Working On Campus

If you are in college, you have probably heard about on campus jobs. Working on campus is a great way to get work experience and still be able to enjoy your college experience. I currently work on campus for my school’s newspaper, and I have to say that I really enjoy it.

There are many cool things about an on campus job, and I am going to talk about why you should consider working on campus and how to get a job.

Killer Harmony | Working On Campus | An on campus job allows you to work and go to school more easily than other jobs. Here's why and how to work on campus.

Here are some reasons why you should consider an on campus job.

1. It’s Convenient.

This applies whether you live on campus or not, because you probably have class on campus. If you work where you go to school, it makes it so easy to go from class to work or work to class very quickly. You don’t have to factor in drive time when making your availability. You can go from one thing to another in no time at all.

2. The School Knows You’re a Student.

When you work for your university, they understand that you are there to learn and to get an education. They know that school should come first, and so they are more willing to work with you than some employers might be. Some bosses might not be too lenient with your schedule, but you school will.

3. You can Do Work-Study.

If you are eligible for a work study program, you can work on campus and have the money you earn go towards paying your tuition. If you would like to go with this option, make sure you apply to a job that can be fulfilled as a work study position.

4. There are tons of Options.

At my school, you can work for the school paper, the yearbook, one of the dining halls, as an aide in a department office, tutor other students…the possibilities are endless. If you are not a fan of food service, or writing or whatever, look at your school’s job board to check for openings. You’re almost guaranteed to find something.

5. Your Job cAn Build Upon Your Major.

If you manage to find a job in your department or field, you can gain valuable experience for when you apply for full time jobs. If you are an English major and you write for the paper, that can give you an advantage if that is what you want to do. For education majors, tutoring other students can be a great way to build your skills and make you more confident when it comes time to student teach.

6. You CAn Pursue aNother Interest.

If there are not any openings related to your major, working outside of it in a field you are interested in can help build your resume. As an example, I am a music major, but I work for the paper. This allows me to get experience as a writer, so when I graduate in May, I am not limited to working in the music industry.

7. You can Make Friends.

When you work on campus, odds are there will be at least one other student employee working with you. You can talk to them during breaks or before or after work. An on campus job is almost like another extracurricular activity, but you get paid for it.

8. It’s a Job.

Just because it’s on campus doesn’t make it any less of a job. You still have to show up on time and do your job. You get paid to be there, so it’s just as good as a job at the local burger place or the mall. If you need a job, either for the money or as a way to spend your time, an on campus job might just be for you.

Now for tips on how to get an on campus job.

1. Look at Job Postings Online.

Search your school’s website for job listings and look at the ones that interest you. Find out how you can apply and then do it. Your school will probably have a job board where you can filter jobs into different categories such as department, type of job, or even if it can be a work study job.

2. Check Your Student Email Account.

If your school sends out a list of announcements every so often, read them! They may seem useless, but those emails can be a good resource for finding jobs. If a group on campus needs to hire someone soon, they might send out an email announcement asking for applicants. This is a great way to find jobs, especially since it is not the most known.

3. Ask Your Professors.

If you really want to work in your department, ask some of your major professors if they know of any openings for work. If a position recently opened up, it may not be online or in the announcements yet, thus giving you a window to apply and possibly a better chance at getting the gig.

4. Fill Out The Entire Application.

Don’t leave anything out unless you truly have no answer for it. Also, as with any job, be honest on your application. You’re applying for work, and the last thing you want is to get into a job that isn’t right for you. Leaving as little information out of your application means that the application and hiring process can go a lot smoother.

Final Thoughts

Working on campus can be a great way to get experience, earn a little extra money and enjoy college at the same time. It’s convenient, flexible and can help build your resume, too. I love working on campus, and I would recommend it to anyone wanting to get work experience without sacrificing their college experience. I only wish that I had started working on campus sooner.

So, have you worked on campus? What are your thoughts?

Thanks for reading!

Making a Post-College Decision

Welcome to the October installment of my monthly career planning series: Planning for the Future. In this post, I am going to talk about making a big decision regarding my future. This is the decision regarding what I will be doing once I graduate in May.

