Thursday, December 17, 2015

Final Post of the Term

Applied Journalism has been one of my favorite classes this term. Every week, I got the opportunity to write down my thoughts on college, and put them out there for the world to see. I liked that each week I was given the time to think about my experiences as a college student. It gave me the chance to explore my own thoughts, and made me consider the positive and negative aspects of a variety of  common issues that college students face. I believe that this class helped me to develop a more balanced viewpoint on college life.

In addition to the personal gains that I got from taking Applied Journalism, I also learned about journalistic writing. I practiced staying on topic, being honest in my writing, and writing for a specific audience. After taking this course, I feel a lot more confident about my writing abilities. Tina Walker (the instructor) was complementary, yet also provided criticism when necessary. She was great to work with, and I enjoyed being a student in her class! Hopefully, I’ll take other classes under her tutelage in the future.

Lydian Shipp

Webzine Team Member

Sunday, December 13, 2015

How to Make Homework Easier

Homework is never easy. Even when you’re taking a class that’s fun and interesting, homework can be a pain.  Maybe you have a lot to do. Or you have something else you want to be doing other than homework. Perhaps the assignments are boring or difficult. Whatever the reason, there are things that college students can do to make homework easier.

First of all, create a well-organized space for yourself. For me, a well-organized space can look immaculate, a place for everything and everything in its place. Or it can look like chaos, with teetering piles of books all over and papers spread out on the floor. Depending on the project, I need different types and levels of organization. It’s up to you to decide how to organize your space; sometimes it takes a bit of a learning curve to figure out what your ideal workspace looks like. A well-organized space will help you think, and eliminate the need to go looking for things for a homework assignment. Overall, organization significantly reduces the amount of time that it takes to finish assignments, and makes homework a lot less stressful.

Next, make a prioritized to-do list. Write down what you have to do for the week on a sheet of paper or in a Word document. After that, decide which projects are going to be the easiest and which ones are going to take the most time. Then, come up with a plan for getting the to-do list done. Depending on what I have to do, I sometimes start with the most difficult project, other times, I knock off the easy tasks. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide what method would work best for you (it’s a matter of trial and error), but writing down a list of things to do is a good start, and sometimes just enough to get your thoughts straightened out.

If the class you’re taking has a textbook, read it cover-to-cover if you can. Use a pen to underline the parts of the text that you think are interesting or important or take notes, if you’re renting the book. Develop your own opinion of the subject material while you’re reading. If you have thoughts about the subject, and know what you thought was interesting from the text, it’ll be a lot easier to write papers, have discussions in class, and get good grades on tests. Plus, you’ll really be learning.

So, in conclusion, Homework doesn’t have to be a major stressor. Even when the going gets rough with homework assignments, you can make things easier by organizing your work area, making a prioritized to-do list, and reading textbooks. Doing these things will make homework a lot less difficult and time-consuming, which will make college in general a lot less stressful. In the end, it’ll all pay off.  

Lydian Shipp

Webzine Team Member

Saturday, December 5, 2015

A Lack of Motivation

Winter has never been a good time of year for me. Everything I do feels like drudgery. The cold makes me more lethargic and sleepy and life can seem purposeless. Schoolwork I might have enjoyed earlier in the term is reduced to a need-to-do status, and any hobbies that I have take a backseat to all the other responsibilities that arise. My days’ work seems to consist mostly of miscellaneous tasks, homework, and self-care activities like going for a jog or making dinner. My motivation to do anything more than what needs to be done is gone.

By the end of the term I’ve generally developed a certain level of disinterest in my classes. Perhaps I’m still interested in the subject material, but I’ve become annoyed with the schedule or bored with the homework assignments. At the beginning of the term I can look past disinteresting or frustrating aspects of a class, but by the end of the term they become unbearably obvious. So, at this point in the term my life revolves mostly around finishing my homework as quickly and efficiently as possible, and then using the left over time to clear off the rest of my to do list. My days are monotonous and uninspiring for the most part, and most mornings it’s difficult to find a reason to want to work on my homework. I do it only because I have to.

The cold weather outside this time of year only makes things worse.

To get past my lack of motivation, I try to come up with a personal project that I can look forward to working on at the end of the day. Having something like a project that I want to work on helps me feel more motivated to finish my homework, and knock off my other to-do list items. I have something I’m working towards, and the sooner I get things done, the more time I have to work on my project.

However, coming up with a personal project as a method of motivating myself to finish my homework has backfired on me in the past. If I’m really excited about working on my project, I sometimes end up staring at my homework assignment, daydreaming about my project rather than finishing my homework. To eliminate this problem, I now set a designated time to work toward or a set of tasks to complete before I can work on my project. The whole point of having a personal project is to motivate me to finish my homework, not to make homework more difficult.

With the end of the term approaching, my lack of motivation remains a constant in my life, as does my case of wintertime blues. But the end of the term is nearly over, which means a new beginning; the next term is right ahead. I just have to make it through a few more weeks. During those weeks I can take small steps on a project of my choosing, something that I’ll really enjoy doing. So even when the sky is dark at five o’clock, or the weather outside is frightful, I can continue working on my projects; both school and non-school related. And I can enjoy the fact that I’m doing something that I want to do and that I have the chance to follow my interests.

Lydian Shipp

Webzine Team Member