Where are the Best Summer Study Spots?

Summer courses. They can be a drag, but they also come in handy when you are making up credits, or trying to finish your degree plan in a short amount of time.

We found a blog post on http://blog.studentlifenetwork.com/ listing the best summer study spots!   The article recommends studying outside to soak up some sun and we agree! We decided to create our own list of fab study spots to try out. Drop a comment below with your favorite summer study spot suggestions.

Take advantages of outdoor spaces- patios, backyards, or local parks! 

Forbes Magazine points out that exposure to sunlight elevates your mood and helps strengthen your immune system. Use that summer time shine! If you’re in the Northern Virginia area,  don’t forget each campus has plenty of outdoor space to utilize. Being on campus, can help keep your mind in grind mode.

Speaking of space on campus, our libraries have open summer hours!

Check out our summer library schedule from May 20 – August 11. Outside campus operating hours, branch out and visit a local public library.  LibWeb does the work for you in finding a nearby library location.

Cafe’s and coffee shops are a great environments to get work done.

Free Wifi, background music, and unlimited access to caffeine.. what more can you ask for?! Check out Northern Virginia Mag’s Guide to Coffee Shops in you’re in the area.

We hope some of our suggestions work for you this summer. Don’t be afraid to try new spaces, and when you find a spot that fits your needs, utilize it! Enjoy, and happy summer studying!

Any suggestions? Drop your fav summer study spot in the comments below!

Join the Business Student Interest Group!

Interested in Business Related Topics?

Join the Business Student Interest Group for NOVA Online.  Engage in business related discussions, guest interviews, article sharing, tips, and more- online!

To join or to find out more information contact the group leader, Kaleigh, at  kmw2998@email.vccs.edu.

Volunteer Opportunity: Clean the Bay Day

Volunteer with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation for Save the Bay Day.

Each year, on the first Saturday of June, thousands of Virginians simultaneously descend on the rivers, streams, and beaches of the Chesapeake Bay watershed to remove harmful litter and debris. Thirty-one years strong, Clean the Bay Day is a true Virginian tradition and an annual opportunity for families, military installations, businesses, clubs, civic or church groups to give back to local waterways.

Saturday, June 1, 2019
9:00 am-Noon

Click here to Register —> https://www.cbf.org/events/clean-the-bay-day/

Volunteer at one of the numerous locations around Virginia. Clean up areas are available in every country that NOVA Campuses are located in.

Visit the link below for a full list of areas.

https://www.cbf.org/events/clean-the-bay-day/clean-the-bay-day-locations.html

Raffle Prizes for Volunteers

There’s more! NOVA Students who volunteer for Clean the Bay Day will be entered into a raffle to win a NOVA Online Tech Swag Bag- includes flash drive, webcam cover, mouse pad, & microfiber cloth key chain!!!!

To Enter the Raffle Follow Instructions Below 

  1. Sign up and volunteer at one of the Clean the Bay Day locations
  2. Share a photo from volunteering with a brief description of your experience. Sharing can be done in one of three ways:
      • sending the information/picture to Onlinestulife@nvcc.edu
      • tagging @NOVAELife on a Twitter post
      • tagging @NOVAElife on a Facebook post
  3. Winners will be announced the following week and prizes will be sent by mail.

For more information contact your Student Life Coordinator at onlinestulife@nvcc.edu.

 

 

2019 College Scholarship Program: The Virginia Writers Club

Finals may be over, but the chance to win a scholarship is not! The NOVA Online Book Club shared this great opportunity.

The Virginia Writers Club is awarding $2,000 to first year students in a writing related major. See details in the link below:

https://www.virginiawritersclub.org/2019-Scholarship

Applicants will write on the 2019 topic:

Tell about someone who inspired you and the effects of that inspiration on your writing life.

For more information on how to get involved with the NOVA Online’s  Book Club visit:

https://libguides.nvcc.edu/NOVAonlinereads/bookclub

Summer Internship Opportunity

Internship Opportunity

This Is My Brave is seeking a summer Intern! We’re a mental health storytelling organization (http://www.thisismybrave.org) and are experiencing significant growth.

This Is My Brave, Inc. provides a platform and a community for people affected by mental illness to share their stories through theater programs and community events. Their mission as a new non-profit organization is to ignite and actively promote a positive, national conversation on mental illness to end the stigma surrounding mental health disorders. They believe that every time a story is shared, there’s another crack helping to break down the stigma of mental illness. This is an unpaid internship, but offers excellent experience in a non-profit entrepreneurial environment with the opportunity to contribute your ideas and have your voice heard as a valuable contributor to the team.

Their physical location is Dulles, Virginia, but they mainly work out of home offices so this will be a work-from-home opportunity, with meetings in person (or via Skype) every other week to go over work and set new assignments.

