Posts published in July, 2017
BY PAMELA CURRIER
Do you remember how nervous you were on your first day of school? Things don’t really change all that much, and now you are heading to college. You may be older now, but admit it, you are just as nervous now as you were all those years ago. But, there is one major difference. You have an idea of what to expect, and if you take part in the college orientation, you won’t have nearly as much to be nervous about as you did on that first day of school. Let’s take a look at 10 ways that you can get the most out of your college orientation and be prepared to start one of the most exciting experiences of your life.
- Bring Your ID and Laptop – There are a few things that you should bring with you to orientation, including your ID (driver’s license, passport, etc.). Don’t forget your laptop. You will need it in order to select up to 10 classes prior to registration day.
- Don’t Bring Friends – This is your chance to meet new people and learn about the campus. If you bring along your friends, you are likely to ignore new people, and you might also miss out on a lot because you are too busy socializing.
- Make New Friends – On the subject of friends, this is the time to make lifelong friends. Don’t sit alone at orientation. Find a group and sit with them, and start talking. You may even decide to get together after orientation to talk or hang out.
- Don’t Miss Anything – Never skip any of the orientation sessions, because you may miss something that you really need to know about. Stick to the orientation schedule, attend all appointments, go to information sessions, and take part in orientation activities.
- Walk Around Campus – When you have a few spare moments, use them wisely. Take a walk around the campus, and make note of the areas that you want to know more about, quiet places to study, and any other points of interest.
- Join Clubs – Now is a great time to sign up for clubs, teams, and other activities. “Don’t worry if you don’t have any experience. Just sign up for the things you are interested in, and once you get involved, you will start to gain experience,” says Dr. James Taft.
- No Cellphones! – You don’t need to be tied to your cell phone constantly, and this is one time when you should just turn it off completely. You can answer texts and emails later. Right now, you need to concentrate on learning about your new campus, what your classes will be, etc.
- Visit Your Dorm – If your dorm arrangements have already been made, this is your chance to check out the dorm. Take a look at your room, find out where the kitchen is, where the laundry facilities are located, etc. The last thing you want is to wake up in the middle of the night and not know where the bathroom is.
- Ask Questions – It is a good idea to have a list of questions prepared ahead of time, and not the most obvious questions. Read up on the school, find things in the brochures that you are curious about, and ask questions if the brochures don’t have the answers you are looking for.
- Take Photos – While you are touring around the campus, take photos of everything, from buildings to advisors to new friends you have met. This way, you will be able to easily remember what things look like once you are living and studying on campus, and things will be easier to find.
Pamela Currier helps recent grads land the jobs of their dreams, she is a career coach and educator.
By Sylvia Kohl
Taking a gap year between obtaining the bachelor’s and master’s degrees can be a wise decision if you need a short break. It might help you do better in class, and you can use the time to get a job and start making money. Skipping a gap year will give you a master’s degree sooner and you can get a job anyway. However, if you decide to work while studying for your master’s, you’ll be inviting a disaster due to the huge amount of stress caused by the double workload. To make the right decision, consider the pros and cons of all options.
Pros of Taking a Gap Year:
- Taking a gap year can help improve your performance in class because you’ll get a chance to rest and recuperate after the finals. If better schoolwork is your goal, spend this time studying on your own.
- A break from studies will allow you to reassess your priorities. During this time you can try starting a business or work at various spheres. You can use your experiences to adjust your choices for the master’s program based on your new preferences.
- Additional work during a gap year may be good for your resume. If you plan to work for a business that values real-life experience, you’ll be able to show it along with your college degree.
Cons of Taking a Gap Year:
- You may lose your ‘studying momentum’ and your motivation to study will go down.
- If you spend the gap year inefficiently, you might accumulate more debt or miss a chance to get into a good master’s program.
- Without occasional studying, you may forget important data, so restarting your classes will be more difficult.
- In case you start working, you might not be able to cope with the workload along with studying for your master’s.
