Today’s college students grew up with the internet, so living a connected life is a given. Students use the internet for a broad variety of reasons, and more and more devices are creating ways to connect. Now more than ever, there are plenty of ways students can utilize all that technology to build safe, helpful, and meaningful spaces to study and relax, even in a cramped dorm room. Here are a few of the best:
Craft a study environmentStudying is one of the most important things students do while in college. It can also be one of the hardest. Luckily, smart technologies can help make the process easier and more organized, all within a connected dorm room system.
Bluetooth-connected smart speakers allow students to connect to digital assistants like Amazon’s Alexa, which can turn on study playlists, conduct searches, adjust calendars, and more hands-free, adding convenience to a study setup.
If students will be studying with others but don’t want to invite a whole study group into their dorm, it’s simple to connect over the internet using video chat services like Skype or Zoom. Students can also share documents via internet-based applications like Google Drive to make sure that even those who are joining in remotely can edit documents in real-time.
Create a relaxing atmosphere
In the midst of stress from classes, internships, and busy social lives, students need a place to relax, and a dorm room can provide that space. Of course, the blank walls and bright lights that dorm rooms are typically equipped with provide a harsh background for attempts at relaxation, especially in those which lack windows. Thankfully, connected tech provides control over lighting conditions to help create a perfect sanctuary even in the most basic dorm.
Smart bulbs allow users to adjust lighting, set schedules, and even turn lights off and on remotely. For relaxation purposes, however, it’s especially useful to use these bulbs to adjust lighting “temperatures” and colors. Choosing a softer shade of white or a cool color, like green or blue, brings a calming feeling to a room.
Build a safe space
One thing students may worry about in a dorm-style living situation is security. With people coming in and out of the building all the time, keeping individual dorms safe is a big concern. Beyond that, keeping on top of things like fire safety should be at the top of the minds of both dorm residents and housing supervisors.
With this in mind, connecting rooms to the internet using smart home alarm systems is key to ensuring safety, whether from dorm room break-ins or other hazards. Many of these systems allow users to check in on camera feeds and alarm statuses from anywhere using mobile devices. They can also often be integrated into larger smart home systems to become part of a fully connected dorm experience. Best of all, the peace-of-mind and security they provide can help college students living in dorms feel secure whether they’re in their room or away.
Living in a dorm can be an exciting experience, but it’s also important to make sure that room is being used to its fullest potential. Smart technology can make that happen. By providing safety, study tools, and peace to students, a connected dorm can create a successful living experience during college.
Alex Haslamgraduated from the David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah in 2017. Today she is a freelance writer who focuses on consumer technology, entertainment, and higher education.
University graduates fresh out of college tend to be hungry, ambitious and determined to land the job of their dreams. Unfortunately, very often these high hopes crumble very quickly in the months following graduation, as graduates realise they are now competing against the adult working population. In fact more often than not – statistics show that in the United States 67 per cent of college graduates leave school without jobs lined up, and more than 40 percent of college graduates end up taking a job out of school that doesn’t require a degree. But your first job really matters, and so here is some advice for getting you a decent job in your field – or maybe even the job of your dreams – right out of grad school.
During university, do something big, something good.
That may seem vague but stepping up your philanthropic activities while at University could earn you big respect in the corporate world. Take for example Former Polycom CEO Andy Miller, who publicly applauded and recognized two university students who raised $20,000 through a Swim-A-Thon and Bellyflop Contest for scholarships to help physically challenged student athletes attend college.
By undertaking a marathon in honour of a cause, or organising a nationwide fundraiser, for example, students can demonstrate they have the ability to both organise and promote an public event selflessly. Forever are their names attached to their monumental efforts, and not only will it look great on their resume, but it could garner the attentions of CEOs and headhunters.
Get on graduate job sites, geared specifically to university graduates.
These aren’t your average job sites, ones so competitive that you haven’t any chance in the world of landing a job unless you speak 12 languages and have over 25 years’ experience in the sector, but sites catering to those who mightn’t necessarily have experience but instead have enthusiasm and recent qualifications. In the United States, examples include Coolworks.com, Experiece.com, CollegeGrad.com and NACElink. Put some effort into whipping up a resume and get it online as soon as you have completed your studies. It’s also worth logging on throughout your studies to get a gauge of the kind of jobs advertised on such sites.
