Category: academics (page 1 of 13)

“Overcoming Annotation Hesitation” by Nadya Ellerhorst

I used to stubbornly resist annotating assignments and books, no matter how strongly others recommended it. It felt plain wrong, even disrespectful, to turn the creamy pages of books into stacks of neon yellow and blue (because if you’re going to highlight, highlight with school spirit), sprinkled with scribbled writing about this or that. I was told that annotating keeps you engaged with a given text, can improve your memory of what you read, can help you save time — yet I preferred to write out quotes in a separate notebook or utilize Post-its to the point where my books looked like butter-colored accordions. Call it stubbornness, call it hesitation, call it Nadya just being Nadya — I did not and would not sully any assigned reading with pen, pencil, highlighter, or paintbrush. 

With college came a greater need for time management, as well as more reading assignments than I’ve previously experienced, and my outlook shifted a smidge. No matter your majors or minors, college brings with it substantial amounts of reading, and coupled with actual class time, extracurriculars, and necessary stuff like eating and sleeping, homework can pile up to such a degree that writing out detailed notes isn’t necessarily efficient. We Honors students also have a tendency to intentionally make ourselves busy and take more challenging classes, putting us in a position for a greater need for homework efficiency. In fact, most of my annotating activity has of late been dedicated to assignments in my Honors courses.

With a great deal of perseverance and an even greater amount of ink, I’ve managed to fully overcome my perpetual annotation hesitation, and I’ll tell you what—it’s not all that bad. Generally speaking, annotating is great for visual learners (me), people who don’t read very quickly (also me), or those who’ve amassed too many pens over the years and need to use them (definitely me).  Continue reading

“Self-Care Tips for Finals” by Brittany Connely

The semester is quickly coming to an end, with group projects, exams, and final papers starting to pile up. While as Honors students it may feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day to complete everything, it is important to remember to continue to take care of ourselves. It is easy to get overwhelmed, but allowing yourself a second to breathe is a must. Here are four easy and quick self-care activities for finals to help make you ready to succeed during this upcoming week. Continue reading

“The 3 Ps to Your Success” by Shrinidhi Dandibhotla

Before I get started, I want to clarify something: I am no expert and I am not perfect. But what I’m about to tell you has truly changed my life in the last 8 months, and I hope you will find my experiences and advice useful for your own life.

We all have goals and ambitions in life, but we often find ourselves complaining that we don’t have enough time to achieve all of them. Well, who actually ever has enough time? According to a national survey conducted by Gallup, about 48% of Americans say that they don’t have enough time to do the things they want to do. Between Honors classes, homework, work life, and other extracurricular activities, students often find the days just slipping right past them, not giving them time to socialize, hang out with friends, or even just sit back and relax. 

If you’re feeling that way right now, trust me, you’re not alone. With finals just around the corner and wrapping up coursework for the semester, it’s common to feel that “mid-semester slump” and get caught up in the spiral of wondering if you should just quit. But remind yourself that you can do it. Continue reading

“Essays for Essays” by Chris Hope

I am a fan of anything that goes into great depth to analyze media or the humanities, whether that be Wikipedia articles on niche linguistic concepts, articles analyzing album themes, or what I’ll be talking about in this article: YouTube video essays. There are a wide variety: ones analyzing movies or TV shows, ones discussing political concepts, and more. I also believe that there’s much to learn from these videos aside from the ideas that they posit, such as topics to use in one’s own writing and ways of structuring one’s own writing, and they can even be something to watch in one’s free time or as background noise.

Looking online, you can find videos on almost any topic; to me, this is an interesting way to brainstorm ideas for your own writing, as well as a way to find sources. Similarly to how you wouldn’t cite Wikipedia and would rather go and find the sources from which the authors get their information, oftentimes creators will include their sources throughout the video or in the description. This way, you can look more into primary sources for the topic and then gather your own. The intersection of the topics of these video essays also allows for you to find resources on deeper, more academic topics while hearing about how they intersect with media. There are channels dedicated to music and its use in films, and one video I’ve watched talks about how animated movies use imagery relating to immigration and police and the implications such imagery has on the films’ messages as a whole. There are also ones that just talk about a specific topic on its own, one in particular I think of being about how languages die out because of colonial powers. The structure of these videos can also be of benefit when looking at your own writing. Continue reading

“Thinking Outside the Box” by Jenny Gloyd

I have been told probably a million times to “think outside of the box.” The old idiom has merit in encouraging creativity, allowing your mind to wander outside set limits, and return with something truly wonderful. It has brought us great inventors such as Thomas Edison and innovative thinkers such as Erwin Shrödinger. I encourage everyone to work on developing this level of ingenuity, but I want to see if we can redefine the meaning of this old saying for our lives at the current. Can we instead think outside of the four corners of our laptop screens?  Continue reading

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