Students blog

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

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  • A person’s hand holding up a white piece of paper with the words: “Navigating Insecurities in College + Why They’re Not a Bad Thing”.

    Navigating Insecurities in College

    Molly Medin

    Insecurity doesn't have to be something you shrug off with mantras like “You are perfect just the way you are!” or “Comparison is the root of all evil.” Instead, allow moments and feelings of insecurity to teach you about yourself, and achieve goals that will improve your life and make you happier.

    In college, we tend to compare ourselves to others often. We meet so many new people and are pulling from new experiences and new interests, while trying to figure out how we want our lives to look and living in all new environments. It is completely normal to second guess our own appearances, personalities, interests, and habits in this stage of self-discovery and growing up. As a student in my third year of undergrad who has had more than my fair share of these moments, I’d love to share with you what I’ve learned.

    What Causes Insecurity?

    Understanding the root of your insecurity is key to 1) using the insecurity to teach you about yourself and 2) not blaming yourself for having it in the first place. If you are insecure because you don’t have something that you’re passionate about, like a career that would improve your life, college is the time to pursue it. If you are ashamed that you don’t have something that doesn’t align with your values, like having 3,000 Instagram followers, seeing this clearly can help you let go of the insecurity.

    Let’s go through an example.

    Say I’m walking down the street and see a woman wearing a matching blazer and pants set from a popular brand, and I am immediately insecure about what I am wearing and where my clothes are from. Firstly, I tell myself that this is not a negative feeling, but an opportunity to learn about myself further.

    What is it about that woman wearing the outfit that makes me insecure? Do I wish I had her outfit because I assume it means she is having a productive workday or because I know it’s expensive? There could be a million reasons… but I’d start by asking myself, “If I had this outfit, what do I think would change?”

    For me personally, I know that being productive makes me happy and helps me be confident, which is aligned with my values. If I figure out that I am jealous of this woman’s outfit because of her perceived productivity, I can take from this encounter that I feel as if I’m an unproductive person. If I’m honest with myself and I know I am usually very productive and am consistent with work projects and studying, I can remind myself of all my past accomplishments and routines I’ve worked so hard to make and keep. Or, if I know I’ve been procrastinating and not reaching my potential, I can use this experience as a signal that procrastinating is actively making me unhappy.

    If I identify that I’m jealous that her outfit is expensive and I wish I had lots of extra money to spend on fancy outfits, then I can further investigate that. Does showing off make me happy? Why do I feel the need for other people to know I have lots of money? If I feel this way because I want to be like other people who have more money than me, then I can ask myself if wanting to be like other people is something I want and value. For me, that is an easy no and it would be much easier for me to let go of that insecurity, knowing that I do not want to do anything to be like other people, therefore, buying that outfit wouldn’t make me happy.

    So, What Does This All Mean?

    At the end of these possible ways to think about this situation, the answer is not buying the fancy outfit. I am not criticizing the solution of seeing the woman’s outfit, feeling bad about yourself, and then buying her outfit, because it is a solution, just not one that teaches you something about yourself. This rational method of dissecting insecure feelings has been life changing for me and has allowed me to overcome so many self-doubting thoughts.

    College is a chaotic but extremely flexible time in your life, as you are deciding what career you want to pursue, what sleep schedule works best for you, how to navigate relationships, what foods will make you feel the best, how to balance having a social life, and more. The fact that you don’t have your life planned out or know how it’s going to unfold is scary and means big decisions ahead, but it also means that the possibilities are literally endless. It’s time to figure out what will make you happy so you can do that.

    I’m going to leave you with a list of values to ponder, and a few quotes that have helped me so much in my college experience so far.

    List of values


    “The uncomfortableness comes from the space between knowing what you need to do and doing it.”

    “What would you regret more: doing or not doing?”

    “Time will pass anyways.”

    “I am grateful for challenge because it gives me the ability to improve. If I was stuck, no matter where I was, I wouldn’t be happy.”

    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 textbook on a bed, alongside an open planner and laptop with class notes appearing on the screen.

    Ace Your Finals

    Ashanti Crowder

    As the finals frenzy kicks in, college students are eager to come up with any tips or tricks to help study. Through my journey in college, I have tried all of the “best tricks” to study, and compiled a list of five that helped me during finals season. Whether you have hours or minutes to study, these hacks are the ultimate roadmap to acing your exams!

    The Pomodoro Technique

    The Pomodoro Technique is a time management method that can help significantly with your productivity. To implement this technique, you start with setting a timer for 25 minutes and focus on studying during that time. Then, when the timer goes off, take a 5-minute break. Repeat this process four times and then take a longer break (around 15-30 minutes). This method helps you stay focused and prevents burnout!

