Sometimes You Don’t Have To Act Your Age…

It seems like an odd statement to put out there but on this Monday it is an appropriate subject to talk about. When we were younger, our worries bordered on what flavor juice box we wanted or if we could stay up just a little after bedtime. Now our worries are a little more stressful than that. We have exams, group meetings, homework, work, money, etc. Most of the time it is a general rule (set by adults) that we “act our age.” In theory this a good rule to follow…but sometimes it needs to be broken!

Sometimes life gets too stressful and we all need to take some time for ourselves. I have talked in past blog posts about taking time for you, but this is a little different. It’s okay to “act your shoe size,” instead of your age. Even if you don’t have time to color with crayons (which I admit I have done recently), do something that will make you smile and forget your worries for a little while. It could be as easy as making a huge ice cream sunday with sprinkles or eating a kid friendly french fries and chicken fingers at the dining courts.

It’s nice to take off our serious hats for a minute and enjoy the simple things that used to make us so happy. A Disney movie, riding your bike for fun (to class does not count), playing an old school Nintendo game online, anything you can think of that will relax your mind.

I challenge you today to do something for your inner kid who is waiting to get out! Comment and let me know what you did to make yourself smile!

Happy Monday!

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What Can A Personal Blog Do For You?

Having a hobby when you’re in school can really help to lower your stress. It’s a subject you enjoy that you can engage with others who feel the same way about it. Whether it’s about knitting or fantasy football, blogging can do a lot for your academic life and…it’s fun.

How can a blog help you academically? Easy. Even when you’re posting videos, news stories, pictures, internet content or your writings – it can all relate to school. It doesn’t matter what you’re writing about, writing anything helps you develop and learn. We all know that writing papers for class is not the most fun you can have while writing. Why not hone your writing skills about something you love? Even when you’re posting media content, it helps you with research and internet skills.

Can a blog help you professionally? Thinking about the future can be fun…or daunting. Having a blog about a subject you are passionate about shows future or current employers that you have a. great writing skills b. good internet research tools and c. passion for worth while things in life. Employers like that you are in to your major of choice but they also like to know that you have other hobbies and personal skills that could translate into a job.

How should I go about blogging? Some important things to remember when blogging:
1. ALWAYS spell check. No1 wans to read a blogg tiped lyke thes or TyPeD LiKe ThIs. Make sure your fonts and colors are user friendly. Don’t be afraid to be creative just check to make sure you would want to read your blog first.
2. Post related content. If your blog is about hiking, don’t try and tell your users about how horrible your lunch was at XYZ restaurant. They followed you because they want to read about your similar interests in hiking, not your personal feelings towards a sandwich.
3. Be regular when blogging. On this blog I post 2-3 posts a week. If I feel like I have more content to share, I will post more. If you have time and want to post everyday that is great and it will most likely get you more followers. If you can only post once a month, make sure your readers know you’re a casual blogger and don’t plan on updating often. Followers usually want you to be upfront with them.

If you take all this information I haven given you and use it towards blogging you will become successful. There are many blog articles and information out there on how to blog better and what to blog about, all you have to do is search.

Happy Blogging!

Twitter Can Help With Homework?

You heard me right, Twitter can really help with homework. I wish Twitter had been more popular a couple years ago, it could have made my life so much easier! In a lot of courses one of the homework assignments is finding news stories that apply to the subject you are studying that week. It hit me the other day that if Twitter is used to help with this, finding a news story will take minutes not an hour!

What am I talking about? Simply using your personal Twitter to help you with many things is possible. Finding jobs, keeping in touch with friends and staying up to date on the news. There are plenty of news Twitters to follow. I will list some of the major ones but if you are looking for a specific subject, chances are it’s out there. Just by going to a news Twitter’s page and looking at the quick summary can help you see if it can help you with your specific subject. The best part is the tweet includes a link for you to quickly access the story.

@AP – The Associated Press Twitter. This has world and U.S. news. This would be best to follow if you’re looking for economic or political news. While there are some other stories on here, the majority has to do with these two subjects.

@USATODAY – USA Today Newspaper Twitter. This will have a wide range of stories that are considered “Top News.” If you are looking for general news stories this would be the Twitter to follow.

