2 Years in: How I Finally Learned to Study

My who, what, where, when, why, and how of studying.


When I came to college I was like, “Lol what’s a study?” But after seeing the consequences (not preforming to the best of my ability) I decided that it was time to learn how.

I guess it started my second semester and really clicked in my third.

WHO

I have to either be alone, or with someone who’s not completely annoying/distracting. I’m not going to name names or anything…

Bring somebody that will hold you accountable for fucking around and not actually doing anything. If I stop working for a while, my boyfriend usually gets on me about it.

WHAT

I have to have literally everything I need or could possibly want, because if I end up needing/wanting something and don’t have it, that drives me nuts.

I also have to make sure that I’m comfortable, which usually means no makeup and an outfit that doesn’t make me cringe despite the cuteness. I always change from my contacts to my glasses as well, just in case my contacts dry out.

WHERE

I realized that I have to be in an area conducive to studying for ME, not for someone else or a “normal” place like in my room.

Places I like studying

  • Starbucks
  • A certain chair at work
  • The far chair at the dining room table at my mom’s house
  • A particular chair at the kitchen table at my dad’s house

See how they’re kind of random? It’s because I started paying attention to where I was able to retain the most information and focus the best.

WHEN

I have to be awake–like really awake.

When I like to study

  • 9/10 in the morning (if I’ve been awake and I’m in my room)
  • 6:30-8:00 PM (if I’m at Starbucks)

As you can see, being okay with my pickiness allows me to successfully study.

WHY

I have to have some sort of motivation, so I usually try to make myself really believe that I REALLY need to study. I’ll look at things I know I don’t understand, or say out loud in some kind of way that I have no clue what I’m doing.

It also helps me to be really blunt with myself, so keeping a note in sight about why I need to focus and study helps me as well.

HOW

I go to the right place at the right time and knock everything out that I can. I can’t just “study” at look at terms or something; it needs to be a task. So doing Quizlet tests or filling out a practice sheet help me. Watching interactive videos that I already know I like (Crash Course) helps me if I need someone to explain it to me.

I also have to give myself breaks whenever I feel burnt-out or I’ve done a lot. This one takes a lot of willpower to not get carried away with, but it helps a lot.


This photo is not mine. It is from Florida Tech.

A Guide on How I Chose the Right College for Me (And How You Can Too)

Deciding what college to go to is a very hard decision. In this post I shared the method I used to choose colleges to apply to. This should take some stress off of your shoulders!Continue reading “A Guide on How I Chose the Right College for Me (And How You Can Too)”

Finals Cramming 101

You: “Sh*t. My final is in days. What the heck do I do,  Jaedyn?!”

Me: “I gotchu fam.”

Continue reading “Finals Cramming 101”

How to Utilize the “Growth Mindset” to Get Better Grades, Become a Better Teacher, and Efficiently Criticize

Hey everyone,

I don’t know if you all have heard of the phenomenon of the “Growth Mindset” by Carol Dweck,  but it’s basically a how-to in changing your words and mentality to become more successful in life. I plan to use this “Growth Mindset” approach in my tutoring and self-criticism. 

Before you decide this is a crunchy-hippie-doesn’t-actually-work-thing, check out the actual research done in order to prove it works:

  1. Here’s one of the academic journals: A social-cognitive approach to motivation and personality.
  2. A recently published book by her on the topic: Mindset: The New Psychology of Success )

The opposite of the growth mindset is the fixed mindset which believes you are born with a certain amount of smartness. People with the fixed mindset are less likely to take challenges and runs away in the face of effort. Here’s a comparison chart: difference

I’m going to cut to the chase with my own ideas of how to implement this genius technique into your lives:


When you are Self-Criticizing (especially in school work): 

  1. Do not think that just because you are struggling in classes and have to work harder than others that makes you generally stupid or less intelligent than anybody else.
  2. Believe you can succeed! Do not just give up.
  3. Failure is okay- just make sure you stand up after you fall. 
  4. It is totally okay to get help, and that does not make you less intelligent. If anything, it makes you more intelligent than sitting around not understanding something. 

Fun thing to do: Make a reminder poster with how to change your thoughts! 


 

When you are Tutoring or Teaching:  

  • Rephrase what you want to say, for example, instead of saying “You made a mistake” try saying “You haven’t grasped this concept yet. Let me explain this another way.” Because this lets the student know that they aren’t a failure- they made a mistake, but it’s not as final as they believe it to be- they just don’t understand YET, rather than not at all.

Some more examples are:

  1. Instead of, “You are so smart!” say, “You are working very hard- I can tell!” It inspires the student to keep doing well instead of excepting that they have reached their goal and can stop now.
  2. Instead of saying, “You always get good grades; that makes me happy.” Say, “When you put forth effort, your grades show it! You should be proud of yourself for working hard. I am proud of you!” The first phrase makes the student think that it’s just the grade itself that makes you happy, while the second phrase makes the student think that you appreciate their hard work and that’s what makes you happy, inspiring them to keep working hard.
  3. Instead of telling a student, “Yes, you got the answer correct, you are just so smart.” Say, “Wow, it looks like you have been studying! Good job!” This lets them know that they study for a reason, and they will be rewarded for it.

As a reminder to everyone, make a bulletin in your work-space or classroom! The chart below has some good examples to use.

Also, when you hear your students talking negatively about themselves, help them turn their mindset around!: developing growth mindset

 


 

When Critiquing: 

  1. Compliment their hard work, not their intelligence. (“Wow, this poster looks great! I bet you worked super hard on it!”)  So that if somebody doesn’t like it, they do not correlate that with them being stupid. 
  2. Don not name call, degrade, or attack the person because you do not like them or because you are mad at them.
  3. Instead of saying, “You made a mistake right here,” Try saying, “Hey, I think you overlooked this area- it is supposed to be __ in stead of ___.” This lets the person know that you are not trying to insult them, but rather show them the right way.

