Thursday, March 28, 2013

Ask Isa: "Honor or scam?" How do you know if an honor society is legit?

From the Ask Isa inbox:

Hi Isa! My boyfriend and I keep getting offers to apply for honor societies, but they come with an upfront fee. Are these worth it? They don't even look that competitive, the ones that we've been receiving only require a 3.0. Since you're the college expert, I thought you might know or have written an article about this subject. Thanks Isa! Sincerely, Honor or scam?

Dear Honor or scam, 

Thank you so much for asking this question! I remember getting many honor society letters and never knowing which ones were really worth it. I'm not the ultimate expert on this, but here is what I recommend you do before you accept an offer:

1) Bring the letter to a few trusted professors and get their input. Most legit honors societies are well known. If you get a letter for an honor society specific to your major (e.g. I got invited to Lambda Pi Eta, a communications honors society) be sure to ask a professor in that major. I had never heard of Lambda Pi Eta, but when I asked my communications professor about it she said it was a great thing to add to my resume, and she asked me to get involved because she was the chapter advisor; it was great.

Professors live in the academic world and will often know what is recognized as an honor and what isn't worth your time and money. 

2) Search the honor society online. Check their website, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn group, and then do a Google search to see what people are saying. Don't take one complaint too seriously (as many people use the internet to complain more than to praise), but do take notice if a lot of people are saying it's a scam or if they thought joining wasn't worth it.

The Association of College Honor's Societies also lists some great things to consider when looking online to see if an honor society is legitimate. 

3) See if the honor society has a presence on campus. Another good sign is if the honor society has a chapter and meetings on your campus - that way you know it will be a chance to get involved. 

Though of course if you go to a very small college, the absence of a chapter may just be because no one has stepped up to lead - if the honor society checks out, consider starting a chapter on your campus!

4) Consider the benefits. Once you've determined the honor society is a good one (note: the ones I can 100% guarantee are looked upon as great honors are Phi Theta Kappa (2-year colleges) and Phi Beta Kappa (4-year colleges)), JUMP right in. 

You should be so proud of yourself for being recognized, and realize that good honor societies will add a great line to your resume, transfer applications, and scholarship applications. They can also provide opportunities to get involved. 

When I speak to community colleges my heart breaks when students come up to me afterwards and say "I got accepted to this thing called Phi Theta Kappa and I wasn't going to accept because of the money, but now that I heard you talk about it I'm definitely going to do it." 

Phi Theta Kappa was a HUGE benefit to my life; it offered me the opportunity  to apply to tons of scholarships, helped me develop my leadership skills, made me eligible for a special transfer scholarship at my transfer university, and introduced me to lifelong friends and my first airplane ride. 

I know when you get this random letter with a price attached it's easy to be unsure. And for some of those letters, you should be skeptical. But there are some that you should be so proud of, and for which the money invested will give you a huge return, especially if you get involved in your local chapter. 

So basically what I'm trying to say is, join Phi Theta Kappa if you're accepted, and always ask trusted professors for advice in this area. 

Congratulations for doing the hard work to get the GPA that honor societies look for. KUDOS! :) 



P.S. To any current Phi Theta Kappa members: I will be at the international convention in San Jose, CA next week!!!! 

I'll be doing two ed sessions (check out the times in the agenda when you arrive), and when I'm not doing those you can find me in the Marketplace at the Pearson booth helping students tell their One Professor stories to get us to 500 videos so I'll get pied in the face live at convention!

(If your chapter would like to get an early start on the chapter competition associated with One Professor, check out this video). 

If you get to Marketplace early you might just find yourself walking away with a free autographed book. If you've already bought my book be sure to bring it with you as I'd be happy to sign it for you while I'm there. I can't wait to see you!!!

You can also check out this special highlight reel featuring all of the PTK One Professor videos we've already received!! :) 

To ask me a question that I'll answer on the blog, go to the Ask Isa inbox to submit it anonymously. 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

How to access the hidden job market

Do you know how many jobs are actually posted online? The short answer: not very many. Check out this quick-tip video from The SKiNNY to find out what you can start doing right now to access the hidden job market :)

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A habit that can put you in the top 1%

“Formal education gets you a job, self education gets you rich.” - Jim Rohn

As you know, I'm kind of a big fan of formal education. However, a college degree alone is not enough. Those who succeed are always learning

Self-education is a habit, and the earlier you start the more successful you will be. Period. 

