January 2017: Studying at home during the holidays

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I have been enjoying the holiday break at home in Detroit, Michigan, USA. It has been very cold with temperatures well below freezing. I have been keeping warm by staying inside, writing a reflective paper, and studying for three final exams. I knew studying while at home would be difficult as it is easy to get distracted. However, I am happy with the progress I have made while at home.

Here are some things that have helped me with studying while at home.

  • Set aside 2-3 hours a day for school work. It is likely that you will regret it if you wait until the end of break to start your revision.
  • Create study guides for your courses. For example, I went through my notes from lectures, readings, and case studies, and highlighted the most important topics that I wanted to study in more detail. I created study guides using this information in a Microsoft Word document. I found that it is best to keep the documents organized by using headings and bullet points. I also added images and graphs to further explain topics or concepts when necessary.
  • Create flash cards. They are great for trying to memorize definitions.
  • Stay in contact with your classmates! It is nice to have friends that are going through the same thing as you.
  • You should not spend all your time studying. You will need to give your mind a break every so often after all. I have found that these activities help:
    o Exercise! The best way to de-stress is by going to the gym
    o Go out to lunch with old friends
    o Catch up on TV shows

I am heading back to Manchester with a few days left to spare before exams. I plan on using this time to study individually as well as with classmates. The next few weeks will be stressful, but I am hopeful that all the hard work and time spent studying will be worth it.

I am excited to begin semester two. I will be taking a required Research Methods course as well as three electives. The UK academic system is slightly different from the American system so I will be changing my study habits a bit. I will continue to focus on readings and ask questions early on if I do not understand topics or concepts.

During semester two, I also plan to explore possible dissertation topics so that I am ahead of the game. Additionally, I plan to apply for jobs within the next couple of months. I have heard that it is best to start the process early on to secure a job by the end of the school year.

Celebrating the end of classes with classmates before heading back home

Celebrating the end of classes with classmates before heading back home

Studying for semester one exams

Studying for semester one exams

Celebrating New Years Eve in Detroit with friends

Celebrating New Years Eve in Detroit with friends

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Jasmine Sarkis

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