How to Get Federal or State Student Financial Aid

July 18th, 2018

How to Get Federal or State Student Financial Aid?

State or federal student aid is the lifeline that supports a college degree for many students in the U.S. For example, according to the National Center for Education statistics, over 2 million college students relied on financial aid in the 2014-2015 school year.

Well, the college’s sticker price has been rising in the recent years, making accessing quality education more and more difficult for many young people. Fortunately, all students are eligible for at least one form of financial aid, so here’s how you can navigate this process and apply for all options.

Who Gets Student Financial Aid?

There are certain eligibility requirements that you must meet to get some type of financial aid. They include:

  • Proving the need for financial assistance (this sum is calculated by subtracting the amount of money your family can provide to pay for your education from the cost of attendance of the school you selected)
  • Showing that you’ve maintained satisfactory academic progress in college or another school
  • Being a U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen
  • Having a valid Social Security number
  • Providing your high school diploma or another state-recognized equivalent.

How to Apply for Federal Aid

To unlock your access to college financial aid, you have to complete a special form at the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) website.

Keep in mind that you must submit it before the FAFSA school year deadlines. The FAFSA form for the 2018-2019, for example, become available on October 1, 2017, and will be open until June 30, 2019.

The first step in applying is to create your FSA ID.

To do that, you have to visit the FSA website and follow the instructions that the site gives you. Be prepared to provide your personal information. The purpose of creating the ID is to confirm your identity and electronically sign your financial aid-related online documents.

The second step is to complete the FAFSA application. The site recommends to do it as fast as possible to beat the deadlines and make corrections in an error is discovered in the application.

Now that you’ve provided all data needed to be considered for student financial aid, you’ll receive a Student Aid Report, or SAR. This report includes all information from the application as well as your Expected Family Contribution (EFC), which is a number that shows your eligibility.

The school you applied to will receive your EFC and review to assess your eligibility (you’re only eligible for financial assistance if your EFC is less than the cost of attendance of the schools you listed in your FAFSA application).

If you’re wondering what your EFC is, you can use Quick EFC calculator from FinAid to prepare an approximation.

How to Apply for State Financial Aid

“In addition to the federal government, there are many local organizations that provide a wide range of grants, scholarships, and other types of aid,” says Michelle Ingram, a scholarship advisor at Essayhilfe.

To see your options, visit the site of the National Association of Student Financial Aid (NASFA) and Administrators, click on your state (or the state where a school is located), and the system will redirect you to the list of available funding options.

For example, see the list of available state and federal grants and scholarships in Texas that was generated by the NASFA’s site.

Tips for Getting College Financial Aid

  1. Meet the Deadlines

This tip has already been mentioned above, but we just cannot overstate the importance of meeting deadlines to get student financial aid. Most colleges in the U.S. have limited aid budgets, so when they distribute the money among those who applied, there simply won’t be enough funds to continue. This means that a late application is a bad idea.

  1. Contact a College Financial Aid Counselor

He or she can assess your chances for getting the aid and give you some valuable tips for filling out documents.

  1. Focus Your Effort

The process of searching and applying for student financial aid can be tiring a bit, so you have to focus your effort to achieve your goal. Do paperwork and all other things required, and don’t expect everything to be easy and smooth.

  1. Research

Some students miss great opportunities to get financial aid because they haven’t done their homework. For example, it’s a common misconception that part-time students aren’t eligible for federal financial aid. They are, so contact the college you’re interested in and find out what funding options are available for you if you want to attend part-time.

Over to You

As you get ready for college, keep in mind that there are many federal and state student financial aid options available for you. You just need to do your best and be ready to go the extra mile to get what you need to afford the tuition bill. Good luck!

 

Tom Jager is professional blogger. He works at Studhilfe.  He has degree in Law and English literature. Tom has written numerous articles/online journals. You can reach him at G+  or  Facebook.

How to Balance Work and College

July 17th, 2018

BY MELISSA BURNS

Students get jobs for different reasons: for some, it is the way to earn a bit of extra cash, others do it for experience, for still others it is a matter of survival. One thing, however, remains the same no matter what your purpose is – balancing work, college and other activities can be too much. Without some determined organization effort, some parts of your life are going to suffer from neglect. There are ways to get it all to work together – and here we will talk about some of them.

