It is undoubtedly difficult to stay focused on school when the sunshine starts to peek out from behind the wintery clouds. The temperature starts to rise, and students gather in their socially distanced spots on Temple U’s Beury Beach. The end of the semester is a tough push forward, especially when the warm weather mocks you through the windows. Below are 3 tips I follow to help me push through the last few weeks of a tough semester.


1. Write down what you need to do

When you write down your weekly assignments, it becomes easier to visualize what tasks you need to complete each day to stay on top of your work. Staying organized and maintaining a clear understanding of what you need to do helps keep your mind sharp and your goals focused! P.S. - planners are your new best friend.


2. Remember to eat, sleep, and get outside:

It can be tempting to give in to your desire to spend time with friends outside rather than stay in class. So don’t be afraid to let yourself relax and have fun in the warm weather. After a year of being shoved inside, it’s okay to do a socially distanced walk with some friends (+ some face masks) to release the built-up cabin fever. Sleeping is also super important, as is fueling your body with food that makes you feel good. Taking care of yourself is an important part of achieving your goals and staying focused.


3. Ask for help when you need it

No one signed up to do college all alone. When it comes time for final papers or studying for the big exam, there is power in a different set of eyes. Don’t be afraid to set up a Zoom call for a virtual study group, or utilize Temple’s Writing Center to get a new perspective on the paper you just wrote. The end of the semester means you’re so close to being done, so don’t give up!


Being focused on school at the end of a semester is easier said than done, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Staying organized, asking for help, and taking care of yourself are all huge parts of staying focused this spring. Despite the extremely difficult last year of being a college student, success is still out there for us to grab.


This blog post was written by Anne Cleary, Director of Fundraising.




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On Thursday, March 25th, Aba Blankson Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) spoke to the Temple PRSSA chapter. NAACP is the most prestigious civil rights organization in the country, securing the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights to eliminate race-based discrimination. With over 20 years of experience in the nonprofit sector, Blankson is very credentialed.


Blankson’s presentation began with a description of how she got started: moving from Ghana to Brooklyn, New York in the 1980s, and discovering pizza for the first time. After moving to Maryland, Blankson attended Hood College, majoring in mathematics and serving as editor of the yearbook club. She graduated from Hood College and completed her Master’s Degree in Computer Science at Towson University. Blankson continued to expand her storytelling opportunities at Towson where she was a tour guide and data analyst for the university.


“If I have an opportunity, I use all of that opportunity,” Blankson said, describing her experience as a Webmaster at Ithaca College post-graduation from Towson. She originally wanted to work for Ithaca as a Communications Coordinator, but after being offered a different position, she did not want to pass up the opportunity. “You couldn’t make a mistake because you didn’t want to be on the cover of The New York Times,” Blankson said, explaining her job as a Webmaster. “It was that level of pressure I learned to be under while at Ithaca College.”


After graduating from Ithaca, Blankson got married and returned home to Ghana, where she worked with the State Department for several years. She traveled throughout West Africa doing public relations and learned about new cultures and people. It was the first time she was exposed to how the government works.


“You never know where you’ll have to call up that experience or call up that knowledge,” she advised, referring to her position with NAACP now.


In 2011, Blankson returned to the United States and was offered a communications job at The Common Application. “At the Common App, I learned how to be the on the record person for a brand,” she said. This experience truly helped her to be confident in her next encounter as Vice President of Marketing and Communications at NAACP.


“I couldn’t have done it without all of the other stuff,” Blankson said, reflecting on her past experiences. As Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at NAACP, Blankson oversees the organization’s internal and external communications plans for brand management, public relations, marketing, and products and services. “It’s really cool. It comes with a lot of power, but it’s a lot of work,”


Blankson also took some time to answer questions from members. The most interesting perspective Blankson provided was about college majors. “No matter what your major is, you could do whatever you love. You could take that degree and tell stories: sports stories, scriptwriting. It’s an ability to learn and create what your degree is in.” To me, this truly stood out because of how diverse Blankson’s educational and professional background is, and how every step contributed to her current position with NAACP.

This blog post was written by Ashley Mir, Digital Committee Member.

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Adjusting to online classes can be hard, and I found it especially hard this semester with our lack of a Spring break to look forward to. Although our wellness days helped, I still found myself spending those days staring at a screen to do homework or to take a break by watching TV. It felt like no matter what, I was always looking at a screen. Now, being a pro at online classes, I thought I would share how I have managed my screen time better this semester.


1. Restrict the time spent on your phone


Since I spend most of my time on the computer attending Zoom classes, PRSSA meetings, and doing homework, I realized that it’s easier for me to concentrate when I take my phone out of the equation. I found that there is really no reason to be looking at two screens at once. Putting my phone on the other side of the room during my classes has made me less distracted and is saving my eyes from looking at another screen.


2. Try to be active at some point throughout the day


In years past, I was very active walking around campus between classes, PRSSA meetings, and getting lunch with friends. Of course, now I barely leave my apartment and feel tied to my desk sometimes. I try to get up and go for a walk at least once a day, whether it be getting lunch, going to the grocery store, or just walking around campus. I also enjoy going to the gym, but on days where I don’t have time to work out, I like to get in a short walk. Walking and working out give me a break from looking at a screen and allows for some ‘me’ time.


3. If you have to do work on your laptop, do it outside!


Recently, I’ve been taking my laptop outside and doing homework and classes while enjoying the beautiful weather. I wouldn’t recommend doing this on the chillier days, but if you pick a sunny spot on a warmer day, it will make you enjoy doing your homework a hundred times more. Getting good grades is important, but so is getting your daily dose of vitamin D!


This blog post was written by Kiersten Sholly, Director of Social Media.

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