Lifestyle · Student

How I Take Notes and How I Study

This is just an overview of how I take my notes and how I study for my classes. Hopefully you can draw inspiration from my methods and modify them to what works for you. My biggest tip to taking notes is to hand write them. I cannot stress enough how beneficial is to hand write notes opposed to typing them.

My Note Taking process:

  • First I read the chapter and the outline notes.
  • I go through the lecture (in my case the PowerPoints or videos my professors upload)
  • I re-read the chapter and take notes of the significant information.
    • Because I typically print the outline of the chapter I try not to repeat information. I write the information in my own words and expand it.

The Noting Method

  • I use a modified version of the Cornell Method,
  • I exclude the topic question and conclusion sections because I annotate my notes and this isn’t practical for me.
  • This format is clean and easier to read through.
    • This makes looking over notes quicker.
    • Forces me to extract the most important pieces of information.
  • How I annotate: I make additional notes on sticky note (that don’t fit in the margins)
  • I put questions in the margins of what to consider when looking over the notes.
    • Or questions that might be on the quiz or test

How I Study

  • For vocabulary and terms, I use the website
    • This is good for memorizing definitions, translations if you’re taking a foreign language course, or people.
      • Tip: if you need study people make the event, date, or fact about them the front part of the card and the name the back of the card. When you do the review games it’s easier to type a name instead of a long strand of information.

        The different study tools and games make this better than plain flashcards.
    • For broader pieces of information, I just go over my notes and annotate them.
      • In my previous post, I mentioned that your brain needs to process information multiple times to remember it. Annotating your notes adds to this process because it forces you to re-read your notes and to think about what you read by asking questions or adding onto the information.
      • I like to annotate in a different color pen to distinguish from my notes and use sticky notes or tabs.
    • Another good way to study is to sit down and teach the material to someone else.
      • This helps because to teach someone you need to really know the information.
      • They could also help you by asking questions about the information you did not even think about.
      • If you’re shy or just prefer to study alone you can still do this by talking to a stuffed animal, a pet, or the wall.

School Organization and Study Tips

     With back to school season upon us a lot of students struggle with organization and studying. The biggest issue most students have as the year progresses is staying organized. We all know the pattern of being pristine and organized at the start of the year but slowly straying away from that. Here are some tips I’ve picked up over the years. Also these tips only work if you actually do them.

     First tip for staying organized is to keep an agenda or planner of some sort. The biggest part of organization is keeping track of tasks and assignments. You can buy a school agenda or keep a bullet journal. School agendas are ideal for people who just want to keep track of assignments and events. Bullet journals are more ideal for already organized people who need a more flexible way to keep track of tasks and appointments. The reason most people don’t keep up with their agenda is because they are not visually appealing to look at. As a way to combat this I’ve learned that color coding my classes makes keeping classes more organized and also makes the agenda nicer to look at. Color coding can be done by assigning each subject a colored pen or highlighter.

Bullet Journal
This is more customize-able than a typical agenda because you create your own layouts.
Habit tracker, goals, and academic key

For planners with both monthly and weekly spreads it’s best to keep general due dates and tests to the monthly calendar. Assignments like homework and everyday tasks are better kept in the weekly spreads. Personally I liked to divide the days in half, one half for classwork and daily assignments and the other half is for homework and progress on long term assignments. Assigning test dates and major grade assignments with red pens or green pens grab the eyes’ attention. Getting into the habit of writing down every assignment also helps to trigger your brain to remember to do it or to check your planner.

Monthly layouts- use the same color code but only write down major assignments and tests.
Weekly layouts- separated into two columns for daily work and homework.

     Study techniques that work vary from person to person. The best way to study is to figure out what type of note taking works for you. Although some general rules to stick by are: neat notes are easier to read and to understand. Also same as keeping the agenda, color coding notes makes them more visually appealing which makes it more likely you look over them. The color coding also helps to associate parts of the notes with a specific topic making them easier to remember. Blue words are vocab, red words are important details, separating topics with different highlighter colors, etc. Another note taking technique that helps with remembering information is when you go over your notes and to annotate them. By doing this, your brain has to process the information at least three more time: reading the notes, processing the information, and writing additional notes. This can be done by writing notes in the margins in another color or by using sticky notes and tabs. This technique can also be applied Powerpoints and lecture notes that teachers upload for students.

