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As a student, many lessons were deeply instilled in me that have carried far beyond the classroom. I have come up with five tips to help you succeed inside the classroom and in the outside world.   1. Get Organized This is crucial. Number one has to be the first step for a reason. Without organization and planning, it is very difficult to stay on track and accomplish your goals. Begin at home. Keep a clean room, clean desk, and start a planner of any sort. Even if your planner is just a cheap dollar store calendar hanging on the wall, it will allow you to keep track of important dates and let you know where you stand along the way. Extend this to "your area" at school, work or wherever you may go. By keeping things in order you are making sure nothing menial is standing in your way.    2. Create Checkpoints Think of this as picking off a huge iceberg piece by piece. It can be intimidating seeing the big picture, but by taking it one... read more

  It's already the second month into the new year... pretty crazy. But, I'm not freaking out, and for me that is a pretty big deal! I used to just say, "Oh my gosh, two months already passed since this and that, etc etc." But then I recently I ran across a little saying that changed my perspective for the better.   "Don't count the days; make the days count."   So simple, but so good, no? We all know that time is limited and irreversible. We all have things we wish we had done. But what I didn't get was that bemoaning lost time only means more sand slipping through my fingers. Instead of having a backwards perspective, one of my resolutions for this year is to allow myself to start fresh.   I want to live more intentionally, to move in the direction of my goals. If starting today I make each day meaningful and rich, I won't really concern myself with how much time has passed. In fact, doing something meaningful... read more

I used to ask myself that all the time when I was growing up.  I was a horrible student all the way into the second semester of my 10th grade year!  I had a difficult time concentrating in school and to be honest, there were just more important things going on in my life at the time.  I have always struggled with weight issues and being bullied, teased and tormented in school was a daily battle.  It's hard to concentrate on learning when survival is your priority and invisibility is your dream.  I did well in high school though, and eventually graduated college with a degree in Criminal Justice.   What changed?  I got involved.  I had a teacher that recognized a potential in me and fostered that by inviting me to step outside my comfort zone and challenge myself.  I LOVED sports.  I know, sounds silly coming from the fat kid huh?  I did though.  I loved baseball, hockey and football the most and my teacher encouraged... read more

Whether you choose tutoring or taking a class to improve your knowledge of a subject depends on what you want out of the experience.  A classroom environment gives you personal interaction and the accountability of regularly being part of a group devoted to learning a subject.  A personal tutor will still give you that accountability, and you get to set the pace of the course and personalize the content.  The learning is communicative, interactive, and focused on what you need.  Classroom-oriented courses can be convenient and fun, but tutoring offers more flexibility for both the tutor and the student.  Pacing, content and course materials can change, depending on what both people agree on.  If you are looking for a way to to personalize your learning experience, move at your own pace, and choose your own learning content, find a tutor who can work closely with you to advise and help guide you through your learning journey.     I find... read more

Of all the important academic exercises, none are as critical to your success as routine reading. Throughout your education, teachers will assign mounds of textbook reading in social studies, English, the sciences, and beyond. While it is imperative that you take your assignments seriously and blast through your requisite reading, that is simply the bare minimum. Your eventual goal should be to read as a pastime. Reading shouldn’t solely be an activity guided by obligation, but one prompted by an organic desire. You all know what it’s like to be driven by desire. It’s all encompassing, automatic, and thoughtless. For example, some of you likely possess a powerful sweet tooth, causing you to gravitate towards cookies and chocolates whenever there is an opportunity to indulge. Others are might be fans of video games, eager to squeeze in playtime whenever and wherever possible. The interesting thing about these activities is that you don’t need to actively tell yourself to play... read more

I used to do this and I see a lot of students who do this common mistake when studying. Maybe you are working through old homework problems to prepare for an exam in math or physics and you have the solutions in front of you. You get to a certain point and you get stuck, so you check the solution, see what the next action you have to take is, and then continue working through the problem. Eventually you get an answer that may (or may not) be right and check the solution again. If it is, you feel great and move on. If it isn't you compare the work and see what you did wrong and understand the mistake so you move on. All this is a fine way to start studying, but the major mistake is that most students don't go back to that problem and try to do it again. Even if you were able to understand the solution or the mistake you made, you never actually got through the problem completely without aid. So now if you come to this problem on your test, this will be the first time you actually completely... read more

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