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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Bullet Journal Spreads · college · university

June Bullet Journal Layout

I always like adding quotes to the cover page of a new month. This one especially is something that I want to keep in mind since June is the start of me having to study for examinations that are coming up in July.

The expense tracker, because then written out I can see how much i spend, where I spend it on, so i don’t get surprised when i check my bank account.

This is especially important this month because I plan on downscaling on my uploading on youtube to 1x/week and I want to start pre-filming because of the summer months coming up with trips.

Same goes for the blog post tracker, and I just want to have a visual representation of how much i upload on here, when I edit them and publish them.

Something that I added for May that I used towards the end of the month as more of a reflection of the month, how I felt, big things that had happened during the month, etc, etc.

The event pages for the month, personal (vacations, my own events) and work (youtube filming, editing/uploading days, blog posts published etc etc).

Individual habit trackers for the things that I want to try and fill out completely and get to color in blue ( wake-up around 7am, sleep by 10pm, studying, filming days, working out, writing (blog posts, fanfiction etc etc).)

This i realized as I was flipping through the spread a couple days ago (cause i worked on this during my finals week) and saw that I had monday as the first when friday was the first. Just want to share my mistake with you guys.

The first weekly spread that I have. I find that instead of extending the week to 2 pages, I think I really like having the week on 1 page.

 

So, that was the June Bullet Journal Spread for this month. Hope you guys liked it, and hopefully I can stick to my goal of writing more blog posts on here that are youtube video-centric.

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!

college · university · youtube videos

What’s In My Backpack

 

This post, is mostly because doing this gave me a reason to clean out my backpack from last semester (because there was ALOT of trash at the bottom of my backpack), and because I do want to share with you guys the items that I keep in my backpack and take with me every day.

  1. Backpack

The backpack that I have is a Trans Jansport backpack, that is in the patriotic print. Now, don’t get me wrong but I only got this backpack was because it was on clearance after the whole back to school sale was over in 2016 for like $10, so of course, I bought it, but if I had more of a selection of colors I would have picked something more neutral. But nevertheless, I have had this backpack for 2 years and it has held up through all the textbooks,  and notebooks that I would carry on my busy days at University as a history major (cause yes, we write and analyze historical events but us history majors usually carry around A LOT of textbooks and reading books). So this backpack has done great.

2.  Pencil case

Now, my pencil case is an old ipsy bag that is big enough to carry around all my pens, pencils, highlighters and post-it notes and page flags. (if you want a more detailed blog post about what’s in my pencil case let me know)

3. Necessity case

Aka, the girly things I need. Like Pepto Bismol (cause you never know when you get acid reflux from the huge amounts of caffeine that I consume on the daily while I’m at uni). I also carry some period products, Midol, aspirin, hand sanitizer, lip balm, and lipstick.

4. Dictionary/Thesaurus

Pocket versions of both reside in my backpack, but as of my 3rd year at the Uni that I go to, I have yet to use these items, to be honest. But that are still in my backpack cause I never know when I’ll use them, especially with me taking my senior research seminar where I have to write a minimum of 30 pages, so you never know I just might use it to figure out synonyms that are long words to make my final big paper sound jazzy.

5. Bullet Journal

I did a fun blog post about the spreads that I created for january and february. This gives me my full weekly view when I need it and it gives me the option to change things on a whim when I need to and adjust deadlines for certain things. The great thing about creating a bullet journal is that it’s customizable and no so rigid like other planners.

6. Day Designer/Blue Sky Monthly/Daily Planner

Yes, I carry a bullet journal and a daily/monthly planner, this is more because this is the one that I whip out when professors mention deadlines or changes in assignments. What’s awesome about this particular planner is that it has the monthly view but then goes into having a page for every day and then a shared page for the weekend. I love this because then I can create tasks lists for all the assignments or readings that I need to get done on a particular day.

7. Notebook

I carry a single subject notebook. I just write all my notes for all my classes in the one notebook and then go and highlight the edge of the page to denote which pages correlate to which set of notes. This is useful when you have exams that ask for lecture materials.

8. Charging Cords

kind of self-explanatory, charging cords are always in my backpack since you never know when my Chromebook, wireless headphones or phone is getting low on battery.

9.lunchbag

again self-explanatory. But I really noticed that when I started to bring my own lunch, I wasn’t going to one of the campuses many Starbucks to get coffee and junk food, and found that I just would stay fuller longer with eating stuff that I brought with me for the days that I would be staying on campus for longer than a couple hours.

10. Chromebook

I have a Chromebook instead of a regular laptop, since its literally 1 lb., has a battery life that lasts up to 10hrs (a life-saver while in class when there are no outlets to plug in your charger), and i haven’t ran into any problems with using the online versions of word for essay writing.

11.  External Harddrive

This is more for me since I do upload my youtube videos while on campus since campus wifi makes video uploading only take seconds instead of hours.

12. Reading Book

I always have a reading book in my backpack, because you never know when you have free time when you’ve been ahead in your readings (currently not me…I’m playing catch-up but you never know).

 

What’s in your backpack? Let me know in the comments and follow me on my social media because I’ll be running a few more giveaways on my youtube channel!

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