College: The Game of Balance

College is a game of balance. Attending classes, studying, part-time jobs, extracurricular activities, and finding time for friends, family and yourself can be very difficult.

College BalanceThe following tips will help you stay balanced and stress-free:

Get Organized
It took me almost all of my college years to acknowledge this one. Organization is one of the hardest things to get the hang of for many of us. But there are many resources that you can use to get become more organized.

The best thing to do is make organization binders. This way you can organize everything from work, projects, to-do lists, grocery lists, meal plans, bills, personal documents, and everything else you need to keep track of.

Here are some of my favorite free printables for getting everything in your life in order:

Prioritize
Once you know what needs to be accomplished, it’s time to prioritize. This means figuring out which tasks are most important and which ones need to be completed first. For example, if you have to plan a friend’s birthday bash for next month but also have a presentation due tomorrow for your internship, you should do the presentation first.

When you prioritize, you are able to avoid the problem of, “I have so much to do, and don’t even know where to start.” Make a list and number your tasks in order of importance and by the date each needs to be completed.

Avoid Procrastination
Oh yes, the dreaded “P” word! If I had a dollar for every time I saw a Facebook status or tweet from a college peer about procrastination, I wouldn’t need a job after graduation.

We all procrastinate, but here are some ways you can avoid it:

  • Make lists
  • Make a specific time-frame for downtime
  • Be around enthusiastic and driven people
  • Get into a routine
  • Reward yourself for completing tasks (perhaps some frozen yogurt after you finish that English paper?)
  • Avoid distractions – go to the library, a café, or somewhere it is easy to focus
  • Divvy up the time for larger tasks and project
  • Put motivational photos and quotes on a bulletin board in your office
  • Do simple tasks right when they come up

Have “Me” Time
Trying to balance everything can be very stressful and overwhelming. It is important that you make time for yourself to reenergize and keep your sanity. It is okay to tell your friends you can’t go out one night because you want to catch up on Walking Dead  and Duck Dynasty episodes.

Having balance means making time for the  things that bring you happiness. Haven’t opened up a new book in months? Well it’s time to burst open the binding and get lost in some you-time!

Know When to Say “No”
Sometimes we college students feel like we need to be superheroes and balance the weight of the world on our shoulders. However it will do nothing but hurt you in the end. In order to keep balance in your life, it is important to not bite off more than you can chew.

For example, if you have an academic overload and your boss asks you to participate in planning a charity event, it is okay to turn it down. Do not simply say, “no,” but explain that you have a lot of things on your plate right now for school and to please have your boss keep you in mind for the next opportunity.

Find Ways to Move
For many of us it isn’t realistic to make it to the gym every day. So find ways that you can stay moving throughout the day and won’t take away from other things you need to get done.

Here are some ways to keep your body going outside of the gym:

  • Stand instead of sit
  • Walk to class instead of driving
  • Take the stairs
  • Clean your place (talk about killing two birds with one stone!)
  • Park further from buildings
  • Fidget at your desk
  • Dance around to your favorite music
  • Do crunches, squats, or burpees during TV commercials

Explore Your Options. Get Help.
The awesome thing about college is there are resources everywhere. You typically can find guidance from your professors, advisors, tutors, a health clinic, and counseling centers. Don’t hesitate to ask for help or be embarrassed. We are all human and need help at times!

Here are some links for resources on the UW-Whitewater campus:

If you want more tips on how to balance college life or have questions about health and wellness, feel free to email me at MediaCLD@uww.edu and use “Health and Wellness with Heather” as the subject heading.

Photo by Heather Schwartz.

Eating Smart and Healthy on a College Budget

Healthy and Smart Eating on a College Budget

We have all said it, “Food is so expensive!” But the good news is, it doesn’t have to be! Here are some simple tips for getting more for your buck. Not only that, but having healthier food options.

Eating on a Budget

Shop with the Seasons

Fruits and vegetables that are in season are much cheaper. For example, berries are summer fruits and you can buy a container of strawberries for $6.99 in winter – compared to half that if they were in season.

Here are the seasons for some popular fruits and vegetables:

  • Fall-Broccoli, Cranberries, Cauliflower, Grapes, Pineapple, Pumpkins, Sweet Potatoes
  • Winter-Grapefruit, Kiwis, Oranges, Pears, Collard Greens
  • Spring-Apricots, Asparagus, Corn, Limes, Mango, Peas, Honeydew
  • Summer-Cucumbers, Blueberries, Bell Peppers, Cherries, Eggplant, Strawberries, Raspberries

Cut those Coupons

No, you don’t need to become an extreme couponer. But it is important to get a deal when you can. Search through local papers and ads to find coupons for items you actually eat! Don’t buy something just because you can get a dollar off but you don’t really like it. It will most likely end up in the garbage.

Here are some websites to redeem free grocery coupons:

Fresh is Best

Always look at the expiration dates on food, especially produce and dairy. This will make your food last longer after purchasing.

