Posts published in May, 2017
BY DAN MORRIS
Some people tend to read faster than others, but there is no reason why we can’t all be faster readers. There are all kinds of little tricks you can use to help increase your reading speed. You will need to practice these tips to master the art of reading fast, but with a bit of work and practice, you will find that you are able to read anything much faster than you ever could before.
Here are seven tips that will help to improve your reading speed.
- Prioritize Reading – There are all kinds of different things that you need to read each day. Prioritize these things into three categories: important, somewhat important, and least important. Begin reading in the order of importance, with the most important material being read first when your mind is clear and ready to take in more information.
- Skim the Material – Before you get into any heavy reading, skim the reading material. For instance, speed read nonfiction to get the main ideas before you get into the details. This will help you to read faster, and it will be easier to comprehend the material because you will already have an idea of what is coming.
- Slow Down – Speed reading isn’t just about reading fast. It is also about control. You need to retain the information you are reading. If this is not happening, it is time to slow down a bit, even if only for the more important information. If you are getting what you are reading, read faster. If you don’t understand something as well, slow down so you can comprehend it more easily. “Increasing your peripheral vision doesn’t happen in a day, it takes practice. When reading a line, try reading a few words in from beginning of the sentence. End a couple words in from the last word of the sentence. Repeat this process to expand the margins of your vision,” says Tyler Stavola, SEO Specialist from OWDT.
- Find the Best Reading Environment – It is next to impossible to read in a noisy environment, so look for a quiet place. Also, make sure that you are in a comfortable position for reading. The reading material should be at a 45-degree angle to reduce eyestrain and increase reading speed. Don’t read difficult material in bed. Save this stuff for your desk when you are sitting upright.
- Use a Pointer – It is so easy to lose your place. Your eye just has to wander for a second, and then you have to take the time to figure out where you were on the page. So, it is a good idea to use a pointer, even if it is just your finger. Place your index finger below the text you are reading, and move your finger as you read. That way, if you have to look away, you will be able to pick right back up without having to search for the last sentence you read.
- Read in the Morning – A lot of people find that when they read early in the day, they are able to concentrate on the material better than if they were reading at a later hour. Make sure that you are reading material that is the most important to you at that time of the day. The more important the content is to you, the more you will be able to grasp, and the more you will want to continue reading.
- Don’t Subvocalize – Most of us learn to read by speaking the words out loud. After a while, we still speak the words, but inside our heads. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it can slow down your reading. Remember, you don’t need to understand every word in a sentence to get the overall meaning, so you don’t have to sound everything out in your head.
Dan Morris is an edtech consultant and admission officer.
BY AMELIA DERMOTT
College is a whole new world. At home, you grew up around most of the people you knew. You probably lived with your family, and most of the situations you found yourself in were familiar. You’re an adult, but adulthood is changing.
While you’re learning and working your way towards the career of your dreams, you’re going to need to master a lot of other life skills. If living on campus feels drastically different, that’s because it is. You might want to change your approach to many situations you took for granted back home.
- Keep Your Personal Information Secure
Your important documents and personal information were probably safe in your bedroom back home, but they aren’t as safe in your dorm room. Keep important paperwork in a locked box, and make sure all of your devices are password protected. Don’t leave them unattended.
Since you’re also sharing internet at the campus, you might want to consider changing the way you connect to the internet. VPN services encrypt your activity and make it difficult for hackers to intercept your info. You might need to find the right VPN for your Mac computer, or the best VPN for your phone.
- Be Careful on Social Media
Most people have a lax attitude when it comes to what they share on social media. We’re constantly sending out pictures of ourselves, and these pictures don’t always compromise our safety. If you have followers who aren’t your family or friends you’ve known for a long time, you might not want to be sharing information about what campus you live on, or where you go at night. Be selective about what you share, and make sure strangers aren’t able to see your posts. It’s time to update your privacy settings.
- Get to Know Your Classmates
You’ll need to make some new friends in college, especially because many of your friends from back home probably went to different schools. Just don’t get too friendly too quickly. Everyone lives together on campus, and this makes it easy to meet new people. Don’t assume everyone is your friend. Just like in the rest of the world, you’ll encounter people who aren’t always what they seem. Spend some time getting to know people and slowly build trust.
