Why Motivational Videos Are Ruining Your Life

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“I don’t care about saving $1,000 because I want to make real money.”
“I’m so motivated. You have to reach for the stars.”

I’ve heard these two statements in the last week. I’m here to explain to you exactly why motivational videos and inspirational memes are ruining your life.

Why motivational quotes are ruining your life

“I can’t have too many drinks because I have work early in the morning.”

My buddy Vince was at his own surprise party for his 30th birthday and he announced that he had to stop drinking because he had to wake up early. He runs his own business so this naturally had people questioning.

Couldn’t he just have his staff handle this for him? Don’t people making good money just relax all day?

Guess what? Working for yourself and making the big bucks isn’t about sharing quotes on social media all day. This guy’s not even on any social media. I can’t even tag him in inappropriate memes.

There’s more to being successful than just talking about how you want to be successful.

You have people still living at home in their late-20s/30s who spend all day sharing motivational quotes on social media.

Why are motivational videos ruining your life?

“Motivation alone is not enough. If you have an idiot and you motivate him, now you have a motivated idiot.” — Jim Rohn

Most of these quotes don’t actually mean anything.

  • “Be yourself.”
  • “Stick true to your heart.”
  • “Live the life that you imagined.”
  • “Work hard and be humble.”
  • “Don’t let others tell you that you’re not special.”

WHAT DO THESE MEAN?

These quotes and videos don’t really mean much. You nod your head as you’re watching, but you’re not really picking anything up.

You binge watch videos!

Do you know how many evenings I’ve spent on watching random inspirational videos?

I don’t play video games or follow sports. Entrepreneurship is my hobby.

It’s fun to watch these inspirational videos. The problem is that this become like Netflix. You consume without ever doing anything. There’s nothing wrong with hanging out in front of the TV after a long day. The problem with motivational videos is that you actually feel like you’re accomplishing something. You end up watching them for hours and then you go back to your regular routine. Sometimes you even share these videos. Your friends get all excited. Everyone’s all excited. All you’re doing is binge watching.

Don’t get me wrong. I still love to watch awesome videos in the morning. The trick is to get to work after being fired up by something. The issue is that most of us will begin to binge. Then we share. Then we discuss. Then we do nothing. This cycle repeats itself on a daily basis.

You don’t actually apply this advice.

I have friends who post these quotes as if they actually apply to their everyday lives. They don’t. I’ve seen these people in action first hand. They do nothing and then post about how awesome everything is.

You’re not going to apply any of the advice. So why bother pretending like you’re going to do something?

You have unrealistic expectations.

Your expectations become delusional. You want to go from zero dollars to one million dollars in the same morning just because a quote motivated you.

Here are some examples:

  • You don’t care about finding a freelancing client because you want to start the next Facebook.
  • You don’t want to start saving money because you think that you’re going to make millions in the future.
  • You feel like you’re above entry-level work because you want to change the world with the product that you haven’t created yet (or have done any word towards).

I see this on a daily basis. I’m not making this stuff up.

You have to make a $100 before you can make $1,000. Don’t stress about starting the next Tinder. Find something that works in your pocket of the world (you like that?).

You don’t do your own thing.

When you share these quotes and videos, you’re promoting the creator and not yourself. I shouldn’t say this because my podcast has awesome memes. The reason that we started an Instagram for our podcast was to promote these inspiring memes. It’s always better to do your own thing.

You don’t accept criticism.

“Stop hating on me.”

A friend asked me for feedback. I gave it to him. Then he got offended and called me a hater. So now when he asks me for advice I tell him that he’s the best because that’s obviously want he wants to hear.

Anyone that gives you any feedback is a hater in your eyes.

Seriously. There’s all these quotes about “haters” now. When I try to give real feedback to a friend they think that I’m hating on them for some reason.

Okay?

You have to listen to those who are successful at what you’re getting into. Don’t let your uncle or a random friend tell you how to be. Accept advice from those who have crushed it in a similar field.

I always tell my friends to seek out criticism from those they would love to switch places with.

The problem is that some folks will watch an inspirational video and then get offended when you tell them that they can’t make it to the NBA in their mid-30s without ever playing basketball.

“You can’t let praise or criticism get to you. It’s a weakness to get caught up in either one.” – John Wooden

Your successful friends are too busy in the trenches.

You know how you complain about how your friend takes forever to respond? They’re likely busy working behind the scenes.

I see some friends posting the same empty rhetoric on a daily basis. They’re up at random hours sharing memes that don’t apply to them. My successful friends do their own thing. They don’t need to tell anyone about how hard they work.

HOW > WOW.

A friend of mine spent so much time posting inspirational stuff about working out that he never figured out how to actually train.

Try to focus on the how instead of the wow.

Real results are obtained through BORING work.

This is what everyone hates to hear. We all know the story about the guy who put in the work and got the results. Do you think that they were telling the whole world how motivated they were?

I’ll tell you a secret that you already know. All successful people had to go through hell to get to where they’re at right now. I have some pretty awesome people on my social media. When they post an inspiring quote everyone gets all excited. When they’re training on a Sunday night, nobody seems to care.

