• College Money Management Hacks

    by Madeline Beavis

    A close-up shot of 2 rows of $1 bills.

    “I’m broke!” might just be the most common statement made by college students. College is a major expense, but there are many ways to still have fun and be involved without breaking the bank!

    Take Advantage of Student Discounts

    Did I hear discounts? Yes! There are many businesses that offer discounts for students. From clothes to electronics to movie theaters to theme parks, retailers are happy to support students. Don't be afraid to ask about available student discounts.

    Apply For Scholarships

    I know it can seem daunting to write essay after essay about why you deserve a scholarship, but organizations want to help students with their financial needs! Sitting down for a couple of hours and submitting applications can make all the difference to offset college costs... and some scholarships don’t even require essays! Make sure that you check with your school’s financial aid office for specific scholarships related to academic performance, athletics, or extracurriculars.

    Give Yourself an Allowance

    Learning how to balance your spending is an important life skill. If you have a job, calculate how much money you make per month and allow yourself a maximum amount to spend out of your income. If you do not have a job, allot a specific amount you can spend each month or consider finding a job on campus if you have enough time in your schedule. There are usually many opportunities to work at on-campus coffee shops, the library, or dining halls. Check out your school’s employment opportunities for more information. Be sure to track your spending and progress for motivation!

    Open A Savings Account

    A savings account is a great way to store your money in a secure location, limit spending (remember your allowance!), and earn interest. Keeping your savings in an account ensures access to your funds in case of an emergency, while intentionally separating your spending money from what you are trying to save. Investigate savings accounts without minimum balance amounts and no monthly fees to save even more.

    Investigate E-Textbooks

    It is no secret that college textbooks are expensive! Many college textbooks are available in a more budget-friendly eTextbook format – which are often less than half of the cost of the print version. I’ve had the opportunity to subscribe to my eTextbooks, available in Pearson+. This has been a great way to save money on textbooks. For just $10.99/month you have instant access to your eTextbook, videos, and study tools. With the Pearson+ mobile app, you can access your textbooks from anywhere!

    Your college years can be challenging in many ways and managing finances can top the list at times. Take the time to plan the money management strategies that work best for you. The habits you build will serve you well both throughout your college experience and after graduation.

    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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  • From College to the Whole Wide World

    by Malina Gavris

    A computer generated graphic featuring a graduation cap, a rolled diploma, and a whit diploma cover labeled Certificate of Graduation.

    As a college senior, I am at a very important yet strange part of my life. Still a student, I have the luxury of worrying about small things such as making sure I'm prepared for the pop quizzes my accounting professor likes to surprise us with, or deciding what restaurant my friends want to eat at after a library study sesh. But as an upperclassman, I also know that my college years are coming to an end, and I can't help but think about my future ALL of the time. What job will I have? Where will I work? Am I brave enough to move to a big city? Don't even get me started on thinking about grad school. As my graduation day inches closer, here’s how I am addressing the transition from college life to the real world, and tips I've learned on how to have not just a successful college career but a functional plan for your future!

    Meet with Advisors

    If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it is to schedule advising appointments with your respective advisors and counselors, and to schedule them ahead of time. During my freshman year, I had a plethora of questions about my schedule, extracurriculars, and how to format my resume. I thought my questions were trivial and the answers could be found somewhere on my university’s web pages. I spent weeks going on wild goose chases, looking for the information that I needed to no avail. Fully frustrated, I finally decided to schedule an appointment with my advisor, only to find that she was booked for the next three weeks! However, when I finally met with her, all my worries were ameliorated. I received such helpful advice and from that day on, I’ve never shied away from meeting with what my school calls my “success team”, whether it be to choose my electives for next semester or just to discuss my professional goals.

    Don’t be afraid to ask your advisors for help whenever you need it! They are there for you to make sure that you succeed and can provide you with specialized advice that family and friends might be unable to.

    Get Organized

    Something else that I’ve learned over the past few years is that staying organized matters! I went from being the person who rarely took notes, to someone who sets reminders on my phone the moment I am notified of a plan or an assignment. I’ve never missed a deadline since my second semester of freshman year, and the habit of staying organized will help you not only with school but with your future jobs. With a corporate banking internship under my belt, I’ve definitely learned that your managers expect you to be punctual and to handle multiple tasks at a time, so it was a great way for me to put my organizational skills to the test.

    Manage Your Stress

    Lastly, when it comes to transitioning to your future career and thinking about long-term plans for your life, the most important thing that I’ve learned is to not stress! As long as you lead a balanced life with a strong work ethic and make the most of the opportunities presented to you, you are on the right track to succeed. Never feel bad if you don’t get a position or a job! Even the most prepared candidates might not be the right fit, and that rejection might actually lead you to find a better position more suited to your skillset and personality. Of course, you should have a plan for your life post-graduation but remember to be flexible because you don’t know what life will offer you and how your interests will evolve or change!

    In conclusion, while ending your undergraduate education seems like a big close to an important chapter of your life, it is really the beginning of your future. I’ve learned to make the most out of life as a college student and to not be afraid to dream big. Through trial and error, I’ve learned how to manage my scholarly and professional life in order to kickstart my career, and I hope that my tips will help you kickstart your own professional and personal journey so that you can bring your best to any situation!

    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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  • Three Things I Wish I’d Known as a Freshman

    by Laura Avellaneda

    Two college women are standing outside with the Golden Gate Bridge behind them.

    Now that I have graduated, I’ve been reflecting a lot recently on my college experience. I’ve realized that there are three things I wish I knew as a freshman that would’ve made my college experience much easier!

    1. Don’t be afraid to take risks

    College can be an intimidating place, especially as a freshman going to a big school! Don’t be afraid to take risks or try new things because of what other people might think; this is the perfect environment to do it in. This could mean joining a new club, trying a new sport, taking a difficult class, going to a social event, and more. For all you know, it could lead to you meeting your best friends or finding a new hobby! This is an awesome opportunity to learn more about yourself and what you like and don’t like.

    2. Everything will work out in the end

    Although it won’t always seem like it, most of the time everything always works out in the end! As a freshman, it can be so stressful and overwhelming when you don’t get the class you want or you aren’t able to become roommates with your friends. But what if it leads to you taking a different class that you love or you becoming best friends with your roommates that you’ve never met? It’s easy to get stuck on something when one bad thing happens, but living with the mindset that everything happens for a reason and that it will all work out can be super helpful. Stress is inevitable but understanding this can make college a little less stressful!

    3. Reach for help when you need it

    Everyone will experience highs and lows in college, especially in their freshman year. Sometimes, it might seem like you’re having a lot of lows, but when this happens it’s important to reach out for help so you can feel less lonely. This could mean reaching out to friends and family and letting them know you’re struggling, going to therapy on campus, or asking for help in classes. College is already hard enough, but having a close circle of people you can rely on when you need it can significantly improve your experience!

    If you’re just getting started in your college career, take my advice to ease your way into this experience. Be prepared to take risks, keep an open mind, and seek support when you inevitably face challenges.

    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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  • Use Goals and Rewards to Achieve Academic Success

    by Tommy Sewczwicz

    Blog author Tommy is wearing a blue t-shirt and holding up a small dry erase board, on which he has written out his weekly goals.

    At the beginning of every semester most students are very motivated to achieve their academic goals – whether that be to achieve straight A's or just passing all their classes. We get to start fresh at the beginning of the semester with the belief that this will be our best semester. Typically, the first couple weeks go by smoothly but when tests start coming up and work piles up, things can go downhill. We may start settling and not working as hard as we did at the start of the semester, losing the vision of our goals. Here are a few tips I use to help me stay motivated throughout the semester.

    Write Out Big Goals

    The first thing I do at the beginning of the semester is write down my big goals for the semester on my whiteboard. Some of the goals I may include are:

    • more A’s than B’s
    • no C’s or worse
    • complete all homework assignments on time

    …or whatever else I may be trying to focus on. By writing these goals on my white board I see them every day and remind myself of what I am trying to accomplish. If I have fallen behind in one of the goals, I have set for myself I know I have to lock in more. Whereas if I am on pace to meet my goal, I know that what I am doing is working and to keep doing what I am doing.

    Write Out Smaller Goals Through the Week

    Next, I also have smaller goals written down. These can be daily or weekly goals that help you reach your big main goals. I will also write these down on my whiteboard so that I can see what I have to do and get the satisfaction of crossing it off my list. An example of some of the smaller goals I may set for myself are:

    • go to all my classes
    • complete my upcoming homework assignments
    • study for an hour

    Breaking down my main big goals into smaller goals makes it seem easier and motivates me to do my work because I know that it will directly affect my big goals.

    Reward Yourself Whenever You Accomplish Something

    One of the great ways to stay motivated is by giving yourself something to look forward to. It can be something as small and simple like you get the rest of the day to just relax and do what you want or something bigger like buying new clothes or going on a little trip. Last semester I tried this and ended up completing my goals because I wanted a couple of new sweatshirts. For each goal I completed, I allowed myself to buy a sweatshirt. It was the first time I was engaged and motivated through a whole academic semester. Giving yourself something to work for keeps you engaged with your schoolwork, and you’ll learn a lot more.

    Remember the Big Picture

    Whenever I am dreading to do an assignment, I will look at the big picture and examine the path that leads me to where I want to be. All the little assignments, projects, and tests matter and are just little steps leading me to my goals. This visualization helps keep me motivated because I want to accomplish my larger goals and I will get my work done to insure the best future for myself.

    A certain amount of self-management is needed to achieve academic success. Whether it be long term and short-term goal setting, establishing rewards for yourself, or examining the big picture, figure out what motivates you to complete your work and implement it early in the semester before you get off track.

