How To Land A Job Straight Out Of School

Looking to land a job straight out of college or university?

While there are many reasons to pursue higher education, landing a decent, good-paying job in the future is probably one of them.

After spending 4+ years investing time, money and effort into getting a degree, you don’t want to spend months struggling even to land an interview. Unfortunately, this is the reality for many new graduates.

However, there are things you can do to prepare yourself for the job market and optimize your employability, even while you’re still studying.

Here are five tips to landing a job straight out of college. 

white printer paper beside silver laptop computer Land A Job

It’s Never Too Early To Start Building Your Resume

Once you graduate, you will be thrust into a pool of new graduates, all seeking work, often in the same industry as you. If you want to get noticed and get the job of your dreams, then you need to stand out in the crowd. 

This means you should aim to start building your resume as soon as possible. You also need to work as building one that is not only impressive but also unique.

Alongside good grades, internships and volunteer work, you’ll want to include any experience that might be relevant. And that might help you stand out from other new graduates.

If possible, see if you can add more stand-out accomplishments like a cultural exchange experience, a second language, a martial arts degree, or even a stint as a sports captain throughout your time at college, which might highlight your leadership skills.

Having a variety of accolades and experiences like these will help you catch your potential employers’ attention.

This is especially true for students taking non-vocational majors, like philosophy, literature or history of art.

While your degree is a valuable and worthwhile experience, it’s often unlikely that employers will hire you based on it alone.

group of people gathering

Networking

Networking is not necessarily shallow people bragging about themselves and exchanging business cards. It can be about genuine interactions and bonding between people. People who subsequently decide to collaborate and help each other out career-wise.

Just think about how many people land interviews and jobs because of a friend’s referral.

Finding opportunities to meet people and giving off a good impression of yourself (both professionally and socially) will be immensely helpful when it comes to getting a job. Especially straight out of college or university.

Therefore, it’s a good idea to look into all kinds of networking.

This includes, but is not restricted to, organized networking events where you can meet people working in your industry. As well as joining community groups, clubs, social gatherings, academic societies etc.

Show up, know your stuff and stay open-minded. You might find doors opening up that you’d never even considered.

person typing on Apple Cordless Keyboard

Start an Internship

Relevant internships will accelerate you on your career path.

Hiring personnel is expensive, and when it comes to dishing out serious salaries, employers want to be sure that a candidate is worth the investment.

Taking on interns is relatively low risk for employers, as they don’t cost much, and there is no pressure to hire them after.

However, if you can convince an employer during an internship that you can be an asset to the company. Then, you might well secure yourself a job after graduating. 

Even if you don’t land a job with the company you intern for, the work experience will prove invaluable. You can earn yourself professional references to use for future job applications. 

However, not all internships are paid, which poses a challenge for many students who rely on having an income. In this case, you can try seeking out paid opportunities or additional financial student aid to help you out. 

Land A Job

Choose Your Major Wisely

Suppose your principal aim is to pay off your student debt and have a comfortable financial situation as soon as possible after school. In that case, you need to prioritize choosing a major which will ensure your employment.

The fact is that majors like Engineering, Computer Science and Nursing yield far better employment rates than, for instance, Classics or Comparative Literature. 

While you shouldn’t sacrifice the things you love, it’s still good to keep in mind that not all majors offer the same employment rates.

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Keep Your Expectations In Check

When you’re fresh out of college or university, the reality is that you’re probably not the best candidate for most positions. Especially when you’re up against experienced professionals, you might not always make the cut.

With that in mind, instead of aiming for the stars from the get-go, try pursuing more obtainable jobs with entry-level positions at first. And then, aiming higher once you’ve got some experience under your belt. 

Land A Job

The Bottom Line

Being at college means you’re already on the fast-track to steady employment. Therefore, it’s best to make the most of your education and take advantage of all the opportunities presented to you.

This way, you really can’t go wrong when it comes to landing a job after your graduate.

Top 10 Romance-Themed Novels To Read in 2021

Looking for the best romance-themed novels of 2021? Keep reading and we dish out some of the best soon-to-be-released romance reads!

As you’re likely expecting to stay home a lot more this coming February, there’s really no better time to get yourself into checking out a few brand new romance novels. 

If you’re looking for the most enamouring and tantalizing releases, then look no further.

Below, we’ve put together a rundown of the top 10 romance-themed novels poised for release this coming year!

woman reading a book while sitting on black leather 3-seat couch

A Lady’s Formula for Love by Elizabeth Everett

In this gripping historical romance, Everett introduces us to the ambitious and scientifically gifted Lady Violet, who forms a covert group of academically accomplished women.

Romance/Erotica Book Review: A Lady's Formula for Love by Elizabeth Everett.  Berkley, $16 trade paper (336p) ISBN 978-0-593-20062-9

The ladies are recruited to undertake a top-secret mission to protect the crown, but will Violet’s affection for her bodyguard Arthur get in the way?

Packed with mystery and suspense, A Lady’s Formula for Love is certainly a must-read for 2021.  

Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers

In this highly anticipated LGBTQ rom-com, fierce academic Grace Porter heads to Las Vegas to celebrate completing her Ph.D.

After a night of raucous partying, Grace wakes up to find herself married to a woman she can’t even remember the name of.

Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers

However, in an act of liberation, Grace moves to New York with her new wife to make a fresh start.

For anyone looking for a heart-throbbing LGBTQ romance novel, Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers is guaranteed to be a hit this year!

The Devil Wears Black by L.J. Shen

A favourite author amongst romance readers, in The Devil Wears Black, L.J. Shen is back with her sensual prose and irresistible characters. 

