1.31.17 Time Management
Last semester I did not have great time management. I would put hanging out with my friends or playing sports over doing homework or studying. When a due date was approaching I would usually do the assignment two to one days before it was due, but it was not my best work. Sometimes I would rush the work just so I could hang out or do anything else but the assignment. Obviously my time management skills were not good, and this resulted in awful grades and myself not learning as much as I should have. My friends would always be able to hang out with me and do whatever they wanted it seemed. However, they were doing fine in their classes, while I was struggling to keep up. Clearly they had much better time management skills than I did. In my free time I would normally be tired from a long day of classes, so I would lay in bed and watch Netflix to relax. However, I never really stopped relaxing when after my break I should have been doing homework or studying. I tried to start having good time management, but I would always derail from it and go right back to my old habits. It felt like I was maybe addicted to having free time and not studying. This may be due to the fact that in high school I never truly studied, and I was always golfing or hanging with friends. Obviously these habits carried over to college, and ultimately led to my failures.
I have never been comfortable with English. As I was born in Russia, learning English was a difficult task to overcome. I was younger then as well, but my adopted parents made sure I never procrastinated on learning the new difficult language. Come to find out, I had learned English in seven months and was easily able to say what I wanted. To this day however, I have never liked English or writing. I believe since I was forced to learn something, I never truly enjoyed it passionately. I get very uncomfortable when I have to write a paper, read a book, or write an essay. Due to being uncomfortable with English, I have always procrastinated doing any English assignment. If I had to write a 2,000 word essay and had a month in advance of knowing when the due date was, I still would not start until about a week before because I always dreaded starting writing or reading something. It was almost as if, subconsciously, my brain did not want anything to do with English. My lifestyle is largely shaped because of my parents, and so I have never been a procrastinating-type person. Both of my parents are busy bodies and are always on top of things, and I would these traits were definitely passed to me.
I have always liked process instead of product. I like product almost just as much, but being able to do the process made me feel I was becoming smarter. Instead of just getting an answer or product, I followed the process in order to be able to do other, harder problems. Even if it was a ten part question, as long as I knew the process, I would feel successful and accomplished and the product would have to be right. Getting the correct product is crucially important, but if a good process is always followed, then a great product is formed. Like the saying, "Give a man a fish, he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish, he eats for a life time".
2.28.17 Test Preparation
I answered six yes and six no for the test preparation checklist. Usually when reading any text, I am simply trying to get it over with so I am never into the reading. I merely skim the readings sometimes if it is something I am not interested in at all. I do like to work with groups and get homework done, but only if everyone pulls their own weight and makes valuable contributions to the group work. I usually do homework on my own as my practice and testing. If I have trouble with something I learned in class, I don't always ask the professor because no one else had questions. When I turn homework in, depending on the class, I either completely understand it, or I did find some questions but did not bother to ask about them. I normally make study guides or use the one the professor gives, and I like to make sure I understand every objective as I go through it. I normally work alone when studying and doing homework, so I do not ask many people about problems, except for calculus two. I am regularly attending PAL and it has helped tremendously for my grades and retention of the material. I also try to get a reasonable amount of sleep unless I had a lot to do that night, I force myself to stay up late and usually get around 5 hours of sleep. I would change my studying in groups habits and sleeping schedule just slightly because I know working in groups is more helpful than working alone, as well as sleep is vital for success.
When working with other students or other people, I usually get work done faster and possibly more efficiently depending on the topic. Typically I do not work with others on assignments because I feel that I would learn less with more people instead of just being by myself. When I am with myself studying or working on anything, I find that I am more peaceful in thoughts and calm instead of having to worry about others. With some material, I am able to naturally understand while some may not and instead of trying to teach someone something I know already, I would rather keep going at my own pace. However, none of this means I do not work well when in a group. If I were working with a group, I am the guy that normally leads the group and keeps the project from getting sidetracked. I like working with others only if they are willing to put the same amount of effort I do, as well as intelligence. Typically, everyone is at the same level of intelligence, but sometimes there are slackers or people who do not care as much.
When communicating with professors, I would say I struggle in this aspect because I get intimidated and sometimes the professor will want me at a certain area of understanding already when explaining something, and I get embarrassed if I am not where I should be. However, when in class, if I am confused, I do not hesitate to ask a question, but a one on one interaction with a professor usually does not work well for me.