A Note on RateMyProfessor

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Have you ever used ratemyprofessors.com? It can be pretty useful in helping to decide between several different professors that teach the same course or any other scenario. I am not going to lie and not say that I have not used this website several times. I will admit that I think it has probably helped me have an easier time in college, but how much should you trust this website?

It probably is not the best way to get a good idea of a class or professor a good deal of the time. Often, the website only has a small handful of reviewers, and this is clearly not a good sample size to try to deduce something about anything.  Also, It is important to realize that any reviewer is probably going to skew to either really loving the professor and class or totally hating it. People that use the website to review someone are probably not going to represent your average student’s experience in that class.

The quality of reviews and the reason they are there are often poor as well. Sometimes people will leave positive reviews just because they think the professor is hot, and other times they will leave a negative one just because they did not do any work and were failed.If there are many reviewers and they are of high quality however, than you should definitely consider them..but always with a grain of salt!

The reviews can help give you a little information about the work in the class and the professor’s general teaching style and orientation, so make a note of these and compare professors. For example, If one apparently just teaches using PowerPoints and the other is very interactive, you should chose the professor with the teaching style that fits you ! You can use these websites to your advantage if you approach them with a bit of skepticism and use your critical thinking skills !

Best of Luck,

B.M.

Making it to Class on Time

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How many of us have been told that it is important to be on-time to class and other appointments? I think we all have. Actually doing so is another story, right? Being on-time is pretty hard for a lot us, me included ! I am almost always late! Even though I am not the best role model in this area, I will try to give you 10 quick tips to help you (Do as I say and not as I do haha)

  1. Use an alarm clock/ alarm that will get you up quickly
  2. Use several alarms if you have to
  3. Set out your clothes the day before
  4. Practice the weekend before classes start to get a good idea how long it takes for you to get ready
  5.  Time yourself while you commute/walk
  6.  Give yourself 10 or more extra minutes than you need just in case the unexpected happens
  7.  Check the weather often so that you can be prepared for unusual weather and don’t get caught by surprised
  8.  Have a pair of shoes you can slide on easily if you happen to be running late
  9.   If you are a morning person try to schedule morning classes and if you are not schedule them in the afternoon so that you are not going against your biological clock
  10.  Get plenty of sleep the night before so you will have the energy and willpower to get up when you have to and quickly

B.M.

Dorm Fire alarms

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One second you are sound asleep and the next thing you know a loud piercing sound is filling the air. You roll over and a sense of dread fills you once again. It’s another fire alarm – the 26th one this semester. You feel as if between classes, finals, and 24/7 alarms you’ll never be able to get some sleep – but fear not, I promise you there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

I know from personal experience. Last semester our dorm had close to 30 fire alarms. Yikes ! Hopefully when you move into your college dorm you will not have to experience as many as I had too !

There are a couple things you can do to make these horrible alarms less troublesome. I recommend  having a coat, flip flops/ slide on shoes, a blanket, or anything else you may need close by in your dorm. This will help you get what you need quickly and get out of the building. No one wants to be stuck outside in cold weather without a coat or blanket during a surprise fire alarm !

Also, be aware of your dorm’s emergency exit route before an alarm so that you are not left wondering around when one actually happens. P.S. Be sure to use the stairs to exit and not an elevator (See my previous post and the fact that you could become trapped in one during a fire).

Last,  remember to treat every fire alarm as if it were real. You never know when there could actually be a fire, and people are much more likely to die from a fire than the many other things people usually fear such as dying in a terrorist attack, plane crash, etc.

Stay Safe !

B. M.

Unfinished Business

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You must ask questions. You mustn’t forgo learning because you are too prideful or embarrassed to get help.

I am an introvert. At home I am goofy and sometimes loud, but when I enter the classroom I’m as quiet as a rock. When an instructor asks for volunteers, I am always reluctant.

I would imagine that a lot of you are like me. It is not always in our comfort zone to break silence and be verbally engaged. I think one of the biggest reasons why we behave this way is because we are prideful. We don’t want to be judged as lacking in knowledge, or not being smart. In this way, we are insecure.

You have to get over that attitude. College can be a once in a lifetime experience. You don’t want to do poorly just because you’re to afraid ask questions. This may seem silly, but I have forgone asking questions for the sake of my foolish pride.

Think of your college experience like a business that you have worked all your life to build. Think of class like a business meeting with a crooked accountant. He is the only accountant you can use therefore, when you hold meetings with him, you have to go over all the details, check the numbers, and ask specific questions in order to make sure that he does his job correctly. If you are not careful, he will take you for all that you have. Don’t let him walk out the door with business unfinished or undiscussed.

This may seem like an extreme example, but it is accurate. Like I have mentioned before, your college degree costs money and someone out there will pay for it.

Ask questions when you need help.

Blessings,

G.B

College Elevators

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If there is one thing that most college students will agree with, it is that college elevators.. or really any elevator anywhere..can be a scary place to be! During your experience at college, you will probably run into many of these little death traps. This is especially true if you live in a dorm or have classes in a large building, and you do not feel like taking the steps.

Do not panic! We are all in this little tiny metal boat together. Some of us are newbies, while others are experienced sailors ( and others pirates!). What I am trying to get at is that there is ..probably..nothing to fear! Your college elevator may not be as scary as it may seem..or sound.

Often times your college elevator may have a few lights out, make strange rattling sounds as it moves, and even behave in a stage matter – but more than likely, it is working perfectly fine. All you can do is hold on for dear life! (If your super heavy backpack does not anchor you down in the first place) and take a few deep breaths if need be.

It’s good to note though, that if something does go wrong, all elevators have an emergency button you can use to call or signal someone for help.

Safe Journeys !

B.M.

Hitting the Books

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When I was in high school, I used to procrastinate all the time. I was so foolish when it came to time management. When I graduated and came to college, not much changed. It wasn’t until recently that I changed my ways. I have had to learn the hard way. If I could go back and change my attitude towards studying, I would.

Hit the books! Making time to study is one of the most important things that you can do for yourself in college. I understand that not everyone has the same amount of time to devote to their studies. Not everyone who comes to college has endless amounts of time on their hands; people have jobs and families that they have to attend to. I have been on both sides of this ship.

When it comes to making time to study, one must over-prepare. I don’t just mean over-preparing for tests and quizzes. It is important to make allowances for the unexpected things that pop into our life as result of, well… life. Preparation is one of the best remedies to stress.

Never give up! College can be hard, and studying can be rigorous. Take heart, and give all you have. Understand that someone somewhere has paid, is paying, or will pay for your education, so don’t take for granted the privilege that your are experiencing. Please, if you disagree with anything that I have said, respond. If you don’t wish to have your questions, concerns, or comments in the public, please email us at etsuprojects@gmail.com

Blessings,

G.B.

Simple Advice on Punctuality

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Getting to class on time is perhaps one of most important things you can do as a student. Getting to class on time allows you the opportunity to absorb everything that your instructor mentions in that class period.

Missing course information because you didn’t show up to class on time can really hurt you. It is also, in a way, disrespectful if it becomes a habit. There are professors out there who are understanding about students coming in late for class. These professors understand that life happens and sometimes tardiness cannot be helped. Unfortunately, there are many students who take advantage of an instructor’s leniency on tardiness. It is important to not build bad habits in this area because one day, God willing, you will have a job. In the professional world, deficiency in being punctual is rarely acceptable.

Make punctuality a habit.

Sincerely,

G.B

Advice on Living in a Campus Dorm

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The idea of moving far away and starting college can be a scary thought by itself, but add the thought of living in a dorm and you might just pass out! I personally found the idea more exciting than fright-inducing, but for many it’s a nerve-wracking experience! No need to worry too much though. I’ll offer you some tips and advice so that you have a great start.

For starters, it’s important to become aware of your options. Practically every college has more than one dorm hall, with each offering a potentially vastly different experience. Some halls may be single-sex, co-ed, or a mixture by floor. Some will be apartment-style, while others will just have the bare necessities. You can learn the basic facts about the halls and how they differ through your campus website, a brochure, or by visiting in person. It’s important to pay attention to these small details and chose what makes you feel the most comfortable. Don’t be afraid to ask questions!

A very important question to keep in mind while you’re searching for that perfect room, is whether a particular dorm will offer you the privacy you need/desire. Keeping this in mind will help you have a much smoother transition. There are usually halls available that have private bathrooms. They may cost a little more, but I personally recommend them to make your life easier and frankly, more sanitary! If you do not mind using a community bathroom, and enjoy the lower cost, than I would recommend a dorm with this option.  If you do decide to go this route,  investing in a pair of shower shoes and a caddy would do you much good.

It is also important to find out if or where the washing and drying machines are, and if there is a community or private kitchen provided. Will you have a place to store your late-night drinks and snacks that you can’t live without? Many dorms will surprisingly already have you covered in these areas. If these aren’t covered, I would highly recommend having a mini-fridge, a microwave, a container to store your snacks, and the nearest laundromat’s address saved in your notes!

Now that we have your more carnal desires covered, what about your soul!? Moving to college can be a trying time for your social life and spirit. I would recommend having a cellphone and a social media account to keep in touch with family, home-town friends, and new people you meet. It’s important to remember that maintaining good friendships and your emotional health is just as important as getting good grades. Don’t be afraid to join a campus club, sport, or in this information age, group chat!

I hope these tips and advice will make your transition to a dorm easier and more manageable.  What advice can you give to someone about to move into a college dorm for the first time? What are your concerns? Leave a comment or get in touch via social media.

B.M.

Staying Caffeinated for College

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Many of us in college know that we have a lot of responsibilities to take care of, but how exactly are we supposed to do them when we are so tired and feeling sluggish? We could get a full 8-9 hours of sleep. I mean we COULD. But, is that really going to happen every single night? Probably not. That’s when “getting caffeinated” comes in!

Getting caffeinated means loading up on caffeine by drinking beverages with a high amount of caffeine in order to be more awake and energized. In other words, it’s enjoying one or more coffees, energy drinks, or sodas! Pretty much every college student and graduate will tell you that they used one of these drinks every once in a while or every day to get that extra boost they needed.

Personally, whenever I need a good caffeine boost, or just want to enjoy something extra tasty, I get a coffee from Starbucks. This is a convenient option for many students because there is usually one located directly on campus. The campus Starbucks may be included in your college meal plan as well, and you can expect a familiar and consistent service, taste, and pricing from the brand in contrast to other competing shops.

My personal favorite pick-me-up is a mocha iced coffee. I get it all the time whether it’s 80 degrees outside or feels more like -30.  I would recommend an iced coffee for any student feeling a little lifeless. It packs quite a caffeine punch! I personally find it more invigorating than a cappuccino or a soda, even though I enjoy these options as well.

There are all kinds of drinks one can find that can help one get caffeinated. For those more interested in an at-home or in-dorm quick beverage, I would recommend a cappuccino mix such as one by Hills Bros, Folgers, or any other brand you can buy at a local store. Many of these brands have many different flavors and other options such as low-sugar and sugar-free varieties. With these mixes, you can have a nice cup of coffee in around 2-3 minutes!

Another good option is a Keurig K-Cup machine or a plain old-fashioned regular coffee maker.  It is just a matter of personal preference. Any of these choices will set you up for a good, caffeine-induced time.

How do you prefer to “stay caffeinated?” What is your favorite drink and order?

Let me know in the comments or through social media!

B.M.