• Don’t Sleep on Sleep

    by Maeve Murdock

    A graphic featuring with a dark blue background with small yellow stars, with a round yellow face with closed eyes and the letters Zzzz, indicating sleep.

    Some of the best things happen at night: late night talks with your roommates, warm cookies coming out of the oven, dance parties, social events, etc. It seems like there's always a reason to stay out and about, bright-eyed and experiencing whatever it is that's happening in the moment. Sometimes we stay up late for less exciting things too — whether it's slowly typing away at that essay that's due tomorrow, cramming for an exam, or finishing up something for work. No matter what incentive or obligation you're staying awake for, I'm here to tell you that this is your sign to PRIORITIZE your sleep!

    How Much?

    The age-old question: how much sleep do I really need? Can I get by on 5 or 6 hours if I just drink coffee? Well, yes. But the data has made it clear that the tendency to rely on caffeine and energy drinks in replacement of a good night’s sleep is not sustainable. With all the fun things in life in addition to our various commitments, it can be difficult to set aside the proper amount of time for sleep, especially when we can mask exhaustion with caffeine so easily. Caffeine, however, does not grant us the dozens of health benefits that sleep does. Mere attentiveness only scrapes the surface of sleep benefits. Some advantages to sufficient sleep include: a stronger immune system, regulation of your metabolism, lower risk for diabetes and heart disease, lower stress levels, heightened mood throughout the day, memory processing, reduction of brain fog and an increase in neural clarity, higher productivity, and much more. 

    Think Of the Time You Waste Instead of Sleeping

    It’s easy to snuggle into bed and stay awake for hours scrolling on our phones. As the minutes tick away, we sometimes don’t realize the comparative advantage we give up each and every night to others with time spent in the black hole of social media. Think of the extent to which you could truly apply yourself in all aspects of life with just a little bit more energy. If you weren’t dragging through the day looking forward to that midday nap, where would you see yourself? What could you be using that time for? 

    Sleep Affects Your Immune System

    Additionally, sleep deprivation makes us significantly more susceptible to falling ill. Why do you think college kids are constantly coughing and sniffling? I attend Notre Dame, and I’m confident we had 3-4 flu seasons at school this past year. I managed to remain mostly healthy throughout the year – until the very end. After one week at home after spring semester, I went to the doctor suspecting I might have pink eye. My eyes were a little swollen, and I felt exhausted and unlike myself. My doctor immediately insisted on testing me for mono, and 15 minutes later, I received results that I was positive for mono. 

    The pure fatigue I endured with mono completely changed my perspective on sleep. While I can’t say that sleep deprivation towards the end of spring semester is directly correlated to my diagnosis, I do think I would’ve had a much milder case if I had prioritized sleep in the weeks prior. For two weeks after my diagnosis, I slept whenever I felt drowsy, which was very frequently. For someone who loves to keep busy and take on everything, this seemingly never-ending treatment of “rest” was horrible. All I wanted to do was go spend time with my friends, play tennis, and get out and about – but I legitimately would begin to feel exhausted after 20 minutes of activity. It took a while, but I fully recovered. Now, I’ve converted my schedule to prioritizing sleep – both to recover and to change my old habits for the future.

    So, all this is to say – SLEEP! If you get between 7-8 hours per night as a young adult, your body will be well-equipped to protect you from illnesses and keep you performing at your best–not to mention you’ll have much more endogenous energy. Fun Fact: March 17th is World Sleep Day. But no matter what day it is, don’t sleep on sleep!

    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! 

    read more
  • Celebrate the First Day of Spring!

    by Ana Cooper

    A graphic with a muted background photo of a butterfly on a flower with the blog title superimposed “How to Celebrate The First Day of Spring on Campus”.

    This year the first day of spring falls on March 20th, 2023. This is right in the middle of my spring semester so I will have to be intentional about celebrating spring this year. There are a bunch of things that all of us as college students can do to celebrate the new season of spring on campus.

    Spring Cleaning

    Spring is about renewal, starting fresh. I like to start this season by really cleaning out my desk, drawers, closet, and under my bed. Not only do I get rid of things, but I deep clean the area to make sure not too much dust and dirt are building up. This is also a good time to put away your dark winter clothes and keep some lighter layers on hand. Having just a few key pieces and plenty of neutrals is sure to give you a spring capsule wardrobe that looks fun and colorful in any combination.

