Posts published in June, 2017

How To Get A Mortgage If You Have Student Loan Debt  


By Anne Grobler

Getting a mortgage feels like a faraway dream when you have student loan debt. With so much going out every month just to pay the interest, how can you ever get started on paying for a home? This is a huge barrier for many young college graduates getting onto the property ladder. But it can be done – and here’s how.

Work out your DTI

DTI is your debt to income ratio. This means how much you owe each month compared to your income. If your DTI is more than 36%, you might be struggling to get a mortgage. This is because the bank won’t be confident that you will be able to pay it all off.

So, how can you raise your DTI? One way to do it is to increase your income, quite simply. Another is to reduce your debt. If you are thinking about buying some new furniture or a new car, for example, you might want to hold off until after your move. The money that you owe on those items will go into the debt side.

If you are already paying off something smaller like a couch which will be paid off soon, you can also wait to apply until after the payments have stopped so that your DTI is lower.

Refinance your loan

If your DTI still isn’t working out, consider refinancing your loan. You can do this with a private lender. It may seem like a risk, but it’s fine to do it if you do a lot of research beforehand. Some private lenders will be able to get you a cheaper interest rate, which will give you extra cash you didn’t expect to have. That can also cut down on the time it will take to pay back your loans, which will be a real godsend.

You could also switch it up the other way by extending the life of your loan when you refinance. This will mean that you are making smaller payments each month, which will again lower your DTI. It could mean that you are able to get on the property ladder sooner, which could be a better solution than paying off the loan faster.

Make a bigger investment

Save up for a little longer and you might be able to increase the down payment that you have available. The bigger your down payment, the less cash you will need to take out on your mortgage. That means the bank will be more likely to give you the loan even though your DTI might be higher.

If this is an option for you, start living below your means as soon as possible. Save money wherever you can – living on a tight budget for a year could mean getting your own home sooner than you would ever think possible otherwise.

Look at other options

There are also other ways that you can go through the process. Though it’s not recommended legally, because of the risk involved, you could for example ask your parents to take out a second mortgage. You could arrange to make the payments for them. However, if you do default on the payments, the risk will be on your parents – and they may not be quick to help you again later.

You may also find mortgage programs which are available for local graduates. These usually take the form of down payment assistance, but will help you to get on that ladder sooner. There will always be restrictions for these programs – such as where you are able to get a home – but getting a home in one specific area is better than not getting a home at all.

It’s not at all impossible to get a mortgage whilst also carrying student loan debt. It might take a little extra work, but you can make it happen if you want it.

***Anne Grobler is a communications expert specializing in real estate, currently supporting OpenAgent. She is always happy to share some of her knowledge with others, helping them find and afford their dream homes.


7 Ways Going to College Affects Your Health



College is one of the best times in anyone’s life, but it can also be draining, both mentally and physically. Not only do frequent late-night study sessions combined with early-morning classes keep you from getting the sleep you need and lead to health problems, there are other health-related issues to worry about when you are a student. Today we are going to discuss seven ways that attending college can affect your health.

