Students blog

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

Explore posts in other areas.

PreK-12Higher EducationProfessional

  • A person’s hand holding a white reusable water bottle in front of a made bed with a black cat throw pillow.

    The Power of a Morning Routine: Boosting Success and Productivity

    Cassidy Chinn

    In our fast-paced world, success often seems like an elusive goal. But what if I told you that the key to success could be as simple as a well-structured morning routine? Imagine starting each day with purpose, focus, and a clear path to achieving your goals. When you set yourself up for success at the start of the day it is bound to make you shine brighter. Whether you're an early bird or a night owl, there's a morning routine that can work for you.

    Join us on a journey to unlock your full potential by mastering the art of a successful morning routine. With the right habits and mindset, you can set yourself on a trajectory toward success, one morning at a time. Follow my morning checklist or edit it to match your lifestyle:

    1. Hydration: The First Step to Wellness

    The moment you wake up, your body is in need of hydration after a night's rest. Drinking a glass of water first thing in the morning can kickstart your metabolism, flush out toxins, and rehydrate your body. This simple habit not only energizes you but also supports your overall health.

    2. Find Order in Chaos: Making Your Bed

    Your environment can impact your attitude and productivity more than you might realize. This is why I start every morning by making my bed. Making your bed may seem like a mundane task, but it sets a tone of discipline and order for your day. This small accomplishment can give you a sense of control over your environment, reducing stress and creating a more organized space. Additionally, a neatly made bed can make your bedroom feel more inviting, contributing to a positive atmosphere.

    3. A Morning Stroll: Connecting with Nature

    Taking a walk in the morning, even if it's just for a short period, has multiple benefits. It allows you to get some fresh air, soak in vitamin D from the sun, and clear your mind. This simple physical activity can boost your mood, enhance creativity, and increase your overall alertness, setting you up for a productive day ahead.

    4. Mindful Moments: Meditation

    Incorporating meditation into your morning routine can have a profound impact on your mental and emotional well-being. Taking even just a few minutes to sit in silence, focus on your breath, or practice mindfulness can reduce stress and anxiety. It helps you center yourself, boost your concentration, and improve your decision-making skills.

    Maintaining a morning routine requires discipline and consistency, which are crucial qualities for success. When you stick to a routine, you're more likely to stay on track with your goals and complete tasks in a timely manner. By prioritizing self-care through your morning routine, you're investing in your mental health. A peaceful and mindful start to the day can help you manage anxiety and build emotional resilience, making you more adaptable to challenges. These simple habits, when practiced consistently, can lead to increased energy, reduced stress, improved focus, and enhanced mental and physical well-being.

    Ultimately, these positive changes in your daily life can pave the way for greater success and productivity in all aspects of your life. So, why wait? Start your morning routine today and experience the transformative power it can have on your 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! 

     

  • A group of college students playing indoor hockey in a campus gym.

    Maintaining Your Health During Freshman Year

    Cooper Grahek

    College is an exciting time for many young adults. For most, it’s their first time away from home and they have an opportunity to explore the world on their own. However, with this newfound freedom comes a lot of stress. This stress is something that I had a hard time handling properly. It took a toll not only on my mental health, but my physical health as well.

    During my freshman year I found myself locked in my room and doing homework all the time. I struggled to allow myself to do anything besides homework and felt a level of stress when I did. I never went to the gym, wasn’t staying active, and most importantly I wasn’t eating the best. I would often catch myself getting stuck in a “buffet mentality” at the dining hall and constantly never felt full. This led to me eating pizza and drinking soda with nearly every meal.

    Coming into college I was a little underweight for my height, and all I wanted was to put on some muscle. Instead, I put on fat, and quite a bit of it. Although eating was my main issue, never going to the gym didn’t help. By the time Christmas break came around I could tell I had put on some pounds, and not in the way I wanted. I knew I had to make a change. Instead of letting stress control my life, I used it to fuel my motivation to find interests that helped me escape, whether it was going to the gym or doing some other physical activity.

