Archive for the ‘Studying’ Category

College Savings and Saving Space in Your Suitcase: What to Pack When Studying Abroad

Saturday, September 27th, 2014

When I fantasize about traveling it’s always the same: one neatly packed backpack with just the essentials. Unfortunately, I am not a light packer and so this is never the case. When it comes to studying abroad you want to make sure you’re properly prepared for whatever you may encounter on your trip. It’s never a good idea to assume that a foreign country has exactly what you’re looking for. Try to find college discounts for certain items before your trip and you can save yourself a lot of trouble once you’re there. So what if you’re labeled the “mom” of your trip? Being prepared is never a bad thing—and chances are your new friends will thank you.

Before your trip it’s important to at least attempt to learn the language of the country, or at least learn some key phrases. Rosetta Stone is a great option, but for those of us on a budget there are free smartphone apps readily available. Mindsnacks is a really helpful app I found before my trip to China that allowed me to start learning the language through a series of fun interactive games. If you upgrade to the full version for $5, you’ll get access to 1000 words and phrases, 9 unique games, and 50 lessons to master. This app is available in many different languages and the upgrade is definitely worth the money!

Mindsnacks is a free app that can be used to learn new languages.

Mindsnacks is a free app that can be used to learn new languages.

Do some research about the weather you’ll experience during the months you’ll be there and pack your clothes accordingly. You don’t want to be the one wearing sweaters in the heat or shorts in the snow. Make sure you have a solid stock of any medicines or vitamins you may take every day. Regular toiletries are an essential and it’s always handy to buy Tide-To-Go, packets of Downy or any other fabric soap just in case you need to do a wash at a moment’s notice.

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Sometimes laundry gets expensive in a foreign country.

 

Check to see what banks are available in the country you’re going to. Many countries often have branches that are linked with Bank of America so if you don’t have an account, open one up. It’s free and you won’t have to pay fees every time you grab some cash from the ATMs. The China Construction Bank, found all over China, doesn’t charge any fees as long as you have a BoA card. You can easily close your BoA account once returning to America.

Other important items are charger adapters for your specific country of origin. The outlets in America are not the same in every country and you do not want to be that person with the hair straightener exploding in your hair!

Also, to stay in touch with family and friends during your trip, set up a Gmail, Skype, Viber, and Whatsapp accounts. These are free ways to connect with your loved ones through email, phone calls, video and text messaging all through WiFi. You don’t want mom to get a $356 dollar phone bill because you accidentally used your data while roaming, do you?

My group connects to the WiFi in our hotel in Hong Kong and immediately engross themselves in social media.

My group connects to the WiFi in our hotel in Hong Kong and immediately engross themselves in social media.

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College Savings: How to Afford a Study Abroad Trip as a Broke College Student

Friday, September 19th, 2014

Whether my friends ask me if I want to go to the movies or out for an expensive meal, my answer is always the same: “I’m a college student.” This is the universally known phrase meaning, “I’d love to, but I can’t. I’m broke.” College expenses can really weigh down on my desire to have a social life. Between tuition, books, Metrocard fare, and food, there’s really no wiggle room for anything extra and I’m always trying to find college discounts wherever I go. When I learned about study abroad options through CUNY, my friends asked me where I wanted to go. “China,” I replied smiling. “But I’m a college student.”

Eating a bowl of noodles in Nanjing, China that cost 7¥ (yuan): less than $1.50!

Eating a bowl of noodles in Nanjing, China that cost 7¥ (yuan): less than $1.50!

Studying abroad, although costly, is not necessarily as impossible as one might think for the ‘poor’ college student—and it certainly has its perks. One way to help pay for your study abroad trip is to get scholarship money. Just like when you were applying for college, scholarships are diverse, obscure and available to a multitude of people. You just need to be willing to look for them. One great place to start is CEA Scholarships, which are scholarships specifically for students who want to study abroad. There are multiple merit based scholarships available and also financial need based scholarships.

