Thinking of a Gap Year? Here’s What You Need to Know

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

 

The Royals do it. Malia Obama did it. Why not you? Gap years, or a delay in starting college, is becoming more and more trendy. But what is a gap year, and should you take one? We break it down to help you make this difficult decision.

What is a Gap Year?

Gap years are defined as a literal gap between high school and college. For most US high schoolers, summer break is all you get between graduation and college orientation. But across the pond, where gap years are common, it’s usually a 1-2 year period “off.”

What you do with your gap year is up to you. Some people decide to work full-time while others relax. Traditionally, gap years are spent volunteering and traveling. Whatever you decide, your time off should be beneficial to you and your reason why.

Reasons to NOT Take a Gap Year

Sounds great, right? A full year break from school may seem like a dream scenario, but there are some pretty big cons you need to consider. Here’s why you shouldn’t go for a gap year:

You’re Interested in a Competitive Program

Harvard doesn’t wait for just anyone. Even though Malia Obama was able to defer her entrance into the top college in the United States doesn’t mean you’ll get the same kind of offer. Deferring your start in an ivy league school or a competitive college program could mean losing your spot altogether. Is the risk worth it? That’s up to you and your future school.

Money’s Tight

Unless you plan on working during your gap, you better have the money to cash flow it. Whether you are planning on traveling or volunteering, all of that will cost you probably the equivalent of a year of your college tuition.

Your Family Isn’t On Board

While not completely necessary, not having the support of your family could ruin your time off — especially if you plan on crashing with them. Selling more traditional parents on gap year could be trickier than you think.

Reasons TO Take a Gap Year

On the other hand, all the risks you take may be worth it. Maybe these reasons can make your decision easier.

High School Was Stressful

If you were a ball of stress and anxiety in high school, a gap year might get you back on the right foot. A year off to explore your interests, find yourself, and could help you better prepare mentally and emotionally for college.

Money’s Tight

While we talked about money being a potential issue, if you plan on working during your year off, a gap could be in your favor. A year’s worth of work could get you the work experience you need and help you save for future tuition costs.

You’ve Got a Heart for Service

If you want to make a difference in the world, you don’t need to wait until college ends. There are many programs out there that will take those 18 and over and help them find their place in the world. You may build homes, serve in disaster areas, teach English abroad, etc. Whatever you decide, you’ll make the most of your time away from school.

Taking a gap year can greatly benefit those that use it to their advantage. It is important to discuss your options with your parents or guardians before making such a decision. But, if you feel it is right for you, dive in head first and enjoy everything that a gap year has to offer!

How to Find Your Dream Major

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

graduation-advice-post-graduation

If you’re reaching the end of the year with continued anxiety over your chosen major, it might be time to reconsider. Changing your major can seem overwhelming, but you shouldn’t feel undue pressure over it. The truth is that you’re not out of time to change your mind, even if this is your last semester! You don’t want to live the rest of your life wondering, “What if….?”

However, there is a point to be made that everyone experiences some major doubt over the course of their college career. There might be a few rare people who never waiver, but for everyone else, picking a major isn’t an easy decision. If you’re really considering switching, ask yourself these questions before you do anything drastic (or neglect to do anything at all).

What Makes You Happy?

This might seem like the most obvious question out there, but there’s a reason it’s first. Don’t just consider what things you like — which TV shows, theme park rides, sports, bands, whatever. Those are great but think big picture.

Are you fulfilled by pushing yourself to complete the next puzzle? Consider careers in medicine, government, or even air traffic control.

Maybe you want to see new people and visit exciting places. The United States has 270 embassies that need Foreign Service staff. You could be a pilot or teach English abroad.

There are many things that might make you happy, but ultimately you can narrow it down to the next question.

How Can You Best Achieve That Happiness?

This is where reality kicks in. Maybe you like the idea of solving puzzles for a job, but you can’t imagine going to school for seven years to become a doctor. Maybe you do want to travel, but you can’t learn languages to save your life.

