Toppel Peers Blog

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Study Tips

By Jackson Pollock, Peer Advisor

With midterm exams upon us, it is a good time to reflect on some different ways and methods of studying. Although no one really wants to, eventually we all have to sit down and get cranking. Here are a few tips and methods to study:

1) Start Early:

Make sure you give yourself enough time to be able to study the right way. The worst thing for you to do is to pull an all-nighter to cram for an exam. It is both bad for your personal health and it is actually harder to commit information to your memory. Start studying at least a week before your exam so you have ample time to get notes, and lecture slides together, and if needed to meet with your professor during office hours. This will allow you to have extra time to study for other exams, and give yourself the personal time you need.

2) Find a Study Group:

Find a few friends or acquaintances in your class or with the same professor and plan on studying with them for some of the time. Having a group or friend to study with helps a lot. Rather than being isolated on the 9th floor of the stacks, it will allow you to communicate with civilization in a very beneficial way. Studying with a friend or a group of people will allow you to quiz each other, share different ideas of understanding, and help motivate each other.

3) Personal Health:

Your personal health is very important during the time you are studying. You should still eat and sleep regularly. Sleep is crucial. If you do not give appropriate time to sleep you will feel it in your body and it will heavily affect your performance. Remember to start studying early so getting a good night’s sleep will not be an issue. Make sure you set aside time for yourself as well, either to work out or to just be yourself for a little.

4) MAKE Flash Cards:

Although using someone else’s flashcards or Quizlet may seem like the easier option, the actual act of creating flashcards or a Quizlet will help you study even better. The process of creating flashcards commits things to your memory because you are writing it down. Just going through flashcards or a Quizlet will help you to memorize, but it will not give the same result as actually creating flashcards or a Quizlet.

5) Location, Location, Location:

With such a unique campus such as ours, there are so many places to study. While being in the library might be the first thing that comes to mind, it is good to mix it up. Anywhere outside is a great option, because it gets you out the cold, air conditioned library.

I hope that these tips are helpful for your midterms that we are all excitingly awaiting! Good luck, Canes!

Explore the World Around U

By Jake Ducharme, Peer Advisor

With the Majors, Minors, & Study Abroad Fair coming up on Wednesday, September 28th from 3PM-6PM, what better time than now to start considering studying abroad to enhance your collegiate experience?

Studying abroad is a unique opportunity that every college student should take advantage of. Studying abroad has many benefits and few drawbacks. It’s an opportunity for you to jump out of your comfort zone and try new things. You will make new friends, learn in a different way, and likely have the time of your life.

Top reasons you should study abroad:

1) It looks great on a CV/ Resume and for graduate school

Studying abroad is an experience on your resume that will stand out to potential employers. It shows that you are willing to take on new challenges and step out of your comfort zone. According to, 90% of study abroad students got into their first or second choice grad school.

2) Gain a new level of independence and self-reliance

Immersing yourself into a new country will teach you to be independent and self-reliant like nothing else. Going off to college definitely increases independence, but not like living in a new country, being forced to try new things and navigate in an unfamiliar territory. It may be scary at first, but it will give you all the experience you need to be a self-sustaining adult for post-college life.

3) Pay lower tuition fees

Often times when studying abroad you pay the tuition of the university you are attending, rather than your own school’s tuition. For many schools, typically in European countries, those tuition rates are significantly cheaper than what you’re paying to attend your college or university.  Of course, airfare and living expenses can rack up, but lower tuition may be a talking point in convincing your parents!

4) Increase language skills

Studying abroad is an opportunity to take that language you “learned” in high school and transform it into full fledged fluency. Nothing will catch you up on the French language like spending a semester in Paris.

Common study abroad fears and why you shouldn’t worry:

1) Homesickness

Homesickness isn’t uncommon for someone thousand miles away from home. You probably have some experience dealing with homesickness from when you first moved on campus. If you can last from late August to thanksgiving break or winter break without your family, then you shouldn’t have to worry about a semester in another country. If that does seem like a problem, then focus on the new opportunities and adventures waiting to happen in your host country rather than browse through Facebook pictures and I’m sure you won’t want to go home.

2) Getting lost

You may get lost in your new home, but that is no reason not to give it a shot. Carry maps with you and you’ll make it out just fine. If anything, getting lost just adds to the adventure and excitement of studying abroad.

3) Language barrier

Immersing yourself in a new language is intimidating and confusing but it is a great chance to learn a new language. Have your dictionary ready and try your best communicating with locals! Or meet a local who can show you around when you’re away from the university. Worst case scenario study in an English speaking country!

Good luck, Canes!

Time Management

By Beverly Asante, Peer Advisor

As you all know it is extremely difficult being a full-time student and tackling other obligations. For some of you these obligations might be going to work, taking care of your family, or even attending weekly meetings for student organizations. These obligations begin to add up and before you know it, you will be stressed and overwhelmed because it feels as if you are doing a million things at once. We have all been there. If you have struggle with time management, I strongly urge you to continue reading. Listed below are a few tips on how you can increase your time management skills.

Have a Planner

Time management is about controlling the amount of time you spend on activities. What better way to do that then to use a planner. They are a great way for you to keep track of your daily activities. Most planners have a daily or weekly overview that allow for you to pencil in all your upcoming events and schedules. You can even organize your schedule by the hour. Planners give you a physical record of your schedule and the times you are available to ensure that none of your daily tasks conflict with each other. As busy college students, with a million and one things on our plate, using a planner is essential for making sure our time is used efficiently.


