15 Ways To Take A Study Break While Still Being Productive

15 Ways To Make Your Study Break More Productive

Okay, I can’t be the only one whose 10-minutes study break always turns into a 40-minute tv show episode on Netflix. There’s nothing wrong with giving your brain a much-needed break, especially during finals week when people are literally camping out in the library—toothbrush and pajamas and all—but the annoying part is that when you get too side-tracked, you aren’t any closer to clearing off your lengthy to-do list. Besides that, there’s more to college students than just college…we’re also interns, photographers, business owners, tutors, poets, travelers and lots of other things. College ain’t the only thing on our plate.

Personally, I feel so overwhelmed when I watch the hours tick away while my projects and assignments still sit in my planner. It doesn’t feel like I’ve done anything fulfilling, although my brain feels like it’s been working nonstop. It’s like I’ve been sitting in front of my laptop for the last four hours just staring at the friggin’ screen! Sound kinda, sorta familiar?

Instead of scrolling through Instagram or Facebook on your next study break, try doing these five things that will actually help you get shit done, even when your nose isn’t in the textbook.

1. Learn something new from a podcast. 

Podcasts have been becoming super popular. They’re so easy to listen to while you have a spa day in your room or cook dinner at night. Some of them are really inspirational and can help you learn about the real world. The Classy Career Girl is a great podcast for millennials who want career advice and tips for building brand awareness.

2. Update your LinkedIn profile. 

There’s no time like the present to really spiff up your LinkedIn. LinkedIn is so easy to use that fixing things up won’t take you too long. If your profile is already super hireable, look for professionals to connect with.

3. Plan the trip you’ve been dying to take. 

Well, don’t plan out every last detail, but take some time to look into plane tickets, possible hotels and activities. Create a spreadsheet to stay organized so you don’t have to re-research everything again.

4. Update your financial tracker. 

For the last month, I did an experiment where I tracked every dime I spent, and it was super eye-opening. In fact, since I stopped keeping track of my spending, it makes me nervous to not know where my money is going, so I’m going to start tracking it again. Make your own tracker if you don’t have one, or Google a printable one.

5. Look for an internship. 

The internship search is actually really exciting, and kind of relaxing, oddly enough. You’re really just browsing around for possibilities so you can easily put on some music and chill while you do this. When you find a listing, save the link in a spreadsheet so you can come back to it later.

Related: 8 Organizational Tips To Conquer Your Job Search 

6. Read the news. 

It’s especially important to remain informed in today’s society. Download news apps on your phone so you can easily read about what’s happening when you have 10 minutes to spare. Also check out my post on the Best Free Apps For College Students for more useful phone apps.

7. Continue/start reading he book you’ve been dying to pick up. 

If you’re like me, then you probably have so many books that you’ve only read halfway. Use your study break to get a little further and read a chapter or two. I also find that reading books helps me re-focus when I feel like my mind is all over the place.

Read also: 5 Easy Ways To Make More Time For Reading Books In College

8. Do yoga or a mini workout. 

YouTube is a great way to find quick workouts that you can squeeze into your day. And, if you do them regularly, you’ll actually see results. Look for a quick, five or 10-minute workout video and follow along right from the comfort of your dorm room.

9. Learn how to make something. 

Learn how to make tonight’s dinner, or tomorrow’s breakfast. If you’ve always wanted to learn calligraphy, start watching an intro video—the ideas are endless. Just think of something you’d like to learn and get started on it while you take a break from math and English.

10. Call your parents. 

You’re probably going to have to call them at some point during the day or week, so why not do it now. Parents are great for giving you advice on dealing with your full plate, helping you get your life together, and talking shit about all the people who annoyed you that week.

11. Build a new playlist for studying. 

I love listening to music while I study, and most other people do, too. If you really can’t focus on studying for your exam, build a playlist that will help you out.

Related: The Ultimate Study Session Playlist

12. Plan tomorrow’s schedule. 

Take a few minutes to think about what obligations you have tomorrow—any meetings, coffee dates, assignment that still need to be completed, etc. Add them to the calendar on your phone or to your planner so you don’t forget.

13. Email your professors thanking them for a (hopefully) great semester. 

I think it’s important to send your professors a quick message to let them know how much you appreciated their expertise this semester. You never know when you might need to hit them up for a recommendation, after all. Even if the semester wasn’t incredible, just email them to thank them for their time and knowledge.

14. Make plans to see friends one last time before the break. 

The last week is usually hectic for everyone, but if you really want to grab coffee one last time or hang out with a friend before the week is over, take some time to message people for a meetup.

15. Look for new side hustles. 

There are lots of ways to make extra money while you’re in college, but they won’t wait for you to finish your finals. If you’ve always wanted to get paid to take photos or get paid to teach people math, look for the opportunities that will help you do that.

What are your tips for being productive even when you aren’t? 

10 Things To Consider When Choosing A College

10 Things To Consider When Choosing The Right College

The other day I was thinking about how this is my senior year of college and I only have one semester left before I walk across the stage and get my diploma. Then, I started thinking about how four years ago I was in my senior year of high school worrying about when I’d hear back from my dream college so I could put down the deposit and start stocking up on merch for school spirit. I know that some high school seniors will soon be faced with the ultimate decision—which college to attend—and not to sound dramatic or anything, but it’s a pretty big deal.

Everyone has their own set of criteria that’s important to them when deciding on a college, but I’m writing this post to give you a little bit of info on some things I wish I had considered before picking a college. Don’t get me wrong, I love my college and there’s not a day that goes by that I’m not grateful I chose it, but I definitely should have considered a few more factors before signing my name in my blood (I’m kidding, no blood was used in my commitment to my college).

So because I know you’re already super stressed with college apps and I don’t want to stress you out with the suspense of a super drawn out intro, here are some things you should consider when deciding which college to attend.

1. Are you living on campus or at home?

This can also help you determine if you’ll be able to afford the college you’d like to attend, since it’s more expensive to dorm. Some people prefer to be closer to home and will opt to either live with their parents or pick a college that’s just two to three hours away from home. Obviously, you can’t commute everyday to a college that’s three hours from your house (I mean, you could try but you’d probably get tired of that really fast). If your parents are cool with you living on campus, you’ll be able to pick a college that’s a little farther from home.

Related: 17 Tips To Make College Move-In Day Easier

2. Do you want to be in a city or college town?

I was convinced that I couldn’t live in the city because it was so crowded and super noisy. I do love my college town but I also grew to love the city. Each has their own pros and cons, but if you opt for a college in the city, you’ll be able to commute to internships and jobs much easier during the semester since offices and companies will likely be located in a city.

Related: How I Landed An Editorial Beauty + Fashion Internship in NYC

3. How accessible is the nearest city from the college town?

If you’re convinced that you’d rather attend college in a small town, being able to easily travel to the city will still be important, especially if you’re planning on having internships or jobs in the city while you’re there. My college is out in Long Island, and the Long Island Rail Road has a stop on our campus, so when I need to get to Manhattan I can just purchase a ticket, hop on the train, and be at Penn Station in two hours. Yeah, that’s still a long time, but if the stop were anywhere else, it would be SO much harder for me to use the train.

4. Are you more comfortable with a large college or small one?

Okay, I’ll admit that picking a college that’s a little smaller than my college’s 20,000+ population would’ve made me a little more comfortable, but we live and we learn, right? Picking a large college means that the campus is often larger—which can mean more walking time to get to class! But if you don’t want to see the same people over and over again, you might like being on a large campus. Smaller colleges make it easier for you to feel like you’re really part of a tight-knit community because everyone knows everyone. But, this can also be a bad thing if you aren’t careful…Talk it out with your guidance counselor to figure out what you really prefer.

5. Does the college contain a wide variety of programs if you’re undecided?

People change their majors ALL. THE. TIME. Trust me, I know—I changed my major six times before settling on journalism! And, I always feel so lucky to have picked a college that has a wide array of programs and degrees, even though I was dead set on studying health science to go to med school. If you aren’t sure what you want to study, make sure you’re attending a college that can give you lots of options to try out.

6. Are there opportunities for accelerated degree programs?

A lot more people are seeking accelerated degree programs in college so they could gain another degree in just 5-6 years total or fewer. If this is something you think you might be interested in a few years down the line, ask a campus tour guide or anyone else knowledgeable about the colleges you’re considering what kinds of degree programs they offer.

7. What’s the mood of the campus like?

Do you walk through campus and feel like you’re surrounded by so much energy? Is the atmosphere super happy or is it really gloomy and dull? You’ll know this for sure if you actually visit the campus a few times before making any decisions. And, obviously, for admitted students day, colleges usually try to go all out to make it seem like their campus is the best, so also try to visit for a regular campus tour. Or, if you have a relative or family friend who attends the university, ask them to show you around on a random day to really get a feel for the mood.

8. Do you prefer large class sizes or smaller ones?

My university has a mix of both, and I got a taste of both since, as a health science major, I was always in large, 300+ student lecture halls. And now as a journalism major, my classes don’t exceed 14 students. Some colleges don’t have large lectures at all, so if you think you learn better in a large class, this is something to ask about.

Related: How To Use Microsoft Office To Take Really Good Notes In Class

9. Do the dining halls cater to your needs?

I know that making the food options a factor in the college you choose sounds ridiculous, but you’d be surprised by how few colleges actually cater to the needs of students who are vegan, gluten-free, or dairy-free. If you’re commuting to college, this may not be as big a deal to you since you’ll probably have all your meals at home, but if you’re going to be a resident, it’s really important to make sure you’ll actually have food that you can eat since you’re paying for a meal plan.

10. Are there enough organizations on campus to keep you feeling fulfilled?

It can be easy to fall into a slump when you’re feeling stagnant on campus. Make sure the college you choose has programs, organizations and extracurriculars that will keep you feeling challenged, and like you’re learning something you can use. Are you looking for Greek Life? Pre-professional clubs and societies? Organizations for people in your major? These are great organizations to join in college. Also, check out my post on How To Use Extracurriculars To Boost Your Resume for more insider tips.

What’s your dream college like? Did you attend your dream college? 

Tips For Staying On Track To Graduate College In 4 Years

How To Graduate College In 4 Years

I recently enrolled in my classes for next semester and something major hit me: I only have two classes left for my degree and I’m graduating in the spring. But before I go on about how quickly four years fly by, let me just say that there is no dominating rule that you need to graduate college in four years. Things happen: you might end up doing a 5-year program instead; you might decide that you want to take an extra semester or year—whatever. It’s totally okay to graduate from college whenever you need to. But I know there are some people who might be very concerned with finishing in four years for whatever their reasons may be, so I decided to write this blog post to give you tips on how to do that.

When I entered college as a freshman, I was a Health Science major on the pre-med track, and I studied all science and math classes for my entire freshman year before realizing I didn’t want to be a doctor. After that, I changed my major around a few times but sophomore year I settled on Journalism. At my school, Journalism is the second heftiest degree with 124 credits needed to graduate. My advisers warned me that I may not finish all my classes by Spring 2018 because the major is so demanding and I was already behind, but I was all like, ‘well, watch me,’ and I pushed on. Fast forward almost six semesters and here I am. So yeah, it is possible even if you are behind in your major.

If finishing in four years is something that stresses you out or something you hope to do, I’m sharing things that I’ve been doing in order to stay on track to graduate on time. So, keep reading to find out more!

1. Take “stupid” required curriculum courses seriously.

I’m pretty sure every college has mandatory curriculum requirements intended to make you more well-rounded. So, students are usually expected to take an art class, math class, technology class, and others even if they don’t necessarily fit with their major. I know a lot of people complain about these courses and don’t take them seriously, only to end up failing the course. Or, they may just put off taking these classes because they “don’t want to waste their time” with them, only to end up not being able to get into them when the final semester nears.

Always keep track of what requirements you have left! Go to an adviser and see where you are if you don’t know how to check your progress yourself. Your adviser can even make class recommendations depending on your interests. You may hate having to take these classes, but you won’t graduate if you don’t take them seriously!

Related: 13 Tips For Getting A’s In Your Classes

2. Take classes that can satisfy more than one requirement.

I found that a lot of the curriculum courses I took ended up satisfying more than one curriculum requirement. For example, a graphic design class I took satisfied my art requirement and my technology requirement (bonus points if it also satisfies part of your major or minor!). It’s just an easy way to finish your curriculum requirements faster so you don’t have to think about that remaining two or three during your final semester.

