Archive for August, 2019

Off Campus Housing: 7 Things That Students Need to Consider

August 30th, 2019

BY GLORIA WATSON

Off campus student housing is a smart idea and comes with a number of benefits overstaying in a campus dorm. You get so much more space, privacy and peace if you choose the right place. Choosing an off campus student housing is similar to finding an off plan property Dubai: you will feel overwhelmed and confused with so many choices, but you have to be focused. There are several important factors that you need to consider finding the ideal place for yourself.

Ease of commute

Commuting to and from your classes take up a lot of time, energy, and money. While it would be ideal to live as close to the campus as possible so that you can skip out on commute, but if you can’t, choose a place from where you can travel easily, and preferably by a single mode of transport.

Research within your budget

Research is the key to getting the best you can get within your budget. You wouldn’t take the very first option from all Emaar properties for sale, so why not do the same for house hunting? Look into as many options as available before picking one. Do not exceed your maximum budget because you don’t want to be saddled with an excess expense.

Condition of the house

Look into the condition of the house before you sign up for it. Check out for weird invading windows, temperature control, plumbing, pest control etc. to ensure that the living conditions are comfortable.

Safety is crucial

Safety is an important factor when moving into a new place. Ensure that the neighbourhood is safe and you do not land yourself in the middle of trouble. Look into newspaper reports and ask local people around to check for safety.

Convenience and amenities

While choosing your place, make sure it is not very far from the important amenities such as convenience stores, budget restaurants, medicine stores etc so that you do not have to travel every time you need anything. Also check that it is well connected and close to a main road.

Find the right housemates

Your housemates are very important as you will spend a lot of time together in the house. Make sure you get along well with them, especially when it comes to habits and lifestyle choices, before you decide to live with them. Do not choose too many housemates as bathroom sharing will be time consuming, especially before morning classes.

Rules and documents

Last but not the least, before you sign on any lease make sure you go through the fine prints and explicitly clarify every rule. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, especially on any modifications, security deposit, future pet ownership etc. so that you do not get into trouble or have to pay unfair fines or charges.

Finding the right student housing will make it so much easier for your academic life. A nice comfortable home to return to is essential, so make sure your new place is nice and conducive to your academic pursuits.

Byline:- Gloria Watson ’24 grew up in Texas and graduated from University of Texas. Nowadays, she’s a freelance writer whose aim to write article on computers and school education today.

Bad Money Habits You Developed in College :How to Get Rid of Them

August 29th, 2019

BY SIENNA WALKER

Students have a tough time. It’s difficult to be a full time student and keep your head above water. School is expensive, stressful, and time consuming. Many students also work part time to supplement their budgets. There’s a lot to juggle, and it’s easy for highly important priorities to get lost in the shuffle. This often leads to students making some glaring mistakes with their money, and unfortunately, some of these habits stick with them long after graduation.

1. Throwing Money at Junk Food

When you’re a busy student, the idea of grocery shopping and preparing meals feels almost impossible. Instead, you order pizza or settle for soggy, fatty drive-thru burgers. Of course these meals aren’t healthy – that’s a separate debate all on its own. In truth, setting a grocery budget and cooking your own meals is healthier for both your body and your bank account. You might still be leading a busy life after graduation, especially if you’re working hard at your dream career, but your time can be mitigated by meal prepping on Sunday nights.

2. Using Credit Cards like a “Get Out of Jail Free” Card

Credit cards can sometimes be helpful in an emergency, but if paying your water bill every month is an emergency, it’s time to do some restructuring.

Relying on credit cards for basic living expenses, like rent, groceries, or utilities, typically indicates that you are living beyond your means. You’re never going to get ahead of yourself if you’re charging the most basic things to your credit card. If it’s on your credit card, that means you can’t afford it. Cut back in other areas and save the credit card for unplanned expenses or a (very) occasional fun night out.