(Sometimes I think back to what an odd kid I was - when I was a teenager I asked for 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens for Christmas (I know, nerd-alert). Self-learning always seemed a natural companion to formal learning to me.)

But how do you fit in extra learning while you're also getting formally educated? Well, you just do it. 

It's also helpful to set goals. For example, how about reading one book per month? I recently read in The Charge that people who read one book per month are in the top 1% of intellectuals. Not a bad payoff. 

A core concept in my book is how to find and learn from mentors - which is vital to college success. However, some of my favorite mentors also live in books. 

Lately I've had a lot of (awesome) readers e-mail me asking for my favorite non-fiction books about success, so I thought I would share them below. 

This is just a list to get you started - if you have any recommendations please share them in the comments section or on the Facebook page

And while I believe there is no better investment than in your formal and self-education, never underestimate the power of libraries when money is tight. 

The 10 books that have helped me reach my dreams these past few years (in no particular order):

1. 7 Habits of Highly Effective People 
2. The Compound Effect 
3. The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth 
4. Outliers 
5. So Good They Can't Ignore You 
6. How to Be Like Walt 
7. What Should I do with my Life? 
8. Making Good 
9. Good to Great 
10. Never Eat Alone

And if you're looking to improve your college performance, some of my favorites include How to Win at College, How to Become a Straight-A Student, Say This, NOT That to your Professor, and a little diddy called Community College Success. ;)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

First steps to build your online presence in college

Lately it seems building an online presence comes up at every event I attend with students. Some of the sound bites I've been hearing include:

"Yeah I started a LinkedIn profile but I have no idea what to do with it."

"I'm not sure how much employers actually check Facebook."

"I'm in college so I feel like I don't have any experience to put online."

"I don't really know how to network with people online."

"I feel awkward putting myself out there."

"I know I should have a website or something but I'm just terrible with all that stuff."

Many assume the millennial generation is born knowing how to do all of this stuff, but the truth is, building an online professional persona can be daunting, even for the most technologically-savvy millennials.

You are not alone if this online presence thing feels new and a little overwhelming. 

Many of the students I work with and speak to are first generation college students. Like myself, we enter the professional world of college graduates without parents who've been there. 

And even for those who have college-educated parents, getting a job and building an online presence was certainly not something their parents did when they graduated college. 

But the truth is building your online presence is not just a "nice" extra thing to do. It is THE thing to do. LinkedIn ambassador Linsey Pollak recently predicted in her award-winning career blog that "LinkedIn Profiles [will] replace resumes."

Below are the top three things you should do right now to get started:

1) Start a LinkedIn profile if you haven't already. 

2) Develop your profile immediately. Having a bare LinkedIn profile is not just as good as not having one at all. Take an hour or so and create the entire thing (it's actually pretty fun, especially with all the new features). 

Check out Lindsey's tips for what to add on your LinkedIn profile as a college student/recent grad. 

You have more skills that you realize, even if you haven't had a lot of work experience. List your education, awards, leadership experiences, internships, and any additional work (e.g. volunteer) you are doing in your desired field. 

Then, make an appointment with the career counselor at your college and ask her to review your LinkedIn profile just as she would a resume. Ask lots of people for feedback and continue to tweak it as you grow. 

You can see my LinkedIn profile here.

3) Link all of your work and profiles on a home page. Having a website in your name (e.g. will make you stand out (note: I use WordPress). 

However, thinking about developing an entire website can feel daunting at first, so to start, consider creating a simple page. I tried it out a few nights ago so I could share it with you if it was any good, and I was amazed at how easy it is and how professional it looks. 

When creating yours, keep it simple and focus on the apps and links that best represent your professional goals (i.e. blog, online portfolio, artwork, publications, online articles, etc.). Only add social media channels that you keep professional (e.g. LinkedIn). 

I also recommend considering using your Twitter (or perhaps creating a second one) for sharing news in your industry and interacting with professionals you admire. 

Creating your online presence can actually be really fun, and will pay off when it comes time to finding internships and jobs. Just try it and see.

And if you have any questions along the way about the steps above or your online presence in general, please submit them in the Ask Isa inbox as I'm currently gearing up to tackle building your online presence and personal brand as the 2013 summer series. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Don't forget to stop and smell the body paint (I mean roses)

College goes by fast, and while we all don't have time to attend sporting events and do all the "typical" college stuff, everyone can make time for some fun.