I’ve gotten the best results from things that are too boring to even post about. Someone bought a side blog, I found a new freelancing client, or my rental property went up in value. There’s no epic meme for these events.

[Check out this article where I crushed all Instagram weirdos who rant about passive income.]

You become annoying.

I know that you’re motivated about putting butter in your coffee while you look up vegan recipes. Nobody else cares.

People want to know how you can help them. To make money you have to solve problems.

Personal finance is often about systems.

Do you have systems in place? Are you saving money? Have you optimized your spending?

I’m usually not that motivated about saving money. I have a certain amount come out of my checking account on a weekly basis. I then put this money away until there’s enough to make some serious moves (invest in the business, buy a rental property, etc.).

What can you do right now?

Decide on your actual business plans.

Will you start freelancing? Will you go into YouTube? What will you actually do?

You have to know what your business will be and how it’s going to generate money. At some point you have to stop talking about how you want to make money and figure out a plan for how to get there.

Take some action.

Look, you have to stop posting videos and do something. You need some results. You need to get into the habit of taking action.

I try to write 1,000 words daily. I force myself to attend at least three BJJ classes a week. I set mini goals for myself so that I’m always making some progress.

What are examples of action you can take?

FOCUS and try to eliminate the distractions.

I’m horrible at this. I need to apply this more often to my own life.

Delete those apps off your phone. Turn off notifications. Your friends can wait for your response. You don’t have to respond to everything. You also don’t need instant updates.

Try a social media fast. Try to disconnect. Focus on the work instead of talking about the work.

Everything will be fine. I promise you. You won’t miss out on any colossal news. If anyone absolutely needs to contact you, they can call you.

Our biggest setback is that we can’t focus. It took me weeks to write this post because my Instagram kept sending me notifications.

Have a bold yet realistic goal.

It’s important that you have a bold goal that forces you to change a few things around.

Would you enter a half-marathon or an obstacle course if you didn’t know where the finish line was?

Obviously not.

This is why it’s important to set a goal that’s bold yet attainable.

What are examples of bold realistic goals?

You get the point.

The sooner that you start focusing on your goals, the better off you’ll be. I try to get off social media when I have work to do. Talking about what I plan on doing never helps anything.

Consume motivational content when you’re down.

When I’m feeling lazy there’s nothing like a Gary Vee video or a meme to fire me up. I try to watch one and then I get back to work. The issue is that most people will consume inspirational porn all day without ever doing anything. Try not to let that happen to you.

You don’t need another meme. I’m tempted to finish up with a motivational quote, but you need to get to work.

Reference: http://studenomics.com/blog/

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5 Things Millennials Need To Understand About Money In 2017

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 Posted by: Broke Millennial®

This piece originally ran on Forbes 

We all know to pay yourself first, have an emergency fund, you can snowball or avalanche your way out of debt. There are plenty of personal finance clichés and idioms, and for good reason. For the most part, though worn out, they’re true. This list, however, is not generalities. It’s five things you – as a millennial – need to understand about money in 2017.

1. Other people will be happy to spend your money

There’s no Hallmark card to convey “Happy You’re Getting Married, But This Destination Bachelor Party and Wedding In Another State Is Too Rich For My Budget,” because it feels like bad manners to turn down such invites. So the mid-twenties to early-thirties seems like an endless cycle of birthday parties, bachelor parties, bridal showers, weddings, baby showers and not to mention Kickstarter requests, brunch dates and happy hours, which drain both your bank account and, often, vacation time.

Here’s the secret: other people are happy to spend your money for you.

It may be your best friend’s/cousin’s/college roommate’s special day that only comes along once in a life time (or so they hope), but it’s a day that will be on repeat for you. Participating in a wedding, while an an honor, can cause a slow creep towards danger zone for your bank account. This leads to either a wildly awkward conversation or ignoring the problem and just financing the expenses on a credit card.

Don’t do the latter.

2. Just using one investing or savings app isn’t sufficient

Using apps to automate your financial life, increase your savings and start investing became all the rage in the last few years. There’s nothing wrong with using apps to give your money a little boost – but you shouldn’t solely rely on them to get the job done.

Digit is one such app that works well to help save money you probably weren’t going to tuck away in the first place – but it shouldn’t be your only means of saving. Digit, which is free to use, typically pulls money from checking to Digit savings in increments of $5 to $50. Speaking from my own experience, Digit saves me an average of $110 per month. It’s not an insignificant sum, but the annual total is around $1,320. That’s a nice supplemental amount to fund a travel savings account or emergency fund buffer – but saving a percentage of a paycheck before it even hits checking (automating) should still take priority.

Update 4/11/17: Digit is no longer free to use. It now charges $2.99 per month — so just up your automated savings yourself and avoid getting charged to save your own money.  

Acorns is an app with the tagline “automatically invest life’s spare change. Anyone can grow wealth.” The app gets connected to your credit or debit card and rounds up each of your purchases to the nearest dollar and invests the change into a diversified portfolio of ETFs ranging in risk based on your tolerance. Unlike Digit, there is a fee to use Acorns just like nearly any investing platform. It starts at $1 a month and increases to 0.25% per year once your portfolio hits $5,000 or more.  While it’s a strong way for a millennial to start investing if they wouldn’t otherwise be proactive, just contributing your spare change isn’t enough. You could use Acorns to set up reoccurring investments, but moving beyond the spare change program alone needs to be your goal in 2017 in order to make a real impact.

