Students blog

Explore the latest trends, tips, and experiences in college life in this blog written by fellow students.

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  • Two photos of the blog author with her father. In the left photo she is a little girl attending a parade and in the right photo she is college age at a Rutgers stadium.

    Four Fun Ways to Celebrate Father’s Day!

    Madeline Beavis

    I have always felt like Daddy’s little girl, and I still feel the same now! My dad consistently supports my ambitions in and out of school, loves me unconditionally, helps me whenever I need it, and of course, he put up with the years of having a teenage daughter! My dad taught me how to be independent, strong, reliable, and trustworthy... and also passed down a pretty good sense of humor as well!

    Spending time with my dad on Father’s Day is very important to me, but it can be hard to think of new and exciting things to do every year. Here are some activities I love to do with my dad that you can do with a fatherly figure in your life to celebrate today!

    Soak Up the Outdoors

    My dad and I love to be active! Soak up the sun by going for a walk, hike, or bike ride and explore a new place together. This is a great way to unplug and get some exercise! You could even check out a nearby town pool or take a trip to the beach if the weather is hot!

    Play A Card Game or Board Game

    Growing up, I played a lot of games with my dad and practiced some friendly competitions. You could usually find us with a pack of cards playing Aces or Uno or stretched out around a Ludo board. Pull out your dad’s favorite game and ask if he wants to play- you can even get the whole family involved!

    Cook Dinner Together

    Even though I’m not a master chef in the kitchen, I know that my dad loves to cook and enjoys teaching me. This Father’s Day, help dad cook dinner, and maybe, just because it’s his special day, you can volunteer to do the dishes after!

    Watch A Movie

    Pop the popcorn, grab some snacks, and put on your dad’s favorite movie! I always loved watching movies with my dad and just enjoying each other's company while we watched old James Bond films or Spiderman. Find something you and your dad will both love!

    Regardless of what you choose to do with your dad this Father’s Day, he will simply love spending time with you so make sure you dedicate the day to him and remind him just how much he means to you! Happy Father’s Day!

    Do you have a compelling story or student success tips you’d like to see published on the Pearson Students blog?  If you are a college student and interested in writing for us – click here to pitch your idea and get started! 

     

  • A young woman holding a computer screen with a message from Rutgers stating ‘Application Received’.

    Five Tips for Your Graduate School Application

    Madeline Beavis

    Education is for life! After their undergraduate years, many college students want to earn a master or doctorate degree and graduate school applications can be extremely competitive, stressful, and overwhelming! Here are 5 tips from my experience applying to graduate school to help support you during your application!

    1) Identify someone for a letter of recommendation EARLY!

    Letters of recommendation are crucial for your application! Most programs will suggest you ask a professor, faculty member at your school, or supervisor who can speak to your academic, professional, and personal qualities (while family members may have many wonderful things to say about you, I recommend asking someone who is more impartial and can speak to your abilities). It is important to identify your recommender as early as possible so that you can thoroughly discuss a timeline with that person and get your application submitted on time!

    2) Update your resume.

    Some applications will require a resume (it can also be optional), but you should make sure your resume is up-to-date and relevant to your career goals! Remember that a professional resume is typically one page written in reverse chronological order. I often like to attach a cover page as well to provide more insight about my qualifications. Be sure to include employment positions, awards, or special projects you’ve completed during your undergraduate years... but your time babysitting in high school may not be as relevant anymore!

    3) Tackling the Personal Statement.

    Almost all applications will ask for a personal statement or a response to a few essay questions. Write what you want to say, not what you think your graduate program wants to hear. Authenticity is key! Tell your personal story and how that led you to choose your specific graduate program. Be creative, avoid cliches, and as I always like to remind myself, there is only one of me and I have a unique story to tell... and so do you!

    4) Oh no, there’s an interview!

    Don’t panic! While interviews can be nerve-wracking, this is an opportunity for a graduate program to learn more about who you are as a real person rather than just what they can see on paper. Prepare some responses to general interview questions, have that “tell me about yourself” response ready, and most importantly, take a deep breathe! Many graduate schools will want to know how you plan to contribute to their program, what your future ambitions are, if you have any research interests, etc. so don’t be afraid to brag about yourself!

    5) Proof, proof, proof.

