College Compass

College Compass is a bi-weekly blog I created through the Pitt News, that aims to help students navigate the highs and lows of college life. It covers a wide range of topics including school troubles, social dilemmas, and lifestyle tips.

College Compass | Five COVID-safe ways to relax

Midterms are in full swing, and it’s just about that time in the semester when students crave the reset button. While clubbing on the boardwalk of sunny beaches in Miami sounds enticing, there are ways to relax this spring that will leave you feel way more rejuvenated. Luckily, I’ve provided five fun and safe activities that will make you forget — or at least feel better — about the nonexistent spring break this semester.

College Compass | A Guide to Networking

Networking is tedious, intimidating and sometimes a little awkward. Regardless of how uncomfortable it feels, though, it’s an imperative step for anyone with plans to enter the workforce. Even students who aren’t graduating yet or plan on taking a gap year should still partake in this step because everyone needs to have a contact base at some point. With that said, it’s never too early or late to begin, so if you’re wondering where to start, here are some tips:

College Compass | Confronting COVID-19 when you’re nonconfrontational

When someone who you haven’t seen in months runs up and hugs you, it’s admittedly awkward to dodge them. When a friend of a friend reaches their hand out to shake yours, it feels weird to leave them hanging. And more importantly, when your designated pod constantly violates general guidelines, it can be a major source of tension to bring this up. But even if citing COVID-19 restrictions kills the mood, getting COVID-19 could kill you. So here’s some tips that will help even the most nonconfrontational people feel more comfortable discussing their COVID-19 concerns.

College Compass | Why everyone should take a Pitt workout class

Pitt fitness classes — online and in person — are life-changing. While the gym is always an option, having an actual scheduled class forces students to show up on a regular basis and incorporate physical activity into their daily lives. Plus, with COVID-19 in the air, it’s more important than ever to exercise and make sure your lungs are in good shape.When creating a spring semester schedule in the coming weeks, don’t shy away from adding a workout class to your schedule.

College Compass | 5 steps to excel in virtual learning

If you feel like virtual learning isn’t your forte, you’re not alone.Unfortunately, whether or not online learning is your personal preference, it’s your new reality, and it’s time to get adjusted. If the start of the semester felt a little turbulent, there’s still more than enough time to get adjusted and back in the game. Here are five ways that I was able to recover from my chaotic first week:

College Compass: How to make this 5-month summer break productive

With the drastic increase in unemployment, many students are dreading this five-month summer of nothingness. But just because hiring practices have slowed down does not mean that this summer will automatically become an unproductive waste of time. In fact, without imminent pressure to get a job and the next four months without academic obligations, this time can actually turn into quite the opposite. While an internship or a job would be nice, companies are well aware of the current situation and will adjust their expectations of candidates in light of this. Instead of moping — which I find tempting myself — here are four ways to develop yourself and build your resume in a way that will help you get ahead in the job market when it revives.

College Compass: College dieting the healthy way

The combination of late nights and heavy drinking will eventually take a toll on anyone living such a lifestyle for prolonged periods of time. Since many college students are surrounded by this kind of living, these unhealthy habits can feel difficult to break — and when the weather hits freezing temperatures, the mere idea of change feels close to impossible. When I first arrived at college, my imagination soared with fears about the apparently inescapable “freshman 15” that haunted me.

College Compass | Entering survival mode: Finals edition

As I wrap up the fall semester of my third year in college, the term ‘finals’ still evokes traumatic memories from my first-year experience during exam week. When I took my first semester finals, I didn’t quite realize how much studying it entailed and slacked as a result. At the end of the second semester, I miscalculated the workload again, but completely overworked myself instead. For first-year students, the concept of a week-long exam period may feel foreign and unapproachable — especially

College Compass | Do’s and Don’ts of taking an 18-credit semester

If you’re thinking of taking an 18-credit semester — don’t. A course load this heavy isn’t bold, brave or logical in any circumstances. In fact, it’s highly irrational and rarely worth it because it overbooks your schedule and workload. But, in the occasion that you find an 18-credit course load absolutely imperative to the advancement of your college career, there’s a few dos and don’ts that you should make note of:

College Compass: Perks of living on-campus

I’m one of the few upperclassmen I know that staunchly advocates for on-campus living, but as someone with a variety of experience in different on-campus locations, I can defend my stance that the pros overwhelmingly outweigh the cons. I will never forget when Pittsburgh hit negative-degree temperatures last winter. As the blistering winds beat against my face on the walk up Thackeray Avenue to my 8 a.m. astronomy class, I decided that I would not move off campus the following year.

College Compass: Entering survival mode

The first few months of living in a new location, studying at a new school or working at a new job can feel overwhelming at the least — and that only scratches the surface of the whirlwind that can occur during periods of transition. It may be okay, and even healthy, to admit that your current life isn’t where you want it — but don’t use that as an excuse to sulk. Instead, channel your current dissatisfaction and transform it into motivation to keep trudging until you feel content about where you are.