Campus President Interview: Morgan Terry, President of Kent State University at Stark English Club

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Organizing a new club and running it smoothly presents new challenges. Morgan Terry, a senior English major at Kent State University at Stark, uses her leadership and problem-solving skills as president of the English Club to ensure the club excels. College Lifestyles™ talked with Terry to learn more about her experiences.

College Lifestyles™: What brought about the creation of the English Club?

Morgan Terry: It all started from a desire to continue class discussions on literature outside of class. We gathered information on who would be interested in going to meetings to discuss literature and from that the club was born.

CL: What made you want to become president?

MT: I wanted to be president because English and reading have always been important to me. I enjoy reading and writing, as well as interpreting texts to find out what the text is saying. With this in mind, I was very interested in the creation of the club and when the position of president was still open, I jumped at the opportunity.

CL: What normally happens during club meetings?

MT: We have topics that have been decided ahead of time that we are going to discuss. We take the topic and bring to the club a book that fits the topic best in each person’s opinion. It not only helps us get to know our club members, but we also get to learn about new novels that may be of interest to us. This past meeting, as it was close to Valentine’s Day, we discussed book characters that we have had crushes on. “Harry Potter” was a popular series that was brought up.

CL: What are your responsibilities as President?

MT: My job has been to lead discussion and come up with ideas for the meetings. I also research possible outings for us; we plan to go see Shakespeare’s First Folio over the summer. We also have been looking into a possible trip to England. I’m sure the club would agree that one of my best functions is I tend to arrange snacks for the meetings. I try to stick with the theme as best I can. Candy for Valentine’s Day, hot cocoa for A Cold Night in Hell. I try to make it as fun as I can.

CL: What’s the best part about being president?

MT: I love leading discussions. Once I initiate conversation it starts to flow and I like to see everyone interacting. I make sure that the shy members get a chance to speak and that no one’s opinion is disrespected. It was also a lot of fun to bounce ideas around with the other officers to have genres that would appeal to everyone.

CL: What are some challenges you’ve come across as president?

MT: It can be difficult, at times, to get everyone really into a discussion. Once it happens it’s beautiful but sometimes it takes a couple tries to get everyone into it. Although as time goes on, people are becoming more interested in sharing ideas.

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CL: What are some of your goals for the English Club?

MT: I would like the club to be a pleasant atmosphere where everyone can make friends and have an outlet to discuss books that have touched the reader. I would love to organize a trip to England so that the group not only gets the chance to travel abroad, but also gets to see what important authors had seen in their lifetime.

CL: How has taking on a leadership role helped you?

MT: It has helped me with my time management skills because it can be hard to discuss everything in one meeting. It has most definitely made me a better listener. From listening to the group members, I am learning what types of questions provide the most interesting discussion.

CL: What do you hope to do after graduation?

MT: I would love to go on to [earn] my Ph.D. My focus would be either young adult literature or medieval literature.

CL: What advice do you have for future student organization leaders?

MT: Don’t worry about making each meeting absolutely perfect. The members are learning how the club works as you work on the club. As long as you listen to what members tell you and be considerate of that, you will make any club you lead a pleasant experience. Most importantly, have fun with it.

Being the president of a student organization is a huge responsibility, but Terry uses her leadership capabilities to make sure every member contributes and has fun.

Check out more interviews with campus presidents:

Campus President Interview: Jamie Crain Of Four Diamonds At Duquesne University

Campus President Interview: Brielle Black, President of Revive at Kent State University at Stark

Campus President Interview: Caitie Townsend, Student Dietetic Association at West Chester University

Images courtesy of Morgan Terry.

Four Reasons Why We’re Looking Forward to “Fuller House”

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Everywhere you look, you’ve seen the hype about the “Full House” reboot coming to Netflix on February 26. Now that we’re getting closer to the release date, College LifestylesTM is here to share what’s making us eager to watch “Fuller House” the moment it hits Netflix!

Old Favorites

Reboots of previous shows have been gaining popularity. After all, who doesn’t want to revisit an old favorite? “Fuller House” is no exception. The series will have Candace Cameron Bure, Jodie Sweetin and Andrea Barber reprising their roles as D.J., Stephanie and Kimmy, respectively. The show also brings back other characters from the original show, like Danny (played by Bob Saget), Uncle Jesse (John Stamos), Joey (David Coulier) and D.J.’s ex-boyfriend, Steve (Scott Weinger). The original actors who played Nicky and Alex, Blake and Dylan Tuomy-Wilhoit, will return as teenage versions of the adorable twins!

Speaking of twins, you might notice one important character is missing: Michelle, who was originally played by Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. Unfortunately, the youngest sister won’t return to the show. According to Jamie Primeau from Bustle, the Olsen twins chose not to come back because they no longer see themselves as actresses. However, there will be one scene where the girls call Michelle to wish her luck in pursuing fashion in New York City, which is a reference to the twins’ achievements as fashion designers.

Fresh Faces and Situations

Get ready for new characters and new challenges, because “Fuller House” has them all! According to Kelly Lawler from USA Today, D.J. is now a single mother of three sons due to the death of her husband, so she moves back to the original San Francisco home along with Stephanie and Kimmy, who move in to help raise the boys. D.J., a type A and organized woman, will deal with raising her kids with her edgy, wild child little sister and wacky best friend, according to Rennie Dyball from Entertainment Weekly. Sound familiar?

Viewers will meet D.J.’s three sons, as well as Kimmy’s 13-year-old daughter, Ramona. In addition, Juan Pablo Di Pace joins the show as Kimmy’s ex-husband, Fernando, and Eva LaRue plays Teri, Danny’s wife. “Fuller House” is bringing a mix of original and new characters for viewers to love.

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New Theme Song

If you watched the trailer, you might’ve noticed the theme song sounds a little different. While the show still uses the classic theme, “Everywhere You Look” by Jesse Frederick, the song is updated with a fresh sound and a fresh artist. “Fuller House” uses a cover of the original song by Carly Rae Jepsen, who recently played Frenchy in “Grease: Live.” Fans will enjoy a well-known song by a well-known artist. A little unpredictability never hurt anybody!

It’s All on Netflix

On February 26, the entire first season will be on Netflix. Instead of waiting for a new episode every week, fans can watch the first season right away. In addition, once you’ve watched the whole thing, you can watch it again and again! Feel free to watch a couple episodes in between study breaks or binge the whole season with your friends. And while the original show isn’t on Netflix, Amazon Prime members can watch every season of “Full House” on their computers, T.V.s or mobile devices.

Soon, the sequel to one of our favorite shows will be waiting just around the bend on Netflix. We’re hoping the new series will be just as good as the original.

Top image courtesy of Facebook.com/FullerHouseNetflix.

Middle images courtesy of Twitter.com/fullerhouse.

 

How to Incorporate Rose Quartz and Serenity into Your Dorm Decor

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Moving into unknown places where you have no idea what to expect can be hard. Classes and extracurriculars can be even more difficult and stressful, but coming back to your dorm should help relieve these feelings. When you lay down in your bed it should feel like home, because it is your home.

To make your dorm feel more like home, consider adding rose quartz and serenity into your room. Rose quartz is the crystal of love—not only the kind of love you feel when you’re with your significant other—but every kind of love you can experience. You might say rose quartz and serenity go hand-in-hand, but serenity is the sense of relaxation.

Pantone says rose quartz and serenity are the colors of the year. The pale blue and powder pink balance each other out for a timeless look. This look provides the perfect combination of comfort and energy, which is great for a new room.

Here are some ways to get the look:

Noise Concealing Rug

Add a light blue plush noise concealing rug. A sheepskin throw rug is a spa’s secret to keeping sounds from echoing. Not only are these rugs noise concealing, but also the plush material feels great against your toes after a long day.

Accent Furniture

A dorm room isn’t big enough to add a couch or anything of that size, but you have some space to add a chair. Oprah suggests adding a powder pink chair about the size of a butterfly chair to go with your light blue rug.

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Bed and Pillows

On your twin bed, add a pink duvet bed cover with some light blue accent pillows.  This adds serenity with the light blue and rose quartz with the pink.

