Wednesday, March 27, 2013 1:15:00 PM
I’ve been down the post-secondary education path more than once, and I can say with the confidence of first-hand experience that college stress sucks. These days, my shiny transcript, sparkly GPA, and lack of any degree whatsoever only serve to remind me that perfectionism isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and college stress can be a killer. If I could hit “rewind” and give advice to 17-year-old me heading off to university for the first time, I would tell myself a few things. My first piece of advice would be to stop wearing baby pink all the time—Ashley, you are not a toddler. And, given the opportunity, I would make my younger self listen to a few more important things:
Don’t be a Control Freak
One of the biggest keys to combating college stress is to focus on what you can control. This means you also need to identify factors in your life that are beyond your control. Getting caught in the “What if?” cycle can be totally self-defeating.
By accepting a certain level of powerlessness, you can release some of the tension that can build up from trying to control for the uncontrollable. You’d be surprised how much mental energy is eaten up by worrying. My husband loves to tell me, “You worry too much.” (To which my response is usually a dirty look.) But, I have to admit, he’s almost always right (but only on this one issue!). When I focus less on worrying and controlling, I am better able to focus my energy on dealing with the things that are within my power to change.
Tuesday, March 26, 2013 8:47:00 AM
I recently had a conversation with a friend that went from laughing and general catching up to more serious topics: biological clocks, careers, and the seemingly necessary choice between them.
Considering that we are in our late 20s, it's no wonder that our conversation went in this direction. For the majority of our generation, this is the time when the very separate goals of starting a family and having a kick-butt career collide (with the final outcome often being that one gets shelved and collects dust for the foreseeable future).
For some people our age, baby fever hits with the ferocity of a forest fire and causes career goals to go up in smoke. For others, any thoughts of children and marriage are pushed aside and "making it" professionally is what they eat, sleep, and breathe.
Wednesday, March 20, 2013 2:54:00 PM
The world is a scary place sometimes. This is a fact that everyone must learn the hard way at some point in their lives—whether you find yourself terrified by a clown at your 5th birthday party, or you’re in a life-threatening car accident. As a society, we do our best to keep people safe from harm, but ultimately, so much is beyond our control, there is no way to fully shield everyone from trauma. Lately, the news seems to be full of heart-breaking stories involving school violence which could fill anyone who is capable of emotion with paralyzing fear. The question, “What if?” plagues children, teenagers, parents, and college students. For many, this question creates a permanent sense of anxiety for what is unknown and beyond their control.
Thursday, March 14, 2013 2:37:00 PM
Picture this: you’re sitting in class. Your instructor is droning on about statistical inferences and research methods in a painfully nasal and monotone voice. You *need* to know this stuff for your midterm, and it’s taking all of your willpower to pay attention to what he is saying. Suddenly, in the row ahead of you, the hopeful glimmer of a laptop screen catches your eye. What’s that? Your classmate is browsing photos of kittens on Reddit? And just like that, you’re attention is shifted from data analysis to “d’awwwwww!”
Or maybe that’s just me.
Before you’re too quick to tell me I’m the only one with the attention-span of a fruit fly, I’m compelled to point out that research has now shown I’m in good company. Ontario’s York University published a study this month in Computers & Education, in which they demonstrate that laptop multitasking has a negative effect on learning and comprehension—not only for the computer user, but also for nearby peers.
Wednesday, March 13, 2013 2:38:00 PM
Military involvement has to be one of the most controversial topics that can come up in conversation between two people. And federal spending on the military is every taxpayer’s business. Everyone wants to feel that their hard-earned money is going toward programs they support—but this isn’t possible within the constraints of a huge, diverse population. Right-wing conservatives’ tax dollars will inevitably contribute to sex education, and left-wing liberals’ money will ultimately be put into engineering drones.
One thing most people can agree on is that when young men and women sign on to potentially risk their lives for the security of the nation, they should be supported by the government. Up until recently, tuition assistance has been available for members of the military who want to pursue post-secondary education. However, the broad budget cuts that are currently being administered by the U.S. government under the 2013 “sequestration” have come down hard on military tuition assistance. So far, the Tuition Assistance program has been indefinitely suspended for members of the Army and the Marine Corps. This means that new requests for financial aid will not be available to soldiers and Marines who want to go to trade school, college, or university. Thankfully, those who are already enrolled in school and receiving tuition assistance will be exempt.
Wednesday, March 06, 2013 11:59:00 AM
You don't trust your abilities. You worry you have no talent. You fear that, any day now, you'll be exposed as a fraud. A phony. A fake. An idol made of wax—soon to melt into a formless blob. A wax amoeba.
You're not alone.
I feel like this almost every day. It's not because I'm actually trying to con anyone. It's because I experience a lot of self-doubt despite a track record of personal and professional accomplishments.
Yet, I push on. I don't want to become that blob.
("Dude needs help," I hear you saying.)
Look, we all want self-esteem. We want to feel good about ourselves. We want to feel worthy. Heck, today's college students cite self-esteem as the thing they want most—more than sex or money.
Thursday, February 28, 2013 3:29:00 PM
Picture a stereotypical “frat boy.” Is he self-obsessed, macho, and likes to spend his spare time fantasizing about modeling for Abercrombie and Fitch? That’s what I imagine. But, apparently, the times have changed, and there’s a reason why stereotypes are considered a bad thing.
Members of Emerson College’s Phi Alpha Tau fraternity chapter have come together to campaign for funds to cover the cost of female-to-male top surgery for their transgender friend, Donnie Collins. I was happily shocked to hear that a fraternity is not only hoping to welcome a transgender member, but is campaigning for his gender reassignment surgery. It’s true! Society may be making progress toward the equal rights and treatment for all people, regardless of sex, gender, or sexual orientation!
Thursday, February 28, 2013 7:14:00 AM
So where do you work?
At Beelineweb.com. They're a marketing company in Lake Country, BC.
Oh yeah. What do you do for them?
I'm a computer programmer.
I know from experience that the instant I say those words your eyes will glaze over and you'll start looking around the room for a different conversation to join. And I don't understand why. I love programming and find it exciting and rewarding. Maybe I'm not communicating effectively what it is that I do. Maybe your perception of programming is that it's extremely complicated, boring and only a genius can do it.
Wednesday, February 27, 2013 3:41:00 PM
University of North Carolina student Landen Gambill will be facing trial with the institution’s Honor Court by going public with allegations that she was raped by her ex-boyfriend, who is also a UNC student. Landen went to the Honor Court to file sexual assault charges early last year, and claims that the resulting not-guilty verdict was due to inappropriate handling of the case, and inadequate help for rape victims. Frustrated with the outcome, Gambill filed a complaint against UNC with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, citing inappropriate handling of sexual assault cases.
In response to Landen going public, her ex-boyfriend filed a complaint with the Honor Board, claiming that she was engaging in “intimidating” behavior which was adversely affecting his life on-campus. More...
Monday, January 21, 2013 11:26:00 AM
I'm not gonna lie; I get cranky whenever I think about trying to conform to someone else's standards of social etiquette.
(A person's social graces can mask his or her real intentions. So I try not to judge someone based on good manners alone. And I wish I wasn't judged on them either.)
But as I read about how some college students are going to charm school in order to sharpen the social skills that they need to land and keep good jobs, I began to realize just how much I was taking my own face-to-face behavior for granted.