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Month: October 2015

Fifteen Tips Not Fifteen Pounds

Fifteen Tips Not Fifteen Pounds

Fifteen Tips Not Fifteen Pounds

From my two months at Hopkins I’ve learned a lot! Below is a list of fifteen tips that I know will help you survive college.

1. Unlimited Meal Plan

Since the title of this blog is “Fifteen Tips Not Fifteen Pounds,” you would think that nowhere on it would be a suggestion to eat an unlimited amount of food – and you’d be right. Rather, I’m suggesting you take advantage of being able to swipe in and out of the Fresh Food Café (FFC) as many times as you want.

2. The gym is your friend

Please make time in your busy schedule to go to the gym. Not only is it good for your body (getting swole and making mad gainz), it is also refreshing. After a busy morning of classes, rather than napping for an hour, jog for ten minutes. Trust me, you will feel fresher than ever.
gfFeCZefr6T6g3. Ask for help!

Don’t be afraid to admit that you don’t understand something. College is a completely different experience from high school, and it’s perfectly okay to feel lost and confused. Hopkins is a community, and there are so many people who are willing to help you (myself included). All you have to do is ask.
help4. Meet people during orientation

Oftentimes people say that the people you meet during O-week don’t end up
being your friends afterwards because they aren’t in the same classes as you. This is NOT true. In fact, I met my closest friends during orientation!5. Calendars are helpful

In high school it was easy for me to quickly scribble down homework assignments; I never needed an agenda to help me manage my time. In college however, I’ve found that setting up an online calendar (iCal or Google Calendar) is a life saver!

6. Not tryna 8 a.m.

This tip is for those of you who aren’t morning people (I sure as heck am not). Do not schedule classes early in the morning if you know you won’t be able to wake up for or will have trouble staying awake during them. Don’t assume that having early classes will naturally make you an early riser.giphy7. Covered grades are a gift

At Hopkins, freshmen are blessed with having their grades covered for the first semester. This means that only YOU see those grades. Take advantage of this by registering for classes in areas that you have yet to explore. This way if you don’t do so well, you won’t sweat it!

8. Read your textbooks

No matter how comfortable you are with your notes from lectures, you NEED to read your class’ textbook. I learned this the hard way, but oftentimes there is information in the chapter that your professor just did not have time to cover in class.giphy (1)9. Nap when you can (not in class)

Sleep is love, but it doesn’t help you to sleep during class. Know your daily schedule, and find time to take short power naps. This way you will feel wide awake when you need to be and asleep when you don’t.giphy (2)10. Go to office hours

I find that after lecture, I always have questions that are unanswered. Going to my professors’ office hours is the best way to clarify some of the concepts. In the case that you’re a genius, I would still recommend going to office hours to have a relaxed conversation with your professor.

11. Reach out – peers, professors, and upperclassmen

As a newbie on campus, I don’t think it’s fair to expect that people will come to you. With a little effort on your part (introducing yourself to the people you meet) you will find that there are some really interesting students and faculty on campus who can answer your questions and help you get adjusted to college life.

12. Your social life is important too

While academics are very important at Hopkins, you should never feel imprisoned by your schoolwork. Take some time off, go to the many events hosted by student groups on campus, and reflect on how far you have come since the start of the year.giphy (3)

13. Embrace the lack of a core curriculum

At Hopkins there is no set of classes that students are required to take. Instead, there are a certain number of distribution requirements which allow students to explore classes outside of their majors.

14. Get involved!

Hopkins has more than 380 student groups on campus, and there is definitely a club for everyone. Find one that you like and join it! You won’t regret it.involved15. Burst the bubble

Baltimore is a great city with interesting neighborhoods filled with unique people. I encourage everyone to burst the Hopkins bubble and explore these parts of the city. You may learn more from exploring than you have in class!


Midterms on Midterms on Midterms

Midterms on Midterms on Midterms

Midterms on Midterms on Midterms

Learning How, not What, to Study

Put yourself in my shoes: You’ve been in college for over a month now, taking super challenging classes in a completely new setting. Then, just when you’re getting into the rhythm of things (adjusting to your new sleep – or lack there of – schedule), you get smacked by three midterms!

To enlighten you, I’ve compiled a list of the DOs and DON’Ts that I learned from my Chemistry, Physics, and Calculus 3 midterms last week.

MIDTERM 1: Chemistry

I always get distracted looking up Chemistry pick-up lines 😉

My Applied Chemical Equilibrium midterm, on Wednesday September 30, 2015 at 9:00 a.m., was the first midterm I would ever take in college. The night before the exam I tossed and turned in bed until about 2:00 a.m. anticipating any and all of the questions that would be asked on the midterm. However, I was relieved as the exam the next morning definitely went better than I had expected. BUT, there was definitely room for improvement. 

DO: Focus on reading the textbook

DON’T: Rely ONLY on lectures and problem sets

In high school I found it easy to study for chemistry tests by reviewing my notes from class and going over the problem sets assigned for homework. In college, it’s a whole new ball game. Thankfully, I spent time reviewing each chapter of the textbook before the midterm.

MIDTERM 2: Physics

My second midterm was Physics. Ever since I was first exposed to physics my freshman year of high school, it has been the bane of my existence. I knew that the only way for me to prepare for the midterm was to spend time solving problems – ALONE.

DO: Dedicate time to studying alone.

DON’T: Rely only on group study sessions

Group study sessions can at times be very helpful, especially when you’re struggling with a concept a friend understands (rooms in Brody are perfect for this). However, when you study in groups, it is easy to get distracted and off-track. I’ve had my fair share of these experiences when doing my homework – one minute we were talking about a physics pre-lecture problem, and the next we were discussing the best places in Baltimore to get a fresh new haircut.

Brody Learning Commons

MIDTERM 3: Calculus 3

Caught on cam falling asleep in calculus -__-
Caught on cam falling asleep in Calculus

Calculus was my third and final midterm of the week –Friday at 12:00 p.m. I’m going to be honest, for a class like Calculus in which the professor uploads all of the notes online, it’s very easy to lose focus/fall asleep in class or just not go to class at all. But you have to fight this urge. Unfortunately, I figured this out a little too late.

DO: Go to (and don’t sleep in) class

DON’T: Rely on notes uploaded online.

The night before my Calculus 3 midterm, I was awake until 5:00 a.m. studying (shhh don’t tell my mom). Disclaimer: this was entirely all my fault; my classmates went to bed a little after midnight. I had to review three chapters AND do the homework that was due the next day. Long story short, I got about 2.5 hours of sleep that night, and learned my lesson (don’t worry I still did well on the test).

Finally, when midterms were over on Friday, I took a long-awaited, well-deserved nap.