The Frightening Reality of Academic Probation

14 Jan

If you’re anything like what I used to be, Academic probation became a frightening reality sometime during Sophomore year, you realized it took little to pass your classes, and when you started a part-time/full-time job outside of school, you started on the bare minimum. When you got home, you were too tired, to even focus long enough to make more than 6 flashcards for your foreign language class, let alone study or write an essay for your super-difficult humanities class that you signed up for on a whim.

If you’re anything like I was, you started working around 50 hours a week suddenly at your job, and had signed up for 18+ credit hours… and realized after the last drop date how screwed you were.

So you had to make a few sacrifices so you could pass some classes. Maybe you sacrificed your math class in favor for your foreign language class, or your bio class in favor of your English class… you stopped going, knowing that if you tried to pass them all, you’d end up failing them all, considering how hard you were working on things.

Maybe you had that existential crisis in the middle of the semester that made you feel like there was no point in going to college because you don’t know what your purpose (if such a thing exists) in life is, and college doesn’t seem to be helping you narrow it down.

If you had your first existential crisis this semester, this is probably how it made you feel.

If you had your first existential crisis this semester, this is probably how it made you feel.

Also, your buddy whose been working all the time you’ve been in college was just made manager and they’re making $15/hr already, and that’s how much your starting wage will be if you successfully finish your degree in the 1-3 years you have left and you’re wondering if it’s worth it.

The euphoria of learning new concepts that stretch your thinking, and makes it seem as if the whole world is suddenly open and explained and makes sense is gone, and you were left with the cold rush of assignments going past their due dates.

So the next semester you wound up on Academic Probation because your GPA dropped below a 2.0, and was told that your financial aid was to be cut, if you could not up your cumulative GPA to a certain point within a semester.

So now you’re stressed and you have to talk to an academic advisor, to get the hold on your registration cleared.

You’re not looking forward to next semester, and consider just taking one off to clear your head.

This is a bad idea.


This sort of attitude will be the death of your academic life.

You’ve been psyching yourself out over the reality check that’s just been handed to you.

Instead of using that, to stress yourself out, you need to make that terror work for you.

Here’s how:

You remember last semester how many times you chose to take a nap instead of working on your math homework? You can rest when your homework is done. You can look over it, when you wake up.

You remember when you went to work for 6-10 glorious stress-free, unthinking hours in the middle of your studying for finals, even though you desperately needed the time for homework and studying? Not going to do that anymore, you can get a loan if necessary for school. But first talk to your boss about cutting down your hours. Most likely your boss will be glad of you asking to cut your hours, because they were going to cut them anyways now that the holiday rush is gone, and now you actually get a choice when you’re not going to work.

You remember all of those looming due dates that were just making you stress out more, while you were behind last semester? Well guess what? This semester due to your dedication to eventually graduating and not becoming a college drop-out, you’re not going to get behind in those first easy weeks back to school. You’re going to do all of the assignments possible, and maybe start on the bigger projects/essays in those easy weeks. You’re going to get those daily math problem sets done, within a day of them being assigned, not a day within them being due.

Take it from someone who knows, failure is not an option.

Even though last semester you believe you hit your limit, it’s a good thing. Now you know exactly how much you can take, while you’re procrastinating, this semester with that limit in mind, and probably an easier courseload and repeat courses, you’re going to try a semester without procrastinating. We’ll learn your true limit, and I guarantee after that monster semester, this one is going to feel like cake.

I’m not asking you to deny your spontaneous, free-spirit nature, rather I want to teach you guys how to utilize it.

The next post is going to give you step-by-step instructions on how to do just that.


Back to school,…

30 Aug

Back to school, again! Finally. Spent the summer pulling 50 hour week shifts at a Department Store, in stock, so it was a pretty tough job.

Like many college students I’m working while putting myself through school. It’s hard, tiring and with my work schedule it’s hard to get any of my homework done the night before class. Since it’s only the second week, I’ve had a hard go of it. I work from 4am-10:30am, get to my Math class by 11am, and have an new assignment due 4/4 days a week. I stay at school until 7:50pm, for my language class.

