Posts published in March, 2017
BY ROBERT PARMER
As the digital age progresses, laptops and other tech gadgets are becoming less of a convenience and more of a necessity to educational success. BYOD (bring your own device) mindsets are becoming more popular than thoughts of BYOB.
While digital natives are ingrained in technology since birth, choosing to buy the perfect laptop for college can actually be a tremendous challenge. There are just so many options out there for computers–where do we even begin?
Do Your Research First
If you aren’t someone who considers themselves to be tech-savvy when it comes to laptop computers, it’s a smart idea to do some research first.
Whether you spend the time to do this independently or seek advice from a well-versed friend is up to you. Either way, you’ll save a lot of money by heavily weighing your options–and you’ll wind up with a better laptop in the long run.
Decide on exactly what you need before you start shopping too seriously.
How much battery life will be necessary? Do you truly need a laptop or will a tablet be sufficient? And what about tech specs: how much memory, processor speed, and hard drive space will you need for school?
These are all important questions to ask yourself ahead of time, as student needs are as diverse as the disciplines they study.
Thinking Like a College Student
A section on laptops within an article titled When is the Best Time to Make a Big Purchase?, gives some fantastic advice:
“In order to get the best deal on a laptop, you need to think like a college student. At the end of summer, high school students getting ready for college want the best laptop possible for the next stage of life. Retailers are happy to help, cutting prices on laptops for the incoming college freshman. As an added bonus, there’s likely to be a bundle offer, including anything from free software to a gift card from the retailer. If you are lucky, you might even get a free video game console – remember the sales are targeted at incoming college students.”
The time of year you purchase your laptop is crucial if you’re trying to get the best bargain. The best times to shop include Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Christmas, and the turn of the new school year.
Related: Keeping Your Identity Safe as an Online College Student
New, Used, or Refurbished?
Buying a used laptop saves the most money upfront, but this is only an intelligent option if you know a lot about computers. A wide range of knowledge will help you sniff out scammers selling broken computers–just make sure you’re careful. You certainly don’t want to get ripped off!
Refurbished laptops (which have been sent back to the manufacturer for repair and resell) are a good compromise if you’d like to pay less. This approach gives you a sense of security with your purchase. Most retailers that sell refurbished electronics will accept returns and exchanges if items don’t work properly.
Finally, the most coveted option is to just purchase a brand new laptop. You’ll more than likely get a manufacture warranty as well as a store return or exchange in case you change your mind after taking your new laptop on a trail run.
The Best of the Best
After many hours of online shopping on numerous sites, the following are the best laptops deals I could find for 2017. I factored in tech specs and other important features such as battery life, portability, durability, and storage space.
Asus Chromebook C202 — $199
Durable and easy to repair, 8+ hour battery life, water resistant
HP Chromebook 14 — $229
A long-lasting basic option for students with basic needs in a laptop, high quality keyboard and trackpad, fun colors
Acer Chromebook 15 — $249
The “King of Chromebooks”, one of the best bargains on a compact laptop
Asus Zenbook UX305 — $599
Commonly referred to as a MacBook Air knockoff, more economical than a Mac, large solid state hard drive, thin and sleek
Dell XPS 13 — $700
A powerhouse laptop with a super quick processor, all-around aesthetically pleasing
13-inch MacBook Air — $799
The holy grail of compact laptops for many, incredibly thin, lightning quick, constructed of the highest quality components
Dell Inspiron 15 Gaming — $799
Pro-quality on a student budget; crisp display, massive hard drive, several graphics cards
Apple MacBook Pro — $1,099+
Professional quality, industry-standard laptop; best for students who need the fastest, most reliable laptop money can buy
Whether you prefer Windows to Mac, or are looking to spend two hundred or a thousand dollars, a bargain is out there. If you do a little research and bargain hunting beforehand, you’ll find a laptop that meets your educational needs–for a price your student budget can handle!
