Thanksgiving Break: Dos and Don’ts

Share Button

thanksgiving
Do:
Spend time catching up with your friends.

You probably haven’t seen much of your friends while you’ve all been away at different schools. Sure texting, social media, and Skype sessions help you stay in touch, but nothing compares to actual human interaction, so you should definitely carve out some time to hang out with your friends and just enjoy their company.

Don’t: Ignore your family.

Hanging out with your friends is important, but don’t forget about your family. While you’ve been off having a great time at school, they’ve been home missing you so don’t neglect them. Spend some quality time with your family: have a family dinner, a movie night, go shopping, or whatever else you want, but make the time count!

Do: Indulge at Thanksgiving dinner.

You’ve been away from home for almost three months by now, so you should take advantage of some great home cooking! Thanksgiving dinner has something for everyone, so make sure you enjoy your favorite part of your family’s menu. Sit back and enjoy the delicious food and quality family time.

Don’t: Overdo it.

By all means, eat mashed potatoes, stuffing, mac and cheese, and whatever else your heart desires, but be careful. You’ll be tempted to send yourself into a food coma, but you don’t want to go back to school ten pounds heavier when Thanksgiving break is over. You’ll be very happy to avoid that.

Do: Get some much-needed relaxation.

With finals just around the corner, this is a great opportunity to catch up on some sleep and enjoy time off from classes. Take advantage of your ability to sleep in. Snuggle up with your dog or cat. Stay in your pajamas all day. Lay in bed for six hours watching TV. Do whatever relaxes you.

Don’t: Neglect your responsibilities completely.

If you have any homework or papers due when you get back, make sure to find time to do them. If you have a test the week you get back (it sucks, but it does happen) make time to study or at least go over your notes. This goes for personal responsibilities as well. If you have a workout routine that you like to stick to, find ways to work out while you’re home. There are tons of guided fitness videos on YouTube, so don’t feel like you can’t keep up your exercise at home.

How To Head Into Your Next Exam

Share Button

testStep 1: Prepare! Make sure you fit as much of the subject material into your brain as you can!

Step 2: Wear clothes you feel good in. Feeling comfortable or like you are putting your best foot forward will give you the right mindset going into the exam.

Step 3: Tell Yourself “I’m gonna ace this.” Believing in yourself is an important part of the process.

Step 4: Listen to your pump up playlist. If you don’t have a Pre-Exam Study playlist, make one and listen to it on your way to the exam.

Step 5: Breathe. I think this one is self-explanatory.

Step 6: Be well rested. Having to drink caffeine right before an exam can make you jittery and over think the test.

Step 7: Draw a smiley-face on the top of your exam. Just do it.

Step 8: Do your best! That’s all anyone expects of you.

Step 9: Don’t agonize about the test afterwards, there isn’t anything you can do about it.

Considering Your Future Through Each Stage of College

Share Button

Freshman Year:

 stage1

 This is your time to explore. Take a variety of general education classes and see if you discover a subject you never thought you’d have an interest in. Your freshman year is a great time to expand your horizons. It’s better to figure out what you really want to do sooner rather than later, so you have enough time to graduate on time if you make any changes to your plans. Sure, you might be coming in to college knowing what you want to do, but you never know. You could take a gen. ed. at the end of your junior year and realize your passions might lie elsewhere. Take advantage of the variety of courses available to you to make sure you know all of your options before you commit to anything.

Sophomore Year:

 stage

Continue exploring, but start narrowing it down. You’re usually expected to declare your major by the end of this year, so you should start to seriously consider your passions so you feel more comfortable committing to a particular field of study and/or career path by the end of your Sophomore spring semester. Figure out if you want to take on a double major or perhaps some minors and certificates. Do your research to see what the requirements are to make sure you have enough time to complete them so you can plan accordingly. Talk to your advisor throughout this process, he/she can be very helpful. This is also a good time to start thinking about the campus organizations that can be useful for your future career once you start to figure out what you want.

Junior Year:

 stage 3

You might be able to get away with waiting until the middle of this year to officially declare your major, but you should be paying close attention to the requirements of the major or majors you are considering. If you want to be able to graduate on time, this is crucial. This is a good time to start applying for internships if you haven’t already. Internships have basically become a necessity for college students hoping to get full time jobs after graduation. You should also be figuring out what your options are for after you graduate: Grad School? Medical School? Law School? Straight into your career? Take a year off to travel? Get a job teaching English abroad? You should look into all the options you’re interested in so you know what you have to do to make it happen. Look at the application process for different programs and/or jobs. Do all the research you can and there will be fewer surprises. You’ll be much more relaxed if you’re prepared.

