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How to Ace Your Next College Exam

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At the end of every vacation, we tend to overestimate ourselves a bit. Or maybe we’re just underestimating ourselves after a few months of studies – who knows? We keep bullet journals nonetheless, filling out calendars, and trying to stay on top of assignments and exams that are months away – the motivation is unquestionable before we’ve even started.

How we can keep that flame burning throughout the year, though, and find back to the same energy in November is another question.

I’ll try to answer it in this article, making it a bit easier for you to stay sharp and focused when you need it the most – in the examination room, that is. A lot of the tips here is a simplified version of the Straight-A method so that you don’t have to read your way through the entire idea. You have enough reading to do in any way.

Capture the course

The one tip you’ll find all over the web, from professors and study-geeks alike, is that you need to have a general overview of the course before you start. It sounds overwhelming, right? It doesn’t have to be, though, and by getting this over with right away, you’re actually saving yourself a lot of stress and anxiety in the future.

Each course has a code you can crack – an idea your professor wants you to grasp. Before the semester has started, look over the syllabus, make a note of important assignments, and have a look at past exam papers. It’s not necessarily to start the learning process right away, but rather to keep you prepared and focused on the key topics.

It’s the perfect time to plot the assignment and exam dates into your bullet journal or calendar, by the way, making it manageable and way less overwhelming. Have a look at intelligent.com as well to create an awesome study plan.

Don’t waste time

Treat your studies as if it’s your full-time job – even if you already have one. This mindset will help you with realizing how much work you should actually put into your studies to succeed and will pinpoint you in the right direction of managing your time.

Your downtime should be spent wisely so that you have the energy to read when you don’t have class; sufficient sleep, exercise, and a balanced diet are obvious keywords here, yet too many students lead a surprisingly unhealthy lifestyle. Find yourself a good mattress at mattress.review, first of all, to take care of your sleep deprivation, and get used to waking up at the same time every morning to read. It’s good for you.

Control your workload

Some people may disagree with me on this one, but here it goes nonetheless; if you feel like the plan-ahead mindset and long-term overlook of your course is slightly confusing and overwhelming, it’s alright to focus on the small steps.

Everywhere you’ll hear that the only way to success in college is to grasp the big picture and think ahead, always planning for the next couple of months. While it’s definitely helpful and a sure way to success for many, it’s stressful and confusing to others.

You can easily keep your eye on the next assignment, work hard and get an excellent grade, before looking at the next one. Step-by-step is often the best method when you have a lot to get through; plan a short-term study schedule where you focus on your next assignment, as well as a long-term one with a focus on the last exams, and make an honest attempt at sticking to it.

With these three simple steps, you can easily arrive at the examination hall, well-rested and with a head full of knowledge you can’t wait to share and forget about as soon possible.

 

I hope you enjoyed the post! What do you do to prepare for an exam? Let me know in the comments! <3

Thanks so much for reading, as always <3

Xoxo, Rae

 

September 19, 2017
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3 Things You Didn’t Know About College

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College is a culture shock for everybody. It’s the first time living away from home for most people and your life will be drastically different to what it was when you were in high school. Most students set off for college expecting things to be different but they underestimate quite how unprepared they’re going to be. These are the biggest surprises that college students get in their first year.

Freedom

All college students know that they’re going to get freedom when they leave home. It’s one of the things that they look forward to most. Being able to do what they want without their parents looming over them is a liberating feeling, but most of them aren’t expecting the other side of that freedom. When you’re in school, you’ve got teachers to guide you through your work and set hours to do it in. All of that goes away when you get to college. You’re completely free to choose how and when you do your work. For some people, that’s a good thing, but some students don’t know where to start. That freedom suddenly becomes a bad thing and they struggle to stay motivated.

They also aren’t prepared for feeling homesick. In that summer before heading off to college, they can’t wait to get away from their parents. But a few weeks in, they’ll start missing all of the luxuries that they used to take for granted.

Stress

Everybody experiences a bit of stress at school, but when you get to college, it’s magnified tenfold. Trying to keep on top of your workload while you’re learning how to live alone in a strange city can be daunting and that stress can quickly build up. A staggering 60% of college students reported that stress interfered with their ability to do their work properly and around 30% reported feelings of depression brought on by stress.  Those are worrying statistics and most students didn’t expect it to be that hard. Before you even get started, you need to look into how students can reduce stress so that you’re prepared when you get there. Setting aside time to relax, and making sure that you’re eating well are both simple ways that you can avoid letting things getting on top of you.

Money Doesn’t Go That Far

When your parents are buying all of the groceries and paying the bills, you don’t always realize how much they’re spending. Before you get to college, you probably thought that $1000 seemed like a massive amount of money, but college students soon realize that, once they need to start paying for all of that adult stuff, it’ll soon run out. Lots of students get into financial difficulty because they start overspending when they first arrive and find it difficult to get themselves back on a good path. Before you head to college, it’s a good idea to do a bit of research into the general cost of things to avoid getting caught out and getting yourself into financial difficulties.