  • Stress – Stress is the biggest thing that can affect your academic performance, and it can also have a huge effect on not only your mental health, but your physical health as well. It is important to keep an eye on your stress levels. If you feel yourself becoming overly stressed-out, don’t be afraid to reach out to someone for help, be it a friend, a counselor, a professor, etc.
  • Lack of Sleep – You have a lot on your plate when you are in college. You are trying to juggle a hectic class schedule, make time for studying, socialize, and you might even have a part-time job. All this can lead to a lack of sleep, which is going to affect your health negatively. This is where time-management skills come in. You need to learn how to create a healthy balance so you get everything done and still get plenty of sleep.
  • Exercise – Unless they are heavily involved in sports, a lot of students don’t get nearly enough exercise. “This can lead to a number of health issues, including obesity, which can lead to even more health issues. It is important to try and get at least a half an hour of exercise each day. Try walking or cycling to school if you live off-campus. Use the stairs instead of elevators. The more exercise you can get, the better,” suggests Dr.Roth.
  • Depression – Many college students deal with depression and anxiety, particularly freshmen who are overwhelmed by college life. Often, depression is not reported or treated, and this is leading to higher drop-out rates. If you feel depressed or anxious, talk to someone. Never be afraid to ask for help. It may be that you need medication to help you get through whatever it is that you are going through.
  • Social Anxiety – If you are starting your freshman year, you may feel quite anxious about what to expect. You will be in a completely different environment from what you are used to, and you may have no idea how to act. Don’t become a statistic and end up drinking and partying too much. Find other ways to overcome feelings of social anxiety and learn how to deal with issues constructively.
  • Infectious Diseases – There are thousands of people on any given college campus, and this means that there are going to be a lot of germs floating around. It may be impossible to avoid catching a cold or flu at least once during the school year, but you can protect yourself from diseases by learning about disease prevention, and making good use of hand sanitizer. Wash your hands frequently, and avoid touching things that thousands of other people touch, if at all possible.
  • Drinking – You are on your own for the first time, and you have a chance to get out and have fun without parental supervision. College life often involves drinking, but some students take it to extremes and drink far too heavily. If you are going to drink, drink responsibly. Avoid binge-drinking, and never drink and drive. Here is a statistic to keep in mind: close to 600,000 college students are injured annually as a result of drinking/drugs.


Martha Karn develops online educational courses and writes for students.

Summer Job Interview Tips for Students


Whether you are in high school or college, you are going to have the next couple of months off and nothing to do. Instead of sitting around soaking up the sun all summer long (which sounds awesome but isn’t overly productive), you might want to consider taking on a summer job. This can help you gain valuable job experience, and give you extra cash for spending or saving for college.


It may be that you have had a part-time job but lost it, and you still want to work for the summer. You can get involved with a company that offers outplacement services. Basically, this is a service that is hired by companies who lay off employees, in order to help those employees transition into new career opportunities and finding new jobs.


Whether you are looking for your first job, or you have been laid off and are looking for new options, here are some awesome summer job interview tips that could help you land that job.

  • Dress for Success – It is always a good idea to dress for the job you are applying for. Of course, if you are applying for a manual labor position, don’t show up wearing ripped jeans and a tee-shirt. Dress nicely for your interview, without being too casual or too over-dressed. Ladies should avoid wearing too much make-up and jewelry, piercings, crazy hair styles, etc. If you don’t know how to dress, call the human resources department to find out their expectations.
  • Be Prepared – Be ready for the job interview. One great way to be ready is to practice. There are all kinds of websites that offer interview tips and common job interview questions. Knowing what employers are going to ask is half the battle, and having the answers they want ready when they ask shows that you are prepared and that you really want the job.
  • Study Your Resume – Many employers will want to talk to you without a resume in their hands, or in yours. Study your skills, and be prepared to discuss anything that the potential employer asks about, including your skills, experience, education, etc. These are things on your resume, but they want to see how you handle answering their questions.
  • Show Your Eagerness – If you want a job, you need to show the potential employer just how eager you are to work for them. Be pleasant and smile often. Use upbeat vocal tones, and stay positive throughout the entire interview. Tell them how badly you want the job, and how hard you are willing to work to prove it.
  • Show a Willingness to Learn – Often, a lack of experience doesn’t necessarily mean that you aren’t going to get the job. Your enthusiasm, and willingness to learn, may be just what an employer is looking for. Many employers actually prefer someone with little to no experience, because they can train them their way.
  • Show that You are Flexible – Most summer jobs are part-time, or they involve working various shifts. You need to show that you can be flexible with your hours. If you aren’t available for a certain shift, remember, someone else is. Also, employers love it if you are able to continue working once you go back to school in the fall, so if you can be flexible here as well, it could get you that job.
  • Follow Up – After the interview, follow up with a thank-you note. This shows that you appreciate the time the interviewer took to speak with you, and that you truly are interested in working for that company. After the thank-you note, contact the employer periodically to let them know that you are still interested.


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.

Why College is a Perfect Time to Start a Small Business


 College is all about getting the education you’ve always dreamed of; it’s also there to prepare you for life ahead of graduation, which is a long and tough, but rewarding, road. For most, that means heading out into the world of work and trying to get in with their ideal employer to set up a career in their favored field. But for a smaller and growing number, it’s a chance to think about starting up something of their own in the form of a business.

