• How to Get the MOST out of Pearson’s MyLab Math

    by Laura Avellaneda

    A calculator and an iPad on a desk. The iPad screen shows a math problem in the MyLab Math platform.

    After three semesters of using MyLab Math, I consider myself an expert in using it to its full capacity! While many students just know MyLab Math as a tool their professor uses to assign them homework, MyLab provides an abundance of resources that help students to truly master their material.

    Ever stuck on a difficult math problem?

    Math classes can be hard in college, especially if you’re a STEM major! It is common to get stuck on a problem and need some help to solve it. When using MyLab, the first thing you can do is click on the Question Help drop-down in the top right corner which gives you a variety of options to work through the problem and answer it correctly. The ‘Help Me Solve This’ feature will walk you through the exact problem you’re working on step-by-step. MyLab will explain the concept for each step and there will be a few fill-in-the-blanks as you work it out. Once you’ve solved the problem and have the correct answer, MyLab will change the original question on your homework for you to answer! If you don’t think you’ve mastered the concept you can use the ‘View an Example’ feature to see another problem worked out step-by-step.

    Feel like you need more practice?

    If you have a quiz or exam coming, up the best thing you can do to study is practice problems! The Study Plan feature on MyLab Math gives you recommended practice questions and quizzes based on what you need help with the most. Your personalized study plan comes directly from your homework, quizzes, and test performance, so it’s the best tool to get some extra practice in! You can also view hundreds of practice questions under the ‘All Chapters’ tab to practice other concepts.

    Would you prefer a video explanation for solving a problem?

    As a visual learner, the Multimedia Library was super helpful for me to see and hear someone explain a difficult problem step-by-step. Within this resource, you can filter down the chapters and sections to find exactly the practice problems you’re looking for. Not only do they have hundreds of two to four-minute videos explaining practice problems, but they also have videos introducing concepts or entire lectures!

    Next time you’re in a class using MyLab Math, be sure to utilize all of these tools to succeed in your course! MyLab is so much more than just a homework platform – it helps to make learning easy!

    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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  • Stay Focused and Motivated for Online Classes

    by Stephen Chau

    A college student sits cross-legged on the floor leaning against a white brick wall. She has a laptop in her lap and is reading content on the screen.

    Many students were new to online classes when colleges went to virtual classes last year. As we begin a new academic year, even students that are heading back to campus may still find themselves taking some of their classes online.

    Attending online classes can make it challenging for students to give their full attention. There can be many distractions, such as your bed, pets, family members or roommates, and electronic devices being at your disposal. All these things make it harder to keep focus, which in turns lowers your motivation and productivity. However, by creating a routine and forming habits, you can learn to become more focused. Here are three things you can do to help you stay focused and motivated while taking online classes.

    1. Have a study space
      The first step is to establish a dedicated area where you can study. Although it may feel comfortable to study in your bedroom, it is important to separate your studies and your relaxation areas. When you are in that dedicated study area, make sure that only school-related things are happening there. Creating a boundary between your “work” and “home” will bring you a sense of control in life and help lower your stress.
    2. Create a routine
      Establishing a daily routine can provide structure to your day. Writing down a rough list of your daily activities can help you stay on track with work and become time efficient. Set a time for yourself to wake up, get dressed, eat, study, work out, talk to friends & family members, and sleep. What may help is having a specific action to get ready to study. This can be anything like making a cup of tea or coffee, clearing out your work area, or doing a quick breathing exercise.
    3. Dress up
      This may seem insignificant but the clothes we wear actually impact our mood, behavior, attitude, and how we interact with others. Wearing clothes like pajamas may make you feel like you’re not really in a working mood, which can make you more vulnerable to distractions. Similar to having a dedicated study area, wearing different clothes for different activities sets clear boundaries between your roles of a student or a couch potato. Next time you have class, try waking up a bit earlier to get dressed up and observe how that affects your mood.

    Staying focused while studying is something that all students struggle with and doing so for online classes can be even more challenging. However, there are many things you can do to help you stay focused, but it requires patience, will-power, and habit forming. Hopefully these tips are useful for you and will help you stay on track while studying!

    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 Find Your Place in College: Attend the Organization Fair

    by Hiren Gugnani

    A tri-fold display board with information on joining the Finance Society.

    If you're reading this, then congratulations! You are an accomplished student accepted into college, or maybe you are currently an underclassman. Either way, this is a big step towards your future, and it was all your accomplishments thus far that led you to this point. Now that you made it to college, it is understandable to feel overwhelmed with the amount of people and excitement going on. There is one event in the beginning of the semester that can help lead you in the right direction to find your place in the daunting environment you're now a part of—and that is your campus’s organization fair.

    Take it all in

    Whether or not your school holds it as an in-person event, it will likely be an overwhelming experience. I remember a large tent, with tables managed by crowds of overenthusiastic students standing idly by their tri-fold boards. Our event was divided by a multitude of categories: Cultural organizations, Sports, Community Service, Greek Life, Major-specific, you name it! I found success in clubs relating to my heritage as a minority student, as well as business centered clubs as a devoted Finance student. Think about your interests beforehand, and glance over the map or list of clubs to ensure you get time to see anything you were curious about.

