• Gifts College Students Will Love

    by Sidney Li

    A graphic featuring a several colorfully wrapped gifts against a blue background.

    Holiday gift shopping can be extremely stressful and finding the right gift for a young adult that is entering college or is currently in college is definitely daunting. As a current college senior, I can even say it’s difficult to find a gift that is a balance of what a college student needs, wants, and will use too. Here are a few gifts I’ve received that I have used religiously in the past three years; hopefully this list will be helpful for holiday shoppers searching for a perfect gift for the college student in their life.

    Amazon Prime Student Membership

    This may sound obvious but having this membership has been a godsend as I’ve purchased a plethora of objects that I’ve needed last minute. Since many students do not have a car while living in dorms or have access to close malls, online shopping has saved me from many nervous breakdowns when I need something not immediately accessible.

    Portable Charger

    College students are always on the go so the last thing you’d want to have while out and about is a dead phone. ​​Having a portable battery charger provides the convenience of not having to worry about making sure to pack your charger each day and/or searching for an outlet when your phone is about to die.

    Insulated Water Bottle

    Continuing with students being on the go, having an insulated water bottle can keep my drinks cold for 24 hours or my hot drinks hot for 12 hours. I can stay hydrated in class, while studying, and while out and about. Plus, they’re dishwasher safe to make it such a low maintenance tool.

    Blue-Light Glasses

    Since I consistently use my laptop, iPad, and phone while studying, my screen time has exponentially increased in college. Having blue-light blocking glasses has lessened my eye strain and helped me regulate my sleeping schedule.

    Gift Card to Clothing Stores

    I never realized until coming to college how expensive business casual or professional clothing was as my mom bought them for me in high school. However, having few trustworthy professional outfits has allowed me to switch around for job fairs, interviews, and internships with ease.

    Trustworthy Laundry Hamper

    I know a laundry hamper doesn’t sound like an exciting gift for a college student, but you have no idea how convenient it is when I don’t have to worry about a laundry hamper breaking when carrying downstairs or somewhere outside. It makes doing a nuisance task a little more bearable when I have one less thing to worry about.

    Noise-Cancelling Headphones

    From walking around campus to class or studying, having a trust-worthy set of headphones to tune out the sounds of the hustle and bustle of public spaces makes my menial activities a little more fun. Noise-cancelling headphones not only shut out distractions, they can also be beneficial to use while working out, if they’re wireless.

    Planner

    Being organized has been a crucial aspect of my college career and I’ve religiously gone through three planners to organize my homework, quizzes, exams, extracurricular club meetings. While I like having a physical notebook, there are actually online ones that are free. (What college student doesn’t like free stuff?)

    Extra Long Charging Wire

    For some reason, having a six-foot charger has come in handy more than I’d like to admit, especially since outlets are in such high demand—no matter where I am on campus. No one realizes just how useful this is until they get one and can never go back.

    As you’re shopping for a college student/young adult, remember to try and balance fun and stylish with usability. Many college students are limited on space and will greatly appreciate something they can use every day to make their life a little easier.

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

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  • Maximizing Your Opportunities with Scheduling

    by Sidney Li

    A graphic featuring a cellphone, a wall calendar, and an alarm clock.

    Scheduling classes for your next semester is often stressful. From figuring out what classes qualify for your degree to finding subjects that interest you, this is just the beginning of the factors that go into scheduling. Not only that, but with “post-COVID” occurring, students now have to balance between virtual, hybrid, and in-person classes. However, here are some tips that can minimize your stress when planning for the near future.

    Plan. Plan. Plan.

    You should meet with your advisor to plan out the requirements that you need to graduate at your institution. It is your advisor’s job to simply answer your concerns and questions about prerequisites, degree planning, or scheduling. Having a four-year plan for graduation especially with minors or even another degree will be crucially beneficial if you want to alleviate some of the stress when registration rolls around each semester.