3. Yes, those small purchases are actually adding up – but not why you think

You’ve certainly heard about the latte factor by now. As a lover of lattes myself, it’s an obnoxious attack on the frothy milk and espresso beverage – but it’s not entirely wrong. However, it’s not the latte itself that invokes the wrath of personal finance gurus. It’s the act of routine, mindless spending. The easiest way to nix mindless spending is that dirty b word: budget. You can still have some of your small (or occasionally large) indulgences when factored into your budget, but big or small spending without constraint keeps you in that dreaded paycheck-to-paycheck lifestyle.

At the bare minimum you should know your cash flow – how much is coming in and how much is going out.

4. Physical buildings aren’t necessary for keeping your money safe

It’s nearly 2017 and we’re supposed to be digital natives and yet scores of millennials still feel anxious about using an Internet-only bank. Using a traditional brick-and-mortar bank is not going to keep your money any safer than an Internet-only bank like Ally, Charles Schwab, USAA or Capital One 360. Not to mention Internet-only banks tend to offer more competitive interest rates on savings accounts and provide lower fees on checking accounts. Wondering “how do I get my money out”? Some online banks belong to a network of ATMs like AllPoint or Star while others reimburse ATM fees you’re charged at any bank. Just be sure your bank is FDIC insured and you’ll be getting the same level of protection as a brick-and-mortar establishment. Plus, doesn’t it make logical sense that a progressive online bank would be more on top of its security game than some of the old school brick-and-mortar types that still have crappy websites? Just a thought.

5. Saving is important, but negotiating is critical

Personal finance articles often extoll the virtues of saving (this one already did) but this isn’t the only important money skill on the road to wealth. Your ability to negotiate has a significant impact on your lifetime earning potential. Some even claim you could be losing out on a million dollars or more over the course of your career by not learning how to negotiate early.

You don’t have to start with the biggie of walking into your annual review and asking for more money. Instead, try calling up your Internet or cable provider and negotiating to get a lower price point on your package or a perk if you stay at the same rate. Small experiences help get you prepped for not only potential rejection with little on the line, but how to counter in a negotiation.

When you prep to go into your boss’s office or get on the phone with a client, it’s important to have proof of why you deserve a raise and a specific request in mind. Don’t just accept a 3% raise to adjust for inflation. Show your boss how you’ve improved, what you’ve brought to the company, compliments you’ve received from co-workers and clients, metrics that back up your tangible contributions to the company. Also come in armed with the knowledge of how much someone in your position, living in your city, makes at your job. Then make the specific ask of how much of a raise you’d like. The worst your boss can say is no. It might ding your pride a bit, but it’s better than staying mute.

Image from Unsplash

Reference: http://brokemillennial.com/2017/02/16/5-things-millennials-need-understand-money-2017/

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Best STEM Discoveries of 2016

solar panel


At Envision we love STEM because of its potential for improving lives and solving some of our world’s biggest problems. Considering all the impressive advances made by scientists and technologists this year, it was difficult to identify just one top discovery for each STEM field. We won’t insist that our picks are the best, but they are undeniably cool.

Science

For centuries man has wondered if we’re alone in the universe. Or, if we ventured beyond our solar system, could we find a new home? This year scientists discovered a habitable planet, Proxima b, orbiting Proxima Centauri, just over 4 light-years away. This relatively “close” neighbor appears to have a surface temperature that would accommodate liquid water, and thus could potentially sustain life.

Meanwhile, physicists confirmed the existence of gravitational waves, defined by Gizmodo as, “vibrations in the fabric of the universe – light-speed ripples in spacetime.” National Geographic celebrates this discovery because, “gravitational waves can act as a new way of seeing otherwise invisible objects in the universe, such as … black holes.”

Technology

Although the cyborg stingray, an engineered marvel of metal, silicone and living tissue, swam its way into our hearts this year, our favorite technological advance is probably the high-efficiency solar panels produced by a new factory in Buffalo, NY. The factory, capable of producing a gigawatt of solar capacity per year, is expected to change the economics of residential solar power, making this alternative energy more accessible to all.

Engineering

For engineering’s top innovation, we’re intrigued by the groundbreaking scientists in Iceland who captured environmentally-harmful carbon dioxide emissions and turned them to stone, instead of releasing them into the atmosphere. What if we could use our CO2 as a building material, and help counter the greenhouse effect? We’re keeping an eye on this fascinating development.

Honorable mentions in engineering innovation go to the Tesla car that can drive itself, Shanghai’s extra-green skyscraper architectural technology, and, because we always yearn to go where no man has gone before, NASA’s Juno rocket, which has successfully achieved orbit around Jupiter.

Math and Medicine

You may not think “Math!” when it comes to milestone discoveries, but remember: Man couldn’t build a self-driving car, an eco-friendly skyscraper or a record-setting rocket without some serious math skills.

