Should You Do Honors College?
College Life |  Source: @amsaaj

Should You Do Honors College?

Just another one of those college decisions to make.

Applying to be a part of Honors College is one major decision college students make. Being apart of your school's Honors College can help you tremendously throughout your college career but there are also drawbacks.

Whatever the case, there are many things to consider before deciding whether or not to be a part of Honors College.

Do You Meet The Entry Requirements?
Every school's Honors College is different, but most require at least a 3.35 GPA and less than 72 college credit hours. There may be slight differences between colleges, but basically, you've got be a relatively good student in terms of academics.

If you're a freshman trying to enter your school's Honors College, factors like your SAT score, your GPA, and a possible essay question come into play when trying to meet the requirements of the Honors College.

Can You Handle The Requirements?
Once you're in Honors College, there are things you've got to do to keep your place in Honors College; earning Honors credit. Honors credit is credit you get for doing things in the Honors College. Things like taking honors courses, studying abroad, doing an honors thesis, etc.

It's important that you make sure that you can handle the requirements that not only regular college demands, but also those that the Honors College demands. Because while Honors College is rewarding, it's also a lot of work.

Do You Think It Will Be Beneficial?
Let's be honest, no one wants to do something that won't help them in some way. So that's why there are perks to being in the Honors College. At my school, those in the Honors College get to register for classes first, get tickets to events, can live in the Honors only dorm, and the Honors College class size is smaller.

Besides these perks, being in your school's Honor College can help you intellectually by stimulating discussions and furthering your thinking. So if you think that the Honors College will benefit you, definitely try for it.

Do You Want To Do It?
This is the most important question to ask before applying for your school's Honors College. Is this something you really want? Ultimately, it will be you in the Honors College fulfilling the requirements and reaping the benefits.

So before you apply, make sure you are wanting to do this for you, and only you. If pressure is coming from outside sources to be a part of the Honors College, don't allow it to make a decision that you aren't fully sure about. Choose to do the Honors College because you want to, not because anyone else wants you to.

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Things To Consider Before Doing Honors

Is it worth it?

Congrats! You've worked your ass off your first three years of college, and you got invited to participate in honors! No sarcasm -- pat yourself on the back for that one because lord knows college can be a stressful, anxiety-inducing four years when it comes to the classroom. Who am I kidding, and the social aspect too.

But when it comes to actually accepting and doing honors senior year... is it worth it? Granted, every department and university has different procedures for honors, but more or less you're inevitably going to be dedicating a serious amount of time to writing a thesis and preparing a defense. Yikes.

Despite having two majors and two sports, I decided to do honors my senior year. While I'm glad I did it and *somehow* survived, there are things that I wish people had told me to consider before I took the plunge.

Things to consider before applying to Honors:

Are you already overcommitted?
I'd say about half the people who did honors in my major were largely there because they're natural overachievers that want to participate, full potential, in pretty much every activity possible. That's great! But when you have a thesis that requires hours and hours of research, you're not going to have that much time to do all your passions.

Are you part-time?
Literally the ONLY reason I was able to complete my thesis was that I was part-time my second semester, freeing up my available time to stay in the library for hours on end.

How important is having a social life?
You laugh, but this is serious! Especially when you get to second semester senior year and you're just READY to throw the towel in.

What's your reason for doing it?
Are you doing it only to get that "Honors" printed on the diploma? Or worse: because your parents said you should? You're gonna have to cut the cord eventually, might as well start with this one. Plus, I've found that having that "Honors" tagged to the front of my degree really hasn't helped at all in the job department.

Are you passionate about your topic?
You will be living and breathing your research topic. In order to not go insane your final year of college, either from boredom, frustration, or a combination of the two, you have to be doing research on something that genuinely interests you. Otherwise, what's the point?

Are you self-disciplined?
When your friends are all rallying around you to go out, complete with shots being shoved directly in your face, are you STRONG ENOUGH TO RESIST?! To say no and stick to your schedule? Because no one will be there to parent and enforce the deadlines every week.

While these sound like a bunch of negatives, and I definitely had a very sleep deprived second semester, I'm so glad I decided to do honors. It's an incredible achievement and self-rewarding in many ways. Plus, you'll come out an expert in your topic, and that's pretty damn cool.

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How to Choose the Right Major for You

I found the right major and it changed my life.

Fall semester is finally here, and for many of you, it's time to pick your major.

Some students enroll with a strict outline of how their college experience is going to be, while others are shape shifting and drifting through it all aimlessly. I can definitely relate to the latter group.

After high school I had no intention of going back to school. I wandered around the U.S. via hitchhiking and bus and jumped from job to job. As much as I loved my Jack Kerouac-inspired life, I quickly learned that without a college degree, my chances of getting stuck in a dead end job I hated were pretty high.

