• 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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  • Advice for new students or transfer students

    by Alex Mendoza

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    Starting a new semester at a new school can be overwhelming for both incoming freshmen and transfer students. New systems and new academic expectations can be tricky to navigate. Click the link below to watch my vlog with great advice to help you get off to a great start of the semester!

     

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  • 6 tips to help you survive freshman year

    by Cobe Fatovic

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    So, you are going to be a freshman in college? I was too, about one year ago. My freshmen year was far from perfect, but what fun would it have been if it was? I am going to share with you 6 things I wish I knew going into my freshman year so you can have the best first year experience possible.

    1 – Make your dorm feel like an actual home

    Dorm life is something that a lot of people worry about and is a trademark of your freshmen year. You will be living here for the next year, so make it your own. Something as simple as putting a rug on the ground so you don’t see the tile floor can make all the difference. Also, bring things that remind you of home. It may be hard to admit, but you will miss your family.

    2 – Get involved right away!

    Join a club, go to all the Welcome Week events, apply for a leadership position, just do something! In college, you will be surrounded by more kids your age than ever before, but it can still be very lonely, especially if you don’t know anyone. Whether you find virtual, hybrid, or smaller in-person events, joining a club can make all the difference because it can make a huge campus feel a whole lot smaller.

    3 – Take yourself out of your comfort zone

    Making friends can be difficult. But you have to remember, everyone wants to make friends! Go sit with someone in the dining hall or introduce yourself to who you are sitting next to in class, who knows where it’ll go! If you try talking to someone and they don’t seem interested, don’t be discouraged. It may take a few people before you meet your best friend, but if you don’t keep trying, you will never get anywhere.

    4 – Build in time to relax and take care of yourself

    While it is important to study before tests, make sure you plan time in your schedule to do something that relaxes you. Whether it is playing Xbox or reading a book, make time for yourself, too. This will help you manage stress and prevent it from interfering with your student success.

    5 – Consider rushing!

    To rush or not to rush, that is the question. The first week I was at school, the main topic of conversation was everyone asking, “Are you going to rush a fraternity or sorority?” I went into college not expecting to rush at all, but I ended up rushing because some of the friends I made in the first week were. I joined Beta Theta Pi at the University of Florida, and it was one of the best decisions of my life. Even if you find it is not for you, there is a good chance you will make some friends during the rush process.

    6 – Be open minded

    If you go into college with a closed mind, your life will probably be pretty tough. I went through more changes my freshmen year than the rest of my life combined. If you don’t love your major, change it. If you have an interest in something weird, take a class on it! There are so many opportunities to try new things and meet new people in college, you have to take advantage of everything you can.

    Now, a lot of that is easier said than done. You will probably get to campus and be so overwhelmed by everything that is going on, and that is okay, so is everyone else. Just take a deep breath, take it day by day, and go make memories. Good luck with your first year, stay positive!

     

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  • Off to College: Preparing for Your First Year

    by Kristi Yamashita

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    Twelve years of school have finally passed and you’ve finished an endless amount of assignments, reports, and presentations.  After writing what may have been some of the most important essays of your life, you finally did it! You got accepted to college and you’re about to begin some of the best years of your life.  Going to college for the first time can be both an exciting and nerve-wracking milestone in your life. There are a lot of new things to adjust to such as being able to pick your own class schedule, making new friends, and maybe even living hundreds of miles away from home.  Here are some tips on how to prepare for your upcoming adventure.

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  • Adjusting to a New Environment: Tips to ease first semester jitters

    by Katie Underwood

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    Life can be so unexpected sometimes. It can send you somewhere you never imagined you would end up. Adjusting to a new environment is scary and nerve wracking. If you think you are the only one experiencing these jitters you are wrong. Everyone at some point in their lives have had to adjust to a new environment. Whether this new environment is a new town, school, or workplace, here are a few simple tips to feel at ease with your new lifestyle. 

    Find Friends

    Life comes at you fast, so you have to act fast as well. My first step in creating a less intimidating new situation is to find a friend within the first week. This way you are going through the process slightly less lonely and have someone to open up to. This friend can be your roommate, classmate, neighbor, or someone you met on the train. No matter what, find someone to express your feelings to and to talk to every now and then. It will keep you sane.

    Operate with Optimism

    Go into this new territory with an open mind. Be optimistic because you never know what life will throw your way – both good and bad. Going into a new setting with an open mind will allow you to give it a chance without making a negative judgment right from the beginning. 

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