Preparing for Final Exams: $66,663.50 Paid, $18,644.57 Till Payoff

So final exams ended for me recently, THANK GOD! I’m satisfied with my final grades and can’t wait to destroy my summer class. Another thank you goes to my wife. Thanks for taking care of our baby boy, and entertaining our ornery 2-year old daughter. Below are tips that helped me meet my academic goals with family and a full-time job.

1. Go to Class-And Yes, On Time.
Resist the urge to skip class for non-emergencies. Don’t create excuses either, reflect on the lesson from ‘The Boy Who Cried Wolf’ children’s story.

2. Stay Engaged-Use Different Methods.
Some of us learn through long lectures, others prefer instructors with engaging PowerPoints, while others must do something with their hands. Try taking notes with different colored pens, pencils, and highlighters to stay entertained during class.

3. Don’t Cram-Study Now.
Waiting until the night of a major exam can be disastrous for your GPA. Throughout the semester review your class notes daily before going to class and after class. This way you will retain more of the information through repetition.

4. Stop Procrastinating-Manage Your Time.
Organize your days by designating time for work, hanging out with friends, and study based on priority of deadlines.

5. Seek Support-Before Needing Help.
Remember, a cord of three strands is not quickly broken. We all go through stressful times, arrange to study with others in groups. Tackle challenges to learn material together, choose study mates wisely.

6. Quiz Yourself-Improve Your Knowledge.
Make flash cards or go digital with Quizlet’s online tool. Gauging your knowledge before exam time can prevent all-nighters.

7. Focus on Strengths-Not Weaknesses.
Are you most focused in morning or night? Consider your responsibilities at work and family obligations to allow time for rest.

8. Stay Positive-Visualize Success
If you tell yourself, “What’s the use? I’m going to fail anyway?” You will be 100% correct, 100% of the time. See yourself doing well on the final and determine steps necessary to make your dream a reality.

9. Rest-Don’t Stress.
According to Psychology Today, sleep is beneficial because 1) sleep protects new memories, lack of sleep makes you more irritable and forgetful 2) sleep consolidates memories according to their relative importance and the learner’s expectations for remembering.

10. Repeat Steps 1-9-Never Give Up.
Before you know it the semester will be over, you will log into student portal to review your semester grades and smile. You paid the price to win.

As usual, below is an update of my student loan balance. Until next time everyone! Stay strong, fight on, and have no debt but love!

How NOT To Drive Professors Crazy: $56,642.09 Paid, $28,665.98 Till Pay Off

As stated in earlier posts, I work in the field of education. In one of my roles, I serve as an adjunct college professor.  Around mid-semester due to midterms and after final grades are posted, professors get frantic emails at unholy hours in the morning.  I’ve literally had students attempt to call me at 3 a.m.

If you or someone you care about is a college student, pass this message along. Below are guidelines to follow when emailing college professors (faculty).  By doing so, you may help save the little hair I have left remaining on my hairline haha.

When emailing a faculty, here are a few things to remember:

  1. Start any email by addressing them with an honorific

An honorific is a title used to communicate respect for a person’s position. For example, call them Professor/Mr./Ms. (Insert Last Name). Rule of thumb, respect is always appreciated!

  1. Don’t misspell your faculty’s name

Double check your spelling through the entire email but also the faculty’s name.  Also, be sure to get your gender pronouns correct: address a female faculty as Ms. Or male as Mr. using “Professor (last name)” is gender neutral and acceptable.

  1. Proofread your email before sending

Your faculty spend their office time and free time reading.  That’s what they love to do.  They will notice the way you write.  Check your grammar and spelling. Use proper English and avoid common phrases reserved for texting your friends (e.g. LOL, LMK).

  1. Keep it professional

Use emails to improve your ability to write succinctly. You aren’t the only student your faculty is receiving message from.

  1. Give the faculty time to respond

Most faculty will need a day or two to reply to your email.  Give the faculty at a minimum 48 hours to respond.  This means not waiting until the last minute an assignment is due.  Whenever you face this type of emergency, reach out to your classmates.



Dear Professor (Last-Name),

I’m in your (Name of Class) class, section (section number),

(Insert the question you have or the help you need here).

I’ve looked in the syllabus, at my notes from class and I asked someone else from the class.  I think (Insert here what you think may be the answer), but I’m still not sure.

Can you (insert here what action you want the faculty to take: answer my question, let me know what to do?)

Thank you for your help with this issue.

(Your name)

(Student ID Number)



Dear Professor Johnson,

I’m in your SPCH 1300 class, section 12345.

For my class presentation, I want to include a short video clip.  But, I’m not sure how long the video can be.

I’ve looked in the syllabus, at my notes from class, and I asked a classmate.  I have found a 30 second video and another that is 2 minutes long.

Can you confirm if I can use a video clip, and if so, which one?

Thank you for your help with this issue.

Matt Stanley

ID: 0123456