list clip art           With the close of the school year, it’s time to start thinking about your plans for next year. What classes would you like to take or are there any clubs you’re interested in joining? Thinking about these kinds of things ahead of time gives you plenty of time to make a decision instead of feeling like you are under pressure to make all your decisions right away. Sit down this summer and make a bucket list for next year!

In regards to class schedules, try to schedule classes as early as possible. Popular classes get chosen very quickly and you’ll want to make sure you get a spot. If you have certain classes you’re required to take by a specific semester try to take them as early possible. Class deadlines are the same as any regular deadlines-the earlier you meet the requirements the easier you will breathe.

Planning your activities out in conjunction with your class schedules can give you a better idea of how much free time you’ll have after all you want to do. Trying to overstretch yourself can end in you being exhausted and overwhelmed as opposed to feeling engaged in everything you want to do. Keep your schedule as full as you want it, but make sure to pencil in time for yourself as well. Take that rock climbing course you’ve always wanted to, check out that indie theater you keep saying you’ll attend, or go hang out in that coffee shop. Doing something for yourself can help make you feel at peace with the rest of the schedule that you can’t always control.

Whether you make your bucket list on a computer, write it down in a book, or just keep it in your head, having an idea of what you want to do can make your life much less stressful. Planning ahead can help you decide what is or isn’t the most important use of your time. A more thought out plan for the next year can give you more free time and leave you feeling in control. The idea of a bucket list for college might seem silly, but trust me. Checking off your wish list will give you a feeling of accomplishment unsurpassed by anything else.

Spring Break 2015 is almost here, and it seems like everyone you know is headed to the beach, back home, or some other epic trip. If you aren’t planning to travel, staying on your campus can feel isolating and like there is nothing to do. Campus is deserted, all your friends are gone, and for all that we may plan to do our homework over break, no one ever really wants to do that.

Spending spring break on campus can be a very rewarding experience. It’s peaceful, there’s no one coming into the hall at 3 AM and waking you up, and you can still sleep in your own bed and not a hotel somewhere. This is the perfect time to take advantage of some opportunities that might slip away from you during the craziness that can be a school week. Here are some ideas for what you can do without breaking the bank and traveling.

If you find yourself yearning for travel experiences without leaving your campus, the world can still come to you through the virtual doors of platforms like the GermanyTravel.blog website. Exploring this website allows you to virtually travel to new places, offering a wealth of information about destinations, cultures, and hidden gems that might spark your wanderlust. By immersing yourself in the vivid narratives and captivating photographs, you can indulge in the joy of discovery from the comfort of your own space. In a way, it transforms your staycation into a journey of exploration and learning, reminding you that the world is vast and waiting to be explored, even if you’re physically rooted at home. Reading more about these destinations might just inspire your next real travel adventure, all while enriching your understanding of the diverse world we live in.

Check out the local movie theater. Since you’re not in class, you can attend matinee shows which are much cheaper than regular showings. Go see that movie you’ve wanted to see for a while, and treat yourself to some popcorn with your leftover ticket money. Chances are the theater will be quite empty with most college students and local school families traveling. If movies aren’t quite your style, see what’s being offered on campus. A lot of universities plan activities during spring break for students who didn’t go home or who aren’t able to do so for whatever reason. This can be a good way to make some new friends and to get some free food. This is also right around the time that outdoor sports are really taking off, so get out there and watch a game or two! Watch your campus team if they have any home games during your break, and if not try checking out some local community teams. Who knows, it may inspire you to join!

The important thing about spring break to remember is just that-it’s a break. Take advantage of this time free of classes to relax and recuperate for the rest of the semester. Sleep in, go to the gym, play some video games, or go for a walk. Now is the time to enjoy those activities that make you feel rested while you have the chance. Spring break doesn’t have to be about beaches and partying, it’s about whatever you will enjoy for the week or so you have off school. Make the most of it.

College is not all about the books and learning in the classroom.  College is really about learning from various life experiences and taking in all that college has to offer.  Last month we challenged you in our January 11th blog, to make short and long term goals to explore what your campus has to offer.  This month we echo those sentiments to get out and explore what your classmates are doing.  You have talented colleagues that will go on to do some amazing things.  Now is the time you can see them display their truly raw talent, before the limelight, the professional contracts, and the record deals.

