Archive for May, 2018

10 Basic Scientific Report Writing Tips for Students

May 17th, 2018

BY TIM MONSON

 For many university students, few written assignments are more dreaded than the scientific report. These writing tasks require careful thought, deep planning, and the mastery of a specific tone and approach which can really take a lot of time and effort to perfect. So what is actually a scientific report and what makes is different from the other assignments?

Scientific Report is a type of academic papers that describe the process, progress, and or results of technical or scientific research or the state of a technical or scientific research problem. It might also include recommendations and conclusion of the research.

The structure of scientific report writing listed below:

  1. Title Page
  2. Table of Contents
  3. Abstract
  4. Introduction
  5. Materials and Methods (Experimental)
  6. Results
  7. Discussion
  8. Conclusion
  9. References

 

If you’ve ever struggled with scientific report writing, or have a report coming up which is playing on your mind, fear not – we’ve got some top tips to help you get through this task, and ensure it’s capable of getting you the grades you deserve. Read on to find out more!

 

  1. Choose Your Topic Wisely

 A scientific report is your chance to show off your professionalism, expertise, and depth of knowledge. As such, you should make sure you’re always writing about a topic which is capable of presenting your skills in the best possible light.

Take some time to brainstorm your report topic, and make sure you’re bringing a fresh, original, or unique angle to your subject (if possible). Originality is key when it comes to scientific report success, and if you can bring something new to the table, that’s half the battle won.

 

  1. Be Selective with your Sources

 All too many scientific report papers fall at the first hurdle as a result of poorly collected sources, or because the student didn’t bother researching deeply enough. In order to get those top marks, you have to demonstrate that you really know where to look and how to select your information… so get down to the library, seek out the best possible sources on the subject, and reference a wide array of authors into your paper.

 

  1. Hit The Right Note With Your Title

 First impressions count for more than you might imagine when it comes to any sort of academic writing, and the best way to instantly captivate your professors is with a snappy title. You want your scientific report to have a title which immediately grabs the attention of the reader – nothing too long, nor too short – and which draws the reader in from the very first moment.

 

  1. Never hesitate to ask for an advice

 For many students, there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to work through scientific report papers. University life is busy, and social obligations, extra-curricular activities, and all kinds of other essays, reports, coursework projects and dissertations quickly pile up and can become overwhelming. In such cases try to find a teacher or professional writer who can just help you to get all those things in order: it can be a great decision because a person with experience in scientific writing deeply understands the way all scientific reports must be arranged.

 

  1. Perfect the Introduction

 It’s probably fair to say that the introduction of your scientific report is the most important paragraph in the whole paper. Why? Because it sets up the premise for the report as a whole and lays out your style, your approach, and all that can be expected from the paper and its contents.

The ideal introduction will start off with a wide perspective, and narrow down to the finer points as it continues. The idea is to provide a contextual background to your paper, and to lay out your initial ideas, your motivation for the study, how you’ve approached your thesis or problem, and the findings you expect from its execution.

 

  1. Present Your Methods

 Your methodology should be touched upon (along with your reasons for choosing said methodology) in your introduction. Your professors will be interested in the way you’re approaching your particular area of expertise or the problem you’re attempting to solve, and they’ll want to see that you understand the academic background of the methodology you’ve chosen. It’s also never a bad idea to anchor your introduction to a particular time and place and to make reference to relevant studies which have gone before. Get this part of your introduction right, and the rest of the paper will follow!

 

  1. Laying Out the Results

 Scientific papers require results – there’s no getting around this fact. Your results section is going to be one of the most important parts of the whole paper, so you’ll need to make sure it’s clear, concise, and presents your findings, rather than explaining them. Analysis and explanations can come later. Make this part of your paper logical, chronological, and as easy to follow as possible, as some professors may wish to see this section outside of the context of the rest of your report.

 

  1. Perfecting the Discussion

 The discussion chapter or section of your scientific report is your chance to justify your methodology and to analyze and explain the results which you reached. The whole point of this section is to bring your research and findings into the wider context of your discipline and to explain their usefulness in the further understanding of the field in which you are studying. As such, the language you use in this section should be as clear and concise as possible, and it should interpret and explain everything you’ve achieved thus far. Provide your explanations and conclusions in a chronological, step-by-step order, so it can be easily understood, and highlight your core findings or most significant results to prove the worth of the report as a whole.

