Students blog

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

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  • 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 group of college women standing in front of a Happy Galentine’s banner. Each is holding a bouquet of flowers.

    The Ultimate College Galentine’s Celebration

    Peyton Maria

    Being single in college can be hard, but Valentine’s is especially challenging. Fortunately, many years ago, the girls took back the holiday and rebranded it as Galentine’s Day: a day to celebrate all your best girlfriends. As a fellow single girl, here are some of my top tips for an amazing Galentine’s celebration for college girls and their best friends.

    The Attire

    Pinterest is the breeding ground for the perfect Galentine’s celebration, and the perfect place to find your Galentine's event outfit. Some of my top recommendations are a fun sundress, a cute white and pink cardigan with jeans, or any heart print top with a cute skirt. If all else fails, you can never go wrong with some red or pink!

    The Food

    If you choose to host your Galentine’s event, there are four main foods that every Galentine’s celebration needs. The first big one is an extravagant charcuterie board. Charcuterie is the definition of girl dinner, and when celebrating Galentine's Day, it is a necessity. The key things to include on the board are fancy cheeses, crackers, dips (such as hummus or spinach dip), chocolate covered almonds, veggies, deli meats, and dried fruit. One of my favorite places to get stuff for charcuterie is Trader Joes. They are stock full of cheap and delicious charcuterie items that won’t break your bank.

    The next food you absolutely need for your Galentine’s event is drinks. My top picks are anything that would be red or pink, such as Shirley Temples, pink lemonade, etc. Also, anything sparkly, such as Martinelli’s or Bubbly water.

    Third, you need a main dish. My top choice for this is pizza. It’s easy and loved by many, but also can be dressed up to be fancy. Also, this can be turned into an activity! Making homemade pizza is fun, engaging, and a way for everyone to get their own personalization in toppings.

    Fourth and finally, a sweet treat is necessary for the perfect Galentine’s celebration. The obvious choices are heart shaped cakes or chocolate covered strawberries, but other great options are fondue or cookies. My most recent obsession is Oreo truffles, which if covered in some heart sprinkles could be deemed as festive. No matter what sweet treat you decide, it is a vital piece that could make or break your Galentine's Day food spread.

    The Activities/Location

    Location and activities are huge when it comes to planning your dream Galentine’s celebration.

    Some fun activities you can have at your party are painting tote bags/wine glasses, cooking your main courses together, making friendship bracelets, or planning fun games such as We’re Not Really Strangers.

    Location wise, you really cannot go wrong, and your biggest deciding factor should be the weather. My favorite is a picnic, which is such an aesthetic way to celebrate if the weather allows. Some other options are your own home/apartment or a restaurant/brunch place, if you don’t feel like hosting.

    Regardless of what activity you choose, spending time with your girls will be the best part of your Galentine’s Day. Take back what Valentine’s Day means, grab your best girlfriends, and celebrate sisterhood and singleness as we should every day.

    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 young college woman holding her arms up standing in front of her bed and desk in her off-campus apartment room.

    Making the Move to Off-Campus Living

    Melody Kong

    You’re in the second semester of your first year of college and it’s been a blast. You’ve made friends, lived on campus, enjoyed the food, did well in classes, and joined a bunch of clubs. But like every other college student, you want to save money. You come up with this genius idea to save money by living off campus the next semester, as you’ve heard it’s relatively cheaper. Problem is, you don’t know where to start. This was me in March of my freshman year, I have now moved to housing off campus! Super exciting, I know. But how did I get here? What is the must-dos, must don’ts, tips, and tricks of off campus housing? While only a few months have passed since then, I believe I have some insight as someone who’s been there and done that – as in having lived in the dorms as well as off campus.

    Find Roommates Early

    Look in Facebook groups, ask friends, ask parents to contact friends – just use your resources! There are people always looking for roommates. It’s not only important to find your roommates but also communicate with them your needs and concerns. I didn’t communicate enough with my potential roommates, and by the time summer came, we were all too busy doing our own things to discuss where we wanted to live and other miscellaneous details. This led to one of the roommates not living with us and me not having housing near campus for 2 weeks. I ended up crashing at my friend’s apartment for those weeks, and while not terrible, it’s nice to have your own space.