@nytimes – NY Times Twitter. If there is a largely circulated newspaper chances are they have a Twitter. I know I had a class where we had to read the NY Times. If Twitter had been what it is today (I only took this class 2 years ago) things would have been so much easier! NY Times has a majority of US economic, opinion and US news pieces.

@mashable – Mashable Twitter. This is just one example of a topic specific Twitter. For those of you who are unsure of Mashable it’s a tech-social media-web culture online news source. If you like Facebook, Twitter or any other social networking site I suggest following this Twitter. This personally, would have helped me with my major in Communication, Public Relations and my career choice in Social Media. If you want a career in engineering I guarantee there is a Twitter out there with exciting engineering news.

I hope this will help you with future homework assignments or if you want to just stay up to date on the news that interests you. If you ever have any social media questions, comment and I will do my best to help you.

Happy Tweeting!

Is it a Love-Hate Relationship?

Roommates. They can be one of your best friends that lasts for the rest of your life….or not. Chances are at least once in your life roommate troubles are bound to happen. If you can go your whole roommate living life with out problems I am extremely impressed and would love to hear your story! Otherwise, it is a stressful, unhappy and unlucky situation to be in. I’m not saying this will happen to you but I have been there more than once and I want to pass on some things I learned along the way.

Somethings are bound to happen when living with a new person in CLOSE quarters. Annoyance at somethings you are not used to are normal and they are nothing to stress yourself out about. This is my first piece of advice: Don’t sweat the little things. They will happen and chances are there are somethings about you that your roommate gets annoyed with too. It is important to realize that you both have come from extremely different backgrounds, environments and living situations. Even if you knew each other in high school – living with someone is a different situation. If you are understanding to your roommate’s differences, chances are they will be understanding to yours as well.

The next thing to keep in mind is compromise. It’s important for you both to give up certain things to make the other comfortable. This creates a positive living environment and you both will feel better about living with the other. With my first roommate in college, we had different sleeping “requirements.” I needed a fan and no other noise, she needed no fan and the TV on to fall asleep. These are basically opposite sleeping requirements (in my mind, counterproductive.) Eventually, she gave into the fan being on and I gave into the TV being on…for a while. I also utilized an iPod. Once we compromised we both got what we needed to sleep comfortably.

Finally, when you are frustrated try not to bottle up your feelings. It is understandable to not want to deal with confrontation but it eventually will come out. It is important to voice major problems you are having. Things do not have to be turned into a fight. Calmly explaining why you are frustrated and coming up with a solution together can bring you both closer. It will also create an openness between roommates that will help with a positive living experience. If you believe your problem is too big to discuss alone you can bring in a mediator. They can help keep you on track and keep the arguing to a minimum. RA’s or even a mutual friend are good choices for a mediator. Try to choose someone impartial to the situation, i.e. not a boyfriend/girlfriend or a parent.

If you integrate these tips into your roommate relationship, whether it is currently great or needing help, it will aid you in maintaining a positive roommate relationship. If you need further roommate help, please contact your R.A. for further information and help.

Have a great hump day!

Pinterest Can Help Me With School?

This week we’ve been discussing productivity and creating healthy study habits. Today is Friday and I thought what the heck let’s do something fun, Pinterest! Now before you men out there quit reading this blog post, let me try to grab your attention. I will not be talking about how you can Pin wedding dress, purses, shoes, love quotes or things like that (ladies we know this is a huge draw to Pinterest but shhh.) Pinterest can help students with their productivity if used in the right ways, otherwise it tends to be a time-suck of Pinning.

First, I want to start by defining some common terms used with Pinterest. This website is basically a personalized set of virtual cork boards. Think of your cork board organized into categories like: studying, food, style, funny quotes, etc. When you find something on the Internet that you would like to keep and go back to you can “Pin” it to a “Pinboard.” A “Pin” is a singular item you would like to keep. A “Pinboard” is the virtual cork board. Once, you have mastered that, all you have to do is either search a term or topic on Pinterest or search the internet and Pin away!

