Intro: HUMANS NATURALLY STRIVE TO DO BETTER. WE ALL WANT TO BE THE BEST POSSIBLE VERSIONS OF OURSELVES. GETTING THERE JUST REQUIRES A LITTLE WORK. IF YOU WANT TO BE A BETTER STUDENT, EMPLOYEE, MOTHER, DAUGHTER OR SIGNIFICANT OTHER YOU CAN BE, AND HOPEFULLY I CAN HELP. WHILE I’M NO EXPERT, I AM PRETTY GOOD AT FINDING PEOPLE WHO ARE EXPERTS AND GETTING THEIR ADVICE. THAT’S WHAT I HOPE TO DO OVER THE NEXT NINE WEEKS, WITH A SERIES OF BLOG POSTS ALL ON THE SUBJECT OF “HOW TO BE BETTER.”

startup-internships-postLord knows internships are on the front of any college students mind. I guess I can’t speak for everyone, but they’re certainly a constant worry for me. In the past internships were an extracurricular typically utilized only by the most enterprising students. Now it’s essentially a requirement for anyone who doesn’t want to be jobless after college. This means competition is steep. The good news is that there are certain things that you can do to enhance your chances of landing a position that will provide you with the skills and experience necessary to succeed in whatever your chosen field is.

1. Use your cover letter to tell a story

NPR has a great article about the do’s and don’t’s of writing a cover letter. They’re first tip is to tell a story, rather than simply repeating what’s in your resume. This is where you can express yourself, show off your skills as a writer and make yourself stand out.

2. Have someone else edit your resume and cover letter

There is no bigger turn off for potential employers than blatant spelling and grammar errors. Anything you submit for an internship position should be essentially perfect. This iStock_000015624810_Medium-56b099d13df78cf772cff379is your best work. Submitting something with errors shows you’re not capable of operating on a professional level.

3. Start applying as early as possible

Get your foot in the door first by submitting as early as possible. It shows you’re organized and ambitious. If you are applying for fall internships, start sending in materials around June or July. If you are applying for a spring internship, you should be looking in October or November. The bigger companies often have very early summer deadlines. A lot of the media internships I’ve been applying to have their deadlines for summer internships super early. It’s easy to miss them if you’re not on the ball.

4. Customize your application materials for each internships

Recruiters can tell if you’ve submitted a generic packet that’s likely been received by all the other companies in town. Customizing shows you care enough about the company tothe-positive-implications-of-internships-961x600really take time on your application. This is important because nobody wants to hire an intern that doesn’t care about their company. To best customize your materials, print out the internship or job listing and go through it with a highlighter. Think of it this way, they are telling you exactly what should be on your resume or cover letter in the listing. For example, if the company says they want someone who is social media savvy, make sure your resume speaks to your social media experience.

5. Apply for as many as possible

As the old saying goes, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. It may seem like one internship is guaranteed, but nothing in life is ever set. Having options is one of the best things you can do for yourself. To make sure you land something, apply for at least 10-20 internships every 2-3 weeks.

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Intro: HUMANS NATURALLY STRIVE TO DO BETTER. WE ALL WANT TO BE THE BEST POSSIBLE VERSIONS OF OURSELVES. GETTING THERE JUST REQUIRES A LITTLE WORK. IF YOU WANT TO BE A BETTER STUDENT, EMPLOYEE, MOTHER, DAUGHTER OR SIGNIFICANT OTHER YOU CAN BE, AND HOPEFULLY I CAN HELP. WHILE I’M NO EXPERT, I AM PRETTY GOOD AT FINDING PEOPLE WHO ARE EXPERTS AND GETTING THEIR ADVICE. THAT’S WHAT I HOPE TO DO OVER THE NEXT NINE WEEKS, WITH A SERIES OF BLOG POSTS ALL ON THE SUBJECT OF “HOW TO BE BETTER.”

Whether it’s with friends, family members, coworkers or partners, being able to maintain strong and healthy relationships is so incredibly important for living a healthy, happy life.People are not born with natural abilities to develop and build great relationships with others. These are skills like any other that can be learned and mastered if one recognizes the need and takes the time and effort to develop them. We can all become better at building and maintaining relationships by following a few simple tips.

