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Pinoy Scholar from Prestigious US University Shares His *Exact* Study Routine

Get to know Aldrean Paul Alogon, the 2019 Breakthrough Junior Challenge winner.
IMAGE Courtesy of Aldrean Paul Alogon

Aldrean Paul Alogon used to be a regular student from Capiz before becoming the Asia Region Champion of the Breakthrough Junior Challenge in 2019. Now, he is a student at Wesleyan University in Connecticut, USA and plans to pursue Physics and Economics.

Physics, and science in general, has always been fascinating to Aldrean ever since he was young. Economics, on the other hand, is something he came to appreciate because of where he came from. "Although I have only encountered the field of economics fairly late, the applications of the subject are topics I badly want to learn because of the background that I grew up in: a rural, impoverished town in Capiz," Aldrean shares.

In an e-mail interview with Candy, Aldrean shares more about how his college life is going as well as the study habits he lives by. 

He makes time for life outside of acads.

Academics are life, but there definitely isn't anything wrong with dedicating time to things outside of it. "I also work a lot," shares Aldrean. "I am a resident advisor, a classroom support technician, a library worker, and a tour guide. I am also in the middle of finishing a podcast I am making with the Guggenheim Museum so that has been taking up most of my time.

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"From time to time, I grab meals with friends to catch up and just chill. I also call my family and friends back home a couple of times a week. Every week, I also make it a habit to bike at least for an hour. Pre-COVID, my school hosted a lot of events, like productions or shows, so those also used to be something that always had a block of time reserved in my schedule."

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For him, spreading out ‘study time’ works.

Contrary to popular belief, being an academic achiever doesn’t automatically mean you have to be extremely studious at all times. It’s also about managing your tasks well to make the most out of your time. “I usually only study when there are exams,” Aldrean says. “I schedule by the week, so I list down all the requirements per course in my Google Calendar and deal with them according to time needed to work on them.

“My subjects so far structure homework as an opportunity to study because of the ability to consult with teaching assistants and the professor whenever you get stumped by an item. I usually go to the teaching assistant sessions to go over my homework so that takes around 30 minutes to an hour in a week per homework. Whenever exams are looming, I do my best to go over the homework sets and answer them again, so that takes around 6 hours which I split within a week.

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"I’m not the most artistic person but whenever possible, using colors in my notes is something I do from time to time, usually with graphs and diagrams."

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For Aldrean, it’s really all about finding out what works for you. “I’m not sure where I got the study habits that I have now, but all of them seem to be working for me. Taking breaks is definitely a must, although I over-indulge and lose track of time. That’s on me though.”

There's more than one way to take a break.

We can’t stress this enough, but breaks are important. Taking a breather can come in different forms for different people. Some prefer to rest their minds and pause for a moment, others feel more efficient when they use their break time to focus on something they enjoy outside of acads.

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Aldrean is no stranger to break times and he makes sure to make the most out of it. “I certainly do [take breaks], and I feel like I do more than I should,” he admits. “Usually, I take a break in between tasks. It’s either I check my social media, watch videos or a full-length movie, play the guitar, play one or two games of PUBG, take a stroll around campus, or just nap.”

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Mylene Mendoza
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