Browsing Tag

college student success

Health Student Life

Avoiding Burnout: 11 Tips for College Students & Young Professionals

August 1, 2021

It’s easy to dismiss the possibility of burnout. When you’re young and firing on all cylinders, you feel like you can conquer the world. But burnout isn’t something that happens all at once. It creeps up on you and, before you know it, those cylinders are getting stuck.

Here are a few tips to help college students and young professionals keep that from happening.

Maintain Yourself & Your Stuff

Prioritize your health to keep yourself in shape for the long haul. Remember, this isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon. And like any good marathon runner, you have to prepare ahead of time.

  • Set a regular sleep schedule
    • Go to sleep and wake up at roughly the same time every day. 
    • Avoid drinking caffeinated beverages or alcohol in the evening. 
    • Stay off electronics a couple of hours before bedtime.
  • Eat right. Carbs and sugar can give you short-term energy, but they can also cause you to crash. Mom was right: Eat your veggies.
  • Exercise. Shoot for 30 minutes a day, and it doesn’t have to be strenuous. A brisk walk, stretching, or a bike ride all work great.
  • Take care of your equipment. Just like your body and mind, it’s important to keep your most necessary tools in good condition. 
    • From your car to your computer to your clothes, cleaning your items regularly and according to instructions helps them last longer. 
    • Invest in protective cases for your electronics. 
    • Keep up with your car’s scheduled maintenance.
    • Assemble an emergency car kit, and keep it handy in case you need it.

Pace Yourself

  • Take breaks. The temptation to “power through” is real, but you’ll actually get your work done sooner if you take breaks periodically. Your brain can only focus for a limited time, and your body can only sit in one position for so long without getting antsy, achy, or both.
  • Set milestones. Don’t try to tackle everything at once. Mini-deadlines, or milestones, can help you feel like you’re making progress on your way to your ultimate goal.
  • Reward yourself. If you’ve accomplished a task, do something fun to reward yourself. It doesn’t have to be expensive — if you’re a student or just getting started professionally, you’re probably on a tight budget. Listen to some of your favorite music or watch an episode of your favorite show. Or get out of the house and go for a bike ride.

Set Boundaries

  • Focus on one thing at a time. Multitasking seems natural, but did you know it’s actually impossible to think about more than one thing at once? It can also be exhausting. Set priorities and focus on one thing at a time.
  • Make a schedule. If you’re working and going to school at the same time, it’s easy to let one interfere with the other. Plus, you’ll always have other interests competing for your time. Maximize your efficiency by making a schedule and sticking to it.
  • Avoid distractions. Once you’ve made a schedule, take steps to block out distractions so you can get things done:
    • Set up a home office and put a do-not-disturb sign on the door.
    • Let family and roommates know when you’ll be working and that you’ll be out of touch during that time.
    • Get a set of noise-canceling headphones.
  • Do something completely different. On your own time, recharge by doing something completely different than what you do at work or school. Learn something new, and switch things up.

Work and school are important, but your physical and mental health is important, too. Remember that, and you’ll be on your way to an even brighter future.

BIO: Jessica Larson, SolopreneurJournal.com

Adulting Student Life

Overcoming the Challenges of Parenting While In College

July 28, 2021

While our kids are everything to us, it doesn’t mean that the world completely stops when our family grows. Parents still have hobbies, work, and some are eager to continue their education. If you are attempting to fit in schooling along with your busy family life, then you know all too well the struggles that can arise.

From finding the funds to pay for your education to finding the time to study, there is a lot to juggle, but it isn’t impossible. To help you out, we have compiled common challenges and how parents can overcome them.

Lack of Time

Poor time management can sink your educational career, and the fear of not having time to spare can stop some prospective students from even trying. Just remember that you don’t have to go to a full-scale university to get the schooling you desire.

Online programs are gaining major steam, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only can you learn everything that you would at a brick-and-mortar institution, but you can do so in your own home, on your schedule, and you get the chance to network with students around the world. Before you commit to a school, complete some research and find those that are flexible to your parenting needs and have the exact programs you are looking for.

