Study Tips/Study Habits

I am in college now, so I feel as if my job is to my good grades and be successful.  Studying is the key. However, the method to studying is not that simple, but I am here to help.

How do I study? I do not have one method of studying; I have several. The way I study depends on the level of the test. If the test material is very detailed I use flashcards. Flashcards help me relate and associate what is on the front of the card to what is on the back of it. They help accommodate how my mind works. For example, for my survey of Art History class, my professor requires us to know the artist, title, period, and place of the art piece, along with specific details about the artwork. Since she gives us fifty images to study making flashcards is very important because there is so much information to take in. For the tests that are not so detailed and that are lecture based, I just reread my lecture notes and other supplied materials. As I continuously reread the information, it begins to stick with me. For instance, my World History tests are based on factual information. Therefore, my professor lectures using PowerPoint. She also supplies us with passages that are related to each chapter. I take at least two days prior to the test to review the information.

Where do I study? I have to be alone in a quiet place in order for me to retain information. Since I live in a dorm room with three other people, it is very hard to study there. Even if I am in a separate room from them, it is hard to focus because I can still hear them and the walls are “thin.” I try to study during the times that they are not there. If I cannot study in the dorm room, I go to the library. I find the library very effective because I feel as if I am in a homework and study environment.

How long do I study? The amount of time I take out to study goes hand and hand with how I study. For the more detailed material I spend about six hours on it, and for the less detailed I spend about two to three hours studying. If I spend more than an hour studying something in one day, I always take a break after each hour. This allows my brain to rest a bit, so I go either listen to music, eat a snack, or both. My breaks range between ten and fifteen minutes.

Other study tips:

  • Ban social media during study time. From experience social media can be a huge distraction.
  • Don’t procrastinate. I am a big procrastinator when it comes to studying. Procrastination leads to late nights and cramming.
  • Do not study hungry. I know this sounds crazy, but when I am hungry, I tend not to focus as much. My attention goes towards “what do I want to eat?”
  • Develop study habits that are effective for you. Knowing what works for me decreases my study time and allows me to be more successful on my tests.

How do you study? What is most effective for you? What isn’t so effective for you?

 

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The Clean-Up

Overwhelmed with school? Work? Tv sitcoms that try to seem unpredictable, but give away the entire plot in the first few episodes? Well, don’t let a messy room add to your daily frustrations. In the past, I’ve let my room get to the point where I literally would have to jump onto my bed in order to get through the door, it was like a real life game of Super Mario. As fun as that may sound, it made life difficult for me and it made my room a generally uncomfortable place to be. So if you want to avoid spending precious hours (I may be exaggerating) of your life looking for keys, then try some of my tips on how to keep your room clean.

photo credit: http://www.valleymagazinepsu.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/BrittanyTrappe.SpringCleaning.jpg

 

Okay, so the first thing you need to do to clean a mess is to make a mess. As counterintuitive as it sounds, the first thing to do when cleaning your room is to gather all the things that are out of place and make a pile. Once you have your pile, you need to take all of your clothes from the pile and get to hanging. Assuming you have a closet, or drawers, the clothes should be the easiest thing to hang up because they already have a designated spot. So whenever you’re home or have a couple of minutes to clean, just be sure to put away your clothes, it makes a huge difference.

 

So, that brings me to my next point, consistency!!!!!!! With so much, it is absolutely necessary for you to designate spots for your things. A mess is really just a room without structure, so once you create that structure, things get way easier. But don’t worry, this is not as scary as it may sound, try to think about it as if you are playing tetris with your room. Grab things with similar sizes and functions, group ‘em together and then just find a spot.

 

Now that we have some small solutions to our mess, here’s the hard part—getting rid of the excess. I know, I know, this is the part where things get deep… Now wait, before you click off, remember you don’t have to throw your whole life away, but just by taking a few moments to get rid of the old you can clear out a lot of space. So whether you give your things away to a friend or to the Salvation Army, sometimes reevaluating what’s in your room can make cleaning a breeze. Easy, right? No?… wow you’re stubborn, but I like that…

 

The Passive-Aggressive Approach

You’ve made it this far, and it seems like you still need some help. Well, this is another one of those counterintuitive moments for you: sometimes getting more things can help. By buying bins to sort hair products and clothes, you can organize your things into compartments that allow you to maximize your space and to keep old and out-of-season items out of sight and out of mind. By simply re-organizing the furniture in your room, you can give the illusion of a clean room, which can make it easier to prep for occasions when friends come over and to motivate yourself to keep your room clean.

