Anonymous said: Do you have any specific study habits/strategies that work for you that you could share? I have terrible study habits, so I'm trying to figure out how to do it better... I recently realized that it's much more efficient use a computer rather than pen and paper to create an outline or notes when reading a textbook (for the mere mortals like myself who can't get it the first time). Stuff like that. Anything, really. Hehe, if you have any, thanks in advance!
A few tips/ideas from me — readers, feel free to reply with your own!
- For studying/working in general: Use the pomodoro technique by going for palatable bites of work rather than marathons. Use short walks, snacks, or reddit for 5-minute brain breaks and then get back to work for another ~20 minutes.
- For classes with in-class finals: Create one monster meticulous study guide based on all your class notes and readings (I like writing things out with pen on blank computer paper, with copious highlighting, but computer works too). Imagine you’re making a “cheat sheet” that you could bring with you to the test.
- For lecture classes: Don’t skip class and rely on others’ notes more than you have to. Relatedly, don’t bring your laptop to class if there’s even the slimmest chance it will distract you.
- For discussion/heavy reading classes: Rather than indiscriminately skimming the entire text, skim most of it but focus intently on a few parts that REALLY interest you. Come to class with 3-5 really intelligent, specific, text-referencing ideas to discuss, rather than a vague sparknotes-esque knowledge of the whole text. You will get all the brownie points of the people who spent 10 hours reading every line, with minimal effort!
- For super long final papers: Invest in outlining during the first half of the quarter and then set page quotas for each week after midterms end. Figure out the readings that are most necessary to your essay, and read those readings early and thoroughly (even if it’s at the expense of other class readings). Spend reading period editing/honing the crap that you wrote weeks 5-10, and voila: drama-free finals week.
- For problem set classes: GO TO OFFICE HOURS AND FIND A STUDY GROUP. If you want good grades, this is not optional, at least not in the econ department.
- Other pro-tip: picking classes is critical to your future happiness/sanity. Balance out a readings heavy class with a non-reading class. Balance out a finals heavy class with a class whose work is mostly pre-finals week. Read evaluations and find classes where you’ll be challenged but you won’t be suffering. Read syllabi before break ends, and put it all in a calendar (including the date of the final exam!) so you know how things will pan out week-to-week.
Check out this great Reddit thread for more ideas.
Happy studying, lil Maroon!
Anonymous said: What schools did you choose UChicago over?
jhu. cornell. dartmouth (and a ton of other schools)
I highly suggest visiting (any) campus if you can, like really REALLY try to visit
Anonymous said: How intense is UChicago? I know that this question is probably just so common and annoying for you, so I apologize in advance. But it just seems so cold and intense; those factors seem to be synergistic in terms of stress. Also, what other schools did you choose between.
No, it’s a totally valid question. I had the same one coming in.
I’m not going to sit here and say that uchicago is a totally manageable all the time and that your success in high school will equate success here. it’s one of the top schools in the nation and even the world, so obviously the environment is academically rigorous. I spend a lot of time studying/in the library and even more time in class.
That being said, it is definitely not the most stressful environment i’ve ever been in. people here really, for the most part, are learning for the sake of learning.
you will go out even though you have a paper due in two days you haven’t started, bake some cookies for your sick friend even though you have a midterm, and even forget to turn in an assignment on time (shocking, I know). you will be fine. the most challenging part, I think, will be adjusting to this new environment and making a new home for yourself
as for the cold, yeah it sucks.
honestly, just take the shuttles and buses everywhere and make sure to work out in ratner a few times a week to keep you active. i’m from the south and freaking hate the cold, but i’m surviving and still love being in chicago.
English, University of Chicago.
Ph.D. in Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago