Tag Archives: back to school

Warding Off Fresher’s Flu: Making It Through Your First Weeks Of College

Warding Off Fresher’s Flu: Making It Through Your First Weeks Of College

Every year, hundreds of thousands of young people head away from home to study at a college of their choice. This is a brilliant opportunity. If you are heading away soon, you will have all sorts of wonderful things to look forward to: meeting new people, settling into new surroundings, and boosting your social life as you search for new friends. However, there’s one less positive thing that most students have to face: fresher’s flu. Here are a few pieces of information and knowledge that will allow you to deal with fresher’s flu in the best way possible:

What Is Fresher’s Flu?

So, what actually is fresher’s flu? While the term may not be medically recognized, the condition and symptoms are far from a myth. Essentially, “fresher’s flu” is the batch of illnesses that students are exposed to during the first few weeks of university. Symptoms can include shivering, dry fever, coughs, sneezes, headaches, grogginess, and blocked sinuses. This is obviously a less than ideal experience when you find that you are far from home and the comfort of your mom’s homemade chicken noodle soup. So what causes this mysterious condition? When a new term starts at university, people from all over the world arrive with pathogens to which they are immune, but others may not be. Unsurprisingly, the poor diet and alcohol consumption often associated with the first few weeks of college doesn’t help this situation, either.


Don’t worry if you do contract fresher’s flu. It’s not the end of the world. Most symptoms will fade out by themselves over time, but you can make things more comfortable and bearable for yourself in the meantime. Use a sinus treatment such as a nasal decongestant, have plenty of soft tissues at hand, take painkillers for headaches or discomfort, and take things easy until you’re feeling rearing and ready to go again.


While it’s highly likely that you’ll get a little ill at some point or another, you want to minimize your chances of getting and spreading the flu. You definitely don’t want to miss out on any of the exciting events or important lectures going on when you first arrive. A good start is to drink responsibly. Excessive drinking is never a good move, regardless of where you are. Remember to eat a healthy diet. Even if you aren’t used to preparing meals for yourself, you can still easily consume your recommended fruits and veggies a day at the salad bar in your student center.

Another tip that you might also want to opt for is shaking hands when greeting new people rather than hugging. This contact is less direct, and you are less likely to pick up germs or illnesses this way, especially if you carry a small bottle of hand sanitizer with you and clean your hands regularly. This may also be a good time to set down the ground rules of a shared kitchen or shared bathrooms. Request that people stick to their own crockery, cutlery, and glasses to reduce the spread of the flu blues.

Being aware of potential causes of sickness, how to avoid illness, and how to treat symptoms will ensure that your first few weeks at college are the best and healthiest possible!

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Picking the Perfect Major

Picking the Perfect Major

Picking your major is probably one of the most important decisions that you will make in your younger years because it will have a huge impact on your future career choices when you graduate. However, approximately 20-50 percent of freshmen start their first year in college not knowing what they want to do, which is why we’ve put together these top tips for picking the perfect major:

Think About Your Interests: Whether you’re still in High School and you’re wondering what you want to do with the rest of your life or you’re a parent looking to apply for this scholarship, so that you can improve your career prospects and provide for your family, the first step in choosing your major should be thinking about your interests. After all, most of us would rather do something that we love for the rest of our lives and it is much easier to study and engage with a subject when you genuinely enjoy it.

What Are You Good At? Of course, it also makes a lot of sense to reflect on the things that you’re good at. If you love art, but you really have no aptitude for creating it, you might be better off looking at the skills that you do have, such as a knack for solving math problems or programming computers. That being said, if you truly dream of being an artist, there’s nothing wrong with following your dreams, provided that you know what you are getting yourself into!

Look into Future Career Prospects: This is something that older students tend to be better at, perhaps because they have more life experience, but it is important for students of all ages to think about the courses that they are taking and what kind of jobs it could realistically lead them to. If you want to make lots of money, majoring in a sought after skill such as engineering, law, or medicine will probably serve you better than a degree in communications or art history. But, if you want to work in the media or become the curator of an art gallery, they’ll be great! It’s all about working out what you want, what skills are likely to be sought after in the future, and which major will best help you to get where you want to be after you graduate.


Job Fair Palooza

Take an Introductory Course: If you have a few ideas for a major, but you’re not sure, one of the best ways to work out if a course is going to be the right fit is by taking an introductory course. Most colleges will allow you to try out a major by enrolling in one or more such courses, and many will even give you credit towards your education if you do enroll. This is probably the best way of working out what you do and don’t enjoy and whether you can handle a course or not.

The above tips should help you to work out which major is the perfect fit for you, but if you’re still struggling, make an appointment with an advisor, who will be able to talk you through your options and help you make the right choice for you, whatever that may be.

Featured Image By: Flickr

Bored At Work: What Comes Next?

Bored At Work: What Comes Next?