    You’ve finished your application having spent hours filling out your personal information and responding to essay questions... don’t forget to proofread! After all that time and energy, be sure to double-check that the information you provided is correct, there are no typos, and you have completed each section in its entirety. I recommend reviewing your application after a good night's sleep with fresh eyes to ensure you catch any mistakes!

    While graduate applications can be stressful, any anxieties are completely normal, and I hope these tips help to relieve some of those nerves! Good luck with your application!

    Do you have a compelling story or student success tips you’d like to see published on the Pearson Students blog?  If you are a college student and interested in writing for us – click here to pitch your idea and get started! 

     

  • Two images illustrating the author’s small business; top image features the following wording: Quality Yet Affordable Home Cleaning Services. College Student Owned.’ The lower image is of a person using a power wash sprayer.

    Two Ways to Make the Most of Your Summer Break

    Jett Motley

    As college kids, we often see breaks as time to relax, and summer is no exception. Although it is important to recharge in preparation for the next school year, it’s also important to realize that our summer break can be a time to maximize productivity. Whether it be taking some summer courses at your local community college or getting a job, a successful college career is dependent on your efforts during these times of flexibility. Knowing this, I have spent my last few summer breaks making the most of them, and preparing myself for the future, and there are two ways I did so.

    Take summer classes

    Once I graduated high school, I wasted no time and took advantage of the courses offered at my local community college over the summer. Community colleges offer thousands of courses, making it easy for students to get some of their required curriculum out of the way. In addition, taking advantage of this is a great way to finish your more “basic” classes for a significantly cheaper price. These last two summers, I took about 19 hours, and I can’t justly express how incredible all the benefits are of doing this. Taking all my English, histories, and sciences at my local community college saved me tens of thousands of dollars and put me on track to graduate a year early. You will not regret taking these basic courses ahead of time for a fraction of the price.

    Try something new

    Summer break can be the perfect time to learn a new skill, complete an internship, earn extra money through a summer job, or launch a new endeavor. I started my own small business, something that taught me discipline, consistency, and perseverance. During the summer after my freshman year, I started my own pressure washing company. I invested several thousand dollars of my own money in equipment and advertising. Walking door to door in the Texas heat, I created a name for myself and my business. I met dozens of business owners and earned myself my first internship working for a prominent construction company whose CEO I pressure washed for. In addition to reaping the benefits of my investment, I also acquired the effective art of selling as well as learned the importance of networking. The experience of owning my own company taught me so many valuable lessons and I would highly recommend doing it. 

    Summers in college are some of the most valuable and flexible periods of time you will ever have, and many don’t realize it until it is too late. If you want to get ahead, save money, learn something new, and meet new people, I highly suggest taking some summer courses and starting your own small business that you’re passionate about.

    Do you have a compelling story or student success tips you’d like to see published on the Pearson Students blog?  If you are a college student and interested in writing for us – click here to pitch your idea and get started! 

     

  • An elephant in a zoo enclosure.

    How YOU Can Help Save Endangered Animal Species

    Taylor Perline

    The third Friday in May has been recognized yearly as National Endangered Species Day! As college students, we juggle numerous responsibilities at a time. With classes, social lives, and sleep schedules often being at the forefront of our minds, it can be difficult to set time aside for causes that we are slightly interested in or even deeply passionate about. As a pre-veterinary student with a passion for animal activism, I have a great deal of concern for endangered animal species. Even as students, here are some small and easy ways that we can make a difference!

    Raise Awareness

    One of the most powerful tools that all of us can utilize is the ability to raise awareness for what you are passionate about. Even if your chosen cause is not an endangered species, knowing the power that is behind your voice and actions is crucial to benefiting your cause. In terms of endangered species, look towards campus organizations, local events, or even social media platforms. It is easier than ever to share relevant social media posts or articles with friends and family. Starting the conversation is often the most difficult part!

    Support Conservation Efforts

    Oftentimes people think that supporting conservation efforts has to strictly be through monetary donations. As college students, money can be tight! If you do have the extra money to set aside for a conservation project, go for it! For others, however, supporting conservation efforts can look different. As mentioned previously, sharing conservation projects with others to expand their reach is beneficial. Some clubs may also commit to volunteer projects that will help support conservation efforts. A favorite way of mine to support endangered species is to “adopt” animals through a zoo or website. I often give them as gifts for the holidays! Sometimes they come with stuffed animals or certificates AND the money from purchasing the gift goes towards that species! How cool!