    Active recall

    This method is my personal favorite, active recall is a study technique where you actively quiz yourself on the material you’re trying to learn. Instead of re-reading notes, try to recall and explain the information from memory. I like to pretend I am teaching the material to someone. This helps reinforce what you already understand as well as help identify the topics you need more help in!


    Flashcards are a great tool for condensing information into small, easy to remember pieces. Create flashcards with key terms, concepts, and questions on one side and the answers on the other side. I personally use Pearson+ to create flashcards straight from my E-Text! An additional trick I like to use is writing the topics in different colors to distinguish their chapter, subject, or section.

    Group study sessions

    Studying with friends or classmates can be an effective way to prepare for finals. By explaining concepts to each other and discussion, you deepen your understanding of the material. Plus, you may learn some new study hacks! Some fun ways to study my friends and I use are turning the material into a Jeopardy or Family Feud game.

    Healthy Habits

    Maintaining a healthy lifestyle during finals season is extremely important! A well-balanced diet, regular exercise, and sufficient sleep can significantly impact your cognitive abilities. You want to keep your mind sharp and focused! I like to eat oatmeal and fruit on the morning of a big exam. I’ve also found that doing yoga the night before helps me be more relaxed and less anxious on test days!

    In conclusion, acing your college final does not have to be stressful or overwhelming. By implementing these five easy hacks, you can increase your chances of success. Remember to stay organized, take breaks, and prioritize taking care of yourself. Most importantly, do not be afraid to ask for help! With a little discipline, you’ll be well on your way to conquering your finals.

    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 selfie with seven college students outside in front of holiday lights. They are dressed for cold weather in coats and knit hats.

    Five Holiday Hacks for College Students

    Peyton Maria

    Navigating the holiday season as a college student can feel weird. Suddenly your gifts are all dorm room essentials. Every family member wants to know in depth details about your last semester and judge you for your major or sorority choices. Not to mention that you spent everything you made that semester on books for spring, and you realized you didn't even buy gifts for your parents yet.

    With this crazy season just a week after finals, here are five holiday hacks for college students:

    Tip #1: Shop Black Friday Deals

    The term “broke college student” never feels more real than when it comes to buying gifts for Christmas. The easiest way to avoid spending your student loans on gifts for your family is to shop early, and shop sales. There are also sales throughout the fall semester that are important to take advantage of. Also, the sooner you know what you’re going to buy, the more you can spread out your spending.

    Tip #2: Know the Answers to Common Questions

    The first time you go home, you will feel like a broken record, answering every question about school and friends over and over again. To relieve a little bit of major frustration from this, think of some of the answers ahead of time. This way, you have clear answers to all of the main questions instead of dragging on through boring conversations.

    Tip #3: Canvas Free Christmas

    As tempting as it is to spend your break stressing and planning for the next semester, make sure none of it seeps into your time on break. The whole point of winter break is to do just that: take a break! Spend time with family, sleep in, hang out with hometown friends. Whatever you do, don’t spend your entire break stressing about the semester to come.

    Tip #4: Make your Christmas List

    Since the beginning of my freshman year, I have had a running “wishlist” in my Google drive that I can share with my family members who are looking for gift ideas for me. Every time I see something I want or need that I cannot afford, I add it to my wishlist. This way, I’m being more financially smart during the school year, and Christmas gifts aren’t just random things that won’t help me survive the next semester.

    Tip #5: Do All the “Kid” Stuff

    Finally, take a little time to be a kid again. Bake cookies for Santa, make gingerbread houses, go look at Christmas lights, go ice skating, etc. Don’t let the stress of college and the upcoming semester cause you to miss out on all the things you love about the holiday season.

    All in all, Christmas is supposed to be a time of celebration, not stress. With these five tips, I hope your college Christmas feels a little like you are seven years old again.

    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 open planner on a desk with the words ‘Interview with dream job @ 4 pm!’ written in red ink on one of the days.

    Interview Tips to Help You Land That Dream Job or Internship

    Faith Van Wyk

    Congratulations, you got an interview!

    Now what?

    For many, interviews are the most nerve-wracking part of the internship or job search. There are steps you can take to prepare for an interview that will help you make a great impression on your interviewer and may ultimately help you land the position!

    Before The Interview:

    1. Research the company. You’ll want to find information like the company’s mission statement, any big projects that the company recently completed and made public, and any recent mentions of the company in the news or in relevant journals. If you go into an interview with this knowledge, you will show your interviewer that you have a genuine interest in working for their company and that you have a high level of professionalism compared to other applicants.
    2. Be ready to dress for the job you want. If you can, try to find out how current employees in the role you are interviewing for dress. You should try to emulate this look during the interview. If this isn’t possible, use your best judgment when deciding between formal business attire and business casual. This can be dependent on the industry you’re looking to go into and the individual company culture. Another important thing is to be sure that you go into the interview well-groomed. In general, you should be clean and free of offensive odors.
    3. Research commonly asked interview questions. There are lots of resources out there with questions that are often asked during interviews. Certain websites may even provide you with example answers. The important thing is to familiarize yourself with the questions that may be asked during your interview and to prepare your own answers. You want to show your interviewer that you would be an asset to the company, so you should take every question that is asked of you as an opportunity to share your relevant skills and experience.

    Tips To Remember:

    • Be conversational! One of the things interviewers will look for is your ability to hold a conversation because they are trying to gauge how well you will be able to communicate with clients, coworkers, and higher-ups.
    • Remember that your interviewer once sat in the same seat you’re in now. Be personable, pleasant, and don’t be afraid to use humor if appropriate!
    • Your body language says just as much about you as your words (if not more!) Make sure you make an appropriate level of eye contact, nod or show other signs of acknowledgment when you are being spoken to and make yourself appear as calm and collected as possible.
    • Bring copies of your resume for yourself and your interviewer! This practice has become somewhat obsolete with advancements in technology, but it’s still a good idea to bring your resume to reference during the interview.

    Finally, don’t be afraid to ask questions! Interviews are meant to help you just as much as they’re meant to help your interviewer decide if you would be a good fit for a certain role. Make sure you ask questions about factors that are important to you, like work-life balance, parental leave, PTO, company culture, etc. If you are looking for a company that values employees having a work-life balance and your interviewer tells you that this is not something the company is concerned about or flat-out refuses to answer, the company may not be a good fit for 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! 


  • A computer generated graphic on a pink and white background with the words: ‘Fun Ways to Destress; When College Becomes a Bit Too Stressful’.

    Take a Break to Get a Handle on Stress

    Melanie Perez

    As a STEM major, I find it hard to find time to relax, especially during midterm and finals season. Sometimes it feels like too much, and I question why I chose such stressful classes. In the end, I always pat myself on the back for being able to get through the tough times, but there are a couple of actions I use to reduce stress and ensure that I don't drive myself into a wall when things get complicated.

    1. Escaping with Video Games

    I use video games as a means to escape reality. Sitting in front of my PC after a long day submitting assignments keeps me sane. I choose to play calm games that get me ready for bed, ones that won't add any unnecessary stress to the pile that I already have. Here are a few of my favorites:

    • Unpacking: It is a chill game where you play a character that is going through different stages of her life, each represented by the new apartment she moves into. You spend time unpacking her boxes and organizing her belongings, and in doing that, you unpack her story as well.
    • Tiny Glade: It has yet to be released (upcoming in 2024), but in this cozy game all you do is spend time making a castle of your own. There is no money limit, no combat, just a freeform-building game where you can let your imagination run wild.
    • Stardew Valley: Although well known, I still have to give it credit for being such a fun game where you get to explore and uncover new secrets hidden in Pelican Town. You become a farmer after escaping a horrible work life, and your mission is to save your farm after your grandfather passes away. You can spend your time fishing, fighting monsters, or simply just farming. You get to decide your story, and it's a nice way to relax at the end of the day.
    • Secret Cat Forest: If you're not a fan of being on your computer or gaming console, this cute game about cats is on mobile. You feed cute little kitties in a forest by fishing food, and they return the favor by bringing you little presents!

    2. Spending time with loved ones

    Although finding time can be difficult, it is always important to fit your friends and family into your schedule. I promise it's okay to step outside of school life even during stressful events. Laughing and having fun will make you feel much better, so here are some fun ways you could hang out with your friends…

    • Picnic: Find a park near you and buy a couple of snacks. Enjoy the scenery and talk to your friends about anything! Bonus points if you bring your pets and let them play with each other.
    • Painting: It doesn't matter if you're not an artist, painting is a great way to explore your creativity, and use your brain in a way that won't stress you out. It is also relatively inexpensive, especially if you use dollar-store items. The quality doesn't matter if you're with people you love.
    • Coffee shop/bookstore: If you're like me, I love just browsing through books, but never really purchasing anything. I usually end up in the coffee shop inside the store, sitting and talking with my friends after we exhausted our energy by looking at every book in the store.
    • Sleepover/get-together: Another inexpensive activity is just to hang out in each other’s houses, go on walks and maybe catch a Netflix movie on the couch. Getting away from your room might help you escape from the pressures of school, even if it's just for a couple of hours.

