Business Fashion

When entering the workforce for the first time or switching jobs, figuring out what to wear and when to wear it can be a struggle! Work attire can differentiate between companies, job types, seasons, and occasions. In this article, we will explore 4 different business fashion dress codes and when to wear them.

Casual

Casual business attire might be worn if you work in an informal office where many of your co-workers may wear t-shirts, jeans, etc. However, even if your workplace has a casual dress code, you should avoid dressing down when meeting with clients or in interviews. Things you can wear in a casual work environment include: t-shirts, blouses, sweaters, jeans, cropped pants, or khakis. Shoes may include sneakers, low heels, or sandals. Casual does not mean inappropriate or sloppy, so make sure to avoid wearing stained, wrinkled, overly revealing, or offensive clothes. The following pictures show two examples of casual attire.

Smart Casual

Smart casual is another form of casual business attire but with a stylish twist. This dress option incorporates trendy pieces to elevate a casual outfit into a more semi-formal one. This dress code is often very similar with casual and business casual attire, however the main difference is the incorporation of trends and statement pieces  for jewelry/accessories, as this makes you look cleaner and more put together than casual, while allowing more flexibility than business casual. Smart casual is a very versatile dress code with lots of options! Some items include dresses, sweaters, trousers, skirts, blouses, heels, flats, jewelry, and scarves. Footwear can remain casual as well — flats and open toed shoes are appropriate.

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Smart Casual attire

 

Business Casual

Business casual is very common in many offices and is a great default dress code when unsure what to wear to a particular setting. Business casual is a step down from a business professional look but is still very polished and professional. Business casual is suitable for luncheons, meetings, and the like. It is often seen at technology companies, as well as marketing or public relations departments. Common business casual clothing items include dress pants, khakis, blouses, and tailored blazers that achieve a balance between professional and relaxed. In terms of footwear, stay away from open-toed shoes and stick with either flats or low heels. Opt for neutral colors such as in a business professional dress code, but you can add small pops of color through accessories.

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Business Casual attire

 

Business Professional

Business professional attire is generally a more conservative and formal look to portray yourself in a professional manner. This dress code is more traditional and is very common in industries such as accounting, banking, finance, government, or law. Typically, women can wear a skirt or dress of appropriate length with pantyhose, a neat top, a blazer, a pantsuit, appropriate heels (typically no higher than 3 inches is a good rule of thumb), or tidy flats. Minimal jewelry and belts can be used to accessorize! When dressing in business professional attire it is recommended to stick with more neutral colors such as black, grey, tan, navy blue and white. This dress code is very typical for interviews and high-level meetings.

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Business Professional attire

Generally, an interview calls for business professional attire. The more important thing to consider when you’re dressing for a job interview is that you need to look professional and polished regardless of the type of position you’re seeking. As college students, this is very important because it shows that you know how to behave professionally. How you dress yourself for an interview will give off a particular first impression and you want this to be a positive one! I’m sure you all have heard the saying, “Dress for success,” or “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.” Keep these in minding when deciding upon your interview attire.

Now that you know the different kinds of business dress codes, you may be wondering how do I know which to follow? After being hired by a company the easiest way to figure out the dress code is to just ask! It may feel awkward, but feel free to ask your interviewer, supervisor, or human resources representative because it would be a lot more awkward showing up underdressed or overdressed!

As more and more companies switch to telecommuting many interviews may take place over zoom or videoconference. Remember, you still need to look professional even if it is just what is seen on the screen. For example, sweats and slippers on the bottom are okay, but you need to retain a professional, clean, showered, and polished look on top as you would normally. However, if an interview is taking place over a video conference it is most likely unnecessary to wear business professional attire such as wearing a full suit, but you must still look presentable by wearing a nice blouse and some jewelry.

As members of CWIB, we are so lucky to have a big, supportive group of women to back us up and give us advice. If you’re still feeling unsure about your workplace attire, don’t be afraid to ask anyone with job or internship experience! Reach out to friends and co-workers to get their advice on which styles would help employers perceive you best when interviewing or at various business events! Don’t forget to have fun with your personal style! Personalize your outfits in ways that represent who you are, while sticking to the guideline presented in this article.

