February 9, 2024

It is about 6 weeks into the semester and you should be settled in and have a routine established. You have most likely made a late-night food run, experienced entertainment over the weekend, and maybe even attended a home football game. You have also had the flexibility to do things you’d like to do with little to no guidance from your parents. One of those areas that you have (or will start to have) control over is your money and how you choose to spend your money. If you’re seeking to boost your finances, there are numerous games on 벳엔드 where you have the opportunity to win money.

You are probably noticing how fast and how little it stretches without a plan. Money is one of the most challenging things to conquer. You will see that most of your spending will occur on entertainment (parties, events, and outings), food (food court, late nights, and groceries), and school related expenses (materials for presentations, decorating your room, and extracurricular activities).

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How are you doing with your spending? Do you have money coming in or do you need to find creative ways to stretch the funds you have. Do you have money for the rest of the semester? Good, you are doing well and keep up the good spending practices. If you are running low on funds, you may need to implement one of the tactics below.

1. Know how much money you have and how long it needs to last. Look at the total and divide amongst the weeks and stay within those limits. Consider any one-time expenses, travel home, and things on your list of needs.
2. Limit food purchases. Food is an easy way to spend money without having anything to show for it. Daily Starbucks, late night Taco Bell, and everything in between adds up and now you do not have much to show for it. You have a meal plan that includes enough meals to address your appetite. Your meal plan may also have bucks to spend like cash on campus.
3. Look for FREE events on Campus. There are events held every week that are geared towards students and are free for students. You have to make the most out of your experience and there are usually free events for every interest.
4. Consider other events on-campus that are not free. Do you plan to join Greek Life, do you need to pay dues to a club or professional organization?
5. Plan events accordingly. Go to the football game, enjoy a show in the theater department, or participate in a service project. Just keep in mind that you may not be able to attend every game, donate financially, or get the best seats in the theater.
6. Save. It is never a bad idea to save for an emergency, a rainy day, or a possible Spring Break trip. If you truly want to transform your savings by having an income stream, then a course like the Invest Diva course may be of great help.

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February 8, 2024

You have been very patient up to this point.  You completed your application and submitted your completed packet to several universities of your choice.  You should have selected several options; at least 3-5 schools, to provide yourself with options. Waiting can be the hardest part, as each school has its own timeline and selection process.  With most things the decision that you are most anticipating will most likely be the last one to respond.    You should not feel discouraged and consider no news as good news.

As your decision letters begin to come in you should continue to reference the list or chart you made when determining which schools to submit your application. You will want to add to your decision list any information included in your admission letters.  You should take special note of your admission status, noting if you have full or conditional acceptance.  You will also want to note if any scholarship funding as been awarded.

Once you have heard back from all your options, compare your list.  You will want to consider all the items on your list (location, major, acceptance status, scholarship funding) and attempt to decide by May 1 or the deadline listed in the acceptance letter.  You will need confirm your attendance with the school of your choice, so they can prepare for your arrival, which includes orientation, housing, and classes. If you fail to respond by the requested deadline, you run a major risk of losing your space to another deserving student. 

Unfortunately, you will also need to prepare for some potential bad news.  You may have to cope with not receiving admission to your school of choice.  As you can imagine, schools receive thousands of applications each year.  They have a difficult decision to make from students of all ages, backgrounds, and experiences from all over the world.  Yes; the world!  Therefore, allowing admission to every applicant is simply not feasible.  As a precaution, you must prepare yourself for unfavorable news, should you not be admitted or if you receive a conditional acceptance. 

A conditional acceptance means you will be granted admission to the university, if you complete a set of requirements.  You may have to complete additional classes, provide proof of class completion, or successfully complete classes at a satellite campus before transferring to the main campus.  A conditional acceptance is not a denial and should not be viewed as one.  If that is your school of choice completing the conditions should be done as soon as possible to confirm your admission.

If you are not accepted at a university, take it as an opportunity to explore other options.  With many things in life, you will not always receive your first choice and instead you will continue the journey you were meant to travel. There are variety of reason why you may not have been accepted like not meeting the criteria, there not being enough room, an incomplete application, etc.  You should not concern yourself with why you were not accepted, just know you will be on the path and start the next chapter of your life journey. 

With any potential bad news, you may receive, you should have an alternative plan. So, consider your other school options, look at the benefits of trying a semester or year at a community college, volunteer, take classes over where your grades were not as favorable.  Look at what the other schools offer, because more scholarship funding from your second or third choice, leaving you to reconfigure your top school of choice. 