Maddie Goldbloom is a well-put-together perfectionist with a high flying career in fashion in New York City.

PREORDER ALERT The Devil Wears... - Two Bookish Brits | Facebook

When her ex, Chase, arrives in town and persuades her to pretend to be his fiancé, Maddie’s life starts to get a lot more complicated.

What happens next is sure to thrill and surprise you!

Sweethand by N.G. Peltier

Following an unsavoury public breakup, pastry chef, Cherisse, is taking a break from dating.

But when she’s called on to be her sister’s maid of honour, she finds herself spending a lot of time with best-man-to-the-groom, Keiran.

Sweethand (Island Bites, #1) by N.G.Peltier

These two have never seen eye to eye, but the looming wedding bells cause Cherisse to have a change of heart.

Will it be love? Or will it be a flop? Check out Sweethand this year and find out!

To Love and to Loathe by Martha Waters

In this scandalous tale of aristocratic life, Jeremy, the Marquis of Willingham, makes Diana, the Lady of Templeton, an indecent proposal.

As the two engage in an erotic affair, will their physical chemistry bloom into love?

To Love and to Loathe by Martha Waters

To Love and To Loathe takes you on an unprecedented journey through taboo love and all else risque!

Love in Colour by Bolu Babalola

Following a hugely positive reception from UK readers last summer, Bolu Babalola’s debut novel is finally being released in the states this coming year. 

Amazon.com: Love in Colour: Mythical Tales from Around the World, Retold  (Audible Audio Edition): Bolu Babalola, Ajjaz Awad, Nneka Okoye, Bolu  Babalola, Olukemi Babalola, Headline: Audible Audiobooks

In this collection of short stories, you will find yourself transported from West Africa to the Balkans to the Middle East.

Delve into romantic tales worldwide and learn what love and passion mean in different cultures. For anyone who’s heart is set on romance this February 2021, Love in Colour is guaranteed to be a hit!

Lover Unveiled by J.R. Ward

Despite being the 19th book in her Black Dagger Brotherhood vampire series, Ward does not disappoint with this steamy paranormal romance titled Lover Unveiled.

While the plot is kept closely under wraps, we know that it centres around a new vampire named Savage, an MMA fighter harbouring a secret that could forever change the Vampire world.

Lover Unveiled (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #19) by J.R. Ward - Romance-Themed Novels

His love interest?

A character we’ve met before in the series, but exactly who, we still won’t know until the book hits shelves this 2021!

One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston

After garnering awards for her debut novel, McQuiston is back with her second romance novel titled One Last Stop.

The main character, August, doesn’t believe in true love and isn’t even sure about love at all. That is, at least until she meets the enigmatic Jane on the subway.

One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston - Romance-Themed Novels

But Jane is a girl harbouring a secret: she’s actually a time-traveller from the 1970s and stuck in the present day.

Can August persuade her to stay in the 21st century? You’ll have to pick up this steamy romance novel to find out!

Rise to the Sun by Leah Johnson

In this Young Adult romance, teenage girls Toni and Olivia both head to a music festival to cure their broken hearts. But when the two of them meet, they soon regain their faith in love.

Rise to the Sun by Leah Johnson - Romance-Themed Novels

However, is it true love? Or, is it simply a steamy fling? Check out Rise To The Sun by Leah Johnson to find out!

Isn’t It Bromantic? by Lyssa Kay Adams

This next title comes as the fourth edition of Adams’ Bromance Bookclub series soon, which has been adapted for Netflix in select regions.

Isn’t It Bromantic centres on the love life of Vlad, a Russian hockey player.

Isn't It Bromantic? (Bromance Book Club, #4) by Lyssa Kay Adams

He’s betrothed to a childhood friend, Elena, the daughter of a Russian journalist who escaped to the United States. But this marriage is not what Vlad truly desires, and, after years of holding back, he decides to follow his heart and finally pursue true love.

Tips For Distance Learning And Remote Work

Need some help being productive with your distance learning or remote work? Below, we go over some of the best tips for helping you make the most of your time working from home!

Remote study and work are two of the most modern challenges this new decade has gifted to us.

In fact, it’s a whole new way of life, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the prospect of it, especially when you’re used to learning or working in person rather than over the internet.

But it is possible to be productive and keep on top of everything, even from your bedroom.

So to help you make the most of your time working or studying remotely, we’ve created the following list of tips for staying focused even when working from home!

person using macbook pro on bed

Maintain Routine 

Routine and discipline will keep you sane. Without them, you’ll possibly forget that you are.

Without a solid daily routine, it’s easy to get distracted and lose focus on what really needs to be done.

So, do yourself a favour and plan out your day.

Factor in time around your scheduled lectures and zoom meetings for note-taking, replying to emails, completing assignments, readings, group work and whatever else you need to do. 

Put together a ‘to-do list’ at the start of every day.

It can help to list everything you want to accomplish, including “eat breakfast,” brush teeth,” “cut own bangs,” etc.

Even ticking off these small, minor tasks helps and will give you a sweet dopamine rush, keeping you on your productive, merry way!

person using macbook pro on bed

Cut Out Distractions

The internet is an alluring feast of digestible garbage, and that’s a fact! 

However, very little of that garbage will help you pass your next exam, and a whole lot of it will only hinder your success.

If you’re struggling to stay off social media, try blocking those sites using an app during your study hours or simply keeping your phone on ‘Airplane mode.’

You can schedule website blocks using software like Cold Turkey.