By: Lindsay Barnes

 

 

 

 

Power Panel Update: Your Guide to CWIB’s Biggest Event of the Year in the Face of COVID-19

I’m sure you all were excited to attend Power Panel, may this be your first or final experience. Rest assured that although the rest of our semester will not look like what we hoped it would, CWIB is hard at work to ensure Power Panel 2020 will still occur, even if we cannot meet together in person at Virginia Tech. Our amazing members deserve to hear the empowering stories of our panelists and should be able to learn what “She Is” means to them in their respective careers. While the event experience may not be the one we expected, I can promise you it will not be one you want to miss.

Since we cannot hold Power Panel on campus this year, the leadership team has opted to transfer the event to a virtual platform. There are several possible platforms being discussed such as Zoom, Google Meet, and Facebook Live. In the big world of technology we now live in, our options are endless for being able to connect with the panelists. We are confident that whatever platform we choose to utilize, you all will be able to effectively hear the panelists and ask any questions that may arise. We want to confirm that the platform used can accommodate as many attendees as possible, so you all will be the first to hear “where” Power Panel will take place once it is decided! Power Panel will still occur on Wednesday, April 8th from 6:00 – 8:00 pm.

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One big shout out goes to Abby Riggs, our VP of Showcase. You all were probably not privy to see all that she did behind the scenes of organizing Power Panel. Between reaching out to numerous women to gain their interest in being panelists, to contacting the Inn at Virginia Tech with our menu preferences, and creating a promo video for the event, Abby put her heart and soul into making this event one we would all find so empowering, inspiring, and fun! We definitely shouldn’t discount all the hard work she put towards a successful Power Panel, so here’s a big thank you to Abby! We know Power Panel will be just as empowering and exciting as she planned it out to be.

For an official update on virtual Power Panel, I have included the statement from CWIB’s Facebook post:

We will be sending out a virtual invite for Power Panel in light of COVID-19. We will be sending out more information soon!

In the hopes of empowering, preparing, and connecting women, Collegiate Women in Business hosts our annual Power Panel. Our panelists will discuss a wide range of topics from how to start your career, to advice about navigating your path as both a woman and a businesswoman, to even personal stories about rising above their most difficult challenges. Each year, our panelists serve as an amazing support system and a great resource to learn more about pushing past adversity in the business world.

Featured panelists include:

Jill Mills; 737 Captain — United Airlines

Christina Daves; Publicity Strategist — PR for Anyone

Vicki Petrides; Principle Research Statistician — Abbot Laboratories

Admission is free and all are welcome. No advance registration is required.

We are still more excited than ever as this years’ Power Panel will be another one filled with uplifting, inspirational testimonies from successful women who were once where we are now. We can’t wait to see you all tuned in to the event! Be on the lookout in the next few weeks for Lauren’s Power Panel Preview article where she interviews the panelists and gains insight into their personal and professional endeavors. She introduces them to us so we can get a feel for who we will be hearing from at Power Panel. From steps they took to reach their goals to fun facts, you won’t want to miss out on meeting our panelists! While Power Panel will be set up differently, the benefits reaped from this event will be unlike any other. Keep an eye out for more updates to come and make sure not to let the unsettling times during COVID-19 keep you from doing your part to better yourselves, continue your learning, and help serve as a reminder to make our world a safer place in any way we can.