    Be Flexible

    You should not be dead set on your intended schedule. It’s always a good idea to have a backup plan in the off chance that a class fills up or there are scheduling conflicts between some of your classes. Having a few classes that interest you or are required for graduation on the back burner will allow you to avoid scrambling last minute when your scheduling window opens.

    Know Yourself

    This sounds like an obvious piece of advice, but this sometimes slips peoples’ minds! If you’re a morning person then look into starting classes early, but if you’re the type of student that needs an hour to “wake up” and likes to stay up late, then look into afternoon or evening classes. The last thing you would want to do is be miserable during college just because you didn’t check out all the options available to you. Not only that, but knowing that you focus better in a classroom environment than the comfort of your own space will allow you to deter from online classes and enroll in in-person or hybrid classes too.

    Take a Break

    Having a few breaks either throughout your days for the week or even a whole day off will allow you to use the time to work, study, or take care of any other responsibilities. You need the time to allow your brain to recharge and relax as well as minimizing the potential burn out college students notoriously tend to have during the school year.

    Research Classes and Respective Professors

    Professors have an impact on your learning styles, so it is best to research the different professors that teach a class that you’re taking. Getting the honest scoop from upperclassmen or friends will allow you to get a clear idea of the teaching styles from different professors.

    Campus Maps are Your Best Friends

    Having an idea of what buildings your classes are located in will allow you to get a general sense of how long you’ll need in between classes to travel. A rookie mistake would be for you to book classes that are back-to-back but are on opposite ends of campus. No one ever wants to be late to a class or run around in terrible weather or temperatures.
    With these general tips, hopefully you’ll be able to start your upcoming semesters off the right foot with little to no worries!

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

     

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  • Mascot Madness: The Ohio State Buckeyes

    by Sidney Li

    The Ohio State Marching Band spells out O-H-I-O on the football field.

    Being a student within a Big Ten school has its perks. From the wildly supportive student body to alumni that travel from out of town to attend football games, being a part of The Ohio State University “Buckeyes” is a privilege. While traditionally colleges tend to utilize animals as their mascots, my school used Ohio’s state tree.

     

    History

    Contrary to popular belief, Brutus the Buckeye is the mascot of the Ohio State due to the prevalence of the buckeye trees found throughout the state. It wasn’t made up to be just cute and quirky. According to Ohio History Central, Native Americans in Ohio called this nut “hetuck” or “buck’s eye” and would utilize the acid from this actually poisonous nut for leather making.

     

    In reality, the buckeye tree is considerably impractical with its smelly bark and wood that doesn’t burn well. Yet, it is a stubborn tree. The buckeye tree can grow in places where a multitude of other trees can’t be found. This has served as inspiration to many Ohio natives.

     

    According to Ohio State’s student journalism paper, The Lantern, locals within the state referred to themselves publicly as the Buckeyes during the presidential election in 1840 when former Ohio presidential candidate William Henry Harrison won. Harrison also utilized the buckeye nut, a shiny dark brown nut with a beige tan patch in the middle resembling a deer’s eye, as his campaign symbol by wearing one around his neck. His supporters wore buttons featuring buckeyes.

     

    Buckeyes Today

    Due to the history and pride surrounding buckeye trees, Ohio State adapted this as the university’s nickname in 1950. Since then, Buckeyes have become famous beyond the state of Ohio. Today, there is a popular dessert of the same name made from rolled peanut butter dipped in chocolate, creating the similar dark brown exterior with a beige tan patch in the middle.

     

    Despite how this strange it may sound to have a tree nut as a mascot, Ohio has great pride in the buckeye - especially that carrying one brings good luck to the person. Overall, you can’t deny how unique Ohio State is with the buckeyes when it comes to marketing and familiarity as a plethora of people across the country know of this special nut.

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

     

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  • Essential Apps for College Students

    by Sidney Li

    An iPad with various app icons on the home screen. There is a college workbook underneath.

    College is notoriously known to be difficult but with the increased presence of technology in every college student’s life, there are a plethora of apps that students can utilize. From managing homework to notetaking to saving money and more, apps can be integrated into the traditional lifestyles of college students. Here is a list of the top apps that I have religiously used since a freshman in college to now as a college senior.

    Google Drive and Google Office Apps

    Having the ability to organize my classes, semesters, projects, and more into folders with Google Docs, Google sheets, Google slides, and other files has been so beneficial. It makes searching and referring to old notes, projects, presentations, and papers reliable and simple.

    Notability

    Since I use an iPad and Apple pencil to take notes during lectures or to study, I use Notability practically every day when I’m taking classes. You can even audio record while writing your notes so you can easily refer back to your lectures when studying. Although it isn’t a free app, it is so worth the money. I can easily organize my notes within subjects and furthermore into dividers too.

    Venmo

    I can’t remember the last time I paid for something in cash. Having Venmo has allowed me to split request my friends if I want to pay for something on my card or Venmo my friends to cover me when I forget my card too.

    Postmates, GrubHub, and/or DoorDash

    Sometimes cooking just sounds daunting or a lot of work. At the end of a long day, sometimes it is so nice and convenient having food delivered right to your dorm or place so you can focus on other necessities in your busy life.

    Uber and Lyft

    While living off campus has its perks, it gets intimidating studying at the library all day and having to walk back to my place alone at night. Using Uber and Lyft has allowed me to not stress about my safety and not worry about facing the unpredictable weather I get in Ohio.

    Google Calendar

    I personally prefer using Google Calendar but using the built-in calendar in Apple is pretty similar with the same objectives. I can sync my academic calendar for the semester along with adding events, creating reminders, and even sharing my availability all in one place.

    Quizlet

    Quizlet is notorious for creating and sharing flashcard decks for classes and subjects. Not only that, but Quizlet can let you play time-based games to help you memorize terms in a fun manner.

    Spotify

    Spotify is a great music streaming app that caters to your listening and preferences. They even have a deal for students for their Spotify premium monthly memberships where listeners can download music and listen without ads. Also, they have a gamut of playlists for different and every occasion possible like studying, partying, emotions, and holidays.

    Mint

    Keeping track of my spending has allowed me to budget my weekly and monthly finances. I can categorize what I spend and create budgets for a variety of categories, such as traveling, groceries, clothes, gas, bills, investments, and more.

    MyFitnessPal

    Having an app to monitor my workouts and eating habits is so useful to maintain a healthy mindset. You can even track everything from your sleep down to the specific micronutrients that you consume in a day.

    Grammarly

    Grammarly catches grammar issues, misspelling, and punctuation errors. This is so useful and makes proofreading easier especially for long papers and emails to professors. It is also available as a browser extension for your computer.

    The goal of technology is to help make your life easier. By using these apps, I have found I am able to simplify previously time-consuming activities so that I can focus on other aspects of my 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!

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  • Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

    by Sidney Li

    Blog author Sidney Li stands arm-in-arm with eight others in front of a background with dragons.

    May. A time when school is out, and summer is just around the corner. The dreary days of sitting in a classroom are replaced by sunshine and pools. In addition to all this, as of 1992, it is also the month dedicated to Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage.

    May was chosen in honor of the first Japanese to immigrate to the United States (US) on May 7, 1983, along with the anniversary of the transcontinental railroad being completed on May 10, 1869—which was predominately laid by Chinese immigrants.

    As a Chinese and Vietnamese American, I have grown up with few Asian role models in media. This perpetuated the idea that I assumed everyone who would be famous had to be Caucasian. However, when I found Brenda Song portraying London Tipton in Suite Life of Zack and Cody, I learned that didn’t have to be true; it is a norm created by the lack of diversity in Hollywood.

    Now, more than ever, it is important to commemorate the importance of diversity. Here are some reasons why Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month is important and should be acknowledged.

