• What’s on My Plate: Recipes for the Everyday College Student

    by Rachel Stennett

    Nutritional food dishs of chicken on rice with avocado

    Picking out all the shortcomings in our diet is the easy part- figuring out how to make up for these shortcomings is a lot harder. “I should be eating more veggies, but I don’t have the time to prepare them; I should be drinking more water, but the taste is so boring compared to juice; I would cook more, but I don’t know what to make” are all common excuses students make when it comes to dining in college. Now that we have covered some of the nutritional deficiencies in college students and the most common micronutrient sources- how do we actually implement these foods into our diet? 

    While I experimented in the kitchen growing up, most of my meals were not as appetizing as the ones I idolized on cooking shows. During my time in college, I have had more time to refine my cooking skills and build a modest collection of go-to recipes. Here are a few of my favorite recipes and quick meals that can help add back missing micronutrients to the everyday college student’s diet.

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  • Dissecting Pearson’s Practice Anatomy Lab 4.0

    by Micah Elpers

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

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

    PAL Learning Program 

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

    Mastering 3D simulation

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

    See the real thing

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

    Who doesn’t like flashcards?

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

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

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

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  • Being an introvert in the online world

    by Justin Tate

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    With so many students transitioning from campus education to online education, I’m reminded of my own experience. Shortly after finishing an in-person undergraduate program I entered my career and realized that the only way to pursue a master’s degree would be to complete it fully online.

    Embarking on a new adventure is always a little scary. But I think it hit me — a self-identified introvert — more than some of my peers. I’m not a spontaneous person and it takes a long time for me to warm up to change. To be honest, it wasn’t until senior year that I felt like I understood how to take notes properly and do well at the collegiate level. Now I had to learn how to be a student all over again? Yikes!

    As it turned out — like most things turn out — the change wasn’t that bad. Yes, there was a transition period and I made a few rookie mistakes along the way, but soon I discovered that there’s a lot to love about online education: as a scholar, someone juggling many obligations, and as an introvert.

    Now I wouldn’t have it any other way. Here’s some of the best tips, tricks, and self-assurances I can give to students going on a similar journey.


    Despite being a good student, I always lost “participation points” in my on-campus classes. And I knew exactly why.

    With a classroom full of peers staring me down, I was too shy to raise my hand and engage with the lecture. In the rare instance where I wanted to, my extroverted classmates sucked up the energy and left no time for the timid. When I did manage to be brave, whatever brilliant thought I had seemed to always come out as blubbering nonsense when spoken aloud.

    Online participation is totally different, and totally my jam. I love having the ability to proofread my thoughts, edit them clearly, and possibly throw in a splash of research before submitting. I feel more comfortable diving into the curriculum knowing that I’m not in the spotlight. At the same time, no one is in the shadows either. Extroverts and introverts are given the same opportunity to contribute, adding more voices to the discussion and more ways to learn from each other.

    Though there are some things I miss about meeting on campus — such as catching up with my friends before class — the one thing I never, ever miss is in-person participation.

    Time management

    Another great thing about distance learning is flexibility. Gone are the days of set class times, juggling life around a Tetris-like schedule, and waking up before dawn to avoid a fight over decent parking. Want to watch a lecture at midnight instead of 2:30 on Tuesday? No problem. Need to cover someone’s shift? Easily adjusted. When and how you study is totally up to you, just as long as you can still meet the assignment deadlines.

    With that said, the biggest challenge of online education is also flexibility. Without those set class times, coming up with a time management strategy is your responsibility. And it’s easy to procrastinate. Can I binge this TV show? Well sure, I’ll just do my homework at three in the morning. No problem.

    Surprise, surprise, it can be a problem. The best advice I can give to online learners is to come up with a study strategy as early as possible. Most programs require at least 15-20 hours a week of study time and finding gaps in your calendar for those hours should be a big priority.

    When possible, use mind games to trick yourself. I set alarms on my phone every night as a reminder to study. I used TV shows and video games as rewards for finishing projects early. Checklists became my best friend. It took me a while to realize that small goals worked best. Here’s an actual checklist I found from one of my classes:

    • Read first paragraph of chapter 5
    • Write 100 words on week 2 discussion
    • Read description of week 5 essay
    • Think about essay/Come up with 1 idea

    The secret of small goals is that they’re much easier to actually make progress on. Completing the task of reading one paragraph is a lot more doable than reading 50 pages. Writing 100 words is more realistic than writing five pages. Yet all progress is progress and having small goals every night is the best way to prevent cramming before something is due. Also, you may be surprised to find that when you set out to read a single paragraph you will inevitably end up going much further.

    Every student has their own tricks and techniques they use to stay motivated and meet deadlines. Online students are no different, but because the flexibility makes procrastination easier, it’s a good idea to plan on using all your best strategies every week, if not every day.

    Meeting with the instructor

    In online education, there’s an increased hesitancy for students to set appointments with their instructor. This is something I noticed from personal experience and something I’ve struggled with as an introvert all my life. It’s not that I don’t value having a substantial conversation with faculty; it’s that I get nervous asking for one-on-one support.

    On campus it feels slightly less awkward to set up face-to-face time. Instructors typically list their office hours clearly in the syllabus, and the location of their physical office where it’s possible to drop by and ask questions.

    In the online world, I was so used to email communication that it never occurred to me to set up voice-to-voice communication. I remember thinking that such a request might come across pushy. I figured a lack of personal connection was just a downside to learning online.

    None of that is true, of course. Online students are encouraged to have just as much access to their instructors as campus students. In many ways, it’s easier to connect online thanks to the variety of options (phone, chat, video conference).

    Once I discovered that I could talk through complicated questions with my professors, my entire experience changed. I not only gained clarity on assignments, I developed personal connections that lead to increased learning and even letters of recommendation down the road.

    I know how challenging it can be to find the courage to set up appointments like that, but I promise it’s worth it. Next time you’re drafting a long email to your instructor, stop and ask if your question can be better addressed through conversation. If so, consider sending a much shorter email like this:

    Dear Instructor,

    I have several questions about the recent homework. When possible, can we set up a time to talk through the specifics?

    Best regards,


    Yes, online education is different — but different doesn’t have to be scary. It took me a minute to reach that conclusion — okay, maybe longer than a minute — but now I wouldn’t have it any other way. Whether it’s temporary or permanent, I hope these lessons learned from my experience help make your online transition super smooth.

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  • Being proactive, present, and purposeful as an online student

    by Lexy Moscinski

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    You find yourself sitting in the comfort of your home, your laptop resting in front of you. You pull up your online class and are presented with dozens of pieces of information. Thoughts race through your mind — “Where do I even begin? This is all so new…”

    Click here to see the syllabus! Click here to watch this lecture! Check out your homework here via this link!

    If you’ve never done online learning before, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the amount of information presented to you. While you may feel like you are “on your own”, your connection to this virtual world will be based on both your efforts and your actions. Here are 13 tips to help you make the transition to online courses.

    Be proactive

    You may not be able to raise your hand to ask questions like you did when you were in a physical classroom, but in your new online world, you’ll still have many digital resources to stay ahead of the game. Make sure you’re utilizing them.

    1. Take time to click through your online course. What helpful things are being offered? Online tutoring? Writing center access?
    2. Start making a list of all the resources offered to you and keep it at your desk to refer to later.
    3. Review the syllabus thoroughly and note any questions you may have about the information provided. Review the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) section of your class if one is provided, and if you have unanswered questions, reach out to the professor.
    4. Develop a personal calendar based off the syllabus deadlines so you can organize yourself effectively. You can use Google Calendar, Outlook, and more. You can also integrate personal dates on the calendar to see how your educational obligations match with your personal ones.
    5. Make sure you have a quiet, organized place to do your work — whether that’s an office at home or a library.

    Be present

    Your classroom life may now be behind a screen, but that doesn’t mean you can’t breathe life into every session you attend.

    1. Pay attention to when live lectures are offered. If they’re optional, still do your best to attend them — it will help you feel like you never left your physical classroom.
    2. Be active on discussion boards: This is a great way to start networking with other classmates and stay connected. Introduce yourself if you haven’t already, bounce questions off each other to be supportive, and take note of any helpful tips from your professor.
    3. Go to your professor’s virtual office hours, or give them a call if a number is provided. Sometimes students function better when they can put a face and voice to the person teaching them — make it a point to not just be another name on the class roster. Work to build a relationship with your professor by communicating with them often.
    4. Set up your own virtual meet-up sessions with other students. You can do this through Zoom, or whichever virtual meeting platform your classroom uses. Try sending out an email to your class to see if you can get some of your peers together to discuss how things are going and to support each other along the way.

    Be purposeful

    Being in a virtual classroom doesn’t mean you’re being let off easy! You must be purposeful, accountable, and self-motivated to be successful in an online world.

    1. Minimize distractions: When you are setting yourself up for study time, make sure the TV is off, your phone is put away (preferably in another room), and tell your family that it’s your study time and not to interrupt you unless they need to. If you’re studying in a public setting, such as a library, make sure you’re in a “no talking” zone, or rent a private room.
    2. Schedule break times because it can be very easy to get sucked into your work. Make sure you set a timer. Having a 15-minute break every hour can do wonders for your mental health and can help you absorb the material better.
    3. Make it fun: Listen to some study music in the background as you tackle assignments (if it helps you focus), ask a friend or family member to quiz you on your notes to facilitate some personal contact, and make sure you’re comfortable and have healthy snacks to keep your energy up.
    4. Take your work seriously — you may not be in a physical classroom, but you should act as if you are when you begin every study session. It’s up to you to take responsibility for your work and to appreciate the knowledge being given to you!

    While transitioning to an online format can be intimidating at first, you will have many resources to ensure your success. Take your time to get adjusted but remember that you are not alone in your academic pursuits — reach out when you need support, set up virtual group meetings, attend office hours, grab a cup of coffee, and get ready to reach your goals! Best of luck!

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  • The importance of community in online learning

    by Jaylen Brown

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    University of Central Florida student Jaylen Brown didn’t expect his Spring break to last for more than a few days. Once school was cancelled, he soon realized the impact went beyond just books and classes and impacted the social and community aspects of education. Hear his unique perspective on peer reactions, dealing with the abrupt transition to online learning, and the importance of staying positive in an uncertain time.

    Tell us a little bit about yourself


    What is the sentiment from your friends?


    How are your courses changing?


    What tools are you using to help you get through the rest of the semester?


    What is your advice for other students?


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  • Coping with changes to a disrupted semester

    by Delaney Henson

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    University of Louisville student Delaney Henson shares her unique perspective on the recent disruption in education, including peer reactions, the changes to her courses, and general advice on coping with the uncertainty.

    While she feels “pretty prepared” for online learning, she also balances that with the amount of self-motivation and teamwork it will take to make this new learning environment a success.

    Tell us a little bit about yourself


    What is happening on your campus and how has that affected you?


    What is the sentiment from your peers/friends?


    How are your courses changing?


    What tools are you using to help you get through the rest of the semester?


    What is your advice for other students?


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  • Staying healthy - body and mind - during a crisis

    by Patricia Macalalag

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    As a Physiological Science major and Global Health minor, UCLA junior Patricia Macalalag has a unique perspective on the worries of students and faculty in such a densely populated campus and city. Hear her thoughts on the rapid changes to teaching and learning, and how her areas of study shape her concerns during this current upheaval in education and society.

    What is happening on your campus and how has that affected you?


    How are your courses changing?


    What tools are you using to help you get through the rest of the semester?


    What is your advice for other students?


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  • My professor moved our classes online. Now what?

    by Kristen DiCerbo, Ph.D.

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    Colleges and universities across the country are halting study abroad programs, asking students to leave their dorms, and cancelling in-person classes, telling professors to move them online. It’s leaving thousands of students figuring out how to continue their semester remotely.

    You probably aren’t totally new to online learning, but this may be the first that it’s truly full time. Here is some helpful advice to make the transition a little easier:

    Set a schedule to manage your time

    You may find you have more flexibility now, but time management is the biggest factor affecting your success learning remotely. Figure out the amount of time you need to set aside for attending online class and studying each week. Keep a planner that plots out the times you should be online, when you’re studying and when your assignments are due. Don’t forget to schedule time to disconnect and be social (or at least as social as we all can be right now).