By: Emma Harwood 

 

 

 

 

Job Hunting: “Where Do I Start?”

above the problem

The Problem

Need some extra cash? Looking to build experience? Trying to land that dream job? Job hunting can be motivated by a variety of factors, each of which contribute to the level of urgency and professionalism needed in your search. Once the need to find a job arises, you may want to get started right away, but find yourself overwhelmed and confused. Knowing where to look, how much to ask for, and how to find the right fit for you is not always obvious, especially for first-time job-hunters. While looking for a job is not the same process for everyone, there are some key steps you can take, resources you can utilize, and general information everyone can benefit from. By acquiring some tips and tricks, you can become more confident and comfortable with pursuing this process. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and work for what you want!

above first steps

First Steps

The very first step you can take is looking inward. You can’t start looking without knowing what you want! Good questions to ask yourself are:

  1. Are you motivated by money or experience?
  2. How quickly do you need a job?
  3. What kind of work are you comfortable doing or would like to do?
  4. Do you have any skills or preferences that are applicable to a certain line of work?
  5. How often and for how long are you available to work?
  6. How much effort are you willing to put into your search?

If you already know the answers to these questions, or have a dream job in mind, that’s great! If not, in addition to asking yourself these questions, you can take some time to fill out some free assessments online that may help to match you with a certain career path. This “career cluster” interest assessment is just one of the many free online resources that can help you understand your preferences a little better if you are pursuing a full-time career (https://www.mynextmove.org/explore/ip). If you are making big decisions about what career you would like to pursue, doing thorough research about the field of your choice is also crucial. This includes understanding potential growth in that field, average pay, typical working hours, and much more.

Here are some reliable resources to aid your research:

Once you have a general idea of the direction of your search, the next best step is to make a plan. This plan may be more structured if you have time constraints or need to find a job quickly. Utilizing a planner or your phone calendar to map out your next moves can help you use your time more efficiently. Action items you should consider including in your plan are creating or updating your resumè, investing some time looking on popular job search websites, contacting any LinkedIn connections for prospective job openings, and scheduling interviews and informal meetings.

To find part-time or  full-time jobs near you, you can easily browse some popular job search sites, like Indeed, Monster, and Glassdoor. Companies will post positions they are looking to fill along with their respective responsibilities and wages. People who have worked at these companies in the past can leave reviews, which helps you choose a work environment that suits you best. Creating or updating a LinkedIn profile is also highly suggested for anyone looking to enter the workforce.

These steps may seem easy upon first glance, but this process may take some time. It is important to try to maintain a positive attitude and to stay patient during your job hunting experience because it can be easy to become demoralized by lack of positive responses. Keeping your chin up and persevering until you find the perfect opportunity for you will make your success even sweeter in the end!

above tried and true advice

Tried and True Advice

For college students in particular, there are some specific pieces of advice that can be especially helpful. Your school recognizes the need for resources dedicated to job hunting, so there will most likely be career fairs and networking events you can attend. Networking can include connecting with recruiters, alumni, and even your professors. If you excel or have an interest in any particular subject, your professor may be a great resource for job opportunities, research programs, and references for your resumè.

Additionally, keep an eye out for recruiters or recruiting events hosted by certain companies. These opportunities can be a direct pipeline to a full-time job! Networking is truly a key opportunity for college students to take advantage of whenever possible. Remember, networking is not only limited to high-ranking professionals; it is good to connect with anyone who can help you get where you want to go.

Furthermore, your campus most likely has a career services office, or something similar. VT certainly does! The career services office will host events to build students’ professional skills and knowledge and can be a good place to visit if you need career counseling or help with job hunting. You can ask questions and personalize your experience to suit your needs.

In terms of finding a quick part-time job, finding a position on campus that is easily accessible is usually very beneficial. You can play a contributing role in your school’s daily functions and acquire some student discounts, while being only a stone’s throw away from your classes. Working on campus can be a great way to explore different careers if you are fairly new to the working world, as on-campus jobs can include anything from food service, to retail, to graphic design.

above ready for takeoff

Ready for Takeoff!

Pursuing a new job or career path is tough. It takes persistence and strength to put yourself out there to new people, especially those you wish to impress. But, do not let it intimidate you! Someone out there is looking for someone just like you, with your unique skills, background, and personality. Just remember to utilize all of the resources available to you, take advantage of opportunities that come your way, and be confident in yourself because only you can make it happen!

