Posts published in September, 2016

How to Manage Money in College: Effective Solutions


Contrary to a popular belief, it’s not only economists who have to learn all the ins and outs of money management. Being aware and responsible with your funds is the basis of financial success, and you should start learning all about this from a young age. This guide on how to manage money in college and overview of the tools that can help you will help you make wise financial decisions from the very start of your independent life.

How to Manage Money in College: Step-by-Step

There are a variety of guides on student money management and they usually boil down to:

  1. Create a budget.
  2. Use student privileges such as special discounts.
  3. Apply for scholarships or grants if possible.
  4. Get a part-time job to pay for extra expenses.
  5. Plan large expenses in advance.
  6. Look for discounts and special offers to help you save money.
  7. Pay your bills on time to avoid the accumulation of debts and paying extra charges.

The great news for those who learn how to manage money in college today is that there are a variety of solutions to help you with all the tasks mentioned above. The most effective of them are:

Mint for Budgeting

Creating a budget is essential for a student as it allows you to manage your funds most effectively. The question is how do you do this?

Mint is an app that makes budgeting truly easy. You just need to connect it to your bank and it will provide you with effective prompts on how to create an efficient budget. This app is considered to be one of the best among its class and it’s one of the most secure solutions available. It uses the same security as banks and will alert you to any unusual charges.

Due for Business Payments Management

If you are like the thousands of students who start making extra money by building a business right from college, Due is going to be your best helper when it comes to managing online payments. This solution is extra efficient and has the transaction fee of only 2.7%, both for domestic and international credit cards.

Due allows you to keep track of all invoices and pending payments, which is a huge help for freelancers. The solution is universally effective for any kind of business. It can help you avoid using complex accounting and billing software.

Shopkick for Smart Shopping

No ‘how to manage money in college’ guide can go without the advice to use any advantage to get the best deal on every product. Shopkick is the app that allows you to do this. It will help you find the best deals from a variety of stores as well as earn points when buying. The points can be transformed to gift cards that will save you money in the future.

RetailMeNot for Coupons

RetailMeNot is another money-saving app that provides you with the best coupons for any kind of store, including popular restaurants. Finding the deals is easy and you just need to show the coupon on your smartphone screen when paying to get the desired discount. You can discover coupons on the go as the app will provide you with alerts on deals in your area.

Sylvia Kohl is an IT teacher with more than 7 years of professional experience. Her main spheres of interest are e-education and beta-testing. This writer chose news about the increasing role of IT usage in colleges and schools as the most common topic for her articles.




Tips to Prepare Your After-College Resume

By Patrick Cole

It can be intimidating preparing your resume after college, particularly if you’ve solely focused on going to school and don’t have a great deal of work experience. What the heck are you supposed to put on your resume? How can you make yourself look like somebody that people will actually want to hire?

You’ll be glad to hear, it is actually possible. How do you do that? Read on.

You only need a page and a goal

The first thing to realize is that you only need to fill one page. The best resumes don’t go past this. This means that it can often be easier to make a good, cohesive and interesting resume when you’re fresh out of college than when you’ve been working for a while.

Just make sure that it’s precise. Don’t put vague comments about wanting ‘a well-paying entry level position’. Everybody wants that and putting it in is, therefore, wasting valuable seconds you’ve got to impress your audience, and as you only get a few, that’s not a good idea.

There are two forms of resumes

The more traditional graduate format is to have the objective at the top and then to follow it with your educational background and the relevant coursework that you’ve done. Yes, that’s right, it’s perfectly alright to include course work on your resume. It might not be the same as hands-on experience, but it is still relevant information for an employer to know.

From there you go on to your experience and your skills.

The other way that you can design your resume is to start with your training and your skills at the top, as these are the most relevant in many ways for many employers, which is followed by education, experience and finally your employment history (if you’ve got any).

List your school, your degree, the year you completed it and honors

What about your GPA? You only want to include that if it’s high. If it isn’t particularly splendid, you should probably leave it out. Sure, some HR people will read between the lines that your GPA wasn’t particularly splendid, but then that’s better than having all of them read it, don’t you think?

So how high should it be before you can include it? There is some disagreement about that. Some say that you can already put it in at a 3.0. Others disagree and think you should only include it if it is 3.8 or higher. And when there is disagreement, you’re going to have with your gut. Here is some more information about how long your GPA should be on your resume for.

Make sure that the courses you include on your resume are relevant to the position you’re applying for!

