Friday, September 26, 2014

Week 4

How I spent my time this week.

Week 4 Reflection

This past week I have been very diligent in recording how I spent my time. I noticed certain patterns of the way I chose to spend my day. I consistently wake up around the same time every day, roughly around 7 or 7:30. Most days I would wake up, get dressed and then I went to eat breakfast. While at breakfast I would look over my notes and do some studying before my first class at 9 am. Also while eating breakfast I made a plan of how I was going to spend my day. One thing I learned in my ASC class was that a person is more likely to follow through with their actions if there is a specific agenda planned ahead. I found this to be very true for me. In the morning’s I cross things off and update the homework assignments and projects in my planner.  This helps me know what assignments are due and how to prioritize. Making a plan for how I am going to spend my day helps me be more organized and productive. I have discovered it is very beneficial for me to give myself an hour in the morning to eat breakfast, plan my day and get organized. I noticed I am more awake for my classes and more productive if I wake up earlier to eat. If I know that if there is something fun going on at night with my friends that I need to have been consistently productive during the day time. That means there isn’t a whole lot of time for me to take a nap in the afternoon, or catch up with my friends in-between or after class. The time in between my classes is used to do my homework or readings. 

What I can Improve on...

I have found it is really hard to stay disciplined in doing my studying during the day when I see all my friends outside laying in their hammocks. I know I could join them, but I also know the reality of how much work I would accomplish, which is none. It takes a lot of willpower to say no to the other activities going on. However, I need to get better at prioritizing and choosing which actives I want to participate in the most. I am hoping I will improve on this over time with the new habits I am working on developing. That habit being waking up early every morning to plan out my day. 

A way I could spend my time more effectively is by limiting the time I spend looking at social media during the day. It is so easy for me to pick up my phone to reply to a text, then next thing I know 45 minutes go by and I have looked through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and any other social media website you can think of. Anything is more interesting that reading two chapters of a textbook. By rewarding myself with 5 to 10 minutes of social media time after I complete a homework assignment I found I am more productive throughout my day. 

I can also improve on my ability to limit my free time. It is so easy for me to reward myself with a 20 minute break, but soon that break turns into 2 hours. I get distracted by what my friends are doing, or get invited to do something more fun than doing homework. Yes, it is important to reward yourself by taking breaks, but also several of those long breaks add up. I need to improve on being more disciplined when I am rewarding myself with a break. 

My friend Bethany and I. She assists me academically through tutoring me in Spanish.

Every morning I update my planner to help me stay organized.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Post 3 9.18.14

The Power Of Habits 

The Book Power Of Habits by Charles Duhingg is a great resource for students to read prior to entering college. The transition from high school to college can be tough. My daily routine and schedule changed from what it used to be. It is interesting to me how easy the process is of building new habits. 45% of what we do everyday is a habit. I learned that habits can be thrown off by simply assigning new cues. The process of building a habit is a three step loop. First there is a cue, then a trigger to tell your brain to go into automatic mode and decide which behavior to use. Then there is the routine which could be physical, mental or emotional. It is lastly followed by a reward. On average it takes a little over two months for a new behavior to become automatic. Here at Calvin I am trying to break some of my old bad habits. But in order to modify a habit, one must be willing to change. Cues and rewards are not enough on their own for a habit to last. Only when your brain starts expecting the reward is when a habit is formed. I learned in the book Power Of Habits that habits create neurological cravings. I am putting goals in place such as, exercising twice a week.My reward I get is the self satisfaction I get after exercising. Afterwards I feel healthy and refreshed. When I skip out on a workout my body physically craves the feeling after exercise. Within my first two weeks at Calvin I have started to form the habit of waking up an hour and a half early before my first class at 9 am. In that time, I shower and get ready for the day. Then, I go down to Commons and eat breakfast. Before Calvin, I used to skip out on breakfast, which is in fact the most important meal of the day. While I eat my bagel, or on occasion some scrambled eggs, I look through my reading and review for my next class. My intrinsic motivation is what motivates me to wake up early every morning. I know that when I wake up early I am higher functioning and am more prepared to learn. I built this habit into my routine because I know I would rather go to bed early and get a good night sleep than to stay up late half-asleep studying. Since I know it will be beneficial to me I have been able to maintain this habit. 

It's more fun to take notes when they are in color.

I learned that annotating readings helps improve comprehension. 

Sticking to my goal of exercising 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Post 2

What makes a good goal? 

A good goal is a challenge to yourself that is attainable. A goal should be specific and time limited. Goals should also be positive because we are much better at approaching things we do want than avoiding what we don't want. 

My Five SMART Goals

1) Get an on campus job by the end of the semester.
2) Get my belay certification at the Calvin rock wall by Thanksgiving.
3) Find time to do some exercise twice a week - start building healthy habits
4) Learn to play one song on the guitar by the end of the year 2014.
5) Volunteer once a month to serve the community - its good to give back

                                               My favorite reading spot 

I would be so lost without my planner to guide me through the week.


Friday, September 5, 2014

Post 1 - September 4, 2014

Hey friends! I am creating this blog as a part of my ASC 112 first semester course here at Calvin College. This blog to share with all my close friends and family about my upcoming adventures and past experiences. Im writing to keep all of you updated with how my college experience is going. 

About me 

I am Maggie Smith and I am just entering my first semester of college. I grew up in Holland Michigan, just a little over an hour West of Calvin College. I've always had a love for the outdoors and nature. I enjoy spending any free time I have outside. I played Varsity soccer in high school. I also have been riding horses since I was six years old. Over the summer I had a chance to help train a young horse. I spent close to every morning at the barn. 

Why I chose Calvin?

I chose to come to Calvin because of the large emphasis of community. Professors and the rest of the Calvin faculty are eager to help me succeed. I felt I would not get lost as easily being in smaller classes. There is so much academic assistance I am able to get here at Calvin that I would not be able to get elsewhere. I also chose Calvin because of all the study abroad opportunities. I hope to be able to experience studying overseas some point during my 4 years here at Calvin.

What I want from ASC-112?

1. I want to learn better studying and reading strategies
2. Start picking up better study habits 
3. To make the transition from High School to college less difficult and stressful. 

Getting Started Check List
I have…
x □ a printed copy of my class schedule
x □ purchased books for all my classes
x □ filled out the semester at a glance worksheet
x □ a planner that has my assignments and classes, study times, sports, work, exercise, social time already filled in
x □ a binder with places for class handouts and a way to take notes for each class (color coordination helps)
x □ my home space organized to start the semester – I have a home for all my materials
x □ found each of my classes and said something in each class
x □ written notes on what my professor said about the syllabus
x □ looked at the online site for each class if it exists
x □ connect with any offices on campus that have contacted you (Health Services, Financial Aid, Financial Services, Student Academic Services)
x □ exercised at least once to distress

My semester at a glance