Contrast

The best thing to do with rose quartz in a room is to add a lot of contrast. This way it stands out. This is also why the pale blue goes so well with the powder pink—it adds just enough contrast without being too harsh.

Wall Decor

It’s hard to decorate your dorm, especially since you can’t paint or nail anything to the walls. Instead, buy a 5×7 canvas and paint supplies. Stylecaster recommends some whimsical prints with the powder pink as the pattern and the light blue as the background. When you hang it up, be sure to use adhesive strips rather than hanging it with nails.

Here at College LifestylesTM , we hope these helpful tips make you feel more at home in your dorm. These balancing colors will light up your room and your mood!

For more great articles check out the links below:

How to Use Rose Quartz and Serenity in Makeup

DIY Nautical Decor

Dorm Décor Dos & Don’ts

First image courtesy of Amanda York.

Second image courtesy of Just2shutter/freedigitalphotos.net.

10 Packing Hacks for Moving Back to Campus After the Holidays

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Holidays are the best time of the year… until they come to an end. The end of the holidays marks another stressful semester and the end to a relaxing, lengthy break. Aside from the overwhelming stress building up in the back of your head just thinking about school, you also have the last days of break left to do everyone’s favorite thing: pack. Here are some of College LifestylesTM helpful packing hacks to limit your stress level:

Jewelry Storage

Use old pill containers for jewelry. Not only does it create space, but it also saves you money. This way, you won’t have to go out and buy something to hold them or separate your other jewelry from it.

Earrings in Buttons

Depending on how many earrings you have—and if they’re studs or dangly ones—they can easily get tangled. To avoid this, you can use old buttons to put a pair of earrings through each hole in the buttons. This helps to avoid tangles and keeps the pairs of earrings together.

Make a Checklist

This is the oldest trick in the book. Making a checklist is the first trick to packing in every Pinterest post. Before you start packing, make a list of everything you need to bring and check them off as you pack.

Straws for Necklaces

Jewelry is another popular gift, especially from your significant other and grandparents. It’s the worst when you haul them back to your dorm at school and have to spend fifteen minutes to untangle them. According to Onward State, you can avoid this by pulling your necklaces through a straw before packing them. 

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Save Space with Clothes

At this age we really don’t have much on our Christmas lists, so parents resort to buying you clothes. Rolling or bundling your clothes instead of folding them creates more room for other items.

Trash Bags for Clothes

What is the most basic gift that every girl is guaranteed to get during the holidays? Clothes of course. Steve Brown Apartments say this method allows you to create space for more clothes and protect them at the same time. For this method, you take a bunch of hangers with your clothes already on them and gather them into garbage bags.  

Toilet Paper Rolls and a Box for Cords

Don’t want to take the time to sift through your stuff once you get back? Collect old toilet paper rolls and cut them in half, then put them in an old box. Next, place your cords inside the roll so they don’t get tangled up with different ones.

Door Stop

Depending how much stuff you have, you might need to make multiple trips to the car. If you’re also carrying a lot of items, your hands can be too full to unlock or open the door. To avoid this issue, tie a rubber band from both the front handle and the inside handle to keep the door open.

Prevent Your Cosmetics from Breaking

A girl loves her cosmetics. Buzzfeed recommends placing a cotton ball or pad inside each individual makeup container. Make sure it is inside your cosmetics and that the item can close fully. This prevents any of your make-up from breaking.

Prevent Water Damage

Keep any pictures, papers and posters in a plastic bag. If your poster is too big for a bag, cover it with something else, such as saran wrap. This avoids from anything spilling on any paper based product. Moving all of your stuff in from the holidays can be rough. Here at CL we hope these helpful tips save you some time!

Here are some other helpful packing tips by other CL authors:

The Suitcase Saga – College Lifestyles’ Top 10 Tips for Packing Abroad

Freshman Year Essentials: The Packing List

Back to School! Dorm Room Packing the College Lifestyles Way!!!

Images courtesy of Amanda York.

Introducing the Spring 2016 Dating/Relationships/Entertainment Team

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Spring can bring the start of many things: A new relationship (or the next stage of a current one), a movie premiere or even a new obsession with a musician. Whether you’re looking for cool date ideas or you’re on the fence about a new T.V. show, College Lifestyles™ has you covered with our classy new team of dating/relationships/entertainment writers!

Iyana Edouard, Writer

School and year: University of North Texas, senior.

Major/minor/concentration: Journalism/double minor in political science and communications/online & print writing concentration.

Favorite movie: “West Side Story” and “The Lion King.”

Favorite T.V. show: “How to Get Away with Murder” and “Real Housewives of Atlanta.”

Malcolm Lenore, Writer

School and year: James Madison University, senior.

Major/minor/concentration: English/writing, rhetoric technical communications (WRTC).

Favorite T.V. show: Right now, my favorite shows are absolutely “Fargo” and “Hannibal.”

Favorite book: My favorite book at the moment is “American Gods” by Neil Gaiman, for sure.

Hannah Washington, Writer

School and year: Michigan State University, first year.

Major/minor/concentration: Journalism with a focus in editorial writing and minor in public relations.

Favorite song: “Roses” by The Chainsmokers.

Favorite band or musician: Twenty One Pilots.

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Nora Hurchick, Writer

School and year: Duquesne University, junior.

Major/minor/concentration: Journalism and public relations majors.

Favorite song: One of my favorite songs is “Work” by Jimmy Eat World.

Favorite band or musician: My favorite band is The Wonder Years.

Victoria Lind, Editor

School and year: Kent State University at Stark, senior.

Major/minor/concentration: Applied communication with a minor in writing.

Favorite T.V. show: “Orange is the New Black” and “Project Runway.”

Favorite band or musician: Angel Haze.

Stay tuned for some great articles about dating, entertainment and everything in-between!

Check out some of our section’s previous articles:

Five Fall Roommate “Date” Ideas

How to Handle Being Single

What’s New on Netflix: Fall 2015

 

Top image and middle center image courtesy of Victoria Lind.

Middle far left image courtesy of Nora Hurchick.

Middle middle left image courtesy of Malcolm Lenore.

Middle top right image courtesy of Hannah Washington.

Middle bottom right image courtesy of Iyana Edouard.

Introducing the Spring 2016 College Prep/Professional Development Team

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The transition from high school to college and beyond can bring many challenges. Luckily, College Lifestyles™ is here to help! Articles by our college prep/professional development team will help you along the way, whether you’re navigating your first semester of college or your first day at work.

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Liz Angarola, Writer

School and year: The University of San Francisco, junior.

Major/minor/concentration: English with a concentration in writing.

Organizational involvement: National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Sigma Tau Delta (future).

Something I wish someone had told me my freshman year: I wish someone would have told me that the first semester of school would be the most difficult. There was so much adjusting to do in terms of courses, work and just learning to be on my own. It was a long process, and I wish I had understood that sooner.

Victoria Lind, Editor

School and year: Kent State University at Stark, senior.

Major/minor/concentration: Applied communication with a minor in writing.

Organizational involvement: Tutor at the Kent State Stark Writing Center.

Something I wish someone had told me my freshman year: I wish someone had told me to not be so obsessed with graduating within four years. I overloaded my schedule in previous semesters because I thought I had to graduate on time, and I ended up really stressing myself out. Now that I’m more focused on the journey rather than the destination, I can go at a more relaxed pace, take some courses that I’m really interested in and enjoy my time as a student.

Stick around to see what the college prep/professional development team has in store for our classy readers!

Check out these articles on college prep and professional development:

How to Narrow Down Your College Application List

How to Write a Scholarship Essay No One Will Forget

3 Things To Do After A Job Interview

Top and middle right image courtesy of Victoria Lind.

Middle left image courtesy of Liz Angarola.

Meet Keegan Brewster, Fashion/Beauty Editor, Health/Fitness/Nutrition Editor and Assistant Managing Editor from Shepherd University

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College Lifestyles™ welcomes back Keegan Brewster as she begins her fifth semester with us! In addition to serving as an editor for the third semester in a row, she now takes on the additional role of Assistant Managing Editor. We sat down with Brewster to learn more about this classy team member.

