Mason's Applied Strategies for Success mason Massey CU 1010 Portfolio

Reaching Academic Success:

Success, to me, is reaching my personal goal of becoming an inventor, with a family and home, and being able to look back and smile at the experiences I have had.

Reaching Academic Success: What are my strategies?

-Managing myself and my time wisely.

-Ensuring that I study efficiently.

-Having a healthy mindset.

-Visualizing and understanding Personal goals

-Having healthy habits to avoid stress

-Creating good relations with Professors

Time Management Techniques:

Personal Exhibit:

-White Board Calendar

-Phone Calendar

-An agenda

Time Management Techniques:

Common Exhibit:

-Weekly color coding schedule

-Prioritizing for urgency and importance

Personal Exhibit 1: The White Board

-Purpose: This calendar helps hold information for my tests, quizzes, projects, and other large assignments that take up most of my grade.

-Usefulness: I started using this source when school started. Since then I have been able to identify the most important assignments during my school year and measure out how much time I need for each of them. I have yielded A’s and B’s so far.

Personal Exhibit 2: The Phone calendar

-Before school started, I put everything onto my phone calendar. Times, dates, and alerts.

-I made sure to put classes on first, then tutoring, church events, and then fencing.

-The purpose of this tool was to help me to focus on my daily schedule overall. It summarizes what is urgent and important.

-It has been pretty beneficial for me, since I will now always know when I can get help for classes whenever I need it.

Personal Exhibit 3: The Agenda

-Everything in my agenda relates to HW assignments and tests.

-It allows me to spread out my work between assignments so that I don’t try and do it all at once.

-I have learned that doing everything at once is torture.

-So, I make sure to write short and simple reminders in this agenda of when assignments are due and what days I will do them on.

-I have only missed one assignment so far, but that was due to me not looking at the agenda. It has made it easier for me to know when I can study for tests, since I can open up spaces of time for myself with this tool.

Common Exhibit 1: Color Coded Schedule

-The picture represents my color coded schedule sheet which represents a general idea of what my week looks like.

-This method of time management is useful in that the color coding helps distinguish between different events during the week as well as showing open spaces in time where office hours, tutoring, and PAL sessions can be done.

Common Exhibit 2: Urgency and Importance

-This common exhibit was done to visit my daily life and determine the difference between what is urgent, important, not urgent, and not important.

-The chart is set up as 4 squares.

-Square 1: Urgent and Important

-Square 2: Not Urgent and Important

-Square 3: Urgent and Not Important

-Square 4: Not Urgent and Not Important.

- From this I could distinguish what is a priority and what is not a priority.

-My chart showed that I tend to prioritize: Studying for tests, going to classes, visiting professors, going to church, getting sleep, receiving academic help, and reading.

Studying: My strategies and techniques

Personal Exhibits

-Application of Diffuse learning

-Using various voices out loud

-Teaching information to people

-Making up my own problems

-Studying with people

Common Exhibits:

-Looking over past exams

-Applying Bloom's Taxonomy

-One point I want to make is that when I study for classes, I usually need to study in different ways for each of them. Some of them share similarities, but no matter what, I retain information differently for each class.

Personal Exhibit 1: Studying with People

-This has been the most helpful strategy I have used so far.

-Last year, I rarely studied with anyone.

-For my first Packaging test, I studied flashcards with one of my classmates, and ended up with a B.

-Now, my plan is to start using flashcards right after we finish each subject in class.

By studying with others, I am able to:

-Test my own knowledge by teaching others

-Have help from others who correct my mistakes

-Be more competitive by being challenged from other people

Personal Exhibit 2: Using various voices

-Most people can look at me like I’m crazy, but I have to talk out loud when I study.

-I use a wide range of voices, because it acts like a highlighter for my ears.

-Making the words more colorful helps me to memorize them better.

-I applied this while I was studying Packaging Science for a test on September 7.

-So, between September 4th and the 6th, I read my notes before bed. The reason before bed, was to apply diffuse learning.

Diffuse Learning vs. Focused Learning:

Diffuse: Is a method of learning where you study little bits of information then diffuse by doing a different activity, specifically sleep. Once waking up, information is remembered much better.

Focused: Is the most common way of learning, which is sitting down for several hours and studying thoroughly. Both are important to apply, and it helped me in obtaining a B on my first test of the semester.

Using past exams

-I have learned that with my Chemistry tests, the best way I study is by practice, practice, practice, and then more practice.

