News Articles About College Culture

Are you already involved on your campus? Take it a step further by becoming a respected individual in your organization(s) – there are so many opportunities for you to show people you are just another face walking the campus! Here are some tips on how to be seen as a student leader:

Run for Office in an Organization. Choose that one organization that you absolutely adore and run for a position. Don’t be scared about the extra responsibilities: The more in tuned you are with the mission and goals of the organization, the less it will feel like work. As an officer, people will see YOU when they think about the organization...let your love and pride be shown!

Join Your School’s SGA. The Student Government Association is a great way to get your feet wet in student leadership. Through the SGA, students can let their voices be heard about campus events, extracurricular activities and policies so if you feel like you have ideas that need some shine, this is the perfect place to bring them. You could even run for a SGA office. (Bonus: Most schools have scholarships for their SGA officers.)

Become a Peer Educator, Campus Ambassador or Student Life Worker. I am sure you have seen such people working around your campus, especially during freshman year. Here at JSU, we have peer educators and campus ambassadors that conduct activities like giving campus tours, speaking in freshman orientation class and promoting campus safety. If your campus has something similar, this is an amazing way to get your face seen and gain respect from your peers. There are also student life workers that help in the office and orientation leaders that run freshman orientation during the summer. Many of these are paid positions as well so you can earn money as you give back to your campus.

Chelsea Slaughter is a senior at Jacksonville State University majoring in communications major (public relations concentration) and minoring in art. She serves as a resident assistant on campus, serves as treasurer in the Public Relations Organization and is an active member in W.I.S.E., NAACP and Omicron Delta Kappa Honors Leadership Society. She aims to work in the entertainment industry post-graduation and is well on her way thanks to an internship with a digital marketer to several music artists. Chelsea strives to achieve all of her goals and motivate others along the way.

How to Become a Student Leader

September 6, 2013
by Chelsea Slaughter
Are you already involved on your campus? Take it a step further by becoming a respected individual in your organization(s) – there are so many opportunities for you to show people you are just
Living on campus is almost a necessary rite of passage for the college freshman. “Don’t miss out on the full college experience!” you’re warned, enticed with stories of spacious dorms, fantastic parties and few rules. Sure, living in the dorms can be fun, exciting and new but it also has it downsides: expensive room and board fees, a mandatory meal plan with food usually not worth the cost, lack of privacy or the risk of a bad roommate. Being a commuter student, on the other hand, isn’t as difficult as it seems: Your school probably has commuter lockers if you have a lot of books, packing a lunch is cheap and quick and carpooling is an efficient way to travel with friends.

Becoming a Commuter Student

September 5, 2013
by Mary Steffenhagen
Living on campus is almost a necessary rite of passage for the college freshman. “Don’t miss out on the full college experience!” you’re warned, enticed with stories of spacious dorms, fantastic
As an incoming college student, you’ve probably heard the term “freshman experience” a million times by now. Well, think of residence halls as feeding grounds for memories and experiences you can gain outside of the college classrooms: The social atmosphere of residence halls is the most basic way to build college connections and relationships and staying on campus during freshman year is essential to receiving that crash course to how life really is on a college campus.

What Do I Get Out of It? In residence halls, you bond with others living in your shared space, you gain your independence when you remain on your own for weeks on end and you really get to integrate yourself into your school's community. 

But I Miss My Mom! College is a time for new challenges and standing on your own two feet so if you’re feeling homesick, I always advise new college students to tough it out for just a little bit longer. Feel free to call Mom and Dad whenever you'd like and definitely look forward to seeing them at the next holiday but remember that you're paying for every cent that dorm room has to offer. 

I Don’t Have That Kind of Money! If you can’t afford to live on campus, try to get involved in clubs and make connections in your classes. Getting to know other on-campus students will give you the opportunity to hang out with friends in the residence halls, even if it IS only as a guest. Staying involved on campus can make up for the lack of connection you’d make if you were living with your peers. If you make the effort, you won’t miss out on that traditional “freshman experience” but similar to many other aspects of college, you will get out of it what you put in it.

How Do I Determine What's Best for Me? If living at school is just too much for you to handle, maybe commuting would be a better fit for your needs...but don't give up on the dorm experience immediately! It may not be for everyone but dealing with other people in close quarters is a good skill to have for when the “real world” comes creeping around the corner.

Abby Egan is currently a junior at MCLA in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts, where she is an English Communications major with a concentration in writing and a minor in philosophy. Abby hopes to find work at a publishing company after college and someday publish some of her own work. In her spare time, Abby likes to drink copious amounts of coffee, spend all her money on adorable shoes and blog into the wee hours of the night.

Your Guide to On-Campus Living

September 4, 2013
by Abby Egan
As an incoming college student, you’ve probably heard the term “freshman experience” a million times by now. Well, think of residence halls as feeding grounds for memories and experiences you can
With the number of single-sex colleges in the nation dwindling, it can be rare to hear someone say that they attend a college for women but for me, it is something that I say with pride. Although some people have perceptions that single-sex institutions take away from one’s college experience, I personally believe that it has made mine unforgettable.

