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FIND YOUR PLACE FIND SUCCESS WRITE YOUR OWN STORY EVERY STEP OF THE WAY

APRIL 2020 STLTODAY.COM/COLLEGECONNECTION


THAT’S A SALUKI.THIS IS SIU. An artist. A field researcher. A published writer. A collaborative laboratory expert. A teacher. A community leader. A collegiate competition champion. An innovator. A designer. An investment manager. A success.

NOW TEST OPTIONAL. ACT/SAT not required for admission. Because you are anything but standardized.

WHAT SIU CAN DO FOR YOU. PG 2

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is now a test-free zone SPONSORED CONTENT BY SOUTHERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY CARBONDALE

Southern Illinois University Carbondale wants students to know: They see you – you are more than a test score. A Saturday afternoon shouldn’t count for more than years of hard work in high school, say SIU administrators, and so SIU no longer requires ACT or SAT scores for admission to the university. “Research has consistently demonstrated that the most important predictor of college success is the high school grade point average,” said chancellor John M. Dunn. Beginning this fall, SIU will accept applicants with a high school grade-point average of 2.75 or above who have met high school course requirements, regardless of whether they submit ACT or SAT scores. Beginning with the summer and fall 2021 semesters, students with a 2.75 or higher GPA will even be eligible for consideration for most scholarships without submitting test scores. “Standardized tests can be a barrier to many students due to cost and demographic factors,” Dunn said. “We have a responsibility to level the playing field and ensure that every student with potential has an opportunity to study at SIU.”

IT’S A SALUKI NATION SIU has a long history of opening doors for students, welcoming many who are the first in their families to go to college as well as those who are third- and fourth-generation Salukis. SIU recently opened state lines by eliminating out-of-state tuition. Students from Missouri – and every other state – pay the same tuition as Illinois students.

AS HANDS ON AS IT GETS SIU offers more than 200 majors, minors and specializations catering to career goals in areas from the arts through the sciences – including business, engineering, pre-medical and pre-veterinarian, mass media and communications, agriculture, education, humanities, aviation and automotive technology, architecture, fashion, sustainability and more.

SIU students are known for their friendliness, individuality and willingness to try new things. That’s why there DISCOVER FOR YOURSELF. Join ongoing research or launch your own, faculty-mentored project. Southern Illinois Uniare more than 250 student or- versity Carbondale offers the resources of a major research university and the personal touch of a small college. Small class-size means students don’t wait around for lab time –it’s hands-on time all the time. Photo provided by Southern Illinois ganizations on campus. Some University Carbondale are the national honors societies and student chapters of professional SIU’s commitment to academic success means that many arorganizations that a research university such eas of campus offer specialized tutoring for courses students as SIU might be expected to have. Others are typically find challenging. In addition, the Center for Learning affiliated with particular majors or career Support Services has academic coaching, tutoring and study paths. SIU hosts several Greek fraternities sessions, and the Writing Center welcomes anyone, including and sororities. From the Saluki Student In- faculty members, who’d like some help with written projects. vestment Fund to the Engineering Student Council, Saluki students have myriad oppor- SIU encourages all students to engage in your research or creative projects, or to compete against other collegiate teams tunities to find their pack. in the air, on the water, with robotics, cybersecurity, interior WHAT SIU CAN DO FOR YOU design, marketing or other career-focused areas. SIU students Perhaps the most important reason students star on stage or in the orchestra, contribute to clean energy rechoose SIU is because the university delivers search, learn to fight forest wildfires, and travel to post-natural the advantages of a nationally ranked research disaster sites to understand and improve recovery efforts. university, and the personal touch and handson learning options of a small college. It adds “SIU Carbondale is a national university that gives students up to career-enhancing experiences, research opportunities to engage in research and other hands-on and publication opportunities, and mentored learning experiences in the freshman year,” said Dunn. “We creative projects – as early as freshman year as have a lot to offer students who are seeking a high-quality education in a friendly, supportive environment.” a Saluki! EXPRESS YOURSELF. Success stories start at Southern University Illinois Carbondale. SIU keeps the focus on experiential,

hands-on learning, in every major, from the arts to the sciences. If you are ready to paint your masterpiece, make your mark or pitch your idea, SIU Carbondale is a great place to start. Photo provided by Southern Illinois University Carbondale