3. Improperly Managing Your Savings

Having a savings account is excellent. You probably had one in college, even if the amount was less than impressive. You may have grown into the habit of tossing some cash into your savings account and allowing your willpower to take over so you don’t dip into it. Unfortunately, savings won’t really do much to help that money grow.

Instead of relying on a low interest rate to accumulate over time, consider investing your savings. There are a wealth of options for investments. There’s the traditional route of the stock market, which many busy people choose for its minimal level of commitment. Then there are slightly more labor intensive methods, like residential real estate investing. Choosing an investment method largely depends on how hands on you want to be.

4. Keeping Your Budget in Your Brain

Once people get into the swing of things, they tend to operate by force of habit. They roughly know when all the bills are due, and a quick check of their bank account balance lets them know where they’re at. Without an actual budget however, they’re likely to struggle. You might have got by without one when you were still in college, as there were fewer expenses to remember, and perhaps you even had the help of your parent. Now however, if you want to have more money, you need to plan carefully, review your spending, and determine where cuts can be made.

Create a calendar and mark dates with what specific amount of money is going in and coming out at any given moment. Keep your receipts for the things that you purchase. Add up what you spend and compare it with what you have left. Would it be a wise decision to cut cable TV and switch to online streaming services? Would a budget grocery store save you enough money in food costs to cover a bill every month? You won’t know without a stable budget.

You learned a lot in college, and you can learn a lot now. Your circumstances and your income are likely very different from the way they were when you were a student. The sooner you teach yourself to be an expert at managing your money, the more money you’ll have for the next big chapter in your life.

 

About the author:

Sienna Walker is an experienced careers and self-improvement blogger with a deep love for creating smart, passive income. She is often found on educational forums, sharing her learning, work, and money management tips with students. Privately, a huge fan of traveling.

 

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Things You Need Pack Or Have When You Go to College

August 28th, 2019

BY JAMES RIDDLE

If you’ve ever packed for a trip, you know how easy it is to forget something valuable. Forgetting something when you leave for college is not as crucial as forgetting a lighter when you go camping in the woods, but it can be frustrating as well. Especially considering it will most likely result in out-of-pocket expenses.

Here are the things you absolutely need in college or university.

Study gear

Let’s start with the basics. At the very least, you’ll have to take something to study with. In most cases, a laptop, a sturdy backpack and a couple of good notebooks will do. If you want to be extra prepared for the classes, take a small lamp, a lunchbox, and a stapler.

Good headphones

If you’re one of those suburban kids who could blast music on full volume without disturbing anyone, college is going to be hard for you. The only way you can listen to music in the dorm is to throw up a party. If you want to listen to music at night without neighbors complaining, a pair of good headphones is a must for you.

They’re also great for blocking out the noise from the not-so-friendly neighbors who can’t care less about you complaining.

Bedding

This point is optional for people who are okay with college bed linens, but for the picky students, it’s a must. If you’re not sure if your college provides beddings, contact them and ask. If they don’t you’ll have to get the basic bedding supplies with you.

Those who don’t trust the college to provide them have to take care of this in advance. Besides, lying in the same bedsheets you have at home creates a cozy atmosphere for those of us who are homesick.

Clothes for the climate

Taking a winter coat with you when you depart for your first year of college is probably an overkill. Take the clothes you’ll probably wear for the next couple of months, and ask your parents to send you warm clothes later.

 

Take a pair of slippers for chilling in the dorm, and make sure your shoes are sturdy. Replacing them if they tear may be a big strain on your budget.

A sewing kit

Clothes tear all the time, and you don’t have the money to get them repaired. You’ll have to do it yourself. Take a simple sewing kit with you, and you’ll save at least a hundred dollars over the course of a year.

Also, take a duct tape for other repairs.

Storage

Whether you live in the dorm or choose to rent, you’ll need some kind of storage space. The room you can afford isn’t going to be big, and your clothes can’t just be lying on the floor. Take a garment rack, a dozen hangers, and make some of the boxes you used for packing to store extra stuff like chargers, clean socks, etc. You might want to bring an extra box to store Diamond Studs jewelry or other valuables.

