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How to Increase Participation in Your College Group

How to Increase Participation in Your College Group

If you want to engage with like-minded individuals and develop your leadership skills at the same time, one of your best options is to start your own college group. Most colleges are lenient enough to allow for the creation of practically any justifiable group, but creating it is just the first step of the process—you’ll also need to make efforts to increase participation.

The Challenges of Early-Stage Development

Thanks to the bandwagon effect, once a group reaches a certain threshold (somewhere between 10 and 25 members), it should be considered popular enough to be self-sustaining; current members will invite new members they know could be interested, and the group will have enough exposure to attract new people all on its own. But in the early stages of development, you’ll be far below that threshold, and you’ll face challenges in three key areas:

  • If people don’t know your group exists, they can’t possibly join it.
  • If your group doesn’t yet exist, it means people aren’t currently interested in it. It’s your job to make them interested.
  • You’ll also need to keep the new people you recruit, or your group will fizzle out.

How to Increase Exposure

Use these strategies to spread word of your group’s existence:

  • Advertise the group at social events. First, tap into whatever budget you have to advertise your group’s existence at whatever major social events your college campus hosts. For example, you might print some flyers, banners, and tents, and set up shop to welcome incoming new students during orientation week. It’s a good opportunity to get brand exposure and talk to new people who might be interested.
  • Get involved in a student publication. Ask about student publications and try to get involved however you can. In some cases, that might mean writing a column about your hobby or interest. In others, it might mean placing an ad or doing a one-time interview to pitch the group to newcomers.
  • Distribute flyers. Old-school advertising methods still work wonders on college campuses. Print flyers and distribute them on bulletin boards and other publicly visible areas to publicize your public events or your group’s existence.
  • Get on social media. Of course, you’ll also want to get on social media. Post at least once a week (whichever platform you choose) and reach out to students on campus who might be interested.
  • Work with professors and faculty. Professors have access to more students than you do, so consider working with one who aligns with your interests. They may be able to help you plan events and get you access to more resources, and more importantly, they may want to pitch your group in their class.

How to Cultivate Interest

Next, you’ll need to find a way to build interest among people who wouldn’t immediately see the appeal:

  • Cater to newbies. Be sure there are plenty of opportunities for people to engage in the group even if they aren’t experienced with your hobby. Make this evident in your advertising materials as well.
  • Highlight different benefits. Every hobby has multiple benefits, so try to advertise them all separately to maximize your potential interest. For example, some people want to practice yoga for flexibility, while others want to focus on relaxation.
  • Make socialization the priority. People want to make friends in college, so make sure socialization is the focal point of your group—not just the hobby itself. Plan lots of “meet and greet” style events, and leave plenty of time for people to engage with one another in addition to participating in the central hobby.

How to Retain New Members

New members won’t do you much good if they only attend one meeting, then bail. Make sure you increase retention with these strategies:

  • Meet consistently. Try to meet as consistently as possible. Most people have a consistent schedule, so if you usually meet on Wednesdays, you’ll get a similar crowd each time you meet.
  • Make new people feel welcome. Go out of your way to make newcomers feel like they belong in your group. Avoid the temptation to develop a clique around your oldest or most experienced members.
  • Let people engage how they want. Don’t force people to do something they aren’t comfortable doing; let new people engage with the group however they feel comfortable doing so.
  • Always leave people wanting more. Always end your group sessions leaving people wanting more. That might mean issuing a challenge that can’t be resolved until the next meeting, or ending the session while momentum is still hot. Either way, it will encourage people to get to that all-important second meeting, and keep coming back from there.

It may not be easy to generate momentum for your group, especially if there isn’t much current interest for your hobby or activity, but with the right marketing approach and enough effort to foster enthusiasm for your core interest, you can bloom into a popular, engaging group on campus.

Use these strategies consistently, and be patient; eventually, you’ll be able to attract the right group.

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Columns

Is a Career in Biomedical Science Right for You?

Is a Career in Biomedical Science Right for You?

You might know you want to pursue a career in science, healthcare, or medicine, but what do you want to do exactly? These fields are as diverse as any, and you should try to be fairly specific about which path to take.

What Does a Biomedical Scientist Do?

Perhaps you’ve heard the term biomedical science, but have you ever taken the time to research what it is? Though it’s as diverse as any science niche, biomedical scientists are ultimately responsible for developing new treatments and therapies for human diseases, illnesses, and disabilities.

When you hear of a major medical discovery or breakthrough, the odds are pretty high that biomedical science is at least partially responsible. Each year, more than $240 billion is spent on biomedical research and development.

Investments come in the form of private donations and public grants. Currently, some of the biggest points of interest in the field of biomedical science research include cancer, anemia, diabetes, stress, meningitis, hepatitis, aging, heart physiology, and emerging diseases.

Biomedical scientists are frequently tasked with conducting scientific and lab-based research to support, prove, or disprove diagnoses and treatments of human disease. Depending on the specialty, certain scientists possess expertise in areas like anatomy, psychology, physiology, genetics, mathematics, or microbiology.

