university advice

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OR ANY ARTIST THAT MAY DO TRAD ART AT SOME POINT

BC IVE SEEN THIS SHIT INFORMATION PERPETUATED ENOUGH TO GET ME PRETTY FUCKING HEATED

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miscellaneous tips for your first year of college/university:

academics

- try as much as possible to avoid 8 am classes. you could do it in high school, but trust me when I say you don’t want them in college. (but also realize that sometimes you have to take them if you want to graduate on time, especially if the classes are only offered during a certain time.)

- go to office hours. go to office hours. for the love of god, go to office hours. you want to be on good terms with the professors, especially those in your major department because chances are you’ll be in their class more than once and you’ll need a letter of rec from them.

- but if you’re trying to raise your grade, kiss up to the TA (teacher’s assistant). they’re the ones that are in charge of your grade, not the professor. they know you better because of the smaller class sizes and they’ll know how much work you’re really putting into the class.

- it’s quite possible the pull off writing a 5-7 page paper the night before it’s due and still get a good grade on it if you know the material well.

- address emails to the professor with “Hello Professor, …”, include the class you’re in, and conclude with your name and student ID number. be professional and keep in mind that the professor lectures to hundreds of students.

- bring a cold bottle of water to morning lectures and drink from it if you feel like falling asleep. the cold will keep you up (and it’s healthier and cheaper than coffee).

- library floors get quieter the higher you move up.

- if you want to take adderall, don’t start with a large dose. start with 10mg, see how you handle it, and go from there. adderall can be dangerous if you OD. some side effects of adderall include trouble falling asleep and loss of appetite.

- it’s in your best interests not to plagiarize. properly cite all the sources you use. maybe you got away with it in high school, but that shit won’t fly in college.

- study groups are only helpful and beneficial to you if everyone in that group has something to contribute.

- self control, momentum, and evernote are great productivity apps for your mac.

dorm life

- tide pods for laundry is so much easier than lugging down a bottle of detergent and a separate bottle of softener and then having to measure them out.

- if you’ve already washed your colored clothes at least once, you don’t need to separate lights from darks. just remember to use cold water. (I myself am a lazy fuck and I don’t sort my laundry at all. my clothes are fine.)

- ask your RA to get a clock radio for the bathroom (if it’s communal) so music can drown out the sound of the person taking a shit in the stall next to you.

- don’t be afraid to speak up if your roommate does something that is annoying you. approach them in a friendly way (chances are, they didn’t even notice it was bothering you) so that they’ll give you the same courtesy. communication is key.

- you don’t have to be friends with your roommate. you just have to live with them. don’t try and force a friendship if it clearly isn’t working.

- don’t be that asshole that hits their snooze button 10 times so their alarm goes off repeatedly.

- instant noodles = life.

- bring tupperware and hide it in your backpack so you can sneak food out of the dining commons.

partying

- don’t go to parties if you don’t like them.

- don’t drink any hard liquor that comes from a plastic handle.

- you should not be with friends that try to convince you to violate your morals.

- conversely, you should also not be with friends that judge you if you don’t share their morals.

- always. use. the. buddy. system.

- if someone passes out/falls asleep, lay them on their side, not their back. that way, if they throw up, they won’t choke.

- if you get to the point where you need an ambulance because of all of the drugs/alcohol you ingested, tell the medic the truth about the substances you took. they’re not interested in putting you in jail; they’re just trying to save your fucking life. (I can personally attest to this.)

- make sure the change your privacy settings on facebook if you don’t want your family seeing pictures of you with alcohol in the background, dressed promiscuously, etc. some friends don’t ask before putting up/tagging you in pictures.

sex

- to someone that has never had sex, it seems like everyone is having sex all the time and that’s all that matters, but trust me when I say that’s the furthest thing from the truth. don’t let the pressure get to you.

- use condoms even if you’re on birth control to protect from STDs.

- try to take a sex ed/human sexuality class. (the one I took was offered through the sociology department.) in universities as opposed to high school, the sex ed is more comprehensive, usually covers queer relationships (mine did), and does not teach from an abstinence-only POV. they’re very helpful even for those who have had a lot of experience.

- don’t expect people you hook up with at parties to be anything more than that - hookups.

- abstaining from sex doesn’t make you any better than someone who fucks a new person every weekend and being sexually active doesn’t make you “cooler” and someone who has never had sex. remember that.

- don’t use flavored condoms for penetrative sex; you could get a yeast infection. flavored condoms are meant for oral sex only.

- speaking of condoms, it’s really easy to get them for free. student health hands them
out like candy the first couple weeks of school.

- get tested first if you and your partner want to have unprotected sex. seriously.

free free to message me any more questions you might have about college/uni. I’d be happy to help/share from my personal experience or elaborate on anything I’ve said here. reblog and add more tips if you have them; I’m sure i haven’t thought of everything. have a great upcoming school year, freshmen!

Overrated First Year Advice

Disclaimer: I don’t mean to discredit the posts that have these suggestions in them… However, I know that for people going into first year university, it can be stressful seeing pages and pages of “must-dos” and feeling like you have to do them all. As always, different things work for different people! 

Talking to Profs 

  1. Getting to know profs personally. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to profs personally, don’t feel like you have to. In upper years, it can be really valuable to know profs for recommendations, etc. but in first year this is less important. Profs also don’t usually mark your work in first year, so you don’t need to suck up to them for good grades. 
  2. Going to office hours every week. Going to office hours can be very valuable if you have questions about the course or an assignments. However, I see a lot of posts telling students to go every week even if they don’t have a question. You don’t need to do this unless you want to! Often times, profs will even request that you talk to your TA before them.
  3. Emailing the prof if you miss class. Unless you go to a very small school, the prof is not going to notice if you miss class. You don’t need to email them telling them why you were absent, you can just go to a different section of the lecture or get the notes from someone. (If you have labs/tutorials/seminars, the same does not apply!! Email your TA.) 