Whatever on-campus experience your college offers, don't forget to stop and enjoy it. Take some time to not worry about your resume or your grades and enjoy the unique experience that is college. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

You are creative. Really.

When someone asks if you're creative, do you just say "no"? I used to. Because I couldn't draw and got a B in pottery class, I assumed I wasn't creative. It wasn't until becoming a professional did I realize creativity goes far beyond the arts. You can bring creativity into everything you do; and in fact in today's world, it's mandatory.

This video from the Pearson Students Break Through series shares some tips on how to develop your creativity (note: no actual cursing was spoken in the making of this video ;))

Monday, March 18, 2013

An overachiever's survival guide to group projects

A student recently submitted the following question to the Ask Isa inbox:

"Group projects really stress me out because I like to be 'in control' of my work. It also seems a few of us always have to pick up the slack for others, which adds to my stress. 

"I also don't like the idea of someone else's work possibly impacting my grade. Right now I am in a group with one other hard worker, one so-so worker, and two major slackers. And that is the best group I have been in so far!

"I found out that the majority of my remaining classes involve group projects; I enjoy school except for this! Most of the students I have talked to about group projects despise them. What should I do to get through this? Sincerely, Group Project Hater."

Dear Group Project Hater,

I love people, and love working with other high achievers to produce something spectacular. In my current consulting job, I get to work with amazing people; and the things we come up with together are truly greater than anything I would come up with on my own. 

But I am 100% with you on this one; the announcement of a new group project in college caused my breath to shorten and blood pressure to skyrocket. Noooooooooo!!! I'd think. I too hated a project not in my full control.

Working with people who do not share your work ethic or enthusiasm is downright painful. 

So what do you do to manage the stress and get a good grade, without doing all the work yourself?  

Below are the steps I took to always ace my group projects, even when I was working with others who weren't interested in working very hard:

1) Set your priorities. If your first priority is to make sure everyone does exactly the same amount of work, you are going to feel stressed. Instead, set priorities in an order that will ensure you get the best results with little stress. My group project priorities were always:

a) get a good grade
b) enjoy the experience
c) empower everyone to do their part

2) Enjoy. Don't forget to have "enjoy the experience" somewhere on your priority list. 

Group projects that are all stress and no fun will not produce the best results. Let creativity flow by enjoying each other's company along the way (e.g. set up group meetings at favorite hangout spots; set aside time for conversation just to get to know your group members.)

3) Become the project expert. When assigned the project, decide to become the expert on the assignment directions and the best process to easily get the job done. 

On the first day assigned, read the project directions carefully, meet with the professor for any needed clarifications, and then draft a process that you think will best divide the project up. 

Do not wait until the first group meeting to come up with a plan of action together - come prepared with one. 

Consider how many people are in your group, what aspects of the project need to be completed (e.g. research, writing, formatting, PowerPoint slides, etc.), and how things could best be divided and yet still come together into a cohesive whole. 

When you establish yourself as the expert and make the project more manageable for everyone else they will love you for it and will look to you to help guide the work. Not only does this help you ensure you will get a good grade, but it also divides the work and empowers everyone in the group to contribute their part. 

3) Use the professor as a last resort. Leave the professor out of the interpersonal conflicts as much as possible. Try to work things out among yourselves, and only go to the professor when you feel like you have tried everything else. 

If you do have to go to the professor, do not start by complaining. Professors are more than aware that group projects cause interpersonal difficulty, and will probably not have a ton of sympathy for your situation. 

Instead, approach it maturely, expressing your understanding that this is a learning process, but that you are concerned chiefly about your grade because you are working hard and want to do well in the class. 

Ask your professor for advice about what you should do, and inquire if there is any kind of "group grading" process at the end (e.g. some professors have each group member anonymously "grade" each other based on how well they worked and how much effort they put in, as well as documenting what each person did).

If not, take any advice your professor gives and try to work things out. If, when you get your project grade back, it is not what you believe you deserved, set up an appointment the professor and express your concern and ask what can be done.

While I have worked with some difficult people throughout college group projects, in the end my grades were never negatively affected (because I always used the process explained in steps 1-3).  But I know on rare occasions there will be situations with group members that are completely out of your control. 

4) Grow. Use every group project as an opportunity to develop your management and interpersonal skills. It will be painful, but you will get better. 