Requirements:

  •  MUST be Local to the DC metro area
  •  Experience with Google Drive and Google documents
  •  Strong knowledge of social media (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Google+, YouTube)
  • Ability to travel to Ashburn, VA bi-weekly (or do Skype meetings)
  • 5-10 hours a week
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Must work well independently with high attention to detail
  • Creative thinker, not afraid to offer up ideas for new and unique ways to reach our target audience
  • Administrative projects: Research, Data entry, and assisting Executive Director on special projects such as Facebook/IG Live campaigns as needed

    This is an exciting chance to get involved – and have a voice – with an organization which is on the leading edge of social change when it comes to the way society views mental illness.

    To apply, please email: jennifer(at)thisismybrave.org and submit your resume and a video clip (can be shot on your smartphone or using a computer’s webcam) telling why you’re interested in joining the team.

Student Lingo: Stress Management Workshop

As finals and projects are approaching, take some time to de-stress, re-focus on your courses, and prepare for your exams. Take breaks, stay focused and manage your stress!

stress comic

From finding time to do assignments between jobs to managing a family and a full-time course load; students juggle multiple responsibilities on a daily basis. Handling the demands of school while balancing the responsibilities of work and personal life can be overwhelming and there is a serious need for students to be equipped to handle the stress that comes along with managing so many things at once. But, fear not because StudentLingo provides a Stress Management Techniques Workshop to help you manage your stress and finish your semester successfully. If you haven’t already, register for an account with your student email (@email.vccs.edu).

You can also access a number of stress-taming tools for your toolbox through the Stress Management Online Workshop! Student Lingo offers NOVA students free online workshops that address a wide variety of topics; providing students with information, strategies, and resources to overcome barriers to academic success, and reach their personal, academic, and professional goals.

What is highlighted?

In this workshop you will learn the following information:

  • How to identify and evaluate your unique warning signs and reactions to stressors.
  • Assess your stress triggers and identify the sources of stress in your life.
  • How stress affects your physical health, mental clarity, academic performance, etc.
  • How your mind and body process and internalizes stress.
  • New stress management strategies to practice and integrate in your daily life to deal with stress in a healthy way!

 Once you finish reviewing the workshop, keep your momentum for change by incorporating what you have learned right away. Take action to make what you’ve learned meaningful by applying it when stress arises. Assess the triggers in your life, the sources of stress as it relates to school, your professional life, and your personal life and ask yourself the following questions to actively combat their impact on your life:

  •  How do I react when theses triggers come up?
  • Is my reaction to these stressors healthy?
  • What can I do to minimize the effect that these stressors have on me?
  • Which stress management techniques that I learned from this workshop do I plan on using?
  • How can they to help manage my reaction to these specific triggers?

Like this post? You may also find the Motivational Minute: Many Faces of Stress blog post useful for more stress management tips and information!

Article provided by the NOVA Online Success Coaches. Contact your Success Coach at onlinesuccess@nvcc.edu.

Test Taking Strategies

To enhance your test taking skills and get that ‘A’, take a moment to review the common test taking errors and tips referenced below.

Read the Instructions/Questions Carefully: You have probably heard this tip a thousand times but failure to read the instructions and each question carefully can result in careless errors. Do not skim—read thoroughly and carefully. Sometimes, wrong answers can be the result of skipping over important directions.

Label Your Test: Make sure your name and student ID are on the test along with any other information required by the instructor or testing center. You would be surprised at how many students, anxious to get started, forget to put their name on the test or the Scantron! Failure to include your name will most likely result in a zero!!

Sequence Errors: Concept errors such as misunderstanding a principle involved in solving the problem or steps involved in the process can create problems in answering the question correctly. When studying, take time to review your lecture notes and textbook carefully to ensure you follow the proper sequence is answering the question. (Use flash cards and/or mnemonics when studying, to help remember and recall the order.)

Missing Problems in the Test: If you are anxious and/or have a tendency to rush, you may miss problems or skip a step. If you are confused on a question, circle it and come back to it later. If you have a tendency to skip the last step or part of a question, be sure to look at this part of the problem first. Always remember to review your test before turning it in!

Spending too Much Time on One Question: If you are spending too much time on one question, circle it, and refer back to it after you have completed the other questions (as you move forward through the test – other questions may prompt you to remember the answer to the question that stumped you). If you are taking a timed test, you may want to consider wearing a watch (testing centers do not allow cell phones at your testing station).

Recording the Incorrect Answer: Accidentally, copying the wrong answer from your scratch paper to the actual test can result in a disaster. To avoid this, strategically plan to compare your answer on the scratch paper with the one on the test.

Review your Answers: Careless mistakes such as forgetting to add two numbers in a long math problem, skipping steps or accidentally missing a question, can result in zero credit or a loss of points. To protect yourself against this common error, after completing each question/problem, review your answers thoroughly.