Killer Harmony | Making a Decision : Planning for the Future | This post covers different options for after college and how I came to a decision.

A few months ago, I wrote a post about the few different options I was considering for after college. Each with their own subsets of options, the two biggest options were to go to graduate school or to start working.

I want to emphasize that this decision was one of the hardest decisions that I have had to make. There were a lot of factors that I considered in making this decision. Factors such as cost, time and work load were some of the biggest things for me to look at.

In the end, I made a decision that I feel is what is best for me. I am not going to post what that decision was on here, because I don’t want to sway any of you who might be in the same situation. What I am going to do is walk you through my thought process.

Option 1: Graduate School within My Current Field

The first option that I considered was going to graduate school for my current major: music. I can go to graduate school for music performance or some other area of music, such as composition.

What interested me about this option was that it allows me the chance to continue studying music for another couple of years. I was not really all that serious about music for the majority of my childhood. Pursuing a graduate degree in music would give me two more years of focused study in an art that I love.

Option 2: Graduate School in Another Field

Since going to college, I have had a growing interest in blogging, social media and online content creation. Because of that interest, I have considered a graduate degree in something related to that. There are a few digital media programs that I have looked at as well as one in digital content strategy.

This option would be a great way to learn about something in a more formal setting than just the “University of Google.” I would love to study trends and experiences of the online world.

Option 3: Pursue a Career in my Major Field

This option is probably the hardest. Music is not an easy industry. And odds are that I would probably spend most of my time for a few years hustling. Hustling for performance jobs, hustling for private students to teach. Hustling for any sort of paying work I could find.

That doesn’t make it a bad choice; it’s just different, and it involves a lot of work for not much reward.

Option 4: Pursue A Career Outside of My Major

This is definitely one of the options that my parents would prefer. As proud as they are of me and my musical skills, music isn’t the most practical career choice. However, if I pursue this path, it will not be because of my parents. If I do pursue a career outside of music, it would be along the lines of social media or blog management.

Working with online content can be a cool career, and it can be really lucrative if I am lucky.

My Thought Process

When I went through each of the above options to decide which was my best choice, I thought a lot about long term happiness and chance of growth.

I had to think about whether the option I pursued would result is a good and happy life as opposed to a good and happy year. Yes, the present is important, but some things are too risky if I don’t fully believe in them.

I also thought about what the people in my life would want me to do. What would my parents think about a certain choice? What about my professors and advisors that I have had? Do their opinions even matter?

I think realizing what others would choose was important, because I didn’t want to choose something just because someone else would want that for me. One of the things you learn as you become an adult is learning how to figure out what you want.

When making this decision, I also had to think about what my daily life might look like in the next year. Some of these choices will have different schedules. Is there a schedule that I might prefer?

The fourth thing I had to consider, especially regarding graduate schools, was the cost. I looked into financial aid options, and there are not many options out there for graduate students. There are always loans, though.

There are also opportunities for graduate assistantships. This is where you work for your school or department in exchange for a tuition discount and possibly a stipend.

Coming to a Decision

I have since come to a decision, and I am confident that it is what I am meant to do. I thought long and hard about all of the options available to me, and there was one that just seemed (and seems) right. It’s not that the others are wrong, but they are not as perfect for me.

I want to enjoy my time as a young adult, and so I chose the option that will allow me to do just that. Again, I am not stating my decision in this post, but I will probably be doing a life update sort of post in the future where I do announce my decision.

Thanks for reading!

Healthy (ish) Snacks for a College Dorm

In college, it can be really hard to keep up with a healthy diet. From events with free pizza or cookies to the college cafeteria, you are surrounded by food. And that food is not always very good for you. I know that I struggle to eat well in the dorms, but I have found some snacks that are perfect for a dorm room and are not as bad as some of the other options.

Killer Harmony | Healthy Snacks for a College Dorm | Here are five of my favorite snacks for college students, and three ways to eat more healthfully.

This post contains affiliate links. That means that, for no extra cost, your purchase of one or more of these products helps to support Killer Harmony.

Without further ado, here are some of my favorite dorm snacks!

