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Be Fabulous this Fall!

Updated: Nov 3, 2022

Hey Edumagicians,

It's Sam with a special episode of the edumagic podcast – Episode 18, how to be fabulous this fall. Many of you are starting college in a few days, or maybe today is your first day back. I have five areas of habits that you can get into now to keep you fabulous all fall long! Without further ado, let’s jump in! For a complete list of all strategies and bonuses, check out Follow these PLN power players to learn more!

  • Syllabus – when you get your syllabus for each class, mark all important dates on your calendar or schedule. All important dates for projects, assignments, tests, or quizzes. Then make a notation in your calendar one week before the test date so you can start studying little by little and you are not cramming for a test. Hannah Sansom shares, "Don't let yourself get behind. Get organized immediately by marking due dates for all classes in your planner or calendar."

  • Allison Alfonso shares, "Make a schedule/routine and follow it. A routine will allow you time to complete your work and have fun. You won’t feel burned out with this method. " I like the pick two methods from Panera Bread. I pick two priorities for the day and get those accomplished. Then anything else I get done is a bonus.

  • Michelle Mentary - Prioritize; have a must-do/may-do or order of importance list to help stay on top of deadlines.

Note taking
  • Take meaningful notes in class. Don’t write down every word your prof says! Some great tools can help you take notes; for example, Microsoft One note has note-taking templates. What I love most about them is that they can organize your notes and review the topics discussed. There is also a place for you to document your homework assignments.

  • Office lens – too much on the screen to write down? Use MS lens to capture pics of whiteboards, documents, etc. With MS Lens, you can take a picture and save it as a pdf, word doc, and jpeg. Make the edumagic happen by taking pics of all handouts from class – you might lose a vital doc you need for class so take a pic of it.

  • Review your notes after each class – take 5 minutes and check them over. If you have questions, document them and ask your professor. Or send your professor an email with questions. If something in the notes or discussion intrigues you, look up more information or ask the professor if s/he suggests any further resources about the topics- videos, podcasts, articles. Fuel your passion.

  • Emily Sattler shares, “ Study where ever works for you!”

  • Jonathan Spike shares - "Also, schedule out study/work time in a planner and stick to it. This was my biggest change from freshman to sophomore year and completely changed my work habits and GPA."

  • Sleep is not overrated, friends. You need to take care and recharge yourself. Get enough sleep. According to the national sleep foundation, young adults ages 18-25 need 7-9 hours of sleep a night. Sleep can help you recharge and be refreshed!

  • I recommend getting up a half hour or an hour before classes begin. Get ready and eat breakfast. You wouldn’t get in your car when you are on empty why attend a class when you are on empty? Grab something to eat and get ready for a day of learning. Don’t just roll out of bed and go to class in your PJs (unless it's pajama day). You are not mentally prepared for the class. Invest in yourself and your well-being. Treat classes like a job.

  • Set your alarm, turn off notifications, and flip your screen to minimize blue light. Or put your phone across the room, so you have to get up to turn off the alarm.

  • Don't pull an all-nighter. If you put the time in to study and review day by day, you will be OK and won’t have to stay up all night. Besides, what is the point of studying for a test when you are going to forget most of the info right after anyway? Don’t we want to be lifelong learners? Let’s start that habit now!

  • Doug Alichwer shares, “Get help early if you are having trouble with a class. Make connections with your prof, a classmate (make connections in class), or a tutor.”

College life
  • Get to know the people around you in your courses. Don’t just sit in a class for 14 weeks and not get to know the people are working with.

  • Work hard but enjoy the whole college experience! – Kim Berton

  • Missy Halcott suggests, “Make connections with other students and faculty. Get connected w current educators online and find time to explore your passions. College is a time to develop your skills and yourself!’

  • Jennifer Brinson - Find your people - people who will help and push you to grow. Someone (at least one) in each class you can go to as a study buddy or help bounce ideas off of. Visit each professor during office hours to help form those relationships and put names to faces. Review your notes/readings every day. Have fun!

