We’ve all angrily muttered this question to ourselves at some point in time on campus, and now that it’s cram time, it just seems to happen more often than not. So, if you find yourself saying this again, relax –we’ve got you covered. Check out this Prezi and all its helpful tips, courtesy of Dan at Computing Services!
You may be wondering what the difference between university and high school is. Here’s one, cramming. You might think that cramming is cramming and that there’s no difference in what you’re doing, and you’re partially right! However, HOW you cram in university and in high school will probably be completely different and here’s why:
a.) You’re in university, you shouldn’t be cramming. (You’re practically an adult now).
b.) BUT…life does get in the way and cramming is now your last minute resort, so when you have several back to back tests, you’ll have to prioritize…you can’t possibly sacrifice any marks in any classes.
Now the question is, how do I cram efficiently? (Efficient cramming…what an oxymoron) Here are some methods I use when I have no choice but to cram for a test.
Step 1.) Identify and ELIMINATE all possibilities of distractions which could lead to unfortunate procrastination.
You’re supposed to be cramming for a test, why are you putting off cramming when you know that procrastination got you here in the first place?!
Maintaining your motivation to study is very hard as you continue to study, however, here are some ways to keep you moderately entertained while studying:
- If music helps, play it at a low volume. You don’t want to be in the middle of memorizing the most important aspect topic for your exam and then get distracted when your favourite song comes blasting on. After a few minutes of rocking out, you’ve lost track of what you were doing and decide to go on Facebook instead for a “break”.
- Study snacks! No I’m not talking about a big ol’ Sloppy Joe where you get both your hands dirty and the “snack” could potentially ruin your notes if sauce drips down on them. Choose your snacks wisely! I recommend something that you can reach across your desk, grab, pop it into your mouth, without ever having to lift your eyes away from your notes/studying. If you have to lift your eyes off the page/screen to eat your snack, then it’s probably not a good snack to have while studying.
When you lift your eyes off the page, you have to scan the page again until you find where you were. Also, you’re cramming. Every second counts. Every time you spend that five seconds to find an M&M within your trail mix, you’ve lost out on valuable time. Now let’s say you eat 60 M&Ms. That is 5 minutes wasted. “I can spare that time”, you might think, but that slight break required you to spend a whole thirty seconds to re-focus, remember what you were just reading/memorizing, and understand the concept again. That’s thirty additional minutes you just wasted just to eat those 60 M&Ms.
- Turn off your cell phone! If the snack concept doesn’t apply. This might. Turn your phone on silent and flip it over so that you can’t see the screen, then place it somewhere out of your sight. Every time you stop to send a text message, you’re wasting time! Keep back to work already!
HOWEVER, that’s not to say that having a quick 5 minute snack break is bad, just no snacks that will distract you while you are studying. Don’t let yourself get distracted!
Step 2.) Get comfy.
Throw on your sweats and your comfiest sweater. You won’t be looking good any time soon until after exams are over. Don’t worry, everyone’s rocking their sweats too, you’re not alone.
Step 3.) Don’t skim. Summarize.
Skimming over the chapters that you have not read won’t help you. Textbooks will often summarize the chapter at the end of the chapter itself. Make sure you understand those concepts by summarizing the notes that you do have and then combine them with the summary from the chapter itself.
If you still don’t know the answer, key concepts or points are often within the last few sentences of a paragraph. Flip through the chapter, read the title/subtitle of a paragraph, look at diagrams, and then read the last few sentences of that paragraph. The index is also a helpful tool for finding specific information!
Step 4.) Don’t sit and read. Write it out.
Subjects such as math, require you to ACTUALLY do the practice questions. Some subjects you cannot memorize, you simply have to DO.
If you’re studying for a test which is memorization based, then read on. As you do step three, add in important facts into your notes so that you don’t have to flip back to the textbook after. Your goal is to have as close to a complete set of notes as possible given the time constraint. The purpose of your notes are meant to be SIMPLE. No paragraphs of text. No definitions. No explicit answers. This forces you to THINK (it’s hard, I’m sorry) but also forces you to make connections!