Luna Bars

My favorite flavor is by far the Chocolate Peppermint Stick. These bars are perfect to grab and take on the go. If I have a long day of classes or if I’m hanging out in my dorm and want something easy, these are perfect.

I am a huge chocolate fan, and I also love peppermint! They have a ton of flavors, from Nutz Over Chocolate to Lemon Zest, so there’s something for everyone.

Kind Bars

These are pretty similar to the first item, but they have a different texture. They also have multiple flavors, and my favorite is the Dark Chocolate Cherry Cashew. KIND Bars are definitely sweeter than Luna Bars, so I tend to treat these as more of a dessert.

These are great to throw in my bag for a quick dessert after lunch. I also like how convenient the packaging is! Grab and go snacks are amazing in college.

Pretzels

I love pretzels, and I really love how you can order a box of a variety of pretzels and have it sent to your dorm. (Isn’t Amazon just amazing?) I recently got the Snyder’s of Hanover Variety Pack, and I am in love. You get four different kinds of pretzels: sticks, mini pretzels, sourdough and honey mustard & onion.

Also, the pretzels are packaged in single serving bags, which is great, whether you live in a dorm or if you commute. If you commute, you can use stick a bag of pretzels in your bag for lunch.

Popcorn

Another one of my favorite snacks is popcorn. Skinny Pop is great, because it tastes amazing and is pretty low in calories. Popcorn is the perfect snack for your weekly (or daily, I won’t judge) Netflix binge!

As with all of the other snack mentioned, you can grab a bag and be set. No need for a bowl or to work out portion sizes. It’s all ready to go. If you are not a fan of plain popcorn, they also have other flavors such as White Cheddar, Salt & Pepper, Sweet (kettle corn) and even Jalapeno!

True Citrus Drink Packets

This next snack is more of a drink, but it’s still the bomb. True Citrus is the overall brand of drink packets, but they have dozens of flavors. My favorite is their Crystallized Lime. You can pour it in your water to add flavors while avoiding the whole “drinking your calories” thing.

If you are looking for more of a drink maker along the lines of Crystal Light, my favorite of those has recently become the Dark Cherry Limeade. They also have tons of lemonade flavors from original to raspberry to peach. Yum!

These drink packs make it easier to chose water over soda. I can still have some sort of flavoring to add to my water to make it interesting.

Peanut Butter Crackers

Another one of my favorite snacks, and this one just screams childhood, has to beĀ Peanut Butter Crackers. I have loved these crackers since I was really young, and I still love them. They are a bit more unhealthy than some of the other items in this post, but they are still good to keep on hand. Just don’t binge on them, which brings me to some tips on how to eat healthy in the dorms…

Time for Tips

Tip 1: Buy Packaged Snacks

This way, you don’t have to worry about dealing with portion sizes or overeating. I have quite a problem with eating, especially when I am bored. Avoid the issue with single serving bags of snacks.

These snacks are also really easy to take on the go for class or a study session.

tip 2: Cut Liquid Calories

Yes, soda does taste great, but it will do nothing to help you avoid the freshman fifteen…or the senior fifteen. The food that your cafeteria is serving, or the food you will be eating, is probably not the good for you. It’s almost impossible for any restaurant to serve healthy options to thousands of starving college students every day. Sure, there’s the salad bar, but be realistic. Are you really getting a salad seven days a week?

Me neither.

Tip 3: Drink More Water

This is the sort of tip that applies to everyone, but college students can certainly benefit from it. Drinking water will not only keep you from getting dehydrated, but it will also help you avoid craving junk food all the time.

Water will keep your stomach full, so you won’t be reaching for a candy bar every time you feel a bit hungry.

 

So, that was my post on some of my favorite dorm snacks (no fridge or microwave required!) as well as some tips for being a bit more healthy in the dorms.

What are your favorite snacks? Do you have any tips for eating healthy in college? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for reading!

Time Management Tips

Ah, college, a time of living on your own, making new friends…and being super busy. We all have to learn how to manage our time better during college. It will help you in college and in the working world. Time management is crucial.

