• Inclusive Access to Education Impacts Economic Mobility

    by Disha Dave

    Graphic showing raised hands of varying flesh tones. Each has a heart on the palm.

    A great part of how we live our day to day lives is dependent on a number of factors from the area we live in, the schools we go to, to even things like the economy and the opportunities that are present to us. The McKinsey Institute for Black Economic Mobility has published two insightful articles on the great importance and need for inclusive access to education and economic mobility for Black people.

    There is an overdue need for making sure there is equity in the opportunities given to Black people and people of color. Even though there are equal rights policies and changes in our system, it is still not fully equipped to take the people that were once pushed into the endless cycle of disproportional poverty and discrimination for generations.

    In Investing in Black Economic Mobility, Diane Brady and Shelley Stewart have an insightful discussion on racial equity and inclusive growth. With the recovery of the economy and economic mobility post-pandemic, racial equity and inclusive growth of businesses are the key driving factors in this change. This is much easier said than done as there have historically been gaps in Black economic mobility that put people at a disadvantage from the time of slavery to segregation, and to even present day, as mentioned by Stewart.

    Even though there have been changes instilled in our system to bring educational and social gains for Black people, the wealth gaps are still disproportionate as Black families are said to make only one-tenth of what a white family makes. With that being said, it is crucial to invest in Black entrepreneurships and businesses as a way to influence change in economic mobility and also to provide for Black communities as there is inequity in the opportunities presented to them in order to close the racial wealth gap.

    The article How HBCUs Can Accelerate Black Economic Mobility looks at the critical roles HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) play in bringing opportunities of growth for Black Americans, as well as growth it brings to the US economy. According to the article, HBCUs have an average annual attendance of about 300,000 students per year with more than 100 institutions across the nation that identify as an HBCU. Since HBCUs offer an abundance of scholarships and acceptances supporting low-income families, more Black students of all socioeconomic statuses are able to have the opportunities to go to college.

    HBCUs are one of the driving forces that can promote economic growth by expanding opportunities for Black workers, as well as opportunities for Black businesses and entrepreneurships. This connects to the previous article as this is a major way where Black people and communities are able to achieve more economic mobility as well as close the racial wealth gap.

    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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  • Towards a More Equal World

    by Mariam Ameha

    A graphic with the word ‘inequality’ and a pencil erasing ‘in’.

    Inequality and Injustice in Society 

    No one is a stranger to the constant bombardment of the news on the inequalities and injustices that Black Americans face in our society. These, of course, are not limited to the U.S; but what we often find is that even in these universally experienced issues, there is much left to be done to truly mend them and their causes. They are all issues deeply rooted into the nature of humanity, to the point where no matter what one does to overcome them, they seem to be brought back to life. Surface issues are given surface solutions, but these deep-rooted issues need a more structural approach. 

    A Change to the Better

    Spilled milk is spilled milk, no matter how much you huff and puff about it. The happy news is we seem to be less and less in a position to have to huff and puff. We are experiencing a spontaneous collective movement, no matter how limited in scope, that aims to reduce these inequalities and further a level playing ground for all, regardless of the color of their skin or the tongue they speak in.

    Private and public sectors are slowly but surely dealing with these structural issues. The private industry has recognized the losses caused by underinvesting in the black community, so there are now firms that have started utilizing the talent members of the community provide which uplift the black population in the U.S. Needless to say, education is at the core for these inequalities. Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) have been playing a crucial role in improving the wellbeing of Black Americans.

    Uplift one, uplift all.

    Shelley Stewart from McKinsey and Company, one of many private companies joining the fight against inequality, beautifully put the value of this fight by framing the issue regardless of economic or ideological background. “No matter what your school of economic thought, everyone agrees that fostering human capital and investing in people to unlock productivity is one of the most available levers we have” noted Stewart. And it is that lever that makes all the difference for everyone. 

    Reference: How HBCUs can accelerate Black economic mobility

    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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  • Haven’t We All Been Home-Schooled?

    by Ana Cooper

    Two girls sit on a front porch bench holding first day of school signs. The front girl holds a Kindergarten sign and the older girl holds a Freshman sign. There is a tall stack of books between them.

    Before starting college, I was homeschooled my whole life. I sometimes feel homeschooled students face unfair stereotypes. However, that seemed to change during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since almost every student and teacher in the world had to shift to remote learning, they got a taste of being “homeschooled”. Even then, some still have misconceptions concerning homeschoolers and homeschooling itself, so I’d like to share my experience.

    Homeschool is Not a Solitary Learning Experience

    On the contrary, homeschoolers get to spend more time with friends that they choose while doing recreational activities. Many local homeschooling communities provide field trips to museums, parks, historical sites, have yearbook committees, various clubs, and hold dances. Homeschoolers are very social and involved in their communities. Because homeschoolers are not age segregated, they often deal with multiple ages and personalities and have great interpersonal skills.

    Many Influential Figures Were Homeschooled

    Did you know that many of the U.S. Presidents and founding fathers were homeschooled? They have contributed extensively to society and put together the greatest country in the world. Thomas Edison’s mother homeschooled him because his schoolteacher said that Thomas was “addled”. Check out this list of other famous authors and scientists who were homeschooled: C.S. Lewis, Winston Churchill, J. R. R. Tolkien, the Wright Brothers, Amelia Earhart, Susan B. Anthony, G. W. Carver, Booker T. Washington, Mark Twain, and Louisa May Alcott.

    Independent Learning is Embraced

    Homeschoolers are trained to be independent and active learners from an early age. Because they have to work independently, they develop the good study habits which carry them through college and beyond. In general, college freshmen can struggle with time management during their first semester, but many homeschoolers tend to have an easier transition because of their established habits. Many colleges these days seek homeschooled students because they know they can be successful. These same skills and qualities of active learners are carried into the workforce as well.

    Did I ‘Miss Out’ on a Traditional High School Experience?

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  • How to Discover Worthwhile Private Scholarships

    by Bethany Robinson

    Blog author Bethany Robinson stands holding a large scholarship check from the Rice Scholarship Foundation. Standing behind her are three members of the Rice family.

    The expenses of a college education place a heavy burden on families each year. This situation can be particularly difficult for those from middle-class families who do not qualify for Federal Student Aid. As someone whose family income is too high to benefit from income-based student aid and whose parents are not able to financially assist, I am required to cover the entirety of my college education. Throughout my undergraduate degree, I have found private scholarships to be a great source of college funding. Here are a few tips I have found useful in discovering worthwhile private scholarships.

    Getting Started

    For many, the search for private scholarships begins during their senior year of high school. The first step in discovering available scholarships is to search your local newspaper and create a list of community clubs and organizations. A few examples may include the American Legion, Kiwanis Club, and community councils. Now with your list, pull out a device, and enter “[Name of Organization] Scholarships” into the search bar. It is best to complete these searches during December and January as many deadlines take place in March and April. Collecting the application information and deadlines early provides you with enough time to analyze and answer the scholarship essay questions.

    Using Available Resources

    Universities generally provide an abundant quantity of scholarship opportunities for their students. My university has an Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid to assist students in discovering scholarships. I recommend searching to see if your university has a similar office that can provide you with a list of private donor scholarships. Scholarship offices receive donations from companies, foundations, and organizations and then create scholarships with the donor’s preferred applicant qualifications. It is important to keep in mind that many scholarships specified for students with certain majors or activities will, on occasion, be awarded to applicants with partial or similar eligibilities. You would be surprised how many private scholarships go unawarded because of a lack of applicants.

    Typically, large colleges and departments will provide exclusive scholarships for their students. I originally discovered the existence of such scholarships through a flyer on a bulletin board in my university’s science department building. I advise glancing over such boards to discover information about scholarships as well as additional programs available to students on campus. Participation in clubs, research, and volunteer work will improve your scholarship applications.

    Start Applying!

    Now that you know where to look for private scholarships, start applying now! Remember to take the proper measures in checking you have answered all the necessary questions and completed the entire application before submitting. I wish you the best on your future scholarship applications!

    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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  • Pearson Students Partner with Beautifully Loved

    by Megan Cistulli, McKinley Falkowski, and Gloria Wang

    Six young female cancer patients are smiling and sitting on a couch. They are wearing make-up and dress-up clothes.

    “I’m gonna be ugly, Mommy.” The first words out of a six-year-old girl’s mouth as she sat in a hospital bed when she found out she had cancer and was going to lose all of her hair. Everything changed when she met the team from Beautifully Loved at a volunteer event at Dell Children's Blood and Cancer Center.

    After getting permission from her doctors and having the Beautifully Loved beauty teams gear up in protective clothing, the young girl, in isolation getting chemotherapy, received a pamper treatment. At the same time, her mother received a hair and makeup treatment from the beauty teams. The mother stood up after receiving her makeover and glanced at her daughter who just received the pamper treatment. As she stared at her daughter’s face which was covered with a sparkling smile from ear to ear, she said, "You have no idea how important the work you [Beautifully Loved] are doing is for kids like her." She started crying tears of joy as she embraced her daughter. 

    Pearson Student Programs annually partners with a non-profit organization or hospital to create positive impacts in our local communities. Last year, we supported Le Bonheur Children's Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee and collected over $5000 worth of gifts from an Amazon Wishlist. This year, Pearson Student Programs and the student-led Social Impact and Sustainability Team is supporting Beautifully Loved, a nonprofit based in Austin, Texas. Beautifully Loved supports families with children who are battling chronic illnesses by offering pamper days, photography, clothing support, self-esteem workshops, design programs, fashion events, and care packages. 

    The team created an Amazon wishlist to donate items which Beautifully Loved volunteers use to create care packages for the families they serve. In order to match and hopefully surpass last year’s positive social impact, we have more work to do. Join us in supporting Beautifully Loved as they continue to uplift and empower children and their families by showing them that they are truly beautiful—both inside and out. 

    To learn more about Beautifully Loved, please visit beautifullyloved.org.

    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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  • Making the Most of Your Internship Experience

    by Sydnie Ho

    The entrance to General Mills headquarters in Minnesota on a sunny day featuring a green lawn, trees and shrubs alongside the General Mills sign.

    So, you finally landed that internship you’ve been working so hard to get. You have done the hard part by getting the offer – now it’s time to actually start the job! Here are some tips I’ve learned on how to make the most of it.

    Ask questions and be curious

    Asking questions is crucial to optimize your learning during your internship. Employees understand you are an intern and are there to grow and learn. They except you to not know what you are doing at first, so don’t feel like you are being bothersome or asking to many questions. There is no such thing as a dumb question! Take advantage of your time and ask all the questions.

    Take initiative

    There will be moments during your internship where you don’t have much to do or are having to wait on people to complete something. Take this time to take initiative and show people how active and willing to learn you are. This skill is something employers look for and is a great time to put into practice.

    Communicate with your manager

    I’ve learned how important this is during my last internship. I found that the project I was working on was not what I wanted to do or what I wanted to learn. I learned that it never hurts to speak up and say something. I was able to communicate with my manager about what I wanted out of this experience, and she was happy to work with me on a new project.

    Connect with other employees

    Not only are you there to work, but you are there to learn about the company and see if it would be a good fit for your future. The best way to learn about the company is talking to its people! Set up coffee chats, talk with people in roles you want to learn about, and take advantage of being an intern. Learn about the pros and cons of the company, how people like living in that location, and what made them chose to work there.

    Learn what you want in a full-time role

    As a rising senior, it has been important for me to learn about what I want in a full-time role. What would be salary be? What are the benefits? Is there room for career growth? Promotions? Ask about entry level roles, company structure-- everything! This is a great way to learn about what you like and don’t like so you can take it into your full-time job search later.

    However you chose to spend your internship experience, make the most of this learning opportunity! Even if it doesn’t turn out how you hoped it would, it’s a great resume builder and opportunity to learn about what to look for next.

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

     

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  • Maximizing Your Opportunities with Scheduling

    by Sidney Li

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

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

    Plan. Plan. Plan.

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

    Be Flexible

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

    Know Yourself

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

    Take a Break

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

    Research Classes and Respective Professors

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

    Campus Maps are Your Best Friends

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

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

     

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  • Get the Most Out of Your Pearson Revel eText

    by Shika Jwala

    A laptop with an eText section of a genetic text on screen. Next to it is a student’s spiral notebook open to a page with written notes.

    College students spend an average of 14.1 hours a week reading assigned material. That's a lot of time and energy! Reading assignments in college can be boring and tedious, especially if the textbook is long and complicated. When I was a freshman, I remember putting aside several hours in my day to tackle assigned readings. It was even worse knowing that a lot of material on the exam would come from these readings. However, Pearson's Revel eText is designed to solve this problem! Using Revel eText enhanced my knowledge of the subject, while cutting back on my reading time. Here are a few tips for getting the most out of your Revel eText.

    Tip #1: Play it out loud

    By far one of the best features of Revel eText is the “audio playlist” feature. At the top right of the screen, you have the option of having the page being read aloud to you. This is super convenient and can even help you process the material better. I sometimes find myself getting distracted while I read. Listening to the audio version keeps me engaged and focused. It’s especially nice because having the text read aloud allows you to do other things, like going for a walk or doing the dishes. It saves time and lets you multitask!