    Try new ways of learning

    Without sitting in class and taking notes, how do you commit things to memory? We have four study tips based on science to help:

    1. Study often. It’s like the idea of keeping something fresh in your mind by thinking of it every so often. And start this right away.
    2. But you don’t need to spend a lot of time studying. You can study in little chunks, like 15-20 minutes.
    3. Close your laptop and quiz yourself about what you were reading. Making yourself recall something, rather than re-reading it or even doing a multiple choice problem is better for learning. Think of it as strengthening the muscle that pulls the information from your memory.
    4. Connect the concepts you are studying to your real life or other things you know. If you make it meaningful it’ll stick with you longer. (Public health students are all set on this one.)

    Carve out a good study environment

    Sounds obvious, right? But, you’re probably going to be at home a lot now with other people, who also may have to study or work there too. Negotiate with your roommates, family members or pets to secure a distraction-free place to focus.

    Passive aggressive notes aren’t recommended, but a sticky note on the back of your laptop will let people know that you’re learning without interrupting you. You’re probably going to need to listen to audio, so make sure it is fairly quiet and grab your headphones. Experiment with white noise and music without words to help you block noise.

    Participation counts

    It takes more effort to socialize, collaborate and communicate in a new online environment than in your familiar classroom. The more you contribute and share ideas with others in your online class, the more likely you are to succeed.

    Be willing to speak up if problems arise

    Your professors and classmates are struggling to figure out the new normal too and speaking up will only help everyone. We’re all in this together.

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  • Finding Your Sunshine: Identify pillars of support to help achieve collegiate success

    by Natalie Farran

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    When I started going to college, I found that the subjects got a lot harder than in high school. I began to feel that I couldn’t pass, make good scores, or even finish all of my homework. But through it all my mom was always there to help me and held my hand when I needed it. I have found my sunshine through her.

    My mom likes to tell me how much she believes in the quote, “the roots of education are bitter, but the fruits are sweet.” She never got the opportunity to finish her education, but pushes me to continue mine in order to accomplish my dreams. It is because of her that I feel I can do anything.  Whenever I need support I always turn to her because I know her words will soothe me.

    While college can be a great time of finding yourself, it can also be a time of big challenges and stress. A little light shining in can help you keep moving forward. Whether it be a person or activity, there needs to be something that drives you and pushes you to be better. My mom always says that college is not easy, but nothing in this life is easy. Work hard and fight for what you believe in.

    She also always said that I never need to change to please anyone. It is important that whatever you may choose to pursue doesn’t change you along the way. College is where you learn a lot, but you can get lost in the shuffle of things. Hold firm to your values and beliefs so you don’t lose your way.

    I believe all college students need to feel supported. We have pressure to conform, change, or even give in to failure. We all need to feel that there is someone or something who can help and encourage us to keep going. It is imperative that you find what helps make you shine by putting you up instead of tearing you down. So if you ever find yourself discouraged, think about what keeps you going and don’t look back.


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  • Does group work in college prepare you for the real world?

    by Jennifer Brown

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    As college students we hear about the importance of group work. In fact, group work is emphasized considerably throughout many courses. Many, if not, all of my undergraduate courses have had some element of working with a team, being a leader, or presenting with a group. With the added online components of coursework, as a student I have had the experience of working in a group in both the traditional and non-traditional way. With our academic and professional emphasis on group work, perhaps a good question to ask is, does group work in college relate to the “real world?"

    Learning together

    In collegiate programs, group work has been used for learning certain topics, discussing ideas, and performing certain skills. Depending on your career field, group work in a work environment can be similar. For instance, companies may require monthly staff meetings, just as college courses require student participation in presentations and forums. When I was a certified nursing assistant I often went through training in group formats to learn new skills, such as how to safely transfer patients from a regular bed to a specialty bed.

    Getting the job done

    Unlike the academic focus of college, group work in the workforce tends to focus on a particular cause or need. That is, collegiate group work primarily focuses on teaching you something, whereas workplace group work focuses on getting a job done. In college, you are being taught information and learning it, while in the work environment, you are expected to already have some skills and knowledge.

    In reality though, almost all group work can be considered opportunities for learning. Group work in college is formatted to fit the college student’s coursework curriculum, thus providing a unique experience for critical thinking and consolidation of ideas in a group format. It comes as no surprise then, that group work leads students to develop teamwork as a result of learning in these formats. In essence, whether you are taking college courses or are in the job market, group work remains important, its main purpose has just shifted.


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  • Living History: Understanding the present by studying the past

    by Patricia Skinner

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    Why do I think history is the best major ever?  I know that history is not really the favorite subject of a lot of students, but there is one really good reason that everyone should at least appreciate history: to try to understand the importance of our past as we move forward in our lives. Through this blog, I hope to show you why you should be thankful for history and maybe even help you begin to learn to like it.

    What is history?

    To put it simply, history is the entirety of a series of past events that are connected with someone or something.  When you look at it this way, history is so much more than names, battles, or dates. You begin asking yourself, ‘what are we doing as a society right now if not living a future history’? Every single choice that we make and that our government follows through on changes the direction that we are going in.  Will future students look back on this period in history favorably or in disgust? While we are living our history, we are also learning from the mistakes of our ancestors and doing our best not to repeat those same mistakes.  

    History is fun?

    Studying history in high school and college can sometimes feel like you are stuck in an endless cycle of learning the same things over and over again. There is so much more to history than the same battles repeated through the endless loop of a broken record. History is like one big story that is enjoyable and teaches you about why the world is the way it is. For many of us, history has been taught with tests and projects that are just facts instead of being told in a way that interests us. As we get older we get to pick and choose what kind of history we study, whether that be through more classes or written in books we choose. You can learn about wars, government, or just everyday life. You may not enjoy all history, but I am sure there is some topic that you would like to learn more about.

    I challenge you to find a point in history that you find interesting and make an effort to really learn about it. It can teach you so much about your surroundings and keep you from repeating the past. Also, once you find something you really love reading about you won’t even realize you are learning, just that you are having fun.


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  • Teacher appreciation: This professor is my motivating force

    by Victoria Bankowski

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    Being invited to my former community college’s retirement reception as a guest of one of my professors was such an honor and privilege. I met so many wonderful past and present professors of the college. While standing in the buffet line, a gentleman introduced himself by name and we began to talk. I was unaware he was one of the English instructors hired to take the place of a recent retiree. I spoke fondly about my experiences with all my professors and the importance of student appreciation. He smiled at me and thanked me for the exchange, adding how a short simple message on a piece of loose paper could mean so much to a professor. I am fortunate to have had instructors who have my best interests at heart and care about my success. I think it is important to tell teachers how important they are in your success.

    Since transferring to the University of Michigan to complete my degree, I have found myself in unfamiliar territory. The level and degree of difficulty at the University has far exceeded anything I ever expected. I felt as though I did not really belong in the world class learning environment of the University of Michigan and contemplated finding a university that was less challenging. My first semester did not go exactly the way I wanted it to go and I earned my very first B+. I previously was able to keep a 4.0 GPA at my community college and I began to have self-doubt. In my second semester things began to look a little brighter and I began to feel more optimistic when I enrolled in Environmental Sustainability with Professor Sara Soderstrom. I had previously spoken to Professor Soderstrom before the start of the class and shared my insecurities with her. Professor Soderstrom actively listened to my issues and offered that while I might feel as though I lacked the traditional skills the other students had, I gained in the life skills that most likely the traditional students lacked. This helped me realize that my contributions in the class were as important as the other students’ contributions.

    I remember the first day of that class so clearly. Professor Soderstrom was centrally located and walked about the classroom with such poise and confidence, portraying a vision of self-assurance. When she spoke, we listened, and we learned. Her words were like a security blanket and gave me a sense of direction that was heartfelt and filled with enthusiasm. I was assigned to a group which worked with the Alumni Association’s camp project. Professor Soderstrom created a learning environment that allowed me to shine. She met with me several times throughout the semester to discuss how the group was treating me. She would walk around the room and make suggestions often including the importance of the diversity of each group. She shared that it was our individual skills which would make us successful at the University. She made me feel relevant. After the class ended, I wanted to learn more and later worked on an independent study research project with Professor Soderstrom as my mentor.

    The classroom is a nicer place with Professor Soderstrom in it – she is my inspiration. She helped me to adjust my perception of myself and recognize my true potential, and continues to encourage me to push for what I believe in. I am honored and privileged to have sat in her class room. There has not been a day that passes that I don’t think about the impact that she has made on me. Thank you so very much, Dr. Soderstrom, for your patience and guidance helping me to take pride in my path. I will forever cherish the thought of you in my heart. I hope not to disappoint you for you are such a determining factor in my success at the University and in life.

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  • The magic button of "Help me solve this"

    by Vivianna Loza

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    Everyone always has that one class that no matter what you do, you can’t seem to get the hang of the material. For most people it’s a math or science course, and I am no exception. Accounting, Managerial and Financial, was that class for me. Accounting is math on a whole other level. It’s a full on different language, which makes reading and answering the problems challenging. Most of the problems take multiple steps to answer, so if you mess up one step you are going to have trouble getting the final answer right. Thankfully, the MyLab programs have a helpful solution. The “Help Me Solve This” button on my homework saved my life.

    A magic button

    This magic little button is an amazing tool that can be easily mis-valued and unseen as it’s under the “Question Help” tab. It gives you a similar question to the one you’re working on for you to solve, while explaining the steps and processes as you go. You get two chances to answer each step and if you are unable to answer correctly it will give you the correct answer. You get hints before each step to help you get the answer right the first time. You’re walked through the demo problem in its entirety, but you can exit out at any point if you feel confident enough to finish your homework problem on your own. The best part is that you can click on it at any point of problem solving and can utilize it as many times as you want.

    Unlimited uses

    I used this aid on every single homework set that I was assigned. It was my holy grail. My favorite part was the hints, because many times I knew what to do, but had something simple like a formula wrong. I also appreciated that I didn’t have a limited number of times to use the button. If I was still having problems, I could go back and rework the “Help Me Solve This” problem. I would even write down the steps as I went, to ensure that I would know how to solve my actual homework problem. This was also beneficial when studying for my tests, because I could learn the steps that I had written down.

    Found everywhere

    Though I’m emphasizing my use of the “Help Me Solve This” button for MyLab Accounting, I’ve also used this tool in various other courses. For example, you can use it in a similar way with MyLab Economics, Finance, Business Statistics and more across all subjects! It was also beneficial on MyLab IT for my Business in Computer Science course, and I expect to use it in my Marketing by the Numbers exercises with MyLab Marketing.

    This tool has helped me in so many of my classes and I don’t think I could have done as well without it. Don’t be afraid or ashamed to use this tool. It is extremely helpful and there for a reason. Pearson wants to help you succeed and that’s why it is there. So, the next time you need help, give it a go! You’ll never know how useful it is until you try it.

    Pearson Students: What tools do you use to help your grades? Share by commenting below!

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  • Jump at the chance to study abroad

    by Sarah Ambuehl

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    Although the majority of people will tell you that studying abroad was the best experience of their lives, it still may be difficult for you to take the jump. Going to a different country can be scary and may push you out of your comfort zone. There might be other factors, such as funds or time, that keep you from going. Although those factors are present, the experience you get will definitely outweigh anything else. Last summer I had the opportunity to study abroad in Germany, Poland, and Denmark for two weeks. Six months later and the experiences I had there continue to affect my life today.

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  • More Than My Disability

    by Ashley Dittman

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    When I was 15 years old, I began having frequent and horrible headaches. By the time I was 16 I was diagnosed with chronic migraines. When people think of disabilities, migraines are not usually what come to mind or even thought of as a disability. However, migraines are the 6thmost debilitating illness in the world.* A migraine headache is defined as an extremely incapacitating collection of neurological symptoms that usually includes a severe throbbing recurring pain on one side of the head*, but most people just think it is a really bad headache. In school, it has always been hard to find people that understand what I am going through and that are accommodating. In high school, they did not believe that migraines were a good enough excuse to miss the amount of school I missed. Now in college, I am registered as a student with a disability that has special accommodations, but still some professors are not willing to understand.

