Posts published in June, 2017
BY LORRAINE McKINNEY
Learning a new language isn’t just something that is going to help make you a well-rounded person. It can also help you to land the job of your dreams. If you are taking foreign language studies, the first thing you should do, if you can, is to try to combine your language degree with a core subject. If you can tie the language degree in with a specific field, you will have a better chance of landing that dream job than you would if you just had a language degree.
Your Career Goals
It is important to establish your career goals before you take on a language studies program. Just having other languages under your belt isn’t necessarily going to help you find a great career. You need to have a plan in place. Consider how you are going to use your foreign language studies to become highly employable. Don’t leave this until you are ready to graduate. The sooner you have a plan in place, the sooner you can start searching for employment. Remember, you don’t have to be a graduate to begin your search. Start searching how, and have that dream job all lined up for when you graduate.
A lot of people think that they have to be native-fluent in a language in order to qualify for certain positions. Many companies are more than willing to hire people who have functional fluency. If you possess the skills needed for the job, along with the ability to understand and speak the language, chances are you will be considered a good candidate over others who only have the business skills and not the language skills.
Market Your Skills
Not every potential employer is going to see the need for the particular foreign language skills that you possess. Rather than let this defeat you, find ways to show employers how this education has benefited you in other ways, and how it can help you to be the best candidate for the position. For example, show them how learning another language has enhanced your English skills. Show them how your training has given you better listening skills, and how you have learned to really pay attention to details. Use anything you can think of to show that there are many benefits to having an employee who has a foreign language studies degree.
Work in Education or Translation
Maybe you would like to work for yourself and avoid working with a large corporation. Your skills can work for you here. Look for language-based careers that you can do as an entrepreneur, such as website translation services, private tutoring, writing and translation, and more. The great thing about these jobs is that you can work from anywhere, as long as you have an Internet connection. Think of this as an opportunity to work and travel at the same time, and you can really hone up your foreign language skills.
Seek Out International Companies
Look for companies that are internationally-oriented. They often have positions all over the world, and require their employees to speak a variety of languages. These companies are looking for candidates who have foreign language studies degrees, and you could find yourself working just about anywhere in the world. It is a good idea to combine your foreign language skills with business courses.
Think Outside of the Box
Instead of learning one of the more common languages, such as French or Chinese, consider learning another language that is going to help land you that job. For instance, German and Japanese are both language skills that are wanted by employers across most, if not all sectors, particularly sales, marketing, and operations.
Lorraine McKinney is an academic tutor and elearning specialist.
BY JANE HURST
Summer is finally here, but that doesn’t mean that you can forget about everything and do nothing for the next two to three months. This is a great time to get out there and do things you might not have had time to do during the school year, and you get to feel like you are being productive. Let’s take a look at 10 ways that you can be productive during summer break this year.
- Become a Mentor – If there is a subject you excel in, use your skills to help others. Not only are you going to be helping someone else, you can earn extra money, and sharpen your own skills while you are at it.
- Take a Non Academic Class – This is a great time to do something fun. Take a class that isn’t academic. There are loads of fun classes, such as art, photography, flower arranging, or just about anything else you are interested in.
- Listen to Podcasts – This is a great way to learn new things, and you can do other things at the same time. For instance, if you are riding the bus, you can listen to a podcast until you reach your destination. Find podcasts with topics that interest you, such as “Stuff You should Know” and “How to do Everything”.
- Take a College Tour – This is a good time to tour the college you will be attending, and the area around it so you know where everything is. Take a few days to become familiar with the area so you don’t feel so out of place in the fall. This is also a good chance to meet some of your professors and find out what they expect from you.
- Work on Your Health – Just because it is summer, it doesn’t mean you can laze around and slack off on the healthy eating habits. “It is important to work on your health year-round. Make sure that you are eating healthy, and that you are getting plenty of exercise. It’s summer. Get out there and enjoy it by swimming, biking,” suggests cardiologist Michael Ghalchi MD.
