Study Music

Listening To Music by Petr Kratochvil

I’m a big music fan with a fairly large music library. I don’t make theme playlists as often as I’d like, but I did make myself a playlist called “Study/Writing Music.” That playlist has served me well for many essay writing sessions. It’s perfect for tuning out distracting noises without being distracting in itself.

Making a study playlist is pretty simple. I like to use instrumental songs. Most of them are meant to be background noise, whereas songs with lyrics demand more of the listener’s attention, at least in my opinion.

These are the artists and genres I’ve used to make my own playlist, as well as links to other study song recommendations. Continue reading

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Double Majoring

For those who don’t know, I am a double major in Cellular Molecular Biology and English. I know it’s an odd combination, but I enjoy it.

Left: Norton Shakespeare. Right: Molecular Cell Biology textbook.

 

 I picked the CMB major first, since I want to go to medical school, and CMB focused on the biological topics I found most interesting. I also came in with some AP credit, and I loved the literary courses I was taking in college, so I thought, “Why not double major? My electives will all be English anyway.”

While I’m happy with my decision to double major, it’s not for the faint of heart. Continue reading

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Being a Real Person

One fun debate I like to have is whether the college experience is my first taste of the real world, or whether it’s just another delay before I finally entering the real world. Regardless of what camp you follow, there’s an interesting phenomenon that happens after you’ve been a college student for a while.

Did you notice that in college you spend your time almost exclusively with people your own age? Well, okay, I’m sure you noticed, but did you ever stop to think about it? You’re around people in their late teens-early twenties in your classes, on the walk to different classes, at the library, at the computer lab, at your dorm, in your clubs. Sure, there’s your professors, and other assorted older adults, but they’re outnumbered by a long shot. If you think about it, it’s really easy to become isolated from the other age demographics.

Now that I have a car, it’s easier for me to travel to places like the grocery store, the movie theater, or the mall, where I can interact with people who aren’t my own age. It’s actually a neat experience when you’ve spent so much time in a homogeneous age group. Volunteering at a community facility is good for this too. It makes me feel like I’m part of the real world community, and not so isolated within my university.

I’m also from a large university. I wonder if students at smaller universities feel the same way.

Has anyone else every experienced this?

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An alternative to the night-before paper

Raise your hand if you’ve ever written a paper in your years in school. Raise you hand if you started that paper the night before it was due.

The majority of us have been there, myself included. Papers are hard work. Trying to start such a project often makes me freeze up and not want to do anything, or better yet find something else to do. Finally, it’s the night before, and if I don’t start it now, it will never get done, so I struggle through the paper into the wee hours of the morning.

No matter what I say, many of you will continue to do this, whether you want to or not, and I get that. But regardless of how effectively you think this system works, there’s no denying it’s a painful process. Still, it took my upper-level English classes to finally get me to start my paper earlier than the night before. Continue reading

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Finding a Lab

Ha, just kidding. I’m actually talking about finding a laboratory where you can do undergraduate research.

Science rules.

If you’re studying any sort of science, you will want to consider joining a lab to get some research experience. Even if you don’t think you’ll like research, you may be more open to it once you join a lab and start investigating an interesting topic. If nothing else, lab research gives you skills in experimental techniques and working with others.

Many colleges have a pathway or system a student can follow to join a lab, but if you can’t or won’t take their option, there’s another way to get into a lab. Continue reading

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Time Management: As close as I’ll get to a Time-Turner

My favorite time management tool

I’m now about halfway through my final semester, which means that I’m getting slammed with midterms and projects. It’s during these periods in the semester that time is truly more precious than gold, so I try to make every moment count. Do I succeed? Not always, but I’m getting better. Over several years of schooling, many articles on the subject, and lots of trial and error, I’ve come up with a system that works well for me. Continue reading

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Old Timer, New Horizons

Have you ever had a skill or experience that you want to try, but there’s something holding you back?  For example, since freshman year I’ve been interested in performing in Mock Rock.

Official log for Mock Rock 2012

Continue reading

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