Fret not, however; those tempting time-wasting sites will be accessible once again in your allotted free time.

white printer paper beside silver laptop computer

Communicate

Remote learning can often make you feel cut off from the rest of the world and the ones you love, and feelings of isolation can easily cause us to fall into an unmotivated slump. 

The truth is, we need others to keep us energized and motivated.

In fact, maintaining regular contact with your school lecturers and classmates is a lifeline connecting you to the external world and a key to keeping on track while doing your work from home.

Stay engaged and active in lectures by contributing questions and ideas instead of just putting yourself on mute and cruising along without paying any attention.

Stay present, and I promise you, you’ll get a lot more in return.

If you’re really struggling with your new set up and impacting your work, don’t hesitate to talk to your professors or student support teams.

If they know what’s going on, they can offer help and suggestions on making your remote learning as seamless as possible.

man in black leather jacket sitting on brick wall holding smartphone

Create a designated workspace

Your bed may feel like a soft, plump marshmallow, but reclined inertia doesn’t lead to optimal productivity. 

In other words, ensure you’ve got an organized desk, a comfortable chair and only the relevant resources at your disposal. 

Suppose you’re lucky enough to have a separate room to work in, even better.

But just having an established work/study space, even in your bedroom, is going to help get you into the right state of mind for getting things done.

turned off laptop computer on top of brown wooden table

Do other things

Factoring in time for other activities is essential for keeping your mind refreshed and preventing you from getting too restless. In fact, if you’re only staring at a screen from morning until night, every day of the week, it won’t be long before you start to feel like you’re losing your mind.

Try indoor workouts, walking outside, cooking, baking, taking a bath, reading a novel, writing in your journal, painting, knitting, sewing, crotchet, playing the trumpet (while being mindful of the neighbours, of course.) 

The key is to do anything to give yourself a break from studying or working relentlessly.

Try to get away from a screen for portions of your day, especially in the evening time. This will help you wind down, allowing you to sleep better and simply giving your mind proper rest from all the online work or study. 

Activities that involve using your hands can be extremely meditative too, and getting in some exercise will improve your mood immeasurably.

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Be Kind to Yourself

Finally, it is paramount that you treat yourself with kindness and compassion, especially when you’re isolated from the rest of the world.

Practice self-care, try meditation or relaxing yoga poses, treat yourself to those small things you’ve earned, or even binge-watch some terrible TV from time to time, so long as it helps you unwind.

Maybe you’re not working at 100% capacity, but that’s OK.

It’s a challenging time for everyone, and we’re all just doing the best we can with the best we’ve got.

New Year, New You – 5 Best Self-Improvement Books To Read In 2021

Look for the best self-improvement books of 2021? Check out our list of the top 5 best ones to help you make the most of the New Year.

As we roll into the New Year, many of us are faced with trying to accomplish our resolutions.

Maybe you’ve decided to quit a bad habit. Or maybe start eating better. Or maybe just to try and be the best possible version of yourself that you can be. Either way, self-improvement isn’t easy.

best self-improvement books

In fact, getting motivated to make changes in your life is hard. And to redefine who you truly are can be one of the hardest things you’ll ever do.

So, with that in mind, I’ve decided to put together a list of the best, most-inspiring self-improvement books you’ll find in bookstores this new year.

Let’s jump in!

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck By Mark Manson

Do you ever feel like you care too much about things too much or other people who simply don’t care about you?

Then, The Subtle Art Of Not Giving a F*ck might just be the best book for you to add to your list this year.

Review: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck - Release Hypnosis - best self-improvement books

As the second book from author and blogger, Mark Manson, upon its initial release The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F*ck quickly became a best seller.

Manson argues that mindless positivity isn’t helpful or practical in any way. Instead, the book argues that not caring so much is the first step in freeing up your mindset.

In fact, the book exemplifies that life’s struggles, rather than its triumphs are what give it meaning and purpose.

So if you want to learn to let go, make sure to add this book to your list!

You Are A Badass: How To Stop Doubting Your Greatness And Start Living An Awesome Life By Jen Sincero

You Are A Badass is a book written for anyone that wants to revolutionize their life. Written by Jen Sincero, You Are A Badass is an awesome read for virtually anyone this New Year.

You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome  Life best self-improvement books

Served up in 27 short and sweet chapters, Sincero offers plenty of sage, wise advice through her inspiring stories, and simple self-help exercises.

This book will help you identify and reverse any self-sabotaging behaviours that you currently have. And help you learn to disregard your fears.

So that you can learn to love yourself and create the life that you truly want to live.

The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself By Michael A. Singer

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to free yourself from your own personal boundaries? Or, what you should be doing every day to help yourself discover inner peace?

These are the precise type of questions that Michael A. Singer sets out to help you answer in The Untethered Soul.

In fact, his book seeks to help you revolutionize your relationship with your own inner being, as well as the outside world around you.

For this, Singer helps you put an end to any emotional habits you may have that are limiting your consciousness, as well as your true potential.

Meditation on the Untethered Soul - a journey beyond yourself (15 minutes)  - YouTube

Through traditional mindfulness and meditation, this book teaches the importance of personal development. Which will allow you to dwell in the present. While also enabling you to let go of the painful thoughts, memories, and habits that hold you back.

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business By Charles Duhigg

Good or bad, each and every one of us is the summation of dozens of daily, weekly, and monthly habits. But how many of us have really stopped to think about why we do the things that we do?

In The Power Of Habit By Charles Duhigg, you’ll explore the science behind habits. Why they are created, what they mean, and how to break free of their habitual reign.

The Power of Habit - Penguin Random House Common Reads

According to Duhigg, the “Habit Loop” is the pattern held in our minds that govern all forms of habit, no matter how good or bad.

