Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Study Tips

It's that time of the year again!! Paper time, midterm time, and homework time! 


Well it doesn't really have to be.  Originally it felt like this for me but I've worked  really hard not to let this time overwhelm me, and although I don't have it down to a perfect science, I've found some tips to get me through time.  They may not work for everyone and I'm still working on perfecting them but maybe some of these can help you too:

  • Study spot.  Don't feel like you have to study with friends, or in a specific location but somewhere you can find that helps you concentrate.  I know each year I've found a different place that worked for me.  My first-year it was in the study cubicles in the first floor of the library.  Last year it was my room and this year its the main floor of the library.
  • Motivate yourself.  I find sometimes bribing myself with finishing a paper by telling myself when I'm done I can catch up on one of my television shows.  It is a motivator for me to focus so I can do something I want to do.
  • Make a plan.  If you have two papers and a midterm all on Friday don't fret.  Plan your time accordingly.  I use post-it notes and dry-erase boards to keep track of what I have to do.  I also space my time.  I may study for an hour or two then work on a paper for the next hour or two. I even schedule myself "fun time" now so I make sure I have some me time to refocus.
  •  Take breaks.  People say this all the time but I can vouch getting up and walking around clears your head.  You can refocus your train of thoughts or come back realize you were doing a math problem completely wrong.   Whatever may happen, the light bulb may click if your struggling after walking away for five minutes.
  • Eat and drink.  Staying  hydrated with water and eating something will also help keep you awake and alert.  Meals are especially important so make sure not to skip one on account of stress.
These are just a few tips that may help you during an overwhelming week.  There are tons of others that some people may find work for them so be sure to try some and experiment. 
Just remember:  We've all been through tough times and we've all lived.

My study buddy helping me do research for a paper

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Weather is a Changing

Brrr.  I may be one of the few on campus who is saying this today, but I was at a BBQ where I was sitting in the shade and was just about shivering in my light-weight shirt.  Once I stepped out into the warm sun, it wasn't so bad.  It's getting to be that time of the year when people begin changing over their clothes.

It is highly recommended when moving in at first to have summer clothing and a fan to keep cool.  I highly agree with this.  But because in the mornings and in the late evenings it gets cooler, you should also have some sweatshirts and long-sleeved clothing along.  Now, this may seem like common sense, but I know some people who only bring long-pants and not very much for summer still.  I also know people who didn't pack stuff for cool fall nights and have had their kind parents ship them extra layers.

Fall is probably my favorite time on campus.  Many of the activities are still held outside and it isn't muddy like the spring.  The leaves on the trees are changing and wherever you look it is just beautiful. 
Taken this time last year at Smuggs - there are some red leaves on those trees!!
It is also the time of the year when you can study outside, go for a walk with friends, and just enjoy the fresh air.  Fall in Vermont is probably my favorite time of the year!!

Some yellow in the trees this time last year at the zip-line course at Smuggs

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Health Services

So it has been a super busy week this week.  I've had a ton of lab and paper assignments given out this week and I've been trying to organize when I'm going to get everything done! Planners are a must for this.   But enough ranting, I wanted to tell you about one of the special resources

One place that has been really helpful and I know I can go to is Health Services.  I mentioned them in a recent post but I just wanted to give some more information about who they are.  I've seen them since being in college for help when I've got a concussion, infection on my finger, a sprained ankle, and a sprained toe.  Yes, I'm a klutz so it has been helpful to have them around when I don't need to go to the emergency room or real doctor but when I need some advice on something or something for a cold or virus.  I've had friends who have been there for colds and stomach bugs too.  They always have advice and if they don't know what to do, they know where to send you.

The staff includes registered nurses and nurse practitioners, and consultants include a registered dietician, psychiatrist and psychiatric nurse practitioner.  They are open seven days a week during the academic year and are located in Alumni Hall.  They offer opportunities in wellness throughout the year and flu shot too.  It has been extremely helpful not having to find someone or place to go to for medical advice off campus.  I am thankful to them and all their help.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

One More Night of Summer

So the summer days are coming to a close, and I'm sad to say that I am going to miss it.  Don't get me wrong I love the winter weather and the snow, but there is just something about feeling the warmth of the sun on my face and the ground between my toes.  To help draw this wonderful season to a close, VITA hosted a beach night.  We headed down to Oakledge Park which consists of a sandy beach on Lake Champlain.  It was the perfect weather, not to hot and not to cold.

This event was a really nice way for people interested in VITA to come get to know those already part of it.  I got to make some awesome new friends while I got to relax and catch up with the old ones.  We enjoyed a nice picnic on the sand while we semi-watched the sunset.  Some people even took a dip in the lake.  It was a very successful evening.
Me and my friend, Sami

The Group
The Sunset

Relaxing on the beach

Monday, September 3, 2012

Start of the Semester

Since coming back on campus my weeks have been non-stop.  I have used many of the helpful resources on campus as well as make new friends.  It has been crazy but now everything has died down. I've moved in right before the first-year orientation through VITA.  I worked at the table on move-in day for them and met some wonderful new members of the St. Mike's family.  It was very exciting!

However, that day was the same day my laptop kicked me off-line and wouldn't let me do anything anymore.  It pretty much was in the stages right before a crash.  It was sad.  I took it right to IT and they were able to fix it right back up.  I still continued to have other problems with it (even today I had a small one!) but they took the time to fix each one when I showed up.

Getting a laptop through the school is extremely helpful in these situations.  There is an on campus HP guy who will fix any problems for free for one of these computers.  Even being a computer science major I go to them mainly because they know how to fix 90% of the problems right off the bat and the other 10% they can figure out pretty fast.

Another resource I've used was Health Services.  I had a severe sprain in my ankle right before school started and I had done everything my doctor told me too but being 6 hours away from him, I can't go see him even though it is still swollen.  I went right over to them this morning and the nurse was very helpful in giving me more suggestions to work with.  I've been there many times before, that is with me being a klutz, for advice and every time they have been super friendly and helpful.

A final resource which I will be taking advantage of soon is the on campus trainer for students.  The athletes have their own trainers but we do have one specifically for people like myself who may need some physical therapy or consolation for an injury.

Hopefully I can stay out of these two locations the rest of the semester buy I always know they are there for me if I need them!!