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10 Things I Wish I’d Known In College

10 Things I Wish I’d Known In College

As a recent college graduate, I can look back on my school years with some fond feelings and some memories that I’d rather just forget. So that you don’t have to make the same (many) mistakes that I did, here are the 10 things that I wish someone had told me before I’d set off for the chaos that is freshman year.

Your major will not define your entire life

This is one that I feel particularly passionate about because I seemed to spend most of my college years trying to explain—whether to students who actually had their lives figured out, or to my grandma—why I’d chosen to major in a “pointless” subject like English. This proved pretty difficult considering I wasn’t even sure why I’d chosen to go to college and “but I don’t want to be an engineer” didn’t seem to be a good enough answer. Obviously, the first thing to glean from this is that taking your time to make an educated decision about something that’s going to take up a lot of your time and resources, is probably a good idea.

Luckily, I discovered the concept of transferable skills. Sure, if you major in “Bowling Industry Management and Technology”, you’ve probably got a specific career path in mind. But if you decide somewhere down the line that bowling isn’t for you, you’ve learned management skills that can be applied in any workplace. More importantly, I loved English—and isn’t that the point?

Grades are actually important…

Unfortunately, despite the many transferable skills you might learn at college (like how to do laundry, or perhaps how to sleep and look like you’re concentrating at the same time), employers do evaluate you on your GPA (many companies actually filter applications by GPA). When it comes down to it, you’re at college to learn, so prioritize your studies, work hard and try your best to maintain a good GPA.

But a bad grade is not the end of the world

Throughout college, it was not unusual to find me shuddering over the memory of one particularly terrible grade. The dread and nausea had been made worse because I knew that I’d deserved it—I’d rushed the assignment to spend more time with my friends. With all my plans to graduate and stumble upon a career, it hadn’t really crossed my mind that I could, very possibly, fail college. This grade told my sleep-deprived and caffeinated self that my future was over.

After an extremely emotional and somewhat embarrassing visit to my professor’s office, and a math calculation by a friend who actually understood numbers, I was relieved to discover that this blip had barely affected my average. It turns out that we all have good and bad days, and if anything, this terrifying reality check shocked me into trying harder at everything else.

You don’t have to go to college straight away

One of my biggest regrets is not taking a gap year. With the relentless pressure to go to college, staying on at school can feel like the only option, but the reality is: it’s not. Your college education will still be there when you’ve had a bit more time to figure it all out.

Having a part time job is underrated 

Having something that is outside of school and being surrounding by a completely different type of friend is refreshing. Looking back, the excuse to leave the house for an environment where I had fun and physically was not allowed to study, definitely got me through my final semester. Also, the extra money and experience didn’t hurt.

Make the most of the experience

It can be easy to get caught up in the day-to-day tasks of college and adult life. Unfortunately, this stress does not stop after college, so you might as well make the most of it while you can. Say yes to classes that intrigue you, join in activities, learn a random skill and always take advantage of fresh air when you can.

Toxic people are to be eliminated from your life

It took me a good few years to get this mantra down. When you go to college, you’re thrown together with random people and forced to make friends or else have nobody to borrow milk from during times of need. This does not a good friendship make.

If somebody is negative, belittling or controlling, or simply brings way too much drama into your life, it’s okay to distance yourself. Toxic people will always drain your attempts to be positive and drag you down with them, which is not part of the college experience.

College can be lonely and that’s okay

Especially in freshman year, there’s an expectation that you should be having the best time of your life. Often on social media, this is reflected by constant partying, social engagements, and people spending money that they don’t have. Whilst I was happy to enjoy this unrealistic way of life for a while, it quickly became exhausting.

Surrounded by a crowd of semi-familiar faces, it is actually easy and normal to feel lonely at college. After moving away from everything you’re familiar with, it’s important to take time out to assess your state-of-mind and recharge.

