Baby’s first Whole Foods trip
Alright I’m going to divide this into two categories, writing papers and studying for tests. Because that’s basically what the academic side of college boils down to, there’s really little to no “fluff work” like in high school (this can be a good or bad thing depending on how you look at it).
If I didn’t cover something in this or you have any other questions, they can be redirected here.
- A lot easier said than done, don’t procrastinate on really big papers. Sometimes I don’t even follow this one, both of my ten page research papers I had for history I stayed up writing them until ungodly hours the night before they were due, and I do not recommend that for people where formal writing isn’t their strong suit (luckily for me it is, but that’s besides the point).
- That said, plan ahead. Even just making an outline of what you’re going to write beforehand helps tremendously so you’re not rambling and going off track from what the whole point of your paper is about.
- PROOF READ, PROOF READ, PROOF READ. I’m sure the school you’re going to has some sort of writing center with tutors that can help you go over your paper and give you feedback (if not, I’m so sorry). If that fails, find a friend who happens to be a total grammar nazi, or as a last resort, read the paper to yourself out loud. It’s really easy to pinpoint mistakes when you’re hearing the words being spoken rather than just reading it inside your head.
- Try to use terse sentences; a good rule of thumb is if it’s longer than 2.5 lines on Word, you can probably break it up into smaller sentences.
- Same goes for paragraphs. If one paragraph alone takes up an entire page, you have way too many different ideas going on at once. The whole point of paragraphs is for separating different ideas from one another.
- The more concise you are, the better. Professors can tell when you’re bs-ing and just trying to fill up a word count/page count. So figure out ways to not use fluffy sentences but at the same time reach the required word count.
- Take time to edit your papers. Which is another reason you shouldn’t procrastinate. If you’re editing your papers right after you write them, chances are you’re not going to catch all of your mistakes because you’ll be in the same frame of mind when you wrote the paper, so everything you wrote will still sound good. It’s best if you can write out a paper, sleep on it, then come back to it the next day to edit but if you’re pressed for time, go take a short walk or something before you go back and edit.
- Contradictory since I’ve been doing this throughout all these bullet points, but DO NOT use contractions (you’re, don’t, I’ve, etc) in formal essay writing. Many professors find it unprofessional and lazy and they have a point since it really only eliminates a few letters anyways.
STUDYING FOR TESTS:
- ACTUALLY READ THE ASSIGNED READINGS IN THE TEXTBOOK. This is kind of a money thing, too. Why would you drop $100+ on a required book for a class if you’re not even going to bother to open the damn thing until finals? We both know they’re not worth the money they’re sold for, but at least you can say you got most of your money out of them if you bother to use them all semester long. As for grade-wise, my friends almost never did the assigned readings, and I did every single one of them. They usually ended up with a B in the class at the highest, and I got A’s in all of my classes, a lot in part due to the fact that a lot of lectures tend to test you on THINGS INSIDE THE BOOK.
- Another thing my friends did that I didn’t, contrary to popular belief staying up all night the night before an exam is going to do more hurt than good. Your brain will not function nearly as well on little to no sleep, even if coffee is existent, and dreams have actually been shown to help people figure out situations going on in real life that were troubling the day before i.e. ever been dumbfounded by a math problem, went to bed and then suddenly the next day solution was so easy you have no idea how you found it to be difficult in the first place? Yup, sleep was responsible for that. So it’s probably better to catch up on some Z’s rather than try to fit in a few extra hours of studying. Plus lack of sleep leads to increased anxiety and most people are already anxious enough while taking a test.
- Take meticulous notes, this one is really hard when you first step foot on campus because you (or at least I felt) feel like either everything or nothing the professor is saying is important information and therefore have no idea what to write down. It gets easier as time goes on though and you start to figure out how your professor works. I guess a good rule of thumb would be that if a professor is spending an awful lot of time explaining a concept, you can bet your ass it’s going to end up on the test somewhere. Unless you have one of those evil professors that asks questions on things they barely mentioned, because sometimes that happens too.
- If your notes from class are really messy, take the time to rewrite them. the last thing you want when you sit down to study for an exam is to have to decipher your own handwriting instead of getting some actual studying done. Plus writing things down usually helps somewhat with memory.
- Once you have good notes, read them over and over and over. And then read them over. But don’t just mindlessly read them, make sure you take the time to actually understand what you’re reading, because there’s totally a difference between just memorizing the words on the page and actually understanding what those words say. The biggest difference between college and most high schools is you have to know how to do the latter.
- If your test involves writing an essay in class, take the time to practice writing a few essays on your own with your notes right in front of you so you have a chance to dabble around with ideas before you actually show up to class. If your professor is nice, they’ll even give you a few prompts ahead of time and then only put one of those prompts on the test so you have to be prepared to answer all of them, although this can be a double-edged sword because since you know what the essay is about, your professor is going to expect it to be absolutely perfect.
- If the test has anything to do with math, make sure to do practice problems ahead of time. Math is probably the easiest subject to study for since you have this luxury. Textbooks are full of practice problems, and they usually come with the answers to at least the odd-numbered questions in the back of the book so you can check yourself before you wreck yourself.
- Probably the most important of all, if you feel like you’re not getting a concept, GO SEE YOUR PROFESSOR OR GRADUATE ASSISTANT. If neither of those two options are available, there’s usually an academic support center equipped with tutors to help out. Or even just other friends in your class that might get something that you don’t or vice versa. Group studying helps a lot if you’re not goofing off the entire time, which usually ends up happening at least 50% of the time. So group-study at your own risk.
who the FUCK told society that depression and awkwardness is cute and adorable
john green is not the problem
john green’s fans are the problem
Reblogging SO fast.
With the added caveat that no author is or will ever be perfect.
- Always say yes to seeing friends
- Eat breakfast every day
- Recognize that positive change rarely happens overnight
- Accept the fuck-ups, but try not to let them happen again
- There is a song to remedy every situation on the planet
- Appreciate the people in your life
- Look for the good in everything
- Try new things and try them often
- Treat yourself as well as you treat others
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