Now, let’s talk about how this can be used to help you with school, studying, organizing and the word of the week, productivity. It’s important to not get carried away with things you like on Pinterest when using it for productivity/school. My first suggestion is to make a few Pinboards that are solely used for school purposes. Maybe categories like Study Inspiration or Motivational Quotes. Let’s use these categories as an example. Once you have made these Pinboards, the fun part begins. Start searching the Internet or Pinterest for things to Pin in these categories. I searched the term “graduation.” That was a big Study Inspiration for me. An example of a photo that came up:

The possibilities are endless. You can find quotes to help you stay motivated or pictures. You can Pin anything on the Internet. If you’re in veterinary school, pin a photo of a puppy…or horse, whatever get’s you motivated. If you’re an engineer, pin a photo of…well you’ve got me there but I’m sure if you’re an engineer you’ll know what photo will get you motivated.

Happy Pinning!

** Pinned from Inspiration Quotes on Pinterest

Study Habits, We All Need Them.

When I say study habits, I don’t mean going to the gas station and buying two energy shots, a Coke and candy. Unfortunately, this blog post is about the actual studying but if you want to start off your study time with a mass amount of sugar and caffeine, have at it!

I’m talking more about productivity, consistency and developing a “plan” that works for you. We talked on Monday about how finding that perfect place to study for you can help your productivity. Let’s expand on that and talk about a few study habits to add to your “study routine.”

First, having a consistent set of things that you do each time you study can help you get into studying mode. I know that when you sit down the last thing you want to do is read 125 pages on history or economics and then go over the 100 power point slides. That just does not sound like fun and I’m not going to lie to you, it’s really not. Unfortunately, as a college student this is your life every few weeks when the next round of tests begin. Having a “plan” that you follow each time you study will help you go from, “My favorite TV show is on and I am instead reading this huge-over priced text book.” to “This is an important exam and I need to get serious about studying.” My personal routine included: first checking all social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) so I got that out of my system, then find a good classical music station on Pandora and last organize my cubicle for greatest productivity. If you haven’t notice already, I am an extremely organized, to-do list maker. The last part of my list does not have to be followed. 😉

Next, you have already found the place that you believe you will study best in from the last post. Try to leave your cell and laptop (if you don’t need it) in your bag. All distractions do not help with studying. While this really does stink, it is necessary, phones tend to be a time-suck. Along with this, create 10 minute breaks for each hour that you study. It does not help to study for 6 hours straight with no breaks. That would make anyone’s eyes cross. The 10 minutes off help you to not lose energy and to use the next 50 minutes productively.

Last, if you have trouble concentrating alone bring a friend for support. Some of us need to be alone to study and some of us need a friend to keep us on track. If they see you have your phone out too much or are surfing the web when you should be looking at power point slides they can help redirect your attention. It also helps if they are in or had the same class you are studying for. It makes asking questions and bouncing ideas back and forth easier.

By taking these few, easy steps your study time can be the most beneficial to you. You know most of the material from class and to try and not stress out too much. Happy Studying! And take a deep breath and remember…

Where Are You Most Productive?

Not everyone does their best studying in a library. Some like to study in a random building on campus, others at their desk or those that study in the their secret studying place. Where ever it may be it’s a good thing to have that one place you always go to get focused on whatever it is you have to get done.

Personally, I had a hard time studying at home. It was too comfortable for me. The biggest problem: the proximity of my bed. There was something about the bright lights, lack of communication with others and knowing I can’t go home until I am finished with my studying that kept me focused. My most productive place at Purdue was quite obvious. It was in the basement of Hicks in a cubicle. There is hardly any cell service, the cubicle walls keep you from getting distracted and if you’re lucky you’ll get a cubicle with a power outlet.

Finding a place where you know you have to be productive and work hard is a good thing. Continually going to that one place for you and making a habit of getting your work done there is a good study habit. This piece of advice comes from many a night of me studying at my desk at home and somehow getting to the bed and falling asleep. Creating healthy study habits that work for you early on in your college career can help you make the most of your homework, study or work time.

The next time you think about just doing some reading while sitting in bed, think again! Find your productive spot!

Happy Studying!