This week has been full of weddings for me... Not literally for me, but I have been attending weddings.
My friend got married on Tuesday and I am still recovering from that. It was an all day thing and there were times where I couldn't handle being around so many people even though it was a relatively small wedding. (You can tell I don't come from a family that has many weddings, we're more the folk that has a lot of funerals as opposed to weddings haha! That was very sick) Don't get me wrong the wedding was beautiful and very enjoyable. I am just still very tired from the whole day of travelling and eating everything.
(Not even joking about that one. I sampled pretty much all the wee buns, 4 cups of tea, a tall glass of lemonade, a massive Christmas dinner, and TWO DESERTS!!! TWO!!!! What is wrong with me?)
My cousin is getting married tomorrow so it will probably take me another week to fully recover from that too haha!
Anyway, as a result I have been in a very tired mood, sleep pattern all out of whack but sleeping enough that I don't feel physically tired.
The boyfriend and I were talking on the phone and one conversation that stuck out in my mind was the ability of one to allow themselves to have bad days. I've found a lot of people seem to think that if we are in a bad mood, there has to be a reason. And so, we find a selection of nitty gritty things that annoy us and blame others for the way that we feel. When the truth is, we could just be in a bad mood because... Well just because. And that is ok, so long as you don't lash out at others for YOU feeling that way, or make others feel bad for us just feeling selfishly bad. It's not their fault, and we don't know what kind of day they might have had.
I have a pinboard on Pinterest that is dedicated to "things that make you think", and other philosophical sentences. I love my motivational posters that challenge the way I see things or go about my daily life. But sometimes we are of the illusion that we have to be motivated day in day out. We have to be inspired to be productive day in day out. No. We don't have to be proactive all the time. We are human beings, we're gonna have days where we struggle to get the motivation to wake up sometimes let alone get out of bed. Now I'm not condoning living in habit with poor motivation and little drive in life. But I am saying that if you ever see a picture on facebook from an expert yogi, or fitness instructor, or even a friend on facebook who is motivated and wants to inspire others to do the same by posting something I.N.S.P.I.R.A.T.I.O.N.A.L to be productive today. You can just scroll past it and say "Meh, not today love". You're allowed days off from being 110% driven. It's part of the "stages of change model" relapse is a bit component that can take place at any stage of the cycle. The big part is getting back onto the horse at some stage, and since everyone is different this can vary.
There was a lot more to the conversation than just this and I don't want to go too much into it otherwise I will be here all night, and like I said, I have a wedding in the morning. Have to be bright eyed and bushy tailed. Lol!
I was under a lot of stress with placement this week for a few reasons that I can't really go into.
But it resulted in me not being able to keep up my fitness and healthy eating routine. However because of the stress I've lost 5 lbs lol! So I've learned my lesson, don't stress too much or you loose weight. The stress has mostly been dealt with so I'm gonna try to get back into a good healthy eating and exercise workout routine again. My whole body is sore and stiff from the lack of sleep and so on so I'm starting off with 10-20 minutes of Yoga or Pilates a day then try to bump it up a notch each week.
Sometimes you just have to roll with the punches and take what life throws at you and adjust accordingly to your lifestyle. If you don't feel in the right frame of mind mentally (and not the lazy frame of mind) or physically you sometimes need to listen to your body and rest up. Don't over do it, especially whenever during great amounts of stress.
Starting the Pilates Summer Series. This is exciting me as it starts of gently and each time gets a bit more intense, which is exactly what I need at the moment. I am very excited to start this and get back into shape.
I'm going to Spain this August so I am super pumped to be going somewhere sunny this year! :D
It was a bad start to the month but I'm gonna own this month! I'm gonna make the most of learning opportunities and experiences. I have my final nursing assessment ever at the start of next month so I will be in the right frame of mind! :D :D
I can't put this video on this page because weebly won't let me use anything other than a youtube link to display it but anyway.
I have to agree with a lot of what this woman (whoever she is) is saying about boys and education. I don't think it stands for just boys though, girls can be pretty disruptive in class too at times, even for kids with ADHD or similar conditions that inhibit concentration and alter behaviour.
Teachers could learn a thing or two from this video
Today is the deadline for my last EVER nursing assignment.
I wanted to give you an insight into what studying for nursing is like, and what being dyslexic is like and some study tips, particularly for assignments.
