• Using Gaming to Build Community Connections: Dot’s Home

    by Janay Pope

    A graphic with DETROIT in large block letters with a view of the game graphics embedded.

    Ever since I could remember, there was always something to do in Detroit with my family. From spending time by the river, I enjoyed festivals like River Days, auto shows, Fourth of July fireworks, and the Eastern Market every weekend to enjoy breakfast with my parents. When people think of Detroit, some everyday things that come to mind are Motown or Motor City. Many focus on the downtown area, yet the city is much bigger than the new Campus Martius. As the downtown area grows into a fast-paced shopping and tech hub, the rest of the city is not receiving the same love.

    My family has been in Detroit for generations and has seen how the city has changed, yet there was not much in the mainstream media about how different things were when my great-grandmother and grandma were growing up. Now, through different forms of media: film, art, and gaming, Detroit’s history is making its way to people not just outside the city but throughout the state of Michigan.

    Dot’s Home

    Games for Change is an organization that facilitates communities of gaming creators and also hosts multiple events annually. In 2022, the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) helped housing justice organizers, Weathered Sweater and Rise Home Stories Project compete in the Games for Change Festival. Their forward-thinking video game Dot’s Home was recognized for its narrative-driven interactive component and won awards for best impact and for being the best civic game.

    Dot’s Home is an interactive narrative-driven video game that can be played via desktop or mobile devices. It follows a young African American woman who lives with her grandmother and can time travel to the past with their family house key. Through her journey, players get to decide her path as she learns about the housing crisis and disparities that took place over the years in her hometown, Detroit, Michigan. Dot meets family members from the past, including her grandmother, and players learn about the different challenges for each generation, from redlining to the Detroit riots and gentrification. The game is profound with its use of current cultural references and its ability to rope in the past entertainingly, so players stay engaged throughout the storyline. Not to mention it is fun and relaxing to play when there is down time, and you want to learn something new!

    Ready. Set. Play!

    Detroit and many similar places continue to face housing crises today. There are also so many amazing creatives in the tech world working on intersecting education and video gaming. Dot’s Home may have won the award, but plenty of interactive games deserve their flowers. Below are some honorable mentions from the Games for Change organization that resonated with me or that I found to also be impactful in the way Dot’s Home has:

    • Svoboda 1945: Liberation – Charles Games
    • Blackhaven – Historiated Games
    • MadeVR – Take me to the end of the Assembly Line from Singing Cicadas

    To learn more about the advancements of gaming and how it is working to connect with communities, be sure to check out Games for Change.

    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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  • Movement for Your Mind

    by Ava Ambrose

    A dock on a lake with the sunset on the horizon. The clouds look pink in the evening light.

    As a college student, I have a lot on my plate. From homework, to clubs, to maintaining relationships, it’s a lot. This can lead to feeling overwhelmed at times. Whether it is an upcoming exam, or a task I have to complete for an extracurricular, I can get stressed out pretty easily. That is why I find it important to set aside at least 15 minutes each day to be active. This does not always mean going to do a workout at the gym. On especially busy days, I take a short walk around my neighborhood and just allow myself to decompress.

    Keep Active

    Your mind needs breaks in order to perform at its best. Remaining active is a guaranteed way to keep your mood up while dealing with all of the struggles of schoolwork. Walks are especially great because they are so low commitment. As soon as I’ve made the decision to take a walk, I’ve technically already begun! All you have to do is step out your front door and the rest is whatever you make it! I love walking around my neighborhood because I never know who I may run into.

    Get Fresh Air

    It is also really important for your health to get fresh air, so you’re really doing a lot for your health by just taking a walk! I find it really peaceful to walk down to the lake that is behind my apartment complex; however, you don’t need a lake in order to enjoy nature! There are so many things to appreciate, and it can bring you joy to even just look at what’s going on in the sky. My favorite is when I see cool clouds or really pretty sunsets. And just like that, all of my stress is off my mind and I’m in a great mood.

    Other Stress Relievers

    There are many different things you can do for your health, both physical and mental. Physical activity has incredible benefits for your heart, body, and mind. It has been proven that physical movement reduces stress, depression, and anxiety. You can incorporate extra movement throughout your day. This could be taking your dog for a walk, choosing to take the stairs over the elevator, or even biking instead of driving. These may seem like small steps, but they can have significant impacts on your wellbeing.

    I find that being active is a very effective form of mindfulness. It brings peace to my day as it allows me to be with my thoughts. It is so important to remain active and give yourself breaks from all of the hard work you do!

    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 Evolving World of Technology

    by Molly McKenna

    A graphic featuring a person wearing an AR headset alongside lines resembling computer circuits.

