Students blog

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

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  • The college student author’s desk with a laptop showing MyDietAnalysis on screen

    Unwrapping the college diet: Recognizing students’ common nutritional deficiencies

    Rachel Stennett

    Starting college is exciting -- and frightening. Between planning my move to school, worrying if I’ll become friends with my roommates, and researching what classes I should take, I never considered what my daily, mundane life as a college student might look like. Once I settled in and all the excitement and nervousness died down, a new feeling quickly replaced them- hunger. I suddenly realized I was truly on my own for everything now, including meals.

    As a dietetics student, I felt like I had an advantage. I knew I needed to eat fruits and vegetables often, fiber and protein would help keep me full for long periods of time, and I should limit fast food. But when classes picked up steam and new responsibilities piled up, these sensible doctrines were replaced by: what foods will take the quickest route from the plate to my stomach for the cheapest amount?

    Last fall was the first time I realized that my diet may not be ideal for my health. My human nutrition professor assigned a diet and nutrition analysis. Using a nutrition tracker, we were expected to analyze our diet for one day and describe any nutritional deficiencies we had. After completing this assignment, I realized my daily diet had deficiencies in B12, Zinc, Vitamin D, and Calcium.

    It turns out that many college-aged students are also deficient in these micronutrients without realizing it. We tend to focus on macronutrients - carbohydrates, proteins, and fats - along with calories, sugar, and salt intake. So it’s easy to overlook micronutrient deficiencies. However, continuing imbalances in micronutrients can also adversely affect your health.

    Vitamin B12

    Vitamin B12 binds naturally to animal proteins. Some foods, such as plant milks and cereals, can also be artificially fortified to include B12. Through the digestive process, B12 is released from the food’s proteins and repackaged to be absorbed by the small intestine. Once absorbed, B12 is used by the body to help form red blood cells, DNA, brain cells, and nerve cells. It is recommended that college-aged adults consume at least 2.4 micrograms of Vitamin B12 daily. This is equivalent to a small portion of salmon or two cups of yogurt.

    People with a B12 deficiency often show signs of fatigue, weakness, or confusion. Deficiencies are most common for people who avoid animal products, such as vegetarians and vegans, and for those who eat a limited diet – but fortification can help prevent them.


    Another micronutrient commonly found in meat, fish, and poultry is zinc. It can also be obtained from non-animal sources, such as beans, nuts, and whole grains. However, zinc from these sources is not as easily absorbed by the body. Nutrition professionals say these sources have a lower bioavailability of zinc.

    Once absorbed, zinc is used to help create DNA, new cells, build proteins, heal wounds, and support immunity as well as many other bodily processes. The recommended daily intake for college-aged adults is between 8 – 11 milligrams. (This is equivalent to four servings of breakfast cereal.)

    People with a zinc deficiency often show signs of decreased sense of taste or smell, loss of appetite, lowered immunity, and slower wound healing. Vegetarians, vegans, and alcoholics are most at risk for zinc deficiencies.

    Vitamin D and Calcium

    Vitamin D and calcium work together to promote bone and tooth health. People with vitamin D and calcium deficiencies are likely to experience bone weakening, muscle cramps, and poor appetite, among other challenges. In addition to assisting with the absorption of calcium, vitamin D also helps immune responses. Calcium also assists in bodily processes such as blood clotting, muscle contracts, heart rate regulation, and nerve functions.

    The sun is the most abundant source of vitamin D. However, for students who live in a less sunny state, or spend their days locked away in a campus library, vitamin D can also be derived from fatty fish, fortified orange juice, mushrooms, and egg yolks. People with darker skin tones are also susceptible to vitamin D deficiencies. Higher concentrations of melanin, the substance that promotes skin pigmentation, absorbs some solar UV radiation that would otherwise be used to produce vitamin D. The recommended daily intake for college-aged adults is 15 micrograms per day. This is equivalent to 1 cup of white mushrooms.

    Calcium can be found in a variety of sources such as dairy products (and many of their vegan alternatives), leafy greens, beans, and nuts. It is recommended that college-aged adults consume 1,000 milligrams of calcium per day. This is equivalent to 4 cups of fortified soy milk.

    Explore more deeply

    Not every college-aged student is deficient in these nutrients. Some may have different deficiencies, while others may have none. Only a doctor or certified medical professional can reliably diagnosis a nutritional deficiency. Nonetheless, hopefully this list will give you a better understanding of nutrients that might be missing from your diet, and how diet tracking can help make these discoveries.