-What I did to prepare for my recent exam on Monday, September 19th was: Practice my old exam with other people.

-Practicing my old exam helped me to see what problems I had the most difficulty with and see what other problems I needed more work on.

-I did it with other people so I could have help in understanding my past mistakes and help them on what they were having trouble with.

-I yielded a good 92 from my exam, so I know this strategy worked well. For the next test I will most likely apply more practice questions from online so I can vary the problems I solve.

Common Exhibit 1: This image is an example of when I reviewed a past exam.

-Doing this allowed me to see where my mistakes come from

-Most of my mistakes are simple mistakes, which can be cured by slowing down when reading questions and answers.

-This has helped me tremendously with my Biology exams.

-By doing this, I yielded a B on the second exam.

Common Exhibit 2: The Addition of Bloom’s Taxonomy

-Is a set of techniques which define various levels of learning.

-Rather than trying to just remember information, I work now to understand, apply, analyze, evaluate, and create.

-I used this a lot with Chemistry.

-The entire Saturday of September 17th, I would randomly apply Chemistry facts into my everyday activities, especially when I cook.

-I have found that information has stuck better through application.

My Mindset: How to have perfect balance

-I make sure to try new things every day

-I work to have a balance between the inner critic, the inner aggressor, and the inner guide.

-Using an academic coach

Common Exhibit: Last years Mindset

-Largely, my mindset seemed to stir mostly towards the inner critic

-I had mostly doubt due to anxiety

-When listening to the inner critic, it makes it difficult to try new strategies for success.

-Its similar to pulling a helicopter out of the sky, where rather than physical muscles being strained, it is the mental muscles that are strained from trying to handle everything alone.

Common Exhibit: The Defender

-I have never really used my inner defender much, since I allowed the inner critic to talk too much.

-But starting this year, I made sure to allow a bit more of my Defender side take control. Not complete control, but enough to get my attitude in check and remember to not be miserable.

Common Exhibit: The Inner Guide

-I like to imagine that my inner guide has the voice of Gandalf.

-It’s calm and comforting at times, and powerful at others.

-I have taken it onto myself to allow balance to take place between the various mindsets and trusting that things can get better.

Listening to the Inner Guide: What I have done to improve my mindset

Personal Exhibits:

-Trying new things such as Fencing. The reason I chose fencing was to have a chance to learn something new that was fun to me. It also helps me to be athletic and keep my mind sharp. I make sure to do it twice a week so as not to get in the way of my studies.

-I also make sure to set a time for school, a time for friends, and me time. So like on Sundays, I set aside my work and just make sure to enjoy that day. It has help create less stress from my inner critic and defender and has allowed me to adhere to my inner guide.

-Cari Brooks, my academic coach, has also been a big contributor to upgrading my mindset by applying various goals for me each week. From August 29th - September 1st I challenged myself to avoid YouTube for a week. I found that it was very helpful in that it allowed me to be more aware of everything around me.

Goal Setting: Understanding Values

-Creating personal goals

-Looking at Values

Personal Exhibit on Goals: Creating a visual

-The above photos represent a portion of goals in which I decided to visually display as a personal reminder.

This various visuals were placed here to represent my person visual to remind me of truths in my life and facts as well as tell me my goals.

-First, is always my faith and belief. I seek to make it stronger each day, regardless of the challenges I face.

-The picture with my girlfriend reminds me of the people that are close to me and near me. My friends are one of the encouraging factors that draw me towards my goals and helps me to seek the goal of being the greatest friend ever to them.

-The picture of Iron Man is a necessary reminder that I still want to be an inventor, even if I'm not an engineer. I will always have the opportunity to invent something that will benefit people.

-The family photo reminds me of my family and that they will always be there to support me and insure me that they are proud of me no matter what. It is also my goal to have a great family.

-The cap reminds me to reach the goal of graduating college in order to receive a degree in packaging science. It reminds me to seek on becoming more educated, for the sake of saying: I made it. I did it.

-As silly and strange as it sounds, the fencing photo is a statement of saying that I want to become a great swordsman. The deeper meaning behind that though is that I want to overcome rough challenges, which will require great training, but I now that I will not do it alone. I have family, friends, and educators to help me each day.

Common Exhibit on Goals: Understanding Values

-The above photo came from one of our class activities.

