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

  • An overhead view of four made-ahead meals in glass dishes.

    College Students Can Save Time and Money by Meal Prepping

    Abby VanDuyne

    We've all heard the saying, "You are what you eat", but when we skip meals... what are we? Many college students today skip meals to cram in more studying, sneak in a few more minutes of sleep, or to save a couple of dollars. As a full-time engineering student with plenty on my plate, I can say that meal prepping has saved me time, money, and from losing focus while studying!

    College is a busy time for everyone. A typical day for me starts at 8am and ends at 5pm. Finding time to eat and pack a lunch every morning just doesn’t happen. Furthermore, after finishing a full day of classes, the last thing I feel like doing is cooking dinner. Meal prepping has saved me from a grumbling stomach during class and so much time before and after my day ends.

    Save Time & Money

    Not only has meal prepping saved me time during the school week, but it’s also saved me money. After having a meal plan freshman year, the habit of going to the dining hall for lunch or another quick-eat on campus was deeply ingrained in my brain. In addition, once I was done for the day, I’d be so exhausted that all I would want to do is order take out. I found myself spending so much money going out to eat and then throwing away any groceries I had bought because they’d go bad before I would get around to using them. With the amount of money I would spend on going out to eat, I have been able to make three meals a day, seven days a week for less than $3.75 per meal and a grand total of around $78 at the grocery store.

    This may seem like a large sum of money for a one-time purchase but when you compare the two options, the savings is clear. Let’s say you spend an average of $7 for each meal when you go out to eat.

    Going out to eat once a day:

         1 meal/day x $7/meal x 7 days/ week= $49.00

    Meal prepping for the week:

         3 meals/day x $3.75/meal x 7 days/week = $78.75

    By going out to eat even once a day each week you miss out on major savings and spend over half the amount you could have spent at the grocery store for three times the number of meals!

    Tips & Tricks

    Here are a few things that I have found useful while meal prepping:

    • Make a list of the meals to prep for the upcoming week. This helps me to stay organized and figure out what I need from the grocery store. If I’m struggling to decide, I turn to Pinterest for some food inspiration!
    • Make all of the meals at once. I set aside about 2 hours every Sunday to make everything.
    • Invest in good food storage containers to store it all in. Make sure they are dishwasher safe for convenience and have a secure-snap lid to keep the food fresh!

    The transition from traditional “spur of the moment” cooking or grabbing a bite out to eat can be difficult, especially once these things have become a habit. Once you give it a whirl and begin experiencing the benefits of meal prepping, you’ll be hooked!

    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 iPad with various app icons on the home screen. There is a college workbook underneath.

    Essential Apps for College Students

    Sidney Li

    College is notoriously known to be difficult but with the increased presence of technology in every college student’s life, there are a plethora of apps that students can utilize. From managing homework to notetaking to saving money and more, apps can be integrated into the traditional lifestyles of college students. Here is a list of the top apps that I have religiously used since a freshman in college to now as a college senior.

    Google Drive and Google Office Apps

    Having the ability to organize my classes, semesters, projects, and more into folders with Google Docs, Google sheets, Google slides, and other files has been so beneficial. It makes searching and referring to old notes, projects, presentations, and papers reliable and simple.

    Notability

    Since I use an iPad and Apple pencil to take notes during lectures or to study, I use Notability practically every day when I’m taking classes. You can even audio record while writing your notes so you can easily refer back to your lectures when studying. Although it isn’t a free app, it is so worth the money. I can easily organize my notes within subjects and furthermore into dividers too.

    Venmo

    I can’t remember the last time I paid for something in cash. Having Venmo has allowed me to split request my friends if I want to pay for something on my card or Venmo my friends to cover me when I forget my card too.

    Postmates, GrubHub, and/or DoorDash

    Sometimes cooking just sounds daunting or a lot of work. At the end of a long day, sometimes it is so nice and convenient having food delivered right to your dorm or place so you can focus on other necessities in your busy life.

    Uber and Lyft

    While living off campus has its perks, it gets intimidating studying at the library all day and having to walk back to my place alone at night. Using Uber and Lyft has allowed me to not stress about my safety and not worry about facing the unpredictable weather I get in Ohio.

    Google Calendar

    I personally prefer using Google Calendar but using the built-in calendar in Apple is pretty similar with the same objectives. I can sync my academic calendar for the semester along with adding events, creating reminders, and even sharing my availability all in one place.

    Quizlet

    Quizlet is notorious for creating and sharing flashcard decks for classes and subjects. Not only that, but Quizlet can let you play time-based games to help you memorize terms in a fun manner.

    Spotify

    Spotify is a great music streaming app that caters to your listening and preferences. They even have a deal for students for their Spotify premium monthly memberships where listeners can download music and listen without ads. Also, they have a gamut of playlists for different and every occasion possible like studying, partying, emotions, and holidays.

    Mint

    Keeping track of my spending has allowed me to budget my weekly and monthly finances. I can categorize what I spend and create budgets for a variety of categories, such as traveling, groceries, clothes, gas, bills, investments, and more.

    MyFitnessPal

    Having an app to monitor my workouts and eating habits is so useful to maintain a healthy mindset. You can even track everything from your sleep down to the specific micronutrients that you consume in a day.

    Grammarly

    Grammarly catches grammar issues, misspelling, and punctuation errors. This is so useful and makes proofreading easier especially for long papers and emails to professors. It is also available as a browser extension for your computer.

    The goal of technology is to help make your life easier. By using these apps, I have found I am able to simplify previously time-consuming activities so that I can focus on other aspects of my life.

    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 Kiara Smith shows off five different hair styles from her salon visits.

    Hair Stylist or Hair Therapist? Finding Stress Relief at a Hair Salon

    Kiara Smith

    Having a bad day or feeling stressed? Why not take a trip to the hair salon? A new hair style could be just the “pick me up” you need. College students can always use a way to unwind from the stress of their classes and exams. Popular options are working out, meditating, socializing with friends, or treating yourself at a local coffee shop. Who needs an iced coffee when you could just get a new hairdo?!

    A 2-for-1 deal

    Hair stylists should be celebrated for their great works. They often double as both a beautician and a therapist – it’s a 2-for-1 deal! They not only cater to the needs of your hair but also to your soul. In fact, getting your hair done can be very therapeutic. On those days when it feels like whatever could go wrong, does go wrong, a visit to the hair salon can leave you feeling renewed.

    A listening ear

    When you close your eyes and lay your head back to get washed, it is like all your problems have vanished. You take a deep inhale, exhale, and release the weight of the world that was on your shoulders when you walked through the door. The appointment progresses, you engage in conversation, your stylist works their magic, In the process, they are the listening ear you have been needing. Then there is a big reveal. You leave not only less stressed, but also as a happy customer with a newfound confidence.

    With so much going on today, college students need to find ways to destress and rejuvenate themselves. As you can see, visiting a hair salon is one of my favorite ways to unwind. Take some well-deserved time for yourself and schedule a hair appointment to relax and refresh.

    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 stacks of moving boxes in front of a set of French doors.

    College Moveout: A Complete Checklist

    Kamish Tajuddin

    How am I going to prepare for finals week? Where will I be traveling this summer? Do I have a summer internship or full time offer yet? These questions are just some of the few that run through students’ heads during the Spring semester. Towards the end of April and May are some of the most stressful times that can occur for students.

    One other important question students ask, that often gets overlooked, is: what are my plans for moving out? This is a very important aspect of the end of the semester, as you do not want to leave behind anything important or delay this process. It is a difficult process to start and can often be very exhausting to do so.

    Personally, I believe that there are three important phases in the moveout process. Here is a step by step checklist for each phase that can help students ensure that the process goes as smoothly as possible!

    Prep

    Before you can start moving and putting away our clothes, shoes, tv, and other important items, you need to have a game plan set in place. The first step in this phase is determining when and what time you need to move out. Every college has a set move out date and time for their residents, and often can provide containers to help students move out their belongings. However, students that own a lease can decide what day and time works best for them as long as it is before the lease ends.

    Once that is figured out, the next step is to come up with a plan of action. Figuring out what needs to be put away first that is not being used and understanding what can be put away on the last day is important to know. Also knowing what goes in each bag, suitcase, and box and labeling said boxes is going to be important. Last step in the prep phase is getting any materials, if needed. This can include extra boxes, a U-Haul truck, or extra hands to help you move.

    Now that we move prepped our moving process, let’s move on to the next phase.

    Pack and Load

    Your extensive planning in the previous phase will make this step much more manageable. First, pack and organizing your belongings. By the end of this step, everything should be put away and grouped together by whatever category you have picked.

    The next step is to throw away any unnecessary belongings and junk. This will make it easy to clean and have more space in the long run. The final step in this phase is loading your belongings. This can either be in your vehicle or in a U-Haul truck, depending on the size of your belongings.

    Believe it or not, there is one more phase left in the moving out process.

    Departure

    It’s time to double check your packing and start saying your goodbyes. Make one last round inside your dorm, apartment, house, etc. to make sure you are not forgetting anything. Next, make sure to clean your old place according to the specifications stated in your lease or housing contract. Make arrangements to turn in your keys and sign any required paperwork. Lastly, this step is optional but make sure to let neighbors, friends, etc. know that you are officially leaving and potentially provide a way to contact you!

    Following these phases and associated steps will help you turn the monumental task of moving into a smooth process! Remember to change your address ahead of time and potentially rent out a storage unit if need be. Good luck with you moveout!

    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!   

  • Five college girls sitting on the white front porch railing of their off-campus house. They are smiling and laughing.

    A Guide to Finding the Perfect Off-Campus Housing

    Jacquie Dunworth

    The school year is coming to a close and it’s almost time to move out of your dorm. You want to live off campus next year but where do you even start? How do you find a house/apartment? Find roommates? Sign a lease? Keep reading for a comprehensive guide on how to find the perfect off campus housing!

    Getting started

    First figure out who you might want to live with. Do you have friends that also want to live off campus? Do you want to live by yourself? Are you ok living with strangers? Once you determine this there are a few different steps you can take.

    Living with friends

    Once you establish your future roommates it’s time to find a living space that fits your needs. Think about the areas surrounding your campus - are they primarily houses, apartments, a mix of both? Do your research to figure out if there is the type of housing you’re interested in available for you and your roommates. For example, websites like Zillow, Redfin, and apartments.com are good resources to use to see what’s on the market. However, not all housing is listed on these sites. It can be very helpful to simply go on a walk in areas that you may want to live in and look for “for rent” signs.

    Living alone

    Choosing to live on your own will make for a simpler house hunting process. You won’t have to coordinate with others and can pick wherever you want to live. A 1 bedroom or studio apartment is probably where you’ll want to be. Research options and availability by looking at the same websites mentioned previously. Check to see if the area around your school has newer apartment developments. Often, these buildings have leasing offices that you can walk into and ask about pricing/availability.

    Living with strangers

    If you want to live with others but don’t know who, it’s best to find people looking for roommates. Often, upperclassmen will move out of a house and leave bedrooms available for new tenants, or friend groups that move into a house will have an extra bedroom they need filled. Facebook is a good platform to use to find these opportunities. People with extra bedrooms for rent often post in college groups, housing groups, etc. Another way to find housing opportunities is to simply ask around. Ask people in your classes, clubs, and network if they know anyone looking to rent rooms in their houses/apartments.

    Signing the lease

    Once you’ve determined who you want to live with and where, it’s time to reach out to the leasing agent! Their information can usually be found in apartment leasing offices, on housing websites, or on “for rent” signs. You’ll typically get to see the house/apartment and start paperwork. Usually, the landlord will require proof of employment, a credit score, photo ID, past addresses, references, bank information, and proof of residency. Since many college students don’t work full time jobs or have enough income for a particular rent, your parent will probably co-sign the lease with you.

    After completing these steps, you will have secured off-campus housing for next year!

    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 bright sunny day at a lake in Syracuse, New York, surrounded by trees brown, yellow, and orange leaves.

    The Collegiate Experience – COVID-19 Edition

    Alexa Carlton

    If you are in college and anything like me, you will never forget the day March 13th, 2020. That was the day when my classes officially went online at Syracuse University. The reality set in that I no longer would be on campus developing my professional skills, while also creating strong relationships with the people around me. I knew that once August came, I would appreciate every second I had on campus. Syracuse University went with a hybrid class method. Although my experience did revolve around social distancing and mask wearing, I would not trade this school year for anything! I am here to tell you how I enjoyed my college experience during a pandemic and how you can, as well!

    Explore.

    I never really explored the city of Syracuse, New York until this year. It always seemed that I was super busy on campus and unable to leave. However, because of the pandemic, I found myself with a lot more free time. I encourage you to check out the area around your college campus - in a COVID safe way, of course! With proper mask wearing and social distancing, my roommates and I were able to go to fun places that we may have never had the chance to go! We hiked, ate at new restaurants, and explored!

    Be active!

    Personally, I do not find online classes to be much fun. One of my favorite parts of being at school is walking around and seeing familiar faces. Although it was more difficult to get out of my apartment this year, I certainly did not feel trapped. I found myself a running partner and went with her on daily runs. Not only were we able to get all around campus, but we had a fun time while doing so! Even if you are not a runner, I encourage going on walks around campus as this sure saved me!

    Get Involved!

    As crazy as this may seem, a simple Zoom call sometimes made my day. Even if you are not involved in many clubs, it is not too late! All the clubs and organizations I was involved with met on Zoom, but this does not mean the experience was not worthwhile. Often after a long day, it was nice to connect with my friends and classmates!