You can use the same basis of the tutoring or teaching style section, since they have the same goal. 

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How to Relax for the Super Busy Person 

  I work 17 hours a week and go to college for 15 credit hours this semester. I also have to do hours of homework, food shopping, sleep, clean, and make time for my friends and boyfriend. I’m a very busy young lady. 

The concept of relaxing never really hit me until very recently. I don’t like to relax. I don’t want to relax. I could be doing “better things with my time- more productive things…” But honey, taking care of you and your mental/emotional/physical well-being is productive. You must take care of yourself before anything else. And once I start relaxing, I feel way better. 

With my newfound desire for relaxation, I decided to share a list of how I relax with you all. 

How Jaedyn Relaxes 

  1. I’ll get lost in a book 
  2. I take a warm bath with bubbles and Epsom salts 
  3. I have a girls night where we order pizza and watch a movie 
  4. If I really need it, I’ll take a nap between classes 
  5. I say “no” to things that A. Will overwhelm me B. Make my schedule way to packed C. Don’t pertain to me 
  6. I make time for yoga to focus on mindful breathing. It really helps during the day when you get overwhelmed. 
  7. Talk a walk for pleasure not with an objective in mind (i.e. walking to the dining hall to get lunch doesn’t count
  8. Sometimes I’ll literally just sit down, close my eyes, and practice the mindful breathing mentioned before 
  9. If there’s an app I really like, I’ll play it when I’m stressed and need to get my mind off my something. I’m currently playing Neko Atsume (Kitty Collector) 
  10. I will hug/ cuddle someone. I saw my good friend Amanda one day and walked up to her and hugged her. I’ll cuddle my boyfriend all the time. You know why? Because it’s sooooo cathardic. 
  11. Sometimes my siblings will rub my feet for a fee, but it’s worth it, especially if you live on a college campus and you’re constantly walking around. 
  12. Watch Netflix or TV 

Alright, those are some ways I relax! As people comment, I’ll add on to the post so it can become extremely helpful! 

Stay chill,

~Jaedyn 

My First Semester

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In the beginning of December I completed my first semester of college. It was unnecessarily dramatic, but also very productive! I’m going to share with you What I Learned To Do, What I Learned Not To Do, and What I Will be Doing Differently Next Semester.

What I Learned To Do:

  • Experiment with different techniques of note taking, because (most likely) different classes will call for different kinds. For example, in Biology for Majors I found that it was most beneficial when I scribbled down all of my notes and rewrote them later. Contrarily, in U.S. History I needed to take very precise, short notes and listen more than I wrote.
  • Take some time away from other people. Whether it is a few minutes, hours, days, or weeks; if you need that time, your friends will understand. It’s very stressful to constantly be around people- especially the same people over and over again. Sometimes you need to remove yourself and take some time to relax or do things on your own. It helps you stay sane.
  • Use campus resources to your advantage. I don’t have a laptop. I used to borrow my boyfriend’s for assignments, but after a while I started to feel bad and would procrastinate so I didn’t have to borrow it again. All it did was stress both of us out. Theeennnnn… I visited this beautiful place called the computer lab, and all of my problems were solved! It’s free, I rarely have to wait, and I can stay there as long as I want. I mean, I was forced to pay the fee anyways, I might as well use it!
  • Realize that not everybody sucks. There were a lot of bad people that entered my life this semester, but there were also a lot of good people. Sadly, I gave the bad people what they wanted- attention. Instead of paying attention to the people that were consistently nice to me, I was always focusing my energy towards the bad people. Find the people that are good to you and keep them around.

What I Learned Not To Do:

  • Procrastinate! It only makes you more stressed than you already are.
  • Get wrapped up in drama. I am going to try my hardest to not get into drama this next semester, because it’s pointless and all it does is drag me down. No, I really don’t care if Kelly’s bangs look stupid and I don’t care that Jessica and Rosaline are fighting.
  • Share my opinion, mainly on politics. I have found that college kids are very into politics- I’d imagine because they’re of voting age and because of the upcoming election. I have also found that if you have a different opinion than somebody, 8/10 times that person is going to hate you and talk bad about you. It’s ridiculous, I know, but from now on I’m just going to keep my opinions to myself. Quietness > Screaming matches.
  • Tell people about my personal life. I don’t think I really have to explain this one…
  • Only call my mom when I need financial help. I don’t think I have to explain this one either…
  • Hang out with people that I don’t like hanging out with because I feel obligated to. If you don’t like somebody, they make you feel bad, or whatever- you don’t have to give them the time of DAY.
  • Hang out with the same people 24/7. Don’t get me wrong- it’s GREAT if you found someone that you absolutely love hanging out with- but you need to give each other some breathing room or you’ll end up getting extremely annoyed with each other (I’ve seen this happen a lot).

What I Will Be Doing Differently Next Semester:

  • When somebody asks me something I don’t want to answer, don’t answer it! There are oodles of ways to nicely dismiss somebody’s question if you aren’t comfortable answering it. For example, “I don’t share my political views” and leave it at that.
  • Not opening up to people right away. My tendency to open up to new friends right away really bit me in the butt this semester, and I don’t want it to happen again.
  • Focus more on why I’m actually attending college- my education. Drama can wait. I need to study for my history final. My life, education, diploma, and future are more important than your pettiness.

Leave any comments, tips, ideas, questions, etc in the comment section! I would love to hear from you!

-Jaedyn