Take pride in the awesome skills and talented abilities offered by your classmates.  Go to the Big Game and cheer on the full back from your psychology class.  Give a standing ovation to your chemistry lab partner.  Buy tickets to support your Resident Assistant at the music recital.  Showing your support to your classmates helps to boost school spirit, helps develop relationships, and connects you to the university.

A major focus is placed on academics and doing well in classes, but success outside the classroom is just as important. Participating in activities outside the classroom, allows you to develop your interpersonal skills, provide networking opportunities, and allows you to reduce the stress from the class room.  Accepting our challenge to be more engaged on campus, coupling your classroom room experiences with your out of classroom experiences, and supporting your fellow colleagues will increase your chances of having a well-rounded college experience.

Love is in the air, as John Paul Young would say. Valentine’s Day is soon to be upon us. Have you started planning how you will celebrate? Maybe you aren’t planning to celebrate at all, or maybe you’re going to be spending the day with a significant other or a group of friends. However you plan to celebrate, enjoying yourself-and enjoying yourself affordably is key for a successful Valentine’s Day!

To begin with, if you are single, think about how you would like to spend the day. If you’d rather spend time by yourself, queue up your favorite Netflix show and indulge in a delicious treat all for you. If you want to celebrate with a group of friends, find an affordable option in your local area. Maybe your student government is putting on an event, or a local restaurant you love is offering a special. Check out your options a few days before so that you and your friends have ample time to plan before the big day.

If you’re in a relationship, then your options depend on whether your significant other is close by or far away. If you’re in a long-distance relationship, think about things you and your significant other can enjoy. Technology has made so much more possible these days. Try ordering your favorite takeout for each other, sending customized gifts, and watching a movie you love together on Skype. If you’re in the same city, then you have even more options! You can go out to eat, see a show, or catch a free community event! Your budget should determine how you want to spend the day. If you have a low budget, try a romantic walk in the park instead. Take a picnic with you and make a day of it!

If you’re looking for a unique and personalized gift, consider getting custom bobbleheads made of you and your significant other! It’s a fun way to show off your love and create a keepsake that you can cherish for years to come. Many online retailers offer custom bobbleheads at affordable prices, so it can be a great option if you’re on a budget. Just make sure to order in advance to allow for production and shipping time. Your significant other will surely appreciate the effort you put into creating a one-of-a-kind gift for them.

On the topic of presents, try to think about something your significant other or friend would truly enjoy. Weird Gifts can sometimes mean more than a bouquet of roses. Valentine’s Day gifts can get expensive quite quickly, so if you are planning to buy presents, set a budget for yourself. Don’t feel obligated to buy the largest teddy bear or all the roses in the store. Remember, it’s the thought that counts! So opting to give them some clothing items like that custom greek bomber jacket can already put a smile on their faces.

No matter what you choose, recognize that Valentine’s Day is just another day. Whether you choose to celebrate or not is completely up to you and/or your significant other. Don’t feel pressured to buy expensive gifts for each other or spend a lot of money on a romantic night out, and don’t feel bad if you do! Plan your version of a special day early to relieve stress and make the most of it.

It is a new year and a new semester.  It is around this time of year when resolutions are brewing and there is an openness to change.  What better time to introduce yourself to something new that you have not tried at the university.  Last semester is done and in the books. This semester think about all of the things that you did not get a chance to explore, try, or do on your campus. College is the perfect time to go and explore things free or very low costs.  Commit yourself to trying two new things this semester.  Go visit a play in the theater, go to a sporting event, or participate in an intramural activity.  Join a club, already in one? Take on a leadership role.  Take a class that peaks your interest as an elective, volunteer in the local community, or look for a part-time position on campus. Think about Greek life, take a fitness class, or start a community garden.  Join an honorary society, have lunch on campus somewhere you have not dined, or get to know you RA.  There are many ways to get involved and to try new things.

