September 13, 2014 @ 6:43 pm
I completely forgot I didn't publish my last blog post, even though I had written it last month. I just published it now.
The pace has picked up and I'm getting super overwhelmed with grad school. The first few weeks were sooo laid back and easy; I couldn't believe it. I made the mistake of getting too comfortable during those weeks and now that things are at full speed, I am sooooo overwhelmed!!!
My learning speed when it comes to difficult material is very slow. I have a hard time comprehending things unless I take the time out and go over it myself at my own speed. And lately now that I have re-entered school to go to optometry school, I have not been doing my job of spending all of that time outside of class to really understand everything. It's not like undergrad anymore where I can cram a few days or the night before (complete with stress and lack of sleep). I've been doing that for the last two weeks, but I can tell it is just not possible as things get more difficult, and my classmates will quickly leave me in the dust if I don't keep up.
Feeling super overwhelmed the last two weeks, I decided to look into maybe a new system for me, since my old system (which was successful in college) is not working out for me anymore in grad school. I've started using Google Calendar because with 7 classes a week with 4 clubs and an optometric frat, I can't keep track of my schedule in my head anymore. Starting to make an agenda on paper with a weekly view now, so that I don't get behind on assignments.
I used to record lectures and type notes during class, go home to relisten and fix my notes to make them verbatim to the recording, create electronic flash cards, and use the notes & cards to study. Aced all my exams. Now, it is not working as well especially since my classes are double the length of undergrad and to be honest, my professors expect us to comprehend much more than what they say in lecture.
So, my current plan is to continue reviewing the lecture recordings, notes, and flash cards, but I will need to set aside much more extra time to actually find outside sources to solidify my understanding. Additionally, a bunch of pdfs, Microsoft word files, powerpoints, and handwritten paper notes (in fact, I prefer all electronic but most of my classes are best using handwritten notes) is getting really overwhelming for me. I'm trying out Evernote, finally, despite having it ever since 2008. I never used it since it didn't seem necessary to me. But now that I have so much going on and so many files, I think the Evernote interface will really help me keep things together and feel less overwhelming. You can type notes, include PDF files and PDF books, pictures, all in one place. Sadly, it does require an upgrade to premium for more space per month and features such as annotating directly onto pdfs, searching text in images or having Microsoft files directly embedded in there. I'm not sure that I'm ready to invest in $45/year for that yet, but if Evernote ends up really helping me with my studies, I'll consider it.
What's fantastic is that Evernote is compatible with all platforms (I have a Windows desktop AND a Mac laptop), as well as with mobile decvices! I love studying on the go and during downtime, so a multi-platform program is a big necessity for me. If you've ever used Evernote, I would love to hear about your tips and experiences!
Off to do some cleaning to de-stress, and then study mode for the night – I need it desperately. I really miss reading and commenting on blogs…maybe I will do that as a stress reliever during downtime in the future.