    The bottom line is that whether you find a way to take a break on your own or with family or friends, doing so will help you keep your stress level under control. Do not worry and enjoy every second of your college experience.

    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 red bowl on a table filled with a healthy meal of rice, salmon, and chopped zucchini.

    Tips to Healthier Eating Habits for College Students

    Mikayla Wallace

    Cooking healthy meals in college can be extremely challenging, especially staying within your budget with rising grocery prices. The following tips can help you achieve a balanced diet in college while not breaking the bank or spending too much time cooking. One tip for eating a healthier balanced diet in college is efficient grocery shopping with a well-prepared list.

    Another tip for college students wanting to eat healthier is preparing breakfast options and study snacks early in the week to cut down on time spent before class making meals and avoid impulsive decisions. By following these two tips, college students can navigate the challenges of cooking nutritious meals on a budget while optimizing their time and resources.

    Efficient Grocery Shopping

    As a busy college student, it can be difficult to get to the grocery store even once every other week which is why it is super important to plan when you want to eat healthier. If you have roommates, I recommend getting a grocery list app to share what you want from the store on a joint list. Having a shared list of dinner ideas with roommates is another way to ensure you are mixing up your meal options. Fresh fruit and vegetables can be expensive for a college student's budget. I have found the best way to get fruits and vegetables into my diet is by buying them frozen. Buying frozen fruits and vegetables also ensures you are avoiding food waste. Another grocery shopping tip for college students on a budget is to check the price per ounce or pound for each item because general packaging can make some items look cheaper than they are.

    Meal Prepping

    For some college students, meal prepping sounds time-consuming and too repetitive, but the key is to not meal prep all of your meals. I recommend meal prepping for breakfast or lunch because it allows for more time and energy to cook dinner. My go-to for prepping breakfast is overnight oats because you can mix up the flavor combinations so it does not get boring, and you can make multiple for the whole week. Lunch is usually the hardest meal for college students to eat a balanced meal because many students have classes or work around that time. Prepping containers of snacks ahead of time can help you get through the middle of the day. I recommend cutting up whatever fresh vegetables or fruits you have all at once to have a couple of healthy snack options on hand throughout the week.

    Cooking healthy meals in college can be a daunting task, but it is not impossible. Overall planning, preparation, and a little creativity can help any college student eat healthier on a budget. Prioritizing nutritious choices and planning will contribute to a balanced diet, ultimately promoting overall well-being and academic success in college.

    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 tabby cat sitting by red and white Christmas decorations.

    My Christmas Traditions

    Jen Fiengo

    I don’t know about you, but my favorite holiday seasons are those that take place in the winter months. While my family celebrates Christmas, the other winter holidays seem like such enjoyable times. I feel that traditions make these times more personable and special to each individual. Traditions have been passed down between families, whether they be centuries old or years old. My family has a few traditions that make the holidays special.

    Christmas Eve Presents

    First, my family does Christmas Eve presents. Each one of us get to open a small present on Christmas Eve rather than waiting for Christmas Day. This tradition comes from when I was younger. I was always too impatient to wait until Christmas Day, and being the only child, I was allowed to open one of my presents before I went to bed. When I was old enough to get my mom gifts on my own, I started having her open one, too, making it special for both of us.

    Putting Up the Tree

    Next, we always decorate the tree together during the first few days of Christmas. We take down the Thanksgiving decorations together, followed by putting up the Christmas decorations. We always decorate the tree together, each putting on ornaments that we’ve collected throughout the years. My mom used to do this when she was a kid, so this is a tradition she brought into our holiday season.

    Christmas Stockings

    Lastly, a tradition I find the most fun is that everyone in the family gets a stocking. What I mean by this is that my two dogs and three cats have their own stockings. Even when I had smaller animals, like hamsters and fish, they would all get stockings. They would be filled with treats, toys, and new collars every year, giving the animals something to open on Christmas. Our mantle is always full since we have five extra stockings hanging labeled with our pets’ names.

    Holidays are a time to be with family, friends, and those you love, but what would you do without a little fun? Traditions help me and my family keep structure and fun in our gatherings, whether the traditions are old or new. I enjoy the holiday season solely due to the traditions I share with my family.

    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 10 college friends taking a selfie inside a college gym.

    A Productive Lifestyle for College Students

    Will Jansen

    The challenge of being a productive college student is that, for the first time in the traditional student's life, he or she has so much freedom in how time is spent, a sharp contrast from high school. It can be intimidating, but it should really be viewed as a terrific opportunity. Interests, hobbies, class times and majors influence the exact responsibilities each student has, but students should apply themselves in specific ways to make the most of their time.

