• Finding the Perfect College Roommate

    by Arianna Olivier

    A group of three guys and two girls are smiling and standing in front of a Power Smoothie shop.

    As a student at Miami Dade College, part of my college process is applying to transfer schools. I am a potential nursing student who is applying to major programs all around the United States. With transferring, there are a lot of decisions to make, including where and who to live with. To help with finances, I will be on the lookout for a roommate to both split the cost of living and be a study partner. However, when it comes to choosing a college roommate it can be a very difficult process to endure. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to find your perfect roommate and ease the process.

    Knowing Yourself

    Let’s start with the definition of a roommate. According to Merriam Webster, a roommate is “one of two or more persons sharing the same room or living quarters.” The key word here is sharing. Always keep in mind when thinking about having a roommate, you will have to share a living space with a stranger, in a sense. So, it’s important to understand what it is you want out of a roommate.

    Ask yourself: why do I want a roommate? Am I looking for someone to solely split the cost of living? Is it to enjoy everything college has to offer outside of the academics? Or to have a study partner available outside of my classes?

    Learning About Each other

    Whether your potential roommate is someone you already know or a new connection, the next step is to learn about each other. Interview the person you are considering living with to get the conversation going about living preferences. Ask about their concept of sharing. Sharing can be difficult for some people when it comes to items, as they may be afraid of their items getting damaged or lost. It is important to discover your own boundaries, as well.

    Here is a partial list of things many roommates share. Have a discussion with potential roommates to find out their thoughts on sharing these items:

    • Kitchen appliances (such as stove, microwave, fridge, pots, pans etc.)
    • Cleaning supplies
    • Plates and cutlery
    • Rugs
    • Television
    • Speaker
    • Bathroom (toilet, bath/shower, and sink)

    Maintaining Communication

    Another topic important in your discussion is setting the rules of “who does what?” Communicating with your potential roommate about the responsibilities that come with sharing a dorm/apartment is important to maintaining a healthy household. Things to communicate about include:

    • Cleaning responsibilities (kitchen, bathroom, dishes, floor etc.)
    • How to split finances
    • Cooking/Groceries - are we splitting or will we each fend for ourselves?
    • Are we putting a curfew?
    • Get-togethers/parties? Noise level?

    Avoiding conflict is vital to achieving success in your academics and college life. Remember to talk and listen when interviewing.

    At the end of the day, the most important thing to remember is that no matter what, you’ll need to respect your roommates’ wishes just as you’ll expect them to respect yours. This time in your life is important to enjoy, as it is a part of the foundation of who you will become in the future. Happy Hunting!

    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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  • 3 Time Management Strategies to Boost Student Success

    by Tahmina Tisha

    A screenshot of Tahmina’s to-do list including upcoming assignments and due dates.

    Imagine you wake up in the morning and realize you missed a deadline at 11:59 pm because you simply forgot about it. Sadly, this is a common occurrence for many college students. I was no different. My freshman year was scary. Everything was new to me and I had no idea how to manage all my classes. The grades did not look pretty. I was missing social time. The saddest part of all, I wanted to quit college because of how overwhelming it felt.

    It is easy to get overwhelmed when you don’t have everything in order but fear not! Here are three tips that helped me learn to manage both my academics and my social life.

    Write it Down.

    An important step in staying organized is to have one place to log all your plans and homework. This can be a digital or paper planner. As college students, our minds can wonder in several directions. When I started college, I had 7 classes, 2 clubs, and a job. Projects and homework assignments were coming from all directions. I went to the bookstore and got myself a planner. I wrote down all my homework and the due dates. This allowed me to gain a better perspective on when things were due and how long I needed to prepare. It also helped me pinpoint when I had free time to step away from schoolwork.

    Utilize Technology.

    Even with a planner, it can sometimes be hard to remember to check it. I found a great solution is to use apps on my phone for assignments that need to be done in the next couple of days. I am constantly checking my phone, so I turned that habit into a time management tool. My favorite app for this is Microsoft To Do. This helps to remind me when I have homework due tomorrow or a test to study for. One trick I use often is to set my due date a day early because as a college student, I procrastinate. This motivates me to do the work early.

    Take a Break.

    Finally, college classes can be overwhelming. Most students spend a lot of time studying without a break. When a computer is used for a long time without a break, it overheats. Our brain is similar. When we look at a computer screen or a book for too long, it becomes harder to see or retain any of our work. Having an estimated study time can be very helpful. For example, during long study sessions, set an alarm or timer to remind you to take a 15-minute break after each hour. This trick will let your brain relax and refresh.

    These three tips have helped me survive my freshman year. As a sophomore, I can easily manage 6 classes, 4 clubs, and 2 jobs. I still feel overwhelmed sometimes, but by planning ahead, I am able to take time for a break without adding to my stress levels. It also allows me time to maintain my social life. College is about meeting new people, experiencing new things, and discovering who you are. Having better time management skills allows you to really take advantage of all college has to offer.

    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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  • Four Actions College Students Can Take

    by Noah Myers

    Two male college students stand in front of weight room equipment. They are both wearing black sweat pants and black t-shirts with UNLV pocket logos.

    As college students, we all have busy lives. From preparing exams, writing papers, working a job, maintaining an active social life, many of us have a hard time maintaining our health and wellness. College is a place where you get to experience things you couldn't do anywhere else. People are moving away from their homes and practicing true independence. While college life can be an amazing experience, it comes with its challenges and difficulties as well. Our mental and physical health may decline, which is why it’s necessary to practice beneficial habits. Here are four actions you can take to help you maintain your health and wellness in this new environment.

    1. Get enough sleep

    Sleep is one of the most essential things a college student needs. It allows your body and mind to recharge, leaving you refreshed and alert when you wake up. Healthy sleep also helps the body remain healthy and stave off diseases. Without enough sleep, the brain cannot function properly. This can impair your ability to concentrate, think clearly, and process memories. It often feels like we don't have enough time to sleep, but we need to make the time. Get at least 7-9 hours of sleep. Go to sleep and wake up at the same times every day, avoid napping during the day, don’t drink caffeine too late at night, and use your bed only for sleeping.

    2. Exercise Regularly

    Regularly exercising has a ton of benefits from helping with your sleep, moods, stress, and overall fitness. Exercising has been shown to improve your mood and decrease feelings of depression, anxiety, and stress. Additionally, exercise can increase the production of endorphins, which are known to help produce positive feelings and reduce the perception of pain. You can do a variety of things as going to your university’s gym, taking a long walk, playing a sport, and so much more. The main thing is do something you enjoy doing and make sure you’re having fun.

    3. Eat a balanced diet

    We all have resorted to ramen breakfast, lunch, and dinner at least once in our college life. But there are significant implications of unhealthy eating habits on overall long-term health and many college students have poor dietary habits from high intake of fast food, and other foods high in fat, low intake of fruits, vegetables, and dairy, and erratic eating behaviors such as meal skipping. Eating a balanced diet has a variety of benefits from improving the ability to cope with stress, increasing performance and concentration in school, increasing energy levels, and promoting a better immune system. The main thing is to eat different combinations of dairy, fruits, grains, healthy fats, meat, and vegetables throughout the day. Also, cut down on foods high in solid fats, added sugars, and salt.

    4. Make time for self-care

    With so many things happening in college, it’s easy to forget to take care of yourself in college. But no matter how busy you may be, you need to make time to do something you like or that relaxes you. You may enjoy getting massages, seeing movies, or engaging in a hobby. Others may prefer performing yoga or practicing mindfulness. My ideas of self-care are working out, eating some of my favorite foods, and hanging out with my friends. You can greatly benefit from focusing on what you can control and not on what you can’t, particularly when anxious or stressed.

    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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