1. Remember that nobody owes you anything or cares about you all that much

Everyone cares far more about themselves than they do about you. This is not a bad thing. It’s a way of reminding yourself not to get too wrapped up in what others think of you, because they hardly ever do. Once you realize that the world owes you nothing, you’re free to do anything.

2. Be a good listener

Everyone has the basic desire to be heard and understood. Unfortunately few of us are taught how to be great listeners. Most people are too busy thinking of what they want to say next to really listen to what the other person is saying. When you notice yourself doing this, take a breath and correct your pattern by listening well. We naturally bond with people who really listen, hear us, and that we’d want to spend time with.

3. Remember

There is no more beautiful sound to our ears than the sound of our own name. Remembering people’s names is the first step to relationship building, and remembering other important aspects about them continues the building process. They will tell us what is important in their lives, all we need to do is listen and pay attention.

4. Identify your own needs

Look at your own relationship needs. Do you know what you need from others? And do you know what they need from you? Understanding these needs can be instrumental in building better relationships.

5. Schedule time for relationship building

Devote a portion of your day toward relationship building, even if it’s just 20 minutes, perhaps broken up into five-minute segments. It can be reaching out to people online through social media, getting coffee, or even just a simple phone call. These little interactions help build the foundation of a good relationship, especially if they’re face-to-face.

 

Intro: HUMANS NATURALLY STRIVE TO DO BETTER. WE ALL WANT TO BE THE BEST POSSIBLE VERSIONS OF OURSELVES. GETTING THERE JUST REQUIRES A LITTLE WORK. IF YOU WANT TO BE A BETTER STUDENT, EMPLOYEE, MOTHER, DAUGHTER OR SIGNIFICANT OTHER YOU CAN BE, AND HOPEFULLY I CAN HELP. WHILE I’M NO EXPERT, I AM PRETTY GOOD AT FINDING PEOPLE WHO ARE EXPERTS AND GETTING THEIR ADVICE. THAT’S WHAT I HOPE TO DO OVER THE NEXT NINE WEEKS, WITH A SERIES OF BLOG POSTS ALL ON THE SUBJECT OF “HOW TO BE BETTER.”

With the quality of phone cameras these days, everyone can be a photographer. It no longer matters whether or not you have the best gear, the most expensive lenses or the nicest lighting. An iPhone and a modicum of skill are all it takes now. However, there is still a difference between the professionals and the amateurs. All it takes to cross over is a little knowledge of composition and a lot of practice. There are no fixed rules in photography, but there are guidelines which can often help you to enhance the impact of your photos.

1. Know the rule of thirds

Imagine that your image is divided into 9 equal segments by 2 vertical and 2 horizontal lines. The rule of thirds says that you should position the most important elements in your scene along these lines, or at the points where they intersect. Doing so will add balance and interest to your photo.

2. understand balance

Placing your main subject off-centre, as with the rule of thirds, creates a more interesting photo, but it can leave a void in the scene which can make it feel empty. You should balance the “weight” of your subject by including another object of lesser importance to fill the space.

3. Follow the lines

When we look at a photo our eye is naturally drawn along lines. By thinking about how you place lines in your composition, you can affect the way we view the image, pulling us into the picture, towards the subject, or on a journey “through” the scene.

4. Look for symmetry and patterns

We are surrounded by symmetry and patterns, both natural and man-made., They can make for very eye-catching compositions, particularly in situations where they are not expected. Another great way to use them is to break the symmetry or pattern in some way, introducing tension and a focal point to the scene.

