Posts published in August, 2017
BY SAMANTHA ANDERSON
The fact that the majority of students consider their academic papers as one of the most complex assignments does not seems surprising at all. Why is that so? Why are these assignments so complicated? There are a few main reasons. First of all, in order to provide a high-quality paper, one has to fulfill a whole list of subtasks, such as choosing the right topic, organizing the whole paper, finding relevant literature, conducting a research, etc… The actual writing is just one phase of the whole process. The problem with this phase is that it is not an easy task to provide the content that is concise and informative, but at the same time interesting and original. It seems that the writing talent is of great help in this process, but unfortunately, only a small percentage of students actually possess this kind of talent. Besides that, every academic term paper writing has to be done in accordance with a specific set of writing norms and rules (for example, APA or Chicago), so students should also get familiar with these.
The additional problem is that these obligations are very common, so they have a significant influence of the final grades. In the text below, a few tips and pieces of advice on how to provide a high-quality academic paper will be provided, so students should get familiar with these as they can be very beneficial for their future education.
Types of academic writing
Of course, there are different types of academic papers, depending on their content, research design, writing style, audience, etc… These are some of the most common types of academic papers.
This is one of the most common types of academic writing. This is a paper that requires the combination of creativity, research skill, and the knowledge of a particular topic. The creativity takes place at the beginning of the paper in which a student should elaborate the main idea of his research and explain why this domain is investigated. Although it is not always the case, these papers often include the actual research process, so a student has to collect his own data. This indicates that the research design has to be constructed. A research design contains information such as who will be the participants (i.e. the sample of a particular population), how the data will be collected, what instruments or questionnaire will be used, what kind of statistical analysis will be provided, etc… At the end, the results have to be interpreted and discussed.
Essays don’t include the process of collecting the data, but it does include the literature review, i.e. the process of collecting relevant information on a particular topic. Of course, one should only use academic and reliable sources of information (scientific books, articles, scientific papers, etc…). There are 4 main types of essays:
- The expository essay (the elaboration and explanation of a particular topic or idea; for example, “The main postulates of the Roman law”)
- The persuasive essay (the writer aims to defend a certain claim or a point of view; “Why smoking is harmful?”);
- The analytical essay (the process of analyzing a certain domain, such as a work of art, some natural process, etc…; “The influence of Homer’s Iliad on poetry”)
- The argumentative essay (elaborating why a certain point of view is more accurate than the other ones; “Why are non-physical forms of punishment more effective than the physical ones?”)
This type of academic paper can be considered as a concise version of the scientific paper. It represents detailed and elaborated plan of the research. Another important thing to mention is that it is submitted before the actual research takes place.
Although every student has his own style and specific writing issues, there are a few very common pitfalls.
Using complex expressions
A lot of students make mistake by thinking that they will make a positive impression by using complex expressions and complicated sentences. However, the truth is usually quite the opposite; this kind of elaboration can often represent the compensation for the lack of understanding a particular construct.
In the domain of writing, productivity is tightly connected to the creativity and inspiration, and the problem with these two is that they cannot be forced. Some students believe that they should finish their paper “in one breath”, so they force themselves to write even if they are tired. The best advice is to make a short break (preferably in a physically active manner) whenever a student feels that he is getting tired and losing his focus.
Writing in Second/Third person
Academic papers are almost always written in a third person. This way the content sounds more objective, as it can be seen in these examples.
Second person: You shouldn’t smoke because it is bad for you.
Third person: Smoking should be avoided, as it can cause serious physical consequences.
Citations and References
Every academic paper has to be written in accordance with a certain set of writing rules. The three of the most common ones are APA (American Psychological Association), MLA (Modern Language Association), and Chicago. Considering that there are minor differences between these citation styles, only one of them will be further elaborated, as it is very simple to find the examples of other two citation systems online.
APA is mostly used in psychology and education domain. Here are some examples:
(Author, year of publication, page number); “People are not just on looking hosts of internal mechanisms orchestrated by environmental events” (Bandura, 2001, p.4)
Author, A. A. (Year of publication). Title of work: Capital letter also for subtitle. Location: Publisher.; Amabile, T. M. (1983). The social psychology of creativity. New York: Springer-Verlag.
Author, A. (Publication Year). Article title. Periodical Title, Volume(Issue), pp.-pp.; Bruer, J. T. (1997). Education and the brain: A bridge too far. Educational researcher, 26(8), 4-16.
