Advertising
Advertising

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

img1

    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.

    Advertising

    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.

    Advertising

    4. YouTube

    img2

      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

      Advertising

      img3

        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.

        Advertising

        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

        More by this author

        Vladimir Zivanovic

        CMO at MyCity-Web

        6 Things You Can Do To Turn Your Life Around 5 Things That Hold You Back In Life And How To Get Rid Of Them 5 Rules for Overcoming Adversity and Emotional Pain What Is Logical Thinking and How to Strengthen It 7 Coming of Age Books That Should Be on Your Reading List

        Trending in Communication

        1 5 Real Relationship Goals You Should Actually Strive Toward 2 When You Learn A Second Language, These 7 Amazing Things Will Happen To You 3 15 Things To Stop Doing If You Want To Be Truly Happy 4 7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language 5 How to Apologize When You Have Made a Mistake

        Read Next

        Advertising
        Advertising
        Advertising

        Last Updated on January 15, 2021

        7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

        7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

        The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

        Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

        Posture

        First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

        • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
        • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
        • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
        • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

        All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

        Facial Expressions

        Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

        • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
        • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
        • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

        If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

        Advertising

        1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

        A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

        The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

        This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

        2. Relax Your Face

        New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

        The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

        To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

        Advertising

        3. Improve Your Eye Contact

        Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

        The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

        To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

        3. Smile More

        There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

        Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

        4. Hand Gestures

        Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

        Advertising

        It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

        5. Enhance Your Handshake

        In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

        “Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

        It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

        6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

        As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

        Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

        Advertising

        Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

        Final Takeaways

        Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

        If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

        More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

        Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

        Reference

        Read Next