- Get in Shape. Who thinks about getting in shape in January?! I write this while the weather people are predicting an arctic front about to hit us full steam ahead. Even going to the gym requires leaving the house! Instead, how about doing 10 push-ups when you get out of bed, and 10 push-ups before you go to bed. Oddly enough it will lead to adding sit-ups and crunches before you know it!
- Eat Healthy. Here’s the rub - healthy is a subjective definition. Try using a free journaling app such as My Fitness Pal to see what you actually eat now. Maybe you are eating healthy, maybe you are just getting too many calories. The other day I actually decided not to eat that cookie because I was too lazy to enter it in the app.
- Quit Smoking. Such a wonderful resolution, but ever so hard! A better resolution would be to research stop smoking programs. There are many free and effective ones such as Smoke Free NY. So for this one, instead of saying you are going to quit smoking say you are going to get help!
- Get Organized. Small steps here…when looking at your mountain of papers littering your desk, kitchen, or living room, it’s a daunting task. Instead of saying you are going to get organized, try going to an office supply store and getting a good shredder, some file folders and some labels. Each day, before you do your push-ups and go to bed, take the top 5 papers off the pile and shred them or file them.
- Get Out of Debt. That’s a rather daunting a task! In order to manage this herculean effort it boils down to paying more on your debts which means either spending less on other things or generating more income to pay off said debt. Therefore, a much more reasonable resolution is to create a budget. Need a guideline? Visit CNNMoney for the basics.
- Go Back to School. In resolution number 5, one of the ways to help with debt was to increase income. To do that you are going to need some skills! Be smart about it and consider a career school, such as Mildred Elley, where you only pay for classes that apply to the new career that you are considering. Underwater basket weaving need not apply.
- Get a Better Job. Another tough one! To increase your chances of a better job, you’ll need to promote your skills (or get some new ones by getting some career training) and network, network, network. So let’s change this resolution from “Get a Better Job” to “Rework Your LinkedIn Profile.” Remember to add your school to this one. Your alumni network can open major doors for you. Oh, and don’t forget to clean up your Facebook page while you are at it. According to a survey by careerbuilder, 1 in 3 employers reject applicants based on Facebook posts. This survey was done in 2012…I wonder what the statistic is now!
- Volunteer. Again, a very robust and ambiguous resolution! Fortunately a great first step for this one is to post on Facebook. Just post a status update that you are thinking of volunteering and ask if anyone has any great ideas for places or organizations that need help. Be careful though, you never know when a volunteer position may put you in touch with a great job opportunity! Feel free to post this request on our Mildred Elley Facebook Pages. We have lots of followers that can put you in touch with the right people.
- Stop Procrastinating. This one, to me personally, is impossible! So if anyone has any great ideas to help with this one please post below in the comments! (If this post makes it up by midnight, I will be popping that champagne cork for sure.)
- Take time for yourself. This one is tricky. The first thing you need to do to attempt this one is define what that means. Do you want to relax, do you want to improve your mind, do you want to go on an adventure? Sit down and really decide what that means to you. From there the path to taking time for yourself will make sense to you and only you.
Mildred Elley Blog
Something that all students have to grapple with is how to find the best possible research materials for their papers. The Internet is an amazing tool, and has added to both the excellence and the mediocrity of student work. The value of your work will directly relate to the value of your research, and when you're using websites as a main source of information, you never know what you're gonna get.
Even if you can't tell at first click, however, there are some things you can do to figure it out. Take into consideration this information from the Mildred Elley Library website: In order to figure out if a website is credible or not, you have to consider the Authority, the Objectivity, the Accuracy, and the Currency of the website.
Let's look at two examples of websites that I often see students using to get background information for papers, Web M.D. and Medline Plus. The sites look similar, but there are some significant differences in the value of their content. And here's why.
While WebMd is often written by medical professionals or "reviewed by" doctors, their articles are aimed at consumers, not researchers.
MedlinePlus has content authored by different government agencies. For an article I found on diabetes, the author was listed as the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. The National Institute of Health provides the information for this website, as you can see in the web address. It's a .gov site rather than a .com site.
A website is objective when it presents different points of view fairly and accurately, without bias. One clue that a website is not objective is the presence of advertisments. If a website is covered in ads (3 popped up while I was manuvering around WebMD) that means that the companies and indivuduals buying the adspace on the site could potentially have some input on what kind of content is published. This decreases the credibility of that piece of "research."