Clever Study Tips If You Are Skipping a Gap Year
Despite the seeming advantages of taking a gap year, skipping it is often the wisest choice for people who want to make the most of their lives. This route saves you time, and you can easily overcome any challenges of learning non-stop using a variety of helpful academic tools. However, be conscious that not every way you might be taking is actually a good one. For example, a life-saving writing service might actually become more of a harm, than of a benefit to a struggling student; especially, if chosen improperly it might lead to plagiarism issues.
- Use efficient note-taking apps.
Specialized note apps, like Evernote, are great for boosting a student’s productivity. You can use it not only to take notes in class but also to save information in the library or save screenshots of websites directly from the Web. You can also work on your important notes anytime, for example, while traveling to or from work/class.
- Memorize faster using Anki.
Anki is an application that allows you to make flash cards and have them pop up on your smartphone/tablet/laptop/desktop all the time. It’s a great aid for effortless memorization that will help you study even while you are working.
- Look up info at Scientific Research.
Scientific Research is a web portal full of peer-reviewed articles on a variety of subjects. It’s a fantastic research assistant for any student as it offers information you can’t easily find via Google.
Both skipping and taking a gap year can be a good decision depending on your situation. Using these study tools and tricks is the same. They can help all students, regardless of how much time they have or what their major is. Maximizing your personal efficiency in and out of class will help you succeed in life.
Sylvia Kohl is an IT teacher with more than 8 years of professional experience. Her main spheres of interest are e-education and she convinced that learning process doesn’t stop after years in school and university.
By LINDA ANDERSON
College students spend so much time in front of their computers, mobile phones or iPads watching various TV-shows and movies.
With that in mind, it comes as no surprise that the average amount of unique words a college student uses has grown exponentially in the last few years, meaning that we are becoming linguistically smarter as a whole!
That is all well and good but quite conversely, students often find themselves strapped for cash and in dire need of any sort of money just to survive the following few days.
This doesn’t have to be this way, it is kinda sad to observe that where we have gained in intelligence, we have lost in creativity and innovation.
To fix that image, we will show you that it is possible to make use of your skills if you do the necessary research.
We hope that this little list will inspire you to do some deeper digging of your own so that you too can become an even better and more independent human being!
1) Article Writing
If you have ever written an essay in your life, you will be capable of writing an article.
Research is mostly done by browsing Wikipedia and there are many websites that pay a lot of money to writers.
Why is article writing so in demand you may ask?
Because there aren’t many people actually in the business as it requires the writer to show profound knowledge in the English language.
The most dependable websites for me personally were UpWork and Fiverr, enabling me to go from zero to hero by letting me set the rates.
There is a downside to this, you will have to find the clients on your own but with a bit of diligence on your part, you will most definitely succeed!
Don’t get me wrong, you don’t have to be a polyglot or have extensive knowledge in thirty-six languages.
Your main concern should be whether or not you are capable of speaking English fluently and secondly, if you know the ropes around any other language besides English.
If you have been through high-school you will most likely be acquainted already with a little bit of Italian, German, French or Spanish.
These are all very much in demand and while I was a translator I found that transcription services were always hot and you would always find an odd job or two in that line of work.
The best way to make money in this world is to find a need, find a reason why that is a need and then try to fill the gap.
This is what we call value.
There is nothing better in this world then earning money from your colleagues, as their laziness and bad attitude force them to pay someone in order to their job for them!
This is where you come into place, offer to proofread their homework, assignments, seminar, essay or anything else.
They will most likely accept as they ‘just can’t be bothered with it’.
After word gets out that you do the dough, your business will expand on its own and you will never have to worry about earning money on the side ever again!
To summarize, there is a lot of talent on our little blue planet and most of it is unused, sadly.
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.
By CASSIE TOLHURST
With the arrival of summer, students across the country are embarking on road trips to explore natural wonders and new cities. If you’re one of these adventurous humans, how do you make sure your trip will create amazing memories instead of being boring or disastrous?
The answer is preparation.