    Get Your Greens

    It is proven that green is a calming color and that plants increase levels of happiness. Whether it’s a flower, some succulents, or herbs, go get some plants to spruce up your living space. They help make fresh oxygen for us to breathe which helps us perform optimally.

    Put Color in Your Life

    Color is so fun and can brighten up your mood when you look at it. Paint your room a different color or just an accent wall. If you are in a dorm, then paint new colorful art. I like to get a huge canvas, plash some fun pastels on it, and then write a nice quote that speaks to me. This is also a fun time to put in more seasonal décor.


    The weather is more temperate, the flowers are blooming, the colors are bright, there are many reasons to smile. The more positivity you start showing to others, the more positivity you will receive. It also exercises your facial muscles and keeps you looking youthful. Improve your mood and those around you. Mother Teresa often said, “Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.” Smiles are free! Shine them to others.

    Try New Things and Start New Habits

    Spring is like a second chance at any New Year’s resolutions you set. Review your goals - what haven’t you done so well on? What is a priority for right now? Make your goals specific and get started with one new habit at a time. Make a game plan by writing out how you want to achieve these goals every day, week, and month. Before you know it, it will almost be summer, and you will have these habits in the bag.

    I love spring with all the flowers, fun weather, and pretty colors. I often make fun memories with my friends at this time of year even if it is in the thick of exams. Take time to literally stop and smell the roses this spring and celebrate this gorgeous season and what it may have in store for you!

    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! 

    read more
  • Cures for the College Insomniac

    by Madeline Beavis

    A view of the sun setting over a lake.

    It’s no secret that "sleep" is not always a part of a college student’s vocabulary – understandably since worrying about upcoming exams and deadlines would make anyone anxious! As someone who has suffered from bouts of insomnia since childhood and spending a year with a roommate, it became obvious I was not the only one tossing and turning. Even after long days of studying I can struggle to shut my mind off when it’s time to go to bed. If you’re like me, here are some tips that may help you naturally fall asleep faster and feel refreshed for all your classes and activities!

    1. Put away the screens.

    Night after night I’ve fallen victim to my phone, spending what felt like 5 minutes scrolling through notifications when suddenly, an hour had gone by! I learned the hard way that the blue light from technology interferes with the body’s natural sleep-wake cycle, making it more difficult to fall asleep as well as wake up the next morning. If you want to fall asleep faster, put away the computer and turn off TikTok at least 30 minutes before you’re ready to go to bed.

    2. With the screens away, pull out a book... a paper book.

    If you love to read, this is the tip for you! Reading a few pages of a book can help make your eyes and brain tired, which will help you fall asleep faster. Just make sure there aren’t any major cliffhangers that will keep you hooked so you can’t put it down!

    3. Listen to white noise or soft music.

    Dorms can get loud, so creating a buffer between you and the background noise can be really helpful. There are a lot of apps or websites offering free white noise or soothing music to block out unwanted sound.

    4. Exercise, exercise, exercise.

    After sitting at a desk all day studying or completing assignments, I sometimes feel like my body needs to move and stretch to release pent-up energy. If it feels like your mind is tired but your body isn’t, try incorporating at least 30-60 minutes of exercise into your daily routine. Even something as simple as a walk around your campus can help reduce your energy before bed.

    5. Drink a cup of chamomile tea.

    I've found that chamomile tea has an almost magical calming effect! Not only can it help you to relax, but it also has numerous health benefits, aids in digestion, and has a soothing aroma.

    Consistently getting a good night’s sleep is very important for alertness, memorization, boosting your immune system, improving your mood, and maintaining good mental and physical health. Do yourself a favor and try a few of these ideas to improve your sleep and your overall health!

    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! 

    read more
  • ChatGPT’s Impact on College Learning

    by Alivia Clay

    A screenshot of the ChatGPT screen in which the blog author supplied the prompt for this blog.

    ChatGPT is a revolutionary language model developed by OpenAI that can generate human-like text. This model has the capability to complete a given prompt by providing a coherent and fluent response. The model has been trained on a massive amount of text data, making it capable of understanding and responding to a wide range of topics and questions. One of the most significant impacts of ChatGPT is on the field of education, particularly in the realm of college-level learning. With the increasing use of technology in education, ChatGPT can be used as a powerful tool to enhance the learning experience of students.