Did you know that prime numbers are essential to modern cryptography? Our pick for the coolest math discovery of 2016 is the new, largest prime number, with a whopping 22,338,618 digits. The software used in this discovery is running on a global network of CPUs peaking at 450 trillion calculations per second.

At Envision, the M in STEM is a multi-tasker, standing for Medicine as well as Math. We couldn’t write an article on the top innovations of 2016 without mentioning the genetically-engineered immune cells, now used to save the lives of cancer patients, as well as to keep food from spoiling. This year’s other amazing medical achievements include virtual reality software for med students and surgeons, interoperability between health providers, and advances in anti-aging drugs, prosthetics and artificial retinas.

To read more about the amazing discoveries of 2016, check out these great sources:

10 Amazing Scientific Discoveries from ListVerse

MIT’s 10 Breakthrough Technologies

NatGeo’s Discoveries Worth Celebrating

11 Greatest Engineering Innovations from Popsci

Top 10 Medical Technologies from Medical Futurist

Reference: https://www.envisionexperience.com/blog/best-stem-discoveries-of-2016

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Is Thanksgiving an American Thing?

Thanksgiving Day


Pilgrims, Native Americans, turkeys… these symbols of Thanksgiving are deeply ingrained in American culture. But did you know Thanksgiving is also celebrated in other countries? Many of these traditions originated long before the Pilgrims landed in Plimoth. Giving thanks for a fruitful harvest is the main purpose of most of these celebrations, but a few have interesting twists of their own.

China
The Chinese celebrate in the August timeframe – on the 15th day of their calendar’s 8th lunar month. Here the tradition dates back more than 2,500 years, and focuses on the moon, which the ancient Chinese realized was connected to seasonal change and agricultural production. Mooncakes, containing a symbolic moon-like egg yolk, are the traditional food. Women are also honored, for their connection to fertility and nurturing.

Korea
In Korea, Chu-Sok or Chuseok (“fall evening”) is the country’s biggest holiday. It lasts for 3 days in August or September, and is an opportunity to honor one’s ancestors, as well as give thanks for the earth’s bounty. “Songpyon” is the traditional Chuseok dish, made of rice, beans, sesame seeds and chestnuts.

Japan
Kinrō Kansha no Hi, which means Labor Thanksgiving Day, is celebrated in Japan on November 23. Although this holiday was derived from ancient harvest festivals, the modern version, officially created in 1948, focuses on hard work, productivity and community involvement. The original intent was to celebrate the rights of post-World War II workers. Traditions for students include creating crafts and gifts for local police officers.

Germany
Turkeys can breathe a little easier in Germany, where chickens and geese are the favorite entrée during Erntedankfest, an autumn harvest festival also celebrated in parts of Austria and Switzerland. Erntedankfest is a religious holiday, with church services as well as parades and fairs. Parade participants often wear harvest crowns made of grain, flowers and fruit.

In some countries, Thanksgiving has surprising connections to the U.S.:

Grenada
Is a military invasion something to celebrate? In Grenada the answer is yes, as residents honor the Americans who invaded in October 1983, to restore order after the death of communist leader Maurice Bishop. The American soldiers stationed in Granada were sad to be away from home at Thanksgiving, and they shared their holiday stories with the locals. In gratitude for the Americans’ efforts and sacrifice at this holiday time, the locals planned a wonderful surprise – a feast with turkey and all the fixings. Today, the tradition continues, celebrated every October 25.

Norfolk Island
Norkfolk is a tiny, remote island, near Australia. There Thanksgiving is connected to American whalers, versus soldiers or pilgrims. In the mid-1890s, an American trader named Isaac Robinson suggested that the local residents decorate their church with palm leaves and lemons, in order to attract whalers to a Thanksgiving celebration. The tradition caught on, and every November families decorate the churches with fruit, vegetables, cornstalks and fresh flowers, which are later sold to raise money for the church.

Netherlands
The Dutch Thanksgiving is directly tied to the American tradition, because approximately 40% of the original Mayflower pilgrims came from the Dutch city of Leiden. Every November, when Americans are celebrating, the people of Leiden gather in a 900-year-old church called Pieterskerk, to celebrate the endeavors of those early American colonists.

The countries mentioned here are by no means the only examples of our human desire to reflect with gratitude on the blessings in our lives and the gifts from our planet. We citizens of the Earth are joined by this common gratitude and the planet we share.

Reference: https://www.envisionexperience.com/blog/is-thanksgiving-an-american-thing

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How to Finish Your Required Reading (and Enjoy the Last Days of Summer)


Summer reading is probably the last thing on your mind as you approach the last stretch of summer. However, since you can’t avoid it, why not make the most of it? Here’s some quick tips on how to finish your required reading and still have time to bask in the sunshine:

Start now. You are still at a point where you can start your summer reading without feeling overwhelmed by a lack of time. Don’t wait until the last minute where other distractions can come into play – you don’t want to start the year behind in your coursework.

Figure out how many books you have to read. If you only have one or two books to read, then the next few steps should be a breeze. However, if more than one professor gave assignments, then now is the time to put your organizational skills to good use! Figure out which books you need to read and which ones take priority.

