One More Semester

I can’t believe that I really only have one more left. My first and second semester dragged on but this semester literally flew by like nothing! I remember when I first rode the bus up to CCBC on my first day of class and I was so nervous. I could’ve practically died but after my class was over, I was perfectly fine. I’m excited to go out and get a job with my degree after my last semester, but I’m also really scared at the same time.

I hope I’ll be able to do well in the job I get, if I can get a job. It’s nice that I get to go through my degree with the same people that I’ve been with since the beginning of my first semester. It’s gotten to the point that I practically know everyone who is in the Cybersecurity and Networking majors. I’ve made friends that made classes easier and I’ll keep those friends for as long as possible!

I’m eager to see what this next semester has in store for me. I only have 4 classes to take this time around but that can still be tasking, especially with me working like I do. I’ll have to take this last semester slow and steady so I don’t mess everything up and waste my time! It’ll be a great experience and while this break can certainly be as slow as possible, I anticipate the best for next semester.

Caleb, Student Scholar

Studying

Let’s talk about everyone’s favorite thing to do, study! This is similar to what I was talking about before in terms of balancing home and school but more in depth on studying, of course!

Some people try prepping for tests by studying a lot, some study a little bit, and some don’t study at all. It really depends on how good your memory is and how good of a test taker you are. I’d say I’m in a sort of “happy” medium with studying. I study how I feel I need to, but whether or not it’s enough is up to the test scores. I usually have to break up my studying into small manageable chunks if I have to read a book as I can’t sit and read something all the way through. My attention span is really short, so breaking things up makes it easier and it motivates me more.

Keep in mind that there is such a thing as over studying. You can burn yourself out just by studying for a test if you study practically nonstop. It always helps to know how to study for the course as well. If you have higher motivation then you can study for longer but if you’re not as motivated, studying can be more so harmful than helpful. I think it’s safe to say that if you start studying for something in advance, it should alleviate some of the time spent on studying every night significantly.

-Caleb, Student Scholar

Balancing College and Home Life

This goes hand-in-hand with balancing college and work really. Balancing your college and home life can be just as important for all students. You need to find that happy medium when it comes to how much time you should spend on school every night. There’s that one thing that talks about how you should spend so many hours on schoolwork a week.

I remember when I first started college that stressed me out because I thought I’d need to do that. Of course, now that my third semester is about to end, I’ve come to realize that you likely won’t need to dedicate that much time to school.

I’m one of those people who takes breaks from my free time to study or do work. I cannot force myself to study continuously at a base and then take breaks of free time. I lose attention so fast when I’m studying that I have to break up studying into smaller chunks. I can’t say I’ll read a whole chapter in one night because for one, I’d probably freak out and not do it, and two, I’d lose attention even faster.

But for everyone who always frets about how much they should study, it really just depends on what you can handle. Like I said, I lose attention really fast, so someone could have a longer attention span and be able to study more over a period of time. Some people may have to break up the studying like I do. On the other side of things, if you feel like you’re not doing enough, there’s always tutors that can help you with that sort of stuff. CCBC has tutoring available to help you.

-Caleb, Student Scholar

Winter Break Review

Now that the semester has ended, we can finally look forward to our winter break. One month free of classes and exams. A time to spend with family and friends and just take a break from the constant studying and to just be able to enjoy the season. This is definitely one of my favorite times of the school year.  Although the break should be filled with fun and time away from school, you should still set aside some time to review and go over your curriculum to stay in the swing of things. This is a problem a lot of students have that I myself have had in the past. Once I get away from school, my mindset stays with the break and I no longer want come and apply myself to the curriculum. So, over the years, I have learned a few tricks to keep myself prepared for school over the break.

The tricks that I have learned are:

  • You want to make sure that you continue to go over the material that you have learned in the past. This will help you continue your study habits and reinforce the material so it stays in your long term memory rather than just memorizing it for the test.
  • You want to start going over the new material that you will be learning in your next semester. I start to do this about two weeks before the class starts. This allows me to get a grasp of what I will be learning in the upcoming weeks and make the transition run smoother.
  • You want to set aside a day and time each week to maintain your study schedule. This way when the semester does start back up again, it won’t be so difficult to set aside studying time because you have already been doing so.

After several years, these are the few tricks that I have learned that truly help me stay in the swing of studying and applying myself in school. This helps enhance your brain and keeps you on a schedule so when you do go back to school it won’t be so difficult.

-Jacqueline, Student Scholar

Balancing School and Work

So,  let’s talk about something that I still struggle a little bit with: Balancing School and Work. I don’t know why, but I seem to have a small issue with trying to balance the two of them.

On one hand, school is going to get me to a better place in the long run, but on the other hand, work gets me money now that I can surely use. I know one thing: you definitely don’t want to overwhelm yourself.

When I first started working, I was in the middle of my first semester so my work schedule had to revolve around my school schedule automatically. Now, of course, when it came time for my second semester scheduling, I made work revolve around that as well. Thankfully, school didn’t interfere with work scheduling at all so I got to work just like normal, but that was only nice for a while. Towards the end of the semester when I had to start cracking down in prep for finals, I started to realize how much time was taken up from work. I would get home from work and just not want to do anything as it was usually 10 at night and I’d be tired. The next day, I’d find an excuse to not work on anything for school and as a result, my grades started to falter. I finally took the initiative and asked for another day off every week for school. I was able to get my grades back up so it was a definitely good decision.

This semester, which is my third, I put work on a sort of back burner. I work 4 days a week, leaving me with 3 days to deal with school work. This is a decent amount of time I’d say, since it isn’t messing up my grades any at all. It’s even given me more free time as I’ve found that I’m a little more motivated to get work done sooner rather than later. It also helps that I’m still making a decent amount of money, too!

-Caleb, Student Scholar