Name: Keegan Brewster

College Lifestyles™ position: Assistant Managing Editor and health/fitness/nutrition and fashion/beauty sections editor.

Hometown: Charleston, West Virginia.

School: Shepherd University.

Major(s)/Minor(s)/Concentration(s): English major with a concentration in literature and journalism minor.

Organizational involvement: I’m vice president of Sigma Tau Delta, the English honor’s society. I’m also a writing tutor on campus, where I am the ShepOWL Shuffler, the person in charge of distributing and returning online writing labs.

Brewster is excited about this semester because: It’s my final semester at Shepherd and this semester at CL should be exciting. This is my first semester as Assistant Managing Editor and I’m editing two sections I’ve never edited before.

Brewster’s favorite thing about spring is: I love that flowers start to bloom during the spring.

Brewster’s dream study abroad trip would be to: That’s a hard choice. I’m pretty much up for going anywhere, but I want to go to the United Kingdom, Ireland, or France the most.

Brewster’s No. 1 recipe for this semester is: Right now, I’m thinking about recipes to stay warm once it’s actually cold outside, which I’m still expecting to happen before the winter is over. So, right now, I really want to try different ways to make hot chocolate, like the ones in Three Twists on Traditional Homemade Hot Chocolate.

Brewster’s No. 1 DIY project for this semester is: I’m getting a Keurig for Christmas, so I’ve been thinking about what to do with the empty K-cups. This article gave me some great DIY ideas: Three DIYs with Empty K-Cups.

Brewster’s favorite movies are: “Harry Potter,” “Pride and Prejudice,” “The Avengers” and “The Holiday.”

Brewster’s celebrity dream date is: Tom Hiddleston.

Brewster gets her inspiration from: Family, friends and from anything I read.

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Brewster’s friends would describe her as: Kind, loyal and persevering.

Brewster’s favorite College Lifestyles™ article is: My favorite article at the moment is Five Cruelty-Free Make-Up Brands We Tried This Week.

Brewster’s definition of a classy co-ed is: Someone who works hard and is kind to others.

Brewster is excited to be a College Lifestyles™ team member because: I always love being a CL team member. I love working with the rest of the CL team and writing and editing regularly about topics that I love.

Brewster will be in charge of editing articles on topics ranging from how to rock spring’s hottest fashion trends to healthy alternatives for some of our favorite dishes. Stick around and see this fabulous co-ed in action!

Images courtesy of Keegan Brewster.

Introducing Elizabeth Angarola, Dorm and Apartment Life/DIY and Sorority Life Editor, College Prep Writer From University of San Francisco

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Spring semester is on the way, which means cold wintery days ahead! This also means some new additions to College Lifestyles™, but don’t worry, some familiar faces are sticking around.

Elizabeth Angarola is a returning College Lifestyles™ writing intern and a new editor. This semester Angarola will be working hard to provide our readers with fun DIY projects and offering some helpful advice for college students.

Now, I have the pleasure of introducing all of you to my classy CL buddy and my swanky editor, Elizabeth Angarola. I hope you all enjoy learning a little bit about her!

 Name: Elizabeth Angarola

College Lifestyles™ position: Dorm and apartment life/DIY and sorority life editor, college prep writer

Hometown: Edwards, Colorado

School: The University of San Francisco

Major(s)/Minor(s)/Concentration(s): English with a concentration in writing

Organizational involvement: National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Sigma Tau Delta (future)

Angarola is excited for this semester because: I am taking on a new role as an editor!

Angarola’s absolute favorite thing about spring is:
The bright fashion and the beautiful scenery.

Angarola’s dream study abroad trip would be to: Italy and all across Eastern Europe.

Angarola’s No. 1 recipe for this semester is: I’ll be in cold weather for a while, so I definitely need some winter recipes to keep warm: carrot and ginger soup, pesto grilled cheese and more!

Angarola’s No. 1 DIY project for this semester is: DIY T-Shirt Rug

Angarola’s favorite movies are: The X-Men movies.

Angarola’s celebrity dream date is: Chris Pine.

Angarola gets her inspiration from: My family.

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Angarola’s friends would describe her as: Outgoing and hardworking.

Angarola’s favorite College Lifestyles™ article was: How to Make A Professional Career Out of Your English Language or Literature Degree

Angarola’s definition of a classy co-ed is: Someone who is unafraid to be themselves and fight for what they believe in a positive and professional way!

Angarola is excited to be a College Lifestyles™ team member because: Being a member of CL last semester was an amazing experience and I can’t wait to learn more about the world of writing.

Now that all of you have some insight about the lovely Angarola, I hope you are as excited as we are to get this semester started! Follow up with her for some great advice and helpful articles on the way!

Images courtesy of Elizabeth Angarola.

Introducing Amanda York, Dorm and Apartment Life/DIY/Interior Design Writer from Kent State University

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Every semester, College LifestylesTM is lucky enough to receive an outstanding selection of new writers. This semester we welcome the fabulous Amanda York, our newest Dorm and Apartment Life/DIY/Interior Design writer from Kent State University. CL met up with York this week to get to know her as one of our newest classy co-eds.

College Lifestyles™ position: Dorm and apartment life/DIY/interior design Intern

Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio

School: Kent State University

Major(s)/Minor(s)/Concentration(s): Multimedia journalism major with a minor in visual design and communications

Organizational involvement: Kent Wired and Black Squirrel Radio

York is excited for this semester because: [CL] will be a new learning experience.

Yorks’s absolute favorite thing about spring is: The flowers!

York’s dream study abroad trip would be to: Greece. She is also studying abroad this summer in Geneva.

York’s No. 1 recipe for this semester is: Cauliflower Cheese soup from the Intern Kitchen

York’s No. 1 DIY project for this semester is: A Mother’s Day bouquet

York’s favorite movies are: “The Runaways,” “Perks of Being a Wallflower” and “Pulp Fiction.”

York’s celebrity dream date is: Logan Lerman.

York gets her inspiration from: Her own experiences and through music.

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York’s friends would describe her as: One of a kind.

York’s favorite College Lifestyles™ article was: Waving Goodbye to the Evil of Timing

York’s definition of a classy co-ed is: Someone who is professional and knows her self-worth.

York is excited to be a College Lifestyles™ team member because: [She] will have a chance to get a sneak peek at the real world.

College LifestylesTM is so excited to welcome such a hardworking and determined co-ed to our team. We can’t wait to see her work throughout the coming semester!

Images courtesy of Amanda York.

Should You Listen to Music While You Study?

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Sometimes when you’re studying, the room might be a little too quiet (or even too noisy). Usually, you might reach for your headphones and let T-Swizzle guide you through your study session for tomorrow’s history exam. But does listening to music really help you concentrate, or does it just become a bigger distraction?

Kick Out the Jams

Listening to music can definitely drown out most background noise. If you’ve got some noisy neighbors or your roommates are arguing while you’re trying to study, then some noise-cancelling headphones and loud tunes will help you keep on track.

Music can be a game-changer if you don’t feel like studying. According to Sofia Castello y Tickell from USA Today, music has the ability to alter our mood and heart rate, which can make or break a study session. The effect music will have on your disposition depends on what you’re listening to. Feeling a little too hyper to study? Listen to something with a slower tempo to help you calm down. If you’re nodding off frequently while studying for Spanish, listening to something more high energy will give you an extra boost to power through it.

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Put the iTunes Away

Music doesn’t always have a positive effect on studying. In fact, listening to music can mess with your study session. According to David Cutler from Spin Education, music can actually impair your ability to recall information you’ve learned. This is because you’re concentrating on the music and lyrics while you’re also trying to concentrate on the material, which throws you off.

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Compromise?

Sometimes, it just depends on what genre you listen to, when you listen to it and what you’re studying. The right combination of course subject and music genre can create a harmonious study session.