3. Go to your adviser for any and all issues.

Don’t worry about annoying your adviser with your pretty face all the time—that’s what they’re there for! I’m the kind of person who runs into my adviser’s office for almost every little thing (if I can’t find the answer to my question online or something). It’s comforting to have a definitive, authoritative answer to my questions and problems, and I like to address any potential issues before they become major. Follow whatever directions you need to follow for making an appointment with your adviser. You don’t need to see them every week, but a good rule of thumb would be to see them once when the semester begins and see them again before you enroll in next semester’s classes. This way, you’ll know exactly what to take to stay on track.

Related: Tips For Creating The Perfect Class Schedule

4. Come up with a class enrollment strategy before you see your adviser.

I’m kind of a problem-solver and I like to already have a solution in mind before I approach someone with my problem. So, for most of college I’d think of what I want my schedule for next semester to look like, jot down any questions I have about it, and then see my adviser to get their input and show them what I came up with. I know some people say they feel like their advisers take control and force them to take classes they don’t want to take or deter them from taking classes that could fit into their schedule, so this is a way of regaining that control. It’s your college career, after all. Don’t be afraid to voice your concerns and be a little pushy (pushy, but not rude!). When I started the Journalism major, I was so behind that I pushed my adviser to let me take some of my 200-level courses alongside their pre-requisite 100-level courses so I’d be right where I needed to be.

5. First semester freshman year will probably be the only time you have a 12-credit schedule.

Not gonna lie, you’re going to have at least one semester where you’re packing in a shit ton of classes. It’s going to be stressful as hell and you’re going to curse yourself the entire time for doing it, but you’ll feel super accomplished when the semester is over and you can finally say that you did it. This was definitely the biggest way that I kept myself on track for graduating. This semester is insane for me because of that (I’m taking seven classes, yikes!) and while I countdown every week till the end of the semester, I know I’m going to say that it’s so worth it. Plus, it’s really putting my time management skills to the test, so yay for that.

I’m not telling you to go crazy and have a 20-credit schedule every semester; know yourself and know how much you can handle. Don’t be afraid to take it easy one semester, especially if the previous one was really rough. Also, if you’re interested, check out my post on How To Balance School, Work, And A Social Life In College.

6. Take classes during the winter and summer sessions.

When the fall semester of my sophomore year was coming to an end, my adviser told me that I would have to take a winter class in order to have a chance at catching up in the program. Yeah, it was extra money in tuition and living on campus, but it was so worth it. I know taking another class during a time is the last thing you want to do, but it can really be the difference between being behind and being right where you need to be. Pro tip: don’t wait until junior year to see if you can take a 300-level class for your major during the winter session because they usually only offer 100-level and 200-level (if you’re lucky) courses.

Related: How To Survive Winter Session Classes In College

 

7. Don’t give up if you get locked out of a class during enrollment.

Listen, your advisers can pull more strings than they might be willing to admit. I know the queasy, panicky feeling of seeing the big, fat red ‘x’ on my enrollment page because a class I need is full or I ‘don’t have permission to enroll’ in it all too well, and, trust me, you’re gonna want to freak out at first. But don’t. See if your adviser would be willing to throw you into the class anyway. Most of the time, they can give you permission to take a certain class and you can enroll above the capacity or as a co-requisite. But you’d have to present a convincing case if you’re trying to take the class as a co-requisite with something, so be prepared. I’ve done this more times than I care to remember, and it has helped me out so much.

8.  Take your time when planning your schedule.

You can’t plan a schedule in 30 minutes, so make sure you set aside two or three hours to really think about what you need to take and what can work with your schedule. Set aside some time during the day to just relax and think about what classes are next in your sequence. I like sitting in the couches at Starbucks and blasting Marina and the Diamonds through my earbuds when I plan my schedule because I find the setting so relaxing.

Are you going to be a graduating senior? What are you most excited for? 

7 Things To Do If You’re Falling Behind In Class

7 Things To Do If You're Falling Behind In Your College Classes

I think we’re about halfway through the fall semester, which is good because yay, the semester is almost over, but bad because that means we’re running out of time to save our asses in the classes we’ve fallen behind in. This semester is without a doubt my roughest semester yet. Like I said in my post on how to balance your academics with your work and social life, I’m taking seven classes, got a part-time job, took on an e-board position, and I’ve also got a few other things under my belt. So yeah, it’s a lot to handle and while I’ve pulled it together just enough to not feel guilty for taking a well-deserved break for a few hours during the weekends, I’ve definitely felt that at some point I wasn’t giving some of my classes the full attention that I should’ve been giving.

It’s important to not only avoid half-assing your major classes, but also avoid falling completely behind in their requirements. I know that’s easier said than done, but at this point in the semester, it’s especially important to make sure you can pick up any fallen pieces before they completely slip through the cracks. If you worry that you haven’t had the time or energy to dedicate to completing all assignments to your satisfaction, or if you simply haven’t been on track to complete your assignments read on for tips on how to deal!

1. Be honest with your professor about where you are. 

Communicating with your professor at any point of the semester is extremely important. If you’ve noticed a pattern of you struggling to complete assignments, try to discuss this with your professor and see if they can give you tips on making the class more manageable. Also be honest about your other obligations from the start so they don’t write you off as being lazy or unprepared (which can, and does, happen!). For one class, I was having trouble properly doing an assignment and when I emailed my professor, I told her that my class and work schedule restricts me from being able to do any solid reporting during the day, which is the only time I can do my reporting for the assignment, and she was able to give me better advice.

2. Don’t wait for the last minute to ask for a deadline extension. 

I know a lot of people complain that their professors are assholes for not giving them a deadline extension…on an assignment that was already due! Professors will 9.5 times out of 10 NOT be sympathetic to you if you wait until after the assignment is due to ask for an extension. You definitely do have five minutes to shoot the professor a quick email explaining your obligations/what will make it difficult for you to turn in a solid assignment on time, so don’t be mad if you get a big, fat ‘no’ two days after the paper or project was due. Try to ask a week before the assignment is due if you foresee yourself being unable to turn it in on time. The more notice your professor receives, the better. You’ll feel less stressed if you know you’ll have extra time to complete something.

3. Use the weekends effectively to catch up on work. 

I do the bulk of my work during the weekends because I don’t have classes during the day to worry about, and it makes me feel more at ease just knowing that I have an entire day to use to the best of my ability to get work done. It depends on which assignments are more of a priority in the moment, but if your homework that week isn’t as hefty, try to catch up or get ahead on anything that you think will become a problem in the future. Or just try to put as much effort into the assignments you currently have.

For my graphic design class, I know that at the start of the week the professor usually asks us to turn in sketches for a project, so I use my time to make these ideas as detailed as possible so she has more to critique in class, and I’ll know exactly what I can do to improve it before turning in the final piece. This helps me expend far less time scrambling to perfect the final version before it’s due.

Related: How To Recover From An Unproductive Day

4. Designate specific days/times for working on assignments for a particular class. 

If you’ve got a few hours in between your first two classes, you can use the time to start the homework you just got assigned in your first class, or make a habit out of doing tomorrow’s assignment during that time. Just establish a routine that you think you can stick to, and it will be easier to stay on top of your work. This can actually prevent you from falling behind in your classes.

Related: How To Create An Effective Study Schedule

5. Organize yourself. 

Okay, this should probably be the first thing you do, but that’s cool. Whether it’s the first thing you do or the 10th thing you do, make sure you get organized! Use your favorite planner to jot down everything that’s due and anything that’s past due so you can think more clearly and devise a better plan for tackling those assignments. I always work better when I know exactly what I have to left to do, especially since it can be easy to forget about all the little assignments you have, and especially if it’s for a class you’re trying to not concern yourself with too much since you have other classes that are more demanding. But, it’s always the little things that get us, so be sure to use your planner so you know what to watch out for and what you need to pay more attention to.

6. Be realistic about how much work you can complete in any given time. 

Dude, we’re only human! Finishing your entire to-do list on Saturday before 1a.m. sounds like a dream come true, but unless you have a really short to-do list, or your list consists of eating, sleeping, Netflixing, and repeating, you’re probably not going to do everything you intended. Setting goals that are unobtainable can actually cause you more stress if you find that you couldn’t complete them. Avoid this by assessing your situation and your schedule before you divide up your time amongst assignments. Your adviser can also help you do this, so don’t be shy about making an appointment or walking in.

7. Relax! 

I know you’re probably already stressing about falling behind, but stressing more does more harm than good. Take an hour to just breathe and watch an episode of your favorite Netflix show. Or, take an hour to just chill in bed and do everything but your homework—it’s completely fine! Clear your head so you can get back on track with a peaceful mind. I’m not a mediation master of finding peace, but I think this works. Plus, I sometimes find that just chilling energizes me to kick things into intense work mode and I get SO much stuff done!

What classes are you stressing about right now? How do you deal with them? 

8 Organizational Tips To Conquer Your Job Search

Confession: As I’m sitting here at Starbucks in the company of a venti iced white chocolate mocha and a bagel with about two bites left, I’m lowkey freaking out over the fact that in the coming months, my job search game is about to be upped ten-fold. Hell, maybe even one-hundred-fold. The point is that the job search, internship search, whatever-professional-position search is gonna get crazy for every graduating senior. And with a 20-credit schedule, club e-board meetings, and a part-time job, you may not even have time to think about how stressed you already are with the job hunt.

In the past, I’ve given tips on landing an internship—also pretty stressful. So this time I want to focus on keeping yourself organized when on the prowl because, not gonna lie, if an unpolished resume or typo-filled cover letter doesn’t screw you over, an unorganized mind will.

Yep, it’s true and it’s just as painful as it sounds. Maybe you’re not going to get the position at one of your favorite companies even though you’re uber qualified because you missed the deadline in the heat of preparing for other things. Or maybe you just couldn’t remember if you submitted the cover letter but decided to give yourself the benefit of the doubt. Or perhaps you’re bound to accidentally submit an incomplete application with all the pressure from class you’ve been under lately. It can happen and you don’t want it to happen to you. 

I’m still working toward gaining complete control over my organization for jobs and internships, but I really want to share what I’m going to do. So if you’re pretty much in the same boat and want to finally get your shit together, read on.

1. Make a list of all of the companies you want to work for.

List out all of your dream companies and companies you admire. It’s important to have an idea of the environment you’d like to see yourself in so you know where to start and you’re not just blindly throwing cover letters left and right. Even if you don’t think you’re experienced enough to work at your dream company, 1) don’t sell yourself short, and 2) you never know. Put this list into a spreadsheet if you really want to up your organization game. I actually keep a folder on Google Drive specifically for organizing all things jobs and internships, so consider keeping your list here.

2. Find out the deadline for every single company.

Sometimes, you’ll find a job listing that explicitly states the deadline. Other times, you’ll have to do some digging. You can find out deadlines by reaching out directly to the hiring manager, tweeting to the company, or even just searching for the same company and position on another job search site to see if they included additional information elsewhere. Deadlines help you set goals. If you know an application is due in three weeks, you’ll budget your time so you work on your resume one week, your cover letter the other week, and still have time to polish it off during the final week. That’s just an example, but work on your applications the way you want to. Just don’t put yourself in a position where you couldn’t make a submission because you missed the deadline.

3. Think about location—can you narrow down a specific geographic area you’re looking to work in?

It really helps if you already know which state or country you’d like to work in, especially if it’s not in your home state or country. Now, actually packing up your life and moving there is a whole other process, but we’re not worrying about that right now. Personally, I’d like to apply to places in L.A., San Francisco, Boston, and Manhattan. This helps you narrow your search so you’re not as overwhelmed.

4. Be aware that you may have to submit more than just a cover letter and resume.

if you thought writing cover letters for internships were annoying (me!), wait until you have to submit references, and create additional content specifically for the application process. You’re gonna wish it were as simple as resume and cover letter. If this is the case, make sure you’re aware of the application materials ahead of time to allow yourself enough of an opportunity to get them all together. Don’t take a chance on saving any part of your application for the last minute because of course this is when everything that could go wrong will.

Related: 6 Cover Letter Mistakes That Won’t Get You An Interview

5. Gather a list of references.

Create a separate document or spreadsheet where you can keep track of any references you may need. Know who you’re going to reach out to, and record the date you reached out to them, whether or not they responded, and if they have already sent your recommendation letter to the company that requested one. Look to former bosses, professors, and anyone else who knows your work well for recommendation letters. Reach out and ask if you could list them as a reference. And if you haven’t spoken to them in a while, now’s a good time to reach out and say hi, or invite them out to coffee. I actually wrote a post on what it was like to go on a coffee date with an editorial assistant so I could pick her brain about the industry, so if the idea of getting coffee with a professional seems daunting, check out my post for advice.