Here are some tips for what to bring and how to plan for the time of your life.
- Car Maintenance and Supplies
Before putting hundreds of miles on your car, have a mechanic you trust thoroughly inspect it, measure the air pressure in your tires—including the spare— change the oil, test your air conditioner, and investigate any weird little sounds. If you need to have some repairs done, it’s better to find out before you’re stranded in the middle of nowhere.
Safety is paramount, no matter where you’re going or what you’re doing once you get there. In addition to maintaining and repairing your car before your trip, put a well-stocked emergency kit—complete with jumper cables, flashlights, first aid supplies, and so on—in the trunk. You can take several other simple safety precautions as well so your trip is as low-stress as possible and so you can focus on having fun.
- Technology and Internet Access
Unless you want your road trip to also function as a technology fast, you’ll need to connect to the Internet every now and then. You can use LTE data if necessary, but that tactic can get pricey. Instead, connect to Wi-Fi hotspots when possible.
Is your route taking you off the beaten path? Some phone companies, like AT&T, have apps to help you locate nearby hotspots. Having a mobile hotspot is especially helpful in rural areas where free Wi-Fi may be hard to come by, and luckily, there are more product options now than ever before. Along with car-compatible chargers, these key technology upgrades can make all the difference when you need to download new podcasts on the road or fine-tune your cross-country Spotify playlist (here’s a good example to get you started).
- Boredom Busters
Let’s face it: driving can get monotonous. If you want to fight off premature yawning and bond with your passengers, play some car games during your drive. Opt for childhood classics like the License Plate Game or Twenty Questions, or try some that are a bit more obscure. Check out this list from BuzzFeed for ideas—one called Fortunately/Unfortunately sounds pretty amazing.
If games aren’t your thing, try some getting-to-know-you questions instead. You can find lists ranging from easygoing to intensely personal. For the ultimate high-risk, high-reward situation, you can even go with “The 36 Questions That Lead to Love.”
- Snacks and Drinks
You’ll almost certainly need some good snacks along your way; even if you can stop at plenty of convenient places for food, having a supply of snacks can help you cut down on unnecessary stops and reduce your drive time. Some popular options: trail mix, bottled water, string cheese, carrot sticks, grapes, apples, and homemade cookies.
- Travel Funds
It’s exciting to run off impulsively and throw caution to the wind, but a little budgeting in advance can help you stay on track before, during, and after your trip. How much money do you expect to spend? Are you accounting for gas, food, lodging, and the random souvenirs you plan to pick up along the way? Have you checked into fees for any activities you have planned?
Make sure you have cash on hand and that none of your credit or debit cards are about to expire. You may even want to alert your card company about your travel plans so they know you’ll be using your cards out of state.
Whether you plan to explore national parks, wander a bustling city, or reconnect with old friends and family, your road trip can be one to remember. Buckle down and do a little preparation, then set out on the open road for an amazing trip.
Cassie Tolhurst is a recent grad, freelance writer, and a wannabe world traveler. Her passions include the newest tech gadgets, what’s streaming on Netflix, and the latest rides at Disneyland.
By Martha Karn
Being a student offers a lot more benefits than just a great education with the promise of a great career. While you are a student, your student ID card is your ticket to a lot of awesome discounts, not to mention tons of free stuff. Never be afraid to ask if there is a student discount, because if you have that ID card, you might be able to save a lot of money on books, clothing, and even groceries and other things you use every day. Here are eight cool things you can get with your student ID.
- Anything on Amazon
The Amazon Student program lets you get free two-day shipping on eligible items, unlimited digital photo storage, and other awesome offers. This is a free trial period. If you want to upgrade to Amazon Student Prime, you can do it for 50% off the normal price.
Many of the most popular clothing stores offer discounts to students who show their student ID cards. Get discounts at Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, J.Crew, Club Monaco, Madewell, and more. Discounts usually range from 10 to 20 percent. Some are online or in-store discounts, while others are online only.