    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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  • My College Roommate: Tips, Testimonials, and Advice for Improving Your Relationship

    by Isabella Allen

    A collage of 3 photos of the blog author and her college roommates with the text ‘My College Roommate’ in white letters.

    College is full of new experiences: a new sense of freedom, many new responsibilities, and (for some) a new place to live. Whether you met your college roommate(s) in high school, or they were assigned to you by your school, there are several things that you can do to ensure the success of your roommate relationship(s). With clear communication, compromise, and patience, living away from home will bring you lifelong memories and lasting friendships.

    It is important to remember that one of the most important aspects of going to college is meeting new people, and that starts with whom you live. Read on for advice on how to communicate to prevent problems before they escalate, plus a real-world example and testimony of a conflict encountered by roommates and how it was resolved.

    Set Expectations and Boundaries

    One of the most important pieces of advice for new roommates is this: don’t force a friendship. It is necessary to have time away from the person that you are living with as well as time that you will spend together in your dorm or apartment. Whether you have known your roommate for years or you are meeting them for the first time, remember that memories take time and come naturally. Along with spending time apart, be respectful when spending time together. Set clear boundaries early on and make respect a priority. It is super fun to live with someone, and it can be a bond like no other, but no matter what you must remember to respect each other’s time, belongings, and privacy.

    Resolve Conflicts Through Communication

    In my time with my freshman year roommate, we only encountered one conflict together. While I was taking a nap, my roommate left to take a shower (we had communal bathrooms). I woke up from my nap to a text from a friend asking if I’d like to join them for lunch. I failed to notice the fact that my roommate’s clothes were on her bed, and I left and locked the door. Because I was napping when she left, she didn’t bring her key with her and was locked out in her shower robe. I received a call from a neighbor explaining that I needed to get back to the dorm, and I quickly returned and unlocked the door. My roommate didn’t speak to me for three days, which also upset me because I felt that I hadn’t totally been in the wrong. After a very uncomfortable (yet temporary) silent treatment, we had a conversation where we apologized to each other and agreed that we had both been at fault. She bought a cute whiteboard to put on our door so that we could write on it if one of us was just leaving the room for a moment, and we each agreed to take our keys with us anytime we left the room.

    Your roommates are going to be the people who are there for you when no one else is. Literally, they are the ones who are physically there. Depending on the person, it may even feel like they are there even when you may not want them to be. Remember this: it is totally normal to get annoyed by little things or feel like you need time to yourself. It is okay to ask for 30 minutes alone, and it is also okay to invite them to get lunch with you! The most important thing in any relationship is communication. Focus on the good and talk about how you can resolve the not-so-good 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! 

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  • How Leadership in College Can Change Your Life

    by Tristan Deveyra

    A group of college students at the University of Houston that are members of the Asian Student Business Association.

    Unlocking leadership opportunities can be daunting if you lack the credentials you think are necessary. I've experienced this firsthand; lacking a vast network of friends or professional experience, I missed out on leadership roles in high school. However, when I embraced leadership within the Asian Business Student Association an incredible transformation occurred. I discovered a world brimming with social, mental health, and professional benefits.

    College Leadership Opportunities

    As a leader, I forged deep connections and lifelong friendships, finding a community that supported me and allowed me to create cherished memories. It opened doors to a support system I never knew I needed. Here’s a picture of me and my leadership team in the thumbnail! (That’s me in the top right!) Furthermore, being a leader enhanced my college experience economically by maximizing internship opportunities and valuable connections with companies. Employers highly value leadership and soft skills in candidates, recognizing their importance alongside technical knowledge.

    Zooming out, leadership offers a broader perspective and the chance to leave a lasting impact on those you lead. It extends beyond the workplace, influencing all aspects of life, from sports teams to family dynamics and friendships.

    How to Find Leadership Positions

    Leadership positions are everywhere in college! Your first step is to research and find an organization or club that you can join. Strive to find a community you’re truly passionate about and want to develop, and make sure it aligns with your interests, values, and goals. Indulge in its culture, and you’re set! Most colleges have websites with a catalog of all the organizations and also hold club fairs in the beginning of each semester. Make a point to attend and be sure to talk to recruiting personalities during these fairs.

    Leadership Positions and Corporate Recruiters

    As most college students progress through their careers, they tend to begin their search for internships. For Corporate Recruiters, students who have leadership experience become more appealing as they hold many qualities that make them a valuable candidate. Holding a leadership position in college showcases your ability to take on responsibilities and manage a team or an organization. Recruiters value candidates who can demonstrate their commitment, reliability, and capacity to handle complex tasks.

    Overall, leadership positions in college offer a platform for personal growth, skill development, and the cultivation of valuable soft skills that can benefit you in various aspects of your life, including your future careers.

    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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