    1. The presence of Asian Americans is one of the fastest-growing groups of eligible voters in the US. In a May 2020 study conducted by the Pew Research Center, there are more than 11 million Asian Americans who will be eligible to vote and comprise nearly 5 percent of the eligible voters in the country. Not only that but in the last 20 years, the number of eligible Asian American voters increased 139 percent.
    2. This month helps dispel the “Model Minority Myth” that obscures the essentials of many underserved populations within the AAPI community. The model minority myth is a consistent assumption of the AAPI communities’ achievements and shedding only positive light; whilst ignoring the obstacles that hinder these same communities from achieving higher education, healthcare, jobs, and more due to the stigmas, limited communication, stereotypes, poverty, socioeconomic factors, and status as an immigrant. With that, this same stereotype also further divides other minority groups who struggle with representation too.
    3. It brings awareness of the injustices that the AAPI community have faced throughout history and today. From the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and the Japanese internment camps, these acts were conducted out of racism towards AAPI populations. Despite the overturning and end of these events, racism and discrimination are still apparent today in the US. On March 2020, the Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council created a stop AAPI hate reporting center. Within the first month, it received about 1,500 reports of coronavirus related discrimination towards AAPI members.
    4. Learning more about AAPI history allows people to be more knowledgeable of other cultures in our country. Having knowledge of the enriched history of the US besides being taught in school allows students to be more aware of their society. For example, AAPIs have played crucial roles in shaping the country’s history with protecting the nation in war by building the first transcontinental railroad.

    It is extremely important to continue valuing and celebrating diversity within all aspects of life. This May, I hope you take time to learn about and appreciate Asian American and Pacific Islander culture and heritage.

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

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  • Navigating Graduate and Professional School Entrance Exams

    by Sidney Li

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    GRE. MCAT. PCAT. DAT. OAT. These are acronyms for a few of the entrance exams that undergraduate students applying for graduate school may have to face. In order to better prepare, here is a shortened know-how manual of the various exams and which ones to take.

    Health and Medical Field Programs

    DAT

    The Dental Admissions Test is a year-round test that is proctored in test centers. It is accepted by 66 dental schools in the United States and 10 in Canada. This timed exam allows test-takers 4 hours and 15 minutes to complete the following sections: natural sciences for 90 minutes, perceptual ability for 60 minutes, reading comprehension for 60 minutes, and quantitative reasoning for 45 mins. An optional 45 minutes is allowed for a tutorial in the beginning, a break, and a survey. While there is no specific undergraduate major requirement, dental school applicants must fulfill the pre-requisites that vary amongst dental schools.

    MCAT

    The Medical College Admission Test is required by most medical schools and is completely computer-based with four sections in its 7 hours and 30-minute length. It is offered 15 times a year and is known to be one of the longest and hardest exams. The four sections are comprised of the biological sciences for 95 minutes, the chemical and physical sciences for 95 minutes, the psychological and social sciences for 95 minutes, and critical analysis and reasoning skills for 90 minutes. It is important to study well for this exam as in addition to testing their skills, it is used as a predictor of the applicant’s success in medical school.

    OAT

    The Optometry Admission Test is a computer-based test used to measure a prospective optometry student’s skills. Similar to the DAT, the OAT has four sections: natural sciences for 90 minutes, reading comprehension for 50 minutes, physics for 50 minutes, and quantitative reasoning for 45 minutes. This four and a half hour exam is administered on a year-round basis in recognized test centers throughout the country. As with other entrance exams, it is important to verify the requirements of individual optometry schools. And like dental schools, there is no specific undergraduate major requirement, but there are pre-requisites.

    PCAT

    The Pharmacy College Admission Test is required by some pharmacy schools for admission. Divided into five subtests, there is a variety of multiple-choice and writing questions given within the two and a half-hour time limit with a 15 minute break. The sections include: 30 minute writing section, biology section for 45 minutes, chemistry section for 45 minutes, critical reading section for 50 minutes, and the quantitative reasoning section for 50 minutes. Similar to the DAT and MCAT, application requirements vary among individual pharmacy schools.

