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!

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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Take Control of Your Life With These 3 Best Apps For Students

Ever wonder about the best apps for students? Learn about the 3 top apps for students that will help you better organize your time, money, and professional connections.

University and college years are about growth, knowledge, and understanding.

You’re finally getting that degree for your dream job and you’re on the path to success, one step at a time.

Unfortunately, that path isn’t always the easiest road to navigate; with assignments to complete, tests to study for. group work, a part or full-time job, plus friends, significant others, and a family life… it’s really no wonder students often forget to eat.

You did eat today, right?

Instead of trying to navigate the long post-secondary road alone, why not set yourself up for success with a few helpful apps along the way?

woman wearing blue denim jacket holding book

iStudentPro – Best Time Management App For Students

This app is the perfect hybrid of a scheduling tool and a to-do list, making it the perfect online planner for any post-secondary student.

Essentially, this is a virtual assistant for students. You’ll be able to enter in your on-going tasks, categorizing them by date, class, and/or priority.

This app is also functional on all platforms including iOS, Android, PC, and macOS. So whatever you’re carrying to and from class is going to help you stay on track in real-time.

black marker on notebook

Once you’ve entered your class information, each subject becomes segregated into its own color block. You’ll easily be able to see what’s coming up in each class, in order of priority.

On top of that, recording and tracking your GPA is simplified. All you’ll need to do is enter your grade for each assignment, and watch as the app automatically calculates your grade point average!

Never miss a deadline or due date again!

From tracking your grades to assignment, you’re going to love the real-time functionality and prioritization offered by iStudentPro app.

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Mint.com – Best Money Management App For Students

There’s nothing worse than wanting to grab a bite to eat, only to discover that your card has been maxed out.

And when you’re busy running around, trying to get to classes on time, it’s easy to get side-tracked, especially when it comes to budgeting.

But that doesn’t have to be the case.

spilled coins from the jar Best Apps For Students

Thanks to the Mint.com, you can have a financial guru in your pocket, helping you budget and stay on top of your monthly expenses.

This app is designed to bring in all of your finances in an easy-to-find central location. So you’ll see all your account balances, monthly bills, credit scores, and more, without needing to switch between apps.

Mint can even help you create a sustainable budget, based on your real-time spending habits. This means you’ll never face a declined burrito ever again!

And if remembering bill payments is difficult, automated reminders will send you an alert before it’s due. So you’ll never fall behind on your payments.

After all, you have enough to remember between assignments and projects.

LinkedIn – Best Professional Connection App For Students

Although almost everyone is on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. But as a student, LinkedIn is just as, if not more important.

With over 500 million total users, LinkedIn is the ultimate platform for professionals that are looking to network and connect with others in the same industry.

But connecting with other like-minded professionals is just the tip of the iceberg that LinkedIn has to offer.

two person handshaking Best Apps For Students

With hundreds of recruiters and human resource professionals browsing the platform regularly, you’ll stay in front of potential employers actively looking for the best talent online.

You’ll also get to send and receive endorsements, which is the digital version of a reference letter. These endorsements help other professionals see your areas of expertise, which is particularly helpful in finding meaningful employment.

Not only can you market yourself on the platform, but you’ll also establish important business connections. Whether it’s past coworkers or potential Fortune 500 companies looking to hire, invitations happen all the time.

So by not being present on the platform, you could even be missing out on an invitation to apply for the job of your dreams!

Students, professionals, and employers all benefit from the online platform, even if it’s in completely different ways.

Having a professional profile established before you’re finished your course helps give you a leg up on the competition and stay current on industry news.

woman carrying white and green textbook Best Apps For Students

Best Apps For Students 2020

Establishing routines and schedules is always an easier task to accomplish before you get overwhelmed. This is exactly why now is the time to get started (before you start missing deadlines and due dates).

By staying on top of your to-do list, you’ll always know what’s coming up next. Whether it’s a big project to complete or your cell phone bill that’s due in a few days.

These online apps help keep you focused and on-task, so you can spend your time working on the important things.

5 Tips For Students During COVID-19

Need tips for students during COVID-19? Check out this month’s handy college and university survival guide to learn how to face the school year during a pandemic.

As 2020 has roared on, college students are now preparing to go back for the fall semester. It will no doubt be the most unique fall semester to take place on college campuses in a long time.

