quizzes and tests

Hoe Tips: School and Studying

I’m currently in PA school with close to a 4.0 GPA, and with college and back to school starting up, I’m dropping some tips for y'all. A hoe gotta get bomb ass grades if ya want a bomb ass career and to be successful af. So let’s get it✨

1. Write out your notes. Have two notebooks: one for when you’re in class (this one can be messy) and one for at home (this one is the neater one, for color coding, formatting, and all that organizational jazz). Writing things out is proven to enhance memorization 7X more than just reading is.

2. Have a go-to format for your notes. Numbering, bullet points, whatever floats your boat.

3. Type out your notes. I use Google Drive, because it automatically saves all your shit, and you can access your notes via your Google account literally anywhere. Typing out your notes does the same thing writing them out does, as far as helping you review the material.

4. Use Quizlet. Quizlet is a free flashcard website/app that allows you to type in all of your flashcards and definitions, and gives you review options like matching, testing, flashcard mode, and more. This shit made me my high schools valedictorian, no lie.

5. Keep your old quizzes and tests. Often times, teachers will ask similar questions on finals.

6. For math-based subjects, always always always show your work in your notes. I try to explain each step for a math problem in the margins of my notes, and generalize how to do each problem at the end.

7. Do practice problems consistently.

8. For my college hoes: never take an 8 am class. You think you can do it because you did it for high school, but I promise you will regret it. If there’s no avoiding the 8 am lecture, bring coffee and skip any makeup/hair that day. Sleep is too important.

9. Make flashcards. The night before my exams, I like to try and fit everything I need to know for a specific chapter/topic onto one flashcard, in order to weed out main ideas.

10. For essays, easybib.com is amazing with free citations to avoid any plaigiarism or incorrect bibliographies.

11. Rent👏your👏textbooks👏. Unless your teacher specifically requires you BUY it, you likely won’t need the actual textbook. Buying access codes for the book online is hundreds of dollars cheaper.

12. If you do get your textbooks, a lot of them have chapter summaries at the end of each chapter. Be sure to write out/type out/review those summaries.

13. For science labs, if you are allowed, take pictures of any models or slides you need to know for your exams. Pretty much all labs won’t let you take pictures of cadavers or animal dissections, but plastic models and microscope slides should be fine.

14. If you have a question, ASK YOUR TEACHER. It is better to look stupid in class and get your clarification, than to look stupid when you get your exam back and actually have it count against your grade.

15. Do study groups. I have two nursing friends in some of the same classes as me, and we’d always meet up before exams to go over the material. We would bring dry erase markers and map out shit in empty classrooms, taking turns explaining shit to each other until we nailed it.

16. Try to teach the material. Like I said in #15, study groups are great for this. By teaching the material out loud, you are subconsciously reviewing it yourself. This is a HUGE help.

17. Take breaks. You cannot exhaust yourself and expect to still recall anything you learned.

18. I know everyone does this and there’s no avoiding it sometimes, but DO NOT CRAM. Gradual learning is most effective.

19. Have one day every week where you don’t do any schoolwork. You need time to reboot.

20. Use your phone’s calendar/task checklist app for all major assignments, due dates, exam dates, study plans, appointments, etc. Set reminders as needed.

21. Charge your phone in another room while studying. No distractions.

22. Rainymood.com is a free website that plays a 30 minute loop of rain sounds. It helps me focus like nothing else, especially in my loud ass household, and every time the loop stops and replays, I know to take a break between 30 minute study sessions.

23. Feel distracted at home when studying? Try studying in a library, cafe, or even at school. I find that going somewhere else to study actually forces me to pay attention to what I’m doing, for some reason.

24. Reward yourself for good grades. Buy yourself a slice of pizza or a new highlight, have a netflix marathon, go to a party, or take a nap. Whatever conveys a job well done, do it. It’ll make all that studying feel that much greater when it’s over, and you’ll have a goal to work towards.

25. Sit in the front of the classroom as often as possible. You’ll be forced to pay attention, be able to actually see the board, hear the instructor better, and you’re more likely to have your questions answered quickly because your teacher will actually see your hand go up.

26. Caffeinate. I prefer tea because it’s healthier, but coffee works too. Ya girl is NOT a morning person, but my morning tea at least helps me pay attention during earlier classes.

27. Keep all of your school shit organized, together, and labelled.

28. Do NOT skip a class just because you’re lazy or don’t feel like going. The temptation is real sometimes, but a hoes gonna be pissed when ya see your participation average decline.

29. This may just be a psychological thing, but I love to use the same colored/brand of pen for all of my notes/assignments/tests. It just makes everything seem more uniform, and I’m able to recall information better.

30. Trouble taking tests? For any multiple choice question, read the question and try to answer it first without reading any of the options. If your answer doesn’t match the options, then use process of elimination to find the best answer. For true/false questions, write out justifications for each answer (you can also do this for multiple choice). You’ll be acing your exams in no time.

31. Chewing gum during class/studying, and chewing that same flavor gum during the exam, has been scientifically proven to boost your memory recall.

32. Literally any time you have the opportunity to do extra credit, DO IT. Cherish that shit.

33. If you aren’t doing so hot in a particular class (literally any math class for me lol), schedule a private meeting with your professor and go over test questions you missed, or topics you didn’t get. If you know your professor is a flop, or can’t get an appointment, meet with a tutor or another professor of that same subject. Sometimes another voice can shed new light on a difficult topic.

34. For essays, readable.io critiques your writing for free based on readability, grade level, formality, tone, grammatical errors, etc. Seriously a life saver.

35. Also thesaurus.com is ya bff for fancier words/phrases to make your writing more eloquent

36. Always make an outline for every essay or project to organize what you want to say. This will keep you on track, and help you work around any quotes or sources in you writing to make sure your writing is hella organized.

That’s all I can think of for now, please please please feel free to add and share. Enjoy those 4.0’s, hoes💞
How to get straight A’s in college. Seriously.

Yes, even if you’re taking the maximum credit load. Because if I can do it, you can do it too. Note: My credit load also included a handful of honors courses. 

Side-note: I’m going to be a junior (how??) and an RA (!!!) in the fall. Life moves fast. College moves faster. Anyways, 

Here are my top tips: 

1. LOOK AT THE SYLLABUS AND WRITE EVERYTHING DOWN. This is step number one, and it’s not up for debate. If you do this, there’ll be no surprises, and if there are: point it out to the professor (a simple, ??? this wasn’t on the syllabus ??, usually works). Also, you have to check and see what constitutes as an A in that class. Sometimes it’s a 90, sometimes it’s not. (a 96 was an A- in one of my classes last semester. I’m so serious.)

2. Get a calendar. Not a planner. One of those giant calendars with puppies or something on it and write down everything you have to do for the month. Put it above your desk. This helps A LOT because you can see everything you have coming up for the next few weeks, instead of jus playing it day-by-day. 

3. It is OK to use ratemyprofessor. Sometimes it can be really helpful, but pay attention to the more in depth reviews that talk about what the homework, tests, quizzes and projects are like (instead of “her lectures are boring :///) 

4. Sit in the front of your class. You’ll be more likely to pay attention and less likely to scroll through instagram. (by the way, mine is @parissdb :) It also grabs your professors attention, so even if you’re shy, they’ll at least know your face.

5. Do that extra credit. A lot of professors offer it in the beginning of the semester, and hardly anyone does it because no one’s thinking past tomorrow. It may be what saves you in the long run. 

6. Figure out your best method of note-taking. For me, it’s good ol pen and paper. It helps me remember everything. Some people prefer typing it out. This is beneficial bc it makes it easier for you to find exactly what you’re looking for. (Thank you, command + F)

7. Put your effort into the percentages. If an assignment is worth 1% of your grade, do it well, but don’t exhaust yourself. It’s 1%!!!! If it comes down to it, spend more time studying for that exam that’s worth 30% than the group project worth 20. 