Writing assignments are considered to be one of the most complex academic obligations for a good reason. In this text, some of the main domains were elaborated and a few pieces of advice were provided. With dedication and these tips in hand, it is almost certain that every student can ensure a high-quality academic paper of any kind.
About the author:
Samantha Anderson is a passionate teacher. She found her destiny in developing new educational approaches. Which she kindly shares on the blog. Her free time is dedicated to writing college essays for students in order to help them find the real purpose of it. according to Samantha’s lifestyle, rock climbing is the best thing for relaxation.
BY LAN NGO
In college, one of the best resources available is office hours, which are scheduled times when students can visit their instructors’ office to talk and ask questions. Going to office hours is like having a weekly private tutor. You’re already paying for it (or someone is), so make use of it! Here are 4 tips to make the most of this great resource:
- Go to office hours weekly
Put it in your schedule, and make it a habit to attend weekly. Start with the first one available in the semester to introduce yourself to your professor; you would probably be the only one there since it’s so early in the semester. Some students feel that they’re intruding on their instructors when they go to office hours, but you shouldn’t feel that way. Often enough, all the other students are thinking that they’re bothering the professor as well, and so the professor just ends up doing other work. Office hours are for you, so take advantage of that time.
More importantly, by regularly going to office hours (and being prepared for the occasion), you would be demonstrating your strong interest in achieving in the class. Working with your instructor one-on-one, you can display your motivation, inquisitive nature, relevant skills, and critical thinking abilities. These interactions may also improve your performance in the class.
- Come prepared
Use the time with your instructor wisely. Come prepared with specific questions about readings, a problem set, etc. Write a list of questions or mark the areas of concern neatly on your handouts and readings so that you can point to, for example, the exact paragraph in the book that you’re struggling with. If you’re not having difficulties with the class, come with a question to expand your knowledge on the course’s topic. Your instructor will appreciate your inquisitiveness and efficiency.
- Make use of the TA
In some cases, particularly at large public universities, it’s incredibly difficult to get a time slot for office hours with your professor. How do you get around this issue? Turn to the teaching assistant, the TA. If you’re in a large, lecture-style course, you probably have a weekly discussion/recitation section led by the TA. Chances are good that the TA will get to know you well in such a small, intimate setting, and will therefore, make a great “tutor”. Attend your TA’s weekly office hours if your professor’s office hours are full.
- Engage in small talk
Unless your instructor is obviously in a rush, start with a bit of small talk and sprinkle some throughout your office hours meeting. When I was teaching undergrads, I had weekly meetings with each of my students, and I learned a lot about them by chatting with them. I learned much more than what we talked about in class: I learned about their lives back in their hometown, I heard about their experience rushing for a frat or sorority, and I learned about their stresses and happy points. All of these made for a stronger relationship with my students, and made me even more driven to help them succeed and be healthy in college. Because my students regularly talked with me, I knew when they got sick or were slammed with other coursework and needed an extension on their assignments.
Your instructor’s compassion can also later be converted to a solid recommendation letter when you need one. By building a strong relationship with your instructor via office hours, your instructor would be happy to write a letter for you, and the letter would be personalized.
Office hours are a gem in college. Seeing your professor or TA at office hours will help with your academics and can be a strategy for landing an strong recommendation letter. Go ahead–mark your instructors’ weekly office hours on your calendar!
Byline: Lan Ngo, PhD is a Project Delivery Manager in the Learning Lab at the University of Pennsylvania, where she is also an education lecturer. Lan is the co-founder of www.yourcollegeadvisors.com
You are about to enter a new phase in your life: college. This is going to be a lot different from anything you have ever known, and if you aren’t careful, you could end up putting yourself through a lot of unnecessary stress. College can be stressful for anyone, but it is even more stressful for the freshman who is trying to get used to college life, get good grades, make new friends, etc. Here a few strategies that will help you deal with and reduce stress in your first year of college—and beyond.
- Be Prepared – Being unprepared really puts a lot of unnecessary stress on a person. So, before going to bed each night, prepare a plan for the following day. Sure, there may be unexpected events, but the more prepared you are for what you know lies ahead, the less stressed you will be.
