Category: College

How to Avoid Burnout in College

The stress of college can all too easily lead to burnout. Here are a few tips to help you make it to the end of the semester with your sanity and energy levels intact.

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1) Plan Yourself Well- Failing to plan is planning to fail. Those words were drilled into my high school senior year Accounting class. Those words can also be my life motto. It’s difficult but always ensure that you have enough time to get an assignment done (possibly even extra time in case of any unexpected circumstances).

2) Have fun- I’ve been known to literally just sit around and read for hours or have a TV show marathon when I should be studying. Downtime is very very important to ensure you don’t overstress yourself. Take breaks and take them often.

3) Work smart not hard- Okay so this is going to make me sound so bad but I always work harder for the first assignment of each module. The reasoning behind this is that if I get a good enough mark for the first assignment, I don’t need to worry as much for the second one. If you kick ass at both assignments then you’re pretty much guaranteed a pass for the semester (depending on how your final mark is compiled).

4) Don’t compromise on your sleep- Sleep has health benefits and blah blah blah. Don’t give up on your sleep even if it’s for an all-nighter. Your body needs rest to recover from the day and prepare for the next one.

How do you avoid burnout in college?

How to Balance Your Blog with College

College is hard. Being a college student with a blog is infinitely harder. However with some handy tricks you can learn to balance your blog with college.

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1) Schedule everything- You might have noticed by now that I’m a huge fan of planners and to-do lists. Scheduling your commitments ensures you don’t forget them and are aware of them long before they occur. Write down both your college deadlines and important blog post dates. For me every Friday I write a Fiction Friday post so I write this in my diary.

2) Work in advance- Do things before they’re due. Write a few posts before they’re due to be published and queue them up. I usually write an entire week of post on the first day of the month and then work from there.

3) Delegate work- Ask for guest bloggers to post on your blog or ask a friend to help you study when college gets overwhelming.

4) Combine the two- Blog about your college experience. I especially like this option because anyone who is/has been in college can relate to the stress of it.

What are your tips for balancing college and a blog?

10 Signs You’re Meant to Be an English Major

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1) You enjoy reading
2) You enjoy writing
3) You’re good at both reading and writing
4) Your literary collection consists of more than just the latest bestsellers. You have the classics too.
5) You can write an essay in your sleep

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6)  You’ve written something that wasn’t for school (poems, short stories, fanfiction)
7) The idea of having to read and be rewarded for writing about what you read, excites you. Hello easy A
8) You’ve read a classic novel without it being compulsory for class.
9) You don’t mind putting in work for a module that most believe will only lead to you working at McDonalds or Starbucks.
10) Well you’re reading this so you obviously believe you’re meant to be an English major.

Tips on Preparing for Finals

It’s that time of the year again. Finals are upon us even though it feels like we JUST finished writing our last paper. Here are my tips to help you prepare for finals:

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1) Tailor your studying for the type of exam- I used to study for all my papers in the same way. Read the notes, read the textbook and hope for the best for exams. Don’t do that. It’s far more effective if you study depending on what the exam question is. Draft out essays or outlines of essays for an essay question. Test yourself for multiple-choice questions and practice answering “long questions” to the best of your ability.

2) Use Past Papers- Speak to your lecturer or tutor about papers that have been used previously. I overheard a conversation about our university papers being in the library- something I hadn’t known before.

3) Keep Calm- okay I’m not the best student out there but I’m pretty proud of my marks. I’m also pretty proud that I never crack under pressure. No matter how stressful exams are, be certain to always remain calm. Freaking out will only stress you out and cause you to forget what you’ve learnt.

4) Use more than one medium of learning- Learning the same thing over and over again is boring. Switch it up by changing the way you study. I usually write notes down but when I get bored I move on to typing them in my own words on my phone. I’ve also been known to sing but only when numbers are involved.

5) Ask for help when you need it- Whether you need extra revision with a tutor or you need to step away from some of your responsibilities, ask for help if you’re feeling overwhelmed.

What are your tips for finals?

How to Write an Essay

As an English major and a blogger, you’d assume that writing essays would come naturally to me. It doesn’t. There’s nothing I hate more than having to write an essay. Three years of college have made me create a strict no-fail routine when it comes to writing an essay. Here are my tips for writing an essay:

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1) Rewrite the essay question in your own words- Sometimes essay questions are worded in the most difficult way possible. Rewriting them helps you to understand precisely what it is that the question is asking. It also helps in writing your introduction.

2) Decide on your main points- I do this so that I know precisely what I’m going to include in my essay.

3) Write out your essay- the first two steps above should help you in writing your introduction. Your introduction should introduce the topic and discuss how you’re going to approach it.
Your body should consist of the main statements (and supporting statements) that prove the view you’re taking on the topic. Your conclusion should sum up everything you’ve said in the essay. The easiest way to remember this is: “Say what you’re going to say, how you’re going to say it (The introduction), say what you want to say (The body) and then say what you’ve said (The conclusion).

4) Edit- Be sure to edit your essay before you hand it in. I usually do a edit on my own before getting a member of the university to check my essay for me. Editing helps you to polish up your essay so you can get the best possible grade.

What’s your writing process when it comes to essays?

