College Life

Read blogs in our college life category for advice on everyday situations and topics that affect college students.

The Best Places to Travel On July 4th

The Fourth of July is not too far away from now and that means it’s time to start planning out your celebration for this special day. There are many ways in which people choose to spend this day including a family BBQ at home, parties, community events, etc.  Each state celebrates the Fourth of July in different and unique ways. If you are looking to travel for this special occasion, grab your American flags and start packing because we put together a list of the best places to travel for the Fourth of July!

 

1.Traverse City, Michigan

Traverse City is known for having a more traditional celebration for July 4th. They not only throw a party for the holiday, but they also have a long festival to go with it! From June 30th-July 7th, the city hosts the National Cherry Festival. During the festival you can view the U.S. Navy Blue Angels air show over the West Grand Traverse Bay, enter a cherry pie eating contest and cherry pit spit contest, and many more traditional city events. On July 4th, they hold a large fireworks show hosted by the TC Boom Boom Club. If you are looking for a low key July 4th celebration, this is the place to go.

 

2. Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville is known to be called ‘Music City’. The city holds up its reputation on July 4th by throwing day long concerts. This year they have Lady Antebellum, Chris Janson, Lucie Silvas, and Shannon Sanders performing. As the grand finale, the Nashville Symphony will perform in synchronization with the fireworks show. If you’re a music lover, this is the place to celebrate July 4th.

 

3. New York City, New York

It’s no surprise that New York City makes the list of best places to visit on July 4th. After all, this is the city that never sleeps. During the day, people love to visit some of New York City’s Revolutionary War locations to get in the groove of this patriotic day. In the evening, people attend the water boat show, go to the Midsummer Night Swing dance party, and then finally Macy’s large fireworks show. You can view the show from many areas in the city including roof top bars, boats, hotels, and more. If you love large celebrations, New York City is known to hold one of the best in the United States.

 

4. Brooklyn, New York

Speaking of New York, another place that holds great July 4th celebrations is Coney Island in Brooklyn. Every year on July 4th, Coney Island hosts an annual Nathan’s Famous International Hot Dog Eating Contest. Many gather around the famous boardwalk to view the event while sporting Nathan’s Famous hats. After that, you can visit the Coney Island Circus Sideshow. You’ll see Wendy Blades the blade swallower, Nola Star the fire dancer/fire eater, and a lot more. At night, Coney Island will have their fireworks show which can be viewed from the boardwalks.

 

5. Lake Tahoe, California

The fireworks display at South Lake Tahoe has been listed as one of the top five displays in the nation according to the American Pyrotechnics Association. If you are looking for a beautiful fireworks show, you can get the best vantage points from riding one of Lake Tahoe’s boats. The Safari Rose is an 80-foot long yacht known for their fireworks cruise. You’ll have access to unlimited beer, wine, champagne as well as a nice dinner. The M.S. Dixie is another excellent option for viewing the fireworks on the lake. If you are one for beautiful scenery, South Lake Tahoe is the place to go.

 

6. Keystone, South Dakota

The Mount Rushmore Fourth of July event takes two days to celebrate. On July 3rd, you’ll see performances from local musicians and dance troupes, the National Guard, local Navajo culture groups, and more. Mount Rushmore’s fireworks display takes place on the 3rd instead of the 4th. The fireworks are shot off right over the stone heads. On July 4th, you’ll have a full day of brass bands, military aircraft shows, presentations from American-Indian groups, and see performances from more local musicians and dancers.

 

7. Bristol, Rhode Island

The celebration of July 4th in Bristol is a great place for people who live in New England and others who want to visit Rhode Island. On July 3rd, you can view the local downtown concert series and watch the fireworks display over Bristol Harbor. On July 4th, the celebration includes a parade, Fourth of July ball, drum and bugle competition, a Miss and Little Miss pageant, and more.

