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 fraternity men standing in a group outside their fraternity house.

    Finding Service Opportunities at Your School

    Jack Byrne

    Looking for something fulfilling to do in your free time? Service is a great way to get involved on your campus and serve those who are less fortunate. It also helps you meet new people, make connections, and have experiences that you won’t find anywhere else. As college students, we spend most of our time on our campus, so my goal is to provide you with ways to find service opportunities and get involved at your school.

    My Experience

    I am a sophomore at the University of Dayton, and I have already been fortunate enough to participate in multiple service activities. Most recently I helped with Dayton’s Christmas on Campus, which is a night of fun activities on campus that young children in the Dayton area can enjoy. I rode on one of the buses that went to pick up second grade students from a local school, and I was able to interact and hang out with them on the ride back to campus, where they were paired with a buddy and were free to roam around and enjoy the experience. Many of the schools that attend are in poorer areas, so it gives the kids there a fun thing to do around the holidays. It was a very rewarding experience, and I’m glad I took part.

    Ways to Get Involved at Your School

    Oftentimes, the reason that people don’t participate in service is because they are unaware of the opportunities around them. I quickly found Dayton’s service website by looking up “University of Dayton Service.” I was introduced to many different service options and learned that we have 40+ clubs dedicated to service. I encourage you to try the same search with your school and the results will probably surprise you. I tried this search with various other schools across the country and every school had at least one page detailing service opportunities that they offer.

    Another great pathway to service is Greek Life. I know that Greek Life is not for everyone, but you don’t always have to actually be a member of a fraternity or sorority to take part in their various service activities. Following various Greek organizations on social media will keep you up to date with service opportunities they are hosting, and often it is as simple as donating money for a good cause. A few fun ones I have taken part in were people donating a few dollars to pie me in the face, and playing in a basketball tournament for women’s health. There are great opportunities everywhere, you just have to know where to find them!

    To wrap things up, service is a fulfilling way to spend your time, and it is something you should always approach with an open mind. I have been hesitant to commit to service opportunities in the past, but every time I said yes, I have been so pleased with my experience. I encourage you to take action at your school and bring along some of your friends. You won’t regret it.

    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 full football stadium at the University of Iowa. The marching band is on the field and many fans are wearing black and gold.

    A Tradition Greater Than Football

    Lauren O'Brien

    It’s a Saturday in the fall, the weather is a crisp fall breeze in the air. Melrose Avenue is crowded with tailgates, food trucks, fan shops, and the colors black and gold flood the sidewalk and streets. This is the scene of an Iowa Hawkeye Football game day. As a student coming to the University of Iowa, this was the experience I could not wait to have. I could barely wait to start attending the tailgates, spending time with my friends, and watching the Iowa Hawkeyes play on Saturdays.

    Inside the stadium, a tradition takes place every game after the first quarter – the tradition that is greater than football – the Hawkeye Wave. This is the moment in the game where the team, fans, and opponents wave to the patients in the University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital, which sits adjacent to the Hawkeye’s Kinnick Stadium. This is the moment in the game where the teams come together and support the children and families who are receiving care.

    As a student that has experienced this chilling moment, it has taught me that there are greater things in life than going to football games. No matter how many times I have had this experience, I have chills rush down my body. I’ve taken three inspirations from the Hawkeye Wave: to be thankful for what I have, to give back to the community, and finally, to smile and wave.

    Be Grateful

    One way I show gratitude is by writing down three things I am thankful for in a journal before bed. This has allowed me to reflect on my day and be thankful for what I have and not dwell on what I do not have. Other ways I show gratitude is by reaching out to friends or family who I haven’t talked to in a while and letting them know I am thinking about them and hope they are well. If you are reading this, it is your reminder to reach out to someone you haven’t talked to in a while, share how much you appreciate them!

    Give Back

    As a college student, I have many opportunities to give back to those in need. A few ways I have done this is by creating cards for cancer patients, volunteering at a local elementary school, and participating in blood drives. I am fortunate to be on a campus that offers and advertises so many ways to give back to the community. Even though I may not be recognized for my efforts, I appreciate the feeling of knowing I have helped individuals in my community. I am working to encourage others to seek out opportunities to give back to the community because I believe no matter who you are, you have a gift to share with this world.