If you’re doing any reading or writing, don’t listen to anything with lyrics. According to Tickell, the words in the song will distract you from the words on the paper. In this case, listening to instrumental music might benefit you more. You don’t have to restrict yourself to classical music, though. There are plenty of artists, like Explosions in the Sky and BADBADNOTGOOD, that release instrumental music with a modern sound. Listening to movie scores also helps.

According to William R. Klemm, Ph.D. from Psychology Today, you’ll benefit more from listening to music you like. This is because if you’re listening to a song you don’t know or are neutral to, you’re more likely to ignore it, which isn’t much different than just listening to background noise. So if you really want to listen to some Katy Perry but you also have to write an essay, consider finding an instrumental cover of some of your favorite songs.

Cutler also recommends listening to music before hitting the books. Studies show that doing something fun before getting to work will have a positive impact on your performance. In addition, you’ll also minimize any distractions from listening to music while you’re studying. Try having a five-minute jam session before you study for that biology test.

A lot of students turn to music when they can’t concentrate on studying, whether it’s actually beneficial or not. Ultimately, the smart way to listen to music while studying is picking the right genre, the right subject and the right time.

Read these articles for more studying tips:

Top 10 Study Apps

Three Waffle Recipes for Your Next Homework Marathon

How To Start a Study Group

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 Top image courtesy of thanunkorn/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Image courtesy of nenetus/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Image courtesy of hyena reality/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Five Questions to Ask Yourself When Searching for Graduate Programs

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Graduate school is an option many students pick after earning their bachelor’s degree. However, finding the ideal program for you isn’t always easy. Consider these five questions when finding a graduate program so you can be more confident in your decision.

When Should I Start and Finish?

You don’t necessarily have to attend grad school right after you receive your bachelor’s degree. Before searching, you should decide the best time for you to apply.

In most cases, you should apply a year before enrollment. So, if you want to start right after completing your undergraduate degree, you should apply during the fall semester of senior year. However, if you’d like some time to cool down, don’t feel pressured to apply right away.

Additionally, you should make a plan on how long it might take you to finish your degree. A lot of programs only take two years, but if you have other obligations, it might take you longer to get your degree. Figuring out a timeline will help you set realistic expectations for completing grad school.

What Career Do I Want?

Before you start searching for a program, you should have an idea of how you want to use your degree. Knowing what career you want once you graduate will help you figure out the right grad school program for you.

According to Don Martin from US News, once you’ve picked your ideal career, you should research the position itself. Knowing the professional realities of the job you want will give you a better idea of what field you need to specialize in. Once you know the field, it’ll be easier to search for potential programs.

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Where Do I Want to Go?

Now that you know what you want to go to school for, it’s time to figure out how far you’re willing to travel. Your ideal grad school isn’t always going to be near home. To get a good program in your area of expertise, you might need to attend school in another state or even overseas. According to Martin, you should round up at least 15 to 20 schools that offer the program you’re looking for and narrow it down from there. The school you end up choosing might be on the other side of the country, but if it offers the program you need, go for it!

How Much Can I Spend on Tuition?

Earning your master’s can be more costly than earning your bachelor’s, and you don’t have as many options to pay for grad school as you had when you were an undergraduate student.

Campus Explorer recommends a variety of options for paying your tuition. Some grad students work as teaching assistants, which means they help out a professor with any instructional needs. You can also apply tax benefits to pay for tuition or ask your employer to pay for you. Whatever you do, you need to make sure you have a way to pay your tuition.

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Who Will be My Advisor?

You’ll need to carefully consider who will be your advisor throughout your program, as they will be the one who recommends courses for you to take and directs your dissertation. According to David Mumby from Next Scientist, once you decide on a school and field of interest, you should look through the faculty list and pick a professor whose research areas align with your preferred field. That means they will be savvy on your area of research and will help you throughout your grad school journey.

Picking a graduate program can be a difficult decision. Ask yourself these questions before finding your perfect fit.

Check out these grad school articles:

Five Ways to Save for Graduate School

Life After College: Thinking about Graduate School

Life after College: Graduate School

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Top image courtesy of Victoria Lind.

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Major of the Month: Spanish

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For students who are interested in learning about different languages and cultures, majoring in a world language like Spanish is a smart option. College Lifestyles™ chatted with Nicole James, a senior majoring in Spanish literature, culture and translation with a minor in Arabic from Kent State University, about her experiences.

College Lifestyles™: How did you first become interested in Spanish?

Nicole James: In high school, I studied French for four years. My teacher was very knowledgeable and passionate. Largely due to her influence, French led me to become interested in all kinds of world languages and cultures. My senior year of high school, I decided that I wanted to learn Spanish as well, so I took Spanish I. That same year, my family had an exchange student from Mexico live with us. This exposure made me realize how much I not only loved the Spanish language, but also the culture of many Spanish-speaking countries. Since then, my interest in and love for Central and South American countries has only increased.

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CL: What are your classes like? Are they different from what you expected?

NJ: In high school, my language classes were primarily based on vocabulary memorization, with some grammar, conversation, culture and listening aspects. College classes, especially as you progress in the major, assume that you already know the appropriate vocabulary. The classes usually are more focused on the information being presented (i.e. history, literature, etc.) in Spanish, rather than simply focusing on the language.

CL: What do you like best about your major?

NJ: One of my favorite things is being able to communicate with native Spanish speakers. It has been very rewarding to use what I have learned to get to know people I may not have been able to otherwise. I also love learning about/experiencing other countries and cultures.

CL: What do you dislike about your major?

NJ: The most frustrating thing is the amount of time required to actually gain fluency. It takes a lot of practice reading, listening, writing and conversing to be able to feel comfortable in the language. You have to be really dedicated and willing to put in the time if you want to be successful at learning a language.

CL: What do you hope to do with your major once you graduate?

NJ: Immediately after I graduate, I hope to go to Mexico and teach English, which ironically is not directly connected to what I am currently studying. After maybe a few years, I intend to return to the United States and teach Spanish or possibly Arabic, most likely at the high school level.

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CL: What internships have you had and how have they helped you?

NJ: I have not had any internships, but I’ve had the opportunity to study abroad in Spain. Through that experience, I was able to immerse myself in the language and focus purely on learning Spanish. I really enjoyed my time there. Although it was hard to tell in the moment, I can definitely see an improvement in my Spanish abilities because of it.

CL: What would you say to someone considering your major?

NJ: I would tell them that it’s a lot of work, and that they should seriously consider the reason why they want to study Spanish. Additionally, they should really make an effort to travel to a Spanish-speaking country. The more opportunities you have to practice what you’ve learned in class, the more you’ll actually learn Spanish for real.

If you want to have a well-rounded experience with Spanish language and culture like James, then you should consider majoring in Spanish, too!

Check out more fabulous majors:

Major of the Month: Creative Writing

Major of the Month: Psychology

Major of the Month: Pre-Med

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Images courtesy of Nicole James.

Five Food and Hunger Organizations College Students Can Donate to This Giving Tuesday

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This year, you might’ve had the opportunity to take a break from college, spend time with your family and enjoy lots of delicious food. Give back to the world around you this Giving Tuesday by donating money to organizations that fight food insecurity and unethical farming. By donating to the organizations below, you’ll help make someone else in the world happy and healthy.

No Kid Hungry

No Kid Hungry is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to stopping childhood hunger. According to their website, 1 in 5 children in the United States don’t get the required amount of food they need. No Kid Hungry combats this by giving families the equipment they need to prepare dishes in their own home and working out a food budget with them and fighting for schools to provide breakfast.

The organization has an overall score of 85.13 out of 100 on Charity Navigator, with 68.7 percent of their funding going toward program expenses. It’s a great charity to support to help children get the food they need.

Feeding America

According to Feeding America’s website, this organization is the largest hunger relief organization in the United States. Feeding America helps combat food insecurity through a large network of food banks across the country. Additionally, they also make sure children and senior citizens are well-fed, help stabilize food-insecure families and help provide food during disasters.

Feeding America currently has an overall score of 93.89 on Charity Navigator. They allocate 98.5 percent of their funding toward program expenses. Donating to this fabulous organization will help fight food insecurity in the United States.