- Familiarize Yourself with the Basics of Self Defense
This is something absolutely everyone should do, regardless of the crime rate in their area or the situations they find themselves in. When you’re out on your own, you need to know how to protect yourself from malicious people. Carry a flashlight, and try to avoid walking around alone at night. When you can’t, make sure you’re equipped with a legal tool you can use to protect yourself. Things like tasers and mace may carry restrictions, so make sure you’re on the right side of the law.
- Keep The Conversation Going
Tell as many trusted people as possible where you’re going, who you’ll be with, and when you anticipate that you’ll be back. Many campuses have safety staff who will be happy to hear your plans, because it’s their job to make sure you’re protected. If you ever see or hear anything suspicious, make sure you tell these safety officers. It’s better to mention something even if it turns out to be nothing than it is to inadvertently turn a blind eye to someone who may need help. After all, wouldn’t you want someone to look out for you in the same way?
Above all else, trust your gut instinct. If you feel iffy about something, don’t put yourself in that situation. Even if you’re slow to immerse yourself in a social group, you’ll know the group you’ve chosen is the right one for you. Never go against your underlying feelings about a situation.
By Melissa Burns
If you’ve ever had an assignment, you probably know what it feels like to be under pressure. As the deadline approaches, like some kind of fatal danger, we start looking for alternative solutions. Even if you are not the regular procrastinator type (lucky you!), you surely have had to face this type of rush. Thanks to the wonders of the internet, students can now get their essays written for a only a few bucks. Maybe we are entering the golden age for procrastinators? Well, probably not yet. But, we are here to discuss the pros and cons of these types of services. Let’s see if it is worth to get our essays written for cash!
These online businesses offer an all-around solution for the ones who are looking for an emergency writing service. The pool of authors is usually huge, where you have the ability to hire an ENL author for the additional fee. Starting from high school essays, to Ph.D. papers you can get everything done. The prices seem to be wallet-friendly, and you are also able to get yourself a personalized quote. After ordering an essay, a plagiarism checker tool ensures that you receive an original piece of work.
Furthermore, if you are not 100% happy with the result, you can turn to the customer service. Usually, without additional fees, you can make edit requests and finalize your essay. All in all, we are talking about a high-quality service. This can easily be a life-saver in those situations, where you simply forgot one of your assignments. Ordering is quick and easy, and it seems like there are no drawbacks. But is that all?
The other side of the coin
We surely need to discuss the effects these quick solutions. One of the most obvious effects is that you will be missing out on the most useful part of writing. That is: research. Research gives you extra knowledge and helps you get to the bottom of a topic. The time you spend on research is usually longer than what the actual writing process takes. By simply ordering your essay online, don’t forget that you are taking away an opportunity from yourself. An opportunity to broaden your knowledge! There might be useful information discovered, which you can leverage in the future.
Secondly, we also know that this type of solution is not the most academic one. After all, you are still going to hand in someone else’s work, under your own name. Fairness can be a secondary factor when under pressure, but it should not be. Essays are usually designed to help you develop specific skills, or to make you an expert on a topic. Also, for example in the UK there are already planned regulations fight off the essay writing industry. In the near future, this could also mean, that you can easily get fined or get a criminal record for using such service. Even though, at the moment it is hard to get busted, but it’s still not impossible!
Handle with care
These types of online services where other people write essay for money can surely come in handy. When you end up forgetting an assignment, finally you have a quick, professional solution. However, the risks and dangers are obvious. It can be easy (especially if you are a true procrastinator) to fall into a trap. Before starting to heavily rely on these services, consider all the pros and cons listed above. Essays are only meant to hone your skills and help you broaden your knowledge. Don’t miss out on these chances, as in the future you can benefit from your academic efforts. The skills you acquire through practicing research, academic writing, etc., can help you boost your professional career. It might seem like a few bucks are worth getting yourself an A+, but there is much more at stake. In the long run, you should surely rely on your own efforts.
And what is your personal opinion? Feel free to share it in the comments below.
Melissa Burns graduated from the faculty of Journalism of Iowa State University in 2008. Nowadays she is an entrepreneur and independent journalist. Her sphere of interests includes startups, information technologies and how these ones may be implemented.