Preparing for these revelations beforehand will help you to survive the trials and tribulations of college.

I hope you enjoyed the post! What’s one thing that surprised you when you started college? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks so much for reading, as always <3

Xoxo, Rae

September 8, 2017
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College 101: Do I Take a Gap Year?

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A lot of college-aged students struggle to decide whether to take a gap year before starting college or whether to get started with their degree as soon as possible. On the one hand, traveling gives you a chance to let loose and have fun before you begin to study. On the other hand, the sooner you start college, the sooner you can graduate and start moving up the career ladder. It’s a tough one to decide on, especially when you feel really torn.

For anyone with a passion for travel who wants to get started with their degree as soon as possible, it can be a struggle to decide what to do – whether to take a gap year of start college. You want to ensure that you get the education that you require, of course, you do, but there is also a part of you that wants the chance to explore, let loose, and have some fun.

What if there was an option that gave you the best of both worlds – getting your degree started and being able to travel? Well, the good news is, there is – it’s called a sandwich degree, this is where you take a year out in the middle of your course to learn at another university or institution or to spend a year gaining invaluable industry experience.

Like the idea of a sandwich degree or a college course that allows you to take a year out? Want to know more about the benefits of this kind of course? If the answer is yes, then read on for everything that you need to know.

You get the best of both worlds

If you have always dreamed of traveling but are also keen of getting your studies underway, taking a sandwich course could be the answer because it will give you the best of both worlds. It will allow you to get your studies started and plan to do some traveling. While you wait for your sandwich year to come about, you can always use each of your college breaks to travel. Whether you head to Palm Springs for a fun break with the girls or to Europe to soak up some culture, it doesn’t matter, all that matters is that you get to see as much of the world as possible. Seeing the world is good for you, as it teaches you more about the world and the hundreds of different cultures, religions, and ways of life within it. It teaches you tolerance and understanding and makes you a more understanding person. It will also make you more grateful for what you have, as you will see other people and communities leading their lives with much less.

All experience is good experience

Whether your year out is spent studying at another college or completing a range of different internships, it doesn’t matter. A year out is your chance to gain as much experience as possible, whether that is educational experience, learning in another way, or industry experience, that doesn’t matter. All experience is good experience – anything that will enhance your resume and boost your chances of career success is a good thing. Even if you complete an internship in your dream field only to realize that it’s not actually what you want to do, that doesn’t matter, because you have still gained knowledge about the industry, as well as a range of transferable skills.

Time out may give your more focus

A lot of the time, college students don’t really know what they want to do when they graduate from college. This uncertainty can make specializing a little difficult, which can make landing that dream job somewhat of a struggle. However, for a lot of students, taking time out to gain experience at another academic facility or within the sector that they dream of going into, gives them a better understanding of what it is that they want to do when they graduate from college. You can get so much focus by taking the time out to study or gain experience abroad. A gap year during your degree can tell you a lot about what you actually want from life, which when it comes to your future, is important.

 

You will have the chance to network

Did you know that when it comes to landing your dream job, it’s often as much about who you know as what you know? That is why it is so vital to build up contacts within the industry that you plan on working within. Bearing that in mind, this is another reason why a gap year during college can be so beneficial. If you use your gap year to undertake an internship, when you graduate after completing your final year, you may end up being offered a job at the place where you interned during your year out. A lot of the time when it comes to career opportunities, it’s about who you know, not what you know. That’s why getting out into the working world can be so beneficial, as it can give you the opportunity to build connections that could come in useful once you have graduated from college.

 

You’ll be able to travel

One of the most obvious benefits of taking a year out during college is that depending on what you arrange to do during that time; you may be able to travel. If traveling is your passion, there are plenty of ways that you can use your gap year to travel and improve your skills at the same time. Whether that is attending college abroad, such as in Singapore and living there while you learn – if you are going to do this, get an idea of the average hdb rental price in the area, to ensure that you don’t pay over the odds for your accommodation – or taking on an internship abroad, it doesn’t matter. All that matters is that you get the opportunity that you want/need to travel and see more of the world while honing your skill and gaining valuable experience.

Break up three years of study

A lot of college students go through college wondering what they can actually do with their degree. By the third year – their final year – they are panicking about what the future will hold for them. To prevent this from happening to you, choosing a sandwich course could be the answer, as taking a year out can help to break up three years of study and can make finding your calling in life a little bit easier. By taking a year out to study abroad or undertake an internship, you get to put what you have already learned into practice. You get to see what adult life is really like and how hard living alone can actually be. The fact is that if you leave college knowing what you want to do in life and the education behind you to make these dreams a reality, this a win, as few people are lucky enough to be in this situation.