Stop taking things personally

This is one that I’m still working towards. Being in a competitive situation that forces you to compare yourself to your peers can damage your self-esteem and solicit your defence mechanisms. By knowing your worth, not jumping to conclusions and letting things like a bad grade go, you’re automatically promoted to the master of your own emotions and energy levels.

Being addicted to coffee is totally fine…probably

My dependence on caffeine is definitely helping me now that I’ve graduated and actually have to get out of bed in the mornings. Take this advice at your own peril.

Further reading: 5 Reasons to Have Houseplants in Your Dorm Room

Time Management 101: Keeping Up with College Life

Time Management 101: Keeping Up with College Life

Now that fall is well and truly here, the novelty of college has probably worn off a little. If you’ve suddenly found yourself face-to-face with reality, completely exhausted and having lost every single piece of stationary that you started with, you’re not alone.

Time management is a big concern for most college students. The flexibility of independence can also make it difficult to prioritise college work, social events, basic hygiene tasks and the hundreds of voicemails that your parents have left you.

Before you decide to give up and take a nap, follow these tips and you could be on your way to having it all.

Organization is the key to success

Whether you always carry the new (and, lets face it, completely blank) planner that you bought at the start of the year in your bag for peace of mind, or you often find yourself frowning at indecipherable reminders on your phone’s notes app, settling on a solid organization system is vital for time management.

Even if you pride yourself on having a fantastic memory, writing everything down will ensure that you know what’s on your to-do list. With millions of productivity apps at your dispense, logging events and setting reminders will lift the added pressure of remembering your homework and help you to generate a productive schedule. Just remember to bite the bullet and prioritize which tasks make it to the top of your list.

Practice makes perfect

Routine and schedule are two key concepts that are fundamental to time management at college, where there is no one to hold you accountable for your whereabouts. Typically, it is expected that you allocate around 35 hours per week for working and studying, including the time you spend in class. With other obligations and social activities in mind, creating a weekly timetable that leaves time for independent study will help you to stay focused and productive. Blocking out leisure time will also give you something to look forward to each day, and you’ll probably work faster knowing that the end is in sight.

It can be easy to fall into the habit of staying up late in order to squeeze in everything on your to-do list, but getting enough sleep each night is one of the most important steps in your routine. Luckily, the idea that everyone needs exactly eight hours sleep is unrealistic—some people may only need six, and some may need nine. Sleep is often considered in terms of 90-minute cycles and you should get at least five whole cycles per night (7.5 hours). Here, the key is to set a time to go to bed every night and stick to it. Every time you change your body’s wake time, it suffers something resembling jet lag, making you feel groggy and affecting your performance, even if you’ve had more sleep than usual. 

Limit procrastination

We’ve all been there. Making the executive decision to take a five minute break and cheer up with a cat video seems like a great idea, until you catch yourself poised to click “adopt” four hours later, only to realize that your accommodation doesn’t allow pets. Cue the panic, self-hatred, stress and eventually a nap to make it all go away, and you probably haven’t achieved a great deal. Breaking up your work into small steps can help you to focus and make the task at hand seem less overwhelming. Create a deadline for each of these steps so that you’re not waiting until the final deadline is near to begin work.

Nobody is perfect—instead of punishing yourself for wasted time, assign rewards for any work that you do complete. Lunch, an episode on Netflix, or a free hour to spend with your friends can all be incentives to be productive. Limiting distractions like your phone, social media and TV will make these rewards even more enjoyable, and seeking out a buddy to hold you accountable will ensure that you don’t break your own rules.

The key to time management can be as simple as understanding yourself. Self-awareness will help you to recognise the times of day when you’re most focused, and whether you’re more productive brainstorming with a group or on your own.

Healthy body, healthy mind

You’ve probably heard this one countless times, but making sure you allow time for self-care is essential for your mental and physical health, as well as your attention-span and energy levels. Eating a healthy, balanced diet and getting 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise per week can literally boost your brain power.