 

  1. Write a Top Abstract

 Your abstract comes at the very beginning of your report – just before your introduction – but it’s impossible to write an accurate, useful, and academically sound abstract without first completing the rest of the report. Keep your abstract within 200 words, and make sure it highlights the key sections and findings of your report – it’s a bite-sized introduction regarding what to expect, and will let the reader know whether your report is relevant to their own studies or research.

 

  1. References!

 As with any type of academic writing, getting your references in order is important and will make up part of your marking criteria. Make sure you know what referencing format your professors expect, and highlight or make notes of the references you use during your research – this will save you time in hunting them all down once your report is typed up and ready to go

Tim Monson is a freelance writer, PhD, student and an active adherent of implementing digital technologies in education.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Student Loan Myths

May 16th, 2018

From Inside Higher Education
You Probably Believe At Least One of These 5 Student Loan Myths — Here’s the Truth
A recent survey from Student Loan Hero showed most borrowers harbor a lot of misconceptions about how to handle the debt, from believing you’re automatically off the hook of paying off your loans if you can’t find a job after graduation, to thinking that student loans don’t impact your credit score. (Business Insider, May 14)

3 Ways College Students Can Improve The Environment With Their Diet

May 16th, 2018

By Kari Oakley

More and more these days, college students are looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprints. Some of these students even choose their university based on its commitment to all things green.

If you count yourself among the college students who want to do something tangible to improve the environment, your diet is a good place to start. It’s also impactful, if you think about it. After all, most people eat at least three meals a day. A change in diet represents one of the most direct ways that you can give the environment a boost.

Here are three ways that a change in diet or a change in your approach to food growth and consumption can improve the environment.

 

1. Learn From Experts

College students can embark on their quest for environmental improvement by learning about the work of experts like Jordan Rubin. Rubin has created a plan that will help heal the food system over a seven-year period.

His ideas include farming using the concept of permaculture. That is to say, his farming techniques utilize the rotation of plants so that the soils have an chance to replenish themselves.

This expert also suggests that more food forests be grown each year. The forests capitalize on a layered approach to food growth, with plants like cherry trees covering the highest levels, hazelnut shrubs covering the mid-level, and blackberry shrubs covering the lower levels. Medicinal mushrooms and edible fungi make up the forests’ floors.

Students interested in learning more about Rubin’s efforts can study his work and implement some of his programs in order to grow their own food or to shop at places that employ his ideas.

 

2. Shop Locally for Food

Shopping locally has a big impact on the environment. Doing so saves 1.1 billion gallons of fossil fuels each year, because it reduces the need for long-distance food transport.

Currently, the U.S. ships and transports more than two trillion dollars in products to over 150 countries annually. College students who concentrate their food shopping efforts locally find delicious foods at local farmer’s markets and small farms. This reduces the amount of time that the food has to be transported, which saves fuel.

 

3. Eat Vegan and Vegetarian

The greenhouse gas emissions caused by livestock is greater than the emissions that come from those cars, trucks, and other vehicles. Lamb and beef production creates emissions that run 250 times higher than say, the production of legumes. Pork and poultry run 40 times higher.

College students interested in curbing this trend can do something very simple to stop it. They can adopt a vegan diet, or at least one that predominantly features plants over everything else. For example, a diet that combines pescetarian, Mediterranean, or vegetarian diet principles, including veganism, could help decrease the projected 80% increase in greenhouse gases that are expected by the year 2050. And of all the diets, the vegetarian and vegan diets offer the most significant help to the environment.

Those wanting to transition to a vegetarian or vegan diet can do so by educating themselves about the various diets that are out there. They can slowly add all plant-based meals into their diet, starting with maybe one or two meatless meals a week.

Final Thoughts on Improving the Environment With Diet

A change in diet can have a profound impact on a person’s health as well as on the environment, and many college students today are leading that charge. For those who haven’t yet implemented dietary changes to help the planet, there are a few things that can be done right away.

