October 11, 2017

How To Stop Making Silly Mistakes On Math Exams

Raise your hand if you’ve been personally victimized by silly mistakes on your math (or any) exams. You can’t see me, but i’m raising my hands pretty high right now. The thing that makes silly mistakes really upsetting is the fact that you actually knew what you were doing. It wasn’t one of those problems you go into hoping for the best.

Did you add instead of subtract? Or maybe you wrote down a positive number when it was supposed to be a negative number? Whatever it is, we’ve all been through those stupid mistakes that just makes you want to pull your hair out.

One time i multiplied 6*4 and got 32 (*insert skull imoji here*). To this day, i don’t understand what i was thinking. I’ve convinced myself i was probably possessed then. This is what silly mistakes are all about. You just don’t understand how you could have made such mistakes.

In my experience, the best way to combat these oversights is to learn from them. Your silly mistakes become stupid when you brush them off as one time faux pas. If you don’t do anything to minimize the likelihood of you repeating such errors, i can almost guarantee you’ll experience many more “faux pas” in future exams. Again, speaking from experience here.

Luckily, I am more than happy to share a couple things i have been doing, which have enormously helped me prevent more of those silly mistakes.
ways to avoid stupid mistakes on math exams

Figure out the cause
Okay, so if you’re reading this, you’ve recognized that there’s a problem. That’s a good start. Now we have to find the root of said problem. So, what’s going on?

Are you daydreaming for half the duration of the exam? Are your nerves throwing you off? Do you not go back and check your work?

Are these mistakes happening at the beginning, halfway or towards the end of problems? For me, i noticed my mistakes were more often condensed towards the end of problems. It was kind of like those running races where the runner in the lead let’s his guard down once they gets close to the finish line, only for a runner behind them to cross the line at the last second. YIKES.

That’s exactly how my mistakes played out. Once i saw shining light at the end of the tunnel, i fell off the wagon and got the entire question wrong.

Do not brush them off as one time mistakes. I can almost guarantee you’ll make those mistakes again.

Make sure you give your answer in the form asked
You may be asked to give your answer as a fraction,  in decimal form and rounded to a certain number, and more. Make sure you check if your professor specified how they want the answer. Unless you weren’t given any instructions on how your answer should appear, then you can have it in an appropriate form that suits you.

There is no reason to get into a situation where you have the right answer but not in the right format. This has happened to me, and my professor could not care less whether or not i had the right answer. It wasn’t in the correct format and therefore it was wrong. Simple as that.

Read the questions carefully
Just last week i missed a question i totally knew the answer of, all because i read the question too fast and interpreted it wrong. Here's how to fix that:

  • Read the question multiple times: When reading the question, make sure you read it at least twice. If you don’t understand what you’re being asked to do, chances are you will not get the question right.

  • Read the entire question: Read the question in its entirety, especially when it has multiple parts. I can’t count how many times i only worked the first part of a problem and forgot to work out the remaining parts.

Write Neatly
Sometimes you know exactly how to solve a problem but you’re not very organized. How does your exam paper usually look like when you’re about to hand it in? Is your paper clear enough for a random person to follow through the steps you used to solve any of the problems? What’s the state of your scratch paper at the end of an exam? Can the next person discern which problem is which or is everything all mumbo jumbo together?

Organizing your work neatly will greatly minimize your chances of making careless mistakes.

Try to stay calm
Nerves will literally lead you to fail an exam you would have otherwise done well on.

  • Take deep breaths: Before starting your exam, close your eyes, take a couple deep breaths and remind yourself you’ve prepared well and will demonstrate it on the exam.
  • Stay focus on your work: Don’t worry about what the person next to you is doing. Don’t get distracted by what may be happening outside of class. Anything can really be a distraction, it’s on you not to let distractions break your concentration.
  • Get a good night sleep: I know this is foreign to most college students but it’s time to get acquainted with it. Coffee will never beat the benefits a good night rest brings.

Don’t do it in your head!
This is the one thing my math professor always yells at us about. Now, every time i try to do a problem mentally i can literally hear him say “write it down, don’t do it in your head!”

It doesn’t matter how simple you think a problem is, it’s always best to write it down in order to have a visual look of your work. This way you’re more likely to catch some of those *silly* mistakes we often make.

We surely don’t want you to get a question wrong, not because you didn’t know how to solve it, but because you wrote 4*4=8. Is it me or these types of mistakes always happen on questions worth the most points? This is literally how i felt when looking at my mistakes.

