Balancing Studying and Fun: 5 Tips for College Students

June 24th, 2011 by megana

A few of the most memorable tips from a college student to a college student

1. Don’t Slack

Time management is one of the hardest things to do when transitioning from non-college life to that of a part-time or full-time student. When transitioning into college, there are a million and one more things to do. From going shopping after a class with your roommate to going out on a Tuesday night, the ultimate test to a collegiate is how to manage time correctly. The average student, traditional and non-traditional, has a job outside of their schooling. The lack of balance between work and study has been one of the leading causes of reduction in the college retention rates across the U.S. Make sure to know what exams or projects and assignments with due dates are approaching, so you can schedule in a planner or phone of designated times to buckle down and get it done. Trust me; you’ll thank your responsible self when you graduate.

2. Take Notes

Take notes! Take notes! Take notes! Get the idea? With all the extracurricular activities there is do take part in, it’s expected that you won’t retain everything your 60 year old professor has to say about Accounting 101. But when exam time approaches sooner rather than later, notes either by laptop or notebook will become your best friend. Plus, many professors will test over material from your notes—not just the textbook. This is a good way to show that you’re paying attention and stand out to your professors.

3. Office Hours

Take advantage of your professors’ office hours. Many professors are required to set a certain amount of time aside for students who may need extra help and/or advice on career development. However, many students do not take advantage of this opportunity. By attending office hours, you are making your face known to your professor, and you might even get some helpful hints on class assignments just for taking the time to ask. Don’t forget, he/she may just be a great reference or candidate for a letter of recommendation in the near future.

4. Network

If one thing is remembered from this article. It’s all about WHO you know. Some say your connections are almost more important than your resume. In some cases this is true, but do not go and drop out of college—your connections wouldn’t like that. Building a network of people to seek life advice from, study with, or to become life-long friends, all of these are intangible benefits of a college career. Calculus derivatives may or may not be remembered in upcoming years, but connections last a lifetime. So get involved. Make friends with at least one or two people in class. Campus will seem much smaller and confidence for tests will be noticed with increased test scores from late night study sessions. Plus, this will help with communication and social skills. That’s definitely a go-to skill for employers!

5. 3 Letters—F.U.N.

Forty years from now what are you going to remember about college? “Oh I remember that Accounting 101 exam. It really kicked my butt with debits and credits.” Maybe. But you’re more likely to remember all the fun times you had with friends when you shouldn’t have stayed up so late on a weeknight going to Taco Bell. You’re going to remember the semester when you met your best friend in the dorms or nearby apartment or even the small, random events that have shaped you into the well seasoned adult you are today. Memories like these are lessons learned outside of the classroom that will be stories to tell for years to come when someone asks “What tips can you give me before heading off to college?”

Start your college search at US College Search or find us on Facebook and Twitter as well as searching by zip code.

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What has Social Networking done for Colleges?

March 8th, 2011 by admin

Remember when the social networking pioneers were early Facebook (you know back when it was only available to college students) and that one site called myspace? Well, several sites have come and gone and after about 6 years there’s a new group of cool kids on the block – Twitter and Youtube and one keeper – Facebook.

There’s no denying the impact that these sites have had upon our society and now schools are jumping on the band wagon. Schools are now using these sites for recruitment and to boost admissions – pretty dang smart if you think about it.social-networking-for-college ts_82557772

Now when you visit the website of your select college of choice, you can see links to its specific social networking sites. If you become a friend of a college on Facebook or decide you want to follow it on Twitter, you can and here’s the kicker. When the admissions rep receives a request, they’ll direct them to recruitment in their area. Forming a relationship from that moment really helps resonate with the student and could be a contributing factor in their overall decision of where they want to go. Maintaining this connection allows a school to keep an open professional and personal line of communication.

Updates via Facebook and Twitter are also beneficial to schools because they allow potential students to read posts and find the most current news on their schools of choice. Reading a long list of positive student comments on Facebook wall posts can help sway potentials to enroll. A long list of negative comments and…well, you can guess the outcome.

Youtube, on the other hand is the perfect site for getting your school some buzz. You’ve heard of viral videos, heck, you’ve probably seen your fair share of them. These types of videos really help propel a school into the spotlight. And, in most cases, if a schools video is deemed cool by potential students, then almost automatically the school is dubbed cool as well.

Or, if the viral buzz caused by a school’s youtube videos isn’t enough incentive, then how about asking the student to create their own youtube video as part of their college application? Well, that’s exactly what Tufts University in Medford/Somerville, Massachusetts has been doing for its incoming students. It’s another clever way for schools to allow their potential students to express themselves and establish a relationship by putting a face with a name.

The possibilities of social networking are new, effective and endless for colleges anywhere and everywhere across the world.

Start your college search at US College Search or find us on Facebook and Twitter and check out all of our online degree options.

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Google is Putting Together an Online Science Fair

January 11th, 2011 by admin

Time to dust off the plans for that model super volcano you wanted to build in the 6th grade.google_logo-300x125 It looks like Google is about to push the envelope again by holding an online, worldwide science fair.

If you are student between the ages of 13 – 18 and are a citizen of Earth, you may participate. What is at stake for the winners? Big giant blue ribbons that will collect dust hanging on your vanity mirror next to a picture of Val Kilmer in Real Genius? Negative, scholarships and job opportunities will be divvied out to those who impress the judges the most.

Google has been working on the Science Fair’s website where participants will be able to submit their entries. The site will hold all the details and rules for those who are interested.

The event is schedule to launch on January 11 at 9 a.m. EST. There will be a live event held online on a new Science Fair YouTube Channel that Google has been building out.

CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research), made famous in the Dan Brown novels, is one of the partners helping Google put on the world wide Science Fair. Other partners include LEGO, National Geographic and Scientific American.

The scientific consortiums mission here is “to create a new kind of online science competBeaker_muppet-ts-78366206ition that is more global, open and inclusive than ever before.” The website also states that they are “looking for the brightest, best young scientists from around the world to submit interesting, creative projects that are relevant to the world today.”

Educators and mad scientists name Professor Farnsworth can visit the website to sign up for classroom materials, stickers, bookmarks and wall posters. You can also register on the site and read about how the entries will be judged.

It should be very interesting to see what types of entries are submitted. I am sure there will be a great opportunity to do a pan-social-survey of how American kids do versus the rest of the world. Either way we applaud Google for trying to break down worldwide borders and taking one step closer to becoming the United Federation of Planets.

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Can’t Find a Job? Did you Check the Healthcare Field?

October 21st, 2010 by admin

Our economy has gone through an incredible down turn, with plenty of sectors hemorrhaging jobs to keep up with the declining economy. There are a few fields that are actually managing to grow while other sectors fall flat. Healthcare is one of the major fields that are currently adding jobs and careers, as highlighted by NPRs piece on the recent job loss.

Jacob Goldstein offers a closer look at the 8 million jobs that have been lost in the American workforce. He notes that over the last 3 years, Health Care has added roughly 750,000 jobs while other sectors, including manufacturing and construction, have lost nearly 2 million jobs each. Those who are looking to get back into school should consider Health care for their education – it practically guarantees a job out of college.

medical_assistingWhen people first hear of healthcare education, they think of medical school. While medical school is the right form of healthcare education for some, it is wrong for others. Those who are going through medical assistant training are still in the healthcare field, and are still receiving a healthcare education. Medical assistant training is something easily found in small 2-year colleges, making it something that is a little more affordable. As you perform your college search, keep options like medical assistant training in mind. These are careers that do not require expensive education, but are still jobs found in the growing health care field.

If you are thinking about going back to school to try to find a better job, consider healthcare. Healthcare education is found at nearly every college and university, every junior college and technical school. Whether you aim to become a nurse or a nurse’s assistant, a radiologist or a full doctor, you can be sure that you will find jobs out of schooling.

That is the most difficult part of the current economy, as highlighted by Goldstein. America has lost 8 million jobs since the start of the recession. Those who are looking to further their education should do so in sectors, such as healthcare, that is constantly growing.

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Top 10 Most Unusual College Degrees

September 23rd, 2010 by admin

College is a time to learn more about yourself as a person and find a career that suits a life you’d like to live. After all, we go to school to find our passions in a career that we are willing to work in for several years. So, what does that mean for the following people who choose to graduate with one of these 10 unusual college degrees? Well, maybe it just means that they’re interested in obtaining an unusual career…

#10 – Adventure Recreation
Are you an adrenaline junkie? A self-proclaimed adventure enthusiast? Well, if you are then maybe you’d like to make a living by studying – hands-on – the outdoor adventures that you love for your college major. Green Mountain College in Vermont offers a major and a minor program in Adventure Recreation hoping to place graduates into a slew of outdoor recreation activities like skiing, scuba diving, rock climbing and whitewater rafting

#9 – Blacksmithing
What was once a valuable trade in the olden days is now an unusual college blacksmith-ss2498374major offered at various schools across the United States. Considered a branch of many colleges’ design schools, blacksmithing is crucial to many artistic achievements like jewelry making, gates, furniture, tools, knives and of course swords – although those may not be as practical as they once were since smart phones have now taken the place as an individual’s key weapon. Schools like the College of Art & Design and Southern Illinois University currently offers such a trade-driven degree.

#8 – Aromatherapy
How would you like to improve the health and well-being of patients by providing a therapy purely based off scent creations and various concoctions? No, this isn’t a program in witchcraft; it’s a degree in aromatherapy. Schools like Napier University and The University of Westminster carry such degree programs for those who are scentifically inclined…get it?

#7 – Comedic writing/Comedic Studies
Would you ever think that a prerequisite to a degree program would require you to have a great sense of humor? Probably not, but some schools like Southampton University offer an innovative and fun-filled unusual college degree in comedic studies and writing. You’ll examine comedy through the ages in both production, performance and in composition. The program might sound like a joke in and of itself, especially since your degree is the punchline.

#6 – Organic Agriculture
This intriguing unusual degree program is new, but with the huge rise in organic food sales in the last few years it could be on rise in popularity. Students interested in organic agriculture can find this degree program offered in schools like Washington State University.

#5 – Retail FUnusual Degrees - Retail Floristryloristry
Although you may have never imagined needing a degree in Retail Floristry to find a career in the flower industry, that doesn’t mean that schools like Mississippi State University don’t offer it. Learn the ins and outs of the floral business – wholesaling, floristry designing and the works.

#4 – Gerontology
Ever been curious about the changes in adults as they age and the ways that society affects this aging process? If you answered yes then you might be fit for a degree in the intriguing field of Gerontology – the sociological, physical and mental study of the aging. With the baby boomer population increasing in age, this major could get even more interesting.

#3 – Family and Consumer Sciences

In a nutshell this degree is like home economics. Here you will acquire the values, knowledge and skills necessary to strengthen the functionality of your family dynamics. Sounds kind of like family therapy with a twist doesn’t it? Offered at Liberty University, a Christian University in Lynchburg, VA, you would take part in classes like Family Economic Decisions and Balancing Work and Family. Helpful information – yes, unusual – yes, degree worthy – probably not.

#2 – Equine Studies and Master Ranching

These are actually two separate degrees from two separate colleges but they’re similar enough to bUnusual-Degrees---Equine-Studiese linked together. Why? Because horses play core roles in both of these majors. If you have a love for horses and/or ranching then either one of these programs might be worth considering. The Equine Studies degree at Becker College gives students an insight into riding horses or working on the business side of the equine industry. If you love ranching and prefer wearing your spurs to class rather than your p.j.’s, then a Master Ranching degree from Texas A&M might be your calling.

#1 – Astrobiology

Do you believe that we’re not alone in the universe? Yes, no – maybe? Well, whether you’re just curious as to the thought of universal life or a die-hard government conspirator believing that little green men are in fact out there (insert random E.T. joke here), then a degree in Astrobiology will give you the opportunity to search for life beyond earth.

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The Pros and Cons of Online Education

July 1st, 2010 by admin

With the unprecedented growth of the internet and technology in recent years it’s no wonder more people and schools are looking into online education.
While it may seem like the perfect way to educate people, there are some pros and cons behind the general idea of online education. These do not necessarily reflect the benefits and disadvantages of using such technology or the cost; but are more geared towards the pros and cons for an individual.

Pros:
-The cost is typically cheaper than that of a traditional degree. This is mostly due to not being asked to pay campus fees that even off-campus students must sometimes pay.
-You can learn when you want wherever you want.
-Typically no max number of students that the course can hold.
-Most online colleges allow you to replay the lecture or have notes constantly posted online.

Cons:
-The distractions while on the internet are limitless. Facebook, games, etc. can all get in the way of what you need to be doing – learning.
-There’s very little to no social interaction in online learning.
-You can’t ask questions as rapidly as you could in a traditional classroom.
-Technology can be a pain sometimes. Things break, the power goes out or the internet is down.

While the pros and cons are pretty split evenly, online education typically is up to the person. Younger students tend to want socialization, which they will get from traditional classrooms where they can meet other students just like them. Online education currently seems to be geared towards older students with full-time jobs. In upcoming years, online education may be even more widespread and has been projected to grow rapidly.

Start your college search at US College Search or find us on Facebook and Twitter and check out all of our online degree options.

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SAT Prep Courses … Worth the Money?

June 1st, 2009 by admin

Did you take an SAT or ACT prep course in high school? Do you think it helped? A new report says probably not … at least not as much as you’d like to think.

Tamara Keith from American Public Media reports that preparing for the SAT is a good idea, but you’d probably get the same benefit from a $30 at-home study guide as a multi-thousand dollar test-prep course.

David Hawkins from The National Association of College Admissions Counseling says “There needs to be a buyer-beware notice for students and families who are thinking about commercial test preparation.” The group pulled together a report that says the average score increase as a result of prep courses is only 30 points. Out of 2,400.

Hmm … while that might be enough to make or break an Ivy League acceptance for a few people, it’s probably not worth it to the rest of us.

Whether you took an SAT prep course or not, what if your score didn’t turn out quite as high as you’d like? Don’t worry! Standardized tests aren’t for everyone – we know that.

Not all schools require an ACT/SAT score for admission. Schools that don’t often offer a more targeted education, building practical skills rather than general knowledge. Career colleges and technical schools around the country realize that your priorities are different – that test scores don’t matter to you as much as starting a stable career.

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Overcoming the Fear of Success

October 7th, 2008 by admin

Jonathan Liebman, the CEO of Specs Howard School of Broadcast Arts, wrote in the September/October 2008 issue of Career College Central  about the fear many students have of success. He points out that many students are the first in their families to graduate from college. Naturally, these students often second guess themselves. What will life be like in this new career? What will change? Do I deserve to be more successful than my parents? Will success cause resentment and pull me away from my childhood friends?

The opportunities an education gives you will introduce you to new people and new experiences. Venturing into uncharted waters can be intimidating but, with a little bravery, you can create a better life for yourself. There is no easy answer to make it through the tough times. Each situation has its own complexities and needs to be addressed in a unique way. But there are some tips that can help you through tough times.

  1. Be confident – People trust and react positively to those who are confident, but not cocky. Hold your head high and take pride in what you’ve accomplished. Not feeling very confident in your new role? Fake it. Soon enough, you’ll find that your confidence is sincere.
  2. Think of your kids – If your parents did not go to college, it can feel like you are rejecting the life they worked hard to provide. Pretend that you decide that, out of respect for your parents, you decide to not go to school. Fifteen or twenty years from now, your children would be in the same position you are in now. What would you want them to do – have the same challenges you faced without an education, or would you like them to go to college and have a successful career? Most parents strive to provide a better life for their children than they had. It is honoring their sacrifices to take advantage of the opportunities you have.
  3. Let go – In order to get what you want out of life, sometimes you need to cut ties with things that are holding you back. If a loved one is not encouraging you to be successful and talking to them about the situation doesn’t help, consider cutting back on the time you spend with them. That can be very tough to do, but if they truly have your best interest at heart, they’d want to help you succeed.

Change can be scary, but success shouldn’t be. Be brave, and don’t let temporary setbacks keep you from the life you want for you and your family.

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Becoming Independent: Taking the steps to find your independence before college

September 25th, 2007 by Christina

Most new college students can’t wait to be on their own. They want to make their own decisions, doing what they want, when they want and how they want. Many new college students also receive a rude awakening when the realization hits home that they truly are on their own. Mom isn’t there to make sure that they get out of bed and go to school or that they have clean clothes to wear. Professors aren’t quite as forgiving as high school teachers when assignment deadlines are missed. Dad isn’t there to provide the few extra bucks needed to satisfy that pizza craving at two o’clock in the morning.

“I had no idea how to do laundry,” said Lauren Morgan, a sophomore at the University of Arkansas. “My mom had always done that for me. It was so embarrassing because I had to ask other people in the laundry room how to work the washer and dryer.”

It’s not too late to become independent as you begin college this semester. Start taking the following steps to make that first year away from home as successful as possible.

Learn how to budget – Plan on putting a set amount in savings each month, and then open a checking account and balance your checkbook diligently. There’s nothing worse than a $10 purchase turning into a $50 purchase because you bounced a check and have to pay a returned check fee.

Find a part-time job – Find this on your own. Don’t allow your parents to pull strings for you. If they have a connection, find out the person’s contact information and get in touch with them yourself.

Introduce yourself to the washer and dryer – The last thing you need is for all of your large white shirts to become extra small pink shirts. Learn how to sort laundry by color and how to use proper water temperatures to protect your clothes – and your pride.

Become a planner – Keep yourself on a schedule with a day planner or PDA. Don’t expect your parents to wake you up and tell you when and where you need to be. Keep track of assignment due dates, activities and meetings. Schedule time during the week for studying so you’re able to relax and enjoy the weekends.

Taking these steps will put you on the fast track to personal independence. You might even end up being the person your roommate goes to when they need to turn on the washer.

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Advice: Worthwhile or Worthless?

June 11th, 2007 by admin

Are you struggling to make a decision about your future? Luckily there are people out there who are more than willing to help you make a smart decision. Keep in mind, there are also people out there who are more than willing to give you their two cents worth of advice when it may not be worth a penny. Who’s opinion counts?

KEY Colleges writer Michael Mackie provides a “semi-comprehensive list of people to avoid when making life-changing college decisions” in his article “The Five Worst People to Listen to … About a College Education.”

In every student’s life there comes a time when they ask themselves, “Am I doing the right thing?!” High school is an exciting time, but it’s also a time to be mindful of the future. Figuring out the who/what/when/where of college can be daunting, especially when everyone and their brother has an opinion on what school is best for you.

Find out whose advice you SHOULD’NT take into consideration on KEY Colleges.

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