Biomedical scientists haven’t undergone full and formal medical training and typically have zero interaction with patients in their work. Duties include research screening, investigation of chemicals and treatments, testing of biological samples, writing medical research reports, analyzing current events in an effort to understand research, and coordinating with medical staff to improve outcomes.

Four Reasons to Try Biomedical Science

Biomedical science is a complex and evolving range of specialties. It’s not going to be a great fit for everyone, but there are ample reasons to pursue a career in this niche.

Take a look at four in particular:

1. Flexible and Diverse Opportunities

If the thought of doing the same repetitive tasks for the same firm in the same industry for 30 or 40 years inspires boredom, then you’ll be relieved to learn just how flexible and diverse the opportunities in biomedical science can be.

“Biomedical research jobs may focus on any area of the health care system, from pharmaceutical research to community health,” Rush University explains.

“Philanthropic organizations, professional societies as well as the federal government may provide research grants for a broad range of biomedical projects. A biomedical scientist could work as part of a team studying environmental concerns, socioeconomic trends and large-scale population trends.”

If you suspect you’re apt to tire of working in a single niche, there are regular opportunities in another field or specialty. This makes the course of study perfect for people who are prone to job burnout and boredom.

2. Great Pay

The earning potential in the biomedical field is pretty competitive. According to PayScale.com, the average salary of a biomedical scientist is $61,531. For those who obtain their master’s degree, a potential six-figure salary may be available to you.

3. High Demand

There’s high demand for biomedical scientists and will continue to be for the foreseeable future. Whether here in the U.S. or abroad, a degree in this area will take you far in your career. Salaries are also increasing and could outpace earning potential in almost every other science field.

4. Meaningful Work

“Helping to cure disease helps people survive and live longer,” Alyssa Walker writes for HealthCareStudies.com. “Whether or not you care directly for patients, create new technologies, improve old ones, research solutions to global problems, or build and repair biomedical equipment, your studies in the biomedical sciences will benefit the good of humanity.”

In an era when so many people have jobs they regard as meaningless because they don’t contribute to society, you’ll rest easy at night with the knowledge that you’re doing something that matters … and it’s hard to put a price tag on that!

Adding it All Up

Thus far, it may sound inspiring and compelling, but honestly few people are cut out for a career in biomedical science. If you think you might fall into the category of people who are, you should research it further, and speak with others who are in the field.

If you do, you should get a better idea of whether this career path is a good fit.

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The Freshest

5 Things You Should Know Before Starting College

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College life is something lots of us dream of fulfilling, but almost no one actually sees their next four years for what it will really be like.  Most college freshmen have no idea what they will encounter during their first semester of the next level of education.

As most college graduates would tell you, there are a few little pieces of information that would have probably made life much easier had they known prior to starting college.  Do your best to get ahead of the game, and check out a brief peek of the inside information every college student wishes they knew freshman year.

Never buy your books brand new from the school’s bookstore

Acquiring your books each semester is a journey all in itself.  The one thing you should always remember is to never buy your books brand new from the campus bookstore.  Bookstore books are always overpriced.

There are several reputable websites online that offer book services to students.  Sites like Chegg.com and Valorebooks.com are excellent for grabbing up your school books in an affordable fashion.  

Parking is always a challenge

Taking your car to college isn’t a terrible idea, but you probably shouldn’t plan to drive it to class every morning.  Parking is always a challenge, and there are far too many scenarios that could result in the use of a towing service.  

Instead, become familiar with the area’s public transportation.  Campus transportation is also likely to be an option.

Paying for a campus parking pass can cost a thousand dollars or more per year.  Buy a bike or walk yourself to class to combat the infamous “freshman fifteen,” and save your money for something more useful.  

Get to know RateMyProfessor.com

As a freshman, (unless you already know someone who attends the college) you have no idea which professors are most well known for their excellence.  If you really want to know which teachers to choose as you register for classes, get to know the power of RateMyProfessor.com.  

RateMyProfessor allows unknowing students to see what others have experienced with a certain professor before choosing them as a future teacher and mentor.  Search professors by name, and read through a long listing of critiques from former students.

Register as early as possible

Register for classes as early as possible.  There may be a slew of hurdles to jump before all the paperwork is in order for you to begin attending classes, so make sure to give yourself enough time to deal with these issues.

Also, you give yourself a better shot of choosing the schedule that best fits your needs.  Those who register late have to choose from what is left after all the other students have picked through the classes offered.  

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Morning Wood

Hot-or-Not Trends: Long Dresses

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The trend toward the maxi dress isn’t just for red-carpet walkers; anyone can get in on this trend with the right dress style and a cute pair of wedges. Perfect for summer, these long dresses are great for beach-wear, barbecues, or lounging in the park with a good book.

But where did this maxi trend come from, and is it going anywhere soon?

History of the maxi dress

If you go back to pre-Christian-era style — which fashion bloggers rarely do — you’ll find a slew of maxi styles that are related primarily to a conservative view of the female body. Ancient Roman women wore long stolas — typically sleeveless maxi dresses made of cotton or light fabric — that fell to just above the ankle, and accompanying shoulder wraps.