This one should almost go without saying. Volunteering not only offers you the chance to network with people in your industry, demonstrate your potential, and build on what you learnt at university, but if you are lucky a volunteer role might eventually convert into a salaried position. Of course, this takes hard work, dedication and being in the right place at the right time, but more often than not this is how strong graduates find themselves working for respectable companies – by doing a stint for free first.
Harness the power of social media in your search.
As a university student, you probably already excel in social media use and very likely have several platforms and profiles already set up. Use that to your advantage as social platforms such as LinkedIn and Twitter can be used to find jobs. Join conversations on Twitter that relate to your desired career path and field. Actively use LinkedIn to find the right contacts and potentially connect with head-hunters of companies you aspire to work for. Research to date has suggested that 40% of employers use social media to screen candidates, so the key is ensuring that you have nothing publicly viewable on your profile that may damage your prospects of landing a job if a recruiter were to see it.
Leverage your alumni network.
Most universities and college maintain an alumni database containing valuable contact information of alumni – alumni who may now be working for or managing top tier companies where you are seeking to get a look-in. In fact, some schools have already established mentorship programs or relationships with alumni, who are eager to offer job advice and possibly opportunities to graduates. Getting a foot in the door is absolutely vital to progressing in the industry, and you will find that very few people will ever turn down a request to grab a coffee and offer some advice to a student.
Most importantly, remind yourself every now and then that actually, it’s okay to not have a job lined up immediately after college. You will want some time to relax and reflect on what would very likely have been an intense few years of education, and to take advantage of some much-needed holiday time before it becomes essential to lodge and count your days of annual leave.
This is one of the few opportunities you will have in your life to take the time you need to really think about what you want, where you want to be, and who you want to be before entering into the professional workplace. Just remember, speed doesn’t necessarily equal success. It takes time to find the right path.
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 guide current students to achieve personal and academic goals.
One way or another, your time in college is going to have a significant impact on your life. Apart from the fact that you’ll spend quite some time of your formative years there, the relationships which you form will likely be some of the most important throughout your life. Even a cursory look at some of the most popular and successful companies will reveal that quite a number of them were founded by collegiate friends during or after school.
If you’re currently in college or going soon, one of the best things you can do to maximize your time there is to deliberately network as much as you can and expand your circle of connections. Even though it might appear intimidating at first, here are a few tips to get it done effectively and conveniently, even if you’re not too much of a sanguine person:
Join Clubs and Groups Along Your Interests
In college, you’ll have an array of options to choose from when it comes to organizations to join and participate in. You can join the general ones such as the Greek clubs and others like JCI or AIESEC, but you can also join those that have more specific purposes such as debate clubs, health clubs, finance or others.
When you join those clubs, you’ll get the benefit of making connections with your peers who have similar interests as you do, increasing the likelihood that you’ll be able to start something with them or meet them in the future. Furthermore, those clubs often interact with professionals in their respective fields, so you’ll be able to meet AND connect with them too.
Get a Mentor
Introductions are very important nowadays. There is a much higher chance that someone you want to get in touch with will respond positively when you’ve been referred by a colleague or friend of theirs than if it’s a completely cold outreach. With a mentor, you’ll be able to tap into his or her own network and get them to facilitate your contact with other professionals.
In choosing your mentor, avoid the temptation to approach the biggest, most prominent person in your field just because you think they’ll be most beneficial to you. In reality, mid-level professionals will likely be most beneficial since they’ll be able to spend more time mentoring you.
Take Your Part-time Jobs and Internships Seriously
You might think that they are not “real jobs” but they could turn out to be crucial to your career subsequently. Those jobs will be your first few chances to prove your skills and professionalism as a sedation dentist in Calgary, for instance, and if you excel in them, it’ll increase the likelihood of a job offer from the same company or a referral to another place.
Before starting out at any job or internship, try to reach out to people who have worked there before to get their opinions and guidance. That will help to shorten your learning curve and make it easier to impress your colleagues and superiors.
