This is the story of someone who once was a failure...but not today :)
Recognizing and Revising Self-Talk Pattern
I have always struggled with writing essays and from a young age I would tell myself, "English just isn't for you" or "Don't worry about that paper, you are going to do terrible on it anyway." This lead to a lot of frustration all through out my middle and high-school years. My mind was telling me that I was never going to be good enough, and that my difficulties with writing were just something innate to my being. Over the years, and especially during my time in this course, I have learned that this is just my inner critic making excuses for the hard times. Instead of spending time judging how poorly my writing skills have always been, I should have/will now focus on improving the things with which I struggle and no one can do that except for me and my mindset.
On the complete opposite side of the spectrum, my brain refuses to accept defeat and will blame my failures on the things around me. This has been a big struggle for me, especially in college. "If I didn't have both of these exams on the same day I would have been able to do so much better," I would tell myself. In reality, I knew when the exams where scheduled for and I should've taken more time to study in advance to the test day.
Once you are able to understand and revise your negative mindsets brought on by your inner critic and your inner defender, you can begin to acknowledge the absolute truth about ourselves and chose to look at situations with a wiser perspective also known as our inner guide. A big moment for me when I followed my inner guide to get through a tough situation was after my first chemistry exam. My inner critic had been saying that I failed because I just wasn't smart enough to grasp the material, and my inner defendant was telling me that the fact that the professor was like a bajillion years old made it impossible for me to stay engaged and learn in the class. Overtime, I was able to put these thoughts aside and allow my inner guide to show me that I was capable of succeeding in chemistry, but that I had to put in the effort and that was the responsibility of no one other than me. This change in attitudes lead to a drastic improvement in my overall mood, due to the fact that I now believed in myself, but also an enormous increase in responsibilities that i placed on myself. Following my inner guide allowed me to raise the bar for myself and reach my highest potential.
For the majority of my life, I have always fallen back into the bad habit of listening to the voice of my inner defender. I have never wanted to place the blame on myself for the things I was failing at in my own life. This left me with little to no motivation to change and improve myself. If I were to change my outlook on my downfalls and turn more to my inner guide when looking for perspective, I would be able to better myself and progress into the person that I want to be. Success cannot be achieved without inner personal desire and hard work, no excuses. In order to begin applying this new idea in my life, I have to take a step back from every situation I am in and see what the truth to the situation is. What did I do wrong? What can I do differently in the future to not face this challenge again? And, how do I find the motivation to actually put into place the things I know I need to do in order to be the successful me I want to be? For example; when I failed my first chemistry exam, I needed to realize that whatever it was that I tried to do in order to pass the test didn’t work. I needed to also think of ways I could change the way I studied, maybe this means attending PAL sessions or getting a private tutor. And lastly, I needed to find the motivation within myself to actually go out and apply these new study techniques to my life. For me, this meant calling my parents to get yelled at and realizing that in order for me to stay at my dream school I needed to pull myself together and do what needs to be done. The inner guide is the way to go!!
Time Management Self-Study
- Semester Plan: The Big Picture
Shots of this Semester's Events from my Desk Calendar:
January: Let Classes Begin!!
February: Round One of Exams!!
March: Just Make it to Spring Break!!
April: BIRTHDAY MONTH!! (oh yea, and the last days of class)
May: Finish Finals and Head to SUMMER!!!!!!!!!
- Weekly Plan: The Ideal Week
- Daily Plan: The Nitty-Gritty
Shots of a Few of My Daily To-Do Lists from this Semester:
Shots of 3-Day Time Records:
I did not do as well of a job following my plan as I had hoped. Netflix was shown to be WAY more of a distraction and time consumer than expected. When I get overwhelmed and frustrated I have now learned that I try to hide from my stress by distracting myself with Netflix.
Shot of my New and Improved Weekly Schedule:
Retrieval Practice Self-Study
Learning Strategy used on Exam 2:
I read over the study guide everyday two weeks before the exam, and then the week of the exam I quizzed myself with the Flash Cards and Practice Exams. On an average day I spent about an hour on quizlet studying for chem.
- Flash Cards- Human Sexual Behaviors
I would pull up these flash cards in-between everyone of my classes as I walked from one class to another on my phone and review. This adds up to around 30 minutes to an hour a day, and I did this for the two weeks leading up to the exam.
I meet with a group of peers from my Physics class every Wednesday for 2 hours to do practice problems and exams.
