Sydney Nolan

More by Sydney Nolan

10 Ways to Reduce Stress & Stay Motivated

4/10/2014

After spring break, summer feels so close, you can practically taste it! Too bad there are still a lot of important things left to do before the semester finishes. Whether you’re stressed about a big paper or exam standing between you and three months of freedom or you’re just having trouble focusing in general, check out some of the suggestions below to combat stress and study frustration the healthy way, no caffeine or all-nighters required!

1. Get outdoors

Don’t fight the elements – take advantage of them! When temperatures start to rise and it’s absolutely gorgeous out, move your study space outdoors.

Alexandra Churchill, a collegiette from the University of New Hampshire, says, “It helps me to take my books outside! If you can bring your work out into the open sunlight with you, you can't easily say that you didn't get to enjoy the weather!”

According to a study published on the Livestrong site, exposure to sun can increase levels of melatonin, a chemical in your brain that plays an important role in keeping serotonin, another brain chemical in check. According to the study, increased levels of serotonin can boost your mood and increase happiness!

Find a comfy spot where you can enjoy the nice weather and then hit the books. Rather than moping indoors, multi-task and enjoy beautiful temperatures while keeping your grades up.

2. Keep eating healthy

3 Easy Steps to Deal With a Bad Grade

2/21/2014

Yikes! You just got back that history test you spent all last week cramming for, and your grade is NOT what you expected – not even close. How’s a pre-collegiette supposed to keep her parents from freaking, prevent her grades from tanking for the semester, and manage all the other stresses in her life? Try managing your next grade freak-out with these three easy steps guaranteed to help you deal with and move on from any grade shocker.

First, don’t panic. Stop and think about what you’ve just received.

It’s super, super hard, but in order to handle a grade you’re not so happy with, it’s important to step away from the situation for a while. “When I get a bad grade, I quickly look at the grade and then put the assignment away. Reading through the red marks on my paper only makes me feel worse, so I save that for later when I recover from that heart-dropping feeling of seeing my grade,” says Julia, who recently graduated from HP Baldwin High School. Anywhere from ten minutes to a day or two works as a cooling off period depending on how you feel about handling the situation. Emotions in check? Go for it. Still steaming? Probably better to wait at least a period or two. (Of course, the exception to this comes when then end of the semester is looming and you need to deal with things ASAP to make sure grades are correct on a transcript or report card.)

Dropping Out of a Sorority: The Pros & Cons

1/18/2014

A sorority sounded like a great idea when you were a freshman—you were promised a group of girls who would clue you into campus and love and support you like a sister, hooking you up with great information about where to go, where to find great dates, how to participate in awesome campus traditions, and providing you with tons of other benefits. By sophomore, junior, or senior year, however, sorority life can start seeming a little less great. If you’re no longer feeling the “Alpha Phi love” or “Phi Beta warm-fuzzies,” check out some of the pros and cons of disaffiliating from or leaving your sorority.

Pro: You’ll have more flexibility.

Think about a typical week’s worth of sorority activities. Now think about what your schedule would look like without weekly chapter meetings, charity events, dinner hours, study sessions, and weekend events. Disaffiliating from your sorority could lead to more free time to spend on new things, such as participating in other clubs and activities, volunteering on your own, spending more time hitting the books, hitting the gym, or simply allowing you to have a little more “me time.” Now that you’ve been in school for a while, you also no longer need the plus of having tons of girls around to show you the ins and outs of campus and nightlife in your college town. In fact, you might even have more fun exploring different things in and around campus on your own instead of with a huge group of sisters.

Having more free time could be a huge pro, especially if you’re looking to bring your grades up, devote more time to another organization, nab a killer internship to boost your resume, or develop other skills and talents outside of your sorority commitments.

How to Ask for Feedback After You Didn’t Get the Job

1/3/2014

It can be extremely frustrating to apply for job after job or internship after internship and never land the position. When you’re stuck in a process that’s often a bit complex and hard to understand at times, feedback becomes even more important, especially if you’re somehow deemed unfit for whatever it is you applied for. It’s not all bad though! Try any of the following to learn how you can turn your next rejection into an awesome opportunity to get valuable feedback on super important things like interview skills, job skills, your resume, and more. 

Ask for feedback soon after you interview.

If you want to know how your interview went, be sure to let whomever it is you just spoke with know you’re interested in hearing how the interview went from their perspective, and value any input they can give you on your interview skills and job readiness. Most career experts agree that it’s a bit inappropriate to directly ask someone what went well and what needs improving right after you’ve interviewed, most also agree that asking for feedback fairly soon (usually within 24 hours) after you’ve received a final decision is fine, as long as you go about it politiely.

Be clear about what you’re looking for in terms of feedback.

How to Overcome College Rejection in 4 Easy Steps

12/27/2013

Rejection sucks. Whether it’s a guy, friend, or college telling you “no,” it’s bound to sting at least a little bit. College rejections in particular can be especially painful, especially if you’ve just gotten turned down from your dream university or college. While you can’t control a school’s decision, you can control how you handle it in four easy steps.  

Step one: Give yourself time to wallow.

Remember that episode of Gilmore Girls where Rory refuses to spend the day wallowing after her first break-up with Dean, but breaks down anyways at a point? The same will happen if you refuse to acknowledge or accept the reality of the admissions office’s decision.

“Give yourself a day or two to mourn, then be ready to move on,” advises Susan Sykes, owner of SS Advising, a private college counseling service. Spend a day or two trying to move on or focusing on other things, while still allowing yourself to feel a little sad or regretful about the decision. If you’re having a hard time getting over a particular rejection, think about talking it over with a close friend or parent, writing or blogging about it, or trying one of these other ways to deal.

7 Love Lessons We Learned From ‘Love Actually’

12/10/2013

It should be a rule in every college or university’s handbook: During the holiday season, every collegiette must watch Love Actually at least once during their time at school. (Haven’t seen it yet? It’s on Netflix. Go! Now! Then come back and read this article.) This movie has it all. Seriously, with nine different plotlines, there’s undoubtedly at least one couple you’ll connect with. Plus, it’s just a great, feel-good way to launch you into the holiday spirit when you’re looking for the perfect way to procrastinate on studying for finals. To help you justify this “learning experience,” check out these seven love lessons all viewers can pick up on after watching Love Actually.

Lesson #1: Love triangles are messy.

Maybe the saddest story in all of Love Actually is the Juliet/Peter/Mark love triangle. (This one could also be the creepiest. Videotaping your BFF’s wedding when you’re crazy about his bride? Not the world’s best decision…) No matter how you look at it, it’s a messy situation.

5 Study Habits to Adopt Now to Prepare for College

11/29/2013

College classes by no means are scary experiences—if you’re prepared.  Preparing properly for class to maximize your time spent in the classroom is huge when it comes to doing well academically, regardless of where you decide to attend school. However, you don’t need to wait until you’re actually registered for all those love-em-or-hate-em freshmen classes to start studying like the smart collegiette you’re bound to be! Check out the following five keys to success in a college class that you can start doing while you’re still hitting the high school books.

1. Learn to motivate yourself. 

The problem:

Woohoo! College means you’re on your own in a lot of ways, including deciding how much you want to prepare for class in the first place, when you complete work outside of class and how well you do on exams, tests and quizzes. But that safety net of parents, teachers and other people keeping you on track and helping you if you start struggling? It probably won’t follow you to college.

The solution:

Get in the habit of creating study routines and sticking to them. That’s not to say you have to follow the same pattern every day, but having a general idea of when things need to get done and giving yourself the optimal time to finish them in is a great idea. Creating your own routine also means you’re taking the first step in holding yourself accountable—you’re taking a look at what responsibilities you have as well as paying attention to deadlines and setting time aside to work on tasks. Congrats, you’re working on becoming your own safety net!

7 Frustrating Parts of the College Application Process & How to Deal with Them

11/27/2013

Life is frustrating. It’s one of the first things we learn and is a fact that applies to almost everything we do, including applying for college. Her Campus highlighted some of the most frustrating aspects of applying to college and some easy, simple solutions to put your frustrations to rest!

There are so many schools, but so little time!

The frustration: With more brochures piling up in your mailbox day after day, it’s easy to get attracted to way more schools than you’ll ever be able to apply to. These shiny brochures make many a school look tempting, but it’s important to narrow your focus on and spend time creating a quality admissions package on universities and colleges you could actually see yourself at, and represent a good mix of reach, target, and safety schools.

The fix: Narrowing your focus can be hard, but luckily, there are several easy ways to get started. First, visit potential universities and colleges during junior and senior year, so you can get a sense of what campus life is like and know if it’s somewhere you could honestly see yourself enjoying and learning at. Sarah Wiszniak, a senior at Plainville High School describes, “I began compiling a list of schools that fit my criteria... As time went on, I took colleges off and then expanded my list again and then took more off and then added more... The summer before junior year I found my number one school.”

Mono: What You Need to Know

11/14/2013

You’ve had a sore throat for days, and no matter how many glasses of orange juice you’ve swigged down in the caf, it’s just not going away. You’re also super tired, and just don’t have the energy lately to make it through class and hang out with your friends. What gives? If you’re dealing with symptoms like this, you could be dealing with mono, a super common illness that pops up on college campuses every year. Luckily, HC has you covered with this complete guide to treating, diagnosing, curing, and preventing mono!

What is mono exactly?

Mono is actually short for mononucleosis, an infection caused by something called the Epstein-Barr virus. Since mono is a viral disease, it’s an illness your body has to fight off on its own, similar to a cold. Mono is not something that can be killed off by drugs or other forms of medicine alone. “Mono is a virus, so your body knows how to get rid of it on its own. Medication or treatments can't make it go away any faster,” says Stephanie Walters, the medical director of Macalester College’s Health and Wellness Center. “Likely many people have had mono at some point in their lives but don't realize it.” On the plus side, once you’ve had it and have been exposed to it, your body builds up antibodies, meaning your chances of getting sick with mono again are slim to none!  Since mono is a virus though, it’s also possible to be a carrier and not feel affected. In other words, if you’ve been around a roommate, friend, or boyfriend who’s been officially diagnosed with mono, there could be a chance that you have it too even if you have yet to feel symptoms.

4 Things Your Ex-Boyfriend Will Never Tell You

11/11/2013

Someone really needs to invent a gadget, gizmo or, at the very least, a smartphone app that can help a collegiette pry into one of the most mysterious organs known to man: the brain of a college guy. Seriously, could they be any more confusing? Whether it’s the beginning, middle or end of a relationship, it’s definitely not helpful when your man is super guarded and closed up about what’s going on in his gorgeous head! To help you decode what’s going on, HC surveyed several college guys to find out what they’ll never spill after one of the most delicate parts of a relationship with any guy: a breakup.  

1. “I should’ve asked for more space.”

We’ve all seen those couples who seemingly spend every waking moment together. What we don’t often see is how so much togetherness can wear on a relationship—and how much a guy may need some space.

“I started dating a girl a couple months into a hook-up,” says Andy*, a sophomore at the University of Minnesota. “I knew after a month or two I didn’t really want the relationship, but didn’t tell her that. When she started talking about renting an apartment together in the fall, I decided to break things off.”