• Major Spotlight: Speech, Language, and Hearing Science

    by Abby Williams

    Three female college students taking a selfie in front of the Texas Tech school crest.

    Speech, language, and hearing science (SLHS) is the ideal major for students who are interested in healthcare and helping professions but hate blood and needles like I do. I plan to pursue a master’s degree in speech-language pathology after obtaining my bachelor’s in SLHS, but there are a wide variety of options in this field. Some of my peers are going on to pursue a doctorate in audiology, some will pursue a career in deaf education or early childhood intervention, and some will become an assistant to a speech-language pathologist (SLP) or audiologist which they can do with just their bachelor’s degrees. SLHS represents a unique combination of careers in education, counseling, and healthcare. The areas of specialty are limitless within the field.

    Understanding the Broad Scope of SLHS

    The first important thing to note about speech, language, and hearing science is the vastness of the field. When most people think of a speech therapist, they think of the speech class at their elementary school where a teacher helped the kid who turned his r’s into w’s and said “wed” instead of “red”. But the actual scope of practice of a speech-language pathologist encompasses so much more. SLPs can target speech issues such as:

    • dysarthria or slurred speech as a result of Parkinson’s disease
    • language problems (e.g., aphasia following a stroke)
    • cognitive deficits (e.g., Alzheimer’s disease)
    • swallowing impairment (e.g., dysphagia after a traumatic brain injury)
    • voice concerns (e.g., transgender voice therapy)
    • feeding problems (e.g., premature babies with feeding difficulties)
    • augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) (e.g., a nonverbal child with autism spectrum disorder)

    SLPs can work with individuals across the lifespan, from premature babies in the neonatal intensive care unit to elders in late stages of Alzheimer’s disease. The ability to narrow down your specialty so specifically has probably been the most surprising thing to me about SLHS, and one of the things I love the most.

    Demand for this Career

    The second thing to acknowledge is the current demand for SLPs and audiologists. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of SLPs is expected to grow 29 percent from 2020 to 2030 and job growth for audiology is predicted to increase 13% from 2019 to 2029, both of which are much faster than the average for all occupations. Aging populations, larger numbers of retirees, the ability of SLPs to improve survival rates of individuals like stroke victims, newfound emphasis of early identification of communication disorders, and increased enrollment of children in schools, including special education services are all factors implicated in this increasing demand. It is plain to see that SLP and audiology are growing fields that require more professionals than in past years.

    Rewarding Nature

    Finally, I want to touch a little bit on how rewarding this career path is. Just about everyone has been affected by communication disorders in some shape or form, either in personal experience or in knowing someone affected. But even so, most people don’t know the true depths of how these disorders change a person’s life and the lives of everyone around them. Students studying SLHS not only learn these concepts and grow their capacity for empathy, but they also learn how to help those individuals and improve their quality of life.

    I hope that in reading this blog, you learned something you didn’t know about communication disorders and speech, language, and hearing science, and that you might be tempted to pursue a career in this incredible field.

    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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  • Lesson Learned on Integrity and Staying True to Yourself

    by Jaylen Brown

    A female and male student are standing arm-in-arm on a football field during homecoming. The female is wearing a long gold gown. The male is wearing a dark suit with a black shirt. They each wear a sash that says, “Homecoming Court”.

    Maintaining integrity and staying true to yourself may seem like something our parents would tell us as children, however I learned that even at a college age, I am still being tested on that. No matter your age – doing the right thing can be difficult for anyone, especially if it means risking something desirable. I would like to share two similar yet different experiences that I’ve had, one from high school and one from college, and what I learned from them.

    The Time I Won “King”

    It was my senior year in high school when I decided to run for Homecoming King – just for the fun of it. Considering that I was homeschooled until the 11th grade, I felt that I had no chance of winning that title. Unlike the rest of the Homecoming Court, I was no football captain or class president. In fact, as someone who was relatively new to the school, it was hard for me to find friends in general (especially coming in as an upperclassman). Thus, I started by sitting with those who sat alone at lunch. I found that most of them did not want to be alone either, so I decided to sit with someone new every lunch period to keep them company. To my surprise, I won the title of “Homecoming King,” and realized it was because many saw me as an underdog for being different: the only minority, the first band member, a new student, etc. However, I did not allow this new title to change who I was as a person. So, I continued to find people who sat by themselves to sit with. Many were confused as to why I was sitting with them if I was given the title of “king,” but I reminded them that this title doesn’t make me any better than them. We are all royalty in our own way.

