Must-Read Final Exam Tips

Hey everyone! Fall 2018 semester is finally coming to an end. I feel like it flew by so fast! You know what that (unfortunately) means: finals are approaching. I thought I would share with you some tips for the dreadful exams.

Before the Exam

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  1. Go to the review sessions. I know this may sound a little “no-duh”, but trust me there are many of you who think staying in and studying instead of getting on the bus to go to the review session is smart. All the review sessions I have attended in the past 3 years (including for my last semester classes) were quite useful; the professor/TA’s always gave some sort of hint on what to focus my studying on, so do go if you can.
  2. Go to your Rutgers portal to see your final exam dates. You should have done this by now, but if you haven’t, then go do it right now. Plan out how your exam days are going to be. Which campus do you have to go to? Do you have enough time to commute? How far apart are your exams? Do you have a little extra time to wake up and study?
  3. Make a condensed note sheet of keynotes. On this list, it would be useful to write mechanisms, dates of key events, classifications of lipids, etc. Any piece of information that you keep forgetting, (after you have studied and reviewed all the material multiple times) put it on this note sheet. I find it helpful to limit my words and pages used for the keynotes because I don’t want to rewrite ALL my notes.
  4. While you go over your notes, use a red (or a color of your choice) pen to highlight/box/underline VERY important notes. Try to limit it to one color so the information really sticks out when you review the notes again.
  5. Make a questions list. You know those questions you have been waiting to ask your professor all semester? Well, now would probably be a good time to compile all the questions into a list on your phone (I do this using notepad), laptop, or a piece of paper.
  6. Speaking of questions, make it a goal to contact your professor at least once between now and two to three days before the exam to clarify material/answer your questions (from the list you have made of course). Notice I said contact and not that you HAVE to go to office hours.  I know time is of the essence right now, so see if you can email your questions to professors instead. I find this more helpful because the professors themselves take the time to write out more thorough answers than if you were to ask in person.
  7. Grab a friend (or make one first by exchanging contact information) from the class and quiz each other. I usually wait till I have gone over and am comfortable with all the material before I do this. This is so that you truly find out the really weak topics that you should look over in the last day or two (or few hours) before the exam.
  8. Try not to study the last hour before the exam. Trust me, it does NOT help at all. In fact, when I do study an hour before the exam, I get more anxious and feel like I don’t know any of the material ( I feel less prepared than I really am). Just relax this hour. Watch those 20-minute episodes of your favorite show. Listen to music. Hang out with your friends (obviously for fun and not to study together at this point).

Taking the Exam

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  1. Circle/underline keywords/terms in the exam questions (if you are allowed to write on the exams). These are usually the “NOT the answer”, “does NOT fit in”, important names/numbers, etc.  Be sure you know what the question is really asking you.
  2. Do not doubt yourself on the exam. I usually star the questions I REALLY have no clue about and then ONLY review those after making sure there is an answer for every question (even if this answer is doubtful). You can make sure your bubbled in answer matches the one you circled (if you are using a scantron), but other than this, do NOT go over questions you are not totally doubtful of.
  3. When reviewing doubtful questions, unless you know for sure (because you remembered an important piece of information or deduced the answer due to hidden clues from other questions on the exam), DO NOT CHANGE YOUR ANSWER.

After the ExamImage result for after an exam

  1. You are free. Stop thinking about that one question you know you got wrong (even after I told you not to doubt yourself and change it for the tenth time).  You can’t change the past. Move on.

I hope these tips help! Good luck to everyone!!!!!

 

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The Most Beautiful and Spectaclar Places to Visit During Fall!!

Hi everyone!

It’s finally Fall!!!! Fall is my favorite season. I love the colors; they make every cold day worth the walk outside. I thought this month I would share with you a list of the most beautiful places to see during fall. This is just a short list, so feel free to look up more if you would like. Enjoy!

1. Vermont Green Mountain Byway

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This colorful, scenic drive will absolutely blow your mind. You start the drive in Waterbury and keep driving along Route 100. Stare out your window on both sides, and you will feel as if you are entering a magical wonderland of hues of oranges, reds, and yellows.