The ongoing global pandemic has changed all of our lives and forced everyone to adapt. Returning college and university students must do the same if they are to get the most out of their education.

College is often said to be the most fun part of a young person’s life. You don’t want to miss out on some of the best times of your life as a result of COVID-19. You also don’t want to miss out on some truly positive experiences because you were worried about COVID-19 either.

man in white and black crew neck t-shirt

If you take the proper precautions and adopt a beneficial mindset, however, you can still make this coming semester an enjoyable and productive time.

Below we take a look at 5 tips that will help you not only survive the semester but to make the absolute most of it you can.

Hand Sanitizer & Masks As School Supplies

The supplies you pack for class in the COVID-19 era are going to be a bit different from the supplies you packed previously. Hand sanitizer is now just as important to college students as their notepads and pens.

Bring it with you wherever you go and use it after touching surfaces or sharing items with other students.

blue and white boat on brown wooden dock

Wear a mask inside whenever you are unable to socially distance. For college students this coming semester, that means wearing your mask to class and keeping it on.

There will be those that find this inconvenient and even difficult to do.

But the more you wear a mask, the more natural it feels. And it is one of, if not the most important thing you can do to help stop the spread.

Remember, wearing a mask and using hand sanitizer isn’t just about protecting you. It’s about protecting those around you and slowing the spread of the virus.

Keep Informed

It has never been more important to stay up to date with what health experts are saying.

We are only about 5 months deep into this pandemic, and the information that we’re being told changes frequently. Therefore, keeping as up-to-date as possible is going to help keep you stay safe.

black and silver laptop computer tips for students during COVID-19

Remember that health experts have the knowledge that you do not. And this is the case no matter how much “Googling” you’ve been doing on the subject.

Knowledge your local health experts may have that you don’t include incidents of community transmission, where the virus has been spreading in your area, and what behaviors are considered risky or unnecessary in your location.

Always make sure the person you are listening to is a credentialed health expert and that other experts agree with what they are saying.

When in doubt, the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions has produced this handout to help determine reliable sources.

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Avoid Parties and Large Gatherings

Part of the fun of college has always been the big parties, socializing and meeting of new people.

Unfortunately, this is going to be much harder, and less safe, in the COVID-19 era, where social distancing is still going to be just as important as ever.

Keep in mind that, in general, a person is too close to you if you would touch fingers if you both stretched out your arms. You are going to have to make new friends while always maintaining that distance around new people.

Try to stop the spread of false information tips for students during COVID-19

With Zoom, Snapchat, and all the different ways we have to communicate with each other nowadays, the new connections you form with people are going to have to be online, at least for now.

There will be a time in the future when we don’t have to socially distance anymore. But in the meantime, we must continue to do our part to prevent the spread of this potentially deadly virus.

Lead A Healthy and Active Lifestyle

The healthier you are, the less you have to worry personally about COVID-19.

If you feel as though you aren’t as healthy and active as you could be, now is a great time to change that.

While it will likely be years still before all the facts are known, it does appear obesity and vitamin D deficiency are linked to poorer outcomes with the virus.

Fortunately, both of these conditions are reversible. In fact, Vitamin D deficiency is linked with obesity, so solving one will likely help in solving the other.

man running near sea during daytime tips for students during COVID-19

Getting outside and enjoying nature will help with a Vitamin D deficiency, and being active while outdoors will help reduce obesity. An active and healthy lifestyle will help you feel better and put you at less risk of developing complications if you do catch the virus.

Relax and Enjoy

This is likely far easier said than done but the best thing you can do is try and relax and just enjoy the semester.

Life will always throw challenges your way and while they might not always be as extreme as a global pandemic, you will eventually need to learn to be happy while dealing with obstacles.

Students heading back to campus right now are likely feeling as though they have been robbed of some fun times.

flat lay photography of blue backpack beside book and silver MacBook

This is only true if you think of it that way, however. This is a difficult time for everyone but thinking about the pandemic in the right way can help.

Try thinking of this time as an opportunity for you to show the world your best self. Be as selfless as you can, help others who aren’t doing well, get yourself in great shape, and truly be the best version of yourself you can.

No large college party feels as good as high self-esteem does.

COVID-19 Student Survival Guide

By following the tips we’ve outlined above, there is no reason for you to find this semester stressful or scary. Do what you can, worry only about what is in your control, and adopt the best mindset you can to make the most out of a truly unique semester.