    Never did I think as a ten-year-old that my twenty-year-old self would have the opportunity to work as a software engineer developing new and upcoming technologies in alternate realms… but here I am! Technology is a fast-growing world and continues to push boundaries day by day, and the rise of artificial intelligence and the metaverse have only added to that growth. As a software developer on the University of Miami’s Information Technology XR Garage Innovate Team, my eyes have been opened to the developments of virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR) toolsets. Utilizing various software for development, the Magic Leap headsets and Microsoft’s HoloLens allow the team’s innovations to become reality!

    Grasping the Metaverse

    Whether it’s the latest phone, the newest headset, an advanced television setup, or progressive discoveries in the metaverse, technological advancements are expanding every day. The need to keep up with changes is inevitable. Times are different than a century ago – even a decade ago! It seems impossible to walk out of your house without your cellphone attached to your hip. How will someone contact me? How will I know what time it is? How will I know what’s next on my agenda? Technology is the control center for the world we are living in today.

    Expanding beyond just the latest smartphone or electronic watch, the rise of the metaverse has made significant impact in new inventions. Realms including virtual, augmented, and mixed realities have been explored and used in upcoming developments in various aspects of companies. People continue to be fascinated with the idea of creating and experiencing this out-of-body innovation through an electronic headset, and luckily, I have the opportunity to work with and be immersed in this emerging world of technology.

    Hands On Experience

    As my interest in technology has grown, I have taken advantage of opportunities on my college campus to learn more. In February of 2022, I was introduced to a department known as XR Garage as a part of the University of Miami IT Innovate Team. Under the leadership of our director is a group of students who work as programmers, project managers, designers, and apprentices. The hiring process includes a one-on-one interview with our director to discuss our experience and goals for our careers. Once determined if a good fit for the team, we are then accepted and jump right into a series of tutorials, demos, and assessments for the software being used.

    I was eager for the learning process of new programs I have never used before including Unity, Magic Leap, Plastic SCM, Jira, and Microsoft’s HoloLens 2. After months of completing the tutorials as an apprentice, I advanced to a position as a full stack XR engineer where I now contribute to extended reality projects. Through our team’s agile workflow, I have learned to work with other developers and creative members to brainstorm new components to projects that will allow the user to experience this metaverse through different lenses.

    Taking Advantage of Every Opportunity

    I have been fortunate enough to grow up with parents and other role models who have shown me what hard work looks like, and I have always strived to push myself to my fullest potential in all aspects of my life. When it comes to my experience as a college student, I know I am a dedicated hard worker through my academics, extracurriculars, and my goals towards my future career. I came into college telling myself to take advantage of all the opportunities available to me as a student. Through my time here at the University of Miami so far, I can proudly say I am doing just that. Whether it’s a hired position as a tour guide, an engineer in the concert halls, or a programmer on the IT Innovate Team, I always aspire to learn more and gain new perspectives. An integral part of my experiences is my collaboration with other passion-driven individuals. Working with others is such a significant part of learning because every person comes from different experiences.

    At the end of the day, technology is and always will be evolving. Communication is key and communication is supported through this new technology. Just as technology is growing, so should we. Through my experience with my university’s IT team, my passion for getting involved and enhancing my personal growth is constantly put into action.

    Say “yes” to the opportunities in front of you. You never know – our evolving world and its technological advancements just might allow you to discover something new about yourself!

    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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  • Crossroads Between Heritage and Homework

    by Suhani Chopra

    Two young Indian women looking at each other and smiling. They are wearing traditional Indian saris.

    I vividly remember my first time failing an assignment.

    This wasn’t failing by my high standards, either – this was the proper, below-a-C-minus, failing grade. Flashback to 7th grade Algebra, more than 7 years ago at this point. Our teacher was handing back our first quiz of the year, on some supposedly easy topics. I wasn’t feeling too worried about it, and when I got my paper back, I flipped it over, expecting an A. Instead, a 65% in red ink stared back at me.

    I remember my face heated up as I shoved the paper into my bag as quickly as I could. I remember barely being able to hold it together for the rest of the day, that dreaded number swirling around in my head. And I remember getting home, jumping into my bed and sobbing, unable to stop the tears rolling down my face.

    Eventually I calmed down, and I was able to get started on the rest of the homework I had to do. But no matter how hard I try, I can’t erase that day from my mind - because looking back, that was the moment I realized how much of my self-worth I put into my academics.

    In an Indian household like the one I grew up in, the expectation of doing well in school cannot be overstated. Good grades are not “good”, they are simply standard. My parents definitely instilled the importance of academic performance into me but tried to teach me to balance out my happiness and interests with that as well. Unfortunately, my own expectations became higher than theirs, and getting anything less than a 90% on an assignment in high school would cause me to go into a blind panic. I would stress all day about even the easiest homework assignments. And tests? Tests were the bane of my existence; I would limit myself to 3 hours of sleep sometimes just so that I could spend all night studying (even if I already knew the material). I got the grades I wanted, but most times it was at the cost of my mental health.

    Then came college:

    The fast-paced learning style, the difficult curriculum, and sometimes, the less-than-ideal professors. I knew that I would have to work to keep up with everything, but I could feel myself starting to drown in my stress and overthinking already – and it was only the third week of school. Something had to change, otherwise at this rate making it through the school year was going to be almost impossible.

    A large part of my college experience, aside from meeting new people, gaining independence, and finding what I wanted to major in, was learning to be more lenient with myself academically. As a byproduct of my culture’s views on grades, I had almost ingrained this idea in me that school comes before everything else in my life. It was only after coming to college and physically seeing that my mentality in high school wasn’t going to help me succeed here, that I realized that maybe, just maybe, I was pushing myself too hard. It wasn’t an overnight process by a long shot. But it was the start of trying to “un-learn” the mentality that my grades defined my self-worth, and if I didn’t do well, then that reflected on me as a person. People had told me in the past that, “your grades are not who you are”. But it didn’t hit me until I experienced that in practice.

    I tried to let myself be more okay with getting a B on an assignment if I knew I tried my best. I started prioritizing my work more and making sure I gave more attention to the things that were worth more points, instead of getting overly stressed about everything. Most of all, I attempted to get out of my own head. I started making new friends, exploring clubs, going to social events around campus – trying to make my life about more than just studying for the next test. I started really enjoying life, instead of just living it.

    I’m definitely still working on it today. Old habits die hard, and when I have a lot on my plate academically, I feel myself falling back into my “panic mode” that I had throughout high school. I’m doing my best to remind myself, though, that even if I’m not doing perfect, I am doing my best with my classes, and that is enough. I am enough for myself, at the end of the day. And at the crossroads of heritage and homework, I managed to carve out a third path – that of happiness.

    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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  • Writing a Winning Resume

    by Faith Van Wyk

    A spiral notebook open to a page featuring a written outline planning a resume. The word Success written in larger letters at the bottom and circled.

    Applying for a summer job? Maybe it’s your first time, or maybe you’ve got lots of work experience to include on your resume. Either way, it can be intimidating trying to decide what to write. After all, your resume is part of your first impression when you apply for a position. Let’s break down the process of crafting a resume into a few steps:

    1. Compare Your Qualities to the Job Listing

    It’s always a good idea to go back and look at the desired skills for a candidate included on the original job listing. For example, if one of the skills on the listing is “good time management skills” and you know that you always adhere to a schedule and always get your work done on time, go ahead and add it to your resume. Make sure that any skills you take from the listing are skills you actually have – don't say you’re proficient in Microsoft Word when you’ve only ever used Google Docs.

    2. Decide What Prior Experience to Include

    This next step can be tricky if you’ve never had a “professional” job before - but don’t worry! You may still have things you can include in this section: babysitting, mowing lawns, being part of a club or organization, volunteer work, and even being part of a sports team can count as experience. As long as you show that you have dedication and you’re reliable, you’re good to go. You can list accomplishments like “babysat for x number of families” or “utilized teamwork and communication to win games” to show that you’ve gained desirable skills from your past experiences.

    If you have had a few jobs before, you don’t need to include all of them on your resume. Only include positions that are relevant to the one you are applying for. Also try not to have repetitive experience on your resume. For example, if you have had 6 retail positions, you don’t need to list all 6 – just pick a few and highlight a different set of skills and accomplishments from each.

    You can (and should!) mention your education on your resume. You can list skills and accomplishments there as well. For example, you may want to mention it on your resume if you had a good GPA or won any awards.

    3. Create Your First Draft

    After you have decided what to include on your resume, you’re ready to start writing! Include a strong introduction or summary statement that tells the reader who you are and what your mission is before they even begin reading about your skills and experience.

    General tips and guidelines for resume writing:

    1. Keep your resume under one page in length.
    2. If you are in college or have graduated from college, you don’t need to include your high school diploma on your resume.
    3. Try to avoid using bold colors unless you are applying for a more creative position. In general, stick to neutral colors.
    4. Make sure that your font is readable. Don’t make your font too big or too small, and don’t use more than two or three different font styles. For most jobs, you’ll also want to make sure that your font style is in print and does not include wacky designs.
    5. When writing about past experiences, write in past-tense. If you are including a job you still have, write about it in the present tense.
    6. Be honest. It’s never a good idea to lie about your skills and experience, especially when they are necessary for the job.

    These tips should help you create a fantastic resume that will increase your chances of landing that job or getting that internship. Having a quality resume is an important document that you will constantly be revising for the rest of your life as you move through your career. Writing an excellent first draft is putting your best foot forward. Happy writing!

    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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  • Seize Your Summer!

    by Ashish Bijumon

    A group of college students sitting in a circle outside on their campus.

    We all want a stress-free summer after a long and difficult semester. It is a time to unwind and relax. However, students often waste valuable time on apps such as Instagram and TikTok. It’s so easy to fall into the habit of scrolling through social media for hours watching the latest Kardashian news or the new trendy dance. My own mistake was following sports news religiously. I wasted so much time until I realized I could use my time to learn a new skill, apply for jobs/internships, or participate in community events to network with others. The summer is a time for fun, but we must take control of the day and use it to our benefit. Here are a few tips I used to seize my summer and take control of my career.

    Rise and Shine

    During the summer I would stay up late until around 2-3 AM and wake up at noon. This was due to me playing video games late at night with my friends. However, when you wake up late, HALF of the day is already gone/wasted. I would be angry at myself for waking up so late because now the day felt shorter, and tasks felt like they could not be finished. This was very unmotivating and I found myself just pushing the tasks to the next day, except then I would repeat my same mistakes. I recommend setting multiple alarms so you can get up in the morning and get more stuff done, such as getting a workout going in the gym or heading to the library to pick up a book.

    Learn Something New

    During my first two years of college, I worked at a Dunkin Donuts. It was a fine job, but I felt that I was not setting myself up for a successful future. I wanted to learn skills in the computer field such as database management and coding; how could I do that being a barista? It took me a while to leave the job, but when I left, I went to the local library and picked up a “Coding 101” guidebook. This book would define my summer of 2021. I was taking a programming course the coming semester and knew that I needed to be familiar with the concepts. With more time on my hands, I used it on enhancing my technical skills. I read and practiced the different programming languages such as Python and JavaScript and became comfortable with them. I was a beginner in programming with no experience, but with dedication and structure I became confident in my skills and felt that I used my time to help my future career.

    Surround Yourself with Positive Influences

    I was lucky to be around career driven individuals. We all shared the same goal: to better ourselves. My friends and I would meet every evening to play basketball and stay active. We reserved the morning and afternoon hours to better our skills and network. Having people who share the same ideals and have the same mindset as you is a crucial part in taking control of your summer and career. They won’t be obtrusive, but rather they will support you and have your back. Surround yourself with positivity.

    Summer shouldn’t just be about focusing on your career, but you can use some of that time to make productive strides towards your career goals. Have fun, but don’t loaf around. Time is crucial, seize the day and reap the benefits.

    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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  • Redefining Health and Beauty: Mindsets and Affirmations for Your Best Self

    by Rachel Stennett

    Student, Rachel Stennett blowing bubbles against a blue sky with heart and flower illustrations and the words 'Redefining Health and Beauty' in white.

    It’s hard to talk about diets and nutritional tracking without mentioning the social and psychological implications surrounding these topics. It is crucial to remember that while changing your lifestyle can be conducive to your health, it can become destructive if taken to the point of obsession. Societal expectations unfortunately do not help with this issue. For years, the media has shaped what the ideal of “happy, healthy, and beautiful” should look like, especially for young adults. With each generation, a new physique is idolized along with a new fad diet to help the “average” person reach these ideals. While the effects of these diets often end up being short-term, the negative effects on body image and relationship with food are often long-term. My own battles with body image and unhealthy eating habits have attracted me to the field of dietetics and nutritional health. Even though I still struggle from time to time, one of the most helpful tools in overcoming these issues is changing the way I create my definition of health. In this blog, I want to address some of the movements and affirmations that helped me redefine what my best self looks and feels like.


    Healthy at Every Size (HAES)

    One of the hardest obstacles I had to overcome with my body image is that no matter how much I changed my lifestyle habits, I would never look like the physique I was chasing after. Something would always be a little off — in the scale, the mirror, in pictures. The Healthy At Every Size (HAES) movement pivots away from many of the focuses within traditional dieting methods. Rather than focusing on losing weight, restricting diets, and intense exercise routines, HAES encourages participants to focus on accepting their size and trusting their bodies. When it comes to vital ratings, it is shown that participants who adopt this approach to health often have lower blood pressure and lower cholesterol than strict dieting groups. Instead of calculating what a healthy physique looks like for a person based on algorithms, HAES recognizes that healthy body weight may vary just like our shoe sizes and heights. There’s no set perfect weight for every individual.

    Mindful eating and eating in moderation

    Mindful eating and eating in moderation fall under the HAES dogma. In these practices, following natural hunger cues is encouraged over restricting foods and caloric intake. Since no food is declared as being “bad” or “good” for your health, a varied diet of all types of foods is highly recommended. This is not to say that eating sugary, salty, and highly processed foods are a free-for-all or that supersized portions are encouraged. Rather, these practices seek to remove the anxiety and obsessive tendencies that following a strict diet may create. To this day, I catch myself feeling guilty for eating out multiple times a day or eating a second serving of dessert since my previous diet plans would not allow for it. By adopting mindful eating and eating in moderation, I am slowly relearning that it is OK to have a second slice of cake if I’m hungry, as long as my overall diet is still varied with fruits and vegetables.


    Your clothes should fit you

    Another source of insecurity with body image for me, and many college-aged students, is clothing size. There have been many times when I have bought clothing and promised myself I would wear it when I reached my weight loss goals. Conversely, there have been times when I have broken down since clothing I bought a couple of years ago is now too tight. While it may seem silly, it is important to keep in mind that your clothes should fit you; you shouldn’t fit your clothes. Many clothing stores do not follow the same sizing guidelines. Furthermore, it is natural for your body to go through changes over the course of the year and even throughout the day. If something doesn’t fit, don’t get discouraged.

    Your body is capable of amazing things — appreciate it

    The underlying message of this post is to love yourself the way that you are. Follow your health goals to feel your best, not to look like what other people think is your best. Fuel it to be happy, train it to be healthy, and appreciate what it is and is not capable of at the moment. No matter how you look, your body is capable of amazing things.

    I hope you were able to learn a little bit more about nutrition and health. From looking at what nutrients college-aged students are deficient in, to new recipes to include within your daily diet, and finally, to concerns about body image, we have analyzed nutrition on biological, practical, and societal levels.

    For more practice with nutrition tracking and health resources, check out MyDietAnaylsis.  

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  • Celebrate Mother’s Day!

    by Emilie Conners

    The blog author and her mom standing outside a residence hall on campus.

    Mothers and motherly figures in life play an essential role in developing children into who they become. I believe motherhood requires sacrifice, selflessness, and a LOT of patience. Over the years, as I have gotten older, I have come to realize the true effort my mother put into raising and supporting me. Mother’s Day is a day certainly worth celebrating each year. Whether you celebrate your mother on this day, or a different woman who simply encompasses what that word means to you, here are some ways to ensure that person feels appreciated today.

    Quality Time

    I know you saw this one coming and it is a given, but make sure to spend quality time with mom today! It truly is what means the most to them and it doesn’t have to be anything crazy. Something as simple as putting on your mom’s favorite show and watching it with her will surely bring her joy.

    Start Her Day Right

    Another great option is making/bringing your mom her favorite breakfast. Almost all moms love breakfast (especially coffee). Make a stop by her favorite breakfast stop or just grab her favorite coffee and she will be so happy!!

    Simple Gifts

    Now for a great Mother’s Day gift, my go-to is always a nice picture frame with her favorite recent picture of the two of you or the whole family, whatever is best suited. You can get a great 4x6 picture frame at most stores for under $6. Along with that, you can get your favorite picture printed out for just a few cents!! A sweet gift that she’ll put on her desk or bedside table that will always make her think of you!

    Get Her Some Flowers

    Now this one you definitely already thought of, but I couldn’t just leave it out. Flowers. A nice bouquet always looks great on the kitchen table on Mother’s Day. Your local grocery store will most definitely be selling beautiful flowers around this time so just be sure to stop by the day before, so the best ones aren’t all gone!

    Overall, I think Mother’s Day becomes more special each year. We learn new things about our moms each year that make us further appreciate the time and energy they put into raising us. No matter what you do, just make sure your mom knows how much you appreciate her and all she’s done for you. Moms truly are gifts, and they certainly don’t get enough credit for all that they do.

    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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  • National Nurses Day: Why I Chose a Nursing Major

    by Ana Cooper

    A v-neck scrub shirt with a stethoscope around the neck. The pocket logo says, “Benjamin Leon School of Nursing, Miami Dade College”.

    May 6th, 2023 is National Nurses Day here in the US. This day will be special to me because for the first time, I’ll celebrate it as a nursing student. While digging my nose in a book, writing care plans, assessing patients, and attending long clinical hours, I don’t lose sight of why I am in this field and what brought me here. Picking a college major can be difficult. But I am going to show you some character traits I have that are helping me to be a great nurse.

    Precision and Diligence

    Nurses must be precise and accurate in everything they do. You have to triple check everything. I was called a “perfectionist” because I liked things done right. I often took on with the most detail-oriented tasks because I could step back and see how this detail is actually significant in the big picture. Growing up homeschooled, it was all on me in high school if I didn’t do my schoolwork. I used to get up at 6am, say my prayers, and start school by 6:05am. I still did dance, piano, youth group, yearbook, honors society stuff, yet I never fell behind. Being an overachiever who loved studying the human body, nursing seemed like a great challenge and fit.

    A Sense of Humor

    Many patients are not quite themselves when they are sick and can say really ridiculous things. I had an elderly gentleman that proposed to me and asked me to dump my boyfriend for him! That is extremely personal, but I had to laugh it off and not let him get under my skin. I am usually able to make my friends laugh especially when I am telling a frustrating story. Humor helps me cope and will help me cope later.


    As a nurse, you must be organized. You have to keep all your patients straight and do your patient rounds efficiently. An ordered environment leads to ordered thinking. Organized rounds also lead to organized assessments and organized documentation. My friends have asked me to help them move and organize their belongings or prepare nurseries because I can stay on task and perform efficiently. Learning about the pyxis (medication management) system made me feel elated.

    A Caring Bedside Manner

    You can’t lie but you can’t sugar coat either. My closest family and friends know that I am honest no matter what. I tell it like it is. But I try my best to speak kindly and empathetically. When I feel sick, I like to know what is wrong with me and how to fix it. I love to learn about medicine and pathology because I can educate patients and help them to feel more in control. I have even been told by friends and relatives that I'd make a great nurse.


    I love the sciences. Anatomy and physiology as well as microbiology as are so fascinating to me and in high school, I preferred them to other subjects. The more I learn about what can go wrong in the body, I realize what a blessing it is when things are going well. I use social media to follow other medical personnel, specifically related to labor and delivery, to learn as much as possible even before I take my OB class.

    It Works with The Lifestyle I Want

    I really love the idea of working for a few years and then being able to be home and care for a family. If I need or want to go back to work, there are a plethora of careers in nursing that could support this lifestyle either in-person or remotely, including case management and nursing research.

    No one knows what their future holds, but it is nice to know that my degree is adaptive. My passion and character traits have laid the foundation for successful academic and professional careers balanced with my goals for my personal life. Whether I am caring for patients or my own kin, I feel confident in my abilities to care for them because of my rigorous training. I have peace of mind knowing that I am being educated to critically think and be a patient advocate which will come in handy no matter what.

    Can’t wait to take the NCLEX! Happy Nurses Day!

    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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  • Graduation Gifts: Nurse’s Edition

    by Saige O’Rourke

    A graphic with a blue background and 3 images related to nursing: a stethoscope, a nurse’s cap and clipboard, and a medical jacket.

    With a nursing major roommate, I cannot count the number of times I have heard how expensive the profession is. Schooling in itself is a pricey commitment, but that is just the beginning. On a whim, I decided to look further into what a nursing major might enjoy receiving as a graduation gift and how much I should start to save. After talking with my roommate, I can confirm that a new stethoscope, scrubs, badge reels, pens, and a customized zip-up jacket with credentials are all much-needed wants. Although these items might seem either simple, known, or confusing to understand, there is a method to the madness of a Nursing student’s wish-list.

    New Stethoscope

    $350. That is the highest amount paid on a select website for a Littman’s Stethoscope without counting shipping and taxes. With a starting price of $100 for a necessity, I personally would not want to add that to my bank statement straight out of college. This product, however, is used daily by all nurses & nursing students. If you have ever visited a doctor’s office, it is common knowledge of how important these are in their daily practices. Naturally, this would be the perfect starter gift for a fresh out of college nurse.

    New Scrubs

    After a 12-hour shift, the last thing my roommate wants to do is laundry. Scrubs are a nurse’s uniform and working with sick patients for a long period of time daily can cause them to feel disheveled after a long day. Avoiding the inconvenience of either wearing dirty scrubs or losing sleep over a washer cycle, nurses need to fill their closet with multiple sets of scrubs.

    Badge Reels and Pens

    Hospitals are meant to be secure as lives are on the line. Scanning into rooms, departments, and time clocks are a part of the daily routine. To make this process easier, nurses attach badge reels to their identification then attach this to their scrubs; this also makes their uniform feel more personalized and complete in the autonomous field they work in. Alongside this, filling out charts is a valid part of taking care of patients. We can all attest to the annoyance of bad pens and the importance of investing in good ones. Both of these items may seem very simple, but they are very necessary in the daily activities of those in this profession.

    They Need to Dress the Part

    A customized zip-up jacket may seem unnecessary, but would you say the same about a customized lab coat for a doctor? Regardless of the brand of choice, nurses are able to wear jackets or hoodies while on the clock. Sometimes, their badges may be out of sight which makes it important to have another piece of clothing to identify who they are in a hall full of the same color.

    Whether your budget starts at $5 or extends to $400, there is always a gift a new nurse could use. Personally, I will need to start saving now to afford that customized zip-up jacket, but maybe someone else can pitch in for the stethoscope!