That’s okay; it doesn’t mean that you can’t do what makes you happy just because you lack a skill in one area. Instead, focus more on how you can work in a field that interests you. Take personality tests, visit your school’s career counselor, and research thoroughly. There are definitely dozens of jobs in the field that you’ve never heard of.

And if you really can’t find an existing way to do what you want to do, be an entrepreneur! They represent 10 percent of the workforce, and you’ll be in good company. Getting to set your own hours and be your own boss are pretty powerful perks. Not everyone has what it takes to be an entrepreneur, but if you’re driven enough to get to this point, chances are that you do.

What Will Get Me There?

The last piece of the puzzle is to consider what path you have to take to get your happiness. Sometimes it’s pretty straightforward. Wanna be an engineer? Get an engineering degree. Wanna be a lawyer? Go pre-law, and get your J.D. afterward. In some cases, you might not love your new major, but remember that it’s getting you to a larger goal.

Sometimes, though, it’s less laid out for you. Most jobs have several related degrees. A lot will just care that you have the relevant experience or even just a minor in the field. Some jobs won’t care at all what your degree is in, just that you have one.

You can take some time to ask yourself all these questions, but don’t let them sit on the backburner for too long. Eventually, you’ll have to make a decision. When you do, look up what classes you need to take and get a plan in place. Years down the road, you’ll be glad that you took the time now.

Planning for The Fall Semester – How to Set Yourself Up for Success

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

College Campus on a Sunny Fall Day

You probably think we’re crazy for thinking of the Fall semester this early in the year but being prepared for the next term is never a bad thing. In fact, we think getting yourself set up now is the best way to success. Want to know how we’re getting it done? Here are our top 7 to-do items for planning for the fall semester.

See an Advisor Before Registering

The biggest mistake most college students make is not checking in with an advisor before selecting courses. Why is this so costly? Well, your advisor is the one who can make sure you’re on track to graduate, review your course history, and advise you on which classes meet your goals. Without them, you could make some costly and timely mistakes that will derail your Fall semester.

Register On Schedule

In college, you won’t be reminded to do something a hundred times. It’s up to you stay on schedule and remember important deadlines. The one you def don’t want to forget is when registration is open to you. For larger schools, missing your priority registration period could mean losing out on a seat in a class. For smaller schools, you might get bumped into an undesirable course or with a professor you dislike.

Check Out the Syllabus

Many universities now post their classes syllabi online for prospective students and those looking to register. Having a syllabus in hand can help you better anticipate what’s in store. For example, if a class you want to enroll in has a massive group project due at the end of the term, you may not want to sign up for a club that is going to require a lot of commitment.

College Textbooks

Buy the Books in Advance

Buying early saves you cash on textbooks, especially when you purchase in the late spring or early summer. But you’ll also get to read through the material at your own pace, and that can help you process the information better than late night cram sessions the day before class.

Test Try the Course

If you’re terrified of your Calc class or aren’t sure if you’ll dig Art History, why not try it out now? Colleges often have free access to online courses through services like Udemy or Coursera. With no commitment necessary, you can sign in to browse the modules or watch a lecture. You’ll feel more confident in the courses you’re signing up for, and you may just get ahead on the learning objectives.

Review Your Mistakes

Every school year requires a day of reflection where you think back on everything that went right and went wrong. Make a column for each and jot down everything you can imagine. Grab your grades and review. Do you see patterns? Were you stressed out in the winter near the holidays? Did you skip a ton of classes after your breakup? By laying it out there, you can pinpoint where your strengths and weaknesses are and then improve on it next Fall.

Organized School Supplies

Get Organized Early

When we’re school shopping, we often forget the little (but super important) details like extra flash cards or post-it notes. Make a pretend shopping list now of the things you use the most. Then, start stockpiling. You can get great deals on 2018-2019 planners, for example. And school supplies are always cheapest the further out from the Fall you buy them!

With plenty of time left to get organized, review over your mistakes, and preview your courses, you can guarantee a win come your Fall semester!

How to Actually Fundraise in College

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

You’re hopefully back in the swing of classes, although summer vacation could not come soon enough. But it’s far from time to check out. If you’re intent on building your resume, you’re working hard at your classes as well as some extracurricular activities. But one of the hardest parts of staying active in clubs and groups throughout college is the constant pressure to fundraise.