2. Colorado Aspen Valley

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This little valley is filled with tall, yellow riverside cottonwoods that are towering over you as you hike through. Aspen Valley has many other activities you can do besides hiking. You can shop, eat, visit museums, go to shows, and much more.

3. Catskills in New York

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This is one is in our neighboring state! Catskills is filled with wooded hillsides and mountain peaks that are painted with vibrant colors in fall. From open-air rides on the Catskill Mountain Railroad to fly fishing, there are many opportunities to be with one with nature.

4. The Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee

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Established in 1934, this park is one of the most popular national parks in America. If you love a mountain view, then this is the perfect place for you. The Appalachian Mountains are the epitome of mother nature.

While these places are all in America, I wish to fly you across the world for other spectacular fall views.

5. Bieszczady in Poland

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Okay, this is one is pretty cool. This is a Polish cordillera that is one of the rare places in which the night sky is pollution-free. That means you can finally stargaze; as you lay on your back and look up, a million glimmering diamonds are awaiting your gaze.

6.  Eurochocolate in Perugia, Italy

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Alright, this is one is a mouthwatering sweet delight! If you are a chocolate lover (totally me), then drop everything and go to this annual festival in late October! Seriously. This year, it is from October 19 to October 28th.  From chocolate sculptures to free chocolate chips for EVERYONE, things just keep getting better. The events are all free! Tell me a better way to make your sweet tooth tingle. I’ll wait.

7. The Megyer Mountain Tarn in Sarospatak, Hungary

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These mountains seem to be carved by nature herself. The lake meanders around the little islands of mountains. A tarn is a small mountain lake formed from a glacial erosion. Each island is splotched with colorful, vivacious trees. This is a great place for water lovers.

Well, I hope you enjoyed looking at these places. Now, go and actually look at them in person, either with a friend or with your family. These will definitely be on my bucket list (especially the Eurochocolate festival). Feel free to comment on your personal favorites below. Do you know of other places in which autumn manifest its colors (literally)?

Must-Watch TED Talks

Hey everyone! The fall 2018 semester has officially started and time is flying! I already have at least 4 midterms by November 1st. It is getting crazy, but one thing that I love doing when taking a break is watching a TED Talk. While many of you may know about these, I will give a brief background for those that are unfamiliar.

TED talks are talks hosted by influential and innovative individuals from around the world. The topics range from Architecture to Psychology and much, much more. What I like about TED talks is that they always present new perspectives on common issues and breakthroughs that you would have never imagined. I have compiled a list of all my favorite (thus far) TED talks, so watch these or ones that personally interest you! Have fun!

1. How to Stop Screwing Yourself Over by Mel Robbins

This talk is for everyone who has answered “I am fine” whenever someone has asked them how they were doing. Robbins discusses how life may seem boring because of the routine we put ourselves into. Just as we have basic needs to breathe, eat, and drink, perhaps, we also have a basic need to explore. When this need doesn’t get met then, we feel unfulfilled in life.  Note: if the link is not working, then try searching it directly on Youtube!

2. 10 Ways to Have a Better Conversation by Celeste Headlee

This is a talk that I really urge all of you to watch because it gives you a condensed list of ten small and easy tricks to help you speak and listen better. Whether it is during interviews or being pulled into a conversation about drama by your best friend, everyone can definitely glean at least one thing from the video on how to improve conversational skills.

3. How to Design a Library that Makes Kids Want to Read by Michael Bierut

Bierut talks about how the key to inspiring children in public schools to read is through the design of the library. See how Bierut brings one library to life by infusing its design with the very readers who will use it.

4. How do You Build a Sacred Place by Siamak Hariri

Here, Hariri is part of an architecture team who is building a temple in South America. The reasons and philosophy behind the different components of the design are profound and truly riveting.

5. How Augmented Reality Could Change the Future of Surgery by Nadine Hachach-Haram

All you technology and science lovers better buckle up because this talk is about to blow your mind. This talk discusses how we can tackle the issue of a low surgeon-to-population ratio using remote surgery. A senior, experienced surgeon can supervise surgery from thousands of miles away. In addition to supervising, he or she can also train future surgeons!