Because no matter what major we choose or what kinds of jobs we take, collaborative work will always be a part of our lives (e.g. ever tried to plan a vacation with your family?).

I hope my strategy helps you, but feel free to tweak it and come up with whatever works for you. You'll know you have it right when you find yourself laughing during a group meeting, enjoying yourself and the people around you, confident in the product you all are creating. 



If you have a question you'd like to see answered on the blog, submit it anonymously in the Ask Isa inbox. You'd be surprised how many other students you will help by asking :)

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Ask Isa: What do you do when a friend unfriends you on Facebook?

A question submitted to Ask Isa:

Dear Isa, I’ve noticed in CC (especially when you’re in the honors program) you make a lot of close friends! It’s been a few years after we've graduated, and one of my friends defriended me from facebook and twitter. I have no idea why and they did it silently, however extremely noticeably, all of our mutual friends noticed. I always thought we were friends. Should I confront her or what? Sincerely, Unfriended."

Dear Unfriended,

Ugh it is an awful feeling when you notice someone you thought was your friend has done the dreaded "unfriend" or "unfollow" on social media - especially if you weren't expecting it. 

It is wonderful to make close friends in college, as I also did with the people I met in my honors program. However, I graduated community college six years ago and we rarely talk anymore.

I think the world of them and would do anything for them in a second, but for the most part we've all moved on in our lives. It happens, and it's natural.

We have many friends for only a season in our lives. While it is lovely for those who meet people in high school or college and stay friends forever, it is rare. It's completely okay if your friendships in college don't last forever.

When it comes to "unfriending" on social media, some people do it with a variety of theories in mind. For some crazy reason yes, your friend might have decided she doesn't like you anymore. But she also might be trying to simplify her social media, intending to keep only the people she feels really close to now, or a variety of other reasons. 

If you feel like you and her have grown apart naturally, there is no need to confront her about it. 

However, if it does bother you and that awful feeling isn't going away, there is no reason why you cannot (maturely) ask her why you were unfriended. 

Keep it casual and say something like: "Hey_____, I hope all is well. I still think about all the times we had doing_________ in the honors program and miss you. I know this might be awkward, but I realized recently you unfriended me on Facebook and Twitter. Is everything okay? I just wanted to make sure I didn't do anything that upset you..." 

Of course write it in your own words, but keep it light, kind, and not defensive, because you don't know the reasons yet. 

One time I noticed an "unfriend" from a co-worker that made me feel bad and I wanted to know what happened. 

I asked her about it in person and it turned out she was just unfriending all the people who worked at our company because she realized she wanted to keep her Facebook separate from work and that it was nothing personal; she still liked me. I felt so much better, and once I got a new job we became Facebook friends again. 

Social media adds new nuances to friendships. There are many rules to breaking up with a boyfriend or girlfriend, but none for "breaking up" with friends, which can make those unexpected unfriendings really awkward and uncomfortable. 

But whatever happens, stay positive and mature, wishing the other person the best whatever his or her reasons, apologizing if you did do something you feel was wrong, and then move forward.

Some people are worth your time and effort to mend the relationship, and I recommend doing that as much as possible, as much as in your control. But sometimes, it's out of your hands and all you can do is let go, move forward, invest in the friends you have, and enjoy accepting new friend requests when they come your way :) 



Have a question for me? You can submit it anonymously in the Ask Isa inbox :)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

What Disney & Pixar teach us about failure

When you think of Pixar, the last word that probably comes to your mind is failure. 

Disney Pixar's first movie (and the first computer animated feature film ever) was Toy Story; it released in 1995 and grossed over $192 million. 

And since then every single movie they have released has been a hit. Every single one: A Bug's Life, Finding Nemo, Cars, Wall-E, Brave....any of this ring a bell? 

This is unheard of. How are they so successful? 

Before I answer that question, I also want to consider a Disney film you may have heard of: Beauty and the Beast.

Beauty and the Beast was released in 1991 and was the first animated film to win a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture. 

Beauty and the Beast and Toy Story have something important in common that I think is integral to Disney Pixar's continued success. 

Both films were, at first, complete failures.

Not the films we saw, of course. But the creative teams initially developed scripts and storyboards for entire films that were supposed to be the first Toy Story and Beauty and the Beast. But they weren't. Because they failed.