So I trekked back to the East coast and enrolled in school without the faintest idea of what I was doing. I just knew that getting my degree was important.

Eventually I did find the major right for me and it changed my life. Here are a few lessons I learned along the way that just might help you out:

Don't stress.
There is so much weight involved with deciding your field of study. Some people might tell you that it's a decision that will affect the rest of your life and career goals, but that's not quite the case. Data from 2010 found by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York shows that only 27 percent of college grads end up working in a field related to their major. So don't stress yourself out too much.

Do what you love.

Realistically, there is a deadline for when you should declare your major, but don't just settle for whatever. I know it's hard but you have to figure out your strengths, your interests and what you are passionate about in x number of years, then decide on a major that caters to those things.

The classes you'll be required to take will be centered around your field of study, so why study marine biology if you hate fish? You will end up being miserable!

Plan accordingly.
While you're in the process of figuring this all out, get all your gen-ed requirements out of the way early on. You really don't want to waste time and money on a class that won't count for anything down the road. As an extra perk, it's going to be more enjoyable to save the classes you think you will really enjoy for closer to graduation. It's all smooth sailing from there!

Visit clubs.
Make it your mission to visit the club fair. Talk to representatives from each club and see if anything grabs your attention. For me, this was the deciding factor. In the beginning I thought I was going to be an artistic major of some kind. So I visited the life drawing club and even the anime club. Eventually I discovered the writing club and my life changed. I found myself surrounded by like-minded students and the energy was electric. I went on to be an active member and eventually the president of the club.

Picking your major can seem daunting, but remember: don't allow external influences to decide for you or convince you to take a "practical" route. As cheesy as it sounds try to follow your heart.

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Tips for Doing Better in Your Classes This Semester

Cashmoneytrillionaire's guide to classroom success.

Let's face it. Your coarse load in college can be difficultsometimes. Managing the workload produced by four classes sounds much easier than it actually is.

Many times during my freshman year, I foundmyself struggling to not feel overwhelmed just because of all the work I had to do. There is a lot of required reading at thecollege level, and reading 100 pages in two or less days is expected. There are also papers, projects, midterms andfinals.

After thinking back on the past year, I have made some suggestions thatshould help you manage the academic side of college.

1. Go to class!
This seems like a no-brainer, but you wouldbe surprised at how many people skip classes. If you go to class, you know what is going on and professors often giveparticipation points, which will impact your final grade in the class.

2. Introduce yourself to the professor.
If you takethe few minutes needed to introduce yourself after class, it will pay off. The teacher will be able to put your face toyour name on his list of students, and this will not hurt you.

3. Complete assignments on time.
Most professors take off big points for everyday an assignment is late, and this can really be damaging to your grade. Try your best to turn your work in on the duedate.

4. Make a friend in the class.
It always helps to have a friend inclass. You can get missed notes, study together or just talk about the weirdos who are also taking the course.

5. Get extra help when you need it.
This is probably the most important suggestion. Don't let situations snowball into biggersituations. If you are stuck onsomething, ask the professor. He or shewill be more than happy to help you, but if for some reason this is not thecase, most colleges have help centers, advisors, tutors and academic supportoffices. All these things are there justto help you and you should take advantage of this help.

If you follow the abovesuggestions, I promise your academic life will be much easier. I may not have a 4.0, but I know how to keepon top of my course load and manage the work. And if you get the academics under control, you will enjoy the socialside of college a lot more, and you won't have to drop out before you graduate.

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5 Things That Will And Won't Determine Your Success

It's not what you'd think.

By the time we get to college, we've spent 18-plus years being told what to do in order to become successful. We've had the steps laid out for us, and we've been given advice from friends, family members, teachers, just about everyone.

It can feel a little overwhelming to figure out what's actually useful. So I've sorted through all the B.S. to lay out the five things that actually will benefit you, just to help make the future seem a little less scary.

1. Taking the hardest classes you can vs. taking classes that actually interest you.
I'm not sure where people got the idea that taking the hardest classes you possibly can is somehow beneficial, but it's just not true. Employers, for the most part, do not care at all if you took the hardest level available in every course or if you took a full 18 credit hours every semester.

They really just care that you have a course selection that lines up with the position they're hiring for, and that you have a GPA that doesn't make them wonder what you spent the last four years doing. All that filling your schedule up with 300-400 level courses is going to do is ruin your mental health and your ability to enjoy college to its fullest.

Yes classes are important, yes challenging yourself is beneficial, and yes you are here to learn. But you're also here to get the most out of your education. If you're a finance major but love music, take a music theory class. Hell, I'm a fashion major and I've now taken two hip-hop history/theory classes. Do they really do anything directly for my degree?