    Learning from hardships

    Although there is a lot of frustration and hardship with my disability, I am thankful for what it has taught me. Missing class is never fun, and missing class because you are at home in bed with all the lights off, a pillow over your head, and in excruciating pain is even worse. The hardships I encounter only push me to be a better student. I miss a lot of class, but because of this I know I have to work hard to not get behind.

    Partnering with professors

    Most students don’t attempt to make relationships with their professors, but in order to stay up to date on everything, I must. These relationships are beneficial not only with my accommodations, but looking toward the future, like when I need letters of recommendations. I want to show my professors I am more than my disability.

    Maintaining good time management

    I probably would procrastinate more if I didn’t have migraines, but with them I have to use good time management skills because I never know when one will strike. I use the free help resources that many students don’t take advantage of; it has been beneficial in helping me understand what I have missed. Even if you don’t have a disability, establishing good relationships with professors and maintaining good time management are helpful in succeeding in the long run. You never know when something could come up and you would already be prepared because you are ahead or you can easily contact your professor. There are so many times when I have wished that I didn’t have this disability, but now that I reflect on it, some good things that have happened because of it.

    Looking for the silver lining

    If you have a disability or know someone with a disability, I know that it can be frustrating that people don’t understand. Don’t let that stop you. Power through and stop to think about the silver lining in your disability. Whatever you do, don’t be ashamed of it. You’re not alone and you’re not the only one going through this. Talk to people to help them understand. Show others that you are hardworking. Don’t let your disability define you. You can do anything. If you don’t have a disability, try to understand those that do and what they go through. Don’t belittle them or ask why they are never in class, but instead celebrate the little victories with them. They are not their disabilities.





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  • Alternative spring break: Leadership through service

    by Hannah Cote

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    Not every college student goes on a wild spring break adventure like you see in movies and TV – some of us go on meaningful community service trips to help those in need around our communities.

    New Bern, North Carolina is a town known for its history: it’s the second oldest town in the state, the birthplace of Pepsi, and was a battle site during the Civil War. The town has had a lot of time to be built up, but a lot of time to be torn down, too. I noticed this as I traveled with a group of students from the University of Delaware to North Carolina to spend a week helping to build homes with Habitat for Humanity. As students of the Blue Hen Leadership Program, we are committed to being leaders in our community. On our week in New Bern we were able to learn how to apply the 5 Practices of Exemplary Leadership Model and understand their importance.

    Model the Way

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  • Robots: The new citizens to our world

    by Abderahim Salhi

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    Robots, Artificial Intelligence, and Virtual Personal Assistants are no longer part of the future. Each is a part of the reality we are living today and will become increasingly the new citizens of this world. In October 2017, Sophia the robot became the first robot to receive citizenship of any country (Saudi Arabia). The hopes for a social robot are not far from reality; we have so far Jibo, Kuri, and Temi. The list actually is more than these three robots. Whether it is in the factory, on the road, at home and, well, almost everywhere, the robot revolution is moving at a very fast pace with no sign that it will slow down.

    When Amazon unveiled Alexa, the voice assistant system, three and a half years ago, everyone thought it would be just a temporary trend of the season. Now, against all expectations, Alexa has four more siblings all running under the Echo name and dozens of other third-party products that run on the same platform. This tiny device from Amazon has made it all the way to 10% of U.S. households. Google Home comes next, which is in 4% of homes. This phenomenal number suggests something – how we are obsessed with all technological gadgets. As Alexa and its siblings are sitting there learning about our habits and improving their algorithms technology, online orders made through these voice assistant devices are projected to jump from $2 billion to $40 billion by 2022.

    The corporate world and the hospitality industry are no exception. Chatbots are becoming the new customer service agents of the 21st century, with a very advanced AI capability that allows the system to conduct conversations almost like humans. Currently, chatbots allow a hotel or travel company to provide 24/7 support through online chat or instant messaging services. In the healthcare sector, according to Manoj Saxena, former Chief Business of IBM Watson System, 90% of the nurses in the hospitals who use that system now follow its guidance for utilization management decisions. Down the road, self-driving car companies are also in a race to launch the next taxi robot; there are already thousands of them around the country for road testing.

    The new age factory is totally different than it used to be. It is called Industry 4.0, where robots are making robots. Countries like Japan, China, and Germany have invested billions of dollars in developing robots that are smart enough to collaborate with humans, even low skilled workers. Robots are not just going to conquer earth, space also has been an arena for smart machines. NASA historically has an edge when it comes to robotics. Ironically, the first citizens of Mars were robots, space rovers Curiosity and Opportunity were the first to land on Mars. In its quest to conquer Mars, NASA is planning to send drone robots to help survey the red planet by 2020.


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  • The STEM sensation

    by Meghan Nguyen

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    STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) may not appeal to everybody at first, but eventually a passion for this may find us in some form. From utilizing technology, to enrolling in mathematics classes, to performing lab experiments, STEM has a way of influencing us to do our best and make us crave more. But for me, it was a combination of them all. Choosing to be a STEM major was not an immediate decision; it was a process that I had to figure out at my own pace. STEM exposed a little portion of itself to me, and I wanted more—like an addiction that I could not contain.

    Stepping up to the plate

    The first two years of high school can be overwhelming with graduation requirements and miscellaneous work whose purpose may not be clear at the time. Over the course of those two years, all I knew was that I performed well in math, and I wanted to stay away from subjects that did not challenge my brain to think harder and “out of the box.” However, I never figured out or had a career plan for college. I simply did what was expected of me and completed school. Throughout those years, numbers and scientific truths seemed to “throw themselves” at me, and it somehow stuck. Did I know what this meant? No. Was I confused about why numerical and science-like concepts appeared easier than reading a simple story and analyzing it? Absolutely. I was curious. I had this small tiny spark that needed help igniting, and I desired a flame.

    Taking action to understand the math and science stigma

    I had this “thing” in me, and I needed help. I skewed away from taking easy-A classes and knew that courses like physics and calculus were the ones for me. There was just something about understanding the world, and the nature of objects and actions, and applying math to real-world scenarios that was so intriguing. At that moment, STEM was a stigma that the previous generation pushed the future generations to pursue, and to this day it is still wildly supported and important. Everything around was transforming for the better and I needed to be part of that chain-reaction. My teachers pushed me to do my best and impacted my decision on a career. They made learning enjoyable and less like an obligation. Long story short, I had this kindling flame, and near the end of my high school chapter, I ended up with this untamable wildfire spreading throughout my body with excitement.

    Energizing my education towards chemical engineering

    Picking a specific career is not easy, especially for me. My excessive drive to learn influenced me to go in all sorts of directions from dermatology to business, and economics to mathematics, to physics to engineering; unfortunately, there is no time to do them all. Yes, I excelled in the mathematics and sciences. But, how could I combine all of the preceding fields and have room for flexibility? After hours of research and curriculum comparisons, I ultimately selected chemical engineering. This area of engineering plays a role in all of the engineering disciplines and overlaps in production of pharmaceuticals, energy, and produce goods. It’s a diverse field with opportunity and potential to do great that I could not pass up.

    Making my mark

    Being a chemical engineering major gives me insight on how to think and a new perspective to view my surroundings. But I could not have done it without help from my mentors, friends, supporters, and outside sources. Nobody simply excels alone; this process is a team effort, and I am proud to be chosen as a Pearson Scholar of Higher Education. Through this scholarship Pearson provides access to their exceptional services and extra study materials that are used in my classes. The opportunity to be affiliated with Pearson and their mentorship program has shown me that I can be the best version of myself by fully utilizing what is around me to my benefit. Within chemical engineering, one of my goals is to mentor and influence the upcoming generation to pursue STEM-related majors. In addition, I intend to start a scholarship fund for those who are in financial need and want to have a career in the STEM field. Pearson is doing just that for me, and I hope to continue the legacy of “creating fulfilling careers and better lives” and initiating the STEM-sensational spark in others.


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  • The only New Year's resolution you need

    by Angela Myers

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    At the beginning of 2018, I created an obscene amount of New Year’s resolutions. As the year came to a close, I only consistently achieved one of my goals—to start a journal. When I looked back on it, starting a journal was the only New Year’s resolution I needed as it helped me have the best year academically and in my creative projects. If you want to produce better papers and projects, get in touch with your emotions, and become your most creative self, all while documenting memories of your college years, the only resolution you need in 2019 is to journal.

    But what do I write about?

    Anything! The most important thing to remember about journaling is that no one will ever look at it or give it a letter grade. It is one of the only writing outlets that is for you and you alone. However, most people (including myself) need more guidance when considering what to write. The two most common types of journaling are morning goal setting and nighttime reflection. My advice is to switch between these two types as you see fit. When deciding when to journal, I usually go with my mood. If I think I need some extra motivation, I journal in the morning and if not, I journal at nighttime. Sometimes, I even journal in the middle of the day when I need help working out a problem or have writer’s block on a project.

    Goal-Oriented Journaling

    For morning goal setting, you can write how you want to feel throughout the day, what you will do to achieve that feeling, and things you are grateful for. This type of journaling sets your intentions for the day and allows you to live in a mindset of gratitude. It also helps you wake up in the morning and gather your thoughts so you are more prepared for the day ahead.

    Reflective Journaling

    Nighttime journaling is usually more free-flowing—describe what happened to you that day, what memories you created, who you spent time with, etc. I remember talking to a senior TA in one of my freshman classes who said memories and funny stories from freshman and sophomore year would have been lost if she hadn’t kept a journal. Reflective journaling can help you remember all the beautiful little things you don’t want to forget; like who you ate lunch with on Mondays or that big paper you got an A on. It is something to look back on for how your days have gone and what you have achieved.

    Still stuck?

    I understand that it can still be challenging to get started so here are some journaling prompts to get you started:

    1. What are three challenges in your life right now and what are you learning from them?
    2. How is your life different now from a year ago?
    3. What do you have now that you wished you had once had?
    4. What is the most memorable event from this week?
    5. What brings you joy every single day?

    When it comes to journaling, there are no rules. Add art and write in colorful pens or free flow illegibly and with no regard to grammar. The only rule is that when you’re starting out, you have to solidify journaling as a habit. To do this, try to always have your journal in your backpack and make it your mission to journal every day (even if it’s just a sentence) for the first two months after you start your journal. If you can create journaling as a habit, I promise you will have a more introspective, creative, and productive 2019 while also documenting your favorite college memories. So, why aren’t you starting your journal right now?


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  • My Motivator

    by Hanan Ali

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    I have always been one to toss my hijab in the ring for any scholarship opportunity and hope for the best. Imagine my surprise and excitement when I received the call from Pearson saying I had gotten theirs. Through the Phi Theta Kappa scholarship portal, applicants are able to apply for multiple opportunities via one application.  I had completely forgotten about the Pearson scholarship, one that would eventually expose me to some of the best people and experiences in my life. Up until that point everything had been going great for me and this just seemed like the perfect icing on an almost perfect year.

    The mentorship component along with the Pearson textbooks included made this the opportunity of a lifetime. I was ecstatic and couldn’t wait to see who I would be paired with. Up until that point all my mentors had been people that were similar to me in one way or another. The Pearson Scholarship mentor program is a virtual one; my mentor and I would meet monthly via video calls. A few weeks after the initial congratulatory email, I received a second one that contained the name and preliminary information about my mentor. I looked at her name, location and job title and I really didn’t know what to make of it. We were so different and my thoughts were all over the place, “What’s an English Portfolio manager?” “Upstate New York? That’s a long way from San Diego!” I spent the time between then and our first video meeting trying not to let apprehension take over as it usually does when I’m put in a situation I can’t control. How would we connect? Would we even connect?

    As soon as I met my mentor, Sherri, my apprehension went away. We started sharing more and more of our lives. We talked about our families, our childhoods, and our education/career journeys. We bonded over our mutual love for the ocean, the sun and everything California. She may not have known it, but she became my motivator. We developed a routine of bouncing thoughts and ideas off of each other.