Don’t worry about your neighbors
Oh, your neighbor finished his/her test in 10 minutes? Who cares! Half the class already turned in their exams? Who CARES! You’re the only one still working on the exam? wHo CaReS! As long as time hasn’t run out, make sure to focus your attention on your paper and not what others are doing.

Do not rush yourself just because everyone seems to be done with their exam and you’re the only still working. It’s not a race. No one is getting extra points for finishing earlier than everyone else or vice versa. Pace yourself.

Double Check your work
I can’t even count how many times this has hurt me. I used to NEVER check over my work. Once i finished with a problem, i did not care to go back to it. Let’s just say, that method didn’t go too well for me.

Here’s what’s working for me now:

  • Work problems twice: If there’s enough time, you should always repeat your calculations. Your brain can play some tricks on you, especially if you’re doing your calculations mentally. Everytime i go back to check my work, i always catch one or two mistakes that would have cost me.
  • Use different methods: When checking your work, don’t just redo the problems the same way you did it the first time. If possible, try to solve the problems a different way, then compare both answers. You have a greater chance of being right if both answers match.
  • Plug it in: The good thing about math is that you can often check your answer to see if you’re right. You can’t really do this with other subjects. Maybe you could with science but not subjects like history, english or psychology. For example, if you’re solving for “x”, once you find “x”you can plug it back into the original equation and see if it works out.

I can’t absolutely guarantee following these steps will forever immune you to making hair pulling mistakes on your exams. I know it didn’t do that for me because i still make these mistakes once in awhile. What i can guarantee is, you won’t make such mistakes as often.

All the best on your next math exams!

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September 17, 2017

What's In My College Backpack

a look inside my college backpack

My absolute favorite part about back-to-school is getting new furniture. I just get super excited to go furniture shopping!

This year i did almost all of my back-to-school shopping at Staples, partly because my friend works there and i wanted to get some discounts.

Writing utensils

  • Mechanical pencils: I always try to have as many of these as possible. This is a utensil i never like to run out of. Plus, people often ask to borrow my pencils and never give it back. So i like having extras as back-up.
  • Erasable pencils: I mentioned these in my last post and as promised, i went ahead and got them. I’m super excited to use them!
  • Flash cards: My math professor this summer made it absolutely mandatory we use flash cards. I really didn’t care much for these before, but after using them consistently enough, i found them pretty helpful!
  • Post-it notes: I have to remind myself to do things ALL.THE.TIME. Post it notes help with that tremendously.
  • Eraser: pencil erasers run out all the time. Always got me some back up.


Notebooks: There’s only one notebook pictured here but i have two. I just forgot to take a picture of the other one. The notebook pictured is a 5-subject notebook i’m using for all my classes except for one.

The other notebook i have is a one subject notebook, which i am using for my math class. I use a lot more paper in math for notes and whatnot, so i definitely needed more paper than what is available in the 5-subject notebook.


Planner: This is one of the items that is not from Staples. I actually got this planner last semester at Target. It’s a fairly good planner but i do want to try other planners in the future just to see if i like anyone of them better.


Cosmetic bag: You may recognize this “Play Beautifully” bag from last December. It’s one of the things i received from my Blogger Secret Santa.

I basically have things like lip gloss, lipstick, a mini bottle of lotion etc. inside the bag.

Eyeglasses cleaner: If you didn’t know, i have four eyes. I wear prescription glasses pretty much all the time and i got two bottles of these lens cleaner at Costco for a pretty good deal! I can even go back and get a refill when i run out!

Pencil case: If you’re wondering why they’re puzzle pieces in my pencil case, i use to have a phone case with those in. You could rearrange the pieces to your liking. The phone case eventually broke, i just really like to look at those pieces. I also have extra lead for my pencils.

Now inside the pencil case i have the usual. Pencils, pens, highlighters, markers, eraser, white out, and some glue (you never know when you’re gonna need some glue).


Calculator: Can’t do math without this one.

Flash Drive: My old flash drive recently broke out of nowhere and i never thought to backup my documents (i know, how dumb is that). So all my documents were G O N E with the wind. It makes me upset just to remember all the 4 years worth of documents i lost. I definitely will not make the same mistake with this one. I learned my lesson.

House Keys: I have been locked out of my house too many times. I try to always keep my keys in my bag.

Phone Charger: Always need my phone charger with me.