I’m going to tell you all my secret, what I do is get a course schedule (either from the teacher or directly copy it from the syllabus), and I plan out my weeks. I list the 15-17 weeks for that semester, and under class headings, I put a  and then put areas to fill in the homework assignments all with the days they’re do.

So it looks like this.

September 3rd-7th     Engl 2010                                               BIOL 1010     ITL 3420

                                1. Read text 24-38 (3)                             1.                 1.

                                2. Write Comparison Paper (6)                2.                  2.

                                3.                                                         3.                  3.

                                4.                                                         4.                  4.

                                5.                                                         5.                  5.

(Only it’s in Open Office, so it looks a lot nicer. I leave some purposely blank, so while I’m in class, if something new springs up that wasn’t in the syllabus (like random assignments, readings and extra credit assignments) I’m able to use the same paper. (Of course I keep a file of it on my computer too.)

So at a glance I can see how much homework I must get done this week, and for those days when a class is cancelled, and I’m hanging out in the library, so I can see what’s due the next week, so I can get a head in my classes. Or so I know exactly what I might be hurting if I procrastinate.

College may be considered hard, and working may be considered hard, but if you utilize the time that you have between your classes properly, you won’t have much, if any homwork left to do come the weekend. Then, you can either relax, or hang out with your friends.

Just remember to get enough sleep!

-Real College Girl

Biker Envy

27 Mar

An annual ritual that I’ve had since the first time I rode on a motorcycle (at 12 years old, about 8 years ago) is “Biker Envy.” I plan on getting a bike. I’ve had dreams about my own bike. All of my dreams of adulthood since I was 12 have involved motocycles. I find myself checking out motorcycles the moment that it warms up to 65 farenheit in Utah, because that is when all the bikers start riding after a dry spell through winter.

This bike (although it's a bmw which isn't that good) it is a nice looking bike and appears that it would handle well, plus it's survived this long...

This year, I got it bad.

Mostly because I’ve had my eye on a bike on ksl for 1 year, and it was sold last week. Mostly because that is going to be my first major purchase as soon as I can get a job, which will be this summer. But mostly because I’ve turned 20, and by now I thought I would have been riding a bike for 3 years. Plus it looks like I’m not going to be able to save up enough money to buy my bike until after the summer, which will give me a month tops to safely ride it before next summer. Which really hurts. It means that I won’t be an actual experienced rider until I’m 21, even if I do ride nonstop during that month.

Plus my Dad’s motorcycle (1978 Yamaha Verago 750) has a broken starter which means that I can’t even ride on the back until it gets fixed (which might take forever because my dad’s not even looking interesting in fixing it) and because all of my motorcycle riding friends have moved out-of-state.

I have Biker Envy so bad that when my friends notice a really hot guy on a motorcycle, and they think I saw him because my head was following his bike, I can’t even remember the gender of the rider. Because I’m busy checking out their ride. I also wave at every single rider, because deep down I know we’re cut from the same cloth.

I’ll admit I’ve been flirting with riders, too. It’s just a fact that bikers are hotter, though not so much if they have a bullet bike. Bullet Bike riders seem to not get the point of a bike, plus all of that plastic covers up what could be a powerful bike.

Whenever I walk past the motorcycle parking at my college to the bus stop and I see a younger rider strapping on their helmet, I’m always tempted to ask, “Can you just take me on a ride around the block?” Because I want a ride so bad.

I’ll admit it, I’m addicted to motorcycles and I have a huge case of Biker Envy, this year.

Procrastination Ponderings.

19 Apr

Sorry, it’s been so long since my last post.

(Don’t ya just love the alliteration of the title?)

As you can imagine, things got really busy.

That’s one that’s unique about school, no matter what, come the end of the semester… someone’s stressing out hardcore and everyone’s rushing to get things done.

