Tag Archives: study

Deadlines are my worst enemy.

Second week of school started today and I feel like I’m already behind my deadlines.

You know that feeling at beginning a new semester, or a new year and saying, “this year/semester will be the one, this is the good one” …well basically that’s me at the beginning of every academic period for the past 25 years. Sometimes it is a good semester sometimes I just want to be over with it and never speak about it again.

And you know what? The problem are the deadlines (at least for me). It is said that “the best inspiration is a deadline” and I agree at some extent, I’m incredibly good at working under a hard deadline but the reality is that I developed this skill because I tend to underestimate the time that I need for a specific task. This is why I have been challenging myself to organize in a better way and use tools to know how much time it takes me to work on a project or an assignment (like this one).

Let’s face it, everyone has experienced at least once the panic followed by squeezing a week’s worth of work into one night. No matter what you study and at what level you are…deadlines are coming!

*Disclaimer

In my experience, this are the stages for tackling a deadline.


Stage 1: The “initial excitement”.

The excitement of starting something new is basically the first thing in the list. Humans are curious by nature, hence when someone introduce us to an assignment, a task, or a challenge the first thing we do is to show interest and go over and over the problem to tackle it as fast and in the smartest way as possible. Someone gives you homework, off course the first thing you want to do is to be over with it as soon as possible.

In my case this stage is rather short, the excitement disappears as soon as I realize that the assignment will take quite some effort and time. The following feeling in the list is: “I got this under control”.

Source: Pixabay.


Stage 2: “Everything is under control”.

Lectures end, and you just head home with a print out of the assignment buried in the deepest part of your backpack not worrying too much about the deadline because “there is plenty of time to work on it and write the report”. Let me tell you something…time is never enough. It sounds super easy, and if someone knows about underestimating deadlines that’s me. I mean… honestly, I’m a pro at miscalculating the time that it takes to finish any schoolwork and I end up leaving everything for the last days.

Source: Pixabay.


Stage 3: PANIC!

This is the stage when realization comes. Things didn’t go the way they were supposed to go and time now is flying in front of your eyes as you try to settle down and be extra efficient to finish in time. Software crashes, unsaved reports, slow computers, and network failure to name a few of the potential things that can go wrong. Panicking is the stage where I get 70% percent of the work done probably. It is the stage that seems to never end although the time flies. It is the stage where I get super pissed at myself and vow to start ahead the next time.

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Stage 4: “The submission”.

At the end, everything is ok. The report is submitted and all the stress is now in the past. Yet, there is still a feeling in this stage that I’ve felt before. That feeling you get the morning after a long night partying… that feeling is “I’m not doing this again in my life”. Probably a few of you might relate to that sensation.

Now that my last year as a master’s student is starting. I realize that this is the beginning of the end as my life as a student. Maybe this is the academic year where I will be ahead of all my deadlines. Maybe not.


#AndresInGöteborg

 

Pomodoro Technique. What is it, and why you should use it!

If you are like me, then you struggle A LOT to focus on one thing at a time. This is exactly why the Pomodoro Technique will be perfect for you. I don’t consider myself the best student, not even in the top of my class but I also don’t believe in comparing people, I’m more of a “everyone has different skillsets”, and “everyone can learn whatever they want if they put enough effort” kind of guy. Anyway, I’m already getting off topic (just proving the point that I get distracted easily).

Studying is something that comes in different forms and sizes, some of us just do final exams, some others do home exams and some other do projects and presentations. At the end, everyone puts effort and time into preparing either for the exams or into a project; so, I believe that every student or/and prospective student will find the Pomodoro Technique very useful.


Let me tell you a little bit more about this technique. The Pomodoro Technique is a time-management method developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s, where the idea is to use a timer to break down a task into work intervals separated by short breaks, that is essentially what it is. Now, to do it properly there are some objectives to accomplish.

Pomodoro Technique StudyingCredits: Simon Paulin/imagebank.sweden.se

#1 Task to be done.

The first thing is to find out is what is the task to be performed; it can be very simple like answering emails, to something complex like working on your master’s thesis. It really doesn’t matter what is the task, what matters is that it’s something that deserves your full, undivided attention.

#2 Set the pomodoro.

Set your timer to 25 minutes (some people do it with 30 minutes, even 35 minutes), define what you want to accomplish, and start working. The important part here is focusing in your goal without getting distracted, whether it’s a friend calling you for a beer, a Instagram notification, or the sudden need to watch videos about cats in costumes (been there, done that), many distracting thoughts and events come up when you’re at work.

#3 Work until it rings.

This one is pretty much straight forward. Work EXCLUSIVELY in your task until the time runs out. Spend some time doing a pre-study, or a recap and some time to do a review of the work you’ve done.

Credits: Giphy.

#4 Register your pomodoro.

Once the pomodoro ends, write a checkmark in a notebook, or a piece of paper to keep track of the time you spent on a specific task. This will help you to calculate in the future the amount of time that it takes to finish the task in question, and at the same time it will be easier to keep track of the time dedicated exclusively to work.