    Want to learn more about diet tracking? Check out MyDietAnalysis, a powerful tool that helps students log their diet and activity choices and provides detailed nutrition and activity reports to help you practice nutrition analysis.  

  • A screenshot of a video call featuring college students from various universities.

    Career Fair Prep: Start with your Resume

    Geeta Chandaluri

    Many colleges and universities host career fairs during the Spring semester. These fairs offer fantastic networking opportunities for students, however preparing for these events can also be stressful. During the event you’ll typically have 5 to 10 minutes to talk with a recruiter or a company to make an impression. It is very useful to have copies of your resume handy. Once the conversation with the recruiter is complete it is a common practice to give them a copy of your resume so that they can remember you.

    Your resume is essentially a marketing document where you are positioning yourself in the best way for the job you want. A resume should also be dynamically changing. It could be a steep learning curve to build one from scratch, but as you get in the habit of updating your resume frequently it becomes a healthy good habit. Here are a few pointers to help you understand more about resume building and formatting, and better position you into taking a stab at creating your first draft.

    1. Use A Good Template

    No matter how strong your background and experience are, good formatting will make your resume more eye catching to recruiters. If you are not Word document savvy, simply look up resume templates online and download a template that is the most applicable for you. Sometimes your school career center might also have these templates so make sure to look there as well!

    2. Grammar

    It is very important to have consistent grammar throughout your resume. You want to be as detail oriented as possible on this paper because it is the only medium for a recruiter to know you. A grammatically correct resume will allow you to stand out among peers who might be competing for the same role. Some great methods are keeping the same verb tense, ending every sentence with a period, and making your sentences clear and concise.

    3. Design

    Some standard resume features are a full single page of content including your name, education, address, contact, work experience, and achievements. You can adjust the resume content depending on what you need to say. You also can add a pop of color, use funky fonts, or even add a great picture of yourself in your resume to convey character. HOWEVER, be mindful on how the recruiter might read into this! Some fields might prefer a “conservative” resume style where content and achievements are the focus. Recruiters in fields like marketing and graphic design might appreciate more creative designs because the resume will demonstrate your skill in creating visually appealing products. Just make sure you understand who your audience is and tailor your resume accordingly.

    4. Final Drafts

    The resume in a job application is one of the main and crucial components that allows a recruiter or a hiring manager to get to know you and quickly assess whether there is a good fit between you and the potential employer. It is always a good idea to run your resume by your friend or family member to proofread and identify any last-minute errors. If you happen to find yourself stuck, recognize that you have various options and resources to use. The simple yet not so obvious one is your university career services.

    5. Evolution

    Your resume should be ever evolving. This doesn’t mean just adding your experiences as you progress in your career, but also modifying it from time to time and removing anything that becomes irrelevant. You might take up various career paths so when you are updating your resume for a new position, you probably do not have to list everything you did since high school. Strive to get into the practice of updating your resume after the end of each semester.

    Using these tips will help you to be ready to jump on opportunities as they come and to feel prepared for them. Preparing for career fairs to apply for internships or jobs can be intimidating for some students, but it doesn’t have to be. Even if you don’t have a lot to put on your resume, having a high-quality resume is a game changer.

    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 dish of the prepared pasta recipe featured in this blog alongside a side dish of vegetables and bread.

    Pasta in a Pinch

    Alivia Clay

    Cooking in college presents a variety of challenges. Personally, I struggle the most with finding meals that are cost-effective, fresh, and easy to prepare. Another issue that I have identified with many recipes is that they will call for a super-specific ingredient and then only use a small portion, causing the remainder to sit in the fridge forgotten. Gigi Hadid’s Spicy Vodka Pasta recipe has been my go-to meal in college and has allowed me to solve many of these issues while providing a delicious meal that reminds me of home.

    Super Simple Recipe

    The recipe only requires 10 ingredients, many of which I find myself already having on hand: olive oil, yellow onion, garlic cloves, tomato paste, heavy cream, vodka, red pepper flakes, salt & pepper, pasta noodles, and parmesan cheese.

    You begin by combining ¼ cup olive oil, half of a diced yellow onion, and 2 garlic cloves in a large saucepan. Once the onions are soft add in ¼ cup tomato paste until it appears darker in color. Then add ½ a cup of heavy cream and 1 tablespoon of vodka allowing it to simmer until evaporated. Add in as much or as little red pepper flakes as you desire as well as salt and pepper.

