• How to Manage School and Work

    by Sadaf Nasiri

    A black and white graphic of a set of scales beneath the text ‘School and Work’.

    Having a hard time managing school and work? Don't know how you will get through another semester having to balance the two different activities? Here are some tips and advice from a full-time college student and a full-time worker. Though everyone's experiences differ, and everyone's schedules are unique, these tips can help you be able to manage both and work simultaneously, plus have some time for yourself in between!

    Make a Schedule that Works for You

    Don’t overwork yourself during the school year as that can often lead to a burnout (which is the worst!). Create a schedule that allows you to balance both school and work, plus make enough time for things like homework, eating, and some free time to enjoy yourself!

    Learn How to Advocate for Yourself

    You don’t have to pick up that extra shift just because your boss asked you to. It’s ok to say ‘no’. Make sure you speak up and be honest with those around you to avoid work piling up and getting stressed out.

    Build in Rewards

    Finished a big project or finished a long stressful shift? Make sure to treat yourself and reward yourself once in a while in order to motivate yourself to keep pushing. These motivations and rewards can be anything that you like or desire (candy, a shopping spree, etc.).

    Use Your Support System

    Everyone copes with stress differently. A support system is important to build you up when you’re feeling less motivated or to help out if you’re in a jam. You may even have multiple support systems – classmates, work peers, and family or friends. Turn to your support system whenever you feel like you need it. And return the favor by supporting others when you can!

    Fight Perfectionism

    Lastly, just know that life isn’t perfect, and you are still amazing regardless of what grades you get or how much you work! Not everyone can get all A’s while working during school. Not everyone can work full-time while being in school. Life isn’t perfect and you can strive to meet goals but know that not achieving them doesn’t make you a failure. You are still worthy of everything you’ve achieved and accomplished so far.

    You won’t always be able to get the perfect balance between both, but these tips can help you be able to meet the goals you want and achieve more while balancing school and work.

    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 Make (and Keep) Your New Year’s Resolutions

    by Taylor King

    A fireworks display.

    It’s finally here! We’ve made it another 365 days around the sun, so you know what time it is…It’s time to make your New Year’s Resolution!! If you feel stuck in a rut or intimidated, don’t fret. Follow these steps to set an achievable goal to work towards over the next twelve months.

    1. Start by reflecting on this year.

    Reminisce on the high and lows, the triumphs, and the challenges. Take a look over your personal journal entries that you’ve written over the year. Recognizing all of what you’ve experienced during the last year can help you home in on where and how you want to improve.

    2. Think about just one goal and the several ways you can achieve it.

    Try to avoid taking on more than you can handle. You never know what circumstances or curveballs the new year can throw at you, so commit to just one resolution. However, you should be thinking about multiple ways in which you can accomplish it. For instance, if your resolution is to prioritize physical fitness, recognize that it doesn’t mean you have to go to the gym all the time. You could do at-home workouts, do yoga beside your bed in the morning, go on hikes with friends, incorporate more fruits and veggies into your diet, or reduce the number of sugary drinks you consume. You have more freedom than you think when it comes to setting resolutions, so don’t make it monotonous – try to have fun with it!

    3. Write down your New Year’s resolution.

    Once you’ve decided on your goal, make it concrete! It is scientifically proven that you are more likely to achieve your goals when you write them down, so write your resolution in a journal or use your creativity by making a vision board. Whatever your choice, make sure you put it in a place where you can see it every day so you can be reminded of your commitment and receive the motivation you need to take action and follow through with your resolution.

    4. Check in with yourself regularly.

    If you write down your resolution and look at it every day, it should be pretty hard to forget about it, but things happen! Put daily or weekly reminders in your phone to ensure you remain accountable to what you committed. At the end of each month, self-reflect and record your progress to see if you’re already fulfilling your ambitions or are on track to meet your goal by year’s end. If you need to make any adjustments to what you’re doing, feel free to put those into place at this point.

    Feeling more prepared now? Good – because you’ve got this in the bag!! Wishing you all a Happy New 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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  • Jumpstarting Your Creativity in College

    by Zoe Pitts

    A college student sits at a student desk writing in a notebook. There are various student office supplies on the desk. The student is wearing noise-canceling headphones.

    As exciting as college may be, it’s no secret that some classes are notorious for pushing students past their creative limits. In my freshman year, I remember staying up until the single-digit hours, crouched over my desk in a fetal position, lit only by a dim Target light, wracking my brain for ideas that were due 45 minutes ago. Even after switching to a less artistic major, I still found myself wondering where all those bright ideas from my fresh-out-of-high school brain had gone.

