Tag: Homework

Homework Tips Part 1

Homework Tips Part 1

After a long hiatus from blogging, I’m finally getting back into the groove of things. A topic I want to revisit in the next two posts is about how to stay on top of your classes. This is extremely important for those students taking 5, 6 or even 7 classes (like me).

Many students think that taking a full schedule of classes is “crazy” and unimaginable, but honestly I wouldn’t have it any other way. As a self-proclaimed procrastinator, I work harder and get everything done more efficiently when I know I don’t have a lot of time. Since I have to fit in seven classes, my jobs and all of my homework into my week, I tend to stay on top of things better so as to not fall behind. It’s taken four years to master my homework strategy, but I’ve got it down to a tee. My top tips to staying ahead of the game are:

  1. Literally jump ahead of the game. For easy classes of mine or the ones I enjoy most, often times I’ll do as much homework ahead of time as possible so that it gives me more time to focus on lengthier or less enjoyable assignments. For example, I’m taking Russian 102 and because I am fluent, the assignments go quicker for me. Because of this, I’ll usually do the whole week’s worth of assignments on Sunday so that throughout the week I don’t have to worry about it.
  2. Figure out what time of the day you work best. I work best in the evening or in the early morning, and on Sundays starting in the afternoon. I also work best after I’m caught up on my main television shows. This doesn’t work for everyone, but if I have one episode to watch, usually I have to get it out of the way first as soon as possible to be able to concentrate. My prime hours of homework tend to end around midnight, so instead of pushing myself to stay up later, I acknowledge that primetime is over and I go to bed. If I have a serious assignment due the next day that isn’t complete, I just set my alarm for a little bit earlier in the morning, organize what is left to do before bed, and get cracking first thing the next day.
  3. Lay everything out on the line. At the beginning of each week I write a list of every single assignment I have due that week, things I have fallen behind on, and things due the next week. I write each individual class and each individual assignment. For example, instead of writing for a class “Read Chapters 1-4”, I’ll write each one separately “Read Ch.1; Read Ch.2; Read Ch.3; Read Ch.4”. When Chapter 1 is done, I cross is out, and it makes me feel much more accomplished and motivated to start on chapter 2 and keep going.

These are the tips that I’m currently using that are working best, but I’ll add a Part 2 to this blog to mention several other tips that are very effective.

Autumn Is Upon Us

Autumn Is Upon Us

Four days ago, September 22, was the official beginning of Autumn. Leaves are slowly changing colors, the weather is beginning to chill, and homework is piling up. After having my first couple of tests, I can officially say that every aspect about Summer is over. Late nights gazing at the stars have been replaced by staring at my textbooks until one in the morning. This is fine when what I’m reading about is interesting, but what if it’s not? What do you do when you have a lot of homework and no motivation to do it?

For starters, always find that time of the day when you are most motivated to get things done. I know that I can’t sit down right when I get home and do my homework. I focus best once everything I have to do for the day is done, which means I usually study towards the night. I work well under pressure, so I’m most focused starting at about 8 or 9 at night.

Second, know what you need to complete and when you need to complete it by. I’ve had an assignment notebook for the last 10 years because it keeps me organized. At the beginning of each semester, I write in all the tests, paper due dates, presentations, etc. I know of for the semester. This way, I know exactly when I need to focus most on a particular subject. This weekend, for example, I’ll be focusing on studying for my Project Management class because I have an exam on Tuesday whereas I just had my test for my Science class so I won’t be focusing on it as much the next week. With seven classes, my life is always about prioritization, knowing which class matters most in different points in time. This is how I have always stayed on top of my classes and grades.