Often times when applying for these scholarships you are required to write a personal essay. In order to get the money you need to make yourself stand out. Write several different essays, share them with your writing major friends, revise, and edit. The more work you put into your essay, the better chance you’ll have at getting that money. Other scholarships to look into for studying abroad are the SIROCS scholarship and the SASA Travel Abroad Scholarship.

You never know when you're going to stumble upon some interesting souvenir like a Communist Obama Tshirt!

You never know when you’re going to stumble upon some interesting souvenir like a Communist Obama Tshirt!

Don’t be afraid to go and contact the financial aid office at your college. Even if you don’t think you qualify for financial aid, go anyway. Sometimes the financial aid rules and regulations differ for certain study abroad programs and it never hurts to ask! Taking out student loans might also be a viable option to look into. Loans are a really great way to give yourself some time to save up your money after you take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Start saving up now! Even if you get fully covered by scholarships or financial aid, there’s still the matter of having spending money in a foreign country. Whether you want to buy a cheap bowl of noodles, or a memorable souvenir, you’re going to end up wanting to spend some cash on your trip. In Shenzhen, China I came across an amusement park called Windows of the World. I was definitely glad that I had some cash to pay for the admission. Get a part time job while you wait for the start of your program and put that cash aside. You’ll be happy you did once you get to your new temporary home. You want to be able to take care of yourself while you’re away and have some fun too!

 

 

My friends on the train ride at Windows of the World in Shenzhen, China.

My friends on the train ride at Windows of the World in Shenzhen, China.

-Sam Levitz is a graduate of Brooklyn College and went on the CUNY Study Abroad trip to China the summer of 2013. Follow her on Instagram: slevitz

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College Savings Experience by Studying Abroad

Saturday, September 13th, 2014
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Photo op with some monks my friends and I met on the Great Wall of China.

I like chicken soup. Wǒ xǐhuān jītāng.

It’s probably one of the only phrases I learned to say correctly in Mandarin while studying abroad in China and it still makes me laugh one year later.

No matter what college you go to, even if it’s only a few psychology courses online, everyone should go on a study abroad program at least once in their lifetime. Study abroad is a rite of passage and the college discounts you get is worth the experience. It’s the ability to say that during your young adult life you did something different and learned about a new place. It doesn’t matter what you do or where you go. What’s important is that you get out, see the world, and learn about a country that isn’t America.

One of the best benefits of studying abroad is that your early 20s is the best time to travel. Besides school, and maybe a part-time job, you don’t have that many obligations. Once you’re working the 9-5 grind you’ll find it’s extremely difficult to snag any vacation days right away. Studying abroad provides you with a way to get college credits without sitting in a classroom for an entire semester. Study abroad programs usually offer a variety of courses that range from common core classes to specific credits that can be used towards your major.

Studying abroad through your school is a great way to make friends that will be there after the trip. Most of the people that go on study abroad trips go to the same school. It’s very easy to form close friendships in a short amount of time on these trips. Walking across campus and seeing a familiar face is always a nice surprise in the middle of a hectic day.

 

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New friendships only grow stronger after hours of hiking the Yellow Mountain (Mt. Huangshan) in the southern Anhui province in eastern China.

People don’t just travel because of the boredom from living in the same place. People travel because they thirst to see something new. It’s one thing to see a picture of a famous landmark; it’s quite another to actually see that landmark with your own eyes. Ask anyone that’s ever traveled anywhere, or ask anyone with a smartphone camera; no photo or Instagram filter can truly ever beat the real thing. When you go home and change your profile picture on Facebook to a picture of yourself standing on the Great Wall of China—that’s something to brag about.

To learn about a culture that is foreign from your own is a truly important experience. There are so many different cultures in the world that it is impossible to count. To go through life ignorant of the world around you is a foolish mistake. Hear a different language slide past your lips. Eat a food that you can’t identify. Engross yourself in a way of living that you’ve never experienced.