Preparing for Future Quizzes/Tests: Once you have received your quiz/test back, be sure to review it and look up every question that you missed.  Determine the reason why you missed the question and learn from it so you will understand the concept(s) and be able to apply the correct information on your next exam.

If you have questions or would benefit from additional strategies, reach out to a NOVA Online Success Coach today by emailing onlinesuccess@nvcc.edu. From test taking strategies to time management, we 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.

 

Here’s an Info-graphic with a short summary!

 

Preparing for Finals

As you are preparing for final exams in your online courses, the NOVA Online 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 a NOVA Online Success Coach today by calling 703.323.3347 or onlinesuccess@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) here are some websites that share testing review tips to help you survive multiple choice and true/false questions on 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 NOVA Online 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 a former NOVA Online’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, NOVA Online Student Success Coach

Amber’s Recap on Spring Break

Alternative Spring Break – Roanoke, VA 

Amber Dunn is an online student working towards a degree in Film Studies. She shares her experience spending Spring break with Student Life in order to volunteer and give back to the community!

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Spring Break. A time to catch up with your friends. Maybe you and your besties hop in the car and go on a road trip. Or, your family might decide to soak up some sun rays on the beach. Whatever you do, you are having fun. Making memories with the people you hold close to your heart. Would you ever consider spending Spring Break with people you didn’t know? I’m talking about complete. Strangers. Would you be willing to spend Spring Break working? How would you feel if part of your Spring Break was spent getting dirty?

I was a little hesitant when the words “Alternative Spring Break” popped up on my screen. I thought, ”spend part of my time doing labor!” My best friend, Heather, convinced me. She exclaimed “Come on! It will be fun!” I decided “More time with my best friend, why not.”

The night before I left for the trip I was contemplating attending. At the time I was enrolled in an online course, and had a ton of work due plus an exam. I was worried I was not going to be able to finish the assignments, and adequately study. Then I reflected on the past month. I spent the entire month writing essays, and applying for what felt like 100 universities! I told myself, “you need this break.” The next morning, I was on my way to Roanoke, VA.

I did not except my life to be impacted within the three days. The first day we helped clean Mt. Zion AME church and settled in. The second day we helped Roanoke Rescue Mission. We helped package and give out food to families in need. It was a life changing experience because the quality of the food was superior. I have helped give back to families in need before, and the food these families typically received was non-perishables. The food Roanoke Rescue Mission gave out to their community in need was perishable and non-perishable. Food that had quality. Plus, they also provided dog or cat food. I was blown away by the food the community received. It was food with love.

Later in the day we went to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore. While we were there we helped clean the store, rearrange books, and move shelves. The best part was learning about the mission of Habitat for Humanity, and hearing about the lives it has changed through ReStore.

The last day we spent going to church for six hours. You read it correctly. Church, for six hours. Now, now. You are probably thinking, “Church? Six hours?” I know, I know. It was wonderful. The reason we attended Church was to experience a different element. Personally, attending Church spoke to me. Spring Break was at a time, two years ago I applied for nine universities. I was devastated my applications did not turn out the way I envisioned it. I did get accepted into one school, Spelman University, but I couldn’t attend due to a promise I made to myself over eight years ago. I promised myself I would graduate college debt free.

As I sat in Church I reflected upon how I improved since then. I made tremendous progress. I saw how all the rejections came together and led me in a better direction. After Church we went back to the Rescue Mission to help serve food to homeless families. One thing I noticed as I served these families was how polite and thankful they were. It warmed my heart when people looked me in the eyes and said, “Thank you. God Bless.” I could feel the sincerity behind their words.

Once we were done serving Pastor Ziglar took us on a mini-tour of the city. We drove to The Roanoke Star. As we approached the star we witnessed a breath-taking view of the city, and its life.

After we gathered our breaths, we grabbed ice cream and headed back to Mt. Zion. The next morning it was time to depart. By the conclusion of the trip I got to know my trip members better and see a new community. In fact, I was bummed the trip wasn’t an entire week. It felt amazing giving back and meeting new people. If you are ever given the chance between Spring Break or ALTERNATIVE Spring Break, take the latter. You never know how your life might change.

Amber Dunn aed2543@email.vccs.edu

Mango Languages – A Free Online Resource

Did you know you have access to Mango Languages, a fun & interactive language-learning software? Log in with your VCCS email, then you can use Mango Languages online or via mobile apps for Apple & Android.

Languages available include English, Spanish, Japanese, Farsi (Persian), Arabic (Modern Standard, Egyptian, Iraqi, and Levantine), and even Pirate! For a full list, see https://learn.mangolanguages.com/welcome/language/all

Brought to you by NOVA Libraries.

The NOVA Online Student Blog