Pros and Cons of Taking a Gap Year

As I near the end of my college journey, I can’t help but to reflect over the ups and downs that I have experienced. I made the choice after my Sophomore year to take a break from school to decide what I really wanted to do with my life. I missed my family and began to feel “burnt out” on school. So I decided to move back home to Texas. While at home I had the chance to experience a marketing internship as well as other jobs. About a year and a half later I decided to finish my degree. When I look back, I have mixed feelings about taking a gap year. There were definitely pros and cons but I do not totally regret taking a gap year. This post will assist anyone that is considering taking a gap year. Here are a few pros and cons:

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  • Pro: it gives you time to think and figure out what you want to do.
  • Pro: you learn responsibility at a different level.
  • Pro: adds experience to your resume.
  • Pro: gain a better sense of self and the world.
  • Pro: expand your network.
  • Pro: become better prepared for college.
  • Con: puts you a year behind.
  • Con: you could possibly lose the momentum to finish your degree.
  • Con: gap years could be expensive.
  • Con: involves a lot of planning.

Hopefully these pros and cons are useful for helping you weigh out your options and consider what would be the best route for you.

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FINALS WEEK IS NEAR!!

So the most dreaded week of the semester is here: Finals Week. If you’re taking over 15 hours like me, studying for six different exams, writing papers, and completing projects seems impossible! However, there are some things that could be done to help you balance studying and assignments and still pass your exams. Discipline and time management are key!

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  • Create your own study guide. You will understand the material better. Outlining the important information you need to learn can be helpful, both while creating it and to refer to during your studies.
  • Ask questions as soon as possible. Your professors are there to help. Start studying early so that any questions you ask can be answered then, not the night before the exam.
  • Attend the review session. If there is one offered, go! It may not seem beneficial but this gives you time to ask questions, know what is going to be on the test, and get a better understanding of the material.
  • Study material not on the study guide. This is very important because some professors will tell you what will be on the test, but also include other concepts not mentioned.
  • Create a study schedule and Follow it! Doing this will help you with time management, and prevent you from feeling overwhelmed. Work on one subject at a time.
  • Prioritize your study time. Some exams will be more difficult than others, you may find some easier to study for. Some may be worth more of your grade than others. Make sure to evaluate all of your exams to consider .
  • Stay well-rested. Well this may be nearly impossible too but grab those naps when you can!
  • Pace yourself. Stay focused and don’t burn yourself out. Pace yourself rather than opting for an all-nighter. Do this by following the previous tips and taking breaks when needed.

The Best Part-time Jobs for College Students

Hey you guys!

This week, we’re talking about JOBS. Some may be entrepreneurs or even be working a full-time or part-time job already, however if you’re looking for another stream of income that can be done outside of those things, I’m here to help!

If you’re like me, while in school, I prefer to work a job that does not contribute to any more stress than I already have. When job searching I look for jobs that are fairly easy and very flexible. I’ve created a list of a few jobs that can be worked throughout the semester or the summer.

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  • Waiter/Waitresses. Benefits: great tips, fairly flexible (depending on restaurant).
  • Retail. Benefits: Short shifts, Discounts, discounts, and did I mention discounts? Gaining experience and skills while working on your degree.
  • Lyft/Uber driver. Benefits: ability to earn money while you’re not in class, make your own hours, and learn time management skills.
  • Work from home: Some only require a few hours per day and work in your pajamas.
  • Tutor. Benefits: flexible hours, sharpen skills in that subject,  and little to no commute.
  • On campus. Benefits: Little or no commute and work on school work while working.
  • After school program. Benefits: ability to give back to your community, hours start after your classes, gain volunteer/work experience
  • Babysitter. Benefits: flexible hours, some pay really well, get school work done during downtime.
  • Participate in a study. Benefits: make money in a couple of hours, flexible, leaves plenty of time to do school work or work another job.

5 Apps Every College Student Should Have

Most of us have tons of apps on our phones that are being used for a variety of things. Why not download a few that give you access to helpful resources whenever you need them? This week I’m helping you guys out with some apps that could make certain aspects of your college life a lot easier.

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  1.  UCA app.
    • When your laptop isn’t near, instead of going through the hassle of accessing the myUCA website from your safari and logging in, you can simply press the app to access all resources that are available on the site.
  2. Mint app.
    • This app assists you with managing money while in college. It helps you keep track of your finances as well as helps you understand where you can make budget cuts!
  3. My Fitness Pal app.
    • Juggling personal responsibility and staying healthy can be challenging at times. This app allows you to keep track of the calories you consume which helps you to make better decisions about your diet.
  4. Headspace app.
    • Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. Headspace acts like a personal trainer for meditation. Allowing ten minutes out of your day to guide your brain toward developing meditation muscle-memory. Warning: only a ten day trial is offered before you have to pay for it BUT you may try it and like it so much that you would want to purchase it.
  5. Easybib app.
    • Can’t remember what sources you used or just don’t know how to cite sources? Easybib constructs your citations for you. If you’re using a physical textbook, just scan its ISBN and it will create a citation as well.

