Endings & New Beginnings

Greetings and salutations folks. I am currently blogging from my hotel room and it’s my last night in Daytona Beach for a while, or at least until August. Tomorrow I’m road tripping back to my home in Virginia and about a week later I’ll be heading to Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama for 14 days of Field Training at the first session for summer 2019. Upon completion of training, I have about a day to catch my breath before I head to Arizona for Project GO, round two furthering my Arabic studies.

Out of my entire sophomore year, and quite frankly my time at Riddle thus far, this past month has been the absolute best. Now I say best with the full disclosure that I had still had homework, quizzes, presentations, group projects, tests, and final exams, but I honestly had a great time because one: my mindset, and two: the people I surrounded myself with.

My grades this semester were the best they’ve ever been in college so far and nothing monumental changed in priorities. I’ve always put school first, but this semester I put myself first in a lot of situations too. I made genuine connections with friends that helped me to de-stress so much. I took time for myself to do yoga and meditate and workout. I wish I could tell you I got a ton of sleep this semester, but I didn’t, truthfully I had very many late nights and very stressful nights trying to grasp concepts while studying. My classes this semester weren’t easy, but somehow my outlook changed and I went from overwhelming myself with concern over grades to going with the flow and putting more focus on learning material, and also unwinding. My work/life balance this semester was something that definitely improved from freshman year. Even in studying for finals, I strategized by putting in a few solid hours of studying and practice problems, taking a break, then getting back into it. Rest is SO important, especially for your brain.

Now that the semester is over, I am spending my short break before I go off to training by reading, working out, and hopefully sleeping a lot more. Books that I’ve dove into recently are The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer and Meditations by Marcus Aurelius Antoninus. I have also recently discovered my new favorite poet too, her name is Morgan Harper Nichols and her art is immensely insightful, powerful, and healing.

In other news, before leaving Daytona Beach, I had the privilege of going to brunch with some of my favorite gal pals, and I got to attend my good friend’s commissioning ceremony, where he officially became a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Air Force.

Brunch with one of my best friends before we part ways for the summer.
Post commissioning ceremony with this newly sworn in Air Force Officer.

Now as I prepare for my journey back home, Field Training, and a summer of Arizona heat studying Arabic, I would like to leave you with this: every ending is an opportunity for beginnings. Will report back soon. Keep on keeping on!

It’s Crunch Time

Next week is the last week of classes of the 2017 Spring Semester! This also means that “It’s Crunch Time” before we head towards summer. It is time to finish those last semester projects/presentations and study for finals.

On Monday, I have a presentation in my Social Responsibility and Ethics Management class. During the semester, we had to volunteer and do ten hours of community service hours as part of a project called Civil Engagement Project.

The following day, I have a group presentation in my Strategic Management class. We will report on how our company did during the eight rounds simulation. During those rounds, we produced sensors and sold them on the market. We were competing against other groups in our classroom.

Thursday will be my last day of classes at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University!

There are no classes on Friday as this day is dedicated to studying. My professor in my Aviation Labor Relations course will post our final exam on Canvas (online); we will have two days to complete it.

I will have a total of four “real” final exams that will take place during finals week (Saturday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday). My other exams for my other three classes will be taken online.

In just about two weeks on May 8, I will be graduating!

Here are 10 Study Tips to help you prepare for your final exams:

  1. Do not look at the course material for the first time the day before the exam. Most professors mention the dates of assignments, quizzes, and exams during the first week of classes.
  2. Take notes in class and review them on the same day you took them.
  3. Start looking slowly at the material a week or a few days before the test. You will learn and memorize a lot more if you study a little bit every day.
  4. If you created a study guide, try to break it up and study one part at a time. It will be easier if you study it in small chunks instead of reading the whole study guide again and again.
  5. Create a short song or a series of letters when you have to memorize things involving steps or chronology. One time I had to memorize the 6 types of religious conversion. So I just remembered the first letter of each word and it sounded like this IMEARC.
  6. Repeating things loudly or writing them down many times on a sheet of paper will help you to remember the information for the exam.
  7. Quiz yourself or get a friend to ask you some questions. I often use Quizlet to test myself. There is a test option where the website generates a set of questions from the data you have to learn.
  8. Get all the information possible you can from your professor. Sometimes, they will tell you the format of the exam (multiple choices, true or false, short answers, short essays and/or long essays) and the number of questions.
  9. Take a break. Don’t study for hours in one sitting, but take some short breaks and move around.
  10. The night before the test, don’t stay up late at night to study. You should have studied a few days before and be ready. You will do better on the on the exam if you have a good night of sleep.

