Why Children’s Books are my New Inspiration

As I’ve mentioned in past posts, I am in college pursuing a degree in elementary education. In pursuit of my major, I am required to take many different courses, one of which is a children’s literature course. I’ve been devouring children’s books that bring me back to my childhood and which have reminded me of the many quality lessons these books hold. I made a short list of some of the lessons I’ve deciphered and I hope it encourages you to pick up an old favorite and to cherish its quality and excellence. Enjoy!

1. Sometimes, it’s okay to be curious. (Curious George, H.A. Rey)

2. With time and perseverance, you’ll always end up where you belong. (Corduroy, Don Freeman)

3. Never take advantage of a good thing. (Miss Nelson is Missing, Harry Allard and James Marshall)

4. Love is eternal. (The Giving Tree, Shel Silverstein)

5. Beauty lives within. (The Rainbow Fish, Marcus Pfister)

6. Lend a helping hand when you can. (Make Way for Ducklings, Robert McCloskey)

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The “Pros” and “Cons” of School

The start of another semester of college lends itself to being a consistent whirlwind, and as a result, my blog has sat untouched and neglected. In honor of the semester having officially begun, I’ve made a list of all of the things a new school year entails and I’m listing the pros and cons of each! Here we go!

1. The new school year means new classes.

Pro: New people and new, interesting information (hopefully!).

Con: Schoolwork and studying=social life killers!

2. New textbooks.

Pro: The smell of new books (Am I the only one that likes this, because if I am, this is really embarrassing!)

Con: The exorbitant cost incurred by having to get new textbooks.

3. Back to school parties.

Pro: It’s so much fun to be reunited with friends you haven’t seen all summer.

Con: I can’t think of any… can you?

4. Fall sports.

Pro: Lots of school spirit and lots of fun!

Con: The rare occasion when your team loses. 😦

5. Reunions with friends.

Pro: The whole gang is back together again!

Con: Um, nothing!!!

6. Being back in my apartment.

Pro: Being in my own space.

Con: The whole college food situation. I could really go for some home cookin’ by mom and dad!

Okay, so my list isn’t very extensive or very good, but, as timing would have it, I have to get back to my schoolwork! I’ll blog again as soon as possible!

College and the Quarter-Life: Starting the School Year Off on the Right Foot 101

With the start of a new school year comes a lot of possibilities and, sometimes, a lot of anxiety! You’ll fall into a comfortable routine before you know it and another wonderful school year will be under way! In the meantime, here are a few tips to start you off on the right foot! Let’s get excited for the commencement of what is sure to be another great school year!

1) Figure out how you will balance your social life with your academic responsibilities.

I think learning to find a balance is the greatest difficulty college students face with the onset of a new semester. Of course, being social and staying on the ball with schoolwork are both very important. However, what’s more important than either of those collegiate necessities, is figuring out how managing to do both will work for you.

2) Be health conscious.

Caring for yourself and your well-being is of the utmost importance. Eating right, exercising, and catching enough zzz’s are necessities that you need to be able to fit into your schedule. If you aren’t staying healthy, than all of the other elements of your life will fall by the wayside, which of course, will certainly not help you to start the school year off on the right foot.

3) Wakey, wakey, eggs and bakey!

Hitting the snooze button is so easy and so tempting, but I assure you, getting up and out will be a huge stress reliever. Missing class will not help you adjust to your new school year routine! Also, you’ll find that waking up early will give you so much more time, which will certainly cut down on the rush and stress many people feel at the beginning of a new school year.

4) Organization is key!

Being organized will keep you free of stress and will help you to avoid the new school year frenzy that many students experience. Buy a planner and become an avid note-taker. Write down everything from social engagements to due dates on assignments. Also, buy folders and notebooks and store them in a specific place so that you fall into a routine of keeping your school supplies organized and accessible.

5) Be positive!

The start of a new school year is the start of a year that holds so many opportunities and possibilities! Expect to make new friends, have new experiences, succeed academically, fall into a comfortable routine, get healthy, and reach new heights! There’s so much in store and so much to be excited for!

How do you plan to start the school year off on the right foot?

College and the Quarter-Life: Lessons You Won’t Learn in the Classroom 101

I’d like to preface this post by saying that I truly think you will learn so much more outside of the classroom than you will in it (of course, the content is different in nature). I’d like to add that I’m no life expert, so don’t think that this list of five life lessons means I know much of anything… I don’t!! Living will be the greatest teacher and these are just a few pieces of wisdom I’ve gathered along the way!

Happy living! 🙂 🙂 🙂

1)   You, and only you, are your best advocate.

Friends and family create a wonderful support system and I’m not suggesting that they do not love you, look out for you, and hope for the best for you- they do. I’ve learned, however, that you are the one who needs to make your voice heard and who needs to take charge. Even if they wanted to, no one else can do that for you.

2)   You aren’t ENTITLED to anything. “Entitlement” doesn’t exist.

Nothing is ever handed to you. Your life is a product of what you have earned.

3)   School comes first. A social life is secondary.

Of course, going out and being with friends is fun, but it’s easy to lose sight of the reason we go to college and take classes… for our education! Our educations are the keys to our futures (it sounds cliché, but you and I both know it’s true!) and while a social life is also beneficial, we need to remember our true purpose for being at college.

4)   Trying to be someone you’re not automatically diminishes your chances of success.

If you don’t want to be yourself why should anyone else want to be with you, work with you, be friends with you, or hire you? Be yourself and everything will fall into place. “Who you are is a declaration of independence in itself!”

5)   The word “no” is a powerful tool… use it.

This is a concept I have had trouble grasping in the past, but once I learned how to say “no” a weight was lifted off of my shoulders. It doesn’t make you mean, rude, incompetent, or any other negative thing if you make use of the word “no.” No one will think any less of you because you have a limit. In fact, they’ll probably think, “Wow, they know what they’re doing.” Saying “no” is a strength.

 

Are there any life lessons you’ve learned? Please share them with me!

College and the Quarter-Life: Useful Websites for Students 101

1)   Rate My Professor

Rate My Professor allows students to rate their professors (on a scale of one to five) on easiness, clarity, and helpfulness for the use of other students.  Students comment on their opinions of the professors. This website has proven very helpful in choosing the professors they think they will mesh most positively with.

2)   Easy Bib

Easy Bib allows students to create an online bibliography in MLA, APA, and Chicago/Turabian formats, for FREE! The website makes creating a bibliography so easy because it only requires plugging in the required fields, and then it creates the bibliography for you!

3)   Facebook

Facebook is a great way to connect with potential roommates, find study groups, and even find other students willing to sell you their old textbooks for a lot less than you would pay in the bookstores!

4)   Twitter

Twitter is a great way to get involved with major-related organizations, learning about opportunities in your field, and, if you follow news sources, a great way to keep on top of current events.

5)   My Plan

My Plan is a tool for exploring majors and career options. It creates a profile for you and helps you figure out your strengths and weaknesses.

College and the Quarter-Life: Staying Current on Current Events 101

1) Turn on the T.V.

At first glance this may sound counterproductive; however, turning on the news just to catch the headlines can be a quick and easy way to catch a brief summary of what’s going on in the world.

2) Use your phone.

With the ever-advancing technology we have at our fingertips, it has become so easy to stay up-to-date on current events. Download the CNN, NYTimes, msnbc, or similar app to your phone and select that you’d like to receive updates from these apps. The news is brought right to you with no effort!

3) Put on your listening cap.

Talking to the people around you is such a simple way to stay current. Chances are that some of your friends are up-to-date on world news. Sticking with them and listening to them discuss the news will be a great brush-up for you.

4) Turn on the computer.

Read the headlines on npr, msnbc, CNN, or other similar websites- sweet (or not so sweet) and simple.

College and the Quarter-Life: Making Friends 101

1)   Get involved.

Join clubs and organizations where you will meet people with similar interests to yours. It sounds cliché, but getting involved with clubs and organizations that serve your interests means that you will be among people that share those interests. You’ve got something to talk about and something in common right off the bat!

2)   Put yourself out there.

Here’s how my routine goes… “Hi, are you waiting to go into math with Smith?” Response: “Yes, and I’ve heard this class is really hard.” “Me too. I’m pretty nervous. By the way, I’m Beth.” Response: “Hi, I’m Jack. It’s nice to meet you.” Before class starts, I always find a person to make small talk with and it always seems that we miraculously become friends. Sometimes all it takes to make a friend is to start a really simple conversation. It’s not complicated and it’s not too scary. Chances are, your new friend also wanted to say hi, but just didn’t have the confidence to do so.

3)   Be nice.

It sounds silly, but everyone is attracted to someone who is nice. There are fewer qualities that are greater than being nice. Removing an abrasive or unapproachable veneer will automatically attract other people to you.

4)   Use where you live to your advantage.

Making friends with other people in your dorm, apartment complex, or community is a great resource. I’ve found that other people also like the idea of living in a friendly community. You always have someone to help you open your jar of pickles or to hang out with if you don’t feel like being home alone. There’s nothing wrong with walking over to your neighbor’s home, saying hello, and making conversation. I’ve made some great friends this way and I’ve loved living among friends.

5)   Be genuinely interested in what other people say.

Showing other people that you really care by listening to them and genuinely being interested in their life and what they have to say is such an easy way to make friends. People are immediately attracted to others that show them compassion and sincerity.