Robert Parmer is a freelance web writer and student of Boise State University. Outside of writing whenever he has spare time, Robert enjoys creating and recording music, caring for his pet cat, and commuting by bicycle whenever possible. Follow him on Twitter @robparmer
BY CHELSEA DOWDELL
Many of today’s students are wondering the same thing – is it even worth it to go through an internship during your final academic years? More so than that, the prospect of “working for free” is frightening for most, not only because of the time investment, but also for the fact that they have bills and tuitions to pay.
Graduate students are going through the same thought process, and the question still remains: “Are internships worth the hassle?” Does anyone actually develop a successful career after going through an internship or is it another false glimmer of hope in today’s saturated employee market? Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of going through an internship and see if this program is capable of starting your career and pointing you in the right direction.
One of the many benefits of going through an internship is growing your industry network. Even if you know many colleagues and professors who operate in your field of expertise, knowing people who have been professionals for an extended period of time is invaluable. Networking doesn’t just increase your chances of landing a job and starting your career. It can also benefit your professional development.
Your social circle is now comprised of industry experts who have connections and knowledge around the world. Having these benefits is much better than applying for a position without knowing who or what the industry is all about outside of college text books.
Many college courses encompass practical exercise and experience in visiting professional offices. While these insights into your future employment are good, they won’t help you in landing a particular position. Being an intern, you will be in charge of many different areas of work which affect the main position you are looking for in a lesser or bigger extent.
This means that you will gain insight into the whole industry process and become verse in different areas, not just your college major. Being a graphic designer with print and web design knowledge is much better than being a graphic designer only, wouldn’t you agree?
One of the major flaws of today’s education is the lack of soft skills development courses. The word “courses” should be used lightly however, since the best way of developing soft skills is actually working in a team environment with other people. This teaches us many valuable lessons about trust, work division, team dynamics and most importantly – the importance of working together and communicating.
Many industry experts are professionals and know everything about their fields but their social skills are poor in comparison. Going through an internship will allow you to develop your social skills in a working environment with very little risk involved. As an intern, you don’t have the same level of responsibility inside the company, so practicing these skills in an internship environment is not only beneficial but recommended.
The biggest hurdle that many graduates are going through is how to explain that they lack any working experience when they apply for a job. Starting your career is more than graduating and applying for your dream job, and many people learn this the hard way. This means that internships are vastly beneficial in upgrading your resume and adding very valuable points as to why an employer should hire you.
While interviewers will be interested in what you have to say and how you answer their questions, getting to an interview will take more than luck. Using services such as RewardedEssays.com to write and format your resume will prove extremely helpful if you have trouble writing such papers. Internships will also help you develop an industry way of thinking and answer the interview questions with much more precise and intuitive answers, so it’s a definite plus to go through one.
The best and easiest way to land a job in any profession is by being recommended. While professors might recommend you and write you a letter, the most effective way of gaining a recommendation is by earning it from an internship. If you have done well and your superiors are happy with your performance, you might earn formal and informal recommendations depending on what your future steps may be.
Putting a good word in for you with affiliate companies and professionals is a great way in starting your career the way you want it to. Not only have you proven yourself capable, but you have industry leaders backing you and pushing you further. This is an invaluable part of going through an internship and a sure way of landing your dream job along the way.
Depending on your future steps, there are multiple ways of landing a full-time employment after your internship is over. Believe it or not, this decision will mostly be out of your hands, depending on your performance. If you have done well, the employers might offer you a position and insist that you stay onboard for an extended period. While this is a perfect scenario, it doesn’t always play out.
Many employers take interns in because they are there for a limited time and plan to move on afterwards. This all depends on the type of company and work you do for them, and these interactions don’t have a clear pattern. Whatever the case, an internship will help you gain future employment with that or other company much more easily than you would fair without it.
As you can see, the benefits of going through an internship program as a graduate or student are multiple and all of them can be used to jump-start your career. The answer you are looking for is “yes”, and you should use any opportunity to apply what you have learned in university in a real-life environment.
While it may not be paid and it may not be easy, an internship is the best way to hone your skills and learn valuable insight into how everyday life will be once your studies are finally over. Don’t shy away from opportunities and grab any chance you get – it can only benefit your career to go through such an experience.
