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Tips For Improving Your Standardized Test Scores

test Tips For Improving Your Standardized Test ScoresStandardized test taking can be a very stressful experience. Don’t freak out. Standardized test scores are important, but they are not the primary factor in deciding whether or not you get accepted by the college of your choice. If tests make you cringe, you can compensate for less-than-stellar test scores by having a solid GPA, volunteer work, well-rounded abilities and a heavy amount of extra-curricular activities.

Even though your standardized test scores aren’t the sole deciding factor in your application, you should still make every effort to ensure that your scores are up where they should be. Here’s a few suggestions to help you improve your standardized test scores.

Take the PSAT. The PSAT is offered to juniors in high school during the month of October. The PSAT is just a Preliminary Scholastic Assessment Test. It does not count toward your real SAT scores. The PSAT is optional, but you should really take it. It’s like a trial run that will familiarize you with the format and process of taking a standardized test. These tests take hours and have different sections, so you can practice your test taking stamina and see what subjects you score strongly in and what subjects you still need work on. Because it’s not the real thing, you’ll still have time to improve the areas that you need to work on, before you sit down and take the real test. There’s also a preliminary ACT test known as the pre-American College Test.

Consider getting a tutor, buying a study guide or enrolling in a test-taking course. The more you prepare for your standardized test, like the SAT or ACT (most colleges accept both), the less surprised you will be come test day, and the better you will be able to perform. These tests are marathons of scholastic output, and the more familiar you are with the format, the better you’ll be.

If you work well in a one-on-one environment, get a tutor before you take the test. If you learn better on your own, just buy a study book with sample tests and familiarize yourself with the format at your own pace. If you require a more structured approach, consider enrolling in a professional test taking course. These courses can be pretty expensive, but they can teach you valuable tricks and strategies that’ll give you noticeably better scores.

Get a good night’s rest before you take your test. Don’t show up late, don’t forget to eat a good meal and make sure you have a water bottle, some snacks, some headache medication and extra pencils handy. Practice controlling your stress. Try meditation, massage your temples or do whatever it takes to stay relaxed, calm and focused on the task at hand.

If you prepare properly, your standardized test taking experience will be a breeze. You will not be surprised or confused by particular sections or questions. If you invested your studying time accordingly, then you will not freak out. If you just have a crippling fear of multiple choice questions, that’s okay. Spend time developing your other application attributes (like grades, activities, an award winning personal essay, etc). Make every effort to improve your scores, and if your quantitative scores are not up to par, then overshadow them with your superior qualitative features.

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How to Conquer the MCAT – Tips on How to Succeed

Almost all American medical schools require that you to take the MCAT exam before applying to medical school. Some schools place an even weight on your MCAT score and your GPA, so it is important that you do well on the MCAT as well as having a high GPA. In order to best prepare for the MCAT material you will need to have completed introductory biology, chemistry, physics, and organic chemistry courses. You will be tested on your ability to interpret and apply what you know rather than to just know facts.

First of all, it is important for you to know what will be on the test, so that you know what to expect and can properly prepare for the exam. The MCAT is composed of 4 main sections. The first section of the MCAT is the physical science. This section is made up of 77 multiple-choice questions that you will have 1 hour and 40 minutes to complete. These questions are designed to test your science knowledge and problem solving ability in the areas of physics and general chemistry.

The second section is the verbal reasoning section, which is designed to measure performance comprehension, evaluation, application, and incorporation. You will have 1 hour and 25 minutes to complete 60 questions.

The third section is the writing sample. You will have 1 hour to complete 2 essays. The experimental section of the MCAT must be completed in 35 minutes and the number of questions depends on the test that you are given.

The final section of the MCAT is the biological sciences, which you will have 1 hour and 40 minutes to complete 77 multiple-choice questions. This section covers questions on the concepts of biology and organic chemistry.

Now that you have an idea of what is included on the exam, you will need to take the necessary steps to prepare for the exam. Since everyone prepares for major tests and exams differently, you will need to follow a course of action that will allow you to best prepare for the exam.

#1 Make a plan. Whether you need to take a MCAT preparation course or you can study on your own with a MCAT practice exam book, choose the way that you are going to go about studying for the exam.

#2 Create a schedule. You will need to start studying for the MCAT 3 to 12 months before you take it, so create a schedule based on this timeframe.

#3 Practice, practice, and then practice some more. Set up simulated practice test sessions. Use practice tests from books or online. Go back to the areas that you still need to work on and review, practice and study until you have mastered those areas as well.

So now you know the format of the test, what is going to be on the test, and how to study for the test. Now you need to know what to do while you are actually taking the test to totally conquer it.

#1 Read the questions carefully. Do not rush through the exam because you think that you know it like the back of your hand.

#2 Do not leave answers blank. On the MCAT you are graded on the number of correct answers you give. If you do not know the answer to a question, then use the process of elimination to narrow down the choices given as much as possible.

If you do not know the answer and cannot make an educated guess then randomly fill it in. The odds are better for you to answer those questions that you cannot figure out at random than it is to leave them completely blank.

#3 Manage your time. Since each section of the test is timed, you will need to be able to manage your time effectively so that you have enough time to complete each question on the exam. Don't spend too much time on any one question that will cause you to not have enough time to answer the remaining questions.

#4 Check your work. When you have completed a section and you have time left before the end of that portion of the exam, go back and check your answers. First, make sure that you have answered all of the questions. Revisit the questions that you were having trouble with and recheck your answer choice now that you have a few more minutes to spend on it.

Relax, take a deep breath, and prepare for your MCAT exam. The MCAT is not really a test of academic knowledge where you memorize facts. The MCAT tests your ability to take what you learned in biology, physics, chemistry and organic chemistry, interpret it and apply it to different scenarios. When you are studying, you are not really studying to learn new material. You are really making sure that you understand concepts so that you can then take these concepts and apply them to different situations. By taking the necessary steps to prepare for the exam, you will have everything you need to conquer the MCAT.

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10 Basics For College Preparation

day 9 189 10 Basics For College PreparationPreparing for college can seem pretty overwhelming, but if you take the time to work on your approach, you can easily get into the college of your choice. Here are 10 suggestions that will help you successfully prepare for college.

1. Get excellent grades in high school

High schools important. Your academic performance during your junior year is especially noteworthy. If you want to make sure that you can go to your number one college choice, then you need to make the grades in high school.

2. Take college prep courses

Getting good grades is important, but having excellent marks in college prep courses is truly the way to go. When you take Advanced Placement (AP) classes, then you can boost your overall GPA. If you get decent grades on your AP tests, then you can avoid taking certain classes (i.e. Writing 101) in college. College Prep courses improve your academic skills and pump up your transcript.

3. Engage in extra-curricular activities

Your college application needs to illustrate more than just academic aptitude. You need to show admissions officers that you are a well-rounded applicant. Consider joining a sports team or school club. Do some volunteer work or take an internship somewhere. Have a part time job, become a photographer or learn a musical instrument. Whatever you do for a hobby, spin it so that you look like the busiest, most productive student in the country.

4. Apply to multiple universities

Be sure you apply to more than one school. Have at least one safe pick a guaranteed sure thing. Apply to a couple of places that you think will accept you, and choose at least one or two schools that may appear out of your reach. You just never know.

5. Visit the universities that you are considering

Make sure you visit the places you are considering. Check out the layout, the student body and the surrounding city area. If you have a specific geographical requirement (i.e. you want to go to school by the beach or near a major metropolitan city), make sure that the school you’re considering can provide the learning and living atmosphere that you’re looking for.

6. Secure as much free cash as possible

Apply for financial aid early and annually, and make sure that you fill out applications for every grant that you are eligible for. Look for scholarships until you find one that caters to your specific situation. There’s so much money to be claimed out there. Make sure you collect all you can.

7. Consider the career implications of the major you’re considering

While it’s always a good idea to follow your interests, be sure that you’ve explored the career choices that your degree will open up to you. If you have dreams of being a Nobel Prize winning physicist, then Painting is probably not the major that’ll get you there. College is an investment. If you are looking for a particular return on that investment, then you need to know what you can do with the specific degree that you’re considering.

8. Consider attending a community college and transferring to a four-year university

You can save a ton of money by taking your general education requirements at a local community college. Transferring from a city college to a top-notch four-year university is solid strategy (especially if you didn’t get into the school of your choice the first time around).

9. Be true to your own education and career goals

Don’t pick a college because you like the football team, or because your parents attended the same university. Pick a school that suits your own academic and professional goals. College is an intensely personal experience. It’s a time to mature and to be exposed to new things. You are the one who is ultimately in control of you future, both in college and beyond.

10. Relax

Don’t stress yourself out too much. College is important, but it’s only a fraction of your life. Your college experience will mold your future, but it will not set it in stone. Life changes regularly. Don’t think that your entire existence hinges on where you go to get your degree.

If you take the time to prepare, you will notice the results. If you start planning your college preparation today, you will enjoy the options that you have tomorrow.

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posted by EDUwithPassion in 10/5 Top Tips!,Finishing H.S.,Going to College and have No Comments

When Should You Start Planning for College?

MPj038725100001 When Should You Start Planning for College?It doesn't matter how old you or your child is, there's never a better time to start planning for college than today. I'm certainly not suggesting asking your three-year-old to take the SAT, but you could at least beginning planning for the financial aspect of college while your children are still young.

Educational Savings Plans

The government and various companies now offer educational savings plans. You can receive tax benefits for saving for your child's college even right after your child is born. These savings plans offer a lot of benefits and allow your child the guarantee of being able to go to college. Plus, you'll help keep them out of debt as many students leave college with $20,000-$30,000 in debt.

Sophomore Year

In my opinion, tenth grade is the defining moment in a teen's life. Although they can get away with fooling around freshman year, they can't bring up two years of bad grades as easily as they can one year's bad grades. Starting with the sophomore year, students really have to kick it in gear and begin focusing on their studies. I'm certainly not saying they should never have fun with friends, but their grades from now on will have a huge impact on their GPA and can affect which colleges they can consider.

Also in tenth grade, students should begin exploring career opportunities. If there is a shadowing program at their school, they should be involved in it. They should try to visit with professionals who are successful in their careers. A student's potential career choice will have a lot to do with the schools they visit and finally the school they choose, so you want to encourage them to take the time to explore lots of options.

One other thought on career exploration. If your student can drive now, this may be the time to push them to get an after school or summer job. Even if they are just working retail, at least they'll realize a little more about the consequences of not going to college. Spending three afternoons a week filing papers or working retail is a great way to get interested in college and careers.

Junior Year

During junior year, students should begin taking the ACT and/or SAT. Most students will take these more than once, especially if they are trying to get a scholarship, so encourage your teen to start early. They should also begin narrowing down their school choices and visiting colleges.

Senior Year

Senior year is all about applications. Your child will spend lots of time applying to schools, but convince them to apply to no more than five schools. Any more than that will leave open too many stressful decisions and will require a lot of paperwork. By Christmas, all the paperwork should be finished for both college and scholarship applications. Then, your child will be able to spend most of the Spring semester relaxing and choosing between the schools.

Start Today

The best time to start planning is today. Put together an educational savings plan and help your child develop the basic skills needed to succeed in college. Then, in high school, provide them with the support they need when making some of the biggest decisions of their lives.

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Enhance Your Resume To Exceed Expectations (Get a Killer Resume!)

young woman with resume Enhance Your Resume To Exceed Expectations (Get a Killer Resume!)In order to get a great job, you need to have a great resume. A great resume is made up of a number of different important components. Please use the guide below to help build a resume that is sure to impress prospective employers.

Education and Training

Be sure to list all degrees and training certificated that you have received. Also, note any distinction that your degree was granted. If you won any academic awards during your time in school, be sure to list this as well. If you had a good GPA in school, note it on your resume.

Skills

The skills section of your resume is a place where you can list any additional capabilities that may not be listed under the education and training section. This is a good place to note writing, communication and leadership skills. If your degree is not in the field of technology but you have technological skills, be sure to note them in this section.

Experience

The experience section should be the largest portion of your resume. Be sure to brainstorm about all of the work, extra curricular activities, volunteering, and internships that you have done that might have prepared you for the job that you are applying for. Leadership and communication experience is always helpful, so be sure to list any experience that you have that has honed these skills.

References

Included in your job application materials should be a list of references. Every person on this list should be willing and ready to give a very detailed and positive description of your professional capabilities and personality. Be sure to include updated contact information along with each reference. Also, contact each of your references before you submit your job application so that they will be prepared for a call from your prospective employer.

Quick Fixes

Education and Training: If you have note yet completed your degree, do not worry. Simply write the date when you expect to receive your diploma or certificate.

Skills: If, perhaps, you have been out of school for a while and feel that you need to brush up on some of your professional skills, ask your alma mater if you might take a refresher course or two.

Experience: If you feel that your amount of experience is lacking, sign up for an internship. Some companies actually offer internships that you can do by correspondence.

References: If you are having a hard time coming up with a list of good references, get a part-time job or internship and do your absolute best to impress your employer or supervisor. After at least a month of work, ask if you may use him or her as a reference.

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Qualities Of A Top Undergraduate Student

the best student ever mug p1681829764939426032otmb 400 Qualities Of A Top Undergraduate StudentProfessors Prize Intellectual Curiosity
There used to be a time when attending college after high school was not the given that it is today. The realities of the job marketplace have made a college diploma more or less a prerequisite for a wide range of entry level jobs, and so now, whether students love learning or not, most feel that getting a college degree is required of them.