But, why wait until college is over to get your foot in the market? If you’ve got the ideas, college is the ideal starting point for testing out and setting up a small business.

Network of Students

 At college, probably more than at any other point in your life, you are associating yourself daily with like minded and enthusiastic individuals; college is a breeding ground for partners, future colleagues, market research participants and funding opportunities, and that’s just when looking towards your fellow students. The vigor and verve that your peers contain within themselves is an as yet untapped source for all aspects that make a business successful. Contemporary thinking, antagonism, reactionary comment, political nous, attention to detail, all are there to be unveiled. Utilize fellow students’ comments and criticisms to help mold your business plan and streamline your potential products or services.

You may come to realize that a classmate is looking for an investment opportunity, or even the chance to partner up with you in your venture, bringing new ideas and avenues to explore that you wouldn’t have otherwise conjured up.

Support from Professors

 Alongside your fellow students you have those who are there to lead and guide you towards enlightenment; your professors. And indeed, professors who lecture on other subjects in other faculties. There’s an eclectic mix of qualified, experienced professionals, with a heavily researched and peer-reviewed understandings of varying fields, from the arts to sciences. As with your students, it is rare that you will be encircled by so many minds that are able to offer advice and potential service for your startup.

Use these minds to discuss your business plan, or your ideas for a business plan. If your prospective business is accounting based, speak with economics and business finance professors about your ideas, see if they stack up to scrutiny; or if you have a manufacturing concept that you think will shake the foundations of the world of production, run it by industrial design or engineering professors.

Support from College

 As well as professors and students, chances are your college has an entrepreneurship or startup program that you may be able to attend, and even apply for financial support through. Stanford’s Startup Garage course is the ideal hub for learning and business planning within Stanford University. These types of courses combine the basics of what it takes to go from concept to business, as well as conducting both practical and theory based learning workshops to bring the projects into the real world.

Alongside specific courses that may be on offer, the wealth of reading materials available in college libraries and via online resources is extensive to say the least. Make the most of these whilst they are available to you. Once your time with the university is up you may lose your privileges of access these sources. Read up on sources of finance, how to market, business philosophies and psychology; and read around the topic of your chosen market. If your business will be within the fashion industry, read as much around it as you can; if it will be football-based, use the resources you have to understand it as fully as you can.

Spare Time

 Although very little of your time as a student should be ‘spare’, in reality you will have more time on your hands now than you are likely to ever have the luxury of again. Use it wisely. Downtime is important, but not as important as keeping a structure and limit to it. M. Scott Peck discusses the concept of Delayed Gratification in The Road Less Traveled, with the overarching theme of putting in hard work first, then reward yourself once your task for the moment is complete. You could be using the time you might spend watching your favorite Netflix series in binge mode by making headway on a 30 point checklist for your startup. Not only are you one step closer to achieving your dream, you now feel much better for watching that program, or reading that novel once your self-prescribed work is complete.

How to Finance

 Organizing finance options for any start up is daunting, but doing so whilst studying is something that probably stops most from getting started. But, rather than putting it off, do some research into the options that are available to you. You could create a crowdfunding campaign, go to local authorities for help, utilize your college’s potential funding opportunities or apply for a business loan. There are a number of opportunities for funding available and they should not put you off starting up your business.

Most of all, utilize the opportunities around you in your current environment. With business markets, the later you get started on an idea the more likely it is that the hole that you’ve spotted will be filled by someone else. There are many areas for support for growing a business within a college setting, and utilizing them before they disappear will stand you in excellent stead for success.

Kate Larson is a college student and aspiring blogger, who has a strong interest in the environment and personal well-being. She enjoys travelling and reading, as well as writing novels.


What You Need to Know About Student Loans Under the Trump Administration



College students in the U.S. are at war with student debt. While this isn’t a particularly new battle, the financial war is for from over.

The cumulative student loan debt at the end of 2016 was about 170 percent higher than the levels of student debt a decade earlier.

Additionally, more and more people are defaulting on loans. Just last year, an additional 1.1 million people had defaulting loans, which is a massive rise compared to the 400,000 added in 2015.