If you’re renting with plenty of roommates, take a curtain or a large piece of cloth to make your space a bit more private.

A first aid kit

Even though the pharmacy can be a block away, it’s always better to have the first aid meds close to you. Make sure that you pack antidiarrheal, mild pain killers, cough meds, and adhesive tape to treat wounds.

Don’t forget to make a list

When you’re packing for college, don’t just rely on a list from the Internet. Create a list for yourself, check and double-check if it has everything you need, and use it while packing.

By line:  James Riddle is a multi-topic writer at WhenIPost.com passionate about new technologies, marketing trends and branding strategies. He is always seeking to discover new ways for personal and professional growth and is convinced that it’s always important to broaden horizons. That`s why James develops and improves his skills throughout the writing process to help and inspire people.

 

Students Should Care About Saving The Planet: Ways To Help

August 27th, 2019

BY KATE lARSON

Being a student is a tough job. Very often, school work is enough to keep you busy all year long, and it’s complicated to find time for other things. That’s why it’s so easy to forget about saving the planet and leave it to less busy and more motivated people. But saving the planet isn’t just for people who don’t have better things to do; it concerns everyone, especially students.

Regardless of your busy schedule, you should still make time to see how you can help the environment simply because you live here. In a few decades from now, the earth’s problems will be your problems, and it’s better to get a head start on them. Luckily, you don’t have to tear yourself away from your work to research how you can save the planet because we have compiled a list of five things you can do as a student.

Go Solar

Did you know that up to 25% of air pollution is from coal emissions in power plants? Worse still is the fact that the emissions don’t seem to be slowing down. We need to get ahead of the problem and reduce our carbon emissions. Going solar can help tackle this problem head-on. Solar energy is 100% renewable, which means that we can use it for as long as we want, and we’d never add any pollutants to the environment. Solar systems set up by companies like Natural Solar are one of the most significant ways we can save the planet

Use Reusable Bags

When people hear of simple initiatives like this, they often roll their eyes; and for a good reason. What can the use of one single plastic bag do for the planet earth? But think about it. If you use one plastic bag for your groceries twice every week, that’s over 100 plastic bags generated by you alone in a single year. And those bags never decay; they just sit in a landfill for years, causing damage to the environment. Switching to reusable bags will reduce how much non-biodegradable waste you produce, which will reduce the burden on the environment.

Print As Little As Necessary

You already know that paper is gotten from trees and that the more paper we use, the more trees die. Trees are essential to our ecosystem because they convert CO2 to oxygen. And with the amount of C02 our cars are producing, we definitely need all the trees we can get. By using as little paper as possible, you can make sure that you reduce the demand for more paper and the death of more trees. As a student, it’s very unreasonable to ask you to stop using paper. However, by reducing the amount you use, you can have a significant impact on the environment in the long run.

Buy From Sustainable Companies

Another way you can use paper to save the planet is to only buy from companies that have sustainable harvesting methods. Several paper companies replant trees after they fell them to make sure that they leave a minimal footprint. Since you need paper for assignments and projects, you should buy paper that comes from trees you know are being replaced.

Get A Bike, Or At Least Carpool When You Can

Earlier, we mentioned how C02 emissions are bad for the environment.  But as a student, you need to get around on campus, and you can’t exactly walk everywhere. However, getting a bike can help you get around while still keeping your contributions to environmental pollution low. Plus, it’s excellent exercise. If you don’t want to take a bike, you can also carpool. When you and your friends take the same car, you can reduce your carbon emissions to one vehicle, and limit your impact on the environment.

Conclusion

It’s easy to think that saving the environment doesn’t really concern you at the moment. But that’s just not true.  Little things like using solar panels or using minimal amounts of paper can help in ensuring the health of our planet.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

6 Latest Tech Innovations that Help You In Your Classes

August 26th, 2019

BY SHAHINA PARVIN

 Teaching is all about introducing new topics to the students. Usually, technology is considered a threat for the college students in the United States. In my opinion, technology can play a vital role in the classroom as well. We cannot simply ignore the importance of technology due to its negative aspects. We have to accept the involvement of technology in education if we want to make sure education for everyone.

