One More Week….

Just one more week of classes for the first term of the Fall 2012 session. Are you ready for that last exam? Need help polishing your last paper? Let us know how we can help!

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Oddball Study Habits

When I was in school and had to write a paper, I would put on loud, fast rock music, rap music, or electronica/dance music. I also made a lot of flash cards, whether it was a foreign language or not, I would flash card it up.

Do you have any odd study habits? Only want to start studying a the beginning of the hour? Gotta move every 20 minutes?

Let us know!

Stage Fright

We all know about fight or flight… our instinctual response that’s designed to protect us from the proverbial saber tooth tigers skulking in the bushes tends to crop up at the worst of times. And because this is the 21st century, both running and/or fighting are completely socially unacceptable. Don’t ask me why, I don’t make the rules. If it were up to me and what’s comfortable, I’d flee at the first sign of difficulty and engage in extreme retail therapy. No judging. Take for example a presentation I had to give in class the other day – I was petrified. For whatever reason, I have no problem making a fool of myself or being the center of attention in social settings (who doesn’t?). The minute it has to do with some kind of prepared presentation, exam or speech, I freeze. I forget that breathing is essential, I get clammy, and I can hear the blood roaring in my ears, and not so conveniently, my mind goes blank. So for this presentation I had to give, I actually showed up early, just to get my panic attack out of the way. Thankfully, for me, it becomes a personal challenge to put my mind over matter and force my stage fright away for just long enough to take care of business, but here are some tips for anyone else dealing with the same problem.

First, understand that being singled out sparks your fight or flight because you are innately terrified of being eaten. It sounds ridiculous, but it’s true. If our human ancestors strayed too far from the group, they were at serious risk of being devoured or killed by some predator. So when you feel that anxiety creeping up, remind yourself that no one will eat you. :)

Second, have some confidence in yourself! Preparation is vital to being sure you’re confident going into that exam or presentation. If you’re well-prepared, well-studied, and well-practiced, you should have much less cause to be nervous and panicked. If this is a speech, think about it – if you’re prepared… will anyone know your topic more than you do?

Finally, go in early! Get acclimated to where you will be speaking or taking that test and get those nerves out of the way early. Breathe and relax and go over what you need to do.

Tech Tip Tuesday – Flashcards

Create your own flashcards!

We realize in BPS that you might not need flashcards for your classes, but if you’re one of those who likes to use flashcards to hammer something into your brain….

Study Stack

With Study Stack, you can create your own flashcards or use the flashcards that are available on the website. The flashcards available on the website range from Geography and math to languages and medical terminology. You can even study for a GRE, MCAT, or LSAT test.

You can create a new account for free or log in using your Facebook account.

Give it a try, maybe learn a few words in a new language just for fun!

Spring Breakitis

Yeah, yeah, spring break is just days away (not to mention my birthday, WHEE!) and so that should mean everything else in life doesn’t matter. Not the case. I know. I’m sulking right along there with you all. Can’t homework wait til after?

The answer is obviously ‘no’ but I will continue to whine all the way until break. And grudgingly do homework. So while we’re all way too excited about the upcoming break from insanity, we still have to do real people things.

Like work.

And school.

And feeding the things that depend on us for life. Pets, kids, whatever you take care of.

So if it helps you get through your lessons and homework this week, just imagine how amazing your break will be without the emails and notifications from your program. Without deadlines. Without worries. Stay focused for your own sanity!

Okay, that’s all. I’m on a beach in my head. Excuse me while I get a mental tan.

YouTutor

While YouTube is just freaking fantastic for all things related to procrastination and chuckles, would it shock you to know that it has educational value? It shouldn’t…YouTube has everything.

We’ve been over how pathetically awful I am at math and science several times now, but somehow, I always pull a B or better. Last semester, I had college physics. Between then and the last time I had a physics course (cough*highschool*cough), I remembered all of…well nothing. I remembered zilch. The first day of class was considered ‘review’.

It might as well have been a foreign language. To make matters worse, I’m terrified of raising my hand to ask a question because I just know I’ll sound either a. Like a valley girl or b. stupid. A. and b. are synonymous, but I digress.

I do a lot of self teaching. I could spend three hours in lecture and absorb maybe 20% of it. It’s not that instructors go to fast…I just like to mull over things a lot longer than we do in class. There’s a difference, I swear! So at home, this is my proven-to-work method. Instead of slapping my giant overpriced edition 824095 textbook on the table, I reach for my laptop. I go to the YouTube homepage and simply type in the search bar the specific concept I need help with and bam. YouTube professors galore. I assume most of these professors have these YouTube accounts so that their students can refer back to lesson plans, but they are beyond helpful for anyone looking for pointers or a bit more of an explanation.

The best part about these YouTube tutors is that they’re free! AND you can pause, rewind, and fast forward whenever you need. Take advantage of YouTube for homework help!

Khan Academy is a great channel to subscribe to for general homework help. From physics to calculus, these tutorials are amazingly helpful.

Claim Your Space!

It’s Wednesday and, of course, that means study tips. It’s important to stake out an effective and positive place to study. Everyone’s different. The library doesn’t work for everyone, especially if you’re easily distracted like me. Some need absolute quiet, others actually do well with some background noise. Follow these steps to find out where and when is the best place to study for you.

  1. Evaluate your personality and preferences. Figure out whether or not you are vulnerable to noise and other distractions. Also determine if you work better by sitting quietly for a long period of time or if you need to take short breaks once in a while and then return to your work.
  2. Identify the space and claim it.Your bedroom maybe the best place to study, but it may not be. Some students identify their bedrooms with rest and simply can’t concentrate there.A bedroom can also be problematical if you have roommates. If you happen to need a quiet place without interruption, it might be better for you to set up a place somewhere else in the house or a campus building with quiet study areas.
  3. Make sure your study area is comfortable. It is very important to set up your computer and chair in a way that won’t harm your hands, wrists, and neck.
    Next, stock your study space with all the tools you’ll need, like pens, pencils, paper, dictionaries, a thesaurus, and math tools.
  4. Establish study rules. Give yourself strict rules to when to study and when to take breaks! If I let myself go unchecked, I’ll take hour long breaks that turn into…well, not breaks. I just quit studying. If you set up a study schedule, you can hopefully avoid sabotaging yourself!