Students blog

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

Explore posts in other areas.

PreK-12Higher EducationProfessional

  • A notebook, coffee mug, and iPad with a list of 2024 resolutions arranged on a table.

    Happy February – How are your New Year’s Resolutions Going?

    Madeline Beavis

    Is it February already? I’ve always found it super fun to set some New Year's resolutions for myself in January... but they can be so difficult to maintain once the month is up! And I’m not alone; about 50% of people will give up on their resolutions by the end of January, so, now that it’s February, how are you doing with your resolutions? Whether you’ve restarted a couple of times or have been going strong since the ball drop, here are some tips to get your momentum back and keep your resolutions going all year long!

    1) Reflect on your progress so far.

    Take some time to reflect on how close you are to reaching your goal or how many goals you’ve accomplished already! Take pride in the progress you’ve made so far. This can be a great motivator to continue working hard for the rest of the year!

    2) Set new goals.

    Setting new goals can also be a great way to inspire yourself. If you achieved your goal in January, think of a new challenge. If you did not reach your goal, that’s okay! You can always reevaluate your resolution throughout the year to accommodate your current lifestyle and availability.

    3) Reward yourself!

    It is so important to be kind to yourself and reward your achievements. Maybe you get to go to your favorite restaurant, order your favorite drink at Starbucks, or buy those jeans you’ve been eyeing for weeks. Whether your reward is big or small, make it something meaningful to you that will help you stay on track.

    4) Get a friend or family member involved.

    It’s always so much more fun to accomplish a goal with someone else! Get someone close to you to join you in your resolution, so you can hold each other accountable and track your progress together. If you’re super competitive, get a whole group involved and see who can stick to the resolution the longest!

    5) Make your resolutions fun!

    The best advice I can give is to make your resolution something you will enjoy doing. Maybe you want to get more exercise in 2024, but you dread going to the gym. Instead, choose a place nearby to explore, grab your headphones, and go for a walk or run outdoors! Or maybe you want to maintain a better diet, but raw veggies aren’t your thing. Look up some recipes for healthier versions of your favorite dishes. There are so many ways to make your resolutions more fun!

    Overall, resolutions can be hard to keep. But give yourself some grace and try one of these tips if you are feeling down on yourself this new year. You might be surprised by how much of a difference a small change can make!

    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 group of five college students dressed in business professional attire and nametag lanyards are standing outside on campus.

    Four Tips to Discover Internship Opportunities

    Tatum Settelmyer

    Making the decision to go to college can be a challenging one for many individuals. People pursue higher education for various reasons, often revolving around job opportunities and career support that can shape their future. It's crucial to keep your goals in mind throughout your college journey and understand why you're there. For me, the primary objective was to ensure job security and I knew getting a good internship experience would be important. Here are four tips that helped me discover internship opportunities.

    Engage in the Process

    The initial step in landing an internship is to proactively put yourself out there, starting as early as possible. Even if it's just for practice, engaging in this process prepares you for the real deal. Attending career fairs at your school, especially those tailored to your major, is a fantastic idea, as it demonstrates your proactive approach and a clear understanding of your priorities, even as a freshman. Drawing from my own experience as an accounting major, attending career fairs as a freshman allowed me to engage with prominent accounting firms.

    Be Professional

    During career fairs, presenting yourself professionally is crucial. Dress appropriately, bring resumes to distribute to those you engage with, and inquire about opportunities suitable for your age and experience level. Don't forget to smile, share a laugh, find common ground, and collect business cards. Once it is over, follow up with a polite email to leave a lasting impression for future encounters. Building connections at these events, even if the timing isn't perfect for internships, establishes a foundation for future opportunities and networking in the professional world.

    Build a Network

    Don’t get discouraged if you don’t find many internship opportunities during your freshman year. Joining an accounting and finance professional fraternity on campus exposed me to more networking opportunities, leading to numerous offers from top firms during my sophomore year. Joining other campus organizations outside your academic interest is another effective way to expand your network.

    Utilize LinkedIn

    Build your LinkedIn profile as soon as you start college and then use it to connect with everyone you meet at career fairs, professional organization events, etc. These connections may lead to job recommendations and offer insights into securing internships and jobs. I highly recommend connecting with as many people as possible on such platforms, expanding your network beyond the confines of your campus. This played a crucial role for me in securing a prestigious internship with the world's largest Big 4 accounting firm for the summer after my sophomore year. That was followed by a return offer, which set the stage for a seamless transition to a full-time job upon graduation!

    Securing that initial opportunity is undeniably challenging, but once you do, you're on the path to a potentially stable career. Even if you discover during an internship that it's not your ideal fit, the experience on your resume will undoubtedly set you apart in future job searches.

    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 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! 

     

  • Blog author Nia is standing in front of a large backdrop with the logos of HBCU Battle of the Brains and the NFL.

    Black and Brilliant: Thriving in STEM at an HBCU

    Nia LaCour

    Pursuing computer science at an Historically Black College or University (HBCU) is a tapestry woven with challenges, triumph, and countless insights, many that come with being a first-generation Black woman in a field where diversity is often a rarity. Here are just a few that I have experienced in my time at an HBCU.

    Choosing the Path

    Choosing to major in computer science was an intentional decision, driven by a profound passion for technology and a desire to contribute to a field where more diversity is necessary, but lacking.

    Navigating Challenges and Celebrating Triumphs

    Life as a first-generation student presents itself as a long journey, characterized by a myriad of challenges and triumphs. The intricacies of deciphering complex programming problems to grappling with the stereotypes deeply rooted in the field of technology, has been challenging but also rewarding. The highs and lows of my academic journey serve as a vivid canvas, illustrating the resilience needed to navigate uncharted territories.

    Mentorship

    Mentorship is a crucial component of being successful in any field. Mentors, with their sage advice and unwavering support, have played an instrumental role in shaping not only the trajectory of my studies but also my understanding of the field. Their influence extends beyond academia, permeating into the essence of personal development.

    Diversity and Inclusion

    At the heart of my experience lies diversity within STEM at my HBCU. Being part of a community that embraces diversity and fosters inclusion has made a profound impact on both who I am as a student and who I am as a person. The unique environment of my university has not only enriched my education journey but has also become a catalyst for innovation, creativity, and a broader perspective on the possibilities within the realm of computer science.

    Resilience

    In the face of challenges, resilience emerges as a constant companion. As I continue my journey, bouncing back, learning from failures, and keeping an unwavering determination all have propelled me forward. Resilience is not just a trait; it is an enduring narrative woven intricately into the fabric of my journey.

    Inspiring the Next Generation

    Other than my passion for technology and diversity, I also have a commitment to motivate the next generation. I come from a small town in south Louisiana, where the younger generation are not aware of all of the possibilities that can be offered to them. As a first-generation student, a Black woman, and a torchbearer for diversity in STEM, the responsibility to inspire others becomes a central theme. I strive to provide a blueprint for success in the face of adversity.

    The collective journey we navigate together is a commitment to shaping a future where diversity is an undeniable part of technological innovation. As we traverse the dynamic landscape of STEM, the hope is for shared narratives to inspire and empower. As the journey continues, we strive for a reality where the pioneers of today pave the way for those of tomorrow.

    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 variety of snack foods available from Trader Joes grocery stores.

    What Trader Joe’s Snack You Are Based on Your Major

    Ellie Oldweiler

    Trader Joe’s is a college students’ lifeline (at least here in California), and after living on a college campus next to one for three years, I have come up with a list of all the best snacks and matched them with majors based on some of my peers. Take a look and see how closely these snacks matched you and the students with these majors on your campus!

    Chemistry: Peanut Butter Pretzels

    You guys are some of the busiest people, your major is constantly having you in 3-to-4-hour long labs, staying up late writing lab reports, and basically studying 24/7. You don’t have time to mess around with fancy snacks, anything that requires more than opening the bag, simply out of the question. These protein packed pretzels, that fit many parts of the food pyramid, are the perfect quick pick me up between O chem and your labs!

    Business: White Cheddar Corn Puffs

    These are probably one of the most neutral things that they sell at Trader Joes, which is perfect for you guys who have chosen the most neutral career. In all seriousness, these are the best for a good movie night (you should have time for it, it's not like you have homework). Sit back, relax, and enjoy your grown-up version of Pirates Booty.

    ***Note: Accounting majors you are the slightly more flavorful Sour Cream and Onion Corn Puff flavor.

    Pre Med: Steamed Dumplings

    It could be argued that these are a meal more than a snack, they are the perfect food for a 15-minute studying break, and I recommend putting them into a soup to make it into a midnight study snack. I am biased here because I am pre-med myself, but guys, if you haven't tried these, GET THEM, I promise you they are the best brain food, super filling, and they never get old.

    Journalism: Crispy Crunchy Chocolate Chip Cookies

    These come in a massive bucket of cookies (technically like 17 servings per bucket), which is perfect for you to finish in one writing session. We all know that 90% of your work is unpaid internships and underpaid writing gigs, so the fact that these cookies just had an uptick in price is a fatal blow for you, but these are worth the splurge. These cookies are the perfect comfort food and have some sort of magic in them that instantly makes you more productive (or maybe it's the sugar high).

    Performing Arts: Cookie Butter Ice Cream

    Ice cream is the best snack for you guys so you can soothe your voice (and your nerves) after singing and running around all day. The Cookie Butter ice cream is truly like eating liquid heaven, and you guys deserve a sweet treat whether you are prepping for show week, in the middle of auditions, or celebrating at the cast party.

    Psychology: Gone Berry Crazy Chocolate Covered Strawberries

    You guys are the lowkey health nuts of the friend group. After analyzing everyone around you, it only makes sense that you look out for yourself, and this is a perfect snack to get in a sweet treat, while still being healthy-ish. These are a perfect pre-nap snack to make sure you are nice and well rested to go discuss others' family traumas.

    Education: PB & J Snack Duo

    These snacks throwback to the little snacks they used to hand out to us as prizes in elementary school, and they really transport you back to being a kid again. These are perfect for you guys because you are choosing to go back into that world, it all comes full circle. Truly, these are an amazing snack, and you will likely be giving them out in your future classroom.

    Philosophy: None

    I hate to say it, but you would get too overwhelmed with choices upon walking into the store that you wouldn't be able to pick a snack at all. Not everything needs to be a massive decision, you don't need to consult Plato’s philosophies to pick a snack. Because of this, I will pick for you. Get the frozen fried rice, we all know it's the best snack on this list anyway.

    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 colorful sunset with the silhouette of two trees in the forefront.

    Balancing College Life: The Art of Getting Enough Sleep

    Jessica Liversedge

    Entering college is an exciting experience filled with new opportunities, challenges, and late-night study sessions. During my freshman year, I vividly remember the struggle to balance academic demands, my social life, and the crucial need for a good night's sleep. However, after struggling through days on only a few hours of sleep, I've discovered some essential strategies for maintaining a healthy sleep routine while adjusting to the chaos of college life. 

    Prioritize and Plan

    The first step in achieving a balanced college life is to prioritize and plan effectively. Take a realistic look at your academic and social commitments, identify essential tasks, and create a schedule that allows for dedicated study time and relaxation. This seems simple, but getting into the habit of writing things in a planner has greatly helped my time management skills. By planning ahead, you'll not only manage your time more efficiently but also carve out slots for a consistent sleep routine.

    Establish a Consistent Sleep Schedule

    Consistency is key when it comes to sleep. Establishing a regular sleep schedule helps regulate your body's internal clock, making it easier to fall asleep and wake up at the same time every day. I try to aim for 7-8 hours of sleep each night, which I found leaves my body and mind well-rested to feel ready for the day ahead. Everyone is different, so once you have found the amount of sleep that feels right for you, stick to that. One of the aspects that helped me most here was when picking classes, having a consistent start time each day. This ensures I wake up around the same time each day and keeps my sleep consistent. 