    Make Sustainable Choices

    Small choices that we make every single day can help change our environment and make it a better place for endangered species. The large carbon footprint that we place onto the world can make it harder and harder for species to thrive. Even the smallest of differences like choosing a reusable water bottle or other eco-friendly products can help preserve the ecosystems that these animals need to thrive! Personally, I love opting for reusable cups and straws!

    Even the smallest of efforts can make a HUGE difference! Trust me, endangered animal species everywhere will thank you!

    Do you have a compelling story or student success tips you’d like to see published on the Pearson Students blog?  If you are a college student and interested in writing for us – click here to pitch your idea and get started! 

     

  • The supplies needed for the craft described in this blog, including construction paper and pencils on a student desk.

    A Timeless Gift for Mother’s Day

    Madeline Beavis

    There is nothing quite like a mother’s love! Mother’s Day is a time to thank all motherly figures for the unconditional love and support they show every day. Flowers are a very popular gift option, but what if there was a way that they could last forever? Ever since I was young, handmade gifts have been common in my family and are, especially for mothers, worth more than anything that can be bought in a store. Let me show you how I make paper flower bouquet of lavender that any mother is sure to cherish forever!

    You will need:

    • Paper in your mom’s favorite color! A shade of green will also be useful!
    • Ruler
    • Scissors
    • Tape
    • Toothpick

    Follow the steps below and use the picture at the top of the blog to help you if needed!

    • Step 1: Cut a 9 cm by 28 cm piece of green paper to make the stem of the lavender. I recommend green for a realistic outcome but be as creative as you like!
    • Step 2: Take your toothpick and starting at the tip of the corner of the paper, tightly wrap the paper around the toothpick. Continue rolling until all the paper is rolled up. You can remove the toothpick as you are rolling or leave it inside your stem for extra support. Tape the corner to hold it in place.
    • Step 3: Set aside the stem to start creating the lavender. Pick your choice of color for your lavender and cut an 8 cm by 28 cm piece of paper.
    • Step 4: Fold the paper in half like a hotdog and crease the edge.
    • Step 5: Hold your paper horizontally so that the folded side is facing you (the opening of your hotdog is away from you) and cut thin strips vertically along the crease. Do not cut all the way through! Leave about a ½ cm border at the top of the paper. At the end, it should look like a very long comb!
    • Step 6: Once you are finished, open your paper like you are reading a book and flip it over. Tape the long, uncut edges together. This is why we left a border in step 3! At this point, our lavender will look like a series of small arches.
    • Step 7: Take your stem from step 1-2 and starting at the end of your lavender, wind it around the tip of the stem so the arches are on the outside. You may need a small piece of tape to hold the lavender in place as you wind it.
    • Step 8: Continue to twist the lavender around the stem, moving slightly further down with each rotation. The small arches should expand a little bit to create a lavender shape.
    • Step 9: When you reach the end of your lavender, tape the end to hold it in place. Cut the end of your stem if it is too long and you’re all done!

    Optional: Want to include some extra details? Add some leaves!

    • Step 1: Cut a 5 cm by 7 cm piece of green paper.
    • Step 2: Leaving about a ½ cm border, like in step 5, cut out a row of long, thin triangles.
    • Step 3: With the ends of your triangles pointing up, roll the leaves around the bottom of the lavender where the bloom ends. You do not need to move down the stem, keep your rotations horizontal. Tape the ends to hold in place. Cut off any extra leaves if you do not want as many!
    • Step 4: Bend the leaves with your fingers to curl them.

    Repeat the above steps to create a full bouquet of lavender! Happy Mother’s Day!

    Do you have a compelling story or student success tips you’d like to see published on the Pearson Students blog?  If you are a college student and interested in writing for us – click here to pitch your idea and get started! 

     

  • A computer generated graphic with 2 people sitting at a table. They are talking, indicated by the speech bubbles by each one.

    The Benefits of Counseling for College Students

    Saige O’Rourke

    College life can be stressful. We as students are thrown into independence with sometimes minimal guidance while also juggling work and heavy course loads. I have been attending therapy since I was in early elementary school, and I will never fail to recommend someone to begin seeing someone. There is a large stigma against going to therapy, specifically that your problems aren’t big enough or there must be something wrong with you. Despite what some may say, going to therapy during college can be extremely beneficial and allows you to grow not only as a student, but also as a person.