6.  The Urgency of Intersectionality by Kimberle Crenshaw

This is a much-needed talk on the struggles of overlapping oppression and how the policies must change in order to talk into account such intersectionality. Crenshaw gives the powerful and terrifying example of the racism AND genderism that Black woman face daily. NOTE: there is graphic content so please pay attention to the warning label in the video.

Thank you! Good luck in all your classes!

Summer Series Part Two: Knitting!!!

Hello everyone! Summer has officially kick-started, although it is currently raining outside. I thought I would continue my summer series posts to update you on what I will be doing this summer. I am really ecstatic to tell you that, this summer, I will be learning knitting!

Why knitting? Well, my mom has always been a knitter and I had a ball of purple yarn and a pair of dark green knitting needles laying around, so I thought, hey, let me give it a shot! So, here I am knitting. I should tell you that it is quite addicting once you get the hang of it. I started off checking out some beginner level instructional books from my local library. Unfortunately, I personally found it a bit difficult to comprehend whether the needle goes under the yarn or over from merely looking at the diagrams. One thing that I did glean from these instructional books was ideas on patterns. Then, I turned to YouTube videos. The videos were much easier to follow. My favorite videos are from Knitting Stitch Patterns. These videos have step-by-step, detailed instructions that are quite helpful.

knit purl

Before we get into some patterns, I would like to share with you the basics. Any pattern that you will ever do will always comprise of knit stitches and purl stitches. The difference between these two is a matter of whether the needle goes under or over the yarn. Knit stitches look like braids and purl stitches look like beads (see image above). If you master knit and purl stitches, then you are set for doing any pattern; the patterns are merely omnifarious combinations of these two stitches.

Before starting the pattern right away, my mom taught me that laying a strong and neat foundation is key. Thus, consecrate at least one row to laying out the foundation. The term for knitting the foundation and putting the yarn onto the needle is called “casting on,” which is often abbreviated as CO.  Before casting on, you need to do a slip knot (this will technically be your first stitch), then you can start casting on more stitches along your needle. 

Each pattern has a specific number of stitches that need to be cast on and this information will often be mentioned right in the beginning. The foundation is considered Row 1. Knitting patterns are often addressed according to specific rows. Often, instructions will be abbreviated. For example, Row 2: K2 * P2, K1. Translated, the preceding statement would be interpreted as the following: in row 2, do two knit stitches, then do two purl stitches and one knit stitch, and then repeat (*) the two purl stitches and one knit stitch till the end of the row.  Some other examples of key abbreviations are listed.

3-12-stockinette-right-sideknittingabbreviations

 

Now, let us get to the fun part: patterns! When knitting patterns, there are two sides: the wrong side and the right side. You can think of it as a shirt having a right side (the one shown on the outside) and a wrong side (the unseen side). Often, you would want to display the pattern on the right side. Some patterns that I have done so far include Moss stitch, raspberry stitch, diamond honeycomb stitch, seed stitch, bamboo stitch, basket-weave stitch, and teardrop stitch. You can see seed stitch, raspberry stitch, diamond honeycomb stitch, and bamboo stitch examples, respectively, below!

Well, I hope you saw how cool knitting can be. Give it a shot and let me know how it goes! Enjoy the rest of your summers!

Seed-stitchrasp

Diamond honeycomb stitch.jpg

 

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

Hi everyone! Spring has officially begun which means that Mother’s Day is almost here. I thought I would put together a list of four gifts that you can make or buy. They all leave room for a lot of creativity and personalization. Don’t worry! The DIY’s and the things you can buy will not be too expensive (unless you want them to be). Also, feel free to include more than one item from the list below; the more the merrier your mother will be! Hope you like this post and feel free to tell me your creative ideas because I am looking to get my mom something too!