     One study tip that almost everyone knows: flashcards. Using flashcards to study general information like vocabulary, events, and people is a great way to train your brain to remember the information. You can use handwritten flashcards or virtual flashcards; a good site for this is Quizlet. Quizlet offers flashcards and other methods of studying lists of information. For some people studying in groups allows for them to stay on task and retain the information better by being placed into a social situation. This can backfire since most study groups are friends and this usually means getting off topic is very easy. When picking a study group it’s best to stick with people who maintain good grades on their own and have good time management skills in order to keep the group on task. For those who are easily distracted and prefer to study alone it’s best to eliminate all distractions: turn off phone notifications and restrict social media use while working, it’s also best to listen to music with no lyrics. For the best results, divide studying up into sections over multiple days instead of cramming all the information in one session. This not only reduces stress but actually helps you remember all or most of the information.

     Now, like I said these tips only work if you actually do them. Most people’s problem when it comes to staying organized and studying is that they fall out of routine. It takes a lot of effort and practice to stick stay organized and keep good studying habits. The best tip I can give is to find a realistic routine for yourself and stick to it and take mental health days as needed.

Fashion · Sewing

Tips for Beginner Sewers

First thing, some words of encouragement. Everyone starts somewhere; I started when I was six. Not everyone is amazing at it at first. Practice really does help, both with becoming more comfortable and improving your skills. This post is both an introduction to sewing with picture examples of the techniques and tips & recommendations I have for beginner sewers. Disclaimer: I am by no means in expert at sewing however there are a lot of things that I have picked up over the years and I hope this post helps. Every sewer has their own techniques and way of doing things. That being said these are my personal preferences and what I’ve seen to be the easiest way to learn. As you learn to sew you will find techniques that work better for you and will find that other people’s techniques work better for you. This is merely a guideline to help those who don’t know where to start.

I recommend starting with basic hand sewing before trying to tackle the machine. Some basic and simple stitches to learn are: running stitch, back stitch (hand sewing not machine), invisible hem, ladder stitch, and learning how to properly sew on a button. These stitches are easy to learn and have plenty of YouTube tutorials to follow. They come in handy in projects and are good to know for simple clothing repairs.

Basic sewing supplies:

  • Long ball point pins (I find these are the easiest to use for pinning fabric)
  • pin cushion
  • fabric sheers
  • embroidery scissors
  • a set of hand sewing needles
  • tape measure
  • chalk or tailors pen
  • chalk paper and tracing wheel
  • seam ripper (not matter how hard you try you’re going to use this thing a lot)
  • plenty of bobbins
  • a needle threader is always good to have handy

Choosing a machine:

For those who want to learn but don’t want to invest in an expensive machine, don’t worry. There are plenty of cheap options out there, just look for a machine that can do a straight stitch and a zig-zag stitch. I recommend: Brother 17 Stitch Sewing Machine, JX2517 or Janome Basic 10-Stitch which are priced around $60. Both are a good starter machine with more than enough stitches and functions for a beginner. An alternative is also purchasing second hand sewing machines. If you want a pricier machine with more functions the Janome 7330 is a computerized machine with 30 stitches and a speed control. This is the machine I used in school for my Fashion Design class I took for three years.

The machine I use is the Brother 27-Stitch Sewing Machine, LX2763 which is priced around $90 and I received it as a gift. This is a good low-mid range option for sewers.

Some tips for using a machine:

I personally like to read the manual and get acquainted with all the functions before I use it for projects. The easiest way to do this is to take fabric scraps and test all the stitches and settings. Also if you wanted you could practice on paper. Yes, paper. Leave your machine un-threaded and practice going over the lines on a template. Like these from The Sewing Geek: Here’s the original post as well:

Sewing techniques on the machine:




A standard straight stitch is exactly what it sounds like. Most of the time the stitch length will be set to 2.4 and the tension is 3-5 depending on your machine. This is the stitch you will use the most.

