Writing Lab Instructor: Sue Cross
Discussion Leader: Yvonne Amabeoku
In my first year in college, the very first and essential thing I want to get is to figure out my own study skills. Actually everyone has his or her own learning styles and strategies. Although I can find many different kinds of learning skills people shared online, I think a good study skill to a person is more like a healthy habit. Good habit benefits a person’s lifestyle. It gives his or her
positive attitude towards life. Moreover, I regard having proper study strategies as an internal motivation.
I would also like to find my study buddies during my freshman year. I consider this form of studying as an external motivation because we can share our ideas and notes with passion since we have common interests. Besides, there exists friendly competition in the group which can push harder to study in a positive way.
Except for the internal and external motivations that I am eager to pursue, getting familiar to the campus is another thing I want to focus on. Since there are plenty of instructions and rules in college such as parking permit, bike-riding time and the availability of facilities, I want to be able to memorize all of them in order to save time as well as reduce the rate of causing troubles. I believe staying out of troubles helps me to put my whole attention into my scrambling, tense freshman year and have fun from studying hard and gaining excellent result.
There are five study tips that I feel very useful in terms of my condition. The study skill which relates to me the best is not to stay up late studying. Actually it has happened to me during Math 2A lecture. I stayed up late finishing the web work because the deadline was due 11 p.m. that night. And then in the next morning, I clearly feel lacking of energy and dizziness. The study tip tells me that it is more efficient to study in the morning or in the afternoon so that sleepiness won’t bother any more. I will take the advice and try to study for some hours in the morning. It’s
helpful because my first year schedule will definitely be full. But luckily I have several mornings free each week. Plus, I really need ten to twenty minutes to cool myself down for I plan to ride bike to go to class. Therefore, having enough sleep is the priority for me to do in my first year in college.
In order to make a healthy schedule, I think I will use the other study tip which is to distribute studying into everyday instead of finishing them altogether just before the deadline. Human’s
ability of memory is amazing. But we still need to review the things that we meant to memorize so that we are able to maintain them in a long term. So I plan to study every day in order to keep the memory fresh. Therefore, I don’t need to review all the materials the night before some
critical tests. I believe that if I would succeed in keeping this habit, I can make amazing progress academically as well as improve my fitness to a better stage.
Review the notes and outlines of the class just after the lecture is also a good strategy. It assists me to keep my memory fresh. In the meantime, I can ask any question that pops out of my mind right away to the professor so that I won’t have to struggle on one problem when I find out back
at home and do not dare to ask for help any more due to the laziness. In fact, this study method is 2 | Page
just like keeping the dish heated up for having at it at any time. So it means that if I want to have nice, hot dish, I have to refresh it as many times as I can.
Taking clear and clean notes also matters a lot. I personally feel less interested in doing homework if I see my notes are in a mess. Plus, we know that not all of the professors give students many pages of useful notes during the lectures. And therefore, I think we still need to pay whole attention to professors’ speeches and take notes from what their spoken words.
Afterwards, I really feel like organizing the main ideas and key points that maybe on the test from the notes. With the self-organized notes, I will go for the professors before the exams and show them the list. My point is to ask the professor if I have covered everything he or her has talked about in the lectures and if I have missed any important topics that maybe appear in the exams. I think in this way the professor will be happy to fill in my list and I can get huge benefits from the professor as well.
Although finishing work in time is very important, I believe that take short breaks among all the works is very necessary. This is because our brain is always working when we are studying hard and it will stay behind a certain rate of working status if we use it too much without relaxing. For example, when I encounter a hard Math problem, I will spend a lot of time solving it. But the longer I keep thinking about the problem, the less efficient my work quality is. But after a 10 minutes’ break, a new way of tackling the problem appears in a second. What’s more, we always remember things well at the start but not in the process. So each break gives me a boost so that my brain can restart again.