    Study Assistance

    One way that ChatGPT can be used in college is as an educational assistant. The model can be used to generate answers to students' questions, providing them with quick and accurate information. This can be especially useful for students who are struggling to understand a particular concept or topic.

    Writing Assistance

    Another way that ChatGPT can be used in college is as a writing assistant. The model can be used to generate high-quality written content, such as essays or research papers. This can be especially helpful for students who are struggling with writing or for those who need to produce a large amount of written work in a short amount of time.

    Productivity Assistance

    The application of ChatGPT isn't only limited to education; ChatGPT can also be used in various industries such as journalism, customer service and more. The model can be used to generate news articles, customer service scripts, and even software code. This can significantly increase productivity and speed up the process of completing tasks, making it a valuable tool for businesses.

    In conclusion, ChatGPT is a powerful language model that has the potential to revolutionize the way we learn and work. Its ability to generate human-like text makes it an invaluable tool for students, educators, and professionals alike. And the exciting part of this blog is, it was written by ChatGPT. This showcases the capabilities of the model and its potential to be used in various fields. With the continued development and advancements in natural language processing, the possibilities of ChatGPT are endless.

    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! 

    read more
  • Sleepmask Down – Grades Up! How to Manage Sleep in College

    by Taylor Perline

    A graphic with a yellow moon and stars, a sleepmask, and the letters Zzzzzz.

    We’ve all been there. It’s been a long day. You’re tired from long classes, after school activities, or even a night out with friends. All you want is to curl up in bed and get some much-needed sleep. You try to relax in bed and slip into a sweet dream... but you can’t. At 12AM, you’re tossing and turning. At 1AM, you're staring at a wall. Before you know it, it’s early morning and you wake up feeling even more sluggish than before you went to bed.

    Managing sleep health isn’t easy. As a diagnosed insomniac, I know that more than anyone. However, I also know that there are plenty of tips that can help us students finally get some shuteye!

    Try Out Some Sleep-Aiding Tools

    New and improved sleep focused technology is constantly being created. A staple for many sleep-deprived students is the usage of a weighted blanket or a weighted stuffed animal. Studies have shown that having a weighted object on your body can have a calming effect which can then help you feel relaxed enough to catch some “Z” s! There are also products that are infused with lavender, which is a scent that has a natural relaxing effect on the body. Trying out a lavender scented lotion or pillow spray can quickly lull you into sleep!

    Relax With Some Warm Lighting

    A soft warm and yellowish glow may sometimes help you fall asleep better than complete darkness! If your room doesn’t have warm lighting already, installing some “fairy lights” with a warm glow is an option.

    Change Your Phone Settings!

    The phrase, “Well, maybe you’d sleep better if you got off your phone!” has been overused by parents, teachers, and others for the longest time. While it is important to not be attached to your phone all night, there are settings within your phone that can help your sleep health! You can silence your notifications and most phones have sleep or night related settings. These settings can be applied so that during certain hours of the night, your phone’s display will increase its color warmness so that it’s easier on your eyes. I recommend giving this a shot!

    Take Time to Unwind Nightly

    There are so many ways to relax before going to sleep, and a set routine can remind your body that it is time to close your eyes and count some sheep. Something as simple as brushing your teeth and washing your face before bed can be beneficial. A deep breathing or beginner yoga routine can also relax your mind as well as your body!

    Sleep health isn't something to take lightly. Healthy sleep patterns can play a huge effect on your mood as well as your academic performance. Try out a few tips and see if they help you get a good night’s rest!

    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! 

    read more
  • Exploring Careers in Information Technology

    by Sarah Jacques

    Blog author Sarah is holding a computer motherboard. The text beside her says, “Exploring Careers in Information Technology’ by Sarah L. Jacques.

    It is a common misconception that a rewarding career in the field of Information Technology is not available to candidates with little to no experience. The ‘giants’ of the technology industry: cybersecurity and cryptography, for example, are fields that can be obtained by building experience in different ways than we might think. For college students seeking to break into a cyber career, knowing some foundational positions is a great way to open the door to a bright future in Information Technology. The following jobs are worth researching for any fanatical novice:

    Internal Auditor

    It is no secret that benefiting enterprises is one asset to having a career in IT. By verifying systems within businesses and companies, an Internal Auditor (also known as IA) assesses financial documents for accuracy and efficiency of internal staff, making recommendations for improvement. They determine the organization's financial risk and make suggestions for reducing it. If you would like a business-related segue into technology, Internal Auditing may be for you!

