This semester I attended the Asian Food Fair once again. This event combined my enjoyment of food with my interest in Asian culture and heritage. It was different this year as it was outside rather than inside, and so it was a nice day to enjoy the myriad of Asian food available at the fair. It is exciting to me that the campus is diverse enough to hold an Asian Food Fair with food from all different Asian countries. While each country’s cuisine is interesting and enjoyable on its own, it was an experience only available in a country such as the United States and a place such as OU where I could experience so many different Asian cuisines at the same time. It was also interesting to compare how Asian food is similar and dissimilar to foods from other cultures. For example, most Asian food is a protein cooked with a certain carb, usually rice or noodles, on the side and in a special sauce. This is not so different from cuisines of other cultures, but Asian food can be easily identified with the type of spices and sauces that are used in it that differentiate it from food from other countries.
As most of you know, college is not easy. Exams, quizzes, and tons of homework were not things that I was used to coming from my high school so my first few weeks at the Universtiy of Oklahoma were very stressful. Back home, my classes did not have much homework and big essay assignments were not given until halfway through the semester. I was quick to learn that it was quite different at the college level. Writing assignments went out on the second day of class and homework started to pile on my plate. I struggled but was successful at keeping up but then exam week came. Two exams in one week and another the following. I started freaking out because I had no idea what to do. It seemed like the exam dates crept up on me without warning.
It seemed like the exam dates crept up on me without warning. One day I was having fun and the next I was stressing over the exam which happened to be scheduled for the following day. I decided to take it one exam at a time and remember this experience for the future so that I was better prepared. Any free time I had was spent in the library studying. One thing I found to be extremely helpful was quizlet.com. I was surprised to find a premade quizlet online to help with my studying. It was very helpful because it had the entire study guide for the exam that I was taking. I flipped through the flashcards and was prepared to take my test the next day. After I took the exam for my first class, I followed the same routine to study for the next exam which also had the entire study guide.
If you are ever in a situation where you need to study fast, realize that you need to do better or your grades will suffer! Do not get in that situation! I would highly recommend finding a time to regularly study and go over the things that each class discusses. This is my new method that I am trying and so far I am retaining a lot more information.
College is a whole new world and you may have to change your study habits to do it right. I regret not studying more for my first exams but I have learned from that experience so I can better myself. Learn from my experience and study weeks before the exam! It will help a lot. Good luck!
I was never much of a studier in high school. To be honest, I don’t think I ever really studied at all. I would make notecards and tell myself it was studying, but I did not study. Now, in college, I realize studying takes on a whole new meaning. You can’t flip through a couple pages and skim the text 4 minutes before an exam, rather you have to stay in the library until you’ve maxed out your student I.D. on caramel macchiatos and an excessive amount of espresso shots. Here’s a couple ways I prepared for the dreaded first round of exams.
1.) If you’re like me, your tests will sneak up on you before you know it! I had 3 tests in one week, and it was extremely overwhelming. The most important thing to do is try not to allow it to stress you out. Take one test at a time, study for one test at a time, and drink 4 different types of coffee at a time.
2.) This may not work for everyone, but the Pop Goes Classical playlist on Spotify is absolutely crucial for hours of focus. It is scientifically proven that classical music is helpful for some people. While it may not be effective for all people, CMUSE writes that it gives to your brain is a better concentration, an appropriate state of mind and simple thoughts flow for writing essays, or research papers.
3.) Another important factor for good studying is the environment. Whether you like complete silence, like the great reading room, or a more social environment, like the basement of the Biz, it’s important to find a location that you feel comfortable studying in. Test out a couple different spots, and then stick with the one that you liked best!
These are the 3 simple tips I learned from my first round of studying. It is important to find what works best for you. GOOD LUCK, STUDY HARD, AND GET THAT 4.0!
Seriously, listen to the Pop Goes Classical playlist linked above. It will change your whole view on classical music, because I didn’t like it either!
This last Friday, a manager at my parttime job asked me how to prepare for the PSAT. I was caught off guard and confused at first. It has been five years since I took the PSAT. The only thing I vaguely remembered was the disgusted feeling I felt knowing I was not in any way prepared for the exam. Rose, my manager, explained that her daughter is scheduled to take the exam here in a few weeks and needed to begin prepping.
For those who don’t know, the PSAT is an exam created by a private institution to evaluate a student’s K-12 abilities and potential. The PSAT imparticular is essential as it is the preliminary to the SATs and to become a National Merit Scholar. The exam can only be taken once during a person’s Sophomore year in high school. Choosing not to waste Rose’s time, I directed her and her daughter to a friend of mine who is a National Merit Scholar at OU; if anyone understands how to take the PSAT, a National Merit Scholar would.
Standardized testing like the ACT, SAT, PSAT, along with a million more followed by standardized state testing, has found itself at the forefront of the education debate in the last decade. Most experts would claim the problem started with the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB). Under 2002 law, all states were required to test students in math and reading. These tests highlighted the performances of schools as well as the students. The major flaw in this method of instruction is that no longer do school systems teach for the spirit of learning, they teach students how to pass tests.
I began Kindergarten in 2003 and graduated high school in 2015. I grew up in K-12 during the prime of NCLB. I vividly remember teachers creating their annual teaching schedule over the specific guidance handed down from the state. We covered only the topics that were expected to be on the test, and in my personal opinion, it came at the longterm cost of every student. It was not until college did I realize that education was an infinite space of study, research, and exploration. Where we are all free to find was we love and question and dedicate our lives to better understanding the complex dynamics of any topic. In comparison to my K-12 experience, all subjects were presented in a one-dimensional context.
Sarah, my National Merit friend, told me about all these things that she did to become a
National Merit Scholar. The process sounded more like training for a track meet rather than learning for a test. Time, she emphasized this heavily over and over. Telling me how she would take practice exam after practice exam each time striving to improve her time without jeopardizing her ability to pick the correct answer. It was obvious that the method of success did little to enlighten the individual; rather, it became a burden. Restricting her from exploring the topics and research that interested her.
Testing is essential; I do not challenge that. Nor do I discredit the intelligence of any National Merit Scholar, as the high majority of them graduate in the top percentages of their graduating class. Though, education in the United States could use an overhaul and recalibration of purpose. Preferably, a system that encourages every student to question and explore their interests to a new level this world has never seen. Creativity and originality, rather than discipline. Allowing for students to be the motivation to their learning processes, then evaluating them on a wide variety of aspects- from academic performance to socioeconomic background, along with extracurricular involvement, and personality traits. A multiple choice text at the end of an academic year shows little in the overall assessment of who a person is.
“The Spirit of Learning is a Lasting Frontier.” Something I wish I had known sooner and not allow myself to doubt my abilities depicted from a single test score during my sophomore year of high school.
If there’s one thing every student knows, it’s the anxiety of preparing for exams. Yes, grades are a pillar of academia and a necessary evil in marking student success, but that doesn’t make exams and their accompanying grades suck any less. As a recent high school grad and current college student, I have had some experience with exams and how to prep for them. Hopefully some of this advice will help you in your academic journey, just as it has helped me.
1. Don’t procrastinate.
I know, I sound like every single teacher you have ever had. The thing is, though, they were right. It is scientifically proven that procrastination (like last-minute cram sessions) hardly ever actually work. While it can be hard to get motivation, it feels good to go in prepared for an exam instead of stressed. If you are trying to lower your test-taking anxiety, start prepping early so that you don’t freak out later.
2. Ask your teachers.
Sometimes it can feel like your teachers and professors are a totally different species (no, they don’t sleep at school, and yes, they do have real lives), but going in for help can make all the difference when it comes time for their exam. Plus, making those personal connections can even help you out later when they are grading. And, of course, you will probably need good recommendation letters at some point in your career, and having a professor who can write a good one is key.
3. Start study groups.
If you’re struggling in a class I bet there are other people who are too. Starting a study group not only helps you out, but also gives you a group of people to motivate you (see point #1) and who can be there for all the less-important questions you don’t want to trouble your teacher with.
4. Don’t be an idiot.
Please, do not cheat. Although studying can be hard and boring, it sucks a lot more to deal with the consequences once you’re caught. You will be a lot smarter and feel a lot better about yourself if you just put in the work.
5. Don’t freak out.
Eventually, you will get a bad grade. It is bound to happen, but it doesn’t mean the end of the world. Pick yourself up by your boot-straps, blow off some steam, then buckle down for the next exam. Your worth is not built on your grades, and one grade will not make or break your semester.
