Posts published in February, 2017
BY MARY OSBORNE
Starting a new college could be a nerve wrecking experience. You walk into a new institution where you know absolutely no one and have to spend the next three or four years there. So, here are ten tips for your freshman year at college that will, hopefully, make your life easier:
- Engage with the experience
College is what you make of it. You can spend time working out and hang out with friends or you could speak up in class, get to know the professors, and learn an interesting new skill. Basically, these four years are all yours to experiment with, so engage with the experience and take the time to shape your life.
- Learn beyond the curriculum
Life will, eventually, teach you way more than you’ll ever learn in the classroom. But that doesn’t mean there’s no space for organized learning. Reach out and grab every ounce of knowledge you can. Learn beyond what the college offers by joining a cooking class or learning online. You can focus on reading and learning as much as possible during college, so take advantage of it.
- Save money on books
Buy the books online or loan them from a friend who’s done the same course. College textbooks can be really expensive.
- Get a job
Experimenting with starter jobs while you’re in college is the best way to build experience and get to know the world outside. A job that ties into what you’re learn at college will help you in ways you can’t even imagine.
- Don’t lose old friends
Take the time to reconnect with old friends and regularly go home to see family. Everyone needs a support structure and you have to maintain the network you have back home.
- Find yourself
Be silly and irrational while you’re still young. Learn from your mistakes and take every experience as a stepping stone to finding yourself. Every success or failure you have at this stage will shape you into the adult you’ll be forever.
- Balance work and life
Your years at college will fly back faster than you expect. Most students spend their nights partying, days at lectures, and countless hours in the library completing assignments. There are projects and deadlines that will eventually clash with all your personal and professional commitments. Balancing work and life is probably the most important skill you’ll learn in college.
Don’t let the pressure and anxiety get to you. Take a breath and relax.
- Stay healthy
Use the college gym and walk to wherever you can. As you sharpen your mind in class, it’s important to avoid neglecting your body. Sleep well, eat right, and workout as much as you can at the college gym.
- Tackle finances
The average college student leaves with a huge pile of debt. Add credit cards, rent, groceries, and travel to the list and you can see why college is the best place to learn how to budget and handle your personal finances.
College is likely to be a wonderful experience. Don’t be nervous and follow these ten tips to make the most of these crucial years.
Bio: Mary Osborne is a blogger and educator from Boston. She enjoys reading, discovering new places, and meeting new people. Mary believes that we can make this world a better place by respectfully treating our environment.
BY DANIKA McCLURE
Exam anxiety is a problem felt by students everywhere. In fact, according to the American Test Anxieties Association, as many as 18-40 percent of students experience moderate-high levels of test anxiety, and few of those students ever seek help in reducing their anxiety symptoms.
With help and proper preparation, students can reduce their exam anxieties significantly, enabling them to take exams feeling entirely more confident.
For professors hoping to make a difference in the study routines of students’ whose college experience is plagued by test anxiety, there are a number of test taking strategies that you can implement in order to best help your students. Once put into practice, students will feel more confident and at ease when taking pop quizzes, weekly tests, and even midterms and finals.
Here are a few tips professors and students can use to survive their exams.
Consider Using Technology to Help Students Prepare
It goes without saying, technology has truly transformed today’s classrooms. There are a number of applications that teachers can utilize in order to help students in their classrooms, especially when it comes to studying for exams.
One of the most common feelings that students have during test taking is that they are ill prepared. Even students who peruse and agonize over the material before testing often report feeling unprepared during exam time.
One way this can be overcome is through online exam testing software. Software of this nature enables students create a bank of questions, and software algorithms will randomize questions that students can use to quiz themselves and better prepare for their exams.
By repeatedly self testing, and completing these tests, students can feel confident walking into their exams.
Encourage Students to Share their Exam Preparation Strategies with Each Other
Constance Staley, who authored the Fourth Edition of Community College Success, suggests that professors make time for their students to share their own study techniques with each other.