8. Please. Stop studying what you already know. We’re all guilty of it. It makes you feel better knowing you have chapters 1-3 down, even if you don’t know 4-7. The key to studying is to learn what you don’t know. 

9. Learn how to study. (Yes, it’s actually a skill that has to be learned.) I’m the biggest procrastinator I know, especially when it comes to studying. But I’ve found that studying 2 days before an exam usually does the trick for me. I create a master study guide during day 1 and study it all on day 2. Depending on what time the exam is, I may review on the morning of day 3. 

10. SAVE SOME TIME FOR FUN ffs. Seriously. You don’t have to study 24/7, and I don’t know about y’all but my attention span was not built for that.

I might add more to this later, or make another post because I could give these tips for ever and ever. But hopefully this helps someone out there. 

Be sure to check out my college tab here:(http://thesoontobenewyorker.tumblr.com/tagged/college) and follow me on instagram @parissdb (https://www.instagram.com/parissdb/) for more stuff. :) 

Study Tips Straight from My Professor

Hi guys! So a lot of our classes are starting today, even with the eclipse so I thought I’d share some tips my teacher sent out to help everyone get a better grade in the sciences classes, which may or may not be slightly trickier than others. It’s important to realize that no one can get through all of these, so pick what is most important to you.

1) Put in the time. Using the “three-to-one” rule, three hours of studying outside of class time per one credit hour. If your class is 3 credits, you should be studying independently an additional 9 hours. For 4 credits, 12 hours. Teachers expect you to treat studying as your job (even if you do have an actual job) meaning you should virtually be studying anytime outside of meals, class, sleep, work, etc.
> To clarify, this is per week. Not at all per day. You will never be able to shove an appropriate amount of studying per class into one day. Do not try, it is not healthy.
2) NO cramming. It is MUCH more productive to study a little each day rather than 9 hours the day before a test. You will remember virtually nothing if you do and will not be as happy with the grade you recieve. Taking it in little bits stores it in long term memory and you will actually learn it rather than just regurgitating it onto a test.
3) Time management is crucial. Especially if you are someone who works or has kids or other priorities that also need attention. Make a schedule and. Stick. To. It.
4) Be prepared and organized. Do not be the person who lost their pencil and doesn’t have an extra, forgot a notebook or textbook, keys, etc. Give yourself enough time so you’re not rushing and make sure you have what you need! Your college professors are not here to attend to your personal needs when some of them have 800+ students a semester.
5) Use a calender. Write down your assignments, projects, class times, anything you need to remember. Use it religiously because it will be so much easier than trying to keep it all inside your head and that way you will not forget anything.
6) Use the book AND the notes. Most professors write things in a different way than the book and reading something in multiple different ways will better help you remember the concept rather than the sentence word for word.
7) Read ahead. Doing so helps you prepare for and not be lost in lecture and it will benefit you as well as the teacher.
8) Attend all/as many classes as you can and be an active listener. Sit up straight, face forward, don’t pay attention to what others around you are doing (I sit up front whenever possible). Keep an extra piece of paper near you in case you have questions so you can either ask or go back later and look it up yourself.
9) Take detailed notes. With permission, record the lecture so you can hear it again later, abbreviate whatever you are scribbling down, and then as soon as you can after class, rewrite it in a neater, nicer way and don’t be afraid to word things differently. A review shortly after class is proven to help it convert to long term memory.
10) Keep your phone off in class. I know we all love our phones and class is boring, but it’s also crucial information. We’ve all been through that period of regret where we wished we had paid attention. Don’t let that happen anymore. Use it only for emergencies and recording lectures.
11) Even if you don’t rewrite your notes after class, review them. Make sure to pay attention to anything the teacher may have repeated or any learning objectives they would like for you to know.
12) Study early and often! This goes along with no cramming but the sooner and more repetitively you relay information to your brain, the easier it will be to remember it. If you don’t look at the information for 2 weeks and then suddenly need to remember it all, not only will you be too stressed to retain it, you’ll also be wasting valuable time. Make your own study guides and test questions.
13) Make flashcards. Flashcards are only useful when you a) shuffle them occasionally and b) take the ones you’ve memorized out of the pile but still review them every now and then to make sure you still remember. Put any back in the pile that you missed.
14) Use mnemonic devices for lists of related terms.
15) Type or rewrite your notes. I’d recommend writing them again, because physical writing by hand is another way to help remember it.
16) Consolidate your material. This means: tables, lists, figures, concept maps. Reasonable chucks.
17) Teach it to someone else. The best way to tell if you have mastered something is that you are able to explain it to someone else correctly in a way that makes sense.
18) Pick a good place for effective studying. We all love our study groups, but let’s be honest. At most the first 20 minutes is talking, then 10 minutes of studying before half the group is surfing Tumblr and the other half is complaining they’re hungry. I prefer to study by myself for this reason. Find a quiet place with minimal distractions and get prepared to work your fucking ass off.
19) Get decent rest before the exam and be sure to get there early or on time, unpredictable situations included. Exams are important and your teacher will not care if there was a traffic jam. If you miss the exam, you miss the exam.
20) Learn from your mistakes. Review your incorrect exam answers and figure out why it was wrong and why the correct answer was correct. Talk to your teacher, TA, resource lab, anyone who may help you if you’re stuck.
21) Review the midterm and start preparing for finals. Most of the midterm material should be on the final, so it’s one of your best study guides.
22) Keep your textbooks and notes. I know we’re all broke as fuck and would like to sell them back, but you never know when that information will be useful in another class down the road.
23) Do NOT discuss grades, quizzes, tests, or exams with your class mates. Of course they’ll complain that they didn’t study, that chapter 6 was this, or chapter 8 said that and it was confusing. This type of conversation will only make you nervous so steer clear of all of it.

Edit: I have made an adjustment to #2 to clarify that the 3 hours of studying/1 credit hour for that class should be per week, not per day. 💕

hello and welcome to my first studyblr post!! i’ve seen a ton of these around, but not many have all the tips i’ve learned throughout high school. i go to a private preparatory school and i’m top 5 in my class and i lead many extracurriculars. last year was the CRAZIEST year of my life, but with a certain mindset & only a few all nighters, i managed all A’s in all advanced courses. So, here are the tips i’ve learned!!

  • write stuff down!!!! i know it is the most obvious thing, but writing down anything you need to remember, whether that be homework, tests, quizzes, events, due dates, reminders…anything! checking off these things at night is so satisfying and you won’t forget anything important. when i’m in the #zone, my mind often thinks of stupid questions/thoughts. I’ll jot these questions/misc. thoughts unrelated to what i’m focusing on to come back to later and explore!! (for example, i was doing an frq for econ and i thought of doing this post, so i wrote it down in my journal.)
  • organization. there are so many masterposts out there to help you with organization. my method included binders & comp. notebooks.. that’s about it! i’m not very organized
  • get to know teachers. this is probably what helped a lot my junior year. not only is maintaining good relationships with teachers good for you, it can be beneficial to your grade as well. when you make friends with teachers you always have someone to talk/rant to & they always give you the inside gossip about teachers/other students. have coffee/lunch w them, or talk about theories from the class they teach. they give you a lot of perspectives on the course and cool ideas!
  • manage your time. again, another broad statement. but what i did every night kept me sane. my schedule every day after classes (including saturday) was: 
    • practice until 5 
    • extracurriculars until dinner (6:30-7) 
    • minimal homework until done (usually 1-2 hours)
    • study for 1+ hours if needed (8-9 pm)
    • enjoyment time (at least 30 min)

while this may not be a lot for most people, it was a lot for me and i needed time to make myself happy. school and friends make me happy, but so does alone time. putting this minimum of 30 min a day (if i don’t fall asleep before that) really helped me get through demanding courses because i had an incentive. this schedule also helped me avoid procrastination!! ALSO, I prioritized like hell. Honestly, if homework was a completion grade, I wouldn’t try at all unless i needed the practice. Same goes with classes. the ones i had high A’s in, i would sometimes sacrifice a homework grade in order to get enough sleep or study for another test. while this is not the most ethical way of doing it, it helped.

