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First-Year Peer Mentoring

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In order for college students to be successful in their future careers, they should strive to become achievers that rise above and beyond traditional standards. One outstanding option to attain the skills that are required for students to accomplish their career objectives while they are studying in college is to participate in peer mentoring. There are numerous college campuses with peer mentoring programs. The advantage of choosing to become involved in a peer mentor program, as opposed to other volunteer programs, is shown through the fact that students do not have to go outside of the college campus to help others.

Students can participate in peer mentoring programs as seniors to help guide freshman as they enter and embark on the journey of the college experience for the first time. The freshman class greatly needs proper advice from their peers that have already been through the college experience and have excelled in their studies. Peer mentors can provide information on campus life, the surrounding area where the college is located, studying tips, researching, and essay writing. These are all components that are crucial for students to become acquainted with as they start college in order for them to become successful during their first year. By receiving assurance from seniors, freshman students receive the confidence they need to find their place in college life and in this world.

Once you choose to become a peer mentor during your senior year of college, you become more experienced at proving your abilities to the world. You can prove your capabilities to your colleagues, your future employers, and your peers by applying the knowledge you received from your education to real life experiences that go beyond becoming a successful student, as you also prove that you have become an outstanding representative of your community.When you become a senior and are about to graduate, you should look back on your college experience and want to offer all that you learned to help others become successful because you were also once in the same uneasy position as the freshman at one time. Once you peer mentor college freshman as a senior, you will gain the leadership skills you need to succeed in the future and these skills will enhance your resume that future employers will review. Choosing to be a peer mentor helps students make the first and greatest transition in becoming a future success and you can make a difference by volunteering.

Comment below with your thoughts or experiences on first-year peer mentoring!

Desk-ercise: Stay Fit At Your Desk Job

Even with the summer here, it can be hard to find time to exercise—especially when you’re at a desk job (or internship) all day long. But that doesn’t mean you still can’t fit a little something in to help your muscles! There are lots of easy-to-do exercises you can complete at your desk—some more noticeable than others. Besides, who just wants to sit in front of a computer screen all day when you can squat or extend your legs in front of a computer screen all day?

The easiest move you can adhere to while working is improving your posture. Slouching at your desk totally counteracts all the crunches and ab moves from the day before. By keeping a straight back and a taught stomach, you’re reminding the stomach muscles to stay tight and flat—which, let’s face it, is something we all love to see. If you have an uncomfortable chair at work, bring in a pillow or two to make it more comfortable and easier to keep your spine straight during the long work day. You can further this position with an additional stretch to work both your abs and your arms. Sitting crossed legged on your chair, suck in your stomach and placing your arms on the seat or armrests (whatever is most stable…and only do this in general if you have a sturdy chair), raise yourself off the chair for 10 seconds. Repeat this move a couple times for stronger arms and abs, and better balance too.

The next suggested move requires a little equipment. Get an exercise band, which you can use for a number of arm exercises. You can pull your arms straight out to the side, then back to the front (you’ll feel resistance when pulling the band to your sides, which strengthens your triceps). Another move you can try with your band is bicep curls, by placing the band underneath your feet for resistance. Any other exercise you can think of with an exercise band can be done at the office—though you don’t want to break that much of a stress when you have 5 hours to go. Even easier are simple wrist stretches. Stretch your forearm by extending one arm with the palm facing outward, and using the other to gently pull back on the fingers. You can also place your palms together in front of your chest with the elbows sticking out, and move your wrists to the right and then the left—an excellent way to get your arms ready for a long day of typing.

You can also target your legs while at work. You can easily forgo the elevator for the stairs, which you can take two at a time for an added bonus. But you can also strengthen those muscles by doing some simple moves at your desk. While you sit up straight, rest your hands on your chair and extend one leg out in front of you; hold for 5 seconds and then release. Do at least ten reps for each leg, and voila, easy as pie.

Have some fat on your inner thighs you want to banish? Grab a sweater or something you can place between your thighs. Again, sitting up straight and tall with your stomach sucked in, squeeze the object for a good 5-10 seconds before relaxing. Do three sets of 20 and you’ll have an amazing thigh workout on your hands! Another great one for the legs is squats…with your chair! Lift your butt out of your chair so you’re hovering over it (do not use your arms for support), hold for a few seconds and lower. For some variety, you can also try quick pulses (going up and down on a 1-2 count) to get more impact at a faster rate. If you feel like really challenging your legs, you can try the one legged-squat. Place one foot firmly on the ground, and lower and lift your body with some support from your hands on the chair—remember to switch between legs after 10-15 reps.

Remember, you don’t have to do anything to crazy to squeeze some exercise in. Simple stretches will even help your body stay in better shape. Give some discrete desk poses a try. Take a walk around the block during lunch hour. Park in the way back of the lot so you have a nice long walk to get into the building. Instead of going home and plopping down on the couch after work, go for a bike ride or a jog or any activity other than sitting—you’ve been sitting all day, give your butt a break! Exercise doesn’t have to take a ton of time or be insanely difficult. Do it where you can, when you can and you’re on your way to a healthier you.

-ToonyToon

How to Work in College and Still Get A’s

College is expensive, and seems to only get more and more expensive by the semester. Often, students have to work to buy food or help with the growing college loan. Work requires extra time and responsibility though, so it’s important to know how to balance work and school so your grades don’t slip—especially if you have a grade-dependent scholarship. Even if you don’t necessarily need to work, don’t automatically count it out. It is possible to work both at the office and at school and excel in each environment.

Balance Your Schedules
As students, we’re constantly being told to balance work and play…or in this case, school work and work-work. Unlike elementary school where your only homework was to learn how to share better; this is a highly prized skill that only gets more necessary with age. Once you have all your classes selected, take time deciding what kind of work schedule you can manage. Just because you have a two hour break between classes doesn’t mean you have to go to work. Take care of your homework after class so you don’t have to worry about it later, or take the time to get some extra studying in for a test in your next class. Going to work when you have a larger time availability will decrease stress and allow you to solely focus on school during your class schedule.

Be Able to Say No
Sometimes picking up the slack for a colleague who called in sick or has some function to attend is great; who doesn’t love making more money? But there are days when you have homework coming out of your ears, you already worked a long shift or you have lots of studying to do. Don’t let guilt take you over. It is not your responsibility to bend over backwards for your employer; you’ll end up becoming the go-to shift-coverer. If you really can’t handle the extra shift, a simple “Sorry, I can’t” is all you have to say. You don’t have to give an explanation or even listen to them go on and on about how no one else can cover. It might be hard—believe me, I’m one of those people who could never say no, but I finally grew a backbone—but school work needs to come first if you want to keep your grades high.

Weekend Working
Balancing school and work isn’t just a five day commitment. You don’t necessarily have to sacrifice your whole weekend, but you should be willing to spend some time at school or work or both. If you can’t work as much during the week due to school constrictions, the weekend is an excellent opportunity to make some extra cash. It’s not like you have to work both days, but even sacrificing a Saturday afternoon to work can prove beneficial to your bank account. On the other hand, if you have a lighter schedule and lots of work time during the week, dedicate some of your weekend to catching up on school work and studying. As said before, life’s a balancing act and fitting it all into the weekdays can get tricky.

Get Some Extra Help
Find yourself a study buddy or talk to your professors about your situation. Most of the time, they are very understanding and really want to help you succeed. But don’t go asking for extensions on every project and paper—just because they like you and understand you need to work, doesn’t mean they’ll always be willing to give you more time. Form study groups with your friends if work has taken away from you attending special lectures your professor sets up or hitting the library for outside information. Working together will help you all get better grades and get your work done faster. Also, don’t be afraid to talk to your employer about your needs. As long as you don’t have a crazy boss, they should handle you occasionally needing some time off to study for a particularly hard midterm. It never hurts to ask.

Maintaining your grades and your job won’t always be easy, but it can be done. Don’t get discouraged and never be afraid to reach out for help. Most importantly, don’t wear yourself out in the process. Only take on what you can handle and do your best.

-ToonyToon

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