• Creating a More Effective Educational Environment

    by Ryan Celestine

    An overhead view of a student’s desk featuring an open student planner, a closed notebook, and pen.

    As a college student, you have been taking tests and quizzes for your entire school career, and you will continue to take these assessments throughout your time in college. There have been many improvements and changes to the education system for the benefit of students' learning, but one thing that remains consistent is the emphasis put on grades. Tests and quizzes usually make up a large portion of your grade, but a test or quiz grade doesn't always accurately reflect your knowledge of a topic.

    It’s important to find a way to take the emphasis off grades and put the emphasis on learning and retention. Tests and quizzes may not be the most effective way to grade students and measure their academic progress. Here are a few ideas to remedy this situation and create a more effective educational environment.

    The Emphasis Put on Grades

    Being that there is such an emphasis put on grades, students usually center their learning on making a grade. A test or quiz grade doesn’t always accurately reflect a student’s knowledge of a subject, though. For example, on a 17-question test, say you miss two questions and score an 88. That is mathematically correct, and you did technically know 88% of the information, but that may not be the best reflection of your knowledge on the topic. Look at it in this way - you only missed two questions, and you got 15 questions correct! You got 15/17 questions right, and you demonstrated that you understood most of the information. In my opinion, that looks and sounds so much better than the 88 that will appear in the grade book.

    Focus on Learning and Retention

    Many students either study for long hours, cram information or even resort to cheating to do well on a test or quiz. This can really hurt the student’s retention and ability to recall information. It’s important to find a way to take the emphasis off grades and put the emphasis on learning and retention. Let’s dial down the pressure in the classroom and help students learn and increase their knowledge. Find a different way to “grade” students. If an instructor wants to implement tests and quizzes in their class, they should do it in a way that truly helps them to learn the information. It would be beneficial to allow students to do test corrections to understand where they went wrong. This will help students better retain the course information, learn from their mistakes, and possibly improve their grades.

    Results and Benefits

    By finding a different way to “grade” students, learning and retention will improve, student stress will be reduced, and the incentive to cheat will be eliminated. It’s very important to reward students for their effort and hard work rather than their ability to take a test because so many factors can impact a student's test-taking. When considering something like offering the student the opportunity to complete test corrections, some students may take advantage of the opportunity, and some may not. That decision of whether to complete the test corrections or not is fully up to the student. They control the outcome of their learning in this situation.

    Making an adjustment like this in the classroom will also help reduce the stress of students being that they can have a chance to understand where they went wrong and receive some points back. Taking the pressure off grades will also eliminate the incentive to cheat since it’s the student’s hard work and willingness to do test corrections that will impact their grade.

    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
  • Enjoy College While Setting Yourself Up for a Successful Future

    by Lauren Blair

    A clock tower on the campus of Iowa State University.

    College is a time of immense transition. Given that it is the first instance in which young adults gain complete independence and freedom, a heavy weighing question is how to approach these newfound opportunities. Do I get involved in Greek life? Which clubs are worth my limited free time? Who should I make friends with? Do I get an internship over the summer? Is my major the right major for me? Here are a few tips and strategies to help you make the best out of your college years plus recognize which opportunities to take to prepare you for a successful future.

    It's All About Perspective

    My number one tip for balancing your academic, professional, and social life in college is to keep it all in perspective. A lot of stress comes from overthinking events that seem pivotal at the time however months later as you look back are nearly irrelevant. I’m not saying this is easy. It is very difficult in the moment to not freak out about earning a 50% on your midterm. However, there are plenty of practices that will help you successfully do so. For instance, when something is not going well and you catch yourself being engrossed by it, pause, and take a step back. Consider all the other accomplishments you have and progress you are making in other areas, and this will help make the current situation appear less defining. Failure is most definitely a large part of college and learning to deal with it is a key factor in your success. You will fail many more times in your career, however, what employees and peers admire is your ability to respond to your failure and learn from it.

    Learn Your Limits

    As you become acclimated to your new independence, and surroundings you will be offered with a ton of opportunities. Within the first week of each year, even as a senior, you will face new challenges and decisions. Deciding which opportunities to say yes to is a lot harder than it seems. My first month or so of college I couldn’t say no. I said yes to every social, academic, and professional opportunity I was offered, and I found myself overloaded with commitments that I could not follow through with. I was so exhausted from my spending every second active that I struggled to value the time as it seemed to be passing by too fast for me to do so. After winter break, I sat down with a list of everything I was involved in, friends, jobs, classes, clubs, research, etc. This helped me visualize and determine which activities I found most joy in and which I benefited from most. I immediately crossed off anything I was no longer interested in or dreaded going to. I then circled the activities that I had to stay in (school/work) or I did not want to drop. This then left me with the in-between commitments. I was able to narrow it down to three-four clubs in addition to school/work. I made sure that I was involved in at least one club that was major specific, one for pure enjoyment, and one that was social. Although this will look differently for everyone as we all have different amounts of schoolwork and non-negotiable commitments, the process is versatile.

    Keep Yourself Challenged

    This process allowed me to commit more of my time to each activity allowing me to gain more from my involvement in each one. Ensuring you have commitment to your personal health is also very important and can at times take a good chunk of time. This list strategy should help you differentiate between the endless opportunities you are offered in college and ensure you have a good array of involvement. Find opportunities that that bring you joy, challenge you, and prepare you for your future career.

    As you venture though college and the many new experiences to come remember it is key to keep this in perspective, do not over commit your time, and take some time to yourself to enjoy the stage you are in.

    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
  • Thrifting Your Way to a Better World

    by Logan Collins

    Blog author Logan Collins stands by a rack of clothes at her favorite local thrift store.

    What if I told you there’s a way for you to help the environment and protest fast fashion all while being the best dressed? Sounds appealing right? Well, then you should try thrift shopping! Thrift shopping has so many benefits when it comes to the environment, human rights, and our personal life.

    The Environment

    The whole production and distribution process of clothing takes up a lot of energy and water, just for the average individual in the U.S to throw away about 60 to 80 pounds of textile per year. Thrifting is just clothes being recycled. It avoids this whole process and is a sustainable way to shop. If you’re good at sewing, you can even find things in thrift stores you can modify and update into something trendier.

    Social Issues

    With the high demand for quick new trends, fast fashion has been taken to a new level. Due to this, many fashion companies (yes, even the expensive ones) use sweat shops for cheap labor to keep up with demand. Sweat shops are factories that provide illegal working conditions to their employees all while paying them a couple cents an hour. Thrifting allows you to bypass supporting these companies, while allowing you to protest the fast fashion industry. If you’re interested in learning more about sweatshops, you can search online to find a number of documentaries on this topic.

    Personal Life

    Lastly, thrifting helps you find your personal style and feel more confident. I used to be the type of person who would just buy whatever was trendy, since I wasn’t sure what my style was. The more I thrifted the more I learned what I really liked and how to express myself through clothing. Not to mention you save money thrifting since most clothing ranges from $5-$15.

    Support your favorite thrift shop or explore a new one on National Thrift Shop Day on August 17, 2022. So, who wants to go thrift shopping?

    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
  • A Triple Major’s Guide to Not Freaking Out

    by Maggie Parker

    Blog author Maggie Parker took this photo of a colorful sunset in Syracuse, New York.

    College students all have a lot of responsibilities to tackle. Some are involved with sports at varying levels, some are part of clubs, some have a job, and some (like me), made the crazy decision to do all three of those and more. I’m a student at Syracuse University with a triple major, a member of two club sports teams, a member of a sorority, and hold two jobs. I’m busy to say the least. In addition to all my commitments, I know how important it is to take care of my mental health. Over the past couple of years, I’ve accumulated a number of helpful strategies to help manage a balance of work and fun while also taking care of myself. Here are my top 5 tips:

    Make A Schedule

    Some prefer digital calendars, some prefer the classic pen and paper, but either way creating or updating a calendar with your daily schedule is the best way to stay organized when you have a lot on your plate. I personally use Google calendar and color code my schedule based on if the commitment is for school, work, or an extracurricular activity. This lets me see my whole week ahead clearly, and I can access my schedule on my laptop or my phone when I’m on the go.

    Plan Time for Yourself

    Related to my first tip, scheduling time for self-care into your calendar can be incredibly helpful if you find yourself struggling. I personally try to go to the gym 4-5 days a week, even if it’s only for 30 minutes, because I know that moving my body is super important for my mental wellbeing. I put my gym times into my schedule at the beginning of the week, so I don’t have to worry about trying to fit it in on a day-by-day basis.

    Prioritize Sleep

    Believe me, I understand that making time for a full 8 hours of sleep isn’t always possible. However, trying to make an effort to get the right amount of sleep for you is one of the best ways to take care of yourself. Not only will getting enough sleep make you feel better, but it can also help you perform better in academic pursuits. To maximize sleep, try reading a book or journaling instead of looking at your phone right before bed.

    Prioritize Assignments Appropriately

    While I’ll never fully recommend skipping one commitment to finish something for another, it can be helpful to prioritize things like assignments based on how the grade is weighted or how lenient the professor is on late work. For example, when I’m having an unbearably busy week, I know I can let an assignment for a certain class slide because I know the professor accepts late work. For another class, however, my professor is super strict, so I always make sure to get my assignments for that class in on time. Check out this blog with more time management strategies like this.

    Have Fun!

    College involves a lot of academic and extracurricular commitments, but there are also so many opportunities to be a young adult and have fun. Whether you want to have a night in with your friends, go out to dinner, or go to a sporting event, take advantage of this time of your life, and take a break from the struggles of academia. Having fun with friends is one of the highlights of the college experience, so try to make time for it when possible.

    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
  • Creating a Home Away from Home

    by Janay Pope

    A picture of the blog author’s campus with the words ‘Welcome Home & Away’.

    Whether you are a freshman moving into your dorm, a senior living on your own, or a transfer student getting adjusted to a new school’s structure, being away from home can be a unique, exciting moment in your life. Yet, it can also be stressful or, at times, lonely. It is a new experience for some college students to make new friends and explore a new community independently. Many college students go through a period where they realize they can start over but do not know how to start or feel awkward exploring a new environment. Here are some lessons I’ve learned on making new friends and creating your new home away from home.

    Finding Resources

    Moving out of the house away from one’s parents may seem like the highlight of college, but no one prepares you for feeling homesick or feeling like a stranger in a new community. This was the case for me coming from Michigan, moving to Oxford, Ohio, and later transferring to Florida A&M University located in Tallahassee, Florida. I went from a virtual space during my first and second years to an in-person experience, so getting involved on campus was challenging. It felt like everyone had a head start because they had already been there. One of the ways I overcame this was accepting guidance from faculty, joining on-campus and off-campus organizations, and connecting with local businesses where I could meet people in the same situation as me but who came from different backgrounds.

    Getting Connected

    A great way to get connected is to get involved with events on campus. Most will have back-to-school events to kick off the new semester. If you prefer to leave campus, get involved in the community. Some towns may seem small, but sometimes less is more because there is beauty in simplicity. Here is a list of things to do that may spark ideas to explore the community around you.

    • Local theater
    • Festivals / carnivals
    • Restaurants
    • Community/botanical gardens
    • Flea markets & local markets
    • Local sports teams involvement
    • Car shows, museums & local competitions

    These are just a few general ideas of what you could explore. I recommend getting familiar with the behavior of the city you are in. Is it a quiet town or a city that never sleeps? Finding where a town is in terms of characteristics will help you find your space and maybe even create one of your own.

    Creating a Space for Memories

    Whether you’re in a dorm or apartment, decorate your room or space until you can’t anymore. Hang pictures and leave space for new memories you will make. If there’s a Pinterest post you have always loved…recreate it! Make your space yours. If you have symbols of home, showcase them in your room and allow it to be a place of comfort when feelings of homesickness arise.

    Bringing Home Traditions

    Finally, it is okay to take home with you. One of the best experiences about living away from home is meeting peers who have their own traditions and coming together to explore those traditions. Just because a city does not partake in activities you experienced back home does not mean they are unwilling. It is important to celebrate where you come from and be introduced to others from different backgrounds. Create an event on campus related to something you did in your hometown or create new traditions with your friends. As you move through your college career, remember that home can be wherever you want it to be if you make it yours.

    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
  • Expand Your Horizons through Study Abroad

    by Emilee Foy

    A picture of a city

    Whether in high school or college, there are a lot of benefits that come from traveling to a foreign country to study. Three big things that I learned in high school from studying abroad were observing the differences in cultures, adapting to living in a new place, and learning through new experiences. I studied in Cadiz, Spain before my senior year of high school and am studying abroad in Innsbruck this summer. Therefore, hopefully what I have learned from this experience will give other students a realistic feel of what it is like.