First, these environmentally conscious students can learn from experts. These people are on the cutting edge of food production: Many times, their specialties lie in creating environmentally-friendly farms and food plans.

Second, college students can make sure that they eat from local sources. This practice alone would stop the use of billions of gallons of fossil fuels each year.

Finally, adopting a vegetarian or vegan diet not only improves a person’s lifespan, but is better for the environment than almost any other sustainability plan. Even adding just a few meatless meals a week can greatly reduce a person’s carbon footprint over the course of a lifetime.

Kari Oakley is a fitness trainer from Kenosha Wisconsin. She now lives in downtown Chicago, and loves to get out. She is a big fan of anything adventure, and loves getting a workout in the outdoors.

 

 

3 Techniques You Can Use to Have a Successful Internship This Summer

May 15th, 2018

BY JAMIE TURNER

If you’re like many college students, you have plans for an internship this summer. That’s terrific — internships are a great way for you to get practical experience and to build up business connections that will pay off when you graduate. And even if your “internship” is working at Starbucks or being a lifeguard for the summer, there are plenty of things you’ll learn along the way that will help you in the years to come.

You’re probably interested in learning a few techniques to ensure your internship is a success this summer. With that in mind, here are a few tips to get you going.

 Begin with the end in mind

You might have heard a professor or one of your parents say begin with the end in mind. It’s a concept that was popularized in Steven Covey’s classic The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Here’s how it works – research indicates that when people have a specific outcome in mind, they’re more likely to achieve that outcome. In other words, if they visualize a positive result before they start doing the work, the odds that the endeavor will be a good for everyone improve. And even if the desired outcome changes along the way, people find that having an end goal in mind when they start makes the journey more enjoyable and fruitful.

What are some outcomes that you might consider for your internship? Here are several thought starters:

 

  • At the end of my internship, I would like to have a better understanding of how the theories I’m taught in school are applied in the real world.
  • At the end of my internship, I would like my employer to consider me as a candidate for a full-time job.
  • At the end of my internship, I would like to have a better sense of whether this industry is one I would enjoy.

No matter what outcome you’re looking for, the key is to have an end goal in mind when you start the internship. It’s okay if the goal evolves or changes along the way – that’s pretty common – but don’t walk through the doors on your first day without having thought through what it is you want to accomplish over the summer.

Be a self-starter

Don’t be surprised if on the first day or your internship you feel a little lost or out of place. That’s normal and to be expected. By day two or three, you should have a pretty good comfort level of what they want from you and what you can expect from the internship. Once you get comfortable in your new role, here’s a tip to help you stand out from the run-of-the-mill interns – be a self-starter. In other words, don’t sit on your hands waiting for instructions or permission from your boss. A lot of times, they’ve got pressures of their own that are making them a little pre-occupied, so they won’t always be around to tell you what to do next.

If your boss is pre-occupied, that’s actually an opportunity for you to shine. For example, you might have noticed that your boss is trying to get up-to-speed on a new client’s business. If that’s the case, do some homework on Google and write a short, one-page backgrounder on the new client’s industry. Your boss will appreciate it. Or, your boss might have asked you to run a Facebook campaign to help drive more prospects to their business. If that’s the case, you might run the Facebook campaign, and also show your boss how they can also run a campaign on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

The key idea is to take the assignment that you’ve been given and do 10% or 15% more than they asked. Don’t wait for permission. Instead, just do it. They’ll be grateful for your extra work.

Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback

Feedback is your friend. Don’t be afraid of it. Once your boss has had the opportunity to work with you for about a week, find a moment when they don’t look busy and say something along the lines of, “I’m really enjoying myself this summer and appreciate the opportunity. Do you any input or feedback on things I can improve and things I’m doing well at?”

By opening the door to constructive criticism, you’re letting your employer know that you’re 1) mature, 2) ambitious, and 3) eager to make a good impression. Just be sure you ask for feedback at the right moment. If your boss looks busy or stressed, then it’s best to wait until they’re more relaxed and ready to spend a few minutes providing feedback.