3 Tips On Preparing For College Or University

Preparing for college or university this fall? With the start of the school year just around the corner, it’s important to make the most of your remaining time off. And start getting your life in order for first semester.

There’s no doubting the fact that summer break does a lot of good for students, physically, mentally, and spiritually.

But that doesn’t mean that all school responsibilities should be thrown to the wind. You should never wait until the day before your first class to start getting your life ready school.

Therefore, I thought it would be a good idea to focus today’s blog post on preparing for the upcoming school year.

Whether you’re a freshman, sophomore, or senior, you can easily benefit from getting things in order in advance. Then, when your first day of class rolls around, you’ll already be prepared to seize the day to its fullest potential!

Gather Your School Supplies Early

Before you actually begin attending your classes, you probably won’t actually know everything you’ll need for first the course. However, gathering a few essential supplies before school starts is a great step towards making sure you’re ready for your first day

Think about it!

You’re in school.

So things like notepads, pens, pencils, binders, graph paper are things that you can almost never have too much of. And you’re almost guaranteed to need them on your first few days of school.

assorted pen and colored papers in organizer case

Therefore, it’s a good idea to sit down a few week before school starts and write a list of all the basic school supplies you think you might need.

Depending on the type of courses you’re taking, you might also need a few extra tools too. So, especially if you’re studying math or science, don’t forget to add tools calculators geometry sets to your list.

Do A Bit Of Research

Obvious, you shouldn’t spend your summer hitting the books and studying every day. In fact, your summer break should be used for giving yourself a bit of time to relax and temporarily forget about your course load.

However, with the school year just around the corner, it’s never a bad idea to do a bit of research. Read up on some of the topics that you’ll soon be learning about in school.

For instance, maybe you’re taking a course is English literature.

In this case, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to brush up on a few classic authors from throughout history. Maybe read a couple plays by Shakespeare or anything else you’re sure to touch on in class.

person reading book sitting with cross legs preparing for college

Taking a course in physics?

Why not pick up a copy of Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History Of Time, which gives a broad overview of universal physics, written in an easy-to-understand tone.

Of course, you don’t have to bored yourself and spend your entire summer break studying for your course. After all, that’s what your classes are far.

But the point is that if you know you’re going to be learning about something in class. It’s not a bad idea to spend a bit of time learning about it in advance.

Then, when you do touch on these subjects in your classes, you’ll already be pre-acquainted with the topic matter. And more than ready to challenge any quizzes or tests that might get thrown your way.

Review Old Notes And Coursework

Especially if you’re a sophomore or senior, it’s always a good idea to review your old school notes from the previous year or any text books that you might still have.

It’s truly astounding how many things we forget over the course of a single year.

So if you’re hoping to maintain good grades throughout the year, and obtain a solid understanding of whatever it is you’re studying, it’s crucial to regularly review the things you’ve learned in the past.

person flipping book preparing for college

Even if you’re only leaving high school, and heading into college as a freshman, it’s still a good idea to review some of your previous year’s coursework and reading material.

Again, just to help you brush up on some of your knowledge.

In the end, the more you know and understand about your studies, the more likely you’ll be to succeed and maintain a good GPA.

Make The Most Of Your Time

As I mentioned, I’m not suggesting that you spend your entire summer break studying and getting ready for next semester. But the fact is that being prepared can go a long way in helping you have an enjoyable, successful year of school.

So, make sure to enjoy your summer, but don’t waste it or let it slip you by.

Remember, it’s always important to make the most of your time.

So have fun with your time away from school.

But don’t forget to plan ahead, pick up a few essential school supplies in advance, brush up on your studying and review your old notes, and you’ll be well on your way to started your first semester of the year on the right foot.

How To Have A Productive Summer As A College Student

Getting ready for summer break? Wondering how to have a productive summer? Check out this month’s featured blog posts on some of the best, most productive summer tips for students.

After a full year of classes, assignments, essays, study groups, and exams, it’s finally time for your much-needed summer vacation.

But what’s the most productive way to spend your summer? Working? Traveling? Relaxing?

Whatever your plans are, summer vacation is the ideal opportunity for students to break away from academia. And to start exploring some of the activities that they wouldn’t normally have the time for during the school year.