Studying and Grades

  1. Starting to study for tests six weeks in advance. This is one piece of advice that always baffles me. The semester is only 12 weeks long (usually), so if you have a quiz in week 6, you can’t start studying for it much before week 4 or 5. Also, there is no way you will retain the finer details of things if you learned them 6 weeks before writing the test. 
  2. Guaranteeing a 4.0. I see a ton of posts telling students how to guarantee a 4.0 average or straight As. But honestly, as much as you do all of the readings and go to lectures and follow all of the studyblr advice out there, you can still get a TA who won’t give any mark higher than an 80. Just try your best and know that even though getting high marks is great, it is not the only indicator of success in uni. 
  3. Sitting in the front of the class. This is not a necessity. A lot of people post that if the prof can see your face and remember you, you will get better grades. However, in first year, the prof doesn’t mark your papers usually and even if they did, your paper doesn’t have a photo of you on it. Also, they teach so many classes I doubt they just naturally remember the first three rows of each one and no one else. Just sit where you are comfortable and can pay attention and see, and you will do fine. 
  4. Choosing your major in high school or based on what job you think you will get. If you think you want to major in something and then it turns out you hate it, that is fine! Your major should be a subject you are passionate about and can get good grades in, not something that you chose in high school or will “guarantee” you a good job (although, its also okay if your major is all of the above). 
  5. Taking full notes on a topic before the lecture. If you are going to the lecture with a ton of info already, it is easier to get distracted or to feel like you don’t need the lectures at all. Instead, take notes in the lecture and then supplement them with notes from readings or bonus material rather than the opposite way. 

Textbooks

  1. Buying textbooks online. I definitely think that buying textbooks online can be a good idea, but sometimes it is just easier to buy them from the bookstore. For example, if you are not sure if a site is legit/the book will come in time/its the right edition, etc. it might just be safer to get it in person or buy it used on campus from an upper year. (Remember, you can probably sell it next year!) 
  2. Buying old editions of textbooks. If you have the two books side by side and can tell that they are very similar, go for it. But often times, two different editions are totally different and can just mess you up. Science and math books often have different practice questions, and even in social sciences and humanities, the content can change drastically in one edition. 

Lifestyle/Personal

  1. Buying extra storage and furnishing for your dorm. Make sure you do a virtual room tour or talk to someone about the layout before you buy a ton of storage. Most dorm rooms that I have been in have a ton of storage (mine has a closet, a huge desk, shelves to the ceiling, a dresser, and cabinets for extra storage). You don’t want to show up with way too much stuff. 
  2. Keeping 1000 things in your backpack. If you live on campus, you don’t actually need to carry every single thing on earth in your bag. It will get annoying carrying around a heavy backpack while walking. Unless you are going to the library for a huge study sesh or can’t make it back to your room all day, pack lightly! 
  3. Avoiding wearing “freshman clothes”. No one cares what you are wearing. People often wear pajamas or just track pants and a baggy t-shirt to class or the caf. If you like dressing up, that’s great! But don’t feel like certain clothes are off limits. 
  4. Living at home meaning you aren’t independent. Posts that look down upon living at home or going to your home university are garbage posts in my opinion. Being able to live away from home is a privilege, and many people are not financially, physically, or emotionally able to do that. If you are living at home, do not feel bad about it. You are still an adult and you are still independent. 

Hope this helps reduce some rising freshman anxiety! And remember, if you do want to follow any of the original tips, that is okay too. :) 

University Survival Tips
  • Instant rice is your friend
  • Srs tho it will save you so much time
  • Actually go to your contact hours
  • Keep a stockpile of tinned pulses in your cupboard
  • They’re a v inexpensive source of protein
  • Plus you can make them into a meal in about 10 minutes
  • Always have a ‘crisis meal’ prepared
  • Like a frozen pizza or a can of soup or something
  • Something really quick and easy for evenings when it’s all going tits up
  • Keep hydrated
  • Cliche yeah but seriously it will make you 100x more productive
  • Try to stay like semi organised and on top of things
  • Will save you so much stress
  • Sometimes you’re going to have to stay up until 1am working
  • That’s okay and normal
  • But do try to keep some kind of sleep cycle going
  • Pick 2 or 3 things to do outside your degree
  • Like join some societies or do something with your uni’s student council or just anything that isn’t directly to do with academics
  • Balance is important
  • Sometimes it will all get a bit much and you’ll have a good cry
  • That is very okay
  • Uni is hard and adapting to uni is hard and I promise we’ve all been there
  • You wouldn’t have gotten in if you weren’t academically capable
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback
  • If your lecturer puts the slidesets up somewhere in advance and you make written notes please please please print them off ffs
  • Much easier to annotate a handout than try to scribble down what’s on the slides
  • And that way you will actually hear what the lecturer is saying
  • Don’t be afraid to talk to your tutor
  • They’re there to help and I guarantee you will not be the first or last student to come to them with whatever issue you’re having
  • Take care of yourself
  • You will be fine
  • You got this
Internal Conflict:  Five Conflicting Traits of a Likable Hero.

1.  Flaws and Virtues 

I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but characters without flaws are boring.  This does not, as many unfortunate souls take it to mean, imply that good, kind, or benevolent characters are boring:  it just means that without any weaknesses for you to poke at, they tend to be bland-faced wish fulfillment on the part of the author, with a tendency to just sit there without contributing much to the plot.

For any character to be successful, they need to have a proportionate amount of flaws and virtues.

Let’s take a look at Stranger Things, for example, which is practically a smorgasbord of flawed, lovable sweethearts.

We have Joyce Byers, who is strung out and unstable, yet tirelessly works to save her son, even when all conventional logic says he’s dead;  We have Officer Hopper, who is drunken and occasionally callous, yet ultimately is responsible for saving the boy’s life;  We have Jonathan, who is introspective and loving, but occasionally a bit of a creeper, and Nancy, who is outwardly shallow but proves herself to be a strong and determined character.  Even Steve, who would conventionally be the popular jerk who gets his comeuppance, isn’t beyond redemption.

And of course, we have my beloved Eleven, who’s possibly the closest thing Stranger Things has to a “quintessential” heroine.  She’s the show’s most powerful character, as well as one of the most courageous.  However, she is also the show’s largest source of conflict, as it was her powers that released the Demogorgon to begin with.  

Would Eleven be a better character if this had never happened?  Would Stranger Things be a better show?  No, because if this had never happened, Stranger Things wouldn’t even be a show.  Or if it was, it would just be about a bunch of cute kids sitting around and playing Dungeons and Dragons in a relatively peaceful town.

A character’s flaws and mistakes are intended to drive the plotline, and if they didn’t have them, there probably wouldn’t even be a plot.

So don’t be a mouth-breather:  give your good, kind characters some difficult qualities, and give your villains a few sympathetic ones.  Your work will thank you for it.

2.  Charisma and Vulnerability

Supernatural has its flaws, but likable leads are not one of them.  Fans will go to the grave defending their favorite character, consuming and producing more character-driven, fan-created content than most other TV shows’ followings put together.

So how do we inspire this kind of devotion with our own characters?  Well, for starters, let’s take a look at one of Supernatural’s most quintessentially well-liked characters:  Dean Winchester.

From the get-go, we see that Dean has charisma:  he’s confident, cocky, attractive, and skilled at what he does.  But these qualities could just as easily make him annoying and obnoxious if they weren’t counterbalanced with an equal dose of emotional vulnerability. 