As a student, you need your tech gadgets, and tech manufacturers and retailers want to make sure that you can afford the gadgets you need. Companies such as Apple offer a variety of student discounts. You can also get better deals on software when you are a student, such as 60 percent off Adobe Creative Cloud (great if you are a design major).
- Phone Plans
Chances are that your cell phone is never more than a few feet away, and you likely use it frequently. You need to have an affordable phone plan. Students at eligible schools are eligible for discounts from Sprint and AT&T, with discounts ranging from 10 percent to 23 percent, which can add up to a lot over time.
There is likely going to come a time when you need a prescription, and you might be surprised to find out just how expensive most medications are. “Many pharmacies do offer student discounts for prescriptions and other items. There may also be special plans you can get on through your school that will make it cheaper to have prescriptions filled,” says Dr. Pedram Bral.
If you love takeout food, but don’t like the prices, you can still enjoy your favorite treats, and save money by showing your student ID. Many franchises offer student discounts, and you will also find that many locally-owned and operated establishments also offer discounts to their student clientele.
Just because you are a student on a tight budget, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t feel entitled to go out and enjoy yourself once in a while. There are many entertainment venues that offer student discounts. Often, you can find discounts on concerts, plays, etc., and of course, there is often free entertainment happening around campus. Keep your student ID handy when you go out so you can spend less and still have fun.
If you own a car, you can use your student ID to get discounts on everything from gas to insurance. To get a discount on insurance, you will need to show proof that you are a student, which generally involves sending in a copy of your transcript. If you are considering buying a car, visit a General Motors dealership and ask about their student discount program. If you don’t want the expense of owning a car, your student ID will save you money on public transportation.
Martha Karn develops online educational courses and writes for students.
BY LORRAINE McKINNEY
At the beginning of the school year, most colleges tend to be focused on the new students coming out of high schools. But, there are also plenty of second and third-year students who are new because they are transferring from other colleges. If you are a transfer student, there are a lot of things you will need to know, but may not necessarily find out from your new college because they are busy concentrating on first-year students. Here are 10 things that you need to know when transferring to a different college.
- Your Grades
Often, it is difficult to transfer to a new college if you do not have good grades. Over 90 percent of all colleges consider grades one of, if not the most important requirement for transfer students.
- Merit Scholarships
Many colleges offer merit scholarships to transfer students. Most of these colleges are smaller schools with less than 3,000 students, but there are many larger colleges that also offer this funding to deserving students who need it.
Just because you want to transfer to a certain college, it doesn’t mean that you are going to automatically get in because you have great grades. They simply may not have the room for you. Look for schools that are equipped to handle large numbers of transfer students.
- Admission Requirements
Before applying to a new school, you will need to look into the admission requirements. Look at the Common Data Set, which is a document that contains information about many schools, including admission requirements, transfer admissions, etc.
- Transferring Credits
Not all credits are transferrable with all colleges. If you want to keep the credits you already have, you will need to find a college that will let you transfer those credits. Find out by asking the college’s transfer credit evaluator to find out if your credits are transferrable.
- Be Positive
When you are interviewing at a new school, they are going to ask why you want to transfer. “Focus on the positive rather than on the negative. For instance, instead of saying you hate a certain program at your current school, tell them why you like the program they offer,” says a wellness practitioner from Radiance Aesthetics & Wellness.
- Apply on Time
Even if a school does accept transfer students and your credits will transfer, it doesn’t mean that you will get in if you don’t apply on time. You can’t apply at the last minute and expect to be accepted. You will need to have all of your ducks in a row, such as course transcripts, test scores, financial aid details, etc. when you apply.
- Look into Housing
You can’t just up and move to a new area for school without a place to live. Before being accepted, start looking around for potential housing. If you are accepted, you will know where there are good rentals available, roommates, etc. so you don’t end up with a space in the school but no space to live.
- Meet an Advisor
If you are truly serious about transferring, it is a good idea to talk with an advisor at the school you wish to transfer to. This not only shows that you are eager to study there, but it also gives you a chance to learn more about the school, health and stress management as a student, and more.