No. But I absolutely love taking them; and I genuinely think the things I learned could be useful to me someday.

2. Joining as many clubs and activities as you can vs. participating in things that actually benefit you.
I'm sure most of us have either experienced this ourselves or witnessed it firsthand with one of our friends. There is absolutely nothing more stressful than overwhelming yourself with one too many commitments. We've tricked ourselves into thinking that the longer the list, the more impressive the resume. Not always true.

Your future success doesn't rely on how many clubs and teams and committees you joined in college. It matters what the things you joined or did were. If you're a fashion major, being the president of your school's retail club would be really impressive. If you want to go into PR, joining the PR committee for your school's philanthropy event or club would be extremely useful. It's not how much you do, but what you do.

3. Worrying about maintaining a perfect 4.0 vs. interning early.
If maintaining a 4.0 GPA is not too much extra work for you, than you, my friend are a seriously blessed individual. For most of us, a 4.0 is maybe shooting a little too high. I'm not going to tell you that your GPA doesn't matter, because that's a lie and something I absolutely do not want to put into your head.

All I'm saying is that if your GPA is a little lower than you'd like (*cough* mine *cough*), there are a lot of other things that can balance that out.

Interning is probably the No. 1 thing that can balance out a less-than-perfect GPA. The earlier you can start, the better off you are. I'm talking as early as freshman year. A lot of people wait until junior or even senior year to start thinking about it and that can really screw you over.

Plenty of people intern the summer after their junior year, that's routine. What really sets you apart is being able to graduate and go into the real world with three or more internships on your resume. If you live somewhere that allows you to intern during the school year that number could be as high as six.

Sure, you can learn a lot in a classroom, but nothing will ever top how much you can learn by working and gaining experience directly in your field.

4. Collecting as many connections as you can vs. building a few really solid connections.
Congrats, you have 300 connections on LinkedIn. Very impressive, but how many of those people would you actually feel comfortable reaching out to?

Throughout our professional careers we meet a lot of people and get a lot of business cards. "Let me know if you ever need anything'" starts to go in one ear and out the other; and I hate to break it to you, most of the people who say it are assuming you'll never even reach out.

So rather than seeing how many people you can meet in your industry, try to make a few super solid connections that you can actually rely on. I'd say I can count on one hand the amount of really reliable and helpful connections I have and they've done more for me than I could ever imagine. You don't need to know a million people to find success. You just need to know the right ones.

5. Only taking classes focused on your field vs. exploring classes outside your area of study.
Your degree already has the classes you need built into it. Taking a few extra classes absolutely never hurt anyone, but focusing solely on one topic can be boring, no matter how interested you are in the topic.

Take classes that spark your interest. I've said it 1,000 times, but having a wide range of knowledge on interesting topics is an extremely beneficial and attractive trait. Also try to take classes that have real world applications, like a personal finance class or a fitness class.

Try to better yourself through your education and make the most of the time you've got in school.

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Why You Shouldn't Worry So Much About Being an Honors Student

It's basically just a sticker on your diploma.

I understand the feeling of wanting never-ending success in college. So when I was accepted into the honors college at my university, I felt like I had a new but also unwanted goal to complete.

It seemed like a lot of stress, but I kept telling myself that I had to do it because I wanted my peers to know I was an honors student. All I had to do was take an extra three to five hours worth of honor credits every semester before graduating. Simple enough right? Wrong. These are no ordinary courses. The difficulty was rising and so was my stress.

I'm a nursing major and having to add an extra class or two onto an already ridiculous course load is just completely unnecessary in my eyes. But the urge to do as much as possible while in college lingered, and I decided I didn't want to give up on being an honors student just yet.

But why did I care so much? Who would actually notice a different colored cord draped around my neck at graduation, paired with a small "honors" sticker pasted onto a diploma that no one even sees on the day of graduation? My grandma, of course cares. But bless her heart, she wouldn't understand how hard that even was to achieve.

What matters most should be the degree that you're trying to get in the field of study you chose. If you think about it, your future employer won't give a damn about the added work you put into those boring renaissance arts and history of the flute classes, because they clearly didn't prepare you for what you're about to be doing.

You assume you have to fight so hard for every possible honor and distinction, but step back and realize how it could possibly make you more fit to do your job that you are essentially getting your degree for.

I gave up the expectation I had for myself to be this so-called honors student. Because "honors" means all of that extra work (in which you must get no lower than a B in), and I didn't need that distraction or pressure. It won't make me a better nurse.

Those courses actually have no relevance to my major, or anything really. I decided that I don't need to waste time analyzing them just to be considered an honors student. My mom thinks I'm an honors student even when I'm not. I'll be okay, and so will you if you choose to not become an honors student.