random

How I Study

October 18, 2016


It has taken me all the way to my junior year in high school to figure out a studying system that actually works for me. I’m not saying this to sound like that guy, but before now I didn’t really study. I just kind of relied on my memory to guide me through things. But let me tell you, the farther you get the less that seems to cut it. I’ve passed the time of easy classes that needed little to no time to scrape together an A, to higher level high school courses and even college courses that need quite the allotment of time, and in that process there was adjustment that needed to be made. This is where I took to the internet for help. Tumblr was an amazing resource for this, and I've fallen madly in love with the Studyblr community. It’s a community of bloggers who motivate each other through pictures of cute notes, studying locations, and even subject masterposts to make studying easier. It’s no exaggeration that studyblr completely taught me how to study, and I’ve been thriving this year because of it. So, here I am to share the tips and tricks I’ve picked up that have been helping me.
The first and more important part of studying is to be comfy. If you’re in it for the long haul, pajamas and some snacks are the way to go. Grab some snacks, maybe some fruit or popcorn, get a nice drink, this time of year a warm one is nice, maybe tea or hot chocolate, and throw on a nice album or playlist, this↡ one is nice, and you’re just about ready to start. I love listening to the Vitamin String Orchestra while I study, it’s kind of like how people listen to classical music while they study, its classical + my music taste.

I have a lot of materials that probably aren't necessary, but I like to have them around while studying. I have no idea when or why I made the switch, but I almost exclusively write in pen now, a mistake I hate myself for several times a day. My favorite pens are the Pilot G2 ones, because they write so incredibly smoothly. I also have a few muji pens, a studyblr favorite, which are kind of hard to get a hold of in the US since they are a Japanese brand and have very few stores here, but I was able to pick them up in Toronto this summer. Then I like to have a range of highlighters on me to add some color and interest to my notes. I really want to get the Zebra Mildliners, they’re another studyblr favorite and come in a wide range of colors which I really appreciate. I don’t use pencils often, but I like to have a few on hand just in case. The ones I like are the Papermate Clear Point pencils. They’re a standard high quality pencil for me, and they also look nice which is a plus. Moving outside of my pencil pouch I have my planner and my book bag which, incidentally, match perfectly.
I use my planner a lot throughout the day because I most certainly do not trust myself to remember every task I have to do. Here is some of the work I do with my pens and highlighters in my attempt to color code my way through life. I have a few symbols for recurring things like classes, events, and birthdays and it helps understand my week at a quick glance.

The last of my materials are pretty standard school supplies but are essentials. I have my folders, notebooks, index cards and index card holders. As you can see I have a pretty obvious running theme for my school supplies which is black, white, and gold. It helps me pretend my life is in order if all my things flow together.
the studying process
Studying starts for me with reading the textbook. It helps when your text books are this cute. This is pretty standard, you have to read the book, but I like to read the textbook chapters before the lecture so that I go into class with knowledge to base from. To start off I add some sort of cute header to start my notes off whether its just ‘calligraphy’ script or something like a flag and I love to make sure my notes contain at least one color which is where my felt pens come in.

It’s really unnecessary, but it makes me a bit more excited about reading a draining textbook chapter for the next hour. I take notes on the chapter I read, including all key terms and important sentences. I also try to think of little mnemonic devices to plug in to help me with memory.
Then closer to the test I consolidate all the textbook notes I take into note cards. Note cards help me because they're more engaging for me than reading my own notes. With straight reading I could straight read, but not process, but with note cards I have to actually think of something or I don’t advance to the next card. I hope that sentence makes sense. I highlight the edges of the cards to make them just a little bit cuter. I put way too much time here, once again, but making everything aesthetically appealing is the key to actually studying for me and hey, it seems to be working.
My final studying tip is figuring out how to manage your stress and time management. This little note is one that keep on my desk and the sight of it is just a reminder that no matter what I have to get done, I can do it. Breaks are important while doing homework or studying. You’ll endure a longer session if you take little breaks every once in a while, rather than binge studying for hours straight. Get a snack, watch Netflix, scroll though twitter, whatever it is, it’s better than forcing info in one ear and straight out the other because you’re exhausted.
●Final Point●
It’s very easy to get caught up in school and let it take over, but please, dont let it consume you. Your mental health is paramount to anything else going on. If you feel like you need to get away from school, or school work, even if only for a little while, DO IT. Go for a drive, go out with friends, treat yourself, spend time with your family, play an instrument, sing, dance. Do whatever makes you happy and don’t let school EVER stop you from being able to be happy. Nothing in this life is worth your happiness.
If you're interested in more studying tips, I have a Tumblr blog dedicated to studyblr www.musingmary.tumblr.com that has much more information than I could ever fit into a blog post about studying and I have a Pinterest board dedicated to studyblr things called academia.

