5 Tips for Freshman to Ace a Class!

Hey Everyone!

Back to school season is among us and boy, has it been an eventful week already. If you are an incoming freshman to college this year then you may a tad bit nervous about diving into this wondrous pool of the unknown. Well, don’t worry. College can be so much fun, but it’s definitely as good as you make it. Go into it with an open mind and an optimistic mindset that this year is going to be amazing. Today, i am going to list a few essential tips (5 to be exact) that i have used in my personal life that have aided in my success in school thus far. Now, these may not be for everyone but in my experience, i have improved a lot since adopting these ideas. Lol. Try them out and let me know how they work for you!

 

  1. Buy a binder/set of dividers for each class. I know everyone has different schedules, but the way that i set up my personal school schedule is to try to take one class per day. (otherwise, at least to have them somewhat back-to-back so i am not stuck on campus all day.) In saying this, i have time to either go to my car to switch out materials and avoid carrying all of my course materials with me all day. This really helps me keep super organized and I don’t have to worry about shoving papers in my backpack and losing/mixing them with other subjects. As mentioned above, if you don’t have the luxury of going to your car/dorm/locker to switch out your binders, then i would stick to either a 3 to 5 subject notebook that you can use one section per subject. The point is: SEPARATE FOR SUCCESS.
  2. Get yourself a pack of sheet protectors. I know, random. But they help a lot!  They are the three-hole punched clear sheets that allow you to insert documents in them. I will take those and put a couple in each subject’s binder and put my syllabus in there. This allows me to not have a crumpled paper when i need to go over upcoming topics for reading/ due date changes. Slide it in and out of the plastic sheet whenever the professor makes an adjustment and you don’t have to stress too much or scribble last minute announcements on your hands or random papers. *GUILTY FACE* It also comes in handy with any handouts that the teacher may give out. This keeps them from tearing, getting dirty, or crumpling. (since most handouts are not reinforced around the hole punches).
  3. Rewrite your lecture notes. This one may seem unnecessary and like hand cramps waiting to happen, but hear me out. A lot of times during lecture the teachers will talk fast, change the power point slides mid-sentence or jump subjects around a little bit. I know, in my experience, i have had professors who will jump to three various concepts in a strange order and i would circle certain notes and draw arrows to the ideas it was in common with. Let’s just say, it got messy fast. Rewriting them not only allows you to have neater/more concise notes, but you will also basically be reviewing it again. There is a saying that goes “a short pencil is better than a long memory.” This means that you are more likely to absorb information when you write it down. Imagine writing it down twice? Think of those odds. Lol
  4. Keep your quizzes and tests. This is particularly beneficial when you have professors who give cumulative exams (meaning everything you’ve learned so far is included.) if the professor didn’t hand them back, just ask. Trust me they don’t wanna hang on to them and will most likely trash them anyway. Once you get them back, find the ones that were pretty difficult for you during the exam, that took you the most time, or that you got wrong and re-do them. Get the correct answer from someone else if necessary. Odds are if you got it wrong on the quiz and the same concept pop up again you’ll miss it on the final exam unless you’ve practiced it and learned from your mistakes.
  5. Remember to have fun, talk to people and make friends. Especially on the first day, make sure you talk to people, exchange numbers, and get to know your peers! Kind of self explanatory but this will make class way more fun. Being able to know people and not be alone in a class where you don’t know anyone is awesome alone, but it also helps in cases where you miss a day and need the notes and you actually have others to ask rather than falling behind. Also, you can get together and study outside of class! I know our library on campus has study rooms you can book for free with chairs and whiteboards and tables so we can go in the air conditioning and the quiet and study together before exams. Trust me, don’t do college alone if you don’t have to!! It’s cool to have others who understand your struggles. Haha   

 

So like i said, at least for me these have helped me immensely in my recent semesters. Small changes like these to improve your organization, studies and mood during class can seriously alter your overall grade by the end of the course. Keep up the good work everyone! I pray you all have an awesome semester.

Until next time, i am signing off with a graceful soul and a grateful heart.

xo, leah grace

Run without Ankle Weights!

Hi Everyone!!

I know, I KNOW, I KNOWWWW. I am so inconsistent with posts lately, and there isn’t even a valid excuse. I do apologize but I have some great upcoming posts lined up so stick with me please!