    The college experience has been vastly different this year than ever before. I have learned to value every moment and experience that I have on the Syracuse University campus. I hope with my tips give you some ideas to do the same on your campus!

    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 laptop screen with a Zoom call open, showing a meeting with 22 participants.

    11 Tips to Make Any College Club Great

    Alexa Kosloski

    Throughout my undergrad career, I have served on executive boards for 3 different clubs and served Chapter President for one. Having this experience has allowed me to understand what it takes to truly have a successful college club. Although every organization is different, the steps it takes to be successful are similar. Below are 11 tips that can help take any college club from good to great.

    1) Brainstorm ideas ahead of time

    If you have the opportunity to do so, brainstorm ideas for your club before the semester starts. This can be a huge time saver and stress relief. To accomplish this, have your executive board meet on Zoom during the summer or during winter break prior to the semester start. By brainstorming your ideas ahead of time, you will have an idea of what exactly your club offers so that you can encourage others to join. This also will save you time in the future, so you can just be at your club events instead of stressing about what your next meeting will contain. Members can tell if a club planned something ahead of time or was put together last minute.

    2) Pay attention to your members

    While you may have a million different ideas for your club, your members may not be a fan of all of them. Try to vary your events early on so that you can gauge what activities your members enjoy most and use that feedback to shape what your club offers. Make sure to include members as much as possible, especially if you’re a virtual club. It will be more engaging and will give them more to talk about when other students and employers ask them what they do in the club.

    3) Don’t underestimate word of mouth marketing

    Besides just posting flyers about your events, the executive board members need to share your events with their friends and classmates. You can also see if your professors will share your flyers or let you talk about your bigger events during classes that are of relevant subject matter to your club. A student may be more likely to attend your event if they hear about it from a friend, rather than just seeing it posted on the bulletin board.

    4) Get inspiration from others

    Pay attention to the actions and activities of other clubs on your campus and clubs from other colleges that provide a similar experience. Strive to stay up to date with trends in the specific industry that your club revolves around, or even current events. Inspiration can come from anywhere!

    5) Change it up

    Regardless of what your club is, a little change can be very refreshing. That’s not to say that you have to drastically change the activities that you offer, although you certainly could if you want to. But perhaps there’s a way to improve how you carry out your original activities. For instance, maybe your club has fundraisers at the same restaurant every year. Consider holding the event at another restaurant. A simple change of location can breathe new life into an annual event.

    6) Make it more than a resume builder

    The number one thing that makes a great college club is the executive board. No matter what the reputation of your club is, the executive board has the ability to hold or change that. Be willing to put in the work, not just list the position on your resume. The best clubs put their members first and know that their work will help keep the club running for years after their terms have ended.

    7) Stay organized

    There are so many dates, times, and documents to keep track of when you’re on an executive board. Keep it all in one place that every member can access. This will reduce confusion and you’ll all be able to find everything when you need it. I highly recommend using Google Calendar and Google Drive for all of your club’s organization needs.

    8) Do your checks and balances ahead of time

    While normal member meetings may not require this, running a large event has a lot of moving pieces. Make sure that you talk to the necessary parties WAY in advance. Each piece takes time and the more time that you give yourself, the better your results will be.

    9) Don’t burn yourself out

    While it’s great to have tons of ideas, a club’s members have midterms, finals, and holidays to attend to. Keep these dates in mind to avoid having events during these times, if possible. Your members will appreciate having that time to themselves. In addition to this, gauge how everyone on the executive board is feeling. Do they seem burnt out? If the answer is yes, try to build in a week with no events or meetings to give everyone break. This can really re-energize the board.

    10) Help each other

    While everyone on an executive board has their own tasks to accomplish, some tasks involve more work than others. If you have the chance to help someone, help them. This will create a better bond between you and the other executive board member, and the task will be less stressful and more successful.

    11) Plan for transitions

    There’s a lot of knowledge gained from being on an executive board. You learn what works and what doesn’t work, what struggles and opportunities the club has, important club requirements, and much more. If your club’s former executive board has to learn all of this on their own, they are bound to miss out on potential opportunities and repeat past mistakes. To make sure that this doesn’t happen, have each former executive board member train the incoming board member for their position. This will be immensely helpful and result in greater success for the club.

    While this may seem like a lot to remember, the basic idea comes down to putting your people first. That includes both other executive board members, as well as your general club members. If you continuously work to put them first, everything else will fall into place.

    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 woman sitting at the top of stairs, back to the camera, legs crossed and arms overhead in a yoga pose.