 #5 Take a break.

Grab a coffee, stretch your legs, go for a short walk or whatever you want to clear your mind. The idea of the pomodoro technique is to work in cycles, and between each cycle take a short break of 4-6 minutes. Your brain will thank you later.

#6 Set your timer. Work. Register. Repeat.

After 4 pomodoros the idea is to take a longer break (I like to go outside and walk for a while), 20-30 minutes is perfect for your brain to assimilate the newly acquired information and to have time to rest for the next cycle of pomodoros.

Credits: Maskot/Folio/imagebank.sweden.se

So far it has worked for me, even though sometimes is hard not to get distracted. Let me know what you guys think about this technique in the comments.


#AndresInGöteborg

Taking Stock Swedish Life

Taking Stock : Friday 27 January 2017

Making:Carpe Diem’ my new motto, life is too short not to dream bigger, live the life you were destined for and travel the world far and wide.

‘Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure’
Marianne Williamson

Drinking: Vitamin C tablets diluted in my water. I cannot afford to get sick in this weather. It’s -1˚C but I’m not complaining. I guess it really does take some getting used to.

source: giphy.com

Reading:  An Introduction to Political Economy (Evolution & Dynamics). My course elective for this spring semester. Enjoying it!

Wanting: A big juicy Fish Taco. I watched this advert from Abba Seafood about these 2 ladies who go around to random people’s houses to and ask if they eat fish and make an amazing meal so the family sees that fish is great. It’s in Swedish.

source: giphy.com

Looking: Forward to the month of March. Isssssssssss my birthday plus a lot of cool things are going down that month. Looking forward to also sharing them with you.

Wasting: Time, I have an assignment to submit on Monday but those 40 page readings are doing me in.

Wishing: To spend more time with friends and family by travelling alot this year. I only have 2 years in Europe I might as well enjoy the Swedish Residency permit while it lasts.

Taking Stock

Waiting: For Sunday. I’m attending the Leon Lurje Trophy 2017. Which is an Ice skating competition that will be held in Gothenburg. I am such a fan of synchronized sports and competitive figure skating. I’ve only seen ice skating competitions on TV. I can’t wait to see it LIVE.

source: giphy.com

Wondering: How many movies I can afford to watch during the Göteborg Film Festival.  Some of them are a don’t miss!

Loving: The weather. I know. These words have never come out of my mouth. It’s -1˚C outside but I am currently snuggling under a blanket in the library. Also, it’s a chance to wear all those pretty sweaters that I got during autumn.

source: giphy.com

Hoping: I remember to tick off my to do list this week.

Needing: To finish my assignment.

Bookmarking: My favourite vlogs that include Nikki and Jamie , Wendy Williams and One minute Economics

Giggling: At the most hilarious thing I have encountered in a while, ever heard of the Pengest munch? Thank me later.

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source: redbubble.com

Cooking: Some Fish tacos soon as I get home.

source: giphy.com

Playing: A mix by DJ Shinski from Kenya!!! The song Muziki is lit!Thank me later….

source: giphy.com

Wearing: Jeans (my staple), lined boots, a vest, knit sweater, about to put my scarf and winter jacket on because the library is freezing!

Liking: That our SI Network of Global Future Leaders has our first Annual meeting this weekend. Last year we took an amazing trip to UN City in Copenhagen.

Taking Stock

Organizing: My Christmas and New Years pictures from Kenya.

Holiday collage

This year is going to be amazing!

source: giphy.com

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From Sweden with Love

 

Beautiful Gothenburg: meet Lindohlmen Science Park, a pearl of innovation

Today, I would like to talk about an area of Gothenburg where I’m used to go most of the time during the week. I’m currently studying a two-year Master Programme in Communication at the University of Gothenburg, but I attend my classes in buildings belonging to the other important university of the city, Chalmers University of Technology. How is that possible? Well, my Department is the one of Applied IT, which is part of both GU (University of Gothenburg) and Chalmers.

Anyway, you are still wondering: okay, got it, but where and what is the area you were going to talk about?

And you’re completely right!

From Stenpiren, a pier and a hub of public transportation, I catch the ferry, line 286 Älvsnabbare (it’s for free – great to know if you’re a student, and you can also bring your bike with you!) and…

Ferry Gothenburg

Photo taken by www.goteborg.com

Here we are. A small trip lasting few minutes. I stop at Lindholmspiren, the relative pier of the district called Lindholmen (oh… finally you got it!), located in the island of Hisingen.

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The view from the pier is so nice, especially in sunny days!

The first thing you notice arriving there, it’s such a stunning office building called Kuggen: you see so many colours but, at the same time, the one that keeps all together is the green one – by saying that, I mean that this is a green building, as a low energy consumption is one of its main characteristics.

A wonderful picture taken by Andrés

Kuggen is one of the architectural beauties which constitute Lindohlmen Science Park. An area that keeps on developing, and it is estimated that 30.000 people will study and/or work there by 2020. Business, research, work and study: these pillars make Lindholmen full of life and put Gothenburg on a privileged level.

