Accept your new routine - the measures that were put in place are here for our own good and anger won’t bring back our old lives, it will only make us less happy
Catch up on news two times a day - although it is important to be informed, it is very important to not getoverwhelmed and panicked
Take advantige of opportunites you have - take online courses in something you have always been interested in (coursera has a ton of free courses), learn a new skill or brush up on an old one, workout, read books you haven’t had a chance to
Relax - although a lot of still have a lot of obigations regarding work and school, we still have more free time than we would otherwise and there is apsolutely nothing wrong with doing nothing with it
Connect with family - a lot of us are back home or surrounded by our loved ones more than we would be otherwise, talk, have movie nights, game nights, cook together…
Connect with yourself - spend some time everyday on your own, without any distactions, meditate, journal, write down your feelings, thoughts and wishes
Find a new purpose - for a lot us our day’s, week’s or life’s purpose was going to school or work and we can feel lost without that. That’s why it can be beneficial to find a project to put more energy in and that’s going to get you out of bed in the morning like running a blog, writing a novel, getting in shape..
Be grateful - you are still here, you are alive and breathing. Make sure to think of at list 3 things you are grateful for every day
shoutout to the students that don’t have a good study environment. who have to share a room with family members. who don’t have a desk or permanent place to study. who have to study with noise, distraction or yelling around them. Who live in tiny apartments with noisy neighbours. who have to hurry home because before dark because they don’t live in a safe neighbourhood. who are surrounded by crime and gangs and are just doing their best to survive. who get woken up by police sirens on a regular basis. who only have third-hand twice repaired technology to study with and no backup plan for when their laptop inevitably breaks. who are dealing with language barriers, being the family translator, prejudice and trauma from having to flee their homes or country due to violence. who are worry about getting evicted from their homes in the middle of exam season. who are subject to the whims of bosses who can’t cut their hours and wreck havoc on their lives.
I can’t really offer you much help or pretend that I understand what you’re going through but I hope that you know that you have the support of this community and are free to express these challenges and worries without judgement and that you belong in this community.
I’ve spent the day reading Audre Lorde essays and editing my political science essay - a pretty good day!
I’ve finished all of my lectures and seminars for the term, so I just have my final essays that I am working on in the mean time. I also applied for a summer research job at my university a few days ago, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed for that!
it doesn’t feel like the semester is still going on, everything that motivated me (being on campus, seeing my friends and other students) is gone, everyone is falling behind and zoom lessons are so uncredibly awkward to sit through
i’m obviously priviledged to still have an education and i appreciate how much effort everyone is putting in to provide resources etc. but this just isn’t the best time for me rn
Harvard invented the college interview and evaluation of extracurricular activities in 1926. They were intended to be measurements of future students’ “character.” This was because when only academics were considered in their college admissions, Harvard thought it was accepting too many Jewish students.
Not enough people are talking about the Spring Class of 2020…
As a master’s student graduating in May during this pandemic, I want to share what this experience looks like for the Class of 2020…
Students have worked for years on their education so they can graduate, find a job, and achieve financial independence. We’ve reached the finish line, but the pandemic continues and the economy is at a stand-still. Student debt has also amassed because our education system is broken. Federal exit counseling recommends that I make $50,000+/yr to pay off my debt. Cool, except internships were canceled mid-semester and job offers have been indefinitely rescinded. Out-of-state and foreign students were left to fend for themselves when campus closed. Those of us who are working as we finish our studies have been furloughed especially because corporations nix young employees first during economic downturns. Employers are raising job requirements on open positions because job candidate supply is high. Being young professionals, we simply can’t compete. We will now have an “employment gap” on our resumes which is frowned upon by recruiters. The longer this persists, the wider the gap grows.
Meanwhile, the government denied students the $1,200 stimulus check if they were claimed on their parents’ taxes. We still have bills to pay. Student loans might have been deferred for now, but when the economy returns to normal, many are expected to pay for all the deferred payments. Oh yeah, rent is due and we still have no income.
I’m not sharing this to complain, but to spread awareness because very few people seem to understand what students have been dealing with during this crisis. Stay inside and congratulate a Spring 2020 graduate. It’s the absolute least anyone can do given the circumstances because commencement ceremonies and post-grad celebrations are canceled. We will prevail.
April is almost finished and I’m nervous about May because some professors changed exams dates from June to next month and with the new online system I’m scared of not passing all the subjects tbh 😣 That’s why I’m already studying a lot!