Chelsea Ann Dowdell is a writer and blogger. She writes about things she really cares about.
You can contact her on Gmail
BY ETHAN DUNWILL
When it comes to young people who want to work and start tasting the flavor of a new independent life, there is a common problem: students generally don’t have experience or qualifications, but most jobs posted require experienced applicants, or people with high qualifications – so what can students do?
The search can become a little bit exhausting. If you identify yourself with this situation, we bring you some ideas to help you land a job this summer.
- As an English Teacher or as a Teacher’s Assistant abroad. This job is really fun, because could potentially be traveling around the globe. Keep in mind, sometimes some teaching experience or special certifications are required. Usually though, there are vacancies to work in Summer Schools and to start in June-July. These jobs also offer you the opportunity to meet a lot of new people, between teachers, students and the rest of the staff. Check ESL Jobs Lounge if you want to find a summer job teaching English.
- As museum docent. The job is great for students of Arts, History, Science or any topic related to museums and expositions. The tourists travel much more during summer because the warm weather attracts them, and museums are a must in many important cities. For sure, you’ll find vacancies in this area, because the main skill that you’ll need is your knowledge.
- As a server in restaurants. Who does not go to a restaurant during summer vacations? Every tourist wants to taste the food of the city they are visiting. To work as a server, you don’t need experience at all; you just need to be careful because we don’t want broken glasses or spills! Plus, people give good tips if you are nice and helpful. If it’s good enough for Obama’s daughter, it’s good enough for you too.
- As a retail seller in a supermarket. This type of job won’t ask for experience either. You can do the inventory, organize shelves, do product demonstrations or work as a cashier. The options are varied.
- At hotels. Hotels are visited a lot during summer vacations. And for sure, they might need to increase the staff during these days. You can apply to be a receptionist, porter or even a cook. If you’re bilingual, your skills will be appreciated.
- As a nanny. Because, what happens to those kids whose parents have to work in the summer? They need a nanny, and this job does not need experience either. Plus, you are working with kids, and even when some kids can mean trouble, most of them are fun to work with.
- As a volunteer or in an Internship. These activities usually aren’t paid, but you will get something even more important for the future: experience. Internships or volunteer activities will be an asset that you can use if you want to have a better job next summer, and the rest of the summers of your life, even after you graduate!
- As an entrepreneur. If at the end of the journey, you don’t like the idea of working for someone else, you can start your own business! This will be something like working as a nanny or mowing lawns in your neighborhood, because you can make your own schedule and choose whatever you want to do, depending on your better skills.
Summer is a special time of the year, full of cool and happy moments. There are lots of things you can do, and there are a lot of experiences waiting for you. Go ahead and earn some money while you have fun!
Ethan Dunwill is a business consultant and contributing blogger for several websites, who currently works as a freelncer. He believes that education is the most important part of any developed society and always eager to share his experience. You can talk to Ethan via Twitter.
BY SUSAN PARKER
College is an important phase for building a network of connections that can last a lifetime. Thanks to modern technology, many of these friendships start online via social networks. Even though this is an exciting time, it’s important for new college students to know where the line between openness and privacy lies.
Here are 5 online privacy tips for new college students.
Be Selectively Social
Social media is a part of our everyday lives, but despite ongoing changes to the user experience and privacy policies, platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are still vulnerable to targeted data threats.
From profile duplication and cloning to fake profiles and catfishing, there are many ways in which people can lure you into supplying personal information.
Make sure that you understand exactly what you’re posting online and how visible it is. Check your privacy settings, particularly around location-based updates.
Then, make sure that you don’t accept invitations from people you’ve never met. These requests are often a cover for personal information theft.
Password Protect Everything
Apart from protecting you against Fraping – which is actually a crime in some parts of the world – passwords can help you protect your privacy and personal information.
Leaving your devices unlocked makes you an easy target for tech-savvy opportunists, and it’s surprisingly easy to swipe information like credit card numbers and home addresses.
Select a strong password, and keep it safe, to make sure you’re not an easy target.