1.    Capitalize on Workplace and College Flexibility

Both school and business today are refreshingly flexible and open to negotiation. Talk to your boss about reduced hours or flextime. Discuss your schedule to find a variant that will satisfy both of you. Ask about opportunities like job sharing or deferred pay. Don’t be afraid to ask and make suggestions – a reasonable employer will be ready to listen, and you don’t want to work for an unreasonable one.

The same goes for colleges – many of them offer programs aimed at people with part- or full-time jobs.

2.    Get Organized

If you think that with work and college you have too much on your plate, it is not because you have too much to deal with or because you are inherently incapable of doing it. It is because you are disorganized.

Note your work and study hours. Set a schedule and commit to following it religiously for the rest of your stay in college. Make sure you get enough sleep, that your place for some rest is comfortable and that you stick to the same sleeping and waking hours throughout the week – this alone can seriously influence your energy levels and ability to deal with challenges. Don’t put your plans off until tomorrow because you are too tired – tomorrow you will be just as tired, and there will be even more work to take care of.

3.    Set Priorities

Decide what is really important for you and stick to this decision. If your goals are ambitious and you are physically incapable of doing absolutely everything you are supposed to do, choose what gives you most results and drop what does the least. Be ready to forgo not just less important work but fun activities as well. It doesn’t mean that you should do nothing but work and study, but you should be able to firmly choose in favor of things that bring results when it is necessary.

4.    Study and Work Smarter, not Harder

There are plenty of ways to use study and work time for mutual benefit. Work situation can be a basis for an MBA project. Inevitable breaks during work can be used for short study sessions. Record your lectures and listen to them during your commute. You may call it inconvenient now, but in fact, it just means using your time to the fullest. After you get used to it, you will never believe how you could have wasted so much time before.

5.    Avoid Time Sinks

Try finding a job in a location that will minimize your commuting time. Try writing down everything you do with times when you started and ended each activity accurate to five minutes. Do it for a few days, and you will be horrified by the amount of time you waste on things that should be avoided completely. Find out what your greatest time sinks are (Facebook? Gaming? Surfing the Internet? Find what is relevant in your case) and allocate limited time to them. Chances are when this time comes you won’t even want to engage in these activities.

Juggling work and college may look like a daunting, even impossible task; but trust us, millions of people do it, and you can do it too.

Melissa Burns graduated from the faculty of Journalism of Iowa State University. Nowadays she is an entrepreneur and independent journalist. Follow her @melissaaburns or contact at burns.melissaa@gmail.com

5 Most Common Time Management Mistakes Students Make

July 16th, 2018

BY DAVID GUTIERREZ

For most people college is the first time they acquire more or less complete freedom to do what they like with their time. Until then you live under control of your parents, teachers, and curriculum. In college, you are given not definite tasks but more of overarching goals and are allowed to pursue them as you see fit. Unfortunately, few of us learn any semblance of time management in high school, and given freedom tend to turn our lives into interchanging periods of slacking off and panicky sprints in an attempt to cram a term’s worth of textbooks in one night. Here we will cover the worst mistakes students do about controlling their time.

1.    They Don’t Have a Plan

Most students don’t have a plan beyond a list of assignments and deadlines by which they are supposed to be done. Many don’t even bother about this. Living in such a fashion simply calls for disaster: you will suddenly discover that you have three large assignments due tomorrow, that you’ve missed time to consult your tutor about something and run into all kinds of other problems.

You should always know what you are going to do today when the day starts. Ideally, you should have a good picture of your activities for a week or two ahead.

2.    They Pull All-Nighters before Exams

Science proves it time and again: pulling an all-nighter before a test or an exam is worse than useless. You will remember little of what you’ve tried to memorize, and your brain will work the next day sluggishly to boot. It is because of how our memory works: in order to hammer something into your grey cells and consistently find it to be still there when you look for it, you have to use spaced repetition: i.e., revising this information after gradually growing intervals. It may take a little organizing in the course of a semester and occupy more of your time, but it will ensure that you remember things when the test comes – and probably even after a couple of years. In other words, common sense plus healthy sleep beats all-nighters every time.