Senior Year:

 stage 4

At this point, you should be pretty clear about your plan. There’s still some time to make decisions about your post-graduation plans, but don’t put things off for too long or you run the risk of delaying your progress. There are deadlines for a lot of your options and you don’t want to miss them or you might have to wait a year. Make sure you’re keeping up with your current academic requirements so keep in touch with your advisor so you stay on track. Make sure you do everything you need to do for graduation so it will be less stressful. Graduation can be an emotional time so minimizing your stress will make the whole process less overwhelming.

Networking 101

Share Button

“It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”. We’ve all heard it before. It’s easiest to find opportunities through people you already know rather than a mass announcement. Networking is an essential career skill. Here’s how to perfect it:

  1. Say ‘yes’net1

As often as possible, take advantage of every positive opportunity that is offered. Staying in all the time never did anyone any favors. No one will know your name if you never introduce yourself. You never know what even a simple meeting can lead to!

  1. Be nicenet2

This really shouldn’t need to be said, but being nice should be at the top of your priority list with networking. Say please and thank you. Smile. A little kindness goes a very long way!

  1. Go the extra milenet3

Don’t be afraid to add a little extra onto your normal interactions. Being organized, having copies of your resume handy, and even a simple compliment can put you at the top of an employer’s list and help you be memorable.

  1. Put your best foot forwardnet4

Do your best work in everything you do, even if you don’t think it will be noticed. Make sure you’re dressed nice in professional environments, even if you aren’t on the clock. Treat everyone around you with respect at all times. Not only because it’s the right thing to do, but also because you never know who is watching or who has influence within a field.

What are your networking tips? Let us know in the comments below!

College Friends in the Post College World

Share Button

Attend any high school graduation ceremony across the country and you’re likely to observe the same scene; girls in tight embrace, the football team coming together for one last huddle, scores of students weeping. Instead of a scene of jubilation, many of these rituals resemble a wake as people realize that this is the death of many of their friendships. There may be a few best friends that attend the same university or a handful of delusional couples that swear their high school relationships can survive a freshman year of new guys and winking sorority girls, but most accept the reality that they will grow up and thus, grow apart.

friends1

Though we may have a better hold on our emotions in our early twenties, the scenario remains the same. Post collegiate commencement, we will continue to grow. While the leap from high school to college mainly meant being in new surroundings, the growth that transpires after college graduation takes us somewhere much larger; the real world. Once in that real world, we migrate to many different places.

friends2

Take for example, the case of my undergrad best friend and myself. Once outside the halls of higher education, we grew in two opposite directions. While I got married to a southern belle, sired a future sorority president and eased into domestic life at 31, she maintained the single persona, moving out of our home city and remaining a mainstay at happy hours and ladies nights any day of the week. Both lifestyles are suitable for each of us as there is no handbook on how a thirty year old is supposed to act, however the stumbling block appears when we talk on the phone. While I’m not really interested in “Oh my God, two of my exes were in the same bar at the same time last night and last night was Monday”, I’m sure she is less than excited by “I’m up to my arms in baby poop and statistics homework.” Things become even more convoluted when we are in person, as the idea of a fun night for one of us is to storm the college bar for $5 pitchers and cheese fries while the other would rather be tucked away in an art gallery for a local artist’s opening. I’ll allow you to guess who prefers what.

friends3

The moral of the story is that while you and you’re college roomie may be as thick as thieves in the current, post college growth finds us all. In our institutional lives, personalities may be the bookends of the spectrum, but the bond is the school you call home. In the post graduate world, that bond disappears and the life blood of a friendship depends on common interest. Although there is not much one can do to stop the growth process, it is manageable. Just as there were different tables in the high school cafeteria (the jocks, the preppies, the theatre folk) so too are there tables in the post graduate world. Today when I wish to lament about my daughter’s struggle to sleep through the night, I look to my friends sitting at the “We Have Kids Your Kid’s Age, We Feel You Bro” table. When looking for companionship at football tailgate, I drift to the “No Kids, Just Career” table. Lastly, when I’m in a mood that makes me reminiscent of my days as an undergraduate, fraternity scoundrel, I dip to the “It’s Still 2003, Let’s Get Crunk” table, where I find my undergraduate best friend, with smile on her face and beer in her hand. You see reader, the trick to growing up isn’t how to keep from losing friends, it’s how to craft a three dimensional life where everything has its own, awesome place.