3 | Page
Yimin Wang is the first person I know of this Summer Session. She’s from Taiwan, an
international student like me as well. And she gave me such a good impression on her because she is a very sweet and friendly girl. It’s such a coincidence that we go to the same course together. We usually sit next to each other and discuss interesting topic during the lecture. Yimin is very polite and has been a nice roommate so far as well. Although we both speak mandarin, frankly speaking we are from two different countries. We still have fun sharing our culture and
. experience together. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Yiran Guo is also an international student. He a Chinese and come from Shanghai which is my hometown. But he is not born and bred in Shanghai. So we have more to talk about our own hometowns while sharing interesting spots or views in Shanghai. His email address is email@example.com
Tian Hang has studied in CA for 3 year and he is a Shanghainess. His major is BME which is one of the most brilliant but hardest majors in UCI. Since I would like to transfer from Humanities to engineering next year, I discuss a lot of information about engineering major together. Moreover, we often go to study rooms to do Math problems because I am taking Math 2A while he is taking Math 2B this summer. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
First of all, as an international student, I consider language as the priority barrier. But trying to improve this aspect of ability can definitely help me adjust to the new college environment. Personally I’d like to find some native study buddies and hang out with them. Having conversation face to face with a native English speaker is the best way of practicing oral English 4 | Page
as well as exchanging cultures of our own countries. Studying with native speakers who have common interest with me should also be interesting. Since we are from different countries, we have our own styles of thinking of things. Isn’t that perfect finding out distinguished ways of solving a problem? It is so worth making friends with local students in college and it should be the best way to get used to the environment and vibe.
And then, I prefer to do some research and speak to people who know the information about UCI’s scholarship, programs open to international students in particular, or clubs. Foreign
students like me really need to feel that we are actually fitting in the American college social life. And when we are holding many information as we are exploring, our confidence grows. As soon as we feel comfortable and get the sense of familiarity back, we are successful adjusting to the new college life.
Finally but also importantly, plan myself a proper schedule through the whole first year is a good choice of strategies regarding to the adjustment in UCI. I have a strong feeling that my first year will be extremely busy and I will be scrambling. The messier I become, the more nervous I get. So maybe someday I will just go mad and depressed because I am not able to get used to the full-schedule college life for my first time. However, I am sure that if I make myself a proper schedule and stick to it, I should be just fine and even can earn much extra surprise like a new great habit. In fact, a good planner is not that hard to create. All I need to focus on is to leave some space between each time line so that in case some scenarios happen I still get to arrive in class on time.
5 | Page
Basically, I believe keeping healthy is my priority goal. Health is like the base of our life. If the base is weak, the whole building will be tumbling. In another words, I am not able to retain my goals with an unhealthy body. So I decide to work hard depending on a healthy schedule. That means I will not stay up late at the night just before the midnight deadline or have so much fun on the day which I have no class that forget anything about reviewing courses. Also, I am very willing to do sports in my spare time because the atmosphere for doing sports in the U.S.A is excellent. I don’t feel alone hitting the gym or running on the sidewalk. This is my favorite way of keeping fit. I will write the data in terms of the sports I do every day and consider this as the milestone. The change of data will motivate me in every way. Since my current weight is 113bl, I set the deadline of losing my weight to 108bl on 8/30/13.
Actually I’d really like to find my study buddies this year, for having company as well as discussing the same course we have together. I set this as a goal because it is not a piece of cake. Maybe it is hard to find a study buddy who is also Chinese or maybe I am too shy to join another study group that is made up of all Americans. However, I consider this as an opportunity to meet cross-culture as well as exchange academic ideas with a native person. No matter I will fit in the group well or not as a foreign student, I accept the result because at least I have practical experience. I give myself 2 months to find the study buddy or I won’t be able to see the result. So
that makes the deadline as 10/30/2012. Since I am currently taking Math 2A class, I find it very important to have a friend to go library or study room and solve a problem out of a discussion. Except for this, we both fill a lot of gaps of our knowledge by sharing our notes or our own ways of doing the problem. What’s more, I can get motivation from the little friendly competition among all of us in the group. I believe under this positive occasion, our average academic levels 6 | Page
will definitely rise after a period of group learning. I think the milestone will be the first final exam I have 12/08/2012.