By Robert Parmer
Prioritizing our own needs isn’t always an easy thing to do. And focusing on self-care can be especially challenging for students, as day-to-day rhythms are oftentimes flooded with too much to do and not enough time.
But self-care for students is crucially important—we must slow down as frequently as necessary and pay attention to our individual needs in order to be our best selves. The following self-care guide for students will help you understand common forms of “self-neglect” and where they may be hiding in your life.
Make Sure Your Basic Needs Are Met
When deadlines, chaotic schedules, and side work all start piling up on top of the other variables of life, it’s surprisingly easy to forget to take care of our basic needs. The following basic needs should always be at the forefront of a student’s self-care routine:
- Get enough sleep: As an article by USC Master’s of Public Health puts it, “Sleep 6 to 8 hours a night—it is a critical restorative process for the body. A regular schedule of sleep does more to fend off sickness than vitamins, exercise, and washing hands combined.”
- Eat enough food and drink enough water: It may seem like a no-brainer to eat, but busyness and stress can lead to students accidentally skipping meals. Depending on your body type, you should drink at least 6 to 8 (eight ounce) glasses of water over the course of each day.
- Exercise when you can: Did you know that getting to the point of feeling a ‘runner’s high’ is essentially as beneficial to mental health as it is physical health? Daily exercise is ideal for most people. Consider low impact exercise, such as hiking or riding a bicycle if you are worried about long term joint health. But remember, over exerting yourself while running or jogging commonly leads to sore knees.
- Keep personal hygiene in mind: Take a shower when you need to, and make sure you feel comfortable with your levels of personal hygiene. Studies show that even something as simple brushing your teeth first thing in the morning helps promote wakefulness.
Recognize the Many Sources of Stress
Pinpointing exactly what is stressing us out isn’t always easy, but it’s a highly advantageous form of self-care. Stress management is so is actually as critical to exam success as studying. This is because stress can consume and distract us, even subconsciously.
You owe it to yourself to eliminate as much stress from your life as possible. Start by taking a quick stress screener to figure out where stress may be hiding in your life. From there, develop a stress reduction plan. Remember: In many ways your stress is as unique as you are.
An interesting stress management technique, highlighted by in a TED Talk by health psychologist Kelly McGonigal takes on the following, insightful approach:
“While stress has been made into a public health enemy, new research suggests that stress may only be bad for you if you believe that to be the case. Psychologist Kelly McGonigal urges us to see stress as a positive, and introduces us to an unsung mechanism for stress reduction: reaching out to others.”
Embracing stress may prove to help you win the daily battle it presents for the majority of people in this world. Rather than stigmatizing stress or letting it manifest into another emotions, face it head-on in a positive manner. And reach out to loved ones or a counselor if your stress levels become unmanageable.
Ditch Tech for a Day
Our smartphones and other tech devices can frequently be the source of our stress. Modern students are swimming in a tech-heavy sea daily. A tech cleanse can also segue into other positive forms of self-care, because too much technology use has been shown to increase fatigue, stress, and depression.
Consider taking a break from your smartphone for even one day on your weekend—it can truly clear your head!
Overcome Creative Blocks Through Self-Care
As students, we may experience roadblocks in our creative processes quite frequently. An article titled But I Have Nothing to Write About! Strategies for Overcoming Writer’s Block points out some ways that being mindful of your own needs can help you get past creative blocks:
- Just walk away: Give yourself a cognitive break, even if just for a moment.
- Change your format: Are you sick of typing all day long? Take a break and read for a while, or consider writing some of your work out the old-fashioned way—with pen and paper.
- Remove distractions: Headphones (especially over-ear style) can certainly go a long ways, but if distractions become too prevalent, consider another location to work or study from.
- Change your scenery: A simple change to your studying space or work location can boost motivation and moral significantly!
- Do something that inspires you: This is unique from person to person, but it is always worth injecting some inspiration into your day to day life.
If you want to succeed as student you must start by taking care of yourself each and every day. You can’t expect to function to your fullest potential if you are drinking from a dry well. So keep these self-care tips in mind and develop your own plan to address your needs. You owe it to yourself!
