Destress as you prepare for your next semester

Winding down from one semester, and planning for your next can be a significant adjustment. With the demand of approaching deadlines, it is easy to get overwhelmed in the blink of an eye. As you gathered information from advising week, and prepared for registration, we want to provide you with some resources to help you unwind, and refocus on preparing for your next semester.

Yoga has more benefits than I can list but the ones I want you to take advantage of right now is it’s capacity to reduce anxiety and stress. Taking time to stretch and twist the body, releases chemicals that our bodies naturally produce when stressed. Beyond the physical movements, yoga has a meditative component that ignites your inner strength in a way that will empower you to tackle any obstacle, help you maintain peace when feeling harried, and turn down the volume of the loud voice of self-doubt. iStock_000052315416_LargeIncorporating yoga into your daily practice has been made easy with the use of technology. Here are some free apps you can download today that can jump-start your yoga practice! There is no greater obstacle to overcome than your own mind, feed it with positivity and it will help you accomplish great things! Namaste.

YogaQuote: Gives you daily inspirational yoga quotes and mantras.

Daily Yoga: Gives you live training with  videos and a professionally made yoga program for you to follow without needing to go to a gym. This app even has yoga to help you destress at your desk (great to do right before writing a paper)!

As you move into your next semester, continue to follow ELife for tips on:

  • Familiarizing yourself with resources to help you with your academic planning.
  • Focusing on your career planning.
  • Checking to make sure you are on the right path to achieve your goals.
  • Gaining skills outside the classroom.
  • Taking some time for reflection.

Have a question, but not sure who to ask? Start with a Success Coach! They can be reached at elisuccess@nvcc.edu or call 703.323.3347.

What to Do if You Don’t Have a Job at Graduation

Keep going! Be persistent in your job search. Get up every day as if you’re going to work, and spend time identifying and researching employers. Contact employers and schedule appointments. Make your job search your job!

Register. Sign up on job-search engines. Stay current and active on business networks like LinkedIn or social media sites like Facebook where you can find company profiles.

Work your network. Contact alumni in your field. Remind your contacts that you’re still looking for a job. Make new contacts by joining professional groups in your area.

Call on the career center. Even though you’ve graduated, your college’s career center is ready to help. Use all the online resources the career center offers.

Take a temp job. Temporary work will give you a way to pay your bills, and will help build the skills and experience that employers want. Plus, temp work will give you more contacts for your network, and may lead to a full-time job. Some organizations use temp positions as a stepping stone into full-time employment.

Get your foot in the door. Some employers offer internships to recent graduates. You may find part-time positions at a company for which you want to work. This could be effective, especially in an organization that hires from within. If you do a great job, you become an excellent candidate for a full-time position.

Look for ways to build new skills. Volunteer opportunities, like temp work, will open your network to new people and new opportunities. It can also help you develop new skills that will make you a more appealing job candidate.

Courtesy of the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

Holiday Safety Tips

We all look forward to the holiday season. We get time off from work and school and spend festive time with family and friends. However, the holiday season has risks that threaten our safety.
Sadly, we are not the only people looking forward to the holidays. Predators and thieves look forward to enhanced opportunities to rob and steal. Thieves who get their hands on personal  items have valuable assistance in    stealing one’s identity.

Here are some tips to protect you and your family:

– The best defense against predators is to be aware of what’s happening around you. Most crimes are crimes of opportunity. If you are aware of what’s happening around you and appear empowered to protect yourself, a predator will likely choose a victim who appears more vulnerable; an easier “mark”.

– Keep valuable parcels locked in your vehicle and out of sight.

-Do not announce your holiday plans on social media. Wait until you return to tell your friends about your travels.

-If you are going away for more than 2-3 days, ask the
post office to hold your mail and/or have a neighbor retrieve any packages or other deliveries.

Courtesy of NOVA Public Safety. To learn more safety tips during the holidays, visit the December 2017 edition of their newsletter.

Student Spotlight: International Student Experience at an American College

Check out the following student spotlight post from Yaw, highlighting their experience as an international student and the strength and value of our diverse student body.

