With so many college majors to choose from—everything from engineering to education to art—picking what you study may feel like the hardest choice of your life. After all, the decision impacts your future: what kind of job you might have, whether you need to go to graduate school, how much you can expect to earn after you graduate, and more. But to make the decision a bit easier, here are some tips that show you how to choose a college major:
The beauty of not knowing what your major should be is that you can sample everything: music, history, math, English, whatever. In fact, that’s what college is all about, isn’t it? Discovering who you are and what you like. So try a bunch of different classes, especially as a freshman. The only rule here: be open to new things.
2. Seek advice
Before you rush into making a choice, talk to your academic advisor, other professors, career services if your school offers it, your parents, and peers. Take their suggestions into account and make a mental chart of the pros and cons of each major you’re interested in.
3. Choose what you’re passionate about
If you still can’t make a decision, think about what you love. Do you spend a lot of time listening to or playing music? Is your nose always in a book? Get a thrill out of crunching numbers? Trust your gut, follow your passion, and you won’t make the wrong choice.
4. Consider your skills
In college you may discover that your skills overlap with your academic interests, so start by taking stock of your talents. Are you a naturally gifted writer? Do you like to build things in your spare time? Do you draw for fun? Are you good at puzzles? Every talent has an applicable field of study—all you have to do is figure out what it is.
5. Think about what you want to do after you graduate
Let’s face it: college is supposed to prepare you for a job. That means your field of study will influence where you work and what you do. So it pays to think ahead. What kind of work might you be interested in down the line? Write all your ideas down. Then do a little research. What are the educational requirements for each job and what majors best fulfill them? Now match your skills and passions to that list.
Summer internships are a fantastic opportunity for college students. They allow you to get your foot in the door at a company and give you first-hand experience in the working world. Remember, however, that you only have 2-3 months to deliver and gain value from your work experience—so make the most of your summer internship! Here’s how:
1. Be on time.
Although it seems self-explanatory, sleeping in during the summertime can be incredibly enticing. Fight the urge and show up to your internship on time. You’ll make a better impression and get the most out of every day.
2. Always be ready to learn.
As an intern, you’re not expected to know everything. You are, however, expected to be open to learning all that you can. Being flexible and expressing interest will help you tremendously.
3. Maintain a positive attitude.
It’s important to remain positive as an intern, even if some of your time is spent completing pesky or tedious tasks. Proving you’re enthusiastic and hard working will lead to more significant responsibilities over time.
4. Volunteer yourself.
If you ever find yourself bored and without work, offer your services to your supervisor/boss. Come to them with well-thought out ideas and prove yourself as an independent thinker and worker.
5. Keep a journal/work notebook.
Taking notes is the key to success in any internship. Not only will this help you keep organized, it gives you something to look back on when updating your resume!
Remember that every person in your office and every professional connection you make can be useful to you in the future. Introduce yourself and have conversations. The more of a mark you make, the more they’ll think about you during hiring season. Not to mention these people will most likely be your references when applying for jobs in the future.
Mother’s Day is nearly here. That means it’s time to honor the woman who gave you the gift of existence! Showing your love doesn’t have to break the bank. Feeling creative? Here are some cheap DIY Mother’s Day gifts you can whip up at home:
Try out this recipe for some natural beauty products that will impress! Add some essential oils like lavender or peppermint to kick it up a notch.
An iPad stand for the kitchen.
Does your mom keep her recipes on her iPad? This stand can be made with nothing more than a cutting board and a scrabble tile holder. Functional and stylish!
A photo board.
Sort through photo albums (or your hard drive) and pull out your favorite pictures of you and your mom. Then pin them to this DIY wooden photo board to give them a nicely framed look.
Photo tile coasters.
Decorate these coasters with photos of anything your mom loves (most likley you!) They’re a great addition to any mom’s dining room table.
A hand-decorated tote bag.
Pick up a simple blank tote bag and let your creativity run wild! Mom will love to show all her friends her hand-crafted masterpiece.
Why not dig up an old recipe your mom used to make and prepare it for her. Do all the cooking and all the dishes.
One amazing feature of the Internet is the ability to anonymously leave feedback on products and services. While normally used to encourage or caution potential customers, many creative pundits have written satirical reviews full of biting sarcasm that are downright hilarious. Check out 7 of the funniest below:
1. Flappy Bird
Since the ridiculously challenging game “Flappy Bird” was released, it has gained something of a cult-like following. But the developer received so much abuse from customers that he eventually removed the game from every app store—meaning it’s no longer available to download. But this hilarious review was captured before the game was removed.
2. Banana Slicer
One would think something as simple as slicing a banana would not require more than a knife. But apparently there is a product for everything, and one reviewer decided to point out the humor in this with a sarcastic complaint.
3. Abraham Lincoln
You might not know that the Ford’s Theatre in Washington DC is where Abraham Lincoln was shot—which makes this Yelp review particularly biting.
4. Steering Wheel Laptop Stand
There are some products out there that are downright dangerous. A laptop stand that attaches to your steering wheel is one of them. This reviewer hit the nail on the head, pointing out exactly what is wrong with this product, while sarcastically praising it.
5. Car Wash
This reviewer made a negative car wash review into a perfect allusion to a TV show we all know and love. Give it a second to sink in.
6. Chinese Finger Traps
Some of the most hilarious reviews come about when people decide to create fictional experiences with the products they are reviewing. This person took something as simple as a Chinese finger trap and created a hilarious, albeit slightly disturbing story.
7. iPhone Mood Scanner
While many reviewers are sarcastic when reviewing ridiculous products, some are questionably serious. An iPhone app that reads your mood by placing your finger on the screen? No one could believe that, right? You’d be surprised.
If you aren’t already in the know, here’s the skinny: the interest rate on federally subsidized Stafford Loans for undergraduate students is set to double on July 1st, 2012–from 3.4% to 6.8%. The White House estimates that the average student affected by this change will rack up an extra $1000 in debt over the life of their subsidized loans.
Will it affect you?
Maybe, but only if you’re an undergraduate student who will be taking out a new subsidized Stafford loan after July 1. And only if Congress fails to pass an extension of the current low rates.
Are they going to pass an extension?
Again, maybe. Both Republicans and Democrats want the low rate extended. The question, as always, is how to pay for the estimated $6 billion cost of a one year extension.
What’s the holdup?
Originally the Democrats wanted to pay for it by closing some tax loopholes for the wealthy. Their specific idea: tax profits for shareholders in “S corporations”–small companies set up by a few people to escape certain employment taxes–but only if those shareholders have adjusted incomes over $200,000 and work for an S corporation that has fewer than three shareholders. In essence they wanted to fairly tax a wealthy few that were trying to avoid it.
Republicans countered by saying, of course, that would “stifle” the economic recovery. They pitched the idea of paying for the rate extension by eliminating a public health fund in President Obama’s new health care law. So instead of taxing the wealthy, they wanted to cut health benefits for the poor.
How’d that work out?
Obama threatened to veto any rate extension if it was paid for with money from the health care law, at which point the Republicans blamed him for refusing to solve the issue for some kind of political gain, as if he were more worried about the election than the students themselves.
Where are we now?
Stalemated, of course. Congress still has until July 1 to joust over the issue, which means we’re just going to sit here and cross our fingers that it all gets worked out.