study group

study group

Freshmen Beware: Differences Between High School and College

Think college will be just like high school? Think again. Read these differences so you know what to expect come your first day of class.

You may have more time on your hands: Even full-time students come to find that they may only spend half of their day in class. Some schedules even allow for several hours in between classes. College freshman often get excited with all this free time and take on more than they can handle. Getting a part-time job or joining an extra-curricular activity is a great use of this time, but your college education comes first. Be sure to leave time to study and do homework.

Your professors won’t give you detention for skipping class: Some of them don’t care if you show up. Others will likely do roll call by having students sign in. A professor will not take the time to find out why you’re not coming to class. They may dock attendance points, but there isn’t a principal that will call your parents. Colleges and universities assume that since you are paying tuition, you’ll get your money’s worth, and go to class. Remember that you’re an adult now, so it’s up to you, not your parents or teachers, to make education your responsibility.

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Piazza Takes Study Groups into the Digital Age

Pooja Nath was one of the few women to study engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur in India. Since most of her classmates were males, Nath had a hard time finding people to study with.

“Back then, no one owned a laptop, there was no Internet in the dorm rooms,” said Nath. “So everyone in my class would be working in the computer lab together. But all the guys would be communicating with each other, getting help so fast, and I would be on the sidelines just watching.”

This difficult experience during her undergraduate studies prompted Nath to create a website called Piazza. Nath created Piazza in 2009 when she was studying at Stanford Graduate School of Business as a way for students to get help with their studies, even if they can’t find a study group that works for them.

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Beyond the Books: Finding a Social Circle

By Stephanie VanderVelden

Going away to college is anxiety ridden for a plethora of reasons. Being away from home, living in a new place, with new responsibilities, stacks of books, midterms, finals, the list goes on. But for many new students, loneliness is an issue. The task of finding a new group of friends is daunting. Resources on campus provide excellent opportunities for meeting people. Here are some ideas:

Take Advantage of Student Clubs

Student organizations and clubs are in abundance at most colleges and universities. Clubs are created by, made for, and run by students. Clubs cover a wide spectrum, so whatever interests you, is probably available. Whether it be politics, community service, movies, food, or sports, chances are there are other students passionate about the same things. Check out your college’s website for registered student organizations to find an interesting club. Or, if you don’t find what you’re looking for, you can start your own!

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Don’t Getting Rusty Over Winter Break

Many college students look forward to winter break. It marks the end of a semester, the half-way point for the school year and most importantly, you get to spend time with family. Most students get to enjoy an entire month or more of time off from school with no worries of homework or class lectures.

After a few months of intense study and test taking, it can be easy to lose some of what you learned when faced with time off. If you’re looking toward graduating from college, it will be important to retain something from each class and keep yourself from getting rusty over longer breaks. Summer learning loss doesn’t just affect younger students. College students can experience a loss of learning over time as well. Below are some great ways to keep your mind fresh over the holiday break. This doesn’t mean you have to spend the break writing term papers, but you will find it easier to transition back into the college routine once the break is over.

Read the rest of this entry » Allows Students to Access Files from Anywhere

For me, one of the most stressful parts of working in a group is making sure everyone has their materials with them when you meet up. Sure, Suzy was in charge of bringing the graphs and Phil was in charge of bringing the research questions, but Suzy forgot her computer and Phil lost his flash drive. Boo Suzy and Phil! You both failed…unless you have saved your files to is a program that allows users to access their documents from any computer in the world. was founded in 2005 and has allowed more than three million users access to share their content with others since then. allows people to form groups, and then group members can view and edit the documents in the shared files, hold discussions about the documents, and send messages between themselves. Users can also use other social media sites, like Facebook and Picnik, to share their documents. Read the rest of this entry »

Staying Sane as You Study for Final Exams

Don’t you just love final exams? No? Okay, so maybe the only good thing about finals is that a break from college is coming very soon. But there are a few things you can do while studying for finals to make the process less painful.

First, schedule in some good study breaks. No, don’t procrastinate, as this will just make you more stressed out. However, if you try to study for three days straight, you’re not going to digest the information effectively—plus you’re going to become one very unpleasant person. Try to schedule in at least ten minutes of break for every hour your study, even if you’re crunched for time. Trust me. You’ll be happier and will retain more info.College Finals

Second, plan your days carefully with good time management. You only have a limited amount of time to study for multiple exams, so carefully create a schedule that allows you to get as much done as possible. Sit down and map out what you’re doing when in hour-long chunks. You may have to prioritize, as there probably isn’t as much time as you need to study masterfully for every subject.

Next, try to maintain some fairly healthy habits while you study. No, this isn’t the time to go on a diet or health kick, but if you put just a little effort into taking care of yourself, you’ll feel much better and may do better on the exams. One good thing to do is to fuel yourself with lots of healthy snacks. Protein is your best bet because it provides a consistent flow of energy, so snack on some nuts, cheese, and protein bars. Limit your intake of sugar, carbs, and (yes) caffeine, because these will all give you quick energy, but will be followed by a big crash. In addition, try to get a little exercise. No, don’t spend hours in the gym—that’s procrastination and you know it. However, a quick walk, swim, bike ride, or run on the treadmill will clear your mind.

And try to get some sleep! Skipping a few chapters of material in order to get some sleep may just be worth more points on an exam, as you need to be alert to do well.

In addition, don’t waste your time with study groups—unless you know your study group is dependable and won’t be counting on you to do all the work. A good study group might help a little, but a bad one is a waste of time you really don’t have right now.

Finally, try to keep things in perspective. Yes, you need to take exams seriously—but not so seriously that you’re causing yourself serious anxiety issues. If you don’t do as well as you like, chances are the consequences really won’t be that bad. Do the best you can, since that’s all you can do.

Good luck, students!


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