School

How To Do Well On English Exams

Here’s how to do well on English exams from someone who learned the hard way.

Be specific.

Avoid making grand sweeping generalizations about all of humanity since the beginning of time. Narrow your scope and focus on the topic. Look at how the little details paint a bigger picture.

Be careful.

Read the questions carefully. Make sure you actually answer the prompt. Reread your own work. Sometimes your hand writes the opposite of what your head wants.

Be concise.

Don’t beat around the bush. Get to the point. Make a clear argument. Support your thesis with evidence. Be clear. Don’t be confusing or convoluted. If you can’t comprehend what you’re saying, how will anyone else?

Be yourself.

It is not the time to try to write like someone else. You have your own voice. You’ve been developing it for years. Give yourself some credit. You’re better than you believe, so prove that.

Be forgiving.

Your word choice won’t be flawless. Your sentence structure won’t be impeccable. That’s not the point. This exam is in a test of your ability to write perfectly.

Best of luck!

Advertisements
School

When You Feel Like You Aren’t Smart Enough

Every so often, I feel like I’m not smart enough. Imposter syndrome hits me so hard.

In my first year at university, I expected to be average. I anticipated feeling stupid because I thought everyone would be smarter.

Now in fourth year, I can’t help but think everything will be over my head, beyond my capabilities. I tend to underestimate myself. That’s just who I am.

Even though I worry, I try to channel my anxieties into productivity. Easier said than done, I know.

I don’t know what this semester or the next one will bring, but present me wants future me to remember that I’m smarter than I think.

Don’t worry about what other people are doing or what they aren’t doing.

I have good ideas. Stop shooting all of them down.

As of now, I’m happy with my courses. I’m excited to finish strong.

I’m not a fraud or an imposter. I’m just a student doing my best. I want to improve. I need to learn and grow.

I’ll try to take risks and not regret anything, rather than playing it safe only to wonder what if.

I’ve done well in years past, so there’s no reason why I can’t succeed again.

School

An Honest Account Of My University Experience

In September 2015, I embarked on my university journey.

In high school, people told me my grades would drop. And naïve Herminia believed them. So I prepared myself to not do nearly as well. Somehow I did.

During first year, I didn’t think too much about my GPA. I thought about doing the work and being early to everything.

Come the fall of 2016, I learned that I won two academic scholarships.

Instead of thinking I was stupid, I felt somewhat smart.

In second year, I spent less time studying and more time living. My grades were a little all over the place as a result. I remember countless conversations with my best friend about how terrible I was doing. I joked about dropping out.

So I vowed to do better in third year. My fall semester went smoothly. I had great classes, good professors. I liked my grades. I lived a lot. If I could relive those four months again, I would.

2018 arrived. Second semester in the winter started off just fine. No problem. Smooth sailing. Until February when I got hit by a car while walking home from school.

It took more than a month to recover physically. I’m not sure I’ll ever recover mentally. I’m doing well these days.

I never wanted to make excuses. I didn’t ask for an extension on any assignments.

My grades dropped. But I took care of myself. Being forced to listen to my body made me a better human being.

Regardless of my GPA when all is said and done, I’m proud. I learned to listen to that tiny voice in my head, to the body I used to neglect. That matters more than any number on a piece of paper.

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.

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.