    Create a Relaxing Bedtime Routine

    Develop a bedtime routine that signals to your body that it's time to wind down. I know we all have heard to not use your phone right before bed, but I understand that can be difficult. I have found reading for just ten minutes before I go to sleep has helped me greatly in falling asleep faster and having better sleep quality. Once it's time to go to bed, make sure you are in a dark and quiet environment, as this best promotes sleep. 

    Manage Stress Effectively

    College life often comes with its fair share of stressors. Learning to manage stress is crucial for both academic success and quality sleep. Incorporate stress-reducing activities into your routine, such as mindfulness meditation, deep breathing exercises, or regular physical activity. Going to bed at night feeling stressed about some class work or an upcoming test, for me, often means the difference between a good night's sleep and feeling exhausted the next day. These practices can help clear your mind and contribute to a more restful sleep.

    Set Boundaries

    While college provides numerous opportunities for socializing and extracurricular activities, it's essential to set boundaries. Learn to say no when necessary and prioritize self-care. For me this was huge. Freshman year I had friends staying in my room till 2 am hanging out. It's hard to think about how this may impact you, because as a freshman your goal is to make new friends. However, balancing your social life with academic responsibilities and self-care is crucial for avoiding burnout and ensuring you have the energy to engage fully in both aspects of college life.

    In conclusion, finding the balance between academics, social life, and sleep is a challenge many college students face. By prioritizing, planning, and adopting healthy sleep habits, you can set yourself up for success. Remember, being well rested better prepares you to handle the demands of college, leading to improved academic performance and an overall more enjoyable college experience.

    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 graphic with a forest green background and 3 images depicting grocery shopping: a basket, grocery bag, and a storefront.

    Grocery Savings Tips for College Students

    Saige O’Rourke

    Coming into college, I did not know how to properly grocery shop. I didn’t understand the concept of creating a list, never shopping hungry, and seeking out store brand items. That said, I wasted a lot of money in my first couple months of college on grocery items. Through my experience, I have finally developed 4 tips of how to save money while in the grocery store.

    Don’t Shop Hungry

    Starting out with a difficult one, you need to avoid shopping while hungry. When you’re hungry, you convince yourself you need everything on the shelves. Your creative food juices are flowing as you tell yourself, “Maybe I could make this,” then the item sits in your cabinet until the end date. You do not need the yellow cake mix, and you are not going to make it sometime this week. Instead, eat a snack or entire meal before you enter the store so that you aren’t shopping for your cravings instead of your needs.

    Make a List

    You need to make a list before you enter the store. If you don’t have an idea of what you need, you’ll most likely walk aimlessly down each aisle wondering what you can fill your fridge with. Instead, making a list allows you to be the student on a mission. You know exactly what you need and why, and you know you don’t need the Twizzler pack that someone left behind because you didn’t add it to your list.

    Buy the Store Brand

    Although there is a stigma against them, you should consider buying store brand items. We are all aware of the idea that the store brand isn’t as good as the name brand, but this isn’t always the case. In fact, I have found myself preferring these brands over others for different items. As an avid cheese lover, I will always choose the Great Value brand shredded parmesan cheese instead of the others. Buying the store brand can save you at least a dollar or two, which if you consider this for half of your list then you’re saving $10-$20.

    Download the Store App

    Lastly, download the store app and sign up for rewards. This tip can go for a lot of different stores or areas outside of the grocery section as well; signing up for your favorite gas station rewards could save you 3 cents off the gallon, which we all know is extremely valuable. Many stores have rewards programs that we avoid because of the promotional emails we receive, but you can unsubscribe to those and still save money. There are many deals provided to customers solely because they created an account. The store apps also supply a map of the location you are in, so you can look up the item & aisle instead of wasting time searching.

    My bank account has been subject to the abuse of a grocery store too many times, and I’m sure yours feels the same way. Take these tips and use them in your next grocery store run! See what kind of difference you’re able to make over the next couple of months!

