Most people tend to use a combination of learning styles rather than having an overall preference for one in general. Think about how you find it easiest to learn new information, and read the following descriptions to see which learning styles you use. Each section has some hints for you to try.
The Visual learning style has 2 subcategories:
- Visual-linguistic (learns best through written language, finds it easy to remember things which are written down, even after just one reading)
- Visual-spatial (does best with charts, demonstrations, videos, and other visual materials)
If you are a visual learner, you may:
- Learn through seeing; watching the instructor write something on the board, body language, facial expression and non-verbal cues
- Find in-class demonstrations, illustrated textbooks, diagrams/maps/charts, videos/documentaries make information easier to remember
- Write your notes in different colors
- Use images, pictures, colors and maps (including mind maps) to organize information
- Use the visual journey or room methods for memorizing content you can't literally see, such as abstract ideas
- Try watching different versions of a play rather than just re-reading it to understand the character's motivations and actions. (You still need to read the play!)
If you are an auditory, musical or verbal learner, you may:
- Learn through listening
- Find verbal lectures, discussions, talking things through, reading information aloud, explaining to someone else helpful
- Use mnemonics and acronyms to memorize content
- Enjoy learning in groups
- Enjoy learning to music
- Find learning foreign languages easier than other people
- Record lectures
- Use audiobooks
- Read your words out loud as you write papers (in your own room, not under test conditions!)
- Brainstorm with other people
- Verbalize lessons to yourself
If you are a tactile or kinesthetic learner, you may:
- Learn through moving, touching, doing, experiencing
- Read while on an exercise bike or treadmill
- Reproduce all experiments (where possible) so you can experience them properly
- Take advantage of all lab time to make sure you understand the principles behind each experiment or demonstration
- Draw a diagram/chart to help you remember
If you are a logical learner, you may:
- Learn through understanding and reason
- Learn best from written rather than spoken information
- Making lists
- Search for more details to explain why or how
- Use statistics and specialized information, logical points or examples
- Look for flaws in arguments
Still not sure which styles suit you best? Take a short interactive quiz (70 questions) which will give you Style Scores and a diagram showing your strengths. A sample result of the quiz is below:
These are the results of your inventory. The scores are out of 20 for each style. A score of 20 indicates you use that style often.
When you look at the diagram, it seems obvious that this person is much more of a verbal learner than anything else.
If you look at the scores too, you can see this person should concentrate on primarily verbal learning, but also learns well in a group (social) as well as solitary learning, and is more aural (auditory) and logical than visual or physical.
So this person would not learn well by watching or participating in an experiment, but would learn well through discussions and thinking things through logically.
UAB offers lots of courses, safety information and counseling for all students, faculty and staff. We have gathered some of the key points here, along with the most useful links to UAB resources. Don't be afraid to use them!
- Don't leave expensive or tempting personal property on display, either by wearing it or leaving it visibly in your car.
- Pay attention to your surroundings: don't have your music turned up so high that you wouldn't hear someone walking behind you.
- Carry a cellphone. (If you're unsure about the area, don't talk on your cellphone - it distracts you from being aware of your surroundings and can draw unwanted attention.)
- When regularly driving or cycling alone, make sure someone knows what time to expect you and roughly which route you take.
- Never hide your door key under the mat, under a flowerpot or over the door. If necessary, leave a spare with a trusted neighbor.
- Always lock ground floor windows. Don't leave an accessible window open when you're asleep or out.
- Don't mark your keys with your name or home address. If you worry about losing them, get a return service or use a work address.
Safety on campus
- Don't prop your dorm door open.
- Make sure all visitors to your dorm sign in.
- Note the location of the nearest green Help Phones. These put you directly in touch with the UAB Police, 24 hours a day.
- If you're at an early or late class, or working late, ask the UAB Escort Service to escort you to your car or on-campus destination.
- Remember the police emergency number: dial 911 or 4-3535 from a campus phone
Safety when walking
- Walk with someone else, whenever possible. (Don't let friends walk home alone either.)
- Avoid short cuts through vacant lots or other deserted areas.
- Walk facing the traffic - it's easier for drivers to see you, reducing the chance of an accident, and harder for someone to pull up behind you.
- Dress appropriately. If you expect to be walking, wear suitable shoes. If you can't walk more than 200 yards in heels, consider wearing tennis shoes and changing when you get there.