    IT Help Desk

    This position is customer service-oriented and analytical, also referred to as End User Specialists/Service Desk Technicians. From troubleshooting to assembly, this position will educate you on diagnostic procedures and errors. These specialists encounter hardware and software challenges. There are certifications available as well, to help affirm your skills. If you enjoy helping others and solving problems, an IT Help Desk position is worth checking out. Just remember the golden rule: first, ensure everything is on!

    Managed Service Provider (MSP)

    Similar to the aforementioned End User Support Specialist, a managed service provider will evaluate your data handling procedures, software, connectivity, and systems. Your managed IT provider may develop a strategic roadmap for IT services that can improve your security, disaster response, platform speeds, and productivity in conjunction with your internal leaders and IT staff. Your requirements will determine the software, services, and platforms they are able to provide. For a blend of experience to the field, a job as a managed service provider would be befitting.

    Software Developer

    With a definite rapid growth, software development is rewarding for its overall positive job outlook. Even though many successful businesses may require software developers to have a college degree before hiring them, software developers can still succeed without one.

    Qualifications to be a software developer are provided in a four-year college, as well as certifications and training in boot camps and courses. Python, SQL, and JavaScript are most likely to be needed for this job. For those who aspire to indulge in programming and web development, this job is recommended.

    All in all, any career in Information Technology is worth the hard work it takes to be obtained. While none of the above jobs are a cinch, they can easily answer an aspiring expert’s question, “where do I begin?” To succeed, diligence and research are key, and it impedes on any student to gain as much experience as possible–so volunteer, ask questions, take courses, earn certifications. Your qualifications will develop in tandem with your degree. If persistent, you will find yourself at the cutting edge of the next generation!

    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! 

    read more
  • Dissecting Pearson’s Practice Anatomy Lab 4.0

    by Micah Elpers

    Three-dimensional model of head and neck muscles with labels in Practice Anatomy Lab 4.0

    Every student knows how hard it is to study for lab exams. You spend hours in lab making observations, doing experiments, collecting data, dissecting specimens, etc. just to leave and hope that you took enough photos and wrote down enough information to be useful later. These pictures are often blurry, and you can’t go back and look at your work to take better ones which makes it feel impossible to study for exams! This frustration is what makes Pearson’s PAL (Practice Anatomy Lab) 4.0 the perfect study tool for students! PAL 4.0 is a program composed of 3D models, diagrams, real life cadaver photos, flashcards, and so much more. It is designed to help students get the same experience online that they did in the lab. Now you don’t have to scour the internet looking for “sheep heart dissection” photos!

    PAL Learning Program 

    PAL 4.0 is designed to help students with challenging anatomical concepts. The program consists of all the body systems and provides students with various options for learning. These options include anatomical models, a manipulatable 3D model, cadaver photos, histology, and flashcards. All these different styles appeal to different learners! Some students may be wary of the cadaver photos so they can use the anatomical model instead. Some students are visual learners, and some are not. I love all the different formats; I always struggle trying to find diagrams that teach me what I want to know. PAL 4.0 allows me to study in ways I haven’t been able to before!

    Mastering 3D simulation

    In the PAL 4.0 mastering 3D simulation, you can interact with an anatomical model. The model can be manipulated and viewed from any angle. With the muscular system model, the muscles included in the group you’re studying are highlighted on the figure. If you click on a muscle, a textbox will appear and tell you the name, give you the pronunciation, allow you to hide the muscle, or isolate it. The isolation feature separates the muscle from the body and gives you a 3D image perspective of every angle of that muscle. This feature is incredibly useful because it demonstrates how the muscle looks on its own and how it fits with the body.

    See the real thing

    I always struggled in classes that didn’t have hands-on applications, like theoretical math, biology at a cellular level, etc. I always learn better when I can see what something looks like in real life. While seeing a cadaver can be shocking at first, being able to identify things you’re learning about, in real pictures, can change how you see them. A drawing of a deltoid muscle doesn’t show the detail that a picture of the real muscle can portray. The PAL 4.0 cadaver photos allow you to see the intricate details of the human muscular system. This has helped me with exams because I remember where those muscles are in my own body. 

