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Self Discipline

Discussion in 'Congregation of the Masses' started by Goodbar, Oct 9, 2008.

  1. Goodbar

    Goodbar

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    Well I'll start off with a little bit about myself; I just entered college this year, at the University of Michigan, a fairly reputable place. I came out of high school with a high GPA, but for the first time I feel like I'm struggling. On my first exam, I received what is likely a C- or, though I'd hope not, a D. I know why - I thought I grasped the material, and pretty much didn't study. But I don't think my reason for not studying was just because I felt confident, I'm also coming to realize I just simply don't know how to study. I never had to study very much or at all in all my years of school, as long as I followed along in class and did my homework. I'm learning the hard way studying is pretty damn important in college, because you just don't get all the information in class, not to mention it's a lot more in depth.

    So of course, I've been making an effort to study. But my attention seems to wan too often, and I'll be reading but thinking about something else. It's like I'm a fifth grader lacking discipline, without good study skills... I always considered studying to be not important and not necessary, and I feel like I subconsciously still have that attitude. I assume my studying environment is the same as my homework environment, which I have the discipline to do (correctly). But I'll ask you Smogon, how to you get your mind focused on what you have to learn, how do you practice self discipline? Feel free to post similar stories or other related stuff.
  2. gorm

    gorm
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    this is really common and pretty much exactly happened to me. if you work over the summer and earn yourself one semester you'll appreciate the value of the schoolwork but when it comes down to it you have to be at least interested in your focus to do well in it.
  3. X-Trader

    X-Trader

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    Well first of all, you need a quite place and most of all, the computer has to be shut down so you don't get distracted, this usually the cause, and was the cause of my only "lower than a B" grade. The computer can give you knowledge but intellect is using your brain to shut it off for a while so you can do what is really important. If you don't want to shut off the computer, hide your internet icon, and anything related to the internet such as AIM, Yahoo!, etc.

    Second of all, while studying the only way you'll do well is taking notes. As my teachers taught me a while back, your notes can't be in paragraph form at all, or else it is too hard to study and will make you fail. The way you should be taking notes is like this:
    [​IMG]
    Your notes should include pictures, diagrams, and anything else that will make you learn more efficiently or help you study. The best way to memorize something is to make a funny sentence out of it, or an acronym. Your notes shouldn't even be complete sentence (shorthand), and don't have to look neat in general. You should be doing something you're comfortable with, and can learn quickly (or memorize quickly with).

    You also need to be able to read, and learn everything you can from an assigned textbook or book in general. You should be able to dig deeper and find the meaning of every single word. This means it is also helpful to have a pocket dictionary near you. If you can't understand something at all, it is best to ask the teacher, and take notes afterwards about what he said. You should also ask your friends what they think since sometimes friends can offer more, and personalize thanks to them already knowing you.

    To focus even better, it is recommended you clear your mind and meditate for about 5 minutes in a very quite place or outside if it works better for you. The important thing is to clear your head of all thoughts, read, and try to really dig deeper, understand, and really get yourself into the reading. I admit this can be hard with a textbook, but it is fairly easy with any other
  4. Goodbar

    Goodbar

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    Gorm - I do appreciate the value of schoolwork, simply coming from a family where most of my uncles/aunts/grandparents didn't go to college, including my own parents. In a sense I know that I will never ever waste the special privilege I have of being able to attend college, but hopefully I can manage making it easier on myself. Glad I'm not the only one either heh.

    Sikh - You're quite the organized guy eh, you mentioned the computer and I think directly coming from watching tv or using the computer makes my focus a lot less. Which makes me think, if I could arse myself to do studying right after class, that might work. The meditating thing could work too. Good to hear you're so prioritized at such a young age.
  5. nardd

    nardd

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    I know how you feel about feeling like you understand the material and psyching yourself out thinking you don't need to study hard. i just entered college as well and didn't prepare for my first calc exam like I should have because I did well on the quizes/homework, therefore thinking I was fine.