    Unbiased Listener

    Going to therapy gives you someone to talk to without a bias on the situation. The adult world can be difficult to navigate, and there are going to be instances when you doubt yourself or your decisions. Many students seek advice from their friends or parents, and they are met with subjective opinions rather than advice. Your counselor, on the other hand, is there to listen and supply advice (if wanted), but they are also unbiased towards your life. This creates a pure feedback system that you can use moving forward.

    Manage Mental Health

    Alongside unbiased conversations, counselors supply an outlet to relieve stress and anxiety. All college students can agree that these times are some of the most stressful ones we will ever experience. Depression and anxiety have been quite common in our generation as of recently. Counselors are licensed professionals meant to help navigate and combat these troubling waters; many students are under the impression that they are alone or overreacting to their situation prior to visiting a counselor. Having an outlet outside of your household helps relieve the weights on many shoulders while it also supplies other information into daily activities to avoid stress.

    Feel your Feelings

    Everyone’s therapy experiences will be different, which is a good thing. I go to therapy to talk to someone about my week and get things off my chest that I may not feel comfortable sharing with family or friends. Therapy has enhanced my communication skills as well as my problem-solving skills. I’ve learned panic is normal, but not necessary, and it is okay to feel your feelings because they are valid!

    No one is broken for wanting to seek out help from a counselor. I will forever be grateful that I made the decision to begin talking to someone at an early age, and it is never too late to start. Just because we are thrown into independence does not mean we have to do it alone!

    Do you have a compelling story or student success tips you’d like to see published on the Pearson Students blog?  If you are a college student and interested in writing for us – click here to pitch your idea and get started! 

     

  • A group of college students standing together on a college football field.

    Networking 101: How to Foster Relationships in College and Beyond

    Gracie Gitzinger

    The ability to form relationships with others in both education and business settings not only allows people to learn from others and trade information but serves as a path to form life-long relationships with mutual benefits.

    So what exactly is networking?

    Networking can be defined as a mutually beneficial interaction that involves exchanging ideas and information between individuals who are connected by a common career, industry, or interest. Networking shouldn’t be transactional; it doesn't have to take place only when you need something from someone else.

    Where to network?

    LinkedIn is one of my personal favorite platforms to network with others on. The website allows for users to search for people who work at specific companies or have certain occupations and then can filter down to those who went to the same college/high school or who have worked at similar companies as those searching. LinkedIn has a messaging feature where direct messages can be sent to connect people with each other. Oftentimes, the direct messages can lead to exchanging emails or phone numbers and continue to develop relationships.

    It’s important to also look out for networking events that are held in larger cities or at universities. In-person networking events are a great way to build self-confidence and conversation skills while meeting new professionals that could potentially turn into long-term relationships. A lot of the times, colleges will bring in alumni to network with students (look out for different alumni events like alumni weekend throughout the year) or cities will have networking events with registration open to the public where various professionals come together to share information and meet each other.

    Networking with peers

    Networking can happen between people of ALL ages. As a college student, my “network” consists mainly of my peers along with some adults (mainly Ohio State alumni) who I have connected with throughout my time at university. Fellow students are great to network with because they’re often in similar places in their career, acting as a support system to help others grow and develop. It’s important to foster student relationships because in the long-term those could turn into professional development and career opportunities.

    Networking with professionals

    Being a student of any kind is very beneficial because often people love to help students! A good starting point to networking with professionals would be with alumni of your college/university. It’s easier to connect with people who share something in common. An example of a message to send to a school alumnus is as follows:

    “Hi, Montana! I noticed that you also attended Ohio State University and have a range of experience in the fashion industry. I am a current OSU student looking to break into the NYC retail industry for a summer internship. I know you have a lot of experience in the space, and it would be great to connect and chat about the dos and “don’ts” as I begin the recruitment cycle. Thanks!”

    Alumni understand what it’s like to be in our shoes as students and want to help others succeed. It never hurts to reach out over email or LinkedIn, at the very least someone will not respond, but more likely than not people will be willing to connect and offer any advice they may have!

    Do you have a compelling story or student success tips you’d like to see published on the Pearson Students blog?  If you are a college student and interested in writing for us – click here to pitch your idea and get started! 

