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#college tips

Study tip! Whenever you have a paper to write, convert the rubric’s main points into an outline in Word, which you can fill in as you go to ensure you cover all the necessary topics. I’ve also found that this is extremely helpful in reducing assignment anxiety - finding out I have to write a big paper can be overwhelming, especially in higher level classes where you’re expected to already possess a certain level of knowledge.

I hope this is useful to anyone currently in school! I also just wanted to show it off because my nerdy brain loves the look of a good outline lol

lunasysims
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hi all! i hope everyone’s been well and healthy. if you’re like me, switching to online classes & working from home is not always easy – here are some tips to still be productive while working from home!

1. do your best to stick to your normal routine. this includes eating normally, sleeping normally, etc. - do your best to do what you have been doing before isolating. there are already enough changes in your life with school or work… you don’t need to stress your mind & body out more by changing your sleeping and eating habits!

2. don’t work in your bed. i know it’s tempting… but don’t do it. even if you go to your living room or desk, you are more likely to feel like you are in your normal routine. working in bed was never a good idea before, and it still isn’t. don’t. do. it.

3. attend all lectures - even if they are optional. on zoom (or on most other video chat sites that your professor/teacher may use) you can literally turn off your video – this way, even if you have bedhead and are looking a bit rough you can still go to class. but seriously - going to class is 10x easier now. get the most out of your classes and education and attend your lectures.

4. PRIORITIZE. YOUR. HEALTH. the whole reason we are not in school/at work right now is to stay healthy!! pay extra attention to your hygeine and don’t leave your house. if you feel sick, email your professors and ask for extensions. just be extra conscious of your health needs during the pandemic. 

5. get dressed! even if you are changing from pajamas into leggings and a tshirt, try to get dressed in the morning. studies have shown that putting on regular pants before working from home increases productivity. at the very least, change into different pajamas (for hygeine purposes).

6. take advantage of your new routine! a lot of professors are doing pre-recorded lectures, meaning you can watch them any time you want. do this and your work whenever you are most productive… do you work best in the morning? grind out your lectures then. can you focus more in the afternoon? perfect.. do your work then! either way, see this as an opportunity to work when you want & at your own pace.

7. take walks & spend time outside. please remember to social distance, but spending time in your backyard or on a walk (especially if you live in a more isolated area) is crucial. your body is probably used to getting a certain amount of steps & sunlight every day, so do your best to give it the nutrients and exercise it needs. 

8. keep daily lists. with such an unstructured environment, it can be hard to remember done everything you need to do. every day, make a list of things you hope to accomplish (don’t make it too long) and make sure everything is checked off by the end of the day.

9. don’t be upset with yourself if you struggle. this is a difficult time for all of us, for many different reasons. we will all experience some sort of disruption in our work. just pick yourself back up and keep going.

10. don’t be afraid to reach out to your professors. they are just an email away, and more often than not, are happy to help you in whatever you need. if you’re having trouble with the new structure of the class, or are confused about the class in general, they are more often than not happy to help.

if any of you need anything at this time, don’t hesitate to reach out to me x

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S: College? Well, College was a breeze for me, I was quite intelligent, more so than my peers. I never had to worry about lots of things because I was smart enough to ace almost all of my subjects. What I do recommend is that you should balance three major things in college: social life, academics, and mental stability. You have to sacrifice one or the other to pass by, sometimes you even have to balance all three. Friends were never a major problem for me, it wasn’t hard to focus on my education. However, it is recommended that you prioritize your mental stability first, you can’t learn if you aren’t in the right mindset. You might feel confused or frightened at first, but don’t worry, you get used to it as time goes by. But don’t be alarmed by the ridiculous amount of assignments or projects to be done, it isn’t an easy life in college (mostly depending on your major, of course).

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Okay guys! COVID19 college updates:

Comcast is offering 2 months of free internet to low income students! I’m not sure if this is specifically for SoCal student but nonetheless I thought it was important to share! Please message me for the link if you’re in that area and need this resource to continue school remotely.

