Time to Put Your Phone Away

Time to Put Your Phone Away

Posted by: on November 5, 2015   |Comment (1)|Study Skills

Hello! My name is Shane Quinn. I am a Grad Student from Waterford, Ireland. I am currently studying in order to attain my masters in counseling here at Providence College. I was part of the PC class of 2015, studying psychology as an undergraduate. I am a GA in the Office of Academic Services, providing academic support to students. I am starting my 5th year competing for our famous track team and will be competing in the 2016 indoor & outdoor track seasons. I enjoy soccer, TV and movies. Most of all, I enjoy just lounging around watching all three, regaining my strength before having to go run around in circles! Check in with me at PC Smartypants for tips to academic success.


Year after year, we see the dependence on our phones grow. With so much accessibility at the palm of your hand, it’s very easy to get distracted by the various apps, games, social media accounts and new updates associated with iPhones and Androids.

Having recently given a talk on Time Management Strategies, I have found there are couple of new ways that you can tackle this persisting distraction:

  • QualityTime: This app is available for Android phones. It works in the background of your phone and tracks how many times the screen is unlocked, as well as which apps are used the most. It also tracks how much time is spent individually on apps. The app allows users to set how much time spent on certain apps per day is too much, allowing notifications of too much time spent on the app to appear. You can also choose the “Take a Break” option, where the app will lock the screen and prevent you from using the phone until a set amount of time has passed. Of course, the phone can still be used incase of emergencies. This app is completely free to use also! It looks like an iOS version of the app will eventually be available, but for now, it’s an Android App.
  • Moment: This app is available on iOS and tracks how many minutes you spend on your phone each day, as well as how many times you unlock it. The app is meant to give the user an idea as to how much time he/she is wasting on social media. The downside to this app is that it is $4.99, so it’s up to you to see how much you value your time!
  • Checky: This app simply counts how many times a day you unlock your phone. This could be very useful, as many of us end up unlocking our phones, only to do nothing at all on it!


GUEST BLOGGER: SHANE QUINN, ’15 Hello! My name is Shane Quinn. I am a Grad Student from Waterford, Ireland. I... MORE

The War Against All Nighters

Posted by: on October 19, 2015   |Comments (0)|Study Skills

With mid-terms underway, so does the endless boasting about all nighters. spongebobIt has become part of college culture to brag about the lack of sleep one received while cramming for an exam.  All-nighters are so ingrained in our society, that it has almost become a right of passage.  I’m here to tell you this insanity must stop!

All nighters do terrible things to your body.  All nighters increase your stress level and affect your ability to multi-task. Sleep deprivation makes you increasingly irrational (cranky and moody) and scientists from Stanford and the University of Wisconsin noticed that after one night of little to no sleep, a person’s body mass index increases.  Yes, all-nighters makes you hungry and gain weight. Still think they are so cool?


Well, the main reason against all-nighters is, wait for it, they do not work.  You pull an all-nighters to study or write a paper, but the lack of sleep impairs attention and working memory – two things you need to perform well.  So, you waited to the last minute to study for that Finance test – what should you do?  First, come by OAS so we can discuss some wonderful time management strategies. 🙂  Next, break down the material into 2 blocks of time – one to study as much as you can (at night), then sleep for 6 hours, and then study the other half of the material (waking up early).  The actual time dedicated to studying may be less than the anticipated all nighter, but the quality of studying and retention of material is higher.

If you prefer this information broken down into witty cultural references and gifs, check out Buzzfeed and The 10 Horrible Things Pulling An All-Nighter Does to Your Body.  Or HerCampus, USA Today, Teen VOGUE, or The Atlantic.

Or listen to Bethany and just go to sleep!

With mid-terms underway, so does the endless boasting about all nighters. It has become part of college culture to brag... MORE

Don’t Read Over Your Notes

Posted by: on April 30, 2015   |Comment (1)|Study Skills

As we enter the final week of the semester, students often discuss how the are preparing for their finals.  I have many discussions with students regarding how they plan on studying for their exams.  Below is a reenactment of some of the conversations (with my secret inner reactions) that I’ve had over the past week.

Me: So, you have your DWC final next week – how do you plan on studying?
Student:  Oh, I’m going to review and re-read my notes.

(and on the inside I’m like)


Me: OK – Any plans on making a study guide with friends?
Student:  No – I have really great notes so I will read them over.

(and on the inside I cry a little)


Me:  What about studying with friends?  Going over the material as a group and discussing possible questions?
Student: Eh, no.  I like to study alone.

(now I begin to wonder if I’m bad at my job – have I taught these students nothing?)