Robert Parmer is a freelance web writer and student of Boise State University. Outside of writing whenever he has spare time, Robert enjoys creating and recording music, caring for his pet cat, and commuting by bicycle
BY JANE HURST
Your first job interview can be a very stressful thing. This is something that is entirely new to you, and that is always something that people view with trepidation. But, a first interview doesn’t have to be so stressful, as long as you are prepared. So, with that in mind, we have come up with some tips to help you survive your first job interview, and maybe even help you to get your very first job.
- Give Specific Answers – Interviewers don’t want yes and no answers. They want details. They want to know that you know what you are talking about, and that you have the skills and experience needed for the job. Think about ways to play up on your unique strengths and highlight them. If there is something different you can do for a company that will help them to grow, be sure to mention it, and be as specific as you can as to why you think your ideas would work.
- Learn about the Company – Before you walk into the interview, make sure that you have learned everything you can know about the company. Find out about the company, and any details you can about the job you are applying for. Then, prepare answers to give when you are asked, “Do you have any questions.” Interviewers aren’t just saying this to hear themselves speak. They want to see that you have done your homework. If you don’t have questions to ask, you obviously don’t care much about getting the job, at least in their eyes.
- Bring a Copy of Your Resume – Even though you likely submitted a resume when you applied for the job, you should bring another copy with you to the interview. When you walk in and introduce yourself, offer a handshake with one hand, and hold out your resume in the other. Sometimes, they may not be prepared, and might not have your resume in front of them. This will save them the time of searching, and show them that you come prepared for anything.
- Use Outplacement Services – You might find it less stressful if you get interview preparation through outplacement services. These companies act as career matchmakers and help people with preparation for job interviews.
- Practice Interview Skills – Before you go to your first job interview (or any job interview in the future), it is a good idea to practice your interview skills. Find someone who can help you by asking you sample interview questions. Come up with what you think will be the best answers. There are loads of websites that have sample questions. A lot of things you will be asked are common questions asked by all interviewers, and these are things you can practice. Also, practice some questions that you think might be asked in addition to the most common interview questions.
- Follow Up after the Interview – It is common courtesy to follow up an interview with a thank-you note. This should not be sent via email. Take the time to personally write and mail a real letter, thanking the interviewer for their time. This will set you apart from those who do not send thank-you notes, and it will keep you fresh in the interviewers mind. It is seen as a thoughtful gesture, and it is something that is forgotten about all too often these days.
Jane Hurst has been working in education for over 5 years as a teacher. She loves sharing her knowledge with students, is fascinated about edtech and loves reading, a lot. Follow Jane on Twitter.
BY KEVIN FABER
Motivating students is the goal and dream of nearly all teachers at all educational levels. But it’s often easier said than done, considering something like 40% of high school students are “chronically disengaged from school.” While you obviously cannot force anyone to do anything, and should never come across as too pushy in your good intentions, here are some of the ways you can try to motivate your students into action.
It’s important to not go so over the top as to come off as a caricature, but showing your genuine enthusiasm and love for a particular cause or subject is, in the long run, the best way to motivate students. Roughly 88% of adults will tell you that they truly appreciated a particular teacher or professor who made them passionate about a subject or encouraged them to be their best. Make an effort to be that teacher for someone.
Reward Effort And Specific Actions
It’s usually best to avoid materialistic rewards, though they can be used to good effect if you use them only to get your students to attend events and get active in the first place. Their motivation must come because they truly want to do something, not because they feel they will always be rewarded for it. You do, however, want to give praise for effort and specific actions – doing so demonstrates to your students that they are in charge of their successes, not how they might have been naturally bestowed with talent.
Use Social Media
The students of today use social media to communicate, sometimes primarily. You can take advantage of this by being a user yourself and using it to not only spread the word about meetings and events via Facebook’s events feature, but also to share interesting content and information that will interest your students in your subject of choice. You could also use an email marketing firm to best target students on campus. Using a email marketing company can be very beneficial as they have the tools to increase open and click-through rates of your emails.