- Coach a Sports Team – Are you into sports? If so, offer your skills to help coach a local sports team. There are always sporting events going on throughout the summer. You can stay active, be a volunteer, and have something great to put on a resume.
- Teach Yourself a Useful Skill – Summer time is a great time to learn something new. You have a couple of months off, so take advantage of it and teach yourself a new skill. Learn HTML, Java, or Python for free online at a website such as Code Academy.
- Visit Museums and Art Galleries – Being a student, chances are that you can get some pretty great discounts and even free admissions for things like museums and art shows. This is a great way to become more cultured.
- Do Some Volunteer Work – There are so many benefits to becoming a volunteer. For starters, you get to feel like you are actually doing something useful, and you are helping others. Also, volunteer work always looks great on a resume. If you aren’t sure what type of volunteer work is best for you, visit a site such as VolunteerMatch to find the best volunteer opportunity for you.
- Go to Summer School – At one time, summer school was thought of almost as a punishment. But, you can also look at it as an opportunity to learn something new, and be better prepared for the fall semester. Take an interesting class, or use this opportunity to raise your GPA.
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.
On 25 May 2017 at 16:21, Jane Hurst <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
BY SUSAN PARKER
Humans are highly social beings. Most of us like to interact with our friends, family and those in our community. We also like to share our personal experiences, whenever we can, with others. It is part of our make-up.
This sociability causes us to meet and engage new people, develop our relationships — both new and existing ones — and engage others in interpersonal exchanges.
In a quest to express the strong social character and the desire for social belonging, man has over the years developed and adopted various social networking tools, in response to rapid changes in technology.
This desire is reflected in the number of social network users. According to research, it is estimated that there will be around 2.67 billion social network users around the globe in 2018, up from 2.34 billion in 2016.
These social networks have their strengths and weaknesses. One major drawback to them is rising privacy invasion and identity theft but with ransomware removal plan for students, that problem can be easily avoided.
Let’s talk about the positives now. College students the world over have several reasons why they use one social networking site or the other. For some, it is to connect with friends. For others, it’s to gain more knowledge; while for some others, it is for referrals, to take notes, reduce expenses amidst other reasons.
Going forward, we’ll be looking at the different available social networking sites that make it possible to do all these and how they can help you enhance your stay in college.
- Google Plus
As the name implies, Google+ is a social network from Google. Some of its features, while similar to other popular social networks, operate in diverse ways.
From “Circles” which helps you, as a student, to organize your friends into categories — “friends,” “family,” “roommates,” etc. — and makes sharing information with them easier, to “Sparks” which helps you find interesting content based on your interests, Google Plus is an essential social network for any student.
With a feature like “Hangouts” that lets you video chat with all your friends, you can communicate effortlessly with your classmates, course mates and even with your family.
- Chegg (formerly Cramster)
Need help with that assignment? Stuck on that project with no idea what to do next? This is the site that’ll make life easier for you.
With Chegg, you have the opportunity to throw questions at either a study expert or the study community. On this platform, you can also get together with other students who are studying the same subjects and share ideas about school work.
With over a billion users, this social networking site is one of the most popular around. But, apart from connecting you to the world, what else can you, as a college student, benefit from using Facebook?
You can use your account to make connections with your classmates. By adding your classmates as Facebook friends, you can get to know them more intimately. This aids your interactions with your classmates and helps you to create deeper connections.
You can also create a class group on Facebook and add your fellow classmates, since you’re already connected. On the group, you can brainstorm, bounce ideas off each other and share important information amongst yourselves.
As a college student, money management ranks high on the importance list. It’s the reasons why some college students take on part-time jobs with brands like IsaTonic, Phoenix Plumber or OB Gynecologist NYC – to make some extra cash or reduce frivolous spending to save money. No one likes to be stranded.
While Skype helps you to save money by making available free communication via the internet, another way to save money is by using CampusBooks.
On this platform, you can get cheap textbooks at reduced prices. Not interested in buying? You can rent textbooks and return them when you’re done. Amazing, right?