    When I was trying to transfer, Sherri cheered me on and I was able to get through it. During the internship application season, Sherri looked over my resume and cover letters and helped me put together a coherent application. When I got rejected by a school I thought would be the best option for me at the time, Sherri reminded me of the other incredible opportunities I already had and helped me see the bright side of a heartbreaking situation.

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  • Going the distance: How to excel in online classes

    by Sarah Hill

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    Distance learning, or online education, is a great opportunity that provides students the ability to learn in a flexible environment and exercise self-discipline. Whether you’re taking one virtual class this semester or earning your degree completely online, here are some tips to help you excel in this type of course.

    Tip 1: Get up and get dressed

    One of the appealing things about online classes is being able to stay in your pajamas all day! As wonderful as it is to be cozy, try to get up and get dressed like you would if you were going to campus for class. Your bed isn’t the most conducive learning environment, since it is associated with rest and relaxation rather than hard work and hustle. Getting yourself ready and doing work at a desk, in the library, or at your favorite coffee shop will make you feel like your online class is more legitimate, and will make you want to put in the effort!

    Tip 2: Make an impression

    When you are enrolled in an online course, it’s easy to hide behind the computer screen and profile picture. Make yourself stand out by creating a relationship with your professor! You could set up a phone call appointment. Reaching out however you can is guaranteed to impress your professor and signal your commitment to learning. Who knows, they might even help you get internships or jobs in the future! A 5 to 10 minute chat could lead to a lifetime of referrals and network connections.

    Tip 3: Utilize campus resources

    Online students are students, after all! If you are near the campus offering your online courses, don’t be afraid to use all the wonderful resources offered there. Having trouble writing that paper? Contact the Writing Center! Struggling with those math problems? Try seeking help from tutors or during your professor’s office hours. Don’t be scared or hesitate to capitalize on all the perks of being a college student. Being connected to the campus – even virtually – can enrich your experience and help you create great memories.

    Tip 4: Manage your time

    It’s easy to get carried away with the freedom that comes as a perk to online courses. In order to be successful, you must exercise self-discipline and time management skills. My advice: treat your school like a 9-5 job (assuming you don’t already have one). Setting up certain periods of time to be productive can help you avoid furiously typing a paper to meet that 11:59 pm deadline.

    Technology has made online learning available to all kinds of students. However, keep in mind that online learning isn’t for everyone, and that’s perfectly okay! Give it a try and see how you adjust to the new setting.




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  • 10 tips to manage time effectively

    by Calli Jansen

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    Getting back into the swing of a new semester can be a difficult. Here are 10 easy tips to help ease the process of managing your time effectively.

    1. Use a Planner– Write out your commitments such as homework assignments, work hours or a workout class so you can visualize what you have coming up for the day or week.
    2. Get Adequate Sleep– Many believe that staying up to get ahead on assignments will be beneficial, however in the long run the lack of sleep will leave you less productive in the days following the all-nighter.
    3. Take Breaks– A person can only correctly focus for so long. Pushing yourself to work for four straight hours on an assignment is less effective than breaking it into two shorter sessions with adequate breaks. This is important when working on a computer as your eyes need time to rest from the blue light emitted.
    4. Get a Social Media Timer– One of the biggest forms of procrastination for many is getting sucked into checking social media. In order to prevent your 10-15 minute breaks from stretching to 45 minutes, set timers on your phone to remind you to get back to work or download an app that locks you out of your phone so you can focus on the tasks at hand.
    5. Say No– One of the reasons people begin to fall behind on commitments is because they are over scheduling themselves. This in turn creates stress and anxiety, ultimately reduces productivity and wastes time. Make sure you are not over-committing so you can put your best effort forward in your priorities.
    6. Remember Your Goals– By remembering your goals, you can prioritize tasks in order to accomplish your most important ones and ensure you are completing the more time pressing issues first.
    7. Get Organized– Similar to using a planner, make sure the other parts of your life are organized as well. This includes your work area, bedroom and life in general. Working in a cluttered area can be distracting and lead to a lower level of productivity. Trying to get to sleep in a messy room can be harder because the mess is a reminder of the “mess” of commitments you have.
    8. Delegate– Some people like to be involved in every step of their commitments, however, this can get overwhelming. In order to be successful, individuals need to delegate tasks to their peers and not take everything on themselves.
    9. Create a Routine– This can be written down in your planner but make sure you get some kind of pattern in your daily life. For example if you want to ensure you work out on Monday and Wednesdays, plan to do it at the same time on those days. Eventually, it will become second nature for you to come home from work or class and immediately get ready to sweat.
    10. Take Time To Do Nothing- Similar to taking breaks in between studies, it is important to have a couple hours or a day of few commitments to relax and rejuvenate. If you’re constantly on the go, you may get burned out or even sick, which all contribute to a lack of productivity.  

    Managing time is one of the most challenging aspects of college. With many commitments and cramped time to complete assignments, you may find yourself flustered at times. Just remember these 10 tips and keep an even head throughout the semester.


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  • How do you get organized for the first week of class?

    by Becca Elson

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    Getting organized for the first week of classes starts before the first week of classes. Professors will start sending out their syllabi weeks before the class begins. I always look at the syllabus as soon as the professor sends it out because occasionally there will be assignments listed there that are due the first day of class. I try to get the assignments done before I am physically back on campus because getting settled and catching up with friends can begin to get hectic. Even though it’s still break, it is important to put your best effort forward on these assignments. They are the first impression your teacher is getting from you.

    I remember walking into a class on the first day and the teacher asked, “How many of you did not get a chance to do the reading?” No one raised their hand. After that, he began calling on students to summarize the reading for him and that’s when the truth came out. No one had done the reading for the first class and everyone got caught in their lie. After attending this class, I made sure to always do the reading assigned for the first day to ensure a situation like this would not happen to me.

    Another thing I do to get ready for the first week of class is to go through all my school supplies from the previous semester and see if there is anything I can reuse. This is a great way to save money and time and you don’t have to go through the hassle of spending hours at an office supply store. And honestly, in college there aren’t many school supplies to get except pencils and notebooks.

    Hold off getting textbooks. Many times, bookstores on campus will have a list of the books you need for a class before your class has started. I have found that these lists are not always accurate and can end up costing you more money than you need to spend. Wait until the first day of each class or until you’ve read the syllabus before you go buy textbooks because your teacher may say you don’t even need it in their class.

    Syllabus week is not a week of no homework, although we all wish it was. Most times professors will already have a homework assignment prepared which is why it is important to have your house, dorm, apartment, or wherever you may live set up before the first week of classes. This way you don’t have to come home from class and organize your living space.

    If you organize the week before classes start you will have a much better and relaxing start to the semester. I love spending that first week of classes exploring my campus and catching up with friends before the real work starts!


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  • Take time in college to figure out your passion

    by Evan Carey

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    College… the place where most students get their first taste of freedom! The place where you eat ramen for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The place where you have near impossible classes, and even more impossible assignments. The place where YOU have everything figured out.

    I’m sure these are all rumors we’ve heard and thoughts that we’ve shared when leaving our last year of high school and entering our first year of college.

    However, the reality of it does not exactly fit that stigma (except for maybe the ramen part).

    Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of things that you’ve probably heard from upperclassmen that are true. The classes are hard, the assignments are even harder, and you have to stay on top of everything, in order to get good grades. But there is one major misconception for both incoming freshman and new students in general. And that is… having your life figured out.

    As high school wraps up, students are pressured into selecting their major. Although this isn’t a permanent decision and can easily be changed during your time at any university or institution, it is made out to be a concrete selection.

    As a college sophomore, I am here to tell you it’s okay to not have everything under control. There will be times when you feel overwhelmed and completely flustered by everything you have going on. You don’t have to have everything figured out during college. The truth is, most students don’t.

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  • Yes, you CAN write captivating content

    by Jessica Albright

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    Have you ever had an idea for a blog topic for the Pearson Students blog but stop short of submitting it because you think you “aren’t creative enough” or “aren’t a good writer”? It’s time to put a stop to those negative thoughts and instead, focus on your approach. Whether you are writing content for a blog or an essay for school, creativity comes from how you think about the task. Everyone has their own unique approach, but I recommend mapping out all your thoughts and breaking down the process in order to captivate the right audience.

    Get your ideas on paper

    Most students fret sitting in front of a blank screen, their hands on the keyboard, as if something is just going to ignite their fingers to type out something amazing. I found that most of my creativity comes when I write out all my thoughts using actual paper and pen. Before you even turn on that computer screen, get all your ideas onto a piece of paper because there is something about the glow of the computer that makes your mind flutter when trying to think a coherent thought. This might just be me, but I also find that I am much more creative when I write on blank white copy paper; it’s like the blue lines on notebook paper constrict my thoughts.

    Organize your thoughts

    Blogs or essays, no matter the length, follow a standard pattern: Introduction, main points, and conclusion. Most people start with the first sentence, but I usually keep those for the end. It sounds backwards, but you first need to know what’s going to go inside your sandwich before you start laying out the bread.

    Start with your main points

    Depending on your topic, organize four or five points that strongly support your main topic and that you can elaborate on in order of how strong they are. Once you have solid main points with good explanations, go down to your conclusion and summarize them. If your piece is a blog, you might ask the readers to reflect on the topic. If your piece is an essay, you would want to demonstrate your understanding of the material, maybe by adding some personal insight.

    Do not save the best for last

    Capture your reader’s interest, put the best content first in your introduction, but write it last. Once you have the rest of your piece done, you know about the entire topic and should be pretty knowledgeable and passionate about it. While it’s still fresh in your mind, ask, “What is the most exciting thing I learned through this piece? What is something I want my readers to think about?” You usually want to have a catchy opening sentence that either relates the topic to the reader or tells them something they may not know.

    Whether writing a short blog or a long essay, it’s easy to make your content captivating and creative. It’s all a matter of how you approach the situation. When it comes to writing, I recommend mapping out your thoughts on good old fashioned paper and organizing them before going to the computer screen. When you start typing out the content, start from the middle, then move on to the conclusion, saving the introduction for last.


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  • MIT Boot Camp in Brazil: A summer I?ll never forget

    by Daiki Yoshioka

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    The summer break of 2018 was a special one. I first went back to Japan, my home country. Then I worked part-time to save some money. However, the most memorable experience of my summer was when I went to Brazil to participate in a week-long MIT Innovation & Entrepreneurship Bootcamp.

    I first found out about MIT Innovation & Entrepreneurship Bootcamp on EdX where I massively took random courses during my gap semester. I never thought that this discovery would influence my life so dramatically. As I have been interested in solving social problems through launching a company, I submitted my application while thinking I would not get selected (acceptance rate is 7~10%). Needless to say, I  screamed with joy when I got the letter of acceptance! My journey to the MIT Bootcamp started from there. Here are three lessons I learned along the way.

    Have Faith in What You Do: Be Disciplined

    MIT Bootcamp was extremely expensive; tuition for the one-week program was over $6,000. So, I started to fund raise. However, the public was not always as supportive as I’d hoped and some even harshly denounced my efforts. I was first battered by these “rejections,” but I never gave up hope. After over 4 months of hard work I finally collected enough funds. After this part of my experience, I learned the importance of being disciplined to what one believes. Naysayers exist no matter what we do.

    You Are Not Perfect and Will Never Be: Hence Teamwork

    When the program started and I was assigned to a group, I was very nervous. Not having much work experience and hard skills, I wasn’t sure if I could offer benefit to a team mostly comprised of mid-career professionals with MBA degrees. Yet, that was an unnecessary worry. After realizing that everyone had different specializations, I learned that nobody can be perfect. Even if they have 10+ experience in business, it doesn’t mean they’ll make the right decision every time. Teams exist so we can cover each member’s weaknesses. I learned the significance of a team and got reassured that we all make mistakes regardless of our backgrounds.

    Pursue what YOU like

    The decision to attend MIT Bootcamp was not easy even after I had collected funds. I haven’t had previous internship experience and while my friends were getting internships for summer, I was concerned that I would be missing out. Society does have trends and expectations, such as completing an internship as a necessary step to get a job. However, it is also important to think about what matters to you and to pursue it even if it contradicts what other people are doing. Doing something that deviates required a lot of courage. However, in retrospect, I am confident that it was the right decision to attend MIT Bootcamp.

