It’s almost the end of week three here at Princeton, which means that we are a quarter of the way done with the semester! However, as I still consider it to be the beginning of the spring semester, I am quite motivated to make some changes from the fall.
A fun, convenient way to practice speaking, Japanese Language Table serves as an opportunity for students to engage in conversation with one another. I found that by attending the table, I was able to practice new grammar and vocabulary that was introduced in class. Last semester, there was one language table held each week in Mathey college for JPN101 students. I attended when I could, but also found it a bit difficult to motivate myself at times to make the trek to Mathey all the way from Forbes.
However, now that I am in JPN102, there are now three language tables available: Forbes, Mathey, and Whitman. Given that there is a language table in Forbes, there should be no excuse for me not to attend and practice speaking/listening. Thus, a goal for the spring semester is to attend AT LEAST one table every single week, if not multiple. One of the best ways to improve understanding of a foreign language is to practice—the opportunity is there for me to take.
Time Management – Getting “Ahead”
This is surely an issue most students face at school. There are so many responsibilities and things to get done, but it is so difficult to actually get yourself to doing them. I realized that during the fall semester, I wasted a lot of time during the day, which led to me being stressed and overwhelmed at night. It certainly was not fun, but I was doing it to myself.
With five classes this semester (as opposed to the four of the fall semester), there is automatically a larger amount of work for me to complete, so distracting myself during the day is not an option. The way in which I hope to counter this is to list out my responsibilities for each day and check them off one by one as I complete each of them. It’s probably just a psychological thing, but I feel more productive when I get to check items off of a list. By listing both my academic and extracurricular responsibilities out, I can hopefully complete some of the tasks during the day when there are breaks in between classes and rehearsals. This way, I will be somewhat productive and lessen the amount of work for myself each night.
Additionally, I plan to (hopefully) complete each of my assignments by at least a day before they are due. In this way, I allot myself more time to complete them and rid myself of the stress of trying to complete an assignment the night before it is due. I have already begun doing this with my math and chemistry problem sets, and it certainly leaves me less worried and motivates me when I get ahead and have my responsibilities under control.
Last semester, I found myself relying mainly on lectures and precept to understand the material being taught. I would often skim over assigned readings because I believed that lectures and precept would go over them in a way that was better than me struggling to read the material. However, this semester I plan to thoroughly complete each of the assigned/suggested readings before attending lectures and precept, so that I can supplement what is being taught—even if it is indeed very long. I am only helping myself by doing so. In the hopes that I am getting ahead on my assignments as stated above, I will have the time to go through the readings before attending class.
Having these goals is quite ambitious of me, but the benefits of meeting them is what is motivating me to change. They are small enough for me to handle, but big enough that they will produce results that I will appreciate.
Thanks for reading, and hopefully things will be going as planned for the next update!