Students blog

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

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  • A computer laptop screen displaying the Academic Program Guide to Florida State University.

    Explore Majors During Your Freshman Year

    Ambyr Dack

    In high school, I heard repeatedly that choosing my college major would be one of the most important decisions I’d make. However, once I got to college, I realized that decision was less urgent and final than I thought. I met people during my first semester who were in a variety of stages when it came to knowing their major – from dead set on one, to open to changing, to honestly having no idea what they wanted to do.

    When planning for first my semester schedule, I discovered that I was required to take prerequisites that had nothing to do with my major. And following that I would still have General Business prerequisites I had to take before I could get into the College of Business. That’s when I realized that freshman year would be a great time to do some investigating of other majors!

    Explore Various Resources

    Initially I learned about so many majors simply by spending time talking with other residents of my freshman dorm! In addition, I found it helpful to find out what resources my campus offered. Most campuses have a Center for Career Success or Student Success. While I came into college pretty sure I wanted to be a Human Resource Management major I felt doubtful in making such a big decision. The Center for Career Success offered skills tests that helped identify my strengths and in what type of majors I could leverage those strengths. Additionally, in the list of recommended majors it gave me, Human Resources was one of them! I do not think a test is the only thing you should base your decision on; however, it gave me so much reassurance that my skills aligned with what is necessary for a role in Human Resources. Many colleges even offer courses for academic credit that help you take practical steps to choosing your major. If your campus offers resources, use them!! 

    Keep an Open Mind

    When it comes to choosing your major: start simple, know it’s okay if you change it, be open to learning about other majors, and get experience. Starting simple is the key! What do you enjoy? Were there certain subjects in high school you loved? Did you have a part time job in high school that taught you skills you can use? Consider developing a personal mission statement and think about what values and beliefs are important to you. How might you incorporate these into your major? Put yourself in the mindset that you know it’s okay to change your major. You can be open to learning more about other majors. This mindset takes pressure off your shoulders of feeling like you have to stick with the major that you came into college with just because you chose it on your college applications.

    Seek Ways to Gain Experience

    Lastly, and probably the most important is to actively seek ways to get experience in your field as soon as possible! Join organizations on your campus and look for internship and volunteer opportunities. This gives you a realistic idea of what you could be doing in these types of roles. You will see the ins and outs and all the application of what you will be learning in your classes. This not only lets you see if you like something but also helps you find a more specialized role that you want! For example, I had the opportunity to have an internship with Pearson as a Human Resource Business Partner Intern last summer where I helped run an internship program. I did not know that was part of a Human Resource role and I absolutely fell in love with it! I hope one day I will have the opportunity to run an internship program as part of my full-time job!

    College life is new and exciting for freshmen, but also can be really overwhelming and stressful. Choosing your major is an important aspect of college; however, remind yourself to take a step back and breathe. It is going to be okay!

    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 closed student laptop with a student planner stacked on top and a pen on the desk by the laptop.

    How to Balance Your 3 S’s: School, Sleep, and Social Life

    Ambyr Dack

    When I came to college, I was told there are three S’s: school, sleep, and social life… but the catch is you can only have two. While there are times that certainly feel like the case, creating good organization and time management skills can help you maximize your college experience. What I have found to be most helpful throughout college is creating a calendar system that works for me, scheduling times to do certain projects that are during my peak hours of performance, and realizing the importance of intentional rest even in the midst of crazy schedules. 

    Find The Best Calendar for You

    How many times have you gotten a physical calendar and after one month you stop writing in it? We have all been there. Finding the right kind of calendar for you is key to keeping on track. If you know you are prone to stop using a physical calendar, try a digital one like Google Calendar or Outlook. At the beginning of the semester type in all of your deadlines for assignments along with known events like club meetings, classes, concerts, or trips. Set alerts that will automatically pop up on your home screen to ensure that you actually have to take a look at your calendar. What I have found to be most helpful is at the beginning of every month briefly reviewing my calendar for that month to make sure I'm aware of all upcoming dates and plan accordingly.

    Personally, I like to use two calendars. One is a monthly calendar on my desk that I use to add all of my assignment deadlines as well as any holidays or upcoming events. The other is a small physical calendar that has a weekly view that allows me to plan out what I will do on each day. 