Cast what work experience you have in the best light

Worked as a burger flipper one summer? That can still be a useful thing to include on your resume, particularly if you can cast it the right way. Maybe you get promoted quickly, maybe you learned some very valuable life skills, or maybe it’s that you really appreciated how a large team can work together.

If you can recast your simple job in this light and make it clear that you learned things that are relevant to what you were doing, or if you can get the attention of the HR person so that they sit up and take note, then it can be useful to include. Sure, it might not add that much weight on its own, but it’s the whole picture that matters and a well-described menial job can add real color to your story.

Don’t neglect your extra-curricular activities

Again, these might not be enough on their own to convince anybody to have you over for an interview, but that’s not the point. The point is that it becomes part of the marketing package that is your resume. If you were part of the chess club, learned to program, or acted in the theater, that can be worth including for some jobs, as just because you didn’t get paid, doesn’t mean you didn’t learn anything.

Similarly, if you volunteered, counseled or did social outreach, including those can make it clear to employers that you’ve actually got some of the soft skills that they are often looking for in new graduates.

Don’t overload your resume

‘Great’, some of you are now thinking, ‘I’m going to throw everything and the kitchen sink onto that page now!’ Don’t do that. It is important to realize that you don’t just need words on your resume. You also need white space.

For that reason, make certain that your resume is easy to read, has bullet points, is correctly laid out and has clearly defined sections so that people can easily find what they’re looking for. In that way, your audience will find it easier to digest, which will make them more favorably disposed towards you.

Don’t neglect the little things

When you’ve written up your resume go over it and go over it again. An extra space, a strange line jump, or a grammar mistake can cost you an interview. That sounds harsh, but it’s true. You have to remember that most HR people are going through hundreds of resumes for positions.

For that reason, many will use any excuse to whittle down a pile. A sloppy layout and poor grammar is exactly that kind of an excuse.

Yes, that sounds like a lot to digest. Don’t worry, though, there are many people out there to help you. You can keep reading these kinds of posts, or consider using a service. There are numbers expert websites out there to give you a helping hand and make certain your resume sticks out head and shoulder above the competition.

After that, you’ll just have to kill it at the interview. But that’s another story.

About the author: Patrick Cole is a passionate writer and contributor to several websites. Loves to write about education and self-realization. You can connect with him via Twitter


Colleges Lag In Improving Student Outcomes

Report finds initiative fatigue and a lack of accountability, among other obstacles, are preventing colleges from improving student outcomes.


Carl Straumsheim, InsideHigher Education

Academic leaders say all the other colleges and universities out there are responsible for why higher education is delivering less value than it did 10 years ago, an upcoming report found. Their own institutions, they say, are doing even better than before.

The report, based on a survey of 218 high-ranking administrators — including presidents, vice presidents and provosts — at private and public two- and four-year institutions, explores the barriers preventing colleges from improving student outcomes. The report, which will be published Sept. 29, suggests many colleges are struggling with a “bystander effect”: everyone is responsible for improving student outcomes, so no one takes ownership of it.

Eduventures, the Boston-based research and consulting firm behind the report, gave Inside Higher Ed an advance look at the findings. James Wiley, a principal analyst at the firm who wrote the report, said the survey responses suggest a “misalignment” between how college leaders view the work taking place at their own institutions compared to higher education more broadly.

“The overarching takeaway is that it’s very unclear what ‘student outcomes’ means,” Wiley said in an interview. Without a clear sense of which metrics they should be looking at to determine how students are performing, colleges are creating uncertainty around what technology could benefit students and who should be responsible for managing that work, he said.

The report identifies five obstacles hindering colleges from improving student outcomes, ranging from a lack of focus on teaching quality to organizational barriers. But the attitudes expressed by college leaders also raise questions about whether they feel the push to improve higher education should start on their own campuses.

About half of respondents said the value offered by their own institutions is much or somewhat higher than a decade ago. Another quarter said it is roughly the same. Asked to rate higher education as a whole, about three-quarters of respondents said the value has decreased or remained the same.

The split in some ways resembles the difference between the disapproval voters feel about Congress versus the high marks they give their own representative, Wiley said.

The same finger-pointing emerges when looking at who college leaders say should be most directly responsible for student outcomes. The No. 1 answer, selected by more than 40 percent of respondents: everyone. Less than a quarter of respondents each picked a more specific answer, such as a provost or a vice president of student success.

Wiley said he was surprised that nearly half of the senior academic leaders surveyed couldn’t point to a single individual or office in charge of improving student outcomes. “If you don’t own it, then who does?” he said.