By: Lauren Miles 

Wisdom for the Workforce

Over winter break, many students finalized their internships or job offers for the summer. For those who haven’t, fret not as there are countless opportunities still out there for grabs. You can find these offers on Handshake, LinkedIn, or any other job board such as Glassdoor or Indeed. For those who already have their summer plans set, it can be an overwhelming time as you anticipate what’s to come- especially if this is your first internship. However, Collegiate Women in Business and other resources on campus offer many resources for students to utilize to help ease their adjustment to their new jobs.

CWIB Events

One such resource is the Campus2City event on Wednesday, February 19th at 7:00 pm. Campus2City is a new Collegiate Women in Business sponsor who is hosting a workshop to help students who will be relocating to New York City after college. If you are busy worrying about your job duties and responsibilities, Campus2City will help take some of the load off of your back by answering all of your questions pertaining to New York relocation for your job. The event will consist of real estate practices and insight on what a career in real estate would look like. For those interested in the area, there will be job opportunities if you are still looking! Even if you are not a Real Estate major, expanding your interests to explore different career opportunities while getting involved is a good start to figuring out what you may want to do in the future. You may even fall in love with a new potential career path! If any of this sounds interesting to you, come out and enjoy some Chik-Fil-A while learning more about the Campus2City platform!

Another Collegiate Women in Business event coming up is the Dress for Success workshop, which will be hosted by Loft. The event will take place on Tuesday, February 25th from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at Loft on First and Main Street. It can be hard to figure out what to wear for a job, especially when there are countless types such as business casual, business creative, or business formal. During this event, Loft will help assist members on determining what kind of business attire is appropriate for different kinds of settings. The clothes you wear can impact your job greatly, since confidence in your appearance can also make you confident in the work you do. After you leave the Dress for Success workshop, you will feel much more informed on what kind of clothes you can wear to different business settings and how you can feel your prime during your job. After the workshop, Loft will stay open after hours for members to shop with an exclusive discount. Light refreshments will also be available, so show up to Loft on First and Main Street for a good time!

loft

Our Monthly Meetings are just about the best opportunities to hear from professional women in the workforce about their experiences and how we too can achieve our goals. I hope you all made the February meeting yesterday where we heard from the amazing Lindsay Burton, CEO and founder of Kayo Conference Series. Her inspiring story of her transition from Wall Street to starting her company gave us all insight into how we can be just as courageous in our professional endeavors. She stressed how women should not be afraid to be entrepreneurs as we all bring special skills and passions to what we choose to pursue. As Lindsay said, combining a passion, skills, and a way to make money is crucial in your professional success. As you determine what passions and skills you have, the money will come; it is important to focus on ambition over prestige when starting out in your company.

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Job Fairs

For those who have not secured an internship yet, Virginia Tech offers many job fairs for students to explore different companies and what they offer. On Wednesday, February 18th, The Career and Professional Development department is hosting a job fair at the Commonwealth Ballroom from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. There will be more than 125 companies represented at the fair offering positions from co-ops to internships, or even full time jobs. Examples of employers who will be at the event include the CIA, Geico, and the Peace Corps. Make sure to research the company before you arrive, and carry your resume and cover letters in a padfolio so you aren’t scrambling for papers.

Before heading to a job fair, ensure that your resume is updated and as professional as it could be. Virginia Tech often hosts resume workshops throughout different organizations. On Monday, February 10th, come to the Career Course 101: Resume and Cover Letter Basics events at Smith Career Center from 2:30 to 3:00 pm. You can get all your questions about your resume answered, as well as receive extra advice on small mistakes you might not have even been aware of. Make sure to RSVP on Handshake, if you plan to attend, since resume workshops are limited space. CWIB puts extensive efforts into conducting resume workshops, networking events, and publishing articles like this one intended to help you at job fairs! Keep your eyes open for these opportunities before the next job fair.

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Part Time Jobs

If you are unable to find an internship or want to take some time off before entering the workforce, finding a part time job can also be a great option for gaining experience in vital skills such as customer service, teamwork, or sales. Many students, especially those studying business, prioritize internships above all else and do not consider a part time retail or restaurant job when making summer plans. However, all job skills are transferable, and as long as you learn valuable lessons that will help you in the future, it is easy to express how integral part time jobs were in building your career.