- Don’t Forget To Eat – It is important to make sure that you are eating healthy. Always have healthy snacks available, so even if you can’t sit down for a meal, you can still get the nutrition you need to stay healthy. Also, don’t deprive yourself by dieting, as this can add even more stress.
- Set Aside Relaxation Time – “No matter what relaxation techniques you are using, they aren’t going to help unless they become habitual, and creating a new habit can be the hardest part”, says an expert from Healthy But Smart. Make sure that you set aside at least 20 minutes each day for relaxation time. The more time you can spend relaxing, the better off—and more productive—you are going to be.
- Avoid the ATM – Your finances can play a huge role in your stress levels. Create a budget, and try to only use the ATM once weekly, to withdraw what you will need for the week. This will help you keep better track of your finances and stay on budget.
- Go Swimming – One of the most relaxing things in the world is to just lie back and float in the water. If your campus has a swimming pool, or if there is a public pool in the area, take advantage of it. During nice weather, hit the beach or a local swimming hole and let stress float away.
- Take Time To Just Be – Sometimes, you just need to get out and focus on your senses and nothing else. Go for a walk by yourself, and instead of thinking about your stress, think about your surroundings. Forget about stress, even if just for a few minutes.
- Keep a Journal – It is a good idea to start keeping a journal of the things that are bothering you. Better yet, find someone you can talk to—be it a friend, family member, professor, counselor, etc.—about whatever is stressing you out.
- Try Relaxation Techniques – There are all kinds of relaxation techniques you can use to help you deal with and reduce stress. These include yoga, meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, visualization, deep breathing, tai chi, music therapy, art therapy, aromatherapy, hydrotherapy, massage and more.
- Wash Your Hands – You are under pressure as a student, which makes you more susceptible to viruses. Make sure that you use proper hand-washing techniques, and carry a bottle of hand sanitizer with you at all times.
- Get Lots of Exercise – One of the best ways to destress is to exercise. You can lose yourself in your workout and temporarily forget about whatever is stressing you out. After exercising, you will enjoy a much clearer mind, and you will be better equipped to deal with your stress more effectively.
Lorraine McKinney is an academic tutor and elearning specialist.
BY SYLVIA KOHL
Starting a study group is relatively easy. Keeping a study group together, on the other hand, is far more difficult. If you want your study group to thrive, you’ll need to take proactive measures to keep the group active, keep your group members attending and participating, and attract new members.
How to Improve Student Retention
Assuming you’re in control of the group, either as the designated leader or as the person most likely to take responsibility for the group, there are some measures you can take to ensure your students keep coming back, week after week:
- Make a schedule and stick to it. One of the easiest ways to keep students coming back is to pick a firm schedule and stick to it, no matter what. If you keep changing the date, time, or location, some members are bound to get confused or frustrated, and they’re likely to leave as a result. You won’t be able to please everyone with your consistent schedule, but you will make it more likely for your attendees to stick around for the long haul.
- Create a tangible takeaway as a reminder. You can encourage repeat participation by giving all your study group members some kind of tangible takeaway. A small booklet or flyer should be enough to help your participants keep your group top of mind, and remind them of when and where you meet. Alternatively, if your group prefers more digital communication and reminders, you could setup a social media group or shared calendar to facilitate automatic reminders.
- Advertise your group on public boards. Go out of your way to advertise the group on public boards; after all, that’s what they’re for. The increased exposure should be enough to attract more people to the group. Those people will invite their friends, and soon, you’ll have small clusters of people constituting the bulk of the group. Those clusters will keep individuals within the clusters accountable, adding to the retentive power of the whole.
- Ask professors to announce your group. For a little extra leverage, ask your professors to mention the study group at the beginning or end of each lecture. This will aid in the recruitment process, but will also serve as a reminder to all study group participants that the group is still meeting on a regular basis. This makes it harder to ignore or forget about.
- Work with individuals. It’s easy to get lost in the crowd, especially as your study group keeps growing. If a member feels like they don’t get to participate often, or that they aren’t truly a part of the group, they’re not going to want to keep coming back. To prevent this and encourage more participation, focus your attention on individual members of the group. Make sure they introduce themselves, ask them to participate regularly, and work to understand their individual motivations for meeting. This makes people feel more invested in the experience, and will keep them coming back.
