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Academics: College Students Use Smartphones to Study On-The-Go!

We live in a time where college students were born with a tablet in their hands, a Nike+ Fuelband attached to their wrists and pedometer chips in the sole of their sneakers. Ok, it's not as bad but close! Students these days are exposed to so many different toys and gadgets that it is hard to find a student without a smartphone. According to Mashable Tech,  as of March 2012, smartphone usage rose to 50.4% in the U.S! So 1 in 2 U.S resident owns either an iPhone, an Android, a Blackberry or a Windows Phone. College students now even use their mobile devices to study on the go! Don't believe us?

Social Media For You: Use of Instagram

Instagram is a free photo-sharing app and social network that saw the light of day in October of 2010. Since its creation, the company has seen huge success among teenagers and young adults. In fact, according to The Factory Live a little more than 1/4 of its user base is between 18-24 years old. This exact age bracket coincides with the typical age of college students around the world. College students are adept of this relatively new service! Instagram is seeing steady growth among this age group and here is how one of its founder, Kevin Systrom, has explained the phenomenon:

"I think images are an incredibly accessible medium, you don’t have to speak English to be able to enjoy photos from around the world. We’re visual beings and we love being stimulated visually." - Kevin Systrom

6 Activities To Jumpstart Welcome Week 2012

Excitement, enthusiasm and anticipation are emotions that are normal to be feeling during this time of the year. The moment you have been waiting for all summer is finally here! It's back to school time! Students are swarming campuses around the world to start their school years and your organization has to be ready to welcome them with events that will resonate with them. To do so, you have to know your student body. Ask for information to ex-student executives, consult the past year's documentation,  pass surveys around campus, read the popular student blogs and newspapers. The information you will collect from your research will be important to consider for Welcome Week.

Welcome Week is the major event for freshmen (and for undergraduates to an extent). This is one of the first impressions freshmen will get of the environment on your campus. You will have to go all out to impress them and to make sure they have the time of their lives! After the jump, there are some examples of activities that you can include in Welcome Week to make it successful:

Know Your Student Body: A Day In the Life Of A College Student [INFOGRAPHIC]

The first day of class is just a couple of days away! As back-to-school season slowly shows itself, it is increasingly important that you understand the realities of the average college student. If you want to get students involved in the activities happening on campus, you must know the college lifestyle: How many hours do students spend studying these days? How high is partying in students' priority lists? Where do they like to spend their money?

After the jump, there is an infographic created by the folks at Bachelor Degrees Online outlining some mind-blowing facts about "A Day in the Life of a College Student".

Make a Difference on Campus (Part 2)

As Part 1 of this blog series stated, there are many ways to make a positive impact in the world by leveraging the influential power of youth and community. Colleges and universities provide the appropriate environment to create grassroots movements and to raise awareness about the multiple issues that plague the people of the world. Here are 7 non-governmental organizations that have made it very easy to get involved in initiatives around campus. Check them out and get ready to be the change you want to see in the world.

1- ONE

"The ONE Campus Challenge (OCC) is an intercollegiate competition designed to mobilize students in the fight against extreme poverty and preventable disease. Through life-saving actions, creative challenges and educational events, college students, professors, alumni and friends join together and urge political leaders to support smart and effective programs that save lives and improve futures for generations to come."

2- Keep A Child Alive

"The Keep a Child Alive College Program inspires college-aged students and alumni to be the grass-roots soldiers of our movement and spread the mission of KCA to their college campuses. We give you the power to decide what works best for your town or campus to raise the most funds possible for KCA and spread awareness of the global HIV/AIDS pandemic that has claimed 30 million lives."

3- OXFAM America

"OXFAM America's CHANGE develops capable leaders, who are informed voices for positive social change, and who inspire greater global awareness in others. CHANGE Leaders are introduced to the social justice issues directly related to Oxfam America's mission; and are supported by Oxfam staff as they undertake Oxfam campaigns on their campuses and in their communities."

4- Stop The Traffick

"Active Communities against Trafficking (ACT) groups are groups of people who meet together regularly to look at how they can reduce human trafficking in their area.

Anyone can start an ACT group, you can do it with people you know or find new people to join. Some ACT groups are started in universities and colleges as part of student forums and some are within specific city's, towns or villages."

5- Take Back The Night

"The Take Back The Night Foundation serves to create safe communities and respectful relationships through awareness events and initiatives. We seek to end sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual abuse and all other forms of sexual violence. TBTN empowers survivors in the healing process and inspires responsibility in all."

6- Unite For Sight

"Unite For Sight supports eye clinics worldwide by investing human and financial resources in their social ventures to eliminate patient barriers to eye care. Unite For Sight applies best practices in eye care, public health, volunteerism, and social entrepreneurship to achieve our goal of high-quality eye care for all."

7- V-Day

"Over the past thirteen years, V-Day's grassroots activists have proven that, when offered the structure and tools to end violence against women in a creative way, they will eagerly embrace the opportunity. Through V-Day's College and Community Campaigns, thousands of motivated individuals across the globe have hosted V-Day events, using The Vagina Monologues and other artistic pieces to raise money for local organizations working to end violence against women and girls, as well as heightening awareness in their communities about the global epidemic of gender-based violence."

15 Ways Students Can Fight The Freshman 15

If you are not aware of the phenomenon that is the "Freshman 15", here is how the folks on Urban Dictionnary have described it:

"Another name for the college freshman class; given to the freshman class because in the first year of college, students will usually eat more than usual and not exercise as much, thus gaining weight (usually about 15 pounds)

Sophomore: I just joined the gym... I have to try to work off the Freshman 15."

"Freshman 15" is an expression commonly used by college students in Canada and in the U.S. In Australia and in New Zealand, you may have heard the term "First Year Fatties". It is common belief that first year college students are likely to stack up about 15 more pounds on their high school graduation weight. Although studies have argued that the number is closer to 2-3 pounds than to 15, the fact still stands that there is "noticeable" weight gain in the first few years following high school. This year, the Class of 2016 will have to deal with it. Schools in the U.S and in Canada are actively working to decrease the obesity rates in the college halls by providing healthier alternatives and by increasing awareness to health problems caused by smoking and drinking.

Your organization may have a very powerful role to play when it comes to food choices and to healthy lifestyle adoption to improve overall student health on campus. Here are some initiatives your organization can take to fight the evil "Freshman 15" stigma and improve health education.


1- Lobby cafeteria services to provide healthy alternatives

2- Educate students on the benefits of eating healthy

3-  Raise awareness on the health consequences of "fast food"

4- Improve cooking facilities in residence halls to discourage students from ordering suspect food from the corner restaurant at 3AM.

5- Inform students on the "Night Eating Syndrom"


6- Lobby to create smoke-free zones on campus (eg. 9 ft away from building entrances)

7- Educate students on the risks of smoking and second-hand smoke


8- Improve study spaces on campus

9-  Make yourself available to give tips to freshmen on how to adapt with the new college environment

10- Provide and promote good lifestyle extracurricular activities: yoga, meditation, etc.


11- Discourage binge drinking parties by informing students on its risks (good luck...)

12- Inform students on the calorie values of different alcohols


13- Inform the students on the location of the sports facilities on campus

14- Organize high-energy activities on campus to encourage calorie burning

15- Educate the students on the health effects of exercise on your sleeping habits, on your brain functions, on your cardiovascular and immune systems.

The bottom line is the following: stay active, eat healthy and stay on top of your student duties. If the "Freshman 15" is a myth or not is still up for debate. It is however always good to keep all students (freshman or not) informed on the health issues that are increasingly weighing (no pun intended) on the students around the world.