Archive for February, 2019

Budget Management 101 for College Students

February 20th, 2019

BY ANTON LUCANUS

College students have been forced to be much more responsible toward their budgets in the past few years thanks to the increase in student loans and lack of campus jobs. While it might seem unnecessary to put together a budget to stick to at such a young age, the truth is that more and more university students have had to learn this skill earlier on. This can be useful when planning a year of study abroad or having extra cash for activities outside the classroom.

In fact, many expert cite having a budget as one of the best things young people can do in order to learn about properly managing their finances. “My simple budget gave me security, flexibility, and confidence while building mindful spending and other financial health skills that would pay dividends for the rest of my life,” writes Brett Whysel for Forbes.

While some knowledge students won’t take beyond their four years at university, having a clear idea of how much money they can spend each month is a skill that can follow them into their adulthood. Budgeting provides tools that can help students stay out of debt in the future, while teaching them what they can and cannot afford—especially if they graduate with a number of student loans. Since the cost of college tuition tends to rise every year, it is now more important than ever that young people have an idea of what the cost of their education will be and how they can afford payments once they are finished.

An article in Forbes states that a large amount of borrowers who have taken out loans for their college education have had trouble paying it back. In fact, up to 11% of former students end up defaulting on their payments. The article also comments that teaching budgeting at a younger age can often impart students the knowledge of how to handle larger payments in the future.

So how can you keep yourself from falling into the trap of defaulting on loans or finding yourself lacking funds during your semester or year abroad? Fortunately, there are some simple steps that you can take in order to prepare yourself for a life outside of school and the monthly payments you will have to pay when you are done.

Tracking what you spend is one of the simplest ways to acknowledge where your money is going. Once you have a general idea of what you spend each week on the necessities, such as groceries, transportation, and meals you might need to eat out, you can have a clearer idea of what you should put toward savings and fun. Even if you have some debts to pay, it is unrealistic to expect that you should not put any money away for the future or that you won’t be able to enjoy a night out with friends.

“It’s easy to spend money when you aren’t tracking your finances closely. Track every expense, even those paid in cash. There are now many banking and online auto save features that make it easier to have money deducted monthly to help you save,” mentions Nick Stamos in an article for Forbes.

Experts recommend that no matter what your financial situation is, if you can put away at least 10% of your income into savings, you are already ahead of most of your peers. Even if you are also paying back student loans, it is a good idea to continue to save for your future, as well. As you feel as though you are in a more comfortable financial position, you can start to add more each month. Regardless, contributing to your savings is an important part of budgeting that can be helpful to start learning early rather than to wait.

There are also a number of ways to keep track of what payments you have and which areas you can cut back on your budget. Software like a bitcoin wallet can be useful to track investments and savings, while even online payments like PayPal can be useful in showing you a list of transactions that have been completed. Being able to see where your money goes can be a useful feature and allow you to choose where you might be able to cut back on expenses. Several apps are also an option if you like having access to your finances in almost any location, and they can help you keep track of your basic payments.

Recent articles have commented that students do not have a grasp on basic finances, which can make transitioning from a school environment to a life with student loans much more difficult. However, budgeting allows young people to practice new skills with money before they have to make payments that will affect their lives in the future.

 

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

 

 

How Sobriety Can Help College Students Succeed

February 19th, 2019

BY JORI HAMILTON

Alcohol has long been a part of college culture. In fact, federal health officials say more than 80 percent of college students drink. Of that 80 percent, about half say they binge drink. This can have a huge impact on the health, well-being, and academic success of college students.

“Everybody’s drinking to get drunk,” Dr. Sharon Levy, a pediatrician and director of the Adolescent Substance Abuse Program at Boston Children’s Hospital tells NPR. “Kids tell me this is how they socialize with friends.”

The college experience differs for everyone. Though some students are in environments where alcohol and binge drinking come secondary to their studies and social activities, many students find themselves in environments that encourage drug and alcohol use. While this behavior is simply part of the fun for some, it’s detrimental for others in terms of their health and academic success.

 

Because of the growing problem with substance abuse at the college level, some students are finding that it’s necessary to stay sober in order to stay on the right path and remain focused on their studies. In order to help college students stay sober and gain the associated benefits, some universities are adopting programs designed to help their students stay sober.

The Sobering Statistics

The college party scene is not just a trope used in movies and television. In fact, there is plenty of truth to the prevalence of party culture on campus. College is a time of transition for many young people and is often one of their first steps into independence as adults. It’s no surprise then that many struggle with their newfound freedom.

One 2017 study showed that alcohol use in college students is higher than in their non-college peers. Despite an initial downward trend on cocaine use in college students, it increased in 2014 and remained high in 2015. Another study showed that there is a correlation between daily marijuana use and an increase in alcohol use. Both studies indicate that over time, there are cognitive detriments and consequences to the health of individual students.

Not only is drug and alcohol use common in college, it’s also dangerous. Risky behavior can be synonymous with substance abuse including drinking and driving and impulsive decision-making. The high frequency of substance abuse in college has also normalized substance abuse for many students. This has made it even more difficult to identify addiction issues. For some, the party culture is just one aspect of college life, but for others it can derail their success.