Related: How To Survive Networking Events As A College Student

6. Keep all your work samples in one place.

This is one of those things that I have yet to get around to doing but I know is a must! Make sure you keep all of your professional work wrapped up in a neat little bow so you’re not scrambling to submit clips the night before the application is due. Since I want a job at online magazines and media sites, I’m going to have to put together a professional portfolio website with all of my best samples of published work. But in the meantime, I’m going to keep a list of links to articles I’d want to use as samples, so I have them ready. Pro tip: save any online work as a PDF file, because links can get broken and for whatever reason, a post might get taken down, so you want to make sure you have evidence of the work you did.

7. Create a color code system.

Whoa, what??? I know, this sounds super hardcore, but it doesn’t have to be! I love using different colors to show progress. So if I get rejected from a position, I’ll highlight that entire row in my spreadsheet in light red, or simply write ‘rejected’ in red next to it. It’s easier on the eyes and you’ll know exactly what you’re looking at with just a quick glance.

8. Mark off the positions you finished applying to.

Use your color coding system for this too! As soon as you hit ‘submit’ go back to your spreadsheet and put a check next to the position, do the strikethrough line, highlight it in green—whatever you need to do to show that you successfully completed your application and you don’t have to worry about it anymore. This way, you won’t have to second guess yourself on whether or not you did indeed make a submission.

I hope these tips help during such a stressful, chaotic time!

How do you stay organized for the job search? What’s your dream job like? Let me know in the comments! 

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How I Landed An Editorial Beauty & Fashion Internship In NYC

How To Land An Editorial Beauty And Fashion Internship In NYC

You guys, WHERE did the summer go??? It feels like just a few weeks ago I was walking into the lobby of an 11th floor office to begin my second editorial internship. And now, here I am: sitting in my campus Starbucks procrastinating starting tonight’s homework. For the last three months, I’ve been an editorial intern on the beauty team at StyleCaster, a super fun, intelligent online magazine for women. This internship has given me so much, and is definitely responsible for all my crazy cool VIP-status Insta and Snapchat stories! Last summer, I wrote a post about the Things I Learned From My First Editorial Internship, so this summer I thought I’d focus more on how I got this awesome position. If you want a career in beauty or fashion digital media, you’ve come to the right blog post, my friend. I’m going to share what the application process was like, how I prepared for it, my favorite moments, and where you should look if you want to find similar positions. Sooo, without dragging this intro on for longer than it needs to be, let’s get into the good stuff…

The application process…

I found the editorial internship listing on a wonderfully handy website called Ed2010. This is probably the best website ever for students pursuing a career in the magazine and digital media industry because new internships, full-time jobs, and freelance positions get posted frequently and you’re very likely to find something that catches your eye. Ed2010 is an all-around very informative site as well because they post articles about how editors and employees at your favorite companies got to where they are, so it’s really cool. I’m done raving about Ed2010 now, but keep the site in your back pocket (or the notes section of your phone).

So I found the listing and decided to apply, especially because they only required a resume and at that point in April I was already waist-deep in cover letters. I wrote up a message and sent the resume to the email address listed and waited. Note that it’s super important to follow ALL of the directions a listing gives when you’re applying for a position. For this, I had to include the subject line that they specified. This is the first test to make sure that as an intern you’ll be able to follow directions. My next piece of advice when applying is to be respectful in your email! This is the editor’s first impression of you, so show that you’re interested, can follow directions, and are polite. If you write a very asshole-ish message or just don’t sound respectful, the person reading the email will be very put off by your attitude (trust me on this, guys. Towards the end of my internship, I helped the team go through emails from new applicants and you really don’t want to sound rude!).

About 10 days later, I received a response from the editor asking me to complete an edit test. If you’ve never taken an edit test, beware. Even if you read a website page by page daily, they can still be quite tough. I think that the idea of not knowing if your ideas are good enough is what makes edit tests so daunting. It feels like you’re sealing your fate as soon as you hit ‘send’ on that email. I’ll talk more about preparing for edit tests later, but needless to say, the editor loved my ideas and we scheduled a phone call. During the call, I really felt like I connected to the editor and to the position—it sounded perfect for me! The editor emailed me later that day to extend the offer to me and I accepted. Admittedly, I was a bit nervous to accept it because the offer came so early—this might sound strange, but it was still April and there were so many listings still going up. I was scared to commit to one position because I wasn’t sure if even better positions would arise in the coming weeks. I know, I know, the security of having an internship pinned down before the semester is even close to over sounds like a dream. I decided that StyleCaster would be the best place for me to learn, grow, and gain experience, so I accepted.

What I did to nail the application process…

I know this is the part most people really care about, and I’m excited to tell you exactly what I did to prepare for everything that was thrown my way! First and foremost, I made sure my resume was ready. I ensured that it was up to date and neat, and truly reflected how qualified I was for the position. I know that sounds arrogant but I like to think that it doesn’t matter how many internships you have; if you can’t use them to show how much of an asset you’d be to the team you want to join, you can kiss the position goodbye. Oh, you were an intern at Cosmopolitan? That’s cool but what did you learn there that you can bring here? That’s what you have to show employers. I absolutely don’t profess to know everything about resumes, but I’m just tryin’ to help you out as much as I can. 😉

Related: 5 Tips For Joining Clubs To Boost Your Resume

Here are some things you should try to have on your resume if you want a fashion or beauty-related editorial internship:

  • Prior editorial experience. If you’re applying for an editorial internship, you must have editorial experience already listed. Either that or at least be able to show that you have experience writing for a school magazine, personal blog that you consistently post to, or experience as a regular contributor at a site. It doesn’t matter how many fashion shows you’ve worked at, or how many designers you interned for; your chances of making it to the next round may be slim if there’s no writing experience listed on your resume.
  • An eye-catching decorative element. No, don’t go overboard with funky borders and unreadable but fancy-looking fonts. Having something subtle that still catches the editor’s eye will show them that you have personality and style, and they’ll remember your application. I always use a simple pink line towards the top of my resume in between my contact information and my related experience. It’s subtle but pretty, doesn’t take up much space on my resume, and serves a function. Figure out what you want to do to give your resume some flair—write your name in pink, or shade a box for your contact info blue.
  • A passion project. This is generally good for any field you apply for a position in, but if you have a blog, YouTube channel, non-profit you created, etc., include that on your resume. Show that you have something to do even if you don’t get the position. Many times, your passion project can help you be an asset to the team because it gives you experience and a perspective that they might be looking for. If you started a service that gives free bartending lessons to college students, that gives you a significant upperhand if you’re applying to be a food and drink reporter at a publication (strange example but I’ve actually seen something very similar happen!).

Related: The College Student’s Ultimate Guide To Resume-Writing

And then came my *favorite* part of the process: the edit test…While I won’t say what specific questions were asked on the test, I will say that all edit tests usually just serve to see if you’re capable of writing in the voice of the publication you want to work at, and if you’re good at coming up with ideas they didn’t already publish. Here’s how I usually approach edit tests:

  • I glance over it as soon as I get it, then put it away. I don’t tackle edit tests straight away. Never. I like to give it a once over to see how long it is and how (tough? demanding? hard?) the prompts are before I do anything. This helps me plan my time since I also have school and other stuff on my plate. Also, pay attention to the deadline. It can range anywhere from a few days to a week.
  • I closely follow all of the company’s content. I scour. Every. Single. Relevant piece of content to really take note of any aspects of their style I’ve never noticed before and inspire any ideas. Hopefully you already read the site’s content, but this time when you read it, look at it differently: how do they begin their articles? What’s the tone? Do they use profanity and to what extent? Asking yourself these questions will help you think of better ideas for your test. I do this for a day or so, depending on when the test is due.
  • I answer all of the “easiest” questions first. I say “easiest” because are edit tests ever really easy? No, absolutely not. But there are usually some questions that I can get through in very little time, so I do those first so I can really sit on my answers for the harder ones.
  • I jot down ideas for the tougher prompts. When it comes to these questions, I usually have a ton of ideas that I think could be good, but I can only pick my best three or four, and how do I even know for sure that they’re my best?? Unfortunately, I don’t have the answer to this, and I just rely on my gut to pick the top ideas. It is what it is.
  • I submit it! I mean, if you have 10 minutes left to submit your edit test, there’s nothing else you can really do about it, right? Between you and me, I actually almost didn’t submit my StyleCaster edit test! I had only gotten through half of the test and I only had one day left to complete it, and I was so bogged down and stressed from school assignments that I felt like I just couldn’t keep trying on this test. I was thinking of emailing the editor and saying thank you for the opportunity but you need not waste anymore time on me, but then I chilled for a night and returned to my test with ideas that actually didn’t suck, and I got it in!

I mentioned that I also had a phone call with the editor after I passed the edit test, and that went really well. It wasn’t really an “interview” per se but I did have to answer some questions to prove that I was truly a good fit for the position. My best pieces of advice for dealing with phone calls with the hiring team would be to make yourself available and find a quiet spot. Respect the editor’s time and understand that they won’t jump through hoops to secure a 15-minute phone call with you. Also, be prepared with questions for the end! It’s a red flag to employers if you don’t have any questions.

My favorites moments…

1. Meeting Charlotte Tilbury!

How To Land A Beauty And Fashion Internship In NYC

I got to attend the most glamorous product sneak peak ever for the Charlotte Tilbury makeup brand because it was all Hollywood themed. Professional makeup artists fawned over my sharp AF eyeliner wings, I got to keep an eyeshadow palette that wasn’t even in stores yet, and I met the genius woman behind the brand herself! So cool!

2. The hotel rooftop party and Tipsy Scoop ice cream.

How To Land A Beauty And Fashion Internship In NYC

A Dyson hair event I attended was located on the third floor rooftop of a hotel and there was a pool. I was blown away, and not just because it had been quite windy in the city earlier. I felt like such an adult mingling with other beauty magazine writers over a cup of alcohol-infused ice cream. Everything was so beautiful, and I got to meet celebrity hairstylist Jen Atkin!

3. Eating popsicles in the office.

One of my favorite parts was definitely when companies sent beauty products to the office because we were also responsible for maintaining the beauty closet (which is INSANE) and that meant that we were free to try whatever products we wanted. So one day, a company sent us popsicles in a container of dry ice and we were all just so excited. They were frozen af because my tongue nearly got stuck to one, but they were so delicious and refreshing.

So, how do you find these internships???

  • Check Ed2010 frequently. Seriously, if you want a magazine or digital media internship you NEED Ed2010 in your life. I check Ed2010 as often as I check Facebook and Twitter, so I’m always up to date on what’s getting posted.
  • Check in with your previous internship. Reach out to your past employer and see if they’re looking for interns again this year. If you’ve never had an internship, ask your professors for any recommendations. They ought to know someone who can send an application your way, or at the very least they know somebody who knows somebody.
  • Google search. Simply using the right keywords in a search can give you options. Search for things like “magazine summer internship” or “nyc magazine internship.” You can also turn on the option to receive emails when new jobs related to your search get posted! I started doing this recently and I feel like such a job insider! Check out my Tips For Getting A Summer Internship for more useful info.
  • Check LinkedIn. That’s another thing I check like it’s Facebook. Download the LinkedIn app for your phone so you can check out jobs and connections on the go. Be tenacious about your search and don’t give up after looking at the first two pages, because when you’re an intern you have to be determined to slay. Every. Single. Task—no excuses!

So that’s basically how I got my editorial internship at a beauty and fashion site! It has been an extremely valuable experience, and I’m insanely glad I got the opportunity to work with such a strong team. I really hope these tips help you find an editorial internship if that’s what you’re looking for. And if you have any specific questions, drop them below or feel free to email me at heyimjasmin@gmail.com. I love hearing from y’all! 🙂

What was your favorite internship experience? Never had an internship—what’s your dream company? 

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How To Prepare For Early Morning Classes In College

How To Prepare For Early Morning Classes

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SkinEssentials #CollectiveBias

How To Prepare For Early Morning Classes

Y’all, we need to seriously have a conversation about those dreaded sleep-shortening, alarm-clock-spamming 8a.m. classes because, let me tell you, I’ve had 8.m. classes since my freshman year and they were basically the bane of my existence. Even though I was very used to waking up early because that’s what I did in high school, it was still difficult to deal with early morning classes because when you live on campus, there are so many things going on, and you may not have control over all of them. Even if you commute to campus, you’ll have a lot going on!

The biggest issue I (and most other students) have with early morning classes—you know, besides waking up for them—is being able to complete my morning routine before running out the door so I can feel confident and alert for the entire day. I mean, if you wake up at 7:40 for an 8a.m. class, you might not be able to take that long, hot shower, blow dry your hair, stand in front of the closet for ages to pick the perfect outfit, eat breakfast, and still make it to class in time.

