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

  • A student’s desk with a closed laptop, planner, and external monitor surrounded by various items such as a water bottle and hair clip.

    The Importance of Finding Time for You: Balancing Academics and Personal Life

    Lauren O'Brien

    As a college student, I have found that it can be challenging to find a balance between my academic and personal life. Now as a student in my final year in college, I have learned the importance of prioritizing both aspects of my life. The following three tips have helped me be successful in the classroom while also making time for important people and hobbies in my life.

    Knowing when I am most productive

    Something that has helped me academically is recognizing what time of the day I am most productive. For me, I am most productive in the morning. To work on this strength, I wake up earlier to start getting work done. This allows me to get most of my work done and then have more time in the day for myself.

    Scheduling time with friends but also alone time

    Spending time with important people in my life is something that keeps me motivated when it comes to academics. I enjoy going to get coffee with friends, studying together, and going out for dinner. I’ve also realized that I sometimes need to have time to myself. Some activities I enjoy doing by myself include going on walks and reading. Giving myself this alone time helps me to feel more present when I am with my friends and family.

    Making a prioritized list

    Having a planner and staying organized is something that has helped me throughout my four years in school. On Sundays, I fill out my planner according to my class schedule and personal activities. I also have found it helpful to make a to-do list and prioritize the list in order of importance. For example, an assignment with a due date quickly approaching will be at the top of my list. I then continue to add to the list the tasks that must get done.

    It is important to recognize that these tips may not be effective for everyone. Find out what works best for you and your lifestyle. Sometimes school can feel overwhelming, and it feels like there is so much to get done. Finding what helps you balance your academics and personal life can help ease those feelings. Next time you have those feelings, I hope you can try one of these tips or find something that works for you.

    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 full football stadium at the University of Iowa. The marching band is on the field and many fans are wearing black and gold.

    A Tradition Greater Than Football

    Lauren O'Brien

    It’s a Saturday in the fall, the weather is a crisp fall breeze in the air. Melrose Avenue is crowded with tailgates, food trucks, fan shops, and the colors black and gold flood the sidewalk and streets. This is the scene of an Iowa Hawkeye Football game day. As a student coming to the University of Iowa, this was the experience I could not wait to have. I could barely wait to start attending the tailgates, spending time with my friends, and watching the Iowa Hawkeyes play on Saturdays.

    Inside the stadium, a tradition takes place every game after the first quarter – the tradition that is greater than football – the Hawkeye Wave. This is the moment in the game where the team, fans, and opponents wave to the patients in the University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital, which sits adjacent to the Hawkeye’s Kinnick Stadium. This is the moment in the game where the teams come together and support the children and families who are receiving care.

    As a student that has experienced this chilling moment, it has taught me that there are greater things in life than going to football games. No matter how many times I have had this experience, I have chills rush down my body. I’ve taken three inspirations from the Hawkeye Wave: to be thankful for what I have, to give back to the community, and finally, to smile and wave.

    Be Grateful

    One way I show gratitude is by writing down three things I am thankful for in a journal before bed. This has allowed me to reflect on my day and be thankful for what I have and not dwell on what I do not have. Other ways I show gratitude is by reaching out to friends or family who I haven’t talked to in a while and letting them know I am thinking about them and hope they are well. If you are reading this, it is your reminder to reach out to someone you haven’t talked to in a while, share how much you appreciate them!

    Give Back

    As a college student, I have many opportunities to give back to those in need. A few ways I have done this is by creating cards for cancer patients, volunteering at a local elementary school, and participating in blood drives. I am fortunate to be on a campus that offers and advertises so many ways to give back to the community. Even though I may not be recognized for my efforts, I appreciate the feeling of knowing I have helped individuals in my community. I am working to encourage others to seek out opportunities to give back to the community because I believe no matter who you are, you have a gift to share with this world.

    Smile and Wave

    From a young age, my mom always told me to treat others with kindness. One small way to show kindness is through simply smiling and waving. If you know the person, greet them with their name and tell them how great it is to see them. If it is a stranger, just take a second to smile and wave. At the end of the day, you never know who may need the extra positivity and kindness.

    I find these three actions – keeping a gratitude journal, volunteering, and greeting others – help make me feel a little more fulfilled. Every small act of kindness can make a difference.

    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!