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Best Practices to Transition to a Home Office

May 12, 2020

Welcome to the world of nearly universal remote work. Just a few weeks ago, COVID-19 turned the business world completely upside down in a matter of weeks, scattering workers from their offices, cubicles and conference rooms in brick-and-mortar office buildings to using their kitchen tables and ottomans as makeshift desks. Gone, at least for now, are the days of collaborating through in-person meetings and gossiping at the watercooler. Transitioning to your new work environment may be a little jarring at first, but here are a few tips to help you stay motivated and productive:

Establish a Routine for Yourself and Stick with It

Whether we know it or not, we all crave some sort of routine to keep ourselves focused on accomplishing our goals. This is not to say that idle hands immediately become the devil’s plaything, but setting out a loose routine for yourself will help you make the most efficient use of your time. It worked for you as you established a routine going to the office, and it will behoove you to do the same for your home office. 

Resist the urge to sleep in too much, roll out of bed and start working right then and there. Get up at a reasonable hour, eat a nutritious breakfast, maybe try to get in a little exercise, clean yourself up and then begin your workday. Getting yourself into a routine and holding yourself accountable for sticking with it will help you stay productive and engaged.

Set Aside a Dedicated Workspace to Use As a Home Office

For many people, working from home will blur the lines between work and non-work activities. After all, work used to happen primarily–if not entirely–at a workplace outside of and completely separate from everyone’s houses. Now, you can start and stop working practically whenever you want. Suddenly, the physical delineations between your workplace and your home have disappeared. To help yourself adjust, set aside a specific area of your living space for work and use that area as your home office. If you work only in this space, you can still maintain some semblance of physical separation from your job while you work from home.

Make an Effort to Keep in Contact with the Other Members of Your Team

Collaborating on group projects and keeping morale high is undeniably more difficult when you and the other members of your team cannot interact in person. There are still plenty of other ways to stay in contact with them, though. Try setting up occasional video meetings and holding group chats on your organization’s internal instant messaging system. If all else fails, start an informal team email chain. However you need to do it, find a way to communicate with and stay connected to the rest of your team or department. 

Take Regular Breaks from Working If You Need Them

It is easy to lose track of time when you do not have the rhythms typically associated with a standard workday to guide you unconsciously from start to finish. Before you know it, you may have spent several hours sitting in one place trying to complete a task. Try to give yourself regular breaks from working so you can go to a different area of your living space and relax your mind for a few moments. You will go back to your workspace feeling refreshed and ready to tackle whatever comes next. 

A Combination of Exercise and Relaxation

Not leaving your living space for work means you will probably get far less incidental exercise–like, for example, walking from your desk to conference rooms or other common spaces and back, walking up and down stairs in your building or walking to a restaurant to go to lunch with your team–than you did during the average pre-COVID-19 workday. 

It is important to remain healthy and maintain your good habits while you work from home, so make an effort to incorporate exercise, a healthy diet and plenty of water into your routine. Maybe it’s something simple like a 20 minute walk during your lunch break. But it’s advantageous to maximize your movements and get as much vitamin D as you can. 

We also recommend relaxation techniques if you’re feeling any combination of anxiety from changes in work, to financial worries. Breathing techniques can help alleviate stress and calm your heart rate. 

Know When to Call It Quits for the Day

Compartmentalization is one of the keys to a healthy work-life balance, and that is particularly true when you are working exclusively from home. Unless you have a looming, immovable deadline to meet, you should stop working at or around a set time every day. Remember that this is a marathon, not a sprint. Your work will still be there in the morning, so be sure to take time for yourself.

Things are strange right now and time has only proven that we have no idea when things are going to shift again. Use these tips for adjusting to the new normal that is in this moment. With a good headspace, workspace, and taking the time you need to distinguish the two, you’re sure to adjust the best way possible.

Career Uncategorized

5 Ways to Avoid the Post-Grad Slump

April 17, 2020

College graduation is quickly approaching, and while it’s a time of celebration and achievement, it can also be the pivotal moment right before post-graduate depression kicks in. Graduating college is a huge transitional period for young adults as they start to work tirelessly to enter the “real world.” Stay ahead of the post-grad slump with these 5 tips: 

1. Make a Timeline

A visible timeline is key to keeping yourself busy and on track while securing your first post-grad role. Setting soft deadlines for yourself allows you to keep your efforts organized and meaningful. For example, if you graduate in May, you may want to set the goal of having 20 applications submitted by the second week of June. Utilize resources for finding a job to determine if your goals are realistic and achievable. 