The lack of clearly defined leadership roles may stem from the fact that many academic leaders feel their institutions are stretched too thin. The top organizational barrier preventing colleges from improving student outcomes, according to 63 percent of respondents, is initiative fatigue — that they simply have too many pilots and projects going on to focus. Budget constraints placed second on the list, with slightly less than half of respondents naming it their top barrier.

“What I’m sensing is a bit of a vacuum,” Wiley said. “Leaders are pulled in all directions, and if there’s no real ownership or space to do anything, then what fills that void?”

Gunnar Counselman, CEO of the ed-tech company Fidelis, who worked with Eduventures on the report, said he often hears about initiative fatigue from his customers. The company supplies learning relationship management software to colleges.

“Higher education is drowning in initiatives right now,” Counselman said in an interview. “What’s happened in the last 10-12 years is that higher ed has recognized that what got them here is not going to get them there. They’ve recognized that they’re going to have to change, and as a result of that … they’ve put a dozen initiatives in the water.”

College leaders are also uncertain about what kind of technology they need to invest in to improve student outcomes, the survey found. A majority of respondents (56 percent) said their top priority for investing in technology is to boost admissions and enrollment, compared to about one-third (37 percent) who picked improving student outcomes.

College Study Tricks: Best Productivity Software

By Melissa Burns

Being a student is challenging at times, but with the right tools, you’ll be able to succeed in your studies. You’ll also have enough time to enjoy an active social life. You might even add some small business to your schedule in order to get a good start in life before leaving college. Relying on the best productivity software for students will allow you to achieve the best results in everything you do.

The students of today have a great selection of digital tools that can help them with any task, from project organization to essay writing. The most efficient of them are:


Asana is a type of collaboration software aimed to help teams manage their workflows more efficiently. It’s completely indispensable for group projects on any subject. The app offers attractive design and extremely high functionality.

It enables you to create and manage projects with any number of members, providing you with a responsive and fast interactive environment. Asana is one of the best productivity software solutions for students because it helps every member of the team do their best. It also gives you a chance to see where the sum of your efforts is going in ‘real time’.

Panorama Necto

Panorama software is an intelligence tool perfect for processing analytics and developing insights that will move your business forward. If you are assigned with developing a business plan, there is no better tool for you than Necto.

This software provides you with extremely efficient dashboards and infographics. They are easy to both use and understand. You can use them to assess the level of performance and see which areas of your project require improvement.

Panorama software is extremely versatile, so students can use it in a variety of ways in order to increase their overall productivity.

Dragon NaturallySpeaking

Unlike many other kinds of best productivity software for students, this solution isn’t free. However, it’s the most efficient dictation software that currently exists. It can be a huge help for a student who is always hard pressed on time, because it makes typing redundant.

Just imagine being able to dictate not only your notes but essays, emails, and any other messages. It also allows you to navigate the Web and perform some of the computer tasks through voice management.

Dragon NaturallySpeaking is a fantastic helper for those who struggle with controlling computer by hand or just want to save more time. The price bites, and the software is only available for Windows now, but the benefits it offers are worth the investment.


Zotero is a must-have tool for students and researchers of any kind because it allows you to manage, track, and share citations online. It’s a web browser plugin that would work with Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, and Google Chrome. You can integrate the app into your word processing software to make introducing online citations into your research a simple task.

The library of citation styles supported by Zotero is extensive, so you’ll be covered for almost any project imaginable. The extreme flexibility and simplicity make it a great help for any student.


This is the best productivity software for students who have an issue with distractions. It’s a very common problem today, and Stayfocusd will ensure that your grades don’t suffer from lack of discipline.

This URL blocker will cut off all time-wasting websites and services to keep you focused on the task. The app is highly customizable, so you can adjust it to your personal schedule to ensure the top level of personal productivity.

Best Productivity Software to Use in 2017

Each of these tools can help you achieve better results in class and life as a whole. Use these solutions to manage various aspects of your college life and work out your personal winner scheme of digital task management.

Melissa Burns graduated from the faculty of Journalism of Iowa State University in 2008. Nowadays she  is an entrepreneur and independent journalist. Her sphere of interests includes startups, information technologies and how these ones may be implemented.

Promising Programs Linking k-12 And Colleges Growing


Programs offering financial assistance backed up by support services to encourage college attendance and completion  — sometimes extending the offer when students are still in elementary school, or even earlier  — are proliferating at a rapid pace in California.

At least 23 California community colleges are now offering “College Promise” initiatives, including 13 that have begun or will begin in the current year alone, according to a new report by WestEd.

That’s still only about 1 in 5 of California’s 113 community colleges.