Come up with a page count and set a goal for each day. You want to keep your summer reading as manageable as possible. Tally up the pages for each book and divide it by the number of days you have left before school starts, or the number of days you have for your reading goal (if you want the last few days of summer for yourself). Pick an even number of pages to keep things simple and pledge to stick to that page count each day.

Find something to appreciate about the book. You may discover you have nothing in common with the characters in the book, and the plot is less than thrilling. This is an opportunity to see the book from a different perspective. Is there something about the authors writing you find interesting? Perhaps you can research the setting of the book so when you’re reading, you can visualize it. This is your chance to learn something new, even if the book isn’t your favorite!

Take breaks, but keep a schedule. Be sure to pace yourself, and keep a journal or schedule so you can stay on track. This is a great tool for any kind of assignment and you may even get ahead of your schedule, which means more free sunny days for you.

Reward yourself. Sometimes reading can turn into a chore. Try to stretch out your reading goal for the day or stick to your regular page count but offer yourself a little incentive to stay on track. Or, you can even switch your reading assignments for a book you’re really interested in and alternate between the two.

Think ahead. Is there a fictional or real life character that you relate to? Perhaps you relate to a famous doctor, criminal lawyer, or Hollywood producer. Start looking into autobiographies to get inspired and think about stepping into their shoes with Envision’s many interactive, hands-on, summer adventure programs.

Reference: https://www.envisionexperience.com/blog/how-to-finish-your-required-reading-and-enjoy-the-last-days-of-summer

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What’s It Take to Be a Video Game Designer?

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How to Become a Video Game Designer

Your enthusiasm for gaming could be Step 1 toward a dream job as a video game designer. Take your passion, add some artistic, math or computer science skills, gain some solid experience, and suddenly you’re living the dream.

What’s It Like to Be a Video Game Designer?

Video game designers usually work on a team, pairing artistic vision with programming excellence. Team members, including specialists in animation, game operations, scripting language and mobile game design (IOS and Android), together create the key elements of a successful game – the concept, characters, setting, story and mechanics. Graphics, text, audio, 3D, game level design, user interface and device compatibility are all integral parts of the whole.


Before a video game design firm will approve funding for new game development, the design team will have to create a storyboard and pitch their game concept to the decision-makers – so hone your presentation skills! Project management skills are also required to put an efficient game design implementation plan in place, including product testing and distribution.

Salaries for Video Game Designers

Talented game developers can definitely earn a good living. The average annual salary for a Video Game Designer in the U.S. varies, depending on who you ask. Payscale.com said average pay is $58,253 per year, while the 2014 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report showed $69,410 (including averages for multimedia graphic designers and animation specialists). Sokanu.com was even more optimistic, quoting an average annual salary of $85,520, with potential up to almost $127,000.

Skills, schooling, experience and outside-the-box creativity are all factors in the kind of salary you can demand.

Key Skills for Video Game Designers

Being “into” video games is only part of the equation for becoming a game designer. To turn dreams and vision into reality, a prospective game designer needs training and skills.

  • Let’s start with creativity – that’s a given.
  • Good video game designers also know how to tell a story and work as part of a team.
  • Obviously you’ll need computer skills, too: programming languages, software programs, 3D game design, modeling, etc.
  • You must have a knack for video graphics as well as a grasp on hardware essentials.
  • Expertise with applications like Adobe Photoshop will increase your pay grade.
  • You’ll have to be comfortable sitting in front of a computer monitor for large chunks of the day (or night), and be able to work independently, with minimal supervision.

Schooling Required for Video Game Designers

Although a degree is not technically required to become a video game designer, many companies are specifically looking for candidates with a bachelor’s degree in game design, computer science or computer engineering.

The degree is especially important if you’re planning to work for a large game studio. Coursework for a game design program includes classes in 2D and 3D modeling, animation, level and interface design, storyboard rendering, drawing and scripting.

Top 10 Colleges for Game Design

The Princeton Review ranked the top 25 undergraduate and graduate programs offering game design classes.

We’ll list their top 10 here:

  1. University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
  2. University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT
  3. DigiPen Institute of Technology, Redmond, WA
  4. Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA
  5. The Art Institute of Vancouver, Canada
  6. Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY
  7. Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
  8. Shawnee State University, Portsmouth, OH
  9. Becker College, Worcester, MA
  10. Hampshire College, Amherst, MA

Your Next Step in Becoming a Video Game Designer

So, you’ve got the passion and inspiration – how do you make it happen?

  • Your first assignment: Play games!
  • Get familiar with the latest video game design trends and the advanced underlying technology.
  • Look for ways to improve existing games, and jot down design concepts for your own game.
  • Envision your plot, characters and action; then create a storyboard.

Of course, passion and basic game familiarity won’t guarantee you a good job. As you’ve probably heard more than once: it’s hard to get a job without experience. So start gaining that experience!

Sign up for video game design and programming classes or summer camps. We’ve got a good one for you: the Mason Game & Technology Academy (MGTA). This game design camp, held on the campus of George Mason University near Washington D.C., will:

  • Teach you animation, video game graphics, IOS, Android and 3D game design
  • Provide insight into entrepreneurship and the game design industry

You can attend for one week or multiple weeks, to get the level of design experience you want, in the gaming areas that are most interesting to you.

