How to Study for a Hard Exam

With finals week just around the corner, as well as my chemistry final exam (help), instead of studying, I figured I would give some advice on how to study for a hard exam. Before I start, I would just like to give a quick shoutout to AP Latin, whose difficulty truly taught me how to prepare for a hard exam, since every test I took for that class has been harder than any exam I’ve taken in college. Let’s just say it’s a blessing I’m done with Latin forever (and got 8 college credits from the AP)!!

 

1. Check to see exactly what is going to be on the exam 

Pay attention in class when your professor is going over the requirements or what is expected to know for the exam. Email your professor and/or your TA to ask what they suggest you study from (i.e. lecture slides, text book, practice problems). You can save yourself a lot of time by not wasting it on material that won’t be covered on the exam.

2. Make a study schedule and plan ahead 

This doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Just jot down what you are going to study on what days. Spread it out and make sure you are giving yourself enough time to cover all of the material. Start as soon as possible! Now, I’m not someone who can say I study ahead all the time, but I know cramming leads to less retention!

3. Make a cute, colorful study guide

Separate the information using different colors. Make use of charts and diagrams. Make a study guide that is so cute that it will make you WANT to study the information. Here’s a Pinterest board with some inspiration.

4. Speak out loud or teach the information to someone else

Teaching the information to someone else is proven to improve memory of the subject. Speaking the information out loud better solidifies it in your memory.

5. Go to a new study spot 

Once you get into a routine in a certain spot and study there repeatedly, its easier to get distracted. Scope out a new, clean study spot whether that is a busy coffee shop or a quiet room in the library. Change your surroundings!

6. Take breaks and take care of yourself

This means drinking plenty of water, taking time to eat, walk around periodically, and getting plenty of sleep. Pulling an all-nighter the night before the exam has proven to do more harm than good. I’m not telling you to get 8 hours of sleep (because that’s just unrealistic), but as a college student, I would say get at least 5.

7. Go over past exams and practice problems 

I learned in Psych 202 this year that the best way to study and remember material is to test yourself. Use practice problems from your textbook, re-do questions from the past exams, or re-do practice problems that your professor has given you.

8. Turn off your phone! 

This is easier said than done, but a 5 minute break can quickly turn into an hour if your phone is involved.


What other advice do you have for students preparing for a hard exam? Let me know in the comments!


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How to Crush Sorority Rush

picture source

I’m not going to lie to you, sorority recruitment was on of the most exhausting and frustrating weeks of my life. Also, keep in mind I attend the University of Wisconsin, where Greek life is much more low-key compared to other schools like in the South. Despite the tough couple days, I ended up in Alpha Phi which I LOVE, and the whole process was totally worth it!

With spring recruitment coming up, I figured I would give some advice to the girls preparing to go through recruitment next semester or anytime in the future. Here are some do’s and do not’s of rush based on my experience.

1. DO NOT MENTION THE 5 Bs

In case you don’t know what these are, the 5 Bs include: Boys, Booze, Brands, Barack (politics), Beliefs (religion). This was emphasized SO MUCH while I was going through rush. The girls recruiting you don’t want to know about these things. In fact, many may drop you for making one of these topics one of the main parts of the conversation. It’s best to just stray away.

2. DO NOT WORRY ABOUT MAKING CONVERSATION

I was so nervous going into recruitment that my conversations would be awkward and we would run out of things to talk about. Don’t worry! The girls work for months preparing for recruitment. They are trained in what to say, what questions to ask, and how to keep a conversation going. You might get asked the same questions over and over again, but at least you’re not sitting in awkward silence.

3. DO NOT BREAK THE RULES

At Wisconsin, two of the most important rules are 1.) do not reach out to chapter members outside of recruitment 2.) do not go to fraternity sponsored events. The rules are taken very seriously, and failure to follow them means you’ll most likely get dropped. Make sure to pay attention to and follow the rules at your school.

4. DO NOT MAKE JUDGEMENTS BASED ON A SORORITY’S REPUTATION

Forget what you’ve heard before or during rush. This is easier said than done, but the whole point of rush is to get a true feel of each chapter and what they are all about! Keep an open mind about each house and make your own judgements AFTER you’ve visited the chapter and have conversed with some of the girls.