    Who doesn’t like flashcards?

    I haven’t met a college student who doesn’t use flashcards for at least one of their classes; they are an easy way to learn definitions and simple topics. In anatomy, flashcards can be hard to use. How can I make flashcards for something I have to identify? Pearson’s PAL 4.0 provides students with excellent flashcards for every body system and specific region. Once you select a deck, you can choose to study them all or just some of the structures. PAL 4.0 then creates the personalized deck just for you. You’re then presented with an image of the structure you want to study; the other side of the flashcard has the definition. You can zoom in and out of the picture and pan it to get the full idea of the image. There is also an option to quiz yourself. A multiple-choice question will appear and ask you to identify the structure you saw. This amazing feature prepares you for any anatomy diagram a professor might throw at you.

    Between the flashcards, the cadaver images, and the 3D simulation, PAL 4.0 really has students’ success in mind. School can be incredibly overwhelming, especially when you don’t have the materials you need to succeed. Thankfully, Pearson consistently equips students with resources to minimize the stress of 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! 

    read more
  • Wacky Asian Snackies!

    by Kylan Cheung

    A screenshot of the three snacks described in the blog: Garlic Shrimp Chips, Pocky Sticks, and Hello Panda snacks.

    When you think of essential items for students to bring to college, what do you think of? Most of the time, items like beds, notebooks, laptops, and water bottles come to mind. But one overlooked necessity for everyone are snacks. See, snacks are amazing because they not only taste great, are inexpensive, and can be the occasional meal substitute (don't quote me!), but they're also shareable with friends! Yet, I was pretty surprised when the snacks I brought from home – the same ones I loved growing up – were unfamiliar to my friends. They were seen as strange and exotic, and my friends were hesitant to give them a try.

    Here are three of my favorite snacks. Hopefully after reading this, you will be encouraged to try them out and make these Asian staples a staple on your desk!

    Hello Panda

    The first snack, “Hello Panda”, is one introduced to many kids! This tasty, bite-sized snack comes in multiple flavors: strawberry, vanilla, chocolate, and caramel. As you open the small-sized package, you’ll see that each cracker has one of the 32 sport Panda Prints – making it the perfect snack to pack in the lunchbox or have as a late-night snack!


    The second, “Pocky”, is an interesting snack to say the least. Though they do have classic flavors, such as chocolate, strawberry, hazelnut (my favorite!), they also experiment with other unconventional flavors, such as fish roe, picnic, and others. Perhaps the most compelling reason why you should try Pocky – aside from how tasty it is – is the slogan: “Pocky; Share Happiness!”

    Garlic Shrimp Chips

    But if you had to only try one snack, Calbee’s “Garlic Shrimp Chips” is the one. Though the sound of “shrimp chips” may put off some individuals, the strong flavor of garlic enhances the addictiveness of these chips. Believe me when I tell you – once you open this bag and eat one, you’ll never be able to put it down!

    These snacks are special to my childhood and let me bring a little bit of ‘home’ with me at school. I am glad I can share them with my friends, even though they may make faces at first and hesitate to try them. Once they do – we can enjoy them together!

    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! 

    read more
  • The Power of Perspective

    by Jake Buganski

    A young man smiling and wearing sunglasses with expansive view of an historic town behind him.

    When it comes to making big decisions, it can be easy to get caught up in the things we want to happen, rather than considering what we want to avoid. As I have progressed through my college career, I have started to notice how this common trap can lead me and others to miss out on valuable opportunities or to make poor choices. But what if there was a way to make better decisions by focusing on what we don’t want to have happen? Psychologists have proven that when an individual makes decisions based on what they most want to avoid happening, they are much more motivated to act in a proper manner than when making decisions based on what they want to have happen. This is using the power of perspective.

    Proactive vs Reactive

    This mindset helps you push through fear by acting as a motivating force behind you. It also allows you to be proactive, rather than reactive, to life situations. When you're focused on what you want to happen, you're often in a state of chasing after goals or trying to create situations. This can lead to a lot of stress and anxiety, as you're constantly trying to control the outcome. On the other hand, when you focus on what you don't want to happen, you're able to see things from a more positive angle as you’re able to recognize potential problems ahead of time and take necessary steps to mitigate the chances of those negative outcomes from occurring.