So with that in mind, I’ve put together the following post on the 6 most productive ways to spend your summer 2020 away from school.

hammock hanged on tree

Learn A New Skill

One major part of studying in college or university is learning new skills that you’ll be able to use in your future career. So why not try to get ahead of the game by learning a new skill or two over the course of your summer vacation!

Maybe you’re studying computer programming or computer sciences. In which case, learning new skills like coding or website design would be an excellent idea.

This is because they’re relevant to what you’re studying, even though the may not be directly related.

Either way, the point is to look for new skills that are either interesting to you, or that are relevant to your field. And then, you can get a head start on your classmates by learning an extra skill or two.

Get An Internship Or Job In Your Field

There’s literally no better way to apply the knowledge you’ve learned over the course of the school year than by getting an internship or a part-time job for the summer.

Even if it’s only an unpaid internship, working in a relevant field is an excellent way to learn more about how businesses in your industry work, as well as gaining a bit of much-needed experience to add to your resume.

man in gray sweatshirt sitting on chair in front of iMac How To Have A Productive Summer

Plus, at the same time, you’ll also be building invaluable connections with local businesses and individuals, all while determining whether or not a career in your field is going to be right for you.

Start A New Hobby

Summer vacation is an amazing opportunity for exploring your interests and pursuing your own personal creativity.

Obviously, your schedule is no longer being tied down by classes or study time. Therefore, you’ll have plenty of extra time to take lessons and learn a new hobby, or simply indulge in a hobby that you rarely have time for during the school year.

Take a painting class, learn how to draw, pick up an instrument; the possibilities are virtually endless.

But the point is to use your summer vacation productively.

So instead of staring at social media all summer long, take the time to learn something new!

pile of assorted-title books How To Have A Productive Summer

Read Books

If you’re in school, then I’m sure you’ve already done plenty of reading these past semesters.

But still, your summer vacation is the perfect time to pick up and read books that aren’t related to your schooling.

For instance, let’s say you’re studying physics, but have a secret love of reading classical fiction novels. In this case, summer is the perfect time to put away your boring physics textbooks and pick up something by Dickens or Thoreau to help you make the most of the warmer days of the year.

Volunteer

There’s practically no better way to use your time than by making a positive impact on your community.

So why not try volunteering with a local charity to help you apply your newfound skills in a meaningful, hands-on way?

Especially when it comes to research programs, there are bound to be many volunteer positions available in your community.

How To Have A Productive Summer person standing wearing red shirt

And volunteering doesn’t always have to be boring.

In fact, there are almost always organizations that need help with festivals and events, which can give your volunteer experience a whole new, exciting edge.

Explore Your City

This one is especially important for students who are studying abroad or that aren’t living in their hometowns; get out there and explore the city that you live in!

Try to imagine yourself as a tourist on vacation in your town. Think about the main attractions that you’d want to see or the history that you’d like to learn about.

You might even consider joining a local walking tour to help you learn more about your city.

In turn, you’ll be able to gain a new perspective on your local culture that you may have underappreciated before.

Woman on an inflatable float in the ocean pointing with a finger at Posidi How To Have A Productive Summer

Making The Most Of Your Summer Vacation 2020

Of course, the activities I’ve mentioned above only represent a few different ways that you can use to make the most of your summer vacation. In fact, there are literally hundreds of things you can start doing for a fun, productive summer.

The point is that it’s important to do something productive, rather than sitting inside all summer, starting at your phone or being on social media.

So get out there, join a volunteer program, take a course, or pick up that book you’ve been wanting to read!

Just make sure that you’re not wasting your time.

In the end, summer vacation goes by fast.

Therefore, it’s important to make the most out of every single day, and use your time in any productive way you can think of.

Top 5 Upcoming Authors To Check Out This Month

Looking for something new to sate your literary taste buds this month? Then, make sure to check the following list of our top 5 upcoming authors for 2020

Shakespeare, Poe, Dickens… These are all names of famous authors that virtually anybody who likes to read knows about. That’s because when you pick up anything written by them, you can be sure that you’re reading a masterpiece that’s been read by thousands of people before you.

But what about today’s modern authors? The ones who are single-handedly shaping the future of the literary world?

An Introduction to Tennessee Literature in 7 Writers

These works might not be world-renown or deemed as literary masterpieces. But that doesn’t mean they won’t be in 50 or 100 years from now. In fact, many authors don’t gain worldwide notoriety until well-after their deaths (unfortunately).