3.    Their Study Area Is a Mess

What does it have to do with time management? A lot, as it turns out. Having to study in a chaotic environment where you don’t know where everything is you not only waste time looking for what you need. You are easily distracted by the stuff that gets into your sight. You feel subconsciously reluctant to start studying because your environment is full of things that call for your attention.

Ideally, you shouldn’t have anything but the current object of your studies in front of you – this ensures maximum focus.

4.    They Don’t Know Their Most Productive Time

Each person is most and least productive during different periods of the day. Moreover, one can be more or less productive at different things during different times of day – what these periods are for you can only be discovered by trial and error. Try switching your schedule about – you may find that, for example, if you put your study hours before noon you manage to do twice as much in the same amount of time than when you do this work in the evening.

5.    They Don’t Set Priorities

We are not talking just about giving preference to studies over partying. 80 percent of results are achieved by 20 percent of effort. If you don’t have enough time to deal with your entire workload, concentrate your effort on what is really important and don’t try to do everything.

Avoid these blunders, and you find your college life much less stressful and more enjoyable.

David Gutierrez has worked in the field of web design since 2005. Right now he started learning Java in order to get second occupation. His professional interests defined major topics of his articles. David writes about new web design software, recently discovered professional tricks and also monitors the latest updates of the web development.

 

6 Tips for Students to Successfully Maneuver a Career Fair

July 13th, 2018

BY JANE HURST

 

Career fairs are a great way for you to find out what is available to you when you decide to join the work force. There are representatives from many companies on site to answer any questions you may have about a job you are interested in. Career fairs also offer the opportunity to explore many other jobs you may not have considered.  But before you go wading into the work pool, consider the following tips to help you make connections and get a good job.

 

  1. Find out what companies will be at the fair 

There is usually a list of what companies will be sending representatives to the career fair. When you get the list, look it over and mark what companies interest you. Look them up on line and do some research. Know what the companies stand for and what they may be looking for in an employee.

 

  1. Suit up

First impressions are very important, so you do not want to go to the career fair looking like you just woke up. Wear a suit, or dress pants and a dress shirt or skirt. Wearing a suit will help you feel more confident and will show your future employer that you care about their impressions of you. Your confidence will shine through when you speak to representatives.

 

  1. Practice 

Practice what you will say to your future employer. Practice your handshake. A firm handshake will send a strong signal to the representatives. Practice with your parents or friends. Know what you want to highlight about yourself and make sure it is concise and accurate.

 

  1. Turn off your phone 

People want to feel like they matter. These recruiters are at this fair to offer jobs for teens. They do not want to feel like their time is being wasted. A recruiter will think less of you if you keep checking your phone. They are not just paying attention to the person they are talking to. They will also be looking at the next person in line to see how they are handling the pressure of waiting their turn. You cannot make eye contact with a representative if your face is in your phone.

 

  1. Find your representatives

When you get to the fair, make sure you know where your prime representatives are located. Go and talk to them. Shake hands and tell them about yourself. Answer any questions they may have, and then be sure to get their business card. Do not discuss salary. Tell them, instead, how you will fit into their company. Let them know you have done your homework by asking them pointed questions about their company. The next day, write them a thank you email. Let them know you enjoyed meeting them and look forward to hearing from them.

 

  1. Look elsewhere

After you have targeted your first picks, look around the fair. There may be a business that you skipped over the first time that looks interesting. Be sure to stop by other booths and talk to more companies. The more you get your name out, the more networking you are accomplishing. And, one of the key steps to getting a job is networking.

 

If you take the time to prepare for a career fair, you will have many opportunities to network and get hired. Walk proudly and confidently. Talk to your representative and get to know them. Once you have gotten done with the fair, do not forget to write a quick note to all of the representatives you spoke to. The representatives will appreciate that you took the time to write to them and will be more likely to recommend your hiring.

 

Byline:

Jane Hurst has been working in education for over 5 years as a teacher. She loves sharing her knowledge with students, is fascinated about edtech and loves reading, a lot. Follow Jane on Twitter.