    Remember to be yourself

    It can be hard to learn more about all the clubs and activities your school has to offer when it's presented all at once. In an effort to try and get the most out of the event, I took pictures of the tabling for those student organizations that I was even somewhat interested in. This allowed me to look on their websites or email them if I have any questions. If something even remotely interests you, attend their first meeting and see what it’s all about! The key is to not feel obligated to commit to anything if you find that it isn’t for you. These extracurriculars should be your escape from the pressures of classes; something to look forward to during the week.

    Become familiar with leadership

    Once you find yourself acquainted with a club that sparks your interest, look into leadership opportunities within the executive board. While this feels too early for internal board positions, such as the President and Vice President roles, there can often be representative spots available for freshmen specifically. Those are yours to take! Having a leadership position allows you to cement yourself to the organization. Instead of being a general member, you will have some sort of control that makes an impact with the added responsibility. Then comes the opportunity to showcase your leadership on your resume, pointing out to recruiters that you are strengthening your soft skills, while working on something you are passionate about.

    Make your commitments

    At the end of the day, there will be many choices to where you can spend your time when not attending classes and studying in college. Taking on these extracurricular activities gives you a way to hold yourself accountable and make an impact that will last longer than your four years in undergraduate education. Decide what is best for you, and not for others. You will likely meet lifelong friends by engaging in mutual interests, so be on the lookout for those who want to get to know you. Once your find your home base, your college campus will go from an enormous, daunting place to a comfortable array of opportunities.

    Pearson Students, when’s your school's activities fair? Will you be in attendance?

    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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  • 2,604 Miles Away: Tips to help freshmen cope with homesickness

    by Megan Cistulli

    A black-and-white map of the United States with a dotted line connecting Atlanta, Georgia and Berkeley, California.

    I attend college in California – over 2,604 miles from my hometown of Atlanta, Georgia. I love home and family, and the transition across the country was not easy. Homesickness was a challenge that became conquerable once I began to implement the remedies below.

    Bring the Smells of Home with You

    My mother always burned a special candle in our kitchen: Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin. The first thing I did when traveling to California was make sure a Bath and Body Works was within driving distance. I always make sure to have a candle on hand. If candles are not allowed, try bringing the smells of home with you through cleaning products. Use Pine-Sol Cleaner if you miss the sweet aroma of pine from your backyard. Use the same laundry detergent as your mom. Whatever smells remind you of home – whether they be hairspray, moth balls, or dad’s cologne – keep them close and incorporate them into your new life – it’s essentially a carry-on bag home edition.

    Writing Letters

    The best, and most underestimated, form of communication is through writing letters. Not only have I experienced the distance aspect of venturing far from home, but the time change presents a challenge as well. When I want to check in with my mom or dad at 9pm, they are fast asleep because it is midnight on the East coast. The way I cope with the time changes is to draft letters to my parents. Any time I want to share something with them, I write it down. At the end of every two weeks, I send them the letter I have been working on. Sure, we FaceTime and call, but the letter acts as a safety net and catches all the missed thoughts or moments I want to share with them.

    Explore Your New Environment

    The quickest and most efficient way to sooth homesickness is to explore the new area around you. Think of all of the energy and experiences just waiting for you outside your dorm doors. Make it a goal to try something new three times a month – a new restaurant, lookout point, shopping center, park, or ice cream parlor. The best way to cure the feeling of being a stranger in a new place is to begin to establish routes in your new home. Make connections to new locations and memories which in turn will lead to new sentimental affiliations.

    Unfortunately, homesickness is not your typical seasonal flu. It takes more than a shot to alleviate the feelings of separation and physical distance. Fear not, the remedies listed above are fool-proof and have helped to sooth homesickness from 2,604 miles away.

    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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  • Your Path, Passions, and Career

    by Olivia Kane

    Two female college students sitting side-by-side with a lake and shoreline in the background. Location: Arendal, Norway

    Prior to beginning college, I had a linear and picturesque set of measurable goals leading to my career. I was prepared and excited to study nursing at Washington State University for two years and move to Spokane for nursing school; however, after undergoing brain surgery I quickly learned that life is not a straight line. I found myself questioning whether a career in nursing was right for me.

    You may ask: why are you telling me this? Simple. A lot of people can agree they wish they had pursued a passion or a dream, rather than a cookie-cutter career lifestyle. It is a lot easier said than done to pursue your passions, but it is important to know that some of your greatest moments and biggest adversities can turn into a life you want to live.

    Growing up in a household that was oriented in business, economics, advertising, and marketing, I unknowingly picked up countless techniques and important points to succeed in the business world; however, I craved a medical-based career and was prepared to work as hard as possible to achieve that goal. To become what I dreamt of; I developed a set of measurable goals leading to my career prior to beginning college. I was prepared and excited to study Nursing.

