As students eagerly await the semester’s end, final exams are fast approaching. It is time to buckle down and get some effective studying done, but how?
“I’ll probably study for them a day or two before each one,” said Matthew Bonds, junior at UNA. “I study according to my grade in the class. I know what I need to make to get the grade I want.”
“I’m just studying a little bit at a time, trying to stay ahead of things,” said Kammy Austin, freshman at UNA.
Austin suggested that where she studies is as important as how she studies.
“I study at home or in the library, somewhere quiet where I can focus.”
Find a good, quiet place to study and bring only the things you will need for your study session, John M. Grohol, Psy.D. suggested in his PsychCentral article, “10 Highly Effective Study Habits.” This practice minimizes distractions like texting and running back to the dorm for that other textbook.
Sarah Jane Davis, junior at UNA, said she prioritizes to get everything done.
“I’ll definitely get all my homework done first so I can focus on finals when they get a little closer. I’ll end up studying at the last minute.”
Effective studying skills are key to higher grades and, more importantly, increasing knowledge in all subjects. Some key study skills include outlining and rewriting notes, using mnemonic devices, taking study breaks, and making use of practice tests.
Testing allows students to “recognize some gaps in their knowledge and they might revisit the ideas in the back of their mind or the front of their mind,” said Marcia Linn, an education professor at the University of California, Berkeley in a New York Times article by Pam Belluck.
“Ask yourself whether you really need a computer to take notes, or whether you can make do with the old-fashioned paper and pen or pencil,” said Grohol.
UNA students have many resources available to them to relieve end-of-semester jitters. UNA offers academic help to students such as tutoring at the Center for Academic Advising and Retention Services and reading and writing assistance at the Center for Writing Excellence.
“They give really good feedback about how you write and research,” Davis said. “Their online resources are really helpful with study skills and research, things like that.”
The Center for Academic Advising and Retention Services also has links available on the UNA website designed to help students with studying and test preparation. They include PowerPoint presentations on topics such as note taking, test preparation, textbook reading, and time management.
A local Arby’s raised $4700 this summer in support of No Kid Hungry, an organization devoted to ending child hunger in America by 2015.
Arby’s is not just concerned with feeding all their hungry customers. They want to feed every hungry child in america as well. Every year they hold a company-wide fundraiser for No Kid Hungry. The restaurants also feature No Kid hungry information on food trays and kid’s meal bags to promote awareness of the foundation.
The Arby’s crew in Muscle Shoals is dedicated to meeting the No Kid Hungry challenge, and this summer they came one step closer to their goal.
“This year was really rewarding,” said Casey Crawford, assistant manager at Arby’s in Muscle Shoals. “I was really proud of my team for getting in there and making a difference.”
The Arby’s team used multiple tactics to raise money for No Kid Hungry this year. In addition to asking for in-store dollar donations, the Arby’s crew set up donation jars, held a car wash, prompted donations from local businesses, and even pledged employee donations.
Crawford said she supports No Kid Hungry because it is more than a charity, it is a way to give back to the local community. No Kid Hungry puts funds into the areas in which they were raised.
“The money stays in our area,” said Crawford. “It goes to local shelters and food pantries. It’s not like we never see it again. It’s really beneficial to the community.”
Although the Muscle Shoals Arby’s came up $300 short of their $5000 goal, this was a successful year. Their store raised more money for No Kid Hungry than any other store in their district.
“This is the first year every store in our area has met the company goal of $1000 per unit,” said Garrel Herrington, general manager at Arby’s in Muscle Shoals. “This has been a successful year all around for No Kid Hungry.”
Plans for next year’s fundraiser are already underway.
“I think we can get even more involved next year,” said Courtney Riddle, employee at Arby’s in Muscle Shoals. “Maybe we’ll do a bake sale or a concert – something that really gets the community involved.”
Despite a number of security-threatening incidents occuring on the UNA campus this semester, many students are unaware of the measures available to them to ensure their safety.
This semester, there have been reports to UNA Police of two threats of violence, two assaults, one sexual assault, and one account of public lewdness on campus.
“In light of recent events, I feel very unsafe,” said Nicole Flatt, junior at UNA. “I don’t know anything about safety procedures on campus. It makes me wish I could carry my gun.”
To address feeling of insecurity on campus, Chief of UNA Police Robert Pastula sent out an email to UNA students and staff to inform everyone of the nine blue emergency poles and over 60 emergency telephones that connect directly to University Police, which has 24 officers on staff for dispatch.
“More security on campus would be nice,” said Jenni Powell, junior at UNA. “I try not to park in the parking deck, but I don’t trust walking to school from my apartment.”
Powell also expressed her lack of confidence in the blue poles and emergency phones on campus.
Kammy Austin, freshman at UNA, shares this lack of confidence. Austin said she does not feel university police are reliable or helpful, and would not respond quickly enough in an emergency.
“I don’t really ever see them doing anything,” Flatt said.
Flatt had contacted University Police multiple times with questions about safety procedures, such as carrying mace in her bag, but never received a response.
In an emergency:
-Contact 911 and UNA Police. Stay calm and get to a safe place. UNA Police can be reached at 765-HELP(4357)
-Always park in well-lit areas and remember to lock your vehicle.
-Use the buddy system. If you are alone on campus at night, contact SNAP (Student Nighttime Auxilary Patrol) to request an escort. SNAP can be reached at 765-HELP(4357).
Sept., 12, UNA announced that all 2014 first-time freshmen will be required to live on campus, in a statement from the university, the new mandate is an attempt to help students become more involved in campus activities earn better grades.
Students who currently live on campus believe the new requirement is a positive thing, enabling freshmen to make the most of their time at UNA.
“Living on campus presents so many opportunities right in your back yard – literally,”Kaitlin Chappell, Community Assistant at UNA, said.
Chappell also feels living on campus is more than worth the extra $3,500 in expenses to have the college experience right outside your door, but incoming freshmen are not so sure.
Wesley Gasque, an honors student at Deschler High School, said the new mandate may influence his decision to attend school elsewhere.
Gasque said there is nothing about living on campus that interests him.
Gasque knows many of the students that will be attending UNA, and he does not believe that being on campus would make him more involved in activities. In fact, Gasque feels that because he is already so involved in the honors program, he would have no problem living off campus and getting involved at UNA.
Lauren Kirby, a fourth-year student at UNA and Vice-President of the Psychology Club, said she has really enjoyed her stay in the UNA dorms.
“It’s a great amount of independence for students just getting away from their parents, but still with the supervision and support of the Residence Life staff,” Kirby said.
Kirby also feels that living on campus helps students do better in their studies because they have fewer distractions than at home.
Justin Jimenez, a student at Colbert County High School, said he agrees Kirby said.
“I’d definitely do better there than at home, but I’m still not sure it’s worth the cost,” Jimenez said.
Gasque, on the other hand, disagrees with the idea that living on campus would help improve his grades.
“I’m partially intelligent, so I don’t give a damn,” Gasque said.
In a March 2012 interview, Kevin Jacques, director of Residence Life, said in a press releasee he was surprised to find out that freshmen living in the residence halls had a lower average grade point average than expected.
With this knowledge at hand, the university and residence staff said they will be doing anything and everything they can to help freshmen make a smooth and successful transition to college life.