    The Culture

    One of the big things I learned while in Spain was the differences between the United States’ culture and Spain’s culture. Not only was the language a difference, but the way the people in Spain dressed was much different than the way Americans did. In addition, the house mom I lived with had very strict dining rules and ate very quickly which was much different than I was used to. Many people in the city of Cadiz did not have cars and relied on walking or public transportation. It was beneficial for me to adapt to their customs and understand that different countries have different ways of life. It allowed me to see the differences among cultures which gave me a broader outlook.

    New Environment

    While it was definitely a culture shock, I had to adapt to the environment in order to gain the most from the experience. After overcoming jetlag due to the time change, I slowly became more and more familiar with to my new surroundings. Embracing the day-to-day experience of living in a different country helped me to understand their unique customs and helped me to get the most out of the trip.

    Unique Experiences

    The most important aspect to a study abroad trip is to enjoy exposure to new experiences. I was able to take salsa lessons, surfing lessons, and a cooking class to learn how to make paella. We also visited outdoor markets with tents that sold locally made handbags, clothing, and other things. This was interesting to see what vendors could make and how they bargained with their customers for the products. These things were activities that people in this country did daily, so it was a unique feeling to be a part of things that were so different than where I am from.

    It is a profound experience to see different landmarks and meet new people outside of one’s own country. Any student who has the opportunity to study abroad should seize their chance in order to expand their knowledge.

    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
  • 4 Tips to Make Your First Year of College Easier

    by Josephina Hinds

    A student copies class notes from one notebook to another. There are also pens and snacks on the desk.

    College can be a scary thing and can sometimes feel like you are back in high school all over again. Let me assure you though that college is nothing like high school and can actually be a lot more fun. Here are some ways to make your first year just a bit easier.

    1. Don’t be afraid to go out and meet new people

    While it may seem like a very overwhelming thing to do, there are ways to make it easy. Campus-held events are a great way to get out and meet new friends. Most campuses will let you know in advice when an event is and what the event is going to be.

    Don’t be afraid to talk to the people in your major as well. This is a great way to connect with people who have the same interest as you.

    2. Put yourself out there

    Get your name out in the community. Join groups or clubs to get out there and make more connections. If your college has volunteer clubs, joining can help you make new friends and also help you get familiar with your new town if you aren’t from there.

    3. Get organized

    I was not organized when I was younger but trust me when I say that organization is going to be your best friend. Get sticky notes to keep in your books so you aren’t marking them up.

    Whether your college uses Canvas or another learning management system (LMS), there’s probably a built-in to-do list. Use it to keep track of assignments so you won’t fall behind.

    Set reminders in your own calendar of what assignments are due when and what time they are due. This will help you stay on track even when you aren’t logging into your Canvas or other LMS on a regular basis.

    4. Take time to yourself

    I can’t stress this enough when I say you need to take time for yourself. Look after your mental health and take time when you need it. Talk with your professors when you need a break and most of the time they will be understanding. Take the time to do what you love and relax every once in a while.

    While your first year of college can seem crazy and wild, be sure to take in those fun moments. Make new friends and just remember to breathe. Have fun in your first year of college – you’ve got this!

    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
  • Study Locations to Keep You Motivated and Productive

    by Kaitlin Hung

    A latte in a white cup with a leaf design in the foam.

    Even after my third year of university and I STILL struggle with finding the ideal environment/habits for studying. This past quarter seemed to be one of my best quarters, not perfect but I was able to smoothly pass my classes while balancing two jobs. I was wondering what caused this and realized there was something I did differently. I studied in different spots!

    I noticed that the reason I don’t study as well in my room is because my room is a personal space of comfort. I subconsciously associate my room with relaxation which causes me to not work as hard or lose focus easily.

    In no particular order here are the different places I studied this year and what I loved about them:

    1. University Library

    My university’s library has many tables with dividers for individual study as well as study rooms you can reserve for hours. The library is a free option with Wi-Fi that allows me to study with my friends (including the ones that lived on campus and didn’t have a car). Being surrounded by studying students motivates me to study as hard as my peers. Not to mention our school’s libraries have a designated quiet floor for those who don’t enjoy the chatter!

    2. Local Cafes

    I’m not talking about the international chains of cafes, which aren’t a bad option at all, but the smaller rustic cafes that have dimmed lights and other seating options like couches or loveseats. People here will be independently working or having a chat with their friends, the white noise here is one of my favorite sounds to listen to while working. It may be difficult for some to work in dull lighting, but I personally enjoy it, it provides what I imagine “old school academia” would be like.

    3. Botanical Garden

    This may sound a bit impractical but think of it as a productive picnic! My university has a botanical garden but if your school doesn’t, a local park would be another great option! I usually study here if I have an exam coming up; I’d bring a clipboard and print all my practice material to go over so I wouldn’t have to use any electronics. The sun shining on me and the light breeze is a nice way to get out and stay productive. Check out this blog about how plants reduce stress!

    These are the main places I visited to stay motivated, and I look forward to finding new spots to study!

    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
  • Managing the Stress of College Life

    by Emilie Conners

    A water bottle and a writing journal set on a white blanket. The journal is titled “just breathe”.

    College can be exciting, stressful, fun, and overwhelming all at the same time. Enjoying your time spent in your college years while also taking advantage of the opportunities that are available to you is extremely important. Many of us juggle a part-time job or sport with a demanding class schedule that leaves us asking “how do I manage my stress during a time like this?” Here are some tips to help you balance all the pieces of your college life whether you’re an incoming freshman or you’re planning to graduate in the spring.

    Relieve Stress by Writing

    I have made a habit of journaling to help myself decompress during the week. Journaling can be extremely helpful for alleviating stress and anxiety. Some things I love to journal about are my goals, positive affirmations, and sometimes just thoughts to help organize my ideas. Starting your day off with journaling can help you begin your day in a positive manner.

    Sweat Away the Stress

    Working out during the week through an activity that’s fun for you can be a great way to let off some steam. Some ways you can do this are by taking a walk/jogging around campus, attending a workout class with some friends, or simply trying a new hobby like hiking or biking. Everyone likes working out in different ways and so there’s no wrong way to get your exercise in.

    Fight the F.O.M.O.

    Schedule time for yourself to enjoy moments with the people that are important to you. The “fear of missing out” is a common feeling among college students and can make handling multiple responsibilities nearly impossible. I have found that scheduling a dinner with your roommates once a week or coffee with a friend can make even the most chaotic weeks enjoyable and easier to get through. The people you surround yourself with are the people who help you become who you’re striving to be; don’t let those important relationships pass you by. However, it is also important to keep in mind that you shouldn’t stress about missing certain events, it won’t matter to you in the future and there will most likely be another opportunity just like it.

    The ultimate key to managing stress during college is not expecting yourself to do a million things at once. Just remember it’s okay to take some things off your plate if you feel overwhelmed or unable to complete everything you’re responsible for. College is all about taking advantage of opportunities and helping yourself become the best version of yourself possible. This takes patience, mistakes, and practice. Taking care of yourself is the first step to becoming successful at anything else. It is extremely important to value your mental and physical health before prioritizing your other responsibilities.

    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
  • Don’t Dread Volunteering

    by KC Cooper

    Blog author KC and a fellow student hold up part of a white banner that says ‘Yam Jam 2022’.

    Volunteering can help you gain real world experience by giving back to your community. High school students can use volunteering as a resume booster for colleges or trade school while college students can use it to apply to a master’s program or as a steppingstone in the workforce.

    But volunteering doesn’t have to be boring or merely a box on your checklist. When you volunteer, you are helping someone and that is a rewarding feeling. Everyone should volunteer at least once in their lives so they can promote a sense of community as well as gain valuable life skills by working with others.

    Below are some volunteering opportunities that may be in your city/area:

    1. Food Bank

    Most cities and states typically have food banks or food pantries that are open for volunteers WITHOUT any experience! You can expect to do a variety of tasks such as bagging potatoes or sorting cans from food drives.

    2. Community Garden

    Colleges, small towns, or a close neighborhood near you may have a community garden that is open to volunteers. Although it may seem like skills are needed, the tasks are usually things anyone can do. The spring and summer months may lead to more volunteers needed due to the fact that gardens flourish in warm weather. You can expect to water plants, weed around the vegetation, or help with organizational tasks.

    3. Animal Shelter

    Perfect for animal lovers, your local animal shelter may accept volunteers to help them take care of the future pets! Most places require a volunteer application and may or may not require experience. Volunteers may participate in a broad set of tasks ranging from feeding the animals to daily health checks.

    It is also important to note that signing up to volunteer isn’t a lifelong commitment unless you make it one. Most places that have volunteers work on a sign-up basis so you can volunteer when it’s convenient for you and your schedule. When you do volunteer, strive to give your best because whether you volunteer for the hours or volunteer for yourself you have the capability of positively impacting someone’s life.

    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 Impact of Movement on the Mind

    by Logan Collins

    A silhouetted figure is standing on a beach at sunrise.

    Mental health has been an increasing topic of conversation today, especially around the demographic of students. Mental health is impacted heavily through the amount of movement incorporated in our daily lives. For many college students, making movement a priority can be a challenge due to having to find a balance between their academics, career goals and personal life.

    With the direct influence that movement of the body has on the mind, making movement a priority can be essential in creating more balance in an individual’s life. Here are a few of the benefits that come from this and how to find ways to incorporate more movement in your life.

    Benefits to circulation, digestion, and stress level

    There are many benefits to health that occur as a result from movement, ranging from mental, physical, to emotional health.

    • Circulation: Circulation impacts the way we digest our food and process nutrients in our body. How does this improve our mental health? When we are digesting the proper nutrients our stress levels are easily manageable, allowing the brain to enhance the way it processes, retains, and remembers information.
    • Stress Management: Increased physical activity releases stress. This is one way to “blow off steam”. Stress has terrible effects on the body and the mind. The less stress we have, the better our mental and physical health will be. Manageable stress levels also have an influence on our sleep schedule. More sleep will also aid in digestion and memory. Posture, eating habits, and mood are also swayed by having a more active lifestyle. Check out this blog post to learn more ways to manage stress.

    Incorporate more movement in your life

    There are many ways to incorporate more habits that involve movement into one’s daily schedule. Find an exercise that works for your body, and you can see yourself wanting to do every day. This could be going to the gym, yoga, dance, or joining some sort of club sport. Or start with smaller movements. For example, setting a reminder to stand up and stretch and/or take a short 5-minute walk once an hour. Taking time to just breathe and walk helps refresh the brain. Even stretching for 5 minutes after waking up every day can make a huge difference.

    Listen to your body and find ways to start consistently incorporating more movement in your life and your mental health will benefit as well!

    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
  • Sell Yourself

    by Brian Hayes

    An academic building featuring white pillars and a collection of international flags hanging from the porch overhang.

    When you’re in the midst of a job search, you are actually selling a product – yourself. The ability to sell yourself to someone is an important skill. When this is done properly you can separate yourself from other people in a professional environment. Let’s talk about how to prepare to sell yourself and the key components that you should consider.

    Do Your Research

    Prior to meeting with a recruiter, you must do some research. It is rare that I encounter someone who enjoys doing research, but this step is critical. When talking to a potential employer about an opportunity in an environment such as a career fair, doing the necessary research can set you apart from other individuals competing for the same opportunity. Here are the three things that you need to research and understand:

    • The recruiter: It is important to research how long the recruiter has been with the company, their role with the company, where they graduated from and anything else that you can find that can allow you to relate and build rapport.
    • The actual company: If you are looking for an opportunity with an organization at the very least you should know the service or product that the company offers, their target market and mission statement.
    • Yourself: Get comfortable speaking about yourself and your story. It is also important to practice how you are going to tie your story and experiences with the company’s culture and mission.

    Researching and understanding these things can put you ahead of the curve and provide you with the confidence to speak with the person you will meet with. I will note that you will not always know these things as some opportunities might be more random than others, but it is always good to take time and ask questions to uncover facts about the company and the person you are speaking to.

    Ask About What You Want

    After you have completed your research, you should then think about what you want. This is known as the “ask”. People will do everything that we have spoken about to a tee but at the end they do not ask for anything. This wastes everyone’s time. When preparing to talk to a recruiter understand what you want out of the interaction and ask them for it. If you want a job, internship or informational meeting make sure that you have sold yourself well enough to have convinced them to consider granting you the request.

    Practice Makes Perfect

    Now that you have the necessary information to sell yourself to someone make sure that you practice before meeting with them. The more you practice the more comfortable you will be in these settings. Put everything we have talked about so far together and execute. Introduce yourself, show that you have done research on the person you are speaking with and the company, tie your story/ experience in with the company, and finally go for the ask!