    Looking For a Place to Live

    I didn’t even start thinking about housing for my 2nd year until March of my freshman year, but I would highly recommend starting to think about this in January. It may seem early, but housing options fill up fast. If you spend most of your time on campus and are just looking for a place to live, explore the possibility of renting out a room in a rental house or finding friends to possibly rent a house or apartment. Think about how close you want or need to be from campus. If you want convenience, student apartment complexes near campus can be a good choice as those are usually closer, have more amenities, and may provide bus transportation to and from campus.

    Be Picky

    Since you’re moving into a new place, you get to decide what you want or don’t want. If you’re a more outgoing person, you may want another extravert to talk to, or if you’re an introvert, you may rather keep your own space and have time to yourself. Know what you value when it comes to money, other people, cleanliness, food, the list goes on, and be decisive!

    These are just a few things I have learned through my first month living off campus. While it can seem daunting to even start the process, I think it is definitely worth it! Although my commute is about 20 minutes, I love having my own room at the fraction of the cost. Through this whole process, I have learned skills that will be useful if I decide to have a house of my own in the future. I had to navigate the application process, communicate with roommates, and manage utilities. I had to learn (and am still learning) time management in commuting to and from school. These skills are applicable to the real world as well and open your eyes to the different needs and wants of others. Off-campus housing has its irks, but the end results are worth the hassle.

    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 person’s hand holding a Monopoly-themed 1,000 piece puzzle.

    Breaking the Ice with Communal Jigsaw Puzzles

    Jordan Little

    Living on your own can be a daunting task. I grew up with two younger siblings for the majority of my life. I always had someone with which to talk, joke around, or to grab a bite to eat. I always had those constants in my household. That all changed when I started college. After I finished unpacking the last of my moving boxes in my freshman dorm, I remembered walking my family back to their car and watching them drive off as I stood alone in the parking lot.

    Busting the Boredom

    I went to bed in my quiet room and woke up the next day alone in search of something to do. My eyes darted around the room and landed on an unopened puzzle box sitting on my shelf. The desk in my dorm room was far too small to complete the puzzle on, so I headed into the dorm common area and started working there.

    Gaining Attention

    When I first started the puzzle, I was prepared to spend the afternoon alone until I grabbed dinner from the dining hall. That wasn’t the case at all, though. Not only was the common area located next to the only trash shoot on the floor, but many people were exploring the different areas of the dorm before classes started up the following week. As people would walk by, I would wave hello while sorting through pieces.

    Puzzling Passersby

    The sight of a gigantic puzzle would often draw people closer and lead them to ask me what I’m working on and how far I’ve gotten. After answering them, I would always offer if they wanted to grab a seat and help work through the puzzle. More and more people would walk by the common area and more and more people would grab a seat or come back later just to work on a puzzle.

    After a few days of doing different puzzles, I got to talk with a wide range of people in my dorm. I continued hanging out with them in the common room, even if we weren’t working on a puzzle. What started as a simple way to pass time led to me meeting so many amazing friends that I still talk to and love hanging out with. If loneliness, boredom, mingling, or adjusting to college life are getting you down, start a common area activity that could build community and spark conversation.

    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 10 college women outside in front of some green trees and brush.

    Advice for Spring Recruitment Week

    Peyton Maria

    As soon as winter break comes to a close, some college students will be traveling back to campus in order to join a Greek life organization. Whether you’re a freshman girl who has been waiting for rush week all semester, or a junior guy looking to rush to meet a good group of friends, the entire rush process can be a stressful one.

    To calm some nerves, I have compiled some advice about the process from my friends at colleges all across the US. I hope you find it helpful as you go through this stressful, but genuinely fun and rewarding experience!

    Xavier Kretsinger-Walters - James Madison University
    “Sounds obvious, but be yourself. Chances are, if you change up your personality just to fit in or get a bid, you'll end up in an organization that you won't feel connected to. Find a Greek organization with similar personalities where you see yourself making good connections and friendships.”

