Day 1/100

I’ve been so sick lately. I mostly stayed in bed if I didn’t have classes but today, I feel better. I’m currently reading my lecture for my Global History discussion. Due of my sickness, I’m behind all my reading 😐. I restart my 100 day of productivity because I was so sick and I was not able to study … let’s go motivation

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21•03 | first day of uni was pretty exciting. the whole lecture theatre was full of students and it happened to be the biggest lecture theatre in my uni. my first tutorial involved ice breakers and making a history timeline of things that i had zero knowledge on ;-; buT overall t’was a good day , here are re-written lecture notes because productivity is key

University Success Tips

1. Start assignments as soon as you get them. I don’t mean writing an entire essay the day it’s assigned, but just do something towards it - brainstorm some ideas, list the lectures that are relevant to the topic, or find and bookmark 4 readings for it. Starting an assignment is always the hardest part and this way you get it over and done with, which is really motivating. You also feel really organised for starting right away. And definitely make sure you write the due date into your planner and make a plan for when you want each step done.

2. If you take notes by hand, summarise them on the computer; if you take notes on the computer, summarise them on paper. That way even if you don’t have a computer with you you’ll still have the paper notes; if you forget the paper notes, you can access the information on the computer.

3. Label all notes! With the course title, term, lecture number, date, lecture title, and lecturer (for lecture notes), or the course title, week, book/article name and chapter, lecture they correspond to, and date for readings. Then create a little table of contents so you can easily see what lectures and readings you need for each assignment or test. 

4. Go to all your classes and do all your readings. You need to be exposed to material at least 3 times to really remember it. If you go to class and do the reading that is 2 exposures already, which will make studying for exams a lot easier.

5. Pay attention to details. Due dates, required formatting, referencing styles, word limits, spelling, grammar….these might seem like little details but it’s amazing how much they can take away from your grade if you get them wrong. 

6. Do the readings ahead of class and think of a question to ask about them. Not only will this make you seem really smart and impress your lecturer or tutor, but thinking of questions and finding the answers to them is really good for memory and learning. Don’t actually ask questions in every class or your classmates will hate you (unless there is a set question time), but see if your question is answered in the lecture, and if not then ask it in class sometimes or else ask it after class, flick the lecturer an email, or do some extra research.

7. Join clubs. The best way to make friends, experience university life, and keep yourself sane during assignments. This also looks good on a CV - heaps of people get degrees so make yourself stand out by doing some other stuff at the same time. 

8. Talk to the people in your classes. I know this is hard for a lot of people (me included) but it is really reassuring to know you’ll have someone to sit next to and borrow notes from if you’re sick. A good way to start doing this is to find someone who’s sitting alone and looks a bit bored or lonely and ask if the seat next to them is free. Then try asking them what their major or degree is, or what they think of the course so far. People love talking about themselves so this is a great way to start a little conversation! 

9. Start studying for exams early, but only do a little bit a day. You will learn more, and be less stressed, if you study an hour a day for two weeks than if you study for 14 hours in one day.

10. Sleep and exercise. It’s easy to think you’re too busy for these things, but you are not. These are essentials. It is so much easier to learn and concentrate after 7 hour’s sleep and a twenty minute jog. You’ll also be much happier and healthier!

Yay for sunlight! Should’ve left this picture one minute later cause the fact that it’s 11:29 on my screen bugs me so much! Breakfast today is my granola, with goats yogurt, sprinkled with chia seeds and goji berries. Oh and juice too. Hello to all ten of my new followers I love you lots!
Today’s to do list: finish final proposal, do a blog post (on my uni blog - it’s graded!), do a sketchup model, go out and restock on face wash and things like that, and then do another blog post! Busy busy busy. - emily x

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HOW I TAKE NOTES!

Taking good, accurate, and fast notes is crucial to success in any sort of post-secondary education. It’s only now, in my third year, that I’ve finally nailed down a system that works. For me. It may not work for you, fancypants.

  1. Take speedy notes in class. Notes on notes. On notes. This is probably the most important step. When I’m in class, I try to focus both on what is on the slide/ board, and what the prof is saying. Often I find what the prof is saying comes in handy later on when I’m studying because it can help contextualize what I’ve written down.
  2. Skip a few days. Relax. Have a nap. Have three.
  3. Re-write the notes, taking care to focus on definitions and key words. For me, this involves separate colours. Green is for key words that will stick in my brain for when I need them later, like on the midterm. Pink is for terms and definitions. This way, when I’m trying to memorize, the most important things can jump out at me. Purple is for headings and general knowledge. I usually know a list or group of similar characteristics is coming when I need purple.

Studies show that both re-writing your notes and using different colours helps with retention. I think this method works so well for me because I feel like I’m getting a two-for one: prettier notes, and extra studying. Mama loves a bargain.

Credits to my homeboy’s Mankiw, Kneebone, and McKenzie, for making Microeconomics fun since 2011.