As students listen and share, they’re bound to pick up a new study tactic that could help them better prepare for their tests and ease their performance anxiety.
“Put students in groups of three for about five minutes to discuss their best ideas about how to prepare for tests,” Shaley suggests. “After five minutes, come together as a class, and go around the room and ask each student to explain one technique. Students cannot repeat techniques. What may come out of the discussion is that different techniques work for different students, but that particular themes emerge that hold true for everyone.”
While this may not be an ideal solution in large lecture classrooms, small group breakouts and study sessions can prove beneficial to a number of students.
Help them to Unlearn Behaviors that Hinder Test Taking
As Linda Wong notes in her book, Essential Study Skills, there are a number of sources of stress that students attribute to their test taking anxiety:
- Past Experience
- Fear of Failure
- Poor Test-Taking Skills
Wong suggests that by giving students the ability to talk to other students, they can come up with strategies to overcome those attitudes and behaviors that are hindering their exam success.
Remind Students that Self Care is Important During Exam Time
While studying is certainly one factor to success when taking exams, self care is an equally important aspect in reducing test anxiety. Students may feel pressure to spend every waking moment studying, but it’s highly important that they allot time in their busy schedule to rest, reconnect with their classmates, and remove themselves from a stressful study environment. This doesn’t mean that students should procrastinate–rather, this downtime is to be used as a prescription to put in more focused work at the appropriate times.
Eating well and sleeping well are also important test factors that students often neglect when exam season rolls around. Although all-nighters are touted as popular study techniques, in truth, studying and not sleeping only makes anxiety more severe. Eating well is also an important factor, so make sure students know that nutrition is a vital key to their brain function during exams.
Test taking anxiety is a problem for a number of students of any age. As such, it’s important that professors are aware of how to best help those students who are easily overwhelmed during exams, and provide practical tips to help them better succeed in college.
Danika McClure is a writer and musician from the northwest who sometimes takes a 30 minute break from feminism to enjoy a tv show. You can follow her on twitter @sadwhitegrrl
BY DANTE MUNNIS
At an early age, parents and teachers can determine whenever a kid has leadership skills. It plays a vital role in developing a successful career and it oftentimes takes over someone’s technical skills. This certain type of skill is important for students to learn because it can build confidence and authority within themselves and their peers.
However, not everyone is born a leader. To some, being a follower is enough for them to survive the cutthroat professional world. But developing this certain skill is important for student’s future. These are traits of a good leader:
- Good leaders are also good followers
As quoted from Aristotle, every good leader starts with being a great follower. Leaders delegate tasks to their followers, they lead a certain community, and they are sure of themselves. But before they become great leaders, it all started with them following basic rules, such as school regulations or wearing the proper dress code in school.
Being a leader means abiding by the rules and being a leader a leader in school means listening to your group mates and classmates. Without this, a good leader is nothing when he or she has no one to lead.
- Good leaders have initiative
This means having the mindset to not wait for other people to give the task, especially if the student knows he or she can handle them and finish properly. Sometimes, taking initiative correlates to going beyond what is expected of him or her. In every environment, taking initiative or simply by being proactive can be developed to great leadership skills because taking more responsibility means you have the right mindset when you started setting the goal.
- Good leaders are critical thinkers
Great leaders have the ability to anticipate problems even before it occurs. As students, there are different challenges that come in their way with school, personal activities, and school work. Leaders know how to manage expectations, and they especially know how to get the job done, well, and on time.
Apart from this, students who are proven to be leaders know when the opportunity arises and when to take advantage of such opportunity.
- Good leaders are effective listeners
Leaders understand that to lead a classroom, they must know how to listen. If a leader does not possess listening skills, they will not receive the feedback from their peers. They would not know what others think and how to resolve them.
Communication skill is essential for leaders to hone and develop. It can be through verbal, emotional, body language, or hand gestures.