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Stop Hunger Now

If you’re looking for an organization that combats hunger on a global scale, donate to Stop Hunger Now. They help by packaging meals and sending them around the world. The packaging program is volunteer-run too, so you could donate or set up your own food packaging program in your community.

Stop Hunger Now has an overall score of 95.63 on Charity Navigator, with 88.3 percent of its funds allocated toward program expenses. This is an innovative program for those who want to help end world hunger.

World Food Programme

The World Food Programme is a branch of the United Nations that deals with global food assistance. They sponsor a variety of programs, like providing vulnerable people with the means to make food more accessible and providing school meals, among others.

This organization has a score of 86.95, with 89.3 percent of its funding going toward program expenses. According to their website, this organization is completely funded by donations, so any amount counts.

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Mercy for Animals

Responsible caretaking for farm animals is also an important food-related issue. Mercy for Animals dedicates its cause to investigating unethical slaughtering practices in factory farms. Their goal is to make sure farms treat their animals humanely and to encourage a vegetarian diet.

Mercy for Animals currently has a score of 82.94. Program expenses account for 77.5 percent of the group’s funding.

This Giving Tuesday, take the opportunity to donate to some of these organizations. You might make a positive impact on someone’s life.

Check out other nutrition articles below:

Five Fall Favorites We Made Healthy This Week

Five Healthier Salad Bar Picks

How to Make Your Groceries Last All Week

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 Top image courtesy of Victoria Lind.

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Intern of the Month: Victoria Lind, October 2015

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Behind the “screens,” College Lifestyles™ is run by a hard-working team of editors and writers who prepare and publish daily content to help you have a classier, more affordable college experience.

Each month, this team chooses one of their own to receive a special spotlight for a job well done.

This past October, the team chose Victoria Lind as their Intern of the Month.

Lind is an applied communications major at Kent State University, and a college prep writer for CL this fall. Starting next semester, she will serve as CL’s college prep/professional development and dating/relationships editor.

Before she steps into her new role with us, we wanted to give you the chance to get to know this fabulous co-ed a little better. Read on to find out what Lind’s favorite article was this fall, and what she loves most about being a CL intern.

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College Lifestyles™: What does being intern of the month mean to you?

Victoria Lind: Being Intern of the Month makes me super happy! I enjoy being part of the CL team, so it’s great knowing my teammates think I’m making a positive contribution.

CL: What does being a classy co-ed mean to you?

VL: A classy co-ed is someone who acts with courtesy, enthusiasm and professionalism throughout her academic career and her personal life.

CL: What was your favorite article from this semester so far?

VL: I really enjoyed reading Top Five Tips for Nervous Public Speakers. Even though I’m a communication major, I still get nervous when giving presentations, so it’s really helpful to follow any advice that eases my apprehension.

CL: What are you looking forward to this holiday season?

VL: I won’t have to worry so much about school or work during the holidays, so I can relax and sleep in a little … Also, my birthday is about a week before Christmas, so that’s always something to look forward to!

CL: What is your favorite thing about being a CL team member?

VL: I like how everyone is so helpful and enthusiastic. It really makes me feel like I’m part of a cohesive team.

Congratulations, Victoria! Stay classy!

Interested in writing for CL, but missed your chance to apply for our spring internship? Our Campus Correspondent Program allows you to pitch and write five articles per semester without having to make a full-time commitment. Learn more about this writing opportunity today.

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Images courtesy of Victoria Lind.

Graphic by Meg Dowell.

Campus President Interview: Brielle Black, President of Revive at Kent State University at Stark

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As president of Revive, a Christian student club, Brielle Black promotes an environment where members find a deeper connection to their faith. College Lifestyles™ talked with this classy junior about her leadership role.

CL: What made you want to become president of Revive?

Black: Because of a personal situation, the previous president was no longer able to take on the role. To be honest, I didn’t want to be president at first. I didn’t feel like I was ready and I knew this semester was going to be busy. I still ended up in the role because I had already been an officer for several semesters and I wasn’t planning on transferring to the Kent campus. Before the whole situation, I knew at some point I did want to pursue the presidency. I knew there were things I wanted to change about the group.

CL: What are your responsibilities as president?

Black: As president, I meet with the other officers every week [and conduct meetings]. […] One of the first actions I took as president was suggesting we completely re-launch the organization [with a] new name, new marketing [and] new ideas. It was the perfect time to make changes. We were changing our advisor, it was a new semester and we had a new building to meet in.

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CL: What’s your favorite thing about being president?

Black: I like that I have the chance to give group members the power to have their ideas heard and implemented within the organization. I also love that being the president of Revive doesn’t make me better or more powerful than any of the other group members or officers. […] Another favorite aspect is that many people know me as someone who is highly involved in the group. […] I love that I can be the Lord’s instrument on the Stark campus [and] I can serve him where I am. […] If I can be the leader of a group that encourages reaching out to those who are lost, then I’m very happy to be president.

CL: What are some challenges you’ve come across as president?

Black: Being president this semester has been extremely difficult. I started the semester out with four jobs. […] I’m also completing my practicum for my applied communication major requirement and I have a full class schedule. […] Because of all of the craziness outside of Revive, I felt so much pressure this semester. I didn’t feel like I could be as involved in the group as I wanted to. There are many weeks where I don’t quite feel “present” at the group because my mind is on a million other things. Personal, outer struggle has affected the presidency the most.

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CL: What are some goals you have for Revive?

Black: It’s always been a goal of mine as the president to increase the number of group members that we have on a weekly basis. I’ve come to realize, however, that it’s more important to build valuable relationships with the students who already come. By building relationships and trust with others in the group, they’re more apt to invite friends to come to the organization’s meetings. Another goal I have is that each week when everyone leaves the group, I want them to feel loved, cared for and listened to. […] I’d like to see Revive do more service projects within the Canton community. I’d like us to move beyond just the Stark campus in sharing the love of God.

With compassion and confidence, Black was able to revive the organization.

Check out more campus leaders:

Campus President Interview: Kai Pedersen of the PLNU College Democrats Club

Campus President Interview: Tori Matisoff of Hofstra University’s Paw Pals

Meet Sacramento City College’s Anthropology Club President: Curtis Rogers

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Images courtesy of Brielle Black.

What to Do if You Don’t Get Into a Class

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The fabulous thing about college is that you can pick your own classes. However, that also means that a class that you want might not be available to you. Whether the class is full or you haven’t met all the requirements to enroll, it’s important to have a plan for when you can’t get into a specific class.

Waitlist It

Even if a class is full, you may still have the option of waitlisting it. Waitlisting means that you’re put on a list of students who are interested in the course, but couldn’t register in time. When there’s an opening in the course, the first person on the waitlist is automatically added onto the roster.

If a class you want is full, add yourself to the waitlist immediately. According to Eric Benson at the University of Delaware, a few students will most likely drop the course during the first couple weeks of the semester, allowing waitlisted students to enroll. If you waitlist the class early, you’ll have a better chance of getting into the class.

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Try to Enroll Anyway

Just because you can’t get into a class doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. Most of the time, professors aren’t too strict about class sizes or prerequisites. Arrange a meeting with them and ask if they’ll let you take the course anyway. Max Baumgarten at Unigo suggests explaining that you need the class to graduate or you’re really interested in taking it. Who knows? They might go easy on you and allow you to register.

If you can’t meet with them, talk to your academic advisor. They’ll probably be able to pull some strings and get you into the class. Either way, if you’re able to take the class, show them you’re a hard-working student by doing well in the course. That way, you’ll show your professor or advisor that their efforts were not in vain.

Find an Alternative

If you still can’t get into the course, Ruairi McKiernan at The Huffington Post suggests finding another course that’ll meet the same requirements. Can’t take astronomy for your science elective this semester? Take biology instead! It might not be the class you really wanted, but you’ll be able to knock out that required course and be on track to graduate on time. This is usually easier to do with general electives than classes for your major or minor.

If the class can’t immediately be substituted with another course in the same semester, talk with your advisor. There’s a good chance they’ll allow you to take another course entirely to meet that elective. The worst they can say is “no!”

