Archive for December, 2017

Social Media Tips To Increase Your College Admission  Chances

December 22nd, 2017

 

BY PAMELA CURRIER

Today, many students are applying to colleges online, and there are many differences between this and applying through the mail. For one thing, because online applications are so much quicker and easier, students are applying to more schools, thus increasing their chances of being accepted into their schools of choice. But, there is a lot more to it than filling out an application. If you are getting ready to apply to colleges online, here are some tips that are going to help increase your chances of acceptance.

  • Post Only Good Information
    You are putting yourself out there, and you need to be able to show admissions officers that you are the type of student they are looking for. Don’t post photos and videos from drunken parties. Avoid posts that portray you as a bully or as having salacious behavior. While you don’t need to pretend you are something you are not, it is important to be able to convey a somewhat wholesome image. Look at it this way. If you wouldn’t want your grandparents to see it, you don’t want college admissions officers to see it either.
  • Keep Info Consistent
    It is important to make sure that all of your social media profiles are updated regularly, and that the information on these pages match the information that you put on your college applications. If your application says one thing but your social media profiles say something else, you are going to greatly reduce your chances of being accepted into many colleges.
  • Have a Website
    You can really give them an insight to who you are and where you are heading when you have a personal website. This is where you can really highlight your brand and show how truly unique you are. Having your own website shows that you are a creative thinker, and that you are articulate. “When you have your own URL and website, you have a fast way for college recruiters and admissions officers to find out more about you. It also makes it easier to find you when they search for you on Google,” says Dima Midon, search engine expert at TrafficBox.
  • Have a Good Photo
    While your appearance shouldn’t make any difference, it often does, and if you do not have a professional profile photo across all social platforms, including Snapchat, your chances of acceptance could drop.  Don’t just get dressed up and take a selfie. Spend the extra money and hire a professional photographer to take your profile photo. It is well worth it if it is going to help you get into one of the colleges you have chosen to apply to.
  • Untag and Unfollow
    It isn’t just your posts that admissions officers are checking out. If your friends have tagged you in posts that are inappropriate, you need to get right in there and untag yourself. It may even be necessary to unfollow certain friends. This doesn’t mean that you have to unfriend them. When you unfollow someone, you are still friends, but their posts do not appear on your pages. This is important in order to avoid inappropriate photos and content.
  • Start a Blog
    College recruiters want to know more about you than just your academic history. They want to know who you are, what you believe in, what you are passionate about, etc. Start writing articles about the things that interest you, and set up your own blog page. You can put your blog right on your website or social media, or join a blogging community. If you don’t know how to start, take some of your best essays and post them as blogs. You will be showing your communication skills, and blogs are searchable, especially when you use SEO.

 

Pamela Currier helps recent grads land the jobs of their dreams, she is a career coach and educator.

 

6 Life Lessons Students Can Learn from Gaming

December 21st, 2017

BY EMMA BONNEY

Video games have become an important part of every child’s life these days. Starting from the rudimentary video games of the 90s to the high-end games of today, gaming has changed radically over the years with the advent of new technology. But one thing has remained constant over the years, and that is the immense impact that gaming has on the mind. Gaming can enrich one with important life skills.

Planning and strategy

The most important thing about almost all games is the importance of strategy that is necessary move through the obstacles. Not only does this improve the agility and functionality of the brain, it helps one navigate through real life in a much more efficient and smarter way. People who have experience of playing video games are often more equipped to fight and overcome the challenges in their personal and professional lives with a certain level of strategy.

The value of patience

Most games have certain factors like energy, game money, power ups etc which come at regular intervals or at least have to be earned over time. This can be insanely frustrating, but absolutely essential for one to advance through the various levels and challenges in the game. Therefore, the player learns an essential life value of patience

Accepting defeat

Failure might or might not be the pillar of success but it sure, isn’t an easy thing to experience. Winning and losing are both important parts of gaming, which makes it much easier for a gamer to accept defeat gracefully and fight for success. Not only does it help cushion the disappointment and sadness that is commonly associated with losing, it also helps the person develop the strength and zeal to carry on.

