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Celebrate the holiday season at city events in Toronto

Celebrate the holiday season at city events in Toronto

The sights and sounds of the season are upon us. As the students and staff at Evergreen College count down to a winter break, there’s lots of holiday chatter around our campus. And, for those of us at our downtown Toronto location, we can’t help but get excited about all of the celebrations right on our doorstep. Here are a few local festivities where you can feel festive this year.

Toronto Christmas Market

Not too far from our campus, in the Distillery District, is a European-inspired market festival that runs until Dec. 23. The market is a combination of crafts, foods, light displays and entertainment set in an old-world environment. And while you’re there, keep an eye out for one of our favourite carolers, our very own Linda Cook, Evergreen College’s Academic Director.

Cavalcade of Lights

If you’re near Toronto City Hall, be sure to stop by Nathan Phillips Square in December to take in a brilliant light display. More than half a million lights illuminate the square each year. You can even go for a skate at the rink onsite under the brilliant glow of all the lights. Skate rentals are available, and nearby food vendors are serving up warm treats in even the chilliest of weather.

Winter Wonderland

If you prefer to escape the cold, take a visit to Toronto’s Famous People Players theatre this winter for a Winter Wonderland show. This broadway-style performance comes complete with a three-course meal beforehand. The show itself is suitable for all ages, and focuses on the gifts of the season. Shows run until Jan. 5.

The Nutcracker

Another must-see stage performance this season is The Nutcracker ballet at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. This classic tale takes place on Christmas Eve in Russia and showcases Marie and Misha who are brought into a magical world of the Nutcracker. Shows run until Dec. 30.

These are just a handful of holiday events that we’ll be checking out this season. In a city so large, there are plenty more festive events taking place. Let us know in the comments below what is your favourite holiday event to attend? From Evergreen College, we wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season!

Ring in the New Year at festive Toronto events

Ring in the New Year at festive Toronto events

Celebrating one of the year’s biggest events in a big city means there’s no shortage of events. If you feel like venturing out this New Year’s Eve, there are plenty of celebrations happening city wide. Some are just a few steps from our downtown Toronto campus location. Here are a few highlights.

Nathan Phillips Square

Just steps from our campus, you can ring in the New Year on Dec. 31 at Nathan Phillips Square. This celebration attracts thousands of guests every year who get together to enjoy a night of ice skating, live music, holiday lights and – of course – a countdown at midnight with fireworks. This is an all-ages event.

Ripley’s Aquarium

If you want to try a different kind of celebration, ring in the New Year with a splash at Ripley’s Aquarium. This event features live music, a DJ and food stations all set within our city’s iconic aquarium location. Tickets must be purchased in advance, and this is a 19+ event.

Liberty Village

Just outside the downtown core, you can get a head start on the New Year – literally. Set in Liberty Village, this 5K run will get your year started on the right foot, and will be followed by a celebration after the race. This event requires pre-registration.

Chelsea Hotel

If you’re a theater buff, you might enjoy this new spin on “dinner and a show.” Held at the Chelsea Hotel, you can celebrate New Year’s Eve with an interactive murder mystery dining experience. At this event, enjoy a buffet dinner followed by an interactive, mystery performance from Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. Tickets must be purchased in advance.

This is only a small sampling of some of the fun and unique events in the city where you can ring in the New Year. Leave us a comment below; we’d like to know where your favourite place to celebrate is. And, on behalf of all the instructors and staff at Evergreen College, we wish you a safe and happy New Year!

How to write a modern resume for 2019 and beyond

How to write a modern resume for 2019 and beyond

New Year, new resume? In the same way you wouldn’t wear outdated clothes to a job interview, you shouldn’t apply for jobs using an old resume. The styles of resumes are constantly changing, and to ensure your application gets noticed in today’s competitive job market, it’s important to revise yours regularly. Below are some of the more recent trends we’re seeing in resume formats.