Keep Yourself Backed Up
Although you can recover virus encrypted files, it is often simpler to protect your privacy through a schedule of regular, safe backups.
Running around campus with a hard-drive that contains all your assignments, copies of important documents, and a list of your banking passwords is risky – devices fail, and they are easy to lose.
Take the time to store your information, and back it up, in a secure, cloud-based storage system. Regular updates will mean you don’t need to worry about losing private information, and you can access it anywhere – which is far safer than trying to remember a hard drive or flash drive.
Don’t Share Devices
College is not a place to be overly-protective of your devices, but sharing a flash drive or hard drive can make it a lot easier for people to access your private information.
Not only do you run the risk of sharing software viruses, this habit also makes it easy for people to lift important information – especially if you are working in a group where you don’t know everyone.
Instead, share info via email.
Always Log Out
Using a shared computer is quick and convenient, but can have dire consequences if you forget to log out.
Get into the habit of signing out of everything – including Gmail – whenever you’re done with a device.
There’s no need to be paranoid about privacy, but you need to be aware that college isn’t the safest place for you to protect your data.
Log out, don’t trust suspicious social media posts, and be careful about the devices you connect and you should be fine.
Susan Parker is a writer and tech geek. She volunteers for local environmental conservation programs and writes stories online about things that inspire her.
7 Psychology Tips to Boost Positivity in Students
Obviously, when you are in college, you want to do well, make great grades, and go on to enjoy a wonderful and fulfilling career. But, there is a lot more than just hard work and studying involved in getting you to that point. You need to be happy with what you are doing. If you are miserable, you aren’t going to put your all into everything that you do, and you aren’t going to enjoy a successful college career. What you need to do is get out of the misery mindset. Let’s take a look at some of the things students can do to boost their positivity.
- Be Optimistic – This isn’t always the easiest thing, because there are inevitably going to be things that get us down. But, it is something you can practice and get better at. Find a goal, such as being more comfortable in public. Then, practice doing things that will help you to reach that goal. You will find that as you succeed, you will become more optimistic.
- Be Grateful – Start a journal where you write down all of the things that you are grateful for every day. Then, when you are feeling low, take a look at what you have written. It’s pretty hard to stay down when you see how much you have to be grateful for. Try to write down a couple of things each day that you are grateful for, and refer to this journal when you are down.
- Take a Time Out – You need to be able to sit back and enjoy some time for yourself. For example, get out and have a great meal with friends. You don’t have to spend a fortune to have fun and enjoy a good meal. Check out the deals at Golden Corral prices, and enjoy a night out with friends.
- Savor Life – Savor every positive experience you have in life, now and in the future. Enjoy the simple pleasures, and take time to smell the roses. It may sound clichéd, but the more you take time to savor every aspect of life, especially the good things, the happier and more positive you will be.
- Be Kind to Others – Keep a separate journal of all of the things that you do to help others, even if it is just holding a door open for someone. The more you write down, the more you will be able to see that you are a good person, and this is going to add to your positivity. This is not to pat yourself on the back. It is simply to show you how great you can feel by doing something nice.
- Write Down Funny Things – When funny things happen to you in your daily life, write them down. Do this even if you do something really ridiculous that you may have considered embarrassing. You will find that after reading about it, you are laughing because it is so funny. This is going to help you to be able to not take life so seriously all the time and enjoy life more.
- Have a Positive Outlook – While this isn’t always the easiest thing to do, it is something that you need to do in order to be happy and positive. Stop looking at things in a negative way. For instance, if you have made a bad grade, don’t look at it as a bad grade. Look at it as a sign that you have areas that you need to work on. Put that positivity to work for you to turn this into a good thing.
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.
By Iggy Kay
Choosing a major that is right for you isn’t always easy. As young adults get ready for college, they often have an idea of what they want to do in life, but this idea doesn’t always correlate with what they will be happy with. People choose their college majors based on a variety of factors, including not just what they think they will enjoy doing, but also how much money they want to make. In this article, we’ve compiled a list of 10 college majors that are most popular among college students.
