college · university

How I stayed sane in college…

I can officially write this, now that I am finally done with my bachelor’s degree. Here are some of my own tips and tricks that I used throughout my time in college & university.

 

#1 Grammarly

This website & system has saved me more times than I can count. When I found out about it through a Facebook ad of all places I thought I would try the free and then soon saw how much more options there were with the premium plans, but I thought against it because of the price tag and because I was a college student with a limited income at the time. I went through and would proofread all of my essays and papers before I would print and submit and it honestly saved me from getting a lower grade due to common mistakes that the standard proofreading software on Word or Google Docs wouldn’t find.

Then as soon as I transferred to the university, I learned that the premium software was free to download through my university (you should check your university’s free software, and see if Grammarly is an option, cause it will save you so much money!) Grammarly has saved me as well when it comes to essay writing, because of the plagiarism check, which helps when writing huge research papers.

Plus, the new update to the program lets you tailor the proofreading of Grammarly to fit your type of paper (informal, formal, academic or business) so you get the right type of proofreading.

Also, a new update to Grammarly is for those that use google docs (which I use and I remember the pain of having to reformat my papers before there was a Grammarly extension for google docs). But now there is a Grammarly extension for google docs, and it works just like Grammarly but you know don’t have to leave your document to proofread all of your work.

There is also an extension that you can download if you are using a chrome browser and would give you suggestions for spelling, grammar and punctuation corrects so that when you are surfing the web, you won’t make any more mistakes!

And as a final note for this one, this and all of my previous postings and future postings are all proofread through grammarly!

#2 Survey Junkie

This one is something that I’ve used to get some cash through answering surveys. And it works too! You answer surveys and accumulate points, and once you hit 1000 points (which equals to $10) you can choose which gift card to cash it out on, or deposit it directly into your bank account. So this one takes some time but really is worth it in the end, because it’s something that I would do to kill some time.

 

#3 Citation machines

This is more for academic papers, but really it makes it so much easier when it comes to writing those long papers. What you do is if you need help with citations you can look up a citation machine, like http://www.citationmachine.net/. You pop in what you need to find a citation for a book, article, video, or newspaper article. And after you select the appropriate one that matches your source, you can choose which citation type you need it in and then just copy/paste into your paper, easy as that.

#4 Scheduling breaks, and don’t do anything school related

When I would have either a break between my classes at the university, or taking the walk back to my car I would pop in a podcast to listen to or would listen to an audiobook to just let my mind not think about school or upcoming assignments. Because I know that things get hectic, but that doesn’t mean you should have some time to yourself.

I even got into the habit of watching shows on Netflix or Hulu to catch up on the shows that I would miss because of my late classes in the evening times.

And reflecting back on that time I would give myself, made it so I could take a breather, and come back to my assignments more energized and focused because of the breaks.

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college · history · university

Semester Reflection

This semester was crazy, but a good crazy. I want to share with you the classes that I took this spring semester, and what I hope I can keep with me possibly as lessons that I learned from each class. I got this idea from Life With Karla, so go check out her semester reflection.

History 490t- Senior Research Seminar

This was a class where I totally felt alone throughout all of it. Which I guess was the whole point of the class. The entire semester was dedicated to us conducting our own research on a topic that covered World War I, and to be able to write a paper about it and present our findings to the class. I felt alone because unlike this class, the class that comes before this one, 300B-historical writing. In that class, we were required to meet with our professor at least 3 times to go over our research and to have the professor suggest ideas. Now in this class, she did have meetings with her scheduled but she revised the syllabus over 3 times, and because of that she ended up just canceling class instead of holding these meetings.  I know what your thinking “Jessica if you felt lost go to her office hours”. Yeah I wish that I would have put the entire semester there were issues with where all the history professors offices were because a pipe burst, so everyone was everywhere else, and not on that floor so I had no idea where to go. And plus, when we did have that 1 meeting, I felt like she didn’t help me at all with my research. But I got it done, and my research topic, Women’s involvement in World War I was interesting. Because I learned that the U.S. Marines and Navy allowed women in their ranks. Yes, there were women involved in munition factories, as nurses etc before WWII. All in all, though the class was fine, we all just were trying to get our research done and it was only a once a week class.