A study abroad trip is more than just a trip. It’s a chance to take an adventure, fill a scrapbook with memories, and tell stories to your loved ones that will last a lifetime.

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Group picture of the 2013 Summer CUNY China trip in front of the Monk Xuanzang statue in Xi’an, China.

-Sam Levitz is a graduate of Brooklyn College and went on the CUNY Study Abroad trip to China the summer of 2013. Follow her on Instagram: slevitz

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Student Depression: Overshooting Your Mark

Saturday, November 16th, 2013

Overshoot your mark. Bite off more than you can chew. Start at the deep end. Let it hit the fan. You’ll get further than you’ve ever gone before.

You might be utterly vexed now, straining your follicles with the massive amount of hair tugging you’re doing right about now. I understand, just let your follicles have a break for a moment.

Why would you put yourself in supposedly unwinnable situations, or set goals that are, at the moment, too lofty? What benefit is there to overshooting your mark?

Take a look: You have a literary analysis paper due in a week, so you set aside your personal project for a week, you tell your friends that you’re way too busy to hang out and those extra credit assignments you were so adamant to get down and dirty with? Locked away in that little crevice of guilt in your mind.

Now that you’ve got all this freed up time, what happens to your main assignment? Unless you’re writing a 30-page paper that applies a Derridean, Foucauldian and Barthian lens to Joyce’s “Araby” (never again), you’re not going to spend every waking moment (never, ever, again…) writing your paper. Maybe you’ll think about it for several days, start getting those awful vomiting butterflies parading around your stomach lining, fall back into your depression (but we worked so hard on curbing it! Why does this puny paper have to take over your life?) and finally get working on it two days before deadline, panicking yourself into a cold, smelly sweat. Not cool.

"My surname is Derrida, but the very fact that I have been named manifests an externality that dissociates Derrida the 'man' from Derrida the 'name,' the latter of which is an empty signifier, and I'm totally confusing the sh*t out of you right now and enjoying every second of it."

Students, including myself, fall into habitual patterns that are too familiar to comfortably escape. Hey, it’s worked before, you got your work done, so what’s the problem? If it ain’t broke… wait, no. It is broken. You’re not helping your depression by adding anxiety, stress and detrimental habitual habits to the mix. But I’ve got a solution, so don’t you fret.

All those plans you put off for the week? Put them back in your schedule and then some. See your friends, work on your own personal project (more on this in the next blog), do that extra credit, and then commit to something (or several things) with a deadline, preferably before the time your assignment is due. Agree to write an article for the school newspaper, commit to checking out that new French club (voulez-vous lire Campus Clipper avec moi ce soir?) and schedule an appointment with your guidance counselor.

Stuff you schedule, basically.

Now, that doesn’t mean you should cram as much time-wasting activities as possible. All of these week-fillers should be beneficial to your development and recovery one way or another.

So why does this method work? Let’s look back at that last-minute example. You had a huge paper due that was supposed to take a week to complete and you crammed all that work into the air-tight space of maybe eight hours over two days. That leaves at least 104 waking hours where you have the paper on your mind. Maybe not consciously, not all the time, but the thought is there, and it won’t flutter off till you’ve got it handled.

104 hours. That’s almost, like, 127 hours.

"How many hours did Franco spend worrying instead of just cutting off his arm?"

The biggest enemy in this situation is your excess thoughts. Your most practical ally is overshooting your mark and cramming your week with self-beneficial and self-developmental tasks and commitments. There comes a point where the brain doesn’t see an opportunity to worry about what you’re not doing because it needs to hone in on more immediate tasks, like cleaning your room because a friend is coming over, writing that school newspaper article because the deadline is tomorrow, or whatever other task that need immediacy.