Ask for help

Ever heard the idea that we learn from our mistakes? If you’re struggling to find a balance at college, that’s okay. Adjustment takes time, but you may need to accept that you’re trying to take on too much. Talking to a trusted friend, family member or mental health representative could help to ease some of the pressure and enable you to rationally think through your options and figure out a new plan.

Further reading: 5 Reasons to Have Houseplants in Your Dorm Room

Eight Charities to Support on International Day of the Girl Child

Eight Charities to Support on International Day of the Girl Child

Since 2012, the United Nations has been declaring October 11 International Day of the Girl Child.

Today marks a day that aims to recognize and address the challenges that girls encounter around the world. The organization will work alongside girls to promote girl’s empowerment, their human rights, and declare that they have the ability to change the world.

This year, the theme of International Day of the Girl Child is ‘A Skilled Girlforce’, which starts a year-long effort of advocating for education and skill enhancement.

According to the UN, “Of the one billion young people—including 600 million adolescent girls—that will enter the workforce in the next decade, more than 90 percent of those living in developing countries will work in the informal sector, where low or no pay, abuse and exploitation are common.”

In the meantime, here are eight charities to support for girls and women across the globe. We don’t need a special day to honour girls and #PressforProgress.

Plan International (equality)

Plan International is active in 71 countries and strives to advance children’s rights and equality for girls. The charity puts emphasis on gender equality and empowers communities to tackle the cause of discrimination against girls.

The organisation works to overcome adversity and “support the safe and successful progression of children from birth to adulthood.’” Focus areas include: education, ending violence, youth activism, sexual health and rights, skills and work, early childhood, emergencies and providing sponsors for girls.

Camfed (education)

Camfed is an international, non-profit organisation that supports girls and women in the poorest rural communities in sub-Saharan Africa. With a big focus on education, the organisation tackles poverty and inequality by supporting girls to go to school and become leaders of change.

“Camfed’s innovative education programs in Zimbabwe, Zambia, Ghana, Tanzania and Malawi have directly supported more than 2.6 million students to attend primary and secondary school, and more than five million children have benefited from an improved learning environment”. From transportation and school fees to child marriage, the organisation works with community members to diminish the challenges that stand in the way of female education. 

Girls Not Brides (child marriage) 

Girls Not Brides brings together organisations from over 95 countries to end child marriage and give girls the choice and freedom that they deserve. 15 million girls across the globe become brides each year, and this organisation brings attention to these figures.

By raising awareness of health, education, death and violence, the organization aims to “build an understanding of what it will take to end child marriage and call for the laws, policies and programmes that will make a difference in the lives of millions of girls.” The charity provides facts and resources for you to share, and even gives you the option of using your own wedding to support girls across the world.

Young Women’s Trust (careers)

Young Women’s Trust supports young women aged 16-30 who are struggling with low or no pay. The organization provides free coaching and advice on CVs and job applications, and actively campaigns for “fair financial futures”.

By focusing on closing the gender pay gap, supporting young women in male-dominated sectors, and promoting apprenticeships for young women, the organization boosts women’s confidence and supports them in having a voice and becoming financially independent. 

CARE International (poverty)

CARE International puts women and girls in the centre of their mission to defeat poverty, achieve social justice and save lives. Currently working in 79 poor and developing countries, providing life-saving assistance during disaster and war, and helping people to rebuild their lives.

The organization believes that “equipped with the proper resources, women have the power to lift whole families and communities out of poverty”. It provides expertise in areas such as economic empowerment for women, inclusive governance, humanitarian response, and engaging with and influencing policy-makers and the private sector. 

Orchid Project (violence)

Orchid Project is a British charity that “envisions a world free from female genital cutting”. More than 200 million girls and women are living with the consequences of having their genitals—including part or all of the girl’s labia and part or all of her clitoris—removed. Physical consequences include, death, hemorrhage, tetanus, HIV, trouble urinating, menstruation problems, pelvic and abdominal pain, infection, sores, cysts, and infertility.