But, what does this all mean for the college students of today?

For starters, we must stay up-to-date on current events involving student finances, especially student loans. It’s more important than ever for students to research what options are best for them long term and to wisely maximize financial aid, in order to avoid incurring extra debt.

We know that change is on the horizon. With a new administration in office, change is inevitable. But to what degree? What will the future of higher education finances look like?  Here’s what we know so far:

Under a New Administration

There’s been a lot of talk about the evolution of student debt in the U.S. Just in the first four months of the Trump administration, there has been much proposed change.

First of all, the new Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, has reimposed a 16 percent fee on student loans that have defaulted. DeVos and Trump agree that the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program currently in effect is invalid. This loan forgiveness program excuses a remaining balance on Direct Loans for those who qualify, so long as 120 consecutive monthly payments are made. They are pushing for its removal.

Trump’s budget proposal also wants to eliminate interest breaks when students are attending college and in deferment. This means that getting back on track, for those finishing a degree and struggling to pay for college or pay back loans will only get more difficult if this is all set in motion.

Essentially, it’s looking like it will become more difficult and expensive for students to get loans and feasibly pay them back.

This all being said, the state of loan deferrals wasn’t necessarily in a good place before the Trump administration took over. By the end of President Obama’s last term the total student debt was up to just about $1.5 trillion. It’s hit epidemic proportions and may only continue to rise.

As the Secretary of Education, it’s DeVos’ job to oversee this massive wave of debt and come up with some solutions. A recent statement by Illinois Senator Dick Durbin points out some problems with the DeVos course of action:

“Your budget increases the interest burden of students. Your budget freezes the Pell Grant so they have to borrow more. Your budget doesn’t give them public loan forgiveness.”

DeVos responded by claiming that her budget plans will streamline loan repayments by making the process easier to navigate for students in debt. She added by stating that these initiatives will reduce the loan burden for those who utilize income-driven repayment programs.

However, the plan also call for budget cuts to federal aid programs. It would also get rid of some of these specific programs entirely. These are the likely negative side effects to budget cuts:


  • Upwards of $143 billion in available student aid will be cut.
  • Work Study job for students will suffer as about half will be cut in the next year.
  • About 3 million low-income students will not be able to get certain financial aid.
  • The Public Service Loan Forgiveness program will crumble.

Just remember, these proposals are not set in stone. They may not all become reality, but it’s important to know they may become reality. College students of today must remain resilient and educate themselves in these matters.

Plans for Alleviating Student Debt

 What we can do now as students is simply try our absolute best to take out as few loans as possible and come up with concrete plans to pay them back. We must do this as quickly as possible to avoid suffering financially in the long run. This starts by making simple lifestyle changes, and evolves when students create uniquely tailored, rigid financial plans to stay out of debt.

A good starting point is to identify elements to life that are costly and unnecessary. This could be stopping on your way to class and getting a latte each morning, smoking cigarettes, or eating out at restaurants all the time. After figuring out specific places where money is being overspent, eliminate those spending habits or refine them. Create a budget and move money that would have spent on luxuries into a savings account for paying back college.

This is easier said than done for most people, but persistence literally pays off.

In order to avoid misunderstandings of changing laws, students must arm themselves with current knowledge on all things related to student finances. Here are some additional resources to help increase understanding and hopefully result in less student debt:


  • College Student Loan Resources
  • Top 5 Financial Aid Terms You Need to Know
  • College Finance Glossary

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.

Maintaining the Balance: A Self-Help Guide for Students



When you graduate from high school, you think that you have the world in your hands, and that college is going to be a breeze. Then, you get to college, and you discover that there is a lot more to it than you ever even imagined. You don’t have teachers on your back to get things done. You are responsible for your own successes and failures.

In addition to your actual education, there are so many other things going on in your life once you are in college. Obviously, you want to have a great social life. You also need to look after your health. Then, there are going to be career choices to make. All of this can weigh heavy on your mind after a while, and you could get pretty stressed out. You need to find ways to maintain a balance of everything that is going on in your life. Here are some tips that will help.


