Monthly Archives: March 2017

Recover From An Extended Break

We’ve all had that feeling; that feeling of not wanting a break to end, no matter how small or big.

We’ve already developed habits to maximize our lazing about and minimising our work. But now that it’s ‘back to school’ time, it’s also ‘back to the grind of having to get up early’ time. For some of us, it can be jarring having to go straight from leisure to work, and there’s usually a couple of days (or weeks) of lag time before you adjust. Here are a couple of tips to help with the transition.

Gradually re-introduce work.

Our natural inclination is to keep doing what we’ve been doing, especially if what we’ve been doing has been relaxing all day.

Veep

Although it’s important to start as soon as you can to keep up with school, taking on everything at once can be overwhelming and stressful. Instead, introduce work slowly every day until you start to feel comfortable again. Maybe begin with a half hour on your first day back and build from there.

Also, keep in mind that the first few days of school probably won’t be that intense, so it’s the perfect time to gradually re-introduce study to your life.

Re-establish a routine.

Following on from this, it’s important to prepare for school ahead of time as well. Once you’re back into the swing of things, structure your work so that you know how much time is required for each subject.

Keep a regular schedule of what you should be doing, when. For example, set specific times for Math, English and Science (accounting for breaks in-between). You can make this flexible, especially if you have more work for a particular subject in a particular day or week; in general though, stick to your schedule.

Implement good habits on holiday.

There is a temptation on holidays to completely abandon all the good habits you’ve built up during the school term, mainly because you’re on, well, holidays. Even though you really want to make the most of your holidays, you shouldn’t completely abandon your routine. It can make the transition back to school much harder.

Sleep

No one’s expecting you to do any hardcore work during the break; simply stick to general guidelines like waking up or getting to bed at the same time you would if you had school on. This can help prevent massive grogginess later. Of course, if you must wake up at an ungodly hour because your school is far away, by all means, wake up at a more reasonable time during holidays (but try not to deviate too much; an hour is pretty easy to correct for, but maybe not two or three).

Sure, go out there and enjoy your holidays. Just think of these steps a few days before the holidays end and your body and mind will end up thanking you over the next ten weeks.

Tips to Deal With Group Assignment that Awkwardness

Group of Young Students Studying together at Library, High View

We know you’ve been there before.

Student: “And Ms, are we choosing our own groups?”

Teacher: “No, I have already chosen them.” (*Evil laugh*)

Yeah, okay, it’s a slight exaggeration, but that’s pretty much what we’re all thinking when it’s time for group assignments, right?

Your heart begins to race as you look around; your brain spins, working out the likelihood of getting at least one other person from your friend group. Alas, it is not to be.

You’re handed over to a group you’d very much prefer not to be a part of. You observe the people sitting across from the table. Among them you see that one guy who speaks so quietly he has to repeat what he’s saying several times for it to be heard, those two girls who can’t ever be separated and spend most of their time discussing their plans for the weekend, and, of course, that one slacker who contributes nothing to the group. Ever.

Now, you wouldn’t say there is anything wrong with these people. It’s just an uncomfortable experience working with people you hardly interact with, in or out of school.

So, how are we meant to overcome this terrifying situation? How is it exactly that we should deal with ‘group assignment awkwardness’?

Here’s my answer: Be the loudest voice.

Loud

Now by this, I don’t mean you should be yelling into everyone’s ears, “Did you understand that son?!” Simply be the person who gets things going.

Often the biggest problem in group assignments is the delegation of roles. If you are the one who asks questions about what everyone might want to do, you’ll be seen as the most productive member and also have a bit more control over the situation.

It goes without saying that being bossy is not the same thing. You want to be firm but not fierce; self-assured but not selfish.

If becoming the group leader is something you choose to uphold, you must remember to consider everyone’s ideas. Ask for opinions and seek out suggestions. However, if the thoughts and interactions come to a standstill, be the propeller of the conversation.

Veep

I was often afraid of doing this out of fear that people would think I’m too self-confident or that I’m too confrontational. The thing is, someone’s gotta be that person if no one else will contribute.

In the end, it comes down to how much you care about this assignment. Yes, it stinks when you’re a part of a group, whether they’re helpful or not, but at least you can say that you tried. What you put in is what you get out.

But what if someone else decides to be the loudest voice? Here are your options.
A) Be another loud voice. You can share the role, contributing the same. Just remember that it’s not a competition and being louder or pushier isn’t the way to find success in team situations. Don’t cause conflict.

B) Be the keenest listener. Reply to the questions asked, ask questions that you want answered and think about things on a deeper level. Remember that speakers need listeners in order to get messages across and to achieve goals.

This method may not be for some of you. Hey, it might not be for any of you. Yet, I think it’s one worth trying and perhaps you might want to give it a chance.

All the best to those of you on your own awkward group work adventures. I know you’ll need it

Know More About University

So, you’ve finally finished high school and you’re just about to start university.

You probably have a few questions you’re asking yourself. Like, how is uni different from high school? How will I make friends? How can I maximise the time I spend achieving the ideal state of a university student (which is to sit on your bed all day watching Netflix on your laptop)?

Okay, these questions might not be in your head right now, but they definitely will be once you start.

Class

Class at uni is a lot like class in high school except you get a lot more free time. You might have classes in the morning and in the afternoon but usually these come with a big break in between or no break at all (though the latter means you get to go home early). For those of you lucky enough to be able to create your own timetables, make sure you fit classes around your schedule – it can be annoying to go all the way to uni for just a single one-hour class.

Classes generally are flexible and there are multiple times for the same class, so you should be fine if you schedule it right. However, be warned that classes at convenient times (i.e. ones that don’t start at 9am or 6pm) usually go quick, so, to get the optimal timetable, make sure you enrol in your classes as soon as you are able. And I don’t mean on the same day as class begins: I mean the minute you are able to enrol.

Study

Studying for uni is a lot like a Rocky movie. You start off making friends and before you know it you’re in your training montage mode, ready to face the final exams. Except the training montage lasts for ten weeks. Make sure you study every week and keep up with all your readings and homework. Falling behind one week can be really tough if you want to catch up.

Unlike high school, there’s no one around to make sure that you do all the work every week; therefore, a lot of self-discipline is required. Pretend there’s someone watching you do your homework each week and you should be fine. There really isn’t that much extra study that you can do; just make sure you do all the assigned work.

Extra-Curricular Activities

Uni is a time for you to explore who you want to be and the type of people you want to spend time with. You’re not being forced to hang with anyone you don’t really want to, so use that time to be around people with similar interests to you. There’s no better way to do that than by joining a society at your university. There are a lot of different societies around, so as long as your interests are within the bounds of human decency, there’s bound to be a society for it.

Don’t be afraid to join societies that might be a little bit out of your comfort zone either. Typically, societies don’t require a lot of time commitment and if it doesn’t turn out to be your thing, just quit. No judgments from anyone.

Lastly, make sure you take part in the orientation camps that are exclusive to your degree. Not only are the people you meet there going to be helpful in the future (by providing notes), but they’re also probably going to be the people you see the most of during class.

And that’s it. Uni is really just about having a fun time. Yeah, you have to study, but at least now you’re studying something that actually applies to your future life and hopefully you actually find it interesting