Shafinaaz Kamrul / Roundup
College life is hard.
It’s amazing how noticeably different life is when you are not in high school anymore.
Part-time and full-time jobs, responsibilities of college life and so much more seem to barge in.
At times it becomes almost impossible to cope.
So I work full time. I am also a full time student at Pierce.
That is the case for a lot of the students who attend this college.
It can be overwhelming when you have had such a long day at work and then you have that mid-term tommorrow.
Maybe not a midterm, but an assignment.
Or that one test.
Or that one class with a teacher who would fail you if you do not attend his class tomorrow.
How many times have we ended up in similar situations? For a lot of us, almost everyday.
How do you cope up with situations like these?
I find it totally unbelievable how helpful keeping an assignment book helps.
They might be worth a mere $8.75 at the student store, but they save you so much time and hassle.
Every since I started writing down the simplest things in it as “drop a note to history teacher,” “make sure you talk to manager at work” and “have to start on that political science book club assignment” in it, I find it hard to not remember what is to be done tomorrow.
It has become my best friend in a lot of ways. I don’t think I could go one day without it.
It acts like that nagging voice pushing you to get work done. I can’t wait to finish that assignment and cross out that one task.
The other thing that helps is knowing how to manage your time.
There have been so many instances when I end up spending way too much time on the history test and too little time on the humanities one.
That is when a friend told me to time myself.
When using the journal we may write little notes like “8:00-10:00, history” and make sure that at 10 p.m. we leave history and go on to humanities.
A lot of the times it becomes hard to cope up with classes even if you are attentive. It helps to go visit the teacher during his or her office hours, and keep in touch with them so that you can clear out the points you are confused about.
I took a summer session class for English 28, and I can positively claim more than half the students in my class would admit that we passed that course because we went to see the teacher during his office hours.
Take the notes or the book from a certain class to work.
Usually, there is always some time when there is nothing to do but just stand around and think “If only I can get home early today, I can study for my journalism quiz tomorrow.”
I have a co-worker, John Stoneking, attending Valley College.
Whenever we are having a slow day at work he always brings out his flash cards and studies for his sociology class. You will always find him loaded in both his coat pockets with these flash cards. It works for him.
So you never have that spare moment.
Anyone who works over five hours by law gets that lunch. I find it helpful to just go over my book, even though I’m not learning much, at that point.
When I come back home and study I feel more confident because I have seen what I am reading just a few hours ago.
“I used to tape all my lectures when I went to CSUN,” said Richard McMillan, a history professor at Pierce College.
“I would to listen to the tapes while driving.”
Professor McMillan recommended that all students tape their classes.
This helps because whether you are driving or you are reviewing at home before the test, you may listen to the taped lectures to make your reading easier.
Listening so another person always helps you understand, learn and remember more than monotonously reading from the book.
Some people like Fahmina Hasin, a student from UCLA, find it helpful to come to school an hour earlier than the test and study in the library.
It works for me too.
There is a big difference between home and library even if you don’t notice it immediately.
There are absolutely no distractions and thus you can find an unbelievable concentration take over you when you are studying at the library.
These are just some personal ideas that students have found helpful for them. There is so much more that can be done.
Form study groups.
There are always a couple of similar students in one class who would love to meet before the test and go over the material.
What if there is never enough time during the day? I am usually at school until 2 p.m. and work till 9:30 p.m.
Meet for a late dinner.
As Professor McMillan suggested, “Go to a nearby McDonalds. They would let you sit in there for hours, just because they then have that one less table to clean!”
“Study groups help because then you can learn the things that you did not remember to go over, and the things that you have not learned already,” said McMillan.
“If you study alone, what happens most of the time is you review the things that you know already. That does not help too much.”
It’s hard and writing this article does not change that fact, but what needs to be done needs to be done. And I’m struggling.
Just like you.
Even right now, just as I’m back from a long day at work and school, and have a pile of assignments to complete, I’m trying to decide if I should set the alarm to sleep 2 or 3 hours tonight.
We just need to keep trying, to the best of our abilities.
Enjoy your college life, because for many it has proven to be the best days of their life.