Tag Archives: college freshman

The Finals Survival Guide… Again


Ladies and gentlemen, October is almost over and November is going to fly by, which means your first semester of college is almost over and it’s time to get geared up for those finals. Finals season can be a stressful time if proper preparation has not taken place. If you have kept up with your notes, homework, and study groups you should be in excellent shape. If you did not however, fear not, you can still come out on top, we just need to make some mental and study habit adjustments.

Whether you are over or under prepared there are a few basic questions you can ask yourself and your professor to prepare:

Will the final be comprehensive? Or just cover the last few chapters I worked on in class?

Do I have a study group that I can be a part of that will help me prepare or understand things I’m still unsure about in class?

Do I have my homework and previous tests that I can use along with my notes to help asses my knowledge of the material?

Should I give myself a practice test?

And lastly, has my professor dropped any hints as to what will be on the final exam?

If you ask yourself these questions and use them as a guideline to prepare, you will be ready once game time actually gets here. Below I have given you a few items that I call “The Final Exam Survival Kit” that helped me survival my finals every year so check it out, maybe something there can help you too!

“The Final Exam Survival Kit”

  • Pizza coupons and lots of crushed red peppers
  • Recorder for notes, both my own and the professors lectures
  • Clean socks and undies just in case a library all-nighter is necessary
  • Numbers and email addresses of smart people in my class for study groups
  • Number to professor on hand
  • Tissue for any tears I might need to cry for a lack of properly allocated study time
  • Pillow pet for random sleeping and power naps on the go
  • Pens, pencils, new note books just for finals notes. I found it helpful to write
  • my notes in another notebook just for finals, it allowed me to 1. keep everything I needed in one place and 2. The practice of rewriting my notes helped me to commit to memory what I needed my brain to retain.
  • Motivational music to get hyped up for finals (whhooooooo!!)

Lastly, Ask questions and get clarity on anything you are unsure about. The only stupid is question is the 1 you don’t ask. You are paying for this education; get everything out of it that you need to. Don’t ever be ashamed to say you don’t get something, ask, and practice till you’ve got it down. Not knowing benefits no one and it hurts you. So ask questions.

Good Luck! Not that you need it, because you are PREPARED!!! Yaaaaaaaaaay! 🙂

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The Freshman 15…


By now you should definitely be getting around campus pretty well and have established a bit of a routine for your day… great. But now I have a question for you, have you ever heard of the Freshman 15? Well if not, the freshman 15 is said to be the average amount of pounds a freshman gains their first year in college. And believe me, it is REAL 🙂 ha! But with adding a moment to exercise in your daily routine and being mindful of your diet, (your diet is simply the food you choose to eat. Ex: I have a healthy diet/I need to change my diet, it’s riddled with junk food) you can avoid putting on more pounds than you want to.

Most dorms have gyms but not everyone has time every day to carve out for exercise so maybe instead of taking the shuttle, you power walk to class. Do exercises in your dorm room as you read (lunges, stairs, cardio in place etc.) Or some days opt for a large salad with chicken breast for dinner instead of the fried chicken strips and cheese burgers.

I pulled out a few items from the book Freshman 101 A Roadmap and Journal to Surviving Your First Year of College to share with you all a few things to try on your road to conscious eating:

  • Mini fridge to keep fresh produce for salads, snacks, fruit etc.
  • Blender for morning smoothies if you can’t get them on campus
  • An indoor grill like George Foreman grill; easy to use even for the cooking impaired
  • A steamer for rice and veggies
  • And of course like most people a microwave

The café is great, and some colleges cafes are better than others, but it is always good to have options for yourself; Options that you create and can control. Know what you eat. And whatever you do, eat and exercises not be skinny, but to be healthy, and comfortable in your OWN SKIN! I’ll have some recipes for you all next week. Now go forth, and eat well 😉

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Off To A Great Start……How Are You Doing?


first week or so of classes... Congrats! you made it! 🙂
lets take a look at this... yes another list, of things we need to make sure are 
on our minds coming into this next month of school...

-add and drops:
 if you needed to change a course, make sure all paperwork for those changes 
have been turned in and the changes are shown on your permanent. 

-pay attention to when final withdrawal dates for a class are for 2 reasons:  1. 
to get all or most of your money back for that class and 2. to not receive a W 
(withdrawal) for the class

-take a tally, how are things going with your roommate?
if the answer is not so well, then it's time to have a small melting pot. come 
together and discuss in a non threatening  manner the miscommunications you all 
are having and come up with a plan and schedule that will suit you both based on 
your personalities and rhythm (ex: one early bird, one night owl; make sure that 
when you come home, get up, or leave you are respectful of your roommate... 
don't be loud) 

-make any new friends?
 introduce yourself to some of your dorm/floor/hall mates

-finding your rhythm, what time are your classes?
 is your current schedule working well for you right now? does it leave ample 
time for peak study hours (peak: when you best retain information in addition to 
class time)

-have you gotten all your books? 
if not, its time to take care of that, or spend an awful lot of time at the 

 The first few weeks are filled with parties, (as well as the rest of the year) 
make sure you are staying focused on your goals for being in school. WORK FIRST, 
then party. there will always be parties, but you will only take every test and 
turn in every assignment once. And you will only get your first final grade for 
that class once. So start the year off right and you have a better chance of 
finishing it right. and make that when you party, you do so responsibly



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Move in day – An HBCU Experience!!!!