 

8. Boston, Massachusetts

Boston has a plethora of Revolutionary War history, making it the ideal area for celebrating the Fourth of July. Every year the city holds a Boston Harborfest. This year it starts on June 28th and last until July 4th. During the festival you’ll witness Revolutionary War reenactments, go on boat tours/walking tours, and hear live entertainment. On July 4th, the Boston POP has a concert followed by a 23-minute fireworks show over Charles River.

 

9. Key West, Florida

Key West’s Fourth of July celebration always lands on the week of their annual Key Lime Festival, making it the best of both worlds for a party. Even though Key West is a small island, there’s still a lot to do on this day. You can enter a key lime pie eating contest, go snorkeling, go on bike rides, and hop on board the Fury for a fireworks cruise. It’s said that if you want the best view of the fireworks show, then the Fury boat is the way to go.

 

10. Boulder, Colorado

For those who enjoy the great outdoors, fresh air, beer trails, and celebrations, Boulder is the place for you. For the past two years, Travel + Leisure has named Boulder, Colorado one of the five best towns in America for July 4th, and it’s easy to see why. There’s a wide array of events to attend during the Fourth of July including a fireworks show at the University of Colorado’s football stadium, Folsom Field. Over at the Boulder Reservoir, they hold a 5/10K Craig Towler  Freedom Run at 8am, have their beer garden open, invite families to picnic at their location, and more.

Top 3 Global Universities For Each Continent

Top 3 Global Universities In Each Continent In 2018

There are many amazing colleges all around the world, but have you ever wondered which colleges are the best of the best? Look no further! We put together a list of the top 3 ranking global colleges in 2018 for each continent using data from U.S. News. They evaluated 1,250 universities across 74 countries and were able to come up with a rating system to rank each university in order. If you want more details about the methodology used to calculate the rankings, you can scroll to the bottom of this blog and read about it.

 

Africa:

1.University of Cape Town (South Africa)

With an overall global score of 64.4, the University of Cape Town is the number one global university in Africa in 2018 and ranked #113 in the world.

This school is known for being the second oldest university in Africa along with being a representative of forward thinking and modern African optimism.

 

 

2. University of Witwatersrand (South Africa)
With an overall score of  57.1, the University of Witwatersrand is the second best global university in Africa in 2018 and ranked #216 in the world.

This school is known for being one of the best medical schools in the continent and being home to one of the largest fossil collections in the southern hemisphere.

 

3. University of KwaZulu Natal (South Africa)

With an overall global score of 50.4, the University of KwaZulu Natal is the third best global university in Africa in 2018 and ranked #336 in the world.

This school is known for it’s merging of two historical universities; Durban-Westville and the University of Natal back in January 2004.

 

 

Asia:

1. National University of Singapore (Singapore)

With an overall global score of 73.2, the National University of Singapore is the number one global university in Asia in 2018 and ranked #43 in the world.

This school is known for not only being the first Yale titled Ivy League school in Asia, but for also being the first liberal arts college in Singapore.

 

2. Nanyang Technological University (Singapore)

With an overall global score of 71.4, Nanyang Technological University is the second best global university in Asia in 2018 and ranked #55 in the world.

This school is known for holding on-campus weddings, being eco-friendly, having cat cafes and cat management networks, etc.

 

 

3. University of Tokyo (Japan)

With an overall global score of 71.3, the University of Tokyo is the third best global university in Asia in 2018 and ranked #57 in the world.

This school is known for being the birthplace of Japanese baseball. The first international baseball game was held with the University of Tokyo’s participation.

 

 

 

Australia

1. University of Melbourne

With an overall global score of 75.8, the University of Melbourne is the number one global university in Australia in 2018 and ranked #26 in the world.

The city of Melbourne is known for regularly topping the list for the world’s most livable cities, making the University of Melbourne a desirable location to study.

 

 

2. University of Sydney

With an overall global score of 74.5, the University of Sydney is the second best overall global university in Australia in 2018 and ranked #34 in the world.

This school is recognized worldwide for their excellent research and teaching along with being the oldest university in Australia.