-Bethlehem

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Okay! I know I’m a poetry blog but I wanted to give some college students tips for taking online classes because of coronavirus…

I’ve attended the majority of my first 2 years of uni online for health reasons and it’s not a walk in the park!

I want everyone to pass/graduate so keep these things in mind:

  • You picked your in person class times at an hour that you work efficiently (or whenever it was available lol) so try to get your work done during those hours
  • If you work better at a different time do your work then (I.e. I take a really long time to wake up so I do online school after 5pm)
  • Not all teachers will have a strict hour that class will occur or a certain time you need to work so it is up to you to set aside time to learn, study, AND do homework (all three are still important)
  • A lot of you have been asked to move back home which is a strange learning environment. DO NOT be afraid to ask your family to accommodate your self made learning schedule by turning off the tv or giving you the living room for a hour
  • DO NOT leave all of your work for the last minute! Create your own self-regulated syllabus and schedule. (I.e. I hate doing schoolwork on the weekends but I have homework do on Sundays so I schedule those assignments for the week)
  • Put the phone away please.
  • And most importantly! Talk to your classmates and your professor! Ask for help when you need it.

My inbox is also open if you have questions about online textbooks and study tools :)

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Living in the age of internet communication often blurs the lines of what is appropriate. There’s a major difference between what you would text your friends versus what you’d email your professors. Learning this now will help you communicate effectively in professional settings throughout your academic career and beyond. With that in mind, here are five types of emails you should never send in any setting.

The Rant
As a general rule, writing anything when you’re angry is a mistake. Whether you’re texting a friend, responding to your boss, or upset about a grade from your professor, you should always take a couple of hours to cool off and think of a respectful, clear way to communicate your concerns (bonus points if you include helpful suggestions for how to solve the problem together!). Taking the time to write a collected, thoughtful response will make you look professional and will almost always get you to your desired solution much quicker than the alternative.

The Question with an Obvious Answer
Email inboxes across the world are crowded with unread emails because they look like timewasters. Always be certain you don’t have access to the answer anywhere else before emailing to ask about it.

This is especially true as a college student. In each of your classes, you’ll receive a syllabus containing all of the information necessary for success. This includes what books you need and where to buy them, grading policies, all of the dates for your exams and assignments, and more. So, if you’re thinking about emailing your professor to ask what day your collaborative group project is due, the day of your midterm, or whether or not they’ll round your final grade, you should check the syllabus. Otherwise, you might get a response that says “Please check the syllabus,” which is a waste of time for both of you. Show that you’re on top of things by looking for information yourself (which might get your grade rounded at the end of the semester).

The “Emergency”
No emergency should be dealt with via email. Emails are for issues that can be solved properly within at least two days. If you forgot to submit an assignment and you realized it a couple of hours too late, emailing your professor urgently to reopen the assignment or offer a grace period for you is less than ideal. While mistakes happen and your professors want you to succeed, they also don’t live behind their desks waiting to answer your questions immediately. Emailing about issues that aren’t actually emergencies shows that you didn’t manage your time well, and they may not be willing to assist you with that (especially if it has become a habit).

The Rough Draft
It’s true when they say every document can benefit from another round of proofreading. Even though most email platforms have built-in spellchecking, nothing will ever catch spelling and grammar errors the way a thorough proofread will. Read your email aloud in order to catch awkward wordings and obvious errors. Get rid of anything that feels repetitive or unnecessary, and add in some paragraph breaks to make your message easier to read. Show your boss or professor you took the time to communicate this concern in a professional way. It pays off in the end.

The Vague Request
It’s likely some of your early college classes are going to be pretty full, which means it will take your professor some time to learn your name. They have hundreds of students across multiple classes, which is why any email you send to a professor should contain a certain amount of clarifying information.

Here’s an example of what your email shouldn’t look like:

“Hi Dr. Smith,

I’m Jane from your English 101 class. What’s the assignment for next week?”

There are a few issues in that message. First, the sender didn’t include their first and last name, making it nearly impossible to decide who the student is. Second, there are likely multiple sections of English 101, since so many students are required to take it. This student should have included their specific course section number. Also, without the section number, the professor can’t guide the student to the answer in the proper syllabus (because yes, this is an email with an obvious answer).