There comes a point in any working environment where you begin to sense that you need more. A job that once seemed overwhelming in its complexity has become mundane; the challenge has gone and you can go through your daily tasks without batting an eyelid. For awhile, being the master of a job is enjoyable – you know what you need to do and how you need to do it, and that feels good.

Over time, however, it becomes boring. So you find yourself seeking a new challenge. The obvious first instinct is to look for a new job with a new company that offers a brand new challenge:

Is This An Option For You? Whether or not switching jobs is an option for you depends a lot on the role that you are in. There are certain fields where you reach the top relatively quickly. For example, with administration: there is only so far that you can go up that chain. You might be able to move sideways in the company, but there will inevitably be a moment where you reach an end point.

For other occupations, there is always somewhere for you to go. With medicine, for example, even if you move up into supervision, a click to visit 360HealthCareStaffing.com will quickly show you all of the possibilities. Fields like law enforcement, caring services, and those in the media tend to always have an upward curve that you can latch on to.

So first, evaluate if you can progress with the skills that you already have. What you may find at a certain point in your career is that you have reached the top of the tree on the existing knowledge that you have, and then you are faced with an option…


Pixabay Image

Should You Add Training? This is a valuable consideration that should be given some thought, too, – even if your first instinct is to pull away from the idea of going ‘back to school’. While we see the idea of education and training as being something you do before a career, it also has its place for the sake of career progression. It may have been a while since you were in a classroom, but if you’re no longer finding your job satisfying, it might be the best way to change things up.

For example, if you are a nurse and have reached the top of the ladder, then additional training could allow you to be a nurse practitioner. If you work in administration, then learning some tech support skills can be beneficial. These types of in-work qualifications allow you to take your existing knowledge and experience and build on them to craft a new challenge for yourself.

Not only does this have the benefit of giving you the skills that you need to do something different with your career, but it also looks very good on your resume. It shouts out to new employers that you are not the type who is comfortable to sit on their derriere and do nothing, coasting through life in exchange for an easy paycheck. It says: “I want more than this, and what’s more, I have gone through the effort of taking the time required to invest in my future.” It makes you look more dynamic as an employee; someone who is open and receptive.

Speaking of that resume – has it been a while since you updated yours? If so, brush up with some ideas from www.TheBalance.com and ensure that you’re up to the current accepted standards. If it’s been a while since you applied for a job, you need to make sure that you’re right on target, especially with your resume.


Study Up!

What Are The Other Options? There are numerous reasons why you might not feel that moving to a new company or entering training are viable options for you. Family commitments, liking the environment of your current job, or something as simple as knowing the commute and the people at your current job can make it difficult to leave something behind. The best option if this is the case is to look for progression within the company.

Moving up in a company can be a pretty daunting task. It’s one thing to know that you’re good at your job and could do something more advanced, but it’s quite another to say this to the company that you work for. It can feel like you are advertising your dissatisfaction, saying that you are unhappy in your current role. Given that employers tend to like their employees to be reliable, it feels like you are taking a huge chance if you voice the fact you are unsatisfied.

While it’s the dream that workplace politics don’t exist, the reality is that they do. If you are seen to be hankering after change, there is a chance that this will go against you. So to an extent, you have to be careful with how you do this – but not too careful so as to look like you’re not serious about wanting something different. There’s no doubt that it’s a minefield.

If possible, look for opportunities within the company that are not directly related to the department that you work in. If you’re a nurse, rather than looking to advance within your sector, you could look for a move into the research side of hospital life. This means that you have the chance to discuss the need for change without any concerns about insulting anyone in your current position. If this isn’t a possibility, then you have the ultimate weapon in your arsenal: ask for a performance review.

Why A Performance Review? A performance review of your current job and how you do it might sound daunting, but it’s the only tool that you have left. That’s because it’s not specifically a review; it’s a chance for you to ask about progression and let your superiors know this is something that you’re looking for.

Everyone has the right to a performance review, especially if they have been working in a job for some time. Make the request informally, asking that it would be good for you to review things. Not only will you look like a conscientious employee for wanting to ensure that you’re doing your job to the best standards, but it also provides a natural vehicle for you to bring things up in a meeting about the future. You never know, you might not even need to, as in the course of the review they see you are clearly ready for more than you currently have.


Performance review party!

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Furthering Your Education, Your Career, Your Life

Furthering Your Education, Your Career, Your Life

Choosing to further your education can be a daunting task. If you have already started in the world of work and have had somewhat of a gap between the last time you sat in a classroom and where you find yourself today, don’t fear – not much has changed in what you need to do to get you to where you need to be; you still need to knuckle down and put in the effort required, as well as the following steps:

Prepare Yourself: Preparing yourself to go back into a world of learning is something that will take a bit of time. You will need to get yourself focused with a clear conscience and the right attitude to tackle any workload. The reason that quite a lot of people don’t think about furthering their education when they’re making their way through adulthood is the whole host of responsibilities that you’ll inevitably have running alongside. This means all of the washing, cooking, cleaning, and bills that you have to uphold whilst still doing school work, plus all of the other jobs that you have to uphold to keep a house running – especially if you’ve got children. That doesn’t mean that it can’t be done. There are loads of examples of people who have made their way through college or another form of education while still running a successful household.

