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Kayley Loveridge

New Year's Resolutions

Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions

Year-on-year when January rolls around, I make promises to myself in the form of New Year’s resolutions from the standard “I’ll eat my five a day” and “I’ll join the gym” tropes to the more career-centric “I will build my portfolio each month” and “I will network more”. I’m not alone; according to Statistic Brain Research Institute, around 41 percent of Americans also usually make New Year’s resolutions.

While we set resolutions with the best intentions, changing life-long habits can prove to be difficult. Health.usnews.com tells us that a whopping 80 percent of New Year’s resolutions made by Americans fail within just a couple of months into the new year. If you really want to stick to them, it’s key to be passionate about what it is you want to achieve. Make a note detailing why you want to achieve it, when you want to achieve it by and set attainable steps that will ensure you reach your goal.

Changing habits

Humans are creatures of habit. Habits help us move through day-to-day tasks such as eating breakfast or traveling to school as if on autopilot. But some of our habits are decidedly “bad” or unhealthy for us (like smoking or eating junk food). Our habits tend to be deeply ingrained in our subconscious, so in order to break them (well, the negative ones, anyway) we need to become conscious of our habits and work to replace them.

Habits can occur because of repetitive behavior and according to the National Institutes of Health, “Habits can also develop when good or enjoyable events trigger the brain’s ‘reward’ centers.” This interesting little nugget explains why harmful habits such as smoking prove so difficult to change.

Break unhealthy habits by finding the trigger for it, dealing with it and offer yourself a substitute to replace the trigger with. If your New Year’s resolution is to eat less chocolate, then find the chocolate in your home, remove it and replace it with something healthful like fruits to satisfy any sweet cravings. Reward yourself with something other than food—such as a cinema trip—at the end of each successful month to give you motivation, positive reinforcement and incentive to carry on. 

Goal-setting

Goal-setting plans often fail because the goal in itself is not specific enough. For example, if your goal is “to be healthier in 2018”, make it more specific by changing the phrasing to “stop drinking fizzy drinks by June” or something similar. Once you have a specific goal in mind, devise a plan—put useful, actionable steps in place to ensure that you achieve your end goal. In this scenario, you may begin by limiting fizzy drinks to just one glass per day in January. In February, this action would evolve into just two glasses per week and so on until you have successfully eliminated them.

Put pen to paper

Write your goals down in a journal. Research carried out by Dr Gail Matthews, a psychology professor at the Dominican University in California, found that those who write their goals by hand regularly are more likely to achieve their goals and dreams than those who do not—42 percent more likely, in fact. Plus, there’s nothing quite so cathartic as ticking items off of a to-do list, am I right? Gretchen Rubin, author of Better than Before (2015) says “People who monitor behavior tend to do a better job, even if they’re not actively trying to change.”

Reassess New Year’s resolutions regularly

A simple yet effective strategy that can help you keep on track with your resolutions is to systematically check in and reassess them. Do this as regularly as every month and you’ll able to pick up on and correct some behavior patterns that might be sabotaging your goals. This trick is also useful in figuring out whether your resolution is a little too ambitious so that you can tweak it as you see fit. Flexibility in this way means that, hopefully, you’ll reach the end of the year feeling more successful in reaching your goals and less guilty with altering your resolutions.

Do you have any tips to keep New Year’s resolutions? Let College News know!

Further reading: Free Courses to Boost Your Resume

Free Courses to Boost Your Resume

Free Courses to Boost Your Resume

Job searching with a skeletal resume is hard. We’ve searched the web for some highly reputable and FREE courses that will give you the up-to-date and relevant skills you need to navigate today’s job market. Not only this, these courses will boost your resume, making you a valuable asset to companies on the lookout for grads.

Coding

Know your HTML from your Java? If you are looking to work in an industry that is tech-driven, then coding is a valuable asset to add to your resume. Codecademy.com offers a free course for beginners looking to get a basic understanding of coding and web development using HTML and CSS language. Alongside 4.5 million online students, you can crack the fundamentals of coding over 12 sessions.

