Smith College changes admissions policy to include transgender women

NORTHAMPTON – After years of debate, Smith College will begin accepting applicants who identify as transgender women this fall.

The decision was revealed Saturday after Smith’s board of trustees voted to change its admissions policy, which formerly required that all applications and supporting documents - including high school transcripts - reflected a female identity.

“Our clarified admission policy reflects a women’s college that is steadfast in its founding mission yet evolving to reflect a changing world,” the announcement read.

The policy change applies to any student applying during and after the fall of 2015.

Read more.

Advice for incoming college freshmen

I’ve been seeing a lot of posts like these lately, and I thought I’d contribute based on my own experience:

Go to your college’s first-year orientation. These events are usually free and offer a campus tour, ice breakers, music, free food and/or shirts, and sessions explaining the roles of your college’s services and how they’re there to help you. Orientation is great because you get to go out and really walk through the campus and talk to people that go there, whether they commute or dorm. You won’t need to feel awkward because there will be tons of incoming freshmen that are in the same boat as you, new to the college experience.

Make your schedule accordingly. Make sure that when you register for classes, you qualify to take them. Some classes require pre-requisites before you are able to take them. Sometimes freshmen are allowed to take upper-level classes, but you often need permission to do so. And make sure that the classes you take fulfill your degree requirements/gen-eds.

• With this being said, try not to have any long gaps between classes. They might seem like a good idea, but unless you know you’ll really be able to focus and get work done, don’t do it. Gaps make it really easy to get lazy and not want to do anything for the rest of the day.

AVOID 8AM CLASSES. Whether you dorm or commute, it will be too hard to function so early in the morning. Only take an 8am if you really need to (ex. all of the other lecture/lab sections were closed and you need to fulfill a requirement). Just cause you did it in high school, doesn’t mean you’ll be able to do it in college.

• If you are trying to register for a class and it is already filled, but you really want to take it, ask for special permission. In some colleges, you are required to ask a certain professor or head of a department for a special permission number that will allow you to gain entry in the class.

Avoid 3hr-long classes (unless it’s something like a science lab). These are usually lectures that meet once a week, and feel like a drag when you show up.

Don’t buy all of your books from your college bookstore. As the Tumblr community has spread around different places to find your books, it is evident that college textbooks are overpriced. Try to find an e-book version, buy from someone who has already taken the class, or download free PDFs.

Do your reading. Whether or not you’re taking a basic 100-level course or users from ratemyprofessors said that the class was easy, you will need to do your reading. It will help you keep up and overall get a better grade.

Take notes. There is a lot of information to take in, a lot to study, and not that much time. Write shortened notes that you’ll be able to understand, and rewrite/type them later to study from.

Get help early. If you find yourself struggling in any of your classes in the beginning of the semester, don’t be afraid to ask questions. This goes for professors, teaching assistants, and peers. If your college offers tutoring services, go! It’s part of your tuition. You might as well put it to use. A little extra push never hurt anybody.

Stay organized. Invest in a planner. You will be given a syllabus during “syllabus week,” but that doesn’t mean you won’t lose track of time. A planner will help you see important due dates in a clear, laid-out way.

Invest in a laptop or a tablet that you can work with. You will need certain programs like Microsoft Office to get through college. You should also be able to check online for new assignments that are posted on your school’s server (ex. blackboard) and check your school email for any important updates/notices.

Prioritize. Find a way to balance sleep, class, work, eating, exercising, and having a social life. It’s college. You need to stay alive for it to have a real experience.

Go to the library. The library is a great place to settle down and really get work/studying done. This quiet environment really encourages productivity.

Exercise and eat healthy. The “freshman 15” is a real thing. Sometimes it ends up as the “freshman 30.” Don’t let it happen. College campuses offer a variety of food to eat and it makes it hard for students to have self-control. Living a healthy lifestyle will give you better results physically and academically. You don’t have to be strict with every meal or lift 250lbs in every gym session. Everybody’s body is different, everyone’s ideal body image is different. Do your best to feel healthy, have glowing skin, and bring a better you. Being healthy does keep your heart and brain happy, and sooner or later it’ll show through your mood and mentality.