    General Graduate School Programs

    GRE

    The Graduate Record Examinations is a computer-based test that is offered year-round in more than 160 countries. Applicants vary from prospective graduate and business school students who are pursuing a master’s, MBA, J.D. degree, a doctoral degree, or a specialized master’s in business. The sections of the GRE include analytical writing with an “analyze an issue” task and “analyze an argument” task for 30 minutes each, two sections in verbal reasoning for 30 minutes each, two sections in quantitative reasoning for 35 minutes each, and an unscored and research section that varies.

    MAT

    The Miller Analogies Test is a standardized graduate school admissions test that features 120 partial analogies. The test measures higher-level thinking skills, general academic knowledge, and analytical thinking. The final score is based on 100 questions; twenty questions (unknown to the test-taker) are unscored and used for research. While the GRE is more widely known, the MAT is a shorter and cheaper alternative. Students should check the entrance exam requirements of the specific graduate schools where they plan to apply.

    MBA Programs

    GMAT

    The Graduate Management Admission Test is required by many business schools that offer MBA programs. This computer-based exam is offered at testing centers all year long and can also be taken online. There are four sections of the GMAT: the quantitative reasoning section for 62 minutes, the verbal reasoning section for 65 minutes, the integrated reasoning for 30 minutes, and an analytical writing assessment for 30 minutes for a total testing time of 3.5 hours with breaks.

    Law School

    LSAT

    The Law School Admissions Test is the only test accepted by ABA-accredited law schools and Canadian common-law law schools. Divided into two parts, the total testing time allotted is 3.5 hours with breaks. The first part of the LSAT addresses logical reasoning, analytical reasoning, and reading comprehension. The second part is a writing prompt. Unlike the exams mentioned prior, the LSAT is only offered seven times a year and dependent on the law school, they can accept the GRE in lieu of LSAT score. Read another blog about taking the LSAT here.

    When you are considering your career path and whether you want to attend graduate school, keep these exams in mind! Be sure to do further research and study beforehand for the best results on any one of these tests.

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  • Beating the Finals Flu

    by Sidney Li

    Sign showing Flu season ahead

    College brings a plethora of emotions and foreign experiences. For many people, it is the first time they are away from home, responsible for their own schedule, and even, in some cases, cooking for themselves. Every college student has their own unique opinions and experiences, but we can all agree on one subject that brings dread to us all—finals.

    Despite how much stress and anxiety comes around the week or even two weeks of finals, college students often lose sight of their priorities and focus on their studying, final projects, and papers, instead of their health. As their physical, mental, and emotional health rapidly declines, students are bound to experience the “finals flu.”

    What is the “finals flu”?

    First of all, the “finals flu” isn’t always the actual flu. You will know if you have influenza because its symptoms range from pains and aches to a fever and more. The “finals flu” can just be any number of illnesses that are bound to spread throughout a college campus near the end of the semester. Despite how it can be more prevalent for the incoming class of freshmen and how they underestimate the toll finals week has, every student is susceptible.

    Why does it happen?

    Just like any other sickness, the flu or a cold can spread around at a faster rate when people live or inhabit an area in close proximity, like a library, classroom, dorm, or dining hall. Even with the current environment of increased hygiene and social distancing requirements, students are open to getting in contact with foreign pathogens that their bodies cannot handle. Students who get sick and don’t take care of themselves well with the proper hygiene and medications can easily spread illnesses to others.

    How to avoid it?

    Everyone is bound to get in contact with a pathogen at least once in their college career. It would be impossible to avoid them all. However, there are various tips that a student can utilize to decrease their chances. Some of them include getting a flu shot, sleeping the recommended six to eight hours, eating sensibly, exercising regularly, managing stress, and maintaining a practical personal hygiene and social distance from others.

    What happens if one gets it?