  1. Cards

Image result for flower pop up cardHomemade Mother's Day Card Ideas | DIY Mother's Day GiftsImage result for mother's day cards

This can be a handmade card or something you buy from a store. I personally greatly enjoy making my own cards. Let me help you brainstorm some ideas for the cards. What I usually do is come up with a list of at least 3-4 things that my mom really likes that I could include as a component of the card. I encourage you to brainstorm these things even if you decide to buy the card. It will add a personalized touch that I am sure your mom will admire. So, let us get back to the brainstorming: favorite color(s), hobbies, movies, songs, food, season, place to visit, and more. Once you’re done brainstorming, try to construct or buy a card that includes at least 2 or more of these elements.

2.  Flowers in a Classy Vase

Image result for tissue paper flowersImage result for flowers in a vaseMason Jar Picture Frame Vase.

Now you can either make a tissue paper flower bouquet or buy beautiful, fresh flowers. As for the vase, if you wish to create your own vase or buy a classy vase, then see if you can still incorporate those things from your list you created in #1. If you want to make your own vase, then go to Walmart or Michaels and see if you can get a plain white or any other plain solid color vase upon which you could decorate and personalize! Pinterest suggests the far right one! If you are buying a vase, then try stores like Home Goods.

3. Handmade Jewelry

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This is exclusively a DIY project because I think it would be really thoughtful and creative to do this! Michaels has an amazing assortment of beads, jewels, and everything else you need to make your own jewelry, so do check it out! Some motifs that you can certainly use can, again, come from your brainstormed list! Other elements or themes that you can implement are flowers, geometric patterns, stars/planets theme, seashells or rocks you have collected, pressed plants, etc…

4. DIY Sign Decor

Image result for DIY mother's day plaques wall art pinterestImage result for DIY mother's day plaques wall art pinterestImage result for DIY mother's day plaques wall art pinterest

This is another DIY that your mom will surely love! Try to find a canvas or some sort of board (wooden, cardboard, or metal) that you can do this on! You have two options for this gift. You can either spell out the word “Mother” or “Mom” and make each letter signify an adjective describing your mother. The other option is even better; you can personalize it further by spelling out your mom’s actual name! Your call! Have fun with it and decorate the board or canvas as you please.

Thank you! Have fun!

St. Patrick’s Day History

Hi everyone! Since St. Patrick’s day was Saturday,  I thought it would be the perfect post to go over some history behind this holiday. So, here it is. I hope you have learned something new! Enjoy!

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St. Patrick’s day is commemorating the death of St.Patrick, a patron saint.  Did you know that, in the 17th century, this commemoration involved a feast? Today, evidently, the celebratory practices have expanded far from a simple feast.  More interestingly, Marion Casey, a clinical assistant professor of Irish studies at New York University, claimed that St.Patrick was actually a Roman citizen who was kidnapped, enslaved, and brought to Ireland at age sixteen. St. Patrick escaped to a monastery in Gaul, France. It is said that Patrick may not have been the actual name of this man; he may have been born with the name Maewyn Succat. However, once he became a priest, Succat may have changed his name to Patricius which is “father figure” in Latin.  As a priest, he returned back to Ireland where he converted Druids to Christianity by terminating their pagan rites. Druids are a class of learned Celts that were often judges, priests, and teachers.

 

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The next 35 years, St. Patrick day celebrations proliferated in amongst the Irish American immigrants. “Irish Aid” societies like Friendly Sons of Saint Patrick and the Hibernian Society spurred up.

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There are many symbols that we often associate with St.Patrick’s day. One of which is the well-known shamrock. Legend says that in his conversion endeavors, St. Patrick explained Christianity by using the shamrock. Chicago first dyed its river green in 1962. How did this bizarre idea even arise? Well, the Chicago city pollutant officers used dyes to track illegal sewage discharges, and soon realized that the green dye could actually be used to show a little bit of St. Patrick’s day spirit! That time, they dumped 100 pounds of green vegetable dye into the river to keep the river green for a week! Now, only 40 pounds is immersed in order to decrease the environmental damage. The river stays green for a couple hours. While Chicago may claim the dyeing was its original idea, Savannah, Georgia claims that it was their original idea. In 1961, a city restaurant owner named Tom Woolley convinced city officials to dye the Savannah River green. However, the river turned out to be only slightly green and didn’t really work out as planned. They never tried it again. Corn beef and cabbage also became a starring dish in the St.Patrick day celebrations. In the past, this was one of the staple foods the poor Irish could afford.  There are more than a hundred parades in America alone! New York and Boston are two of the most celebratory places in America!

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The most riveting fact is that the first parade ever held to celebrate St. Patrick’s day was in America, not Ireland! On March 17, 1762,  after the Revolutionary War, in New York, Irish soldiers celebrated St. Patrick’s day by hosting the first-ever parade. This was their method of connecting with their Irish heritage.

I hope you enjoyed reading this!

The Best Medical School Info Session Ever!

Hi everyone! I hope midterms are not killing you yet! Last week I attended an amazing information session that Mr. Sobol hosted on applying to medical schools. Now, honestly, I have attended a couple of information sessions before that HPO and other organizations hosted, and I found these sessions were repetitive and cursory. However, this one was very detailed and much more insightful! I would like to share with you some important things I gleaned from this information session.

  1. When it comes to choosing medical colleges, it is important to first go on the HPO website and actually see what medical schools Rutgers students have gotten into. There is a better chance that these colleges will be a good fit for you as well! Also, purchase MSAR because this database of medical schools gives detailed descriptions and statistics on recent matriculating students, curriculum, grading system, financial costs, and more about each medical college.
  2. Make sure your Facebook and other social media accounts are professional. This includes your email address. I never thought about this until I attended the information session! Mr. Sobol mentioned how some medical colleges can view your social media accounts to learn more about how you present yourself, so just remember to clear up any silly or embarrassing pictures you may have on Instagram or Facebook. In addition, if your email is something like fluffybunny123@gmail.com, then you may not come off exactly as professional…
  3. Don’t apply Early Decision if you are not more than 100000% sure you have a good chance getting into the medical college. This is because if the medical school you apply Early Decision to waitlists you, then you might be too late to submit your applications to other medical colleges in which your chance of getting in might have been higher.
  4. Go to open houses and make connections. When you go to open houses, you will get to meet with the deans and other staff members of the medical schools. It will be a good chance to get to know them so they can put a face to your application. It would be even better to follow up after the open house by emailing them any additional questions or comments you have about the medical school. Using Linkedin to connect with other doctors and deans of medical schools is also good.

Here are some tips I learned for medical school interviews.

  1. Research each medical school before going to your interview. Really get to know what they have to offer; look into their programs, curriculum, affiliated hospitals, clubs, etc. Pick few aspects that really stand out to you and be prepared to discuss why you like these aspects.
  2. Have sell points. Be prepared to talk about what makes you a strong applicant. Remember, instead of saying how you are better than other applicants, focus more on what makes YOU a good fit.
  3. Talk about failures and hardships to show what lessons they have taught you.
  4. When they tell you, “tell me about yourself”, don’t freak out. Try to talk about your background, education, clinical experiences, leadership roles, a couple of fun facts and end it firmly by asking whether there is anything else the interviewers would like you to explain further.
  5. Prepare questions for the interviewer. These could be about any of the aspects you researched on while looking up the medical school (curriculum, clubs, unique programs, etc.).
  6. Make sure you are well versed in the current health topics that are spurring in the medical fields. Try to go to depts.Washington.edu/bioethics to see what ethical topics medical professionals might deal with! Read the health and medicine section of news websites!
  7. Good posture, maintaining eye contact, and a firm handshake can go a long way!

Good luck!

A GPA-boosting Semester!

Hey guys! Happy New Year! Wow! It is already 2018! I thought I would share with you some tips and tricks to make this semester a GPA booster. Enjoy and be sure to leave any other tips you have down below!

  1. Try to make at least one friend in each of your class.

This may seem a bit crazy, but trust me, with all those due dates and imminent exams, you will be glad you have a friend to contact. I found this was very helpful because instead of emailing professors or TA’s once a day about assignments or exam formats because I was too busy zoning out in class, I could just text that friend and ask him or her.

2. Keep the syllabus and due dates handy.

This is a really important one because when you have a million things due, small assignment dates can easily be overlooked. Even for procrastinators, if you suddenly realize a three-page paper is due tomorrow at 12pm, it might be a bit late. I find it helpful to print out syllabi for all the classes, and the real trick is to keep them all in one place (e.g in the same folder). This way, you have a lower chance of misplacing them, and it will be much easier to just peruse through all your classes beginning of the week and see what is due when.

3. Before buying all the textbooks, see if they are actually needed.

Every professor, or at least most of them, are obligated to encourage students to get a textbook as part of the course material for their classes. However, this does not necessarily mean that you need the textbook. There are plenty of classes in which the professors’ lecture notes alone will suffice and are actually much more coherent with the material that will be on the exams. Most likely, if you do the required assignments and attend the lectures, you may just get around not buying the textbook. I usually think of textbooks as supplementary material; if I find particular topics rather abstruse, then I turn to the textbook.

4. If you don’t want to fall asleep, sit up close.

There is nothing wrong with sitting up front. It will coerce you to pay attention a bit more, and prevent you from going on your phone every 20 minutes, or chit-chatting with your friend next to you.

5. Try to print readings out.

This may seem a little cumbersome at first, but come on, you have $30 to use up in printing, and we all know it is not that easy of a task to do that when it is the last day of the semester, so why not start using that money to print those pdf readings? By reading it on paper, and physically making notes and highlighting key points, you glean much more from the readings.

6. Keep course notes organized from now.

Still not done taking notes

Now, the beginning of classes is the BEST time to start to take notes in an organized manner, so that in the last week of finals, you won’t be scouring your fat notes-folder of five different subjects for that one particular chart of useful equations. When taking notes on the laptop or on paper, try to have separate folders for the classes or at least limit a folder to maximum two subjects. This goes for taking notes in composition notebooks too.

Thank you! Have a GPA-boosting semester! Good luck!

St.Lucy’s Day

Hey everyone! Winter break has officially started! This month is filled with numerous holidays that people around the world celebrate. Lot of us know Christmas is coming up, but did you know that December 13th was St. Lucy’s Day?

St.Lucy (Lucia in Latin) was a virgin martyr during the early years when Christianity was under persecution in the hands of the Roman empire. Lux means light in Latin. It was said that this name suited her perfectly because she was a radiant woman and a glowing devotee of Jesus Christ. People say that St.Lucy used to wear a wreath of candles around her head to illuminate the room as she helped the persecuted Christians hiding in the catacombs. How did she die? Well, it is a truly gruesome and grisly story. It was said that her mother did not know she had swore on being celibate. Therefore, her mother made her marry a Christian man. This man, when he found about her broken vow, turned her in. Her eyes were gouged out before she was killed in Sicily. Soon her fame spread across Europe. Another intriguing information about St.Lucy is that when she was being buried, it was found that her eyes were restored. She soon became the patron of the blind. She is often depicted holding a plate or cup of eyes.

There are many traditions people abide by on this day. In Sweden, the oldest daughter has to wake up before dawn, dressed in a white gown symbolizing purity, with a red sash representing martyrdom. She also has to wear a wreath with lit candles and some greenery. Her brothers are called “Star Boys” and have to dress in white (symbolic of purity), should wear a cone hat embellished with golden stars, and carry around star-shaped wands. I think the most fascinating part of these tradition would have to be when the daughter has to go around to wake her family members. Once waking them all up, the oldest daughter will then serve them traditional foods like baked sweets. Moreover, traditional foods include saffron buns (yeast buns) that are called Lussekatter. In Scandinavia, people celebrate the Winter Solstice near the time of St.Lucy’s feast day to commemorate the fact that she illuminated the lives of many around her.

There are also many ancient songs filled with symbolism for St.Lucy’s life and work. This one is an example:

The night treads heavily
around yards and dwellings
In places unreached by sun,
the shadows brood
Into our dark house she comes,
bearing lighted candles,
Saint Lucia, Saint Lucia.”