    I would wish you luck, but luck is for the unprepared!

    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
  • Ready, Set, Goal

    by Jasmine Hartman Budnik

    A panoramic view of a mountain range under a blue with while clouds. A dirt trail is featured in the terrain in the forefront.

    Setting goals is important, but sometimes it’s hard to believe it will make much of a change in your life. I felt this way until recently when I began to rethink my idea of setting goals. Not only did I find I was more motivated, but I also started seeing actual progress in the goals I set. All it took were some new strategies and a redefinition of what it means to set goals. Here are a few tips that can change the game as you race towards the finish line of achieving your goals.

    Make a Goal and Make a Plan

    When I realized that the sticky note of New Years' resolutions on my desk was the extent of how I set goals, I wondered if my definition of setting goals was part of the reason why nothing ever came of them. It is easy to think that setting a goal means coming up with an idea of something you want to accomplish and “setting” it by writing it down or telling others about it. In reality, that process is just scratching the surface of what “setting a goal” should mean to you.

    I redefined the term to mean not only picking an end-goal, but also the process of making a plan, clearly defining the small steps that will get you there, and finding a way to keep yourself accountable. I only started seeing progress when my goals were no longer statements on a sticky note, but checkboxes in my planner, consistent physical reminders in my environment, and progress reports I made to my friends.

    Consistency is Key

    In terms of strategies to help you set goals that actually lead to changes, there are some tips we have all heard but need to start taking a lot more seriously. To start, goals take time. We all know that important goals can’t be achieved overnight, but that means you need to be ready to put in place a long-term plan. The steps you make should be consistent and placed into your weekly schedule, rather than having vague benchmarks that you hope you end up finding the time to meet. Your goals also need to be action-based. There are plenty of resources on how to set SMART goals or workbooks to walk you through the steps. While I sometimes feel constrained using those frameworks, the central theme that your goals should be realistic and actionable needs to be incorporated into your goals no matter what!

    Find Your Why

    Lastly, here are some strategies that I didn’t expect would make such a big difference in setting achievable goals. First, you need to know why you want to achieve that goal. This means getting past the desire to do something because everyone else is doing it or because other people will be impressed. If no one in the entire world ever knew or saw you reach this goal, why do you still want to achieve it? When you realize why you really want something, or that maybe you don’t actually want it, working on the steps to get there becomes a passion, rather than a chore.

    Finally, I learned that sometimes it is better to set fewer goals to give yourself the time and space to invest in them, rather than spreading yourself too thin. I believe it is better to achieve one goal than to set ten and never get around to them. By picking only the goals that were most important to me, I have been able to see my available time lead to visible progress. I hope these tips help you start the race towards achieving your goals!

    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
  • LinkedIn Tips for College Students

    by Sophie Harrison

    A screengrab of blog author Sophie Harrison’s LinkedIn profile featuring her profile picture, background photo of mountains, and her school details.

    LinkedIn is a powerful tool that allows students and professionals to connect at the click of a button. Due to this, it has become a handy platform that allows its users to utilize networking, career building, and job hunting. Here are some ways to promote your LinkedIn to create an effective page.

    Professional Profile Picture

    For starters, the importance of a strong profile picture and background is something you need to prioritize. A common issue is that you may not have a professional headshot. I have good news: two options can help you outside of scouting through old pictures of yourself. For instance, most colleges offer free headshots in their university career center or have specific days during a career fair or welcome week. However, if this is not available at your college or you are currently not in school, you can take a fantastic headshot at home. All you need is good lighting, a solid background, a professional shirt, and either a self-timer or someone to take the picture for you. In addition, choose a neutral background image that supports what you are interested in, such as an art piece. The profile picture and background you choose reflect your brand.

    Simple Introduction

    Next, the introduction should be clean, simple, and straight to the point. The headline is where you can put current info that stands out. For instance, you can put what you currently do: Pearson Campus Ambassador, Student at this University. Underneath that, you can re-enter your current position, education, location, and industry. Think of this as another opportunity to show off more about you.

    Write in Your Job and Educational Background

    List your work experience in chronological order in the Experience section underneath your headline. Show how long you were at a position, the location, job type, company, and add details about the position. The description section allows you to highlight the noteworthy details of your role in a brief informative paragraph. Since the section is short, highlight your achievements and the overview of what you did. The specific details are for your resume. Add anything relevant to your goals and career path. Include jobs that showcase your knowledge and experience of the industry.

    LinkedIn Extras

    The next sections cover education, organizations, licenses, and certifications where you can highlight what you studied. Specifically, you can list out major, minor, concentration within the field of the study section and then list out your activities and societies while there. Show off your well-rounded side and let employers or colleges see your interests. Keep this section brief and more of an ordered form. In the Organizations section, you can list the specifics, the purpose, and position. This is a great way for you to highlight your involvement. Similarly, the Honors and Awards section is where you can list out things you’ve won and where they occurred. Furthermore, if you’ve taken a separate class where you’ve gotten a certification such as being CPR trained or having a license in Excel you can place that here.

    The Courses section is useful to utilize, as well. It allows employers to see if you’ve taken relevant coursework and how far you are in your degree program. Additionally, I recommend filling out the Skills section and taking the skills tests if you can. It allows you to show off your skills and what you are talented in.

    I hope that this gives you an idea of how to develop your LinkedIn further to benefit you so that you can highlight yourself more proficiently and build your network.

    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
  • Pearson Student Leadership Summit 2022

    by Ryan Celestine

    A group of 18 students standing in two rows. The students in the front row hold large placards with the Pearson logo and letters spelling ‘STUDENTS’.

    What a weekend.

    The first ever Pearson Campus Ambassador (PCA) Leadership Summit was held in Columbus, Ohio in April 2022. The goal of this meeting was to continue to build a top ambassador program that reshapes Pearson’s brand in the minds of students nationwide. The meeting also aimed to capitalize on the success of four outgoing student Regional Coordinators (RCs) by imparting their knowledge to the incoming leadership team.

    Graduating PCAs Delaney Henson and Noah Myers made it their mission, beginning in November 2021, to demonstrate the impact an in-person meeting could have on the future success of the PCA program. They turned the once abstract idea into a set of concrete deliverables. Once final approval came through, the Student Programs team enlisted leaders from both Sales and Marketing teams to create sessions focused on sales growth in the Higher Education market.

    Experience

    The final product was truly an amazing experience. This summit allowed Pearson to bring together the heart of the PCA Program, which is composed of some of the best and brightest students from all over the country. It was a great opportunity to meet everyone in person. These are people I have worked with virtually for some time, so it was truly amazing getting to work in the same office as them and share meals together. The memories, laughs, and conversations I had with my fellow Pearson colleagues are something I will always remember.

    The pandemic taught us that a lot can get done virtually, but the virtual work environment is not the same as meeting in person. The feeling is just different. There is a certain level of heartfelt sincerity that comes with being physically present. You can interact with your colleagues in a way that you can’t behind a screen. The connections made, the relationships created, and the friendships formed during this Leadership Summit were truly special.

    I couldn’t think of a better way to share this experience than by having the voices of the other PCA attendees tell you.

    “My favorite part of the Summit was getting to meet everyone for the first time. I felt so lucky to have the opportunity to form not only work relationships but real friendships with my fellow PCAs who I now look forward to working with even more.” – Rachel Schachter, California State University, Northridge

    “This summit was truly a dream come true! I think my favorite part had to be the panel with the graduating RCs. I was able to learn so much from them in such a short period of time and the lessons I learned are ones that I will carry with me for the rest of my time at Pearson and beyond.” – Camryn Enloe, Oklahoma State University

    “I've been working virtually at Pearson for two years and while I was looking forward to meeting everyone in person, I didn't think it would impact me SO much. We had so many incredible conversations, and I learned so many things about the other regions that will help me SO much as the RC Trainer. I think that we'll be able to make an even bigger impact moving forward.” – Laura Avellaneda, Kennesaw State University

    “BEST TRIP EVER!! Getting to meet with my fellow RCs and Student Directors was so amazing. I learned so much from them professionally and personally, and it was truly an experience I will never forget. I left feeling so inspired, and I am so excited to implement everything that I learned.” – Ambyr Dack, Florida State University

    “Every single individual at the Leadership Summit was super friendly and incredibly brilliant. I feel like I grew so much from talking to them in person.” – Saleem Abu-Tayeh, University of Virginia

    “Nothing has been more impactful to me than having the opportunity to attend the Summit. The event allowed me not only to heighten my leadership and professional skills, but it allowed me to finally connect with so many of my peers that I have been working with virtually for months now.” – Taylor Falls, University of Alabama

    read more
  • Ten Ways to Make the Most of Your Day

    by Emma Karant

    Three female college students stand outside on their campus with their backpacks. They are wearing facemasks.

    Online classes seem to make life easier for some students, but for others, such as myself, online classes have drastically changed the set schedules that we once had. Having a schedule, including being on campus and attending class in person, gives many of us a feeling of stability and productivity. So how do we produce this feeling in our lives when a lot of our classes are still online?

    1. Wake up early

    If you wake up early, you can give yourself enough time to have a productive day and fit in everything you need to do from work, school, and being with friends and family!

    2. Start the day by making your bed

    When I start my day by making my bed, it makes me get up and move in the morning and stay up. Additionally, I am not as tempted to get back in bed throughout the day and take a nap or do nothing. This gives me more time to get things done throughout the day and be productive, especially when classes are online, and we don’t have to leave our rooms.

    3. Stay off your phone for as long as possible in the morning

    I know, out of habit, I normally check my phone as soon as I wake up. But, when I do this, it leaves me feeling stressed because I see all the things I need to do. Instead, aim to stay off your phone until you are ready for your day!

    4. Create a daily schedule

    Especially when we do not have a full schedule of in person classes, it helps to make a schedule for yourself that would be like one you had pre-COVID. The most important thing about this is to be consistent because it will help you ease back into the adjustment of having an in-person class schedule. Check out this blog with tips to help students stay organized.

    5. Make a to-do list

    I like to write down a weekly list for myself at the beginning of every week, so I know what I must do each day. This helps me not forget anything important and it feels good to check things off a list!

    6. Go to work out classes

    Working out helps you to feel good, but it can sometimes be hard to find time in your day to work out if you do not have a set schedule. I have found that going to work out classes, whether it is with your school or a company, helps you create a schedule for yourself. If you find a class you like, you can go every week to help yourself get into a pattern!

    7. Have self-care time

    Although it is important to be productive, to make the most out of your day you must remember to take time for yourself. Whether this is going on a walk, journaling, doing something you enjoy, or resting, it will help you feel motivated to work hard later!

    8. Don’t overwork yourself all in one day

    When I procrastinate, I get incredibly stressed. Even if I finish everything on time, when I am done, I never feel productive because of how stressed I was. To try and avoid this, break up your work throughout the week. If you do a little bit of work every day, it will make you feel more productive and less stressed! Check out this blog for more tips for time management.

    9. Try a new healthy food

    Eating healthy food can help you feel more energized and ready to go for your day! Without this, you will not have enough energy to continue your motivation throughout the remainder of the day. Check out these blogs by college students with tips on nutrition and meal prepping tips.

    10. Make time in your day for your social life

    Although getting work done and being productive is important, a part of productivity is being with people you love.

    There are many ways to make the most of your day. While it is up to you how you choose to organize your time, these are just a few examples of great ways to ensure that you make the most of each day. For more tips on how to succeed in online classes, visit this blog.

    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
  • Confidence: The most important thing for a college student

    by Joseph Titchen

    A man wearing black jeans and a yellow jacket stands with his back to the viewer, looking down in a series of brick archways.

    What is the most important thing a college student needs to be successful? Many will say a schedule, others may say smarts, and some may say communication. I got all these answers from fellow students at my community college.

    Honestly, it makes sense why these answers were the main ones that came up. With a schedule, you can get everything done and ultimately structure tends to lead to balance. Smarts are what many consider to be the difference between winners and losers. Finally, communication is important because knowing how to speak up when struggling can be a lifesaver, literally.

    However, I’d like to present an answer different from all the ones above. I’d like to confidently say that I believe confidence is the most important thing a college student needs to be successful.

    Confidence is the stepping-stone to all the other things we do in life.

    Schedules, smarts, and communication are built from confidence. Without confidence, none of these things could be created. A good example would be focusing on the communication many students said created a successful college student. Every time we talk to somebody, we make a conscious effort to make the move to speak. Sometimes during times of self-doubt or fear, we hold our tongues even when we know we want to talk. It’s happened to all of us, where we have been in a class and wanted to ask a question, but we didn’t because the environment was either too quiet or we asked ourselves whether the question was stupid or not or even worth the teacher’s time.