For example, if you are unable to remember a definition, think:
- What connections can I draw from in order to help me remember?
- Does this point/idea/term contrast any other points?
- What other points compliment this point?
- Is this point one of the steps within a series of steps, if so, what are the other steps that can help me remember that step?
Step 5.) Rewrite. Draw diagrams. Make connections.
Start out with a concept. What do you know about that concept? Draw a diagram, whether it may be a web diagram or process diagram, etc.
If you need a few ideas, within word, under “Insert” The “SmartArt” tab is a great place to start for some ideas concerning diagrams and how to use those diagrams to make connections!
Step 6.) Memorize.
The most unfortunate step. If you complete steps 1-5 successfully, then you should have all the notes you need to finish up your cramming. You probably will have remembered a good amount of the information by now by performing steps three, four, and five. Here’s the step where you have to memorize the rest of the information.
Your notes should be laid out very nicely by now, and utilize step five to help you memorize! When you are able to make connections, the studying process becomes a lot easier!
Good luck cramming!
You might remember from my introductory post that I am a Residence Don. When I introduce myself to people, I often lead with “I’m a Don at my university,” and if that’s any indication, I have a lot of pride in my job. In fact, I can hardly shut up about it. Being a Don has been one of the most – if not the most – defining things about my university career, and I’m beyond grateful to have been a part of such an amazing group of people for two years.
This past Tuesday, November 26th, the first of two recruitment information sessions for the 2014-2015 Residence Life Staff was held, officially marking the start to another round of the application process to new and returning staff members. This year’s theme is space!, if the banner is any indication (and, yes, I am making the executive decision right now to make the theme “space!” and not “space” – at least, for the rest of my post). Because RLS is such a huge part of the residence experience at UTM, I thought it might be a good idea to write a little bit about the positions, about the application process itself (for any prospective Dons and PALs), and about why I chose to become an RLS and why I love my job so dearly.
You might be thinking: what is a Don, and what is a PAL?
A Don is an upper-year student responsible for a community of students in residence. In the simplest of terms, Dons act as a sort of liaison between the Student Housing & Residence Life Department and the residents themselves. I tend to look at the position as merging two very important responsibilities: there’s the residence life side of things, and there’s the administrative side of things, and both contribute to the overall residence experience. Dons are responsible for cultivating a positive, inclusive, and comfortable community for their students; after all, residence is a home away from home. To do that, Dons hold biweekly community meetings, where the community at large can get together for both community building as well as for receiving important residence information. As well, Dons conduct programs for their students. RLS operates with several learning outcomes that Dons implement in their programming to ensure high, enriching learning through residence. Programs might include community socials (I am fond of ice cream socials; “shhh, it’ll be fine!” Matt says to his lactose intolerance), off-campus excursions, and other fun activities that promote self-learning, self-appreciation, and a better sense of one’s self in relation to others. We encourage community involvement, and involvement in residence as a whole. Dons are there to be their students’ greatest resources – after all, we live amongst our students. I’m a Don on the second floor of Erindale, and my community is half of the second floor, and half of the first.
On the flip side, we’re also responsible for some administrative duties: there’s the documentation we’re responsible for; we take attendance for our mandatory biweekly community meetings, and physically measure the success of our learning outcomes for our programs; and, of course, we take turns being Don-On-Duty, which is an on-call shift where Dons are the first responders for their respective residence areas in case of any emergencies. I’ve had my share of interesting problems to deal with on duty. Another time.
A PAL – or, Peer Academic Leader – takes on a more academic role in the residence experience. PALs are exclusive to first-year students, and PALs implement the RezONE program, a program unique to UTM and unlike any other. PALs are specialists in certain fields of study, and, I must say, they’re all geniuses. First-year students have both a Don and a PAL, and while Dons are not program specific, PALs are: so, for instance, if you are in Life Sciences, your PAL would be the amazing Faiza, the Life Science PAL! PALs hold seminars that promote skills for higher academic success; they offer academic resources, and exist as resources themselves, because all PALs have taken many of the courses first-years might be enrolled in.