The charity raises awareness of how, why and where FGC happens and partners with organizations to prioritise an end to FCG. 

Free The Girls (sex trafficking)

Free The Girls is an international, non-profit organization; devoted to helping sex trafficking survivors achieve “economic freedom, restored health, social well-being, education, and opportunity for a different, hopeful future”. Through reintegration programs and economic opportunity, the organization joins survivors on the journey from horrific trauma to living safely with family.

Second-hand clothing is a thriving industry in many countries around the world so Free The Girls also organise bra donation. You can donate lingerie at your local drop off point and help survivors to earn a safe income and become an entrepreneur in their own communities.

Innovating Health International (healthcare)

Innovating Health International is a non-profit organization dedicated to treating chronic diseases and raising awareness for women’s health issues in developing countries. They aim to “increase access to treatment and education services for chronic diseases such as cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes and injuries”.

By working with local partners and building healthcare that responds to local needs, the organization supports women’s cancer care, cervical cancer prevention, chronic disease study, and the building of pathology services and national disease registries.

Further reading: Join the Fight Against Sexual Assault

Dr. Sherry Benton on Mental Health Support at College

Dr. Sherry Benton on Mental Health Support at College

If you’re a college student and you’re struggling with mental health, you’re definitely not alone. College News got advice from an expert.

With a recent research study showing that one in five university students are affected by anxiety or depression, the pressure on campus facilities is high. College News discussed the problem with Dr. Sherry Benton.

Dr. Benton is a psychologist and mental health care administrator with over 22 years of experience. She is also the founder of TAO Connect—a digital platform that functions to make mental health recovery treatments easily accessible.

College News: How can college students reach out about mental health struggles?

Dr. Benton: Most campuses have a counseling center, counseling service or psychological services. Find your campuses service and learn about their programs and services. Typically, they offer a range of options.

CN: What kinds of mental health support facilities should students be looking out for when applying for colleges?

DB: Ideally, campuses should take a campus wide, comprehensive approach—including prevention, resilience training, counseling, groups, bystander education programs and other services. The Jed foundation, “Jed Campus” program works with a campus over a four-year period to insure the campus approach to mental health, substance abuse and suicide, are comprehensive and well-coordinated. Jed Campus designation is an excellent way to insure a campus has taken these issues seriously and thought out the best approaches for them.

CN: What are the most common and the most effective ways to deliver mental health therapy?

DB: Different people have different needs and respond to different approaches. Traditional face-to-face individual psychotherapy is the most common and best known. However, research has shown it is not more effective than group therapy or internet based cognitive behavioral therapy for many common problems. Many people also find self-help or apps effective for them.

CN: Do you think that students do not receive enough mental health help at college?

DB: I think most universities work very hard to meet the need, yet providing psychotherapy is really expensive and often difficult to access everywhere not just in universities. Using effective models such as stepped-care can help campuses to stretch limited resources to provide more help to more students. In stepped-care, students are quickly assessed and then begin with a level of help likely to be helpful. Progress is monitored regularly and students can be moved to more intensive or less intensive levels of help depending on their responses.

CN: How can campuses raise awareness and take a proactive approach to mental health?

DB: Campuses can raise awareness through the following: educational campaigns, resilience training in freshman orientation classes, bystander education programs like Question, Persuade and Refer (QPR) or Kognito, education programs through Greek houses, residence halls, athletic departments, clubs and organizations.

CN: Are there exercises that students can practice on their own to help improve their mental state?

DB: Mindfulness meditation is something everyone should do. The many health benefits and mental health benefits would suggest that daily meditation should be as consistent as brushing your teeth. Another option is TAO Connect, which provides students access to its self-help courses whenever they want, without having to make an appointment to see a therapist.

CN: What is TAO Connect?

DB: We are a suite of online tools for mental health screening, assessment, patient education, skill development and progress monitoring. TAO can be used as self-help or with a therapist or case manager. TAO’s materials are interesting and engaging with actors in scenes, animations, interactive exercises and journaling.

