Going the (Long) Distance in College Relationships

Relationships can be tough, but they also offer many students security and most importantly, love. Many college students may find themselves having to struggle through long-distance relationships once they enter the university life because their beaus will be several cities, or even several states, away. Luckily, as challenging as it may be for those in love to keep the romance going thousands of miles away, it is not impossible to make long-distance college relationships work.

One of the most important things to realize when entering a long-distance relationship is that it will not be easy. Face-to-face contact is an important part of an intimate relationship because it allows partners to fully connect with one another. By seeing someone’s face as well as hearing their voice and feeling their touch, you can fully grasp everything that they are saying and pick up on all of the non-verbal cues they may be sending. This is precisely why it is easier to trust and forgive someone in person than it is to do so over an e-mail or over a telephone conversation. In long-distance relationships, you do not get this face-to-face contact, which can cause misunderstandings and rifts in trust. To avoid this, plan on having set times to at least call or e-mail one another. This way, you will at least get plenty of communication going, even if it is only over the phone.

Be sure that both parties in the relationship are committed to regular communication, but also avoid over-communicating. This means that while you should call on a regular basis to talk to your partner, you should not call so often that it disrupts his or her social life. Like it or not, your partner needs to live his or her own life outside of your relationship, so allow them plenty of room to do so otherwise your partner may begin to resent you. Just as you would not want to have someone constantly calling you, do not be the person to constantly call your boyfriend or girlfriend. In addition, do not scrutinize every detail in how your partner sounds or what he or she says. This will only cause additional stress in the relationship.

Remember that college is a busy and draining time. There are assignments to finish and exams to study for, so do not be alarmed if you or your partner are not always in the best of spirits. Make plans to see one another over the breaks to reconnect, and be supportive of one another through difficult times. If you remain a positive influence in your partner’s life, then your relationship will remain strong. However, remember that both of you must put in effort to make the long-distance relationship work, so if your partner is slacking in his or her duties, it may be time to have a serious talk about the future.

Get Along With Your Roommate

For many college students, having a roommate in college is a new experience. Many of us aren’t used to living in the same space as another person. Sure, students lived with their parents before, but sharing a room in a dorm with another student is much different than sharing a house or apartment with your family.

Because your dorm-mate is someone not in your family, he or she is probably not familiar with the idiosyncrasies of your living and sleeping habits. Nor are you familiar with those of your dorm-mate. Even if you’ve lived with a friend in a dorm for a few years, it still takes some time to get used to that other person.

These gaps in familiarity can, if not adjusted for, create miscommunications, weird situations, and even outright conflicts between roommates. If you want to avoid this sort of thing, you should consider setting up a roommate agreement with your roommate so that you both understand how to live together in peace.

One of the biggest things you and your roommate should establish is how you’ll decide to share each other’s stuff. How will you manage common aspects of the dorm room? Usually roommates agree to share stuff like a fridge and microwave, with one roommate buying one appliance and the other buying something else. Also, what about furniture? Or the layout of the room? Or if it’s okay to borrow something from your roommate’s desk? If you can agree on these particulars early on, then you’ll have less of a chance of worrying about a sudden change of layout or whether or not you have the right to use the fridge during midterms.

Now that you’ve agreed on how to use the stuff in the room, you should agree on how you will respect each other’s habits when in and out of the room. An important thing to establish early is whether or not you’ll be locking the room when you’re both out and about. Also, you should talk about letting other people hang out in the room. You should talk about bedtimes and wakeup times. All of these things, even though you may not think about them during the excitement of that first week, will become really important as the semester progresses, especially when you find yourself stressed out about your classes. If you and your roommate get along well and agree on everything in the room, then you’ll be able to handle the stress of school much easier.

Connect With Your Professor Online, But Be Smart About It

Social media, like Twitter and Facebook, can be useful for your coursework; many professors have already incorporated these kinds of sites into their classes, so we know that there are academic advantages to social networking sites.

However, if you find yourself in a situation that requires you to friend or follow your professor, you should scrub your profile or filter your online activity. This may seem like common sense, but you’d be surprised at how many students do not censor their online profiles. Their online presences can lead to school officials taking disciplinary action if their profiles contain content that breaks school policy.

Of course, these situations are rare. Instead, you should filter or carefully manage your online presence in order to maintain credibility with your professor. For example, think of what could happen if you one day realize that you need an extension on a really big project. If your professor follows you on Twitter or is your friend on Facebook, he could very easily check your status updates and your photos to see what you were up to the past few nights. If your online profile has evidence that, say, you went out and partied, then how do you think your professor might handle your request for an extension?