You will really want to work on your time management during this period, as you never know what else life will throw at you. As adults, you may be faced with family and travel emergencies, or you may be selling your home for the first time, which requires some extra prep. All of these events can take time and be stressful, so you want to be ready. Cut yourself some slack and remember that you are only human.

Lack of Funds

Another challenge is learning how you can afford the cost of schooling while also raising a family. Just remember that when there is a will, there is a way, and although money may be tight, there is always something you can put to the wayside.

The best way to gauge how much money you have to spend on parenting and schooling is to create a budget. Take the time to notate all of your incoming funds and then think about every bill and recurring event that you pay for each month and determine what you can eliminate. Do you need to buy coffee and lunch every day, or can you make both at home and save money? What about all of those cable channels? Can you get rid of anything that you watch less often?

Also, remember that schooling is very important for the betterment of you as a person and the life you provide for your children, so don’t be afraid to ask for help. Ask the school of your choice if they have grants for parents. You can also apply for government grants and look to local charitable organizations.

What to Do With the Kids

The other challenge is figuring out what to do with the children while at school or completing school work. You need to find a happy medium between giving school the focus it requires while also providing proper care for your family.

One option is to put your kids in daycare, preschool, or even a camp during the weekdays to keep them occupied. Now that pandemic restrictions are being lifted, there is a chance for kids to get together again and learn new things themselves while you are in class. Just remember to create a smooth transition for your kids by practicing your leaving routine of putting on shoes, gathering backpacks, and saying goodbyes.

When it comes to studying, you may have to get creative. One option is to create a designated study time when you and your kids can do your homework at the table all at once. You should also prioritize your assignments by doing the largest projects during the family study time and sneaking in smaller work when you get the time between your parenting duties.

No one said that parenting and going to school is easy, but it is possible. Follow the steps above and you can have a promising educational career while raising a family.

BIO: Sam Bowman has a passion for learning. As a seasoned professional writer, he specializes in topics about people, education, tech and how they merge. In his spare time he likes running, reading, and combining the two in a run to his local bookstore.

Health Student Life

How College Students Can Utilize Telehealth in Post-Pandemic Life

July 22, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic was a terrible experience that most of us hope to never go through ever again. But while it was scary and sad for many, it also brought a few positive things to light, and the mainstream adoption of telehealth was one of them. This awesome technology offers many great benefits to those who use it, and in the college world, it can be a lifesaver.

Let’s talk a bit about telehealth, why college students should take advantage, and a few considerations to keep in mind along the way.

What is Telehealth?

In a nutshell, telehealth is a method of getting medical attention through your computer, tablet, or mobile phone. Due to its popularity, people can talk to just about any type of medical professional, from doctors to psychiatrists, for at least an initial assessment. From there, you will be advised if you need to go to an in-person consultation.

On top of speaking with a doctor, telehealth platforms also allow you to exchange information, including upcoming appointments and test results. All of this avoids extra visits to physical medical practices and emergency rooms so those who need the most help can get service without delay.

Perhaps one of the greatest benefits of telehealth is that it allows those in rural areas without a hospital nearby to get the same care that those in cities can access. This is a great benefit for college students as universities are spread all over the nation, with some more secluded than others.

Great for College Students

Beyond having almost instant access to medical care regardless of where you go to school, there are many other perks of telehealth for college students. For starters, even if you don’t have a computer, you can also chat with a doctor face to face on mobile devices, and you may even be able to do it from the school library. Even better, when you can skip the waiting room and go straight to the doctor, you may be able to fit in a session between classes.

When you are in college, it is all about the budget, and unfortunately, even watching one’s health is subject to how much cash is at hand. Luckily, as opposed to doctor’s visits that can cost several hundred dollars, a telehealth visit is often less than $20.

Telehealth is also exceptionally easy to use and takes a lot less time than the effort required to schedule a doctor’s appointment, drive to the office, sit in waiting rooms and make your way home. This is why many people avoid going to the doctor. However, you must get help if you have concerns, and this ease of use should make those in college more willing to reach out for care.

