What I’ve Learned From Blogging

Hi friends, today is my blog’s 3rd anniversary! I started Welcome to Aly’s World in 2014 because I wanted an outlet for my writing. I didn’t know what I was doing, I just wrote about whatever I was interested in at the time. In the summer of 2015, I started to take blogging more seriously. I scoured Pinterest for posts on how to run a blog. I learned a lot, and I put what I learned into action. I became part of the college blogging community. I love this community because we’re all so helpful and supportive of each other.

Over these three years, I’ve learned a lot about blogging. I thought I’d take the opportunity to share what I’ve learned!

It’s good to learn the rules, but only follow them if you want to

Just as I said in my New Years’ Update: Blogging My Way post, there are plenty of people everywhere who will tell you how to run your blog in order for it to be “successful”. I’m not even going to lie: I’m one of them. But just like every other creative endeavor, you are allowed to bend the rules. It’s good to learn the rules, though, so that you can know where, when, and how you can bend them. Ultimately, you don’t have to follow anyone’s advice. You can run your blog however you want to. So when you read a post giving you suggestions on how to run your blog, take those suggestions with a grain of salt; take their advice only if you want to.

Your blog can grow with you

When you blog for a few years, you will grow and change. So should your blog. It wouldn’t make sense to keep blogging in a certain niche just because it was the same niche you were in last year. I’ve seen people transfer from being college lifestyle bloggers to travel or blog/business building bloggers. That’s totally okay! If you’ve grown and changed and no longer like writing about what you’ve been writing about, then start writing about what you do want to write about. You are not obligated to write about something just because that’s what you’ve always done.

Blogging is a community

One of the most important lessons I’ve learned is that blogging is a community. An isolated blogger won’t get very far. However, if you’re part of a community of bloggers who are engaging with each other, more people will read your posts, and you’ll have many more posts to read!

Now, how can you be a part of a community? Simple: find others in your niche, reach out to them, and respond to them when they reach out to you. Find others in your niche through Twitter chats, Pinterest group boards, or Facebook groups. Message them! Chances are, these bloggers will be happy to receive a message from you.

Just do it

If you’re considering doing something, just do it. For example, when I started Welcome to Aly’s World I wasn’t sure what direction I wanted to take it. But I still started it and posted whatever I wanted. This didn’t produce great posts or many pageviews, but it helped me get the blogging ball rolling. After publishing a few mediocre blog posts and reading about how to improve my blog, I decided to implement certain things I learned from those posts. I worked on improving my website and the quality of my content. Now, a lot of those original posts have been deleted, and I am producing much better, more helpful posts. Don’t be afraid to start!

Those are the things I learned after 3 years of blogging. It’s been such a great ride! Here’s to another wonderful year of this blog!

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Digital Tools to Get You Through Finals Week

Hi friends! Technology has completely changed the game when it comes to studying for finals. Let’s take advantage of the technology we have! Here are some digital tools that will come in handy during this crazy weeks we call finals week.
Digital Tools to Get You Through Finals Week | Here are some websites that'll help you study for your finals!

Finals week is coming up! Here are some digital tools to help you ace your finals! Click To Tweet

SelfControl.

When you’re studying, it’s easy to get distracted and want to procrastinate by going on time wasting websites like Facebook or Buzzfeed. This app won’t let you get distracted by blocking these websites for a certain period of time. It’ll give you no choice but to focus on your work!
Download SelfControl for Mac here. If you’re using Windows, try StayFocusd on Google Chrome.

Pomodoro Timer.

The Pomodoro Method helps you stay focused by having you focus on only one task for 25 minutes and take a 5 minute break. It makes sure your break length doesn’t get out of hand, but it also makes sure that you don’t go too long without a break, either.
Access an online timer here.

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Taking Care of Your Mind and Body During Finals Week

Hi, friends! We’re approaching the most stressful part of the school year… finals week. Because it’s such a special time in the school year, I decided to do a three-part series on having a successful finals week. Every Monday, for the next three weeks, I’ll publish a new post for the Successful Finals Week series. Today’s post is about taking care of your mind and body. Your mind and your body are the vehicles that will help you achieve success, so you can’t neglect them!

Taking Care of Your Mind and Body During Finals Week | You won't perform well on your finals if your body is tired. Here's how to take care of your mind and body so you can be successful on your tests!

Finals week is coming up soon! Here's how to take care of your mind and body so you can do your… Click To Tweet

Don’t waste time and energy stressing out.

It’s so easy to get overwhelmed when you see how much you have to study. Instead of stressing out, focus your energy on getting the work done!
Homework: Be mindful of your thoughts. If you notice that you’re starting to get overwhelmed, take a deep breath and count to ten. Then, focus your energy on studying instead of stressing out…

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Super Smart Study Strategies for Finals Week

Hi, friends! Finals week is coming up quickly. Most students will shiver at that thought, but never fear! Here are some tips to help you have a successful finals week.

Smart Study Strategies for Finals Week | Here are ways to prepare yourself for finals!

Find out the practical details of each exam.

Will it be cumulative? If not, which chapters will it cover? What format will it be in (multiple choice, essay, short answer…)? How much time will you have? This will give you an idea of what you need to study. There is a good chance this information will be on the class syllabus, but if it isn’t, ask your professor.
Also, make sure you know exactly when and where the exam will take place, since some exams might not take place in the classroom at the normal class time…

Finals week is coming up! Here are some smart study strategies to help you succeed 🙂 Click To Tweet
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5 Powerful Active Recall Strategies

Hi, friends. Today I’m publishing a guest post by Kay from Smart Student Secrets. I love this post because it’s full of great information and actionable tips on how to incorporate this information into your study strategies. I hope you enjoy it!

I used to struggle with tests before I learned to use active recall for studying.

