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In Guest Posts on
June 21, 2016

Guest Post: 5 Tips For Joining Clubs in College

Note From Amanda: I was supposed to post today, but I have been rather busy with my graduate assistantship. I had this post from Faith that I was supposed to share with y’all during my trip to Chicago, so I wanted to share that with y’all today. I will be back on Thursday with an awesome new post–until then, check out this great post from Faith all about joining clubs in college.

Hey everyone! I’m Faith from Life With Faith–a place where I share my life with the world in hopes I inspire someone to love their own life in the process. Today I get the chance to guest post on The Happy Arkansan and I’m so excited to share with y’all!

Today I really wanted to talk about something that’s super important in college- getting involved. Whether it’s Greek, religious, or interest based- it’s important to find a club/ organization (or a few) to join while in college. You get so much more out of the college experience and have so much more fun when you get involved and join a club. However, knowing how to go about getting involved and joining clubs on campus can be pretty hard. Colleges often have so many clubs that it’s difficult to know where to start. So today I want to give you 5 tips to choosing which clubs and organizations to join on campus!

 Guest Post: 5 Tips For Joining Clubs in College | Joining a club in college is very important, click through for this awesome post all about joining clubs in college.

1. Look for a club that related to what interests YOU. 

This is super important because you don’t want to be spending your time doing something you don’t truly care about. So you don’t want to join something just because you think it’ll look cool or just because your friend joined. Look for something your passionate about. You’re bound to love being a part of something if it’s close to your heart. 

2. Look for a club that fits your schedule.

Sometimes clubs/ organizations can take up a lot of time, so you want to pick something that you have time for and can put your all into. If you take on a club that requires too much time from you, it can leave you feeling stressed and disappointed, even if you love the concept or message- and we don’t want that! 

3. Look for a club where you connect with the other members.

Being in a club with people who you don’t get along with wouldn’t be very fun, even if you love the concept or message, so it’s important to find organizations where you get along with or work well with the members. This doesn’t mean you have to be best friends with them all, but mutual respect and comradely is super important. This will make your time in the organization more meaningful. 

4. Utilize the student organization showcase on campus.

A lot of times universities will hold a student organization showcase or something similar that allows you to walk around and talk to members of a bunch of different clubs on campus. This gives you a chance to see an overview what’s available on campus and who you immediately connect with. The members will be able to talk to you and give you more information about what they do and how to go about joining, so it’s super important to go to these events and pay attention if you’re looking to get involved. 

5. Don’t be afraid to ask members specific questions.

It’s likely that you come up with a question that you can’t find the answer to just by looking at an organizations social media or website. It’s ok and totally normal to have these questions, so it’s important to ask the members those questions! This is especially true if you’re seriously interested about joining or if the answer will be make-or-break for your membership. The members you talk to really do want you to join their club, so they will be more than willing to answer any of your questions or address any concerns you may have, but after asking the questions you decide not to join- that’s ok! Just don’t make a decision without having all your questions answered. 

I hope y’all find these tips to be super helpful and that y’all can take these tips and translate them into being involved on your college campus in the fall- I promise college will be more fun when your apart of an organization.

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In Academics, Guest Posts on
April 21, 2016

Why It’s Okay To Be Undecided/Undeclared In College

You’ve been asked the question a million times- what are you going to major in? Or scarier- what is your major? Being undeclared can be a little intimidating. From them moment we enter high school, we are conditioned to figure out what we want to do the second we set foot onto our future college campuses. Announcing to the world that we are entering college undeclared with no idea what we want to do or worse being a solid year into school without a major is terrifying. Feelings of worry, guilt, and sometimes even failure can arise in us as we tell friends and family. But have no fear- there is absolutely nothing wrong with being undeclared when entering college or even in the first few semesters of college. As a peer advisor and orientation leader for my school, I have seen it all. Trust me when I say that being undeclared can even sometimes be a good thing.