HBCU seal

Move in day – An HBCU  Experience!!!!

Journal  Entry
August 23, 2002
            Lines and lines of cars filled Georgia Ave. As I sit patiently in the back seat of our rental car, I notice a sign in the back window of the truck ahead of us.  It reads “College or Bust.” I’m smiling so hard that my cheeks begin to hurt. My heart is beating so fast it seems as though it’s going to jump right out of my chest. My hands are sweating, my mouth is cold, the music coming from my headphones seems muffled and I’m feeling a bit woozy. Are these signs of being nervous? Nope, they’re signs of excitement, pure excitement. It was Move In Day.
            As I finally make my way to the front of the line inside that tall brick building, the lady sitting in front of me, behind a big brown table hands me the keys to my brand new dwelling quarters.  I make my way to the elevator, staring at the shiny silver keys and the paper in my hand. It reads … Truth Hall…fourth floor. When I step off the elevator, everything begins to move in slow motion as I approach room 409. I pause, take a deep breath and step inside.
            As I looked around the empty room, I smile and begin to mentally put my room together. My roommate and I arranged our beds to make a little more space in our itty-bitty room, then we head back downstairs to meet our dads at the car. There were people everywhere, as far as I could see, that had come to help us move in, from the different campus organizations to the maintenance crew.  There were guys, beautiful guys EVERYWHERE, and they were there for one reason and one reason alone… to help us move in. What a wonderful welcoming party!
We finally got our things and made it upstairs to our room. My dad offered the three guys, who were helping us, a little partying gift.  They declined saying “that it was just apart of their job as a fraternity” and boy was I thankful… they were gorgeous. One of them told me I was really pretty and I got so nervous that I accidentally dropped a box on him and he rolled down the stairs. He thought it was funny, but I was mortified. He laughed it off and called me Ms. Klutz for the rest of the day.
We took pictures of everything, from leaving the hotel, to the beginning part of unpacking and setting up our rooms. Our RA came around and introduced herself and then reminded us that we were all to report to “the yard” in an hour for a ceremony. We were so tired from unpacking that we didn’t want to move, but my mom said “come on! Let’s see what else they are going to do!” I looked at her and wondered “how in the world does she still have energy?” I was exhausted, but my roommate and I followed her out of our room and on to the yard anyway. 
 When we got there, the HU( Howard University) Band was standing in the middle of the yard along with the flag girls and dancers. As we took our seats, the band began to play. The President introduced himself along with the rest of his staff. He welcomed us, the new freshman class, as we joined a legacy known as the Howard University Family. It was our Pinning Ceremony. 
We watched as one hundred upper classmen made their way through the crowd to welcome us. They gave us a hug and stuck a shiny round pin on our shirts that read “Howard University class of 2005.” Then we all stood up and sang the Alma modal and danced with the rest of the band. As the ceremony came to an end, I understood why my mom thought it was important for us to be there… It was a historical moment, one that I could only have once.  I am glad I went– glad I am at a historically black college and honored that I have been given the pleasure to attend such a wonderful University.
As the long but rewarding day came to an end, I sat at the dinner table with both my mom and dad, reflecting on how wonderful the day was and anxious to see what is in store for us tomorrow.
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How Prepared Are You? Life – Part II: College #1 What College Will you Attend?



 #1  What College Will you Attend

Have you made the decision? Do you know what college you will attend?


By now you should have an answer to this question, but if by chance you do not, because you are still collecting acceptance letters (congratulations) then let’s begin to narrow down our options, by starting a pros and cons list. Great reasons to select this school vs.  A few reasons why NOT to select this school.


For example:


 Pro: it’s close to home …………. Con: it’s close to home

 Pro: it is highly ranked in my desired area of expertise 

Con: It’s across the country, so I’ll only make it home for major holidays


Based on where your school is, ask yourself are you prepared for the climate change if there is one? I am from Los Angeles, California and I went all the way to the east coast for college in Washington D.C. which was a major climate change. Because I had been exposed to snow and cold weather, it was not a big deal. I just made sure I purchased the right kind of clothes for each season and when winter came around I already knew  how to layer my clothes from skiing most of my life; so I just applied the same layering concept while at school and whalah I was ready for anything.


What city and state is you school located? Will you need a new wardrobe to fit the climate change? (Have you added that into your budget?)


Will your school be located in the heart of the city? Or is it in a rural area? Will you need transportation? Or will you need to learn the public transit system? Each city is different. If you do your research before you get there it will be less for you to figure out once you get on campus. Trust me; you’ll have more than enough to think about.  Take your time and research the transit system. It’s not always recommended to have a car your first year. However if your school is located in a rural area you might consider having that discussion with your parents.

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