Considerations

While telehealth is an incredible innovation, there are some considerations to take into account when using the service. For instance, you can only accomplish so much over video, and if you have a more significant medical issue, you will still likely need to see a doctor in person which will take time and money.

College students also spend a lot of time looking at screens for classes and homework, and telehealth is just another screen. The issue there is that prolonged screen exposure without adequate breaks can lead to blurred vision and nearsightedness, so protect your eyes by taking breaks every 20 minutes to stare at a spot 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.

Finally, just like any online activity, what you do with telehealth is subject to theft by cybercriminals, so never share your telehealth password and make sure to always use a secure connection in a library or your dorm room.

For many college students, telehealth is a godsend. Use this resource whenever you feel ill and get the attention you deserve.

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.

Student Life

Helpful Tips for Completing School Online

May 3, 2021

Completing school online is a choice you might make in order to free up time, cut down on a commute, or even save money. No matter what your reasons are for taking classes online, it’s important to manage school in a way that is efficient. 

Identify Academic Goals

First, figure out what your academic goals are, and what you would like to achieve. Maybe you need a certain letter grade in order to pass a class or something similar. Figure out what you hope to achieve before the semester is over, and create steps that are manageable and can help get you where you need to go. You can even break down certain steps that you’ll need to accomplish into smaller ones, which can make the process of reaching these academic goals easier for you overall. 

Create a Study Space

It’s important to have a study space to give you a place where you can focus on what you are trying to learn. While some people are lucky enough to be able to tune everything out and focus on their classes and studies intensely, not everyone is. It may make sense for you to invest in an office privacy booth where you can study without worrying about anyone disturbing your concentration. The booth can be placed in any large area, or even outdoors, if that’s what you prefer. Having your own study space allows you to get into the right mindset and focus on what is going on in front of you. It’s also a good idea to design your space with colors that appeal most to you, and decorate it with some personal touches. A calm and quiet environment will allow you to make strides in your studies while learning from home.

Plan Your Time Out

Get a planner and make sure you are carving out time for your studies. Because many colleges allow you to study anywhere, this can sometimes make it difficult, since you don’t have a set time you have to be at school. Craving out time forces you to focus on your class. You should also estimate how much time you’ll need to put aside for homework, writing any papers, or any other work that you’ll need to do in order to complete the class. It can be easy to forget if you don’t have it written down in front of you, so taking time to manage this step can be helpful. 

Don’t Get Overwhelmed With Classes

If this is your first time taking several online classes, it can be useful to try a few, and see how you can manage the workload. Again, it is often easy to overestimate how much time you’ll have. Doing only a few classes gives you the chance to see how well this works with your own schedule. 

If you plan on taking online classes, make sure you identify any academic goals you have and what you’ll need to do to complete them. Create a study space where you can go to focus on what you are learning, set up in a manner similar to school. Plan out your time, and make sure there is enough time for studies and additional work you’ll need to do. Finally, don’t take too many college classes and overwhelm yourself. These helpful tips can make it easier to study at home, without feeling frustrated. 

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.

Student Life

Tips for Staying Focused in Your Virtual Classes

March 30, 2021

Virtual classes can be seriously draining. It’s easy to drift off and become distracted during a virtual lecture.

With the option to turn your camera off, sometimes you can even forget you’re even in class! Here are some tips for maintaining focus.

Keep that camera on!

It can be so tempting to turn your camera off when other students are but keeping your camera on is a great way to stay accountable and engaged in class.

Ask questions

Participating in class is a good way to feel more connected to the online school experience. Don’t be afraid to ask questions in class because you are likely not the only one feeling the same confusion. Your participation might even encourage others to do the same!

Take notes

Even if your professor posts their lecture slides online, it can be helpful to take notes in order to stay focused on the material. Boost your muscle memory by taking notes by hand, or type them if you’re in a pinch and don’t have a pen and paper handy.

Utilize office hours

Visiting your professor during office hours is a great way to make connections amidst a socially distanced time and to get further help with your class material. This is extra important if you’re in a large lecture full of hundreds of other students. Check with your professor to see when they are providing virtual office hours.

Be mindful of your environment

It’s a lot easier to stay focused when you are in a calm environment. If possible, try to find a quiet, comfortable spot to take your classes. This doesn’t mean your couch or bed! You can also try to communicate with others in your household that you need to be uninterrupted for certain hours of the day.

Good luck in your virtual classes and make sure to check out more of our ​articles​ for advice on navigating college life in the era of COVID-19.

Adulting Student Life

Learning to Drive in College

March 10, 2021

There is really isn’t a perfect time to learn how to drive. While it may be common for people to get their driver’s license in high school, for some, it may not be the right moment. Furthermore, accessibility plays a major role in learning how to drive at a young age. Not having a car or lack of affordable lessons can be just a few reasons why someone might not learn to drive before heading off to college.

With that being said, there are a number of benefits to learning how to drive — especially for the average busy college student. It can provide a greater sense of independence and open the door to new adventures, as just a few examples. It can also make commuting between classes, internships, and extra-curriculum activities a bit easier, especially if your current city or school campus lack public transportation services.

Whether you’re about to graduate or just starting your freshman year, learning to drive in college doesn’t have to be intimidating or daunting.

Let’s Be Crystal Clear

There’s a lot to look forward to once you learn how to drive, but before that happens it’s important to do a bit of housekeeping first. Ahead of setting up driving classes or arranging a testing appointment, it’s worth getting your eyes checked.

Your vision needs to meet a certain standard before you’re allowed to hit the roads. Of course, finding a convenient eye doctor while in college isn’t always the easiest or most affordable. Luckily, there are eyewear services that allow you to try certain eye prescriptions and accessories at home. Having slightly blurry vision might not be a huge problem while in class or walking around, but it’s extremely dangerous as a driver. Make sure your vision is crystal clear before getting behind the wheel, even if that means investing in a new pair of glasses.

Get Ahead of Traffic

There are a number of surprises and challenges drivers can encounter on any given day. However, one thing that is not at all surprising to the average seasoned driver is traffic. Depending on the city where you attend school, traffic congestion could be a major factor you need to keep in mind while driving. Researching things like your college town’s local traffic patterns can help you learn more about what roads are best to avoid at what times. It’s also essential to study high-traffic rules and other safe driving practices to ensure the safety of yourself and other drivers. It’s a lot easier to manage things like sudden speed reductions, lane merging, and aggressive rush-hour drivers if you know what to expect beforehand. 

Start With Familiar Places

Like with most things in life, practice can help improve your confidence, but particularly as a new driver. Considering that driving is often much more than pressing your foot on the accelerator, a great way to build up your driving skills is with short and familiar routes. Whether that’s to a nearby park or to the bodega down the road, you can build up your driving skills, improve your reflexes, and work on your weakness without the pressure of navigating a new area.

Even though we’ve agreed there’s no right or wrong time to learn how to drive, there can still be some anxieties surrounding learning to drive at an older age. You can feel judged or embarrassed about not having a driver’s license yet, but don’t let those feelings stand in the way of your goals. Good luck!

BIO: Sam Bowman has a passion for learning. As a seasoned professional writer, he specializes in topics about people, education, tech and how they merge. In his spare time he likes running, reading, and combining the two in a run to his local bookstore.

Student Life

How to Experience Study Abroad From Home

March 1, 2021

Many students were forced to give up their study abroad experiences amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. It can be hard to have to stay home when you were previously dreaming of eating pasta in Italy or exploring museums in London. Although you may not be able to travel at the moment, there are a few things you can do to bring the study abroad experience to you.

Take a Cooking Class

One of the best ways to explore a new culture is through food. This past year many more cooking experiences have become available from chefs all over the world. If you have been dreaming of the perfect ravioli, there is no need to wait to fly across the world. ​Airbnb​ is currently offering international cooking classes, as well as websites like ​Cozymeal​.