Other tips:

  • Join a video game design club
  • Get some free or inexpensive video game design software
  • Enter video game design competitions
  • Continue to increase your level of design sophistication; soon you’ll have a portfolio of design experience!

As you take these steps, you’ll develop a more concrete vision for a video game design career path and area of focus. Are you a game animation designer? A level designer? A graphics artist? Or a programmer? Talk to your school career counselor, who’ll help you put a step-by-step plan in place.

Other Resources for Video Game Design

Reference: https://www.envisionexperience.com/blog/whats-it-take-to-be-a-video-game-designer

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Book Review: They Don’t Teach Corporate in College

Book Review: They Don’t Teach Corporate in College


Author: Alexandra Levit

Length: 240 pages

Intent/Focus: A must-have guide to success in the corporate world, for college students, recent grads and twenty-somethings readying themselves for career success.

What You Will Learn: Tips for traversing the corporate world with professionalism and panache – and coming out on top.

Why We Recommend It: They Don’t Teach Corporate in College aligns with Envision’s mission to provide students with the resources for college and career success. This book helps high school students better understand the corporate environment as they prepare to make their career aspirations a reality.

Summary: This most recent edition of They Don’t Teach Corporate in College reflects the unique needs and challenges of new grads and twenty-somethings who want to make a difference right now, but need deeper insight into making it happen. Published in September 2004, this book is currently used as a text in corporations and universities across the country.

The 10 chapters in this book cover a wide range of important guidelines for inexperienced job-seekers as well as any young person focused on career management. The title of the book summarizes its value, since, as the author points out, the corporate world is nothing like academia. “You come up against rules no one ever told us about.” Written from the perspective of a wise older sister who doesn’t want you to learn the hard way, the book provides personal anecdotes and specific tips for success.

Here is a quick summary of the chapter contents:

Chapter 1: Find Yourself. Find a Paycheck – finding occupations that match your skills and interests
Chapter 2: Congratulations. You’re Hired – creating a good first impression at your new company
Chapter 3: Working the Crowd – work relationships, mentorships and office politics
Chapter 4: Be the Master of Your Plan – goal-setting and showcasing your accomplishments
Chapter 5: The Purposeful Workday – managing your workload and business communications
Chapter 6: Check Your Attitude at the Door – combating negativism and staying motivated
Chapter 7: People Management – getting along with coworkers
Chapter 8: Moving Up in the World – scheduling and maximizing performance reviews
Chapter 9: You’re the Boss Now! – how to be a good manager
Chapter 10: Exit Stage Left – how to leave your current employer without burning bridges

Other sage advice found in the book:

  • Landing your dream job by avoiding the HR black hole
  • Developing your professional image and reputation
  • Becoming your own public-relations machine
  • Learning the real meaning behind corporate lingo
  • Dealing with corporate reorganizations
  • Navigating the office social scene and practicing cringe-free networking
  • Combating negativity and coping with difficult personalities

The Reviews

In his article in Quintessential Careers, educator and Ph.D. Randall S. Hansen said, “The book is well organized, written with a breezy style, and packed with some great advice. I also love the many vignettes from younger job-seekers who have faced the many challenges Levit highlights in the book.

Daniel H. Pink, author of another recommended book, Drive, said, “They Don’t Teach Corporate in College is too good to be given only to the twenty-somethings. Anyone who’s feeling lost and overwhelmed in cubicle country can benefit from reading this eminently practical book.”

In the many 5-star reviews from readers, we see quotes such as:

“[The author] gives the reader confidence and a new outlook because she does not just provide comforting words. She elucidates her point with concrete examples.”

“This is a great resource for anyone entering Corporate America… One might think the information is ‘common sense’, but too often we don’t use common sense until someone makes the ‘light bulb’ go off. Alexandra does this beautifully!”

From a college professor:

“Alexandra Levit is right on the mark with this book. I have incorporated this book into my class discussions and the students will be more prepared for the corporate world because of it!”

About the Author

Alexandra Levit is a former nationally-syndicated columnist for the Wall Street Journal and a current writer for the New York Times, as well as the author of several books. She consults on leadership development and career and workplace trends on behalf of American Express, Deloitte, DeVry University, Intuit and PepsiCo, among others. An American Management Association Top Business Leader for 2014, she was named Money Magazine‘s Online Career Expert of the Year.

Reference: https://www.envisionexperience.com/blog/book-review-they-dont-teach-corporate-in-college-for-students

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Five Interesting STEM Careers

Five Interesting STEM Careers


An education in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) offers students a bright future. This well documented and encouraged learning path holds promise for a great career in science, research, medicine, technology, and much more.

Some students may wonder which careers are hot right now in STEM. We did some research online and found several promising career paths for students who show an interest in STEM.

1) An Engineer of Almost Any Variety

The top four paying STEM careers for recent graduates are all engineering based, according to Forbes. They are, in order: petroleum, nuclear, marine, and chemical engineering. Oh, and number six on Forbes list? You got it, another form of engineering—aerospace.

Now there’s a great difference between a nuclear and a marine engineer, but nevertheless the point is the same: engineers are in great demand in most fields.

2) Information Technology and Security

Information Technology and Security

Monster and WorldWideLearn had a different take on the most popular STEM career out there. They put their belief behind information technology, with a focus on security in particular, as the number one career path. The career path is expected to enjoy a 36.5% job growth rate by 2022, according to WorldWideLearn’s research.

3) Health Practitioner

STEM Jobs listed health practitioner positions as six of its top ten jobs. Whether a surgeon, a general practitioner, or a dentist, there’s a great need for medical professionals, particularly health practitioners. Some might say that healthcare may not be the most popular STEM discussion these days, but it is one of the highest in-demand STEM sectors.

4) Software Developer

Software Developer

Another popular STEM job focuses on software development and creating the networks, systems, and applications that make our world go round. USA Today listed software development as its top career for STEM, thanks to its cushy salary and strong job growth.

5) Statistician

No one made this job cooler than Nate Silver, who successfully predicted the 2012 presidential election using data. From there, Silver paralyzed statistical analysis into his own media property. The widespread proliferation of big data creates great need for statisticians. As US News and World Report says, making decisions based on data gives the statistician the ability to play in any sector.

 

Reference: https://www.envisionexperience.com/blog/five-interesting-stem-careers

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101 books for college-bound kids

Take a respite from the rush and chatter of modern life and spend time with a masterpiece. Even better: entice your teen to join you. Choose a book together and take turns reading it aloud, or track down the audio version and listen to it during your next road trip. This book list, compiled by the CollegeBoard, includes classics your student should read before (or during) college. But don’t use the “s” word! Instead, let your child know that these aren’t just classics, they are tales of romance, war, adventure, and courage, and that — while they won’t love every story — a few are sure to become beloved lifelong companions. As author Italo Calvino wrote: “A classic is a book that has never finished saying what it has to say.”

Middle school books

Achebe, Chinua Things Fall Apart
Crane, Stephen The Red Badge of Courage
Dumas, Alexandre The Three Musketeers
Golding, William Lord of the Flies
Hurston, Zora Neale Their Eyes Were Watching God
Huxley, Aldous Brave New World
Lee, Harper To Kill a Mockingbird
London, Jack The Call of the Wild
Miller, Arthur The Crucible
Morrison, Toni Beloved
O’Neill, Eugene Long Day’s Journey into Night
Orwell, George Animal Farm
Poe, Edgar Allen Selected Tales
Remarque, Erich Maria All Quiet on the Western Front
Rostand, Edmond Cyrano de Bergerac
Stevenson, Robert Louis Treasure Island
Swift, Jonathan Gulliver’s Travels
Twain, Mark The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Welty, Eudora Collected Stories
Wright, Richard Native Son

 

High school books

Author Title
——- Beowulf
Agee, James A Death in the Family
Austin, Jane Pride and Prejudice
Baldwin, James Go Tell It on the Mountain
Beckett, Samuel Waiting for Godot
Bellow, Saul The Adventures of Augie March
Bronte, Charlotte Jane Eyre
Bronte, Emily Wuthering Heights
Camus, Albert The Stranger
Cather, Willa Death Comes for the Archbishop
Chaucer, Geoffrey The Canterbury Tales
Chekhov, Anton The Cherry Orchard
Chopin, Kate The Awakening
Conrad, Joseph Heart of Darkness
Cooper, James Fenimore The Last of the Mohicans
Dante Inferno
Defoe, Daniel Robinson Crusoe
Dickens, Charles A Tale of Two Cities
Dostoyevsky, Fyodor Crime and Punishment
Douglass, Frederick Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
Dreiser, Theodore An American Tragedy
Eliot, George The Mill on the Floss
Ellison, Ralph Invisible Man
Emerson, Ralph Waldo Selected Essays
Faulkner, William As I Lay Dying
Faulkner, William The Sound and the Fury
Fielding, Henry Tom Jones
Fitzgerald, F. Scott The Great Gatsby
Flaubert, Gustave Madame Bovary
Ford, Ford Madox The Good Soldier
Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von Faust
Hardy, Thomas Tess of the d’Urbervilles
Hawthorne, Nathaniel The Scarlet Letter
Heller, Joseph Catch 22
Hemingway, Ernest A Farewell to Arms
Homer The Iliad
Homer The Odyssey
Hugo, Victor The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Ibsen, Henrik A Doll’s House
James, Henry The Portrait of a Lady
James, Henry The Turn of the Screw
Joyce, James A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Kafka, Franz The Metamorphosis
Kingston, Maxine Hong The Woman Warrior
Lewis, Sinclair Babbitt
Mann, Thomas The Magic Mountain
Marquez, Gabriel Garcia One Hundred Years of Solitude
Melville, Herman Bartleby the Scrivener
Melville, Herman Moby Dick
O’Connor, Flannery A Good Man is Hard to Find
Pasternak, Boris Doctor Zhivago
Plath, Sylvia The Bell Jar
Proust, Marcel Swann’s Way
Pynchon, Thomas The Crying of Lot 49
Roth, Henry Call It Sleep
Salinger, J.D. The Catcher in the Rye
Shakespeare, William Hamlet
Shakespeare, William Macbeth
Shakespeare, William A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Shakespeare, William Romeo and Juliet
Shaw, George Bernard Pygmalion
Shelley, Mary Frankenstein
Silko, Leslie Marmon Ceremony
Solzhenitsyn, Alexander One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
Sophocles Antigone
Sophocles Oedipus Rex
Steinbeck, John The Grapes of Wrath
Stowe, Harriet Beecher Uncle Tom’s Cabin
Thackeray, William Vanity Fair
Thoreau, Henry David Walden
Tolstoy, Leo War and Peace
Turgenev, Ivan Fathers and Sons
Voltaire Candide
Vonnegut, Kurt Jr. Slaughterhouse-Five
Walker, Alice The Color Purple
Wharton, Edith The House of Mirth
Whitman, Walt Leaves of Grass
Wilde, Oscar The Picture of Dorian Gray
Williams, Tennessee The Glass Menagerie
Woolf, Virginia To the Lighthouse
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9 tips on how to be a good college parent