While those of us who teach in academia are aware of the "I can't do anything without a degree" phenomenon taking place today, most of us like to think that our students have come to college not only for that important piece of paper, but also to develop their minds and broaden their intellectual horizons. Convince your teachers early on in the semester that intellectual curiosity — a love of learning — burns within you, and you'll have gone a long way toward creating a positive impression in the classroom.

Show Up and Show You're Prepared
Of course, you can't convince your professors of anything if you develop the bad habit of skipping class. For many college freshmen, college represents their first invigorating dose of freedom to live by their own rules. While your grade may be docked for absences and tardiness, cutting class might seem astonishingly consequence-free until the end of the semester when your grades come out. Don't fall prey to the temptation to "get away with it." Your GPA does matter, and so does your professor's opinion of you.

It's an old saw that success is 90 percent showing up. If that's true with respect to class attendance, then the other ten percent is composed of your level of preparation and your level of participation. Most professors will not test you on your homework during every class, but that doesn't mean we can't tell if you're not prepared when we call on you. Why not remove all doubt and participate in class discussions? Paying attention, taking notes, and asking questions all speak well of you to professors, as they are all signs that you are intellectually curious and engaged with the material.

Check High School at the Campus Gate
Getting into college is a tough competition, and to matriculate where you have, you've probably done very well for yourself in high school. Congratulations, you made it in. What many first year students find hard to accept is that their college grades often are not as good as the ones they got in high school. Hearing you're not alone probably won't help too much, but it's true. What's also true is that a top undergraduate student will come to college armed with this knowledge as well as with the determined attitude to work even harder than they did in high school.

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10 Ways To Excel At College

1. Be Open To New Experiences

Entering college, you are a stranger in a strange new world. You probably don't know anyone, and you might be far from home and lonely. Who could blame you for clinging to the familiar? Understand, though, that just about every new student is going through the same emotions that you are, so you should not be afraid of getting out there and meeting them. And if you are one of the kids who applied with a group of friends, it's great that you've found a way around the initial anxiety of school's first days, but your comfort is a double-edged sword. Don't be so comfortable with the high school crowd that you don't try some of the new experiences college has to offer.

2. College Is For Students — Be a Great One

With all of the dorm high jinks and parties erupting everywhere, you might not feel that you've joined a community of scholars, but you have. Make sure you attend all of your class meetings and sections, and take notes. Not only will your professors and TA's love you for this, but you will be in a great position when you have to prepare for tests, papers, and exams.

3. Don't Procrastinate

There's so much to do, and so much fun to have. Don't let it overwhelm you. Make a study schedule for yourself and stick to it as best you can. There might be days when no studying gets done, but most days, you should spend a few hours staying on top of your assignments.

4. Join a Campus Organization

If you love to write, join the newspaper or magazine. If you're an actor, try out for a play. When you get out into the "real world," people will be interested in your GPA, but much like college admissions staffs, employers and graduate programs also like to see that people engaged in their college experience in some way on a passionate, personal level.

5. Visit the Career Services Office

Speaking of the real world, it's never too early to drop in at career services. A visit to your school's career center can help you focus your course of study to prepare you for an exciting career. You might also find out about internships.

6. Befriend A Reference Librarian

With the advent of Google, many students think that libraries are obsolete. Nothing could be further from the truth. When you have your first assignment that requires research, drop by the reference desk. Your librarian will show you a world of options for sourcing your papers and projects that will impress your professors.

7. Consider a Term Abroad

Many schools offer the opportunity to study in a foreign country.

8. Move around

We all know about the freshman fifteen. If you're diligently studying, they can creep up on you before you even realize it. Even if you don't engage in a hardcore workout program, move around. Go for a walk with a friend for a study break instead of staying in and ordering that pizza.

9. Eat Right

While pizza is okay sometimes, make sure a real vegetable passes your lips now and then. By taking care of yourself, you'll feel and think better.

10. Sleep

No doubt, you'll be very busy. To make sure you can keep up the hectic pace college demands, schedule some time to sleep. If you get exhausted, you won't think as clearly, and you won't have the energy you need to be excellent.

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Will a Degree Lead to a Great Career?

There are no guarantees that any degree, no matter how rigorous or encouraging the job outlook, will lead to a great career that satisfies both on a personal and financial level. Aptitude, career and interest assessments can go a long way toward helping you define your career goals, aptitudes and interests, but even completion of a custom designed degree plan offers no guarantees beyond the qualifications conferred on that hard won piece of paper.