Deciding on your school is a decision that should not be taken lightly. Weigh your options, talk it over with your support system, and make the best decision for your situation.  Take comfort in knowing that your decision may change several times throughout the process and your top choice may change several times and where you end may not be where you started. Enjoy the process and may you have a happy and joyous acceptance process.

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February 7, 2024

Maneuvering through your first year of college can often feel synonymous to being tasked with successfully completing a treasure hunt with no map. In your mind, you’ve imagined what you may find, but the path to get there isn’t clear. In fact, you may not even be certain that you’re on the correct path at all. Right now, it might feel like you’re stuck in quicksand. Maybe, you’re on a solid path, but you feel like you’re heading in the wrong location. This is not what you imagined and you just want to abandon your current position and search elsewhere.

Perhaps, there are obstacles in front of you that seem so insurmountable that you just don’t feel it’s worth continuing on. In reality, the treasure may be within your grasp. Sometimes, though, you may just want to give up. You find yourself asking: Is the treasure real or just a dream? Well, I wish I could tell you that I have a one-size-fits-all way to fix all of those feelings. Unfortunately, I do not. But, what I do have is advice that may help you stay on that path that will hopefully lead you to finding your treasure—whatever that may mean for you as an individual.

Tip #1: Ask for help
Let’s get this straight, asking for help is NOT a sign of weakness. I mean this in every facet of your lives. Ask questions about academics, mental health, or questions you feel are so simple that you’re afraid someone will laugh if you ask them. There are truly no dumb questions when it comes to needing help. Let’s face it, college is a new atmosphere, away from your “norms” where you’re surrounded by numerous unknowns. You’re away from most of your friends and living with strangers. You find yourself spending the majority of your time focused on attaining goals that you cannot yet fully imagine.

This is a difficult predicament to be in. What happens when you find yourself struggling? It may seem that questions are no longer leading to answers, but inevitably create more questions. What happens when you’re staring at your math problems and they just don’t make sense to you? You now find yourself listening to your history professor and all you hear is the sound of everyone else’s pens taking notes on their paper, but you don’t know where to even begin. What do you do when you find yourself focusing on all of your issues without formulating solutions? You don’t want to have a negative outlook, but you’re struggling with focusing on the positive aspects of your life.

A former student once told me, “When I was in high school and I fell down (was struggling), someone was always rushing to me and picking me up and pushing me in the right direction. They got me to a counselor, a trusted adult, or somewhere else. They guided me there. But now in college, I feel like when I fall (struggle) I just lay there. And by the time I get myself up, it’s too late.” I remember listening and being taken aback by how much this truth resonated with me. But, it also made me think about how I hear these stories all the time. One that starts with a struggle that a student was aware they were having and ends with the phrase “I didn’t get help until it was too late and I failed the class.”

The missing piece here is ownership. You need to admit that you have an issue and be proactive enough to reach out for help before it becomes unsolvable. Help is available at every post-secondary institution. Campuses have a variety of tools that they offer to support students. When you do “fall,” you need to find it within yourself to get up and seek out the help you need.

Asking for help doesn’t make you weak. In fact, I believe asking for help exhibits strength in one’s character. At the end of the day, who is going to have a better shot at success? Who is going to have a better chance at finding their treasure? The answer is undeniably the person who asks for help. The next time you can’t understand what a professor is teaching, go to their office hours immediately. When you find yourself stuck in a tailspin of negativity, navigate your college’s website and find the building where your campus counseling services are located and make an appointment! Don’t wait until it is “too late.” YOU can do this!

Tip #2: Set reachable and manageable goals
These are two powerful words stacked into one short phrase. I’m sure these are words you have heard time and time again during your senior year of high school and now as you enter your college world. But I think it’s important that every student on a college campus realizes the importance of not only setting goals, but setting them wisely. I’m going to break down each word and then explain how you can use them cohesively to set yourself up for the best chance at success.

What does this mean? It means setting a goal that will challenge you, but not defeat you. Set a goal that’s not so easy that you can achieve it with minimal effort, but also not so hard that it’s nearly impossible to accomplish. Be honest with yourself about your limits. Setting an unachievable goal will leave you feeling defeated and unsuccessful. Instead, set small goals, achieve them and then set new, challenging goals. Each time you achieve one of those goals it will help you to push your limits and get you closer to accomplishing a larger, more meaningful goal.

Let’s says a student makes a goal to attain a 4.0 GPA and work 30 hours per week at the local convenience store during his first semester in college. Could this be an achievable goal? This might be achievable, however, it’s one that’s not considered practical and is certainly not a good idea for a freshman in college. Setting a goal like this can lead to a variety of issues. Eventually, some aspect of your life, if not all aspects, will suffer.

