How To Avoid Lecture Atrophy And Pay Full Attention To Lectures

How To Avoid Lecture Atrophy And Pay Full Attention To Lectures

Let’s start with the fact that “Sometimes You Can’t” pay full attention to lectures. Some of the responsibility has to lie with the professors. Your professors are being paid massive salaries and what you are getting for your money? A professor’s job is not to dole out information; you can get that from a book. A professor is supposed to be engaging and is supposed to make the subject matter come alive. Before you start looking inwards, maybe consider if your professor is to blame. This is especially a consideration if you have trouble paying attention to one particular professor’s lectures. If the blame lies with you, then here are a few ideas that may re-ignite your interest.

What Is Lecture Atrophy?

Have you ever been in a lecture and you are paying attention, and you are not distracted, but you somehow don’t hear or follow what the professor is saying. Similar things happen when you read, where you read a page, but when you get to the end you realize you didn’t take anything in. That is what we have playfully called “Lecture Atrophy”. It is almost as if your attention is there and your concentration is there, but the part of your brain that processes the information has wasted away temporarily.

Start By Creating Your Own Version Of Shorthand Or Bullet-Point Note Taking

It may not be you or your lecturer’s fault, you may be inadvertently boring yourself into a stupor because of the way you take notes. We have all seen the students at lecturers who come out with 6000 words of text that they have typed/written for notes. The process of writing notes may be what is pushing you towards lecture atrophy. Learn how to take shorter notes, bullet point notes, or notes in your personal style of short-hand. You can still understand them later, but to the outside observer you look like somebody trying to generate a text-version of outsider art.

Blog About The Content Of Your Lecture

Vow to write a blog post on everything you learn in every lecture. Good students make notes during lectures and then write them up later anyway, so you are just taking it to the next level. Writing a blog post about each lecture is going to force you to get the details right. It is also going to encourage you to dig a little deeper into the subject, as well as encouraging you to make sure you have it 100% accurate.

For some reason, when we teach things to others, we seem to learn it better ourselves–so take the project seriously. Act as if there are going to be knowledge-hungry people reading your blog posts. It is not miles away from the truth anyway; students in your classes may use your blog posts to catch up on what they have missed. It will certainly make your blog posts an important resource that your friends may thank you for.

Sit Closer To The Front

Glazed-over eyes are more noticeable to your professor when you sit near the front. It makes it more difficult for you to adopt a posture that suggests you are not listening. It makes you a little more self-aware and therefore makes it a little more difficult for you to lose focus. It is harder to drift away when you are right under your professor’s nose.

In addition, the act of straining to hear a professor is going to make you tired. Even if you don’t feel it, your brain is forced to pay extra attention to try to grab every word that your professor says, and that will wear you down eventually.

Conclusion – You Have Two Other Options

One option is to record videos of your professor doing his or her lecture so that you can review it later. You may be in a position where none of the ideas listed on this article work, (it happens to all of us). In which case, you can go over the video you recorded and examine what your professor said later in the day. You can even pause the lecture during the tricky bits and read through your textbooks to sure up your knowledge.

Another option is to simply quit your course and pick something else. The fact you are unable to pay attention may simply be your subconscious mind telling you that this particular qualification is not the one for you. You may worry that if you quit your course or switch your course, then you are not going to be able to do the career of your choice. However, have you considered that your chosen career will feature much more of the boring content that you are tired of hearing? It may be worth considering a complete change in career goals too.

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The Pros and Cons of Unpaid Internships

The Pros and Cons of Unpaid Internships

An internship is typically done later in your college career, or sometimes after you graduate. The object of the position is to give you real world experience that you can add to your resume as you seek a paid job in the future. Some internships offer a paycheck or stipend, but a good majority of them are unpaid. So, the question becomes, should you take an unpaid internship?

Pros of an Unpaid Internship

The primary benefit of taking an unpaid internship is the valuable job experience you’ll gain. However, there are a couple of other reasons why it might not be a bad idea to accept one if it comes along. If you haven’t graduated from college yet, you can earn some college credit while gaining work experience at the same time. You also get the chance to network with people in your field, which gives you contacts when you’re ready for a paid job. Sometimes, an unpaid internship comes with other perks, rather than a regular paycheck. This could be transportation, tickets to events, free food and other benefits.

