Moving Out or Living at Home After Graduation

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Happiness on the day of graduation

Don’t freak out, but graduation is only a month away for most of us. There’s so much to think about from making sure we’re still on track academically to starting to send out our first real resumes. But where we need to put our focus is on one major decision: where we’re going to live post graduation. We’ve broken down the pros and cons of moving out or moving home, as well as key points you should consider so that you can make your choice without all the drama or stress.

Moving Home: Cons

Not many of us are excited to go home after graduating college. For most, it feels like a downgrade, and for others, there are worries about losing independence or dealing with nosy or demanding parents. Moving home may also limit your career choices if you’re going to a small town or where your new job isn’t realistic.

Moving Home: Pros

Moving home has its upsides, especially when it comes to finances. Student loans can hit hard, and having a year or two to have little (or no) living expenses can mean making a significant dent in your debts. Living at home also gives you time to rethink your next moves. This is especially beneficial for those who may need to go back to school for their next degree before starting work.

Lounging on the living room couch

How to Make Moving Home Work

The biggest concern is your new parent-landlords, and that means communication is key. Before agreeing to move back, make sure you understand what they expect from you regarding rent, bills, groceries, rules, etc. Rules, especially, are important to go through in case there are some ultimatums you can’t get behind. Guests and curfews, for example, can be a sore spot. But if you talk your concerns through and maybe even get the deal in writing before moving back to your old bedroom, living at home could work for you.

Moving Out: Cons

Moving out is the ultimate dream, but that dream can come with a cost. For those living on their own for the first time, be sure you understand that rent isn’t the only thing you’re going to pay each month. There’s utilities, insurance, parking, and home expenses. Even monthly toilet paper can add up over time, and be responsible for chores like lawn care or shovel your driveway can be a major burden when you’re balancing a new job and social life.

First apartment home with decorations

Moving Out: Pros

Moving out on your own means freedom. Your space signals that you’re a full-fledged adult ready to make your moves. You’ll get to dictate your space and your rules for maybe the first time. But what makes moving out ideal for college students is that it opens up a ton of doors regarding location. When you’re free to choose where you want to live, you can explore and grow in new towns or cities.

How to Make It Work

The first thing you need to do is sit down and make a budget. Ask for your parents’ help in estimating expenses in your ideal location and then see if it will work with your projected starting salary. If your pay won’t cover it all or if it’s tight when you add in any estimated student loan payments, you may be able to make still it happen if you sacrifice on space (such as downgrading to a studio or living outside a city) or taking on a paying roommate. With a little careful creativity and frugality, moving out on your post-graduation can be a possibility.

Universally Stylish Linens

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When you’re in college, life can go by in a blur. With all the hustle you’re going to put in, the last thing that you want to do is worry about if your sheets match or if your bedspread is coordinated with your comforter. Instead of fretting over what’s in style or panicking that your room will never look cool enough, go neutral with color these bedding color schemes perfect for those who want basic — not boring.

Modern Minimalism

For all of us non-decor savvy folks, we’re in luck. This season, minimalism is totally in. The whole “less is more” means no dramatic colors, no clutter, no weird pattern coordinates. Instead, minimalism favors white. If you do add color, go with a throw pillow or blanket in gray or tan. It may sound boring, but it’s a look that looks and feels crisp and modern.

Stylish bedroom with blue hues

Earthy-Neutrals

One step up from minimalism is earth-centered color schemes. Think of the ground, sand, and sea when selecting linens. Every color is muted, but because nothing pops out, it’s easy to coordinate and interchange. Some key colors are sandy tans, rusty browns, hunter or grassy greens, and pale blue.

Vintage Calm

Take a deep breath and relax with a color combo that emphasizes relaxation and simplicity. French blues (a blue that’s a few shades deeper than a traditional sky blue) on white is classic and classy. If you want to modernize it, pick out jersey-type linen in blue and pair it with a softer white blanket or pillow. The mix of textures adds a bonus look to the scheme.

OCM bedding with touches of jewel tones

Touches of Jewel Tones

Some like it hot — hot pink that is! For those who want to keep it interesting and lively, selecting a more modern, simplistic color combo is just not going to get the job done. But instead of going elaborate and making a mess out of your coordinating linens, grab a neutral shade of either black or white. On top of that, add small items to your favorite jewel tone. For instance, we’re digging pastel pink of white or turquoise on black. Have fun and play around!

Royally Goth

Speaking of black, it never goes out of fashion. You can mix black with almost any color, but where it rocks is when it’s matched carefully with its polar opposite — white. Black with white accents (such as black comforters with white lining or black pillowcases with white piping) gives a bed a regal look. It’s a rockstar look at its finest, and you can always layer on a pattern like damask or chevrons to spice it up.

