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

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    How to Beat the Winter Blues

    Calli Jansen

    Snow blanketing the backyard, curled up by the fireplace with a cup of hot chocolate and a good movie playing…this sounds like an ideal winter day. However, what about the days where it is -5 degrees and you’re trekking across campus to an exam with a case of never-ending sniffles? Cold weather and lack of sunlight can definitely take a toll on your body, both physically and mentally. Here are some ideas to beat those blues when winter seems to go on forever.

    Take care of your body

    The sniffles, constantly being so cold you can feel it in your bones, a cough that causes your whole body to shake, your nose being rubbed raw, and the perpetual tiredness in the winter months can really affect your body. In order to get out ahead of these things, there are multiple small things you can do to take care of your physical self. First, make sure you are getting enough fluids. In the winter, people do not sweat as much which leads them to think they do not need as much water. This is a giant misconception which can lead to dehydration and trap bad bacteria in your body. 

    Additionally, in order to fuel your body properly, make sure you are eating well. Fruits and vegetables are never on the top of a college student’s list, but they are particularly important in the winter, especially vitamin C packed foods like oranges. 

    And lastly, a major issue with college students is under-dressing for the weather. Forget about making a fashion statement and put on that puffy coat! Make sure you are wearing socks and a hat, too, as that is where you can lose the most heat. Continually being cold causes your body to work harder on keeping you warm, detracting from its efforts to fight off harmful bacteria lingering in your classrooms. Get a cuddly blanket to snuggle up on the couch with during late night study sessions and drink warm liquids or take a hot shower to help fight off those lingering chills. 

    Take care of your mind

    The cold weather, lack of sunshine, and the extra stress that come with winter finals are a recipe for winter blues. No one wants to get out of bed when their alarm goes off at 7 a.m., especially when their room is freezing. This is a recipe for disaster as many will choose to roll back over and sleep through their morning classes. Others will get up, be grumpy and drag themselves to class, but not as their most attentive selves. 

    No one wants to go outside in cold weather so you have to mentally prepare to go the extra mile to stay warm in the winter. Most college housing has windows older than our parents which let a lot of cold air seep into a room. A good trick to keep your bedroom a little warmer is to hang up a throw blanket in front of the window to help trap some of the cold air and make getting out of bed in the morning just a little bit easier. 

    Additionally, with the cold weather comes the sun setting at 4 p.m. and it still being dark when you wake up in the morning. It makes you want to be in bed at all hours. In order to beat the continual darkness, invest in lights that produce artificial sunlight to put extra pep in your step.

    Finally, keep yourself mentally motivated to work on assignments and study for exams by scheduling study breaks. Getting up and moving around will not only refresh your brain, but also help warm up your body. And remember to reward your hard work with that cup of hot chocolate and movie by the fire!

    Overall, the winter is a tough time for many between illnesses and a lack of motivation that occurs. But taking a few simple steps like the ones here will help it be more manageable for most.


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    A Guide to Your First College Apartment

    Calli Jansen

    Moving to college and living in a residence hall is hard enough but moving into an apartment for the first time has a whole different set of challenges. There are things you never thought to get and a learning situation of truly being on your own for the first time. Here is a guide to handling bills, successful grocery shopping and keeping your new home clean.

    Budgeting Bills

    Water, electric, cable, WIFI, gas and, of course, rent are the major bills most people will have to handle in their first home. However, some apartments or rental companies will combine some or all in the price of one’s lease, which can be a plus. If you are responsible for any mix of these necessities there are a few ways to handle this. I prefer the e-billing, where the bill for each month comes through email and I keep a folder of them all so they are located in one spot. 

    I also turn on autopay for some bills so I do not have to worry about forgetting to pay those on time and there will be no late fees. However, this is not always plausible because of having to wait for roommate reimbursement or a paycheck to clear. Another great option is to get a planner and put down the dates the bills come out and the dates they are due so you can plan ahead and get all the funds you need. Additionally, starting a simple budget in the journal can be helpful with approximate amounts you spend on each utility, grocery store run or school supplies so you know if you have that extra 20 dollars to spend on new tailgating outfits or video games.