 

Intro: HUMANS NATURALLY STRIVE TO DO BETTER. WE ALL WANT TO BE THE BEST POSSIBLE VERSIONS OF OURSELVES. GETTING THERE JUST REQUIRES A LITTLE WORK. IF YOU WANT TO BE A BETTER STUDENT, EMPLOYEE, MOTHER, DAUGHTER OR SIGNIFICANT OTHER YOU CAN BE, AND HOPEFULLY I CAN HELP. WHILE I’M NO EXPERT, I AM PRETTY GOOD AT FINDING PEOPLE WHO ARE EXPERTS AND GETTING THEIR ADVICE. THAT’S WHAT I HOPE TO DO OVER THE NEXT NINE WEEKS, WITH A SERIES OF BLOG POSTS ALL ON THE SUBJECT OF “HOW TO BE BETTER.”

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Happiness is not a simple goal. Even when it may seem out of reach, progress is still possible. Being happy often means continually finding satisfaction, contentment, a feeling of joy, and a sense that your life is meaningful during all kinds of problems — that does not depend upon finding ease or comfort. Nobody is elated all the time, but some individuals are definitely more fulfilled than others. So what can we do to have that?

1. Change your thoughts

happiness-coverPeople have a natural tendency to remember negative experiences but forget positive ones. However, thanks to our natural adaptability, you can actually change the way your brain functions. It is possible to train yourself to be happier by seeking self-actualizing work and monitoring your thoughts.

2. Meditate/practice mindfulness

One of the best ways to change your thoughts is through meditation and mindfulness practice. Occupy your mind with positive thoughts, actively striving, seeking, working on goals and humming a tune, for happy effects on the mind and body. Focusing on your experiences in the present moment without judging them or yourself can help you become more compassionate to yourself and to others.

3. Cultivate optimism

There is power in intentions, having a purpose: Positive thinking is an important component of self-esteem and overall life satisfaction. Optimism is more than just positive expectations. It’s a way of interpreting everything that happens to ON-CF899_Happin_M_20170818182141you. Pessimism tends to explain the world in global, unchangeable, internal terms: “Everything sucks,” “I can’t do anything to change this,” “It’s all my fault.” Developing an optimistic outlook means thinking about yourself and your world in limited, flexible terms.

4. Exercise

Exercise has such a profound effect on our happiness and well-being that it is an effective strategy for overcoming depression. You don’t have to be depressed to benefit from exercise, though. Exercise can help you relax, increase your brain power, and evenimprove your body image, even if you don’t lose any weight.

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Intro: HUMANS NATURALLY STRIVE TO DO BETTER. WE ALL WANT TO BE THE BEST POSSIBLE VERSIONS OF OURSELVES. GETTING THERE JUST REQUIRES A LITTLE WORK. IF YOU WANT TO BE A BETTER STUDENT, EMPLOYEE, MOTHER, DAUGHTER OR SIGNIFICANT OTHER YOU CAN BE, AND HOPEFULLY I CAN HELP. WHILE I’M NO EXPERT, I AM PRETTY GOOD AT FINDING PEOPLE WHO ARE EXPERTS AND GETTING THEIR ADVICE. THAT’S WHAT I HOPE TO DO OVER THE NEXT NINE WEEKS, WITH A SERIES OF BLOG POSTS ALL ON THE SUBJECT OF “HOW TO BE BETTER.”

There’s no one answer to what makes up a healthy diet. It looks different for every person, but there are a few basic rules of nutrition everyone should follow.

1. Stick to fresh foods when it comes to snacking

Convenient go-to snacks don’t have to be laced with sugar and chemicals. Skip the fruit snacks, instead try grabbing a handful of nuts, homemade trail mix, fruit and nut bars, apples, bananas, clementines, single-serve nut butters, dried edamame, air-popped popcorn or any other fresh option. If you have refrigeration, stock up on Greek yogurt, cottage cheese and hard-boiled eggs for protein-packed snacks.

2. Avoid grazing

Some of us have done away with breakfast, lunch, and dinner in favor of the six small meals many experts tout as the key to staving off hunger and losing weight. But this strategy can easily backfire if small meals creep into traditional-size ones or turn into all-day snacking. The trouble is, when you’re nibbling a little bit here and there, it’s hard to keep track of how much you’re putting away. Instead of picking at food all day, shoot for three meals and two snacks or five mini meals.