    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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  • Travel Opportunities Abound for College Students

    by Amiaya Ross

    The view from a cruise ship window looking out over the ocean with the faint outline of land in the distance.

    The first week of May is typically recognized as National Travel and Tourism Week in the United States. College students often have access to unique opportunities to travel for study abroad or during term breaks.

    Travel allows people to gain new experiences that they may not be able to have at home. Stepping out of your comfort zone and exploring new places allows you to expand your understanding of the diversity of other cultures, while also helping you to build self-confidence as you meet different people from all around the world. You can also generate your creativity by traveling to new places and seeing new things.

    While growing up, my family and I used to go on road trips all the time to visit relatives. Ever since then, traveling has become one of my favorite hobbies. Whether it be just a spur of the moment trip, or a weekend getaway, I am always down to join along. My favorite part of traveling is getting the opportunity to see new places, meeting new people, and getting to try new things.

    Ways to celebrate National Travel and Tourism Week:

    Go on a trip

    Not all trips have to be extravagant and long. Take a trip to a new city or visit somewhere local you have never been before!

    Send a gift

    If you attend college outside of your hometown, send a gift to one of your friends or family members. Choose something that represents the city you live in!

    Try a foreign cuisine

    The best way to experience a new culture is through the cuisine. Look and see if there are any local restaurants in your area!

    Research your next adventure

    Pick a destination that you would like to travel to someday and look into their culture. For example, look into what holidays they celebrate! Or, check out your university’s study abroad or other travel opportunities.

    Traveling is known to be a great stress reliever, and as a busy college student, taking a break from school and getting away is important for your mental health, since it allows you to disconnect and recharge.

    What tourism opportunities are in your future?

    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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  • Thank You, Teachers!

    by Maeve Murdock

    A front view of the blog author’s elementary school, Sacred Heart School.

    Each May, Teacher Appreciation Week reminds us to pause and think about all the teachers we have had throughout our lives who formed us into who we are today. Many teachers challenged us, encouraged us, cared for us, and grew with us.

    Thinking all the way back to 1st grade, I remember a kind-faced, smiling, short woman with stark, black hair welcoming us all in. Her name was Ms. Youkhana. A mere five years old, I didn’t know what to expect other than that I wanted homework. I have two older twin sisters, both of whom would regularly come home from school with a math worksheet to do, or a few pages to read. I so badly wanted the same, having no idea the extent of the homework I’d be assigned in the years to come. As 1st grade progressed, I began reading the Harry Potter series. I’ll admit I was whizzing through the chapters alarmingly fast–so fast that Ms. Youkhana asked that I sit down with her after each chapter to quickly summarize what happened. She was incredibly supportive of my determination and motivation to learn and did everything she could to help me along the way.

    Ms. Carr, a wonderful, bright-eyed older woman, served as our long-term 4th grade sub, as our teacher had her baby at the beginning of the school year. Ms. Carr regularly spent her money on doughnuts for the class, just so we could start our day with a smile. She was patient, open-minded, and amazingly tolerant of the jokesters in my class. She made each of us feel loved and special.

    Señora Young, our Spanish teacher 3rd-5th grade, was brilliant, strong-minded, and hilarious. She made conquering a new language seem easy, teaching us vast amounts both linguistically and culturally very quickly. She pushed us to learn as much as we could yet kept her classroom an enjoyable learning environment. 

    Mr. Stewart, my 5th grade math teacher, was a goofy, heavy-set guy and an avid Chicago Bulls fan. Mr. Stewart put the class at ease with his quick-witted humor and made each student feel valued, heard, and intelligent. He taught us PEMDAS and how to solve for x, willing to go over tons of example problems and try other ways of explaining more difficult concepts. 

    Mr. Thomas, our 7th grade English teacher, was heavily opinionated and even goofier than Mr. Stewart. Mr. Thomas emphasized the importance of taking a stance on important issues and developing the skills of vocalizing your thoughts and advocating for your position. We regularly held debates in his class, many of which have stuck with me today, 7 years later. We performed rants and raves in front of our small, 15-person class, subtly learning to value releasing our emotions and coming to understand our irks and passions. 

    These five are only a few of the teachers who have made quite an impact on me over the years. The list goes on and on. These teachers, all of whom taught me in grades 1-8, were (or still are) employed at Sacred Heart School, a small, private, Catholic school in the suburbs of Chicago. Catholic schoolteachers in Illinois are severely underpaid; they make significantly less than their public-school counterparts, and yet these teachers remain deeply enthusiastic and passionate. Each one showed up every day, ready and excited to teach. Especially after the educational trauma the pandemic brought, I am confident we’ve all come to realize how vital and special our teachers are. 

