How to Make Friends in College: A Comprehensive Guide

Do you remember the first friend you made?

The first person I consciously remember calling my “friend” (and later, “best friend”) was someone I met in preschool. I was probably four years old. We had similar interests, and complementary personalities (he was the big picture idea guy, I was the detail-oriented do-er).

As I’ve continued through life, my friendships have shifted. I’ve made new friends along the way, deepened my relationship with existing friends, and fallen out of touch with others. When you look at it this way, it seems like friendship is something that just “happens.” You can’t control it, it would seem, and maybe it’s better not to. After all, you can’t force friendship.

Yet, what I’ve come to realize in the past couple years is that while you can’t force or manufacture friendship, you can seek and cultivate it. It isn’t completely out of your control. In fact, since it’s such an important part of living a happy life, it’s something that you put on autopilot at your peril. Read More…

5 Alternatives to Traditional Employment

What do you see yourself doing after graduation?

If you’re a regular reader of College Info Geek, I’m sure you’re already dreaming bigger (and more specifically) than just “I dunno, get a job, I guess.” You’re considering things like where you want to live, what kind of living arrangements you want, what your future financial goals are, and overall placing your desired lifestyle above your desired salary.

Still, when most people consider their post-college plans, they usually come down to one of two things: pursue further education, or get a job at a medium to large company.

And there’s nothing wrong with either of these paths. Chosen and funded correctly, further education can be a fulfilling option that can increase your future job prospects and further your intellectual development. Likewise, a job at a Fortune 1000 (or similar established company), can be the beginning of a meaningful career path.

What a lot of students forget, however, is that there are other options. The path after graduation is not a two-pronged fork, each path a straight career trajectory that will determine the rest of your life. It’s more like a a bunch of squiggly lines that radiate out from the central point that is college, overlapping into a variety of infinite possibilities. Read More…

5 Ways to Travel More in College

When was the last time you traveled? And no, your spring break trip to Florida doesn’t count.

I mean, when was the last time you stepped outside of your comfort zone and visited a completely new place for more than just a vacation? When was the last time you explored, not just toured? For me, this is what travel is all about, and I think it’s one of the greatest opportunities for learning outside the classroom that exists.

In today’s post, I’m going to break down everything you need to know about traveling while in college. First, I’ll cover why you should travel during college. Then, I’ll debunk some common myths about college travel. Finally, I’ll get into some specific opportunities for travel during college, along with resources you can consult to learn more about each.

So grab your suitcase, put on your sunglasses, and let’s get started! Read More…

How to Learn Any Skill in Under 20 Hours

I’ll never forget the first time I tried to teach myself a new skill.

I was in 7th grade, and after spending a lot of time fooling around with the free 3D graphics program Blender, I decided I should probably learn how to draw. That was the advice most 3D animators and artists gave, at least.

And so, without much of a plan in mind, I picked up a few books and drawing and started going through their exercises.

How did it turn out? Well, I certainly learned a lot about drawing. I even got to the point where I could do something more than stick figures, but the results of my quest were ultimately…meh. Read More…

Why the “Learning Styles” Concept is Wrong (And What to Use Instead)

I first learned about learning styles from my middle school guidance counselor. Standing before the class in our monthly “guidance” session, she gave the following proclamation:

“There are three learning styles: auditory, visual, and kinesthetic. This test will help you determine which style comes most naturally to you.”

We nodded our heads, picked up our pencils, and took the test just like any other. Once the counselor guided us through the test’s complicated rubric, I found that my learning style was visual. I carried that knowledge with me through the rest of school and never questioned it.

I’ve always loved this neat explanation of three learning styles, and I’ve even used it to justify why I struggled with subjects such as math (“it’s just not visual enough,” I’d complain to my mom, even though the very visual subject of geometry was one I struggled with the most).

So you can imagine my surprise when after nearly ten years of believing in it, I learned that the traditional idea of learning styles is wrong.

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Hard Skills Vs. Soft Skills: Why You Need Both to Succeed

Imagine two people are interviewing for a job. On paper, both candidates are very qualified. They both have degrees from prestigious schools, high GPAs, and a few years of relevant work experience.

Going into the interview, both are well-prepared. They’ve practiced all the common interview questions, dressed for success, and are ready to throw down.

After speaking to both of them, however, the interviewer’s decision isn’t even a hard one. One candidate clearly outshone the other – hiring them was a no-brainer. How can this be?

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10 Myths About Your First Year of College

If you’re a college student in the U.S., you’ll likely start classes in a week or so (if you haven’t already). For many of you, this will be your first semester of college.

Since I’m about to start my senior year, I’ve been reflecting on all the things I’ve done and learned over the past three years. It’s hard to believe it’s gone so fast.

As I reflect, I realize that much of college was very different from what I had imagined and what other people had told me.

Nowhere was this more true than my first year of college.

There are a lot of myths floating around out there about your freshman year. Some of them contain truth, but many of them unnecessarily fill first year students with dread. Which sucks, because you’ve got enough to think about as it is.

To help you start your semester a little more blissfully, today’s post will debunk ten common myths about your first year of college. Read More…

Cultivate Creativity to Study Better and Dominate Assignments

What comes to mind when you hear the word “creativity”? A painter toiling away at a canvas into the wee hours of the morning? A composer spending hours on a new piece until it’s perfect? Or maybe an actor bringing an audience to tears with the right word said at just the right time?

What about that final project you have due for your Intro to Anthropology class? I don’t know about you, but if you’d asked me a couple years ago if creativity had anything to do with course work, I probably would have said something like,

“Well, sure, but only if you have a creative major like art, creative writing, music, drama, or dance.”

What I’ve realized lately, however, is that my assumptions were all wrong. Creativity absolutely has a place in your studies, no matter what your major is. To excel at college-level work, you have to think creatively.

That’s why in today’s post I’m going to break down what exactly creativity is, how you can practice it, and how you can apply it to your studies.

Don’t worry: berets are optional.
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