hey, do you have any tips for writing a personal essay?

Hi! I’ve just finished transfer applications, so I have a few tips that I picked up during the process. 

  • Start early! I’m talking a month at least
  • Your rough draft should be rough. Don’t be afraid that it will suck, because it will – just start writing.
  • I probably wrote 15 different versions of each essay I turned in. Don’t be afraid to change directions if one just isn’t working out!
  • Make a list of values that are most important to you, and then show them those values. Do you love to help others? Tell them about a time that you reached out to someone and made a difference. 
  • Write a different essay for each school, or at least tweak the same essay a little for each school.
  • Read the school’s website. What do they talk a lot about? What seems to be important qualities in students? Show them that you’d be a good fit.
  • Why should they let you into their school? What will you do to bring them some recognition in the future?
  • Why do you want to attend that school? How will it help you achieve your goals? Be specific.
  • Show them that you’ve done your research,
  • Don’t be afraid to talk yourself up! Brag a bit, just don’t sound like a jerk. 
  • Don’t try to sound too intellectual. There’s this episode of Friends where Joey is writing and uses a thesaurus for every word and ends up signing it “baby kangaroo tribiani”. Bottom line? Admissions officers can tell when you’re sucking up. Use strong words, but not words you would never use in real life. 
  • Make your essay stand out. Add in a good hook, and some interesting stories if you can. 
  • Proofread and have multiple other people proofread. It’s worth it.
  • Free writing is a lifesaver for brainstorming

Good luck!

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8 Tips to Stop Procrastinating

8 Tips to Stop Procrastinating:

Excerpt:

1. Put yourself in jail. If I feel pressure to jump in and finish something in a rush, and therefore can’t bear to start, sometimes I put myself in jail. If you’re in jail, you have all the time in the world. You have no reason to hurry, no reason to cut corners or to try to do too many things at once. You can slow down, concentrate. You can take the time to get every single detail right.

2. Ask for help. This is one of my most useful Secrets of Adulthood. Why is this so hard? I have no idea. But whenever I have trouble getting started because I don’t know exactly what to do, and I ask for help, I’m amazed at how much it…helps.

3. Remember: most decisions don’t require extensive research. I often get paralyzed by my inability to make a decision, but by reminding myself that often, one choice just isn’t that much different from another choice, I can get started. Also, I try to identify a knowledgeable person, and just follow whatever that person does.

4. Take a baby step. If you feel yourself dismayed at the prospect of the chain of awful tasks that you have to accomplish, just take one step today. Tomorrow, take the next step. The forward motion is encouraging, and before long, you’ll probably find yourself speeding toward completion. In the same vein…

5. Suffer for 15 minutes. You can do anything for fifteen minutes, and fifteen minutes, day after day, adds up surprisingly fast. That’s how I finally dug myself out of my crushing (if virtual) load of digital photos. Fifteen minutes at a time.

6. Do it first thing in the morning. The night before, vow to yourself to do the dreaded task. Get everything ready — any phone numbers of information you need, files assembled, everything ready to go. And the next day, at the first possible moment – as soon as you walk into work, or when the office opens, or whenever – just do it. Don’t allow yourself to reflect or procrastinate. This is particularly true of exercise. If you think you’ll be tempted to skip, try to work out in the morning.

7. Protect yourself from interruption. How often have you finally steeled yourself to start some difficult project, only to be interrupted the minute you get going? This makes a hard task much harder. Carve out some time to work.

8. Remember, work can be one of the most pernicious forms of procrastination. Don’t kid yourself.

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WAYS TO STUDY – Study tips, Blog , Vlog, Articles, And more…

WAYS TO STUDY – Study tips, Blog , Vlog, Articles, And more…:

  1. My first tip is to turn off your phone when you are working. Another thing you can do is turn on plane mode on your phone. That way, you can easily get access to your social media during a study break, without having to turn your device off and on the whole time.
  2. Another thing you can do when your friends/loved one keeps messaging you when you should be studying is just tell them that you need to work on school and that you will speak to them in a couple of hours. If they care about you, they know your education is important for your future and give you the space to work. You know you won’t get any messages during those hours so you can’t get distracted by your phone.
  3. This is going to sound very childish but if you have no self control at all, ask someone (a parent or sibling or roommate) to hide your phone until you are done with doing your school work. It can be a little bit hard sometimes but you’ll notice that there aren’t a lot of excuses you can use to get your phone back before you are finished.
  4. Let’s take a look at this from another perspective: why are we so addicted to social media ? Our brains get a positive (prikkel) every time we get a like or a message. It simply gives us a good feeling without having to work hard for it. However, do you feel happy at the end of the day when you know you spent your whole day on social media scrolling through Facebook and Instagram, knowing that there’s nothing new going on? I don’t. (Sterker nog), I feel guilty because I wasted my day with something that doesn’t make me happy. What does make me happy? Going to bed knowing I did everything I could, knowing that my day was productive and knowing I am one step closer to my goal. In other words, I have to get things done (school, exercise, take care of myself) to get a happy feeling at the end of the day. Think about this the next time you are tempted to grab your phone when you are studying.
  5. One thing that I like to keep in mind during studying is “if it’s that important, they’ll call me”. I turn off my wifi and internet so I don’t have any access to social media but if people need to tell something important they can by calling me. Now I do have to say, I never get called by people which means that whatever is going on on social media, whatever someone texts me is not that important.
  6. **My last tip is to go to social media and look at the things that are posted in a critical way. What do you see? Someone posting something funny, an article from a magazine, a selfie, a picture of someone’s kid, photos of someone’s amazing party. Now ask yourself? Are you really interested in these things? Does this make you happy? And most importantly, is this worth your time? Because of this I stopped using Facebook and my personal Twitter and Instagram, simply because they didn’t add anything to my life, they didn’t make my happy and I felt like I was scrolling through the same kind of posts/photos every day.
  7. My last tip for you is to delete apps you can live without on your phone and only check them on another device. Now I do have to say, this only works when you are not addicted to that other device. For me that is my laptop. I don’t feel any need to turn on my laptop to check social media, which is the reason why I deleted my Facebook from my phone and now I only check it on my laptop (which is, in case you were wondering, less than once a week).