 Usage of simulations and 3D models:

There are some topics for the college students which are very difficult to understand. In these cases, digital simulations and 3D models can help the students. On the other hand, it is helpful for the teachers as well. Suppose, a teacher is going to give a lecture on tornadoes. Hearing the lecture, some of the students will understand it. However, there are some other students who will not understand it at that very moment. It is easier for them if they have a visualization in front of them. So, the teacher can take the help of a 3D model and it is a win-win situation for both the teachers and the students.

 Importance of cloud storage and social media:

Assignments and projects are very important for the college students. In our time, we had to visit library after library to get an exact reference. However, those days are gone away and the students can take the help of cloud storage now. Thus, they can save their time and invest it for gathering more information. On the contrary, the students can create web pages or virtual communities and share their thoughts. This way, they can get feedback from other students and teachers as well. So, now the students have more opportunity to correct their errors and refine their way of thinking. Technology makes it easy to enroll in best test prep courses that feature engaging, entertaining video lessons, practice questions and quizzes to help students get ready for test day.

 

      Apps development at its best:

Learning with fun is always better than our traditional learning. Technology makes it more fun than ever. Now, the students can learn while playing a game or streaming a video. There are thousands of apps for high school students available in Play Store and App Store. We all are familiar with the apps like dictionary, calculator, translator, etc. and there are more for college students. People will argue that the tech innovations are of no use for the college students. So, let me give you an example. Suppose you are studying geography of a particular location. All you have is a picture of that location and some description of it. Now, it is very difficult to imagine just by looking into a picture. However, if you take the help of Google Maps, Google Earth or Google Map’s Street View, then the whole scenario will be changed.

    Virtual study as a life saver:

You may not remember that there was a time when group study was very popular. It has lost its glamour now and the improvised version of group study takes that place. Now, the students like to collaborate in the virtual world. It is not a problem anymore if you are sick or out of reach. All you need is a device and an internet connection to take part in the virtual group study. Besides, it is much easier to share notes and documents in online platforms.

 Say NO to limitations:

There was a time when the students had to ignore unfamiliar terms or unknown concepts while studying alone. Time has changed and there is no need to skip any topic now. The students can simply search for it in Google or Yahoo, there must be hundreds of essays on their targeted topic. On the other hand, modern tech innovations help us say yes to open education and say no to limitation. A student from a third world country can avail the same resources like a student of a first world country. Moreover, the students can easily access the virtual library of various renowned colleges and universities.

 Gadgets for everyone:

We all are familiar with the usage of laptops and smartphones in the classroom. Except these devices, we can use some other modern tech innovations like- smart pen, digital textbooks, smart backpacks etc. At first, let us look at the smart pen. A smart pen looks like a traditional pen. However, it can record all your notes digitally as it is equipped with a smart software and a sensitive microphone. Thus, you can take important notes on your lecture and record it at the same time for further use. Later, you can upload these notes in Google Docs or Evernote. On the other hand, tablets, e-readers, kindles are very popular among the college students. So, why not we consider digital textbooks? Digital textbooks are easy to use and lightweight compared to our traditional books. Moreover, the price of a digital book is lesser than a physical book.

                                                   Finally, like other innovations of technology, it has a negative impact in the classroom as well. It truly depends on the students whether they want to take advantage of modern innovations in the classroom or not.

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 Author name : Shahina Parvin

Email : Shahinaparvin1000@gmail.com

Website : https://testprepcare.com/

 Shahina Parvin is a professional digital marketing expert and a regular contributor of Stanford.edu. She is highly experienced in Test Prep courses and has been helping the students regarding test prep materials. If you are stuck in choosing test prep courses, you will find https://www.testprepcare.com/ as an exceptionally helpful resource. It has a great reputation of improving SAT scores, ACT scores and writing research paper topics.

