Tag Archives: advice

Crash Guide To Acing Finals: Suggestions From A Senior

Filed under: College Life, Education, Tips - Angelina
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BookRenter Blogger Biography Cameron Tranchemontagne

Some people handle finals better than others, but for the majority of the college student population this is an incredibly stressful time. Time after time again, I have seen my peers work themselves into a state of perpetual anxiety induced by their fears over the outcome of their finals. They either feel that they have not studied enough, worry they studied the wrong material, or they let their procrastination get the best of them. But, when students obsessively worry about their finals, it can have detrimental effects. Some students find it harder to focus on individual tasks because of the sheer overwhelming amount of work constantly dividing their attention; some can’t sleep or force themselves to stay awake for unhealthy amounts of time; some turn to unhealthy decisions like Adderall (which should only be taken in small doses and only if prescribed by a doctor), which can cause liver damage and even addiction.

Finals can be stressful, but there are ways to overcome this challenge and walk away with pride.

Anxiety

I have struggled with anxiety in the past until I became a lazy and unmotivated teenager. I still struggle staying motivated to do my work, but I have come to realize that by being more laid back and not worrying so much about the material, I actually began to improve on my test and essay scores. I could more easily recall the information I had learned in class or studied for homework just by being more calm and collected. Then this brought confidence. If you feel that you are overwhelmed and drowning in work, take a break. Take a moment to think, reflect, breathe, and then plan out how you are going to approach your workload. Once you break it down on paper and have a solid plan, that Mt. Everest of work and responsibility is diminished to nothing but a bunny slope.

Preparation

Simply telling yourself “everything is going to be ok” is not enough (but it helps with anxiety). You actually have to put in the work. Write down your plan of what you want to get done and how long it will take to accomplish. I like to write down my plan in a personal agenda or calendar, but plenty of people are more inclined to use their phones or tablets. In each box (day), I write down what I want to accomplish for that day and I mark the due date for assignments. For example, I may write in the box for 5/11 that I want to work on an introduction to an essay that is due Friday. I write in the Friday box what time the essay is due. I continue to break down the assignment throughout the week to make the assignment easier and less daunting. Having a specific plan and visualizing due dates can help to keep you on task and organized.

Take Breaks

Finally, as mentioned before, don’t forget to take a break once in a while. Most experts agree that studying in 1 hour blocks with 15 minute breaks is the most effective way to study. That is not to say that you should follow this model perfectly. Sometimes when I am studying, I like to keep going even past an hour just to keep my momentum up. I generally just take a break once I start having difficulty focusing. This is a signal to me that my brain is tiring and can no longer stay on one task. No matter how long it takes you, once you start to feel brain-dead, take a quick break. Get up from your workstation to get a change of scenery and work your blood flow. Try to find something else that will engage your brain and/or body. Playing music, taking a walk, getting a snack, or talking to a friend are all great break-time activities. Just remember to keep it short. Sometimes a “quick break” can easily derail a perfectly good study session.

Sleep Well

Make sure you are getting enough sleep. The brain simply cannot function at full capacity when it is sleep deprived. This will just make things harder for yourself. Avoid late night cram sessions and definitely do not pull an all-nighter, no matter how desperate you may be to study material. You will be guaranteed to crash during your exam if you do. Sleep actually helps memory function and helps to keep focus, which are things that are definitely needed for finals.

Always remember that if you don’t get your desired grade on a final, it is not going to ruin your life. Surround yourself with positivity. Listen to some feel-good music, hangout or study with your best friends, and always remember: everything is going to be okay. Everyone has the potential to do well; never doubt your abilities. Just give your best shot at finals – giving anything less than your best, will only cheat yourself.

Good luck!

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How To Land Your Dream Job

Filed under: Graduation, Post Grad and Career, Tips - Angelina
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Darlene Megino BookRenter Blogger Biography

For those college seniors that will be graduating soon, you will soon be facing the real world made up of bills, expenses, and unforeseeable costs. Did I mention student loan payments? Like most college graduates, the next thing to achieve is a full-time job to ease these worries. Better yet – aim for the job you went to college for in the first place, the job that will prove that getting your degree was worth it; reach to achieve your ultimate dream job.

Whatever your career interest is, here is some job hunting advice that will help you land your dream job:

1. The Resume

Make sure to get your resume as perfect as you can. The key to a great resume is to make it appealing to the company you are applying to. Try not to overload your resume with information. Keep it simple and concise. The key is to highlight your accomplishments, the work you’ve done, and the extracurricular activities you’ve participated in. Look at some resume examples for comparison and make sure your resume stands out with maybe a hint of color, a unique design, or something that will catch the eye of the reviewer (but do not go too drastic because that will scare them away). Always proof-read! Nothing looks worse than representing yourself as a horrible speller (it’s simple mistakes that can really make a difference). Always have a few people look it over and ask for their input. Another good tip is to always put the same key words from the job description and listing into your resume so the reviewer will see you are qualified for the job at hand.