The test would be sitting in front of me. I would be scrunching up my face thinking, “I know this… I think I know this… What was that answer again…” I would come up with answers but I never had any confidence because it was always a struggle. This is a problem that I now understand.

I was familiar with the material but I didn’t know it well. This is the problem that active recall solves.

You shouldn’t have to struggle to remember everything on your tests. You’re not a bad test taker. You just need to learn a few new strategies. These strategies can increase your test scores and turn you into a top-notch test-taker.

It gets better than that too. You’ll also save a ton of time learning for class.

In active recall, you need to practice remembering “it” to remember “it.” “It” is whatever you need to study.

What Is Active Recall?

Active Recall is a principle of learning. Here is the simple way to understand it:

You need to practice remembering “it” to remember “it.” “It” is whatever you need to study.

The most common active recall tool students use is a set of flashcards. When you read one side of a flashcard and then remember what’s on the other side, you’re using active recall. If you flip the flashcard over without remember then you’re not using active recall…

In active recall, you need to practice remembering “it” to remember “it.” “It” is whatever you… Click To Tweet
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How to Seamlessly Transfer Schools + My Transfer Experience

Hi, friends! You may not know this, but I’m a transfer student. I decided to write a post about my transfer experience and tips for prospective transfer students because I haven’t seen many posts about transferring. However, I did find 2 helpful articles for those who are interested (they are linked at the end of this post!). Transferring schools can be both exciting and nerve racking. The application process and getting settled into a new school is work, but if you approach it in a timely and organized manner, you will be just fine. Here is my personal transfer experience and some tips for those who are considering transferring schools.

Are you a transfer student or interested in transferring? Here are a few ways to make the process easier.

My Transfer Experience

I graduated high school at only 17 years old. Because I was so young, my parents didn’t want me to go away just yet. So, I decided to attend a community college (I already had some credits there thanks to dual enrollment!) and earn an AA to then continue to a state university. I was there for a year, and it was a great year. I am thankful for my experience at that school because it allowed me to start gaining experience in STEM at such a young age. I did well in my classes and it was comfortable…

Are you a transfer student or interested in transferring? Here are a few ways to make the process… Click To Tweet
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Why You Should Talk To Your Professor

Hi, friends! There are a million articles that tell you to talk to your professor when you get stuck. This is great advice, but unfortunately, few students actually follow this advice because they think professors are too “intimidating” and “serious.” I’m sure there are some professors who are intimidating, serious, and don’t care about their students, but the truth is that they are the minority.

Professors are great resources for students. Here's why you should talk to your professor.

Most professors actually want to see their students succeed. In fact, it’s their job to help you. One of my professors said, “Unless there’s an extenuating circumstance, I will never turn away a student who comes to office hours asking for help.” I had another professor say that he only had a handful of students come in to office hours throughout the semester (how ironic is it that the students who don’t come to office hours are the ones who gripe about their grades at the end?).

Your professor will help you understand confusing concepts.

It’s a professor’s job to explain the concept, but it’s your job to make sure you understand it. If you don’t understand a concept the first time around, don’t just sit there staring at your book. Asking your professor for help is much easier, quicker, and less stressful than trying to figure it out on your own…

Professors are great resources for students. Here's why you should talk to your professor. Click To Tweet
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Common College Misconceptions

Hi, friends! I was recently thinking that people go into college with distorted ideas of what it’s really like. Sometimes, they’re right, but sometimes they’re not. This post is meant to help you get a realistic idea of what college is like.

Common College Misconceptions | Sometimes, college isn't all people say it is. Here are some common college misconceptions.

Sometimes, college isn't all people say it is. Here are common college misconceptions. Click To Tweet

Your high school study habits will be enough

College is much more demanding than high school. You’ll realize this during your freshman year. It’s okay if your freshman year is a period of transition between high school and college. In this period you’ll learn to stretch yourself to meet the higher demands of college life. You will have to spend more time studying, learn how to manage your time, and build organizational skills at a whole new level. It takes time, so don’t be too discouraged if your grades dip at first. Once you get the hang of it, you should be doing well again.

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7 Ways to Revive Old Blog Posts

Hi, friends! Today’s post is about a very relevant topic in the blogosphere: revamping old posts. Revamping your old blog posts is so important, especially if you’ve been blogging for a long time. As you continue to add new posts, your old posts will get lost underneath them. You don’t want those posts you worked so hard to be forgotten! So here are a few ways to bring new life to your old posts, and to not let them get lost underneath all your new ones!

7 Ways to Revive Old Blog Posts | Don't let your old blog posts be forgotten. Here are some ways to revive them!

Have a bunch of old blog posts you want to revamp? Here are some great ways to revive your old blog posts! Click To Tweet

Perform Maintainance on Old Blog Posts

It’s a good idea to perform a general maintenance on your old posts. Doing some of these things will help you further polish your beautiful post:

  • Check for spelling/grammar errors
  • Make sure all your links are working
  • If the picture that goes with your post is out of date or if you have changed your picture/graphic style, it’s a good idea to create a new graphic for it.
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How to Prepare for Tests

Hi, friends! The first “test season” of the semester is coming up and that’s pretty nerve racking, so I thought I’d write a post on how to prepare for tests. Here are some ways to make sure you’re ready for whatever that test throws at you.

Here are some useful tips on how to prepare for tests!

Here are some useful tips on how to prepare for tests! Click To Tweet

Pay attention during class

One of the easiest things you can do to prepare for a test is pay attention during class. Sometimes, the professor will flat out say, “This will be on the test” (or better yet, “this won’t be on the test”) or give other hints as to what will be on the test. It’s very easy to miss those hints if you’re not paying attention. They’ll point you in the right direction for what to study.

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