College students aren’t exactly known for their expendable income, since paying for school itself is often a struggle. So you and your group members might not have enough to donate yourselves. Instead, you’ll have to get other people to part with their money, so you can keep playing lacrosse, raising awareness about local policy, educating disadvantaged kids, or whatever else you think will help you later on. Question is, how can you best fundraise in a college town?

Know Your Target

Ask yourself: who is most likely to support your cause?

Students might have little cash to spare, but they also probably have more school spirit than anyone else nearby. If you want to target students, you’ll have to give them some sort of tangible return for their support. Some kids might be willing to part with a couple extra bucks for nothing but a fuzzy feeling, but most college kids will respond best to food. Popcorn, pizza, or anything that you can make it bulk cheap is a good way to go here.

However, if you’re looking to solicit community involvement as well, then you might need to up the stakes. Adults in the community might feel a certain sense of pride about the school, but they’re less impressed by dollar pizza slices than your average sophomore. Consider their political leanings; if you’ve got a lot of concerned environmentalists in your town, try a green fundraiser. If there is a strong arts presence, consider classing up your fundraising.

Quantity or Quality?

When considering your fundraising scheme, consider if you’re aiming for quantity or quality. Are you trying to get a lot of little donations or several larger ones? The latter will require more effort on your part, but the payout for your organization could be great.

Here are a few “quantity” based ideas:

  • Have a bake sale. Consider some easy recipes like pancakes, cookies, or hot cocoa!
  • Create a GoFundMe account. This is a great way to get people from even outside your community to donate, like faraway relatives, but don’t rely too heavily on this one option.
  • Ask your school if you can sell concessions at upcoming games.

And a few “quality” ideas as well:

  • Ask a local business for support. Even if you can’t secure a one-time donation, you might be able to convince them to donate a percentage of their sales as long as it’s a worthy cause. Lots of business do just that to help fundraise for pets, world hunger, and literacy programs. Your club can do that too!
  • Hold a dance! Social events are always appreciated on campuses. You can go for casual or formal, but college kids rarely get the chance to dress up, so you might have an easier time with formal.
  • Offer your services to the community. As a group, all go rake someone’s leaves, mow their lawns, fix their plumbing, whatever it may be. With so many of you, the job can get done in a few hours max.

These ideas will vary depending on your fundraising goals and how many people you have involved, but they’re a good place to start.

Consider Teaming Up

On college campuses, there are a lot of involved young people. Many are trying to make a significant change in their community, and there is no reason you both can’t help each other out.

If you’re part of a gender-divided sports team, consider asking the other side if they want to team up. If you’re an environmental group, there’s probably another one on campus that could use some money as well. Greek houses are always trying to fundraise, so make sure to pick their brains! They’ve got to be experts by now. Sometimes, two minds are better than one.

Of course, the returns on this strategy diminish the bigger the other group is. If they help out a lot, the other group might want more of the money than you’re prepared to give up. But you shouldn’t dismiss this option right away; give it some serious thought.

Fundraising is always a surprise, especially in a place as unpredictable as a college campus. You never know who is going to feel school-spirited or giving that day. The best you can do is approach this problem as a unit and commit to putting your all in it. Because if you’re not going to fight for your club, who is?

Building Your Resume

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

Resume under the magnifying glass

Maybe you’ve got big plans to do a summer internship, or perhaps you’re hoping to bring in a paycheck over the summer. Either way, you’re going to need a new resume. We’re here to help! Here’s how you can build your first resume from top to bottom!

Resumes 101

Before you get started, you should know that your resume should be a full page long. No big gaps. If you’ve got lots of relevant work experience, you may use a second full page, but never go over that page limit.

Your resume should also be basic. Think normal fonts and black. While it may be tempting to make it unique, most businesses now use a tool that scans your resume for your qualifications. Text boxes, images, graphs, etc. will make it impossible for your resume to be read by most programs.

Before you send it out, make an appointment with your college’s career or writing center for editing help.