3. Trust your stomach

Eat when you are hungry, and then stop eating when you feel content. Hunger is simply a request for fuel; your body is telling you it burned off what you gave it and needs a refill. To disregard hunger is abusive. Just as you would not withhold food from a hungry infant, you should not withhold food from your hungry body.

4. Cooking is always better

Making food at home means you have full control over the contents of your meal. Many of the packaged foods we buy today are aimed at convenience and involve the minimum of preparation time on our part – but they’re not that healthy.

Intro: HUMANS NATURALLY STRIVE TO DO BETTER. WE ALL WANT TO BE THE BEST POSSIBLE VERSIONS OF OURSELVES. GETTING THERE JUST REQUIRES A LITTLE WORK. IF YOU WANT TO BE A BETTER STUDENT, EMPLOYEE, MOTHER, DAUGHTER OR SIGNIFICANT OTHER YOU CAN BE, AND HOPEFULLY I CAN HELP. WHILE I’M NO EXPERT, I AM PRETTY GOOD AT FINDING PEOPLE WHO ARE EXPERTS AND GETTING THEIR ADVICE. THAT’S WHAT I HOPE TO DO OVER THE NEXT NINE WEEKS, WITH A SERIES OF BLOG POSTS ALL ON THE SUBJECT OF “HOW TO BE BETTER.”

  The brain is capable of storing an unlimited amount of information, the problem is being able to access it. There are three core processes involved in memory, encoding, storage and recall. Encoding is when the brain first consciously registers the memory. Next, that memory gets stored within one of two distinct categories, short or long term. Recall refers to the mental process of retrieving that stored information. In order to have a strong memory all three of these processes must be able to work together, without disruption. Fortunately, when it comes to basic memorization, like names, dates or notes before an exam, there are ways to make it easier.

1. Visualize whatever it is you need to remember

We naturally remember visual cues better than words. It’s also a lot easier to memorize when more than one sense is involved in the learning or storing of something. Say you need to remember to submit a paper to your professor by midnight. Commit the task to memory by visualizingyour assignment—a stack of papers—on top of an alarm clock that reads “12 a.m.” The trick here is to make the picture vivid. So visualize an alarm clock, time flashing, alarm blaring, and focus on it. 12 a.m. … paper … got it.

2. Repeat, repeat, repeat

When someone introduces themselves to you, say their name back to them. Then say it again at different point in the conversation, and then again. Three is the magic number. If you’ve said their name out loud three times, you’re not likely to forget it.

3. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep

Nothing slows down your brain like exhaustion. It may seem like a smart idea to stay up all night before a test reviewing the material, but it’s not. Memory loss is a an almost guaranteed symptom of sleep deprivation.

4. Take your time

No matter how much you want it to, cramming does not work. Quickly stuffing facts into our brains leads us to forget them in the long term. But when you practice and repeat often it sticks. If you can incorporate what you’re trying to remember into daily life, ideally over time, your chances of retaining it drastically improve.

Intro: HUMANS NATURALLY STRIVE TO DO BETTER. WE ALL WANT TO BE THE BEST POSSIBLE VERSIONS OF OURSELVES. GETTING THERE JUST REQUIRES A LITTLE WORK. IF YOU WANT TO BE A BETTER STUDENT, EMPLOYEE, MOTHER, DAUGHTER OR SIGNIFICANT OTHER YOU CAN BE, AND HOPEFULLY I CAN HELP. WHILE I’M NO EXPERT, I AM PRETTY GOOD AT FINDING PEOPLE WHO ARE EXPERTS AND GETTING THEIR ADVICE. THAT’S WHAT I HOPE TO DO OVER THE NEXT NINE WEEKS, WITH A SERIES OF BLOG POSTS ALL ON THE SUBJECT OF “HOW TO BE BETTER.”

I care a lot about my writing. As a child, I used to think the best writers in my classes were the kids who finished first. Now, I don’t think about who’s the best. I want to know who cares the most. They’re the ones who drag their feet just finishing a sentence, wanting to be sure there’s no better way to put it. Those are the people I can relate with. They’re the people who care more about the words themselves than about being a great writer.