You can also compare different prices of textbooks and save money in the process by going for the lowest available prices.
As a college student looking to explore a huge database of resources and network with fellow students, you will find this one useful.
With Stunited, you can connect with other students, share ideas with a global educational network, and discover amazing opportunities. Combined together, these features will most likely facilitate an improved academic life. For instance, a friend of mine from the UK recently lost his birth certificate while studying in the U.S. Thanks to the help of a buddy he connected with via Stunited, he was able to get another one without having to travel back to the UK.
This is a social networking platform that helps you, amidst the multitude of choices on the internet, to find or discover useful content based on your interests.
For those days when the internet seems so big, and you can’t seem to find the answers to that assignment, StumbleUpon will most definitely come to your rescue.
Whether you’re a freshman or you’re in your final year, endeavor to make the most of this list. If you haven’t been using the above-listed social networking sites the way you should, now is the best time to start.
Susan Parker is a writer and tech geek. She volunteers for local environmental conservation programs and writes stories online about things that inspire her.
BY ALANA DOWNER
Planning on transferring schools? Whatever the reason for switching, there are a number of considerations you must attend to before you make the jump. Some people transfer academic programs thinking everything will get a lot easier. The idea of a better scenario can over shadow the ‘annoying’ aspects of transferring schools.
All students need to think about their student loans. Unlike credits, which can be carried across to a new educational institution, student loans cannot be transferred as easily, sometimes not at all. Due to this, students considering transferring must ensure their education can be funded at their new school. Furthermore, the transferring students need to take care of what they have already borrowed.
Can I transfer aid?
Student financial aid does not transfer directly between colleges. If you transfer, a new college will recalculate your eligibility from scratch based on the information on your FAFSA and the financial aid application. You can find certain types of government aid that are portable, while campus-based aid is not. Furthermore, money awarded by the college itself will not transfer, understandably.
It’s recommended that you keep your current college informed throughout this process, make sure they know your intent to change. In the worst-case scenario, you could end up owing money to your college due to return policy.
Resubmit Your FAFSA
Your Free Application for Federal Student Aid will have to be resubmitted to your new school. Transfer in the same year and you don’t have to redo the application, each year has its own FAFSA. You can resubmit the form you have already completed to your new school.
If you do resubmit the same application, your financial aid will likely be the very similar. You should also have no surprises when it comes to expected family contribution.
Expected family contribution is the minimum your school expects you to pay for one year of a child’s college. It will be expressed as a dollar figure and is calculated based on factors like family income, assets, number of people in a household and home equity.
Will I get the same amount?
The college you have chosen may award you the same financial aid as your current college, that does not mean the amounts will be the same. Your new award could potentially be less than your previous. There are several reasons this could occur.
Your new school may award you less institutional aid. This will depend on the financial situations of yourself and the school. If you’re moving to a smaller institution, chances are they simply have less money to give out. Also, campus-based aid is typically a first in, first served basis, meaning you will probably miss out. So, the time at which you transfer, the aid is no longer available.
You may also qualify for less financial aid if you transfer mid-year, compared to returning or first time students. Usually, monetary aid is received on a proportional basis until 60% of the way through the semester. At this point the aid is considered to be fully earned. Unearned aid is returned to the federal government by the college.
Finally, the general cost of your school will come into play. Transfer to a less expensive school and you will likely get less aid. How much will depend on difference of price between schools.
Remember your existing loans and student debt. Even though you can’t take them with you, they don’t just vanish. After leaving one school, your loans will enter a grace period. You may have to make payments on these loans within six months of this grace period starting. If you are to re-enrol, you can delay these payments by filing an in-school deferment. Deferring these payments will allow you to pay the loans off after you graduate from your new school.
Remember that different loans have different grace periods and different payment schedules. Be aware of this and your repayment schedule. Some loans are also accruing and some are not. Do the research and get familiar with your situation.