Social Media

Businesses use social media to connect and communicate with their customer base. It’s also how they advertise, market their product or service and increase website traffic; nowadays, professional experience with social media is becoming increasingly important to hiring managers. While we all tinker around on our personal social media platforms every day, using it in a business environment is slightly different. Buffer.com offers a free email course that gives 25 daily “lessons” in under 10 minutes. Understand social media algorithms, brand-building and content creation to attract audiences.

SEO

SEO—or search engine optimization—is the act of optimizing website content to increase traffic and visibility. This competancy is vital for a wide range of industries from publishing to retail and it’s a nifty skill to help you brand yourself, too. Boost your resume and learn SEO with udemy.com in their free online course SEO Tutorial for Beginners. In this introduction you will learn keyword research, on page and off page optimization and you’ll receive a certificate of completion at the end.

Learn German

Knowing multiple languages comes high on an employer’s list of desirable skills, and is especially valuable in international businesses. For example, did you know that Germany is one of the largest trading partners with the US? The ability to communicate effectively with your prospective employer’s partners may just push you ahead in the resume que. Learn German with duolingo.com for free in just five minutes a day with their fun and accessible game-like lessons. The website also offers bite-size lessons covering a wide range of other languages including Spanish, Italian and Dutch.

Photoshop

For most creative industries, basic knowledge of Adobe Photoshop is vital. Thankfully, the creators of Photoshop (and other useful design applications including InDesign and Illustrator) teach beginners the rudimentary principles of the software with useful videos and (you guessed it) it doesn’t cost a penny. This free course to boost your resume can be completed in little over five hours over at adobeknowhow.com.

Further reading: How to Land a Job after College

Reduce Textile Waste

Ellen MacArthur and Stella McCartney Call to Reduce Textile Waste

Environmental campaigner Ellen MacArthur and revered UK fashion designer Stella McCartney call to reduce textile waste in the fashion industry.

A new ground-breaking report has been released by the Ellen McArthur Foundation raising concerns about the impact that textile waste has on the environment. The report, A New Textiles Economy: Redesigning Fashion’s Future, states that “total greenhouse gas emissions from textiles production, at 1.2 billion tonnes annually, are more than those of all international flights and maritime shipping combined.”

Global demand for clothing is increasing year-on-year and is forecast to reach 650 million tonnes by 2050—three times the amount produced today. These figures have pushed leading influencers in the industry to raise awareness and do something about it. The report proposes innovative means to reduce textile waste in clothing and propel the fashion industry into today’s forward-thinking, conscientious society. These proposals include reducing and eliminating textiles with harmful substances, increasing the quality of clothing to reduce waste and encourage recycling on a wide scale.

Currently, non-renewable sources are being used in the production of clothing. According to the report, less than one percent of clothing is recycled every year. The current economic model as practiced in the textiles industry is “linear”. This refers to the unsustainable model of taking, making and disposing of materials.

McArthur and McCartney hope to help transform the textile industry into a “circular” economic model. This refers to an economy that reduces energy, resources, emissions and waste, by slowing and closing energy loops.

MacArthur, founder of the foundation, said, “The report presents an ambitious vision of a new system, based on circular economy principles, that offers benefits to the economy, society and the environment.”

MacArthur has partnered with fashion powerhouse McCartney, whose label will utilize ocean plastic in place of woven or recycled polyester in its products. “What really excites me about [the report] is that it provides solutions to an industry that is incredibly wasteful and harmful to the environment,” she said.

Huge names in high street fashion including H&M have championed the call to reduce textile waste. They said, “It’s a call for action for systemic collaborations and is aligned with our efforts in making sure that economic and social development can happen in a way that the planet can afford.”