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WAYS TO STUDY – How to make a summary

WAYS TO STUDY – Study tips, Blog , Vlog, Articles, And more…:

So here are the tips:

    1. Before you start making a summary, you should consider if it is a good idea to summarise the course. Not every subject and not every book is ideal to summarize. For example, if your book contains a lot of details and you know there are going to be a lot of detailed questions on your exam, it is a smarter idea to just start studying instead of making a whole summary.

 

    1. I always use the first page of the notebook that I use for writing my summary to write down all the important things the professor says about the exam, what the exam is going to look like, to make a content table for my summary and other important things. This is something really useful because when it’s time to start studying you’ll have a page with all the important things you need to know about the exam.

 

    1. Use a color coding system that works for you. I personally don’t like to use a lot of colors in my notes and summary. That’s why I use a fineliner for titles and articles and a highlighter for all the definitions.

 

    1. Make sure your summary is very clear, so you have a good overview. I like to use bullet points and I make sure that in every bullet point, there is something important, a main idea.

 

    1. While you are summarizing, keep the content table open next to you. If you do this, you’ll keep seeing the bigger picture and you will also see everything important.

 

    1. My next tip is to don’t use highlighters until you have written a whole page or until you have finished a paragraph. After that, highlight all the important things. This way, you are forcing yourself to read the summary so you will remember it a lot better. It’s also helpful to see if you still understand what you wrote down.

 

    1. Make sure you have read the book at least once before summarizing. If you do this, you will understand everything a lot better while summarizing and it will make sure you summarise a lot quicker, because you already have an idea on what’s important and what isn’t.

 

    1. If you have trouble with finding the most important things in your books this tip might help you. In every paragraph, there is a main point or a main idea. There is something in there that is the most important thing you need to study and understand for the exam. A lot of the times, it’s the first or last sentence of the paragraph. Try to look for the main point/idea in every paragraph.

 

  1. My last tip is to read your summary on a regular basis. Making a summary is going to help you remember a lot of the information and understand it, but making a summary doesn’t necessarily mean that you studied everything. Make the summary, read it often and study it to be fully prepared for your exam.

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How music affects your productivity

Everything you need to know about how music affects your productivity – A Life of Productivity:

Excerpts:

  • Music (and background noise) consumes some of our attention. The less complicated the music, the better we’re able to focus.
    • Sound is similar to distance, time, or money: it’s relative. There will be times when listening to music is the most productive thing you can do—like when you’re working in a distracting office environment, or when a couple is having a loud conversation when you’re reading at a coffee shop. Then there are times when music is less productive—like when the office is relatively quiet, or the sum of the coffee shop conversations happening around you fade into a collective hum. (This is why apps like Coffitivity can bolster our ability to focus.)
    • No matter what, the music will occupy some of your limited attention
  • Listening to music boosts your performance on habitual tasks.

     

    • With habitual tasks, it is easy to get bored. Hence music provides some arousal
    • Habitual tasks don’t consume our complete attention, hence we are still able to listen to music
  • Music can lift our mood considerably.

     

    • Music can make us very happy and boost our energy and performance
  • The more familiar you are with a song, the less of your attention it consumes.

     

    • We tend to prefer music we are familiar with (even complex ones) and we tend to be less distracted by it
  • Extroverts seem to perform better while listening to music, though it still compromises their performance.

     

  • Music tends to boost our energy and whilst sometimes we feel like we’ve gotten a lot done that day just listening to music; it isn’t always the case, and it’s easy to fall into this energy vs productivity trap

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Done is better than perfect. Start before you’re ready! 💥 [Video]

Done is better than perfect. Start before you’re ready! 💥:

Takeaways:

  • Set strict deadlines.
  • Parkinson’s Law: The work will be done according to how much time you give it. And dragging it for too long expands the work and makes it more important than it really is.
  • Start before you are ready
  • Putting it out there into the world, announcing it (accountability)
  • If you set too high expectations for yourself and make it too perfect, it’s never going to be finished. You will give it too much time and care about it too much
  • You can always tweak it and make changes later on
  • Take whatever you’ve worked on, any projects you’ve finished as a learning experience. Apply what you’ve learnt on another new project. Keep improving incrementally.

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