Therefore, understanding the three main components of the “Habit Loop” is essential to breaking free and changing negative habits into positive habits.

So, if you’ve ever found yourself dealing with habits that you find impossible to change. Then, I’d definitely recommend checking out The Power Of Habit to help you make the most of 2021.

The Happiness Project By Gretchen Rubin

As a New York Times Bestseller, The Happiness Project has been referred to as an enlightening, laugh-out-loud book that’s sure to help you learn a thing or two about happiness.

The book follows Gretchen Rubin’s year-long experiment as she attempts to learn how to create true happiness in her life.

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin | Book & Quote Monster

Woven together along with plenty of humour and glimpses into Rubin’s real life, her book explores dozens of age-old anecdotes and lessons from pop-culture to see what they really mean about habit, happiness, and the simplicity of human nature.

Best Self-Improvement Books 2021

While there’s nothing wrong with simply being the person that you already are, there’s something inspiring about those who strive to improve themselves.

Unfortunately, this is often easier said than done.

That’s why we’ve put together this list of 5 amazing self-help books that have been written specifically to help you do just that.

5 Tips For Going Back To School After The Holidays

Looking for tips on going back to school after the holidays? Check out these 5 awesome tips for making the most of your time off, and making the transition back into your schedule as stress-free as possible.

Not only is the holiday season plenty of fun where we get to visit with family and friends, but, for students, Christmas break offers a much-needed reprieve for the school year’s hectic schedule.

So when January rolls around, it’s sometimes difficult to get yourself back into your school schedule.

green and brown pinecone Christmas wreath on wooden drawers

After all, you’ve just spent several weeks having fun, and most likely, not even thinking about homework.

Fortunately, we have a few simple tips in mind for helping you get back into the groove, without it feeling like you’re pulling your hair out!

Rest Up

While the holidays can be hectic with having to visit family and friends, attending or hosting dinner parties, etc., it’s also important to make the most of your time away from school by getting some much-needed rest that your mind and body crave throughout the school year.

pug covered with blanket on bedspread

In fact, studies have shown that a lack of sleep affects the hippocampus, the part of the brain that controls your memory. In turn, lack of sleep has been shown to reduce your ability to learn new things by up to 40%

I know you may be tempted to stay up late on those nights when you don’t have class the next day, but it might be better to hit the hay anyway.

Refresh Your Memory

Now, I’m not saying that you need to spend your holiday break studying each and every day.

But, it’s not a bad idea to keep your memory sharp by reading through your old notes before your jump back into your school routine, at least a few times while you’re on your Christmas break.

person holding unfold book - back to school

Studies have shown that students are able to increase their memory by up to 70% after reading old notes within 24 hours.

So, I know that you’ll be tempted to completely forget about school until you go back.

But you’ll thank yourself when the first day of class rolls around and you’re already more prepared to learn than the majority of your peers.

Don’t Over-Indulge On Junk

Around Christmas time, it’s not uncommon for people to indulge in all sorts of baked goods, ranging from Christmas log cakes, pies, and just about everything else in grandma’s kitchen.

table with glass cups and place mats - back to school

while there’s nothing wrong with treating yourself, it’s important to remember that a proper, healthy diet contributes to proper brain function.

In fact, when you consider the fact that the brain requires approximately 20% of all your caloric needs, it’s easy to see how your diet is such a vital component of your mood, memory, and focus.

So, if you like the idea of jumping into your next semester with a fresh, clear head ready to ace every test before the end of the year, make sure to stick to a healthy, well-balanced diet.

Full of whole grains, plenty of fruits and vegetables, and only a small slice of pie after Christmas dinner.

Don’t Wait Until The Last Minute

While I’m sure that you’ll have plenty going on over the holiday, it’s crucial that you not wait until the last minute to get yourself ready for class.

This means taking the time to buy those textbooks you’ve had on your shopping list. Or, any other supplies that you might need for the upcoming semester.

And don’t forget to take care of any other chores or errands that you’ve had on your to-do list. But have been putting off for weeks. Like making sure your tuition payments are up to date!

coloring pencils on brown wooden table

Once school starts, there’s not all that much time to take care of those little things.

Between attending classes and studying, maybe holding down a part or full-time job, you’ll barely have time to eat, let alone run around doing errands.

In other words, the transition back to your school routine is probably going to feel slightly hectic.

Which is why it’s best to make most of your time off. Run those errands now, while you’ve got the time!

Then, when your first day rolls around, you’ll be able to focus on your studies, without having a million other things to do.

Trust me, you’ll thank yourself later!

Make Some Memories!

While it’s important not to forget that your next semester is just around the corner, it’s equally important to enjoy your time off.

After all, the holidays are a time to spend time with your loved ones, enjoying each other’s company. Making memories that will last a lifetime.

coloring pencils on brown wooden table

So, make sure not to forget about your upcoming semester.

But also make sure to spend time visiting your friends and family, going out and doing stuff together, and simply having a good time!

Getting Back To School Post Holidays

When you’re having fun and relaxing, not worrying about your classes, it can be hard to transition back into your school routine, especially when you’re tired, and still bogged down from that over-indulgent Christmas dinner last week.

But by making the most of your time off, getting ready in advance, and keeping your memory sharp, you’ll be starting the new year on the right foot.

Then, you’ll be able to enjoy the rest of the school year, just as much as you’ve just enjoyed the Holidays!

7 Best Christmas-Themed Novels To Read This Month

Looking for the best Christmas-themed novels to read this month? Check out the following list of Christmas reads that are sure to get you in the mood for the Holiday season!