    The Time I Lost “King”

    It is now my senior year in college, and I recently decided to run for Homecoming King again – just for the fun of it. However, things were different this time. My university has 70,000 students and we were not allowed to do any in-person campaigning, only on social media. Unfortunately, we did not have a Homecoming Court director to enforce the rules. Most of the Court followed the rules, but some decided to do in-person campaigning and were even forcing students to vote. I had to make a decision. I knew that I would inevitably lose the running if I relied on my network alone, but if I broke the rules and started forcing people to vote, then I could stand a chance! It was a win or lose situation! If I won, I would be making history, right? I mean, how cool would it be to become my school’s 50th Homecoming King? Who cares if I break the rules if others are doing it too? But I thought to myself... “is this title really worth losing my integrity and not staying true to myself?” I then made my decision – I would much rather lose that title than to lose myself.

    We are ALL “Kings” and “Queens”

    These are two different, yet very similar stories. Looking back on them now, it’s crazy to see how easy it can be to lose sight of yourself for the sake of things like glory, validation, or recognition. But looking back even further to my high school experience, I’ve realized that those labels don’t even matter! Being given the title of “King” might seem grand, but the truth is that we are all Kings and Queens in our own way. I learned that no matter what or how big the title, it is never worth losing your integrity and not staying true to yourself. Let us all remember that no title will make you more valuable than you already are.

    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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  • Balancing School, Work, Internships, and Interviews

    by Rukmini Waranashiwar

    A female college student sits in a saucer-type red chair with a laptop in her lap. There is a large window behind her, a low round table in front of her and the chair next to her is empty.

    When first starting college, I always looked forward to having a relaxing senior year; however, that did not turn out to be the case. What I hoped to be an easy semester turned into me taking 12 credit hours, managing a Pearson micro-internship, working as a Pearson Campus Ambassador (PCA), and interviewing for full-time jobs. My life became incredibly busy. Although it seems like a lot, my past experiences taught me how to manage my time wisely.

    Increasing Responsibility

    This was not the first time I had to handle a chaotic schedule. During the Spring semester of my junior year, I took 18 credit hours, worked as a PCA, and completed an internship with a search fund. During that time, the best thing I did to manage school and work was to prepare for exams at least a week in advance. Since I would have multiple exams a week, internship deadlines, and PCA projects all coinciding, I couldn’t spend all day studying for an exam anymore. Learning how to space out my studying was extremely integral to my being able to manage other responsibilities on top of school.

    Helpful Habits

    The habits I built during that time made me confident that I could handle all that senior year had to throw at me. I’d learned how to space out studying so I could balance my academics and maintain my GPA, while still being able to keep up with other commitments. Another habit that helped me was to put all due dates onto a Google or Outlook calendar. I have a hard time keeping up with a written planner, however I am always on my laptop. Having those notifications pop up for things like internship meetings, job meetings, and even classes is super helpful. I keep up with all my deadlines and make to do lists for day-to-day tasks. Being organized is genuinely the most important thing to manage several projects at once.

    And something interesting I learned during these heavy semesters is that I work more efficiently when I have more to do. Having many deadlines helps me get things done faster because I know I don’t have much time to procrastinate. When I was in high school and my only focus was on school, I wasn’t as efficient with my time because I didn’t need to be.

    Although taking on more responsibility may seem daunting, it has proven to be rewarding. Both my PCA position and Pearson internship have provided me with so much experience to talk about during my job interviews.

    Take Time for Yourself

    Now in my final semester, I’m finding that carrying out a job search can feel like a full-time job on its own: preparing for interviews, updating my resume, and applying to jobs in between classes and during lunch. The best thing I’ve done for myself this semester is build time in to take breaks, like hanging out with friends, exercising, and treating myself to some ice cream. Taking care of your mental health is important to maintain your best self. I’m extremely thankful for all of opportunities I have had throughout my college career and hope to apply what I’ve learned during these busy semesters post-college.

    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 do I Identify a Full-time Career that I Will Enjoy?

    by Will Cagnassola

    Blog author Will Cagnassola is shown in a restaurant kitchen with 2 of his co-workers.

    Every day, college students are asked the question, “What do you want to do after you graduate?” Throughout my college career, I personally have found this question quite difficult to answer, and I know I am not the only one who has encountered this uncertainty. As I enter my final semester of college, I want to share some tips and tricks on how to find a career that you will be able to enjoy. I found each of these helpful in deciding my own future.

    Identify Options

    My first step in figuring out a career path was to shadow somebody working in a career related to my major. I found that this was the quickest and most informative way to see what the day-to-day activities would look like in my future. By shadowing a professional, you will be able to identify the pros and cons of the job that will enable you to make an informed decision later down the road.