Get The Materials: There is so much more than a pen and paper that you’ll now need to get yourself through the years that you have committed yourself to. There are must haves such as books, online resources (so you’ll need access to a computer), and other higher-learning materials that you will need to be able to grab a hold of at a moment’s notice to help with essays and other learning projects. Getting the staples such as pens, pencils, and paper will also help, as neolithic as it sounds nowadays! Talk about old school!



Learn The Code: There is a code of conduct set in place in every educational faculty, and it is up to you to upkeep the core values and morals that it is displaying. There can be disastrous consequences to your learning path if you violate the code – you can find more at Duffy Law about the steps that you need to take should that happen. It’s definitely a good thing to learn ahead of time what is required of you in terms of on campus conduct.

Make Friends: Just because you are studying doesn’t mean that this isn’t a chance to make new friends. People are usually on the same course as you because they have at least one common interest: the subject at hand. It’s good to have study buddies with you regardless of what age you are or how independent you feel; discussing and exchanging ideas about what you are educating yourself on is a great method of making your learning deep-rooted rather than superficial and easily forgettable. When you begin to explain to someone what you know and how to do something, you are further teaching yourself and cementing any rough ideas that you had.

Congratulations on beginning your higher education journey. Now get out there and learn, learn, learn!

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Monday Update: Back To School Edition

Monday Update: Back To School Edition

Helloooo everyone and happy Monday! Today marks my first day back on campus at Tri-C for the fall semester and did I mention that it’s my LAST semester?! After this fall, I will be graduated with my Associate of Arts degree! Yay! I will be taking five classes and then I am done, done, DONE and I could not be happier. I will be mighty busy this fall with both of my jobs on top of a full time school schedule but it will be so nice to just power through it all and wind up with a degree at the end of it.

I will try to post as often as I can but just know that if I randomly go MIA for a short while, it is because I am drowning in homework. This fall I will be taking Adolescent Psychology, Bioethics, Astronomy, a course called Ecology, Environment, and Evolution, as well as a lab for that course. Yikes! All of the classes sound interesting enough, though, so there’s that. -_-

My fall guest bloggers series will be coming soon on lifewithlilred so keep your eyes peeled for that as I feature some wonderful bloggers and their favorite things about fall! Now, I will leave you with a little ditty from one of my fave school based flicks, Billy Madison:

^^^ Just beautiful.

So there you have it, this week’s Monday Update: Back To School Edition! Who else is starting up at college soon? How do you keep yourself organized during a busy semester? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. –Sarah

Back To School TJMaxx Haul

Back To School TJMaxx Haul

Heyyy everyone and happy Tuesday! This past Sunday I went back to school shopping for a fabulous new outfit for my first day back at Tri-C and I was very successful!! Check out these cute new finds and then let’s discuss:


  • Sweater, Shrinking Violet
  • Blazer vest, Spacegirlz

TJ’s had tons of adorable fall clothing and I seriously wanted it all! I went shopping with the intention of getting a new pair of black skinnies so I don’t have to wear the same two pairs constantly but I left with two new black tops instead. I’ll have to make a trip to H&M for some skinnies shopping, which I’m so okay with! I’m very happy with both of the items that I got. The Shrinking Violet sweater is going to be perfect as a layering piece or worn alone with some funky jewelry. I plan on wearing it underneath the poncho that I got from Loft (see “Loft Haul” article for more!) and pairing it over a dress with some nice thick tights. I’ve wanted a simple and chic black sweater for ages so I’m really glad I finally found one that’s worthy of being in my closet boutique!

I’ve always loved the idea of blazer vests and my Spacegirlz find couldn’t be better! In the TJ’s fitting room I put the vest over my Shrinking Violet sweater with some black skinnies for good measure. Unfortunately, the jeans fit so weird in the crotch and I just couldn’t deal! Despite the crotch issues, the look was exactly what I wanted for my back to school outfit. It was sharp and edgy but it still looked smart and elegant, so it was the best of both worlds.The way the Spacegirlz vest fit was exquisite as well. It was somewhat loose and hung in a way that was so effortlessly cool and the fact that it’s knee length and sleeveless is an unexpected twist on a classic staple. Needless to say, I’m in love. My All Black Everything back to school outfit will be accessorized with my favorite black Vera Wang lace up wedges, some loud gold jewelry, and a red lip to tie it all together, of course! 😉

So there you have it, my Back To School TJMaxx Haul! What is everyone rocking on their first day of classes? Where is the best place to find some back to school shopping deals? I wanna hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah