Tag Archives: study habits

A New Era

Grissom Hall, home of industrial engineering at Purdue, was recently renovated and reopened this year for students and faculty after a year of reconstruction. The renovations of Grissom Hall are part of the College of Engineering Strategic Growth Initiative project which is working towards increasing the number of students in the College of Engineering while also expanding opportunities and technology resources. The new renovations now allow for student collaboration, workspace, and a multitude of new technologies and resources available to the students and faculty. Although the total renovation time was short, less than a year, the new changes will leave an impact on students and the way they learn for many years.

Alyssa sitting outside of Grissom Hall

Alyssa Zielinski is a fifth-year senior from Arlington Heights, IL studying Industrial Engineering. We asked her a few questions about the renovations of Grissom Hall.

What are some major changes that you noticed about Grissom Hall after the renovation?

Overall, the building is more open. There aren’t any little offices around anymore; it’s now an open and collaborative learning space. People can interact with each other and that is something I’ve definitely noticed. You don’t have to wander through the hallways to get around rooms and classrooms. 

What do you think is the most important change to Grissom Hall? What is your favorite change?

The newly renovated inside of Grissom Hall

The most important changes in the building are the updates. Before, Grissom Hall felt closed, cramped, and felt clustered – it didn’t feel like you could work with each other very well. Now there is a more interactive space for people to work with each other. My favorite change is probably the collaborative space studios. They can be used for interviews, small study groups, and group projects. The renovations allow for Industrial Engineers to have a space for themselves.

How has the atmosphere of Grissom Hall changed?

They are trying to focus on this new era of education where things are interactive and open and people are focusing on working with each other. The renovations to Grissom Hall make this a possibility.

Do you plan on spending more time in Grissom Hall now that it is renovated?

Oh, absolutely! Before, I never felt like Industrial Engineers had a space for themselves. Now Industrial Engineers have a designated study space for themselves where they can feel at home and feel like this is their space. So I definitely plan on spending more time here.

How will this renovation change the way you study Industrial Engineering?

The renovations are going to help me study Industrial Engineering better because it gives us a space for ourselves and I can wonder around and find another Industrial Engineer that is in the same boat as me. I have a designated place I can go to study or work with others.

International Student Graduates Q&A: Question 2

What resources did you use to succeed in your studies while at Purdue? 

Brandon Puccio -AAE Graduate: To remain successful at Purdue, I always used office hours. It is one thing to do the homework and get a correct answer, it is another to understand the work and gain knowledge from the problems. I used office hours even when I thought I could do the problems myself. The TAs and Professors were always helpful and willing to explain a problem to me. I also think that attending classes and any supplemental instruction helped me a lot. I can’t be expected to remember the material If I never went to class and learned it. Another method I used was to review for exams every day. Each lesson that I had, I would review the main concepts and ensure that I understand them. This helped me feel less overwhelmed when a test came up. I felt like I studied already. I never felt unprepared. One thing I never did is sacrifice a chance to learn. I tried to finish my work and understand the material before I stopped learning. A good understanding of the knowledge will help you recall it later and do better on tests and when you need the knowledge in your career.

Siddharth Chhabra-IE Graduate: I leveraged the help of my professors during office hours to understand various concepts. I also participated in peer-to-peer discussion and study groups to reinforce others.

Xianzhe Zhou-ECE Graduate:  The key to my academic success at Purdue really came down to understanding the course materials. Remember, there are no stupid questions. There are many people whom you can ask your question, such as your teammates, your teaching assistants, and your professors. There also are many online resources where you can find relevant information. Once you understand one course, try to connect the dots to previous courses. By doing so, you would have a better understanding of the whole field.

Niharika Chaubey -Chem. E Graduate: I honestly studied a lot alone, but I did utilize office hours whenever needed. I never employed professional tutors, but did work in groups whenever something was harder than usual to finish.

Sajit Chitty – IE graduate: Purdue has always had a wide variety of resources available to its students. For example one of my favorite resources, which also happens to be available to the public, and not just to students, is the Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL).  Irrespective of your major, it is imperative for students to be well versed in the different methods, styles and formats of both technical and non-technical writing. I have used this resource from writing English papers to writing engineering project reports: the complete gamut. Another resource that proved to be an immense help were the Teaching Assistant(s) office hours. I would make it a point to attend TA hours, especially if I had already spent time on new material and found some of the concepts difficult to grasp. Since the Teaching Assistants are also students who had recently and successfully completed the respective courses, it was easier for them relate to difficult areas. However, this does not mean that Professors’ office hours were not equally helpful. In some of my courses, I would find myself spending more time making use of Professor’s hours than TA hours, if I was keen on discussing certain topics in more detail, or , if I wanted to get a more high level grasp of the course, and perhaps get feedback on how I can best improve my progress.