The good news is this: if you are careful about what you put online, then you can use your social network profiles to, well, network with your professors, especially those professors who gave you good grades and seemed to appreciate your hard work. Social networking with a professor, if done smartly, can help you later down the road when you’re in search of personal references for your job applications or graduate school applications.

Finally, social networking with your professor can help you stay connected with the progress of the class on those days that you have to miss school. There’s nothing more frustrating than missing a few days of school because of an illness and then having to catch up. If you connect with your professor through Facebook or Twitter, you have given yourself another way of communicating with him should you suddenly fall behind. Social networking with your professor, if done well, can give you more opportunities to succeed in school. You simply have to watch what you do and say online.

100 Web Tools to Help You Boost Your Resume and Reputation During the Recession

By Sarah Russel

Even if your particular industry or company isn’t laying off hundreds of workers across the country, a recession makes everyone feel antsy about the future. Becoming indispensable is necessary to surviving at work. The competition inside the office is fierce, but it doesn’t even compare to the numbers of unemployed lining up to take your spot. Here are 100 web tools to help you boost your resume and your reputation during the recession, just in case.

Resume Tips and Guides

Get your resume in tip-top shape with these ideas.

  1. Clean up your resume in time for spring: Paym Bergson’s guide to decluttering your resume suggests using a new design and enforcing your bottom line.
  2. Only include what’s relevant: Only include the job experience and achievements that are directly relevant to the job you’re applying for. This technique makes it easier for employers to see exactly how and why you’re the perfect candidate.
  3. 6 Tips for a Recession-Proof Resume: Let this guide help you stand out from all the other unemployed during the recession.
  4. Get a peer editor: Ask a friend who’s in the business you’re trying to break into review your resume. Besides checking for typos and grammar errors, they can evaluate how well your resume will read during the job selection.
  5. Keep your resume updated at all times: In this volatile economy, you never know when you might find yourself unemployed. Keep your resume updated so that it’s ready the moment you need it.
  6. Resume Writing That Gets Results: Find out which skills and traits you need to highlight depending on your experience.
  7. Top 10 Resume Tips: Dana Byrne explains how defining your role on specific projects and understanding how to be targeted and personalized in your resume and communications are vital.
  8. Advantages of a Video Resume: It got Elle Woods into Harvard Law, and a video resume may be able to give you the edge you’re looking for.
  9. Top 5 Steps to Recession-Proof Your Resume: Tips here include "be a specialist; not a generalist" and "write to the future."
  10. Resume Writing Tips: Here you will find tips for picking font, including important information and discarding frivolous information, and more.
  11. Make Your Resume Stand Out: Find out what HR professionals look for in a resume.
  12. 25 words that hurt your resume: Check your resume against this guide to make sure your resume isn’t redundant or boring.

Freelancing

Freelancing is a good way to diversify your skills, gain more experience, broaden your contacts base, and make a few extra bucks on the side or while you look for something more permanent. Just make sure it doesn’t directly interfere with your current company’s agenda.

  1. Client Analyser: Figure out which clients deserve the most attention here.
  2. Hourly Rate Calculator: Discover how much you should be charging with this rate tool.
  3. Box: Use Box to collaborate with clients and business partners, share files and more.
  4. Writeboard: Use Writeboard to collaborate on writing projects without having to commute to clients’ offices.
  5. Harvest: This tool helps with invoicing, expense accounts, time tracking and more.
  6. Lulu: Publish your writing samples online for free with this tool.
  7. MyNewCompany: Free tools through this program include business plan help, a business startup checklist, marketing tips and more.
  8. Google AdSense: Make a few extra bucks by blogging when you use AdSense.
  9. Work: Learn what it takes to run a business in your field with this set of guides.
  10. ProjectStat.us: Keep your projects organized online with this tool, which also lets you update customers in a timely fashion.
  11. HelpMeWork: Use this tool to organize credit checks, vacation and holiday pay, taxes, insurance and more so you can get back to work.

Job Boards

Look for jobs on these effective boards.