History 386B- American Social History Part 2

This class! There was like 13 books that we were required to read throughout the semester which was a lot. A book a week, and maybe 4 articles to read throughout the semester. I tried to read a lot of the books starting out the semester but then I started realizing that I did not have to try and read every page, just the intro, which usually gave the whole synopsis of the book, to be honest. And the requirements for the writing assignments were to give a summary of the book, information on the sources that the author used and how it fits in with social history. All in all, the class was interesting with the different topics that we discussed, which surprisingly enough was about minorities throughout U.S history and a lot about women. The only thing that I regret is really not reading a lot of the books entirely, but with trying to balance out my other classes, I was not able to.

History 481- California History

This class was not “oh California how awesome!” This class was all about the things that have been ignored throughout California History, with mainly the focus on the dark history involving the California Indians, and how the U.S. government funded the genocide of the native population within California. There were other topics at the end of the class that focused on other things, like the counterculture movement with the hippies in the ’60s and ’70s which was pretty interesting but all in all the main focus was on the native Americans. The final project presentation that we had to do the week before finals were cool because we got to pick a topic from contemporary history (current events) and relate it to what we learned in the class about California. My group ended up working on female homelessness in California and related it to a book that we had to read during the semester which looked at the history of incarceration within L.A. and how it was mostly minorities that were and have been incarcerated throughout L.A.’s history. We ended up getting a high grade on the assignment because I connected our topic to the book, and mentioned how the book failed to mention anything about women being homeless, even though they make up a huge portion of the homeless population within California. I really enjoyed the content of the class, and I learned stuff about California history that I don’t think I would have learned if I did not take the course. Because we had been discussing throughout the class how we would address these topics to students when we became history teachers (because like 90% in the class was taking this to fulfill a teaching credential requirement). And we all recognized that these topics were just being presented to us, since there was little mentioned about California history when it came to elementary school and junior high, because there was more of a glossing over of the harsh truths about California’s history, and the curriculum at the time only wanted to address the California missions and the gold rush in a positive way. All in all, I know that what I will be taking away from this class is the history that I learned and that hopefully, I could be able to teach kids about it when I become a teacher.

Secondary Education 320- Adolescent Development

This class I took to fulfill a requirement to get into the credential program. it was all about, adolescent development, and how and why adolescents change and what outside factors throughout there life are involved. This was a pretty easy course for me since it was online. It only required discussion posts once a week and maybe a write up about 4 chapters that we had read the textbook after every month was done. The final project, a powerpoint presentation, had us picking an adolescent from a film or book and explaining certain aspects of their development and how it was portrayed in the film. I kind of underestimated how long it would take me, but I addressed the criteria well and my B+ shows that I put the effort into the class, because of course when you find something interesting you are going to put your best efforts towards it.

 

That’s it for my semester reflection! All in all, I had a great semester with very dedicated professors. And I already know now that I will be definitely doing this same post again at the end of the Fall semester, with a twist since all of my classes will be the rest of the secondary education courses, which are offered online.

 

college · history · university

Some Changes In My Life

Now, I know that I have not posted an actual blog post in forever. I hope to redeem myself for that with this blog post.

This is not to say that I won’t still be sharing my youtube videos, which there has not been one in like a week or two, because of final projects because the semester is coming to an end. Which means that I’m stressed beyond belief trying to get multiple papers done, and getting groups projects being assigned (which I have to say if they did not work in elementary school, why are you making us do group projects in college?).

But there are things that are going to be changing for me soon because if you guys have not checked the About Me Page on this blog, you should. But if you don’t want to, it’s just a description of myself what my blog is about and where I am at in life right now. And one of the things that I felt like would never really come was the time for me to start taking my proficiency testing to be able to apply for the credential program to become a history teacher at the secondary school level (aka, middle school and/or high school).

What is great about this is that I can take these tests during the summer, so studying for them won’t be a problem for me. And once I get the CBEST completed and finish off my bachelor’s degree in the fall, I will be able to start substitute teaching if I choose to.

I just wanted to let you guys know what I will be prioritizing during the summer, which is the studying for these exams. The CBEST covers reading, writing and math (which I haven’t taken a math class in over 3 years now, so I’m kinda worried about that section) and the CSET, specifically the history ones (since I’m a history major and want to become a history teacher) covers a lot of history (much of which I haven’t learned since middle school or even high school, so again a lot of studying for that one).

But I will try and make blog posts around my studying techniques and how I’m doing on studying for these exams, and maybe go further to explain the examination process etc.

I just wanted to let you guys know what’s going on if I don’t post as many of my youtube videos on here or post any blog posts during the summer time.

If any of you have questions about the process or more about the tests, leave them in the comments down below!