  • Avoid procrastination. procrastination is your worst enemy. I used to be so bad, but now i’m getting better. this is key. in order to beat procrastination, you have to have self discipline. simple as that. get inspired. for many of you, it’s your studyblr community, for me it was for personal pride and competition. you must execute to get the job done. it will be worth it in the end.
  • do the little things. put away the phone. put music on if it helps. stretch a little. get some water. get as content and comfortable as you can when you study.
  • SLEEP!!!! that’s all i can say. sleep sleep sleep. it’s important. i know life is busy, but make time for sleep if you can. mental illness is a bitch, and sometimes it can make falling asleep hard. i know. just try your best & that’s enough. anytime i had free time during the day, i slept. nothing is more important than sleep, and if i didn’t get at least 8 hours of sleep the night before, i tried to catch up as best as i could. your brain needs a break to refuel and you will feel refreshed the next day. 
  • Eating healthy. i rarely see this tip around (maybe i’m not searching hard enough) but i think it’s important. eating healthy is excellent for your brain function & body function. it’s hard, especially in college, to have to motivation (or money) to make your own dinner, lunch & breakfast everyday. but. it’s. worth. it. i can’t stress this enough. i feel more awake and energized at school and workouts and your body has to have these nutrients to keep functioning well. 
  • Exercise. gross i know, please don’t hurt me, but exercise goes right with eating healthy. the better you feel about yourself, the better you will do in school. simple enough. you will have more motivation, energy, and happiness with a good diet and exercise. running daily and occasionally swimming gets me though the week, and while sometimes i don’t want to workout, i always feel good in the end. find something you like doing and stick to it. try to work out 3 times a week. after every workout, i am always motivated to study
  • UNDERSTAND THE MATERIAL. it’s so obvious, but so many people just memorize. while you have to memorize any new thing you learn in the beginning, there is a time when you must apply what you memorized. you must actually think about why this term/concept is what it is based on memorized facts. you must see the whole picture and how little things relate and why they do. last year i realized this and it worked wonders. for me, if i understood the big picture, i knew the facts by heart. it dawned on me that you must train the mind to think. when going through notes, quizzes, tests, and studying i always asked myself why is this important and what it relates to. retention. is. key. understanding, and not memorizing facts will help so so much!!
  • STUDY BUDDIES. i can’t stress enough how much this helped me. coming from a boarding school, it’s easy to work on homework with friends all the time. to review for a test, my friends in the class would all meet and discuss the material. i’m an auditory learner, so this worked 10x better. what i’ve learned is that if you can teach it, you know it. when i could explain concepts to my friends, i knew i didn’t have to study that. if questions came up when i was trying to discuss my line of thinking, i revisited my notes and tried to understand why i didn’t get it. if we had study guides, we would all do the question and discuss why we got our answers after. for me, discussion is the best way to get new perspectives and ideas as well as understanding the topic better. (i also love talking so).
  • ask questions. even if its stupid. even if you’re just curious. always ask them. 
  • study environment. outside (if it wasn’t terrible weather) is where i love to study with friends. if it is snowing or raining, i go to the library or a local coffee shop. it really just depends on my mood. find an area where you feel the most productive!
Even though I’m struggling through these classes right now, I know that degree is going to be worth it. I’m going to keep working as hard as I can I know it’s going to pay off.
—  Affirmation of the day.
2

folkin’ around // panic! at the disco

A Stash of Tiny Study Tips

STAYING MOTIVATED

  • Create realistic goals: get ___ grade on next ____
  • Manageable let down; get back on track
  • Keep track of grades: focused, know where stand, no surprises
  • Start small
    • Low risk confidence builders
  • Take time to relax/give self rewards
    • Days off, breaks, rewards
    • All work & no play =/= living
  • Little organization goes a long way
  • Reward achievements!
  • Keep balance with exercise, clubs, friends
    • 2h/d: friends and exercise
  • Remember that hard work pays off
    • Isn’t a breeze to try to get a 4.0 GPA; but it’s possible
    • You’re smart enough and can achieve it
    • 90% there with these tips, 10% is just pure hard work
  • Only chill on weekends
    • Monday-Friday: school mode
    • Have time for some fun
    • If work as hard as should during week, will need weekends to blow off steam
  • Be self-motivated
    • Grades can matter, not everything, but follow through on what needs to be done
    • Not most important part of college but underperform? You will regret it
    • GPA cutoffs exist and matter to employers
    • College is full of distractions and opportunities
    • Nobody will hold hand and the work will suck but all the prouder of yourself to be
      • Suck it up, buckle down, get it done
        • If think need break, probably don’t
  • Turn off the little voice
    • Realize not alone in questioning ability
    • Avoid people who tend to burst bubbles no matter what 
  • Physical triggers to stop
    • Incentive to get something done when know have something else during the day
    • Don’t have a gaping abyss of study time
  • Work has to get done, in the end
    • Books, examiners, and especially your future self isn’t going to care about your excuses for not doing the work
    • Take the first step
      • It will almost be fictional how hard you thought the task was going to be
      • Just keep going because you simply can’t afford NOT to do anything today, nonzero days
      • Leeway, don’t give your perfectionism control over your life

MUNDANE HABITS

  • Sleep! Think and function, mind & body
    • CAN sleep if keep up with coursework instead of procrastinating
    • Will miss out on some fun stuff
    • Need to stay awake in class
    • Figure out what need for full speed
    • Stay relaxed
  • Stay physically healthy
    • Diet and exercise
    • 1 hour exercise during week
    • Weekends off
  • Traditional breakfast not necessary if value extra sleep
  • Systematic habits: neat, prepared
  • Master material
    • Look for real world applications
    • Learning is a process: be patient, don’t expect to master off the bat
  • Designate study area and study times
  • Do trial runs
    • Practice tests
    • Ask a TA to listen to your oral performance
    • Study groups
  • Don’t copy other people’s psets and solutions

BEFORE SEMESTER

  • Spiral bound notebook, can color code with folders/etc if need be
    • Lecture notes: front to back
    • Reading notes: back to front (if fall behind on)
    • Seminar notes: mixed in with lecture notes, different pen color/labeled
    • Outline format
      • Bullet points for everything
    • Same NB for one set of class notes, separate notebooks for all classes
  • 5-subject notebook
    • Midterm and exam material in it
    • Mesh sources, study guide
    • All study material from week/month in one place
  • Pick the right major
    • Indulge in favorite hobby feeling
  • Pick professors & classes wisely
    • Take a small class
    • Pick classes that interest you so studying doesn’t feel torturous
      • Want to learn

GRADES SPECIFIC

  • Prioritize class by how can affect GPA
    • More credits: more weight
  • Work enough to get an A in your easy classes: take something good at
    • Don’t settle, don’t slack off, don’t put in minimal effort to get that B/C. Just put in a tiny bit more effort to ensure A
    • Will have harder classes and need to counteract
  • Take electives can ace
    • Anything but an A in an elective is kinda mean and an unnecessary hit for your GPA

