The three most important things I learned this semester

what I learned this semester

Here I will talk about the three most important things I learned this semester.

Last semester after coming back from quarantine, my head wasn’t all into college. I was definitely feeling some senioritis. Along with that, I had a job… This was mistake number one. I was thinking I could hold a job and be a stress-free bio major. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I still made it through with pretty good grades, but they could have been better if I didn’t.

Going into the next semester, I was already burnt out from the previous semester but I had finally quit my job to alleviate some stress. Little did I know, that this next semester would be the hardest semester of my life. hence the no blog post.

The first test came around and just like that, I got my first F in my college career. And remember I am a senior, so this was big! I was devastated and for the first time in my college career, I felt like I couldn’t do something. But I picked myself up and from this experience, I learned three important things.

1. The importance of competition

Three most important things I learned

So, as I said, I felt like I couldn’t do it. I did not believe in myself and I felt stupid. Like how could I believe I could be anything or do any of this. Soon I began to spiral thinking all my peers were doing better than me. I slowly learned that we were all in the same boat.

I wanted to prove to myself that I wasn’t stupid. The smartest girl in class happen to be in all my classes and I silently began competing with her, thinking if I could work as hard as her, I would prove to myself I was smart. This was somewhat of a toxic mindset but I truly needed this to believe that I could achieve my dreams. This competition became somewhat fun and I slowly moved out of my funk I was in from the previous semester. Studying changed for me. It wasn’t just about memorizing the information and then moving on, but about truly learning it. I got interested in the stuff I was learning and I started to truly feel like I knew what was going on in my field. I felt like I belonged and I found my passion. And that all started with a little competition.

2. I learned how to soak information in really fast

The three things I learned this semester of college

Because of the sheer volume of information I had to absorb this semester, I learned how to easily learn things and recite them as if it were a presentation. I realized that the only way to study for exams, especially written exams, is through active recall.

When I was overwhelmed by the amount of information, I would first do a read over everything. Not really trying to memorize yet, just looking and getting exposure. Then I realized I need to put the paper down, and actually see if I was learning anything. Without doing this, I may have gone into a test thinking I was ready when all I ever did was read the notes. So I would recite everything I remember on the subject that needed to be known. I would do this until I had everything memorized. It’s surprisingly easy. I would focus on the hardest things first. Once I was in the test, I would have most everything memorized word per word.

3. The importance of taking a break

What I learned this semester in college

The human mind can only hold so much and take so much before bursting. Along with constant stress and anxiety, it isn’t good for you. At the start of the semester, I really was just trying to bang out my assignments. Work hard and prove myself. The workload was insane and It was affecting even one of the smartest girls in my class who I had all my classes with. It was so bad she began skipping classes on accident cause she would pull all-nighters and slept through her alarm. I feel like we looked like train wrecks walking into that school every day. We were losing our minds.

I started to stay up late to get more done and wake up early to get even more done. I’m normally the type of girl who does not budge on getting at least 6-8 hours of sleep. But I found myself getting 4 hours maybe less most nights. One day I decided to say whatever. This isn’t worth it. I couldn’t get anything done because I was so tired. So I took the day off. Although, I regret that sometimes, I came back rejuvenated and ready to get back to work. My best option in the case of exhaustion and burnout is to take a break and come back with a plan. Utilize your most effective study methods that get things down in the least amount of time. I found some great methods for efficiency for my chemistry class, which I will talk about in my future blog.

So take breaks, be competitive if you like that, and figure out how you learn best. I hope that we all have great semesters this coming fall and hopefully I can help make things easier with my blog if anything. That’s what I’m here for! Let me know how your semester went in the comments if you like and thank you for visiting!

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