5 Pieces of College Advice You’ve Never Heard Before

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How many times have you heard “get enough sleep” or “study hard” or “don’t do anything I wouldn’t do?” While those tips are definitely great, you’ve probably heard the same college advice over and over. So instead of scrolling to the bottom of another post filled with the same old advice, CEHD Undergrad has compiled a list of college advice that you haven’t heard before.


1. It’s never too early or too late to get involved. 
Maybe it’s your first semester of college and you haven’t decided your major, but you think you are interested in joining the sports management club. Or maybe you graduate in a year and you’ve always wished that you joined a fraternity. No matter where you are in your college career, it’s never too early or too late to join a club or get involved. Don’t be intimidated by being too young or too old or too late. This is your time: join clubs, figure out if you like something, take a risk and make memories. The only thing to be scared of is missing out completely.


2. Don’t stress out about housing.
The rush to find housing for the next school year starts almost as soon as move-in is over. Students begin scrambling to solidify living arrangements because of the worry that nothing will be left if they wait any longer. Not true. In fact, many apartments and housing rentals haven’t signed every unit until late in the summer- if at all! Signing too soon can leave students in a tricky situation if they decide they want take a semester off to study abroad or decide they want a different living arrangement the next year. So if you are sure you know where you want to live, go ahead and sign; however, if aren’t sure, take your time. And never sign a lease you don’t feel 100% comfortable with—remember Student Legal Services is always available to look over your tenancy agreement if you need help.

3. Rate My Professor isn’t always right. So many students have caused themselves unnecessary worry or changed their mind about taking a course just because they read a bad review online. Here’s a unique piece of advice… don’t trust the reviews. What one person dislikes about a class or professor might make it the absolute best for another. Don’t limit yourself or your college experience just because you saw a few bad reviews online. And hey, if it turns out badly, you will get the experience of working with someone who you don’t completely agree with, which is a part of life and work that you are sure to run into down the road. Give yourself the freedom to make choices for yourself– it’s all part of the beauty of college.

5. Get an on-campus job. Campus jobs are amazing. They provide work-study, are close enough to walk to, have flexible hours, and make you some extra spending money. They can also provide work experience relevant to your major. Whatever campus job you have, whether it is as a tour guide, a dining hall assistant, a computer lab monitor, or a land care worker, you have the benefits of perfecting your time management skills, meeting awesome people, and getting involved on campus. Win win win. Many schools have their own websites for job seekers– check out the U’s here.

Choose your mentors. Great connections don’t just happen; you have to make them for yourself. So don’t just wait to get noticed by an employer or a professor who you admire, make it your mission to tell them that you’d like them to be a mentor to you in your career. It is flattering to be told that you are admired, so many professionals are willing to provide the help you need to succeed. It’s all just a matter of asking to make a connection.

The Campus Job to Apply For

“Every day I work, it’s the best 3 hours of my day.”

— CEHD America Reads Literary Mentor Will Quaney.
 

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You deserve a job like that.

We all know that finding a job is hard work. Finding a job that you like is even harder. Finding a job that gives you work experience in your chosen field, has flexible hours, and is fun and rewarding might as well be a job of its own.

Enter America Reads.

America Reads is a literary mentorship program which pairs college-aged mentors with K-8 students in the Twin Cities area. If you have work-study funds, a love of literacy and children, and can commit to two shifts per week, you may be the perfect candidate to be a literary mentor this upcoming school year.

We could keep giving you information about the program, but now that we’ve covered the basics, we’re going to let you hear what past mentors have to say.

“Being a part of America Reads has been one of my favorite college experiences here at the U of M! Most days being with the kids didn’t feel like work at all and it has been a great way to get involved and learn more about the surrounding communities here.”-Amelia Jansky

“For the first time in my life, I truly enjoy going to work, and interacting with children of all ages and backgrounds. America Reads has helped me to find my career path.”- Kayla Jeffery

“As I work with each child, I come in with the mindset that I am mentoring the next President of the U.S., the next lawyer, the next doctor. If I can inspire a love for education and reading in each of my little ones, I am confident that they will grow up to do amazing things.” –Natisha

Read on to discover more reasons why being a literacy mentor is one of the best jobs on campus!

Ten Reasons You Should Apply to Be an America Reads Mentor

10. Because everyone deserve to have a favorite book.

9. Because you get to work with children and gain experience as an instructor… who knew a job could be this awesome?

8. Helping an elementary school student with their homework will be a nice break from your Calculus 5 homework.

7. It is the perfect step for an aspiring teacher to get hands on experience working with students and in a classroom setting.

