using so far for vocab and kanji. Now is probably not the time to experiment with new stuff. If you have a bajillion anki cards then you may need to take an hour or two to suspend a lot of cards and focus on key vocabulary.

5. Read every day, reading speed is a big failing point in the JLPT for many candidates. You need to really train here if your reading speed isn’t fast enough as it takes a lot of practise to improve.

6. Listen to as much Japanese as possible, have TV shows/youtube videos on in the background whenever you’re doing other stuff and try as hard as you can to follow it. Try to make your environment as immersive as possible, hopefully this will help you flip your brain into ‘Japanese mode’.

7. Use the 30/30 app to manage your study time, use browser apps like stay focused or cold turkey to stop you using social media at inappropriate times. Use Fl.ux to stop studying on the computer at night totally ruining your ability to get to sleep.

8. Make sure you review before bed and just as you wake up- this has been show to improve retention.

9. Consider exam day strategy- for me the grammar/reading paper is the biggest challenge for timing, I chose to do the reading long questions first and effectively did the paper backwards as the high mark questions are the long reading passages and those horrible ones with the star symbols in apparently. It’s worth working out a plan and also how you’ll target your time if you can’t answer the questions in time (I skip stuff and go back at the end, I make sure every question is filled in on my answer sheet in the last 2m of the test and fill in randomly if I didn’t get back to it as that way at least I have a 25% chance of getting it right). If you’re going to go back to questions be VERY careful that you don’t put your answers in the wrong spaces on the answer mark sheet (I lost a few minutes doing this and having to fix it, it stressed me out).

10. Studying really intensively often makes me sick, so try to eat well, look after your eyes because they’ll be working really hard this month (I find using eye drops help), take proper scheduled breaks where you really put everything down and give your brain time to soak it all in.

  • Stay hydrated and try to sleep a good amount.
  • Keep yourself and your work area clean.
  • Use sites like rainymood.com or apps like Calm to help you focus and wind down at the end of a long study day. I listen to bands like Tycho, Aphex Twin or Brian Eno ambient stuff when I’m studying as words really distract me, often I prefer to study in silence though.
  • Make sure you go outside every single day, you can easily use Nihongonomori videos to practise listening while you take a walk if you really feel you can’t spare much time.
  • Sleep 6-8 hours a day but set an alarm to make sure you don’t become nocturnal (like I do when I study intensively), keep regular mealtimes, basically try not to fuck up your body clock.

I really hope that this advice helps you and that you can sit the exam knowing you absolutely did your best this month. Best of luck!

sunday brain dump

It’s 6:00 on Sunday morning. I’ve already caught up on twitter, Facebook and tumblr and read enough news to depress me. I played all my Words With Friends and Letterpress games and took the dogs out. Todd is asleep on the couch next to me and for whatever awful reason, Bob the Builder is blaring out of the television.

It’s too early to get started on the list of things I have to do today. It’s yet another day of getting this house ready to sell/packing up to move. Work on the front yard. Vacuum all the new rugs. Start moving packed up boxes into the garage. Pack some more boxes. Plus the usual Sunday stuff like cleaning the kitchen and bathroom and making dinner at some point. 

I’m tired and I’m nervous. I look around the house and just keep seeing things that could be done to make it sell faster. Tiny little things are popping out at me now and they all seem like big things. Things like putting in new switchplates. Cleaning the ceiling fans. The list just keeps getting longer and the days don’t seem to have enough hours in them to get all this done and find time to relax.

So that’s what I should be doing now. Relaxing. Watch some tv. Read. Go back to sleep. Just chill. Instead my mind is racing with all that has to be done and I’m working myself up into a frenzy thinking about it, and when my mind gets like that the seas start churning and soon I’m drowning in the waves of worry and there’s no life preserver in sight. 

It’s hard to relax when you’ve got so much to worry about. But last night The Good, The Bad and the Ugly was on and we stopped what we were doing (It was about 10pm anyway) and watched it (probably the 8th time we have watched it together) and had a small discussion about spaghetti westerns and High Plains Drifter and the calamity that is Paint Your Wagon. So we did find some down time and that was nice and I think we need to remember to do that every day while all this is going on. We are stressed to the point of breaking and we’ve got to hold it together.

And I think that’s why we have thrown ourselves into working so hard on the house because it’s the one worry in our lives that we can be proactive about, actually take the lead on. Other stuff requires outside forces making things fall into place. This is in our hands. So we go for it.

My neighbor is outside getting her newspaper and she’s making this horrible coughing sound. At 6am, in the still of the morning, a sound like that carries and I feel sorry for anyone who is woken up by that.

The dogs are nudging me, reminding me that it’s time for breakfast. The day begins. But Thomas the Tank Engine is on now and I kind of want to watch it. I was always fascinated by this show when my son watched it when he was young, mostly because I was kind of alarmed at what an asshole Thomas can be.

Well, time to get the day going. Have a pleasant Sunday, everyone.