The studios had invested millions of dollars in these first scripts and storyboards. But when the final teams saw the stories they felt something was missing - the stories fell flat and just didn't work. So they decided to lose millions, scrap the entire thing, and ask the team to start all over again. 

Can you imagine how awful that must have felt? To work on something for so long, with so much dedication, thinking it's good, and then having to do it all over again? 

And can you imagine losing millions of dollars because you thought something wasn't good enough? 

But they did. They all thought it was worth the risk, and they did not want to produce anything that they didn't believe would be great.

I think a huge part of Disney Pixar's success is their willingness to start over, and to never settle for less than, well, magic.

This idea applies to all of us, especially to community college students. Many of you may feel like you have started over. I've even met adult students who say they feel like they are starting a little late in the game. 

I also meet people who see what I've done by the age of 25 and feel like they haven't accomplished enough. And to that I always say "phooey" (okay I don't use that exact word because it would be weird, but I use it in my head). I think the bravest people in the world are the ones who are willing to say "scrap that I'm starting over."

Never be afraid to start from scratch if something isn't working. Never be afraid to own a failure. Those who are willing to take those risks and not settle for anything less will find the kind of unbelievable success that only grows from the seeds of failure. 

If you too are a Disney & Pixar fan you will love the documentaries The Pixar Story and Waking Sleeping Beauty. Both of these films inspired this blog post, and inspired me more than I can say. 

Monday, March 11, 2013

How to be bolder in college

Last weekend I went to Disney with a friend who is in her senior year of college. It was the last day of her Spring Break, and we roamed EPCOT, instagraming ourselves in every country, eating lots in Italy, China, and Germany. 

When the sun went down it got chilly and we walked to our locker to retrieve our jackets. My friend returned the locker key inside, and the young guy behind the counter started making conversation with her. She learned he was an intern with the Disney College Program, and he kept asking her questions. I noticed this was more than just a friendly exchange. There was chemistry. 

We walked away and she seemed to glow. We didn't talk about it, but continued excitedly into the park, rode Test Track, and then devoured honey chicken and sweet and sour pork in China.

But then, with a few grains of white rice left on the plate and in the contented silence after a perfect meal, my friend said, "I have this crazy idea that I should give that guy my number." 

She is shy, and I have never been outgoing myself. But something about that statement just seemed right, exciting, and a perfect thing to do on the last day of spring break. So I said, "why not?"

So with a boldness I had never seen from her, she wrote down her number on the receipt after we paid for our meal, and we marched up to the front of the park. I could hear her heart pounding, trying to talk herself out of it but knowing she would kick herself if she didn't go through with it. 

But when we peeked in the store, he was gone. 

My friend realized that she wasn't ready to give up; she strolled in and asked the new people at the counter if his shift had ended or if maybe, just maybe, he was on break. Sure enough, he was on break and would be back in half an hour. 

She left the store and we laughed, feeling like silly 7th graders.

We continued to dessert and watched the fireworks.

On our way out of the park, we peeked in that store one more time, officially feeling like stalkers. There he was, behind a counter teeming with tired vacationers trying to get their pictures from the day. It seemed like it was over. 

But then, in an instant he moved to the end of the counter and there was a break in the line of customers; my friend walked into the store, said "hey, I don't usually do this, but you seem cool and I wanted to give you my number in case you ever want to hang out before you leave" (he lived in another state and was only in Florida for the college program). 

I kept darting my eyes in to see his reaction; this guy's face lit up and he and the worker next to him looked stunned. I'm guessing this doesn't happen to them often.

I could also tell that their night had been made. My friend had given them  a fun story to tell, had shaken things up, done something surprising, and came out on the other end feeling like she had grown in some unspeakable way. 

I don't want to disappoint you, but this isn't a love story. The guy texted my friend the next day and said she indeed did make his day and he thought she was really cute, but that he was already talking to a girl at his college back home. 

But all along we both knew this story was never about her and this guy living happily ever after. It was about doing something you don't usually do, something outside your comfort zone.  

There was something magical in my friend's boldness. I've known her since she was a freshman in college, and I saw something new in her that day. Typically a shy, reserved person, she was now willing to reach out even when it seemed crazy. 

This is not about why you should give random people your number (I do not recommend this in most situations), but it is about taking chances in your college experience, meeting new people, and being unafraid to be bold -- even if it means it might not work out the way you think. 