 

 

3. University of Queensland Australia

With an overall global score of 72.9, the University of Queensland Australia is the third best overall global university in Australia in 2018 and #45 in the world.

This school is known for having one of the largest PhD enrollments in Australia.

 

 

Europe

1. University of Oxford (United Kingdom)

With an overall global score of 87.3, the University of Oxford is the number one global university in Europe in 2018 and ranked #5 in the world.

This school is known for influencing the English language. In 1857, existing English language dictionaries were considered incomplete and deficient. It called for a complete re-examination. By 1879, the Oxford University Press worked on a New English dictionary (now known as the Oxford English Dictionary).

 

2. University of Cambridge (United Kingdom)

With an overall global score of 85.3, the University of Cambridge is the second best global university in Europe in 2018 and ranked #7 in the world.

This school is known for its many libraries. There are over 100 libraries on campus. The central library alone has about 8 million volumes available. Other on-campus libraries hold books from Sir Isaac Newton’s personal library, early Shakespeare editions, etc.

 

3. Imperial College London (United Kingdom)

With an overall global score of 81.3, Imperial College London is the third best global university in Europe in 2018 and ranked #17 in the world.

This school is known for housing the largest brain bank in the United Kingdom. It holds a collection of central nervous system tissue donated by individuals who had multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and other related conditions. There are around 1,650 specimen stored in this brain bank at -80°C.

 

Latin America

1.University of São Paulo (Brazil)

With an overall global score of 61.4, the University of Sāo Paulo is the number one global university in Latin America in 2018 and ranked #153 in the world.

This school is known for its museums and art galleries which are mostly located on central campus. There’s the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Paulista Museum (Historical Museum of São Paulo), the Museum of Zoology, and the Museum of Archeology and Ethnology USP.

 

2. Pontifical Catholic University of Chile (Chile)

With an overall global score of 61.4, Pontifical Catholic University of Chile is the second best global university in Latin America in 2018 and ranked #315 in the world.

This school is known for its historical religious background. It was founded by the Santiago Archbishop in 1888, declared a pontifical university by Pope Pius XI in 1930, and still holds a close relationship with the Vatican to this day.

 

3. Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)

With an overall global score of 50.3, the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro is the third best school in Latin America in 2018 and ranked #338 in the world.

This school is known for its famous infrastructure. The Federal University of Rio de Janeiro’s main infrastructure is located on an artificial island called Ilha Do Fundão Island. It was created by the union of various existing islands by using embankment dams (artificial dams) in 1950.

 

North America

1.Harvard University (United States)

With an overall global score of 100, Harvard University i the best global university in North America in 2018 and ranked #1 in the world.

As one of the most prestigious schools in the United States, this school is known for it’s alumni who went on to become United States Presidents. Rutherford Hayes, George W. Bush, John F. Kennedy, Franklin Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt, John Quincy Adams, John Adams, and Barack Obama all attended Harvard University.

 

2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)

With an overall global score of 97.3, Massachusetts Institute of Technology is the second best global University in North America in 2018 and ranked #2 in the world.

This school is known for its many world changing innovations. In 1940, MIT perfected radar technology which saved lives during WWII. In 2000, MIT was able to use radar technology to save the lives of cancer patients.

 

3. Stanford University (United States)

With an overall global score of 92.3, Stanford University is the third best global university in North America in 2018 and ranked #3 in the world.

This school is known for their rich sports heritage. Since 1908, students from Stanford University have won in every Olympic game. They have a total of 270 medals, 139 which are gold.

 

If you are wondering about the methodology behind the calculations made to rank the global universities, all ranking data comes from the U.S. News. They evaluated a pool of 1,295 universities using  Clarivate Analytics InCites and then broke it down into 1,250 universities across 74 countries. The ranks were then calculated by 13 indicators and weights that the U.S. News used to measure global research performances:

Global research reputation (12.5%), regional research reputation (12.5%), publications (10%), books (2.5%), conferences (2.5%), normalized citation impact (10%), total citations (7.5%), number of publications that are among the top 10 percent most cited (12.5%), percentage of total publications that are among the top 10 percent most cited (10%), international collaboration (5%), percentage of total publications with international collaboration (5%), number of highly cited papers that are among the top 1 percent most cited in their respective field (5%), and the percentage of total publications that are among the top 1 percent most highly cited papers (5%).

