Tips for Overcoming Anxiety as a College Student

College can be a stressful season of life, whether you’re living on campus far from home or commuting from living with your family. More demanding academics, changing social circles, and preparing for a future career can contribute to a student’s stress levels. In addition to dealing with everyday stress levels, some students experience more debilitating anxiety. Whether it’s test anxiety surrounding academics, social anxiety preventing the formation of good relationships, or even just general anxiety about everyday troubles can drastically affect a student’s ability to thrive in college. However, there are great resources to support students struggling with anxiety! Keep reading below for tips on overcoming anxiety in college.

Avoid Isolation

It can be tempting to hole up in your room and avoid stressful situations when feeling anxious. However, isolating yourself is rarely helpful. Loneliness can exacerbate anxiety, so prioritize social time in your schedule. If you’re struggling to make friends, consider joining a club or organization on campus that aligns with your interests!

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Encouraging Others to Pursue a College Degree

College can be a great experience for those looking to improve their futures. However, with the increasing cost, it can be difficult to convince children and other loved ones to attend college. Despite this, there are a few ways someone can be convinced to earn their degree and better their future. After all, it will help them get a better job, make more money in the future, be more competitive with employers, learn about new topics and expand their horizons, and make new friends!

Due to all these benefits, a great way to convince someone to attend college is simply by listing the benefits of having a college degree. In the face of increasing automation and globalization of the workforce, there is more competition for jobs than ever. By earning a degree in a specialized field, a college graduate has a much better chance of landing a high-paying job despite these global changes. Countless studies have proven college graduates make more money than those who don’t attend college. Additionally, the social atmosphere at college gives students a valuable opportunity to network and create lasting professional and business connections that can lead to better opportunities in the future.

Another way to convince someone to attend college is by talking about the elephant in the room: paying for college. It is daunting for low and middle-income families to think about paying for college so many simply decide not to attend and instead immediately enter the workforce. However, these money anxieties can be conquered by looking into funding opportunities. There are many pathways to paying for college. From loans to grants to scholarships, students have more ways than ever to pay for their education. Interested individuals can talk to a college’s financial aid advisor to go over their options and create a plan to fit their individual needs and situation.

Nothing is more convincing than hearing stories from someone who’s been there. So consider sharing a personal experience from college for encouragement. Whether a story about lifelong friendships or wonderful professors, these anecdotes can be powerful for those considering college.

There are many ways to convince a loved one to attend college. Encouraging them to earn a degree can be the single most important decision of their lives, so it is a decision to consider carefully.

This article was originally published on Marilyn Gardner Milton’s website.

AI in Higher Education

The use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in higher education is not new. Some schools have been using plagiarism-detection software like Turnitin for over a decade. What is new is the many ways that AI is being employed. It is now routinely used to predict potential student success, facilitate admissions decisions, encourage choosing a particular school, and even acts in the role of a traditional (human) teaching assistant.

AI is now being used in higher education to aid in admissions and financial aid decisions. Some colleges and universities use it to score student personality traits based on student-submitted videos. Other schools use AI software to predict the success of prospective students. AI is even used to review applications to some graduate schools.

Some colleges and universities use AI to encourage accepted students to place a deposit, essentially committing them to attend through the use of chatbots and text messaging systems.

Once a student is enrolled, the use of AI continues. Universities use it to monitor student activities that aid learning, answer student questions about coursework, and even determine what mode of online instruction would benefit a student the most based on student data. Oftentimes students are unaware that they are engaging with a computer program rather than a live human.

The use of AI in higher education does not come without its detractors. Many university professors have long opposed the use of plagiarism-detection software like Turnitin or machine scoring of student writing. Scholars at MIT, for example, wrote a nonsense essay that nonetheless scored highly on an AI-driven assessment platform. Other studies have shown similar results.

Despite any drawbacks to the use of AI in higher education, it’s unlikely to be disappearing from the scene anytime soon. AI can reduce the time it takes for colleges and universities to complete some of the rote and tedious non-academic work necessary to run institutions. It can also be used smartly to use data about individual student learning to boost performance and increase overall student success and retention. As more and more universities work to develop their own versions of AI that are tailored to their student populations’ needs, the software will become more effective in doing the work higher education requires of it.

This article was originally published on MarilynGardnerMilton.org

Preparing For College Finals

November is here and that means that finals season for college students is right around the corner. For most universities, finals week hits shortly after Thanksgiving break, and many students end up smacked in the face with a mountain of work and studying to do. This can lead to tons of stress and exhaustion, which means you may not do as well on your exams as you want to do. Here are a few tips to help you prepare for finals week if you’re a college student (especially if it’s your first finals week).

Start Early

One of the best ways to prepare yourself for your finals is to start studying early. If you haven’t started yet, you might want to look into it! While cramming may work for some students, it’s generally better to study in intervals, such as 30 to 50-minute increments and taking breaks in order not to exhaust yourself. How early you choose to start may be based on how many finals you have to take and what kind of subjects you’re studying, so feel it out and make sure you give yourself enough time to fully understand all of the content.

