Thursday, April 26, 2018

Finals Week Survival Guide



Next week is my Finals Week, which means that my days are packed full of studying and late nights until I'm done with my exams.

For me personally, I have a hard time focusing on studying, but I've found some tips and tricks for studying that work really well for me. I've also dicovered a few other things that help me when it comes to taking exams that I'm going to be sharing with you so you can get through your exams with ease and get the grades you want!

When it comes to studying, I need to be somewhere other than my apartment. I've found that it's too easy for me to get distracted when I'm in my own space, especially because I come up with other things that I could be doing (Like cleaning, making food, watching TV, hanging out with my roommate who's also procrastinating studying, etc.) so being in a different space makes it easier for me to focus on the tasks at hand.

I've also found that working in timetables of 20-30 min is the best way for me to get stuff done. By this I mean that I will set a timer and work on Math for 20min straight, and then I'll work on Wildlife Nutrition for 20 min straight, and then Conservation Biology for another 20 min and so on. Having a type of countdown applies enough pressure that I work harder in that 20 min on whatever it is I'm working on than if I just sit down with a random amount of time and start working on things. When it comes to studying, this also helps test my memory because it gives me breaks between each different set of informaiton for the knowledge to sink in rather than doing a cram session one time.

For that last one you can adjust the time to fit your needs better, but for me I've found that 20 minutes typically works the best.

I will also sometimes put in break periods. So I'll study for 20 min, and then eat food for 20 minutes, study for 20 min, take a 20 min nap, study for 20 min, watch a 20 min video. However this would take up more time and wouldn't be such a good idea if you've got a limited amount of time to get your studying in, but again this is something you can tailor more to your own needs.

For a few of my classes I got together with some of the other people in my class to do a large group study session, and I think that this was really beneficial for everyone involved. It gives some people the opportunity to get calrification on some of the information that don't really understand, and it gives others the opportunity to check go over the information by teaching/explaining it to others in the group. I also think that different people have different methods for studying, so you can test your knowledge by many different means (Things like flash cards, mind mapping, review problems found online, quizlet, etc.).

Meeting in a group is also a good way to prevent procrastination and distractions because you have a lot of other people to help keep you on track.

As a college student, I've seen a lot of people pull "all nighters" studying the night before an exam, and I gotta say that that really isn't an effective way to do it! Not for most people, I mean, and definitly not for me. I start studying a week or two in advance and I spend some time with the material using the strategy I mentioned before every day to make sure that I get the information down.

One of the main things that I cannot stress enough is to get a good nights sleep before you go to take an exam. This is another reason why doing an all nighter the night before an exam is a less than ideal plan. When I'm well rested my brain works better, I have an easier time focusing on the exam, and I think that I remember things a lot easier. Plus, if I don't know the information by 11pm(ish) then I don't know it, and trying to stay up any later doesn't allow me to retain any more information, all I'm doing is losing sleep.

This next one is kind of weird, and I know won't be for everyone.

Back when I was in Junior High, I had an amazing teacher who would buy boxes of bananas and give one to each student who wanted one (not everyone likes bananas) before an exam in her class. Her reasoning was that having the potassium would help boost our brain power, and that for some people that was the first thing they would have eaten so they wouldn't be taking the exam on an empty stomach. I don't know a whole lot about potassium and how much it helps with brain power, but I do continue to eat a banana before taking an exam. For some reason I just feel like it helps, and that I do better on exams that I eat before than I do on the ones that I don't eat before.

I've known others who eat an apple rather than a banana, or who go with a gronola bar of some kind, so maybe just eating in general. Personally I go wtih bananas, and think that works best, but go with whatever you think helps you the most.