I know, I know, that sounds super stressful. Buuut, through a ton of trial and error, times of accidentally sleeping in, and moments of getting up and at ’em with a smile, I’ve come up with the best ways to prepare for early morning college classes so you can saunter through the lecture hall feeling fresh and ready for the day, and not feeling like you’d much rather go back to bed. Plus, I’m going to share deets on how you can use three of my favorite products (shown below) to get morning-class-ready (psst! You can hover over the images to purchase the products—pretty cool, huh?).

The night before…

1. Shower, and get to bed as early as possible.

I usually shower in the morning, but last semester when my schedule got insanely busy and I started sleeping later and later, I found great value in showering the night before an early morning class. If you’re going to bed really late, shower at night so you can save yourself an extra half hour of sleep in the morning—you’ll still feel fresh and clean, and less tired! Better yet, indulge in an invigorating body wash when you shower to boost your mood and relax. The Neutrogena® Body Clear® Body Wash – Pink Grapefruit is absolutely delicious smelling and really pampers the skin while you shower, so you don’t have to do any extra work to treat yourself (because let’s face it, you totally deserve it!). If you do decide to shower in the morning instead of at night, the pink grapefruit scent is so insanely uplifting, you’ll feel so relaxed that you’ll probably forget the dread of 8a.m. classes.

How To Prepare For Early Morning Classes

Now I, like many others, have had my share of bacne (back acne) so I know what it’s like to not feel confident enough to wear cute spaghetti straps in public (and God forbid  your crush sits behind you in lecture!). But obvs, there’s no time for worrying about how to treat that because hello, early morning English class. So, the Salicylic Acid paired with MicroClear® Technology (sound familiar?) takes care of that for you. And if you want something that’s oil-free and leaves your skin feeling soft and smooth, this is the body wash for you.

2. Lay out your outfit.

I used to do this in high school so I wouldn’t have to think about what I wanted to wear in the morning, and it saved me SO much time. I still do this because I know myself well enough to know that I will stand in front of my closet for 20 minutes just figuring out what I want to wear—trying on outfits and changing my mind constantly, and that takes up way too much precious time. Check the weather the night before so you have an idea of what would be appropriate. Lay everything out on the back of your desk chair, so when you wake up, you can just pull on your clothes and be ready to go without even batting a fabulous eyelash.

3. Pack your backpack with the day’s essentials.

I always tell myself to remember to put certain books and materials in my backpack for class the next day, except I’m usually too lazy or too tired to do it the night before but I’m so confident I’ll remember in the morning. Guess what I almost always forget to do…

Remembering to pack your bag in advanced will save you so much struggle in the morning, especially if you forget something crucial and have to turn back and go get it. You guys, learn from my mistakes and don’t be lazy!

Related: 9 Must-Have School Supplies You Actually Need For College

In the morning…

4. Wake yourself up by simply washing your face.

Throw some water on your face to get the sleep out of your eyes! I’m a huge skincare buff because I’ve struggled with my skin for years, so washing my face in the morning is non-negotiable for me. Using the Clean & Clear® Morning Burst® Facial Cleanser has greatly improved the look of my skin by fighting off breakouts, so I don’t need to worry about taking extra time to apply any acne creams before class (phew!). And you guys, IT SMELLS SO GOOD. It has a beautiful citrus scent that makes you feel like you’re biting into a fruit salad, and if this doesn’t wake you up, I don’t know what will! It’s packed with Vitamin C and Ginseng (how exotic!) to leave your skin feeling fresh. And there are these super tiny BURSTING BEADS® that really get deep into your pores to clean your skin. So basically it’s a win-win-win.

How To Prepare For Early Morning Classes

I wet my face thoroughly after brushing my teeth, and then I use just one pump because a little goes a long way. I really appreciate that this bottle is a pump because I can get product out with literally just one hand, and it’s mess-free. As I worked the product in, it left a cooling sensation on my face, which I really enjoyed because it made me feel more awake—perfect for getting you energized to pay attention in class! Definitely give it a go if you’ve never tried it before, especially since at Target, you can buy one Clean & Clear® product and get the second one for 25% off.

How To Prepare For Early Morning Classes

Related: The Collegiate’s Ultimate Guide To Skin Care

5. Have a bottle of ice cold water, not coffee.

Iced water is the first thing I drink every morning, and it really helps re-hydrate me, and because it’s so cold, it also wakes me up. I know you may be tempted to reach for a cup of coffee, but consider water first. Heck, take the bottle with you and sip on your way to class. Have the coffee afterward if you want. And lots of people don’t know this but coffee always takes 2-3 hours to kick in after you drink it, so you actually don’t feel instantly awake!

6. Shorten your makeup routine by using multi-purpose makeup.

I know layering on products in the morning can be super annoying and time consuming because you have to wait for each product to dry completely before applying the next, and when you’ve got an 8a.m. that you’re already late for, you just don’t want to deal with that. But if you’re like me and refuse to leave the room without a poreless face and gigantic lashes, consider makeup that can kill two birds with one stone. And if those two birds go by the names of breakouts and foundation, you’re actually in luck.

How To Prepare For Early Morning Classes

The Neutrogena® SkinClearing Mineral Powder fights your breakouts using that same wonderful MicroClear® Technology, and it gives you enough coverage for the smooth makeup look beauty junkies crave. Basically, you’re taking care of zits and your love for makeup with just one product—no waiting for anything to dry, so you can get out of the room quicker! And between you and me, this powder is oil-free (anyone else have really oily skin???) and it unclogs your pores to prevent future breakouts!

I got mine in the shade Natural Biege 60, and it suits my skin tone perfectly. The coverage is buildable enough that I can easily hide any acne marks, so I would definitely feel comfortable using this alone (and I DON’T say this about every powder I try!!!). So if breakouts concern you, this product is perfect for getting you out the door and to your class presentations with confidence! In case you were wondering, I got all of these products at Target (God bless that place), and if you stop in this weekend Thursday-Sunday, you can get 20% off your Neutrogena® Cosmetics products (YASSS!). And if you’re a fan of skincare products, you can grab a $5 gift card when you buy ~3~ Neutrogena® facial skincare products.

7. Eat breakfast!

Come on, guys—it’s the most important meal of the day! I know in college you likely won’t make a luxurious continental breakfast out of your dorm room, but one trick that has help keep me fueled in the morning is preparing my breakfast ahead of time for the entire week and freezing it. So all I need to do is heat it up and enjoy! It’s basically meal prepping but just for breakfast, so breakfast prepping! Try it out with your favorite breakfast burrito—you’ll thank yourself when you’re in class and your stomach isn’t yelling at you.

I hope these tips will help you conquer those morning classes! And to help you conquer your bank account, save money at Target with great August deals on Neutrogena® cosmetics by downloading CARTWHEEL for your phone. Be sure to snag 20% off Neutrogena® Cosmetics every weekend in August, Thursday-Sunday, on the app!

How To Prepare For Early Morning Classes

What are your tips for early morning class prep? Did you have a class you actually enjoyed waking up early for? 

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This post is sponsored by CLEAN & CLEAR® and NEUTROGENA®. I only recommend products I use personally and believe my followers will also enjoy! Some of the products mentioned were provided by CLEAN & CLEAR® and NEUTROGENA® for this review

How To Use OneNote In Microsoft Office 365 To Take Better Notes In Class

With the start of the fall semester, it’s just about time to say goodbye to the days of gluing your eyes to your TV screen, and say hello to the mornings, afternoons, and evenings of gluing your eyes to your laptop screen to take notes in a panicked frenzy. I’m going to be straight with you right off the bat: You MUST take notes if you want to do well in class—no matter what class it is (yes, even the super easy ones). Ugh, I know, the truth isn’t pretty. And you may not always feel at your best when you’re sitting in class after not having slept the night before, or not having eaten breakfast or lunch. Fortunately, note-taking is no longer as gut-wrenching as watching your hand fall off from trying to scribble everything on paper as quickly as you can before the professor moves on to the next slide.

Over the years, I’ve toyed with so many different ways of taking notes in a variety of classes (math, economics, chemistry, bio, journalism, English—you name it). One of my earliest blog posts on my Tips For Good Note-taking did really well, and I recently received a request for this post, so I’m insanely excited to deliver on my promise and bring you the best ways for using Microsoft Office 365 Student (more specifically, OneNote) to up your note-taking game. My school gives us a free subscription to the software (thank you, thank you, thank you!), and I know most other colleges give students free access to different programs, so before you drop any money on new software, check with your school’s IT department. This post focuses mostly on how to get the most out of OneNote, since I found OneNote to have the most useful features for students in the Office 365 program, and I’m pretty sure OneNote has practically become the supreme ruler of college note-taking in recent years. So if you have Microsoft Office 365 Student or just OneNote, let’s get into the tips for using it to your note-taking advantage, shall we?

1. Record audio from the lecture using OneNote.

If you’re the type of person who prefers to listen to a lecture over and over again, this is insanely helpful for you. You can easily record audio for lecture using OneNote, so you’ll always have pieces of info you might’ve missed if you couldn’t type fast enough or if your mind just wasn’t in class at the time. For me, I had a class that was insanely long, and it was always at the end of a hectic day, so whenever I just felt drained I’d start recording audio (at the time it was on my phone) and I typed whatever notes I managed to catch, so I’d go back to the lecture recording when I felt better and I’d fill in all the blanks. It was super helpful and helped me avoid being social in class and trying to buddy up with someone to help me fill in the notes (we all have those moments, right?). Here’s how to access the audio recording tool:

Open up OneNote > Insert > Record Audio

2. Record a video of parts of the lecture that you can watch over and over.

Okay, I know the whole ‘can you video tape a lecture?’ thing is debatable, but I think there are some instances where recording a video during class is more beneficial than actually writing notes, and it can have a positive impact on your understanding of the material. If you’re sitting in a math class and you don’t understand how the professor solves a particular problem, taking a video of them actually going through the problem from start to finish can be a huge help, because you’ll be able to catch small things that you might not have caught if you were focused on copying from the board. You can access the record video feature the same way you access the record audio tool.

Word of caution: if you aren’t sure if you’re allowed to video tape anything in the class, ask your professor! Explain that you would use it solely for supplemental purposes, that way you won’t get in any possible trouble. It’s always super important to know your professor’s class policy, and simply checking your syllabus can give you info on that (By the way, I have a post on Everything You Should Do During Syllabus Week For A Better Semester).

3. Use OneNote to create “notebooks” for each of your classes.

This is more of an organization tip, but I believe that being properly organized is one really good step towards taking better notes in class. OneNote helps you create virtual notebooks where you can take notes and all that good stuff. It’s a cute idea because it helps you feel like you’re actually writing notes in one of those good, old composition notebooks. It’s way better than just opening up a new document and saving it at any random location on your computer—your desktop? Your documents? A recent folder you visited?—and then not being able to find it later when you need it.

4. Draw graphs and charts to supplement your notes.

Okay, one major disadvantage to using a laptop if you’re a visual learner (like me!) is that you can’t really draw out charts and doodles that the professor comes up with to help you learn the material. Thus, you have to either scramble for a piece of scrap paper in your backpack to catch the doodle, or snap a blurry photo on your phone, which you’ll probably forget about. You can actually DRAW things really quickly and easily using OneNote, so you’ll have your illustrations paired perfectly with your typed notes.

How To Use Microsoft Office 365 To Take Better Class Notes

As you can see, I just quickly scrawled something relevant to my journalism classes to show you an example of how advantageous this tool is, but I know your drawings are going to be so much better than mine. 😉 This is super helpful if you like using your laptop for taking notes in, say, your chemistry class, but the charts always have you returning to pen and paper. Here’s how you can access the drawing tool:

Open up OneNote > Draw > Pen

(this is also where you can find the highlighter and eraser tools to color code portions of your drawing)

5. Instead of hyperlinking supplemental web pages, save them directly to OneNote.

This is actually a cool feature I recently learned about (even though it’s actually been out for a while) and HOLY WOW it is insanely useful! Hyperlinking websites the professor shows you during lecture is super useful because you’ll probably forget the site name if you don’t jot it down. But this tool does you one better…it basically clips the web page and places it right into your notes. So when you go over the lecture, instead of clicking on a link, you have the web page clip right there in front of you. Think of it as scrapbooking but for class notes. This one is a bit trickier to get right, so bear with me here:

Open up a web page you want to clip > File > Print > Send to OneNote 

After you do this, it will send the web page to an “unfiled” or unlabeled section of OneNote, but to get around this, you can type in the name of a specific notebook or section for the page to be sent to. 

6. Use Yammer to collaborate on notes.

Yammer is an app in Office 365 that allows you to join and create groups with other students where you can collaborate, ask questions, and share answers. It’s basically like Facebook but for Microsoft Office. Or, it’s like GroupMe but not on your phone. Use Yammer between your classmates as a way to share notes if someone misses something. Collaborating is an often-overlooked way to strengthen your notes, so don’t be shy!