FIRST DAY/WEEK/HALF OF CLASSES

  • Get to know teaching style: focus most on, lecture/notes
  • Pick and follow a specific note taking format
    • Outline
    • Date each entry
    • Capture everything on board
  • Decide productivity system
    • Google Cal
    • Todoist
    • Agenda: remind meetings, class schedule, important dates/midterms/quizzes/tests, no homework 
      • Always wanted to be prepared
      • Rarely last minute
      • Have plan, stay focused
    • Homework notebook
      • Good redundancy
  • Study syllabus
    • Know it thoroughly
    • Plot all due dates after class
    • Penalize if fail to abide by
  • Study the hardest for the first exam
    • Seems counterintuitive
    • Hardest/most important test
    • Pay attention to content and formatLess pressure: just need ___ on final to keep my A 
    • Easy to start high and keep high
  • Go into crunch mode at the beginning
    • End softly
    • Get plenty of sleep, exercise, and good food in the finals days before the exam

DURING SEMESTER: PEOPLE

  • Get to know professors: go to office hours, care about grades/course/them
    • Easier ask for help, rec letter
    • Get to know interests and what they think is important
    • Figure out their research interests, 60% of their job is research
    • Learning is dynamic
    • Discussion helps
  • Get feedback early when not sure what doing
    • Take comments constructively
  • Consistent class participation: ask questions, give answers, comment when appropriate
    • Understand material
  • Find a study buddy in each class: don’t have to study with
    • Somebody can compare notes with, safety net
    • Pick somebody who attends, participates, and take notes regularly
    • Make some friends
  • Participate as fully as can in group activities
    • Be involved
    • Learn – not be taught
  • Be punctual
    • Good impression, on human professors
    • DON’T BE LATE
  • Skipping class =/= option: It’s “cool” to get attendance award
    • Make all the classes: it’s hard to feel confident when missing key pieces
    • Get full scope of class, everything will make a lot more sense and save a lot of time in long run
    • Mandatory class: higher graduating cumulative GPA
    • Go to class when no one else does/want to show up, reward
    • Get to know professor, what’s on test, notice, r/s build, material not in reading
    • Unless optional and super confusing professor
  • Sit in one of the first rows
    • Don’t fall asleep
    • Fake interest if you have to
  • Tutors

DURING SEMESTER: THINGS TO DO

  • Take notes! Provided is bare minimum, accessed by students who aren’t attending lecture
    • Based on lecture and what read –> test; it’ll be worth it
    • Write it down
    • By hand
    • Bored? Doodle instead of going online
  • Read all assigned–even if need to skim
    • Seems cumbersome and maybe impossible
    • Figure out what’s important
    • Look at the logical progression of the argument/what’s important/what trying to prove
    • Understand everything that you do read–even if don’t read everything
    • PIck 2 examples from text per topic
  • Complete course material on time
    • DO NOT WAIT UNTIL DAY BEFORE IT IS DUE
    • Begin as soon as possible
      • Sometimes it’s just straight up impossible
    • Have it look attractive
  • Library doesn’t just mean = study
    • Social media in the library is still social media
  • Confusion is terrible
    • Read other textbooks, review course material @ another uni/by another professor, google the shit out of it
  • Review
    • Do not wait, do throughout semester
  • Exam prep
    • Ask for model papers, look at style & structure, thesis, how cite
    • Get old tests
      • Look at type of questions (detail level and structure)
      • Can solve old exams cold
      • If give out paper exams in class: probs won’t repeat questions, focus more on concepts but still learn the questions
    • Have class notes and psets down cold
      • Do all the practice problems
      • Read through notes a few times; rewrite into a revision notebook
        • Highlight major topics and subtopics
        • Different highlighter for vocab terms
        • Overall picture, go from concept to detail
          • Look at overall context and how specific idea fit into whole course
          • Ideas, don’t memorize all your notes
    • Better understand = more able to use and manipulate info and remember it. Understand = manipulation.
      • Charts, diagrams, graphs
      • Lists
      • Practice drawing labeled structures
      • Flash cards for memorization
        • Every school requires some degree of grunt memorization
        • Say it aloud, write it down
        • Get friends to quiz you
      • Self-test: severely challenge self, have a running collection of exam questions
      • Explain difficult concepts to your friends; force yourself to articulate the concept
    • Never pull an all-nighter
      • Do not spend every hour studying up to the exam
      • Eat, shower, sleep
    • Don’t wait until night before exam to study
      • Prep takes time even if reviewed throughout semester
    • Ask about format–don’t ask the professor to change it for you
    • Law of College: it will be on the exam if you don’t understand it
      • Ask professor, internet, textbooks
  • Night before exam
    • Jot what want to remember/have fresh
    • Read through in morning/before exam
    • Physical prep
      • Sleep, have test materials
  • Day of exam
    • Don’t cram every single spare minute
    • Go to bathroom before exam
    • Never miss an exam/lie to get more time
      • You won’t be any more ready 2-3 days after when supposed to have taken it
  • Slay exam. Get A. 

WEEKLY 

  • Friday morning: go through each syllabus, write down in HW notebook
  • All hw during weekend; study/reading assignments during week
  • Save everything
  • Divide big tasks into small pieces to help propel self
  • Standard study schedule: block off lectures, labs, regular commitments
    • Note the weeks that have assignments and tests that will require extra studying
    • Don’t oscillate too heavily every day with study times (i.e. don’t study 2-3 hours for weeks and then 10-12 hour days right before an exam)
    • Eat and sleep to make more extended work periods liveable and enjoyable

DAILY

  • Set an amount of time would like to study every day
    • Try to study most days
    • Avoid vague/zoned out studying –> waste of time
    • Do a little bit daily but don’t let studying be your whole day
  • Review notes: 30mins/day, each class from that day
    • Look at important ideas/vocab
      • Prioritize new vocab because language is most fundamental and important tool in any subject
      • Circle abbreviations and make yourself a key somewhere so you don’t forget what the hell that abbreviations meant
      • Check spelling
    • Rewrite/reorganize notes if necessary
      • Format of ideas is just as important as the concepts themselves, esp. when it comes time for exam review
    • This helps you retain the material so you’ll be ahead next time you walk into class
    • Chance to ID any knowledge gaps that you can ask about for next class
  • Keep up with reading
    • Skim text before lecture or at least main topic sentences
    • Jot down anything don’t understand; if lecture doesn’t clarify, ask the professor
    • After lecture: skim again, outline chapter, make vocab flashcards
    • Highlight similar class and lecture notes
      • will definitely be tested on
    • Review and make study questions
  • Study
    • Disconnect from anything irrelevant to study material: help focus and your GPA
    • Don’t limit studying to the night
      • Study whenever, wherever between classes
        • Variety helps focus and motivation
      • Especially if tired at night and can’t transition between subjects
    • Try to study for a specific subject right before/after the class

|4 september 2017|

it’s finally back to school time for most of us and, at least for me, it’s also time to start good habits, crack down on the bad ones, and just begin to prepare for the year ahead. i’ve been in school for a couple of weeks now and, so far, i’m doing pretty good. below, i’ve compiled some simple tips that help me in day to day life that i would love to share. so let’s get cracking:

  1. prepare outfits and pack your backpack on sunday instead of in the morning. i know for a fact you have more time on sunday to prepare your outfits and pack your backpack than on monday morning so planning in advance will most definitely benefit you. instead of running around in circles trying to find that shirt, hang them up in the front of your closet or place them in the top of a drawer on sunday. and instead of throwing random pens in a bag, pack your backpack and put it in front of your door. it’ll save you time to do other things such as eating and washing your face.
  2. prepare and eat a breakfast. whether it’s some cherrios in a bag on the way to class or eggs and bacon cooked that morning, eating will definitely benefit you. you’ll have more focus in class and it’ll get your metabolism going. if it’s easier for you, think about preparing your food the night before and packing it in bags or tupperware.
  3. have a tray by the door to put small things in. oh, how many times have i forgotten my earbuds or keys. keep yourself organized and not calling your roommate to get an extra set of keys by just having a tray on which you can put smaller things you don’t put in your backpack. then, just grab them before you leave and voilà! you aren’t locked out.
  4. on sunday, do your meal preps, weekly spread, and clean your room and workspace. i am such a procrastinator during the weekends and there have been so many days that because of that, i am trudging through knee high messes in my room because i just won’t pick up. i also commonly forget to plan the week and prep my meals and then boom, it’s monday and i’m a mess. so don’t be a mess like me, do it all on sunday.
  5. have a letter tray to put class handouts and old assessments so you can put them in binders later. using a letter tray to collect handouts and assessments can be so beneficial to keeping your desk clean. and without it, i tend to throw out old graded assessments i could study instead of putting them in binders. keeping all those papers in one binder is super helpful, so put them in a binder and finals won’t be your doom.
  6. have a bedtime routine. having a bedtime routine can increase your productivity and sleep time because, one, it can help you stay organized and, two, it helps put you to sleep. the more your brain associates doing certain tasks with sleep, the faster you’ll be able to drift off. so be smart and enjoy an extra hour of sleep.
  7. have one journal for in class notes and one to retake and organize your notes at home. in class you do not have time to keep your thoughts organized. with tangents from your teachers and questionable notes, its best to just use a pencil, pen, and highlighter to make scratch notes in class and then come home and organize it into something that you can study from. this idea has kept me afloat time and time again.
  8. talk to your teachers. do yourself a favor, ask and answer questions in class and go to your teachers’ office hours if they have them. if you do this, your teachers are more likely to recognize you and will be more lenient with your grade (since it shows you’re engaged and involved). you don’t necessarily need to like the teacher, just pretend you care. smile and nod along as you ask about their lives, questions about the content, and for advice that you are never going to take. this is a pretty slytherin thing i’ve been doing for years and it has got me so many half points back, especially in math and science.
  9. use quizzes and tests to study for finals. as i stated earlier, it’s important to save your assessments to study, and that is especially true during finals. teachers commonly use similar questions on the final as unit tests and quizzes. think of how many more points you can score on that final if you just study your tests.
  10. make a study group. find friends and people in your classes that you would like to study with and meet up! they’ll definitely be able to help you understand topics and it’ll be more fun than holing yourself up in your room. also, explaining concepts to others will help you better understand them and answer those questions on your tests.
  11. make a weekly to-do list. some of you may already do this in your weekly spreads, but it’s important to make to-do lists of goals and tasks you need to complete. this isn’t necessarily studying and notes but things such as cleaning your room, watering your plants, or going grocery shopping. make lists, organize yourself, don’t be a mess like me.
  12. reward yourself for doing well. whether it’s talking to your teacher or scoring straight a’s, we all work hard. so why not treat yourself to a nice dinner or relaxing bath? have fun, relax, and don’t let yourself get too stressed. remember to unwind.
  13. sit up front in class. i know, i know, you don’t really want to, but think about it. if you’re up front, you are going to be 100% more engaged and paying more attention. and this will make your teacher remember you, which you now know the benefits of. you will also be able to see the board easier, get your questions answered, and hear what is going on.
  14. talk to the people around you in your classes. jeremy from physics sneezes on you and suddenly, you’ve got the flu and can’t make it to your lit lecture. what are you going to do? text that new friend you made from lit that sits next to in the lecture hall of course. simply talking to people on your first day can help you stay on top of class in case you miss or can help you study before the test. never doubt the benefits of knowing people.
  15. if there’s an opportunity for extra credit, take it. i don’t care how good you are in that class or how perfect your grades are, take the extra credit. those few extra points could be the ones that take you from a b to an a. just do it and don’t question it, you may need them. 
  16. outline all papers and presentations. you have a draft due for your class in a few hours and you open you computer and prepare to type. but where to begin? what are you writing? how do you want to phrase it? well, you could already know that if you had outlined it. take the time to research, write a thesis, and fully understand your prompt before you write. especially if this is a persuasive essay. do this as well for presentations and visual assignments so you say every fact and point you want to.
  17. keep your test dates by you at all times. no matter who you are, you need to know when tests are coming up. and, as someone who tends to leave things at home sometimes, i may not have my planner with those tests dates next to me when i need them. but what do i have? my phone. i use the app My Study Life to keep track of those dates. i explain that beautiful app in this post.
  18. have a ‘school survival kit.’ by now i think you’ve caught on to the fact i can be a bit forgetful. so i like to have a little bag with me that has things i may need that i could have forgotten. this includes a pen, pencil, highlighter, a few pads, some mints, pain medicine, allergy medicine, tissues, band-aids, hand sanitizer, tide-to-go (stain remover), and other such items. i may make a list of these items at another time.
  19. if you have a question, ask. i’ve already gone over the benefits of talking in class but it’s also extremely important to understand your content. it’s better to ask than not know, even if you think the question is dumb. there’s a good chance someone else has that exact question. it’s also better to look stupid than have that count against you during assessments.
  20. if your university, college, or high school has a writing center, use it. i work in a writing center and we are here to help. we do nothing so much of the time and you coming in makes our day. contrary to the popular opinion, we aren’t going to judge your writing or insult you (unless you ask for it). but we also aren’t going to correct your entire paper, we want to help you learn how to edit your papers and make sure you’re fitting the requirements. and this goes for all tutoring centers; if they’re an option, use them. 
PLANNING YOUR WEEK

Start early!

  • Planning your week should start Saturday night. The week officially begins on Sunday, and Saturday night is the day to figure out everything that will be happening. By doing this, you do not have to spend meaningless time on the Sunday which commences your week with tasks such as planning. Everything should already be planned.

Find out what is on your plate for the upcoming week

  • Look at your school’s portal, or the syllabus, whatever your instructors use to inform you of tests, quizzes, essays and other assessments. Write down what is coming up this week!!! Know everything there is to know about what will be on your plate.

Use color

  • Color is an extremely effective categorization tool. It can allow you to distinguish between tests, quizzes, essays, homework assignments, extracurricular activities, health, personal activities, and more. Assign a color to each subsection of your plan, and create a key so you’re aware of what’s happening. Stay true to this color key, and don’t stray from it.

Prioritize

  • Your plan should feature the most important things to complete and the least important. However, your plan should also establish a general understanding of the ranking system these assignments fall under. If you have a very important test coming up which will count for a large portion of your grade, it should be featured earlier in and stressed more clearly in your plan. Utilize highlighters to clarify the importance level of different assignments.

Make time parameters

  • Making a plan is very important, but assigning time blocks to the plan is arguably even more important. Consider what you do every day after school. Think about how much you do after every day, and at what times you will be doing homework. Consider the length of time it takes to complete each assignment. Then, assign time blocks to each assignment. For example, you could assign “English Essay” for 4 pm - 6 pm, then “Break” from 6 pm - 6:30 pm, then “Math Worksheet” from 6:30 pm - 8 pm. This will keep you on track and going to sleep at a reasonable time.

Leave time for fun

  • It cannot be all school all the time - it is not healthy or conducive to effective living. Leave time for fun and breaks. This can manifest in reading a nice book in between assignments, or planning a hangout session with friends during the week. You only get one childhood, and you can NOT spend the entirety of it in academic mania.

Feature your extracurriculars and appointments

  • When you plan out everything, you have to include e v e r y t h i n g. This means that you must feature any meetings you have for extracurricular commitments, doctors appointments, personal appointments and more. This will ensure your plan is truly accurate.

Make copies!!!

  • Put your plan EVERYWHERE. There should be a copy in your planner, a copy in your bullet journal (if you have one), a copy on your desk, a copy on your mirror, and more. Put the plan anywhere you look often, and anywhere it won’t be drowned by other things.