To-Do list


The biggest reason as to why I would recommend a to-do list is for organization. Again, for most of us, school is not our only obligation. Often times we have an idea of what we have to do, but actually writing things down allows for us to organize our tasks and prioritize our responsibilities. Also, keeping everything in our head gives us room to forget things. Nobody is capable of remembering everything they have to do, all of the time. I know I can’t. That is why I recommend keeping a to-do list; it ensures that we focus all our attention on our most important tasks.

Start Early


Starting early is very important. Most times, the reason why we have so much to do is because we wait till the last minute to do everything. I’ve done it, we’ve all done it, but it is probably one of the most inefficient ways to work. For example, professors give us our syllabi during our first day of school. Meaning, we have weeks in advance to prepare and organize ourselves. Please do not wait till the day before your exams to start studying. Study a week or two in advance and get ahead. Doing things early will allow for you to be calm, more creative and clearheaded, thus enabling you to work at your maximum capacity.

Welcome to the U

By Beverly Asante, Toppel Peer Advisor

The transition from high school to college is a big step. For some of you, this might be the first time you are away from your friends and family. This may be the last time that you see your classmates from high school. This may even be the last time someone scolds you for not doing your laundry. Why you may ask?  You’re a college student!  Congratulations baby canes, you’ve made it! Here are a few tips on how you can make your transition from high school to college that much smoother.

Be Yourself

 Oscar Wilde once said “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”   This may sound really cliché, but it’s true. I was extremely worried when I first started my college career. I didn’t have any friends.  I literally was eating alone in the cafeteria with no one to talk to for about a month. It happens, you might not have friends the first couple of weeks, but you will eventually make some. The only way you can survive in college or anywhere else for that matter is by being yourself. People will gravitate towards you more easily once they can relate to you, the real you.  So put your best foot forward and don’t forget to always be U.

Get Involved

I previously wrote a blog post about getting involved, the link for that will be listed below. However, I cannot stress the importance of it. Employers want to know that you are not a robot, studying all day in the library and that you are a well-rounded person.  You should be actively participating in clubs and organizations that resonate with who you are and your values. Getting involved shows employers that you have a balance and that you can be a leader both inside and outside of the classroom. Not to mention, you can meet some of your lifelong friends and advocates through clubs and organizations. Speaking from my own experience, joining organizations such as the debate team and the Hammond Butler Inspirational Concert Choir helped me so much. Till this very day, I hold friendships and bonds with people that constantly motivate me to be a better person.  

Go to Class

Last, but not least do not forget to go to your classes. I understand our parents are no longer here to tell us what to do and we are definitely all adults here, but going to class is very important. You can miss out on very important material if you do not attend class on a regular basis. I definitely recommend going to class and developing a relationship with your professors. Don’t ever forget that it is the little things that matter such as going to class, getting there on time, participating, and treating both your classmates and professors with respect. Professors actually pay attention to those little details and that might actually work in your favor when final grades come around.

Here is the link to all my previous blog posts including the one about getting involved,

 Thank you for reading, and don’t forget, it’s great to be a Miami HurriCane!


5 Reasons You Should NOT Apply To Graduate School

By Esther Lamarre, Assistant Director, Graduate Student & Alumni Career Programs

The question of when is it time to consider graduate school is a popular topic for many graduating seniors and alumni. Often it is the result of a frustrating experience navigating a job search process that has yielded few leads and zero offers. Many alumni tend to question their bachelor’s level education and view an advanced degree as the only choice that will provide employment security.
It’s not.
Continue reading “5 Reasons You Should NOT Apply To Graduate School”

6 Ways to Refresh Your Life Over Spring Break

By Melissa Wyatt, Toppel Peer Advisor
Trying to balance classes, extracurriculars and work is tough for any college student – so it’s no surprise that spring break is one of the most anticipated weeks of the year. While it’s important to have fun and relax, spring break is also a great opportunity to get ahead. A little bit of effort can go a long way, and preparing for what’s ahead will allow you to end your semester on a high note. Here are six easy ways to refresh your life this spring break:
1. Update Your resume

Continue reading “6 Ways to Refresh Your Life Over Spring Break”

Failure is a prerequisite for success.

By: Beverly Asante, Toppel Peer Advisor

Everyone has to experience failure in life. It happens to the best of us. It hurts, it’s unfortunate, but it is part of what makes us human. Think about it, without failure, how would we grow? It’s the times that life kicks us while we we’re down that really allows us to appreciate it’s great moments. I know this may be difficult to hear while you’re still in battle, but just hang in there, because the sweetest victories are the ones that you fight the most to achieve. No matter where you find yourself, whether it be studying for an exam or grabbing coffee with a friend, I hope you can relate.  Continue reading “Failure is a prerequisite for success.”

How Recharging Your Batteries Can Jumpstart Success

By Alexis Musick, Toppel Peer Advisor

Many students don’t realize that finding time to relax is just as important as putting time into your schoolwork and career development. College students are known for being incredibly busy – not only do we have class to attend, but we have hundreds of pages of reading, what seems like nonstop testing, heavy organizational involvements, and (for some of us) jobs and internships. With no sleep and tiring days, we pump ourselves with coffee and energy drinks and cross our fingers that this artificial energy will keep us going.  Continue reading “How Recharging Your Batteries Can Jumpstart Success”

Picking the Right Major

By Beverly Asante

Adam Kotsko once said, “We ask 18 year olds to make huge decisions about their career and financial future, when a month ago they had to ask to go to the bathroom.” How many of you can relate? As college students we are pressured to pick a major, plan our lives, and figure out the career path destined for us, all while simultaneously trying to transition from childhood to adulthood. Indeed, being 18 in the Western world is a big deal and picking the right major is an even bigger one. Scary right? It doesn’t have to be. Here are some things to consider when deciding the right major.

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