Spoiler Alert! Stores place older items in the front and newer items in back. You will have to dig but your wallet will thank you!

Have a Plan

Making a grocery list will help you stick to your budget. If you just go into a store with no plan you are more likely to buy things you don’t need. So try to avoid impulse buys and make a strict “I NEED” list.

Also try to avoid the grocery store on an empty stomach. Have you ever heard of the term, “your eyes are bigger than your stomach?” Well when you’re hungry and grocery shopping, you will probably fill your cart with anything and everything to satisfy that hunger craving.

The Freezer is your Friend

One of the biggest ways for food to suck up your money is wasting it. If you make a pasta sauce and there is half of the pot left over, don’t throw it away! Put it in a container and pop it in the freezer. Then you can thaw it different day and have another meal ready to take to the office or use for a last minute meal.

You should also do this with fruit and meat. I’m a girl who loves smoothies. But I always had problems with my fruit going bad before I could use it all. Now I make my own smoothie–bags. Take a Ziploc bag and mix in all of the fruit you need for a single smoothie. Then when you’re ready to indulge in a fresh drink, you’re all set!

Another perk of freezing fruit for smoothies is the fruit will replace the ice cubes. The drink will be chilled and you can say bye-bye to watered-down drinks.

Office Meals

Vending machines and cafeterias can really shrink your wallet and expand your waistband. Make sure to pack your lunches the night before! This is a time you can utilize your freezer meals (as long as your office has a microwave or way of heating your food) or make a brown-bag lunch.

And if you can’t heat up your meals, here is a list of 90 no-heat meals for the office.

More for Your Buck

Check out these awesome price comparisons! Who would have thought you could get so much healthy food for these prices?

Health and Wellness

Health and Wellness

Health and Wellness

Health and Wellness

Check out the rest of the comparisons, here.

If you want more tips on how to eat healthy on a budget or have questions about health and wellness, feel free to email me at MediaCLD@uww.edu and use “Health and Wellness with Heather” as the subject heading.

7 Tips to Avoid Germs at the Workplace

Did you know?

  • A keyboard has 60 times more germs than a toilet.
  • Cold and flu germs from a sneeze can stay on a surface for 48 hours.
  • Light switches get up to 217 bacteria per square inch.

Gross, isn’t it? Here are seven tips for staying germ-free in the workplace or the classroom!

Germs in the Office 1

Wash Your Hands!

Sounds simple right? But a lot of us only think to wash our hands after using the bathroom. Well, get that out of your head! In addition to washing your hands after using the bathroom you should wash them before you eat, after using communal objects (staples, the fax machines, etc), and after sneezing or coughing.

No Sink? Sanitize!

I know it sounds crazy to go to the bathroom every time you want a snack or need to use a scissors. What’s a simple solution? Use hand sanitizer! You can get a bottle of it at Wal-Mart or Walgreens for a bargain. Bath and Body Works also has mini sanitizers that can go on your keys. I have one and my coworkers were very thankful for it after our team-building exercises a few weeks ago!

Avoid Sharing

Your grade-school teachers are going to get upset with me for this one. We have always been told that sharing is caring. But when it comes to cold and flu season sharing is your worst enemy! Some things you should avoid sharing with friends or coworkers include: food, drinks, pencils, pens, or your phone. Have some extra pencils and pens around in your office for others to use if you NEED to share.

Avoid Germ Areas

A simple way to avoid germs is staying away from their hangout spots! Whenever possible, avoid directly touching door handles, sink handles, water fountains, and toilet seats. Use paper towel to open bathroom doors and turning on sinks whenever possible. Some restrooms provide deposable covers for toilet seats, but you can always use toilet paper to line the seat.  Also bring your own water bottle to avoid placing your mouth on water fountains.

Strengthen Your Immune System

In order to stay healthy you have to take care of your immune system. That means eating healthy, getting quality sleep, taking plenty of vitamins, and exercising on a regular basis. Vitamins C and D are good vitamins to start with (as well as a multivitamin). Eat lots of fruits and vegetables, make sleep your friend, and be active for at least 30 minutes a day.

Look But Don’t Touch!

One of the best ways to stay germ free is keeping your hands to yourself! While you’re at it, keep your hands off of yourself as well. Try to avoid touching your face as much as possible. This means don’t pick at your teeth, no resting your head on your fist, and no rubbing of your eyes or nose. And to be safe, always sanitize.

Wipe It Down

It’s always smart to have some sanitary wipes on hand. Wipe down surfaces such as your phone, chair, computer mouse, keyboard, door handle, and communal objects. You would be surprised by how many germ covered things we touch on a daily basis. Yuck!

Germs in the Office 2

If you want more tips on how to stay germ-free or have questions about health and wellness, feel free to email me at MediaCLD@uww.edu and use “Health and Wellness with Heather” as the subject heading.

Photos by Heather Schwartz.

