College Success: How to Avoid Study Burnout

By Ezra Ekman

We’ve all been there. Midterms are around the corner, you’re cramming instead of sleeping, and you’re surviving on caffeine and junk food. You aren’t sure what to expect from the exam, so you’re doing your best to memorize the textbook until the moment before the test.

But guess what? Cramming doesn’t work. In fact, it’s likely to make you perform worse rather than better. A 2012 study authored by UCLA researchers Andrew J. Fuligni and Virginia W. Huynh suggests it doesn’t matter how much time you study if you’re sacrificing sleep to do it. You simply won’t recall information or function as well the next day. However, there are techniques that do work.

Cheryl Hoke, a Front Range Community College chemistry instructor, has researched study and performance habits of FRCC students. She’s seen students put in time and effort, but many of their techniques are inefficient and sometimes detrimental.

“Cramming creates a recall problem,” said Hoke. “Testing shows that just re-reading the book is no good at all. But looking at the headers and then trying to mentally reconstruct the information about the header without re-reading the material is much more effective.”

Ann Riedl, molecular biologist, biology faculty, and active learning researcher at FRCC, agreed with Hoke. Riedl likened cramming to throwing things in a closet. She said, when you plan your study time, it’s easier to find the knowledge you seek. But if you cram, “everything comes tumbling out” and you’ll have trouble telling which answer is the right one.

Hoke sees the best results with spaced studying (more frequent but smaller chunks, as  described in a previous article) and re-testing. Hoke has observed that students testing the same material without re-reading materials or notes is more effective for long-term recall and retention. Studying the same material repeatedly is not.

“This is called the Retrieval or Testing Effect,” said Hoke. “When you learn a new piece of info, you’re creating a new neural pathway in your brain. At first, this connection is tentative. But if you force your brain to recall that information, such as during a test, it strengthens that neural connection. Finding out what you got wrong is important.”

So, don’t throw away your exams or quizzes. Look at what you missed and challenge yourself. Re-tests don’t have to be formal exams; they could be a verbal quiz or even using flash cards. You can do this right now, and it can help with every exam you take.

When you do study, plan ahead. Here are a few tips:

First, create a distraction-free study space where you won’t be disturbed. Put your phone on Do Not Disturb, and don’t check email or Facebook.

Second, study early. Know when assignments are due, and schedule prep time for them. Put assigned homework and projects on your calendar. Studying early avoids last-minute stress. Hoke says over-scheduling non-school activities leads to a failure to study, so set that time aside.

Third, study often: three one-hour study sessions are better than one three-hour session, because it creates familiarity with your subjects. Read materials, or go over your most recent exam and quiz yourself. Study no longer than an hour at a time, then force yourself to stop, even if you’re doing well. Take at least a 10 to 15-minute break, walking away from your desk if you must. Breaks prevent burnout.

Finally, above all else, don’t cram. Don’t wait until the last minute to study, because it can make it harder to remember the details you’re studying. Study smart, early, and often. Your grades will improve, and you’ll sleep better, too!

Resume and Cover Letter Lab

By Madison Otten

A good resume can make or break your chances for an interview, and the pressure can be overwhelming for students who already have enough on their plate, especially during the fall semester.  

The college has a remedy for that. Every Tuesday from 2 to 4 p.m. during the Summer Semester, you can drop into the Career Success Center, located in L-278 in the Library Link hallway. Additionally, you can also make an appointment to work one-on-one with a career counselor.

The CSC will also review your resume and cover letter and give pointers on how to best present yourself in drop-in labs held on Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Evan Kravitz, career counselor, will help you with your resume, no matter what state it’s in.

“Our main goal is to help take some of the frustration out of it,” says Kravitz. “Resumes and cover letters are no fun. We have many techniques we can teach you to make it less of a nightmare.”

A unique aspect of this lab is that they will also help you with your LinkedIn profile, as social networking is becoming an asset for job hunters.

Kravitz emphasizes how important it is to focus the resume on the student’s personal wants and needs.

“It’s one thing to present and talk about resumes and cover letters in class, but when you’re sitting with a student, you really need to focus on what their specific goals are,” says Kravitz.  “Where are they aiming these application materials? For what career field? And you can only truly understand this when you work in a one-on-one setting.”

Jennifer Crandall, Pathways advisor, explains that the center is a multifaceted institution within the school aimed at helping prepare students for their future careers. She said that the center has specific assets for the students to utilize, such as interview preparation, career exploration, job search skills, assessments, job shadowing, informational interviews, and many more services.

“We here at Front Range feel that it is important for students to have have that opportunity to succeed,” says Crandall. “ I’ve had students tell me that they feel more confident and prepared to take on the interviews.”