U S E I T

  • Do not ignore the plan, now that you’ve spent all this time making it. Put it to good use! Keep it with you. Love it, learn it, and make it again next Saturday.

Hi everybody! I’ve gotten a couple of requests for this post, so I thought I’d finally put together my process for making a weekly spread!

Disclaimer: This is simply a system I find to be simple and doable for everyday life. By no means is this the only way or the best way to bullet journal! It’s just a way that I find to be realistic and aesthetically pleasing. 

Before we start: most of my layout is based on @studypunked’s and the moodboard I used was made for me by @sapphiccstudies! 

Supplies I used: Hardcover black Moleskine (grid paper); Green Mildliner; Pilot Hi-Tec-C 05 gel pen; Pony Brown stickers; Clear tape

Step 1: Decide on a color scheme! I always choose a monthly theme (for example, January’s was outer space and March’s was plants). Then, for each week I choose a subtheme! (ex. the first week of January was moon phases.) Then, I choose a Mildliner color that matches the theme. This week, I used a pink moodboard with green accents, so I used a green mildliner! 

Step 2: Weekly planning

I list the week number at the top of the page, and underneath that I put the dates within the week. (This has no purpose other than making me feel organized.) Then, below that I like to make a little monthly calendar (because it’s surprisingly often that I need to know what day of the week a certain date is!) Finally, below that I have a weekly schedule. This is where I write the dates of any tests, quizzes, projects, holidays, birthdays, etc! Generally, these are transferred from my monthly event calendar.

Step 3: Weekly tasks

This step makes my job pretty easy throughout the week! It’s as simple as listing the date and then making check boxes next to any tasks for the week. (This way, I don’t have to worry about much on days when I’m busy.)

Step 4: Finding images

Finally, the weekend rolls around and I’m ready to get into the fun stuff! Usually, here’s where I scour Google Images (I like to use the keywords ‘tumblr’ and ‘aesthetic’ along with my chosen color and theme) for pictures, but this week was easy for me thanks to a moodboard :)

Step 5: Drawings

After choosing my images (usually three, but it’s summer and I don’t have many tasks so I used six) I draw some stuff that goes with the theme in anywhere there will be empty space. Sometimes I also look for quotes and get a little prwctice with typography!

Step 6: Arrange and paste images


I play around with the layout of the images until I find the arrangement I like best, then use little loops of scotch tape to paste them down (usually straight but sometimes crooked if I’m feeling artsy)

Bonus Step: Add Stickers!

I only sometimes do this, but the gist of this is “put them wherever you want, but not too many because stickers are expensive.”

And Voilà! Here’s the finished product:

Killing a toxic co-workers hopes, dreams, and future.

Names changed for anonymity, happened a few years back. This is a long one so TL;DR at the bottom.

Background: I got a job working for a small hardware company. 4 people in the office, a few in the warehouse, and a delivery driver. Nothing fancy, but it got me off the night shift and onto a desk. The owner was a pretty nice guy, let’s call him Ray. Ray took over the family business in the early 2000s. Like most small business owners he was pretty frugal. The job came with absolutely zero perks. 10 vacation days that doubled as sick days, no insurance, everyone was hourly and Ray hated paying OT. He had one large customer that accounted for about half his business and everything after that was profit. He had gotten to the point where the business was doing well enough to support his comfortable life (10-3 schedule, 4 weeks vacation, season baseball tickets) and had zero interest in growing it beyond that point. But my problem was not with Ray, it was with the absolute b*tch in the purchasing department.

The players: Four people in the office meant that every part of this business fell to one of us. Ray was the owner, he negotiated large scale orders both with customers and suppliers. Sarah was our admin/receptionist, sweet as pie. I was in charge of order processing and logistics, and I did quite a bit of work revamping the company website. Ingrid (aka B*tch Supreme) handled small scale purchasing and most of the other customers.

Keep reading

Back To School Supplies

With the upcoming college/high school semesters soon, I figured y'all could use this.

1. Pens and pencils (obviously). I like to use the same color pen for all of my notes, it’s a psychological thing that makes me feel more uniform, organized, and helps me remember it better. Also studies show that you’re more likely to remember content written in blue pen than in any other color, so do with that what you will.

2. Two notebooks for each class: one for your in class notes (which can be slightly messier), and one for your at home notes (which should be more organized and neat).

3. Folders/binders for each class to keep all of your quizzes, tests, and worksheets.

4. Flashcards flashcards flashcards. Try to get different colored flashcards for each class/topic.

5. Whiteout if you use pens and can’t stand messy notes like me.

6. Calculator, protacter, and compass for math subjects (if required/allowed)

7. Dry erase markers: sometimes my friends and I will study in empty classrooms, and using the boards can reslly help map out certain concepts.

8. Keep at least one sharpie marker on you for labelling and whatnot.

9. Scissors and a small tape dispenser/glue are always handy, just in case.

10. A small stapler should also be useful for essays and whatnot.

11. A laptop is essential for college notes. Typing out your notes, using quizlet and other helpful websites, and access to research sites and databases is insanely helpful.

12. Get a Google account. It includes helpful tools like Gmail, Google Drive, etc.

13. Extra stuff for your bag: hairbrush & hairtie, gum/mints, water bottle, nail file/clippers, and makeup wipes.

14. Always always always bring a laptop/phone charger for your devices.

15. Spare paper/looseleaf in a separate folder is useful.

16. Keep an agenda/planner for assignments, homework, and test dates. If you hate a paper copy, or have trouble remembering stuff even with a planner, try an app on your phone that sets reminders.