Keep your resume short

In the past, technical resumes often spanned several pages. Truth is, recruiters are busy. The resumes that stand out aren’t the ones that go on and on detailing every ounce of experience in great detail. It’s entirely possible to succinctly cover all of your qualifications in two pages (for executive resumes) or even one page (for entry-level positions). Remember, you want to give recruiters an overview of your skills and achievements. Save lengthy story-telling for an interview.

Revise your objective

At the top of traditional resumes was a one-to-two line description of an applicant’s objective, which basically explained why a candidate wanted the specific position. Modern resumes no longer have this section. Instead, you can make better use of this space by including a “career summary” and your “areas of expertise.”

The career summary section should be about two to four lines, and provide a concise description of where you’re at in your career. Next, list six to nine of your qualifications using a bulleted list (format this in two columns to cut down its length). This list is a great opportunity to highlight keywords from the job posting that are industry specific and likely to be picked up on by a recruiter’s resume crawler.

Incorporate strong keywords

SEO isn’t just for blogs anymore. As we mentioned, recruiters use resume crawlers to scan through the hundreds (if not, thousands) of applications they receive. These crawlers look for keywords that are integral to each position. And, very often, the keywords are pulled directly from the job description. As you write your resume, be sure to reference the job posting for keywords or skills that you can mention. Remember, this will differ for each position and employer, so it’s important to do this step for each application you submit.

Use an appropriate file name

Gone are the days of printed applications. Resumes are completely digital, and something as small as its file name cannot be overlooked. Keep it professional so that a recruiter who received the document online or by email won’t be turned away. It’s helpful to include your first and last names in the file name for easy identification, along with the word “resume.” Omit any version numbers or other information.

Make sure your resume is well formatted

Recruiters could be viewing your resume on any device at any time. From a small smartphone screen to a smart board in a meeting room, you want to ensure the document displays well every time. A Word Document is great for writing, but the formatting can often change when someone else views your file. PDF files help to preserve formatting and ensure your resume remains constant. Go the extra mile before you submit your file and see how it displays across your own devices. Then, send it to a friend for an extra set of eyes.

To stand out as a stellar candidate, your resume needs to reflect the current market. From keywords to basic formatting, making these revisions will go a long way in garnering a recruiter’s attention. How have you modified your resume to reflect modern trends? Leave your tips below!

How to live eco-friendly on a student budget

How to live eco-friendly on a student budget

When it comes to going green, many of us think it will be too expensive. This is an interesting thought, especially because an environmentally friendly lifestyle is actually focused on consuming less. While there are certainly ways to live eco-friendly and spend a ton of money (such as installing solar panels on the roof of your home), there are also ways to do so on a budget. If you’re a student working with limited funds, here are some ways you, too, can go green.

Shop organic produce at a farmers’ market

One of this first ways we think about going green focuses on food. While organic produce costs a pretty penny at the grocery store, it’s often much cheaper at a farmers’ market. In fact, market produce is often less expensive than your grocery store’s regular produce. At a market, goods only travel a short distance to get to you, which helps keep the costs down (and also limits travel-related pollution and emissions). You’ll find that the majority of items are also farmed using organic practices. If they’re not labelled as such, ask the farmers onsite.

Tone down your utility use

As a child, your parents likely nagged you to turn off the lights when you left the room, or to not waste water. Your parents were right. One of the easiest ways to go green involved limiting your utility consumption. This starts at home. Turn off the lights when you’re not home, and open the blinds to let natural light in. A slight three- or four-degree adjustment to your thermostat can also make a huge difference on your monthly bill. Shorter showers and full loads of the dishwasher will also help reduce water waste and increase your savings.

Ditch your disposables

When it comes to food storage, many brands advocate for buying their eco-friendly, disposable products. While many of these plastic bags, aluminum foil and other food-storage products are made from recycled products, they still take their toll on landfills. A better way to cut back on waste is by not creating any at all. As a busy student on the go, you likely carry food, snacks and coffee to campus. Instead of using plastic bags, food wrap and paper cups, invest in one set of food containers and a travel mug. You can reuse them daily to quickly cut back on the waste you generate.