I’ve also discovered that I’m better at judging good writing than producing it. That’s always how it goes at first. Our tastes develop years before our skill level catches up. I care about writing, but that doesn’t mean I’m a great writer. It just means I know what it takes to be one, or at least a few tips.

1. First and most important, you can’t be a great writer unless you have something to say.

This may seem obvious, but just think about all the facebook comments, texts, social media posts and whatever else you read on a daily basis. How much of that is meaningful and how much is meaningless. The internet has given everyone a microphone to shout whatever they want, whenever they want. As a result, people just won’t stop talking, even after they run out of things to say. Think about the words you use and why you use them. Do you know how many options you have when crafting a sentence? It truly is a craft, stringing words together in the best form and placement possible to most accurately convey your message, which leads me to number two…

2. Read a lot

If you don’t study for a test you’re not going to do well, the same is true for writing. Every time you read, you’re studying how to write. It’s giving you experience without ever having to construct a sentence yourself. I’ve heard so many novelists harp on the importance of being an avid reader, but I think it stretches to every genre, not just fiction. I currently work as a writer for the University of Missouri’s PR office. When I first started, it took me days to write a single release. I had no idea what it was supposed to look like, I’d never even seen a press release before. Now, I can knock out three or four in a day. I’ve read so many now I could probably write them in my sleep.

3. Don’t try to impress

There are a innumerable words in the English language to describe what it means to be sad, but sometimes the simplest is the best. Using big words almost always pulls the reader out, rather than adding anything. It’s a tick of many beginning writers, and I’ve certainly been guilty of it in the past. Say what you mean, don’t skirt around the edges. Your readers will thank you.

Humans naturally strive to do better. We all want to be the best possible versions of ourselves. Getting there just requires a little work. If you want to be a better student, employee, mother, daughter or significant other you can be, and hopefully I can help. While I’m no expert, I am pretty good at finding people who ARE experts and getting their advice. That’s what I hope to do over the next nine weeks, with a series of blog posts all on the subject of “How to be Better.”

For my first post, I’m going to focus on a topic that I’ve been struggling with lately, time management.

Time. I never seem to have enough of it these days. Over the summer I had more time than I knew what to do with. I wasn’t working or taking classes. Productivity was not my priority. Instead, I had decided to spend my summer traveling with my boyfriend Justin. For all of June and July we backpacked through Europe. We stayed in Paris, Rome, Sicily, Amsterdam and Barcelona. During the day we’d walk the streets, stopping in any cafe or corner shop that piqued our interest. Sometimes we wouldn’t get out of bed until late afternoon.

By the end of August, I couldn’t even remember what it felt like to be busy. Getting back into my job and classes was not easy. There were a few bumps along the road, a few missed classes and unproductive work days. I’ve gotten used to it now, for the most part. I have had to learn a whole new set of time management skills though. Fortunately, that means I now have advice that I can share with others.

1. Write it down

The most essential part of good time management is being able to keep track of all your responsibilities.  Get them out of your head and into a system that you have easy access to. Personally, I have an absolute terrible memory. If I don’t write things down immediately there as good as forgotten. For everyone else, keeping a planner of calendar with all your engagements helps you stay focused and organized. Which leads me to tip number two.

2. Stay organized

Nothing wastes time like having to dig through piles of junk every time you need to find something. It may only seem like a minute, but if it’s happening numerous times a day those minutes add up. It’s also a lot easier to pick up if everything has a place.

3. Multitasking is the enemy of productivity

In the internet age, being able to hold someones attention for more than a few seconds is a very valuable skill. With short attention spans, multitasking can feel like the norm. But focusing on more than one thing at a time is actually counter productive.

4. Plan your days by the hour

If you’re weekdays are as packed as mine have been lately, it can seem like finding free time is impossible. No matter how busy you are, there’s going to be at least a few open minutes in your day. You just have know when that time is. If you take a moment to sit down and plan your days by the hour, your schedule won’t seem nearly as overwhelming.