Tag Archive | advice

Scholastic Monday: Tips for college! (The things they didn’t tell you in high school) #8

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Hello! Welcome to Scholastic Monday! Hey guess what we’re in November now which means the semester is almost over! Woo! For those of you that made it this far good job! For those who had to drop some classes, it’s alright I’ve dropped classes before. Don’t fret! You’ll be able to take it over again and knock that class right out of the ball park! If you had to drop out of college for any reason, then good luck in your new adventure. All you guys are awesome and I’m so happy you made it to another November.

Now I will tell you that November is that special month where it is easy to call it quits. For me my mind always tends to check out at this point. I get tired of writing papers, reading assignments, and keeping up with my homework that I start to wonder if there are some assignments or papers I can miss too. It’s also the month where it’s easy to fall into burn out too.

I’ve also faced burn out around this month and it’s not very fun. When burn out hits it becomes so easy to not care about your schoolwork or any of your assignments. My worst year was two semesters ago when my teacher kept emailing me about my paper because she didn’t want me to fail, but at that point I didn’t care. I threw something together that got me a ‘C’ and helped me pass the class.

I know November is the time where burnt out can happen before you know it. Today, I’ll tell you how I worked through burn out and pushed through the next month.

  • I talked with someone

I know I mentioned this before, but I’m going to say it again because it’s really important.

While I’m all for listening to people, I can’t stand talking about myself. I know it’s a combination of my anxiety telling me that people don’t care with my depression agreeing along that it took me some time to finally accept that there were a lot of people who were in the same situation I was. If you don’t like talking to someone in person there are some online options to help you too. I know it was very helpful for me to tell my friends how close I was to dropping out. The support I received, even from people I haven’t talked to since middle school, surprised me.

I spent so much time living in the negative thoughts of my head that I didn’t notice that there were people around me. It made me so happy to know that I did have people in my corner during my burn out period that pushed me to keep going forward. I know there are times you don’t want to hear it or get that little push, but sometimes it’s can be the push you need to keep going.

  • List the rest of your assignments

For me writing out the rest of my assignments helped me a lot more than reading them again in the syllabus. Once I narrowed down what I had to do, it made it easier for me to plan things around it. I tried to do my papers a week early when I found that didn’t really help me. Doing it a day or sometimes hours before the class worked because that left me less time to worry about it. I wouldn’t recommend it, but this helped me get through the last papers I needed to write for my classes. After I finished it I would cross it off my list and it made me feel a bit better. It let me know that I was close to finishing the semester and that I didn’t have that many things left. Seeing the rest of my assignments in a list that I could cross off helped me very much.

  • Eating right and drinking water

I know this sounds like a simple solution that can be found anywhere right? Well, during the swing of college it’s very easy to fall into a habit of not eating right. When assignments start to pile up one after the other, the readings start blending together, and projects never seem to end it’s easy to fall into the habit of just eating whatever and living off coffee. For me this made my burn out worse because I thought that I truly lost control since I wasn’t eating healthy or drinking enough water. It’s very important to take care of yourself.

It may mean putting that project, studying, and reading on hold for a little while. That’s okay. Those things will be right there for you whenever you’re finished. It’s alright to get some food it’s important to eat before you continue or finish whatever you started. Get some water to drink, being hydrated will help you concentrate along with the full stomach. Try to get some tea or hot chocolate to mix things up a bit. I know it’s not very easy to do when those various projects are sitting in the back of your mind, but believe me it’s better to take a break now than to crash in class because you’re hungry, a bit dehydrated on top of being sleep deprived.

I know different things works for different people. If there’s a method out there that works for you I say use it! It’s really easy to fall into a funk with the seasons changing on top of the stress of school. Take one step at a time. It was something I had to learn and I found that it’s helped very much. After we get after this hump you’ll be finished with the semester before you know it.

Good luck everyone!

Paul the study ghost says: “It’s always important to take care of yourself. I know you got the rest of the week. Good luck!”

Here are some helpful links that can assist in working through burn out too:

3 Reasons You’re Experiencing College Burnout (& How to Deal): This article tells you about the common causes of college burnout and how you can work through it.

Recovering From College Burnout: 10 Tips: Here are some tips to help you recover from college burnout.

Student Burnout: This article explains how college burnout happens, ways to work through it, and to recover from it.

Have a nice week everyone!