 Why It's Okay To Be Undecided/Undeclared In College | Often times we hear from our families when we go home for breaks,

If you honestly do not know what you want to study while in college, being undeclared will help you keep from being roped into something you aren’t interested in. When you enter into a major you aren’t sure about or don’t like, when advising comes along you’re advisor will most likely continue to advise you into courses which follow that major’s requirements. When you do decide what you’re interested in, you may find that you’ve taken a bunch of classes which haven’t gotten you anywhere. Instead take your time being undeclared to knock out general education requirements and to take a class here or there to try out some new stuff.

Entering college undeclared will give you the opportunity to create a more diverse schedule throughout your first year to two years of college. There are few majors where this would be a negative (nursing, education, English) but, for the most part, this is a huge benefit that more students should be taking advantage of. Major related classes are great but taking a bunch of major courses right of the bat is sort of like getting tied down to something too early. You aren’t able to properly explore what is out there.

Having the ability to create a diverse schedule leads to the possibility of finding a new passion which you may have never known of otherwise. For me, I knew I liked anthropology in high school but I had kind of forgotten about it come the time for college. I took an intro class to fill a random requirement and everything I had loved and forgotten about came rushing back. Now two years later, I’m writing my honors thesis in medical anthropology, a subfield I never would have learned about if it weren’t for that random class at the beginning of my sophomore year.

Being undeclared is nothing to worry about. Don’t let well meaning friends or family let you feel as though being undeclared is something bad or that needs fixing ASAP. I promise that even the students who appear to have their whole life planned out don’t know what they’re doing. You aren’t alone. Take your time, figure out what you love, and everything else will fall into place.

Regan Gearhart is a senior anthropology major at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She blogs about college and millennial life over at regangearhart.com.

In Guest Posts, Lifestyle on
February 11, 2016

The Importance Of Keeping Your Social Media Clean

In today’s digital world, it’s too easy to live under a guise of make-believe. In fact, it’s almost expected by certain standards. For good or for bad, social media has changed life as we know it. The way we communicate, the way we shop, the way we live entirely is now centered round social media. What we do, say, express, think or act is now captured online forever. A favorite meme of my generation seems to be “Thank God I was young and did all the stupid things before the internet.” Yes, lucky for us that’s true. Some of us are still slow learners of the permanent effects of our online postings.

The Importance Of Keeping Your Social Media Clean | In this day an age any employer can search your name and find a million things about you just with a Google Search. Check out this guest blog from a small business owner all about the importance of keeping your social media clean.

As a business owner and an employer, let me give you a few tips on how to keep your social media from toxically ruining your future.

Be Thoughtful And Positive With Your Social Media Posts

Keep it tight and clean. No one wants to see trash talk filled with profanities. Many of us are guilty of letting a few slip our lips on occasion, but seeing it in writing over and over isn’t a pleasant reminder. While character is much more important,your reputation is one of the most valuable assets you have. Good character will usually lend itself to a good reputation, but don’t let a careless moment destroy something you’ve taken years to build in good standing. There have been many potential employees whom I inquired about among mutual friends whose response was often, “Well, she certainly has a lot of drama on Facebook!” or “She posts the most awful things on Snapchat!” Red flag and see you later. Drama doesn’t belong on social media and it certainly doesn’t belong in the work place. If you are my employee, you are the face of my business. As a business owner, I’ve invested too much time, energy, and money to jeopardize my investment on someone who’s reckless. I want to put the best face forward. That means I want those who have a positive image and reputation representing me.

Don’t Always Leap To Use Social Media Platforms

Just because Facebook gives you a platform to be heard doesn’t mean you should always leap to use it. In life you will find that you learn more by listening than talking. Facebook has proven this to be true. Certainly not everything you read on social media and the internet is factual. You can’t right all the wrongs in the world. Pick your battles wisely and don’t air them on social media. I have seen business ownersdestroy their reputation and their business by picking senseless and judgmental fights in affairs they had no business butting into on Facebook. I have seen many girls lose a bid for a sorority because they couldn’t control themselves online.

Social Media Is Not A Laundromat

Social media is not a laundromat, so keep it clean. If you wouldn’t say it or do it in front of your grandmother, don’t post it online! Regardless of what you think or what you’ve been told, once something is online it is like being on your “permanent record.” It’s out there and it NEVER goes away. While social media has revolutionized the world as we know it, as helpful as it can be, it can equally be just as damaging. Make a difference for the good. You have a choice to use your social media powers for good or for evil. Make the right and thoughtful decision.