But leaders in both K-12 and higher education are hailing the College Promise approach as among the most promising strategies to increase college-going rates.

At a gathering of hundreds of public school and community college representatives in Oakland last week, Los Angeles Community College District Chancellor Francisco Rodriguez said the College Promise initiative “could be the most comprehensive and effective student completion strategy that our districts can offer.”

In the audience were 66 community college presidents. Also there was Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, who said that just as public-private partnerships are important, so are the “public-public partnerships” that K-12 schools and community colleges have established to form College Promise programs. “This is one of the most exciting things happening in California,” he said.

Programs vary considerably, in the extent of both the financial assistance and the accompanying support services they provide.

In Mendocino, for example, the “Adopt a Fifth Grader” program offers low-income 5th-grade students a check for $25 and a certificate awarding them a $1,000 scholarship if they eventually make it to Mendocino College.

Oakland Promise’s new “cradle to career” initiative goes even further. The goal is to triple the number of Oakland students graduating from college.  Starting next year, the program will  deposit $500 in a college savings account for 250 low-income children before they reach kindergarten, and up to $500 in financial incentives to families to ensure children are prepared for kindergarten,  Such accounts will eventually be offered to all low-income children.

In addition, by 2020 a $100 college savings account will be opened for all kindergarten students regardless of income, with an opportunity for additional support, unless parents choose not to participate.  This part of the program has just been launched at 18 elementary schools this fall.

Along the way, students will be able to college and career planning advice and other support from “Future Centers” being established at middle and high schools.

As part of a larger scholarship program, the Peralta Community College District has offered free tuition and fees for the first semester to all Oakland students, and Cal State East Bay has  guaranteed enrollment to any Oakland public school student that meets its eligibility requirements.

One of the most established programs is Long Beach College Promise, which began in 2008. It provides a tuition-free year to any Long Beach Unified graduate who attends Long Beach City College, and guaranteed admission to Cal State Long Beach if they complete a minimum number of college prep or other transfer requirements. Middle school students sign a pledge to take challenging courses, explore career options, and develop strong study skills.

The model got a boost when President Barack Obama, in his 2015 State of the Union speech, drew attention to his America’s College Promise proposal, which would allow students to attend community colleges tuition-free for two years.

Not surprisingly, the Republican-controlled Congress never appropriated any money for the program. But the concept is being promoted nationally by the College Promise Campaign, now headed by Martha Kanter, the former longtime chancellor of the Foothill-De Anza Community College District in Cupertino.

California’s role, and that of some other large states, is especially important to the expansion of the program, said Kanter at the Oakland gathering last week. “If we can capture California’s Promise, New York’s Promise, Texas’ Promise and Florida’s Promise we’d have half the community colleges in the country really getting more students to complete their college degrees and to move on to transfer to universities,” she said.

But California seems to offer more fertile ground than arguably any other state for these programs. That’s because fees at California’s community colleges are already the lowest in the country — $46 per credit, or just over $1,100 for a full-time student per year. That is about $2,000 less than the national average. On top of that, most students already qualify to have fees waived through what is called the Board of Governors fee waiver for those from low-income backgrounds.

Thus offering free tuition is far less of a stretch in California than in many states where community college fees can run into the thousands of dollars.

Eloy Ortiz Oakley, the recently appointed chancellor of the California Community Colleges who is also a member of the UC Board of Regents, said that a key to the impact of College Promise programs is not so much the prospect of free tuition, but that it changes mindsets among students and families that get them on the path to college.

“The more people know about the College Promise program, the more the kids and the families see themselves as college-going,” said Oakley, who in his former role as superintendent-president of Long Beach City College was one of the founders of the Long Beach program.

Financial support is just “a piece of the program,” he said. Just being aware that going to college is a feasible option for many families will make a significant difference, he said.

Because programs are so varied, and many are new, research on their effectiveness is spotty. “Despite the enthusiasm and positive anecdotes surrounding the promise program model, there’s little research showing how effective and sustainable the fairly new movement is over the long term,” a 2015 article in Inside Higher Ed asserted. One challenge is that it will take years to tell whether programs offering incentives to students in the early grades, or at birth, as is the case in Oakland, will eventually translate into college success.

According to a review in March by the National College Access Network, the available literature on College Promise programs that promote early awareness of college costs and opportunities “can be an effective strategy for increasing college access and success.” But it cautioned that “early awareness must be viewed as the first step in a series of student outreach and support activities through the educational journey.”

