Tag Archives: smartypants

Take A Study Break: This Is How You Do It!

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Take A Study Break: This Is How You Do It!

I’m sure that many of us remember the pressure of studying for exams and I know that many of you will be doing just that right now. No matter if it’s university, college, or high school exams, they all bring with them the same pressure and tension.

It is so important to keep things in perspective at this time and to recognize signs of extreme stress in ourselves and in others. If things are really getting you down, then it is time to reach out and get the professional help that you need. If you just need some well-deserved rest and relaxation, turn-off the laptop, close up the books, and put the lids back on the highlighter pens for an afternoon or an evening. Here are some ideas on how you can relax after a major cram session:

Feed Your Body And Your Spirit:

When we are revising, we are all guilty of grabbing a snack here or there and all of our meals tend to be rushed because we feel under pressure to get back to our books. If we are sensible, those snacks will be something healthy such as fruit or nuts or we may crave the sugar rush of a candy bar (yum!). Taking some time to plan and prepare a lovely meal is good for your body and for your spirit. The process of focusing on a recipe and creating a meal calms our frazzled nerves and stress levels will fall.

Choose a meal that is quite complex and has several courses so that it requires your undivided attention. This is very therapeutic, as it stops your brain from jumping around from one thought to another. Make sure that it is packed with nutrients that your brain needs. Oily fish and dark green vegetables are perfect for a post study meal.

Lose Yourself In A Movie Night:

For the best movie night, you need to set the scene. Make yourself comfortable on the sofa, surrounded by all of the drinks and snacks that you could ever want (the more the merrier, I always say). If you have a cat or dog that you can plonk on your lap, it is even better – but they don’t always cooperate, do they? Now, pull up http://www.netflixupdate.com/4k-movies-on-netflix-list/ and put together a list of movies that will grab your attention and hold it for a few hours. You want all of the thoughts of exams, papers, and studying to be banished from your mind as you get lost in the plot. This will act like a spring-clean for your brain and give it time for all of your studies to settle into your long term memory. By the next day, you will be refreshed and ready for more.

Look After Your Body:

It is so easy to forget about our bodies when our brains are doing all of the work. You have to remember that if your body goes downhill, then your brain will too. Get outside, whatever the weather. Your body needs some sunlight to produce Vitamin D. When you get back in, do some gentle yoga or Pilates and then treat yourself to a long hot bath. Light some candles or incense, play some music, and take a little breather to clear your mind and relax.

Studying can be a total pain, but straight A’s for days will make your efforts totes worth it and your summer break well deserved!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

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What To Expect On Your Graduation Day – A Plan Of Action

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What To Expect On Your Graduation Day – A Plan Of Action

Graduation day is a monumental moment day of your life; it’s the first true time you step out of a sheltered existence and become an adult. It’s an incredibly hectic, but exciting time. Friends and family are all gathered around you to tell you that they’re proud and making jokes about your gown. Some of them are no doubt holding back the tears. The administration and staff of the University are also there and energetically shaking hands on a job well done. But, all the buzz can produce stressful moments, so here is a guide to take you step by step, of what you can expect on the big day:

Organizing Your Gang: Graduation days can be like rock concerts. There’s a huge glob of people in the center and almost immediately when you turn up, you’re fighting not to get lost. You can get separated from your group if you haven’t planned in detail beforehand about where you’ll meet and where you guys will stay during the whole ceremony. So communicate effectively with your college friends and family. Make sure that everyone is together and in one place, so that it’s easy to find each other. Use landmarks such as a large tree, a building entrance, or lots of you could wear the same color hat or clothing.

During The Ceremony: When you’re on stage, be respectful that you’re sharing this moment with thousands of other students. You’ve probably seen videos of people acting silly at their graduation on social media. Don’t be that guy or gal; this is a moment of prestige. You worked hard. Remember the long nights of frantic studying, the upset stomach before an exam or deadline, remember how you worked part time to pay for your tuition? Exactly. Use this time to hang your head high and accept your rightful praise, but you’re in a hat and gown – not the court jester’s attire.