Killer Harmony | Time Management Tips | Do you always feel like you don't have time to get everything done? I have ten time management tips to help!

As someone who has both commuted and lived on campus, taken online and on campus classes, and worked as well as gone without a job, I have had a lot of different schedules that I have had to learn to live with and manage my time with.

1. Embrace the 9-5.

Odds are, after college, you will probably have to work from nine am to five pm, or some variation of that. If you schedule all (or most) of your classes during that time and study when you don’t have class, you will have some much more time in the evenings! You can use that time for clubs and organizations, a part time job or hanging out with friends. It’s great.

2. Make Lists.

Before I go to bed, I make a list of what I need to do the next day. It can include anything from working on an assignment to picking up a prescription. I like to see everything that I need to do the next day so that when I wake up, I can get started and conquer the day.

3. Do something First Thing.

This goes along with the previous tip. In order to be productive at the start, I do something small before anything else. It may be washing my face or writing a section of a paper. I grab a glass of water an get to work before anything else. That way, I don’t get distracted by YouTube or other blogs.

4. Use a Timer.

You may have heard of the Pomodoro method for productivity. You work for twenty five minutes then get a five minute break. It helps break things up. Whether you use Pomodoro or another set amount of time, use a timer and race the clock to get sh*t done! Sometimes, I will use the same timer as for my laundry so that I can double my productivity!

5. Listen to Music.

Some people like to use Pandora or Spotify. Some listen to instrumental music. What I like to do is find a single song, usually one that gets me pumped to work, and play it on repeat. The first couple of times do get a little distracting, but after awhile, I don’t even pay attention to the words. The words don’t even mean anything, and listening to the same thing over and over allows me to think about what I’m working on as opposed to the pretty (or cool or interesting) music I’m listening to.

6. Use Your Phone for FlashCards.

Download an app like Quizlet and make flashcards on your phone. That way, you always will have them with you, and you can study on the go. If you only have a few minutes to study between classes or during lunch, you can whip out your phone and your flashcards will be ready to go. Some apps come with cool features where you can shuffle them or add pictures. Either way, you can spend less time searching through your backpack and get more done.

Just, don’t forget to turn on your phone’s Do Not Disturb features to avoid getting distracted by texts.

7. Schedule YOur Time.

If you work better on a schedule, then use that to time when you are going to do different things, like eat or study. If you are one of those people that can stick to a schedule it’s great. That way, you can look at your schedule and see when you are busy and when you are free.

I, personally, don’t work well that way. Instead, I like to give myself a ballpark figure. I determine what I need to do, when I would like to be done by, if possible, and go from there.

8. Work When YOu’re Most Productive.

This is contradictory to the first point I made, but if you are a night owl, don’t feel like you have to wake up early all the time. If you get more done at midnight, then that’s when you should be working. If you figure out when you are most productive, you will work much more quickly and will get more done in less time. Thus, you will free up more time for relaxing or doing other stuff besides work.

9. Skip Over the Hard Stuff.

At first, anyway. If you have an assignment that you just don’t understand, skip it and go back to it later. If you don’t move on to something else, you will just be wasting your time. Give yourself a break and work on something easier. Then after awhile, go back to it with fresh eyes. You have probably heard this tip about standardized testing, but trust me, it works for just about anything.

10. Buddy Up.

If you have a friend in a class, get together with them and work on study guides and other projects as a team when you can. This is especially helpful when one of you understands some content and the other understands another part. You can focus on what you know and then tutor each other on the material you don’t know so well. This doesn’t always work, and some people prefer working alone (myself included), so don’t do anything you don’t feel comfortable with.

But as they say, two heads are better than one.

 

So, those are my ten best tips for time management. I hope you learned a little something and enjoyed reading!

Will you start to implement any of these tips? What did you find the most helpful? Let me know in the comments!

A Day in the Life of a Music Major

Since I created this blog to help other college students, I thought it might be cool to write a post on a day in the life of studying music in college. I wrote a post about it last year, but the post got damaged, so I had to delete it. So, today, I am bringing it back. I hope you enjoy.