- Have a Plan
College admittance officers want to know that potential new students have good reasons for wanting to transfer. You need to have a plan in place to show them. It may be that the courses are better-geared to your career choice, you want to live closer to home, that there are better employment opportunities in the area, etc.
Lorraine McKinney is an academic tutor and elearning specialist.
BY BRITTANY KERLIN
Some students can sail through college without having to work. Sure, they may get to have more of a social life, but they are also missing out on an experience they can never get again. There are actually several benefits to working while in college, besides earning enough money to be able to pay for expenses. Let’s take a look at seven ways that working through college can prepare you for the real world.
- Avoid Debt – If you have to take out student loans to pay for school, having a part-time job can help to offset a lot of expenses. You can avoid a lot of debt by paying for a lot of your educational expenses yourself. Having a huge student loan debt after graduation is not the best way to start your new life. The last thing you want is to get out into the real world and be saddled with huge loan payments.
- Job Experience – One of the biggest benefits of working through college is the valuable on-the-job experience you will have. Not only will you have your education and training, you will have actual experience that you can put on your resume. This is something that potential employers like to see. Not only does it show you have the skills for the job, but also that you have a lot of ambition.
- Working with Others – Working in groups at school somewhat prepares you for working in teams in the real world, but nothing prepares you like actual work experience. Look for companies that offer the best coworking spaces, so you can start experiencing what it is going to be like when you have to work with others in the real world after college.
- Time Management Skills – When you work and go to school, you have a lot going on, and you need to learn how to manage your time so you can attend classes, study, work, and actually have a bit of a life. The time management skills you learn while working and going to school are going to stay with you for life, and they will help you when you get out into the real world and have to juggle work and family life.
- Learn Responsibility – Many employers find that college graduates who don’t have any previous work experience tend to not make the best employees. They are completely unprepared for the responsibilities they have on the job, and they expect work to be like school. They take extra breaks, chat on their mobile phones, etc. Students who work while attending college know what employers want, because they have already done it.
- Better Grades – A lot of people think that their grades will slip if they work while in college, because jobs will take away from their study time. Actually, because you will be learning better time management skills, you will be better able to schedule study time more effectively. Figure out how many hours you can work while still having time to attend classes, study, and sleep, and you will soon notice an improvement in your study habits, and in your grades.
- Employee Benefits – Some part-time jobs offer employee benefits, which can come in pretty handy when you are a student. For instance, you might qualify for sick time, which you might need during cold and flu season. Some companies offer retirement savings plans that you can invest in, and some even offer part-time employees health benefits. Most students can’t afford medical care, but it could be covered for you if you find the right employer.
Brittany Kerlin is a library assistant / technician. She enjoys writing
BY MIA MORALES
Buying a home is a big step for new graduates. The responsibilities of school can definitely be hefty, but buying and maintaining a home is a different kind of challenge. Here we will take you through some tips when preparing to buy a home after graduation. These are by no means comprehensive, but are a useful guide that will make home buying a bit less daunting.
Consider All Relevant Cost
A house has multiple costs. Unless it is purchased with 100 percent cash, a fraction of the home price will be financed through loans. These loans carry monthly payments that have to be met in order to remain in good standing with the lender. Homes are subject to property taxes that add to overall homeownership costs. Lastly, homeowner’s insurance and a home warranty are valuable services to have. For quality coverage, those will add a bit to overall monthly homeowner costs.
Every month, the principal and interest components of a home loan will skew more and more towards more principal and less interest, thereby giving you equity; actual “ownership” of the real estate. However, note that a significant fraction of what you pay to own a home does not correlate to direct ownership: loan interest, taxes, and insurance do not translate to ownership but are nonetheless necessary. New buyers should be aware of what exactly the “ownership” consists of so they do not get unrealistic ideas regarding how quickly they will build up equity.