Further reading: 6 Makeup Trends for Christmas

North Korea Ballistic Missile

North Korea Tests Ballistic Missile

 North Korea tested a ballistic missile—the Hwasong-15—in the early hours of Wednesday morning, claiming that their new model has the potential to reach the United States.

The North Korean media made the announcement after Kim Jong Un launched the Hwasong-15 in North Korea’s capital, Pyongyang. Reports by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said that the test “meets the goal of the completion of the rocket weaponry system development.” Kim Jong Un is reported to have said that North Korea had “finally realized the great historic cause of completing the state nuclear force, the cause of building rocket power.”

North Korea has repeatedly tested nuclear missiles this year, but the most recent reached higher than those launched before it. The Hwasong-15 reached 4,475 kilometers into the air in a lofted trajectory. It spent 53 minutes in the sky before landing in Japanese waters.

According to a member of the Union of Concerned Scientists, David Wright, if the missile was “flown on a standard trajectory rather than this lofted trajectory, this missile would have a range of more than 13,0000 kilometers.” He continued, “Such a missile would have more than enough range to reach Washington D.C.” However, it is assumed that the warhead attached to the ballistic missile was simply a light-weighted mock. If the missile had a legitimately-sized warhead attached to it, it would be far heavier, meaning that it may not have the capacity to reach this distance.

The ballistic missile test ignored international sanctions imposed on North Korea’s weapon’s program and has resulted in an emergency meeting at the UN. North Korean media has stated that its nuclear weapons would not “pose any threat to any country” as long as North Korea was not interfered with.

President Donald Trump was unusually and resolutely quiet on the subject. “I will only tell you that we will take care of it,” he told reporters at the White House. “It is a situation that we will handle.”

Further reading: Political Uncertainty as Army “Takes Control” of Zimbabwe

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Successful Job Interview

Nail a Successful Job Interview

Job competition is tough—especially for recent graduates whose experience might not be as tip-top as the seasoned employee. According to Glassdoor, each corporate job offer receives around 250 applications. Of those, only four to six candidates are offered an interview, and (perhaps obviously) only one will have a successful job interview. So, be proud; you’ve got your foot in the door—now it’s time to impress your future employer.

Dress to impress

First impressions count in a successful job interview. According to Business Insider, people make judgements and assumptions about you within just seven seconds of meeting you. With such a tiny window of time to work with, make your first impression count with appropriate dress. The company should have a dress policy that you can find out prior to meeting, but if you are unsure, opt for minimalist, formal wear.

List your strengths 

For introverts, it may feel out of your comfort zone to gloat about your strengths to strangers. However, this is an opportunity to positively apply your skills to the job you are applying for. Your key strengths should inhibit both soft and hard skills. Soft skills refer to skills that can transfer easily from one job to another. A soft skill may be how you manage yourself in stressful situations, or how you mediate conflict in the work place and get along with colleagues. Hard skills refer to specific technical abilities that you possess and are key to the role at hand—such as writing and software knowledge.

Positive body language

Your body language plays a pivotal role in all forms of communication and can affect how others perceive you. “You could be saying how great you are, but your body could be giving your true feelings away,” says Alison Craig, author of Hello Job! How to Psych Up, Suit Up & Show Up.  Awareness of your body language can help towards having a successful job interview. Avoid closed postures like slouching and fidgeting, as this suggests that you are guarded and may not be taking the interview seriously. Appear confident, assertive and poised by sitting tall and keep your hands relaxed and open, sitting above the desk. When your hiring agent is speaking, lean in a little while listening and slightly mirror their movements to show engagement and curiosity.

Ask questions

Did you know that not preparing questions for your potential employer may make you seem uninterested in the role? 97 percent of recruiters surveyed by job board reed.co.uk said that candidates should bring a list of questions along with them to an interview. Come equipped with specific-to-the-role questions to ask your hiring manager. This will help you gather important information for yourself whilst confirming your interest in your new job. Questions to ask for a successful job interview include:

  1. Could you describe a typical work week in this company?
  2. Who does my position report to?
  3. Are there any prospects for growth and career advancements in this role?
  4. Which accomplishments would you expect from me within the first three months of employment?
  5. When should I expect to hear from you and how soon would I be expected to start?