    Teachers, thank you SO much for all your hard work–we see and appreciate 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! 

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  • Celebrating Teacher Appreciation

    by Madeline Beavis

    The blog author as a third grader with her favorite teacher and in front of her school.

    Kindergarten was where I first developed the idea of becoming a teacher. Other kids imagined themselves as astronauts or doctors or firefighters, but I found joy in the classroom with chalkboards and colored pencils. I’m sure my parents thought it was just a phase, but for the next 14 years I did not budge!

    I’m very grateful for the educators in my past who supported my career choice and gave me the confidence to pursue it. An extra special thank you is dedicated to all the teachers and professors around the world who remain devoted to helping and guiding their students year after year, even during the challenges of pandemic learning.

    Personally, my third-grade teacher, Mrs. Emanuelle, (pictured with me in the thumbnail image) has remained one of my biggest inspirations throughout my academic life. Walking into her classroom on the first day of school, I didn’t know how much more she would teach me beyond vocabulary and spelling. She was enthusiastic, tenderhearted, and creative, forming a relationship with each student so that they felt comfortable and safe in her classroom. For us, well, we both loved dogs! And maybe a love for man’s best friend wasn’t going to help prepare me for 4th grade or standardized testing, but my 8-year-old self was so excited to have something in common with a “grown up” that I was eager to learn from her.

    Now as a college student, I often think back to my time as her student and how she, among many of my other teachers, served as a role model for what a good educator should be. Patient, understanding, adaptable, caring, and inspiring.

    I’m sure almost every student has a special teacher in their past who motivated them to pursue their dreams and never give up. Take some time this week or any time of the year to show your appreciation for your favorite educators!

    “True teachers use themselves as bridges over which their students to cross. Then, having facilitated their crossing, joyfully collapse, encouraging them to make bridges of their own.” – Nikos Kazantzakis

    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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  • May the 4th Be With You!

    by Hannah G. Brennan

    Three sets of legs. Each person has a Star Wars themed light saber tattoo on their right calf.

    Just before writing this, I was slouching comfortably on my couch. I had a sparkling water, orange flavored, of course, and a bowl of extra buttery popcorn beside me. The TV was on max volume and my eyes were peeled as I watched the intense final moments of Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi.

    At the start of every summer break, I dedicate a few days to rewatching the entire Star Wars saga in order of release date. (For my fellow fans out there, I felt this was important to note.) I have done this for the past 5 years, and each time I ask myself why I only do it once a year.

    From the first film released in 1977 and onward, Star Wars has become an integral part of pop culture. It is the culmination of iconic costumes, characters, fight scenes, background stories, and jaw-dropping family drama that fans like myself adore so much. What better way to honor the franchise than for it to have its own day?

    A long time ago…

    For those who do not know, “May the 4th be with you” is a play on the phrase “May the Force be with you.” After being said twice in the first film, the movie version of the phrase immediately became an iconic salutation, and the pun version soon followed.

    According to a blog by Lucas Seastrom on none other than starwars.com, newspapers began using the phrase as a way to celebrate the Fourth of July in their headlines. But it attached itself to May 4th when The London Evening News displayed “May the Fourth Be With You, Maggie. Congratulations!” on the day Margaret Thatcher became Britain’s prime minister– which took place on May 4th, 1979.

    Randy Thom, who was a location sound recordist on the Star Wars movie crew, is also credited with launching Star Wars Day. It was on May 4th, 1982 that the pun came to him. He then shared it with the crew and would continue to celebrate it every year going forward.

    Planet Tattoo[ine]

    Once I turned 18, I started planning to get a tattoo. After telling my big brother and cousin this, we decided we would all get one together. I was already on board, but the idea really won me over once they told me they would pay for it.

    We threw around ideas for about 10 minutes. I said jokingly, “let’s just get lightsabers.” Next thing I knew, I was in the chair going on hour number two with a needle to my calf.

    I have a green lightsaber, my brother has purple, and my cousin has blue. (I’ll let the Star Wars fans decide for themselves which they prefer, though I think we all know purple is the best one.)

    So why get this fictional weapon tattooed on me?

    Aside from the fact that the tattoo looks cool, it is a reminder to me of how much we love the franchise and why fans still celebrate it every year on May 4th.

    Enjoy, We Must [in Yoda voice]

    Star Wars fans are truly like no other. We are a global community with a shared love of stories that have withstood the test of time. We find entertainment, adventure, inspiration, and solace in them. And we love finding a fellow fan in a crowded room.

    Whether you are a diehard fan or new to the fan club, this may just be your sign to watch them all as we celebrate Star Wars Day today!

    Thank you for reading, and May the 4th be with 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! 

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