When I was about 2 (ish), from what my mum told me, the Health Visitor said that I had delayed communication and speech issues. So I wasn't really able to talk properly until I was about four. (well as properly as a four year old can speak, basically took me a while to catch up) As a result I was sent to a special needs class until p3 (age 6 or 7) and put on the Special Educational Needs Register for a short time. I was given a lot of support throughout my first few years at school. When I moved primary schools there wasn't as much support so I felt like the kid in the corner wearing the dunce hat quite a lot as it took longer for me to learn than my peers. I always struggled with maths, reading took a lot of effort, struggle and concentration. I loved writing but wasn't very good at grammar and punctuation. This sort of continued basically throughout high school. In Junior high school, we were banded basically on level of intelligence. A,B,C,D. Smart being A (makes sense right)?... Needless to say I was not in an A class. Lol! But I did work really hard, with minimal support but still felt a bit like "Why is it taking me so long to catch up or twig on to what is going on?". But just accepted that this is the way I am, I'm just a bit slow. I decided around 5th year (age 16) I wanted to be a midwife/nurse. I did my further studies in a grammar school, took a year out to gain more experience in nursing and got into nursing school the following year. It wasn't until my first year in nursing (only three years ago... 19 years old!!!) that I was diagnosed with dyslexia. It scares me how bad the schooling system is that they don't think to check up on these things if a student is struggling with something. Maybe it has changed now, I'm not sure.
Anyway, I got the support I needed from a maths tutor to help me through my drug calculation exams and a dyslexia tutor to help proof read my assignments, give me study advice and correct my grammar where needed.
That is my story, so here are some tips I have picked up over the past number of years in relation to studying:-
1) Not everyone studies the same
There are those who cram the night before, those who study every little aspect of every little sub-topic, in every subject, in every module. There are those who just don't bother studying cause they is damn smart. There are those who study hard but don't always get the grades. You get the picture. You find out what works for you. I don't recommend trying the first one lol. For me it takes weeks of preparation. I have to make a realistic revision list. ALWAYS REFER TO YOUR MODULE HAND BOOK FOR A REVISION LIST) That is one thing my tutor drilled into me from day one!
2) You won't always have the motivation to study
This is something you will just have to accept. It is will power and determination that gets the work done sometimes! Hence why being realistic with how long it will take you to cover your revision list is very important.
Sometimes I find the element of surprise helps sometimes. One minute you are eating a packet of oreos, the next minute. BOOM you are studying about the pathophysiology and aetiology of lung cancer. Lol sometimes that one doesn't work. If you really need some motivation, it's always good to write down why you wanted to do this course to begin with and what your main goal is. Then get stuck in. Other times it will be a case of dragging your butt from the sofa and forcing yourself to work. It all depends on your mood that day. For me, I have to work in a tidy environment. So I clean everything in my room firstly, then get stuck into the books.
3) Take regular breaks if you can
If you are like me, once you get the ball rolling, you can be too afraid to stop because motivation can be far and few between. And that is ok, so long as you don't burn yourself out. Always remember that sitting behind a desk typing can be bad for your posture so be sure to stretch regularly and take some deep breaths. This can be very relaxing too.
(this is a video on yoga for neck and shoulder pain, be sure to try this every once in a while to relieve tension that you hold in these areas whilst studying. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQrgxYi10B0)
Be sure to not take more breaks than you do studying.
4) Get some rest, and sleep plenty
Be sure to at least try to get some sleep, 6-8 hours a night. Difficult sometimes I know but priorities, yeah? Do you really need to watch Hollyoaks? Could you not record it or watch it on catch up? Drink plenty of water during the day. Coffee can be great to help you stay awake while working or studying but try to take your last cup of coffee or tea around 7pm. If you are a caffine addict, admitting it is the first step *round of applause*. Take it small steps at a time to reduce your intake as you can get killer headaches from just going cold turkey sometimes. Try to drink a mug of hot water with a slice of lemon first thing in the morning as this is a healthy way of boosting some energy. Hot milk at night can help you to relax, some essential oils can help to relax too but be sure to research this or speak to a qualified aromatherapist before experimenting with oils as some oils can make you feel more rejuvenated.
Now, in relation to Exams:-
1) Record lectures
This comes in SO handy! Believe me! When you are recording a lecture it gives you time to copy down what is on the power point (if you haven't already printed it off). Don't copy it down word for word, take key points and pay attention to what the lecturer is saying. This skill takes time to develop, but that is what you are recording it for, so you can build on that skill over time. ;)
2) Organise your files
Once you have taken your notes, be sure to organise them into a systematic but easily understandable way in your ring binder or level arch file. For me it helps to organise it into Modules >> Module handbook>>notes taken in class>> print out lectures>> articles and journals relating to various topics.