The center also has a Career Closest where staff members have donated interview attire, ranging from dress shirts and suits, to shoes, and even to accessories like ties or bracelets.

Another service is Wolf Careers, located on the Front Range website, where outside businesses can publish internships and employment opportunities for students.

For more information regarding the Career Success Center and its services, visit the office in the Library Link or call (303) 404-5000.

Avoiding Excessive Student Loan Debt

Written by U.S. Representative and former member of the Colorado State Board of Education Jared Polis

Written by U.S. Representative and former member of the Colorado State Board of Education Jared Polis

Nowadays, continuing your education after high school is more necessary than ever. Most employers expect you to have a certificate or degree.

But at the same time, pursuing a degree is more expensive than ever. It isn’t fair.

So, as a college student, what can you do?

First, use the resources that are available.

Look into your eligibility for federal financial aid. Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) every year as early as possible. Many schools use the FAFSA to award different types of financial assistance, so even if you are denied federal financial aid, just completing the form can save you money in the long run.

In Congress, I’ve strived to make the application process easier, authoring the Simplifying the Application for Student Aid Act. Pres. Obama eventually adopted many of the parts of my bill in practice. You can now fill out the FAFSA as early as October (as opposed to January), using your family’s income tax returns from two years prior. You can also access the application on your cell phone and link to the IRS’s data retrieval tool, so your information populates automatically.

Second, be aware of the kind of loans you are signing up for.

There are stark differences between private loans and federal student loans. For example, your interest rate on a federal student loan won’t change, so you always know what to expect. There are built in protections too, including more manageable repayment options, such as the Income-Based Repayment and Public Service Loan Forgiveness programs – as well as deferment and forbearance, if necessary.

In contrast, private loans are more like credit cards. Interest rates on private loans can accrue even before you graduate and spike as high as 18 percent. The one thing that will never change when it comes to private loans is that you’ll always be on the hook for a hefty bill. Private loans are not eligible for federal forgiveness, cancellation, or even repayment programs.

The bottom line is don’t sign up for a loan just because some lender is offering it. Many private lenders prey on students like you.

In Congress, I’m leading the Know Before You Owe Act, which would require schools to counsel students before you sign up for expensive, often unnecessary, private loans – and inform you of any unused federal student aid eligibility.

Third, create a budget, accounting for all your expenses.

As you know, the cost of college is way more than just tuition. Everything adds up – housing, food, utilities, transportation and parking, medical care, even football tickets …. and TEXTBOOKS! The cost of textbooks is shocking, a whopping $1,250 a year, on average. As many as 65 percent of students decide not to buy a textbook because of the cost.

The good news is more and more professors are using cheaper alternatives like open source, online textbooks.

In Congress, I’m pushing to even further expand access to free, high-quality textbooks with my Affordable College Textbook Act. The bill would create a grant program for more colleges to use open source books –  textbooks that are available under an open license – allowing professors, students, researchers, and others to freely access the materials.

Last but not least, study, study, study!

Get the most out of your education. Make your investment count. Visiting campuses, I’ve learned from so many of you, and I want to know that your voice hasn’t gone unheard.

About Polis: Polis serves on the Committee on Education and the Workforce. He is the top-Democrat on the Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education Subcommittee and a member of the Higher Education and Workforce Development Subcommittee. Polis has introduced several bipartisan higher education bills addressing access and affordability through open source textbooks and dual enrollment, among other proposals.

Polis is the former chair of the Colorado State Board of Education, and the founder and former superintendent of The New America School – a network of charter schools in several states serving new immigrants and English-language learners – as well as the Academy for Urban Learning for homeless and at-risk youth. The district he represents today includes Colorado State University and University of Colorado.

 
This editorial was submitted by U.S. Representative Jared Polis. While Polis is running for Colorado governor, we believe that this is a non-partisan set of recommendations for college students. This editorial does not represent the views / opinions of The Front Page newspaper or Front Range Community College.
 

Leadership Conference at FRCC

 

On Friday September 14, Student Affairs staff and faculty will be hosting the Leadership Conference.

There will be a drawing going on where attendants will get the opportunity to win gift cards, a laptop, a three credit scholarship, and more.

The event will introduce students to the concept of leadership and expound upon it with speakers and presentations. There will be many speakers including, Colorado Speaker of the House, Christina Duran. She will be sharing her own story of leadership alongside Andy Dorsey, FRCC President.

Students will be able to attend various workshops that are designed to help strengthen their leadership capabilities. The workshops will delve into leadership theories and help students develop their own leadership styles.

The Conference will begin in the Rocky Mountain Room at 8:30 a.m. but it will branch out into separate rooms over the course of the day but will remain on the Westminster Campus. The event ends at 3:00 p.m.