    Tip #2: Pop-up definitions

    Another cool feature is the pop-up box with a definition when you hover over a highlighted word. I can’t count how many times I’ve had to flip to the glossary or find a dictionary just to understand a word a textbook uses. Having to search up many complex words used in a textbook can get frustrating and tedious. Not a problem with Revel! Hovering your mouse over the word gives its definition in an instant. This has helped me save so much time and energy in the long run.

    Tip #3: Use the search feature

    Can’t remember what page covered the Nitrogen cycle? Revel has an awesome “search” feature. Click on the magnifying glass icon to search for any word or short phrase. This makes it way easier and faster to find the information you need. As college students, we need all the shortcuts we can get. Searching using keywords can quickly find what you’re looking for.

    Tip #4: Highlight

    Need to make a study guide for that big exam coming up? Revel eText lets you highlight important sentences on the page with your cursor. All your highlighted sections will be saved in a notebook, which can be found at the notebook icon/section that’s labeled ‘notebook.’ After you finish your readings, all your highlighted texts will conveniently be in one spot for you to study. You can even color code them with different colored highlighters. Making a study guide has never been quicker or easier. Now, you are well on your way to ace that test!

    Tip #5: Flashcards

    Revel eTexts have a flashcard section, which can be found by clicking on the flashcard icon. This lets you make your own deck(s) of flashcards to test yourself. It’s like having your own little Quizlet, but even more convenient! You can highlight any piece of text you want on the flashcard, so no need to type anything out.

    With these features, studying activities that used to take hours and many different resources can be done more efficiently in one place! These resources have helped me save so much time and energy while improving my grades.

    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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  • It’s Never Too Late

    by Lee Ann Ridgley

    A view of the blog author’s desk featuring a desk calendar, computer keyboard, and a notepad with the quote in the blog from Maya Angelou.

    More than two decades ago, my college journey began, and I am still on that journey today. My pathway is one of heartbreak and loss, but also countless blessings. John Lennon sums it up perfectly with this quote, "Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans." I hope my story will encourage students of all ages to realize their educational dreams, no matter the magnitude.

    Change of Plans

    After high school graduation, I was ready to take on the world. My next step...college! I was an innocent teenager with a solid plan. I would attend college, graduate in four years, and become a teacher. January 11, 2000, everything changed.

    In the process of unpacking my dorm room, my Resident Assistant informed me I had a visitor downstairs. The elevator jerked to a halt and the doors slid open. I rounded the corner to find my dad standing in the lobby. He said we needed to talk. Immediately panicked, I asked if my mother was alright. "Yes," Dad said. I then learned that my older brother had been in a fatal car accident, I packed my suitcase and headed home.

    I didn't have a plan, but God did. I do not believe that Darrell's passing was necessary, but his loss has served countless purposes in my life, my faith journey, and my professional development into adulthood.

    Trust the Process

    As a younger student, I never imagined I would be the type of person to become so engaged in my education outside of the classroom much less emerge as a leader among my peers. But after returning to school as a non-traditional student, that is exactly what happened. My first accomplishment, being accepted into the Honors College on scholarship. I became the President of The Future Teachers Club, and soon after, I was asked to mentor new Honors Students and students in the lifePATH® Program. Currently, I have the blessing of serving as Pearson Campus Ambassador and writing this blog. Did I ever dream of being a blog author? Never! No matter your path, and it may seem arduous, trust the process. The world's most beautiful diamonds remain under pressure for billions of years before producing their ethereal glow.

    Parenthood

    Motherhood is a catalyst for my achievements, but raising children while working, going to school, and taking care of my home is not easy. Being a stay-at-home Mom has produced glory and if I dare say, a much stronger gut. It took time to learn how to do it gracefully. I understand the value of time, something that diminishes before our eyes. Now my children can experience their future dreams, goals, and accomplishments through my lens. I hope that my children will understand the importance of believing in themselves and holding themselves to higher standards. Every parent's dream is for their child to be successful and productive. What better way to help them achieve that dream than through modeling it myself?

    The Transformation

    My transformation started immediately, but I couldn't see it. After my brother's passing, I gained an unusual affinity for butterflies. Every single time I see one, I think of him. I cannot help but gasp at their weightlessness and their ability to be graceful as they appear to hop spastically through the air.

    What's your dream? It's never too late to start.

    "We delight in the beauty of the butterfly but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty."

    –Maya Angelou

    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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  • Plan Your Work. Work Your Plan.

    by Jayla Pope

    Three female college students are sitting in a lobby. The student on the right is showing a document to the other two students.

    A college student's To-Do list is almost never ending. Most students are in school full-time, working, and involved in extra curriculars. Making time for school and your personal life can be challenging. Creating a plan that you will adhere to for all of your responsibilities is important to mastering time management. This plan will help hold yourself accountable, and even aid in rewarding you in your achievements. Here are some tips that you can take to create a schedule that works for your daily life and allows you make time for what matters most – you!

    Recognize Your Priorities

    The first step to creating a schedule that encompasses work life balance is making a list of your priorities. Start with the things that are of most importance. For college students that is normally school. If possible, choose classes that will help you be your best self. If you are a morning person, create a schedule that allows you to wake up and start your day early. If you are a late riser, curate a schedule that lets you ease into your day. After classes, be sure to carve out a special time for studying. All college students know that doing work outside of class is just as important as going to class. When you carve out time to study, you don’t have to worry about trying to “make time.”

    Build in Breaks

    Beyond just classes, it is critical to save time for yourself and the things you like to do. Most students think they can hang with friends when they get around to it, or make time for themselves later, but unfortunately that time rarely comes. You have to make sure you make time to allow yourself to recover from handling your responsibilities.

    An example work week schedule could be classes every other day from 10am-4pm. Perhaps you are involved in an extracurricular from 4-6 or want to grab a bite to eat. To end the night, you could study from 6pm-8:30pm. Make sure you are getting plenty of rest to be fueled for the next day. In between the days you have classes, you could work a part-time job or do things that interest you.

    Find Accountability Partners

    One of the most important steps in maintaining a set schedule is consistency. Creating the schedule is only the first part of the race, but to get to the finish line you must adhere to the schedule you created. Of course, things will sporadically occur; that is an aspect of life. However, you should do your best to make sure that you stick to your schedule. The best way this can be achieved is by informing your friends, family, and peers of your schedule. These people around you can be your accountability partners.

    Sharing your schedule with your friends can also be beneficial because they can possibly match up their schedule with yours. An example of this could be grabbing breakfast together or creating a study group. The best part of accountability partners is that they want to see you succeed, so they should be aiding you in doing so. Even if you start to divert from your schedule too much by slacking off or not maintaining your priorities, your accountability partner can help you recognize this (in a respectful way of course) so you can get back to being your best self.

    In order to plan your work, then work your plan, you have to be organized, committed, and have discipline. These key characteristics will help you obtain your goals and have a healthy work life balance. Creating the schedule that works best for you is important to keep you working through it. Prioritizing is important because it allows you to spend time doing the things that matter most first, then use the rest of your time accordingly. Lastly, sharing a glimpse of your day-to-day schedule with your friends, family, and peers can be extremely beneficial in avoiding distractions and making sure your “to-do” list is getting done!

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

     

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  • Mascot Madness: The Ohio State Buckeyes

    by Sidney Li

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

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

     

    History

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

     

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

     

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

     

    Buckeyes Today

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

     

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

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

     

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  • Study Abroad – Post-COVID Edition

    by Kiara Lozano

    An ornate ceiling of a cathedral in Rome, Italy.

    Now that travelling restrictions are beginning to loosen, it’s time to start thinking about studying abroad again. Travelling post-COVID brings many new challenges that haven’t presented themselves before. However, do not let it set you back - you might be surprised at the amazing opportunities they can actually create. I know that with proper planning you will be ready to take on the world this year!

    Pre-departure Preparations

    In addition to getting your passport, packing, and booking your flight, one of the biggest factors that you need to consider when studying abroad are the health laws and regulations of your host country along with any additional travelling requirement that might be needed upon entry. As the world continues to open up, many places may still require the use of masks in public areas, require proof of vaccination upon entry, or have other key considerations you need to be aware of. Communicating with your study abroad advisor and host country programmer ahead of time is essential for making sure you have all of your documentation and are prepared prior to your departure. For any additional concerns upon arrival, I recommend checking the CDC and US Embassy websites consistently for all of the latest updates relating to your host country.

    Setting Expectations

    My biggest piece of advice – expect the unexpected. During these unprecedented times it is important to consider that your study abroad experience might not look the same as you originally thought and that is okay!!! Instead consider it a chance to be spontaneous, embrace the unknown, and learn more about yourself during the process. When I studied abroad in Italy this past summer, my best experiences where those that were unplanned and unsought after. This was a huge breakaway for me as I tend to be an avid planner. But with COVID restrictions consistently changing throughout my stay, I could never be prepared – no matter how hard I tried. However, this allowed me to go into the experience without any expectations and enjoy the moment just as it presented itself. Not setting expectations truly makes your experience abroad.

    Immersing Yourself in the Culture

    As cliché as it sounds, do as the locals do! There is no better way to experience a new country than by immersing yourself in the culture and exploring the city the way the locals do. During my experience abroad, most of Europe was closed down to tourist and cross-country travelling wasn’t easily accessible or encouraged. This meant that I spent a lot of my time in Rome where I was based. At first this was discouraging, not because Rome isn’t amazing (it is!) but because I felt like I wanted to visit as many places as possible during my time abroad. However, I quickly realized that not being able to travel outside the country I was residing in was in fact the best opportunity. I was able to experience Rome with a more local perspective and made many Italian friends along the way. I strongly encourage you to look at study abroad from a more local approach and take the opportunity to welcome new experiences.

    Embracing Change

    Lastly, be open minded and eager to embrace change. This experience will bring many amazing opportunities, but it will also present challenges along the way. It is completely normal to feel homesick or experience culture shock – especially if it is your first time abroad. However, it is important to remember that it is all part of the learning experience and differences should be celebrated. Keeping a positive attitude and having a strong support group, whether it be friends or advisors, will help you overcome these bumps in the road and allow you to enjoy your study abroad experience to the fullest.

    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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  • Going to College the Same Time as My Mom

    by Hannah G. Brennan

    The blog author’s mom is sitting on a grey couch and working on a laptop computer.

    If you’ve seen Melissa McCarthy’s 2018 hit Life of the Party, then you witnessed a hilarious account of a mother and daughter attending the same college, going to the same parties, and eventually graduating together. Having not seen this movie since it came out three years ago, memories of it came rushing back to me when my mom decided to go back to school this past spring.

    After thirty years of raising two kids as a single parent, my mom’s decision to finally become a nurse while working full time is one that motivates me in my own college endeavors. And even though she is not attending UW-Madison with me, here are some ways my mom and I plan to motivate and inspire one another as we each continue our unique college journeys.

    #1: Practicing patience

    My mom and I both being in school has given us an additional experience in common, ultimately bringing us closer together. However, it has taken some work. I can sometimes get frustrated with my mom as I try to guide her through using the new technology that comes with doing schoolwork in the twenty-first century-- let alone the technological leaps education has taken the past year and half due to the pandemic. Doing this is even more difficult when I am on campus over two hours away from her. However, by taking a step back and putting ourselves in the other person’s shoes, we are able to defuse our anger and find a positive common ground.

    #2: Staying positive

    By nature, my mom and I are highly self-critical. Whether it is lamenting over grades not as high as we hoped or letting the await of future assignments overwhelm us in the present, the energy can get negative quite fast. But since we acknowledge this behavior, we take steps to relieve ourselves of the burden. We talk things through (even when we don’t want to talk), help each other make lists to prioritize, and assure one another when confidence is low. For everything, but especially school, my mom has always been my biggest cheerleader. Now I get to be the same for her.

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  • Eat Good, Feel Good

    by Rachel Schachter

    An arrangement of colorful fruit featuring red grapes, pomegranate seeds, raspberries, black berries, strawberries, star fruit, and orange slices.

    Entering college was a major change from high school. Who knew something could possibly take up so much of my time! Despite the virtual aspect of becoming a college student in 2020, finding the time to fulfill my basic daily routines was a struggle. With so much work and so little time to take care of myself, I found myself turning to fast food options far too often when I was constantly running between activities and meetings. I felt it was important for me to take the little free time that I had within my schedule to educate myself on proper nutrition.

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  • Navigating the Student Organizations Fair!

    by Alyson Robinett

    A group of 14 college students posing in front of a scenic overlook with mountains in the background.

    When students come to college, one of the first events they will most likely go to is the school’s student organizations fair. There will be a ton of tables with many current students trying to convince you to join their club. It can seem very overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be.

     

    Know Yourself

    One of the best ways to approach this fair is by already listing out what your main interests are before you go to the event. This way, you’ll know what kinds of clubs you already want to join, and you won’t be distracted by the various other ones.

     

    Take Your Time

    Another good tip for joining clubs is to make sure you’re not joining too many at once. This was my problem during my freshman year of college. I had already done step one; I knew what I was interested in and what I wanted to join. The problem was that I had too many interests. I ended up joining six clubs! That is way too much for a freshman to handle. Because of this, I became way too stressed and had to quit three of them in less than a month.