A basting stitch is a temporary stitch that is meant to be taken out. It can be used to replace pinning, act as a guideline for the permanent stitching, or for gathering. This is like the straight stitch only you set your stitch length to the longest length available on your machine.

A stay stitch is a straight stitch done on the curves of pattern pieces (typically the neck hole), in order to keep the shape during the construction.

A back stitch is done at the beginning and end of a stitch to make sure that the stitching does not come undone. You don’t back stitch on a basting stitch or stay stitch.

A zig-zag stitch is pretty self-explanatory.

Finishing the raw edges of fabric:

Basically what this means is when you cut out your fabric (for most fabrics) to keep it from fraying you finish the raw edges. After you cut out all your pieces from your fabric you can use two methods (for beginners). One, you can cut your pieces using pinking shears which are zig-zag fabric shears. Two, you can use a zig-zag stitch along all the edges of the pieces. Both of these methods ensure that when you wash your projects that the seams don’t fray.

Before you start a project:

Pre-wash your fabric and dry it before you start a project. This pre-shrinks your fabric so that you don’t sew an entire piece of clothing to fit you and then wash it and it doesn’t fit anymore. Before you cut you pieces, iron your fabric according to what fabric it is (cotton setting for cotton, silk or low settings for more delicate fabrics, etc). Too many times have I seen people mess up their projects by not doing these things. Trust me, you don’t want to be lazy by skipping these steps and risk ruining your pretty, expensive fabric.

When you feel comfortable there are two routes, well three if you choose both options. You can use a commercial sewing pattern which tells you based on you measurements and view (the garment you wish to make) what pattern pieces and size to cut out. It also instructs you how much fabric to buy as well as sewing instructions. However one major downside is most of these patterns have very confusing directions most of the time especially for someone just starting out. Option 2 is YouTube. There are tons of up-cycling and sewing tutorials on YouTube and many of them are easy to follow and state the difficulty level. For those starting out Annika Victoria has tons of beginner tutorials as well as intermediate and advanced if you want a challenge. She’s easy to follow and is all around a cute and cool person so you should check her out anyways. As a third option you could always do a combination of both.

The main thing to take away from this post is PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE. I’ve been sewing for over a decade and trust be if you don’t practice, you don’t improve.

I can do some more in depth posts about sewing later i.e. how to understand those flipping patterns, sewing machine tips and tricks I’ve picked up over the years, some beginner tutorials, etc.

Sewing, sewing, sewing.

The Beginnings of Vintage G

I decided to start Vintage G as a fashion and lifestyle blog to go with my YouTube channel that I am setting up this year. I’m not the best writer and I’m new to blogging as well. I plan on using this as a creative outlet to help me figure out what I plan on doing with my future. So I guess I should do a brief introduction. My name is Gabriele, yes one l. I’m currently 18 years old and graduating high school in June 2017. I’m entering my 2nd year of college technically and I plan on going into the fashion industry. I’ve been sewing since I was six and seriously sewing for the past three years now. I enjoy all types of media such as clothing, makeup, books, movies, tv-shows, YouTube, and music. I love expression and seeing all different types of people display themselves and their interests. I guess that’s why I decided to finally start doing YouTube and a blog. I wanted to be a part of a community of people that enjoyed the same things I did. Now, I’m not doing this for fame or money. I know a lot of people say that and then put out this BS image of themselves but that’s not what I’m trying to do. I’m just going to create content that I enjoy and hopefully other people will enjoy it too. If I become famous then that’s cool, if not then that’s fine it wasn’t my intention.

Also until I the hang of this a lot my posts are going to be word vomit and stream line thoughts so sorry in advance for that.

P.S. the picture is a picture I took of cactus from a mall in Dallas, TX.