    Recall Your Past

    Next, it is important to look back at your own experiences and preferences when figuring out the route you want to take. Recall experiences and activities that you have enjoyed while growing up. For example, I have always had a knack for putting myself in other people’s shoes and understanding their situations. In addition, helping others get to where they want to be is something that has continually brought me joy. This is a major reason for why I have selected sales as a profession.

    If you have worked in the service industry growing up and you have enjoyed it, then selecting a career that is more customer facing may bring you more happiness than others. I personally worked in the service industry for 4 years as a line cook before taking on sales and I absolutely loved it. It was really hard work, but it is something that has shaped the kind of worker that I am. I have even added an image of me in the kitchen to this blog because it was so meaningful to me looking back. You probably have quite different experiences that have shaped your image of an ideal career, however this advice will provide a great framework to move forward with.

    Understand Yourself

    My last piece of advice for students in the process of finding a career they will enjoy is to think about their ideal workplace setting. Do you prefer to work alone or in a team? Would you like an office space, or would you prefer to work from home more often? These are key questions to ask when finding satisfaction in your future career.

    I hope these little pieces of advice will successfully propel you students to your next steps in life and I wish you all the best!

    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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  • Trying New Things: Study Spots Edition

    by Sidney Li

    An empty college classroom with a Smartboard at the front. Each student desk has a red chair.

    Studying is an integral part of any and every college student’s life. Eight out of 10 times that anybody asks what a college student is doing, they’re most likely studying. There are certainly popular spots that every college student seeks: libraries. Yet, these spots get quickly crowded and become so popular around midterms and final season. Here is a guide on other not-so-popular spots around campus that any and every college student can utilize.

    Empty Classrooms

    Mentally and physically separating work and play is crucial for any student. There are a variety of empty rooms that you could utilize when classes aren’t in session. It could be tricky to find one during the week because a class might need that space, too. Be flexible and ready to move, if needed. If you’re looking for a space on campus on the weekends, empty classrooms can be your best friends if they’re not locked after hours.

    Parks, Outdoors, and Green Space

    Being inside for multiple hours a day studying has its drawbacks, as you need some vitamin D from the sun. You could find a picnic table, bench, or even using Mother Nature herself by sitting on some grass while soaking in the sun. Having that breath of fresh air might help you stay more productive especially if you don’t need to use Wi-Fi and the weather isn’t crummy.

    Lounges around Campus

    Every university has sitting areas throughout their multitude of campus buildings for people to utilize between classes—so take advantage of these! I’ve definitely utilized some throughout my college career between classes or to grab a quick bite while reviewing notes for my upcoming class.

    Cafes and Dining Halls

    Who doesn’t like having food and drinks in one spot near where you’re studying for a few hours? I have spent an entire day studying in one of our campus dining halls during finals season because there is so much seating. As long as you have headphones or can tune out conversations and the hustling and bustling sounds easily then you’re practically golden!

    Student Union or Recreational Centers

    If you want to make your studying exciting, you can easily switch up your areas as it will help refresh your brain and even help remember your class notes easily. Every campus has community or recreational centers that often have common areas or even lounges set up for public use. Not only that, but you can take a studying break by working out for a bit or taking a walk!

    Next time you’re trekking towards the library for a three-hour study session, try out one of these new spots instead! Be sure to take advantage of the many different areas your college campus offers to get some work done.

    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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  • Ten Tips to Manage Stress and Anxiety

    by Natalie Farran

    A white blanket is spread out on a rocky beach. A book with the words ‘My Bullet Journal’ is on the blanket.

    As the Spring semester gets into full swing, stress and anxiety can begin to creep into every college student’s day-to-day life. Here are ten simple ways to help you shift your mindset, feel relaxed & have better outcomes.

    1. Spend a quick minute saying gratitude statements for all you currently have. 
    2. Keep a journal to help you process anxious feelings. It doesn’t have to be lengthy; even setting aside 3-5 minutes to write each day can be beneficial.
    3. Try meditation and mindful breathing to help rejuvenate and refresh your outlook. There are many free apps that can help guide you through this process. If you have very little space in your day, try doing it when you first wake up or as the last thing you do before you go to bed. 
    4. Reframe how you talk to yourself. Your words have energy so telling yourself, “I can’t do it” will negatively affect your motivation and performance. Say instead, “I can do it, I am here to try...” to help bring about a positive change to your attitude.
    5. Big exams can bring about big stress levels. Along with studying ahead of time, be prepared to combat text anxiety on exam day. Get plenty of rest and have some relaxation exercises at the ready, such as deep breathing.
    6. Take a hot shower to help you to feel relaxed.
    7. Reward yourself when you accomplish short goals. Treat yourself with a favorite snack after a study session or build in time to socialize with friends after finishing a big assignment.
    8. Reach out to friends or mentors. Staying connected to others either through a virtual chat or getting together in person can boost your mood and renew your motivation.
    9. Remember that tomorrow is a new day. Don’t waste your energy worrying about what you did not do. Look ahead and vow to try your best going forward.
    10. Be thankful that each day is a new opportunity.

