Why College Students Should Have a Public Library Card

As a college student, you will be spending a large of time studying in the campus library. When you get done with your homework, going to another library is probably the last thing on your mind. It seems useless to have a public library card when you already have access to the universities’ library, but you would be wrong to assume. Here are four reasons why you should get a public library card.Library Books available with card

Entertainment

Most university libraries limit their selection of materials to things needed for academic purposes. They typically do not stock very many books for entertainment purposes. At the public library you’ll find a wide selection of fiction books and new release DVDs. When you finish your homework, you’ll have everything you need to relax and enjoy your free-time.

Free Services

Most public libraries offer a wide range of free or nearly free services to their patrons. Some of the most common services are:

  • Notary
  • Research help
  • Passport applications and pictures
  • Tax filing information
  • Resume evaluation
  • Computer and technology help

If you need a service that the library does not offer, the staff is happy to help you find a place that does provide the service you need.Free Events available with library card

Free Events

Another great reason for visiting public libraries are free events. Libraries frequently have free events going on for the public to enjoy. Traveling speakers and other special guests are always entertaining to go and see. They also offer classes about topics like technology and cooking. You can join different book clubs throughout the year. It is important to note that while almost all public library events are free,  many require you to reserve your place in advance. If you see something that interests you, make sure to secure your spot early.

Community Engagement

Libraries are the heart of a community. When you get involved at your local public library, you are supporting your community as a whole. College students often get a bad reputation for not taking part in matters beyond their college campus. Signing up for a library card is an easy way to get involved in the community!

A public library card is a great resource for college students. Have any more reasons why students should get a public library card? Leave them in the comment section below!

Mindful Meditation: A Cheap and Effective Stress Reliever

Mind over Matter

Part of being a college student is constantly dealing with an influx of stress. Unfortunately, this influx is rarely paired with helpful coping mechanisms for overcoming it. I’ve yet to have a professor hold an instructional yoga class before an upcoming exam. In most situations, we’re forced to find our own methods for stress relief.  When you’re already experiencing stress and anxiety, finding a solution in the moment to overcome it is a challenge. However, I recommend one mechanism currently showing great promise: Achieving mindfulness.

Mind over matter. We’re often confronted with this mantra when our will power is in question. When we’re studying for a chemistry exam but expecting to fail, mind over matter. When we’re tempted to stray from our diet, mind OVER matter. When you have a cold on race day after foolishly signing up for a second year of cross country despite knowing you struggle with running… mind. over. matter.

What does mind over matter really mean? To break it down, matter is the situation you are confronted with; the cross country race, the exam. The mind is yourself, or your thoughts and feelings. Ashumans, we’re constantly thinking and assessing everything happening in the spectrum of our existence. Mind over matter is the notion that if we can get a grasp on our minds, then we can overcome the matter in front of us. If I will myself torun and finish the cross country race, then I can.

mindful meditation

The Research BehindMindful Meditation

Mindfulness is a growing interest in the field of psychology. Where tactics like psychoanalysis and cognitive behavioral therapy once reigned, mindfulness now conquers. In psychology, mindful meditation is a practice intended to combat the negative effects associated with disorders such as depression, anxiety, and post traumatic stress disorder. Hopelessness, stress, and neurotic feelings are some of the many negative effects it can help reduce.  In contrast, cognition, awareness, and attention can increase when one practices mindful meditation. 

Mindful meditation is a means to achieving mindfulness. Physiologist are sewing meditation into the foreground for treating psychological disorders such as depression and anxiety. A meta-analysis conducted by Eberth & Sedlmeier in 2012 compiled 39 previous studies on mindful meditation and analysed the results. The individual studies focused on how mindful meditation affects a person’s well-being, including their ability to concentrate on their thoughts. In this analysis, mindful meditation referred to the Buddhist practices Vipassana and Zen/Chan. The results of the analysis showed that both mindful meditation, and even general meditation, led to positive increases in attention,mood and well being, and a reduction in anxiety.

mindful meditation

Effective Ways to Meditate

To employ the practices featured in the meta-analysis for achieving mindfulness, one must work towards self-awareness and focus the mind on present experiences.  Concentrate on becoming open, curious, and accepting.  Luckily, you can practice mindful meditation anywhere you find comfortable.  You can chose to meditate in your dorm room, in the park, or in a quiet space on campus. This means mindful meditation accessible to everyone.