The Intro

In your header, you’ll want your name in big, bold letters. Underneath, place your contact information. This is key to getting your name out there.

education is one of the most important parts of a resume

The Education

You’re in school, and you’ll want to show off those credentials. Always list your college, degree, dates of attendance, anticipated graduation date. You may also want to include any accomplishments, awards, professional organizations, leadership roles, etc. Use bullets to separate lines.

USA College                                                                                                           09/2014-05/2018

Anticipated Bachelors of Arts in Art History

  • Director of campus radio station
  • Member of Kappa Kappa

The Experience

If you’ve had or have a job, this should be easy. You’ll list out your 4 to 5 most recent jobs from most recent to oldest. It should also list the name of the job, the position title, the dates you worked, and experience.

When talking about your experience, you’ll want a list of action words in past tense to describe what you did. Be specific as possible, and use numbers when you can. Stick to 3-5 bullets per job.

123 Shop                                                                                                                 10/2015-present

Cashier and Showroom Attendant

  • Attended cash register at busy, upscale clothing store.
  • Organized and maintained shop’s racks and shelves and helped create seasonal front-of-store displays.
  • Trained in customer service protocols and appointed store closer and opener.

The Alternatives

If you have never had a real job, don’t fret! You can list experiences like internships, volunteering, campus leadership roles, and summer jobs (like babysitting or mowing grass). The trick is making it as relevant as possible. Pick experiences that make you sound like a leader or someone with a unique background. List it out just as you would a job.

graduation diploma and cords

The Extras

After your experience, you might also want to make a section for any awards, honors, volunteer roles, special training, or skills. This is a great time to look over the job posting and customize it to what they want. For example, if they want a bilingual speaker, use a “Skill” section to say that you speak Spanish fluently or that you volunteered to translate at your church.

The section is optional, but it makes a great filler if you need to get to the end of the page. It also shows off who you are, and what you can bring to the table.

Tips to Stay Healthy This Semester

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

Getting back into the groove of school can be challenging after winter break. You just spent a few weeks kicking back, enjoying the holidays, hanging out with friends without a care in the world. You’ve conquered finals! Nothing to worry about until new classes start! You earned a bit of relaxation.

Except now that break is over, you’re back in the real world: back to hectic schedules, walking across campus, and constantly braving the cold. The average undergrad student spends about 3 hours getting ready and walking to and from class. There’s hardly any time to focus on school work, let alone think about staying healthy — and I’m not talking about hitting the rec center.

We all get sick this time of year, but there’s a reason that college campuses get hit particularly hard. Freshmen, in particular, are vulnerable. It wouldn’t have been that bad to get sick over break — but now, just when you’re starting to get back into the swing of things? A bad cold can make it difficult to study, and bad flu can set you back a few weeks. How can you stay healthy this semester?

What Everyone Knows But Doesn’t Do

Stop it before it even starts … Diseases spread more during winter months because everyone holes up indoors. That means that all those communal surfaces have more germs than you’d think. The average desk has 400 times more bacteria than a toilet seat. In order to prevent getting sick, follow some common sense advice!

  • Wash your hands thoroughly, regularly. If you live somewhere with cold, dry air, make sure to moisturize afterward.
  • Carry hand sanitizer for sticky situations. Many schools will give small containers out for free, so be on the lookout at career fairs and the like!
  • Don’t share straws, silverware, or pencils that have clearly been chewed on.
  • Don’t touch your mouth or face after spending time in class, the library, or any high-traffic area.
  • Get a flu shot. Most colleges offer these for free! Since this year’s flu season is going to be particularly bad, make sure you get yours.

Yeah, you might know all this already. This is just a friendly reminder to actually follow the advice this year.

Advanced Advice

Alright, those are the basics, but what else can you do to prevent from getting sick? Well, there are a couple of habits that make college students particularly vulnerable.

Are you getting enough sleep? And, no, in class doesn’t count. You probably need around 8 hours a night. That might sound like a dream, but without proper sleep your immune system is vulnerable. If you just can’t make it to 8 hours during the night, though, don’t be ashamed to take a nap. Better you lose a few hours of studying than a few days of class.