Every student situation will differ, don’t expect to have the same situation as your friends. There is relevant student support that can guide you through the process of transferring. Make sure you slowly go through each step at a time to get the best outcome for you!
Alana Downer is a financial blogger, currently supporting Learn To Trade. She is very interested in small and unique strategies for achieving financial independence and often shares her tips with her readers.
BY DAVID GUTIERREZ
It might look that the topic is too narrow for the readers of this blog, but it concerns all of us. Shortly, such skill as programming will be equal to the reading skill and also considered as ‘basic,’ ‘required’ in our CVs. The importance of coding and other IT-related disciplines for modern graduates can hardly be overestimated, and saying that you should learn them these days means stating the obvious. Of course, you should – we live in the information age, and with every passing year programming permeates, even more, areas of our life. Now, knowing at least one programming language opens up a host of new career possibilities and broadens the already existing ones. However, another question arises: what exactly should a modern student study not to waste time? I believe that your primary choice would be web app development – and here is why.
1. It Has a Universal Application
Learning a particular programming language is a very localized endeavor – you get a very narrow set of skills. Knowing it, of course, will make it easier to study other coding disciplines in the future, but unless you are going to be a full-time programmer, studying more than one during your college years is not a very viable proposition. If you want to dabble in IT as a side venture, you want something more general and universal, and web app fits the bill perfectly. In native apps, code should be written specifically for every platform the application is designed for. Web development doesn’t have this problem – which means that it has much wider application.
2. It is Useful if You Decide to Start Your Business
No modern business can exist with considerable online presence – and knowing at least the basics of web app development will considerably ease the burden of creating it if ever you decide to try your hand at entrepreneurship. Not only you can save money by designing your own web app, but it is also possible to communicate on a much higher level with professional development teams when you know what you are talking about, what you need, how much it should realistically cost and so on.
3. It Pays Well
Whether you plan a career as an independent contractor or as a part of a larger development firm, web developers are in extremely high demand these days, and the situation isn’t going to change anytime soon. Experienced developers can charge $100 and more per hour without anybody raising an eyebrow – and the beauty of this job is that there is no particular limit. The longer you work in the industry and the more impressive your portfolio, the more you can charge, and if you work hard, you can grow indefinitely. Which means that it pays to start early – preferably even before you’ve graduated.
4. Remote Work
As many millennials will testify, telecommuting is the way of the future, and there is hardly any other job that is better suited for this arrangement than web development. It doesn’t matter whether you freelance or work for a company – a) there is no need to be present in the office and b) it is easier to prove that you don’t have to be present in the office to your superiors or clients, as the industry, in general, tends to be more lenient in this respect.
5. You Can Easily Take Up Side Projects
The previous point adds to this one. As web development doesn’t need you to be present at your workplace, it means that you can work on as many parallel projects as you want simultaneously. Which is very useful when you have enough time or want to earn a little bit extra while studying at college.
To sum up
Web development is certainly a useful skill to pick up, especially at the beginning of your career. Right after graduation, you are going to need every additional skill to put on your resume to find employment, and this one certainly looks well on it.
David Gutierrez has worked in the field of web design since 2005. Right now he started learning Java in order to get second occupation. His professional interests defined major topics of his articles. David writes about new web design software, recently discovered professional tricks and also monitors the latest updates of the web development.
BY BRITTANY KERLIN
When you move from home into a dorm, you might be overwhelmed at the lack of space you have. You are probably used to having a lot of room to move around and spread out your stuff. This will not be the case in a dorm room, and you are going to have to share that space with a roommate. So, you need to find ways to organize your dorm room and make the most out of the little bit of space you have. Here are some ideas you might like.
Hang More Clothing
You can hang a lot more clothing by slipping pop can tabs over the hooks of your coat hangers. The second hole in a tab can be used to hang another coat hanger. You can keep doing this and have three or four items hanging from one hanger on the bar. This is a great way to keep your clothes organized, and make space in your closet for more items.