Here’s what your email should look like:

“Hi Dr. Smith,

My name is Jane Doe from your EN101-06 course that meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10-11:50. Could you please tell me the assignment for next week? Thank you for your time.”

This email is much more specific, and it also adds in a professional tone that was missing from the first one.

Make sure you show your professors you respect them and their time, and they will be highly likely to do the same for you in return.

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Congrats on grad school! What are you going for? I'm going to college for freshman year of undergrad in August - do you have survival tips?

Hi thank you !!!! I’m getting an MFA in Creative Writing  – I’m concentrating in fiction (specifically sci-fi/fantasy) and teaching. 

Congrats to you on beginning the College Adventure! I have some pretty random tips, but it’s all stuff I wish I would’ve known, so here you go!

  • In your backpack/purse/bag, ALWAYS CARRY:
    -Chapstick
    -Mints/gum
    -Tissues (you’d be surprised how many times bathrooms lack toilet paper. Your tuition bucks at work, kids)
    -A Refillable Water Bottle. I did not stutter. Drink Water.
    -A phone charger that’s at least 6 feet long (trust me)
    -A pencil. Not a mechanical one.
    -A paper notebook. Even if you take all your notes on your laptop, there’s always That One Teacher who gets annoyed if students can’t take out a pencil and paper at a moment’s notice for some arbitrary activity.
    -Headphones
  • Double-check your academic advisors. I took some classes out of order and had to take summer classes because my advisor sequenced my class in an inefficient way. Especially if you’re not a “traditional” student (you’ve transferred in credits, you’re going part-time, you don’t live on campus, etc.), Check Your Advisors. Make sure the classes you’re taking, and the order you’re taking them in, makes sense. I’m happy to help with that if you need it!
  • If you drive to school, pay the university parking fee and park in a university lot/ramp. I know it’s a rip-off. I know. But being late to class because you can’t find parking is so much stress and it’s not worth it. 
  • Check the library for textbooks before you rent or buy them. I was able to check out one of my textbooks from the campus library for an entire semester, saving myself about $150. And also, try to rent your books instead of purchasing them whenever you can.
  • Lock down a planning system FAST. The way you planned your life in high school might not work now – in college, you have to contend with more than just classes; you may have a job or family obligations, roommates, organizations, a crap-ton of homework, Adulting Things like grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, etc. Get your planning system on lock ASAP so you don’t have to stress out over it later
  • Lastly (for now), BUDGET YOUR MONEY!! I recommend ClearCheckbook.com for a easy, free budgeting tool. I use it for my own money - I’m happy to put together a tutorial for y’all. You will be so much less stressed if you take a couple minutes weekly to get your $$ in order.

As always, feel free to reblog this with any other college survival tips! Good luck :)

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Tips and Advice Pt 1

Note: While writing, I realized that there was a lot of information for just one post. I will be making a part soon this coming week going over my bujo changes from last semester to this semester (with pictures!)  

Look inside

Open up different planners and look at the different layouts available. Think about your current organization methods and choose layouts that would work the best for you. If you find a good match, get the planner. If not, try another one or take pictures of the layout for a reference and make your own. This can be as simple as printing out a monthly/weekly spread or you can start a bullet journal specifically for keeping track of course work.

Try things out

You won’t find your perfect organization method on the first try, or the second, or the twentieth. It will take trial and error, patience, an open mind, and time before you find a method that works for you. And even if you find a method that works, that doesn’t mean that it will work forever. You will have to adjust as your life changes in order to be efficient.

Don’t give up

You will find days or weeks where you forget to use your planner/agenda might not use the planner for a week or two but that’s ok! Life changes, mental health fluctuates, and the day to day can get overwhelming. It’s ok to push pause, but don’t give up completely. 

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Will be about keeping a work-life balance. We’ll talk about having a job at uni, how to keep on top of uni work, and how your social life might change after leaving home.

If anyone has any questions for this episode, please send them in on here or on Instagram @TooLateToDrop

And thank you to everyone who send in questions for last episode. We had some really good ones!