Naps can also lower your stress level, which is hugely helpful towards maintaining a healthy immune system. Make sure you are taking time to relax. Too many college students are too busy multitasking and resume-building that they work themselves to bed.

Be aware of your surroundings. This is one of the hardest things to monitor but by far the most helpful. Many college dorms are cramped spaces filled with as many people as possible. This is the perfect environment for bacteria and viruses to spread. If your roommate says they are not feeling well, stock up on antibacterial wipes and vitamin C!

Know When to Get Help

Too many college kids are so worried about saving money that they spread disease and get worse when they should’ve gone to the doctor. Your college probably has a clinic on campus, and they will work with you to cut down on the cost! There’s no reason you should continue to languish in misery when there are medications and treatments to help you get back on your feet.

If you’ve been sick for more than a couple days, consider that you might have something more serious. That sore throat might be strep — the differences between the flu and pneumonia aren’t as obvious as you’d think — and having a fever for multiple days is a definitely a cause for concern. If you’re worried that this could be something more, go to the doctor and encourage friends to do the same.

Staying healthy in college is more challenging than most people think. Between classes, work, and juggling a social life, you’re stressed enough as it is. This is just one more thing to think about. However, if you’re health lags behind, you can’t really juggle anything else. Staying in tip-top shape needs to be a priority this winter. So bundle up and use your head!

9 Activities for College Students Between Christmas and New Years

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

Taking time to relax at home after finals week over Christmas break

Winter break is, by far, one of the best times of the year. Of course, we’re off school and finally relaxing after a stressful finals marathon. There’s also the holidays to celebrate with presents and treats to keep us occupied. However, in between Christmas and New Years is a blank space where nothing much happens. Instead of being bored, we’ve made a list of the top 9 things you can do between Christmas and New Years that will make the most of your winter break.

  1. Winter Wardrobe Updating

The best time to shop for deals on winter clothes? Right after Christmas! Everyone’s got great deals on dresses, pants, coats, hats, etc. And you’ll want a new outfit for your NYE party anyways! Go splurge a little and do some wardrobe remodeling.

      2. Get Yourself on Track

You could wait till the New Years to start a workout routine, but that’s kind of a waste. Instead, beat the crowds and get to the gym when it’s still quiet and deserted. Your body will thank you for the jumpstart.

Enjoying the winter wonderland over the holidays

     3. Pamper and Primp

To us, there’s nothing more relaxing than a fresh new manicure and an awesome haircut. Stand out of the crowd on NYE by gifting yourself a mini-makeover. Spa day required!

     4. Friendmas

There’s Friendsgiving and Galentine’s Day. Why not Friendmas? Get your hometown gang together and hold a white elephant party with gifts you’d rather not have gotten. It’s the perfect excuse to throw a little party.

     5. Prepare for the Inevitable

Spring semester is coming faster than you think. And before you know it, you’ll be on a flight or car ride back to campus. Don’t be left unprepared. Take a day and buy your books and supplies beforehand. Review over the syllabus of your new classes, and take care of any holds on your accounts. Most colleges are open for business.

     6. Volunteer Some Time

After the Christmas rush, many organizations have a dead spot of no volunteers between holidays. Pick up the slack and help others in need by taking a shift at your favorite charity. You can even visit Grandma’s senior home or spend time with some adorable, adoptable puppies.

Time around the fireplace can make for great family memories

     7. Make More Family Memories

While it might be a bit tempting to spend time out of the house, our time with our families is short and always dwindling. This week gives us precious time to spend just a few more hours with the ones who love us most. Do some baking with mom, go on a hike with dad, head over to the mall with younger siblings… it all matters.

     8. Catch Up on Oscar Contenders

Awards season is near! That means that movie theaters in your area are packed with blockbuster hits and indie award nominees. This is the perfect time to get to the theater to see each and every one of them! Make a day to marathon through your top picks, or just choose one or two at random if you’re looking to be surprised.

     9. Refresh and Renew

Pampering isn’t for everyone. Some of us would rather refresh our minds and bodies by connecting with nature, hitting a quiet art museum, or taking a yoga class. After the rush of the holidays, pick an activity that speaks to you, and enjoy the peace and quiet it gives you.

