186 South College

grab your coffee, sit back and hang out with the UD Honors Program for a while

Tag: academics (page 1 of 2)

“Completing my English Degree” by Amanda Langell

As the semester comes to a close, I find myself in a nostalgic, uncharacteristic mood.  Four years ago, I was just trying to survive my first finals week as a stressed-out, overwhelmed freshman. It sounds cliché, but I have no idea how time has moved so quickly, and now I’m concluding my last ever fall semester as an undergraduate. My best friend and I met for lunch today and we couldn’t believe how much we have grown since we met on move-in day at Redding. It feels like a lifetime ago, yet it also feels like yesterday. I have a feeling a lot of clichés will be thrown out in this post, but I can’t help it.

I came into college declared as an English major, not knowing much beyond my passion for reading and writing. Despite some looming doubts and outside voices, I trusted I would figure out my path eventually. Over the past years, I took literature classes that excited me, creative writing classes that bettered me, and English classes that just sounded fun. I became a member of the Writing Fellows Program, a writer (and now editor) for this blog, and an editor of Caesura, the campus literary magazine. I also added history as a second major and worked extremely hard to balance two of the most writing-centric subjects offered at the university. Sometimes it was a lot, but I made it out alive. I successfully increased my passions through my education and will leave UD this upcoming spring as a better student and a better person. Continue reading

“Think Like a Tomato: A Guide to the Pomodoro Method” by Nicole Pinera

We thrive on the ping of new notifications, two paragraph long summaries of three-hundred page novels, and fifteen second video clips… and it is killing our productivity. When it’s time to sit down and study or write that final essay that’s been hanging over your head all semester, it can be hard not to start mindlessly scrolling through your phone. I’ve found a technique that helps me focus and get work done. Especially as UD Honors students, who typically have too many commitments and just not enough hours in the day for every one of them, being productive and focusing on the task at hand is a lifesaver.

For anyone who knows a little bit of Italian (disclaimer: I don’t, I used Google Translate), you’ll know that “pomodoro” translates to “tomato.” If you don’t get how a tomato can help you do your homework, don’t worry; there’s a fun backstory to this simple but effective productivity method. A college student named Francesco Cirillo used a tomato-shaped kitchen timer to break his work up into 25 minute blocks, followed by a short break. The concept, originally devised in the 1980s, stuck, and this widely popularized technique is known as the Pomodoro Method today. Continue reading

“Note-Taking 101” by Ryan Dean

I can hardly ever remember taking notes in high school. Besides a few select AP courses, notes simply weren’t critical to my academic success. I imagine the same is true for many of my fellow honors freshman, who have managed to perform well without developing this important skill. But circumstances change, and we now find ourselves in a demanding intellectual environment. It’s time to adapt, and that means becoming effective note-takers.

Perhaps you are of the opinion that this subject doesn’t warrant much discussion, much less an entire blog post. After all, note-taking is just copying what a teacher says, right? Unfortunately, there is a lot more nuance to this topic than there may seem. While you can still thrive by transcribing everything you see on a chalkboard, you are wasting time and effort by failing to adopt more efficient practices. So I implore you to read on, and consider implementing the following techniques into your regular note-taking. Continue reading

“A Little Love for the Library” by Erin Jackson

Though we have all been to the Hugh Morris Library at some point by now, the building holds a different meaning for all of its attendees. For some people it is the only place they can get work done; for others it’s the ultimate destination for group projects; some people go there as a social event; and still others use it as a way to escape the noise of an active college community. For a while, I had no idea where I fit in among these classifications of library-goers. It started out as a necessary destination whenever I needed to print something before I invested in a printer of my own. Then, after my first semester of freshman year when my laptop somehow got blacklisted from the UD internet for reasons unknown to this day, I again was forced to the library to either rent a laptop or spend time there on their desktops, knowing that some day I’d again have a functional laptop and could have more control over my study location.

It was not for a while that I began attending the library out of choice instead of necessity. I would occasionally go to the reading room between classes, or wander around the third floor until I found a rare empty seat, afraid to cough or breathe too loudly and disrupt the population already there. Even then, I felt a little lost, not having a spot of my own, a routine location I could count on. I still didn’t fit into any of my pre-determined library stereotypes, but I kept trying. Continue reading

“Tips for Making the Best Use of Your Space” by Avery Beer

Space is not something that people really think about. By space, I am talking about the physical area where you live and habituate, perform daily activities such as studying or hanging out. Space, and the elements that make it up, are extremely important to make better use of your time and extract all of the meaning from what you are using that space for. Here are some tips that I have found to be really beneficial for creating environments where you can be your best self.

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