• If you commute, try to pack meals and bring them to school. Not that many professors care if you eat during their lectures, just make sure that you do your work and pay attention while you do it. Bringing food from home not only keeps your stomach happy throughout the day, but your wallet as well.

Talk to advisors. They’ll help you with the classes you’re taking and guide you towards declaring your major, as well as help you figure out if you’re in the right direction.

• If your college offers health services like checkups, immunizations, and counseling, don’t be afraid to go. It may seem like a grown-up decision (it kind of is, college is that transition from teenager to adult), but don’t be afraid to get help. Sometimes it gets hard and you can’t just talk to a friend or a parent. They are there to help you, I promise.

Look for job opportunities. College is a great way to start building your resume. Often times you’ll be faced with an internship. Whether or not it is paid, it is experience, and it is appreciated. Try to find a job on-campus or nearby, and have a work schedule that you can balance with school. Sometimes jobs through the university will be offered just because you have a high GPA, or you did outstanding in a specific course. It is a lot of commitment, but it pays off.

Don’t waste your money on Starbucks. Going to Starbucks for a grande coffee everyday is seriously one of the quickest ways to go broke and have nothing in your pocket. Those $5 that you spend daily do add up. Avoid going to Starbucks for a coffee unless you are really desperate. Otherwise, bring hot coffee/tea from home to keep you alert throughout the day. You’ll save so much money and be happy that you did. Because college is expensive.

Look around for scholarships and grants. Sometimes whatever amount of financial aid you’re given through the FAFSA and your college isn’t enough. It’s okay to apply for scholarships (that usually require an essay) throughout the year. Sometimes keeping your grades up throughout college adds to the financial aid you’re given as well. Paying less for college tuition is the goal.

Take advantage of your student discounts. A lot of places offer 15% off retail purchases with student ID. Sometimes you can get lucky and get a discount off of your food, too.

Go to free/discounted events that your school is hosting. You deserve to have some fun.

Make friends! This is a given. But you’ll be able to enjoy college more with people you like. Talk to people in your classes, check out the clubs, organizations, frats and sororities and see what kind of group is right for you.

There will be alcohol, and there will be drugs. It’s college. It’s inevitable. Be careful and know your tolerance levels. Always go to parties with a friend or a few, and make sure someone reliable and (preferably) sober will be able to take care of you and take you home/get you help if something happens to you. Better safe than sorry.

Put yourself out there and HAVE FUN. What’s a college experience without it?

But overall, college is what YOU make it. Happy college and good luck!

For High School Kids

I saw a friend the other day who’s still in high school and it was just so sad. Looking at this beautiful, intelligent young girl with so much to say and so many great ideas, restricted and confined high school life was just so tragic. Seeing her trapped in the system was like seeing a genius trapped in a prison. If there’s any big realization you have after turning 18 and graduating high school, it’s realizing how truly imprisoned and institutionalized you were.

Teenagers are wonderful. Sure, they need a lot of guidance sometimes. But they also have a lot of creative and intellectual potential that is suppressed by the system we trap them in. There are some truly amazing artists and physicists and writers and mechanics and engineers and activists and just outstanding kids. But these kids in high school just get put down over and over again, expected to fit a mold when some of them just don’t fit.

Junior year of high school should be the last year of high school, and after that, they should be free. Because it’s when you’re a junior that you realize your life as a free individual is rapidly approaching you, and you realize you have to mature. All the people I know say that junior year of high school was the year that they “chilled out.” When they matured. That’s when you should be given your freedom. That’s when you grow up. You don’t magically become an adult when you turn 18, you mature when you need to mature.

I just see so many bright, amazing teens that are never given a chance to fully develop their talents, because the system is too busy trying to standardize them. These kids should be exploring all their opportunities, not imprisoned and crawling towards a false light at the end of a dark and hopeless tunnel.

We all want to stand outside of society, but none of us are ever given the chance. We are institutionalized so much when we’re young that our dreams never mean anything any more. We don’t even realize it until we wake up 30 years later in a standard gray cubicle, wondering what we did with our lives.

I see these bright young teens and I wish they had more hope in the world, but so many of them have lost hope already. It’s heartbreaking. So many adults talk about how kids have so much hope and dreams, and they say those dreams will always be crushed. Just because your dreams were crushed, doesn’t mean you get to tell your kids that their dreams are going to be crushed too.

So to all of you teens out there now, I want you to know that you deserve the best, that you deserve to be the happiest you can be. Don’t listen to the adults who tell you to give up, to be practical, to “grow up.” Don’t listen to the society that tells you to become another sheep, another person in the crowd whose hopes were crushed long ago. Do not listen to the institutional system that tries to turn you into a slave.

You can be so much more.

For students who are doing their IGCSE/A Level/SAT/other this year

To anyone whose exams are starting soon and need help revising, I strongly recommend all of you to watch Hank and John Green’s videos on the channel CrashCourse.
They’ve made a video on almost topic relating to Biology, Chemistry, History, Psychology, Literature, Astronomy and more. I can assure you will find whatever you need whether relating to these subjects whether it’s Eukaryotic cells or the political beliefs of Capitalism.

Publishing Professionals Provide Career Advice at Virtual Career Fairs

On April 1-2 and April 7-8, approximately 15 publishing professionals volunteered their time throughout the days to provide council and support, as well as advertise open jobs at their publishing houses, to the 100+ students who entered the Children’s Book Council chat room. At one point, 17 students clamored to ask their questions to the three publishing professionals assigned to the chat room.

Over the four days, it became clear that the students–mostly undergraduates attending schools in the Midwest or Southeast–were in one of two categories. They either knew they wanted to go into publishing and wanted answers on job openings and how to stand out amongst the crowd or they had never previously thought of publishing but were intrigued by the prospect and yearned for information on how their current interests would transfer into the industry.

The wise publishing professionals from various CBC Member publishing houses were more than happy to shed light on the application process, give chin-up advice, and relay their own tales of how they broke into the industry. The departments represented included sales, marketing, editorial, publicity, and human resources. Even though not every department in publishing was represented by a chat leader, many of the participants had held positions in various departments during their publishing tenure and others were able to discuss how they interacted with other departments to create the finished book.

The publishing chat leaders also pointed participants to many sources of information for further research.

Where to find publishing jobs, besides directly on the publishers’ websites:

Where to find information about how people got their start in publishing:

Where to find information about what jobs are best for your major and where to look for summer internship information:

At the end of each chat session, students showed their appreciation:

I just wanted to say that this has been the most informative chat I have been a part of today! Thank you for all of your help!

Thanks for your time and excellent advice!

I just wanted to let you know how helpful you and your coworkers were and I really appreciate all the advice you all have given me. Thank you.

Thank you all for your input. I have found this to be the most informative chat session for the career fair. I appreciate your sharing your career background and different sites/resources to explore.

This is a fascinating conversation and I plan to do some research with the links after this is over to explore what the publishing industry has to offer!

Thanks for answering my questions! You’ve given me some new things to consider - and helped me broaden my search!

With that amazing feedback, we thought it might be even more helpful to list a few of the most commonly asked questions with the real answers from the publishing professionals.

Keep reading

Some of Cal Newport’s popular study tips, summarized in one page. Since the artist didn’t write his/her name, I’m not sure who to credit – it just floated into my Pinterest. The chart seems to be aimed at high school students, although some principles are universal. Enjoy (and if you know who the artist is, let me know and I’ll credit).