  1. JobPile: Streamline all your job board accounts into one spot.
  2. Vault: Search by state, keyword, industry and exact occupation.
  3. IMdiversity.com: Minorities can search for minority-friendly employers here.
  4. Net Temps: Consider finding a temp job until you land a more stable position.
  5. Juju: Use this job search engine to find jobs from multiple sites quickly.
  6. Top 100 Job Board Niches – 2008: Make sure you’re on the right job board for your industry.
  7. Snag a Job: Snag a Job is a site for those seeking hourly employment.
  8. Are the major job boards all they’re cracked up to be?: Determine whether or not advertising on a huge job site is worth it when you read this guide.
  9. AllFreelance.com: Find freelance opportunities on this site, which also has tools for branding, customer relations and more.
  10. Craigslist: Depending on your industry, you may find that Craigslist is an extremely helpful resource for finding work.
  11. SoloGig: SoloGig is another job board for freelance projects.
  12. 6 Figure Jobs: If you’ve got the experience and credentials to back yourself up, use this site for executives only.

Social Networking

Social networking isn’t just for kids anymore: it’s extremely important for building up your professional contacts, snagging job opportunities and boosting your brand.

  1. LinkedIn: LinkedIn is a very popular social site for professionals to network and collaborate on projects.
  2. Ryze: Ryze is a professional-oriented social networking site that lets you share events, find jobs and more.
  3. Plaxo: Plaxo tunes you into the stuff your friends are doing on sites like Flickr, Amazon, YouTube, Digg and more.
  4. MeetUp: Use this site to network in-person and online with professionals and friends in your city.
  5. Twitter: Twitter is a great microblogging site that helps with branding, showcasing your stuff online, and meeting people in your industry.
  6. Facebook: There are countless business opportunities available to Facebook members. Create your own profile to network, and then create a group or page for your company.
  7. Xing: Xing is a professional networking site that brings together ambitious individuals from around the world.
  8. Ziggs: Here you can expand your network, search for jobs, join groups, manage contacts and more.
  9. Fast Pitch: Business professionals market themselves and their services on this social networking site.
  10. Yorz: Find jobs through this networking community.

Reputation

Build and monitor your reputation with these online tools.

  1. Letter to Fall Recruits: Clean Up Your (Cyber)Space: This article directed at law students emphasizes the importance of removing incriminating or embarrassing pictures and blogs online.
  2. Digg: Bookmark, rank and review articles on this site to boost your popularity with other users. Just be careful what you digg, and make sure it’s nothing obscene or offensive.
  3. Gather: Build up your reputation as a knowledgeable expert who reaches out to the community by keeping up with the discussions on Gather.
  4. Furl: Share useful websites to make connections and establish yourself as a go-to person for your industry.
  5. Board Tracker: Get directed to the discussion boards that mention you or will provide an opportunity for you to contribute using this tool.
  6. Technorati: With Technorati, you can monitor which blog posts mention you, your industry, or your company.
  7. Google Alerts: Set up an alert for yourself and your company to find out what others are saying about you online.

Job Search Tools

Let these tools help make your search more effective.

  1. Resume formats and samples: Virginia Tech shares these resume formats and tips for job searchers.
  2. Indeed: Search classifieds from job boards and newspapers with this search engine.
  3. Job Search Test Drive: Get an idea for what’s out there without setting up an account with this Monster tool.

Job Security Tips

Try out these tips and tools if you’re worried about losing your job.

  1. In Depth: How to Secure Your Job: Forbes.com’s guide encourages you to boost your profile, take on new projects and figure out ways to save your company money.
  2. How Secure Is Your Job in 2009?: Read this article to help you determine whether or not your job will still be there at the end of the year.
  3. Job Jeopardy/Layoff Assessment: Take this quiz to evaluate your job security.
  4. NASDAQ ticker: Follow your company’s stock to get an idea of how healthy the overall business is.
  5. The Best Entrepreneurship Courses in America: Consider going back to school to open your own business or to get promoted within your small company.
  6. Surviving the evolving job market: This guide tracks the evolution of jobs like telephone operators, file clerks and more.
  7. 7 Jobs for Job Security in a Recession: Consider segueing into one of these industries–if you’re willing to take the risk–that are supposed to be healthy even in a recession.
  8. Network Your Way to Job Security: Networking builds your contacts base and opens you up to new opportunities.
  9. 8 Tips to Increase Your Job Security: Tips here include "be appreciative," "be indispensable," and "conserve cash."
  10. How to Keep Your Job in a Recession: ABC’s Bob Rosner encourages professionals to stay calm, keep their perspective and research the health of their company.

Going Back to School

Consider going back to school if it will propel you to the next level of management or job security.

  1. Online Education Database: Search this site for continuing education opportunities that may enhance your job prospects.
  2. FAFSA: Find out if you can receive federal aid for your continuing education program.