Tour a Museum Virtually

Many museums are currently offering virtual tours that allow you to still experience culture and art from the comfort of your own room. Check out the Mona Lisa at ​The Louvre​ in Paris or the Rosetta Stone at ​the British Museum​.

Explore Markets Online

What is a trip abroad without some souvenirs? Many famous markets such as the Old Spitalfields​ and ​Portabello Market​ in London have gone virtual.

Find a Pen Pal

Make an international friend by finding your own pen pal! Use a website like PenPal World​, to connect with someone new. This can also be a great opportunity to practice a new language.

Get Lost in a Good Book or Movie

A book or movie can easily transport you to a different place. Explore media that can teach you more about a new culture and provide an escape from your routine. Opt for a foreign film and watch it with subtitles!

Although it can be disappointing when you have to cancel an experience that you have been looking forward to, it can be helpful to look to the future and hold out hope for future trips and new adventures. Check out more of our ​articles​ for tips on study abroad and navigating college life during COVID-19.

Other Student Life

10 Ways for Students to Celebrate Black History Month

February 14, 2021

February is Black History Month which is a time to reflect on the contributions of Black people in the U.S.

1. Educate Yourself

It’s always good to learn more and educate yourself on topics of Black History and issues that the Black community faces. You can find resources through your school’s library or also can find valuable content on YouTube or elsewhere online, such as David Ikard’s TEDx Talk The Dangers of Whitewashing Black History.

2. Donate to Black Non-Profits

Donating what you can to a non-profit that supports Black individuals is a great way to celebrate this month. Check out charitynavigator.org for a list of reputable non-profits that you can donate to this month.

3. Support Black-Owned Businesses

Check out these resources for locating black-owned businesses near you! It’s also valuable to note that instead of making a one-time purchase, make an effort to consistently support these businesses throughout the year.

4. Listen to Podcasts

Podcasts are a great way to stay entertained and hear different perspectives throughout your day. These podcasts with Black hosts focus on a variety of topics, including 1619 and Code Switch.

5. Diversify Your Social Media Feed

Social media can take up a lot of your day. It’s easy to endlessly scroll but it’s also important to notice who you’re scrolling through. If you’re looking to diversify your feed and hear from Black creators, follow accounts like @ohhappydani on Instagram and @aliciagarza on Twitter.

6. Read a Book

Here are some books from Black authors that you can read this month. You can also team up with your friends and read it together and talk about it after. Don’t know where to start? Check out this list that includes Cicely Tyson’s Just As I Am and The Prophets by Robert Jones Jr.

7. Watch a Film

Make it a movie night and pick a documentary or film that highlights Black history. Check out this list of must-watch documentaries from PBS, including Freedom Riders and Slavery by Another Name.

8. Support Black Artists

If you are looking to spice up your living space or for a unique gift, check out some of these Black-owned Etsy shops.

9. Sign Up For a Virtual Event

Check out an event that your school is holding in honor of Black History Month, even if it’s being held virtually due to the pandemic. It’s always a good idea to learn more through your campus resources and to participate in dialogue with others.

10. Stand By and Support Black Students on Campus

Find ways to support your school’s Black Student Union throughout the school year and be sure to stand by Black students amidst instances of hate that are occurring on college campuses.

Make sure to continue to uplift Black voices throughout the year, educate yourself and reflect.

Student Life

11 Tips to Maximize Your College Experience

December 15, 2020

Headed off to college? That means it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get the most out of your college experience (and we don’t mean just friends, football games, and all-nighters). The goal is to graduate from college in a way that’s life-changing. Here are eleven tips to get started. 

1. Meaningfully participate in extracurricular activities

The students who get the most of their college experience are the ones who get involved in ways that spark their interest and passion. This doesn’t just mean sports but also includes music, theater, leadership, volunteering, or other activities. If you’re planning on retiring from your primary high school skill, choose a new one before you get to college. 

