Category Archives: Education

How To Survive Summer Classes

Filed under: College Life, Education, Tips - Angelina
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McKenzie Caldwell BookRenter Blogger Biography 6.10.16

Summer is all about things like going to the beach, riding rollercoasters, traveling, and binge-watching Netflix. If you are taking summer classes, you may envy your friends just a little bit for having more free time to enjoy these activities. It can be tough to focus on school during the summer, when all you really want is to take a break and relax.

It’s okay – there are a few things to make summer classes a bit easier:

1. Know The Syllabus

Did your instructor provide you with a syllabus? If so, how familiar with it are you? Whether a class is online or on-campus, it’s important to know what’s being asked of you. If your school operates on semesters, the summer class that you’re currently enrolled in is more than likely much shorter than you’re used to. However, in most cases, the material you’d learn in a 15-16 week course is now crammed into a 3-8-week period. This can make it very easy to fall behind.  The syllabus may include a grading scale and an outline of the work for the course to help you prepare. Reading the syllabus at least once could avert a grave catastrophe of missing an assignment or expecting certain assignments to boost your grade.

2. Develop A Schedule

Knowing how long it will take you to complete a task for your class is important. If there’s assigned reading for the course, how long does it take you to read it? How long does it take you to complete the homework?  How long do you need to study for a quiz or a test? If possible, try to overestimate. Give your self time to not rush through anything and if it takes less time than anticipated, then you have extra free time! Even if it’s just an extra 15 minutes, that’s still enough time to get a snack or start on the next thing on your to-do list. This will also enable you to make plans, such as when you’re available to work or when you can hang out with friends.

3. Reward Yourself

Summer classes can be stressful, especially if you haven’t quite recovered from the previous semester. Though you may also be working while taking classes, be sure to take care of yourself. Reward yourself for completing the day’s homework with a dessert, or a few episodes of your favorite show. When you’re finally done with the class, do something bigger like going out to your favorite restaurant. This can also give you something you enjoy to look forward to instead of just facing the next wave of school work.

Once classes are over, you can enjoy the rest of your summer!

Until then… power through it!

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5 Last Minute Tasks To Complete Before College Graduation

Filed under: College Life, Education, Fun Ideas, Graduation, Tips - Angelina
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Serena Piper BookRenter Blogger Biography

Congratulations to the Class of 2016!

You are about to graduate! You survived college and are now about to embark on a new journey! As exciting (and nerve-wracking) as this time may be, don’t forget about a few more things you have to do before you graduate.

1. Get Letters Of Recommendation

This is something that is a lot easier to do if you start early. You should have a good idea of which professors you have established good rapport with. If you had internships, make sure you’ve got letters from your supervisors there as well. The more people who can vouch for your work ethic, the better you will be able to apply for your future dream job!

2. Have Your Resume Ready

If you’re one of the lucky ones, you are probably graduating with a job already in place, or at least an offer. If not, that’s okay – just make sure you have your resume ready for potential employers during your job search. Your resume should be narrowed down to one page and proofread for any errors. It would be a good idea to have someone look it over, or take it to your college career center, to fine tune it. Make your resume stand out (but not too much), formulate a strong objective, and add in any extra skills you have that could be an asset for a specific job.

3. Plan Out Your Student Loan Repayment

Nobody likes to think about the mountain of debt they’ve accumulated throughout their college career, but ignoring it will only make it worse. Knowing where you stand financially is the first step to being a post-grad. If you have to apply for loan deferment, don’t worry. A lot of people choose to! Calling your student loan servicer is the best way to start a repayment plan since they can tell you your options up front. Weigh your options and get ready

4. Visit Everything On Campus

I graduated before I saw most of my campus, so it’s still on my list of things to do! Pretty much every college campus in the United States is beautiful in some way and has some (or at least one) historical building. Whether to visit places you haven’t been before, or you favorite locations (or both), be sure to meander around. Maybe take a few photos to remember it by. If you’re moving out of town, who knows when you’ll be back again?

5. Take A Photo With Your College Mascot

My university has one of the best football teams in the country (go Ducks!) and I still don’t have a photo with the Duck! Imagine how left out I feel?! It’s a silly thing you would not necessarily think to do, but one of those “I should have done that” post college things. It is a nice memento, so track yours school’s mascot down and get your snapshot!

Tell us in a comment below what last minute things you plan on doing before graduation! Or, post-grads… please share what you regret not doing before graduating!

Congratulations!

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The Ultimate Guide For College Finals

Filed under: College Life, Education, Tips - Angelina
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Serena Piper BookRenter Blogger Biography

 

 

 

 

Are you freaking out about college finals? Relax; it’s only natural! Pretty much every student has worried about finals at some point. It’s always helped calm me down to remember that I’m not the only one stressing over finals week. We’re in this together!

Throughout my four years of college, I’ve learned a handful of study tips that I’ve come back to time and time again. Here is my guide to college finals:

1. Prioritize

It was easier for me to prioritize what to study, instead of trying to make sure I spent equal amounts of time studying for each final. There are several ways you can decide which final to study for first: the one you’re most worried about passing, the final you’ll have first, or the final that has the most material. I think the safe rule to play by is focusing more of your time on the tests you’re most worried about. Familiarize yourself with enough of all of your material to feel a general confidence.