    Alivia Clay - Texas Christian University
    “I would say to follow your gut. I felt most at home at a sorority that wasn't considered a top house and because of everyone else's opinions I ended up choosing the "better sorority" that hasn't been a great fit. Sometimes the houses that are the least popular have the most fun and where you'll find the most friends. Just follow your heart <3 Good luck!”

    AJ Vazquez - Indiana University Indianapolis
    “I would say to go with the group of people that you best fit with and that you feel you can be yourself. A Greek organization is meant to better young men and women and it’s key to find an organization that feels like a home away from home. I also encourage those interested in Greek life to rush all chapters they can and not focus on the number of members or anything they’ve heard but to judge based on their personal experience and perspective.”

    Student - University of Florida
    “Just be yourself and don’t be scared to answer any questions! They just want to get to know you for who you are!”

    Cassidy Chinn - University of Georgia
    “Always be authentic to who you are! The rush process can be hyped up and super stressful, but you really do find where you are meant to be. Greek life is great, and you really do get out what you put into it!”

    Jasmine Ferrante - University of Maine
    “I would say to always be yourself and not change who you are! You will end up in the right chapter for you and thrive in the chapter.”

    Victoria Kaplan - UC Berkeley
    “Rush week can be incredibly exhausting, so make sure you take time for yourself to properly recharge and be the best version of yourself. While you may think you absolutely need to be in a certain house, at the end of the day the people you click with make the best friends!

    Michelle Qi - Florida State University
    “Be open minded because you will be happy where you end up and you WILL find your perfect family! It can feel overwhelming at times but stay strong and know that there is always a house for you!!”

    Jen Fiengo - Coastal Carolina University
    “I personally went through spring recruitment. If you don’t walk into the room and feel comfortable, that sorority is not for you. You need to go somewhere that feels like home, and you will know it when you feel it.”

    To sum all that up, the whole point of the process is to find your home and a group of people you want to spend college with. Good luck, trust the process, don’t stress, and you will find your people in the end!

    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 person holding a shopping bag standing in front of a large outdoor Christmas tree with lit with white lights.

    Gift Ideas for the Season

    May Gratton

    When it comes to Christmas gifts, sometimes it is hard to find the perfect thing for your favorite people. Most of the time when we ask for ideas, we are often met with the response, “you don’t need to get me anything, don’t worry about it.” But, if you’re anything like me, you love getting gifts for others. To help ease the stress, I have made a list of a few gift recommendations, based on gifts that I have given to my family/loved ones.

    Parents

    Last year, I got my parents a digital picture frame. My siblings and I can upload pictures via an app to display on their frame. I have also gotten my parents matching hoodies from my college, Oregon State (go Beavs!) Instead of college hoodies, you could also go to somewhere like Old Navy and get them a nice sweater! If your parents are empty nesters like mine are, another great idea would be to get them some tickets to a concert or some sort of event that your parents would be interested in.

    Siblings

    I’ve always been a huge fan of gag gifts for siblings. One year, when my sister was going to University of Oregon (my school’s rival), I got her an Oregon State blanket, with the intention of my parents keeping it. On top of a gag gift, something simple like a flannel or a cute sweater for your siblings will never go wrong. I always get my brother something simple like a hat, T-shirt, hoodie, or shoes.

    Significant Others

    A great idea for your significant other is getting them a perfume/cologne that you like the scent of. Personally, even if the scent isn’t my favorite, I would still wear it if it was given to me by my significant other. Another gift idea would also be an experience that the two of you can do together, like a concert, a weekend away, or a sporting event. Or how about matching customized sweatshirts? Finally, jewelry! You can never go wrong with a simple bracelet or earrings...maybe even a ring (wink wink).

    Friends

    It’s fun to use inside jokes and/or little things that you know about your friends in selecting their gift. Last year I got all my friends basic things that everyone uses but hates paying for, like makeup wipes. I also got them Turbie Twists (super-absorbent microfiber towels) to use for their hair after a shower. Candles are something that everybody can enjoy! Just think about random things that your friend may like and find a funny, but useful gift that you could get them. For example, one of my friends loves cats and sushi, so I found a pair of cat chopsticks for her, which she uses at least once a week now!

    Happy gift giving!

    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!