CN: How can students take advantage of TAO Connect?

DB: There are 120 colleges in the US and Canada offering TAO’s programs to students either as self-help or through their counseling center. Contact your counseling center to find out if your school subscribes to TAO.

Further reading: You’re Not Alone: Facing Loneliness In College

College Experience

How to Learn More from Your College Experience

College isn’t just a stepping stone towards the start of a fulfilling career, it can be one of the most exciting times of your life. During your time there, you’re given multiple opportunities to cultivate a deeper understanding of an area of study as well as explore additional interests, meet interesting new people, and get to know yourself a little bit more—but you need to actually take those opportunities in order to make the most out of college.

This is how to learn more from your college experience:

Drop by events and seminars on campus

Guest speakers are always invited to college campuses, and a majority of the time they talk about some pretty thought-provoking topics! Whether a speaker is giving a lecture or an informative seminar about a social cause, you will unquestionably walk away from their event having learned something new and enlightening. Professors often offer extra credit for attending seminars as well, giving you the chance to boost your grade, too.

Study abroad if you have the chance

You can read a thousand books on a different country and come to learn everything about it, but doing so can never compare to the enriching experience of actually living there. Not only do you get to embrace a different culture when studying abroad, you can learn a new language, become more open-minded to another society, and even leave with a pen pal or two. Furthermore, living in a different country forces you to be independent and adapt to unexpected challenges, which can be very rewarding for your personal development.

Take classes you’re curious about

Besides dedicating most of your time to major studies, take classes that ignite your curiosity or simply sound fun. College is a time of self-exploration and discovery, and doing so through classes outside your major is a great start. You never know what might become a favorite new passion or an area of study that perfectly complements your major. Who knows, you might even switch to an entirely different major!

Talk to professors during office hours

A professor can be one of the coolest people you meet during college. You would be surprised at what life knowledge they can share besides helping you out with last week’s lecture. These people were once students like you and can offer insight on how to tackle the college years and even direct you to possible internships and professional opportunities. If you’re beginning to network, start with building the foundation of it with your professors.

Interact with different groups of people outside your social circle

Your main social circle shouldn’t be the only group of people you hang out with during college. Don’t be afraid to become friends with foreign exchange students, join campus groups who share your same interests, and network with classmates – these are individuals who can become your lifelong friends, teach you important lessons, or help you take steps forward in your career.

Act responsibly

Parties are going to be a big thing in college, and they may become events you attend every other weekend or so. Have fun by all means! But act responsibly and aware during your time at one. Watch your alcohol intake if you’ll be drinking, be cautious when exposed to drugs, and keep an eye out for your friends if you get separated. What matters the most at a party is the fact that you are safe, comfortable, and having a great time! By acting responsibly during a party, you learn how to take care of yourself, watch out for your friends, and develop good judgment skills.

During college, you will meet an incredible diversity of people and learn about their different backgrounds, be given endless opportunities to learn more about this world, and come closer to knowing who you are. At the end of the day, you are the one who determines whether or not college can be an amazing experience – so make it count!

Further reading: Exploring Campus

Trevor McDonald is a freelance content writer, currently writing on behalf of Ohio Addiction Recovery Center. He’s written a variety of education, travel, health, and lifestyle articles to share his experiences with the world. In his free time, you can find him playing his guitar or outside enjoying about any type of fitness activity imaginable.
Apply for an Internship

Apply for an Internship

There are all sorts of ways to apply for an internship. The best way to stand out is to do what everyone else around you aren’t doing. The search for the right opportunity is time consuming enough but learning how to stand out to potential employers, thankfully, goes hand-in-hand with all the time you’re investing in your search.