    Cook the pasta separately. I prefer rigatoni but trying out a new shell is always a fun way to mix it up! When the pasta is done save ¼ cup of pasta water before draining and add it to the saucepan. Add the pasta into the sauce and stir in 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese. It’s that easy!

    Pricing And Meal Planning Tips

    All ten of the ingredients total $13.50 or at least that’s what it cost me the last time I made the meal. I am generally able to make one batch of this recipe last me 5 whole meals, equaling $2.70 per meal. This surely isn’t the most nutritious meal but it's fresh and reminds me of the food my mom once cooked for me.

    It is easy to prepare only requiring a saucepan, cutting board, knife, strainer, pot, and perhaps some containers for leftovers. While it’s certainly not required, I generally pair the pasta with a form of protein and a vegetable to further balance the meal. Both chicken and Italian sausage are a great addition. To add some greens to the dish I generally prepare either broccoli or brussels sprouts which I season with the same ingredients required for the pasta recipe, including a splash of olive oil, parmesan, and garlic. On occasion, I also add spinach to the sauce which provides a great source of nutrients while not taking away from the decadent sauce.

    However, perhaps my favorite part of this meal is its ability to bring people together. Not only has this become a staple in my college home but in my friends’ kitchens as well. After trying my pasta my friends made numerous requests for the recipe so they could prepare it themselves. This perhaps is the best compliment when cooking a meal. In a sea of instant mac n’ cheese and ramen, being able to show my friends how to cook food that reminds us all of home has been the biggest pleasure of all.

    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 woman holding her arms overhead and standing in a clearing surrounded by farm crops. She is wearing a yellow top, blue jeans, and a cream-colored scarf.

    Finding Balance through Self-Love and Internal Healing

    DaViane Lowe

    As a first-generation college student, I struggled to balance my personal well-being, social interaction, and academic life. I was not prepared to handle the stress to perform academically, to feel accepted while also dealing with racial disparities, and dealing with financial concerns to pay for school while also taking on jobs to meet other financial obligations. It became a never-ending cycle to achieve a sense of balance between being a proactive full-time student while also working full-time to provide for myself.

    On the plus side, I acquired relevant work experience, developed self-sufficiency and transferrable life skills. However, due to the fear of failure, limited free time, loneliness, and high levels of stress, this resulted in severe social anxiety. I was always exhausted from trying to perfect myself intellectually and monetarily and had entirely disregarded my self-confidence, mental health, and spiritual needs. I realized that prioritizing healthy habits that brought me joy and peace was the only way I could begin accepting and loving myself.

    Peace Within

    To get more in-tune with my body and my own power, each week I practice releasing endorphins in the gym, followed by a great long stretch. Once a week, I put aside time to prepare meals so that I may always eat for my muscles, stomach, and brain. To lift my spirits, I make sure to listen to powerfully uplifting speakers like Pastor Mike McClure Jr., Judge Lynn Toler, and Robert T. Kiyosaki. The Big Brother Big Sister youth program is where I socially volunteer to utilize my creativity and inspire the future generation. Lastly, I joined the newly established dance team at my university that’s filled with excitement and community. I learned to not worry about things that I could not control, and to accept the things that make me who I am. I had to learn to love me.

    Owning My Power

    It took a tremendous amount of will and perseverance to adopt a new lifestyle. In the past I kept reminding myself, with a connotation of defeat, that I must carry out said obligations. This mindset made daily tasks feel like an immortal chore. Instead, I know that I am rewarding myself and that I have been given the freedom to carry out different tasks throughout the day. Giving myself permission to constantly practice my best self has a more positive connotation. I have been granted the opportunity to check items off my daily to-do list, and I am fortunate to do so. I stand up straighter and am satisfied to embrace the person I've been suppressing. Today my soul is completely nurtured.

    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 white saucer and coffee mug filled with creamy coffee featuring a heart-shaped design in the cream.

    Daily Dose of Self Care

    Malina Gavris

    As winter stretches on and classes pile on the homework, it can be easy to fall back into bad habits and to lose focus. Especially nearing mid-term exam season, it's important to remember to take care of yourself and to surround yourself with positive vibes.

    During my freshman year, I took a wellbeing class offered by my university which taught me so much about self-care. One of the most important lessons I learned was to set time each day to do something special for yourself. Whether it be a yoga sesh, a splurge on your favorite DoorDash order, or a picnic date with friends – plan on doing something good for you. Because, well, you deserve it!