If you’re interested in applying to become a Residence Life Staff for the upcoming school year, the application process has just begun. As I mentioned at the start of my post, there was an information session on Tuesday – but if you couldn’t make it, there’s another one in January! January 15th, from 8pm-9pm in CC1080, to be exact. These information sessions are not mandatory, but they offer some further insight into what the different roles demand. As well, there’s a panel of current RLS available to answer any question you might have (I was on the panel at the first session!). Your application, cover letter and resume are due to the Residence Services Desk no later than NOON on Friday, January 24th, 2014; applications are available at the Desk. From there, all applicants will be involved in a carousel interview, and if chosen, applicants will advance to a second round interview – but spoiler alert, I’ve already said too much.
You might be wondering: why apply to be a Don or PAL? And that, my friend, I can answer.
I was a commuter for my first two years, so I never had the first year residence experience. I got to watch as all of my friends from home made new friends at school while I was stuck going to and from Burlington (by GO Train) with only a handful of people I talked to here on campus. I’m a very shy person, and I don’t make friends easily, so the few I did have were the ones that approached me in class with a smile. Still, I always had to leave right after class to get home, so I never felt like I belonged. In my third year, I moved onto residence, and I lived in MaGrath Valley with one of my friends from first year. To be completely honest without getting too personal, it wasn’t a very good year for me. I still wasn’t meeting many people, and the few connections I did have were fading. At the same time, my Don was really great about making a positive community, so while I eventually lost contact with the people closest to me I still felt a sense of belonging. And for that, I will always be thankful, so thank you, Krystine.
Krystine really inspired me to become a Don, so I applied at the end of my third year and was hired. Without any doubt – and this will sound very corny – being an RLS has been one of the most revolutionary moments of my life. I found my strengths and learned to hone my skills. I was challenged creatively, professionally, and personally, and I learned to strive for success – not just any success, but success in terms of what I determined for myself. I had an amazing community of first-years in Leacock Lane last year, and they were enthusiastic enough to win Colman Cup, which I still brag about. And, I can’t forget: I’ve made lifelong friends on my team. The thing about RLS is when you’re on the team, you instantly have sixty new friends, and that’s the honest truth. You’ll meet the most amazing, incredible, dedicated, passionate, and sassy people, and I would not trade anything for the meaningful relationships I’ve made in my two years as a Don. I truly love you all.
So why apply to be a Don or PAL? Because: why not? It’s an incredible experience, and I recommend it to everyone. I could go on and on about how amazing it is.
Reach for the stars.
We’re at the end of another semester… (exam time, yeah…)but after that it’s the holidays!!! :D. Then New years and the resolutions (the impossible and plausible). Good food, fun, relaxation and no school work for a long enough while. Most people will be going home somewhere for all this. However, being such a diverse campus, there will also be some people who will be spending the holidays here on campus because home’s too far away and the holiday’s may be too short for a trip home…
So, I compiled a small list of some of the fun events this holiday to brighten the holidays. They sound super fun and plus, they would be a great opportunity to meet new people and make new friends.
1) Toronto’s Christmas market which runs from November 29th to December 15th.
This is for those who have no exams this year or very few. A Christmas market is a street market which celebrates the traditional sights, sounds and scents of Christmas and is staged during the weeks leading up to Christmas. This holiday season Toronto will once again celebrate the romance and magic of a traditional Christmas at Lowe’s Toronto Christmas Market. Inspired by the Old World and influenced by the new, this free annual event captures all of the tradition, heritage and charm of a European Christmas Market, while showcasing hundreds of unique and local handcrafted products. Family friendly entertainment includes musicians, carolers and children’s choirs.