A five-year assessment of the Long Beach program showed that the percentage of Long Beach Unified students enrolled at Cal State Long Beach increased by 43 percent in the five years after the inception of the program in 2008. Similarly, many more students completed college-level math and English courses when they got to Long Beach City College.

Mary Rauner, a senior research associate at the Regional Educational Laboratory West at WestEd, conceded that “we don’t have strong evidence yet about the impact” of College Promise programs, and that there is a need for more rigorous research to document their long-term outcomes.

But she said that “we do know that in programs that have been around for some time, there has been improvement in college-going and persistence rates.” “Persistence” typically refers to the percentage of students who return to college in their second year.

One major challenge, Rauner said, is ensuring there is funding to sustain College Promise programs over time. But, she said, “We have already made a strong start in California. With the fee waiver, we are primed to grow very quickly.”

Louis Freedberg is the executive director of EdSource.

5 New Tech Solutions To Enhance Old Academic Devices

By Sylvia Kohl

Modern fashionable devices have replaced many outdated things that saved our academic life in the past. For example, when was the last time someone used a sliding ruler? Or how many of your classmates use a physical day planner instead of a calendar app on their phone? And yet, there are many things that may seem obsolete to some, but could actually help you get ahead in the modern era.

The point is that every student still can use things like television, radio, lecture notes done in hand, and other outdated approaches to succeed with both educational performance and after-class activities.

  1. Television & CRT Televisions

With Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Prime rising to prominence, it’s becoming less common for students to watch traditional network, dish, or cable TV. However, the value of television is underestimated by many young people. As the University of Michigan Health System reports, children still spend about 28 hours per week watching television. This way, they unintentionally learn different narrative structures, improve their reading speed, get in touch with world’s cultures, and more. One more important benefit of this activity is a non-fiction educational viewing. A great share of programming is developed to achieve teaching goals. “Sesame Street” might be a good example. We can find a lot of programs dedicated to such disciplines as:

  • History
  • Astronomy
  • Biology
  • Mathematics
  • Humanities
  • Mechanics

As for the CRT televisions, they might be a better choice for students thanks to their low price, ability to handle multiple resolutions, and display color more accurately. If a student does not want to use CRT television or plasma to watch TV, he or she can apply online tools like Dish Network or DirecTV.

  1. Handwritten notes

Thanks to laptops and tablets, it seems like there is no need to waste your time on hand-made lecture notes anymore. There is always an opportunity for each student to take pictures of the slides or other materials with the help of even the most primitive smartphone or laptop. It is faster. It may look more comfortable. At the same time, you will spend the same time in class taking notes.

Even though typing your notes may seem like it has an advantage, writing them out is still recommended. Psychologists say that hand-written notes stimulate the critical thinking and memory-making parts of students’ brains. This is because once you’ve seen the text and put it on your paper, you have repeated it twice. This piece of information is much more likely to remain in your memory for a while.

  1. Local storage

Most advanced computer users today prefer to store all necessary information on the web. I often hear students saying that you should save all data in the cloud. They really underestimate the value of the premise itself. The advantage of cloud is having access to the files with important lectures and assignments anywhere. In addition, the files are backed up accurately.

At the same time, there is no warranty that nothing will go wrong. You cannot be sure about external things as you have no control over them. It is better to make a copy of each important file on local storage. Internet connection may drop anytime, or could be spotty and slow depending on location. Viewing your files from the local storage does not require Internet usage. By the way, floppy discs are helpful for the same reason.

  1. Software and programs

In the age of rapid technological progress, we all have an idea of how to make the process of learning more fun. A lot of online educational tools and software may assist students in memorizing the material better. When it comes to choosing between old and new programs or software, simply compare old and new Windows. It’s like evaluating the benefits of watching television. Older versions of Windows are much more comfortable thanks to familiar navigation and interface. The only risk is a disappearing support for Windows 7 and XP. Students should not also ignore old good Linux in case they prefer to keep away from viruses.

  1. Portable media players

I still remember my cheap Korean T.Sonic with 8Gb of memory. It was awesome. Nothing could break it apart unlike a couple of my smartphones. Today, the portable media player is thought of as an obsolete thing. Windows and Android phones all possess a built-in Zune, so many students may wonder why in the world they may need an old buddy. Those who use media players report their capacity and ability to be connected to a TV. In addition, battery consumption is far less than modern devices have. You’ll be able to listen to the favorite music or lecture notes at any time and everywhere.

Sylvia Kohl is an IT teacher with more than 7 years of professional experience. Her main spheres of interest are e-education and beta-testing. This writer chose news about the increasing role of IT usage in colleges and schools as the most common topic for her articles.