Buy one bottle

It can be too easy to buy a bottle of water here and there when you’re on the go. At a restaurant, at the gas station, gym and convenience store. These all add up into significant amounts of waste. As easy as it is to grab a bottle, so it is to refill a reusable one. Make a one-time investment into a reusable water bottle that you really like, and fill it up as go about your day. The cost of disposable bottles quickly adds up, so you’ll find that your reusable one will pay for itself in no time.

Use LED light bulbs

While we advocate for turning out the lights, you’re likely spending a lot of your student hours studying. Over the course of your studies, you could easily burn through a lightbulb or two. Replace light bulbs in your home with LED energy efficient ones. The initial investment costs more than traditional CFL bulbs, but over time, you’ll see savings on your electricity bill by switching to LED. They last longer and generate more light for less watts.

Living green doesn’t need to translate into a complete overhaul of your life. Smarter, simpler choices can go a long way in reducing your ecological footprint. On a student budget, you’ll often find that making green choices can also equate to cost savings for you. And that sounds like a win-win for any student!

DIY gift ideas for the holidays

DIY gift ideas for the holidays

The holidays are just around the corner. While you may hear sleigh bells jing-a-ling, your student wallet won’t necessarily be ring-ting-ting-a-ling, too. If you’re strapped for funds this season, you may not be able to splurge on gifts for your friends and family. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still spoil them. Check out these easy, DIY holiday gift ideas that are guaranteed to not break the bank.

Share a sweet treat in a mason jar

Mason jars set the stage for a great gift. You can pick one up at your local dollar store and fill it with all kinds of sweet treats. But nothing cooks up better during the holidays than a fresh batch of cookies. Look up your favourite cookie recipe on Pinterest, then head to a bulk food store.

You can buy flour, sugar, spices and other dry ingredients for a lot less in bulk than at a grocery store. When you get home, measure out the goods according to your recipe, and layer them in the mason jar. Attach the baking instructions in a greeting card, and your gift is good to go.

Your recipient will only have to add any wet ingredients before they whip up your wonderful recipe. If you’re looking to add more flair, you can decorate your jar with holiday ribbons or stickers. Your small investment goes a long way, especially because recipients can re-use the jars after baking.

Create cute, custom coasters

Whether you’re sipping on coffee, tea or another delicious beverage during the holidays, coasters are a must in every home. You can create a custom set for your loved one for just a few dollars that they’re guaranteed to love.

Make a stop at a home improvement store and pick up some bulk bathroom tiles. Look for a smaller size that resembles a typical coaster. Next pick up some tacky felt cushions at a dollar store and glue four to the underside of each coaster so they don’t scratch any surfaces. Your coasters are almost ready to go.

Here comes the fun part: it’s time to decorate your coasters for your recipient. You can glue photographs, pictures or stickers to the top. You can also get crafty with paints and permanent markers, if you like. Create a custom look that your recipient will love, then tie up a batch with some festive ribbons.

Give the gift of a good deed

One of the most heartfelt and inexpensive gifts you can give costs nothing at all. Consider creating a simple coupon book of good deeds to share with your loved one. Some coupon ideas you can give include babysitting, a home-cooked meal, pet siting, dog walking and more.

If you’re on a strict budget this season, the holidays don’t have to turn into a scrooge-fest. When it comes to DIY gifts, a little effort and minimal investment can go a long way. Consider the gifts or good deeds that you can give to spread a little holiday cheer.

 

Goal-setting strategies for students in the New Year

Goal-setting strategies for students in the New Year

As the New Year approaches, we’re likely to hear a lot of talk about resolutions. While it’s easy to set goals, it’s more difficult to stick to them. Unfortunately, this is why so many New Year’s resolutions fall flat so fast. Whether your goals for 2019 are related to your personal, professional or student life, it’s important to be realistic. The “SMART” method of goal-setting is a process that helps to map out your resolutions so that they’re achievable. If you haven’t heard of this method before, here are the details.

Specific

Your goal should be narrow, instead of broad, so that you know exactly what you’re working towards. So, if your goal is to simply get an internship in a hotel, it may be too generic. Ask yourself, when should this internship start? What city do I want to work in? What job role am I aiming for? You can see how answering a few extra questions helps to define what you’re working towards.

Measurable

Goals that can be measured allow you to track your progress. This will help you to remain focused and meet your deadlines. Using the example of obtaining an internship, a measurable goal would outline the steps you will take to achieve this. For example, how many hotels will you apply to? How many cold calls will you make?

Achievable

This is an area where most goals fall flat. If your resolution is not attainable or realistic, it’s less likely to happen. Looking at our internship example, getting an internship at the most expensive hotel in Las Vegas is possible, but maybe not realistic for a student studying in Toronto. An internship at the Hyatt in downtown Toronto, however, seems much more plausible. It’s important to dream big, but without actionable steps to get there, your dreams might never become reality.

Relevant

Relevant goals are those that align to you and with you. These goals are ones that make sense based on where you are in life. For example, you may have a goal to own and operate your own hotel. This is an ambitious goal, and one that is entirely plausible. But, for a hospitality student, it might not be relevant right now. This could be a long-term goal for the next 10 to 20 years. If you’re the life stage of pursuing internships, it could take some time before you own your own enterprise.

Timely

Time stamps will help break down your goal into manageable sections. Consider these as stepping stones. Even if you’re only pursuing an internship, it will take many steps to get you there. Break down your goal into sections, and set a goal date for each one. For example, you might apply to three hotels every week for two weeks. Then you might follow up with each application for two weeks. Smaller goals like these within the scope of your original goal gives you actionable steps leading you to your final destination.

By applying the SMART method to your New Year’s resolutions, you can achieve a clear and focused path towards achieving them. It can also help you by setting small steps and deadlines towards your larger goals. As you think ahead about the New Year, apply the SMART method to your resolutions to ensure you’re setting realistic goals that you will actually accomplish.

Study hacks to help you concentrate

Study hacks to help you concentrate

Learning the ins and outs of your field requires a lot of studying. When exam time rolls around, you may feel like you’ve reached your limit for studying. It could be time to try some new tricks. These study hacks can simplify your habits by eliminating distractions and increasing your productivity, focus and concentration levels.

Create “chunks” of information

If you’re faced with memorizing a lot of course material, it can be almost impossible to recall pages and pages of information. One of the best ways to absorb data is by breaking it down into bite-size “chunks.”

So, if you find yourself in the (non-ideal) situation where you need to remember a large amount of information in a small amount of time, try to group facts together based on their characteristics. Or, find a pattern in the information that is meaningful to you to connect seemingly unrelated ideas.

Say it out loud

Researchers claim that you’re 50 percent more likely to remember concepts if you say them out loud. If you’re struggling to remember concepts or course material, give this tactic a try. It may not work in every scenario (beware of quiet study spaces like the library), but could go a long way in helping to enhance your study style.

Keep content top of mind

You will likely spend an entire semester taking in new information. Then, when exam time rolls around, it can be difficult to remember those concepts learned early on, right? The common saying, “Use it or lose it,” holds true. If you’re not exposing yourself to these concepts on a regular basis, it will be difficult to commit them to memory. Many students find it beneficial to review their class notes from the day again each evening, or more frequently if they can. The more times you expose yourself to the content, the easier it will be to naturally commit everything to memory.

Write it down

Reading the same content over and over may work for some students, but others will need a more visual way to remember information. If you’re studying from printed notes or a textbook, you may prefer to highlight key points to remember. This won’t actually have you interacting with the material, though. Instead, take what you’ve highlighted and write it out, while trying to shorten the concepts. See if you can focus on keywords, and write those out again. By writing the concepts, instead of just reading them over and over, you’ll commit the information to memory more thoroughly and quickly.

Avoid long study sessions

Before exam time, it’s easy to commit entire days or weekends to studying. But sitting in front of your notes for hours on end may not actually help you to remember them. Focusing on the same task for that long will often lead your mind to wander. That means you’re wasting your time instead of spending all those hours trying to remember information. Taking short breaks can help you to regain focus and come back to your next bout of studying feeling refreshed.

Not all of these study hacks will work for every student. But if you’re struggling with your current style, it’s well worth it to try out a new method and see if it works any better. As a busy student, your time is precious. So instead of wasting time on tired methods, it’s worth the effort to try out a new way that might help you achieve better results.

How to make the most of your winter break

How to make the most of your winter break
As the temperature drops, students know that winter is near.At this time of year, both instructors and students are likely counting down to when they can close their books and take a break. If you plan on doing nothing during your time off, you may feel like you’ve wasted your time, come January. Here are some ways you can still focus on fun, but also make the most of your time over the break.

Take time to relax
Before we dive into any tasks, the most important part of your break is just that—a break! More than anything, take this time to rest and recharge. Life as a student is busy; breaks were built in to give you time off. Most important during the winter break is sharing your much-needed time off with family and friends.

Catch up on your reading
This may sound like a dreaded task, but students always have course reading to complete. Reviewing class notes and materials over the break can easily give you a head start into the New Year. You don’t have to read all of your content, but giving yourself a head start can free up your time in January to work on other assignments and projects.

Work a part-time job
It may sound like a short break, but you’d be surprised how many retailers hire for the holiday alone. If you want to make some extra money and supplement your resume, apply for a part-time job. You may need to start your hunt before the holidays to secure a job for your break. Visit the websites of some of your favourite clothing stores, restaurants and other retail locations for their job postings. You may also have luck using the websites of larger shopping malls, where they often post seasonal jobs on behalf of their stores.

Give your resume a makeover
Even if you’re not applying for a job over the break, it’s well worth it to dust off your resume. Before you know it, you’ll be applying for internships and career positions. You’ll need your resume in a hurry, and you’ll have ample time over the holidays to put some thought into it. Add your recent education to your resume and update any technical skills you’ve learned. Then, once you return to class, you can ask your instructors to review it, and ensure you’re ready for your first round of job applications in the spring.

Take a trip
If you don’t have plans to work over the break, that’s O.K! For many students with a busy schedule, it can be difficult to travel during the school year. And, if you have friends or family abroad, the winter break is often the best time for a visit. If you plan to take a trip during the break, ensure you plan ahead. While it may be tempting to wait for last-minute deals, you want to ensure you return with enough time to settle back into your routine. A red-eye flight the night before your first class isn’t the best move. Spend a little extra money and book your travel plans well in advance of your winter break.

A little planning can go a long way in making sure you make the most of your time off. It may be tempting to sloth around during your break, but small steps will help to ensure your time is well spent. Before the break arrives, set aside some time to plan. Whether it means booking flights, planning events or applying for a job, you’ll feel much more prepared once December rolls around.

College student stress-busters

College student stress-busters
Being a student is a juggling act. We know how busy you are and how many balls you have to balance at once. Many of our students are balancing careers, part-time jobs, children and families in addition to their studies. When your responsibilities add up, it’s normal to feel extra stressed. Instead of looking for magical relief, there are small, simple solutions you can implement every day to help yourself feel at ease. Here are a few suggestions…

Talk to someone
One of the worst things you can do when you feel stressed is go through it alone. Chances are, your fellow classmates are feeling the same way you are. Reach out to your classmates to talk about what you’re going through. You’ll find comfort in knowing that you’re not alone. If you’re not comfortable connecting, share your feelings with a friend or family member. Sometimes, just venting about your concerns can provide relief and put the situation into perspective.

Laugh it off
You’ve likely heard the saying before, “Laughter is the best medicine.” Sometimes, it really is! When life situations add up, one of the best things you can do is a take a break and focus on fun. Watch a funny movie, get together with some friends and have a good time. The distraction from your stressors can do wonders in improving your mood, and brings you back feeling refreshed.

Get up and move
Much like laughter, endorphins can do wonders for alleviating stress. Once of the best ways to get them flowing is with exercise. This doesn’t mean you have to sign up for an ultra-marathon. But when tension is high, head outside for a quick walk. Or, if you have a gym membership, squeeze in small workouts when you can. It can be easy to forget about fitness when you’re so busy. But, carving out regular time in your schedule will ensure it stays top of mind.

