• Graduating and Missing a Loved One

    by Michelle Gomez

    Blog author Michelle Gomez stands on a park bridge, surrounded by her father, mother, and two younger sisters holding a portrait of her late sister.

    For any graduating senior who has lost somebody special to them, there's nothing you want more than for that person to be there for when you graduate college. Dealing with the death of a loved one can be particularly difficult for college students – trust me, I know. My sister died during my sophomore year of college. I felt like I was not grieving properly because of the overwhelming energy grief requires on top of the demands of being a student. But I learned that there is no right or wrong way to grieve, and I found healthy ways to cope that, in time, renewed me and permitted me to live again with a hole in my heart.

    Milestones can be painful

    Fast forward to 2021 and I’ll be graduating in a few short weeks. Graduating is a HUGE milestone. Whether you’re graduating from middle school, high school, or college - you’ve made it. However, milestones like birthdays and graduation can be painful after someone you love dies. As I graduate from college on May 15th, I am thinking about whether my sister is proud of me and imagining how big her smile would be on my graduation day.

    As this bittersweet chapter of my life ends, the only thing monopolizing my thoughts is knowing that she won’t be there to hug me and say congratulations as I receive my college diploma. It absolutely kills me inside knowing that no matter how much I cry and plea, she isn’t coming back. The worst part is that there's nothing I can do to change that.

    Celebrate with their memory in mind

    Learning how to include my sister when big moments arrive has helped me both celebrate my accomplishments and remember her. I incorporate my sister into my daily life by wearing a bracelet with a charm with her name on it. I wear it every day and whenever I feel sad, I hold it and remember that she is always with me.

    Instead of dwelling about how sad and awful it is without her there, I think of all the happiness graduating brings to me and of all the people that have been there for me. There's nothing I wouldn't do to have my sister there at the end of this journey. But I know in my heart, she has been there every single step. I also know how proud she is of me for everything I've accomplished. I know that she’s truly been my guardian angel and made sure I got to this point. She also left me in great hands because I am loved incredibly by my family and my friends. From my incredible mother and grandmother to my little sisters and best friends, finally to all the people I call my family and friends, I am so blessed.

    Graduating college isn't just for me, it's for them and it's for her.

    Mairim, I love you so much.

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

    by Kiara Smith

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

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

    A 2-for-1 deal

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

    A listening ear

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

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

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

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  • Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

    by Sidney Li

    Blog author Sidney Li stands arm-in-arm with eight others in front of a background with dragons.

    May. A time when school is out, and summer is just around the corner. The dreary days of sitting in a classroom are replaced by sunshine and pools. In addition to all this, as of 1992, it is also the month dedicated to Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage.

    May was chosen in honor of the first Japanese to immigrate to the United States (US) on May 7, 1983, along with the anniversary of the transcontinental railroad being completed on May 10, 1869—which was predominately laid by Chinese immigrants.

    As a Chinese and Vietnamese American, I have grown up with few Asian role models in media. This perpetuated the idea that I assumed everyone who would be famous had to be Caucasian. However, when I found Brenda Song portraying London Tipton in Suite Life of Zack and Cody, I learned that didn’t have to be true; it is a norm created by the lack of diversity in Hollywood.

    Now, more than ever, it is important to commemorate the importance of diversity. Here are some reasons why Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month is important and should be acknowledged.

    1. The presence of Asian Americans is one of the fastest-growing groups of eligible voters in the US. In a May 2020 study conducted by the Pew Research Center, there are more than 11 million Asian Americans who will be eligible to vote and comprise nearly 5 percent of the eligible voters in the country. Not only that but in the last 20 years, the number of eligible Asian American voters increased 139 percent.
    2. This month helps dispel the “Model Minority Myth” that obscures the essentials of many underserved populations within the AAPI community. The model minority myth is a consistent assumption of the AAPI communities’ achievements and shedding only positive light; whilst ignoring the obstacles that hinder these same communities from achieving higher education, healthcare, jobs, and more due to the stigmas, limited communication, stereotypes, poverty, socioeconomic factors, and status as an immigrant. With that, this same stereotype also further divides other minority groups who struggle with representation too.
    3. It brings awareness of the injustices that the AAPI community have faced throughout history and today. From the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and the Japanese internment camps, these acts were conducted out of racism towards AAPI populations. Despite the overturning and end of these events, racism and discrimination are still apparent today in the US. On March 2020, the Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council created a stop AAPI hate reporting center. Within the first month, it received about 1,500 reports of coronavirus related discrimination towards AAPI members.
    4. Learning more about AAPI history allows people to be more knowledgeable of other cultures in our country. Having knowledge of the enriched history of the US besides being taught in school allows students to be more aware of their society. For example, AAPIs have played crucial roles in shaping the country’s history with protecting the nation in war by building the first transcontinental railroad.

    It is extremely important to continue valuing and celebrating diversity within all aspects of life. This May, I hope you take time to learn about and appreciate Asian American and Pacific Islander culture and heritage.

    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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  • College Moveout: A Complete Checklist

    by Kamish Tajuddin

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

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

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

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

    Prep

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

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

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

    Pack and Load

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

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

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

    Departure

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

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

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

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  • How to Ace an Interview

    by Paige DelBrocco

    A laptop screen shows a presentation slide with the words, “How to Ace an Interview’ on a pink background.

    The interview process for jobs and internships is one of the most stressful things that a college student can experience. We have all had our fair share of automated rejection emails or just no response at all. Although the entire process is quite overwhelming and nerve-wracking, it is extremely rewarding once you finally get that offer. From making sure to be yourself to figuring out which questions to ask the interviewer, there are a few key things you should know before walking into your interview. Here are some tips and tricks that have worked for me to ace an interview!

    Do your research

    It is so important to research as much as you possibly can about the company before you have your interview. Not only should you understand what the company does, but you should also think about why you want to work there in the first place. By researching the company, you are able to understand what it is that they do and why, and whether it would be a good fit for you. Completing this research prepares you to answer that first question without hesitation: “Why are you interested in working here?”

    Ask questions

    I have been told time and time again from my mentors to ask questions during an interview, and it is excellent advice. Not only does it show that you are interested in the position, but it helps you understand the role better. An interview is not a one-way street; it goes both ways. You need to make sure that the role suits your own experiences and professional aspirations. When you ask questions, you can get a much better understanding of the opportunity that you are exploring.

    When it comes to figuring out which questions to ask, I have found that preparing a few before the interview relieves some stress for me. Although it is important to have questions in your mind beforehand, you should ask questions throughout the entire interview based on what the interviewer is sharing with you.

    Be yourself

    I realized early on in my interviewing experience that it is vital that you stay true to yourself and avoid putting on a new face to impress your interviewer. They want to know who you are, not who you are pretending to be. Being straight-forward about your personality, skills and experiences is the only way to go. By being yourself and sharing what you can bring to the table, you will gain the respect of your interviewer in no time.

    Believe me, I know interviews are stressful—especially when you want nothing more than to receive an offer. Don’t let the fear of interviewing hold you back from pursuing your professional endeavors because by following these tips, I promise you will be able to ace that interview.

    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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  • A Guide to Finding the Perfect Off-Campus Housing

    by Jacquie Dunworth

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

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

    Getting started

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

    Living with friends

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

    Living alone

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

    Living with strangers

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

    Signing the lease

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

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

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

     

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