2. Create Study Guides

If you’re a procrastinator (like yours truly), the sooner you start this step, the better! Many professors will provide their own version of a study guide, but it may not be laid out in a way that makes sense to you. It would be wise to type out (or re-write) all of your notes you’ve taken throughout the term and make a packet of important terms, diagrams, theories, examples, etc. Take the time to create your own study guide. Flashcards are also great, too.

3. Do the Practice Tests

Does your professor create practice tests for each chapter? Are there some in your textbook at the end of each section? I used to pass them by, too, but for some classes, they can be really helpful, especially math. Practice does make perfect!

4. Take Your Time

When it is crunch time and you’re sitting in your seat during the final, take your time! I used to panic if I saw someone turn in their test only after 20. I would think maybe the final was really simple and it shouldn’t be taking me so long to finish it. Wrong. Just because someone else finished before me, that doesn’t mean anything about the test itself. We all work at our own pace. So read the problem slowly and think about your answer. Don’t rush and don’t worry about others around you.

5. Attend Review Sessions

Even if it’s during the time of your favorite television show, make sure you’re at the final exam review session! It’s never a bad thing to be over-prepared. There is no such thing as too much reviewing. Plus, your instructor might tell you something only those at the review session have the advantage of knowing. This is also your last chance to ask any questions you might have.

Follow this guide to college finals and you should do just fine.

Relax, you’ve got this! Keep calm and study on! Good luck!

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Preparing For College Class Registration

Filed under: College Life, Education, Tips - Angelina
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Cameron Tranchemontagne BookRenter Blogger Biography

Sometimes registering for college courses can be extremely stressful and chaotic. You may not know what you actually need to take for credits to graduate, or which general education classes are the easiest so you can focus on your thesis, or maybe even you’re a freshman and you have no idea where to begin.

Take a breath and read this quick class registration guide to help steer you in the right direction:

1. Preparation

If you’re a returning student, take a look at the classes you’ve already taken. How many credits have you completed and how many do you still need to complete? What are you goals? What else are you interested in (besides your major) that you could maybe take to complement your major? There’s a lot of questions to ask yourself to help you prepare for your next set of courses. After answering these questions, you should have a clearer picture about what classes you should apply for. It may help to write this all down so you can see your plan in front of you and follow it like a checklist.

2. Meet With Your Advisor

The next thing you need to do is meet with your advisor. In most cases, you can’t get your online registration access code until you meet with them anyway, but they can also be helpful. You might have to schedule a time for a meeting, so try to do this sooner than later, even if you haven’t finished your preparation yet. Just make sure you have somewhat of a plan by the time of the meeting. Don’t forget that the point of an advisor is to advise you on your college path, so if you’re stuck, your advisor is there to help you.

3. Register

The last thing you need to do is actually register. This should be easy if you’re prepared. Search for the classes you need by their course registration number so that you make sure you get the exact class and section you want. Go for your priority classes first, the ones you need to graduate, and then you can worry about the others. Try to be the first to log on if registration is online because most of the time the classes are first come, first serve. If you don’t get into one before it fills up, this is where having a back-up plan on hand comes in handy. And if you still don’t get everything you need, your advisor and the professor may be able to pull some strings for you, so don’t be afraid to ask!

It’s normal to not get every class you want, so don’t let it stress you out. It will all work out just fine.

Share a comment with us about your class registration tips!

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How To Write The Perfect Paper

Filed under: College Life, Education, Tips - Angelina
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Megan Lehman BookRenter Blogger Biography

 

Every college student writes papers and assignments. What is surprising though is how poorly written some college papers can be. I am a writing fellow at the University of Iowa, where we boast our writing program as being number one in the country.  After reading, reviewing, and editing many papers on many different topics, I have noticed some common mistakes students make when writing a paper.

I’ve put together a quick list of tips to avoid these errors and write the perfect paper:

1. Outline

When I first learned how to outline a paper, I thought it was an enormous waste of my time and that I didn’t need to make outline because I could think my paper through while writing it out. Well, after writing my thesis, a paper that required more work than anything I’ve ever had to do before, I learned the true value in an outline. I got to the second half of my thesis paper and found it extremely difficult to know where the paper was going. Outlining all my ideas gave me the opportunity to see what would work well and what would not. Take the extra hour or so to make the outline. This will allow you to clearly layout your thoughts and keep organized. It’s a lot easier to move thoughts on an outline around than it is to re-write a whole section of your paper!

2. Read It Out Loud

I know this sounds silly, but reading your paper aloud to yourself is by far the easiest and most simple way to find errors in your writing. Things like inappropriate commas and run-on sentences are overwhelmingly common in papers, from the junior high level all the way up to the graduating college seniors.  By reading it out loud, you can hear all these simple mistakes.

3. Writing Centers and Tutors

Your college writing center is an obvious way to improve your writing. After surveying students on multiple campuses, I learned that most students avoid the writing center for a few reasons: they don’t want to hear bad things about their writing, they don’t want to take the time to make or attend the appointment, or they may not even know about it. I understand the busy schedule of a college student. However, the writing center is designed to help you, so make time. Plus, you already pay for this service in your tuition. So, you should use what you’re paying for!

I am shocked every time I read college-level papers. It’s okay for some students to not be natural writers – but they should be taking full advantage of every resource possible to improve their skills, that’s part of what college is about.

Keep on writing! Share your writing tips with us in a comment below!

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