Think of this as a simple math problem. The more hours you work off campus decreases the amount of time you have for your schoolwork. Decreasing the amount of hours you dedicate to working on schoolwork will lead to a lower GPA. This can apply to anything in college, not just hours worked and GPA. Had this goal been manageable, there wouldn’t have been a give and take relationship between work and school. Working fewer hours and making a goal for an admirable GPA would lead to a more manageable goal. Be realistic and take a step back to evaluate all aspects of your goal. Ask yourself questions like: Will I still have time to study? If I work 10 more hours will it get in the way of my sleep routine? Stepping back and asking these questions will help ensure that your goals are not only manageable, but also realistic.

Tip #3: Find balance
Too much of anything can be a bad thing. Burnout, dropout, and bad habits can be the result of not finding a balance in your life. This can be a very hard concept for a young adult to grasp, but it’s essential to living a healthy lifestyle. Make sure that you’re not spending too much time on any one area of your life. This may seem like the opposite of what you think someone would tell you, but don’t spend all of your time on academics! On the flip side, don’t spend too much time in your dorm room playing video games.

If you spend too much of your time on academics, it’s very easy to burn out. If you spend too much time playing video games, you’ll probably not find yourself in college for very long. Work hard, but carve out time for yourself as well.

Back in “my day,” I remember being told a good college balance was like a good cell phone plan. This meant we received “free minutes” on nights and weekends. I still find this to be useful advice. If you spend your days working on academics, then you’ll notice yourself having more free time at night and on weekends. For example, if you have class from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. and nothing else until 2 p.m., you should go to the library and do schoolwork during your break instead of taking a nap. The more you prioritize your time, the easier it will be for you to make the right choices.

Creating routines will also help you be more successful in the long run. The best way to make sure this happens is to create a weekly schedule every Sunday. Plug in your classes and build in the time when you’ll hold yourself accountable to study and work on your academics. Be sure to allow free time for yourself as well. When you look at your entire weekly schedule, you’ll be able to easily recognize where you’ve found balance and where you’re overloading yourself.

If you find yourself spending too much time in the library, carve out an hour or two where you relax and do something that you enjoy. On the other hand, if you find yourself with way too much free time, schedule trips to the library or a quiet place to do schoolwork. Even if you don’t have anything that is “due,” you can still work ahead or dive deeper into the many topics you’re currently learning. Let’s be honest, sometimes college can feel like you’re walking a tightrope while juggling several different items in both hands. The good thing is that if you focus on balancing what you’re juggling you’ll have an easier time balancing yourself as you walk across that tightrope.

If you’re reading this, graduating from college is most likely your hypothetical “treasure.” On your trek to find this, there will certainly be twists and turns, paths you can barely see, detours and obstacles that seem like mountains in your way. Just remember, set realistic and manageable goals as you go. A treasure is not something that will be easy to find. It will not always be as easy as “X marks the spot.”

Take a variety of paths to discover which one is the best for you. With every path you successfully navigate you will become stronger, wiser, and closer to finding your treasure. Also remember, don’t attempt to take on more tasks than you can handle. If you exert too much energy and time right away then you may not be able to finish as strong as you would like. This treasure hunt is a marathon and not a race. It’s going to take time and balance. Discover routines and organize yourself in a way that allows you to achieve your goals and not burn out or quit along the way.

Finally, you don’t have to travel this path alone. When you get lost, confused, or encounter that seemingly insurmountable obstacle, just reach out for help. Who knows, you may find someone who traveled this same path and can lead you on new roads along the way. Either way, help is all around you, just look and never be afraid to ask!

February 6, 2024

You have survived a few rounds of questions around the Thanksgiving dinner table about how your semester is shaping up thus far. Now classes are back in session and you are a few weeks from wrapping up the semester. As you prepare for the end of the semester, you may encounter several culminating tasks to conclude the semester and test your knowledge of the course content. You may see a variety of options, such as a paper, a group project, a PowerPoint, a speech, or some other creative approach to determine your knowledge obtained in the course.
Now is a good time to assess your skill level in the varying areas. You should be able to review your syllabus for more information regarding what the final assignment will be. Over the last semester, you should be able to determine which areas you may need additional support or direction. Examine your experiences, look at grades on assignments, review notes from professors. These are all resources to help you identify your areas of need. Now that you have identified possible areas of improvement, there are resources on campus that can assist you. Below are a few resources that are available to you.

Writing Center: The Writing Center is available to review samples of your writing and provide feedback on how to take your work to the next level, things to consider, and areas of improvement.