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My Cheap & Relatively Healthy Grocery List for College Students

Context: I had been used to eating fast food so much because it was cheap that when I went to the doctors’ they said I had high glucose content. That wasnt good. So I started eating healthier. Anyway let’s skip the BS and get straight into it:

  • Ramen: the OG cheap food. I personally don’t own ramen bc I dont like it that much, but if you want to save money this is the meal, at least add an egg or some veggies to make it healthier.
  • Frozen Veggies: anywhere from 50 cents to a dollar or two a bag. Can easily be kept in your freezer (if you have one) for months
  • Mac n’ cheese: my all-time favorite. Of course, it might not be healthy for everyone to eat pasta all the time, but I do it anyway. Add some real cheese and spices for taste or chicken and veggies in it / on the side.
  • Other Pasta boxes (Pasta Roni, Velveeta, Hamburger Helper, etc.): basically as cheap or almost as cheap as Kraft macaroni, but maybe you arent a fan of mac n cheese.
  • Soup (Soup!!): Cambell’s Tomato soup is often $1 a can. I like to eat mine with grilled cheese. Thats a whole ass meal. But of course you can get other soups just as cheap. Basically, any canned foods.
  • Canned foods & veggies: this one goes without saying. Although, the better options are sometimes $2 to $3 the same can be said for frozen veggies, but just heat these up and cook them in fried rice or just add butter and eat them aside a nice entré
  • Chunk light tuna: speaking of canned foods, canned tuna is soooo cheap and is a great option (if you even like tuna). Dont actually get the “pack tuna” for $1 a pack unless you want to keep it in your bag bc canned tuna is around 60 cents a can. Mix it with Miracle Whip (or mayo) and spread it over break for a good sammich.
  • Grilled cheese (or cheese toastie if you arent American I think??): similar to previous options, youre getting your cheese and your butter and your bread. Not as healthy as other options but way better than fast food calories.
  • Quesadillas: similar to grilled cheese, except spICY. My brother only eats these and he has no meal plan. I do it now too. Honestly, adding up tortillas, cheese dip, shredded cheese, & chicken is kind of costly but worth it. Also cooking chicken is annoying bc I dont have time for that. But. Yknow. A great option.
  • Pillsbury Crescents: a little costly, about $2+ per tube, but still fookin delicious. Also imma be real: actually havent checked the nutrition label to see if these are actually healthy. But these are sO useful. Make them by themselves for breakfast (with jam, eggs, or alone) or use the dough for other recipes. I use these with Manwich sauce, cheese, and ground beef for snacks :)
  • Manwiches: manwich sauce cans are $1 and although they have some sugar, its not nearly as bad as fast food. Just cook up some ground beef to go with it & maybe add cheese, sliced bread, or hamburger buns
  • PB&J: Another OG. I could never get tired of these. You just gotta make sure you have soft bread and the pb&j and youre good to go. Although..like.. some people apparently like theirs toasted or with different jams (I like strawberry).
  • Eggs!!!! : Just keep these in your fridge. Just do it. You never know when youre going to run out of food. Boiled? Scrambled? Fried? Soft boiled? With ramen? Omelet? In fried rice? Egg sandwich??? Eat them with bread, eat them with toast, eat them as a breakfast sandwich, scramble them with cheese, the list goes on. If you dont eat them often, get a smaller carton, but always have eggs! Also, for baking.
  • Rice, or fried rice: If you like rice, have been cooking rice for a long time, and can actually make it without burning, make sure you have rice. If you like rice but have never actually made it yourself, it takes trial and error in a pot. Or just invest in a rice cooker. Additionally, fried rice is not that difficult to learn & it fits the bill for healthy bc you can add unlimited veggies and meats. Im not here to educated you but the more ingredients, the better, is how i see it.