2. Look good, feel good 

It goes without saying that when you look your best, you feel your best. Take time to care for your appearance right after college, whether that means getting a fresh haircut or treating hair loss, so you enter the adult world feeling the most confident. You should also create a consistent skincare routine to follow every night to keep yourself pampered and feeling excited to show your face. Exercise is a key ingredient to feeling good. The Department of Health and Human Services recommends that everyone engages in at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day to ward off stress and boost their mood. So, get out there and find your favorite way to stay fit! These small adjustments should help you feel good and ready to impress.

3. Keep a positive mindset 

Make sure you’re taking care of your mental health during this stressful period of your life. This could mean spending time with your family and friends to get some daily laughter in, or meditating in the morning to start the day with an open mind and heart. Therapy is another great option for staying on top of your mental health. Whatever it may be, know that it’s okay to take a deep breath and just trust that you will find the right opportunity to use your degree.  

4. Enhance your skillset 

During your downtime between graduating college and finding a job, why not pick up some new skills? There’s plenty of online classes and certifications available to learn something beneficial, like Excel or graphic design. Continuing to learn after college is not only good for your brain but is also a way for you to stay motivated and dedicated to bettering yourself, which will make you feel accomplished. 

5. Reward yourself 

Motivating yourself with rewards is a wonderful method for staying on track and holding yourself accountable. When you achieve a milestone in the post-graduate process, make sure to celebrate, even if it’s small. If you have something to look forward to then you’ll be less likely to find yourself in a funk.  

With the help of these tips, recent grads will be able to dodge entering a post-grad depression. Start these practices as soon as you can in order to maximize productivity, feel good, and start your first career with a positive mindset!

Career Uncategorized

4 Modern HR Tools Recruiters Are Using That Every Applicant Should Know About

April 10, 2020

As you begin your career search, preparing your resume, preparing for interviews, and choosing your professional attire will likely be the most important things on your mind. However, with new technology emerging in the human resources industry, a new set of requirements and preparations could arise for job applicants. Being prepared for what these changes may mean for you could help you land the job you want.

Here are five of the modern HR tools that recruiters are using nowadays that every applicant should know: 

Social Media

Social media is becoming a popular means of recruitment for companies of all sizes. There are a variety of ways in which a recruiter can benefit from using social media, such as:

  • Advertising open positions
  • Sourcing candidates
  • Highlighting company culture
  • Screening candidates 

You must use caution when posting online. Not only are companies looking to see what you are talking about or what you may be like, but they are often looking for any red flags that may stick out on your social profiles. A company could end up deciding not to hire a candidate solely based on something they found online

Talent Management Software

When considering the large number of applications that employers usually receive for any given position, they need to have a central processing system that can handle large sets of data. 

By using talent management software to process candidates appropriately, candidates are kept up to date with any hiring decisions as they’re made. This software also provides applicants with an easily accessible hub for gathering information and completing files in the hiring process. Once an applicant is hired, this software can be used for the entirety of the onboarding process and even throughout their tenure at the company. 

Resume Screening Tools

A resume screening tool automatically processes your resume to see if it is a potential match for the job description based on keywords the employer has chosen to screen for. Applicants with the best matches are then put into a smaller pool to be reviewed by the recruiter. Resumes that do not match the criteria, whether they are a fit or not, usually do not receive a second look. 

For employers, this can help limit the often-large selection of applications they receive, but for qualified candidates, it could cause them to miss out on seemingly perfect opportunities. Because of this, it’s important to tailor your resume for each position

Automated Background and Reference Checks

As automation technology continues to advance, more companies are finding ways to use it to increase efficiency across their business. In recruitment, this can be especially beneficial for running background checks and contacting references.  

Businesses can use this technology to automatically scan any registered databases and verified systems to see if your name appears alongside anything worrisome, such as criminal records or false social security numbers. 

For your references, automation ensures a smooth communicative process so the business can send them pre-populated questions they can answer and send back quickly. This can help prevent candidates from being held up in this portion of the hiring process. 

Video Conferencing for Interviews

In the modern world, work situations are becoming unique to each employee. With the introduction of video conferencing tools for interviewing purposes, more applicants can apply to positions of interest to them, no matter their location. 

This can be extremely beneficial for you as an applicant if you live in a different location than the position you are applying for and are looking to relocate or work remotely.