Interact with All the Professors You Can
You won’t be taught by every single professor in your college, faculty or department, but that doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from all or most of them. Strike up conversations with professors on their areas of expertise and help them out whenever there’s an opportunity to. You’ll find it easy to ask them for help when you need them.
Whether it’s to give advice on an idea you have or to invest in your startup, professors have been known to go the extra mile for students they particularly like and believe in. Positioning yourself well will make it easier for you to benefit when the time comes.
Attend Relevant Events
Conferences, symposia and other events are ideal places to meet with like-minded people across various professional levels. Most students don’t bother, so you’ll likely have an edge and stand out just by making the effort to attend.
Not all events are created equal though, so you’ll have to take the time to research each potential event and determine whether it’ll be worth it. Prioritize those that you’ll have someone to introduce you at, since that will make your networking much more efficient.
Kimberly Evans is a writer, traveler and Internet chatter. She covers stories about businesses and lives that inspire her. Email: KimberlyEvansPen@gmail.com
As a student, whether you’re in college or high school, there’s a lot of pressure on you to succeed in your academics and graduate with flying colors. At the same time though, there are a multitude of activities that you’ll have to devote some time to since they also form crucial parts of your overall education and character development, even though they’re technically extra-curricular.
Combining those two aspects can be challenging for many students. The difference between smart students who get the best grades and those who do badly often boils down to the ability to balance things properly. Thankfully, there are some time-tested habits that can be inculcated by any student, and which will lead to a boost in academic performance. Here are a few of them you can begin to implement without much fuss: 1. Create a Timetable and Stick to It
When you have a timetable in place detailing what periods of time you’ll spend studying in the course of the week and what exactly you’ll be studying, it’ll help you to keep you organized since you’ll have enough time to plan your schedule in such a way that those periods are always free, as opposed to having to squeeze in time to study on an impromptu basis.
In addition, you’ll be able to structure your schedule such that you’re well prepared for upcoming classes and tests without needing to sideline other activities. The key element is consistency though, and you’ll have to exert a lot of self-control to see that you stick to the timetable. 2. Keep Distractions Away While You Study
Like most other students, your phone is likely to be a crucial component of your life, along with your laptop and other tech gadgets. That’s understandable and definitely not a bad thing, though it’ll become so if you are unable to focus on your books because you’re distracted by those gadgets.
Smart students are intentional about keeping distractions away, whether it’s by keeping them in a separate room from where they’re studying or anywhere it’ll be difficult to reach on a whim. The point is to keep them out of sight and out of mind for the period during which you’ll be studying so take any steps that work well for you. 3. Get a Study Group
Iron sharpeneth iron is popular saying, and it’s a very true one. Having a study group and making it a habit to meet regularly for discussions on the subjects you’re taking will help you in several ways.
First, it’ll help you become proficient in all your courses since your group is likely to be made up of people with strengths in different areas. In addition, you’ll be able to ask questions and get in-depth explanations on thorny areas that you’re finding difficult to understand, such as legal options in different situations, if you’re a law student. Lastly, the group will help to keep you accountable with regards to your study schedule since you’ll need to read to be able to discuss effectively at the meetings. 4. Eat Healthy and Exercise
Even though they might look like two entirely different things, your health is a crucial determinant of how well you’ll be able to study. Eating junk food constantly will make you less energetic and being constantly tired is not a good way to study.
Exercising regularly will help a lot too. Apart from keeping you fit, it’ll also help you to develop the discipline to maintain a routine that you can then apply to your studies as well. You’ll feel much more comfortable too, thus making for better studying. For instance, you’ll certainly find it easier to study even the most complicated mathematical equations after getting your dental implants in Calgary, compared to having to deal with aching tooth. 5. Develop Your Note-taking skills
Taking good notes is essential to keep track of a lot of information across all the courses you’re taking. If you keep your notes comprehensive and well organized, you’ll be able to find any information you need without too much trouble, as opposed to a haphazard collection of scribblings that you cannot make head or tail of.
Learn to use outlines, bullet-points and other methods to keep your notes clear. This habit will also help you think more clearly, write better and you could even start a blog and make a career out of it. For more convenience, you can simply record your classes and then take your time to form your notes later when you’re not rushing to keep track of what is being said.