Pro Tip: sometimes it can be fun to play study games as rewards for doing your work. Whether you eat a Skittle after every paragraph you read, or watch an episode of The Office for every hour of studying, try to liven up your time so it’s not so much of a chore.
If you feel like you have tried everything and are still struggling, reach out to your advisor or other adults who can help you learn new time-management and studying strategies. You will never regret seeking help, but I can’t promise the same if you don’t. If you give yourself every possible opportunity to succeed, chances are you will.
I went to Oklahoma State Fair on Sep 30.
It was so crowded there, and they had some kinds of festival foods that I can’t see in Korea like fried oreo, turkey leg, and funnel cake.
As my friends recommended funnel cake, my friends and I bought a funnel cake and it was sooooo good! I hope I can get it in Korea, too.
And one cookie shop was serving free sample of cookie and cookie dough! It was my first time to try cookie dough, and I used to think that it’s kind of weird to eat an uncooked cookie, but now I can understand why people are eating it. It tastes so sweet and good!
I looked around the fair and visited almost every shopping places there.
That place was much bigger than I’ve expected… X-(
I also went on the rides. I really enjoyed the fair!
I quickly learned college is much different than high school, and studying is crucial to earning good grades. As a sophomore, I have realized better ways to achieve my full potential as a student when it comes to studying. Here is a list of some things I have had to learn (sometimes the hard way) to become an active studier.
- Go to class. This seems so self-explanatory, but you would be surprised how many people skip on a regular basis. Although it may seem easy to miss class, so much information is being missed that comes around on the tests.
- Read the textbook. Textbooks assigned for classes are there for a reason! We pay so much money to use them so actually use them. A lot of professors will even throw in test questions not from lecture, but from the book to make sure students are reading them.
- Check the website. Most universities have this available online. Thankfully, the University of Oklahoma uses Canvas and I think it is really organized when it comes to classes and where the professors put some helpful study information. They even might not always mention that they will upload pages on there, so might as well check.
- Get to know people in your class. I have not always been the type to prefer studying in groups, so I like to start studying on my own, then meeting up with classmates to see how they have been studying as well. We can all learn from each other this way.
- Start early. Last but certainly not least, do not wait till the day before the exam to start studying. Actually learn the material and start studying once it is first taught, then when it comes around to test time, studying the information will start to come naturally.
These tips are great for improving study habits, starting from when the unit is first introduced, all the way up to the test. Classes are prioritized much more in college than in high school, because we take classes specialized to our major. I hope these tips help you, because they certainly have helped me!
As my time in high school neared its end, it became a daily routine of all teachers to remind us how different college will be. Who would have guessed they weren’t kidding? A professor has yet to trash one of my papers turned in with my name, nor have I encountered the embodiment of pure evil that is a professor who won’t let me in if I’m a second late like my teachers warned of. However, one thing is certain – the course work is way more challenging.
So how do I deal with the transition from high school to college? It takes time, I’m still settling in. My senior year was a breeze, I nearly forgot how to study efficiently. As school picks up and I get into the groove of burying my head in textbooks and color coding my notes, let’s go over some of my top study tips.
#1. Find your corner
Privacy takes the backseat your freshman year of college. Remember the luxury of having your own room at home? Me either. The most important thing while studying is to find a place devoid of distractions. My personal favorite would be the upper levels of the library where I can claim a desk in the corner. Equip your corner with the essentials; any textbooks you might need, your laptop, and a clear view of the bathroom if you’re nearing your third cup of coffee like me. Make sure there is nothing obstructing the path between you and receiving an A and hope you stay off of Netflix.
#2. Headphones? Check. Back up pair? Check
Distractions during studying may as well be natural disasters. However, take precaution. Beyond finding your own quiet little corner, make sure you can block out anyone who walks by. Otherwise, conversations from the study date behind you might drift into your zone and suddenly you’re also wondering what outfit you’re going to wear to retro night this Thursday. Make sure you have headphones as well as a playlist that keeps you focused. Skip Cardi B for the night and find a groovy electronic playlist. Here is my personal playlist to get you started: https://itunes.apple.com/us/playlist/study/pl.u-oZyl3XlCRZLoZBx
#3. Strive to be as organized as the planners you saved to your Pinterest
I love being organized. I love planners, calendars, to-do lists, and anything that creates the illusion I have my life together. Writing stuff down will make you more likely to remember due dates and events. Go a step beyond barely legible notes and rewrite them to make reviewing easier. Afterwards, you can post pictures of your neatly decorated bullet journal on the internet and let all those who see it envy your creativity. Bonus points if you assure everyone this is how all of your notebooks look. Those crumpled pieces of notebook paper in the trash covered in chicken scratch? Couldn’t tell you where they came from, sorry.