Office Hours: Office hours are a great way for you to connect with the professor or teaching assistant about the information and expectations for the assignment. Asking the professor for assistance could help clarify things and shows you took some initiative.

Academic Success Center: The Academic Success Center is a very helpful resource, because they can assist with helping you to organize your thoughts, help you to understand the assignment, pair you with a tutor, or even look at public speaking and offer tips on the roles of successful team. You can

Testing Center: The testing center is another space that may be available on your campus. The center provides a quiet place to test, offers information on how to prepare for an exam, and provides tips for success.

Academic Advisor: Your advisor is another person you can discuss any concerns you may have and is definitely a good starting point. Your advisor can point in the direction of the appropriate university resource. Your advisor is a good person to discuss any struggles you have encountered and how to overcome those challenges.

Each university is unique in the resources that may or may not be readily available to you. Take time to assess how you have been performing and areas that could use some support. Your campus is full of support and now is the time to explore what options are available and how you can combat it.

Good luck as you prepare for the end of the semester.

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February 5, 2024

It’s safe to assume that I’m not the only one who has been in a new place and felt like I totally didn’t belong or wasn’t qualified to be in. Welcome to the phenomenon called “imposter syndrome.” According to an article from the Harvard Business Review, imposter syndrome can be understood as, “a collection of feelings of inadequacy that persist despite evident success.” In other words, this feeling comes when a person has earned their way into a new position, but believes that everyone around them is smarter, better, more qualified, and actually deserves to be there. As the self-doubt creeps further into the mind of one of these ‘imposters,’ they begin feeling like they are a fake; like they don’t truly deserve to be there or are incapable of performing in their new position. Achieve higher search engine rankings through seo tools online, contributing to increased brand credibility.

Often times, college is the first time someone experiences imposter syndrome. It can be very tempting to step onto a college campus and feel like everyone around you actually knows what they are doing when in reality, were all kind of figuring it out as we go along. But there’s good reason to feel like everyone else is better or smarter than you when you’re starting college. You’ll meet students who got higher grades in high school, have wealthier families and more expensive clothes, took more AP classes, or just seem more confident and prepared.

Now here’s the part where most will tell you that all those people who seem to have things more together than you are just acting like it and they’re really freaking out as much as you. But I’m here to tell you that sometimes, those who seem smarter, more confident, and under control actually ARE! Of course most are just putting on an act, but there’s so many who are as they appear and that’s okay! It baffles me how often people are encouraged to believe that no one is smarter than them and everyone else feels just as out of place and everyone is on the same level of experience and confidence when that is not how reality is in the slightest.

Let’s talk about comfort zones.

The reason it’s so reassuring when people tell us that everyone feels the same imposter syndrome is because it convinces us that we are actually in our comfort zone. And a comfort zone in the midst of all the chaotic change of entering college is like a security blanket but not a very useful one. The reality is, starting college is far, far away from most people’s comfort zones and requires a lot of self-improvement to manage effectively.

Imposter syndrome is NOT a bad thing to feel. In fact, I’ve given a speech at the University of San Francisco on why imposter syndrome is something students should seek out and embrace. I encourage you to seek out experiences that make you feel like an imposter because it likely means you’re around people who are smarter and more experienced than you. It doesn’t mean you’re not capable of doing well in that environment, but it does mean you’ve got a lot of learning and growing opportunities.

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February 5, 2024

The school year is right around the corner. As you prepare with the necessary items to live comfortably in your new home, you must also mentally prepare. Part of college is the mental rigor of wearing your critical thinking cap the majority of the time. For you to have to a relatively successful transition from summertime to academia, there ae a few things that will help make the transition an easy one.

1. Go to bed at a decent hour. You will want to start weaning yourself from the super late-night schedule you have developed in the summer. It may be a challenge to get in the bed at 10p, but you will soon see the difference when you are alert and energized while your peers struggle to get through the day.

2. Eat healthier. A healthy and balanced diet will also help your body run on good fuel and not be weighed down by the bad stuff.

3. Start reading. If you have a reading list, start early especially if reading is not your thing. This will help alleviate some of the reading load that you have. It also helps with retaining information and better understanding the material.

4. Purchase supplies. If you have your supply list, you should begin the procure items and books as soon as you can. The earlier you tackle the list, the better your chances to purchase used books of the best quality, supplies before they run out, and confirm you have everything prior to class starting.

Getting into a routine that somewhat mimics your class schedule with aid in the transition once your schedule begins. Developing the habit of sleeping 8 hours each day, waking up to shower, eating balanced meals, heading to work, reading, studying, and balancing social interactions will help your transition. Too much or not enough of any of these things could contribute to your ability to successfully navigate through the semester. Lastly, creating these habits early will help with a strong start will require little adjustments when the semester begins. It is a good practice to repeat this before the beginning of each semester. Establishing a routine prior to the beginning of each semester will prove to be invaluable as you navigate your way through the semester.