    Here are 6 areas to prioritize to achieve a productive lifestyle.

    1. Studying

    This is both most obvious and vital, hence it is placed first on the list. Most professors in three credit hour courses recommend a minimum nine hours of study per week—If a student takes 15 credit hours, that’s a recommended 135 hours of study weekly, excluding class time! Realistically, some classes, especially core courses and prerequisites, demand maybe two hours, while a major course could demand 12. Every student is different; just make certain you review regularly and stay on top of the busy work for easy points.

    2. Physical Fitness

    An active, healthy body makes for a strong mind. Lift weights and run long distances if you prefer, but that isn’t at all necessary—just keep moving to stay fresh. For me, I play basketball with my friends two or three times a week at the campus rec center, push some weights around or hit a treadmill two more times. Choose whatever you prefer; keep a strong body and have some fun while doing it.

    3. Campus Involvement

    Staying tied in on campus is a great way to get the most out of your college experience. There is plenty of overlap here with other points, but getting an on-campus job and being involved with clubs can help a student immensely. Most schools have student organizations centered around each major or college and are great ways to get involved. However, get out of your comfort zone and try other areas: student government, intramurals, and more.

    4. Nutrition/Meal prep

    This one can be tricky, especially for those living on campus with no kitchen. As I said in point 2, a healthy, strong body makes for a strong mind, so work on yourself in every aspect. Nearly every eating location on campus is required to offer low calorie or vegetarian meal options, so take advantage. Eat at regular intervals; eat with constraint. Take care of yourself to perform at your best.

    5. Outside Work/Side Projects

    This one encompasses both short- and long-term development. Some students may need to work full time jobs to help fund college. For a traditional student, part-time on-campus employment opportunities may need a little digging but should be very easy to find. Any good part-time college position will be flexible with your classes. Have new experiences, get some cash to have fun with your friends, and maybe save some away if you can. At the same time, look at career development—work on those LinkedIn profiles, reach out to established professionals in fields you’re interested in. Work on your own projects that excite you: research a topic you often think about, coach a youth sport you love, read a book, or, maybe, even write one. There is no limit to the applicable options here, work hard on whatever piques your interest.

    6. Rest and Recovery

    Getting to all of those above can feel like a lot to tackle. But what’s just as important as any of those is personal time. College is meant to be enjoyable. Work hard, live hard. Go watch your school play any and all sports, go out with friends on a Friday night. You’ve earned it.

    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 large grouping of tall pine trees with the sun peeking through.

    The Oasis That is Thanksgiving Break!

    Jordan Little

    Thanksgiving break has always been a favorite of mine, even though I’m not a fan of turkey. My love of Thanksgiving is far removed from its original meaning and more about how we celebrate it. Similar to New Year’s or the 4th of July, the majority of children and adults in the US are given time off from work/school because of Thanksgiving, often for an entire week. This common practice gives people time for traveling throughout the break. For example, my immediate family and I live in a different state than the rest of my extended family. We live in Georgia while my maternal extended family is located in Chicago, Illinois, and my paternal extended family is located in various parts of northern and central Florida. Because I get to see my maternal family many times throughout the year, my siblings and I enjoy driving down to Florida once a year to visit my paternal family for Thanksgiving.

    Variety at Dinner

    I always have such a fun vacation during Thanksgiving break. I have a lot of family members who live in Florida and who drop by sometime during Thanksgiving week. It’s so interesting to catch up with so many different people while listening to music or eating food. Every family that comes chips in a portion of the big dinner Thanksgiving night, with my host cooking the majority of the dishes served. With so many people at the dinner, guests don't typically eat together at one big table. Instead, people are encouraged to eat in the living room, in the backyard, or even on tables set up in the garage and driveway. Music and laughter are everywhere, and the dinner lasts for hours.

    The Fall Break

    Though I have many personal reasons to enjoy Thanksgiving break, a more common positive about the holiday is when it happens. For college students, the fall semester can be tough. You have to get back to the mindset of school and the weather gets colder and colder. Besides Labor Day weekend, most colleges don’t have a significant break until later November with Thanksgiving. During my first year of college, I would often find myself counting down the days until Thanksgiving as a break from the months of learning I was getting used to. Even if you don’t travel for Thanksgiving, or celebrate the holiday in any way, any student can appreciate the much-needed fall vacation that is Thanksgiving break.

    If you were to ask me what my favorite holiday was, I would likely respond with Christmas. However, if you were to ask me what holiday I look forward to the most, my answer would have to be Thanksgiving. I don’t have many attachments to the historical origin of the holiday, but I spend the majority of the fall semester looking forward to celebrating Thanksgiving with my family.

    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!