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Category: Uncategorized

Time Management: Self-motivation

Posted by Jessica Massie - December 11, 2014 - Uncategorized
Peer Academic Advisor: Megan Goforth
Major: Psychology
Class year: Senior

Time Management: Self-motivation

We’ve all heard it a million times: Don’t skip your classes. Those classes are too important, too valuable, or insert-other-reason-here to be skipping them. Now I know I’m not alone when I say it took me a while to think about those words. If everyone else is skipping, it can’t be so bad, right? So instead, during my freshman year, any reason was a reason to skip class. Biology review for our really intense final? But I have to do laundry.

Once, during my first semester, my friends and I were on our way to class, when we decided to go to Chipotle instead. We made jokes about tuition rates and burrito rates. What’s another $7.00 on top of the thousands we’re already wasting?

All jokes aside for a second here. I find it easier to work with smaller numbers. Full-time undergraduate tuition for Fall 2014 is 5,091 for in-state and 14,880 for out-of-state. And a burrito is $7. I can buy roughly 727 burritos with the amount an in-state pays, and 2,125 burritos out-of-state.

You’re probably thinking, ok, so what does that mean for me? That is just more reason why I am wasting my money.

The way I see it, that amount of money can feed 727 (or, for the out-of-staters, 2,125) people in the world. I have the privilege to spend this money on an education and still have food, so why would I want to take it for granted?

This is the same reason I am studying what I enjoy. Though my English major with a heavy concentration in Linguistics might not directly save the world or, just to be topical, decrease tuition rates, I love what I’m learning. I feel enriched by studying new things in the field, which can lead to a happier lifestyle and amount to bigger things in life. I have goals to go into Non-Profit organizations and try to make a change in the world baby steps at a time, and solving the hunger equation is one of the things I think is most important.

So maybe this example doesn’t work for you specifically, but get this: I found something that is important to me and linked it to my tuition, and now I’m one hundred times less likely to skip a class. Self-motivation is different for different people, and you just have to find what works for you, but maybe that thing is something more outside of yourself. Though it is an internal method, it’s linked to a world issue. I just know that when I look back on college, I won’t be thinking that my money was literally wasted. Though I might not individually solve huge issues in the world, I will know that I was in class honing skills. These skills can play a small part in a bigger company that just might make a change.

This is College: Thoughts of a Peer Academic Advisor

Posted by smontiel - December 11, 2014 - Uncategorized
Peer Academic Advisor: Destiny Parker
Major: Pre-business
Class year: Sophomore

What you do with your time is important, but how you balance/manage your time is what’s really important.  There is no doubt that school in itself is a lot of work.  So, adding on extracurricular activities, a job/jobs and maybe some parties, can really cause things to feel overwhelming and cause some of us to fall off track.   I know for me, this semester has been a tough one, but I had to realize that I would have to cut a few things out of my schedule.  Instead of going out to every party every weekend, I now “occasionally” treat myself to a party or some hang out time in the city with my girls. It is important that you know your limit of what you are capable of, yet I believe that it is also extremely important to still treat yourself to some fun time.  Yes, school comes first but do not forget to spend quality time with your friends and to make new friends by getting involved, whether it be on-campus or elsewhere.

Here are a few tips to help you balance your time here at Mason and on towards your future:

  1. Be organized:

-This hands down is the number one tip in balancing your time! Figure out what works best for you when it comes to managing your time; whether it be a calendar, your own handy-dandy notebook (if you’ve watched Blue’s Clues you know where I was going with that), or maybe your cell phone.  Pick what is best for YOU.

  1. Do your work Early; Get it Done:

-Procrastination is something I feel many people deal with. If this is a huge problem of yours, don’t feel bad.  You are not alone.  Procrastination comes from doing things that are more pleasurable to us and holding off on those tasks that we are less looking forward to.  A way to prevent this is marking down a task in your agenda as being due a few days before it is actually due.  By doing this, you will work to get the task done on the deadline that is set in your agenda.  Although you may still procrastinate on getting it done on the earlier due date, at least you can be relieved that the early due date that you set for yourself is not the actual due date.  As a result, you will have extra time to really get the task done without being under so much pressure.

