Students blog

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

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  • A group of university students from an ultimate frisbee team are standing arm-in-arm outside. Another team member is crouching down in front of the group with a small dog on her lap.

    Three Reasons to Join Collegiate Extracurriculars

    Jordan Wilton

    Have you been feeling on the fence about joining extracurriculars at your university? Hopefully this blog can help shine some light! When I first started college, I was worried about not having the time for extracurriculars, but I want to share and reassure you that it is worth making time for extracurriculars.

    Find Community

    The biggest reason most people join clubs/teams is to find their community. One of the biggest obstacles when starting college is figuring out who you are and surrounding yourself with people with similar interests; getting involved makes this a lot easier. I also really want to point out that this is a great time to try new things! Don’t be afraid to try a new sport or club because most groups expect you to know nothing and will help you learn something new. This is especially true for athletic clubs- most people who play club or intramural sports have never played before and will have more experienced players to help teach you!

    Professional Development

    It is also important to understand the benefits of extracurricular activities to your professional development. I think a lot of students forget that employers want to see that you are more than your schooling because while it's great to be a 4.0 student there are still hundreds of thousands of other students with a 4.0; the best way to set yourself apart is to have something else that you care about. It is also important to know that it doesn’t have to be something that relates to your major or your future career. One of the highlights on my resume is that I play on and lead an ultimate frisbee team – which has absolutely nothing to do with engineering – but most interviewers point it out because it is something different than they normally see.

    Interview Points

    Outside of just having that extra highlight on your resume- extracurriculars are great to talk about in interviews. If you play sports- I can almost guarantee that you’ve seen or been a part of some safety issue (which is always a popular interview question). If you are a part of an academic or social club, you can focus on how much time it takes from your schedule and how you organize and balance your days. Even if it is only an hour of your day once a week, it shows that you are capable of having work-life balance which a lot of other students won’t have.

    I really hope this helped if you were on the fence about joining any extracurriculars this 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 collage of 3 pictures featuring the blog author in VolWake club activities.

    Finding Friendship through Campus Involvement

    Saige O’Rourke

    When I first started college, I was just as nervous as the next guy. I was also excited, but worried I wouldn’t meet anyone or that I was wasting my time. I spent my first year hoping I would meet my best friends in a random class or somehow in a hallway. One day I was walking to the library, and I saw an individual wearing a “VolWake” t-shirt; now, I get to call this group of people my dearest friends because I decided to join that club.

    The beginning of my college experience was anything but amazing. I experienced heartache, roommate drama, and confusion as to what direction I was headed. I found myself so miserable that I was considering transferring. I did not put much effort into being involved on campus nor did I use the resources I had in front of me to meet new people. I decided to join VolWake on a whim, and I was gifted my favorite surfboard, so I didn’t have much of a choice.

    VolWake is the University of Tennessee’s Wakeboarding club; there are almost 100 members that are all college students who love to take part in water sports. I was insanely hesitant about joining this team. I was worried that I wouldn’t be good enough or that I wouldn’t make any friends. My first day on our boat countered my thoughts completely.

    This team has allowed me to land and learn new tricks within weeks instead of months, and I am constantly surrounded by encouragement. My confidence on the water has grown tremendously. The people who are a part of this team are nothing but welcoming and talented; I am always surrounded by belly-laughs and amazing memories.

    If you asked me exactly one year ago what my favorite part of college was, I wouldn’t be able to tell you; matter of fact, I would probably say travelling somewhere else. Now, I am surrounded by life-long friends who love the same things I do and enjoy my company. I couldn’t imagine a better group of people to spend my waking hours with, and I am extremely grateful that I have found my people.

    With all of this being said, it is so important to get involved on your campus. There are so many opportunities and people that are waiting to LOVE YOU! Exploring all options on campus, no matter how terrifying they might be, can and will open the perfect doors for you. Take the risk and meet your best friends!!!

    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 computer displaying the landing page for Pearson+.