    Think Like a Business Manager

    Think of yourself as a business you’re invested in or a community of people you care about. In starting a new business, you meticulously think ahead and plan for everything that you don't want to have happen, such as going bankrupt or losing customers. Thinking in this perspective motivates the company to minimize those risks as ahead of time as much as possible and keep its business afloat.

    If that seems to weird or abstract to you, think of yourself as your family and friends would. Surely you want the best outcome for yourself just as you would want the best for them. So, if someone you cared about was afraid of pursuing of a valuable opportunity, would you not encourage them to reach their fullest potential despite the fear of doing so? Thinking of yourself as a community of people you love (such as your family or friends) and wanting the best for them allows you to focus less hard on yourself and make more motivated decisions.

    Choose Your Path

    Herein lies the “aha!” moment. It's going to be hard both ways so you can actually pick your own path! You don’t have to let life have its course with you – you’re actually in control of your own destiny. Additionally, this approach can help you to avoid the pitfalls of being overly optimistic or overly pessimistic, and instead, make well-informed decisions that are right for you.

    Once you realize that either option is going to be hard no matter what, it frees up your mind to make the best choice. Psychologists have shown time and time again that people are more motivated by fear than by desire, so by mapping out your own personal worst nightmare, you’ll actually have something tangible to run away from rather than run towards.

    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! 

    read more
  • Fitting Travel into Your Semester

    by Katie Priest

    Marina Bay in Singapore with blue sky in the background and a boat traveling across the water.

    Exciting travel opportunities can be available to college students through conferences, competitions, class trips, or leisure travel. Traveling during the semester can seem impossible without getting behind in assignments, class meetings, and projects. As a college student who averages one trip a semester here are some of my best tips to plan a trip and stay on top of your classwork.

    Plan Out All of Your Assignments

    Go through all of your assigned work for your course at least two weeks before your trip. This should include any work due before, during, and after your trip. Once you have a list of assignments due you can now complete any assignments that are due ahead of time and start on any large projects.

    Meet With Your Professors

    I have always found that communicating with your professors about a trip beforehand (at least two weeks) helps balance out coursework. In my experience, an office hour meeting about your upcoming trip can lead to due dates being moved back and some in-class assignments waived. Professors are also more willing to work with you before due dates and your trip rather than after. Additionally, in these meetings, you want to alert your professors to any absences that may occur over the course of your trip. I also recommend giving yourself a buffer of the day before and after your trip to prepare and recuperate.

    Build Relationships with Classmates

    As all college students know at the beginning of the semester the professor will recommend that you gather your classmates' contact information. Foster a relationship with these classmates and they will often share any lecture notes from the days that you miss. I recommend telling your classmates in advance and having two contacts per class in case someone has to miss class. This is a lifesaver.

    These are my three best tips for traveling as a college student. I’ve followed all of these steps throughout my college career, and I have never hit any snags. I hope these tips help you out too! Enjoy your trip!

    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! 

    read more
  • Dealing with College Stress

    by Abigail Crawford

    A group of college students wearing masks and costumes attending an outdoor Halloween event.

    Stress is a part of everyday life in college, whether it be from living on your own for the first time or trying to figure out these seemingly impossible college classes. Certain classes within your chosen major can make you rethink your decision, but with the right healthy habits in and outside of the classroom, it can make excelling in these classes all that much easier.

    Correlation Of Various College Major and Stress Levels

    I interviewed upperclassmen college students on my campus, all with varying majors, to see what they do to help with everyday college stress and what advice they would like to give future freshmen. I interviewed several upperclassmen with majors such as Biomedical Science, General Business, Kinesiology, and my own Animal Science. Overall, the majors that centered around teaching, kinesiology, and general business had a lower stress environment; while the majors centered around science or math, like animal science and biomedical science had a very high stress environment. No matter the specific major, stress can hit at any moment, and it can be pretty jarring.

    Spending Time with Those That Make You Happy

    There are many different ways to help deal with this or help prevent too much stress in the future. My friend majoring in kinesiology enjoys spending time outside playing sports with his friends. He also enjoys spending time with their family at church or meditating with friends.