Because technology in recruiting has increased significantly over time, you must consider how prospective employers will view your application and interview. Enlist the help of professionals to ensure your application has the potential to stand out at the top of any employer’s list.

Career Uncategorized

3 Tips to Help New Students Decide Their Major

March 16, 2020

You’ve just arrived at college. Between the endless activities, free time and paths to choose for yourself, you are immediately bombarded with a plethora of choices to make. How do your study habits change? How do you make sure you get along with your roommate? How will you make friends? However, the most important one is a choice that centers on your education: your major. There can be a ton of pressure when choosing a major from friends and family, not to mention your own dreams of what field you’d like to work in after graduation. Here are three tips for helping new students decide their major. 

Consider Your Skills

When choosing a major, it’s easy to default right away to what you think will end up making you the most money. Everyone has occasional dreams of financial grandeur, and tying that into your decision of what to major in seems like a reasonable choice. However, make sure that when picking your major, you consider where your main skills and interests are. If you don’t have the passion for accounting but are a magnificent writer, think about how perfecting your writing to an elite level via an English major could pay off for you in the long run, versus merely being an average accountant. Sometimes, the “smart” choice in choosing a major isn’t necessarily the one that traditionally would earn you the most money. It’s the one where you can excel and perform at a high level. 

Think About After Graduation

When choosing a major, you’ll obviously want to keep what exactly it is that you want to do after graduation in the front of your mind. If you want to go right into the business world, a major that gives you a solid business background would be preferred. If you’re thinking about taking a gap year and then going to graduate school, a major that you think would help you perform well in your post-secondary education would be a smart move. While you certainly don’t have to be sure of what you want to do after graduation, you can think about a general field you wouldn’t mind having a job in and see if your education can inspire greater interest in the topic. 

Don’t Rush It

When you arrive at school, it may seem like you have to decide on a major as quickly as possible so you can start classes and tell friends and family about the direction you have. But don’t make the mistake of declaring a major just for the sake of declaring a major. Take your time to work through the different possibilities of what you could specialize in your head before making the decision. The last thing you want is to regret rushing to declare a major in a year when you’re in the thick of classes and it’s too late to switch. Think through what you really want out of your college experience, and then use that to guide your choice.

Choosing a college major is a high-pressure situation. However, if you consider what your skills are, think about what you want to do after graduation and don’t rush into making the choice, you can be sure that you’re making a choice that you can be confident in. Once you pick your major, you’ll be free to dive into your studies and enjoy all that the college experience has to offer.

Career Uncategorized

Tips for Students Looking for Jobs

February 21, 2020

Looking for a job as a student can be a challenge since you’ll need to balance your job-hunting time with your focus on your schoolwork. Plus, if you’re about to graduate, you might not have the real-world work experience that many positions require. By adjusting your job hunting and application approach, you can increase your chances of quickly getting a job that you’ll enjoy. 

Be Flexible in Your Requirements

You might have an idea of your dream job in your head, but if you’re graduating or just need to bring in money, you might need to put that dream job on hold for a bit. If you don’t yet have any professional work experience, it can be hard to get a position when you’re competing against applicants with relevant experience and training. 

Instead, be flexible about the positions that you’re looking for, and look for jobs that don’t require you to have experience. These types of positions may include working in a coffee shop, in a retail store, for a landscaping company, or at a movie theater. Remember, you won’t have to stay in these positions forever, and they can serve as stepping stones, giving you the experience and skills that will help you to later get those more competitive jobs that require experience.

Use All of Your Resources

When finding a job as an early college graduate, it’s important to make the most of the job search resources available to you. In addition to using the job search boards, like Indeed, that everyone has access to, you have access to a very valuable resource: Your college’s career services department. This department may be able to help you find job opportunities that aren’t widely advertised to the general public, cutting out some of the competition. 

Most career services also offer many other valuable services. You may be able to have your resume and cover letter reviewed and edited, and the department might hold workshops to teach you valuable career skills, like how to prepare for your first professional job interview. Many career services offices also allow alumni to come back for future support, so even if you’ve already graduated, look into how this important resource might help you.  

Make Yourself Stand Out

When you apply for a job, you’ll probably be competing against many applicants, so you’ll need to find ways to make yourself stand out. For instance, there are many ways to get noticed on LinkedIn, such as by writing a summary that’s focused on what employers want to hear, and by incorporating keywords into your profile so that search engines (and recruiters) can find you. 