After all, there’s no better way to get into the holiday spirit than to put on some flannel, curl up with a hot cup of cocoa, and dive into a Christmas-themed novel. 

Below, you’ll find our list of the 7 Best Christmas-themed novels to check out this holiday season. 

A Christmas Carol By Charles Dickens

There just wouldn’t be a Christmas-themed novel list without A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. 

Visited late on Christmas Eve by ghosts and supernatural figures from throughout his lifetime, Ebenezer Scrooge is in for a rough night.

A Christmas Carol - Citadel Theatre

Taken on a journey of self-discovery, Scrooge eventually transforms from a miserly old man to a joyful old soul, full of Christmas spirit. 

You certainly won’t be saying ‘bah humbug!’ after reading this Christmas classic!

The Twelve Birds Of Christmas By Stephen Moss

Beloved by birdwatchers and book enthusiasts alike, The Twelve Birds of Christmas will turn your own backyard into a winter wonderland. 

In The Twelve Birds of Christmas, Steven Moss uses a carol-like structure to identify 12 different British birds.

A festive bonus: The Twelve Birds of Christmas - Bridport Literary Festival

Throughout this book, Moss uses history, landscape, bird behaviours, folklore, and culture to create a compelling Christmas-themed narrative. 

This is a great book to share with your children or to enjoy on your own. 

The Nutcracker By E.T.A. Hoffmann

Written in 1816, The Nutcracker by E.T.A. Hoffmann is yet another excellent Christmas classic to add to your reading list this month!

A young girl named Marie is given a nutcracker from her uncle for Christmas.

How 1950s America Shaped 'The Nutcracker' | Smart News | Smithsonian  Magazine

That night, the nutcracker comes alive, and whisks Marie off into a magical world filled with living dolls, adventure, and even an evil mouse king. 

Will Marie make it back home to her family? You’ll have to read this Christmas-themed novel to find out!

Death Comes At Christmas By Gladys Mitchell

If you prefer a murder mystery, Death Comes at Christmas by Gladys Mitchell is certainly worth the read. 

On Christmas Eve the body of a local solicitor is found by the river in Oxfordshire. While local authorities believe he died of natural causes, Mrs. Bradley isn’t so sure.

Death Comes at Christmas - christmas-themed novels

A series of clues make her suspect that he’s been murdered, and she’s convinced that the murderer will strike again… 

Compared to other mystery greats like Agatha Christie, Mitchell doesn’t disappoint with this thrilling Christmas-themed novel. 

An Almost Perfect Christmas By Nina Stibbe

If you’re looking for a laugh-out-loud, honest view of Christmas, pick up An Almost Perfect Christmas by Nina Stibbe.

This Christmas-themed book is chock full of essays on holiday-themed traditions and memories.

An Almost Perfect Christmas Audiobook by Nina Stibbe - christmas-themed novels

Some of these essay topics include a tragically decorated Christmas tree and the annual quest to roast the perfect turkey. 

Equal parts maddening and magical, An Almost Perfect Christmas manages to capture all the best parts of the Christmas season in a way that’s fun and engaging to read!

The Snow Queen By Hans Christian Anderson

Full of wonder and magic, this Christmas-themed story will transport you to a world of ice and snow.

The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Anderson is a fairy tale, initially published in December of 1844. It follows two children, Kai and Gerda, who would do anything for each other. 

christmas-themed novels

One day Gerda notices that Kai is acting strange and cruel. Then, he disappears. Determined to find her friend, Gerda sets off on an epic adventure to find him. 

A beautiful take of friendship, bravery, and love, The Snow Queen is a delightful winter read.  

A Christmas Story By Jean Shepherd

If this Christmas-themed novel sounds familiar, you might’ve seen the movie adaptation. It’s a classic!

A Christmas Story, by Jean Shepherd, paints a realistic picture of a Christmas celebrated by an American family living in a small town in Depression-era Indiana. 

A Christmas Story: The Book That Inspired the Hilarious Classic Film:  Amazon.ca: Shepherd, Jean: Books

Equal parts funny and relatable, you’ll feel right at home with Ralphie and his all-consuming desire for Santa (or somebody) to deliver what he wants more than anything in the world; a Red Ryder, carbon action 200-shot range model air rifle. 

He doesn’t even care that he might just shoot his eye out… 

If you loved A Miracle on 34th Street or It’s a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Story is definitely worth your time. 

Read Your Way Into The Holiday Spirit!

Well, there you have it! A list of 7 of the best Christmas-themed novels to check out this year. 

opened book on person's lap with gray socks - christmas-themed novels

Whether you love a good mystery, fairy tale, drama, or comedy, there’s a little something for everyone. 

So pick up one (or all) of these great reads. There’s truly no better way to get in the spirit for this year’s holiday season. 

6 Best Habits Of A Successful Student

Wondering how to be the most successful student you can be? Check out the following list of 6 awesome habits that you need in your life!

From weekly homework and monthly assignments to studying for that big final exam (all while trying to eat right!), it’s no wonder many students feel overwhelmed throughout the year. 

The good news is that it’s completely possible to get ahead of this frustation by developing good habits.

After all, good habits help students succeed. 

So if you want to get ahead in the classroom, we’ve outlined the following list of 6 habits of successful students. 

person writing on brown wooden table near white ceramic mug

Take Notes (And Lots Of ‘Em!)

It’s important to take notes while your instructor teaches a lesson. Taking good notes helps you to stay engaged during class.

But the best part is that good notes also make great review and study materials. 

Handwritten Notes

Successful students take notes by hand.

