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Hello, Welcome to Salt Lake Community College.

Its great that youve decided to come back to school as a non-traditional student! I know you will be absolutely wonderful and its worth every sacrifice you make. As a recent returning student I have learned a lot of things that could be useful to you too. Some of the most important information Id like to share have to deal with, creating goals, note taking, learning styles, and mnemonics. I know mnemonics sounds like a funny word, but it actually is quite cool. A mnemonic is a fancy name for a memory technique, or something we use to help us store and remember information. Being in college there is a lot of material to memorize. But mnemonics, or memory tricks as they are also known, can absolutely help. One of my favorite ones is the concept of creating words for information we have to remember. What you do is take the first letter from each word for the material you are trying to memorize. For example, in my physics class I had to remember the colors of the visible light spectrum, which is basically a rainbow. The colors are red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet. The word or mnemonic is Roy G. Biv. When I was little I remember singing a song about the colors of the rainbow. That happens to be a mnemonic device as well, putting things to songs, jingles, rhymes, etc. Ironically though, the song I learned didnt have the correct colors! The next concept Id like to share is that of learning st yles. A learning style has to do with how someone learns best. There are 3 basic types, auditory, visual, & tactile/kinesthetic. Auditory learners understand & remember things best if they listen to the information they are to learn. Visual learners do best when they visualize what they are to learn. And kinesthetic learners do best when they are actually doing what they are supposed to learn, or even if they are just doing some sort of action. For example, I am a visual learner. When I was trying to remember Roy G. Biv I imagined the word sitting atop a rainbow. When test time came, I closed my eyes and saw that picture in my head. I got 100% on that test! My brother is a kinesthetic learner. He learns best by doing. When he was taking notes in Biology he was absolutely bored and lost in class, but when they went to the lab and started using the microscopes and dissecting things, thats how he could remember the test information.

Another thing Id like to share is about taking notes. I learned a new style of taking notes which is called Cornell Notes. Id actually never heard of it before, but it works pretty well! What you do is you draw a vertical line about 1-2 inches in from where the margin is already designated on your paper. About 4 inches from the bottom paper you draw another line. At the top you draw one more line. It looks kind of like an offset I or an upside down T. On the top you write the date and the topic you are learning about (even the chapter if its from a book). On the right hand side of the paper you write notes on what youre reading or hearing. Make sure you write abbreviations as much as possible, and even create your own short hand. On the bottom part of the paper you summarize in your own words what the note section says. On the left portion of your paper you write key words, key concepts, and questions that are answered by the note section. Its also important that after the lecture you review your notes and even re-write them without the abbreviations. You do this so you can make sure you know what you wrote. It also reiterates what youve learned and helps it stick in your memory. The final thing Id like to share with you is about SMART goals. SMART is an acronym (another type of mnemonic) for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time Bound. A goal needs to be specifically state what and/or how much. It has to be measurable, how can we tell if the goal is met. Attainable means it has to actually be doable. Relevant means it has to do with what we actually want to accomplish. And time bound means we need to have a specific date or time by which the goal will be reached. An example of a SMART goal is I want to get an A in my EDU 1020 class, therefore I will study 2 hours a week every day for this semester. Specific=2hrs every day. Measurable, did I actually study 2 hours a week every day for the semester? Attainable, yes, I can study 2 hours a day. Relevant, yes because my goal is to get an A. Its also time bound because I say 2 hours a week for this semester. By using the techniques I shared, and many more that I didnt have time to, I did earn that A! Id say good luck in school, but you dont need it. Just use the skills weve talked about it and youll rock it! Sincerely, Danielle Mills