help a procrastinator

3 Simple Study Techniques For The Ultimate Procrastinator

Here's how to ace your finals, even if you just study the night before.

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I have never been one to "chunk" my studying, or in other words, study a week or so before my test or exam to ensure I cover all of the material efficiently, and not stress myself out beyond belief. Even though I wait until the absolute last minute to study, meaning, the night before or even the day of, I still manage to get well over passing grades on my exams. So with finals coming up, I figured that I would share some of my procrastinator study tips to help the other procrastinators out there.

1. Take good notes in class

This is the first step to ensuring academic success in any class. Pay attention in class and take active notes. This doesn't mean jotting down absolutely everything your professor says, but if you're attentive in lecture and write down the very salient points, you'll absorb enough information to build around you basic notes, which also tests your knowledge. On the other hand, if you just sit in class on your phone for the whole hour of lecture, first, you're not getting your money's worth (college is expensive AF), and second, there's absolutely no way you can be successful because you're not absorbing what is being discussed.

After class, review your notes and try to use the information you've absorbed to build around your basic outline of notes. For example, in math classes, a lot of the times the teacher will e-mail the slideshow out to students. Print the slideshow out and take notes around what was on the slide, even looking at different sources if you just don't understand what was on the slideshow. Take advantage of the resources given to you.

2. Think about the material outside of class 

As simple as it sounds, and as weird as it might sound, talk to yourself, friends, family, whoever about what you learned that day in school. I know someone is bound to ask you at some point what you learned that day and don't be afraid to tell them. I personally love hearing about what people have learned, because a lot of times I learn something new too. Also, if you're studying with a group of friends, reteach them the information that you are going to be tested on within the near future.

That doesn't mean getting up and lecturing them for an hour, but giving little tidbits of information to them here or there will help you deeply process whatever information that you need to know. For example, let's say I have a big exam coming up on the American Revolution. I'm studying with friends one day and I tell them a little bit about why exactly the revolution started. Here, I'm not only helping myself deeply process that information, but I'm also teaching my friends something new that they might not have learned before.

3. Test yourself 

So, it's the night before the exam, and you've looked over your notes, retaught some of the information and are feeling pretty good. Now's the time to test what you know. A lot of times, at least for math classes, the university has practice exams online, with the answer key. Take advantage of that! I can't stress enough how much that has helped me improve in my math class this semester, just because the practice exams are eerily similar to the exams (aka they have the same questions a lot of the time). If the class you're studying for doesn't offer practice exams, make your own! Gather with a few people you know from your class, and have each person come out with several different questions, then compile them into a big practice exam that you can all do together.

Not only is that giving you questions based on the way other people think and have reviewed the information, but you're also having the opportunity to discuss information that you may not know with people who probably know the answer. This is my #1 tool to success in school, and it definitely won't hurt to give it a try on your next exam.

I can't stress this enough, your academic success starts in the classroom during the lecture. If you're not paying attention in class, then these study tips probably won't help you. You're also paying a crap load of money to go to college, so go to class and LEARN!

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Stop Discourging Future Teachers

One day, you'll be thankful for us.
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“What do you want to be when you grow up?" It seems like this is the question we heard from the time we were able to talk. Our answers started out as whatever movie or action figure was popular that year. I personally was going to be Cinderella and shoot spider webs out of my wrists at the same time. The next phase was spent choosing something that we read about in a book or saw in movies. We were aspiring to be actors, skydivers, and astronauts.

After we realized NASA may not necessarily be interested in every eager 10-year-old, we went through the unknown stage. This chapter of life can last a year or for some, forever. I personally did not have a long “unknown" stage. I knew I was going to be a teacher, more specifically I knew I wanted to do elementary or special education. I come from a family of educators, so it was no surprise that at all the Thanksgiving and Christmas functions I had actually figured it out. The excitement of knowing what to do with the rest of my life quickly grew and then began to dwindle just as fast.

“Why?"

"Well, looks like you'll be broke all your life."

“That's a lot of paperwork."

“If I could go back and do it again, I wouldn't choose this."

These are just a few replies I have received. The unfortunate part is that many of those responses were from teachers themselves. I get it, you want to warn and prepare us for the road we are about to go down. I understand the stress it can take because I have been around it. The countless hours of grading, preparing, shopping for the classroom, etc. all takes time. I can understand how it would get tiresome and seem redundant. The feeling a teacher has when the principal schedules yet another faculty meeting to talk an hour on what could've been stated in an email… the frustration they experience when a few students seem uncontrollable… the days they feel inadequate and unseen… the sadness they feel when they realize the student with no supplies comes from a broken home… I think it is safe to say that most teachers are some of the toughest, most compassionate and hardworking people in this world.