    The truth is, sometimes high school doesn’t prepare us to exercise the creative freedoms and ideas that college expects, so we find ourselves under our Target lights stressed, bewildered, and idea-less. Luckily, over the past few semesters I’ve learned a few tips to jumpstarting those creative juices.

    1. Ignore everything you’ve been told and get on your phone.

    We all know that our main distractions come in the form of dinging notifications and seemingly an endless supply of flashy pictures, but the reality is, there is also a plethora of creative ideas behind our screens. Most of my best project ideas came from things I found looking through my phone. The trick is to know where to look so you don’t end up losing hours mindlessly scrolling. Pinterest and Brainsparker have fantastic visual prompts and the option to make curated boards specific to your project. Unstuck and Simplemind have word-based cues that combat creative blocks. Unconventional places work just as well: Look through Letterboxd or Goodreads to see what people are saying about media related to your topic. Even TikTok is occasionally helpful, if you have enough shame to heed those “you’ve been scrolling for too long!” ads. 

    2. Take your work outside. Honestly.

    I used to find “just go outside!” to be a cop-out when it comes to mental health and brain refreshers, but truth be told, leaving my dim, dark room from time-to-time is exactly what the brain doctor ordered. And I am not anti-dim, dark room – it’s just that sometimes you forget what the sky looks like and what air smells like outside of this space! You may not have a creative epiphany looking at trees, but simply getting distracted by a change of scenery will help you to think outside the box. You don’t literally have to touch grass, but you can at least look at it from a distance. 

    3. Make a list of topics you actually care about.

    Even though it might seem easier to pick a random, seemingly easy topic to write, read, draw etc. about, in the long run you will thank yourself for researching one of your genuine interests. I cannot count the number of times I’ve been grateful to me-from-the-past for picking an assignment topic that aligned with my interests and saved myself the pain of digging through library archives, hunting for an obscure source for something about which I didn’t care. Creative ideas follow naturally when you’re working on something you're enthusiastic about.

    4. When in doubt, put a twist on it.

    This is like the infamous improv rule: “yes, and”. Look into some completed work that is like your project and make it personal; even if the project isn’t necessarily aligned with your career goals, you can make it work for you. For instance, if you’re an accounting major writing a history paper on vintage movies, you know there are a ton of published research on old Hollywood but, consider looking into how film royalties have transformed over the years. Or if you’re a psychology major who also likes linguistics, you know there’s an abundance of studies on the brain, but what about how different languages affect behavior? Don’t be afraid to get specific– the more specific you are in your topic, the more time you save trying to cover multiple bases, the more confident you will be in your subject (especially if you also follow Tip #3!) – the list goes on. 

    5. Remember that you are not your grade.

    Believe it or not, straining yourself to perfect every tiny detail in your assignment will do the exact opposite for helping your creativity. Getting caught up over small things is kind of like tunnel vision – you miss the bigger picture and potentially creative ideas that truly would have made the project yours. If you are really concerned, I advise keeping extra credit in mind, but remember that the best creativity comes from treating yourself like a friend. Trying to force a revolutionary idea out of an overworked, overstressed mind is like trying to make cold brew out of a single coffee bean. Cut yourself some slack and be proud of what you have gotten done. As endearing as the Canvas confetti is, real life celebrations are even better.

    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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  • Everything Happens for a Reason

    by Tahmina Tisha

    Four college students standing arm-in-arm in a college building hallway.

    “Everything happens for a reason.” Oh, how many times have I heard this phrase after getting rejected by fifteen companies for an internship? It is a stressful feeling when you were the smartest kid in high school but suddenly when you transition to college you are no longer the smart one. You start competing with people that are on the same level as you and now you have imposter syndrome. Rejection is something I did not encounter until I started college. I did not quite understand this concept of ‘everything happens for a reason’ until something good finally came along.

    As a responsible college student, I felt heartbroken and insecure with each rejection on an internship application, especially since I felt I had tried my best, stayed active in school, and had a better than average academic performance. Was there something wrong with my accent, my style? Was I somehow not smart enough for these jobs? There are many times I wanted to give up and never try again for an internship, job, or even a leadership position. That is when I encountered mental health problems.

    It is not fun to be depressed and sad and stressed all the time. It affected my academic progress. I could not concentrate in school because I felt like it was pointless. However, there is always light at the end of the tunnel. Coming from a South Asian household, I have seen my immigrant parents who came to this unknown land, having the same feeling where they are lost and stressed. No idea where they might get their next meal. I used their hardship as my inspiration to never give up and to keep moving forward. I utilized three techniques to overcome my rejection by continuing to: move forward, keep trying, and networking.

    Moving forward

    When it comes to rejection, it is best to move forward because taking things personally will not help you move forward in life. You can be sad and depressed all day, but that won’t help you get the job that you desperately want. Yes, rejection may be the worst feeling, but opportunities are always within our reach. Learning to trust the process is the biggest confidence boost anyone can ever have.

