How to Really Study for Finals

Yup. It’s here. Finals season is upon us. Now if you’re like us, you studied really hard, attended all your classes, and completed every homework assignment to its fullest extent. Right? Just kidding. No one’s perfect! Why else would you be here, helplessly trying to find tips on efficient studying (procrastinate much?).

giphy.gifWell my dears, if you’re looking like this guy in light of finals week then you’ve come to the right place. Here’s a how to guide on studying (AKA cramming) for finals

Study Buddy

Take advantage of your peers. Compare notes, offer up topics, ask questions. This way you get fresh perspective on your class and you have a way of ensuring you cover all the topics. Having a study buddy or even a study group will ensure that you guys can find the correct answers and hold each other accountable for the approaching test.

If you haven’t made any contact with any of the people from your class, the best way to find someone is to just ask. Most likely, they are just as stressed as you are and will be willing to form a group, or even better, they may already have a group and you can join in!

Creating/Completing your Study Guide

I cannot stress this point enough. You want to go over all the content from the course and/or study guide if available. Do this as soon as possible!!! Sit down one day and really dive deep. Study everything you need to, even the stuff you don’t understand! Write it all done and make note of things that stick out. Follow the study guide, it is your best friend. If you don’t have a study guide, click here to figure out how to make your own. Make sure you complete a plan for what it is you need to study, after that you can really test yourself on your knowledge.

After completing the study guide or your own study plan, go through and quiz yourself. If you find yourself struggling with something specific, take note of it on a separate page to return to. By making a list of all the things that still confuse you, you can be sure to study them. Repeat until there’s nothing on your list of things that are confusing to you.

Asking Question

Get clarification on the topics that you are unsure of. This will not only help you study, but will make sure you actually learn the topics long terms. So ask, ask, ask!

If it’s not too late, email or meet you professor during office hours with your pre-prepared questions. Do not show up without preparing expecting them to give you the answers to everything, this is a sure fire way to get the professor to doubt you and ultimately leave you helpless. Have specific topics and questions in mind when you ask your professor for some clarification.

Ask your classmates. If you found a study group make sure you bring up your list of questions no matter how silly they may seem. They will be willing to help you and can probably explain it in a way that you can understand.

Never be afraid to ask questions!!! It is essential!!!

You Can Never Be Too Prepared

After you complete your study guides, go over the material for 15-30 minutes every day before the final. It doesn’t take long, and the process is absolutely beneficial to you. You can study while you snack, waiting in line for Starbucks, or even while you watch The Food Network.

Pretty soon, you’ll know everything better than the professor.

Taking Breaks

Phew. Just when we needed another excuse to procrastinate… just kidding. Taking a break while studying is actually really important. If you are constantly drilling, memorizing, and learning new information, your brain can sometimes turn on auto pilot and cease to retain further information. So take a break! Breathe. Eat a snack. Take a nap.

When you come back to studying you will feel refreshed and it will be easier to start up again.

How many breaks should you take? For every 60 minutes of studying you do, you should take a 15 minute break. The max you should go without a break is 90 minutes! Don’t overwork yourself! We’re trying to be efficient and keep you sane.

 

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How Do I Get an Internship?

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The days of internships being the icing on the cake that is your resume are long gone. More and more businesses are encouraging students to get internship experience (even for entry-level jobs!). Internships play a critical role in networking and building experience, but the market for internships is so competitive that many students struggle to get into the internships they actually want. Let’s end the confusion and get ahead of the game. Check out these cool intern success stories!

Step One: What Do You Want?

What do you want to do? If you’re at this stage you have an array of options to choose from! Internships will help you learn what do or don’t like! The first step is to look at industries that you would be interested and read up on the companies! Make a list of the companies that peak your interest!

Internships should have something to do with what you’re planning to do for you career, and will thus exploit your skills and interests!

Need some help? Check out these companies that are hiring!

Pro-tip: Wanna travel? Look at internships in cities you want to visit!

Step 2: Prepare for Battle

Okay, maybe not battle…but kind of. For every battle you need a sword A.K.A. your resume. You’ll need a good resume too if you want it to stand out in a pile of papers, so here’s a link on how to make a kick ass resume, and here is a link for creative resume examples on Pinterest. You have about fifteen seconds to capture the attention of a recruiter so get a little creative! Also, try not to let your resume be over a page and make sure easy to read.

