Goodbye

Hello Readers!

This week marks my last week as a student, so I will no longer be writing this blog. I just wanted to leave a quick note to say thank you to you all for reading. I hope you found it useful!

Good luck with your post-secondary schooling!

-Emily

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Helpful Hint #23: Procrastination

Hello Readers!

I have absolutely no authority in advising you to stop procrastinating. I procrastinate all the time, as I think most students do. I know how easy it is to think of ways to spend your time other than doing your homework. So, to try to help you out with this issue (and to help me care about getting my last few assignments done), here is an infographic I found on the Internet!

procrastination-640x8037

If that didn’t help, maybe these tips will!

There’s nothing to it but to do it, right? I guess that’s what I’ll just keep telling myself. The end is near, my friends!

Thanks for reading!

-Emily

Helpful Hint #22: PowerPoint

Hello readers!

So I’m at the point in the semester where I’m feeling pretty tapped out, which means I’m going to keep it short and sweet this week.

powerpoint

In case you haven’t already figured this out, you’re probably going to use PowerPoint a lot during your time as a post-secondary student. I know there are tonnes of tips out there about how to make a good presentation, but in case you don’t feel like looking those tips up, I thought I’d leave a few here for you.

  1. http://www.lifehack.org/articles/featured/10-tips-for-more-effective-powerpoint-presentations.html
  2. http://www.businessinsider.com/8-tips-for-great-powerpoint-presentations-2015-1?op=1
  3. http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/easy-powerpoint-design-tricks-ht

The visual component of a presentation is just as important as the information you’re presenting because chances are people are going to tune in and out of listening to you. If you really want the audience to pay attention, you need to hold their attention with something to look at while they listen.

PowerPoint can be pretty basic, so challenge yourself to take it to the next level.

Thanks for reading!

-Emily

Helpful Hint #21: Advice from You Part 2

Hello Readers!

First of all, I’d like to thank everyone who participated in my giveaway. Your advice was so great that I’ve decided to feature all of you in this week’s post!

thanks

Josh says:

My best advice: Get your work done ahead of time. It’s much easier to do work when you aren’t rushed!

Kelly says:

Hey Emily! I think you’ve already said this is one of your posts but I think the best advice I can give for students is to make sure you set aside time for yourself. One of my biggest regrets from my university career is that I often took school way too seriously and I spent too much time studying when I should have been having some more fun too. While studying is certainly important and my grades rewarded me for my efforts, I think I could have done just as well on a little less time spent hitting the books. Take the time to relax and make some memories. Go on that pub crawl everyone has been talking about, go get that ice cream you’ve been craving all day, whatever it is to give your brain a break and let loose for a little while. If you keep your fun in balance with your studies, I guarantee you’ll have just as much success as a student and you’ll be a lot happier about it along the way :).

Alanna says:

My advice is: don’t be afraid to ask for help. Whether it’s a classmate, instructor, or a counselor – talking to someone is extremely helpful when you’re going through tough times. I have done all three since starting CreComm and it’s been so beneficial to my well-being. Having support and feedback from people that care about you and your success is priceless.

Erin says:

My advice: Set hard deadlines for yourself and stick to them! They’ll keep you focused, organized and on track. You may not like them at first, but you’ll thank yourself later! 🙂

Raegan says:

The best thing I’ve learned to do is be fully accepting of my academic situation. I wish I had accepted earlier on that there would be months where I’d only be getting six hours of sleep a night, there’d be days where I’d look for stress relief in a bag of chips, and there would be full semesters where I’d skip the gym to make room for bigger priorities…instead of beating myself up about my situation all along. Maybe that’s just me, but that’s what I’ve learned 🙂

All of this is really great advice! Just because the contest is over, it doesn’t mean I don’t still want to hear from you. The more advice we can share with each other, the better. There is probably only going to be one time in your when you get to be a student, so you want to make the most of it.

Okay, here is the moment you’ve all been waiting for! I numbered all contestants from 1 to 5 as they are listed above, and then went on random.org to draw a random number.

The winner of the giveaway is…

Screen Shot 2016-03-18 at 10.24.04 AM

#2 – Kelly Hammond

Congrats Kelly! I’ll get in touch with you about your prize!

Thanks for reading!

-Emily

Helpful Hint #20: Exchange Programs

Hello Readers!