- Keep meetings interesting. Nobody will want to return to your study group if it’s like every other study group on campus. You’ll need to engage students’ creativity, present something unique, and make the experience a fun one. How you do that is up to you, the nature of the people in your group, and the type of class you’re taking. As long as you make the experience a memorable one, people will want to keep coming back.
Why Retention Is Important
Why is it worth the extra effort? Study groups that retain high numbers of students and participation see the following benefits:
- They last longer. Groups with more people will naturally last longer, since individual departures will be less likely to impact the longevity of the group.
- They utilize more diverse viewpoints. Diversity is important if you want your meetings to be productive. Having a large number of students will automatically bring more diverse viewpoints and study angles to the group.
- They recruit other people. Big groups attract even more members—because clearly, you’re doing something right. That helps the group last even longer.
- They meet consistently. Finally, big groups with long-time members naturally meet more consistently—and that predictability is a good thing for everyone involved.
Don’t let your study group fall apart the week after it was created. If you want to keep getting the most use out of your study group, go out of your way to keep your students together.
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 is an incredible and magical place where you uncover treasure trove of knowledge and life lessons. It is your stepping stone to adulthood. But often students in college end up spending way too much, which can plunge them into utter poverty at the end of the month. Here are some frugal hacks which can help you breeze through college without begging from your parents.
Budget and lists
It is important to make a budget, charting out your month’s income and allotted expense for everything, including partying, splurging, drinking etc. This will help you be on top of your finances. You know how much money you can spend on any particular thing, as well as formulate some plan to make up for any accidental additional expenses that you may have incurred. When you go for shopping, make a list of things to buy so that you do purchase everything you need to, on one single shopping trip. Often people end up buying unnecessary stuff simply because they saw it at the store and more shopping trips increase the chances of spending more money.
Get second hand text books
Text books are usually extremely pricey which burns a huge hole in the pockets of students. When you have already spent quite an amount on admission, moving etc., buying new textbooks can be a financial burden, especially when you would probably not need them after the semester. So, instead of buying, borrow and scan to create an e copy which you can read on your laptop. It would be great if you can buy old books off your seniors which will cost you around half of the money you would have had to spend otherwise.
Find student discounts
Did you know that your student id card doubles as a discount card in a number of stores and even in transport? There are plenty of stores around the country, especially in popular college towns, which offer excellent student discounts on essential items. You can also avail lucrative discounts on transport. Buses like Greyhound etc. will let you travel for much cheaper if you can produce your student id. Therefore, it is a good idea to carry your it around. You can also save up on transport by cycling to places instead of driving.
Use open source instead of Windows
Instead of buying software and operating system, you can easily avail high quality open source software and OS for free. They will have the same functionality as your paid Windows versions but they come without burning a hole in your pocket. You can easily use such software to write your papers, create presentations and do all your work. They also come with updates from time to time which will help you avail cool new features, and that too at no cost at all.
Look out for coupons
It is a wise idea to schedule your shopping around the ties of sale, which will help you buy everything you need at a cheaper price. But sales do come only a few times so you will have to buy otherwise as well. Every time you shop something, you can save bits by looking out for coupons and discount codes. Before you go shopping, online or at a local store, check out for discount coupon codes at companies like Nitro Coupons which will help you buy everything you need at a cheaper price.
If you spend carefully, you will not end up adding more debts to your student loan. Therefore, will be less debt to pay back once you have a job. This will also help your credit score.
Linda Anderson is 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 DAVID GUTIERREZ
The meaning of the term “plagiarism” is fairly flexible – it can range from wholesale copy/pasting of someone else’s text and passing it for your work to much vaguer situations like using someone else’s ideas and presenting them as your own without referring to the original author. Plagiarism is an academic dishonesty, and depending on your academic level it may be a cause for many unpleasant consequences, ranging from failing grades to outright expulsion.
Many students continue to resort to it despite all potential problems. Some do it because “everybody does it,” others, because they’ve started small and got bold because they weren’t found out, still others say they just cannot cope with their work otherwise. But one thing is certain: with every passing year copy/pasting turns into a worse and worse idea. So how does one eliminate it from one’s life? Let’s take a look.
1. Make Sure to Give Credit
If you use somebody else’s ideas in your writing, make sure you mention their names and refer to the exact sources of your information. For that matter, always keep track of the points of view and thoughts that appear in your writing.