Don’t forget to incorporate these strategies into your cover letter and resume, too, since many employers now use technology to scan applications and identify those that include keywords indicating appropriate experience for the position. This strategy might make the difference in having a hiring manager look at your application, versus it ending up in the trash. 

Consider Starting a Business

If you’re graduating and looking for a way to financially support yourself, a job doesn’t have to be your only option. If you’re talented, ambitious, and driven to succeed, then you may be able to start your own business and work for yourself. 

Before you start a business, carefully think about what you enjoy doing and how you’re talented, then look for ways to monetize those talents. Be prepared to work hard and invest in your business, but remember that if you can build it into something successful, you won’t have to worry about applying for jobs. 

Even if your business fails, you’ll have learned valuable lessons and gained experience that can help you if you do decide to apply for jobs in the future.

There are so many opportunities when it comes to job searching. As long as you keep these tips in mind, you will be employed in no time! Happy Hunting!

BIO: Dan Matthews is a writer with a degree in English from Boise State University. He has extensive experience writing online at the intersection of business, finance, marketing, and culture.

Career Uncategorized

The World is My Classroom: Strategies for Online Learning Success

February 11, 2020

Learning never ends. It may be an old saying, but it’s one that’s taking on new resonance in today’s technological age. We now have more information at our fingertips than ever before in human history. Whether you are 20, 40, 60, or older, if you want to keep up and remain professionally relevant and cognitively sharp, you have to continually refine your existing skills and work to develop new ones.

That may sound intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. The great news is that today’s technology makes it easier than ever to advance your education or pursue new professional certifications no matter where you are or how busy you may be. There are online courses and academic programs, for example, at most every level, from basic skills to Ph.D. and Ed.D.

However, before you decide to enroll in an online course, it’s important to remember that e-learning is every bit as rigorous as a traditional, on-campus study. In fact, the time commitment may be even greater because you don’t have the benefit of attending a physical class to prove your participation. If you’re self-motivated and ready to commit, though, online courses can be the ideal solution, especially for busy working adults with families. However, to thrive in online courses, you need a bit of strategy.

Make It Work

If you’re considering taking online courses, there are a few study habits you need to embrace to get the most out of your learning experience and save yourself a lot of stress. Here are some highlights:

  • Get your tech in order: There is nothing worse than enrolling in an online course, only to find you don’t have the kind of equipment you need to use all functions of the online course effectively. While many online learning management systems (LMS) will enable you to access all course features from a cell phone or tablet, that’s not always the case, so make sure that your tech is compatible with your online course.
  • Check your access: You can’t very well be successful in an online course if you don’t have reliable internet access, so make sure you always have a Plan B, such as access to a local Wi-Fi hot spot should your internet go out. Many libraries, coffee shops, and fast-food restaurants provide free Wi-Fi but are careful about the security of the network. Have a reliable and efficient way to send and receive documents and other files without losing the formatting you need. Various kinds of PDF converters are available online to make sharing well-formatted documents a breeze.
  • Study every day: When you are taking an online course, it can be easy to put off until tomorrow what you need to be doing today. After all, you don’t have regular class meetings and your teacher’s appraising stare to keep you on schedule. In an online course, though, the work can mount up very, very quickly. To manage an online class without becoming overwhelmed, it’s better to study a bit every day than to try to cram it all in a once or twice week panicked study session.
  • Do NOT isolate: One of the most dispiriting and detrimental things an online student can do is isolate. It can be easy to feel lonely when you are taking online courses but remember you are NOT alone. There is an entire classroom full of students on the other side of the computer screen, not to mention your professor and advisors. Reach out to them early and often. That is why they’re there!

Learning should always be constant and consistent. So whether you are wanting to get a new degree, or simply trying to learn a new language through an online course; as long as you follow these tips from GradGuard, you will definitely be set up for success.

Career Uncategorized

A Happy New Year: GradGuard Gives Back

January 17, 2020

Giving back to the community and supporting foundations that help make the world a better place is something we are all passionate about here at GradGuard. 

This holiday season we decided to give back by choosing four charities that our team at GradGuard actively supports. We invited our partners to participate by having them choose amongst the four charities and their vote would define the donation amount. We had a lot of fun and are excited to share the success with you!

Below are the charities we chose and why they mean so much to our team. All of these charities are ones that our team strongly supports and believes in. 

4Ocean Charity – 33% donated. This company is committed to cleaning the ocean and its coastlines by working to stop the inflow of plastic by changing consumption habits. GradGuard and more specifically some of our team members, namely Susan and Chanda, are passionate about the health and future of the ocean and our planet. 