Studies show that taking notes by hand is associated with more meaningful learning compared to students who use a laptop. Taking notes by hand also gives students the advantage when noting graphs, illustrations, and charts. 

As a result, a student who reviews handwritten notes has an advantage over a student who reviews notes written on a laptop.  

woman wearing blue denim jacket holding book

Listen for Verbal Cues

Taking good notes doesn’t mean you need to record every word your teacher says during class. 

In fact, it’s better to listen for verbal cues, and only jot down the most important keywords that will cue your memory later on.

In other words, when a teacher says, “this is really important”, or “this is critical”, that information is likely going to be something you need to write down. Leave the rest out.

Stay Organized

Student life requires you to take many different courses at the same time.

For example, you might be studying General Arts, which will require you to take a variety of math English, and science courses all at the same time.

This is why staying organized is one of the best habits of successful students. 

person using MacBook Pro

Separate Your Time By Subject

When it’s time to study or complete a project, don’t waste time trying to locate the right material.

Successful students file or separate each subject into different binders, folders, or notebooks. 

That way, when it comes time to study, you’ll already know where all your study materials are, and you won’t waste time digging through unorganized notes.

Organize Your Work Space

Completing homework or assignments in an organized space is also a great habit of successful students. Using a designated, quiet space helps the mind recognize that it’s time to focus.  

black marker on notebook - successful student

Get An Agenda

Use an agenda to write down all your assignments, extracurricular activities, and anything else that affects your day to day schedule. 

Then, make sure to refer to your agenda as often as possible to make the most of your time.

This will help you to plan study sessions and get homework done on time, every time!

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Eat Regular Meals

Successful students don’t just take good notes and stay organized. They also know the importance of eating regular, healthy meals. 

Avoid Junk Food

Junk food doesn’t provide any of the nutrients you need to excel in school.

According to the Washington Post, eating junk food for just a few days is enough to slow down your metabolism. After eating junk food, your blood sugar can drop, which can make you feel cranky and tired. 

Neither helps you to focus on learning.

bowl of vegetable salads - successful student

Eat A Well-Balanced Diet

Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet increases your ability to focus and learn. In fact, just one healthy meal a day is enough to reduce inflammation and mental stress.

A healthy student is a successful student.  

Remember to Breathe

When you take shorter breaths, your body reacts by triggering a fight or flight response, which leads to an increase in mental stress and anxiety. 

And as you already know, stress and anxiety don’t make it easy to achieve success. 

Breathing Breaks

Take the time to breathe deeply when studying, sitting in class, or even during breaks. Breathing breaks keep you focused and will increase feelings of calm and well-being.  

woman sitting on hill - successful student

When you feel calm and well, you can focus on your studies. This is why successful students develop this habit. 

Make Time to Study

It might seem obvious, but the most successful students study every day. This helps to break up their material into considerably more manageable chunks. 

Be Consistent!

Always plan when you’re going to study, and do your best to stick to that plan. Whether in the morning, afternoon, or evening, keep this study time part of your daily routine.

A consistent study routine will help you to develop this habit. 

Find a Study Group

While making time to study every day is important, finding a study group can also increase your chances of success.

three people sitting in front of table laughing together

Teach To Learn

Study groups allow you to teach others and answer questions. 

There’s no better way to figure out whether or not you know or understand the material than when you have to explain it to someone else. 

At the same time, you’ll also be able to pick up new ideas and perspectives from those that you’re studying with!

woman wearing academic cap and dress selective focus photography - successful student

Positive Habits Make Successful Students

The important thing to remember is to use these habits of successful students to aim high. 

After all, there’s no doubt that students who develop good habits, tend to see greater success throughout their education and beyond.  

So what are you waiting for? Try out these tested habits of successful students and see for yourself how well they work. 

Proven Mid-Term Study Tips That Work

Got a few exam or assignment deadlines coming up soon? Check out the following list of proven mid-term study tips to help you make the most of your study time this fall.

Preparing for mid-terms or exams is always a difficult time for students. And you can usually see this just by looking at them.

You know, that college look of stress, panic, and edge, all tied into that typically frazzled dress and appearance.

woman biting pencil while sitting on chair in front of computer during daytime

But with exams and mid-terms contributing to so much of their grades, it’s no wonder why students feel this way.

So in light of that, below are some tips that I’ve put together that won’t only help you with studying for your upcoming exams. But that will also help relieve that emotional turmoil of surviving the school year.

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Ask Questions

The first thing to remember is that most of your teachers are there to see you succeed in their class.

As such, they’re going to be offering a helping hand. The catch, though, is that you need to approach them and ask the right questions.

While some may have already been answered in the weeks leading to the exam, it’s still worth asking these questions. Doing this is pretty much guaranteed to help better prepare for the rest of your upcoming coursework, and your mid-terms as well.

In the end, the more prepared you are, the better off you’ll be.

woman writing on notebook

Create A Study Schedule

Because you’re going to be juggling several classes, you need to organize your time for studying.

And one of the best ways to organize your time is to set up a study schedule, and I can’t stress this enough: to follow it!

By having a schedule, you’ll effectively reduce the amount of time you’re studying on every subject.

So instead of trying to cram all of your coursework knowledge into a single study sesh, you can use each pre-scheduled study period to focus on a single subject, spacing it all out on a schedule that works best for you!

woman using computer sitting on black chair

Consult Your Notes And Past Tests

A good start for any study session is to go back through your own notes.

Broadly speaking, your notes should cover the most important points of discussion. And they may even include other important details that you’ve noted but have forgotten.

Additionally, it never hurts to review any previous tests you may have had so far this semester.