So with that in mind, I’ve put together the following list of the top 5 best up-and-coming authors to check out in 2020.

Paul Mendez – Author of Rainbow Milk

As the number one up-and-coming author on our list, Paul Mendez’s debut novel, Rainbow Milk, is about the true hardships of life, the ups and downs of it, and all other aspects of growth and self-discovery.

Although fictional, Mendez’s novel is based on his real-life experiences.

ARC Book Review: Rainbow Milk by Paul Mendez – jthbooks

According to him, “There were times when to write something directly autobiographical would have simply been to bleed my heart out on to the page. There are things that happened to me in it, but the details are far different.”

Just like the story’s protagonist, Mendez grew up in Black Country, an area of the West Midlands in England.

After being raised as a Jehovah’s Witness, and then being “disfellowshipped” at a young age, Mendez, as well as the story’s hero become sex workers. This leads them through the trials and tribulations of growing up.

Rainbow Milk is being published by Dialogue Books. Currently, Mendez lives in Hampstead, England, and is studying towards his MA in black British writing.

Deepa Anappara – Author of Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line 

Born and raised in India, Anappara has worked for more than 12 years as a journalist, reporting on the impacts of poverty and religious violence against children’s education in the country.

In 2008, she moved to the U.K. where she began studying creative writing at the University of East Anglia. And it was right about then that she started working on her debut novel, Djinn Patrol On the Purple Line.

Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line: A Novel: Anappara, Deepa ...

Since then, the book has become a literary sensation and has been sold in 20 international territories. It’s even received praise and recognition from some of the world’s most notable literary figures, such as Ian McEwan and Anne Enright.

The story focuses on the life of a young boy who wants to be a detective. In the book, the young protagonist tries to figure out why children keep disappearing from his neighborhood.

It explores coming-of-age, the impact of horrific tragedies on small communities around the world, and the intimate bonds that help people survive through the most difficult times.

Abi Daré – Author of The Girl With The Louding Voice

Born in Lagos, Nigeria, Daré originally planned on studying french at the local university. But when that never worked out, she turned to blogging as a creative outlet. Eventually, her blog became so popular that she realized she has a knack for fictional writing.

Daré’s debut novel, The Girl With The Louding Voice started out as a thesis for the Master’s Degree but has since ended up winning the Bath novel award for new and emerging authors.

Inside the Book: Abi Daré (THE GIRL WITH THE LOUDING VOICE) - YouTube

The book follows the life of 14-year old Adunni, a young girl who yearns for her education. But instead, Adunni is sold into a brutal marriage, which she goes on to escape, only to become a domestic servant, haunted by her predecessor’s disappearance.

Today, The Girl With The Louding Voice has been chosen for BBC Radio 2’s Book Club, and Daré hopes that it will shine a light on the real-life exploitation of young women in Africa.

Elaine Feeney – Author of As You Were

Elaine Feeney is an Irish poet, who has recently written her debut novel, As You Were.

The story occurs over the course of a single week in a chaotic hospital ward setting. Although the story is rich in tragedy, Feeney also imbued it with plenty of comedy as well.

The inspiration for the story came from Feeney’s real-life experience in hospitals. This was after experiencing complications during the birth of her second son.

Elaine Feeney and Lisa McInerney - Cúirt International Festival of ...

To date, Feeney has published three collections of poetry and has written many novels that never saw the light of day. According to Feeny, “There was anxiety around writing a novel that I didn’t feel around writing poetry, weirdly.”

But irregardless of her trepidation, As You Were is definitely worth checking out!

Beth Morrey – Author of Saving Missy 

Morrey studied English at Cambridge. Then, she left her education behind to become a comedy writer. But instead, she found a career in factual television, working for a production company.

However, during maternity leave, Morrey decided that she wanted to embrace her life-long dream to write a novel. And the result was Saving Missy.

but books are better: Book Review: SAVING MISSY by Beth Morrey

According to Morrey, “I wanted to write a book about hope that would make people cry in a happy way.”

It’s a book about loneliness, community, unexpected friendships, and to date, her debut novel has sold in 16 international territories

Why Read Upcoming Authors

Everybody loves a classic novel simply because you know they’ve been read by hundreds of thousands of people before you. And simply because it’s a classic, you can be sure that you’re reading something well worth the time and effort.

