How to do Homework

You’d think after four years of college and four years of high school I’d learn the best way to do homework but you’d be wrong. I think every student ever can tell you we know procrastination all too well. I may not be the BEST study/homework doing person but I think most of my friends can say it too, we’re still learning how to do homework.

In high school,  I don’t remember much about homework except them telling us “in college there is very little homework, heavy on the exams and papers with NO make-ups”. Well, from personal experience I can confidently say it differs everywhere. The different departments and professors all have their own philosophies about how much homework, review sessions, group work, presentations, paper drafts and dropped homework/exams or revisions to work you can make. The profs at UPS are great at communicating these expectations but be warned you shouldn’t EXPECT for the homework to be easy, for the professors to give you the answers when you ask for help or for revisions and opportunities to “bump up your grade”. The professors are willing to work WITH you to make sure YOU understand, really encouraging you to put in the work.

As a senior I have a better grasp of hwo to read between the lines and write out all my assignments to see what times are going to be busy but even when I do that I’m still in a dilemma about  how and when to do my work. As a science major a majority of my classes are lecture-based with note-taking and problems to solve and understand the connectiosn to be evaluated on the exams and actual lab work. I’m completely used to this style of learning, however this year with more freedom I’m taking courses leaning towards social sciences and upper level biology with discussions, readings and papers. It’s in these situations I’m unsure: should I keep doing work when I have free time and plan ahead on the weekend or a day or two before and potentially not fully remember everything recently in class or bunch up my work after my long days of class, work and meetings? I don’t have an answer for you, and I don’t know what answer you would give but I think it differs for everyone. A P&G or psychology major might be more comfortable with the readings heavy workload and know how to better balance it (And their print green) but I’m still getting used to it.

I think the lesson learned and lesson to stick to is: do your homework, however you feel most comfortable and prepared for class and learning the material.



Finals Drag On

During the time of finals there is no feeling of Christmas in the air at all. All the students are going through their piles of notes, stack of note cards, reviewing powerpoints and, or editing and re-editing their papers. There’s so much grasping our immediate attention we don’t have time to think about Christmas, family, our holiday shopping or the generally merry cheer. And that makes me sad to think about, that our exams have taken over so much, ask so much of us that we are anxious students this past reading period and finals week. There’s an imperceptible feeling of dampened all-night studying and general anxiety cloaked over campus as we pass the mid-week of Finals. Some of my friends didn’t start their finals until today! While some of my friends are already completely down and ready to get into the holiday spirit now.

I don’t recall my high school finals to be this studious or heavy feeling at all but I guess that’s the thing about college. In high school our grades only mattered to get into college if that and now, these grades determine our future- if we go to grad school, if we pass this class into the next upper level class or internship and job opportunities after college. The real world is out there and we can feel it watching us this finals week. And that’s the truth of it, some of my senior friends are graduating at the end of this week, and that’s crazy to think as well. Finals is the end of another semester, another chapter to our life, one more step closer to graduation and the real world. While i’m having all these mildly deep thoughts I’m going to get back to studying. But my one motivator to get through one more day? The fact I get to go home on Friday, that I will soon be back to the humid, warm, sunny blue skies of beautiful Hawaii and in the warm  embrace of my family of friends!

A hui ho until the end of finals!


Exam week was always something I looked forward to in high school. Many of my finals actually took place before the actually week and were more spread out so I was not extremely stressed all at once. In math we presented our portfolio of benchmarks, orchestra was sight-reading new music, English was timed writing, Japanese was a kanji exam and that left only a science & social studies exam to take. Those exam weeks were immensely easier than my first college exams this week. There is an infinite more amount of pressure just because I’m taking college exams now instead of high school exams. But while those easier days are gone, I’m glad that I’m continually learning more and pushing myself to become a stronger learner.

Since last weekend my friends and I have spent A LOT of time studying together. In high school the exams seemed just as scary but I could get away with less studying and above passing grades and so I made do. Now, studying more seems an integral part of the college experience. During classes, as soon as late afternoon hit we convened to study together before getting dinner and heading off. During reading period my friends and I would meet up for meals and then head straight back to studying.

I’m not saying we were extremely studious 24/7 for the last week in particular, but it nearly felt like that. We did stop at Diversions or Oppenheimer to grab drinks and some snacks before settling in, sometimes taking walks around or checking our email and social networking sites. I’ve perfected our Pandora & Spotify playlists to have different music for my moods of studying; when I need a major boost: my Girls Generation & Big Bang (kpop) station, feeling sad about studying: 98 Degrees & Oldies station, and getting into the spirit and feeling confident station: Contemporary Christmas Station. We’ve switched up our locations, 3rd floor Harned Hall to watch the sky, 4th floor library alcove to stay comfy and watch the rain fall, and in the Sub alternating.

harned sunset photo photo

And magically enough the time has passed by quickly enough my first exam is tomorrow morning bright and early. It’s about finding your own comfort level in studying, with whom, listening to what, where you are and telling yourself “You Can Do It!!” And the weather and atmosphere of Puget Sound left so many options me to find places to get studying done; hopefully it really pays off during exams and grades! Happy Exam Week everyone!