Spring Semester – Now What?

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

How to Make Your Final Exams Legendary!

Posted by: on December 1, 2014   |Comments (0)|Study Skills

My name is Mark Correia and I am a graduate student working on completing my MBA. I am also the Graduate Assistant of Academic Skills/Programs, in which I work directly with students to improve their study skills, create and present various academic workshops, and help lead our Protégé Mentoring Program. I completed my undergraduate degree at PC where I received a B.S. in Accountancy. I love hanging out with friends, I am a huge Game of Thrones and Walking Dead fan, and I love to try new restaurants and foods! I will be working for EY, one of the big 4 public accounting firms, come next summer/fall. I plan on traveling during my last summer off; maybe backpacking in Europe for a few weeks? I am holding on to my last year of college and praying that is goes buy super slow because folks, the real life sucks! Take advantage of your time at PC because this is the best place in the world! You will be surprised by how quickly your senior year goes by!


The Office of Academic Services is excited to be offering our Finals Tips Workshop, this coming Tuesday, December 2nd, in the Unity Center! This is going to be an interactive workshop highlighting the tips and tricks to relieve stress and do well on those finals. This workshop will be enriching for brand new freshmen who have yet to take a college level final, and will also be beneficial for upperclassmen who want to improve their habits! I encourage everyone to come learn a few new strategies. In preparing for this workshop, I’ve come across a few tips that I thought were too good to pass on!

Start Planning Now! It is never too late to start looking ahead. Take out your planner and syllabi and check to see that your finals are recorded at the proper dates and times. Then, figure out the number of assignments you have remaining in each class. Remember, you will have to start studying for finals before finals week. You want to make sure that your studying time is not being cut out because of last minute semester assignments you forgot about.

Chew Gum and Study! You would be surprised to know that memory retention and taste go hand in hand. When studying for finals, try chewing gum or sucking on a hard piece of candy. When taking your final, chew on the same flavor of gum or suck on the same candy. You may have an easier time recalling facts and other bits of knowledge that you ordinarily would have to memorize.

Give Yourself Breaks! You cannot fully expect to get four full hours of studying in even if you blocked that time off. There is no way a person can fully concentrate and focus for four full hours. The general rule is, for every 60-90 minute study session, take a 20-30 minute break. This break will allow your brain to rest and pick up where it left off 20 minutes ago. This is a great time for a quick snooze, or a quick episode on Netflix!

Finally, DON’T STRESS! The worst thing you can do is stress out. Stress is contagious and it will not only affect you, but the others around you. On the flip side, don’t let someone else’s stress impact you or your studying. Think positively because you have been working so hard. Imagine taking the final and doing extremely well! Use affirmation to encourage yourself, because doing so will help!

I hope these tips helped, and if you really enjoyed them, come to our workshop! I wish the best of luck to everyone on their finals. You will do great!

Prep for Finals FA14

GUEST BLOGGER:  MARK CORREIA, ’14 My name is Mark Correia and I am a graduate student working on completing my... MORE

Three Things You Should Do on the First Day of Classes

Posted by: on September 2, 2014   |Comments (0)|Study Skills

By Meghan Murray, Assistant Director for Academic Skills/Programming

The first day of class is an exciting time in Friartown.  To ensure you get the most of out this fall semester, be sure to do these three things.  

1. Look Up From Your Phone

No seriously, look up from your phone.  When walking across campus to class, be sure to pay attention where you are walking.  In addition to making sure you don’t trip or walk into a sprinkler (yes, I saw this happen today), you also get the chance to see some friends or new people.  For upperclassmen, you haven’t seen each other for a few month so take the walk to class as a time to reconnect and say hi.  Don’t be too busy checking out pictures on Instagram to check out the new updates to our beautiful campus!
2. Look at your Syllabi

Take the time to review each of your syllabi.  Be sure to check how your final grade is broken down – if class participation is 20% of your final grade, it is good to know that at the start of the semester.  Become familiar with each of your classes and what your professors expect from you.

keep-calm-and-read-the-syllabus 3. Update your Planner

During this first week, update your planner with major deadlines (test, projects, and research papers) from all your courses.  By putting all this information in one place, you can see if you have two mid-terms on the same day or a busy week with a group presentation and 2 quizzes.  By being more aware of these busy times (because it happens to everyone), the better you can plan ahead and stress less. If you want more tips for using your time wisely in college, be sure to check out our videos.

By Meghan Murray, Assistant Director for Academic Skills/Programming The first day of class is an exciting time in Friartown.  To... MORE