    Overall, my summer was very fulfilling. Not only did I learn entrepreneurship deeply and network with 120+ individuals from 40+ countries, I have also learned a number of life lessons including those shared here.



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  • Why I choose service trips over vacations

    by Galina Bello

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    When you hear the term “community service”, what comes to mind? Soup kitchen? Picking up garbage? Homeless people? Graduation requirement? An alternative to prison? If any of these terms popped into your head, it is time for you to change that. Any form of volunteering can be a life-changing experience, no matter how big or small your contribution is.

    I did not know what to expect when I applied to an Elks Scholar service trip to San Antonio last summer. I intended to go sight-seeing and play a couple of ice breakers with other students in between sessions of serving food to homeless people. We did do these things, but the experience provided me with three benefits that I never thought would affect me everyday: knowledge, travel, and relationships.

    Practicing new skills

    During the trip, twenty-two of us visited different organizations in San Antonio with varying levels of resources and success. Some shelters were very organized and had multiple facilities, while others were small and clearly needed more manpower and funding. The varying needs resulted in a variety of tasks for my group. We mostly provided indirect services (helping the organization operate rather than directly interacting with its clients) which allowed us to build upon our personal skills and learn new ones. We practiced leadership when creating efficient working rhythms for tasks like sorting through donations and folding clothes. We also got exposed to physical tasks we usually never do, such as painting ceilings, gardening, and building playhouses.

    Despite the differences among the shelters, they each caused me to dismantle the idea of homelessness as an identity. Homelessness does not have to be a permanent experience. Each shelter had an incredible turn around period of their clients. Clients receive medical attention, dental care, allowances to shop for food, season and style appropriate clothing, and help obtaining jobs and homes. This information changed the way I viewed shelters and less fortunate people: they are not as hopeless as I assumed them to be, and I wish I had known this sooner.

    Exploring new places

    Some service experiences allow you to travel or attend nearby events for free or at a discounted price. I got to spend time in downtown San Antonio for a small fee. Through opportunities in my own state, I attended the Amazon VOICE Summit for free. Volunteering isn’t just for shelters and soup kitchens. You can totally volunteer at check in tables or merchandise booths at marathons, concerts, festivals, and conventions that interest you. All you have to do is search online for these opportunities.

    Creating new connections

    Finally, my favorite benefit of volunteering is forming new relationships. I bonded very closely with twenty other students who all share the same compassion for humanity. The work we did in Texas was genuine, which made the trip so enjoyable and emotional that we all cried when we said our goodbyes. I communicate daily with the friends I made on this trip, and I cannot wait to meet them again in the future. I also got to network with people in my field of study. I connected with a student who interned at Google and Apple, and upon sending him an email after the trip, I received a new LinkedIn connection and helpful resume advice.  

    And because of this one experience, I decided to cancel my long anticipated trip to Costa Rica and instead apply for another service trip. The benefits of volunteering are certainly more valuable to me than any vacation, a feeling I would have not expected before my experience in San Antonio.


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  • Auburn's Hey Day creates a family atmosphere on campus

    by Emily Bugg

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    As a college student there can be days that are difficult with the feeling like you’re all alone. We have all felt it and, especially on large campuses, it can be hard sometimes going throughout your day and maybe not talking to a single person. For that very reason, Auburn University has created a day to promote a friendly atmosphere to all students throughout campus called “Hey Day”! It is a day for celebration for all students, faculty, and alumni to unify what we call the Auburn Family. I am excited to be able to share the history and tradition behind one of the best days at one of the best universities in the country!

    The History

    Hey Day has been happening since the end of World War II. It started when soldiers were coming home from war and Auburn students wanted to come up with a way to properly greet them, thus creating Hey Day. It grew into an annual tradition throughout the 1950s and 1960s, but ended in the 1970s. Hey Day was reinstated in January of 1985 and has been a long-standing tradition for 69 years now.

    The Tradition

    Hey Day has evolved over the years from students simply wearing name tags and greeting each other with “hey” to a full day of festivities. It’s usually scheduled mid-semester during the first week of October. Early in the morning, volunteers set up stations throughout campus to hand out name tags and doughnuts for breakfast. Hey Day t-shirts are also sold. As the day continues, so does the fun with a big party on the greenspace in the middle of campus. Many attractions are featured, including camels, puppies, photo booths and more. Plus, there are tons of food options available – hot dogs, pizza, cookies, and drinks – to continue the community aspect with eating together. Everyone enjoys watching student dance groups such as the cheerleaders, Auburn hip hop dance team, AU Rhythm, and the Tiger Paws perform throughout the afternoon. It’s just one big party for the whole campus!

    During Hey Day, the Auburn family is promoted and encouraged to join together no matter where you’re from or who you are! We may have one special day a year set aside for this very reason, but I know many students, faculty, and alumni strive to keep the atmosphere alive throughout the entire year.  It’s part of our creed to “believe in Auburn and love it.”


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  • 7 smart final exam tips to help you get the top grade you deserve

    by Doralicia Giacoman-Soto

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    There are only a couple of weeks left until the semester ends and there seems to be nothing between you and your break…but then there are final exams. Final exams are the last thing by which your professor will grade you, as well as likely count as an important percentage of your grade.

    But there is no reason to feel overstressed! While it’s important to give final exam testing the importance it deserves, it is also important to not overwhelm yourself. Tackle final exam studying efficiently with a clear mind and strategy. Here are 7 simple, smart tips to consider integrating within your studying routine to help you earn that top grade you deserve!

    1 – Study with the right attitude.

    While studying might not always be as fun as watching your favorite TV show or spending time with friends, that doesn’t mean it isn’t important or can’t be meaningful to your learning. To make the best and most of your studying time, it is important that you change the way you view final exams and how you prepare. Instead of looking at final exams and studying as frustrating, change your attitude from “ugh, I don’t like this!” to “I’ve got this!” and “learning and studying for this exam will help lead me closer toward getting my degree and dream job.”

    Approach studying with a clear mind and open attitude. Seek to make the best of your time and energy spent studying by actively trying to understand your text and notes. Work through questions instead of just skimming through your materials and reading the answers. A good attitude can make a really good, powerful difference.

    2 – Be honest where you stand in the course.

    Honesty is vital not only in relationships and for your well-being, but also in your education. It’s important to be aware and honest with yourself about where you stand in understanding your college courses. Are you struggling with just one section of a course, or most of it? What can be done to help?

    Be honest – if you need help, reach out to your professor, be part of study groups with your classmates, find tutor sessions. By being honest with yourself and your professor about where you stand (and what you understand) in class, you’ll be more successful in class. 

    3 – Explain what you’re studying to another person.

    When you teach what you’re studying to someone else, you get to practice what you’re learning and you can figure out how well you understand the material. Putting it in your own words can reinforce your comprehension. If you can explain clearly what you’re learning to another person, you’re on the right path!

    4 – Try to recreate the exam testing setting as much as possible.

    If you get test anxiety or are simply nervous about your upcoming exam, try taking a practice exam (or a couple), recreating your exam setting as much as possible. While taking the practice exam, sit in a desk, dressed for the exam, and without study resources…just you, your pencil, and paper. Exposure to the setting that you’re nervous about can lessen your fear and increase your confidence for when the testing time does arrive.

    5 – Have everything ready the night before the exam.

    Your ID, calculator, pencil, paper, the clothes you’re going to wear: have them ready the night before. Seeing everything neatly ready can give you a sense of control as well as prevent you from forgetting about packing or not being able to find the materials you need at the last minute.

    6 – Alternate where you study.

    Make sure that not only is your mind fresh, but so is the environment in which you study! Always studying in the same place can be exhausting and, well, simply uninspiring. Alternate where you choose to study so your study spot stays fresh and inspiring. Try studying at a quiet spot in your library by a window, your room, or making a picnic and studying outside. It’s important to be in an environment that stimulates you as well as one that allows you to focus. Stay away from unnecessary noises or distractions like your phone or television. So goodbye dark dorm, and hello sunny cool study spot!

    7 – Take care of your health.

    Even when you’re really busy and caught up with studying and other responsibilities, it is important that you keep taking care of your health – both mental and physical. Make them the priority they truly are. While fulfilling your responsibilities as best as you can, also take some time for yourself and your health. Regular exercise can serve as a great stress outlet and improve your memory and energy level. A balanced diet that includes healthy snacks such as almonds, fresh fruits, and vegetables can do the same.

    Take study breaks to do things that you enjoy, inspire you, and help you unload stress. Watch shows that make you laugh or funny cat videos on YouTube (you will not regret it). And simply, get plenty of sleep – not just the night before the exam, but regularly. With good health can come equally rewarding success!

    Studying for final exams may feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to. With a smart strategy, including incorporating good studying practices, maintaining a good attitude, and taking proper care of yourself, final exam success can truly be accomplished.

    Now go, keep learning, and get that A you deserve!


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  • Igniting the Spark

    by Lilly Haack

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    Growing up, I was called the ‘animal girl’. I was the first to volunteer to feed the class pet or bring a new pet home. My playground was the creek and the meadow behind my house, which housed turtles, snakes, mice and rabbits. You could describe my younger self as muddy, bruised, smiling, and fearless. A lot of my desire to observe and learn about animals comes from the great Steve Irwin and his inspiring point of view on the fantastic animal kingdom. I watched his program everyday on Animal Planet. I wanted to be just like him when I grew up.

    Finding myself – or so I thought

    When I entered high school I felt I had to choose what to do with my life. I still had the desire to be like Steve Irwin; I wanted to inspire others much like he inspired me. I researched and even shadowed different careers that I might be interested in. I volunteered at animal rescues and worked side-by-side with a veterinarian for a week. However, I felt like these careers did not offer me quite what I was looking for. It wasn’t until I had the opportunity to participate with People2People and travel to Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji that I finally found what I was looking for. During my time there, I went scuba diving and fell in love with the underwater world. I instantly knew that this was something I could do for the rest of my life. I decided to study marine biology and pursue a career in research. I wanted to be like Steve Irwin and help animals who were being negatively affected by human influence.

    A change of mind

    After high school, I still had the passion for marine biology and had decided to attend Texas A&M in Galveston to earn my degree. However, I knew I couldn’t afford to go straight to a university. In order to save money, I decided to attend community college. At first I was a little disappointed, but soon realized the great opportunities offered by community colleges that were not available at a four-year university. I joined organizations on campus, made friends, and soon began to love my new home in Texas. At the same time, I found myself unsure of my future. I began questioning my choices. Was marine biology right for me? I was really at a loss and soon it felt like my life was spiraling downwards. My grades fell, and my motivation left me. I had lost my spark.

    Finding myself- for real this time

    After some time, I began to grow in heart and mind. I began to gain my sense of self back. I realized I am still the animal girl I have always been. I still want to work with animals all my life. That hasn’t changed. I could still be like Steve Irwin. He was not just the animal lover we saw on TV.  He also devoted much of his life to the well-being of animals native to Australia.  His efforts in land conservation and the protection of animal life was a big part of what he did for the animals he loved. Steve Irwin continues to inspire me as I begin to pursue a major in environmental science and dedicate my life to the conservation of wildlife.

    Now I am a confident student studying environmental science, but, as you can see, my college career didn’t begin that way. I was unsure and uncertain at times even though I knew I wanted to help animals since the days playing near the creek. I encourage all students to explore as many opportunities as they can in college, to ignite that spark that will lead to their future career success.


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  • Seizing the opportunity to study abroad

    by Teyana Pryor

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    The opportunity to study abroad while in college is important and should be considered by every student. You may try to find excuses, such as not being able to afford it or even being intimidated by not being prepared to explore another country – however I encourage you to seize the opportunity and do it! Last semester I studied abroad in Europe and not only learned a lot but had a very memorable experience. Through my study abroad experience, I have gathered four tips that I know will make your study abroad experience a success!