Where?: 55 Mill Street Toronto, ON M5A 3C4
2) TORONTO’S WINTERFEST
Totally free with lots of fun events lik:
-Santa’s cruise aboard Mariposa cruises Northern Spirit
-Pet Photos with Santa at PawsWay
-Dog sledding demos
-Woof jocks Canine All Stars Performance Demos
-Gingerbread cookie decorating in Queen’s Quay Terminal
-Skating at Harbour front Center’s Rink
-Winter crafts in Miss Lou’s Room and
-DJ Skate Nights at Harbour front Center’s Rink
When?: December 14th/15th and December 21st/22nd
3) THE MRS CARTER SHOW STARRING BEYONCE on December 16th, 8pm at Air Canada centre, 40 Bay Street, Toronto ON, M5J 2X2
Ticket price range from 63$- 268$ depending on your seat. To get tickets check out: http://www.ticketmaster.ca/Beyonce-tickets/artist/894191
4) WINTER FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS. This runs through the entire month of December till January 31st. The Winter Festival of Lights turns Niagara Falls into a winter wonderland, with over three million sparkling lights along a 5 km route, the new Niagara Falls ice skating at the Rink at the Brink, grand holiday displays throughout the city, and unique Niagara Falls events like the Christmas Concert Series. Attendance is free. To get full details check out http://www.wfol.com/
5) ARTISAN’S GIFT FAIR
The Artisan Gift Fair will have over 40 craft vendors offering unique quality gift items for all ages. With different vendors every day you’re sure to find a treasure.
Where: Tranzac club (292 Brunswick Ave, Toronto)
When: Nov 30, Dec 1, 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 2
Time: 12pm- 6pm
And finally the New Year’s opening event here in Mississauga;
6) NEW YEAR’S EVE 2014
Join a host of people to anticipate and welcome the New Year while enjoying an awesome lineup of performers, artists and DJs. Great crowd, great music and more… and plus, it’s totally free
When: the last day of 2013 to the first of 2014.
Time: 8pm- 12am
Where: Mississauga Celebration Square, 300 City Centre Drive, Mississauga, Ontario. L5B 3C1
This is a list of some of the many events to occupy yourself with before the start of another semester. Have fun and Happy holidays and a wonderful New year’s in advance!!!!
Instead of introducing myself through a mass wall of text, I decided to create a Draw my Life video instead. Hope you enjoy it!
Hi, I’m Nina! I’m a first year international student at the University of Toronto. I pretty much did most of my growing up in boarding school, so I’m used to the idea of being away from home and living on campus…living with roommates isn’t new either! I’m currently enrolled in the CCIT (Communication, Culture, Information and Technology) program. It’s a unique communication program offered only at U of T…the Mississauga campus to be more specific. It’s a really unique communications program because it offers branch of specialist programs linked to management, digital media etc. These opportunities aren’t provided in any other communication programs at other universities (as far as I know). I hope to specialize in the DEM (Digital Enterprise Management) next year and also major in political science and minor in psychology, if possible. After university, I plan to head off to Law school… probably one in Canada but if not then I’ll be heading to the big league; hopefully Harvard or Oxford. I’m not really good at talking about myself so I have a little poem… it’s an inventory of myself that I once wrote for my blog “Nina’s cosmos”, I think it says a lot… anyways here it is:
A Lil’ About Me
watching them’s fine
but when it comes to touching
i get goosebumps
and run to the hills
screaming like a lost child
seeing u’d think
a wolf’s chasing
but when u look
all u’d find
might be a little puppy
or maybe a cute white bunny.
i love my friends
in a special way
the more i like u
the more i kid around
might even tease u,
but the people i tease often
are closest to the heart.
love my kid brother most of all
although he’s a little tyrant
and tends to annoy
and even infuriate me
but still, unfortunately
i never fail to think he’s a cutie….
And that’s, as I said a ‘lil bit about the many chronicles of me
Before you read any further, I need to tell you something. Something that is hard for me to admit in person, but easy for me to say over written word.
I hate introductions.
Please, don’t take this personally. But I find them to be extremely awkward, and weirdly enough, somewhat impersonal. I don’t believe you can figure someone out within 2 minutes of meeting them, or in this case, within 2 paragraphs of my writing. I believe that given some time, everything you need to know about a person will be showcased in one way or another.
