Category: Education

Steps Anyone Can Take to Feel Prepared for College Courses

College courses can be a unique challenge, especially if you’ve never taken one before. Whether you’re just out of high school and moving onto secondary education, or an adult furthering their education later in life, here are five tips you can follow to feel prepared and ace those courses!

Tip #1: Time-Management Skills

Take the time now, before you get fully immersed in the college experience, to sharpen your time-management skills. A major part of the anxiety and stress of college courses is the workload. Balancing any given class’s material with other courses’, as well as your personal life is essential. Buy a calendar and start using it. Set reminders on your smartphone, computer, or tablet. It might take a bit of refining to find what system works for you, but once you know what is due when, you’ll have a better idea for how to plan the rest of your week, month, and year. Allot yourself enough time, daily, to complete your assignments and still have personal time.

Tip #2: Focus on Technical Skills

Being comfortable working with technology is so important to college readiness. Find out what programs and applications your courses will be using and become familiar with them now. If you are taking an online course, you should review what programs and software might be needed for each course. You should also practice typing and making accurate searches online to reduce research time. As the lines between technology and the traditional college experience blur, this will become ever more important not only in school, but in most professions.

Tip #3: Establish Prerequisites

Making sure you have the necessary requirements to succeed in any given college course is a great way to feel prepared. It would be unwise to attempt a rigorous course without the building blocks needed for succeed. If you’re still in high school, this is not the time to slack off! Work hard and make sure you’re ready for the more challenging courses you’ll take. If you’re an adult and haven’t been to school for many years, make sure you’re brushing up on your core foundations as well. If you are starting a specialized course or degree, be sure you have the background and prerequisite classes ready to go.

Tip #4: Don’t Neglect Social Skills

Social skills, or soft skills, are how you will navigate with other people you interact with in school and in work. Being able to communicate effectively with your professors and fellow students, leadership skills, and the ability to collaborate are very important.

Tip #5: Take Care of Yourself

Above all else, you have to take care of yourself. Do things that make you happy, be around people that make you happy. Take necessary time to refocus on your goals after a failure or setback. Get enough sleep and give yourself the important vitamins and nutrients you need to be healthy. And, be confident. You made it this far, don’t stop now.

5 Degrees that Pay Off

When considering where to go to college and what to study, you need to consider your end goal. What career do you want to end up in? Is money an important thing for you? Figuring out how to balance your interests with a livable wage is one of the biggest things to think about when deciding what course of study you want to take in college. Here are a few options that pay well that you may not have considered.

Computer Science

If you enjoy working with computers and easily learn new programs and applications, you should consider a degree in computer science. In general, this field is associated with computers and computational systems, but you also have the option of specializing in areas such as programming, digital system design, or artificial intelligence. This type of degree is also considered the first step toward a career in software development. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the demand for software developers will increase by over 20 percent by the end of 2022.

Accounting

If you enjoy solving complex problems, crunching numbers, and doing general math, you will find a virtually limitless number of career options after obtaining your accounting degree. Since there is always a high demand for accountants in essentially all fields, from retail stores to law firms, you will always be able to earn a lucrative income. Additionally, if you continue your education in the future, you can secure a job as a financial analyst or adviser. If you have a good aptitude for math, it is almost impossible to go wrong with such a degree. Because this degree goes hand in hand with business, it also offers the opportunity to branch out from the accounting field. Many of today’s executives began as accountants before they were promoted to their current position.

Petroleum Engineering

Engineering has always been a high-paying field, but you can expect to do particularly well if you obtain a degree in petroleum engineering. Engineers in this field design and develop methods for extracting natural gas and oil from beneath the Earth’s surface. This work is highly scientific and usually requires an in-depth understanding of geology, physics, mathematics, and chemistry. The BLS anticipates a 26 percent growth in the demand for petroleum engineers through 2022. This growth rate is significantly higher than the average growth rate for other occupations.

Information Technology

Although it is somewhat similar to computer science, information technology focuses specifically on how data is stored and transmitted within a computer system. Those with a degree in information technology often secure jobs as IT managers, business intelligence specialists, or web application developers, all of which are found at the highest end of the computer field pay scale.

