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Archive for the 'College Life' Category

6 Things to Remember When Cramming for Finals

Tuesday, December 11th, 2007

Worried About Finals This Year?

With some exams accounting for around 50 percent of your final grade, the pressure to make the grade may lower your level of performance. You don’t have to suffer this year. There are solutions.

We researched the fields of proper study habits, nutrition and health, and psychology to compile this list of the most important and often overlooked study tips. We present these to you in no particular order:

1.) Stay Away from Stimulant Drugs!

These include caffeine, ephedrine, cocaine, ect…

Many stimulants may be part of your everyday diet, and it’s ok to use your normal amount. The problem arises when you use stimulants to stay awake studying for long periods of time. You may have trouble digesting the information you need to absorb. The worst case scenario is that you stay up so long that you finally crash during the test and give a crappy performance.

If you generally rely on stimulants to stay awake or be more alert, try to change a few daily activities and get a natural boost. Exercise, stay away from saturated fats and sugar, and get a full night of rest each day.

2.) Carefully Choose Your Study “Setting”

Your setting will be the location of your cram sessions. Everyone has unique study preferences. Some prefer music while others enjoy total silence. Do you like to lie around, or is a large desk necessary? Take all of your considerations into account before going to your location. You don’t want to be stuck in an unaccommodating setting when your grades are on the line.

3.) Don’t Worry, Be Happy

Stop stressing. Think positive. Visualize taking the exam while confident and relaxed. KNOW that you have the mental ability to do well. All this is easy to say, but hard to do. If you have trouble, talk to a trusted friend for reassurance. Mothers tend to be pretty good giving you positive feedback when asked.

4.) Get Your Priorities in Order

You have a certain amount of time, and a big load to study.

Do you know what classes are most important? And what information in the class should be focused on? Make a list of your studying priorities and stick to it.

5.) Time for Time Management

You’ve got your list of priorities, but limited time. Create a schedule of where you will be located and what you’ll be studying. Be sure to work in some short breaks to stretch your muscles and stay alert.

Stick to the schedule. Make no sudden emotional changes to the schedule since this will likely cause a loss of valuable time.

6.) Don’t Study with Your Crush

I know studying for an important test is a great excuse to spend time with that person you find really attractive.

However, don’t use it when cramming, no matter what. I know it’s even harder if they ask YOU to study.

Just DON’T DO IT! You have enough distractions in your life right now as it is.

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Find the Scholarships You Need on Any College Website

Thursday, November 29th, 2007

Colleges and universities have dozens, maybe hundreds, of scholarships to give away!

Do you know how to search a college or university website for scholarships? Digging up scholarships from college websites has become second nature for us. But it occurred to me that many students might not know how to find those college scholarship lists buried as they can be on deep college pages.

I’m going to share some quick tips that should help you find the scholarship resources you need on any college website, including some you could be missing.

First, let’s understand the common types of scholarships a college provides:

  • Institutional scholarships—target general students and are based on academic merit and/or financial need.
  • Endowed scholarships are likely department specific, and target a much smaller population of students typically studying in a particular subject or pursuing a certain degree.

**An endowed scholarship is one funded by private sources, often outside alumnae or corporations, usually with fond ties to the institution or department. You’ll also see many awards that have been established in memory of a student or faculty member, also endowed scholarships.

1. Here is a step by step strategy to follow for finding institutional scholarships on a college website:

  • Start at ABC College’s homepage, not the bookstore page or the football team’s page, but the main page, probably something like, www.SomeCollege.edu.
  • There are some pretty standard links on this page (obviously if any links say “scholarships” that should be a no-brainer, but that situation is rare); look for “Admissions,” “financial aid,” or “financial aid and tuition.” You might be given more general categories, like “prospective students” or “current students.” Some colleges try to make it more intuitive, with links like “paying for school.” Also, many sites feature a “Quick Links” drop down menu. Here you are likely to find a standard “financial aid” link.
  • From the Financial Aid main page, you will likely have a choice of links including “how to apply,” “forms and applications,” and “types of financial aid.” Usually the “types of financial aid” link is the lead-in to information on scholarships, as well as loans and work-study programs.
  • Follow the “scholarships” link. Chances are good you’ll end up on a page that tells you a bit about the institutional scholarships available, those merit and need-based general scholarships, plus information on eligibility and applying.
  • Often there are further links for “outside scholarships” and “endowed scholarships.” Use these to access more targeted awards.

**To sum up what we just did: you should find the general merit and need scholarships on a webpage in the Financial Aid section of the college or university website. When in doubt, always head for “financial aid.”

 

2. Find endowed or departmental scholarships:

There are a couple of different ways to find the department-specific scholarships on a college or university website.

From the college homepage search any ‘academics’ link, and this should lead you further to a directory of departmental schools and subjects, such as biology or anthropology. After making your selection, most likely you will be lead to the department homepage. This is where your search can get tricky: from here you will likely have two search methods to choose from:

  • Direct link to scholarships
  • Hunt and peck method

Department specific scholarships may be as easy to find as the “endowed scholarships” link or they may be buried in deeper department pages with little direction on how to access them directly.

Here’s an example I just picked to examine the ‘hunt and peck method’, starting at Georgetown’s homepage:

I see the words ‘academic departments’ on the main menu, so I’m headed in the right direction.

 

From Georgetown University’s Academic Programs page I noticed a link stating, "All academic programs A-Z". Perfect!

 

Anthropology was selected from the list and I arrived at the Department of Sociology and Anthropology.

 

From there I had the following tabs/links from which to choose: Home, About, Programs, Courses, Faculty, Research, and Resources. Logically, which would you choose to explore first? I chose “Resources.”

 

There I had to choose from even more targeted links, and I went with “For Anthropology Students,”, it seemed logical.

 

Finally, that led me to the Anthropology Student Resource page and a long list of departmental scholarships and fellowship programs.

 

See? It can get tricky and I occasionally choose incorrectly using websites of different universities.

**The trick to finding departmental or endowed scholarships: be persistent. What do I do when I’m at a dead end? Back out and try again.

Use Google to find specific pieces of a college website:

When all else fails defer to Google: open a fresh Google search page. In the search box type in a query like this: scholarships <name of department><name of school> then hit Enter or the Search button. For example, I queried:

scholarships anthropology georgetown university

First search result: the GU Anthro department page (same page I described above where I clicked on the Resources link).

**Tip: Large universities house related departments inside colleges. The “College of Arts and Humanities,” for instance, will likely have a variety of departments like English and Sociology, so you might have to dig through a few academic layers to really get to the place where you want to be. If you get confused: Google the department name and university, simple as that.

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