• Discovering Your Best Learning Techniques Leads to Academic Success

    by Kaitlin Hung

    A close-up of a student’s study area including an iPad, highlighters, and note paper with math problems.

    Growing up, I was always surrounded by smart friends who continuously scored full marks on assignments and exams. I, on the other hand, scored average or below and constantly felt at a loss when I used the same learning and studying techniques as my peers, but didn’t score as well as them. It wasn’t until late in my high school career that I figured out how to do just as well as others by using a different learning technique.

    Out with the old….

    During one of my biology classes, I noticed that even though I was listening to everything the teacher was saying, my brain lagged like an old laptop running low on battery. By the time I processed the first topic, the teacher was already discussing content from three topics later. I felt I needed a way to have more time to process new information, so I started playing around with learning techniques.

    ….in with the new

    I’d always thought that learning all the material consecutively, or in one sitting, was the best way to learn. But this study method made me less likely to pay attention or remember the content. In exploring alternative methods, I figured out I could find YouTube videos on the topic area I was studying, and I could pause or adjust the speed, plus read the captions. This allowed me to learn the same material, but at my own pace. I would never be “behind”.

    I also learned that taking short breaks in between videos or study sessions seemed to “recharge” my learning capability. Instead of beating myself up over not remembering everything during a long study session, I would reward myself for what I could remember with a break for as long as I deemed necessary.

    Putting it all together

    I later found out that there are different learning styles, such as auditory, spatial, and linguistic, for each person. I researched more about it, took a few online tests, and decided to pick up more techniques that catered towards my specific learning style.

    Since I am not an auditory learner, it was hard for me to retain everything a teacher said in class. But I could spend more time reading the provided textbook to fill in information I missed in a lecture. If I couldn’t properly visualize a concept, I would look up videos or images to help me do so. Instead of continuing to feel like a failure for not understanding things when others around me could, I found ways that worked best for me.

    Although it was sometimes tedious, investing time in discovering how I learn and retain information helped me build confidence as a student and achieve academic success.

    Do you have a compelling story or student success tips you’d like to see published on the Pearson Students blog?  If you are a college student and interested in writing for us - click here to pitch your idea and get started! 

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  • What’s in a Name?

    by Johnny Condit

    Two young men smiling and sitting behind a table with a Pearson tablecloth and prizes.

    Do you ever met someone for the first time, introduce yourself, and then totally forget their name? You see them again 5 minutes later and have no idea how to address them. Don’t worry, you’re not alone! Many people have trouble remembering names when meeting someone for the first time. However, through my college career, I have learned more and more how important it is to learn and remember someone’s name. We all have one, right? So, we might as well use them.

    Addressing someone by their name is a sign of respect that will grab people’s attention. It shows that you are an active listener that is genuinely engaged when in a conversation. So often we are worried about what we will say or how we look that when someone introduces themselves to you, their name goes totally over your head. To keep that from happening, here are 3 tips that I use to remember people’s names the first time I meet them.

    1. Remember that you are not the most important person in the room - Most people are too worried about how they look or what they are going to say when meeting new people. They do not even register what even comes out of your mouth when speaking. Well, if that’s the case, don’t worry about what you’re going to say and become aware of what people are trying to tell you. Once you stop worrying about yourself, you are able to become more of an active listener.
    2. Repeat their name - When you first meet someone, the first thing you do is exchange names. When the opposite person says for an example, “Hello, my name is Jerry, nice to meet you!” you should respond, “Hey Jerry, its nice to meet you too!”. Hearing the name twice, from him and yourself, will make your brain realize that the name is something important to remember.
    3. Look for name tags – When someone is wearing a name tag, it is not for style. Become more aware when someone has a name tag. You can even address them by their name before they introduce themselves. That will make you stand out from others and leave a lasting impression on someone.

    Being able to remember someone’s name is an amazing quality and it makes people feel special. Take value in people’s names and watch your network and friendships grow!