Ocean Inspired

A beach themed bed can be tricky to pull off. It’s a color combo that can go wrong real fast. The trick is to, again, go neutral as your base. White or tan is key for fitted sheets or pillowcases. On top of that, go ahead and layer on the blues. Don’t worry if they’re not exact matches. In fact, go with blues that are far away from one another on the scheme. A light seafoam bed skirt looks great when paired up with a royal blue quilt. Throw in gold or silver touches, and you’ve got a bed to drift away on.

 

Do you like to keep your bed linens a bit more muted? Or do you go all out with splashes of color? These are some of our favorite universally stylish bedding themes. Let us know your favorite looks!

College Fashion Essentials

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Photo by Matthew Kane on Unsplash

When you’re a college student, you have to be smart and economical. That means that all unnecessary purchases are a no-go. You may think that one can’t possibly pull of stylishness on a budget and a limited number of pieces. However, there is a way to work around this if you learn which key pieces to invest in (and by this we don’t mean spend a chunk of your money). To that end, we have created the ultimate list of fashion essentials that will get you through the year on a budget, without sacrificing your style.

When fun meets appropriateness

Photo by Milada Vigerova on Unsplash

We used to think of plaid blazers as something professors wear, but oh, how times have changed. Everyone, from celebs to fashion bloggers to mere mortals is jumping on one of the most stylish (not to mention practical) trends of the season – the plaid trend. The best reason to add a plaid blazer to your wardrobe is definitely its power of transformation. With it, you can create great date-looks, mix with sportswear for more casual, athleisure vibes, and it can make you look sharp and polished in classes even on those days when you feel completely run over.

The ones that work for you

Photo by Gaelle Marcel on Unsplash

The life of a college student is a hectic one, to say the least. This is exactly why you don’t need clothes that make you work hard to pull them off. You want something that works for you, not against you. So, the most sensible way to be in style while being comfortable is to choose jeans as your go-to when it comes to bottoms. Take the time to try on different styles and find four pairs of jeans that fit well and feel good. Aside from being the sensible choice, these are easy to mix and match and create outfits for almost every occasion.

Party time

Photo by Andre Hunter on Unsplash

College parties are usually chill and low-key, so there’s no need to dress to impress. Still, you should always have one go-to garment and something along the lines of colorful designer kaftans may just fit the bill. They are, as the name says, playful. The colors are vibrant, but they’re not to ‘dressy’ so you’ll never look overdone or like you’re trying too hard. Throw a cute pair of Birkenstock shoes and a denim jacket into the mix and you’ve got yourself the ultimate frill-free party combo.

Simplicity above all else

Photo by Pete Bellis on Unsplash

When life gets busy, so does your bag, so you better invest in a great, (and also a big one), that can handle everything you throw at (or in) it. A leather tote is the absolute best way to go. This bag can carry more items than you can imagine while never giving away the fact that it’s about to burst. You can put your laptop in it, along with your beauty essentials, notes, coffee, your pet, extra sheets – you name it, it can handle it. Black is the obvious choice because you will have chic moments, and this bag is ready to play that part as well.

Keep it warm

Photo by Natthakit Khamso on Unsplash

If you have someone to keep you warm indoors, good for you. Now, no matter how much in love you are, your bae won’t keep you warm once you step outside. That’s why you need to pull out the big guns – a great coat and a blanket scarf. Stylish scarves are quite affordable, so feel free to get several, as they will serve as a great accessory. This way, the coat can be nice and classic, and come from the neutral color family, and you can then use the scarves to diversify your outfits.

Made for walking

Photo by Elijah O’Donell on Unsplash

Yes, glitter boots are very nice and trendy, but can you wear them to your 9 am class? We didn’t think so. However, just because you can’t really rock the trendiest boot of the season during a college winter, doesn’t mean the alternative is any less on point. Of course, the alternative is a pair of ankle boots, and if you don’t want to look ‘too neutral’, you can always spice things up with the color of the season – red. Red boots will surely elevate any look, and the style allows you to pull them off in a way that is noticeable but not too ‘out there’.

When it comes to smart fashion choices, finding the balance between trendy and timeless is key.

April Fools Jokes to Play on Your Friends

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Clown preparing for a performance

Hey pranksters — the best day of the year is here! April Fools is the celebration of all things pranks and jokes, and we can’t be more pumped for it. This year, we’re going all out by targeting our friends and roommates. Here’s our list of the best jokes for college students. Have fun watching their faces…

The Sweet Switcheroo

This year, April Fools timed up with Easter giving you plenty of opportunities for some great mischief. “Gift” your friends chocolate eggs with grapes inside instead. Fill Oreo cookies with mayo instead of frosting. Frost a balloon and have your friend “cut into it.”