Tips on how to be a good college parent
Emory University psychology professor Marshall Duke has given speeches for more than 30 years to nervous parents preparing to leave their children at school. Here are his tips to help parents leave their children behind and let them move into their own new adventures. (The Washington Post)

Emory University psychology professor Marshall Duke has given speeches for more than 30 years to nervous parents preparing to leave their children at the school. His last speeches to parents happened at orientation recently, but his wisdom should continue.

Here are Duke’s tips to help parents leave their children behind and let them move into their own new adventures:

Think about your parting words. The closing words between parents and children are crucial. Whatever wisdom you have to offer, whether it is ‘I love you,’ ‘I’m behind you,’ ‘I’m proud of you,’ say it. If you can’t express yourself verbally, write your thoughts down and mail the letter to your child immediately after you arrive home. Your children will remember your messages and hold on to them.

Your lives will change. Younger siblings may be quite happy to see the older child leave home. I’ve heard stories of younger children who usually have stayed in their rooms suddenly appearing at the dinner table. If the college-bound student is your youngest, you’ll begin to reestablish a one-on-one relationship with your spouse after years of parenting.

You won’t be able to wait for them to come home — or leave. Your child will arrive home with a whole new set of habits, particularly when it comes to food and sleep. When my daughter came home from college for the first time she decided to call her friend at 10:30 p.m. one evening. When I expressed surprise, she said, ‘Oh, I know it’s early, but I want to catch her before she makes plans with someone else.’

Don’t change your child’s room. The student’s room is ‘home base’ – try not to change it very much during his or her first semester away. Freshmen in particular can go through some very difficult times, passing exams, establishing new friendships, surviving in a setting where they are not ‘top dog,’ and often fearing that admissions has made a mistake — that they do not really belong at college. Give them a ‘safe haven.’

When a problem arises, “move like your feet are stuck in molasses.”
The temptation is to intervene when a child calls home with a problem. Remember that many resources exist at college to help students cope with various situations. Express support, but give your children time to solve their own problems—it will ultimately benefit them. Colleges have many safety nets, including resident advisers who are trained to identify and handle just about any problem you can imagine.

Don’t expect the same grades in college that the students got in high school. Perfect 4.0’s (or higher, with AP grades) are commonplace in high school. Very few students make it through a challenging and varied college curriculum with a perfect 4.0. At Emory, for example, there might be only one or two out of a graduating class of 1,100+. Expect early GPA’s to be low and later ones to be better. Brand new college freshmen are actually successful high school students who are at college. They need time and experience to learn how to be college students at college. This takes at least one semester. Be patient and understanding.

Hold out for junior year. As freshmen, students tend to highlight everything in their textbooks because everything seems important. Sophomores highlight several lines on a page as they begin to zero in on the heart of the matter. Juniors just highlight a line here or there. Seniors sometimes highlight nothing — they just write critical comments in the margin and cite other sources of reference. By the child’s junior year you will realize you’re dealing with an expanded and exciting mind. Be patient in waiting to see the effects of the college experience.

Children in college don’t become “college students” overnight. They start out as high school students at college. It takes time to learn how to be a college student — how to study, how to eat, how to do laundry, how to play, how to handle money, etc. Be patient – This process requires about one semester by which time the students will have studied for and taken major exams, written papers, given in-class reports, messed up, done well, fended off the “freshman 15,” drunk gallons of coffee or other stimulating beverages, eaten uncountable pizzas and attended a variety of college events.

Let your child handle problems on their own unless Parents know their children better than anyone else and if they hear what I call ‘that voice’ from their children – the voice which is different from ordinary complaining, the voice that really means the child is in trouble, they should call the college. Don’t come running, just call the college. Good places to start would be the Office of the Dean of Students or the Dean of the College, perhaps the Resident Advisor of the child’s dormitory. No matter who is called, all the relevant people will be notified and help will be set into motion. College professionals are very experienced in dealing with these situations. You encourage your children and support them. Express confidence in their ability to deal with what’s going on and wait for them to work things out.

Click here to hear about Duke’s “Parenting a College Student” seminar

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