Why Single-Sex Colleges are Worth Considering

September 3, 2013
by Melissa Garrett
With the number of single-sex colleges in the nation dwindling, it can be rare to hear someone say that they attend a college for women but for me, it is something that I say with pride. Although
“When I graduate, where will I work?”
“What if I can’t find a job?”
“What if no one will hire me because I lack experience?”
“Did I pick the wrong major?”
“Should I attend graduate school?”
“Is graduate school a waste of time and money?”

The Quarter-Life Crisis Epidemic

September 2, 2013
by Carly Gerber
“When I graduate, where will I work?” “What if I can’t find a job?” “What if no one will hire me because I lack experience?” “Did I pick the wrong major?” “Should I attend graduate school?” “Is
Starting off in a new place with new people can be scary. As young people, we tend to flock together in “cliques” or groups we feel most comfortable with and the majority of the time, the members of our groups share many of the same qualities. It's perfectly fine to have friends but it’s important not to lose your own identity.

Who Am I Really?

August 29, 2013
by Chelsea Slaughter
Creating Your Own Identity on Campus
Resident assistants. So you’ve seen them around campus and you admire how much they help out their fellow students. You’ve seen how much everybody loves them and what a positive impact they have on your university. Are you thinking of becoming a resident assistant yourself? As a new RA, I honestly expected it to be a lot less challenging than it has already proven to be but rather than explaining every last detail, I can tell you that there are some major dos and don’ts for the job:

Do come up with some great ideas for your residents. Do you want to plan a fun event or activity? The power is in your hands!
Don’t dominate everything. It is important to work with your co-RAs when planning events or deciding on new residence hall policies.
Do get excited! Being an RA is not only a rewarding experience but it is also a great way to get to know a lot of people.
Don’t expect it to be easy. RAs have to go through a lot of training and come back to campus earlier than most students.
Do put your residents first. They will be coming to you with some pretty intense problems and you should be willing to help them out whenever they need it.  
Don’t abuse your schoolwork. Although your job is a super important duty, learn to balance your time in such a way that your academic performance will not suffer.
Do be sure to alert your residents if things are getting out of hand. Nobody wants a messy kitchen or bathroom and chances are that your residents will blame you for not calling a hall meeting.
Don’t be bossy. Your residents won't feel comfortable coming to you for advice if they’re afraid that you will snap at them.

Most importantly, you should never get involved in something simply for the popularity aspect. If being an RA sounds like something you would be really dedicated to, go for it! It may be a lot of work but if you enjoy helping people, you will probably have a lot of fun being a resident assistant at your university!

What to Expect as a Resident Assistant

August 27, 2013
by Melissa Garrett
Resident assistants. So you’ve seen them around campus and you admire how much they help out their fellow students. You’ve seen how much everybody loves them and what a positive impact they have on
If you’ve been in any career development class or seminar, I’m sure you’ve heard of LinkedIn. It’s a fantastic networking tool and, if used properly, can lead to some pretty great opportunities...but you’ve got to know how to use it and keep it up to date.

Putting Your Best Face Forward on LinkedIn

August 22, 2013
by Mike Sheffey
If you’ve been in any career development class or seminar, I’m sure you’ve heard of LinkedIn. It’s a fantastic networking tool and, if used properly, can lead to some pretty great opportunities...but
College libraries are often misunderstood and get very little spotlight in the student world. Many students miss the fact that the college library isn't just a place to study – it's also a place to learn. Here’s how to get to know your school’s library.

Getting to Know Your College Library

August 21, 2013
by Veronica Gonzalez
College libraries are often misunderstood and get very little spotlight in the student world. Many students miss the fact that the college library isn't just a place to study – it's also a place to
No matter who you were or what you were known for in high school, college is a fresh start for all students. With a new academic year upon us (already?!), here are some tips for incoming freshmen on how to make their first year a great one:

Be a self-advocate. Your university has all the resources you need to help find internships, jobs, organizations and clubs to get involved with. For example, there are writing centers and tutors that want to help students but it’s up to the students to find the resources they need.

Be a student first. It’s important to attend class as much as possible and to create healthy relationships with your professors. If you’re applying for jobs or internships that need letters of recommendation, your professors will be happy to vouch for you if they know you and your work ethic. For students going to universities with large lecture-style classes, it’s still possible to create a relationship with your professors by sitting in the front and asking questions or going to office hours.

Start interning as soon as possible. Many students take classes while they have an internship so talk to a career counselor on your campus to learn how you can find an internship. If you don’t want to be overwhelmed during the school year, apply for an internship for holiday break or over the summer. Internship experience on your resume will show employers that you’re a hard worker and have dedication, which are qualities they want in future employees.

Pick your posse carefully. During my college orientation, one faculty member uttered that exact sentence. Once I got over the fact he used the word “posse”, I realized his advice is true: Surround yourself with people that make you a better person – you never know how meeting one person can positively impact your entire life so always be friendly and welcoming.

Do you have any advice for incoming college freshmen?

Advice for Incoming Freshman

August 20, 2013
by Carly Gerber
No matter who you were or what you were known for in high school, college is a fresh start for all students. With a new academic year upon us (already?!), here are some tips for incoming freshmen on
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