Reduce Total Debt
When starting the home buying process, keep an eye on total outstanding debt and credit score. Credit score is a composite rating that, in theory, rates people according to the risk they pose to a prospective lender. An important variable is outstanding debt. Even though students often hear that school loans are “good debt”, they are still obligated to make payments to eliminate that debt. If school loans are high in relation to income, it can make home loan lenders wary. This may result in denial of a loan or, even if acceptance, a high interest rate that works against the homeowner.
Examine Homeowner Benefits Math
Tax law allows you to deduct mortgage interest if you choose to itemize deductions. This may seem enticing since you’re “negating” part of the expense through tax benefits. Let’s take a closer look. Assume someone filing single, they have the option of a standard deduction valued at $6350. For this example, assume assessed home value of $150,000 and property taxes totaling $4000 and state taxes totaling $2000. At this point, you would need at least $350 in annual mortgage interest to make itemizing deductions worth it. This is not a hard target to reach since every year except the last will entail over $350. This is good news for homeowners.
Before buying a house, “run the numbers” with more detail than shown in this bare-bones example. Maintenance expenses, association fees, insurance and security systems as well as changing tax law can throw a curveball into rosy assumptions about the benefits of buying a home. These kinds of variables should be examined prudently and with a professional, if possible.
Envision Selling or Renting It
Selling or renting the property should remain in the background even during the buying stage. Likely buying market now and in the foreseeable future is very important to anticipate. Major employers and local/state politics can also greatly alter the value and appeal of your property for better or worse.
Buying a home after graduation is a significant and impressive step. It is fraught with some challenges, difficulties, assumptions, and risks; nonetheless the benefits that accrue often make the hassle worth it. To succeed here, do your homework and don’t get caught up in emotion when judging the future costs and value of your home.
Bio: Mia Morales is really passionate about health, nutrition, and what she puts in her body. When she’s not writing, you can find her with a glass of mint lemon water and a child on each hip. Who says mom’s aren’t super heroes?
BY PAMELA CURRIER
Searching for a job right out of college can be a very frustrating experience, especially when it seems that you are having absolutely no luck at all, no matter what you do. Maybe you are making job search mistakes, and you aren’t even aware of it. You could very well be sabotaging yourself before you even apply for any jobs. Read on to learn more about some of the job search mistakes that new college grads make, and that you should try to avoid making yourself.
- Narrowing Your Focus – There are two major mistakes that grads make when it comes to what they are focused on. Some have so many criteria that it makes it difficult to even find companies to apply to. Others don’t have any focus at all, and are applying willy-nilly. What you need to do is find a happy medium.
- Position Expectations – Some grads think that because they have graduated from college that they don’t have to start at the bottom. Most people do have to work their way up, so don’t expect to be hired for anything other than entry-level positions. You need to prove to an employer that you deserve better positions, and this is going to take time and effort.
- Salary Expectations – You aren’t going to have an awesome salary right off the bat. Your salary is like your position. It will likely be low at first, and as you show your worth, your salary is going to increase. Expect an entry-level salary for any job you apply for, and when you get hired, you can be happy that you have a job and a salary when other students are still searching.
- Communications – It is so important to make sure that your written communications (email, resume, etc.) are perfect. It can’t have any typos. If resume writing isn’t your forte, you may want to take advantage of a resume writing services expert to help.
- Only Applying Online – A lot of people make the mistake of only using the Internet to find work. While it does help, you still have to get out there and pound the pavement in order to find the right job.
- Not Using the Guidance Office – Not nearly enough students take advantage of the job finding services offered by their school guidance offices. They can help you with everything from creating resumes and cover letters to preparing you for interviews to having lists of jobs that are available to students and recent graduates.
- Your Resume – It is important to create customized resumes for various companies. Not all resumes will suit all types of jobs you are applying for. You should consider using resume templates to make this easier.
- Professionalism – Always be professional in all aspects of your life. Clean up your social media profiles, voicemail, etc. What you think looks cute may not appear cute to a potential employer. They do check out Facebook, Twitter, etc., and they don’t really want to see your party pics.