Internships are slightly different to regular jobs. Typically, an internship has a set duration contract—this can be anything from two weeks to three months and up to a year. Sometimes you may not be compensated for your time spent interning. Of course a young student is looking to make money, but one reason why a pay cut may be worth the risk is because job experience is the main objective. The goal is to walk away with hands-on experience that a newcomer applying for an entry level permanent position may not have.

Use skills gained at college

A great way to set yourself apart from your competitors is to pull any experiences you have gained from your classes at college that could be tailored to your field of interest. For example, this may be writing and research skills that you have obtained from your studies that you can apply to a writing internship. Being in a space that you share with fellow like-minded classmates can create some dialogue or scenarios that may be relevant to landing an internship. The first thing people typically do in the application process is try to pull from past work environments at former jobs. You’re trying to grab your potential employers’ attention in a way that others aren’t, so just referencing old jobs won’t entirely work.

Your field of study should be a passion of yours. Going over your accomplishments and what you’ve individually taken from each course at college and putting it on your CV for when you apply for an internship can be a nice addition to any work experience you have.

Writing your resume

In an article for CV-Library, content writer for Rate My Placement and Rate My Apprenticeship Conor Reilley says that employers may not get to thoroughly read each application. Reilley goes on to say, “The general rule is that an employer will look at the top half of every CV, putting the best in one pile, and the rest in the trash with their half-eaten tuna sandwich. If you want to avoid the tuna sandwich focus on key employable skills, like organization, verbal and written communication. You can look at the information provided in job vacancies for inspiration.”

Use your interests

One other thing that will give you the upper hand when you apply for an internship is letting the employer know somewhere on your CV your interests outside of interning and school. If your hobbies and interests relate to the opportunity that’s being offered—such as reading and writing, if the job you’re applying for is editorial-driven—that’s an even better way to get noticed in the most organic way possible. Being a member of a university’s societies and extra-curricular activities show you are sociable, willing and comfortable in a team setting.

Think about your references

Finally, references can be that extra shot of vitamins that your CV needs for when you apply for an internship. References to back-up your employment history are great because it reinforces to potential employers that you have already laid a lot of ground work for the role. The last thing you need is a former employer contradicting information you’ve already stated. Have a conversation with past and current instructors and employers who you believe are in your corner and wouldn’t mind helping out if needed. Three references are plenty and you don’t need to list them when first sending in your CV. Writing “References provided upon the request” at the end of your resume will suffice. Hold on to them because if they are mesmerized by your application for employment, they will reach out to you for further details.

Type of Learner

What Type of Learner Are You?

Have you ever tried to process a new piece of information but find that you simply can’t get a grasp on understanding it? You may need to approach it with a different method.

Everyone learns differently—some people will want things shown to them, while other people need information written down. Some people like to listen to explanations while others will need to physically study it in order to soak it in. Schools tend to apply different methods of teaching during classes in order to accommodate all kinds of learners, but when you’re studying at home, it may be beneficial for you to figure out what type of learner you are and apply it to your personal work.

Reader/writer

Reading and writing is a combo that makes up a very traditional style of learning. If you are a reading or writing type of learner, then you will be able to learn best by reading text and rewriting it. For example, if you were learning a language, you would find it easiest to study the vocabulary by reading the words on a page, then copying them out yourself.

Visual

Graphs, infographics and dioramas are a visual learner’s bread and butter. It helps this type of learner to see the information in context and be able to visualize it in their mind. If you are a visual learner, then you’ll find colors helpful. When trying to remember a point, you will try to form an image of it in your head. When learning a language, creating charts and maps to link vocabulary and learn conjugations is hugely helpful to visual learners.

Auditory

Auditory learners will flourish when they are able to listen to information in order to learn it. If you’re an auditory type of learner, you will be a whizz at learning in lectures and will find podcasts incredibly useful. Auditory learners tend to process information by repeating it to themselves either out loud or in their heads. They will be the ones to be able to commit language to memory by listening to others speak it.

Kinesthetic

A more tactile approach is favoured by kinesthetic learners when studying. This type of learner will enjoy reading the information aloud, acting through problems and practical work. A kinesthetic learner tends to prefer picking up a language by conversing with native speakers.

Don’t try to punish yourself by studying in “traditional” ways. Everybody learns differently and at different paces, so try different methods to find one that works for you.

Further reading: Writing an Essay: The Process

 

Interview Mistakes

Avoid These Interview Mistakes

Spring time is around the corner which means new jobs are almost ripe for the picking, however the interview process does all the choosing. Being a fresh face in the work force or even if you’re a seasoned veteran can have its intimidating moments when you’re looking for that perfect new job. It’s understandable that an interview isn’t as easy as one, two, three, but with a few easy reminder tips, that looming interview will be a simple stroll through the park.

1. Not doing your research

Doing your homework on an establishment before even applying for the role is imperative as it will save everyone’s time. Knowing the hours of operation, what some customer reviews say, or even asking an employee what a typical day is like at the prospective company is nothing to be ashamed of. Everything mentioned down to not knowing what you’re interviewing for can lead to a failed interview. Always remember that your time is as valuable as a potential employer’s.

2. Not knowing what you want

After investigating your potential opportunity always remember firstly what it is you want out of this job and second what you want out of this interview. As much as you’re walking in to the interview and hoping the employer chooses you, keep in mind that you should also be in a position to walk away from the meeting knowing more about this new venture than before you walked in. Generally not knowing the job spec could backfire and be a waste of time for both parties.

3. Don’t rely on your comfort zone

A group setting-style interview may mean that you will be interviewed alongside other potential candidates or interviewed by multiple senior staff members. Both scenarios are uncomfortable and not very appealing but both require your full attention and both need you to leave a lasting impression regardless. Don’t rely on your comfort zone during a make-or-break conversation.

4. Remember! Try and always give an answer

Whether you’re about to take on your first interview or your fifth interview, it’s key to always answer the questions. During a “get-to-know-each-other” conversation, there’s not too may wrong answers you can give when the interview is all about you as a candidate for employment. Over-thinking questions can lead to a mind blank for answers but taking a few seconds to gather your thoughts isn’t something to shy away from.

5. Not having examples ready for behavioral interview questions

This one ties in with point number four, however, this can tend to be a bit trickier for those with not much work experience and those with plenty. In her 5 Biggest Job Interview Mistakes article on Linkedin, career coach Lori Bumgarner writes “Behavioral questions are asked not to see how you would potentially handle a certain situation, but instead to see how you’ve handled that situation in the past. This is because past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior.” This is a great question because it’s an opportunity to paint a picture of how you handle situations.

6. Do Not answer in generalities

Specific and definitive answers are the best and only way to go in to any kind of interview. You should be able to walk away from a talk knowing what answers you gave and what questions were being asked of you. Your personality shouldn’t be forgotten when it comes to a question regarding your interest in applying for the job.

7. Being distracted

The last thing you want is to be distracted—or distract your interviewer­—during an interview. Avoid fiddling with something in your hands, rambling, slouching, chewing gum, and not make eye contact. These things can make you come off as being uninterested because all of these things are, in one way or another, a distraction. A straight posture, a focused yet relaxed demeanor, and an on-topic discussion about why you’re there is the best path to stay on.

8. Not having questions or notes prepared

Lastly, a common mistake potential candidates make is to arrive to an interview empty-handed. A great and easy way to stand out and give you a better understanding of what you’re signing up for is to have a few questions of your own prepared. If needed, also be ready to take notes. Think of questions that no one is probably asking like what the company’s work ethics are or what opportunities will you be given to climb the career ladder. This is an effective way to get a genuine interest going in you as a possible new employee.

Further reading: Free Courses to Boost Your Resume

Time-Management Tips for College Students

Six Helpful Time-Management Tips for College Students

College students are forever sprinting through their packed schedules, getting assignments done, meeting family and social commitments, working part-time and lots more. While they have the freedom and flexibility of college life by their side, it’s essential for them to be able to manage their time well.