Friday Favorites – Multicultural Career Fair

The Multicultural Career Fair was held this past Wednesday in the Hamilton Room. There were about 60 employers there, including US Bank, Target, Cintas, Kohl’s and Six Flags Great America, looking to fill internship and job spots. Enjoy some pictures from the career fair!

sherwin

prudential

travelers

wellsfargo

target

Heather, the other social media intern, and I had the opportunity to attend an etiquette dinner this past Monday. We were nervous at first, never having been to an etiquette dinner before. It was also a networking event. Companies such as Cintas, Target, Sherwin-Williams and others were present. Heather and I sat with two very nice Target employers at the dinner and we actually saw one of the Target employers at the career fair!

Before the etiquette dinner portion of the event, the employers each gave a piece of advice about networking and attending a career fair. Hopefully this will give you some great insight from the employers and that you might be able to use these tips at the next career fair you attend!

  • Come prepared and do your research about which companies you want to invest your time in.
  • First impressions are very important. Know your elevator speech.
  • Be polite, friendly, appreciative, and don’t forget to smile! Watch your body language.
  • Don’t be shy. Know what the companies are looking for. Confidence is key.
  • All of the companies are looking for leaders, whether it is for an internship position or job position. Keep that in mind.
  • How will you set yourself apart from everyone else? Remember that while you are talking to employers at the career fair.
  • ‘You’ll likely never get what you deserve. You’ll get what you negotiate.’ Thanks Michael LaBroscian for this tip!

Are you an employer and have some career fair tips for students? Email me at MediaCLD@uww.edu, tweet me or post to our Facebook page!

Photos by UWW Career.

A New Semester Means a New You!

Let’s face it, being a college student is hard! It’s all about balancing classes, extra-curricular activities, meeting new people, and everything in between. Then try to incorporate exercise, regulating stress, or worrying about health and wellness. Who can possibly do all of that? Here’s the good news – you can!

Career & Leadership Development knows the importance of self-image, confidence, and living well. Each week I will be posting ways you can take the awesome person you already are, and help you reach your utmost level!

Here is a list of some things you can expect to see this semester:

  • How to dodge germs in the office and classroom
  • Healthy eating on a college budget
  • Balancing college and work life
  • Office and dorm workouts
  • Ways to stay on task and get tasks done
  • Ways to create a positive self-image
  • How to step out of your comfort zone
  • Ways to de-stress

And the list goes on! Keep an eye out for our health and wellness tips and get ready for a whole-new you!

If there are more things you want learn more about or have questions about health and wellness, feel free to email me at MediaCLD@uww.edu and use “Health and Wellness with Heather” as the subject heading.

Happy new semester Warhawks, let’s make it count!

6 Tips to Network Like a Pro!

So you finally gathered up the courage to go to a networking event (good for you!). What seems like hours have passed, and you’re still standing between the table of smelly cheese and the table of overly sweet and sour drinks. Well time to buck up and start selling yourself!

Nowadays, life is a constant opportunity to get you closer to success through conversation. And it’s not about being seen: we need to go deeper, engage people in conversation and allow them to connect with us. A true conversationalist knows the key to meeting people, befriending them, teaching them, persuading them, and inspiring them.

Unfortunately, we are not all born conversationalists. Some people say they fear public speaking and networking more than death! But there are some very simple ways to start conversations at these events and promoting your own personal brand.

Here are some tips to get you started!

  • Smile. The easiest way to have people approach you is to make them feel welcome and comfortable. A simple smile can be a friendly way to invite someone over to start a conversation. Remember, you need to make people WANT to interact with you! No one wants a Grumpy Gus on their hands.
  • Ask Questions. Seems obvious right? Well a lot of the time when people are interviewing or talking about a job opportunity they do a lot of listening to information, instead of asking for it. Don’t be afraid to speak up! Employers and those you are interacting with with appreciate your curiosity and ability to start conversation.
  • Know Your Audience. Prior to the event find out who will all be attending. Do your research and see what these people are all about. Yes, I mean pull out Google and type these people in! You will have a lot more confidence approaching people and holding a conversation if you know a little something about who you’re talking to.
  • Read Them Like a Book. Try to figure out what the person’s motivations are. If you pay attention to body language and facial expressions it is easy to see if this person is “all business” or not.
  • Sell What You Know. You know yourself better than anyone. That gives you a lot to talk about and sell. So don’t try and impress these people about your knowledge of 401k plans when just yesterday you thought a 401K was the world’s longest marathon.
  • Let Loose! It’s hard to not feel uptight in your shirt and tie or blazer and skirt; but don’t forget the person underneath those stuffy clothes! Don’t be afraid to let your guard down and stray away from serious work-talk a little bit. For example, you might notice the employer has a Green Bay Packers logo on their portfolio. Ask them if they saw the game last night. “Yeah, maybe we should both leave here and go apply to be referees!” It’s okay to joke around and show some personality!

You’ve got the tools and tips. Now get out there and network, network, network!

Career Fair 12

Photo by Heather Schwartz