Economic climate, job consolidation and the Great Career
It is estimated the average American will work a total of 11,000 days in their lifetime. Complicating matters is that he average worker will probability change careers six or seven times holding as many as 15 jobs along the way.

Some 30 million people report waking up each day to jobs they hate. The reasons these unhappy workers use for sticking with jobs they hate range from loss of a steady income and fear of change to an overall lack of personal information about their personal aptitudes and career goals.

None of these excuses can possibly overwhelm the improved quality of life that comes with doing work that holds relevance and purpose. Securing a great career is more dependent on personal awareness of interests, potential career options and the fortitude to follow through with the degree that offers the best prospect for meeting those criteria.

Degree – Concrete; Career Satisfaction – Elusive
Landing that "great career" will be a result of more than single-minded attention to degree credits and GPA. Employment and career experts agree, true occupational bliss comes from harnessing and honing your own natural talents and interests and through continually channeling them toward the career goal you envision.

We are all born with inherent gifts, natural talents and proclivities. Some people are natural leaders, for example, while others have a knack for taking a good idea and making it better. Still others possess unique analytic and financial talents. To those who possess these aptitudes, their jobs hardly seem like work because they have a natural flair for them.

The "Great Career" Recipe
Before being able to determine if your chosen degree is the best path towards a great career, you must first be able to define for yourself what a great career looks like.

For some, a great career is determined solely by income, or income potential. For others, knowing they are doing work that contributes something to the betterment of society regardless of income constitutes a great career. Doing work that helps the needy or disabled comprises the criteria for others.

For most of us, a great career encompasses some or all of these qualities. Some combination of job satisfaction, personal reward and sustainable income, even if temporarily deferred, make up the primary elements of the great career.

However, translating a degree into a great career, conjuring dreams into reality and adapting to unforeseen obstacles is easier said than done. However, by taking advantage of the numerous career resources available through school, library and the Internet and honestly assessing personal strengths and weaknesses, the opportunities to translate your chosen degree into a great career increase exponentially.

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10 Ways To Rock At College

1. Be Open To New Experiences
Entering college, you are a stranger in a strange new world. You probably don’t know anyone, and you might be far from home and lonely. Who could blame you for clinging to the familiar? Understand, though, that just about every new student is going through the same emotions that you are, so you should not be afraid of getting out there and meeting them. And if you are one of the kids who applied with a group of friends, it’s great that you’ve found a way around the initial anxiety of school’s first days, but your comfort is a double-edged sword. Don’t be so comfortable with the high school crowd that you don’t try some of the new experiences college has to offer.

2. College Is For Students — Be a Great One
With all of the dorm high jinks and parties erupting everywhere, you might not feel that you’ve joined a community of scholars, but you have. Make sure you attend all of your class meetings and sections, and take notes. Not only will your professors and TA’s love you for this, but you will be in a great position when you have to prepare for tests, papers, and exams.

3. Don’t Procrastinate
There’s so much to do, and so much fun to have. Don’t let it overwhelm you. Make a study schedule for yourself and stick to it as best you can. There might be days when no studying gets done, but most days, you should spend a few hours staying on top of your assignments.

4. Join a Campus Organization
If you love to write, join the newspaper or magazine. If you’re an actor, try out for a play. When you get out into the "real world," people will be interested in your GPA, but much like college admissions staffs, employers and graduate programs also like to see that people engaged in their college experience in some way on a passionate, personal level.

5. Visit the Career Services Office
Speaking of the real world, it’s never too early to drop in at career services. A visit to your school’s career center can help you focus your course of study to prepare you for an exciting career. You might also find out about internships.

6. Befriend A Reference Librarian
With the advent of Google, many students think that libraries are obsolete. Nothing could be further from the truth. When you have your first assignment that requires research, drop by the reference desk. Your librarian will show you a world of options for sourcing your papers and projects that will impress your professors.

7. Consider a Term Abroad
Many schools offer the opportunity to study in a foreign country.

8. Move around
We all know about the freshman fifteen. If you’re diligently studying, they can creep up on you before you even realize it. Even if you don’t engage in a hardcore workout program, move around. Go for a walk with a friend for a study break instead of staying in and ordering that pizza.

9. Eat Right
While pizza is okay sometimes, make sure a real vegetable passes your lips now and then. By taking care of yourself, you’ll feel and think better.

10. Sleep
No doubt, you’ll be very busy. To make sure you can keep up the hectic pace college demands, schedule some time to sleep. If you get exhausted, you won’t think as clearly, and you won’t have the energy you need to be excellent.

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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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