    Sikh's post is very good, but I'd like to highlight what he said about getting in the mindset. First you need motivation (like money what gorm said) and then the right attitude/setting free from distraction. I think what makes studying so hard is that it takes a lot more creativity and individual thought/work. While homework gives you the question and all you have to do is answer it, studying is basically you creating both the questions and the answers, which makes it at least twice as difficult. Studying effectively definitely takes perfect practice so don't get discouraged. A lot of people (like me) are in your position or close to it so just take the bad grade as motivation along with the thousands you or your parents are paying and just focus on your book or your notes that were illustrated very well on sikh's post.

    good luck!
  6. Morm

    Morm

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    Goodbar, the transistion from High school to university is always a kick in the face. High school is basically a joke, University starts taking education much more seriously. It's competative and first year classes are often 'weed out classes', meaning they want to seperate the wheat from the chaff. Just work extra hard on the BS courses, once you get into classes that are more what you're into, you'll get the hang of it. Hell, I barely did any work my last two years because it became so easy for me!! I went through what you are though, so don't worry!

    Also listen to Gormenghast.

    Edit: Sikh, That's garbage about note taking. Seriously, just learn to write in short hand to get alot of info down. Not everyone learns through pictures and diagrams. My short hand looked like this:

    FG LG SS Xbed
    (Fine Grained, Light Grey sand stone that is cross bedded).

    Also Textbooks are for chumps, they are alot of waste for not alot of gain.

    Don't worry man, you'll pick it up.
  7. Goodbar

    Goodbar

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    nardd - we should hopefully not have to worry as long as we pick up our pace, at least the chem teacher said it wouldn't be a huge deal if you did worse than your expectations this first time, good luck to you too

    Mormoopid - I've been trying to read from the textbooks, I'm not really sure how else I can learn stuff outside the classroom. We have a test exam book that is supposed to be extremely helpful, according to a friend who actually used it, but I might need to read as well, because you can't really start on the problems until you know all the test material... I think that's one thing I'm going to take advantage of too btw, friends. My lab partner got an extremely high score on the exam and told me to study with her, I prolly will lol. I'm taking Orgo btw, or that's what I'm talking about.
    They say you're supposed to figure out what you want to do after your sophomore year, and I'm kinda worried because I'm supposedly a sophomore, or thats what they refer to me as in my financial aid statement. I think once I start getting into the orgo and stuff I'll like it, but if I don't, I'm kind of scared I won't have enough time to find that class that fits me best
  8. Morm

    Morm

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    I knew what I wanted to do since I was four, lol.

    Anyways, one thing you need to be aware of is that labs are a prime place to meet women. Just stand next to a hot one and then they ask you to pair up be all "oh, hey, yeah wanna be my partner"? Works every time man. That way you score someone who can help you AND someone who you can...uhhh I can't think of a Politically correct way to say "make out with in the cafeteria as your prof walks by".

    You will figure it out, Goodbar. Just keep on slugging away. One resource that you might not be aware of is the profs and TA's themselves. You can approach them, they are people too. Often, they are more than happy to help you figure something out or even provide notes if you miss them. Discussion is a much better way to immerse yourself in the topics than to just read some poorly written and boring textbook.
  9. PyroDudeX

    PyroDudeX

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    Don't know what to say goodbar. I too have a problem with this but hey thats whats most sophomores at my high school do. But I would like to read some posts here for some advice as well. Summer school last year was not fun. xD
  10. Thomas 777

    Thomas 777

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    About the studie problem, its easy I have the same problem every year after a long summerholiday but it doesn't last long since I have a teacher who keeps preaching about what happens to people who don't ''get'' the textbook. My best studie method is to read, take notes, as previously said turn of any thing that will distract you like computers, games, tv, irritating people whatever. Go over it again and ask yourself questions and after an hour or so get someone to ask you question orally. I allways do that before a test which garanters me a B or anything higher, dependes on how much I like what we're studing. And about the last problem, I too have it. I start at high school next year and I have to choose which way to go. I am afraid that I might take the something because one of my friends take that road. I just think about what I want to become and if I have to choose I imagine myself doing that. Day in and day out and is that what I really want?
    You could allways ask your Guidance Counselor, mine has been a great help
  11. DM

    DM Ce soir, on va danser.
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    lol, I hardly think the best advice you could give the kid is to ignore his textbooks. I agree that nothing in college can replace actually getting your ass to class and paying attention, but textbooks are often used by professors to teach shit that they don't mention in class. Don't get caught off guard by a test question you never covered in any way.
  12. Morm

    Morm

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    DM, let me pose this question to you:

    Would you rather be caught off guard by the few questions you are unprepared for because you didn't read the text, or would you rather study the material that will cover more % of the test material? Keep in mind that most profs, unless they are total dick locks, would rather test you on notes and material they covered in class rather than textbook readings as they are often supplementary.