Luckily for you, you’ll hopefully get to figure me out through my writing. Ever hear the expression “you wear your heart on your sleeve”? It means that someone is very open about their emotions and thoughts – that they’re an open book. That’s how I approach writing, and that’s how I’ll approach each blog post. I believe in pure, honest reflection. The no-nonsense kind of stuff. So if you’re interested in my insights for things that are relevant to UTM campus by all means, keep reading!
Everything I write will be based on the 3 years I’ve spent here studying CCIT and Anthropology, and living on residence for those years. If you currently attend UTM or if you’re thinking about attending – I can offer a true perspective of what everyday life feels like on campus.
And let me tell ya: so far, I love it.
I mainly love it because UTM reminded me so much of home (I know this is an embarrassingly sappy thing to say, but it’s true) which is quite difficult to find considering I live in Muskoka. Whenever I tell someone I’m from there, I either get a “where’s that?” or a “oh yeah, that’s where my cottage is!” which isn’t all too surprising since our population more than doubles during the summer, thanks to cottagers. Muskoka is an area roughly two and a half hours north of here. It’s made up of a bunch of little towns, where if you blink, you’d most likely miss them. It’s charm however, rests in the natural and gorgeous landscape that surrounds it — much like UTM.
Aside from that though, I adore the few quiet perks on campus that one can often find through shameless exploration. For instance, Lislehurst is a beautiful and secluded area of campus where I often go to unwind. The great thing about this place is that not many people know about it. Try asking some upper years — I’m sure you’d at least get one or two confused responses.
In any case, UTM has been more than just a school or an “institution”. It has been a faithful companion. It has been a shoulder to cry on. And it’s been a refuge for my sanity.
You there! Nice to meet you! My name is Matt, and I’m an upper-year Rez Blogger.
This is my second year working as a writer for the blog. Since it’s my second year as a blogger, I’ve set out two challenges for myself: first, I hope to push myself creatively in the interest of remaining fresh as a writer, and second, that I hope to be as candid and honest as possible. These challenges start today with my first post: an introduction to get you better acquainted with the man behind the screen. Instead of a straightforward biography like I did last year, I thought it might be fun to share all of the ingredients that make me Matt in a mock breakdown of what my day-to-day activities might look like. And to do that, I’m going to need you to think like me.
Picture this: you’re a six-foot-four tall guy with unruly brown curly hair, size thirteen shoes, and a fashion sense that goes from one extreme (ties and slacks) to the other (sweatpants, sweatshirts, sweat-everything). Are you picturing yourself like this? Perfect! You’re essentially me. Now that you’re looking like me, let’s get you feeling like me. And this, my friend, is a typical day in my life.
8:15am – My alarm goes off for my 9am English lecture.
11:00am – I wake up.
11:01am – I’m on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and I’m checking Entertainment Weekly’s website for the day’s news – the only news that matters.
11:45am – I jump in the shower, because it’s not socially acceptable to be showering after noon. I spend a good deal of time finicking with my hair, and that requires a whole lot of hair gel.
12:00pm – I head over to Colman Commons to grab lunch. I have a kitchen in my second floor unit in Erindale Hall, but I burn everything I try to cook. Besides, eating meals at Colman Commons always means a chance to share some time with friendly faces. Today, I might eat with my fellow RLS.
1:00pm – Get back to Erindale. Do I catch up on readings, or do I nap?
1:01pm – I nap.
4:00pm – I head to my Editing class, a new course offered in Professional Writing & Communication. I may not always enjoy class, but I love my program.
6:00pm – I feel like pizza for dinner. Pizza is my favourite food. Pizza is my Kryptonite.
6:01pm – Just kidding, I’m not walking all the way to Davis. Colman Commons it is.
7:00pm – Get started on some writing homework. If I’m free of work for the night, I spend the time surfing the Internet or, if I’m feeling particularly inspired, I write. If for fun or for the book I’m publishing next semester, I write.