The end of the semester is also a terrible time to procrastinate. I’ll admit, I’m a born procrastinator, through and through, my parents procrastinated, my grandparents did it and I’d be willing to bet that even my great grandparents (with the exception of one special man who rode his bike to work until he was 91, somehow that doesn’t fit the image I have of him.). So of course, I’m pro at procrastinating, not so much at getting things done. though.

I procrastinate so often, that I rarely recognize that I’m doing it, it’s just like falling asleep in class, you don’t mean to do it, but it really makes you feel better for a bit.

Procrastination is cheap relief. Saying, “You know what? Screw the fact that I’ve got 10 papers to finish by end of the week. I’m going to watch Moulin Rouge for the 32nd time.” (Moulin Rouge is coincidentally one of my favorite movies, that says a lot considering that the only way that I procrastinate is through movies and T.V., so I have a lot of shows and movies that I stay busy with. ) It destresses the individual (if you’re as good at it as I am, and can completely ignore the time-sensitive things) until it comes time that whatever the individual is procrastinating comes due.

So yeah, I’m probably a little less stressed than most kids at my school (since we’re literally a week away from finals week), with the exception of the go-getters. However, the thing about procrastination is, it’s really just piling up a whole bunch of important, necessary and time-sensitive things into a wagon, that’s just barely off the edge of a cliff, and soon enough it will all come tumbling down at once.

So today, I’m thinking that College, especially come finals week and the end of the semester, is really just an excerise to try and stop kids from procrastinating. It’s seeming less and less about challenging your mind, your opinions and your version about reality and more about, “Did you do that assignmenet?”.

Just like in High School… I suppose it makes sense that this pattern would continue considering that there’s still a valedictorian and you can recieve money for having good grades. (BTW: President’s list and Dean’s list… so not a myth).  I’ll admit that I thought that college would be more challenging mentally and intellectually. But I find it’s more about who can take the hit, who can get the grades and all that.

I know that I’ll probably continue (procrastinating), even when it’s done, being in my nature and liking myself enough to not really feel a need to change anything…

So yeah, I’m probably a procrastinator for life. Which leads to some stressful late nights. But on brightside, I learn to get things done quickly (once I start them), do them well (without this skill I would still fail with staying until 3 am) and how to buy myself more time (with teachers and not seem like a slacker).

We’ll see if I can outrun the wagon, that surely is piled too high already, and ready to come flying off the cliff, heading directly for me.

Good luck with beating Procrastination, Fellas.

-Real College Girl.

Yep, it’s Valentine’s Day and I’ll be confessing my love of college.

14 Feb

There are some things about College that can make it frustrating, tiring, and well worth your time.

I’ve been going to school for a couple weeks now. I also carpool with my friend, and she works out for 2 hours after we get out of class. Which generally means I get to show my appreciation for our school including a free computer lab in the libary. (and the vending machine that charges you $1.50, no matter what drink you choose.)

A Couple great things about school is that all of the teachers are picked by hand by the dean… so they all generally think the same thigns about many things. (Of course that really only matters if you go to a school where you’re likely to get a long with all of them). Because of this, there is no weird transition phase from class to class… you either enjoy it, or you don’t.

Everything you learn in school tends to tie in together in some way, other disciplines have different theories that basically mean the same thing…. and when you apply all of them, you have some pretty serious theory power. Like for example, in my humanities class this morning we were talking about war and things that I learned in (technically A.P. English) English 1010, and in history class, MLK Jr and  Thoreau and all that.

In Education we were talking about the start of education in the U.S., even going into the colonial period… which is what we just finished up in American Civ.

In Anthropology we were talking about how American standard language tends to favor male words opposed to female words and how that affects the views of women in american culture.

In Communication, we switched and talked about how the only way of fixing one person in a family whose having issues is by looking at the problem as a whole. Talking about the way that enculturation in Anthro can lead to biases and specific gender roles, made it so I was able to get some better insight into an example of a dysfunctional family and their communication with each other.

It’s strange… So far every class I’ve had in college have had some sort of weird hook up together. While this makes it easy to remember generally what’s going on in every class… it makes it hard to remember what qualitative means in the communication definition versus the anthropology definition. Or symbols…. or whatever other words link up. Makes tests pretty hard.