    Don’t let the stress of college control your life like it controlled mine. Physical health is one of the most important things that lead to a long life. You also need to watch what you put in your body as fatty and unhealthy foods can lead to you feeling worse about yourself and increase the stress you already feel.

    There is more to college than just the school portion. Remember that and always try to take care of your body both physically and mentally.

    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 close-up of someone’s hand drawing in a sketchbook.

    Stretch Your Brain by Keeping a Sketchbook

    David Marquez

    A sketchbook allows you to create a visual and textual imprint of your thoughts. Image-making is an inherent fascination of the human mind. Through sketching, you can wholly render and express your thoughts. Like a journal, a sketchbook is a key to your consciousness; keeping one on your person always allows you to communicate emotion.

    You don’t have to be an artist; a sketchbook can simultaneously be notes and images of your environment. You could be jotting down notes in class or drawing while waiting outside.

    Sketchbooks offer consistent mental exercise. The dynamic between the visual and textual speaks to how we comprehend information. It relaxes us; it empowers us to take what we see, hear, and feel, and communicate it through ourselves. Keeping a sketchbook allows you to connect with yourself and your environment.

    Like Journaling with a Twist!

    Sketching is commonly associated with an artist or a designer; however, you don’t need to be one to do it! Having a sketchbook gives you a visual diary of your life. We are connected to a visible environment: I love to sit outside and sketch my surroundings; however, I also use my sketchbook as a facet of internal comprehension. Whether through words or putting pen to paper and expressing myself on the page, I write and draw my feelings and frustrations.

    You don’t have to be a master at drawing to sketch; you don’t even have to make art: sketching is about getting an idea, feeling, or emotion onto paper. When you journal or write, you describe your life in words; however, in a sketchbook, you can use form, line, or even color to lay out your thinking.

    Like a journal, a sketchbook can be a private diary, but it can also be a place to take notes and observe (you can even write in it like a journal). There are no bounds to your imagination!

    Doodle All the Time!

    Doodling keeps your brain relaxed and communitive. We have so many distractions: lights, sounds, etc. When you sketch, your hand glides across the paper's surface. You're not thinking about the final product; you ease back, and your thoughts start to clear. The agitated atmosphere within your head drifts away.

    It’s easy to find yourself bored in class. It happens to me quite frequently. The notes seem to fade away and you find yourself drifting into the background. However, in front of you, that notebook or homework sheet, you have a piece of paper. What can bring you back out of your mind can be doodling across the borders of your paper. Surprisingly, this focuses you back into the world and your environment. By giving your mind time to relax, you actively retain knowledge presented by the professor.

    So, when you find yourself drifting away into the realm of boredom, try doodling in your sketchbook or on your paper. You can even sketch and take notes, which is my favorite thing to do in lecture classes!

    Our mind is a significant part of us. Stretch your brain and give it some time to breathe. We’re a visual culture: by creating images, we can communicate our thoughts, feelings, and emotions into the perceivable world.

    Do you have a compelling story or student success tips you’d like to see published on the Pearson Students blog?  If you are a college student and interested in writing for us – click here to pitch your idea and get started! 

  • A tabletop featuring a variety of dishes featuring eggs, potatoes, and bagels.

    Quick and Easy Vegetarian Recipes for College Students

    Keya Soni

    Do you want to get more active, but have a super busy schedule and feel drained at times? I love working out as it relieves my stress and calms my anxieties, especially as a college student, but sometimes managing that and school can be difficult. Some days, I feel extremely overwhelmed and exhausted, but that is my body’s way of telling me to fuel myself and relax a bit. Food is fuel but eating clean can be difficult when you’re living on campus.

    As a Hindu, I have been vegetarian my whole life, so I did not have many choices when eating out in the area where I grew up. These limitations led me to seek the one place I could rely on: The Kitchen.

    My kitchen has become one of my safe havens as it is reliable and never fails to keep me satisfied. I can adjust anything to my liking, as can you. Here are some of my favorite quick and easy vegetarian recipes that keep me energized for my workouts. I make most of these ahead of time so all I have to do is heat them up or put them on a plate and go!