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Wait Until Next Semester

If you can’t get into the course and there’s no alternative, you’ll probably have to wait until the class is offered again. If you do end up waiting, make sure you register as soon as possible next semester and complete any prerequisites for the course. You might’ve not gotten in this semester, but if you stay on track, you’ll be sure to get a seat next time!

Getting locked out of a class can negatively affect your academic career. Therefore, you should have a plan in case you can’t get the classes you want. Follow these tips to create a classy back-up plan for next semester.

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Top image courtesy of Victoria Lind.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

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Five Essential To-Dos for Thanksgiving Break

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Thanksgiving break is one of the few times in the year where you can spend time relaxing with your family instead of studying in class. While it might be tempting to spend your break vegging out, keep in mind that you’re not quite done with the semester yet. Follow these tips to spend your Thanksgiving break the smart way.

Spend Time with Family and Friends

While you’re in college, you might not get a lot of time to spend with your family. Sure, you might call or Skype them every once in awhile, but nothing beats seeing them in person!

Make sure you spend a lot of quality time with your parents, siblings and extended family. Ask them how they’ve been and give them updates on how your life is going (even if the questions are awkward). Offer to help out in the kitchen for some more bonding time. You could even suggest a fun game for the whole family. Cherish the time you spend with them because you won’t have this opportunity again for at least another month.

Work on Schoolwork

Finals are usually around the corner, which means it’s also important to study. Thanksgiving break is a good time to study and work on bigger projects, like presentations and papers. The Office of Global Education at Millersville University also suggests using time to study, especially concepts you don’t understand. You also have more time to study since you don’t have to go to class, so use it wisely. It’s best to get your work done earlier in the break so you can spend more time having fun.

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Volunteer

While you’re spending time with family and eating fresh food, take some time to give back to those who are less fortunate. Find opportunities to volunteer at events around your community. Lots of places are always looking for volunteers. For example, Kelci Lynn Lucier at About Education recommends volunteering at a hospital, a homeless shelter or a religious institution.

With some organizations, like domestic violence or women’s shelters, you might have to prepare your volunteer work in advance so they can do a background check for safety reasons. Whatever you do, you’ll feel great and you’ll make someone else’s day better, too!

Exercise                                                      

According to Lynn Oberbillig, the athletics director at Smith College, the average person consumes 4,500 calories on Thanksgiving Day. After you’ve eaten, take some time to work off all those filling Thanksgiving goodies.

Now that you’re at home, take a jog around the block. If your parents have converted your room into a work-out room, feel free to use it. You can even invite family members to some group exercise. Spend quality time with your family while burning calories!

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Relax

Chill out; it is a break, after all! When you’ve finished your homework and gotten your fill of Thanksgiving food, family and volunteer work, take some time to focus on you. Get as much sleep as you need; you have time for it now. Think about how much you’ve accomplished this semester and congratulate yourself on a job well done.

Thanksgiving break is a time for rest and relaxation, but it’s also a time to catch up on schoolwork and make a positive impact on your community. Follow these tips for a productive Thanksgiving break.

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Top image courtesy of Victoria Lind.

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Organization Spotlight: Golden Flash Fiction Club at Kent State University

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Writers aim to improve their work and writing workshops are a smart way to achieve that. Most universities will have a student organization dedicated to helping writers grow and network with other writers. Recently, the Golden Flash Fiction Club, a club for students to work on their writing and share it with others, blossomed at Kent State University. College Lifestyles™ talked with Golden Flash Fiction Club founder and president Alice Gianfagna to learn more about the club.

What You Can Learn

The Golden Flash Fiction Club will help you improve as a writer. You’ll receive prompts that challenge you to step outside your comfort zone and write something you’ve never touched upon before. You’ll also receive feedback from other writers, which will help you understand what you’re good at and what you should improve. At the very least, setting aside time away from your hard-working schedule will give you a consistent timeframe to focus on sharpening your writing skills.

“A common piece of writing advice is to write for thirty minutes a day. It doesn’t seem like a lot of time, but as a student, I know it can be difficult to find that time when you have so many other responsibilities to take care of. Hence, forming a club in order to make the time to write seems less like shirking responsibility and more like a part of your college life and career.” – Alice Gianfagna, junior, Kent State University

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A Typical Day

The club meets every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Every meeting starts out with some light conversation so members can build a friendly environment and get to know each other. On Mondays and Wednesdays, everyone receives a writing prompt, which brings all sorts of challenges and improvement. Once the prompt is over, members have time to share what they’ve written.

Friday meetings are dedicated to free-writing so writers can unwind and focus on what they love to write about. They also have the opportunity to share their work and receive critiques, which helps writers grow.

As president, Gianfagna creates most of the prompts, takes responsibility as main correspondent, creates advertisements to post around campus, runs every meeting and gives one-on-one feedback with interested members. Even though the club just started, she’s already thinking of getting involved in philanthropy and collaborating with other clubs on campus.

“I’ve got my hands in a bit of everything as president. This club is my baby, so I do everything I can with it.” – Gianfagna

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Why You Should Join

Joining the Golden Flash Fiction Club will help you grow as a writer. By joining, you’ll receive an outlet where you can write without worrying about school and other obligations. Critiques and prompts will challenge you and help you improve your technique. You’ll also connect with other writers from unexpected fields, have an opportunity to read their work and gain readers for your own work.

“Some people think writing is just for English majors, but it’s not. I have had the pleasure of meeting many different aspiring writers and all with different voices. It’s a great experience!” – Gianfagna

The Golden Flash Fiction Club is a fabulous organization for students who want to improve themselves as writers. Connect with fellow writers and watch your own writing blossom!

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Top image courtesy of Alice Gianfagna.

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What to Do if You’re Late for Class

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Most students have been late to class at least once in their life. Your alarm didn’t go off, you got stuck in traffic, you had to take care of some errands… it happens to the best of us. Follow these tips to handle being late for class the classy way.

Go to Class… or Don’t

To go or not to go; that is the question. Before you do anything, you should first decide whether it’s worth it to go to class, anyway.

It mostly depends on how much class time is left. If you’ll only be a few minutes late, then you should still try to make it to class. You might miss some of the lecture, but you’ll be able to catch the rest. In addition, if it’s an exam or presentation day, Brooke Sperbeck from Mustang News recommends getting to class as soon as possible, especially if there’s no way of making it up. In that case, it’s better to show up late than to skip and get a zero.

On the other hand, if you’ve missed half the class or there’s only 10 minutes left, OnlineCollegeCourses.com suggests skipping class for the day. You probably won’t make it in that amount of time. Use the time to study or work on a project instead.

Don’t Make a Scene

If you decide to go, keep in mind that the class is already in session and your professor is trying to do their job. When you walk into class late, be as discreet as possible so you won’t disrupt the class.

Do not greet your professor or immediately apologize when you walk in. Sit in an aisle seat or in the back row so you don’t walk over other students. In addition, Jorie Scholnik from USA Today recommends not walking in front of the professor. It’ll distract them and possibly muffle their voice, which will irritate students sitting in the back. Show respect to your professor and classmates and they’ll be more forgiving.

Apologize and Take Responsibility

Whether you go or not, you still need to take responsibility for being late. Therefore, you need to show your professor you regret your tardiness and get any materials that you missed.

Talk to your professor after class or email them before class if you know you’ll be late. Either way, you should apologize for being late and promise that you’ll try to prevent it from happening again. Scholnik recommends not providing a long-winded explanation of why you were late. It’ll start sounding like an excuse and will make you look irresponsible.

Sperbeck suggests getting notes from a classmate so you know what you missed. Don’t expect your professor to fill you in on what happened, and do not ask them if you missed anything important (everything covered in class is important!). If you had to turn in any assignments, submit them as soon as possible. If you missed an exam or a presentation, make arrangements to make it up. It’s your responsibility to keep up with the course, no matter why you were late.

Sometimes, you might have to deal with being late for class. When it happens, show your professor and colleagues that you can handle it with courtesy and professionalism.