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PG 3


COLLEGE

Find your place and

FIND SUCCESS Write your own story, every step of the way

SARAH GERREIN, BRAND AVE. STUDIOS CONTRIBUTING WRITER

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ou may not consider yourself an author, but you are the author of your own future. Education, relationships and job experience are all chapters in your personal storybook. You have the power to impact your own journey, which begins for most in high school and college. For most of you, it goes without saying that education has been your biggest and, perhaps your only job to date, but it’s so much more than that. It’s also where you hone your interests, skills and work habits that will apply when the “real world” comes a’ knockin’. It’s about staking your place and defining success at every stage. This year, College Connection features writers who share tidbits of wisdom from all stages of education — from high school and college to their very first professional job.

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Each was written from a current perspective and offers viable advice to any student in any phase of education. To my fellow high school students: Push yourself now and see a payoff offers that high school is more than just a state requirement — it’s an opportunity that can launch you into a productive college life. From me to you: Leaving home to make a home is written from a college senior perspective encouraging you to get the most of your college years. From me to you: Prepare for a professional career while still a student is written by a college senior in her last months who is managing the exciting next step into the professional world. Hello from the real world completes the series with the writer in their first professional career advising those who have recently entered post-graduate life. Stake your claim, find a place in this world and write your own success story.

CONNECTION This content was produced by Brand Ave. Studios. The news and editorial departments of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch had no role in its creation or display. For more information about Brand Ave. Studios, contact tgriffin@stltoday.com.

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VICE PRESIDENT BRAND AVE. STUDIOS Teresa Griffin tgriffin@stltoday.com 314-340-8909

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From chores to student loans: Teaching kids money basics CONTENT PROVIDED BY STATEPOINT MEDIA

mazingly, many teenagers will graduate high school this year with little knowledge about how finances work, flying blind into a hurricane-sized storm of potential debt, bad loans, bankruptcy and no savings or retirement. As a parent, you can head this off. To help, the makers of BusyKid, an app that tracks kids’ chores and allowance, are offering families tips and financial basics for getting started.

A Photo provided by Metro News Service

Be aware of all of the COSTS FOR COLLEGE CONTENT PROVIDED BY METRO NEWS SERVICE

ollege is often met with excitement and interest by students pursuing their passions and what they hope will be fulfilling, lucrative careers. And the rising costs of college, coupled with the growing number of students taking on substantial debt to finance their educations, make it necessary that prospective students consider their earning potential when deciding on a major. According to the College Board, the average cost of college tuition and fees for the 2017-2018 school year was $34,740 at private colleges, $9,970 for state residents at public colleges, and $25,620 for out-of-state residents attending public universities. The cost of tuition and room and board may catch parents’ eyes, but there are some lesser known expenses associated with college that can make attending school even more expensive. According to Cappex.com, a website offering ideas on how to pay for college, the extra costs of college can cost between $250 and $500 per month. The following are some lesser known expenses that college students and their families may need to budget for this school year.

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Transportation: Commuter students will need to drive to and from campus, which involves budgeting for gas, repairs and auto insurance. Students who live on campus may be subjected to a high fee for a resident student parking pass. Colleges in the United States earn an average of $4 million to $5 million in parking revenues each year, according to the most recent rate study from the National Parking Association. A typical four-year college or university in the United States charges about $635 per BRAND AVE. STUDIOS

space for the school year. Other students use public transportation or ridesharing services to get around. Those fees can quickly add up, too. Students attending school far away from home also need to budget for plane tickets home during the holidays and other breaks. Fraternities and sororities: Many students join Greek organizations to fully immerse themselves in the college experience and make new friends. Many of these groups charge fees to prospective pledges and then semester dues once students are accepted. Parties, trips, living expenses and other expenses may come up as well. Added fees: Many colleges and universities charge technology fees, sports center fees and activity fees. Exploring these fees in advance of the school year can help families create accurate budgets.