In most situations, your mid-terms are going to cover everything you learned from the start of the term up to this point.

Therefore, the tests or quizzes you’ve had will give you a rough indication of your upcoming mid-terms will be about.

woman flipping book page

Find Or Create A Study Group

Whether you’re good at studying or not, it’s always smart to partner up with a few classmates for a study session every couple of weeks.

Study groups can help you study more efficiently since you’ll be able to cover more topics. Plus, you might even be able to learn a thing or two by listening to other people’s perspectives.

Furthermore, being in a group can allow you to educate others around you, which will help you feel even better about studying.

Switch Up Your Scenery

Whether you’re studying or taking a well-deserved break from studying, it’s important to switch up your environment from time to time.

The fact is that our environments can heavily influence our behavior and directly impact our mood and focus.

woman reading book while sitting on chair

Many people have their go-to study spot, but I’d encourage you to mix it up. Go to a coffee shop, a public library, or the school’s library and see how you feel there.

In the end, switching things can give you that boost of energy you need to prepare for your next exam!

Don’t Skimp On The Sleep

Sleep is just as important as studying, and you shouldn’t ever sacrifice it.

While many students think it’s worth it to pull an all-nighter, it’s not going to be doing much for you in terms of helping you pass.

Sleep allows you to process information and to organize it in your mind.

Therefore, by getting less sleep, you’re not going to be able to retain as much information as you’d like to.

woman sleeping on bed under blankets

So instead of pulling an all-nighter, prioritize your life to include a stable sleep schedule throughout the school year.

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Pace Yourself

The final midterm study tip I have for you is to take it one test at a time.

One of the biggest challenges with mid-terms is that you’re bombarded with many tests or assignments spread out over the same few weeks.

It can be hectic during that time, but to help you keep a level head, here are a few more tips to help your prep:

  • Remember the dates your midterms are scheduled for, and use them to create a proper study schedule for these times.
  • Note how much time you have in between each mid-term. This can give you a good window of opportunity for how to prepare for each midterm study-wise.
woman writing on book

How To Beat Midterm Madness

Although college and university are often one of the most exciting parts of a young person’s life, studying is not the most exciting or glamorous part of being a student.

But through these specific methods, I believe you’ll have a better grasp at studying efficiently, which will help prepare for anything your mid-terms might throw your way!

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Best Autumn-Themed Novels To Check Out This Month

Need a few new books to add to your reading list this fall? Check out our list of the top 4 best autumn-themed novels to check out this month!

Fall has officially arrived!

And with shorter days and cooler weather now upon us, what else is there to do but get warm and cozy? 

For book-lovers, I think it’s pretty safe to say that there’s no better way to get comfortable around this time of year than to curl up with a great autumn-themed book. 

forest heat by sunbeam

So if you’re seeking a few great fall read, we’ve got you covered! Below, you’ll find this month’s list of the best autumn-themed books to check out this month. 

Let The Right One In – John Ajvide Lindqvist

Searching for something creepy to read this Halloween? Let The Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist might be exactly what you’re looking for! 

A dead body has been found in a quiet suburb of Stockholm. Drained of blood, officials just can’t figure out the motive behind the crime. 

A young boy named Oskar is hopeful that the murder will stop his local schoolyard bullies from picking on him. But that’s not all that’s on his mind…

Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist

A new girl has also just moved in next door. Oskar finds this girl strange, and her ever-peculiar behavior strikes him as odd and uneven… Almost unnatural. 

Fondly called “Sweden’s Steven King,” John Ajvide Lindqvist is the author of many horror novels and short stories. Let the Right One In was Lindqvist’s debut novel, one that has since been adapted for film in Sweden (2008) and the United States (Let Me In, 2010). 

My October – Claire Holden Rothman

If you’re looking for an autumn-themed novel based on true events, try My October by Claire Holden Rothman. 

My October weaves together the stories of a father, mother, and son living in Montreal, Canada. This modern family unit is deeply affected by the weight of their past, and the shocking consequences of words left unsaid.

Set in the early 2000s, this novel offers flashbacks to Canada’s October Crisis, that happened in Quebec during fall 1971. 

My October by Claire Holden Rothman

The October Crisis is an event where the separatist, often referred to as terrorist organization, Front de libération du Québec (FLQ) kidnapped British diplomat, James Cross, and the province’s Deputy Premier, Pierre Laporte. 

According to Publisher’s Weekly, “This novel about power, language and acceptance should resonate with those who have felt torn between languages and cultures, as well as those who have felt like outsiders in their own city or country.” 

Canadian author Claire Holden Rothman has published several novels and short stories. Her fiction has won many awards, including the 2019 Vine Award for Jewish Canadian Fiction. She currently lives in Montreal, Canada with her husband. 

Lovecraft Country – Matt Ruff

New York Times Bestseller, Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff, will take you on a journey of hope, freedom, power, and magic that touches the members of two black families. 

Set against the USA’s backdrop in the 1950s, this autumn-themed book twists Lovecraftian tropes to shine a light on the horrors of racism in the country at the time.

Matt Ruff's Lovecraft Country: On Horror and Racism | Horror Movie | Horror  Homeroom

According to the Seattle Times: “Lovecraft Country is bound to appeal to any reader who wants to delve into the strangeness of our land’s racial legacy.”

American science fiction, and thriller author, Matt Ruff has written seven novels. Nominated for the World Fantasy Award in 2017, HBO has recently adapted Lovecraft Country into a television series. 

The Thirteenth Tale – Diane Setterfield 

Next up, The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Settefield offers up the perfect combination of a thriller novel that meets family drama. 