But at the same time, it’s always important to push your own personal boundaries and limitation. So try new things and learn about what else the literary world has to offer.

So by checking out these 5 up-and-coming authors of 2020, you can be sure to gain a new perspective on modern life.

After Graduation: What To Expect

Graduating from college or university this year? Not sure what to expect after you’ve received your degree? Learn more about what to realistically expect after graduation.

So you’ve made it through college or university. Congratulations, that’s huge!

This is a major stepping stone in your life and you should be proud of what you’ve just accomplished. After all, completing your post-secondary education takes a whole lot of time and determination to see it through to the end.

But as graduation approaches and you anticipate leaving the college life behind, you may find yourself having mixed feelings about this whole experience.

You’re stepping out into the world of the unknown. And there are many uncertainties that you’ll face in the upcoming years.

With that said, in the following blog post, we’ll go over what to realistically expect when you get out into the proverbial “real world”. 

woman wearing academic cap and dress selective focus photography

Finding A Post-Secondary Job

Number one on the list, right?

Many students rely on financial assistance to get through college or university. But now, unfortunately, it’s time to start paying all of that back.

So don’t be surprised if you find yourself working the same entry-level job that had back in high-school, and that’s okay.

A college degree will absolutely open doors for you, but it takes time and experience in the industry before your resume will be taken seriously.

Don’t forget that everyone has to start somewhere. And in your case, this is your somewhere.

So for right now, it’s a good idea to get yourself a job; any job, big or small, that will provide you with an income to start paying off your student loans and getting yourself set up for the future.

two women sitting beside table and talking - after graduation

The truth is that it’s unlikely you’re going to nail your dream job right after graduation.

So, having any type of job at this point is simply going to help keep you afloat, while you actively pursue your ultimate employment status. 

Read job interview tips here.

Getting Your Foot In The Door 

While you have your “cushion job” to fall back on and to help get you through, now is the time to get your name out there and start networking.

So start applying to any jobs that you feel are relevant to the knowledge you’ve just gained from your schooling.

But the harsh reality is that you are going to get rejected over and over again, and may find yourself feeling lost, possibly thinking that you’ve made the wrong choice in a career.

You might even consider giving up on this career altogether. There may be times when you’ll hit a point and feel that this is impossible.

But, hang in there. These things just take time. 

The important thing is to land yourself a job that will give you a step up in the direction you’re trying to go.

two people shaking hands - after graduation

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So stick with your field, but don’t amp your expectations up too high. This is where you might end up doing some grunt work. And you may feel like you’re underpaid or overworked.

But the value in the underpaid and overworked job is the experience you’ll gain to help you get the job you ultimately want.

You’re going to want to do the grunt work with a smile because the person you’re working for is going to make a great reference one day.

This job is going to be where you prove yourself. And I assure you that hard work does pay off.

Others will eventually start to take notice and remember your name. You may even start getting some job offers bigger that pay better.

You will find that sometimes, it may not be as much about what you know, but who you know. So it’s important to start by getting your name out there and showing them what you’re capable of. 

man writing on paper - after graduation

Don’t Compare Yourself To Others 

Please go easy on yourself when it comes to comparing yourself to your peers. If they are ahead of the game, working their fancy dream jobs, don’t be fooled. It’s likely they already knew someone who put them there. 

There’s something to be said about the ones who put in the hard work, the ones who won’t take any opportunity for granted.

That hard work and determination that got you through this far will pay off, in time. You’re going to learn hard lessons, you’re going to make mistakes, and you’re going to develop a thick skin because of it.

These are all valuable assets to potential employers. These skills are what’s going to take you to the next level. 

low light photography of woman in gray knit sweatshirt writing on desk

If there’s one thing we want you to take away from this, it’s to not give up on yourself.

You’ve come this far, You’ve invested the time and money in yourself. And you’re going to get there in the right amount of time that it takes.

It may take 3 years, maybe 5, maybe 10. But you’ll get there. 

In the meantime, absorb as much as you can from anyone who’s willing to give you insight and knowledge, and run with it.

Things might be uncertain right now, but stick to your master plan, use your stepping stones, and you’ll get where you want to go.

The Best Cooking Tips For Students

Are you unsure of what to cook for dinner? Tired of making the same meals week after week? Looking for the best cooking tips for students? We’ll review a few simple, yet crucial, tips for cooking as a student. 