Evaluate Your Students’ Abilities And Point Them In The Right Direction
Not everyone is cut out to be in certain occupations. Not every student is even college-grade material. The best teachers are the ones who can understand their students’ abilities and limitations and suggest the best paths forward for them to take. Help your students take action to find the career that is right for them. For example, you might have a student who really wants to be a doctor, but simply doesn’t have the grades or the personality to be a good doctor. You should take a measured approach – encourage the student to follow their dreams while instilling in them a realistic sense of their abilities and what they might really be best suited to doing. Instead of being a doctor, for example, you could suggest he or she looks into nursing or healthcare administration, which require different abilities and skill levels than a doctor but are critically important roles that make a lot of difference in people’s lives as well.
Motivating your students is not always the easiest job in the world, but neither is being a teacher, and it’s a crucial part of your work. Mastering the ability to motivate your students will make you a very successful and popular teacher as well as result in the next generation going out and truly making a difference in the world. So try the methods outlined in this guide and your students are sure to be motivated to take action.
Give Away Free Food
As many student organizers of college clubs can tell you, it’s difficult to get college students to show up at all, because they’re often busy with schoolwork, having fun when they can squeeze it in or busy with other extracurricular activities. Simple laziness can be a problematic force as well, especially when they work so hard at other things throughout the day. To get the attention of students who might be interested in taking action for various causes, offer free food at club meetings or other events. The students who are interested will continue to come back while the ones who only came for the pizza will not. It’s a good way to jump start getting students interested and involved while weeding out the ones who are not truly interested.
As students what would motivate you to act?
Kevin Faber has experience starting his own business from the ground up and he is passionate about helping others achieve their goals. His background is in finance/investing.
BY MARTHA KARN
For a lot of people, college is just a stepping stone on the way to bigger and better things. Others truly enjoy their college experience, and want to stay involved with their schools even after they graduate. If you are one of those people who want to stay involved with your college after graduation, here are a few ways that you can do it.
- Join the Alumni Association
This is a great way to stay in contact with your college after graduation. Generally, you are required to pay a fee when you join. This is usually a recurring, annual fee, and it is used to pay for things like alumni events and scholarships for students who are currently attending the school. The fees are also used to pay for networking events, career services, and more. Contact your school to get the information for the alumni association, and then join and start keeping involved with the college long after graduation.
- Make a Donation
After you graduate, don’t be surprised to get a telephone call or an email from your college, asking for donations. This is a common thing, as a lot of schools need donations in order to continue providing a lot of programs, scholarships, etc. to current and future students. Did you receive a scholarship to study at your school? If so, making a donation yourself is a great way to return the favor and help another student in need. When schools are able to improve their facilities and programs, it strengthens their prestige, and the degrees become more prestigious. So, even though you aren’t still a student, you can benefit from making donations to your school.
- Further Your Education
If you can handle sitting in classes and taking exams again, you can go back to your old college to further your education. Not only is this going to help you get back in touch with your old school, it will work in your favor to further your career. “Apply for grad school, and get another couple of years of education under your belt. Too much education never hurt anyone,” suggests an expert from Miller & Company LLP. Just keep in mind that now that you are older and have already graduated, your new college experience will likely be a lot different than the last one.
- Volunteer Your Time
Another great way to stay involved with your school is to give back by volunteering. Talk to your alumni association about volunteer programs and opportunities that you can take part in. Not only is this a wonderful way to stay in touch with your school, fellow graduates, professors, etc., it is also a great boost for your career. Volunteer work looks great on a resume. Even if you do not live near your campus, there are still ways that you can get involve, including things like online work such as sending out emails informing people about upcoming events, scholarship programs, etc. There is always going to be a job that needs someone to volunteer for it.
- Go to Sporting Event
You may no longer be a student, so you can’t sit in the student section, but you can still go to sporting events to cheer on the home team. You can make some pretty incredible memories at sporting events, cheering with your friends, watching your team take on their rivals, and of course, tailgating prior to the game. If you have friends and family members who also love sports, bring them along and get an even bigger cheering section going for your home team. Going back to volunteering, there may even be things you can do to help out with sporting events.
Martha Karn develops online educational courses and writes for students.
BY JENA BURTON
College admission interview is your stepping stone get into your dream college. You’ve come this far and now you have only one chance to study in your favorite institution. Therefore, it is important that you give your best shot at this important stage.