I love all of my professors… I get along with them very well, and generally we have very enjoyable discussions on things. They remember strange details about my conversations with them and can pull out random information about me at any moment.

I love that I can walk into the student center and expect something to be going on that will give me free food. I love that there’s so many options at school and that they tell students to make up clubs that they want that the school doesn’t have (they also back said clubs financially). I love the almost free-vending machine in the library. I love that I can print without worry in the library, that I can borrow books I need for classes, that I have friends that work in the school and at any time I can go over and talk to them and they don’t get in trouble. I love that all of the students in my classes actually care and add to the discussions. I love that a teacher will tell us to go home because they’re not in the capacity to actually teach.


College Writing Contest

9 Feb

So far, I have entered one contest at school… a writing manifesto contest on the topic, “Why write?”. Grand Prize is tuition paid-for next semester. (I’m most definitely interested).

As in my usual procrastinatistic (yes I did make that word up) nature, I started my entry the night before when I couldn’t sleep. Then decided that I needed to go to bed whether I could or couldn’t. Settling on doing it in the morning.

I copied my entry onto my flash drive so if need be, I could do it in the school library.  When my 2nd class was canceled I decided to work on the contest in the library. Unfortunately when I saw my two friends in the computer lab, productivity didn’t happen. Instead I helped my friend find art reference for their drawing class.

I knew I got out of class at 12:00pm and could be home by 12:30pm… so I didn’t worry.  I could have 2 1/2 hours to finish before it was due by 3:00pm, plenty of time.

My ride decided that she was going to work out after class… I worried.

I went to the library to try and tap out some work… but instead I ended up spiffing up this blog… then facebook and others.  Though if I do say myself, it looks a lot nicer now.

I started to worry about how long it was going to take to work out by 1:50pm. Luckily, my ride came out, done with the gym by 1:55pm.

Finally! I had waited 2 hours and had 1/2 hour to spare! No worries.

I’m getting up to leave, when one of our carpool buddies is like”Wait! I just logged in, let me just check my facebook!” So I stood… thinking it would only be a quick, let’s check my messages etc.

My spot was stolen and we didn’t leave until 3pm. So I stood there waiting for an hour.

Vainly hating every person who rides with me.

When really it was my fault for putting off the contest so hardcore.

Ended up making my ride give an old middle school friend a ride home, on the way home it rained.

Stupidly, when I got home I rushed to my laptop to tap out my entry to the contest… which turned out to be mostly editing and adding a sentence or two.

Submitted it by 3:20pm and hoped that they received it and counted it.

They did.

The downside, the next day my entry was posted on the net, and was terrible. Even worse, I hadn’t thought about all of the college’s english majors and serious writer’s editing. You can tell I’m an-almost-fresh-out-of-high-school-college student who procrastinated. With my sad, pathetic, 80 word entry.

I haven’t a shot. And they published it with my real name on it.

I’ve now learned, it’s not worth turning something in last minute if you didn’t do it well.

Onto the next writing contest!


-♥Real College Girl

Being Three Weeks into my College Career… I’ll impart my wisdom.

7 Feb

1. Apply for Financial Aid in January during your Senior year.

2. Really, go do it… right now.

3. Go to College. Even if you’ll be in debt. I could have been going a full semester sooner if I had ignored my financial inadequacies.

4. No one pays for college. Apply for all the scholarships you might qualify for. If you go to a poor high school… they got programs to get poor people scholarships.

5. Community Colleges are harder than Universities. They’re cheaper and you learn more, but you also do more.

6. The vending machine in the library, has one energy drink slot that is a dollar cheaper than the rest. (Same price as if you bought it at the grocery store) press all buttons before purchasing.

7. Buy your books after you go to all your classes so you can be sure you get the right ones.

8. Don’t put off buying books. Go on KSL or Craigslist or Amazon… or even rent your textbooks online. Anyone who pays $200 dollars or more for only 6 classes of books, is a sucker. So don’t even think about the Used textbooks in the College bookstore. Campus-specific editions don’t matter.