autumn

september playlist

October 10, 2016


Every month there are a select group of tunes that get me through the time. September was my first real autumn month and for me, autumn is a season of nostalgia. Without realizing it, I create small traditions for myself from fall to fall, a lot of which are reflected in my fall playlist. Lorde’s 'Pure Heroine' was an album I picked up right when it came out and haven’t put down since. Thats 4 autumns. Some favorites I returned to as well were Bank’s ‘Goddess' album and ‘Multiply’ or ‘X’ by Ed Sheeran. New additions to my library were Frank Oceans ‘Blonde’, Bastille’s ‘Wild World’ and some Jon Bellion. These songs kept me running through the month of September, and hopefully you will enjoy them as well for the rest of the autumn season.
- Mary

life

life update

October 03, 2016

Hey Blog,

Sorry for the absence, I've been preoccupied playing the game of life. As time goes on things seem to pick up speed in my life making it appropriate to do a life update. It’s been an eventful summer into pre-fall so far. From traveling for months to starting my first semester of “college” it’s been a hell of a ride. Here’s the breakdown into the story of my past few months.
May was the letting out of my eleventh year of school, the end of my sophomore year. This year was, as to be expected, the hardest year of my schooling thus far. At one end of the spectrum, my academics were just as hard as ever. Hours and hours of homework, and projects, and late nights, and then waking up early again to get a jump on the day. It was a rough cycle. Then there was myself emotionally. I feel like I came more into myself this year. I became more confident in myself and my abilities and just let myself go after what I wanted. I decided when it was time to let go of things that I clung to that weren’t working and delved into new endeavors that ended being right. I let go of some of my perceptions of other people’s judgement and just did things that made me happier and became happier. I weeded out detrimental friends from my amazing ones and grew because of those decisions.


There was a lot of traveling done in June. Right off the bat on June 1st we set off for Pennsylvania to visit family, then up to the greatest city in the world - Hamilton Reference - New York. I already recounted our days there so I’ll keep it brief, but I fell even deeper in love with the cty of passion and hard work while there. One day I’’ll be there among the beloved New Yorkers.
The next stop on our journey was Virginia to relax in quiet Richmond. There we spent our days screaming joyfully at amusement and water parks by day and sending balls back and forth on darkened tennis courts by night. Somewhere in the mix we spent a day in Virginia to wave hop with my best friend, Alex, walk on the boardwalk, and ride a sketchy merry go round. By the end of three weeks we were on our way home more than a little homesick, but definitely full of good times.
July was, for the most part a typical summer month. The kind of summer month that actually makes you miss school in it’s monotony. It made me miss a schedule and a routine of things. Not that routines are good,
but they give me an unexcusable need to be productive and not spend days unshowering and moping about in pajamas. I need to at least trick my body into thinking that I have something important to do with my day. In the middle of the month my family and I took the fastest road trip ever to Indiana which, as expected, had nothing going on. We drove around for a bit and looked at Notre Dame, but eventually succumbed to where we knew the trip was heading.
There we spent the day down at Navy Pier, and in my case touring the amazing scenery of the city. The Pokemon Scene.
This month has a particular stigma. The school stigma. We combatted this by taking our very last vacation of the summer to Toronto! The begining of this trip was a blast to the past as we stopped over in Niagra Falls, where we had our very first family vacation. We ate at this loveley indian food place right by the falls and were back en route to Drake’s city. I sadly don’t have any photos from this trip because they were all lost on my phone. In the time there I fell in love with the people, the architecture ( I say this about every city I visit, but the architecture says a lot about the city), and the cleaness of the city. Compared with any U.S city I’ve ever been in, it was so much cleaner and more beautiful. There’s such an emphasis on the environment and protecting it that I would love to see here in the US.There was also so much variety in the people and an appreciation of culture that I dont typically see. Everywhere we went there were festivals with people celebrating and music playing and the people seemed overall, happier than here at home.
Once we got home it was time to actually face the reality of my life. School was swinging back into place with the view of my junior year and my “freshman year” of college, in place ahead of me. In May I applied for The Ohio State University for a College credit program and was accepted. Currently I am taking one class on campus and a few more college courses at my home school and so far it’s been a good experience. I like the college class experience, it makes me excited for the future.
Although this only leaves me off in August, this pretty much sums up my life for now, grappling with school work and actually living my life, but I hope to get better at balancing the two and being active on here more often.
Mary
(some pictures I've taken recently)

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