Me:  OK, well in addition to reading over you notes, have you thought about making flash cards?
Student:  Oh no, I don’t like flash cards.

 (OK, I give up)

Obviously, this is an exaggerated version of conversations but I wanted to point out something – reading over your notes is not enough preparation for an exam.  When preparing for an exam, you need to have some method to ‘check-in’ to ensure you are adequately retaining the information.  Creating study guides, using flash cards, or studying with friends are some ways to see if you are remembering the information and making connections.  Find a method that works for you but remember – reading over your notes is not enough!

As we enter the final week of the semester, students often discuss how the are preparing for their finals.  I... MORE

The One-Coin Loophole

Posted by: on March 10, 2015   |Comments (0)|Study Skills

Lately, I’ve been listening to podcasts on my commute as a way to pass the time.  It all started when I fell down the rabbit hole known as Serial  (I do think Adnan had something to do with the murder) and I’ve been hooked ever since.  The most recent podcast that has intrigued me is Happier with Gretchen Rubin.  It offers various tips and insight regarding things we can do to make our lives happier/easier/more productive.  One discussion covered loopholes and I instantly thought about how this habit relates to college students.

According to Rubin, understanding loopholes is important “because when we try to form and keep habits, we often search for loopholes”.  The One-Coin Loophole is based in the “argument of the growing heap” from Praise of Folly by Desiderius Erasmus.  The argument is:

“If ten coins are not enough to make a man rich, what if you add one coin? What if you add another? Finally, you will have to say that no one can be rich unless one coin can make him so.”

While at first glimpse, you may wonder what this has to do with being a college student.  But look closer.  How many times have you thought the following:

-What difference will it make if I start my paper now?
-I’m going to skip class today – it’s only one time.
-Why should I do my math homework now, when I have all weekend?
-I can have pizza tonight; I’ve been good all week.
-It’s only one beer. (Author’s note:  You must be 21 to think this.)

The act of working on homework daily or skipping one class may not be a huge deal.  Those are single acts.  But a single act done repeatedly becomes a habit.  The habit of working on homework daily will have a lasting impact on your success as a student.  Skipping a class (or two or five) while also have an impact on your ability to succeed in your class.

What gold coins (acts) are becoming your heaping pile (habits)?


Lately, I’ve been listening to podcasts on my commute as a way to pass the time.  It all started when I... MORE

Spring Semester – Now What?

Posted by: on February 3, 2015   |Comments (0)|Study Skills

Hello Friartown! My name is Christina Perri, and I am a junior from Long Island, New York. I am a biology and psychology double major with a minor in neuroscience, and a member of the Liberal Arts Honors Program. I work in the OAS Tutoring Center primarily as a CIV tutor, and I dabble in other subjects as needed. When I’m not in class, lab, or OAS, I can be found singing with Schola Cantorum, playing the flute with Symphonic Winds, arguing with the Debate Society or writing articles for the psychology newsletter, Analyze This. Check in with me at PC Smartypants for tips and tricks for college success!

I’d like to offer a huge “Congratulations!” to all the first years. Way to go—you survived your first semester of college! You survived your first semester of DWC! You came, saw, and conquered, and now you’re ready for another semester at PC.

Now what?

The jump from fall semester to spring semester can be especially rough for first years. Many of you have transitioned from taking four classes to taking five. While it may not seem like a huge difference, the extra three hours of class and consequent extra six hours of homework (as per Undergraduate Catalog recommendations) quickly eat into the free time you enjoyed last semester—or worse, the time you used doing homework for those other four classes. Many of you may also have transitioned out of introductory classes into higher level work. It can very easy to coast by in some first semester classes if you have a background in AP classes—the material is a review, so the homework moves faster and there is less investment in studying before exams. But when you are suddenly confronted with new material in a college setting, it can be overwhelming.

This is the point in your life where, if it hasn’t already, time management becomes really important. With more of your time beholden to a schedule and more things you need to do in your unscheduled time, it becomes harder to send your homework into the impenetrable ether of “later.” I don’t mean to say you need to have every second of every day accounted for, but for those of you who are not accustomed to planning ahead, there’s no time like the present to start. Get a calendar. Get a planner. Write a To-Do list. Having even a general sense of what you need to have accomplished and when puts you in a better position to tackle the extra work—or the new work—you have taken on.

Finally, include something “for you” every day. I know that I’m tempted to stay locked in my apartment all day if I have a lot of work to do, but it’s just as important to have some fun too. Balance is key—use this spring to figure out what balance works for you.

GUEST BLOGGER: CHRISTINA PERRI Hello Friartown! My name is Christina Perri, and I am a junior from Long Island, New... MORE