     

    Make sure that you give yourself a limit as to how many clubs you join. A good number to start with is one or two. Remember, you have four more years to try out different organizations; you don’t have to join them all in the beginning.

     

    Look Beyond Resume Builders

    Be sure to join at least one organization that personally interests you. Don’t just join something because you think it will look good on your resume. Future employers will not care if you joined a club that focused on your major or community service. They care more about your interests and passions. If they ask you an interview question regarding your experience in a club that you didn’t care about, it won’t matter what the club was about. You have to be able to talk about your experiences and relate them to interview questions, and you can’t do that if you are part of an organization that bores you.

     

    The student org fair doesn’t have to be stressful or overwhelming. These clubs are here to connect you with other students who have similar interests. Go to the fair with an open mind. You have four years to explore and find the groups that are the best fit for you!

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

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  • College Students Can Save Time and Money by Meal Prepping

    by Abby VanDuyne

    An overhead view of four made-ahead meals in glass dishes.

    We've all heard the saying, "You are what you eat", but when we skip meals... what are we? Many college students today skip meals to cram in more studying, sneak in a few more minutes of sleep, or to save a couple of dollars. As a full-time engineering student with plenty on my plate, I can say that meal prepping has saved me time, money, and from losing focus while studying!

    College is a busy time for everyone. A typical day for me starts at 8am and ends at 5pm. Finding time to eat and pack a lunch every morning just doesn’t happen. Furthermore, after finishing a full day of classes, the last thing I feel like doing is cooking dinner. Meal prepping has saved me from a grumbling stomach during class and so much time before and after my day ends.

    Save Time & Money

    Not only has meal prepping saved me time during the school week, but it’s also saved me money. After having a meal plan freshman year, the habit of going to the dining hall for lunch or another quick-eat on campus was deeply ingrained in my brain. In addition, once I was done for the day, I’d be so exhausted that all I would want to do is order take out. I found myself spending so much money going out to eat and then throwing away any groceries I had bought because they’d go bad before I would get around to using them. With the amount of money I would spend on going out to eat, I have been able to make three meals a day, seven days a week for less than $3.75 per meal and a grand total of around $78 at the grocery store.

    This may seem like a large sum of money for a one-time purchase but when you compare the two options, the savings is clear. Let’s say you spend an average of $7 for each meal when you go out to eat.

    Going out to eat once a day:

         1 meal/day x $7/meal x 7 days/ week= $49.00

    Meal prepping for the week:

         3 meals/day x $3.75/meal x 7 days/week = $78.75

    By going out to eat even once a day each week you miss out on major savings and spend over half the amount you could have spent at the grocery store for three times the number of meals!

    Tips & Tricks

    Here are a few things that I have found useful while meal prepping:

    • Make a list of the meals to prep for the upcoming week. This helps me to stay organized and figure out what I need from the grocery store. If I’m struggling to decide, I turn to Pinterest for some food inspiration!
    • Make all of the meals at once. I set aside about 2 hours every Sunday to make everything.
    • Invest in good food storage containers to store it all in. Make sure they are dishwasher safe for convenience and have a secure-snap lid to keep the food fresh!

    The transition from traditional “spur of the moment” cooking or grabbing a bite out to eat can be difficult, especially once these things have become a habit. Once you give it a whirl and begin experiencing the benefits of meal prepping, you’ll be hooked!

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

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  • The Benefits of Student Activities and How to Get Involved

    by Juan Andres Rodriguez

    A group of Florida Atlantic University students are standing or kneeling on a plaza on their campus. There are palm trees and a large residence hall behind them.

    Every college student has probably heard at least one time from a friend or elder to “enjoy the college experience because there is nothing else like it.” Some may take this advice seriously, but the majority would just brush it off as an insignificant suggestion. Personally, I used to be one of the students to brush it off and ignore this advice, but I now realize the importance of participating in different school activities, joining clubs, and even getting involved with the student government. From meeting new people to opening up opportunities for the future, check out the benefits of student activities and how to get involved.

    Getting Started

    At this point, you may still be questioning the importance of getting involved in student activities at your school and for good reason. As I mentioned before, I also did not understand how beneficial and enjoyable it is to join different organizations and participate in various events. Getting involved in school activities is a lot like reading a book. The hardest part is getting yourself to start, but once you get past that barrier you soon realize how entertaining and fun it actually is. Not to mention how both of these things are not only a fun pastime but are beneficial for your everyday life and future.

    Jumping In

    As for how to apply for a student organization or club, I recommend contacting to your university’s student activities office, as they will have administrators that can help you get involved. Just google your college along with the words “student involvement” and there will be information on how to contact them. Often, clubs try to have an active presence on social media as well. Many campuses host a student organization fair at the beginning of the school year to help students get involved with campus organizations.

    Building Relationships

    One of the huge benefits you receive from joining a student organization are the people you meet and spend time with. The relationships that you build by participating in student activities and organizations are invaluable. Not only are they helpful in the present but are important for your future. These new relationships become part of your network. You never know who may help you with landing a job or achieving a personal goal. For example, one of my goals is to join student government. By participating in different activities online, I have already been able to connect with the Student Government President, Vice President, and some House Members.

    As the new school year begins, be proactive in seeking extracurricular activities to round out your college experience. Go out there and get involved because great opportunities await!

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

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  • Essential Apps for College Students

    by Sidney Li

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

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

    Google Drive and Google Office Apps

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

    Notability

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

    Venmo

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

    Postmates, GrubHub, and/or DoorDash

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

    Uber and Lyft

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

    Google Calendar

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

    Quizlet

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

    Spotify

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

    Mint

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

    MyFitnessPal

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

    Grammarly

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

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

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

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  • Developing Your Personal Brand: The Art of Selling Yourself

    by Keila Garza

    Nine pencils in a pencil cup. Eight of the pencils are the standard dark yellow color, but the one in the middle is hot pink.

    Who Am I?

    Picture this: after years of working hard in college, you find yourself interviewing for your dream job – the exact one you have pinned on your vision board. Having prepared for this opportunity, you expect positive results. You are acing every interview question until they ask, “how would you describe yourself, and what skills can you offer us?” You freeze. Describe myself? Oh no, the dreaded 30 second elevator pitch. How do I narrow down 20+ years of living to 30 seconds? What is actually important in communicating ‘who am I’?

    The Secret

    Well, you’re a college student, but is that all? In spite of the dramatization, many students panic and freeze in these circumstances, but should you? As a fellow college student, allow me to let you in on a not-so-secret secret: you will soon be entering the very competitive job market where such questions are commonplace! It is important to be aware and prepare yourself for this daunting task early on in your college career.

    Perhaps you may have already gotten the chance to “dip your feet” into this metaphorical ocean of the job market with a hopeful heart, only to find yourself fade into the vast sea of similar job seekers. Or, like many other college students, you have not yet had the opportunity to interview for a professional role. I propose that your experiences as a student are not as shallow as you might imagine and provide a depth of knowledge from which to share.  Wherever you are in your professional job search, it’s never too early to work on a very essential part of your professional self – your personal brand.

    What is a Personal Brand?

    So, what exactly is a personal brand and where can you buy it? Is it expensive? Actually, you already have it; we all do. Each of us develops our own personal brand through our unique experiences and is characterized by the skills and deportment acquired over time.

    Consider the classes you might take at university, or the extracurricular activities that populate your schedule. Interested in spicing up your communication and developing effective delivery techniques? Take a class on public speaking and learn the mechanics of rhetoric and nonverbal cues. Want to brush up on your collaborative skills? Join an intercollegiate sports club where you can aspire to win the championship game with your teammates. Or audition for the next performance of Hamlet with the theater club and learn what it takes to labor for weeks alongside your fellow thespians. Pursuing the skills you want to strengthen will help you begin to shape your personal brand. The important thing is not what you choose to do, but that you choose to do something at all! Just go for it!

    You Can Do This!

    While developing a personal brand may seem like a very daunting task which lies out of reach for the everyman, gradual steps taken in pursuit of personal development are not only attainable, but practical as well. Be intentional about developing your personal brand! You are the catalyst of your own development and success. And when you are confronted by land mines of questions from interviewers, think back to all of your experiences and how they have molded you.

    Your personal brand is a tool which you can wield to your advantage; use it wisely. Cultivate your personal brand in a way that is unique to you so that you can distinguish yourself from the sea of faces and achieve your dreams. 

    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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  • Pearson’s Dynamic Study Modules Promote Mastery

    by Ambyr Dack

    A laptop computer is open on a desk with Dynamic Study Modules showing on the screen. Behind the laptop there is a window and a potted plant.

    Picture this: you are doing your homework and two answers seem like they are both right. You choose one, click the button, and up pops a huge red “X!” We have all been there, and it's even worse when it happens on an exam. That's why I love the Pearson dynamic study modules! Dynamic study modules are like a combination of personalized notecards and your eText. They allow you to review what you already know and focus on what you do not know. Even better, you can learn without the pressure of getting questions wrong. 

    Studying with a twist

    Dynamic study modules are a set of questions based on your textbook chapter readings. Each question is followed by five answer choices with large circles next to each one. The first four choices are based on the content of the question and the fifth choice is always “I Don’t Know.” You answer the questions by clicking on the circle next to your answer choice; however, there is a twist!

    If you are certain of an answer, you can double click the circle next to your choice to fill it completely. This will help to filter the material you’ve mastered, allowing you to focus on what you do not know.

    If you are unsure of your answer choice, you can click on the circle once to fill in the circle halfway and you won’t be penalized if you’re incorrect. Whether that choice was right or wrong, you will have the ability within the module to see the correct answer and read a small section straight from your textbook that explains why it's correct.

    You can also click the “I Don’t Know” button for a no penalty response. Just like if you answered a question halfway, you would get to see the correct answer and an explanation. 

    Questions you answered halfway or with “I Don’t Know” will come up again later in the module to make sure you fully understand the answers. The goal of these modules is to master the subject matter. With every correct answer you fulfill a green bar, meaning you are one step closer to mastery!

    Better retention leads to better results

    I took a course last semester that utilized Dynamic Study Modules and they helped me truly understand the content rather than just memorizing flashcards. I found that I had an easier time retaining the information that I learned because of this, and I enjoyed learning! I mean-- who likes being penalized when they get an answer wrong? No one!

    These modules alleviated my stress that points were being chipped away at my grade with every wrong answer. Better yet, I could review the modules all semester in two different ways: Smart Refresh and Refresh, allowing me to go back and review chapters quickly or in depth. It was perfect for when I had to review for exams or needed a quick refresh on the material before class.

    If you are currently enrolled in a course that utilizes Pearson Dynamic Study Modules, or if you take one in the future, I highly recommend taking full advantage of them to gain a deeper understanding of your course material!

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

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  • How to Get the MOST out of Pearson’s MyLab Math

    by Laura Avellaneda

    A calculator and an iPad on a desk. The iPad screen shows a math problem in the MyLab Math platform.

    After three semesters of using MyLab Math, I consider myself an expert in using it to its full capacity! While many students just know MyLab Math as a tool their professor uses to assign them homework, MyLab provides an abundance of resources that help students to truly master their material.

    Ever stuck on a difficult math problem?

    Math classes can be hard in college, especially if you’re a STEM major! It is common to get stuck on a problem and need some help to solve it. When using MyLab, the first thing you can do is click on the Question Help drop-down in the top right corner which gives you a variety of options to work through the problem and answer it correctly. The ‘Help Me Solve This’ feature will walk you through the exact problem you’re working on step-by-step. MyLab will explain the concept for each step and there will be a few fill-in-the-blanks as you work it out. Once you’ve solved the problem and have the correct answer, MyLab will change the original question on your homework for you to answer! If you don’t think you’ve mastered the concept you can use the ‘View an Example’ feature to see another problem worked out step-by-step.

    Feel like you need more practice?

    If you have a quiz or exam coming, up the best thing you can do to study is practice problems! The Study Plan feature on MyLab Math gives you recommended practice questions and quizzes based on what you need help with the most. Your personalized study plan comes directly from your homework, quizzes, and test performance, so it’s the best tool to get some extra practice in! You can also view hundreds of practice questions under the ‘All Chapters’ tab to practice other concepts.

    Would you prefer a video explanation for solving a problem?

    As a visual learner, the Multimedia Library was super helpful for me to see and hear someone explain a difficult problem step-by-step. Within this resource, you can filter down the chapters and sections to find exactly the practice problems you’re looking for. Not only do they have hundreds of two to four-minute videos explaining practice problems, but they also have videos introducing concepts or entire lectures!

    Next time you’re in a class using MyLab Math, be sure to utilize all of these tools to succeed in your course! MyLab is so much more than just a homework platform – it helps to make learning easy!

    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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  • Stay Focused and Motivated for Online Classes

    by Stephen Chau

    A college student sits cross-legged on the floor leaning against a white brick wall. She has a laptop in her lap and is reading content on the screen.

    Many students were new to online classes when colleges went to virtual classes last year. As we begin a new academic year, even students that are heading back to campus may still find themselves taking some of their classes online.

    Attending online classes can make it challenging for students to give their full attention. There can be many distractions, such as your bed, pets, family members or roommates, and electronic devices being at your disposal. All these things make it harder to keep focus, which in turns lowers your motivation and productivity. However, by creating a routine and forming habits, you can learn to become more focused. Here are three things you can do to help you stay focused and motivated while taking online classes.