So there you have it, a guide to choosing a course that has a gap year in the middle of it, and what the benefits are of choosing to do so. The fact is that choosing to undertake a sandwich course comes with many benefits, and can make the process of getting a better result at the end of your course more likely. It can also help to make landing the job of your dreams more likely, especially if you use your time wisely and build up a network within the industry that you want to get into.

I hope you enjoyed the post and that it helped you out! Have you thought about taking a gap year? Let me know!

Thanks so much for reading, as always <3

Xoxo, Rae

 

September 6, 2017
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Back to College, Back to Reality

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That’s right guys, summer will soon be over and you’ll be back at college. Now, if you’re heading into your first year that might sound rather exciting and exhilarating. After all, freshers week for the first year of college is essentially just like a mini holiday. And after that, you’ll have a week or two settling in, making new friends, joining social groups, maybe signing up for a few sports teams? The first year of college can be a lot of fun where you find your footing. Don’t worry too much about those exams either at the end of the year. Most colleges – not all, but most – won’t count your level of achievement in first year when determining your final grade. Basically, what I’m trying to say is that the first year of college is a breeze. You’ll love it. It’s when you head back after summer for your second year that things get interesting.

Before we get into what your second year in college is going to be like, let’s get through a few mistakes that people make during this time that you should avoid.

Mistakes Before You Pick The Wrong Major

Living Too Far Away

During your first year of college, you’ll probably be living in the dorms and you’re going to have a fantastic time. Most nights there will be parties and ragers, unless of course you happen to live in a quiet block. Second year is your first chance to carve your own path and find where you want to live. Some people make the mistake of moving too far away from the college.

You can see the appeal of this. You get a little breathing room and if you move out of the city, you can dodge the traffic and hustle and bustle of the city that can keep you up before a morning lecture. But if you live anywhere further away than a thirty minute walk it’s going to be a little mini headache. Sure, it could get you used to the inevitable commute to work that will be a big part of your future. But, you’ll be arriving at college exasperated and stressed. You don’t want that. When you’re looking for apartments for rent make sure you only look at ones that are close to the college. There’s a financial advantage to this as well. Landlords in these areas know who their target market is and they will decide their prices accordingly.

Attending Every Lecture And Class
Wait, attending every lecture and class is a mistake? It could be if it leaves you drained or if there are lecturers that sound like they were designed in a lab to send students asleep. Oh, those types of lecturers exist, I assure you. You’ll also get the type that are literally reading off their notes and powerpoint presentations which they will helpfully post online after the class. So unless you are struggling with a subject, have a lecturer that doesn’t give out notes or you simply find the topic interesting don’t bother with the lecture. You’ll quickly get a grasp of which ones you need to attend and which ones could be skipped. But be warned, there will be ones in the early morning that are essential.

How about classes? They are a tad different because they tend to register who attend and who doesn’t. You might even be asked why you didn’t show up for a particular class and that can get awkward. As well as this, you’ll usually find awesome, useful information does crop up in these classes and seminars so typically, they are worth attending.

With Great Power…

To put it in 21st century comic book movie obsession terms, you need to be like Peter Parker/Spiderman, not Wade Wilson/Deadpool. You are given a great power when you go to college in your second year…freedom. It’s not like high school. No one is always going to check your are there or push you to study. If you want to get fantastic grades and secure yourself a brilliant future it’s up to you. You should be setting up times and periods through the week when you are going to study and work.

Most people do find the time to complete their coursework and essays. But they let themselves down by not planning enough time to study. You were probably studying around an hour a night in your final years of high school. When you reach college, you should at least be doubling that and this becomes essential during your second year.

So, we’ve looked at a few of the mistakes people make during their second year of college. Now, let’s discuss some tips that can make your life just a little easier.

College Survival Guide

Join A Study Group

As the old saying goes two heads are better than one and four heads are better than two. This is another reason why you want to live quite close by to the college. If you’re too far away, you might be invited to the study groups but you probably won’t want to go. Study groups are useful because you get the benefit of a group intellect. So, you might not know something but someone else in the group will, boosting your chances of success in that final exam. The key to a successful study group is, shockingly, making sure that people do actually study. It’s not as easy as you think because in a group of students there is a lot of other things to talk about. But knowing Jon Snow’s real name isn’t going to help you to pass that exam, nor is finding out who Bethany went home with last night.

Meal Deals
No one is denying that college is expensive. It is and you’ll be lucky if you scrape through without a few money problems. You’ll definitely go over your budget at least a couple of times in your second year. But there are ways to make things easier. For instance, you can think about looking for meal deals. You’ll often find that there are vouchers and offers on different food places around the city. These tend to crop up just in time for freshers week and you can easily get a lot of freebies if you are in the right place at the right time.

You might also want to keep an eye out for signs such as ‘all you can eat buffet.’ You can get all the food you need for a day here for a fraction of the price of three meals. It’s a fantastic way to save and there will be offers and opportunities like this. You just have to be a savvy diner.

Why Don’t You Do Something?
A common misconception is that college is all about the grades. College is about any form of achievement and it doesn’t have to be academic. So, you might join the debate team or perhaps sign up for college basketball. Anything like this is going to look great on your resume once you leave college and start looking for that dream job. You do need to be thinking about this even as early as your second year in college. It’s important that you do have something, anything that shows more to your future employee than a great set of grades.

The excuse usually presented here is that a student isn’t particularly sporty or athletic. But as we have shown, you don’t need to be. You just need to be interested in something. There’s a club or activity for everyone at college. You just need to find the one to suit you.
Feel The Burn

Here’s a handy tip for when you first get your college schedule. Search for a period where all your exams and assignments are due at once. This is called hell week and it is a nightmare. Usually, you won’t have a hell week in college in first year because contrary to popular belief, lecturers are not evil. Your first taste of it will most likely arrive in your second year. Lecturers may even warn you but if you know it’s coming, you can prepare. You can get some of your assignments out of the way early and this will make things a lot easier for you. This another part of college life where your freedom and responsibility to use it wisely comes into play once more.

You see, in college, you often get given your assignments all at once. They are readily available for you to start and get a grip on as soon as the university term begins. However it will be up to you when you begin your assignments or start to study. Don’t be a late starter, get things sorted early and you’ll be able to relax a little later on.
The best way to do this is to right the basic structure or essays and assignments in advance. Then, when you get a lecture on the topic you can correct anything you got wrong or add more detail in. If you get the wrong end of the stick you might have to rewrite the entire essay, but that doesn’t mean this is a waste of time.

So, as you can see, there is a lot to think about before you head back to college and back to reality, for your second year. Hopefully, you’ll find this helpful and avoid a few of the common mistakes while taking my little tidbits of advice on board. Don’t forget, once you’re through second and third year, you’ll find fourth is a lot easier. You get even more freedom and a lot of breathing room with your assignments. Goodluck!

Thanks so much for reading, as always <3

Xoxo, Rae

 

September 5, 2017
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High Student Debt? Try These Tips!

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Are approaching a mental crisis point because your college debt is becoming too large to manage? There are many in your position, so don’t feel as if you’re the odd one out because you’re not. Student debts have never been as high as they are now because universities feel they can charge more and more in the modern culture. Financial aid is readily available as education is a business to the government as it is also a source of income for the population as a whole. Therefore, you need to think like a business person too. College debt shouldn’t be allowed to interfere with your studies because after all, your grades are the most important thing at the end of the day.

Get your bearings

You need to calculate how much you owe overall. Many debts are different because as universities might have their own payment scheme with regards to how much you’ll need to pay per semester or perhaps annually. Students will normally graduate with a number of loans on their shoulders, which are a mix of federally sponsored loan companies, and private companies who work independently. You should arrange and calculate how much you owe in total, and then how much you owe to each company. Only by knowing how much debt you’re truly in, can you get a clear picture of what you need to do. With these calculations, you can then form a plan a delegate your priorities.  

Bunch them together

It’s to your advantage to wrap the debt around your life, rather than have the debt control you. It’s much harder to pay off each loan in both practical and mental terms because each company you have a loan with has a different interest rate. Sometimes the plans can change after a set period of time, so you may have to increase payments or enlarge them, while also, keeping track of other payments. It can be a really harmful experience, to be chasing up multiple sources of money to pay back the ever-increasing demands. You should seriously consider visiting consolidatestudent.loan, where you can learn all about the types of schemes that can amalgamate all your loans into one payment plan. Your interest rates will also go down, making each payment you make, well within your ability, and allow you to keep your living standards high as possible.

Find the priority

To put a stop to the avalanche of debt, you need to make a plan to target the highest loans first. Any debt relief strategy needs to have a plan that gives you breathing room in the first place. One common tactic is to budget in such a fashion that you have enough leftover, to then allocate that money to the biggest interest loan, you have taken out. Once you have got the largest obstacle out of the way, you can then focus on the smaller debt packages. The first months will take a bit getting used to, but the key is to get the big fish, out of the way, as the increased weight can make the small debt looks larger than is.

 

There’s always light at the end of the tunnel, but you need to be seated at the table if you want to play the game. Think as a business would, and make sure your debts don’t pile up so much that you’re buried underneath them. Make concise plans and prepare for some financial belt tightening.

I hope you enjoyed the post! How are you planning on tackling your student debt? 

Thanks so much for reading, as always <3

Xoxo, Rae

August 30, 2017
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