    Smile and Wave

    From a young age, my mom always told me to treat others with kindness. One small way to show kindness is through simply smiling and waving. If you know the person, greet them with their name and tell them how great it is to see them. If it is a stranger, just take a second to smile and wave. At the end of the day, you never know who may need the extra positivity and kindness.

    I find these three actions – keeping a gratitude journal, volunteering, and greeting others – help make me feel a little more fulfilled. Every small act of kindness can make a difference.

    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 tropical beach setting with blue sky and whit puffy clouds.

    Three Actions to Take Better Care of our Planet

    Emilie Conners

    April 22nd. You might remember this day in elementary school as the day your teacher gave you coloring pages with themes of trees, the ocean, and recycling. However, the older we get, the more important this day becomes. Earth Day is all about educating yourself on the ways that you can practice taking better care of the planet. Excess waste is a huge contributor to pollution which harms the earth’s atmosphere which, in turn, will harm us.

    There are tons of different factors that impact the planet and many small lifestyle changes that can make a difference. Here are 3 actions we can practice to take better care of our planet, on Earth Day and every day!

    Help Clean Up

    One easy way to celebrate Earth Day is to participate in a trash cleanup! Joining a big group event or getting together with some friends to remove trash from parks, lakes, beaches, and rivers, all makes a difference. Participating in these types of events helps reduce waste and plastic pollution, plus protects the environment for both wildlife and humans.

    Shop Smarter

    Fast fashion is another culprit of causing extremely high emissions of pollution into our atmosphere. Educating yourself on environmentally friendly fashion choices will help move the world closer towards sustainability.

    Adapt To an Environmentally Friendly Lifestyle

    There are many small lifestyle changes you can make that can make a difference. You can reduce your plastic usage by using reusable bags when you go grocery shopping. Further reduce your plastic usage by taking a reusable water bottle with you. Look for ways to regularly recycle plastic, aluminum, and glass where you live. Making a few of these small changes in the way you live your life can dramatically change the impact you have on the planet and the example you set for others.

    Find More Ways to Celebrate Earth Day

    It can be easy to forget the impact we have on the planet by the actions we take every day; therefore, Earth Day serves as an important reminder. There are tons of changes you can make today to help better the planet and focus on keeping it healthy and beautiful.

    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 goldendoodle dog is standing in the front seat of a car. The dog has a small blue and pink bow on top of its head.

    The K-9 Touch

    Maria Lutz

    On August 26th, social media is flooded with pictures of canines of all shapes and sizes for National Dog Day. If you're anything like me, a single dog's presence can make you smile even on the lowest of days. Dogs can offer a distinct kind of companionship and emotional support that even humans can’t mimic! Whether they're bouncing around just because they're happy to see you or licking the tears off your face because they can see you've had a rough day, your dog will always be there for you.  

  • Blog author KC and a fellow student hold up part of a white banner that says ‘Yam Jam 2022’.

    Don’t Dread Volunteering

    KC Cooper

    Volunteering can help you gain real world experience by giving back to your community. High school students can use volunteering as a resume booster for colleges or trade school while college students can use it to apply to a master’s program or as a steppingstone in the workforce.

    But volunteering doesn’t have to be boring or merely a box on your checklist. When you volunteer, you are helping someone and that is a rewarding feeling. Everyone should volunteer at least once in their lives so they can promote a sense of community as well as gain valuable life skills by working with others.

    Below are some volunteering opportunities that may be in your city/area:

    1. Food Bank

    Most cities and states typically have food banks or food pantries that are open for volunteers WITHOUT any experience! You can expect to do a variety of tasks such as bagging potatoes or sorting cans from food drives.

    2. Community Garden

    Colleges, small towns, or a close neighborhood near you may have a community garden that is open to volunteers. Although it may seem like skills are needed, the tasks are usually things anyone can do. The spring and summer months may lead to more volunteers needed due to the fact that gardens flourish in warm weather. You can expect to water plants, weed around the vegetation, or help with organizational tasks.

    3. Animal Shelter

    Perfect for animal lovers, your local animal shelter may accept volunteers to help them take care of the future pets! Most places require a volunteer application and may or may not require experience. Volunteers may participate in a broad set of tasks ranging from feeding the animals to daily health checks.

    It is also important to note that signing up to volunteer isn’t a lifelong commitment unless you make it one. Most places that have volunteers work on a sign-up basis so you can volunteer when it’s convenient for you and your schedule. When you do volunteer, strive to give your best because whether you volunteer for the hours or volunteer for yourself you have the capability of positively impacting someone’s 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! 