College is often the first time students are exposed to the professional workforce. To help ease this transition, Virginia Tech and the Collegiate Women in Business offer many resources. Make sure to prioritize attending these events and workshops since gaining new skills and networking with professionals are invaluable to employers. CWIB sincerely appreciates our sponsors and members for taking the time out of our busy schedules to make the most of these events!

By: Gyu Ri Kim

 

Exams with Ease

Final exams week is infamously known at colleges all around the world to be a stressful time. Professors can expect their students to retain all the information from the semester and apply it during one exam, which is also often a majority of the grade. All of the exams for the courses are periodically spread throughout the week, which may make many students panic that they will not have enough time to prepare. However, with proper planning and healthy habits against cramming, students can ensure a high grade without too much stress!

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The first and most important tip is to plan ahead. Over time, students can find themselves procrastinating more and more when it comes to studying. This can be because in the face of such a huge task, people can get easily overwhelmed and will choose to not complete the task entirely. However, remember that the earlier you start, the less you will have to stress and cram. Divide your chapters or modules by the number of days you have left, and dedicate a specified hour everyday for that class. Remember to review previous information with each time you study to test your brain on your memorization skills and retain more information.

Another way to prepare for final exams is to use online resources such as Quizlet or other course materials your professor has provided for you. By taking practice tests that have to do with your course, you will be able to evaluate how you might apply the class material you have learned into ways that your professor is most likely going to test you. This way, you will be able to train your brain in a way that will be most beneficial for the exam.

If you have been cramming already and are reading this article by the time you think it is “too late”, do not worry! There is a lot more you can do to make up for lost time. For starters, make an outline of all the objectives you have learned this semester. Highlight the ones you are not completely confident in, and start by studying those sections. If you have time left over by the time final exams come by, go back to the other objectives you were more confident in and make sure you know everything about that subject!

Studying repetitive information for a long time can cause your brain to burn out by the end. That is why giving yourself rewards and practicing self care is important! Treat yourself for finishing a particularly difficult module, or put on a face mask while reviewing your notes. By feeling good about yourself and practicing wellness, you can ensure that your mind stays in a positive, sane state instead of progressively putting more and more stress on yourself. For most students, it is their own self that puts the most pressure on them than the exam does. Trust yourself that you will be able to do well, and that you in the future will know exactly everything you need by the time exams come around!

The night before an exam, the most important thing is to get at least eight hours of sleep, not cram and pull an all-nighter. Your sleep is much more important in making sure your mind is prepared in the morning, than the little tidbits of information you will fit in at that time, so be sure you do everything you can to prevent yourself from becoming so far behind that you feel the need to stay up all night. Drink lots of water and in the morning, make yourself a healthy breakfast. Try to refrain from consuming any caffeine and if possible, get some yoga or meditative exercises in!

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During the exam, remember to keep your cool and do not stress over the questions. Skip any questions that you will have to think longer than a minute, and come back to them later at the end of the test. Be sure to take occasional water breaks and keep your hands from cramping up. A big part of the exam is being confident that you know the material, so finish the exam with an expectation that you grade will come out much better than you might think!

After the exam, it is normal for one to question him or herself and progressively feel unconfident in their answers. To make sure you do not spiral into a state of confusion and anxiety, remember that stressing over the past will not change anything! By prioritizing your time, practicing successful study methods, and taking each exam one by one, you can rest assured the grade will take care of itself. Remember to reward yourself after your exams; it is finally time for a well-deserved break, so don’t start it off stressing too much about how you did! I believe in you CWIB! Good luck on all your finals!

By: Gyu Ri Kim

 

Tips for Landing that Internship!

I know we’ve all been there, stressing about what internship to apply for or where to even start in obtaining one. It’s best to be proactive in your search as many applications for the spring and summer positions are currently being accepted. In this article I’m going to provide you with some great tricks and tips on how to secure that desired internship.