💞Thats all for now, good luck babes💞

how i organize
  •  one-subject notebooks. 
    • These saved my life. I know everyone’s always saying to keep your stuff in one place and keep track of it all at once, and the way to do that is (apparently) thick, 5-subject looseleaf notebooks and 3″ binders. These have never worked for me, and here’s why: the larger the notebook, the more it catches and rips and doesn’t close right. 
    • Plus, the larger the notebook, the longer you use it, and the longer it has to survive that wear and tear! (Bonus: without having to worry about the notebook being destroyed, I also don’t have to buy the more expensive and durable brands; now I only pay for quality of paper and pretty colours!)  
    • So, I use one-subject notebooks for each class and go through multiple (I’ve never noticed a significant cost difference). A single one-subject notebook lasts me 4-6 units, or about one quarter/half a semester. When I complete a notebook, I simply begin the next, and carry only the newest one with me places. The previous notebooks are kept in my study space so I can always reference them as though it’s one large book, and I rarely need the previous chapters for in-class work. 
    • I start with one notebook per class plus one notebook purely for scribbles or rip-out looseleaf paper, and keep a supply of empty notebooks at my permanent study space.
  • central grade collection. 
    • I do this because it’s easy to reference back to. Soooo many terrible teachers who simply don’t trust their students. Feels nice to whip out a test to prove you were right (and aced it!). Calculating the grade myself makes me more aware of what’s going on with my academics. My biggest downfall this year was not paying attention to my grades!
    • I used to use an accordion folder for this, but this year I’m going to try combining that with a digital file.
    • Whenever I receive a grade back, the paper copy goes in a physical folder and the percentage/grade itself goes onto a file on my computer.
    • The physical folder is organized by classes. As I receive grades back, the newest goes in the front, so each class is naturally ordered chronologically. I tried organizing it further by putting flags to tell apart tests, quizzes, essays, etc. It worked well but eventually I just didn’t bother.
    • The computer file is actually multiple files (again, one for each class). An excel spreadsheet or a simple word doc works well. I specify the material as much as possible (for example, “Unit 1: Trig. Quiz 1: Identities. Date: 7-4-2015″ using both words and numbers) so I can easily search for it later. Next to it goes the numerical and letter grade. I’m thinking of incorporating a note-taking system as well, listing what went wrong and such.
    • This sounds like a lot of work, but it takes very little time and is well worth it. Logging the grades take about 5 minutes, tops. I often find myself putting off work by organizing grades. Obviously it’s hard to log things instantly, so I keep a stack of “to be graded” on my desk until I get around to it.
    • Oh, and keep the physical folder safe in your room/dorm. Carrying it around for spiteful moments is not worth the risk of losing all your grades!
  • separate days.
    • I don’t know about you, but my school has something similar to a block schedule. Monday, Wednesday, Fridays all have the same classes. Tuesdays and Thursdays have the same classes as well. My method works for real block scheduling, too, for even/odd or on/off days. I once had a chronic problem of bringing in the wrong day’s homework. Not anymore!!
    • Basically, just keep the two workpiles separate.
    • I have two cabinets on my desk: one for MWF classes, one for TTh classes. On my desk at all times are my “daily” tools: laptop, charger, planner, pencil pouch, water bottle, etc.
    • In the morning, I always put my dailies in first so I don’t forget, then I check the calendar. Tuesday? Shove in the TTh stack. It’s as simple as that.
    • When actually doing my homework, obviously, prioritize. There isn’t a hardfast “do your homework the day you get it” rule, especially since studying is a process! But when nothing’s especially urgent and I don’t have a favourite assignment, I literally flip a coin.
  • computer files have to be neat.
    • I have so many subfolders I don’t know what to do with them.
    • Separate everything, again, and again, and again. And label it all to hell and back. You can never have a file title that’s too long.
  • You know how you can make multiple accounts on your computer? Admin vs user? Yeah, do that.
    • Make your admin account your free-time, slacker account.
    • Make your user account your work account.
    • Make all the settings admin-only accessible. Don’t get distracted by downloading random crap while doing your homework. Put restrictions on internet usage, gameplay, etc. To get distracted, you have to make the effort to enter an admin password every time you get off task.
    • Bonus: during presentations, you never have to worry about accidentally opening something embarrassing. Everything embarrassing should be in your personal account!
  • Lastly: don’t stress! 
    • When I stress, everything gets disorganized. My mind gets cluttered and so does the rest of my life. I used to stress so hard about grades.
    • If you don’t think you can make the deadline, don’t. One grade is not worth a night of sleep and mental health.
    • If the grade is super important (not all grades are like this: prioritize!) work on it as hard as you can. Don’t stress; put all that stressful energy into the work. Focus your ass off. If you can’t do that, it’s time to stop.
    • Talk to the teacher the next day. Take responsibility for your mistake. Apologize, and do not give excuses. Show to your teacher that you care more about the learning than the grade; it will pay off in the long run.
    • The day after missing a huge assignment is rough. Don’t let it get to you! Dwelling on this assignment only sets you up for failure on any other assignments you have that day. Focus on those and not on what you did wrong. Have yourself a good break, snack, jog, and get back in there. The world isn’t over!

hey everyone, i’m going to be honest here, you will never get rid of procrastination completely. unless i’m wrong, and there may be some possible way to completely get rid of procrastination. if so, i don’t think anyone has figured it out.

anywho, i’ve been procrastinating for years, so i feel like i have some decent tips on how to procrastinate less. here’s my advice!

1. focus on your discipline the most. your discipline skills are your biggest defense against procrastination. there will be times in your life where you just DON’T want to finish your essay, we’ve all been there. you need good discipline to get you in focus. stop thinking about all of those distracting concepts that pull you into procrastination, and start doing your work.

2. you need to keep the good motivation to fight procrastination. it ties along with #1, except motivation is more long term. if you want to accomplish your goals, you get the discipline needed to work for them.

3. try to find time around the day to do some work, especially at school. i do school work at lunch, and sometimes in the morning, as well as occasionally in class if i have free time, since i don’t have a study hall. it helps since it feels like you have less work to do during your normal studying times.

4. remember, doing a little bit of work for a big assignment is better than ditching it completely. if you get a project on the first day, and only manage to do 1/5 of it on that day, it really is better than not doing it at all. you might thank yourself later. try really hard to at least do ONE thing on any work you get on the first day.

5. multitask if more than one assignment correlates with another. if you have a history worksheet and a history test coming up, use the worksheet to review concepts when you need to study. i do this often, and it helps me more than just doing the worksheet. this might not help others though, and that’s fine too! if you can only focus on one thing at a time, you do your thing.

6. i cannot stress this enough, find any good time management that works for you. one popular option is the pomodoro technique (25 minutes of working with a 5-minute break. i’ve heard of other options as well, from 20 → 10, 40 → 20, and even 52 → 17. if you’re not into routines, at least take a break for 5-10 minutes whenever you feel mentally exhausted! just not every 5 minutes, trust me, that leads to procrastination after the second or third “break”.

7. use your “break” time (from #6) doing something relaxing and NOT distracting. unless you have godly discipline skills, i doubt going on your phone will cause you to get back to work properly. take a small walk, eat a snack, stretch, etc.

8. use those app/program blockers to block social media and messaging apps if you’re like me and you have severely weak discipline skills. nothing much will happen while you’re busy doing your work. if something does occur, that’s up to you to find out when you’re done with your work.

9. find a good place to actually do your work! my favorite is the library, it’s so peaceful and it gives the right setting for studying. try your best to study in the least distracting place possible. if you can’t, attempt to decrease as many distractions in your location as possible.

10. find what works for you in terms of listening to music. i personally listen to kpop, and some of us know how catchy the music can be. however, i can usually listen to kpop while doing worksheets without getting distracted. however, if i’m studying, retaking notes, reading, etc. i need ambient music (i mainly use rainymood.com!) to make me concentrate. some of us need instrumentals and/or ambient music, others can’t listen to music at all. that’s fine!

11. turn off your notifications, turn on airplane mode, put away your phone, etc. do anything that works for you. i need my phone as well as internet, so i just turn off my notifications, but not seeing any distractions might make you more likely to do your work.

12. plan things out when you get home. i personally cannot do my work first thing when i get home unlike some people, i get too mentally drained from school! i take a shower, and then eat lunch while doing my work. find out what works for you. i also cannot do the hardest assignment first to “get it out of the way”. i need a medium level assignment to prepare myself for the heavy mental work for the hard assignments!

13. as referring to #12, if one advice doesn’t work for you, don’t use it! we are all different, so if practically everyone you know can do one thing, and you’re better doing the opposite of that, just do what makes you better at productivity.

14. plan out big projects, quizzes, tests, etc. do not cram! i repeat! please! do not cram! it doesn’t feel good at all, and you’re more likely to score worse anyways. try to balance out your work/studying every day or a couple days a week with a good amount of time for all of those days. it helps your memorization more, too.

15. some say that studying in a different place once in a while helps. i personally never tried this, because my brain cares more about adaptation, but it has helped other people i know!

16. get comfortable when you study, but not too comfortable. don’t study on your bed, and please don’t study on the floor. your brain thinks of your bed as the place to sleep, so it’s best to not be on your bed often unless it’s for sleeping. for me at least, studying on the floor really kills my back. please get comfortable and find a table or desk or anything good!

17. another thing i do is that i switch assignments if i feel like i’m not focused. it helps me a lot, i would assume it lets my brain change focus to another productive activity which results in me gaining focus on something important!

18. do anything productive if you have a long break (or if you’re procrastinating haha). it gets your brain in a productive mood and it can help you focus when you go back to your work.

19. reward yourself for whatever bit of work you accomplish. my favorite rewards are my biggest distractions that i look forward to when i finish all of my work. :”)

20. take your free time away to do some extra work every once in a while. it certainly helps not to cram everything in one day.