The importance of a Purdue Bucket List

By: Lindsay Piispanen

Lindsay,  on left, studying for finals with her roommate and best friend, Katie.
Lindsay, on left, studying for finals with her roommate and best friend, Katie.

As a brand new freshman at Purdue, I was extremely nervous about exam week before break. The nightmarish stories I had heard filled with constant studying and no sleep had me worried I might not survive until the end of finals. I had taken midterms, which were difficult, but having four exams in four days just felt overwhelming.

Not wanting to spend the entire finals week stressed out of my mind, my friends and I decided to make a bucket list. This bucket list provided some fun and happiness in the process of taking finals. Every day, we would complete at least one item on the bucket list. These items were either Purdue traditions or something enjoyable that we had always wanted to try. Some of the items we came up with were things like: a microwave Peep battle, watching a movie and eating an entire roll of cookie dough, and doing a fountain run. My personal favorite took place this past semester when we decided to combine two bucket list items into one – having an outdoor picnic and laying under the stars.

In the middle of exam week after completing an ENGR 142 exam and a PHYS 172 exam, most of us were worn out and our brains were fried. To refresh, we scheduled a bucket list item. We turned our picnic into a birthday party for the summer birthdays, and planned it late enough at night that we would be able to see the stars. To kick off the event, we got a cookie cake from Insomnia (chocolate chip topped with peanut butter cups), which was one of the best things I have ever eaten. We took it to Slayter Hill, and set up our towels/blankets to sit on. Once we had Taylor Swift playing from the Bluetooth speaker, we cut the cake and sang happy birthday. We ended up spending a few hours there, and it felt so nice to forget about stress and exams, even if it was just for a little while.

The bucket lists that we’ve made the past two semesters have definitely saved my sanity during exam week, because it gave me something to look forward to besides sleeping. So, to any incoming freshman, my advice is to make a list of fun things you want to do and make it a goal to check the items off your list during exam week to relieve some stress!

Study Notes from a Procrastinator

Everyone tells you that college is a lot of work, but if you’re anything like me, it’s tempting to think “maybe it was hard for that person, but it won’t be a problem for me.” (Conceited, I know, but I have to be honest with you if my experiences are going to help at all.) You may have excellent study habits in high school, and if you do, then congratulations, you’re on your way to success! Half the battle is building those habits.

I was the opposite of those incoming students with excellent study habits. I coasted through high school on minimal effort, not because I was genius level smart, but because I was lazy. My senior showcase essay for AP Composition was written about procrastination, since I didn’t start it until the night before it was due and I knew I could get away with it by crafting some clever sentences about how it was a fitting topic. I still remember the conclusion – a pretty lame Harry Potter joke, followed by the quip “I could think of a better analogy than Harry Potter, but it’s getting late and I have math homework to finish.”

As it turns out, engineering classes don’t accept jokes about popular culture in place of the correct answer, something I quickly learned upon arrival at Purdue. I’ll be honest – I was not a model student when it came to studying. Or finishing homework. Or going to class. As a matter of fact, I probably attended 50 percent of my Calc I classes. DO NOT DO THAT. I had taken calculus in high school and had gotten a good score on the AP test, but had decided to retake the class since I didn’t feel ready to move on to Calc II. “I can totally do this, Calc wasn’t even hard in high school” I rationalized every time I didn’t feel like waking up for class. The 37% I got on the second test of the year shocked me into studying, but by that point I had tanked my grade enough that I got a C in the class, which is not easy to admit.

I would argue that learning to study was my hardest assignment that first year. There was a lot of trial and error, and I learned that studying for hours if you’re distracted or if you’re studying things you don’t really need to review is not as effective as diligently focusing on the right things for a shorter amount of time. You have to find what works for you – I get by on my monstrous to-do lists, color coded calendars and by keeping myself busy, since I’m more likely to study if I know this is my only opportunity to do so.

I’m not going to pretend that I now have it all together, and frankly there are much better people to take study advice from. There are so many parts of my study habits that I am trying to improve upon, and I still fall into the trap of thinking I can handle more than I actually can. I also can’t pretend that the bad grade I received my first semester kicked me into gear and suddenly I studied diligently between classes from 8 AM to 6 PM (which is not a bad strategy, honestly); even my junior year of college, I stepped back and realized “yikes, I need to re-evaluate what I’m doing to study.” But the sooner you realize that you need to put consistent, dedicated time and effort into your classes, the better – your grades will improve, your stress levels will drop, and you can stop living entire days hopped up on deadline adrenaline. Procrastination feels good in the moment; a well-earned grade keeps you proud and confident for days.