Water bottle: I have lost so many water bottles in the past and i forbade myself from buying anymore. Until, i went to Dave & Buster’s and got this water bottle at their store. Technically, i didn’t really buy it since it was one of the prizes at their store. I'm pleasantly surprised i haven't lost this one.

Book: I have a fairly long commute to school, i would much rather have a book with me rather than being on my phone. I always try to keep an interesting book in my bag.


Sunnies: i love my new sunnies from GlassesUSA. I literally parade them everywhere. I’m actually sad it’s about to be cold and i won’t be able to wear them.

Wallet: always need my wallet.

Body Spray: I have to smell good! I’m not the biggest fan of the smell, but i can deal until i run out.

Deodorant: This deodorant smells pretty good but i’m looking for a more natural deodorant. If you have any suggestions, leave them in the comment section.


Backpack: Last but not least, the backpack! I actually got this backpack at the thrift store (I love shopping at the thrift store!). I really like it because it has a bunch of pockets, everything has its place.

I got my “RESIST” pin you there at the climate march in DC. That’s where it has been sitting ever since.



What’s one thing you absolutely have to have in your backpack?


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August 29, 2017

How To Beat The End Of Summer Blues

This is a sponsored post in partnership with UniDays and Her Campus Media. All words and opinions are my own.

With the amount of back-to-school commercials on television, it is pretty hard to ignore the unavoidable end of summer. In less than a week, i’ll be turning my morning alarms back on and reading endless pages of overpriced textbooks. Is it me or summer always feels like it only lasted for about a month while the school year almost never ends.

Instead of dreading the beginning of the new school year, i choose to make the best out of the free time i have left. You guys know the really popular quote that goes “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” I choose to be thankful for the relaxing summer i had, in lieu of asking the universe why it has to end so soon. And you should too.

Here are a couple ways you can say your farewells to summer and welcome fall with open arms.

Frame your memories

How many pictures of “SUMMER ‘17” do you have on your phone (don’t lie!)? My guess would be double, if not triple digits. I personally  love to seeing pictures of some of my favorite adventures on my desk. I almost feel like i can go back in time and experience those moments once more.

You could either frame some of your favorite pictures or make a scrapbook out of them. I promise you will have the biggest smile on your face while doing it. The end of the summer might not sound as bad anymore because you will be reminded of all the good times you had.


Go back-to-school shopping!
You may not be thrilled about school starting again, but don’t you just love back-to-school shopping? If i didn’t discipline myself to only get what i need, i would probably get everything at the store every year (not really. Can’t afford that lol).

One thing i’m excited to get is erasable pens. I can’t believe i didn’t know about them until someone from my summer class let me use one. Ever since then, i have been obsessed and i have to get one for this semester.

As a college student, i’m always looking for ways to save money any way i can, so when i learned about UNiDAYS i could not keep them to myself. UNiDAYS provides free services for students where you can get exclusive discounts on brands such as Apple, Urban Outfitters, GlassesUSA, ASOS, Bed Bath Beyond, Lyft, and many more.

UNiDAYS also offers weekly member-only giveaways from $500 for back-to-school shopping,  new phones to style-your-self outfits and more! There is no reason to pay full price for items UNiDAYS will give you great discounts on!


Lose yourself in a good book
I have a long reading list i need to go through. I love taking book recommendations from some of my favorite bloggers! And what better way to avoid reality than to immerse yourself in a good book?  Take advantage of the free time you have remaining  to relax and unwind while you still can.

I personally like to read around this time rather than doing so during the school year. When i start reading a really good book, i have the tendency to not put it down until i’m completely done with it. Which doesn’t look good for me because i consequently put all my responsibilities in the back seat.

Make the best of the time you have left
Although summer is ending, it hasn’t ended just yet. Meaning, you still have the opportunity to have lots of fun. This is the perfect time to finish off your summer bucket list.

I don’t to see a lot of my friends often enough during the school year, so when we all have some time off, we don’t let it go to waste. We still have plans set up until the weekend before school starts.

My favorite part so far has been my best friend and i restaurant hopping and pretending to be food bloggers.

I have a question: am i the only who gets excited for summer mainly because i get to rock my sunglasses? Which leads to my next question: Does anyone else wear sunglasses more so as a fashion statement than sun protection? Just me? Well then.

I’ve been trying to match all my outfits according to my sunglasses ever since i got a new pair  from GlassesUSA, a partners of UNiDAYS. If you like what you see, you can get yourself a stylish pair of sunglasses like mine through UNiDAYS at a discounted price! As a broke college student, “free” and “discounts” are two words i love to hear.