- If someone is following you, do not try confronting him or her. Walk quickly and purposefully to the nearest store, or house, and ask someone to call the police if necessary.
Safety when cycling
- Use lights when it's near dawn/dusk and during the night. Although you can see reasonably well, you will be almost invisible to car drivers.
- Always cycle on the right side of the road. Think of yourself as a car with only 2 wheels.
- Cycle on the road or in the designated cycle lane whenever possible.
- If you must cycle on the sidewalk, watch out for pedestrians.
- ALWAYS stop and check the road before cycling across a crossing.
- Don't cycle near to parked cars - if someone opens a door unexpectedly, you can have anything from a nasty bruise to broken bones.
Safety when driving
- Park in well-lit areas and always have your keys in your hand when approaching your car.
- If you're on campus and alone at night, ask for someone to escort you.
- If you're locked out of your car, it won't start, or you're out of gas, call Parking and Transportation Services (205) 975-6277 and they will help you. They are on call 6am-11pm.
- Get into the habit of always locking the car doors as soon as you sit down. Don't make a phone call, change the CD or check how you look first!
- Don't drive after drinking, and don't let your friends drive either. It's far better to get a cab (or walk a couple of miles) and collect your car tomorrow than it is to risk an accident or a DUI.
- If you are in a minor accident at night, or in a deserted area, and anything seems suspicious, do not get out of your car or roll down the window. Tell the other driver he can follow you to a police or fire station to exchange details.
Safety when out
- Don't get drunk.
- Stay with your friends.
- Always keep a hand on your drink - whether it's alcoholic or not.
- Never leave your drink unattended.
- Campus Safety & Security (on-campus) - call them to arrange an escort
- B-ALERT: Emergency Notification at UAB
- UAB Police
- Severe weather and emergency response plans - everything you need to know
If you have been assaulted or robbed, there are free resources which can help you:
Don't worry, this isn't a 20-page lecture about how not to spend money, it's just some quick tips to get you started.
2 Things to Remember
It's easy to feel rich and carefree when your student loan money arrives, but it's all too easy to spend.
There's nothing worse than eating nothing but ramen for 3 weeks at the end of the year because you've got no money left, so here are the 2 most important things to remember:
- Don't spend money you don't have.
(This includes using credit cards, or money you should get later.)
- Pay the important bills (rent, gas, power, etc.
before using your money for optional spending like your cellphone or eating out.
You probably want a little more detail now, don't you? Here are some other suggestions:
- Don't assume you're going to graduate with loads of debt and therefore a few extra dollars here and there won't make any difference.
- Draw up a rough budget, allowing money for rent, utility bills, tuition, fees, food, social activities and some spare. Don't forget to include for car tax and insurance if you have a car, and gifts or travel. (There's a nice spreadsheet to help you available here, or paper forms if you prefer.)
- Once you have a budget, try to keep to it - if you run over one month, spend less the next.
- Try to save money each month, even if it's only $5 for Christmas presents. Compound interest works in your favor when saving early!
- Use credit cards only for true emergencies. Don't use them for consumables like food, drinks, or gas.
- If you do use a credit card, pay it off as quickly as possible. Compound interest works against you here, and credit card companies love people who don't pay the full amount each month.
- Use gift cards or your UAB ONE Card to help you budget. You can top them up each month, and once you've spent your weekly/monthly allotment, you know you have to wait till next time. (This stops overspending at Starbucks or the Commons too!)
I Wish I'd Known This Before!
In the immortal words of Douglas Adams, don't panic! Being in debt is not the end of the world, though it may feel like it. That being said... If you get into debt, don't ignore it. The bills won't go away, and the situation will get worse.
Follow these steps to help control the problem and to arrange repayments that won't cripple you:
Find out exactly how much you owe and to whom. Get everything in writing, and make sure you know what interest rate is being charged.
Speak to a debt counselor. This could be someone from your bank, an accountant, or from one of the many companies who specialize in this.
Write to your bank and everyone to whom you owe money. Explain that you intend to repay the debt, but cannot do it all at once. Offer to repay at a set amount each month, no matter how small, and ask if they will freeze the interest. Your debt counselor may be able to help you with this.
Don't go to loan consolidation companies, or anyone who charges you a fee to "fix" your debt or credit report.