Category Archives: Tips for Undergrads

Undergrad Research FAQ

“Research is to see what everybody else has seen, and to think what nobody else has thought.”~Albert Szent-Gyorgyi

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Hello everyone!

I wanted to present to you what I hope to become the “super duper guide to all that is undergrad research”! I know that before I entered college, I had absolutely no idea that undergrad research was even a possibility. I thought college would be four years of going to class, joining clubs and making a desperate attempt at being social. However, once I discovered this whole other aspect to undergrad, my eyes were then opened to a whole new array of endless opportunity! In fact, I probably wouldn’t be where I am today if I had never participated in undergrad research! But, more on the benefits later.

Anyway, to those of you who have many questions but few answers to the mysteries of undergrad research, I hope this post can be the guide that I wish I had when I was in your shoes. I also want this post to evolve as I get a better idea of additional questions people may have. So, if you think of anything that should be added, please let me know in the comments below or by any means on my contact page. Continue reading Undergrad Research FAQ

Note-Taking for Different Lecture Styles

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So, when I entered college, I was amazed at how many different lecture styles professors could have. Some used PowerPoints, some used the white board and some just talked at you and expected you to learn that way. Actually, now that I think about it, maybe amazed is not the right word. Maybe it’s better put as “culture-shocked to the point that required me to up my note-taking game.”

Regardless of the word you choose, there will eventually be a point in college (or grad school) where your regular note-taking style just can’t efficiently sort through the information presented to you. Therefore, I have decided to write a post that talks about how I adapted with each lecture styles in order to take the most efficient notes and ultimately determine the important test-worthy information. Continue reading Note-Taking for Different Lecture Styles

Starting off the semester right

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Hi everyone,

I hope this post finds you all prepared to start your winter/spring terms! Since I’m getting ready to go back to class myself, I thought I’d make a super duper quick post on some things I’m doing to start of the new semester on the right foot! 🙂

Hope this is helpful! Any other suggestions? Leave them in the comments and let me know!

Continue reading Starting off the semester right

How to find STEM Internships!

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Hi everyone!

Not only are internships very important in terms of resume building, but it can be so much more than that! Internships are great places to network with colleagues in your chosen field and to gain a unique perspective on the inner workings of your discipline! However, as great as that may sound, I remember feeling really overwhelmed when searching for internships during my junior year of undergrad.

Well, fear not! Because finding internships is actually quite easy if you know where to look. Of course, I say this with the small disclaimer that these tips are mainly centered around STEM internships in the US, but hopefully these tips can at least lend a hand to anyone looking for a cool experience for the summer.

So, I’m going to separate my tips into separate categories!

Continue reading How to find STEM Internships!

Grad Courses as an Undergrad

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shrug_answer_101_xlargeTowards the end of my undergrad career, I got a little bored with my typical classes and I was in need of some units to qualify for financial aid. So, during a brief morning of possible insanity, I decided to sign up for a grad course. Fortunately, that brief moment of insanity didn’t go horrible wrong because the grad courses I took as an undergrad were probably the most fun out of all the classes that I took during university.

Not only were they fun, but I feel it was also pretty beneficial to my academic career. First,  it was a nice way to minimize the culture shock of transitioning from the learning style needed in an undergrad class to that which is needed in grad classes. Not to mention, it probably also showed initiative when I was applying to internships and grad programs, because it showed admissions faculty that I was willing to try something new and was dedicated to learning topics in my field.

Of course, I can see how intimidating it could be. There are also many questions that are unanswered until you actually take the class such as how different is it from undergrad courses? How much harder will it be? Are the tests worse? What is it like being in a class with a bunch of older grad students? Do they judge you? Etc. Etc. Etc.

Continue reading Grad Courses as an Undergrad

Relieving Test Anxiety

fbf46c36277067a5de185cd33f6ec639Hello, my fellow students. Unfortunately, I greet you during that dreaded time of the year: finals week. And yeah, sure, the long nights of studying are pretty bad, admittedly. But, in my opinion, what can be even worse is that little voice in you head that that starts speaking up right before the final. You know the one. It says horrible things such, “You studied the wrong material,” or even, “I bet you’re going to forget everything you studied the moment you sit down!” Gosh. What a jerk that voice is. 😦

Anyway, I feel that a lot of the time, it’s this test anxiety that makes finals week so nerve-wracking, scary and stressful! However, over my test-taking years I’ve found a few techniques that have helped me reduce my anxiety and go into the exam room feeling focused, awake and confident! Listed below are my techniques in hopes that this helps you all have the best finals week ever! Kick those test’s butt! ❤

Continue reading Relieving Test Anxiety

Surviving Lab Classes

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daa412c3f51cf7c76447dfb4fc8a2480As a STEM major, there is a high probability that you’re going to have at least one class that has some sort of lab component. Whether it’s a three to four hour lab once a week or in the worst case (read: as a chemistry major), two four-hour labs a week. 😦

Of course, the difference between lab-based courses and lecture-based courses is that there is a significant portion of your grade is no longer based on exams and problem sets. Rather, a large chunk is now based on three other things: (1) how accurately and efficiently can you do your experiment in the allotted time, (2) how well you can remember your lab manual for quizzes, as well as (3) how well you can write it up (read: defend your results) on your lab report.

Unfortunately, for those that are starting on their first serious lab courses, it’s always these components that can sometimes be the trickiest to master. So, having survived quite a few lab courses as a chemistry major, here is my take on how I survived my lab courses in hopes that it helps you too! 🙂

Good luck & science away!

Continue reading Surviving Lab Classes