Third, have your downtime to do activities that you enjoy, whether it be watching your television shows or going for a run. If you make your entire life about your homework and things you have to get done, you end up burning yourself out. In my next blog, I’m going to write about some of the activities that I have done since school started, and several of the things I look forward to doing in the next month. If I’m having fun in life, I’ll have more fun in school. I watch my TV shows during the day so that I can do my homework at night and I have fun Friday nights and designate Sunday as my homework day. If something is mandatorily due soon, I get it done, but if I have some time, I don’t want to sit and try to do homework while thinking the whole time “This episode aired four days ago and I still haven’t watched it…”

Pros and Cons of Classes

Pros and Cons of Classes

There’s less than a month left of classes, so why not write about them I say. Registration is coming up really soon, which means that I need to begin coordinating my schedule for next semester.

For now, I’m finishing up my Spring semester, doing my best to balance work and school. This semester has been slightly tougher than my other ones, not because I’m taking more classes, but because my classes are all at higher levels than what they used to be at. Before, I would take six classes, varying from 100-level courses to 200, but now almost all of my classes are in the 300s because I’m a junior.

I’ve written before what my classes are, so right now I’m going to cover some of the general pros and cons that I have experienced from them.


  • I like the professors who try to learn all of their students’ names. This is especially difficult for professors who teach large classes, so for them to take the time and effort to learn who we are, it makes me want to put in more effort to try and impress them by doing well in their class.
  • Class sizes- Some higher level classes are small. I like this design because most students who take higher level classes are doing it because they need to for their major or want to because they are seriously interested in the subject matter.
  • Homework- I like classes that hand out homework assignments because it keeps me on top of the material. Even better, a load that is reasonable is just enough to keep you busy and learning, but not so much that you feel overwhelmed or you get behind in other activities.


  • Some professors have a tendency to lecture throughout all of their classes without catching a breath. Sometimes, you can’t change how the professor structures class; you’re just going to have to tough it out. It may be hard to pay attention in class, so I suggest reading the books very carefully and doing everything possible on your own to know the material.
  • Homework (as a con). As I said, classes with reasonable homework loads are really helpful, but classes with no homework are not. One thing that is difficult, for me, is taking a class where the final grade is based solely on two or three exams and a final. Again, this just requires reading the book material very carefully and taking on the responsibility of doing everything in your power on your own to do well.

Loyola classes vary in every criteria, from the subject taught to the professor teaching it to the student engagement in learning it, and each class has its good and its bad. Most students will get to experience nearly every different type of class Loyola has to offer, which in and of itself is worth both the good and the bad.

Fall Break!

Fall Break!

Fall break has arrived and I am welcoming it with open arms and open books.

I kicked it off with a trip to the movies with a friend to see “The Perks of Being A Wallflower”. It was a truly wonderful movie with great acting. I read the book when I was in junior high, and as much as people have said that you should read the book before seeing it, I’m really glad that I didn’t remember a thing from the book. It was like a brand new experience, one that left me with a lot of food for thought.

Now that I have started fall break, the time has come to spend four straight days catching up on sleep and homework, and I’m actually fine with that. Tomorrow I will do neither, though, because I’m rising early to go to work. I’m excited for that  for several reasons.

First off, this is going to be the first Saturday that I work at my job ever, and I’ve been working there for over a year now, so I’m really happy about that. Second, it’ll be a fair, and I’ve never actually worked a fair before so it’ll be a little different from what I usually do at work.

Third and finally, which is kind of my favorite reason, I’ll be working downtown at the Water Tower Campus, as opposed to at Lake Shore Campus, so though I’ll be seeing my coworkers working, we’ll be in a different environment than I’ve ever seen them in. That may sound weird, but to me its really cool. Having this workday be different from my usual will be a nice change, and I know that it’ll make me appreciate my job even more because I’ll be seeing it from a new light.

Sunday will be the day when I finally get to catch up on my sleep. I plan on unplugging all phones and other electronics in the house, putting my sleep mask on, and knocking out for a good 12 hours. Yes, that does sound crazy, but so does going day after day to school on 5 hours of sleep. I want half a day of uninterrupted shut-eye so I can dream in peace.