Susan Parker is a writer and tech geek. She volunteers for local environmental conservation programs and writes stories online about things that inspire her. Email: SusanWritesWell@gmail.com
Students have to pay for books, housing, tuition, and other fees while attending college. You can get a break, though, with your .edu address. Many companies offer discounts and other promotions to students with a .edu address. Here is a list of ten discounts you can receive with your student email address.
You can receive Amazon Prime at a discount with your .edu address. Amazon Prime starts with a free six month trial and then you will pay a discounted rate. Amazon prime includes two day free shipping, access to online videos and television shows, and access to streaming music. Use the free shipping to stock your dorm room with cool electronics and other fun items.
New York Times
They offer student rates as long as you hold your .edu address. You can get unlimited access to their online accounts including apps, archives, and puzzles. They also offer home delivery for a slight price increase. Keep up with the latest news from around the world, a world class crossword puzzle, and other interactive accessories.
The Wall Street Journal
You can receive unlimited access to WSJ.com with a discounted rate. The website includes articles, podcasts, and newsletters. They also offer a benefits program with unique events, offers, and experiences. Business majors should realize what a great investment this is. Impress your professors with this discounted app.
Students receive a 10% year round discount when you sign up online at their website. Students should not forget about coupons. They are a great way to save money. You can find coupons online at Couponsmonk and other online websites. So look your best while attending classes.
Spotify is offering a two for one deal with Hulu. Students can get both apps for less than a regular Spotify subscription. So you will be able to keep up with your shows and tunes during your downtime.
This site offers 15% off a onetime purchase with a valid student email. You can fill your dorm room with accessories, sheets, and blankets. They also offer bedding bundles and free shipping.
Overstock offers you a Club O membership for free. This includes free shipping, 5% rewards dollars, extra rewards, and dining discounts. Furnish your dorm room with with quality, inexpensive furniture and accessories.
Dell offers students a $100 promotional gift card off of purchases from $499 and up. They also offer a price match guarantee and a loyalty program. In the loyalty program students can get up to 6% back and free shipping. You just need a .edu address to sign up for this offer. You can keep up to date with the latest electronics.
Students receive a $15 gift card when you use your .edu address to purchase a Sam’s Club membership. You can stock up on your dorm necessities.
Student receive 15% off business cards and other merchandise on their website. Moo offers business cards, stickers, postcards, and flyers. So if you are getting ready to graduate and go out into the job market, be prepared with business cards you can hand out to future employers.
These are just ten of the many offers available to students with their .edu address. Look around the web for other exciting discounts for electronics, food, clothing, and more. Most local museums and movie theaters offer student discounts. You can also receive a discount on food and travel. Do your research and save some money in the near future.
Lorraine McKinney is an academic tutor and elearning specialist.
Whether you’re new to college or struggling with the decision in your junior year, the process of choosing a major is one that everyone wrestles with. Most people are unsure about what they want to do for a living when they’re at the beginning of their careers. But choosing a major doesn’t have to feel like the “wrong” decision will doom you to a life of poverty or unhappiness—even if family, friends, or mentors are pushing you toward the path they think is best.
Your interests, your preferred location, your financial goals, and your desired lifestyle can all help you decide what to study. And no matter what major you choose, the process of learning new skills and forming new areas of expertise will stick with you, giving you the flexibility to shift your focus as you move forward in your career. Here are some tips and considerations to help you make a the right decision for you and find your path to success.
Step 1: Stay Open-Minded
When you’re first choosing a major, it’s important to stay open-minded. Many people start their college journey with a hasty decision, often based on careers with higher pay. That may partially account for why studies have shown that 33% of students seeking a bachelor’s degree ended up switching majors.
In the early stages of your college career, it’s important to keep your options open. Most colleges have an “exploratory” track that lets you try out courses from different majors. By experiencing more courses, you can eliminate majors that aren’t a good fit for your interests.
Step 2: Ask Questions
It’s hard to get an accurate picture of a career path without experience. Talking with people in a given field can yield valuable insight into aspects of that career that aren’t obvious from the outside.