Nursing

Qualified workers are always needed in the healthcare field, and the demand for nursing assistants and registered nurses is expected to continue increasing for the next several years. Depending on the kind of work in which you are interested, it may be possible to break into the field of nursing with an associate’s degree. However, keep in mind that the higher your education, the more earning potential you will have in this field. Although a nursing assistant with an associate’s degree only makes approximately $25,000 annually, it is a good stepping stone job to hold as you are completing your bachelor’s degree, at which point you can become a registered nurse.

The career path you select should reflect your passions and interests, but it is certainly a good idea to choose one that also brings you financial security. Ultimately, choosing your career path with care improves your odds of securing a good position with a lucrative salary.

Where Does Sexual Education Need to Catch Up?

It seems as though everyone vividly remembers how they were taught sexual education in high school. While a few may have had positive learning experiences, it seems the majority had ones that were very short-sighted in being useful. High school classrooms are always awkward for bringing up sensitive subjects, but sexual education should be one area that is thoroughly explained and taught with care. Unfortunately, sexual education and anatomy is something most public schools fail at teaching, and here’s why.

Homosexuality is Never Mentioned

In a study researching the experiences young people had in sex education, many had classes that were very science-based and technical, focusing on only relations between men and women. This leaves lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered students completely out of the picture, making the material much less relevant or useful. With rising numbers of LGBT youth in America, it doesn’t make sense to exclude them from this important conversation.

Some Sexual Activities Are Not Covered

Only sexual intercourse between a male and female is ever mentioned in most high schools, and no other sexual activities are recognized in classes, some of which could even be considered “safe sex”. While a high school course shouldn’t have to cover everything, such a limited view of sex is hurting students, and making the information outdated.

Only Abstinence is Discussed as a Contraceptive

Some schools go as far as teaching abstinence as the only ‘safe’ option, failing to educate about any contraceptives at all. Not only is this teaching method proven to be ineffective, but unexpected pregnancies that occur without the right education can be far more dangerous to teens. Not only that, but many schools don’t even consider discussing unplanned pregnancies with their students, so these women aren’t taught about safe options to take in these situations, such as adoption or the few abortion centers that help young mothers with child care and family planning rather than just kill the fetus.

Desire, Pleasure, and Consent are not Mentioned

For many schools, consent in never brought up or explained adequately. Everyone sticks to the physical mechanics of sex, while emotional aspects are always left out. In a similar vein, female sexual desire is sometimes not even acknowledged. One teen girl in a 2009 U.S. study said, “I think that they depict it was the guy wants to have sex and the girl doesn’t… They don’t realize that a lot of girls want to have sex, too. And so I don’t think that they focus on that enough at all.” Most sexual education makes it seem like only men have sexual pleasure, making for a very skewed depiction of straight sexual relationships.

Schools today are falling short on the information they teach in their sexual education classes. Whatever you may have been taught could be better or worse, but it’s definitely a subject worth discussing and changing for future generations.

How to Find the Right College: Tips for Prospective Freshmen

Picking a college is a major step. The right choice can help new students on the road to academic success, which paves the way for advancement later in life. On the other hand, even a good student can struggle if they pick a college that is a poor fit for their personality and goals. Picking the right college involves looking at a variety of different factors, but there are a few broad things that every prospective student should keep in mind.

Environment Matters

Every university has its own unique culture. Some are known as party schools, while others tend more towards strict study and austerity, while some have religious components. A poor cultural fit will lead to discomfort and distraction that can cause a student’s grades to suffer. It will also ruin their social life if they can’t make friends outside of the school.

The best way for students to get a good fit is to understand their goals and the sort of environment that they like before making their choice. Visiting the school and talking with students there can also help with finding a good fit.

Consider Digital Options

Almost every college has some digital presence, but some rely much more on digital resources than others. In some cases, students can take entire classes over the Internet, or access learning tools through a digital platform rather than buying expensive textbooks. In some cases, people even get their degrees digitally. Some people thrive in that environment, while others struggle with it, so it is important for potential students to know themselves and decide if the level of digital integration in the college’s classes suits them. You can also find universities that exist only online. These courses tend to take less time and money, so this may be a good option if you want to earn your degree quickly.

Check for Courses

Students who know what they want to study should take the time to make sure that all of their potential choices offer good courses on that topic. Most schools excel in one or two areas and are only adequate in the others, so this can be an important step.

It’s also vital to check for elective courses outside of that field. Many people find their interests changing as they learn more, and picking a school with plenty of different classes offers the best opportunity to pursue emerging interests. This is especially important for people who don’t go to college with a firm study plan in mind, but it can be useful for any student.

Look for Connections

Networking is often the key to finding a job after college. In many cases, people make valuable connections at their school, either through their teachers and fellow students or networking events with graduates. It can be hard to predict where students will meet somebody valuable, but it is best to pick a school that has a reputation for graduates who find success in the student’s field of interest. Not only is that a sign of a good education, but it increases the chance that student will make connections that are valuable in that field.

The Final Choice

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when picking a college, but it’s important to power through that feeling, research as much as possible about the options, and make a rational choice based on that information. A lot of your choice depends on the individual student’s goals, so it is also important for them to think carefully about what they want to achieve while they are in college. Those who do so will often find that their choice gets much easier, and they are the ones who are most likely to be happy with their choice once they start their academic careers.

How to Compromise with Your Future College Roommates

Getting ready for college is one of the most exciting times in a young person’s life. As you move out of your parent’s home and settle into your own place, you need to remember the importance of getting along with your new roommate. Sometimes people starting college have the luxury of sharing a dorm, apartment or house with someone they know, but more often you end up paired with strangers. Sometimes, these strangers might become good friends, but that will only happen if you know how to compromise. Sharing a living space with anyone can be challenging, but it’s important you make the most of your experience.

Finances

Sharing the financial responsibilities with your roommates is key to having a successful experience in your new adventure. It is best to decide who is responsible for what bills upfront to make sure there is clarity and bills do not go unpaid. You also want to make sure that everyone feels they were treated fairly. Rent and utilities are easy enough to split up.

When unexpected bills pop up, such as damage that occurred during a party, you may have to compromise with your roomie on who should incur the expense. Just be fair, and everything should work out. If you are proactive, you can avoid some of those surprise bills. For example, changing the filters out on a furnace and air conditioning maintenance can prevent significant costs from popping up that you were not expecting. Just communicate with each other ahead of time on what areas in which you want to be proactive.

Noise and Space

If you ever shared a room with a sibling growing up, you may understand the importance of compromise already. If you are a night owl and your roommate likes to go to bed early, you need to agree on a solution that is fair to both sides. You might have to compromise on having friends over late on a school night, or what door you come in through when you get home from that late night party. There is usually limited space in your first college housing unit, so compromising on who gets what space will also likely come up.

Compromise is all about give-and-take and shouldn’t be viewed as sacrificing. You can work out a solution that suits both sides; it just might take a little work. Communication can solve any problem, so be open-minded and solution-oriented, and all will be well!

Resources
https://hellobeautiful.com/2792284/roommate-problems-compromise-living-situation/
http://www.provincialheating.ca/
http://blog.credit.com/2017/06/tips-for-splitting-bills-with-roommates-175596/
https://www.usnews.com/education/articles/2010/08/13/5-tips-to-getting-along-with-your-roommate

7 College Majors With a More Human Touch

Are you trying to find your college major? Maybe you’re hoping to find something that lets you give back to humanity in a meaningful way. There are a number of majors you can choose from to fulfill this desire. Though they might not be obvious at first, here are seven college majors that have a more humanitarian approach and make the world a better place.

Social Worker

People who want to directly help others can get a degree in Social Work. Social workers offer others life advice and help them find work. They might provide a bit of counseling, and teach others how to navigate life better. Social Work degrees take about four years to earn.

Counseling

Counseling focuses on improving people’s mental or emotional state. Counselors may be able to work one-on-one with their clients to provide tools to better their lives. A good counselor can bring someone from the brink of sorrow and despair to a place where they become a happy and functional human being. While there are many challenges a counselor will face, it can be greatly rewarding when a client makes progress and turns their life around for the better. A Bachelor’s in counseling can be earned in four years, but counselors can go on to get a Master’s degree or Ph.D.

Sociology

Sociologists study social organization, human behavior, and how human behavior affects culture. All of this helps them understand people as a whole much better. Sociology degrees take four years, and you can get a Ph.D. in as little as eight years.