Cons of an Unpaid Internship

Besides the obvious drawback of working for no money, there are some other things to think about if you’re considering an unpaid internship. Some experts in the field say that it’s unethical to ask someone to work without financial compensation, and you may agree with that. Some people, especially those in college, cannot afford or don’t have the time to take an unpaid position. For businesses, relying on unpaid interns limits the diversity of the employees, which cuts back on the benefits for students. Additionally, financial experts caution that unpaid internships are contributing to the student debt crisis and are not helping the economy. Finally, studies show that individuals who have completed a paid internship are more employable than those who only have an unpaid internship under their belt.

How to Choose the Right Internship

The truth is that most internships continue to be unpaid, so if you’ve decided to take one, it’s a good idea to do some research so you can find the one that’s the right fit for you. There are some things to consider here. One of important thing to think about is the expectations that go along with the unpaid internship. Get a good idea of what you will be required to do and how much time you’ll have to commit. If you’re working the internship for college credit, be sure you understand what you’re getting out of it, in terms of your college education and degree.

Another important thing to think about is the time commitment. If you’re still a student, it’s probably unfeasible to work a full-time internship when you have a full course load and schoolwork to attend to. If you’ve graduated, you will probably need to do some type of job to earn an income and may not be able to commit to a full-time unpaid internship. It’s important to balance your time so that you can get the most out of the internship.

How the internship is going to benefit you is another aspect that bears some thought. If you’re going to commit the time to the endeavor, make sure it’s something you’re going to get something out of, now and in the future.

Think about how the unpaid internship will contribute to your future career. Is it going to further your experience and knowledge in the field? Is it going to open doors to a well-paid position in the future. If so, it might be worth for a bit without a steady paycheck, as the payoff will come soon.

Finally, consider the company’s track record for hiring interns. If the entity consistently offers paid positions to its interns, it might make sense to spend some time working for free. If not, it might be a better idea to lend your time and skills to another firm.

Ultimately, your goal with an internship, whether paid or not, is to gain experience and knowledge that will serve you well as you graduate from college and transition into the workforce. If you can swing working without pay, in terms of your bills and social life, by all means, use an unpaid internship as a stepping stone into your career. If not, there’s bound to be a paid opportunity out there. The most important thing to do is to be sure that whichever one you choose is one that leverages your degree or furthers your career. You can always take a part-time job in your field, which offers both a paycheck and the experience you need to climb the ladder.

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7 Ways to Travel More in College

7 Ways to Travel More in College

Most college students have to stretch their budget as far as possible, so traveling might seem out of the question. While it’s true that seeing the world can get pricey, there are some great ways to travel on a college budget, without having to sacrifice too much elsewhere. College is a great time to travel because you don’t have the full-time obligations of a job or a family to take care of. If you want to see more of what’s around you, use these handy tips.

Travel in the Off Season

The best way to save money on travel is to go in the off season. That means planning your trip sometime that isn’t spring break or the holidays. By going on your trip during the off season, you can save a bundle on flights, hotels and attractions. Travel in the winter or early spring for the best savings. Besides being cheaper, you’ll find that traveling in the off season means fewer tourists so things won’t be as crowded.

Bring a Friend

Instead of going on vacation alone, consider bringing a roommate. That can save you money on lodgings because the two of you can split the cost. You can also take advantage of buy one, get one deals, allowing you to split one cost and save money for both of you. On top of that, traveling with a friend is enjoyable and gives you a chance to bond with each other.

Eat in the Supermarket

It’s no secret that eating out can cost a lot. If you shop for your meals at the grocery store, you can save quite a bit of money on food costs while you travel. Buying a few items for a picnic is much less expensive than a meal in a restaurant. Shopping at the supermarket is also a great way to sample the local cuisine.