How to Feel at Home in Your College Dorm

Oksana Sbitneva

One of the most widespread problems students encounter immediately after going to college is, however mundane and boring it may sound, homesickness. Getting far away from one’s habitual environment, probably for the first time in one’s life, turns out to be a much harder and more complicated ordeal than most would-be students want to believe. Nevertheless, it is true, and everything that helps battle it is a godsend. So, what can you do to make your college dorm more homey? Let’s find out.

1.    Turn Old Magazines into Wall Art

If you feel depressed by stark naked walls of your new room, a quick and dirty way to rectify this flaw is to go through your old magazines, cut out the pages that strike your fancy and attach them to the walls in as spectacular a fashion as you can manage. Without going to any great expense, it will immediately render your dorm a much more personalized and homey atmosphere.

2.    Throw Pillows

Students are usually given a fair amount of freedom in how they want to decorate their dorm rooms – which means that in most cases the only opposition you will have to deal with is going to come from your roommate. Try to recruit them to your cause, then, and turn your room into something that will feel like home for the both of you. Throw pillows are a good way to start – they are relatively simple to make on your own, immediately lend the room a cozy feel and can be made to create any style you want.

3.    Add Photos

Photos of your family, friends and loved ones are about as personal as one can get. Decorate your desk and walls around it with them, and you will immediately get a charge of energy whenever you glance at them while you are reading or studying for exams.

4.    Get Comfortable

You will never feel at home anywhere where you are physically uncomfortable. So make sure you are comfortable wherever you go! Make special effort to customize your sleeping space so that it is a just right combination of hard and soft. Place a rug near the bed – stepping on it in the morning can make all the difference between an institutional feeling and that of your old home. Go to an expense of buying a chair in which it will be comfortable to sit, study and read – after all, it is exactly what you are supposed to be doing in college.

5.    Buy a Plant

Add a little life to your dorm room by buying a plant of your choice and placing it in a conspicuous spot. It will add a touch of personality to the boring place and will give you something to take care of – an ideal way to get your mind off homesickness.

When all is said and done, it is your own choice whether to feel at home in your new dorm or get homesick. If you look into the future and are fascinated with your new station in life, nothing will be able to keep you down!



Oksana is a  student of English literature department and a freelance journalist. As a current student she is interested in trends in education and she would like to share her experience with community.

10 Things You Will Regret Not Doing in College



Regrets are horrible things. Not only do they make you feel bad, you can’t fix them. All that you can do is live with them, and occasionally satisfy yourself with the opportunity to warn others. When many people look back with regret, the sad truth is that many of those regrets are focused on the college years. You might think it won’t happen to you. After all, in the moment, you are probably quite happen with your life and feel good about the decisions you are making. The question is, how will you feel looking back in the future? Why not avoid regret altogether and check out the 10 things you will regret not doing in college.


  1. Widening Your Circle of Friends

You’ve just arrived at school. You are overwhelmed by everything that is new, and likely feel a strong desire to connect with something familiar. So, you do what comes naturally. You seek out people that you perceive as being members of your tribe. These are the people who are most familiar to you, and resemble those who have long been part of your social circle. This is understandable and safe. It is also something that you will regret.


Get to know people with different pasts and perspectives than yours. The college years are ideal for stepping out of your comfort zone and getting to know people from different cultures, different regions, or who simply live different lifestyles. Remember that the world is getting smaller. You won’t be prepared for that if you stay insulated and isolated.


  1. Traveling

Now that you are in college, you will probably be given many opportunities to travel. If you are able to, take advantage of them. Study abroad for a semester. Go on weekend road trips and explore. Join a foreign language club that plans a yearly trip abroad. Take that spring break trip to the beach, but be smart and careful while you are there.


Traveling is a perfect way to meet new people, learn about the world around you, and see breathtaking sites. It’s also an amazing way to learn some important life skills. When you travel, you learn time management, budgeting, improve your communication skills, and how to think on your feet.


  1. Exploring New Interests Without Fear of Failure

They say that college is a good time for experimenting, and ‘they’ are correct. This sentiment doesn’t ring any more true than in the college classroom. If you are picking electives that are safe, easy classes that you know will help to pad your GPA, that‘s a shame. You are missing out on the opportunity to explore new topics, learn new skills, and uncover what could become a lifelong passion. What’s the worst thing that can happen, a bad grade or enduring a boring class? You’ll survive! Besides, who has made a mark on the world that always went for the easy A.


