As I write this post in the Wells Learning Commons, I can’t help but remark at my surroundings.
To my left on the desk:
To my right:
Alas, who have I become?
A slave to Microsoft Access, that’s who.
Through my long days and nights of studying for the K201 midterm this week (I’ve logged 27 hours so far), I keep the same mantra:
This is all going to be 110% worth it.
And it’s not just my crazy self who agrees with that. K201 is said to be one of the most useful classes Kelley undergrads will ever take, as database management is an ever-growing and always important field in business. I’ve had people ask for me to teach them a couple tricks to help them in the office, and I’m not even halfway through the course!
Everybody hears the horror stories: K201 is impossible, everyone fails, queries will crawl out of the computer like the girl from The Ring and kill you, blah blah blah. Well, I say: You can do it. It’s gonna take a lot of work, don’t get me wrong. But with the necessary tools, hard work and all the coffee you can get your hands on, K201 is doable and you can learn so much from it.
The most valuable resources for me this semester have been my friends, professors, acquaintances and fellow K201ers at the computer bays next to me. Sitting there hopeless trying to figure out action queries or the IIF function (don’t worry, they’re not as scary as they sound!) can suck your motivation and happiness faster than you can eat some Pizza X Cheesy Bread. But if you've got some good buddies there with you, you can stop, collaborate and listen….to each other to find the answers.
Also, the professors of K201 are all really cool, and genuinely want you to succeed. They have so many office hours and help sessions, especially around exam times. Why? Because they want you to work hard and do well. Some professors even have Twitter so you can @ them a quick Q anytime (thanks for the help, Prof. Moriarity!). And I can tell you, there’s nothing like getting retweeted by your professor.
Yeah, this stuff is hard. It’s supposed to be. Why? So you can get better. You will absolutely come out of K201 a smarter person-- IF you put it first, ahead of parties, Netflix nights and general tomfoolery. So put down your red solo cup and get to the lab. Bring your lab manual. Go to class. Do the Prelab and Review before and after each class. You learn so much more and feel way more confident in class when you’ve done your homework. In order to do well in this class, you have to expect to spend a lot of time at it. As they say, Microsoft Access wasn't built in a day. As my professor Brant Moriarity just tweeted me: “Success in K201 comes down to mastery over the topics covered. Practice is the only way to do this!”
You heard the man. Get to work!
K201 has a lab portion two days per week and an online lecture once a week. You should not overlook the lecture portion. Sure, it doesn't always teach you the technical skills you need for the lab practical, but if you really think about what you’re learning in lecture, you’ll find it connects a lot to the lab topics. Take notes during lecture. I know it’s so tempting to online shop or plan spring break on Orbitz during the class, but the professors are always trying to teach you something. Plus, lecture can be a total blast if you have fun with the Chat feature (family friendly stuff, people!), and a lot of the professors will bump some good tunes before class to liven things up. Just really connect the lecture to the lab material, and you’ll understand the class so much more.
So there you have it, folks: my top 3 tips to take you from #K20Dead to #K20DONE--with that A you need, of course!