 

So, You Graduated College. Now What?

August 23rd, 2019

BY SAMUEL BENSON

So, you worked hard and earned your college degree. That’s great! If you are like many other people, you may be wondering what comes next. It does not matter if you have gotten a degree from a top university or a systems engineering online degree, not when real life will hit you.

Look for a Job

Job hunting is going to take a lot of time and effort. You will need to network with others and you will need to make sure your resume is up to date and professional looking. Every job that you apply to will need a new and customized cover letter. It may take you some time to find a good job and you may need to take an entry-level position, to begin with.

Find Employment

Now is the time to enter the workforce and build up experience. You will need to go to work every day and be a responsible and productive adult. In order to make the transition into this new world, you can seek out a mentor at your new job. Many jobs do offer mentors to help go over the expectations, procedures, and transition. This will make it easier for you to adjust to your new life and you can learn how to keep and hold this job.

Student Loan Repayment

Remember those loans that you took out to go to college? Well, it is time to begin paying them back. Some loans will give you a six month grace period. Do not forget about these loans or ignore them. Your credit will take a big hit and your credit score will go down. If you need help repaying your loans or cannot afford the monthly payment plan you need to contact the lender to make arrangements so you can pay something back and begin to get out of debt.

Find a Place to Live

After college, many young people are finding themselves back home. That is okay. If you are looking to make a big move now is the time to do it. You should move before you have too many responsibilities in one location. If you want to head to your dream location you should look for jobs in that area. You should also look for roommates to help with living expenses. If you are going to move to do so before you become tied down and it is much more difficult.

Learn Money Management

As an adult, you will be expected to pay your own way. Once you find a place of your own you will be paying for rent, food, utilities, and daily living expenses. You will need to learn how to develop a budget so you can handle your money. You will need to include the necessities and keep some money aside in case energy such as your car breaking down happens. When developing your budget you can include money for entertainment but it is essential that your bills are taken care of first.

Mental Health

You may have a hard time transitioning from school to work. You may not see your friends as often. It is important you take care of your mental health. There is nothing wrong with seeing a therapist to help with these feelings and keep your mind healthy.

These are some things you can expect to do once you graduate from college. While going to school is hard work, being a productive adult carries just as much if not more responsibilities. Once you have graduated, congratulate yourself for your hard work and then become a productive member of society.

 

5 Tips To Help You Study While You Travel The World

August 22nd, 2019

BY KATE LARSON

Travel the world while you’re young, they say. Unfortunately, most people are studying when they’re young, which means they probably have to pick between seeing Florence or studying for their midterms.

However, clever students can get away with studying on their holiday if they follow a few simple steps. To help their students study without compromise, during one of my travels, in Australia, I met some students from JMC Academy, Australia’s leading private college offering creative courses and they gave me the following advice:

 

1.   Prepare before you leave

To study while travelling, preparation is key. Make sure you get all the notes and keep a track of the passwords you use to access your institution’s online portal. Plan out your trip and take books only for the subjects you intend to study for.

 

2.   Embrace disruptions

If you take a flight out to your destination, you could have hours of uninterrupted study on board. While travelling to a new destination you can spend all the time you are locked into your seat to catch up with your notes. However, embrace the disruptions that come with being on holiday with friends and family. If you plan to study but your friends really want to go down to the beach, make a concession and go. It’s important for you to take frequent breaks and enjoy yourself.

 

3.   Make sure the internet is available

Online courses and even university notes are all available online now, so it’s essential that you have a backup plan for when the hotel wifi isn’t working. Try to buy a mobile internet hotspot which you connect to anywhere. Make sure you understand roaming charges and the terms and conditions of free wifi at cafes. Stay connected as much as you can so you can quickly Google something if you need to.

 

4.   Schedule fixed hours for study

Perhaps the best thing you can do to balance work and play is to have fixed hours for study everyday. If you finish all your work early in the morning, you free up the entire day to see places and have fun.