Is the information reliable and accurate? If the website is written by experts/professionals and peer reviewed, it is more likely to contain facts as opposed to "fact-like pieces of information." For example, the government agencies listed would be liable for any misleading/mistaken information posted on the MedlinePlus site. This probably means that the information provided on the site will be more accurate than other sites.
In this case, WebMD's information is not necessarily inaccurate, but you have to ask yourself: what is the BEST source available for my research?
Is the website up to date? When was the information published? In most cases, the more recent the information, the better.
These are the four main ways you can evaluate web content and decide if the website or article is going to stregthen your paper or detract from your argument.
Yesterday was the Boston Marathon. I was watching some updates yesterday afternoon and saw that one particular runner I was following had just hit the halfway point. She had run 13.1 miles, and had 13.1 ahead of her. I wondered how she was feeling. She was so close to her goal, but with all the effort she had put out, she probably felt further away than when she started.
We are now just over halfway through the module (or maybe halfway through your accounting program, or your paralegal certification perhaps?). Do you feel like that runner? You’re closer to the end than you are to the beginning, but with four weeks of effort behind you, you’re probably feeling the burn. With midterms behind you, though, it’s time to take a breather and prepare for the inevitable end of module push. What can you do to set yourself up for success?
1) Halfway through means halfway left to go. This is not the time to sprint. Don’t pick up your pace by adding a new volunteer position at your kid’s school or picking up a new part time job. Remember, this is the calm before the storm. It’s best to organize yourself and start working on finals now.
2) Need help? Reach out to your Student Services Coordinator or the Office of Academic Support and Advising well before “needing a little help” become “snowball of uncontrollable academic panic.” Talk to your instructor, get a tutor, and remember: Act now and you have plenty of time!
3) Doing well? Look around. There are students who could use a tutor, or maybe you could start a study group. Think about joining or starting a student-led group. Nothing says “hire me” like leadership experience on your resume.
4) Enjoy the race. Although school is stressful, you signed up for this! Anyone who toes the line at their first marathon will tell you, you don’t just wander into the racing crowd by accident. It’s the same here at Mildred Elley. Take time to enjoy achieving your goal while you're still in the process of working toward it. Be proud, and let that feeling inspire you through the second half of the mod.
The beginning of a module for a Mildred Elley student is a fresh start. It's an end to the procrastination, another chance to stay on top of the game and watch it all play out perfectly. In short, it's the deep breath before the dive.
Whether you are attending school to become a massage therapist or are working to earn your certificate in business, here's a checklist of tasks and considerations that will set you up for success, whatever might come your way in the next 8 weeks.
You've received your new schedule, but how does it match up with the other commitments you have? Are you attending school while working? If so, look through your syllabus to see if the midterm for your computer programming course is going to collide with your manager's "No Time Off Requests" sign in the break room.
Do you have someone to watch your kids during your accounting class? What if your car breaks down week 2 of your medical assistant program? Is your 6 month dental checkup scheduled for finals week?
Anticipate schedule conflicts and deal with them ahead of time so that you aren't putting your academic achievement at risk.
Ride the waves of your "first week of school adrenaline" and get organized before you get overwhelmed.
See if your school is offering workshops on skills you need to brush up on, APA formatting or memorization techniques, and make it a point to show up.
Look at all the handouts you got the first day of school and gear up for bigger projects/exams.
Start a study group- keep it professional!
3) Introduce Yourself
The beginning of a new program or module means new instructors- or even a fresh chance at an old one! What kind of impression will you make?
Be alert in class, take notes, and ask clarifying questions.
Stop by to see your instructors in between classes. If you think you'll struggle through a class, use the Office of Academic Support and Advising or the Student Services Coordinator to find a tutor or study group. If you know you'll rock it, offer to be a tutor!
Don't forget, Mildred Elley also offers assistance in your job search. Introduce yourself to the folks in the Career Services Office. Never a better time to make a good impression and take real steps to change your career path.
Remember, the only success you'll enjoy is the success you create for yourself!
What obstacles are you overcoming this week? What have you done to set yourself up for success?
Topics: Mildred Elley, student success, checklist, career services, student services, career path, motivation, organization, job search, academics, study habits, office of academic support and advising, module, scheduling conflicts