Students blog

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

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PreK-12Higher EducationProfessional

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    Note Taking Tips

    Anuj Saxena

    The first step towards excelling in academics is taking clear and extensive notes. Taking notes properly and strategically can be an important step in scoring well on your exams. Here are the note taking tips I find the most helpful.

    Handwritten vs. Typed

    Hand-written notes can be more effective than typing them on your laptop or tablet. Students tend to retain more if they handwrite their notes. Try handwriting notes in class and then organizing and typing them as a follow-up. Properly organized and maintained notes will definitely reduce the amount of time you require to prepare for your exams.

    Maintain Notes

    Scoring well on your exams is not hard at all if you maintain your notes well throughout the semester. I really like to keep my notes in an organized fashion. I always date my notes so that I can easily look back on them and find out what was taught on that day. After I am done with one chapter I leave one-page blank so that when I read the textbook and find something important I can jot it down easily with my notes.

    Highlight examples

    Professors tend to give a lot of examples to help illustrate concepts. I highlight all of them in circles or boxes. This really helps me to recall how the professor explained that particular topic. Moreover, those examples usually appear in a few questions on the exam. This is one of the most important note taking pieces of advice I firmly believe.

    Pool notes with a study group

    And finally when the exams are round the corner, I make a study group with my friends. We all pool our notes together and see if there is anything we have missed. We discuss the notes in detail. That helps everyone prepare.

    I believe using a very organized fashion to note taking correlates with higher exam scores. What do you think? Is handwritten better than typing notes? Do you have study groups to help prepare for exams? What about including the professors examples  – is that helpful to you? Please share your note taking advice, when retweeting my blog!


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    Money: To Save Or To Spend Is The Question

    Anuj Saxena

    Every dollar, every day, we are faced with a dilemma: Should I spend my money or save it? In a time where nearly anything can be bought for the right price, we are tempted to spend all our money all the time. After all, money makes money. But now I’ve learned that your actual income is not what you earn but what you save. Savings is what you can use when it’s time to build your dream.

    Advice from leaders

    One of my professors gave some wise advice on this topic. He encouraged us to resist spending our post-graduation starting salary on a really expensive sports car. The value of the car will depreciate over time so the wiser decision is to buy a more practical car and invest the remaining money. The return on the invested money can pay for many sports cars over time. This advice was reiterated when I studied a great economist and philosopher who said, “do not save what is left after spending, but spend what is left after saving.” The money which is spent on luxuries is never going to give us any money back but the money which we invest is actually going to help us build our future and our dreams.

    Lessons for college students

    In my first year as a college student, I realized that no matter how much money I had at the beginning of the month, towards the end of the month I was always broke. Many of my peers were in the same situation because we were only thinking about enjoying our today. That year, I had an idea to initiate a start-up. I needed some initial investment for it but unfortunately I had nothing.

    As I looked back, I saw that there was a lot of money which I had spent unnecessarily. I could have saved more and used it for my start-up. From then on I decided that each month, I would take out a certain amount from my paycheck and keep it aside as my savings. A lot of my financial problems began to get solved with this one habit. I invested the money I saved every month which indeed earned me more.

    Invest for your future

    If there is one piece of advice I would give other college students, it would be to try to save your money and invest it. It may seem challenging at first, but it will be well worth it in the long run. Making even this one action a habit while you are young will help pave the way for a prosperous future.

    So, Pearson Students, I have a question for you: How will you save money? Will it be one less latte per month? Or maybe trading the cinema tickets for a movie marathon with friends in your dorm? Saving money can be challenging in college, so let’s brainstorm together! Share your genius money saving tip below!

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    Learning Through Experience: On-Campus Jobs

    Anuj Saxena

    I am a veteran and currently a freshman at The University of Texas at Arlington majoring in Accounting and Information Systems. After only 8 months in college I have already involved myself in campus activities. I hold a plethora of positions here on campus. What I am finding through these activities is that it not only adds to the “college experience”, but also to my mental well-being. I have found that these activities strengthen me as an individual. That is why I want to share this with you, in hopes it drives you to become involved and perhaps better understand your own interests and desires.

    One of my first campus jobs was tutoring. I tutored in history, English, and math. I went on to become a Peer Advising volunteer, in which I help new and international students adapt to the culture and navigate college. Thereafter, I worked as a Peer Educator making the campus a safe and more inclusive place by working against substance abuse, relationship violence, hazing and other social evils. Currently, I hold the position of a Residential Assistant (RA) in a residence hall. This job is fantastic because I get to meet new people, make a lot of new friends, and have a unique experience every day.

    Each of these jobs gave me a different skill to be used in life. Some helped to improve my communication skills while some helped to improve my networking and management skills.

    These jobs helped me overcome my shortcomings. Every morning I got up with a set of new goals to be achieved for the day. The result was me becoming more organized and academically sound.  All of these jobs pushed me to work harder in life for my own sake and others.

    Working on campus is a great way to improve oneself. Every day you make a better version of yourself which indeed is the secret of your success in life. And that is what life is all about, continuously working to improve ourselves.

    The ultimate challenge in life is not to compete against each other; it’s competing against ourselves, winning against our own bad habits and shortcomings. I go to sleep every night with a determination in mind that I am going to get up the next morning and make it a better day for myself and for those who matter in life.


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    Technology has Alienated Humans with Humans

    Anuj Saxena

    The technological developments that have taken place over the past decade are colossal. With the use of social media and other networking tools, we have acquaintances all over the world…but are we becoming social robots? The reality is that we have connections but no genuine conversations. We are getting along but are often ‘alone together’. Instead of talking to people we prefer sending texts. The simple reason behind it is that in texts we get to edit, delete, retouch and in turn end up hiding our true selves and present only what we finesse. It has not only altered what we do but what we are. In a room, if five people are sitting together, each is busy exploring the world on their cell phones and laptops but nobody is interested in learning about the person sitting right next to him or her. We think too much but feel too little.

    As Charlie Chaplin correctly said, “we, humans, are meant to live by each other’s happiness and not by each other’s misery.” Each one of us forms an integral part of this society and it is our prerogative to actively work to form a community which benefits all of us. I feel we are letting technology take us to places where we don’t want to be.

    We have forgotten the essence of belonging to the mankind race. We are meant to stand by each other in good and bad times. People generally say that technology has made our lives better and easier. No doubt it has made our lives easier, but has it really made our lives better? Technology has given us cures for so many diseases but the bitter truth is that alongside these cures came numerous new diseases. Technology has drastically changed our lives both for good and bad.

    The optimum use of technology is certainly beneficial for us, but we need to stay away from is our over-dependency with technology. I encourage you to realize your technological usage, and evaluate if it is benefiting your relationships or hurting them. It’s essential that we maintain our balance in our society, whether that means with our electronics or without them.