Nursing

Nursing is one of the first majors many people consider when they want to help people. Is there a better image of care and kindness than that of a nurse? People who wish to earn their nursing degree can do it in as little as four years while attending a university or college. Those who already have an associate’s degree can get it in two to three years. Some of the benefits of being a nurse are directly helping people feel better and cared for and about. Seeing a smile on a patient’s face and knowing you helping inspire that is one of the best gifts ever.

History

What could be more human than learning about human history? History majors get their Bachelor’s degrees within four years but often continue on to get a Master’s degree or Ph.D. They usually end up teaching, passing along the past’s mistakes and successes to future generations.

Physical Therapy

Much like a nurse, physical therapists work with their patients to make their physical life better. Physical therapists can work with clients one-on-one or in groups. A degree takes around seven years to complete, so it’s about three years longer than most Bachelor’s degrees. The reason for this is that on top of a Bachelor’s degree in a related health field, physical therapists must also complete a Doctoral program. They must also pass a state licensure exam.

Performing Arts

Performing arts is one of the most humanistic fields in existence. Performing artists evoke emotions in people and sometimes get very involved, emotionally, in the work they’re doing too. A performing arts degree can take up to four years depending on which performing art you choose.

Wrap Up

If you want to work in a field dedicated to humanity that’s also rewarding, any of the above college majors would fit your needs. If no particular one stands out to you, take a few classes in various fields to see if you like one area more than another. College is about discovering yourself just as much as it’s about learning for your career. Find who you are and do what you love.

Sources
http://www.apta.org/For_Prospective_Students/PT_Education/Physical_Therapist_(PT)_Education_Overview.aspx
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/daniel-little/college-sociology-major_b_1641546.html
https://www.wgu.edu/online_health_professions_degrees/bachelor_science_nursing
https://www.socialworkguide.org/

5 Test Taking Strategies You Probably Didn’t Think Of

When it comes to taking tests, everyone has a different way of preparing that works best for them. Some people spend weeks studying and some people hold a massive cram session the night before the test. It’s important to try different things to figure out what will work best for you, so here are five things that you may not have thought of that you can try to help you with your next test.

Take Plenty of Breaks

It’s tempting to sit down and study for hours or try to cram everything in at once. But no matter how dedicated you are and how great your memory is, your brain can only handle so much information at a time. To help you absorb the information better, take regular breaks from your studies. Get up, walk around, and clear your head. This won’t make you forget what you have studied, but it will help you refresh your mind and move the knowledge out of your short-term memory and into your long-term memory.

Chew a Unique Flavor of Gum or Candy

Human memory is tied most strongly to the sense of smell. An easy trick to remember what you’re studying is to choose an unusual flavor of candy or gum to eat while you are studying. When you go to take the test, have some of that gum or candy on hand to eat and jog your memory of your studies. This will take a little time to work, so start doing it a couple days before your test. If candy or gum won’t work for you, try using a perfume or essential oil that you can also use in the classroom.

Choose an Instrumental Music Playlist

Music is a powerful tool for helping your brain learn and retain knowledge, but not all music is created equally. You may love fast pump-up music, but that isn’t going to help you settle into a studying mood, and it isn’t going to help you remember anything. Research has found that music without lyrics, that includes nature sounds, and that you like but aren’t obsessed with is the best kind of music to listen to when you are trying to focus. You also want to make sure that you aren’t playing your music too loudly. Experiment with a few different kinds of music to figure out what works best for you and create a playlist that you use each time you study.

Dress Well

How you look has a direct impact on how you feel and how you feel has a direct impact on how you perform. It can be tempting to wear sweats and super comfy clothes when you are taking a test, but dressing well has actually been proven to help you test better. It’s important to dress nicely in clothes that help you feel your best. This doesn’t mean that you can’t be comfortable. Make sure you have clean clothes that fit properly. If you are wearing layers, such as an undershirt, make sure that it isn’t going to get bunched under your other clothing and create an uncomfortable situation. Taking a little extra time to make sure that you feel good is well-worth it.

Take Notes in Different Colors

Sometimes a visual cue can help your brain organize information and categorize it in ways that are easier to remember. Pick up a pack of multi-colored highlighters and then organize your study based on different color schemes. Pick one color for each type of idea, then always use that color for that idea. Eventually, your brain will associate the information with that particular idea and color, making it easier for you to remember things in larger segments.

These few simple strategies can help you remember course content and be able to improve test scores without too much pain. Get enough rest, take advantage of familiar scents or tastes, make and use a study playlist, color coordinate your notes, and make sure you look great on test day. None of these things take too much time or effort, but they can make a huge difference.

How Do I Become a Teacher? 4 Steps to Take Now

Teaching is a highly rewarding career path. If you are considering a career in education, now is the perfect time to start working to make that dream a reality. While you will still have to go to college and spend several years of study to get your teacher’s certification, there are some important things that you can do right now to figure out if this is really the path for you.

Volunteer Your Time

One of the best ways to figure out if you are going to like working in a school is to get a taste of what it is like. Most schools are looking for volunteers to help in classrooms or with tutoring. While this isn’t the exact same thing as being a teacher, it can give you a small idea of some of the things that teachers do. You can also try out various different experiences to figure out which one is best for you. For instance, you can volunteer as an assistant in an elementary classroom or you can be a teacher’s assistant for one of your periods at school. Not only will this help you get a good idea of how a school operates, it will also look good on your resume, which can help you get into a better school and a better teaching program.

Speak with Teachers

Another important step you can take is to actually talk to your teachers. No one knows more than them about how to get to where they are. They have the experience as a teacher and as your teacher in particular, so they can also help point you to the teaching positions that you are likely to enjoy. When it comes to talking with your teachers, make sure you pick the best ones to talk to. You want to find someone who will be realistic about both the good and bad parts of their job and someone who won’t discourage you from your dreams. If you are interested in teaching elementary school, go talk to teachers at your local elementary school. If you have younger siblings, try talking to their teachers. If you don’t know any of the teachers, you can ask the front office if they know any teachers who would be willing to talk to you.

Look Up Educational Classes

It’s also a good idea to look up what kinds of classes you might have to take should you decide to become a teacher. In order to enter the classroom, you will need to complete classes in specific subjects. You might have to take classes in educational psychology, teaching methods and the teaching of kids. Look through a college catalog. Many have detailed descriptions about the kind of classes they offer. You can then look up the subject matter on the internet. You might even be able to access specific course materials. Having access to this information will help prepare you for the college classes that you will be taking after you graduate.

Pick a College

When it comes to picking a university to get your teaching degree at, the most important thing that you need to look at is their accreditation and reputation. It doesn’t matter if the university is an online university or a traditional one, they need to be certified or your teaching certificate will be a huge waste. To learn more about the teaching programs at the universities you are considering, visit their website and look at what they prioritize. You can also look up their reputation and ranking on various websites.

All of these steps can help you prepare for the career in teaching you want. When you get a good overview of the profession, you’ll take your first steps towards standing in front of a classroom.

References:

Talk to a Teacher

Career: Elementary, Middle, and High School Teachers

WGU Online Teaching Degree

5 Great Reasons for High School Students to Volunteer

How to Focus in Class When it’s so Boring!

So you’re having a hard time paying attention in class….You’re teacher is boring, the information you’re learning is boring and you just can’t stop thinking about your plans later! Staying focused in class can be difficult but you are definitely not alone! Follow these 6 helpful tips on how to focus in class when it’s so boring.

Sit in the front of the class

I know you probably don’t want to sit in front of the class and have your teacher be literally a foot away from you, but this does help. When you’re sitting in the front, you aren’t staring at anyone’s head and you’re not seeing the class as a whole like if you were to sit all the way in the back. When you’re in the front, you’ll definitely want to try to stay awake so your teacher doesn’t call you out during the lecture.

Where you sit matters! It makes a big difference on your learning! This will help you engage eye contact with your teacher and will also show him/her that you’re interested in learning. If you’re lucky, they won’t call on you for an answer…but this shouldn’t be a problem because you’ll be focused.

how to focus in class

Stay away from your distractions

We’re constantly distracted, and that’s okay. As human beings, anything can be a distraction — especially in a boring class! Avoid sitting next to your friends because we all know you’ll be talking, doodling, passing notes and playing tic tac toe on the sides of your assignments.