Get excited for fall TV schedule
It’s always good to have things to look forward to. Think about all your favorite TV shows coming back. Are you still sad about the end of summer? I know i’m not!

I CANNOT wait for Scandal (last season *insert Kim K’s crying face*), The Big Bang Theory, How To Get Away With Murder, Stranger Things and Black-ish. I still don’t know how i’m gonna find time to watch all these series, but i’m pretty excited nonetheless.

Prepare for fall activities
Halloween is closer than you think! What will you be this year? If you already have an idea of what you’re going to be, you can start working on it. It’s always better to DIY not only because it’s fun, but it’s also FREE!

Summer may be coming to an end but that certainly doesn’t to be a bad thing. There are so many other fun things to look forward to. All you have to do is figure out what those things are.


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August 24, 2017

5 High School Habits To Drop Before College

high school habits to stop before college

Remember in elementary school when your teachers would often say “oh when you get to middle school things will be so much different and you won’t be able to do this and that...” but then you get to middle school and lo and behold, everything is pretty much the same. Then you would hear the same lecture in middle school about high school and once more, it was all just talk to scare you a little.

Although it would make sense to believe that college wouldn’t be much different than high school, i can assure you it’s definitely not the case. In order to have a successful high school to college transition, it is imperative that high school students break and replace the common habits listed below.

Not reading your class’s assigned books
News Flash: You actually have to read your textbooks instead of using them as coasters and whatnots. I was talking to my friend the other day and she was telling me how annoying it is that she actually has to read her textbooks now that she’s in college instead of barely cracking them open like she had done in high school. It was so funny to hear her rant about it because all i could do was reminisce on the time i was in her place my freshmen year, ranting about the same thing.

When you think about it, we really had it easy in high school. We had free textbooks which we barely read. Meanwhile in college, you have to pay for your own OVERPRICED textbooks and you have to read them. Sparknotes won’t come to your rescue anymore either. You’re going to have reading quizzes and sometimes you might not even get a heads up from your professor. All to say, when you get reading assignments, it’s in your best interest to follow through.

Not studying for tests
Oh how i miss the good ol’ days in high school when i barely worried about exams. Most of the time i would study for an exam the day before and call it a day. Meanwhile in college, i have done everything but pull my hair out during finals.

You absolutely cannot take this habit to college. I repeat you can NOT take this habit with you to college. You’re going to have to learn to study over a period of time for upcoming exams and not the day before. Not only is it a better study strategy, but you will also learn a lot more than you ever will with the day of or day before habit.

If i’m being honest, this will likely follow you to college (it followed me!). Procrastination is a pest you can’t easily get rid of. With that being said, i advise you to try your hardest to get rid of this habit, which has the potential to make your life a living hell in college.

Procrastinating in college is a whole different ball game than it is in high school. You could procrastinate in high school and still be able to turn in a decent assignment. Whereas, a lot more is expected of you in college and the amount of time you spend working on an assignment will reflect on your grades.

Don’t be surprised if what would have earned you a B+ in high school may earn you a C- or worse in college. Moral of the story? It is always best not to procrastinate at all, but if you do, do so at your own risk because you will not receive any favors from your professors

Expecting teachers to remind you about missed homework
College is whole new ball game than high school. You get a syllabus that tells everything you need to know about the class. All your assignments will be on it and sure your professor will verbally present them to you, but after then you’re on your own. This is especially tricky with long term assignments that students often tend to forget about. If there’s a big research paper due a month or two, don’t expect your professor to remind you about it every other day.

It is your job and your job alone to remember when your assignments are due. And if you happen to forget about them, that’s on you as well.  

Not asking for help when you need it
At this point we’ve pretty much established that college is almost nothing like high school. While you were able to do most if not all of your work on your own in high school, you are probably not going to be able to follow the same pattern in college for the fact that more is demanded of you.

Whether you’re struggling with your chemistry homework or your literature paper, there are multiple resources on campus readily available to help you. Your professor most certainly has office hours, don’t be afraid to stop by and ask for help. That’s what office hours are for.

If you would much rather have things explained to you by your peers, there are students tutors available for most subjects. If you’re feeling under the weather, there are counselors you can surely talk to.  Remember, a lot of these resources are made available with the help of your tuition money. You’re simply using what you’re paying thousands of dollars to your college for. I know being in college we all want to learn how to “adult,” but asking for help when you need it does not make you less of an adult than the next person.


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