Last, but certainly not least, ask your teacher or teaching assistant or someone else who knows there stuff for help with the information that you don't know! When I was a little baby Freshman, I would avoid talking to my teachers at all costs, and I would only go back over the information that I understoof. THIS IS NOT A GOOD PLAN! Because you're tested on all of the material, not just the material that you know really well. Youre teachers and TAs want to help you, and want you to come to them when you're confused. The main part of their job is to help you understand the material, but they can't do that if you don't come to them. Most of the time they also have really good ways to help you remember the information you're stuggling with (like a rhyme, or an acronym) and it's exactly what you need to get it down.


What do you think about these finals week studying tips and tricks? Do you have any that you like to use?

I'll see you on Tuesday

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Real Talk - Knowing My Worth, Dating, and Men Being Dumb


This post has definitly been a long time in the making. I know that I'm one of many women that have experienced the stupidity and brash nature that the most vocal of men seem to have these days, so take the things I say and my own experiences with a grain of salt. I would love to hear about any of your experiences in the comments though!

So get some snacks and strap in, because this is going to be a really long post.

So, as I mentioned a few times on this blog, my last relationship was really not a good one. However, it took some hindsight for me to realize just how bad it was.

In my last relationship, I think it started off on the wrong foot because right from the get go he told me that he only saw the relationship lasting a few months, which I completely ignored because I wanted to relationship to work so badly.

As the relationship progressed, he would send mixed signals every time we were able to spend time together. He would talk about what he wanted back when we broke up, and then turn around and talk about an event that we should go to together in an upcoming month. I was often confused about where our relationship stood because of these mixed signals, which I also tried to ignore to convince myself that everything was working fine.

I think one of the major things in this relationship was that he would ALWAYS complain about how little we had to talk about. Always. He even told me at one point that I should take up needle point (Albeit he said this jokingly at the time) so that we would be able to have that as a topic of conversation. The thing is, I would try to talk about things and he would shoot down whatever it was I was trying to say. For example, we went walking in a park and I started talking about the different ducks and how to tell them apart (because I love animals and am studying them in school - animals are pretty much all I talk about aside from school), and after each sentence that I said he responded with "I don't care". After a few sentences, I stopped talking. Why would I keep talking about something that he repeatedly tells me he doesn't care about? But then I would feel bad becuase he would then continue to complain about our lack of things to talk about.

Maybe that wouldn't seem as bad if I treated his interests the same way, but I didn't. I did my best to be interested in some of the same things he was. (Looking back, I wish that I hadn't been because then I wouldn't have watched so mant hours of overwatch league with him and his roommates while they drank and smoked.)

After I was broken up with (over text, at night, after not having spoken for about a week), I was extremelt upset because I'd become entirely too invested in the relationship. I had fallen really hard for someone who hadn't even taken a step closer to the edge of the cliff, and I was feeling the pain of having fallen alone. But as time went on, I started to see how little I valued myself, and how poorly I was treated in the relationship.

That doesn't mean I don't still get upset when we have similar hours at work and I have to be around him, or when I hear him talking to other people in the same area as me, or when I saw that he had unfriended me on facebook (not that I was checking....). But I no longer think about what I could have done differently to have prevented that relationship from ending, becuase I know now that it needed to end.

About a month or so after this break up and feeling horrible, and realizing how poorly I'd been treated, I signed up for Tinder.

I know... Not a smart move when you no longer want to be treated like a human door mat, but I did indeed join Tinder. Partly because a friend of mine was using Tinder at the time and she had a lot of success with it.

 I wish that at this point in the storyline I could say that I had a new found self worth and a determination to find someone who was going to treat me the way I know I deserve to be treated, because that isn't at all what happens next.

A few days into using Tinder, I matched with one particular guy and we really hit it off. After talking to a lot of real duds on the app, he seemed the most normal, and he actually took an interest in what I had to say. Plus he didn't ask for nudes or a one night stand or anything!

After a few days of talking, we decided (or rather, I decided) that we were going to meet up and see how things went to then decided about future relationship stuff.

