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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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.
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Hey,

So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?

Sincerely,

Me

Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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An Open Letter To Myself At 15

This is an open letter to myself about things I wish I had known at 15.

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Dear Hailey,

You are so loved. I know times might be hard, but it will all be okay. It's okay to ride the fence and be unsure of what you want to do with your life. You're going to change your mind 10 more times before graduation anyways. Also, don't worry about all of the things that you can't change. You can't make someone fall in love with you or make her treat you like a better friend. It's okay for people not to fit in your life. Stop bending over backward for people and live for yourself. In a few years, you will go through so much, but you come out on the better side. You are going to be successful and driven. Also, learn what the meaning of "self-care" is. You need to do a lot of that in the upcoming years. Mental health is more important than anything. Also, quit cutting your baby hairs. They will never get longer so you need to embrace and love them early on. Figure out what you can change, and what you cannot. Most importantly, accept what you cannot change. When you decide that you are ready to face the things that you can change, do it with your whole heart. That doesn't mean complete perfection. It's important to know the difference. Start by making a plan for the future. Write it down, memorize it, do whatever makes it the easiest for you. Think through your plan logically, take into consideration your strengths and weaknesses. Remember to do the hard things first once in a while, the relief is sweet in the end.

You are ready.

You are young.

You are smart.

You are beautiful.

If you ever feel that you are at your lowest point, just remember the only place that you can go is up. Find reassurance in the weakness. The best is yet to come. Don't take pity on yourself. Instead, work harder to make your situation better. Be happy. There are so many things to be thankful for. Ask when you need help. No one can read your mind. Time won't stop for you. Worrying and stressing is simply a waste of time. Be strong and know that you are in God's hands. Everything will work out. It may not be today or tomorrow, but eventually, the pieces will fall into place and you will understand why things had to happen that way.

Love,

Me

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