    But if confidence is so important, how can you build it up?

    Two tools I recommend to help build confidence are meditation and self-reassurance. When I say meditating, I’m not talking about being in the hills of mainland China or sitting on a podium while trying to keep your balance. When I say meditation, I just mean stepping away from your everyday activities, sitting in silence, and just letting your mind roam. Many times, people find that they start to think about themselves, their lives, and their days. This is the space where you truly get to ask yourself why you do the things you do and get answers. These answers can be a relief and help you realize that as a human, we don’t make decisions with no reason. Feeling like we do irrational things for no reason is what makes many of us feel isolated or even crazy. But better understanding yourself can combat these feelings.

    The other thing you can do is self-reassure. Practice positive self-talk. Pat yourself on the back when you do something good. Look at yourself in the mirror and say simple things like “you’re worth it” or “you can do it”. The things you constantly tell yourself become the things you believe.

    Being human, it is evident we will all face times of low confidence in our lives. But getting past these phases will ultimately make us the most successful people we can be. So, in truth, yes, I think confidence the most important thing a college student needs to be successful; but I also believe this is the most important thing for anybody no matter age, race, student or not, to be successful.

    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
  • Three Tips for Balancing the Summer Semester

    by Daniela Gomez Lopez

    A computer monitor displaying a student’s schedule and a laptop displaying class documents.

    With the summer semester right around the corner, some college students are looking forward to taking additional courses. And while it can be a great opportunity to get ahead in classes, students also need to understand the importance of taking a break to avoid burnout. Here are 3 tips you can incorporate into your semester to make sure you can focus on your academics, internships, extracurriculars and social life. 

    Organize your time

    Assignment due dates and test dates can be impossible to keep track of mentally, so write them down on a planner or virtual calendar. In my opinion, Google Calendar is the best way to organize your weeks since you have the availability to access your schedule everywhere there is internet. While you are making your schedule, remember to fit in your personal plans. Whether you are interning, doing extracurriculars, or working, your calendar should display all the events you can’t miss. 

    Extra tip: avoid Friday classes if possible, so you won’t have to turn down every fun summertime activity. If you have the availability to choose online classes, try them out; they provide a lot more flexibility.

    Set your summer goals 

    Whether school, travel, or socially related, write down what you want to accomplish this summer. After you have written down realistic goals, go through and prioritize them. It’s important to rearrange and plan out your priorities. Note that even though a social life and school are essential, so is your mental health, which might mean saying no to plans sometimes.

    Take advantage of the weather

    Studying doesn’t mean you need to stay cooped up in a library or your room. Take advantage of the weather and find new parks or coffee shops to explore. You’ll be taking advantage of that nice summer weather while also being productive. Since I love coffee, I always lean towards exploring new coffee shops. I also make it a habit to invite my friends if they ever need to get work done. When I do these “study dates,” I feel the most productive and inspired to keep trying out new places. 

    Summer classes offer a great opportunity to earn additional credits and can be successfully balanced with other summer activities with a little planning and goal setting. What will you accomplish this summer?

    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
  • Making Friends in College

    by Ashanti Crowder

    Two female high school students are smiling and hugging in front of a Jeep vehicle. They are both wearing black dresses and the female on the left is wearing a green graduation cap.

    For many of students, the shift from high school to college can be an extremely challenging and nerve-wracking experience. For most students, it is their first time away from their families and friends, navigating through a new state, city, or town. Starting fresh and making new friends can seem like quite the hassle. As a sophomore attending my first year on campus post-covid, here are a few tips and tricks I’ve learned on how to make friends on campus:

    Get Involved

    Campus involvement is a great way to meet new people and build relationships. What does it mean to be involved? Being an involved student means you are an active member of clubs and organizations on your campus. Joining clubs that are aligned with your personal interests, beliefs, and ideas can help you connect with people that you have something in common with!

    Use Your Residence Hall

    Some of the first people you’ll meet in college are your roommates. Get to know them and build a connection, share your interest, and invite them to attend events with you. Many college relationships and connections are built by being in the same place at the same time. Try speaking to your dorm neighbor or attending activities your residence hall may be hosting.

    Social Media

    Most colleges have a student activities council or some form of event coordinator. Follow your school’s social media pages to stay up to date with events that are happening around campus. This is a good way to reach out to other students and ask if they’re attending events. Check your school’s page for incoming freshmen. There are tons of new students who possibly don’t know anyone on the campus; reach out to people and get to know them!

    Join A Work Study

    As college students a little extra change in your pocket is an opportunity most of us won’t pass on. Working on campus will not only help you get familiar with your school but help you gain job experience and, of course, meet new people.

    And Last but Not Least, Attend Class

    As I mentioned earlier, being in the same place at the same time is how most relationships in college form. Attending classes, lectures, and tutoring allows you to connect with others easily. Offer to create a study group or GroupMe for the class. This is a way for everyone to get to know each other. If this is too large of a step, start with introducing yourself to the person that sits next to you.

    Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, even just a little, can make all the difference during your first weeks on campus. Be bold and take the first step to create friendships that will enhance your college experience and may last a lifetime.

    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
  • 3 Tips to Having Good Conversations

    by Johnny Condit

    Two college-aged men stand arm-in-arm on a ski slope on a sunny day. They are dressed in skiing attire.

    How many times do we get stuck in this situation when meeting someone for the first time?

    “Hi, my name is Johnny, how are you?”

    Then that person responds, “Hey, I’m Blake, I’m doing well, how are you?”

    …and then you respond, “I am doing well.”

    Then the most awkward, deafening silence fills the air as neither person has no idea what to say or think. Does this happen to you? This happened to me all the time and I have learned ways not to just take control of the conversation but to make it an enjoyable one. Here are 3 tips that can make any new encounter with a stranger easier.

    1. Take charge of a conversation

    People are dying to talk to people but are too timid because of the fear of awkward exchanges. Do not let that happen to you. Initiate conversation and you will be surprised at how many pleasant exchanges you have with other people. There always needs to be one driver – be that driver!

    2. Dig deeper into responses

    When you ask someone how their day is going and they respond with a typical answer like “it was good”, ask them “why was it good?” or “what did you do today to make it good?”. Make the other person answer an open-ended question so more conversation can develop. They might say, “I went on a jog today or I read a book”. From there, you open the opportunity to have something in common. You can respond with numerous options such as: “Oh, I love running, did you run cross country in high school”, “do you jog often?”, “what book are you reading?” or “what type of books do you like to read?”. You can do these types of questions with any response given to you. This type of question does two things: first, it increases the chances of commonality found, and two, it gives off an impression to the person that you are friendly and genuine.

    3. Ask a lot of “why” and “what” questions

    This builds from tip 2 and it may take time to develop but learn how to ask “why” and “what” questions. “Why do you like running?”, “what about running do you like or dislike the most?”, “what would you rather do than run?” These are questions that my 4 and 6-year-old nieces and nephews have, and it works! Just like a toddler, you need to have curiosity when speaking with someone new. These responses again make the conversation so much better, and you are not going to be stuck with one-word responses like “yes” or “no”. Again, these questions can be implemented with any topic that is brought up.

    I hope these 3 tips help! It does not matter whether you are extroverted or introverted; you can take charge of a conversation and make it a good one! Impress people on your conversation skills, it will make you more likable, approachable and make you stand out!

    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
  • Learning Through Intergenerational Connections

    by Miyu Nakajima

    Blog author Miyu Nakajima is wearing one of her vintage dresses, a long pink dress with short, puffed sleeves and belted at the waist. She is also wearing black Converse sneakers and has a black cross-body purse. She is standing on concrete steps and is looking back towards something behind her.

    "​The sooner growing older is stripped of reflexive dread, the better equipped we are to benefit from the countless ways in which it can enrich us."​ –Ashton Applewhite

    My vintage dress collection is still minimal, but I’m proud of it, nonetheless. After finding my first one at the thrift shop, I still remember twirling around with glee way too many times in a 1950s Candi Jones pink floral dress. I just love how these dresses are meant for dancing, to make you sway side by side so that you can feel the fabric swish past. And I know that the previous owners of these pieces must’ve felt the same way. I love knowing that. I love knowing that somewhere, in another timeline, they too, also felt dolled up in these dresses. It’s a shared experience.

    In A Way, It Is Time Travel

    That’s why I love listening to older people talk about their past, nodding along as they describe their first heartbreak, their first time holding a baby, their wedding, and more. I know that I’ll get to that chapter of life one day and experience those same feelings, but for now, I just get to listen and, in a way, time travel.

    To Be Truly Wise Is to Learn from Other’s Mistakes Before They Become Yours

    As graduation approaches, I can feel the impending pressure to ensure I’m “adulting” and securing my future. However, I’ve learned that the best way to deal with this graduation anxiety is to talk with older people, particularly seniors who have so much wisdom. I encourage college students to connect with elders and be inspired to make an impact in the world that the seniors entrusted us with. You can find seniors to talk to at senior retirement centers, volunteer opportunities, and maybe even through family friends.

    The more I talk with seniors, the more I realize the importance of stepping away from the screen, enjoying the small moments (like dancing in a beautiful dress), and having an abundant mindset ready to tackle new experiences and learn from mistakes. Yet, despite all of this wisdom, our society perpetuates ageism. So many seniors have fought through obstacles like misogyny, financial crisis, and more, which inspires me to keep pushing through, despite it all. I hope that through intergenerational connections, I can learn not to be anxious about my future and continue to be a lifelong scholar who strives to turn the world into a comfortable place for our senior citizens, all the while swishing around in hand-me-down vintage dresses.

    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
  • Avoid the Trap of Comparing Yourself to Others on Social Media

    by Chris Simmons

    Blog author Chris Simmons is standing 3rd from the left in a row of seven male college students standing arm-in-arm.

    Dear Instagram,

    I am so frustrated with you right now. I would have never thought that you would be one of the leading causes to so many mental health problems for my generation. I remember when I first downloaded you in 7th grade. I used to spend 8 hours a day using your app. I used to feel like I had to post pictures every day to seek attention from others. I used to feel anxious about my life because I thought I wasn’t doing enough compared to what someone else was doing. Then as I got older, I realized that your app has been feeding people like me misconceptions about who they are and what their value is in life. This has led to a major identity crisis in this generation.

    Now that Instagram has made it possible to see pictures of what others are doing, it makes people feel like they aren’t doing enough with their life because they may not be posting the stacks of money in their hand, or the nice house and cars in their driveway. This has caused people to measure their level of success by comparing what they have to what someone else has.

    That’s one thing I started to notice about going onto Instagram nowadays. People are constantly showing off everything they possess to prove that their life is worth something: a house with double doors, a swimming pool, and three cars in the driveway. Many social media users have come to think that the person with all those material things is the standard of what being successful looks like, which is a misconception. Success is about how far YOU have come in your journey to get to where you want to be NOT by anyone else’s journey! Everybody starts from different places so don’t expect your path to be like someone else’s path.

    Instagram is also where people can develop misconceptions about the standard of beauty. The study covered in this USA Today article included teen social media users in the U.S. and the U.K. It found that “over 40% of Instagram users who reported feeling “unattractive” traced that feeling back to the platform.” It frustrates me when I hear people talk down about themselves because they don’t have the certain look as some other person they might see on there. I hear a lot of people say things like; I wish I had blonde hair like them, I wish I was as skinny as them, I wish I had their skin tone. It’s because when they’re looking at someone else’s page with the 1 million or 2 million followers and reading comments on their picture that have the heart eyes emoji, they are thinking to themselves, ‘this must be what I need to look like in order to be labeled as beautiful’. But I’m here to tell you that beauty is not defined by another person on Instagram. Beauty is defined by the way YOU see yourself. It’s about embracing who God created you to be and having the confidence to go out in the world and step toward your purpose!

    For those of you who are using Instagram, do not let other people on the app try and talk you out of being who you are. You are unique and talented in your own way, and you do not have to spend all your energy trying to prove that to anyone. The only person that can verify you is 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
  • Take a Step Back to Manage Your Stress

    by Kayshla Jimenez

    A patch of bright purple flowers from the blog author’s garden.

    As the semester ends it means finals are slowly approaching, and there's something everyone shares from this: stress, anxiety, and the feeling of being overwhelmed. Everyone should be learning to de-stress from the finals, take a step back and breathe. It's important to remember that it's completely natural to feel stress and anxiety in ourselves but those shouldn’t stop us from obtaining peace. It can all start with taking breaks from social media, taking care of your body, taking some time to unwind and relax, and connecting with friends and family.

    Like you, I also become overwhelmed with stress when finals approach; it leaves me restless and unable to properly focus. I've realized now though that taking some time to destress isn’t a bad thing. Here are three techniques I do when I'm filled with anxiety.