Leaving the roost and learning to cook for yourself can be a challenge for pretty much anyone. After all, you’ve likely spent most of your life living at home. And if you were as lucky as I was, you had your awesome mother there to prepare your meals for you most of the time.

But now, you’re in college, possibly living on your own, and it’s time to learn how to cook for yourself. And yes, I know that learning how to cook can seem daunting.

avocado, tomatoes, eggs, mushrooms, spring onions, and leaves

But I assure you that once you’ve learned a few basic recipes and have taken the time to get a bit more comfortable in the kitchen, you’ll quickly start to see how enjoyable (and tasty) home-cooked meals can truly be.

So with that said, in today’s blog post, we’re going to be taking a look at some of the most important tips for cooking as a student.

 

Stock Up On Basic Supplies

It’s obvious to say, but when you’re in a pinch and aren’t quite sure what to cook, cooking can be a headache. But on the other hand, when you have a cupboard or pantry filled with basic cooking supplies, throwing together a quick meal becomes about as easy as can be.

That’s why it’s crucial to stock up on a range of basic cooking supplies. For this, think of shelf-stable foods like dried beans, lentils, rice, or quinoa. Basically, just try to stock up on anything that’s going to last a long time and that can be used in a bunch of different ways.

assorted food in socks

However, going out and buying a whole bunch of cupboard supplies might cost you a bit more upfront. But the fact that you can easily buy these items in bulk, and they’re not going to go bad means that you’ll be saving money in the long run. Plus, you’ll always have something on-hand to cook.

 

Variety Is The Spice Of Life

It’s truly amazing how only a few different herbs and spices can truly liven up your meals. And when it comes to spices, there’s virtually no limit to how creative you can be.

That’s why it’s important to always have a good variety of spices on hand, not just salt and pepper. Some of my personal favorites are garlic powder, cumin, paprika, cayenne, and thyme.

three green leaf potted vegetables

But there are literally hundreds of herbs and spices to choose from. Which means that there are hundreds of thousands of spice combinations you can create by using them.

So don’t be afraid to experiment. Try new and different spices. Taste different cultures. And you’ll quickly see just how true it is that having a variety of spices on-hand can spice up your cooking life.

Bonus tip: many herbs and spices are super resilient and easy to grow at home. So you can even try growing them yourself!

 

Learn From Others

Some people are born with it, while others need to learn. But I assure you, there’s no shame in needing to learn how to cook. And today, with the internet, blogs, and platforms like YouTube, it’s easier than ever to learn how to make new meals and expand your culinary repertoire.

In fact, there are literally thousands of cooking blogs and YouTube channels available that you can learn from. Or, you can always visit your local library or find an online book store to look for a good cookbook. And even if you don’t like following the recipes, having a cookbook on-hand can be a lifesaver when you’re trying to decide what to cook yourself for dinner.

Best Cooking Tips For Students smiling man standing and mixing near woman in kitchen area of the house

Lastly, you can always ask friends or family members to help teach you a recipe or two.

Regardless, the important thing is to learn new recipes and meal ideas. Then, once you’ve made them a few times and have them memorized, you’ll start to see just how easy it can be to whip up a quick meal.

 

Prepare Your Meals In Advance

I’m sure you’ve heard this a million times before, but doing meal prep can be a lifesaver, both in terms of saving you money, as well as making it significantly easier to cook dinner on a whim.

six full clear glass jars on white surface Best Cooking Tips For Students

There’s pretty much no limits as to what you can prepare in advance, but a few of my favorites are homemade soups, chilis or pasta. These can all be made in larger quantities, then portioned out, and frozen for later use.

Then, when dinner time rolls around, all you’ll need to do is thaw out your pre-portioned meal, heat it up, and enjoy the delicious bliss of your awesome home-cooked meal.

 

Saving Money And Eating Well

As a student, I’m sure you already know that it’s all too easy to spend a fortune on fast-food and eating out. Not only is this a complete waste of money, but when you eat out, you’re more likely to eat junky foods that simply aren’t nutritious, like greasy french fries, burgers, etc.

But by following the tips we’ve discussed today, stocking up on cupboard supplies, learning new meal ideas, and doing meal prep, you’ll easily be able to save yourself some money, and learn how to feed your mind, body, and soul in the best way possible.