Study Tips 101

Oh look, another study tips list! I don’t know about you, but I LOVE helpful tips to make long nights of cramming easier. So I will most likley keep making these types of Study Tips 101 posts until the day I die… or grauduate university- whichever comes first.

Cut out irrelevant tasks

In middle school and high school, it was instilled in you that you need to have the date and your name in the top corner. The title needed to be on its own line underlined in a different colour pen. This is not the case for your notes. Unless you are a Tumblr Study Blog your notes only need to be legible to you. No need to date them, title them, put your name on them save some time and space by only writing down the relevant information to your studying needs.

Another habit to get into is do not write down the things you already know, focus on the items you don’t understand for example:

If A+B=C and you already know what A and B are and how to get them there is no need to write in your notes A= blah blah, get it blah blah blah, just write the equation.

Highlighting without cause. If you find yourself highlighting things without even thinking STOP.  Chances are you probably don’t know it. Stop write down this information, reread it figure out the problem, say it out loud, understand it. Then the next time you study it go back and highlight it.

Speed up where you can

Besides the obvious of not making your notes look like they are going to be displayed in a museum.  Go look at your computer.  Is there anything you could be doing to it to make it run faster for you? Taking off irrelevant browser extensions, updates, using different programs to type out notes etc. Other things you can do are look at using applications on your computer to block out social media ( or websites you chose) so you only focus on studying. ( see blog post).

 

Figure out what is the best time for YOU to study

This is something that is different for everyone. Think about if you are a morning bird or a night owl. Now think about when you are the most productive and have the most energy. A good way to figure this out is to try studying at different times throughout the day you will be able to easily see when you are the most productive. There are tons of studies out there that show when the best time is to study but remember this is different for everyone. You might be a morning bird with tons of energy in the a.m but are the most productive at night or you could be like me and have your golden hours of productivity be in the afternoon.  I loathe studying at night.  

Another thing to factor in is if you are better at studying certain things with others. I suck at math so when I have to study for any type of math exam I try and meet up with someone so we can tackle problems together.  Also, most universities offer peer tutors in different subjects so at the beginning of the semester it’s a good idea to check in with the peer tutors to see if there is one for what you know you will need help in.

Make Studying Competitive

Ways to motivate yourself fall into two categories: motivation that acts as a reward once you’ve done something, and motivation that makes the actual doing of the thing more fun.

Majority of the studying tips you will find online will fall into the first category – which might be after 1 hour of studying you reward yourself with something, after finishing an assignment you go out and grab a beer etc. These methods accept that studying isn’t fun, and provide a way for you to make it up to yourself afterward. NO GOOD.

More effective for working harder, though, are means of motivating yourself to enjoy the work you’re doing more. This one is tricky, if you are in a course that you excel at you can ask your prof to give you the past exam averages to motivate yourself to be in the top percentile, you can motivate yourself by being so well versed in the subject you hold a study group for peers in your class.

Collect small tasks to do when you have time

Studying is time-consuming, FACT. Sometimes it works out where you have a small amount of time over a few days to sit down and study. Having a game plan for these small chunks of time is crucial. I find the easiest way to do this is to make a list of things to do while studying. This depends on the subject you are studying of course but it can be as simple as: write out 20/100 Cue Cards, Read 3 Pages from the text, Work on 2/10 Physics problems. If you have your planning done it will cut down on wasted time when studying for short periods.

 

That concludes this episode of Study Tips 101 for November. Be on the lookout for another Study Tips 101 next month lol.
xo.

** all photos  used in this post are off WeHeartit
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October Photo Challenge

October Photo Challenge

At the beginning of the month, I started an Instagram challenge. I have never done one before so I was pretty nervous that no one would take part in it. Lo and behold a few people have actually been uploading daily with me. I seriously thought that it would just be me posting on my two accounts-lol. I wanted to dedicate this daily blog to my October Instagram Challenge (which if you are not taking part in COME TAKE PART- it’s on Instagram and a quick search of #dbgchallenge and you can find it.)  ANYWHO this blog is about the questions I have got about it and the how-to guide.

 

Questions:

Why? I have received this question a few times. Which I find kind of weird… because I wanted too?lol.

How did you come up with the daily theme? I went through old challenges I have done on Instagram ( around 5) and tried to take my favourite daily themes from them, and also add in my own that I thought were more Fall-ish

Why October? October is my favourite month, I love when the weather gets cooler, the leaves start to change, and Thanksgiving is here AND HALLOWEEN.

Can you send reminders? I can try and tag people in my posts when I post my photos on either ( @thediaryofabrokegirl or @gilliebean14)

What happens if I can’t make a day? NOTHING! That’s the beauty of a challenge like this, there are no consequences for missing or skipping a day! It’s all for fun, to showcase your work and it’s super cool to see how different people’s minds work when they are given a word to theme their photos with. ( for example- theme word: Old. Some people went with old products, some people went with throwbacks-cool!!!!!)

Aren’t you worried about your theme? NO, mainly because I don’t have one. If you are worried about your theme post one in your story, or post and delete them after the challenge? OR take the photos and post them somewhere else with the # so I can see them?

What if I can’t think of something for the daily trigger word? Go to other places for inspiration! If I am having a hard time I turn to other places for inspiration all the time. Instagram, Pinterest, Google… just type in the hashtag and see what comes up.

What does the hashtag mean? #dbgchallenge is simply just the first letter of some of my website the Diary of a Broke Girl and challenge.

How to make a challenge:

Pick a word for every day of the month- these words will be the theme of the daily photo.

Pick a Hashtag- so you can find all the challenges! Also, try and pick something that has some meaning to you, and plop “challenge” after it.

Compile it into a visual guide, so people can refer to it.

Pick what platform you want to post it on ( Instagram is the easiest for photos)

Tell your friends, post to social media.

Post your visual guide ( either the day before it starts or the first day!)

Enjoy xo.

Ultimate Fall To-Do List

Ultimate Fall To-Do List

I am a sucker for a good Fall activity. I’m not sure if its just me, but my internal voice screams pumpkin patch, corn maze, jump in leaves, find hot apple cider! the minute the leaves change colours. Depending on where you live on this planet I’m sure there are different things that take place for you to do in Septemeber- November 30th. I have constructed in my opinion the BEST list of things to do this Fall 🙂


1. Camping
2. Corn Maze
3. Apple Cider tasting
4. Wine Tasting
5. Apple Picking
6. Attend a Cooking Class ( one that can teach you how to cook with gourds)
7. Bike Ride through the forest ( trails, find trails.)
8. Star Gaze
9. Octoberfest ( find one near you )
10. Pumpkin patch
11. Hay Rides
12. Horror Movie Marathon ( good list HERE! )
13. Bake Fall Treats ( good lists HERE!)
14. Roast Pumpkin Seeds
15. Carve a Pumpkin
16. Have a Bonfire
17. Go to a Haunted House
18. Cemetary Tour
19. Ghost Tours
20. Read a Thriller Novel ( good list HERE!)
21. Make a Fall Wreath
22. Go on a Fall Scavenger Hunt
23. Have a Fall Photoshoot ( good list HERE!)
24. Check out some Farmers Markets
25. Pick Out a Halloween Costume.

Enjoy xo.

(photos off tumblr)

5 Student Hacks

I’m a sucker for a good list of hacks, what I can’t stand is a list of 15+ hacks in which only like one of them is useful to the reader. So when I come across a good hack for a topic i stash it in a journal until I have at least 5 that I can compile and share. SInce its a few weeks into the uni semester ( at my school anyways<) I thought this might be the perfect time for some of these since papers are due and midterms might be coming up for some people.  So without further ado here is a list of 5 things that I have found super helpful- except for the last one… cause as you will read I actually haven’t done that one.

1a. Slide for That
If you find that you are having a hard time reading 50+ pages of text to try and understand a concept try typing your SUBJECT + “filetype:ppt” into google instead. This will bring up free lecture slides online.