Once I do wake up, it’s a complete homework day from there. There are several chapters and assignments that I need to catch up on, and I hope to get everything done by the time midnight rolls around. Time to break out my school rules and get crankin’!

Busy Busy Week

Busy Busy Week

The longest school week of this semester thus far is over! Tonight, I’ll finally get a good night’s sleep.

My schedule has been jam-packed with homework, so the sleep rule that I followed the first few weeks flew out the window. I’m hoping that my hard work pays off because I haven’t worked this hard since last year’s finals week. Here’s a brief overlook of my assignments for this past week and next week:

  • 1 Project
  • 2 Tests
  • 2 Presentations
  • 9 Papers
  • 9 Chapters and one whole book
  • Side homework assignments in my classes


Now that I got that out of my system, enough school talk. My agenda for this weekend, other than homework, is to get registered to vote. Though I know nearly nothing about what is going on in politics today, I plan on doing some research, and I hope to make a decision so that I can vote in the upcoming election.

I also think that the zoo is the perfect place to go this weekend. Since the weather looks like it is going to compromise tomorrow, Lincoln Park Zoo, or any zoo for that matter, should be where all the cool kids go this weekend before it gets too cold. I’m hoping to see some lions and tigers and bears, but my weak spot is the monkeys and the snakes, which will be one of the first destinations.

Okay, so since school is consuming my life, I will turn the blog back to my classes and homework. I must say that one of my most nerve-racking moments next week will be when I do my scene performance from the play “The Glass Menagerie” by Tennessee Williams. I read the play last week, and for those of you who have read it, you know that playing the characters will not be easy because they are so complex. I’ll be playing Laura, and this weekend I’ll be memorizing my lines and trying to get the character down. I will update on how it’s going next week.

I can bore you all with more school details, but I’ll do that later after I get further ahead with my work. Just a bit of advice though for all the hard workers out there: If you have to pull late nights, meet your new best friend Coffee. It holds two very important qualities for a successful friendship- it’s rejuvenates you and is very eye opening.

My Heart Will Go On

My Heart Will Go On

And hopefully so will this school year!

So I’ve managed to get super behind in a lot of my classes. It doesn’t matter much to me because “Titanic 3D”  just came out and of course I had to see it.  It was amazing!  The silly thing is, everyone is asking me how it was, and I’m thinking, well it is the same movie, just in 3D… there is no surprise ending or anything!

Anyway, one more day of classes and then it is home to the good ol’ burg for Easter break, which is also an opportune time to catch up on all the readings, papers and whatever miscellaneous items that slipped away before heading into the home stretch!

I could also use some sleep.  In my opinion, however, Easter break is really not long enough.  It’s more like a long weekend.  Sure, we just had Spring break, but in lieu of my circumstances, I could definitely use more time!

So now I must be off  to start what is going to be a late night for me!

I’ll never let go…

Finding a Niche

Finding a Niche

When you come to college for the first time, it’s a bit difficult to find that perfect place to study. After growing up and spending a majority of your time at home, college it is quite the change of atmospheres.

Over the past week and for the next week I would probably go crazy if I did not have places on campus where I love to study. When you have a test in every class and you are a major in Biophysics and Biology, you’re bound to feel a little crazed.

Here are my two favorite study places:

Harry Potter Room: Honestly I have no idea how it got the name, I actually don’t even know the real name of the silent study hall in Cudahy Library. And personally I do not think it looks anything like the hall in Harry Potter. This space  is a large silent study hall with lots of people burying their heads in books and laptops.

Isaac and Al’s: This is the Physics study lounge, most departments do not have there own lounge but being that our dept. is kinda awesome we not only have a lounge but we are also equipped with a computer room providing free printing for Physics Majors. Not to mention the free food any time Professor Rubbel is in his good mood. Sure, it would be nice if the dome on top of Cudahy was a physics lounge but its not, it is an empty old room. If I get the chance to go up I will take a picture and post it as proof.