School

Essays, Exams, Etc.

I’m at that point in the semester where I have ten billion things to do, but I just want to watch TV.

My motivation walked out on me. I’m also sleeping more than I did earlier in the semester. Read into that what you will.

I had more energy in January. But now I’m exhausted. To be fair, I’m sleeping later than I should.

In a way, I have more free time because baseball ended and hasn’t begun. But essays exist. Exams exist. Both are the bane of my existence.

At least everything is coming together, albeit a bit slowly.

Still, I love that feeling of all the pieces starting to come together.

I’m excited for this semester to be over. Summer feels so close, yet so far away. It’s just around the corner.

First, I need to get through all these evaluations.

What do you prefer: essays or exams?

There are pros and cons to both. All things considered, I think I prefer essays more. I hate studying, but I love writing.

This semester I have more essays than exams, and I don’t have a problem with that whatsoever. Says the girl who’s struggling to write them right now.

I don’t mind essay based exams either.

I can write. I don’t need to study in the sense of memorizing facts or dates, which is the sort of studying I despise the most.

Then again, writing a good essay takes time. I don’t care who you are. No one writes a great paper in twenty minutes.

With exams, even essay based ones, there’s less or no editing involved. I enjoy not having to edit.

All you need to know about me is I love writing, and I hate pretty much everything else. Studying. Driving.

For now, I turn my focus towards not failing. But more importantly, I’ll take care of myself during this busy time. No matter what, I will listen to my body.

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School

Using Feedback From Professors And Teachers

So I finally brought myself to check some of the feedback I’ve gotten on my papers. I’m trying to incorporate my professors’ comments for the final essays.

It’s great when I’m on the same page as your professor. Makes my life that much easier. And a little validation doesn’t hurt either.

At least, I’m somewhat on the right track.

I don’t love my grades. Shocking, I know.

Now if only I can ace everything else.

Even though I don’t always agree with my professors, I try to see where they’re coming from. Besides, I have no patience, so I’d make a horrible teacher.

But I certainly have my personal preferences when it comes to writing. Subjectivity will be the death of me.

I ought to keep a record of the feedback professors give me. I’m sure I get similar comments all the time.

Because I’m stubborn, I tend to do what I want, regardless of whether a teacher loves my idea or not. I’d rather work on something I’m passionate about than please the person grading my work.

I try to find my own angle, put my own spin on things. When I stumble upon a diamond in the rough, I work hard on refining the idea until it shines.

I’m a little worried at how many words I have to write and edit in the next month. But I’m a writer. What’s several thousand words in 2 weeks when I’ve written 50,000 in a month?

My problem isn’t so much the mechanical or technical aspects of writing but rather the ideas and arguments. Why? I don’t always follow instructions. So I’m a rebel.

If I elect not to pursue further education after undergrad, I may never receive feedback from a teacher or professor again once I’m done. I think that’s one thing I won’t miss.

School

What I Do When I Feel Overwhelmed

What do I do when I feel overwhelmed? I write about feeling overwhelmed in hopes I’ll feel better afterwards. But sometimes it makes me more stressed or anxious.

Some days, I’m not sure how I manage to balance my passions with my obligations. Even though I can’t optimize everything all the time, that doesn’t stop me from trying.

One time, I was telling my friend I didn’t know if I’d be able to get everything done. Bless her for saying I always do.

I have a lot of work and too little time. My confidence is a bit shaky right now. I blame my mastery over procrastination.

If only I had more time. But I don’t have 25 hours in a day, I can’t write my essays next year. So I just have to make the most of it.

Because I’m a stubborn human being, there are things I refuse to give up even with deadlines looming.

I like to think I can write relatively well. That said, I doubt I’ll ever let myself forget how hard writing is.

Working with words takes time, regardless of skill and talent.

It’s been a while since I’ve had this much school related stuff to handle. I’m kind of freaking out.

But that small voice in my head tells me I’ll get everything done to a decent extent. I’ve accepted the fact I can’t make everything perfect. So I’m covering my bases as much as possible.

In a perfect world, I’d ace everything. But my real world won’t end if I don’t. My ego might suffer, but it deserves a reality check once in a while.

