You Should Embrace All The Feedback And Improve Your Work

You Should Embrace All The Feedback And Improve Your Work

The power in learning to embrace feedback and how to give feedback, the right way.
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Feedback is probably one of my top 5 favorite things. I swear I'm not even joking. The rest of the top 5 consists of pizza, video games, my boyfriend and my family (in no specific order....except pizza might be #1.) If anything, how highly I rank it only exhibits how feedback is the shit and you should learn to embrace it.

So yes, feedback is amazing, but it may not always seem that way. When I first started to share my content with others, whether it was a story I wrote or something I designed, I was TERRIFIED of letting anyone see, let alone critique my work. And I'll be super honest, I never really took criticism well before and felt like people were basically just telling me my work was trash and I should start again or try something new. For too long I allowed the opinions of others to completely dictate my work until it didn't really feel like mine anymore.

That is, until I learned how to embrace it.

So I think it's safe to say that we've all been there. Pissed off because someone gave us a critique on something (hair, outfit, design, script, WHATEVER) and brought to light the things we probably knew were wrong all along but didn't change or simply failed to notice. And yes, it sucks! But it doesn't have to, I promise!

The key to embracing feedback without letting it crush what you've done-to-date is keeping in mind not all feedback is helpful! Avoid getting feedback from people who:

1. Don't support your goals.

2. Are negative AF.

3. Say things like "I loved it, great job." (Sorry Mom, but that isn't helping anyone)

4. Don't offer suggestions for improvement.

Okay, now you know who to avoid feedback from, awesome. So who should you be seeking feedback from? Odds are it should be someone well-versed in your field, someone who supports your mission and most importantly, someone who will provide constructive suggestions to help elevate your work!

Getting feedback that only tells you good job or bad job will certainly make you pleased with yourself or frustrated beyond belief, but it won't actually make your content any better. If someone tells you they loved it, ask why. Did they say they hated it? STILL ASK WHY! You may not always agree with their thoughts but the WHY is equally as important as the WHAT and certainly not something worth overlooking.

Keep in mind that not every piece of advice you get needs to be applied. It is super important to remember at the end of the day, your work is your own and you have the final say. Seeking feedback is key, but being selective with what you apply is just as important.

Another thing that is a must in learning to embrace feedback is learning to give quality feedback. By taking the time to learn what qualifies good feedback, I've learned how to embrace it in a far more genuine way. Luckily I have access to one of the most amazing and intelligent women in the world, Emily Wray. An educator at Full Sail University, Emily has developed the RISE feedback model and it is basically the greatest feedback cheat sheet ever invented.

By embracing the RISE model and utilizing it, I have become far more adept at communicating with other creators and working collaboratively to elevate both their work and my own. The RISE model can help direct you in providing quality feedback by reflecting on the work, inquiring about what you may not understand, suggesting improvements and elevating future iterations all in a meaningful way.

So why try embracing feedback? Because it will improve your work of course! As creators, we are making things for an audience and their opinion should matter to us in our creative process. By seeking feedback you can gauge an understanding of how your audience will be impacted by or interpret what you've put out there. By actively seeking a genuine critique of your work, you will only improve your future iterations.

So next time someone tears apart your work and you're ready to throw it all away, instead find the opportunities to improve and make it happen!

Cover Image Credit: Štefan Štefančík

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8 Things You Should Never Say To An Education Major

"Is your homework just a bunch of coloring?"
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Yes, I'm an Education major, and yes, I love it. Your opinion of the field won't change my mind about my future. If you ever happen to come across an Education major, make sure you steer clear of saying these things, or they might hold you in from recess.

1. "Is your homework just a bunch of coloring?"

Um, no, it's not. We write countless lesson plans and units, match standards and objectives, organize activities, differentiate for our students, study educational theories and principles, and write an insane amount of papers on top of all of that. Sometimes we do get to color though and I won't complain about that.

2. "Your major is so easy."

See above. Also, does anyone else pay tuition to have a full-time job during their last semester of college?

3. "It's not fair that you get summers off."

Are you jealous? Honestly though, we won't really get summers off. We'll probably have to find a second job during the summer, we'll need to keep planning, prepping our classroom, and organizing to get ready for the new school year.

4. “That's a good starter job."

Are you serious..? I'm not in this temporarily. This is my career choice and I intend to stick with it and make a difference.

5. “That must be a lot of fun."

Yes, it definitely is fun, but it's also a lot of hard work. We don't play games all day.

6. “Those who can't, teach."

Just ugh. Where would you be without your teachers who taught you everything you know?

7. “So, you're basically a babysitter."

I don't just monitor students, I teach them.

8. “You won't make a lot of money."

Ah yes, I'm well aware, thanks for reminding me. Teachers don't teach because of the salary, they teach because they enjoy working with students and making a positive impact in their lives.

Cover Image Credit: BinsAndLabels

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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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