Start Fresh Each Month

One of the best things I ever learned to do in college is to start fresh each month. Obviously, there are somethings that you cannot start fresh with but this really can help you to de-stress. Starting fresh is not forgetting everything that you have done or need to do and starting over. It is more like meditating over the past month.

No you don’t have to actually meditate. You do need to make sometime to be alone and find a relaxing place for you. Personally, I like to sit on my bed but anywhere you feel relaxed can work. Then start thinking about all that you accomplished in the last month. Finished that big project you never thought would get done? Studied extra hard and raised your grade? Got promoted at your part-time job? Anything can be an accomplishment, it doesn’t have to be a huge, congratulatory thing that you did. It can be that you ate healthy for the whole month or you kept your room clean.

Once you have identified all the things that you feel good about. Think about some goals you would like to set for the new month. Maybe you’d like to set aside more time for homework or you would like to find a weekend job to give you some spending money. Whatever it may be, set at least 3 goals, big or small. Eventually, this process will become second nature to you and it will in turn make you more productive and positive. It’s okay if some goals need to be repeated a few times until you get the hang of integrating them into your life.

This can apply anywhere in your life: friends, relationships, work, school, health, etc. If it seems time consuming or overwhelming, start out small with one goal and work your way up. Trust me, it really is worth it to give your self a pat on the back for what you’ve done! It’s February 1st, so it is the perfect time to begin!

Happy Starting Fresh!

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Taking a Look on the Bright Side.

Monday mornings, they’re tough for everyone including students and staff. It’s hard to wake up and realize you have five whole days that could quite possibly be filled with: homework, exams, quizzes, pop quizzes (the worst), work, friends, family, etc. I could go on but it may just make you feel worse about today. The point being is it’s difficult to look forward and not feel overwhelmed. That’s why we’re going to discuss adding a littleĀ  positivity into your life.

I realize we all are happy at times and sad at others. This is life and I am not asking you to be someone who is happy a ridiculous 100% of the time. That is unfortunately not possible with life knocking on our door. What I am asking is that you let just a little more in each time you are feeling down. Try to think of a positive tone to a negative situation. Feel like you didn’t study enough for that big exam? Think about how you have not only studied but you have been to almost every class (we’ve all missed at least one class), taken notes, listened to your lectures and participated in class. When adding all that experience to your studying you have prepared way more than you expected.

Adding even just a little positivity to a negative situation or thought in your life can really help your mental, emotional and physical well-being. Adding positive thoughts works just like the saying, if you pretend to smile it will eventually make you happy. If you think it is too much of a task for you, pick a small subject that you are determined to be positive about. It can be something serious to you like exams or something that seems silly like loving Thursday TV. It will work the same way.

So today when you’re waking up or trying to stay awake, take a look on the bright side. You may be surprised at what you find.

Happy Thoughts!

Contract Renewal: Things to Consider…

I decided to write this blog post on contract renewal not to tell you what to do but to guide you through the process. I have been through this decision making process and I wish someone gave me some thinking points to consider. Today, I was on my way to the Windsor Dining Hall (getting lost actually) when I passed a few girls talking about whether to live in the University Residences or to move out. There are things that you should consider before making a quick decision. I have lived in Residence Halls before and I have also lived off-campus. While in college, I worked for an apartment company as well. I can offer you multiple sides to this conundrum.

One of the main things that becomes a deciding factor in this process is money. The group of girls that I passed were discussing this aspect. Most people think that living in an apartment is much cheaper but there are factors left out of the apartment rent pricing.

In University Residences you get free: electricity, water, sewage, trash service, transportation, cable, internet and furniture. Something else that I thought was important is you do not have to clean your bathrooms. Trust me on this one, this matters. If you partake in one of the dining plans you also have food always available to you. You pay two fees: living and dining.

