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The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

How to be a sponge: A collection of intellectual how-tos

Brain FactsThe cerebrum makes up 85% of the brain’s weight.

The brain lets you:
* Solve math problems
* Play video games
* Feed your cat
* Do a dance
* Engage in a multitude of other brain-stimulating activities.

Your brain develops knowledge with an army of neurons – microscopic cells that act as connectors. You were born with all the neurons you will ever have, but many of them were not connected to each other when you were born. When you learn things, messages travel from one neuron to another. Eventually, the brain starts to create connections between the neurons and you increase your repertoire of do-able tasks.

Tips to improve memory:

* Teach material to others

* Turn study material into a game

* The Method of Loci*


When Einstein faced a problem, he visualized his subject in as many ways as possible, utilizing tools like outlines and diagrams. Thinking is a process – this genius believed that words and numbers alone do not play a significant role.


Thomas Edison held 1,093 patents. Not all were successful, but this inventor was not afraid to fail on his way to success.

From Guilford’s Own
Kim Garner

“Long-term memory is like the attic, and the short-term memory are the stairs that lead up to it. When you go into the attic and see that everything is in a red box, you won’t be able to identify what is in them. You have to package what you have learned in a way that you can easily identify it later.”

“Utilize a study guide. Take it to your professor and say, ‘Am I on the right track?’ They’ll go over it with you. They eat that stuff up. Learn to play the game, use their office hours.”

“The key to success is to (study) every day rather than cramming it in at the last moment. If you don’t refresh what you have learned, you will lose 80 percent of it after 24 hours. This is particularly true with things you have to build on like foreign language vocabulary. You would be better off if you spent 30 minutes every day.”

With chronic stress, cortisol hormone levels become toxic to the hippocampus, a brain structure that regulates some aspects of emotion, declarative memory and the ability to learn new information.

Strategies to Start:

* Develop blocks of study time

* Prioritize assignments

* Make a habit of beginning with the most difficult task

* Develop alternative study places, free from distractions, and maximize concentration

* Review notes and readings just before class

From The National Institute of Mental Health:

* Share your stress. Others can help you see your problem in a different light

* Know your limits. If a problem is beyond your control, don’t fight the situation

* Learn to accept what is, at least until there is an opportunity to change it. It’s about cooperation instead of confrontationz

*”Select any location that you have spent a lot of time in and have easily memorized. Imagine yourself walking through the location, selecting clearly defined places–the door, sofa, refrigerator, shelf, etc. Imagine yourself putting objects that you need to remember into each of these places by walking through this location in a direct path. For example if you had to remember George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Richard Nixon, you could imagine walking up to the door of your location and seeing a dollar bill stuck in the door; when you open the door Jefferson is reclining on the sofa and Nixon is eating out of the refrigerator.” – From The Complete Problem Solver by J.R. Hayes

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