2. Use a Plagiarism Checker
Probably the most obvious way to make sure you never get accused of plagiarism is to mechanically check your work for possible matches. This may be a good idea even if you have written everything on your own without even thinking of lifting fragments from other sources – sometimes you may unconsciously copy entire phrases from books and articles you’ve read previously, and they may be enough for an accusation of plagiarism. To avoid this and make sure your paper does not have anything “stolen”, try using a plagiarism checker.
3. Don’t Think You Won’t Be Found out
Technological possibilities for discovering cases of plagiarism are getting better and readily available with every passing year. While twenty years ago you could’ve probably been found only in case your teacher read the source you lifted contents from, today the process is automated, and even a high school teacher can check any number of texts for copy/paste in a matter of minutes. The likelihood of success decreases while risks remain the same – it just isn’t worth it anymore.
If you’ve found information that is just perfect for your assignment, there is no need just to copy/paste it. Try to put it in your own words, rearrange things so that ideas follow each other in a different order. Make sure you don’t copy more than two words in a row, and best of all – express the same general idea without following the original’s structure. On advanced academic levels, this method may still not be enough – if you rework a fairly well-known piece of work, it will be noticed.
If you use more than one source of information and freely combine and shuffle data from all of them, it is unlikely to be considered plagiarism. Don’t restate ideas – draw from all your sources and present the findings in a way that doesn’t resemble the originals.
6. When not Sure, Refer to the Author
If you are not sure if the idea is attributed to a particular author, better play it safe and give him credit for it. Some pieces of data are too distinct and simply paraphrasing them just won’t cut it.
All in all, there are many ways to avoid using plagiarism and still heavily use other people’s work as supporting material. Apply some amount of creativity, and you will be able to do so without much hassle.
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.
BY ETHAN DUNWILL
All over the world, public speaking is the most reputed and accepted co-curricular activity. In every educational institution, it is supported as a co-curricular activity. Most other activities are merely accepted by the institutions but public speaking is something else. Just because this activity will help you to improve your self-esteem and institutional performance.
By mastering public speaking, you can do many things –
- Give better presentation
- Make understandable speeches
- Prove your logics to fellow students and teachers
- Communicate with everyone
However, the first step in achieving all these things would be to overcome your fear of public speaking.
Ways to Overcome The Fear of Public Speaking
Not everyone is able to give perfect public speeches. Some can do it, and most have fear of it. There are many ways to overcome this fear.
This is a matter of practice at first. But there are many influential activities that will help you to build up the confidence to overcome the fear. It’s actually not the fear that someone feels but rather a lack of confidence. So, to beat the fear of public speaking and boost your college performances you have to build up confidence first. The fear of public speaking is called Glossophobia and you are not the only one who suffers from it.
Always try to speak up in the class
Speaking up in the class with the teacher helps a lot to build up confidence. Always try to stand up and communicate with the teacher. This way, you can easily gain a solution to the problem you or the class is facing and you can also overcome the fear of speaking in front of a lot of people.
Practicing In front of The Mirror
This is a very important practice. Great public speakers, at the beginning of their careers, have tried it at least once in their life. They have said that if you can face yourself while speaking, you can face thousands of other people. Because the fear you’re having is within yourself. So if you can face yourself, you won’t be afraid to face a lot of other people undeniably.
Become an English Tutor
Becoming an English tutor is another good thing you can do. If you become an English tutor, you can easily overcome the fear of public speaking. As an English tutor, you will have to become fluent in presentations, in giving speeches, in communicating with people. Also, teaching English will extend your own vocabulary and by using sophisticated words you will feel more knowledgeable, thus boosting your confidence. While an English tutor is teaching his/her students, he can easily learn the tactics of communication and make the students understand whatever he or she wants to say. The exact same skills can and should be applied in public speaking.
There are many other ways in which you can overcome the fear of stage or the fear of public speaking in front of a lot of people. You have to be relaxed in front of them. To be relaxed and patient and calm, you count the seats to keep the adrenaline flow go slower, or you can breathe to keep your muscles relaxed. Also, pausing frequently, while giving a speech will help you relax and choose the correct words, without sounding awkward.
However, to be honest, these are not permanent solutions. You must find out a permanent solution for a problem like this that works best for you. Because if severe, this can cause panic attacks or even heart attacks. Eventually, with a lot of practice and experience, you will completely eliminate your fear of public speaking.
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 FREDDIE TUBBS
While writer’s block can affect all of us at various times, it is no longer some insurmountable menace that we can’t overcome. Whether you’re worried about what you’re writing, trying too hard to be perfect, or just lose inspiration, rest assured that you’re normal. There are also plenty of ways in which you can overcome your block quickly without getting too stressed. There’s no longer any reason to panic or miss you deadline, as you can just try out the following 7 ways to get over your writer’s block and get back to your craft.
1. Move Around
Sometimes you get writers block because you just can’t see further. Changing your environment by heading to a coffee shop, a library, or even just another room in your house can provide a fresh perspective.
2. Find another Outlet
Sometimes you just need to put down the pen and take a break from writing. However, you’ll recover from your block quicker by indulging in another creative outlet.
3. Make the Most of Online Tools and Resources for Writing and Editing
Online tools for writing and editing can make a huge difference in overcoming your writer’s block. They can spark your inspiration, or at the very least help you sift through what you already have and find something great to work with. The following tools are some of the most useful:
- Now Novel – this is a great tool for anyone looking to write fiction. This tool keeps your work private but it’s an amazing way for your work to stay organised, and help you develop a writing process.
- Write my essays – the forums at paper fellows are full of professional and amateurs alike who are able to provide awesome support and advice when you need it.
- Zen Pen – this tool is awesome if you’re easily distracted. You are provided with a completely plain interface, that’s just a blank page, so you can’t see any external links or procrastinate.
- Trello – this tool is great for anyone who is more of a visual learner, and would benefit from being able to see their progress so far in order to figure out how to proceed.
- Dissertation Writing Services – this writing tool is a cool way to find some inspiration and generate some ideas. You’ll be over your writer’s block in no time.
- Resume Writing Service – when you’re short of ideas, you can head to this site for inspiration and generate some great new threads of writing for ideas.
- Essay Roo – sometimes you just have to power through your writer’s block, and monitoring your daily word count, by setting and hitting targets is one way of doing that.
- UK Writings – when you’re writing for academia or for school, you’ll have to spend a lot of time referencing, and this can interrupt your writing flow or process. Using this tool can stop you from suffering from writer’s block if your work is disturbed.
4. Move Your Body
If you want your brain to be full of energy, you need to work on your body too, and getting some fresh air, moving around, whether it’s yoga, dance, boxing, or hiking, can really clear your head, and help you gain a fresh perspective and point of view.
5. Start Early
You may need to edit this writing heavily, but starting super early can leave you in a dream-like state where thoughts just spill over from your brain.
6. Turn Off You Phone
You’ll need to get rid of all distractions, but the easiest one to eliminate is your cell phone.
7. Always Have a Notepad
Inspiration could hit you anywhere, so make sure you can write them down and get to work when you get home.
Writer’s block can prove to be a massive struggle for anyone trying to hammer out a career, or get through a degree, but following the above tips can help you break through it quickly and effectively.
Freddie Tubbs is an eLearning project manager from Fort Myers, Florida. He works as a language researcher at Best assignment writing services and is a contributing author at The Atlantic.
BY LUCY TAYLOR
Being a student means that you are under a lot of pressure from fellow students to act the way that they think you should. College parties mean drinking, dancing, playing drinking games, and all the rest, right? You actually don’t have to drink at every party, and certainly not in order to have a good time. Here are seven smart excuses to use when people are hassling you about not drinking with them.
- Be the designated driver
If a lot of people are crowding around to one dorm, or one frat house, or one hall to have a party, many of them aren’t going to be from within walking distance. If anyone asks you why you aren’t drinking, simply tell them that you are driving home – even if it’s not true, it’s a valid excuse. There can be serious issues for your college career if you are caught drinking and driving. You could be expelled from your course, fined, put on probation, or even given jail time if your offence is serious enough. With such heavy legal consequences hanging over the decision to drink and drive, fellow students should respect your decision not to do so.
- Mention your training
If you are training for a sport, you won’t want to get drunk. Not only can it play havoc with your body, but the extra calories in alcohol can play havoc with your training diet too. If you have a football scholarship, for example, fellow students will be much more likely to understand that you don’t want to jeopardise your position by drinking. This is especially great as an excuse if you also have to get up and train early the next morning.
- Pretend you’re pregnant
Alright, so this will only work for girls, not guys. But if you pretend that you’re pregnant, no one at all is going to question why you aren’t drinking. If you use this excuse, you have to be comfortable with rumours spreading about it, and so you need to not care what other people think about you. It’s easy to brush questions off the next day by refuting the idea that you’re pregnant and suggesting that whoever thought that must have been drunk.
- Say you’ve already been drinking
If you aren’t hanging out with the same people consistently all night long, this will work wonders. Whenever someone asks you why you aren’t drinking, you can just tell them that you finished your last drink a few moments ago and now you’re taking a break. Why not? They won’t be able to figure out whether you really did have a drink or not, and it’s not really any of their business anyway.
- Hold a drink in your hand
If you are still getting hassled about not drinking even with your excuses in play, you can avoid hearing the questions in the first place by simply picking up a drink. Whether you grab a beer or just a solo cup with a little liquid inside, you’re going to look like you’re drinking even though you aren’t. This is a good way to not have to give an excuse, since everyone will assume you are having a drink. A great way to take this to the next level is to fill a cup or bottle with water, and if asked, tell people it’s vodka. This way you can still take a sip now and then without having to actually drink.
- Say you’re allergic
Many people are actually allergic to alcohol, so this could be a great excuse. Try doing a little bit of research first so that you know what the symptoms are and can talk about it further if pressed, otherwise this excuse may fall apart.
- Tell people you’re an alcoholic
Again, this excuse requires you to not care what people think about you, because if you do, you won’t want to have this reputation. But being a recovering alcoholic is something that most people understand, and they won’t push you to drink.
These smart excuses will all help in tricky situations, but the best move may just to politely but firmly state that you don’t want to drink. Anyone who doesn’t respect that isn’t worth your time.
Bio: With a huge love for writing and helping all those in need of help, Lucy Taylor is a legal expert, currently supporting LY Lawyers. She is also a staunch supporter of responsible driving and educating motorists about dangers of alcohol. Follow Lucy on her Twitter.
by Melissa Burns
When you are a student your adult life seems to be a hundred years away. Thinking about retirement in your 20s while you still likely have a student loan to pay off is so uncommon, but it is important to establish good saving habits as early as possible even if you are on a tight budget.
Regardless of who you are, you should never be dependent on someone else upon your finances because you never know what can happen. Sometimes this message can get lost in our consumeristic culture but let’s review some of the financial habits that can help you become more independent and save for the future.
A credit score is the most important 3 digit number associated with you. If you have a credit card, you have a credit score. Remember that the higher your credit score is, the better interest rate you are going to get. When you buy a car, house or anything like that you will want to get the best credit score possible. Aim for 720+, this number will bring you the best interest rate. If you have not checked your credit score this year, you’d better do it right now.
Avoid Credit Card Debt
Maybe you have heard from a million people, don’t get a credit card debt. However, having a credit card is the smartest thing you can do as you can earn cashback, rewards and other things that will help you to save more. Whether you want to have a vacation or buy something on Amazon, these things pay off.
The lure of big money always attracts young people to start investing. However, making money in equities is not easy. It not only requires research and patience but also a deep understanding of the market. Before you start investing, get knowledgeable on it.
Refinance Student Loans
Going to college may cost thousands of dollars, and you need to figure out the best strategy for your student loans. The best thing to do so is to refinance them. There are companies that offer lots of refinancing options. You can also check out a bank you have your student loan, but make sure you pay attention to a few things. Often when you refinance you stretch the time of the loan from ten to even thirty years. This is great for your monthly payment but very bad for the amount of money you will eventually pay.
Individual Retirement Account
The individual retirement accounts (IRA) have become popular among young people that enable them to take control over their retirement savings. The most common types are traditional and Roth IRA. They are easy to set up, and both have their advantages and disadvantages. Because IRA is an investment account, you can invest in bonds, stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, or precious metals.
However, the currency has its shortcomings. It is prone to inflation, and there is no sure fire way of telling what will happen in future. In order to avoid these shortcomings, many people choose gold IRA. Gold has one significant advantage over currency – it cannot be affected by inflation, which is a very important feature when it comes to long-term investment. Taking into account that our economy is anything but stable, investing in gold offers more security against market fluctuations and allows to take control of your retirement.
When you are in your 20s, you may have your first job and just starting to get established. There are a lot of life and relationship things to think about, but you should also be thinking about your money.
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