About Ben B.
Hi! My name's Ben and I'm in my third year of the Chemistry and Physics program here at Carleton.
A few things about me - my hometown is Waterloo where in past years I've worked as a camp counselor at UW's engineering-science camp. This summer I’m doing Chemistry research in Maria DeRosa’s lab at Carleton. In my spare time I enjoy solving Rubik's Cubes and other twisty puzzles as fast as possible, an interesting sportish thing known as speedcubing. And I've never met someone who I share a birthday with (December 11 anyone? Come find me if so!)
This is my second year as a mentor at the SSSC. I’m a member of the Community Team which plans cool events such as Science Professor Jeopardy and Board Game Night. Be sure to check out our events page to see when these are happening! This year I’m also one of the co-leads for the Kick-Start into Science program, which is a series of workshops we offer the first few weeks of the school year. If you’re interested in getting a head start on your classes and university life, registration begins in August!
My one piece of advice for incoming first-year students would be to not wait until the week before an exam to study. Lectures in university move fast, and it's not often you leave one understanding everything you were just taught. The information you miss may seem small or insignificant. But one topic can tie into the next and a small gap in your understanding can quickly grow to a ravine of equations, theories and concepts you can't discern. Save yourself the trouble of crossing this ravine come exam time by simply revisiting and consolidating what you just learned after each lecture. The best way I know to do this is something called "study sheets" that my high school chemistry teacher taught me. Take an 8.5"x11" sheet of paper and divide it into 8 boxes. Then, after every lecture take 30 minutes to condense what you just learned into a single box. It's a tight fit, but the limited space makes you really consider what information is critical, and what is secondary. Never put a critical concept into your study sheet if you don't at least partially understand it. Because chances are this won't have changed when exams roll around. Take a few minutes to try and make sense of it. The textbook, your peers, and your prof's office hours are all great resources for this. Use them. With study sheets, come exam time, not only do you understand all the important content, you have it nicely summarized on a few sheets of paper. They make exam season a breeze. And all it takes is setting aside 30 minutes after every lecture. (Just realized this paragraph sounds a lot like a sales pitch... obviously I'm very passionate about study sheets.)
Anyway, that's me! Feel free to shoot me a message or book a mentor appointment if you have any questions about first year. I'm always happy to chat.