 In conclusion

Keep in mind that you can learn something from every job you have, whether it’s working on Wall Street or working in an ice cream parlor. Every job has value and every job can teach you about the world of business. So no matter where you land this summer, make the best of it. And if you are working at an ice cream parlor this summer, make sure you’re the best, friendliest, hardest-working ice cream scooper there ever was.

About the Author: Jamie Turner is an author, speaker, and the CEO of 60SecondMarketer.com. He is also an adjunct instructor at the University of Texas and Emory University.

 

 

International Students in the USA: Things to Avoid

May 14th, 2018

BY MELISSA BURNS

Going to study abroad is an incredible experience that can significantly broaden your horizons and greatly influence your future life. However, being an international student in the USA is not all fun and games – there are many problems ranging from culture shock and language barrier to quite real risks and dangers. If you want your stay in the USA to be fun and instructive, better learn about potential don’ts beforehand.

1.    Neglecting to Research the University’s Location before Choosing It

If you don’t check where exactly you are going, you may find yourself facing challenges you are not ready for. Potential problems include difficulties adapting to life on a large campus, not being able to handle the cost of living in the city you go to, having to live in a small town not used to foreigners, not having enough work opportunities and so on. Before you make a choice decide what you need and find out everything you can about your variants.

2.    Not Keeping Your Documents in Order or Leaving Them at Home

The United States is very particular about who they want and don’t want to enter the country, hence an enormous amount of forms, documents, permits and other papers that have to be in order if you want to cross the border effortlessly. Long before your departure, you should check your Visa status, ESTA, make sure your passport is valid and that you have a copy of I-109 SEVIS Fee receipt and any other documents that you may need.

3.    Keeping to Yourself or Other Students from Your Country

One of the main purposes of living and studying in another country is mingling with people from different cultures. It is especially important if you intend your stay in the USA to help you master English better – if you only talk to people sharing your native language you will never get better at English.

4.    Failing to Understand the Nature of Plagiarism and Academic Rules

The concept of plagiarism and rules associated with it can be wildly different in different countries, so make sure you understand what your college’s stance on it is. Talk to your professors on the subject, study the guidelines and don’t be ashamed of asking too many questions – it is much better than getting kicked out of university for breaking rules you didn’t realize were here.

5.    Failing to Learn Your Surroundings

One of the first things to do once you arrive and settle down should be exploring the local area – both by going around and through asking the locals. You should find out where everything is situated if there are any dangerous areas to be avoided if there are places where you shouldn’t be after certain hours and so on. Thus you will both know where to go if you need something specific and decrease the likelihood of getting into trouble through your ignorance.

6.    Neglecting Your Classes and Orientation

The first few weeks you spend in the new country you are probably going to have a lot of fun meeting new people, making friends and going places, but it doesn’t mean that you should forget that what you’ve come here for is studying. Looking at the locals you may get an impression that they do nothing but socialize and party, but don’t let this impression fool you – Americans believe in getting things done, and even if you don’t see it, they actually work, and professors expect work from you as well. So make sure you go to classes and student orientations religiously and do all the assignments you are given.

Perhaps these tips won’t automatically guarantee you a successful stay in the USA, but following them will certainly help.

Melissa Burns graduated from the faculty of Journalism of Iowa State University. Nowadays she is an entrepreneur and independent journalist. Follow her @melissaaburns or contact at burns.melissaa@gmail.com

 

 

 

Jobs After College: Look At Company Culture, Overall Pay, and Benefits

May 11th, 2018

BY MIKKI MILLS

When college finishes and you are ready to enter the real world, it can seem intimidating. There are many factors that go into a great job when searching, and oftentimes pay is not the most important one. When interviewing for positions it is important to look at company culture, overall pay, and benefits. Benefits are often overlooked when looking at job offers because it’s hard to look past the salary you will soon be receiving. Here are some benefits that you should be asking potential employers about to get a better idea of the advantages of working for that company.

Health Insurance

If you’re among the millions of uninsured Americans, talk to your employer about getting health insurance. According to PeopleKeep, employers with at least 50 full-time employees are required by law to offer health insurance to their employees. Failure to comply with this law results in a tax penalty.