The Best Places on Campus to Study for Finals

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

Notecards being prepared for finals week

Ugh. We can’t believe we are saying this, but the countdown to finals is ON. Overwhelmed? So are we. That’s why we are hunkering down and studying early this year. To make sure we’re prepared, we’ve selected the best places on campus to study for finals. Use this as your guide to finding the ultimate productivity place when finishing your paper or cramming for your exams.

The Sweet Spot at the Library

The trick to finding the best place at the library is knowing what to look for. The first is noise. Stay away from computer labs, classrooms, or group rooms. You’ll never get anything done there and will probably be forced to listen to someone else’s music.

The second thing you should look for is lighting. You’ll want to find a spot that isn’t directly under an industrial type light. Instead, go to the windows where there is plenty of sunshine. Natural light helps keep your energy up. You’ll also want to avoid drafty places or spots by vents where the temperatures can fluctuate and make you uncomfortable. And if you’re allergic to dust, avoid the seats in the stacks.

Empty Classrooms or Offices

First and foremost, check your campus rules on this one. You could be putting yourself at risk if your school doesn’t have an open doors policy. But if they’re cool with you utilizing an unlocked classroom or student office space, it could be your next hidden study hangout.

You’ll want one that is off the beaten path, and you will want to go alone on this one just in case something goes down (like someone breaks some technology on accident). If you can, studying in your actual classroom may help you beat test anxiety!

Classroom reserved during finals week for studying

Coffee Shops and Cafes

Everyone goes to Starbucks, but you can get the same kind of ambiance if you try your student-run coffee shop instead. The drinks are cheaper, and it’s more convenient to your dorm and it makes a great place for group reviews.

If you want a more low-key session, go a few hours before close or right when they open (usually around 5:00 AM). You’ll avoid morning and afternoon rushes and will most likely be able to snag the one table with the power bank.

Reserve-a-Room

Some campuses have rooms students or student groups can rent. It’s the perfect solution if you need a ton of space for all of your notes or room to finish a poster project. And you’ll guarantee yourself uninterrupted quiet time for the duration of your stay.

Some rooms you can rent include dorm room offices or group meeting rooms, spaces at your student union, or performing art practice rooms. You may need an advisor or professor to help you reserve, but it shouldn’t cost you anything to do.

The Gym

A little unconventional, but student-athletes will tell you that sometimes the best way to study is to move around while you do it. And there are some studies out there that show that adding movements to memorization can help you better internalize facts and concepts.

Bring your textbook on the elliptical or treadmill. Download a podcast reviewing the subject area so you can spin and learn. Lift weights to an audio version of your chapters. When finished, you’ll feel great and will be ready to take on whatever finals has to bring!

Let us know your favorite place to study for finals on campus! We hope these tips help you ace those upcoming finals!

Black Friday Deals for Students to Look Out For

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

Shopping mall during a busy hour

Fall break is here, and we are thrilled for some rest, relaxation, turkey time, and shopping! Black Friday isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but we’re personally stoked for scoring some major deals. With the holidays on our mind and a budget to keep, we’ve got our eye on eight specific items that are must-buys when you’re in college. Here’s our shopping list to help you get started.

  1. Blankets and Bedding

Snuggly and warm go on massive discounts come Black Friday sales. Score new fluffy pillows for under $10. Maximize your warmth with heated throws for pennies on what you’d normally spend. Freshen up your dorm look with inexpensive quilts and flannel sheets sets. When it’s on sale, you can give your room a makeover.

     2. Summer Clothing

It may not be advertised, but Black Friday is almost always the time when stores push all their unpurchased summer clothes to super clearance. Score on basics like t-shirts and tanks. Find a cute dress or two to add to your wardrobe. And don’t forget about replacing your shower flip flops!

Apple and Mac products on desk

     3. Laptops and Tablets

Here’s a pro tip: this is pretty much the only time you’ll get discounted Mac and Apple products, tech fans, but it won’t be much. Instead, consider standing in line for a very inexpensive, yet durable Chromebook or tablet as a stand-in. It’s perfect for college student needs, and you can often grab one for under $200!