Hello! As finals season (aka 5-research-papers-due-in-a-week season) dawns on many of you, I thought I would share the process I used to write papers in college. This made writing long research papers much less daunting (but can also work on shorter papers). I really hope this helps some of you who feel stuck. Especially during these ridiculous times, when you’re stuck at home and might have other uncontrollable factors affecting your mental health, a clear framework of what to do could be helpful. Good luck, my friends! You got this.
I graduated college in 2018 with degrees in Political Science + International Studies and will be starting law school this fall. I wrote nearly 20 15 to 25-page papers, never earning below an A. I loved researching about my topics but hated writing. It’s tedious, takes so much time, and everything I write sounds bad at first. Plus, I was a terrible procrastinator so most of these essays were written in under a week. Talk about stress.
Over time I found a process that worked for me, one that made churning out a paper seem straightforward, like going through a factory line rather than this terrifying concept of writing 10,000 words. It kept me sane without decreasing the quality of my work (or more importantly, how much I learned!)
I’m thinking about making a short video to show this in action… let me know if that could be helpful!
Step 1: Research
How you organize your research is a key step in keeping you sane. Usually I’ll have a pile of 20 books in my dorm along with dozens of JSTOR tabs open on my laptop, and that can get overwhelming very fast. Right now just focus on collecting ideas, not developing an argument or even an outline! As with most research papers, you could be starting with little to no background information on the topic, so it is still too early to be thinking about an argument.
Put all your research in one document
Open up a new doc: this will be the heart of everything. For a 15-page paper I usually end up with around 14-18 pages of typed research, 10 pt font, single spaced, tiny margins. This seems like a lot, but essentially all I do is type up anything I read that seems relevant to my topic, so luckily this step does not require that much brain power. Just type type type!
Use the table of contents
Find the chapter(s) that are actually relevant instead of skimming through the whole book. Time is of the essence here!
You can also use easybib or whatever you’re used to, but keep track of your sources. I like Zotero because I can keep a log of all of my sources and copy the footnote or bibliography version whenever needed. Before you even begin reading, cite the source and copy it into your research doc. This will save you so much time later when you have to put in your citations in the actual paper.
Here is an example of what my research doc looks like:
Full citation is my heading for each source just so it’s crystal clear
I ignore all typos (I don’t think there are any in this part though, go me!) because my head is buried in the book just trying to get all the info down
I always start with the page number so I know what to cite when I go back
Create a shorthand
While typing up research, you might think of something that the author didn’t talk about that you’ll want to write in your paper. Or perhaps a few sentences already start to form. Put them all in one place, with your research, so you know what source you’ll have to cite to then lead into your idea. I type “!@#” before anything that is strictly my own idea so I’m never confused. It’s fast and stands out.
This is an example: the two bullet points above are evidence from my source, which made me think of this argument I could make, which I noted with “!@#”
Step 2: Read Your Research
Now that you have all your information, go back and read through it all. Every time you read about a new theme/person/event, write it down somewhere. You may come up with a list of 20+ different ideas in your research. No matter how small, as long as there is something about it, write it down. Each of these mini themes is going to end up being a paragraph in your paper or combined with another mini theme.
Once you’ve made your list, look for larger overarching themes. In the paper I’ve shown you, I had mini categories like “political party x” “religion” “labor groups” “little organization” and “hierarchy.” When I looked back I though, hey these are all groups and how groups are working together, so they each became their own mini paragraph under the subsection of “Alliances.”
As with most research paper structures, I try to find three general themes/subsections (like an extended version of that 5-paragraph essay we wrote in middle school). It makes the paper less messy and also makes sure I’m not covering things that are beyond a reasonable scope.
During this step, you are also searching for your thesis. It won’t be your final version. As you fill in your outline in the next step you may make slight changes. But this is definitely when you start thinking about it.
Step 3: Outline
We’re ready to outline! Once I’ve collected all my different themes and organized all my subsections and paragraphs, it’s time to fill in that outline. I start a new doc just for the outline and take advantage of google doc’s headings function to make a clear document outline.
Here comes the fun part, I read through my research one more time, this time copy and pasting all my research into each section of the outline. The document outline in google docs makes this easy because I can just click on each subheading to get me there (super helpful when you’re dealing with 15+ pages of research).