    1. Have a study space
      The first step is to establish a dedicated area where you can study. Although it may feel comfortable to study in your bedroom, it is important to separate your studies and your relaxation areas. When you are in that dedicated study area, make sure that only school-related things are happening there. Creating a boundary between your “work” and “home” will bring you a sense of control in life and help lower your stress.
    2. Create a routine
      Establishing a daily routine can provide structure to your day. Writing down a rough list of your daily activities can help you stay on track with work and become time efficient. Set a time for yourself to wake up, get dressed, eat, study, work out, talk to friends & family members, and sleep. What may help is having a specific action to get ready to study. This can be anything like making a cup of tea or coffee, clearing out your work area, or doing a quick breathing exercise.
    3. Dress up
      This may seem insignificant but the clothes we wear actually impact our mood, behavior, attitude, and how we interact with others. Wearing clothes like pajamas may make you feel like you’re not really in a working mood, which can make you more vulnerable to distractions. Similar to having a dedicated study area, wearing different clothes for different activities sets clear boundaries between your roles of a student or a couch potato. Next time you have class, try waking up a bit earlier to get dressed up and observe how that affects your mood.

    Staying focused while studying is something that all students struggle with and doing so for online classes can be even more challenging. However, there are many things you can do to help you stay focused, but it requires patience, will-power, and habit forming. Hopefully these tips are useful for you and will help you stay on track while studying!

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

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  • How to Find Your Place in College: Attend the Organization Fair

    by Hiren Gugnani

    A tri-fold display board with information on joining the Finance Society.

    If you're reading this, then congratulations! You are an accomplished student accepted into college, or maybe you are currently an underclassman. Either way, this is a big step towards your future, and it was all your accomplishments thus far that led you to this point. Now that you made it to college, it is understandable to feel overwhelmed with the amount of people and excitement going on. There is one event in the beginning of the semester that can help lead you in the right direction to find your place in the daunting environment you're now a part of—and that is your campus’s organization fair.

    Take it all in

    Whether or not your school holds it as an in-person event, it will likely be an overwhelming experience. I remember a large tent, with tables managed by crowds of overenthusiastic students standing idly by their tri-fold boards. Our event was divided by a multitude of categories: Cultural organizations, Sports, Community Service, Greek Life, Major-specific, you name it! I found success in clubs relating to my heritage as a minority student, as well as business centered clubs as a devoted Finance student. Think about your interests beforehand, and glance over the map or list of clubs to ensure you get time to see anything you were curious about.

    Remember to be yourself

    It can be hard to learn more about all the clubs and activities your school has to offer when it's presented all at once. In an effort to try and get the most out of the event, I took pictures of the tabling for those student organizations that I was even somewhat interested in. This allowed me to look on their websites or email them if I have any questions. If something even remotely interests you, attend their first meeting and see what it’s all about! The key is to not feel obligated to commit to anything if you find that it isn’t for you. These extracurriculars should be your escape from the pressures of classes; something to look forward to during the week.

    Become familiar with leadership

    Once you find yourself acquainted with a club that sparks your interest, look into leadership opportunities within the executive board. While this feels too early for internal board positions, such as the President and Vice President roles, there can often be representative spots available for freshmen specifically. Those are yours to take! Having a leadership position allows you to cement yourself to the organization. Instead of being a general member, you will have some sort of control that makes an impact with the added responsibility. Then comes the opportunity to showcase your leadership on your resume, pointing out to recruiters that you are strengthening your soft skills, while working on something you are passionate about.

    Make your commitments

    At the end of the day, there will be many choices to where you can spend your time when not attending classes and studying in college. Taking on these extracurricular activities gives you a way to hold yourself accountable and make an impact that will last longer than your four years in undergraduate education. Decide what is best for you, and not for others. You will likely meet lifelong friends by engaging in mutual interests, so be on the lookout for those who want to get to know you. Once your find your home base, your college campus will go from an enormous, daunting place to a comfortable array of opportunities.

    Pearson Students, when’s your school's activities fair? Will you be in attendance?

    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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  • 2,604 Miles Away: Tips to help freshmen cope with homesickness

    by Megan Cistulli

    A black-and-white map of the United States with a dotted line connecting Atlanta, Georgia and Berkeley, California.

    I attend college in California – over 2,604 miles from my hometown of Atlanta, Georgia. I love home and family, and the transition across the country was not easy. Homesickness was a challenge that became conquerable once I began to implement the remedies below.

    Bring the Smells of Home with You

    My mother always burned a special candle in our kitchen: Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin. The first thing I did when traveling to California was make sure a Bath and Body Works was within driving distance. I always make sure to have a candle on hand. If candles are not allowed, try bringing the smells of home with you through cleaning products. Use Pine-Sol Cleaner if you miss the sweet aroma of pine from your backyard. Use the same laundry detergent as your mom. Whatever smells remind you of home – whether they be hairspray, moth balls, or dad’s cologne – keep them close and incorporate them into your new life – it’s essentially a carry-on bag home edition.

    Writing Letters

    The best, and most underestimated, form of communication is through writing letters. Not only have I experienced the distance aspect of venturing far from home, but the time change presents a challenge as well. When I want to check in with my mom or dad at 9pm, they are fast asleep because it is midnight on the East coast. The way I cope with the time changes is to draft letters to my parents. Any time I want to share something with them, I write it down. At the end of every two weeks, I send them the letter I have been working on. Sure, we FaceTime and call, but the letter acts as a safety net and catches all the missed thoughts or moments I want to share with them.

    Explore Your New Environment

    The quickest and most efficient way to sooth homesickness is to explore the new area around you. Think of all of the energy and experiences just waiting for you outside your dorm doors. Make it a goal to try something new three times a month – a new restaurant, lookout point, shopping center, park, or ice cream parlor. The best way to cure the feeling of being a stranger in a new place is to begin to establish routes in your new home. Make connections to new locations and memories which in turn will lead to new sentimental affiliations.

    Unfortunately, homesickness is not your typical seasonal flu. It takes more than a shot to alleviate the feelings of separation and physical distance. Fear not, the remedies listed above are fool-proof and have helped to sooth homesickness from 2,604 miles away.

    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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  • Your Path, Passions, and Career

    by Olivia Kane

    Two female college students sitting side-by-side with a lake and shoreline in the background. Location: Arendal, Norway

    Prior to beginning college, I had a linear and picturesque set of measurable goals leading to my career. I was prepared and excited to study nursing at Washington State University for two years and move to Spokane for nursing school; however, after undergoing brain surgery I quickly learned that life is not a straight line. I found myself questioning whether a career in nursing was right for me.

    You may ask: why are you telling me this? Simple. A lot of people can agree they wish they had pursued a passion or a dream, rather than a cookie-cutter career lifestyle. It is a lot easier said than done to pursue your passions, but it is important to know that some of your greatest moments and biggest adversities can turn into a life you want to live.

    Growing up in a household that was oriented in business, economics, advertising, and marketing, I unknowingly picked up countless techniques and important points to succeed in the business world; however, I craved a medical-based career and was prepared to work as hard as possible to achieve that goal. To become what I dreamt of; I developed a set of measurable goals leading to my career prior to beginning college. I was prepared and excited to study Nursing.

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  • How to Prepare for Your Interview

    by Will Cagnassola

    A male college student sitting at a table and looking at a laptop. He is wearing a suit jacket and tie.

    With the beginning of a new semester comes everyone’s favorite season: recruitment. After applying for a job, sitting down for an interview can be nerve wracking. Whether you’ll be searching for a position for this school year or already looking ahead to next summer, I’m here to provide some insight on how to make this process easier and to help you land a quality job or internship.

    Advance Preparations

    Once you land an interview, there are some things you need to do ahead of time to be successful day of. These include:

    1. Research. The best thing you can do as a job prospect is to research the company prior to an interview. Learn about what they do, what they care about, and how they help the community around them. This is absolutely key for showcasing your interest in the company, which is ultimately one of the first steps in building trust with your potential employer.
    2. Prepare. Know your resume like the back of your hand. You will be asked about prior experiences and how they relate to the job you are applying for. Be sure you can answer this and elaborate on any other experiences listed.
    3. Ask Questions. Do not be afraid to ask questions! Compile a list of questions in advance to respond to the ‘Do you have any questions for us?’ question. Ask the interviewer what they like about their company, what they would change. This kind of curiosity leads to ideas and eventually greater advancements.

    Day-of-Interview Plan of Action

    If your interview is in person, be sure to arrive on time and in the necessary attire. Make sure you have a reliable mode of transportation, a second (and third) copy of your resume, and more than enough time to get to your interview location.

    If the interview is via video call, consider what will be in your background during the call. Find a spot around your home that looks organized and has minimal distractions. Or set up a virtual background if necessary. Minimize background noise. Check that your Wi-Fi is running, that your computer is functioning, and that you have the link readily available prior to the call. Have an internet outage contingency plan. Could you join by phone if your wi-fi suddenly goes down?

    One last bit of advice - always, always, always thank the interviewer for taking the time to discuss your job opportunity. Follow-up with a thank-you email. Time is the most valuable asset in the world, yet it is most often overlooked. If you recognize and appreciate that somebody has taken the time out of their day to help you, it opens up many opportunities to form a quality relationship in the future.

    If you are able to follow my advice, I promise you will have a great chance of getting the job!

    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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  • Fly Like a Pro

    by Angele Garcia

    A jet wing in flight with the blue sky above and city lights below on the ground.

    Traveling by airplane to any destination is a stressful process for most individuals. Hectic lines, confusing signs, and constant announcements are enough to distract even the “regular” flyers. When traveling alone, many individuals have a hard time navigating the confusing world that is an airport. I have been flying to visit family and friends since I was a youngster, so I have learned a few tricks and strategies I now utilize as I find myself flying alone with greater consistency. The major things I have learned, which all individuals flying need to pay attention to are punctuality, organization, security.

    Plan ahead and arrive early

    “Hurry up to wait, don’t wait to hurry up” is a motto that fits well with the airport environment. Ideally, there is never an exact correct time for when to get to the airport. This is because of the differences in international and local airports. Knowing which type of airport you are going to and what time of day can help you determine when you should arrive. Typically arriving one hour ahead of boarding time will allow for plenty of time to check bags in and get through security. Special tip: typically, security gets backed up during earlier flights and this is an area where people will find themselves cutting it close to their flight. In the airport early is on time and on time is late — you don’t want to be late.

    Be consistent with where you store travel docs

    Keeping track of your belongings in any situation is a given; however, in an airport different precautions must be taken. Years of flying has taught me to always complete these two steps involving organization. The first is to designate a specific spot to consistently keep my passport when it is not in use, like a zippered pocket in a purse or carry-on bag. The reason for this is there are multiple moments throughout international travel where passports need to be presented. By creating a consistent area to keep your passport you significantly decrease the chances of misplacing it in the airport, as well as allowing yourself to move more efficiently through the airport.

    The second step goes hand-in-hand with step one; as soon as you’re done with the checkpoint that required your passport, immediately put it away. Do this directly after the authorities finish doing what they needed with it, specifically before walking away. Both steps could be applied to all types of items (forms of ID; boarding passes, etc); I chose to specifically highlight the passport because it is vital for your international travel.

    Keep your valuables secured

    Precautions are always important when taking on the new experience of flying alone. In terms of international travels there are always a few tricks that can help save possible troubles in the future. Traveling to a foreign country that is less developed than the US requires a bit more thought when packing. One additional measure I recommend is using locks on checked bags. If you don’t own luggage locks, you’ll need to keep any expensive jewelry and electronics or shoes in your carry-on and place everything else in your checked bag. You may not need to buy locks for every piece of luggage, but it’s important to strategize what you’ll place in each piece of luggage you take.

    Imagine being in a building with 250,000 other travelers and 2,500 different flights. This is on average how many people and flights are circulating through an airport each day. For a first timer everything is new and can be petrifying. I now know the ins and outs of airports to the point that I feel more than confident traveling alone. Keeping the key ideas of timeliness, management, and security of belongings in mind is all a person needs to focus on when traveling.

    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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  • What’s in a Name?

    by Johnny Condit

    Two young men smiling and sitting behind a table with a Pearson tablecloth and prizes.

    Do you ever met someone for the first time, introduce yourself, and then totally forget their name? You see them again 5 minutes later and have no idea how to address them. Don’t worry, you’re not alone! Many people have trouble remembering names when meeting someone for the first time. However, through my college career, I have learned more and more how important it is to learn and remember someone’s name. We all have one, right? So, we might as well use them.

    Addressing someone by their name is a sign of respect that will grab people’s attention. It shows that you are an active listener that is genuinely engaged when in a conversation. So often we are worried about what we will say or how we look that when someone introduces themselves to you, their name goes totally over your head. To keep that from happening, here are 3 tips that I use to remember people’s names the first time I meet them.

