Friday, January 27, 2012

Friday’s Fact

Check in each Friday for your weekly Get College Smart fact.


Image Credit

For this week’s fact, Get College Smart brings you another profile of one of our resource websites.  This week’s featured site is Zen College Life.

According to the website, “Zen College Life is the leading source for college and degree information online.”  In particular, this site seems geared to the associate’s degree seeker or the student wishing to earn a certification. 

The proof is in the career guides, which include careers like auto mechanic, cosmetologist, EMT, and paralegal (not the kind of careers you enter after earning a four year degree).  Students who are more interested in a technical track should find the information on this site quite useful for helping them to understand the ins and outs of the career they might want to enter.

Do you have any favorite college resource websites?  If so, share them with us.  Email us the links:

Monday, January 23, 2012

Spring Semester Goals

Now that you have done some soul searching and reminded yourself (or possibly asked yourself for the first time) why you are in college, now is a good time to set some goals for the semester.

Is this your first time making goals for your academic career?  Let me assure you that this is a both a good and useful exercise.  Setting goals gives you something to work for and can outline a plan to help you improve the quality of work you produce, the grades you earn, and/or the knowledge you gain this spring.

What are some good goals to set?  Here are a few ideas:

  • Improve grades
  • Choose a major (have you figured out what you want to major in yet?)
  • Manage my time better
  • Don’t procrastinate!
  • Save money
  • Volunteer
  • Take better care of my health
  • Get to know my professors

I know, I know, these sound a lot like New Year’s resolutions, and like resolutions, they help you to focus on areas that you can improve.  But in order to stick to these goals, you have to do more than say that you want to raise your grades; you need to develop a plan of action for how to achieve this goal and stick to it.

Your action plan may include things like putting more time into studying, not going out on week nights, and starting projects as soon as they are assigned.  To put this plan into action, you will need to keep track of your assignments, turn down  week night invitations for drinks or dinner, etc.  And you need to continue to do these things all semester long!

So let me challenge you: set some goals for the semester, and take action!  Your GPA just might thank you.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Virtual Campus Tours

Have you ever wished you could visit your dream campus but not have to shell out the money to get there?  Now, you just might be able to thanks to Google’s Street View Program, which now has a number of university partners.  For more info, check out this Los Angeles Times article

Friday, January 13, 2012

Friday's Fact

Check in each Friday for your weekly Get College Smart fact.

Fact: this website has undergone a few changes over the holidays.

You may have noticed the new page tabs just under the website title.  One of these tabs, "Resources," is a work in progress.  Currently, it has a list of several links to websites that are designed especially for undergrads, grad students and job searches.  Have any good "go-to" sites?  Let us know, and we'll add them to the list.

Today, I'd like to highlight a new favorite: Dr. Mom's Guide to College.  I was told about this site just this week in my department's start of term meetings.

I like Dr. Mom because she gives practical, no-nonsense advice that is good for all college students.  Also, I identify with her desire to help students be smarter about how they approach their education, especially when they are just starting out.

Take a few minutes to read Dr. Mom's Guide - you just might learn something!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Self-Examination for the Start of a New Semester

Welcome back – to Get College Smart and to your college campus!  I hope that your vacation was both relaxing and invigorating, giving you the energy and motivation you need to hit the ground running this spring. 

But before you take off, let me recommend that you take a few moments to reflect on why you are in college.  Are you seeking a certain career or income level?  Are you hoping to broaden your horizons?  Maybe you want to become a more well-rounded person.  Or maybe you still buy into the older notion that education develops virtue and want to use your education to be the best “you” you can be.

Reminding yourself of the reasons you are in college can help give you direction and purpose.  And direction and purpose comes in really handy when times get tough – think about those all-nighters you pulled last semester or those tough exams you struggled with, and you’ll know what I mean.

Keep in mind: purpose comes from within.  In other words, “My parents want me to attend college” is not a viable purpose.  You need to determine, for yourself, what you want from your college education.  And if your purpose happens to be material, that’s fine and entirely legitimate, particularly in today’s economy.  That said, I would encourage you to consider if any other purposes – greater than a title, paycheck, or even yourself – go hand-in-hand with your immediate purpose of position and/or compensation.  The greater the purpose, the greater the motivation, and the greater the desire for success.

Once you’ve determined why exactly you are in college, try writing a purpose statement: “I am in college to . . .”  Write this purpose statement in a safe place where you can refer to it when you need some extra motivation.  Keeping in mind the end goal can make all the difference when it comes to college success.

Monday, December 19, 2011

On Hiatus

Get College Smart is taking its own advice and will be on hiatus for the holidays.  We will be back in 2012 with new features and more advice to help you succeed in college.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

-Get College Smart

This Holiday . . . Take a Break! Part II

For many of you, the semester has come to a close, and you are happily situated at home (wherever that happens to be), enjoying holiday activities, friends, family, and down time. 

The rest of you may be more like me.  I am up to my elbows in a minimester course, helping 10 brave souls to develop and improve their writing skills.  Others of you may have full-time jobs and/or families to care for and no time to slow down. 

If you fall into this second category, let me encourage you to find some down time in the midst of your busy daily lives to rest and enjoy the holiday season and all it has to offer. 

This may seem like an impossible goal, but if you are planning on diving into another semester this coming spring, you need that down time to refresh, revive, and give yourself the strength to face 15 weeks of academic challenges. 

Even one day of doing nothing, lounging around in your pjs, or having a family night of fun can help.  So embrace your inner couch potato and allow yourself to take a break this holiday!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Friday’s Fact

Check in each Friday for your weekly Get College Smart fact.

Rose Bowl

Let’s go bowling!  This week’s fact (which just so happens to be a Saturday fact) pays tribute to the College Bowl season and the granddaddy of them all, the Rose Bowl. 

As many of you know, the very first bowl game was the Rose Bowl game of 1902, where Michigan routed Stanford in a 49-0 victory.

This year’s bowl season offers a lot of exciting matchups.  Is your team playing in a bowl game?  Who do you want to see come out victorious?