Good luck on your exams!

Nicolas

10 Study Tips

Hello readers!

Last week, I had my first exam of the semester in my Comparative Religions class. This week and next week, I will also have other tests in the rest of my classes. I’ll take this opportunity to give a few study tips to ensure you do well and don’t stress during the days leading to the test.

  1. Do not look at the course material for the first time the day before the exam. Most professors mention the dates of assignments, quizzes, and exams during the first week of classes.
  2. Take notes in class and review them on the same day you took them.
  3. Start looking slowly at the material a week or a few days before the test. You will learn and memorize a lot more if you study a little bit every day.
  4. If you created a study guide, try to break it up and study one part at a time. It will be easier if you study it in small chunks instead of reading the whole study guide again and again.
  5. Create a short song or a series of letter when you have to memorize things which involve steps or chronology. Last week, I had to memorize the 6 types of religious conversion. So I just remembered the first letter of each word and it sounded like this  IMEARC.
  6. Repeating things loudly or writing them down many times on a sheet of paper will help you to remember the information for the exam.
  7. Quiz yourself or get a friend to ask you some questions. I often use Quizlet to test myself. There is a test option where the website generates a set of questions from the data you have to learn.
  8. Get all the information possible you can from your professor. Sometimes, they will tell you the format of the exam (multiple choices, true or false, short answers, short essays and/or long essays) and the number of questions.
  9. Take a break. Don’t study for hours in one sitting, but take some short breaks and move around.
  10. The night before the test, don’t stay up late at night to study. You should have studied a few days before and be ready. You will do better on the on the exam if you have a good night of sleep.

Good luck!

Nicolas

Test taking, volleyball and turning 21

Hey Everyone,

I apologize for this entry being a bit late. I have been pretty busy. The past few weeks have been filled with tests and studying. Exams at EPF are more like national standardized tests rather than an exam at Embry-Riddle. Probably one of the largest differences is that there are many more rules, besides the obvious no cheating and only being allowed to use certain types of calculators. To begin with, there is a seating chart, which is posted on a bulletin about 15 minutes before the exam is scheduled to start. Students have to find their names and their corresponding seat, which can be in one of the two amphitheaters or even in one of the other classrooms. This is because at EPF tests are given to an entire year of students, about 180 individuals, at a time. There is an empty place between each of the seats and all coats and backpacks are placed around the edges of the room. Notes are not allowed, and neither are calculators from home. Students must use TI-83s provided by the school. Each of the exams has at least two versions in order to deter cheating, much like the SATs or ACTs. In addition, the proctors also pass around a sign in sheet with each student’s name and their seating assignment. This allows them to see which students were seated together in case there appears that some tests are too similar. When comparing exams at EPF to ones at ERAU, it seems that tests at Embry-Riddle are more relaxed.

To begin with, there is no special seating chart with at least a spare desk between each student. This is probably due to the fact that when tests are given at ERAU, they are for a class of about 25-35 students, which usually fill the majority of chairs available so that there are not enough spare seats to evenly space students. In addition, there is not usually a sign in sheet. However, some professors at ERAU do require that their students place their belongings against the wall, like at EPF, in order to limit access to hidden notes, phones, and calculators. While some tests only allow non-graphing calculators to be used, most professors allow students to being calculators from home. I think ERAU uses this policy, instead the one at EPF, simply because there are too many students in too many different classes to organize which professors need which calculators at which times. In addition, calculators can be expensive. EPF can afford to give each student a calculator during an exam because the university only needs at most 200 calculators, accounting for broken ones and ones with dead batteries, at any given time. There easily 5 times more freshmen at ERAU than at EPF.

In the past two weeks, there haven’t been too many other notable events. The girls’ volleyball team that I am on experienced its first victory. Right now we have currently won one out of five games. Last Saturday, I celebrated my 21st birthday. I kept things pretty small. I went out of lunch with friends and then I spent the rest of the day going absolutely crazy by watching television shows and not doing any homework. In France, teens are legally allowed to drink and buy alcohol and other liquors at age 18, so turning 21 isn’t really that important. Hopefully, I will have more exciting things to report back to you in the next entry, including pictures. Until then, try not to study too much and get some sleep. There are only a few weeks left in the semester and then it is Christmas break.
Thanks for reading,
Brenna