Where are the best places to travel during spring break?

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Tired of school? Excited for spring break? Our sQoolink mentor, Nick Sohn from the University of Southern California, talks about popular destinations to visit for spring break. With so many options, it is hard to decide the ideal place to visit. Do not worry. Spring break is what you make of it. Make sure you relax, sit back, and enjoy the week!


Spring break is a time for relaxation and enjoyment. After endless nights studying and grinding through papers, every student sure deserves a break. The big question is where should I go? While there are several conventional and popular destinations, there are multiple factors into play: price, environment, culture, and intention. With that let’s hope everyone gets the relaxing break they need!

Depending on where you study, there are different hotspots for spring break. If you are studying in the UK, Amsterdam and France tend to be popular destinations. In the US, Cancun and Cabo are common places. These places are attractive for their nightlife and college vibe. It may also be cheaper due to proximity. However, if this isn’t just what you are looking for, do not worry. There is much to do and explore outside of these hotspots.

If you are looking for a cultural experience, perhaps look into places outside of popular destinations. Maybe organize a backpacking trip in Peru or visit Northern Canada. Immersing yourself in culture is a great way to both learn and relax. If you are still new to the culture of the US or wherever you study, organize a trip within the country. San Francisco, New York, Boston, and Los Angeles are just some of many cities with rich history and culture. Explore your interests and explore the country!

Spring break is what you make of it. If you don’t feel the need to travel, don’t. Chances are you haven’t fully explored your own city. Take the week to unwind from the stress of school or catch up on school. Hope this helps!


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Q and A of the Week: What student clubs or organizations should I join?

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New students have a difficult time choosing a club or organization to join. Do not worry. Our sQoolink mentor, Nick Sohn, from the University of Southern California, shares some insight regarding clubs. At the end of the day, clubs and organizations are opportunities to explore interests and passion. It is what you make of it!


It’s difficult to decide between the endless list of clubs and organizations. You may seek a consulting club and come across tens of them. So what should you join? Although this is not an easy answer, do not worry. All clubs and organizations help students explore different interests and develop passions.

Are you a compassionate individual or desire to develop a sense of community? Service clubs are an amazing opportunity to help both the community and yourself. Helping others is a great feeling that is unmatched by any material attainment. That said, it is also shaping the environment around you and enabling social mobility. On the plus, it looks great on your resume. Service varies from club to club. There are hands on clubs that focus on directly working with the community and there are clubs that focus primarily on fundraising. Pick and choose based on your interests but don’t feel the need to limit yourself.

Consulting and investment clubs are a great gateway to understanding the financial world. They offer real life applications to banking. While this may not be exactly like the world of consulting and investment banking, they offer a small but sizeable taste of just that. There are various consulting and investment clubs with different specialties. For example, some consulting clubs focus primarily on service or tech while others focus on finance. Again, choose accordingly without hesitation!

I hope you get a fuller understanding of different clubs and organizations that may fulfill your college experience. Keep in mind that whichever club you join, the experience is what you make of it!


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Interesting Experiences of a Criminal Justice Student

CJSW-BA-campaign-913x513.jpgInterested in criminal justice? Our sQoolink mentor, Stephanie Singh, a former student from Remington College, shares her most interesting experiences as a criminal justice student. As a criminal justice student, Stephanie reenacted various scenarios with her professor and classmates to gain first hand experience. From this, the writer believes that acting out the scenario as opposed to learning from a textbook has made her experiences far more memorable.


Everyone has different experiences in school. These experiences has the potential to make or break one’s academic life. For my Associates Degree I went to a liberal arts school called Remington College in Tampa Florida. It had been many years since I had been to school so that in itself caused my nervousness. I quickly realized that this is not what I expected. There were so many interesting experiences that were gained from this school.

I was in the Criminal Justice program and the faculty did more than just lecture. They had all the students get involved in scenarios. The goal was for the students to understand first-hand what law enforcement and security personnel had to go through on a daily basis. For example, there was one scenario where we reenacted traffic stops. It was what not to do versus what should be done type of situation. There were and have been a lot of police officers that were being killed in traffic stops. The idea was to show the students how a typical traffic stop is done.

There would be a car that was provided and we would alternate between being the officer and the perpetrator. They taught us how to approach a vehicle for a routine traffic stop. There was always the possibility that there would be hostile occupants and erring on the side of caution could mean the difference between life and death.