    Take advantage of the opportunity

    At first glance the large amount of money that is advertised alongside a study abroad program may seem intimidating – don’t let that be the factor that stops you from going! There are scholarships available to cut the cost and you should also consider financial aid. At least explore your options before you turn down the idea completely. Anyone who has ever studied abroad can attest to the amazing experience. I was faced with the same issues, but then I came across the saying, “you can make more money, but you can’t make more time”. That helped me make up my mind to study abroad!

    Learn all you can about your destination

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  • Tips for a memorable study abroad experience

    by Kelley McDonald

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    Everyone should study abroad at some point in their life.  No matter how long you decide to go, no matter where you choose to have your host country, it will change your life for the better.  This past summer, I was lucky enough to be able to travel to Granada, Spain to spend 7 weeks taking two classes, traveling every single weekend, and improving my Spanish speaking skills.  While in Spain, I lived with a host family, which initially was not my first choice. Several of my friends studied abroad the previous semester and seeing them live with their friends in apartments made me look forward to that, too. But in the end, I would not have wanted to live anywhere else. I grew closer to my host family than I could have ever imagined (even shedding a few tears on my last night) and I was able to practice Spanish at all times of the day. It was truly the best way to become fully immersed into the culture and the language.

    Studying abroad is definitely a learning experience and each day you learn something new.  Here are a few tips I would give to someone who is going abroad in the future.

    1. Do something every single day.  Do NOT go home and watch that Netflix show you have been binge watching because even though 7 weeks seems long, it will go by in a blink of an eye.
    2. Try the native food. It may be the grossest or it may be the best thing you will ever eat but you will regret leaving and not trying that one thing.
    3. Find a spot. Find a restaurant, bar, café, anywhere! Get to know the staff.  It will make you feel like you found a place that makes you feel comfortable as soon as you walk in the door.
    4. Travel.  Travel as much as you can (or as much as your wallet will let you.) Especially if you are in Europe, travel because it is so easy to get to different countries.    
    5. If you want it, buy it.  If you are debating getting that homemade mug or rug for your mom but you just are not sure, get it.  You will regret passing something up that has meaning from your host country.
    6. Make new friends.  Sure, you may know a few people going on the same program as you but make sure to branch out of your group and meet other people in your program.  I can honestly say that I met some of the greatest people in my life in those 7 weeks.

    There are so many positives that come with traveling and seeing the world. It is truly an experience that everyone should be able to do.  Stepping out of your comfort zone can be scary and intimidating but it is well worth it. If I did not step out and try new things, I would not have met the people I did, completed the experiences I went through, and I would not have these memories that will last a lifetime.


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  • Evaluating electives

    by Davki Patel

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    At most schools students have the chance to choose the electives they take for their majors, which is why it’s super important to pick electives that will positively impact your education.  When it comes time for you pick elective classes for your next semester schedule, here are three things to keep in mind.

    Consider your future.

    Electives give you a good insight on what you may like or dislike and some insight on what you might want to pursue in your future as well. Pick an elective that can give you hands-on experience as to whether you really wish to make a career out of something or not.

    Dig into your passions.

    Sometimes you can choose a “just for fun” course. You can explore new subject areas which could alter your career path or simply lead to a lifelong hobby.

    Complement your major.

    If you want a well-rounded resume after you graduate, consider taking classes that will complement your major. For example, if you are a marketing major, use this opportunity to refine some Photoshop skills with a graphic design elective. If you are an education major but never had to take a foreign language, go for the Spanish class –  you won’t become fluent in one semester, but at least you will pick up some vocabulary and basic grammar formulations that can help you later on.

    Elective courses are an essential part of your college career. You will hopefully have the chance to pick at least a few electives and therefore I encourage you to make the most of the experience. Whether you choose an elective based on your future plans, your passion, or adding to your resume – make sure the elective class is something you will enjoy that next semester.


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  • Thank you, teachers, for joining my team

    by Daiki Yoshioka

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    Teachers have a part in every educational journey. They nourish students with knowledge garnished with life lessons. As I am one of the beneficiaries of education, I can say with confidence that I would not have matured without the presence of teachers. For me, each educational journey is like a marathon. It looks as though it is an individual sport. Yet, it takes a team: runners cannot run without help from trainers, parents, fans, and sponsors. It’s all combined. Likewise, pursuing education is a collective effort. Parents provide their students with a stable environment in which students thrive. Textbooks help introduce new knowledge to students. Teachers are most vital. They help students navigate through new information, make connections, and develop their thinking.

    I have had a plethora of episodes where teachers played crucial roles in my life. In elementary school, my teacher tenaciously lectured me on the joy of cleaning desks. Now, I find solace in cleaning my room, which helps me relieve stress during finals. In middle school, my ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher gave me a piece of advice, “Learning a new language takes time, be patient.” Having been patient for 6 years and steadily learning English, I am now writing this blog in English. My high school mentor taught me about the art of giving. Being inspired, I have started to work as a tutor in college to help other students. Now, with this diverse life advice, I have a goal to start projects in order to help alleviate educational inequality through entrepreneurship.

    Throughout my career as a student, many teachers have gifted me with knowledge and assisted me as I grow into a mature individual. They showed me how to conquer various life challenges, whether it be cleaning, learning English, or identifying my future path. Amidst of the marathon which I am getting closer to the goal, I could not have gotten here without teachers. Thank you, teachers, for joining my marathon team and educating me to run through the academic avenue as well as life. Until I can shout, “We did it,” at commencement, I look forward to further learning from you and growing exponentially.



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  • A cure for 'Senioritis'

    by Mitchell Drysdale

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    It’s one of the widest caught illnesses of academic careers – Senioritis. Merriam-Webster’s definition of Senioritis (yep, it’s in the dictionary) is “an ebbing of motivation and effort by school seniors as evidenced by tardiness, absences, and lower grades”. Almost every senior can say that they’ve gotten it and it’s very hard to “cure”. Once you start to slack and lose motivation, it takes a lot to get that motivation back.

    Even though my senior year has only been two months long, I have experienced a bad case of Senioritis and found my way out. Here are some tips on how you can, too:

    Volunteer for something you believe in

    Recently, I’ve been volunteering at a local food bank. It has been re-energizing and brought back a bit of drive! I will also be trying to volunteer at the Wake County SPCA soon because who doesn’t love some animals? The point here is that volunteering can help take up time while also filling your heart with a bit of energy and purpose.

    Take up a new hobby

    Usually Senioritis comes along with less credit hours/easier courses, leading to a decline in care. Filling up your day with things that you like will wake you right up from that Senioritis slumber. For the first three years of college, I didn’t play quite as much golf as I’d have liked. So, when Senioritis hit, I realized that I wanted to put more time into my golf game, which kept me focused and determined on and off the course.

    Take a course solely because it interests you

    Too many times people get caught up in their list of required courses. Unless you try to have 6 majors and 4 minors, you should have a bit of a credit hour gap towards the end of your college career. Try filling this bit of extra time with a course that seems interesting. Usually to graduate you need some elective courses, so here’s your chance! Basket weaving? Go for it! 1800’s European History? GO FOR IT! Try something out that interests you. I decided to take on a coding-intensive class to learn some basics; it really intrigued me and kept me focused in the classroom.

    Get ahead and plan your after-college life

    One of things I feel like college students fear is the real world. You may hear “ugh, I wanna get out of this town and live my life,” but how serious are they? Are you ready for taxes? Insurance premiums? Emergency funds? Down payments? Yeah. Very few are. So, now that you have some time in your day, try to tackle some of those big challenges early. Talk to some people and try and understand the finances behind real life so that you can start saving and planning out your budget. My older sister has already graduated and I recently asked her to help me understand how to work my finances so that I can live the life I want to live out of college. Nothing wrong with being prepared!

    So, while Senoritis might not have a prescribed cure, there are certainly things you could be doing during your last year of college to be more productive! These are just a few ideas that I have come up with, but I’m sure it’s enough to fill up a bit more of your time!


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  • Volunteering cured my trypanophobia

    by Disha Patel

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    The black spots were approaching; I knew I would be in complete darkness soon. I gripped my mother’s hand, knowing that this was only going to get worse. Seconds later I was jolted awake as my mother sprinkled water onto my sweaty face. Her worried expression was no different than all the other times she had been through this with me. My doctor helped me up and stated that I’d fainted because of my trypanophobia. This fear of needles has made its home in my mind since childhood. I was irrationally afraid of needles poking through my skin and the pain. For years, I was unable to handle the lack of control or the limp feeling I had after fainting; it was a battle I would lose against myself and the more I tried to fight it the worse it would get.

    A few months later while volunteering at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, I moved down the hallway, passing room after room. “ Hi! Can I paint something?” I looked around to see if anyone was with the little girl talking to me, but her perked up smile and beaming energy was hard to see past. “Jocelyn, you know that you shouldn’t be running around” said a heaving woman running towards us. I slid a wooden figurine behind my back, turned towards the girl and said, “So Jocelyn what would you like to paint today?” Jocelyn, unsure, looked at the woman, her charge nurse Amanda. “I know you like horses, would you like to paint one today?” Jocelyn grabbed the figurine and pulled me in for a hug. Her energy and smile were so powerful.

    The following Saturday while volunteering I made sure to visit Jocelyn. I walked to her door and Amanda whispered, “Jocelyn is confined to her room today, would you paint with her?” I nodded quickly, pulling a chair close to Jocelyn as she talked about her horse named Princess. Soon Amanda announced it was time for Jocelyn’s IV therapy. I prepared myself to clean up and leave, but Jocelyn’s mother asked if I could stay since Jocelyn felt comfortable around me. My lips formed “of course” but my mind went into panic mode thinking about my fear. As Amanda came in with the therapy supplies, my palms started sweating and my brain was scattered. When Jocelyn looked towards me for a reassuring smile, I gave a shaky smile back, thinking there’s no way I could faint here. When Amanda came closer, I gripped Jocelyn’s arm and it was like she knew I was scared so she told me to close my eyes. I shut my eyes, telling Jocelyn how strong and powerful she was. When I opened my eyes, the IV was in and Jocelyn giggled, “You’re scared of the needle aren’t you? I was too, but now that I see it everyday I’m used to it.”

    What an inspirational experience! When I was seven years old I swore I would never go into the medical field because of my fear of needles. Now, ten years later, I know if I want to make a positive change in the lives of others like Jocelyn, I have to work towards overcoming my fears. People like Jocelyn inspire me and give me strength. I want to be a support system for others and give them the opportunity to become the brave and incredible people that they’re meant to be.


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  • The sky's the limit!

    by Rena Ansbacher

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    This past summer I graduated with my Masters’ degree in Accounting from St. John’s University. This is incredible for me to even fathom! I worked so hard for this! The whole time I was studying for my degree, I was also working. It was not easy to balance it all—believe me!  Despite all this, I did it and so can you! No matter what your goals are, I would like to share with you my experiences and encourage you to achieve your own goals – a positive personality is sometimes all it takes!

    Working while in college. This was a great experience, but my job was not in the area which I was studying. If I could change anything, it would be to find a job or internship more in line with my major. I love my job and place of work; however, I wanted to put everything I have learned into practice.

    Starting several months before graduation, I started applying to jobs within accounting. From what I have learned from the past and my fellow Pearson Insiders, it is always a good idea to plan ahead.

    I am a firm believer in the old adage that everything works out for the best. This is a great attitude to have during job searches as you may face a lot of rejections. It is safe to say I must have applied to several dozen jobs and did not hear back from many of them, but I never lost my resolve throughout all this. My outlook was always positive.

    This positive outlook worked in my favor. My upbeat personality helped me hit it off with one of the most incredible recruiters out there. Even though I was not hired by the first place she found for me, she talked me up to another company that she thought would be a better fit. I am looking forward to what the future brings!

    When I was working during college, I could have better suited my future career search by working a job that was related to accounting. This is one tip I want to encourage you to do, as having an internship or related experience would have helped my job search. I encourage you to not lose hope. Always be positive and things will work out.


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  • Save Your Semester With Improved Organization

    by Blessen Brocke

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    It’s midway into the semester and you’ve missed two quizzes and possibly a discussion board. You’re also probably panicking as you realize you barely remember what’s due tomorrow for Intro to Sociology. Well, fear not for I have three ways for you to save your semester with improved organization so you won’t have to freak out when things are due.