If you want to see each individual university’s 13 indicators, you can click on the school above each picture. For a more detailed description of the methodology used, click here.

 

12 Memes We All Relate To During Finals Week

It’s time to prepare for mental breakdowns and all-nighters. Why? Because it’s finals week! On every college student’s least favorite week of the semester, you’ll find yourself pouring Red Bull into your coffee, calculating the lowest score you can get to pass your classes, and just plain wondering why you chose the major you chose. During this stressful time, it’s good to at least get in a laugh or two, so here’s a list of 12 memes we can all relate to during finals!

 

1. The week before finals

 

2. When you start studying the night before the exam

 

3. What personal hygiene looks like during finals week

 

4. When you’re asked how you slept the night before your final

 

5. Every time…

 

6. How your professor arrives to the final exam

 

7. During the final exam

 

8. After that first exam

 

9. When your finals aren’t going so well

 

10. Trying to reason with your professor after the exam

 

11. How walking out of your last final feels

 

12. What you retain after finals are over

 

Top 10 Interview Qualities Employers Notice About You

Interviews are a nerve-racking time for some people because they feel like they are stuck in the hot seat. It’s a common emotion among interviewees, but you have to remember, you won’t be the first or last person an employer will interview, nor the first or last to succeed or fail in getting the job. The best thing you can do for yourself is practice as much as possible. Even if you don’t get the job, it’s still good to get that interview experience. The more interviews you go on, the better you get. We compiled a list of top ten qualities employers look for in interviews. If you practice these ahead of time, you’ll find yourself much more prepared.

 

1.  Know your resume

Nothing is worse than being asked a question based off your resume and taking a minute to think of a response. Make sure you look over your resume prior to the interview because you will most likely be asked a question based on it.

 

2. Conduct research on the company prior to the interview

A common question interviewers like to ask is “What do you know about our company?” or “Have you done any research on us?”. It’s best to look up the company prior to the interview to be prepared for questions like this. It also helps you learn if you match what the company is all about.

 

3. Know the job

You need to make sure you know what you are interviewing for. Looking at an application and checking the list of things you’ll be required to do will help you better understand what to expect. It doesn’t look good if you walk into an interview and become confused on what you applied for.

 

4. Body Language

It’s good to feel relaxed during an interview, but that doesn’t mean slouching your back or looking down at your nails. Keeping your back straight and keeping yourself from fidgeting gives off a more professional and confident look. It’s also good to make eye contact with the interviewer because it shows that you’re listening.

 

5. Strong work ethic

Employers strive for people who have a strong work ethic for a job. They like to see employees show passion and take the extra mile to get the job done. Having a lack of interest in the job you are applying for gives off the impression that you’re only willing to do the bare minimum, which will less likely get you hired.

 

6. Skills you bring to the table

Do you fill the requirements for this job? What skills do you bring to the table? Employers like to know what you can do to better the company as well as get the job done. Briefly discussing your experience and skills will help you express why you are the best fit for the position.

 

7. Be yourself

Showing that you have a good personality is highly desirable among employers. It helps your employer determine if you are a good match for the company. Knowing if you are likable and can work well around others is integral to working for a company. A version of the question “Tell me about yourself” may arise at some point, so come prepared with an honest answer.

 

8. Be goal-oriented

You will most likely be asked a question about your goals. Common questions an employer will ask is “Where do you see yourself in five years?” or “What are your short-term and long-term goals?”. Employers ask goal-oriented questions for two reasons:

1. To see if you set and achieve goals at work.

2. To learn what your primary motivators at work are.

 

9. Ask questions

Now is not the time to be shy. Towards the end of the interview, ask any questions you have about the company you are applying for. Questions such as “What do you expect out of your employees filling this role?” are good to ask because it shows the employer you are interested in the job.