    1. Remember that you are not the most important person in the room - Most people are too worried about how they look or what they are going to say when meeting new people. They do not even register what even comes out of your mouth when speaking. Well, if that’s the case, don’t worry about what you’re going to say and become aware of what people are trying to tell you. Once you stop worrying about yourself, you are able to become more of an active listener.
    2. Repeat their name - When you first meet someone, the first thing you do is exchange names. When the opposite person says for an example, “Hello, my name is Jerry, nice to meet you!” you should respond, “Hey Jerry, its nice to meet you too!”. Hearing the name twice, from him and yourself, will make your brain realize that the name is something important to remember.
    3. Look for name tags – When someone is wearing a name tag, it is not for style. Become more aware when someone has a name tag. You can even address them by their name before they introduce themselves. That will make you stand out from others and leave a lasting impression on someone.

    Being able to remember someone’s name is an amazing quality and it makes people feel special. Take value in people’s names and watch your network and friendships grow!

    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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  • Discovering Your Best Learning Techniques Leads to Academic Success

    by Kaitlin Hung

    A close-up of a student’s study area including an iPad, highlighters, and note paper with math problems.

    Growing up, I was always surrounded by smart friends who continuously scored full marks on assignments and exams. I, on the other hand, scored average or below and constantly felt at a loss when I used the same learning and studying techniques as my peers, but didn’t score as well as them. It wasn’t until late in my high school career that I figured out how to do just as well as others by using a different learning technique.

    Out with the old….

    During one of my biology classes, I noticed that even though I was listening to everything the teacher was saying, my brain lagged like an old laptop running low on battery. By the time I processed the first topic, the teacher was already discussing content from three topics later. I felt I needed a way to have more time to process new information, so I started playing around with learning techniques.

    ….in with the new

    I’d always thought that learning all the material consecutively, or in one sitting, was the best way to learn. But this study method made me less likely to pay attention or remember the content. In exploring alternative methods, I figured out I could find YouTube videos on the topic area I was studying, and I could pause or adjust the speed, plus read the captions. This allowed me to learn the same material, but at my own pace. I would never be “behind”.

    I also learned that taking short breaks in between videos or study sessions seemed to “recharge” my learning capability. Instead of beating myself up over not remembering everything during a long study session, I would reward myself for what I could remember with a break for as long as I deemed necessary.

    Putting it all together

    I later found out that there are different learning styles, such as auditory, spatial, and linguistic, for each person. I researched more about it, took a few online tests, and decided to pick up more techniques that catered towards my specific learning style.

    Since I am not an auditory learner, it was hard for me to retain everything a teacher said in class. But I could spend more time reading the provided textbook to fill in information I missed in a lecture. If I couldn’t properly visualize a concept, I would look up videos or images to help me do so. Instead of continuing to feel like a failure for not understanding things when others around me could, I found ways that worked best for me.

    Although it was sometimes tedious, investing time in discovering how I learn and retain information helped me build confidence as a student and achieve academic success.

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

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  • Networking for Beginners

    by Geeta Chandaluri

    A screengrab of a virtual networking event held on Zoom.

    When I first entered college, I was constantly hearing juniors and seniors tell me how important networking is. However, like most freshman, I had no idea what networking was. It’s not something they taught us in high school. So, what is networking, how do you prepare for it, and how do you maintain connections?

    What is networking?

    Networking is the art of interacting with peers and experts in a professional manner. It is about creating lasting connections that can help you learn and gain industry insights.

    Networking can happen anywhere, in any setting. Often times people think of networking as attending organized events all suited up, but that’s not the case. Every interaction you have is working to widen your network. The person you strike up a conversation with at a coffee shop may help you with career advice or be able to put in a word at a company where you’ve applied.

    Create your Elevator Pitch

    The first question people often ask you is to tell a little bit about yourself. This is a question you should be prepared to answer with what is called your ‘Elevator Pitch’. An Elevator Pitch is essentially a 30 second introduction of yourself and your experiences. The idea is that if you met someone you’d like to connect with on an elevator, by the time the person got off, they’d know you.

    The tricky part comes in deciding what to include in your Elevator Pitch. You probably did a lot in high school like extracurriculars, community service, and part-time jobs. If you are beyond a first year in college, you likely have even more accomplishments you would like to include. Therefore, it can be a bit of a challenge to speak about yourself in a concise manner. So how do you decide what should be included in an Elevator Pitch and what shouldn’t?

    Think about your end goal: making memorable connections. You should always try to grab attention and facilitate a longer conversation. You are essentially marketing yourself. So, think like a marketer --Elevator Pitches are simply self-advertisements.

    You should give an overview of past accomplishments, present involvements, and future goals. You can start off with your major and extracurriculars, then move into relevant job experiences, then finally career aspirations. After you frame your pitch, rehearse it until you become comfortable saying it.

    Formal vs Informal Networking Situations

    Sometimes organizations will sponsor networking events where students can interact with employers. If you plan to attend a formal networking event, research the people you’d like to connect with ahead of time. A good place to research is LinkedIn. Tailor questions to that individual. People love talking about themselves - the more specific the questions are, the better.

    Always be sure to assess the nature of the event. Understand the tone so you can frame your conversations. If you are in a formal setting, it is encouraged to have copies of your resume to distribute. However, if you are in an informal setting, like a coffee shop, passing along your resume may be strange. But you could perhaps create a business card to use in that situation. Always be sure to read the environment you are in.

    Maintaining Connections

    After a conversation, ask the person if they are comfortable sharing their email address and connecting via LinkedIn. Most professionals are happy to connect, but it is nice to show courtesy and mention your intent to maintain the connection.

    If you met the person at a formal networking event, always send thank you notes within 24 hours. This signifies that you respected their time. Sending out thank you letters always works in your favor. Not everyone sends them out, so a customized thank you letter will make you stand out.

    You may run into your connections again. Take the opportunity to reconnect. Remind them when you last interacted and something memorable from the conversation. The familiarity can lead into more specific and beneficial conversations.

    Long Run Goals

    Networking is all about the give and take. Once you established yourself and created a strong network, be open to helping others forge their own impact. You can practice giving by inviting professionals on a panel to host events. There are endless possibilities on how you can give back by sharing your experience to your peers and juniors.

    Networking is like professional speed dating: some will succeed, and some will fail. But the most important thing is to have fun. Enjoy speaking to people. You may not see it coming now, but interactions will open doors for you. You will be grateful for having made those connections in the past.

    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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  • 3 Factors to Consider when Choosing a College Major

    by Abby Williams

    An aerial view of the Texas Tech University campus.

    Sometimes planning your future can be more complicated than finding and choosing something you love to do. The story of how I initially settled on my major probably echoes that of many other college students today who took a while to decide what they wanted to do. Here are 3 factors that made me fall in love with my major and decide to seriously pursue a career in the field of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences.

    Like everyone else, by the time I reached my junior year of high school, I was already very tired of receiving countless questions, from what felt like everyone in my life, regarding my future. After another conversation with my mom about what I could potentially do with my life, I finally decided that speech-language pathology (SLP) sounded like a decent answer to parrot for the next few years until I figured out what I actually wanted to do. And that’s exactly what I did, all the way through officially choosing my major at Texas Tech University. Once I started my coursework, I discovered 3 factors that helped me realize how perfect the seemingly random field I had chosen was for me.

    Variety of roles

    One of the first things that I noticed about my major and fell in love with is how many types of job opportunities my degree can present. Speech pathologists and audiologists can work in a wide variety of settings and work with people of any age and background, from newborns with difficulty swallowing, to prisoners with traumatic brain injuries, to elderly individuals with aphasia. I like that you can choose so many different avenues and can change your mind, all with the common theme of helping people. I think it’s important to find a profession that allows you to grow in and with your occupation as you grow up and change yourself, in all aspects of your life. For example, right now my dream job as a SLP would be to work with premature babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) of a hospital, but I realize that if I become a mom in the future, that job might no longer be the best fit for me. With SLP, I can always change my mind and work with a different age group (i.e., pediatrics or adults), with a different condition (e.g., aphasia, phonological disorder, TBI, etc.), or in a different setting (i.e., hospital, clinic, school, etc.).

    Incorporates personal interests

    It’s important to choose a field that can potentially provide opportunities that appeal to your personal interests as well as professional interests. For example, I love to travel and wanted to choose an occupation that would allow me to do so without forcing me to constantly be on the road. With a degree in SLP, I will be able to pursue occupations which involve travel (e.g., pediatric home health) at points of my life I deem appropriate. Other opportunities to consider could be networking and advancement if moving up the ladder is an important factor for you.

    Cost-happiness ratio

    Finally, I recommend evaluating something I call the ‘cost-happiness ratio’ of a profession. While making enough money to support your lifestyle is the overall goal of working and arguably the most important aspect, as they always say, “money can’t buy happiness”. Evaluate the benefit of a profession by comparing the amount of positivity and happiness the job brings into your life with the actual financial gain of the job. Then determine whether the values are proportional. For example, if you make a lot of money doing a job that makes you miserable, the money may not be worth it overall. Through my major-related classes and learning more about my field, I have learned that helping people is the work I find most gratifying.

    By considering the variety of roles in a career field, the possible opportunities a field could offer you, and the cost-happiness ratio, you can find the college major that will be best for you.

     

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

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  • The Importance of Humility

    by Mykel Broady

    The title of the blog “The Importance of Humility” in white letters against an orange background.

    “Alexa, define humility.”

    Google defines humility as “a modest or low view of one’s own importance, humbleness.” Now, when I first read that I was shocked. I thought, “why should I have a low view of my own importance? Shouldn’t I be ultra-confident and think highly of myself?” These questions tossed and turned in my head for days as I tried to grapple with the true meaning of the word. It wasn’t until I stopped thinking about the intricacies of the definition, and actually applied humility, that I started to see change — meaningful change. Humility has significantly changed my life for the better, and I can assure you, it has the potential to do the same for you.

    Creating an open and honest environment

    Humility yields open-mindedness. When applying humility to your own life, you’re more eager to hear outside perspectives. No longer is it a game of competition amongst others, but rather a modest game of learning from others. The good news to spread about this game is that you’re coachable! In my own life I found that in the times I lacked humility the most, I also lacked the ability to open up my mind to others. You see, humility has the unique ability to silence any selfish desires occupying your mind and bring you back to reality — a world that thrives on collaboration, not solo efforts. 

    More collaboration is always on the forecast in environments where individuals value humility. How many times have you stayed away from an arrogant person? Whether it be the kid in kindergarten who boasts on all his toys, or the coworker that never seems to accept any advice, I’m sure you’ve never been in a rush to collaborate with those solely, and blatantly, concerned about themselves over others. Naturally, individuals want to collaborate with others who will listen, respect, and value their input. Applying humility to your own life opens up the opportune door of collaboration!

    Help inspire others

    Humility simply inspires others. When an individual does something amazing, especially a stunt that naturally can’t be pulled off, it’s possible that you may assess your own shortcomings compared to their success. If we’re being honest, you may think you simply aren’t capable of doing certain things, because you don’t have their abilities. Now what if the individual who did the miraculous came out and said, “I’m thankful for the recognition, but I’m just doing the things anyone else could do.” You would be inspired, wouldn’t you? You’d realize that everyone is equal and that the impossible is possible. I don’t know about you, but I’m fired up just writing that. When you apply humility in your own life, you immediately set yourself up to inspire others — that’s a very special gift. So finally, it’s time to stop reading and start applying!

    Pearson Students: How do you apply humility in your life?

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

     

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  • Becoming a Successful Leader in a Chaotic World

    by Sarah Faust

    Blog author Sarah Faust sits with seven of her sorority sisters on the steps of an academic building. Due to quarantine rules, they are wearing facemasks.

    The title of this blog might have been misleading. After a few months of reflection, I have struggled with whether or not I truly was a successful leader. However, the thing we need in an abundance, especially during this time, is grace. For the sake of sharing what I learned in 2020, I will grant myself some grace and label my term as successful, even if the only success was my refusal to give up.

    In November of 2019, I was elected as the Chapter President of my sorority. It is an organization made up of around 250 women whom I respect deeply and was excited to serve. With the most trustworthy, capable people by my side, we took over the operations of the chapter with no idea what was soon to come. The first couple months were trying because of a snowstorm cancelling our flights to a leadership convention and contentious senior members who always seemed to disagree with us. By late March, though, those challenging days seemed like a dream.

    The next eight months were a whirlwind of deep uncertainty. Like most other schools across the country, our university shut down in-person classes. Our sorority house closed for the semester. Before I knew it, I was back in St. Louis living in my parents’ house and trying to run a sorority.

    I doubt there will ever be a complete, step-by-step list that will encompass everything it takes to be a successful leader, but it would be a shame if I missed the opportunity to share what I found to be helpful. Here is my personal guide to successful leadership during the most trying times. After all, hindsight is 2020.

    Confidence is key

    If you are not confident that you will be able to carry yourself and those you lead through a difficult time, no one else will believe that you will be able to either. When a global pandemic took the world and turned it upside down, I was a 19-year-old sophomore in college who was barely prepared to lead a large group of young women, much less do so virtually and without consistent information regarding the future. If you ask anyone who knows me, they will tell you that confidence is never something I seem to lack, so it was terrifying when I was faced with something that made me question my own abilities. To be fair, though, no one was prepared to handle all of the fallout that a pandemic can cause, so why couldn’t I be the one to do so?