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So here is a fun fact about me! In high school, I was in track and field. It was so much fun. I was a “thrower,” so we did shot-put and discus. We were actually Del Rio League Champions for Varsity Girls when i was there. I have the shirt to prove it. LOL. Annnnnyway, because I was a thrower, I didn’t do many things on the actual field because we had our own designated areas. But during practice and for warm ups we ran the track every. SINGLE. DAY.

***SIDE NOTE: Ooh girl, do i hate running. Huffing and puffing my way through a zumba class or a few levels of a stair-master are hard enough, but running is a whole other level of torture.***

But I am digressing. One of the workouts we did was hurdles. But we didn’t just run the hurdles. As throwers we constantly had to do leg workouts and hip stretches. Legs are how you throw far, not so much arms. So we would hop over the hurdles and side step over and a bunch of other stuff.  Well, a very common, well known verse that is found in Hebrews alludes to running in a race. Who already knows what I am talking about? If not, don’t worry. I’ll tell you.

“Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” Hebrews 12:1

Now, you may be thinking, “But HOW DOES THIS RELATE? I don’t get it!” Well, in the race that this verse is talking about, it is much more complicated than a simple race or even a lap with hurdles. In life, not only are there hurdles, but there are potholes, trap doors, and ankle weights on you.  “HOW IS THAT ENCOURAGING, LEAH!?!? YOURE FIRED. STOP.”

Let me finish. I LOVE this verse, because it makes me feel human. Just because I have messed up in the past, (easily messed up and fallen into that pothole) doesn’t mean that I have to carry those around as a constant reminder. *Takes off ankle weights* I can lay them aside and just push through, running the race with endurance. Translation: As hard and fast as I can.

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Another cool thing is that it is scientifically proven that you run faster when you are looking ahead because your body is facing the direction you are running in. If you are running and look back to see how close the other people are, or in this case at your past, you WILL SLOW DOWN. Want to know what to look at instead? JESUS. Read the next verse in Hebrews.

“Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:2).”

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When  you focus on Christ and the things ahead, you’ll run faster. Don’t forget, the verse does say it is a race. Run with gusto. Run to win the prize.
What ankle weights are you still carrying around? Cast your cares on HIM! Remember, prayer requests are always welcome!

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Until next time, I am signing off with a Graceful Soul & Grateful Heart.

xo, Leah Grace

21 Years Of “Wisdom”

Hi everyone!

So many of you (most actually)  probably don’t know that yesterday was my birthday! My 21st, to be exact.

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Looking back on my life, I have had more than my fair share of struggles. This is a topic that I may or may not ever touch on. But despite the drama that has been experienced in my life, it doesn’t negate the fact that I am blessed beyond belief. Especially considering where I have come from. I hope that everyone can understand that while some things remain out of your control, you ARE the one who is going to decide on a lot of the factors affecting the quality of your life.

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In high school, one of my Honors English teachers assigned an essay in which we had to take a quote from a list that she provided. With this quote, we needed to explain why it was accurate and applicable to life as we know it. They were all meant to be super inspirational, though I found most a bit too cheddar if you know what I mean. **cheesy LOL** The one I ended up going with was a quote from Mahatma Gandhi. It stated, “You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.” Personally, I believe that this can correlate to a whole spectrum of things, including our individual unique lives. A few bad events doesn’t make a bad life. So Why am I talking about this in my birthday post? I don’t know, really. But it feels right. It feels like it needs to be talked about. If that makes any sense. LOL.

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In my 21 years, I have learned that even in a rather small amount of time, so much of your life can change. If I look back to a few years ago, I was such a different girl than I am today. I’ve learned how to let go of toxic people and to hold on tightly  to the ones who have truly have your back. I’ve learned how to pick my battles, and accept what I cannot control. I’ve learned that to be an example to people, you need to exhibit what you expect out of others. Walk the walk & talk the talk; otherwise, don’t be upset when others don’t do it either. I’ve learned that it takes time & effort to build relationships. With family, with friends, and, most importantly, with Christ.

Do I think that I am oh-so-full of wisdom? Heck no. Am I proud of what I have accomplished? HEEEEEECK to the Y.E.S!!! I have learned so much in my twenty-one years, and my hope and prayer is that you are learning in your years too.