Look for Free Tours

Most cities offer plenty of free tours, including at museums, art galleries and other attractions. By spending some of your time doing things that don’t cost any money, you can save some dollars for other things. If travel seems out of the question while you’re in college, it makes sense to see the world for free whenever you can. You can often bundle a few tours with your hotel, which is another way to save money and still get to see the sights.

Use Public Transportation

You can quickly go broke by spending money on cabs to get you from place to place. Save yourself a bunch of money by using public transport. Most large cities have public buses or a subway system that is a fraction of the cost of calling for a taxi or Uber ride. Familiarize yourself with the options before you arrive so that you aren’t overwhelmed. If you plan to see several countries on your trip, consider taking a train between them, which is usually much cheaper than other methods of transportation.

Stay in a Hostel

Hostels are set up for college students and you can save a whole lot of money staying there instead of booking a hotel room. You may have to share with other students, but it’s a great way to meet new people and the cost savings could be enough that you can make a trip fit in your college student budget. If you travel in the off season, you might find that hostels are empty and you’ll have the place to yourself.

Study Abroad or Do a Service Trip

Most colleges and universities offer study abroad opportunities. This allows you to work on your degree program and see the world at the same time. Typically, you’ll spend a semester in another country, allowing you to travel without having to spend a lot of money or take a break from your education. Service trips are another way to save money on travel. This type of trip involves doing some type of volunteer work in exchange for room and board. Internships are another way to see the world without going broke.

While you probably won’t be staying in five-star hotels and eating all the finest foods, you can make a trip here and there fit with your college budget. The trick is to book early so you can take advantage of savings. You must plan your trip well so you don’t find yourself stuck in a foreign country without any money. That means booking a room beforehand, planning which tours and attractions you’ll see and where you’ll shop and how you’ll get around. It’s not out of the question to travel on a college student’s budget, but you won’t be able to make the trip spontaneously. It’s still going to be fun though, so get started planning your trip today.

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How to Build a Good Relationship with Your Professor

How to Build a Good Relationship with Your Professor

When you go to university, you will meet a lot of professors as you go through your courses. One of the best things you can do for yourself is to get to know and build a relationship with each of them. This is a great way to make yourself memorable and create a human connection with your instructors. Not only does this help you enjoy class more, but it also offers several benefits as you go through college and get a job. Here’s how to forge a relationship with your professors.

1. Show an Interest

Professors are human beings and that means they are so much more than what you see in the classroom. Try to sit in the front of class so that he or she can see that you’re interested in the material presented in class, but also so that you can ask questions that gives you insight into what your professor is passionate about and what’s important to him or her. Your face will become recognizable, which is the first step to building a relationship with your instructors.

2. Offer Your Opinion

University professors don’t want to stand in front of class and drone on and on to a sea of uninterested students. Offering your own opinion and asking lots of questions gives you the chance to show who you are and to learn more about your instructor. Even if your opinion differs from the norm or is not the one held by your professor, sharing what you think and believe is an important part of creating a good relationship.

3. Visit Office Hours

Class time isn’t the only opportunity to talk with your professor. Visit his or her office hours to continue a discussion from class or to have a conversation about a topic related to your coursework. Your instructors will enjoy spending more time with you and you’ll get some extra info that will serve you well in class. If you can’t make it office hours, consider emailing with questions or comments.

4. Volunteer for Tasks

In some classes, your professor may divide up tasks among the class or ask that a few students carry out a specific duty. Stick your hand up right away and volunteer and you’ve just started building a positive relationship with your professor. Not only could get a break when it comes to grading, but you’ll have plenty of chances to get to know each other a little more.

5. Attend Department Activities

Whether your major is music or psychology, there are bound to be department events that you can attend. This gives you a great chance to mingle with your professor and others in the department. You’ll make yourself visible and memorable and will have the opportunity to share yourself with your professor and learn more about him or her at the same time. Plus, you’ll probably enjoy yourself, which is a great extra benefit.

6. Get Good Grades

Even if you’re a really nice person, your professor is probably going to be more inclined to form a relationship with you if you get good grades and prove that you’re serious about the course. If you are struggling with the material, get extra help. This proves that you are willing to put in the time and effort, something that will endear you to all of your instructors.

