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Jackson Pollock

Stressed Out

By Jackson Pollock, Peer Advisor

Finals are quickly approaching and stress levels are about to reach an all-time high. This stress that builds up while studying or thinking about finals can be alleviated with a few easy methods:

Breathing Exercises

Personally, I have really grown to enjoy taking a break and practicing some breathing exercises. The simplest and most productive, one in my opinion, is to just sit with you hand on your stomach and breathe through your nose, slowly and deeply, so that you feel your lungs fully expanding, then slowly releasing your breath through your mouth. I usually do this technique for about two minutes. I would recommend doing whatever you feel comfortable with, just don’t get too comfortable that you fall asleep in the library. This will lower your heart rate and lower blood pressure. This is a very easy and quick way to bring yourself back to a good mental state. It’s very easy to do this in the library for a couple minutes to relax.

Talk to People Close to You

Talking to friends about what is going on in your life is a great thing to do to lessen your stress level. Doing this will allow you to truly understand why you are stressed out and with their support it will motivate you that you can in fact have it in you to accomplish your finals (in this case). You’ll also get to hear what is on their mind, which may show that you are both going through some tough mental times. Whenever I get stressed out, I like to talk to friends I’m close with at school, but also reach out to distant friends that are completely detached from my current environment.

Laugh Out Loud

On one of your study breaks go online and either watch your favorite show (The Office works well) or some funny videos. Laughing out loud will make you feel mentally lighter and realize that there are things other than Biology and Calculus.

Listen to Music

This might be my favorite way of reducing stress. There are two ways you can approach this. This first is to listen to some relaxing music in the form of something like white sound, or classical music. This can calm you out. My personal angle on this is to start jamming out to some of my favorite songs, making sure the volume is fairly high (but not too high to affect the studying of other people in the library)


Although the chairs in the library are actually pretty comfortable (@ me), during study breaks you’ve got to get out of that place. Take a walk around the library and get some fresh air, go for a run around campus, go workout in the gym, go take a yoga class. Just do something that will get you moving.

Zoom Out

This is the most important one on the list. On one of your study breaks pick up a newspaper (if you don’t know what this is, it’s a series of papers put together with text and images on them telling the national and world news) and read through some of the national and world headlines. In this newspaper you will see all the bad things that are happening in the world, and all the things that you need to worry about. Through this zooming out and seeing the whole world, you will realize that these finals are not going to have substantial impacts on your life. This zooming out will allow you to be grateful for having the privilege to attend an amazing institution such as the University of Miami and much more.

You’ll be fine…

Winter Break Boredom?

By Jackson Pollock, Peer Advisor

Although we aren’t quite done with the semester yet, winter break is not too far away. No, this blog is not about how to study for finals, if you want tips on how to study for finals you can direct yourself to my past blog titled “Study Tips” where I go into depth on ways to study right. This blog is about how to make good use of your winter break. Although winter break is not for a couple weeks, it’s good to think ahead and plan out your break. At UM we, students, get a whole month off from school to think and do other things than academics (you might see where this is going). Since you have academics off your mind you can start thinking of your internship and job search. Although there won’t be any Peer Advising hours (crying emoji) you can work on important documents, and important applications throughout the break without us to guide you. Take the first week or two of break to just relax and be with family, but for the rest of the time when you find yourself bored, out of Netflix shows to binge watch (The Office can always be re watched multiple times) you should sit down and check this to-do list:

1) Work on Your Resume

For some of you, your resume is pretty up to date from this semester, but for others you may have not looked at it in a while. Your resume is like your hair. It will look really good after you get a haircut, but that hair cut will only last so long and you will need to touch it up and get a new haircut. New experiences that you do should be added to your resume immediately. When grades come out and you made the Dean List, put it on your resume. If you just joined an activity on campus, put it on your resume. Acquire any new skills over the semester? If so add them to your resume. When you add all of this new information to your resume, make sure you are following our resume guidelines. Although you cannot come in to see us over break, our New York Times Bestselling Resume & Cover Letter Guide Book is available online at, under Career Resources in Guides & Handouts. After you find the obvious things, take a second to look back and make sure nothing fell through the cracks this semester. As a barber or hair stylist would, take that last final look and make sure everything is right before sending you out on the streets with a potentially bad haircut. For those of you who already have an up-to-date resume, use this time to look over it again to make sure there are no grammatical errors. Even the slightest grammatical error will displease an employer.