Someone has to be brave enough to sacrifice their time with their families to spend time with yours. They have to be willing to provide for the kids that go without and have a passion to spread knowledge to those who will one day be leading this country. This is the reason I encourage others to stop telling us not to go for it.

Stop saying we won't make money because we know. Stop saying we will regret it, because if we are making a difference, then we won't. Stop telling us we are wasting our time, when one day we will be touching hearts.

Tell us to be great, and then wish us good luck. Tell us that our passion to help and guide kids will not go unnoticed. Tell us that we are bold for trying, but do not tell us to change our minds.

Teachers light the path for doctors, police officers, firefighters, politicians, nurses, etc. Teachers are pillars of society. I think I speak for most of us when I say that we seek to change a life or two, so encourage us or sit back and watch us go for it anyways.

Cover Image Credit: Kathryn Huffman

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NC State Class Of 2023, This One Is For You

Tips to not look like a freshman.

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As I finish out my first full year of college here at NCSU, I realize how much I've changed since my first weeks on campus. I understand how to make my way across campus without looking like a total div. Take these tips that I learned and use them!

1. Do NOT wear your key lanyard around your neck

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If you do this, people will know for sure that you are a freshman. The dorm keys you have? Don't show them off. They aren't that cool. Instead lock those keys onto a bracelet, wallet or phone.

2. Get Tapingo

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Tapingo is an app connected to your Wolfpack One card that allows you to order food from anywhere on campus ahead of time. This SAVES more than enough time since you get alerts on how long it will take and how many people there are ahead of you. Then you can just pick it up and go.

3. Do not order from Jason's Deli and expect it to be fast

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Jason's Deli is well known on campus for taking forever to make their food, even if you order ahead of time on Tapingo. It also just isn't worth it.

4. The best places to eat...

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One Earth located in Talley near the outdoor elevator. Starbucks located on the groundfloor of Wolfpack Outfitters. Los Lobos in the Talley common area. Brickyard pizza at the Atrium. SmoothieU at the Atrium. These are some of the freshest, best options that a lot of people forget about.

5. The worst places to eat...

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Tuffy's diner. Port City Java. They aren't bad but they aren't good. Cheap for sure, but tons of calories and probably frozen.

6. Download the electric scooter app

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Sadly Lime scooters are leaving Raleigh before you guys get here. But we have some new ones coming in that look just as cool. These bad boys are fun and save a TON of time when walking across campus!

7. Use Uber or a friend when attending games

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Football and basketball games are very popular. The Red Terror bus that can take undergrads for free to Carter Finley and PNC get very crowded very fast. So if you chose to ride them, get there early or push your way through. But it's hot, crowded, and not fun and takes forever so it's better to just pay the money to Uber or get a friend who has a car.

8. Bring water to the games

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The football games get SO HOT. Most people leave after the first quarter if they can even make it to that. Recommend to bring water. It will be much more enjoyable that way.

9. Do not feel pressured to go out to parties every night

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Parties are fun and all, but my biggest mistake was going to so many within the first few weeks and spending tons of money on ubers or hurting my feet by walking so far. They aren't worth it. Much better to hang with friends and do game night at someones apartment or dorm.

10. Be friends with your RA

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RAs are usually super nice and can help out with so much whether that be stress, homework, etc.

11. Go to events

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Meet friends, join clubs, or get a job on campus.

12. Get a job

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Despite what you may think, since all your meals are paid for and it doesn't seem like you need much money - You will run out faster than you think. Get a job, it makes life so much easier and less yelling from parents.

13. Always go to events early for free stuff

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Better start learning how to pretend that you are interested in stuff just to get a free item.

14. Study hard, but not too hard

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Yes, college is harder than high school. But GPA is less necessary here and things count for different percentages. You won't fail and if you do, it is OK, everyone does.

15. Eat at the dining halls

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Dining halls post the menu online and guess what this food is actually good! i regret not eating it as much first semester because they have hidden gems like the pizza, omelets, and more.

16. Do not wait until the last minute to make housing arrangements for sophomore year

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Last minute meaning like November. Most people have decided where they will live by then. So make arrangements ASAP.

17. Workout

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Freshman 15 is real since you can eat and nap whenever you want. Workout - it makes you feel better

18. Don't wear the convocation shirt

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A few things about Wolfpack Welcome Week:

- Packapalooza is fun and a great way to get free items.

- Convocation is really dumb, not necessary, super boring, and wearing the shirt you get is a bad idea because that will also make you look like a freshman. You do NOT need to read the summer book, it's pointless!!

- All the other events are worth attending.

19. Do not overdecorate your room

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it just means more to take down later on.

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