    Therapeutic Lifestyle Change

    According to the American Psychology Institute, a plethora of mental health conditions including anxiety and depression can be treated or ameliorated with “therapeutic lifestyle changes”. These changes can be made by focusing more on exercise, nutrition, relationships, recreation, relaxation, and stress management, religious or spiritual involvement, spending time in nature, and service to others. Pairing this information with what I learned in my class, I decided to put this advice into practice over the course of a school week. Here are the results:

    Take My Time

    On Monday, I don’t have any in-person classes, so I usually spend the day at home. It gives me time to knock out most of my homework for the week and that helps me to stress less about missing due dates. Given the time I saved by not commuting to campus, I decided to make a healthy dinner for myself and for my family. I made pan roasted salmon and root vegetables which is super easy if you’re like me and can’t cook!

    Get Some Sun and Fresh Air

    On Tuesday, I headed over to my favorite cafe on campus to get acai bowls with two of my friends. Since it was a nice day, we walked around campus instead of staying inside. It was a great opportunity to get some Vitamin D and to relax.

    Still Make Time for Care During Busy Days

    By Wednesday, I’m already waiting for it to be Friday. Since it’s my busiest day of the week as well, I settled for doing a 15 min yoga routine that I found on YouTube. It was easy and effective, and a great way to fix my posture after sitting in class all day.

    Work With the Weather

    It was raining on Thursday which meant it was the perfect day for a movie night! My sister and I rented Bullet Train to watch and found a bag of leftover Halloween candy – eating all of the Reese’s was definitely worth it.

    Shopping Therapy

    Finally, after a full week of school and work, Friday came along. I had evening plans, but my morning was wide open, so I chose to head to my local gym then to go on a Target and Trader Joe’s run. I did end up buying more snacks than needed and a pretty pricey face mask, but I felt great anyways. After all, a little splurge once in a while is good for the soul.

    Overall, I thought my week-long experiment of adding a self-care activity everyday was super fun and beneficial. I planned accordingly to make sure everything would be doable, and I felt good about being good to myself. I wholeheartedly recommend modifying this plan to fit your own interests and schedule, as a daily dose of TLC sure goes a long way!

    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 college student visiting an historical area featuring stone statues. She is looking over a stone railing.

    The Travelling World of Little Einsteins – College Student Edition

    Alice Li

    "We're going on a trip on our favorite rocket ship, soaring through the sky." - Little Einsteins

    Many college students today remember the animated series, Little Einsteins. In each episode, four children travel to different parts of the world in their personal rocket ship. College is a time when many students get their first taste of freedom, including traveling with friends for the first time without a chaperone. However, we cannot simply just up and go whenever and wherever we want. For starters, many of us do not have the resources or planning expertise that the Little Einsteins had. And, we most certainly don't have our own rocket to conveniently go places!

    But a little creativity and planning can make student travel more manageable. Here are four tips based on some of my experiences in travelling as a broke college student.

    1. Factor in transportation costs

    When it comes to travelling, two of the most important things to figure out upon determining a location are (1) how to get there and get around and (2) where to stay. Transportation adds up, especially if you plan to drive. You often need to not only pay for gas (think about the rising gas prices!) but also parking.

    Even if you plan to use public transportation, it is just as important to consider location as there are limitations to the time schedule for when bus or rail lines are running. For example, when I went to England, because the bus lines were not running at the time I needed to head out, I ended up walking around two miles just to get to the rail station while carrying all my luggage and carry-ons. Not fun, I tell you, but quite an experience anyway. Overall, if the distance between your housing and chosen visiting destinations are close, you can get to places faster and easier, thus maximizing the time you’ll have to explore.

    2. Consider where to stay and how to get around

    Book housing at least a few months in advance for cost savings. (Yay, price discrimination!) Airbnbs are great for medium-sized parties (3-10 people) and can help save money if your party is willing to cook at least a few meals, as dining out can be costly.

    Look into the safety of the area you are staying in and visiting, as well. Do your research ahead of time as to how to access public transportation and whether you need a certain app to ride the bus/train/etc.

    3. Plan ahead for places to go explore AND eat

    New place. I get it. You want to explore. But you’ll get exhausted if you have TOO much planned on your daily itinerary. Have no more than 3 activities/locations planned, depending on the length of each activity. You’re honestly better off giving yourself more time in one place than less. Also, having less planned allows you flexibility in your schedule. You may discover a place you didn’t really know about when you researched but are interested in, so leaving some room in your schedule gives you the opportunity to explore. Having some dining options in mind ahead of time can prevent frustration when you’re tired and hungry and not sure where to eat.

