Thursday 10/19/17: Reflection

Happy Thursday, friends!

It’s currently 10:45am. I have 15 minutes to kill before my first class of the day starts. I went to my LS 15 TA office hours earlier– she held them at the Café Med, located in the David Geffen School of Medicine. Saw lots of cute guys in white coats walking around… potential boyfriend material? I think yes! Lol, just joking with y’all. But it wouldn’t be a bad idea to start spending some more time studying there…

Today was an all-black feels kinda day, so I’m wearing my velvet black boot-leg pants; fuzzy black cardigan from– dare I say it– Justice!; and a black fedora to cover my untamable hair. Going makeup free today, as my skin needs to breathe. It’s a sunny day, so I must pay for my choice of outfit…

Class ends at 12:15pm, and Bruin Toastmasters holds their weekly Thursday meetings from 12pm-1pm. I’m debating whether it’s worth attending– I really want to hone my public speaking skills, but the time conflict, coupled with the long walking distance to the meeting HQ, is a deterrent to my motivation. Perhaps I can practice my speaking in other ways! Grab every opportunity I can to get up in front of people and say a few words. You know, I dream of giving a TED talk one day. I have a feeling it’ll happen, once I become confident enough to speak in front of hundreds of people. I’ve danced and competed in front of hundreds– what’s giving a little talk in comparison?

Class is about to start. Hopefully I don’t fall asleep again. We have three more lectures until the midterm, so I gotta perk up and focus. Thankfully, I got 8.5 hours of sleep last night, so I’m feeling refreshed.


10:58pm

Hi friends. I just got back home from an evening dance practice at Westmor Dance Studio, over in Koreatown (about a 20 minute drive from UCLA). Midterm grades for my statistics class are up– I got a 44/50, which is 88%. I’ll be honest— I was a little disappointed, as the exam seemed easy enough, and I expected to have scored at least in the low 90s. In a way, this is really really good though. I’m more motivated than ever to study harder, find out which concepts are still fuzzy for me, and reassess my study/time management skills and see how I can better the two. Let’s actually do that right now, before I begin my marathon study session.

What’s been going on the past three weeks that have made me underperform academically?

  1. Adjusting to apartment life. Not trying to make excuses for myself, but I think this is a legitimate reason why my grades have not been at the level I want them to be. With apartment life comes added responsibilities of cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, taking out the trash, etc. etc. Things I never had to worry about while living in the dorms (or under your parents’ roof, for that matter). Sometimes, I find myself procrastinating from studying by cooking. This cannot happen anymore. Last year, in the dorms, the main distraction that came with studying in my room was my bed, which continually beckoned to me as I tried to concentrate on chemistry homework. This year, my apartment kitchen is the culprit. Once I learned how to operate a stove and actually make hot food, I became very excited, and enjoyed experimenting with new recipes. Just today, I made myself some stir-fry egg noodles with olive oil, soy sauce and ground pepper. Was not half bad. But I digress. Bottom line is, I need to cut down my kitchen time, so I’ll have more time to focus on my studies. And I can’t be using cooking and cleaning as procrastination tools that keep me away from my main priority, which is academics!   
  2. Study skills. Hm.. I’ve always prided myself on my good study habits, which have heretofore worked relatively well for me. I guess one thing I could do differently is cut back on the music I play in the background while studying. Not saying that I can NEVER, EVER listen to music while doing problem sets and such… but for things that require 100% concentration, like learning a new concept or reading the textbook, I should remove the earbuds from my ears and replace them with orange foam earplugs. Here’s a study tip I must incorporate into my own learning: study something until you know it well enough to teach it to someone. If you can’t explain the concept clearly in your own words, you have more work to do.
  3. Putting too much time into studying Russian. Russian is indeed a difficult language, and I have a strong desire to master it. But I mustn’t neglect my other two subjects! Maybe that’s why I didn’t do well on my first LS 15 quiz and Psych 100A midterm. On the bright side, I got a 100% on my Russian quiz, though it was pretty easy.
  4. Sleep. Yeah, my sleep schedule has seen better days. It’s improved a lot from last year, but still needs work. How can I understand concepts when I’m dozing off in lecture or nodding in and out of consciousness during my early morning study sessions? It’s not productive. Sleep is key. I need a well-functioning brain to perform well academically, and getting enough sleep is half the battle.
  5. Of course, we all could do with less social media time. I’m gonna delete my Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat apps from my phone, at least until things slow down. Gotta focus, Belicia!

Alrighty, guys. I will start studying now. Feeling the drowsiness starting to settle in, but I gotta push through it. Maybe brew myself a batch of black tea to keep me up. Have a great night!

XOXO,

Belicia

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