Test Talk

We all think about the test that is next week and how everyone else has been saying either they haven’t studied at all or have studied for hours on end. Meanwhile, in your mind, you know you understand MOST of the material, have kept up in class, and at least reviewed notes throughout the weeks leading up to the test. However, all the conversations about the test gets you anxious and then there’s that one person who brings up a random fact, that you didn’t know, and just freaks you out and overwhelms you.

STOP listening to other people. As I’ve said before, if you want to have a study group, study on your own first and go off your own notes. If you don’t understand something, clarify the material with the instructor first. Gather your notes, maybe even videos to explain the material, and then set aside a specific amount of time to study. If you say, “I’m going to study at 8,” study at 8. Do not let yourself slip into the habit of thinking “what’s another hour” or “I’ll start tomorrow.”

Also, there actually is such a thing as over-studying. You know the material, you know what you need to know for the test, do not let other people’s conversations cause you to overthink. Over-studying will hurt your grade because your brain is overwhelmed and fried before you’re even given the test. A sleepless night before a test does lower your grade, trust me I’ve done it before. Please, get to bed on time, if you have been reviewing and studying weekly, you will be fine on the test. Do not listen to other people talk about the test, keep to yourself or your small study group.

-Emma, Student Scholar

Stress Management

Let’s face it – as a college student, you’re going to be under a lot of stress. Whether it’s because you’re trying to balance a family, a job, and school, or just because you have a big project coming up, college students are always stressing about something. Stress is actually detrimental to your health, and keeping it under control is very important. Being overly stressed can limit your performance in everyday activities, including your job or schoolwork. But how do you manage the stress you’re under?

Whenever I’m stressed, I take a few minutes and just chill. My mind goes into overdrive, and I start stressing about how stressed I am because I know the stress isn’t good for me. But I take it slow, and write down everything that I need to do, in a list. That way I have some structure and I know exactly what’s going on. Sometimes I’ll listen to music and sing along (horribly) because music makes me feel better. Other times, if it’s warm outside, I’ll go outside and go for a walk for a half hour or so. It clears my head and enables me to think more rationally again. Sometimes even taking a short break from my work to play a video game or browse social media helps.

I find that carrying a planner that has everything I need to get done every day really helps keep my stress levels under control. It’s so stressful trying to remember everything I have to do, and writing it down ensures that I’ll never forget, which would lead to more stress once I realized I forgot to do an assignment. But overall, just taking a break and relaxing for a little bit is the best way for me to manage my stress.

Time Management

School can be a very stressful and time-consuming experience. Between my classes, labs, making time for studying, finishing all my projects, and any extra events it seems that there is hardly any time to balance anything else, such as work, friends, family, and even extra activities such as working out. I know between everything going on, it feels like there is not enough time to do anything else in my life. That is before I realized that it wasn’t everything that was thrown my way that was consuming my time, but the fact that my time managing skills were lacking. I didn’t know how to organize my time wisely with everything that I have had to do. I had to realize that organization is key for success for the rest of my time here. I have learned a trick to help keep my life organized.

The trick is writing down an outline of everything I have to do throughout the week by keeping a detailed outline for each hour of the day. For an example, a typical Tuesday consists of:

  • waking up and going to class for 8am-12pm
  • 12pm-1pm lunch break I sit aside and finish any assignments while eating lunch
  • 1pm-3pm I finish class
  • 3pm-430pm I go and have a stress relieved workout for the day
  • 430pm-6pm I go home and have a few minutes for myself, eat dinner, and do something for me to take my mind away from school
  • 6pm-8pm I study any new material that was learned throughout the day
  • 8pm-9pm I review everything for the upcoming exam
  • 9pm-10pm I get ready for bed and go to sleep

Making this outline for each day of the week and accommodating it for the events that need to be accomplished will keep my procrastination under control and keep me on track to finishing everything that I need to get done by a certain time and date. Also, I can leave time for family and friends and keep it within a certain time period and allow myself to decompress while being effective. This strategy has greatly helped me since I have started this, it had decreased my stress, anxiety, and the general feeling of being overwhelmed. This has specifically been projected onto my exam scores and I have been passing with flying colors all while being relaxed and stress-free.

-Jacqueline, student scholar

Pros & Cons of Online Classes

If you’re considering taking any online classes, you’re probably wondering what the experience is actually like. There are many pros and cons to taking an online class. They’re convenient, meaning you can usually do the work during your free time. A lot of people work while going to school, and online classes give them more flexibility in their schedule. Even if you just stay at home, taking an online class or two could save you the hassle of commuting to campus an extra day or two a week, which frees up that time for other things.

However, that convenience comes with a price. You don’t get the full “college” experience of that class. You don’t usually get to meet with the professor and your peers and talk one-on-one, so you’ll be missing out on that connection. If you find the material difficult, it’s harder to get assistance, too. Personally, I don’t recommend taking difficult classes online. It would be much easier to meet in an actual class with the professor twice a week instead. For easier classes, though, it’s definitely simpler and more convenient to just take it online.

Online classes also allow you to complete the work at your own pace, as long as you meet the due dates. So if you’re one of those people who often complete work early, professors usually give you the option to work ahead a few weeks. And if you fall behind, you can still complete the work for each week at your own pace, on your own time, instead of in class.

Overall, I definitely think that online classes are worth it, provided the class is easy. However, you do need a certain amount of motivation and discipline, so that you don’t continually procrastinate each week’s work. If you have good time management skills, and wish to make your schedule as convenient as possible, then I recommend you take a look at online classes and see if they’re right for you.

Attitude is Everything

Have you ever had one of those days where you sleep in past your alarm and just put on whatever clothes are in sight? Then, as you’re rushing to class or work, you end up behind the slowest drivers possible? To top it off, you get there and realize you don’t have half the things you actually need and you feel miserable and just think to yourself that it’s going to be a horrible day. The overthinking and negative outlook makes it the horrible day. I never really understood what people meant when they said “attitude is everything,” but now I do.

Everyone has their own hard times, bad days, or just not enough sleep to handle everything. The most important thing is to not let that one bad thing ruin something good. Instead of sitting there telling yourself you’re going to be miserable, like I have one too many times, think of the positive. I’ve made a paper-cut seem like the end of the world because all I think is the day is going to be miserable. I have learned, and I hope you do too, that a late morning, bad news, or bad experience will not ruin your entire life. Do not carry that misery on your shoulders throughout the day, because really you could have an amazing day and completely forget about the bad.

Your attitude really is everything, because how you feel and think plays the most important role in your perception of things. Please, don’t let a bad day ruin your week or your goals. Get back up and try again, by learning from the mistakes to make it better next time. Keep your head up, you aren’t alone in how you feel, you just have to keep trying.


-Emma, Student Scholar