Some companies go above and beyond to provide exceptional health insurance to their employees. The online domain registrar GoDaddy pays 100 percent of employees’ premiums as well as 50 percent of their family members’ premiums. The social media network Twitter also offers top-notch health insurance. According to Glassdoor, Twitter covers 100 percent of employees’ premiums while also paying for vision and dental coverage. Regardless of the company for which you work, you should inquire about health insurance. It’s one of the many benefits of working as an employee.

Wellness Program

In addition to health insurance, some employers offer wellness programs for their employees. This voluntary program encourages employees to exercise and make smarter dieting choices, typically in exchange for rewards. Participating in a wellness program can help employees combat chronic disease, maintain a healthy weight, stop smoking and more.

Overtime Compensation

Consider clocking extra hours at work. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), your employer may be legally required to pay you more for these long weeks. As explained by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), most workers classified as employees can receive overtime compensation of 150 percent or more of their regular wages for every additional hour they work in a 40-hour week. If you normally earn $20 per hour and work 50 hours in a week, for example, you’ll earn at least $30 per hour for the last 10 hours. Employees who earn more than $455 per week, however, are considered exempt unless otherwise stated by state laws, thus making them ineligible for overtime compensation.

Paid Vacation

While there’s no federal or state law requiring employers to provide employees with paid vacation, many employers offer this incentive. The BLS says that nearly one-quarter of employees are eligible for paid vacations. Unfortunately, many of these employees aren’t aware of this benefit, resulting in a missed opportunity for a free vacation. Whether you want to take a trip to the beach or simply lounge around the house for a lazy weekend, you should take advantage of paid vacation if it’s offered by your employer.

Providing employees with paid vacation is often a challenge for employers. They must keep track of employees’ vacation days, adding or removing them when necessary. Vacation tracking software, however, can simplify this task. It provides a simple, easy-to-use interface in which employers can track their employees’ paid vacation days.

Relocation Assistance

You might be surprised to learn that many employers offer relocation assistance for their employees. Also known as a relocation package, it may include moving, housing, storage, transportation and other related expenses. If your job requires you to move, check to see if your employer offers relocation assistance. This is an easy way to offset the otherwise high cost of moving.

These are just a few benefits of working as an employee. After talking to your employer or human resources (HR) manager, you’ll probably discover other benefits.

Mikkie is a freelance writer from Chicago. She has a passion for advanced learning, reading, and health and fitness. She is also a mother of two who loves sharing her ideas on education, learning, health, fitness and yoga. When she’s not writing, she’s chasing the little ones around or can be found at the local climbing gym or doing yoga.

 

 

Strategic Thinking: Develop It In College For Future Success

May 10th, 2018

BY SYLVIA KOHL

Strategic thinking is among the highest-valued skills on any employer’s list, yet there is far less unanimity as to what this term means. How does one achieve it is even less obvious – and these two questions are exactly what we will tackle here.

In its most general definition, having strategic thinking means being able to analyze a situation, separate important from unimportant, properly prioritize your actions and make the most reasonable decisions possible in a current situation based on known info.

Despite it being such important skills, colleges rarely make conscious efforts toward developing it in students – which means that you should take matters into your own hands.

1.    Broaden Your Horizons

The mental outlook of people capable of strategic thinking is often described as T-shaped. T’s vertical bar represents deep and constantly deepening knowledge and professionalism in their primary area of expertise. The horizontal bar represents the breadth of their knowledge, often seemingly unrelated to their core competencies. Knowing things outside your central area of expertise will give you a broader outlook on life and the ability to make decisions based on a bigger picture.

2.    Try Social Trading

In short, social trading means copying financial transactions made by professional investors on the scale available to you. This way, even if you have no experience whatsoever in finance, economy and the stock market, you will be able to follow the success of those who know what they are doing. The idea has been around for quite some time, but it is the development of the Internet that made it possible for almost anybody (a step-by-step guide by InvestinGoal explains it in more detail).

It is beneficial for strategic thinking for two reasons. Firstly, it puts you in a position where you can follow the actions of those more financially capable than you are. Secondly, it teaches you to see patterns that, in the course of time, will help you make better long-term decisions.