Somehow I’ll survive. I need to make good decisions in the following weeks. I should be fine. If I make terrible choices, that’s on me. I can’t blame anybody. Besides, I reap what I sow. I also don’t reap what I don’t sow.

School · Writing

The Life Of A Student Writer

Being a student and a writer isn’t easy. When I’m not studying, I’m writing. Of course, I have to write a lot for university as well.

I continue to wonder how I’ll manage to balance both identities. Some days, I have no idea how I do everything I want to.

I can’t give up writing. I don’t think I ever will. If worse comes to worse, I may not write as much as I’d like. But a little is better than nothing at all.

I already know the next couple of months won’t be a breeze, but I’ve been in school for most of my life. I have also been creating for a long time. So I like to believe I’ll be fine.

Besides, some of my happiest memories come from telling stories.

Problem being there aren’t enough hours in the day. Why can’t we have twenty-five instead of twenty-four?

As of late, I’ve been thinking m about my writing career. My non-existent writing career. I stand corrected. My mind loves to worry about my life after graduation. Isn’t the unknown great?

Rest assured I’m not going anywhere. I won’t be making drastic changes anytime soon. But I will continue to progress day by day.

Right now it’s enough that I enjoy my writing sessions. I want to experiment more. I need to venture outside of my comfort zone.

As for school, I’ll do the best I can in my classes. I just have to time manage well.

I have plans I hope to execute in 2018. Of course, I’ll keep you posted if and when I publish or republish anything exciting.

A long time ago, I made the conscious choice to start writing. I’m not going back or giving up now.

School

Am I Happy With My University Grades?

I’m not sure what overcame me a while ago, but I decided to check all of my grades at once. I needed to rip off the band-aid. It wasn’t satisfying.

They aren’t bad. They aren’t amazing.

I feel like I have room for improvement though, and I intend to improve. Easier said than done however.

To be quite honest, I’m happy. I maintained good habits. I looked after my physical, mental, and emotional health. I also lived my life, did the things I loved.

I’d even go so far as to say all things considered, this past semester is my favourite one thus far.

I worked hard and smart.

Even though my grades aren’t as good as they have been in the past, it’s not the end of the world. There are more important things to me than my GPA.

I’m a month into 2018, and a part of me already misses last year.

I still can’t believe it’s over. I had a fun ride. I’ve learned a lot.

I’m glad I can look back on 2017 with a smile on my face. There’s a ton to be grateful for.

Now that I’ve had some time to digest my grades, I realize I’m fine with them. Obviously, I wish they were higher, but I can live with my GPA. At least, I can’t complain.

I’m ready to see how the rest of 2018 pans out.

May this year bring joy and cheer. May you learn and laugh, live and love. May you be happy and healthy.

School

Education, Ego, Expectation

We’ve reached that point in the semester where professors start crushing my fragile ego.

What a time to be alive.

But I’ll manage somehow.

I still don’t know how I did so well in my first year. Maybe it’s because I wasn’t as jaded. I’m much more cynical now as well. Or maybe it’s because I actually read the assigned articles and books.

Second year was an inconsistent one. I was all over the place with my grades. I did better in some courses than others, which makes sense. But the negativity bias gets me every time. So I tend to focus on all the bad marks rather than the good ones.

I’m not sure how the rest of this year will play out, but if I’m failing miserably and drowning in school work, you’ll hear all about it.

As someone who prioritizes my passions among other things, I’m still content with where I stand right now. Although if you give me another month, I might change my mind. I’m human after all.

Let’s talk about opportunity cost, shall we? I’m aware the time I spend dancing every day could be spent studying. But I choose to dance. And that isn’t going to change even if I’m not getting a 4.0 GPA.

Many things matter more to me than my grades. My health. My happiness.

Because I have high expectations for myself, I’m not sure I’ll ever be happy with any mark. Oh, a 90? That’s not a 95, is it? An A-? Why not an A+?

Maybe I should never check my grades ever again. I’m fairly confident I won’t fail anything. I don’t have to worry about that. If I did, I’d be a complete wreck.