What happens now is that you stop worrying because you stop thinking about worrying (whoa). When your mind knows that there are a plethora of tasks coming in from all directions, it slaps itself awake and starts to focus, otherwise it risks embarrassment: you don’t want your friend to look disgustedly at your semi-soiled underwear hanging lasciviously on your lamp, or your school’s newspaper editor giving you the evil eye for the next month. This time, fear of embarrassment works to your advantage (and the only time it should work to your advantage).

You get busy, you get into a flow. You have no time to worry, you just do. You start looking for productive tasks to fill up your time, and it so happens you’ve got that huge paper coming up. What better time to do it than when you’re so tuned into the present moment and riding a productivity binge?

And what seemed like overshooting the mark suddenly seems more than manageable, and leaves you with more free time than if you’d have spent 104 hours worrying and 8 hours doing.

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Aleksandr Smechov, Baruch College.

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Studying with Technology

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013

As a student in New York City, you’re going to be faced with many distractions. Whether it be your friends, your new favorite app, or even a free concert or show, you’re going to have to manage your fun time with your school time.

We’re fortunate that we live in a society where you can access all sorts of technology that won’t only help you procrastinate, but will help you get your work done without distractions. Below are some tech-friendly ways to stop procrastinating.

1. REMIND YOURSELF

This may seem silly, but I set myself reminders to do my work. Most smart phones have a “reminders” list, which lets you set a time and date that you want to be reminded to do a task. This helps if you’re a forgetful person, or just someone who needs to be prompted to study or write a paper.

On the other hand. . .

2. SHUT THE PHONE OFF

Personally, I can’t work when people are texting me; I am just too tempted to carry on a conversation about the upcoming season of Saturday Night Live, or whatever fun event is going on later that night. When I have to write a paperwhether it’s four or fourteen pages longthe phone goes off. If you like setting reminders on your phone but don’t want to hear any incoming calls or text messages, most phones have an “airplane mode,” which shuts off communications but will keep your phone’s other functions, like reminders, on.

3. OKAY, YOU CAN HAVE A BREAK

Every hour, give yourself 10 or 15 minutes to look at your phone, check your email, or watch a funny YouTube video. Studies show that taking breaks helps you focus more when you return to studying.

4. APPS

Okaydon’t discount your iPhone or iPad just yet. There are several free apps that can help you study. Flashcards Study Helper is exactly what it sounds like: it’s all the help of flashcards, without wasting leftover index cards. Mathemagics Lite  is a scientific calculator for on-the-go. And for the Shakespeare scholars, there’s an app that contains all of Shakespeare’s works. Even better, it’s free!

5. AND OTHER WEB-BASED TOOLS…

If you’re a Mac user, there is a scheduling app called iProcrastinate (ha!) that helps you break down tasks into smaller tasks. Additionally, many textbooks or required readings are available on half.ebay.com for cheaper prices. Check your booklist early, and order away!

Being a college student in the 21st century is hard. There may be countless distractions and ways to stop you from doing your work, but your smartphone is called a smartphone for a reason! You can train yourself to use your technology to your advantage.

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Erin O., NYU.

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College Concerns and Worries

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

As young adults, we are prone to taking a “trial and error” approach to life. We know one of the many goals associated with college is the promise of a better life. We also know getting through college is a mission itself, filled with all types of twists and turns we never see coming. Here are a couple of concerns you may or may not have experienced, and some pretty good solutions to help keep your stress leveled.

 

Finances

 

Money will always be a major issue. Unless you hit the lottery or were born into royalty, you’re probably counting every penny you spend. Everything from getting to school to the afternoon snack craving can become a problem.

As college students we tend to want to blow our money on the first things we can think of. Saving is a minimal priority. HelpSaveMyDollars.com’s creator Scott Gamm developed a theory stating fifty percent of college students have 4 or more credit cards. An even more shocking statistic is that eighty percent of students fail to pay off their credit card bill.

The key is to keep an eye on your money and always track what you are spending. I’ve written an article entitled “College Savings Doesn’t Mean College Boredom” in which I talk about having fun in New York the cheapest way possible.