Coping with Stress

“One of the first things you will need to learn as a college student is how to cope with stress. There are many things that students do that are totally ineffective, such as substance abuse, which can lead to aggressive behaviour, developing eating disorders,” says Dr. Mila Cohen. Instead of focusing on the ineffective, try these effective coping strategies:

  • Your Feelings – Take time to explore and understand your feelings.
  • Your Thoughts – Next, take time to identify your thoughts, and to take control of them.
  • Support – Don’t be ashamed to ask for support if you need it. Talk about your thoughts and feelings with someone you trust, such as a close friend, a professor, a peer counselor, etc.

Trust Your Feelings

The stress we experience as students can often be overwhelming, but you can deal with it when you learn how to listen to and trust your own feelings. First, you need to understand the types of negative feelings you are having, which for students tend to fall into three main categories:

  • Anxiety – You can probably relate to this around exam times. Anxiety causes people to feel nervous, vulnerable, fearful, not in control, etc.
  • Depression – If you find yourself feeling hopeless, sad, not worthy, or feel like a failure, you may be experiencing symptoms of depression.
  • Anger – When you don’t think that things are going your way, which can often be the case in college, you may experience feelings of anger.

Once you are aware of your feelings, you can take some time to work on them and deal with any issues you may be having.


Thinking Rationally

While it may sometimes seem impossible to think rationally (such as when you are cramming for finals), there are things that you can do to improve the way you see things, and that emotional balance in your life.

  • Focus on the Now – Don’t focus on the past, or what might happen in the future. Keep your focus on what you are doing right now.
  • Stick to the Facts – Just because you did poorly on one test doesn’t mean that you are going to do poorly on all of your tests. Don’t make more out of it than what it is.
  • Be Realistic – Don’t jump to conclusions about things, and be realistic in how you perceive situations. For instance, if a professor has grilled you in class, don’t automatically think that they are out to get you. Think about why they grilled you, and how you can do better the next time.
  • Be Optimistic – Don’t be the naysayer in your group, and don’t always try to predict failure. You need to be optimistic about your college career, and about everything else that is going on in your life.

Gordon Schorr is an online educator and creative writer. 

10 College Interview Questions You Must Prepare For

By Linda Anderson

College admission can be a nerve wracking process. From application to acceptance, the entire process will seem excruciatingly long and painful, but it is the interview which will determine if you will get the coveted thick envelope or a rejection. It is not just your academics but also extracurricular activities, service to the society and how well you do in the interview which will determine your future. Here are ten questions you need to prepare, besides doing a thorough study on your field of education.


  1. Tell us about yourself?

Majority of students find this the most difficult question but this will help you make your first impression. Remember that they already have your resume and do not require you to recite it for them. So, make sure this is interesting, informative and gripping.


  1. Why do you want this college?

Flattery won’t help you in your interview hence, you have to be objective about your answer. Explain why you chose the particular programme how you plan to apply your education in building a career. If you are unsure of making the right choice, Forward Pathway can be the most useful option in guiding you towards the best college for you.


  1. What can you give this college?

Colleges want students who will contribute positively, to their college. You cannot simply enlist your positive qualities. You have to convince them by telling them how you plan to uphold the college’s heritage, if you are selected, and how you plan to enrich it further with your insight and work.


  1. Why should we pick you?

This is where a large number of students mess up by being either too cocky or displaying a lack of confidence. You have to convince them how the selected programme is perfect for you and how you stand out from the crowd.


  1. What are your strengths?

Discuss in detail, your strength and also how it will help you in pursuing your degree or excelling in your field. Remember that your interviewers are experienced in their field and will read through your lies, so do not show off with cocky answers.


  1. What are your weaknesses?

Never say that you do not have any weakness. Be honest about your weaknesses and explain how you plan to work on those so that you can do better. Prepare well for this question to ensure that you do not mention a weakness which might ruin your chances completely.


  1. Who do you idolise most?

There is no right answer to this. It can be anyone, ranging from your parents to a 9/11 hero to an old neighbour who feeds all stray animals. But, it is important to remember that this says a lot about you so pick carefully.


  1. Where do you see yourself in ten years?

Colleges want a student who is focused and has a solid plan on how to use his or her degree and education. You don’t need to have everything figured out, but it is important to have some plans for your future. They need to know that you will not waste your college years drinking and partying only.