- Before-and-After Grade Results
Chemistry- Exam 1: 89, Exam 2: 95
Quizlet worked really well because I could easily access it at any point in the day and their were different study options available all in the same place and already created.
Human Sexual Behaviors- Exam 1: C, Exam 2: B
Flash cards worked well, but quizlet would have worked just as well (if not better) and would have been far less work to make.
Physics- Exam 1: 85, Exam 2: 68
I relied far to much on my study buddies and assumed that I had learned all the information, when in reality they were having to explain how to do certain questions to me every time and i never learned how to fully do them.
The overall best study method for me was definitely quizlet. It was fast, efficient and effective and I did better on my Chemistry Exam than I could have ever imagined. The worst method was Group-Quizzing. I didn't learn how to do problems on my own and I thought I was far more prepared than I was.
- My most difficult class this semester has definitely been Physics 1220, so I chose to complete the Post-Test Analysis form for my second physics exam.
Shot of the Post-Test Analysis Form:
- I met with Dr. Pope to talk about my performance on Exam 2, to brainstorm some studying techniques that I can use to improve my preparation for Exam 3, and to understand why and how I got the questions wrong that I did on Exam 2 so that I do not make the same mistakes on Exam 3 and I can hopefully receive a higher grade.
Shot of the Notes Taken During Meeting with Dr. Pope:
Shots of New and Improved Plans for Exam 3:
New Studying and Test-Taking Techniques to Try on Exam 3
I did much better on my next Physics Exam after meeting with my professor.
- I conducted an interview with my Chemistry 1010 professor, Dr. Cox, in order to make our student-teacher relationship more personable and to understand the steps she took in order to be the happy and successful chemist she is today.
When I met with Dr. Cox, the questions I asked her include:
- What do you do in addition to teaching?
- Why did you decide this career path?
- What was your major in college?
- What is the best part of your job?
- Are you where you thought you would be in college?
- What is general advice you have for college students?
- How do you define learning?
- What was your most difficult subject in college and why?
- What non-academic skills are most important in your opinion?
- In college, what element of professionalism did you struggle with the most?
Shots of the Notes Taken During the Interview:
I chose Professor Cox as my professor to interview because this is my second time taking chemistry and having a personal relationship with the teacher can really help me stay engaged in class. I was surprised to hear that she didn't want to be a teacher at first and that she chose to be a teacher so that she didn't have to go to medical school. I learned that sometimes plan change last minute and unexpectedly but that it may be for the best. This changed my view of her as a professor because now our relationship is more personal and we can have casual conversations about chemistry without it being intimidating.
Values and Goals
- In class, I took part in an activity where I was given a stack of values and I had to slowly narrow the pile down to my Top 10, Top 5, and Most Valued Values. This was done in order to articulate to me what I truly value most dearly in life and to help me set both long and short-term goals for myself that reflect the most important values to me.
Shots from the In-Class Activity:
This activity was far harder than I expected it to be. Discarding any of my Top 10 was incredibly difficult to do, and then getting to 1 single core value seemed almost impossible, but as I sat there trying to decide which values to discard, I began to realize what really matters to me.
- Short and Long-Term Goals Based on Core Values
By the end of the summer, I want to have a healthy relationship with my sister by communicating with her at least once a week.
I can accomplish this by putting in more of an effort to understand where her opinions are coming from and accepting her as she is.
Relationship between Goal and 5 Core Values:
- Helpfulness- I will be there for her as a friend and sister
- Generosity- A weight will be taken off my parents shoulders when we get along
- Authority- Becoming the role model she needs
- Tradition- There is no relationship more valuable than a sister
- Nurturance- I will be able to take care of her
Become a mother
Becoming finically stable enough to support a family
Relationship between Goal and 5 Core Values:
- Helpfulness- I can be there for all my children's needs
- Generosity- My kids will get all of me 24/7
- Authority- I have to teach them how to be kind responsible humans
- Tradition- Pass on the family name
- Nurturance- Raising kids
My father has always been my biggest role model and so I decided to interview him and see how he became as successful as he did.
- How do you define success?
- What was your biggest challenge in life?
- Why didn't you go to college?
- Do you regret not going looking back?
- What is your biggest piece of advice for a young adult?
Shot of Responses from Dad's Interview:
My dad made some great points in the interview about not giving up and persevering through tough times which was really inspiring and insightful.
I have always found it difficult to grasp anything from reading a textbook, so I looked into ways to deepen the way I read textbooks.
Shot of my attempt at the SQ3R Chart:
The chart really did help me analyze and interpret what I was reading in the textbook.