Follow up

Seal the deal with a follow-up email to your employer. Politely thank them for their time, explain that you enjoyed meeting and that you look forward to hearing from them soon. Take this opportunity to affirm with the hiring manager in a couple of sentences the value you will bring to the company. Relatively few candidates follow up in this way after an interview which could damage chances of a successful job interview. This helps to ensure that it’s YOU on the mind of the employer, and not your competitor.

Further reading: Applying for Your Dream Job

Net Neutrality

Why Does Net Neutrality Matter?

The US Federal Communications Federation (FCC) has proposed a vote to repeal the net neutrality guidelines on December 14 of this year. The FFC is a government agency overseen by Congress that regulates communications throughout the US by television, radio, satellite and wire. The agency, headed by Ajit Pai who issued the proposal, has just five commissioners who will be voting—three of which are set to approve the repeal.

What is net neutrality?

The landmark guidelines by the Obama administration back in 2015 were put in place to ensure that internet users can read, watch and play whatever they choose online without hindrances or restrictions by internet service providers (ISPs).

ISPs including mobile giants AT&T and Verizon are hugely opposed to the restrictions set out by the net neutrality law. They have argued that the regulations stifle innovation in the current competitive consumer environment.  

Why this could be bad news for you

ISPs could slow traffic and connection to websites of their choice—such as Netflix—that compete with their own personal-brand services. Further, unregulated ISPs may charge extra to consumers who wish to visit certain websites. This means that they could technically control what consumers can or cannot access on the internet.

Weak laws on net neutrality can already be observed in Europe. Portuguese mobile carrier MEO offers a variety of data packages to its customers—all of which divides internet usage. For €4.99, users can get 10GB exclusive data for Netflix, Periscope, Twitch and YouTube. Another package allows usage rights to messaging apps like WhatsApp and FaceTime for a fee, too.

The current regulations give all, including start-ups and billion-dollar companies alike, equal access to the internet. Consumerreports.org has said that a successful repeal by the FCC may mean that “your service provider could block or slow down some websites and give special treatment to others. That would limit your choices, hurt competition, and cost you more money.” So if you are a start-up or a blogger just beginning your career, this could affect not just your visibility, but your business and your message.

The news was received well by ISPs including AT&T, who, back in 2007-2009, blocked the use of Skype to their users to limit competition with their own services.

Gutting the current rules may also mean that ISPs would not be required to disclose cases of extra fees and data limits; ultimately catching the consumer out with nasty surprises. 

Who’s saying what

Major companies including Netflix, Facebook and Microsoft have opposed the proposal. Taking to Twitter, Netflix, which may face fees from ISPs if the proposal is passed, said “Netflix supports strong #NetNeutrality. We oppose the FCC’s proposal to roll back these core protections.”

Mignon Clyburn, one of the FCC commissioners who disagrees with the plan to gut net neutrality, said, “It eliminates all prohibitions against blocking and throttling applications by broadband providers, and enables them to engage in paid prioritization and unreasonable discrimination at the point of interconnection.” She continued, “It ignores thousands of consumer complaints and millions of individual comments that ask the FCC to save net neutrality and uphold the principles that all traffic should be created equal.”

In favor of the proposal, Joan Marsh, a vice president at AT&T claimed that the “action will return broadband in the US to a regulatory regime that emphasizes private investment and innovation over lumbering government intervention.”

The American public have gathered in droves on the internet imploring others to act before it’s too late. If you want to join in the fight to protect net neutrality, organisations such as battleforthenet.com suggest writing to Congress or protesting.

Further reading: Do Millennials Trust Trump with Gun Control?

Charles Manson Cult Leader

Cult Leader Charles Manson Dies Aged 83

Infamous cult leader Charles Manson has died aged 83. The California Department of Corrections confirmed that Manson died of natural causes at the Bakersfield Hospital in California this Sunday.