Hang Your Shoes
If you keep tripping over your shoes, it is time to find a better place for them. Get yourself a hanging shoe organizer. That way, you can hang your shoes on the back of a door so they aren’t in the way, and you will always be able to find the shoes you want when you want them.
Get an Ottoman
Another piece of furniture that can perform multiple duties is an ottoman. Look for one that has a removable top so you can use it for storage. Ottomans can be used as footstools, extra seating, storage, etc. You can even use an ottoman as a night table, simply by placing a tray on top.
Use Double-Duty Tables
Look for items that can do double-duty. For instance, you can get a small coffee table that has a lift-up top. You can use this as a workspace, and then open it up for storage. This type of table can have multiple functions, including being a small dinner table. Go online and search, “what is 5S methodology?”, and you will learn more about organizing any space.
Use the Bed Legs
There never seem to be enough electrical outlets or charging stations for your electronics. You can add both by placing special, tech-friendly bed risers on the legs of your bed. Each riser has an outlet and a charging station, and it will lift your bed a few inches off the floor so you can have more storage space underneath.
Use Under-Bed Storage
Take advantage of that extra floor space beneath the bed. Get yourself some plastic drawers or rolling carts that will fit into this space, and use them for extra clothing, books, and other items. Plastic containers are recommended because they are easy to clean, as well as being lightweight and easy to move around.
Use Command Hooks
One of the greatest inventions to come along in the last few decades is the command hook. You can now hang anything on the walls, without leaving any marks or holes. You can even use command hooks to hang curtains around your bed for added privacy. All you have to do is place the hooks on the ceiling, and hang some curtains or fabric from the hooks.
Use a Room Divider
You can add to your storage space, and get a little bit of privacy, by using a room divider. A great option is to use a shelving unit that is open on both sides. That way, both you and your roommate can take advantage of the space. Place the shelves between your beds, and you have close access to your items, and a “wall” between you for privacy.
Brittany Kerlin is a library assistant / technician. She enjoys writing and elearning.
Tips For Students on How to Get More Work and Revision Done in Less Time
If you really want to get the most out of your college experience, you need to learn how to study smart instead of studying hard. You have probably been taught all of your life that the only way to get through college and have great grades is to study hard. This is not always the best advice to listen to. There are actually all kinds of things you can do that will help you to get a lot more done, but you won’t spend nearly as much time doing it. This includes studying and revision. Here are some tips that will help you to get more work and revision done in less time than you are spending on it now.
- Set the Right Environment
The environment around you can play a huge role in how well you are able to get work and revision done. You need a study area that is comfortable, quiet, and free of distractions. Make sure that you have good furniture that is comfortable for sitting for long periods of time. Get rid of the clutter and tidy up the area so you are able to be a lot more productive. When your study area is organized, it is much easier to organize your thoughts.
- Listen to Music
While it doesn’t work for everyone, a lot of students find that they are able to concentrate better when they have music playing in the background while they are studying. Not only can music help you to relax, it can help some people to increase their concentration and productivity. It can also help to drown out background noise that you are unable to do anything about, such as noisy roommates, appliance noises, etc. Some music choices are better than others. Instrumental music is best, because you won’t end up getting distracted by lyrics.
- Take Things in Rather than Remembering
Instead of trying to remember every little thing you are being taught, try taking it all in instead. You can structure the information which is going to help you to remember in the long run without having to do any memorization. “This is referred to as “depth of processing”, and it involves reorganizing information, such as making notes from notes, thinking about how other things relate to your study material, practicing writing down answers,” says an Steven Sweat, a prominent injury lawyer in Los Angeles. This is going to make things stick in your memory.
- Take Long Breaks
It is a good idea to space out your practice sessions, and the longer the spaces, the better. When you study something, take a long break, such as 24 hours, before looking at it again. You will find that you actually begin to score higher. Studies show that those who leave 24 hours or more between their first five tries and their second five tries tend to achieve the same scores as those who put a lot more time and effort into their studies. So, taking breaks will make things easier, and your marks will be just as good as the person who always has their nose in their books.