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Five Tips for Doing Research for Your Next Assignment

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Before you start writing, you have to research your topic. Research helps you understand a topic and all its aspects before you make your claim or argument. But where can you find credible and thorough research? Follow these tips to find well-rounded sources.

Use Search Terms Wisely

Every word counts, especially when you’re using a search engine! Start with general search terms that relate to your topic, then work from there. Science Buddies recommends including more words in your search term to narrow your search and removing words to broaden it.

With certain search engines, like Google, you can include special characters to further narrow down and specify your results. For example, putting quotation marks around a word or phrase will give you results with that specific term. Putting a minus sign next to a word will give you results that don’t contain that word. Use these to your advantage to find the information you want.

Your Campus is Your Friend

Your university has a wide array of credible sources for you to use. The campus library is the first place you should look. Your library will have books and articles on all sorts of subjects. In addition, you’ll also be able to access academic databases that include a large catalog of academic journal articles.

If you don’t know where to start, ask a librarian. According to EasyBib, your university might have librarians that specialize in certain subjects. They won’t do your research for you, but they’ll be able to point you toward the right resources.

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Beware of Using Websites

Keep in mind that websites might not contain credible information. If you use a commercial search engine like Google or Bing, they won’t bring you credible sources first because results are organized by most popular, not most truthful. To figure out whether a website will be credible, look at the URL first. If it ends in .gov or .edu, it’ll be more credible.

Science Buddies also recommends making sure the website presents objective information, properly cites original sources, is written by an author who has authority on the subject, and is free of errors. Make sure the site and information is recent, too. If the website doesn’t tell you when the page was last updated, Cornell University Library recommends typing javascript:alert(document.lastModified) into the address bar and hitting Enter. It’ll give you a pop-up window that’ll show you when the page was last modified.

Conduct Your Own Research

You might also have an opportunity to conduct primary research. Reach out to your fellow co-eds and ask them to do a survey or interview members of the community. Make sure you keep your respondents’ identities anonymous and keep the research questions objective. Your sample size should also be large enough to apply to a general population.

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Cite Your Sources

When you start incorporating your research into your assignment, make sure you properly cite your sources. You should cite anything you’ve researched that is not considered common knowledge. The format you write the paper in will determine how you format your sources. Citing sources is extremely important in college because not citing sources results in plagiarism, which results in extreme consequences like failing the class or getting expelled from the university.

Research can help you learn more about a topic before you start writing your assignment. These tips will help you learn the intelligent way to gather research.

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How to Write a Scholarship Essay No One Will Forget

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Writing scholarship essays can be stressful, especially when next semester’s classes are on the line. You not only have to convince your reader that you’ve worked hard enough and deserve the money, you also have to write in a way that’ll make you stand out from other students. Follow these tips and you’ll be rolling in scholarship money!

Know Your Audience

Different scholarships emphasize different aspects. Are they looking for people who have shown significant academic improvement? Are they looking for people who do a lot of volunteer work? Or maybe they’re looking for people from disadvantaged backgrounds. Whatever the case may be, you’ll need to write an essay that gives the program exactly what they’re looking for. US News recommends researching each organization to learn about their history, their vision and any past recipients so you know what you’re dealing with.

Answer the Real Question

It’s important to answer the underlying question in every essay prompt. According to Gen and Kelly Tanabe from SuperCollege, the most common underlying question is, “Why should we give this money to you?” Whether you’re writing about how you volunteer as a volleyball coach or you’ve had a 4.0 GPA for the past eight semesters, you also need to convince the program that they should pick you out of all the other applicants who might be writing about the same topic.

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Sell Yourself

Think of your essay as a full-page ad where you are the product and the program in charge of the scholarship is the potential buyer. What can you do? Why should someone “buy” you? Sell your readers on why they should award you the money by emphasizing qualities that they’re looking for. Weave it in naturally throughout your essay so it doesn’t come across as bragging.

Make It Personal

Make your essay memorable by emphasizing your experiences. Sharing your personal journey will set your essay apart from the other applicants. Don’t just tell a story about something that happened to you, though. Think about what you learned from that experience and how it made a positive impact on your life. In addition, pick an experience that fits the prompt and convinces the program that you deserve the scholarship.

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Make It Impeccable

If you want to make sure your essay will be read, perfect your writing. Use correct spelling and grammar at all times; judges won’t bother reading your essay it if it’s full of typos and grammar errors. In addition, Scholarships.com recommends using clear and concise language so your essay is easy to read. Be careful about word count, too. If you write a 600-word essay when the limit is 500 words, it’ll be rejected immediately. When in doubt, have someone look over your essay or take it to your university’s writing center so you can make sure you’re writing a sharp essay.

Scholarship essays can make or break your chances of getting a scholarship. Keep these tips in mind and stay one step ahead of the scholarship game!

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Top image courtesy of Victoria Lind.

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Classy Interview: Susan Merritt from Kent State University at Stark

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Here at College Lifestyles™, we love getting to know awesome co-eds from all walks of life. That’s why we’ve talked to Susan Merritt, a junior at Kent State University at Stark.

Merritt is an English major with a minor in writing. This semester, she’s started working as a tutor at the Kent State Stark Writing Center. In her free time, she likes reading, writing, cooking, watching movies, camping and playing soccer with her kids. We sat down with Susan to learn more about this classy woman.

College Lifestyles™: What made you decide to go to college?

Susan Merritt: I love learning. I’m just curious about everything. My older sister was in school at the time, and she was a really big encouragement. She told me to just go for it and that it’s not going to be like high school. I’m not one of those people who knows exactly what I want to do, but I want to soak it all in just to better myself.

CL: What made you pick Kent State at Stark?

SM: I love this place! I originally picked it because it was close and I like all the humanities majors. It’s a really nice campus with really nice people, and I love the professors here.

CL: What made you want to be an English major?

SM: I love reading and writing, so they came easier to me than other things.

CL: What’s your favorite class so far?

SM: I really liked Human Evolution and Cultural Anthropology with Dr. Harkness. It was awesome! I loved my Creative Non-fiction and Fiction Writing classes, too. I love sharing my writing with other people in workshops, so I feel lucky that most of the tutoring sessions I’ve had were for creative writing. I also liked History of the English Language because I like history and I love language and learning where they all came from. I’d also say Linguistics because it was interesting, although I struggled a little.

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CL: What goals have you set for yourself this semester?

SM: Working in the Writing Center is all new to me, so I want to get certified as a tutor. I just really want to do a good job at that. It’s more difficult because I’m a shy person, but I’ve come a long way and I talk a lot more now. I want to do really well in school. I push myself a lot and try to get As. I’m taking science classes this semester, so that’s outside my comfort zone. I like science, but I haven’t had a science class in probably 16 years.

CL: What inspires you?

SM: My professors, the stars, my daughter, good writing and the power of words.

CL: How do you feel about being so close to graduation?

SM: I feel good, but also nervous. I feel like I’ve come a long way. I just found some writing from my freshman year and it was awful compared to my writing now. I feel like I’ve learned a lot and I’m making connections between different classes. I feel everything will fall into place even if I don’t know what I’m doing, so I’m trying my best.

CL: What do you want to do after you graduate?

SM: In a perfect world, I would like to write for a magazine or a newspaper or maybe for National Geographic. I’d like to travel and help people, too.

CL: What do you like to write?

SM: I like to write true stories, science fiction, fantasy, human interest stories and stories about people.

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CL: What’s your favorite book that you’ve ever read?

SM: I really loved “The Celestine Prophecy” by James Redfield. I liked it because it was an adventure story, but it was also really interesting and fascinating. It’s fiction, but it’s also about life in general and why we’re all here. It’s about this guy who was following this mystery about these manuscripts that were discovered in Peru. It was really deep and interesting.

CL: What’s some advice you’d give to incoming freshmen?

SM: Go to class; not just for the sake of going, but also to get involved and explore. Take ownership of your education. Ask questions. Talk in class. You might not be comfortable doing it, but I’ve made myself start talking, and I’m getting so much more out of it. Don’t be afraid to take a variety of classes. I did that, and it’s really helpful. Obviously, there’s scheduling constraints, but try to take things that aren’t necessarily in your field of study but still interest you.

