Back to School Tips for College & Graduate Students (STEM Edition)

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – Back to School Time! Good luck to everyone going back to school or starting a new school this year. I wish you the best. If you are an undergraduate or graduate student this post is for you.

My Back to School Tips: Continue reading Back to School Tips for College & Graduate Students (STEM Edition)

#DearME STEM College Student Edition: What I Would Tell My Younger Self Part II

 

 

 

A few months ago I was watching a beauty related video on YouTube and I came across this #DearME video. The #DearME Initiative is a global Initiative started by YouTube to celebrate International Women’s Day (March 8) to empower young girls everywhere. After watching a few #DearME videos I was inspired share my #DearME STEM College Student Edition. It is important to reflect on the past to truly understand your journey. If you are a recent graduate or looking to update your myIDP tool write down the advice you would give your younger self. Think back to when you were a freshman in college. Here are the things I would tell my younger self – STEM College Student Edition:

#DearME: My Advice to My Younger Self – STEM College Student Edition:

1. It’s okay if you change your major:

When you go to college you will have an idea about what major or career you want, but things can change. After taking a few courses it is okay to explore different majors. Talk to your academic advisor and upperclassmen to see what other majors are out there. Remember your major doesn’t define you. Whether you want to become an engineer, scientist or work in public health there are many pathways to your STEM career.

2. Don’t be afraid to be assertive:

Ask questions, reach out to potential mentors and network. As a freshman this can be a bit scary, but give it a try. When you come out of your shell and start putting yourself out there people will notice. Plus you never know what opportunities you will find. If you are looking for some tips and tricks the book, Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office: 101 Unconscious Mistakes Women Make That Sabotage Their Careers by Lois Frankel is a good resource.

3. Explore the opportunities that STEM can take you early on:

A STEM degree can take you anywhere. Sometimes thinking about different career paths can be a bit overwhelming as a STEM college student. Take time to talk to people and explore the opportunities at your university’s career center. Whether you want to study abroad, do research or get an internship seek opportunities. Even if you are a freshman you can start.

4. Remember your hard work will pay off:

Being a STEM college student is a challenge, but all the obstacles you will face are worth it. Study-a-thons, hectic schedules and 4-hour chemistry labs may seem like a lot, but you will make it. Space out your course-load so that you can have a fun course in the mix of your STEM courses. The life of a STEM college student is about balance and you will learn it before you graduate. Remember success is great, but you don’t have to break yourself getting there. There will be ups and downs, but you will get through it.

5. Don’t be afraid to ask for help before it is too late:

If you are having a difficult time in one of your STEM courses ask for help. Find a group of peers in your major. Groups like NSBE, SWE, SHPE and SOT are great places to start. Plus if you join these groups you can make new friends in your major and have a strong support system to help you throughout your college career.

6. Enjoy your college experience:

Even though you may have a busy life as a STEM college student make sure you have fun. Go to social events, join groups or play sports. College is not only about getting your education, but it is also about having fun. When you graduate college you want to look back and say you were able to earn your degree and enjoy your college experience.

7. Don’t let negativity get you down:

There will be people who believe that women or minorities in STEM cannot be successful. Don’t let their negativity get in your way of moving forward in your STEM career. Find a group of people who get you and can help you through your tough times.

To learn more check out part I of my advice to my younger STEM self.

What would you tell your younger self as a STEM College Student? #DearME

Share below.

My Top Study Tips

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It’s the most difficult time of the year. It is hard preparing for midterms, finals or GRE on top of everything else. Many people are sleep deprived, nutrition deficient and just feel overall stressed. This does not have to be you. With the right preparation studying can be a less stressful time.

When I was in college we had Study-A-Thons during Finals week. It was a great way to study during the weekend before finals. There were peer tutors, free food and even study snacks. Bring on those Insomnia Cookies! This is awesome! Every school should have this. If not, start a mini Study-A-Thon with your friends.

Before you get started studying let’s talk about making the most of your study break. During midterm and final season you will hear many tips for studying, but sometimes you don’t really hear many tips about how to have the best study break ever. Study breaks are just important as study tips. You need balance.

My Top Study Tips: Continue reading My Top Study Tips

Overcoming Post-Graduation Blues

We all know graduation is a time for joy, but sometimes it can be annoying when people ask you certain questions. After hearing these questions you might start to question yourself and feel like you have to make all your decisions about your future right now. News flash – you don’t!

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Decisions take time and use this post-graduation time to celebrate and explore STEM career options.

Post-graduation blues are real and many recent graduates go through it. Even though this is a celebratory time it is also one of the first steps to jump-start your STEM career which can put a toll on your mental health. Remember to take care of your mind, body and spirit. 

7 Ways to Overcome Post-Graduation Blues:

Continue reading Overcoming Post-Graduation Blues

5 Things NEVER to Ask a Recent Graduate

In my last post I shared tips for recent science graduates and now I want to share 5 things NEVER to ask a recent graduate. Do you remember the questions people asked you? I do! After hearing the same questions it can be annoying and frustrating, especially if you are not where you want to be in your STEM career. Things take time and people need to respect your decisions.

My Top 5 Things NEVER to Say to a Recent Graduate:

1. When are you going to get a job?:

This is the #1 question that recent graduates hate, especially if they have been looking for a job for a long time. We all know that it is hard to find a job nowadays and finding a job takes time. When they get a job they will let you know.

How can you Help: Instead offer to look over their applications, CV, resume or cover letters.  Continue reading 5 Things NEVER to Ask a Recent Graduate

7 Tips for Recent Science Graduates

In my last post I shared some gift ideas for recent science graduates. What is one post-graduation tip that you remember? How did you feel after you graduated?

7 Tips for Recent Science Graduates: Continue reading 7 Tips for Recent Science Graduates

Resources for Students, STEM Professionals & Scientists

May is a time of celebration. Between graduations, the semester ending, new job opportunities and summer around the corner there are a lot of things happening. The time is now to prepare for the next chapter. Continue reading Resources for Students, STEM Professionals & Scientists