Tips for Study for Midterms without Dying

October is almost over. I don’t know about you, but my midterms are not over yet. October is generally a whirlwind of a month. So many things to do to celebrate the season–apple picking, hot cider, warm sweaters–and then academically–mid-terms, mid-semester haul, homesickness–it is exhausting. I’ve always been pretty good at studying. I’ve never been the kind of person to overly stress and be a zombie living on two hours asleep during the week. The reason for this is that I’ve learned to manage my time the right way. Here, I share some tips to help you out.

1. Get some sleep!
There’s literally nothing worse than being overly exhausted. It’s such a vicious cycle that can sometimes be hard to break. My rule of the thumb is to get about 7-8 hours of sleep every day. This means I usually don’t go to bed late studying but try to wake up earlier. Studying after waking up from a good night’s sleep is always way more productive than trying to not fall asleep while studying.

2. Take breaks!
I love learning but I hate studying. Usually, when I’m going over notes for a midterm, I get extremely bored because I feel like I’ve heard it all before. When this starts to happen, I make a note to do something fun for about thirty minutes–watch an episode of Weeds, take a twenty-minute nap, organize my room. It’s important to be a bit active and do pleasurable things while you’re studying otherwise your focus will go down and you will not learn anything.

3. Use colors!
I like taking notes in pink and using all kinds of cute methods to organize my studying. It makes me put some effort into what I’m doing and I then associate things which, to me, is a great way of learning.

4. Write!
When you’re studying, use note cards and write down study guides. You might not have time to reread everything after you write it (especially if you’re cramming) but writing it down already makes it way easier to learn. I heard somewhere that when you write down something you’re learning, you’re more able to retain it longer. It kind of makes sense because you have to read, analyze, and then write it down so you’re ultra exposed to what you’re doing.

5. Learn!
I cannot stress this enough. You are not actually learning anything if all you’re doing is trying to memorize stuff. It’s best to really internalize what you’re trying to study. Look at it this way, if a random friend asks you, “How does X work?” you should be able to give her a wholesome answer in your own words. Along those lines, if you have a study buddy and you explain things to each other, that makes for a great studying technique.

Hope that helps. Just rememeber, don’t overwork yourself. If you managed to break things down well and organize yourself, you’ll do fine.

What study tips do you have?

xo, Patricia

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First Photos

So I’ve been playing around with my new camera for like a day and it’s been so fun trying to get the right mix of settings to get a good photo. I have no idea what to do when it comes to editing on Photoshop so these photos are all unedited. Bear with me, they are absolutely amateurish but I think it will be fun to show my starting point and then slowly record my progress. Plus, you get a peek of my room and my cutie of a boyfriend. Oh, and some awesome friends on our first night out. Enjoy!

IMG_2496 IMG_2502 IMG_2503Extra love to my A Beautiful Mess Book as well as my favorite styling books, Lauren Conrad’s Beauty and Style.

IMG_2508Keeping these pictures and memories from prom is extremely important to me. Make sure you have pretty framed photographs for your dorm room, especially if your dorms don’t let you hang pictures (with other than tape, which could damage them).

IMG_2509 IMG_2512 IMG_2532 IMG_2535 IMG_2537 IMG_2539

New Year, New Goals

I’m always excited to start the new school year. Not only am I a school-supply freak but I also love the feeling fresh starts. Even though I’m going to sophomore year (already?!), I still feel like there’s so much more to discover this year. And, after a pretty tragic year in my family (I will share about my story sometime, I promise), I’m ready to tackle this new year with a new mindset. There are several upcoming things that I’m looking forward to like Model United Nation conferences and Andrey’s and I first year anniversary (again, already?!). There are some goals I would like to accomplish this new year, though. I know what you might be thinking, “Isn’t the actual new year meant for new goals?” and my response is, yes, but not really. For me, going from December 31st to January 1st, although there is a sense of newness, it isn’t as much as a big deal. I feel that, with school, you can learn so much and open so many doors.

So, that said, I have a few goals I would like to share with you. Here they are!

1. Start photography: So as you may have seen on this previous post, I’m really looking forward to starting photography and developing that skill. I plan to do a 365 photography challenge to get me started practicing. It’s going to be a fun adventure.
2. Write more: I used to write all the time (novels, poetry, short stories) but I feel like that’s been lacking lately so, although I don’t know how realistically I can expect myself to write with so much else going on during college, I hope to at least write more than I have for the last few years.
3. Get good grades: This almost goes without saying but I really want to get the best grades. This year is crucial for me because it’s the last year I can totally guarantee I can afford so getting good grades would open so many doors for me for scholarships and loans. I’m really hoping to make it!

What are your goals for the new school year? If you’re not in school, do you have any goals you want to accomplish by the end of the year?

xo, Patricia

What About Photography?

61QD1V6sZtLI‘ve been obsessed with A Beautiful Mess for more than a year now and the second their book, A Beautiful Mess Photo Idea Book, came out, I dashed to the nearest Barnes and Noble to buy it. I devoured the book in a few hours and then I was left with a really empty feeling…

So for a few years (more like five) I’ve really been wanting to tackle photography. I’ve read so many books about it, been to so many websites and learned all about f/stops and shutter speed and ISO. But, there was a big problem. I never really got the DSLR I’ve always wanted and my parents (who, for their credit, keep getting me good point and shoots with high megapixel counts) always thought it was too expensive for me to get one.

But now, with the fact that I’m working, I’ve decided to splurge myself at the end of the summer and finally get a DSLR. I’ve done some reading and I’m pretty sure I want to get a Canon Rebel T2i (I’ll probably buy the kit at eBay.) Yeah, I know the kit lenses aren’t the bestest but I figured that I should be cut some slack because a) I’m just starting and b) I’m a college student. So I know my parents (or boyfriend for our first year anniversary *wink wink*) will probably not want to spend a whole bunch of dollaz for a fancy camera when they might be a bit skeptical of my photography skills. So, while I get the hang of things and develop some nice skills and good results, I plan on saving and then convincing my loved ones to gift me a lens (or two? Christmas, anyone?)

Do you have a DSLR? What kind of camera do you use? What lenses do you use? Comment below!

xo, Patricia

P.S. I’ll be doing a detailed review of the book soon.