Stay away from your phone. Texting and Snapchatting can wait. Instagram will be there when you get home but the notes on the board won’t!

NOTE: Ask your teacher if you can take pictures of the whiteboard/blackboard or record his lecture. That way your phone is actually being put to good use.

Take notes/participate

Taking notes and participating is a great way to stay focused! To take good notes you need to actively listen. And to listening actively, you need to be focused. Engage yourself in the lecture by asking questions. Organize your notes and really pay attention to what your lecture is about.

Don’t look at the clock

Staring at the clock only makes time go by even slower so don’t do it! Quit counting by the second. Do your work, actively listen, participate and next thing you know, class will be over.

Find ways to be motivated

Motivation can be easy when there’s a reward for you waiting at the finish line. Find ways to motivate yourself. For example, ask your parents for something if you get an A on your next exam – maybe some extra cash or an extra hour past curfew. Not only that, but better grades in general will open doors to scholarships, recognition and more! Come on, who doesn’t want to succeed?

Practice good habits

Sometimes we lose focus because we didn’t get enough sleep last night or we didn’t eat a well-balanced breakfast. Get into the habit of making minor changes to your lifestyle. Sleep better, eat better and get ahead in your workload. Study your current class topics before you go to class. Play a game by not taking out your phone during the entire lecture and reward yourself with a sweet snack!


Kristen_MarquezBy Kristen Marquez.

Kristen Marquez graduated with a B.A. in Cinema & Television Arts from California State, University Northridge with an emphasis in Television Production. She is a social media coordinator by day and a content creator by night. With her great imagination, she knows she will create the next big thing whether it’s a script, a product or a simple idea that will fill people’s hearts with joy and entertainment. She blogs for a hobby and loves spending time with her golden retriever Lily.

Instagram: @lexikris
Twitter: @krisiza10

5 Ways to Protect Your Belongings in Your First College Dorm Room

Leaving home and moving into your very first dorm is a huge step in your life. Being around all kinds of new people in a new environment means new responsibilities. Throughout your childhood, your parents have always had the security in your home covered, but now it’s up to you to keep you and your meager possessions safe. Here are 5 tips to help you protect your belongings in your dorm room.

Always Lock Your Door

It’s a super basic rule, but you’d be surprised how many people forget to do it. This isn’t just about locking your door when you leave to go to classes. Any time you walk out your door, lock it. Even if it’s just a quick run down the hall, to do a load of laundry, or to hang out in the common room, lock your door.  It’s better to be safe than sorry—especially when sorry could mean someone stole your Mac and you lost most of your class notes.

Limit Access to Your Room

Even the most secure dorms are hectic at times. Residents come and go, as do their guests. While it would be nice if you could secure your dorm room with a system like ADT Pulse, that’s a little impractical for most college students, and it’s also not completely necessary. A little vigilance about who has access to your room goes a long way. If there’s no good reason for someone to be in your room, take the conversation to a common area instead.

Don’t Leave Things Out

At home, you don’t think twice about leaving your laptop, money or textbooks out in the open. In your dorm, however, it’s a little different. Many college thefts are crimes of opportunity, so don’t give anyone lingering around your space the opportunity to make off with your stuff. Put valuable items out of sight in a drawer or in your closet. Want to be even more safe? Get a footlocker and stash valuables away. Don’t forget to keep it locked.

Follow the Dorm’s Rules

They might not be very fun, but rules are there for a reason and following them can save you a lot of stress. Pay particular attention to the rules about not loaning your keys to others, not letting strangers into your dorm and not propping locked doors open for temporary convenience.

Make Sure Your Roommate Complies

None of the previous tips work if you and your roommate(s) aren’t on the same page. Make sure they lock the doors, keep their stuff put away and aren’t letting someone neither of you know well have access to your room. Open and honest communication about things like this with your roommates will enhance the relationship and lead to a positive dorm experience.

Living away from home is a new and exciting chapter. You’re experiencing life for the first time not under your parents’ roof. Don’t make it more stressful than it needs to be, though. If you remember these 5 easy tips, you’ll be on your way to having a great college experience.