- Give Yourself Rewards
Start getting into the habit of rewarding yourself at regular intervals while you are studying. For example, when you complete a chapter, have a bite of one of your favorite foods. Or, go for a short walk and get some fresh air before returning to studying. Or, you can take a couple of hours off and watch a movie. The rewards don’t have to be huge, but you will find that when you set rewards for yourself, you have something to look forward to, even during boring study sessions.
Martha Karn develops online educational courses and writes for students.
BY Sylvia Giltner
With the ever-increasing costs of studying, many students turn to finding part-time jobs and earning money on the side. This is beneficial for a number of reasons – they learn to become independent while also helping their family with the costs of their studies. There are many jobs that young people can get in order to earn some cash even though they are active students.
While not the most glamorous job, being a waiter is flexible and pays well. Anyone with some patience and effort can become a good waiter. Becoming good at your job means getting tips, which means even more money earned.
Being a waiter allows you to change shifts and create a schedule that works for you and your colleagues, which means that you will never have to skip a lecture. Consider being a waiter if you are confident enough in your hand coordination and your posture is stable enough, because it involves carrying a lot of trays back and forth.
The opposite colleague of being a waiter, bartenders tend to the bar and make drinks for the guests. This is a more stationary job compared to being a waiter but it also pays well and allows you to create a schedule that works for you personally.
Tending a bar may require some learning since it involves managing the espresso machine, typing the receipts, etc. Don’t let that scare you however, because this is one of the most popular choices for college students.
As a student, your job is to find the perfect balance between having a stable income and having time to learn and work. As a receptionist, you can combine the best of the both worlds and study during your breaks or in-between tending to the guests and clients of your job placement.
A receptionist usually spends the entire day behind a counter, managing guest lists, answering the phone and occasionally helping with luggage. This is one of the better options for college students who want a stress-free environment where they can also get some work done.
A promoter is a person who sells products directly to customers during certain events. You could be promoting a new drink and handing out samples or promoting a new magazine and interviewing passerby. There isn’t a clear rule to it and the difference tends to be small, allowing you to practice your conversational and sales skills.
Promoters tend to spend a lot of their time on foot, talking to people. This is a good option for extroverts who like to hang around people and enjoy the events themselves.
Babysitting sounds like a weird job for a student of law, agriculture, architecture, or anything in-between – but only at first. Babysitting is arguably the most popular job employment that students choose during their academic years.
It allows you the perfect balance of working and getting college obligations done. While it may cater to girls more than guys, babysitting is surely something you should consider as an option, especially if you have a family with small children close by.
Students are known for their notorious working hours. One day they are free during the afternoon while during the next they can’t seem to catch a break late into the night. Freelancing is a perfect opportunity for students who like to dictate their own working hours.
Whether you work as a graphic designer, doing CV editing, managing data for a foreign company – it doesn’t matter. What matters is that freelancing is the most flexible option you have when it comes to working as a student.
If you like teaching others something new then being a tutor may be perfect for you. You can teach kids English, teach math, or any other subject you excel at. Finding employment should be relatively easy as well, since you are a college student.
People like hiring young students to tutor their kids because they work better with them than older people and professors would. Use this opportunity to work flexible hours, have some fun with young kids and earn a little pocket money on the side.
- Library assistant
Introverts tend to take jobs that allow them to spend some time by themselves. Being a library assistant is a perfect way to do just that. You can work and study at the same time, using the same library space to do both. Not only that, but you will learn a lot about new and interesting books along the way. All of this is just an added bonus; since you will also manage to earn money that will help you support yourself during your studies.
- IT assistant
Being an IT assistant doesn’t require a programming degree or high level of computer knowledge. You would be surprised as to how many people can’t manage their computers properly. Some examples include cleaning the physical parts, hard drive and OS maintenance, virus database maintenance, etc. You would be surprised as to how little people know about these, and even more so as to how much they are willing to pay for someone to do it for them.