Take A Break: The graduation ceremony is going to be long, very long. Be sure that you and your group have something to eat and drink, like some high-carb snacks and natural sugars like fruit or a smoothie. Refrain from eating large amounts until after the ceremony, as you’ll be standing a lot and you don’t want to be the one who throws up from being too nervous or has to go to the bathroom just as your name is being called up. #embarrassing

The after party is where you can eat to your heart’s content. Graduation cakes are a fantastic way to buy a large food item that everyone can share and celebrate your success with. Although the cake will be large, thousands save at Kroger’s bakery, so it won’t put you out of pocket.

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Ayyyyy!

Take Pictures In Advance: Taking the perfect picture can be stressful when there’s so much going on around you. You want to look back at this time and be proud of that moment and subconsciously frowning or not looking into the lens can ruin the special day only all too late. Take pictures before the ceremony starts. Fix your gown and your frown at the same time, while there’s no pressure to imitate a ‘still-life’ painting. Then, you’ll have plenty of time to evaluate the pictures and retake some as necessary.

Graduation day is the best, but it can be incredibly stressful! Make a game plan beforehand, though, and you’ll be good to go!

Featured Image By: AKS

Yearning for Learning: Why You Should Never Stop Studying

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Yearning for Learning: Why You Should Never Stop Studying

Regardless of what stage of life you are currently at, learning is something that you should always be doing. A lot of people think of studying as something that is just for kids or young people at college, but the truth is, is that there are a whole range of advantages that will open themselves up if you commit your life to learning. As well as being a more well-rounded person, you will also constantly be developing new skills that you never know when will come in handy.

Whether you have lessons in something, take an online college course with Find Your Context, or study independently, here are just a few of the reasons that you should commit to lifelong learning:

You Will Become Happier: Studying can be very hard and frustrating, but there is nothing like the feeling that you are actually getting smarter. Even better, is when you can start putting these skills into practice and impressing people with what you have learned. There is nothing like reaching a goal that you have set for yourself, so you should make sure that you are constantly striving for bigger and better things. Having something to work towards is a great way to focus your mind and give you the feeling that you are always accomplishing something. Personal development should get you on the fast track to inner peace and happiness.

You Will Become Irreplaceable at Your Job: If you can show that you bring valuable new skills to your company, you are much more likely to impress your bosses. Not only will this keep you in your job role, but you should also start jumping to the front of the queue when it comes to promotion time. If you do decide that it is time to move onto new pastures, the more skills that you have, the more likely it is that you will end up landing yourself the job of your dreams. The rapid rise of technology means that more people are becoming replaceable; continual learning ensures that you won’t be one of them.

You Will Become More Cultured and Knowledgeable: If you stop learning at a certain point, that is exactly where you will become fixed. A person who is well-read and has numerous different skills finds it easy to carry a conversation on a whole range of different topics with ease. The more you learn, the more avenues of your mind you are opening up and the more well-rounded you will become as a person. Rather than making it seem like you are trying too hard to impress people with your knowledge, people will naturally start turning to you as a source of wisdom and excellent conversation.

Books on books on books

You Will Become More Passionate: The pursuit of knowledge is a major passion in itself, but the more you learn about different topics, the more passionate you will become about them. You may even end up discovering things that you love that you would never have thought of before. Try to be broad with your learning so that you don’t become too fixed on a single area and you will truly get the most out of expanding your horizons.

Featured Image By: Pexels

Underrated Careers You Should Consider

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We could probably name a bunch of careers that are overrated. ‘Advertising executive’ sounds flashy, but it’s actually a dying career field, with pay not being all that great. Lawyers get great pay, but when you consider the amount of work they have to put in (it’s basically non-stop, and the vast majority of it is paperwork), it may not be that great a trade-off. But, there are a bunch of important careers in our society that a lot of people don’t appreciate as much as they should. Not only are they essential to our country, but they’re also more complex, interesting, and stable than many seem to think. Here are just a few:

Accountant: A lot of people know that accountants are important, but they don’t see it as a particularly desirable career. After all, aren’t the accountants in films and books always really boring characters? The fact is, is that accounting is a very stable career choice that can land you a very healthy paycheck. It’s not just a career that people fall into because they couldn’t decide what else to do with their lives!