Study smarter
Students can quickly put a lot of pressure on themselves by taking on too much at once. Having an organized study schedule can help avoid any late-night projects or last-minute study sessions. At the beginning of each semester, try creating a study schedule. Set aside time to work on assignments or exam prep for each of your classes. Dedicated time can help to keep you on track. When you have larger assignments to complete, break them down into smaller tasks and add those to your calendar as well.

Take a break
As you sort out your calendar, budget in time for friends, family and yourself! It can become all too easy to pack your planner with assignments and studying. As you block out your time, schedule regular appointments to meet up with friends, attend family events and other appointments. Me time is important, too. So add blocks where you’ll do things you really enjoy for a break. It’s easy to do these things on the fly. But when your schedule stacks up, securing a time slot for them can ensure you stick to your plan.

It’s important to make the most of your college experience, without overdoing it. If you find yourself caught in a juggling act, it’s important to do something about it.Don’t be afraid to reach out for help and talk to someone about what you’re going through. And, when it comes to your classmates, chances are they’re feeling a lot like you do

How to survive your daily commute

How to survive your daily commute
Evergreen College is known as a commuter school. Our downtown Toronto location is well connected to several city transit routes, making it easy for students to reach us from across the GTA. But the perils of public transit are real. And, when delays hit, your commute can quickly eat up extra time. Below we’re sharing a few tips to help you survive the trek day in and day out.

Make friends with fellow commuters
This may be hard to do in the first few days of classes, but eventually you’ll start to recognize students sharing your commute. You’ll likely see each other as you exit the station near campus for the short walk to class. Simply put, friends can make your commute more fun. Chat with your classmates about where they commute from. While you may not share the exact same trek, you might be able to meet up at a transfer or connecting route. Having someone to talk to—for even a portion of your commute—can make the route that much more enjoyable.

Carry the right bag
During busy rush hour periods, trains and buses in the city can often be standing room only. With one hand holding on for balance, a side-slung bag can quickly put you off balance. Not only is the imbalance bad for your posture, it can wreak havoc on your muscles too. A backpack with two shoulder straps is still a tried and tested win for the busy commuter. Your back will thank you, and you’ll have your hands free for that all-important morning coffee…and your phone, of course!

Sign up for commuter alerts
Nothing is worse than trying to catch a bus only to find out it’s been delayed or cancelled altogether. Had you known sooner, you would have planned an alternate, commute, right? If you don’t have time to catchthe news before you head out, subscribe for commuter alerts. The city’s transit operators use Twitter to send out quick route reports when there’s been a delay or cancellation. You can then add a push notification to this feature so you receive instant alerts on your phone. Just like that, you’ve become a super savvy commuter.

Make the most of your time
Many of us dread our time taking transit, but it has some great advantages to driving. There are so many ways to get ahead when you’re on the train or bus. Some will use the time to get caught up on rest or reading. We’ve heard feedback from several students who use the time to study. Even if you don’t have an Internet connection on the subway, you can download course materials to your device and review your notes from anywhere. Now, a stalled subway won’t get in the way of your next A+.

You’ve heard it before, but plan ahead
The biggest tip we can share, in addition to those above, is to be prepared. This is especially critical if you’re not a morning person or are running directly from work to class and vice versa. Take a few minutes each day to plan for the next. If the forecast is calling for rain the next day, set out your boots and umbrella in advance so you don’t forget. If you need to dine and dash during your commute, prep some snacks the day before. If you want to start reading that new best-seller on the train, make sure your devices are charged each night.

Commuting on public transit doesn’t have to be the dreaded task that so many of us think it to be. A few minutes of advance planning can quickly make your commute more productive. And, even if you don’t have friends to share it with, these steps will help you to make the most of your journey each day.

Simple hacks for improved note-taking

Simple hacks for improved note-taking
One of the best ways to understand and remember what you’re learning in class involves taking notes. Good note-taking skills have nothing to do with the neatness of your handwriting. Rather, it’s about how you structure your content. Messy, unorganized notes won’t help you when it’s time to study. Here are five ways you can improve your note-taking.