2) Find Internships & Jobs

So you have worked your resume to death and it is nearly perfect, and you ask yourself, “self, what do I do with this polished resume?” This resume will be, as DJ Khaled would say, the golden key to your success in applying for jobs and internships, but first you have to find these opportunities. There are tons of ways of finding different jobs and internships, but the easiest place to start is my personal favorite: Handshake. Never heard of Handshake? Please direct yourself to my article titled, “Handshake for Dummies.” This platform will link you up to tons of jobs and internships that are offered to UM students specifically. They range over many countries, and from many different disciplines and qualifications. Once you get your eyes set on a few that you like, you should take a closer look at the application process and see what exactly they need from you, because you might have to draft a cover letter.

3) Work on your Cover Letter?

If you have a job or internship that you are interested in and they require a cover letter, then winter break would be the perfect time to crank that out. Your cover letter is a very important part of your application and should be thoughtfully written. For more in depth information on how exactly to formulate and execute a stand out cover letter, look no further than our Resume & Cover Letter Guide book as mentioned above.

4) Apply to Internships and Jobs

Once you have your eye set on the internships and jobs you are interested in and have all your materials ready you should finally apply. This process is the easiest out of the activities listed above, but is the most important. Look at deadlines to make sure you have enough time to get all your materials together and apply. Also another important thing is to find how long it will take for them to get back to you, this is important for the next step.

5) Follow up on Applications

This is if you already have put in an application prior to winter break and haven’t received any form of contact from the employer. It is important, as I mentioned before, to check the date they said they would get back to you before following up.


If you do all these things during winter break and find yourself bored, I’m sorry I have no additional tips for you, although it is good every once and awhile to just have nothing to do.

Good Luck Canes, and Happy Holidays!

Handshake For Dummies

By Jackson Pollock, Peer Advisor

Handshake is a great platform for students for a wide variety of reasons. It allows students to access resources for jobs, internships, events, career fairs and much more. Here are different ways how to use Handshake to your advantage:


Setting Up Your Profile:

The first time you sign on to Handshake you will have to set up your profile. This is a very important part of Handshake. When you first sign into Handshake you are going to want to upload you resume first. In order to gain full access to Handshake your resume has to be uploaded and reviewed by a staff member at Toppel. A Toppel staff will review your uploaded resume, provide feedback on how to approve it, then approve the document so you can gain full access to Handshake. As soon as your document is approved then you can start to build your profile. There is actually a feature to build your profile from your resume where Handshake will pull experiences from your resume and allow you to directly add them to your profile without having to type them in. Make sure you profile is full of all your experiences, skills, and education. Your profile will look similar to how a LinkedIn profile looks.


Making Appointments:

With your profile set up, you can now start to access all Toppel has to offer starting with appointments. If you do not feel like going into Toppel (you shouldn’t feel this way) to schedule an advising appointment, you can do it from your fingertips. All you need to do is go to the appointment tab, choose the advising you need, pick a time, and you are all set.


Finding Events/Interviews:

Another thing you can do on handshake is find events and register for them. You will be able to search through events that Toppel is having in this section and see if it is relevant to you; in which case you can register for them. In addition to Toppel events, you will be able to find Career Fairs, see what employers are coming to the fair, and register for the fair. Lastly you will be able to register for interviews. Interviews happen at Toppel when employers come to campus and you are able to find these opportunities in Handshake and register for them.


Searching for Jobs and Internships:

With your resume uploaded and profile set up, you can now start looking for internship and job opportunities. To look for these opportunities, you will need to go to either the job or internship tab depending on your current wants and needs. In these sections you will find an overwhelming list of jobs and internships that span over 109 pages. Do not get overwhelmed by this. You can choose to narrow your search. You can narrow it down by location, job type, employment time, and many more. One very helpful modifier is “Show Qualified Only.” This will allow the jobs and internships to be filtered to only the ones you would be qualified to apply for based on your major, year, and other factors. That 109-page list will narrow down a lot when you apply the modifiers of your liking. With the smaller list you can go through the opportunities and read up on the qualifications and job descriptions.


Applying for Jobs and Internships:

Once you have singled in on your prized job or internship it is now time to apply for the job. If your resume is approved, this is easy. All you have to do is click “Apply Now” and you will be prompted to upload you resume form Handshake. After you apply you will be notified by the company after they review your application.


I hope this gives you a general overview of Handshake and just how important is it for the job search. Remember walk-in advising at Toppel is open Monday through Friday 9am to 4:30pm. Stop by for critiques or if you have any questions about Handshake.



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!

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