    Sometimes though, they will say "we have a test based on the textbook" and that's when you blow the dust off and crack that bitch open.
  13. chaos

    chaos
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    It depends on the class. If you are working in the mathematics or sciences (and I don't mean the "social sciences"...) you better be reading your textbook, especially for the exercises in the back.

    Don't just read though. It's easy to glaze over while reading and you'll end up not absorbing the material because your mind isn't being actively engaged. If you have exercises in the back of the chapter, do them. If you can't figure out one, skim to the portion of the textbook that has information about it and read with the intent of being able to figure out the problem.

    If your book doesn't have exercises or for some reason this does not pertain to what you are doing (perhaps what you are doing is all memorization, like art history? lol) then actively write out what you need to be memorizing on some note cards and quiz yourself over them later. If you can't figure out one, then "make a note of it" and go on... but come back to that card every once in a while to solidify the content in your memory.

    I have trouble concentrating but I also make A's in pretty much everything. The trick is trying to get interested in the content...
  14. Morm

    Morm

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    chaos, I actually didn't ever read textbooks throughout my degree; a double major in geology and biology.

    I have no real experience in Math, other than calc, where I had the best teacher ever so we didn't use a textbook.

    You and DM are probably right though, now that I look more subjectively at it, if someone is looking to get straight A's. That was never my mandate though.
  15. Ambitions

    Ambitions

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    I just graduated from Full Sail University with a 3.0 (90-85 at that school) just so you know where my study habits have gotten me.

    When ever I need to study, I usually get my self away from where I spend most of the time on my combuter, I go to my study place. My study place had no distractions, and I always got work done there. Worked for me.
  16. CardsOfTheHeart

    CardsOfTheHeart

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    My study habits suck. I procrastinate on pretty much everything. Recipe for disaster, right?

    Well, I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting with a 3.7/4.0 GPA and am on my way to a Master's.

    How did I do it? I paid attention in class. Apparently being attentive in class has allowed me to get away with not studying as much.

    Imagine what I could have done had I studied as well as I paid attention in class...
  17. Goodbar

    Goodbar

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    I don't have a choice in orgo, all the material on the test is definately not covered in lecture. To be honest I'm not too fond of the teacher, not that that's an excuse, but certainly makes things harder. I think teachers have a big influence on the way you learn and like things. An example from high school is I really enjoyed my freshman year spanish class, the teacher was pretty solid and a cool guy. By spanish 4, I hated the class, and spanish, and never intend to take it again. Well maybe, but, meh... I will start doing the excercizes, at least in my head go over how to accomplish them, and the blue book I mentioned earlier is definately a must.

    Thomas - as long as you keep that mindset you should do fine in high school, I didn't see it as a huge transition anyways

    Ambitions - I do ok anywhere with a bit of undistracting white noise heh

    Cardoftheheart - lol that's what I want to do too, though like I mentioned above definately not an option for orgo
  18. Solidus

    Solidus

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    Hmm...I don't try to study anymore. To be honest, when I study, I can't concentrate because I'm not interested in it. I had a 4.0 GPA in the past, but now I have like a 3.0. I'm in my Senior year in high school, and my grades have dropped compared to when I was a Freshmen and a Sophomore. Sometimes, I'm just lazy, and I don't feel like listening to my teachers when they speak. My plans to go to college are getting dim.
  19. newbioform

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    Yeah I have this problem as well. Usually when I can't concentrate, I'll take my books and study with a friend in the library. Be sure to print out any notes etc. because you don't want to bring the computer. The quietness in the library also discourages conversation, which is good imo.

    And the most effective way of getting straight A's is definitely paying attention in lectures and do all the tutorial questions. Works for me.
  20. garo

    garo

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    yeah this is a pretty common situation i think, its the same that happens to me nowdays, i mean in all my school years since elementary i never had problems to study, i keep concentrated and focused on my exams and never had trouble to study for hours, but later in high school and college i just cant get my ass to sit in front of a desk and study, i mean i cant keep my interest in my books and class notes (maybe because i studied to much in the past that i completely lost interest in that lol), i just feel like that is gonna take a lot of time and because thinking in the time i cant get focused, so i just hang out with my friends or watch tv until i have a very short time to the test date (or hour lol)and with the pressure i have no choice but start studying, and this works for me most of the time but i know that that is an unhealty and unreliable practice.