The Cornell Method
This method of note-taking organizes your information in smaller sections of summaries. This makes it easy to review later, and pull out key concepts to memorize.To use this method, divide a sheet of paper into three section. Use the first section to take notes during class. Use the second section to outline study questions and vocabulary. In the third section, summarize your notes after class to highlight the main points for memorizing.

The Mapping Method
This method of note-taking focuses on creating a visual representation of information and outlining relationships among concepts. Your notes will look somewhat like a family tree. Begin by drawing a bubble with one main topic. Then, draw branches and bubbles below that for sub-topics. Keep extending the tree branches for each bubble’s sub topics and related points.

The Outlining Method
This method of note-taking focuses on headings along with individual lists of subordinate information. This type of note-taking is best for concepts that have a lot of detail. You can create notes using this method by writing down a main topic, then starting a list below it of all relevant details and sub-topics.

The Chart Method
This note-taking method uses charts to organize notes. It’s best used when taking notes that are more factual. Begin by writing one main topic at the top of your page. Then, below it, divide your paper into equal columns. At the top of each column, write a sub-topic and fill the column below it with a list of facts. Repeat this process for each main topic, so that you’ll end up with a chart of sub-topics and facts for each one.

The Sentence Method
This note-taking method focuses mainly on conversations. It’s best used for fast-paced lectures or interviews when you cannot immediately decipher relationships or connections among the data. Your page should ultimately look like a list of simple notes. Afterwards, you can strike out irrelevant information and regroup your notes into one of the other note-taking methods above for better organization.

Being able to take notes (and keep them organized) can go a long way in helping you remember what you learn in class. Not only will this help you better understand theories and concepts, it will also do wonders when it’s time to study for exams. Try the above methods in your next class, and see which one best fits your study style.

How to create the best study space at home

How to create the best study space at home
Picture this: It’s the night before a big exam. Where do you find yourself studying? If your answer is at home, in bed, with your laptop propped on your knees, it might be time to revisit your study space. Not everyone has the luxury of a dedicated home office, but there are still ways you can make your at-home space work for you.When it’s time to study, try these suggestions to improve your environment.

Designate an area
The first step begins with designating one room or area of your home for studying. Whether it’s an office, extra bedroom or corner of the living room, having a dedicated space for studying is key. Not only will all the study materials you need be in one place, but when you enter that room, you are psychologically (and physically) in your study zone. This is why studying in a bedroom or kitchen, both of which have distinct purposes beyond studying, can be distracting to your mind.

Eliminate distractions
Everyone has different requirements for what they need in there study space. But there are a few key items that should be left out for everyone. A phone, video games, unnecessary apps or programs open on your computer screen, extra computer monitors, messy food and other people are all things that can distract you during study time. Instead, you want to focus on creating a simple space that will allow you to clearly focus.

Incorporate essential items
Now that we’ve discussed what to eliminate, it’s time to outline your must-have study items. Here are some items everyone should include in their study space, and keep close at hand. These include: a comfortable chair, notebooks, pens, course material, computer mouse (versus a trackpad on a laptop) and highlighters. You may also benefit from headphones, ambient music, water and healthy snacks at hand.

Let the light in
Natural light is known to be energizing and can increase your concentration. If you’re studying in a space with windows, draw back the drapery and let the natural light shine in. If you need a lamp for extra light, hook it up to a dimmer. This will allow you to play around with the brightness until it’s just right instead of the typical on-off, all-or-nothing approach.

Adjust the temperature
In addition to lighting, the temperature in your study space is a contributing factor to concentration. Researchers report that, on average, productivity levels are highest at the 22 to 25°C range. You won’t always be able to fully control the temperature, but do your best to attain that range. If your space is exceedingly hot or too cold, it may be time to relocate to a more comfortable room.

The most important take-away is to make the most of the space you do have. If you live with family or roommates, it can be difficult to create a quaint study space. Try not to let others discourage you. Instead, get creative with what you have to work with and invest in a good pair of noise-cancelling headphones.