    Stay On Schedule with Your Studies

    My friend majoring in biomedical science likes to help prevent future stress by paying special attention to her study schedule. In addition to in-class time, she schedules at least 2 hours of study time for each class each week, sometimes more. She says this keeps her up-to-date on all the new information making her more confident in her knowledge on the subject which makes her calmer and less stressed in the long run.

    Enjoy and Perfect Your Talents

    My friend majoring in general business has a different type of stress management technique; he loves to play the drums and perfect his skill with new songs. He also loves to hang out with his friends or play video games. Being around people you love like a close friend or family member is a wonderful way to destress. Just talking about how you feel and what you are worried over helps relieve pressure and can bring a clearer mindset to get back to work.

    Get Outside

    My personal way to help relieve prevalent stress in my major is to spend time outside. Taking a walk; being in fresh air, walking around watching nature, is very therapeutic and can also help you see different ways to solve problems. Another way that I have found to help is to take a break and focus on yourself. Making a meal, doing some skincare, or taking a shower are great ways to take your mind out of what you are stressed over and put it in a more relaxed state. You will feel more refreshed and will have a clean slate to start again.

    It is safe to say it is easy for students new to living on their own to be drawn to the poorer choices in stress management on a whim because they weren’t expecting some resistance in their studies. Making good habits early and plans for when a certain class or just life is getting too hard is how you can build lifelong habits that are amazing for your health both physically and mentally. I hope you can find a stress management system that works for you and that you try some of the ideas to help these stressful school years.

    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! 

    read more
  • Your Grades Don’t Define You

    by Rachel Stennett

    A student’s spiral notebook with a red pen on top. The student’s hands are folded on the left and a laptop with a writing assignment on the screen is on the desk.

    Congratulations! You have been accepted to the best universities within your state. You know that college is going to be challenging with all the changes: moving away, making new friends, and adjusting your schedule. But after four years of balancing AP/IB/Dual Enrollment courses, a part-time job, and extracurriculars while staying at the top of your class, making it through college should not be that terrible. Right?

    Freshman year, I started college with this mindset. Although I knew that it was going to be challenging, I had so many people reassuring me that I was smart enough to do whatever I set my mind to. Then, I received my first failing grade on a homework assignment. Then, another on a discussion post. Then, on an exam. While the words of encouragement never stopped, my want to succeed in school and fear of failure grew. At some points, the stress I put on myself from trying to ace an assignment caused me to do worse on it in the end. I would be too afraid to start working, or I would stay up late and be unable to focus in class the next morning.

    Academic validation – the need or want for success within school to feel worthy – is a double-edged sword. On one hand, wanting to do well in school is normal and can be a form of motivation. On the other hand, an overwhelming desire for academic success and fear of failure can negatively affect someone’s mood and mental health; therefore, ironically, making it harder for someone to be able to achieve the goals they set for themselves. In the transition from high school to college, many students go from being the top of their class to competing against many other brilliant students from across the world.

    For anyone reading who may be currently suffering from burnout due to a fear of failure, here are some reminders that I have been using to help battle my need for academic validation:

    1. It takes time to adjust

    The content and structure of your college classes may be very different from what you are used to. It will take time to create new study habits as you adjust. Going through a period of trial and error is OK.

    2. It’s not just you; your classes ARE hard

    There are many “weed-out” classes, advanced classes that are made to test if you really enjoy your major, in college. These may be the first classes that you, and many of your classmates, will begin to see failing grades in. Do not freak out.

    3. Stop comparing yourself to others

    Just because someone else thought the exam was easy, does not mean that you should have received a higher grade. Everybody views things differently.

    4. Sometimes you need to take a break

    Whenever I push myself to study for too long or do too many things at once, I often get sick shortly after. If you feel yourself getting overwhelmed, do not go past your limit. Sometimes, it is better to take a break- watch a movie, go out to dinner, take a day off from studying. Your health comes first.

    5. Take time to be social

    Yes, it is important to do well in school. But college is also a time to make memories and connections with new people. Do not feel guilt for wanting to make time for your social life as well.

    6. Don’t be afraid to ask for help

    A lot of your friends are going through the same thing. Talking to them about your stress may help to relieve some of the pressure. Most universities also offer a limited amount of individual and group therapy sessions. Take advantage of these resources if you can.

    7. Your grades do not define your worth

    A high GPA is impressive on a graduate school application, but so are achievements outside of academics. Ten years from now, nobody will ask you if you passed or failed that physics class in sophomore year. You are more than a letter grade.

    No matter what the grades on your transcript say, you are still worthy and capable of achieving greatness!

    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! 

    read more
  • Finding Your Favorite Spot on Campus

    by Nicole Fatovic

    A view of Lake Alice on the University of Florida campus.

    When I was looking at what university to call my home for the next four years, I looked at all the “normal” things: academics, student life, involvement, school spirit, and a pretty campus. What I did not consider was something that I did not even realize I needed – a beautiful outdoor area where I could spend countless hours. Here’s why this area is so crucial to my college experience and why I encourage other students to find their favorite spot on campus.

    A student’s favorite spot on campus could be anything from a preferred place to study to a place to go to decompress. I wanted a place that would bring a sense of tranquility after a long day. As an out-of-state student, I was also searching for a small piece of home on campus. With these things in mind, I took walks around my campus during my free time trying to find the best spot. Eventually, I started to spend more time at a small lake on my campus called Lake Alice. This spot has so much to offer including picnic tables that make great study spots, spectacular sunsets, trails to walk around, and many spots to throw up a hammock. I find myself going there whenever I have some free time to relax, or if I want to do some light studying. This spot also helps ground me when I begin to feel trapped inside lecture halls and libraries.

    I encourage you to find a spot as I have done by following a few simple steps:

    Make a List of What is Most Important to You

    I was able to find my perfect spot by knowing what I enjoy doing in my free time. Aside from studying, I always make time in my day to get a workout in. This lake is conveniently located in between where I live and the campus gym, making this an easy destination to knock two tasks down in one trip. I also know that I enjoy spending time outdoors, so it only makes sense that my favorite spot on campus is outside.

    Walk Around

    Even as a second-year student, I still feel like there are parts of my campus that I have not fully explored. Go on a small walk, maybe bring some friends along, and see all that your beautiful campus has to offer.

    Craft a Schedule

    Let’s face it, we are all busy college students who don’t always have free time. I’m not free to spend every day at this lake, and that is okay. I try my best to find at least one time each week I can go to this spot. When I get too busy and cannot find time to go, it is alright because it ends up being even more enjoyable when I do find the time to go there.

    Having a place on campus that I look forward to going to keeps me motivated throughout the semester. Make a point to explore and discover a spot on your own campus that you’ll come to love as much as I love Lake Alice!

    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! 

    read more
  • Imposters Among Us!

    by Raya Fitch

    The word ‘Imposter’ in red old-style digital-looking letters against a white background.

    Remember when we used to play Among Us in 2020 because we could not really go anywhere? Remember that feeling when you were the imposter, but you had to pretend that you belonged, and you didn't act "sus" or suspicious? Have you ever felt like you were something like the imposter in real life? I certainly have. But somehow, being the imposter in real life is a lot harder than it is in the game Among Us.

    Am I The Only One?

    Being a college student can be intimidating; it’s hard not to compare yourself to your peers. Even in my campus job as a Pearson Campus Ambassador, I am the only one on my campus in this role and that sometimes makes me feel as though I am the imposter. I feel like I am definitely going to get caught and be ejected from the spaceship and left drifting in space! Seriously though, imposter syndrome is real, and many college students experience it in one way or another in their undergrad career.

    Imposter Syndrome

    If you have ever experienced imposter syndrome, you are far from alone: one in five college students experience this, but what is it? Imposter syndrome is “the feeling of being a fraud.” The best example of this that you might have a feeling in the back of your mind that you do not deserve your success or good grades. The best way to overcome imposter syndrome is to essentially change your outlook on yourself. This is easier said than done, but it is the most important thing you can do to overcome imposter syndrome.

    Change Your Outlook

    Find ways to encourage yourself. Practice positive self-talk. You deserve your good grades and your successes! It was not due to luck! So, before you start ducking into the vents of the spaceship like in Among Us, face the rest of the space crew and realize you do belong in that difficult class, you earned that selective internship, and you have a high GPA because you put in the work.

    If nobody has told you they are proud of you today, I am! So, I invite you to: walk into that class you think is too hard with your head held high, apply for that internship you think is too selective, and do not let rejection deter you! Remember, you are on the space crew, you are NOT the imposter.

    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! 

    read more