I didn't become aware until today that this is Banned Book Week. Rather than review a banned book, I've decided to write a little bit about reading banned book.
There are some books that I've only read because they are on the Banned Book list. Out of those, there are many that I'm glad I did. On the other hand, there are a lot of books I've read that I suspect are only popular reads because they have been banned so frequently. Some of Judy Blume's books are good examples of this, such as Deenie. I didn't find it all that believable and I can't help but think that it was written in order to be controversial.
Another example is Sex Education by Jenny Davis. The premise is alright, and starts off reasonably. But some of the characters are over the top and their motives do not always make sense. The ending is not only disappointing but rather extreme as well.
The topic of Banned Books brings up a second moral issue. Is reading a book just because it's banned all that different than not reading a book because it's banned? Also, is there ever an acceptable reason for keeping a book away from readers?
Finally, I would like to know if your school does anything in honor of Banned Book Week.
I just got a Twitter account for this blog. My user name is CollegiateDown, so please see if you can find me. Also let me know if you have a twitter for your blog and would like to be followed. I will gladly comply.
In applying for jobs, I cannot help but notice a lot of the jobs that are hiring are companies that I don't feel right working for. I know that in this job market I can't always be picky, but its more than just a matter of not wanting to do the work.
As an environmentalist, I do not support a lot of energy companies' practices. I would feel like benefiting from working for, say, a coal company, would make me hypocritical. Or I've seen job ads for various alcohol or tobacco companies, but seeing as I'm pretty against their product, especially tobacco, I haven't even considered applying for any of those jobs.
I guess it all comes down to where I want to draw a line. Sure I may not like brand name drug companies and the way they sell drugs, but am I willing to work for a generics company? For a long time I've tried to support small businesses, but so far that hasn't extended to only applying at local companies that support the local economy.
This is just a random story I found awhile back. As soon as you turn 18 it seems like you get bombarded with credit card options and this is just a fun way to make use of them. Just make sure that before you throw out any credit cards, make sure they are destroyed completely.
Job hunting sites are filled with disheartening tales of well-educated folks who had to look for a job for over a year. This makes it seem like seniors should look for jobs alongside of finishing their final year. While this may be necessary in some cases, there are a few flaws in logic with the plan.
For one, not everyone has time for the job hunt before graduation. It is said that job hunting should be a full-time job, and with a part-time job, classes, sleep and eating, it isn't possible to cram anything else into the schedule. While senior year has the reputation of being the easiest year because that's what students try to make it, that isn't always the truth. Capstone can kill us, and its when we're forced to take those classes we've put off for four years. In fact, job hunting distracted me from my school work more than anything.
Job hunting before you can accept an offer is not really practical. If there are immediate openings, they will be filled by the person who can accept the job now, not a year from now. Meanwhile, the company isn't going to hold on to your application for much longer than six months. You will just end up reapplying.
At the beginning of senior year your resume isn't as good as it could be a year from now. I took most organization leadership positions during my senior year, and added another year of work experience.
Finally, in my opinion, if you have to look for a job for a whole year, you're doing something wrong and you need to change your methods. It's the same reason why I don't think job hunting should be a full-time job. If you are spending that much time, I think that's a sign that you need to take a break and change something. Build experience through a part-time job or volunteering. Join some networking organizations. Maybe take a few classes. Or just target the companies you apply to better.
Did any of my readers out there decide to go to a community college? What were your reasons for doing so? How has your experience compared to your friends who attended four-year institutions? Do you feel that it prepared you well enough, especially if you transferred? What are the benefits that you have noticed? Down-sides? Do you notice any stigma associated with community colleges?
According to this article, not only is community college enrollment on the rise, so is the tuition.
Throughout my four years at college, I have lived in the dorms on campus. While there are some downsides, it has been a positive experience.
A dorm room can be a very important part of your life on campus. It serves as a haven from everything else that happens on campus. It can also be a relflection of your personality since you get to decorate it almost any way you want it. I've only just starting taking advantage of this, with two posters on my wall.
If you have a billboard, make the most of it. Get a calendar, and tack your favorite knick knacks to it. On your door, a white board is going to be a must for notes from friends. Also, although themes are fun, avoid going all out. For example, don't deck out the room in your school or organization's colors. Also consider your roommate when decorating. Do not take up all of the space, and respect their wishes when choosing decor.
Bringing guns on campus has been in the news lately. States such as Arizona and Texas have been considering revising their gun laws to allow looser regulations controlling guns on campus. Something like the Virginia Tech Shooting makes people worried, and no one wants to be caught unprotected.