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  • How to Prepare for Your Interview

    by Will Cagnassola

    A male college student sitting at a table and looking at a laptop. He is wearing a suit jacket and tie.

    With the beginning of a new semester comes everyone’s favorite season: recruitment. After applying for a job, sitting down for an interview can be nerve wracking. Whether you’ll be searching for a position for this school year or already looking ahead to next summer, I’m here to provide some insight on how to make this process easier and to help you land a quality job or internship.

    Advance Preparations

    Once you land an interview, there are some things you need to do ahead of time to be successful day of. These include:

    1. Research. The best thing you can do as a job prospect is to research the company prior to an interview. Learn about what they do, what they care about, and how they help the community around them. This is absolutely key for showcasing your interest in the company, which is ultimately one of the first steps in building trust with your potential employer.
    2. Prepare. Know your resume like the back of your hand. You will be asked about prior experiences and how they relate to the job you are applying for. Be sure you can answer this and elaborate on any other experiences listed.
    3. Ask Questions. Do not be afraid to ask questions! Compile a list of questions in advance to respond to the ‘Do you have any questions for us?’ question. Ask the interviewer what they like about their company, what they would change. This kind of curiosity leads to ideas and eventually greater advancements.

    Day-of-Interview Plan of Action

    If your interview is in person, be sure to arrive on time and in the necessary attire. Make sure you have a reliable mode of transportation, a second (and third) copy of your resume, and more than enough time to get to your interview location.

    If the interview is via video call, consider what will be in your background during the call. Find a spot around your home that looks organized and has minimal distractions. Or set up a virtual background if necessary. Minimize background noise. Check that your Wi-Fi is running, that your computer is functioning, and that you have the link readily available prior to the call. Have an internet outage contingency plan. Could you join by phone if your wi-fi suddenly goes down?

    One last bit of advice - always, always, always thank the interviewer for taking the time to discuss your job opportunity. Follow-up with a thank-you email. Time is the most valuable asset in the world, yet it is most often overlooked. If you recognize and appreciate that somebody has taken the time out of their day to help you, it opens up many opportunities to form a quality relationship in the future.

    If you are able to follow my advice, I promise you will have a great chance of getting the job!

    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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  • Fly Like a Pro

    by Angele Garcia

    A jet wing in flight with the blue sky above and city lights below on the ground.

    Traveling by airplane to any destination is a stressful process for most individuals. Hectic lines, confusing signs, and constant announcements are enough to distract even the “regular” flyers. When traveling alone, many individuals have a hard time navigating the confusing world that is an airport. I have been flying to visit family and friends since I was a youngster, so I have learned a few tricks and strategies I now utilize as I find myself flying alone with greater consistency. The major things I have learned, which all individuals flying need to pay attention to are punctuality, organization, security.

    Plan ahead and arrive early

    “Hurry up to wait, don’t wait to hurry up” is a motto that fits well with the airport environment. Ideally, there is never an exact correct time for when to get to the airport. This is because of the differences in international and local airports. Knowing which type of airport you are going to and what time of day can help you determine when you should arrive. Typically arriving one hour ahead of boarding time will allow for plenty of time to check bags in and get through security. Special tip: typically, security gets backed up during earlier flights and this is an area where people will find themselves cutting it close to their flight. In the airport early is on time and on time is late — you don’t want to be late.

    Be consistent with where you store travel docs

    Keeping track of your belongings in any situation is a given; however, in an airport different precautions must be taken. Years of flying has taught me to always complete these two steps involving organization. The first is to designate a specific spot to consistently keep my passport when it is not in use, like a zippered pocket in a purse or carry-on bag. The reason for this is there are multiple moments throughout international travel where passports need to be presented. By creating a consistent area to keep your passport you significantly decrease the chances of misplacing it in the airport, as well as allowing yourself to move more efficiently through the airport.

    The second step goes hand-in-hand with step one; as soon as you’re done with the checkpoint that required your passport, immediately put it away. Do this directly after the authorities finish doing what they needed with it, specifically before walking away. Both steps could be applied to all types of items (forms of ID; boarding passes, etc); I chose to specifically highlight the passport because it is vital for your international travel.

    Keep your valuables secured

    Precautions are always important when taking on the new experience of flying alone. In terms of international travels there are always a few tricks that can help save possible troubles in the future. Traveling to a foreign country that is less developed than the US requires a bit more thought when packing. One additional measure I recommend is using locks on checked bags. If you don’t own luggage locks, you’ll need to keep any expensive jewelry and electronics or shoes in your carry-on and place everything else in your checked bag. You may not need to buy locks for every piece of luggage, but it’s important to strategize what you’ll place in each piece of luggage you take.

    Imagine being in a building with 250,000 other travelers and 2,500 different flights. This is on average how many people and flights are circulating through an airport each day. For a first timer everything is new and can be petrifying. I now know the ins and outs of airports to the point that I feel more than confident traveling alone. Keeping the key ideas of timeliness, management, and security of belongings in mind is all a person needs to focus on when traveling.

    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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