Posts Tagged ‘College Life’
You have begun another year at college, or perhaps this is the first one! Most people would agree that while learning more about your major and being closer to your field is an incredibly rewarding experience, it’s life outside of academics that really makes these days some of the best of your life! To ensure that this semester meets that tall order, you may want to have these things as part of your survival kit.
In order for you to enjoy everything college has to offer, you’re going to need to invest some of your time in things other than your academics and trips home. There are clubs and activities to take part in and new friends to meet. You just need to have the time to venture out!
A Good Friend
If all of your good friends are at home, you’re going to need one in college! This is the person you will rant to when your professor adds two pages to the requirements for the paper you have already written. This will be the person who, when something ridiculous happens on your way to class, you cannot wait to tell him or her. Having someone to share your experiences with on campus will be crucial to your college life!
A Set of Personal Guidelines
While college is certainly the place to try new things and explore new ideas, most people with open minds still have some personal rules they would rather not break for one reason or another. Familiarize yourself with what some of these rules might be. There will be situations where these personal guidelines are challenged, and you don’t want to find yourself in an uncomfortable position.
A Taste for Interior Decorating
If you ever want to feel like college is your home, you’re going to need to spice up your dorm room a little bit. Cute, artsy wall decals, a poster of your favorite sports team, a giant TV, or a couple of plants will all help you to feel comfortable with where you’re living. You will also want to include photos of family members and friends back home. When the holidays come around, feel free to decorate for those, too!
The Ability to Put Your Needs First
Part of becoming an independent adult in college is being able to decide for yourself when it’s time to focus on academics, when it’s time to party, and when you’re better off curling up in your bed and reading a book, Friday night or not! You might have a friend who doesn’t care one bit about schoolwork and wants to hang out 24/7. You’re going to need the ability to say no when you have a cold or a test the next day. Doing so will make college life yours and nobody else’s.
Counseling Center Information
Sometimes, the drama in college life is too much for any one person to handle. Even if you never use it, it helps to have the counseling center information on hand. Know the number, and where it’s located, just in case.
Walk into any college bookstore and it will probably take you less than five seconds to find something with your school’s name on it. If you wanted to, you could dress yourself up in your school’s apparel, from your college colored socks, to the logo on your baseball cap! The student parking lot is full of bumper stickers supporting your football and hockey teams, and your friends’ dorm rooms are littered with mugs and posters, all with an outline of your school! So what’s the point of all this hype? Here are six reasons why you should embrace college pride this fall!
Whatever you had to do to get yourself here is an accomplishment! Getting into college is no easy task, and it’s not for everyone. You have to spend your high school years getting decent grades, getting yourself involved in activities, and getting a job, just to prove that you’re a hard worker! You have to take the SATs, just to show admissions boards that you know a thing or two! Be proud that you got into college!
This is where you are getting your education. This is where you will be trained to become the young professional you will someday be. This is the institution that is carving your future. Be proud that this college has given you a path to success.
Not only is this where you are learning to be an architect, or a nurse, or a teacher, but this is where you are learning to become an independent adult! College is where you will learn how to plan and manage your time. It’s where you will develop new opinions and philosophies about the world. It’s where you will decide what defines you. Be proud that your school is helping to make you who you are.
Nobody gets out of college without making some new friends and sharing some good laughs. College is incredibly rich with social experiences. They don’t call it the best years of your life for nothing! Be proud that this school will give to you the people and moments that mean everything!
College students today know more than anyone that getting a degree isn’t cheap. It’s an investment that will have to be paid off over many years! Your college or university is something that you believe will better you and for that, it is worth every penny. Be proud that this institution is where you put your money.
College is a time commitment. It takes at least four years to earn a bachelors, and many find themselves taking even longer than that! In addition, some professions require a masters degree, or even a PhD. That’s a lot of time to devote to school! Be proud that this is school is where you have chosen to spend many years of your life.
As the eldest child in my family, I wasn’t lucky enough to get my hands on those glimmering snippets of valuable college information. I knew my father had a college roommate who put on The Pointer Sisters’ “I’m So Excited,” and danced after his final class every Friday, and I knew that movies I had seen portrayed college courses taught in something more like an arena than a twenty-five student classroom. My concept of college lied somewhere between these two ideas, and regardless of that fact, I took my first steps on my college campus ready for whatever freshman year would throw at me! Having graduated in 2009, here are three things I wish I had known on my first day.
There Are Better Places to Get Your Textbooks
For the first two years of my college education, I took the option of having the college bookstore collect everything I needed for my courses, placing it all neatly into a huge box, taping it up, and giving me a call when it was ready. Don’t get me wrong: this was highly convenient! I didn’t have to wait in the same line as the other hundred people looking to cash out, and I knew I had what I needed before the bookstore ran out. On the other hand, this was not the cheapest way to go, and taking back books professors decided they didn’t want the first week was a pain! If I had it to do over again, I think I would spend more time buying books off of Craigslist, buying used books online, or renting books!
Nobody Is THAT Perfect
My freshman year, I had big dreams, and I was going after them! For me, this meant getting to know the people around campus I idolized. I wanted to be like my RA, who was not only beautiful, she was brilliant in her double major, and a leader in a dozen organizations! I wanted to be like the president of one of my campus groups, who won tons of academic awards and everyone on campus knew him! I soon learned that my RA struggled with major body image issues and was miserable as far as relationships go. That guy on campus everyone knew? He frequently asked if he could copy my work. That’s when I learned these people weren’t perfect, and I was reaching for something that was never there. Of course, the lesson here is not to go around pointing out others’ flaws, but rather to not let the seemingly perfect perception of your classmates dampen your own confidence in yourself. Perfection isn’t a realistic goal, but improvement always is.
Not Everyone is Trustworthy
While there are certainly people I didn’t like, and who didn’t like me, I had not met too many people with truly poor intentions. My junior year of college, I was approached by a guy around my age who said he was selling magazines so he could study abroad. Seems legit, right? He wanted me to pay him in cash, and there just happened to be an ATM near where we were standing. How convenient, right?! After taking out a hundred dollars (he said he’d give me change), he took off with the money! I learned then that if something seems off, I would be willing to risk possibly disappointing someone to get out of the situation.
What’s so hard about college?
You might think it’s the coursework. After all, college level academics are more difficult than high school academics, and often times, the methods used to teach a college level course are unfamiliar to a freshman. You might think the hard part of college is making friends, as you’ve likely left most of yours, along with your family, behind.
While the academic and social aspects of college can be challenging, the students who haven’t figured out how to balance everything are those that have the toughest time. The demands of college students are high, and they’re coming from every direction: you have two professors expecting papers by the end of the week, your club meets every Wednesday, your RA is holding a mandatory event tonight, you have a group presentation tomorrow, Mom wants you to call her, and your best friend just broke up with her high school sweetheart and she needs you right now. Feeling stressed yet? Most college kids do.
So what are you going to do about it?
Well, you could simply throw your pens in the air and say, “Forget this! College is too hard!” and walk out. There are plenty of students who do. Or, you could learn how to balance all of these activities in a way that brings you success and happiness!
Your first lesson is a basic one: get yourself a planner (and use it)! Write down when your assignments are due and when you plan to do them. Schedule in your weekly meetings, even if it seems obvious that you’re busy at 7 p.m. every Monday. Note test days, birthdays, off-campus parties, visits home, group project meetings, campus events, when construction is going to be blocking your typical entrance to your campus, when you’ll need a new toothbrush, and everything else you need to remember. Color code it if you have to! Pour your life into this thing because your mind will not be able to handle it all.
Your second lesson, one that many people have a difficult time with, is being able to recognize when things are about to get crazy, and doing something about it. When you’re documenting everything in a planner, it will only take you a moment to realize there’s a dark and twisty Tuesday coming up where you have a twelve page paper due, two meetings scheduled for the same time, and coffee with your ex where you’ll discuss whether or not you’re getting back together. Yikes. Understand that this is a storm warning, and you’ll need to make preparations for it.
Your final lesson in performing a successful balancing act is being able to prevent spillage from one demand into another. Focus on the task at hand. If it’s homework time, don’t get on the phone for an hour. If your friend is visiting from another college, don’t spend that time polishing the final words of a paper. Think of your demands like paint: while a few mix nicely, too many mixed together makes an ugly greenish brown.
1. Don’t Think You’ll Figure It Out Right Away
Going to college is a huge transition, and it takes some people longer than others to adjust. With so many opportunities for studies and socializing, you may find that you are having a hard time finding your niche. The great thing about college is that there are SO many opportunities available to get involved in that exist to help you explore yourself and your interests. You may find that the things you enjoyed freshman year don’t appeal to you once you’re a junior, and that’s okay! Try new things, join new clubs, and find what makes you happy again—it’s never too late to change your mind. College is a time when you figure out who you are and what you like, and taking all four years to cement that is a great way to grow and develop into the person you want to be.
2. Everyone is just as scared as you are
There may be those people on your hall or in your classes who seem like they’ve got everything under control, but in reality, they are likely feeling the same range of emotions that you are at this very moment. Like you, they wonder whether they’ll like their classes, whether they’ll make friends, and whether they’ve chosen the right school—it’s only natural at such a crucial point in your life. Don’t let yourself be intimidated by those around you who appear to have a hold on freshman year—you’re doing great, and in time, you will feel just as confident. Instead of being scared and waiting for good things to come to you, put yourself out there! Face your fears head on and make things happen. You may be surprised at what can result from showing a little courage.
3. Get Involved
College provides numerous outlets to get involved on campus, whether through social organizations, honor societies, sports teams, or clubs. These organizations are always looking for new members, and will allow you to get adjusted to college life early on during your college experience. Joining and remaining active will remind you why you chose your school in the first place and forge a connection with the other students in your group. Don’t sit and watch it go by—get involved in the things that you’re interested in freshman year and see where the journey takes you.
Having fun in college doesn’t need to cost a lot of money. Skipping expensive movie theatres, restaurants, and nightlife for something a little more low-key will allow you to think outside the box and take advantage of the many resources available in your college environment without breaking the bank.
Spend Time Outside
No matter where your school is located in the country, there are likely to be outdoor activities that will show you a great time. Whether its berry picking, playing Frisbee in the park, or laying in the sun, spending time outside is a fun, relaxing way to have inexpensive fun in college. Take advantage of a beautiful day, explore the area around you, and you may be surprised what you find. When night falls, showing a movie on your lawn is a great way to stay in the outdoors and maybe even meet your neighbors. Set up screen to project the film, lay out some blankets, and see who stops by to watch with you.
Daily Deal Websites
Companies like Groupon and Living Social are great ways to take advantage of your town. They allow you to experience the best restaurants and attractions around you at a lower cost, and often extend deals aimed at two or more people that you can enjoy with your friends. Visit daily deal websites frequently to make sure you see every opportunity available in your area.
Organize A Scavenger Hunt
Reminiscent of your days in grade school and at summer camp, scavenger hunts can be just as fun in college as they were when you were younger. College towns, with their historical landmarks and countless buildings, provide the perfect map for a memorable, funny time with your friends. Form small teams and break out your cameras to document your findings; you’ll have a great time scouring the city as you find everything on your list and meeting up at the end of the day.
The college experience isn’t all about studying, and no one knows that better than the staff in the student life department at your school. These departments work with various company representatives around the country to bring events like movie screenings and restaurant tastings to campus at little or no cost to students. Find out what you school is planning throughout the year, and make sure to arrive early so you don’t miss out! These events tend to be very popular and are likely fill up quickly.
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As a high school graduate preparing for college in August, whether you know it yet or not, your life is about to change! There’s a big difference between life as a high school senior and life as a college freshman. Even those who loved high school and are reluctant to leave can enjoy college even more! Here are five things you can look forward to about your college education this Fall!
In high school, you had a very set schedule, and not much control over it. Your school day began and ended at a particular time. Your parents might have made tacos for dinner every Tuesday for as long as you can remember. You’ve probably spent weekends being dragged to department stores and family parties instead of being able to do what you wanted.
In college, for the most part, you can choose when you want to take classes. You decide when and where you want to study. It’s up to you to determine when and what you want to eat for every meal. You’re in control, and at 17 or 18 years old, you’re ready for it!
The Chance to Be a Rock Star
Between middle school and high school, you’ve had to take science, math, English, social studies, home economics, gym, technology, music, and art. Some of those things you were great at, while others you struggled with. Some subjects bored you to tears. In college, most of the classes you take will be what you’re good at and what interests you, making you feel like a rock star!
In college, you’ll meet new people unlike the people you’ve known your whole life. There will be people from other parts of the country and other parts of the world, all with different beliefs, expressions, values, experiences, and ways of having fun! In addition to all of your high school pals, you’ll have a whole different group of people to hang out with.
Because college is a place where people from all over gather to learn, you’ll find college has a lot more opportunities than high school to learn and try new things. Your college might offer snow shoeing, ice skating, and Irish dancing as physical education courses. Your dining hall may serve meals from other countries, as well as gluten-free and vegan options. There will be clubs on campus that support a variety of different political parties. In college, you’ll have the chance to try so many things you’ve never had the opportunity to try before.
A Fresh Start
As a college freshman, you may be the last to pick your classes and you may be too young to live off campus, but you also have the most time ahead of you to seize opportunities and make your mark. You have a clean slate in which you can do and become anything. You have your whole college career ahead of you. Your road is only beginning!
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College is a sanctuary for education and academia. It’s a place where students discover themselves, their passions, and what they want to do with their future. It’s the place where different generations come together to teach each other and expand knowledge to make the world a better place to be…
But the college dorms can get a bit nasty.
Hundreds of adolescents living in small quarters? An average of two people per matchbox-sized room does not make for ideal living conditions. Sure, it’s fun to live in a building with a bunch of people your age who have similar interests and are probably totally down to try to make jello with you in your dorm room, but there are some things you should watch out for, because in such close quarters, nasty things can be contagious.
Most people at some point in their lives have been ridden with these nasty insects that seek solace in our hair–especially young children. Recently, Huntington University in Indiana has had an outbreak of lice within its dorms. Lice spread easily, so it makes sense that a bunch of almost 20-somethings living in close quarters would have a break out. If you notice you’re scratching your head, or any read bumps on your head or neck, avoid resting on your roommate’s pillow and head straight for the shower with some get-rid-of-lice shampoo.
2. Bed Bugs
Many higher education institutions have been driven to war with these nighttime demons more commonly known as bedbugs, including Stanford University, Ohio State, Texas A&M, University of Florida, the City University of New York’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Northern Illinois University, McGill University and the University of Colorado in Boulder. According to a 2010 Aol News article, Boulder spent $45,000 on methods to eradicate bedbugs from dorms. It’s expensive because bedbugs are unfortunately a pain in the butt to get rid of. Luckily, they haven’t been proven to spread disease, but they do bite and make you itch.
We’ve all been hit with a bug before, but in the confined spaces of a college dorm, viruses have a way of spreading even faster. According to the Huffington Post, this week at George Washington University about 85 students have been struck by norovirus. Remember, washing your hands can go a long way in the college dorms.
4. Bad Habits
One of the most contagious, terrible things that goes viral in a college dormitory are the nasty habits, like procrastination, bad hygiene, and unhealthy life choices. Maybe your roommate hasn’t showered in a few days, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have to. You also don’t have to have wild nights out on school nights or before big exams because the cool kids down the hall are. There are enough opportunities to have fun in college, so there is no need to sacrifice your health or your grades to succumb to bad habits.
Have you come across any gross things in the college dorms? Share your story in the comment section below!
The National Survey of Student Engagement, known as the Nessie, recently published a study showing trends in study habits and engagement of college students. The data collected is meant to ultimately help improve undergraduate education.
So what did they find? Not too surprisingly, different majors spend different amounts of time studying.
Here is the breakdown of average weekly time spent studying per college major:
Business majors – 14 hours
Social sciences – 14 hours
Education – 15 hours
Art & humanities – 17 hours
Biological sciences – 17 hours
Physical sciences – 18 hours
Engineering 19 hours
Business majors apparently spend the least amount of time studying–although social science is also at 14 hours per week, a bigger percentage, 23%, of them studied more then 20 hours a week where only 19% of business majors did. Still, although business students, on average, study the least, they spend the most time working: 16 hours a week. Business and education majors also spend the most time caring for dependents. For nearly all these majors, however, professors assumed the time-needed to study was greater than time actually spent.
There is also a disconnect between assigned work and completed work. For example, among full-time seniors who spend more than 20 hours per week studying, 22% of engineering students say that they often come to class without completing assignments. The study suggests that perhaps there’s a mismatch between the work asked of students and the work students believe is necessary to succeed.
Here are some other facts that came from the study:
- A large majority of students (88% of first-years and 86% of seniors) frequently took careful notes during class. However, only two-thirds of all students frequently reviewed their notes after class.
- Only 70% of students frequently sought help when they did not understand course material.
- About one in five entering students expected paying for college to be “very difficult,” and those who expected this difficulty anticipated more trouble learning course material, managing time, and interacting with faculty.
The survey is administered by the Indiana University Center for Postsecondary Research, is sponsored in part by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, and is paid for by the participating colleges. This year’s report, “Fostering Student Engagement Campuswide,” is available free online and for $20 in print from the National Survey of Student Engagement. But, it’s free online…so, yeah.
Do these numbers match up with your college experience? Are students studying too much or not enough?
Does your college take into account your dietary needs? From gluten to peanut allergies and everything in between, colleges are really starting to provide food that all different students can eat. And one of the most abundant of those student groups are vegans, folks who don’t eat anything that comes from an animal.
Being a vegan isn’t as crazy as it sounds. There are so many vegan options that are super healthy and surprisingly delicious. But, with the non-stop life of a college student, it can be a bit harder to find vegan options on campus while also trying to stay on top of their work, social life, laundry…you know, things add up.
The animal rights organization, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, recently took a survey of thousands of student votes assessing the quality and quantity of vegan dining options available on campus. They separated the larger U.S. colleges from the small ones. And hey, even if you’re not a vegan, why not try eating a vegan meal to see what it’s all about.
Here are the 10 most vegan-friendly large U.S. colleges:
1. University of California – Santa Cruz
UCSC implements a Meatless Monday for its students in the dining halls, providing balanced meals without the meat. The university also has a vibrant student activist community promoting vegan lifestyles.
2. University of Florida
University of Florida took a note from UC – Santa Cruz and also holds a Meatless Mondays for students in the dining halls. There is also the student-run VegFest, a program meant to create an atmosphere for animal-free cuisine and help students learn how to make some of their favorite dishes into vegan ones.
3. University of California – Irvine
UC Irvine emphasizes vegan versions of meat-based dishes, such as vegan sweet-and-sour meatballs, chicken tacos, pad Thai, and chicken marsala on the dining hall menus.
4. Ohio University
OU’s student menu includes vegan ravioli, black-bean stuffed peppers, Tofurky sandwiches, vegan orange chicken and broccoli, and vegan cheesecake.
5. University of California – Los Angeles
California schools are representing! UCLA has made vegan food a top priority for the better part of the past decade, consistently keeping up with student expectations as more and more residents embrace a plant-based diet.
6. Cornell University
One World Café—Cornell’s on-campus café–is devoted entirely to vegetarian and vegan food.
7. University of Connecticut
UCONN offers vegan highlights on its student menus like Vegan ravioli with veggies, grilled tofu with cranberry-apricot chutney, African peanut stew, and tofu vindaloo.
8. University of Illinois
A clearly labeled “vegan corner” in each dining location helps students stock up on vegan cheese, soy meat, and other tasty treats, while the chefs whip up flavorful recipes like vegan Caprese sandwiches (with soy cheese), pumpkin lasagne, spring rolls, and more vegan versions of meat-based Asian dishes than you can shake a stick at.
9. University of California – Berkeley
Popular items like tofu scramble, vegan chicken nuggets, and vegan pizza are just a few of the literally hundreds of vegan options available at this veggie-powered California school.
10. University of Colorado – Boulder
Clearly labeled vegan options at Boulder’s dining halls, such as tofu rancheros, barbecue tofu with Cuban beans, seitan tacos, and vegan apple pie, are just a few of the many choices possessing a light footprint but big flavor.
Are you a vegan? Is vegan cuisine an important choice in your college decision?
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