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6. Make connections with the professionals who run the America Reads sites!

5. Because you haven’t outgrown the fun of reading Magic Tree House and The Very Hungry Caterpillar… admit it!

4. There is no feeling quite as good as when a child you mentor remembers your name and is excited to see you each week.

3. You will meet other literacy mentors through the 1-credit, yearlong class that accompanies the program!

2. Because your fridge really could use a hand-drawn picture lovingly crafted by the eight-year-old in your class.

1. You are making a huge and measurable positive impact in a child’s life.

If you have work study funds and are interested in becoming a literacy mentor– and who wouldn’t?– find out more information at their websiteFacebook page, or by contacting Jennifer Kohler atjkohler@umn.edu or Megan Pieters at piet0126@umn.edu.

Happy reading!

Photos: Magic Tree House, Books

Your Healthiest Year Yet!

The Freshman (or Sophomore or Junior or Senior) 15 has grown to be one of the most common fears among students. Managing college life can be difficult, and between acclimating to a different course load, late night study sessions, and a whole campus of new people, the occasional binge on a sleeve of Oreos and skipped morning workout happen. But fear not! To learn more about staying healthy during college, CEHD Undergrad spoke to Sarah Mork, the former Personal Fitness Manager at the Recreation and Wellness Center. Mork has worked as an ACE Certified Personal Trainer since 2009 and is currently finishing her Master’s in CEHD’s Kinesiology Exercise Physiology program. The following are Mork’s tips to help you stay fit and healthy, no matter how crazy life gets!

Fitness Tips

  • You cannot exercise your way out of a poor diet.  The human body is quite complex and you cannot simply equate a 300 calorie piece of cake with a run that burns 300 calories.  Factors such as training, nutrition, sleep and stress all affect the manner in which one’s body functions.

  • Find a mode of exercise that you truly enjoy!  You should not view exercise as punishment or something that you are forced to do.  It is up to you to explore your options and find the particular form of exercise that best suits your goals and personal preferences.  Uncover your passion and take joy in the actual act of exercise.

  • Focus more heavily on performance goals than on aesthetic goals.  It takes time, commitment and consistency to see the physical changes that result from training.  It is rather easy to grow discouraged by what you perceive as a lack of immediate progress.  Instead of focusing solely on how you look, focus on your performance.  Are you growing stronger over time?  Can you lift 5 pounds more on a particular lift this week in comparison to last week?  Are you able to reduce your mile time by a few seconds?  Focusing on these measurable statistics will help you to stay motivated and dedicated to your program.

  • Take care of yourself!  Exercise itself is a stress on the body.  By repeatedly exposing yourself to the stress of physical exercise, and by then allowing yourself to recover, you will grow stronger and more capable of handling that stress over time.  Comparatively, if you are chronically stressed by academic deadlines, a lack of sleep, a nutritionally-poor diet and a demanding workout program without any break for recovery, you will “burn out” quite fast.

  • Avoid fads and instead focus on sticking with a consistent and well-rounded program that suits your individual needs.  If you are feeling overwhelmed and have absolutely no clue as to how to start, seek out additional guidance.

 

Sample Training Program

As mentioned above, exercise programs need to be specific to one’s individual goals, preferences and current fitness level.  That said, there are a few general guidelines that can be helpful in formulating an exercise program:

  • Strength: You should aim to train all major muscle groups two to three times per week.  The exact number of sets and repetitions performed will vary depending on whether you are looking to improve strength, build muscle mass, or increase muscular endurance.

  • Cardiovascular: You should aim to accumulate a minimum of 150 minutes of cardiovascular activity each week.  You may opt to perform longer duration, lower intensity training or shorter duration, higher intensity training.  It is typically best to start slow and then increase the frequency and/or intensity of your training over time.

  • Flexibility/mobility: There are few different schools of thought when it comes to flexibility training.  General guidelines state that individuals should stretch all major muscle groups two to three times per week – holding each stretch for 10-30 seconds.  Personally, I prefer to perform soft tissue work (like foam rolling) and perform exercises that take my body through a full range of motion to help improve and maintain mobility.

Here (below) is a rather generic training program.  Please note that the exact sets, reps and weight need to change based upon the goals of the individual.  Additionally, beginners may need to start with modified exercises before progressing to the exercises listed here.  Also, I have to include the standard disclaimer that individuals should check with their physician prior to pursuing an exercise program if they have any concerns and they should make sure they are able to perform all exercises with proper form.

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Photo credit: Gym