There is no limitation to how you can meditate; we’re all very different.  You can meditate in bed, while sitting down on a park bench, or even through exercise. Personally, I enjoy meditating while on a long run since I’m naturally fidgety. However, I acknowledge that most people tend to despise running. How you successfully practice mindful meditation will depend on your personality. Simply by setting aside time to focus on your thoughts and reflect, you too can achieve mindfulness.

Are you new to meditation? There are quite a few online resources for those who haven’t meditated before. UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center provides a variety of free exercises that provide instructions via audio guides. Additionally, Youtube  has a great selection of meditation guides that are tailored to a variety of specific needs such as anxiety relief and help with sleeplessness.

mindful meditation

Why You Should Try Meditation

Stress from school is never pleasant. It also limits our ability to concentrate and work efficiently. Students who feel stressed or overworked may even turn to destructive behaviors such as binge drinking or illegal drugs, both of which are harmful to the mind and body. Mindful meditation provides easy access to stress relief in a safe and effective way. It’s also free!  The next time assignments feel like they’re a bit too out of hand, take time to relax and focus your thoughts. Try practicing mindful meditation to gain control over your situation. You’ll quickly discover the benefits are endless!

Five Tips for Efficient Class Registration

The semester feels like it just started yesterday, but it’s already time to start planning next semester’s classes. Most colleges start enrolling for classes several months in advanced and competition for the best teachers and time slots is fierce. Registration can be the difference between a great semester and a nightmare. Here are five tips to help make your class registration quick and efficient.

Create a Graduation Guide

One of the best ways to plan your registration is to create a graduation guide. A graduation guide is a semester-by-semester plan of the classes you need to take in order to graduate. This can be a very daunting task, especially early in your college career. However, this is one of the most beneficial things to have when planning to register for classes. Begin by setting aside an evening to sit down and make your graduation plan. Be sure to include classes for all your majors and minors and arrange them so all pre-requisites are met. College graduation may seem a lifetime away, but with a plan in hand you can know the exact semester of your graduation – and that is a great feeling!

Meet With Your Adviser

Its not always fun, but it is always necessary. Your adviser is the guide that will take you from confused freshman to confident graduate. Schedule an appointment with your adviser several weeks before registration so that you have your plan in place when it comes time to enroll. You can take your graduation guide to your adviser for feedback as well. They can double check that your plan is correct and will complete all the requirements for you to graduate.

Check and Clear Registration Holds

Some colleges will place a hold on your account that prevents you from registering for classes if you owe money. Check your hold status in advanced so that when you are able to enroll, you don’t find any surprises. The best way to prevent getting a hold on your account is to pay off fees as soon as they incur. Parking tickets, health center visits, and dorm room damages can all be a factor in your ability to register.

Select Classes and Backups in Advanced

Any college student can tell you that not all professors are equal when it comes to teaching and testing. To make sure you get the professors and class times you want, look through the course offerings in advanced and create the schedule that will work best for you in the upcoming semester. This does not guarantee you will get the classes you want, but having your preferences in advance will save you precious time when you are finally eligible to register. Speaking of time . . .

Register Immediately!

Most colleges use an elevated system of registration. Seniors are able to register earlier than juniors and so forth. This is a great system because it allows upperclassman to get the last classes they need before graduation. However, it can create a bit of a war when it comes time to register for underclassman. Classes have a limited number of seats and the best ones fill up fast. For the greatest chance of getting your preferred course schedule, you should register as soon as possible. If this means setting an alarm to wake up a 6 a.m. when you become eligible to register, then so be it! Get registered and get excited for another great semester!

Class registration is an exciting time every semester, and with a little planning it can be simple. Have any more tips to help register for classes? Leave them in the comments section below!

Laptop Purchasing Guide for College Students

Colleges are becoming more and more integrated with technology everyday. Class registration, assignments, and tests can all be completed from a computer. Most colleges have a computer lab available for student use, but with limited equipment and restrictive hours it may not be possible to exclusively use the campus computer lab. Having a personal laptop is becoming critical to student success in college, but deciding which one is right for you is tough. If you are currently looking to purchase a laptop here are a few things to keep in mind.