    Do you have a compelling story or student success tips you’d like to see published on the Pearson Students blog?  If you are a college student and interested in writing for us – click here  to pitch your idea and get started! 

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  • Networking for Beginners

    by Geeta Chandaluri

    A screengrab of a virtual networking event held on Zoom.

    When I first entered college, I was constantly hearing juniors and seniors tell me how important networking is. However, like most freshman, I had no idea what networking was. It’s not something they taught us in high school. So, what is networking, how do you prepare for it, and how do you maintain connections?

    What is networking?

    Networking is the art of interacting with peers and experts in a professional manner. It is about creating lasting connections that can help you learn and gain industry insights.

    Networking can happen anywhere, in any setting. Often times people think of networking as attending organized events all suited up, but that’s not the case. Every interaction you have is working to widen your network. The person you strike up a conversation with at a coffee shop may help you with career advice or be able to put in a word at a company where you’ve applied.

    Create your Elevator Pitch

    The first question people often ask you is to tell a little bit about yourself. This is a question you should be prepared to answer with what is called your ‘Elevator Pitch’. An Elevator Pitch is essentially a 30 second introduction of yourself and your experiences. The idea is that if you met someone you’d like to connect with on an elevator, by the time the person got off, they’d know you.

    The tricky part comes in deciding what to include in your Elevator Pitch. You probably did a lot in high school like extracurriculars, community service, and part-time jobs. If you are beyond a first year in college, you likely have even more accomplishments you would like to include. Therefore, it can be a bit of a challenge to speak about yourself in a concise manner. So how do you decide what should be included in an Elevator Pitch and what shouldn’t?

    Think about your end goal: making memorable connections. You should always try to grab attention and facilitate a longer conversation. You are essentially marketing yourself. So, think like a marketer --Elevator Pitches are simply self-advertisements.

    You should give an overview of past accomplishments, present involvements, and future goals. You can start off with your major and extracurriculars, then move into relevant job experiences, then finally career aspirations. After you frame your pitch, rehearse it until you become comfortable saying it.

    Formal vs Informal Networking Situations

    Sometimes organizations will sponsor networking events where students can interact with employers. If you plan to attend a formal networking event, research the people you’d like to connect with ahead of time. A good place to research is LinkedIn. Tailor questions to that individual. People love talking about themselves - the more specific the questions are, the better.

    Always be sure to assess the nature of the event. Understand the tone so you can frame your conversations. If you are in a formal setting, it is encouraged to have copies of your resume to distribute. However, if you are in an informal setting, like a coffee shop, passing along your resume may be strange. But you could perhaps create a business card to use in that situation. Always be sure to read the environment you are in.

    Maintaining Connections

    After a conversation, ask the person if they are comfortable sharing their email address and connecting via LinkedIn. Most professionals are happy to connect, but it is nice to show courtesy and mention your intent to maintain the connection.

    If you met the person at a formal networking event, always send thank you notes within 24 hours. This signifies that you respected their time. Sending out thank you letters always works in your favor. Not everyone sends them out, so a customized thank you letter will make you stand out.

    You may run into your connections again. Take the opportunity to reconnect. Remind them when you last interacted and something memorable from the conversation. The familiarity can lead into more specific and beneficial conversations.

    Long Run Goals

    Networking is all about the give and take. Once you established yourself and created a strong network, be open to helping others forge their own impact. You can practice giving by inviting professionals on a panel to host events. There are endless possibilities on how you can give back by sharing your experience to your peers and juniors.

    Networking is like professional speed dating: some will succeed, and some will fail. But the most important thing is to have fun. Enjoy speaking to people. You may not see it coming now, but interactions will open doors for you. You will be grateful for having made those connections in the past.

    Do you have a compelling story or student success tips you’d like to see published on the Pearson Students blog?  If you are a college student and interested in writing for us - click here  to pitch your idea and get started! 

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