 

Until next time, I am signing off with a Graceful Soul & Grateful Heart.

xo, Leah Grace

Hop OFF the Fence

Hello Hello Hello!

Have you ever heard of the Nursery rhyme “Humpty Dumpty”? Well, to sum up: he sat on a wall, had a big fall, and could not be put back together again. Pretty sad, right? I can’t help but imagine that this all could have been prevented if he wasn’t sitting on the wall. Why was he up there? Was he climbing to the other side? Why did he stop moving forward? These are the questions that come to mind. I don’t know about you, but when I was climbing a fence as a kid, it was pretty nerve-wrecking.  Sure, getting up there isn’t the hard part. Climbing up isn’t too difficult because you can see everything you need to do to achieve it. “OK, I’ll put my foot here, use my left hand to grab that part.” But climbing down the other side? Not so easy. In Humpty’s case, he just decided it was too scary and was going to just stay up there where he felt safe & comfortable and just not climb back down. He was like:

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See, climbing down a fence can be pretty scary. You can’t really see what is ahead because you’re going backwards. You’re unsure and it can make your stomach drop. You know what else is like that at times? Our Christian walk.  Sometimes people will start their Christianity, get comfortable and just stay put rather than continuing their relationship with God. “Sure, I will go to church on Sundays and Wednesdays but if they ask me to serve in a ministry then I am going to tell them no because that is too much work.” ORRRR “I will gladly have this “Not of this World” bumper sticker on my car but the Holy Spirit better not ask me to pray for someone in line at Target today.”  This comfort zone is called being lukewarm. You can’t be a little-bit Christian. You are either ALL IN or All Out.

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A very well known verse is found in Revelation 3:15-16.   It reads, “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you [another translation says VOMIT] out of my mouth.” If you have seen the movie War Room, there is an amazing and powerful scene where an older woman is meeting for coffee in an attempt to give advice to a younger woman about her faith, prayer life, and walk with Christ. They are discussing how the younger woman occasionally attends church. The older woman asks, “If I asked what your prayer life was like, would you say that it was hot or cold?” The younger woman replied by saying, “I don’t know that I would say it’s hot… but I would consider myself a spiritual person. I’m not hot, but I’m not cold either. Just somewhere in the middle.” She takes a drink of the coffee from her mug, makes a face, and asks, “Miss Clara, you like your coffee room temperature?” The older woman says with a smile while sipping her coffee, “No, baby. Mine is HOT.” LOL

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I absolutely adore this scene because it gave the younger woman a vivid example of why something lukewarm is not satisfying. As a Christian you are either hot or cold. For God or against him. The problem with being lukewarm is that you started your walk [or in this analogy climb] but then got scared of furthering yourself and stopped. You sat up at the top of the fence where you felt comfortable. But amazing things happen right outside your comfort zone.  You need to be on fire for God. I seen some awesome quotes from the preacher Francis Chan. One said this:

997309.pngIt is sad to think about it, but isn’t it kind of true? He also can be quoted in a saying that goes, “Lukewarm people don’t really want to be saved from their sin; they just want to be saved from the penalty of their sin.” So instead of living the Christian walk that we are supposed to, we don’t drink or do drugs and only cuss a little bit and think that we are fine and dandy. Without a second glance at the fact that we have an attitude problem and we like to gossip. Or dare I say that someone has a lust issue? This generation needs to rise up and be the people who decide that they are going to be on fire for Christ. To stand up for what is right. We need to say, “NOPE. Sorry not sorry but I am NOT going to be lukewarm. I am going to be fire burning hot, thank you very much.”  Even if its scary, even if we don’t know quite what God has in store for us yet. We are going to trust in Him like never before. So instead of sitting on the top of the fence/wall like Humpty freakin’ Dumpty they are going to climb down without needing to see every little detail about their next step. They are going to hop off the fence and just trust in God that He will be there to support and provide for you.

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What steps do you need to do to hop off the fence? Even if its scary, I encourage you to go for it! I love accountability so feel free to email me through my contact page or follow me on instagram @xoleahgrace to keep in touch! I am always accepting prayer requests.

Until next time, I am signing off with a Graceful Soul & Grateful Heart.

xo, Leah Grace