Young adults who want to be entrepreneurs, those who think they have what it takes to be their own boss and to run their own business and those who simply want to be in the business field have chosen Business Administration as their major. With this major, you will be proficient in running, organizing, managing and controlling various types of businesses. This major is a great choice for those people who consider themselves leaders.
We live in a world where research and innovation is what moves the world forward. Being part of this field is something that can be both financially and personally gratifying. Biology includes many different branches, such as studying the environment, animals, molecules, chemical processes and more. This major is an excellent choice for those who want to become biologists, as well as those who are considering the possibility of going to medical school after earning their Bachelor’s degree.
This major is a great choice for students who love math and who love to work with numbers. Everyone needs to do their taxes, as such accountants are always in demand. Becoming a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is something that can be very financially rewarding and will also allow you to start your own accounting business.
Nursing degree is something that is going to be more and more in demand as the years go by. The Department of Labor estimates that by the year 2024, the demand for nurses will grow by 16%. This is more than 2 times the average 7% estimated growth for all other professions. Those students who earn a nursing degree will have a variety of institutions to work at, such as assisted living facilities, nursing homes, hospitals, home health care companies and more.
English Language and Literature
Studying the English language turns student into great writers – and that can be applicable to many different career paths. Students with degrees in English Language and Literature can go on to become book writers, journalists, teachers and much more.
A degree in Economics will teach students about how organizations and governments make their choices when it comes to financial resources. This major teaches students how to be analytics thinkers and it is great for those who want to work in the financial sectors such as banking, financial planning and risk analysis.
A field that is constantly evolving, Computer Science is a great major for those students who love to solve problems. Computer Science is a vast field that can include artificial intelligence, robotics, bio-computation, graphic design and various programming languages. Computer science can be quite rewarding financially, with compensation of up to $118,417 for a Software Engineer.
Those students who are thinking about law school as their next step often choose criminal justice as their major. A Criminal Justice degree will often lay the groundwork for students to finish law school and become prosecutors or defense attorneys. This degree is also an excellent choice for students who are thinking of becoming police officers, private detectives, probation officers and even Secret Service agents.
Those students who want to become teachers will choose Teacher Education as their degree. This degree generally comes with a specific point of concentration, such as adult education, special education and elementary school. Frequently, students will also get a great feel of what it will be like to work as at teacher by working as a student-teacher while completing their degree.
Psychology degree is for those students who are curious by nature and who want to know how people think and why people act a certain way. Psychology degree also has a wide array of applications in the real world, such as human resources, marketing, counseling as well as teaching.
In summary, choosing a college degree that is right for you isn’t an easy task. Do your research before you start college, and you will find a degree that you are happy with – for life.
Bio: Iggy Kay is a freelance writer and a marketing consultant who enjoys writing about education and issues that affect both younger and older adults.
BY LORRAINE McKINNEY
If you are looking for a great way to make extra money while studying at college, you can tutor others in the subjects that you excel in. Not only is this a good way for students to earn money, it can also be a highly rewarding experience. At most colleges, you will find a large number of peer tutors, and they are sharing their knowledge while making money. If you do exceptionally well at one or more subjects, and you are interested in becoming a peer tutor, check out the following tips that will help get you on your way.
- Put Yourself Out There – The first thing you need to do is get the word out that you are available to be a peer tutor. There are several ways you can do this. Start by visiting your student center, guidance office, resident advisor, etc., and ask them if there are students who are in need of your help. You can also advertise via bulletin boards around the campus, and of course, through the campus website, social media, and other websites like Tutor.com.
- Recognize Learning Diversity – Not everyone learns at the same pace, and not everyone learns with the same learning tools. You need to recognize this, and be able to adapt your tutoring style to each individual student that you are working with. In some cases, you may have to adapt to a lot of things, including where you study. Some students may not be as comfortable working in one area as they are another.
- Create the Right Resume – No matter what type of job you want to get, you should have the proper resume. Sure, you can offer your services as a tutor and hope to get a few students to work with. But, if you are able to produce a resume that shows the skills and experience you have that makes you a great tutor, you are likely going to get better results. Find clean resume templates that will highlight your skills.