    4. Take note of any important regulations and customs, especially if you plan to go out of country

    Did you know that chewing gum in Singapore is illegal? Singapore values keeping their city clean and thus has a lot of different fines and regulations. Check out regulations and customs in your destination ahead of time. The last thing you want is to visit another country and suddenly find yourself in trouble with the law enforcement agency.

    Travelling can be stressful and even tiring but it is also very rewarding. So, if you want to go on a trip in the near future, what better time than now to begin planning and thinking about it? Even without the Little Einsteins’ resources, college student travel is within your reach!

    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 four photos of HBCU campuses: Spelman College, North Carolina A&T University, Southern University, and Norfolk State University.

    Why I Chose My HBCU

    Jalyn White

    After decades of segregated education at institutions of higher learning, the very first Historically Black College and University (HBCU) was founded on February 25, 1837 by Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, creating a safe academic, intellectual, and social space for Black students. On December 1, 1865, Shaw University in North Carolina became the first HBCU in the South, initiating a cascade of HBCU charterings in the United States. These spaces of both comfort and challenge for HBCU students proved to be special, affirming students of their rightful place in society. Today, HBCUs are the #1 producers of Black physicians, lawyers, educators, politicians, engineers, and so many other professional paths by setting high-achieving standards for Black students.

    I am currently a junior Biochemistry major on the pre-med track at Spelman College in Atlanta, GA. Before my sophomore year of high school, I had never heard of Spelman. But after one brief conversation with my mother who encouraged me to look into it, I started researching, toured the campus, and found it to be the greatest place at which I could continue my education. Spelman has been the #1 HBCU for 16 consecutive years as the premier college for Black women, and that is what greatly contributed to my decision. The academic atmosphere is intense, but the community is full of people who love and care for Spelman students, and the sisterhood I have experienced during my matriculation is unforgettable. Let’s hear from some other HBCU students on why they chose their HBCUs.

    Jesse Uloghobui currently attends Norfolk State University in Virginia and is a sophomore Computer Science major on the cybersecurity track. His mother attended Norfolk State, and that is one of the main reasons he chose to enroll.

  • Lab Notebook: Prepare for the Experiement: Wash Your Hands Lab Animation

    The Gist of Germs: The Importance of Proper Handwashing

    Ana Cooper

    Washing your hands is one of the basics of hygiene that we often do without thinking. It was heavily emphasized during the pandemic and continues to be a major prevention of contamination. Handwashing is critical in healthcare careers since many personnel come into direct contact with the patient. The personnel must be trained in handwashing technique to ensure that all areas of the hand are cleaned. This makes learning the skill an important step in a person’s career. That is why Pearson has taken extraordinary measures to make an excellent handwashing simulation.

    Handwashing Education

    During the Fall of 2021, still in the height of the pandemic, I was taking Microbiology I and training to be a certified nursing assistant. Every day I learned about ten new diseases that could be on my hands at any given moment. Simultaneously, my nursing instructor would stand over my shoulder timing me while I washed my hands. The ticking of the watch made me so nervous that I was shaking all over trying to take a deep breath. I tried to remember every area of my hands and make sure I was scrubbing for just enough time.   

    Handwashing is a simple skill, but this semester it was taken to an extreme level. I was taught to first turn on the faucet with a paper towel. I then squirt antibacterial soap on my hands and scrub for at least 20 seconds. It is important to scrub the palms, back of the hands, in between the fingers, and all fingertips. Observe fingernails and make certain that there is no grime stuck under the nails, as this is a common site for bacterial growth. Ensure that all surfaces have been scrubbed with soap. Don’t forget the wrists! Rinse the hands off completely without touching the sink and do not shake hands to dry. Grab a paper towel to dry hand. Turn the faucet off with a paper towel.   

    The Cause for Cleanliness

    He emphasized over and over again how important it was to have excellent hand hygiene. The examiners who preside over my state exams would observe my handwashing technique just as meticulously. If I did not wash my hands well enough or long enough, I could not continue with the exam. I would have had to still pay for another exam, come another day, and test once again. It would go on my records that I did not pass the exam the first time and the reason would be noted too. There was a lot to lose if I did not wash my hands correctly.