I hope you found this post useful! I’ve definitely discovered more and more about OneNote over the years that have been helpful for taking notes in class. And, as always, if you want to see a specific post on Macarons & Mascara, hit me up! I love hearing from y’all and I want to make my posts as useful as possible. Email me at heyimjasmin@gmail.com, message me on Facebook, Instagram, or Tweet to me.

What are your insider tips for taking good notes in class?

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8 Cheap Ways To Save Space + Keep Your Dorm Room Organized

8 Cheap Ways To Save Space And Organize Your College Dorm Room

Successfully moving into your dorm room is only one small piece of the college student-adulting pie, and, personally, I hate the part that comes after…

Because your clothes, shoes, and bedding won’t unpack themselves (remember that episode of Jimmy Neutron where he put microchips inside pants so they’d fold themselves???) you’re going to have to start organizing ASAP. College dorm rooms are notoriously tiny, and it doesn’t help that back to school catalogs think that colleges have the luxury of affording students tiny palaces for rooms—seriously, I don’t know what dorm room can actually fit all the crap they brainwash us into bringing! Which is why my freshman year of college, I watched upwards of about 30 different “How I Organize My Dorm Room” videos on YouTube to get an idea of how to really optimize the small space I have.

Fast forward three, almost four, years and past a lot of trial and error, and I think I’ve finally pinned down the absolute best, and my favorite, ways to save space while keeping my room looking neat. And trust me, I know you may not want to spend a ton of money buying organizing containers and bins for every little thing—I certainly didn’t—so that’s why I’m highlighting the cheapest ways to save space in your dorm. And to really help you prep for this most exciting time of year, I’m also going to talk about my favorite ways to keep my dorm room organized, whether you’re living in a triple, double, or the coveted single!

Cheap ways to save space…

1. Hang your jewelry using adhesive hooks.

Using Command Hooks is by far my FAVORITE way to store items to save space. They don’t require hammering anything into the wall, so you won’t damage anything, and they remove cleanly (as someone who once ripped paint off the wall because I didn’t know how to properly remove a Command Hook, I can attest to the fact that taking your time when removing the adhesive makes such a difference!).

Last year, I bought small hooks and stuck them to my wall in a cute pattern. Then, I hung my bracelets and necklaces from them, and it not only looked super cute, it also helped me avoid having to bring a jewelry organizer to school. I was able to see everything I had at once so I could easily choose what I wanted to wear, and putting them back at the end of the day was a breeze. Command Hooks don’t cost much, and they usually come in packs.

Pro tip: buy larger Command Hooks and hang your purses and handbags on them!

2. Tape your power strip to the side of your desk.

During my first two years of college, my surge protector was literally all over the place, and it was always in my way. I’d sometimes trip over it, or get other cords tangled around it because I figured the floor was as good a place as any other for leaving it. Then, last year my dad suggested I use some double-sided mounting tape to secure it to the side of my desk, and it was the easiest hack ever! It makes it easy for me to plug things in from the comfort of my bed, I don’t trip over anything, and mounting tape doesn’t cost much, and you’ll certainly have enough left over for next year.

3. Push small furniture items under the bed when you’re not using them.

I love cute little storage ottomans and other pieces of furniture, but if you aren’t using them as frequently as you thought you would, push them under your bed to keep them out of your way. Having them in the middle of the room, or by the door can hinder your ability to move around freely, and it might annoy your roommate. If you aren’t sure if you’ll really use a piece of furniture, save money by renting instead of buying. Check out my post on Items You Can (And Should) Rent In College for more details.

4. Buy an over-the-door mirror.

I know not everyone feels they need an over-the-door mirror (though they are really useful when you want to check your outfit before you leave but your suite mate is in the bathroom) but if you do choose to invest in a full-length mirror, buy one that can easily be hung over your door so you don’t have it propped up against a wall where you can easily trip over a corner and break it (or your roommate could trip over it and break it!). They usually cost around $20, and they’re even cheaper when they go on sale, so keep an eye out for that.

5. Get a desk lamp that doubles as a pencil holder.

My school provides us with desks that already have a light built into them, so I’ve never had to purchase a desk lamp, but if you’re going to, save yourself from making two purchases by getting a lamp that’s also a pencil holder. I’ve always thought those were really cool, and a smart asset to any college student’s academic wishlist. You can put extra pencils, pens, highlighters, paperclips, sticky notes, and more into the storage compartments. Plus, most of these lamps also include a place for you to charge your phone. Pretty spiffy if you ask me.

6. Store items on top of your mini fridge.

If you bring a fridge or microwave to school, make use of the space on top! Get a plastic container and put cereal boxes, granola bars, and other food items in it for easy access. You can find the containers for super cheap at a dollar store, so it’s definitely a win.

7. Use thumbtacks to hang items from your cork board.

The desks that my school provides us with also come with a built-in cork board type material, so we can use push-pins and thumbtacks to hang things on it. This is also a great place for any accessories such as sunglasses, watches, and rings. If you don’t have a desk mirror, use it to hang a hand-held mirror.

8. Don’t bring items that are prohibited in dorm rooms!

This is by far the easiest and cheapest way to save space: simply DON’T purchase any items you aren’t allowed to have! Always check with your school if you’re unsure of whether or not you can have a certain item in your dorm room. I can name at least 10 items that aren’t allowed in my school’s dorm rooms without even thinking. If you’re caught with these items, they’ll be taken away until someone can bring them home for you. Read my post on 13 Things Not Allowed In Your Dorm Room + What To Bring Instead for details on some common prohibited items (and their totally UNprohibited substitutes).

How I organize my room…

I use magazine holders for notebooks.

I love love love magazine holders because they provide easy access to important books and papers (and, yes, my magazines) while also adding an extra flair to my desk. They keep things tidy because Lord knows that without them, I would probably just stack my books anyhow on my desk.

I use plastic bins to organize my supplies in my desk drawer. 

This has been one of my favorite desk organization hacks since freshman year! I was tripled my first year and had to share a desk with one of my roommates, so instead of having all of our markers and highlighters rolling around and getting lost, I started using small, plastic bins to hold small items and it worked! I could usually by two or three for $1, so it was super cheap. If you love DIY and have the materials on hand, I also suggest creating your own desk organizers using cereal boxes and decorative tape, or gift wrap.

Related: 13 Smart Money-Saving Tips For College

I store shoes under my bed. 

There’s no reason for your shoes to be thrown all over the room, and if you have a roommate or two, it would be even more annoying if they started doing the same thing, and you wouldn’t want that now would you? I keep my shoes under my bed because it’s easy to get to them and they stay out of the way. Another good place for shoes would be storing them on the shelf in your closet. I never purchased a shoe rack because I couldn’t imagine having space for one when I was tripled.

Some other things I keep under my bed are my mini fridge, plastic containers for storage, and an umbrella.

I keep my laundry bag in my closet. 

It’s kind of the same idea as the shoes; the goal is just to keep the laundry bag out of the way. I used to hang my bag on the back of my door handle and it was super annoying! You can also put this under your bed.

I never put any items in my walking space. 

I always try to keep the main walking area as clean as possible. Can you imagine tripping over someone else’s crap every time you want to leave the room, or having to practically jump over boxes and shoes? This is especially important if you have a roommate, because I always like to think that the walking space doesn’t belong to any one person. Be careful, or you could run into problems with your roomie!

Related: 7 Common Roommate Problems + How To Solve Them

I usually have most of my decor on my wall. 

I know everyone wants a Zoey 101-esque dorm room, but that’s TV and TV loves exaggerating shit. Avoid the octopus lamps and other floor lamps because they take up space and likely aren’t even allowed in your room; if you have a bad dust allergy, avoid bringing in decorative rugs. For dorm decor, I usually tape cute art prints to the wall and use decorative tape to create “picture frames.” It’s so cute and so easy, and doesn’t take up space at all. Check out my Guide To Dorm Decor for more decorating tips.

What are your favorite ways to save space in your dorm? Which of these tips is your favorite?

Macarons & Mascara Signature

Informational Interviews: What They Are, Why They’re Important & How To Rock Yours

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while (welcome back! :D) you probably already know that I study journalism and one of my biggest career dreams is to work for the biggest digital media sites out there (Well, hello there, BuzzFeed and INSIDER). The thing is, competition is tough and I can basically get in line behind all the other twenty-somethings graduating in a year who also want to work for the biggest digital media sites out there. While experience is extremely important, you’ll gain an advantage by getting to know some of the people who work in the industry you want to break into, and what better way to do this than to ask for an informational interview??

Honestly, I have never even heard of the term “informational interview” until this summer. I was lucky enough to have been able to score one recently with a writer I was introduced to at HerConference, and I learned so much from her! It was such a great experience that I wanted to share it with you and give you tips for meeting your favorite writers and editors. So let’s get right into the world of informational interviews.

P.S., while you don’t have to study journalism and media to have an informational interview, please note that this post will focus on informational interviews from the perspective of a journalism major (a.k.a. me), so tailor any examples here to better suit your field of study. 🙂 

First thing’s first: What exactly are “informational interviews”???

“Informational interview” is a super professional term for a coffee meeting between you and your favorite writer, editor, or freelancer from whom you receive career and industry advice. I prefer to call them coffee dates, but the meetings don’t even have to involve coffee; if you both love tea, it could be a tea date, or if you’re feeling bold, you might invite him or her to a pub for drinks (only do this after you get the job you want to say thanks for the advice!)

The editorial assistant I met with was a panelist at the conference attended, and she made some points that I really wanted to learn more about. Luckily, she is friends with a co-worker of mine, and he was able to give me her email address, so when I messaged her for a meeting, she agreed! The tips she gave me were fantastic, and will definitely help me become a stronger writer for future sites I write for.

No, you don’t have to bring your resume and cover letter because this is NOT a job interview. As a matter of fact, you’ll be the one asking questions, so make sure you’ve got good ones. Don’t ask anything that you can easily Google the answer to. If you’re nervous, start off by asking your “interviewee” how they got to their current position, and just go with your natural curiosity.

How do you organize an informational interview? 

Like I said, I organized my first meeting through a co-worker giving me contact information and telling the editorial assistant to expect my message. Using your connections is one way to go about setting up a coffee date with someone you’d really love advice from, so don’t be afraid to reach out and ask! Your colleagues and bosses were in your position at one time, so I’d imagine they’d love to help you in any way that they can. You might have to do some LinkedIn research to find any of your co-workers’ connections who have had jobs at any of the places you want to work at. When you find someone, see if your colleague can message their connection to expect your email. This is way better than just having them give you an email and then keeping your fingers crossed that it’ll get a response.

Another way of getting an informational interview is the infamous cold email (another phrase I hadn’t heard of until recently). Basically, you look someone up, find their email address, and you just go for it! You usually won’t have any common connections, which can make cold emails seem intimidating at first, but honestly, what’s the worst that can happen—they might say they’re too busy, or they might ignore you. Either way, it doesn’t cost you anything to try.

Lastly, you may meet some influential people in your desired industry at networking events. But this requires that you actually look for and attend networking events, meet someone you’d love advice from, and actually get their contact info so you can email them. It can be difficult because literally everyone and their mother will likely want to get in two minutes with an Editor or Social Media Director, but if you need tips, I’ve got a post all about How To Survive Networking Events. Once you get their email, message them as soon as you can and ask for a meeting. But no matter which method you choose to organize a meeting, you have to make sure that editor, writer, or social media manager actually says yes…

Get them to say yes: how do you give them a reason to meet you?

“Hi, so-and-so! My name is Jasmin and I’m a student and writer at XYZ. I love your work on ABC Magazine, and it’s my dream to work there. I would love to meet you for coffee in the city when you’re free.” 

That’s a pretty decent example of what you should NOT send to someone you want to meet for coffee! Why should this person care enough to meet you for a couple of iced chai lattes in a noisy, packed coffee shop in Manhattan instead of leaving the office to go home, eat a fancy steak dinner, and dip their toes in a warm bubble bath? Simply put, just saying you love their work and want to meet them isn’t enough.

Yes, it’s a good idea to say that you enjoy reading their work (as long as that’s actually the case!) but they don’t want to attend a coffee meeting where they’re being fangirled over because that’s just a waste of their time. Try to be as specific as possible about why you’d like to meet with them. Did they mention something specific in a particular article that you’d like to hear more about? Did they recently receive a promotion and you want to know more about how they got their position? Great, say that! This will help them prepare what to talk about so they help make the most of your time together, and having a focused topic of conversation will help you think of focused questions to ask. This is called giving them a reason to meet you. And, without this handy tool under your belt, be prepared to receive an “I’m too busy” or be ignored altogether.