All in all, these were not all that different from what today’s red carpet celebrities wear on a chilly afternoon.

Fast-forward to the women’s rights movement, and you’ll still see the long flowing skirts and dresses worn by the hippies of the 1970s — proof that this trend has very little to do with covering the body, and a lot more to do with the summery, flowery vibe and light, unrestricted feel that accompanies the right maxi dress.

It’s no wonder, then, that celebrities and trend-spotters are buying out maxi dresses like they are going out of style. But fret not, a quick look at history both modern and ancient makes it quite obvious they aren’t headed out of style anytime soon.

How to buy the right dress

One of the first steps to finding the right maxi dress is to shop around. Don’t disdain the style if you can’t find one that’s just right in the first store you walk into.

Like jeans, different brands sell dresses for different lengths and sizes, and to fit different body types. The key is to know which colors, patterns, and fabrics look good on your body, and shop accordingly.

Petite women shouldn’t worry: If you find a maxi that is a few inches too long, get it hemmed! Or consider a great pair of heels to match your free-flowing little number. Most maxi dresses are made for women of average to above-average heights, so petite women may need to find stores that cater to their height range, or a good tailor, in order to rock this style.

At the end of the day there’s a maxi for everyone, whether you are 4′ 8″ or 6′ 2″. Maxi dresses are slimming, stylish, can be dressed up or down, and are more comfortable and breezy than even the best pair of summery shorts. So come on ladies, head out to the mall, the downtown shops, or wherever you go. If the celebrities can rock it, so can you.

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Instagram Wood

How to flirt: Guys

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Okay boys, as a lady, I’m making it my duty to end all the pathetic pick-up lines (unless you’re Ryan Gosseling, then you can use any damn pick-up line you want), and set you straight.

First, I’m begging you to stop trying to get our attention by treating us like dogs.  Whistling, and screaming “eyyyy!” at us immediately makes our skin crawl.  Be genuine, and be a gentleman; just by doing those things alone you’ll have panties dropping in no time.  But there are other things you can do, and things to avoid when trying to pick-up on a chick.

 

Here are common attempts at picking-up women, why they don’t work, and what you should do instead:

 

1. You see a hottie out on the dance floor at the club.  You decide to say “hello” by surprise attacking her from behind by grinding your boner all over her ass.

 

This is wrong because if she didn’t have clothes on, this would be considered a rape which is typically frowned upon.

 

What you should do instead is:  Watch to see if she’s looking around at any other guys – if she is, she’s probably open to flirting, if she’s not and she’s surrounded by thirty girlfriends, it’s a girl’s night…don’t interrupt.  If she keeps glancing at you – score!  Go ask her if she wants to dance, or go dance near her and see if she gets closer.  If she says “yes,” follow her lead.

 

2. You’re out walking and see the woman of your dreams.  You awkwardly begin to follow her, and finally work up the nerve to curl your finger at her in the “come here” motion.

 

This is wrong because you look like a complete creep, and she fears being hacked up and stuffed inside your freezer.

 

What you should do instead:  It’s okay to follow for a little, but suck it up and say something.  I know it’s hard, but so is passing up the love of your life.  Confidence is so underrated.  You don’t have to be Rico Suave, but just talk to her; she’ll give you major points for having the balls.  Give it to her straight – “Hi, you’re very pretty, can I walk with you? /wanna grab some coffee? /go on a date some time?” try to plan something right away like ice cream or coffee, checking out a local park.  The sooner, the better, don’t give her time to talk herself out of anything.

 

3. You’re at a bar and spot someone you’d like to get to know.  You walk up loudly saying “heeeey! wnna takeashotsvitsmeh?” put your arm around her, order a shot and shove it at her.

 

This is wrong because this is what every single drunk guy does.  It’s like that annoying hum you hear in old buildings that you gradually become accustomed to.  By doing this, she won’t take you seriously, think you’re arrogant, and also think you wanna get her black-out drunk so you can date rape her.

 

What you should do instead: Play it cool, confidence is great, but tone it down, and definitely don’t touch.  Ask her what a good drink is; it’s a non-threatening question, and it opens up conversation since it’s a question.  Ask her if she needs another drink.  Be honest and tell her you’re new here and are trying to meet cool people.

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Morning Wood

Simone Starr

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The former Ed Hardy model over a month ago had to flee to Sydney, Australia after allegedly running a drug ring. Either way, Simone Starr still looks pretty fine in a bathing suit.

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Morning Wood

Kelly Brook

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Kelly Brook on the sand and near the ocean makes grown men everywhere weep. She looks so hot in the sun, and luckily for us summer is just around the corner!

 

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Morning Wood

Ashley Tisdale

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I’m not actually sure what she’s famous for other than being ridiculous hot. Ashley Tisdale somehow has over 6 million Twitter followers thanks to pictures like these.

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Morning Wood

Margie Viljoen

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Margie Viljoen is a South African model who also turns records on the side. As good as she might be as a DJ, she’s probably way better at giving BJ’s.

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