3.    Volunteer to Lead a Project

By taking a leading role in a project done by several students, each with his own special strengths and weaknesses, you will be forced to learn how to work in a team, take these individual features into account, solve inevitable problems on the fly, take responsibility and think out of the box. If you are hesitant to challenge yourself this way, it means that you should do it all the more.

4.    Always Look for New Training Opportunities

One of the primary characteristics of a strategic thinker is being a life-long learner rather than one satisfied with status quo. The education you are getting in college is going to be barely enough to get you anywhere in the professional world – and, at the same time, while you are in college, you have a treasure-trove of opportunities to learn. Seminars, lectures by visiting professors and well-known specialists in their fields, additional courses – if you see anything offered by your college that can come in handy in your career, grab it.

5.    See World through the Eyes of Other People

Discuss your ideas with other people. What is even more important, try to talk to people who think differently from you, who had different life experiences and came from different backgrounds. The greater the differences between you, the more valuable will be the insights brought by them – and the more often you communicate with people who are wildly different from you, the more capable you will be of breaking free from your ingrained and often subjective thought processes.

Of course, developing strategic thinking isn’t limited to any several techniques – but these approaches will give you a good start.

Sylvia Kohl is an IT teacher with more than 8 years of professional experience. Her main spheres of interest are e-education and she convinced that learning process doesn’t stop after years in school and university.

 

Outside the classroom: finding college life balance

May 9th, 2018

BY ANTON LUCANUS

When you’re going in university, you’re more scared than excited. Just like any first day at school, you don’t really know what to expect. In addition, there’s a lot more riding on you then when you went to elementary school. Universities aren’t grading you with gold stars and a snack-size bag of animal crackers, instead, they’re grading you with intense essays, class participation, and exams. But, this isn’t the moment where you need to freak out. In fact, your university experience, for the most part, is going to be a great one. However, there are some helpful advice you should take with you before university. That way, you don’t make rookie mistakes.

Know your downfalls

Before going to university, you want to mentally prepare yourself. This doesn’t mean you need to meditate on a daily basis, but walking into university being self-aware will put you ahead of the rest. Knowing where your personal downfalls are will help you become more aware both your studies and social life. For example, if you’ve known for some years that you struggle with math, then going to a facility such as Kids Academy Talented & Gifted, which is a learning support facility will help you identify your strengths and weaknesses. By doing so, you’re able to work on the areas which need improvement.

Don’t be scared to try new things

When you’re in high school, there’s an unwritten code you abide by. You wear what’s trendy and popular, you eat certain foods which your friends approve of, and you follow what the influential people are you do. We’ve all done this, so, it’s nothing new. However, when you enter university, you’re unshackled from that mindset. Your friends all went to different schools and most likely you don’t know anyone in your classes. Which is a great advantage to you as you’re now able to think freely about your hobbies and interests. University is that place where you can try different activities out, experiences different cultures, and meet a diverse group of people.

Take time off

You may be feeling immense pressure to enter university and complete your degree, however, this shouldn’t be something you’re forced to do. For many people, they feel that they’re simply not ready to take post-secondary education seriously, so, instead, they opt for travelling or working. Taking time off between high school and university can help you bring more self-awareness to your future goals and dreams. Most of us don’t know what we want to do with our lives, so there’s no need to rush.

Focus on your relationships

Of course, you have to study and there will be plenty of time to do that in the next four years. But, don’t forget to build relationships. You need to meet new people and make friendships. You’ll need to find the balance between socializing and studying, however, it’s completely possible. You will rarely have the opportunity to be surrounded by people that are like-minded. This is the time to build relationships with people you actually want to spend time with. Remember, this isn’t high school anymore.

 

Keep your finances in check

When you’re a student, money isn’t pouring in. Instead, you may be working a part-time job or have your parents send you a small allowance every month, so you want to maximize your finances as much as possible. Well, schools and financial institutions are all aware of this. Many institutions offer support services and discounts for students. In addition, use the other supports available to you. Record your budget via a mobile app and ensure that all your banking is accessible on your phone.

Talk to the profs

You may be thinking that officer hours is for teacher’s pet, but those hours is where you’re getting one-on-one attention with your professor. Build a rapport with your professors and communicate effectively with them. Professors aren’t there just to regurgitate information to you, they’re there to help you understand the material that’s given to you. Spend the time in speaking to your profs, going to their office hours, and, building a rapport. When you’re applying for a grant or a job, having them as a reference will certainly do you justice.

Communicate

You may be living with a roommate and depending on how it goes, you may not be having that roommate for too long. Here’s the thing though, most of our problems can be solved with communication. In high school, this tool is rarely used, however, now it’s the time to start working on this skill. If you’re able to walk out of university with the ability to communicate effectively and conflict resolve, well, then you left with a valuable skill in your hands.

You’re not the only one

You’re going to feel a spectrum of emotions ranging from happiness to sadness, however, this is completely normal. Of course, you’re going to experience ups and downs, you’re entering into a new environment without your usual support team. Yes, your parents are still by your side, but they’re not literally by your side at school. So, when you’re feeling down, just know that everyone else in university has felt the same way as you at one point.

Byline – Anton Lucanus is the Director of Neliti. During his college years, he maintained a perfect GPA, was published in a top cancer journal, and received many of his country’s most prestigious undergraduate scholarships. Anton writes for The College Puzzle as a means to share the lessons learnt throughout his degree and to guide current students to achieve personal and educational fulfilment during college life.

 

Increase Your Focus While Studying With These 3 Actions

May 7th, 2018

By Kari Oakley

Studying means have focused attention for the task, but it seems that distractions abound to divert our concentration. Knowing a final exam is coming up, but finding your attention and focus diverted because of social media, random thoughts, stress, anxiety, or even daydreaming, can be frustrating. Here are some hacks to help sharpen your focus and get your studying done.

 

1. Proper Nutrition

There are many foods available which enhance concentrations. Some studies show that snacking on walnuts may bring your grade up. Walnuts are also credited with improved information processing, concentration, and memory.

 

Another food that will help improve cognitive skills are avocados. A higher level of lutein levels in the brain due to avocado consumption assist with focus, information processing ability, and fact retention.

 

Some other focus-friendly foods are eggs, flax seeds, fish, leafy green vegetables such as spinach, blueberries, and thankfully, dark chocolate.

Besides targeting cognitive skills with specific foods, it is also helpful to maintain a healthy overall diet. Eating as clean as possible is advised. Watch labels carefully for what is put in your food. Search out food that is not processed and has healthy additives. For example, using a food that has carrageenan is a healthy choice because it is used to enhance your food without any negative impacts on your health. Bad additives, such as hydrogenated oils, which are linked to heart disease, can have an adverse effect on your overall health.

 

2. Get Up and Move

Studies have shown that good physical health can improve your mental acuity. Exercising can improve your concentration and focus.

Try working out for 20 minutes to a half out before you enter into an intense study session. Improving blood flow to your brain will promote better concentration and retention. Exercise also releases endorphins which calm your brain of anxiety. This will help you to be less stressed, and able to focus on studying.

You don’t have to engage in a high impact exercise to reap the benefits. There are many enjoyable activities to engage in before studying such as biking, walking, yoga, or swimming. Low impact exercises done for 20 to 30 minutes reap the same boost in attention, focus, and cognitive abilities while studying.

Another exercise, or movement to do every so often is to wiggle your toes. In this day and age of constant updates on our devices from work or social media, our brains and bodies are used to a certain level of excitement. To help promote that without the distraction of the internet, frantically wiggle your toes to help refocus your brain when your mind starts to wander.

 

3. Tailor Your Environment

Depending on where you are, you may have full or partial control over your study environment. Even with partial control, there are steps you can take to make your study space conducive to focus and retention.

One aspect of your environment you can control is what you are listening to. Research shows that studying while listening to classical music may boost your productivity. It can also boost your mood, and may even improve accuracy and efficiency.

Another focus-friendly sound is the sound of nature. If classical music puts you to sleep instead of sharpening your focus, try some natural sounds. Studies have shown that these sounds also help with concentration and cognitive abilities.

On the theme of nature, it doesn’t hurt to add some greenery to your study area. Some studies have shown that having plants in a study and workspaces have enriched attitudes, which in turn, increased cognitive abilities, focus, and efficiency.

Finding a place for study can sometimes be a challenge. Maybe you study best in a quiet library. Or perhaps you study better in a coffee shop where your brain processes the din of customers chatting as white noise. Wherever you study, make sure it is optimal for promoting focus and concentration.

ari Oakley is a fitness trainer from Kenosha Wisconsin. She now lives in downtown Chicago, and loves to get out. She is a big fan of anything adventure, and loves getting a workout in the outdoors.

Kari Oakley is a fitness trainer from Kenosha Wisconsin. She now lives in downtown Chicago, and loves to get out. She is a big fan of anything adventure, and loves getting a workout in the outdoors.

 

5 Study Distractions and How to Overcome Them

May 7th, 2018

BY KATE LARSON

Procrastination is the bane of many students. Whether it’s social media or our friends, there’s always something lurking around the corner waiting to distract us from our studies.

In light of this, we’ve come up with a simple guide on how to overcome five of the most common interferences.

Stick with these solutions and you’ll spend less time scrolling through your phone and more time achieving the grades you deserve.

 

1) Study Buddies

The idea of a study buddy comes with good intentions. After all, it’s nice to have someone to drag you along to the library when you least feel like it.

Unfortunately, a study buddy is very often a friend, which means a living, breathing distraction is likely to be sitting directly beside you.

The Solution

One way to overcome this issue is to set group goals before you start a study session. If you’re both clear on exactly what you want to achieve, you’ll find you’re less likely to “play up” before you’ve reached your goals.

It’s also wise to reward yourselves for reaching a target. It’s up to you to decide what bonus you’ll receive for your hard work but even something as silly as a small candy can help to do the trick.

 

2) Relationships

Being in a relationship during university has its benefits when it comes to studying. A partner, for example, is likely to have a far more positive influence on your final grades than, say, a party-loving best friend.

On the flip side, a relationship is never going to be plain sailing. You can read all the relationship advice in the world but there is always going to be a few bumps in the road that will distract from your studies.

The Solution

Learn each other’s timetables. If your partner, for example, has a full day of classes on a Monday, then it’s entirely logical to put aside the Sunday evening as your “study night” (and no, that’s not a euphemism).

Likewise, if you both have a day or two during the week when you’re not so busy, make sure you spend that time together.

 

3) Social Media

It’s hard to imagine life before social media. It’s arguably now the biggest distraction college students face on a day to day basis.

Whether it’s scrolling through endless photos on Instagram or going on a liking spree on Facebook, it’s easy to become hooked without even realizing.

The Solution

Delete all of the social media apps on your phone a week before a big exam or deadline. Yes, it’s a drastic step to take, but going teetotal is the only realistic way of removing yourself from temptation.

Once you’ve completed your exam or handed in your work, simply re-download the apps and log back into the online world.

 

4) Nights Out

There aren’t many worse feelings as a student than sitting in the library at ten o clock at night knowing full well that your friends are out partying.

What am I missing out on?” is the first thought that comes to mind, and it’s a hard one to shake. That’s not good if you need to give your full concentration to a textbook.

The Solution

Always have your long-term goals written down somewhere so that you can re-read them in times of social despair. Remind yourself of why you’re at college/university in the first place, and think about how much of a positive benefit your decision to study could have on your future.

It’s also imperative to make sure you turn off your phone. If your friends are anything like mine, they’ll be ringing/texting continually to try and persuade you to come out, so try to remove that temptation from the equation.

 

5) Boxsets

You’ve probably heard of the likes of Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, and The Walking Dead, right? These absorbing shows have us hanging onto the edge of our seats with every plot twist and character death.

Nearly every episode finishes on a gripping cliff-hanger, making it almost impossible to turn off. Unfortunately, cliffhanging endings and studying are a recipe for disaster.

The Solution

Common sense prevails here, folks. Never start watching a TV series when you have a deadline approaching. Doing so is like choosing to carry a sofa across a frozen lake; it’s going to end badly.

If you have a Netflix subscription, try cancelling it for a month when you have a particularly heavy workload. Fewer distractions mean you’re more likely to spend your spare time revising.

Kate Larson is a college student and aspiring blogger, who has a strong interest in the environment and personal well-being. She enjoys travelling and reading, as well as writing novels.