- Be Yourself – If you are unsure about something yourself, don’t try to pretend that you have all of the answers. Let the students you are tutoring know that you need to learn as well, and you can learn together. This can often be just as effective as teaching, because you are working together to figure things out.
- Be on the Same Level – You are no better than the people you are tutoring, and you shouldn’t act like you are. This is not going to help you get a connection with them, and they are not going to be able to learn nearly as much from you as they could. Build a human connection with them, and let them know that you are all there for the same thing, to succeed in college and beyond.
- Use Many Teaching Tools – This tip kinds of goes right along with the above tip. Because not everyone learns in the same way, you will need to be able to use a variety of teaching tools. Take advantage of different types of media, get students to draw diagrams, etc. Do whatever it takes to make them remember the information and pass their courses.
- Don’t do the Work for Them – A lot of peer tutors make the mistake of doing the work for the students they are tutoring. This really isn’t helping them much. Yes, you need to help them, but you can’t just give them the answers. Instead, help them find ways to get the answers themselves. They will see their progress, and feel empowered to do even better.
Lorraine McKinney is an academic tutor and elearning specialist.
BY MARCUS DANIELSON
There’s a good chance you’re reading this in the last few days before your college exams. Most students leave their studies for the very last moment, so it’s no surprise they want to learn faster.
One of the best techniques to learn a lot of material quickly is known as the Feynman technique. Named after teacher, scientist, and physicist Richard Feynman, this technique promises to unlock your potential for grasping new concepts at college. Here’s what you need to know:
The Feynman technique is based on the student’s ability to understand a concept by teaching it to others. It’s based on the theory that to be able to teach something you need to understand it fully first. If you’re tasked with taking a class on a subject you’ll be more focused on getting the concept right. For example, you can’t explain all the nitty gritty details of sports journalism if you haven’t attentively studied it all yourself.
The basic Feynman technique plays out in four easy steps:
Step 1. Write down the topic
The most basic step is to write down the specific topic or theory that you need to revise. This could be anything from the theory of relativity to the concept of hyperinflation. Just write down the topic title and move onto the next step.
Step 2. Explain the concept in easy terms
Step 2 is where you’ll be spending the most time. Pretend you’re teaching someone the concept. Assume this imaginary person has no idea what you’re talking about and knows very little about the subject. Write down every little detail, draw diagrams, and read out the formulas. Make this step as detailed as possible. For the technique to work, you need to be able to clearly explain the concept in simple English. Avoid jargon and unwieldy words.
Step 3. Identify problem areas.
Once you’ve explained the topic and written all the finer details down on a piece of paper, take the time to analyze it. Search for words, phrases or concepts that you didn’t remember or weren’t able to explain. Look for formulas you have trouble understanding.
Step 4. Pinpoint problem terms and phrases.
Finally, go back to your notes and read through the phrases and concepts you couldn’t explain. Try to be more attentive this time and pretend as if you have another class on the subject shortly.
Repeat this process till you finally crack the subject.
Why not give the Feynman technique a try today? It is a simple and yet incredibly effective study tool. It’s a psychological trick that makes you more attentive and pushes your studies into high gear. This technique is one of the best techniques to use if you’re trying to master a topic quickly.
Bio: Marcus Danielson is a traveler and world-citizen,who believes in the power of education
and enjoys spreading it. He also takes pleasure in reading, watching old movies, and taking
BY BRIA PIERCE
College is one of the most exciting periods in your life. It is a time of possibilities, new experiences and choices. Many college students have trouble focusing on what’s really important and lose their direction, which can lead to problems. In order to maintain your course, you need to stay sharp and never lose your target, the reason why you’ve joined the college.
In order to help you cope with all the distractions, we have been thinking about different ways to deal with the lack of concentration. Read carefully these following lines, as they might help you stay the course in the restless sea of college life.
How to keep your focus?