Step 1: Preparation

First and foremost, preparation is key. The first step in being prepared is having a straightforward resume that highlights your achievements and accomplishments. (And freshman, don’t be worried if you still have items listed from high school! Most recruiters take your age into consideration and value your commitment to positions held prior to college). Another major factor in preparation is your appearance. I know that may sound a little odd, but you always want to make sure that you are dressed in an appropriate manner, whether that be business professional or business casual. Along with these two steps in preparation, knowing what you want is vital. If you know what type of internship you want and have a direction to go in, it is much easier navigating Handshake, LinkedIn and other job networking platforms that lead to internships. Research is also an integral aspect of preparation and allows you to be exponentially more confident when talking to recruiters and networking at events. It is impressive to show a little background information on the companies that are interviewing you!

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Step 2: Research and Networking

Speaking of research to learn about companies, along with this preparation comes networking. Luckily, Virginia Tech has abundant resources to help you get your foot in the door with events such as Business Horizons (in both the fall and spring!), Careers in Science, the Spring Civil Engineering Fair, and so many others. Before attending these events, it is important to do your research! Look at the list of companies that will be attending your career fair and highlight the ones that you are interested in and know are taking interns for your specific major. After doing so, make sure to research each company so you feel confident in talking to any recruiter you may network with.  I know that networking can seem like a daunting task, but most recruiters are Hokie alumni and would love to reminisce about their time at Virginia Tech. Once commonalities are established between you and the networker, highlight your interests and how they align with their company. I also recommend connecting with the recruiters you meet with on LinkedIn, and possibly follow up with an email expressing your interest in their programs and internships. On a side note, a lot of companies offer externships which are a great avenue towards getting a summer internship.

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  • Important note! Networking can happen anywhere at all times. Always be talking to your friends and classmates because you never know when an opportunity will arise, simply through word of mouth! Your professors are also incredible resources as many of them have experience in the field that you are interested and may even guide you in the right direction for internships and other opportunities. Don’t hesitate to reach out! There is never any harm in trying.

Step 3: Mock Interviews 

After going through the process of researching, networking, attending events, and following through with the companies you talk to, hopefully an invitation for an interview will come your way. For interviews, it is important to feel confident in yourself so the hiring manager sees your interest in the internship. Most interviews nowadays are behavioral and you should answer these questions with the STAR approach. The STAR approach stands for Situation, Task, Action and Result. In order to feel comfortable answering these types of questions I highly recommend researching STAR behavioral questions and jotting down a couple of scenarios that fit the top 10-20 questions. I have also found that asking a friend to do a mock interview with you is extremely beneficial so that you can work through the kinks in your answers. Make sure to find someone who won’t be afraid to provide you with constructive criticism! This will help you in the long run.

Mock interview

Step 4: BE CONFIDENT

I know, easier said than done. And, confidence in these skills comes with practice. However, I know that each one of you are strong, tenacious women who can have a meaningful impact in the industry that you choose to go into. Our CWIB women will always be here to provide you with encouragement and support! Work hard and believe in yourself; the rest will come.

By: Paige Horn 

 

Distancing Distractions

We all suffer from distractions. Perhaps the most frustrating part is that we know what is distracting us. It is our phones, social media, friends peer pressuring us to get ice cream at midnight, the urge to re-watch Friends before they take it off Netflix, a social event you opted out of, then went to anyway because you are only in college once, right?

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Here are some solutions that will help keep you motivated and actually complete your work so that, hopefully, you are in college only once and not longer than your bank account, or poor grades, allow.