- Good leaders are great motivators
Leaders must be able to positively inspire other people, through their work, influence, and personality. In every classroom, there are classmates who sometimes feel down because of different factors. In developing leadership skills, students must have the influence into leading them on the right path and direction. For example, if their peer has trouble with their academics, they can seek help to websites who offer their needs such as Pickwriters.com to help them get started.
- Good leaders are disciplined individuals
Leaders know how to execute the goals they set for themselves. For example, if a student has a clear vision or great ideas, they will not become a product if they do not have the proper discipline. For example, a group work is due the following week. During your meeting with them, you start formulating ideas that are interesting and creative, but others think they are too risky. As a leader, you should be disciplined enough to know your boundaries and limitations. You should also consider how the plan will benefit not just you, but your teammates as well.
Becoming a good leader means being self-disciplined, while ensuring others on the team are also disciplined.
- Good leaders are constantly learning
No one is perfect. As individuals who want to develop leader skills, they must understand that everything we do in life is a constant learning. Knowledge is power, and learning is never ending.
- Good leaders know how to delegate
Good leaders do not take all the responsibility all to themselves. They are able to delegate important task equally, while taking responsibility to handle the task he made for himself. Projection as a leader can come from different factors, such as:
- Good leaders inform the team that everything is divided equally
- Good leaders empower the people they work with
- Good leaders are ready to handle the task, if a person is having a hard time with it
- Good leaders are involved with all the development in a certain task
- Good leaders know they are responsible for the outcome of a project or task
In addition, delegating tasks does not mean they will sit there, looking pretty. They delegate the task to help them lead themselves.
- Good leaders handle conflicts well
Even in school, good leaders know how to handle different kinds of people, even when they are troublesome or not. They handle conflicts in an orderly manner and they find solutions to resolve them accordingly.
This means leaders have the ability to see the positivity in a negative place. They are honest and frank. While this trait of a leader requires a lot of courage and command because pointing out the mistakes of someone can sometimes be taken differently. As a leader, they must understand that there are always two sides in every story.
Importance of student leadership
As students, challenges and struggles always come in front of us. As we learn in and outside the school, we take these challenges to help us become better people in the future. Developing leadership skills is important for every student because this skill can take them to different places, both in their professional and personal endeavors. The bottom line is, leaders are important in our society. Whether you start your own company or work for a company in the future, this special type of skill will be helpful and are beneficial for you.
BIO: Dante Munnis is a blogger and idea maker from Stockholm who is interested in self-development, web-related topics and success issues.
By Sylvia Kohl
Most people attend college for two reasons: to gain more knowledge and to develop the skills necessary to land a stable, long-term career. Of course, most students also get excited about the prospect of meeting new people and partying, but the main “goal” of college is intellectual and skill development.
However, there’s another goal you should add to your overall college experience: diversity, in every sense of the word. College is your opportunity to experience new people, new ideas, new customs, and new perspectives that you might otherwise never encounter, and it’s vital if you want to make yourself a better worker and a better person.
The Benefits of a More Diverse Experience
These are just some of the benefits you’ll enjoy by partaking in more diverse experiences:
- Broadened perspectives. You won’t be limited to your worldview, and you’ll be able to consider things from more angles.
- New likes and dislikes. There’s a host of likes, dislikes, and interests out there that you still haven’t discovered.
- People and opportunities. It never hurts to expand your personal network of contacts.
- Memories, stories, and information. Even “bad” experiences eventually become entertaining stories to share.
- A foundation of openness. Experiencing diversity in college will make you a more open and inviting person for the rest of your life.
How to Have a More Diverse Experience
Those benefits sound great, but how can you actually have a more diverse experience? What does that even mean?
- Find a more diverse campus. Your first step is to find and attend a college with a penchant for diversity. Not every college is equal in this regard; some are larger, with a propensity to attract students from all over the world, while some are smaller and tend to attract locals and remain tight-knit. Look for colleges with a specific diversity program and goals, if you can. Of course, you may already be attending college; in that case, it doesn’t make sense to switch. Instead, consider looking outside your own university for those experiences if necessary.