Killer Harmony | A Day in the Life of a Music Major | Being a music major is a busy job. It involves classes, lessons and ensembles. Click to read more.

As a music major, each day is a little different, but there are some common themes of each day. That is what I will be focusing on.

Notes-Based Classes

This semester, I am in one *real* lecture class: basic conducting. Although, it’s not really a lecture. It’s more of a class/lab combination. I have that class Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 9 am. The class is interesting, but there is a lot more work than it may seem. It’s not one of those classes where you can show up and be fine. We do practice a bit in class, but for the most part, I have to practice on my own time.

I am also in an online class. Last semester, I added a Spanish minor, so I have to take Spanish 4. I could have taken it on campus or online, but in order to make my already busy days a little less stressful, I went with the online class. I really like Spanish, so I haven’t had too hard of a a time learning it on my own.

Independent Studies

As part of my performance degree, I have to take a pedagogy, or teaching, class for my instrument, flute. I took the class last year for one credit, but my degree requires two credits. So, I decided to do a pedagogy independent study, but this time for the piccolo. This class is almost like a lesson, though, because I meet with my flute professor every week to go over materials and notes.

My other independent study is for my Spanish minor. I am working on a project on why you should learn Spanish and how to go about it. I plan on writing some info about it and making a website. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (here) to find out when the website will go live! This independent study is pretty independent. I try to do a bit of work on it regularly, because I don’t want to stress out at the last second. Though, procrastination is very real.

 

Lessons And Ensembles

I am taking four credits of flute lessons this semester, which means that I have two hour-long lessons each week. I have my lessons on Mondays at 10 and Fridays at 11. Now that I am in the part of school where I am preparing for a lot of different performances, I like having two lessons a week. I can get more done and get more feedback.

As far as ensembles go, I am in four. I am in marching band, wind ensemble, flute choir and orchestra. Marching band meets Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 3-5, which is a lot of work. It’s also in the heat of the day, so that doesn’t help.

Wind ensemble starts half way through the semester, in order to give marching band a decent amount of time to work on music and drill. It will start soon though, and I am excited. I’m much more of a wind ensemble person than a marching band person.

Flute choir is the chamber group for flute players. It meets weekly on Thursdays. I like getting to play in a group where (gasp!) the flutes can actually be heard. Sometimes we even have altos and bass flutes as part of the ensemble. This year, I usually will be playing first flute or piccolo, as I am a senior flute performance major.

My last ensemble is symphony orchestra. I have played in it since last semester. It’s so different from in band. In band, you might have up to three other people on your same part, but as a wind player in orchestra, it’s all you. It’s also cool to see people from the community coming in and playing their instruments.

Attendance Credit (or Convocation)

Each semester as a music major, I have to attend twelve concerts or music events on or off campus. This requirement is *technically* a class, but it is zero (yes, 0) credit hours. It’s a graduation requirement, though, so that’s how it has to work.

Some events happen at 10 am on Tuesdays, so I always try to keep that hour free so that I don’t have to worry so much about finding concerts at night to go to.

My recital/My Practice Routine

This semester, I have to perform my first of two solo recitals as a performance major. I also have to enroll in the recital “class” so that I can fulfill the requirement. I have been working on some of the music since as early as January and as recent as August. It’s been fun though. Preparing for a recital is a lot of work. If you would like to read about how I planned my recital, let me know in the comments!

In order to prepare for such an event, I have to practice a lot! I try to practice at least two hours a day, more if I can. I know that the more I practice, the better I will get, but I also believe in quality over quantity. I used to stress about getting two hours of practice in, and I would do anything to hit the two hour mark. I would just play through stuff, not really thinking about what I was doing. My mentality was “if I practice two hours, I will be good.” There’s more to it than that.

 

So, I hope you enjoyed reading about my days as a music major. It’s crazy to think that I am a senior in college and that these days will be over soon. I could go to graduate school for music, but I honestly don’t know how that would benefit me. I could teach at the college level, but I don’t know that that is what I want to do. I would rather work a little bit and figure out what I want to do before shelling out thousands of dollars and hours of my time. </endrant>

Thanks for reading!