Manson rose to irrevocable infamy in the 1960s when his followers—the so-called “Manson Family”—committed violent, bloody murders that would both devastate and fascinate the world for decades to come. The shocking crimes took place on two consecutive nights late in the summer of 1969.

The Family first went to film director Roman Polanski’s mansion, murdering 26-year-old actress and wife to Polanski, Sharon Tate who was eight months pregnant at the time. Other victims were celebrity hair stylist Jay Sebring, 35; Voytek Frykowski, 32, 25-year-old coffee heiress, Abigail Folger and Steven Parent, 18. Polanski was not present at the house. The next evening, Manson’s followers continued their rampage in the home of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca, killing them both before scrawling “Death to Pigs” in blood on their front door. Prosecutors of the trial had said that Manson was trying to incite a race war.

Initially sentenced to death, Manson’s conviction was changed to life imprisonment following the abolishment of the death penalty in 1972 by the California Supreme Court. Manson was sentenced to nine life terms with the possibility of parole, but was refused parole on 12 occasions. While the cult leader had ordered the deaths of the victims, he was not found responsible for murdering anyone personally.

The cult leader and the Family’s murderous rampage have been the subject of books, films and plays for decades since. The trial was re-told in the TV film Helter Skelter (1976) based on a book of the same name written by prosecutors Vincent Bugliosi and Curt Gentry. The film was adapted again for television in 2004. Charles Manson and the Summer Murders were also re-told in a recent episode of American Horror Story: Cult.

Trump Lifts Import Ban on Elephant Trophies

Trump Lifts Import Ban on Elephant Trophies

Donald Trump is to lift the import ban on African elephant trophies into the US, overturning regulations previously made by the Obama-administration.

The new administration has reversed regulations made in 2014 which forbid big game hunters to bring elephant body parts—or “trophies”—back to the US from Zimbabwe or Zambia. The Obama-administration found that hunting did not “enhance the survival of the African elephant in the wild.”

A new statement released by the US Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) November 16 stated: “The US Fish & Wildlife Service will begin issuing permits to allow the import of sport-hunted trophies from elephants hunted in Zimbabwe.” The statement advocated the sport saying, “Legal, well-regulated sport hunting as part of a sound management program can benefit the conservation of certain species by providing incentives to local communities to conserve the species and by putting much-needed revenue back into conservation.”

The elephant has been listed as a “threatened species” since 1978 under the Endangered Species Act.  Much of Africa’s megafauna is rapidly declining as a result of poaching.

This decision to lift the ban on elephant trophies has been championed by the National Rifle Association (NRA). Chris Cox, executive director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, said that the decision supported “sound scientific wildlife management and regulated hunting.” Conservation groups fear that lobbying by these kinds of organisations will have a detrimental effect on big game species in the wild.

The chief executive of the Humane Society, Wayne Pacelle, condemned the “reprehensible” plans to lift the import ban on elephant trophies. “Let’s be clear: elephants are on the list of threatened species; the global community had rallied to stem the ivory trade; and now, the US government is giving American trophy hunters the green light to kill them.”

President Trump’s sons faced backlash in 2012 when they published photos on social media with game they had just hunted. Donald Trump Jr posted an image of himself next to a deceased elephant, holding up its severed tail.

Trump told TMZ in 2012, “My sons love hunting. They’re hunters and they’ve become good at it… I am not a believer in hunting and I’m surprised they like it.”

Quentin Tarantino on Harvey Weinstein: “I Wish I Had Taken Responsibility”

Esteemed director Quentin Tarantino revealed that he had known about numerous cases of sexual assault carried out by Harvey Weinstein for decades.

In an interview with The New York Times, the director, well-known for his cult classics including Pulp Fiction (1994) and Hateful Eight (2015), said that he wished that he had taken responsibility in assisting the alleged sexual assault victims. “I knew enough to do more than I did.” He continued, “There was more to it than just the normal rumors, the normal gossip. It wasn’t second hand. I knew he did a couple of these things.”