Now I don't recommend this, but we hung out at his place and played some video games and watched a movie or two. And then that was our thing - we would get together and primarily watch movies. We wouldn't go to the movie theater, we wouldn't hang out with anyone else, it would just be the two of us, and we would watch movies. I thought that this was really great at first, because I like movies and it was nice to have someone who seemed really nice in my life.

Then came the DTR conversation... (Determining The Relationship)

He said that he was only interested in something "casual" and that he didn't want to put any labels on it. At first, I didn't think that this would be a problem. Later on I found out that he meant it more like "We're not actually a couple, so we won't go on real dates, I don't have to listen about how your day was, I'm not obligated to care about your feelings all the time, and I can sleep with whoever I want".

The thing is, I didn't realize that that's what he meant until I felt as though I was in too deep to get out.

Several weeks after we started hanging out, he started to act as though I owed him. It turned into "You're not allowed to leave until I get what I'm owed" instead of "Let's watch a movie and hang out together" like it had been.

Once, before going over to his place, I very explicitly said that I just wanted to watch a movie and hang out, and that I would get us some food if we got hungry. That was it. Nothing else. However when I got there he still acted like I owed him, and got upset when I said I wanted to leave and then actually left.

The next time we spoke he said that I should appreciate him more because he could get someone else really easily. He then went on to say how I should be more appreciative becuase getting to spend time with him is like a gift from god and I should act like it.

I kid you not, he said that. I've included the screenshot of that message.



I know how bad that all sounds and looks, and looking back at it now I scream internally at myself that I shouldn't have continued to see this person because it was turning into a type of relationship that I didn't want, and I already wasn't happy a month or so in, but I didn't know how I was supposed to end it. Like I said before, I felt like I was already in too deeply to be able to escape it. For some reason I felt an obligation to see where the relationship went, most likely because I wanted a real relationship and I thought that if i held out long enough it would become the relationship that I wanted.

So basically, I was falling into the same patterns and feelings as I had in my last relationship. Ignoring things that I shouldn't have, spending a lot of time and energy on someone who doesn't see my worth and doesn't treat me very well, and trying to stay in the relationship in hopes that it'll somehow turn out the way that I want it to. And I've only talked about these most recent dating and relationship experiences! Looking back, I see these kinds of patterns all over in most of my past relationships. 

This particular time, with this guy off of Tinder, I was seeing these patterns in myself and in my dating life. I was finally understanding why those relationships didn't work.

Honestly I want to just equate it to men in general being really dumb and not knowing how to treat someone when it comes to a realtionship, but I know that there are a lot of really nice guys out there who know how to treat people correctly in a relationship. Blaming men in general would be the easy way to go about it, but it's not the right way to go about it. It certainly wouldn't benefit me at all to blame others.

I really think that, for me at least, it comes down to me not knowing what I deserve and not knowing my own worth. 

I think that I viewed those past relationships as being opportunities for me to earn my worth through them. I needed to be the best, and treat them the best, and remember everything about them, and celebrate their birthdays, and send them good morning texts every morning, and handle the scheduleing of dates when they're busy, and not get upset when they cancel, and not talk about things that they personally aren't interested in, and so on. 

I had to fit whatever box they created in their minds of what their dream girl would be, and then I would have a sense of self worth, becuase they would see me as being valuable to them. But that never worked because I wasn't being myself by trying to fit into those boxes and it was obvious that I was being something I wasn't. 

I needed to be valuable to myself and then look for a relationship knowing and loving who I am.

As of right now, I'm still working on loving myself and seeing myself as valuable, so for the time being I'm not looking for a relationship. I need to put effort into my own life before I can put effort into a relationship. Hopefully, after this journey in self love, I'll be able to recognize when men aren't treating me right and be able to break it off before feeling like I'm in tto deep to get out, and that I'll be able to find someone who will love me for me and see me as being valuable because of my confidenc ein myself. 



If you made it all the way to the end of this post, then I'm so proud of you! I did say from the get go that this would be quite a long post.. Let me know what you thought about it! 

I'll see you on Thursday.
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