Ask your professors and your peers about their interest in their chosen subject and see if their reasons for focusing on that field match your own aspirations, interests, values, and life goals. Talking with people that you admire can give you some insight into how you might replicate their career decisions in your own life.
Step 3: Consider Your Financial Goals
If you’re like most people, you’ll be taking on debt while you’re in college. Your financial ambitions don’t have to dictate every aspect of your choice of major, but it’s important to be realistic. Choosing a major that matches your lifestyle ambitions and your expected debt can make it easier to achieve your long-term goals once you graduate.
Some majors lend themselves to careers with financial freedom, while others may be a little more challenging. Feelings of personal fulfillment might outweigh the draw of a high salary, depending on the work you develop a passion for. In other words, deciding on a major should include some consideration of salary, but it isn’t the only factor that matters.
Step 4: Focus on Your Interests
Passions take time to develop. An interest is a better lead to follow when choosing your major, according to Nathan Gebhard, coauthor of Roadmap: The Get-It-Together Guide for Figuring Out What to Do With Your Life. “There’s no epiphany; it’s a collection of small decisions that move you step by tiny step,” says Gebhard.
Pursuing a major to appease a family member or reach a certain salary goal won’t give you the drive and motivation to thrive. It takes curiosity, interest, and a personal connection to keep you engaged enough to succeed. If you want to find the career you’re truly passionate about, start with your interests and let them grow naturally over time.
Step 5: (Possibly) Change Your Mind
Ask almost anyone—the place most people end up is far different from where they started. Susan Wojcicki, the CEO of Youtube, holds majors in history, literature, business, and economics. Choosing a major that doesn’t match your eventual career isn’t time wasted; the collection of your experiences makes you unique, and every meander in the path you take adds another aspect to your life that forms your identity.
The Final Decision
No matter what major you settle on, the course of your life will be determined by the things you create, the people you influence, and the contributions you make to the world. Follow these steps, and you’ll be ready to choose a major and start down the path toward the career you want.
Alex Haslam graduated from the David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah in 2017. Today she is a freelance writer who focuses on consumer technology, entertainment, and higher education.
Cuts to advertised tuition come in the face of an enrollment drop and consumer backlash
by MATT KRUPNICK, Excerpted From HECHINGER REPORT
It may have been one of the biggest back-to-school sales ever: a 36 percent drop in the advertised cost of a college education.
That’s what awaited students this fall at Mills College, one of a growing number of higher-education institutions that have started freezing or dropping their prices in the face of a years-long enrollment decline and heightened price sensitivity.
The 1,300-student private college in Oakland, California, which like many private colleges has been having trouble attracting students, dropped its sticker price from $45,000 to $29,000 a year.
It’s an increasingly common example of market forces finally coming to bear on college costs, which have consistently grown much faster than prices for other goods and services thanks to a steady supply of students. In the 10 years ending in 2016, college tuition and fees rose 63 percent, or three times the rate of everything else tracked by the Consumer Price Index, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report
Today, however, because of a decline in the number of 18- to 24-year-olds and an improving economy that is sucking people straight into the workforce, colleges have 2.9 million fewer customers than they did at the last peak, in 2011, according to the National Student Clearinghouse, which tracks this.
Related: Eligible for financial aid, nearly a million students never get it
Meanwhile, almost seven in 10 parents said in a survey that they had eliminated colleges from consideration for their children because of the cost. In another survey, only 44 percent of Americans said private, nonprofit universities and colleges are worth what they charge.
More colleges are realizing there’s no point having high sticker prices if they’re discouraging prospective applicants and few students are actually paying them, said Sandy Baum, an independent higher-education consultant and retired economics professor.
“It’s very much a strategic decision,” Baum said. “They’re looking at, will we get more applicants if we lower our sticker price? It works for some of them and it really doesn’t work out for others.”
More and more are giving it a try.
Drew University, Sweet Briar College, Birmingham-Southern College, Benedict College and the University of Sioux Falls all reduced their advertised tuition starting this year. Old Dominion University is lowering the price of undergraduate tuition for active-duty military service members. Champlain College cut tuition in half for students in its online program, part of a strategy to increase enrollment.
