From High School to College or University – 2 – Preparing the Foundations of Successful Study

During the early days at college, you will be setting the foundations for all your future studies. This is, therefore, a crucial time in tilting you towards success or failure. As with anything new, you will soon form habits, and it is up to you to ensure that those habits are good habits.

There are certain areas of college life and study in which establishing good habits early on can help you towards your goal of good grades and a successful graduation. It is well worth focusing your attention on these areas before arriving at college, and in your first few weeks there. By doing so, you can establish some good study habits, and make your college life run that much more smoothly and successfully. The following are some of the key areas of your new life of college study where you will need solid preparation and attention from the outset.

Acknowledging the Competition

It is the brighter students at High School who will probably be the ones who make it to college and university. You were one of those, but you will notice a big difference in your relative position at college. Whereas before you may have been one of the top students in your class, once you get to college you will just be one of many bright students.

By being aware of this increased competition, and being mentally prepared for it, you are more likely to shine again in your new environment, rather than feeling overawed by the other intelligent students. Also bear in mind that with the right preparation and improvement of your study skills, and by establishing the right habits, you can perform better than even the most intelligent student.

Scheduling Your Time

One of the big differences at college will be the amount of “spare” time you have. You may only have 15 hours of lectures in a week, and it is up to you to schedule the rest of your time. Whether you succeed at college or not may well depend on how well you are able to organize yourself, and schedule your time to best effect.

So long as you are aware of the dangers of wasting that spare time, then you will have a chance of scheduling it wisely. Time management skills are therefore worth acquiring before you even go to college, and there is plenty of useful information online about managing time. Regard time management as an essential study skill, and prepare accordingly. It will stand you in good stead for the future after college as well, as time management is just as important in business or working life.

Harder Work

One thing is certain, and that is college work will be much tougher than High School work. If, after a few weeks, you do not think it is harder, then the chances are you have not grasped what you really need to do to keep up with and on top of your studies. You should go to college expecting to work hard, and then ensure that you do.

Note Taking

Another major difference between the learning methods at High School and college is the need, at college, to take copious notes in the lecture room. You should be mentally prepared for this at a minimum, but, like time management, you can acquire skills on note taking to make yourself more efficient. You will be pressed for time at college, so in every aspect of your study, it is wise to improve your study skill. That includes note taking.

Faster Reading

In the lecture room you need to become efficient at taking notes. Outside of the lecture room, you will have an enormous amount of reading to do. Such a volume may seem overwhelming, but reading is another area where you can improve, and thus increase your ability to study effectively. Speed reading is a talent anybody can acquire, and if you can acquire it before you reach college, so much the better.


Once at college, you will be bombarded with information, facts relating to the subjects you are studying. Being great at reasoning and making use of facts is no use if you cannot remember those facts in the first place. Improving your memory is therefore something you will benefit greatly from. Even if you think you have a good memory, you can improve further.

I went back to studying, for a professional qualification, 12 years after leaving school. Not being academic as a student, and having a “poor” memory, I knew I would have great difficulty competing mostly against 21/22 year olds fresh from university. So, I focused on my memory, learnt as much as I could about memory techniques, and that was enough (plus hard work, of course) to not only help me keep up, but in some cases keep ahead of the competition.

Improving memory really does make a big difference to your study prospects, and also in later working life. It is another study skill that will always be with you as you move on to other things after college or university.

By preparing yourself in the areas of note taking, time management, faster reading, and memory, you should have a head start on other students, even if they are brighter than you. By such preparation and focusing on your study skills before going to college, it is you who will appear the brightest, as you come across as well organized, able to grasp and recall facts with ease, and able to get through a lot more work in a shorter time than those around you.

School Problems – Excelling in School

The pressure for children to excel academically has never been so much as compared to the olden days. Pressure is one of the common school problems kids are facing today. Young children in kindergarten and first grade are already under the pressure of meeting the academic expectation of their parents and teachers. Such pressure had never been felt by their parents when they were children. Tons of homework, regular class tests, examinations, and tuition and enrichment classes seem to leave very little time for play.

Young children may not be aware that they are undergoing enormous pressure and hence they may not communicate their problems to their parents and teachers. If they cannot meet the expectation and continue to fail even after putting in effort, they would tend to lose their self-esteem and give up hope on themselves. And if your children lost hope on themselves, you may have to need tremendous effort to help them gain back their self-esteem.

So why not apply the tips below to help your children excelling in school. I am neither talking about enrolling your children for more tuition and enrichment classes nor drilling them everyday. Tuition and drilling may help but the additional work may add on to the unbearable pressure on them.

1. Time Management

Teach your children to plan their time properly. Except for children who are too young whom you have to plan for them, older children and teenagers should be independent enough to plan their time properly. When they have proper time management, they will spend their time wiser, so that homework and revision can be done in time leaving enough time for other activities. Naturally, their pressure will become lesser and they will start excelling in school.

2. Enough sleep

Tuck your children up early. But of course before you can do that, time has to be managed properly. Preferably, children should be in bed at a specific time at night. Studies have shown that growing children need at least 10 to 12 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night. When a child has enough sleep, he or she will be more active and energetic to learn in school. And with fresh mind after a good night sleep, children are better in retaining information in their brains.

3. Breakfast is important

Ensure that your children have their nutritious breakfast before heading to school in the morning. If your children are sent to school without food, they can become tired easily and lose concentration, hence they may more likely to perform poorly. Beside a good breakfast, nutritious lunch should also be provided to last them for the entire day. Growing children get hungry easily and need to eat frequently. For better health and weight control, healthy meals and snacks are preferred.

4. Attitude towards learning and school

As parents, you have to make your children understand the importance of education and so, learning in school is one of the common routes towards getting educated. Educate your children and developed in them a positive attitude towards school. Positive attitude means getting up early in the morning feeling enthusiastic to get to school, to learn and to meet the teachers. When you children develop that love to learn, pressure will be gradually eliminated.

5. Be involved in your children’s learning process

Getting involved in your children’s learning process is very important. Get to know your children’s principal and teachers. Find out the latest events which are coming up in the school and if possible, volunteer to help out. With better understanding of the school’s activities, parents will be more aware of the existing problems or potential problems face by children. Thus, with better awareness, you can help to solve the problems so as to help them succeed in school.

Get to know what and how your children are doing is just one of the basic thing parents should be doing. You may not be aware but your children may be facing certain school problems and undergoing a lot of stress which leads to the dropping of grades. If they are really stress about school, apply the tips above to help them do better in school.

I’ve Graduated From Beauty School, Now What?

Congratulations! You have just finished beauty school. Now what?

In a perfect world, you’d go to cosmetology school, learn how to maximize your talents, get your license and easily land a job at a high end salon.

That’s not typically the reality, though.

Don’t despair. You don’t have to be resigned to spending your days living from paycheck to paycheck. There are some things you can do to land a great job and I’m going to show you how.

1. Examine your goals. This is a simple step, and one of the most overlooked. You need to set professional goals, but first you need to look within yourself. What did you most enjoy about beauty or barber school? Do you have a talent for creating precision cuts? Are you extra creative with color? Can you apply makeup as if you’re an artist painting on a canvas? You need to identify your creative strengths and work with those. If there is something that you absolutely do not enjoy doing, then there is no reason for you to have to do it for the long term. Acknowledge your own strengths and market them. Do you want to be a master stylist one day? Is it your dream to be a top colorist? You need to think about these things when you are starting your job search. When you first start school you should have a road map of where you want to go and how you are going to get there. The earlier the better. When you set short and long-term goals it keeps you focused and on the prize.

2. Look the part. Appearance matters in the beauty industry. When you are heading into the salons, shops or spas for interviews, you will want to walk in as if you already work there. Make sure your hair and makeup are on trend and that you’re dressed the part. You want the salon hiring team to be able to picture you on the salon floor -right when they meet you. This will make you to appear more knowledgeable, professional, and confident. You may have heard this advice before mentioned in the corporate world. Interviewees are often advised to dress as if they already have the position for which they’re applying. The same can easily be applied to the beauty industry.

3. Keep on learning. What? You’re probably thinking…I just completed 18 months of school, but the truth is that learning never ends. You need to keep learning. This industry is constantly evolving. Make it a goal to regularly sign up for advanced classes. For example if you are sitting in your interview and you let the hiring professional know that you have just finished an advanced cutting class and that in two months, you’re attending a coloring course from a popular company, then you can and will be much more marketable to the Salon. You have to stay on top of the latest trends and techniques. When the salon sees that you are aware of this and is willing to keep learning, you will already have a major edge over the competition. In fact, another tip for when you are being interviewed is to ask the hiring professional about future educational activities planned for the salon.

4. Be willing to assist. Why should you even think of being an assistant when you have gone through your training and is ready to be on your own? If you have your heart set on being at an exclusive salon (which will equate to more pay, generally, with the higher cost of services), be aware that you most likely will not get hired fresh out of cosmetology or barber school. Salons of this caliber usually want you to prove yourself first. No one wants to be an assistant, but you would be under the direct supervision and training of one of the top stylists at the salon and he or she will give you valuable feedback about where your talents lie and how you can improve. This is a great way to get your foot in the door and land a full-time job all on your own.

5. Create a portfolio. It doesn’t have to be expensive, nor does it have to be too fancy. Grab your friends and family and take pictures to showcase your work and your abilities. If you can walk into the interview and have something to show the salon manager that highlights your talents, you will also have that extra edge to get the job.

6. It’s okay to start off at a chain. If you are having trouble finding a job, there is nothing at all wrong with working at a quick-paced chain. No, you will not necessarily have a chance to build a clientele or have that creative independence you would have at a larger, higher end salon, but this will keep you on target, especially in the cutting arena. You don’t want to put those shears down and stop using them. Practice, practice, practice. It’s what makes you better. If you need to, this is a great first step to heading you off on the career path that you desire.

UBC’s School of Architecture-Landscape Architecture Environmental Design Program: Review From Within

Each year, hundreds of students from around the world apply to UBC’s Environmental Design Program, but only 25 are chosen each year. Acceptance is based on academics, diversity of courses taken, strength and bread of portfolio work, quality of written portions of the application, outstanding reference letters and the level of uniqueness that a student may offer to the rest of the accepted team. I was fortunate enough to have been selected to be a part of the ENDS 2013 class and having just completed my first year in the program, I have experienced so much growth, both creatively and personally. I would like to offer this article as a guide to those who are interested in applying to the ENDS program at UBC. As the program is relatively new, the available literature regarding the application process and the program itself is limited. My goal is that I may help to offer an inside look into the program so that potential applicants can get a better sense of whether or not the program is right for them, and to offer helpful information regarding the difficult application process and the dreaded portfolio. For more information about the portfolio portion of the application scroll down.

I would like to start by giving the overall program a rating of 5 out of 5 stars. Students receive top-notch design education from practicing architects who are thus able to offer quality and fresh-from-the-field knowledge. All of the instructors are patient, extremely knowledgable in many creative fields, more than willing to meet outside of class time for extra help, and prepared to challenge each student at a level that is appropriate for their individual skills.

**A note: ENDS does not accept previous degree holders. If you have a degree, unfortunately, you may not transfer in. However if you are interested in an architectural degree, you may want to consider a graduate degree in architecture. UBC has a widely respected school of architecture and if you are creative-minded and if you can show that you are adaptable and prepared to work hard, they have been known to accept applicants coming from nearly every known undergraduate degree.

One thing that the ENDS program boasts of is the diversity of its students. This year in my class we had students from across the globe, each contributing a unique set of skills and point of view to the repertoire of the entire class. Another way in which ENDS ensures that student diversity is maintained by limiting the required prerequisites to 2 courses of university English, 1 course in Physics (or a high school physics grade of 72% or higher), and 2 courses in geography. Then ENDS program is a third-year transfer program, and so apart from the few pre-reqs listed above, the remaining 15 courses that make up years one and two of the applicants university education are entirely up to them. ENDS hopefuls are not only free, but encouraged to take courses that are of interest to them.

**Here I enter a Caution: from day 1 of my university education, I chose to put all my eggs into the ENDS basket. They want diversity and so that I exactly what I did. I took only courses that I was very interested in; calculus, physics, French, painting, sculpture, sustainability… Fortunately for me, I was accepted into the program and it all worked out. However, I had no direction in the courses I was taking, only a little bit of everything and no back-up plan. And so had I not been accepted, I would have had to nearly start over for a degree. ENDS wants diversity and they want you to take courses that you WANT to take, but take that with a grain of salt and diversify at your own risk. Have a back-up possible degree is possible.

At first I was a little sceptical of the minimal pre-requisistes; concerned about how such a group of students coming from such varied backgrounds could come together to learn the same materials. But the diversity and breadth of our collective knowledge has only strengthened the depth of our work, pushed our critical thinking and forced us to challenge each other creatively. Our class collaboration of knowledge and skills has been a beautiful thing. The ENDS instructors have shown us how to learn from each other in order to expand our knowledge base to one from which we have access to 25 minds-worth of information to draw upon, instead of relying on our individual and thus limited knowledge base.

A few weeks in to the school year showed that we were in for a rough ride for the next 7 months. We experienced many sleepless nights, developed serious dependency to coffee and carbs, and the limits of any of our previous experiences of group work were seriously pushed. The closest tangible thing that I can equate the experience to for those who have not been to design school is A&E’s television series Project Runway. There were tears, there was throwing up, desperate calls to loved ones, panic attacks and meltdowns. But in the end, strong relationships were born among the class and good design was produced. The work of each member of our team added to the calibre of the work of the class as a whole. It sounds like a scary ride, but I know that each of us are beyond excited to start it all again for year two. Bring it on!

If you are adaptable, creative, a critical thinker and a team player who is ready to have all of their limits pushed, creatively and personally, then ENDS is the place for you. If you are looking for an easy grade and thrive on competition put yourself ahead of your team instead of collaborating with them, then move along, ENDS will just eat you up and spit you out.

The first year of ENDS is a heavy course load. A regular full-course load is 5 classes, but ENDS requires a the equivalent the work of a sixth being added. However, only four courses are taken at a time because the main studio class which is required for each semester in ENDS has the equivalent in-class time of 3 courses combines. Course include subjects covering architectural history, technology and technique, digital media and representation and thematic analysis. With this combination of studied materials, we have developed not only skills in the fundamentals of architecture, but design in general, graphic design, digital representation of ideas, interior design, and cross-media collaboration.

Students have access to computer labs, wood shop, three laser cutters, a CNC machine and a 3D printer. Macintosh computers are the preferred operating system of approximately 85-90% of the class. The main programs that we use are Vectorworks, Adobe Creative Suite and Rhinoceros.

Vectorworks is a predominantly 2D drafting program that is user-friendly and easy to learn. They also offer a free student version to those who submit proof of enrolment to a post-secondary institution. For this, simply acquire a ‘proof of enrolment’ letter from your school, safe it as a PDF and attach it to your Vectorworks application. Adobe Creative Suite is an expensive package, but well worth the money. It is a quality program that includes almost every program you will need for design school. There is no need to spend the big bucks on the Master or Professional collections. The standard, education version will be more than enough. Make sure to get the discounted educational price as well. Rhinoceros is a 3D modelling program. There is a beta version for mac that is currently available for free. Rhino is a useful tool for creating convincing perspectival renderings and for creating ‘exploded’ drawings of a project. Before coming to class, it would be very useful to be familiar with these programs, and in particular Vectorworks, InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop.

Classroom Management Strategies For High School

The work of the educator particularly those in high schools has become more daunting with every passing decade. There are diverse behaviors and personalities in the modern day classrooms. When some high school students put up disruptive attitudes often inimical to their studies many new educators may conclude either prematurely or naively that such students are not fit for the school environment or that they are simply not willing to learn.

Educators should know that reasons abound for misbehavior of students: Many practicing educators often fail to realize that there are always reasons behind every disruptive behavior of high school students. We may pardon the new educators who are mainly fresh from prep courses because teacher prep courses often fail to equip potential educators with adequate high school classroom management techniques for the modern day classrooms thereby making building classroom discipline a daunting task for the majority of new educators at least within the first few years of their employment.

Educators of today teach high school students that are lacking in motivation and behavior management: Many experienced and concerned practicing educators know that the skills students need in order to be able to behave well and listen appropriately in class begin at home, but many educators find their students lacking in behavior management. Many students of today do not learn their values from their parents but rather from television sets, video games, and Hollywood because in most instances both parents are too busy with secular jobs or their businesses for too long that the training of their children have been left to chance or baby sitters or worst still sign them up for Little League, Soccer, and Summer Camp as opposed to being truly interested in the child’s development in values, work ethics, and good behavior influenced by parents themselves.

The task before educators of today: Educators of today have become surrogate parents by default but that is a task they are not inclined to accept or trained for. When students face pressures at home, it reflects in their characters at school by causing problems. Therefore, when the classroom seems unmanageable, it’s best for educators to look for proven techniques. Classroom management strategies are part of a continuing education program taught in classroom management workshops which every practicing educator should take interest in. The task before educators of today includes the followings:

There is the need for practicing educators to change their views when it comes to students with challenging behaviors. There is the need to shift focus from seeing misbehaved students as threats to the smooth running of the school or even as a threat to the civil society.

There is the importance of empathy and understanding in dealing with disruptive students while at the same time maintaining firmness for a change in behavior if educators intend to achieve success on their job.

Deliberate and joint efforts needs to be taken by educators in tackling behavior problems in school, though educators have different personalities yet they need to work together and respond to students who break rules the same way rather than different ways.