    Meditate

    First and most importantly, maintaining a clear and calm mindset can get you up and going and could help you finish strong. It could start with you in your room. Set up your space to be clean and peaceful. Ordering your surroundings can help order your mind. Adding plants to your space can help decrease stress and promote a more meditative environment. Meditation is a common practice along with yoga and prayer that can help your mind and body.

    Get Moving

    Another approach you can attempt is exercise, staying fit and being active can let you destress, it can also apply to taking a walk, jog or quick run. Eating well and getting enough sleep helps maintain the best health. A healthy body promotes a healthy mind too.

    Unplug

    Unplugging from social media could be one of the best escapes to destress, even if it's for a short period of time. You can listen to music or spend time on one of your hobbies. Try something new. One thing about social media is the novelty it brings. Our brain craves that. If we give it novelty outside of social media, we can still satisfy that while experiencing new things.

    These are just suggestions; you can change it to fit your liking. But remember – stress only happens when you feel you must figure everything out at once. Just take a deep breath and move forward. For more tips on how to handle anxiety and stress, visit this blog.

    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
  • Reduce Distractions to Improve Your Study Sessions

    by Molly McKenna

    A young female college student sits at a table studying surrounded by her notes, a laptop, and a water bottle.

    Do you ever have a challenging time studying? Do you often find yourself getting distracted and losing focus? Guess what... we have all been there. Studying can be a tedious task, especially when you are not prepared. Simple changes to your routine could tremendously help with your ability to get work done in the most efficient way. Ranging from finding the perfect spot to having the perfect materials, I am here to provide you with study tips and tricks that have motivated me to complete assignments and to properly conquer my studying requirements.

    Step One: Find A Spot That Is Secluded from Noise and Distractions

    I am one to get distracted very easily, but one of the best ways for me to stay focused is to set up my workspace on a quiet floor in the library or study lounge in my living complex. Another key component to feeling prepared to work is having a spacious workspace. When my area is cluttered with extra papers and junk, I feel overwhelmed. Attempting to eliminate any unnecessary clutter from your space and allowing yourself to dissociate from others during your studying time will help conquer that common overwhelmed feeling. If surrounded by friends, I will usually not complete as much as I originally hoped to because of distractive conversations. Set small goals and allow yourself to have more breaks after achieving each goal and not become overwhelmed by the total amount of assignments and studying requirements on your plate.

    Step Two: Put Your Phone Away (Or At Least Silenced)

    Technology is a huge cause of distraction nowadays. Although it can commonly be used as a tool in work and studying assignments, staying away from social media and other extracurriculars is such an important key to staying on task. Most are probably guilty of procrastinating an assignment and when finally getting to that assignment, only wanting to scroll through their latest feed. I know I have been there! Having your electronic device next to you with messages popping up is quite a tempting interruption. To maximize the potential of your studying and staying on task, I suggest silence your phone and put it out of sight at least for a set amount of time. Start with 20 minutes and continue to increase the time interval– no phone and no distractions. After those 20 minutes, allow yourself to have a 3-minute break. This should lower the chances of wanting to grab that phone constantly and will make getting work done more efficient.

    Step Three: Be Prepared with The Necessary Materials.

    Before sitting down to get to work, I suggest looking over each task to see what materials you will need. Do you need to print papers out? Are highlighters going to be a useful tool for studying purposes? When studying, I like to have notes printed and separated by class. I always utilize highlighters to help me stay organized with material. If not on paper, I usually will have my laptop and use the tools built into the program my notes are on. Aside from studying materials, I suggest having water and a light snack next to you to prevent you from having to get up and become distracted. Being prepared will already have you feeling accomplished before even starting your assignments.

    With these tips and tricks in mind, you will be set to manage your assignment and studying goals. Simple adjustments to your work habits and methods of achieving your academic tasks will have you prepared to get to work in the most efficient environment.

    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 Illusions of Social Media

    by Sadaf Nasiri

    An adult male with dark hair and beard is lying on his back with his head on a backpack. He is wearing headphones and looking at his mobile phone.

    "Social media isn't real life!"

    This is a common phrase we hear in our everyday lives as people critique the false reality of social media. Like other social media platforms, Instagram pushes forward this "perfect" reality of others around us. While it is nice to see what our favorite celebrities or influencers are up to, is it worth the cost of it ruining our perspectives of our own lives and directions?

    Be On Your Guard

    To be frank, I find myself also getting lost in the continuous scrolling process. It is nice to connect with those we know from the past or present and possibly connect to new people in the future, but we all have to play some form of devil's advocate when it comes to social media and how it can impact our lives. Social media has the power to distract us with even the smallest thing such as an ad or a picture. The control that social media has obtained over the years is quite frightening, but who can we blame for this?

    Increased Pressure

    It is so hard to pinpoint the villain in this narrative when we all contributed to the rise of social media in this day and age. The pressures of being suitable for society’s norms are already high enough, but social media just increases this pressure as it pushes people to believe that they must be the best or at least present themselves as the best.

    False Reality

    Other technologies, like photoshop, filters, and other editing tools help create the illusion of perfection and attainability of society’s high standards. A good portion of people use these every day or on social media. I can say that I do too because it is so common now to use one of these tools. However, at the end of the day, we need to realize that all these things aren’t 100% true as they seem. We need a reality check to make sure we aren’t consumed by the high standards and pressures presented through social media and society.

    We are human beings who were designed to be ourselves and be authentic to that. Keep that in mind the next time you’re scrolling through social media and see an influencer’s post that makes you ever doubt yourself. Because deep down, we all struggle with the illusions of social media and the impacts they have on us.

    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
  • Seven Must-Have Apps for College Students

    by Erica Yap

    A young female college student sits at a desk working on a tablet.

    How many times have you heard that your mobile devices are a distraction? While the answer may be a lot, there are surprisingly several apps available to optimize your learning, maintain your focus, and help you manage your time better. As a student who is often on the go, I want to share my favorite mobile apps that have helped turn my mobile devices into my best study buddies over the course of my four years in college.

    1. Pearson+: Whenever I am riding the bus to and from campus, a very productive use of my time is to scroll through flashcards offline on the Pearson+ app. Even if it is just a few minutes of study time here and there, it really adds up! Many other features to the Pearson+ app include access to textbooks, an audio player, advanced note taking, practice questions, and tutoring discounts!

    2. Mondly: I always wanted to study at least one semester abroad, so I use Mondly to learn languages. It’s fun, easy to use and it includes just the right amount of gamification without distracting me from actually learning. Conversation practice feels like talking to a friend, so I never have to worry I won’t be good enough in real-life situations.

    3. Flora: Have you ever wanted a virtual plant? The Flora app uses gamified technology to give you that extra incentive to focus. The longer you spend working on your assignments or completing your studying, the more time your virtual seed must grow! When you choose to browse a different website or hop onto social media, then your virtual plant dies.

    4. Notability: A powerful, yet simple note-taking app that allows you to make PDF annotations. On this app, I find it helpful to download class PowerPoints beforehand and take notes directly on the slides while my professor teaches the material. I also use this app to sign documents and highlight my notes as I study outside of class.

    read more
  • Three Ways College Students Can Prioritize Their Health

    by Mercy Aruleba

    A young female college students rides a bike on a city sidewalk.

    As a full time, college student, it’s easy to neglect your well-being as you’re multitasking with life problems. We prioritize schoolwork, extracurricular activities, work outside of school and social life. But one thing we tend to forget quickly is ourselves! I’ve gathered a few tips along the way that have helped me navigate through the stressful times as a full-time student. Here are three amazing ways you can practice healthy living to navigate through everyday challenges.

    Take Time and Get Some Sunshine

    Sunlight exposure can provide a variety of health benefits, so it is extremely important to make a point to get outside throughout the week. During the colder months it can be challenging to find any sunshine as the days are shorter. Taking time to go for walk during sunny hours will help increase your extra vitamin D nutrients while also increasing your serotonin. As a college student it’s very easy to lose track of time when it comes to balancing school assignments and extracurricular activities so it’s imperative to implement into your daily routine. The health benefits of sunlight include generating the production of vitamin D, supporting bone health, lowering blood pressure, preventing disease, and promoting good mental health.

    Change Your Surroundings

    Last year, the transition from in-person to online classes and remote learning was a huge jump for the whole world. Many students continue to deal with a hybrid combination of online learning and in-person classes. When studying remotely, it can be very easy to stay in one location and complete your assignments. Try looking for a new study spot to promote better memory recall when it comes to studying and completing assignments.

    Sleeping Is Medicine

    It can be very difficult for college students to get the recommended 6- 8 of sleep per night if they are pulling all-nighters to study for exams and complete projects. The best tip I’d recommend is to prioritize your sleep. Taking time to rest your body and mind allows you to recover from any day’s challenges. Students who sleep better enjoy better grades, better recall, better mood, and better health. Better sleep is associated with improved academic performance. To enjoy the maximum benefits of good sleep, you should consistently get sufficient hours of sleep nightly for at least a week leading up to your exam.

    With these amazing tips incorporated into your daily routine, you'll see a huge difference in your everyday life. These steps have improved my daily life as I feel more energized to start my day and take on tomorrow's obstacle.

    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
  • Four Money Management Tips for College Students

    by Matthew Dougherty

    Blog author Matthew Dougherty sits at a desk looking at two computer screens, both displaying financial documents.

    College is an important time in many people’s lives. For some, it is the first time they live independently and have bills to pay. The habits you form in college will impact your habits in the future, especially when it comes to money management. It is important to develop good practices and habits when it comes to your finances because what you do in college can either put you ahead in life or hold you back. Here are four topics to think about and/or actions to take while in college that will prepare you for the future.

    Understand Student Loans

    We can’t talk about how to effectively manage money in college without talking about student loans. Too many students go to college and agree to take out loans, without knowing the terms of the loans or realizing the impact these loans can have on them later in life. Every college student should work part time to make some money and gain work experience. You should aim to pay for as much of your living and tuition expenses as possible.

    Once you have a job and steady income, you can decide whether you will need to take out student loans, and, if you do, how much you should take out. Pay close attention to the interest rates on loans if you do take them out. Look for loans that have less than 5% interest rates. If interest rates are over 5%, you should try to look at alternative options. Generally, federal loans will have much lower interest rates than private loans and you should look here first. Additionally, you can look for opportunities such as scholarships and grants to help pay for the costs of college.

    Brains in Budgeting

    While working part time in college and paying bills, you should begin to track your income and expenses. This is generally referred to as a budget or cash flow analysis. You can make a budget in Excel, on a Google spreadsheet, on paper, or you can use a budgeting app such as Mint, Personal Capital, or EveryDollar.

    When making a budget, you will want to split it into income and expenses. In the income section, list the paychecks you receive from work, income from side hustles and investments (if applicable), and cash gifts. In the expenses section, choose categories that apply to your situation such as housing, utilities, transportation, food, etc. Once you have chosen your categories you can add subcategories underneath. For example, rent and household supplies could go under housing; electricity, water, and internet could go under utilities; gas and car insurance could go under transportation; and groceries and eating out could go under food. It is important to track your income and expenses, so you know where your money is going.

    Build an Emergency Fund

    If you have discretionary income remaining after paying for living expenses and tuition, focus on building an emergency fund with 3-6 months of expenses. This will ensure that you are still able to pay your tuition and bills in case you are between jobs. You can keep your emergency fund in a money market or high yield savings account.

    Start Investing Now

    Once you have a fully funded emergency fund, you can consider investing. The sooner you start investing, the longer your money will have to grow. It is important to get in the habit of saving and investing and this can start in college. Even if you are only able to invest $20 a month, this will start the habit of investing. Since you are young and in a low tax bracket, consider opening a Roth IRA so your money can grow tax-free. You can open a Roth IRA at a brokerage firm such as Fidelity or Vanguard. I recommend investing in a total stock market index fund and putting in the same amount of money each month.

    Doing things such as minimizing student loan debt, budgeting, building an emergency fund, and investing in college can help put you ahead in life and set you up for success in the future. It is important to build these habits in college so you can graduate in a good financial position and be prepared to manage more money after college when you are working full time and no longer must pay for school. If you can learn and implement these important lessons in college, you will look back one day and be glad that you started early.

    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
  • Find a Way to Balance School and Life Now to Avoid Regrets Later On

    by Courtney Lally

    A young female college student with long blonde hair is sitting at student desk, looking at a laptop screen and taking notes.

    As a college student taking many difficult classes, being a part of different organizations, and wanting to have time for a social life, it becomes difficult to find a balance. I often found myself spending too much time locked in my room doing homework and studying, therefore missing out on time spent doing the things I love. I don't want anyone to make the same mistakes I made and have senior year come wishing you would've spent more time doing those fun things. Don't worry, though, you can learn from me – here is how I made adjustments to create a healthy balance between school and life.