    Blueberry Bites

    Cook time: ~15 minutes after prep

    What you’ll need:

    • 1 pack blueberries
    • nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt
    • dark or milk chocolate
    • Another amazing option: raspberries and white chocolate

    I found this recipe on TikTok and I love it! Wash your pack of blueberries and let them dry. Then mix the blueberries with a few large dollops of Greek yogurt. Place a cluster onto a sheet and freeze for a few hours. (I like to do this in the morning before class.) Then, dip each one into melted chocolate and wait for them to harden in a fridge for a few minutes and save for later or enjoy!

    Japanese Style Egg Sandwich

    Cook time: ~25 minutes

    What you’ll need:

    • bread (I prefer milk bread)
    • 3-4 hard-boiled eggs
    • 1 T. kewpie mayo
    • sriracha
    • salt and pepper

    Boil your eggs for about 8-9 minutes. Separate the yolks from the whites. In a bowl, mash your yellows with a tablespoon of mayo and as much sriracha (for the heat) as you wish. Season with some salt and pepper. Next, chop the egg whites into medium sized pieces and softly combine with the yolk. Cut the crust off the bread and lay the mixture in between. Cut in half and enjoy!

    Peanut Sauce Crispy Tofu

    Cook time: ~30 minutes

    What you’ll need:

    • extra firm tofu
    • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
    • 2 tablespoons sriracha
    • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
    • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
    • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
    • 1 teaspoon sesame seed oil
    • cooked rice
    • chopped vegetables of your choice (I like bell peppers, tomatoes, and broccoli)

    This is one of my most filling recipes and helps me achieve my protein goals. I like to chop up all my vegetables first and set them aside. I cube my tofu and cook it over medium to high heat in a few tablespoons of oil in a large pan. Cook for around 10-15 minutes, ensuring all sides get crispy. I’ve noticed that my tofu is even crispier when I cook in avocado oil, but any oil works! While that is cooking, work on your sauce. Heat 1-2 tablespoons of peanut butter in the microwave for 20 seconds and stir. Add in equal parts of sriracha and soy sauce, about 2-3 tablespoons. Then, add in 1-2 tablespoons of maple syrup, 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon of sesame seed oil, and mix. It should be a slightly thick and slightly runny consistency. When your tofu is almost done, stir fry in your vegetables for a few minutes. Add your sauce and serve over some warm rice!

    I hope that some of these gave you inspiration for some vegetarian recipes for those days when you are trying to cut down on meat consumption but eat healthy and flavorful food.

    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 early sunrise over a lake featuring a dock and two small boats on the water.

    How to Become a Morning Person

    Katherine Scott

    Rise and shine! Waking up in the morning can be hard but persistently working on changing your sleeping habits can ease the morning slog. As a natural night owl, I decided that I needed to make a change to become an early bird. On this journey I learned a few lessons that I’d like to share with anyone who wants to become a morning person.

    Ditch the Afternoon Coffee

    Caffeine is a stimulant so drinking caffeine late in the day can create a disruptive sleep schedule. Many studies have shown that caffeine causes some people to be kept awake or to wake up periodically throughout the night. However, morning coffee is a positive; it can help boost morning energy levels and create that morning routine.

    Seek out Natural Light

    You might want to rethink the blackout curtains you currently utilize. It is important to let the natural light come in and help wake you up. Natural light plays an important role in suppressing the hormone melatonin. The less amount of melatonin you have in your system the more likely you are to feel awake and have the greater ability to seize the day.

    Workout in the Morning

    A sweat session is a great way to begin each day. Research has shown that early morning movement can help improve mood. The workout will increase endorphins and dopamine in the body; these are feel-good neurotransmitters. If you do this, you will start your day off in the best mental state. I always recommend prepping your workout stuff the night before, so you have no excuses.

    No Snooze Policy

    The key to this process is to set up a routine for yourself; setting up boundaries with the snooze button is a great step. This will force you to get out of bed immediately. The first couple early mornings I didn’t trust myself to not hit the snooze button, so I set my alarm clock across the room. This ensured that I physically got out of bed to turn it off.

    Implementing these changes can make the seemingly impossible feat of becoming a morning person seem effortless. Over the past year that I have been implementing these changes, I have been given a healthier and more productive lifestyle.

    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 female college student reads a book and listens to music with headphones

    Boost Your Brain Power Through Reading

    Myaya Morton

    The action of reading, no matter how big or small, improves memory and concentration. It involves a complex network or brain circuits and signals. Reading more and more strengthens those networks and reduces stress by lowering your heart rate and blood pressure. When reading there are multiple processes that happen starting with word analysis and visualization and ending with vocalization and comprehension.

    Reading Improves Memory

    Reading can actually improve memory because of the multiple brain functions involved. It allows more time for the brain to stop; you have to think about what you read, process it, and then imagine what is happening in the story. These particular steps help you recall information and sharpen your memory.

    Increases Vocabulary

    Scientists Timothy Keller and Marcel Just discovered that intense reading in young children causes the brain to physically rewire itself and create more white matter which improves communication hence why some young children have a more developed vocabulary than their peers. Reading is also contagious so if you read to or around children, they are more likely to read on their own.

    Increase Attention Span

    Nowadays it is easy to grow bored because everything is becoming routine – getting off work or out of class and watching a series on Netflix. Reading actually increases your attention span. Due to the sequential narrative style, the author has to keep you engaged thus increasing your attention span. While books come in digital formats now (audio and etext), reading a physical book can create a stronger impact due to the connection your sense of touch makes with your brain.

    Helps Relax and Promote Sleep

    Ever had trouble falling asleep and decided to watch some television to help? Using screens like your phone, tablet or television can actually keep you awake longer and cause you to lose sleep. Reading a book helps you relax after a long day which allows you to go to sleep easier.

    This summer, grab a good book and spend the day reading. It’s said that it takes twenty-one days to build a habit and ninety days to build a lifestyle so why not make reading one. Remember, it is one of the healthiest hobbies in the world!

    Do you have a compelling story or student success tips you’d like to see published on the Pearson Students blog?  If you are a college student and interested in writing for us – click here to pitch your idea and get started! 

  • A female student lies outside in the grass, propped up on her elbows and reading a book.

    Re-discover Reading for Fun with this Summer Reading List

    Madeline Beavis

    Students do so much academic reading for their classes that the joy of a good book is often forgotten! After reading hundreds of textbook pages during my first year in college, I’m sad to say that I, like many of my friends, lost my connection to one of my favorite pastimes: pleasure reading. Reading is a fantastic way to reduce stress, explore an author’s creative world, and exercise the mind without even realizing it! So, let’s reignite a passion for reading with 5 book recommendations from a variety of genres... happy reading!

    Who doesn’t love a twist on a good fairy tale? Check out Cinder by Marie Lu.

    Jump into a world where humans and androids attempt to coexist, a plague ravages the Earth, and those with special gifts live on the moon. Cinder, a well-known mechanic from New Beijing of the Eastern Commonwealth, spends her days trying to escape her stepmother and stepsisters who can be awfully wicked. In a whirlwind of ballgowns, royalty, and secrets, Cinder becomes the center of a cosmic war, and she may just be the key to saving humanity. Follow Cinder’s story in The Lunar Chronicles series, preceding Scarlet, Cress, and Winter, where she must distinguish friend from foe in order to find her happily ever after.

    Are you a science fiction enthusiast? Pick up The Martian by Andy Weir.

    If you think Mother Nature is merciless on Earth, try living on Mars. When botanist-astronaut Mark Watney is accidentally left behind on his crew's Hermes mission, it appears he may be the first person to walk on the Red Planet as well as die there. Over 128 million miles from home, running low on food and water, and lacking a way to communicate with Earth, Watney must use all his astronomical knowledge in order to survive. Can he overcome the planetary elements, or will he stay lost in space forever?

    Maybe you’re looking for an inspiring, true story? Educated by Tara Westover is perfect for you.

    Tara Westover’s memoir was named one of the top ten best books of the year in 2018 by the New York Times. Westover recounts her experience growing up as a daughter of Mormon survivalists. Living in the mountains of Idaho, she was almost completely isolated from modern society. She was seventeen when she first stepped into a classroom and after watching one of her brothers get into college, she knew she wanted a different life for herself. Traveling thousands of miles away from the safety of the mountain, even making it to some of the most prestigious universities, her educational journey opened her eyes to the wonders of the world around her. Take the trip with Westover as she acquires knowledge from all corners of the globe, battling superstition, lack of self-confidence, while wondering if she’s drifted just slightly too far from the mountains.

    Unsure of what the world could look like in a couple hundred years? Consider this future in Legend by Marie Lu.

    The western United States is a region of the past, rebuilt and now known as the Republic. Growing up in two very different worlds, child prodigy, June Iparis, and the government’s most wanted criminal, Day Wing, meet under extreme circumstances: the murder of June’s brother where Day is the prime suspect. June is on a mission to avenge her brother while Day is determined to help his impoverished family survive. As the chase continues, the truth begins to unfold and sends blame circulating through the Republic until it becomes clear there are a lifetime of secrets kept behind closed doors. Detangle the dystopia in The Legend Series trilogy to find out the real reason for the unpredictable partnership between rags and riches.

    Feeling like a detective? Investigate the supernatural in Gone by Michael Grant.

    Gone. Without a trace. Internet, television, social media all disappear, along with everyone 15 years and older. High school is hard enough without an entire town becoming a fishbowl. An impenetrable barrier has left the remaining teens trapped with no way to call for help. But danger lurks in the shadows. Emotions are running high, food is becoming scarce, animals are mutating, and some kids themselves are discovering they have strange abilities. Deadly abilities. The struggle for control shakes the town and battle lines are drawn. If you’re young, enjoy your stay in the fishbowl while it lasts because on your 15th birthday you will vanish as well, just like the adults. And you don’t come back. Are all the teens doomed to an early death or does safety lie beyond the barrier?

    Summer is a time when many college students are able to slow down and get some much-needed relaxation. Reading for pleasure is a great way to do just that. No matter what book you choose, take some time this summer to re-discover reading for fun and enjoyment!

    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! 

  • Student, Rachel Stennett blowing bubbles against a blue sky with heart and flower illustrations and the words 'Redefining Health and Beauty' in white.

    Redefining Health and Beauty: Mindsets and Affirmations for Your Best Self

    Rachel Stennett

    It’s hard to talk about diets and nutritional tracking without mentioning the social and psychological implications surrounding these topics. It is crucial to remember that while changing your lifestyle can be conducive to your health, it can become destructive if taken to the point of obsession. Societal expectations unfortunately do not help with this issue. For years, the media has shaped what the ideal of “happy, healthy, and beautiful” should look like, especially for young adults. With each generation, a new physique is idolized along with a new fad diet to help the “average” person reach these ideals. While the effects of these diets often end up being short-term, the negative effects on body image and relationship with food are often long-term. My own battles with body image and unhealthy eating habits have attracted me to the field of dietetics and nutritional health. Even though I still struggle from time to time, one of the most helpful tools in overcoming these issues is changing the way I create my definition of health. In this blog, I want to address some of the movements and affirmations that helped me redefine what my best self looks and feels like.

    Movements

    Healthy at Every Size (HAES)

    One of the hardest obstacles I had to overcome with my body image is that no matter how much I changed my lifestyle habits, I would never look like the physique I was chasing after. Something would always be a little off — in the scale, the mirror, in pictures. The Healthy At Every Size (HAES) movement pivots away from many of the focuses within traditional dieting methods. Rather than focusing on losing weight, restricting diets, and intense exercise routines, HAES encourages participants to focus on accepting their size and trusting their bodies. When it comes to vital ratings, it is shown that participants who adopt this approach to health often have lower blood pressure and lower cholesterol than strict dieting groups. Instead of calculating what a healthy physique looks like for a person based on algorithms, HAES recognizes that healthy body weight may vary just like our shoe sizes and heights. There’s no set perfect weight for every individual.

    Mindful eating and eating in moderation

    Mindful eating and eating in moderation fall under the HAES dogma. In these practices, following natural hunger cues is encouraged over restricting foods and caloric intake. Since no food is declared as being “bad” or “good” for your health, a varied diet of all types of foods is highly recommended. This is not to say that eating sugary, salty, and highly processed foods are a free-for-all or that supersized portions are encouraged. Rather, these practices seek to remove the anxiety and obsessive tendencies that following a strict diet may create. To this day, I catch myself feeling guilty for eating out multiple times a day or eating a second serving of dessert since my previous diet plans would not allow for it. By adopting mindful eating and eating in moderation, I am slowly relearning that it is OK to have a second slice of cake if I’m hungry, as long as my overall diet is still varied with fruits and vegetables.

    Affirmations

    Your clothes should fit you

    Another source of insecurity with body image for me, and many college-aged students, is clothing size. There have been many times when I have bought clothing and promised myself I would wear it when I reached my weight loss goals. Conversely, there have been times when I have broken down since clothing I bought a couple of years ago is now too tight. While it may seem silly, it is important to keep in mind that your clothes should fit you; you shouldn’t fit your clothes. Many clothing stores do not follow the same sizing guidelines. Furthermore, it is natural for your body to go through changes over the course of the year and even throughout the day. If something doesn’t fit, don’t get discouraged.

    Your body is capable of amazing things — appreciate it

    The underlying message of this post is to love yourself the way that you are. Follow your health goals to feel your best, not to look like what other people think is your best. Fuel it to be happy, train it to be healthy, and appreciate what it is and is not capable of at the moment. No matter how you look, your body is capable of amazing things.

    I hope you were able to learn a little bit more about nutrition and health. From looking at what nutrients college-aged students are deficient in, to new recipes to include within your daily diet, and finally, to concerns about body image, we have analyzed nutrition on biological, practical, and societal levels.

    For more practice with nutrition tracking and health resources, check out MyDietAnaylsis.  

  • The blog author and her mom standing outside a residence hall on campus.

    Celebrate Mother’s Day!

    Emilie Conners

    Mothers and motherly figures in life play an essential role in developing children into who they become. I believe motherhood requires sacrifice, selflessness, and a LOT of patience. Over the years, as I have gotten older, I have come to realize the true effort my mother put into raising and supporting me. Mother’s Day is a day certainly worth celebrating each year. Whether you celebrate your mother on this day, or a different woman who simply encompasses what that word means to you, here are some ways to ensure that person feels appreciated today.

    Quality Time

    I know you saw this one coming and it is a given, but make sure to spend quality time with mom today! It truly is what means the most to them and it doesn’t have to be anything crazy. Something as simple as putting on your mom’s favorite show and watching it with her will surely bring her joy.

    Start Her Day Right

    Another great option is making/bringing your mom her favorite breakfast. Almost all moms love breakfast (especially coffee). Make a stop by her favorite breakfast stop or just grab her favorite coffee and she will be so happy!!

    Simple Gifts

    Now for a great Mother’s Day gift, my go-to is always a nice picture frame with her favorite recent picture of the two of you or the whole family, whatever is best suited. You can get a great 4x6 picture frame at most stores for under $6. Along with that, you can get your favorite picture printed out for just a few cents!! A sweet gift that she’ll put on her desk or bedside table that will always make her think of you!

    Get Her Some Flowers

    Now this one you definitely already thought of, but I couldn’t just leave it out. Flowers. A nice bouquet always looks great on the kitchen table on Mother’s Day. Your local grocery store will most definitely be selling beautiful flowers around this time so just be sure to stop by the day before, so the best ones aren’t all gone!

    Overall, I think Mother’s Day becomes more special each year. We learn new things about our moms each year that make us further appreciate the time and energy they put into raising us. No matter what you do, just make sure your mom knows how much you appreciate her and all she’s done for you. Moms truly are gifts, and they certainly don’t get enough credit for all that they do.

    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!