As the show progresses, we see that Dean cares deeply about the people around him, particularly his younger brother, to the point of sacrificing himself so that he can live.  He goes through long periods of physical and psychological anguish for his benefit (though by all means, don’t feel obligated to send your main character to Hell for forty years), and the aftermath is depicted in painful detail.

Moreover, in spite of his outward bravado, we learn he doesn’t particularly like himself, doesn’t consider himself worthy of happiness or a fulfilling life, and of course, we have the Single Man Tear™.

So yeah, make your characters beautiful, cocky, sex gods.  Give them swagger.  Just, y’know.  Hurt them in equal measure.  Torture them.  Give them insecurities.  Make them cry.  

Just whatever you do, let them be openly bisexual.  Subtext is so last season.

3.  Goals For the Future and Regrets From the Past

Let’s take a look at Shadow Moon from American Gods.  (For now, I’ll have to be relegate myself to examples from the book, because I haven’t had the chance to watch the amazing looking TV show.) 

Right off the bat, we learn that Shadow has done three years in prison for a crime he may or may not have actually committed.  (We learn later that he actually did commit the crime, but that it was only in response to being wronged by the true perpetrators.)  

He’s still suffering the consequences of his actions when we meet him, and arguably, for the most of the book:  because he’s in prison, his wife has an affair (I still maintain that Laura could have resisted the temptation to be adulterous if she felt like it, but that’s not the issue here) and is killed while mid-coital with his best friend.

Shadow is haunted by this for the rest of the book, to the point at which it bothers him more than the supernatural happenings surrounding him.  

Even before that, the more we learn about Shadow’s past, the more we learn about the challenges he faced:  he was bullied as a child, considered to be “just a big, dumb guy” as an adult, and is still wrongfully pursued for crimes he was only circumstantially involved in.

But these difficulties make the reader empathize with Shadow, and care about what happens to him.  We root for Shadow as he tags along with the mysterious and alternatively peckish and charismatic Wednesday, and as he continuously pursues a means to permanently bring Laura back to life.

He has past traumas, present challenges, and at least one goal that propels him towards the future.  It also helps that he’s three-dimensional, well-written, and as of now, portrayed by an incredibly attractive actor.

Of course (SPOILER ALERT), Shadow never does succeed in fully resurrecting Laura, ultimately allowing her to rest instead, but that doesn’t make the resolution any less satisfying.  

Which leads to my next example…       

4.  Failure and Success 

You remember in Zootopia, when Judy Hopps decides she wants to be cop and her family and town immediately and unanimously endorse her efforts?  Or hey, do you remember Harry Potter’s idyllic childhood with his kindhearted, adoptive family?  Oh!  Or in the X-Files, when Agent Mulder presents overwhelming evidence of extraterrestrial life in the first episode and is immediately given a promotion?  No?

Yeah, me neither.  And there’s a reason for this:  ff your hero gets what they want the entire time, it will be a boring, two-dimensional fantasy that no one will want to read.  

A good story is not about the character getting what they want.  A good story is about the character’s efforts and their journey.  The destination they reach could be something far removed from what they originally thought they wanted, and could be no less (if not more so) satisfying because of it.

Let’s look at Toy Story 3, for example:  throughout the entire movie, Woody’s goal is to get his friends back to their longtime owner, Andy, so that they can accompany him to college.  He fails miserably.  None of his friends believe that Andy was trying to put them in the attic, insisting that his intent was to throw them away.  He is briefly separated from them as he is usurped by a cute little girl and his friends are left at a tyrannical daycare center, but with time and effort, they’re reunited, Woody is proven right, and things seem to be back on track.

Do his efforts pay off?  Yes – just not in the way he expected them to.  At the end of the movie, a college-bound Andy gives the toys away to a new owner who will play with them more than he will, and they say goodbye.  Is the payoff bittersweet?  Undoubtedly.  It made me cry like a little bitch in front of my young siblings.  But it’s also undoubtedly satisfying.      

So let your characters struggle.  Let them fail.  And let them not always get what they want, so long as they get what they need.  

5.  Loving and Being Loved by Others

Take a look back at this list, and all the characters on it:  a gaggle of small town kids and flawed adults, demon-busting underwear models, an ex-con and his dead wife, and a bunch of sentient toys.  What do they have in common?  Aside from the fact that they’re all well-loved heroes of their own stories, not much.

But one common element they all share is they all have people they care about, and in turn, have people who care about them.  

This allows readers and viewers to empathize with them possibly more than any of the other qualities I’ve listed thus far, as none of it means anything without the simple demonstration of human connection.

Let’s take a look at everyone’s favorite caped crusader, for example:  Batman in the cartoons and the comics is an easy to love character, whereas in the most recent movies (excluding the splendid Lego Batman Movie), not so much. 

Why is this?  In all adaptions, he’s the same mentally unstable, traumatized genius in a bat suit.  In all adaptions, he demonstrates all the qualities I listed before this:  he has flaws and virtues, charisma and vulnerability, regrets from the past and goals for the future, and usually proportionate amounts of failure and success.  

What makes the animated and comic book version so much more attractive than his big screen counterpart is the fact that he does one thing right that all live action adaptions is that he has connections and emotional dependencies on other people.  

He’s unabashed in caring for Alfred, Batgirl, and all the Robins, and yes, he extends compassion and sympathy to the villains as well, helping Harley Quinn to ultimately escape a toxic and abusive relationship, consoling Baby Doll, and staying with a child psychic with godlike powers until she died.

Cartoon Batman is not afraid to care about others.  He has a support network of people who care about him, and that’s his greatest strength.  The DC CU’s ever darker, grittier, and more isolated borderline sociopath is failing because he lacks these things.  

 And it’s also one of the reasons that the Lego Batman Movie remains so awesome.


God willing, I will be publishing fresh writing tips every week, so be sure to follow my blog and stay tuned for future advice and observations! 

Me, 4 years ago: working in a dead-end job, sad all the time

Me, after studying a ‘useless’, ‘pointless’, ‘valueless’ philosophy degree: going to Oxford, lovely allotment garden, reading more poetry, happy

Don’t ever let anyone talk you out of studying what you love. Those people are the worst kind of people and they are wrong. I can’t believe 4-year-ago me ever doubted that doing what I loved was a good idea.

Some of these will not apply to many people so pls take them with a grain of salt. Also I’ve been collecting these pretty much for the two years I’ve been in college so it’s not a guide, they’re just… random I guess.