    Use a digital calendar

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  • Broadening Your Horizons at Home and Away

    by Emily Bugg

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    When I was younger, I rarely left my home in Alabama except for the occasional short trip to surrounding states. The only big trip I remember taking was driving north all the way up to Massachusetts to visit some friends. Since then, I have been fascinated with going to new places and have had the opportunity to travel to places like Nicaragua, Africa, Canada, and many of the western states in the USA! Through the time in those places and even back home I have found that learning about new cultures can be as simple as talking to your neighbor or as adventurous as moving to another country! Learning about another’s culture not only helps you examine what makes them who they are, but what makes you who you are as well. Whether you want to explore the world or stay right in your neighborhood, here are two main ways you can learn about other cultures. 

    Get Out Into the World

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  • A Summer Internship on the Horizon

    by Stephanie Carrea

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    Education is important to students and educators all around the world and many college students like myself strive for improvements in education. As a Pearson Campus Ambassador at East Carolina University, I am a strong advocate for higher learning, and this summer I came across an amazing internship opportunity through a national learning service program called Horizons. I was selected by Horizons at The Oakwood School (TOS) to join the team as a communications intern, where I got the chance to help Horizons showcase what their learning program is all about; encouraging students to seek new learning opportunities.   

    What is Horizons?

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  • Combat College Burnout!

    by Schuyler McKinley

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    In high school, you somehow managed to wake up anywhere from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m., sit for seven hours a day, and stay after school for extracurricular activities or sports. Plus, some of you also worked! College has brought the added freedom of customization so you may not need to attend six classes straight, but it is often less structured. You can stay up late, eat Cheetos for breakfast or even skip class (I don’t recommend this though). Trying to juggle all of this can be really difficult! Feeling overwhelmed is completely normal, but work to limit those feelings so you’ll avoid academic and personal burnout.

    As a college junior with a full course load, three jobs, involvement in two student groups and a need for me-time, it’s really exhausting at times. I want to share a few ways I avoid becoming overwhelmed and burning out.

    Switch it up

    Taking time away from your stressors allows you to relax and invest time in your other interests. Sometimes you need to binge on Netflix or listen to the same album for two hours. Sometimes all you need is a good cry and a nap. These are just suggestions. Find what works for you!

    • Listen to Music
    • Watch Netflix
    • Invest in a hobby (old or new, maybe knitting)
    • Spend time with friends
    • Exercise (Lift, Swim, Walk, just get your body moving)
    • Cry
    • Take a nap

    Take a brain break

    Our brains are constantly working. Giving your brain space to focus on itself combats overthinking and anxiety. Implement one or two mindfulness exercises during your daily routine. I personally do this each morning and night. Practicing mindfulness can help you relax gradually while creating a habit. Once the habit it formed, you will have a better balance of responsibilities. Try a few of these mindful actions. 

    • Practice meditation
    • Take a few deep breaths
    • Rethink and possibly change your state of mind
    • Remember that this will pass: You are on the right track.
    • Come to terms with the unavoidable
    • Unplug from your devices  

    Stick to a plan

    Scheduling your tasks and responsibilities not only makes life easier but also more manageable. Planning ahead keeps you looking to the future and always prepared for your next task. Sometimes lists and Google reminders can be a lot so take 10 seconds to just breathe. Pick one of your tasks, preferably an easy one, and focus on it until completion. It helps get the ball rolling and provides an instant sense of accomplishment.

    • Organize!
      • Make lists
      • Google Calendar is your friend!
    • Take things one task at a time
    • Plan ahead

    We all have had to pull an all-nighter or skip a meal to finish a project, but making it a continuous habit will only lead to a constant state of overwhelming thoughts ending with burnout. It’s important to be driven and work hard, but if it’s at the expense of your physical and mental health, then it’s neither sustainable nor healthy. Cut yourself some slack. Get into the mindset that you do NOT have to be productive every second of the day. Take time for yourself; otherwise, you’ll be sacrificing the quality of your work and your overall well-being.

    Here are some additional tips I have for general wellness in college:

    • Don’t spread yourself too thin | Learn to say no
    • Get enough sleep
    • Eat something in the morning
    • Take time for yourself
    • Stay organized


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  • Four Tips for College Student Safety

    by Abderahim Salhi

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    College campuses might make you feel safe and secure; however, students must realize that the potential for crime is inevitable no matter where you are. No one deserves to be the victim of a crime. Unfortunately, no matter what preventative actions we take, someone may still choose to victimize us. With some proactive thinking and preparation, you can lessen the chances of being a victim. From my personal experiences, I have gathered these top four top tips that will make an impact in your campus safety.  

    Maintain privacy on social media

    It may sound contradicting: social media and privacy – you use social media to connect with the world! However, we should be careful about who we add as friends, especially someone we don’t know or have not met in person. Posting personal pictures and information about your life online can also be risky. Predators can track your life, find out about your habits, and learn about your lifestyle – which makes you a potential target. Make sure to check your privacy settings on social media and only add people who you have met in person.  

    Know where to go

    When you are new to a place, always give yourself a good amount of time to learn about the area and places of interest to you. Your new classmates may tempt you into going to the nightclub downtown, but consider the environment and the surrounding areas. Is this where you will want to be after dark and out of your element? Will there be a group to travel with or will you be by yourself? Consider this before committing to the trip. It may be better to stay close to home than to end up in an uncomfortable situation.

    Secure your belongings (lock, lock, lock)

    The only place I trust is my mom’s home. When you are on your own at college, it is a totally new place for you. Securing your belongings should be a top priority for a less stressful life. You never know who is sitting next to you: always secure your valuables with a lock. For your digital items like thumb drives, laptop, and your phone, always remember to secure them with a passcode. It is very hard to trust people with your personal data like pictures and videos or study items. With cloud-based file sharing becoming more accessible, you can safely upload your files from any device, and most universities offer this service for free.

    Learn how to defend yourself

    It is never too late to learn how to protect yourself. Being able to defend yourself or a loved one is always a good idea. Many campuses offer information on this topic and there are plenty of online resources to use. Think about carrying pepper spray or learning basic self-defense tactics. Know where campus emergency phones are located. Never walk alone, especially late at night. Find out if your campus offers late-night security escorts.

    College is one of the first opportunities for students to learn to live on our own. As the Spiderman movies say best, “With great power comes great responsibility”. Be a responsible student and learn how to keep yourself safe! These four tips have kept me safe so far, and plenty of other students out of harm’s way.


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  • Putting Stress to the Test

    by Taylor Guynup

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    Stress is the one thing every student has had to deal with in one way or another. Whether it be an increase in your heart beat before a test or the uncontrollable sweating before a first date, stress can be a drag in productivity and overall happiness. However, stress can be controlled and handled.

    The most important way to handle stress is to identify the source. Locating where your stress is coming from can help because then you can try to minimize it. While there are things in life that you can’t always control, there are ways to help with controlling and minimizing stress.

    After identifying where your stress is coming from, you can use these tips and tricks to find an outlet and relieve the stress that is building up in your life.

    Find a hobby.

    This sounds so cliché, but this is the best way to have time to do something that you love to do. Whether it be running, watching movies, or just being with friends, it’s good to spend some time away from school or the source of your stress.

    Take mini breaks when studying.

    Trust me, we have all been on that nine-hour long grind when studying before a test, but breaks are important. Breathe, walk around, socialize and get back to work. When you hit hour ten, you’ll be grateful you got the brain break.

    Plan out your week.

    To avoid those long nights at the library, plan out your study schedule a week in advance. This not only helps with your sleep schedule, but also gives you time to make sure you learn your class material and have time to do other things besides study.

    Take a deep breath.

    Stopping and taking a deep breath is one of the best ways for a quick fix to stress. Controlling your breathing slows your heart rate to control the physical symptoms of stress and also helps clear your mind.

    Implementing these tricks into your daily life can help minimize the stress that you feel on a day-to-day basis. Decreasing stress can help you improve your performance in school and also live a happier life.


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  • 3 Tips to Help You Make the Most of Studying Abroad

    by Janelle Hall

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    One of the great things about your years spent in college is the opportunity to study abroad! I spent last semester studying abroad, and loved every second of it. Here are three tips I wanted to share with you to make your study abroad experience just as memorable as mine.

    Learn the language.

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  • Don't Be Afraid to Seize New Opportunities While in College

    by Doralicia Giacoman-Soto

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    College can be a period of learning through trial and error, but these lessons can only be acquired through experience. There can certainly be growth and learning from experiencing regret over what we didn’t do. You’ll gain much greater and richer learning from actually being part of experiences than avoiding important experiences due to fear. Let’s wave goodbye to fear, and say hello to amazing opportunities! Here are several that every college student could benefit from and shouldn’t be afraid to seize while at college.

    Take elective classes unrelated to your major.

    Have you ever wanted to take a course not related to your major, but were worried it might reflect badly with your transfer school of choice? Say you’re an English major and wanted to take a carpentry class.

    Many schools actually encourage students to take classes outside of their area of study to expand their knowledge. Just make sure that the course fits somewhere within your credit (or transfer credit) requirements. Taking electives allows you to learn about yourself and you might discover something new you’re passionate about. You may also gain a better understanding of how you feel about your current major.

    Also, it could be helpful to take an elective that is complementary to your major, such as taking photography and communication courses if you’re a film major! The courses can strengthen important areas of knowledge and skills and show that you are interested in branching out of your main area of study.

    Don’t be afraid of starting your own student club or organization.

    Ever searched for a club or organization for a particular interest but there wasn’t one at your college campus? Well, what about starting your own?

    It might seem daunting, but if it’s something you’re passionate about then it is definitely worth pursuing. My college has an anime club, a club uncommon at most colleges and universities, but because students were driven to make a club about anime, they made it happen. Plus, starting your own student club or organization can show that you had the initiative and necessary leadership skills to start your own campus organization.

    Take part in college events.

    While not every college event will suit your interests or be related to your field, it is important to consider being part of your college’s events – including college job fairs and student club events. Embrace the amazing experiences they can open up, including potential professional networking.


    Freelancing can be just as valid and rewarding as other work opportunities. Whether doing freelance writing, marketing, tutoring, or something else related to your field, it allows you to practice and develop valuable skills. It can also keep you active in your field, learn, and get real work exposure and experience.

    Network and meet new people.

    It’s important to be open to meeting new people and establishing new professional and personal relationships in this new chapter of your life. Not only because there’s nothing wrong with expanding your friend list but because some of these college students will be your classmates, share a similar career path as you, or in some other way be part of your college journey. These people will see you grow, will likely relate to you and your experiences, and can offer constructive advice.

    Be open to meeting new people by attending and making the most of your college’s events, joining clubs you’re interested in (or starting one?) and seizing other college opportunities that head your way.

    Your college experience should be just that…your experience. Don’t let doubts, fears, inner or outside pressures define what your college experience can be. Don’t be afraid to seize potential learning opportunities that may come your way. Wave goodbye to fear, and make the most of your college career!


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  • Success Is In The Silence

    by Josh Rone

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    You might be thinking…Silence, who likes silence? Believe it or not, some people actually do like silence, however I am not one of them. I used to be afraid of silence and being alone with my thoughts – until I took a step back and realized why I felt this way. I hardly knew what silence was.

    Constant consumption

    I am constantly consuming content. So far today I have listened to at least an hour of music, three podcasts, the Today Show, Live with Kelly and Ryan (my favorite show), spent at least an hour on different forms of social media, and watched a handful of YouTube videos on different subjects. It is only 1:00 PM. Think of how much more content we consume in the evening, on the way to class, driving in the car, and all the other things throughout the day we fill with some sort of stimulation. I realized that I don’t even shower without music playing. Today, on average, millennials are spending 223 minutes a day on their phones, according to Statistica.com.

    Alone with my thoughts

    I found myself feeling lost. I felt like I could not have any ideas of my own, and that I was a “pro” at listening to others. That’s when I decided to take some time to go on a walk with the dog without my phone, take a shower without music, and set aside time to be with my thoughts. Now I keep a notepad with me, and I write down those great ideas I have, the ‘to-do’ items that I keep forgetting to do, and other things that come to my mind. It is liberating. Whether it is 5 minutes or 20, I am able to reset my head, think about what I have done and where I am going in life.