Find A Study Partner

This may not be for everyone, but studying with another person can be a great way to make studying engaging and fun. Often times having someone else with you to help study can help you better understand something you’re struggling with, or vice versa. You can ask one another questions to make sure you fully understand the content and make a good friend in the process. It’s often best to avoid studying with a very close friend because it’s easier to get distracted, which is the last thing you want when preparing for a test that might make or break your grade for the semester.

Make Sure You Eat and Sleep

The most important part of preparing for your finals is making sure you don’t neglect important things like rest and food. While you may feel the need to pull an all-nighter to make sure you understand the content, it’s actually rather detrimental and can make it difficult to concentrate as well as putting extra stress on your shoulders. It can also be tempting to order greasy foods from restaurants open later in the evening, but this is also a bad idea. Be sure to fill your meals with healthy food, and plenty of water in order to make sure your brain is in tip-top shape before heading into your finals.

This article was originally published on MarilynGardnerMilton.org

How Educators Can Prepare For The New School Year

With the 2020 – 2021 school year starting soon or having already started in some places, it’s time for teachers and professors around the country to make sure they’re prepared for the year to come. Teaching isn’t an easy profession and there are countless aspects that go into it, from lesson plans to supplies and everything in between. This year, in particular, is especially unique due to the COVID-19 pandemic still deeply affecting our country, meaning that in many places teachers are either doing remote learning or some type of remote/in-person hybrid. Something like this is new to the current generation of educators, and it’s understandable if they don’t know how to approach the situation. Here are a few ways educators can prepare for the new school year.

Communicate With Your Class Early On

In order to make the teaching and learning experience smoother for everyone involved, it’s best to stay on top of communication with your students or their parents, especially in the times we’re living in. Consider your options for reaching out to everyone – if you’re a college professor, you can likely email your students their syllabus and any important information they may need a week or two before class starts, giving them plenty of time to read materials over and reach out if they have any questions. If you’re teaching younger students, you’re likely better off reaching out to their parents. This can be done via email, but it might be better for you to reach out with a phone call in order to introduce yourself and ensure everyone is in the know when it comes to your class.

Check Out Your Old Lesson Plans

One of the best things about being an educator is that with each new year or semester, you effectively get to start all over again. This means you can take a look at your previous years teaching and apply what worked while leaving what didn’t work at the door. Being an educator often involves a lot of trial and error, and not every lesson will stick with your students. The fact that you get to take on a new group of students each year means you start fresh and employ new ideas.

Discuss With Your Fellow Educators

One of the few great things about how the pandemic is affecting education is that no teacher is alone. There are educators all over the country who are in situations just like yours, and most of us are figuring it out as we go. With so many peers who understand what you’re going through, a good way to prepare for the new year is to talk to your fellow educators and determine what they’re doing, and what might work for you. Share your various ideas and experiences and perhaps you may come out with a brand new idea that might make this year that much more impactful for you and your students.

This article was originally published on MarilynGardnerMilton.org

Tips To Help You Pass Your Online Classes

Over the past few years we’ve seen a rise in popularity when it comes to taking college courses online. They’re great if you’re attending college later in life while working a full time job or raising children, and can also be useful when taking classes over winter and summer breaks. With the world being so heavily affected by COVID-19 this year, it’s possible that we may see a rise in students taking online college courses this coming semester. Some schools are even making all of their courses online for certain periods of the semester, such as the time between Thanksgiving and when the semester ends. Here are a few tips to help students pass their online classes.

Treat It Like An In Person Class

Just because you’re taking a class on your laptop from the comfort of your home doesn’t mean you should treat it any differently than a regular class. It can be difficult to get into a classroom mentality from home, but it’s important that you have the discipline to sit down and eliminate all outside distractions so you can get the work done and get it done on time. You have to “show up” to class just like you would if you went to a physical space for it. Remember that you’re paying for this class, just like you would a regular college course. Just because it’s an online class doesn’t mean it won’t be difficult or require your complete attention.

Eliminate Distractions

To build off of the previous point, it’s important that you eliminate all outside distractions. This can be especially difficult when learning from home. The first step is to establish your work space while learning from home. This space will be different for everybody. If things such as your television or kitchen easily distract you, be sure to set up in a room not near them so they don’t take you away from your work. If this is the first time you’ve taken an online course from home, you may not know what workspace is best for you. Be prepared for experimentation, as there may be some trial and error in the whole process. Just be sure to have a great Internet connection and you should be fine.

Participation is Key

One of the most difficult parts of learning from home is participation. Since you’re not in a classroom being lectured by a professor with your fellow classmates in the traditional sense, it can be easy to shut your brain off and just absorb the materials as opposed to actively asking questions and engaging in discussions about the content. Luckily, online classes typically have some type of forum aspect where the professor will ask questions as part of your assignments and everyone must engage. These forums can be a great way to get different perspectives on the content or make sure you fully understand the material you’re learning about.