The Benefits of Sobriety in College

Staying sober in college may seem like an impossible reality  for some students, but it’s very doable with the right resources and support, and there are multiple benfits to doing so. Staying sober in college has benefits that can help with academics, physical health, and long-term mental well-being.

Shifting focus from parties illicit substances to academics and studying will provide obvious benefits in terms of grades and participation. After all, college is not only important in terms of GPA and career options, but it’s also important in terms of personal growth and social surroundings. Staying sober in college can help in each of these areas and can create a pattern of positive behavior into adulthood.

Missing out on parties and hangouts may seem like too much to bare for the average college student in their late teens or early twenties, as typical college culture encourages partying and the use of substances. However, this isn’t’ necessarily how college has to be.

For those who are interested in sober living in college, there are a number of resources and tools available. First, students need to be able to find like minded peers who are in recovery or have made similar commitments to sobriety to use as a support system. Additionally, many colleges have programs and support systems that can help sober students can help students stay focused on academics, encourage a healthy lifestyle away from drugs and alcohol, and provide a way to find like-minded students who are also trying to stay sober.  

What Universities Can Do to Help

In 2017, 5.3 million young adults needed treatment for substance abuse. One in six of those students was of the average college age. When college culture is synonymous with alcohol and drug use, it can mean that young people who have addiction issues may feel they need to decide between their schooling and their sobriety. However, universities who offer solutions to the substance abuse culture that many colleges are known for can make a big difference for the students who need to stay sober. They also help with preventing substance abuse problems for students who don’t have issues with addiction but still prefer to stay sober.

One solution to this problem is the growing number of sober dorms or sober housing options for students. Some universities offer substance abuse recovery programs that not only focus on sober housing options but also sober social events and trips to help students find the social circle that aids in their sober lifestyle. In addition to that, some universities offer addiction recovery and mental health services on campus. Talking with a counselor or social worker who is trained in substance abuse can help college students be more successful in their sobriety. Recovery coaching programs and Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous meetings specifically for college students can also a big help in providing assistance on campus.

For a young college student who is just venturing out on their own, it can be easy to fall into the college party culture and get lost in it. Poor grades, suffering mental health, and issues with addiction can easily follow. This is why experiencing college as a sober student is the only way that many students can get through it. Unfortunately, the ever-present party scene may make is seem like staying sober is impossible. However, the universities who are offering resources for these students are making the impossible possible. No student should have to choose between higher education and sobriety.

Bio: Jori Hamilton is a writer from the Northwest who is passionate about education and social justice issues. You can follow her on Twitter @HamiltonJori

   

Benefits of Inquiry-based Learning for College Students

February 18th, 2019

BY KATHLEEN BROWN

Along with problem-based learning, inquiry-based learning introduces a new paradigm into the world of educational theory. Instead of perceiving students to be the recipients of knowledge in its complete form, it concentrates on them as on those who move the process of learning forward. Instead of making students listen to what teachers have to say, it prioritizes their questions and ideas, completely changing the traditional student-teacher dynamic. Students don’t take what they hear from teachers for granted. They use their own creative problem solving to reach a conclusion, which they have to defend using their own arguments.

But what are the specific benefits and advantages of inquiry-based learning for students? Let’s find out.

1.    It improves material retention

While inquiry-based learning is sometimes perceived as a harmful departure from the curriculum, it doesn’t have to be so. On the contrary – when the teacher knows what he is doing he will always be able to keep students close to the curriculum and encourage them to ask questions related to the material they are supposed to be studying. As for retention, inquiry-based learning is based on curiosity, and curiosity is known to activate the hippocampus – the area of the brain responsible for memory formation. In other words, the very fact that students feel interested in what they study makes them more likely to remember the material.

2.    It promotes initiative

The traditional approach to education emphasizes the passivity of students – they don’t take an active part in their own learning, they just wait for the right information to be given to them. Their success in learning the material is evaluated by how well they manage to repeat what they’ve heard.

Contrary to this approach, inquiry-based learning forces one to look for an answer independently, promoting initiative and self-direction. The student is more likely to make a well-informed decision concerning each part of work he does – for example, whether to hire an essay writing service to receive help from when dealing with a particularly obnoxious task or not.

3.    It improves understanding of the subject

When students come to the answer to a question on their own, through their own effort and inquiry, they achieve a better and deeper understanding of what they’ve been studying. In a sense, they take ownership of their learning, they feel more accomplished and proud of their achievement than in the case of merely receiving the answers from their teacher. It eliminates the possibility of a student simply taking the results received from the teacher for granted – he never follows the process he doesn’t fully grasp simply because he won’t achieve the result unless he fully understands every part of the process preceding it.

4.    It makes learning more rewarding

Inquiry-based learning creates an association between learning and achievement. Achieving an answer on one’s own is much more pleasant and rewarding than receiving a ready-made solution from somebody else. In the long run, inquiry-based learning helps creating a specific mindset that sees the reward in the act of learning and accomplishment itself, not in receiving praise and acknowledgment from teachers and parents.