- Paid internships
Given the fact that students are the main target audience of internships, why not find a paid internship in your field? You can not only earn money but also valuable references and skills that you would otherwise skip out on. Paid internships are the best way to work and study at the same time, often leading to permanent employment as soon as you leave college.
Working and studying at the same time can be very difficult, but also very rewarding. Students who work are much more ready for post-graduate life than those who just studied and don’t have a single work hour on their clocks. It’s one of the most beautiful ways of learning about independence and getting used to hardships of real life.
Sylvia Giltner is a freelance writer for different recruiting sites. She makes CV editing and helps people to land a desirable job. T – check her Twitter.
BY JENNIFER LOCKMAN
We all have a particular personality that makes us who we are. Some of us are more opinionated than others or have a harsher voice to say things. Others moderate everything they say. So, we all have different ways of expressing ourselves. Developing this character in the way you write is no less important and you might struggle sometimes.
Do you write like you talk? Can you have many voices but still keep your personality, attitude, and tone? Contrary to what you have probably heard, developing your penmanship is more learning than a discovery.
Most of the work you will find yourself doing are essays of all types. When it comes to essay writing, you can get plenty of help online. You will find all kinds of resources online, such as sample essays, online services like EssayHub, and templates. You should not be afraid of getting extra help with this.
Ok, so let’s get deeper into what your voice is. When you read a piece from any author and you compare it to another, there is something, probably deep in, that makes you tell them apart. For example, you would be able to distinguish Hemingway from Meyer, right?. Even though these writers create different characters with different personalities, the authors themselves have a particular tone. This is determined by their attitude, tone, and personal style.
This is about how you feel about things and how you react to them. People can read your attitude through the way you talk, the way you act, and your body language.
Tone of voice
This is no longer about what you say but how you say it. Consequently, your tone of voice is influenced by your attitude. For instance, you can say:
-“Get me my coat, woman!” or,
-“May I have my coat, please, ma’am?” or,
-“Would you please be a doll and pass me my coat?”
There is definitively a difference in the tone of voice. Which one is yours?
Here is where we get more technical. What is your sentence structure, for instance? Short sentences or long sentences? Do you like to say things in very few words or do you prefer to elaborate? Would you say:
-“I want coffee”. or,
-“I could use a hot cup of coffee right now.”?
There are other aspects to consider. Do you like minute detail or cut to the chase? Is your language blunt or flowery? How about slangs? Do you swear? Your personality influences every aspect of your writing, many times without you even knowing it.
Tips to develop your voice
One great thing about developing your own voice is that your writing will be more energetic and fluid. The opposite happens when you are trying to imitate somebody else’s style (otherwise known as copy/paste). So here are some killer tips on how to develop your own voice in everything you write.
- Read a lot. The more authors you read the better. Read everything you can get your hands on. The newspaper, blogs, fiction, nonfiction, magazines, scientific journals and others. In fact, read about things you do not write about. Like, if you write fiction, read nonfiction works.
- Write a lot.Stephen King said it, “The best way to develop your writer’s voice is to read a lot. And write a lot. There’s really no other way to do it.” The more you write, the more your style will emerge. Stay true to your nature. Do you usually use slang? Write it. Do you swear? Do it in your writing. Or don’t. It is truly up to you.
- Drop the fear.You got this. Don’t let the fear of being read by others keep you from writing your best. Write like nobody is going to read it. Just let your fingers flow like the water of the stream. Write your mind out with no restraints. After you finish, go back to edit. This is the part in which you probably would do good in thinking of a particular demographic of readers.
- Check for consistency and grammar issues.Make sure your voice is consistent throughout. Check for unnecessary repetitions of terms. If you need a thesaurus, use it. It is not cheating. Also, consider trustworthy resources like transtutors for tutoring.
- Read out loud. While you are in the editing process of your essay or work, read it out loud. This is a practical way of realizing if what you have written is consistent with your personality and the attitude you want to showcase.