    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 group of 8 college students sitting around a table on an outdoor patio.

    Managing Relationships in College

    Emilie Conners

    One of the most unexpectedly challenging parts of college is managing relationships. In high school you were typically surrounded by the same people every day and had less of a choice when it came to the people you hung out with. In college, along with the increased freedom and sense of independence, you also get to make more decisions on who you spend your time with. Here are a few tips to help you get through all the highs and lows that come with relationships in college.

    Surround yourself with people who have similar goals as you. It becomes increasingly difficult to manage relationships with people that are on completely different paths as you. I’m not saying it’s impossible, but it becomes more challenging. I think we all rolled our eyes in high school when hearing our parents say, “you are who you hang out with!” but it really is true. Choose wisely and surround yourself with people that you want to be more like.

    Know that not every person is meant to be in your life forever and that’s okay. It can be really hard to drift away from people that have had a big impact on you and that you pictured would always be there; but as life changes, we do too and that’s okay. With that being said, don’t be afraid to reach out to an old friend that you miss and check in! It’s never too late to reconnect and let someone know that you’re thinking of them. Chances are, they’ll be really happy to hear from you.

    Make sure to balance your friendships in college; it can be really easy to become attached to a few people and spend relatively all of your time with them. I’m not saying it’s not okay to be really close with a few people but just remember to keep variety within your circle – especially at the beginning of your college years. Your fall-of-freshman-year-best friend may not be someone you hang with senior year (and that’s okay!) Aim to meet people from different clubs, organizations, and involvements you have on campus to avoid becoming dependent on one or two people.

    Managing relationships throughout college comes with a lot of change; you may grow apart from some high school friends, and you will gain new friendships with people you’ll feel like you’ve known forever, even if it’s only been a few months or a couple of years.

    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 nighttime photo of a campus building with tall pillars and holiday decorations.

    Study Spot Review

    Alivia Clay

    As college students, we know the struggle of finding the perfect study environment. The place where we can dive into textbooks, lecture notes, and research papers without any distractions. Our study environment plays a crucial role in our productivity and focus, shaping our overall learning experience. So, let's dive in and explore three popular study destinations: the library, the coffee shop, and the comfort of home. Join me as we uncover how these environments impact our studying and find the spot that suits us best.

    The Library

    With its peaceful atmosphere and rows of books, the library offers a scholarly ambiance that's hard to beat. The library provides an ideal setting for concentration, where silence is key, and distractions are minimized. Surrounded by fellow students, the shared commitment to learning can be inspiring. However, for some, the silence and formal atmosphere may feel isolating or even dull. While the library is often a go-to destination for serious studying, it may not be the perfect fit for everyone.

    The Coffee Shop

    The aroma of freshly brewed coffee, the gentle hum of conversations, and the cozy atmosphere—coffee shop has become a popular study spot for many college students. These vibrant spaces offer a unique blend of ambient noise and a relaxed environment that can stimulate creativity and productivity. The background activity can provide a sense of companionship, making studying feel less lonely. This concept is called body doubling. However, for those easily distracted, the noise and social opportunities in a coffee shop might hinder focus. It's a delicate balance between finding inspiration and managing distractions.

    Home

    Our cozy haven, familiar and comforting, is our home. Studying in the comfortable corners of our personal space can provide a sense of security and convenience. No commute, no time restrictions, and the freedom to create our own study environment. Whether it's a peaceful room or a bustling household, home caters to individual preferences. However, the challenge lies in maintaining discipline and staying focused amidst the comforts of home. The allure of naps, binge-watching favorite shows, or succumbing to endless procrastination can easily derail productivity.

    Each study environment offers its own set of advantages and disadvantages. The library provides a dedicated space for uninterrupted focus, the coffee shop ignites creativity and energy, and home offers comfort and flexibility. The ideal study spot varies for each person, depending on their learning style and preferences. So, fellow college students, let's embark on the quest to find our perfect study environment—one that enhances productivity, sparks inspiration, and propels us towards academic success.

    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!