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  • Stop Doubting Yourself

    by Nia LaCour

    A grouping of fall-colored marigolds in orange and yellow.

    Inferior. Insignificant. Lacking. All feelings that we know all too well. Almost everyone on earth has felt they are not good enough at one point. We have all doubted ourselves.

    Scoring Myself

    When I graduated #3 in my high school class, I believed the curriculum was too easy. When I got accepted into my university's Honors College, I thought the required ACT score was too low even though I scored a 28. And when I scored that 28, I convinced myself it was only because I scored well in one area and above a 30 was an acceptable score. And when I got accepted to all 12 colleges I applied to, I managed to convince myself that it was only because their acceptance rate was high. I was not being true to myself, and instead letting my own negative self-talk break me down.

    Breaking Free

    This endless cycle of being your own worst enemy is tiring and even damaging to your mental health. I had proved to myself time and time again that I was capable of breaking barriers and achieving remarkable goals, so it was time I started to believe in myself. The moment I decided to break free of this harmful thought process, it seemed as if countless doors of opportunities started to open.

    I started to receive internship offers. I was offered a spot on a huge research project in my university. Not only was I offered that spot, but I was the only freshman participating among upperclassmen and graduate students! I began to get more involved on campus, building those connections that we have all heard are so essential in college years! I felt renewed.

    Believe

    You are the only person holding yourself back. Once you break free of that mental prison and start to believe you can do anything, the sky is the limit. In fact, there are no limits! Stop doubting yourself! You are capable. You are worthy. You are you! You were made to do great things that only you can do. Go make the world better by being yourself.

    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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  • Writing is a Gift

    by Princess Robinson

    A graphic featuring the words ‘Writing is a Gift’ alongside a fountain pen. ‘Princess Anna’ appears on the second line.

    When hearing the word “write”, what comes to mind? Is it a five-to-twenty-page academic essay or dissertation that leads one to dread or procrastination? Beyond academic aspects, writing is the gift of communication that is good for the health, proves or documents that events took place or feelings existed, and creates art. Writing is inevitable, so as college students it is necessary to develop this skill for career and life success.

    Writing In Any Form Improves Mental Health

    As college students, it’s easy to become stressed about a work-life balance, maintaining relationships, acquiring internships and career opportunities, and managing financial circumstances. When used effectively, writing is a remedy to alleviate levels of depression and anxiety by lowering cortisol (a hormone released from stress that can suppress the immune system at consistently elevated levels). Writing can help to bring your dreams and vision into focus. A tip for effective writing for mental health includes documenting positive moments or events that take place in your life and refer back to them for encouragement when experiencing rough circumstances.

    Writing Clarifies Goals

    Writing down goals or life plans can help you maintain discipline and confirm your capability to achieve success. A useful way to set goals is to form a timeline ranging from one to seven years and specify the extent of a goal as short-term or long-term. For example, a student desiring to become a counselor could set the short-term goal of passing all university psychology exams and graduating. Longer-term goals would be to pass a certification exam and attain all hours required to become a licensed counselor. The important aspect of writing for improved mental health is that it serves as a confirmation that conquered challenges bring success, and hardships won’t always last.

    Communication is Key

    The phrase, “if it isn’t written down it doesn’t matter”, highlights the importance of communicating or documenting circumstances or events in the workplace, educational institutions, or any legal matter. In a college students’ perspective, it is important to communicate with your professors, especially when there is a lack of understanding. For example, a student attends a class with approximately 150 students, and the professor is teaching a complex subject that is difficult to comprehend. Putting pride aside by sending an email to the professor explaining where the misunderstanding is, asking for an explanation, and seeking resources for knowledge is the first step in learning to communicate for success.

    Another example of the importance of writing can be seen in legal scenarios. When a victim of the sequences of unethical or criminal acts writes down the accumulation of the events (specifying dates from start to finish), the process to attain justice from legal or managerial authority is made clear, understandable, and easier. Becoming competent in writing skills is important for college students, as it will aid in self-advocacy, career success, and communication for clarification and causation.

    Writing As a Coping Skill Has the Potential to Create Art

    A thirteen-year-old girl was faced with the inevitable and hospitalized for several weeks as she processed her new life. She wrote inspirational and optimistic songs that prophesized the brighter, prosperous, and impactful future that she had desired. Singing was a habit that she had adopted at an earlier age, so it complemented her ability to write. Those songs have allowed her to step out of her comfort zone by sharing and encouraging others to not give up during life’s hardships.