3) Talk to your teacher one on one
Sometimes your teacher can be very helpful if you approach them about something you don't understand, if you aren't brave enough to put your hand up in the middle of a packed lecture hall, talk to the teacher at the end of class and ask for some advice
4) Do your first past paper
Only as a guide as to where your weak areas are that you need to work hard at. If you don't do too well, don't worry about it. See it as a learning curve.
5) What kind of learner are you?
Firstly I would advise you to find out what kind of learner you are. Kinesthetic?, audial? visual? Try this quiz to find out yourself. If you don't like it, try googling it. You are never just one type of learner, most people incorporate all kinds of learning traits. http://quizilla.teennick.com/quizzes/7073446/what-type-of-learner-are-you-extreamly-accurate-results-will-help-you-learn-in-life.
6) Find a study method that suits you
I know a lot of people who just regurgitate what they wrote in class. For a minority of people, this works. But for the majority of this, it doesn't help at all.
Some people find bullet points in their own language helps.
Some people like spider diagrams.
For others it is flow charts.
For myself, I read various sources (articles, books, and "how to ... for dummies" stuff, Youtube videos etc.) find out how other people explain the topic, then I write it all down in a systematic way but in a language that makes sense to me. The first key to studying is to be able to understand what you are studying. If it doesn't make sense to you, you won't remember it as well during the exam.
A good way my tutor taught me was having a two column table, on the left column you write the topic or the title of the topic, in the second column you write some short and sweet bullet points with key and buzz words that will help you to remember what the topic is about. Always keep a title at the top so you know what subject it is.
The next thing you want to do, is to learn and familiarize yourself with fancy terms. So you've learned how to explain something in your language. But if you were to write an essay question in your exam on what atherosclerosis is and you wrote something along the lines of. "Atherosclerosis is basically fat build up in the arteries that cause blood vessels to become clogged and rigid as time goes by. This can cause a blood clot and increases risk of stroke in individuals. Most patients with this condition are on medication that get rid of the fat build up like bleach poured down a sink gets rid of residue causing a blocked sink." Although this might be a good way to explain it to patients. Isn't going to get you a good grade in your exam. It's important to learn (through reading how other people word it) terms and buzz words that will help you to sound intelligent and show that you know what you are talking about in a high level.
7) When you've studied till you're blue in the face, try a past paper again.
The idea this time round is that you are now able to answer the questions efficiently and show a higher quality answer now that you have done your background reading and studying. If not, try again. It is all about trial and error with studying, finding what works for you. Another method that works for some, is once you have written down your study notes, read them back to yourself and record yourself doing so. Then when you are chilling out, about to fall asleep, walking to class etc. you can passively absorb information. Worth a try anyway :)
For assignments, I find this method works for me:-
1) Take a note of the deadline
Plan your research, this takes the most time, the writing doesn't take as long as the research stage so take time into account when planning an assignment. Read through the abstract to see if the article relates to your subject. If it doesn't, don't waste time, scrap it.
2) Keep a record of your research
Once you have chosen a series of articles. Have your first article on one side of the screen and a word document on the other. First take note of the title, the journal name, the author, volume, issue number and page numbers and the date it was written, with a link to the page itself.
This helps you so much with referencing at the end of your assignment therefore saving you a lot of time! You're welcome! ;)
Then in bullet points type out key points throughout the assignment that relate to your assignment.
Use the title of the article as the title of your document and save in a file called "References" Once you have compiled a series of reference documents filled with bullet points that will help you in your assignment. You can start to structure your assignment
3) Writing the assignment
10% for your introduction
80% for your main body
10% for your conclusion
That structure should help you to stay on track roughly. Always be aware of your word count. Try to be very selective of your references and be very critical if you can about what your content includes. If two authors describe the one thing, instead of just repeating yourself you could say. "Brown (2008) and Grey (2006) both suggest that potatoes are commonly eaten all over Ireland and UK" This saves you words. Sometimes it helps to write things in your own words first then work on changing it into more academic writing later on.
Be sure to be aware of your university/school's preference on referencing. My school likes the Harvard referencing system, most places do as far as I am aware but always double check this to be sure. You don't want marks deducted unnecessarily for carelessness.
5) Proof read
Go, make a cuppa tea, watch a bit of TV, read a book, take a nap. Then print your article and proof read it. Trust me on this one, if you miss so much just by reading it off the screen. Once you have proof read that document and made necessary changes. Give it to a friend, or a family member that can proof read it again. If you have friends who were in the year above you or have a background in the area you are studying in, ask them to proof read it, they will probably be more constructive with criticism.
That is all the advice that I have in relation to studying that I have learned. I hope you found it helpful. :)
I am a 25 year old nurse, who is trying to find herself. This blog will contain epiphanies I have, my yoga progress and other such things. Enjoy. :)