Chores. Introduce chores early and treat them as if it’s your child’s first job. By changing the mindset around chores, kids can develop a good work ethic that can carry over to a real job. Modern Money. It’s estimated that less than 10 percent of the world’s currency is actually paper or coins. This means your child needs to know how to manage invisible money, including paying bills and tracking credit and debit card spending. Savings. Thirty-nine percent of Americans admit to having no money in a savings account. Teach children to save a portion of money they receive from birthdays, holidays, babysitting, mowing grass, etc. A good rule of thumb for kids: 50 percent savings, 40 percent spending and 10 percent sharing. Sharing. Contributing to non-profits not only feels good but helps others in need. It could also provide a tax benefit when your child is old enough to be filing.

Investing. If your child ever wants to retire, he or she will need to invest money along the way, and practice makes perfect. Luckily, there are resources available to teach them how, including some fantasy investing games, as well as apps like BusyKid, which provides a place to buy real shares of stock for as little as $10. Compound Interest. Compound interest is when a bank pays interest on both the principal (the original amount of money) and the interest an account has already earned. As an example, if you put $1,000 in the bank with compound interest of 10 percent, in 20 years you’ll have more than $7,000. Without compound interest, it would be $3,000. Let your money make money! Credit Cards. This is not free money! Have one card for emergencies or travel, but make sure the annual percentage rate is low and is paid off monthly. Your kids will be flooded with offers as soon as they’re old enough, so teach them to say no, even when promised gifts for signing up. Student Loans. The U.S. student loan debt is currently $1.45 trillion (an average of $37,000 per student) and nearly 7 million loans are in default. Follow this simple rule — don’t borrow more than your child will earn in his or her first year out of school. For more money management knowledge and practice, enroll your family in BusyKid. Visit www.busykid.com for more information. As a parent, you have the power to prepare your child for a successful future. Fortunately, resources exist to help you get started.

Dining out: Families spend hundreds of dollars on campus meal plans per semester, but students also like to visit local eateries during the school year. Snacks, lunches and dinners purchased from such establishments can cost hundreds of dollars per year. Farmer’s Financial Solutions, a division of Farmer’s Insurance, says off-campus dining expenses cost an average of $770 a year. School supplies: A new laptop or tablet, textbooks and other supplies a professor requires can cost thousands of dollars. The College Board estimates students spend $1,300 on books and supplies in a typical school year. The cost to attend college extends beyond tuition and room and board. Many additional expenses can stretch families’ budgets. STLTODAY.COM/COLLEGECONNECTION

Photo provided by StatePoint Media

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To my fellow high school students PUSH YOURSELF NOW AND YOU’LL SEE A PAYOFF ASHLYNN PEREZ, BRAND AVE. STUDIOS CONTRIBUTING WRITER

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There’s always been pressure on high school students to think about the future. Between the college posters lining the school walls or the inquisitive relatives, teenagers may encounter anxiety and apprehension about where they’re going in life. But high school is more than a requirement to complete before you tackle college; it’s a springboard for what comes next. Here’s a few ways you can use your remaining time in high school to set you up for a successful college career. Photo provided by Ashlynn Perez.

SEEK OUT CHALLENGES

FOLLOW YOUR INTERESTS

GET INVOLVED

DEVELOP WORK ETHIC

FUN/LIFE BALANCE

While getting the easy A is appealing at fi rst, it won’t challenge you or benefit the skills necessary for college courses. When picking classes, it’s good to choose the ones that you can keep up in but will push beyond your comfort zone.

Picking a pathway in life can be stressful. As a high school student, it oftentimes seems too early to be choosing your college major, let alone decide on a future career path. Don’t fret — you have time. The key in high school while still in decision-mode is to choose something you like and stick with it. Take electives in whatever major you’re looking to go into; join clubs that focus on those skills. You’ll get good at it before you even step foot on campus, and even if you end up changing your mind and your major, you’ll have some valuable skills under your belt.

High school offers a great chance to join clubs, take initiative and demonstrate leadership. Extracurricular activities show college boards your devotion and they can exhibit your abilities as a well-rounded student. Pursuing higher positions in these programs — like running for Student Council President or team captain — will give you an advantage, as you are showing off both loyalty to your activities and leadership strength.

Consider applying for a job. Work experience shows colleges you can be trusted, and it’ll get you a few bucks to put in your college savings account. Maintaining a job alludes good work ethic, self-discipline and time management. While these are important for high school, they are critical for college. Learning them before you graduate can be a big boost to your success rate.

Most importantly, don’t forget to live your life. While studying for the ACT, grade point averages and preparation do matter — don’t skip out on the pep rallies or football games. Paint your face, show your school spirit and spend quality time with your friends.

“Taking advanced classes really helped me,” said Claire Huss, recent graduate of Francis Howell North High School. “Especially the ones I took in my major. The high school AP classes are so much like college courses and so I was familiar with a lot of the material before we started learning anything.” Honors, Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) classes are a great way to challenge yourself and prepare you for college. Alongside earning college credit, these courses teach strategies for essays and study tactics, which are invaluable for higher education. Being able to succeed in these classes can make an impression on colleges and looks great on the transcript.

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Another important trait that will help you through higher education is self-sufficiency. Jobs give you the ability to identify what needs to be done and act on it, displaying impressive independence that will make you more responsible and more reliable.

CH OO L S H G I H THAN T TO E R O M IS EMEN RE YOU R I U Q E AR E BEFO ; T E L P COM OLLEGE C . E L K e s n ex t m o TAC c t a for wh r it’s a sp

Ashlynn Perez, 16, is a student at Francis Howell North High School and recently interned at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She is the current copy editor for her school newspaper and volunteers at a middle school feeder journalism program. She hopes to major in journalism in the future.

“Learn a lot of responsibility,” Huss said. “In college, professors don’t say what to do every day — sometimes you have to figure it out on your own. You need to be able to go out and learn for yourself.”

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PG 7


LEAVING HOME TO MAKE A HOME GRACE MOORE, BRAND AVE. STUDIOS CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Now that I am a college graduate, it’s easier to reflect on all the things I wish I knew before I started my freshman year. I have no regrets about choosing The University of Iowa to spend four of my most formidable years. But before I started my freshman year, I was an absolute wreck at the thought of leaving my parents, friends and everything familiar behind. I must have cried for six straight hours as my family drove me to school; my mom fruitlessly repeating: “Keep your head high, walk with purpose,” as the car sped down Interstate 80. Rising freshman all share one emotion: fear. I can’t count the number of times a well-meaning family friend would give me a sympathetic look when told I was leaving for college 400 plus miles away from home and offer, “Everybody there feels the exact same way you do.” I almost never found this advice comforting. After all, if everyone felt as miserable and jittery as I did, I was not looking forward to group work in the classroom.

Grace Moore on move-in day. Photo provided by Grace Moore.

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GO TO CLASS – DO THE HOMEWORK

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However, there is some truth to that idea. There is nothing, I repeat nothing, braver than a college freshman who goes away to school knowing absolutely nobody. My advice: nurture that quality within yourself. Everybody showcases their fear differently, but they deal with it in similar ways. If you’re lost, look at a campus map from orientation, walk up to someone and ask for help. If you meet a new person that seems remotely nice, invite them to eat dinner with you in the dining hall. I would have never put myself in these situations in high school. But, being thrown into deep, dark waters without knowing how to swim is sometimes the best way to learn to stay afloat. My dorm room door was always open, and people often came in to talk about their day and share snacks from a care package their parents anxiously threw together. Sometimes, these aren’t your lifelong friends, sometimes they are. Either way, smile at them. They are trying to write their own story on this brand-new slate. Be a character in the narrative with kindness, you’ll thank yourself.

