Sunday, November 23, 2014

Blog Post 12

The finish line is in sight, Ive got to keep on pushing myself so I can finish strong. Over the next couple weeks I have a paper to write in my English 100 class. I have already gotten a head start on it to prevent myself from getting stressed. I am most concerned about my final exam in my Spanish class. I have been reviewing vocabulary regularly and have been meeting with a tutor for additional help. I have Culture Points due in Spanish before the end of the semester. For these, I am required to go and experience Spanish culture. This could be going to a Mexican super market, or spanish church, or even sitting with the Spanish Table at dinner. Over break my goal is to work on getting some of these points. I am feeling confident about the ASC exam, but I am going to continue to study and practice applying what Ive learned to my lifestyle. CAS is another exam that I am going to have to prepare a lot for. I plan to meet with other students in the class and study the vocabulary and other concepts. The CAS exam has potential to have an essay attached. I hope that if there is an essay that Professor Romanowski will give us the prompt ahead of time. If he does, I plan to outline and write the essay before the exam. 
A way I manage stress is to not let myself get too far behind in any of my classes. I get started on my work fairly soon after it is assigned. I try my hardest to not procrastinate on big assignments. I have learned that when I procrastinate I do not do as well on the assignment. If I spend time preparing an outline and write my paper in sections I tend to do better. Getting started earlier gives me extra time to do several revisions and edits. I also have the option to take it to the Rhetoric Center for additional help. I am able to produce better quality work when I have more time, therefore I receive a better grade. 

I also plan to reduce my stress by taking short breaks in-between my study sessions. I tend to get really worn out after hours of flipping through flash cards and re-reading text books. Giving myself short 30 minute breaks is just enough time to reward myself for working hard. I plan to spread out my studying a week before each exam. I have learned through ASC that studying for a test the night before an exam is not very effective. Therefore, I plan to study a little bit of material every day. 

Music is my stress reliever 
My healthy snack 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Blog Post 11

This week in class we talked about the importance of sleep. The brain functions better when it has a routine sleep schedule. I value my sleep very highly. I have noticed in the past that when I do not get enough sleep I am not function at my best. Getting little sleep leaves me grumpy, irritated and sometimes even physically sick. My body needs those several hours during the night to recuperate and prepare for the day ahead. I notice that when I am fully rested I am generally in a better mood and am more engaged in learning in my classes. It is difficult to absorb material and learn effectively in class when you are so focused on simply just keeping your eyes open. Sleep is one of my upmost priorities. I have learned that I am not very productive studying late at night. It is almost useless for me to read my CAS book after 10 at night because I wont remember anything I read. Instead, I found that I am more productive when I wake up earlier after I get a good nights rest. 
Exercise is also very important not only for fitness, but exercise also benefits the brain. I need to get better at putting aside time to focus on my physical well being. I often find myself so absorbed in my studies and school work that by the end of the day exercise is the last thing on my mind. After a long day of classes, I am both physically and mentally exhausted. My goal is to start taking breaks from homework and go for a run or do something physically active. Exercise is an effective way to relieve stress in a healthy way. 

Monday, November 10, 2014

Blog Post 10

Since I have been in the class ASC 112 I have learned how habits build and how to prevent bad ones from taking place. Good behavior should be rewarded. In ASC class I learned to give myself short breaks when I am studying. After I study hard for 30 minutes I will allow myself 5 minutes of free time to reply back to text messages, and check social media.I even notice that after 30 minutes I sometimes am not ready for a break. I have already started a paper and find it inconvenient to stop in middle of it. This is known as the Zeigarnik effect. 
One of the things I struggled with coming into college was that I have a hard time getting started on my homework or papers. Since I never want to start it, assignments were getting marked as incomplete, in result lowering my grade. Finding the willpower to simply get started typing an introduction for a paper took time, but over time it got easier. Will power is like a muscle, the more you practice and use it the easier it becomes. I found that once I got focused on my paper that I didn't want to stop until I got to a certain point. This focused state of mind, and my willpower made it easier to block out distractions.
Before ASC class I rarely set goals for myself. I realize now that I did not accomplish nearly as much because i didn't set goals. Writing down a specific goal with a time frame and hanging it in a place where you will see it frequently is an effective way to hold yourself accountable for the goals you’ve made. I even learned to set short term goals for myself. For example, I will set a goal for a list of things I need to do by Sunday night including doing all my laundry and cleaning my room and bathroom. 
I have found that using my planner is the best way for me to stay organized. I write down every assignment for each class along with the due date. This helps me not forget to turn something in and to stay on top of all classwork. I also use my planner to take notes and reminders of my appointments with professors and upcoming exams. Having a reminder to tell my there is a test in CAS in two weeks is helpful for because it reminds me to start studying ahead of time. 

I learned that it is not as effective to cram all studying into one night. Instead, it is better to break up studying over a course of a week or two. Studying a little bit every night helps the encoding process making its easier to recall information when it comes to a test. What you do while studying and how you study effects how well you retain information. Just re- reading notes and chapter overviews is a shallow processing strategy and is not enough to fully understand the concept. Self quizzing and writing test questions is a study method I have found effective.  Learning how to apply the concept to your own life, and the world is deep processing and i can be remembered in the long term.