Study Tips

Creative Ways to Study History

When you are in college, learning about the cultural issues in history can be challenging. Here are some creative ways you can learn about a diverse range of cultural issues in European and American history.

Watch History Movies

Watching films that have a historical theme can help you receive a background in history, literary time periods and the arts. Films that are based on history provide a cultural framework that describes the popular issues in history at that time. Go ahead, make learning history fun. Some of the most popular historical films include Marie Antoinette, The Duchess, Gone with the Wind, Young Victoria, The Duchess, Schindler’s List, Alexander, Henry V, Pompeii, Letters from Iwo Jima, Elizabeth, Titanic, Ben Hur, Agora, Munich, The King’s Speech, The Patriot, and Brave Heart.

Attend Operas

You can learn more about Italian, French, and Chinese history and literature by watching operas. Popular French operas originated in the 17th century and will help you learn about life and society during the classical age. The opera is characterized by tragedy. Through the musical performance, operas describe and define cultural issues based on the class warfare, war, royalty, revolution, and romance. Some of the more popular operas include Carmen, Faust, The Tales of Hoffman, Pomone, Don Quichotte, Hamlet, and Romeo and Juliet. Operas originated in Italy in 1600. Some of the most popular operas include Madama Butterfly, Don Giovanni, The Barber of Seville, The Marriage of Figaro, Otello, Guilio Cesare, Attila, Macbeth, among others. There are also Russian operas that emerged in the 18th century such as War and Peace, Oresteia, and the Queen of Spades. And also you can learn about the culture and heritage of China by studying the origins of Chinese opera. More than likely, your college or university will host operas at the performing art center for you to watch.

Attend Classic Ballets

Watching or attending classical ballets is a great way to learn more about history and culture. You can learn more about literature by watching ballet performances based on Shakespeare’s plays. You can watch Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Tempest, The Merry Wives of Windsor, among others performed as ballets. Ballets are based on timeless romances include magic/sorcery, fairy tales, and tragic endings to define hidden cultural aspects at that time. Similar to the opera, cultural issues pertaining to class warfare, war, and revolution is often defined by the allusions in the film. Literature is a theme in ballet since there are storybook ballets and other literary pieces are transformed into ballets. There are some ballets that are also operas, such as Carmen and Don Quixote, and it is interesting to watch the differences in how they are performed. Also, classical ballets include Giselle, Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, Carmen, and Don Quixote. Storybook ballets include The Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, and Cinderella. You can learn about French and Russian history by studying classical ballets. The performing arts center at either your college or one near you should host ballets. During the holiday season, watching The Nutcracker live is a great way to celebrate the holidays.

You can share your experience about the cultural issues found in historical films, operas and ballets with others and your professors. Part of the learning experience in college is to connect arts and culture to historical themes and literature to history. In order to become educated you must connect ideas, themes and patterns to a greater cultural context. You can keep a journal of the information you learned by watching history performed as an art which can help you on tests and write research papers. Enjoy your nontraditional studying of history!

Top 10 Events of the last 10 years that helped shape america and our future.

Our designers are at it again. This time they compiled a list of the top ten events of the past 10 years that shaped your lives and our country and threw it all into an awesome infographic for your viewing pleasure. From Harry Potter, to iPods, to Obama, its all there.

Top 10 Events that Shaped the Past 10 Years



I’m reading Understandable Statistics

Don’t Let Stress Get to You at the End of the Semester


With a few months of college classes under your belt, everyone has most like had at least one exam down from each class. Freshmen have now figured out that college courses are not exactly as easy as high school classes. For those people who thought high school was a breeze and flew by with great grades and not much studying, college is a huge wake up call. That is how I felt coming into my freshman year and I became very overwhelmed. After the last few years, I have learned some great study tips that make college feel less difficult and more manageable.

Organize Your Work

    Try to keep your papers, notes, and exams all divided between your different classes and all in one place. This makes referring back to notes while studying much easier!

Meet People in Every Class

    Studying alone is not always the easiest or most exciting way to remember information for classes. It is nice to have a discussion group to talk through the information with, and it has been shown to help memorize much easier. Also, everyone has those days that they want to have a lazy day and skip a class and knowing people makes it easy to get the notes you missed.

Talk to Professors

    Every professor loves when students stop by their office hours. When they have 2 hour office hour study blocks to meet with people and no one shows up, it is pretty boring. Even if you have just one question don’t hesitate to go. This will also get your name in their mind so they want to help you out.

Listen to Light Music

    As long as it is not distracting, it never hurts to listen to some relaxing music while just copying note cards or other studying that doesn’t involve a lot of ready.

Eat, and Drink Some Coffee

    Make sure that when having a long studying night that you are keeping nourished. Brain food is very necessary and if you don’t eat enough you are more likely to become tired. If you need an extra boost, have a cup of coffee.

Take Study Breaks

    Studies have shown that if you take a break every 45 minutes, you retain information better and do not become bored and tired. Bring a magazine or take a walk around to stretch your legs.

Stay Calm

    It never helps to get all worked up about a big paper or exam. By staying calm and positive, work will get done much quicker and the information you are trying to learn won’t be throw into your worried, stressed brain.


I’m reading Criminal Justice

All GOOGLEy-eyed

Being a college student makes paying for lots of different services difficult, if not impossible. This is where Google comes into play. Google offers many free resources that you can use to be more efficient in your school work and in your life in general. Some of their services can also be used just for fun, like google trends. Check this out with your buddies, it shows you a graph displaying the amount of searches for a certain topic over a specified period of time. Go ahead, try Ham Vs. Turkey, Biggie Vs. Pac, place some bets, make it interesting. Check out these awesome Google services that you can use for free.

1(800)-GOOG-411. Who still pays up to 75 cents by calling an operator to find an address or phone number? Not me! Try Goog411 – it’s a voice automated free information service, and when you pick the business you want to connect to just say “text message” or “map it” and Google will automatically send a text message with more details or a map directly to your phone.

Google Books – This a great resource for doing papers and research. This Google service allows you to search for the full text of tons of books for information or just for reading.

Google Docs – This service from Google allows you to upload documents onto the Google interface and share them with your colleagues and classmates. This service makes group projects a breeze even if your group can’t all meet somewhere at the same time.

Google Scholar – This service allows you to search published papers, opinions and journals. A great resource for term papers. Just make sure to annotate it right.

Google has tons of other services such as “Sketch-up” – a free 3d modeling program, Calendar, Dictionary, News, Instant Messaging, Translate, and various applications for mobile phones. Get some Google in your life.

If you need help using Google Services, check out this book. Google Search and Tools in a Snap



I am reading Social Psychology