Friday, October 17, 2008


As you may have already found out, the friends that you have in high school are not necessarily the friends you will have later in college. Any friendship is something you have to work at, you need to nurture it.

People change and sometimes they change into people you don't want to be around. When you enter college, you're surrounded by new people - some that you click with, some that you don't. Be open to meeting new people. Understand that your old high school friends will be changing, just like you will be changed by being in college too.

Take the initiative to call or text old friends and ask about their college. If they aren't too far away, invite them to visit you at your college or make a point to visit them at their campus. Shared experiences are what cement a friendship.

Make a point of making new friends at college. You have to open up to new people, let them get to know you, and find some common interest.

Often, girls or guys will get so involved with their boyfriend/girlfriend, that they drop all other friendships. Often these college romances don't last. You get dumped. Then, just when you really need a friend to hang with, to vent with, you realize you have no one because you dropped all your friends when Mr./Ms. Special came along. College romances are fantastic, but keep your other friendships alive too.

Join clubs and organizations where you have a common interest. Or get out of your comfort zone and at least try a club that you feel is different from your views or interests, but be respectful.

The easiest way to make new friends is by having a ready smile, look people in the eye, and maintain your sense of humor when all else fails.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


My second year in college I took Anatomy and Physiology. It was a very difficult class for me, taught by the best professor I have ever had (but that is a whole different story). One of our assignments was to form a group of four, make a presentation with Power Point, on a disease. This assignment gave me an abundance of material about Spina Bifida which I turned into numerous assignments for other classes, collecting "A's" and "A+'s" along the way.

I collected and kept all the research my group did on Spina Bifida on my computer, including the Power Point presentation and the research citations. My group got the maximum number of points on our presentation so I knew I had great research on the topic.

Soon after I finished Anatomy and Physiology, I took a class in Epidemiology. The tests in this class were rough and the entire class was not doing well so the professor made an offer for extra credit. Anyone in the class who wanted extra credit needed to create a Power Point presentation and discuss in front of the class the incidence and prevalence of a disease. Well with very little effort on my part, I dusted off my Spina Bifida research, added in some additional statistics required by my professor and collected 45 extra credit points which zoomed my grade in the class up to an A+.

The next year, in a Health class, the professor wanted us to create a display of information on any health care concern. Once again, I immediately thought of Spina Bifida and simply had to print out my Power Point slides onto colored paper and paste them on the big display board, add a little decoration to liven it up and I was done. Because by now I was able to fluently discuss my topic of Spina Bifida, I easily was able to talk about my topic in front of the class and got an "A" on my project.

You too can parlay one research project into great grades in several different classes. Always save any research projects you do, you never know when you will have an opportunity to reformulate it into another project in another class. Why reinvent the wheel when you have 90% of it completed right in front of you? Plus, you will become an expert on the topic chosen thereby giving you an extra edge when you need to speak in front of your class about the topic.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


It is so much more fun to socialize than to sit down and disciple ourselves to study. We want to do well in school, we want a great GPA, we want to be successful but we also want to party. So how do we decide what to do?

There is no reason why you can't have a decent social life and a great GPA. Grab a daily planner and schedule BOTH your time to party and your time to study and classes. Let's face it, most of our time is spent doing nothing productive. Maybe you are watching TV, napping, listening to music. Then we get stressed because our projects or homework aren't done and the test is coming up and our projects are due. Friends want us to go out and we are stuck trying to decide between doing homework or having fun.

By scheduling our work and our fun, we don't have to make a choice between school work and fun, it will already be scheduled for us. Pull out your daily planner and let friends know, "I'm busy until 8 PM but I'm free after that."

Be aware when you schedule your study sessions when are you at your best to study. For me, my best time to study is early in the day, afternoons I like to nap, and I like to socialize any time after 8 PM. I never schedule late afternoon or evening classes. I make the most of my time between classes by re-reading my notes and writing my index cards. Get your school work done early in the day, then the rest of the day belongs to you. Stressfree, you are ready to socialize with no guilt.

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