#4. Stacked? Make a to-do list
Expanding on #3, a to-do list will help you stay on track. Write down everything, and I mean everything, you need to do first thing. Finish homework due at 11:59 A.M.? Check. Study French? Check. Text mom back? Check
#5. Try not to cram, really
I know, I am the last person to talk. Procrastination is likely inscribed into my DNA at this point. But please, take it from me, do not cram. Stay organized enough to study in advance. Time management doesn’t come naturally, at least not for me. However, the comfort in knowing a quick scan of my notes the day of to jog my memory will suffice for a test after a week of studying beats any event standing in the way of starting early. For the sake of your grade and your mood, do not cram a month’s worth of French into 5 hours.
#6. Breaks are necessary, not negative
Oops, so it is the night before the exam and you are cramming. While 10 straight hours of studying sounds capable of unearthing the cure for the common cold, I can assure you that focus will fade away. Take short breaks every hour or so. Staring at a screen for prolonged periods of time can cause headaches anyway.
#7. Form connections with other students
Your classes are filled with students studying the same reviews and working on the same homework assignments as you. A connection might save you one day you’re stuck on a problem or provide you with some company next time you’re walking home from the Biz at 2 A.M. Two heads are better than one!
#8. The Biz offers more than the Bookmark Café, take advantage of it
From study lounges on each story to endless rows of knowledge, go to the library for more than just your daily Americano. Online databases provide instant access to resources available in the library regarding unlimited topics. Learn as much as you possibly can while you’re here. You will be thankful later.
#9 Download study apps
Although my back may disagree, I really do not carry around my backpack at all times of the day. I am not always loaded with my notebooks and textbooks. However, one thing I never leave without is my cell phone. Today, there are endless amounts of apps to help you study. Quizlet, my personal go-to, allows you to create flashcards and study them in various ways. With the information literally in my hand, I have no excuse not to study in my free time. Those little reviews definitely start to add up. Imagine a day where the thought of a pop quiz doesn’t send a chill down your spine.
As the second week of midterms comes to an end, my mind is finally relaxing for nine seconds before it gears up for the third week of midterms. You may say that nine seconds is not a lot of time but let me tell you how you’re wrong. In that five seconds, I am able to say to my self, “I just bombed that test, but in ten years is it going to affect me or my family? I’m not from the future so who really knows. LOL.”
Within those nine seconds, I was able to hyperventilate, stress about the future, laugh about how I’m not from the future, regroup and get back to the idea of trying to succeed in school. That’s a lot to think about in nine seconds… but who’s counting.
Now here we are starting the third week of midterms, and where do I find myself but at the old, faithful Bizzell Library. This library has been with me since the first day of freshman year and will be with me until my last day of senior year… hopefully. Together, we have created a bond through sleeping, crying, laughing, chugging coffee and most importantly studying. Together we have prepared a lot but sometimes we don’t prepare enough, but does this mean we didn’t try? Does getting back the worst exam grade of your life mean that you are failing?
That’s up to the individual, not for anyone else. So if Bizz and I prepared for that Calculus test and we received a below average grade, so be it? We prepared, we cried, we struggled through that five question test and did our best. So what more can you ask from yourself or from your trusted study buddy and friend, Bizz?
In my year and a month of college, I have come to the realization that not every grade will be an ‘A’, not every essay will say “wonderful!’ and not every homework assignment will have a “good job!” sticker when it’s handed back to you. Most times, I feel like I’m letting others down, but Bizz is always there to hold my stress-stricken body.
My take away from preparing and taking exams is to be proud of whatever you receive. Receive an ‘A’? Go out and celebrate with ice cream. Receive a 43%? H*CK YEAH YOU DID! Be your own biggest supporter!
And to my trusty friend, Bizz, thank you for making this journey with me. You will always have a special place in my heart.