    If you get the “finals flu”, take steps to control its symptoms until it is gone. If you are experiencing COVID-like symptoms it’s important to get tested right away to rule it out. Stay hydrated to avoid dehydration or else your body can’t function properly. Also, use over-the-counter medications with anti-inflammatory properties that will curb the stuffiness, aches, and pains. Lozenges with honey or lemon can soothe your throat and limit the coughing and soreness. Yet, most importantly, sleep and eating plenty of food with some nutritional value will provide the most benefit.

    What if the “finals flu” sticks around?

    The “finals flu” can be persistent because of the circumstance and timing of it. However, if you find that your illness has not changed drastically or is still tenacious after about a week to ten days, then it is advised that students should check back with their student health services or a local doctor. This simply could be a different strain of illness and needs medical attention.

    Students who let themselves get run down as the end of the semester draws near can be more susceptible to illness. Take care of yourselves properly on a day-to-day basis by getting enough sleep, managing stress, and eating a balanced diet. Practice good hand-washing habits, wear a mask when out and about, and maintain social distancing. If you do get sick, take the right measures to recuperate quickly and avoid infecting others. You will know what to do or not do when the next semester finals start rolling around!

     

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  • House hunting 101 for college students

    by Sidney Li

    blog image alt text

    College dorms are great but most students eventually want to move off-campus. Moving into your own place with your friends, strangers, or even by yourself can seem daunting. From finding places to estimating a budget, house hunting is relentlessly stressful. Here is a simplified how-to manual on navigating the realty industry near a college campus because – we get it – money is tight. And we are trying to get the best bang for our buck at the end of the day!

    Determine what style of living you’d prefer.

    If you are more of a social person, living with friends is preferred but if you like your personal space, maybe consider a studio. A rental house may offer more space while apartment complexes can offer more amenities like gyms and pool areas.

    What’s on your wishlist?

    Make a list of priorities that you’d want on your wishlist when house hunting. From utilities included in the rent, location, monthly rent, amenities, and more, there are a plethora of components to consider with high and low importance.

    Research. Research. Research.

    Research the neighborhood. Research the safety of the locations. Research the average rent prices of local places nearby. Research the proximity and relativeness to campus. Research the convenience with businesses, parks, venues, and other activities.

    Read the fine print.

    It’s not just a saying… you need to actually read the whole leasing contract before signing. While the landlord or realtor may pressure you to sign fast, it is important to take your time on reading the lease and its details. Do not hesitate to ask questions if there are any confusions.

    Make sure to see the property in person.

    We get it, catfishing is a real issue in today’s technological world with social media profiles. But it can also affect property pictures. Never sign a lease without touring the property first. The pictures of the property can be altered or misrepresented in many ways. Even if you physically cannot go, try asking a friend or parent to visit on your behalf.

    Check campus resources.

    Schools may have websites and pages dedicated to realty companies, property management companies, individual properties, and landlords that are approved based on their criteria and standards. Prioritize looking at properties that made the cut.

    Take renter’s insurance into consideration.

    While it might seem like you are spending more money on a property that you will be staying in for a short time period during your college career, renter’s insurance is definitely an option for new leases. It will create peace of mind knowing that you and your belongings will be safe if anything unexpected occurs.

    Document the property condition at check-in.

    After you sign the lease and move in, make sure to take a walk around the property on both the interior and exterior sides. Take pictures and document any kinks and damages that you notice so you can get your full security deposit back when you move out.

    Furnish on a budget.

    Utilize thrift shops, Facebook marketplace, and housing group chats to keep your furniture expenditures to a minimum. Instead of buying new furniture for your first off-campus property, consider buying fair and good condition furniture pieces. It will keep your budget on the low end and allow you to focus your money on textbooks, rent, services, utilities, and most importantly, coffee.  

    Keep your expectations realistic.

    It is college, after all. Unlike all the movies and tv shows, the reality of college properties is that they aren’t all cute and quirky with a style that you prefer. While some places may possibly be the perfect place for you, it is quite rare. There isn’t a ton of space and amenities that you can have with the college budget.

    You should always feel happy and comfortable in your home-away-from-home. By making sure you research and take all of these factors into consideration, you will be able to have a place that you love to call home!