As they say “Home is where the heart is,” so instead of digging under piles of jeggings and t-shirts to find yours, keep your room organized by following these tips and by doing a quick clean up at the end of every week to make your home is as cosy as it can be.

 

Good luck,

Kayla

“Why don’t you comb your hair?”

I love big, wild, curly hair. I always have. Watching old(er) school actresses like Tia and Tamera Mowry from Sister, Sister and Tracee Ellis Ross from Girlfriends was probably a big part of that. But, it was not until recently that I found the courage to wear my hair that way. Up until a short time ago, I thought the only way to wear my texture hair was in a slicked back bun or in two-strand twists. Even though these women were a part of what I saw often on TV, I never thought that my hair was “pretty” enough to be let down like that. In my mind, those styles were for the mixed girls with “prettier” hair.
 tia_tamera
It was not until my final year in high school when I started my hair journey that I was able to let go and let it out. I had been researching a great deal on natural hair; how to care for it and how our hair differs from other textures. I was also looking at different twist out and braid out techniques and saw how beautifully some of them came out. It was a couple months before I finally decided to try one.
I prepped my hair over night: moisturizing and sealing and meticulously placing the hair in chiney bumps (or bantu knots as Americans call them). Then, I took it down in the morning. It did not come out exactly how I wanted it to, but I worked with it and wore it to church. The whole time I was walking on the road and sitting in church I felt incredibly self conscious, like everyone was staring at me (mostly because they were).
At the time, the natural hair movement had not really hit my section of Jamaica yet. Many persons still believed that you either had relaxed straight hair, or you control your natural hair so it looks relaxed. I was one of the first girls in my town who did not have loose, silky ringlets to dare to wear my hair out.
After church, one of the older ladies took me aside and asked me “Why didn’t you comb your hair before you came to church?” My face fell. I was already self conscious and this lady was not helping at all. I mumbled some lame response about trying something new and scuffled away.
All I could think was “I spent hours on this hairstyle, it is combed!” I was genuinely hurt. I had gotten a few complements throughout the day about how thick and nice my hair was, but this was the only one I remembered. As much as it hurt my 18 year old self esteem, I did not try to tie my hair up to make it look more “presentable”.
For the rest of high school, I tried different protective hairstyles that I found on YouTube and more than once persons who asked me “You couldn’t comb yuh hair?” To be honest, my first tries at many styles were not too hot, sometimes they would come out frizzy or lopsided, but I was trying. Eventually, I started getting the hang of it and I felt more confident. It was worth it though, because the moisture and the new found care I had with my hair had it growing longer than it ever was before.
When I got to college, I realized that there were so many other naturals wearing their hair out and wild and I loved it. I was able to accept that my hair is beautiful and now I wear my hair out more often than not. Every now and again there is a noob that asks me why I don’t comb my hair, but now it does not even affect me. I love my wild mane way too much for that.

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Real Talk: Relationships, Sex, and Reputation

We are all so pumped, excited and ready to embark our new journey entering college. We come in full of expectations that may go unmet, a mind unopened to things that we’ve never faced, and a stranger to so many new personalities. Everyone that you meet will not come from the same walks of life as yourself.

So real talk, coming in as a teenage girl our minds are naturally engaged to the variety of the men around us. Let me just remind you that everything that looks appealing, may not be good for you. Every guy does not have your best interest in mind…even if he claims otherwise. Sex is a big deal in college. For many guys, that is all that they really want…or nothing at all. Good relationships are rare, and commitment is scarce. It is really difficult to build a relationship with someone within a semester when you’re meeting so many new faces each and every day. I will not say that it is impossible, but it is certainly unlikely. It is up to you to distinguish that in the guy that you are dealing with, as it is extremely important.

Body count, a term created in reference to the number of partners you have had, can make or break you. It is not logical to sexually encounter every guy you meet, so, when your body count begins to peak, your reputation begins to decline. You have to be mindful of the fact that what people think of you, sometimes matters more than you may want it to. You would never want information regarding your one-night stand getting back to someone who has any form of authority over you. Also, a misrepresentation of you can easily become the representation of who you are. You have now become that person, whether it is who you really are, or not.

It’s all about branding yourself, how people perceive you, and you have to be mindful of that. Your reputation is something that you should value, because it can and it will affect the legacy that you leave behind. Carry yourself accordingly. Don’t focus too much on building relationships with these guys that don’t want anything more than sex, and build more with those wanting to impact your life positively. Be mindful of the legacy that you want to leave behind, and maintain reputation that compliments your interest and what best represents who you are.

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