    Seeking silence

    I started making a conscious effort to have a little more silent time. I have felt much better, been far more productive, and feel like I am working towards those goals I have set for myself. This is much better than having Netflix on a constant cycle of “Are you still watching?”.  I think consuming content is an awesome thing; it’s great to see, experience and hear how others are out there “Crushing It” – as Gary Vaynerchuk (GaryVee) states in his book (which I highly recommend). However, I also find it powerful to sit by myself and think about where I want to go, what I am going to do to get there, and find out who I am.

    Success is in the Silence! Take 5 minutes today (set a timer), get a piece of paper, and write down what comes to your mind. Do not overthink this. My sheet needs a hieroglyphist to decode it when I am done, but that’s okay because I know exactly what and why I wrote things down and can pick up on a thought right where I left off! Don’t fear silence – embrace it, and realize that some of your best ideas will come from those moments!


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  • Mastering Environmental Science: A Key to Success

    by Teyana Pryor

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    As a Business Management major, I will admit that science is not my best subject. In fact, it’s my least favorite subject. But it is a general graduation requirement for my degree so I chose to take Environmental Science. I was prepared to struggle a little in this course but soon became aware of a tool that helped me achieve my goal of making an A.

    A Financial Perk

    I registered for Science 1101 for Fall 2017 and we had to use Pearson’s Mastering Environmental Science to complete our homework. I wasn’t aware of the length of time that I would receive access, until I registered for 1102 the next semester (Spring 2018) and discovered that I did not have to purchase another access code! Any college student knows the financial struggle behind purchasing access codes. Other products would have only given me access until a few weeks after the end of the semester. I purchased Mastering Environmental Science one time in August 2017 and I have access to it until February 2019. THAT IS INCREDIBLE and music to any college students’ ears! It was one less item I had to worry about purchasing and one step closer to success in my science course. If your university has similar requirements, take the courses back to back to save money! That is, hands down, one of the biggest perks of Pearson’s products.

    What helped the most

    The Study Area within Mastering Environmental Science was the biggest help while taking these courses. It tested my knowledge on a topic by providing multiple opportunities to get the questions right. At the end, it would show me which topics I mastered and the ones I needed to work on a little more. It definitely helped that the professor pulled test questions from the homework as well. Regardless of which section I was in, there was always a button to refer to the eText, and it opened in a new tab so I could have it right beside the window that my homework was on.

    I did take both of my required science courses back-to-back and I made A’s in both courses. I even commended the department on making the decision to use Pearson as their access to homework online. Any student should consider using Pearson products for their classes, regardless of whether they are required or not. There are study tools within the product that ensure that you are prepared for exams and are studying the materials in an efficient manner. I can confidently say that Mastering Environmental Science played a major role in my success in science 1101 and 1102.


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  • Be Flexible With Future Endeavors

    by Jennifer Brown

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    After I graduated from Lake-Sumter State College in 2016, I transferred to the University of Central Florida to get my Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology. In May 2018 I graduated Magna Cum Laude. Interestingly though, even when taking into consideration the varied future goals of psychology students, my journey after my bachelor’s degree is more uncommon than most. While most students are entering the workforce via the civilian or military route, taking a gap year, or going to graduate school, I am combining all three. That is, I am enlisting in the Navy, taking some time off from school, and am looking to apply to a graduate program to be a psychologist in the civilian or military profession.

    From Nursing to Psychology

    Despite my present goals, as a senior in high school, my plan was to become a nurse. I was involved in Health Occupation Students of America, a club that future health professional students joined to experience competing, learning, and participating in health-related events. To encourage this dream, after I graduated high school I decided to pursue nursing by working as a certified nursing assistant and taking nursing prerequisites at a community college. After earning my associate degree, however, I decided that I would pursue psychology for my next two years of college.

    I have always been fascinated by the vast and unending psychological research and theories that accompany a psychology degree. When I chose my enlisted contract for the Navy, I had two goals. The first was to fulfill my desire to serve my country. The second was to attend a graduate program for clinical mental health counseling, specializing in Rapid Resolution Therapy post-licensure. Over the past few months my goals have slightly changed. Now I am choosing to pursue a doctoral degree in psychology.

    Finding Research Experience

    Before I do so, I am going to follow the advice of many professors and Ph.D. students: get research experience! While working for the Navy, I look forward to assisting in research either at a Naval hospital or a university near my base. Research has been highly stressed upon during my undergraduate career in almost all my psychology courses as a prerequisite for most doctoral programs in psychology. One benefit I’ve enjoyed in participating with the Pearson Student Insiders has been to actively participate with Pearson researchers. Although I have not inputted data like most research assistants do, being a Student Insider has allowed me to give my input for the generation of present and future products that Pearson is creating. Being given this opportunity as a Student Insider has been a valuable stepping stone for my professional and academic goals. I am looking forward to working with researchers in the future and doing my own research in a graduate-level program.

    I still have one decision to make before applying for a doctoral degree and that is what master’s degree to pursue. Since I had originally decided to study mental health counseling, this is still of interest to me. Although the decision cannot be made now, I am grateful that as an active duty military personnel I will receive the GI Bill and tuition assistance.

    So here’s a reminder for current students or those just graduated: even if you have your next few years planned out, things can change. Although it may be disappointing and discouraging, being open to alternative options via your own mindfulness of the present may give you more freedom to pursue your values. Thus, being flexible in the present may lead you to new experiences you had never imagined. Even if your projected timeline does not come together as you thought, if you are able to be flexible in the situation you may be more likely to end up on top.



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  • MyDietAnalysis: More Than Just a Homework Tool

    by Jenna Iten

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    When it comes to college courses, it is rare to find programs and materials that actually reach outside of the classroom. MyDietAnalysis is a program that does just that.

    I first experienced the tool during an introductory nutrition class. Since then I have had the program in two other courses. It’s super easy to use and provided a great support system if I needed further assistance. I have used MyDietAnalysis in all my courses for the final projects that recorded my exercise and food intake over a specific period of time.

    Each time I used the tool I found more ways to improve my diet and exercise. The program gives you recommendations for your food intake and the amount of exercise you should do in order to achieve the goal you set at the beginning of the program. I have always wanted to lose some weight and tone up my body, but I never really knew where to start.

    MyDietAnalysis showed me exactly what to do. It also made my goal a lot more achievable. Instead of setting my weekly goals too high and getting disappointed when I wasn’t reaching them, the program would set my goals more realistically for each week so that I was able to achieve all of them. As a student pursuing a career in the healthcare field, good health is very important to me.

    This program not only helped me in my courses, it helped me find ways in which I can improve my own health. I recommend MyDietAnalysis to not just those who have it as a requirement for a course, but everyone who wants to implement healthy habits into their everyday life.


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  • Ace That Class: 7 Things to Help You Pass

    by Madison Kriege

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    College is hard. You spend hours working yet sometimes feel defeated and it is easy to attribute a bad grade or a tough class on the professor, the program, or even on the smarter students. The following seven things helped me shake off the excuses and get the grades I wanted.

    1 – SMART Goals

    The first step to having the best semester yet is to plan it out. Sit down with your syllabus and determine what needs to be done to meet your goal. Using the SMART system makes it easy to determine what smaller achievements are needed in order to keep yourself on track for the semester. SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time bound.

    After figuring out what is needed for the semester, try creating a timeline of goals that can be looked back on frequently. Reminding yourself of what you’re working toward is not only beneficial to keeping you on track, but will also help motivate you during the latter part of the semester.

    2 – Find People You Know

    Challenge yourself to find one person in every class that you know or could get to know. Having a lifeline in each class can be incredibly helpful when it comes to studying and staying caught up.  Sitting with the same people every class can also help hold you accountable to attend.

    3 – Break It Down

    Large projects or studying for an exam can be overwhelming. Try dedicating one notecard to one section of material.  Go through your notes and lectures and reduce them down to only what is really important for your notecard.  This not only helps studying one section at a time, but also makes it easier to review the entire chapter before the test.

    4 – Practice, Practice, Practice

    This piece of advice is exactly what it sounds like. The importance of repetition cannot be stressed enough. By taking the time to practice problems, you are not only setting yourself up to identify them better, but also solve them quicker. Avoid being surprised on the exam and do the work beforehand.

    5 – Outside Resources

    Don’t be afraid to look other places for help if the teaching style of a class doesn’t work for you. There are so many great resources online that offer different takes on the same material. Utilizing websites such as Khan Academy can quickly clear up confusion on specific topics.

    If you are struggling to find options online, try on your campus! Many schools offer tutoring, writing help, or other opportunities to meet with TAs that have taken the classes you’re currently in. Ask your professor or advisor if you need help finding campus resources.

    6 – Stay Motivated

    The mid-semester slump is real. Don’t let it be you! Stay motivated throughout the semester by remembering to take breaks and enjoy college. This will help avoid the burnout and give your body time to absorb all the information you’re throwing at it.

    Similarly, bad days are inevitable, but they don’t have to define an entire semester. There is nothing wrong with reevaluating goals mid-semester and changing your routine to make your end goal possible.

    7 – Treat Yourself

    Accomplishing a goal is exciting and deserves to be celebrated. Reward yourself for meeting milestones throughout the semester as well as making your overall goal. Choose something that you enjoy but don’t usually do as a large reward for the end of the semester.  Smaller treats could be things such as a drink you wouldn’t normally spend money on or an hour of your favorite show.

    These seven tips will get you on the right track for success this semester! These are traits I learned throughout my college experience that I hope will inspire you to strive for the best possible grades in your classes!


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  • A Life Lesson in a Math Class

    by Grace Driggers

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    I walked into the classroom slowly, yawning as I searched for a seat. It was eight in the morning, and I was starting my first-ever dual-enrollment college class at Florence Darlington Tech. The class also happened to be in my least favorite subject—math.

    I was very anxious about the class because I knew that math was not my strongest subject. I was a good student, but math homework always took me hours to complete and I often felt like it was written in a foreign language. I also knew that my grades in my college classes really mattered—as I sought to apply to both college and grad school in the future.

    The professor walked us through the syllabus and explained that we would all use a software called MyLabMath to complete our homework. I clicked through the first few lessons and rolled my eyes— “Good grief,” I whispered to my brother. “This is going to be so much work—I don’t have time for this.” He laughed and said “Come on, Grace. It’ll be fine.”  

    The learning tool that worked

    The semester rolled along, and MyLabMath and I spent a LOT of time together. Two days a week, I went to my 8 a.m. math class, and then I would walk down to the college’s math hub to start my homework. Our professor promised all of us that we would get extra credit based on how many hours we spent in the math hub working on our homework, and I was more than happy to take her up on that offer!

    I completed every practice problem set, and many times I would go back and do the practice problem sets a second, third, or fourth time. I clicked through each explanation about how a problem worked, took notes, asked my professor and the college’s math tutors hundreds of questions, and did my very best to understand each new concept. Some concepts came naturally. Others, like matrices, were a bit of a hurdle. MyLabMath was an invaluable tool because it enabled me to practice problems as many times as I wanted, identify which parts I did not understand, and ask questions in order to improve my work.

    Unexpected success

    The end of the semester arrived and I walked out of the final with an A. I was shocked—I genuinely did not expect to do very well in the class. My professor stopped me as I was walking out of the classroom and said something even more surprising: “Grace, would you be interested in becoming a math tutor next semester?” I accidentally let out a laugh, stopped myself, and said: “Are you serious? I don’t know why you would want me to tutor anyone in math!” She explained that I had developed a thorough understanding of the subject material and had one of the highest grades in the class—exactly what she was hoping for in her tutors.

    While this is a truly humbling experience, I will admit that I did not tutor anyone in math the following semester. Life was busy, and becoming a math tutor did not make the cut, shockingly enough. However, I learned a valuable lesson through that conversation with my professor. I learned that hard work and willingness to use available resources can enable me to do well even in subjects that are really difficult! I could have breezed through the practice problems in MyLabMath and never visited the tutoring center, and I would not have learned very much. Because I used both resources intentionally, I learned a lot about math and a lot about how to study well in the future!


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