Related: Can ‘work colleges’ in cities become a low-cost, high-value model for the future?
Concerned about Illinois high school graduates leaving for colleges in other states, the University of Illinois system is in the fourth year of a tuition freeze. The University of Colorado has cut fees. Five South Dakota universities are offering lower in-state tuition this fall to freshmen and transfer students from Nebraska; the University of Nebraska at Kearney will extend the deal next year to residents of Colorado and Kansas. The University of Missouri-Kansas City, meanwhile, is offering lower resident tuition to students from Kansas and other midwestern states.
Some of the seeming price drops are sleight of hand. Most students don’t pay the advertised price for college, but, after receiving discounts and financial aid, end up owing a lower “net price.” At private colleges, that comes to about half as much, said Lucie Lapovsky, a pricing consultant. And as the stream of students has dried up, those discounts have been getting deeper.
Colleges like Mills are simply changing their advertised prices to something closer to the average of what students actually pay, though Mills says most students will still see their costs decline.
Related: With enrollment sliding, liberal arts colleges struggle to make a case for themselves
Study groups are a well-loved strategy for achieving better grades on difficult exams, but it can be challenging putting one together. A good study group requires the right mix of motivated people with the right balance of skills. With these tips, you’ll be able to collaborate effectively and tackle even the most difficult subject.
Do Study Groups Work?
Every study group will have its own unique dynamic, but the technique of collaborating when studying for exams can be useful, provided students are using best practices in group composition. At the very least, a study group creates an environment of productivity, which canincrease your retention and motivate you to study more.
A study group is only as good as its members. The key to building a successful group is to find other students who are as motivated as you are to succeed in the class. These seven tips will help you put together the perfect group before your next big test.
Find Your Study Buddies
The first step for making an effective study group is to find classmates who are also interested in teaming up. First, find out if there is already an established study group in your class. If there isn’t, you can get the ball rolling by asking the people around you if they’d like to participate. You can also use class communication systems (for example, if you have an online message board), to ask if anyone wants to join. Not everyone in the class needs to be a part of your group; even one or two people can be enough to benefit from.
Talk to Your Professor
Your instructor is the best place to start when strategizing your study session. They may have invaluable tips for studying and synthesizing the course material. In some cases, your professor may be willing to help compose materials like study guides or practice exams to guide your group.
Choose Your Location
A productive space is crucial for a well-functioning study group. Libraries, student lounges, and other shared workspaces can help each member of your group channel their most productive attitude. A dorm room or home can work if the space is quiet and free of distractions.
Choose Group Roles
You and your study partners all have skills and knowledge you can bring to the table. If you’re working on a group project or a big test,assigning group roles can be a great way to split the workload and maximize your efficiency. Some useful roles include a group leader, a scribe, an editor, and a time manager (depending on the task at hand).
Use Collaborative Study Methods
Depending on the material, it’s often beneficial to study collaboratively. Partner up with your study-mates and practice answering questions, or quiz each other on flash cards. If you’re writing a big final paper, a paired editing workshop can help improve your writing skills. It won’t always be easy to work together, but even if you need to study quietly for a bit, it can be easier if others around you are working quietly as well. Plan out your study methods before the session to help make this process smoother.
Somedisagreements are inevitable in any group, especially if everyone is stressed about a big exam. Try and address any issues directly and openly to make sure everyone in your group feels like their concerns are heard. Compromising can help your group form a stronger bond, which will help you navigate the challenges of your course.
Staying motivated to meet as a study group can sometimes be difficult, but planning sessions around social events or activities can be a great reward for the group. If your group is made of sports fans, set aside time to study first so you can all reward yourselves bywatching the big game right after you finish. Or if your group is more into movies, plan aStar Wars marathon schedule to keep everyone looking forward to the next study session.
Having a productive study space to work in can make all the difference in your final grade, and a successful study group can often carry over after the semester ends. If your classmates are in the same major as you, it’s possible that you’ll have other classes in common in the future. At the very least, you and your new friends will have your best shot at surviving the next big chemistry exam.
Alex Haslam graduated from the David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah in 2017. Today she is a freelance writer who focuses on consumer technology, entertainment, and higher education.