Making friends 

Warning - specially tailored for super shy people aka me

  • There’s a thing called the ‘first week window of endless oportunities’. It’s when groups are still forming and everyone’s desperate to make friends. This is the time to put your best self forward (I’m not saying be fake, just a little extra friendly).
  • Leave. Your. Door. Open. Do it. Even if you have a roommate. Best way to make friends the first week.
  • Actually get out of your room. You’re not going to meet many people if you hole up in your room. If you have a tv room or people are watching a movie, I don’t care if you’re not interested in what they’re watching, go.
  • If you have the balls to go to the room nextdoor and introduce yourself then you probably can skip this section by all means do it!
  • But if you don’t, going from door to door asking for help with your laundry takes a lot less courage + you will learn how to do laundry. Asking to borrow something (pencil, hair tie, hair dryer) also works.
  • If you’re staying at a residence hall, ask to sit with people at lunch! Nobody is going to say no, i promise.
  • Similarly if you see someone alone, ask them to have lunch with you! 
  • Also if you meet someone you get along with, as soon as you can, ask for their number ‘so you can go to the dinning hall together’. 
  • Remember people’s names - it makes people feel like you actually care about them. I know it’s hard but make an effort. Also it just gets annoying when someone asks about your name for the fourth time. Use mnemonics if you have to.
  • Asking what someone’s major is and where they’re from is standard procedure when you meet them but it doesn’t make for an interesting conversation. Think of other questions!
  • Make sure to arrive about 10 min early to your classes. There’ll be very few people and so it’ll be easier to strike up a conversation (actually people will probably talk to you without you having to say anything which is g r e a t)
  • Say yes - as a rule of thumb, your social life should prevail over your academic life the first two weeks. This is the time where you’re not really pressed for time. Say yes to watching movies, say yes to going to lunch, say yes to going to campus events (and even to parties). Obviously don’t do anything that makes you really unconfortable but do try to step out of your comfort zone
  • Make friends with an upper-classman from your same major. Or at least be on speaking terms. Talk to them on Facebook, ask them about your major, just use any random idc excuse to introduce yourself, it doesn’t really matter how you do it.
  • Don’t go home every weekend, even if you live close by. You’ll miss out on the best of campus life and some of the most fun memories with your new friends.

Keeping your old friends

  • If you know you’re going home for the weekend, try to finish most of your assignments/studying and make time to hang out with your friends. Spending time with them is the best way to keep those friendships alive. 
  • But! Don’t worry too much if you can’t come home or make time for your friends too often, you just have to make an effort to text them regularly. It will come naturally if it’s your best friend, but don’t forget to set a reminder to text other close friends at least once every two weeks.
  • You may think you don’t care now but you will once you come home for the summer.
  • If any of your friends are staying in your hometown for college, be ready for them to get another friend group. That doesn’t mean they’ve forgotten about you, but don’t be mad if they seem to have a lot more plans that don’t involve you. You can always ask to tag along some time and maybe even become friends with these people!
  • Some people you’ll just lose contact with. Don’t fret it.

Organization

  • Please print out or buy a calendar that has a whole page for each month. With boxes preferably *shameless plug*. You may think you have it all under control but there’s nothing like being able to see all your due dates, hang out plans and laundry days at a glance. (Also js but the pilot frixion are perfect to use on calendars because they’re erasable).
  • There’s so much space under your bed. UTILIZE IT.

Keep reading

Fishing: digital painting walkthrough

So I got a question on anon asking me about my drawing coloring process, and unfortunately I accidentally deleted it, because I have clumsy fingers on mobile.

Thank you so much for your interest, I’m really honored! I will try and give a brief overview of my drawing process, and hope this is helpful or useful to you! I just started experimenting with Photoshop last summer around July, so I’m definitely not the most experienced, I’m still learning a lot!

I’m going to be using this drawing of Lapis, because it’s one of my favorite pieces and it is more detailed than my average drawing: 

This drawing was inspired by the episode “Alone At Sea”, where I wanted to illustrate this concept: 

This was my main reference, but I also throughout, used a lot of google images of water and colorful fish. 

Sketch: My canvas size was 3000 px wide and 2000 px high. I tend to sketch with the standard brushes and I actually have like 2 layers of sketches (one for basic shapes/sizes of things, then one for rough details and things). 

Lineart + base coloring: I add lineart, usually px size 6-8, with the pencil brush. I then add base colors, using the default solid brush. Usually they are the generic color I’m going for. I try not to get too stressed about the base colors because I usually cover most of them up.

Primary highlights/light sources: It gets more interesting once you establish primary light sources, so where the main light source is coming from, as well as reflections of things. I use a larger brush and add these on new layers, set to either overlay or screen or pin light. So I wanted light to be shining through the water, making the color reflect on Lapis, which is how it works with real light. 

Detail/color: I think this is the most fun part, where you choose colors to paint over. I think I painted this the way I normally use watercolor, which is combining a lot of complimentary and contrasting colors with varying amounts of saturation. It’s more complicated to explain that, but it’s a lot of eyeballing. For example, referring to the reddish colors, I tried spreading them around the drawing instead of having them just in one place. The reddish fish reflects around the water bubble, and the light is reflected on Lapis’s clothing as well. 

Highlights: This makes your drawing really stand out - often at this stage, many layers are on ‘luminosity’, ‘screen’ or ‘overlay’. I also do this with the lineart layer as well, so there are not just harsh black lines, which can be distracting. There are also secondary light sources, such as at the back of Lapis’s head, because I felt like there was still not enough red-orange in the drawing. 

Small white lines also make a big difference (such as those on the bubble, and on the edges of her jacket/in her hair). 

I later went and adjusted the color balance a bit, as well as increased the contrast so some more areas would appear darker and it was a bit less green in color. 


That is kind of the overview! I hope this was helpful at all, or at least interesting! If you have any more questions I would be happy to answer, I enjoy rambling. Sorry if this was a bit long!

Thank you so much for taking an interest!

List Of Alternate Universes

Alternate Universe (also known as alternate reality), is commonly abbreviated as AU and it is a descriptor used to characterize fanworks which change one or more elements of the source work’s canon. The term most often refers to fanfiction, but fanart can also depicted the characters in AUs.

Unlike regular fanfiction, which generally remains within the boundaries of the canon set out by the author, alternate universe fiction writers like to explore the possibilities of pivotal changes made to characters’ history, motivations, or environment.

