YOUR New Year’s Resolutions

I’ve made my resolutions, now it’s time for me to help you make yours!

These, of course, are suggestions that you can take or leave but if you’re looking for inspiration or confirmation, this is it.

  1. Find a type of exercise you actually love. Story time: my mother is one of those people that wanted to do something about her current fitness level and tried to sign up for gym memberships and even beginner volleyball classes but nothing stuck and all motivation would peter out quickly. Just 3 months ago, she signed up for some aquafit classes at the local YMCA because she heard it was good for your back and she’s been going around 3 times a week since then! She’s become one of those people that complains when she had to miss a class! So you CAN get fit or lose those pounds, you just need to find your method! The gym is not for everyone, it might be competition or environment that gives you a reason to keep coming back to it.
  2. Read one book per month. Reading is something that people feel like they don’t have time for but books are, in my opinion, a great part of life and important to expand your imagination. So by setting aside your commute to listen to audiobooks or before bed to read a chapter or two, it is definitely plausible to get through at least one book each moon cycle. Definitely try to get a diverse selection from fantasy to non-fiction because the world is huge and there’s no telling what you might learn.
  3. Invest in friendships. You have no idea how important this is. It’s so easy to let great people slip out of your lives or to not initiate getting to really know someone because you already have your family to talk to. Coffee dates are easy to plan, letter writing is not dead and potlucks are really fun. You don’t have to become a social butterfly but do hold on to the friends you have and make sure they know that they are important to you! That isn’t done enough in my opinion.
  4. Create. Totally open-ended, totally depends on what you enjoy and what you’d love to try. I believe we all have something inside of us that needs to create things whether it be an elegant computer code, your very first knitted scarf or a story. I’m sure there’s something that you’re passionate about and if you’re passionate about it you will totally be able to make the time for it in this coming year!

These are my tips to making your year a success (hopefully), let me know what you would have added to the list or what you’re taking from mine!

2016 Goals

I’ve decided that if I don’t call them “resolutions” that there might be a higher chance of me trying to accomplish them.

I’m actually one of those people that tries to take every opportunity I can to make promises that I inevitably don’t keep to better myself. At the beginning of a new school year, after a particularly unproductive weekend, whatever might motivate me to try and have a New Start to create a Better Self.

At least I realize that I’m not that disciplined of a person and am not that disappointed in my failure but I do know that I steadily improve each time I try to create new habits. In conclusion, it’s not like setting goals for myself is making anything worse so here I go!

1. Develop skills. This includes but is not limited to my coding abilities, decreasing my aversion to networking and spending more time crocheting cool projects.

2. Spend more time reading. Honestly I’ve gone from reading 100+ books a year to less than 50 and I’m not sure why, maybe it was because I’ve been spending more time on the internet or homework is much harder than it used to be but I would like to go back to the former please.

3. Put effort into others. Just because I am an introvert does not mean that I’m allowed to never plan hang outs and not stay friends with the cool people that I have the pleasure of knowing in my life.

4. Clean up. My ability to walk through a dirty room unfazed is stellar, unfortunately that is exactly what I’m trying to curb. Hopefully I can create habits that make it less of a chore to stay tidy!

5. Track money and time. I find that if I know where I am spending my money and my time then I will be much more capable of deciding whether that is something I want to continue or if there are things I need to cut back on.

6. Be the nerd I want to be. Which is someone that is always on top of their schoolwork and rewrites their notes are prettily and pretty much knows everything about all their subjects. Serious goals.

Study Tips

Having just had three midterms in the past four days, I think I can classify myself as a sort of expert in this kind of thing.

And now I’m about to pass my expertise down onto you guys, do with it what you will. These are the things I usually do to stay focussed and to actually get the information to stay in my brain when studying for tests. Let me say now that it’s a really good idea to study before the night before a test because you’re hardly going to retain any information like that, even with all the tricks in the world.

1. Figure out what kind of learner you are. This is super important when studying!! I cannot stress that enough! You could be totally visual, auditory, kinesthetic or any combo of the three in how you learn. This really affects how you should go about preparing your notes.

–> Lets say you’re more visual. You should definitely try to use lots of colours and flashcards because those things tend to stick in your mind better. I’m like this and I always colour code my notes and organize them on an unlined sheet of paper (why I am saying that in the singular, it was definitely a plural amount of paper) so that it’s really easy for me to physically picture the paper in my head and pretty much read off the information I wrote down from memory.

–> If you remember things by hearing them, you’re an auditory learner. If you’re really a go getter, you could totally record your lectures and listen to them later. Otherwise, just reading the textbook and/or your notes out loud to yourself, family or even pets helps ideas stick in your brain.

–> If you’re the type of person that can’t sit still in class, it’s likely that you’re a kinesthetic learner. I am also very much this. And I know how much it sucks to make yourself sit down and memorize stuff. That’s why I like to rewrite my notes. Yes, it’s pretty time-consuming (even though I do condense them quite a bit) because writing is moving and my brain seems to remember things once I’ve written them down rather than just looked at a paragraph of text. Also, by putting little notes all over the house with things you need to know means that you don’t have to be sitting down at your desk the entire time you’re studying. Whenever you go to the fridge, you can read your list of strong acids and bases. Every time you open your laptop, you’ve got your list of formulas necessary to memorize for calculations. Works like a charm.

2. Set goals. When all you have on your to do list is “study”, not a lot is going to get done. By breaking up everything you need to do into smaller, more manageable chunks, it makes it easier to stay on track. Seriously, if your closest goal is to just “know everything I need to know for this test” then, man, you’re doomed. Try things like “finish notes on this chapter” or “do every second example on page 455” or even “understand  this one concept” because not only does tell you exactly what you have to do but you feel a little more motivated every time you finish something, no matter how small it is!

3. Reward system. Related to the above tip, treat yourself!! Let’s say you’re kind of hungry and there’s a container of strawberries in the fridge you would just love to demolish. Instead of rationalizing your ability to both eat something messy and stay focussed on the task at hand (which obviously you won’t do) just tell yourself that after you finish this one thing, then you get to go feed yourself guilt-free! Works with watching an episode of your favourite show or chilling with your pet. You’ll be really excited to go do whatever it is that you’ll just have to finish what you set out to do first.

4. Schedule. When you plan out your day/study time, it’s a lot easier to stay on top of things. You can set expected times to be finished with certain things and can even schedule in free time in there. That way it’s not 1am with you wondering where the time went.

5. Examples! Some things are pretty much just memorizing (looking at you, bio) but other things are just practical applications of skills. There are infinite situations that can arise and it’s next to impossible to have them all memorized so the best thing you can do is examples. By repeatedly using the same method tweaked a little bit for each question you try out, it becomes all the more easy for your brain to recognize what to do in that kind of situation or something similar. (I’m looking at you, integration)

6. Background music. Definitely put on music if you’re the kind of person that listens to music while studying but be careful about what kind of music it is! I know you really like Elle Me Dit by MIKA but do you really think you can quietly read your notes while the music is begging to be danced around to. And don’t even think about Disney soundtracks because there is no way in heck that you won’t break out singing to Let It Go. I suggest quiet music that doesn’t really demand to be heard like Owl City’s quiet songs or wordless soundtracks. (The How To Train Your Dragon one is phenomenal)

6. If you’re going to procrastinate, do something useful. With all these previous tips, I’m making it sound like I am the jedi master of studying and nothing ever gets to me. Could not be more opposite! For instance, I’ll be writing blog posts or thinking of hilarious tweets when I should really by thinking about differential equations. And I’ve been known to discover new music instead of memorizing the properties of inverse matrices. But my advice to you is that should you find yourself in a situation when you just physically cannot make yourself be productive school-wise, be productive elsewhere! Make your bed! Make a sandwich! Make a scarf! Yes, you’re not studying by something good still came from it and you will feel 400% less horrible about yourself than if you just sat staring at your papers or playing flappy bird. Trust me.

So there you have it! My surprisingly long-winded post regarding everything I know about shoving information into your head so that you can later regurgitate it onto a test! Let me know if you find anything helpful or if you have some super secret technique that I didn’t mention here!

//If you’re nowhere in the mood to study and nothing can change your mind, check this post about Procrastination Tips out

Life Update

Felt like just typing at y’all about myself.

To be honest, I’m kind of surprised that I’ve stuck with this for as long as I have! I’m the kind of person that likes the beginning of things, like learning something completely brand new at school or knitting projects or blank notebooks because there’s a ton of possibilities and so much could happen. Once I’m actually into it, I realize that it’ll take hard work to continue doing this and slowly extricate myself from the whole deal. Unfinished should be my middle name for the amount of things that I abandon. Except it’s not because my mom is pretty decent and decided not to do that to me. I don’t even have a middle name. Fun fact.

I think the main reason that this blog is still chugging along is because no one expects anything from it. Like, as of now, I have 13 followers and one of them is my sister so it’s not like there are people out there who don’t want to be disappointed. Also, the fact that I must post every single day means that I have some leg room if any of my posts are especially lame since it’s not like I had a whole week or something to create something brilliant and thought provoking as well as witty. To tell the truth, all my posts are pretty much done at midnight and then I change the time stamp to a more normal hour. Yup, your life is a lie.

I considered stopping the whole one post a day deal because school is especially crazy right now and I really should be studying in all my spare time but I really feel like me and the commitment could go a long way! It’ll be cool looking back on this later on and seeing what me from the past thought would be cool to blog about. (More like cringe probably. Present me and past me never really agree)

But yeah, there’s that thought process put into words. Funny how it took me all of 4 seconds in real like but over 300 words…

School-wise, things are going swimmingly! I have quite a few friends and most of them are really hardcore studiers. This in turn makes me feel super guilty about not studying and then pushes me to put in more effort! Like for example, I started studying for my midterm that’s on Wednesday yesterday!! That’s a whole 4 days before instead of the usual 1! My next step should probably be to make study notes as the classes go along, not all at once while frantically studying…

Kind of really excited for this week to be over because I have three midterms on four days and one of those days is a saturday…not cool. I’ve never had tests this back to back (except in high school but I am slowly realizing that high school is nothing compared to university) before meaning I always had a wackload of time to study for the next one in between so I’m feeling really unprepared going into this. Afterwards though, my church is holding a Royal Ball that I’m helping out at for all the little kids. They get to be little princesses and princes! I’ll probably do some craft with them. There’s also the fact that I don’t think I’ll have any more midterms until the second round of them since I haven’t heard anything about Intro to Mech Eng and Physics’ only has one midterm way later on.

Really the only thing keeping me going is the fact that I only must survive this week and the next and then it’s reading week! A million blessings on the person that invented that. A whole week to catch up on sleep and tv shows for the first 5 days and then cram all the studying I should have been doing the whole time into the last two. That and also when people favourite or retweet me on twitter. I seriously put a lot of work into wording otherwise bland life events into witty one-liners over there so validation is always welcome!

So that’s about it, my mom has actually commented on my potato-like status on the couch I’m occupying at the moment which means it’s around time to switch my location back to my desk.