 

5.   Don’t study too much

Don’t forget you’re on holiday. When you’re travelling and trying to see new parts of the world, keep aside your books and take the time to relax. If you spend most of your holiday with your nose buried in a book, what’s the point of travelling? Don’t let life pass you by.

These five simple tips should help you strike the perfect balance between studying and travelling.

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.

 

 

Paying for College By Becoming a Surrogate Mother : Pro And Con

August 21st, 2019

BY ANNABEL MONAGHAN

 The cost of college is so high that many people are afraid to pursue a college education without a practical plan for how they’ll pay for tuition. This has led many to pursue creative, out-of-the-box ideas – including surrogacy.

The Cost of a College Education

 Obtaining a college degree isn’t cheap. In fact, it’s downright unaffordable for most people. Even after accounting for inflation, college tuition prices have risen dramatically over the last couple of decades.

According to data curated by U.S. News & World Report, from the 2008-2009 school year to the 2018-2019 school year, in-state tuition among public universities grew by 68 percent. Without any intervention, it’s expected to increase even more in the coming decade.

For the 2018-2019 school year, the average cost of tuition and fees was $35,676 at private colleges and $9,716 for state residents at public colleges. For out-of-state students at public college, the average tuition was $21,629 per year.

In addition to rising tuition costs, students and their families also face stiff increases in fees. Schools that don’t want to advertise tuition hikes will increase the fees that students are required to pay in order to enroll and sign up for classes. These can add up to hundreds or thousands of dollars per semester, and leave very limited budgets for other college essentials like books or sleeping mattresses.

As one would anticipate, the high cost of obtaining a college degree means many students are graduating with significant amounts of debt. According to the latest reports, there are now more than 44 million borrowers who collectively owe $1.5 trillion in unsettled student loan debt. This makes it the second-highest debt category (behind mortgages, but ahead of credit cards and car loans).

Borrowers from the class of 2017 owe, on average, $28,650. The delinquency/default rate for student loan debt is 11.4 percent (despite a booming economy).

While some students have their college paid for by grants and/or loans, most students end up with an expensive estimate of what it will cost (with no guarantees that tuition will remain the same from year to year). This puts them in a situation where they have to choose between going to college and taking on enormous amounts of debt, or skipping college and minimizing their career potential and future earnings.

Students would be wise to first consider whether they qualify for grants or loans. However, for those who don’t have access to these resources, there are other options. These include creative and unconventional ideas. For female students, surrogacy could be an option.

 How the Surrogacy Process Works

 Gestational surrogacy is the process by which in vitro fertilization (IVF) is used to gather eggs from the mother, fertilize them with the father’s sperm, and place the embryo into the uterus of another woman who is willing and capable of carrying and delivering the baby. This individual is known as the surrogate mother.

Surrogacy has become increasingly common over the last few years. It’s commonly used when a birth mother is unable to carry a baby to term, or when delivery could pose serious harm. It’s also used in situations where two males want to have a child together and need a female to carry the baby. (Though an egg donor will also have to participate.)

The nature of surrogacy – and the circumstances surrounding it – create an opportunity by which the surrogate mother can earn a substantial sum of money for her participation. Depending on certain lifestyle factors, health information, and experience, a surrogate will earn at least $30,000. In many cases, surrogate mothers can earn $50,0000 to $80,000 per pregnancy. This does not include medical expenses and other accommodations, which are also compensated for.

The surrogacy mother process looks like this:

 

  • The mother begins by filling out an online surrogate mother application in which detailed questions are asked about lifestyle, pregnancy, work history, medical history, etc.

 

  • If the application is accepted, the mother is placed into a pool of surrogate mothers and matched with intended parents.

 

  • Once a tentative match is made, medical records are pulled, and evaluations are conducted to verify a good pairing.

 

  • Next, the IVF process takes place, and the embryo is placed inside the surrogate mother.

 

  • The final stage of the process is pregnancy and delivery.