 

10. Thank you letter

Whether your interview was over the phone, video chat, or in person, you should always send a thank you letter to your interviewer. It shows good manners and appreciation for the time the interviewer took out of their day to meet you. You can either email, send a formal letter, or call to show your appreciation. Make sure you wait at least 24 hours before doing so. You can view examples of thank you letters here.

Hacks to Help You Survive College

Ahhh college. The best four years of your life. You make new friends, educate your future, live on your own, struggle with classes, and feel like ripping your hair out every once in a while. Okay…maybe it isn’t the best four years of life for everyone, BUT there’s certainly ways to make life a little easier! Check out our 20 college hacks and watch your life be forever changed!

 

1. Smelly dorms

Stick a dryer sheet on the back of a fan while it’s on. This gets rid of bad smells in your dorm!

 

2.  Get wrinkles out of shirts

For those who don’t have time to iron their clothes, hang a shirt somewhere in your bathroom while you shower. The steam from the shower gets the wrinkles out.

 

3. Binder Clips

Sticking binder clips to you desk helps keep your cords organized and prevents them from tangling up.

 

4. Cleaning your keyboard

Use a Post-It note to clean your keyboard. The sticky side of the note collects all the gunk that was stuck underneath!

 

5. Class schedule

During your first few weeks of class, screenshotting your schedule and making it your lock screen helps you memorize it. You’ll never forget your schedule again!

 

6. Note organization

Leave a few pages in the front of your notebook blank for a table of contents. This way you’ll know where everything is when it comes time for the big test!

 

7.  Late night homework

If you’re up late doing homework, listen to movie scores. There’s no distracting lyrics and it keeps you motivated!

 

8.  Syllabus week

At the beginning of each semester, highlight important dates and put them into your calendar for the best class preparation.

 

9. Writing Papers

After writing a paper, copy and paste it into Google Translate. This allows you to check for any misspells or grammatical errors!

 

10. Color code your notes

Color coding notes with pens is a great way to stay organized. The correlation between the colors and theme makes it easier to remember. Just make sure you don’t use too many colors on a subject. This could lead to you being overwhelmed!

 

11. Textbook reading motivation

We’ve all been through the struggle of reading the textbook and attempting to retain its information. A good incentive to stay on track is to put pieces of candy on each paragraph of the assigned reading. Every time you reach a paragraph, you get to eat the candy. How’s that for motivation?

 

12. Gum Hack

Studies have shown that chewing a piece of gum while studying for exams and then chewing the same flavor during the test helps you recall the material better.

 

13. Makeshift utensils

Have you ever forgotten to bring a fork with your packed lunch? No problem! Just bend some paper clips, tape them together to a writing utensil, and you’ll be good to go!

 

14.  Cooking in a coffee pot

You can save time cooking simple foods such as pasta, hot dogs, and oatmeal in a coffee pot. Just add water and you’re good to go!

 

15. Use a Keurig for your instant ramen

Keurigs can have more than one use. Try using it to get a hot cup of instant ramen noodles!

 

16. Instant Iced Coffee

For those of you who are in a rush to get to class but need your coffee fix, there’s a way to get it in just two minutes! All you need is instant coffee, water, ice, and creamer! View how to do it here.

 

17. Fruit juice ice cubes

Fill up an ice tray with your favorite fruit juices and freeze them for 3-4 hours. Add the cubes and a slice of fruit to some seltzer water and you’ll have a nice refreshing drink!

 

18. Scrambled eggs in a mug

You don’t need a stove to get your morning eggs! If  you have a microwave, you’re all set! View how to make them here.

 

19. Get a bottled drink cold in 15 minutes

Wrap your bottled drink in a damp paper towel and put it in the freezer for 15 minutes. Your drink will be nice and cold!