     

  • Two people skydiving in tandem. They are both making a heart shape with their hands.

    Taking a Leap of Faith

    Victoria Guerrero

    Taking a leap of faith may sound terrifying to some, but for me, it was the solution to conquering my fear of taking risks. Jumping out of a plane was the most exhilarating experience of my life. Skydiving had always been a life goal of mine, but I never had the courage to go through with it. However, when the opportunity to go skydiving arose, I knew it would be now or never. Putting it off for so long, I finally decided to book my ticket.

    Entering the skydiving office, I was a nervous wreck, as I navigated through several waivers and safety videos. The agonizing wait followed, along with the second thoughts. I kept thinking, “it’s not too late to turn around.” However, I knew I needed to follow through with this. After hours of waiting, the moment of intense anticipation was here as we counted down and jumped.

    Plummeting to the ground at 120 mph, every thought I had before exited my brain. The only thought I had through my mind was how beautiful the Earth looked from 14,000 feet in the air. The fear others have towards skydiving seemed insignificant compared to what I had just experienced. This experience was more than checking off a bucket list item, it gave me confidence. Doing something that most people are afraid to do made me feel like I have missed out on so many other life opportunities due to fear. I know now I can do anything if I can jump out of a plane.

    Do you have a compelling story or student success tips you’d like to see published on the Pearson Students blog?  If you are a college student and interested in writing for us – click here to pitch your idea and get started! 

     

  • Two images side-by-side. On the left, blog author Maddy stands in her high school cap and gown. On the right, Maddy stands by a huge red ‘R’ at Rutgers University.

    Calculating My Way to Education: Why I decided to be a teacher

    Madeline Beavis

    In 2008, a small, wide-eyed child would enter her first Kindergarten classroom. She would fall in love with the sights, the smells, the people, and the atmosphere. Her teachers would inspire her to be just like them when she grew up. Over the years, she would learn about the joys of reading, writing, and mathematics and anxiously wait for each school year to start again. Each teacher would plant a seed in this child’s pre-elementary school mind that would grow for the rest of her school career.

    That child was me.

    Evolving Why

    Deciding that I wanted to be a teacher was easy. I watched other kids bounce back and forth between a doctor or an astronaut or a lawyer, but my career choice has remained unchanged. However, the reason for my choice has evolved. At first, I thought teachers were just people who knew more than everyone else and had all the answers. As an adolescent, I wanted to be “smart” and share my knowledge with others. As I entered adulthood, I began to understand that, while teachers are incredibly intelligent, they are just regular people who want to make a difference. Not to mention, they are intelligent in a way that is far more valuable than what can be taught in textbooks. Teachers must have immense emotional, social, and situational intellect in order to work effectively with students. Now that I’m in college, I strive to be as well-rounded of a teacher as those I've been lucky enough to learn from when I was in grade school.

    Evolving Who

    Overall, I knew, one day, I would end up at the front of a classroom. Determining what age-group and subject I wanted to teach was not defined so early. As I moved through each grade, I always ended the year saying I wanted to teach the grade I had just finished instead of the previous grade. That came to a screeching halt when I reached high school. I enjoyed the challenge of high school subjects and liked the material that I was learning more than I ever had before. I then knew that I wanted to teach high school... but I still hadn’t picked a subject.

    Evolving What

    I loved reading while in elementary school. You could always find me somewhere flicking the pages of a book like I just couldn’t wait to get to the next chapter. Throughout middle school, I thought I had my mind made up that I would major in English in college. Easy. Done. But not quite, because when I got to high school, I fell in love with my math courses. It probably helped that I had some incredible teachers for Geometry, Pre-Calculus, and Calculus, but there was something addicting about finding that one right answer to a problem. I still enjoy reading and writing and loved my English courses too, but I knew that I didn’t have the same passion for it as mathematics.

    So, career? Teaching. Age group? High school. Subject? Math. I felt like I had all my questions answered and I was excited for the future.

    There are times where I doubt my abilities or wonder if I am good enough to be an educator, especially in a subject as difficult as math, but then I remember the unwavering confidence that my teachers had in this one child. If they believe I can do it, then so should I.

    Do you have a compelling story or student success tips you’d like to see published on the Pearson Students blog?  If you are a college student and interested in writing for us – click here to pitch your idea and get started!