  1. What would you change about high school?

Irrespective of whether you had a good experience in high school or not, you cannot be disrespectful of an educational institution. Answer this question wisely so that it establishes you as an insightful and constructive person.


  1. What do you do when you are not studying?

Colleges want individuals who are into all round development and not people who only bury their nose into their book all the time. It is important to have hobbies and achievements beyond academics as well.

By line for Linda Anderson

I’m a writer and musician residing in Boise, ID in the United States, although I spent a small amount of time (about three years) living in the UK growing up, due to my father’s occupation. I graduated from the College of Idaho with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business and a focus in marketing in 2014.





Introductory Jobs: How to Get Started Straight After/During college



Recent grads will be comforted to know that it looks like the U.S. job market in 2017 is ripe for the picking when it comes to introductory positions. According to a recent survey done by, the hiring rate for entry-level jobs has reached a new record, showing an increase of 8,5% compared to last year’s numbers.

While this is certainly good news to hear, as a newbie in the labor market, you may be feeling overwhelmed by the many different directions you could go with. Of course, the best-case scenario is to get a position in your field of study. To that end, and to help guide you in your job search, below is a list of the best entry-level jobs available in different industries that have the highest hiring rates for 2017.

Web Applications Developer – There’s no doubt that IT is one of the fastest growing industries nowadays and, as such, it offers plenty of career opportunities within its field. According to a study done by WalletHub, applying for an App Developer position is one of the best entry-level options for 2017 graduates. Not only that, but the position has one of the fastest projected job growth by 2024, so you won’t be out of work as an app developer any time soon.

Medical Scribe – If you’re looking for experience in the medical field, especially if you’re planning to become a physician, your best option is to start looking into medical scribe jobs. The labor market for this position emerged thanks to the adoption of electronic health records a few years ago and medical doctors, being the busy people that they are, really don’t have the time to input a patient’s data into a computer. That’s where the medical scribe comes in.

Since the healthcare industry is expected to grow by 38% this year, you can be sure there’ll be no shortage of opportunities for premed students and recent graduates. The job won’t give you the highest income. However, you’ll have a chance to learn a lot while shadowing doctors as they go about their rounds.

Customer Service Representative – If you’re a good listener, have great communication skills, and like helping people, a customer service position could be the right fit for you. The good news is that basically, every industry can have a customer service opportunity, so even if this is not the kind of position you ultimately want to be in, you will be able to get an introduction to your field of preference. It is a particularly good option for those of you who are still in college since the position usually doesn’t require a college degree.

Software Engineer – Not only is a career as a Software Engineer part of WalletHub’s top ten list of entry-level jobs in 2017, but it also has immediate job opportunities available, and the potential to earn you a lot of money. The best part is that the industry is expected to continue growing at an amazing rate, meaning that job security is guaranteed if you have a passion for it.


These are just a few of the options available for college students and recent graduates in 2017. Hopefully, you’ve found something that helped you, if not, keep looking. The internet is full of amazing resources that will assist you in getting hired, from how to craft the best possible resume, to how to prepare for your first job interview. The most important thing is to do your research and put yourself out there.


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

How to Stop Hurting Your Health While Studying


We have already touched upon the importance of self-care for students, but it is one of the topics that can’t be stressed enough. After all, it is during their student years that most people acquire habits and form action patterns that remain with them for the rest of their lives – which means that by making a conscious effort to study in a healthy way now you can lay the foundation for your health and well-being for many years ahead. So let’s discuss some aspects of your studying regimen and see how it can be improved.

1.    Studying Outside

Although going outside (like to a park) to study may be a good idea because it makes you walk around, get some sunlight and generally provides better lighting than any artificial source, it is largely a matter of preference. Some people find outside world to be too distracting and annoying when they try to concentrate on their studies, and going against the grain in such a way will only cause unnecessary stress.

2.    Exercises

Most of the studying is done in a sitting position, and it should hardly come as a surprise that sitting all day in and day out isn’t very healthy. Even if you maintain a strenuous exercise regimen and go to a gym several times a week, it doesn’t offset the fact that you spend most of your time without moving. You should make sure you do at least a little bit of movement every now and then throughout your workday – you may take a walk around a block, do a few squats or at least some stretches – it won’t take a lot of time but will go a long way towards maintaining your general condition.