 

Adapting to a new culture is often challenging. I moved from Ghana to the United States for college. It was nothing like I imagined. Beforehand, my point of reference to life in the US is movies, pictures and other forms of media. College could be an exciting opportunity to mature away from parents but just as easily, the gift of freedom could motivate bad decisions and a drastic fall off. I have found that it is important to discover one’s balance with work and play as well as entertaining fruitful relationships with fellow school mates.

Upon arrival, my first significant shock was just how open everyone is. The experience of meeting a vast variety of personalities was very enlightening. I have found that integrating into the college is made easier by the range of diversity present. I believe that my perspective on issues has broadened, having the opportunity to appreciate different points of view. The faculty have been welcoming at the same time blunt. Nova presents an atmosphere not too comfortable for its students causing complacency but rather a competitive one that keeps me motivated throughout the course of the semester. Academic assistance is easily accessible. I often utilize writing labs for my ENG 111 essays, it has been extremely helpful to get more eyes on your paper to critique and help improve.

I would rate my experience so far, an 8 out of 10. It is definitely an experience I would never forget and would love to go through a second time.

If you are interested to share your NOVA story in one of our student spotlight posts, please reach out to us at elistulife@nvcc.edu.

Tips for Networking as an Introvert

Being an introvert does NOT mean you don’t have social skills. However, it does mean that being around lots of people at one time can be draining. I am what you might consider an “expressive” introvert, so I am often mistaken for an extrovert. While both preferences have strengths and weaknesses, I love the fact that I am introspective—enjoy real conversations (read: no small talk)—and can still make connections in a myriad of contexts. Here are the top 10 networking tips that work for me:

Join the crowd. If people seem to be congregating in one area, join them and strike up a conversation.

Set reasonable expectations. When attending an event, prep yourself mentally for what you are there to do. Is your goal to meet more people? Is it to learn more about the organization’s culture? Is it to meet one or two specific people? Make sure you set reasonable expectations beforehand, so that you have a goal in mind. It is a great way to keep you from getting overwhelmed, too.

Start a conversation with a loner. It’s usually easier to start a conversation with someone who is standing alone, because they will most likely be happy to have someone to talk to—and as a result, are often more personable and easier to connect with.

Avoid barging into groups. A cluster of more than four people can be awkward—and tough to enter. Join the group on one side, but don’t try to enter the conversation until you’ve made eye contact with each person at least one time. Usually, people will make room to add you to the “circle” of conversation, and you can introduce yourself then!

“Look mom, no hands!” Keep at least one hand free at all times! This means no eating and drinking at the same time if you are at a networking mixer or conference reception. This way, you can still shake hands with people without being awkward and fumbling around.

Be yourself. Networking events are meant as starting points for professional relationships. If you can’t be yourself—and you aren’t comfortable in your own skin, then the people you meet will be connecting with someone you’re impersonating, and not the real you. Be genuine. Authenticity tends to attract much of the same.

Be present and engaged. Ever talked to someone that acts like you’re the only person in the room? Someone who listens, and makes you feel like everything you are saying is important? I love those people! They really make you feel heard. Keep eye contact, and lean in or tilt your body towards people when you talk to them. Not in a creepy way, but in a, “I’m listening to you, and I’m fully present” kind of way.

Treat people like friends. Unless, of course, you are a terrible friend. Would you go to a friend and interrupt their conversation, hand over a business card, and walk away? No. Networking events are not transactions. Treat new people as you’d treat your friends—built rapport, be trustworthy, and then talk shop.

Follow the 72 hour rule. After a conference or networking event, you have about 72 hours to follow up with a person on LinkedIn or via e-mail. Reference something that you talked about and ask what the best way to stay connected might be. After 72 hours, they just might have forgotten you.

Practice makes perfect. Well, not really perfect. Progress is always better than perfection! The point here is that networking is a skill, like any other professional skill. It is a muscle that you have to develop and grow. While others may look like born networkers, they are more than likely just more experienced with it. Mistakes may happen, but the only way to learn is to get out there and do it!

