The Pros and Cons of Taking Online Classes

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THE PROS AND CONS OF TAKING ONLINE CLASSES

 

So, you’re thinking of enrolling in an online class and not sure if you should pull the trigger?  While online courses are a great way to catch up on your workload or get ahead for graduation, there are plenty of pros and cons that you should consider before you decide to take the plunge and enroll in one.  Remember, when in doubt, you can always reach out to your guidance counselor to help you figure out what to do.  They are a fantastic resource and will be able to talk you through it!

 

Without further ado, here are our top pros and cons for taking online classes next semester.

 

PRO #1 – THEY ARE SUPER EASY TO ATTEND

Because these classes are online, you don’t need to stress over actually getting to class.  Instead of planning ahead to make sure that you get to campus with enough time to find a parking spot and secure a seat in the lecture hall, you can simply open up your laptop and join in from the comfort of your own home!

 

CON #1 – THEY ARE SUPER EASY TO ATTEND

On the flip side, the fact that online classes are so easy to attend can be detrimental, too.  Many times students drop off in their attendance rate of online classes, since there is little or no accountability in terms of participation and actual attendance.  Because students tend to work at their own pace in online classes, they can fall behind, thinking that they’ll have plenty of time to catch up later.

 

PRO #2 – YOU ARE ABLE TO LEARN AT YOUR OWN PACE

Many online classes involve an aspect of being “self-taught” – in other words, you can work at your own pace to teach yourself the material with what resources the professor is offering your class.  Whether it’s watching instructional videos, participating in an online discussion forum, or working on class projects, you can easily work at your own pace and focus on what you need to in order to best learn the material and work to get ahead.

 

CON #2 – YOU HAVE TO LEARN AT YOUR OWN PACE

And again – this pro can absolutely be a con.  Rather than being upheld to a strict standard in order to pass the class, such as in an in-person lecture or lab, online courses allow for you to work at your own pace to learn the material.  As soon as you begin to fall behind or don’t understand something, you run the risk of digging yourself a hole that you can’t get out of before the end of the semester.  If you tend to put off work or have difficulties motivating yourself to learn on your own, this could be a trap that you will fall into with online classes.

 

PRO #3 – OPPORTUNITIES FOR EXPLORATION

Last on our list of pros definitely involves the opportunity to explore other avenues.  If you’re feeling stuck in your major or minor and are interested in expanding your horizons and learning about something new that you may be very interested in, online classes are a great way to do so.  Majoring in Accounting but really drawn to Astronomy?  Enroll in an online class and see if that’s something that you would be interested in pursuing.  Thinking about switching your major from Law to Psychology?  Test out an online class before you take the plunge.

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

All in all, online classes are a great way to help you get ahead on your coursework and supplement what you are already learning.  However, they do have some cons that need to be considered before you take the plunge and enroll in a class.  Always consider what your goals are before making your decision, and reach out to your guidance counselor if you need some good advise before you do.

How to Make Sure you Meet Your Goals Next Year

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With 2018 soon coming to a close, it’s time to look back and reflect on what you’ve accomplished over the year.  Planned on saving some extra cash over the year and found yourself falling a little short?  No worries!  Planned on hitting straight A’s in all of your classes and didn’t quite make it?  That’s a-okay.  Even if you haven’t accomplished everything that you wanted to over the past year, don’t worry.  You can always take them head-on next year!

If you’re rolling over some of your 2018 goals to 2019 and need some inspiration to get you going, we’re here for you.  Here’s how to make sure that you get on the right track straight off the bat to help you meet your goals for next year.

STEP #1 – IDENTIFY YOUR GOALS AND WRITE THEM DOWN

First up, obviously, is to figure out what your goals are and put them down on paper.  By writing them down, this will help you feel as if you are truly committing to accomplishing them over the next year.

Are there any that you missed hitting this year that you’re ready to take another shot at next year?  Add them to your list.  Anything that you want to get done this year that you weren’t quite sure on last year?  Throw it on the list!  No matter what your goals – personal growth, financial, school, etc. – you should definitely write them down to help give you that initial motivation to get and keep going.

STEP #2 – FIGURE OUT YOUR SUB-GOALS AND PLOT THEM OUT

Sometimes giving yourself a goal can be a bit scary and overwhelming, especially if it’s something that will take a lot of effort or time.  For example – if your goal is to lose 50 pounds by the end of the year, that seems like a lot right off the bat!

The trick is to break down your big goals into smaller, more achievable goals that you can take on over the year rather than trying to do it all at once.  Rather than saying you’re going to lose 50 pounds, break it down to months and then weeks.  Suddenly, your goal will seem much more achievable!

Trying to hit straight A’s next semester?  Sit down and look at your current study habits and grades and identify how much extra time and effort that you’ll need to put in to get you there.  Break it out by tasks that you’ll need to accomplish on a weekly basis and give yourself check-in dates to make sure that you’re still on the right track each week.  By breaking it down into smaller achievable goals, you’ll keep yourself motivated throughout the year and will be less likely to fall off the bandwagon if something comes up that puts you behind.

STEP #3 – GET A FRIEND IN ON IT

Do you have trouble self-motivating or find yourself not following through on personal goals because you have no accountability?  Let’s add that back into the equation.  Get one of your friends in on your goal as an accountability buddy to help keep you on track and headed in the right direction.  Better yet – you can be their accountability buddy, too, if they need a little extra help on their goals!