Global Sports Foundation Athletics 6% donated. This charity supports children to connect with each other and learn to battle adversity. We recognize the valuable lessons that are learned on a playing field and don’t want any child to miss the opportunity due to a lack of proper equipment. The Global Sports Foundation Launches missions around the world to bring gently used equipment to children in need and get them back in the game! One of our newest members of our GradGuard team, Kaylyn, was an NCAA Division 1 Student-Athlete and this cause is very close to her heart. 

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals (ASPCA) 14% donated. GradGuard protects college lives and as a company, we believe animals lives should be protected as well. The ASPCA is the national leader in animal rescue, protection, and placement – we believe they make life-changing differences for animals across America. At GradGuard, our Team Members have a special place in our hearts for our rescued furry family members making this cause special to our company. 

“I Have A Dream” Foundation (IHDF) 47% donated. This charity works to ensure that all children have the opportunity to pursue higher education, fulfill their potential, and achieve their dreams. They empower children, (“Dreamers”), in under-resourced communities to graduate from college by equipping them with the skills and knowledge to succeed in post-secondary school, along with tuition support to remove financial barriers. GradGuard’s mission of helping students reach their aspirations of achieving higher education is perfectly aligned with IHDF. Our team here at GradGuard has a passion to promote student success and we’re happy to support this great cause!

We are excited for what the new year will bring and our future philanthropic contributions! 

Career Uncategorized

Higher Ed Podcasts

January 17, 2020

There is so much to be aware of and prepare for your higher education in today’s society. From applying to scholarships to making sure you have coverage for your laptop and textbooks, it’s good to keep it all organized. We’ve curated a list of podcasts to help guide you through your higher education journey. Whether you are an incoming freshman or looking into master programs these provide some great tips for higher education!

The College Info Geek Podcast: Study Tips & Advice for Students: For College Students

Learn how to be a more effective student, even while you’re doing your laundry. The College Info Geek Podcast features in-depth, actionable advice for boosting your productivity, earning better grades, paying off your student loans, and more.

Getting In: For Incoming College Students

For millions of American teenagers and their parents, adolescence is increasingly defined by one all-consuming goal: Getting into the right college.

“Getting In” is a real-time podcast following a diverse group of New York-area high school seniors through the exhilarating and harrowing process of applying to college. The series is hosted by Julie Lythcott-Haims, the former Dean of Freshmen at Stanford University and author of “How to Raise an Adult.”

Admissions Straight Talk: For Grad School Admissions

Admissions Straight Talk is a weekly discussion of what’s new, thought-provoking, and useful in the world of graduate admissions. Linda Abraham, leading admissions consultant and author, covers the application process for MBA, law school, medical school, and other graduate programs.

Higher Ed Live: Higher Education in General

Higher Ed Live offers viewers direct access to the best and brightest minds in education and allows viewers to share knowledge and participate in discussions around the most important issues in the industry. Higher Ed Live provides live, weekly content about admissions, advancement, marketing, student affairs, and communications to higher education professionals. Episodes feature knowledgeable hosts conducting exclusive interviews with professionals from institutions; journalists; consultants; and other leaders.

Higher ed: Higher Education in General

In their lively and entertaining weekly discussion of issues related to higher education, KUT’s Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger explore the topics of higher education, lifelong learning, and exercising the brain. Ed and Jennifer practice what they preach, too, by introducing math puzzlers and brain teasers to keep listeners on their toes.

The Academic Minute: Higher Education Worldwide News

The Academic Minute is a two-and-a-half-minute daily module that features researchers from colleges and universities around the world, keeping listeners abreast of what’s new and exciting in the academy.  A different professor is featured each day and you’ll enjoy updates on groundbreaking research and how it helps us better understand the world around us.

The higher ed world can be a little intimidating, but it’s just as exciting! With these podcasts, you can get ready for that next stage in your life or further your knowledge as a higher ed professional.

Career Uncategorized

Choosing a Profession After College

November 21, 2019

Despite the fact that you envisioned graduating from college and immediately finding the perfect career to bring you financial and personal success, perhaps the search for the job of your dreams isn’t going as well as you’d hoped. Rather than get discouraged, try a few strategies to uncover what your major makes you suitable for, what will challenge you and what might truly make you happy.