    Anti-Protist Protocols

    This rigorous routine would continue in my Microbiology labs. Weeks of experimentation would go in the garbage if a slide got contaminated with my skin in the Microbiology lab. If I did not wash my hands after the experiment, I might take home fragments of whatever that bacteria, fungi, or worm was to my family. Microbiology forced me to think like a germaphobe. Clean the counter, clean the slides, clean the microscope, sterile procedures, inoculate the loop, wear gloves, don’t breathe on your specimens, and many, many, MANY more hygienic precautions would loop through my brain.

    Handwashing Never Goes Away

    That was my fall of 2021. I knew that all of this was important as I was taking my first steps to becoming a nurse on the field. In nursing school and in the hospitals for my clinical rotations, hand hygiene is still meticulous. I continue to be tested on it in my exam questions and in my skills labs. Handwashing never goes away. I have must wash my hands 100% so that there is 0% chance of anything spreading.

    Handwashing is always relevant. Repetition is key which is why it shows up at the beginning of the virtual labs. This is why Pearson devoted lots of time and technology to making a proper simulation for handwashing for each lab. Professors, clinicians, students, and designers all worked together to make this product a reality. Having this handwashing simulation on the virtual labs is crucial to maintaining excellence, accuracy, and relevance. There is a proper order to wash hands that needs to be maintained. The entire hand to be cleaned well with soap and water. Sticks for removing grime from under the fingernails are a notable task in the routine. Many other actions must be performed in the specific order to complete the whole routine. This is a skill that a person carries with them their whole life, but especially when they are in the medical field and have direct contact with patients. No matter the major, all are responsible for keeping their hands clean and decreasing the spread of diseases. Whether one is at home, in the office, at the hospital, or labs, everyone needs handwashing to be a regular hygiene habit to maintain cleanliness and health throughout society.

  • A graphic image featuring a pink rectangle with four hearts in the upper left corner and the text, ‘Things to do on Valentine’s Day, fun solo + group ideas’

    It’s Valentine’s Day and You’re Single: Six ideas to try

    Charlotte Fieffe

    Driving around my neighborhood recently, I noticed the painted hearts on business windows and heart-shaped wreaths on doors and realized Valentine's Day is just around the corner! Although many deem the holiday as a way for businesses to bank on the idea of "love" by selling the masses sappy chocolate shaped hearts and $2 roses that die the next day, it doesn't take away the meaning that you were thought of enough to be given any of those things. But if you're single, that might be another story. Don't worry, I have six amazing ideas that you can do on your own or with friends that will make the idea of Valentine's mean so much more than that sad lumpy teddy bear in the back of your closet that you got from that one friend.

    Pack a Picnic

    First up on the list is a park picnic! This idea is so cute and is definitely one of my favorites. Gather your friends and let everyone bring their own dish from home (or store bought, we don’t judge). Spread out a nice blanket, play music in the background, and you have an easy way to bring your friends together for a nice day out in the park.

    Create a Charcuterie Board

    Charcuterie boards are often the highlight of many gatherings! You can go with the theme of the holiday or go completely off script, it's really up to you! Everyone can bring their own charcuterie board imagination extravaganza and enjoy the night with each other.

    Take Time for Self-Care

    This can be a solo event or coordinated with a group of friends! Take some time to take care of yourself however you see fit whether that be eating out, journaling, putting on a face mask, whatever you want! Checking up on yourself physically and mentally is probably the best kind of love that you can give yourself this Valentine’s Day! You deserve it!

    Express Yourself Through Art

    Consider taking an art or pottery class. As with the self-care option, this can be done solo or with a friend. It will be nice to find local classes, and it is a fun way to get your creative juices flowing! You can take something home from the experience and learn something new! If you have not tried taking an art class or pottery class, it’s a great way to put yourself out there and to meet new people.

    Settle in for Movie Night

    Host your own movie marathon this Valentine’s Day! Grab some popcorn and some friends and host a romantic or rom-com movie night! Make everyone choose a movie to watch or make your own curated list of movies for the night. It’s a fun way to spend time with your friends and to indulge in some of that chocolate!

    Explore a Bookstore or Museum

    Find a local bookstore or museum and spend the day there. After browsing some shelves, splurging on some books, or viewing some paintings and sculptures you can dine at a restaurant and enjoy the rest of your day. I really love this idea of exploring your local area a bit more, because you never know what you can find!

    I hope this post has given you a rekindled spirit when it comes to Valentine’s Day as well as some new things to try this year. Whether you go solo or with a group of friends, have a safe and Happy Valentine’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!