 

20. Bottle opening tricks

There are many tricks to opening a bottle when no bottle opener is around. Try out these 9 tricks!

 

5 Ways to Survive the Stress of College

College is the best of times and the worst of times. Close friends, bad food, and memories to last a lifetime. College is also a ton of work whether it is yet another essay, pages of homework, or staying up all night finishing a group assignment that you have not started until that night, the workload is more than enough to cause stress. Here are five easy and helpful tips to see next semester with gratitude instead of attitude.

Organize and Plan
Keeping everything clean and easy to find is a simple way to experience less stress. Buy a binder or folders to keep the classes separate and to have a central location to put all of the papers. It also may be worthwhile to buy a planner or to use the calendar on your phone to remind you of assignments. Find what works best for you and invest in organizing yourself. Same goes with your computer. Create folders on your computer to have a location to save to when you are working on something digital. No more putting everything in your downloads and searching for the date modified instead of the arbitrary title you named it.

Studying can be boring and monotonous at times but try different studying methods to boost your morale. The Pomodoro Technique is the one I use which is to put a timer for 25 minutes and with zero distractions, you start your work. Go at your own pace but make sure you have everything on do not disturb so nothing will tempt you to sway away from work. After the timer goes off, you have five minutes to do what ever you need to do and then set another 25 minutes to work. This allows you to be efficient with the time you are offering yourself and still have some time for cat videos.

For your own mental sanity, set aside time to work and play every day. Have a goal in mind and when that is complete, go reward yourself with doing something you love. Psychologically, a reward system to finishing work provides the great benefits and little residual damage from the labor.

Exercise
Getting the heart pumping can be a great way to relieve stress when college has you down. Going for a run, lifting weights, or dancing for a period of time can help to reset your mind and body to attack the day with relentless optimism. Not to mention it regulates your sleep cycle, metabolism and energy. Would it not be great if you did not have to drink four cups of coffee throughout the day? Exercise may just be the answer you are looking for to obtain more energy for your day.

 

 

Meditation
Simply breathing can make a world of difference for your mindset. Meditating every day can provide positive benefits such as an increase in happiness, self-awareness, and concentration. It also decreases stress, anxiety, and aging. “Meditation is mind without agitation,” Narasimhan says. When it comes to stress, we could all use a mind without unnecessary turbulence. Reminding yourself what your purpose is and aligning your values through breathing often can make your motivation unstoppable.

If you do not have time for simple meditation, get credit for it. Most Universities have stress management courses offered in their curriculum. The class is an easy three elective credits and truly does assist you in your college journey. Look for it under the social work category of classes.

GET MORE SLEEP
I know this sounds a little counter-intuitive. Getting less time to do more work? Sleep holds amazing benefits that we have grown to forget. The simple method here is to be more productive, sleep more. When we lack sleep, our quality of work decreases. You may be doing a lot of work but probably not a lot of quality work. There are serious health problems with sleep deprivation such as trouble concentrating, high blood pressure, risk for diabetes, risk of heart disease, weakened immunity, and weight gain. Basically throwing all the benefits of meditation and exercise away because you are not sleeping enough. Take the time needed each night and get a full eight hours (or as close to as you can) of sleep. Tiredness is not a trophy and it is something we should not be striving for.

 

Do Something Creative

This one is easy. Every person has their form of art be it painting, drawing, playing an instrument, cooking, or underwater basket weaving. Setting time aside every day to mastering your craft is a fun way to relieve stress and increase overall well-being. According to a 2016 study published in the Journal of Positive Psychology, engaging in just one creative activity each day can make you more likely to feel “energetic, enthusiastic, [and] excited.” It goes on to say, “Overall, these findings support the emerging emphasis on everyday creativity as a means of cultivating positive psychological functioning.” There you go, science has now supported the idea of creating art for clear benefits. Get working and create something beautiful.