Ignorance is bliss. What you don’t know can’t hurt you.

Or perhaps I should check all my grades and have my ego destroyed every single time.

Either way, I don’t benefit. You just can’t win as a student, can you?

All this being said, I love learning. I’m grateful to be able to get an education. I hope I never take that for granted.

I’m fortunate. I’m lucky. I can’t imagine not being able to go to school. I can’t imagine not knowing how to read or write. And my heart breaks for everyone out there who aren’t in a position to learn.

I still think I’ll jump for joy and do cartwheels around my house when I graduate in 2019. I can’t wait. I’m excited to experience life after school.

There’s so much I want to do. And turning down full-time job offers because I’m a full-time student isn’t something I want to do my whole life.

For now, I’ll try to enjoy the good things about being a student and embrace the bad.

School · Writing

Separating Writing For Fun From Writing For School

I try to keep the two separate from each other as much as possible. Otherwise I’d lose what’s left of my sanity. But sometimes when I’m pressed for time, I wonder if I should consider what I write for school as fulfilling my creative quota for the day.

Who am I fooling? Not myself obviously. And it’s sort of cheating in my eyes.

Come on. Do better, Herminia.

As much as I love what I’m studying (Book & Media, English, Writing & Rhetoric), there are areas of overlap in my personal interests. So everything mixes into one giant mess.

Personally, I blog for a lot of reasons. I clear my head when I write. Well, I try to anyway. I know I can always turn to pen and paper, my best friends when school gets to be too much. It didn’t help my non-existent patience that I hated the second sentence of an essay I had to edit.

Writing is hard. And if you are a writer, it’s even harder. Yet I still put myself in the same position every day, staring at a blank page or a white screen.

I was just thinking to myself if someone gave me the choice to do just about anything, writing would be a top priority. Even if that list of potential tasks was a million items long. I’d still choose writing over a ton of other things.

Over the years, I like to think I’ve fallen more in love with words.

I used to tell people I want to publish a book. I do. But as of late, I tend to say I just want to write and blog. Is that too much to ask for?

I digress as I often do.

Back to the point of writing for fun and for school. I won’t let university stop me. The whole process of creating something takes time and effort. But it’s also so incredibly rewarding. More than anything, writing is worthwhile.

School · Writing

Tips For Academic Writing

Blog posts are the only things I know how to write, but even that is questionable. It depends who you ask.

So whenever I have to write for academia, you can imagine the ensuing panic. And if you can’t, I’ll try to describe it.

Never mind, I can’t.

Safe to say I’m no expert when it comes to writing research papers or literary essays. But somehow I’ve gotten by.

How? I have no idea.

Do I have any business giving advice on writing? Nope. Will that stop me? Never.

Follow instructions. Follow rules. Follow whatever your professor says.

I hate following with a passion. But I’ll do whatever it takes to pass. Academic writing will never be as kind to you as creative writing is.

If you’re ever unsure about a fact, double check.

When you’re unsure of the meaning of a word, look it up. It’s always better to err on the side of caution. Always.

When in doubt, cut it out.

Try to delete anything you don’t need. It’s hard to detect sometimes, especially if you’re editing your own writing. But you’ll thank yourself later. Besides, everyone is better off without unnecessary adverbs. Seriously, your lovely teacher will totally understand that your really amazingly awesome point is very important.

Know your weaknesses.

Also, try to learn the words you fall back on as a crutch. You know what words I’m talking about. In elementary, my teachers pointed out my love for the word “then.” Then this happened. Then I did that. Then you get the idea. Now for some reason, I have a mildly unhealthy attraction to the word “that”. It’s more obvious in my essay writing when I’m not careful. Using the same words again and again becomes redundant. If you use them too much, the word loses power. After all, not every sentence needs to begin with “then” followed by “that.”

Even if you follow nothing else I’ve said, hopefully you’re able to do this:

Write about something you care about, something you’re passionate for.

It doesn’t have to be a topic you know like the back of your hand either. That’s why research exists. I realize students don’t always get a say in the matter. Still, finding an interesting subject that makes you want to write is half the battle.