     4. Entertainment Tech

When we think of Black Friday, we think of TVs. But a new flat screen isn’t the only thing we’re picking up this year. Headphones, especially big brand names, are always price cut. And don’t forget speakers, game consoles, and Blu Ray players.

     5. Fitness Gear and Clothes

Ahead of New Year’s resolutions, stores start to push activity and fitness items out the door come Thanksgiving. Popular items include activity watches, workout armbands for your phones, hand weights, yoga mats, and running shoes. At least you’ll work off your turkey calories.

     6. Movies and Games

We sometimes find Black Friday to be a crapshoot when it comes to smaller entertainment items, but not this year! So many stores are putting out deep discounts on movies and video games that we actually want to own. There’s even talk of Cyber Monday deals with downloadable movies from sites like Amazon!

French press and coffee mug

     7. Kitchen Appliances and Utensils

This is the time to replace your mom’s old coffee maker or that rice cooker that’s on its last limbs. With appliances going for as little as $10, you can buy a lower brand model and then replace each Black Friday for the same price or less as an expensive version.

     8. Jewelry and Accessories

Besides cheesy gold and silver mom-type jewelry, accessories don’t get enough hype this shopping season. But if you know where to look, you can find statement pieces that are totally your style. A great trick is to go to a clothing store you love and browse their selection. More than likely, they’ll put a sale ticket on small items like jewelry and you know the style will be close to what is already in your closet.

There you have it – our list of the top deals you should start scouting out for Black Friday! Let us know where you find the best deals and who you were able to cross off of your holiday shopping list!

What to Do If You Aren’t In Love With Your Major

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

Stack of textbooks and apple

When you started freshman year, you were sure you wanted to study business. But now you’re in your program and you’re starting to feel restless. This path doesn’t seem right anymore, and your classes are either too challenging or too boring. Does this sound familiar? Realizing that you’re no longer in love with your choice of major can be shocking. But there are a lot of things you can do to help make up your mind on if you should switch or not. Here’s how to get started.

Give It Time

Stress gets the best of any of us. Coursework, activities, exams, family, friends — it can be a lot to deal with when you’re in college. And that feeling of dread or restlessness can be projected on other things in your life. In some cases, that may be your major.

If it’s been a tough semester or you’ve got a lot going on, you may not want to rush to make any changes to your major. Wait until your feelings pass, you take that exam, or you get that apology from your BFF. You may find that you feel more secure about your future when you have a clearer head.

Meet With Your Advisor

Discussing potentially switching majors with your friends or classmates is a start, but it shouldn’t be the only place you go. Your advisor is your best bet. He or she can discuss your academic performance, the requirements of your current program, and alternative majors you may have in mind. Really, they are a one-stop-shop for all things majors!

Be sure to schedule your academic advising appointment ahead of any registration period as their hours fill up quickly. And if you’re talking about a whole change, of course, you’ll want to have time to review the new major’s requirements and see how it fits in with your current schedule and if it will impact graduation time.

See Into the Future

If you’re more worried about your career prospects when you graduate, skip the advisor and talk to your university’s career center. They don’t only do resume reviews. They also provide counseling for those unsure of what their major can do for them. With loads of resources and research, they know what is out there in terms of job prospects.

They can also help you discover where your talents are and if you’re in the right fitting major for your interests. Ask for a career assessment or a personality exam like Meyers-Briggs. The professional staff can review your results and give you feedback on both your characteristics and what makes you tick.

Mix It Up

If you’re seriously considering changing majors, why not try your new choice out first? Next semester, enroll in one of the required courses to see how it feels. It might turn out that you have the same feelings as you do about your current major. On the other hand, it might be the breath of fresh air you need to feel better about your choices.

Another benefit of taking courses outside your current major is that you might find that you miss it. Absence does make the heart grow fonder, and seeing your old major from a new angle may show you that the grass isn’t always greener. Falling out of love with your major can be tough, but by giving your decision time, help, and professional advice, you can make the decision that is right for your future.