Branding Tips and Tools

Nurturing a personal brand is vital for increasing your career prospects and getting your name out to the people who matter.

  1. Ning: Once you’ve got a veritable following of customers, contacts and associates, create your own social network just for your group using Ning.
  2. Wetpaint: This wiki tool lets users create their own websites for free.
  3. 10 Ways Personal Branding Can Save You From Getting Fired: Dan Schawbel shares the tips that can make a difference between becoming indispensable at your office and getting laid off.
  4. FriendFeed: Create an account on this community site to save a portfolio and share meaningful information with friends.
  5. StatCounter: Use StatCounter to generate a report of your blog followers.
  6. Career Branding: What’s the Value of Your Personal Brand?: Take this quiz to determine how influential your brand is.
  7. CafePress: Create novelty items and promotional items for your brand using this site.
  8. TweetBeep: Make sure your brand is receiving positive feedback on Twitter with this tool.

Contacts and Communication

Protect your contacts lists and communication records for backup should you need it.

  1. Campfire: Campfire is a team collaboration tool that features real-time chat, so you can hold meetings from your home.
  2. Gmail: Use Gmail to search your contacts, save addresses, access email from a web browser, chat, and more.
  3. Pidgin: Chat with users from all kinds of instant message accounts from one spot with Pidgin.
  4. Highrise: Manage communications with your business partners and clients, track new leads, get instant reminders via e-mail and text, keep an address book and more with Highrise.
  5. Famundo: Keep your calendars, files and projects organized on this shareable site.
  6. 30 Boxes: This tool helps you remember important dates and contact information.
  7. WhosOff: Keep track of who’s out of the office and who’s available for collaboration with this tool.
  8. Central Desktop: Share files with this collaboration tool.
  9. Loose Stitch: Keep meetings fun and easy when you use this tool for remote access collaboration.
  10. ubernote: With this tool, you can send e-mails, update your Twitter account, save contact information and a lot more.

Miscellaneous

Staying organized and ahead of the competition is vital if you want others to recognize your dependability and expertise. These tools will buoy your reputation even while the rest of the economy drowns.

  1. Clean up your credit for your job search: This article explains why it’s important to have good credit when applying for a job.
  2. 6 Fields That Stand to Benefit from the Stimulus Plan: Consider applying for a job in one of these industries if you’re worried about job security.
  3. Jott: Catalog reminders sent via text messages and e-mails with this tool.
  4. Nozbe: Use Nozbe to track assignments, stay on top of projects and more.
  5. Business-Paper: Manage your business cards through this system.
  6. Professional on the Web: Put your profile online using this tool to find freelancing opportunities.
  7. Ping Me: Be known as the guy on track when you use Ping Me to send reminders and stay on schedule.
  8. Evernote: Keep all of your projects, web clips, notes and ideas organized with Evernote.
  9. Zoho: Use Zoho’s free office tools to save your company money and keep all your documents and communications organized.
  10. Viapoint: With this organization tool, you can quickly do a people search, search your history to retrieve research, and more.
  11. Monkey on Your Back: Send a reminder–in the form of a monkey e-mail message–for regular errands, job interviews, assignments and more.
  12. MyMemorizer: This calendar sends you reminders via text message.
  13. GoToMeeting: Hold meetings online with this service, saving your company time and money on travel expenses, and letting you get more work done at the office.
  14. Spamato: Use Spamato on your work email to block spam. It’s free, too.

How to Make the Most of Your Study Time

A disturbing number of students make it to college with no idea how to study. Some of them coasted in high school without ever cracking a book, while others were able to absorb enough knowledge in the panicked hours before a test that they never bothered to come up with a better system. But freshman year of college isn’t the 13th Grade, and work at the university level requires a bit more dedication and planning to pull off.

The best way to start making better use of your study time is to make a schedule and stick with it. Learning is a habit, and you’ll become a better student and retain more knowledge if you set aside time every day to study. It doesn’t have to be the same time of day or same amount of time from day to day; real-world demands, classes, and other obligations might require you to spend two hours hitting the books on a Monday night but 30 minutes Tuesday afternoon. That’s totally fine. The point isn’t to make every day uniform but to follow through on your plan. Regular, dedicated study time is the best way to ensure you retain knowledge over the long term.