 

 

Social Life

Balancing school and anything else can prove to be quite complicated. Whether it’s a job or an internship, you will find you don’t have much time for anything else. Twenty three percent of full-time undergrads, who are 24 or younger, work 20 hours or more a week. With hours like that plus the 15 hours or more you plan to spend in classes and on after class activities (labs and group projects anyone?), you won’t have much time for anything else.

Although having any kind of social life can seem like an extra burden, it’s not impossible and is more than healthy for a college student. Someone paying you a visit after you come home from work is one way that comes to mind (because you know . . . you’ll be too tired to go out and all). Someone can come meet you at your job after your shift. Meeting people at school is also a good way to kill two birds with one stone. Trust me . . . you’ll be spending A LOT of time with these people, so you might as well get to know them. You might like them.

 

Professors

 

We’ve all heard it before, “I have to take Professor (place name here). He’s an easy A” or “I don’t want Professor (alchy). He’s always drunk.”

Okay . . . maybe the last one is just me, but you get the idea.

There are those out there who simply don’t care who ends up teaching them a specific course, but for many of us, there’s that one professor that just gets us. Early registration is the key to getting the professors you want, the classes you want, at the times you want to take them. Some schools even give you cash stipends for early registration, which is even more of an incentive.

Personally, I never understood math until I had this one professor. She never let me (or anyone for that matter) leave class until she was sure we understood the material. This may seem like torture but I didn’t fail a test that whole semester . . . . . So I guess it worked, at least in my case

 

Personal Problems

 

We all have lives outside of college and many times it’s hard for our personal issues to not get in the way. Students with children have to constantly worry about their kid as it will always be one of their top priorities. Students can be involved in relationships that just swallow up their time (and if this is you, you should really learn how to prioritize) among other things.

I’ve been in three different living situations ever since I started school and I’m working on a fourth and hopefully my last for a while. Going to school and not knowing if I’ll even have a home to come back to has definitely been one of the hardest things I’ve had to deal with in my life. All the “stay focused” and “keep your eyes on the prize” speeches never made any sense until I reached this period in my life.

Even though life can overwhelm you at times, it is important to know why you enrolled in this first place. It’s easy to forget why we started on this journey when all the unnecessary crap is constantly thrown in our face. Whatever the issue is, it’s important to know you have the strength, the tools and the support to get through whatever you’re going through. Also, you ARE working towards a better future and that’s more than most people can say.

 

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Carlos L., Monroe College. Read my blog!!  Follow me on Twitterand Facebook :)

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Voice Recorders

Friday, March 30th, 2012

I have always wanted to get my hands on a voice recorder, like the ones writers or reporters used in old movies for interviews. They seemed so handy and special, being able to hold tiny bits of moments in your life that you could replay. My sister got one yesterday for a meeting she wanted to record.

Not the exact model, but just as attractive!

This little guy wasn’t exactly cheap. With a price tag of $790, not only can it record, it also has usb compatibility, an extra micro sd slot (for more storage), can store up to 72 hours (or until the battery wore out), crisp clear recording sound and finally my favorite: different modes. These modes alter the recording to the type of room you were in such as a big auditorium or a close up conversation. It also has voice activation. Great for black mail. Joking!…or not…

Once my sister brought it home, we both started playing with it, testing out how well the sound played back when recording from different distances. It performed very well, even when I spoke softly a few feet away. This is truly a professional device, and worth all the money it cost.

So what can it be used for? Other than personal pranks and singing, it also can be used to interviews, meetings, lectures, possibly concerts (have yet to see how well it’ll record in a crowded booming room), or even daily settings when you want to record somewhere you have been. You can also record a song you hear somewhere and then turn it into an mp3 file when you get back to your laptop.

Electronics are amazing these days and what used to be a simple on and off fuzzy recording device is now a multi-purpose recorder, music player, and spy device (for fun of course. no harming anyone please!)