In an apartment complex you have to pay for: electricity, water, sewage, trash, transportation, parking, cable, internet, groceries and furniture. Some of these things may come included in the rent but usually its very few. You have to realize you are taking on a responsibility of paying monthly bills (rent, electricity, water/sewage, cable/internet, etc.) and there are monetary and disciplinary consequences to forgetting to pay or paying late. When worrying about your 2 exams, 3 quizzes and 4 reading assignments, it’s going to be difficult to remember to pay the rent, electricity and cable on time. Not to mention splitting it between roommates evenly and making them pay you back in a timely manner (this may seem easy but trust me it’s not).

Another thing to think about is friends/roommates. How many friends have you made in the University Residences? Think about how many more you could make! Living in a place where a group of diverse individuals have so many things in common makes for a great experience. You are all located in the same place that is easily accessible. Encourage your friends to sign up for their same room and you can all be on the same floor!

Ultimately, this decision is up to you. I urge you to take time and do the math. Think of any fee that you would have to incur in either situation and see which works for you. If you are honest with the math (and don’t forget groceries!) I believe you will be joining the 917 residents who have already signed up!

Happy signing!

Facebook Can Be Used For More Than Keeping In Touch With Friends?

Facebook has evolved since we began using it what seems like forever ago. When I think back on what we did to keep in touch with friends before, I cannot come up with anything. It really is an amazing friend tool. You can chat with your friends, write on their walls, send them messages, check out what they’ve been up to and beyond. It’s a very convenient tool to have in our pockets and on our computers.

If you haven’t ventured past the friend aspect of Facebook it’s time to start. Facebook has thousands of add-ons available. There is one main feature I want to high light that can make your life easier.

Following Pages: you may already know that you can follow pages of celebrities or products that you like on the market but Pages has been expanding lately. You can follow news pages or your favorite teams. It has become a very popular way to get news, information or even deals across to the public. Companies and organizations recently have been offering free products like iPads, free plane tickets and more. All they want from you is a ‘like.’

Start following your favorite sports team, your favorite source of news (USA Today, CNN, etc.) or start searching for things that interest you. By diversifying your interests on Facebook your news feed will not only have what your best friend did last night but also breaking news on subjects you enjoy and are of interest to you.

ResLifeAtPurdue also has a Facebook page. By liking our page you can stay up to date on call out meetings, news involving residence halls, photos we share, general information and the other many things we have going on. How does this help you? We all know most students love to spend time on Facebook. If you are already on there, what better place to get your news too! Facebook has become almost a one-stop-shop customized for you!

Happy Facebooking!

Using Twitter to Help With Your Future Career?

Last week we talked about career fairs and how they can help you prepare for your future job search. I am going to continue on that theme today. These things are easy ways to make your future job search when you are a senior, junior or beyond much easier. Surprisingly, Twitter has helped thousands of people find the right job for them. There are a few things that you can start doing now to help make your life easier down the road.

The first thing you have to decide is if you can commit to making your profile public. If you have your Twitter set to private chances are that your efforts will go unseen. When making your tweets public you do not have to stick to tweeting professional things. You can tweet normal things: what you had for dinner, pictures of your dog or cat sleeping in a weird position or a picture of the Red Power Ranger on campus. Your Twitter does not have to be serious all the time by all means. The point is to become present on Twitter. The only tweets I would stay away from are tweets describing poor work ethic, for example, “I don’t want to go to work today ugh.” Instead you could say, “Not feeling too well. Hope work goes well.” Other tweets to avoid are “late night tweets.” Twitter seems to take on a “late night” persona past midnight. If you decide to go out with friends or think you may be participating in “late night” Twitter, set your Twitter to private for that night. Those tweets will then be only for your followers. Just remember who your followers are.

The next thing to consider when using Twitter to help with your eventual career search is following the right accounts. Of course you can still follow your favorite funny accounts or famous people you love but think about following companies you may be interested in in the future. For instance if you are interested in working for Google you should consider following @googlejobs. Most large companies and organizations have Twitters specifically to find young, enthusiastic employees. Companies usually offer internships for the Summer and are increasingly using Twitter to find their interns.