    Mindset Makes Everything

    I grew up with two very strong, independent parents and two brothers. My brothers pushed me to be more of a tomboy instead of a girly girl, and I often was judged for it throughout my elementary and middle school days. People would say mean things and I was grasping for something that could make me special, because clearly it was not my appearance, the sports I played, or my voice. I discovered that when I put more time and energy into school, did the homework, and studied a sufficient amount, I easily earned A’s. With this, I was the valedictorian of my 8th grade class, and I went into high school having the same mindset – get all A’s to prove you are worthy. I did exactly that in high school and felt very confident about myself due to my performance in school.

    I assumed that the way I had operated up until my senior year of high school would be perfectly fine to replicate in college, but boy was I wrong.

    You Are Inherently Worthy No Matter What You Achieve

    I spent my first three years of college doing the exact same thing – going to class and doing homework until it was time for bed. Hanging out with friends during the week was never something that occurred to me as an option. As I approached my senior year, I found myself being very depressed due to the fact that school consumed most of my life; I began to feel drained and unfulfilled. I realized that I couldn’t keep neglecting alone time and time with friends solely to get straight A’s to “prove myself.” The funniest thing looking back is that I’m not quite sure who I was trying to prove myself to – perhaps it was me, but it definitely wasn’t anyone else because I came to realize that they actually loved me beyond my academic performance.

    Reprioritizing ME

    I decided to make a crucial change in how I operated on a daily basis in order to refrain from missing out on the fun things in life. I began treating my schoolwork and fitness as a full-time 9 am to 5 pm job. As much as I hate waking up early, doing so has allowed me to attend class, get homework done, and spend time on my personal health. Once 5 pm hits, I make dinner and dedicate the rest of the evening to hanging out with my roommates and friends. This seemingly minor, yet impactful change improved both my physical and mental health while also allowing me to maintain my academic performance.

    Consider making this type of change for yourself. I promise you; you will not look back in 5 years and remember the grade you received in an economics class – you will remember the time you enjoyed working on yourself and surrounding yourself with those that you love. Learn from my mistakes and make adjustments now so you don’t have regrets at the end of your college 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
  • How I Transformed into a Totally Digital Student and Artist This Year

    by Ankita Chittiprolu

    Two photos side-by-side showing how the blog author uses her tablet. The left side shows her digital artwork, including a hummingbird drawing. The right side shows how she takes notes on her tablet during class.

    Coming out of high school, my desks, shelves, and tables in my room were filled with papers and textbooks, even after graduating. I knew I had to change my system for college. I couldn't just continue to hoard all my notes with the mental process of hoping I'll need them in the future.

    Invest In Your Future

    After extensive research, I came across the Apple iPad and Apple pencil. However, the price was a nightmare – I couldn't afford something like this after going on a spring break trip in my senior year of high school. Working a tutoring job, I saved throughout the summer. I finally bought an iPad and a second-hand Apple pencil from Amazon during Black Friday.

    All Your Materials in One Place

    I started by downloading GoodNotes, an app that specializes in writing notes. The possibilities were endless! This app held my planner, notebooks for class, lab reports, and pdf copies of articles I needed to read. I was even able to doodle and take quick notes on the app. It felt like I was writing on paper with unlimited colored pens and highlighters with an Apple pencil. I bought all my textbooks in an eBook format and accessed them through my iPad from apps such as Pearson e-text and iBooks. These apps allowed me to take notes and highlight the pages in my textbook. In the past, through rental books, these actions were constricted. I never “forgot” my books in the dorm or misplaced my papers because the digital copies were on my iPad.

    Sustainably Study

    I bought a keyboard that connected to my iPad through Bluetooth so I could type class papers or any essays, which made things even better. It transformed my lifestyle. I was no longer carrying heavy weights and my friends were envious of my easily accessible notes and e-texts. For any papers that were provided in class, I could just scan the paper and get a digital copy on my iPad to write on – an environmentally friendly way to save paper. Especially with the current conditions, a lot of assignments are done online – I no longer need to print out my assignments to work on them, I just download a copy onto my iPad and complete the assignment. It is very simple and efficient, and singlehandedly the best decision I made in my freshman year of college.

    Clean, Conscious, & Concise Creativity

    Not only did I use my iPad for my academic endeavors, but I also downloaded an app called Procreate, a digital art studio. Though the iPad doesn't mimic a paintbrush that I usually work with, it was very close! I loved drawing and painting on it, and the best part was that I wasn’t making a mess of art supplies or paint. The complexity behind this app is incredible, there are numerous features for even professional artists. There were 100s of “brushes” to choose from, various color palettes, and inspiration you can draw from. This provided a way for me to destress without bringing out my canvas, water, and paints. It was versatile and easy to use and allowed me to easily fix mistakes if needed.

    I believe that investing in an iPad was a good decision, however, there are many alternatives. I recommend researching online and then visiting technology stores near you to try out different products before deciding on investing in the one that best fits 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
  • Stress: What It Is and How to Handle It

    by Andrew Bierbower

    A young female college student sits at a desk in her room working on a laptop computer. There is also a desktop monitor and tablet open on her desk. There are various posters on the wall in front of her, including one for Harry Styles.

    Stress is not inherently a bad thing. Stress can be a good motivator and can help you be productive. No one lives a completely stress-free life. The important thing to recognize is when your stress begins to take over everyday tasks and becomes counter-productive. If your stress begins to impinge on your ability to complete daily tasks or if it becomes debilitating, it’s well past the point of you having to talk to someone. Here are four things students can do to manage stress.

    Evaluate The Semester

    First, understand that semesters are variable and can range from overwhelming to easy. It is not forever, even though it may seem that way, and you will get through it. Lowering your expectations for school and concentrating more on improving your life balance to improve your stress will work wonders for your mental well-being.

    If you are working while also enrolled in school, try to see if you can reduce your work hours for your busiest school weeks or around big projects. Go over your semester with your boss and see if you can work around difficult weeks. Perhaps you can drop a shift here or there or take a few fewer hours and make up for it later. Trying to balance too many things at once is one of the leading causes of stress and the simplest solution is almost always the best: do less!

    Have a Game Plan

    Maximizing your available time is another key tip in reducing the stress you feel when your plate is full. Getting a scheduler and planning out your week, hour by hour or day by day can help you feel more in control of your life. You can see what you must complete and can more easily schedule more downtime. That could mean you take a half-hour/hour each day to go for a walk or run, read, hang out with friends, go to the gym, watch tv, or just zone out. Make sure you are actively scheduling your time!

    Use Your Resources

    One of the hardest things to do when you are feeling overwhelmed is to reach out for help. This means going to your professor's office hours when you don't understand a concept in class. This means heading over to your wellness center and talking to a counselor about your stress. This means participating in campus activities or club events. This means seeking out workshops dedicated to making you a better student. Utilize the resources on your campus that are there to make your life easier!

    Study for Mastery

    Lastly, studying more efficiently can reduce the amount of time it feels like you’re spending on tasks. Don't spend 4 hours studying what could be learned in 20 min. One of the worst ways that you can study is simply by re-reading the material. Instead, try writing out your notes again or writing them in a different format; even better yet, explain your notes to a friend! Mastery of a subject comes when you can explain it to someone else. For math or science-heavy subjects, the only way to study is by practicing questions repeatedly, so get extra questions from your professor or online.

    Putting these tips into practice can be much harder than just reading about them. It is important to take small, incremental steps and make sure you aren’t overwhelming yourself all at once.

    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
  • Set Yourself Ahead by Taking Classes During Summer or Winter Break

    by McKinley Falkowski

    A young Black college professor stands in front of the classroom with his back to a green chalkboard. Several students seated in front of him are raising their hands.

    Let’s be honest, the idea of winter or summer break and schoolwork don’t go together. Summers are supposed to be for the beach, and winter for skiing. But there are numerous advantages to taking courses during the winter or summer break. Taking winter or summer classes can set you ahead and make life easier for you in the fall or spring semesters. I will explore four key reasons why taking winter or summer courses can be advantageous to you.

    1. Fewer classes during the fall or spring semester – Depending on your financial aid circumstances, taking a class or two during the break may help you rebalance how many classes you are taking in the fall or spring semester. This can mean that you don’t need to overload yourself during those semesters by trying to fill your schedule with as many classes as possible. Additionally, it can help you out by allowing you to focus on those harder classes you signed up for. For example, if you know you need to take organic chemistry and calculus, why take those in the same semester when you can take the classes in a longer period you so can have ample time to devote to those two difficult classes.
    2. Knock out a prerequisite course or two and get into the upper-level classes – Taking a winter or summer course will allow you to get into those upper-level classes much faster as usually they offer prerequisite courses during these semesters. Getting into the upper-level classes sooner may be advantageous because it may open up opportunities to internships and future research with professors as they look for students who have taken certain courses and have ample time left during their university studies. Perhaps one of the greatest aspects of winter or summer classes is that they often do not take place in a packed lecture hall! This provides a greater opportunity to develop a rapport with a professor or TA.
    3. Keep your mind in the academic groove – I have often found it difficult to transition back into the “academic groove” during the first couple weeks of the fall or spring semester when I had not taken a winter or summer course. Up until that first exam, I wouldn’t devote the necessary time needed to fully grasp material and would in some cases fall behind for the remainder of the semester as I didn’t have complete understanding of material. Taking a winter or summer course has allowed my mind to remain in that groove and I also found it easier to concentrate, and devote the necessary time needed for material during the entirety of fall and spring semesters.
    4. You can still do all the activities you want to do with good time management – With good time management, all the skiing and beach trips are still possible even when you have academic commitments. Unless its an online course, you won’t be able to go away for a weeklong vacation, but it is still possible to do so many thrilling and relaxing activities. My tips for having good time management are to use a calendar, designate time each week to focus on each course, and write down all your assignment due dates together so you see what is coming up.

    Winter and summer classes sound like the worst-case scenario for a break. But they can be worth it and set you ahead for future success!

    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
  • Take a Break and Get Outside

    by Carl Conley

    A panoramic view of a large brown, hilly area for 4-wheeling at sunset.

    Nearing the end of the semester, students will be faced with the most difficult time of year... finals. Final exams are what most students dread every year right before leaving for break. Studying for hours can be exhausting and take a toll on students’ physical and mental health. Here are three activities that have helped me stay focused and determined while studying for those big exams.

    Put Down the Phone

    There have been many times while I was studying that I would pick up my phone to text one person back. What do you know?: 30 minutes later I would still be on my phone scrolling mindlessly through social media while accomplishing no work. Then I would stop looking at my phone screen and look right back onto my computer or iPad screen. This turned into hours of staring at nothing but screens, leading to headaches and sore eyes. I can easily say that the best decision I have ever made is to leave my phone in another room or my backpack while studying and not right next to me on the table.

    Fresh Air is Essential

    Sitting inside for hours on end is an easy way to lose motivation. On average, a person can stay focused for about 45 minutes at one time before their mind starts to wander. This may not seem like a long time to study for some people, but it can vary from person to person. What I have figured out works best for me is setting a timer for 45 minutes. As soon as those 45 minutes are up, I stop working, close my computer and take a 15-minute break. The best way to take a break is to get outside and enjoy a new environment, some sunshine, and fresh air.

    Fresh oxygen can lead to keeping your eyes and brain running in the best shape possible. As referenced in this article on how fresh air affects children’s’ learning, “allowing in fresh air cleans the lungs and gets rid of impurities and allows more oxygen into the body. The brain uses 20% of the body’s oxygen supply – therefore keeping the air fresh is a sure way of keeping (your brain) working at top capacity to help in learning” [1]. Where going on your phone for 15 minutes will do nothing but strain your eyes, stepping outside and breathing the fresh air will immediately help your entire mental state.

    Get Moving

    Physical activity is a perfect way to take your mind off the stress of school. Some of my favorite activities to do outside include going for a run or bike ride, playing spike ball with friends, or going for a hike/walk to relax and enjoy the outdoors while letting my mind take a break. Not only does regular physical activity help ensure you will stay in shape throughout the school year but, according to Heidi Godman at Harvard Health Publishing [2], “exercise changes the brain in ways that protect memory and thinking skills”.

    I can personally say that ever since I changed my study habits and stuck to the basics of putting my phone away, taking scheduled breaks outside, and getting regular exercise, I have seen a drastic change in the efficiency of studying. It now takes me less time to go through the material because the 15-minute breaks of fresh air or exercise help me stay much more focused during the 45 minutes of work.

    With finals coming up, don’t make the same mistakes I once did of staring at screens for hours on end. Ironically, taking a break from studying every now and then may be your best chance to study effectively!