The third goal I mentioned about is to peruse high GPA of my pre-engineering request in order to transfer successfully to engineering major from my current Humanities major next year. I understand this is a big challenge and I do regret bearing with the major I choose without thinking deeply. But I am capable of maintaining self-direction. I won’t be easily influenced by
someone’s words or actions. For example, in the beginning of the first quarter, I have to take courses almost unrelated to Humanities major such as Math and Physics. I have already heard a lot of suggestion from others that the science courses are already hard for students who are in science majors to take, how a humanities major student be able to cope with all the difficulties. I admit that I was worried about this for a moment but I made my own decision by considering the factors and benefits clearly. I see not only interest in Material Science but also challenges from trying to enter this major. Clearly, the milestone will be the GPA I get for the first two quarters. It helps me determine to get better in the final quarter or motivates me to work harder. I am a hundred percent sure that I will enjoy chasing this goal. Nothing is more motivated than going after what a person really want. And the definite deadline for this goal should be 6/14/2012 which is the end of my first year in college.
Although I was enrolled in Humanities major in the first place, my academic English is not as excellent as a Humanities major should have. I took the Academic English Placement Test and has been placed to the Academic English 20A. I felt so unfair at first but after I proofread my journals and review the revision of my journals by the writing instructor, I finally understand that I need the course indeed. Proofreading is really a good method to see the improvement individuals make clearly. I think every progress I see from it is a milestone. My writing lab 7 | Page
instructor pointed out three major problems that I have and they are: word form, rephrase and punctuation. I can see that my strength is to right long, complicated sentence but lack of grammar skills and vocabulary. The way I figured to improve my weakness is to do more readings and learn good grammar and wording from them. I can’t even imagine how I am going
to be capable of tackling essays in the coming quarter but I will regard this as a challenge and I desire to get high score and speed up my writing courses process. I determine to perform well and place in AE 20C as soon as I can. So I put the deadline in 2 quarters away from now which is on 3/22/2012.
Since I am planning to transfer from European Studies to Materials Science, I believe that the department of Humanities and Engineering will be my future resources. Libraries (and study rooms) can also be my frequently used resources, as well as the international center. The ARC, which is near the Arroyo Vista Housing, is also a nice place for me to work out in the coming fall.
The professor I research is called Farghalli Mohamed. His email address is
email@example.com .He is a professor of the department Chemical engineering and Materials Science, the Henry Samueli School of Engineering, University of California Irvine. Professor Mohamed’s field of interest is very wide. According to the professor’s profile website, it indicates that he is interested in the mechanical behavior of engineering materials (metals, composites, and ceramics), the correlation between behavior and microstructure; creep and super plasticity; and the mechanisms that are relating to strengthening and fracture 8 | Page
After reading all the information about Dr. Mohamed, I am really looking forward to taking his class, not only because I think his lectures will be very interesting, but also because I realize that the professor and I share some same interests. Although I was enrolled to UCI as a European Studies major, I actually am very into the Material Science, especially the metals and engineering design. Metals are always very attractive to me. I collect all kinds of pencil boxes made of different metals, such as aluminum, iron and lead. Plus, I show a lot of interest in the metals of the cars, computers, buildings and so on. I really want to be capable of telling all kinds of materials apart and gain the knowledge of the particular usage of them so that I can create innovative ideas about engineering materials that suit the modern society. The development of technology is rising so fast that I feel like chasing the pace of it by contributing my knowledge of Material Science. And to approach this goal, my first step is to have an excellent lecturer. I believe Dr. Mohamed, who shares the same interests with me is the first choice of my list of professors I have currently.
There is no doubt that I will try my best to approach Dr. Mohamed because every chance to communicate with professors is precious. My top strategy of networking with professor is to go to his office which locates at Engineering Tower 744J in his office hours and discuss with the professor face to face. I will visit him every time before critical exams. But I discover that to use the appointments with the professor well is to ask great and thoughtful questions. That’s why I plan to take notes carefully during every class and organize them afterwards in order to create a list of key points relating to the mid-term or final exams. And then I will take the list with me when I go for the appointment and ask the professor if my list of essential points is complete. I believe that the professor will be very glad to fill in my blanks because of me showing the 9 | Page
professor my concern for the lecture he or she gave and my proper work based on listening to the
Personally, I can’t wait to take the fall’s lectures and start to get along with my future professors
because of the passion I have seen already from the professors’ profiles.
Action Plan Table
Action Plan Component Description
Overview I want to get familiar to the campus, match with study
buddies and figure out the study skills that fit me best.
Study Plan Review the notes and outline of the class just after the
to distribute studying into everyday
not to stay up late studying
Taking clear and clean notes
take short breaks among all the works
10 | Page