 

How To Launch A Business From Your College Dorm Room

July 12th, 2018

 

BY ADAM WITTY

College students with an entrepreneurial spirit may be eager for the day they can leave the confines of their cramped dorm rooms, move into a spacious office and launch the business of their dreams.

But why wait?

“There are plenty of examples of college students who were still living in their dorms when they started what became very successful businesses,” says Adam Witty, co-author with Rusty Shelton of Authority Marketing: How to Leverage 7 Pillars of Thought Leadership to Make Competition Irrelevant.

Just to name a few: Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook; Michael Dell of Dell; Evan Spiegel and Robert Murphy of Snapchat; and Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little of WordPress.

Witty, the founder and CEO of Advantage|ForbesBooks (www.advantagefamily.com), knows something about launching a business in the most meager surroundings.

It wasn’t a dorm room, but he did start his now multimillion-dollar company in 2005 in a spare bedroom of his house when he was just two years out of college. Confined by the four walls but not by his vision, Witty mapped out a plan and mission that would see him become the leader of a growing company.

Witty offers a few tips for college students who have been bitten by the entrepreneurial bug:

  • Find a mentor. A good mentor, such as a professor or local business person, can provide valuable advice, help with networking and perhaps even be the inspiration behind the business you launch. Witty’s mentor was Pat Williams, a motivational speaker and senior vice president of the NBA’s Orlando Magic. Williams told Witty that every motivational speaker needs a book, but most don’t have one. In cases where speakers did have a book, it was often self-published and of poor quality. It was Williams who suggested that Witty start a publishing company for people like him who could use the book as a marketing tool.
  • Think of yourself as a brand. College students are well aware of such brands as Nike, Netflix, Apple and Starbucks, among many others. They recognize and maybe even trust these brands, and naturally will think in terms of the corporate brand for whatever business they want to launch. But Witty says that beyond a company brand, it’s also valuable to promote your personal brand. “Regardless of what service or product you plan to offer, it’s important for you to build your visibility and credibility in your field,” he says. “This is especially true when you’re going up against established businesses that have years or decades head start on you in terms of brand awareness.” This may be a challenge for a college student, but by getting yourself and your name in front of as many people as possible, you will be on your way to building trust with your intended clientele.
  • Make use of social media. If you’re worried about how to pay for next semester’s textbooks, it’s unlikely you have a massive marketing budget. What you do have, though, are social media accounts that cost you nothing. Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram all can help you spread your message, build your authority and connect with potential customers or clients, Witty says.

Even before you begin, whether you’re starting your business in a dorm room or an office park, you will want to know how you will measure your success, Witty says. What metrics will you use? Will you set as a goal a certain number of leads each month? A certain number of sales or new clients?

“You have to know what success looks like and where you want to end up,” Witty says. “If you don’t, how will you know you’re happy with the results?”

 

About Adam Witty

Adam Witty, co-author with Rusty Shelton of Authority Marketing: How to Leverage 7 Pillars of Thought Leadership to Make Competition Irrelevant, is the CEO of Advantage|ForbesBooks (www.advantagefamily.com). Witty started Advantage in 2005 in a spare bedroom of his home. The company helps busy professionals become the authority in their field through publishing and marketing. In 2016, Advantage launched a partnership with Forbes to create ForbesBooks, a business book publisher for top business leaders. Witty is the author of seven books, and is also a sought-after speaker, teacher and consultant on marketing and business growth techniques for entrepreneurs and authors. He has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Investors Business Daily and USA Today, and has appeared on ABC and Fox.

4 Discounts Every College Student Should Be Using

July 11th, 2018

BY ALEX HASLAM

College is a great time for learning and personal growth. But college can also be expensive, so it’s important to look for ways to save money wherever possible while you’re in school. From clothing to entertainment and other perks, there are student discounts almost everywhere if you know where to look. Here are a few discounts to get you started:

  1. Tech

Technology is an integral part of learning in college, and major tech companies are aware of that. Big-box retailers like Best Buy often offer hefty discounts to college students. Apple, Dell, and other manufacturers also offer student discounts, helping make essential hardware like laptops, tablets, and accessories a bit more affordable. If you need pro software, Adobe, Microsoft, and other software companies do the same. As one of the best student discounts, Adobe offers as much as 60% off its Creative Cloud platform.