3.    Maintaining Proper Sitting Position

As we’ve already said, most studying is done while sitting down; there is no escape from it (unless you are willing to buy a rather costly standing desk, which usually isn’t a possibility for most students). So, if you are going to sit down anyway, you may just as well do it right. The Internet is rife with recommendations on how to arrange your work desk, how to sit correctly to avoid strain, complete with pictures and diagrams. Take into account your own possibilities and position, and find what works for you. Just make sure you don’t sit prone and have a comfortable chair.

4.    Reading Lying Down

People read lying down when they try to find a more relaxing and restful position than when they sit straight at their desk – however, in the long run they don’t achieve this goal. Whichever position you choose (on your back, on your stomach, half-sitting in bed), all of them force you to strain either your eyes or your hands and arms, which doesn’t make for good studying.

5.    Carrying Your Backpack Correctly

Your backpack isn’t what you normally think about as something that can hurt you, but it can – especially if you are constantly lugging around a ton of books and other studying materials and carry it in a wrong way. Of course, the best way to avoid harm from carrying a heavy backpack is not doing it at all but, unfortunately, for a student, it isn’t always possible. So make sure you follow some rules: keep heavier objects at the bottom to avoid neck strain, don’t let the backpack swing around and keep it close to your body, and distribute the weight evenly to avoid postural stress.

Studying is hard enough without making it harder on yourself by making it actually painful – so make sure you support your health and well-being as much as possible while engaged in it!


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.

5 College Majors To Apply Your Passion For Arts  



It can be extremely difficult to decide what you want to major in, you have to refine all your passions and hopes for the future into one subject making the thought of finalising your decision an impossible feat. This is especially so if you are passionate about the arts and don’t know how to fuse it into your major. However, there are many college majors in which you do not have to compromise your passion, applying it to whatever you choose to do.


There are many design majors to take your pick from including Product Design and Architectural Design. If you really enjoy maths and science, but want to add your love for design in there, why not look at an engineering major? This way you can inject your passion by combining it with other subject skill sets.


Art Practice and Art History are both popular majors, and a great way to apply your passion for art. This can lead to many different careers. You don’t have to be an artist to major in art, you can use your passion to do many other things including working in PR & Marketing for an art gallery for example. Therefore to flip it around, if you wanted to major in Business Management etc., you could use your passion for art as inspiration in your projects, using galleries and artists as examples or case studies in your work.


If you fancy yourself to be a novelist or have a passion for writing poetry then a major in Creative Writing or English Literature may be perfect for you. You can draw inspiration from Shakespeare and other outstanding authors or poets, allowing your natural passion for the subject to flow into every corner of your work.

Performing Arts

Performing arts can be applied to many majors, if you have a true passion for the theatre, then a Classics course, where you delve deep into literature, philosophy and art of ancient Rome and Greece, could be a catalyst for your passion to flourish. Equally you could choose a Creative Writing major, expressing your words on paper and sharing with fellow students.


If you are interested in fashion, there are a number of ways you can apply it to a major. If you take up an arts major, you can use it to influence fashion design, and incorporate that into your final projects. It brings not only a unique perspective to your major, but continues the flow of creativity and gives you a range of new skills you never had before. Alternatively, you could look at journalism courses, or English writing to learn more about, and develop skills for, fashion editorial. With fashion blogs taking over the internet, you can apply your passion to learn how to write at a standard that will have people racing home, to see your latest post.

Do not look forward into the future too much and try to pre-plan every move you may make, just make sure that the major you take is something you enjoy doing. Student life has many pressures from all angles on what you should do, and what you should be in the future, however picking a major does not just create one door for you to go through. By applying what you love to your major, you are opening up a world of opportunities. Being happy and passionate in your studies will actually make you more successful in the long run in whatever you choose to be when the time comes.

Bio: Amira Smith is a photographer and recent college graduate, who still cherishes her life in the college. She writes short novels and devotes her time to helping animal shelter in her hometown.