Why Alternative Spring Breaks are a Great Idea

Why Alternative Spring Breaks are a Great Idea

An Alternative Spring Break is a great idea. It’s a particularly good fit for students who place a high value on service learning and volunteering their time, and who want to pair those impulses with travel and/or augment what they can commit to while classes are in session.

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Sunday Dinners: Easy Brussels Sprout Salad

Sunday Dinners: Easy Brussels Sprout Salad

Sunday Dinners are back by popular demand! This collection of easy recipes is inspired by my Aunt Michele, who sent my cousins off to college with a set of recipes for "Meals to Impress Girls." That document lead to my early efforts in solo cooking in college (although I'm not sure anyone of any gender was impressed). 

Today's simple recipe comes from Stephanie, who has contributed great Sunday Dinners recipes in the past... 

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On Finding and Creating a Home

On Finding and Creating a Home

Our generation of college students and young graduates has more geographic freedom and career flexibility than anyone has ever had before. This is incredibly lucky, but can lead to a serious sense of anxiety over whether we’re making the right decisions and heading toward satisfying, successful futures.

Three months ago I was on board a cargo freighter, en route from England back to the United States. Yesterday I finished unpacking in my new home...

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Why I Majored in Sociology

Why I Majored in Sociology

Sociology is all about understanding human interactions and social institutions, and examining why they work the way they do (and how to change them). It's one of the major branches of social sciences, and is a popular option with students (like me) who want to understand inequality and (hopefully) work for positive change. 

I chose sociology through a combination of investigation and gut feelings. Overall, I'm pretty happy with my choice. Here's why. 

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Success Without College: A High School Entrepreneur's Perspective

Success Without College: A High School Entrepreneur's Perspective

Success isn't all about the classroom, and it doesn't start with college. Today's post is by a high schooler who started a business to pursue both an entrepreneurial passion and a humanitarian interest. He offers great insights into business resources, mindset strategies, coping with difficulties, and the difference young people can make when they follow a targeted goal.

I hope you enjoy this guest post as much as I did! 

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Study Tips: Taking Notes on Books

Study Tips: Taking Notes on Books

It's easy to get overwhelmed by assigned readings for college classes, and to feel like you'll never remember all of it anyway... so why bother? 

Detailed note taking can save enormous amounts of work later on. If you know an assigned book in depth, and can quickly find quotes to support your ideas or arguments, you will be well on your way to having a useful source document both for your current class and for future assignments. 

This is my process for taking notes in assigned books. It's made a huge difference in my studies, and I bet it works for you too! 

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STEM Career Advice: Internships and Career Fairs

STEM Career Advice: Internships and Career Fairs

You are majoring in STEM, and you finish your degree with good grades. Now a job should come naturally...right?

A lot of people seem to think that a job will just appear after you graduate from your degree, but there is a difference in just having a job after your finish your bachelor's degree, and having the career you desire. The thing that every person in STEM should do before they graduate is make sure they have an internship (typically summer) or co-op (where you take a semester or year off of school to work). This will show companies that you have work experience, and this will help you determine what type of company you would like to work for in the future. 

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Is an Online Degree a Good Idea?

Is an Online Degree a Good Idea?

Are online degrees a good idea? Will an online degree provide the same quality of education you would receive in a brick and mortar location? Will the degree be as respected?

Several major online programs have been embroiled in scandals and revealed as frauds. But an increasing number of respected universities and colleges are now offering online courses of their own. So, here's the question: is an online degree a good idea for you? 

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The New Year and What's Ahead

The New Year and What's Ahead

When I started this blog, many of my friends worried that I would quickly run out of things to talk about. After all, they reasoned, how much can there possibly be to say about being a student?

I knew at the time that I was diving into rich and exciting territory. That I was embarking on a journey that, for me, was full of opportunity and promise.

Over 100 blog posts later, I have just as much to say about college advice as I did on the day I began.

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What is College For?

What is College For?

It is easy to take things for granted—to forget to question why we make the plans we do, or why we interact with the world in certain ways. Sometimes we are so busy chasing a goal (graduation, a job, a plan, etc.) that we forget to pause for a moment and ask ourselves very real and foundational questions. For example: 

WHAT IS COLLEGE FOR?

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When I Realized What College Meant to Me: Guest Post by Destenie Nock

When I Realized What College Meant to Me: Guest Post by Destenie Nock

Go to college, get good grades, get a good job. That’s the advice told to university students everywhere. The part that comes along as a given, but is often taken for granted is: make long-lasting friendships with people who you would want to know and talk with for the rest of your life.

