Study tips for someone with dyslexia and/or dysgraphia:

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I am dyslexic and I have dysgraphia, but I graduated in English Literature with a 3.4. I’ve talked about majoring in your learning disability before, though it’s been a while. I talked about how learning disabilities are often made out to be an end all be all and discourage people from pushing through them. I also comment on the fact that they are disabilities not differences, because they make it harder to do things and there is no need to sugar coat it. I say that there is no secret and that there isn’t a list of tips that will work for everyone.  It’s true, most of pushing through your learning disability is just working through sweat and tears, but I do have some study tips I’ve learned over the years and if you’re facing the same challenges as me you might find them helpful.

  • Listen to older literature: Especially Shakespeare, he was made to be listened to. Well, he was made to be watched, but many adaptions do different takes on his work, so if you’re looking to do it for an English class it’s best to listen to an audio book so you just get pure dialog. Audio books are amazing for older works. Old English is harder to comprehend, but it’s easier to understand when you hear it. Audio books also remove all the line breaks from works like the Odyssey and rely only on the periods for pauses, which is how it is meant to be read, even though some brains struggle with reading it that way.
  • Google is better than spellcheck: I could scream this one from the rooftops. I feel like spellcheck is sometimes concerned about me I’m such a poor speller. It just shrugs me off because it honestly doesn’t know what I’m trying to say. Take that jumbled mess of letters and put it into Google search. It can normally figure it out. I am strictly talking about the web search, though, Google Docs doesn’t always get it either.

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About College: The parts that are more valuable than the degree

 

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As tuition prices sky-rocket a lot of people have started asking if college degrees are worth the money. In some ways they are, but the degree itself doesn’t mean much unless you’re becoming a doctor or a lawyer. It’s a piece of paper, a line item on your resume, that over half of the other applicants have on their’s as well.

In my opinion, college isn’t really about the degree. Sure it’s the end goal, you definitely want to get it if you start it, but it’s not the most valuable part. The value of college comes in other activities only available on a college campus. And I’m not talking about a social life. I’m not taking about taking another four years before hitting the real world. I’m talking about the resume items colleges offer.

My resume was beautiful leaving college, at least, beautiful for a kid in her early twenties who had never had a full-time job before. That wasn’t the focus though, you didn’t see the part-time work at the fro-yo place, you saw list of college activities and courses that counted as real world experience.

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Nine ways to beat Procrastination and Improve Productivity:

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  1. Give yourself a break every 45 minutes even if it’s just to listen to a song, get a snack, fill up a water bottle, or chat with your co-worker/roommate. That way you’ll check facebook after you work for 45 minutes.
  2. Get rid of email notifications on your phone because you always check them right then and they’re never urgent- and, hey, while your doing that get rid of the junk use this site to see what your subscribed to and simply click one after another to get rid of them for good!
  3. Okay- and instagram, tumblr, and twitter. I mean, have you ever gotten an urgent instagram notification? And don’t you check it enough anyways?
  4. Learn how long it takes you to read 50 pages and give yourself an extra ten minutes. This right here will keep you from waiting till too late, and it will also let you schedule properly around it. Hey- you can do this with more than reading, but always remember to budget extra time in just encase you run into problems.
  5. Make sure your assignments are organized so you don’t miss anything and realize at the last minute. It’ll also keep you from realizing there were two parts to that assignment or that you had a coffee date the night before it was due. See my planner here.IMG_2490
  6. Switch your work up if you feel your brain going numb from too much of one project after 45 minutes or so move to the next one and switch back and forth. You’ll get more done and won’t be redoing work.
  7. Keep snacks ready. When you get back from the store, pour those chips into little ziplocks or keep granola bars in a basket to grab or wash all the grapes at once when you get home. This will keep you from standing in front of the pantry for ages, spending time prepping or portioning, and it’ll keep you from gaining that “whole bag of chips” weight. Never a bad thing.
  8. Have a study/work playlist so you won’t keep switching songs every few seconds. If it has words, make sure you know them all so you won’t focus too hard on hearing them.
  9. Don’t save anything for the next morning unless you plan to give yourself an hour to wake up before. It’s a lie to say you’ll get it done and do a good job. When you acknowledge this you’ll realize that facebook is not more important than an unnecessary six AM wake up followed up by a failing grade. Ouch.

Now get out there and get stuff done!

The Simplest Planner Fix:

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At the end of last year I found myself using to do lists more than my planner, which wasn’t effective, because my daily stuff got checked off but I had to keep moving my “side errands” from list to list. So this year I wanted to do something a little different with my planner. Above you can see that there isn’t anything fancy going on with that week… but the highlighters? They’re coded. Purple for social. Blue for work/babysitting. Yellow for appointments. And those “side errands” I was discussing? Post it notes, as seen below.
IMG_2492One last upgrade I’ve made? Other than some fun stickers, which I’m going to stock up on as soon as possible. Washi tape for days on end. Below I’ve marked off my far in the future fall break. There’s no mistaking it.

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Tips to Keep College Great: Two Week In

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So you’ve been back to school for a week or two. You’re settled in, hopefully loving it, if not just waiting to find your groove. So, the hard parts mostly over right? The butterflies are dissipating. You think you’ve got it figured out- and your not wrong about it! But here are some things to remember and keep remembering:

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College Packing: What you Really Need in a Dorm

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  • Appliances: A mini-fridge is a must, a microwave is helpful, and my favorite thing I’ve brought is an instant hot water boiler. I’m a tea drinker. The truth is most schools won’t let you bring hardly any appliances into a dorm. They’re a fire hazard… and a huge waste of space.
  • Utensils: One or two sets of silverware, two food storage containers, a bowl, a plate. The basics, you’ll be eating in the dining hall more than anything in a dorm room… but hey, bring A LOT of cups and water bottles. You’ll go through them.
  • Laundry: Detergent, lingerie bags, a stain stick, and a basket or bag. You will not use that iron enough to bother or that drying rack. I’ve only met one person who uses their iron and hey towel bars are great for those bras you can’t put in the dryer. Wrinkled clothes? Throw them in the drier for a hot second and shake them out. You’ll need to bring some hangers though!
  • Entertainment: No, you don’t need to bring eight books and all your DVD’s. You might watch one movie that’s not streamed, and you might have time to read three books that aren’t assigned. I don’t think you really need a TV either… unless you are a gamer, everything can be done online through a laptop, save the room!
  • Lighting: A desk lamp is so important if you have a roommate. That overhead is impossible to sleep with on. Have some respect!
  • Office: A printer is not necessary on most campuses because you’ll have printing money built into your tuition, plus paper, ink, and storage will always be short. Bring index cards and sticky notes. You should have a notebook for every class, buy the kind with the tear out pages and forget the loose leaf. Very few people use binders, get a nice folder or two instead. Bring a stapler, paper clips, and tape. And for heaven’s sake always have a highlighter and a pen(cil) with you in class!
  • Extras: Command hooks/strips are great, storage is amazing (but shouldn’t be bought in bulk till after you see the room). Bed risers normally come with the room. Extra seating is nice, but expect people to sit on your bed/use your desk chair. Tote bags are cute, but you’ll find you want a backpack or messenger bag for long walks across campus, those text books weigh a ton.

I feel like somethings go without saying, such as bedding, towels, and clothes. These things are just things that people tend to over (or under) buy for!

If you have anything else you’re questioning… feel free to ask! I’m going into my forth year in a dorm room, so I’ll probably know!