FIND YOUR HOME

College is a test on how well you can manage your time. You’ll have classes at all times of the day, often with large breaks in between. Don’t fall down the rabbit hole of staying up all night cramming and sleeping all day to catch up. Establishing a schedule in the fi rst few months of freshman year will bode well as studying and term paper demands increase. The university experience is not fi lled with homework, but it is time-consuming. Professors typically assign a reading and then expect it to be done by the next time the class has met. When I realized that my professors wouldn’t be quizzing me on the readings, I would procrastinate or not do them at all. Today, that is one of my biggest regrets. I was only hindering my own learning and lost a lot of time trying to make up assignments that I should have completed in the fi rst place. All in all, college is about expanding your mind in order to enter the workforce as the best version of yourself. Attend your classes and study the material with friends. College will test your ability to be productive and efficient. Don’t stand in your own way of getting everything you can out of your time at school.

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DON’T BE AFRAID TO JOIN AN ACTIVITY OR MULTIPLE ACTIVITIES

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Most times, placing yourself outside of your comfort zone is where growth occurs. I tried out for an improv comedy team my freshman year without any idea what it was and it turned out to be one of the best and most character-defi ning decisions I ever made. Make yourself feel at home; these are the years of the S’s: selfishness, spontaneity and lots of studying. Take things as they come, these four years will shape you more than you thought possible, and that’s OK.

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The place in which you grew up will always define what home means to you: a place where you feel most comfortable, most yourself. A place that holds all of your positive memories and fun, carefree times growing up. When you go away to school, take the opportunity to make your college a home. Find a supportive group of friends who can help on days when you are especially homesick or stressed. Utilize your school’s programs and initiatives for academic, social and mental health issues (there was nobody I liked more my freshman year than my academic adviser). Use your resources. Many of the things that I couldn’t have predicted turned out to be the experiences that made my college years special. In the uncertainty, fear, excitement, triumphs and mistakes, I found the fibers of my being. More than anything, these last three years showed me a strength I didn’t know I had. For those sitting in the backseat of their parent’s car, wishing things would stay the same forever: there is power in free-falling into independence. Embrace the changes, enjoy the ride.

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HOW TO PREPARE FOR A PROFESSIONAL CAREER WHILE STILL A STUDENT GRACE MOORE, BRAND AVE. STUDIOS CONTRIBUTING WRITER

When I was in high school, my mom always used to tell me that college is not scary. She would say, “The scary part happens when school ends: the real world.” I realize now how right she was after being in this exact position the last few months of my senior year. The good news is that there is a way to prepare for a professional career while still in college.

Grace Moore. Photo provided by Grace Moore.

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MAKE A RUNNING LIST

(The irony is that I am showing just how effective I find list-making in the very structure of this article.) Lists are an easy and efficient way to stay organized. College students have access to a variety of resources, connections and possible career opportunities over four years. When I found a company or position that sparked my interest, I would include it on a composite list. When the time came to apply for internships and post-grad positions, I targeted those companies and positions I previously researched.

Nearly every university provides a Career Service Center for its students. In Career Services, advisors and fellow students alike help with resume building. It’s a free and constructive service that assists you with the search for your dream job. This department also develops relationships with businesses that interview and ultimately hire students. Do not be afraid to visit this office frequently. While a student, it is in your best interest to take advantage of the resources provided to you.

TAIN, R E C A IS M THERE IFUL FREEDO BEAUT HAVING ABOUTORLD AT THE W INGERTIPS. YOUR F BRAND AVE. STUDIOS

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USE YOUR RESOURCES

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EXPAND YOUR HORIZONS

Whether you enter college with a declared major and a definitive career path or as an open major with no idea what you want to do, it is important to give all of your classes equal attention. Don’t discount non-major classes as they may open the door to brand new disciplines or interests that can supplement or even alter your career goals. Giving each one of your classes its due will also show future employers your versatility.

