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10 Things that can Make College Life a Whole Lot Easier

10 Things that can Make College Life a Whole Lot Easier

So, you have enrolled in college and now you are a freshman. The worst is probably behind you, since you’ve passed your entrance exam, right? Well, not exactly. College holds many trials for freshmen students. Getting good grades on your midterms and finals, managing your finances, having a decent social life, and getting some shut eye are just some of the challenges you’ll face.

Since I went through all this, and discovered some efficient tactics for college life management, I can tell you that it’s not too difficult to find a good balance. So, without any further delay, here are the 10 things that will come in handy during your college years.

1. Recording device

Alright, it appears that you are not allowed to record lectures, and some professors might have an issue with it, so make sure they don’t know you have a recording device. You can place it in some sort of a casing or in a bag and leave it on the desk in front of you. Try to find a seat in the front row, in order to get the best audio quality possible, and try not to make too much noise to mitigate the interference.

Once you have your lectures, you can transfer them to your PC or laptop, and when you start studying you can transcribe them, and have the highest quality notes possible when the midterms draw near. Furthermore, simply transcribing the lectures will etch them into your mind, so the whole studying process will be a lot easier.

2. Mastering holistic learning

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    One of the major adaptations you’ll have to go through when you are a college student is learning to cope with higher expectations. You see, in elementary and in high school, your teachers could let you slide even if your knowledge was not sufficient for a particular grade. After all, we are not able to be really good at everything so it’s natural that some subjects will give us a harder time. Considering how this was the case, our teachers had the tendency to reward good effort, even when our knowledge was lacking.

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    College professors are a different story. You chose this path and you want to become a specialist, so do not expect to be applauded for your efforts and will to learn – you need to give concrete, elaborate and correct answers. So, it would be for the best if you could master holistic learning.

    Holistic learning means that you are able to retain a lot of information and make connections between them, so you need to be fully invested and constantly think about what you are learning. When you learn, divide your text into questions, or to be precise, as you read think about the questions your lesson answers, then learn the lesson as a set of answers to those questions.

    Use all of your senses to remember things and to create more solid memories. In other words, see if there are videos or pictures that exemplify what you are studying.

    Try to find patterns as you learn, and constantly ask yourself if you’ve already heard something similar so that you can try to make connections. These are all of the necessary techniques to answer exam questions elaborately because your professor wants to see that you understand what you are talking about and that you know how that knowledge can be applied.

    3. Study group

    In all honesty, this is a double-edged sword. My study group was great and they were really diligent and both eager to learn and to explain things if you were having any trouble. We knew how to have fun as well, but whenever we were running on a tight schedule, learning was a number one priority. On the other hand, I was also a part of different groups, and just like me, these different members were easily distracted and they would often digress from the topic at hand.

    So, even though we all had a good time and some great conversations, the amount of work done was insufficient. In other words, each of us individually would have finished the whole group project faster than the amount of time it took us to finish it all together because we were only a distraction for one another.

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    4. YouTube

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      As we have already mentioned, in order to truly study for serious exams, you needed to understand your materials and get some good additional sources of information.

      With videos, our retention capacity is far stronger, and there are so many bloggers now who covered specialised niches, that a variety of different academic topics are covered in YouTube videos. So, when you are having trouble and struggling with some concepts, see if there is a video that explains it, this will really help you a lot.

      5. Activity

      College will require immense mental strength and willpower, so learning how to handle hard work would be wise. The best way to learn to power through a tough task is physical exercise.

      Since you’ll be stuck at lectures for a long time, and then either learning or having fun with friends, you’ll need some exercise to add a bit of healthy lifestyle to the equation. It is a bit tough to squeeze in workouts in your schedule, but after a few months you get used to it and it really benefits you.

      6. Home remedies

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        During your lectures and breaks, you are going to be surrounded by a lot of different people, which is not a bad thing, of course. However, during seasonal illnesses or during any sickness outbreak, this is not the best place to be, since no one is safe. There are numerous conditions when the illness is dormant and can still be transmitted even if the symptoms haven’t manifested yet. In other words, you can easily get sick.

