Welcome to my journey as a student taking a class named: Engineer your Success.

  • This week I learned about learning strategies. I learned that I can improve my learning process by reading the lecture slides before class in order to prepare myself for every class and therefore succeed in the process. I also learned that it’s better to sit near the front of the lecture so I can be present both physically and mentally.
  • I also learned that it’s essential to get rid of distractions, like my phone. Now that we’re in a remote setting, I think that it’s more important than anything to get rid of distractions like the notifications on my phone. After being reminded that notifications are not good for paying attention in class, I remembered the Netflix documentary called ‘Social dilemma’. The documentary argues that our phones shorten our attention span and don’t allow us to stay in a natural flow of awareness and concentration.
  • I also believe that having a good note-taking system will allow me to gain more from every lecture and learn better. For me, the Cornell note taking system is not the way to go, I have tried it in the past and it hasn’t worked for me. I found out that highlighting annotating on the slides of the of the lecture are way more efficient I retain information better that way.
  • I also enjoy talking to my classmates and getting to understand a little bit more about when they believe is a good time to ask questions of professors during lecture. I also believe that we can improve our learning process and become more aware of what we’re doing right now in order to modify our current situation to best prepare us for the future.

I was also reminded of the importance of preparation. The beginning of every class is the most important part of the entire class, because if you arrive at the class unprepared, not ready for what’s coming, you’ll be caught off-guard and fall behind very easily. A good tool to use is to read the syllabus beforehand and take the time to plan out your schedule before every class so that you arrive with confidence from day one. Using the strategy of reinforcement learning, you get to split your learning process into sections so that you are best prepared for the day when the exam or midterm comes around.

In order to take advantage of every single class, you have to choose the classes with the best professors and at the best time. All of these preparation techniques will allow students to succeed not only in the short term but in the long term as well so that they are well prepared when they graduate from the university. It is similar to manufacturing luck. Working hard is a good replacement for luck.

Using the whole idea of reinforcement learning, which is also used by doctors during medical school, you really get to understand the importance of small habits. What do you do every day determines what you eventually become, and it is with these small steps and actions that you can reach success. Therefore, going to lecture when the time is assigned, reviewing the material, doing quizzes, or just thinking about the class will allow students to succeed in their classes. Also getting in touch with Professors to make sure that if you ever encounter any issues or have any questions throughout the class you’re able to do so and have a relationship where you’re held accountable for your actions, is really essential to ensure your success.

Also from the chapter in the book, I got to understand the essence of learning, highlighting how attitude is everything. If you approach learning with a negative attitude that’s what you’re going to get out of it, but if you approach it with joy and a passion for understanding something that you don’t know, there is a lot you can grow from and you can become a better person after each class. The way to approach classes is to not only to see them as something on your checklist that you have to get done but seeing what you can gain from the experience and the people that you will meet along the way. It is also important that during each class you get to know a little bit more about yourself as a person, and practice who you want to become, and what you can bring and share with others. A concept I learned from the reading this week, is that you can’t approach every class thinking that it’s like a race, where the class starts and everyone is competing towards the end, because in reality, it’s not a sprint, but a marathon. So the better prepared you are before the class starts will ensure that you have the energy and the motivation to keep on going every single day until the last day of the class. I also got to understand that having the right tools is essential to succeed in the class. For example, buying the textbooks or looking for a pdf version before the class starts, making sure you have your notebooks ready, a positive attitude, and your note-taking system in automatic mode, will save you time and energy and make you more productive in the long run. For me, now that we’re in a remote setting this meant making sure that my computer was fully charged and I had my iPad with the note-taking app and I had a notebook setup for every class with the title and the style that I was going to take my notes in. I also learned the importance of reading the syllabus before each class. Make sure to get an overview of what each Professor is asking of you, because not every Professor will test you the same way. Understanding that every Professor wants you to get something different out of each class will allow you to know and understand that every class is different, and the work that you’ll be asked to do in class will require different commitments and different time frames.

Finally, the last lesson I learned is the importance of listening during class. To become a good listener you have to make sure to get rid of all the distractions around you, come with an open mind and a growth mindset to absorb the knowledge that is presented to you, be grateful and appreciative of the time and effort that each Professor is giving in the class, and ask as many questions as you can to make sure that all of your curiosity is developed. Making sure to listen to what the professor is saying is essential so that you can retain the knowledge and information for future success in the class. And as always, enjoy the process, be playful, and have fun!

Life long lessons.



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