Perseverance

Perseverance is probably the most important thing one needs to have, in order to progress to a higher level in a game. The initial levels start fun and easy but the real fun is progressing in the game, slaying the obstacles. But it takes immense time, effort, dedication and the strength to continue despite the difficulty each stage poses. Once one learns the valuable lesson on how sweet success takes after all that struggle, it inspires them to persevere and work harder and never to stop before the goal is achieved.

The importance of timing

Timing is extremely crucial in a video game. If one does not take the right action or hit the right buttons on time, the game will change drastically. Thus, it teaches one to be agile in the face of changes that life might come up with. A Gamer learns to take life and its challenges head on, with an unflinching attitude because he or she is well acquainted with the value on acting on time. Thus, it also helps one learn to grab the right opportunity at the right moment.

Intuitive prediction

Gamers are seen to develop a natural tendency to predict correctly, which can be attributed to the honing of the intuitive skills of the player. With the right kind of gaming portal like real bookies, this intuition can be turned into a fun game of prediction. With the necessary skills, one can even make a bit of money by betting online on sports in the right forums. Done right, this is completely legal and can help a student get some extra bucks for college money or even a working person with some additional funds for saving up.

Video games teach some of the most important values in life which helps in a wholesome holistic growth of a person as an individual.

A bit about myself:

Emma Bonney is a successful blogger whose articles aim to help readers with

self-development, Women’s Empowerment, Education, entrepreneurship and

content management.

 

Self-marketing in college

December 19th, 2017

BY MELISSA BURNS

Self-marketing is becoming a buzz word these days and it seems that there is more than one reason for that. There are many ways to describe this term, but the simplest one is that self-marketing is the activity of promoting your own activities and making them public in a proactive way. This is an opportunity for a person to showcase their skills, experiences, values, and visions to future employees.

The truth is that there is fierce competition in the job market and this is the reason why college students should start working on self-marketing even during college. This is the most convenient method of establishing trust of future employees and colleagues. We have deliberately mentioned trust because when you get someone’s trust, there is a great chance they will be straight with you and take you into consideration for new jobs. Now that you know how important self-marketing for students is, let’s see how you can conduct self-marketing as college students.

Invest in your online presence

When we say “invest” we don’t mean spending money. We are primarily talking about energy and time. Use your knowledge and skills as well as your opinions on a wide range of online platforms. For example, you can start a blog where you will; discuss different things that can make you stand out. In addition, you can also be present on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn. The latter is especially important because a huge number of employers are active on this professional social media network.

The basic goal is to help other people and gaining their trust. Answer the questions they have, showcase your knowledge in specific areas and get involved in online discussions.

Don’t hesitate to share your skills and ideas

Every person is unique. The same goes for college students who are living the days when they are probably most inspired and innovative in their lives. Every college students possesses unique experience, knowledge and skills. Use these things to offer your help. After that, other college students will come to you for help whenever they need some help.

Always be authentic

In order to grab the attention of future employees and colleagues, you should try to stay authentic. People respect individuals with a specific point of view. Of course, this point of view must have some argumentation behind it. In this way, you will stand out from the crowd. Remember that your opinion might not always be popular, but you should not mind that because this is what authentic means.

Don’t be afraid to speak up

Being humble is a good thing, but this doesn’t mean that you should avoid expressing your opinion. This is especially true for situations in which you can relate your accomplishments to a specific work agenda. This will help you get noticed and remembered.

Self-marketing should start during college days because finding the right job after college can mean a lot today. use the above-mentioned tips to gain trust and respect.

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 burns.melissaa@gmail.com

 

 

 

New Data Shed Light on Demographics of Student Loan Defaulters

December 19th, 2017

BY KYLE EPSTEIN
Washington, D.C. — A new issue brief from the Center for American Progress paints a comprehensive profile of who comprises the 1 million student borrowers who default on $20 billion in federal loans each year. The final installment in a series on student loan default—which has focused on the student loan default crisis for African American borrowers and for borrowers with children—uses new federal data to highlight the demographics of defaulters, the amount of time it took borrowers to default, and what happened after they defaulted.
“You can’t fix what you don’t understand,” said Ben Miller, senior director for Postsecondary Education at CAP and author of the brief. “It’s difficult to craft an effective solution to the default crisis without a complete picture of who student loan defaulters are and their path into and out of default.”
Until now, robust data on student loan defaulters has been almost nonexistent, affording policymakers little context with which to address the growing issue. But using new data from the Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics, CAP’s analysis paints the following portrait of student loan defaulters:
• Defaulters represent a large portion of today’s college students. Nearly 90 percent of defaulters also received a Pell Grant at one point; 70 percent came from families where neither parent earned a college degree; 40 percent came from the bottom quarter of the income distribution; and 30 percent were African American.
• Defaulters borrowed less than nondefaulters. The median defaulter owed $9,625–$8,500 less than the median loan balance for a nondefaulter.
• Defaulters are not immediate dropouts. 49 percent of students who defaulted dropped out of college, while just 10 percent finished a bachelor’s degree.
• Borrowers take years to default. The median defaulter spent two years and nine months to default after entering repayment.
• Only slightly more than one-half of defaulters fixed their most recent defaulted loan.
To create a truly equitable system of higher education, it’s imperative that federal policy not let this situation persist. Policymakers must recognize that default does not occur in a vacuum and consider the many factors that are forcing borrowers into default and dictating how long they stay there. Notably, the data do not include any information on the usage of income-driven repayment plans, making it impossible to know what role those solutions may be playing in averting the default crisis.
While the federal government alone cannot solve the default crisis, it can make a significant impact by better ensuring that federal aid programs, especially options for defaulted borrowers, are structured to help students find success in repayment.
Click here to read the issue brief, “Who Are Student Loan Defaulters?”
Related materials:
• New Federal Data Show a Student Loan Crisis for African American Borrowers by Ben Miller
• The Student Loan Default Crisis for Borrowers with Children by Colleen Campbell
For more information or to speak with an expert, please contact Kyle Epstein at kepstein@americanprogress.org or 202.481.8137.
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The Center for American Progress is a nonpartisan research and educational institute dedicated to promoting a strong, just and free America that ensures opportunity for all. We believe that Americans are bound together by a common commitment to these values and we aspire to ensure that our national policies reflect these values. We work to find progressive and pragmatic solutions to significant domestic and international problems and develop policy proposals that foster a government that is “of the people, by the people, and for the people.”

6 Ideas to Take Your Mind Off Exams

December 18th, 2017

BY GORDON SCHORR
One of the most stressful times of anyone’s life has got to be exam time. You are under so much pressure to remember everything, write papers, and more, and it’s no wonder that so many students become particularly stressed out during this time. What you need to do is find ways that you can lower your stress levels, and still do everything you need to do. If you have upcoming exams, check out these tips that will help you to keep your cool, even in the middle of chaos.

Create Something
If you love arts and crafts, get yourself some supplies and make something. You don’t have to go crazy and start a project that is going to take months to complete. There are plenty of projects that take an hour or less. Make some holiday ornaments, do some scrapbooking, go out and take photos, etc. Whatever your hobby is, use it as a distraction from the exam preparations that are causing you to be so stressed out at the moment.

Read a Book
Go to the book store and pick up a great fiction novel, or at least something that has nothing to do with what you are studying. Take an hour or so each evening to read a few chapters, and let the story take your mind off your studies. Find a place where you can read quietly, or put in your headphones and play your favorite music while you get lost in the story. This is also going to help you to relax before falling asleep.

Get some Exercise
You need to take regular mental breaks, and your body needs exercise. It doesn’t matter if you go to the gym for an hour or so to work out, try salsa lessons, or if you take a long walk around campus. Just get out and do something physical, and get your mind completely off your exams, if only for a little while. You are going to do your body and your mind a world of good, and you will feel refreshed and ready to hit the books again.

Play with Animals
If you love animals, visit your local shelter and play with the puppies and kittens. There are very few things in the world that can help a person to destress more than playing with a baby animal. They are so soft, cuddly, and cute, they are pretty much irresistible to most people, and there is no way that you can feel stressed out or uptight when you are snuggling with a puppy or a kitten.

Listen to Music
Tune out the world around you and tune into your favorite music. Take an hour or so to listen to the music that helps you to relax. Classical music is recommended, but it may just be that the music that relaxes you is heavy metal. It is all a matter of preference, and studies show that people are much more relaxed while they are listening to the music that makes them happy, and afterwards. Keep the music on low while you are studying to give you momentum.

Watch a Movie
Another way to give your brain a break for a couple of hours is to watch a movie. Now, we don’t mean that you should sit down and watch several movies, or binge watch a season of your favorite show. You do need to spend more time studying than you do having fun. But, you need to take mental breaks for an hour or two here and there, and watching a movie that is completely unrelated to your studies is a great way to do it.

 

Gordon Schorr is an online educator and creative writer.

 

How Can A Student Become A Better Leader?

December 17th, 2017

BY LINDA ANDERSON

As great leaders have always said, students are the future of a nation. Today’s students are tomorrow’s leaders, industrialists, entrepreneurs and law makers. Thus, it is important that a student inculcates certain qualities which can help them pave their way to success. Most students are inspired by huge industrialists and their success. Here are the qualities that a student must have in order to become an industrialist.

Perseverance

Failure is the pillar of success. The difference between common people and successful people is that the latter dare to look failure in the eye and refuse to let it control their lives. Most of the huge industrialists who have succeeded in their business have gone through plenty of failure, rough patches, despair and sometimes, even utter poverty and they never gave up. Don’t be afraid of failure. Instead if you persevere and keep working towards your aim, success is bound to come. It is easy to give up, but that will not help your build an empire! Take failure and rough patches in your stride and use them as steps for your success. Learn from your mistakes and move on.

Diligence

There is no shortcut to success. It can be achieved only through immense hard work and sacrifice. Therefore, if you are planning on becoming an industrialist, prepare yourself for quite a bit of struggle. While you are working sixteen hours a day, your peers might be enjoying vibrant lives after only ten hours of office and taking exciting trips around the world. You might not even get to spend the holidays with your loved ones or you might be burning the midnight oil regularly, but success does come with a price! Keep working and do not get distracted by the apparently easier lives that others are leading. One day all of your sacrifices will yield results and establish your name as a successful industrialist and that can be done only with unrelenting hard work.

Compassion

Even though highly underrated, an industrialist needs to be caring and compassionate towards employees, towards family, friends and even towards the planet. You might have unending passion for your business, but it is your compassion for your employees and workers which will help you go the distance with your business. If your workers are happy it will reflect on your company’s productivity. Compensate them well for their services. Even if you work the whole night, make sure their work schedules are humane and they get to spend time with their families. If possible, offer them and their families decent health insurance. It has been seen that companies with higher retention of employees succeed better in the long run.

Honesty

You cannot go far in life or business without honesty. It is true that some people do gain success by dishonest means, cheating their customers, but this is only momentary. Real and long-lasting success can be achieved only if you are honest to your trade. Whether you are selling heavy machinery or Linear Actuators, quality of your products will go a long way in establishing your name as a trusted brand. Without your customers’ trust, you cannot succeed in the industry. Even though profit is the main aim, do not forget honesty or compromise with quality in your quest for money.

If you wish to establish yourself an industrialist, it is important that you inculcate these qualities in your everyday life. Sometimes, it is going to get tough, but these things will help you overcome any hindrances that come your way.

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.

15 Tips for Balancing College and Part-Time Work

December 13th, 2017

BY RON SPINABELLA

Unless you’re fortunate enough to have a very generous family, it’s likely that you will hold a part-time job during at least part of your college career. The extra money can help you stay on top of your loan and car payments. It can also make your weekends a lot more fun! If your studies already leave you feeling strapped for time, though, adding a part-time job may make you feel as though you don’t have any time left for yourself. With careful scheduling, it is possible to balance college and part-time work while still leaving some time for fun and relaxation. These 15 tips can help.

  1. Visualize Your Schedule

When you have a full course load and a part-time work schedule that may change from one week to the next, you shouldn’t count on memory alone to keep your schedule in order. Use an app to create a visual schedule, and keep the schedule updated as things change at school and work. Some of the most popular scheduling apps include:

Your smartphone may also have a built-in calendar app. Creating a visual schedule isn’t just a great way to ensure that you won’t miss something important; it also enhances your ability to live in the moment. You’ll study, work and play more effectively if you aren’t preoccupied with remembering the other things that you need to do that day.

  1. Tell Your Employer You’re a Student

Business owners in college towns expect to employ plenty of students. They get low-cost help, and their employees enjoy plenty of schedule flexibility. If you work off campus, though, you may be one of the only employees at your place of work who is also a full-time student. When interviewing for a prospective job, be forthright with your potential employer about the fact that your studies will take precedence over your work. You need to know before taking the job that your employer will give you the flexibility you need. If you remain with the company after graduating, you may even receive a promotion.

  1. Find a Job With Flexibility

When you’re hunting for a part-time college job, try to find an employer willing to offer some schedule flexibility. If you need to attend an extra evening lab session — or you need a little extra time to complete a paper before its due date — you have to prioritize your school obligations. It’s ideal if you can find an employer willing to shuffle your schedule when necessary. Some employers may even give you the option of working from home. If you can work on campus, that’s even better. Working on campus means that you’ll spend less time driving, and employers in college towns understand the challenges that working students face.

  1. Build a Support Network

Despite your best efforts, you may occasionally encounter scheduling conflicts that you can’t resolve. Find buddies who can share their notes if you need to miss a class or cover for you when you miss work. Remember that an important part of maintaining those relationships is that your buddies will expect you to help them when they have schedule conflicts.

  1. Remove Clutter From Your Life

If you’ve been a student for a while, it’s likely that you’ve accumulated a lot of extra stuff — especially if you’ve moved out of the dorms and now live in your own apartment. A clean environment leads to clearer thought and improved concentration. The more cluttered your environment becomes, though, the harder it becomes to keep things clean and orderly. A rummage sale is a great way to get rid of old things that you no longer use. If you aren’t ready to part with your items permanently, though, an expert from moveON moving suggests placing your unused possessions in short-term storage instead. A managed storage facility tends to cost less than a self-storage facility. A good moving company will even pick up your items and store them for you.

  1. Don’t Challenge Yourself Too Much

Landing a part-time job that relates to your long-term career aspirations is a great opportunity that can help you earn some valuable experience. If working as an intern in a medical lab or as a programmer for a software developer would prevent you from concentrating on your studies, though, you may want to choose a part-time job that’s a little less challenging. There’s nothing wrong with working at a local pizza joint while you earn your degree. Having a less challenging job means that you’ll find it easier to get through the work day if you stayed up late studying or working on a paper the night before.

  1. Try Online Classes

Enrolling in one or two online classes is a great way to maintain a full course load while leaving yourself a bit of schedule flexibility. When you take a class online, you can often watch or listen to pre-recorded lectures rather than logging in to live class sessions. If you choose a job that allows you to watch or listen to recordings while you work, you may even get a chance to study and work simultaneously.

  1. Spend Your Money Wisely

Exercising care with how you spend your money is good advice at any stage of your life. Right now, though, you’re probably wondering how you will manage the long-term debt of your student loan. Your time as a student is the perfect opportunity to learn about the power of compound interest, and every dollar that you use now to pay down your loan will save you many dollars later. Reducing your student loan debt as much as possible now will reduce the stress that you’ll have to endure later in adulthood. It also gives you a goal — a reason for working — that will help you tackle your scheduling challenges with a positive mindset.

  1. Schedule Your Off Days Early

At the beginning of the semester, you’ll receive a syllabus for each of your classes. You’ll know well in advance when papers will be due and when you’ll need to study for exams. As early in the semester as possible, coordinate with your employer to ensure that you won’t need to work on the days when you’ll need extra time to focus on your studies. If you work with other students, your coworkers may need some of those same days off — get your requests in first to avoid scheduling headaches later.

  1. Plan Your Down Time

The fact that you could be doing something productive at any given moment doesn’t necessarily mean that you should. Without periodic downtime, you’ll experience stress and burnout. You’ll become less effective in your studies and in your work. The stress may even inflict harm on your personal relationships. Set aside some time for relaxation every week.

  1. Find Ways to Combine Work and School

Working and studying simultaneously is a great way to make the most of your time, and finding an employer that allows you to listen to lectures at your desk isn’t the only way to do that. If you choose a job that relates to your major, your time spent on the job can double as research for a term paper. If your employer can use your research as the basis for a proposal or other project, writing the paper may even earn you a bonus.

  1. Track Your Achievements

Although it’s important to prioritize your studies while you’re in school, your part-time job is also important because it provides experience that will eventually enhance your resume. Regardless of the job that you choose while you’re in school, work hard and be the best employee that you can be. Look for opportunities to advance and showcase your skills. Track all of your achievements so you can list them on your resume later. Your hard work may also earn you a positive reference that’ll help you land a good job when you enter the workforce.

  1. Know Your Limits

When you’re a student, you have limitless opportunities for working, learning, experimenting, exploring and playing. If you also have a job, though, you may sometimes feel as though you’re missing out on some of those opportunities — especially if you have friends who don’t have part-time jobs. Don’t overcompensate by trying to take part in every extracurricular activity and attend every party. There isn’t enough time to do everything, so you’ll have to prioritize. Working a part-time job while attending college helps you learn how to balance work and life — something that only becomes more difficult as you get older. You’ll also be happy about the extra money in your pocket when you do find the time to indulge in social pursuits.

  1. Don’t Procrastinate

It’s unbelievable how interesting Netflix, Hearthstone and Facebook can become when you have reading, writing or studying to do — especially when you’re tired after several hours of work. One of the most important skills you’ll develop as you learn to balance college and work is the skill to recognize the fact that you’re procrastinating. When you feel like you need a break, set a timer. Return to your work immediately when the timer expires. The sooner you complete your work, the sooner you can relax — and when you relax mindfully, you’ll enjoy your down time more.

  1. Get Enough Sleep

As a student, it’s likely that you’ll sometimes find it necessary to stay up late. Pulling the occasional all-nighter can give you a bit of extra time to put the finishing touches on an important paper or study for an exam — but you shouldn’t make a habit of it. Staying up late disrupts the body’s circadian rhythms. Inadequate sleep harms your ability to concentrate. It also increases stress and irritability. Do whatever you can to ensure that you get enough sleep.

Ron Spinabella is the Digital Marketing Manager for moveON moving . Ron loves computers, the internet and how it has revolutionized business. Ron attended Eastern Illinois University and studied Business Administration and Corporate Communication. During College, Ron was an active member of the Stock Market Club and a volunteer in the Computer Lab.

7 Tips for Overcoming Classroom Presentation Stage Fright

December 13th, 2017

BY LORRAINE McKINNEY

Do you dread being asked to stand up in front of the class and read something, whether it is something out of a book or a paper you have written yourself? As long as this fright isn’t completely debilitating, it isn’t going to take years of psychological treatment to overcome. Stage fright affects all of us at one time or another. If this happens to you, don’t worry. Here are seven tips that will help you to overcome your stage fright.

  1. Have Fun – Most of the time, you are going to be able to add a bit of your own personality and give your project a bit of flair. You will then become a bit of an entertainer. Add a joke that is related to the topic. Show a video or a slideshow, and hand out popcorn to munch on. Create a game that reviews the topic. Basically, give them an Easter egg. You will have so much fun you will forget about your stage fright.
  2. Just Do It – Sometimes, what you really need to do to overcome any fear, including classroom stage fright, is to just do it. Get up and make that speech in class, or read a passage from a book. Don’t worry if you stumble over your words or make a few small mistakes. You know the material, and you can do it if you really put your mind to it. Remember, every other person in the room probably feels the same way that you do, even if they don’t show it (even the professor).
  3. Eat Something – Before you have to get up in front of the class or group, make sure that you have something to eat, preferably something that is high in protein. Not only is this going to give you energy, it is also going to help to reduce any nausea you may feel about making the presentation in the first place. Don’t eat a huge meal. A snack is all you need to calm your stomach without making you full.
  4. Use Props – “There are many things that you can use that will reinforce the content of your presentation, and make it easier for you to get through it all. Use such items as posters, handouts, PowerPoint presentations, etc. to really get your point across,” suggests an expert from Sell iPhone website. These will also help you if you happen to get nervous and forget what you wanted to say. Think of your props as unseen notes that will help you ace any public presentation, in the classroom and once you enter the workforce.
  5. Count Something – Find something in the room that is in abundance, such as chairs, and start counting. Keep counting throughout your presentation. This is going to help you to remain focused. It will also help to keep your adrenaline regulated, so you are going to be “on” throughout the entire presentation. Just remember to do the counting in your head and not out loud.
  6. Meditate – In the hours before the presentation, take some time to relax and meditate. You will need to find a location that is quiet where you can be alone and comfortable. Close your eyes, and keep your breathing controlled. As you focus on your breathing, you will begin to enter a relaxed state. In time, you will come to a point where you can relax every part of your body, one at a time.
  7. No Caffeine – You may think that you need a coffee to perk you up before your presentation to the class. What it is really going to do is make you more nervous and jittery, and this is going to make getting through your presentation that much more difficult. Safe the coffee for chats with your classmates after you give the presentation.

Lorraine McKinney is an academic tutor and elearning specialist.

How College Sports Fans Use Digital Channels to Follow Favorite Schools

December 12th, 2017

BY MARTHA KARN

When it comes to college sports, there are some pretty die-hard fans out there, from current and former students to parents and friends of athletes to those who are just really into college sports. These days, there are many ways that college sports fans can follow their favorite schools and teams. First and foremost, there is television, which seems to still be the most popular way to follow college sports, with about 10 times as many fans watching from home than there are season ticket holders. Now, there are also digital channels to watch that are dedicated to college sports. Let’s take a look at some of these digital channels.

Social Media

Did you know that three out of five college sports fans use Facebook to follow their favorite schools? Out of all of the social media channels, Facebook seems to be the most popular with those who follow college teams. One study shows that Facebook receives about 60 percent of usage, followed by Twitter at 35 percent, YouTube at 31 percent, Instagram at 13 percent, and Snapchat at six percent. These numbers are expected to increase greatly as more and more people are turning to social media to get their sports news. When it comes to social media, it is used in two different ways: brand engagement and content engagement.

  • Content Engagement – Content engagement goes beyond simply keeping an eye on the scores. According to Fanhospitality there is always loads of post-game excitement on social media, not to mention the pre-game excitement. Nearly 70 percent of fans love to watch the blooper reels, photos, and highlights, while nearly as many are checking out historic and nostalgic photos. Sometimes you can even catch some live college sports action while using social media.
  • Brand Engagement – Brand engagement is how customers are motivated to like and follow brands that support their teams, provide coupons or discounts, support a charity or cause that is supported by the teams, or offer contests with prizes that relate to the sport, team, school, etc. On average, fans use Facebook nearly six times on any given game day. The number for Twitter use is pretty close, and there are more actions taken than simply “likes”. Nearly 50 percent of fans use Facebook and other social media pages to talk about the games, the teams, players, and more. They tend to share nearly 40 percent of brand content, and about 35 percent of fans actually bought the brand.

One of the greatest things about social media is that you have the ability to share things immediately, which is one of the main reasons why people turn to social media to find out how their teams are doing. This is a good way for them to be able to keep up on the score, even if they are not able to watch the games themselves.

Sports Websites and Apps

There are all kinds of popular websites that are devoted to college sports, both sports sites and school sites. Both types of sites are used widely by college sports fans, with about 10 percent more fans using actual sports sites than the school sites. Another popular way to keep up on all of the latest about the various school teams is to use sports apps, which is becoming increasingly popular. In fact, about one in three college sports fans use general sports apps, such as ESPN, or about 34 percent of the fans. One study shows that about eight percent of fans use the apps for their favorite schools, but this may be due in part because many schools do not have their own apps as of yet.

Bio:

Martha Karn develops online educational courses and writes for students.

 

Does a GPA Matter in Post-University Life?

December 11th, 2017

BY ANTON LUCANUS

There has been an increased discussion about the relevance of GPA after graduation, specifically a Bachelor’s/Undergraduate degree. Most articles, however, offer only a one-sided opinion – some justify its importance, while others dismiss its significance. The crux of the debate lies in the GPA being a strong measure of an individual’s aptitude versus how the GPA system is an inaccurate measure itself, and is not a true measure of the person’s overall capabilities. However, it is difficult to find an analysis of the case for and against GPA’s importance in parallel in any article or website, something this article aims to do. Before moving on to gauge its importance, one must first understand what the GPA system is and how it is calculated.