7. Talk About Your Professional Goals

Most professors are happy to help you use your classwork, combined with their professional influence, to help you reach your academic and work goals. You’re going to university with the aim of starting a career someday, so asking your professors for advice and sharing what you want to do is a great basis for a relationship. You might even ask for a letter of recommendation once the course is complete.

8. Stay in Touch

When class is over, it’s pretty easy to move and end the relationship, but that’s not a good idea. Staying in touch gives you a valuable mentor in your chosen field and gives you an in for certain jobs or graduate school positions. You don’t have to spend hours together, but drop by once in a while to catch up or stay in touch via email as often as possible. It only takes a few minutes and is totally worth it.

There are bound to be a few professors here and there who aren’t interested in a relationship with students, but the vast majority of them will be happy to partner with you in your education and give you some assistance and resources during your time at university. The first day of class is the perfect time to open things up, so be sure to sit in the front and introduce yourself. You’ll be so glad you did.

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Time Management for Students: How to Finish Your Assignments On Time

Time Management for Students

Going to university is a special time when you can make new friends and create lifelong memories with them. However, it’s also a time when you are very busy going to class, doing coursework and studying. It can be hard to find a slot in your schedule that allows you to go out with friends. By making some small changes to your routine, you’ll have time to get your work done and still see your mates. Here’s how.

1. Group Your Classes Together

Instead of scattering your classes out through the day, block them back to back. This might sound like it will be difficult, but it actually saves you quite a bit of time. You won’t have an idle hour here and there while you wait for your next class. You will likely find yourself trolling Facebook or watching cat videos instead of getting any work done in that hour, meaning you’ll have to do it all later. By getting all of your classes finished at one time, you’ll naturally have large blocks of time later in the day to study and see your friends.

2. Don’t Miss Class

It might seem like you’ll have more time if you skip class, but making up the work and finding the notes and material from a classmate could take longer than just going to the class. You’ll learn the information more efficiently and won’t have to spend hours later hunting down what you need, leaving you more time for pizza and beer with your dorm mates.

3. Write Down a Plan

Having a plan makes life so much easier when you’re at university. Blocking time for studying and time for friends lets you get it all done and enjoy your off time. Keep a schedule for when you’re in class, when you need to study and what blocks of time are available for socialising. This way, you get the important stuff done and still have time for the fun stuff.

4. Get Homework Done on Time

You may be tempted to forgo studying because all of your friends are heading to the bar. This will only put you further behind and keep you from going with them next time too. A good plan should have you getting your coursework done with plenty of time leftover for a beer with mates. However, sometimes you may have to turn down an invitation to go out so that you can get your work done, so that’s a time you just have to suck it up. On the other hand, if you put it off, you may find yourself facing a ton of reading and assignments that you must finish all at one time.

5. Balance Your Course Load

When you choose your classes each term, be sure you are mixing those that are a bit easier with those that are probably going to be more challenging. This way, you have less work in some that balances out with the larger amounts of work required in the others. If you find that you’re spending a lot of time on one particular class, cut back elsewhere to balance things out. No one enjoys uni when it’s all work and no play, so the right balance is key to working toward your degree and fostering your friendships at the same time.

6. Skip Long Vacations

Some uni kids take a week here and there to travel or fit in a break. That’s simply not a good time management choice. Sure, that week off will be fun, but the loads of work you’re facing when you return will keep you so busy for the coming months that you won’t have any time to see your friends at all. It’s best to attend class regularly and stick to scheduled breaks. If you do decide to get away, take your work with you and try to keep up.

7. Do Everything Only Once

You might scribble your notes in class, then rewrite them later for studying. This is a waste of time. If you can read the scribbled notes, use them to study. Or, take your laptop to class and type your notes right away instead of doing it later. Don’t sit idly in class, taping the lecture to come back to later. Take notes right now and you’re done. Now you have time for catching up with your friends.

Time management is a very important skill to learn at university and one that will serve you well now and in the future. Learning to balance your coursework with your social time allows you to get the most out of your time at university in all regards. It might not be easy to get started, but once these ideas become your habit, you’ll be amazed at how efficient you are and at how much time you have to socialise.