But why are informational interviews so important???

I know, I know, I’ve been going on and on about the do’s and don’ts of informational interviews, and I didn’t even mention how extremely useful they are! Let me start off with the most obvious benefit to informational interviews: making new connections! By the end of the meeting, you should walk away with a new professional email, and, if you’re lucky, a cell phone number. But I always like to say that the connections you make are only meaningful if you actually use them! Don’t just tuck this well-earned email address into the back pocket of your favorite skinny jeans and forget all about it; shoot them an email or text the following day to thank them for their time. Send them a card during the holidays, and email them for their birthday. Don’t reach out to them only when you’re about to apply for a position. If you keep in touch regularly, they would certainly keep you in mind for internships, full-time positions, and anything else their company is working on.

Another reason why you should ask for an informational interview is because you get the chance to access insider information on your favorite company or website. I mean, hell-o, you get to sit in front of experts in the field and have their full, undivided attention to ask them any career-related question you want the answers to. Not only that, but you also get to hear about what steps this person took to get where they are now. IN. FULL. DETAIL. I love hearing other peoples’ stories because they’re always so encouraging, and give me great ideas on what my next move should be. Also, don’t forget to talk about the small stuff and ask your interviewee about themselves.

Those were the obvious reasons why informational interviews are so important, but here’s one that most people forget about even though it’s probably the most important: You will ALWAYS learn something. Even if you thought the conversation was so boring you were tearing up from all the yawns you were holding back, you will definitely be able to take something valuable away from the experience. It could be a clue as to what your next steps should be, or where you should look for your next internship, so pay attention!

So, how do you rock this meeting???

1. Dress nicely. 

You don’t have to dress like you’re attending a business meeting, but you also shouldn’t bust into the cafe wearing short shorts and a crop top. Aim to just look put-together. For my meeting, I wore a dress and flats because it helped me avoid overthinking my outfit. It helps to think about what you would wear to your internship (MORE: 6 Super Cute Pairs Of Shoes You Need For Your Summer Internship)

2. Arrive early.

Something my broadcast professor always told the class was: If you’re on time, you’re late. Plan ahead so that you arrive at the cafe or meeting place with enough time to get yourself settled in before the person you’re meeting arrives. Try to have the drinks ready when he or she arrives. Pro tip: let them pick the cafe and ask them what their favorite thing to get from the menu is.

3. Come prepared with at least 4-5 questions.

One of my editors told us interns a story about the worst coffee meeting experience she’s ever been invited to. Long story short, the girl who asked her to the meeting didn’t have any questions ready and basically just expected her to sit down and start talking. Needless to say, that was a complete waste of her (the editor’s) valuable time, and this is probably the WORST thing you could do at an informational interview. You should go with your natural curiosity during the meeting, but also prepare some questions so at the very least, you have something to start with, something to ask if you sense a lull in the conversation, and something thought-provoking to end with.

4. Ask what they suggest you do moving forward.

Always try to ask how the advice can be applied to you. Say something like, “what kind of experience do you think I should try to add to my resume in the near future?” (P.S., check out my Guide To Resume-Writing and my post on How To Join Clubs To Boost Your Resume!) This shows that you care about staying active and gaining as much industry experience as possible. Who knows, they might even answer with a swift, “you should consider applying to this recently opened position at my company.” *wink, wink*

5. Don’t whip out your resume.

Be aware that some professionals actually really enjoy sitting down to meet with curious college students and young graduates, so don’t ruin the fun by pulling out your resume. You aren’t there to interview for potential openings at the company, and the person you’re meeting certainly isn’t prepared to interview you. If anything, this could annoy them, and they may not want to keep in touch with you. If you’re particularly eager to share your resume, ask if you could email them a copy to get their thoughts on how to properly leverage your experience.

6. Be yourself and have fun! 

Informational interviews are seriously fun and exciting because you never know what you’ll find out, and you might really click with the person you’re meeting. Pretend you’re meeting up with an old friend if you’re nervous. Just relax and enjoy the experience!

So yeah, there you go! I know this isn’t my usual post style but I was practically bouncing off the walls because I was so excited to talk about how informational interviews can be such a worthwhile experience. I hope these tips help you feel confident when you ask for an informational interview in the future!

Have you ever been on an informational coffee date? What are your tips?

How To Thrive In Small Classes As An Introvert, Or If You’re Really Shy

Large college lecture halls that accommodate 300+ students are what some college goers dream of. There’s no pressure to sit up front under the professor’s nose, no one will really notice if you fall asleep in the back, and you’re way less likely to get caught doing work for other classes. But, not all college classrooms are big enough to house a tiny village, which means that at some point you may be forced to sit in a high school-esque room with a mere 20 other students where the professor can actually see your face.

You’ve probably heard by now that in college, you can’t get away with not speaking up, and if you’re shy or introverted, that kinda sounds like a nightmare. Ya girl knows EXACTLY what it’s like to have that nervous sweat roll down your back when the professor warningly announces that they’re going to pick someone randomly to answer a question. And then your face gets so hot and so red that you swear you’re going to pass out in your seat at any moment—oh yeah, I’ve been there more times than I can count. It takes a lot of internal convincing for me to finally decide to raise my hand and answer or ask a question in front of the class. Unfortunately, some professors make class participation a huge part of your overall grade. You likely won’t get A’s in class if that’s the case. And while grades don’t define who you are, your academic success may be important down the line when applying to grad school or joining honor societies and programs.

Keep in mind that there is no special set of strategies designed specifically for introverts and shy people that will magically help them succeed in class. But these are some things that you should pay keen attention to in order to thrive in class if you’re shy about speaking up! Seriously, guys, I’m so excited to share this post with you—I thought of it while eating dinner and promptly put down a spoonful of mashed potatoes and scooted my chair back to lock myself in my room until this post was finished! So before I explode from the excitement, here are tips for being seriously successful in small, participation-heavy classrooms when participation isn’t a strength of yours.

1. Make a friend in class.

You don’t need to be the life of your class party of 30—just have even one friend in there with you who you can sit with, talk to, help each other out, and exchange confused looks when you have no idea what the hell is going on. Before I really started making any J-school friends, I remember how uncomfortable it felt to sit in a room where it seemed like everyone had a friend but me. It’s really important to have one or two reliable friends in the class if you aren’t going to speak up much because they can help you answer the questions you might not have asked in class. And, having a friend with you makes anything mundane so much more enjoyable. Find someone who seems cool and sit next to them every class. You’ll eventually start talking a little and exchange numbers. Read my 10 Secrets For Making New Friends In College!

2. Email the professor when you don’t understand something.

I know a lot of people who are afraid of sending emails to professors regardless of whether they’re introverted or extroverted, and if this is a fear of yours, you NEED to get over it if you want to do well. Professors always ask if people have questions in class, but some of them can be quite asshole-ish and dismiss perfectly valid questions as “stupid” which makes students less likely to want to even raise their hand in the first place! If you’re nervous about asking for clarification in front of your classmates, email the professor as soon as class is over to get answers. You may think you’re bothering him or her, but that’s kind of what they’re here for. You’ll get help, and your professor will see that you obviously care enough to reach out (easy participation points!)

3. Go to your professor’s office hours.

I took this English class last fall, and the professor was absolutely terrifying. She’s a sweet woman when you get to know her and when she sees that you care about the class, but I was honestly too scared to raise my hand in that class. The worst part of it was that I knew that was killing my participation grade, so when she offered easy points to anyone who visited her office hours to review their exam grade, I signed up immediately. Don’t hesitate to visit your professor if you don’t talk much in class. It can help you get full credit for participation, and your professor will get to know you better and understand where you come from. Plus, bonding with professors is important if you plan to ask for a recommendation letter. Be sure to read your syllabus to know your professor’s policy on office hours—do you just walk in, or do you need an appointment?

4. Create a good connection with the TA.

If you’re shy about talking to the professor, talk to the TA if your class has one! TA’s are like the bridge between the professors and students, plus they’ve already taken the class and did well in it, so they can give you the insider tips on how to get those A’s for days. As a former TA, I personally loved it when students—whether they talked a lot in class or not—approached me for advice or with questions about the class. It made me feel useful and trusted, and I could tell that it really made a difference for students. Don’t wait until the end of the semester to email your TA to ask for help; go up to them after class and introduce yourself, or ask if they’d be willing to get lunch with you to go over your mid-semester project idea.

5. Take impeccable notes.

If you’re not going to get on those class participation points, you better damn well make sure you have incredible notes to help you ace exams later on! I’m not going to talk about this too much because I have a blog post all about how to take good notes in class, but be sure to leverage your listening and observational skills in this situation.

What’s the one class you had that made you nervous to speak up? 

5 Tips For Joining Clubs To Boost Your Resume

5 tips for joining clubs and extracurriculars to boost your resume in college as a freshman

There’s nothing I love talking about more than ways to get involved on campus. Well, actually, I love talking about blogging and planning just a teeny bit more, but joining clubs is such an important part of the college experience that I’m super excited to give you the deets on all things extracurricular. Let me start off by dropping some crazy news on you: When I was a first semester freshman, I didn’t join any clubs on campus. Nada. Nothing. Zero. Bupkis. My second semester freshman year, I signed up for like five clubs of interest that I knew I’d love, but only remained committed to one…which I quit two semesters later.

So, why should you listen to what I have to say about joining clubs that kick ass on any resume?? Well, because eventually, I realized a few important things, and I got my extracurriculars in order by joining one amazing organization on my campus that brings together a ton of great girls who love to write, and not only did I stay committed to this club, but I also received the opportunity to become part of the E-board last semester! But it doesn’t stop there; I used my experiences with this club to apply for a much bigger position on the national team and actually got picked!!!! That club, in case you were wondering, is my school’s chapter of Her Campus (you might’ve heard of it) and I’m now a News Blogger on their national team. Yay! Yay! Yay! 

But I promise, I didn’t tell you that to toot my own horn; I included that story because it’s an example of how I used a club that I joined to elevate my resume and become a more competitive applicant for a position I wanted. As a college freshman, you may not have much experience listed on your resume. Hell, you may not even have a resume! But joining clubs is one of the best ways you can start building one. So, without making this intro any longer than it needs to be, here are tips for joining clubs to actually make your resume look good.

Related: The Ultimate Guide To Resume-Writing + Examples

1. Don’t join a bunch of clubs. 

No, seriously! I know everyone in college will tell you to fill your weeknights with as many clubs as you can so you can make friends and explore more interests, but you actually don’t need to join that many. I think it’s way more effective to just join one or even two clubs that you can eventually move up to E-board positions in. Keeping track of a ton of clubs can be so exhausting, but if you pour your time into just one club you really love, you’ll make friends, have a bunch of new experiences, and dedicate more time to playing a bigger role in the organization. Being able to show that you’re an organized team leader always looks impressive. And, if you can relate the position to what you want to do, that’s even better. You might be studying public relations or marketing, so saying that you’ve gained knowledge of promoting social media accounts and analyzing an audience as the social media director of the culinary club is really important experience.

2. Join professional sororities and pre-professional clubs and orgs. 

If you’re like my high school self and think that Greek Life is all about partying and drinking, think again! There are some professional fraternities and sororities on college campuses all over the country, so joining one is a great way to get involved with Greek Life while also adding to your resume. They’re often co-ed and referred to as “frats” so guys and girls can share skill-enhancing experiences. I’m not part of one because, unfortunately, there is no journalism co-ed frat on my campus *sad face* but I know lots of people who are part of Business frats, Engineering sororities, and more, and they love all the opportunities and career advice they’re given.

Pre-professional, non-Greek clubs are also a great way to connect with other students who want to do the same thing as you. If you’re pre-law, join the pre-law society; if you’re on the pre-dental track, see if your campus has a pre-dental society. These orgs are great resources if you’re just starting out and need guidance and tips, and you’ll get so many different opportunities to participate in exclusive programs offered in partnership between your university and outside groups, which you’ll definitely be able to brag about in your cover letter or during an interview.

3. Join campus media. 

I know what you’re thinking: “Ummm, but I’m not going to be a Journalism major…” Well, you don’t have to be to join your school newspaper or magazine. There are roles other than news writing that are essential in campus media. If you want to build a photography career, volunteer to be the newspaper’s photographer. You’ll get excellent experience photographing campus events for stories. If you’re interested in computer science or design, join the media crew as a site director or designer so you can get hands on experience maintaining and designing a website. No task is too small.