Laptop

Performance

When choosing a laptop it is important to keep in mind what your goals are. Certain majors, such as architecture and graphic design, require specific computer programs to complete assignments. Some of these computer programs (Revit, Photoshop, etc.) will require a high-performance device in order to run properly. If you are looking into a major that involves these types of programs, ask an adviser or professor what minimum standards they recommend. Performance indicators include:

  • Processor type
  • System memory size
  • Hard drive size
  • Graphics card

Mobility

The main reason I recommend a laptop over a desktop computer is the ability to carry it to class. Being able to do homework on campus during breaks is extremely convenient. However, some devices are more mobile than others. Make sure you check the weight and size of a laptop before purchase to make sure it is small enough and light enough to carry back and forth to campus. Also, no matter how careful you are, it is going to get banged up a bit while traveling. Check the reviews to see if people complain about it breaking easily. You are going to want something durable that will last you throughout your time in college.

USB

Connections

As mentioned above, certain majors require specific technological capabilities. It may be necessary to connect a printer, monitor, or scanner to your laptop during college. Make sure your laptop has the connection ports necessary to work with all these devices. It is also helpful to have multiple USB ports on your device so you can use more than one memory storage drive at a time.

Warranty

Most major laptop brands include a warranty for the first few days after purchase. If you feel that your device will be undergoing more strain than a normal laptop, you may want to consider purchasing an extended warranty. They are usually available either from the manufacturer or the store where you purchased it. Also, it is possible to get laptop insurance for if the device is stolen, although that is only recommended for extremely specialized laptops valued at over $1,300.

Price

Most college students are on a tight budget when it comes to large technology purchases. Take the time to research multiple sellers to ensure you are getting the best price possible for the laptop you want. Places like Best Buy offer occasional discounts to college students on popular brands and styles.

Purchasing a laptop is a challenging but necessary part of going to college. Have any other tips for purchasing a laptop? Leave them in the comment section below!

How to Survive Your First Career Fair

Most of us are attending school in order to better ourselves in the face of the daunting “real world.” We put in hard hours at the library, bust our butts beefing up our resumes, and try our best to broaden our skill sets in the hopes of one day landing our dream job. Of course, as you progress in your days at school you’ll inevitably run into a particularly daunting event: the career fair. Here, both you and hundreds of other students try to impress businesses in the hopes of getting a job. If you’ve never been to a career fair, here are some useful tips:

career fair

1. Dress to Impress

At a career fair, you have the chance to meet employers and recruiters face to face. Therefore, it’s important to dress the part. Most women tend to wear dress pants or a skirt, a blouse, and nice shoes. Men often wear a suit or a dress shirt and tie. However, this doesn’t mean you have to be boring- wear what you feel good in. Additionally, make sure to properly groom yourself. You want to stand out, but I can guarantee that bad breath and dirty hair is not the way to do it.

career fair

2. Prepare an Elevator Pitch

Again, career fairs are your chance to personally meet with potential employers. This being said, you should have an idea of what to say about yourself. Before you go, look over your resume, accomplishments, and aspirations to come up with a quick few lines to tell recruiters. Introductions are much easier with prepared lines and employers will appreciate a candidate who is both prepared and knows what they’re good at.

career fair

3. Ready Your Resume

When attending a career fair, be sure to print out plenty of resumes. Although some might recommend printing your resume on premium paper, doing so can be expensive and difficult. Further, employers might not pay attention to the type of paper that you use because most resumes are submitted online. Regardless, review your resume to ensure it is grammatically correct and well formatted. Contact your school’s career advisor or check out some tips online!

career fair

4. Do Your Research

Many career fairs host hundreds of companies, making you likely to find at least one that suits you. However, it’s difficult to understand a company from looking at the sign on their table. Avoid this confusion by doing your research. Look up the listed companies attending the career fair and find out what they’re looking for. Employers notice when you’re educated about their company.

5. Confidence is Key

The final tip that I can give you is to be confident!  Following the above steps will prepare you for surviving a career fair. You’ll show employers you’re the most unique, qualified person in the room. Acting confident more strongly conveys this message and helps leave memorable impression. Together, someone will likely think of you when it’s time to hire a new employee.

Career fairs don’t have to be stressful. Come prepared, do your research, dress the part, and be confident. Everything is going to be okay!