5. DO NOT GET FRUSTRATED

Believe me, I know it can be tiring and frustrating when you keep getting dropped by houses. I almost dropped out of rush so many times. There was a time where I had the most amazing, genuine conversation with a girl, and then I got dropped from that chapter the next day. It seriously crushed me. The process is confusing and complex. The girls recruiting are feeling out your personality to see if you’ll be a good fit for their chapter. It’s easy to get frustrated but STICK WITH IT because it WILL be worth it.

6. DO NOT NAME DROP 

I may have been guilty of this and I honestly think this is the reason I got dropped from one sorority. Don’t ask “Do you know _____? She’s in this sorority.” Of course they know them. Telling the girl recruiting you that you know someone in their house isn’t going to help you, only hurt you.


1. DO CARRY A BAG WITH ESSENTIALS

Some essentials I would suggest bringing with you to recruitment are: 1.) a pair of comfortable shoes (you’re going to want to change out of your heels after a couple hours) 2.) snacks (cannot emphasize this enough- getting hangry will not serve you well) 3.) deodorant and perfume to freshen up 4.) extra makeup if you wear some 5.) water

2. DO TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF 

This means getting enough sleep between days and drinking plenty of water. In most houses you literally have to scream because there are so many girls trying to talk in the room. I got really sick after the first couple days lost my voice, so I kept having cough attacks right in the middle of a conversation with a chapter member! Rush takes a lot out of you physically. The days are long and tiring, so give yourself time to recover!

3. DO KEEP AN OPEN MIND AND TRUST THE PROCESS

I can’t tell you how many times I heard these words during rush. But as cliché as it sounds, it’s true. Some houses that you dislike at first very well may become one of your favorites. Keep an open mind during every round of rush. 95% of the time, you will end up in the house that fits you best. The process is confusing, but it’s proven to work.

4. DO WEAR WHAT YOU WANT

There is really no need to dress up like a sorority stereotype. Again, the whole point of rush is for the different houses to see if you would be a good fit for their chapter. Dress in what you think looks best. Wear as much makeup as you want, or none at all. Truthfully, you will stand out if you dress in a way true to you, rather than looking like 90% of the other PNMs.

5. DO ACT (AND BE) CURIOUS 

If you truly want to become a 4-year member of a sorority, make sure to ask the right questions. Make sure to ask how much the time commitment is, the grade and live-in requirements, and about what everyone in the chapter is involved in. Find 30 more questions to ask here.

6. DO KEEP THE CONVERSATIONS POSITIVE

You are not going to want to come across as a negative and cynical person. Leave the big fight with your friend out of the conversation for now.

7. DO BE RESPECTFUL

Yes, rush may get “cultish” at times. However, the ceremonies or presentations they are showing you are special to that sorority, so do not make a mockery of it. Also, if you get invited back to a house that you dislike, still be polite and gracious to the girl recruiting you. The girls can tell when you don’t want to be there and just because you may not want to join their chapter does not mean you can’t still be respectful and engaged!

8. DO MAKE YOUR OWN DECISION 

I have already stressed this point, but don’t let the reputation of the house or what your friends are saying sway you. If a house feels right for you, THEN STICK WITH IT! The whole point is to find where you belong, and if you are connecting with the girls in a particular sorority, it’s likely that’s where you belong.


If you’ve gone through rush, what other advice do you have for girls preparing to go through the process? I’d love to hear what you have to say!


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Gift Guide for Guys

I’ve found that some of the hardest people to shop for are for guys. From my brother to my boyfriend, I never know what to buy. I don’t know about anyone else, but I am basically completely clueless when it comes to men’s fashion in general. Luckily, I asked a bunch of my guy-friends and boyfriend for things that they would like to receive for Christmas, and this is what we came up with!
Gift Guide for Guys
speaker (I own this brand of speaker and I would definitely recommend) // sneakers (all of my friends are OBSESSED with these shoes) // yeti water bottle //

hat // hockey jersey (my boyfriend uses his all the time) // sweater // cologne


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Gift Guide for Mom

Can you believe it’s already time to start buying gifts? I already feel behind. With Black Friday just four days away and Cyber Monday right around the corner, I’m going to be creating a few gift guides in the upcoming days before Black Friday!
This gift guide is inspired by my own mom and gifts that I know she would love! I actually bought her one of the things on this guide, but I’m not going to say which one just in case she reads this 😉
Gift Guide for Mom

My mom and I love benefit and this cheek palette looks amazing!
My mom introduced me to these candles from anthropologie! The tins are so cute!
I NEED one of these initial necklaces for myself!
// scarf //

 


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