Students blog

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

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    Advice for new students or transfer students

    Alex Mendoza

    Starting a new semester at a new school can be overwhelming for both incoming freshmen and transfer students. New systems and new academic expectations can be tricky to navigate. Click the link below to watch my vlog with great advice to help you get off to a great start of the semester!


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    LinkedIn Learning: An extension outside the classroom

    Alex Mendoza

    With summer in full swing, college students finally have a moment to calm down and breathe. But there are always opportunities for college students to keep learning. Many take summer classes to get ahead in the quest to graduate. But with summer classes comes the intense cost of summer tuition. Universities will offer summer classes at a discounted price because it is not the same as a full semester, however not everyone has the funding to take classes at this leisure. So how does one get ahead for the next semester without having to enroll in a summer course? The answer is LinkedIn Learning. 

    LinkedIn Learning won’t substitute for an entire class or give you credit, but it is a very powerful platform endorsed by many universities. If you check with your career center, you may find that LinkedIn Learning is provided for free to your student LinkedIn account. 

    Utilizing Resources

    LinkedIn Learning provides professionally developed video courses that go into the fine details of many different topics. For example, I am a Business Administration major with a concentration in Finance. I can filter my search results to show numerous video courses dedicated to helping me learn about finance. From Personal Finance to Wealth Management and Corporate Finance, I have many opportunities to look around and find something I am interested in

    Taking Initiative

    Courses can be multiple parts and go for over an hour with quality information. You can set daily goals for how much time you want to spend on a course or complete it all in one sitting. When you finish each course, you earn a completion award that you can publish on your LinkedIn Profile. This not only gives you the recognition for expanding your knowledge, but it shows that you are taking initiative to learn outside the classroom and are willing to educate yourself further on your own time. Employers can look at your profile and view your accomplishments, or you can put it on your achievement sections in your resume. There are many opportunities to further your education, but you should be aware of this important platform. 

    Helping Yourself

    With everything going on in the world today, this generation needs to be able to compete with the limited amount of job spaces out there. Financial limitations are frustrating. Students can no longer afford pursuing every opportunity, such as going to summer classes or even taking certification exams. But we can always find ways to further benefit our skill development, and LinkedIn Learning gives us all that chance to take small steps towards the bigger picture. 


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    Gaining work experience from home

    Alex Mendoza

    Starting in March, the COVID-19 outbreak has brought our economy to a startling halt. Many people experienced rapid mobilization to virtual and remote working, while others were left jobless. The unemployment rate has risen, and the job market is now as competitive as ever. Among those impacted, many college students have found themselves without an internship. But to the college student who wants to gain work experience for their resume, is it possible to do it now? 

    Of course, it is! Many companies actively seek people who can find new resources when faced with considerable limitations. This shows adaptability, and as college students, that is a very important skill to catch the attention of employers. I have found several opportunities to help place relevant information on your resume that you can do from the safe confines of your home. 

    LinkedIn Learning

    First and foremost: LinkedIn Learning. This looks so good to employers who are seeking someone ready to take initiative. You can put completed courses on your LinkedIn profile and your resume to show that you’ve actively been trying to better yourself. It reveals to employers that you are motivated and driven to pursue all resources given to you in order to get the results you want. 


    Webinars are another good resource. A lot of colleges host professional development webinars with guest speakers from various companies. With the help of technology, we can still have meetings without being in person. It may feel strange to sign up for these webinars, but they help build developmental skills. You can also publish that you attended such meetings on your resume or social media and include the details of what you learned. Stick to highlighting yourself more than the main speaker though- you want to show that you were interactive in the webinar and took away important learning lessons. 

    Ask Questions

    The final way to gain insight about your career path is to apply for positions on both school and outside job boards. If you apply, you might get an interview, which you can then go into and ask questions. Personally, I apply to jobs I may not be qualified for yet. If I get the chance, during the interview process I acknowledge my shortcomings with the recruiter, but I also look for opportunities to pick their brain. What would make me a better candidate? Should I look to getting specific certifications before I apply again? Does your company have an internship program open? These are the questions that build connections and often get you opportunities. You need to be able to open doors for yourself and let people remember you as someone who didn’t wait for the opportunities to come to you, rather, you made them yourself. 

    It’s always important to be able to talk to people and sell yourself. It may seem like now is a very dark period where nothing is going right, and it’s daunting. But this will determine what type of people will rise from this hardship, and those who will remain on the ground. Pursuing your passion should be something that everyone fights for and everyone has an equal chance to make it happen. Don’t let this valuable time slip away; start fighting for your career path, it may be closer than you think!


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    Handling unexpected challenges in college

    Alex Mendoza

    Everyone will experience something new in college, and it’s inevitable that sometimes challenges will occur. For example, many students are currently experiencing a disruption in their education due to campus closures revolving around public health concerns. But how does one face such change?

    Let’s start with saying that everybody handles change differently. There is no universal answer to overcome obstacles that you face when being put in a different environment. But there are ways to lessen the stress and fear when facing such changes. 

    Write your worries out

    To start off, list all of your worries down on paper. Getting overwhelmed is usually the biggest issue for an incoming freshman or anyone facing an unexpected situation. Putting your issues down in order of priority will show you visually what you need to focus on and what is the most important. Focusing on one issue at a time allows you to use better time management and increase attention to the subject that needs the most help. 

    Seek out help

    Usually, schools offer complimentary services in terms of basic advising or therapy for those who need it. Advisors and therapists are there to lighten the load in terms of what you are looking to study or even provide insight on how to keep calm. Being familiar with these resources only benefits you in the long run because you will be able to seek help if you need someone to help guide you. It is understandable that sometimes reaching out is scary, but these resources exist solely to help you make it through each semester as best as you can. You are not alone and these resources are there to prove that to you.  

    Connect with others

    Take the opportunity to look around and delve into your own interests. Sometimes new friends are in the most unexpected places. If you’re currently adjusting to on-line classes, reach out to classmates and friends virtually. Use digital tools to stay connected while you can’t meet face-to-face.  Seek out people who are going through similar challenges and can assist you in overcoming your struggles. 

    While these are some simple tips, they actually work well to help you get comfortable as you face any new challenge. Everything has a starting point and an ending point, and how you handle it will be how you grow. It can seem daunting, but the results will be worth it. You may feel like there are some dark periods where there won’t be a happy moment, but I assure you, you are not alone. Starting with these tips, you can help yourself maintain a happy and healthy lifestyle that will make your college life worth it. 


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    Through the Good & Bad: Selecting the Right Off-Campus Roommates

    Alex Mendoza

    If you’re finally moving off campus after a successful first year or even moving away from home for the first time, nothing says college experience more than having roommates. With rent consistently on the rise, it is not surprising to see larger groups of students living as roommates in a small apartment. But while moving off campus is quite exciting especially if you’re moving in with friends, there is always that fear of picking the wrong roommate. Before you sign that lease, here are several tips to help you figure out whether you and your prospective roommates are going to hit it off for a full year of fun. 

    Pay the rent

    When submitting your application to apply for a room at an apartment complex, you want to consider the financial stability of all roommates involved. Each roommate should display either parental confirmation or bank statement proof that they comfortably have at least three months rent money saved up. This just helps in case of any distrust amongst roommates in regards to monthly rent payments. With all roommates being on the lease, you also want to consider whether you will need a co-signer. Some apartments require two co-signers as college students do not have a high enough credit score. Make sure all potential roomies have a way to pay rent or offer a cosigner. 

    Get an agreement

    Create a roommate contract. You want to be as specific as possible in case your roommates decide to try and act out later on. In addition, find an agreed consequence that everyone will be subject to for purposefully going against rules on a consistent basis. It may seem rather harsh right now, but without a good basis of rules, people may develop tendencies that not everyone agrees with. You could also end up with a highly inconsiderate roommate who must be firmly reminded that there are house rules that everyone shares. 

    Be flexible

    Understand that if you end up choosing the wrong roommate, there is unfortunately little you can do to get rid of them especially since they’re on the lease. You need to come to terms with the problems you face and also accept how they choose to live. There will be times you get stuck in situations that will require you to deal with such people. But that’s the world today. There are people who weren’t raised with the same basic respect and morals that you were. Find ways to compromise with the shared room, ignore them, or just find ways to integrate yourself into a new way of living. The whole point is to coexist for the remainder of the lease. It will be difficult, believe me, but as someone who has had an unfortunate experience, it pays just to let go of the stress and accept the situation and move on. If you let them get to you, then they have won. Look at it as an opportunity for personal growth and limit the negative effects as much as possible. 

    In life you will experience many situations that don’t allow you to get exactly what you want. But that’s OK, because life is a constant growing process for you to understand how the world and the people in it work. There will be rough patches that seem to go on forever, but the main lesson to be learned is how to go through it and learn to live with it to the best of your ability. Go and be confident in your decisions, because either way, it’ll be a life lesson that you’ll carry with you forever. 


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    The Big Move: 5 tips for a better college move-in experience

    Alex Mendoza

    Parents and students alike will understand that college is a brand-new playing field. It’s a giant restart button that allows people to discover new friends and passions. It is imperative that you have the right living space when going on these new adventures. Your home is a place to feel safe and comfortable. And while moving to a new one can be hard, there are things you can do to make it easier. Check out these 5 tips to help make your college move-in go smoothly. So, are you ready to face the new semester? 

    Research First

    Once you know what building you’ll be living in, research the layout of your room. Is there a connected bathroom or a communal one? Do the closets have doors? Is the bed a twin extra long or a regular twin? What appliances are allowed? Most college housing websites have the floorplans for each type of room, lists of what’s allowed and even suggested packing lists. Look over it all ahead of time before you decide what you need to buy.

    Roommate Realities

    In addition to researching the actual room, many housing offices provide surveys to help with the roommate selection process. Be honest on these surveys; it will give you the best chance of finding someone with similar interests and habits. Believe it or not, you do not want a roommate who stays up late while you go to sleep early or vice versa. Once you know who your roommate will be, make time to communicate about what you each plan to bring so you don’t have duplicates

    Less is More

    When planning pre-move purchases, only buy the things that you know you’ll need from Day 1, such as a shower curtain or Kleenex. It is important to not start out with too many things in your room. Everything can be accumulated gradually, so begin with less so you have space for more. Bring only the clothes that you will genuinely wear and use. It can be tempting to overpack, however note that you will do a lot of shopping in college so you will need closet space for the new arrivals. 

    Snack Time

    Most campus residents have some type of meal plan, but you’ll still want to have extra snacks on hand in your room. If your dorm allows fridges and microwaves, stock up on a variety of snacks for late-night study sessions or when friends are hanging out. Include fresh fruits and favorite sandwich options to help you keep a healthy variation in your diet. Restock at least twice every month so you ensure no wasted food. 

    Scout Out New Spaces

    Most residence halls feature extra amenities outside of your room, including computer labs, fitness rooms, laundry facilities, game rooms, and lounge areas. Take time after moving in to see what’s there, especially the study rooms. Those study spaces are often less crowded than the library and other places on campus. It is the perfect space to seek quiet time for your studies while not being cooped up in your room. There are enforced quiet hours, so it will be beneficial to look into when these are. 

    Living on campus brings you closer to student life at the college while also keeping you close to valuable resources. It helps shape the future of many bright students and you will forge friendships that will last a lifetime.