Article written by Tiffany I. Waddell, Assistant Director for Career Development, at Davidson College.

Courtesy of the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

Preparing for Finals

As you are preparing for final exams in your online courses, the ELI Student Success Coaches have complied a list of resources to help you as you prepare. If you have questions or would benefit from additional strategies, reach out to an ELI Success Coach today by calling 703.323.3347 or elisuccess@nvcc.edu. From test taking strategies to time management, they are here to answer your questions and help you access resources that will empower you to navigate the semester and pave your way to a successful academic journey.

Take a moment now and explore the following resources to promote your success:

If you learn best hearing or speaking (auditory learner), you will welcome the workshops offered through Student Lingo. These free workshops are presented online by a facilitator in an engaging format. Each workshop is about 30 minutes use the link above to access the following workshops:

If you prefer to read (visual learner) the short ELife Blog posts, referenced below are just for you! These ELife Blog posts referenced below, offer timely tips to help you organize and prepare for your next test:

If you prefer to be actively involved and busy as you learn (kinesthetic learner) you may enjoy the following study methods:

  • Quizlet or Study Stack Apps: Take your practice tests and review your flash cards on the go using these apps which will enable you to create flash cards along with practice tests and quizzes.
  • If you prefer, consider the tried and true flash cards made from index cards. This allows kinesthetic learners to flip around the cards, write notes and review at any location, walking, standing or sitting (as with an app). Just flip the cards while you are studying and walk around as you review. Write cues on the cards to help you remember. You can even be creative and develop a game using your flashcards.

If memory/recall is a challenge when studying for your tests, consider exploring the ELife Blogs highlighted below which are focused on strategies to trigger memory:

Stress and anxiety is another common challenge many students experience when testing. To combat your stress, click here to view a short video on stress, facilitated by ELI’s PED instructor, Dr. Gamal Aboshadi. It will provide a better understanding of stress and empower you with valuable techniques to promote relaxation as you study and prepare to go to the testing center.

No matter what your learning style, as you plan for success on your next test, be sure to take time to put these resources into action!

Written by Adrienne, ELI Student Success Coach

What Do I Need to Complete the FAFSA

There are several items you will need to complete the FAFSA. The 2018-2019 FAFSA covers Fall 2018, Spring 2019 and Summer 2019. For 2018-2019, you will need financial information from 2016. All students will need the following information to complete the FAFSA application:

  • Your social security number
  • Your name and date of birth must match your records with the Social Security Administration
  • Your 2016 federal income tax return
    • Internal Revenue Service (IRS) form 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ
    • Foreign tax return, or tax return for Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, U.S. Virgin Islands, Marshall Islands, Federal States of Micronesia or Palau
  • Your 2016 W-2 forms and other records of money earned in 2016, if any income was earned
  • Your 2016 untaxed income records, if applicable (i.e. child support received, interest income, veterans’ benefits, etc.)
  • Your current bank statements
  • Your current assets held outside of retirement accounts
  • Your alien registration or permanent registration card, if applicable (if you are not a U.S. citizen)

If you are a dependent student, you will also need to provide the following information for your parents:

Note: A dependent student is a student who does not meet any of the criteria for an independent student. An independent student is one of the following: at least 24 years old, married, a graduate or professional student, a veteran, a member of the armed forces, an orphan, a ward of the court, someone with legal dependents other than a spouse, an emancipated minor, someone with a court appointed legal guardian, or someone who is homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. 

  •  Parent(s) 2016 federal income tax return and W-2s
  • Parent(s) bank statements and current records for all non-retirement investment and asset accounts
  • Parent(s) social security number, date of birth (day, month and year)
  • Date your parents were married, widowed, divorced or separated

If you are married, you will also need to provide the 2016 federal income tax return information for your spouse.

Federal Student Aid Information Center

8:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m. Monday – Friday (EST) and 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Saturday – Sunday (EST)

Phone: 1-800-433-3243 | International: 1-334-523-2691 | Hearing Impaired: TTY calls only 1-800-730-8913

Questions about your Financial Aid award? Contact them by phone, live chat, or email through the Student Support Center.