 

FRCC’s Taste of College

By Drew Lascot

Celebrating 50 years of Front Range Community College, the upcoming Taste of College looks to culminate the student body, faculty, and local community in a “block party-like” bash. Food trucks, live bands from the FRCC’s own attendees, and plenty of games and activities will all be held at the Westminster Campus, Thursday, September 13 at 4pm.  Entry is free and open to the public, with the food trucks taking debit and credit, as well as cash.

“What would be the purpose?” This was the question Vice President of the Westminster Campus Cathy Pellish asked herself, and a pool of roughly 20 board members, faculty, retirees, and other various employees. Together they threw around the usual ideas that other districts have put on in the past, but knew that the golden anniversary was a “big deal.” In the end, they were left thinking about the community at large more than anything.

“What really started emerging was this feeling of a community block party where everyone is welcome. Not formal, I don’t think this campus is formal,” Pellish wanted to emphasize the aim to break down barriers, making an event that could be, “a chance for people to cross all sorts of, are they societal lines? Students and educators, our neighborhood right here, and maybe a couple of the mayors will come. Community is what I keep coming back to, which seems like an overused word, but that idea… when we landed here, we just thought, ‘Yeah… that just feels right!’”

Pellish wants to celebrate the school like one were throwing an old friend a party; more than gathering people together with good food and good tunes, it’s an opportunity to “brag [about] and show off,” what she described as a, “humble institution.”  Promoting FRCC’s music department through live bands, welcoming people to the sprawling campus, filled with games and activities, food, and showcasing a bit of what of what we have to offer is just a little bit of what to expect that Thursday, September 13.

FRCC’s 50th Anniversary

By Madison Otten

During the week of August 27 -31, FRCC’s Student Life hosted a week long celebration. Each day of the week was loosely designed to represent a different time period of the college’s 50 year anniversary.

“The generation themes run alongside the culture in the hope that students can connect,” Tim  Mellon, assistant director of student life said. “We value all the students, students that are here and students that have moved on are still part of our community still.”

The following is an account of each event for the anniversary celebration.

Launching into the Future

On Monday Student Life set up a table that had large tubs of frozen popsicles, and also handed out free scoops of Dippin Dots.

“Events are a great way to get to know people on the campus,” said Wanda Voyt, FRCC student. “It helps ease the nerves, it makes us as students feel welcome and like there’s always someone there for us.”

Students lined up in the hallway by the Student Life Center’s doors, the line trailed past the Student Organizations Center’s doors.

“It’s cool that there is always something to do,” Kamille Cooper, another student, said. “You’re never bored on campus, something is always going on.”

Tie Dye & Kona Ice

Outside the Rotunda on Tuesday morning, students gathered around tie dye stations. The first fifty students who attended were given a shirt or a bandana with the 50th logo. This day was meant to portray the 1970’s era for the college.

“It gets the college students involved and makes them more aware of their community,”  Lydia Eby-Buckett, Gateway to College, student said. “It helps them be more aware and helps prepare them for the future.”

The Kona Ice truck gave out flavored snow cones and students were also given custom cups and Wolf Life chapstick. Free cookies, cheeseballs, and licorice were on a seperate table.

Tethered Hot Air Balloon

Early Wednesday morning hours on College Hill was host to a free hot air balloon ride for students and staff members.

A free continental breakfast was provided with juices and custom 50th anniversary cups. Students boarded the balloon in groups and then were lifted twenty five feet into the air, with a tether attached to the basket of the balloon. Faculty and administration members also attended, like Dead of Student Affairs, Aaron Prestwich.

 

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FRCC Faculty and Dean of Student Affairs, Aaron Prestwich, Aug. 29. Photo by DJ Lincks

“I think it’s really nice,” said Prestwich. “The first couple of weeks students are stressed, and being able to to come outside and experience the views is a unique experience. Something cool for them to do. Not a whole lot of four year universities offer this sort of experience.”

The rides lasted until the balloon ran out of fuel. As thanks to the balloon meister, index cards were passed around for people to sign and add small messages.

IMG_0471 Hot Air Balloon at West College Hill, FRCC, Aug. 29. Photo by DJ Lincks

Outdoor Expo

Out by the East end of campus on Wednesday afternoon, a grill station handed out hamburgers and hot dogs. Tables full of vendors lined the sidewalk and  gave out small treats like popcorn, informational packets, stickers, pens, and candy.

“It definitely shows everyone that Student Life is here for the students,”said Nicole LeFebre, a former student government  member and participant in the activities. “The events also brings unity to the school.”

Further down the sidewalk a rock-wall, high rope obstacle course, and zipline were all set up for the students to climb or slide on.