5.    It helps utilize each student’s unique learning style

Traditional instruction is a one-size-fits-all affair, or at least it attempts to be one. It doesn’t take into account the differences between students. Inquiry-based learning, on the contrary, allows students to study on their own terms, using their own strengths. They can work on their own or in groups, discussing or doing research, using content types they are most comfortable with.

All in all, when it comes to students, inquiry-based learning is a significant step forward when compared to the typical approach to education.

 

Kathleen is a passionate entrepreneur and enjoys writing articles, overviews, and analyses about everything going on in the industry with a single goal of sharing her expertise with students. If you would like to get in touch with Kathleen, follow her @KathleenBrownn or email her at kathleen.brownnn@gmail

Breaking Barriers to College Math Success

February 15th, 2019

BY SEBASTIAN MILLER

Math is the most commonly used skill in the universe by both learned and unlearned people. Acquiring math skills is as important as students acquiring extended essay ib skills. Math skill is meant to be acquired in school, but it is ironical that most students do not learn it effectively in school. Students are taught to memorize while skills on how to effectively absorb what they learn are not administered. Most methods of learning used in schools are actually barriers to effective math success. The question on where students will ever use math in real life lingers across lecture halls. Math skills are always presented through life to solve work-related problems and real-world related problems. Some examples include

  1. In construction, you need to estimate project costs in terms of measuring lengths, width, and amounts of construction materials needed.
  2. In the grocery store, you estimate amounts of groceries needed and multiply by how many people and how long they will last. Check the weights and figure out discounts given, math skills come in handy in your shopping experience.
  • In the kitchen, math is present in measuring cooking ingredients, tuning the cooking time, not to mention conversion of units from ml to tablespoons and teaspoons.
  1. In traveling, calculate the amount of fuel you need based on the distance and the consumption of your vehicle per hour, and the total amount of time you will be traveling.
  2. Saving money too requires strong math skills. When kids are involved in math lessons early in life they learn how to spend and save without frustrations even later in life.
  3. When managing the most valuable asset time. Have your calculations right to determine how much you can accomplish over what period of time? The value of time is determined by how it is spent.

However, there are methods which have proven highly effective in breaking barriers to math success, and any other subject, through extensive research conducted on each method. These methods are tested to assess the ability to improve student’s learning abilities in learners across a wide age group.

Method 1: Practice Testing

The method has been in research for over 100 years proven highly effective as one of the best ways for the mind to retain information. Practice tests do not mean that you get into an exam room to take a test, but it is easily incorporated in the life of a student. The tests help the student target to test anywhere, with anything and at any time. The tests are done without the aid of books, but one uses objects to practice the math skills. At this point, the student is allowed to use their favorite objects or items they are comfortable with. This method is most effective when a time has elapsed between the learning and testing. Researchers have come up with three main reasons as to why this method works

  1. Practice tests trigger an elaborate process which is stored in your memory and is associated with math skills.
  2. The facilities or objects used are effective mediators of encoding different math problems by targets and cues.
  3. Practice tests constantly help the mind to organize information to increase efficiency and speed when retrieving the information.

Method 2: Visual Presentation of Math

Researchers and mathematics educators have encouraged teachers to engage students in visual representations in math, which has proved effective in math learning. Visual learning activates the brain’s reasoning skills by retaining information and understanding math concepts. A study conducted in 2013, discovered that effective learning is accomplished when different parts of the brain are used in learning. Visual math using symbols uses a different part of the brain while the spatial information uses another part of the brain. When the visual and symbolic methods are used in learning, there is an exchange of information between two parts of the brain which activate reasoning fully optimizing math skills. Students miss out on opportunities to increase their understanding if they do not enable their minds to use different parts of the brain at the same time.

Method 3: Distributed Practice

Math is a practical subject which uses the brain, meaning that you cannot cram. However, to effectively retain memory distributed practice is applied. This means dividing math studies into intervals over time, which is an effective method of absorption and retention. Distributed practice switches in between focused and diffused mode of thinking giving the mind time to absorb what it has learned during the focused time. Spaced study sessions are very important in remembering what your mind has captured.

Research conducted in 1979 with three groups of students who were put on practice distribution method of learning. The first group had 6 study sessions distributed with 30 days while the second group had 6 study sessions with 1-day intervals between each session. The first group had an exam administered after the 6th session as well as the second group. The first group performed very well in the exam compared to the second group who performed average. A third group did practice daily without any day, lapsing and had an exam administered after 30 days, they performed worse than the first two groups.

Most school learning programs will not give you the luxury of having few study sessions in a month it is recommended that distributed practice is spaced out at intervals of at least 24 hours from the learning sessions.

Method 4: Student Engagement in Tasks

Learning tasks engage students in reasonable effort and time. Research conducted in 2003, found out that instead of repetitive tasks for students, teachers should go over practice with their students then release them to work independently while they monitor the students and provide help where needed. In this method, real-time coaching, explanations, modeling among other forms of assistance which aid in the vigorous task engagement development in students are offered. The skills of engaging in challenging tasks are in balance supporting student’s autonomy and providing a great level of acquiring skills.

Method 5: Active Math Curriculum for Student

The active math curriculum has aspects which allow students to own the learning process and participate in mental stimulation. Teachers assume the role of facilitators as students learn using demonstrations, games, debates, projects, case studies, just in time teaching and talking to peers. It has become easy to integrate active math curriculum with the use of Ed-tools, which are active learning techniques. Students choose tools and activities to come up with concepts that will get them math answers. For example, when students are faced with a problem they watch a video on how to solve it, then discuss in groups and if they are stuck they ask the teacher for help. Their mindset is changed from I don’t get it, to, am stuck here and I need help. This allows them to deeply think of the concepts and feel the need to own the process and the problem.

Why is the success in math important? The University of California had conducted a study back in 2007, in which they concluded that strong math skills are crucial for a student later in life. Those who had strong math skills were successful academically with positive student behaviors with good literacy skills. There are many other proven ways to break barriers in math success, but importantly these methods should help absorb, retain and be fast to retrieve the information acquired. It is easy to monitor progress using any proven method and if one doesn’t work you can adjust to another until you are comfortable with the one that will help you ace my paper.

 

Bio: Bio: Sebastian Miller is a former Calling Lake School science teacher. After 4 years of teaching, he decided to become a freelance writer. In Sebastian’s opinion, math is the core of all science and his goal is to enlight as many schoolers as possible through writing

9 Smart Ways for Saving Money In College Life

February 14th, 2019

BY MIAH ELLIS

Every parent pay a lot to give good education to their children, even though they struggle for it. If the students are smart enough, they can start practicing to save money even from their student life. We all need money to live a peaceful life and fulfill our dreams. But saving money isn’t an easy task at all. Especially for college going students, they generally merely have the patience for saving their money. But there are some simple ways which can help a college student to save his money. If you are a college going student, here we go for 9 special ways to save money when you are in college.

Use Your Credit Card Wisely

Most of the people always give advice for not using credit card for saving money. They talk about its dangers, the risk of getting into debt, and the potential for paying hundreds of dollars in interest and fees. But the whole truth is that it depends on how to use your credit card. You can save enough by applying some methods. If you’re currently carrying a balance on a credit card with a huge interest rate, you can save hundreds of dollars by transferring that balance to a credit card with a lower interest. You can take advantage of 0% APR balance transfer offer which will save you even more money as you can avoid paying interest for up to 21 months depending on the credit card you choose. Paying for everything with a cash back credit card can be helpful for you to save your money. Cash back credit cards let you accumulate cash rewards on your credit card. You can also apply for a credit card with a sign up bonus. There are many credit cards which sign up bonuses on the market. So choose your credit card wisely and most importantly test credit card number before using.

Zero out Your Unspent Money

Zero out your unspent money every evening. It’s a really effective process for your savings. Just decide to zero out to one zero. For example, suppose you have 545 bucks cash and 2548 bucks in your bank account. Subtract the last digit from each number to get a zero at the end. It is easier to zero out your cash in a small piggy bank or a jar. Or you can create a savings account or any other bank account to trash out money from your card. You may also zero out for more zeroes. For example, you have 532 bucks in cash. You can subtract the 32 bucks from your cash and put them to your savings account.

Break Your Habits

In college life, people merely have thoughts of tomorrow. Spending too much on unnecessary stuffs becomes a habit. For saving money in college life, you must change your bad habits. You may have habits of spending too much on foods, clothes and other commodities. This habits won’t help you economically and in the long run, you’ll suffer for lack of money. There is a saying that you cannot change your fate, but if you change your habits, your habits can change your fate.  So break your bad habits as soon as possible.

Use Student Discount

Student discount is a good way for saving in college life. Always carry your student ID card with you. You can check the coupons and use your student ID for getting discounts. Getting discounts isn’t bad at all. You can use the discounts for having others things later or simply save the money for further use. Student ID can be helpful for having discounts in so many places. It can be vehicles, restaurants, parks or museums as well.

Reusing Old Stuff

Buying new things is not always necessary. Reusing old stuffs or redecorating old things for using can save a lot of money. Don’t get excuse to buy new things when you already have old things.

Don’t Buy All Textbooks

You always don’t need to buy all the textbooks for your study. You can buy old books from bookstores or from your college seniors. There is another way for saving money. You can sell off the old textbooks and buy new ones with them. Or you can download your textbooks from different sites and save your money.

Have Patience

Be patient before buying something expensive. Wait for two or three days and ask yourself if you really want that or not. If you are planning to buy something expensive for you and saving money for that, you can put it on your phone’s lock screen. That will constantly remind you about that & make you rethink about spending money unnecessarily.

Save Unspent Money

Move any unspent money to you savings account. This will definitely increase your savings. Suppose at the end of the month you have 30 bucks in cash and 200 bucks in bank account. Just move it to you savings account. Besides, you should budget your pocket money. You know how much money you have every morning and how much you need to spend in the whole day. Just make a simple calculation for spending your money. This will really help you for saving money.

Write Down All Spending

Write down your each and every daily spending. It will help in maintaining your day to day costs. Then you will realize how much are you spending in a month and how much you should save for further use. You can also check all of your spending. At the end of the month by your writings and then you’ll realize how much extra amount you are spending.

There are some several ways for saving money as well in college life. You should always split bills with your friends or companions. Going places which are free is a good idea for saving money.  Besides, if you need something for your household activities, you can simply DIY it by watching tutorials. Same way can be applied for giving presents to your friends and family members. Self-made gifts require efforts but don’t cost much to make. So these are the ideas you can apply for saving money in college life. So what are you waiting for? Apply them in your life and save a lot.

Byline:Miah Ellis a Pro blogger, specialized in online earning strategies and Guest blogging. I’m  skilled in creative writing and someone you would generally consider confident and well balanced.You can check my blog – Guestpostoffer.com

 

Why Not to Accept Your First Job Offer

February 13th, 2019

BY BRETT CLAWSON

After a series of years completing assignments, trying your hand at internships, and taking unnecessary classes that your curriculum wanted to include anyway, you have finally graduated. For those who graduated with a college degree, you may see quite a few prospective job offers. Perhaps you even have an idea of the job that you want. The rush to find a job is understandable. After all, those student loans are lurking just behind you. However, it may not be a good idea to accept the first job that is offered. This article will discuss a few reasons as to why you shouldn’t accept the first job offer that comes your way.

 

  1. Lower Pay

 Many companies typically look for newly graduated young folk because they know how desperate they are to land a job in order to add in security to their lives. Through their desperation, they give up a lot of their power and wind up settling for less of an income than they likely deserve. For many, you may find yourselves working in an entry-level position that practically anyone could do. The pay isn’t worth it, and you’re far overqualified for the position. Yet, it’s a job, right? Sure, it’s a job. Yes, you’re receiving money, but it isn’t the amount of money that you could be making. Didn’t you attend college so you could make more money than the average person who didn’t attend college? Waiting and looking around might serve you better in landing a position with a company who will pay you what you deserve to be paid.

 

  1. Lack Of Benefits

 Another aspect of a quick and desperate hire is the sacrifice of benefits. Many college-aged folks these days are actually more interested in benefits that a company provides rather than their pay. This is largely due to an experience where families struggled to pay healthcare costs because of a lack of insurance. They’re also looking for promises of secure retirement pension plans, so they don’t have to work until the day they die. Companies who first approach you may not have the benefits that you need or want. It’s okay to decline their offer and search for a company that has the benefits you’re looking for.

 

  1. Underutilized

 For some graduates, it isn’t uncommon to feel underutilized at their first job. This can leave you feeling dissatisfied at work and without much of a purpose. Again, you’re just going through the motions instead of enjoying your job. Instead, you may want to consider waiting for talent acquisition to find you. What is talent acquisition? This is the process by which companies search for skilled individuals that they need for a specific role in their company. If you place your resume, list out your skills and experience on a talent acquisition website, you can have the companies vying for you instead of you searching for the company. At this point, you can simply filter through to see which provides the best pay, benefits, and overall works better for you.

 

  1. Travel

 If you’ve been stuck in the same corner of the world for most of your life, it may be beneficial to travel elsewhere. Whether as a vacation or moving away, taking the time to travel can help you learn more about yourself and what makes you happy. By understanding your focus and perhaps learning a few things during your travels, you’ll be able to find the company that is more attune with what you’re looking for. There will always be jobs available. An experience of self-discovery is a little more difficult to come by.

Finding a job after graduation is important. However, it isn’t the end of the world if you pass on the first offer that comes to you. Take the time to explore.

Byline:  Brett Clawson is a writer and entrepreneur with a degree in Business Management. He enjoys researching emerging business trends and sharing their impact on business and the industry as a whole. He believes that the best way to influence others and share his knowledge with the world is through his writing.

 

Marijuana Use Among College Students

February 12th, 2019

BY MARY WALTON

With marijuana legalization activists and advocates making significant progress in recent years, the agenda becomes an even more debated topic in the U.S. society.

On the one hand, the supporters of the legalization point to a number of medical benefits associated with consumption of the drug. On the other hand, numerous opponents claim that the decision will only worsen the ongoing opioid epidemic.

One of the most common arguments put forth by the opponents of marijuana legislation is the negative impact of the drug on young people. Indeed, there have been numerous surveys showing a high prevalence of cannabis use among the young, especially the student population.

While the effects of marijuana use are known, the full range of medical benefits of the cannabis plant is still insufficiently researched. This, of course, makes the debate even more complicated, but let’s take a look at the current levels of marijuana use among U.S. students and consider some of the involved benefits and harms.

Prevalence of Marijuana Use among U.S. Students

More and more U.S. students claimed to have used cannabis in recent years, according to scholar studies.