This article was originally published on MarilynGardnerMilton.org

The Best Careers in Higher Education

For some students, working in high education is their dream career. A job in higher education can be a very rewarding and lucrative career choice. There are many paths to choose from to help students grow and develop in college or university. If you are looking to work in higher education, here are the best career options:

Academic Advisor 

One of the most important people in a college student’s life is their academic advisor. As an academic advisor, your job is to counsel students about their course selection, what they can major in, help resolve academic problems, and relationships with faculty. Academic advisors make sure students get their proper education and help them graduate on time. It is a job that requires a lot of organization and people skills but is very rewarding to help students succeed. 

Financial Services

It is no secret that college requires heavy finances. It numbers is your game, working in financial services at a college or university could be a great career choice for you. Those who work in the financial services at a university oversee the business functions of the college, set policies regarding financial transactions, maintain financial records, and ensure compliance with financial regulations. This is a detail-oriented job that requires a lot of math and problem-solving skills. 

Career Services

Many students struggle with wondering hat happens after college. Working in college services is a lot like being an academic advisor, except you would be advising for what happens after college. Working in career services would mean helping students find internships, develop job opportunities, create and edit resumes, practice interviewing, and much more. This is a great career choice if you enjoy working one on one with others and helping people to achieve their goals. 

A career in higher education much of the time means working with students, even if it’s not being a professor. Whether you’re aiding students or helping the university run smoothly, it is a wonderful career choice.

This blog was originally published on https://MarilynGardnerMilton.org/

Why Volunteering in College is Important

Going to college marks a very important stage in a person’s life. It is the time when they grow from adolescence into adulthood while figuring out who they want to be in life. This is the time of new experiences and finding discoveries about oneself. This is why college is the best time to begin volunteering. 

Mental Health

It is not a secret that when attending college for the first time, students can often experience depression and anxiety. With the combination of being away from home for the first time and much more pressure of being on their own, it’s easy for students to fall into depression. It’s been found that students who participate in volunteer work were able to ward off depression. By volunteering on a semi-regular basis, students are able to lower their stress, increase their self-esteem, and feel much happier. 

Making Connections

Being away from home and out on their own, many students find it difficult to make new friends. Thankfully, volunteering offers many opportunities to make new friends and connections. Not only are students able to find others who have a passion for helping the community, but they can also build lasting relationships. Often times, volunteering can take place in the same location with the same people, which helps volunteers develop strong friendships. These friendships and connections may also help them career-wise after graduation. 

Improved Resume

Another way volunteering can help students after college is by boosting their resume. Many employers will see the same type of resume over and over again. When they see volunteering on a resume, especially at a young age, many employers are very impressed. It shows a student cares about their community and is driven.  Volunteering can also be viewed as an internship and an alternative way to build and develop professional skills. 

It’s important for college students to find a cause and give back to their community. Not only will they be helping people, but they will also be building themselves a better future. 

Why Working in Higher Education is One of the Most Rewarding Careers

With its rewarding challenges and personal benefits, a career in academia is often a dream job for people who highly value a sense of deep satisfaction in their working life. Here are just a few reasons why working in higher education can be one of the most life-changing decisions that a person can make, and why now might be a great time to prepare for a career in the academic world.

  1. Benefits and Job Stability

Despite earning lower salaries than their peers in the private sector, workers in higher education are often drawn to their line of work by the job security and benefits that go hand in hand with a career in the field. Moreover, while many companies in the private sector tend to let go of staff during economic downturns, colleges and universities are often reluctant to introduce employee layoff policies even in recessions; for people who value job security over a hefty paycheck, that can be a major incentive to work in academia.

  1. Making a Difference

For many professionals who work in higher education, the chance to make a positive impact on the lives of students is often a motivating factor to succeed in academia. Whether it’s through helping promising students secure scholarship funds or by making sure that recent graduates are fully prepared to enter the job market, administrators in higher education often help students to lead more fulfilling and productive lives. That kind of work provides a sense of satisfaction that is difficult to replicate in other fields, and it helps explain why so many workers in academia can’t imagine building a career anywhere else.

  1. Bringing Passion Into the Equation

Many people start their careers in higher education because they love the atmosphere of learning that permeates university life. Indeed, having a passion for learning is a great motivator for those who dedicate their lives to helping students succeed, and this ability to love one’s work in the face of long days and stressful decisions often makes a career in higher education feel more like a calling than a job.

For the right person, the decision to work in academia can be a life-changing and deeply fulfilling choice. The pay might be higher in other sectors of the economy, but employees of colleges and universities often find that life in the ivory tower suits them just fine. And as more and more people are discovering, workers in higher education might just be on to something!