    Finally, keep in mind that college students face daily stressors and academic demands that can potentially aggravate mental health issues. Don’t be afraid to seek a therapist to talk with and help you find useful tools to use when you are not in your comfort zone. Contact your campus health services to find out what resources are offered.

    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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  • The World is Calling, and I Must Go

    by Olivia Kane

    A sunny day in Norway looking out over a blue lake with a beach area, dock, and sail boats. There are shrubs with pink flowers in the forefront.

    A College Student's Guide to Study Abroad, Internships Abroad, and COVID-19

    It is no secret that many college students and recent graduates have had their fair share of plans derailed or cancelled due to the presence of COVID-19. One common experience that many had to put on hold is study abroad, which traditionally has been a wonderful way for students to not only fulfill college credits but to immerse themselves into a culture unfamiliar to their own and learn by doing, rather than by sitting in a classroom.

    I am one of those students who had a 2020 study abroad trip derailed. I was scheduled to study accounting in Dublin and Galway, Ireland for that summer. Ireland is an incredibly academically aesthetic place, with many universities covered in ivy-bricked walls and filled with friendly peers. When I booked my plane ticket in early February, my dad and I briefly debated whether I should purchase trip insurance, ultimately deciding against it. A little over a month later, I realized what a mistake I had made. Not only was my Summer 2020 abroad cancelled, but my Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 options were wiped out, too. I was heartbroken. My experience is not a one-in-a-million. It is a collective opinion of loss and frustration at the thought of what could have been.

    Good news. With vaccination rates exponentially increasing, the presence of masks, trip-insurance, and soon-to-be open borders, the option to study abroad is just around the corner. Many U.S. college students are ready to take the leap to study in a foreign country, even though uncertainty still looms.

    So how can students better prepare to study abroad in light of COVID-19?

    Buy the trip insurance

    While it may be a hassle or a financial pain to purchase trip insurance, it is recommended to not only purchase it for airline travels, but any hotel or Airbnb booking, any excursions, and more. Basically, if a website offers trip insurance, it is for a reason. You may lose a couple dollars paying for the insurance, but it is better than losing hundreds, if not thousands. Also, it is recommended for international and domestic travel to book refundable tickets, trips, and housing. The more knowledgeable you are about cancellation policies and refund options, the better prepared you will be to enjoy your trip with no surprises.

    Check your destination country’s COVID-19 news

    Not only is it important to purchase insurance, but it is also important to research the country in which you plan to travel to and study. Find the site where your destination country’s official COVID-19 travel advisories are updated. Start by referencing the U.S. State Department’s list. Look for information on the country’s border status (open or closed) and their criteria for entering the country. Next, look at the country’s trend of opening and closing its borders. If the country has continually gone into lockdown and closed its borders, there is a chance it will close its borders again before you arrive, taking your money, security deposits, and everything you spent along with it. Moral of the story, research is your best friend. The more you know, the more peace of mind you will have!

    Check for Visa requirements

    So, you booked your trip, bought trip insurance, and did your research on your future home-away-from-home. What next? Well, most individuals who have lived abroad agree that the hardest part about studying or working abroad is obtaining a Visa or whichever pass is necessary for your chosen country. Typically, obtaining a Visa is a drawn out and stressful process. Do not procrastinate this process as obtaining a Visa will likely require a visit to the country’s embassy which may even require an additional plane ticket. The faster you can arrange a Visa, the less stress you will endure and the more money you will save!

    Seek authentic tourism advice

    Immersing yourself into the culture is a large part of the true experience abroad; however, it is important to not just follow popular tourist destination websites. Consider networking and reaching out to old friends who have spent time in the country. They can give you a first-hand break-down on the country’s customs and ‘norms’ that a tourism site cannot. They can provide insights on where to stay, where to avoid, must-sees, must-dos, where to eat, where to not eat, and even simple mannerisms that are acceptable in the country!

    I know this process is long; trust me, I have been there. But when your chosen country opens and you ‘check all the boxes’, you are going to have an amazing time and will remember your trip for the rest of your life. Despite new variants of COVID-19, do not lose hope; many countries rely on tourism for a large source of income. They want you to visit just as much as you do.

    Trust the process and enjoy your time!

    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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