Another scenario that we learned was separating witnesses or victim/culprit and keeping spectators out of the crime scene that was being processed. Accomplishing this proved a lot more difficult than one would think. Perception is everything and witnesses’ interpretation proves this. It is very interesting that two people could observe the same situation and have differing views on the perpetrator or what happened.

In domestic violence cases as with any other type of crime the victims may choose to not press charges against their assailant. We learned that sometimes an officer would be called about a domestic disturbance and the victim would become hostile towards the officer, insisting that it was all a misunderstanding. This could prove to be a dangerous situation. Officers never know what they will be walking into and for this reason, we were taught that being vigilant of surroundings was the most important thing when responding to any type of situation.

As with most higher learning institutions there are guest speakers. Typically guest speakers explain what their job entails and the class asks questions. However, what if part of your grade was based on how well you interview in front of a panel of the different branches of law enforcement officers. Pretty much some of the guest speakers with a few new ones thrown in. The interview process is difficult and nerve wracking in itself and to throw in FBI, ATF and police officers into the mix made it a lot more interesting and nail biting.

The concept of this interviewing process was for the students who had plans to join the police academy or the varied other law enforcement divisions. The faculty views were if you could interview well in front of all these officers then you could master an interview in a “regular” workplace.

In conclusion, these interesting experiences influence and can sometimes change an individual’s views on academia. Not every student will learn through lectures and tests. These hands on scenarios will make the learning experience fun and will also provide a simulated version of what the world of law enforcement entails.

From personal experience I can honestly say that it definitely changed my views. It’s more than just getting pulled over or having your tags ran. It was about trying to restrain hostile victims or assailants, maybe ensure that their crime scenes weren’t contaminated by overzealous spectators. There are a lot of horrors and heartbreak that officers deal with daily, they have to go to each scene with a “fresh slate”. Most importantly, they’re trying to their duty to the best of their abilities and make it home to their families.


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Q and A of the Week: Where is the best café to study?

Q and A of the weeK.jpgHaving a hard time choosing a cafe to study? Cafes are a great place to do both work and enjoy a nice coffee but there are too many options. Our sQoolink mentor, Nick Sohn from the University of Southern California, helps you decide where to pick. With various factors ranging from price to taste, Nick can offer some direction in your “ideal coffee house”. Do not worry. With an endless list of cafes on yelp, you are bound to come across multiple ones that you’d like.


Are you sick and tired of the library? Would you like a place to relax and sip on a cup of coffee? A café can offer just that. While cafés may seem like the obvious choice to visit, it is difficult to pick and choose which one. There are multiple variables in deciding: price, aesthetic, location, and overall vibe. Do not fret, yelp is your friend. Apps such as yelps or forums such as Reddit can offer some great spots near campus.

With long communal tables and bright lights, some cafés are designed to be more social. Some are more dimly lit and individual for greater focus. Some are simply for convenience and a quick coffee run. Pick and choose based on your preference!

Location and price are both considerable factors. If you are on a time constraint, perhaps some place near campus can help save both time and money. The great thing about cafés near campus is the comfort of going whenever. You begin to set a steady and comfortable spot within the café of choice. But be weary of the price. Choose places that matches your budget and frequency. Cafés may be great place to do work but if it costs you $8 dollars a cup to do some work, you should reconsider your options. Don’t let it drain your wallet. Find a café that is optimal in both taste and price.

From personal experience, I have spent many months searching for “the perfect café”. I have yet to find one. However, I have come across some great, beautiful, and cheap places. In Los Angeles, Haeyri Café is an amazing spot to grab a quick bite, have a coffee, and continue your work. The proximity to my campus is optimal. Located in Koreatown, Haeyri is just an 8-minute drive. That is not to say there aren’t cafés closer to campus that serve the same purpose. For example, in the near USC Village, I make the occasional 5-minute trek to Café Dulce. It’s a matter of picking and choosing based on preference and current mood.

Hope you get a fuller understanding of finding the best cafés to pick near your campus!


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Moving Forward While Changing Directions: Jobs and Education (Part 1)

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*Peter pictured with Professor Noam Chomsky, a notable linguist and philosopher.

With the summer beginning and preparing for college to begin, it is easy to get nervous. Deciding on a major is no easy task. Do you stick to it? Do you change it? Our sQoolink mentor, Peter Frederic Lordan a former student at Stanford University, shines light on tips and goals to keep in mind while moving forward. Hopefully his guidance will lead to wholesome and fuller understanding! Comment below what was your most interesting finding in the post.


