August 20, 2018
Being from a relatively large high school, I felt prepared to go to a university that was over six times that size. I started my college career confident in the path I had planned out for myself. I was preparing to go to medical school for psychiatry and nothing would stop me!
Boy, was I ever wrong.
While I did finish my degree in psychology, I also chose to pursue a career in computer science, but I was totally and utterly lost. Where should I even begin? This was completely new territory for me and I was very intimidated by all of the programming languages that exist. If I could go back in time, I would introduce my past-self to the awesome studyblr community that can be found on Tumblr.
In short, studyblrs are blogs on Tumblr about students learning; hence the concatenation of the words studying and Tumblr. The community has students of all ages, countries, and majors/concentrations. This makes it easy to connect with learners with similar interests and concentrations as you.
Throughout this blog post, I will continue to provide links to some studyblr posts and users that have helped me organize and thrive in a school setting and beyond.
When you can’t motivate yourself to continue the good work that you have been putting into your studies, sometimes a little help from peers can help you cope with stress and lend encouraging words that remind you that it is okay.
Likewise, if you encourage those around you, you may not only feel like you’ve made a difference, but also helped motivate yourself.
Are you the type of learner that does well by seeing others work hard? Jim Rohn puts it the best, "You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. Not only is it important for you to have goals set aside for yourself, but if you aren’t surrounded by like-minded people, your goals are less likely to be achievable. By surrounding yourself with a community that only wishes the best for others and themselves, you will be able to persevere and push through the difficulties and challenges you might face. You might even be able to learn new skills to use in the future."
As a student, I struggle with productivity, time management, and effective note taking. The studyblr community discusses ways that they have been able to successfully avoid these issues when they need to focus in their studies. While not all advice from my peers is helpful, I have been able to gather useful knowledge on what techniques help me and how to improve them for myself.
While I have been able to get plenty of ideas that were easily transferable for my style of studying, sometimes I had to improvise and make small changes to others’ approaches to make it work effectively for myself. For example, I love the idea of color-coding all of my classes and having specific colored notebooks, pens, and highlighters! As a commuter that didn’t have the luxury to go home after classes, I had to sacrifice my desire to bring all of my school supplies to campus with me. As a remedy, I use Microsoft’s OneNote to color-code my classes and even have the ability to use color in my notes to highlight important vocabulary after class.
Chunking course topics into more manageable bite sized reading sections without sacrificing comprehension.
Who says that studying can’t be fun? There are plenty of ways to incorporate your hobbies and favorite past times into something that will help you succeed in school. Whether you like coming up with songs like the Bone Dance, mind mapping, or using simple mnemonics such as, “Please excuse my dear Aunt Sally.” There is always something you can do to help retain information and connect concepts.
While there aren’t too many computer science studyblrs out there, there is often a misconception that computer science, information science, and computer engineering students are always behind a computer screen. How can the studyblr community help computing information students better understand topics?
Change the game by providing study tips, ways to approach coding challenges, and having an open-line of communication for everyone to be able to use. Share mnemonics. Share resources that have helpful tools.
Having an open forum with peers allows you to find out what you know well and what you do not. This ultimately improves your understanding of foundational (and more complex) concepts.
Being successful isn’t always about the grade. As long as you put your best foot forward and make sure that you come out of your courses knowing that you learned something that can be applied to your goals, you are on the right track. You are successful.
If you are excited to join the studyblr community but don't know where to start, my best advice is just to begin. Everyone that I have talked to has given me a warm welcome and I extend that to you.