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Scholastic Monday: Tips for college! (The things they didn’t tell you in high school) #2

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Hello! We’re back with Scholastic Monday! We’re getting closer to finishing the first month of the new semester. For some it will be their first month as a college student, for others it will seem just a drop in the bucket, overall everyone made it. That’s something to celebrate! I’ve had my first main assignment, along with some quizzes, but it’s something I’ve gotten used to. It will be very new to someone coming back to college or going to college for the first time.

Don’t fret! Here are some ways that helped me organize the assignments and quizzes when I first entered college.

  • Put your quiz and assignment dates on your calendar.

Remember the calendar I mentioned last week, well bring it back out again to mark down important assignments, tests, and quizzes. Many of these dates will be in the syllabus that you received during the first class session along with other important pieces of information, such as your teacher’s office hours. Put these dates in your calendar and set a reminder. Nothing is worse than missing an assignment then going to your professor about it when it was in the syllabus the whole time. There are some professors that will let you make up assignments, however some will not. It’s better to keep up with the dates. It’ll help you keep up with things.

  • Try to make use of that free time.

One of the things I found when I entered college was all the free time I had. After going to class, I would eat, job search, hang out with friends and still have some time during the day before I went home. Instead of using that time to study or catch up on my writing, I didn’t use it. I would spend my time surfing the net or watching funny videos than trying to catch up on what I missed. Sometimes classes can be three hours long or one class will be in the morning while your next one will be in the afternoon or evening. While you wait in between classes is the perfect time to catch up on assignments, readings, or anything else you put off for the next day. If you’re caught up with everything, it’s a good way to relax before class too.

  • Make sure to read the syllabus

Remember the supply lists that you would get in high school that told you everything that you needed in the year, well in college the syllabus becomes that supply list. It has everything that you’ll need for the year, books you have to buy, when assignments are due and the teacher’s policies. It’s very important to read the syllabus and keep track of it. I mentioned this before in my first point, but I made a mistake of not reading the syllabus when I was freshman and tried to make up work at the last moment. It only adds more stress and it’s easier to make mistakes that way. Keeping up with the syllabus and dates will make your semester go by much easier.

It’s only the first month, but this is the month when things start picking up. If you miss one assignment or reading it builds up and before you know if you’re trying to finish everything before finals the busiest time of the semester. It’s better to have one or two missing assignments then having close to a semester worth due to a mistake that can be easily avoided.

If you have any questions, suggestions for a topic, or tips from your own experience let me know.

See you next Monday!

Paul the study ghost says: Good luck with the rest of the week!

Scholastic Monday: Tips for college! (The things they didn’t tell you in high school)

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Here is a new part I want to do with my blog. This part relates to my experience in college that I want to talk about. I should probably start at the beginning of Fall 2007 when I was a bright eyed college student. After getting accepted to my school and major at the time, I was really eager to begin school, yet I didn’t know where to begin.

In high school, my teachers handed everything to me. I knew I would run into my friends or at least someone I knew and I always knew when I had homework because they reminded us in class all the time. However, when I walked through those door at my university’s student center I was really afraid and not prepared.

In the early weeks of class I missed most of my assignments since I wasn’t used to it being online. I had to arrange things myself, meet with my counselor, and other things I wasn’t really prepared for in high school. The only thing high school really prepared me for was studying, but even then studying in high school is different than college.

It hasn’t been easy, though through trial and error I found my way and now I’m finally on my way to graduating. So I decided that since I’m at the end I would blog about my experience and include little tips, tricks, and websites that helped me along the way. If someone gets something from it even better! If it helps that would make me so happy. If not, thanks for reading and stopping by!

Now, we’re going to begin with the full first week of school. I don’t know if the excitement has worn off and the dread has set it (save that for finals week), but this is the first week of school and the start of a lot of projects, readings, etc., that might be overwhelming at first. Not to mention the fact that your classes doesn’t meet every day anymore. It can become very easy to forget what days you have classes or what’s due on those days.

However, don’t fret! There are ways to navigate this new strange place, here’s some tips to make it easier.