    References:

    Fireco. (n.d.) How Fresh Air Creates Happier Classroom. Fireco.uk. https://www.fireco.uk/how-fresh-air-creates-happier-classrooms/#:~:text=Allowing%20in%20fresh%20air%20cleans,capacity%20to%20help%20their%20learning.

    Godman, Heidi (2014, April 9). Regular exercise changes the brain to improve memory, thinking skills. Harvard Health Publishing. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/regular-exercise-changes-brain-improve-memory-thinking-skills-201404097110

    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
  • Planning the Next Step

    by Marissa Atilano

    A young college woman standing in front of a white board in a conference room. She is looking down at a laptop open on the table in front of her. The words ‘Determine Your Goal’ are written on the white board.

    Imagine this, finally, the time has come. As you toss your grad cap in the air, you think back on all the memories you've made throughout your time in college: cooking with your roommates, going to tailgates, cheering on your team, and pulling off a few all-nighters to earn that A on your final project. Now, as the cap falls back into your lap, you think about what is next.

    What is next? Did you plan for the next step? How could you have found the time to worry about the future when you were worrying about the present? You're in luck, as you have found the blog that guides you in avoiding this unwanted situation. Even if you are reading this as you throw your grad cap in the air, you can set yourself up for success post-graduation by following these tips for planning the next step.

    Determine Your Goals

    The first step in every plan is to determine the end goal. You can have multiple end goals for post-graduation that focus on career, lifestyle, or personal life. To discover your goals, spend time studying yourself and gather your wants and needs for your future. Your initial goals do not have to be detailed and definitive. As you continue your journey in reaching your goals, you may find that they change or become more concrete.

    Create A Schedule

    Creating a schedule can be the most influential process in planning the next step if done properly. Allocate time on a weekly, or even daily, basis to work on reaching your goals. To make your schedule efficient and realistic, set working times and deadlines for small goals that will collectively assist you in reaching your ultimate end goal. The most important aspect of a schedule is consistency. Practicing consistency will allow you to reach goals at a quicker and more predictable pace.

    Don’t Do It Alone

    In addition, I recommend that you do this process with the help of your community and resources. Finding a mentor or taking advantage of your campus career center can assist you in planning your next step. These resources can provide guidance in making decisions, networking opportunities, and additional methodologies. Utilizing the people around you can have a large impact on reaching your goals and on the direction of them.

    In conclusion, planning your next step takes time and resources, so it is beneficial to follow a strategy when taking on this challenge. Any student or graduate can use this strategy to advance themselves in reaching their desired goals, including you. Now that you have read this blog, you can feel confident in planning the future that you have ahead of 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
  • Leadership is Not Just a Position: You Can Be a Leader, Too!

    by Gina Condit

    A computer generated graphic with 3 playing cards – an ace, queen, and king – and the words ‘You Can Be a Leader’. The word ‘leader’ is spelled out in Scrabble tiles.

    A question I was recently asked in my Leadership and Learning lecture was, “if you are potentially a role model for someone, wouldn’t you want to be the best role model you can be?” This got me asking myself, “am I a leader to someone? Am I being the best leader I can be? How can I become a better leader?” This class has encouraged me to be the leader I hope to be, and I hope this encourages you to be the leader you are meant to be.

    Leadership Is a Process

    Being a leader is not just about holding a position. You lead every day and you do not even realize it. I have learned that some people are born to be leaders, and some learn to be leaders. Either way, leadership is a process, an influence, a common goal, and most importantly a relationship; a relationship that is built on human connection and credibility. Being a leader means something different to everyone. It is a multi-dimensional concept but no matter who you are, with the right mindset, you can be a leader. Research has shown that people are drawn to those with these top characteristics:

    • Honesty
    • Forward-looking
    • Competent
    • Inspiring
    • Intelligent

    Who Do You Consider a Leader?

    Do you have these qualities? Leadership is an earned role by how you can consistently portray and behave yourself in a positive light. Think about who you consider a leader. This person probably has consistently shown you that you can rely on them, learn from them, and grow through them.

    Leaders Do Not Always Have Titles

    A leader creates a movement and an emotional impact. So, as you go on with your daily life, try to think about the influence you can have on your roommates, classmates, siblings, and the strangers you encounter. To be a leader you do not need a title.

    So, start taking baby steps. Engage in your roommates’ aspirations, be there for the classmate struggling to understand that week, and most importantly, focus on developing your capacity to mobilize others. There are all types of leaders and styles to become, so try out different techniques to influence others around you. There is someone out there waiting for you to take the lead.

    Recommended Read: Everyday People, Extraordinary Leadership by James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner.

    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
  • Major Spotlight: Dietetics

    by Kerri-Ann Henry

    Two college students standing in front of a bookcase with cookbooks and cooking equipment. They are both wearing face masks and the student on the left is also wearing a headscarf.

    A confused look followed by “what is that?” is often the response that I get when I tell others that my major is dietetics. Simply put, dietetics is the profession of nutrition. Dietitians have essential roles in many areas; however, many are unaware that the profession even exists. Dietetics is one example of a “found” major, meaning that many discover the major after entering college and many even discover the profession after graduating and come back for another bachelor’s degree! Dietetics is a unique and rewarding major for anyone interested in helping others to thrive and live better and healthier lives starting from their diet!

    Dietetics and Dietitians Defined

    As previously stated, dietetics is the profession of human nutrition. Dietetics translates and applies the science of food and nutrition to the health and well-being of individuals and groups. Professionals who actively practice dietetics are known as Registered Dietitians (RD), also known as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN).

    Myth Buster: Registered Dietitian = Nutritionist

    Not at all! Registered Dietitians (RD) should not be confused with nutritionists (or health coaches). A nutritionist does not have accreditation, rather it is a self-proclaimed title, hence they have no legal protection or acceptance as an expert in the field. Often nutritionists will take a certificate course and claim to be an expert which may be detrimental to potential clients with diseases and illnesses who need proper medical nutrition therapy (MNT) that a registered dietitian is qualified and trained to provide.

    RD’s are employed in a variety of settings such as hospitals, health care facilities, government agencies, companies, schools, and universities, and the list continues. The main practice areas that dietitians are often categorized into are clinical, food service, and community.

    Types of Dietitians and Their Scope of Practice

    Clinical dietitians work alongside doctors, nurses, and other clinicians in health care settings serving as the nutrition expert on the team. Clinical dietitians screen and treat malnutrition in patients, order tube feedings (enteral nutrition) for patients unable to eat by mouth. They also specialize in nutrition management of a variety of chronic diseases such as kidney disease, heart disease, and intestinal diseases.

    read more
  • Staying Organized During a Busy Semester

    by Kara Stevens

    A screenshot of blog author Kara Stevens’ online calendar showing color-coded entries each day for the month of March.

    Staying organized can be a difficult task, especially when you have a lot on your plate. As a college student, we have a lot to keep track of: classes, assignments, exams, and even extracurricular activities. It is so easy to become overwhelmed. Here are three things that help me to stay organized all semester long.

    Get and Use a Planner

    Planners will be your best friend. Even if it is a digital planner, it can be so helpful to make note of everything. I use my planner daily and write down all my assignments that are due within the month just to keep track of everything. I also find that writing your to-do list in your planner and being able to cross off items is not only satisfying but also helpful in showing what you have accomplished in the day. I have found that visual aspect of using planner is what really helps me stay on track.

    Use Color

    I have found that using color with my planner is extremely helpful. Not only does it help differentiate what is what for your classes but also makes it more fun to look at. It may even make it easier and more motivating to complete assignments. Colors don’t have to be just for classes either. I have designated colors for my personal calendar and extracurricular activities as well.

    Time Management

    As a student, I know managing time can be a hard task. But, with having an organized planner and knowing what needs to get done for the day, time management is key. Optimizing downtime is what I have found most helpful. If you have a break between classes, think, “What can I get done in the next hour?” I have found it helps to block out time for assignments and activities even though it is not a set class time.

    With these three steps, staying organized can be easy. These steps have helped me survive my first in-person year. I can manage 5 classes, a job and a leadership position in my sorority. Feeling overwhelmed isn’t entirely avoidable but organizing your thoughts can help.

    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
  • 3 Tips to Stay Organized when College Gets Chaotic

    by Rachel Calcote

    A college literature book open to a passage about Geoffrey Chaucer. Next to the book there is a cup of coffee with a heart design drawn in the coffee cream.

    Balancing school, extracurriculars, a social life, and work can be difficult at times. As the semester picks up pace, events increase, and deadlines quickly approach. It is very easy to feel overwhelmed or get distracted from the tasks at hand. But not to worry, here are three tips that can help you get organized and avoid that mid-semester meltdown.

    Tip #1: Figure out your scheduling preferences.

    Having your schedule laid out so that you can see your availability for that day, week, or month can help when planning for extracurriculars and social events. This can seem like a daunting task if you don’t know where to start. But consider whether you prefer a virtual or hand-written planner. Do you like to have everything to be on a computer or mobile device or are you a person who likes to handwrite things out? If you like everything in one place, consider if you take notes online or with a pen and paper. Don’t be afraid to try different methods until you find the one that works best for you.

    If you decide to track things using technology, add your schedule to your calendar. One that connects to your email is super helpful for when people email links to meetings. If you decide you want to use pen and paper, decide if you want to use a monthly calendar, a planner, or a desk calendar (where you can tear off the pages after you use them).

    Tip #2: Color code your commitments.

    Using colors to connect certain topics in your mind can help focus your thoughts and immediately distinguish between items on your schedule. Pick a color for each class, a color specifically for work, and then a color for each club you’re in. Then when you are tracking your deadlines and writing out your schedule, use the same color for deadlines that you used for that specific class or for work or whatever else you have on your schedule.

    If this seems like too much to try all at once, start by separating work and school, pick one color for each, and as you become more comfortable with the color-coding, you could add more if you chose to.

    If you’re wanting to get really into it and you take notes by hand, you can get your notebook colors to match your chosen calendar color for each class.

    Tip #3: Prioritize your to-do list.

    Most people have some form of a to-do list, whether it is in their head, on a piece of paper, in their planner, or on their phone/computer. To-do lists can be super helpful when you’re trying to get your thoughts in order and writing out things you would like to finish that day or within that week. The trouble is they can become long and overwhelming really fast.

    To prevent this, pick out the top 3 things from your to-do list that must be finished first. I pick out mine based on deadlines. Whichever 3 things have the most immediate deadlines are the ones I want to knock out first. Another way to do this can be to see which 2 things are due the soonest and 1 thing that will take a long time which must be started now. You can still write out your whole list, but each day pick at least 3 things to start or partially finish. When you finish those 3, pick out another 3 you want to start on.

    As the semester progresses, utilize these three organizing tips to get a better handle on what you need to get done. This can definitely help lower your stress so you can finish strong!

    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
  • More Plants, Less Stress

    by Lauren Kot

    A collection of six houseplants if a variety of planters, including one in a pink ceramic cat.

    It is easy for college students to feel overwhelmed while juggling classes, study sessions, a job, and a social life, not to mention preparing for a future after college. But it can also be an incredibly exciting and wonderful time! Prioritizing mental health is so important for college students. Finding ways to help manage stress and relieve anxiety will have such a healthy impact on your overall health and wellness, and it will make your college experience all the better.

    One easy way that you can improve your mental health and wellbeing is caring for a houseplant. There are many ways that plants can better your overall health and wellbeing. Owning a plant has been shown to:

    • lower stress and anxiety
    • improve mood
    • give you a greater sense of purpose and responsibility
    • improve productivity
    • increase attention span
    • and improve air quality!

    Reduce Stress Levels

    How can one plant do all of this? Well to start, having plants around you makes you feel more relaxed, comfortable, and can reduce your physiological and psychological stress. Researchers found that students in a computer lab who were surrounded by plants had lower blood pressure than those who had no plants. Plants can make you feel less stressed, happier, and more optimistic. Watching a plant grow and admiring its beauty will instantly improve your mood.

    Increase Brain Function

    Studies have also shown that plants improve productivity and increase attention span, two things that all college students want in their life! Houseplants engage your senses, decreasing cortisol levels and increasing productivity. In one specific study, brain scans of students in a classroom showed that students who studied with real plants in the classroom were more attentive and concentrated better than those who did not have plants around them. Having a plant in your room allows for studying better and longer.

    Become a Plant Parent

    If you’re new to plant ownership, look for plants that need little maintenance, such as aloe vera, spider or snake plants, and succulents. Caring for a plant will give you a sense of responsibility and will improve your overall confidence. It strengthens your bond with nature and gives you a stronger sense of purpose.

