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All posts by Danielle Laban

Danielle Laban

About Danielle Laban

Danielle is the Director of Student Experience at National Louis. She's an experienced student affairs professional who is focused on student success. Danielle earned her Bachelor of Arts at the University of Northern Colorado and her Master of Arts at Roosevelt University.

Transforming Yourself Through Acceptance How accepting yourself can lead to compassion and growth

Acceptance

By Danielle Laban, NLU Director of Student Experience

Acceptance is not the same as permission. Acceptance is the beginning of an inquiry. It is the first step on a journey, whereas permission, psychologically speaking, is allowing unhealthy behavior to continue.

Often, people confuse the two. They think that if they accept something unpleasant about themselves, or another, that they are condoning bad behavior and allowing it to continue. Instead, acceptance is living with things as they are, and then taking steps from there. Acceptance is living with oneself and others, warts and all, and then growing. Permission is suffering with something you don’t want, and feeling powerless to do something about it.

If I accept that I made a mistake or did something hurtful to someone that I love, it does not mean that I am okay to do it again, over and over. It does not mean that I permit myself to keep acting out. Rather, acceptance is the first step towards better understanding oneself and then working with what’s there. It is a call to growth, and a chance to proceed with compassion.

The Counseling Center at NLU can help with finding acceptance in difficult or stressful situations. Simply send an email to counseling@nl.edu to schedule an initial meeting with one of our highly trained counselors.

Calm Stress By Adding Serene Moments of Pleasure Written by: Patti Essig, Response Center, NLU Lisle Campus

RelaxSlowDownHow to Manage Stress. It seems like so many of us today experience stress in our lives. As a yoga teacher I know practicing yoga regularly helps to manage stress. However, there are some very simple techniques to manage stress and lessen its negative effects.

Look Inward: Spend a few quiet minutes every day meditating or practicing mindfulness; this will help ease anxiety and lower stress hormones. Continue reading »

You Learn Differently From Others, So Find Your Learning Style Did you know there are five ways to take notes?

By Amanda DaSilva, Associate Director of Student Development

Screen Shot 2015-09-16 at 4.33.04 PMWelcome back to school, NLU Eagles!

While it’s hard to believe, the time has come to trade the beach for the books. Are you ready to retire as grillmaster and adjust back to student mode? Getting a jump on effective study skills can ease this transition and make you productive from the start!

Reflecting on your study habits, what has worked well for you? Are there areas where you want to change the routine? Learning is impacted by many factors, including some that you might be overlooking. Check out the resources below to assess your current study methods and gain tips for more effective studying this year. Continue reading »

Fill your Tool Belt to Build a Healthy School Year By: Danielle Colletti, Graduate Student and Wheeling Response Center

College is an exciting time when we work on building who we are and who we wish to become. However, like any new project, we needed to be armed and ready with the right tools needed to make our next endeavor a success. Look no further– let’s load your tool belt with great tips to help you stay healthy and organized throughout your college career and beyond!

  1. BUY A PLANNER

Purchase one of these right away so that you can begin using it the first day of the term! Better yet, pick one up on campus on 9/14! Take your syllabi and add all the due dates and assignments to your calendar. This way you know what is ahead of you and can plan accordingly. With this, make a to-do list each day with the most important tasks at the top. Set goals. Try to keep this with you at all times. This is something that I do each day to make sure that I am on top of all my tasks for school, work, and personal life. Make it fun and reward yourself with something special for completing everything on the list. Don’t forget to schedule time to relax!

  1. DETERMINE IF YOU ARE AN OWL OR A ROOSTER

Find out what time of the day you are most productive. Are you a night owl who gets all their work done before bed, or are you a rooster who likes to get up with the sun and complete some work to start your day? Once you have learned what time works best for you, try to keep a routine! Continue reading »

Future Employers Will Read Your Social Media of Today Students, be SMART the next time you tweet, check in, and share

By Danielle Laban, NLU’s Director of Student Experience

SocialMediaillustrationYou know social media have grown phenomenally over the past few years, but do you know just how much? And how it will affect your paycheck after you graduate?