If my campus ever allowed guns on campus for anyone other than police officers I would transfer immediately. In all honesty, guns scare the heck out of me. Most people I know were raised in households with at least one gun, and plenty of my friends like to go hunting. I, however, come from a pretty anti-gun, anti-violence family. This probably has done a lot to shape my feelings about guns.
Police officers have been professionally trained to use guns in dangerous situations. Stopping a violent murder is nothing like going hunting, but people have this idea that just because they know how to use a gun, they will be able to calmly draw a gun and shoot a person. In reality, they might end up hurting an innocent bystander and end up in court.
I've seen situations that seem harmless escalate quickly, and if one party has a weapon, things can get ugly fast. In my hometown, two people had a snow fight that ended with one person stabbing the other. We've all witnessed fights, and those could have ended badly if one person lost control. I will never believe that guns are an acceptable solution.
As always, I want to know what everyone else's opinion is on this topic.
Rumor has it that in order to boost ratings, Nickelodean is bringing back some of its hit shows from the 90s. Not only will they be airing classic episodes, the producers have agreed to make new episodes as well. The fight to bring back the favorite episodes of our generation has been a pretty strong movement. The group on Facebook is right up there with requesting Betty White on SNL.
The only problem I see with this plan is accessibility. The shows will be part of a two-hour late night block on Teen Nick. I understand Nickelodean's target audience is college students who will likely be up that late, but it surprises me that the station does not want to try to get younger audiences interested as well. After all, these are kid shows. In addition to that, Teen Nick is a premium cable station and many college students will not have access to it. I think it would make more sense to air it on Nick's main channel, maybe as part of Nick @ Nite, and in the afternoon.
For the record, I don't really know much about the shows that they are planning to air. My family did not have cable until 2004.
Lately there seems to be a lot of bad press surrounding sororities and fraternities. It also seems as though no one talks about Greeks unless its to criticize them. To counteract this, I've found articles talking about the good that specific organizations have done for their schools and communities.
One of the most important tenets of many Greek organizations is service to community. Unfortunately, part of our society is that we like to look for the negative. Please take a time to learn more about the positive side of Greeks if you are starting to get discouraged.
In the last decade or so, many revolutionizing inventions have affected college students more than anyone else who uses them. Nearly all of these innovations are technological, and include Facebook, Twitter, e-mail, cellphones, and most importantly of all, laptops being more common than desktop computers.
I don't think I can stress enough how much I love my laptop. It provides me with entertainment, research, and a way to kill time, and best of all, I can take it with me anywhere. Despite all of this, it can sometimes be more of a bane than anyone else.
Students everywhere take their computers to class, planning on using it to take notes. And admittedly, it has an additional benefit, such as your teacher suggesting a site and going on it immediately. However, those things are never the only things students use their laptops for while in class. Most are probably going on Facebook or Stumbling while pretending to listen. This is why some teachers do not allow students to bring a laptop, unless they have a disability that requires it.
And honestly, we know that the classroom isn't the only place where a computer provides a distraction. Any student whose had to write a paper has experienced typing along, and then opening the browser to check a fact. While you've got the window open, you might as well check your e-mail. And your Facebook. Then, in the news feed you notice that your favorite blog has been opened. The cycle may not end for two hours, at which point you are tired and want to go to bed, but have a paper due in eight hours that is only half finished.
On top of the damage it does to our academic habits, Computers run the risk of causing us to use our free time less productively. Many times, I have told myself that I will put on some Pandora radio while I get ahead in my studying, but then I become focused on choosing the music, and then keep going on Facebook, that I don't get far enough to constitute actual studying. Also, when I have the Internet handy, I do not usually do as much reading just for the heck of it as I do when I am not distracted by the Internet.
A solution I've heard for at least one of these problems, is to unplug your computer while working on homework. That way, as the computer slowly loses battery power, it will give you a time frame in which to get your work done, and keep you from procrastinating. I tried it, and it worked, at least to a degree. I was not able to force myself to complete the work until the warning telling me to plug in popped up.
Sometimes, it seems as though college is a little world of its own, almost like a commune, where we are isolated from the rest of the world. Knowing the daily events is based on luck, not any effort on our own part.
So how do you keep from embarrassing yourself in conversations about current topics? What are your favorite news sources? Or, do you sincerly enjoy reading the news and forming opinions on it?
If you want to be successful in an online course then make sure that you note these tips.
Are you taking your first ever class online? Or have you taken classes before but only done moderately well in them? It isn’t always easy to succeed in online classes. However, with some top tips in mind, it’s possible to be successful in any online course.