21. please remember that it takes some, if not a lot of time to improve a habit like procrastination. you will not improve completely in one night. and sometimes, you will procrastinate, and that’s okay! just keep improving yourself, you have time.

22. if you’re looking for a reason or a sign not to procrastinate right now, this is it. tumblr can be such a distraction. you probably have something important to do. and i’m here to tell you to get back to work and finish what you need to do.

Assignments, final projects, try-outs, mock weeks, finals, college applications, these are what senior year is made of. Naturally, it’s the period of time when you most feel the urge to jump off a cliff. From the first week of school, I could already see the differences senior year brought to my school mates. People were starting to realize that they had to receive great marks, they had to get accepted into good colleges, they had to do this and that as ways to an accomplished future.

Over the years of being a high school student, every time there was a free period, or just any studying-free moment at school, we would watch movies, gossip, or simply be on our phones for hours. Now in every free periods, my classmates would take out these heavy-ass books that can be used comfortably as pillows and actually study. Or re-write their notes. Or revise a subject for next week’s quiz. Anything to keep them working (just curious, do these symptoms apply to all senior year students around the world?).

Since junior year were pretty traumatizing for me (thanks to student government), I had been planning all holiday to give my 110% for senior year. Long story short, I hit it off since day 1 and came out alive six months later. Although it resulted in me spending 3 days sleeping in after end-of-term exams were over, I’m really happy for having been very productive this entire term. I know there’s still 6 months left and the worst parts are yet to come, so I decided to share a few tips exclusively coming from someone *glares at myself* who did remarkably awful the previous year and somehow found a way to crawl back from death

1.       Know Where You’re Going

Getting to the very last year of high school, this is the MOST important part of surviving. Without having your long-term goal, it would be like taking down hundreds of obstacles without having a destination in mind. You don’t know where you’re going, but more monsters keep showing up on your path. Trust me, you’ll eventually get tired and stop trying midway. Losing motivation when you’re in the most vital part of your study can’t be a good thing.

Do research on the degrees you’re interested in taking, from their passing grades to job prospects. Make sure you actually enjoy the subjects needed for those degrees. For example, if you can’t stand Biology, better if you don’t consider attending medical school, and the same goes to other subjects as well.

2.       Maintain Productivity

The amount of school work you’re getting can be overwhelming, that is why you have to do them as soon as possible to prevent them from piling up. You don’t have to finish them all in one day, it’s impossible and careless. At least try to do them bits by bits until the night before due when you can go over what you’ve done and fix a few imperfections or cross-check your answers. Try doing this to multiple assignments instead of focusing on one or two assignments the entire week.

I usually bring unfinished assignments to school so I can get to work when I have free time, usually before after-school extras, or while waiting for an extra course. This way instead of going on Tumblr for hours, I’ll be figuring out math problems and (hopefully) have the homework done by ½ when the course starts.

3.       Gather Motivation

Take a look at that magnificent building, I will build tens of those once I become an architect. Have you seen the latest VSxBalmain collection? I’ll someday be working alongside Olivier Rousting .

It’s very important to keep being productive and use every free time wisely. While you’re at it, make sure to keep your motivate-o-meter at high level. Motivation and inspiration can come from anyone, anywhere and it doesn’t even have to come from anything relevant to your life goals. I usually get a boost of motivation after watching a couple videos of my favorite Youtubers (which has no correlation whatsoever to being an engineer), and I recently  got a huge inspo from reading Crazy Rich Asians. It seriously motivated me to work my ass off and be rich.

4.       Don’t Stop ‘til You’re Proud

Catch up on things you don’t fully understand. If you had a problem with certain subjects or materials, find the answers right away, don’t wait until the day before quizzes or mock tests when you will desperately need answers. Ask teachers, your friends, or our most trusty friend the internet. You can also download several applications to help you study, like Khan Academy and other similar apps. Once you put one problem out of sight, it will become easier for you to put more aside . This is what happened to me last year, I had problems understanding Chem but I refused to actually figure them out, thinking I would learn the materials later. 10 laters later, I got a 7 for end-of-semester test while my classmates received 9s and 8s.

So you have studied for this particular test and still got a bad mark. Shit happens honey, tough it up. Even while I’m writing this, I fully understand that the theory of ‘picking-yourself-up’ is much easier said than done. Give yourself some time to breathe, and start with “okay, where did I go wrong?”. Figure out the errors to make sure you’re not doing them the second time. Consider it this way: the subject has betrayed you and you’re getting a revenge. I planted this idea the very first day of senior year, the thought has driven me to never quit trying. It’s almost like Elle Woods to Warner, but instead it’s me and Physics.

5.       Get A Rest.

Senior year doesn’t mean you lose all hope of going on shopping sprees, watching the latest movies, or taking care of your Tumblr blog. If anything, I’ve watched more movies with my friends this year than I did previous years, simply because we have little time to relax so we made the most of one when we had the chance to. As long as you keep track on your to-do-list, stay discipline on your schedule, a little catch up on KUWTK won’t hurt.

Don’t push yourself to the point of falling down. Read books, paint, dance, even play games (Mobile Legend is the hype these days it’s getting annoying), anything to keep you sane and motivated. Never let the pressure of GPAs and prestigious colleges take positivity away from you.

6.       Don’t Over-Rest.

Yes, hun, I was just telling you to enjoy your senior year and now I’m telling you to not over-relax your way. Maintain a schedule, make agreements with yourself and stick to it. “At 8pm I will start on Math homework, and the rest is for tomorrow”. “I will work my butts off from 8 to 10 am then I can go on Tumblr”. “I will start on my History papers and take a rest after 2 pages”.

I’m not telling you to work 24/7 because that’s not healthy, I’m ALSO not telling you to spend all your weekend in bed and procrastinate because it would defeat the whole purpose of learning to be productive. Once you let yourself procrastinate, It’ll be easier for you to do it for the second, third, and fourth time.  Sometimes you just need to gather your will, get up and face those text books.


Well, there you go. These are all the things I have been doing to not only survive, but to do well in high school. I have been doing all these tips religiously for the past 6 months, it’s almost impossible not to feel tired or even want to just cut it off. But studying routinely makes me feel in control of what’s happening currently, what’s going to happen next, what I want to be doing in the future. So get up and let’s kick asses together.

5 step guide to an A in a foreign language

learning a foreign language can be daunting, especially when you are tasked to learn and memorize a large number of words and a new set of grammar rules… hopefully with these tips, it will help you learn and retain a new language as well as get an A in the class!

  1. stay organized: whether its binders or folders, find a method to keep track of all of your papers… don’t throw any away! unless instructed by your teacher/professor, all of your papers and notes potentially have important information that can help you on your tests and quizzes 
  2. find your study method: it is important to find an effective way of studying… some popular methods are flashcards and reviewing your notes (i personally use quizlet to review and memorize words and i look over my notes for grammar rules) there are many other methods, so you’ll have to find the correct method for you based on your goals
  3. study frequently: cramming for a foreign language is rarely effective, so make sure to study over several days when preparing for a test or quiz (everyday would be preferable)… this can be difficult depending on your schedule, so i recommend studying between classes, 5 minutes during lunch, or a little in your spare everyday. this, along with your normal study routine, will aid memorization in the short and long term 
  4. review tests and quizzes: after you get a test or quiz back, make sure to note words/grammar rules that you didn’t understand… study these first and frequently to build memorization 
  5. incorporate words into your natural vocabulary: it can sometimes be awkward to use words from a foreign language outside of the classroom, but, using words from a foreign language in your natural vocabulary can help you make connections between the two languages that can help with long term memorization and translation (i recommend incorporating words with friends that either speak the language or are taking the same class in order to make it less awkward)