        As mentioned it is good to exercise and live a bit healthier just to maintain our immune system, however, there are things you should do and things you should buy, just in case everything doesn’t go so well and you start feeling sick. Here is a list of illnesses that you are likely to get as a student, and some ways of preventing them.

        In short, you should always remember to wash your hands, take your vitamins, eat fruit, get flu shots etc. Make sure you go through the link, since it has a detailed description of the most common diseases and illnesses and how to treat them effectively.

        7. Sleep

        This is actually one thing I did not have enough of, and in retrospect, my life would have been a lot easier back then, now that I think about it. The fear of missing out is what kept me awake, and why I always opted for some fun rather than a good night’s sleep. It was as if I thought something epic was going to happen and I wouldn’t be there to see it, but would definitely hear about it tomorrow.

        It was really foolish, since nothing that amazing happened that was worth the exhaustion. The reason why we enjoy nights out is because we are with people we care about, and that can always be arranged, no need to sacrifice countless hours of sleep.

        So, if you want to have a pleasant time in college and not be under constant stress or suffer headaches, learn how to rest and recover. Eat some food that can help you fall asleep easier and turn off your computer a bit earlier since those memes will be there tomorrow as well.

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        8. Apps

        Apps are awesome! They help you remember things, they can help you get organised, they can even help you earn some money and kill some time as you are waiting for the exam results. I use apps today as well, but they have started to become a trend during my freshman days. I used them as reminders for my daily tasks, I used them to help me organise my budget and save money and to help me wake up.

        Turns out your alarm clock can be so much better if you have something that monitors your sleep cycle and can wake you up during a sleep phase when it doesn’t feel so painful. Now there are even better versions of these apps for both android and iPhone. Moreover, here is an awesome list of apps that will help you save and earn some cash, which I found incredibly useful since I always had trouble making ends meet during my student days.

        9. Coupons and discounts

        To quote “War and Peace” by Leo Tolstoy — “The strongest of all warriors are these two — Time and Patience.” Turns out he was completely right, if you wait long enough there will always be some sort of discount in some store or supermarket. Moreover, there are all kinds of incentive plans to secure customer loyalty so, if you just ask around or wait enough, chances are you can get almost anything you want and need a lot cheaper.

        You can also monitor these things online and find which brands or stores are offering discounts or coupons. Like I said all it takes is a little research and you can easily save 30% of the money you would otherwise have spent on a monthly basis.

        10. eBay

        Finally, to continue our finance management tips, you need to have an eBay account. You can both get items cheaper, and earn money by selling things you no longer use. Sites like Amazon and Etsy can also be your useful allies. On Amazon, you can find tons of audio books, which will come in handy if you have literature classes. Audio books can help you go through materials quicker, if you have focus problems and if you read at a slower pace.

        I hope you will have a really exciting and fun time while you are going through college. There are a lot of stressful and amazing days ahead of you, and it is truly a time of life you will always remember and cherish. Use these tips if you can, they can definitely come in handy, and may you reach mastery in your passion.

        Featured photo credit: https://www.pexels.com/u/unsplash/ via pexels.com

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        Vladimir Zivanovic

        CMO at MyCity-Web

        Successful People Seldom Worry Too Much Because They Master This Thinking Skill 5 Rules for Overcoming Adversity and Emotional Pain 7 Coming of Age Books That Should Be on Your Reading List The Active Holiday: 5 Great Activities for Adventurous Spirits Why Lack of Movement is Our Biggest Enemy and How to Deal With It

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        Last Updated on May 21, 2019

        How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

        How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

        For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

        If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

        Example 1

        You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

        You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

        In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

        Example 2

        You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

        People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

        You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

        Example 3

        You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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        The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

        Example 4

        You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

        Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

        If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

        Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

        • Understand your own communication style
        • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
        • Communicate with precision and care
        • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

        1. Understand Your Communication Style

        To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

        In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

        Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

        2. Learn Others Communication Styles

        Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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        If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

        “How do you prefer to receive information?”

        This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

        To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

        3. Exercise Precision and Care

        A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

        On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

        Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

        I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

        I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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        In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

        The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

        Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

        4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

        Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

        In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

        “Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

        Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

        Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

        It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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        It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

        It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

        Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

        Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

        The Bottom Line

        When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

        I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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        Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

        Reference

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