***A note about last week’s giveaway***

Please check out blog post #19 for your chance to win a $20 Tim Hortons gift card! I’m keeping this contest open for one more week. All you have to do is comment on the post with your best advice for student, and you’ll be entered to win!

*Back to regularly scheduled programming*

I was out the other night with some friends and we started talking about school. Most of my friends (myself included) are graduating from post-secondary school this year. But one of my friends is still in the middle of their degree. She mentioned wanting to go on an exchange trip next year, and I thought to myself ‘that sounds so fun. I should have done that.’

Medsin Exchanges

So, my advice for you this week is to see if your school offers an exchange learning experience. Even if you don’t end up going on the trip, it won’t help to check it out. Maybe it will give you some travel ideas for when you’re done school.

Or, if you really do want to go, now is the time in your life to do it! Sure, you’ll still have to study while you’re there, but you’ll be in a whole new place with so many new things to experience that school probably won’t feel quite so much like a commitment.

I haven’t traveled much, but when I have gone places I loved it. I think that if this is something you’re considering, you should just go for it. Why not? It will be a bit of a financial commitment, but when again in your life are you going to have the opportunity to just take off to a new country?

At the very least, look into it. You never know where it might take you!

Thanks for reading!

-Emily

Helpful Hint #19: Advice from you

Hello Readers!

Giveaway-Graphic1

It’s giveaway time! Over the course of the last few months, I’ve been giving you all advice about how to get the most out of your post-secondary education. This week I want to hear from you!

All you have to do is comment on this post with your best advice for students and you’ll be entered to win a $20 Tim Hortons gift card!

Easy right?

The advice you give should be directed at students, but you can pull from any experience you’ve had. If you need some inspiration, you can always check out my past posts. You have one week to post your best advice. You can post more than once, but you will only be entered into the giveaway once.

I can’t wait to read what you all come up with!

Thanks for reading!

-Emily

Helpful Hint #18: Textbooks

Hello Readers!

Sorry for the two-week break from posting. As many of you probably know, last week was reading week. Usually I use reading week as a chance to re-charge and mostly relax, but this year I had a lot going on last week and just didn’t get the time to post. During your time as a student, you’ll probably notice that every year your reading week is different depending on your midterm schedule, your classes, and your life.

Anyways, I’m back at it this week, and I’m going to talk about textbooks. From the first day of class you’re told which textbook you’re going to need to pass your classes. While I think it’s valuable to learn from the textbook and the lectures, there are some things about textbooks I wish I’d known when I started school that I’ll share with you today.

StackOfBooks

Do you need to buy the version of the textbook listed on the syllabus?

This is the first thing you should ask yourself when you see a required textbook for a class. Profs will always say you need the newest edition of the textbook because there is new information in it that you won’t find in older versions. Personally, I don’t think this is true. If you want to save yourself some money, track down a student who took the class last year and buy their textbook used. More often than not it will have the information you need. It just might be in a different chapter than what your prof tells you.

However, there is a flip side to this logic. If you happen to buy a used, older edition of your required textbook, you’re probably going to have trouble selling it to a new student next year because by then it will be 2 editions “out-of-date.” So think about what you want to get out of your textbook before you decide to buy new or used. It’s usually a no-lose situation because you’re either going to buy the textbook for cheap or be able to make some of your money back by selling it next year.

What other ways can I save money on textbooks?

You should also look into the policies of your school’s bookstore. At one of the schools I went to, the bookstore rented out the textbooks. This is a great option for you as a student because:

  • The rent price is always cheaper than the price to buy,
  • You get to keep the book for the entire semester so you can still get your readings done,
  • And when you’re done with the book, you don’t have to worry about finding someone to sell it to – you can just drop it off back at the bookstore.

Another thing you can try is to find the book at either the school library or your local library. Sometimes it will work out that you can keep the book for the entire semester for free!

How do I learn from a textbook? 

Now that you have the textbooks you need, you’re going to want to use them to get your money’s worth. The best advice I can offer for learning from a textbook is to interact with the book. I always like to do the assigned readings before class and make notes as I go through the assigned chapters. The notes give me a good point of reference for taking notes in class and help me study when it comes time for a test.

I also find note taking is better than highlighting because it helps me really understand the material. You should do what works best for you, but you’re more likely to remember the material if you write it in your own words rather than trying to memorize large sections of the textbook. Plus you might be able to sell your used textbook for more money the less marked up it is.