  • Six young female cancer patients are smiling and sitting on a couch. They are wearing make-up and dress-up clothes.

    Pearson Students Partner with Beautifully Loved

    Megan Cistulli, McKinley Falkowski, and Gloria Wang

    “I’m gonna be ugly, Mommy.” The first words out of a six-year-old girl’s mouth as she sat in a hospital bed when she found out she had cancer and was going to lose all of her hair. Everything changed when she met the team from Beautifully Loved at a volunteer event at Dell Children's Blood and Cancer Center.

    After getting permission from her doctors and having the Beautifully Loved beauty teams gear up in protective clothing, the young girl, in isolation getting chemotherapy, received a pamper treatment. At the same time, her mother received a hair and makeup treatment from the beauty teams. The mother stood up after receiving her makeover and glanced at her daughter who just received the pamper treatment. As she stared at her daughter’s face which was covered with a sparkling smile from ear to ear, she said, "You have no idea how important the work you [Beautifully Loved] are doing is for kids like her." She started crying tears of joy as she embraced her daughter. 

    Pearson Student Programs annually partners with a non-profit organization or hospital to create positive impacts in our local communities. Last year, we supported Le Bonheur Children's Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee and collected over $5000 worth of gifts from an Amazon Wishlist. This year, Pearson Student Programs and the student-led Social Impact and Sustainability Team is supporting Beautifully Loved, a nonprofit based in Austin, Texas. Beautifully Loved supports families with children who are battling chronic illnesses by offering pamper days, photography, clothing support, self-esteem workshops, design programs, fashion events, and care packages. 

    The team created an Amazon wishlist to donate items which Beautifully Loved volunteers use to create care packages for the families they serve. In order to match and hopefully surpass last year’s positive social impact, we have more work to do. Join us in supporting Beautifully Loved as they continue to uplift and empower children and their families by showing them that they are truly beautiful—both inside and out. 

    To learn more about Beautifully Loved, please visit

    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! 


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    Volunteering: Making the most of your time and theirs

    Mckinley Williams

    Every April, National Volunteer Week provides an opportunity to recognize the impact of volunteer service in all types of communities. Volunteering is of special importance to many college students. Scholarships, admissions committees, and potential leadership positions are all looking to see community and civic engagement. Sometimes this can make it feel more like a requirement than an act of service, but with a little effort we can turn that around. 

    Finding the perfect volunteer position for you can take a little time and effort. It is always worthwhile in the end so that you and the community you are serving can get the maximum benefits of your volunteering. Understanding the types of service that exist, learning what makes up a meaningful volunteering experience, and figuring out how to find what you’re passionate about are the keys to maximizing your volunteering experience.  

    Service Options

    The first step to this process is understanding the different types of service you can engage in. Clinical service is often popular for students looking for experience in the medical field, including hospital and clinic settings. This is a good option for people looking for a specific time to come every week. Most college towns also have animal shelters for those who prefer animals over humans. For those who prefer less interaction, food insecurity is an amazing place to start. Soup kitchens and food pantries are always looking for volunteers to cook, clean, and stock shelves. Many campuses even have a food pantry for students suffering from food insecurity. These places are often looking for volunteers and love having a helping hand whenever available. While these are just a few examples, places in your community are always looking for people, you just have to reach out.

    Pick Your Meaning and Passion

    Learning what makes a meaningful experience and figuring out how to maximize your time by finding something you’re passionate about go hand in hand. As a pre-medical student I was primarily focused on finding clinical opportunities where I would volunteer in a hospital setting. While that was great, I was not allowing myself to see the other service opportunities in my community. If I wouldn’t have branched out, I would have never found the local soup kitchen where I have served breakfast every Friday for eight months. Finding an opportunity that makes you excited and gives you something to look forward to every week is the kind of experience everyone wants to find. When you love to serve and are eager to help, both you and the people you are serving are able to reap maximum benefits. 

    My biggest advice throughout this process is to volunteer at a few different local places as one-time experiences, and take time to reflect after each of them. More often than not the type of service that speaks to you the most will reveal itself to you after just one time. But if it doesn’t, that’s OK too; everyone’s experience is different. I can guarantee when you find the right place for you, you will know it. Service is not always about the time you spend, but rather the love, compassion, and concern for others and for your community that you are able to give is.