  • Michelle Mcfeaters - So, the two things that came to the top of my head have already been mentioned, but they are worth repeating: treat school like a 40-hour-a-week "job"--and expect to work some significant "overtime" some of the time AND don't be afraid to ask for help. Happy back to school, everyone!

  • Sydney Kincade - Having a place that’s just for work and a place that’s just for relaxing (ex., not using your bed to study. Make that a place where you relax and sleep only)

  • Emily Sattler shares, “Also, get involved! Find a club or two to join. That will give you an instant connection with people to start a friendship.”

  • That's my art teacher - Schedule time to do things that are a priority. For example, if you like running, plan a time and how often you want to do it. Same for calling home. It’s easy to leave out the essentials that aren’t “mandatory.”

  • Debbie Reynolds - Take advantage of opportunities but remember self-care is important too!

  • Beth Poss - Introduce themselves to their instructors whether they are in a big lecture or a minor course. Making connections early will help them when they have a question, need help, or even need an extension on an assignment.

Coursework approach
  • Amy Fly - Treat school like a job... you work 40 hours on the job... so if you are in class for 20 hours a week, 20 should be spent studying, prepping, and reading. Some big projects might need some overtime, just like a job. Spend time during the week, and you can enjoy your weekend.

  • Rachel Murat - Setting up a planner so they schedule studying time and ensure they have social time because it's all about balance! Visit the professor's office hours, set up study groups, group source notes in Google Docs, and create gaps sheets while going through a unit, so you have targeted what to study.

  • Sandy Herald - Off the top of my head, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Faculty & staff are real people & we care about your success!!

  • Tracy Kelly - Be mentally present in class. Or, to use eduspeak, engaged.

  • Dr. Stephanie Hendrith - Enter every class with an open mind and willingness to learn.

  • Margaret Sisler - If focus is a challenge, consider a strategy like the Pomodoro timer to create habits of focus.

  • Jonathan Spike - Communicate strategies that help them succeed and highlight scenarios in which you may struggle to their instructor.

  • Karyn Fillhart - Study habits and tools would have helped me. Here’s a list of resources I recently shared with incoming first-year students during a seminar.

  • Ann Craven - First, take care of yourself & your health. Make yourself take breaks and do things that you enjoy. Second, manage your time. Be realistic about how long tasks will take and be proactive about getting things done well before the due date. (Hint: this will help you with the first habit.)

  • Aubrey Jones - Get a planner and use it FOR EVERYTHING

  • Brian Costello When you create your schedule, learn to put things that are most important to YOU first, then work everything else around the rest. When you meet good people who can help you with anything in life, keep them. Collect them in your life.

  • Barbara Kurtz - Never settle. Pursue your academics, social life, talents, and faith diligently and wisely.

  • Michael Mahoney - Find the right balance between academics and social life.

  • Dr. Will - Know yourself. If you know mornings are tough, stay away from early morning classes. Being self-aware is so important in navigating the college experience.

  • Erin Lewis 1) Many people make a to-do list, but few create a results list. Create a results list of things you absolutely must accomplish by the end of the day and do that every single day so you can work in a focused, task-oriented way rather than just adding a whole bunch of things to your to-do list that never actually get done. 2) Find those resources on campus like your career center, student financial services tutoring, academic support, academic success, all of those people I work with faculty, and other resources on campus to help you find and reach what you define as a success. These people know tricks, they know inns and outs, they have connections, and their primary job is to help you to succeed. Use them! 3) My favorite is that career development begins on day two (We all know that day one is for being lost, overwhelmed, and confused 😉). Start thinking about what kind of jobs or careers that you want after graduation heck, it’s probably going to change and that’s OK. Still, if you don’t start thinking about it now, by the time you do start thinking about it in three years or maybe even four years, getting some of the opportunities like internships or study abroad or part-time jobs or job shadowing experiences, etc.... it might be too late. Don’t wait until your senior year to think about these things because time flies in college. TRUST ME 💜💜💜

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