By bringing someone else into the picture, you’re more likely to hold yourself accountable to your goals.  Additionally, having a support system to help you when you’re feeling lazy or slipping off-track can help you stay on schedule and keep you motivated, even when you feel totally lost.

How to Have a Friendsgiving on Campus

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So you’re stuck on campus for Thanksgiving?  Whether you have some work to catch up on or flying home just wasn’t in the budget this year, you don’t be so down in the dumps – you can still totally have a celebration of your own with friends!  Enter “Friendsgiving.”

This modern take on your classic Thanksgiving celebration brings together your friends on campus for a not-so-classic celebration of one of your favorite holidays.  But if you’ve never planned an event like this before, how do you get started?

Never fear –we’ve got you covered.  Here’s what you need to do to have the perfect Friendsgiving on campus this year.

STEP 1 – FIND YOUR FRIENDS

Of course, the first thing to do is actually figure out which (if any) of your friends are also staying on or around campus for Thanksgiving.  Do some asking around and see – you never know who you’ll find!  That guy you did a project with for Econ?  He might be down for a little on-campus festivities.  Your RA that you swore you’d never bother again after your first week shenanigans?  They might appreciate it, too.

You never know – you could totally find someone who would otherwise be celebrating Thanksgiving all by their lonesome without your invite!  Send out some texts, hit up IG, or simply walk around and ask people what they’re up to.  The more the merrier on Friendsgiving!

STEP 2  – NAIL DOWN YOUR LOCATION

Now that you have your guest list all ironed out, it’s time to figure out where you actually want to host this event.  If you’re lucky enough to be living in a house or apartment on-campus with a kitchen, you’re totally set.  On the other hand, if you’re shacked up in a dorm, you may need to do some digging to find a communal location to cook and eat.

Your RA would be a great source of information for this – they will be able to point you in the right direction of where you can cook on campus.  Don’t be afraid to ask – they may even offer to help!

STEP 3 – FINALIZE YOUR MENU

Figuring out what to serve on Friendsgiving can be one of the hardest parts.  Should you do a potluck?  Or would it be easier to cook everything yourself and ask your friends to chip in funds for food?

The answer is – it’s totally up to you!  Depending on your location, how much time you have to dedicate to cleaning and cooking, and how reliable your friends actually are, you can totally opt for either side of the coin.

Just be sure to get the menu finalized with your friends before the night of – it would be awful for someone to show up with allergies who can’t eat anything or for everyone to show up with only side dishes.

STEP 4 – ENJOY YOURSELF!

Don’t ever forget – Friendsgiving is all about celebrating.  Don’t get too caught up in the occasion and forget to have fun.  Enjoy the food, great conversations, and happy times with some of your closest (and not so close) friends as you celebrate the ability to come together this time of the year.

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 cup 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.

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 premade 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.

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.

THE BEST COLLEGE ITEMS TO BUY ON BLACK FRIDAY

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Now that November is right around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about holiday shopping.  And one of the best days to buy everything that you need?  Black Friday, of course.

If you’re considering braving the masses in-store or simply hitting up your favorite sites online, Black Friday is one of the best days to snag deals on your necessities (or non-necessities), including things that you totally need for college.

But what should you buy?  Here’s our breakdown of the top five best items to snag on sale on Black Friday to help you get through college.

STEAL #1 – A NEW OR USED LAPTOP

Obviously, this is first on our list.  If you’re looking to upgrade your old laptop or are on a budget and need a used one that will help you just get your work done, Black Friday is one of the perfect days to get exactly what you need.

Hit up big retailers like Target or Apple to get your hands on a brand new laptop fresh off the line.  If you are hunting for a more affordable option that is used but refurbished, Amazon and Best Buy would be great options, too.

STEAL #2 – DORM ROOM ELECTRONICS

Next up on our list is electronics for your dorm room.  Whether you’re looking to snag a TV or a sweet new gaming system, there will be plenty of deals on Black Friday that are perfect for you.

Additionally, you can totally snag great deals on DVDs, video games, and CDs on Black Friday to supplement the electronics that you may already have on hand.

STEAL #3 – A COZY WINTER JACKET

When living on the east coast, you can never really have too many cozy jackets to keep you warm as the temperatures drop.  Black Friday is a great day to snag what you need from your favorite retailers for a pretty hefty price drop, whether you’re looking for the perfect peacoat or something a little heavier to fight the chill.

STEAL #4 – SMALL APPLIANCES

If you’re in the market for a toaster or a coffeemaker for your dorm room, Black  Friday is the perfect day to get your hands on what you need.  Hit up big retailers like Amazon, Kohl’s, or Macy’s to get great deals on the little appliances that will help get you through the rest of your school year.

STEAL #5 – INTERVIEW ATTIRE

Say what?  That’s right – interview attire should definitely be on your list for Black Friday shopping.  If you’re graduating in the spring and are definitely heading straight into job hunting mode, take this time to grab some deals on high-end interview attire that you can store away until its needed.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Remember – always go into your Black Friday shopping with a budget.  If you can, map out what you want or need to get ahead of time before you head out into the masses or brave the endless online sales.  Use this time to snag everything that you need for college and more – you’ll thank us later!

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.