For example, the annual national Monitoring the Future Panel Study found that college students’ use of marijuana was at the highest level in the past three decades in 2016, and the trend continued through 2017 as well.

Heavy marijuana use among college students was also on the rise, according to the most recent findings from the University of Michigan study. Today’s high levels of marijuana use among the nation’s 19-to-22-year-olds result from a gradual increase over the past decade.

In 2017, 38 percent of college students aged 19-22 reported using marijuana at least once in the prior 12 months, and 21 percent reported using at least once in the prior 30 days.

Both of these levels peaked in 2016, the highest found since 1987, and did not change significantly in 2017. The 2017 levels represent gradual increases since 2006 when they were 30 percent and 17 percent, respectively.

Clearly, marijuana use has been steadily increasing among college students in the past decade. Does this mean that the government should take additional measures to curb this problem or even ban the use altogether?

The implications of the regular use of cannabis for an adolescent brain surely support this way.

Consequences of Marijuana Use

Here there some major consequences of marijuana use that legislation opponents cite:

  • Significant brain abnormalities were found in 18 to 25 year-olds who smoked marijuana at least once a week.The abnormalities were in the emotion and reward centers of the brain. This suggests that even casual marijuana use can increase the chance of developing other addictions later on, and may affect people’s ability to deal with emotions.
  • Marijuana could be toxic to the adolescent brain.One study followed over 1,000 individuals who began using marijuana as adolescents. The study compared their IQ at 13 and 38 years old. During this period IQ would normally remain stable or slightly increase. But for regular marijuana users, IQ declined by 6 points on average. Furthermore, stopping marijuana use did not fully restore the damage.
  • Marijuana users are 4 times more likely to develop depression.One study looked at 1,920 people, and followed them for 16 years. It discovered that people who smoked marijuana were 4 times more likely to develop depression.  Another study looked at 1,601 students aged 14 to 15 and followed them for seven years. The young women of the group who were daily users had a far greater chance of developing depression.
  • Marijuana almost triples the chance of developing psychotic symptoms.A 3-year study followed 4,045 psychosis-free people. It came to the conclusion that marijuana smokers are three times more likely to develop psychotic symptoms (including manic-depression) than non-smokers.

But how about Students who are Legal Marijuana Users?

While these implications surely are important, one cannot ignore the fact that there are thousands of students who need treatments involving medical marijuana. Many of them even struggle to stay in school without prescribed cannabis-based treatments administered throughout the day.

Besides, there are cannabidiol oil (CBD) based medications that have been approved by the FDA to treat anxiety-related disorders, which supports the claim that cannabis is effective in relieving the condition.

That’s why some states are beginning to change their policies on the use of medical marijuana on campuses where drug tests are not imposed. For example, the Supreme Court in Arizona has recently overturned a 2012 law passed by the Legislature that prohibited cardholders from possessing and using cannabis on campuses in the state.

A recent study in Canada researching the students’ reasons for using cannabis found they were turning to it to self-medicate, handle stress, anxiety, and depression. This is a critical issue to resolve because one in 5 college students have depression or anxiety. Even though teens thought of cannabis as an effective tool to cope with the pressures of studying, the study also discovered that they didn’t know all the risks; specifically, they perceived cannabis to be non-addictive.

Final Thoughts

While the consequences of regular, non-medical use of marijuana are known, it’s also clear that the plant is critical for many students who need it to manage their conditions and relieve stress. So, it’s sufficient to claim that appropriate policies and controls are needed to minimize the risk of abuse. At this point, however, it seems that the debate over marijuana legalization will continue, even though decisive action is critical to help students needing it for legal purposes.

Mary Walton is a professional editor, content strategist and a part of NCSM team. Apart from writing, Mary is passionate about hiking and gaming.

 

5 Tips to Create the Perfect Resume 

February 11th, 2019

BY KATE LARSON

 

  1. Keep it Simple

Forget fancy fonts and show-off designs: your resume must be simple so that a recruiter (or computer software) can quickly digest the information within it. Always choose commonly-used sans-serif fonts, such as Calibri or Arial, and make sure your font size is 11 or 12.

Your name should be displayed at the top of your resume along with your contact information. Using “multiple” line spacing and keeping a one-inch margin around all sides of your document will make the content easier to read.

Headings and job titles should be in a slightly larger font size and bolded so that they stand out. Italicize previous job titles and educational institution names to help set them off from headings.

 

  1. Include a Short Profile

A well-crafted profile should give the reader a short indication as to your experiences so far and why you wish to apply for the role. Place it under your contact information and make sure it isn’t more than three sentences long. If your resume is written in the first person, your profile should be as well.

 

  1. List Your Technical and Professional Skills

As a college student, you’re unlikely to have a long list of previous jobs to list on your resume. The good news is that you can use the technical and personal skills you’ve picked up over time to help pad out your resume.

Always read through any job advert you’re applying for and try to pick up on any keywords they’ve included. Listing them in your own skills list will help your resume to pass screening software that recruiters commonly use.