10 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Have to Attend Class

Sometimes, for whatever reason, we just can’t get to class. I don’t know about you but to me these are all totally valid excuses to not go to class.

15 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Have to Attend Classes

  1. It’s too hot
  2. It’s too cold
  3. You’re falling behind on your shows
  4. The lecturer sucks
  5. The class is too long
  6. The lecturer makes you drag your butt to class only to dismiss you after like two seconds. I did NOT leave my bed for this. Might as well just stay in bed anyway.
  7. You just need some ‘me’ time
  8. Attendance is compulsory
  9. You already did/are going to do the readings
  10. The class is too full
  11. The class is icky (this happens when you’re from South Africa and all of the cleaners go on strike).
  12. There is a strike
  13. There’s a possibility of a strike
  14. You feel like you should strike
  15. You just don’t want to go to class.

How to Take Notes From a Textbook

Taking notes from a textbook is difficult. They’re bulky and usually worded in the most difficult way possible. Here are my tried and tested tips for taking notes from a textbook:

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1) Read the summary first- Most textbook have a summary of each chapter. Read this before you begin reading the chapter. This will give you an overview of what it is that you’re studying.

2) Skim through the chapter- reading is for novels. Skimming is for college. If you read your textbook word for word, you would be wasting time. Skimming allows you to get the most important information instantly.

3) Highlight the important points- Highlight or underline the most important concepts in your textbook. Can’t write in your book? Copy the concepts down instead. Do something to make them stand out to you.

4) Read and reread- Revise the summary and the relevant concepts whenever necessary. Personally I like to copy them down all on a page so I have my own study guide.

How do you take notes from a textbook?

How to Adjust to Being Back at Campus

Sacrificing late nights out for study sessions sucks. It sucks even more if you’re returning to campus after a break. Here are my tips on how I adjust to returning to campus.

How to Adjust to Being Back at Campus

 

1) Get Enough Sleep- it’s very important that you get enough sleep. Try using a sleep calculator and follow it a few days before you go back to campus to allow your body to get used to the new sleeping time. This prevents any issues when it comes to waking up when it’s time to attend classes.

2) Stick to a Routine- For the first few days at campus, create a routine and follow it. This a) allows you to be more organised about your time and b) you’ll adjust easier when you know you have a routine you’re supposed to be following.

3) Give Yourself Time to Adjust- Rome was not built in a day and it’s unlikely that you’re going to return to campus and already be ready to be your best. It’s going to take time for your body to realise you’re giving up TV for tests and sleep for studying. I like to have atleast a week in which I let myself be lazy and not officially on “work” mode.

4) Get Working- At some time you’re going to get off your butt and say bye to your lazy days. This may happen when all your projects are due at once or it could happen days before your exam. It’s important that you start working as soon as you can to (for me I insist on doing some sort of work as soon as my lazy week is over) avoid stressing yourself out when the bulk of your work is due.

How do you adjust to being back at campus?

10 Ways College is Better Than High School

You wouldn’t know it since it’s a million times more stressful but here are 10 reasons why college is better than high school.

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1) Unlimited WiFi- if you know me, you know I’m obsessed with WiFi. Having access to WiFi on campus makes life so much easier.

2) You Get to See Your Friends More Often- it’s like you guys are living together. And in some cases, you might be. Even as a commuter, the long hours mean you’re going to be spending the entire day with your friends (so making friends who keep the same hours as you is a major advantage).

3) Food- in high school, the only food items we could buy was junk food and pie. In college there’s no end to the variety of food available. There’s vegetarian options, pizzas, pastas, etc. Don’t even get me started on the beverages. *drools*

4) You Have Interesting Subjects- my first semester at college consisted of Criminology, English, Zulu and Academic Writing. Okay Zulu was something offered in high school but I was fascinated by Criminology and Academic Writing. High school didn’t have subjects like that. Which brings me to…

5) You Choose Your Subjects- You have greater freedom choosing subjects in college than in high school. Bye bye Maths you colossal-waste-of-time.

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6) The Subjects Are All Very Different From High School- instead of basic comprehension and editing, English forced us to read and analyse text. We had discussions on Freud, Foucault and a local author who went insane while writing his last book (which made the ending of the book senseless but oddly intriguing).

7) The Dependence on Technology- remember when we weren’t allowed cellphones in classes? College doesn’t have that rule. You might even need your cellphone to take notes (or in some cases, take out photos of notes). You may also require a laptop or tablet. That combined with the WiFi makes for a dangerous combination.

8) The Strange Hours- you may start at ten. You may finish at twelve. Hell you may even start your weekend on a Wednesday. Okay that only happened to me once but it was AMAZING. College has more flexible hours which can be a blessing or a curse.

9) Attendance is not mandatory- if you skipped a day of class in high school, you were required to bring a note. No such rule exists in college. Of course there are a few classes that have registers but that’s because they’re evil. Stats, I command thee to leave my college syllabus.

10) It’s Not High School- College does not have the same drama as high school. Yes there might be experiences where you feel like you never left high school (we’ll get into the horror of my Freshman year some other time) but here’s the great part- you can leave. College has thousands of people so if you’re having issues with someone, simply remove them from your life and keeping moving forward.

What’s your favourite part of college?

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