Take the first few weeks of the New Year and decide how you want to map out your semester/quarter.  While mapping out your plans, be sure to create a list of short term and long term goals.  Your short term goals should include something you will accomplish in 4-8 weeks and your long term goals should be accomplished within 8-16 weeks.  Make your goals varied in focus, interest, and difficulty.  Academic, personal, and achievement should all be included.  Perhaps your short term goal is to join an organization and your long term goal may be to join the executive board for next year.  These are obtainable goals and will allow you to push yourself into new roles you may not have considered.

Take in the New Year and try something new.  Each semester you should push yourself out of your comfort zone to try something new.  If you don’t like it you can always try something new and hopefully be able to share your experience with someone else.  Ready, set, go…create at least two goals of trying something new this semester/quarter.

As you enter the home stretch of the first semester, you may feel a little out of touch with your faith.  Your campus will offer a host of options for you to stay in touch for your faith.  If you do not have a faith based, the campus will offer a plethora of options for you to explore.  If you are looking for a more formal faith interaction, your campus may host a weekly church service.  There may also be a local church that offers special services to the students on your campus.  Some services may include a shuttle service, dinners, and scholarship opportunities.  If you would like to engage in less formal services explore the student organizations that your campus has to offer.  Both of the options provide you the opportunity to continue to develop your faith and stay spiritually connected.  Attend meetings and campus events to become more familiar with the values and beliefs of the organization.  If your campus does not offer the organization that aligns with your spiritual beliefs, you have the option to create your own organization.  Find others with like beliefs and create an organization that will help to get you on target.  Creating your own organization is definitely a way you can leave your mark on campus.

Are you afraid to explore faith alone? Take a friend along with you.  Ask around your residence hall, perhaps with a classmate, or coworkers.  Although branching and exploring religion can be scary, once you arrive you will be welcomed by others excited to share more about their faith with you.  As you continue to visit and grow within your faith you will find people with like interests and mindsets.

At this time in the semester, you may be experiencing increased levels of stress as finals are approaching.  Some of your peers will turn to substance abuse, some will opt to sleep, others will exercise, and some will give up.  As you approach this stressful season of your life, developing and strengthening your faith can aid you in staying calm and peaceful during this time.  While your peers venture to find unhealthy ways to manage their stress, you will be able to guide them and offer support to them.

Regardless of where you are on your spiritual journey, your campus will offer you a ways to stay connected and ways you can continue to grow.  Explore the options that are available to you on campus or in the neighborhood. Being away at school does not mean you have to step away or lose who you are spiritually; embrace the resources available to you while at school.

The time is drawing near and it is time to finalize roommate requests for the upcoming year.  Choosing a roommate wisely will help you avoid a lot of unnecessary frustration and drama throughout the school year.  There are several things to consider when selecting a roommate: are you friends, are you in the same major, and did you accurately complete your resident profile sheet. 

Rooming with your high school best friend seems like the perfect scenario.  You both know each other, you enjoy the same things, and you are already friends.  Ideally this would be the prefect criteria when selecting a roommate, however this is not the criteria you want to use to use when assessing roommate options.  It has been proven time and time again, that friends make the worst roommates.  As a student affairs professional and mediator in a multitude of roommate disagreements, friends often present the worst fights. Roommates that were friends first, know what makes each other tick and use that to their advantage.  The roommate fights are often personal and have nothing to do with typical roommate issues of using personal items, temperature control, and quiet hours.  These issues are usually tied to issues that stem from incidents experienced before rooming together. Another common reason conflicts arise among friends, can be connected to one of the friends making new friends and spending less time with the roommate.  Going to college, provides students the chance to branch out and meet new people.  This is a good when both friends are on the same page.  However if one friends does not want to share their friend with new people problems feelings will be hurt and problems will arise.  Lastly, college is a time for self-exploration. This poses a problem if one of the roommates begins to grow, change, and have new interests that do not include their roommate.  As you age, people grow apart and develop new interest.  When this separation begins to happen, friction occurs and then there is conflict.  Rooming with friends seems like the best scenario, but it often does not yield the best results. 

