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The Beginner’s Guide to Professional Communication

We’ve written a lot on this blog about how to perfect your writing in the classroom. Whether it’s how to write better papers, how to write papers more efficiently, or how to do the research behind the papers, we’ve got it covered. One area we haven’t touched, however, is the writing you need to do outside the classroom. And no, I’m not talking about your Tinder profile or Twitter bio. I’m talking about professional communication.

If you’re in your first couple years of college, the professional world may seem a long way off  But it will be here sooner than you know it, especially since you’re going to follow our guides and land a killer internship, summer job, or freelance gig before most of your classmates have even written their first resume.
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How Elon Musk Gets So Much Done: 5 Productivity Lessons

For quite a while now, I’ve been fascinated by Elon Musk’s (as well as his various teams’) ability to accomplish incredibly difficult things – often on a ridiculous schedule.

Love him or hate him, it’s hard to deny that Musk is a pretty productive guy. And, as someone who loves digging into the habits of successful, productive people, I recently started to wonder:

What are the habits, practices, and mindsets that drive Elon Musk’s ability to get things done?

Or, in other words – what aspects of the way that Musk works and thinks can we adapt in order to improve our own level of productivity? Read More…

Attending a Liberal Arts University: Worth It?

If you’ve ever taken a college tour, you’ve probably heard a line similar to this:

“Our college will change your life. It will build habits of mind that will stick with you forever. You’ll get individual attention unlike anywhere else. When you graduate, you won’t just be a student – you’ll be a scholar.”

These are just a few of the promises that small, private liberal arts colleges use to sell students on attending. The implication is that colleges like this are worth the hefty price tag, since you can get things unavailable at large state universities.

But do these schools really live up to all the hype? Are you any better off at them than at a state university? Most of all, is it worth the extra money?
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How to Write High-Quality Papers and Essays More Quickly

I’m not gonna lie: writing papers can suck. Even as someone who basically writes papers for a living these days (like this article), I still viewed every college paper with a tinge of dread.

After all, writing a paper isn’t like working math problems or reading a chapter of a book. As frustrating as those activities can be, they always seemed more finite than the monumental task of “writing a paper.” You can’t just open the book and start working: you have to brainstorm, research, outline, draft, edit, and add those pesky citations.

As I moved through college, however, I developed a system for cranking out papers in record time. This let me spend more time on things that I enjoyed, such as writing for this blog and taking long walks through the woods. Today, I’m going to share this process so that you too can write papers more quickly (without a decrease in the quality of your writing). Read More…

The T-Shaped Person: Building Deep Expertise AND a Wide Knowledge Base

I dunno about you, but I’ve never been content just having one interest. I’ve always dabbled in lots of things. Over the years, these things have ranged from swimming to drawing to 3D modeling to rock climbing to essay writing to online business (to name just a few). Throughout all of that, however, writing remained my focus, the thing that I would tell people I was “good at.”

What’s more, I realized that the people I admire were also, generally, into lots of different things, even while specializing in a particular area. Take Henry David Thoreau, for example. People remember him for his writings on nature (Walden) and politics (Civil Disobedience), but the dude was into history, biology, poetry, botany, travel, land surveying, and more.

It wasn’t until recently, however, that I learned there was a name for this phenomenon. I first came across it in an on the Buffer blog, and I’ve since seen it all across the internet (an example of the priming effect in action). What is this magical term? It’s called the T-shaped person, and I think it’s one of the most powerful concepts for anyone who wants to build a diverse skill set while still having valuable specialization. Read More…

Use the Dreyfus Model to Learn New Skills

If you read College Info Geek, I assume that you’re not interested in remaining static. You want to progress and improve yourself. Self-improvement can take a lot of forms, including getting up earlier and beating procrastination. But one of the most powerful forms of self-improvement, in my experience, is learning new skills.

Unfortunately, the process of learning new skills isn’t always clear. It’s easy to Google “learn yoga” or “learn to play the guitar”, but this sort of content can only take you so far. What you need is, and what I’d been searching for a long time, is an approach to keep you going once you get past the early stages of learning. I’m excited to report that I recently found such an approach, and I’m going to share it with you in today’s article. Read More…

What’s In My Backpack: My 2017 Gear and EDC

A couple of years ago I did one of those What’s In My Backpack videos that all the kids seem to be doing these days.

And despite the fact that my backpack didn’t contain anything truly exciting, like a gateway to a pocket dimension filled with talking hot dogs, or disco ball gloves, people seemed to enjoy it anyway.

Given the response that article received, I figured it was high time to take a renewed look at the gear I’m carrying on a daily basis. Read More…

Why You’re Tired All the Time: How to Have All-Day Energy

You and I both know that the one difference between you and people like J.K. Rowling and Elon Musk isn’t your smarts, isn’t your motivation, and isn’t even your work ethic.

The only difference between you and them is that you’re constantly tired, right? If not for that one teensy little difference, you’d easily be able to crank out a couple chapters of the next great american novel each morning before heading out to fight crime. And lesser tasks – like studying for exams and not subsisting entirely off of Totino’s pizza rolls – would be trivially easy.

But, as it stands, you can’t do those things because you are basically a zombie. Well, maybe not a literal zombie, like in that one episode of Space Dandy – but the similarities are mounting. You feel sluggish, you’ve got bags forming under your eyes, and then there is that inexplicable craving for raw meat…

But, more importantly, you just don’t have the energy to do the things you want to do. So today I want to explore some methods for breaking that cycle of constant tiredness. Read More…

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