7:30pm – I’m most definitely listening to Lady Gaga’s new album ARTPOP on repeat while I work/write/procrastinate. If it weren’t for it being so new, I’d probably be listening to a very, very strange playlist of Lana Del Rey, Kanye West, Metric, and – I promised honesty – Taylor Swift.
9:15pm – It’s time for my community meeting! It’s my second time being a Residence Don with the Student Housing & Residence Life Staff. This year, I have thirty-four upper-year students.
10:00pm – I wait for the night’s TV to go up online and stay up as late as I need to in order to watch every new episode. I love The Walking Dead, Homeland, Survivor, American Horror Story, Parks & Recreation, Game of Thrones, and I’m sadly addicted to The Voice.
Something o’clock, am – I fall asleep.
Of course, not every day looks like this. I work at the Residence Services Desk three times a week. Being a Don, I’m usually on-duty once a week, which involves getting the duty bag and phone at five, going on rounds at eleven, and going to bed never, in fear of getting a call for an emergency. I like to be involved on residence, so I might have meetings for Energy Exchange Experience or Light the Night, and I love going to events such as ArtsFest, Coffee Houses, or Pub Nights. I actively program for my students, whether it be ice cream socials or haunted houses for Halloween. And, of course, when the stress gets to be too much, I make time for the best friends in the world.
Otherwise – that’s me, really. I love pizza. I love to write. I love television. I love Lady Gaga. I love my friends and my family. I love naps. But most of all, I love blogging, and I love that I get the opportunity to do so this year and to share my thoughts and insights about residence with you, my trusty reader, for another calendar year! And if you ever see me around campus – remember, tie and slacks, or sweatpants, sweatpants, sweatpants – don’t hesitate to say hi.
- Perez Calls Out Gaga (boyculture.com)
The end is near! … the end of your undergraduate career that is.
So you have spent 4 years (ish) in pursuit of an undergraduate degree. You are so close that you can almost taste it. With all the stress and commotion of April, have you thought about what you will do once you finish your last exam?
SLEEP! … Ok, this is probably a good idea, but what will you do after that?
Take a look at this article in University Affairs. They asked university career advisors the following question: “If you could give one piece of advice to students graduating from university this April, what would it be?”
Congratulations graduates! Good luck in your future pursuits and remember to make UTM proud!
Coming into U of T, people often told me that U of T marks students harder and your average will drop. Now that I have completed my first year at UTM, I realized university didn’t kill my grades, and it is actually possible to maintain the same average from high school! Here is a wrap up of my 1st year at UTM!
This past week, I got my final research assignment back and I was beyond ecstatic to receive a mark of 87 (4.0). This research paper was for a 2nd year course called DTS202 and I took it as a 1st year student. You can find out more about the course from my previous RezBlog, but it basically focuses on human immigration and history. I was so happy about my 87!
I realized that it is definitely realistic to aim for 90′s in an university essay, but only if you’re willing to put in the work and effort. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t start off the year with 87′s. In fact, my first essay at UTM received a mark of 63, but it is all about interpreting constructive criticism as positive motivation. By understanding where I could improved on and what to focus on next time, I was able to work my way up. I put in my best work towards this final research project, collecting both primary and secondary sources. My scope of research included books, course readings, online databases, scholarly articles, Statistics Canada, graduate theses, radio excerpts, academic textbooks, and 7 personal interviews. As you can see, getting an 87 was no easy task and required the most thorough and detailed research. Finishing off the course with this 87, it’s actually not far from what I used to get in high school.
As a matter of fact, my GPA average also hasn’t changed much, compared to Grade 12. University is not necessarily the reason for lower marks. Every year of school is more challenging than the last, and university is no exception. You just need to adjust your studying habits, time management, and learning styles accordingly. I want to leave you guys all with this thought as a bit of motivation for exam season right now. Don’t get anxious and give up just yet. There’s always room for improvement!
This wraps up my year as your 1st-year Rezblogger for 2012-2013. I really enjoyed blogging for you guys and I had a fantastic first year at UTM! Good luck on your exams and have a great summer!