    Getting Groceries

    This is one of my favorite activities – except when it comes to checking out because food can be expensive! See if your local grocery mart has a rewards program. Whether it’s exclusive deals, more coupons or getting cash back after spending so much, every little bit helps. Another helpful hint is to keep a list. There is nothing worse than getting home and unloading tons of groceries only to remember you forgot milk.

    I like to keep a list on the fridge so as we run out of items we can record them and whoever goes to the store can take it with them. Usually all that is on our list is diet coke, bagels, eggs and pasta as they are all cheap and reliable. Also, depending on what you like to eat, it is nice to keep some staples in the house that you can add to any meal, like peanut butter, tomatoes, cheese and spinach. I have found out that it’s nice to have quick snacks always available because after a late night of studying or long day of classes, cooking a whole meal isn’t too appealing. 

    Cleaning Up

    Making your bed and putting your clothes in a hamper is one thing, but moving into your own home means you have to clean the bathroom, do the dishes, sweep the floor and everything else in between. No one else is going to do it other than you unless you have really nice roommates. In my experience, I find it is easier to clean as you go rather than wait for a while because then it will take forever. The longer your dishes sit in the sink, the harder it will be to get off the dried mac and cheese. The less you pick up your crumbs from your sandwich, the more likely it is you’ll get little critter friends visiting. And the longer you wait to do your wash, the more loads you will have to do. So wash your pans after dinner or throw them rinsed in the dishwasher. Clean your bathroom once a week and do your laundry before you run out of clean underwear. 

    There are a lot of things to consider when moving into your first apartment that you may not realize. I hope this helps you get a jump start on moving in and helps you get a perfect start to your semester!


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    Getting Experience in Your Chosen Career Field

    Calli Jansen

    With any career, students can research what to expect in the workforce. What’s it like to save lives in the ER, work 60 plus hours during tax season, or lose your mind because your students are extra rowdy on a Friday? You will never know how these things will affect you or if your career path is truly your passion until you jump right in and try it out.This is why internships and job shadowing are a vital part of ensuring the path you’re on is right for you.

    You’ll never know until you try

    Med students may think because they pulled all-nighters in college cramming for exams that they’ll be able to handle the graveyard shift in the ICU. However, until someone has experienced the effect of sleep deprivation along with the emotional wear and tear they will never know if that pathway is right for them.

    Job shadowing

    Job shadowing is such an easy way to get real life experience and you’ll get the eye-opening perspectiveof an individual in the field. There can be endless opportunities for job shadowing; you just have to ask someone you know in the field or call a local business in your area.


    Internships are a little harder to come by as you usually have to apply and companies will only have limited openings. However, they are one of the most insightful experiences you can get as well as a great way to network and meet people in the field. Additionally, if an internship is not something attainable for you for some reason, you should look into getting a part-time position in the field, even if it is not where you want to end up. You still can see some of the ins and outs of how a company is run and get your feet wet.

    Overall, real-world experience is such an important thing for you to obtain before entering the workforce completely. Until you actively participate in an activity or job you will not completely know if that field is for you. So, go out and find something that shows you what your dream job may look like.

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    Accounting made easy with MyLab

    Calli Jansen

    Assets, liabilities, and stockholder equity are three things that come to mind when you think of accounting. At surface value, these topics don’t seem to be super complicated, but when you begin applying them to balance sheets, income statements, and statement of cash flows, things can really start sinking quick! As a business major who one day hopes to open her own assisted living facility, the basics of accounting seemed like pretty important topics for me to master. The learning aids in Pearson’s MyLab Accounting have been a key to this process.

    Personalized feedback

    While I was taking my accounting courses I found myself constantly referencing the Help Me Solve This feature located within the homework section. It gave me personalized feedback for the concepts in each assignment. It also offered examples for me to work with and directed me to applicable sections in the textbook to help further my understanding. This learning aid helped me master how to create a balance sheet and solidified my understanding of assets and liabilities.

    Additionally, because of the algorithmic style of how the questions are created from the text, the Help Me Solve This feature provided me with unlimited opportunities to apply my knowledge from all angles. This also coincided with the personalized study plan that was offered through the MyLab. The study plan was tailored to my needs based on test and homework results. It created interactive tutorial links to specific topics I was struggling with as well as guided solutions and tons of learning aids.

    eText Anytime

    Another great thing that comes within the Help Me Solve This feature is the option to open the eText to the portion I was struggling with. The book was easy to navigate because of its organization as well as its options to highlight and take notes all in one place, even when I wasn’t connected to Wi-Fi. I liked that no matter where I was and no matter the circumstances, I could study and keep up with my homework.

    All of these tools collectively helped me earn a 4.0 in my accounting courses and gain a thorough understanding of the concepts of accounting. I now have a foundation that has helped me grasp more concepts that I have encountered in other business courses. The Help Me Solve This feature definitely contributed to my success in the required accounting coursework and my level of confidence in my ability to correctly use accounting skills.


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    10 tips to manage time effectively

    Calli Jansen

    Getting back into the swing of a new semester can be a difficult. Here are 10 easy tips to help ease the process of managing your time effectively.

    1. Use a Planner– Write out your commitments such as homework assignments, work hours or a workout class so you can visualize what you have coming up for the day or week.
    2. Get Adequate Sleep– Many believe that staying up to get ahead on assignments will be beneficial, however in the long run the lack of sleep will leave you less productive in the days following the all-nighter.
    3. Take Breaks– A person can only correctly focus for so long. Pushing yourself to work for four straight hours on an assignment is less effective than breaking it into two shorter sessions with adequate breaks. This is important when working on a computer as your eyes need time to rest from the blue light emitted.
    4. Get a Social Media Timer– One of the biggest forms of procrastination for many is getting sucked into checking social media. In order to prevent your 10-15 minute breaks from stretching to 45 minutes, set timers on your phone to remind you to get back to work or download an app that locks you out of your phone so you can focus on the tasks at hand.
    5. Say No– One of the reasons people begin to fall behind on commitments is because they are over scheduling themselves. This in turn creates stress and anxiety, ultimately reduces productivity and wastes time. Make sure you are not over-committing so you can put your best effort forward in your priorities.
    6. Remember Your Goals– By remembering your goals, you can prioritize tasks in order to accomplish your most important ones and ensure you are completing the more time pressing issues first.
    7. Get Organized– Similar to using a planner, make sure the other parts of your life are organized as well. This includes your work area, bedroom and life in general. Working in a cluttered area can be distracting and lead to a lower level of productivity. Trying to get to sleep in a messy room can be harder because the mess is a reminder of the “mess” of commitments you have.
    8. Delegate– Some people like to be involved in every step of their commitments, however, this can get overwhelming. In order to be successful, individuals need to delegate tasks to their peers and not take everything on themselves.
    9. Create a Routine– This can be written down in your planner but make sure you get some kind of pattern in your daily life. For example if you want to ensure you work out on Monday and Wednesdays, plan to do it at the same time on those days. Eventually, it will become second nature for you to come home from work or class and immediately get ready to sweat.
    10. Take Time To Do Nothing- Similar to taking breaks in between studies, it is important to have a couple hours or a day of few commitments to relax and rejuvenate. If you’re constantly on the go, you may get burned out or even sick, which all contribute to a lack of productivity.  

    Managing time is one of the most challenging aspects of college. With many commitments and cramped time to complete assignments, you may find yourself flustered at times. Just remember these 10 tips and keep an even head throughout the semester.