Is there an opportunity you've been holding back on? Is there a person in your class you think seems cool but you're feeling too afraid to start a conversation? Is there something you've always wanted to do but are putting it off because you're scared?

Don't be afraid to put yourself out there. We rarely do because we want to avoid that burning feeling of rejection. 

But when you take risks in spite of rejection, you might find that the burning feeling can also transform into fuel that can teach you something and propel you forward, towards a destination you might have never discovered otherwise. 

So throw some caution to the wind and do something scary. It might not work out, and that's okay. But what if it does? 

Friday, March 8, 2013

A behind-the-scenes interview with a celebrity

Okay, I know this is super-misleading; I'm not really that kind of a celebrity, although some might say I'm quite the celebrity in Tallahassee, FL where I host The SKiNNY on College Success for TCC22. (For example, I was recently asked to ride on the back of a convertible in the local parade....kind of like Santa ya.....I'd say I'm kind of a big deal.) ;) 

Seriously, though - the amazing team at TCC22 whom I love very much put together this behind-the-scenes interview for their TCC22 Report to share my story. There also may or may not be some dancing caught on camera when I didn't know they were filming... 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

An easy way to never miss a deadline in college

Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post and all opinions are my own. I am sharing this free app because I think it is a great resource for community college students. 

I recently met the founder and CEO of and was so excited to learn more about this incredible mobile app JUST for community college students.

The app was the winner of the 2013 Gates Foundation College Knowledge Challenge and is grounded in research. The tips you'll get on your phone are crafted just for you and are designed to reach you at exactly the right time. 

It also features your community college calendar and sends you reminders on those very important dates and deadlines (like add/drop). 

It's been downloaded 1,200+ times so far and students have been writing great reviews, such as:

"This app really is a community college counselor in my pocket." 

"I've missed deadlines in the past but never again now that I have GradGuru."

"Awesome app. Really keeps you on track with deadlines and stuff. Love the alerts and the tips are super helpful!!"

I've been waiting to tell you about it because it was only on the iPhone. Now it's available for the Android too and here is how you can get it right now: 

1) Download it on Google Play (Android) or the App Store (iPhone) by searching "GradGuru" (no space in between). 

2) When the app opens it will prompt you to add your college. If your college is not on the list, go to the "unlock" tab at the top and it will prompt you to send an e-mail. Once you click the email button a pre-filled email will show up  asking GradGuru to add your school. All you have to do is enter in the name of your school in the space at the end and click send. 

Once GradGuru receives requests from 10 students from the same school they will add it! So tell your friends, a club you're involved with on campus, or your SGA to download the app and send the request so your school will be on the app! 

(This would be an especially great idea for any PTK students involved in the College Completion initiative as it'd be a great app to share with students who sign the College Completion banner.)

3) Do nothing. Once you've done that GradGuru will do the rest! You'll get relevant and timely tips straight to your phone that will help you be successful in community college and beyond. The app has just recently launched and new features and helpful things will also continue to get added. 


Monday, March 4, 2013

Why you should experiment in college

First of all, if you think I'm about to talk about anything raunchy, sexy, or alcohol-related you will be sorely disappointed.

Okay, so now that I've got three of you still with me, here is what I mean by experimenting in college ;) ....

I just got back from the library and I feel giddy with excitement. As a child, there was nothing I loved more than perusing the shelves for the latest Betsy and Tibby or Amelia Bedelia book. I still roam that same library, and while my books of choice have changed, the elation hasn't.

I put books on hold a lot, but what I love most is the aimless wandering, judging books by their covers and the first few sentences on page one, and deciding whether or not I want to give it a try.

I usually leave these wanderings with a stack of books so high I can barely see over it. And usually, out of 10 books I'll only really love one.

But it's in the search of that one that keeps me going. I can count on my hand the books that have significantly affected my life and altered my perspective - and most are books I never would have read if I hadn't walked down an aisle and randomly chosen something I'd never heard of before.

You should do the same thing in college. Search for opportunities. Wander your campus and read the flyers. Experiment with different clubs, interests, internships, and classes. 

Even if you try out ten new things and only one works out, it could be the one that changes your life and your future forever.

I know that sounds dramatic, but I can honestly point to a few key random moments (and people) in my college life that without which I would not be where I am today. And looking back, I would have never encountered those opportunities if I hadn't experimented with different things, many that didn't work out. 

Roam your campus. Meet people. Take advantage of every opportunity. 

It just takes one.