Usage of general social media has increased nationally by almost 1,000% within the last decade, especially by those between 18 and 29 years of age, according to the Pew Research Center.  According to a survey conducted by UCLA, 27.2 percent of students spent more than six hours per week on some form of social media in 2014, up from 19.9 percent in 2007.

Also, data presented by Snelling.com, a leader in the employment industry, communicated that 86% of employers are checking social media before they grant an interview. Moreover, today 94% of grad schools inquire about a student’s online posts.

It’s important to start thinking about how your presence on social media can influence your professional trajectory as you work through college as a budding professional. It’s important to think strategically about how you can keep your personality alive, while not scaring away potential internships or job opportunities. Here’s some food for thought as you make your online “footprint” the next time you tweet, check in, and share:

  1. Delete any negative or controversial posts, check-in locations, and pictures.
  2. Employers and university personnel can do an internet search of your profile.
  3. Remember that the internet is not a secure place. For example, when using the Snap Chat technology, individuals can take screenshots of what you send them. So be careful of what you send to your peers via social media.
  4. Make a decision to let someone whose opinion you value highly (parents, favorite aunt, mentor, etc.) provide you feedback on what you want to post on social media.
  5. Set up a Google Alert for your name, so when a photo of you has been tagged or anyone mentions your name, you will know.
  6. Highlight and post about the events, programs or student clubs you participate in at NLU. If you volunteer, attend campus activities, or learn something new in class, be sure to write about it online. Make it your Facebook status or Tweet about it, or better yet start a blog about how awesome your experience is with NLU.

Why College is Life of Pie, And How To Get Your Ice Cream College is the time to join a club, try something new, make a friend

french apple pie tarte ice cream

By Danielle Laban, NLU Director of Student Experience

College is like apple pie. Apple pie is always better a-la-mode, with a giant scoop of vanilla ice cream!

One of the greatest shifts you’ll experience coming from high school to college is the variety of choices available to you, all of which are optional and extra opportunities to grow and have fun beyond the classroom! With great freedom comes a risky trap some students fall into, which is not participating in any of the extra activities, events, or programs. Continue reading »

How to Survive your First Year of College These insider tips can help things go well

shutterstock_bookbag

By Danielle Laban, NLU’s Director of Student Experience

This is a really exciting time for you. I remember the summer before I started college, I felt so free and on top of the world! I was excited about moving on to new challenges and experiencing new things. Let’s kick the new school year off with advice to help you survive your first year of college from someone who’s done it and who’s made a living out of working closely with college students. Your story is just getting started;  let’s begin that first chapter! Continue reading »

Grow your Student Experience this Spring; Give Back, Too The Winter blues are over, and we've planned plenty to get you out and about with your NLU Family with anything from service projects and professional development, to concerts and family art!

140512-NLU-CHICAGO-CAMPAS-MICHIGAN-AVE-41_smallIt’s spring outside. It might finally be here to stay. Around National Louis, it feels like things are just getting started. There are so many things to look forward to this term and we’re certain to keep you busy until the glory days of summer are upon us. Spring at National Louis is easy as 1, 2, 3.

#1 – Treat Yourself to Some Enlightenment & Professional Development

  • April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and activities are well under way. We will be focusing on important topics such as Healthy Relationships, Dating Violence, and Bystander Intervention. National Louis is actively working on policy changes, programming and training to ensure we have a safe and respectful environment for student learning.
  • Online Webinars are scheduled in April and May for the following topics: Domestic Violence, Overcoming Procrastination, and Making the Transition from Student to Professional. Join us from the comfort of home or work!
  • Is your LinkedIn profile polished, professional and ready to impress employers? Workshops are scheduled in Chicago, Wheeling, and Lisle the last week of April. Do not miss this opportunity, as it will help you prepare for the Spring Career Expo in Chicago on May 12th.