    Finding Your Voice: Becoming an Effective Student Leader

    Namira Anjum

    Growing up we all learned about powerful leaders and the fearless work they accomplished throughout history. Sitting in that classroom, that type of impact maybe seemed quite distant and unreachable. However, there is no better opportunity for you to become a leader than while you’re in college! It is the perfect environment for students to cultivate their leadership skills and start a movement or initiative, no matter how small.

    With most large universities being home to hundreds of clubs and organizations, there are multiple ways for you to lead others while expressing your identity, values, and vision. And though becoming a leader is no doubt beneficial for reasons I’ll explain, the task of doing so alongside juggling school, work and other activities is no easy one. Here’s how to be an effective student leader all while balancing it with your busy college life.

    Leadership is defined as “the ability of an individual or a group of people to influence and guide followers or members of an organization, society or team1.” This skill will be invaluable for your time at college, career, and overall future. Therefore, it is important to start learning how to become a leader as soon as you can. To do so, start by finding the organizations on your campus that you are interested in and could develop a passion for. Most colleges have activities fairs each semester that exhibit the clubs that are available for you to join, which is perfect for finding your niche.

    In my case, I joined the Bengali Student Organization (BSO) at the University of Virginia to stay connected with my culture and be part of this community. My influence started small; I was the first-year representative during my freshman year. However, now two years later, I am vice president, and my responsibilities have grown much larger! I take part in all sorts of activities to help run this club such as planning events, managing finances, and overseeing others on the executive board. Furthermore, I’ve developed several skills, including effective communication and organization, that I not only apply to BSO, but also my classes, job interviews and other situations. I also feel proud knowing my work has had an impact on others and facilitated my club’s mission to showcase Bengali culture. The main takeaway is once you find a voice you are passionate about and want to amplify, the work you do to influence your community becomes ever meaningful and exciting to do.

    I won’t lie and tell you being a student leader is an easy role. It comes with many responsibilities that require a large part of your time and effort, depending on what kind of position you have. When you have multiple other time commitments such as classes and jobs, your plate can get quite full. To avoid becoming overloaded with work, I have a few key tips. Firstly, you most likely have to plan events or activities to execute your organization’s mission or purpose. For these reasons I recommend planning the details and logistics reasonably early. For example, BSO’s signature event of the year was our charity bash, and we began planning the bash around 3 months ahead of time. With an early approach, you can avoid unnecessary stress closer to the date of your event and be prepared for any sudden changes or complications.

    Additionally, if your organization does have an executive board, set a weekly meeting time to discuss what activities you will be doing and set a schedule. In doing so, you can also maintain thorough communication with your team, making the process of running your organization more effective. And by making your schedule more structured with these tips and eliminating time inefficiencies, the task of being a student leader alongside your other activities becomes less stressful and more manageable.

    With these pieces of advice, I hope you are inspired to become a student leader, steer others in a positive way, and use your voice to express whatever it is you are passionate about, whether its chess, soccer, or food inequality. Who knows, maybe one day you’ll be the next Nelson Mandela, Malala Yousafzai, or Martin Luther King!


    1 Barney, Nick, and Mary K. Pratt. “What Is Leadership?: Definition by TechTarget.” CIO Strategy, TechTarget, 22 Mar. 2023,

    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 students at the University of Houston that are members of the Asian Student Business Association.

    How Leadership in College Can Change Your Life

    Tristan Deveyra

    Unlocking leadership opportunities can be daunting if you lack the credentials you think are necessary. I've experienced this firsthand; lacking a vast network of friends or professional experience, I missed out on leadership roles in high school. However, when I embraced leadership within the Asian Business Student Association an incredible transformation occurred. I discovered a world brimming with social, mental health, and professional benefits.

    College Leadership Opportunities

    As a leader, I forged deep connections and lifelong friendships, finding a community that supported me and allowed me to create cherished memories. It opened doors to a support system I never knew I needed. Here’s a picture of me and my leadership team in the thumbnail! (That’s me in the top right!) Furthermore, being a leader enhanced my college experience economically by maximizing internship opportunities and valuable connections with companies. Employers highly value leadership and soft skills in candidates, recognizing their importance alongside technical knowledge.

    Zooming out, leadership offers a broader perspective and the chance to leave a lasting impact on those you lead. It extends beyond the workplace, influencing all aspects of life, from sports teams to family dynamics and friendships.

    How to Find Leadership Positions

    Leadership positions are everywhere in college! Your first step is to research and find an organization or club that you can join. Strive to find a community you’re truly passionate about and want to develop, and make sure it aligns with your interests, values, and goals. Indulge in its culture, and you’re set! Most colleges have websites with a catalog of all the organizations and also hold club fairs in the beginning of each semester. Make a point to attend and be sure to talk to recruiting personalities during these fairs.

    Leadership Positions and Corporate Recruiters

    As most college students progress through their careers, they tend to begin their search for internships. For Corporate Recruiters, students who have leadership experience become more appealing as they hold many qualities that make them a valuable candidate. Holding a leadership position in college showcases your ability to take on responsibilities and manage a team or an organization. Recruiters value candidates who can demonstrate their commitment, reliability, and capacity to handle complex tasks.

    Overall, leadership positions in college offer a platform for personal growth, skill development, and the cultivation of valuable soft skills that can benefit you in various aspects of your life, including your future careers.

    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 featuring a person wearing an AR headset alongside lines resembling computer circuits.

    The Evolving World of Technology

    Molly McKenna

    Never did I think as a ten-year-old that my twenty-year-old self would have the opportunity to work as a software engineer developing new and upcoming technologies in alternate realms… but here I am! Technology is a fast-growing world and continues to push boundaries day by day, and the rise of artificial intelligence and the metaverse have only added to that growth. As a software developer on the University of Miami’s Information Technology XR Garage Innovate Team, my eyes have been opened to the developments of virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR) toolsets. Utilizing various software for development, the Magic Leap headsets and Microsoft’s HoloLens allow the team’s innovations to become reality!

    Grasping the Metaverse

    Whether it’s the latest phone, the newest headset, an advanced television setup, or progressive discoveries in the metaverse, technological advancements are expanding every day. The need to keep up with changes is inevitable. Times are different than a century ago – even a decade ago! It seems impossible to walk out of your house without your cellphone attached to your hip. How will someone contact me? How will I know what time it is? How will I know what’s next on my agenda? Technology is the control center for the world we are living in today.

    Expanding beyond just the latest smartphone or electronic watch, the rise of the metaverse has made significant impact in new inventions. Realms including virtual, augmented, and mixed realities have been explored and used in upcoming developments in various aspects of companies. People continue to be fascinated with the idea of creating and experiencing this out-of-body innovation through an electronic headset, and luckily, I have the opportunity to work with and be immersed in this emerging world of technology.

    Hands On Experience

    As my interest in technology has grown, I have taken advantage of opportunities on my college campus to learn more. In February of 2022, I was introduced to a department known as XR Garage as a part of the University of Miami IT Innovate Team. Under the leadership of our director is a group of students who work as programmers, project managers, designers, and apprentices. The hiring process includes a one-on-one interview with our director to discuss our experience and goals for our careers. Once determined if a good fit for the team, we are then accepted and jump right into a series of tutorials, demos, and assessments for the software being used.

    I was eager for the learning process of new programs I have never used before including Unity, Magic Leap, Plastic SCM, Jira, and Microsoft’s HoloLens 2. After months of completing the tutorials as an apprentice, I advanced to a position as a full stack XR engineer where I now contribute to extended reality projects. Through our team’s agile workflow, I have learned to work with other developers and creative members to brainstorm new components to projects that will allow the user to experience this metaverse through different lenses.

    Taking Advantage of Every Opportunity

    I have been fortunate enough to grow up with parents and other role models who have shown me what hard work looks like, and I have always strived to push myself to my fullest potential in all aspects of my life. When it comes to my experience as a college student, I know I am a dedicated hard worker through my academics, extracurriculars, and my goals towards my future career. I came into college telling myself to take advantage of all the opportunities available to me as a student. Through my time here at the University of Miami so far, I can proudly say I am doing just that. Whether it’s a hired position as a tour guide, an engineer in the concert halls, or a programmer on the IT Innovate Team, I always aspire to learn more and gain new perspectives. An integral part of my experiences is my collaboration with other passion-driven individuals. Working with others is such a significant part of learning because every person comes from different experiences.