Try out a Diffuser

You have probably heard about essential oils and their natural benefits. A diffuser is similar to  a mini humidifier and is great for clearing the air and scenting a room. If certain scents help clear your mind and ease your stress, take this tip into consideration. Here’s a list of basic oils to diffuse to help you focus throughout the week:

  • Lavender: calms (good for sleep), makes a room smell great
  • Peppermint: boosts energy and increases focus (helpful to wake you up)
  • Lemon: clears the air and relaxes

Use the Pomodoro Studying Technique 

The Pomodoro Technique is a method of productivity that involves about 25 minutes of work followed by a short break. There are YouTube videos about two hours long you can “study along” with or use your own timer. This may not be for everyone, but it for sure helps me when I am struggling to get in the zone or do not know where to start on work. The technique helps jumpstart something, which sometimes is all you need. This method is also effective when you have several chapters of material to study for. It is quite difficult to review so much in one sitting, so break up the work!

Track your Sleep

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A huge distraction to college students is the urge to sleep. Whether due to lack of sleep or simply that a nap sounds better than writing a paper, sleep can sneak in a steal time away from you. However, if you know why you want to sleep, you can adjust your schedule accordingly. Prioritize what you need to get done at certain times so that a nap can fit into your schedule. Plan to wake up earlier to finish homework that way you can fall asleep at a reasonable time the next night. Something that works for me is using my smartwatch to track my sleep; I highly recommend this if you have one. The Sleep Cycle app also does a great job and is an easy download to your smartphone. What sleep tracking does for you is lets you know why you feel tired. If you lacked quality sleep last night, a thirty minute nap may be beneficial to your productivity. If you slept well last night, maybe coffee would be more effective for you to get work done, rather than sneaking in an extra nap.

Space out the Coffee

Speaking of coffee, it is more or less every college student’s best friend. When you drink coffee (or any caffeine) can have a significant impact on when the stimulant kicks in. If you feel well rested in the morning, I would suggest holding off on the coffee until the afternoon to avoid a midday slump. If you start to feel tired throughout the day, think about when you need the most energy. For example, if you have class soon but need to write a paper right after, caffeine would probably be best after class when you need to focus more. Try to plan ahead like this instead of reaching for caffeine every time you feel slightly tired. Grabbing coffee could also be a time to get together with friends, rather than feeling pressured to spend time with them right before a big project is due. However, too much caffeine could have negative effects on your health such as headaches or troubling sleeping that night, both which distract you from work or rest.

Invest in Blue Light Glasses 

They are cute, fun, and will save your eyes. As college students, we stare at computer screens often. Blue light glasses help to reduce the strain on your eyes and increase the amount of time you can look at a screen. If you constantly feel the need to get off the computer due to headaches, clearly not much work is being completed. A piece of advice I have is to keep these glasses on whenever doing online school work, rather than just mindlessly scrolling social media. This way, you are motivated to complete assignments when the glasses are on, and know you can relax when you take them off. Not to mention, the glasses are super trendy and can be worn in everyday life. Amazon has cheap ones, as well as more expensive brands like Warby Parker. Prescription glasses can also be made with blue light protection. Check these out if staring at screens all the time distracts you from getting your work done.

Compartmentalize your Digital Life

What is worse than pulling an all-nighter? Pulling an all-nighter when next to your Google docs tab is your Netflix tab where you have an unfinished episode of The Office sitting. If it makes sense for you, keep two accounts on your computer- one for school and one for everything else. That way when you sign into one, you are not distracted by the other. Additionally, only keep certain tabs visible when you are doing work. You can make the Netflix tab its own window and minimize it so it’s out of sight, but is accessible later.

Productive Breaks

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While breaks are necessary, you want to make sure you are utilizing this time wisely. Clean up your desk in between study sessions, do your dishes, or workout. Breaks are much needed for your academic success as no one can be expected to constantly work on class material. Productive breaks help to keep an active mindset and are more conducive to studying than scrolling through Instagram. You still keep your mind and body engaged, but in other methods than studying. After these breaks, you will feel rejuvenated and ready to tackle the next assignment. By the end of the day, you will feel great about what you accomplished in multiple areas of your life.

Of course, there are several more ways to distance distractions such as putting your phone in another room or listening to study playlists, but I hope these tips will give you practical ideas to help your productivity in ways you might not have thought of before. And yes, this is also your reminder to binge watch Friends over break because it will be taken off Netflix at the end of this year.

By: Grace Farmelo