One of our in class activities, pertaining to goal setting, focused on identifying what we valued the most in our lives. This was a difficult activity to do, but the end result made a fair amount of sense to me. My belief is honestly something that I would never want to give up compared to everything else. This value tends to be something that I seek to install in all of my everyday goals. It is a goal which has already been accomplished, the next goal is to make it stronger. I always look at it in a yearly time span to accomplish it. Every new year, I like to reflect on it and ask: How am I different today than I was last year? Accomplishing this goal I learned requires me to D.A.P.P.S. I already put a date on the goal. This goal is definitely achievable when attending church, studying the Bible, and applying newfound knowledge each day. This is my goal that I put on myself to accomplish, making it an intrinsic motivator. I will become stronger in faith as each year passes, through practicing everyday.

Handling Stress: Eliminating that choking feeling.

-Meditation methods

-Books, fencing, and baking

Common Exhibit: Meditation Methods

-During a guest speaker appearance from the Healthy Campus Department, we were given a chance to practice audio guided meditation. Most people will over dramatize what meditation is, when it really just centers around allowing the mind and body to relax, breathe, and relieve.

-I could tell a difference physically and mentally after the meditation. Even though I was slightly sick, I felt better physically and everything in my mind felt less clumped up and flowed better.

-I took a Bio test after the class and I could tell that I had an easier time taking it. Plus I made a B on the test, which I needed.

Personal Exhibit: My personal method of relieving stress

-My personal methods of relieving stress is through three main things. There are other methods, but these have a more nutritious background.

-Reading books help my mind to practice thinking in depth while also allowing myself to breathe and relax. I usually try to read in the morning and the evening, since it starts my day off with enjoyment and ends it with relaxation.

-Fencing acts as my source of physical activity during the week to allow my body to physically relieve stress and make me stay healthy. It is also a source of keeping my mind sharp. I do fencing at least 2-3 times a week.

-Baking is just something I like to do for fun. It makes something sweet that I can look forward too at the end of the day and acts as a reward for myself. I don't do it too often since it costs money.

Communicating with Professors: How to avoid the Snape scenario.

-Taking the opportunity to interview professors

-Establishing constant Office hour visitations and keeping up with professors

Common Exhibit: Interviewing a Professor

-The main expression to avoid from a professor is the one Professor McGonagall can give to students. The better expression is the one the Pippin has. It is much more friendly, and that is because professors can become friends.

-For one of my exhibits I made decided to interview my Biology 1030 professor, since I have visited him the most during this semester, since I needed the most help in this subject.

-This interview was certainly a different experience for me since I don't normally ask personal questions to professors, since I am usually scared of making things awkward.

-Although, to my surprise, I found that it felt very comfortable having a normal chat with the professor and I was able to come to a better understanding of what his job is like.

-I learned that it is usually difficult for a professor to get funding for their research and that he was brought into the position of teaching Biology from originally teaching Agriculture.

-Normally I only go to my professors to get my questions answered or get help to better understand information. It was definitely worthwhile.

Personal Exhibit: Going to office hours and consistently talking with professors

-This is my own personal exhibit that I focus on.

-I have learned that it is always crucial to visit professors consistently in order to hold up good relations with them.

-It is also important to visit them as soon as possible. Never go at the last minute!!

-I usually write down any questions or concepts that I have difficulty with to make it easier while talking to a professor.

-My greatest strategy that I apply is to just be nice to the professors. Not all of them will be nice, but it shows them that I respect them and want to learn from them.

-I usually also visit my Chemistry professor, since this is the other science that can prove to be difficult. She helps me to understand scientific concepts better and how I can expect them to show up on the next test.


Churches, B. A. (1995). Major Categories in the Taxonomy of Educational Objectives(Bloom 1956). Retrieved September 22, 2016, from

K. G. (2016, August 08). Which Is Better for Learning: Focused vs Diffuse Thinking? Retrieved September 22, 2016, from focused-vs-diffuse-thinking/


Created with images by geralt - "board blackboard success" • stevepb - "checkmate chess resignation" • Cerif - "pocket watch watch time" • Cerif - "pocket watch watch time" • DariuszSankowski - "knowledge book library" • DariuszSankowski - "knowledge book library" • DariuszSankowski - "knowledge book library" • DariuszSankowski - "knowledge book library" • davis.steve32 - "Mindset" • cudipeich - "Goal" • geralt - "cross sunset sunrise" • just_the_way - "Iron Man in Hong Kong" • Olichel - "graduation grads cap" • ollesvensson - "goal" • ollesvensson - "goal" • brenkee - "meditation calm above the city"

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