4. Become a campus ambassador. 

Nowadays, there are campus ambassadors for so many companies—PINK, Yik Yak (remember this fun app?), and more. Being a campus ambassador is a great way to build experience in marketing and PR for a company you already love, or a new company you’ll start loving. It shows initiative and helps you build connections with brands outside of your campus. Campus ambassador isn’t exactly a club, but it’s an active presence on campus, and you usually have to recruit and organize other students from your school to join your team. So it’s kind of like a club in a way. Whatever you want to call it, it really looks great on your resume when you’re just starting out.

5. Start a club yourself. 

If your campus doesn’t offer anything you’re in love with, create something! The club doesn’t even have to be related to your major, it can be something you really enjoy doing. Maybe you love dessert and watching those food videos on Facebook. Create a club centered around baking and sweet treats. It shows initiative and self-discipline since you’ll be in charge of growing everything from the ground up. Not to mention the leadership, organizational, and communication skills you’ll build from it. I was the founding editor in chief of my school’s chapter of the Odyssey when I had no journalism or writing experience whatsoever because I had just changed my major. The Odyssey was at the top of my resume for every internship I applied to, and I always had so much to say about it during interviews. It was a ton of work, but I grew so much from it and turned it into something I could be really proud of.

What are your tips for joining resume-boosting clubs?

Check out my post on Cover Letter Mistakes That WON’T Get You An Interview!

7 Smart Things To Do During Syllabus Week For A Better Semester

I’m sure you’ve all heard by now about the infamous college syllabus week. And if you haven’t, it’s basically the first week of the semester when you get to go over the future class material, meet your TA, and basically scope out the class to see if you’ll actually like it or if you’ll just give up and decide to settle for a C one month in. If syllabus week sounds too good to be true, you’re damn right it is! You may be really tempted to just chill during syllabus week because nothing serious is really happening in class yet, but that, my friends, is your first mistake.

I’ll be the first to admit that during my first ever freshman year syllabus week, I took the lack of work for granted and didn’t use my time (or my syllabus) wisely at all. Don’t forget to do these TK things during syllabus week to get your semester started on the right foot!

1. Print all of your syllabi and keep them in your binder.

Your professors spend hours creating your syllabi for a reason! Contrary to what so many people think, your syllabus is choc full of important quiz and exam dates, project and paper due dates, and the outline of everything you’re going to be studying for the semester. Most times, the syllabus also includes all of your homework assignments for the semester, so it’s definitely not something you want to lose! I know lots of professors post their syllabus online, but it’s so much easier to have a physical copy that you can highlight and annotate whenever you please. Plus, sometimes professors make changes to the syllabus over the course of the semester, and those changes may not be reflected in the online version. In my post on must-have school supplies, I talked about how I use a binder to organize all of my syllabus handouts, and I seriously stand by this because, you guys, it makes it a helluva lot easier to avoid that mini heart attack during finals week when you need a handout you received at the beginning of the semester!

2. Mark down all quiz, exam, and project due dates.

So, umm, sorry to tell you this but you’re going to have to actually read your syllabus after you print it out. I know, they can be so hefty sometimes, but think of it as an excuse to visit the school cafe and indulge in an over-priced iced coffee while you get some light reading done. Be aware of all of your semester’s exams and projects for every class ahead of time. I cannot tell you how many mini heart attacks I could’ve stopped myself from having every time I realized that I had a paper due in just two short weeks, or that the project I didn’t know I had was due soon. I highly recommend investing in a dry-erase calendar that you can hang on your wall, or a planner with monthly calendars so you can easily write down those dates and stay on top of your game at the beginning of every month. I really like the Happy Planner and the ClassTracker planner, which I wrote a review on.

Related: 11 Tips For Conquering Group Projects

3. Talk to your TA or Professor about the class expectations.

Syllabus week is prime opportunity for you to get to know your class TA, get your professor to know who you are, and figure out if you’ll really be up for the class you signed up for. If you’re like me and dislike surprises, knowing the extent to which you’ll be expected to work will be instrumental in helping you avoid any curve balls that might be thrown your way. I know it’s important to challenge yourself every once in a while, but if there’s a chance that at some point you’ll be expected to do something that you really can’t do for whatever reason, it’s important to know that in the beginning when you can jump ship rather than mid-semester when dropping the class could negatively impact your transcript.

Shoot your TA an email and ask if you can discuss the class over lunch or dinner. You’ll feel a little less awkward considering they’re a student just like you! Also use this as an opportunity to get the inside scoop on how to get on your professor’s good side. Visit your professor’s office hours to get to know him or her, too. Make sure you check your *ahem* syllabus to find out if you need to email them for an appointment first!

4. Rearrange your schedule as needed.

Even though everyone and their mother will be trying to change their schedule and advising offices and the admin office will be flooded with students trying to get out of one class and into another, syllabus week is my favorite time to change my schedule. It’s better, in my opinion, to get it out of the way before you have a ton of assignments on your plate and completely forget. Plus, it’s so easy for the class drop deadline to slip right past you when you’re busy! Use this week as an opportunity to add more classes, drop a class, or completely re-vamp your semester schedule. Check out my post on creating the perfect class schedule for more useful tips!

5. Talk to your classmates.

It can be insanely easy to just chill by yourself in a corner of the lecture hall for an entire semester (been there, done that!) but that makes it way harder to find additional resources (a.k.a. your lovely classmates) when you need them. Plus, you could be missing out on an opportunity to make new friends if you always keep to yourself. I was that person for a long time, and looking back, there were so many cool people that I’ll probably never get to know because I didn’t make the move to sit next to them and introduce myself from week one.

Your classmates will always have something to offer you. Always remember: if you’re the smartest person in the room, find another room! Don’t think anyone is beneath you, and don’t think you can’t learn from someone else because you feel more experienced. It’s totally okay to start up a conversation with whoever you happen to be sitting next to in class. In fact, that’s how I made some of my closest friends. Try asking a question about the homework before class starts, and if the conversation keeps going, ask that person if they’re free and want to go for lunch.

6. Find shortcuts to and from class.

Okay, I’m going to get a little salty here because I did NOT do this my entire first semester and was SO FREAKIN’ mad because of all the time I could’ve saved. I’m the kind of person who sometimes prefers to keep doing things I’m comfortable with—I will always walk the same way to work or to the grocery store because it’s familiar and I don’t have to think about it. This can set you back if the familiar way also happens to be the longest way—especially if you’re already running late for class! I love that you can easily use syllabus week to scope out all the best shortcuts to any point on campus without looking lost because it’s literally the first week of school; EVERYONE’S lost.

7. Find your textbooks for as cheap as possible.

One of the biggest mistakes you could make in college is buying your textbooks before your classes start. Granted, it’s not the biggest mistake, but it is super annoying to realize that you just spent $500 on your textbooks when you could’ve spent half of that if you had put in the work to swerve your school bookstore and go through rental sites. Start looking for your textbooks after you had the first class so you’ll know if it’s worth getting one. Also, your professor might straight up tell you not to get the book, or may suggest where to find a copy for free.

Related: The Ultimate Guide To Buying Textbooks In College

What’s your plan for succeeding this semester? 

Be sure to check out my post on How To Prepare For The First Week Of College for more useful tips!

How To Prepare For The First Week Of Classes

How To Prepare for the First Week of Classes

This post is sponsored by High Sierra and Her Campus Media. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Macarons & Mascara possible!

 

From the instant we decided we’d had enough of laying in front of the A.C. and stalking our classmates’ cooler-looking Instagrams, we wanted nothing more than to just go back to school already. Well, that moment is almost here! If you’re starting your first year of college, you may or may not be quite so eager to pack your life into the back of your mom’s SUV and back it out of the driveway. Starting college can be a scary time, after all. With so many items to buy and so many school accounts to keep track of, starting the first week of a new semester can be quite stressful.

So to help you out, I’ve created the ultimate list of everything you need to do to prepare for one of the biggest weeks of your life, including what to buy and what to do. And I’m not talking about the obvious stuff like pack your bags and buy bed sheets; I’m talking about the small stuff that so many people (including me!!) often forget about. And, if the thought of moving into your dorm room is giving you cold feet, I’ve got tips that’ll make move-in day so much easier! Are you ready? Yeah, I know you are.

To Do:

1. Start checking all of your school accounts. 

Don’t wait for the first day of school before you log into your school email account for the first time. Your professors will start sending you syllabi, class material, and even assignments weeks before you guys even meet (welcome to college). I know it can feel overwhelming, but try to stay on top of these as early as possible. You wouldn’t want to open your email on the first day of school and be bombarded with 20 different things from all of your professors.

Also check any account related to school that you set up during orientation. There could be important updates waiting for you, and you don’t want to overlook these. Your financial aid information is the perfect example of something you’d need to log into your school account to take care of before the semester starts. Plus, if you have any questions about anything, you have more time to get them answered rather than scrambling around at the last minute.

2. Get doctors appointments out of the way. 

Your school most likely requires you to submit some type of medical or vaccination record, especially if you’re going to be a student athlete. If you don’t have an updated record, make sure you visit the doctor to do so before your first week of classes. If you’re dorming away from home, you probably won’t have the time to leave campus and visit your doctor. The last thing you want to have to do is rearrange your schedule to fit a visit in. Make sure you stay on top of this so you don’t have to worry about it when you actually start classes.

3. Contact your roommate(s).

Roommates, roommates, roommates. What even can I say about roommates? My experiences with roommates have been the best of times and the most annoying of times, and also in between the two. Issues with roommates can seriously turn your college experience sour. Common roommate problems include cleanliness of the room, inviting people over, and sleep schedules, so make sure you discuss all of that prior to meeting each other. It helps you know exactly what to expect so you don’t go in blind. But how, might you ask, can you contact someone you’ve never met? Thanks to the power of social media and email, it’s pretty easy to do a quick search of your soon-to-be roomie and message them. Just introduce yourself and say that you’re excited to meet them on move-in day. It’s on them to respond to you.

Try to contact your roommate at least two to three weeks before you start the first week of school. It would be important for you to talk about who’s bringing what so you have time to look for the items you promised to bring if the two of you agreed to share a few things. Common shared items include a mini fridge, a fan, and a vacuum cleaner. I have a post on things you should do before you meet your roommate if you’re interested in totally owning your roommate situation!

4. Get into the habit of waking up early. 

I know the last thing you want to hear is that you should practice waking up at 7a.m. during summer vacation (ugh!) but trust me when I say that getting into the habit of waking up a little earlier than usual will help you so much when you actually start classes. If you were totally unable to avoid early morning classes and you aren’t prepared for it, waking up during that first week of school will be a major pain in the butt.

Also, starting your day early can help you be more productive. There aren’t enough hours in the day to sleep in and still get everything done on time (believe me, I’ve tried!) I prefer waking up early and going to my favorite on-campus study spot to start getting work done. I also love schedule interviews and meetings in the morning to get them over with. I’m not saying that you should wake up early every day for three weeks, but once in a while, try to wake up earlier so you know how it feels.

5. Join your school Facebook group. 

When I started college, I didn’t have a Facebook account (yeah, I was a little behind on the social media game). Because of that, I definitely missed out on any early social media connecting with classmates. One of the easiest ways for you to connect with the people in your peers is to join your school Facebook page. At my school, there are also specific Facebook groups for major classes like chemistry, physics, and math where students can help each other and ask and answer homework questions. Be on the lookout for anything like this, because it can be a serious asset to doing well in class. Once you join, don’t be afraid to introduce yourself! Engage in the group by commenting and answering questions that you have the knowledge to answer. Everyone is nervous and it’s so much less stressful when your classmates are helping you out.

To Buy:

6. A planner that works well for you. 

I cannot even begin to tell you how much of a difference having a planner can make when it comes to organization and success in college. It’s just so much easier to stay on top of your assignments and get things done when you actually have a place to jot everything down. I’m currently using the ClassTracker planner, which I wrote a review on, and I love it so much! If you prefer a slim, lightweight planner, then I think it would be a great planner for you. And if you like planners with a little more sparkle, definitely look into Happy Planners. I used one last year and loved it. It kept me motivated, helped me stay on top of my to-do lists, and I was actually excited to whip it out and write in it because it was just so pretty!

Get a planner and start getting used to it. Print out your schedule and glue it to the inside of your planner. The ClassTracker has a space for you to write your schedule in, so that works really well for me. Mark down any important events happening prior to the first week so you stay on top of those as well.

7. A really durable backpack. 

In high school, I used to buy super terrible bags and backpacks for carrying my books and school supplies around. See, I knew in a month’s time I’d be left with a gaping hole in the bottom from all my textbooks, or a strap that was on the verge of snapping like a twig. But I never really cared as long as they looked cute. College is already expensive enough, so you’ll need a strong backpack that lasts for all of your class and study essentials. This way, you won’t have to spend money every couple of months for a new one. The High Sierra Loop Backpack and its Stacked Compartment Lunch Bag are my new favorite packs for school and for adventures (more on that in a bit!)

How To Prepare For The First Week of College with High Sierra

The backpack is super roomy, which I love because there’s nothing I’d hate more than not being able to fit all of my class essentials in one bag. There are multiple pockets, so you can easily organize all of your stuff. I love keeping smaller items, like lip balm and spare pens, in smaller pockets so I don’t lose them under huge textbooks. In other words, no more loosing your earbuds at the bottom of your backpack. Since I did some studying abroad earlier this year, and have no doubt that I’ll be going on even more adventures, having a compartment for my laptop and other tech gear is super important in a backpack (lucky for me this backpack has that!) If you’re planning to study abroad in the future (or even a hiking or camping trip, or a weekend getaway), add this backpack to your packing list

How To Prepare For The First Week of College with High Sierra

The padded straps will make carrying around your laptop and heavy books easy on your shoulders, especially if your schedule will require you to be walking around campus from class to class all day. Okay, I’m going to go all fangirl on you for like two seconds. This backpack is equipped with two mesh beverage pockets for taking your water bottle on the go. I haven’t had a backpack with this since, like, middle school and I’m so excited this High Sierra Loop backpack has them! I hate having my water bottle rolling around the bottom of my bag and getting all warm (ick!) so this is perfect. You can use the other pocket as a place to store your umbrella for easy access on super rainy days.

How To Prepare For The First Week of College with High Sierra

I know walking around a college campus with a lunch bag sounds kinda lame with dining halls around every corner, but it’s actually a great investment, especially if you have a long ride to and from home on the weekends. I get car sick very easily, and my school is two hours away from home, so having snacks on hand is super helpful during the journey. And because the stacked compartment lunch bag keeps food and beverages cold, you don’t have to worry about fruit, yogurt, or other refrigerated snacks getting gross during your drive. I also really love that the strap on this lunch bag is actually a quick release buckle, so I can easily attach it to my backpack and just go!

How To Prepare For The First Week of College with High Sierra

What’s in my backpack?

My laptop, for starters! As a journalism student and blogger, I never go anywhere without it! I also keep a folder and notebook on hand to organize papers (believe me, you’ll have a lot of them!) and just in case I need to physically write something down to turn in (like when your professor throws a pop quiz your way). Of course, I keep my pencil case full of pretty pens, mechanical pencils, highlighters, and a stapler in my backpack as well. You probably guessed I would say this, but I also keep my planner in my bag for easy organization. Be sure to read my post on must-have school supplies so you know what to purchase!

How To Prepare For The First Week of College with High Sierra

And, I never go anywhere without my wallet, a good book, my eyeglasses, earbuds, sunglasses, and a camera for cute pics because, seriously, whether you’re on campus or at the beach with friends to catch the sunset, you never know when a good photo-taking opportunity will arise.

Quick backpack organization tips: 

  • Put small things in small pockets. They’re less likely to get lost, and you won’t have to dig around for them at the bottom of the grand canyon, er, I mean, your bag.
  • Arrange books by size order. Keep the big stuff like binders and folders in the back, and the small stuff like a reading book and pencil case towards the front. This really lets you maximize the space in your bag.
  • Keep all your personal items in the same pocket. For me, this includes lipstick, lip balm, mini deodorant, and any extra hair ties.

8. Professional looking clothes. 

You guys, I completely overlooked this when I was starting my first week/semester and it seriously came back to bite me in the rear end. In college, opportunities for networking, internships, and jobs are all over the place and can pop up at any time. You need to make sure you have something professional—business casual works—to wear to any spur of the moment appointments. Lucky for me, I pulled something together with my signature black leggings, a slightly wrinkled teal button down, and tan riding boots. Had the interview been less casual than it turned out to be, I probably wouldn’t have been the best dressed.

You can never go wrong with a fun, printed blouse or button down. Something simple like polka dots or stripes would be perfect. One Bandage or pencil skirt is good to keep on hand, and be sure you have even just one pair of dress pants you can wear. I’ll definitely be on the lookout for cute and affordable dress pants going into my senior year since I’ll be applying to way more positions beyond the semester. H&M is a great place for finding blazers and button downs. Express is also a store that’s perfect for that. My biggest caveat is to ALWAYS try on the clothes before you buy to make sure you like how you look in them! I usually just eyeball the piece and hope for the best, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve bought something that doesn’t fit me right because of that.

9. A lanyard for your keys and ID. 

It’s really easy to lose your ID and room key—a.k.a. two of the most important things that you should have on you at all times—but it’s just as easy to not lose them. A lanyard with a keyring and ID card holder helps ensure that you keep both items in the same place. This was always super helpful for me because I hated having to pull out my wallet for my ID card, and then dig around in my back for my key. (By the way, you have to pay money to replace both of those things if you lose them!)

An alternative to keeping your student ID in a card holder on a lanyard is to keep it with your phone. My phone case is from jimmyCASE and has a really strong built-in pocket, so I keep my ID, metrocard, and a few dollars there for easy access.

What are your tips for prepping for the first week of college?

P.S., don’t forget to check out my post on things you should avoid doing your freshman year of college!

Networking 101: How To Survive Networking Events As A College Student

Networking 101: How To Survive Networking Events As A College Student

I love, love, love networking events. It’s a chance to meet new people, learn more about the jobs and industries that might interest you, and get fed for free (who doesn’t love free food??). I know the idea of talking to dozens of people in the hopes that you’ll meet someone who may be giving you a job or recommending you to someone in the future can seem really daunting, and super exhausting, but it has become increasingly important. While you probably already have an awesome resume and cover letter, there are obvious pros to having an arsenal of contacts when you’re out in the job market. I used to think that you needed years and years of experience in order to build up your contact list, but don’t be surprised to know that there are actually some college students out there who haven’t even left the nest yet, and already have almost a hundred business cards, and tons of personal emails from figures in their desired industry. In fact, you should aim to be one of those students, and I’m here to help you out.

I’m not a networking expert, but I was once a super shy student who would have cringed at the thought of being confined to a space where I have to wear a name tag and talk about myself. Now, especially as of late, I’m practically on the hunt for events where I can do exactly that. As long as I have the time and means to get to the location, you’ll probably see me there. This summer has been huge for me, professionally. I’ve already attended so many events, and I still have a lot more to visit before going back to school. I definitely don’t claim to be perfect at networking. In fact, every time I return home from an event, I do a little self-reflecting on what went great, what didn’t go so great, and what I can do in the future. And today, friends, I’m here to share those findings with you. Use these tips at your next networking event to seriously get the most out of your experience!

1. Come dressed to impress. 

I know this sounds really small and kind of stupid, but trust me, this will make such a difference in your confidence levels. As much as I love sneakers and a cozy sweatshirt, I know that sporting them to a professional event will make me less likely to want to talk to the people who look super dressed up, and I’ll just feel out of place. So, yes, get dressed up for networking events. If you aren’t sure how dressed up you should be, you can never go wrong with a simple dress, flats, and statement necklace. My other favorite is a button down with leggings and nice heels. Pro tip: make sure your shoes are comfortable. Last night, I attended an event in the most painful heels ever (I didn’t know they’d hurt so much!) and I was slightly less inclined to stand in one place for long and talk to people.

2. Go alone. 

The best way to meet new people is to just attend the event by yourself. As comfortable as it may be to bring friends you already know and love, you’ll end up just sticking by their side the whole time, and you’ll hardly meet anyone new. You’re there to get out of your comfort zone, after all. I know standing around awkwardly by yourself definitely isn’t fun, but you’re more likely to get the most out of the event when you’re alone.

3. Just jump into conversations. 

This is how you make sure you aren’t awkwardly standing by yourself the whole event. When I attend events by myself, I typically try to grab a drink first, and then I look around for the nearest group of chatting people, and bam—I just join their conversation. Literally just walk right up to them and introduce yourself. You’ll be wearing a name tag, but it’s just common courtesy. They won’t kick you out of their group, and they won’t sneer and turn away like a group of mean girls from high school. They probably did the exact same thing you just did! The drink just gives me something to sip on if the conversation dwindles or if I don’t know what else to say, but this is why you should try to join a group: there will always be someone talking, so you don’t have to worry about awkward silences. So, you really don’t have to worry about this if you don’t think of yourself as super extroverted (trust me, I’m not either).

4. Approach professionals with specific questions. 

There will probably be some type of presentation where you’re introduced to a few really successful people in the industry, or people with jobs you might like to have in the future. This will take a little bit of assertiveness, but after the presentation, try to speak with them. If you have to wait in line for three minutes of their time, that’s the perfect opportunity to think of specific questions to ask them. Nothing is more awkward (and more of a waste of time) than approaching them and just saying, “Hi! My name is Jasmin. Nice to meet you! Thanks so much for being here!” and then smiling for God knows how long. Say something along the lines of, “Hi! My name is Jasmin, I’m so glad I was able to hear you speak. I really wanted to ask you about such and such.” Ah, much better! They won’t remember Jasmin who grinned like an idiot for two whole minutes, but they might remember Jasmin who asked a really engaging, insightful question.

5. Target professionals who were in your position not too long ago. 

They’re the best people to talk to because they were in your shoes probably just two or three years ago (maybe even last year!) so they know exactly what you’re going through, and they truly want to help you. They’re way more likely to stand and talk with you longer, and they may have more time to really connect with you than, say, the CEO of your favorite company would. If this person currently has a position at a company that you want in the future, ask them for tips on applying, and if there’s anything they recommend including.

6. Don’t leave until you talk to them.

Be a little stubborn here. I know it’s been a really long day, you have a slight headache, and your feet hurt from trudging around in heels, but if there’s someone who can seriously help you and who you really want to talk to, don’t leave without getting a word with them. You’ll just kick yourself later for not saying hi. I promise you can leave as soon as you get to talk to them.

7. Pick the brains of other students who intern where you’d like to intern. 

This is the best way to receive insider information on the company you’d like to work with. But don’t only ask what a typical day is like, or what their favorite project is. Get to the juicy stuff like, “what do you recommend putting on your application,” “what should I expect from the application process,” and “is there anyone you work with who I can connect with as well?”

Related: 12 Tips For Getting A Summer Internship

8. Give out business cards.

Business cards always look super impressive, but when you’re a college student dishing them out, it’s like you’re basically the Beyoncé in the room. Everyone you just spoke to is excited to take one, their jaws drop to the floor, and their eyes are practically tearing up at how badass you are with your deets printed on a card. I highly recommend printing business cards with basic info like your full name, email, phone number, and social media (if you have professional accounts! DON’T give your potential future boss an Instagram handle to an account full of your Spring Break photos). I printed 100 cards for just $10 from Vistaprint. It’s been almost one year, and I have just 40 cards left! Here’s an example of what I always say when I want to give someone my card:

“I’d really love to connect with you and ask for more insight. Could I leave my business card with you?”

Find out how to say goodbye to awkward networking experiences!

If you don’t have business cards, don’t fret! Ask if you could exchange email addresses or friend requests on Facebook with the person you’re talking to. Last night, I went to an event organized by Twitter, so everyone was exchanging Twitter handles and following each other. That works!

9. If they tell you they “aren’t good with business cards”…

Of all the times I’ve popped my go-to can-I-leave-my-business-card question, I’ve gotten ONE SINGLE PERSON who actually said NO because they “aren’t good with keeping business cards.” That’s totally fine, because maybe they feel they’ll just lose your card and won’t be able to contact you; it happens. If they say this, obviously don’t convince them to take it. Just ask if you can exchange emails, Twitter handles, LinkedIn profiles, whatever!

10. Say goodbye to the people you met before you leave. 

This is something I’d actually like to start doing in order to improve my networking game. Mind you, this will probably only work if the event is small enough for you to actually find the people you met. But it can’t hurt to try. Going back to quickly say goodbye, and that you really enjoyed talking to them will make them remember you more because, frankly, no one else really cares enough to let other people know when they’re leaving.

11. Leave with an invitation to coffee or brunch. 

I usually meet one or two people that I really connected with, and got to hang with for most of the event, so when we part ways I always say that we should message each other for coffee before we head back to school. Letting them know that they are free to hit you up any time is super important because it’ll allow you to stay in touch. After all, connections are only good if you actually use them. This person could become a true friend, a significant other (love at first email!), a future co-worker, or even a future employer. But don’t just say it; actually make plans with them. If it’s been a few weeks and they haven’t messaged you, message them and ask if they’d like to meet up. It’s on them if they ignore you or say they’re busy.

What are your tips for surviving networking events? What’s your favorite event to attend?