If you don’t need any special gear for school but just want a new phone, you can find some good deals for students in that arena as well. However, there’s a catch: many of these promotions run only during the back-to-school season, from around July through September, so keep that in mind and plan your purchases accordingly.

  1. Clothing

If you’re all stocked up on tech but want to liven up your wardrobe, a number of big brands and retailers offer student discounts. A lot of first-time college students find that the clothes they wore in high school are not up to par with professional dress standards in college, so buying some nicer clothes to stay looking put-together can help you stay at the top of the pack in school. To help achieve this goal, Banana Republic offers a 15% discount to both students and teachers, Forever 21 offers 10% off online orders, and J.Crew offers 15% off in store as well.

That’s just a small sample, though. You should always ask at checkout if a clothing store offers student discounts.

  1. Streaming Music and TV

If you need some music while you study (or relax between sessions), you can find student discounts on several popular streaming music services. Both Spotify and Apple Music offer student prices of $4.99 per month. That price gets you all the music you could want—you’d be hard-pressed to find a song, artist, or album that isn’t on one of these services.

Another perk: the Spotify student deal also includes Hulu at no additional charge. Sadly, popular streaming service Netflix doesn’t offer any discounts for students, but if rival Hulu doesn’t work for you, or if you prefer watching shows as they air, it’s worth looking into your cable provider to get a discount (or at least a cheaper package).

  1. Movie Theaters

Catching a movie can help you unwind from a tough week of classes and workdays. Many movie theaters offer student discounts, although the exact amount of the discount—and whether an individual theater offers it at all—varies by location.

Regal Cinemas provides instructions to find out if a local theater offers student discounts, while Cinemark allows you to input your zip code to see nearby theaters with discounts. And although AMC doesn’t have an online tool for checking local theaters, many AMC theaters do give student discounts, so it’s worth asking the next time you go.

Whether it’s your first year of college or your last, you have many student discounts at your disposal. Don’t wait to use them—you’ll miss them when they’re gone!

Alex Haslam graduated from the David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah in 2017. Today she is a freelance writer who focuses on consumer technology, entertainment, and higher education.

Advice From Admissions Officers on Application Essay Topics

July 10th, 2018

From ECS

College Admissions

Admissions Officers Discuss 3 Common Essay Topics
A college essay topic doesn’t have to be unique to be a good choice for applicants, experts say. (U.S. News & World Report, July 9)

Tips And Strategies For The Effective Essay Writing

July 10th, 2018

BY STEVEN LARUE

Description: Believe it or not, but everyone is capable of writing a brilliant essay. It is just important to be aware of the most effective practical tips that can help you write an essay that would impress not only your teacher but you as well. Here are the best tricks that will make your essay writing as powerful and passionate as possible.

Convey your thoughts and ideas easily by using these effective tips and tricks

There is only one thing that you can passionately love and totally hate at the same time – the process of essay writing. But why can it be so painful? Why do we usually feel like squeezed lemons after completing the task that seemed to be so interesting and captivating? Maybe we are just doing something wrong. It`s time to admit it. Really, there is a plenty of useful techniques we can take advantage of to make our essay writing unbelievable pleasant. You don`t believe it? Just take a look at them!

Choose the topic you are excited about

Never write about something that bores you. Do not be afraid to ask your teacher to change your topic because it doesn`t inspire you. If you are asked to highlight one aspect of the book, then choose something that is really important and interesting for you even if others may say that your writing won`t make any sense. Just show the conflict between different ideas and prove that your opinion is correct. It is a great mistake to write what your teacher wants to read. You are a unique person who holds a unique perspective.

Use the five sentence trick

This trick will help you create a solid basis for your essay. Write five original sentences that will be the skeleton of your paper. It is one of the best ways to organize your thoughts when you feel overwhelmed. Then everything`s going to go much, much smoother. It is also useful to jot down any ideas that suddenly spring to your mind. So, don`t forget to have a notebook with you at all times.