- Experiment with other cultures. Most colleges offer a number of different cultural exposure opportunities. These may include guest speakers, classes about different cultures, or student groups and organizations that teach about and celebrate cultures from around the world. Track these opportunities down and partake in them; experiment with international cuisine, learn about new traditions, and meet people from another side of the world. You’ll be grateful you did.
- Take classes outside your comfort zone. Most colleges offer far more classes than any one student could ever take. Unfortunately, most students fill up their class schedules in the same way; they choose some mandatory classes, look for major-related classes that they’re already comfortable with, then choose a handful of random “interest” classes to fill in the gaps. This isn’t necessarily bad, but it prevents you from seeing as much diversity and breadth as you could. Look for classes different from what you’d ordinarily take—ones that will challenge you and force you to think in new ways.
- Attend meetings for various groups and organizations. Your college probably has dozens of different regular meeting groups and organizations on campus, representing multiple different cultures, perspectives, ideologies, and interests. Obviously, you’ll want to go for some that already fall in line with your current interests, but make it a point to attend meetings for some that don’t immediately interest you. This is one of the only ways to discover new interests you didn’t know you had—and even if you end up hating the experience, you’ll still walk away with a good story to tell.
- Talk to everybody. This is the most important step, and it’s the easiest one to take (for most people). No matter where you go or what you’re doing, make it a point to talk to people. Talk to other students in your class. Talk to people walking in the street. Talk to people in various groups. The more people you talk to, and the more different those people are from you, the better. If you’re introverted, this may take some practice before you feel comfortable doing it, but it’s worth it. Everyone has a story to tell and a perspective to share.
If you follow these five steps, you’ll be able to get more out of your college experience. You’ll walk away with a broader range of knowledge than you’d get in the classroom alone, and you’ll meet people and try things you love. It’s still important to focus on your academics and develop yourself along your career path as much as possible, but take the time to break out of your comfort zone as well. You may never have this opportunity again.
Sylvia Kohl is an IT teacher with more than 8 years of professional experience. Her main spheres of interest are e-education and she convinced that learning process doesn’t stop after years in school and university.
BY CHRIS PATTON
College is expensive, and unfortunately loans and grants can be hard to come by. The costs add up
quickly – food, books, living space, even midnight pizza. If you’re looking for some extra money to
help pay for your tuition, read on for some creative ways to pay the bills.
- Donate Plasma
This is not for the faint of heart, but donating plasma can earn a steady, albeit small, amount of money each time you do it. The only commitment you make is your time, and you will walk away knowing that you’ve helped another person as well as made some cash.
- Work Study/Paid Internship/Co-op Placement
If your college offers a work study program make sure you take advantage of it. From working in the library to calling prospective students, it’s an easy way to make cash on campus and to gain valuable
work experience in your chosen field of study.
We’re not all blessed with supermodel genes, but most of us can model for a drawing class. Budding
artists are always willing to pay for the chance to draw a real person, and this can be a fun way to
spend an afternoon. Check the fine arts programs at your college to see if they are looking for models.
- Printing T-shirts
Screen Printing is a great way to earn extra money with minimal upfront costs. Start by emailing local printers to request price lists, this will help you figure out who is your cheapest option. Secondly, you will need to source the garments, this should be as simple as a Google search for “Wholesale T-shirts Your Town.” Next, you will want to determine what you will be printing. You have many options to drum up some business while in college; whether it be printing shirts specifically for a class you’re in and having the students place orders or printing for one of the many school organizations, fraternities and sororities. With a little planning, you could be on your way to supplementing your income with little effort. If you can get an order of 100 t-shirts and you pay $4.00 per shirt and sell them for $20.00 each, you could see a profit of $1600.
- Join the Military
This definitely isn’t for everyone, but if you’re willing to serve in the military you may be able to get your college completely paid for. It’s worth looking into if you want to see the world and need money for college.