Well, I hope you learned something new! I certainly did. Happy Holidays everyone! Stay warm!

How to Study…

Hey everyone! I hope you all had a stuffed Thankgiving. Get it? I am so lame. Anyways, this week I thought I would share with you some of my study tips and methods because, sadly, finals are only a few weeks away! Now, I am aware that not everyone (ahem, me) starts studying for finals until well, a few days before (or the night of). Whenever you study and whatever you study, here are some things I find are helpful to do to ace an exam.

  1. Flashcards

Now before you roll your eyes and say “been there, done that”, hear me out. The key to using flashcards to study is not have a million to flip through when you’re already on the verge of a mental breakdown from studying for twenty hours. I found that it was quite useful to only limit yourself to making a set amount of flashcards; only make flashcards for things you know you will forget. For example, make flashcards for key facts that are pure memorization. This could be pKa values (oh, Orgo), important dates, essential amino acids, enzymes, etc… Also to further minimize the number of flashcards, group terms together. For instance if all the amino acids are non polar, then try to put as many as you can on one card. Try not to write paragraphs or even sentences on flashcards. It also helps if you spend time really categorizing the flashcards so when you nearing the end of your studying (it never really ends), you can go over only the ones you still haven’t memorized by heart. Oh, and when I am saying flashcards, I mean classic WHITE index cards (not the hard-to-see dark colored ones or online Quizlet)!

2. Rewrite notes

I am sure you have heard many professors bring up the point that writing notes with a pen (or pencil) will ingrain the information better in your head. I cannot stress to you how much this is true! Try to take time to just rewrite notes and you will see that half the material is already going in your brain as you write.

3. Colorful pens and white paper

Believe it or not when you make notes in specific colors, and you go over them multiple times, on exam day, you may be able to recall a piece of information because it was in a specific color! No joke! An important thing to remember is not to go crazy when it comes to the colors. Please don’t use ten colors. I personally like using dark colors such as black or blue to write out my main notes. Then, I have a bright red to box, underline or write VERY IMPORTANT information such as key terms or concepts. You might want to use this color to highlight those hints that your professors drop in class about what “might” be on the upcoming exams. I also find it more fun to take notes on a white paper because you have so much more room and you can write however you want! It’s like your study canvas (again, lame I know).

4. Use images or animation videos

In many of my science classes, we talk about complex processes such as protein translation or aldol condensation. When there are a million steps involved, I often find it very helpful to just Google animations or even just images to simplify things. Reading the textbook (who does?) is sometimes harder because I personally find it more difficult to grasp complex processes by mere paragraphs and paragraphs explicating each step. Instead, scan and print out key images from the book or search them online!

5. Talk out loud

This may sound crazy and may be a bit harder to do when other people are around. However, this is also another way I found really helped me get the material in my head. Hearing yourself say the words out loud can further encode the information in your long-term memory (fancy terms but so true). See if you can find a room at the library or find an empty classroom to just……talk to yourself. Become your own study buddy.

6. Put your phone away

Now, I may sound like an annoying parent, but trust me, I get distracted by my phone a lot. It is not even that I am messaging people, but come on, who can resist taking a twenty minute break every five minutes to go on Instagram or play around with the Snapchat dog filter. Turn your Wifi off (and no cellular data!) and just keep your phone out of sight. You can only touch your phone to check the time….occasionally!

7. Don’t study on your bed!

As comfy as your bed may seem, it is not good a place for studying. Try to sit upright on a desk or at a table. Also, make sure you are in a well-lit place  because dim places may even make you a bit drowsy. Temperature is important too. You can’t study if you’re too cold or too hot, so try to study in an area with the right temperature. In addition, I try not to study in my pajamas. Even if I am studying in my room, I try (most of the times) to wear track pants. Be comfortable enough to study but not enough to fall asleep! It also helps if you don’t eat too many carbs or eat so much food that you go into food coma right before studying!

I hope these tips help some of you! Let me know if you have any tips of your own! Happy studying! Good luck on upcoming exams! You’ll do fantastic!