 Give your mind a rest

Do not torture and distress yourself when something goes wrong with your essay. Sometimes it can be really difficult to make yourself to come up with something new. Our brain wasn`t made for a marathon. So, it is just absurdly to sit at a desk all day when inspiration doesn`t strike. In such cases you should go outside or just look out a window, take a nap, exercise and even meditate. It is said that writers get some of their most beautiful ideas when they are not working.

Communicate clearly by using effective and accurate vocabulary

Do not ever stop working on your vocabulary. It is the first thing that shows your intelligence. A good writer should clearly understand the concept of language economy. In fact, we can say an extraordinary amount in very few well chosen words. You should take into account that not all long essays are good essays. Just form and keep a new habit – expanding your vocabulary on a daily basis. Use a thesaurus, read widely, start a vocabulary book and try to learn roots, prefixes and suffixes.

Sound smarter in your writing

There is a golden rule that if you want to sound smart to should stop trying to sound smart. The phrase “the simplicity of genius” shouldn`t slip your mind when you are writing. Brilliant essay is a simple essay. You should always have something to say to your readers, otherwise all your words will sound meaningless. Be specific and choose simple words. Write short sentences that are easier to read and understand. Eliminate words that add nothing to the meaning of your sentences. Make the tone of voice you use for writing an essay engaging and interesting. And just don`t ruin the whole essay by using poor grammar. Check the rules if needed.

Let it marinate

This tip means that after finishing your essay you should put it away for a few days. As the practice shows, a new inspiration will definitely come to you and you will be able to add something to your essay and make it even better. What is more, it will give you the opportunity to notice those mistakes that stayed out of your sight before.

 

 

The Best Low-Cost Business Ideas for Students

July 8th, 2018

BY SYLVIA KOHL

Want to earn some extra cash to support yourself throughout college and acquire experience on the way? If so, why not start your own business? If so many students find time and energy to drudge away at part-time (and sometimes even full-time) jobs while in college, is running your own small business all that different? One thing is certain – in terms of money, experience and just plain fun, it can be much more attractive than working for somebody. Here are a few interesting ideas for you to try. They don’t require much startup budget and won’t take up all your time:

1.    Residential Cleaning Service

You can start your own cleaning business by just posting an ad online. It may start a little slow, but once you get a couple of clients and demonstrate that you can be trusted, new customers will begin cropping up through referrals alone. Cleaning service is all about trust, and no amount of advertising will replace personal referrals from those who are grateful to you. In time, you can recruit other students to join you, turning this into a full-fledged business. If you don’t believe it can be done, check out Student Maid – currently among the biggest independently owned cleaning services in Florida, it was started by a single person exactly the way we’ve described.

2.    Dropshipping Store

Drop shipping is an arrangement in which you are responsible for sales, and the third party (a store or a manufacturer) stores the inventory and ships products to the client. In its simplest form, it works like this: you start an online store, but when somebody buys something, it is the supplier who fulfills the order. The only things you have to do is ensure that sales keep flowing and do your own customer service. You may deal with a single supplier or sell different groups of products aimed at different categories of clients. Stuff you can sell this way varies from mattresses to jewelry and from clothing to perfume, so don’t limit your fantasy.

3.    Making Chatbots

Chatbot industry has reached the point when almost any business worth anything either needs one or believes it does. This means that demand currently is almost unlimited, and anybody willing to work in this field can find clients if he asks for a reasonable price. What to do if you don’t have any programming experience? In fact, you don’t need it. You can successfully build chatbots with zero knowledge of coding – all you have to do is read how they work, choose a platform and start working.

4.    Selling Digital Products of Courses

The good thing about digital products is that once they are created, you don’t have to spend nearly as much time on them as on any other type of work. What can you sell? Anything you know a lot about. Digital products are usually based on personal knowledge or talents. If you have any skill or hobby, you can teach somebody or tell somebody about, and you can potentially create a sellable product out of it.

5.    Tutoring

If you are currently in college, you are likely to know more about some academic subjects than most people do. Even if you don’t consider your level of knowledge to be anything special, remember that there are always those who struggle with the things you believe to be easy. There are a lot of opportunities to advertise your services in college, so why not try it? There will always be a demand for good tutors.