    You cannot allow that which you cannot control to take control of you

    It was not my fault that my members’ worlds seemed to be falling apart, but it was my responsibility to do what I could to keep one area of their lives safe. Almost daily, I was approached with things that were not part of my training. Rather than throwing a fit because of how unfair it was, I had to take things as they came. Organization and planning are not my strong suits, but I can think on my toes, and that proved to be valuable.

    Self-care is not selfish

    It was easy to take the weight of everything and put it on my own shoulders. That was a good way to drive myself crazy. I was the best leader I could be when I started respecting myself. Taking the time to do what is important for your own mental health indirectly benefits those you lead.

    As the president of a sorority, I did not face anywhere near the worst of what this pandemic has had to offer. However, I felt the challenges of the unknown every single day. It was not the term I hoped for, but it taught me more than I ever imagined. Even if it wasn’t what I would deem “successful,” I know that one day I will use what I learned to be undeniably so.

    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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  • Prioritize Your Mental Health During Quarantine

    by Margot Banen

    An electric piano against a wall where a tapestry hangs and a hanging plant.

    Throughout my life, I’ve always struggled with anxiety. Anxiety can be hard to cope with on even the best days, but during quarantine, many people have seen declines in their mental health. Even as some quarantine protocols begin to lift, feelings of isolation can linger. In order to help cope with the struggles of quarantine, I’ve talked to my friends, family, and my therapist to create a small list of suggestions that may help people who are struggling.

    Going Outside

    In many cases, just being outside has helped a lot of people. Even though it’s often cold where I live, I try to take at least a quick 10-minute walk. It consistently helps to improve my mood and clear my mind. Being in the sun, even just briefly, will drastically change my mindset about the day.

    Working Out

    If going outside maybe isn’t the best option for you right now, or it’s just not possible, working out is the next best thing. Not everyone likes to work out, which is totally fair. When everyone first went into lockdown, many people gained “the quarantine 15” -- I know I did. And that’s perfectly ok! This was a very stressful and strange time for everyone, there is no shame in weight gain.

    Working out doesn’t mean you have to get insanely sweaty or overexert yourself. Nowadays, you can work out from the comfort of your room. A workout can be as simple as 10 minutes of abs or light cardio, like high knees, burpees, or butt kickers. My personal favorite is yoga, which I can do easily with a guide from a YouTube video.

    Working out can boost your energy and help with reducing stress, anxiety, and depression by increasing your self-esteem and cognitive functions. If you work out for at least 16-18 minutes, you’ll release endorphins which help to put you in a better mood.

    Listen to Music

    If you just don’t have the time or energy to work out, you can always use the universal language of music. There is not a person in this world who doesn’t listen to music. What’s so amazing about music is how quickly it can change your mood. When I’m feeling especially anxious, I put on songs to sing along to. This not only helps draw my focus away from my anxiety or the panic attack I may be having, but it also helps to regulate my breathing in an easy and fun way.

    Music can also provide an outlet for people. It can help someone feel less alone in their emotions or use it as a release from them. You can even write your own music or lyrics to help to help organize, catalog, and dissect your emotions. It’s a really healthy and creative way to get in touch with yourself.

    And So Much More

    There are so many ways to combat the stresses of quarantine and create an environment for yourself that is healthy and fun. Some people love to read, others like to call up friends and talk for hours, and others like to bake. Whatever it may be, always know that with everything going on there is always someone you can talk to if you’re struggling, whether that be a friend, a family member or a therapist. Remember that you are never alone.

    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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  • Graduating and Missing a Loved One

    by Michelle Gomez

    Blog author Michelle Gomez stands on a park bridge, surrounded by her father, mother, and two younger sisters holding a portrait of her late sister.

    For any graduating senior who has lost somebody special to them, there's nothing you want more than for that person to be there for when you graduate college. Dealing with the death of a loved one can be particularly difficult for college students – trust me, I know. My sister died during my sophomore year of college. I felt like I was not grieving properly because of the overwhelming energy grief requires on top of the demands of being a student. But I learned that there is no right or wrong way to grieve, and I found healthy ways to cope that, in time, renewed me and permitted me to live again with a hole in my heart.

    Milestones can be painful

    Fast forward to 2021 and I’ll be graduating in a few short weeks. Graduating is a HUGE milestone. Whether you’re graduating from middle school, high school, or college - you’ve made it. However, milestones like birthdays and graduation can be painful after someone you love dies. As I graduate from college on May 15th, I am thinking about whether my sister is proud of me and imagining how big her smile would be on my graduation day.

    As this bittersweet chapter of my life ends, the only thing monopolizing my thoughts is knowing that she won’t be there to hug me and say congratulations as I receive my college diploma. It absolutely kills me inside knowing that no matter how much I cry and plea, she isn’t coming back. The worst part is that there's nothing I can do to change that.

    Celebrate with their memory in mind

    Learning how to include my sister when big moments arrive has helped me both celebrate my accomplishments and remember her. I incorporate my sister into my daily life by wearing a bracelet with a charm with her name on it. I wear it every day and whenever I feel sad, I hold it and remember that she is always with me.

    Instead of dwelling about how sad and awful it is without her there, I think of all the happiness graduating brings to me and of all the people that have been there for me. There's nothing I wouldn't do to have my sister there at the end of this journey. But I know in my heart, she has been there every single step. I also know how proud she is of me for everything I've accomplished. I know that she’s truly been my guardian angel and made sure I got to this point. She also left me in great hands because I am loved incredibly by my family and my friends. From my incredible mother and grandmother to my little sisters and best friends, finally to all the people I call my family and friends, I am so blessed.

    Graduating college isn't just for me, it's for them and it's for her.

    Mairim, I love you so much.

    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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  • Hair Stylist or Hair Therapist? Finding Stress Relief at a Hair Salon

    by Kiara Smith

    Blog author Kiara Smith shows off five different hair styles from her salon visits.

    Having a bad day or feeling stressed? Why not take a trip to the hair salon? A new hair style could be just the “pick me up” you need. College students can always use a way to unwind from the stress of their classes and exams. Popular options are working out, meditating, socializing with friends, or treating yourself at a local coffee shop. Who needs an iced coffee when you could just get a new hairdo?!

    A 2-for-1 deal

    Hair stylists should be celebrated for their great works. They often double as both a beautician and a therapist – it’s a 2-for-1 deal! They not only cater to the needs of your hair but also to your soul. In fact, getting your hair done can be very therapeutic. On those days when it feels like whatever could go wrong, does go wrong, a visit to the hair salon can leave you feeling renewed.

    A listening ear

    When you close your eyes and lay your head back to get washed, it is like all your problems have vanished. You take a deep inhale, exhale, and release the weight of the world that was on your shoulders when you walked through the door. The appointment progresses, you engage in conversation, your stylist works their magic, In the process, they are the listening ear you have been needing. Then there is a big reveal. You leave not only less stressed, but also as a happy customer with a newfound confidence.

    With so much going on today, college students need to find ways to destress and rejuvenate themselves. As you can see, visiting a hair salon is one of my favorite ways to unwind. Take some well-deserved time for yourself and schedule a hair appointment to relax and refresh.

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

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  • Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

    by Sidney Li

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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  • College Moveout: A Complete Checklist

    by Kamish Tajuddin

    Three stacks of moving boxes in front of a set of French doors.

    How am I going to prepare for finals week? Where will I be traveling this summer? Do I have a summer internship or full time offer yet? These questions are just some of the few that run through students’ heads during the Spring semester. Towards the end of April and May are some of the most stressful times that can occur for students.

    One other important question students ask, that often gets overlooked, is: what are my plans for moving out? This is a very important aspect of the end of the semester, as you do not want to leave behind anything important or delay this process. It is a difficult process to start and can often be very exhausting to do so.

    Personally, I believe that there are three important phases in the moveout process. Here is a step by step checklist for each phase that can help students ensure that the process goes as smoothly as possible!

    Prep

    Before you can start moving and putting away our clothes, shoes, tv, and other important items, you need to have a game plan set in place. The first step in this phase is determining when and what time you need to move out. Every college has a set move out date and time for their residents, and often can provide containers to help students move out their belongings. However, students that own a lease can decide what day and time works best for them as long as it is before the lease ends.

    Once that is figured out, the next step is to come up with a plan of action. Figuring out what needs to be put away first that is not being used and understanding what can be put away on the last day is important to know. Also knowing what goes in each bag, suitcase, and box and labeling said boxes is going to be important. Last step in the prep phase is getting any materials, if needed. This can include extra boxes, a U-Haul truck, or extra hands to help you move.

    Now that we move prepped our moving process, let’s move on to the next phase.

    Pack and Load

    Your extensive planning in the previous phase will make this step much more manageable. First, pack and organizing your belongings. By the end of this step, everything should be put away and grouped together by whatever category you have picked.

    The next step is to throw away any unnecessary belongings and junk. This will make it easy to clean and have more space in the long run. The final step in this phase is loading your belongings. This can either be in your vehicle or in a U-Haul truck, depending on the size of your belongings.

    Believe it or not, there is one more phase left in the moving out process.

    Departure

    It’s time to double check your packing and start saying your goodbyes. Make one last round inside your dorm, apartment, house, etc. to make sure you are not forgetting anything. Next, make sure to clean your old place according to the specifications stated in your lease or housing contract. Make arrangements to turn in your keys and sign any required paperwork. Lastly, this step is optional but make sure to let neighbors, friends, etc. know that you are officially leaving and potentially provide a way to contact you!

    Following these phases and associated steps will help you turn the monumental task of moving into a smooth process! Remember to change your address ahead of time and potentially rent out a storage unit if need be. Good luck with you moveout!

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

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  • How to Ace an Interview

    by Paige DelBrocco

    A laptop screen shows a presentation slide with the words, “How to Ace an Interview’ on a pink background.

    The interview process for jobs and internships is one of the most stressful things that a college student can experience. We have all had our fair share of automated rejection emails or just no response at all. Although the entire process is quite overwhelming and nerve-wracking, it is extremely rewarding once you finally get that offer. From making sure to be yourself to figuring out which questions to ask the interviewer, there are a few key things you should know before walking into your interview. Here are some tips and tricks that have worked for me to ace an interview!

    Do your research

    It is so important to research as much as you possibly can about the company before you have your interview. Not only should you understand what the company does, but you should also think about why you want to work there in the first place. By researching the company, you are able to understand what it is that they do and why, and whether it would be a good fit for you. Completing this research prepares you to answer that first question without hesitation: “Why are you interested in working here?”

    Ask questions

    I have been told time and time again from my mentors to ask questions during an interview, and it is excellent advice. Not only does it show that you are interested in the position, but it helps you understand the role better. An interview is not a one-way street; it goes both ways. You need to make sure that the role suits your own experiences and professional aspirations. When you ask questions, you can get a much better understanding of the opportunity that you are exploring.

    When it comes to figuring out which questions to ask, I have found that preparing a few before the interview relieves some stress for me. Although it is important to have questions in your mind beforehand, you should ask questions throughout the entire interview based on what the interviewer is sharing with you.

    Be yourself

    I realized early on in my interviewing experience that it is vital that you stay true to yourself and avoid putting on a new face to impress your interviewer. They want to know who you are, not who you are pretending to be. Being straight-forward about your personality, skills and experiences is the only way to go. By being yourself and sharing what you can bring to the table, you will gain the respect of your interviewer in no time.

    Believe me, I know interviews are stressful—especially when you want nothing more than to receive an offer. Don’t let the fear of interviewing hold you back from pursuing your professional endeavors because by following these tips, I promise you will be able to ace that interview.

    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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  • A Guide to Finding the Perfect Off-Campus Housing

    by Jacquie Dunworth

    Five college girls sitting on the white front porch railing of their off-campus house. They are smiling and laughing.

    The school year is coming to a close and it’s almost time to move out of your dorm. You want to live off campus next year but where do you even start? How do you find a house/apartment? Find roommates? Sign a lease? Keep reading for a comprehensive guide on how to find the perfect off campus housing!

    Getting started

    First figure out who you might want to live with. Do you have friends that also want to live off campus? Do you want to live by yourself? Are you ok living with strangers? Once you determine this there are a few different steps you can take.

    Living with friends

    Once you establish your future roommates it’s time to find a living space that fits your needs. Think about the areas surrounding your campus - are they primarily houses, apartments, a mix of both? Do your research to figure out if there is the type of housing you’re interested in available for you and your roommates. For example, websites like Zillow, Redfin, and apartments.com are good resources to use to see what’s on the market. However, not all housing is listed on these sites. It can be very helpful to simply go on a walk in areas that you may want to live in and look for “for rent” signs.

    Living alone

    Choosing to live on your own will make for a simpler house hunting process. You won’t have to coordinate with others and can pick wherever you want to live. A 1 bedroom or studio apartment is probably where you’ll want to be. Research options and availability by looking at the same websites mentioned previously. Check to see if the area around your school has newer apartment developments. Often, these buildings have leasing offices that you can walk into and ask about pricing/availability.

    Living with strangers

    If you want to live with others but don’t know who, it’s best to find people looking for roommates. Often, upperclassmen will move out of a house and leave bedrooms available for new tenants, or friend groups that move into a house will have an extra bedroom they need filled. Facebook is a good platform to use to find these opportunities. People with extra bedrooms for rent often post in college groups, housing groups, etc. Another way to find housing opportunities is to simply ask around. Ask people in your classes, clubs, and network if they know anyone looking to rent rooms in their houses/apartments.

