&Follow SJoin OnSugar
You may be a mother, but college doesn't have to be.

Lessons Learned From Michael Masterson

Email |
|
By marybabysteps · February 4, 2014 · 0 Comments ·

Here at The College Mom, I often like to tgive you some informaiton about ways you can enhance other aspects of your life, beyond school. Sometimes that comes in the form of sharing resources. I'm an avid reader. While I love a good work of fiction, I most often read non-fiction. How-to and personal development books are my favorite because I'm constantly looking for ways to improve myself and my life. 

An author I recentl ycame across and would like to share a bit about here is Michael Masterson. One of the goals of most women who decide to pursue higher educaiton is usually to make more money. As an independent, work-at-home professional, that is also one of my goals. When you work for yourself, making and managing money can often become more of a focus than when you work in a traditional job with a steady paycheck. So I've recnetly started thinking about ways in which I could direct more financial freedm my way so that I can enjoy life more, with fewer worries. 

Masterson is a financial expert who writes a newsletter ready by hundreds of thousands. It's called Ealry to Rise. He has a number of books about wealth and financial independence. One that caught my eye is called Automatic Wealth for Grads...And Anyone Else Just Starting Oot. In this book, Masterson shares financial strategies that have proven to work for him to show the reader how to create wealth for themsleves. That can be a particularly daunting task when you're just starting out. Some of these principles may even be useful in your current life situation, starting out on a new adventure. 

This book, in particular, gives information on things new grads need to know such as not only getting your first job, but moving ahead in your chosen field. That's something that's often missing from instrucitonal texts on the job search. He also teaches business and investment strategies that can help to provide supplemental income to your day job. 

So if you're interested in learning about ways to get ahead financially, particularly at this time in your life, Michael Masterson's book may just be something to consider adding to your reading list. Remember that textbooks aren't all you should be reading during the college years. Take time to learn something for your personal satisfaction and knowledge!

Yoga For Stress Relief and Weight Loss

Email |
|
By marybabysteps · February 4, 2014 · 0 Comments ·

As a mom taking classes, your life can probably get a little overwhelming. You've got so many obligations and so little time for you. When things get hectic, you're likely to put yourself last in terms of priorities. It's likely that you may not be making tie for exercise and are probably inclined to grab a quick bite to eat at a fast food place on the run to class, work or home. I know it seems counterintuitive to tell you to make some time to do something healthy for yourself, but the benefits are so worth it.

photo credit: Muffet via photopin cc

Yoga is something I would often recommend to my students. You can probably even take a class at your school for phys ed credit, so it wouldn't be adding an extra time commitment for you. I've seen students have great success with yoga when it comes to losing weight, feeling more energetic and lowering stress.

Yoga lowers level of cortisol, a hormone that contributes to depression. It also ups the levels of seratonin in your brain, which are hormones that help to fight stress and depression. Plus, you'll feel good knowing you're doig soething healthy for yourself. Head to your local yoga studio or your class on campus, throw on some colorful yoga shorts, and you'll be feeling motivated and ready to go. Once your body becomes accustomed to the regular practice of yoga, you'll wonder how you ever got along without it.

Hot or Not! Dating App Review

Email |
|
By marybabysteps · January 30, 2014 · 0 Comments ·

Whle it's true that I usually post here about primarily academic related topics, I also like to discuss ways for my readers to unwind and to focus on their personal lives. It's important to remember to meet your own personal needs as well as those of your family and your studies. One of those needs is your social life. And if you're single, you likely may still want to get out there and meet people, despite the fact that finding the free time between school and family can be a daunting task. I recently had the chance to try out a fun app called Hot or Not! that can help connect people who are looking for possible dates in their area. Here's what I think of it. 

Hot or Not! is an app that gives users access to view profiles and photos of others in their area who are using the app. It's easy to sign up. Just download the app for your phone or head on over to their Facebook page to use it there. I chose to go with the app for iPhone. Once I downloaded it, I began to set up my profile. It was pretty easy. I filled in the About Me section and added a photo of myself. I didn't see, at first, that you could also check off your interests in several categories. Whle I like the idea of doing so because it's a chance to see similarities among users, it was a bit daunting and time consuming, as there were so many choices. But I decided to pick just a few of my top choices an dmove on. 

Once my profile was set up, I began the process of viewing photos of men in my area. It was fun to look through them and rate each wither either a heart for "hot" or an X for "not." I soon discovered that you could also cliick an icon to view the person's profile, as well. I will admit that I haven't had as much time to play with the app as I'd like, but it seems that if there is a common choice of "hot", both parties will be notified and have the chance to decide whether to connect. You can also add Facebook friends in order to expand your network. It is a lot of fun!

Hot or Not! is having a sweepstakes until February 15th where you could win $1000 gift card to the retailer of your choice. I'd head over there and check it out if I were you. It's easy to enter, and I'm sure, as a busy mom and student, you could find something to spend $1000 on! 

Overall, I liked the Hot or Not! app. It looks like a fun way to connect with and meet people in your local area. So if you're single and are ready to get out there and meet potential dates, I'd recomment giving Hot or Not! a try. I look forward to using it a bit more myself, as I'm recently divorced and am enjoying the dating process. Good luck!

How to Survive Finals and the Upcoming Holidays

Email |
|
By marybabysteps · December 11, 2012 · 0 Comments ·

It's December and nearly the end of the year. The good news is that fall semester is almost over and you'll soon be enjoying holiday break with your family . The bad news is that with the end of the semester comes final exams and with holidays comes tons of planning and preparation. You may be freaking out right about now. Honestly, I don't blame you. But take a deep breath and keep these things in mind as you tackle this crazy time of year. 

Be Realistic

As in every other aspect of college life, it's important to have realistic expectations about finals and your holiday celebrations. Preparing for finals and tackling all the details that go into making the holidays merry can really take a toll on you if you try to take on too much. Keep in mind that it's more important to get through this time without having a nervous breakdown than it is to get all A's and have a picture perfect holiday. You don't have to do it all like a Supermom. Just follow my final exam tips and keep in mind that you've studied hard all semester. You've done well so far. Finals are just one more test to take. If, by chance, you have a class or two that you haven't done so well in thus far, keep in mind that you can only do your best. Some courses are more difficult for us than others. There's always the option of taking a class again for a better grade, and it's really not the end of the world to do so. As for the holidays, this is a time to spend with family, to give and to love. Don't let it stress you out to the point that it's no longer fun. 

photo credit: The Colby Files via photopin cc

Call in the Troops

Don't go it alone during this hectic time. Call in reinforcements to help ease your burden. Ask older kids to quiz you or enlist your husband to take on some of your regular chores. Maybe a friend or neighbor can watch the kids for you while you study. You'll repay them later; you can even set up a deal now so you don't feel like you're taking advantage. Don't forget to reach out to your loved ones when you're feeling the pressure. Having a sympathetic ear can go a long way to easing your stress. A support system is important. Utilizing your network of support can help to improve your physical health and mental well being.

Think Positively 

What you think definitely affects the way you feel. Don't get down on yourself just because you can't do it all or do it the way you think you're supposed to. Take time to remind yourself that you're just one person, and you're doing the best you can. Reframing your thinking can really change your outlook , and looking at ways you can change your situation or make it better is incredibly empowering. If you're feeling like you just can't make it through until the end of finals week, remind yourself that it's only a few more days and that no matter what happens, it will be over and you can enjoy your time off. You'll come back next semester feeling refreshed and renewed. Test anxiety is normal, but don't make yourself sick with worry. Make a list of things you can do to get through finals or handle the holiday preparations can lead you to feeling more in charge of your life, not so much as someone just being swept along with the tide. 

As parents, we often set high standards for ourselves. That's an admirable thing; however, there's a fine balance between being successful and driving ourselves crazy. I've found that a happy medium is usually best in all areas of life. What do you think? Are there tips you can share from a particularly stressful time in your life? I'd love to hear them.

Apply for One of Two Online Virtual Assistant Certification Scholarships from Colby Community College

Email |
|
By marybabysteps · December 8, 2012 · 0 Comments ·

Colby Community College Online is offering two free scholarships for their virtual assistant certification program. The application process is open only until December 24th, and in order to apply, you must submit a blog post. The scholasrship also requires that the recipient be a stay-at-home mom blogger. Applicants must write a blog post about why they want to win the scholarship and complete an online application. You'll find more details at the Colby Community College Facebook page

 
photo credit: gcoldironjr2003 via photopin cc

Through this 32 credit hour certification program, you'll take courses in Accounting, QuickBooks, Computer Graphics, Management of Small Business, Creating a Virtual Office and more. Head to Colby Community College's Facebook page to learn more and apply. And good luck!

Ways to Show Off Your Interpersonal Skills at a Job Interview

Email |
|
By marybabysteps · November 6, 2012 · 0 Comments ·

Job interviews can be extremely intimidating. As the interviewee, your goal is to present yourself as the most qualified person for the position. One of the things hiring personnel are looking for is that you possess interpersonal skills or the ability to interact positively with others. How you portray your people skills will matter in the interview and may just clinch the job offer for you. Here are some tips to consider when talking about your interpersonal skills.

Be Positive

It is inevitable that the interviewer will ask you to give examples of a time when you performed well or dealt with a tough situation. The purpose of this kind of question is to see how you handle problems. Often, these dilemmas hinge upon how you deal with others. The most important rule is to talk about the experience in a positive light. Never put down co-workers, bosses or clients. Paint a picture of the situation in a favorable way for all involved. This shows you can resolve issues diplomatically.

Go Ahead and Brag

Many of us find it difficult to toot our own horns. The job interview is not the place to be modest. Be sure to share with the hiring committee any accomplishments involving working with others. Let them know if you were a committee head. Share the successes of this committee; it shows leadership skills. Be sure your portfolio has any recommendations from co-workers or former supervisors. Show the interviewer these examples of how others see you. While you don't want to go overboard and be seen as self-centered, don't be afraid to give solid examples of your personal accomplishments in working with others.

Be Honest About Your Weaknesses

You know one of the questions asked in any interview is bound to be in regard to your weaknesses. Be prepared to answer honestly. It's okay to talk about your problem area. Just be sure to counter that weakness with something positive. Let potential employers know that you've learned from this characteristic or that you're willing to work on improving it. If you can work it in smoothly, humor can go a long way toward overcoming a weakness.

Demonstrate You're a Team Player

It's likely you will be asked about your skills as a team player, but if you aren't, don't hesitate to let the hiring professional know that you work well with others. Make it a point to talk about an instance in which you led a group, worked collaboratively with a colleague or handled a difficult customer service issue. Let it be known that you aren't afraid to share credit and that you welcome the input of others. It's important to be your own advocate in a job interview.

Show Off Your Skills

Finally, one of the best ways to demonstrate your interpersonal skills is to just show them off. Maintain eye contact and smile. Offer a firm handshake. Don't stutter and speak directly. Maintaining a confident and friendly image throughout the interview will go a long way in demonstrating that you enjoy people and that you possess strong interpersonal skills.

Consider a Full Time MBA at the University of Denver

Email |
|
By marybabysteps · October 13, 2012 · 0 Comments ·

An MBA, or Master's of Business Administration, is a le valuable graduate degree that can be combined with any number of Bachelor's level diplomas to create a dynamic career. So no matter what your undergraduate degree is in, adding an MBA can open a wide number of career options. If you're considering a Denver university full time MBA, Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver is worth looking into. 

The MBA program at Daniels is a two-year cohort program. This means you will enter a class with a group of students and remain with that same group, or cohort, until graduation. This learning model is widely seen by many in the field of higher education and student affairs as one that produces very positive results. Working with the same group of students forges bonds that assist in networking opportunities for the future. This set up also allows for the group to get to know the instructors and mentors of a program. 

What also stands out to me about the MBA program at the Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver is its emphasis on skills beyond the academic. I continuously stress the importance of a college degree in teaching leadership, interpersonal and critical thinking skills. The Daniels School puts a great deal of focus on all of these areas by integrating business ethics and values-based leadership into the core curriculum of the MBA program. 

Another unique aspect of the program is its real-world learning component. In the full time MBA, students have the opportunity to take part in consulting projects, case competitons and roundtables with business professionals. This kind of hands-on learning has proven to help students form a concrete understanding of theory in their profession, and it is looked upon favorably by future employers. Also of benefit to those enrolled in the program is the ability to tailor their degree to each student's particular interests. Students can choose from a number of concentrations and customizations to build a unique degree that will move them in the direction of meeting their specific goals. Faculty and alumni can assist students in creating a concentration that works for them.

The field of business is constantly changing. The full time MBA program at University of Denver will provide you basic, time-tested business skills combined with up-to-date trends to give you a competitive edge in today's business world. From what I've seen, the Daniels School of Business offers a solid MBA program with unique and innovative components that will appeal to students and employers alike. It's apparent that research from student development and learning theories has been considered in building a well-rounded program for the students. 

*This is a sponsored post for the University of Denver; however, all points and views are my own. 

Inspiring Story of a Woman Who Went Back to School at 63

Email |
|
By marybabysteps · February 19, 2012 · 0 Comments ·

Check out this article from the Huffington Post about Priscilla Santiago of Bridgeport, Connecticut. She went to college at the age of 63 after being laid off from her job as a forklift operator. This woman's story and attitude are so inspiring. She shows how you can reinvent yourself at any age. She now works in social services and wants to help others to find opportunities to change their lives.

When to Drop a Class or Change Your Schedule

Email |
|
By marybabysteps · January 24, 2012 · 0 Comments ·

Many of you are in your first week of a new semester. This can be a confusing time. There's always a learning curve when getting used to new things. Even if this isn't your first semester, you may find yourself questioning whether your schedule is working for you or if you could have made better choices. You may think you're in over your hear with a certain class or be intimidated by a strict professor. Dropping a class isn't always the best solution, but sometimes it may work in your favor. Here are some things to think about before dropping a class.

Do You Need It for Your Major?

Before dropping a class, it's important to take a look at your curriculum. Many courses are electives and are not necessary to meet graduation requirements. However, some are essential and must be taken. If the class you're worried about is needed for your major and you have no intention of changing your program of study, it;s probably a good idea to stick with the class. Who knows? You may end up getting a grasp of the material or deciding that the professor isn't really that bad. Worst case scenario, you'll get exposed to the course material and will be better prepared to take the class again.

Will It Affect Your Financial Aid?

Yes, changing your schedule might have an effect on your financial aid eligibility. Often, students who receive financial aid packages are required to maintan a certain number of credits, whether they're full time or part time. Always check with an academic adviser or financial aid representative before dropping a class. You don't want to find out later that you're ineligible for aid without first paying out of pocket to make up for the class that you dropped.

Can It Be Switched for Something Else?

Most schools have what's known as a drop/add period when you can make changes to your schedule without penalty. It's usually during the first week or two of the semester. After that, though you may be able to drop a class, you are unable to switch classes. Check with your professor or adviser to determine how long you have to do a drop/add, then take a look at the class you want to change. If it's an elective, you can probably just choose another course that fits in that particular block. These are the easiest kinds of changes to make and shouldn't have much affect on your curriculum and graduation path.

Will It Take Away from Your Other Classes?

Another consideration is whether the class you're struggling with will likely cause your performance in other courses to suffer. If it's a class you don't need or one that you feel you can take at another time, perhaps in the summer when you can dedicate more time to it, then dropping it might be a good plan. Just be sure to find out whether your graduation path or financial aid will be affected.

What's Going on in Your Life?

Are you struggling with personal or family issues right now? If you are, realize that some things may require your attention. You're only one person; you can't do always do it all successfully. You may need to drop to part time status or even decide to take a semster off. If this is something you're thinking about, be sure to talk to your academic adviser first. Again, you don't want to make a decision that will cause you to lose your financial aid. Most schools have policies in place to help with students who need to take a personal leave, but it's absolutely imperative that you go about it the right way. Make sure you complete all the required paperwork. When you're ready to return to school, you won't have any snags such as money owed or failing grades for classes that weren't attended. For the most part, I never worried about my adult student advisees taking time off. I knew they were dedicated to their studies and would be back.

You'll notice that the one thing that I mentioned throughout these tips is that it's important to talk to someone before deciding to change your schedule in any way. Advisers are paid to be familiar with school policy, and every school has their own rules about course requirements, financial aid and taking time off. Always get help before making your decision.

Get Ready for a New Semester, College Moms

Email |
|
By marybabysteps · January 1, 2012 · 0 Comments ·

Whether it's your very first semester or you're a returning student, you may be starting to stress out a little bit right now about the start of the upcoming semester. It's totally natural, as the date approaches, to feel a bit of apprehension. You may wonder if you've got all your materials together, if you're ready for the new courseload or you may even be wondering if you've made a mistake by enrolling in too many classes or by enrolling at all. Now is a good time to take a deep breath as well as take an assessment of some things you'll need to do in order to feel more prepared for a brand new semester.

Image by boxercab

Think of the Possibilities

That's right. I did say, "brand new semester." The term doesn't have to be scary. Sure, you won't be familiar with your new professors and their expectations, but this semester is full of possibilities and opportunities. If this isn't your first semester, just take a minute to pat yourself on the back for your previous academic accomplishment. Remind yourself of the experiences that were a success. The future is wide open, and you're likely to encounter people and classes that will expose you to a whole new set of amazing and valuable experiences. The same thing can happen for you even if you've never set foot on a college campus. Simply reframe things into a situation that applies to you. Take stock of your life and remember any past obstacles you've overcome. Compared to some of those, it's likely college isn't really that intimidating.

Make Schedule Changes

Did you make your schedule last semester? Hopefully, you did because classes often fill up fast. If you're a freshman or sophomore, it's likely you may be last in line to register, and you may not have gotten all of the classes you wanted. Or maybe you're a procrastinator who didn't register at all. Whatever the case, there's still time to sign up for classes or to make last-minute changes. Most schools have academic advisers on-hand between semesters. Just give your advising department a call to set up an appointment. Taking the time to have an adviser glance over your schedule may really make a difference in whether you're happy with your classes and whether you'll be getting the coursework you really need for your major. Remember, college advisers are professionals who help students with their schedules all the time. It can't hurt to have a second opinion on whether things need tweaked a bit. Also, some classes may have opened up due to holds being lifted or student drop outs, it makes sense to look into making schedule changes now, rather than that first hectic week of the semester.

Get Your Books

With so many ways to obtain your books these days, it just makes sense to get this step out of the way early. You could rent textbooks by searching online for sites that provide this service. Just look for references and check to be sure the site has a secure way of accept payment. You may be able to order your textbooks for your campus book store, and you can probably find used books online. Used texts usually sell pretty quickly at the campus bookstore, so you may want to give them a call to see if they have the ones you need. Regardless of the way you choose to go about getting your books, it's a good idea to get them early so there's no chance of not having them once assignments start rolling in.

Consider Contacting Your Profs

If you've made your schedule, take a look and see who your professors are. If you've got the time, it may be a good idea to drop an email or pick up the phone to ask any questions you may have about the class or to introduce yourself. No, it's not brown nosing to make this kind of contact. As an adult student, you know that your education is in your hands. Feel free to take the steps you feel comfortable with in getting the most for your money. Many professors will be impressed that you took the time to reach out.

Take Time to Relax

Hey, don't forget that classes don't start for a few more weeks. You've got some down time. Be sure to enjoy it. Spend time with your family, especially if your kids are on break as well. Get out and do the things you enjoy together, and be sure you get adequate alone time, as well. This kind of time will be hard to find once the semester starts. So be good to yourself. If you aren't currently covered by insurance, see if you qualify for a subsidy. Get things in order for the beginning of the semster, so that you can have the peace of mind to enjoy the rest of your free time.

Books I Recommend