Here are ten top tips to follow if you want to be at the top of your online class:
1.Attend class at a set time each week. Although the online class format often allows you to study any time you want to, it’s best to stick to a schedule. Set time aside on your calendar each day or week for studying and doing homework. This will help you avoid the problem of falling too far behind in your online class.
2.Keep a calendar showing all of your deadlines. One of the problems that online students often have is that they miss deadlines and even tests. They simply forget to log on to their classes and check when things are due. What a dumb reason to fail an online class! Make sure that you keep a calendar of deadlines on your computer and check it regularly.
3.Find a place where you can work consistently. Although it’s nice that you can do your online class work from anywhere, you’ll find that there are places where you don’t work well. Some people get distracted if they try to work at home where their family is. Others work fine at home but get distracted in coffee shops. Find the place that works best for you and stick with it.
4.Ask questions. Many online students feel like it’s their responsibility to figure out the material on their own. This is a mistake. Make sure that you regularly ask questions of your teachers and peers so that you fully understand the material that you are studying.
5.Lessen your course load if necessary. After a few weeks, you’ll easily be able to tell if you’re taking too many online classes or if you’re going to make it through the semester. If you need to drop classes, do it early in the semester when it doesn’t cost you a lot of money or result in incomplete grades.
6.Form a study group. You may find that you do better when you do have some sort of opportunity to meet in person with other people. You can connect with other students in your local area to study together in person. If you’re in a remote area away from other students, try to form an online video conferencing study group.
7.Set aside study time before finals. Make sure that you clear your calendar of your other obligations during this important time of the semester. Take a few days off of work and don’t plan any trips or other appointments during this time.
8.Be prepared for your computer to fail. To succeed in an online course, you need to have steady, quality access to the Internet. Don’t assume that this will be the case all semester. Plan for problems. Keep backup disks of all of your course materials. Make sure that you have a plan for where you can study and complete tasks at the last minute in case your own computer fails. Public libraries and friends’ computers are top options to have as a backup.
9.Don’t give up. If you feel like you’re not doing well in the class, it’s easy to give up. You can just stop signing on to your class online. However, you’re only hurting yourself when you do that. Instead, call your counselor and talk over the situation to find a better solution.
10.Take your education seriously. All of these other tips add up to one common sense tip that many students don’t follow when they attend school online. That tip is to take your education seriously. This is a real education. It costs real money. It takes real time. And it results in a real degree. By keeping that in mind, you’ll do what you need to do to succeed in your online classes.
What do you think is the toughest part about succeeding in an online course?
Chase Jenkins is a freelance writer for MyCollegesandCareers.com. MyCollegesandCareers.com helps people determine if an online education is right for them and helps them understand which online college education and online school they can choose from to reach their goals.
Everyone knows the traditional ways of making money in college, such as loans, a job, or scholarships. Today, I'd like to know my readers' most creative or unusual ways (as long as they're legal) of making money. Post them in the comments and I'll post some of them in a post soon.
Online colleges have a lot of benefits, particularly for non-traditional students and students who want to get their degree in a shorter amount of time. In fact, I have heard the argument made that online colleges will soon take over campuses and we will all attend class through the internet within twenty years.
Frankly, I believe that there are enough benefits to campuses that they will remain popular despite the growth of online colleges. First, despite the Internet's "old age" there are still a lot of flaws that remain to be fixed. It has a bad habit of shutting down at inopportune times. This could prevent students from attending class, or turning in their papers on time. And college libraries allow student access to a lot of resources not available online.
Also, some students learn best by attending class. It allows a structure that encourages them to be more productive and they learn best when they can see the professor lecture.
Finally, for many higher classes after undergrad classes, campus classes are a must. Take psychology or counseling: these require practical experience and would likely work best if they could talk to their professor one on one about it. And imagine if doctors went to medical school online. Its not possible. And if they took all of their undergrad classes online they might take longer to adjust.
What do you think? Do you take online classes? Do you have a preference? What are the pros and cons you have noticed?
In the spirit of college application deadlines, I thought I'd share some wisdom I learned about researching colleges through four years of college.
1. If you plan on studying abroad, where you go matters. Some schools require it, and others strongly support it. Some may encourage it but do little to help you acheive it. If you go to the last kind, you will find it very difficult to raise the necesary funds or even graduating on time.
2. There is such a thing as "free college." An article on Fastweb has a list of schools where you can get the tuition waived. Of course, you still have to pay other fees, but it gets rid of one big cost. While all of the options are fairly competitive, I wished I had tried for one of these.
3. Travel can be a huge expense. Although I live and go to school within the same state, traveling can be difficult and expensive. Going to a closer school could have saved my family a lot of time and money.
4. Look for scholarships early. I did the majority of my scholarship search while I was in school, and as a result did not get as much of a chance to apply for scholarships with large prizes.
5. Start visiting schools early. I know that two years seems like a long time, but most of senior year will be spent applying. I did not want to go to any school that I hadn't visited, so I did not apply to several schools merely because I didn't have the time to visit.
6. You will have to take the SAT/ACT more than once. I only took the ACT once, and was not completely satisfied with my score, but I had not chance to take it again.
I hope this helps everyone who is planning to go to college. Do any of my readers have any tips to add?
Students choose to attend religious colleges or universities for a variety of reasons. Some want to pursue a career relating to religion such as clergy. Others prefer a more conservative environment. Some want a private school and the one they choose such so happens to have a religious affiliation.
Here in the United States, most religious colleges and universities are Christian. Jewish colleges include The American Jewish University, United Talmudical Seminary, and Yeshiva University. I found this article about a Muslim University opening back in 2010.
So readers, I am asking for your help on this one since I go to a public school. Why did you choose to go to a religious school? Do you have the same religious background as the school? Did you look specifically for a religious school? What religion or domination is the school? How would you say it differs from a public school or non-affiliated private school? Who would you recomend your school for? And, finally, do you feel you made the right choice? Feel free to also answer these questions if you are planning on attending a religious university.
For those students who do not attend a religious university, would you ever consider it?
A few weeks ago I wrote about my feelings about graduating (here). In some ways, I think the feeling has gotten worse. I (only half-joking) tell my friends that I'm not leaving, and instead plan to hide out in someone's dorm room. Since this isn't the most practical solution, I've decided to find as much positive about graduating as I can. Also, in an attempt to actually deal with my feelings, I will share why I don't want to graduate.
Having my own apartment: I will be able to decorate it with much more freedom than I have now, and my stuff will always be there. No more having to run out and buy something I already have or wait for my mom to ship it.
More freedom in food: I love not having to worry about budgeting for groceries, but at the same time, I don't have a lot of options on campus. Grocery shopping will mean that I can eat basically whatever I want and get to experiment more with cooking.
Privacy: I've had really good luck when it comes to roommates, and for that I am grateful. However, it can't be denied that having a roommate, even if they are a dream, has its drawbacks, and a lack of privacy and a certain freedom is one. With my own room, I can have friends and my boyfriend over or watch T.V. without worrying if my roommate is bothered by it.
Having a job: I signed up to get updates from one company I am working for and the other day I heard about a position. One that I knew I would feel confidant holding and I qualified for. It gave me new hope, despite the state of the economy. I honestly can't wait until I have a full-time job and start making money.
Close proximity to my friends. This year, I lived on the same floor as most of m sorority sisters. If I ever felt like hanging out, all I had to do was go to the lounge, right next door to me. In the past most of my friends have lived in the same building, or even the same suite as me. I never lacked for company. This also meant it was pretty easy to get free rides. Now, they'll all be living in different parts of the state, maybe even country, and I won't be able to see them that often.
Responsibility: being in college meant I always had a safety net. I knew I wouldn't get kicked out of the dorm if I couldn't pay rent, or starve if I had no way to get to the grocery store. I also didn't have to worry about health insurance because I was covered under my mom's policy.
For anyone who will be graduating soon, what are you looking forward to about graduating? What are you dreading?
While in college, one of the most important things you will do is study. If you are smart, your biggest goal will not be to become the best liked person on campus. If the latter just comes naturally, of course, than more power to you. That being said, my title seems pointless. The goal of this post is not so much so that you will be popular among your classmates so much as it is to give you tips so that you do not make their college career more difficult.
1. Before you ask a question, decide whether it benefits anyone in the class other than you. If it is something that the teacher has gone over more than twice, or about a situation that applies only to you, wait until class is over to talk to the professor one-on-one or go see him or her during office hours. On that note, keep the "What if" scenarios to a minimum and keep them reasonable.
2. College is a great place for debate, and everyone has their own opinion. However, the middle of class is not the time or place to get aggressive. If you and another student or the professor disagree, handle it like the adults you are and discuss things calmly. If necessary, agree to disagree.
3. Before you go on any kind of tangent or attempt to steer the professor down another track, decide whether or not what you have to say is relevant, at least in part, to the class. For example, your feelings about the nation's exercise habits may be a very good thing to share during health class, but not in the middle of marketing class.
4. Respect your fellow students and the professor. There will be annoying classmates no matter what your major is but resist the urge to roll your eyes every time they open their mouths, or talk about them behind their backs. This goes for your professor as well. Don't interrupt anyone while they are talking, have patience, give everyone a chance, they might surprise you.
Readers, is there any advice that you would add to the list?
Over at http://www.seattlestevie.com/ there is a giveaway for a free gift card to CSN, a network of online stores. All you have to do to enter is to leave a comment saying what you'd like to win, so go check it out.
"as someone who had picked a major (finance) based on the availability of jobs post-graduation, i'm almost inclined to say that the more important thing is to study something that you like. i know plenty of people who are going into finance who majored in areas like international politics or goverment.
One thing that you will witness a lot in college is people who are very outspoken about their views, whether religious, political, or ethical in nature. However, depending on your school and the location, some views may appear more prominent than others. Unfortunately, its hard to tell whether that's because more people hold those views, or because they are just more outspoken about them. Its even possible that people who hold one view are too afraid to speak up because they are in the minority.
Colleges are known for being extremely liberal. I go to school in a very conservative area and yet, most of the professors I know are liberal democrats, and many students are, at most, conservative democrats. Of course there are exceptions, and they tend to be very open about it. Still, the College Democrats have a much easier time staying active than the College Republicans.
A site called Campus Reform encourages students to take back their schools, and make them more conservative. While I belive that colleges should be places where there is a healthy debate on many topics, and permitting one over the other is a perfect way to discourage such debate, I'm not sure this website is going about it in the right way. Of course, encouraging debate might not be their goal. It seems like they want schools to favor conservatism above liberalism, not a healthy balance of the two.
There are a lot of related topics in a debate like this, so look for more posts on the topic. And, as always, I want to hear what your opinions are.
Are you starting to freak out because you haven't selected a major? It's time to stop just thinking about it and actually take some action. Here are some useful tips to help you choose a major:
College alumni network: Ask alumni what they majored in and what types of jobs their degrees qualified them for. Are they glad they selected their particular major? Was the degree program difficult? If they had to do it all over again, would they select the same major?
Career counselor: Your college's career center has counselors who can help you with this important decision. They may suggest some books and offer some self-assessment tools. They'll set up meetings with faculty members who can answer questions and provide advice about specific majors.
Preview classes: Sit in on a few classes in the majors that interest you.
Changing colleges: If you can't find the right major at your current college, you may have to transfer to another school. Selecting a major is an important life decision, so don't choose an uninteresting major just so you can hang out with your college friends. There are plenty of websites on the Internet that provide lists of majors and the colleges that offer them.
Hot jobs: Ask career counselors for a list of the hot jobs at your college's career fairs. Find out which college degrees are sought after by employers visiting the campus. You may find something that interests you.
Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS): Check out the Bureau of Labor Statistics website. Take a look at the employment projections web page, which provides projections for a wide variety of jobs. You can search by education, training, or occupation. The website offers employment growth projections, salaries, and other useful information for many jobs. The Subject Area tab lets you access the employment and the pay and benefits categories, and these include a lot of useful subcategories. The Publications tab includes the occupational outlook quarterly, the occupational outlook handbook and career guides.
Here's a list of useful websites to help students choose a major:
College Board provides information about majors as well as career profiles.
My Majors provides information on an array of majors. It includes descriptions of different career fields and the possible areas of specialization within each field.
Next Tuesday will be the first day of my last semester as an undergrad. I will have managed to complete a four-year degree in... four years. And somehow, it doesn't feel right. I feel as though i should have stayed longer, tried for some harder classes, had a full-time job while I was in College. Maybe dated a little more.
But on the other hand, I can't complain too much about how things have gone. I went to a school I loved, found a great boyfriend, joined a fantastic sorority, choose a major that will be useful to what I want to do, and made great friends, whom I hope I will never drift away from.
And on top of that it will be great to be done with college, even if I do take more undergrad classes. I'll have my own apartment, which means that all of my belongings will be consolidated into one location instead of at two ends of the state, and I won't have to move once a year. On top of that I will find a job and start making progress towards acheiving my dream.
Still, considering all of those things, I'm still not ready. I don't even know if I'll be able to find a decent job, one that will allow me to afford an apartment and living expenses. Living in the dorms has kind of been a sheltered experience. I never had to worry about food, I was on my mom's health insurance, and I could bum rides from friends any time I needed to go somewhere not in walking distances. I also am unsure if my classes really prepared me for real life. All my teachers meant well, I have no doubt, but everything seems so theoretical.
Either way, I know I'll make it out in the real world alive. And I do still have one semester to prepare.