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Five Myths About College

Ask anyone who graduated from college and they will tell you that they wish they knew a certain piece of insider information before they went to school. College is full of myths and half-truths. Here’s a list of the top five.

Myth 1: You don’t have to know what you want to do until your junior year.
This myth has been perpetuated by counselors and academic advisors all throughout the country, on both the high school and university levels. Although it is true that you don’t need to choose a major until your junior year, you better have some clue about what you want to do before you say yes to that acceptance letter.

If you are an entering freshman, and you have absolutely no clue what major to choose, two years of taking general educations requirements will not magically bestow you with educational clarity. If anything, two years of multidisciplinary exposure will leave you with more questions than answers. Figure out what your goals are before you get to school. You can always change your mind, but if there are certain things that you know you want to experience (i.e. traveling aboard, taking an internship, creating your own major or combining different majors), then you’re more likely to accommodate these considerations if you know what you want to get out of school before you arrive.

Myth 2: You must to choose from a rigid set of majors and class schedules.
College is very customizable. If your major isn’t offered at your school of choice, then try to create it. If you want to take a course on 21st century terrorism, and the class doesn’t appear on the schedule, then make it up. Independent studies are awesome. If your proposed courses of study are approved (usually through the tacit support of a professor or academic advisor), then you can set your own curriculum. You read what you want, write what you want, and your only class time is face to face discussion sessions with your advising professor (usually during office hours). These tailor-made learning experiences can be very rewarding, because they can be created by you to suit your own personal academic interests.

Myth 3: College is one big party.
Sure you’re going to rage it up while you’re in school, but if you don’t get your stuff done, you won’t be partying for very long. Time management is extremely important in college. If you allot enough time for work, you’ll still have plenty of time to play. Just make sure you know when to say “not tonight, I have to cram.”

Myth 4: Living on campus is fun.
If you’re an incoming freshman, nothing sounds cooler than living on campus. You get to meet new people and you live just outside your classes. You can stumble out of bed a nd stroll into your lecture without a problem. If you have the opportunity to live off campus, do so. On campus living is overrated. You could be faced with the dreaded my-roommate-is-a-chump syndrome. If you want peace and quite, you might have to complain to your noisy neighbors. If you want to be noisy, you might have to deal with your complaining neighbors. Live with people who you like and respect, and live off campus. When you live off campus, you can immerse yourself in school when you need to and remove school from your living situation when it’s necessary.

Myth 5: College is too expensive.
College is by no means cheap, but there are endless opportunities for you to secure extra funds while going to school. Fill out FAFSA forms early and religiously. Apply for every grant you can. Exhaustively explore every scholarship option. If your mother’s second cousin was an Eskimo employed by the Coca-Cola Company, then there’s a scholarship out there waiting for you. Make a list of every category that you qualify for (race, class, gender, religious beliefs, athletic abilities, musical prowess, subject and career-specific interests, company-specific employment and so on), and apply for as much free money as you can.

College is an experience that is different for everyone. What’s true for one university may not be standard practice for another university, so make sure to do your research. Ask as many questions as you can before you commit to a particular institution or program. Talk to students past and present, schedule a visit and meet with professors before you decide on a particular school. The more informed you are, the better.

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posted by EDUwithPassion in Campus College,Choosing a Major,Myths...BUSTED!,Reducing Cost/Tuition,Strategies for Success and have No Comments

5 Ways To Decide On A Major

You Know This Is What You Were Born To Study
This way is undoubtedly the easiest. It seems like some people are born with a passion or anthropology or architecture. Maybe they are, maybe they’re not, but by the time they are college freshmen they have a fully formed idea of what makes them passionate when they study it. If you are one these lucky people, you don’t need to read any further.

You Know This Is What You Were Born To Do For Work
You are similar to people in the previous category, but while they seem predestined to study in a certain field, you have always known that you wanted to be a sports agent, for example, or a political operative. People like you also have a pretty easy time of picking a major. What you should to do to decide on yours is to look up the biographies of people who have the jobs you would like to have and find out what they studied. If one of these people happens to be an alum of your school, you should email them and ask them how they got to be where they are.

You Met With Your Academic Adviser
If you’re not sure, the first thing you should realize is that you’re not alone. There are a bunch of people in your class who also don’t know what to major in, first of all. Secondly, none of you are alone because all of you have academic advisers. Make an appointment with your academic adviser to talk over the question of what you should major in. Your adviser can look at your high school transcript, talk to you about what you love and hate to study, and what you might like to do for work. To make this meeting even more productive, you can think about these things beforehand. As a result of your talk with your academic adviser, you should have a list of subject areas for consideration. And where, you might ask, do you go from there?

You Talked To Faculty Members
Find the subjects on the list you made with your academic adviser and email the department heads in the various departments you’ve identified. Ask that person if you could drop by and talk about what it would be like to major in that area. A department head’s job (part of it, anyway) is to administer all of the majors in the program, so that person will be able to give you a good idea about whether or not you and his or her subject are a good match.

You Heard An Exciting Rumor In The Dorm
Keep your ears open to what your peers are studying. Talk to people about what they’re taking and whether or not they like it. You might end up with a major you’d have never dreamed you’d pursue, but one that will keep you fascinated for your college career and beyond.

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10 Tips On Surviving Sophomore Year

1. Avoid the sophomore slump.
It might be harder to do than it seems. You’re not a freshman anymore, so the pressure’s off. You know your way around; you know who your friends are. You’re way more comfortable this year, and there’s so much college ahead of you, you might feel like it’s all right to relax. But it’s not. Sophomore year counts for something, too. Though you’re not yet an upperclassman, in a very short time you will be. Then, it’s out the door and onto the real world, with a GPA that reflects your efforts sophomore year as well as all of the other ones. Bottom line: it’s great that the anxiety of being new is over with, but some pressure to succeed is okay.

2. Don’t recede into the background.
Maybe you’re not as comfortable as some of your classmates, even though you are a returning student. Sophomore year can be especially tough. Historically, the sophomore class is the one that gets the least attention. You’re not new; you’re not about to graduate. The conventional wisdom seems that for the moment, you’re okay. But what if you’re not? If you’re still having trouble adjusting, you should talk to someone, your resident adviser, perhaps. Try an extracurricular activity you didn’t last year. There’s still plenty of time to have a great college experience.

3. See your academic adviser.
Having an appointment with your academic adviser may help you rekindle a feeling of focus. The two of you can talk about your options for your major course of study, and the rest of college as well. If you feel yourself slacking off, tell your academic adviser you need a motivational speech.

4. Take choosing your major seriously.
Though picking a major does not lock you into a life lived within the confines of the subject area you pick, it will affect you in the job market.

5. Go to the Career Counseling Center.
A visit to the Career Counseling Center might help clarify what major you should pick. Make an appointment to talk to a career counselor, discuss what types of careers are available and appealing to you. This might help you decide on a course of study.

6. Consider an internship or volunteer opportunity.
The more real-world experience and exposure you’ve had to the industry or field of your choice, the better when it comes to applying to jobs after graduation. You might talk to your career counselor about what opportunities exist, or email an alum in a field that interests you and volunteer yourself.

7. Make plans for your summer.

8. Consider a term abroad or on exchange next year.

9. Do take that fun elective you’ve been eyeing in the course catalog.

10. Make time for fun with friends.

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posted by EDUwithPassion in Education and have No Comments

Finding a Degree that is Right for You

It’s no secret that a college degree can give you a tremendous advantage in today’s job market.

Not only will it give you a leg up on non-degree holding job seekers, in some cases doubling your odds of being hired, but also statistics indicate new hires with college degrees stand to earn up to $20,000 more per year than those without.

Finding a degree that’s right for you While the advantages of holding a degree can be substantial, choosing the right degree for you is fundamental. Taking a hard look at the big picture when selecting a major can make the difference between completing your program on schedule or making costly and time consuming curriculum adjustments mid-stream.

In order that a degree that best meets your needs means and career goals, requires you to first know your interests and aptitudes. Aptitude and interest surveys can help students narrow a broad subject field of interest, such as science, into a snug fitting major and degree, such as environmental biology.

Regardless of current employment forecasts, academic and career experts recommend taking time to explore non-traditional career avenues your chosen degree may afford and matching them with your strongest interests.

Get Started Now

Remember that the key to finding a degree that’s best for you is not to rush the decision. However, it doesn’t pay to procrastinate either. Give yourself the time and tools you need to determine what your primary degree focus will be, the coursework involved and potential financial aid options your chosen degree may afford at different universities. Your student services counselor or academic advisor will be able to help you with this process.

Also, once accepted into a college, be prepared to explore and experiment. The average student changes his or her major two to three times during their first year in college. Even if the first major you pick isn’t the one you stick with, you’ll improve your chances of finding the right fit if you shop around. Don’t feel obligated to stick with a degree that’s not right for you. Remember, college is what you make of it. Changing majors a few times the first year is common.

I Have a Major, Now What?

Majors mean different things to different people. Some view the college major as a career-training program. Others see choosing a major as a path to personal fulfillment that has no connection to future career plans or the job market.

Expert’s advice keeping a few things in mind:

  • •Choosing a career-related major such as business administration or electrical engineering, means an easier job hunt after college, but you may compromise the depth of your education.
  • •Plan to take electives outside of your major to balance your intellectual development.
  • •If you choose a non-career-related major, you’ll have to work harder outside the classroom to develop your career goals.
  • •Start career research early and do internships every summer to get the job experience and connections you need.

When Do I Have to Decide?

Many colleges provide a deadline by which you have to declare your major—often usually by your junior year.

However, beware of hidden deadlines. More popular majors require completion of prerequisites—courses you must complete before you can declare your chosen major. Schools use these prerequisites to help control enrollment in crowded majors. Make sure you stay on top of prerequisites and get them out of the way in order to declare your major.

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Five Myths About College

Ask anyone who graduated from college and they will tell you that they wish they knew a certain piece of insider information before they went to school. College is full of myths and half-truths. Here’s a list of the top five.

Myth 1: You don’’t have to know what you want to do until your junior year.
This myth has been perpetuated by counselors and academic advisors all throughout the country, on both the high school and university levels. Although it is true that you don’t need to choose a major until your junior year, you better have some clue about what you want to do before you say yes to that acceptance letter.

If you are an entering freshman, and you have absolutely no clue what major to choose, two years of taking general educations requirements will not magically bestow you with educational clarity. If anything, two years of multidisciplinary exposure will leave you with more questions than answers. Figure out what your goals are before you get to school. You can always change your mind, but if there are certain things that you know you want to experience (i.e. traveling aboard, taking an internship, creating your own major or combining different majors), then you’re more likely to accommodate these considerations if you know what you want to get out of school before you arrive.

Myth 2: You must to choose from a rigid set of majors and class schedules.
College is very customizable. If your major isn’t offered at your school of choice, then try to create it. If you want to take a course on 21st century terrorism, and the class doesn’t appear on the schedule, then make it up. Independent studies are awesome. If your proposed courses of study are approved (usually through the tacit support of a professor or academic advisor), then you can set your own curriculum. You read what you want, write what you want, and your only class time is face to face discussion sessions with your advising professor (usually during office hours). These tailor-made learning experiences can be very rewarding, because they can be created by you to suit your own personal academic interests.

Myth 3: College is one big party.
Sure you’re going to rage it up while you’re in school, but if you don’t get your stuff done, you won’t be partying for very long. Time management is extremely important in college. If you allot enough time for work, you’ll still have plenty of time to play. Just make sure you know when to say “not tonight, I have to cram.”

Myth 4: Living on campus is fun.
If you’re an incoming freshman, nothing sounds cooler than living on campus. You get to meet new people and you live just outside your classes. You can stumble out of bed and stroll into your lecture without a problem. If you have the opportunity to live off campus, do so. On campus living is overrated. You could be faced with the dreaded my-roommate-is-a-chump syndrome. If you want peace and quite, you might have to complain to your noisy neighbors. If you want to be noisy, you might have to deal with your complaining neighbors. Live with people who you like and respect, and live off campus. When you live off campus, you can immerse yourself in school when you need to and remove school from your living situation when it’s necessary.

Myth 5: College is too expensive.
College is by no means cheap, but there are endless opportunities for you to secure extra funds while going to school. Fill out FAFSA forms early and religiously. Apply for every grant you can. Exhaustively explore every scholarship option. If your mother’s second cousin was an Eskimo employed by the Coca-Cola Company, then there’s a scholarship out there waiting for you. Make a list of every category that you qualify for (race, class, gender, religious beliefs, athletic abilities, musical prowess, subject and career-specific interests, company-specific employment and so on), and apply for as much free money as you can.

College is an experience that is different for everyone. What’s true for one university may not be standard practice for another university, so make sure to do your research. Ask as many questions as you can before you commit to a particular institution or program. Talk to students past and present, schedule a visit and meet with professors before you decide on a particular school. The more informed you are, the better.

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posted by EDUwithPassion in Uncategorized and have No Comments

Why Online Colleges are Great for Moms

content mother Why Online Colleges are Great for MomsRaising children is definitely a full time job but it is also important to make sure that you can provide for your family and give them all of the things they need. For this reason and more many moms are deciding to go back to school to obtain a degree necessary to get a career that will help better provide for their families. Online colleges offer a perfect outlet for mothers who wish to return to school but may not have the time to commit to traditional schooling. There are so many options out there that now is the best time to take the plunge.

Online degree programs can help you obtain the degree you need whether you are looking for a standard high school diploma to a doctorate degree. There are several degree programs to choose from in a multitude career paths that will help give you the tools you need to acquire a career that will make you feel fulfilled and rewarded. The variety of career paths that you can pursue is one of the top reasons why getting a degree through an online program is fantastic for moms. Online colleges can offer accelerated programs that can help you earn your degree and start your new career faster.

Another reason why online colleges are so mom friendly is because they are really accommodating to a busy schedule. Many of the coursework can be completed on your own time whether that is during the day while the kids are at school or at night when the kids are asleep. Many students enrolled in online colleges are nontraditional students meaning that they are typically older and work full time. Online colleges are perfect for mothers of all ages whether you work full time or not.

There are several tools out there to help you find the right online college for you. Speak to an advisor and discuss your career goals, they should be able to find a program that will help you develop your skills and talents while maintaining the busy schedule of motherhood. 

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posted by EDUwithPassion in Developing your Strengths,Making the Decision,Online College,Strategies for Success,Time Off/Returning to School,Working & Going to School and have No Comments
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