Now let’s say you don’t want a recorder because your phone/camera does everything you want anyway. For the future mishaps here is a student discount to help you out.

 

Sophia, Rochester Institute of Technology

Check out my blog!

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The Internship

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

One great thing about going to school in New York is that there are a lot of opportunities to start your job search.  With millions of multinational companies calling Manhattan home, more and more of them are looking towards colleges and universities for graduates to fill entry-level positions.  The problem is, this is one of the most competitive cities in the world, so you have to make yourself known early.  How do you do so?  Through an internship.

I hope I don’t have to explain what an internship is…but I will anyway.  An internship is a way for companies to both obtain more assistance in various tasks and teach students how things work in the field.  Through an internship, students can make a lot of new connections, and it’s a great opportunity to fill their resumes.

The interns’ tasks vary depending on where they’re interning and what they’re doing there.  They can range from getting copies and coffee, to hands-on work in the field.  Most interns are part-time, since they usually have to attend school at the same time.  They can be either paid a weekly or monthly stipend, or receive college credit for their work.

So, where do you find an internship?  Where DON’T you find an internship?  As I said before, several companies in New York are looking for new blood, so be sure to check out sites like LinkedIn, Craigslist, and Monster for listings.  One of the best is internships.com, which is catered specifically to this.  Most schools also have their own online employment sites.  For instance, NYU has the Wasserman Center website.

If you really know what you want to do after graduation, take a look at specific organizations that cater to your interests.  Study politics?  Look at the UN or State Government sites.  Want to write for television?  Look at major networks like NBC and CBS, both based in New York!  Aspire to be a doctor?  Look at some of the hospitals and medical practices here.  There’s a bunch of opportunities here.  You just have to look!

One of these buildings could be your office!

So, why should you care about internships?  Because when companies look for new hires, they usually look in their own company first.  For full-time positions in places like the City Government or NBC, there are usually thousands upon thousands of applications from people that just need a job.  Companies usually look at their own interns first because they’re familiar with them.  They know how capable their own interns are.

Now just remember; it will be hard work.  Most internships are unpaid, and if you have to take public transportation, you’ll find yourself in financial trouble pretty quick.  You’ll also find yourself overwhelmed and confused on what to do more often than not.  Just remember that you just have to get through this, and then you’re one step closer to your dream job!

Then you can celebrate with a pizza and a free milkshake!

 

Sergio Lopez, Polytechnic Institute of NYU, Graduate Student ’12

View my tumblr here

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Have You Checked Out our New Book Yet?

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

The Campus Clipper’s recent publication, the NYC Student Guide, is a must-have for any college student. Whether you’re interested in applying for an internship, scoring cheap Broadway tickets, or finding the best places to eat in the city, the NYC Student Guide can help you! The Guide is filled with over 30 articles, each written by a different student author. Some article titles include: “On Roommates,” “On Studying,” “On Relationships,” and many more. Each article includes beautiful hand-drawn illustrations, also created by students. Finally, the book is light and handy–much lighter than those textbooks you lug around all over campus– so you can carry it with you everywhere. Also unlike a textbook, the Guide is both informative and entertaining to read. The uniquely informal style of our student authors will draw you in. Reading our book is like listening to the advice of a good college friend.

But there are hundreds of college guidebooks out there, you may be saying. What makes this one so different? First and foremost, our guidebook is written by current students, not some stogy man or woman who graduated in 1979. Although he or she must have done extensive research to compile the book, they are not drawing from personal experience. Our authors are more relevant, because they are experiencing college life at the exact same time you are. (Who knows, maybe you’ve crossed paths on campus!)

Finally, (although our guidebook is useful to students studying across the country) it includes many articles that are specific to New York City. Learn where the best thrift shops are located. Find out how to use the local job-searching site, Jatched.com. Discover new bars and nightly hot spots. Every year, thousands upon thousands of high school graduates, from across the country  travel to NYC to study. The myriad opportunities of this city beckon them. Maybe you are one of these students. I was. And if you come armed with the NYC Student Guide, you are sure to make the most of your time here!

