College and Career, Student Life

How to Stay Positive About College During a Pandemic

October 23, 2020
positive about college

Guest post written by Chris Everett, NSHSS

The past 8+ months have changed the way students have had to approach, attend, and even apply to college. In the midst of a pandemic, going to college can feel scary, and many students have had to take their college education entirely online.

Students who have gone to classes in-person have faced outbreaks, strict safety precautions, and a completely different atmosphere than they were either used to before or expecting when they were accepted.

But all those changes don’t have to change your attitude!

Student Voices of America Survey

Prior to the pandemic, the National Society of High School Scholars conducted the Student Voices of America Survey, a survey of high school- and college-aged students from all over the United States, to understand how the pandemic was affecting student attitudes about college and the future.

Some of the results were bleak.

According to the survey, 32% of the 2000 students surveyed said they would not attend school in the fall if all classes were held online. 

However, most of the results pointed to a positive attitude among students.

In fact, 53% of students said that, though in-person classes are preferable, they would deal with e-learning while necessary. 

And over 80% of the students surveyed noted that they were either “Very hopeful” or “Pretty hopeful” about their ability to graduate from college, graduate on time, and secure gainful employment after graduation. 

What does this mean for you? You can do it! Whatever difficulties you’re facing while trying to attend college or prepare for college during this pandemic, you can find ways to maintain a positive attitude and look for the good wherever you can. 

After all, this pandemic won’t last forever. We hope.

5 Tips for Pandemic Positivity

Here are 5 tips to help you find positive moments during the pandemic, whether you are actively in college or preparing to attend college soon.

Keep a journal. 

Since this is such a strange but important moment in history, keep a journal of your thoughts, memories, and daily activities to have a record of what this time was like for you. You never know when you’ll want to return to those thoughts, and they will help keep you grounded in the present moment as you navigate this time.

College life is so busy, so you don’t have to spend a lot of time on this journal. Simply write down a few notes at the beginning or end of each day, or even each week. 

Use a fun notebook that really suits your personality.

You could even keep a gratitude journal and write down three things you’re grateful for at the end or beginning of each day. This will help you remember what you’re grateful for, rather than remaining bogged down in the negative aspects of your life right now.

Know your boundaries.

As you navigate college classes, either online or in-person, know where your pandemic boundaries lie and stay true to those boundaries.

That might mean you can’t take on as many leadership roles or campus organizations as you did before. It might mean that you need more sleep than usual. Or, you might not be willing to go out to meet friends under certain circumstances to keep yourself and others safe. 

Knowing and keeping your boundaries will help you maintain energy for the work you need to do to prepare for college or to complete your college courses. 

You don’t need to lock yourself away from the world entirely, but it’s important that you stay strong when expressing your boundaries so that you aren’t expelling unnecessary energy and give yourself some room to breathe.

Choose your favorite aspects of online classes.

If you are taking college classes either partially or entirely online, write down your favorite positive aspects of online learning, and remind yourself of them often.

Maybe you love being able to learn in your pajamas, in the comfort of your own room, with a more flexible schedule than you would in person.

Maybe you are more comfortable asking questions of your professor online and take advantage of that more. 

Or, maybe you love working with your fellow classmates in Zoom breakout rooms.

Find the online learning strategies that help you, and hold onto them!

Make plans for the future.

A great way to remain positive about the present is to have exciting plans for the future on the horizon. 

Even if you don’t know exactly when these plans will come to fruition, you can make them knowing that you will make them happen someday.

For example, you can plan your future study abroad trip, including which program you will go with, which countries you’ll visit, and what you plan to study.

You can plan a gap year vacation or service trip. You can even apply for scholarships to help pay for the trip.

Maybe you just want to plan what your year of school will look like after the pandemic is over, dreaming of your on-campus activities and events you’ll attend when you can gather with larger groups of fellow students.

You might even plan on an internship for next year or a research program in which you want to take part. All of these plans will keep you focused on the future so that every action you take in the present will remind you why you want to overcome the challenges of college during a pandemic.

Be kind to yourself.

Finally, be kind to yourself whenever possible. You have probably heard of this in the form of self-care, and that can mean different things to different people.

For you, self-care might be finding ways to relax through meditation, long baths, or reading a book for fun. For others, self-care might look like exercise or playing safe sports. 

In your free moments, choose activities that help you stay positive and feel balanced. Take time to get offline if you’re taking several online classes. Instead of social media, write in your journal or go on a long walk.

Remember that these are not normal times, as frustrating as that may sound. So be good to yourself and to those around you. And stay safe.

About the Author

Chris Everett is a content writer and marketing specialist for the NSHSS, an academic honor society committed to supporting young academics on their journey to college and beyond as they prepare to become the leaders of tomorrow. Follow NSHSS on Twitter or Facebook for more news and tips like these.

College and Career

How to Choose a College or University

October 9, 2020
students how to choose a college or university

Guest post written by Marcia Windsor Waite, StudentJobUK

The academic year may only be beginning, but open houses for colleges and universities are right around the corner — and before you know it, you’ll be writing your personal statement and submitting your applications. This might be a daunting thought, but choosing your institution is an important step in your academic career.

Here’s how to decide what college or university is the best fit for you.

Continue Reading…
College and Career

Preparing For “The Real World” and Life After College

August 7, 2020
life after college

Guest post written by Lucy Long, Content Creator and student at Texas Christian University.

It seems like yesterday you were moving into that cramped freshmen dorm saying bye to your parents for the first time. Let’s not forget about that dorm food you wish you could forget. The four years you spend in college not only allow you to make lifelong friends, but you also learn about yourself and grow up as a person.

But after those four years filled with late-night ice cream runs and tailgates, you enter into the unforeseeable “adulthood” — the era where you have to worry about things like taxes and taking out the garbage.

This uncharted territory may seem like a scary step, but below are five tips that will prepare you for a successful future. Read on to learn how to prepare for the real world after college.

Continue Reading…
College and Career

3 Ways to Gain Real-World Writing Experience in College

July 31, 2020
freelance writing college students

Guest post written by Caroline Hughes, Texas Christian University student and creator of Sunday Morning

Writing is one of the essential skills that every student should strive to improve upon during their time in college. No matter what major you are, what your learning style may be, or what career path you plan to trek, you will have to utilize your writing skills. Whether you aim to one day have your own column, or simply want to sound more diligent in your professional emails, tidying up your writing skills certainly has no setbacks. 

Continue Reading…
College and Career

Top Tips for Work-Life Balance

July 3, 2020

Guest post written by Andrea Cánovas, StudentJob

If you feel that you already have enough knowledge to kickstart your career doing a job search, and your ambition to grow professionally is stronger than what others might think, this is your time to shine! Send your amazing CV to any vacancy you like and dare to grow. 

Many of your classmates or colleagues will tell you how difficult it is to study and work at the same time, but in reality, you can have a good work-life balance if you are organized and motivated enough. You just need to follow a few tips so you don’t feel overwhelmed with extra tasks that might come up. It’s best to think of every day as a challenge that will help you improve and grow. 

Achieve the best work-life balance with these tips: 

Continue Reading…
College and Career

Tips for Your Online Job Application and Interview

June 12, 2020
advice and tips for online job applications

Guest post by Rebecca Hart, StudentJob UK

As social distancing becomes the new normal, lessons are turning to online learning, and recruitment is turning to online processes to complete virtual steps. With that in mind, you now need to know what to expect when it comes to your online job application if you are entering the job market! Let’s go through the top steps to ensure your application is a success!

Here are a few helpful tips for your online job application.

Continue Reading…
Study Abroad

Cultural Differences Between China and the West on Valentine’s Day

February 14, 2020

From boxes of chocolate to blooming bouquets, February 14 in the United States and other Western countries is the picture of modern romance. But have you ever thought about what Valentine’s Day is like in China? This Eastern celebration of love, commonly referred to as the Qixi Festival, is rooted in traditional gifts, cultural foods and incredible festivities.

Explore the differences between two cultures’ celebrations of this classic romantic holiday.

Continue Reading…
College and Career

Top 10 Career Development Apps to Fast-Track Your Future

January 17, 2020

Looking for a leg up in the professional world?

Everyone has a slightly different way of developing their career. You might go to law school and become an attorney, enjoying the direct path from your education to your working life. You could also jump between careers as you learn more about yourself, dive into different types of experience and decide what you want to do.

Whether you’re in school, looking for your first full-time job or currently employed, it’s crucial to expand your career possibilities. Everyone should grow their skills and learn how to use them on-the-job.

Thanks to developments in mobile devices and data, technology is here to make that easier. Check out these top 10 career development apps to fast-track the future of your career:

Continue Reading…