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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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  • A large group of college students standing in front of an ornate Italian building.

    My Internship Abroad: Working and Eating My Way Across Italy

    Madison Butler

    My dream came true last summer, and I am still living in the past. I was able to do an international internship in Florence, Italy and what a trip it was! I was blessed with an opportunity to work with two brands, Steve Madden and UGG, to monitor global markets for new and upcoming styles and trends, import and export shoes (especially when preparing for Florence Men’s Fashion Week), and assist sales vendors in the English language.

    I was able to learn side-by-side with my coworkers to navigate international business and open my eyes to another part of the world. My coworkers welcomed me with open arms, and our first step was to try and tackle the language barrier. They were the kindest and most encouraging women that could welcome me in such a new environment. We became friends easily and I still talk to them today!

    Now don’t believe this blog will be all work no play! I am a huge foodie and Italy exceeded my expectations beyond belief, and they were pretty high to begin with. From the Florentine Bistec, to watching my pasta be cooked in an alfredo cheese wheel, I was able to experience every foodie’s dream: eating high quality and volume of great food. There were plenty of family style restaurants that had more outside seating than you can imagine, and the people-watching was top tier, too. Eating in front of the Duomo is a memory I will never forget.

    I mainly stayed in Florence throughout the summer for the internship, but I was able to travel all over Italy and even made my way to Austria and Hungary for a bit. The northern and southern parts of Italy were different but held the same atmosphere. The northern Tuscany region was rich with breathtaking views of rolling green hills and vineyards for miles (for my fellow U.S. residents I promise I am 21!). The southern part was all beach and ocean which did not disappoint at all.

    I was also able to visit Cinque Terre, which is a string of centuries-old seaside villages on the rugged Italian Riviera coastline. There was an array of multicolored houses and markets and sand all along the coastline. My camera roll is stacked and ready for reminiscing.

    I am here to tell you: if you are thinking of studying/working/going abroad, GO! It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity as a student and tagging along with other students is a whole other experience itself. I will always remember my lovely summer in Italy and would not trade it for the world!

    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! 


  • An overhead view of a student’s desk with a planner, a stack of post-it notes, and a calendar.

    Three Major Things to Consider Before Moving Off-Campus

    Madison Butler

    Living off-campus in your own apartment/condo/townhouse is one of the most exciting college student adventures. You actually start to feel like an adult! BUT (and it's a big one) there are several things to consider before making the big move, including these three major items.

    Roommate Selection

    First, when selecting potential roommate(s), prepare for the good, the bad, and the ugly. My biggest piece of advice is your freshmen "party" friends should NOT be your roommate(s); let me explain. There are some people you meet/talk to only when you go out, and you always have a great time! However, it might not always be a good time when you start having to have tough conversations about boundaries and the cleanliness of your shared space. And this is only the tip of the iceberg. Some people may be receptive to criticism, and you yourself should be open to receiving some as well because, as I said, your college home will be a shared space, and all participating members should treat it like one.

    Handling Housework

    Second, have a chores list or routine. College students can be dirty – point blank, period. Creating a structured cleaning routine is pertinent to having an open, smells-like-roses type of place where people want to come over and hang out. The issue of dishes is can be a major cause of roommate disagreements. How long is too long for dirty dishes to pile up in the sink? My roommates and I picked four major cleaning chores to take care of each week: dishes, sweeping/mopping (if needed), taking out the trash, and wiping down counters, stove, microwave, and common room area. We took one chore a week and rotated every Sunday. Some may be more heavy lifting than others, but by taking turns, everyone has to do it at some point. As for the dishes, we set the expectation that everyone should at least rinse their own dish because who wants to touch soggy and/or smelly leftovers. We built chores into a solid system and that is what worked best for us!

    Heating and Cooling

    Third, TALK ABOUT THE THERMOSTAT. It might seem silly, but this was legitimately an on-going issue with my roommates. It was either set at 60° or 75°, neither of which are great and can be costly, depending on the season. Remember, you and your roommates will probably be responsible for the heating and cooling bills, so thinking about energy saving/cost saving while also feeling comfortable is a little tough. We found the perfect temperature range was between 70° – 72° for most days. There were a few summer nights where we agreed to turn it a little cooler, but overall, we stuck with that range. It might sound like such a minute detail but trust me you do not want to come back to your apartment and be instantly sweating or shivering.

    Overall, living in an apartment/house off-campus allowed me to grow A LOT. Learning to adjust how I live and function with other people in a shared space definitely helped me become the person I am today. Good luck on finding great roommates and a last tip would be try to find a night where you all can have a movie night or cooking night, anything to bond with your roommates and make the best out of it!

    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! 

  • An iPhone stacked on top of a planner.

    Time Management Tips from a Grade A Procrastinator

    Madison Butler

    Who is perfect at time management? In high school, I felt on top of everything: school, social life, and extracurriculars! I believed the glide into my first year of college would be effortless. However, as soon as the first week finished, I was behind on my schoolwork and became a Grade-A procrastinator.

    Honestly, I’m still working on my ever-changing schedule, but I have picked up some tips and tricks that have made my workload flow in a way that does not stress me out at the last minute. Having a schedule that works for you is the backbone of not losing motivation and feeling successful!

    1. Phone Privileges (Okay, Mom)

    Ah yes, the dreaded words I used to hear from my parents growing up, "you have lost your phone privileges, Maddie," blah blah blah. But back then, I did not realize how much they were actually right! Staying up late, whipping my head at the sound of notifications, and scrolling on TikTok for hours (I know I am not the only one!), are just some of the ways I am constantly distracted. Especially when I need to focus on the task I have at hand. What has helped me in the past year, especially if you have an iPhone, is using the Do Not Disturb setting and setting my own screen time limits. The screen time limit tip helped me allot time (mine is set for 2 hours) for my daily social media and games "binge." Then, as soon as the time limit notification popped up, I have had to train myself to not hit the "ignore limit" button, and trust me, it's taken a while. I have now realized that I can complete a lot more tasks in my day when I’m not glued to my phone.

    2. The Foreboding To-Do List

    To be perfectly frank, I hated To-Do lists. I would always forget about it, lose it, and/or NEVER check all of the boxes. Those never helped me until about three months ago. To set the scene: the weekend before school started, I had just told myself I needed to create a routine, but how would I be able to do that because I rarely ever stuck with it (previous life evidence proves this theory correct). So, my solution was to buy the absolute cutest To-Do list I could find (I wish I was kidding). I placed it in the center of my desk, so it was one of the first things I would see when I woke up. I started the tasks off simple: brush my teeth, wash my face, eat breakfast, and others like studying Accounting for two hours, then rest for 15 minutes. Doing simple mundane tasks helped me easily track and stay on task throughout my day. Now, I don't need to write "brush my teeth" and stick with my more prioritized tasks, but it was an excellent start for me, personally! Find your own list in your own time!

    3. Use Breaks Wisely

    Another way to hold myself accountable is by using my breaks wisely. I downloaded an app called Focus Keeper, and it helps me when I am studying to work for thirty minutes and then take off ten minutes. This app allows me to study for more extended periods without burning myself out!

    All in all, you will find your rhythm to motivate and hold yourself accountable! Remember you are human, and it takes a while to break a habit, so be easy on yourself <3!

    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!