  • Alien Invasion AU – In which the story deals with an alien invasion when canonically it does not ever happened.
  • All Human AU – In which characters who are canonically non-human are now humans, with corresponding changes to their backstories.
  • Alpha/Beta/Omega AU – Often referred to as A/B/O or even Omegaverse. It is a growing trope of AUs originated in kinkmemes in which characters can be Alphas (dominant males or females), Betas (ordinary working class), or Omegas (submissive males or females).
  • Android AU – In which the main character or most of the cast are turn into androids that serve different purposes, such as bodyguard, solider, caregiver and so on. In other cases it becomes something similar to Absolute Boyfriend (Zettai Kareshi) where they are mail order androids that can be order online or from a cataloged. If not, they may have originally been human but turn into an android for whatever reason.
  • Angel/Demon AU – When angels and demons exist (in the case of canons that don’t have them) or a character is recast as one of them. However, these kind of AUs don’t necessarily have to have both beings in the story as some tend to focus on only one of them.
  • Arranged Marriage AU – Similar to the Marriage Law AU, only the difference is that not all the characters are required to be married. It is mostly focused on only one pairing and it is usually a pairing that wouldn’t normally get together such as crack ships or doomed ships. In some stories it is a plausible idea, but in others it is not.
  • Bakery AU – When most of the cast of a story works at a bakery while the rest are customers.
  • BDSM AU – Is when the entire cast is either a dominant or a submissive and BDSM relationships are considered the norm. Be advised that while a healthy BDSM relationship is consensual and not dangerous, if handled incorrectly it can result in abusive behavior which is offensive and considered bad BDSM etiquette.
  • Bookstore AU – When most of the casts works at a bookstore. If not, usually a few of the characters work there, while the rest of them are customers. Another version is the Library AU, in which one or two of the characters are librarians, while the rest of the cast spend their time looking for particular books.
  • Business AU – In which the story is set in a building and the characters are employees. Sometimes it is focus on one character who works as a secretary and another character as their boss. 
  • Circus AU – In which the story is set in a circus and the characters are circus performers or customers.
  • Coffee Shop AU – Also known as Barista AU. In most cases, one half of the main pairing is the barista and the other is or becomes their favorite customer; in some stories the whole cast works at a coffee shop.
  • Crime AU – In which the characters of a story are various type of criminals, such as burglars, bank robbers, gangsters, drug dealers, smugglers, hitman/fixer and so on. This AU focuses on their criminal lives. It is similar to the Mafia AU.
  • Darkside AU – Is when the canon villain of the story succeeds in their mission and the AU story focuses on the outcome of it.
  • Desert island AU – Or an uninhabited island AU, in which a character or most of the characters of a story are trapped on a deserted island, usually from being shipwrecked or their plane crashing.
  • Dystopian AU – Is set in a dystopian society that is not the original setting of the canon.
  • Fairy Tail AU – In which canon characters are put into situations and/or settings from fairy tales, such as Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty,  Little Red Riding Hood, etc.
  • Fantasy AU – In which the story takes place in a fantasy universe where magic or magical abilities is normal, technology is nonexistent and supernatural creatures exist.
  • Flower Shop AU – Similar to the Coffee Shop AU and the Bakery AU, but instead the entire cast works in a flower shop. Or one of the characters works there and the rest are customers.
  • Genderswap AU – In which one or more characters in the story switch binary sexes, such as depicting a male character as a cis woman.
  • Harem AU – Or Reverse Harem AU is when a story that doesn’t contain any polygamous or love triangle relationships turns into one. Usually the main character has something happen to them that attracts the other characters to them, be it from a love potion, experimental perfume, spell gone wrong, and so on.
  • Haunted House AU – Or Haunted Castle AU, in which a character moves into a new home or castle and doesn’t know that it is haunted (usually by a ghost, sometimes a demon or some other type of creature) or they are dared by their friends to spend the night in it. 
  • High School/College AU – In which the characters are shown in high school or in college together. They are often done with characters who canonically meet later in life, altering or entirely overwriting their original backstories. Similar to this AU is the Boarding School AU and the Elementary School AU.
  • Hogwarts AU – In which the characters from other stories are placed into the setting of Harry Potter. These can be coexistent with Harry Potter canon, or ignore it entirely. But they are often portrayed as students of Hogwarts instead of teachers that work there.
  • Hospital AU – In which the characters of a story are doctors, nurses and patients in a hospital (sometimes it is set in an asylum). 
  • Hooker AU – Where one or more of the characters is a sex worker. The more common is the Pretty Woman-type fantasy of a hooker with a heart of gold, rescued from life on the streets by a client. Sex work of all kinds is portrayed: brothels, escorts, street prostitution, “call-girls” as well as strippers and go-go boys. Most of the time one character of the pairing is the hooker and the other the client, though some stories have both characters as prostitutes (sometimes along with other canon characters, in either a brothel-type setting or living on the streets).
  • Hunger Games AU – In which characters from other stories are competitors in the Hunger Games.
  • Ice Cream Shop AU – When the casts works at an ice cream shop. Possibly one of the characters owns it, while the rest are employees or customers.
  • Law Enforcement/Military AU – In which the cast are policeman, federal agents, soldiers, marines or whatnot and the story focuses on their lives.
  • Mafia AU – In which the characters are in a mafia.
  • Magic AU – Incorporate magic in stories where there is no magic present in canon.
  • Marriage Law AU – It spawn from the Marriage Law Challenge in the Harry Potter fandom, in which the premise is to forced marriage between a Muggle-born to a Pure-blood (or Half-Blood) due to a new decree passed by the Ministry of Magic to help preserve the magical population. 
  • Master/Slave AU – In which the cast are place in an universe where slavery is an accepted economic and cultural institution. Some stories treat this as a significant moral problem to be resisted and overthrown if possible; others treat slavery as an unchangeable institution.
  • Merpeople AU – Or also known as Undersea AU, in which a story is set in the ocean and the characters are turned into mermaids and merman. Sometimes it’s focus on only one character that becomes a mermaid or merman and another character that is a human. When it’s the latter the AU usually turns into a Little Mermaid type of story.
  • Modern AU – In which characters from a historical (or pseudo-historical) canon universe are placed into a modern setting.
  • Monster AU – In which the characters are changed into non-human creatures, such as Incubus/Succubus or other kinds of monsters.
  • No Human AU – Also known as Animal AU, is the opposite of All Human AU, in which characters that are canonically human are now non-humans.
  • Noir Detective AU – In which the characters are put in a typical ‘40s or '50s film noir environment. Or sometimes as a homage towards the style, in which the characters are still their canon selves, but plot or aesthetics are given a noir slant.
  • Opposite AU – In which canon personalities and backstories are swapped out with an opposite versions of themselves. Such as a quiet shy character may become loud and outgoing.
  • Pacific Rim AU – In which the characters are put into the world of Pacific Rim (most often as Jaeger pilots). This AU gained popularity due to the concept of Drift Compatibility that made for excellent shipping interactions.
  • Pen Pal AU – Is when two characters (who have met in canon) have not met each other in this AU. Sometimes they live in the area and other times they don’t live on the same continent. Usually it is their school that sets them up as pen pals. If not, it is because one of the characters writes a letter to the wrong person/wrong address or they accidentally texts the wrong person.
  • Pirate AU – When the whole cast are pirates and it is focus on shipboard life, usually it is set in early nineteenth-century Europe. Sometimes it’s pirates in outer space.
  • Prison AU – In which characters meet for the first time in an prison environment where they have to depend on each other.
  • Private Detective AU – When one of the characters becomes a professional detective while the rest of the cast are their clients or the detective’s contacts in the police department (sometimes they work in other fields, in which the Detective character calls them in for favors to help solve difficult cases).
  • Reincarnation AU – In which stories with historical canon setting have the characters become reincarnated into a modern setting and in doing so they are quite similar to their canon selves.
  • Reverse AU – Is when the roles (and sometimes backstories) of the characters are swapped, such as the hero is the villain and the villain is the hero.
  • Rockstar AU – In which the main casts is a popular music band or one of them is a solo artists with many groupies which may consist the rest of the characters. 
  • Roommate AU – In which the characters in a fandom are all living together in an apartment or an house. Usually this kind of story is focused on two characters that become roommates.
  • Royalty AU – Where one or more characters (who canonically aren’t) are members of a royal family. This usually goes hand in hand with a historical period, featuring a Medieval AU or Regency AU, although some works are set in Modern times or even the Future.
  • Single Parent AU – In which a character has a child or becomes a parent in someway and raises them on their own. 
  • Soulmates AU – Is when two (or more) characters are fated to be together, sometimes through multiple lives and/or into the afterlife. Sometimes but not always, the pairing might have a characteristic or tell to help them find each other, such as identical or complementary birthmarks, tattoos, scars, or an invisible string that ties to their other half which becomes thicker and shorter the closer they get to them. Some stories only need a character to hear (or just see) their soulmate to know who they are.
  • Space AU – Where a fandom that is canonically set on Earth becomes set in outer space.
  • Spy AU – Also known as Secret Agent AU or Espionage AU. The whole cast is turned into spies, sometimes they work for the same organization, government or they operate independently. Other times the AU is focused on only one or two characters that are the spies.
  • Superpowers AU – In which the characters have superpowers and are either heroes and/or villains. 
  • Steampunk AU – In which a story is turned into a futuristic/sci-fi version of a 19th Century, usually Victorian or Edwardian containing clocks, gears, springs, steam power, analog computers, airships, etc. 
  • Vampire/Werewolf AU – In which vampires and werewolves exist (in the case of canons that don’t have them) or a character is recast as a vampire or werewolf. However, these kind of AUs don’t necessarily have to have both species as some tend to focus on only one kind.
  • Victorian AU – In which characters from a modern or future-set story are relocate to a stereotypical Victorian romanticism era.
  • Western AU – In which the characters are transplanted into the “Old West”; or sometimes, especially in science fiction stories a Space Western equivalent, which may involve a western-type plot without horses and cattle ranches.
  • Wonderland AU – In which the story and the characters are turned into their own version of “Alice in Wonderland”.
  • Zombie Apocalypse AU – Also know as Zombie AU. In which stories that don’t contain an zombie apocalypse have it happen to them.