One of the most difficult things for people to do in life is stay consistent, especially when life still demands that we make big changes when we need to. Changing your major, class schedule, extra-curricular activities, internships, advisors, etc. are all enormous adjustments that, while potentially very stressful, are nonetheless unavoidable. Despite the pressure and concerns you may have, rest assured that changing directions never needs to interfere with your progress. I have to warn you in advance, I’m going to be throwing some numbers at you that may seem discouraging (or even scary) at first, but bear in mind that they are meant to work for you, not against you.

A U.S. Census Bureau report from 2010 found that less than 28% of college graduates ended up in careers that matched their majors from school. And according to the U.S. Department of Labor statistics from January of 2016, the average person today changes jobs ten to fifteen times in their life, and the average time spent at these jobs is less than five years (bearing in mind, that international students studying in the U.S. and students who work and live abroad are not being taken into account in this data). However, according to data compiled by a number of government organizations in 2017 (presented by the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES)), the overall employment rate was significantly higher for both men and women, ages 25-34, with higher levels of education than those without.

So whether use your degree directly or not, you are still far more likely to secure employment regardless of other decisions. More specifically, the employment numbers for young adults with bachelors degrees were approx. 86% (males 90%, female 83%), those with some college were approx.80% (males 85%, females 75%), those who only completed high school were approx. 72% (males 80%, females 61%), and those who had not completed high school were approx. 57% (males 70%, 42%).

Now, while men were still more likely than women to be employed in each of these age categories, other studies are very encouraging. A 2016 publication from the Pew Research Center shows that women were earning 83 cents for every dollar that men earned, which is a significant increase from 64 cents per dollar during 1980. This gap was even smaller in the 25-34 age range, showing 90 cents per dollar. Women are also overtaking men in both college and graduate-level education from 2017 data. Within the 25-64 age range, women are more likely to have four-year college degrees, with women at 38% and men at 33%. This trend is similar with advanced degrees as well, with women at 14% and men at 12%.


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Selecting Freshman Classes

Q and A of the week

Are you ready for your first school year? Summer is approaching and it’s time to register for classes! Our sQoolink mentor, Nick Sohn from the University of Southern California, shares his experience with selecting classes. Although this may be a difficult task, do not worry. After reading Nick’s tips and tricks, hopefully you’ll arrive at an informed decision!


Q and A of the Week: What classes should I take as a freshman?

Most Universities allow you to take 4-5 classes a semester so choose wisely! Do not fret though. College is a time to experience different subjects and develop your passions. Select one or two major related courses that will ensure you don’t fall behind in your intended major. If you are a math major, take calculus or linear algebra. If you are a business major, take accounting or economics. You may realize that your intended major is not the best fit for you.

Experiment with your General Education (GE) classes. Most schools require students to enroll in multiple GE subjects to secure a broader education. Not only find subjects that truly interest you but enroll in subjects outside of your comfort zone. You may come across hidden passions!

Take your GE’s seriously; you never know where it may take you. Last semester, I developed a passion for pharmacology and biology and was granted an undergraduate research position. On the last day of my recent semester, my writing professor stated her biggest regret was not paying enough attention to her GE classes. GE’s are a gateway for opportunities and develop your overall profile as a learner.

Enroll in a Computer Science course! Computer Science is a rapidly growing field that encompasses all aspects of our lives. From the software on our phone to the social media apps we use, computers are an integral part of our economy. Although you don’t plan on becoming a programmer, programming is becoming a requirement in jobs across various fields. With a basic understanding of computational thinking, it may provide the edge you need in the competitive work field.


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Money Saving Textbook Hacks

Are you already off for the summer? When the new school term starts in the fall, you will need to think about buying new books. Our sQoolink mentor, Devan Herron from East Carolina University, shares with us her textbook hacks that will save you a lot of money! Do you have loads of books from your previous courses? Consider selling them online to make up some of the costs of purchasing new books!


Textbooks are an essential and expensive part of college. Before you add your next set of books to your shopping cart, consider these helpful tips for book buying!

Wait!

Before I started my first semester of college, I was so eager to buy my textbooks. I didn’t shop around too much, and I even started reading and taking notes in July. However, after my first week of classes, I found out that half the books on the list I was given were only suggested reading material. Lesson learned! Wait for classes to start to find out what your professor will actually require!