Screenshot 2017-09-27 at 8.45.40 AM

 

1b. Online Textbooks?
Not going to lie, I have only had success with this around 50% of the time. You can google the name of your class textbook + “filetype:pdf” and it might come up. This can save you some money, or if the full textbook isn’t online but some chapters are it can save you lugging around a huge book.

Screenshot 2017-09-27 at 8.49.15 AM

 

2. Citations
Citations are a b*tch, let’s just come out and say it. I am one of those people who will do a bunch of research and just copy and paste links into a blank doc, then when I am done I will go back and cite my paper off those links. I found out the hard way that that sometimes does not work. So I had to take get help with citations a few semesters ago, and one kind loving soul told me about these to help:

CiteThisForMe: this site allows for many different types of citations, as well as offers an add-on for your browser + word add-on + PLAGIARISM checker!!!

CitationMachine : this site allows you to make your own citations by simply plugging in the information you used. Example: If you used an article online you plug in the web address and it takes all the relevant information and makes your citation… It’s magic.

 

3. Scholar
Google Scholar saved my sanity! It’s the easiest database to use EVER. What is is you ask? Its google but when you search for it, it only brings up published papers and articles that you can actually use in your papers. As well as when you click on one of the links that come up you can get the citations from it + find related articles + quote it. AMAZING.

 

4. Focus Child
Sometimes it’s hard to sit at a computer for a few hours and really buckle down on homework when you would rather be scouring the internet for cute kitten photos. Thankfully there are many in-browser add-ons you can get to allow you to actually stay focused:

Chrome: StayFocused
Firefox: LeechBlock
Safari: Mindful Browsing.

 

5. Pocket Points

Ok, so this one is new to me. It’s an app that allows you to earn points for major retailers by keeping your phone locked during class time? If you are in University in the USA this is readily available to you already if you are one of the listed schools. Unfortunately, my school isn’t there but I have submitted it to take part.

 

Screenshot 2017-09-27 at 9.07.32 AM

(photo:https://pocketpoints.com/how)

There are tons of different hack lists out there, but these are some hacks that I used almost daily. So I hope that they are helpful to someone out there. Also, if anyone has had success with Pocket Points, please let me know about your experience with it!
xo.

How to Utilize your Syllabus

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Sitting in the first week of classes every semester is torture. There are numerous ice breaking games, seat anxiety, and days filled with syllabuses. Let me tell you a little story; I used to be that super unorganized girl that would throw my syllabus in my binder somewhere and that was that. I would only pull it out when I either needed my teacher’s email address, or the date of the exam ( which was conveniently the day of, usually). Until about 2 semesters ago, I read an article that went over how to actually utilize the syllabus. Boy oh boy, that article changed my life. Now I don’t follow that girls 600 step syllabus situation, but I have made my own 4 step process that works very nice for me.

First off, while in class.
Highlight
Dates- assignments, tests, projects, class cancellations, exam
Contact- Prof information, email, office hours
Percentages- the breakdown of assignments/projects/tests/exam

*Make notes of anything the prof says while going over it so things like if the textbook is needed, any changes to the syllabus etc.*

Secondly, put that bad boy front and center baby.
Depending on how you divide your binder or if you even use a binder. Keep this baby in the front. So you can always reference it in a time of crisis lol.

Third, actually take it out when you get home.
So I use a couple sheets to record the vital information and make a checklist.

Paper #1 -write down all the contact information for your profs. So every prof for one semester is on one sheet like so… SONY DSC

Paper #2- Next dates, on a blank piece of paper, write down all the dates of assignments/projects ( I normally write down 3 days prior, so I have them all done on time with a day or so to reread/proofread and or get help) write each class in a different colour, and cross those bad boys off each time you complete or hand one in.
Paper #3 ( or continue on paper 2)- write down exam dates-times-rooms

 

Lastly, TAKE A PHOTO.
I have a file on my phone that is specifically for school things. So I take photos of all the papers we just did ( contact info, assignment dates, exam dates), and any schedule I think will be important…. Like bus schedules, admin hours, library hours, cafeteria hours etc.

(All of these photos have made up information on them.)

xo.