    College Students Can Try Yoga to Relieve Stress and Anxiety

    Aathira Balu

    Stress and anxiety are something everyone has to deal with at some point, whether it be social matters, academics, change, or just everyday life. Stress tends to run especially high with students balancing class, work, clubs, friends, family, and more. Finding a way to cope and minimize stress is imperative for a healthy life. I have found the best way for me to cope is through the practice of yoga.

    Why Start Yoga?

    Yoga is a practice of both the physical and mental minds and is a great way to integrate a healthful approach to your day-to-day routines. Yoga not only has great health benefits, but can also help reduce stress and anxiety. The practice of yoga can even help reduce the risk of chronic health conditions such as high blood pressure and heart disease. It also helps with increasing one’s flexibility, strength, and breathing capacity. Even though yoga is considered very safe, if you have any ongoing health conditions (such as arthritis, balancing issues, etc.), make sure to consult a doctor before beginning.

    Here are some things to keep in mind when getting started!

    On-line vs. In-Person

    There are many different types of yoga courses and classes that you can attend either online or in person and both have their benefits. For example, online practices can be low cost or free, plus they can be available on-demand for whatever fits into your schedule. In-person classes offer more personalized interaction with the teacher and may lead you through a more structured work out.

    Whether you select online, in-person, or a combination of both types of classes, plan out your week and find times that you know will be best for you to take a break and relax with some yoga. As a beginner, try and aim for 30-45 minutes as a full practice. As you get more advanced, 30 minutes can eventually become 90 minutes.

    Equipment

    Along with creating your own practice schedule, there are certain equipment/materials that people use when practicing, including things like yoga mats, blocks, straps, yoga wheels, etc. If you are a beginner, you can use what you have around your house such as the carpet instead of a mat, pillows to substitute as blocks, and a belt or long strap of some kind to serve as a yoga strap.

    When creating your own yoga workout, practice moves and positions that are most comfortable for you. Explore more simple starting poses to help you become more comfortable with the positioning, like child’s pose, bridge pose, plank pose, tree pose, etc. Modify them depending on your comfort, skill level, and/or any health conditions you may have.

    Benefits of Yoga

    The world of yoga is an amazing one that includes meditation, vibration, and devotion and is something that everyone should try out. Just as with learning any new skill, beginning a yoga practice requires a lot of patience. Start slow and be willing to learn and try new things; it takes time to become comfortable with this way of life. Good luck on all of your yoga journeys and always remember to stay calm and work hard.  

  • A collection of a wide variety of colorful fruits and vegetables.

    Transitioning to a Plant-Based Diet

    Logan Collins

    When becoming independent and going off to college you are faced with a lot of choices, especially ones involving nutrition. Nutritional choices include things like calorie intake and the type of foods and nutrients you are putting into your body. These decisions can have a big impact on things like the amount of energy we have or our mood. Recently I made the decision to transition to a plant-based diet. Here’s my experience with changing my diet and effects it has had on my everyday life. 

    Uncovering the Benefits of a Plant-Based Diet

    Last semester, I took a class called Plant-Based Living. By the middle of the semester, the class had fully convinced me to transition my diet to plant based. The key motivator that made me want to make this change was how plant-based diets can help improve mental health disorders and stress.

    During my studies, I learned that the majority animal products contain arachidonic acid, which can cause general inflammation in the brain. There is a direct link to inflammation in the brain and chemical imbalances of neurotransmitters causing depression and anxiety.

    Plants and vegetables contain antioxidants and phytochemicals which can repair damage and decrease inflammation in brain cells, while also restoring balance to neurotransmitters. Phytochemicals are known as a natural antidepressant that increases levels of serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain. 

    Making the Change

    After all the research I had done I decided to change my diet to see if I noticed a difference. The transition to vegetarian hasn’t been very hard since there are a lot of plants you can get protein from to replace meat. For example, I have been eating more tofu, chickpeas, and seitan. Plus, the protein you get from plants is better for you than the protein made by animals. After just a month of eating a vegetarian diet I felt improvement in my energy level and my overall mood. 

    Examining the Results

    Going vegetarian has helped push me outside of my comfort zone in terms of cooking and meal prep. Using social apps like TikTok has been a great resource for me to find quick and easy vegetarian recipes to try. One of my new favorite dishes is “ratatouille.” This is made completely from vegetables like eggplant, peppers, tomato, and squash. If you’ve seen the movie by the same name, the reaction the food critic has when tasting the dish is spot-on!

    Overall, my plant-based diet has had an overwhelmingly positive impact on my physical and mental health. They aren’t wrong when they say “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” so make sure you’re eating plenty of fruits and vegetables!