We've covered a wide range of territory in the past 4 months, from developing skills in mindfulness-based stress reduction to fine-tuning our routines, diets, and athletic activities for optimal academic success. What results from this potpourri of advice and ideals can be, paradoxically, a sense of pressure to strike the perfect balance in our lives, attaining good grades without sacrificing our physical health, our time with friends, or our space for self reflection. Many high-achieving students are driven by a sense of perfectionism that can feel overwhelming, so how can we best harness it? While still achieving the big dreams that we have?Read More
Debunking the Myth of Cramming
AP U.S. History was a nightmare for me. When did Abraham Lincoln pass the Emancipation Proclamation Act? Did the Alien and Sedition Acts happen under the Adams or Jefferson administration? My problem spilled over into other disciplines: did magnesium sulfate dissolve in water? Did government subsidies affect supply or demand? I responded to my shortcoming the way high school students do across America: I crammed more and slept less.
To no one’s surprise, I did terribly. Only later during a college neuroscience course would I really learn why. Memory, it turns out, does not work like a camcorder. Not every moment spent with your notes is worth the same, and not every memory is recalled perfectly.Read More
How should we fuel our bodies? What’s the best thing to eat before track practice? What’s the best thing to eat before the SAT? These and other questions are the subject of much debate in the public sphere, where fad diets like ketogenic or paleo come and go with the wind. My goal in this post is not to give you rules on eating healthy, but to impart a few core principles that you can take with you in life as you make your own diet decisions, especially with regards to optimizing energy for your academic pursuits.Read More
It can be daunting to balance a sport (not to mention other extracurriculars) with a full course load of Honors and AP classes. Getting outside to exercise is often the first thing to go when we are time-crunched to finish an essay or study an exam, even though paradoxically, getting that exercise will often help us study more efficiently and boost our energy. In today’s blog, my goal is to make a case for these beneficial side-effects of exercise and discuss other important life skills that can be uniquely developed through athletics.
It’s easy to get caught up in the content of learning: memorizing a formula, distinguishing eukaryotic from prokaryotic cells, and understanding the events leading up to the French Revolution. Most of the time we’re so absorbed in taking in new information as students that we don’t notice the behind-the-scenes work of how we take in that information, how we shelve and organize it in our minds, and how we recall and utilize it later on.Read More
How do I actually remember the stuff I learn? How do I memorize my notes, my textbook, and everything covered in class? How much studying do I actually have to do?Read More
Competition won't keep you going, in the long run.
Making high marks, improving on test scores, and generally succeeding in school are goals that our one-on-one tutoring students share. Much less remarked upon, let alone agreed upon, are the underlying reasons for academic achievement in the first place.Read More
Sometimes you gotta just go with your gut.
One topic that many of my psychology tutoring students get confused about is the topic of heuristics, which comes up when they study judgment and decision-making.Read More