 

  1. Experience Should go Above Education…

…but only if you’re working. If you’re currently studying and don’t have a job, list your education first.

Always list past jobs and education history in chronological order. Include dates, titles, and location. When it comes to describing what your previous work experience entailed, be sure to list your achievements rather than just your job duties. Use active verbs, such as succeeded, helped, or won, to start each bullet point and include examples of specific projects or tasks you’re most proud of.

Remember to switch between past and present tense if you begin talking about a role that you’re currently in.

 

 

 

  1. Use Online Tools for Proofreading

Over half (58%) of employers admit to throwing out a resume if it contains a typo. Thankfully, there are now several online tools that can help you to spot any glaring errors before you hit the print button.

Grammarly and the Hemmingway Editor are a great place to start. They pick up on faulty determiner use and alert you whenever your sentences become overlong.

Once you’ve done all your online checks, print out your resume and read it aloud slowly. It’s then best to turn to another task for half an hour before returning for one final check with a pair of fresh eyes.

Finally, try to pluck up the courage to ask your friends or family to read through your resume. While they might not pick up on any errors, they could provide you with valuable feedback that helps you to land that all important interview.

What Should I Do If I’m Not Getting Any Responses?

Don’t panic. You can either start applying for lower-paid positions or decide to get creative. What do we mean by the latter? Well, start to think of yourself as a new business that needs to get their name out there. To do that, you need to advertise.

Start by taking the online route. Create your own website that shows off some of your skills in more detail. Then use Bannersnacks and create a banner ad to advertise your services on carefully selected websites.

Next, come up with your own business cards and print them out alongside some copies of your resume. Dress to impress and head to local businesses in your area asking whether they have any positions available. An employer will always be impressed by a student taking a proactive approach in their job hunt.

To help you think of yourself as a new business, it’s a good idea to spend some time researching advice from top entrepreneurs and CEO’s. You can find podcasts and interviews online to help you get inspired by those who have already achieved what you aspire for, to get you into the right mindset for creating that perfect resume.

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

 

 

University Or College Can Be The Ultimate Social Support Circle

February 8th, 2019

BY ANNABEL MONAGHAN

 At university, students go through one of the most transformative stages in their life. From the moment they walk through the gates of their university (their new home in a sense), to the second they graduate and begin their journey as a career-driven individual in the real world, it is a beautifully chaotic experience. Some students are naturally able to handle the experience better than others, and this is nothing to be ashamed of. Comparison to other students is not only unhealthy, but it is potentially incredibly damaging to one’s psyche and whole health. The key to getting through university, especially when one feels they are struggling, is forging strong relationships with other students and friends. Because of the sheer scale of most universities, having strong, dependable relationships can and mostly does prove to be the ultimate social support circle. Students these days put more pressure on themselves than ever before. It is upsetting, to say the least, but it is also easy to understand how and why this occurs so often. Of all the pieces of advice that university students get, the best one is to find their comfortable balance, and to ensure that they consistently work to maintain it. But how?

Students today take on more of a workload while trying to balance more work at their jobs, more time with their families, partners, and friends, and more time for themselves. Finding the peak balance is more difficult than ever. It is also more important than ever that university students can find the balance. Going into university as a student can be a tremendously difficult transition for some individuals. It is important to go into the experience with an accepting, an  open  mindset, first and foremost. University is a time for trying new things, and it is advised that one should always make the most of the experience and to do exactly that. From finding new hobbies, like  a garden or a book club, to finding one’s personal research and study strategies, students can find out an absolute wealth of knowledge about themselves when they are at university. Self-discovery is incredible, and letting university help one with that is the best move.

Of course, the nature of university is that it challenges you, but at no point in life – especially when going through such a challenging experience – should one’s mental health be put on the back burner in favor of advancement in other aspects of life. Therefore, forging and maintaining strong relationships with other students can be the saving grace for many. It is easy to feel overwhelmed with the university experience, and having a social circle that doubles as a support system is incredibly important. Even when an introvert at heart, making a friend or two can truly make all the difference in the world. When studying for finals becomes too much, taking a break and doing something fun with a friend is a great way to hit the reset button and allow for a stronger grasp on the environment and current circumstances around a person.

Aside from having some positive hobbies and supportive relationships while at university, maintaining a strong sense of one’s own emotions and current mental state is incredibly important. University helps to shape students into who they are going to be once they graduate, but a lot of that evolution of the individual is up to the person themselves, too. Students these days are so focused on maintaining the best grade scores they can, that they often push their own needs to the back of their minds. Sometimes, they are not even aware of just how important their personal needs are. This is dangerous territory to be in, and the reason that making consistent mental check ins on oneself is so crucial. Even if it means discussing one’s current headspace with a course coordinator or faculty head, and possibly taking some time out, it is important to ensure our mental health is being taken care of.

When individuals walk onto campus or sign into their student log in for the first time, they start a three to four year experience that is challenging, demanding, and rewarding all at once. It is easy for students to become overwhelmed with the university experience, especially when they are relatively new to it. The key to maintaining strong relationships and integral understanding in university is to surround oneself with positive, engaging relationships while making time for things that are not related to the university experience. Because of the busy lives that modern students leave, they put more pressure on themselves than they ever have before, and this pressure can result in unhealthy responses. The best advice any university student can get is to ensure they find their comfortable balance, and to make sure that they maintain that balance – no matter what.

Annabel Monaghan is a writer with a passion for education and edtech. She writes education and career articles for The College Puzzle with the aim of providing useful information for students and young professionals. If you have any questions, please feel free to email her at annabelmonaghanwriter@gmail.com

 

 

Avoiding 6 Common Money Mistakes College Students Make

February 7th, 2019

BY JIMMY POPWORTH

Starting anything new in life can be quite challenging. This is especially true when it comes to college. It doesn’t matter if you are entering college directly from high school or you have been out of the classroom for several years and looking to plunge back into higher education. Sure, studying and taking tests are going to be hard, but the hardest thing about going to college is the financial side of things. Being in the classroom from six to eight hours a day makes it hard to hold down a full-time job. At the few least you can get back with a part-time job, which isn’t going to provide the income that you need to cover the costs of your books let alone your cost of living. This is why it is imperative to avoid making financial mistakes whenever you can. Below, you will learn the 6 most common financial mistakes that college students make and how you can avoid them.

 Choosing A School That Doesn’t Suit Your Needs

One of the most exciting things about the whole college experience is choosing where you are going to go. Searching through the different campuses and touring them can be a thrilling experience. It is true that there are many different factors that will go into choosing a school. However, the most important thing is that you choose a university and program that supports your career goals.

This is much more important than worrying about the price tag. This is going to be your life when you graduate and it will be worth the extra investment. Just remember that the only way that your wasting your money is if you aren’t getting what you need out of the experience. Plus, there will be financial aid and student loans available as well as other financing options that will help you pay down your debt in the long run.

 Taking the Time To Review FAFSA

 FAFSA, officially known as the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, is without a doubt the most important financial tool for any college student. It is something that should never be overlooked. Taking the time to sit down with your family and filling out this form will tell you exactly how much you will have to pay for college. In addition to this, it will tell you how much financial aid you can qualify for and if you are eligible for any grants. If you do not the time to fill out this application you are missing out in a huge opportunity that could help ease the burden of your financial situation.

 Being Too Prideful To Ask For Help

 If you are entering college from high school this is your first opportunity to prove yourself in the world. You get the chance to prove that you can stand on your own two feet. Sometimes this new found discovery makes people prideful and they don’t want anyone to know that they are struggling or need help. Well, sometimes you are just going to have to swallow that pride and ask for help. It doesn’t matter if you are struggling academically, personally, or financially, most colleges offer students free resources that can help.

With some inquiries, you will probably find that your campus offers free tutoring, counseling, and the financial aid department will be more than grateful to help you with anything related to financial aid or student loans.

 Not Taking Advantage Of Scholarships

You don’t have to be a 4.0 GPA honor student to get a scholarship. You don’t even have to be a high school student entering college for the first time to get a scholarship. There are a number of scholarships available to students of all ages and backgrounds. Yes, it will be a lot of hard work finding these scholarships and applying for them, but this is an opportunity to save money. Even the smallest scholarship can go a long way. Remember to use the Internet to your advantage. There are a number of guides online that will help you find and apply for scholarships. Just remember that most of these scholarships will come along with requirements and if you do not meet the requirements they might be ripped right from underneath you.

 Misusing Credit Cards

When the credit card companies find out that you are in college you are going to be bombarded with offers. These companies also set up booths outside the campus to tempt you even further. Some of these offers might seem good, but you only want to get a credit card if you know that you are financially responsible enough for one. Credit cards are a great way to establish a credit report, but if you misuse them it will have an avalanche effect that will snowball you right into bad credit before you even start your life. There is nothing wrong with getting a card, but you only want to use it when necessary and make sure that you pay back the balance in full every single month.

 Not Using Student Affinity Networks

 Not only does college bring about the cost of tuition and books, but there are going to be other expenses as well. You will have to shop for clothes, you will need binders, and you might even find yourself in need of a new laptop. Well, most college students don’t know that there are hundreds of brands out there that are willing to cut you a break, but finding these brands can be difficult. This is where student affinity networks come in handy. With the help of these networks, you can redeem rightfully what is yours.

These student affinity networks partner with fashion firms, tech industries, grocery stores, and a variety of other establishments to help college students get discounts on just about anything they can imagine. The best thing about these student affinity networks is that they are completely free to utilize and they work extremely hard to bring you the best-in-class offers from all your favorite brands.

References:

  1. https://creditcards.usnews.com/student
  2. https://www.quickloansdirect.com/fast-business-loans/
  3. https://www.linkedin.com/company/affinity-networks-inc-
  4. https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/fafsa

Jimmy Popworth is an online journalist, writer and web developer with an Associates Degree in Applied Science. His writing style is both informative and witty, and his tastes are eclectic.