The second factor to consider: is this person in my major.  Again, this sounds like a good idea in theory.  You have someone that has the same career goals, you will be in the same classes, have similar schedules, and have someone to relate to what you are going through.  The downside of living with someone in your major is that they are in the same classes and you do have similar schedules which means you are with this person all day long. After a long day in class, you are then living with that person.  Being with the same person all day, does not give you a break and allow you time to yourself.  You will have a better chance of growing your relationship with someone you do not spend the entire day with.

The last factor to consider when selecting a roommate is did YOU accurately and honestly complete the resident profile sheet in your application packet. A large number of students will have their parents complete the application packet.  In doing so, the parents will answer the questions based on their knowledge of who they think you are and their knowledge may not be close to the reality of who you really are.  The questionnaire is really seeking truthful information about who you are, what your habits are, and what you enjoy.  The will help pair you with the person based on their truthful responses.  So if you smoke cigarettes and your parents are unaware you could be placed in a room with someone that is allergic to smoke.  This could and probably will cause issues for you and your roommate when they discover you bring the smell of smoke every time you enter the room.

Pairing roommates together is not easy, and the easy option is not always the best option.  You want to ensure that you enter into each situation with an open mind and mutual respect.  You will be exposed to people from different backgrounds and lifestyles.  Give the person a chance, find things you can do together, and try things they enjoy (and show them things you love).  It is great to get a roommate that is diverse and can share what happens in their family, in their major, and during their extracurricular activities. Having a roommate to share new experiences with will help make the transition to college more educational and exciting to all involved. 

Summer is officially in full swing.  It is now time to soak up some sun and save up some funds.  Summer is a great time to work as much as you can and also save as much as you can for the upcoming semester.  There apart are two challenges of the summer job; finding the job and passing up social opportunities. 

May is the best time to search for a summer job as, it provides more than enough time for the interview, drug screening, and your transition back home. Don’t fret, because it is June!  There are still plenty of opportunities out there. You are going to have to look a little harder, be more creative and be more aggressive.  A job will not just fall into your lap.  Approach every avenue you can and look for possible opportunities.  The best positions during the summer are those that are related to your major and career path and seasonal positions designed especially for the summer. In addition, consider strategies for coping with unfair job termination fallout, as resilience and adaptability are crucial in navigating unexpected challenges.

Choosing a position within your major or career path will allow you the opportunity to get hands on experience and learn the day-to-day operations of the position.  Having an opportunity like this will require you to reach out to a number of offices and sell yourself.  Positions like this may not be posted, may be found through word of mouth, or they may need to be created.  You may also have to volunteer.  Ideally you want to get paid for the work that you complete; however sometimes gaining the experience is far more valuable than earning a check.  Also look at your credit requirements, as you may be able to use the experience towards class or internship credit. 

Seasonal summer positions are always great for students, because they are designed just for the summer and students need work just for the summer. Look at local YMCAs for day camp programs, explore the local ice cream parlor, and even look at local kid hangouts.  Working at a camp is a great options as there are a variety of camps; including religious, sports, academic, and special interest.  Research and see what is offered in your area, local parks and recreation centers, and colleges.

Once you start working, you should approach each pay check as an opportunity to save for the upcoming year.  Each semester you will need money for books, food, and other responsibilities.  Learning to save now and live on a strict budget will teach you discipline and will help you later in life.  If the item or venture is not a necessity and you can live without it, you should consider forgoing it.  Starting the semester with as much money as possible should be your goal each semester.  You want to ensure you have all of your needs met throughout the semester and not have to scramble each month to pay your cell phone bill.  Some students are able to work during the summer and winter break so they do not have to work during the semester. Others have to pay their way through school or contribute to the rising costs of tuition.  Working during the summer with an end goal in mind will help you stay on track.  Write out a list of goals, so you know what you are aiming for and what you will need to do to achieve the financial goal.  If you don’t already have one, be sure you open a savings account to help you stay focused and not spend. 

Summer is a great time to relax and enjoy not having classes, papers, and assignments. It is also a good time to work and prepare for the year ahead.  Taking a few days to yourself at the end of the semester is suggested.  It allows you an opportunity to regroup and have some down time.  After a few days, you should implement your plan and start preparing for what is in-store next. If you work hard now you will have the opportunity to play hard later.