Rewrite your textbook. seriously rewrite it (plus Halloween)


Despite the chipper greeting, dang, am I tired. Mech 3 exam is today, and I am determined to do better on this one than the last. I was up ’til 2:30 last night. Here’s a really big tip, kiddies: always read your textbook. Some chapters that I skimmed on I’m now realizing are a lot easier than I was making them out to be, and something that isn’t always totally clear in-class or something you’re not completely sure of is often cleared up in the book.

Also, a really good technique I’ve learned is to literally rewrite the textbook. As I read through each chapter, I pull out my notebook and paraphrase what the textbook is saying–not word for word or sentence by sentence, but writing out and explaining the concepts and applications and equations of each chapter and how they’re used, as if I’m writing a guide for another person. Not only does writing a sort of “guide” help you understand, it provides literally the best study guide when finals roll around. The only trap you have to avoid is skimming over something you don’t quite understand, or sort of “fibbing it” and copying the textbook too closely if you’re not quite sure how to explain something on your own. If you don’t understand it, go through example problems really thoroughly, reread it, and seriously? Experiment with different things. Be confident in your ability to figure it out! Trust me, it’s amazing how much that helps. If I’m thinking to myself, “oh, I’ll fail this, why am I even trying?” I’ll tend to flail around and just grab at possible solutions wildly instead of dedicating myself to logically figuring it out.

Now! On to something else! (Man, I’ve been talking about academics a lot lately, eh?)


If you know me and/or have read any of my previous blog posts (particularly from last October), you’ll know one of my hobbies is making costumes, so–naturally–my favorite holiday is none other than Halloween. This year, I did two costumes–one for Spectrum’s party and one for the yearly Lehigh party. If any of you are familiar with Hedwig and the Angry Inch: here! and then I did a generic zombie/walker: here! (…mild blood warning? It’s all cheapo acrylic paint and food coloring, but just in case.) I was going to wear my Narnia costume (here) but it couldn’t get shipped in time. Ah well.

Anyway! Hope you had an AWESOME Halloween, and y’all take care of yourselves during exam week. Remember to take breaks every now and then while studying, stretch your legs, and try to be sure you’re hydrated and wide awake on exam day. Good luck!


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