Note: This isn’t a complete list of AUs, but I will keep updating it whenever I come across something new (or someone lets me know what I’m missing). Also, keep in mind that sometimes an AU story is combine with others elements. For example, instead of the very common story about the characters attending a high school in modern times, it can be a magical school set in an futuristic world. 

Take a bucket and fill it with all of your worries.
All of them.
Every single one.
Then take that bucket, and empty it into the natural flow of the universe. Allow each worry to be washed away,
Disintegrate,
And vanish out of sight.
Allow for the natural way of things to act in its own timing. It will take away all of your worries. It knows the way, so surrender your torturous thoughts,
For everything will be alright.
—  Nicole Addison @thepowerwithin

MOVING TO UNIVERSITY/COLLEGE

Moving to university is a huge thing and it teaches you a lot. It’s been over a year since I first moved to university and I know a lot of you will be doing this within the next few months so I thought why not share my advice, tips and what I learnt about moving into university and out of home.

Keep reading

Advice for native speakers of a language when encountering foreigners learning their language

Of course this is aimed at people who want to help others learn their native language. It’s based on personal experiences from when I first came to France. If the language learner you meet is advanced and speaks fluently you might not have to do any of these. But I think they’re good to keep in mind when meeting new language learners.

1. Slow down a bit. Don’t do that thing often shown in movies where people speak super loud and as if in slow motion. Speaking super slow doesn’t help much with understanding or learning and shouting is useless unless you’re in a noisy environment. Just slightly slow down your normal talking speed, it makes it easier to recognize more individual words and phrases. And maybe dial down on colloquialisms a bit at first.

2. Give the person time to process what you said. Sometimes it can take a few moments to realize what was just said to us when we don’t speak the language well (even if the person is speaking slower than their normal speed). So don’t just assume the person didn’t understand you if they don’t respond immediately, give them a moment first.

3. Ask if they understood what you said once in a while. Also offer to repeat or explain things. Some people won’t have a problem letting you know if they didn’t understand a word or a phrase, but others might feel bad asking you to repeat yourself multiple times (I know I do). So just ask every once in a while to make sure they’re still following you.

4. Use simple words to explain things. If the person is just starting out with their language learning then they don’t have a large vocabulary so using unnecessarily long sentences filled with fancy words will just confuse them even more. Simpler is always better.

Example: I once had to call a phone company’s help line to resolve an issue. I told the person I didn’t speak French very well, carefully explained the problem and he spent ten minutes talking at normal speed, explaining something to me and I didn’t understand a word. When I told him I didn’t understand he spent even longer repeating what he said and going in even more detail and I still had no idea what he was saying. I was too embarrassed and didn’t want to spend twenty more minutes on the phone with this guy so I just told him I got it and hung up. The next time I called, someone else answered and they explained it to me clearly in a fraction of the time and I understood them perfectly.

So keep your explanations short and simple.

5. If they can’t think of a word in your language and say it in another language you have in common, tell them the word in your language before moving on with the conversation. So many times people have just nodded in understanding and moved on with the conversation without telling me the French word when I’ve used an English word for something in the middle of a sentence. It can be a bit frustrating to have to interrupt the conversation to ask for clarification after every sentence (and for those of us on the shy and/or socially anxious side it’s also nerve-wracking). Conversations will flow much smoother if you just throw in the translation of the word in your language and then move on. Also

6. Don’t automatically switch to another common language after they use a word or a phrase from that language when they can’t think of them in your language. Ask first. It might be easier for both of you, but it doesn’t help them learn your language. If you want to practice that other language with them then make a deal about when you’re going to speak which language with each other. That way you’ll both get to practice your target language. So just ask them if they want to continue in that language, but don’t switch without asking. Again, some people will be more than comfortable in telling you which language they’d rather be speaking in, but others might not.

