How To Become A Straight-A Student: 5 Habits Every Student Should Have

Since I’m back in college and I got two A’s for my assignments in the first semester (sorry for the humblebrag, but at least you know the tips below work, am I right?) I’ve been thinking about studying effectively a lot.

What separates truly successful students from those who aren’t as successful? You might say ‘intelligence’ right away. While that’s true in some cases, work ethic almost always beats out intelligence. You don’t have to be born a genius to get good grades – I certainly wasn’t. Below you’ll find five habits I’ve consistently worked on in the first semester, and that have played a big part in getting only A’s so far.

Go to the lectures and pay attention

Even if you think you don’t have to. Or because you think you already know all of the material. A lot of professors will give you clues as to what they feel is point of emphasis. Take notes in class. It’s tedious, but you’ll thank yourself later when the test comes up. I like to write my notes down on paper, because it forces me to focus on the lecture more. My laptop is just a distraction for me.

Before getting to class, do the recommended preparation. If you have any mandatory reading assignments, do them before your class. This allows you to understand the class better, because the information isn’t new. I also like to reread my notes from the last class to freshen my mind on the topic a bit. This allows me to connect the dots between different subjects more easily. And when you understand something, it’s much easier to remember. Read More »

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Dalindcy

The Post In Which I Talk About Being Your Own Friend

When I was a stubborn thirteen year old, my psychologist at the time said something to me that stuck with me forever. ”Would you treat your friends the same way you treat yourself?” Of course not, was my immediate reaction. They were my friends after all. And at the same time I realized something important that day: I was treating myself like shit.

Looking back, I know exactly why. Because I thought I was shit. That I wasn’t worth anything. That I didn’t belong. There was something wrong with me. I was broken, didn’t have talents, was unable to make my parents proud. Or at least I felt like that. If you read this blog regularly, you know that I’ve come a long way since then. And I can finally say that now, I am my own best friend.

The road to better self-esteem was anything but easy. And like anything worthwhile in life, it was hard work. But my life became much easier and much more enjoyable when I became my own friend. Read More »

help my friend is depressed

My Friend Is Depressed: An Incomplete Guide To Helping Your Suffering Friend

First of all, kudos for you if you opened this post because you’re worried about your friend. It’s really hard to see someone you care about sink into a mental illness, not knowing what you should do or say.

One out of every ten adults in the US suffers from depression.  Not to mention that this number would probably be much higher if there wasn’t any stigma attached to this disorder, or going to therapy at all. At worst, depression can lead to suicide – the second leading cause of death in 15-29 year olds. As someone who has suffered and has seen people suffer from this mental illness, I wanted to share some thoughts on the subject.

Understanding What Depression is (And Isn’t..)

I think the first step is to understand what your friend is going through. From another person’s perspective, depression can look like regular sadness. Your friend might not get out much, they’ll say they are sick, don’t feel well but that it will pass. Regular sadness will pass with time, but depression doesn’t work the same way.

“There are wounds that never show on the body that are deeper and more hurtful than anything that bleeds.” ― Laurell K. HamiltonMistral’s Kiss

Depression is much more extreme than regular sadness. It lasts longer. It’s more intense. Depression is not sadness. It feels like a dark hole, like all the air has been squeezed out of your lungs, and at worst, it will make you feel completely numb. It’s important to know that – just like many illnesses – the symptoms aren’t the same for everyone, which is one of the reasons I called this guide incomplete. Some people suffering from depression have trouble concentrating, while others are irritable or just feel empty. Read More »

Why I Decided To Go Back To College At 21

It’s funny to think of my sixteen year old self. I had just graduated high school, and I went to college for the exact same reason everyone else goes to college here: Because it’s the logical next step. It’s what everyone else does. Because where would you be without a college education?

So I went to college. Knowing that I had a knick of writing and at that point, had been published in a few (online) magazines, I went into journalism. Looking back, I loved my degree and the school I went to. I’m happy I chose to follow my degree at an art school, because my college was very open, creative, and we got lots of space to work on projects with students who were in completely different courses than we were.

I learned a lot about myself in those years, and I remember how proud I was (and am!) for getting that diploma at the very end. But I also remember myself thinking: now what? Read More »

The Old Taylor Swift Is Dead: Writing A New Narrative

I was actually going to blog about something else today, but I can’t wrap my mind about anything but Taylor Swift right now So here I am.

Because Taylor Swift, an artist I’ve been a fan of since 2007, has just released a new single.

Look What You Made Me Do & its interpretation

Look What You Made Me Do is the introductory track to Taylor’s new upcoming album reputation (small R, according to her official website). The song is darker and more vindictive than anything she’s ever done before. Taylor Swift is an artist with very distinct ‘era’s’ – with a new era starting whenever she releases new music, every two years or so. From 2006 till now, long-time fans will be able to tell when a certain song was released or a picture was taken based on her music style and fashion choices.

Since it’s release just a few hours ago, everyone left and right has accused Taylor of releasing yet another victim song. This is something I personally disagree with, at least to a certain extent. The lyrics are something I read as hyperbole, not only meant to reshape the narrative around Taylor, but also to create buzz around the album. Lyrics like ”I don’t like your kingdom keys / they once belonged to me” and ”All I think about is karma / Maybe I got mine, but you got all yours” Tell me there’s a certain type of self-awareness in this song, disguised by anger and frustration. Not to mention ”I don’t trust nobody and nobody trusts me”, letting us know that she’s aware of her own portrayal in the media, mistakes she’s made in the past and how it has affected her and how people view her persona.

With the song, Taylor is pointing out her own imperfections. It shows that she’s petty and holds grudges, that she never forgets or lets go. She’s not presenting herself as a hero here, she’s presenting herself as a master manipulator ready to attack. And that’s not a flattering portrait. Read More »

Why I Hate The Secret

The Truth About ‘The Secret’ (The Most Terrible Self-Help Book I Have Ever Read)

I hate The Secret. There. I said it. Can’t go back now.

I know I’m a self-help blogger, and this book is like a bible to those who like to consume self-help content, but I hate it. It’s a godawful book and I feel like I need to tell you why.

I feel like every generation has it’s own self-help book, at least in the past century. In 1936, Napoleon Hill did it first with Think And Grow Rich. Hill was also a fraud by the way, which shouldn’t be all that surprising. This is a really interesting 20,000 word longread I recommend. Twenty years later, The Power of Positive Thinking was all the rage, written by the guy who was also Donald Trump’s pastor when he was a child. Which is just a weird fun fact I wanted to share.

And for our generation, it’s Rhonda Byrne’s The Secret, a short book that describes the so-called ‘law of attraction’. A philosophical concept that basically comes down to this: if you want to attract positive things, you need to think positive thoughts.

Each of those self-help books, from Napoleon Hill to Rhona Byrne and many books that were published in between, focus on the same ideas, each tailored for its own generation. Think and Grow Rich was released in the time of the Great Depression, and mostly focused on making money. ‘The Secret’, launched in the age of social media and the smartphone, reads very self-centered. It’s full of questionable advice, superstitious bullshit and entitlement. I believe that anyone who reads this and applies the advice given will be off worse in the end. But first, let me explain the main points in the book, so you don’t have to read it and instead, can read something that’s actually worth your time.

What’s ‘The Secret’ anyways?

The book is simply a rehash of ‘The Law of Attraction’: the belief that whatever consumes your thoughts will be what you end up getting in life. So if you only focus on the things you don’t want, you will only get those things. And if you focus on the things you do want – a nice house, lots of money, happiness, a good job – you will get those things.

“Thoughts are magnetic, and thoughts have a frequency. As you think thoughts, they are sent out into the Universe, and they magnetically attract all like things that are on the same frequency. Everything sent out returns to the source – you.” ― Rhonda Byrne, The Secret

There aren’t many self-help books that bother explaining why the law of attraction works, but Byrne gives some half-ass explanation about the universe and how it’s made up of energy and that all energy has a frequency. Your thoughts also emit a certain frequency, and therefore the frequency of your thoughts will resonate with the frequency of other energies. Or something like that. It sounds just as weird as it is. Read More »

How To Get The Most Out of Self-Help Books: 5 Tips

You know how some people treat their books like sacred beings that need to be protected at all times? Yeah, that’s not me.

I’ve been reading self-help books for a long time, and throughout the years I’ve perfected the way I’m reading them: because in the end, it’s not about reading the book, it’s about applying what you read. 

So I thought I would share five things I do with every self-help book I read, to help you get the most out of them!

Read actively

Don’t be afraid to highlight passages that you like and write notes on the pages. I do it all the time! I believe reading should be an active experience, not a passive experience. Doing this somehow helps me to take in the information better and it’s a nice point of reference if I ever want to go back to the book – something I often to with self-help books.

Stop reading shit books

Give it 50, maybe 75 pages. If the book is not for you, put it down. Seems really straightforward, but many people are so determined to finish a book when they start, and it’s a waste of time! We’re all individuals, and some self-help books are not for us. That’s totally okay. Life is short, read books that matter to you. Some books that I’ve been loving recently:

Read More »