Nurse: When some unfortunate people think about nurses, they usually just think about hospital assistants who weren’t quite good or qualified enough to become “real doctors”. (Some people still seem to think that “doctors” are the males in healthcare and “nurses” are the females. To which I say… well, I don’t know what to say.). But this couldn’t be further from the truth. Nurses fill very particular roles that doctors couldn’t necessarily do, and becoming a nurse often requires very heavy-duty training and education. Courses in nursing science from the likes of Maryville University make clear just how complex and socially-needed this pursuit really is. Not to mention how rewarding!

Nurses are essential to healthcare

Vets: Vets, like nurses, are often just dismissed as ‘people in medicine who aren’t quite doctors’. (Although vets can actually refer to themselves as doctors in some parts of the world!) Some also seem to question why someone would choose to work with animals when human healthcare is so understaffed and overworked right now! But veteran veterinarians aren’t just high-earners; they’re also very important for society because they help deal with diseases and other issues in livestock. Without them, we’d have a much harder and more dangerous time getting… well, food. But us vegetarians have nothing to worry about! 😉

Also, you get to hang out with kitties!

Engineer: Like many similar careers in trade and manufacturing, civil engineering seems to have lost its cool factor, with an alarming amount of people assuming that such pursuits are basically pointless. But we don’t live in a post-industrial age; we’re still heavily reliant on careers such as this in order to keep our societies advancing. (Not just standing; advancing.) Someone with a great engineering grade can land a high-paying job pretty quickly, and the benefits for society when more people enter these fields are staggering.

Kitty Joyner, electrical engineer!

Waste collector: Seriously, they’re keeping the streets clean. People don’t just go into this work because they can’t do anything else; many do it because they care about their communities. That, and the pay isn’t half bad!

The Things I Wish I’d Known Before Starting College

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The Things I Wish I’d Known Before Starting College

If you are going to be starting college in the fall, then you need to be prepared. There are so many fun things to look forward to, as well as busy times when the exams are on and you’re cramming super late into the night. One thing that anyone will tell you is that the time flies by so quickly. Four years and then you’re out into the ‘real’ world and onto the career path of your choice. So it is important to embrace that time and make the most of it. Here are some of the top things to take into consideration before starting college:

You’ll Never (EVER) Regret Staying In To Study: It can be tempting to just want to go out all of the time. There might be parties everywhere, movie nights, or sports games. But you can’t constantly go out, especially if you’re aiming for top grades (which you should be!). But the thing is, the parties are just parties. There will always be parties or events going on. But you do only get one shot at the test or exam. So if you feel like you should be studying, then you won’t regret it. Work hard, and then you can play even harder after you ace that test.

College Isn’t High School: In high school, people can be quite catty and mean. But you know what, when you hit the ripe old age of college age, it seems that people tend to care less about material stuff or appearances. It doesn’t matter how cool your new bag is or if you’ve got the latest laptop. No one will really care. You’re all there for the same purpose, and that is to get your college education. So you can make an effort with things like that or not. Don’t stress over it!

Work To Pay Off Your Loan: If you are going to college and are needing a loan to do so, then one of the biggest pieces of advice is to get a part-time job when you study. If you are able to take out the smallest loan possible and able to work as you study, it will help tremendously. No one wants to graduate with a load of debt hanging around their neck, right? Otherwise, you’ll need to look for things like debt consolidation for student loans when you finish. They can help as you start out on your career path. But they’re definitely not ideal.

Take Care of Your Health: Getting sick without your parents there to take care of you is the worst (for real). So take care of your health as much as you can. Taking a vitamin supplement is a good idea, as well as keeping hydrated with water. The latter also helps with hangovers, so there is another reason to drink plenty of water! Get rest, eat well, and do some exercise. Your body (and mind) will thank you for it. Especially when mom isn’t there to cook you chicken noodle soup!

College is an exciting time but it can also be an overwhelming wake up call. Be prepared for the twists and turns that your time at uni can take, and all will be well when you’re on your way to graduation! 🙂

Featured Image By: Flickr

Picking the Perfect Major

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Picking the Perfect Major

Picking your major is probably one of the most important decisions that you will make in your younger years because it will have a huge impact on your future career choices when you graduate. However, approximately 20-50 percent of freshmen start their first year in college not knowing what they want to do, which is why we’ve put together these top tips for picking the perfect major:

Think About Your Interests: Whether you’re still in High School and you’re wondering what you want to do with the rest of your life or you’re a parent looking to apply for this scholarship, so that you can improve your career prospects and provide for your family, the first step in choosing your major should be thinking about your interests. After all, most of us would rather do something that we love for the rest of our lives and it is much easier to study and engage with a subject when you genuinely enjoy it.

What Are You Good At? Of course, it also makes a lot of sense to reflect on the things that you’re good at. If you love art, but you really have no aptitude for creating it, you might be better off looking at the skills that you do have, such as a knack for solving math problems or programming computers. That being said, if you truly dream of being an artist, there’s nothing wrong with following your dreams, provided that you know what you are getting yourself into!

Look into Future Career Prospects: This is something that older students tend to be better at, perhaps because they have more life experience, but it is important for students of all ages to think about the courses that they are taking and what kind of jobs it could realistically lead them to. If you want to make lots of money, majoring in a sought after skill such as engineering, law, or medicine will probably serve you better than a degree in communications or art history. But, if you want to work in the media or become the curator of an art gallery, they’ll be great! It’s all about working out what you want, what skills are likely to be sought after in the future, and which major will best help you to get where you want to be after you graduate.

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Job Fair Palooza

Take an Introductory Course: If you have a few ideas for a major, but you’re not sure, one of the best ways to work out if a course is going to be the right fit is by taking an introductory course. Most colleges will allow you to try out a major by enrolling in one or more such courses, and many will even give you credit towards your education if you do enroll. This is probably the best way of working out what you do and don’t enjoy and whether you can handle a course or not.

The above tips should help you to work out which major is the perfect fit for you, but if you’re still struggling, make an appointment with an advisor, who will be able to talk you through your options and help you make the right choice for you, whatever that may be.

Featured Image By: Flickr

It’s Time To Revise The Way You Revise

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It’s Time To Revise The Way You Revise

Studying up for an exam  – whether it be school, a driving test, or work-related – needn’t fill you with dread. Changing the way you prepare yourself can make it not only more enjoyable, but more effective. Here are just a few methods worth trying out to help you conquer the next big test in your life:

It’s not about the hours you put in:

No, this isn’t an encouragement to cram the night before. Revising weeks in advance is still important, but you needn’t spend hours burrowed in a textbook each day. Instead, dedicate small amounts of time each day to brush up on a few new things that you’re not as confident with. Cram in short bursts and give yourself a break and time to relax and reward your mind, then take another crack at it the next day.

Destroying the ‘fear of the unknown’:

Exam nerves are largely a fear of the unknown. However, nowadays, there are so many online tools that can better prepare you for the examination. For example, past exam papers are often easy to find online. By knowing what came the year before, you may have a better idea of what’s most likely and most unlikely to appear this year. There are also sites such as https://gradebuddy.com/ that can provide you with class and lecture notes for any of those lectures and seminars that you may have missed.

Knowing your learning style:

There are different learning styles better suited to different people. Some people revise better with others, whilst other may find this too distracting for their study style. Some people are visual learners, while others get put off by images and graphs. There are also other types of learning such as physical learning (doing practice exams, writing on sticky notes, playing revision games) and audio learners (listening to audio-guides, listening to other people). Find the learning style that best suits you, so that information gets soaked up more quickly and more effectively. Guides such as https://www.lynda.com/articles/whats-learning-style-find can help you get the best out of your individual learning style so that you can better prepare for the next big test.

Get out of the house:

If you’re just revising in your room, try a change of surroundings and see what effect it has on your output. Some people find going outdoors to be a good mental stimulation – although perhaps not on a miserable day. Libraries, coffee bars, and internet cafes can also be good places to get you feeling less confined. Make sure that there aren’t too many distractions by timing your revision periods well – going to a coffee bar during a busy lunch period might result in too much noise and a less than effective study sesh.

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Love, love, love studying outdoors.

Keep your body active:

Staying physically as well as mentally active is important when having a study session. Exercise gets the blood pumping around your body helping to circulate your brain with a fresh hit of oxygen. You don’t have to go for a jog or hit the gym – taking the time to do a few push-ups in your bedroom might be all that your body needs. There are also ways to revise as you exercise, although they may not work for all types of learners. You can listen to an audio study guide while jogging or doing a workout. Or you could work with a group of friends, throwing and catching a ball and having to answer questions each time.

Study up in small bursts and ace the next big exam that comes your way! You got this! 🙂

Featured Image By: Flickr