Students blog

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

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    Personal branding for college students: Understanding yourself is the first step

    Sarah Ambuehl

    Have you ever wondered what your peers, coworkers, managers, or professors think about you? It’s important to understand how your words and actions come off to others. Building your personal brand in your professional and social life can benefit you immensely. Although this is easier said than done, there are some tips and tricks you can implement in your life. 

    Show Your Strengths

    Take time to understand where you excel. What can you contribute to a group? Feel free to write them down. These strengths could include being a strong communicator, team player, organizer, hard worker or leader. After you have a good idea of your strengths, then think back to a time when you were put into a group situation. If the others in the group were to rate you on a skill you consider to be one of your strengths, what would their evaluation say? Having strengths is great; utilizing those strengths is crucial to success. 

    Know Your Weaknesses

    While this may seem negative, knowing your weaknesses will allow you to work to build them into strengths. You want to be able to pick out what you may not be the best at, but what you are working hard to get better at. Everyone has faults, so it is a natural part of life. Though, if you act like you have it all together all the time then that isn’t being honest with your brand. Know your weaknesses and work to build strength in those areas.

    Build on What You’ve Got

    Look at the list below or find another personality trait list online. First pick out a couple of words you would use to describe yourself. Next choose a couple of words that others may use to describe you. Finally, pick out the words that you would like others to use to describe you. After you have the characteristics you would like to be known for, it’s time to implement them into your everyday life. Take on these traits for a week or two then ask a coworker or friend if they have noticed any changes. This is a great way to keep yourself accountable, while also getting an idea of how you are perceived in the eyes of those around you.

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    Increase Your Productivity by Taking Things One Day at a Time

    Sarah Ambuehl

    Imagine having enough time in each of your days to complete everything you needed to accomplish. I have found with a little bit of planning, this is possible! There is always something that you can be doing as a student whether it be homework, studying, going to organization meetings on campus, laundry, or even making food for yourself. With all of these lingering obligations it can feel extremely overwhelming. Here are three ideas to help you avoid feeling too busy to function.

    Plan out your semester

    First things first, make sure to buy a planner at the beginning of the year. A planner can help you to keep track of life’s responsibilities. When beginning the semester, I always write down my class schedule for each day so I can record assignments, exams, and whatever else that was mentioned in class. Next, I will go through my syllabus and write down set dates of assignments or quizzes the professor has listed which helps to prepare for what is coming! 

    Once your planner is ready to go, make sure to utilize it. I color code each of my classes using colored pens and highlight things I need to go to such as work or events. Doing this helps me see what’s going on at a quick glance. 

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    Eliminating the "What Ifs"

    Sarah Ambuehl

    Life is full of what ifs, no matter what stage of life you are in. In my junior year of college, I began thinking back on my college career and realized I only have one year left to be a college student. It excites and scares me at the same time. Something I have learned along the way is it’s never too late to try something new. In the spring of my sophomore year, I joined the American Marketing Association on campus. I became the fundraising chair just a year later and this year I am serving as the vice president of the organization. Moral of the story – I am beyond grateful I went out of my way to get more involved on campus. Here are three ways you can avoid the what ifs and enrich your college experience by getting better connected with your school.

    Join clubs

    Most college campuses have clubs for every interest you can think of. It can be scary not knowing anyone, but through clubs you can find people who share your interests and that is always a good starting point. If there isn’t a club you want to join then start one! It is simple and that will bring people to you that you otherwise may not ever meet.

    Talk to people

    Throughout your campus there are people from all different backgrounds who have their own stories to tell. It can never hurt to start talking to someone because you may learn something new or make a friend. A good place to start is within your classes. You may need help with notes or with a hard concept; through your class you have a bonding point.

    Meet your professors

    Professors are a great resource for you to use. They can get you connected to research, organizations, and even jobs. Most professors want to help and see you succeed, so don’t be afraid to ask for help. This goes for advisers as well; it’s their job to help you and work with you.

    Take advantage

    College is referred to as the best four years of your life and with someone who has done three of those, I can agree. There are hard times, but being involved and having others to lean back on have made it worthwhile. Take advantage of all your college has to offer because you only have a limited amount of time to do so. If you are even slightly thinking about doing something, go for it! You will only have regrets if you don’t attempt to follow your passions and interests. Even if you try something and you don’t end up liking it, at least you know now.

    I am so grateful for everything college has taught me and cannot wait to see where my future takes me. One thing I will always keep in mind is taking all opportunities that come my way and paving a path for myself. Eliminating the what ifs in college starts with the choices you make and opportunities you take.


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    Jump at the chance to study abroad

    Sarah Ambuehl

    Although the majority of people will tell you that studying abroad was the best experience of their lives, it still may be difficult for you to take the jump. Going to a different country can be scary and may push you out of your comfort zone. There might be other factors, such as funds or time, that keep you from going. Although those factors are present, the experience you get will definitely outweigh anything else. Last summer I had the opportunity to study abroad in Germany, Poland, and Denmark for two weeks. Six months later and the experiences I had there continue to affect my life today.