College is an adventurous odyssey filled with self-discovery and a metric ton of ramen noodles. It is a lot of seemingly unnecessary work and stress but it is all worth it in the end. Hopefully with these simple methods of stress management, college will be more of a positive experience.

Thanks, College

Thanks, College.

Common real-world skills we learned at college, in or out of the classroom.

 

  1. Parallel parking: If you’re from the city this might not apply to you, or if you don’t have a car. For those of us from the suburbs or country with a car on campus, we learned to parallel park soon after arriving to college.  This skill comes in handy often when travelling home, to the city, or on vacation.  It also widens your parking possibilities in any situation.
  2. Tolerance for extreme temperatures: As the weather gets colder, we adapt to walking across campus in the cold, with the wind blowing through our layers of jackets and long-johns. We learn in our first semesters to bundle up and forget about being cute.
  3. Independence: Whether you were looking forward to this or not, you become more independent in college. You have to if you go to college more than about an hour away from home.  You (hopefully) learn how to do your laundry, budget your money, clean your room without being prompted, and study and do homework on your own free will.
  4. Time management: Sometimes, it takes people their whole college careers to get this down, but everyone learns throughout their college life how important time management is. Some people know the importance of it and still choose to manage their time badly.  You have to balance classes, studying, work, friends, sleep, eating, and mental health.  Usually this “balance” involves giving up one or more of these things, which one depends on your priorities.
  5. Multi-tasking: You may have been good at this before college, but you’ll be a master by the time you graduate. Multitasking can look like many things: eating while you work, study, or walk to class, taking homework to work, or considering meeting with a study group to be hanging out with friends.

We learn a lot in college that may have nothing to do with our degrees, but these skills or pieces of knowledge are just as important as the information we learn in class.  What are some skills you’ve learned in college that have become useful in real life?  What are you most thankful for?

What to do With a Bad Academic Advisor

Academic Advisor

Finally, you’ve chosen the perfect college. After all of the college tours and all of the pro/con lists – you found the right fit for you. What a relief, right? Now you get to school and you meet with your academic advisor for the first time – and you are just not on the same page. There’s nothing worse than having a not-so-great academic advisor, considering that their soul job is to guide you through your college career. If you’re having trouble with your advisor, here are a few tips to help you through these challenges.

Request a New Advisor

While this may be uncomfortable for incoming freshmen, or even for college students on different levels – it is possible. You can easily and politely ask your current advisor who their supervisor is and then schedule a meeting with them. Simply explain to their supervisor how your existing advisor is not meeting your needs and ask if they will assign you to someone else in the department. If they can’t change your advisor right away, at least you’ve made them aware of your feelings. They may even talk to your advisor about your needs. Regardless, it never hurts to try!

Approach a Professor

More often than not, one of your professors either sits on the board or on the committee for your major/minor. This makes them a great asset when it comes to the success of your college career. Since they are involved in your area of study, they will know exactly what courses you need to take and what requirements you need to meet. Even professors outside your major will know what general education courses you need to complete. So, if you’re not happy with how you’re being advised, grab a professor you feel comfortable approaching and start asking questions. Any advisement is worth it.

Ask Your Peers

A great benefit of college is the sense of community it brings to everyone – especially for students within the same major. You all have the same thing in common – the stress of college. Someone else in your major is an excellent person to turn to if you’re having trouble with your advisor. They know exactly what you’re going through and can help you with making the correct class schedule. You can even meet with their advisor if you need. Making friends in your major is very beneficial! Check out this article from U.S. News about getting involved in your college!

College can be stressful, but there’s nothing more stressful than landing a bad academic advisor. With these few tips – you can still receive excellent advising.

Creating a Gratitude Journal

Journal

Through the hustle and bustle of everyday life – between work, school, internships, and trying to have an amazing summer – it’s easy to lose focus and take the little things for granted. With creating a gratitude journal, anyone can easily add a little positiveness to each day. Having trouble getting started? Here are a few tips.

Find a Notebook You Love

This may sound silly, but it is vital. Search for a notebook that shows off your style; one that generates happy thoughts. You can also buy a blank notebook and create your own cover similar to an inspiration board. This is something you can be creative with because it’s all about you. It’s important to have a notebook that you won’t mind carrying around with you or having on your bedside table. You will encounter it a lot – so make sure you like it.

How Much Time to Spend

Writing in your journal everyday is ideal for beginners. This will help kick-off your positive lifestyle and make it easier to adjust to writing about yourself in a journal. Most people advise to write 5-10 things you’re grateful for a day – which is a great guideline – but if some days you have less than five and others you have more than 10, that’s perfectly fine. No two days are the same, therefore you shouldn’t restrict your amount of grateful moments.

Be Specific

When it comes to writing down your ideas, it’s easiest to use bullet points. This breaks up your thoughts and makes them easier to comprehend when you go back and read your entries. However, be specific with your bullet points. Don’t just say that you’re grateful for your job – provide a detailed example. Like that you’re grateful for your job because it’s payday, or you’re grateful for it because it’s brought you great coworkers that cheered you up today. Being specific will pay off when you reminisce on your memories.

Nothing is Unimportant and Keep the Negative Out

If you are grateful for the amazing sandwich you had for lunch, or for the lady who held the door for you at the local coffee shop – write it down. This helps you find positive moments in every situation. And of course, any negative thoughts you have throughout the day do not belong in this journal. This is specifically for happy and grateful thoughts or memories!

If you’re looking for a new way to find joy in every situation, try a gratitude journal. It helps you focus on the little things that make every day great, and it’s a creative way to keep track of your thoughts.

A Day in the Life of a Journalism Major

Journalism

As I sit back and write this, I realize how busy my life actually is. I am constantly thinking and I am constantly writing. Whether it’s on the back of a placemat at the diner or in my bed at three in the morning; my brain is always working on my next piece. And you know what? I love it! Here’s what my typical day is like…

Reviewing My Planner

As I said before, my days are full of writing. They’re full of writing stories, articles, and random ideas… everywhere. I usually begin by looking over my day planner, which is supposed to help organize my life. As a journalism major, that’s not quite true. My day planner is full of little blurbs and keywords from thoughts I had throughout the year. I’m already running out of room and it’s only June. The ideas are constantly flowing, like a stream after a huge rain storm. Reviewing my planner keeps me on top of my writing assignments and functions as a refresher for my ideas.

Becoming Inspired 

When I’m ready to leave the house, I walk out into a world full of possibilities. To me, everyone’s a story. No matter who it is, people I encounter at the local supermarket or the drive-thru girl at Dunkin Donuts, I wonder where they’ve been and what they’ve seen. I am constantly thinking, “I wonder what their story is?” I imagine who they met and how it affected them. I strongly believe there’s a story within everyone – you simply need to find it. 

Exercising My Mind

Aside from wondering how the elderly cashier at the food store got to where she is, I also frequently practice writing exercises. Whether they’re from a workbook about sentence structure or some online courses, writing exercises are valuable for personal growth. If you’ve never tried one, check out Writer’s Digest for an example. I do at least one exercise every day to help me master my craft. As one of my favorite professors said on our very first day of class, “Becoming a great writer is no secret – write, edit, repeat.” There’s no need to write a complete story every time. Throughout the day, I simply write a few sentences and see how I can improve them. It’s that simple!

Journalism isn’t only about writing. It may sound cliché, but I read the newspaper every day. Some days it’s my local online news paper and other days I use the New York Times app. Occasionally, I’ll even go retro and read a physical paper. Whatever the platform, I keep up with the news constantly. Not only is it entertaining, but reading helps develop your writing skillet. It’s good to compare how different newspapers report on the same issues or events, helping young writers create their own style.

Long story short, my entire life revolves around journalism and writing. Some people might think that sounds boring, but I’m perfectly okay with that. There’s nothing more satisfying than thinking of a great story, writing it down, then doing a self edit to create a perfect product.