So if you’re feeling nervous about the outcomes of your personal interview with the review committee of the college, we present here some helpful tips overcome your anxiety:
- Research About The Organization
First things first.
Just like in a job interview, the interviewer for college admission will ask you reasons about why you want admission in their organization. Therefore, it is important that you acquire some important information about the institute that includes its history, faculty, mission, and future goals.
All these details would allow you to make a strong case about why you want admission in that particular college. So get yourself prepared thoroughly before appearing in the interview.
- Show Your Unique Element
College assessors probably meet with a large pool of potential students. Think about what you can do to make yourself stand out from the crowd. One must be careful not to be too wacky or too staid in such proceedings. You need to show the interviewers that you have something unique to offer, preferably something only a few people have.
This could mean knowing more than one language, being diverse in some way or going through an experience that has molded you a bit differently. Additionally, it could also involve making memorable responses.
Additionally, you need to think about ways to show your passion, ambitions, and plans for your chosen field. Just like you hire the best academic writer when you search “who will do my dissertation?” because you want to shine out in the exams, you need to put your best foot forward in the college admission interview to set yourself apart from the crowd. Anything that stands you out will be helpful in making you a prime candidate.
- Be Particular About What You Write In The Admission Form
Your admission forms contain your personal data as well as the personal statement. So the interviewers would likely to bring these things up in the interview in an effort to get to know you.
Hence, you should be prepared for otherwise confusing questions. For example, you can mention the last book you read. You can even share your childhood memories, or describe your love for a hobby.
- Perform Your Research
You could seriously impress your interviewers by reading up on the goals, objectives, and interests of that particular college. By reading up on the courses offered as well as their descriptions, you can also find fodder for your own questions. This will leave you more informed and enlightened than if you were to simply try to wing it in a university admissions interview.
- Be On Time
Nothing can be worse than arriving in the nick of time in disarray. Showing up in a messy state will reflect badly on you and the interviewer will form a bad opinion about you. Therefore, you need to be sure to set the alarm an hour earlier and arrive at the venue at least half an hour before time. This would give you enough time to unwind yourself and you’ll be able to get yourself prepared for the interview.
While preparing for a university admission interview, one should be calm and relaxed. They should also be confident in themselves. However, their self-confidence should not make them sound like a cocky or rude person.
While it is commendable that you reached this stage but that may be taken away on the whim of an interviewer. Just follow the aforementioned tips and you’ll be on your way to secure admission in your favorite institution.
Author Bio: Jenna Burton is a Student Counselor, Academic Advisor, and a Blogger. Her interests revolve around education, traveling, and blogging. She is also a professional writer and has published books on academic topics, and career management.
BY MELIISSA BURNS
It is a well-known fact that exercising regularly is a great way to keep your body healthy and functioning at peak level. But did you know that sports are also really good for your brain? Over the years, it has been scientifically proven that exercise and mental acuity are tightly connected. Research on the subject has demonstrated time and time again the fact that physically active people perform better in academics, compared to their more sedentary peers.
According to the CDC, only about 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. meet the recommended minimum of 2.5 hours of exercise on a weekly basis (2008 Physical Activity Guidelines). Most people claim that they simply don’t have the time for it and, given the busy schedules of American students nowadays, it’s understandable why they think that way. However, the CDC’s guidelines are more flexible than you may think. If students can manage to do some form of moderate physical activity throughout the week (even if it’s only for 10 minutes at a time), they will see great improvement in both their health and their cognitive function.
Most studies show that the more exercise one gets, the better the benefits in cerebral performance; that alone should make you want to start doing sports. However, we urge you to be careful and not to overdo it, especially if you’re a beginner. Give your body plenty of time to rest between exercises, and enjoy a session of deep tissue laser therapy whenever your muscles are too sore.
How Exercising Helps Your Studies
There are two main ways that practicing sports can help improve your academic performance:
- Sports help your brain: Studies have shown that exercise increases blood flow to the brain and helps the body build more connections between nerves in the hippocampus (important for learning and memory). This leads to increased concentration, enhanced memory, stimulated creativity, and better-developed problem-solving In short, playing sports helps your brain grow and makes it work better.