It’s also a good idea to take breaks and change locations with regularity. The first part everyone knows: longer spans of intense studying can make facts start to blur, while small breaks can shake up the schedule and keep you fresh. But changing locations when you switch subjects is something a lot of students overlook. Whether it’s moving to a different part of your room or heading over to the library’s study area, a change in scenery will act as a kind of reset button for your brain and let you in effect start over fresh on a new subject. You’ll also come to associate the new space with the new subject, and the data will be more clearly organized in your mind than if you’d plowed through history, calculus, and physics all at the same desk.

You should also consider pairing up with a fellow student in order to work through more complicated material, especially ahead of mid-terms or final exams. Having a study partner lets you discuss the issues at hand to get a better grasp on them, and it also lets you run through mock-tests and hypothetical situations more easily than if you were just cramming by yourself. No matter what you decide, the key is to stick with it. Studying isn’t always fun, but it doesn’t have to be a pain.

Crafting a College Essay Worth Reading

A college application is pretty straight forward for the most part. You attach your teacher’s recommendations, and you fill out pages and pages of documents telling the school about your personal information and details. But then you reach the personal essay portion of the college application, which can be terrifying in its open-ended nature. Though it may sound easy to write an essay about yourself, it can be surprisingly tough to pull off.

The point of the personal essay is for the college to get to know you better. After all, your grades and recommendations can only say so much about you, and admissions officers need to know more to determine whether or not you would be a good fit for the school. After looking over your academic achievements and deciding that you meet those requirements for admissions consideration, admissions officers will turn to your personal essay. To make a good impression with your essay, you need to make sure that it answers the prompt and reveals something positive about your character and personality. The best way to do this is to think about your personal history and find events where you exemplified positive traits, like leadership, cooperation, and intellect. Find an event that will answer the prompt while also giving you the opportunity to touch on these great aspects of your character. For example, if the prompt asks what made you decide to pick that particular college to pursue a degree, write about a moment in your life when you made the executive decision to pursue your desired degree field and how that school fit in with your plans. In this answer, you would demonstrate your determination and hard work, which are both desirable traits.

Be sure to write vividly and avoid simply telling the reader about your experiences. Instead, write in a way that will show them how you displayed certain desirable skills. For example, instead of writing that you are organized and efficient, write about a time when you put together a fundraising event for your school or about a time when you helped your theatre cast mates prepare for the show to ensure a stunning opening night. This way, the admissions officer will be able to read for themselves exactly how organized and efficient you are without having you simply state that you possess these qualities. In addition, it is a good idea to mention in the essay just how the school would benefit from having you as a student, such as how you will work hard and endeavor to succeed.

Finally, before you submit your essay, be sure to have someone read over it. Little mistakes can cost you big points in the eyes of admissions officers, so check your essay carefully for clarity, flow, and spelling and grammatical errors.

Why Staying Single in College Is Better

You may be jealous of your friends who all seem to have a significant other attached to their hip, but take solace in the fact that it is actually much better to stay single in college than to be in a relationship. While you may not have someone to cuddle with or kiss goodnight, you will be able to enjoy a far greater range of freedom, allowing you to get an even better college experience than you would if you were dating.

When you are still in high school and deciding on a college to attend, it is infinitely better to not have to consider what your romantic partner thinks. Though it may sound cruel and selfish, having a romantic partner can severely limit your choice of colleges. Some couples who are going through the college application process may decide to compromise and go to schools where they can be close together, which undoubtedly puts a lot of schools out of the running. Even if you and your partner decide to not limit one another on school choices, you will likely unconsciously try to pick a school close to your partner so that you will not be too far from him or her. When you are single, on the other hand, the college choice process is rightfully all about you and what you truly desire, making it more likely that you will choose a school that is the best match for you.

College is a good time to learn and experience new things. When you are single, you are more likely to take chances to meet new people and do new things because you will be focused on expanding your social group as well as growing in general as an individual. Those who are in relationships tend to find it perfectly satisfactory to hang out with one another, so they are not as compelled to reach out and meet new people and make new connections. While this does not mean that they will be friendless in college, it does mean that they are far less likely to make the kinds of lifelong connections that many other college students experience. In addition, while single students can just about make whatever decisions they want – such as deciding to go abroad, or deciding to join the drama group – those in relationships typically need to consult with one another, also slimming down the chances of getting a full experience out of university life.

Finally, relationships are stressful. Whether you are in a long-distance or on-campus relationship, you will get into arguments that will put a strain on your sanity. Studying can be difficult to balance with relationship time, and you may also find it hard to balance your social time with friends with quality time with your significant other. Overall, college is already stressful, so the next time you find yourself lamenting your prolonged stay in Singlesville, remember that being single in college is a blessing in disguise.