Life is not all about commitments and working all day long, every person feels the need to socialize and relax from time to time. With social networks and various smart devices, it’s sometimes hard to stay away from people and events. It seems as if we’re all in a room that’s filled with people all the time, and there are only so many things you can do in such conditions. In order to improve your productivity and help you remain focused on studying, there are a few options available.
Keep yourself away from all the social networks while you study. This simple action can save you hours as you will not be distracted by your friends or notifications. Just think of all the times you have started to work on an essay and then a sudden message or notification breaks your focus into pieces. It takes a lot of time to get back on that train of thoughts once you get thrown out. Next thing you know is you’re behind on your paper and you need to seek help on 123writings or similar sites.
There are so many things you could use in order to improve your concentration while studying. It all depends on your personality, so you might find all these “power ups” useful, or find use in just some of them. These are my personal favorites.
- Music – You can find some great study music that will help you separate from everyone and everything else. There is a vast choice of study music on the internet, like this study music alpha waves compilation. Alpha waves reduce stress and cause your brain to be more relaxed and free from all the pressure. It’s like you are meditating and studying, at the same time. Other people prefer classical music, which is always a good choice.
- Ginkgo biloba – This plant is used as a dietary supplement in many different forms. Most common forms are liquid extract and tablets. Ginkgo biloba is known to have a positive effect on memory, but don’t think of it as some kind of magic pill, it’s just something that will help you focus better. And of course, don’t use it without consulting your doctor first.
Working on multiple tasks will not help you in the way you’d want it. Instead of doing the best you can, you will do the most you can, and that often leads to failure. If you’re focused on more than one thing, you will never be able to be fully focused as you’ll get distracted by other assignments that require your attention at the same time. Separate your work, and give your full attention to one commitment at the time. You will learn that you’ve been more productive and that the quality of your work is better. In case you don’t have the best planning skills, there are apps that can help you plan your schedule.
Life is fun, and we should enjoy it as much as we can, share our moments with friends and family and build our future along the way. Staying focused can be a challenge, but it’s a challenge that’s easily surpassed if you have the proper tools and motivation. We hope that this article has helped you find your way to stay focused and lead an exciting college life. In case you have your own method, please share it with us in the comment section below, we’d love to read it.
Bria Pierce is freelance writer with a keep passion in traveling and personal development. She cannot imagine her life without writing so it’s her occupation, her hobby and her way of living. Follow her on twitter.
BY MELISSA BURNS
There are lots of sacrifices you can make in college to avoid depleting your bank account. You don’t have to shell out for brand new textbooks. You can walk or ride a bike around town rather than maintain a car. You can reduce housing costs by splitting rent and utilities with roommates.
Unfortunately, there’s no alternative to eating. What’s a college student on a tight budget to do?
Here are seven ways to save money while staying healthy and satisfying your hunger.
- If you’re required to purchase a meal plan, choose the right one.
It can be tricky, but it’s ridiculous to pay for three meals a day if you’re not likely to eat them all. Money magazine reports that students who eat every meal on campus spend around 85 percent more each day than students who cook at home.
Decide how you’ll use the plan. For example, if you like a big breakfast but prefer to eat light meals the rest of the day, buy the plan with the fewest meals. Enjoy breakfast each morning at school, but prepare everything else at home.
If, on the other hand, you don’t trust yourself to stay out of restaurants, go all out for the plan with the most meals.
- Take some time every few days to plan your meals.
Students who neglect to take this crucial first step are likely to go over their food budgets before the week is through. They may even gain unwanted pounds.
If you haven’t planned, shopped, packed lunch or stocked the fridge, you’ll be tempted to eat the wrong foods and spend too much money. That aroma of pepperoni wafting from the neighborhood pizza joint is hard to resist when the cupboard at home is bare.
Search online for weekly menus. The recipes should be healthy, inexpensive and easy to prepare. You’re not likely to stick to your plan if ingredients are numerous, difficult to find or a hassle to prepare.
For breakfast, hot or cold cereal is a great choice provided it doesn’t have too much sugar. You can break up the monotony with toppings like fruit or nuts. Eggs are nutritious and inexpensive. Boil a few at a time and store them in the fridge. When you buy bread for toast or sandwiches, freeze the unused slices to prevent them from spoiling.