Order your copy of the NYC Student Guide Here! 

Written by Megan Soyars, Campus Clipper Blogger

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How To Get Through Projects (and other stuff) Relatively Stress-Free

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

Right now, most of you are probably going through midterms.  This is the first indication in the semester that things have gotten serious.  Whether it’s an exam, a project, or a giant paper, your midterm will most likely make up a huge chunk of your grade.

Now, you probably have that project or paper on your mind right now.  Believe me, it can seem like there’s some huge monster behind you, looking down and getting ready to eat you.  But it doesn’t have to be like that.  All you gotta do is these few things:

1. Start Early

I know, I kind of sound like a broken record at this point, but it really is a good idea.  I’m not saying you should try to finish your

project the first week it’s given.  That would be impossible (or at least

inadvisable).  Just start a few things, like what you’re project or paper is going to be about, or how it’s all gonna be organized.  By starting early, you sort of motivate yourself to get things done sooner.  I guess you can say you’re putting your foot through the door.

Figuratively, or course! Please don't actually try to kick through a door!

2. Don’t cut corners

If time is of the essence, you might be tempted to make a few mistakes and not fix them.  You might think, “Eh, I can let that slide.  The teacher won’t notice!”  You wanna know what happens when you do cut corners?  THIS!

"Maybe the boss won't notice."

It’s NEVER a good idea to let mistakes just sit there.  This is gonna be a huge part of your grade, so you don’t want to risk failing the whole thing just because of one stupid mistake.  Plus, remember this; when applying for jobs or grad schools, your professors might serve as good reference.  Do you really think he or she will give you a good recommendation if you are seen doing the bare minimum?

3. Don’t stress it

This may sound like a contradiction to the earlier “don’t cut corners” lecture, but this last bit is really important.  Some of you will just put your project off until the last minute and not even think about it until you think you really need to, but there’s also some of you who will stress about it day in and day out.  Let me just tell you, relax.

Being like this is never helpful

There’s an old story about Napoleon.  He was running late for an opera, and he told his wife, “Dress me slowly, for I am in a hurry”.  Do you know why he said that?  Because he knew that when you rush things in a panic, you will eventually make mistakes.  The moral is to take time to do things right, but it can also apply to stress in midterm projects.

You will feel overwhelmed, there’s no way around it.  You’re going to have a lot of work to do in what looks like very little time.  At this point  you’ll want to panic; you’ll scream and cry and want to kill someone.  But before you do any of that, take a step back, breathe in, breathe out, and relax.

Don’t misunderstand; I’m not saying that you shouldn’t work.  I’m just saying that you need to take time to relax.  Stress is never helpful, and if you’re stressed doing this project, you’re not going to have a good outcome.  What’s worse, stress can have several adverse effects on your health.  You don’t want to suffer a heart attack over one big project, do you?  I thought not.

Approach one problem at a time.  Don’t overwhelm yourself with everything at once.  Make sure you don’t rush into things, otherwise your grade (and your health) will suffer.  But most importantly; relax once in a while.  Lie down for a bit.  Drink a nice cup of coffee.  Listen to some smooth jazz.  If you can think of anything else that helps you relax, do it!

You probably won't win a Nobel Prize, but at least you'll get a good grade!

Let me make this clear; I am NOT a teacher.  I am not a guidance counselor, or an academic adviser, or any school official.  I am a student just like you.  I’ve been through all the stuff you’re going through, and I now know what to do when faced with a project like a midterm.  Will these three steps get you an A?  Maybe, maybe not.  I can’t be 100% certain.  However, I can be sure that if you follow these three steps, you’ll do a lot better than if you never read this post!

And hey, once you finish your project, maybe you can go and enjoy a Goodburger!

Sergio Lopez, Polytechnic Institute of NYU, Graduate Student ’12

View my tumblr here

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