Monthly Archives: April 2017

Worried About Finishing College on Time

It’s every college student’s worst nightmare: not graduating in that four-year timeframe. Worse, you could spend six years in college—or longer—and still not have a degree.

As scary as it may seem, this is the reality for countless college students across the country. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, less than half of all full-time students pursuing a bachelor’s degree finish in four years, and this figure only goes up to 60% when accounting for students who graduate in six. But don’t let these statistics discourage you. You can finish college on time—even if things are looking iffy.

Here are some handpicked tips to help you graduate from college on time. So you can be the exception, not the rule.

Schedule a meeting with your academic advisor

If you’re concerned about graduating on time, your academic advisor’s office should be your very first stop.

Academic advisors are equipped to help college students stay on track for graduation and answer any questions students might have about their class schedules. Their job is literally to advise, so don’t be afraid to take advantage of their services. Chances are your academic advisor will be more than willing to sit down with you to address your concerns about finishing college on time. They can assist you in devising a personalized game plan to promote your academic success, and they can point you to other campus resources if necessary (like the bursar or financial aid office).

If your college or university doesn’t already provide designated academic advisors for its students, then consider scheduling an appointment with your college’s equivalent. Whether that means trekking to the academic resource center or paying a visit to your campus guidance counselor, there are many college resources available to guide you.

Make sure your major is the right fit for you

If you haven’t decided on a major yet, don’t panic. You’re not alone. In fact, it’s estimated that up to 85% of students change their major at least once during their college career!

While most students worry that switching majors will result in them taking longer to graduate than expected, recent research has shown that students who change their majors in college are actually morelikely to graduate on time than those who don’t.

And why is that? We don’t know for sure, but we do know that as human beings, our passions and interests are constantly evolving, so it’s important that our choice of major reflects that. By selecting the field of study that’s right for you, you’ll be exposed to major-related courses that appeal to your interests. Before you know it, you’ll be looking forward to your college classes, making them go by faster than you think.

Consider changing your course load

One effective way of ensuring that you graduate on time is by enrolling in more credit hours during the school year. Although most college students only need to take 12 credit hours per semester to attain full-time status, most schools require their students to complete at least 120 hours of course work to obtain a bachelor’s degree. That translates to 10 semesters—or five years of undergraduate study. So for students entering college with little or no previously obtained college credit, really the magic number of hours to take in any given semester is 15.

Obviously, enrolling in “extra” classes and earning additional college credit is easier said than done. Financial aid and scholarships may or may not cover extra courses. And depending on the classes you’re in and the amount of time you can realistically devote to preparing for each one, taking 15 credit hours a semester may not be a viable option for you.

Luckily, there are other ways of maximizing the number of credit hours you can comfortably earn at a given time. Arguably the best way is to take courses over your school’s semester breaks. Most colleges already allow students to enroll in courses during summer and/or winter break in order to get basic major requirements taken care of. Some schools even offer online classes for students who might find it difficult or inconvenient to commute to campus.

Many of these online and in-person courses can be taken for a reasonable fee, but if your college or university charges more than you’re able (or willing) to pay, similar classes may be offered through your local community college. If you go this route, just be sure to familiarize yourself with your college’s transfer credit policy first, because they can vary a lot from school to school.

Finally, you may be able to earn credit for internships or other extracurricular experiences, though, again, you’ll need to check in with your academic advisor to figure out if this is a viable option for you.

So while graduating on time may seem daunting, try to relax and take a deep breath. Also remember that it’s largely okay if you simply can’t graduate in four years; it may be complicated—both logistically and financially—but it’s doable, and there are people at your college who can help you. In any case, these tips for graduating on time are a great place to start. And with the right system in place, you’ll finish your college degree in no time

Easy Tips To Help You Transition To University

If you are reading this article it is very likely that 1) you are about to transition into university and 2) you’re looking for tips!

Fear not, young Padawans, for I am here to help.Having started my university journey last year I can safely say all the feelings you are currently experiencing are exactly what everyone else is feeling right now.I can also tell you that any feelings of doubt or fear will quickly fade as you realise that university is a really awesome place to be.If I was to give you my top five tips on transitioning to uni they would be the following:

1. Get around it!First mistake you can make going into uni is plunging your head into the books and telling yourself that if you don’t get an ‘A’ on each assignment you will forever fail at life. University is not VCE guys: You can relax (somewhat) and enjoy yourself! It would be a mistake to ignore all the social events, clubs and opportunities that university has to offer. Not only does getting involved allow you to make friends socially, it also allows you to form valuable networks for your working career at the end of your degree.

2. Seek help if you need it.Gone are the days where teachers will pester you for homework and ask if ‘you understand the question’. You have to push yourself. However! ‘Pushing yourself’ does not mean there is no one to help you along the way. Your lecturers and tutorial teachers are available to answer questions, so don’t be afraid to ask. The other great thing about uni is that most have departments dedicated to helping students with assignments and some will even proof your writing.