2. Live on campus 

You have the rest of your life to live off campus. When you live on campus, you put yourself right in the middle of the action and energy of college. Let other people fight over electricity bills and the dishes. 

3. Leave your car at home. 

If you live on campus, it’s easier to leave your car at home. Not only does it save you a few thousand dollars a year on insurance and maintenance, but you also don’t have to worry about finding parking on campus or its corresponding fees, like a parking ticket. 

4. Get a bike

A bike is a great college alternative to a car. You save time and money because you can bike up to your classes, park, and lock. Plus it’s a great way to avoid that Freshman Fifteen! 

5. Take small classes

Do what you can to take small classes. This might mean moving to advanced classes sooner or taking less-popular majors. If you are only an observer in your classes instead of an active participant, you’ll miss out on the full college experience.

6. Learn from the great professors

Find out who the life-changing professors are and take the classes they teach. Look on professor review websites or ask upperclassmen. Taking classes from outstanding professors who are passionate about their subjects can have a huge impact on your life. 

7. Continue to apply for financial aid. 

While most financial aid is given to first-year students, there is typically money withheld for second year and beyond. Once you choose your major, ask professors about potential scholarships, and keep applying for private aid.

8. Try to only work a job during vacation and on weekends. 

If possible, don’t work more than 10-12 hours a week during the semester. Minimize the time spent at a job so you can maximize the time focused on schoolwork and college activities. 

9. Take classes that prepare you for life. 

By taking classes like art history, accounting, and computer coding, you’ll be at home in museums, prepared with the basics to run your own business, and have a foundational understanding of web development. College is the last time you can indulge in extensive education without also juggling a full-time job.

10. Get bilingual by graduation. 

Knowing two (or more languages) makes you more hireable, putting you ahead of the average applicant. Spend a semester and a summer abroad, or even a whole year, to learn a language.

11. Fill out the FAFSA each year. 

Many students will do all they can to qualify for financial aid before they go to college. But many don’t realize their parents need to complete the FAFSA every October. 

College is a great opportunity to learn new things and have life-changing experiences. Make the most of it with these tips! What else have you done to maximize your experience in college?

Career Student Life Transition

Is Community College the Right Choice?

November 6, 2020

Growing up, many students and their families are led to believe that attending a four year college or university right after high school is the best decision. They hear that the quality of education will be better, the college experience will be more fun, and that it will look better on their resumes when it is time to make a career choice. But community college shouldn’t be overlooked simply based on the benefits of attending a four-year university.

Here’s why community college may be the right choice for you:

The Cost

Most families and students know that community college does tend to be less costly than a four year college or university. This is often one of the biggest reasons students begin their higher education career at a community college. Classes are a fraction of the cost compared to a four-year university, and it’s a good time to get the general education studies out of the way, or even take classes that simply sound interesting to you, since tuition won’t break the bank.

Credits Earned Can Be Transferred to a Four Year College or University

The classes you take at community college can be applied to your bachelors degree. Many students don’t realize general education classes, like your English and science requirements, are the same at both the community college and university level. Just make sure you’re passing your classes and meeting with your counselor to make sure you are on the right track to transfer your credits. It would also help to begin contacting the university you plan on attending to make sure your junior college credits will transfer and that you are taking classes that are equivalent to what is offered at their institution. 

Associate’s Degree May Be Enough for You

You can earn a degree at community college and be done with higher education, if you want. It’s totally up to you! Lots of students make the decision to pursue career options with just their associate’s degree under their belt. Other options include joining the military or attending a trade school.

Staying Closer to Home for a Bit Longer

Some students are hesitant about leaving the nest so soon after high school that they make the decision to attend a community college that’s close to home. This gives first year college students the opportunity to spend more time with their family and childhood friends, save money on school, and maybe even get a part time job. Attending community college and living at home can be an easier transition for students who are paying for school themselves or aren’t yet sure what they want to study at a four-year university.

If you and your family are trying to decide whether or not community college is a good decision, take these considerations to heart.