    Strategize Your Studying

    Scheduling times to do certain projects that are during your peak hours of performance will help you with mental fatigue. For example, if you have a textbook chapter you have to read, a discussion post, and a quantitative assignment to do, be strategic on planning when to do these assignments. It takes a lot more focus to read a textbook chapter or to do a quantitative assignment than to write a discussion post. If you find you are able to focus the most in the morning, try knocking out the textbook chapter or quantitative assignment first, take a break, and save the discussion post for a time in the day you aren't as alert.

    Additionally, I know I get overwhelmed by the number of tasks that are on my to-do list, which easily leads to procrastination. Try setting an alarm on your phone for a short period of time like 30 minutes and just start a task. It will make it seem smaller and easier to start when you know you only are going to work on it for a brief amount of time. Moreover, this can also help when you have other tasks like cleaning your room or folding laundry. By setting a 5–10-minute timer you know that you are dedicating that specific time to it, which gives you more incentive to complete it within that time.

    Rest Is Productive

    Lastly, rest! Unfortunately, burnout is very common among college students, especially towards the end of the semester. The best way to avoid burnout is by taking time to intentionally rest throughout your week. This means finding ways to recharge, which looks different for everyone! Some examples might be to read a book, go on a walk, work out, listen to music, hang out with friends, journal, or cook. Finding times in your schedule to incorporate breaks like this is essential. It might seem like there is no time for this, but by adding rest into your schedule you will be more productive and have more energy throughout your week. Maybe you have an hour chunk during the week or split up that hour throughout your week. Find what works for you and make sure you prioritize it!

    Start early in the semester to establish effective time management balanced with plenty of rest. This will lay the foundation to productive habits that will help you maintain student success throughout the school year!

    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 laptop computer is open on a desk with Dynamic Study Modules showing on the screen. Behind the laptop there is a window and a potted plant.

    Pearson’s Dynamic Study Modules Promote Mastery

    Ambyr Dack

    Picture this: you are doing your homework and two answers seem like they are both right. You choose one, click the button, and up pops a huge red “X!” We have all been there, and it's even worse when it happens on an exam. That's why I love the Pearson dynamic study modules! Dynamic study modules are like a combination of personalized notecards and your eText. They allow you to review what you already know and focus on what you do not know. Even better, you can learn without the pressure of getting questions wrong. 

    Studying with a twist

    Dynamic study modules are a set of questions based on your textbook chapter readings. Each question is followed by five answer choices with large circles next to each one. The first four choices are based on the content of the question and the fifth choice is always “I Don’t Know.” You answer the questions by clicking on the circle next to your answer choice; however, there is a twist!

    If you are certain of an answer, you can double click the circle next to your choice to fill it completely. This will help to filter the material you’ve mastered, allowing you to focus on what you do not know.

    If you are unsure of your answer choice, you can click on the circle once to fill in the circle halfway and you won’t be penalized if you’re incorrect. Whether that choice was right or wrong, you will have the ability within the module to see the correct answer and read a small section straight from your textbook that explains why it's correct.

    You can also click the “I Don’t Know” button for a no penalty response. Just like if you answered a question halfway, you would get to see the correct answer and an explanation. 

    Questions you answered halfway or with “I Don’t Know” will come up again later in the module to make sure you fully understand the answers. The goal of these modules is to master the subject matter. With every correct answer you fulfill a green bar, meaning you are one step closer to mastery!

    Better retention leads to better results

    I took a course last semester that utilized Dynamic Study Modules and they helped me truly understand the content rather than just memorizing flashcards. I found that I had an easier time retaining the information that I learned because of this, and I enjoyed learning! I mean-- who likes being penalized when they get an answer wrong? No one!

    These modules alleviated my stress that points were being chipped away at my grade with every wrong answer. Better yet, I could review the modules all semester in two different ways: Smart Refresh and Refresh, allowing me to go back and review chapters quickly or in depth. It was perfect for when I had to review for exams or needed a quick refresh on the material before class.

    If you are currently enrolled in a course that utilizes Pearson Dynamic Study Modules, or if you take one in the future, I highly recommend taking full advantage of them to gain a deeper understanding of your course material!

    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!