The Importance Of Keeping Your Social Media Clean

Jamie Darling is a sixth-generation Delta dweller from East Arkansas. An entrepreneur, traveler, music lover, and adventure seeker, Darling is an advocate of the Mississippi River Delta region. She is the owner of Darling’s Fine Things in Newport, Arkansas. She resides in both Tuckerman and Stuttgart, where her husband is involved in his family farming operation. She is mom to her yellow lab, Macks.

Follow Jaime on her blog Deep In My Delta Soul.

In Academics, Guest Posts on
February 4, 2016

Why It’s Okay To Not Have A Plan

As a planner, I understand how difficult it is when you start to feel your plan falling apart. When I entered freshman year as a Computer Science major, I was certain that this was what I wanted to do. I told everyone who would listen all about my big plans to forge a path for women in the tech industry and how I would make a name for myself in the fields of programming. My family was so proud that I had received a full scholarship to an out-of-state school to study an emerging field and I was so confident that I would burst through the stereotype of women in engineering.

When I pledged my sorority, I was the only Computer Science major out of 150 girls (yes, my pledge class was that big!) and everyone commented on “how smart I must be” to pursue the degree. I only used this as more motivation and I was determined. I had a plan that I shared with everyone and I wasn’t going to let anything stop me. But when Fall came around my freshman year and I didn’t understand any of the material, it was hard to adjust my expectations.

So far, I had breezed through high school AP courses and never really had to study. These intro courses to programming, however, left me high and dry on knowledge and it was like I was on a whole new planet. I spent hours and hours in the library researching and watching tutorial videos but nothing was registering. I barely scraped by in my programming classes and when final grades came around, I realized my plan was falling apart.

 Why It's Okay To Not Have a Plan | Click through to get a better understanding of what to do if your plan falls a part and understand why it's okay to not have a plan in the first place.

Midway through my second semester, I finally admitted to myself that I was not cut out for the field and, to be honest, I didn’t really enjoy it. Looking back I realized I picked Computer Science as a major not because I was genuinely interested in the field, but more so I could boast that I was studying a prestigious area of academia and it made me feel important and intelligent. I broke down mid semester and called my parents in the middle of the night and admitted that I had been struggling. I thought they would be mad and disappointed, but the only thing they were concerned with is what would make me happy. Looking back, the fears I had of disappointing my family were unfounded and silly. The next day I transferred out of the engineering school and declared a major in Human Development. I intend to go onto nursing school when I graduate this upcoming December and work in pediatric nursing once I graduate. My original plan is so far different from my plan now that I can’t even compare the two.

So, is your plan falling apart? Here are some tips to remember if you find your plan is not working out.

Breathe.

You’re going to figure it out. I know it doesn’t seem like it, but when one door closes, two more open (you just can’t see them yet). And trust me, it’s okay to not know what to do next.

Confide In Someone.

One of the worst feelings is your plan falling apart and having no one to talk to about it. Pick a close friend, your roommate, or even an online chat board. Talking about it to someone will help you gather your thoughts on how to proceed and may even spark some ideas on what to do next.

Tell Your Parents.

I know that you’re probably afraid of disappointing them but I promise they just want what’s best for you. Admit to any wrongdoings and be factual in your statements. If you’re honest with them they will be more open and understanding.

Allow Yourself Some Failures.

You’re setting yourself up to fail if you think you’re not going to have to readjust your plans. Give yourself some leeway and try to tell yourself that this is just a speed bump in the middle of a long road and everyone hits one from time to time.

Readjust Your Plans.

Don’t give up! Just because you didn’t get into grad school this time doesn’t mean you won’t get in next semester. Keep in mind your long-term goal and while you might have to take a roundabout path, you’ll figure out a way to get there eventually.

Why It's Okay To Not Have a Plan

Maddison is a University of Alabama student from St. Louis, MO.  Maddison loves all things macaroni and cheese, Grey’s Anatomy, The Blacklist, napping,  and sugar-free popsicles. You can follow her Instagram @maddisonnm where she mostly posts pictures of her Canadian cat and boyfriend or follow along on her new blog.