    It may be intimidating at first to be in charge of keeping a plant alive, but it is way easier than you might have thought. Once your plant starts growing and flourishing it will encourage you to continue the pattern of caring and helping it grow. And the wonderful thing is that the plant gives back by improving your air quality. It does so by removing carbon dioxide from the air and replacing it with oxygen. Having a plant allows you to gain a greater sense of purpose as well as cleaner air to breathe.

    There are many things you can do to benefit your mental health, and owning a plant is just one of them. Even if you live in a small dorm or apartment, all you need is a little bit of sunlight and a small plant that doesn’t take up a lot of space. It is that simple! You can visit a local nursery or any home improvement store and find a plant for less than $10. You are one small action away from becoming a plant parent and a happier college student. Stress less and own a plant!

    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 and Securing an Awesome Summer Internship

    by Cobe Fatovic

    A college student’s computer monitor and keyboard. The monitor screen shows two open windows, one featuring a financial spreadsheet and the other featuring the home page of a financial institution.

    Most college students have been asked, “do you have any internships lined up?” While internships are certainly not for everyone, they are common among college students. They are a great way to learn about areas you may be working in down the line. Finding and securing an internship is arguably one of the most stressful parts of college. However, it can also be one of the most rewarding parts.

    The Search

    Often, the hardest part of finding an internship can be the search. This can be a daunting task when you don’t even know where to begin. The easiest place I found to look was simply Google. If you type in, “Summer 2022 Internships in (whatever you are looking for)” there are a ton of results. If something interests you, then apply! You can always turn down interviews later down the line, but you might as well keep your options open. If you have a better idea of what you want to be doing, then skip Google and try searching on LinkedIn or through a job search website through your university. I found that many companies through my school’s portal were more responsive than just cold applying on Google. If you know exactly what you want to be doing, then go directly to your favorite company’s website. Normally, you can navigate to a careers page, where you will be able to see all their open job opportunities and internships. There are many ways to find internships, but I think a combination of all of them is the best strategy.

    Resume

    Now you have narrowed it down to a few opportunities that interest you. That is great, but how do you go about standing out from all the other applicants? Your resume is vital to securing an interview. It is very important to have multiple people read and edit your resume. One small grammatical error is all a company needs to toss your resume in the trash. Have your parents, grandparents, friends, and professors edit it. My strategy was to have family and friends go over it first to catch the grammatical errors. Once I knew it was free of these errors, I had trusted adults at my university edit it. It is a better use of their time to find ways to improve the content and phrasing of your resume rather than finding grammatical or formatting errors that your family could have caught. The more eyes on your resume, the better.

    Interview Process

    Finally, the interview process. This is where you get to stand out and show your personality. Interviews are for the interviewer to judge your fit in the company, but also for you to judge whether you want to work for the company. I found that my best interviews were always the ones where I connected with the interviewer. In terms of preparation, repetition is the most important thing. Practice with older students and friends in mock interviews. This will help you get used to speaking about yourself and your experiences. Finally, just be yourself! It is important to ask genuine questions and try to get to know the company. If the role is meant for you, it will naturally work itself out.

    The most important thing through the whole process is remaining positive and confident in yourself despite rejection letters. A rejection to a company does not reflect your ability to do an internship. There is a job for everyone out there, it is just a matter of finding the right one. Good luck!

    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
  • Differentiating Fact from Opinion in the News

    by Alyson Robinett

    A female student wearing a hoodie reading information from two computer monitors and a laptop screen.

    When did the news become about ratings instead of reporting what is truly happening in the world, and how can we know what to believe? College students need to be aware of why news outlets are biased and learn how to differentiate fact from opinion in the jungle known as fake news.

    Today, a person can name any news outlet and know what they stand for – what the outlet reports, whose side they support, and what “type” of person watches their channel. How did this happen? If it is the news’ job to report what is going on in the world, then a person should be able to watch any news station and hear the same information. Unfortunately, this ideal is not what occurs today.

    What Is Fake News?

    The news didn’t always operate like this. This phenomenon of reporting only one side of the story is called biased or opinionated reporting. It is also called Fake News. The media began to implement this type of reporting as people began to “[cancel their cable subscriptions] in favor of an Internet-based service” (Is Media Dividing America?), also known as cord-cutting. To convince people to keep their news subscriptions, news networks needed to keep people entertained. This doesn’t happen with facts; they needed to report opinions.

    Ratings Reign Above All Else

    News companies abandoned their integrity to keep their ratings high and keep people watching. They chose which side to support and kept their stories consistent with their side. This form of “news” “[appeals] to our emotions in many ways... It’s these emotions that keep us addicted to media,” (Is Media Dividing America?). If the news reported unbiased facts, then they couldn’t put their spin on the story to keep us coming back for more.

    Differentiating Fact from Opinion

    So, students know that news outlets are biased in their reporting and only support a certain side. How can they discern what is fact and what is opinion? There isn’t one right way to do it. It requires a lot of research on the topic, double checking claims from news outlets, and reviewing opinions from experts about the topic.

    How can people stop news outlets from reporting biased opinions? The truth is, they can’t. However, students can educate themselves in order to recognize the difference between fact and opinion.

    Source:

    Is Media Dividing America?” Paypervids, 24 Apr. 2021

    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
  • Struggling with Online Classes? Here are 5 Key Ingredients to Success

    by McKinley Falkowski

    A view looking down on a college student’s desk featuring a large desk calendar, computer keyboard, computer mouse, and notepad. The student’s hand appears to be writing notes on the notepad.

    During my freshman year of college there was a constant joke going around about how online classes were so much easier than in-person classes. But during the past two years, I have learned that online classes are not easy at all, and I would argue can be much harder. I found it more difficult to grasp curriculum, and easier to focus on everything besides school and fall behind.

    If you are currently taking an online class, or are planning to take one soon, this blog is for you. Below are the five key ingredients I found to achieve success in online courses. These ingredients are tried and true and will never fail you.

    1. Organize your time – This is perhaps the most essential ingredient to success. You need to set aside time each week to focus on your class rather than simply doing assignments when you remember to do them. Setting aside time during the week is critical to getting your body in a groove and helps keep you on track in terms of due dates, leaving you ample time to study. My rule of thumb is to set aside two hours a week per credit hour for each online course you are taking.
    2. Write down all your assignments and due dates – It is easy for students to fall behind on work when they rely on a syllabus to tell them when an assignment is due. Syllabi are often complex and may not be organized in the most logical or coherent manner; it is easy to forget what assignments are due when even after reading them. That is why another key ingredient is to write down all the assignments and due dates. I use Microsoft Excel to write down all my assignments for all my classes into one sheet with each class designated by a different color listed by due date. This way I can quickly see what important projects are approaching.
    3. Utilize a calendar – When you organize your time, put your designated focus time for each class in your calendar. This way you won’t schedule other events like dinners, dates, or whatever, on time you already designated for your classes. Simply telling yourself that you will do the class material another time is a recipe for disaster! Keep yourself in the routine and use a calendar.
    4. Communicate – This may sound easy, but it is critical to communicate to others in the class, and to those in your life about what you are working on. Communicating with others about class work is an easy way to reinforce course material and keep your mind in the academic mindset. Additionally, communicating with family or friends about the fact that you are taking an online course allows an external check to exist as they might ask how your classes are going and what you are working on.
    5. Attend office hours – There is a reason why your professors or TAs have office hours each week and that is to help you. Take advantage of this opportunity to get one-on-one time with your instructor as they will help you fully grasp the course material. Plus, you will begin to establish a relationship which can help in the future should you need to ask them for letters of recommendation.

    Online classes aren’t easy, and that’s okay. But following these five ingredients are the key to success in online classes.

    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
  • How New Leaders Can Help Their Teams Achieve Success

    by Zachary Suozzo

    Two male college students are standing in a hallway shaking hands. They are both dressed in business attire with suit jackets and ties.

    Being a good leader can be a major challenge. Successful teams are collaborative, communicative, and available. The pace of the pack is determined by the leader. New student leaders who have never had the opportunity to lead a team may wonder where to even begin. Focusing on three areas can help set new leaders up for success: identifying a leadership style, developing a community, and establishing good relationships with individual team members.

    Find your style

    Every leader, every team, and every individual on a team is different. There are 7 major styles of leadership: Autocratic, Authoritarian, Pacesetting, Democratic, Coaching, Laissez-Faire, and Affiliative. There is no cookie-cutter one-size-fits-all leadership style that works for every team, and that’s okay! Leaders have to figure out what leadership style their team responds best to. Leaders also must figure out which style best fits their own goals and ambitions. If one of those styles works with the leader’s goals and is responded to by the team, amazing things can happen, and serious productivity can begin.

    Build a community

    Individuals need to be comfortable with the leader and with their teammates for productivity to take place. Good leaders look for ways to foster a sense of community on the team. Many times, community building opportunities take place outside of working together on a project. Whether in-person or virtual, any environment where people are interacting with each other and not talking about work can bond a team together well. Common interests can improve team morale, leading to engagement that improves team productivity and allows for team members to be more approachable to each other.

    Cultivate relationships

    If the team trusts each other and communicates with each other well, their uniting force will be the leader. Having a solid individual relationship with each team member is extremely important for continuously elevating the team to the next level of performance and camaraderie. Taking the time to get to know each individual is time intensive, especially considering the potential size of a team, but is so important when it comes to morale, accountability, and communication. Individuals should feel as though they can come to their leader for anything and having a line of communication that’s always open is very important for that.

    Leading a team can be extremely time consuming and challenging, on top of all the work that comes with the task at hand. For a long-lasting relationship with success, teams need to be a cohesive unit. Effective team leaders carry out their work with a solid leadership style, help team members establish relationships with one another, and have an open line of communication at all times. Leaders can evolve; if one solution doesn’t work, keep trying to achieve that desired outcome!

    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
  • Major Spotlight: Speech, Language, and Hearing Science

    by Abby Williams

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

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

    Understanding the Broad Scope of SLHS

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

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

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

    Demand for this Career

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

    Rewarding Nature

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

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

    Do you have a compelling story or student success tips you’d like to see published on the Pearson Students blog?  If you are a college student and interested in writing for us – click here to pitch your idea and get started! 

    read more
  • Lesson Learned on Integrity and Staying True to Yourself

    by Jaylen Brown

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

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

    The Time I Won “King”

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

    The Time I Lost “King”

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

    We are ALL “Kings” and “Queens”

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

    Do you have a compelling story or student success tips you’d like to see published on the Pearson Students blog?  If you are a college student and interested in writing for us – click here to pitch your idea and get started! 

    read more
  • Balancing School, Work, Internships, and Interviews

    by Rukmini Waranashiwar

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

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

    Increasing Responsibility

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

    Helpful Habits

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

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

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

    Take Time for Yourself

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

    Do you have a compelling story or student success tips you’d like to see published on the Pearson Students blog?  If you are a college student and interested in writing for us – click here to pitch your idea and get started! 

    read more
  • How do I Identify a Full-time Career that I Will Enjoy?

    by Will Cagnassola

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

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

    Identify Options

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

    Recall Your Past

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

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

    Understand Yourself

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

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

    Do you have a compelling story or student success tips you’d like to see published on the Pearson Students blog?  If you are a college student and interested in writing for us – click here to pitch your idea and get started! 

    read more
  • Trying New Things: Study Spots Edition

    by Sidney Li

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

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

    Empty Classrooms

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

    Parks, Outdoors, and Green Space

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

    Lounges around Campus

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

    Cafes and Dining Halls

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

    Student Union or Recreational Centers

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

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

    Do you have a compelling story or student success tips you’d like to see published on the Pearson Students blog?  If you are a college student and interested in writing for us – click here to pitch your idea and get started! 

    read more
  • Ten Tips to Manage Stress and Anxiety

    by Natalie Farran

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

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

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

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

    Do you have a compelling story or student success tips you’d like to see published on the Pearson Students blog?  If you are a college student and interested in writing for us – click here to pitch your idea and get started! 

    read more
  • The World is Calling, and I Must Go

    by Olivia Kane

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Buy the trip insurance

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

    Check your destination country’s COVID-19 news

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

    Check for Visa requirements

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

    Seek authentic tourism advice

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

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

    Trust the process and enjoy your time!

    Do you have a compelling story or student success tips you’d like to see published on the Pearson Students blog?  If you are a college student and interested in writing for us – click here to pitch your idea and get started! 

    read more
  • Finding the Perfect College Roommate

    by Arianna Olivier

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

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

    Knowing Yourself

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

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

    Learning About Each other

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

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

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

    Maintaining Communication

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

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

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

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

    Do you have a compelling story or student success tips you’d like to see published on the Pearson Students blog?  If you are a college student and interested in writing for us – click here to pitch your idea and get started! 

    read more