 

The Pros and Cons of Surrogacy

 Whether it’s $30,000, $80,000, or somewhere in between, a single surrogate pregnancy has the potential to pay for three or four years of college and still leave money in your pocket. But this isn’t a trivial undertaking. It’s a serious matter with real consequences for everyone involved. If you’re considering it as an option to help you pay for college, consider the pros and cons:

 

Pros

 

  • Carrying a child for someone who is unable to do so on their own is a fulfilling experience that brings a sense of purpose and meaning. It’ll make you appreciate the beauty of nurturing a human life.

 

  • Surrogate mothers are legally protected, which means you don’t have to worry about paying for medical expenses, responsibilities after birth, etc.

 

  • As previously mentioned, the financial payout can be quite large. Regardless of whether or not you’re paying for college, it’s a hefty sum that can be used in numerous ways.

 

Cons

 

  • Pregnancy is not easy. It’s both physically and emotionally challenging. It may not be your baby you’re carrying, but you’ll experience all of the same pregnancy symptoms that any expectant mother would.

 

  • There are significant health risks associated with pregnancy and delivery. Modern medicine has mitigated many of these risks, but the possibility of complications always exists.

 

  • Surrogacy is a lengthy process that will usually take at least a year from start to finish. It’s not something you decide to do one day and follow through with the next.

 

Weigh All of Your Options

 The cost of a college degree is more expensive than it’s ever been. If you don’t have scholarships and grants, you need a plan for how you’ll pay for tuition. Surrogacy is one option, but there are dozens of others. Do your due diligence and find the one that’s right for you.

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

 

Commuter Safety Tips For College Students

August 20th, 2019

BY BRIANNE SANDORF

Commuting to school is a far different beast from living on campus. While there are benefits to commuting (financial savings, living in non-student communities), it has its drawbacks. Commuting often means long travel times and can create a disconnect from on-campus activities. Most importantly, commuters also have unique safety concerns that on-campus students don’t deal with.

Here are some tips for commuting safely to your college campus.

Dress for the weather

Commuters who walk, bike, or use public transportation to campus are at the mercy of the elements. To avoid getting caught unprepared in unfavorable weather conditions, check the forecast before leaving in the mornings and dress accordingly.

On hot days, wear sunscreen and carry water. On cold days, dress warmly. This may mean wearing a hat, scarf, and/or gloves. If you do wear gloves, wear a pair with touchscreen-compatible tips. The last thing you want to do in the cold is remove your gloves to look something up or send a text.

Keep your vehicle secure

If you take a bike to school, keep it locked up. A stolen bike could strand you, which could lead to other safety problems.

Similarly, make sure you don’t park your car in a no-parking zone. Most colleges offer permits for on-campus parking. If you choose to park somewhere off campus, be aware of No Parking signs, fire hydrants, and red curbs. And don’t leave valuables in sight inside your car. You don’t want to tempt would-be thieves.

Keep emergency equipment in your car

Commuters who drive to school sometimes have to travel in rough weather. Or, even if it’s a mild, sunny day, your car could still break down.

First off, keep a car phone charger on hand so that you can call for help. Secondly, prepare for emergencies by keeping a roadside kit, a first aid kit, and a 72-hour kit in your backseat or trunk. 72-hour kits contain essentials like thermal blankets and enough food and water for three days. While most car trouble takes just hours to resolve, it’s better to be prepared with extra supplies than stranded with too few. If you live in a snowy area, you should also carry a shovel, an ice scraper, and rock salt.

Be a careful pedestrian

If you walk as part of your commute, follow traffic safety laws. At busy intersections, impatient students frequently dart into traffic during green lights. They make it to class on time…but they put themselves at risk of being hit.

It’s easy to tell yourself you’ll make it, especially when there are no cars in sight, but it’s dangerous to jaywalk or use a crosswalk without waiting for a traffic signal. Keep yourself safe by waiting.