2. Social Media

Social media is definitely a great resource to finding employment positions. Make sure to create a LinkedIn account because a lot of business professionals tend to look for candidates and post jobs here. LinkedIn is essentially a place to grow your network and to have your resume online for other business professionals to see (and evaluate if you would be a good fit for their team). Though social media can be a great source for finding employment, it can also hinder you from getting jobs if you have content that an employer could find questionable, such as inappropriate clothing, alcohol/drug use, profanity, etc. The best thing to do is to clean up your social media profiles (yes, all of them, they can all be found by a simple Google search) prior to applying to any jobs. Google search your name and see what you find. Would you hire yourself based off of what you saw?

3. Dress To Impress 

Once you’ve landed an interview, now you have to dress to impress! The way you present yourself can make or break an interview. A potential employer usually decides within the first few minutes (based on your appearance, fair or not) if they are interested in you. You want to look presentable, professional, and as someone they can see working in their environment. Do your research on the company and see if they are more business casual or if they wear more business professional attire. Although, it’s always better to be overdressed than underdressed. Ladies, stray away from any skirts that are too short (anything more than 2 inches above the knee) or massive high heels. Avoid any clothing that may be too tight, too flashy, or too revealing. Keep it as neutral as possible with minimal jewelry. Guys, a nice button-up, dress pants, and shiny dress shoes will do the trick. Denim should absolutely n ever be worn to interviews. Ties and blazers are optional but definitely recommended if you want to make a great first impression. See the above photo for examples on what to wear for business professional and business casual interviews.

4. Interview

The interview is the most nerve-wracking part of the entire job hunting process. My best advice is to walk into the interview with confidence. Make sure you’ve done your research on the company and familiarize yourself with the type of work they do. This is definitely the time to talk yourself up, but at the same time do not sound overly confident. You want to stay relaxed and calm during the interview. Be as personable as you can and just have a conversation with the interviewer. Rehearse potential interview questions and answers the night prior so that you can mentally prepare yourself. It is a good idea to ask someone to do a mock interview for you so you can do a practice run. Make a great first impression by having a good, firm handshake (not too hard) at the start of the interview. Bring a portfolio of work samples to show the interviewer hands on what your experience is. At the end of the interview always have three question to ask the interviewer to clarify any concerns you may have, but to also show the employer your level of interest. Be sure to send a thank you note or email to your interviewer to leave a lasting impression. Feel free to follow up with the employer if a few weeks have passed and you haven’t heard back. However, keep in mind that sometimes filling a position can take a while and this may come across as too pushy to some. So just remember, patience!

Create a resume, set up a LinkedIn, clean up your social media accounts, dress professionally, prepare for an interview, and you will be that much closer to landing your dream job! Don’t get discouraged if you do not get the job right away, it may take several attempts before you get anywhere. Do not lose your confidence! Each time you apply for a job, you can learn what worked and what didn’t and use it towards applying for the next position. Once you land that job, you will truly have earned it!

What is your dream job? Have you landed it yet? If so, how did you do it? If not, how do you plan to? Share with us in the comments!

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3 Ways To Cure Those Winter Blues

Filed under: College Life, Seasonal Celebrations, Tips - Angelina
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Darlene Megino BookRenter Blogger Biography

Do you have a case of the winter blues? The winter season, especially this time of year when spring is right around the corner, can make you feel so drab when you’re indoors so much, the sunlight is minimal, and the weather is so cold! There are many ways to get over the winter blues. Here are three suggestion to help you boost your mood during the rest of this winter season!

1. Exercise

Exercising helps your body release endorphins. Endorphins are the chemicals that help trigger that positive feeling you get after your work out. If the weather isn’t too cold, try going for a jog outside with some friends. The fresh air and company will definitely alleviate the depression from being indoors all day. If the weather is too cold, open up all the curtains, turn on all the lights, and do a video workout from YouTube! My favorite workouts from Youtube are videos from Blogilates.

2. Brighten Your Wardrobe

If you are surrounded by pops of bright color, then you’ll feel that bright energy of spring and summer. You can always add a splash of color to your wardrobe any time of the year! It is crucial to make sure to add some color to your gloomy days. Go all out and pair bright colored pants with a bright top! If that’s a little bit of too much color for you, wear a bright coat, scarf, or purse. Just seeing vibrant colors will make a big difference to brighten your mood!

3. Light Up Your Life 

Sometimes all you need is a bright space to make you feel happy. Get a new lamp or add some decorative lights around your room or bed to do some light therapy. If you want to take it up a notch, light some candles to bring in more light and a relaxing vibe. When selecting candles to light, pick candles that have spring or summer scents.

It may be hard to believe, but spring is coming! Hang in there during these last few weeks of winter, as brutal as they may be. What do you like to do to help cure the winter blues? Leave a comment below!

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3 Things To Know About Going Greek

Filed under: College Life, Tips - Angelina
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Cameron Tranchemontagne Blogger Biography

 

 

 

 

Going Greek was certainly one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life. It helped with my grades (which needed severe improving), it got me more involved on campus (something every freshman should do right away), and it taught me life lessons that I likely wouldn’t have got anywhere else. On top of that, we have a LOT of fun whether we are doing community service or having a social. So if you’re considering joining a fraternity or a sorority, I strongly encourage you to do it. Just make sure you are well informed before you make a decision.

1. Don’t Tolerate Hazing

Hazing is defined as anything that one is forced to do, especially if it makes him/her uncomfortable or puts them in harm’s way. Unfortunately, a good amount of Greek organizations still haze – so be on the lookout. If at any point someone pressures you into doing something you would not normally do, that is hazing. Hazing does nothing to build true brother/sisterhood and usually only serves to amuse older members. What usually starts off as something lighthearted and funny can spiral out of control fast. Don’t let this scare you though! There are plenty of Greek organizations that do not haze and will be more than willing to work around a problem if anything about joining makes you uncomfortable. These are generally the most respected fraternities and sororities on campus and the ones that know how to stay out of trouble, meaning – you won’t join and then be kicked off campus before your four years are up. If at any point you notice or feel the effects of hazing, there are campus hotlines you can call to report it.

2. Paying Dues

For those of you who don’t know, joining Greek life is not exactly inexpensive. Everyone has to pay a set amount of money per semester, usually a few hundred bucks, so that your fraternity or sorority has money to operate. This pays for things like philanthropies, socials with other Greek orgs, composite photo-shoots, the ever important house supplies, and gas for any brotherhood/sisterhood events you need to drive to. Some people see it as paying for having a social group, but this is a rather misguided concept. The best way to explain it is that the more you put into Greek life, the more you get out of it. Which is why the organizations that do a lot more events end up having higher dues. I suggest looking for a fraternity that is involved in campus life, but not so much that dues are unreasonably high for your budget. The great thing about dues is that every year the members have to vote on the approved budget, meaning if you think it’s too expensive you have some power to reduce the cost.

3. Join For The Right Reasons

Did you watch a lot of college movies and TV shows when you were younger? Is your conception of Greek life simply a way to get to the best parties on campus and drink the night away? Well then I’m sorry to tell you this, but that’s not what Greek life is really about. Anyone can get into a party if they know the right people. Greek life is about so much more than solo cups and togas – it’s about forming an unbreakable bond with each other; it’s about making yourself a better person; it’s about giving back to the community; it’s about applying yourself in school, work, and all other aspects of your life. If that doesn’t sound like something you’d be interested in, then that is okay, Greek life is not for everyone.

Hopefully you will consider Greek life and try it out for yourself!

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Roommate Advice

Filed under: College Life, Social Life/Relationships, Tips - Angelina
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Serena Piper Blogger Biography

 

 

 

 

Throughout my four years of college, I had my fair share of roommates. From a bank teller who moonlighted as a stripper, to someone I had known since high school and considered a best friend. I learned some very valuable lessons. If you find yourself in the market for a room to rent or a roommate to move in with you, take this advice to heart. It could save you some trouble and even some money!

1. Best Friends as Roommates

I’m not going to say don’t do it, because it does work out for some people to move in with their best friend. However, there are a handful of us who it doesn’t work out for, ending in broken friendships. If you are interested in rooming with your best friend, be very clear about things up front. How will this affect your friendship if things don’t work out? Be sure it’s a risk you’re willing to take.

2. How to Find a Roommate

Craigslist seems to be the most popular method of finding a roommate, but be cautious. Try letting friends know you’re looking and ask them to pass on the word. Or if your university has Facebook groups set up (i.e. UO Class of 2016), post an ad in as many as are relevant. Also, let co-workers know what’s up – you never know what connections will come of it!

3. Interviewing Potential Roommates

When you do find someone compatible, meet up for coffee and talk about what you’re both looking for in a roommate. Be sure to bring up each other’s schedules (no one wants a roommate who is home all the time), whether or not you have pets (damage, allergies, etc.), boyfriends/girlfriends who might be over often, frequency of recreational drinking, and even references. Try not to make it a formal interview, but more of a getting-to-know-you meet up.

4. Roommate Agreements

A Google search on living with roommates will come up with various roommate agreements detailing who does what chores, who writes the rent check, how often overnight guests are welcome, and when the noise level of TVs/stereos should be kept low, among other things. It might be a good idea to draft up something like this for your own peace of mind.

5. Have A Back-Up Plan

Just in case things don’t work out with your new roommate, have a plan on who will move out, if that person will be in charge of finding a replacement, and how much notice will have to be given. It’s not the fun stuff, but it could be important later on.

Above all, have fun with it! Not all roommates are bad. You might end up with a great friend you can cook meals with and catch a movie with on weekends. Keep an open mind, be careful, and good luck!

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