Higher Education Blog

  • Understanding Goals and Progress - What Is a Goal?

    By Caleb Ripley

    Congratulations! You’ve been admitted into the next chapter of your life and as the visions of future achievements start to flood your imagination, I wish you the very best! Higher education can be a rollercoaster at times, and I would like to offer a three-step approach so that you can achieve your maximum potential and sidestep some of the mistakes that others have made. First, is to define what a goal is, then we look at how to set yourself up to achieve the goals you set and finally we look at the importance of being consistent.

    read more
  • 3 Tips for Balancing Academics, Work, and Extracurriculars as an Incoming First-Year University Student by Marianna Hsu

    Going into university is such an exciting time in your life. It is understandable why so many people refer to their university years as “the best four years of your life.” As a university student, it can be overwhelming finding a balance between joining clubs, growing friendships, doing well academically, and working a part-time job. As an incoming freshman, it can be especially challenging trying to navigate the transition to university. In this blog post, I will talk about my experiences and tips on how to balance your busy university life as an incoming first-year student. 

    read more
  • Summer break in the midst of a pandemic

    For those who are students, summer break just might be around the corner for some of you.  For many, this may mean staying in your community instead of taking a road trip or flying out to a distant destination.  With that being said, what can you do to connect and work better online?  Here are a few ideas:

    Develop your contacts and better understand potential career opportunities

    For those of you who are looking to increase your chance of professional success, engage in opportunities that will help you increase your professional network. Sign up for sites like LinkedIn to connect with other professionals online. Collect the presentations and publications you may have already developed and showcase them. If you are working towards a degree in a certain field, take the time to research those that have stood out in that area and send a quick email or a hand-written note asking them to take some time to engage in an informational interview.  While some professionals may not respond to the offer to share their knowledge, others will.  Make a short list of questions that will help you gain the knowledge you need to develop the roadmap for a great start to your career.

    If you are working towards a degree in a certain field, take the time to research those that have stood out in that area and send a quick email or a hand-written note asking them to take some time to engage in an informational interview.

    The virtual interview

    So now that you made the initial connection with professionals in the field, what about the virtual interview?  Whether it be for an informational interview or for a new position, it is important to become familiar with the technology used. If you haven’t yet done a virtual interview, now may be the time to practice as there are a number of organizations that are choosing to conduct these during the pandemic.  If you do have a virtual interview coming up, practice with a friend to ensure that you can do your best. 

    If you haven’t yet done a virtual interview, now may be the time to practice as there are a number of organizations that are choosing to conduct these during the pandemic.

    Improve your virtual work skills

    “Hey, sorry I was on mute...” begins a blog post by Ashley Peterson-DeLuca that focuses on digital soft skills.  She goes on to quote Pearson’s Global Learning Survey which indicated that 77% of respondents believed that teleworking during this time has taught “that working remotely requires different skills than working in an office”.  She goes onto share some tips from two Pearson researchers to “...build more on empathy and keep your soft skills sharp while working at home”.

    With virtual work and education becoming the norm rather than the exception, take some time to sharpen your virtual work and collaboration skills for better results.


    Written by Sophia Guevara, MLIS, MPA. Sophia is a columnist for Information Today and a member of the Special Libraries Association and the Nonprofit Technology Network. 

    read more
  • 4 Study Tips for Students Who Left Studying to the Last Minute

    Whether you’ve fallen behind because you’re a master procrastinator or missed a lot of classes, not all is lost. In university and college, cramming is unhealthy and unsustainable.

    However, if last-minute studying is your last resort right now, you can still use whatever time you have left to your advantage and learn better time management next time.

    Here are 4 tips and tools you can use to make the most out of studying last minute:

    1. Focus only on topics you’re struggling or unfamiliar with

    When studying last minute, you may not have time to review all your class materials and study notes. Focus on what you don’t know yet.

    To identify what you don’t know, take a practice test. It may not be fun to realize how much you have to study for, but this preliminary assessment will let you clearly see where you need to spend time studying.

    After you’re finished, review all the questions you got wrong and see if there are any trends. Maybe they are all from the same chapter or involve the same concept.

    If you’re using MyLab or Mastering in your course, use Dynamic Study Modules to save time. It will not only learn what topics you’re struggling with but also adapt its questions to give you get extra practice on topics you’re not familiar with.

    read more
  • 7 common student procrastination excuses and how to overcome them

    “Nothing is so fatiguing,” famous 19th century philosopher William James explains, “as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task.” This fatigue of procrastination is a university and college student’s worst enemy. When we asked what your biggest struggle is as a student on Instagram, most of you said procrastination and motivation.

    Here are 7 of the most common procrastination excuses we hear from university and college students and how you can overcome each one:

    1. I’m too tired, lazy and stressed.

    Tell yourself you only have to do 10 minutes of work today. Find an easy task (i.e. read over your assignment, write one paragraph) and just start. When you finish, you can put it away guilt-free.

    Chances are, starting will create a momentum for you to do more. Even if you don’t, doing a little every day is better than not starting at all.

    read more
  • Feeling stuck? 3 ways to better your mental health

    By: Madison Kriege 
    I have trouble managing my mental health.  I push it off like a check on my To-Do list and tell myself I’ll come back later; however, I know that I never will and new priorities will take its place.  This mindset is something that I am confident I am not alone in.

    read more
  • Combat procrastination with these effective strategies

    By: Zoë Banen
    Procrastination is usually a student’s favorite hobby in college. Waiting until the last minute is rarely the best idea and leads to stress and panic. To be successful and remain stress-free, it is important to stay motivated when completing assignments and studying. I too, fall victim to the temptation of procrastination at times. However, I have found that using these two strategies can help.

    Using a Study Timer

    The Pomodoro Technique is my favorite secret weapon to combat procrastination. It was developed by productivity consultant Francesco Cirillo to help improve focus and concentration on the task at hand. The technique helps you commit 25 minutes of your time to working or studying without becoming distracted. The specific amount of time dedicated to working allows for high levels of motivation. Studies have shown that our maximum attention span in work is between 20 to 45 minutes if a brief break was taken before. Using a pomodoro timer takes advantage of this information by allotting 25 minutes to work followed by a 5-10 minute break. The breaks in between are purposely made short in order to maintain a constant rhythm of progress. This flow helps me stay motivated and focused without allowing me to procrastinate beyond the given break time. The Pomodoro Technique changes the user’s mindset about time, so it can now be seen as a way to achieve something. I become more conscious of how much time goes by and am determined to stay concentrated until the 25 minutes have ended.  

    Staying Organized

    Another strategy that I use is keeping myself organized because it increases my motivation to get my work done. I make checklists for myself and feel a sense of accomplishment when I am able to check off a completed task. I am a visual person, so writing down all of the assignments I need to complete is a great way to see what I need to get done for the day. When I am organizing my to-do lists, I break up larger assignments, like projects, into smaller and more manageable tasks. I also make good use of the calendar app on my phone in order to stay organized. I insert deadlines into my app for any future assignments or projects that I need to complete and it gives me alerts when due dates are coming up.

    Procrastination can be a difficult thing to avoid, but it is important to find a way to motivate yourself. Each person is different, which is why it’s best to figure out what strategies work for you!

    read more