Speaking of the freezer, it’s your best friend. Just about anything can be frozen for later if it’s allowed to cool first and stored in a safe container. Frozen fruits and vegetables save prep time and prevent spoilage. Just remove only the amount you’ll use for one meal.
Invest in a quality lunch bag or bento box that holds foods at safe temperatures. If you’re on the go, you won’t have to worry about giving in to fast-food temptation.
- Learn to shop.
After you’ve chosen a few days’ worth of recipes, make a shopping list. Before you leave the house, take a quick inventory to make sure that you’re not buying items you already have. Calculate what you expect to spend, and make adjustments if necessary.
A couple of academics from New Zealand, Art Thomas and Ron Garland, have done extensive research into grocery shopping habits. They found that people who adhere strictly to a shopping list spend significantly less money than those who don’t. Sticking to a list eliminates impulsive spending. Shoppers with lists also finish up a lot faster.
You should also know that grocers tend to place more expensive brands at eye level. The higher or lower you have to reach for a can of black beans, the less you’re likely to pay. The quality is often very comparable.
In general, no item is a bargain if it’s not on your list. The only exception is a sale or buy-one-get-one-free offer on something that you eat frequently. The same is true for coupons. Just because there’s a coupon for something doesn’t mean that the product is a smart buy or especially good for you.
Don’t go to the store on an empty stomach. No one can make good decisions when everything from frozen egg rolls to chocolate layer cake sounds delicious.
Stock up on staples, like rice and boxed pasta that keep for a long time and go with everything.
Avert your eyes at the checkout counter. Those candy bars, lip balms, and tabloid magazines are placed there for a reason, and it’s easy to double your grocery tab in a matter of minutes.
There are several grocery shopping apps, such as AnyList and Grocery IQ, that can help you budget and plan.
- Cook with a buddy.
Ask one or more friends to share grocery costs and cook with you once or twice a week. Search for recipes that make several servings. Pot roasts, casseroles, enchiladas and pasta dishes are ideal for sharing.
Versatile entrees that can easily be used another way are also good picks. A roasted or store-bought rotisserie chicken, for instance, will provide plenty of leftovers for chicken salad, fajitas or soup the next day.
- Get a slow cooker.
For convenience, food quality and energy savings, slow cookers can’t be beaten. Here are a few of the benefits:
- Since all of the ingredients go into one pot, you’ll save significant time on cleanup.
- Slow cookers are so versatile that a variety of meals can be prepared in
- Your meal will be ready and smell wonderful when you get home from school.
- You can cook a lot of food at once, so there will be plenty of leftovers, freezing or sharing.
- The long, low-temperature cooking process tenderizes even inexpensive cuts of meat and enhances food flavor.
- You can use a slow cooker any time of year. Hot soups and stews will be welcome in the winter, and using it in the summer instead of the oven will keep the kitchen cooler.
- Slow cookers use far less energy than gas or electric ovens.
- They also tend to be fairly inexpensive, but you should do some research before buying one. To find the best one for your needs and within your budget, check out this list of the five best slow cookers reviewed and other lists like it.
- Kick the latte habit.
You don’t have to be a math major to tally up the cost of visiting your local barista every morning. If you can’t resist the convenience, consider buying a small single-cup coffee machine. A wide variety of coffees and other drinks are sold for brewing in them. They’re often on sale, and they pay for themselves in a few weeks.
- Avoid vending machines.
Compare the price of vending machine pretzels to the price of a large bag sold at the grocery store. As you’ll see, it makes better sense to buy from the store. Just portion snacks into small plastic bags when you get home. You may have noticed that skipping meals to save money wasn’t recommended. Don’t do it. It’s unhealthy, especially for breakfast.
According to the Food Research & Action Center, going without breakfast affects your ability to learn, concentrate and retain information. Any amount of money that you save by skipping meals is a mere pittance compared to the cost of tuition for repeating courses.
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.