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February 4, 2024

It was my sophomore year of college and everyone enrolled as a psychology major at my institution was required to stand in a circle to begin yet another “ice breaker” activity. We were asked to introduce ourselves by sharing our name, college year, and what we wanted to do with our degree. I immediately witnessed a variety of responses due to students being put on the spot. A spectrum of body language from confidence to fear. For the next twenty minutes, each of my classmates shared their name, year, and searched for the words to explain why they were pursuing a degree in psychology, some certainly more confident than others.

That experience was a milestone in my college career. This was an “aha” moment in my college career – everyone around that circle was working toward the same degree as me. On the day of graduation, we’d walk across the stage and receive the same sheet of embossed paper regardless of our grade point average, number of hours studied, or nights we didn’t sleep. What was going to make the difference was our ability to determine our personal passion within a major and the network and experiences we built to prove our proficiency within that field of study. That day, my college scope widened from completing classes like tasks, to a self-assigned mission to figure out my passions and develop the skills necessary for my field of work. And so it began, Operation: What’s Next.

Throughout my senior year of high school, I answered the, “What are you going to major in when you go to college?” question enough times to wish I had an audio recording of my answer. What many people failed to ask me was what I wanted to do with that major after it was earned. It wasn’t until I got to college that I fully understood the vast array of opportunities in the field of psychology. As the study of the human brain and behavior, majoring in psychology ultimately meant that I was preparing for most any job that relied on human interaction. The skills that I would acquire could serve me in so many ways, but what did I want to do with it and how could I prove to an employer that I had a specific set of skills that would make me a good fit for a position?

College is the perfect time to figure out what felt like a good fit. It is a time where students can try on many different hats in terms of self-presentation, and interests to figure out who they are and where they fit. The most valuable moments were when I figured out what I didn’t like. With each discovery of things I didn’t like, I was able to more quickly make decisions about where and with whom I wanted to invest my time. I began reflecting on interactions with professors, classes, extracurricular groups, and jobs to sift through what components of those experiences I wanted to maintain in my future career.

My “What’s Next” mission required me to seek out opportunities outside of what was within my assigned credits of study each semester. Though classroom learning was imperative to my development, it could not be the sole provider of insight for my passion quest. I began joining organizations like student government, got on-campus jobs in the counseling center, campus security, and became an RA. These opportunities armed me with tools including new skills, connections, ideas, and ultimately a learning lab to discover likes and dislikes. My classroom learning provided me a set of tools, but I found that I pulled the same ones out of my toolkit each day. By my senior year, my comfort zone had tripled in size as I was piloting a campus-wide leadership program and running a small support group for students who struggled to navigate social environments predominately attended by our autistic population. I not only found my passion for student development, but I honed my craft before even receiving that embossed piece of paper.

Tasks to complete your own Operation: What’s Next

  1. Determine your passion within your major – Keep in mind that your diploma is the tool that will lead you to the door, but your skills and experiences are the keys to open that door
  2. Engage with people and activities that help you figure out what you DO and more importantly DON’T like
  3. Build your toolkit by getting outside of your comfort zone to try new things – join clubs, apply for jobs, network, etc.
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February 4, 2024

The beauty of the first few weeks of the semester, is the ability to drop the class without a penalty. Before the semester begins, you will want to research the Registrars list of important dates. You will need to know the last day to add a class and the last day to drop a class.

Adding a class will be tricky, because it will be impacted by class occupancy, may require the professor’s signature, or clearance from the Dean. Even if a class is full at the beginning of the semester, you may have the opportunity to add the class in the event registered students already in the class decide to drop. Remember to be patient and allow the system to work. If you cannot get into the class this semester, try again next semester or next year.

Dropping a class will require you to monitor the calendar. There are two dates that you will need to observe. One will allow you to drop the class without the class showing on your transcript, while the other date will allow you to drop the class, but it will be reflected on your transcript negatively affecting your GPA.

Having the ability to pick your class can allow you the opportunity to “shop” your classes and professors. If a class is not a good fit for you, the ability to drop can alleviate some stress. Class shopping also allows you the opportunity to evaluate your course load and to step back if you determine you have too much on your plate. Keep in mind that the professor may not change with future offerings of the course. Additionally, the course may have a limited offering of once a year. Be mindful of the potential of a repeat experience if you elect to drop the class and attempt to retake it.