    At the end of the day, technology is and always will be evolving. Communication is key and communication is supported through this new technology. Just as technology is growing, so should we. Through my experience with my university’s IT team, my passion for getting involved and enhancing my personal growth is constantly put into action.

    Say “yes” to the opportunities in front of you. You never know – our evolving world and its technological advancements just might allow you to discover something new about yourself!

    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 featuring the letters ‘SGA’ in script font in front of a government building. Two groups of students stand on either side of the person speaking at a podium.

    Get Involved in Your Student Government

    Melanie Perez

    Have you ever wondered what it's like to be part of the student government in your prospective school? Have you ever felt discouraged, as if you’re not good enough to join such an “elite” club? Is it too stressful to think about the amount of work you have to do if you do end up getting accepted? Here are 3 tips on how to get involved and how to stay focused once you’re in.

    Apply Apply Apply

    Don’t focus on the negatives or the what ifs, the first step to your success is to apply. If you’re truly passionate about the position, even if you don't get accepted the first time, try again! I applied early into the school year, and I even made it to the interview stage, but I ended up not getting accepted the first time. Although I was slightly sad, I wasn't discouraged, and at the start of the fall semester, I applied once more and got in! Not getting accepted is not failure, it's a small set-back, and although it might hurt at first, it's always good to keep pushing.

    I'm In? Now What Do I Do?

    The first step after getting accepted is always to talk to one of the managers who run the student government. More often than not, the other student council members don't know much about the paperwork, so always stick to speaking to the higher-ups. They will guide you through the steps needed so you can officialize your position. Once all the paperwork is done, the real work begins…

    How To Manage School Work and Student Government Work.

    Depending on your college or university, the student government might have different schedules or workload. Consult with your SGA president or another member with a lot of experience. Always contact another student for this, not a manager. While SGA work is important, it's important to remember that it comes second to schoolwork. Exams, homework, quizzes, projects, whatever it may be, they all come first. Always prioritize your schoolwork but work to figure out where you have extra time in your schedule to focus on SGA work as well.

    You Got This!

    After a while, you’ll start to notice that everything intertwines, and mixing SGA and schoolwork isn’t so difficult anymore; you now have a set schedule that you follow. Your multi-tasking and time management skills have increased. Being involved in student government is a worthwhile and rewarding endeavor for any college student. Now, what’s taking so long for you to start the application?

    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 basketball players in black uniforms crowded around a coach speaking into a microphone.

    Balance in D1 Sports

    Tatum Settelmyer

    On October 18th my whole life changed – aside from turning 20 years old the day before. I already had a lot going on in my collegiate life. I was in the Honors College, a candidate for Beta Alpha Psi, applying for internships, and working as Pearson Campus Ambassador. I was also vice president of the club tennis team and an intramural basketball champion. With all that, I also carved out time to hang out with friends.

    Then I spontaneously decided to try out for my school’s Women’s D1 Basketball team, and I made the team! Little did I know what kind of challenge that was going to be, not only competing at this high level after taking a year off of basketball, but also how to balance this new endeavor with everything else going on in my life.

    First thoughts were all excitement about making the team, until I became super overwhelmed. Basketball alone was stressful enough with trying to play catch-up while everyone else had already been practicing together for months. It took me a while to even think about how it was affecting the rest of my life, especially my classes. It is way too easy to forget about everything besides the D1 sport you play.

    With this new addition to my life, sacrifices had to be made. No more intramurals, no more club tennis, less time with friends, and a change on schedule for internships. But, looking from a larger perspective, I’ve still made many memories and friends that I can keep forever who are very supportive. I’ve had to substitute virtual learning for a few in-person classes that conflicted with practices, but thankfully with technology I can watch lectures online for the most part. Classes have definitely been the hardest part to keep up with but, I was able to make friends in classes and the Honors College who help keep me accountable during this very busy time. The most important thing is to create and maintain a consistent schedule and to truly focus on the “student” part of the athlete, too.