If you are a dancer or musician you can easily make some money giving lessons. Parents of young children will appreciate that you don’t charge as much as a master teacher might, but are still willing to pay a hefty sum for you to teach their children. You would also be wise to pitch your talents to clubs or bars who are looking for affordable house entertainers.
- On-Campus Catering
A lot of colleges hosts catered events, and the catering company always needs professional and reliable staff. Not only will you make good money but you may be able to take some of the leftovers home when the event is over.
Your fellow students will automatically turn to you for help if you’re better than them at any given subject, but you can monetize on this by charging them to help. Consider tutoring off campus as well – middle and high school students often need help with their classes.
Golfers are always looking for good caddies. If you love golf and are willing to carry around someone’s bag you can easily make some money when you set yourself apart as a quality caddy. You can expect to earn up to $100 per 18 holes as well as a decent tip.
- Be a Guinea Pig
Medicines have to be tested on someone before they’re approved, and if you need money for tuition,
it may as well be you. Medical tests can pay a lot of money depending on what kind of drug they’re testing. If you’re not squeamish and in relatively good health this could be quite lucrative. Certain health care facilities and hospitals will also provide remuneration for acting as a patient for training new doctors.
- Buying Books
One of the biggest expenses, aside from tuition, is definitely text books. Luckily there are many websites dedicated to the buying and selling of used books. Big Words is one of the best sites to search as they compare prices on buying, selling and renting books from the tops sites online. Another great option is on Amazon where they have a book buy back program where they will buy back the books you bought from them. They also have a huge selection of e-book rentals which will allow you to carry less books, study virtually anywhere and search within the book for specific topics. You can sign up for a Prime student 6 month trial account which gets you free shipping and as long as you cancel before the 6 months are up you won’t pay anything.
- Host with the Most
The college party scene is a rite of passage for most students, so why not kill two birds with one festive stone by hosting the jam? For a small investment (e.g., a few kegs of beer, hiring a DJ, some snacks and party favours), you’ll almost certainly get your money back and then some. In fact, you may earn a can-do reputation on the college social scene that leads to further opportunities.
- Sharing Economy
Make the most out of your assets. If you have any spare time and access to a vehicle, Uber can help put a few extra bucks in your pockets in the evenings and on weekends. Similarly, if you have a room or space that is otherwise not being used for stretches of time, create an AirBnB posting.
- Live At Home
If you happen to go to school in the same city that you live in, you can save a huge amount of money by living with your parents and not having to pay rent. You may also be able to save money on things such as meals, laundry, internet and cable bills.
- Grunt Work
There’s plenty of work sitting right in front of your eyes if you are willing to get dirty and take on some low-hanging fruit. Shovelling snow, raking leaves, mowing lawns, picking farm produce, washing windows, dog-walking, cleaning houses…the list of menial chores is endless, and you’ll find a good number of people quite happy to pay you for your efforts. You may also uncover previously hidden networking opportunities through these gigs.
When paying for college you’ll need to think beyond scholarships and loans if you want to graduate
without a lot of debt. Taking on one or more of these jobs will help you easily pay for your tuition.
Chris Patton is a freelance writer, father of two and sports fanatic.
by Hilary Gan
Academic advisors are excellent but often underutilized resources for college students. Depending on the institution, advisors may be a specialized full-time staff member, a professor within the student’s chosen major, or an instructor of informational freshman courses. Students should strive to check in with their advisor at least once per semester—doing so can help students stay on the right track for their college careers in more ways than one.
To get the most out of advising sessions, and to develop a strong rapport with your advisor, consider asking the following questions.
- Given my strengths, academic performance, and interests, would you agree that I’ve chosen the right major?
This question will require a little prep work: students should take some time to jot down notes about their personal strengths, past academic performance, and the courses they’ve most enjoyed. After this step is done, students can share this information with their academic advisor and ask for input on their choice of major.
Why is this important? Some students end up declaring a major that isn’t really right for them; this can be due to simple unawareness of programs available, a lack of research on potential career paths, or even pressures to follow in family footsteps. Choosing the wrong major can send students in a direction that isn’t really best for them, so consulting with a trusted advisor is a great step to ensure you’re on the right path. Academic advisors have extensive experience with helping students find the right fit for them, so students should feel free to inquire about this at least once, and perhaps even more often, during their studies.
- How can I make sure I will graduate on time?
Asking about graduation timelines will open the door for advisors to help students create a concrete four-year plan. Students should be sure they thoroughly understand any general education requirements, the requirements for their major, and any tricky situations that may come up—like required courses that are only offered once a year or that have to be taken in a specific sequence. Flagging these items with an advisor in a planning session ahead of time can help prevent unwanted surprises senior year, and it can highlight any key deadlines by which students may need to get in touch with other offices, such as the registrar.
- What should I do during my college years to ensure success in my intended field after graduating?
Students should ensure their academic advisor knows why they’re studying in their chosen field and what they have planned for after graduation. For students who have specific career goals or who want to pursue graduate school, advisors may be able to help connect students with resources for getting internships or determine when to take exams like the GRE or LSAT. For students who are unsure of their future plans, advisors may be able to suggest viable options based on the student’s academic performance, achievements, and interests. Students who take advantage of academic advising to look to the future will likely feel more confident going into graduation and entering the real world. This may seem like a far-off step to some students, but it approaches quickly!
- I’m having trouble with ________. Can you help?
Whenever an issue comes up regarding coursework, graduation, or any other difficulties related to school, your academic advisor will often be able to help you directly, or at the very least, refer you to the most appropriate other resource for support. You can talk to your advisor about changing majors, challenges with courses, taking leaves of absence, conflict with professors, financial aid, or any other issues you may run into. Having those once-a-semester meetings can help your advisor get to know you better and make it easier for him or her to help you when problems arise.
Having an academic advisor to help assess the alignment of goals with personal needs and to help create a plan for achieving them is invaluable. Students should feel comfortable and encouraged to create more comprehensive, personalized questions going forward so they can maximize these sessions, as well as continue to build a rapport with their advisor.
Hilary Gan is a tutor and contributing writer with Varsity Tutors, a live learning platform that connects students with personalized instruction to accelerate academic achievement.
Our latest Ed Note blog post discusses free college that will potentially impact higher education during the 2016-17 academic year.
By Daniela McVicker
If you have to pick a skill that will help you in almost any walk of life it’s the ability to write. It isn’t just useful in the office, but in whatever occupation you might choose – as it will help you put together everything from your resume to your project proposal. And those can be money-making skills in whatever walk of life you find yourself in.
That said, there are certainly some jobs where you’re going to do a hell of a lot better than others. Here we’ve put together some of the best job opportunities available to you if you know how to write well. And here we’re not just talking about being a novelist and a journalist, though obviously those are choices that are available to you.
Companies are more and more conscious of how they present themselves and one of the main areas where they pay attention is in the words they use to represent their brand. This has become so important for so many companies, that they have professional word smith on hand to personally supervise how their brand is put out to the world.
To be able to do this kind of writing you need to be able to have a voice, mold it to fit the brand that you’re working for and then keep go it. Fortunately, that’s often easier than you may think, as there are style guides that can be used and other rules of thumb to be followed.
Of course, if you’re not just assigned with the task of maintaining the brand but also in setting up how it will sound, then you’ll be responsible for deciding on those style elements. That can be fun too, though.
Good at making yourself come across as competent and capable from the first letter? Then consider becoming a bid writer. These are people whose entire occupation revolves around making bids for projects so that the company can get work for the rest of their employees.
Here too, there are often very specific ways to do things that you can learn and excel at. I think the best part of this job is that even if you don’t do it for that long (for many of us rejection is already a very difficult part of writing, to make it our job is difficult) you’ll still learn an invaluable skill. For really, in writing – particularly as a freelancer – the most difficult part is often putting your bids out there. So any advantage that you may have will be immensely useful.
Yes, it isn’t for everybody. It means writing tight copy to tight deadlines, with clients who might not really appreciate your genius, but it pays a heck of a lot of money. So it might not be something you want to do for ever, but it might be just the ticket to help you pay off your university loans.
What’s more, it is actually quite a fascinating world. You’ll learn the emotional content of different words and different structures and find out what moves people as well as what decidedly leaves them unmoved.
These can be valuable skills to take into any other career path that you might want to choose afterwards.
Academic Writing Websites
For many of us, writing academic papers isn’t very enjoyable. If you don’t belong to that group. If you find it highly engaging to put together an argument for a professor to grade, then consider becoming a part of one of the academic writing websites.
There are a lot of them out there, so you’ll have to choose which one is the best suited for your talents. I personally thought the people over at Legit Writings were pretty good to work with.
Freelance Content Creator
There is an entire group of writers whose sole occupation is to create content for other people’s websites. The best part of this market is that you’ll get to make your own hours, decide what kind of clients you’re going to take and it’s a booming market.
Of course, you will have a lot more uncertainty, but that’ s the nature of being a freelancer. And you’ll get used to it. Take it from me.
So, if you want to be free the 9 to 5 trap, if you want to see a bit of the world, consider becoming a freelance content creator and perhaps even take up a life as a digital nomad.
Another area where there has been a lot of growth is in terms of internal communications. A lot of companies now realize that if they want to make sure that everybody is on the same page, they need to take steps to communicate clearly across the entire corporate structure.
For this reason, the internal memos and emails are often written by professional writers. These writers are all about communicating information clearly and succinctly. After all, there are already far too many emails in most people’s in boxes, they really don’t need the company itself to add substantially to that.
For that reason, if you enjoy writing clearly and without too many frills, then try to get in on the internal writing game. It can be quite an interesting job – more interesting than you may think. This is the job where you can learn all about how a company communicates internally and what goes into a well-crafted memo or email. It’s a lot more than you may think.
Of course, because most of these positions are quite new, it can sometimes be hard to know how to get into this line of work. There aren’t yet any set ways to get from where you are today to one of these jobs.
This means that I can’t tell you ‘you should do this, that and the other’. What I can tell you, however, is that there are many roads that lead to Rome. The tricks to simply start walking (as in writing) and then take on the projects that come along.
Writing, after all, is about experience. You need a lot of practice to become a gifted writer. And the best way to do that is simply to start writing. Work for different clients. Do different gigs. Find out what area is your forte and which one you’re not that good at.
You might be surprised to find your skill set is much wider than you originally thought. Then, start to specialize when you’ve got a good idea of what is your best skill. Don’t worry, that doesn’t mean you can only do that one area. Later on, you can expand again. Just make sure you’re really good at one thing before you do that and you’ll have a steady source of income. And that makes a writing career a much nicer thing to have.
Daniela McVicker is a psychologist and writer. When not working, she enjoys reading different lifestyle, psychological blogs. You can follow Daniela on Twitter
BY Jilian Woods
Like it or not, college is nothing like high school. The demands placed on you as a college student are far greater. You need to know how to finesse a tough prof to get extensions, better grades, and more.
The better the quality of your work, the more apt a professor is to take you seriously. Sometimes you just need a little help getting all your work done. Things like the best paper writing service coupled with a few learned skills involving people and time-management can come in handy. With that in mind, here are a few tips on how to deal with difficult professors because if you haven’t encountered one yet, believe us, you will.
#1 – Show up for class (and show up on time).
Showing your face in class and getting there on time is the “ounce of prevention” that might just help you get on profzilla’s good side. Many professors actively weed out the not-so-serious students early in the game. If you walk into a prof’s office begging for an extension and he or she can’t place your face, you probably won’t get through to them.
By the way, many college professors will lock you out if you’re late. Attracting attention to yourself by being the one who’s always interrupting class knocking on the door is not the way you want a difficult professor to recognize you.
#2 – Participate in class discussions.
The more you participate, the more you and the professor will interact. This is another way you can soften up a difficult professor. Keeping the conversation going in class will help him or her see you more as a person, not just another student.
#3 – Review your syllabus early and plan your work.
If there is something in the syllabus you don’t understand, bring it up to the professor early. Procrastination leads to emotional scenes during office hours and any prof can tire of that pretty quickly. The difficult ones learned to deflect undergrad drama years before you showed up on campus.
Tearful excuses will get you nowhere. You need to learn to manage your time so all your work gets handed in when it should, especially papers and essays. If you plan to work with a professional essay writing service, the time to coordinate with your writer comes when you get your syllabus, not the day before your deadline.
#4 – Be rational and mature if the answer is “no.”
Reacting like a five-year-old because the prof won’t bend on a grade or deadline will only do you harm. Accept the decision and walk away. If you really think your prof is being unreasonable, you can take your situation up with the department’s dean. Before you do that, though, you had better have a stellar explanation on deck for why you’ve fallen behind.
As a final note, it is important to realize that if you want the more difficult profs to work with you, it is important to make it clear early on that you want to succeed. You communicate that by being responsible and visible from day one. You also want to “impress as you go” with good-quality original work. Great essays and papers help you boost your reputation and get in good with even the most rigid professors.
Jilian Woods is a freelance writer and blogger. Her main spheres of interest are e-learning, blogging, IT and STEM education.
By Kimberly Evans
For many, college is the most exciting, interesting time of their lives. But these years of learning and self-discovery also come with tremendous challenges. From financial pressure and home sickness to problems associated with a lack of parental control, many students find themselves crumbling.
You might not even realize that a student you know is battling against mental health problems associated with the realities of college tuition.
Here are 3 mental health challenges that college students face so that you can identify and try to help them.
College is full of great times – falling in love, passing your exams, making memories – and crushing lows.
While it is normal to go through mood fluctuations, the pressure of performing at college often drives students into a deep depression.
Brought on by an array of factors such as the end of a relationship, being away from home for the first time or an academic struggle, depression manifests itself as a drastic change in attitude and behavior.
There is also the realization that college isn’t a constant party as shown in the movies: it’s hard work and it’s expensive, so there is tremendous pressure to perform.
Many people become depressed at some point, and with depression becoming more prevalent among college students, it’s important to understand and recognize the signs.
If a friend or child is constantly sad, has a heightened emotional reaction, starts sleeping constantly, reacts with anger, often cries, or simply withdraws from day-to-day life, they might be depressed. Unfortunately, depression looks different on everyone.
Get them to see a specialist who can help them through therapy or medication before they take drastic action of their own accord. Often, all that’s required is a little help. For instance, a student I know suffered fits of depression when ransomware attacked his PC and hid his college research report. He got help and recovered his file with MonsterCloud. The solution to depession is sometimes easier than you might think but you wouldn’t know if you don’t seek it.
Anxiety is the most common mental health challenge faced by college students, with almost half of students battling against feelings of stress to the point that they cannot function normally.
Although it is normal to face stress at college – it’s an important thing to learn to overcome – many students find that their fear of failure is so great that they start to shut down.
A mixture of deep distress, panic attacks, sadness, and a feeling of helplessness are all reflective of a student battling to overcome their anxiety.
Understanding the causes of anxiety may help students, as it is often the calm implementation of coping strategies that helps overcome the irrational fear that drives this mental health challenge.
Full-time college students are twice as likely to become addicted to substances as people of the same age who don’t attend college.
Students often feel the need to experiment with drugs and alcohol as they learn more about themselves, and then become dependent on these to cope with stress and “fit in”.
If you, a friend, or a child cannot function without substances, they might be addicted. Seek help immediately.
Remember, there is always hope and you can feel better. If you are suffering, talk to someone today – it will make you feel better.
Kimberly Evans is a writer, traveler and Internet chatter. She writes for The Huffington Post and covers stories about businesses and lives that inspire her.