Kuggen is connected by a walkway to one of the buildings that are part of the Campus Lindholmen – and you can clearly spot it, as you get off the ferry. The building is called Jupiter, not so far from the building where my Department is – House Patricia (it’s amazing, you can find also a kitchen for students and study areas such as small rooms and class rooms, along with many other services).

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So, Campus Lindholmen includes Chalmers University, as well as the University of Gothenburg, some high schools and a polytechnic – students, researchers and teachers represent part of the current 21.000 people filling the area.

The Campus, in turn, is part of the already mentioned Lindholmen Science Park – the global area which encompasses also the SVT (Sveriges Television – Swedish Television) and many premises that host business people and researchers. The aim of this Park is to “establish a unique arena for collaboration on development and research”.

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Photo taken by http://mediaarena.lindholmen.se/

So… what are you waiting for? Come, visit and experience this beautiful area of Gothenburg!

Why I chose to study 9370 km away from my home country.

I’m writing this at 10 km of altitude, while listening to Arctic Monkeys in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean inside of an Boeing 747-8, and it is until now that I realize how far is Mexico from Sweden (this is kinda obvious, it’s geography not rocket science right? but still…).

A lot of people have asked before why I chose Sweden? Why I chose a place to study so far from my home country?

DelsjönPhoto credit: Flavien Daussy.

So, let me explain to you guys why I chose Sweden.

Challenge accepted

Studying in Sweden represents a challenge, first of all because they speak another language, although everyone (literally everyone) in here speaks English I wanted to go to a place where I could experience something different, a different continent, a different culture, a different way of seeing things, a different everything.

Probably you have heard that great things are accomplished outside our comfort zone, and now I understand why.

Let’s put it like this, imagine your life is an experiment, if you do the exact same thing over and over again the results won’t change, if you control every single variable your outputs will be the same, this doesn’t mean that you should immediately start doing random stuff. But, I believe that everyone has some crazy idea; maybe trying a new sport, or learning something new. Einstein once said “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”.

I agree.

Now picture this: new country, new city, new class mates, new educational system, new food… I could go for hours but you get the point. A lot of new inputs will result in a buttload (buttload is actually a unit of the imperial system) of new experiences.

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Fresh start, new possibilities

You will put into practice new skills that you didn’t even knew you had, you will dedicate 3 hours to do laundry just because you don’t have idea of what are you doing, you will have the opportunity to join a student society or committee, and so on.

The possibility of new experiences increase linearly in function of how much we change the input variables this means that life is a function of new experiences and new adventures (at least that’s how I see it). Just like Elke said in her post (you can chek it out here), going to Sweden is a new shot for just about anything.

I also agree.

IMG_5333A lot of people asked me before, “aren’t you afraid of going to a place so far from your home, to a place where you don’t know anyone, to a place where you don’t even speak the language, to a place where during winter you only see the sun a couple of hours, where in some parts of the country the temperature is so cold that your eyelashes freeze?” and the answer is simple: of course I was afraid, but that was the idea, and I can tell you that after just 3 months of living in Sweden this was the best idea I’ve had so far. And just by the simple fact that in the last 3 months I’ve lived a lot of new experiences, and this is just the beginning…

To be continued…

Stockholm Study Spaces.

Stadsbiblioteket Stockholm

Sveavägen 73, T-bana: Odenplan

As one of the most famous buildings in Stockholm (cover photo), designed by Gunnar Asplund, it is a very cultural place to study. It’s also the largest library in Stockholm housing around 410,000 books making it well known internationally.

Group rooms, study areas and Eduroam wifi are all available along with a special language lab to help you brush up your Swedish skills!

Studentpalatset

Norrtullsgatan 2, T-bana: Odenplan

I love Studentpalatset because any student from Stockholm University, Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Karolinska Institutet and Stockholm School of Economics can use the building. This means you can meet up with all your student buddies from around Stockholm and study together. There are a few group rooms available for booking and many different study halls for either laptop use, computers or just reading books.

Also theres a lovely cafe on the ground floor perfect for a morning fika break and meeting other students in town.

Studentpalatset

Karolinska Institutet Univseritetsbiblioteket

For everyday use and to quickly read up before or after class – you can’t go wrong with your own University’s library. At KI you’ll find me sitting in these comfy Chesterfield chairs (actually I’m sitting here writing this post).

Also the librarians are really helpful when you can’t find the book you need, having difficulties printing and offer workshops in referencing, MeSH and literature search techniques.

KIB

Riksdagsbiblioteket

Storkyrkobrinken 7A, T-bana: Gamla Stan

This is the Library of Parliament located on Gamla Stan and has been open since 1851. There aren’t many parliament libraries open to the general public so it’s quite a privilege to be amongst so much history. Even if you don’t study there the building itself is beautiful to have a browse around. Also if you’re studying law and politics, the library specialises in parliamentary documents allowing you access to EU and UN literature and resources.

Riksdagsbiblioteket

Images: Stockholm Public Library (cover) Simon Paulin/imagebank.sweden.se