Here is what it looks like:
Let’s say I need to add something to my outline about labor groups. Boom, labor groups. Also, the typos are really abound here haha
Step 4: Write the Paper
Okay, I get it, easier said than done. BUT! You already have everything set up. Your outline is essentially just a list of your paragraphs and all you have to do is paraphrase, cite, and create a topic sentence. And that’s how you should think about this: you’re essentially transforming bullet points into sentences and adding footnotes.
In high school my English teacher introduced us to Sh*tty First Drafts for creative writing, but honestly the same applies to research papers. Sometimes I’ll even have phrases like “wait no that’s not what I meant but basically…” and when I go back to edit, I realize that what came after “but basically…” is fine! And I keep it. So just start typing.
How do you cite while you write? Because we’re trying to get a constant stream of writing going, inserting proper footnotes after each sentence you type is too bothersome. I usually split screen with my outline and my paper so I just copy and paste a few words from my bullet point into my footnote, like so:
(This is from a different paper about cluster munitions.)
Step 5: Edit the Paper
I work best when I print out my first draft and make all edits in red pen. I feel more productive and can visually see where I want to move sentences and what I need to change. The more red there is the better I can feel the paper getting. (Whether or not that’s true doesn’t matter. We’re trying to stay motivated here!) When it’s all digital I don’t really see the progress. Plus, once I finish all the red, I get another moment of passive brain work, where all I’m doing is transferring edits rather than thinking. And at this point in the process, that kind of relief is much welcomed.
The good thing about this process is there’s not usually a need to cut entire paragraphs or pages because the paper you end up with is just a formalized version of your outline. Because you started with such a detailed outline, the cutting and editing now is just to refine your word choices and get rid of the “but basically”s. You’re almost there!
Step 6: Replace your citations
Now it’s time to go back and replace your footnotes with actual citations. Zotero makes this easy because in Word you can just insert and add the page number, and it’ll automatically do “Ibid.” for you when needed. Ctrl+f in the original research doc to quickly find the source.
Step 7: One More Read-Through and Submit!
Congratulations!! You’ve got a fully-researched and well-backed paper! Of course, even though the process is straightforward, it’s still a lot of work. In ideal situations I would start researching two weeks before the deadline, but if need be, I believe I’ve done this all in three miserable panic-filled days as well.
Please message me if you have any questions at all! I really hope some of you find this helpful! Good luck!
can we have some half-assed academia please, for those of us who want to do the bare minimum
handwriting legible only to the writer, but not in that mysterious calligraphy way, we’re talking kindergartner script
oversized hoodies, sweatpants, leggings, that one t-shirt you got during orientation, buns, braids, hairbands, bandanas, I just want my hair out of my face
all readings are pdfs, all highlighting is done in that ugly ass mustard yellow default Preview highlighter color
post-its literally fucking everywhere—on books, printouts, walls, windows, computer, etc. layered on top of each other because you keep adding to your hoard.
assignments submitted with less than a minute to go
“I haven’t started that yet lmao”
and yet, surprisingly okay GPA because procrastination is expected as well as accounted for
“Dear Professor So-and-So, I hope you are doing well. Unfortunately, I have been struggling with the latest assignment and will not be able to finish it on time. Would it be possible to get an extension? Thank you.“
Keurig/pod/instant coffee because you gotta get your caffeine somehow
cereal at midnight
“bold of you to assume i did the homework”
what do you mean color coding, all notes will be done with my trusty Zebra Sarasa Dry X20 0.7 because I got a twelve-pack from Amazon and it dries quickly and I killed my eyesight through childhood late-night reading so I require BIG BOLD LETTERS and I don’t care if it looks ugly
having too much faith in Quizlet
all the “my last two brain cells” memes
your life gradually deteriorates as the semester/quarter goes on
you walk out of your final exam content with the blissful sense of another class successfully bullshitted
A huge part of college that almost nobody tells you your first year is making connections. Especially with professors.
Shmooze with professors in your chosen field. Go to their parties. Go to their office hours. Ask them a lot of thoughtful questions in class.
Because if you’re going on to a career or grad school after this you might need letters of recommendation. Probably multiple letters of recommendation.
Also professors within departments talk to each other. They literally have weekly or monthly meetings where they discuss Very Important Things. If they bring you up in casual conversation that could be really good for you.
Also a lot of professors have connections in the professional world. They can get you important people’s emails. They can get you interviews and auditions. They can get someone to endorse your projects.
As long as you let your boundaries be respected, sucking up to professors is a valid strategy! Don’t be like me! Don’t be left your senior year floundering and wondering who to contact about letters of recommendation for grad school.
This is the most basic thing that a lot of people fail to learn. Without learning how to teach yourself, your study time will be inefficient and unproductive. This will improves the speed and quality of your learning.
First identity whether you are a…
Social (interpersonal): You prefer to learn in groups or with other people.
Solitary (intrapersonal): You prefer to work alone and use self-study.
Then try to identify how you already learn and where you can improve… If anything sparks your interest give it a go!
Visual (spatial):You prefer using pictures, images, and spatial understanding.
Use charts, graphs, maps, diagrams, timelines and infographics
Replace words with colors and images
Stay away from blocks of text, focusing on one idea per slide
Highlight important points in color
Try use a colour scheme for each subject/chapter. During your exams think back to that colour
Aural (auditory-musical): You prefer using sound and music.
Hold discussions and debates with class mates
Speak to yourself in the mirror about what you learnt
Incorporate music into your work. (associating songs with your content)
Create jingles or rhymes to help teach information
Verbal (linguistic): You prefer using words, both in speech and writing.
summarizing your notes
List out keywords on a separate paper
Use acronym mnemonics as teaching devices
find an audience/partner to teach
relate to your own real life experiences
Physical (kinesthetic): You prefer using your body, hands and sense of touch.
Try to find practicals online
Purchase a whiteboard and pretend you are a teacher. Draw diagrams and defenitions.
ask or find lots of worksheets online! do quizzes, fill in the gaps or play snap with yourself (subject content related)
Logical (mathematical): You prefer using logic, reasoning and systems.
put the key concepts or aim of each chapters ontop of the page
Connect the dots of the subject your learning on a mind map, (connect how pieces of your information relate to each other)
Provide specific goals/questions for yourself to answer by the end of the day
Relate to your real life experiences.
Naturalistic Learning: Naturalistic learning focuses on the need to be outside in nature to guide the learning process.
Create a loads of questions, go to a specific location and practice that subject or chapter. During your exams, try think back to that location.
Find outdoor places to revise or learn
Explain to yourself how you can observe your topic in the real world.
If you identify yourself, reblog and suggest other ways to learn to help others! This could help one of your followers!
So you’re telling me that I’ve been in quarantine for 30 days already because of a motherfucking PANDEMIC, that there’s volcanoes erupting at the same time all over the world, that fucking CHERNOBYL is on fire, that the economic crisis is going to be WORSE than the 1929 depression, that thousands of people are dying alone, that I’m alone away from my family, that we don’t know how to pay our bills AND YET MOTHERFUCKING PROFESSORS STILL EXPECT ME TO DO 9276 ESSAYS PER WEEK AND READ 639 BOOKS AND WATCH 307 MOVIES AND SERIES LIKE BRO SERIOUSLY I DON’T KNOW HOW IM STILL ALIVE
Now that we’re in quarantine and we’re all stuck in our houses, it can be easy to feel like we’re on break. It can be easy to get distracted and leave everything for the last minute(especially when a lot of us already do that😂). However, here are some tips to help ourselves get by:
Establish a study schedule similar to the one you had when you were in college or school. If you dedicate the time you used to spend in the classroom to doing the homework, essays and other assignments, it might feel a lot easier.
Make a study playlist or find one in Spotify. This might not work for everyone because a lot of people get distracted when they listen to music, but it’s always good to experiment. It also helps to change the type of music you’re listening to depending on the work you’re getting done.
Reward yourself. After you’re done, eat something nice, watch a tv show, spend some time with family if you like, call someone. Whatever you please.
Have a nice and cozy environment for studying. Be in an ambiance you like.
Alternate between the subjects you like best and the ones you like the least. However that looks like for you. If I can’t seem to pay attention, I do my favorite ones first in order to get my mind on track. If I’m very stressed, I normally get the thing I’m stressed about done first. It really depends on each individual and their circunstances.
If it’s one of those days when you barely feel in the mood to even stand up, just do a little bit. Even if it’s just writing down one sentence in an essay or reading the introduction of a book.
Look up different studying techniques. Maybe they’ll work for you.
Call a friend or classmate so you can get the work done together and it’ll feel a little easier. This can be a huge difference.
That’s what I have so far. Might be posting more later.