Go ahead, and let the words slip from your mind onto the paper. Think deep about your topic and the type of work you are requested. Write from the depth of your mind and in the tone that is yours. Then, keep writing.
About the Author: Jennifer Lockman is student majoring in Journalism and contributor to the educational resource. As blogger, she specializes in linguistics, psychology and e-learning.
BY MELISSA BURNS
College can be intimidating for freshman, but getting involved with groups is one of the best ways to break the ice with new people and discover new things about yourself. The trouble is, most college campuses offer dozens of groups, maybe even hundreds, and with your busy class schedule, you don’t have time to join all of them.
Some college groups will stand out to you based on your current interests, but you should also consider groups that can expand your horizon and result in better opportunities down the road.
What Makes a “Good” Group
Let’s start by taking a look at what makes a “good” college group. Obviously, the question is somewhat subjective, but if you want to get the most out of your experience, we advise you to consider groups that meet a handful of important criteria.
- The size of your group matters. Big groups offer the opportunity to meet more people, and are usually advantageous over small groups. However, for some applications, the tight-knit relationships you form in close quarters are also beneficial.
- Interest level. Gauge your own interest. Groups you’re immediately interested in may stand out to you, but spend some time getting involved in subjects you wouldn’t ordinarily choose. Diverse experiences are important for your professional development.
- Learning opportunities. You should also join groups that have the potential to teach you something new, outside of class. This is especially valuable if you’re learning skills or gaining new abilities you can use in the real world.
- Career opportunities. Finally, seek groups that give you more experience you can use in your career goals, or may introduce you to people who can help you along the way.
Good Groups to Join
Assuming they’re available at your campus, these are some of the best groups you can join:
- Student government. Student government handles some administrative responsibilities, and government members serve as the face of their respective body. As a student leader, you’ll gain valuable leadership experience, you’ll meet ambitious people in your class, and perhaps most importantly, you’ll have a strong entry on your eventual resume, helping you take a significant first step in your chosen career path.
- Multicultural clubs. Next, you should consider at least attending a meeting or two for clubs focusing on a culture other than your own. For example, you might choose to learn about Hinduism and its associated religious festivals, or you might stumble upon a group that focuses on Brazilian culture. This exposure will help broaden your perspective on the world, and the people that live in it.
- Dance clubs. Dance clubs are a great way to learn the basics of specific dance styles, and may possibly serve as another outlet for you to gain cultural exposure. In any case, dance groups will keep you physically active (and in shape), and may help you find a romantic partner—or at least some strong friendships.
- History clubs. Even if you’re not a history major, the value of a history club is enormous. Since you’ll be outside of the classroom, you’ll be focusing on more real-life applications of history, venturing to new places, studying artifacts, or maybe even learning to appreciate the value of antiques.
- Recreational sports. In addition to dance groups, sports groups are a good way to stay in physical shape. They’ll also introduce you to a variety of different people participating, and if you’re in any way competitive, you’ll be able to bond with your team.
- Volunteer organizations. Volunteer organizations focus on giving back to the community through a number of potential outlets, from working in soup kitchens to walking stray dogs. You’ll feel good about your contributions and you’ll meet some amazing people—including some who can help you in your future career. Plus, you’ll be able to list the experience on your resume. If you can’t find a specific volunteer organization on campus, you can always use a matchmaking service to find an organization unaffiliated with your campus.
- Any club related to your major. Last but not least, any club or group that relates to your major will be valuable. Not only will you gain more experience you can use in your career field, you’ll meet other students who are taking the same classes you are.
While some of these may be restricted to larger campuses, almost every college in the country will have at least some of these clubs represented—and if not, you might be able to start your own. You don’t need to make a big commitment, either; simply attend one or two meetings to get a feel for each type of group, and only stick around if you’re enjoying yourself and/or learning something. Expose yourself to as many new opportunities as possible; you’re only in college once.
Melissa Burns graduated from the faculty of Journalism of Iowa State University. Nowadays she is an entrepreneur and independent journalist. Follow her @melissaaburns or contact at email@example.com