Tag Archives: study tip

The Human Operating System

Jason Wherry

Jason Wherry,
Senior, Computer Science

Athens, OH 24 February 2020

When I am not out-and-about in my free time or pondering about my next software project, I like to read books, especially the following genres: psychology, personal experiences, and verbose fantasy novels. Holding a book between my hands, a physical entity not a digital copy, changes the way I interact with the text.

As a senior Computer Science major nearing the end of my college career, I apply certain principles of my studies to my personal life with little effort. It makes sense for me to look at life through this lens.

For instance, last semester I learned about Operating Systems (OS)—a class based on managing resources for a computational machine. Analyzing various system resources is important in determining what exactly is happening inside a computer. Time, processes, and memory are useful metrics to keep track of in an OS. With this in mind, I’d like to think about the built-in Operating System that each person pilots. Everyone has routines whether they realize it or not and a computer’s routines can be good or bad just like a human’s can.

While I program, I enjoy a coffee (no cream/no sugar), set out blank paper for ideas, and place myself somewhere with few distractions. The brain can become pretty hectic during this and it feels like the classic Windows hourglass or Apple beachball (both of which taunt me to extremes). These indicate that an application is busy. It can be sporadic, lengthy, and overall a suboptimal time. The further my head is away from those two human interface mechanisms the better. Conversely, when I am reading a book there is only one process running and it’s between my hands.

The book “Talking to Strangers” by Malcom Gladwell is my current read. Past books include “The Inner Game of Tennis” by Timothy Gallwey, “Jitterbug Perfume” by Tom Robbins, and the “Harry Potter” series by J.K. Rowling. After all, who hasn’t gone through a Harry Potter/Twilight/LOTR phase growing up?

Do you think like a computer? If not, don’t freak because there aren’t too many social benefits. I am attempting to think of my personal life in a way that uses the knowledge from my school life. Comparing a computer’s OS to a real-life version of scheduling tasks, executing applications, and controlling peripherals.

I started thinking the equivalent of these actions could be making to-do Lists, being productive, and limiting the distractions in your immediate environment. So, if you don’t operate in terms of processes, runtime, and efficiency, then what about to-do lists, productivity, and focus? Everyone may hold their own definitions for the human-equivalence to an OS, however some may not realize it. Dig a little deeper and find which determinants help you manage your hectic schedule, busy workload, or multidirectional limb-pulling activities.

My Study Place

Brittany Hesson

Brittany Hesson,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 16 February 2020

Senior year of college consists of projects, papers, and planning. Trying to get all assignments done on time can sometimes be tricky and stressful. One of the things I to do to reduce stress and make me focus on my assignments is find a good place to study.

This semester I have been doing a lot of studying in a place I like to call the thinking corner. The thinking corner is in my bedroom and it is a little spot in between the bed and the wall. It sounds silly, but it is a cozy and isolated spot that where I like to sit and do a lot of my assignments. Another perk of the thinking corner is that it has a heating vent that provides the space with toasty air, which makes it the perfect spot for winter studying.

Recently I have been able to share the thinking corner with my best friend Maggie. We sit in the thinking corner and work on our assignments together, which is a lot of fun. Usually while we are doing homework, we play music to help us focus. Some of our favorite music includes punk-rock, Justin Bieber and Harry Styles.

Study Place

No matter where you are or what you are doing spending time with your best friend before she leaves for Arizona is all that matters. Even if you are sitting in a small crack in between your bed and the wall…

Studying at Jefferson Marketplace

Alvin Chaney

Alvin Chaney,
Junior, Industrial & Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 10 February 2019

If you are looking for a great place to study or socialize, I would suggest one of the best places on campus: the Jefferson Marketplace/Jefferson Hall Lobby.

For my first two years on campus, I lived on East Green in the Read/Johnson Complex. I would usually study at Alden Library, but occasionally, I would study in the engineering buildings (Stocker or the Academic and Research Center) or somewhere else.

However, after the renovation of Jefferson Hall, I found a great place to study where I could complete my work in a serene and comfortable environment. While there, you can grab a sandwich from Brick City Deli, then grab a cup of coffee (or tea) from Steeped and Stirred, and finally, find a suitable location to study which varies from room to room. All the study spaces include whiteboards and space for group projects, whether in the individual, multipurpose or corridor areas.

Overall, from the fireplace in the lobby to the cozy seats in the corridor, Jefferson does a great job in helping you feel comfortable and cozy. And plus, if you need snacks, the market is within reach.

If you are ever on East Green, I highly recommend studying (or socializing) there, it is definitely a memorable spot!

Coping with it All

Andrew Noll

Andrew Noll,
Senior, Engineering Technology & Management

Athens, OH 29 November 2018

School is a stressful time, for everyone, but more so for engineers due to the heavy workload. Stress can take on a lot of forms and create high anxiety, bad moods and an overall poor outlook on things. I think it’s very important to focus on one’s current stress level, what those stressors are, the effects of them, and what they can do to help.

From my college experience with friends and talking with other students, it seems to me people don’t make an effort to address these issues and get stuck in the mindset of “It’s just stress, its unavoidable and I just have to deal with it”. I believe having a more structured process to combatting stress can be beneficial for everyone.

Once you identify the stressors in your life, and its decided they cannot be removed, I like to find things that I love to do. I like to work out, take my dog on hikes, fish, and other activities that take my mind away from the stress for a little while. With our crazy lives it can be hard to find time for these activities.

I believe there is a secondary tier of stress reducers which are those little things you can fit into your life without deviating from your daily tasks. A lot of these things can be done in the shower, walking to class, between classes and on your commute home. These include listening to your favorite music (at the highest volume, in my case), calling a family member or friend for 5 minutes, reading an interesting article, or reminiscing on a successful weekend or a long-lost happy memory. To me, these little things get me through the day, then the week, then the semester.

To go along with this, my one piece of advice is to take 10 minutes out of your day to do absolutely nothing. This time for me is right when I wake up in the morning. I lay down with my dog and do nothing but listen to him breathe, or I stare at the ceiling and think about the good things in my life. We have a lot to be thankful for and we can’t let the toll of stress make us forget that.

Senioritis? No time for that!

Nathan Arnett

Nathan Arnett,
Senior, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Athens, OH 14 December 2017

It is most college students’ hope that after putting in three long years of studying and hard work, that their senior year they can just carry the required classes and maybe take some fun classes just to meet their minimum hours. For me, however, I don’t exactly get this luxury.

The largest reason for this is that because I plan to pursue medical school next fall, I had to take additional classes throughout my undergraduate years to meet the prerequisite requirements. In addition to these classes, you add a personal finance class (because I wasn’t exactly the best with money…) and a couple “just for fun classes,” and here I am as a senior and I need 20 credit hours each semester to graduate on time!

The reason I’m telling you this isn’t to brag or complain or anything of the sort, but rather to make two points:

  1. Plan your entire class schedule early and well, and

  2. Find what works best for you and grow from it.

This second point may seem a little odd, but let me explain. Though I had 20 credit hours this semester on top of the other organization commitments and responsibilities I had, I found it to be one of my most productive semesters to date. There’s something about feeling busy all the time that increases my productivity and makes me more motivated to keep moving forward.

When reflecting on this experience that I thought would be miserable, I have actually learned more about myself and how I perform best. The things I have learned from this experience are things I plan to implement into my life moving forward.