9. When you find out you can check out ALL of your required books for 4 hours at the library… go buy or rent them anyways.

10. If you ignore the above… the library closes early on Fridays… which concidentally is the day when you need to do all your reading for tests or research.

11. Everything will always be due Friday at Midnight. (Web enhanced means they can make homework due on a day without class… even if you haven’t gone for a week).

12. After the first day… stalk all ‘web-enhanced’ or online classes for assignments… check every section.

13. There’s a lot of ways to get out of your tuition if you keep up on Campus News… keep your ears open.

14.  Check your School Email tons. Print out all your teachers Syllabuses, Assignment Due Dates Sheets and keep them with you.

15. Going to school early in the morning means not having to compete for parking spots and professors haven’t gotten angry before class. Plus you can have the rest of the day for the homework you will procrastinate. Or for friends. Or for your job.

16. Don’t procrastinate on projects that seem small but for some reason your professor gave you 3 weeks to complete them. They gave you all of that time for a reason.

17. All of your homework will come in major swells, most everything will be due on your birthday.

18. If you do the reading for a class… you won’t talk about it… miss it once and your in-class assignment will be based on the reading and due at the end of your 30 minutes left after the lecture class.

19. Don’t depend on friends to give you a ride to school.

20. Arrive early, sit near the front, and answer questions… being the professor’s favorite is not a bad thing.

21. Look up all of your professors on before signing up for their class.

22. Have back-up classes that will still fulfill your Gen Ed requirements….Chances are that class that you really want to take is not going to be at the right time or full.

23. Register for classes the hour that the option is available. Go to Orientation BEFORE you try to sign up for classes. They will show you how and you won’t have to wait a semester because they have no classes yet.

24. When signing up for classes… keep track of how far apart times are, buildings, and how long.

25. Think about when you get hungry during the day… having a fourth class with no break in between… guarentees hunger during your last class.

26. Your professors will cancel class without notice. You’ll come to an empty classroom often… use the free time wisely.

27. Use all of the resources that your classes give you.

28. There are nice bathrooms around campus… everyday look for a different one… You’ll find some that only have 1 or 2 people who come in to use it, for 3 hours.

29. Suddenly the campus isn’t as busy as it was the 2 weeks after the semester started.

30. People are serious with their studies in college. The professors won’t tell you shut up, it’ll be the students.

31. You’re going to see older and younger people in your classes.. some upwards of 60, some under 17. You still have plenty in common to be buddies. Trust me.

32. All the people who go to college are either married, going steady, or too socially awkward to get a date. Many will want flings. You probably won’t find a relationship within the first 3 weeks.

33. Emailing projects back and forth is not good for group projects… someone’s going to end up doing all of the project for the group.

34. In college, you will have a major assignment every week in at least one of your classes, most likely three of them.

35. In college GPA is even more important… if you can get on the dean’s or presidents list every semester you can make $1,000 or more. Not a joke. (Minium GPA 3.7) but you graduate with honors and sometimes gives speeches at commencement.

36. Try to be a civically engaged scholar… If you can do 100+ hours of community service a semester, You can recieve up to 1,600 dollars from Ameri-Corps. Plus when you transfer or look for a job… it proves you’re awesome

37. Every class (most notably service-learning classes) will want to you do some project outside of class that requires time and you won’t be able to fake it. (My pre-teacher education class require 15 hours of teaching (this is the introduction class to teaching)). My Anthro class requires 5 hours of observing a culture in the first month, paper and logging journal requ

38. Your teachers in different fields will be talking about the same subjects, using the same terms… but they won’t mean the same things.

39. You will be judged on your major. You will be judged by not having one. You won’t be judged on clothes, pj bottoms, or other things.

40. Use all of your resources. The school gym (which is free), the computer labs, the financial aid office, Campus Involvement places, the free lectures, the random parties in the student center that involve once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, the free shows at the theater. The games (which involve scholarship drawings), the clubs, the writing center, the free tutors, the employment center. The library, etc.