- They help relieve stress: Stress is a part of life, and it certainly makes itself known in a student’s life, especially when final exams and midterms come around. When you are stressed, it’s common to feel fatigued and unable to concentrate. Luckily, sports produce endorphins, which not only will help you feel more alert but will also give your mood a boost. Endorphins make people happy, and a happy student is a productive student.
Exercise is Beneficial for Students in Other Ways Too
As stated above, physical activity, in general, is very beneficial to your health and your cognitive ability. However, sports, in particular, can also teach you important life lessons that will be useful to you as both a student and as a person in the long-run. For example, team sports are a great way of learning about teamwork; knowing how to work with others will most certainly help you in your academic endeavors and your professional life later on. Sports can also teach you the value of hard work, time management, discipline, and how to accept defeat; all of which are important things to learn as you pursue your educational goals. They’re also great soft skills to have in your arsenal when it’s time to enter the workforce.
To sum up
Improve your grades, get healthy, and learn valuable life lessons, all thanks to something as simple as practicing sports. So, go ahead and start getting more active: take the stairs instead of riding the elevator, skip the bus and walk, dust off your old bicycle, or maybe even find a sport you really enjoy and join a team. Your body, as well as your mind, will thank you for it.
Melissa Burns graduated from the faculty of Journalism of Iowa State University in 2008. Nowadays she is an entrepreneur and independent journalist. Her sphere of interests includes startups, information technologies and how these ones may be implemented.
BY LORRAINE McKINNEY
Even if we think about the internet as a world in itself, we don’t often think about ourselves as citizens of that world. But it is important that as students, we take the time to learn how to be good digital citizens. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you are going out and volunteering for stuff, cleaning up trash, etc. A good digital citizen is someone who uses the internet wisely, follows internet etiquette and helps to make the net a great world for themselves and everyone else. Here are some things that you as a student can do to be a good digital citizen.
- Protect Your Privacy
The first thing you need to do is protect yourself. While you are trying to be a good digital citizen, there are plenty of others out there who aren’t. Do you know how easy it is for someone to use your private information for identity fraud? Make sure that you know how to protect all your private information, including phone number, address, email address, etc. Also, be careful about the personal information you post, or at least whom you share information with.
- Understand Password Security
Don’t make it all too easy for someone to steal your personal information. Learn how to use a system such as LastPass to remember all your passwords, or use a secure app to safely store all your password information.
- Be Careful With Photos
It is also important to be careful when you take photos. The most innocent photos can still reveal a lot of things that shouldn’t be posted online. For instance, if you take a photo of your home, make sure the street number isn’t showing. If you take a photo of your car, don’t include the license plate. Also, learn how to turn off geotagging features. Did you know that there are some facial recognition software programs that can find you even if you aren’t tagged?
- Use Backup Software
Make sure that you are using software to backup all your files and data. The best solution is a subscription-based, centrally hosted, online backup tool which can save your files on the cloud and can protect your data from ransomware. A great example of the type of software you should be using can be found at reevert.
- Respect Personal Property
Over the years, it has been drilled into your head that you have to put things in your own words instead of plagiarizing the work of others. This holds true for anything you take from the internet. You should learn about copyright, creative commons and licensing, not just for others, but for your own work as well. You can use anything that is public domain, but to use anything that’s not, you will need permission, and you will need to cite the source.
- Tweet Politely
You probably don’t like it when people send you rude tweets. Well, think of those rude tweets as a great incentive to be careful about what you tweet. It’s a do-unto-others type of thing: If you expect nice tweets, you have to be nice yourself. Make it a point to be as positive as possible when you are online, no matter what kind of mood you are really in.
- Find Your Personal Brand
What do you want your online reputation to be? Do you already have a pretty good internet presence? Or are you still trying to create the right image? Remember: Everything you share is out there forever, and it all reflects on you, for better or worse.
- Be Professional
Just because you’re a student doesn’t mean you’re free to behave however you want to when you’re online. You are going to be looking for a job after you graduate, so start acting professional now. Don’t post those photos of yourself passed out at last weekend’s party. Use proper spelling and grammar, and of course, internet etiquette.
Lorraine McKinney is an academic tutor and elearning specialist.