#2 – Show a Little Love to your Community

  • Donate to the NLU USO Drive and Support our Troops as we collect donations to send care packages overseas.
  • Join the Office of Student Experience during our Month of Service in May for a variety of community service projects including: assembling safe sex kits on May 6th, donating blood at the Lisle campus on May 13th, or visiting a high school and speaking to minority students on May 15th.
  • Looking for other ways to volunteer, or not sure what’s out there? Stop by the Virtual Volunteer Fair! Our Civic Engagement Team will be in Chicago April 28-30 from 12-6pm in the 6th floor Student Center. Not convinced? Check out our webinar Lead as You Lend a Hand on May 4th at 12pm where we will discuss how and why NLU students should be civically engaged.

#3 – Be a Part of the Inspiring NLU Family

  • April is also dedicated to Faculty Appreciation. Please take a minute to nominate a great faculty member for our annual Excellence in Teaching Award, post a Shout Out to recognize a faculty member who inspires you, and post a #nlufaculty selfie on Twitter with your favorite faculty!
  • Give back to NLU and become a SafeZone Ally. This special training program equips our students, faculty and staff with the opportunity to support the LGBTQ community on campus. RSVP: adasilva1@nl.edu.
  • Our NLU Family Day at the Art Institute of Chicago is May 16th.  All NLU community members and their guests will be granted free access to the museum. May 16th is also the Art Institute’s Family Festival; there will be activities all day for the whole family.
  • Join us for a little musical fun as we see RAIN: A Beatles Tribute at the Bank of America Theater. These Broadway in Chicago tickets will be on sale in May for $10. A limited number is available so let’s Come Together for a great night on May 21st.
  • For our graduating students, you will not want to miss Countdown to Graduation on May 27th in Chicago and May 28th in the suburbs (Lisle). Get your picture taken in a cap and gown, pick up a special graduation gift, and there will be fun activities for the whole family. Look for more details soon!

All Work and No Play There's more to life as a student beyond that computer, textbook, and classroom.

Everywhere you look, there’s a flyer trying to catch your attention, a text with the latest news, and an email asking you stop by an event. You’re a busy student, so why should you stop and take notice of the events and activities on campus?

Being a college student is such a special opportunity. Not only are you a sponge for new information, but are also gazing dreamily towards your professional future. No matter your age, being a student is exciting as you work hard and diligently towards a more knowledgeable and skilled you.

Thinking back to my college experience as a young undergrad, often the first memories that come to mind are the interesting people I met and the experiences I had. College is not only a place where you can build your skills and learn the content necessary to advance yourself professionally, it’s a place where you can experience pride. Pride in your achievements, pride in the opportunities to challenge yourself to experience new things, pride in the educational home you’ve chosen for yourself.

While I had a traditional college experience of living in the dorm, working on campus as an orientation leader, and changing my major half a dozen times I look back with strong emotions of pride. When I sit here writing this blog, I’m reflecting on a few of the fondest and proudest memories:

  • Being recognized for outstanding female leadership on campus
  • Matt, one of my closest friends started out as my RA
  • Serving as a campus sexual assault advocate
  • Learning the art of walking backwards while giving campus tours
  • Volunteering at a local women’s shelter

You may not realize it today, but the experiences you’re having will become the emotions you will experience when you reflect on your time here.  Some of the examples I shared are silly, but they demonstrate just how each interaction and each experience is an opportunity.

I challenge you to think about how you’ll look back on your time at NLU. There are many ways you can get involved. Join or start a student organization, become a Safe Zone ally, attend professional development workshops, participate in the National Honor Society of Leadership and Success, join us for a family friendly event, or volunteer on campus.

Do not miss out on the opportunities you have today to meet new people and experience new things, all in a journey of developing a greater you. After all, you’re already on that path; why not put a little icing on the cake?

Looking to experience more? Contact studentexperience@nl.edu.