“I wish I had taken responsibility for what I heard. If I had done the work I should have done then, I would have had to not work with him.”

Quentin Tarantino revealed that he had been privy to numerous accounts of harassment and assault, confirming some of the allegations made by high profile actresses including Rose McGowan. The director told The New York Times that he knew a $100,000 settlement had been reached between Harvey Weinstein and McGowan after she accused him of rape during the Sundance Film Festival in 1997.

Over the course of decades, Quentin Tarantino heard rumors about Harvey Weinstein’s behaviour that he admitted he dismissed. “I chalked it up to a 50s-60s era image of a boss chasing a secretary around the desk,” he said. “As if that’s OK. That’s the egg on my face right now.”

Numerous allegations of sexual assault have been made against Harvey Weinstein, after an exposé was published in The New York Times earlier this month bringing rise to the social media campaign #MeToo. The campaign revealed the ubiquitious nature of sexual assault around the world. The movie mogul has denied all claims of non-consensual sex with the women who have since come forward.

Weinstein has been absolved of his position at his own company The Weinstein Co., and has also been expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as a result.

“I’m calling on all the other guys who knew more to not be scared. Don’t just give out statements,” Quentin Tarantino said on Harvey Weinstein. “Acknowledge that there was something rotten in Denmark. Vow to do better by our sisters.”

Further reading: #MeToo Campaign Raises Awareness about Sexual Assault

Linkin Park Frontman Chester Bennington Dies Age 41

Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington was found hanged at his private residence in Palos Verdes Estates in Los Angeles July 20, aged 41.

The Linkin Park frontman was believed to be suffering from depression and had long struggled with drug abuse. In a candid interview with The Guardian in 2011, the vocalist spoke of his personal experience with childhood abuse. He said, “When I was young, getting beaten up and pretty much raped was no fun. No one wants that to happen to you and honestly, I don’t remember when it started…My God, no wonder I became a drug addict. No wonder I just went completely insane for a little while.”

Linkin Park formed in 1996 and would become one of the most successful rock bands of the early 2000s. The band sold 30 million copies of their debut album Hybrid Theory (2000) worldwide; an album that would bring alternative music into the mainstream and would help inspire a new metal subgenre: Nu-metal.

Linkin Park expanded their fan base with their track Numb/Encore; a mash up of Linkin Park’s Numb and rapper Jay-Z’s Encore. The song featured on album Collision Course (2004) and won a Grammy for best rap/sung collaboration.

Further readiing: Soundgarden Vocalist Chris Cornell Dies Age 52

 

Band mate Mike Shinoda tweeted: “Shocked and heartbroken, but it’s true. An official statement will come out as soon as we have one.” – @mikeshinoda

Chester Bennington’s death has sent shock waves through the music and entertainment community and many have since flooded twitter with condolences and messages of love:

“RIP Chester. Tragic ending. Condolences his family and friends and Linkin Park.” – @chancetherapper

“I am in tears. Chester just told me how happy he was…..He was such a sweet and talented man…..I feel so sad for his family, band mates and fans” – @NikkiSixx

Chester Bennington was a close friend of Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell who took his own life earlier this year, May 19. He penned a heartfelt open letter to his friend in response to his suicide. “I’m still weeping…You have inspired me in many ways you could never have known. Your talent was pure and unrivalled. Your voice was joy and pain, anger and forgiveness, love and heartache all wrapped into one.” He continued, “I can’t image a world without you in it. I pray you find peace in the next life.” These words are more poignant now in the wake of Chester Bennington’s death than ever.

Linkin Park had released their latest studio album One More Light in May and were due to begin their upcoming tour in Boston this Thursday.

Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington is survived by his wife and six children.

Watch Linkin Park’s latest video, Talking to Myself: