How to Enjoy the Holidays and Still Get Everything Done

by South University 18 December 2014

Throughout the holidays, many students find it difficult to juggle their education and family obligations while still leaving time for much-needed time for rest and relaxation. As a result, writing papers, completing assignments or reading ahead can be an unwelcome source of stress or anxiety.

While there is no precise formula to determine what balance is right for you, being a student doesn’t mean you have to give up quality time with your loved ones during the holidays.

Relaxing during holidays

4 Keys to Success

When it comes to dividing time between work and play, here are some simple steps that you can take to have a memorable and productive holiday season.

Time management. It may sound cliché, but no one is more responsible for how you spend your time over the holidays than you are. Plan ahead, set realistic goals, prepare for the unexpected, and schedule time for the things that are important to you. For example, if it works with your schedule, study in the mornings and then bake, wrap, build snowmen with the kids, and watch holiday classics in the afternoons or evenings.

Push forward and avoid falling behind. Don’t let your schoolwork pile up over the holidays. Breakdown assignments into manageable segments. Try working for a set amount of time at the same time every day. Making schoolwork part of your regular routine gives your family a good sense of when you’ll be available for fun, festive activities.

Have a positive outlook. Try to think of coursework as time you are investing in for yourself, your future and the good of your family.

Include your family in your study routine. Encourage family members to quiz you with flashcards, post a calendar of your reading list or study schedule in a visible place (i.e. on the fridge), share what you’re learning or challenges you encounter, and communicate goals, objectives, and accomplishments.

6 Tips for Surviving the Holidays

We all know that the holiday season is one of the busiest times of the year. When you start feeling overwhelmed, here are 6 ways to stay motivated, focused, calm, and balanced.

1. Take a deep breath.
2. Be present in the moment.
3. Exercise your mind and body.
4. Be grateful for what you have.
5. Volunteer—give the gift of time.
6. Recognize that others can be stressed too. Have patience. Smile. Forgive.

In a Nutshell

Although education is a stepping stone to enrichment, creative partnerships, and professional opportunities, studying for a new career involves a lot of time, effort, and preparation. Over the holidays, your schoolwork doesn’t need to consume or define you, but it should be something you make time for and take pride in!

“Enjoy the journey. This is not a dress rehearsal.” ~ John Savage

How to Give Back to Your Community This Holiday Season

by South University 17 December 2014

Volunteering, donating and passing good tidings on to others – these activities can be very easy to work into your day, and they can benefit you as well as your community. From creating important contacts for your career to boosting your self-esteem, giving back is one of the most beneficial things you can do for your community—or for yourself.

GivingWho Do You Want to Help?

Volunteering makes the most impact when you are emotionally involved with your cause. Do you want to help the homeless or the elderly? Maybe you feel called to help abandoned animals or wild animals that have been hurt? Pinpoint where your interests lie and then look for opportunities to help in those areas.

Why Do You Want to Volunteer?

Regardless of where or how you volunteer, you’ll be helping others in your area—and in doing so, you then help your community as a whole. So spend time thinking about other things you would like to accomplish. Would you like to get more professional experience? Would you like to meet new people or network with others in your field? Would you just like to raise your spirits during the holidays or make them easier for someone else?

Where Should You Look for Opportunities?

If you know whom you want to help, it can be fairly easy to find organizations serving that particular population in your community. If you’re having trouble, contact the United Way, the Chamber of Commerce or the Department of Human Services for help, or use an online service like VolunteerMatch.com. Contact the volunteer coordinator and ask if they need anyone to provide the help you’d like to offer. There’s no shame turning down an opportunity with one organization if you find a better fit elsewhere, because every role is suitable for someone.

Enjoy the Results

While few of us enjoy working just for work’s sake, putting effort into helping others pays you back in many ways. In areas with struggling communities, providing support can help to decrease crime rates or the impact of poverty. After volunteering, your feelings of connectedness, pride and happiness can increase--in addition to an increased confidence in your ability to complete certain tasks and to make a difference in the world around you. There are even professional benefits as well. For instance, while meeting people at an organization, you can make powerful networking contacts and the experience you gain can be used to perform better at work and be added to your resume.

This holiday season, we hope you consider volunteering. Perfect opportunities exist for anyone who wants to get involved, and It’s time that's never wasted!

Thinking About a Career in Nursing? Ask Yourself These Questions.

by South University 15 December 2014

Whether you’re making plans for your first career or considering switching paths to a new one, there are few jobs more selfless than nursing. However, dedicating your career to helping others isn’t the right choice for everyone ─ and that’s okay. Ask yourself the five questions below to determine if the nursing profession is a good fit for you.

Nursing

1. Why do I want to become a nurse?

People consider breaking into the nursing field for a variety of reasons ─ some good and some not. If you have a genuine desire to spend your days helping people, you’re in the right mindset. Conversely, trying to please a parent working in the field or pursuing the career only for the salary may not lead to professional fulfillment.

2.Where do I want to work?

Nurses are needed in many different settings, including hospitals, doctors’ offices, schools, nursing homes and more. It’s important to remember that people need healthcare on a 24/7 basis, so if you’re not interested in working nights, weekends and holidays, taking a job at a hospital is probably not the best idea.

3. What type of nurse do I want to become?

Nurses can specialize in a wide-variety of areas, such as pediatrics, oncology and ambulatory care. After becoming a Registered Nurse, you have the option to seek graduate degrees and additional certifications or specializations, such as nurse educator and nurse practitioner ─ or even go on to earn your Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP).

4. Where will I go to school?

Consider your current lifestyle. Do you have time to go back to school full-time? If you’re working 40 hours per work or have family obligations keeping you from pursing your nursing degree in a traditional manner, there are flexible part-time and online programs that can fit your schedule.

5. Is nursing the right career path for me?

The nursing profession is all about helping others. Patients rely on nurses to be kind and sympathetic, so if you’re a hard worker with a big heart and excellent communication skills, you’ll probably be a great fit. Remember, many nursing tasks are also less-than-glamorous, so if you can’t stand the sight of blood or become queasy when faced with messy situations, you might be better off in a different job—or at least working in the indirect patient care of nursing in a management or informatics position.

6 Power Foods to Get You Through Your Busy Day

by South University 2 December 2014

That dreaded mid-afternoon slump always seems to hit at the worst time: you're in a meeting at work, you're dealing with a sick kid, or you just remembered that you have additional reading for your class—and it needs to be done tonight! Trying to summon a surge of energy to get you through the rest of the day can be especially difficult if you have evening activities or study time planned. Luckily, certain foods can give your body and mind a much-needed boost, so grab some to help you power through a busy day and night.

BananasBananas

Bananas are super portable, a great health food, tasty, and usually pretty affordable. Add this to the list: their high fructose level equals an instant natural energy boost and the fiber bananas contain fills you up.

Peanut Butter

Just two tablespoons of peanut butter give you seven grams of protein as well as a slew of healthy fats, so it's definitely got staying power. This combination of fat and protein means that you'll get a slow release of energy, which is key to avoiding an afternoon crash.

Spinach

Popeye was onto something; spinach is a great source of iron, which helps the body feel energized. Iron deficiency can cause fatigue and affect physical endurance. Increase the iron in your diet by enjoying a salad packed with spinach and beans for lunch.

Honey

jar of honey

Step away from those sugar-laden coffee drinks and canned energy drinks. A shot of honey is a better alternative. Squirt some into black tea, or drizzle some on an afternoon snack of yogurt. Honey has a low glycemic index, so you won't immediately crash after having some. If you're trying to muster energy for an after-work gym session, even better: honey helps replenish muscles after a workout.

Eggs

Eggs are often considered a complete food. They contain protein, good fats, and lots of vitamins--including B2, B5, and B12--important energy-producing vitamins. Eggs also contain essential amino acids, which help your body rebuild muscle. This makes eggs a great pre-gym meal. Throw some hard-boiled eggs into your bag for a quick and easy snack.

Salmon

You just got home from work, but the day's not over yet. You might have hungry mouths to feed, or you need to get to work an important assignment—or both. Does this sound familiar? If so, for a quick, nutritious meal that also gives you a boost, try salmon. Salmon fillets take fewer than 10 minutes to cook and are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and vitamin B6.

Try one or all these foods to see what most improves your energy levels!

5 Professions that Deserve Our Thanks

by South University 25 November 2014

You’re probably looking forward to Thanksgiving, a time to enjoy your annual traditions and share your appreciation for your friends and family. While it’s important to be thankful for those we care for and love dearly, remember to thank those in our broader community as well—professionals who make our world a better place to live and who care for the well-being of us all.

Giving thanksAlthough there are many professionals that deserve our appreciation, today, we express our thanks for those working in these fields:

1. Nursing & healthcare: Healthcare service providers, administrators, educators and managers do so much to keep our communities healthy. Whether they’re providing bedside care or keeping clinics running smoothly by ensuring supplies arrive in time and making sure regulations are followed, we have a lot for which to thank these individuals.

2. Public health: Public health professionals implement educational programs, conduct and analyze research to solve widespread health issues and introduce techniques for preventing illnesses and epidemics.

3. Psychology: While we may not know what our loved ones are going through when they profess fears we haven’t experienced ourselves, psychologists are there to lend an ear and offer treatment if necessary.

4. Criminal justice: Whether serving within law enforcement or correctional, government, or legal institutions, criminal justice professionals are concerned not only with helping individuals but also ensuring with our communities are safe places that operate smoothly.

5. Public Administration: This broad field includes those in governmental institutions as well as non-profit organizations who are concerned with giving a voice to the underserved and meeting the needs of the community. Many of these people work in administration, management, research, and teaching positions, advancing causes they are passionate about in the hopes of making a difference.

Thank you! These professionals surely deserve our thanks, for their roles in our society are critical to its functioning. We must support them too—which is why South University offers degree programs in these fields for people interested in enhancing their careers. If you’re considering pursuing one of these career paths, know that your contribution is valuable and necessary. If you’re already working towards fulfilling one of these roles, well, we have to say, thank you!