Merritt’s doing an awesome job of balancing her school, work and family life. We can’t wait to see what the future holds for this hard-working student!

Check out these articles to learn about some more classy co-eds:

Classy Interview: Brittany McHugh from Berkeley College

Classy Interview: Meet Delaney Hassell from Robert Morris University

CL Interviews: Classy Co-ed Danielle Carder from Shepherd University

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Images courtesy of Susan Merritt.

Graphic courtesy of College Lifestyles™.

How to Get the Most Out of Your Tutoring Session

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Some classes are more challenging than others. For the more difficult courses, it’s smart to schedule a tutoring session. But what’s the best way to talk with your tutor so you can learn the materials quicker? Here are some tips for getting the most from tutoring.

Be Prepared

Bring any materials you need for the session. According to Mary Hunt Webb from Northcentral Technical College, you should bring some paper, a pen or pencil, your textbook or lecture notes and any assignments that are stumping you.

In addition, Red River College recommends bringing in a couple questions you have about the assignment. If you can target specific areas you need help with, then your tutor will be better prepared to help you learn the material. Reading the lesson beforehand will help, as you’ll have an idea of what the lecture will cover.

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Be On Time

Your tutor is busy, just like you! Please respect their time by arriving to your session at the scheduled time. Being on time will also give you the time you need to learn during the session.

Use your time wisely during the session as well. Webb recommends that you should have your materials out in front of you as soon as you begin. Be prepared to flip to the correct page so you don’t waste time finding the correct chapter. Have your notes labeled so they’re easy to find. When you can access your materials quickly, you’ll have more time to spend in the session and more time to learn.

Be Engaged

You need to take an active role in your tutoring session, even though you’re the one who’s learning. According to Adam Britten from USA Today, you shouldn’t walk into a session and expect your tutor to do your work for you. You won’t learn anything, and you and your tutor could get in trouble.

Get what you need from the session and ask specific questions about anything you don’t understand. Webb recommends exploring your learning style so your tutor can tailor the session to fit your needs. You can also ask your tutor to give you some real life examples to help you learn the material. The most important thing is letting your tutor know what they should do to help you learn effectively.

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Be Persistent

Britten recommends staying positive throughout the session so you’re more willing to learn what you don’t understand. While actively learning during the session will help, taking on work after the session is also a good idea.

According to Britten, you should keep studying after the tutoring session so you’ll retain what you’ve learned. You should also ask your tutor to assign some extra material for you to work on. It may seem like a lot of work, but you should be willing to take on anything that’ll help you improve.

Tutoring can seem intimidating at first. Keep these tips in mind so you can get the most of your tutoring session and have a fabulous time doing it!

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Top image courtesy of Victoria Lind.

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Image courtesy of Africa/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Five Tips for Writing Papers Your Professors Will Enjoy Reading

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We’ve already shown you how to write a college-level paper, but sometimes you have to push the envelope. Not only will you get a good grade, but you’ll really wow your professors and make them notice your hard work. College Lifestyles ™ has some tips to change a paper from okay to fabulous!

Follow the Assignment Requirements

You won’t impress your professors if you don’t follow directions! They’re not looking for a right answer, but they are asking that you demonstrate certain skills and knowledge. When your professor gives you a prompt, they’re giving you a focused topic to start with so you can draw your own conclusions. Do you research based on the research question they’ve given you and work from there.

Keep the Page Count Just Right

Page counts are guidelines, not suggestions. According to Jeremy Hyman and Lynn Jacobs from US News, professors get about six minutes to read every student’s paper, so don’t give them 14 pages when they only require eight. Writing too much can show a lack of focus. On the other hand, writing too little can show that you don’t know enough about the topic. Find a good amount of research on a specific subject and work it into your paper so your professor will enjoy reading it.

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Offer Good Insight

Writing in college isn’t just about summarizing what you know. It’s about offering your interpretation based on what you’ve learned. According to Joseph Williams and Lawrence McEnerney from the University of Chicago Writing Program, your paper should have a main argument that you’re going to support with research. But how do you craft a good argument?

Your argument should give significant insight on the topic, and it should be something not everyone agrees on. You also shouldn’t state the obvious or make a claim that can’t be supported in a few pages. By crafting an argument that is concise, contestable and valuable, you will astound your professors with your critical thinking skills.

Don’t Write for Your Professor

A good way to impress your professor with your writing is to make them feel like they’re not the target audience. It might sound odd, but if you act like you’re writing for someone who might not have the same knowledge about the topic, then you’re more likely to fully explain your points, which will make your paper flow better.

In addition, it teaches you about audience awareness. Your professor won’t always be the only one reading your work, so you should prepare to write for larger audiences. Showing your professors that you’re thinking of potential readers will make them applaud your enthusiasm.

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Get Their Feedback

Professors enjoy talking about research. Author of The Secret to College Success Bruce Gibbs recommends discussing your paper with your professor throughout the writing process so they’re as engaged in your topic as you are. You might send them a short statement about your topic, your thesis statement, or even an outline of your paper. Showing them the steps you’re taking will show them that you’re a hard-working writer.

You could put the minimum effort in your writing, but why stop there? Keep these tips in mind and write a smart paper that’ll make a good impression on your professors.

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Top image courtesy of Victoria Lind.

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Major of the Month: Pre-Med

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The pre-med program is great for hard-working students who have set their sights on medical school. Even though it’s usually not a major, any student can enroll in their university’s pre-med track, which allows intelligent students from a wide variety of degrees to participate in the program. College Lifestyles™ talked with Austin Parker, a biology major and pre-med student from Kent State University, about his experiences in the program.

College Lifestyles™: How did you first become interested in medicine?

Austin Parker: I became interested in medicine because of a physician who treated me back in 2009-2010. Her name was Dr. Maria Henwood-Finely, and she was a pediatric endocrinologist at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus.

CL: What are your classes like? Are they different from what you expected?

AP: My classes are very interesting and challenging. They’re pretty much what I was expecting. They’re all demanding but having an interest in the content makes it all doable.

CL: What have been your best and worst class experiences in college?

AP: My best class experience is actually a tie between my former Calculus and Biological Foundations classes. The professors for both of these classes were phenomenal. They were great at teaching and had a lot of passion for their respective subjects. My worst class experience would be with a Kent Core class I took in my freshmen year. It was called Understanding Architecture and it was difficult for me. I quickly realized that I had close to zero interest in the basics of architecture and it made the class dreadful.

CL: What do you like best about the pre-med program?

AP: I really like the structure of the pre-med concentration. It not only has us taking the medical school prerequisites, but also other courses that will strengthen our academic foundation.

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CL: What do you dislike about the pre-med program?

AP: There honestly isn’t anything that I dislike about the program.

CL: What medical school do you hope to be accepted into and what specialty would you like to pursue? Also, what do you plan on doing after graduating from medical school?

AP: I would be ecstatic to be accepted into any U.S. medical school. I don’t necessarily have any school ranked above another. I would like to go into an Emergency Medicine residency after graduating from medical school.

CL: What volunteer work have you had and how has it helped you?

AP: I volunteer in an E.R./Trauma Center in Louisville, Kentucky over my summer and winter breaks. It has helped me to see the team aspect of medicine. There are a lot of people involved in the treatment of a patient and they all find a way to work as a cohesive unit.

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CL: Are you involved in any organizations on campus? If so, how have they helped you?

AP: I am involved in the Kent State University chapter of the Navigators. It is a Christian student organization on campus. It has helped me in many ways, one of them being able to find a great group of friends.

CL: What were your reasons for picking Kent State?

AP: I immediately felt at home here at Kent State. I loved the campus, the town and the weather.

CL: What would you say to someone considering pre-med?

AP: I would say to go out and shadow a physician before you decide. You want to make sure that you are fully convinced that this is your calling before embarking on this journey.

Check out these articles for more fabulous majors:

Major of the Month: Astronomy

Major of the Month: IT

Major of the Month: Sociology

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