    It is easy to get carried away with trying to do more than you can handle. My parents always warned me about doing too much because it can take a toll physically and mentally. You always have to be aware of what you are feeling and realize that you can’t please everyone in everything. Sometimes you just have to take a step back and do something to relax and give yourself a break. Odds are you are way ahead of the game already and can definitely afford a few hours to yourself or with your friends.

    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 view from the stands of a campus football game. There is a marching band on the field.

    Falling Into the Autumn Semester – Fall Fun Activities!

    Taylor Perline

    The autumn semester is an exciting time for students of all walks of life. It’s a fresh start for both new and returning college students; however, it is not always a breath of fresh air. New classes, new professors, changes in schedules, and other factors can make the fall semester feel more overwhelming than exciting. Luckily, with this change in season, there is an opportunity for fun fall activities on campus!

    Check Out Your College’s Sports

    With the start of the academic season, various sports seasons also start up around campus! And students should not just limit themselves to going to a weekly football game. Football games are full of tradition and school spirit, but students can also check out their college’s soccer teams, volleyball teams, or even water polo (if their school has it of course)! Or if you’d rather be on the field, check out your school’s intramural sports schedule! Whether as a spectator or participant, getting involved with more athletic teams can build a much stronger connection between a student and their school.

    Join a New Club

    Embrace the new beginnings that the fall semester offers and try out a new club! This could be something related to a major, minor, or just another passion. Don’t be afraid to branch out and try something new. Maybe give the baking club, drawing club, or even some form of animal-based club a try. Connect with your campus student organization office to learn more about what clubs and organizations are available and how to get involved.

    Visit a Coffee Shop

    Whether it be solo or with a friend, a warm drink or a pastry on a crisp fall day can refresh even the most exhausted student. Check out a new coffee shop that you have never been to before.

    Get Ready for Spooky Season

    The faster the color of the leaves begins to change, the faster Halloween season approaches. Many college students enjoy spending time together in fun Halloween-related activities. This could be through going out in costume, staying in for a spooky movie night, or even finding a way to go out trick or treating! In college, it is also common to see students engage in partner or group costumes! Even though the season may be scary, do not be afraid to have a little fun!

    The start of the academic season can a challenging and stressful time for many. Students should remember to make time for self-care and have some fun during their 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! 

  • An overhead view of a group of eleven college students sitting around two tables.

    How to Get Involved on Campus and Keep the Perfect Balance

    Alex Santoro

    As a college student, we are often stuck inside our own bubbles within our colleges and universities. There is a constant routine of going to class, studying, doing daily activities, and repeating the same things over and over. As time goes on, having the same routine can get tiring; college is a time to try new things.

    Change Up Your Routine

    One way to change your routine up is to become more involved on your campus. Campus involvement is something that can provide many professional, social, and fun opportunities. There are so many kinds of organizations on our campuses, and there is a chance that you can even create your own! Some kinds of organizations that would be great to be involved in are academic and social organizations, Greek life, or even organizations like student government. Most campuses provide a very diverse number of organizations that you can join.

    Schedule Time for Involvement

    As a college student attending classes and being involved, I have had issues with keeping the perfect balance between my academic, social, and work lifestyles. One thing that I did to perfect the balance between everything was to create a planner and schedule out my weeks ahead of time. When you take time to create a schedule and put information into a planner, it can tremendously improve the balance of everything that you are juggling.

    Start Each Semester by Noting All Due Dates

    When you are in multiple different classes, it can be hard to keep up with certain deadlines. At the beginning of each semester, I put all the due dates for all assignments, quizzes, and exams into my planner. This gives me the big picture when I look at my planner every week and see the things that I must complete for my classes. Another helpful tip is to color code your classes when you write down all the deadlines so that when you look at your planner every day, you can quickly see which class is which. You can also add a color for your organization meetings and events.

    Overall, campus involvement is something that every college student should try out. It is important to branch out and put yourself out there to experience the wonders of what colleges can have to offer. It is also very important to keep a good balance between all the things to ensure that you can be successful and work hard towards the end goal, which is obtaining a degree and graduating.

    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!