That’s all I can think of for now. Feel free to add your own advice

Some uni advice
  • you will surely benefit from going to the lectures, but you don’t have to be always present
  • when commuting, read or listen to something, don’t just stand there
  • put your highlighters to good use, pretty books may look nice but you need to give some purpose to their existence
  • let’s be honest, most of us don’t study nearly as much as we should, but doing your homework and having somewhat tidy notes is the key to passing everything
  • be inspired by others, but don’t follow them blindly (that actually applies to your whole life)
  • take opportunities
  • find something you love doing outside uni or you’ll go crazy
  • take care of yourself and others
  • remember where you come from, but don’t get stuck in the past
  • remind yourself why you’re doing it
  • never give up

Studying any language is difficult. But here are a few of my top tips:

1. Find a good online dictionary that you can trust. My favourite is Spanishdict.

2. Listen to music in the target language. I listen to loads of Spanish music and I love it. If any one wants me to do a post on Spanish music then let me know. I’d be happy to!

3. Buy your favourite books/ books you want to read in the target language. Read it as if you would a normal book but each time you have to look up a word write it down in the margin of the book. Always reread a chapter.

4. Think in the language. Its often really hard to find someone to practise with you but by just trying to think in the language you are revising. So next time you are washing the dishes start thinking about your future goals but in the language.

5. Work abroad. I’ve done this twice now. I went to work in Spain as an Au Pair (I can also do a post on this if you want.) I learnt loads of colloquial Spanish. I also volunteered as a teaching assistant in the younger years when I was at school.

6. When you buy something new, check the label or the side of the box, bag etc to see if it has instructions or information in your target language. Read that first then only if you have to read it in your mother tongue.

7. Turn a notebook into your own personal dictionary. Every new word you learn right it in here then each week test yourself on a new page.

8. Watch films and tv shows in the language. Let me know if anyone wants any Spanish recommendation.

9. Don’t just learn the language, learn the culture and the history. Grab a book on the history of the country that speaks your target language and learn. The more you know and that!

10. Never give up. Put the grammar book down for a day or two and sulk about how hard it is and that you will never be fluent, but just never give up. If you do, you waste all the effort you’ve already put in!

                    Reblog if you’re a language learner!

The Tiny Anthropologist's Advice for College:
  • 8 AM classes really aren't that bad: It may take some willpower (and coffee) to get there, but really, 8AMs aren't that bad. Get a decent amount of sleep the night before and you will be okay. If I can get myself and my 4 year old out of bed, get ready, drop her off at preschool and arrive on time for an 8am, you can too!
  • Taking classes that meet once a week for long blocks: If your learning style is such that sitting in a long lecture once a week is something you can handle, then these are the best classes to take. Personally, I have done 3 semesters of these and they have been my favorite and the ones I have gotten the best grades in.
  • Scheduling back-to-back class periods: These can be beneficial if you're the type of person that just likes to get everything out of the way at once. However, the downside is that you will not have time to eat between classes, and you may have to grab something and eat during lecture. If the buildings for your classes are far apart, this may not even be an option. Having breaks between classes is important to allow yourself mental relaxation and to eat, or catch up on work.
  • Don't be afraid to change your major: I've changed my major a lot, like maybe 8-10 times. The downside is that I am graduating a year late, but I took A LOT of fascinating classes and became a much better rounded student. Colleges know that student change their minds. If you switch majors 2-3 times, you won't end up behind. I'm a special case.
  • Take long-hand notes: You may feel strange taking long-hand notes while everyone else is typing away at their MacBooks, but long-hand notes are MUCH more beneficial as far as long-term memory goes, and you don't run the risk of being distracted by Facebook.
  • Dress appropriately for class: The college stereotype of everyone attending class in their pajamas isn't true. At least make the effort to throw on a pair of jeans and a t-shirt. Your professors will notice if you look like a slacker in class, and dressing nicely (or at least not in your pajamas) shows them that you value your education and respect their lectures. People wear anything from casual clothes to ties to class, and everything inbetween. Don't be afraid you'll be overdressed, being underdressed is much worse (in my opinion).
  • Cultivate relationships with professors: ATTEND OFFICE HOURS. Close relationships with professors are massively helpful! Professors are much more willing to write letters of recommendation, look over rough drafts, or help you out via email at 10pm for students that they know than ones that they don't. Additionally, professors can be some of the most interesting people you will ever meet.
  • Attend class: Along the same lines as above, attending class is very important. You (or your parents) are paying for you to be there. You should try to get the most out of that by attending lectures that you have signed up for. Additionally, when it comes finals time and you need to boost your grade, no professor is going to help you if you haven't attended their lectures.
  • Invest in a water bottle: Nothing is worse than sitting in a lecture dying of thirst.
  • Invest in a messenger bag, tote bag, or backpack: You don't have a locker in college and chances are your dorm will be far away from your classes. Make sure you have something to carry anything you'll need, from books, to pens and pencils, to a laptop, or even snacks like granola bars.
  • Take notes: Do it. Your professor knows more than you, that's why they are at the front of the room. Listen to them, and write down what they say. Then study it. This is how you learn.
  • Utilize the library: Other than during finals week, the library is pretty much a guaranteed quiet place to study. Additionally, college libraries have databases for research papers, printing services, and a whole lot more for students.
  • Eat alone if you want/have to: No one will judge you. I promise.
  • Annotate your books: Especially if you are an English/literature major! It is a lot easier to simply take all of your notes in the novel than to copy down page numbers and quotes into a notebook. Textbooks (like science ones) can be annotated too!
  • Don't let anyone shame you about your major: Each major is difficult in its own way. Don't let anyone make you feel like you're taking an "easy" major or that they are more intelligent than you because they are in a "hard" major. STEM majors are not better than Liberal Arts majors, and Liberal Arts majors are not better than STEM majors. Ignore anyone who says otherwise. Ignore anyone who says your major is pointless. This does not only apply to fellow students, but family, friends, and the world in general.
  • Prepare for advising periods: Class offerings are usually posted before registration is open. Take an hour to become familiar with the requirements of your department and the individual college it is in (if applicable), as well as University/institutional requirements (IE at UMass, my "college" is the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, while my department is Anthropology. The university itself, SBS, and Anthro all have different specific requirements I must meet to graduate) and make a list of classes you would like to take that satisfy these requirements. Advisors will appreciate it.
  • Take advantage of campus resources: Many colleges and universities have numerous extremely helpful resources, such as employment services which will help with resumes, or counselors for when you're having a hard time. Use these. They are there for you.
  • Keep yourself organized: Notebooks, highlighters, a planner, flashcards, an expandable file, binders, folders, literally whatever you need to keep track of all your papers, assignments, due dates, and what you need to help you study is important for you to have. If you don't know what helps you study or what keeps you organized, try some different systems or do some research.
  • Keep your syllabi: Every semester I buy a different notebook for each class I am taking, and I always keep my syllabus folded in half in the back of each notebook. It has saved my ass numerous times.
  • Check your email or the course website before class: Nothing sucks more than being the only kid who didn't know class was cancelled, especially if you're a commuter and you drove in/took the bus to a class that isn't happening.
  • Give yourself plenty of time: Whether its getting to class, doing homework, or writing a paper, make sure you give yourself enough time. This is especially important for commuters. I can promise you that you will need more time to drive to class than you think. I live less than 40 minutes away from UMass and I still leave 75-90 minutes before class starts.
  • Understand your learning style: Do flashcards work best? What about mindmaps? Answering questions at the end of the chapter? Understand what allows things to sink into your mind the best, and utilize that method of learning.
  • Honestly, you can get by with SparkNotes: I was an English major. We had to read, a lot and I didn't always read the novels. I used SparkNotes and skimmed chapters. While I wouldn't recommend relying on this entirely to graduate, it can help in a pinch.
  • Skipping class: I know I just told you to go, and I do mean that. But sometimes you need to skip class and be lazy or frivolous, and that's fine. Don't make it a habit. I usually allow myself 1-2 "mental health" days per semester. HOWEVER you should be VERY clear on the absence policy of your professors. Some don't take attendance, and others will kick you out if you miss 3 classes. It's always in the syllabus.
  • It's okay to withdraw from a class: Getting a W is better than getting an F. If a class is too much for you, then it's best to step out of it. Most professors will understand, and most grad schools and jobs will too.
  • Be kind to yourself: It's easy to only value yourself through school, as in what grade you got on a test, or how your GPA stacks up against others but we are all human and sometimes we fuck up and sometimes we do poorly and thats alright. Learn from it and move on.
  • Take care of yourself: !!!!! This is very important. Eat as well as you can/enough, sleep enough, don't become addicted to or dependent on drugs/alcohol, exercise (even if its just walking to class), take showers, etc. Sometimes taking care of yourself takes a back seat to taking care of your grades OR to having too much fun, and neither is a good strategy. Yes, college is a time to assert your independence and have fun and party, but if you do too much it will begin to affect your grades and your health.
  • Try to get internships or research assistantships/independent studies: These will look great on your resume and a lot of them are quite interesting/enjoyable. It shows initiative, drive, and motivation! Professors usually have independent studies and career/employment services (if your campus has that) can help with internship placement.
  • These are basic things that I have learned during my college career. I'm sure I could come up with more, but I hope this is helpful!

