Yesterday was the day of my first World Civ. quiz and my first ever college exam!!! So Monday night I set my alarm for 9:40 for an 11 am quiz…plenty of time to wake up, get ready for the day, and grab breakfast before heading over to Capen Hall. It would have been perfect if I didn’t fall back asleep immediately after turning my alarm off… I’d recommend that you never do that. People will tell you not to rely on the snooze button in college (or ever), but it’s a thousand times better than just turning your alarm off.
The second time I woke up (without the alarm), I felt so much better and blissfuly relaxed…until I rolled over, looked at the clock, and it said that I had slept for an entire hour. Reading 10:40 on that clock woke me up faster than any amount of caffeine ever has… I got ready in a record six minutes and made it to the classroom with time to spare. And I feel like I did well on the quiz too, despite the fact that I had completely skipped breakfast and my heart was still racing. It makes me nervous just thinking about it. And last night I checked my alarm a dozen times before I could sleep soundly.
You’ll notice that all of your college professors like to align their exams… Today, I took my second exam of college (eventually I’ll lose track and stop counting, promise), so overall, the past week has been crazy with all that studying. Studying. Here’s what I have on that so far: First of all, take good notes in the first place. I’ve always been faster at handwriting than typing, so I did mine in a notebook (sidebar: today in English, one of my classmates referred to reading a physical book as “the old-fashioned way” as opposed to using an e-reader…scary, but anyway). I can’t quite compare it to taking notes on a computer because I’ve never done that, but I would strongly advocate for taking notes the “old-fashioned way” for a few reasons. It’s easier to organize because you can group relevant thoughts and draw arrows and diagrams and visuals, and make everything look connected and flowy, because, nine times out of ten, the things you’re learning in class will either not be linear concepts or will not be taught linearly (is that even a word?). So writing in lines is just not useful. On top of that, it’s easier to get distracted with computer notes…I’m not talking about during class. You three know better than that (*ahem hint hint*), I’m back to studying. When it’s time for me to hardcore study, I turn off the computer and spend some quality time with my notebook and flashcards. Also, it feels really cool to flip through a notebook of worn pages absolutely covered in words. I bet that your fancy new-fangled machines can’t do that.
When you’re having a study session, invite your friends (only the ones you trust to stay relatively focused) because bouncing ideas and explaining concepts for each other is actually pretty helpful. This means something coming from a gal who has hated group work all her life. Even if you don’t have any questions or problems, explaining things to your friends will give you that much more depth of understanding. I also found that something compelled me to make study sheets for both of my exams so far… it helped me organize the information visually, reinforced what I already knew and filled me in on what I didn’t know, and was actually creating each sheet was a good way to study because it made me think about what was most important. Find what works for you and do it.
Enough from me for today… Love you lots!