    so the way i find easier to study is to meet some friends and study all togheter this way you kinda feel motivated to study by watching them doing it, and also you can talk and joke with them to avoid getting bored, and about my way to study i would recommend to first study your class notes and when you understand all of them, then do the examples with the dificult level expected in the exam and this way you save a lot of time lol.
  21. akuchi

    akuchi please dont remove akuchis custom title she <i>is<

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    I just read the textbook in class, ignore the teacher, and make my own notes on revision cards maybe once/twice a year. Only subject I did that in I got 90% for AS level.
    I remember hearing from a teacher once you'll recall maybe 10% of the stuff you do in class, but if you take the time to work through it yourself and write it out into your own words you'll recall closer to 80%. No idea if that's right or not, but it works okay for me.
  22. Collector

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    One of the biggest factors of learning in class, I think, is the professor.
    If the professor makes class interesting or plain not boring, you'll learn a lot more.
    Go to a ratemyprofessor. com or something.
    I've used those web sites frequently when I was completing my undergraduate studies, and it helped A LOT.
    A boring professor who doesn't really care about teaching, I find based on my personal experiences, drags along the semester on his feet and pretty much reads the book to their students.
    On the other hand, if you get a professor who actually kind of cares about his students, you'll fare much better.

    When I started college, I receieved something like a 35 on my Calculus test (The avg was like 40. !)
    No it wasn't a bad university, it was a pretty decent state university, but back on topic.
    That shit woke me up and I started caring again.
    I was used to getting high scores, and that 35 motivated me and I ended up getting an A. Mid to high 90's on the rest of my exams while the class avg hovered around 60-65.
    I guess the rest of my class didn't really care.

    When it comes down to it, it's motivation I think.
  23. Blue Ditto

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    Discipline-wise, you probably need to get away from the area that you tend to get sidetracked for a long period of time in, such as a desk area if you have a computer with internet access there. And it may especially help to get away from familiar places too.

    I think though, before you start worrying about studying, you should identify your learning style first. Do you tend to think of things in pictures? Do you remember things better if you recite them or hear a song about what you're learning? Depending on how you learn, some styles of studying may work and others may just turn your brain into scrambled eggs.

    For example, I myself am a visual learner. I can't follow written instructions at all--I need to see a picture showing me how to do it first before I get started reading the details. I find that, if I really need to study, highlighting important parts with my favorite color tends to help a lot, and drawing diagrams with my notes or arranging my words in nice patterns helps me retain information.

    Some of my friends do much better writing everything down over and over again, or reciting and quizzing each other with the material, using flashcards, etc. Time management may also be in place: if you get burned out easily by concentrating for too long, then you'll need appropriate breaks to sit back and relax for a few minutes. There are many different ways to study; you need to take charge and find which way is right for you. If you find a preferred way to do so, it's possible that you'll also find maintaining discipline during study-time a lot easier.
  24. DM

    DM Ce soir, on va danser.
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    Some people can make it through all levels of schooling doing what you did, I've known plenty. Would I recommend it to others, though? No.
  25. Bologo

    Bologo Have fun with birds and bees.
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    Yeah, sorry to bump this thread up (it was only on the second page, so it's not that bad of a bump).

    However, I really need your help on studying for mathematics. Simply put, I don't know how to. I'm in grade 12 this year, and right now, I have what is possibly the hardest course I've ever taken in high school. It's called Advanced Functions (my fellow Ontarians would also know this as MHF4U0).

    Basically, I've never ever had to study for mathematics before, even in grade 11, because everything was so horrendously easy. The quizzes were just not hard, and it wasn't hard to get a perfect score on them.

    But for some reason, Advanced Functions has overloaded my mind, and I went from having an 84 in grade 11 math, to having a bloody 63 in this damn course. The thing is, I really need this course to get into university, and since I want to become a math teacher, I have to know this shit pretty well, since it doesn't sound like the easiest thing in the world to become.

    Yeah, basically, this course is all about graphing shit. We've learned about polynomial functions, logarithmic functions, exponential functions, inequalities, and stuff like that. I seem to be able to do the homework perfectly, and I ask my teacher lots of questions whenever I don't get something. However, it doesn't seem to matter how hard I try, I just can't seem to do good on the quizzes/tests (which is really bad considering we don't get assignments).

    Basically, do you guys/gals have any tips on how to study for mathematics? If you do, I'd really like to hear some!

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