  1. Learning Basic Life Skills

What do you do when you get hungry? Do you order a pizza, hit a drive thru, or head to the nearest dining hall? Can you balance your bank statement? What about checking your oil, sewing on a button, or making a doctor’s appointment when you’re sick? Independence can feel great when you decide to go that all night party or that eating nachos for breakfast is a perfectly fine thing to do. Unfortunately, too many students leave school having experienced all of the freedom of adulthood without learning the life skills that they need.


  1. Making a Contribution to The World Around You

As mentioned above, you’ll have many opportunities to travel. Some of these opportunities are made available by various organizations who need student volunteers to help them with a variety of missions. If you have a charitable heart and a desire to see the world, some of the best charitable programs would love to work with you. Just do a bit of research, you’ll find volunteer programs that you can join during summer breaks, and programs that require shorter stints.


If traveling doesn’t appeal to you, you can still give back within your own community. In fact, there are plenty of volunteer opportunities right on campus.


  1. Becoming Politically Active

As a whole, college students are very passionate and outspoken about political issues. Unfortunately, that passion is rarely used to evoke activism. Sadly, it doesn’t even seem to be enough to get students into the voting booth. This is a shame, because in order to succeed, your favorite candidates and causes need your help.


So, learn about the issues and vote at the very least. Better yet, find a local candidate that you believe in and volunteer in their campaign. Go door to door. Help people register to vote. Start a petition drive. Even if your views change as you get older, you’ll never regret being an active part of the political process.


  1. Getting Involved on Campus

Yes! You will regret not joining clubs or finding other ways to get involved. This means you, mr. or ms. ‘I’m just not the rah-rah, school spirit, type.’ There are dozens of groups, teams, clubs, and organizations on campus that cater to a variety of interests, talents, and passions. Find at least one that appeals to you. You’ll meet people, learn new things, and best of all you will make fond memories.


  1. Changing Your Major

How early did you declare? Are you still happy with that choice? If you aren’t, do yourself a huge favor and change your major. Yes, it’s a tough thing to do. It might even mean delaying graduation. For some students switching majors can also mean facing parental disappointment, or even losing a bit of their own identity. It’s certainly not an easy choice to make. However, as difficult as it can be, it is much easier than graduating with a degree in a field that you are no longer interested in.


  1. Getting to Know Your Professors

If you’re only seeing your instructors in class, you are really missing out on some great opportunities. First of all, your professors want to get to know you and to provide you with the assistance and insight that you need to do well. This is why they have office hours. Go see them, get to know them, and let them get to know you as well.


When you get out into the real world, the instructors that you connect with will be part of your network as you begin looking for work in your field. While you’re still in school, creating familiarity can be beneficial as well. Professors tend to judge students more positively if they have taken the time to get to know them.


  1. Not Playing Sports

If you aren’t playing sports in college, you could really be missing out on some great opportunities. When you play sports, you become a member of a tight knit community. You learn self-discipline. You get into shape.


Does this sound like a recruiting video for your college’s sports teams? It doesn’t have to be. Chances are, your college offers a variety of intramural sports to students who want to play without being obligated to official school teams. If that isn’t your scene, keep looking. You’ll probably find a bunch of hashers, disc golfers, or recreational kickball players to join.



Rick Riddle is a head content manager at SmartPaperHelp and an up-and-coming blogger whose articles can help you with self-development, entrepreneurship, career, and digital marketing. Feel free to follow Rick on twitter and LinkedIn.



The development of the Internet and information technology made the life of students both easier and much more complicated. On the one hand, they have numerous tools their predecessors couldn’t imagine. On the other hand, all this multitude of possibilities can confuse and overwhelm those who are less tech-savvy. In this article, we will give a short overview of software which, if properly used, can be of great help for almost any student.

1.    Anki

Anki (暗記) is Japanese for “memory” or “memorization”, and it is exactly what this awesomely useful tool is used for. It is a fully free tool that allows you to create a set of flash cards you can use for spaced repetition that will be automatically arranged for you by the program. It is extremely helpful for studying languages, revising for exams and, basically, for any activity involving memorization. You don’t even have to create the card sets on your own – there are enough of them created by the community and dedicated to virtually every area of knowledge to satisfy any scholar.

2.    Dr. Fone

With an ever-increasing number of people joining the community of Mac users, a software that would help recover data from an iPhone or iPad becomes a more and more pressing concern. Unfortunately, absolute majority of programs claiming to have this functionality show rather limited success. Dr. Fone stands out from the crowd because it is an iPhone data recovery software that shows the highest recovery rate in the industry – which is exactly what you need if you’ve suddenly lost some data that is vitally important for your studies.