The Beauty Blunder

Like the Switcheroo, there’s a lot of pranks out there about soap and shampoo. Our favorite is painting a bar of soap with clear nail polish and listen as your frustrated friend can’t lather up. But outside of shower items, you can add flour to a hairdryer or offer to share a new facemask you swear by that’s really kid’s slime.

The Fake Out

What’s every college student’s worst nightmare? A failed paper. Set up an email account with an address similar to a professor’s. Send a stern email to your friend about how disappointed you are and how they need to redo the paper all over again. Send back the assignment with a big note that says, “APRIL FOOLS.”

The Fake Out 2

What’s the next best fake? A good parking ticket. Every driver dreads getting hit with a huge fine for something silly like “parking like a jerk” or “parking on the seventh Tuesday of the 13th month.” Do a google search for fake tickets to print out and enjoy as they rant and rave about unfair parking rules!

The Traps

College students are excellent at trapping their roommates and friends inside their dorm. I’ve seen students saran wrap doorways for unexpecting friends running late for a study group. There’s also the popular post-it everywhere method. But our hands-down favorite is placing cups full of small amounts of water all over the floor from their bed to the doorway. It’s worth it to see them try to get out without spilling.

The Freeze (Or Jell-O) Out

It’s relatively easy to inconvenience someone! We love freezing their keys in a bowl of water or wrapping their school supplies in saran wrap and then placing in Jell-O mix. Leave your roommate with a dull knife or a chisel. You don’t want to be too mean…

 The Scare Prank

Sometimes the best pranks are the ones that get your heart racing. There are few easy ones you can do that won’t induce heart attacks but will get a scream out of your unsuspecting friend. Try tapping a celebrity’s scary face to their ceiling when they wake up or to their window when they pull up their blind. Add a fog horn to their chair. Tape balloons to the side of the door where the hinges are. And if you really want to get them good, send them a bill for their student loans!

That’s a list of some of our favorite April Fools jokes. Let us know your favorites and if you were successful!

Make Your Own Shamrock Shake for St. Patrick’s Day

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Forget March Madness. There’s only one season that matters this time of year — Shamrock Shake season! That’s right. March is here, and McDonald’s finally has the uber delicious Shamrock Shake back on its menu. Since it’s only around for a limited time, there are not many chances of scoring our favorite green, minty dessert drink. Luckily for us, we’ve found a few DIY versions that hold up to the original. Here’s how you can make your own Shamrock Shakes for St. Patrick’s Day (and beyond).

What You’ll Need

For any kind of shake, you’ll probably want a drink mixer, blender, or hand mixer (if you’re okay making a mess with it). But blenders and mixers can be hard to come by if you’re in a dorm room. Most residence hall rules forbid them. If that’s the case for you, we recommend grabbing a mason jar and canceling your arm workouts for the week.

As for ingredients, your base is simple: 2 scoops of vanilla ice cream (full fat and with sugar is best), 1 cup of whole fat milk, ½  teaspoon of vanilla extract, and 3 tbsp chocolate syrup. To get the green look, you’ll want green food coloring or green sugar sprinkles. If you’re all about the toppings, the classic recipe also has a generous amount of whipped cream and a cherry. You can find all these ingredients at the grocery store.

How to Make

To get the best consistency, let the ice cream sit out for five to ten minutes to soften. You can microwave to speed it up but only do it for a few seconds at a time.

Then, place the ice cream in the blender with the milk, vanilla, and optional food coloring. Blend for ten-second intervals until smooth and drinkable. You don’t want to see chunks of ice cream leftover. If you’re blender-less, place everything in a mason jar with a tight lid and get shaking. It will take a while, so be prepared to feel sore in the morning (it will be worth it).

Add the chocolate to your glass by swirling it around inside before pouring your shake. Top with the whipped cream, sprinkles, and cherry for presentation. We recommend a giant straw to go with it.

Ideas for a Healthier Version

It’s not impossible to make a low-fat version of the shake. After all, eating healthy shouldn’t be eating boring! And besides, who wants to skip out on a Shamrock Shake?

It’s all about finding the right alternative ingredients that still give you the same great taste and flavor. We recommend replacing your ice cream with a low carb version like Halo Top or Arctic Zero which boost low fat, low calorie, and high protein offerings. Mix it with skim or 0% milk for even fewer calories.