  • Put your schedule on your phone. One of the things that I had a bit of trouble with when I first started was trying to remember my schedule. I have the memory of an elephant on a good day and the memory of Dory from Finding Nemo the next, so the first week I was late for my class and missed the room too. Since my phone is always on me it was easier to put my schedule on there and look it up whenever I needed it. (Hint: You’ll need it a lot.) That memo feature finally becomes useful! Put your schedule and study sessions in there and for the calendar feature place all your important events with a reminder. It will help in the end.
  • Put a reminder on your phone to check the blackboard of your school. Many times teachers post assignments and reminders on blackboard or the internet portal for the school. In my university it’s called blackboard, something I didn’t know was so important, until half way through my first semester. I checked it on a whim and found all the assignments I missed along with the syllabus I lost. Make sure you check it! The reminder on your phone will help because it’s very easy to forget then you’re trying to make up assignments and coming up with a unique excuse for your teacher. Not that I would know about that. Heh, on to the next one!
  • Carry water! It will help! It doesn’t matter if it’s a community college or university with sweeping grounds, water is very important. I can already hear “We know water is important, duh” but trust me when you start walking around, trying to get to class on time, printing stuff out in the library, and hanging with friends it becomes easy to forget water. One of the things I would do is fill up my water bottle the night before I had class and put it in a place I could see when I opened the fridge early in the morning. You can also buy water on campus and fill it up with the water fountains around there. Stay hydrated. You’re out in the elements more than you were in high school. It’s another thing your body has to adjust to, but it will be easy with time.
  • Invest in a planner or have a place for written reminders. While reminders on your phone are good, if you’re like me your phone goes straight to the charger when you get home, and that reminder gets forgotten. However, I love notebooks so I always had a reminder written in the white space at the top whenever I opened it to look over the notes for that day. Try to write in a color that will catch your attention or you could put a cute little design next to it. Me, I doodle a little ghost I’ve named Paul the study ghost. He was once a student that worked a bit too hard so he goes around helping others! (Yes, I made a backstory for a doodle, it’s a part of my brain I can’t turn off heh.) That ghost is also helpful for encouragement too, but that’s another post. Anyway, put something that will catch your eye, a doodle, different color ink, neon color sticky notes, anything. It will help you remember what you have to do that day.

Did everyone get that? I know it’s different for each university, though these general tips will pay off, especially if you have more the 15 credit hours along with a job and a social life you’re trying to build.

I know it may seem a bit much, but it will get easier.

If you have any questions, suggestions for a topic, or tips from your own experience let me know.

See you next Monday!

Oh and Paul the study ghost says: “You got this!”

Writing Confidence: Ten tips for my teenage self

I’ve been writing since I grabbed a pen off the kitchen table and wrote about my doll’s adventures, but it was high school where I really started writing. I started to write fanfics about my favorite shows and my friends really enjoyed it. They asked for more stuff and I got enough confidence to make more storylines. My confidence grew to the point where I felt comfortable putting my stuff online. I was feeling pretty good, until I got a couple of comments that wasn’t very constructive. It happened offline too. I knew I had a lot to learn, but I didn’t know about the writing world online or offline that those comments knocked my confidence down. Along with my anxiety on top of teenage and school stress my confidence lowered to the point where I stopped writing around my senior year.

I didn’t pick my writing back up, until my sophomore year in college. Around that time I convinced myself that writing wasn’t for me, but I got some good advice from a new friend who told me to keep going. Since I couldn’t get better, if I stopped completely. When I started writing again I noticed that it helped my anxiety. This may sound cliché, but it did feel that a missing piece of me came back. I fell much better after I started some original things, like my serials, along with fanfics again. Though I hated that I let my confidence fall that low that I thought of some tips I would give my teenage self and kids one day. You know, if they happen to be writers too.

  1. Don’t let someone change your mind about a genre. If there’s a genre you like, write it. You’ll feel much better than trying to listen to someone else.
  2. There’s nothing wrong with writing fanfiction. A lot of great authors did it and you shouldn’t feel bad about it.
  3. Carefully chose who you give your writing too. Everyone doesn’t have your best interests at heart.
  4. Don’t let others try to change your story.
  5. If you start to get anxious, take a break and come back to it later. You can always come back later.
  6. Don’t be afraid to write that idea you think is too weird. It may end up being a story you love.
  7. Don’t be afraid to read fantasy out in the open.
  8. Try to finish what you start.
  9. Carefully chose who you work with. That person may try to stab you in the back and take your idea.
  10. I know you think you may run out of ideas one day, but you won’t. There are so many things in the world to write about, you’ll never run out.

I’m feeling better about my writing than I have in a long time. I still have a bit of anxiety over finishing something, but I’m getting better at that.

Is there any piece of advice you have about writing?

What you would you tell your teenage self?