- The Interview – These days, many college grads expect companies to be more laid back, and they go into interviews with a laid back attitude and casually dressed. Do not do this. Always dress appropriately, and carry yourself in a professional manner. If you get the job, there will be plenty of time later to find out how laid back the company is and what they expect.
- Not Networking Enough – Don’t discount anyone when it comes to your job search. You never know who is going to know someone who knows someone who can get you a job. Network with everyone you meet, and don’t be afraid to reach out to them for help and advice.
Pamela Currier helps recent grads land the jobs of their dreams, she is a career coach and educator.
By Melissa Burns
Life happens, whether you’re in school or not. You may be dealing with a chronic illness, the death of a loved one, or another personal issue; in any case, managing your classwork will become exceedingly difficult. Not only will you need to miss classes to attend to your personal responsibilities, you may be too distracted or emotionally distraught to properly focus on your work.
So what can you do to find the support you need to get through this crisis?
Strategies for Support in College
These strategies should help you get through your crisis without abandoning your education altogether:
- Seek lighter or alternate coursework. Your first step is to work with your professors directly to seek a lighter or alternate workload. To be successful here, you need to be as open, proactive, and flexible as possible. Openness will help your professor understand your personal needs and circumstances (and will show them you aren’t just making excuses to ditch work). Being proactive will give you more time to work with (nobody will be excused from the final hours before the final is scheduled to commence). And flexibility will help you and your professor find a solution that works for both of you. Set a formal meeting with each of your professors, and come prepared with some suggestions for how you can complete the class, given your current situation.
- Work with a medical or treatment center to gain more study time. If you’re managing a chronic illness, recovering from addiction, or are involved in some other crisis that involves frequent visits to a medical center, work with your staff to find extra time to study. For example, you could bring some of your coursework to keep you occupied when between sessions, or specifically schedule your appointments so you can still attend most classes. Many medical centers also offer options for emotional and spiritual support, such as Rush University Cancer Center’s robust range of resources for patients seeking help. Don’t be afraid to take advantage of them.
- Find a support group within the school. Don’t discount the potential support groups and counseling services you can find at your own university. Most big schools will have their own psychological services department, and depending on your school, you’ll likely have access to a support group for the very type of crisis you’re going through. US News rates the University of Maryland, the University of Georgia, and the University of Missouri as the three universities with the best counseling programs in the country. However, engaging with your peers (and preferably, with a trained professional) will be effective no matter where you do it.
- Join study groups, clubs, and organizations. Socializing with other people has a number of health benefits, which can help you no matter what you’re recovering from. You’ll start to feel “normal” again, and the new people you meet may be able to lead you to new and different resources that can help you on your journey. Plus, studying in a group could be more advantageous for you; you’ll have someone to keep the group on task, and you’re less likely to be distracted with your current situation.
- Find time for yourself. Finally, despite the many benefits that working with other peers and professionals can offer you, you’ll need to find some time for yourself as well. Finding the time to emotionally confront your problem will give you the opportunity to healthily work through it, rather than just burying it and ignoring it while you finish your schoolwork. Finding time to do things that make you happy—including following your passions and engaging with your close friends and family—will also prevent you from becoming too stressed, and enable you to perform better in your classes. The only difficult part is finding time in your busy schedule for everything.
On Dropping Out
If you’ve tried all the above strategies and you still find yourself unable to dedicate the proper time and resources to your schoolwork, you may consider dropping out. It’s certainly a viable option, and there are countless stories of students who stopped attending college and ended up becoming wealthy and/or successful.
Unfortunately, there’s no clear, one-size-fits-all gauge for when you should drop out of college. You’re the only one equipped to make that decision. You likely already know that the return rate for dropouts is very low, you know what you’re paying, you know what kind of grades you’re currently getting, and you know how likely you are to recover in time to see those grades improve. Dropping out isn’t the best option, but if you’ve truly exhausted your resources otherwise, it’s worth considering as a temporary reprieve to better handle your personal situation.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org