​5 Ways STEM Majors Have Different College Experiences Than You

​5 Ways STEM Majors Have Different College Experiences Than You

Being a STEM major involves its own branch of college experiences.
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If you’ve been lumped into the STEM group, welcome to a college experience like no other. You’ve been marked for life--one filled with numbers, “hard sciences” and chemistry. The grouping is insistent, almost mandatory, but in actuality, knowing other people around you are in the same boat is reassuring. You can ride the bus of struggle with them, especially when your best friend, boyfriend, sorority sister or roommate isn’t of the same self-proclaimed group. Here are 5 ways that your college experience can differ from those around you…

1. Stressing incredible amounts over or staying up all night to finish lab reports.

You may see STEM majors sprinting to class protecting their thick packets of introductions, results, and conclusions, or fixating on a balanced equation in the corner of the library when it comes to lab reports. The time spent on lab reports — whether it be for chemistry, biology, physics, or any other subject — is held very near and dear to STEM majors’ hearts.

2. Pretending they don’t like other majors when they're actually jealous of their social lives and GPAs.

If you’ve had an unpleasant encounter with a STEM major, don’t take it personally, it is more than likely they just got their chem midterm back and envy the smile on your face. Not to say other majors are any less challenging, but taking a look at a STEM majors’ GPA can definitely be a confident boost.

3. The “M” in STEM does not stand for multiple choice.

The days of Advanced Placement multiple choice almost sound welcoming to the scientific essays and problems we aren’t expected to solve. Many other majors write essays, but those multiple choice, are definitely a thing of the past for STEM majors and many yearn for those A,B,C,D days.

4. Go 36 hours without seeing sunlight.

People usually respond to many STEM majors with “I’m sorry” when they found out what their major is. It’s not because it’s lame, but because the stereotype of them being locked in their room working on chemistry problem sets while the sun rises and sets is completely true. When it comes to exam time, there is no group study, it’s just grueling studying.

5. Spend time researching other non-STEM majors.

After that first exam comes back, or even after a couple semesters of chem lab, many STEM majors find themselves hitting the enter bar on a Google search about other majors. Maybe as backups, or maybe crucial information for a decision, at one point or another, it seems like being a STEM major maybe isn’t the best option.

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5 Perks Of Having A Long-Distance Best Friend

The best kind of long-distance relationship.
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Sometimes, people get annoyed when girls refer to multiple people as their "best friend," but they don't understand. We have different types of best friends. There's the going out together best friend, the see each other everyday best friend and the constant, low maintenance best friend.

While I'm lucky enough to have two out of the three at the same school as me, my "low maintenance" best friend goes to college six hours from Baton Rouge.

This type of friend is special because no matter how long you go without talking or seeing each other, you're always insanely close. Even though I miss her daily, having a long-distance best friend has its perks. Here are just a few of them...

1. Getting to see each other is a special event.

Sometimes when you see someone all the time, you take that person and their friendship for granted. When you don't get to see one of your favorite people very often, the times when you're together are truly appreciated.

2. You always have someone to give unbiased advice.

This person knows you best, but they probably don't know the people you're telling them about, so they can give you better advice than anyone else.

3. You always have someone to text and FaceTime.

While there may be hundreds of miles between you, they're also just a phone call away. You know they'll always be there for you even when they can't physically be there.

4. You can plan fun trips to visit each other.

When you can visit each other, you get to meet the people you've heard so much about and experience all the places they love. You get to have your own college experience and, sometimes, theirs, too.

5. You know they will always be a part of your life.

If you can survive going to school in different states, you've both proven that your friendship will last forever. You both care enough to make time for the other in the midst of exams, social events, and homework.

The long-distance best friend is a forever friend. While I wish I could see mine more, I wouldn't trade her for anything.

Cover Image Credit: Just For Laughs-Chicago

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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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