  1. Exercise, Stay Healthy, and Get Rest:

-This may seem irrelevant in regards to balancing your time, but having bad eating habits and not getting the proper amount of sleep can cause you to feel very sluggish and not want to get things done. Making time to exercise and eating right is vital.  I know from experience that being very busy can definitely make the exercise one a tough one, but even doing a few exercises in your room is good.  Download an exercise app. The app that I have on my phone now is called “Nike Fitness.”

  1. Make time to talk to important people in your life:

-Call someone and chat! A few minutes talking to a loved one, family member, mentor, etc. is what can help you get through those really rough days without wasting too much time.

  1. Seek help if you need it:

-There are offices here at Mason that help you with learning about time management, as well as academic strategies to get it done.  If you are still struggling with figuring out your strategy for balancing your time, CAPS has many great resources and programs that gear toward this.  They are located in SUB 1 Room 3129 and are open Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 5 pm.

This is College: Thoughts of a Peer Academic Advisor 2.3

Posted by smontiel - December 11, 2014 - Uncategorized
Peer Academic Advisor: Kareema Smith
Major: Psychology
Class year: Senior

The Influences of Positive Thinking

If you have ever read, “How Full is Your Bucket,” a book that every freshman received a copy of  at the start of orientation, then  you would know it is all about positive thinking, not only within yourself but when interacting with others. The author, Tom Rath tells a personal story in the book about how at 16, doctors discovered that he had an extremely rare disorder where sporadic tumors would grow throughout his body. In the book, Rath continued to talk about his courses of treatment. The most important statement he said though, was that he never once asked, Why me? Though [fortunately] many of us will never have to deal with a rare disorder like Rath does, we do have to deal with the trials and tribulations of everyday life. More specifically, if you’re reading this it is most likely that you are a current college student, possibly still trying to find your way.  As Rath stated, instead of asking, why me, it is imperative to take initiative of your own life. For example, it is the middle of the semester and many people are finding themselves in [academic] situations that they do not know how to handle. These situations can range from not doing well in a certain class, being overwhelmed with your assignments or even wanting to completely “drop” the class. The best way to handle those “why me” situations is to not focus on why it is happening to you but instead think positively and educate yourself on what you CAN do. Below are some tips in handling those academic situations I mentioned above. Remember, it is important to always remain positive, even if something negative has happened. Being negative about it will not change the past but you do have the power to allow your positivity to change the future.

  1. If you are not doing well in a certain class, take the time to look at the situation from a broader perspective. Are you not doing well because you do not take enough time to study, the content is not interesting, or the teacher does not make the material engaging? The above situations can all be changed, by YOU. Spending additional time on a class each week can cause significant changes in how you understand and view the material. Having a teacher who does not present the material in an engaging way is going to be something you might come across more than once in college. Do not allow that to influence your grades.

If none of those work, connect with a classmate. They might be feeling the same way you are. This is not a time you should spend bad-mouthing the teacher or the class but instead you should be focusing on how to help one another understand the material.

  1. The middle of the semester often means a mountain of assignments from each of your classes. Make sure to use your time wisely. Make to do lists that have times you will complete each assignment. One of my favorite sayings is that we all have the same 24 hours as Beyoncé does; you can get it done!


  1. Lastly, even if after all the positive thinking and initiative taking, you still do not think this class is going to end well, educate yourself on your options. During your time at Mason you have THREE times to selectively withdraw from a class. Instead of receiving a grade you will receive a W on your transcript. For the fall semester, the selective withdrawal dates are September 29th-October 24th. Be sure to talk to an advisor first before you make a decision.


Rath, T., & Clifton, D. (2004). How full is your bucket? New York: Gallup Press.