The Grade Point Average (GPA) is a metric which measures a student’s aggregate academic result. For each course/unit the student completes, they receive a percentage grade (x% out of 100), which then gets converted to a corresponding letter grade (eg. >90% = A+, >80% = A, etc.). These letter grades then have a corresponding value on the GPA scale (eg. A+ = 4.0 points, A= 3.5 points, etc.). Thus, all the letter grades, from all units, are converted to their equivalent GPA value, and then averaged, which is the student’s final GPA grade. The most popular GPA scales are on a scale of 0 – 4.0 points, although some systems have 5.0 (or some other value) as the highest possible attainable point.

The case for – a measure of obvious and intricate qualities

Once a student completes their undergraduate studies, there are two options from there on: either to permanently join the workforce or pursue some form of further education (immediately or after working for some time). Either way, the GPA is a crucial metric. Most proponents of the GPA posit that it measure a student’s technical competence and understanding of a subject matter – in this case, the area of study/major of their degree. This means that a higher GPA indicates a better understanding and problem solving (through assignments and exams) of a particular specialization.

In addition, the GPA also measures some ‘unquantifiable’ qualities of students, such as conscientiousness and perseverance. Although most students choose a major of their liking when pursuing a Bachelor’s degree, they will be times when they will not like the subject matter or have difficulty in comprehending it. However, despite these hindrances, if they can score good grades overall (hence good GPA), it shows the student as capable of dealing with similar unfavourable situations in the real world.

The latter point is of particular importance when students are applying for further education, such as a Master’s Degree. These courses can delve into subject matters much deeper and universities need to be sure, before they can grant admission, that the student is well capable of dealing with a more rigorous course.

 

When it comes to the job market, comparing potential employees isn’t as simple as comparing items on a product review website. Both points – a measure of technical competence and the ‘unquantifiables’ – increase the GPA’s relevance. This is especially true when employers inspect applications from similar applicants (same major, extra-curricular activities, etc.). In such cases, a higher GPA gives the candidate an edge over the competition in the job market. Moreover, an oft-cited study has shown that an employee’s earnings is directly proportional to their GPA in university, further highlighting the importance of the GPA.

The case against – a flawed and incomplete criterion

While its importance (to whatever extent) is accepted by everyone, the opponents are quick to point out that the GPA – for that matter academic grades – are a non-uniform metric. It becomes a case of relativity – the institution of graduation is significant. Consider two students, both studying the same course; the first is a graduate of a world-class university (eg. Harvard), the second a graduate from a university with only state-level recognition. If both of them, upon graduation, receive a final GPA of 3.0, they both would appear to have the same aptitude levels (at least theoretically).

However, the reality is that the first student is far more (academically) talented than the second, as he has come from a far better academic and teaching environment, where the level of grading is far more stringent. Therefore, for the Harvard graduate to get the same grade as the state university graduate, he would have had to studied harder and produce better results. Obviously when both of them apply for the same job, the employer will hire the first student (he might even get hired even if he had a 2.5 GPA, while the second student is still at 3.0) because he is a Harvard graduate.

Even recruiters have understood discrepancy, and have thus devised alternate recruitment measures, such as their own online aptitude tests. These allow the recruiters to measure with greater accuracy and better screen the applicants. In addition, employers nowadays also place a great emphasis on the overall profile of the candidate – internships completed, extra-curricular activities, volunteer experience etc. Thus, it can be said that the GPA is not the most important factor when applying for a job, although recruiters still focus on them.

At the end of the day, a student’s undergraduate academic performance, and subsequently GPA, do matter regardless of whether they want to study further or look for a job. The GPA is as important as ever when it comes to universities considering prospective students for their post-graduation programs such as Master’s. On the other hand, while employers are considering myriad factors when screening applicants for a job, the GPA is still a significant criterion because it is a strong measure of technical competence.

 

Byline – Anton Lucanus is the Director of Neliti. During his college years, he maintained a perfect GPA, was published in a top cancer journal, and received many of his country’s most prestigious undergraduate scholarships. Anton writes for The College Puzzle as a means to share the lessons learnt throughout his degree and to guide current students to achieve personal and educational fulfilment during college life.