    Signing the lease

    Once you’ve determined who you want to live with and where, it’s time to reach out to the leasing agent! Their information can usually be found in apartment leasing offices, on housing websites, or on “for rent” signs. You’ll typically get to see the house/apartment and start paperwork. Usually, the landlord will require proof of employment, a credit score, photo ID, past addresses, references, bank information, and proof of residency. Since many college students don’t work full time jobs or have enough income for a particular rent, your parent will probably co-sign the lease with you.

    After completing these steps, you will have secured off-campus housing for next year!

    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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  • Coffee with a CEO: College students gain more by networking up

    by Timothy Evans

    A screenshot of the blog author on a web call with 13 others.

    A Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is the highest rank that you can achieve in a company. For many of us, achieving this position seems like a far-off dream – especially as a college student. Students know that networking is important, and while it can be intimidating to network up with a higher-level executive, there’s so much to gain by putting yourself out there.

    When making the connection, it is natural to get nervous, of course, but you don’t need to change who you are to impress them. Students tend to forget that a CEO is still a human being. Here are three things I do during the preparation, presenting, and follow-up stages of connecting with a CEO.

    Preparation

    This step is crucial. By preparing, you will have a better grasp of what to say and ask. Yes, you will get nervous, but the preparation phase helps calm those nerves. It’s similar to taking a test after studying extensively: you still feel anxious, but you KNOW that you are ready. Ways in which you can prepare are simple.

    • Pick out clothes to wear the day before. Your clothing choice is essential. It shows the executive that you respect them and that you are here to be remembered. Even in a virtual setting, you want to look professional on screen.
    • Write out an outline of what you want to say. Make sure to keep this as an outline. You are not reading a word-for-word script but helping to keep a conversation structure. Studies have shown that going over an outline three times can best prepare you for a presentation.
    • Get questions ready that aren’t just about the business or your goals. Ask questions about his/her interests and try and find things that build a relationship between the two of you. This will help you stand out from the crowd as well.

    The prep phase is critical, and with these three things in mind, you can wake up in the morning with the most incredible sense of relief.

    Presenting

    You will be nervous. Do not try and fight that - embrace it. When you speak to an executive, you want to keep it brief. Do not ramble on. Show them that you can get to the point and respect their time. When presenting, make eye contact, use your hands when speaking to declare emphases, and nod when spoken to. These all are important in showing that you can be confident in your ideas and an active listener. Lastly, presenting doesn’t mean just you are speaking. Let the other person talk as well. Ask questions about things they bring up to show interest and show that you care about what they are saying and want to know more.

    Follow Up

    After the meeting or casual coffee call, make sure you follow up and share something that you appreciated about the conversation. People love reflecting on good stories, and CEO’s are no different. Don’t forget that it is okay to ask questions in the follow-up email. It doesn’t have to be goodbye. If you liked your conversation and felt it was a good connection, use this email as an invitation to connect further.

    Now that you have understanding of the do’s and don’ts, you should be ready to put yourself out there and grab the attention of an executive. Remember to always prepare beforehand, maintain good presentation skills, and be ready to continue the conversation, even after the call.

    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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  • College Students: Develop Money Management Skills Now as an Investment in Your Future

    by Molly Hicks

    A young woman looks at a laptop screen showing investment information.

    As a college student, money management can appear daunting. It is natural to brush it off as a topic which only concerns adults. I am currently a freshman in college, and ten months ago, I had no true interest in investing. However, during quarantine, my dad began to explain the perks and advantages of investing. It certainly sounded attractive, but how was I supposed to invest my personal money when I did not even know the basics?

    I am excited to share four steps to encourage you to invest and lead you to long-term success.

    1. Identify a trading platform that fits your needs and interests. Charles Schwab, TD Ameritrade, and Robinhood are reliable and safe companies, and I know many people using each. For a beginner, Robinhood is the easiest platform to use. All three of these platforms have little to no fees for investing.
    2. Open a Roth IRA account, as well as a normal brokerage account. An IRA is designed for long-term investing, which usually means your money stays in the account until retirement. A brokerage account gives you access to invest and withdraw your money at any time. Opening both an IRA and a brokerage account allows you to do long-term investing and short-term investing.
    3. Create an investment plan. At this point you are ready to invest! This is an exciting time in your life, especially if you are a first-time investor. It is important to identify your goals and purpose for investing, and then to plan and research based those goals.
    4. Identify investments that interest you. Look for steady, reliable, well-performing companies that are in good financial standing and have a positive outlook for the future. As Warren Buffett says, “if you wouldn’t hold your investment in a company for 10 years, don’t even think about owning it for 10 minutes.” Do not make spur-of-the-moment investment decisions, as I can tell you from personal experience, they usually lead to mistakes. Identify an investment that interests you, think over it for an extended period of time, and then execute.

    My best piece of advice is to invest in an index fund. In simple terms, an index fund is a form of investment that tracks the performance of hundreds of different companies. The S&P 500 Index is the most famous, and there are plenty of funds that follow this particular index.

    Warren Buffett has stated numerous times the importance of investing in a low-cost index fund. Buffett recently said in a 2019 Yahoo! interview, “in 1942, if I put $114 into an S&P 500 fund instead of buying a single stock, it would be worth about $400,000 today.” This is arguably the most risk-free and reliable strategy for investing.

    Make it your goal every month to put at least $10 or more into an index fund in your IRA. You are not only investing in your future, but the future of your family.

    Commit to learning, save your money, and invest it wisely. Also, have confidence, because you are making one of the best decisions for your future, and beginning a lifelong journey of excitement!

    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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  • Finding a Faculty Mentor

    by Tori Jacobson

    Blog author Tori Jacobson stands in front of a large presentation board showing information about Gender Socialization.

    Have you heard the term “faculty mentor”? Though connecting with faculty can appear challenging in the digital classroom, it is still possible to find a mentor to help you throughout college. A faculty mentor is a faculty member you can go to for questions, recommendations, and to help prepare you for work in your specific field. My faculty mentor has helped me attend conferences, write research, and she will write a recommendation letter for graduate school. But what makes a good faculty mentor? Here are three characteristics to keep in mind as you are considering a possible mentor search:

    They make themselves available

    How difficult would it be to have a faculty mentor you can never get in touch with? You can often tell pretty quickly how willing a faculty member is to make themselves available as a resource for their students. It may come as a shock, but professors have lives of their own outside of the university setting. Some professors will stick to straight office hours, and those designated time slots will be the only time they will use to communicate with students. Professors who offer one-on-one appointments, their office phone number, or different ways to message them make it evident that they want to get to know and better assist their students. A professor that makes a great faculty mentor will offer multiple options for communication and will appear unbothered to do so.

    They are well connected to their field

    Whether they have always been in academia or if they returned to it recently, having knowledge of opportunities within your field is an important factor in a mentor. This can look like awareness of conferences, internships, or other resume builders they can recommend to you.

    You enjoy their course

    This one sounds like it shouldn’t be a requirement, but it is easier to work with someone when you are used their communication strategies and are comfortable approaching them. If you are terrified to approach this professor, they probably aren’t the best pick. Your job as a mentee is to observe and communicate with your mentor as much as possible to best learn whatever knowledge they are inclined to share. If you already are having difficulty sitting through a one-hour lecture with this professor, adding more one-on-one interactions may not be beneficial.

    I hope these tips help you to find a faculty mentor that fits your needs! This is a great tool for students to utilize while they still have easy access to their highly trained and connected professors. Don’t let that opportunity pass!

    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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  • Best Places to Get Virtual Badging

    by Rhea Mathur

    A screenshot of eight digital badge examples for topics related to career development and leadership.

    As the recruitment process relies more and more on virtual aspects, it is more important than ever to maintain an accurate and competitive online presence. Virtual badging is a newer way to receive recognition for skills learned on websites like LinkedIn.com and Monster.com. Virtual badging typically doesn’t take very long to obtain – for many LinkedIn Learning certifications, it could take anywhere between 45 minutes and 3 hours, making the commitment totally worth it!

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  • The Collegiate Experience – COVID-19 Edition

    by Alexa Carlton

    A bright sunny day at a lake in Syracuse, New York, surrounded by trees brown, yellow, and orange leaves.

    If you are in college and anything like me, you will never forget the day March 13th, 2020. That was the day when my classes officially went online at Syracuse University. The reality set in that I no longer would be on campus developing my professional skills, while also creating strong relationships with the people around me. I knew that once August came, I would appreciate every second I had on campus. Syracuse University went with a hybrid class method. Although my experience did revolve around social distancing and mask wearing, I would not trade this school year for anything! I am here to tell you how I enjoyed my college experience during a pandemic and how you can, as well!

    Explore.

    I never really explored the city of Syracuse, New York until this year. It always seemed that I was super busy on campus and unable to leave. However, because of the pandemic, I found myself with a lot more free time. I encourage you to check out the area around your college campus - in a COVID safe way, of course! With proper mask wearing and social distancing, my roommates and I were able to go to fun places that we may have never had the chance to go! We hiked, ate at new restaurants, and explored!

    Be active!

    Personally, I do not find online classes to be much fun. One of my favorite parts of being at school is walking around and seeing familiar faces. Although it was more difficult to get out of my apartment this year, I certainly did not feel trapped. I found myself a running partner and went with her on daily runs. Not only were we able to get all around campus, but we had a fun time while doing so! Even if you are not a runner, I encourage going on walks around campus as this sure saved me!

    Get Involved!

    As crazy as this may seem, a simple Zoom call sometimes made my day. Even if you are not involved in many clubs, it is not too late! All the clubs and organizations I was involved with met on Zoom, but this does not mean the experience was not worthwhile. Often after a long day, it was nice to connect with my friends and classmates!

    The college experience has been vastly different this year than ever before. I have learned to value every moment and experience that I have on the Syracuse University campus. I hope with my tips give you some ideas to do the same on your campus!

    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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  • 11 Tips to Make Any College Club Great

    by Alexa Kosloski

    A laptop screen with a Zoom call open, showing a meeting with 22 participants.

    Throughout my undergrad career, I have served on executive boards for 3 different clubs and served Chapter President for one. Having this experience has allowed me to understand what it takes to truly have a successful college club. Although every organization is different, the steps it takes to be successful are similar. Below are 11 tips that can help take any college club from good to great.

    1) Brainstorm ideas ahead of time

    If you have the opportunity to do so, brainstorm ideas for your club before the semester starts. This can be a huge time saver and stress relief. To accomplish this, have your executive board meet on Zoom during the summer or during winter break prior to the semester start. By brainstorming your ideas ahead of time, you will have an idea of what exactly your club offers so that you can encourage others to join. This also will save you time in the future, so you can just be at your club events instead of stressing about what your next meeting will contain. Members can tell if a club planned something ahead of time or was put together last minute.

    2) Pay attention to your members

    While you may have a million different ideas for your club, your members may not be a fan of all of them. Try to vary your events early on so that you can gauge what activities your members enjoy most and use that feedback to shape what your club offers. Make sure to include members as much as possible, especially if you’re a virtual club. It will be more engaging and will give them more to talk about when other students and employers ask them what they do in the club.

    3) Don’t underestimate word of mouth marketing

    Besides just posting flyers about your events, the executive board members need to share your events with their friends and classmates. You can also see if your professors will share your flyers or let you talk about your bigger events during classes that are of relevant subject matter to your club. A student may be more likely to attend your event if they hear about it from a friend, rather than just seeing it posted on the bulletin board.

    4) Get inspiration from others

    Pay attention to the actions and activities of other clubs on your campus and clubs from other colleges that provide a similar experience. Strive to stay up to date with trends in the specific industry that your club revolves around, or even current events. Inspiration can come from anywhere!

    5) Change it up

    Regardless of what your club is, a little change can be very refreshing. That’s not to say that you have to drastically change the activities that you offer, although you certainly could if you want to. But perhaps there’s a way to improve how you carry out your original activities. For instance, maybe your club has fundraisers at the same restaurant every year. Consider holding the event at another restaurant. A simple change of location can breathe new life into an annual event.

    6) Make it more than a resume builder

    The number one thing that makes a great college club is the executive board. No matter what the reputation of your club is, the executive board has the ability to hold or change that. Be willing to put in the work, not just list the position on your resume. The best clubs put their members first and know that their work will help keep the club running for years after their terms have ended.

    7) Stay organized

    There are so many dates, times, and documents to keep track of when you’re on an executive board. Keep it all in one place that every member can access. This will reduce confusion and you’ll all be able to find everything when you need it. I highly recommend using Google Calendar and Google Drive for all of your club’s organization needs.

    8) Do your checks and balances ahead of time

    While normal member meetings may not require this, running a large event has a lot of moving pieces. Make sure that you talk to the necessary parties WAY in advance. Each piece takes time and the more time that you give yourself, the better your results will be.

    9) Don’t burn yourself out

    While it’s great to have tons of ideas, a club’s members have midterms, finals, and holidays to attend to. Keep these dates in mind to avoid having events during these times, if possible. Your members will appreciate having that time to themselves. In addition to this, gauge how everyone on the executive board is feeling. Do they seem burnt out? If the answer is yes, try to build in a week with no events or meetings to give everyone break. This can really re-energize the board.