    You may have guessed that the young woman mentioned above is me. Though writing is inevitable, it is also one of our greatest gifts. The ability to communicate is a skill that constantly must be refined and sharpened throughout one’s whole life. Perhaps you have to write a memo at work, an essay, or even notes in class or in a meeting. Beyond work and school, writing can be an artistic outlet that is used to reduce stress. No matter the type of writing you are doing, it is a gift in all its forms if we recognize it as such.

    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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  • Enjoy College While Setting Yourself Up for a Successful Future

    by Lauren Blair

    A clock tower on the campus of Iowa State University.

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

    It's All About Perspective

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

    Learn Your Limits

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

    Keep Yourself Challenged

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

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

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

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  • Ten Ways to Make the Most of Your Day

    by Emma Karant

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

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

    1. Wake up early

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

    2. Start the day by making your bed

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

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

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

    4. Create a daily schedule

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

    5. Make a to-do list

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

    6. Go to work out classes

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

    7. Have self-care time

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

    8. Don’t overwork yourself all in one day

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

    9. Try a new healthy food

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

    10. Make time in your day for your social life

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

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

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

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  • Confidence: The most important thing for a college student

    by Joseph Titchen

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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  • 3 Tips to Having Good Conversations

    by Johnny Condit

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

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

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

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

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

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

    1. Take charge of a conversation

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

    2. Dig deeper into responses

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

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

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

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

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

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  • Planning the Next Step

    by Marissa Atilano

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

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

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

    Determine Your Goals

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

    Create A Schedule

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

    Don’t Do It Alone

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

    In conclusion, planning your next step takes time and resources, so it is beneficial to follow a strategy when taking on this challenge. Any student or graduate can use this strategy to advance themselves in reaching their desired goals, including you. Now that you have read this blog, you can feel confident in planning the future that you have ahead of you.

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

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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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  • How to Beat the Winter Blues

    by Calli Jansen

    blog image alt text

    Snow blanketing the backyard, curled up by the fireplace with a cup of hot chocolate and a good movie playing…this sounds like an ideal winter day. However, what about the days where it is -5 degrees and you’re trekking across campus to an exam with a case of never-ending sniffles? Cold weather and lack of sunlight can definitely take a toll on your body, both physically and mentally. Here are some ideas to beat those blues when winter seems to go on forever.

    Take care of your body

    The sniffles, constantly being so cold you can feel it in your bones, a cough that causes your whole body to shake, your nose being rubbed raw, and the perpetual tiredness in the winter months can really affect your body. In order to get out ahead of these things, there are multiple small things you can do to take care of your physical self. First, make sure you are getting enough fluids. In the winter, people do not sweat as much which leads them to think they do not need as much water. This is a giant misconception which can lead to dehydration and trap bad bacteria in your body. 

    Additionally, in order to fuel your body properly, make sure you are eating well. Fruits and vegetables are never on the top of a college student’s list, but they are particularly important in the winter, especially vitamin C packed foods like oranges. 

    And lastly, a major issue with college students is under-dressing for the weather. Forget about making a fashion statement and put on that puffy coat! Make sure you are wearing socks and a hat, too, as that is where you can lose the most heat. Continually being cold causes your body to work harder on keeping you warm, detracting from its efforts to fight off harmful bacteria lingering in your classrooms. Get a cuddly blanket to snuggle up on the couch with during late night study sessions and drink warm liquids or take a hot shower to help fight off those lingering chills. 

    Take care of your mind

    The cold weather, lack of sunshine, and the extra stress that come with winter finals are a recipe for winter blues. No one wants to get out of bed when their alarm goes off at 7 a.m., especially when their room is freezing. This is a recipe for disaster as many will choose to roll back over and sleep through their morning classes. Others will get up, be grumpy and drag themselves to class, but not as their most attentive selves. 

    No one wants to go outside in cold weather so you have to mentally prepare to go the extra mile to stay warm in the winter. Most college housing has windows older than our parents which let a lot of cold air seep into a room. A good trick to keep your bedroom a little warmer is to hang up a throw blanket in front of the window to help trap some of the cold air and make getting out of bed in the morning just a little bit easier. 

    Additionally, with the cold weather comes the sun setting at 4 p.m. and it still being dark when you wake up in the morning. It makes you want to be in bed at all hours. In order to beat the continual darkness, invest in lights that produce artificial sunlight to put extra pep in your step.

    Finally, keep yourself mentally motivated to work on assignments and study for exams by scheduling study breaks. Getting up and moving around will not only refresh your brain, but also help warm up your body. And remember to reward your hard work with that cup of hot chocolate and movie by the fire!

    Overall, the winter is a tough time for many between illnesses and a lack of motivation that occurs. But taking a few simple steps like the ones here will help it be more manageable for most.

     

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