During my afternoon’s break I’ve taken few minutes to start “This Will Make You Smarter: New Scientific Concepts to Improve Your Thinking” by John Brockman (editor)! (I shouldn’t be laughing at this, but his last name literally describes my financial situation 😂.. get it? Brockman Broke Man? :I’m out:

Edge.org is an organisation that promotes the spreading of cultural and scientific knowledge to a general public. The question of 2011 was “What scientific concept would improve everybody’s cognitive toolkit?”
So, many of the most famous thinkers responded to it and their answers are compiled in this book in 1-4 page essays organized thematically!
I’ll definitely not read this book in one sitting, I prefer to grab it whenever I feel the need to and read one or two essays and think about it!🤓🙌🏻

  • elementary: hey I'm Mrs. Jackson please only address me as such. let's get started.
  • high school: hi my name is Ms. Gates. maybe one day you guys can just call me Gates. let's get right into it.
  • university: yo just call me Bob let's get this shit over with.

5.5.17 // 7:05pm // guide to exam season

hello hello! i know i’ve been a little absent the past few days, but i had my last exam yesterday and now i’m finally home. i asked for advice/masterpost topic suggestions, so without further ado, here is my guide to exam season! (as requested by @rivkahstudies)

whether it’s high school finals, college finals or ap/ib exams, i’m sure we all know how it feels to have to learn (seemingly) all the knowledge ever known in a few weeks. here’s how to come out relatively unscathed:

1. pretty notes are nice, but they also take forever. i’m a huge fan of making summaries and study guides so, to spice up my notes efficiently, i pick two colored pens that I alternate between for each section/topic. 

2. on a similar vein, don’t use a billion different colors/pens/highlighters. it takes time to switch between pens or to pick up a highlighter. and to figure out what color the term/fact should be classified as. underlining and writing in all caps is just as effective to provide emphasis on something. and way faster.

3. study guides are your friend. like i said earlier, this is one of my favorite way to study for big cumulative exams. go through your notes (or the textbook) and summarize, but make sure you understand what you write down. write things in a way that makes sense to you (don’t just copy). going back over lecture notes is great because it forces you to put pieces together, calls things you didn’t get to your attention, and allows you to skip over concepts you are already very solid in.

4. learn from practice problems. if your teacher/professor give past exams or practice problems, use them. i like to go through them and, if i don’t know how to do something and wasn’t just being dumb, i take notes on key concepts/strategies used to solve the problem. this way, it’s on my radar and i can apply those strategies to other problems. if you really don’t have time (or are lazy like me), go through the solutions and take notes on any solution that you wouldn’t have immediately thought of. not quite as effective as actually doing them first, but it still helps.

5. memorize strategically. this one is really great for vocab or classes like ap spanish lit where you need to know facts about lots of different works. start by memorizing the “easy” ones that stand out. maybe you have a personal connection, or it’s the only work in that style or time period. i find starting there and working towards the more “difficult” works builds confidence and helps you be really sure of the ones you do know. if you get down to the end and there are two works you always get confused, at least you’ve narrowed down the list by having everything else locked in.

6. breathe. one of the worst things you can do is let yourself get overwhelmed (either while studying or while test-taking). don’t let yourself get to that point. if you need to take a step back, do it. pushing yourself too far can lead to a complete shut down, which will put you out of commission for (possibly) days and only fuel your sense of helplessness. exams are important, but they’re not so important that you need to sacrifice your well being.

best of luck with all your exams and please feel free to message me/send me an ask if you want more advice. i love giving it :D -m