Posts Tagged With: Studying

The Day After Beer

alcohol-148993_640The other weekend we had a party at our place. It was a small party–nothing fancy–just some friends and a few of my fiancee’s colleagues. We chatted, had some beers, sat around, had some wine, played charades, had more beer, and so on. I had fun. It had been a while since I’d had a drink so it didn’t take much for me to feel it.

The next day I remembered why I don’t drink much anymore. I had trouble concentrating and my brain felt fuzzier than normal. As I was staring uncomprehendingly at a trigonometry problem, I wondered if this was what being stupid feels like. I was reminded of why I don’t drink and study.

The lack of focus I felt wasn’t due to the classical hangover–I had had that the night before due to stopping my alcohol consumption several hours before going to bed. I didn’t have the classical hangover symptoms, but my ability to study was definitely stunted. This isn’t something new to me–in fact, I drink very little since starting college because I know how dramatically it affects my ability to study. I can’t drink before or during studying because it affects my concentration and comprehension abilities. I can’t drink after studying because I’m asleep–I just have no time for drinking.

Thinking that this phenomenon is probably pretty common, I did a quick search for research on the short-term effects of alcohol on study ability, but I couldn’t find anything. All I could find was a lot of info on the correlation between constant binge drinking and poor GPA. I know it’s just anecdotal, but I find it interesting that my studying ability seems to be negatively affected after consuming alcohol–long before I’ve drank enough to feel a “buzz” and long after any wooziness has faded. I must note that other than study ability, I seem to function normally. I don’t even notice this effect of alcohol unless I’m trying to do something that requires a lot of concentration–like studying trigonometry. Somebody should do a study now that I’ve raised awareness… for science, you know!

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Television: A Student’s Nemesis

tv-46909_640Here I am trying to write, but something keeps distracting me. It’s Chuck. Whenever I try to ignore him and try to get something done, Chuck whispers quietly to me. I don’t even like him that much, but unless I give him my undivided attention, he just keeps bugging me. It hasn’t always been like this. A few weeks ago I had never heard of Chuck. A few weeks ago it was Dexter that kept bugging me.

Yes… I’m talking about television. I have this bad habit of falling for television series. I’m not content watching one episode a week. Oh no. Not when I can watch five seasons in two weeks on Netflix or some darker corner of the web. I really liked Dexter–I think it’s a brilliant show for the most part. Watching Dexter was like taking a voyage into the depths of my psyche. It was like a character study of some dark, eccentric, and lonely portion of myself, and so I was able to wisely spend (i.e. waste) my time without feeling too guilty. I was deeply saddened after I watched the final episode and realized that Dexter was gone forever. Now, I’m watching Chuck. I don’t particularly like it. I think it’s poorly written and not even faintly realistic. I just don’t understand why I can’t stop watching it. Every time I get hungry I use it as an excuse to nuke a TV dinner or pour a bowl of cereal and watch 45 minutes of Chuck. Then I watch another one. Before I know it it’s 4:00AM and I’ve blown most of the day and the next.

When I’m not watching “my show”, whatever it may be at the moment, I have trouble focusing and I experience withdrawal symptoms. If I give in and watch an episode, I feel dirty and guilty for not having accomplished something more productive… like studying for finals. The only solution seems to be to watch every episode as quickly as possible–to get it over with so I can concentrate on studying again. After such a marathon I’m usually good for a few weeks or even months, but eventually I start getting edgy and I begin feeling burned out with my life. When that happens, I examine myself and my lifestyle and try to figure out what’s wrong, and I realize that what I’m missing is a good television series.

Help! I think I need a vacation.

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Not Dead

Bad habits all around me...

Bad habits all around me…

No, I’m not dead. It’s been a few weeks since I last posted on here… school, work, and sleep–that’s about all I have time for. However, I need to make time for these posts. I don’t keep a journal anymore (no time), so this blog will have to serve as my public journal. Furthermore, these posts always seem so therapeutic. For me, that is, I don’t know if you feel the same way about them.

I’m currently in the fourth week of my second semester (counting the jam-packed summer semester). Today I completed the first of my monthly trigonometry tests–aced it. On Friday, I have a pre-calc exam, and on Sunday I have an anthropology paper due. Busy, busy, busy, and here I sit writing and taking periodic swigs of cold Budlight (the first one in months, I swear).

I dropped my creative writing course, by the way. Now I’m down to four courses: anthropology, chemistry, pre-calculus, and trigonometry. I dropped it because 1) I was only taking it because I thought it would be an interesting expansion of my studies, 2) I’m already set to go over 65 credit hours by the time I complete my Associate’s degree, and 3) dropping the course opened up a little more time to work and support myself financially.

My goal has always been to be at least a week ahead on my assignments, which would be possible given that I’m only taking online and blended courses this semester. However, I’m not even close to achieving that. My assignments seem to be getting done just in time. Yesterday, for example, I submitted my anthropology assignment with 30 minutes to spare. It’s not that the studies are difficult or the assignments overwhelming in quantity. I’ve simply been working too much the last several weeks.

I really love the studying. I have no social life, and sometimes I yearn for it, but always the urge to study suppresses it. This evening I learned about ionic bonds for the first time. I had always assumed that all chemical compounds come in discrete bite-sized molecules. Now I know that a lot of them form non-discrete 3-dimensional lattice formations via ionic bonds. Amazing isn’t it? I enjoy studying so much that after college, and after grad school, I may well go into research. Theoretical physics… now wouldn’t that be fun?

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