Trent Taylor

Survive and Thrive essay:
"Hand Cramps and Sweat Only Fuel Better Grades!"

Hanover College, 2014


{1}It is now your first fall term at Hanover and you are so nervous and excited that the feelings have formed together to make a somewhat deadly combination! Over the summer you dreamed of the massive amounts of ramen, parties, and the psychotic professors that everyone has told you about college. What slips your mind is the real reason you are here! College is not only a place to have fun, but more importantly, it is a place to learn and to grow as a person and for some reason, professors feel that the best way to do this is through extreme amounts of note taking! We all heard the horror stories in high school, but we obviously did not listen.

{2}Well, now it is time to open your ears and mind, because you get to hear it from a first generation college student who is going to tell the truth. There will be A LOT of notes! At times you may feel your hand is going to bleed or fall off, but I am writing to tell you that it is all going to be ok and I am going to tell you the secret to mastering the art of note taking! Rule number one for taking notes: find a pattern that is comfortable with YOU! Although it is a good idea to be reasonable and take advice, we are all different as humans and will have our own styles that suit us best. Follow your heart when it comes to note taking and do what is comfortable for you. Secondly, PowerPoints are “out of style”, so find a way to make sure what you need to write down. Over my first semester here at Hanover I found out that all teachers give hints to what is going to be important for the tests. Whether it be the cliché “Write this down”, or the classic act of looking around to make sure their students are taking notes, you will quickly pick up what is important and what is now. When professors look around or have changes in their tones, this are major hints to what needs to be taken seriously! Following the last point, find a way to mark the most important parts of your notes such as key points, definitions, and lists. I have always found highlighting a distracting tactic, so I have formed the use of stars and heavy underling to remind myself what I really need to look over.

{3}This leads me into my final point: REVIEW YOUR NOTES! This part cannot be underestimated or taken for advantage! Do not take notes for nothing. You take them to do better for the test and they should be used. Although you will hear this a million times and will continuously ignore it, try and type your notes if possible. It takes seven repetitions to memorize something, so the more the merrier. College is a time for fun and memories, but it is also a time for learning. Note taking is a skill that you will quickly master. The skill will be used all of your life, so take the time to master your personal note taking and this will ensure that you will perform better on your tests. Finally, when you think your hand is about to fall off from the cramps, just remember, cramps are only helping give you a better grip of the pencil! Happy note taking!

History Department

Hanover College Visitor's Page