Finally, most textbooks have review sections at the end of chapters or sections. These reviews are a great way for you to test yourself on the material you’ve just read and can be a good starting place for knowing what you should study for your next test. Instead of re-reading the whole chapter when it comes time for a test, you can use this chapter summary and your notes to study for the test.

I hope you find these tips helpful!

Thanks for reading!

-Emily

Helpful Hint #17: Midterm Season

Hello Readers!

I don’t want to sound too redundant in this post, but because we’re right in the middle of midterm season I want to provide you with a few more tips to make studying more bearable. Hopefully you won’t feel like this!

dying

  1. Put your phone in another room while you study. You’ll get so much more studying done. Make your phone the reward for getting another hour of studying in.
  2. Study in the silence. I know some people say they study better with music on, but I advise against it. You’re not going to be able to have music during the exam, so get used to focusing in silence beforehand.
  3. Create a study group. It can sometimes be useful to talk some of the more difficult topics out loud. Plus you can test yourself to answer each other’s questions without using your notes.
  4. Go to in class review sessions. Even if your prof says it’s not mandatory for you to go, or you don’t have any questions of your own, I guarantee you’ll still learn something. This is usually when profs like to give tips on what to study!
  5. You can’t study all the time, so make sure you still take some time for yourself. Reward yourself, and give your brain a break, with a movie or Netflix after a long day of studying.

If these last two posts didn’t have enough tips for you, here’s a few more:

Thanks for reading!

-Emily

Helpful Hint #16: Study Tips

Hello Readers!

In building on my advice from last week, this week I’m going to share some study tips with you.

Now I know that studying is a very subjective experience in that everyone learns in his or her own way. However, I do think there is something to be learned from hearing about how other people study.

Last week I advised you all to go to class. This ties in perfectly to my first study tip, which is taking your own notes. When you’re in class, you’re more likely to be engaged with what you’re learning about because there are fewer distractions in a classroom.

Sure you can print off the prof’s online notes at home, but it’s going to be harder for you to learn the material in those notes if you don’t go to class and make your own notes as well. You’re way more likely to learn the material if you write it down yourself.

My next study tip involves reading the textbook chapters you’ve been assigned. I know it can feel daunting to pull out that 1000 page book with small writing, but it probably has some really useful information in it you’ll miss if you never open it up.

At the very least you should be reading the chapter summaries if the textbook includes those. It’s definitely not as useful as reading the whole chapter, but it’s a good place to cover all of the basic ideas your prof may test you on.

Finally, my last study tip for you is to set time in your schedule dedicated to studying. If you think you’re going to have trouble sticking to that schedule, write it down. I think every student has experienced the feeling of wanting to do anything else rather than study. When study time is already worked into your schedule, you’re more likely to do it.

In the week leading up to the exam or test, sit down for a couple hours every day to study the material. It’s so much easier to learn the material when you don’t have to cram it into just a few hours before the test.

If these tips aren’t enough to get you motivated, here are a couple other sites with study advice:

study

Thanks for reading!

-Emily

Helpful Hint #15: Go to Class

Hello Readers!

Everything you need to know about my post this week is right there in the title. Again it’s very simple advice because it’s something you should be doing anyway.

It doesn’t matter that you’ve got someone in your class who will fill you in on what you missed or let you copy their notes. Important information will still be lost, which is why you need to go to class.

It comes back to what I said back in November – take advantage of your post-secondary schooling because you’re only there for a few short years. You’ve already paid for your classes, so why not go to them?

bed

I know the struggle is real when it comes to getting out of bed some days. I’ve had my fair share of days when I would rather do anything else than go to class. For me, the decision always came down to my worry about missing something important.

Lots of profs give subtle hints about the parts of the textbook you should be studying for and will often repeat information that’s likely going to appear on the next test, for example. You won’t always get this kind of information from the prof’s online notes or from your friend’s notes.

Here are even more reasons why you should be going to class:

http://collegelife.about.com/od/academiclife/qt/Why-Go-To-Class.htm

I can’t force you to go to class. In the end, it’s always going to be your decision. I do hope I’ve given you something new insight to consider the next time you’re deciding whether or not it’s worth it to get out of bed. Hint: It’s always worth it to go to class.

Thanks for reading!

-Emily