I got an education in electrical engineering and applied mathematics. I have had internships at multiple companies, and I have studied abroad.  All of these components and more are why I know that I had a good college experience.

However, I don't think really I knew what my experience at North Carolina A&T State University truly meant to me until the summer of 2013... 

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The Benefits of an Honors College

The Benefits of an Honors College

Choosing a college is an incredibly exciting and (often) stressful process. For high-flying high school students, private schools and liberal arts colleges often seem like the logical choice. However, an Honors College at a large public university can offer incredible opportunities and benefits for academics, social life, and broader opportunities. 

I was a student at the University of Oregon's Honors College. Here's why that was a great fit for me (and why an Honors College could be a great fit for you, too). 

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Saying "Yes"

Saying "Yes"

If we’re lucky, all of us reach a moment when an opportunity is offered. Maybe that chance is something you planned and built toward for years—the outcome of calculation, investment, and initiative. It might also be that an astonishingly perfect opportunity arises basically out of the blue—that you are offered some position or experience that you never quite dared to dream you’d have.

When this happens, I hope you'll say 'yes.' 

I did. 

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Write Your Own Essays (No Excuses)

Write Your Own Essays (No Excuses)

It’s finals season. It’s stressful. Students are stressed about essays and exams and grades and all the studying they’ve put off for the semester. This makes it a good moment to write about something I’ve had on my mind for a long while now—something that has probably crossed the radar of most students and has hopefully never been utilized by readers here. I have a bit of a rant for you today—essay writing services.

Do not use them. Ever. 

Write your own essays. 

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Landing a STEM job with non-STEM credentials: Guest Post by Conor Walsh

Landing a STEM job with non-STEM credentials: Guest Post by Conor Walsh

By the end of the summer of 2013, with my degree wrapping up and no obvious next steps, I decided I needed to get a job. Like, a real one. I was unsure on pursuing further study, and I felt I needed a change of pace. So, I packed my bags and headed for Boston, my hometown.

I never expected a job to just appear or anything. However, after a few weeks of applying to jobs with no luck, I started to feel that gnawing desperation when you wake up and wonder if you’re in some sort of crazy depressing time warp where you actually never went to college and learned nothing of value during the last five years.

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Choosing an Engineering Major--An Unconventional Method (Guest Post by Destenie Nock)

Choosing an Engineering Major--An Unconventional Method (Guest Post by Destenie Nock)

Sometimes even the path to engineering isn't a straightforward one... 

I was 16 when it came time to apply to Universities. Like most teenagers I had no idea what I wanted to do. People love having choices in life, but at that point I felt like the infinite possibilities was almost paralyzing. I felt overwhelmed by the choices and the different outcomes that each outcome presented. Trying to make the right decision in terms of career, my future family, and everything all felt like it was riding on which college I chose to go to. That was a lot of pressure on a single decision for my 16-year old self.

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Knowing When It's Time To Go

Knowing When It's Time To Go

Most of us have felt that sinking discomfort from time to time: I’m not in the right place. This isn’t the right fit. What am I doing here?

For many college students, this is a cyclical question that comes and goes with the expected flow of the academic years and progress toward fulfilling a major. This can be particularly significant during sophomore year, when you’ve finished the “honeymoon” phase of your four years and you understand enough about your college life to really start to question it. Like the infamous “Freshman 15,” the “Sophomore Slump” is well known for a reason: it is a common occurrence and can have a major impact. For most, it is a phase to get through. For some, it leads to transferring to another school or to dropping out of college entirely.

I want to share a couple of my own stories about feeling like I had to move on, and what I decided to do about it.

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Celebrating 1 Year on My College Advice

Celebrating 1 Year on My College Advice

One year ago I had just recently graduated and I had already started to go a bit crazy. I missed writing essays. I missed having assigned readings. I missed classroom discussion and interactions with professors and peers. I missed the feel of being on campus and part of a student body: the easy camaraderie and energy, and the dynamic of walking familiar pathways each day in pursuit of deeper knowledge and the obtainable, defined goal of graduation.

In October 2013, I was deep in post-graduation nostalgia. I was asking myself, “What’s next? What will my life after college look like?” I was searching for patterns and projects that would bridge my student life to the “real world” life I was just starting to build.

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Study Abroad for History Majors--Guest Post from Abroad by James Hinton

Study Abroad for History Majors--Guest Post from Abroad by James Hinton

Considering a future as a history professor? Wondering how world wars or shifts in culture and technology are viewed from different viewpoints? This guest post by James Hinton recommends that you get on the road to study abroad--that it will deepen your passions and improve your career options. For all you history buffs out there... get abroad! 

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