    10) Help each other

    While everyone on an executive board has their own tasks to accomplish, some tasks involve more work than others. If you have the chance to help someone, help them. This will create a better bond between you and the other executive board member, and the task will be less stressful and more successful.

    11) Plan for transitions

    There’s a lot of knowledge gained from being on an executive board. You learn what works and what doesn’t work, what struggles and opportunities the club has, important club requirements, and much more. If your club’s former executive board has to learn all of this on their own, they are bound to miss out on potential opportunities and repeat past mistakes. To make sure that this doesn’t happen, have each former executive board member train the incoming board member for their position. This will be immensely helpful and result in greater success for the club.

    While this may seem like a lot to remember, the basic idea comes down to putting your people first. That includes both other executive board members, as well as your general club members. If you continuously work to put them first, everything else will fall into place.

    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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  • Tips from a First-Generation College Student

    by Kerri-Ann Henry

    Student with backpack, walking between buildings

    College is a major change for everyone, but especially for first-generation college students. Between checking lists, bingeing YouTube videos, and seeking advice from social media and mentors, first-generation students strive to surround themselves in advice to ensure that they learn from the mistakes of others. I would know since I lived this first-generation experience. I’m a college junior and over the past 3 years I have read more lists than I can count and made more mistakes than I would like to admit. But among these experiences I’ve learned a few things that I did not see on any YouTube video or tip list and wished someone had told me in my freshman year as first-generation student.

    Tip #1: Distinguish the direction to debt

    Learn how you can fall into debt. It was not until I was in my second year in college that I realized how college debt accumulated. Debt begins to build up when your college/university charges for a semester and you are unable to pay off the total balance charged. This is the point at which students may decide to take out a loan to cover the charge, otherwise your school begins to enforce restrictions such as such as blocking registration, viewing schedules, viewing degree audits, access to campus resources, etc. This may be intuitive to some but for those students and parents who are new to the college experience, this may unfortunately become their first encounter with this process. The earlier you understand this path to debt, the more motivation you may garner to apply to more scholarships, grants, and internships in high school and/or college.

    Tip #2: Discover your department

    Students who enter college already knowing their major or feeling pressured by social or time constraints to stick to a specific major may have tunnel vision and avoid exploring other possibilities. Take time to consider the different courses at least within your current department. You may find another major that is similar to yours but focuses more on a career direction you are more interested in going in. I experienced this shift when I stepped out of my tunnel vision of my nutritional sciences major to see that my career goals better aligned with the Dietetics major, which was in my same department of Food Science and Human Nutrition. Following this advice ensures that your major is the best fit for you and what you really want!

    Tip #3: Study your degree audit

    Check, study and get to know your degree audit! A degree audit is a progress checker of how close you are to finishing your degree. It lists all the required courses and types of credits you need for your degree along with the classes you have completed and which requirements they satisfy. Some schools allow students to access it on their own through a student portal, but even if your school does not, I suggest asking your adviser for a copy because becoming literate in your degree audit’s language can be critical to saving time and money in the future. As a freshman, I took extra classes that satisfied certain requirements because I didn’t realize that my degree plan already included classes that would have satisfied those requirements, thus wasting my credits. Taking a certain number of extra credits past your required degree credit count can result in your school charging you for what is called excess hours. In some schools, you are charged double the tuition rate for every excess hour you take! Check your school’s excess hour policy and make sure you are intentional about the classes that you take and do not take, based on your degree audit!

    Tip #4: Remember your reason

    Finally, remember how you got to where you are now! You may encounter trials in your college experience but as a first-generation college student, do not forget the trail you are blazing a trail for your family and yourself. You are entering territory where others near you may have never been before. I and so many others are prouder of you than you can ever imagine. Remember why you are in college and that you never walk alone in this journey!

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

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  • The Benefits of Taking Summer Classes

    by Kiara Lozano

    An open laptop sitting on a table beside an iced coffee drink, writing pads and pens.

    After freshman year, I was so excited to finally have a break. No classes and no responsibilities. I mean who doesn’t want to enjoy their summer after a year of hard work?

    The truth is even though you need a break, taking one or two additional classes during the summer isn’t a bad idea. It can be manageable and very rewarding. I will admit at first I was not easily persuaded, but after my first summer class I was astonished at how easy, convenient, and beneficial it really was. In fact, the summer after my sophomore year I ended up taking four classes over the summer and am now on the path to graduating a semester early.

    Taking summer classes has been one of the most beneficial decisions I have made throughout my college career. Here are some of the reasons why I believe it is a great idea to take a few extra classes whenever you can.

    Save Money

    Summer session courses typically cost less than if you were to take them during the regular school semester and community college courses cost even less. There are also many scholarships available for students interested in taking summer classes that you can apply for.

    Graduate Early

    Taking summer classes do not need to take up all your time. Even just taking one or two every summer can help you graduate early. I recommend taking one in both June and July or doing an intersession to get ahead and not get burned out. By graduating early, not only are you saving money, but you have more time to get ahead in your career or have some off time before you start your job post college.

    Add Credentials

    A different benefit summer classes provide is allowing you to fit more credentials into your college career without adding extra years. Taking some classes during the summer could free up space in your schedule during the regular semesters to add a minor or even a double major.

    Shorter Duration

    Most summer classes are 5 weeks long and the intersessions classes around 2 weeks. Since you are most likely not taking a semester worth of courses, you have more time to focus on the given subject. You can finish classes faster, while still having time to do all the fun things summer has to offer. Sounds like a good deal to me!

    Flexibility

    Finding the format that’s best for you is important. Classes are offered various times throughout the summer, and you can take them in person, online, or asynchronous. Classes also don’t necessarily have to be with your university so if you find one at another university or local community college that fits your needs, get it approved and take it! Having different options is beneficial especially if you are planning a summer trip, work certain times, or simply prefer having more flexibility with your classes.

    Complete Harder Courses

    Finally, summer semesters or intersessions are a great way to tackle your more difficult courses. This allows you to have more time to focus on the subject without having to balance all the other aspects of a regular college semester. It is also a great opportunity to take the classes that are hard to get into, making sure that you get all the credits you need stress free.

    Taking summer classes is a great way to get those tough classes out of the way, get ahead, and save money while still having the flexibility and time to do all the fun summer activities! Don’t be afraid to utilize your time off to get ahead!

    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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  • Transitioning to a Plant-Based Diet

    by Logan Collins

    A collection of a wide variety of colorful fruits and vegetables.

    When becoming independent and going off to college you are faced with a lot of choices, especially ones involving nutrition. Nutritional choices include things like calorie intake and the type of foods and nutrients you are putting into your body. These decisions can have a big impact on things like the amount of energy we have or our mood. Recently I made the decision to transition to a plant-based diet. Here’s my experience with changing my diet and effects it has had on my everyday life. 

    Uncovering the Benefits of a Plant-Based Diet

    Last semester, I took a class called Plant-Based Living. By the middle of the semester, the class had fully convinced me to transition my diet to plant based. The key motivator that made me want to make this change was how plant-based diets can help improve mental health disorders and stress.

    During my studies, I learned that the majority animal products contain arachidonic acid, which can cause general inflammation in the brain. There is a direct link to inflammation in the brain and chemical imbalances of neurotransmitters causing depression and anxiety.

    Plants and vegetables contain antioxidants and phytochemicals which can repair damage and decrease inflammation in brain cells, while also restoring balance to neurotransmitters. Phytochemicals are known as a natural antidepressant that increases levels of serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain. 

    Making the Change

    After all the research I had done I decided to change my diet to see if I noticed a difference. The transition to vegetarian hasn’t been very hard since there are a lot of plants you can get protein from to replace meat. For example, I have been eating more tofu, chickpeas, and seitan. Plus, the protein you get from plants is better for you than the protein made by animals. After just a month of eating a vegetarian diet I felt improvement in my energy level and my overall mood. 

    Examining the Results

    Going vegetarian has helped push me outside of my comfort zone in terms of cooking and meal prep. Using social apps like TikTok has been a great resource for me to find quick and easy vegetarian recipes to try. One of my new favorite dishes is “ratatouille.” This is made completely from vegetables like eggplant, peppers, tomato, and squash. If you’ve seen the movie by the same name, the reaction the food critic has when tasting the dish is spot-on!

    Overall, my plant-based diet has had an overwhelmingly positive impact on my physical and mental health. They aren’t wrong when they say “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” so make sure you’re eating plenty of fruits and vegetables! 

     

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  • Tips for a Successful Mentoring Experience

    by Brooklynn Gross

    Student holding and showing Alumni Mentor Program Handbook

    In the movies, every hero has a mentor who helps them achieve their goals: Dumbledore shares his wisdom and advice with Harry Potter, and Yoda trains Luke Skywalker to be a Jedi. Mentors are also important in real life because they can provide guidance and support during a student’s journey.

    Last semester I participated in my university’s alumni mentor program and communicated with a professional in my future career pathway. I hope to work in the field of education, so my college paired me with the director of instruction from a local school district. After participating in this program, I believe all college students should work with a mentor in order to make professional connections, explore careers, and develop work skills.

    If you’re struggling to find a mentor, think about professors, upperclassmen, or people at your workplace who may be willing to mentor you. You could also reach out to your university’s career center for information about connecting with alumni. Finding a mentor is the first step, but it isn’t the last—you will need to create a positive relationship with your mentor in order to build trust and spark meaningful conversations. Here are my top five tips for a successful mentoring experience.

    1. Be professional

    Mentors donate their time to work with you; show your appreciation by being on time for meetings and dressing appropriately. Put your phone away and give your full attention to the person in front of you. Practicing professionalism with your mentor will help you develop this skill for your future career.

    2. Get to know each other

    Learn about your mentor’s story and share your own. You may choose to discuss some of the following questions:

    • What challenges have you overcome?
    • Who has encouraged you throughout your journey?
    • Why did you feel inspired to choose this career path?

    Discussing these questions can help you form a connection with your mentor and learn things you didn’t know about them. Hearing about your mentor’s journey may give you information for your own career path.

    3. Set an agenda for each meeting

    My school’s mentoring program provided a handbook with suggested topics for mentors and students to discuss. At our first meeting, my mentor and I looked through the handbook and chose a topic for each session. Setting an agenda for each meeting helped us focus on subjects that were most relevant to me. Our discussions centered on themes like student teaching, job applications, relationships with colleagues, and graduate school. Choosing these topics ahead of time gave me the chance to prepare for each meeting and write down my questions.

    4. Visit your mentor’s workplace

    All of my mentoring sessions were virtual due to COVID-19, but I would encourage you to visit your mentor’s workplace once the pandemic is over. Shadowing your mentor would give you the opportunity to meet their coworkers and connect with other professionals in the same field. It would also help you experience the work environment and decide if your mentor’s career would be a good fit for you.

    5. Ask for feedback

    My mentor reviewed my résumé and asked me interview questions, and he shared some tips that I can use when I apply for jobs in the future. I now feel more confident about my résumé and my interviewing skills. You could also ask your mentor to give you feedback on your LinkedIn profile.

    These five tips will help you get the most out of your mentoring experience. Don’t forget to send a handwritten thank-you card. When you put time and effort into this relationship, you can develop a lasting connection that will be fulfilling for both you and your mentor.  

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  • Set Goals to Create Daily Motivation

    by Jesus Hernandez

    Shadow of a person, excercise objects spread out on the concrete floor

    If you are lacking daily motivation, writing down your goals can be a game changer as this will be a constant reminder of what you are striving for. The three main goals I believe everyone must have written down and be constantly focused on are your career, health, and leisure goals. These three types of goals have worked well for me because they help me feel balanced in life and help me stay self-motivated every day. 

    Breaking it down

    Career goals are goals you hope to achieve in a certain profession such as working for your dream company, becoming a doctor, a professional athlete, or perhaps a musician. These are considered long-term goals; many may get discouraged because it seems like it will be years before the goal is achieved. A great way to stay motivated is to set smaller goals to reach the ultimate goal. An example of a small goal for a student can be getting an A on exam in one of their major courses. Breaking down long-term goals into smaller achievable goals will help you sustain your drive to reach that final career goal. 

    Daily practice

    Setting goals to maintain good health has helped me become more accountable each day because health-related goals usually require daily practice. While you can certainly have long-term health goals, this area is very compatible with setting smaller achievable goals. One small goal that I have set for myself during this pandemic is to get at least 10,000 steps a day. I have my long-term health goals as well, however setting this small goal for myself has kept me self-motivated in times where I might otherwise have been inactive due to the closure of gyms. 

    Get out of your comfort zone

    Leisure goals can be short-term or long-term and vary from person to person depending on their interests. This is a type of goal that can allow you to get out of your comfort zone. Some examples can be traveling to different countries, taking road trips, visiting all the beaches in your area, or trying a new adventure like skydiving. Leisure goals are important for your mental health because it is a time to reward yourself and destress from the demands of school or work.

    Setting career, health, and leisure goals has allowed me to stay self-motivated. I encourage you to take time to think about your goals and write them out. Investing the time to set both short-term and long-term goals will change your mindset and you will constantly want to keep improving to reach those goals. 

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