Student Success Stories: Nicole Z.
Nicole Z.'s Academic Success Story
In high school I used to just glance over my notes the night before. Now in college, if a study guide is not provided, I make my own the weekend before the test. I study that along with my notes and I also make flashcards for the definitions in each chapter of the textbook.
My time management secret: My time management secret is not to take naps during the day or waste time. Everyone says that when you get to college you will have so much time on your hands. It is true. I get most of my work done in between classes and during the day so my nights sometimes be free.
How I deal with multiple projects/tests: Start early. This is harder to do if the projects are group projects, but if it is just me, I always start early. Sometimes I will have a week here and there where school will not demand so much of my time and those are the weeks where I like to look ahead on the syllabus and get as much as I can done.
My overall study method: I usually have a lot of small study blocks. I always start with doing the study guide one day. Then I'll move on to the flash cards I made. Then I will start on reading through my notes and the next day I will skim through the text book. The day before the exam I will do all of the above.
One of my academic success stories that I am still proud of happened freshman year. I was in an English class with a professor that my advisor told me never gives A's on anything. He didn't believe in them because no one is perfect. This was an argumentation class and my class was arguing evolution and the creation story. I am catholic and this teacher tried so hard to break me down and actually sent me back to my room in tears sometimes. Our first paper was to interview someone on their beliefs concerning evolution and the creation story. I knew he wanted be to write about evolution, as the rest of the class was, but I decided to interview a priest from one of the local catholic churches. I was afraid to hand this paper in because it wasn't what everyone else wrote and he already pinpointed me as one of the only people in class that believed in the creation story. Two weeks later the rest of the class got their papers back and I didn't. I almost started crying. When I went up to him at the end of class he handed me my paper and smiled and left the room. When I flipped it over there was an A+ on it. I was never so excited about receiving an A!
English, math, foreign language tips: I have a Spanish minor and it is hard because I am not fluent. My biggest advice is to do as much outside reading and information searching on the subject as possible. If you are reading a story, find it in English, understand it, and then read it again in Spanish. Always keep a dictionary handy and never use the translation websites. They are not correct.
Here are my final words of wisdom for students who want to get better grades in college: Make sure you do the homework that is assigned. I always thought that homework was busy work, but it not only helps your grade, you will actually learn the material better and it will help you to get a better grade on the exam.
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