I've never had trouble with academic motivation (I'm the "walking planner" for friends who complete assignments days after I do mine), but Chapter Two's focus on "Making Goals" caught my eye. Sarah writes, "Make goals activity based...[so] to focus on what you can control and make the most out of that" (15). My first reaction? I wish I had known that freshman year!
|Freshman year throwbacks!|
I want more late night burrito and Chipotle runs with me rocking my PJ's and a smile. More walks with the waves matching our footsteps. And more genuine enjoyment and curiosity during class - not just the desire for an A.
Sarah spoke to me again in Chapter 5, which focuses on "Classes". She advices sitting in the front row of class to help both "accountability" and "connect[ing] with the professor" (36). Because my campus and classes are so small (anywhere from 40 to 8 students), even as a shy freshman, talking to my professor was natural. And I don't understand why anyone wouldn't want to!
Connecting with my professors has led me to: Finding a teacher who also has celiac disease (who was even nice enough to take this car-less freshman food shopping). Working as a TA who grades papers, offers students advice and helps edit papers - all while getting paid for it. And, perhaps most importantly, loving my classes more than any book could cause!
Chapter 9 talks about studying and exams, pointing out that "everyone is different" (72) in terms of what techniques work for them. I wanted to bold and underline those words in my book! College is all about new experiences, new people and new ideas - and unique ways of studying are part of the mixing bowl package.
I get a lot of weird looks when I study because, for me, studying means pacing and repeating the information. Out loud. For as long as my feet, throat and brain can handle. I used to be self conscious about it, but similar to my different diet than the typical college kid, I've accepted my movin' and groovin' study tactic as a part of Casey. Not everyone's brain learns material at the library or by reading a book - so find what works for you and stick with it. Studying and otherwise!
Out of all Sarah's advice, Chapter Ten on "Balance and Self Care" stuck out because this, for me, is the hardest part of life - not to mention college. The list of advice includes phrases like: "Cut out negative self talk," "Don't be too hard on yourself" and "Say no sometimes" (77-78).
Fact is, I kick ass at academics. Not because I'm super smart (which most people assume), but because I'm more stubborn and determined than most. A fact that my celiac journey definitely proves. But putting down the book for a random trip to True Foods Kitchen - that's where my determination can go overboard.
So, this year even more than last, I'm going to "remember that there is more to life than what you crank out and produce" (82). I'm going to goof around in the kitchen making a gluten free feast with friends for two hours. I'm going to turn down extra hours of work for a night of Netflix, yoga and chocolate. And when I get glutened or celiac disco dances in my stomach, I'll recognize my need for rest over reprimands.
As new textbooks begin to invade my room, mixed emotions hit me. Joy at returning to my home away from home, plus worry over juggling my 17 units, 2 jobs and internship. But, besides giving me a few new tips for my academic toolbox, Sarah's Ebook emphasizes how possible it is for anyone to not only survive, but thrive at college. In class, in clubs and with the crew.
And that's no laughing matter.
You can find more information about and purchase Sarah's Ebook here.
What's your best tip for college success? Which of Sarah's points do you relate to? Comment below!