Finals, etc.

CONGRATULATIONS on vanquishing the go-to-class portion of your first half of college. You’re nearly 50% done with your degree…

…but you gotta CRUSH your finals.

As we close out a phenomenal season on The Year After, some quick tips for roaring through the next two weeks:

#1 – Be selfish. Continue reading

That Awkward Moment When You Declare A Liberal Arts Major

**Guest Post**

Ike Onyeador is a senior at the University of Pennsylvania studying Urban Studies with minors in Sociology and Africana Studies. He is a sports writer for The Daily Pennsylvanian and, after submatriculating, will graduate with a master’s degree in Public Administration.

 

“So, what are you going to do with that?”

I literally cannot count the number of times I have received that response after the typical rapid-fire, small-talk questions that initiate almost every conversation college students have in new interactions.

Urban Studies. It’s not Business or Economics. It’s not Engineering. Not Pre-Med, or Nursing. Heck, it’s not even Political Science. It is an interdisciplinary major popular mainly in universities that are located in utterly devastated urban spaces such as Detroit or Philadelphia, or world-renowned urban centers like New York and Los Angeles.

I’ll be the first to tell you that people underestimate less quantitative and traditional majors. The good news is that with these lowered expectations, there are plentiful opportunities to overachieve and distinguish yourself from your peers.

At the core, it is all about what you bring to the table. I will avoid the cliché pacifier that “your major doesn’t matter”. It actually matters a lot. Allow me to explain. Continue reading

Mentors. How Many of Us Have Them?

Isn’t it a bit presumptuous for organizations and companies to demand you include at least THREE references with your internship or job application? At least?? Do they assume you have a team of people, on speed dial, sitting around, waiting to sing your praises – every time you chase down an opportunity?  Some even require they be professors or administrators with whom you’ve had “regular one-on-one contact”. Between homework, studying, working, being awesome and hanging with friends, when exactly are you supposed to cultivate lasting relationships with faculty and others on/off campus? Moreover, how do you make these relationships feel real? Comfortable even? Comfortable enough to feel assured in requesting a reference or letter of recommendation?

Answers to such questions have nothing to do with Continue reading

Recapping 4S • A Focus on Sophomore Summer by Sarah Madigan ’16

This post was originally published by Sarah Madigan ’16 on the CCPA blog.

At the onset of sophomore year, after an engaging summer as an Academic Enrichment Intern with CitySquash in the Bronx, NY, I found myself considering questions about my career path. When, exactly, should college students search for legitimate summer internships and jobs? How relevant should these internships and jobs be to the student’s career path? Should they be paid, or unpaid? How do students determine if they are even on the right career path?

Luckily, as I was asking myself these questions, I learned about the Sophomore Summer Success Seminar, nicknamed 4S, an initiative piloted this year Continue reading

Networking Quick Tips

Hello, hello!

I hope fall break has provided exceedingly abundant relaxation so far! You deserve every bit of it.

I also hope it’s provided you with an opportunity to evaluate and enrich your network. Whether you realize it or not, you’re entering a stage where networking will become increasingly important/relevant for you. I’m reminded of a few recent conversations we’ve been having with 22 of your fellow sophomores in 4S (Sophomore Summer Success Seminar) and thought I’d quickly share some relevant web content.

In the spirit of brevity, just two items for now: Continue reading

Do You Haiku?

Good people, this week was brutal.

I needed a time management workshop to manage all of my time management student appointments.  But it’s finally Friday and that means we can all rest and watch football, Boardwalk Empire and Homeland on Sunday get ready for those midterms and fun assignments due before fall break.

Doesn’t excite you? Fine, I’ll get right to the point:

THERE’S A BOLD NEW WAY TO CREATE PRESENTATIONS!!!!

Jen Rajchel (otherwise known as @peasandpoetry), BMC ’11, recently put me onto Haiku Deck and I’m deeply, deeply in love with it.

So I thought I’d quickly share some of that love with you:

For me, the Creative Commons licensing/photo library element is the best part. The one drawback, obviously, is that, at present, HaikuDeck is exclusively iPad based (…but they’re moving toward web access soon…more info here.).

Jen is a wizard with the software but don’t tell her you heard that from me.

Happy Friday!

Time Keeps On Slipping…

October? Week 5 of the semester?? Wasn’t it just Labor Day? I still haven’t put away summer clothes and my mother’s already texting my brother and me about Thanksgiving plans.  Sigh::: Time seems slightly more pushy this year and I’m not enjoying it. At all.

But I guess it was the same in college.  Even back then, I suspected time was conspiring against me and my yet to be realized interests. I suppose that’s why I woke up early this morning to write this post:  Sophomore year can easily be a fleeting year where college sorta just happens to you. Continue reading

5 Mental Health Tips for Back to School

Originally published on The Huffington Post on September 16, 2013
Author: 

I stared out of the window of the psychiatric ward in utter disbelief that my freshman year of college had ended, after only two months. I went to American University with so much hope. College was going to be the place where I moved forward with my life. A setting where I could meet new people, make new friends, and finally get out of my small town. I was also hoping to no longer be haunted by my bipolar disorder that plagued me in high school. Unfortunately, the change to a new environment brought out the worst episodes I had ever seen.

After days of uncontrollable mind racing thoughts, I binge drank to shut my brain down. Nights of heavy drinking eventually led to hopeless depression, thoughts of suicide, and extreme loneliness. Then the hallucinations surfaced. Slowly at first with me just hearing my name, but the delusions built to assaulting voices telling me to hurt myself, and others. Luckily, Continue reading