3.    LibreOffice

No matter what your major is, you are going to do a fair bit of reading, writing and working with tables, or your studies may even be primarily comprised of them. Therefore, you need some kind of software for this – and while Microsoft Office is an obvious choice, it has an important drawback. Namely, its price, which is always a sensitive subject for students. Even with discounts, you are unlikely to get it for anything less than $80. LibreOffice, however, does everything Office does and costs exactly nothing.

4.    Evernote

Evernote turns taking notes into an easy, comfortable and easily organizable process. With it, you will be able to take notes with any of your devices, from a PC to a smartphone and synchronize between all of them. At a glance it looks rather simplistic, but it once you start learning more about the software, it will become one of your constant companions and helpers.

5.    Google Docs

If you use the Internet, you should already know about this one, but perhaps you haven’t thought about its potential for a student. Although it isn’t as powerful a tool as Microsoft Office, it has many functions that make it stand out. You can use it completely online, without then need to download anything, and if you want to edit documents offline, you can always download a client. But what it really excels at is collaborative projects – when every participant has full access to the same set of documents, synchronizing efforts becomes a much smoother and streamlined procedure.

6.    Wunderlist

For those who like make lists or worries about forgetting about classes, Wunderlist offers a set of features that will help you organize your timetable, keep track of assignments and to-do lists. It is a simple yet effective tool that will serve you faithfully in and out of college.

Some of these tools are universal, some are more useful for college students than anybody else; but one thing is for sure – if you learn how to use them, you certainly will make your life a whole lot easier and more enjoyable.


About the author:

David Gutierrez has worked in the field of web design since 2005. Right now he started learning Java in order to get the second occupation. His professional interests defined major topics of his articles. David writes about new technology software and learning opportunities for techies and students

Campus Crime Prevention Tips


These days, we are hearing more and more about crimes occurring on college campuses. While there does seem to be a higher crime rate on campuses than in the past, you don’t have to be a victim. There are many things you can do that will help to ensure your personal safety, so you can have a safe and happy college experience.

  1. Know Your Surroundings – When you first arrive at the college, be sure to get to know your surroundings. Take any tours that are offered, so you can learn the safest walking routes, where to park safely, where emergency telephones are located, etc. The better you know your surroundings, the easier it will be to get help if you need it.
  2. Get an Escort – Many colleges offer public safety escort services at any time of the day or night. If you are nervous about walking alone, don’t hesitate to contact the service so you have someone to help make sure you make it home safely. Also, when parking at night, have someone from this service escort you from your car into the building.
  3. Lock Your Doors – Whether you are alone in your dorm room, a lab, or another room in the college, if you are alone, lock the doors. Don’t let anyone in the room unless you know who they are, even if they claim to be a school employee. It is a lot better to be safe than sorry.
  4. Be Alert – When you are out and about, make sure that you are alert to everything that is going on around you. This means that you should not wear your headphones while you are walking or out for a run. You need to be able to hear if someone is coming up behind you.
  5. Go Out with Friends – If you are going to be out at night (evening classes perhaps), make sure that you are not alone. When you use the buddy system, you are making sure that you, and your friends, are going to get home safely. Never walk at night alone. If you or your friends are drunk, don’t let them drive. If necessary, take a cab home. It’s better to stay away from DWI, as it influences your whole live. If you need any help just speak to specialist from Scheiner Law.
  6. Get Away – If you do find yourself being followed while you are walking, cross the street, turn and walk the other way, and go to the nearest place where there are people and lots of light. This is going to deter someone who may be following you with the intent to rob you or even worse.
  7. Keep Your Stuff Handy – Make sure that your coat, backpack, purse, etc. is always with you, or locked up. If you should happen to set your stuff down somewhere, it is going to be pretty easy for someone to steal it before you even have time to notice or react.
  8. Avoid Strangers – When you are out, avoid having contact with strangers, or getting too close to them. There is no reason to talk to strangers, even if they are asking for directions. Do not walk in dark or isolated areas either, because you could end up running into someone that you don’t want to run into.
  9. Be Careful at ATM’s – It is important to be very careful when using ATM’s. Never use one alone, or at night. If you notice someone suspicious close by when you are at an ATM, don’t use it. Move on and go to the next machine to get money if you need it that badly.
  10. Watch the Campus Alerts – Be sure to read any campus security alerts, and keep up with current news about crime that may be occurring in the community. Being prepared is the best way to protect yourself, and if you know that there is crime happening, you can take steps to avoid it, and to know what to do if you find yourself in an emergency situation.


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.