Starting your own independent business, even if it is very small, can be incredibly rewarding. It will also give you the necessary experience that can be used later – and the earlier you start out, the better.

Sylvia Kohl is an IT teacher with more than 8 years of professional experience. Her main spheres of interest are e-education and she convinced that learning process doesn’t stop after years in school and university.

 

 

Why college doesn’t have to be stress-inducing swamp

July 6th, 2018

BY ANTON LUCANUS

 All over the world, going to university or college is a rite of passage for millions of students each year. There are a lot of moving pieces that shift and switch when students uproot their lives and go to university or college. No matter how well suited an individual thinks they are for life as a university student, there will be at least one point in time where they feel the pressure, where they start to crack. Learning to balance and give enough to studying, working, loved ones, and time alone (along with all the other spinning wheels and cogs that turn up) is so incredibly important. Whether it is something as simple as moving into one’s dorm and deciding which mattress for college students best fits their needs (and budget), or something more complex like struggling to keep their health in check while committing time to studies, balance is key.

 

As with everything in life, studying moves along a little easier when one knows the value and actively practices balancing the different aspects of life as a student. No matter how much a student prepares and organises for this drastic lifestyle change, there will inevitably be bumps along the way – that is unavoidable. It is also how we learn. Take a step back, the bumps in the road in stride, and everything else will more than likely fall into place. And if it doesn’t…it will probably make for a good story one day.

 

For a lot of college students, going to school is the first time that they have had financial independence – handling money becomes more of a responsibility and less of a novelty. It also becomes an absolute necessity if one is to survive live as a student. While a lot of students live on campus or move into their own place when they go to university or college, there are also students that prefer to live at home and commute into campus (or even study online, effectively taking the commute out of the equation). If a student has moved into their own plus they are rendered entirely responsible for their finances. Others still live at home but previously had more free time to work more – the cull to leftover time away from studying can be substantial, so students must learn to handle their finances responsibly and diligently.

 

One of the best lessons that anyone can learn before even going into university is that, despite what everyone tries to tell you, professors are not the enemy. Some students feel like their educators are on a power trip and while sometimes this can certainly appear to be the case, most your professors genuinely just want to help their pupils.

 

If students communicate, get their assessments done in time, and actually show up to classes (there is nothing worse than getting to the end of the semester feeling like you smashed it, and then failing because you did not attend enough classes to get the attendance marks to pull you over the line), chances are that their professors will not only learn their name over time, but treat them kindly in return. If students are lucky enough, their professors and tutors might even have some contacts in the industry if students are interested in taking on a paid placement during their studies. Paid placements can be tremendously useful once students graduate, so if a student has the time and energy to commit to an additional facet of their studies, it is advantageous to do so.

 

Another thing to note with educators is that they are obviously there to help students academically, but they are also more often than not open to helping their students with health concerns, whether it be agreeing to extend an assessment deadline by a few days or taking the time outside of the classroom to set up a meeting during office hours to answer any questions their students may have. Your mental health must be a priority always, but this is especially true when you are a student. Do not (repeat: do not) skim on taking care of yourself in all aspects of your health just to push your grades up by a few marks. To be able to succeed academically, a student must be able to take care of themselves first and foremost – no one produces their best work when they are off their game.

 

University and college are known for being not only places of esteemed, higher education, but breeding grounds for stress, anxiety, and general unease. With so many moving pieces constantly in motion, it is inevitable that the wheels fall off even the most well-oiled machines sometimes. Nobody will get through their years as a university student without being tested in some way or another. The key to getting through the stress-filled haze and out the other side is hard work and patience. As Robert Frost said, “the only way out is through”. Fight for your right and your place to educate yourself – in a world that is constantly being trailed and tested, the world needs more fighters. Be one of them – starting now.

 

Byline – Anton Lucanus is the Director of Neliti. During his college years, he maintained a perfect GPA, was published in a top cancer journal, and received many of his country’s most prestigious undergraduate scholarships. Anton writes for The College Puzzle as a means to guide current students to achieve personal and educational fulfilment during college life. You can contact Anton via email at antonlucanus@gmail.com