If you’re going to be starting college soon, or are already overwhelmed by the buzz, here are six helpful time-management tips for college students.

  1. Use the Priority Matrix

It’s difficult to accomplish anything when you have too much to do in too little time. The best way out is to think about your priorities, identify the important ones, and approach them one-by-one.

Use Eisenhower’s Urgent/Important Principle. List all to-do activities and categorize them into any one of these four:

  • Important and urgent
  • Important but not urgent
  • Not Important but urgent
  • Not Important and not urgent

Categorizing your tasks this way will help you identify ones you need to focus on and ones you need to ignore.

  1. Avoid procrastination

Procrastination is the act of delaying or postponing tasks, and we’re all guilty of doing this—especially for things we think are going to be unpleasant or difficult. While you’re technically setting yourself up for more stress by putting off a tough chore for later (because you’ll eventually have to get it done and you could be underestimating the time or effort that the task needs) procrastination also makes you unproductive!

Called the Zeigarnik Effect, the tendency to experience intrusive thoughts about something that you pursued and left incomplete can keep you from accomplishing other tasks that you undertake. To avoid this, try this helpful time-management tip: break up your to-do list into smaller actionable items and refrain from jumping to another task until you complete the one you started off with.

  1. Join a study group

Joining a study group in college has numerous advantages and is brilliant in aiding time-management. By learning with other students, you can try out different learning methods and see which suits you best, fill in learning gaps by comparing notes, and break the monotony of studying alone.

Most importantly, joining a study group can help you manage your time effectively by serving as a motivator to stick to your study schedule. Also, since you’ll be committed to spending a certain amount of time studying, you’ll cover your syllabus quickly and efficiently.

  1. Use technology

There are several apps out there that can help you juggle through family and social commitments, work and coursework!

  • To-do list apps like Listastic, 2Do, and EpicWin are digital list trackers with varying features that can help you manage your time effectively.
  • With productivity apps like Evernote, you can keep your notes and ideas in one place; Remember the Milk helps you set up multiple-platform reminders, and 30/30 lets you understand how long you take to do things.
  • RescueTime and AutoSMS can help you reduce on-screen time, while stickK.com can keep you motivated to achieve goals.
  • Online calendars can help you collaborate on projects easily.
  1. Learn to say no

Saying “yes” can be crucial to success—but so is saying “no”. If you’re constantly saying yes to all ideas, opportunities and tasks that come your way, you’re not valuing your time or managing it correctly.

Of course, it can be difficult to tell your best friend that you can’t accompany them to the party they were looking forward to attending, or tell your professor that you can’t review their manuscript as you have to study for an exam. However, being honest about your commitments and schedules will help them understand your situation, and most of all, will help you achieve the more important tasks effectively.

Remember K.I.S.S.—Keep It Simple and Short! Be assertive and communicate your answer clearly, but also be respectful of others.

  1. Get rid of clutter

Clutter in your bag, on your desk, or in your wardrobe can build up stress, cause you to waste time looking for things you need, and make you unorganized. In addition to this, mental clutter can reduce decision-making skills and give way to procrastination.

Use the SPACE approach to help with time-management and do away with clutter:

  • Sort: Group belongings into categories
  • Purge: Do away with broken and useless items in each category
  • Assign: Give sorted items a permanent place to be stationed in
  • Containerize: Storage containers, bins, and shelves can make organizing stuff much easier
  • Equalize: Spend some time once each day or each week to go through your belongings, to purge, and to return items to their dedicated space

You now know what you need to do to stay on top of your assignments, work schedule and other commitments. Get started on implementing these six time-management tips for college students and you’re sure to see a positive change!

Author Bio:

Korie a full-time writer currently working with Only hangers and usually writes about living and lifestyle, she likes getting perspective on various topics of interest, which range from bullet journaling to creating the perfect terrarium!