3. Use your rocks!No, not actual rocks, silly! I mean the people who ground you and people you can rely on for support. It is easy to want to move away from home in pursuit of independence and think you can do it all alone. Everyone deals with change differently and, for some, it can be a little overwhelming at first. Even if you are commuting and still living at home, at uni you no longer have the same familiarity with peers because people at uni are constantly coming and going. If things are getting a little hard – you’re stressed out or just not coping – look to the people who can encourage you and put thing into perspective. So many times after having a stressful day at uni, I would just ring home to mum to get it off my chest.

4. Own a diary. Srs.You think you can go without one? LOL. The single greatest weapon (in a non-literal sense dudes!) you can take into university is a diary. Particularly in the first and last few weeks of semester, you will be overwhelmed with important dates, and without the constant nagging of your teachers, mum and dad, and reminders from peers, it is easy for an assignment to creep up on you. If that happens, you may find yourself pulling frantic all-nighters that will certainly drain your energy and hopes for a decent mark. All -nighters work for some, but not many!

5. Give yourself a break!No one flies into uni knowing what’s up with everything. First-year is about getting your head in the game and no one expects that you’ll immediately know how to play. If your marks aren’t great at the start, don’t beat yourself up. The standards at uni may or may not be different to what you’re used to. Take a deep breath, pick yourself up and keep at it. Remember why you’re at uni and learn from every assignment you do. Persistence in first year is key.

Take Care Of Yourself When The Stress Of School Hits

All too often, we take on more than we can handle.

Trigger warning. This article discusses mental heath and depression.As school starts up again, the stress can be overwhelming for all students. It doesn’t matter how organised you become; it’s not hard for everything to fall apart and for your health to be at risk.You’ll start the first week off well, and then halfway through that same week the first round of homework is handed out. “That’s fine, I can handle it,” you’ll say to yourself, “school is my number one priority.” Yet, it really shouldn’t be. Yeah, you have to do your best in school – for whatever reasons you may have – but your number one priority should be you.Mental health; physical health; emotional health: these are the bases that you will have to cover in order to have a balance between school and life (as much as they cross over at times).What I’m referring to is ‘Self-Care’. In order to reach these three bases, you have to perform tasks that can relax and refresh you without having to worry about everyone around you. Self-care is essentially looking after yourself; pampering yourself; enjoying yourself. It’s all about you. It’s not only enjoyable, it’s also important for your well-being.Self-care helps you detach from the world around you, in order to recharge. In a way, it’s like a level up from a deep breath. It can be applied to everyday life; all you have to do is make time once in a while to let yourself go. It’ll soothe your anxiety, boost your confidence, help you sleep better, and your body and mind will change in the best ways possible.There are many options of self-care out there. There are ones that you can use once in a while, and ones that take up little to no time. Self-care is important, but it’s flexible. You do things to make you happy and healthy. Give some of the following options a try and create your own self-care plan, using it as a guide rather than a rulebook:Eat, Eat, Eat: Seriously, please eat. Sometimes you can get so invested in your work that there’s no time, or you’re so stressed out that you just don’t have an appetite. However, we need food to survive. Have breakfast, lunch and dinner; even if you have to set a reminder, you have to do it. Make them healthy meals too. It can be expensive, but even changing a cup of noodles to a healthy wrap can make such a difference (without burning a hole in your pocket).Drink Water: Water is also needed to live and it’s recommended you take in about two litres a day. Keep a water bottle in your bag or on your desk; it’ll keep reminding you and won’t require so much effort.Go Outside: Going out costs money, yet it doesn’t have to. When’s the last time you went to the park, or the beach, or even a museum? You could go for a walk, write by the water or even take some photos.Sleep: Get your hours! Go to bed earlier and wake up early enough to experience the day. You’ll feel recharged and organised. If you burn yourself out before the day is over, take a quick nap and try again.Reflect: Get to know what you want. Know which friends aren’t good for you. Get to know yourself. Have a think about who you are and what you want. You don’t have to piece together your entire life, though sorting out the bad makes room for the good.TREAT YO’ SELF: Have a bubble bath; get a massage; buy yourself a little something; wear a face mask; do something that makes you happy, no matter how small.Breathe: Get comfortable; breathe in and then breathe out. Counts your breaths to 10 (and start again) and focus on how deep your breaths are. Only focus on your breathing. If you start to think about your worries, focus back on your breathing. (Bonus: It can help you get to sleep, especially during late night blues.)Love a Little: Get in touch with friends and family. Talk to them, confide in them and have fun with them. Start to love life, even if you need help from a professional. Love the world around you and the people in it. Most importantly, love yourself. You’ve made it this far in life and that’s something to be proud of! Accept your flaws, find your strengths and forgive yourself; you’re the only you you’ve got