     

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  • Take a break: Time off helps you rejuvenate physically and emotionally

    by Sidney Li

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    A break. 

    That’s what we all strive for. Whether you’re planning a little getaway through a road trip, dreaming of a bigger journey farther way, or simply looking forward to some time at home,  we want to live in the moment and completely enjoy our stress relief for a time.  Even in the midst of municipal lock downs due to COVID, we can still find ways to make the most of time off. Here are some tips and tricks to completely utilize your break to its fullest.

    1 – Take advantage of the tourists’ and locals’ favorite spots

    If you’re traveling, of course the highest priority is to be mindful of the current CDC health guidelines. Once that’s taken care of, consider going to the nooks and crannies in an area that you’re not familiar with will allow you to become your own little Indiana Jones with the new sights you’ll encounter. Search online for insider tips on must-see places or events that are available. Even exploring a city in your state that you or your friends have never visited can be a vacation. Soak in the culture wherever you go whether it be near or far.

    2 – Put your phone on silent

    Keeping your attention focused on other activities instead of your phone allows you to stay in the relaxed mood that you’re aspiring to stay in. This is when the ‘Do Not Disturb’ option on your phone becomes your best friend. If you really lack self-control, put it in a different room and keep it there. Why surf through all of the various social media apps and watch people’s TikToks when you’re in a new environment? Live in the moment; take in your surroundings instead of your phone!

    3 – Lighten your workload beforehand

    Try to get as much work done as possible before you jet off for vacation mode so you don’t spend your free time dreading to play the unruly game of “catch up” when you return back to school or work. This can easily be achieved by staying organized and motivated as well as outlining your tasks. Don’t procrastinate! 

    4 – Treat yourself

    This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to go completely overboard. Do something that you have been wanting to do, but haven’t had the opportunity. Spoil yourself. It could be as simple as sleeping in an extra hour or watching a show that you have been dying to watch. 

    5 – Indulge in your hobbies

    Take advantage of apps like Groupon and Skyscanner because they provide deals with local businesses near you or let you explore cheap flights and hotels where you can stay. You’ll be able to ball on a budget and try out the new hobbies you have been considering. 

    6 – Go out of your comfort zone

    Ever considered taking goat yoga or hiking an unknown trail? Now’s the time to do it. Following up on step five, you can utilize the deals and continue having fun on a budget. If you’re hesitant to try something new on your own, bring a friend to do it with you. 

    7 – Connect with friends and family

    Sometimes work and school overwhelms and consumes you from your little circle of friends and family. Catch up with that friend you have been thinking about just to see how they’re doing. Take your parents out. Go on a small road trip with some of your close buddies. Do something that is relaxing to you, but also reconnects you with those you love most. 

    Know that you DESERVE this break. Everyone needs a little moment to breathe and catch their breath. Do not feel like you are completely slacking off simply because you are “on a break.” With all that’s going on in our world today, breaks are especially important to our health—mentally, emotionally, physically, socially, and more. You’ll be back to reality soon enough, refreshed and ready to focus on what’s next!

     

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  • Go Bucks! That's the (school) spirit!

    by Sidney Li

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    “O-H!” “I-O!”

    That’s the universally known chant of The Ohio State University. Nowadays, anyone can just shout “O-H!” and get a response not just in the Columbus area, but anywhere in the world. Don’t believe it? Try it out wherever you are. A stranger is bound to respond because that is the Buckeye spirit! 

    No joke, when I was in Amsterdam over the summer, I decided to test the waters and shout out “O-H” to see if I’d get a reaction; sure enough, an “I-O” echoed through the canal-filled city. No matter where you are, the Buckeye school spirit runs deep and we are world-renowned for it. 

    Positive and Passionate

    Even before I officially became a student at Ohio State, I quickly grasped how positively everyone had spoken about the university—it was one of the swaying factors for me as I narrowed down my top choices. 