Almost done! But don’t forget the cover letter. Cover letters are very very important when it comes to applying to a company! Why do you want to work for this company? Why should they pick you? Who are you? Need some help? Check out this link to help you with writing a personalized cover letter! Make sure you research the company before jumping! Companies are totally full of themselves, so when you write something like:

“I’m a huge football fan and this company was started by Blah and Blah! It hits home because…”

or…

“I like that this company gives back to the community, in fact in 2012 this company gave back to my hometown of…”

Always be well versed in the company’s history.

Step 3: Network and Making Contact

Network and network well, heres a guide to networking intelligently in case you don’t know how.

Best place to start? Ta-Da! You’re career center! Most schools have them and they can help you find internships that have reached out to your school! These will be flooded with other student applicants too though so be careful!

If you or your parents know someone in a company that you’re interested in…it wouldn’t hurt to ask if they’re hiring! Use social media to your advantage and tweet or post a status: “I’m trying to get hired at X, does anyone know anyone I can talk to?”

Once you submit your resume….You gotta call.

Yeah as tedious and lame as it is, you gotta call the company. Apply online, send your resume in, and then call. Calling the company and putting a voice to the resume really makes your name stick out.

Step 4: Do Not Delay

If you have made contact with a company they will ask for your materials which could be anywhere from a portfolio or a resume. Send these in as soon as possible. If you wake too long the company will think you’re lazy or uninterested and find someone who can turn things in on time.

Respond quickly and in an organized fashion!

Step 5: The Follow Up

After you’ve had the interview be sure to call or send a succinct email to remind the employer who you are. What the heck is a succinct email? Check this out! Mention your application and your name. This should be completed a week after your interview or two weeks after you have submitted your application.

Don’t ask when you’ll find out if you got the position, you’ll seem impatient. Just give a simple reminder that you’re very interested in the job!

Rejection

Remember that the market for internships is very competitive and you won’t always get the one that you wanted. But chin up! Keep trying! You will eventually get a great opportunity!!!

Good Luck! 

What Will College Look Like in the Next Few Years?

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The college atmosphere and structure is consistently changing. Current policies may be a thing of the past tomorrow. State institutions like New York have already made the transition to free tuition and other colleges are constantly trying to add or take away policies to improve their institutions while every college student sits at the edge of their seat. It’s impossible to know the exact fate of the future of higher education but organizations like the Educause Review and The Pew Research Center have their ideas about what the future might look like for students. Here are a few ways your college education could change in the next few years.

 

A more drastic change to satisfy our dystopian fears would be that in the next two decades, professors may be replaced by machines. Technology is advancing at an alarming rate. Students can power through an essay solely with their smart phone or earn money through a printing service nowadays.  The Higher Education gives the example of artificial intelligence “discovering” Newton’s second law, and ROSS training IBM’s Watson cognitive computer to do paralegal work. Professors have far more value than the lectures they give, but some areas of study may change due to technology.

However, the rise of online classes and potential for robotic teachers has the ability to diminish students’ sociability. According to Fast Company, colleges will begin to focus more on the skill sets of individuals more than the credit hours they take. Employers expect more from incoming employees than they once had in the past.

Fast Company found that, “in one survey, 60% of employers complained that job applicants lack interpersonal and communication skills.”

In this case, colleges will be forced to become more adaptive, to adhere to the needs of industry professionals as opposed to traditional or newfound teaching strategy.

Additionally, the “traditional student” as described by the Educause Review, will change in the future. Majority of students are now above the age of 25 and work full-time, once taboo, but now the reality that not everyone has to finish a degree in a standard four year plan.

In regards to traditional students changing, one of the final guarantees for the future of higher education, already showing in today’s school systems, is the change in demographics. The majority of students for most of history on college campuses have been white and male. According to U.S. News, now the shift in demographics shows that the majority will soon be first-generation Hispanic students. This means that colleges will have to begin to change their admissions process, broaden financial aid packages, and provide remediation to underprivileged schools. In the 2014 academic year, the nine-school University of California system, “admitted more Latino students (29 percent) than whites (27 percent),” notes U.S. News. Similar changes will occur within the gender learning gap and the increase of other minority students.

Many things are changing in the future of higher education and it’s nice to be in the know.

Brought to you by Freenters, this has been a steamy hot plate of food for thought.