Go ahead and skip the toppings, including the chocolate, while you’re at it. But if you still want to make it decadent, let yourself splurge on melted dark chocolate which is rich in nutrients and great for a treat.

After all, everyone should be able to indulge in a Shamrock Shake for St. Paddy’s Day!

Building Your Resume

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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

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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!

Winter Themed Desserts to Make in Your Dorm Room

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Winter is the perfect time to snuggle up in your comfy dorm room getting cozy with some delicious sweets. From chocolate and berries to whipped cream and powdered sugar, there are plenty of winter desserts to indulge in. But the best part is that most of these don’t require an oven and are so easy that you could make it in your dorm room! Here are our top picks for winter-themed desserts.

Cookie-in-a-Mug

Party for one? No problem. You can make a delicious single cookie that goes great with a scoop of ice cream or a cop of hot chocolate. You’ll love it because you only need a mug and a microwave to make it happen.

  • Ingredients:
    • 1 tbsp. butter
    • 1½ tbsp. sugar
    • ½ tbsp. vanilla extract
    • 1 egg
    • 3 tbsp. flour
  • Directions:
    • Spray mug with cooking spray.
    • Melt butter in mug for 30 seconds to soften
    • Add the rest of the ingredients one at a time, stirring until well-mixed.
    • Microwave for intervals of about 20 seconds until cookie has risen and is done.
    • Top with sprinkles, chocolate syrup, powdered sugar, etc.

Chocolate chip cookies

No-Bake Chocolate Cookies

A favorite from childhood, no-bake cookies are perfect for those who are die-hard chocolate fans. These cookies give you a burst of energy and make a good breakfast treat. This recipe makes a dozen.

  • Ingredients:
    • ⅔ cup sugar
    • 1½ tbsp. cocoa powder, unsweetened
    • 2 tbsp. milk
    • 2 tbsp. butter
    • ¼ tbsp. vanilla extract
    • 3 tbsp. smooth peanut butter
    • 1 cup quick oats
  • Directions:
    • In a larger-sized microwave bowl, add sugar, cocoa, milk, and butter. Microwave for about one minute or until bubbling. Microwave for another 30 seconds.
    • Stir in the rest of the ingredients one at a time.
    • Drop spoonfuls on a plate and refrigerate for about 3 hours. Best served cold.

Puppy Chow

Another childhood favorite, puppy chow is a favorite guilty pleasure. It’s such a mess to clean up, but it’s worth it for its chocolate-peanut butter goodness. Your friends will want a bag each.

  • Ingredients:
    • 3 cups rice squares cereal
    • 3 tbsp. peanut butter
    • ⅓ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
    • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • Directions:
    • In a microwave-friendly bowl, melt chocolate at intervals of ten seconds (stirring each time you take out).
    • Add peanut butter and microwave for two-30 second intervals, stirring until well-mixed.
    • Add cereal and mix. Pour into a plastic bag and then add powdered sugar. Shake bag until evenly distributed.

Banana Pudding Jar

We always found banana pudding to be uber-sophisticated, especially when done up all fancy in a tall, glass dish. But did you know you could make expensive-tasting banana pudding in a jar with only a few ingredients and a mason jar (or regular bowl)? Seriously!

  • Ingredients:
    • Vanilla wafer cookies
    • 1-2 bananas, sliced
    • 1 packet of banana or vanilla pudding, prepared (or use 2-3 cups of pre-made banana pudding)
  • Directions:
    • Line bottom of your bowl or jar with vanilla wafer cookies as a base.
    • Make another layer of bananas
    • Add prepared pudding on top and alternate with layers of sliced bananas and cookies until at the top.

fruit parfait dessert

Berry Good Fruit Parfait

Berries are all we want come wintertime. Thank goodness there are plenty of berry-themed recipes for us to enjoy. This recipe uses pre-made cake (think leftovers) and blends our favorite fruit and loads of whipped cream.

  • Ingredients:
    • Pre-made cake (including cheesecake) in small chunks
    • Variety of berries such as blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries
    • Whipped cream
  • Directions:
    • Add a layer of cake chunks to bottom of jar or bowl.
    • Add a second layer of fruit and then top with whipped cream. Repeat until full.

These are just a few of our favorite desserts to make when we are stuck inside on a cold winter day. Make one of these (or all, we won’t tell!), binge your favorite Netflix series and let us know which one was your favorite!

How to Begin the Job Hunt if You Are Graduating

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Students throwing caps in the air at graduation

With only one semester left, college seniors, it’s time to start thinking of the big question, “What comes next?” For the majority of us graduating, that means starting our first real job hunt. Whether you’re a total newbie with no experience or you’re looking to transition to a six-figure career, here’s what you need to do when you’re searching for the perfect post-graduation position.

Consult Your Career Services Office

Most colleges have some career services offerings out there, and you may be surprised at what they can offer you! To start with, they can help you narrow down your job search and find the niche you’re made to be in. Then, they can help tailor your applications so that you stand out. And when you’re given a position, they’ll be there to do mock practices or offer feedback. And, believe it or not, a great career office will even help you negotiate your first salary!

a monthly planner

Set Up a Calendar

Another fun fact about the career services office is that they often hold events just for upperclassman on the job hunt. It may span from low-key, one-on-one meetings with hiring managers to large-scale job fairs that attract hundreds of businesses. If your college doesn’t offer these, check your community or look at professional trade organizations for similar events.

Update and Edit Your Materials

Your resume is the most important weapon in your job application arsenal. It should be continuously updated and crafted to meet your industry’s standards. You’ll also want to do make sure your reference list is current and that everyone you may use is aware your name is going out there. Finally, practice writing out a cover letter that is both interesting and easy to tailor to the job you’re applying for. When you’re done with the first draft, edit and edit again until it’s perfect.

a professional business card

Stock Up on Thank You Notes and Business Cards

It’s the little things that matter when you are putting yourself out there. While email thank you notes are sufficient, you may also want to bring out an old-school technique of a handwritten card sent to your interviewer. Business cards have the same effect, especially if you’ve got them ready to go at a networking event. The bonus is that both thank you and business cards are cheap, easy to make, and always handy — even after you’ve landed your big break.

Tailor Your Interview Suit

The perfect look is essential. That means everything you wear to your interview needs to be made for you. This is the one area where we don’t recommend skimping on price. Grab the best looking suit in neutral colors and have it professionally tailored so that it fits your body like it was made for you. Add shined shoes, toned down makeup, and thoughtful accessories, and you’ve got a complete look that’s ready to wow your interviewers.

Your final semester is an important one. It’s time to reflect and to look ahead. When you’re ready to rock your job search, getting your affairs in order is a must. From creating an eye-catching resume to settling on your professional look, you can get ahead by starting now.

Preparing for The Spring Semester

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University during the spring semester

We hate to do this, but we need to talk about how the spring semester is only a week or two away. Ugh. Reality bites, but it’s time to face it. We want this semester to be the best one yet, and that means being as prepared as we can be. Here’s the checklist we’ve made to ensure we’re going to rock our spring classes.

Grab Extra Supplies

We’ve got leftover pens and notebooks, but that’s not enough. We need to pick up the little things like notecards and highlighters so we’re not surprised when we run out mid-semester. No last minute runs to the office supplies store means less pressure and more time at peak studying mode.

Bookstore

Rent Your Books In Advance

We’re all about a good bargain, especially when it comes to expensive textbooks. That’s why it is critical that you reserve your textbooks way in advance from third-party sites like Amazon or Barnes and Nobles. Even your bookstore may run out of rentals if you wait until the last minute to get it done.

Change Out the Wardrobe

Clothes are just as important as supplies or books, but we continuously forget this step! Winter break is the time to replace your fall flannel and summer shorts with snow boots and thick cardigans. Come spring break, change it out again for your warm weather clothing. It will save you space and laundry back at your residence hall.

Review the Last Semester

Your grades for the fall semester should be in by now which means it’s time for a reckoning. Where did you struggle? Where weren’t you challenged? It’s time to do a realistic and honest intervention for yourself, especially if your grades weren’t pristine.

Tranquility of yoga alone on the mountains

Cut Out What Doesn’t Bring You Joy

We’re all about making this year the year of minimalism. That means taking the things that didn’t make us happy, smarter, or more productive last semester and cutting them out. It’s tough to say goodbye to a favorite club or activity, but if it’s not getting us to where we need to be, there’s no reason not to say goodbye before the spring semester begins.

Set SMART Goals

Was #4 too real for you? Then you probably need to rethink your semester goals. If you want to be more successful, try setting SMART Goals. SMART stands for “specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely.” Every goal should be within your reach, as specific as possible, able to be reviewed at a particular time. For example, set a SMART Goal of getting a B in Chemistry 101 by midterms.

Read Through Your New Syllabi

Our biggest pet peeve is when a professor assigns a homework assignment while we’re still on break! But it happens, so we need to be prepared by making sure we’re not behind on the first day. Take ten minutes out of your days off to read through the syllabus, add due dates of papers and projects to your planner, and note any major exams that you’ll need to put some time aside for.

These are just a few of the things that we thought of that can help you get the spring semester off to a great start. Let us know if you have any other tips that you personally find helpful during those first few weeks!