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Front Range Community College celebrates their 50th anniversary with a barbeque, outdoor climbing, a zipline, and booths from local businesses in Westminster, Colo on August 29, 2018. Photo by Ezra Ekman

90’s Music Bingo

The Rotunda was full of students on Thursday morning; some students were trying to win movie tickets.

Every thirty seconds a song from the 90’s would play, participants would find a square on their bingo chart to mark. If a student marked five letters, they won two AMC Theater tickets. If that student won a second time, they won a T-shirt.

Rich Reper, FRCC student, commented on the bingo.

“It’s fun and enjoyable to remember the past with these events,” said Reper “This is a good way to celebrate the past.”

The game had several rounds in order to give all the students a chance to win at least once.

Freebie Friday

On Friday a table with FRCC merchandise sat by the Coffee Den. Shirts, chargers, cups, and other items were available for students to try and win by spinning a wheel of fortune.

On Thursday, Sept. 13, the 50th Anniversary celebration will honor the college with live bands, food trucks, an escape room, and more for current and past students.

Welcome Week

Written By Drew Lascot and Madison Otten

 

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Welcome Week was a series of events that welcomed new and returning students.

Melanie Rocha, student involvement coordinator, is passionate about hosting her events with Student Life.

“We try to get people excited to come back to school,” Rocha said. “We host these events to try to let them the students know that we care and that they’re important.”

Welcome Waffles

Two waffle stations and a table with free gifts greeted students entering the Rotunda early Monday and Tuesday morning. Blue balloons imprinted with the “Wolf Life” logo drifted over the stacked serving stations which held tubs full of waffle batter, plenty of cans of whipped cream, and a variety of juices for students to enjoy. Rocha not only arranged the event, but worked one of the stations, alongside Student Life staff..

In the case of Ignacio Perez, FRCC student, Student Life helped get his morning back on track.

“It works out perfectly like this,” Perez said. “I was in a rush this morning, free breakfast like this benefits all the students.”

Slinky Day

Not just the morning was covered by Student Life, they had plans for the first day expanding into the afternoon, taking advantage of the obscure Slinky Day. Slinky Day is a small holiday, with no official date, that celebrates the slinky’s versatility, having been used as a mobile radio antenna during the Vietnam War and just plain fun-factor. Cindy Stephenson, of Student Life, wanted to harken students back to their childhoods and brought free cookies.

Stephenson’s partner for the event, Nicole LeFebre, talked about how little events can bring a lot of comradery.

“School has this feeling of get in and get out,” LeFebre. “ Events like this helps alleviate that and help build connections.”

Wolf Wednesday

Maddison Starr of Student Life, partnered with FRCC mascot Apollo noticed in the first 15 minutes that free ice cream wasn’t. The duo took to the halls of FRCC.

“Students love free food!” Starr said

Student Danielle Byrd  expressed her gratitude with the college’s efforts to make students not only feel welcome but appreciated.

“I do feel like the events help students feel welcome,” Said Byrd. “I’ve been to two community colleges in the past, and this Welcome Week is unique to FRCC. Some schools don’t even have mascots.”

Back to the Future Movie Night

Students gathered on Wednesday night in the Rocky Mountain Room to watch a movie and had the opportunity to win a free laptop provided Comcast. Students had the opportunity to win a free laptop. Popcorn, cookies, and refreshments were provided by Student Life. The movie playing that night was the 1985 movie Back to the Future in which the titular Marty McFly accidentally travels to 1955 in a time machine made out of a Delorean.

sunshine

 

Community colleges are often a chance for students to start over and gain new experiences, Student Life provide these events it can help students ease into the new setting and schedules a bit easier.

Students like Gloria Ankomah, get a chance to unwind with a movie.

“It’s really great; I can feel confident going to class.” Ankomah said.  “ The events make you feel confident around education.”

Magic Show

At noon on Thursday the Rotunda was full with students, Student Life provided free food and refreshments. Apollo milled about, greeting students with high fives and even participated in the event.

 

2018-08-23-Magic-Show-289The student’s attention was on the stage where Scotty Wiess was performing. Wiess was no ordinary performer. he was a stage magician who’s tricks involved volunteers from the audience.

Wiess performed varying card tricks.

Madison Madden was one of many who watched the performance.

“It was a nice distraction from work,” said Madden. “I would see another show like this again.”

TGIFriday

The magic show was one of the last events of Welcome Week. TGIFriday was a giveaway sponsored by Student Life in which FRCC based merchandise was given away to passing students. There was free food and mini footballs for the students enjoy.

The following week would be a week based entirely on the 50th Anniversary of the school, each day would be a time based theme beginning in the 1960’s and ending in the modern day. All of these events were produced, constructed, and hosted by the Student Life team and their staff members.