Compare Prices

The college bookstore probably won’t be the best choice for buying textbooks. There are tons of different websites to order from. Don’t go with the first listing you see! Also consider the price to rent the textbook. Afterall, you won’t need it next semester.

Share!

Do you have a friend that shares a lot of the same classes as you? If so, consider sharing textbooks. This isn’t always an ideal textbook solution, but it can be lifesaving if you’re on a tight budget. Make sure that you and your book buddy have a plan so that both of you can have an equal chance to study!

Alternative Editions

By my senior year in college, I only bought alternative versions of my required textbooks. Often times the alternative books are listed as the international version. The page numbers didn’t always match up to the assigned homework, but it definitely saved money!


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Snacking

Do you love to binge eat? Are you a couch potato? Our sQoolink mentor, Devan Herron from East Carolina University, shares her healthy snacking tips and also comfort snacks. continues to share her love for the library. Let us know in the comment section and share your favorite snacks!


Fruit

When you’re feeling hungry but don’t have the money or the desire to fill up on greasy foods, fruit can help you feel full and provide some much-needed nutrients. One downside to buying fresh fruits is the expiration date. If you don’t have a fridge, choose fruits with a longer lifespan. Depending on how ripe the banana is, they can sometimes only last a day or two. Apples last longer, and a great to take on the go.

Quick Tip: As long as your school cafeteria allows you to take food, grab a banana or a pear on the way out! You can snack on it between classes.

Peanut Butter

Looking for a new way to boost your protein intake? Get a jar of peanut butter to add to your apples, crackers, or even just a plain spoonful when you need a boost. Peanut butter can provide an answer to your sweet cravings.

Quick Tip: Remember that too much of one thing can be a bad thing.

Comfort Snack

If you’re monitoring what you’re eating, there’s nothing wrong with keeping a snack around that you love the most. Pick up a bag of your favorite chips, popcorn or a bag of gummy worms. Let’s face it, you’re going to have a rough day, and you’ll totally look forward to taking a bit of your favorite snack.

Quick Tip: Do you have a roommate who loves to steal your snacks? Hide them at the bottom of your laundry basket!


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Library Love (Part 2)

Our sQoolink mentor, Devan Herron from East Carolina University, continues to share her love for the library. Her library hacks and tips are so useful! Let us know in the comment section and share what your personal hacks and tips!


Fees!

Worried that you’ll forget to turn in your library book? Ask your college librarian if they have a reminder program. Text and email reminders for returning books are becoming more popular in the world of libraries. If they don’t have anything in place yet, set a reminder on your phone so that you aren’t stuck with late fees. If you did still manage to forget, look at your late fee as a donation to great resources on campus!

Secret Spot

The library can be a big place. Don’t stick with popular areas to study, because they can become distracting and overwhelming. Find a place in the library that is extra quiet, and has a nice feel to it. Try out a few different work areas to discover what helps keep you focused the best. And yes, it’s okay if you find a comfortable spot on the floor. Its college, after all, no one is going to judge you for getting your study on.

Don’t limit yourself!

Most likely, the city your college is in also has a public library nearby. Enjoy a change of pace, and check out what the city library has to offer. You might be able to find a great resource that your college library didn’t have on the shelf. A new environment to study might help you focus.The public library will also have a larger selection of fictions books too if you are looking for something less academic. Talk to a librarian and get a library card!


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Library Love (Part 1)

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It’s National Library Week in the United States. How are you celebrating? Our sQoolink mentor, Devan Herron from East Carolina University, shares her love for the library. Her library hacks and tips are valuable to any current or prospective college/university students in any country!


Campus Life
It’s that time of the year again, National Library Week! Every year, this week is a time to celebrate everything that the library has to offer. Not only is it a good place to study and get some work done, a library is also a neat place to discover something new. On that note, here is a short list of library hacks and tips for making the most of your college years!

Headphones, please
The library doesn’t always have to be a quiet place, but nobody likes the guy who doesn’t use headphones. Before heading off to the library, make sure you have everything you might need. It’s always a good idea to have an extra pen, some scratch paper, and your laptop charger. Remember to also pack a few snacks and a water bottle, just don’t make a mess! The library is a shared space for everyone!

Explore
Chances are, there is so much more to your college library than you know. Take an hour break from studying and see what you can find. The more familiar you are with the library, the easier it will be to find what you are looking for the next time around. Ask a reference librarian if there are any hidden treasures around, and they just might show you a special collection that you didn’t even know they had!


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