Fresh Food:

  • Fruit: I literally have “an apple a day” for breakfast. It’s just good for you. Keep them in your fridge to keep them fresh. Keep one in your bag in case you get hungry. Bananas? Awesome! Use them in smoothies or a milkshake or eat them with your cereal or even with peanut butter. Possibilities are endless with fruit. Just make sure they dont spoil. Apples are OG bc they dont spoil as easily.
  • Vegetables: Make sure to only periodically get them so that they dont go to waste. Make some broccoli with butter & eat it alongside pasta. Or asparagus. Anything you want. Just make sure to have some with your meals sometimes. Greens are good. Additionally, carrots can get addicting if yoh eat them with ranch. The plus side is they are filling. If you have a tendency to want to munch on something: carrots.
  • Deli Meat / Sandwich Options: I personally dont make deli sandwiches because ham (as well as roast beef or turkey) can be expensive and then wanting to add lettuce and tomato to a sandwich sounds amazing but I’m scared they will spoil. Dont let me stop you though! Sandwiches are amazing.
  • Meat: you dont want to be cooking meat all the time bc it can get expensive, but the basics I always get are ground beef and chicken. I prefer “boneless skinless chicken thigh fillets” but you would need to cut off the fat. You could always get rotisserie if you arent feeling to for cooking. Also, if you’re feeling expensive one week, salmon is just sooo good. I ate it with asparagus and seasoned with lemon. Delicious.

Snack / Dessert Options:

(I personally don’t keep snacks or dessert in my home very often bc you dont want to binge eat. But here is what I have)

  • Peanut butter: classic, filling, can be potentially bad if you eat a shite ton
  • Nuts: peanuts, almonds, cashews, and especially pecans
  • Cookies: make your own, a lot of simple cookie recipes exist and it’s a lot easier than you think. Baking essentials like flour, sugar, milk, and eggs are not that expensive to keep around in an apartment kitchen. Difficulties may be vanilla extract (the avg student doesnt have this lying around) a baking sheet, a big bowl, and possible a whisk. Store bought cookie dough isnt too bad either.
  • Box-cakes / box-brownies: simple and easy. Takes a few eggs sometimes and some oil, milk or water. The same goes for pancake mix. Honestly, I had an out-of-country roommate and he had never heard of boxed cake mix or brownie mix. They always made from scratch where he lived.
  • Low-calorie ice cream: okay ice cream can be pretty expensive and filled w/ added sugars. I used to eat this strawberry icecream sweetened with stevia and it was SO delicious, but I couldnt find that at my grocery store. Other options are “low-calorie” ice cream or “no added sugars” ice cream. I have one of these and the thing abt it is that its just the right amount of sugar to taste like ice cream and the neat thing is that you dont feel like binging it bc it doesnt have addicting added sugars.
  • Milkshakes / smoothies: this is a tough one bc me and most other students dont own a blender or juicer. I personally get my smoothies from a local smoothie place that only uses fresh fruit and then I ask not to add the natural sugars bc it is sweet enough with the fruit. Natural smoothies are delicious & I find that you can kind of make then if u freeze your fruits and blend w a fork. “Handmade” milkshakes are actually super easy w this method.
  • Yogurt: just…mmm.
  • “Healthy” snack food section, often called the gluten-free aisle: im not too experienced with this and im sure they have added sugars too but what I do know is I tried these gluten free oreos once and they were delicious
  • Fruits: I mentioned earlier but apples are great snacks
  • Veggies: also like I said earlier, carrots are great snacks. Not exactly a veggie but possibly potatoes for a meal or snack.
  • Granola Bars: for when youre too lazy to keep up with fruit and if fruit will spoil, granola bars (they healthy kind, not the chewy sugary kind) are so good to have in your pantry or keep in your backpack for a snack (and to keep you from on campus temptations). Also I used Nature Valley ones instead of cereal. They actually dissolve and are delicious with milk, since some cereals are so sugary.

Since my last college tips post got some notes I figured I’d keep writing these advice posts. For reference, I am hoping to become an RA next year at my college, so I’m not just speaking out of my ass. I generally have experience at college thus far and want to help students.

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[3.10.2020]

Rainy day mini study session

This blog has become more of a comglomeration of shit posting, mini motivation, and cool visuals than a studyblr. But no fear! I do have a blog dedicated to college/studying/physics called @lil-study-spoon . Give it a little look see if you’re interested in study motivation, organization tips, and college life. :)

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