Conduct Interviews

Although you may have expected to be the one answering questions on job interviews after college, conduct some research yourself before choosing a profession to pursue. Consider various ways to network to hear about different opportunities and meet the actual employees who perform those duties. Ask if you can shadow staff members on the job or at least take the time to inquire about their tasks on a typical day, what the company culture is like, who they report to, what the biggest challenges and rewards are and if there are many opportunities for advancement, for example. The answers to your questions may be the tipping point on whether you’d care to follow up or not.

Follow a Passion

If you have an interest that you love researching or a hobby that you love participating in, consider ways you might be able to turn it into a career. If you don’t feel that you’d be able to find a financially-viable position in a field that you’d love, talk to a counselor from your school to see if there are any related jobs you may have overlooked. If you like decorating your home, for instance, you might enjoy working as a set decorator, retail store manager or a design coordinator. An interest in criminal justice, for example, might lead to court reporting Seattle, forensic science or background screening.

Experiment

When you’re unsure about committing to a career or obtaining the additional education to qualify you for a new job, consider the different types of apprenticeships that will enable you to work in an industry to see how much you enjoy it. In addition to gauging your interest level, the training will give you the added benefits of earning a salary, providing work experience, pairing you with a mentor and developing your skills should you decide to go into that field.

Take a Gap Year

Despite the fact that a “gap year” typically refers to taking time off between high school and college, you can also use the break after graduation to clear your head. Pass the time wisely by traveling, trying out a variety of part-time jobs, volunteering for various organizations or spending time with friends and family who work in different industries to give you some possible job ideas for the future. The time off may help you feel refreshed and instill you with a new sense of purpose and direction.

Don’t be alarmed if you’ve graduated from college and still don’t know what you want to be when you grow up. Take the months after graduation to continue growing into the person you want to become and discover the career to bring you fulfillment and contentment.

BIO: Brett Clawson has a degree in Business Management and has started a couple of small businesses. When he’s not focusing his time on those, he spends time with his wife and two sons. His oldest son has entered the wonderful realm of college, and he now enjoys sharing tips that he and his son have found essential for college life.

Career Uncategorized

3 Ways to Stay Curious and Inspired at College

November 14, 2019

Let’s face it—college is a grind. You’re going to class for hours each day, homework assignments are multiplying, and you might even have a job on top of that. There’s no doubt that you’re exhausted, and you may start to feel a little uninspired and unmotivated. But you don’t always have to feel that way—here are a few ways to spark curiosity and inspiration while you’re at college.

Learn about what interests you outside of class

You’ve been in class all day, you’ve done your homework, and the last thing on your mind is learning about something else. But you don’t need to learn about anything directly related to your classes. You can learn about the things that interest you and may provide inspiration.

There are plenty of educational resources available, like online magazines, podcasts, YouTube videos, and streaming services, that offer content like interesting articles, documentaries, and factual stories. According to a survey by MagellanTV, 57% of millennials felt inspired by a documentary they watched. You, too, can feel inspired by learning about something you love.

Make time for hobbies

It makes sense to push your hobbies to the side and do them when you have “free time.” But that free time is scarce in college, and you may find that you don’t do any of your hobbies at all. If you don’t make your hobbies a priority, you may become increasingly frustrated that you aren’t able to spend time on them, or you may lose interest in them over time. Furthermore, a study done by the Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology found that those who participate in creative activities have higher overall performance in work.

It’s important that you make time for your hobbies and the things that excite you. Even if you only set aside an hour or two each week, this can help you de-stress, stay motivated, and perform better in classes. Hobbies help you foster creativity and curiosity, whether you realize it or not.

Take a break

Like hobbies, it’s easy to say you’ll take a break later—once you’ve finished your homework, taken a test, or the semester is over. But we all know how that ends in college. There’s always something else you can work on, like another test, another homework assignment, or another semester. If you don’t take a break, you may get burned out and lose all motivation.

Get away from the campus or your apartment. Schedule a weekend away, take a day trip, or just spend a couple of hours doing something fun. Breaks can even lead to increased productivity, so you’ll be doing yourself a big favor. Take a one-night camping trip, explore a nearby city, or take a drive along a coastline or into the mountains and enjoy nature. Just get out there where you can be inspired by new experiences.

You’re responsible for keeping yourself motivated, curious, and inspired in college, so take charge! Try one or all of the things mentioned above to renew your excitement while you’re in college. Although college is always a grind, you’ll find that you can still be inspired to enjoy life while being successful in school.