Finding s mall and mana ways to prepare for ge t exciting f hat over whelming act is the , key graduatio to postn success .

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WIDEN YOUR NET

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SUMMERS ARE FOR SUCCESS

Spending a summer break focused on filling your resume with relatable work experience is one of the most rewarding experiences for a college student. Not only do internships help decide what positions interest you professionally, they also diversify a resume and garnish important letters of recommendation. Many times, internships can even lead to a full-time offer after graduation. Using LinkedIn, searching the careers section of a company’s website or using personal connections are all great ways to find a summer internship.

When it comes to landing a job after graduation, widening your net of connections is instrumental. Before I arrived the University of Iowa, I was told time and time again to make connections with my professors, with non-for-profits in Iowa City and with small business owners. I admit this was daunting at first. However, by simply visiting my professor during office hours and sending inquiries about freelance work or open positions to organizations in the area, I quickly built a community of professionals and adults whom I trusted. As a senior, these same connections wrote my letters of recommendation, advised my senior thesis project and provided much needed mentorship in times of confusion or uncertainty. Widening your net and seeking experienced advice as a young and curious pre-professional is crucial if you intend to fiercely enter the job market.

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PG 9


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Maryville students graduate workforce ready. For example, cybersecurity students gain real-world experience in Maryville University’s Cyber Fusion Center where students have served more than 150 nonprofit organizations with penetration testing, vulnerability management, digital forensics and cyberthreat monitoring. This innovative student-run and faculty-managed security operations center is driven by Apple Inc. systems.

While we know academics are the primary focus of your college experience, we also know being part of a dynamic campus and thriving culture is key to every student’s success. With technology driving every Maryville project, including the design of new living, social and learning spaces, be assured you’ll have innovative tools for career success and community engagement.

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MARYVILLE. MANY CONNECTIONS. ONE U. PG 10

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PG 11


Hello from the real world AS IT IS TODAY, NEARLY A YEAR AFTER I GRADUATED FROM COLLEGE, I CONSIDER MYSELF OFFICIALLY ADAPTED TO THE PROFESSIONAL WORLD. GRACE MOORE, BRAND AVE. STUDIOS CONTRIBUTING WRITER

I think back a lot to this exact time last year, though. When a period of time we dub significant is officially over, the mind tries to fi nd some predicative quality, some way to say, “How could I have known this was going to happen… that this is how my life would play out?” D

Grace Moore. Photo provided by Grace Moore.

If you would have told me a year ago today that I would be writing this from my shoebox apartment in Chicago, working a 9-5 job at a law fi rm, and telling other young people from the same area where I grew up how to prepare for life after the beautiful bubble that is college has ended, I wouldn’t have even said, “you’re crazy!” I would have never listened in the fi rst place. In this time of introspection, there are three big things I wish I would have known before entering into the workforce:

DEVELOP A ROUTINE Having a routine at any age is important and helpful, but I’m not naïve — college students are not exactly known for implementing a strict routine. College is fun when it’s done spontaneously, on the fly — improvised. However, when entering the professional world, it’s crucial to develop a routine that not only makes you a reliable, learned worker but also brings personal peace of mind and leaves time for a classic work-life balance.

NEVER STOP LEARNING University is a potpourri of learning, discovery and growth. The sole reason we are sent to University in the fi rst place is to expand knowledge in a myriad of ways. The greatest favor a post-grad can do for themselves is to become a lifelong learner. College taught us to think critically, ask questions and dig deep into our own habits, flaws and grit strength. Taking that into the real world and continuing to grow is the purest way to find happiness without the easy fun that college so lovingly fostered.

CAREER

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These three principals may sound cliché, but when put in combination with the large adjustment of a new job and the thrilling uncertainty of beginning a post-graduate life, they can set any young 20-something up for success. C

Hello from the real world! And it’s not all that bad, in fact, sometimes, it’s really great.

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MAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF Once you officially enter the workforce, it’s all too easy to get caught up in an unfortunate working and sleeping cycle. We millennials are very good at cultivating hobbies. When holding down a full-time job, it’s worthwhile to maintain or even gather some new hobbies you’re passionate about. Remember: The fi rst position you land does not have to be your lifelong career. If you feel like your fi rst job doesn’t reflect your passion, let the money you make fuel your outside-of-work hobby.

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Securing digital privacy is a necessity for today’s industries and governments SPONSORED CONTENT BY STEPHANIE DULANEY, MCKENDREE UNIVERSITY

What if the computer network your bank uses to house your financial information was just a big puzzle with holes in it? New holes show up all the time, and while some of them might be big, glaring gaps, others are just barely perceptible cracks. What if your job was to fill those holes before a hacker does? Or what if you could change the puzzle entirely to stop the hacker in their tracks? This is day-to-day life for today’s growing number of cybersecurity and cyber defense professionals. With our growing digital age, managing data security has become essential to every business, financial institution, health care facility, department of government and more. Whether your interests lie in technology or business, McKendree University offers an innovative approach to preparing you for your ideal future in this booming career field. Our Bachelor of Science in cybersecurity examines threats to digital security from a technology perspective, working

with and creating the tools that secure computer network environments. Students who desire a more technical skillset that involves computer programming, encoding data and designing firewalls may be more suited to cybersecurity. On the other hand, our Bachelor of Arts in cyber defense examines those same threats from a business perspective, analyzing risks and managing the overall security of an organization. McKendree students have the unique benefit of learning firsthand from professionals through internships and mentoring relationships. Our close proximity to Scott Air Force Base gives our students an advantage when it comes to experiencing cybersecurity careers in a military setting. St. Louis has also become a major hub for start-ups and offers McKendree students yet another avenue for internships in the defense industry, finance, health care and more.

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opportunities, McKendree has a highly-competitive student Cyber Defense Team that offers students the opportunity to train and compete in cyberattack simulations with other universities across the country. To learn more about our B.S. in cybersecurity and B.A. in cyber defense programs visit mckendree.edu.

In addition to our comprehensive coursework and internship

Continue Your Story At McKendree University, we make you a priority by offering top-notch, award-winning degree programs on-campus or online. You will learn from respected faculty in a supportive environment. Our classes balance theory with real-world application that is so valuable in the workplace today. Start your next chapter today!

mckendree.edu

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Y O U R

M A R K SUNDAY, APRIL 19, 2020

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PG 13


Tips for choosing your

COLLEGE MAJOR CONTENT PROVIDED BY GREEN SHOOT MEDIA

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hoosing a major can be overwhelming because it feels as if you are deciding on the rest of your life. Remember that college is about exploring your interests, so take the pressure off yourself. Here are a few pieces of advice to help you navigate your way to your college major.

Dare to be undeclared While you might think you need to know what you want to study as soon as you start college (or even before you get there) remember that college is the place to discover all your options. You have many required classes to take, so you are fine studying for a year or more before choosing a major. Fill your electives with classes that sound interesting. This allows you to envision many different paths for yourself.

Test it out Before you decide you are “premed,” test it out. Take a few science and math classes and make sure you don’t hate it. If you do, be ready to change things up. Approximately 80 percent of college students in the United States change their major at least once, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. That doesn’t mean you have wasted your time. Every class adds value to your education, and you never know what might end up being useful down the road.

Know what’s important to you They say money can’t buy happiness, but it can provide security and peace of mind. See if you can

balance doing what you love with your future earning potential. If you envision a certain lifestyle for yourself, make sure your chosen major can provide it.

Your major is not the end According to the United States Department of Labor, the average young professional switches jobs every three years and the average person changes career fields at least two or three times in their lifetime. Even most graduate programs and professional degrees are seeking applicants with diverse educational backgrounds. Just because you get a degree in one thing doesn’t mean you won’t have a profession in something else.

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PG 14

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Southeast Missouri State University shares “virtually”

everything about campus with students SPONSORED CONTENT BY SOUTHEAST MISSOURI STATE UNIVERSITY

While Southeast Missouri State University has suspended inperson campus visits at this time, students can still see all the dynamic campus has to offer through a virtual tour, videos, photos, student and faculty testimonials and more. “Our campus visit makes such an impact on prospective students and families,” says Director of Admissions Lenell Hahn. “Students always say the minute they visited campus, they fell in love with Southeast.” Hahn wants students to know the next best thing is available on a new virtual visit experience at semo.edu/visit. The page includes a mini tour of campus, individual tours of each of the residence halls as well as room layouts; an extensive gallery that shows the beauty of campus as well as the vibrance of campus life; and an extensive video playlist that highlights everything about campus, including hearing from current Southeast students and faculty.

spirit,” says Hahn. “But we know the most important part of visiting campus is getting time to talk with your admission counselor and meeting with faculty.” Hahn says those opportunities are still available even when students can’t visit campus. All admission counselors are included, so students can find the counselor who works with their high school. There is a link to the counselor’s Calendly page, so students can schedule a video conference on the spot or request a virtual meeting with a faculty member. Hahn says it’s just one example of the personal support Southeast is famous for. “We take giving our students personal support and attention seriously,” Hahn says. “We help students find their individual path, so they triumph, are highly accomplished and ready to succeed. Prospective students are no different.”

“We’ve created the next best thing to a campus visit to help students navigate our community and get a feel for the SEMO

Photo provided by Southeast Missouri State University

Your college checklist: A MONTH-BY-MONTH LIST OF WHAT YOU NEED TO BE DOING CONTENT PROVIDED BY GREEN SHOOT MEDIA

t is important to not procrastinate when it comes to beginning your college career. Staying ahead of the curve will ensure you have everything in place at the right time. Keep on track by following these tips provided by the National Association for College Admission Counseling.

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August – December

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One of your first moves as a high school senior should be to register for the ACT/SATs if you didn’t complete it during your junior year, or you wish to retake the test and obtain a higher score. You will also benefit from sitting down with a trusted educator to ensure your college applications are

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being filled out correctly and you are on track to graduate. Senior year is also a great time to research as many schools as you can. Take advantage of local college fairs, representatives who visit your class and take tours of several campuses.

October Shortly after October 1, file your Free Application for Federal Student Aid. After about four weeks, you should receive your student aid report, which will reveal your eligibility for financial aid. If your desired college requires an essay, this is a good time to complete it, proofread it and re-proofread it. You should also research scholarship opportunities around this time; remember, NACAC says you should never pay for scholarship information.

November – January Now is the time to get high school transcripts in order as every college you apply to will require a copy. You should also send out your early decision or early action applications during this time. It’s also important to organize your regular decision applications and financial aid forms as they are typically due in February. You may also register for a January ACT/SAT; it is considered the last one a college will consider while you’re a senior.

February – May At this point, you’re on the downhill slope. Remain focused even after you receive an acceptance letter as your college will want to see a second-semester transcript. Most schools require a commitment or deposit no later than May 1, so make sure to get that in on time.

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MAKE A SMART INVESTMENT: you'll do that here.

ONE OF THE

MOST ACCREDITED UNIVERSITIES IN MISSOURI

TUITION LOWER THAN THE NATIONAL AVERAGE

92% OF OUR ALUMNI ARE EMPLOYED IN THEIR INDUSTRY OR SEEKING FURTHER EDUCATION ONE YEAR AFTER GRADUATION.

The Copper Dome Scholarship Deadline has been extended to June 1. Learn more and apply at

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