The next step is to interact with the companies you are interested in. Re-Tweet them if they have an interesting post. Reply if you think you can add something interesting to the conversation. Include them in tweets you think they may think are interesting. All of these tactics help you to gain their interest. You want them to see your name out of thousands and think. “Wow, this person has some great insight.”

The last piece of advice I have for you is to begin following people you admire in your potential career field. I personally follow leaders in the social media movement. I also follow interesting public relations twitters. That way my Twitter news feed is filled with things that interest me not just photos of someone’s lunch of a “HUGE BURRITO.”

Of course if you decide to change your career path you always can un-follow individuals and start over!

Happy Tweeting!

“Get Involved.”

It’s a phrase you will hear often here at Purdue. It may hit home with you right away or it may take a while to sink in. I am just asking that you take a moment to think about what it means. You don’t have to run out and join several clubs, go to the first meetings, pay the fees and just be in the club. It is important for you to be involved in things that you care about, that say something about you as a person.

It took me until my third year to realize what I was missing. I realized you don’t necessarily have to get involved just at Purdue. Being involved at your college is an important part of meeting people and contributing to the place you love but it’s not just that. The whole community that you live in has great opportunities that you can take advantage of. For instance, if you would like to help out at a food pantry once a month there are several places to do that in Lafayette. If you love animals and want to help them find forever homes, there are places to do that too! If you take a minute to Google whatever cause is close to your heart there will be a place in Lafayette-West Lafayette for you to volunteer at.

There are thousands of ways to get involved on campus at Purdue if that is the way you would like to go. Now is the time to start! There have been and will be call-out meetings the first month of the semester. This is a way for you to figure out which causes and opportunities are for you and which are not. Plus most call-outs have free food to entice you!

So I will say it to you one more time, “Get Involved!”

It’s Never Too Early to Attend Career Fairs!

For three years, I was under the assumption that Career Fairs were only for seniors. When I was enrolled in a course on finding a career and attended a Career Fair my Senior year, I realized…I was completely wrong!

I want everyone to learn from my mistake on this one. No matter what year you are, you can still attend the Career Fairs at Purdue! It is almost time for the Career Fair Season to begin and I want you to be ready!

Career Fairs are not just for Seniors looking for jobs after graduation. Most of the time there are a lot of internships and summer positions available at these fairs. Career Fairs also offer you a chance to get experience at short-interviews (about 2 minutes or less) where you can use a short speech to tell them about you and what you are looking for. They also give you a chance to network and meet people! Networking is a very important aspect of finding a job. I would go as far to say that it is THE most important thing you can do when beginning your career search. Getting in the hang of talking to professionals will be a huge help in interviewing and networking.

What do I bring you ask? Well, a resume is a must. Getting a resume set up can be a difficult task to accomplish on your own. The Purdue Center for Career Opportunities (CCO) can be one of the best resources you have for your beginning, middle and end in finding your career path. They have several resources to help you, one being resume writing. You can meet with an expert to help you write, edit or just go over your resume. You must keep in mind that a resume from someone who just started at Purdue will look dramatically different than someone who is just about done with their time at Purdue.

Anything else you should know? The last thing to think about is dressing professionally. Think conservative. Dress pants for men and women (not jeans, leggings, short skirts or shorts). Women you may also wear skirts that cover your knees when sitting down as long as you wear some type of hose or tights underneath. For both, wearing a dress shirt that buttons up or covers everything it needs to is important. Basic professional dress. If you are still unsure a quick Google search of “Business Professional Dress” can help.

If you still have questions or concerns after these tips the CCO can help you with anything to do with your career path!

The CCO is located in Stewart Center, Room 194, open Monday-Friday, 10 am to 4 pm. You can also make appointments by calling: (765) 494-3981. They have an email for questions (allowing 2 business days for a response) at askCCO@purdue.edu.