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  • A computer generated graphic featuring a large red border with a holiday clip art in each corner, and a smaller green square within, that say ‘Holiday Gift Guide’ in white letters.

    Tis the Season for a Holiday Gift Guide

    Jayla Pope

    December is a beautiful time of year when many of us celebrate occasions with gift giving. Not everyone has fun with buying gifts for others or has trouble picking them out. To help ease the stress of picking gifts, consider these tips.

    Not Too Much Green

    When it comes to gifting, it is important to decide how much you are budgeting. The budget sets the parameters for your spending without breaking the bank. An example of this would be a maximum of $20 on each gift or setting a $100 spending limit. A tip for spending is to utilize cash. When you use credit/debit cards, it can be hard to control your spending. With cash, what you see is what you have. Be on the lookout for advertisements and coupons during this season of giving as well. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are both popular times of the year for shopping, but throughout the holiday season, many stores run sales and discounts. Lastly, if you do decide to use your card for shopping purchases look for cash back bonuses or discounts to aid you in the costs.

    Make Your List and Check It Twice

    After you have set a budget on your gifting, it is time to create a list of those gift recipients. Gifting should always come from the heart and should never feel like an obligation. It is common to buy gifts for family and friends. However, other people to consider could be coworkers, teachers, or even your pet…they deserve treats too! Around the holidays pay special attention to what those around you speak about. If you heard your dad talking about a new gadget or your mom eyeing a specific book, take note. The best gifts are the most thoughtful ones. Paying attention to the wants of those around you gives you a great advantage in gift giving. If you’re unsure of the specific color or size of an item, be broadly inquisitive. When inquiring about gifts, try to make it seem as though you are buying it for yourself or a friend and need an opinion on which item to choose. Consider asking for a friend or family member’s assistance if you don’t want to make it obvious who the gift is intended for.

    Wrap It Up

    Now that you have all that you need to find a great gift, it's time to wrap it up, pun intended! Although gifts are thoughtful alone, using gift wrapping techniques help elevate them to another level. Gift wrapping also creates an element of surprise, before the recipient can open the gift, the first thing they see is the wrapping. If you're not the best at gift wrapping, fear not as there are plenty of alternatives. Bows, gift bags, ribbons, and tissue paper are all ways to decorate your gift. As it relates to gift bags, encourage the recipient to reuse them as it will be the gift that keeps on giving.

    Gift giving can be stressful but using these tips are sure to help mitigate gift giving misery. Remember to find your reason for the season and to spread that joy with others. Sometimes that alone is the best gift you give.

    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! 

  • Three female college students are sitting in a lobby. The student on the right is showing a document to the other two students.

    Plan Your Work. Work Your Plan.

    Jayla Pope

    A college student's To-Do list is almost never ending. Most students are in school full-time, working, and involved in extra curriculars. Making time for school and your personal life can be challenging. Creating a plan that you will adhere to for all of your responsibilities is important to mastering time management. This plan will help hold yourself accountable, and even aid in rewarding you in your achievements. Here are some tips that you can take to create a schedule that works for your daily life and allows you make time for what matters most – you!

    Recognize Your Priorities

    The first step to creating a schedule that encompasses work life balance is making a list of your priorities. Start with the things that are of most importance. For college students that is normally school. If possible, choose classes that will help you be your best self. If you are a morning person, create a schedule that allows you to wake up and start your day early. If you are a late riser, curate a schedule that lets you ease into your day. After classes, be sure to carve out a special time for studying. All college students know that doing work outside of class is just as important as going to class. When you carve out time to study, you don’t have to worry about trying to “make time.”

    Build in Breaks

    Beyond just classes, it is critical to save time for yourself and the things you like to do. Most students think they can hang with friends when they get around to it, or make time for themselves later, but unfortunately that time rarely comes. You have to make sure you make time to allow yourself to recover from handling your responsibilities.

    An example work week schedule could be classes every other day from 10am-4pm. Perhaps you are involved in an extracurricular from 4-6 or want to grab a bite to eat. To end the night, you could study from 6pm-8:30pm. Make sure you are getting plenty of rest to be fueled for the next day. In between the days you have classes, you could work a part-time job or do things that interest you.

    Find Accountability Partners

    One of the most important steps in maintaining a set schedule is consistency. Creating the schedule is only the first part of the race, but to get to the finish line you must adhere to the schedule you created. Of course, things will sporadically occur; that is an aspect of life. However, you should do your best to make sure that you stick to your schedule. The best way this can be achieved is by informing your friends, family, and peers of your schedule. These people around you can be your accountability partners.

    Sharing your schedule with your friends can also be beneficial because they can possibly match up their schedule with yours. An example of this could be grabbing breakfast together or creating a study group. The best part of accountability partners is that they want to see you succeed, so they should be aiding you in doing so. Even if you start to divert from your schedule too much by slacking off or not maintaining your priorities, your accountability partner can help you recognize this (in a respectful way of course) so you can get back to being your best self.

    In order to plan your work, then work your plan, you have to be organized, committed, and have discipline. These key characteristics will help you obtain your goals and have a healthy work life balance. Creating the schedule that works best for you is important to keep you working through it. Prioritizing is important because it allows you to spend time doing the things that matter most first, then use the rest of your time accordingly. Lastly, sharing a glimpse of your day-to-day schedule with your friends, family, and peers can be extremely beneficial in avoiding distractions and making sure your “to-do” list is getting done!

    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!