Stay visible

Do you have early mornings or late nights on the road or at the bus stop? Wear something light, bright, and easy to see.

You can also consider wearing accessories that light up or carrying a flashlight. And, if you’re worried about being seen by the arriving bus, you can always turn your phone screen or flashlight on and wave it to make sure the bus doesn’t pass you by.

Defend yourself

When you’re walking or using public transportation, you might find yourself in an unfamiliar area or with someone you don’t know. Most people are harmless, but a small percentage are predators. So make sure you have a way to defend yourself.

Many college campuses don’t allow firearms, but some offer self-defense classes. You can also invest in pepper spray, a stun gun, or a keychain knife if your state allows it. As a last resort, thread your keys in between your fingers to create a makeshift weapon.

Have a plan for late nights

If you have to go to campus at night for a class or activity, be cautious. Walking around late is risky, especially if you’re on your own. Your first move should be to let someone (a roommate, a parent) know where you are and when you expect to arrive home.

Campus safety escorts are a common safety measure, so if your school has them, take advantage of the service. If you’re feeling unsafe, request an escort and stay put until they come. If you choose not to use an escort or your school doesn’t offer this service, stay in well-lit areas. Don’t venture off the beaten path, even if you have a good reason.

Brainstorm ideas for your specific commute

The tips listed here are useful, but they aren’t the only things you can do to protect yourself. For maximum commuter safety, think about your commute and identify any other potential concerns. Whether you walk, bike, drive, or take public transportation to campus, be aware of the risks and plan accordingly for a safe commute.

Byline: Brianne Sandorf has spent five years writing professional, research-based content. Previously, she worked on an award-winning gun safety course and served on a workplace safety committee. Brianne has a degree in English and creative writing from Westminster College.

8 Things to Consider When Choosing Student Housing

August 19th, 2019

BY LINDA ANDERSON

Finding the right student accommodation is a crucial step in your college life. It is where you will live, study and spend a large part of your college life and hence, it is important to make the right choice. Finding a good student housing near your university is not very different from searching villas for sale in Dubai: there are plenty available, but to find the right one, you need to take into consideration several factors.

Distance

Distance from your classes is very important as you would not want to waste your time and money in commute. It is best to look for a property from where you can either walk or cycle or just take one single transport without changing, to reach your classes.

Area

Do a detailed research on the area before you pick your housing. Make sure it is safe, peaceful and has the necessary connectivity. A good location is worth sacrificing some amenities. For example, when buying an apartment, you would rather go for a smaller place in Citywalk apartments than a 3BHK somewhere less posh.

Budget

Fix your budget before you go house hunting and start looking a little lower than your higher cap. Under no circumstances should you exceed your maximum budget. Don’t go overboard in a rush and get stuck with paying more than you can afford.

Convenience

When selecting your student housing make sure you look into the necessary conveniences such as supermarkets, affordable eating options, medical help, connectivity etc so that you do not have to spend a ton of money on travelling out of the neighbourhood every time you need the smallest thing.

Sharing companions

If you are planning to move into a shared accommodation with your friends make sure you know these people, their habits and quirks before you decide to move in. If your friends are looking for an accommodation together, always get a place which has enough space to provide privacy to everyone.

Bathroom

A good bathroom is a nonnegotiable part of life. So, before you go ahead and sign up for a housing, make sure you check the bathroom and use the toilet to ensure that it is in flawless working condition. You do not want to de-clog your toilet with a plunger every time you use it.

Temperature control

While it does not sound the most exciting thing to look into, temperature control is an important feature you need to look into, in your student housing. When you come home in a freezing weather or sweltering heat, you would definitely want to come back to comfortable moderate temperature.

Personality

You are here to study and to do that the best, your housing should be suited to your personality. Factors like whether you like friendly, chatty neighbours or a place with pin drop silence, whether your choice is a place with a touch of nature or the bustle of the city etc. should help you find the right place.

Your student housing is going to be your home where you will live, study and make memories, so take your time and choose carefully.

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.