Everything's Falling Into Place
September 24, 2012
Autumn has finally hit NU, and boy does it get chilly in the morning and at night! Students walk around with Tim Hortons or a coffee/tea/hot cocoa from Clet to keep warm and awake. I myself have become quite fond of the chai tea from Clet, but that's beside the point. I want to take this blog to tell you a bit more about courseload, because schoolwork definitely is an important part of college.
Right now I'm taking six courses for the semester. Content varies, as do professors' teaching styles. The class I'm most fond of right now is actually Math for Elementary Teachers, which surprises me because I was never fond of math in the past. The difference is that our professor goes out of her way to make sure we understand every part of the concept and teaching techniques so that we will be prepared to teach that math to our own students in the near future.
Studying is definitely a big part of success in college. Flashcards and highlighters are two of the best pieces of advice I can give you. I use a different color highlighter for every subject: religion is yellow, writing is pink, education is green, French is purple, NUB is blue, and math is orange. This helps me organize all of my notes and due dates in my planner as well (more on that later). Flashcards are especially useful with vocabulary terms and memorizing concepts. I suggest setting aside a half hour each day at least four days before a test. Cramming definitely won't help you understand everything you will be tested on.
Best Study Spots
The first few weeks of the semester, a group of my friends would meet up on the second floor study wing of the library. We'd proof read each other's work and make sure we all had time to de-stress every once in a while. However, as the semester continues, assignments pick up and we mostly study in our dorms, where we can control how loud or quiet our room is and have less distractions. I know a lot of people also like to sit down and study in Clet, as well as people who sit outside when the weather is warm enough. Personal preference will lead you to where you will best focus on your studying.
My very best piece of advice for you is to manage your time. I was never an organized person throughout middle or high school, but now I can't imagine not keeping track in a planner. In fact, I have two planners that I always carry around with me: one contains all of my assignments and class/work study schedules, and the other contains important due dates, club meetings and things to remember (birthdays/holidays).
I have a weekly whiteboard above my bed for assignments for the week and a whiteboard opposite that where I list my daily to-dos. Another important thing is scheduling sleep. It might sound silly, but when you've somehow only had four hours of sleep before an especially long lecture, you're going to be embarrassed if you start nodding off. Plus, if you catch up, you can plan more time for friends (like for a super quirky New Girl second season premiere party!).
Next time, I'll update you on what Learn and Serve is and how my very first day at my placement went. Type to you soon! :)