I may have fallen asleep yesterday before I had written, or even planned a blog post, so if this is a little all over the place, bear with me.
These last couple of days has been a sort of journey to find my bearings in the cell biology course, which is by far the most extensive subject I’ve ever had in Uni. Ever. Every lecture slide could be its own lesson, but instead, there are about fifty slides crammed into the space of an hour.
At first, I wowed to write by hand, and swore it would be the best way to learn, thinking it would force me to create my own sentences, and not dictate the professor and presentation verbatim. However, what wound up happening was that I ended up with the messiest notes, which frankly seemed as if they were written by a blindfolded drunk toddler.
A little bit discouraged, I tried to clean up what I’d managed to jot down, and create a bunch of neat flashcards to go with my drunk toddler notes. But what ended up happening is that I spent about 2 or 3 hours doodling “cute molecules”, and patting myself on the back for being such a diligent student. The next day in class, I realized that this wasn’t going to work in the long run. I had to find a sustainable way to take good notes, and get through 80 pages of biochemistry per day.
So here’s the new study plan:
I will no longer try to take physical notes in class, but rather use One Note (which I’m so thankful one of my lovely classmates showed me how to use properly), and take notes directly onto the lecture slides.
THEN I’m going to go back, and copy-paste the most important bits into a word document, add pictures and elaborate with notes from the book and YouTube or Khan Academy, or any of the other online resources that I use, and print it out and put it into the folder instead.
On the weekends/when I have some spare time, I will use the new flashcards I bought, but only for smaller concepts, such as chemical equations or memorising amino acids or what nucleotides are made of.
Other than that, working in a study group has made the hugest difference in how I understand the subject. There’s only so much information you can take in when you have to skim through a ton of pages every day, and you’re bound to miss out on some of the textbook’s key point. However, when there’s five heads working together on the same material, the things that you found difficult may be something they got straight away, and vice versa.
So even though I feel like I have a better shot at building a Falcon 9 by hand right now than figuring out this subject, I’m sure I’ll feel differently in a few weeks. Or months. At least I hope so.