    The passion of all the faculty members in every discipline drives home the fact that a college should feel like home to you. I knew that choosing to attend a school that is known to be massive as well as competitive and diverse will be with me for the rest of my life. 

    Sure, my university would attempt to trademark “The,” but that just demonstrates how much we are willing to display our devotion and love for our school and sports. Everyone has school pride and this is not only demonstrated with our football team, but also with our other sports teams, academics, activities, students, alum, and a plethora of other achievements as well. 

    Local and National Spirit

    This is just a microcosm of what it’s like to attend a school that is driven with school spirit as it pervades through the very fabric of the local towns and cities around it. It is a part of the mainstream culture for Ohio children across the state. School spirit makes a huge difference from merely being a school to your school. 

    It sets a tone for prospective students as well as other students at other universities and colleges that we are proud of our school and this is immeasurable. School spirit practically construes the highest possible expectations and goals that one sets for themselves and their surroundings, as well as striving for more uplifting changes in not only the university but also abroad. 

    As a student at Ohio State, these various things bring a lot of pride. Residents from a gamut of cities around me are fans of my school. From knowing its name, reputation, and legacy, pride and spirit can be found everywhere. Not only that, but celebrities and athletes are not just from my school, but also fans of my school. That is something that you can’t get at every college. 

    I want to encourage other students from other institutions to demonstrate their own pride and love for their respective schools, because it is truly a privilege to have school spirit

     

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  • The importance of collegiate extracurricular involvement

    by Sidney Li

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    It is fairly known that academics plays a crucial role for graduating and applying for post-secondary routes; however, volunteering and participating in extracurricular activities has a hand in the application process too. Students are always told how important extracurricular involvement is throughout their high school and collegiate years. As classwork begins to mount, students may forget how valuable these voluntary acts are. Strong academia can only get a student so far. There is a plethora of benefits that extracurricular activities provide. 

    Broadening Your Horizons

    One benefit of extracurricular involvement is how it can broaden a student’s social circle as they will be surrounded by like-minded people that have similar interests. With that, the opportunity to create long-lasting friendships and socializing is inevitable. In the first semester of my freshman year, I applied to be an advocacy fellow with a local non-profit organization, Asian American Community Services. I also actively volunteered and engaged within my Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) scholars community. Through these clubs, I have made valuable friends that I can barely live without now. 

    Building Relationships

    Students can build professional and social relationships with their peers, professors, and advisors by engaging in extracurricular activities. These same people want others to strive, too. Whether the club that a student joins is a physical one or professional, it will help strengthen the student’s mind. For example, intramural sports trains a student to learn resiliency and collaboration with others that will be a major benefit in the workplace. A professional development club will allow students to practice public speaking along with training in their future professions. 

    As I am a pre-dental student, I joined my university’s Pre-Dental student organization which allows undergraduate students to connect with faculty, professionals, and graduate students in the local area in a gamut of ways—from shadowing and working on research projects to applying for jobs within the dental field and studying for the Dental Admission Test. It has been so beneficial during my first year in college that these doors have been opened to me and my fellow peers through the Pre-Dental club.

    Learning Something New

    Another benefit of extracurricular involvement is how it will positively impact time management skills. Even though activities like these do add more responsibility to your plate, they can also train you for a more demanding schedule when you enter the workforce. Finding a balance between a variety of extracurricular activities while maintaining high grades and meeting deadlines forces student leaders to make priorities and become good time managers. Not only that, but extracurricular activities can allow a student to take their mind off from their rigorous coursework. Extracurricular activities that will be mentioned in resumes alongside academic achievements will demonstrate to future employers the work ethic the student has learned to maintain throughout their college years. 

    College is a place for students to grow and learn for themselves. Students can utilize extracurricular activities to learn more about interests they’ve never before encountered, build their network, and learn employability skills. Good grades place a graduation cap on a student’s head; extracurricular activities allow students to flourish in the coming years after their college career comes to an end. All they have to do is take that leap of faith and take advantage of all their interests. Who knows what you’ll find within yourself? 

     

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