10 Things This Semester Has Taught Me

10 Things This Semester Has Taught Me

Life lessons sometimes happen outside of the classroom.
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This semester has been one of the hardest semesters that I have been through. From the beginning phases of joy and 'I can do this', to the depressing realization that my chemistry class is only a level-100, to the passive-aggressive coping method of writing about it. There have been ups and downs, like every semester, but for some reason, I just have the end-of-semester blues a little bit more now that I have before. I cannot wait for summer to come (hello freedom!), but I am glad that I am on this journey this semester - it has taught me many life lessons, some big and some small, but most importantly, these are the ten things that this semester taught me, and I will not soon be forgetting.

1. A level-100 class can be just as stressful as a level-300 class.

I cannot begin to tell you how many times I have sat and cried over my chemistry homework, or how hard it is to study for General Chemistry II (CHEM-122). I think that my level-300 biology classes are less stressful than this class.

2. It is so easy to make friends when you aren't trying to impress anyone.

It doesn't take much to find your tribe. I learned that by being myself, the friends naturally came, and now I have a support system here that I wouldn't trade for the world. <3

3. Always take advantage of reserving a study room in the library.

If you can reserve the study room in your library - do it. It keeps you out of your bed, and gives you a reason to sit down and study. Invite your friends to come too, even if they aren't studying the same thing. A few hours per week can drastically change your exam scores.

4. Finding your support system is essential.

I learned that through it all, I'll never have to go it alone.

5. Check the weather before leaving for school.

sometimes, the weather likes to play games with our hearts (cue Backstreet Boys), and sometimes, you just end up walking out of the apartment wearing shorts. When it's 40 degrees outside.

6. A pea coat will not fool anyone into thinking you have your sh*t together.

Nothing, especially not a pea coat, will make you look like you have everything all together. And that's okay. Who has anything together at this point in the semester, anyway? Additionally, your pea coat will not make you look like you have your life together if it doesn't have a hood and you get caught in the rain. Just sayin'.

7. Keep a case on your phone.

Do I have to explain this one? All it takes is one fateful trip to Starbucks (hard tile floors)

8. Keep tabs on your wallet.

My catch phrases: Have you seen my wallet? Where is my wallet? Do you remember where I put my wallet? Bonus: Where are my keys?

9. Have AAA on speed dial.

Thankfully, my mom let me use her AAA account this semester. I had accidentally locked my keys in my trunk (don't ask me how, the world may never know). Otherwise, I'm not sure what I would've done other than sit in Emily's apartment and cry all night about it.

10. If you go to Starbucks early before class to study, you might have your life together.

Even if you don't actually study, at least you have a good cup of coffee, right?

11. BONUS: Speak up.

I thought that I had failed an exam. With a 57% to be exact. Heartbroken, I wrote it off as a consequence of taking an exam when I was sick (luckily, we get to retake exams at the end of the semester in this class). I got my test back, and I actually got a 75%, it was just written backwards. Speaking up isn't easy, but it's a grade (and life) saver!

Cover Image Credit: Peyton Reynolds

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17 Empowering Bible Verses For Women

You go, girl.
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We all have those days where we let the negative thoughts that we're "not good enough," "not pretty enough" or "not smart enough" invade our minds. It's easy to lose hope in these situations and to feel like it would be easier to just give up. However, the Bible reminds us that these things that we tell ourselves are not true and it gives us the affirmations that we need. Let these verses give you the power and motivation that you're lacking.

1. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future."

2. Psalm 46:5

"God is within her, she will not fall."

3. Luke 1:45

"Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her."

4. Proverbs 31:17

"She is energetic and strong, a hard worker."

5. Psalm 28:7

"The Lord is my strength and my shield."

6. Proverbs 11:16

"A gracious woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth."

7. Joshua 1:9

"Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

8. Proverbs 31:30

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised."

9. 1 Corinthians 15:10

"By the grace of God, I am what I am."

10. Proverbs 31:26

"When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness."

11. Psalm 139:14

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made."

12. 1 Peter 3:3-4

"Don't be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God."

13. Colossians 2:10

"And in Christ you have been brought to fullness."

14. 2 Timothy 1:7

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."