In fact, this novel’s gothic atmosphere and tone are bound to have you curling up on the couch for hours these coming fall months. 

In the book, Vida Winters hires a young biographer, Margaret Lea, to tell her own story’s complete truth. Having made a career telling beautiful but fictionalized tales of her own life, she reveals a story full of ghosts and a devastating fire. 

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

Vida’s tale, however, makes Margaret suspicious as the story unfolds. 

To confront their past, these two women must face what haunts them. And only then can the truth transform them both for the better.  

Diane Setterfield is a British author who studied French Literature at the University of Bristol. 

She continued to study and then teach literature until 1990, when she began to pursue writing full time. Published in 38 countries with over 3 million copies sold, The Thirteenth Tale was Setterfield’s debut novel.

4 Best Fall Reads November 2020

Whether you’re fond of the autumn months or not, this time of year is a great reminder of how beautiful change really can be.

After all, the leaves are changing colors and falling, the weather is getting colder, and we’re all spending a bit more time inside. 

Therefore, why not make the most of your time this month by checking out one of our top picks for the best autumn-themed books for November 2020. 

4 Horror-Filled Halloween Novels To Read This Month

Looking for the best Halloween novels to read this October? Check out these 4 surprisingly spooky stories!

With the fall months fast-approaching, the weather is getting cooler, and the leaves are starting to change colors. And for many, there’s a certain excitement in the air for the months to come.

For the Halloween fans out there, this also means the scary season will soon be upon us, filled with stories of ghosts, witches, and demons.

jack o'lantern

In fact, it’s the one time of year when embracing all things scary is not suggested, but actually it’s encouraged. 

So if you’re looking for an amazing novel, designed to increase your heartbeat, and have you hiding under the covers when things go bump in the night, consider adding these 4 books to your reading list this month!

Best Vampire Story – Salem’s Lot By Stephen King

At Halloween, there’s nothing better than a scary vampire, especially when it’s terrorizing an entire town.

Salem’s Lot takes us back to a time when vampires were blood-sucking demons to be feared in the night, and who better to tell such a tale than Stephen King?

Ben Mears is an author who returns to the town of Jerusalem’s Lot in Maine; a place he called home for four years as a child.

He’s committed to working on his book about the creepy Marston House, a home where murder and suicide occurred. What Ben soon realizes is that the house’s new owner, Kurt Barlow is more than meets the eye.

After the murder of a little boy in town, people start disappearing in the town.

Except, they haven’t really disappeared at all – it seems they’ve become something different. Something demonic. And they’re hungry for blood…

Best Haunted House Story – Hell House By Richard Matheson

A haunted house is always a hallmark part of Halloween. But Hell House by Richard Matheson takes things to another level.

But when the haunted house comes after us in ways we never imagined, you know it’s going to be a terrifying ride. And that’s exactly what Richard Matheson does in his novel, aptly titled Hell House.

For the book’s main character, Rolf Deutsch, it wasn’t a question of if he was going to die, it was a matter of whether or not there was an afterlife.

That’s why he hired two mediums and a physicist to attempt to confirm these facts for him.

Hell House LLC III: Lake of Fire' Review: Hell's Final Days Are Its Least  Interesting

The assembled team then travels to the Belasco House in Maine, where it has sat abandoned after a decade of its owners’ alcoholism, drug addiction, and debauchery.

Committed to their goal, the team spends one night in the Belasco House when the house suddenly seems to come alive at night.

When the house starts using their own fears and weaknesses against them, they slowly begin losing a grip on reality, slipping into madness.

For Deutsch’s team of investigators, they quickly discover why the rest of the town calls it Hell House, and it’s going to bring you into pure terror as it unfolds…

Best Demon Story – The Exorcist By William Peter Blatty

When you’re looking for a good scare, a demon is exactly the type of monster you’d never want to run into on Halloween night.

That’s why The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty has become a cult classic; it grabs you, holds you, and stays with you long after you’ve put the book down. This makes it the perfect combination of a scary read and a long-lasting impact.

This story takes us on a journey of a young girl, named Regan MacNeil, who lives with her famous mother.

The Exorcist, Phoenix Theatre, London, review: This show is less scary than  the film but more profoundly disturbing | The Independent

Regan becomes inexplicably ill shortly after her mother finishes filming a movie. This begins causing a series of disturbances within their home.

As the story unfolds, Regan’s downward spiral into seriously disturbing physical changes are met with even more intense psychological changes.

During this story, you’ll be dragged through her journey to hell and back, literally.

Best New Horror Book (2020 Release) – Mexican Gothic By Silvia Moreno-Garcia

When a frantic letter from her cousin sends Noemi Taboada to High Place, she’s not sure what’s in store. In the story of Mexican Gothic, nothing is as it seems, and Noemi becomes mesmerized by the terrifying world of High Place.

The longer she’s there, the more she feels the presence of the home; it begins to invade her dreams, filling them with blood and doom.

Mexican Gothic review: Silvia Moreno-Garcia's new book is deliciously  creepy - Vox

With her only ally being a small boy, the family’s youngest son, Noemi quickly realizes he may be the key to the dark secrets that lay beyond the walls. He may be the secret of the violence and madness that has captured her attention and desire.

But as she uncovers the terrifying truth behind High Place, she starts to question whether she’ll ever be able to leave the house behind.

Best Horror Reads 2020

As Halloween quickly approaches, it’s time to embrace the horror. From vampires to haunted houses, demons to ghosts, these books are designed to raise the hair on the back of your neck.

Enjoy a timeless classic or the newest read today and bring out the scary in your Halloween season… if you dare.