 

How to Survive a Morning/Evening Class

Hey guys! I’m back with another helpful tip to get you through the semester. This tip is going to be about how to survive that horrific 8 a.m. class or 6 p.m. night class. Throughout my college years I’ve got to experience both. I absolutely LOVE sleep and being able to get a good night’s rest so whenever I am not able to do so, my mood will definitely reflect it. That being said, if you’re like me then you definitely need follow these tips to survive an early morning class:

  •  Sleep the night before. It is very important that you get at LEAST seven hours of sleep the night before class.
  • Eat breakfast before class. This may be a tough one to do if you’re like me and wait until the last possible minute to sleep in BUT I promise this will make a difference in the amount of energy you have, plus it’ll help wake you up.
  • Drink water during class. Don’t forget your bottled water before running out of the door! Taking a sip every 10-20 minutes will keep you awake and feeling good.
  • Pack your backpack and get clothes ready the night before. This should be pretty easy for you to remember to do seeing as it will save you an extra 10-15 minutes.
  • Have a positive attitude. I’d say this the most important point because your attitude is everything. If you wake up with the mindset that you hate mornings and don’t want to go to class, the effort that you put into to anything else that day will reflect that.

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Next, I’ve put together a few tips that have helped me survive my DREADED evening class.

  • Eat a light dinner beforehand. Make sure you don’t go on an empty stomach but make sure not to eat a heavy meal because it may be uncomfortable sitting there for an hour and a half or make you sleepy.
  • Caffeine! After a long day at work or doing other tasks, the last thing you want to do is sit through an hour long lecture so you might want to visit Starbucks before.
  • Bring snacks. You may still be hungry after a while from that light dinner so bringing a snack will help take your mind of the slight hunger you may feel.
  • Wear comfortable clothing. This is important because if you’re going to be in class until about 9 o’clock at night you want to at least be comfortable.

Thanks for reading. See you all next week!

Take advantage of the Perks!

Who likes discounts?! I know I do. Money can be pretty tight as a student, so some of us could use some help here and there. Throughout my years as a student I have discovered some perks that help students save on shopping, food, entertainment and more! Here they are:

  • Unidays! This is website created for students in college to help them receive discounts on clothes, shoes, food, music, home goods, travel, and so much more. This site has some of your favorites stores and brands so check them out!
  • Apple Music. Instead of paying $9.99/month I pay a cool $4.99! All you have to do is choose ‘student’ when creating your profile.
  • Ladies, several nail salons around the campus offer discounts on all services. It may not be much but hey, it helps.compras
  • Amazon. For my Amazon shoppers, you might want to check out their Amazon Student account. It provides a variety of exclusive discounts and you get six months of free two day shipping.
  • Phone companies like Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile can get you discounts on your monthly phone bill if your school makes you eligible for these discounts.
  • My bank has a student account that waives the monthly fees that are charged. If you are currently experiencing this you might want to inquire about a special account for students.
  • Need a new laptop? Apple, Microsoft, Dell, HP, and others offer discounts on a new laptop!
  • Car insurance too high? Allstate, Geico, State Farm, Farmers Insurance, and Greyhound have student discounts available.

How to not gain the ‘Freshman 15’

Some may not be freshmen anymore, however this topic can still pertain to most college students that have not established a plan to balance a healthy lifestyle with a busy  schedule. This is not to say that some weight gain is normal or healthy but when unwanted weight is gained, you may want to make changes that will get your weight back to the norm. The ‘Freshmen 15’ may sound difficult to obtain within the first year of college but it’s actually easier than you think.  College offers many temptations and the stress of acclimating to a new school year can trigger overeating.

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Here are some tips to avoid gaining those extra pounds:

  • avoid eating when stressed or watching tv
  • keep between-meal and late night snacking to a minimum
  • watch the size of your portions
  • resist going back for additional servings
  • keep healthy snacks on hand
  • replace soft drinks with WATER! ALWAYS DRINK WATER
  • avoid vending machines
  • eat at regular times and try not to skip meals
  • eat slowly
  • learn about nutrition by visiting a nutrition counselor

These tips may seem like a lot but I can assure that they will make small differences. These small changes will add up to big ones. If you have gained a few extra pounds, don’t fret! Making minor adjustments will get you back on track.

College tip #1: How to use your planner to stay organized

Its the start of a new beginning! Another semester of college can be somewhat exciting as well as stressful. I created this blog for my colleagues that could use some occasional advice and tips on topics that will aid in getting through your college years.

We all know that whether going to school full-time or part-time,  stress can be added to other areas of our lives. With so much going on between working, socializing, caring for ourselves and families, it can be kind of tough to juggle it all. One way that I have found to reduce some of the stress of remembering deadlines is to keep a planner!

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Having a weekly/monthly planner makes keeping up with assignments so much easier. Some planners provide a monthly overview, weekly, or both. Here is how stay organized:

  • During the first and second week of class I like to go through the syllabus of each class and fill in about a month’s worth of assignment deadlines. (Deadlines are subject to change but its always helpful to stay ahead)
  • This is optional, but color coding assignments by class can help you remember what class the assignment is for just in case you don’t write it down.
  • Check off any assignments that you have completed so that you can provide yourself with some sort of illustration of the progress being made during the week.
  • Each day, give yourself homework to do. Working on assignments or studying material gone over in class allows you to stay familiar with the material that’s being discussed each week.
  • Lastly, don’t just limit your planner to school work, incorporate some of your daily activities such as exercising, meetings, etc.

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