15. Jeremiah 29:11

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'"

16. Exodus 14:14

"The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm."

17. Song of Songs 4:7

"You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way."

Next time you're feeling discouraged or weak, come back to these verses and use them to give you the strength and power that you need to conquer your battles.

Cover Image Credit: Julia Waterbury

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Calming Music, And 9 Other Study Methods To Prepare College Students For Any Major Exam

When your week gets booked, there are simple ways to help get your mind in the zone.

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Making through the first two months of a new semester without breaking down might be considered an accomplishment for college students. If the homework assignments are not as difficult as you originally believed, there should be nothing to worry about. The one major thing that is still considered a pain among college students is exams. The one- or two-page quizzes or long midterms, upon discovering the exact date and time, will send any student into an emotional frenzy. These techniques will help students to overcome the challenges they will face during these terrifying days.

1. Go for a short walk an hour or two before you have a test

Exercise is a great way to distract the mind from stress and improve your memory. It helps if you are walking to get lunch or you are going to the library or another class with someone. Having a conversation with friends about their major and the exam you have that day is beneficial. Talking not only only keeps you focused, but you might learn something from your friends, and they could possibly have advice for you when it comes to preparing for exams.

2. Take frequent 10-minute breaks

When studying for an important test, it is crucial that you take a break after every 45 minutes to an hour of reading or writing something. Even if you are in a study group, leaving to get food, use the bathroom, or just standing up to stretch is good for your mind and body. Make sure the meals you eat are healthy to increase memory retention. Doing a quick 10-minute workout is another method to strengthen your mind.

3. Put on some calming music or perform other small tasks

While studying alone for a midterm or test, putting on soft music while you are reading will help you to stay calm during your study session. When taking a break, doing other activities like cleaning your dorm room, doing yoga, or meditation are other ways to keep your mind focused. Switching up your methods or moving to a place where you can study without any distractions is a priority to achieving success.

4. Watch a Netflix documentary related to the subject

Although television is a distraction from your studies, it might be useful to search on Netflix for an interesting documentary about the exam topic. This is especially great if you are majoring in business, health science, criminal justice, or history. You will hear about all the information related to your test within a few hours. Unlike a lecture, you can pause and leave to get a snack or go to the bathroom without missing anything. As a bonus, if you have to write an essay, you can mention the documentary and reference some facts and other useful information you learned.

5. Make flashcards

One of the best ways to help retain information fast is creating flashcards. Either buy the cards yourself or use a study app. Fill the cards with key terms, facts, essay topic ideas, famous quotes, math problems, or science formulas as something to review (or practice with friends) while studying for an exam.

6. Try making a mind map

If you are having difficulty organizing and summarizing ideas that you have for a topic you are studying, creating a mind map is a unique strategy. Mind maps can be created on paper or by using a computer. This is a simple way to understand material that will be on an exam. Include visuals, words, and ideas, which may help you to remember information.

7. Create a study schedule

During the weeks that students are having midterms, it is challenging trying to balance school and social life. One solution is to make a schedule dedicated to studying for your exams. Mark down on a calendar (or your phone) the times that you have free to study. Putting at least two hours of work a day to prepare for exams will increase your chances of success.

8. Find a secluded place for studying

Another great way to make sure you are retaining the information you are studying is finding a quiet and comfortable area for reading and writing. By relocating yourself to a location you feel relaxed in, the chances of doing better on exams will increase. Make sure that the place is clear of any distractions like televisions, electronic devices (unless you need to use a computer), and loud noises. Some of the best spots can be your dorm room or a reserved spot in the library.

9. Do practice exams

If you want to get in some extra practice for an exam, trying looking on websites or use apps that have quizzes related to your test. Find questions with multiple choice, true or false, short answer, or math problems. Checking your textbook for examples is another good option. This will prepare you for any possible questions that you might see on your exam.

10. Review exam material before going to sleep

When studying for an important exam, try to get some reading done around one or two hours before going to sleep each night. Reading over material or doing some practice questions before going to bed will help you retain information. This is a method known as sleep-learning, and it is effective for college students. While your body is recovering, the brain is processing information during sleep, which means that everything you learned will be stored in your long-term memory.

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