Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Useful Tech Gadgets For All College Students

October 25th, 2016

BY Robert Parmer

The ‘holy grail’ of college tech gadgets is still certainly the laptop. But many pieces of important student hardware build upon the basics like smartphones and computers.

Whether for them, or against them, tech gadgets are the new norm for college level students. Some people may question if these tech wonders are must have items for success or a distraction to students.

However, these arguments don’t really hold much credibility any longer. Technology has taken hold of the education system, as online and hybrid learning styles are now very common.

The following gadgets are useful for students with face-paced schedules and lives. Some of these are inexpensive, some may require using a savings calculator to afford, but they are useful in a plethora of ways.


We all know this to be true: textbooks are bulky and heavy. The contemporary textbook is no longer in large printed text format, as digital versions are widely common. In many cases a digital version of all or the majority of college students’ books can be purchased. The practicalities of digital text now certainly outweigh an armful of printed text.

External Hard Drive

Sure, thumb drives are good for quick data transfer and small to medium sized projects, but with an external hard drive no project is too large to keep on hand!

Owning either a traditional or solid state hard drive gives students added flexibility and cancels out data sharing limitations. You’ll also be able to regularly backup your laptop, which will help prevent any student’s worst nightmare: losing everything if your computer crashes.

Portable Smartphone Charger

Busy student schedules oftentimes equate to a lot of racing from class to class, and there’s not always an outlet handy. Luckily, portable phone chargers are available to buy pretty much everywhere and they are increasingly affordable. No matter how busy your day may be, keeping a backup portable charger means never worrying about your phone dying at an inconvenient time.

Digital Notebook

Digital versions of the old-school pen and notebook are widely available and highly functional. The technology behind digital notebooks has gotten to the point where sensitivity of touch with a digital pen on a screen completely replicates hand written pages.

And if you can’t leave ‘analog’ school supplies behind but want a digital copy of handwritten notes, Evernote’s Moleskine notebooks are a perfect compromise!

Noise Canceling Headphones, and Ear Plugs

Many students let stress build up and fail to recognize that physical side effects of stress exist.

An Ohio University’s Online Nursing points out that there are truly repercussions associated with stress

“Common symptoms of chronic stress include:


  • Headaches
  • Upset stomach
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Chest pain
  • Lack of motivation
  • Change in appetite
  • Change in sex drive
  • Anger or irritability
  • Difficulty sleeping

Left untreated, chronic stress can also exacerbate the symptoms of other chronic conditions like asthma, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, depression, and anxiety.”

Noise canceling headphones help combat stress in public studying environments, such as libraries and coffeehouses.

Also, sleep is oftentimes diminished while attending college. Noise canceling ear plugs help alleviate stress by channeling longer more restful nights. Deeper sleep is more restful sleep.

VR Headset

Virtual reality is one of the most promising forms of modern tech. Virtual learning is truly the future for higher education. Both virtual reality and VR gadgets and apps are becoming increasingly useful for those taking advanced or graduate level courses.

For example, consider the benefits for medical students! Materials that are expensive and hard to come by could be replicated within VR and associated apps. It’s possible to explore human anatomy without using an actual cadaver!

Mobile WiFi Hotspot

Most smartphones have the capability of creating a mobile wifi hotspot for students’ laptops and tablets. Other portable WiFi devices are also available through major cell phone carriers. For this reason an unlimited data plan for college students who don’t want limitations is actually a very fantastic idea, if slight extra cost is affordable.

Imagine how a versatile studying environments would amplify productivity! Working on homework poolside, or in a place that is surrounded by nature actually boosts mood and sparks creativity, and it’s all possible with these modern tech wonders!

Robert Parmer is a freelance web writer and student of Boise State University. Outside of writing whenever he has spare time, Robert enjoys creating and recording music, caring for his pet cat, and commuting by bicycle whenever possible. Follow him on Twitter @robparmer




10 Ways to Managing Your Course Load

October 24th, 2016

By Jane Hurst

Managing a heavy course load can be difficult, but it can be done. You don’t have to let it stress you out, and you can make great grades, no matter how much you have on your plate at any given time. In order to manage your course load, there are certain habits that you should start getting into in order to make sure that you get everything done without taking on more stress than you can handle.

  1. Supplement Your Learning – When there are so many different sources of information out there, it is crazy not to take advantage of them. Don’t just use the materials given by your professors. Think outside of the box, and find information sources that will help to supplement your learning and give you an edge that those who don’t use these sources don’t have.
  2. Stay One Step Ahead – It is a good idea to be a step ahead of your professors. Read the chapters before lectures, so you have a good idea of what will be going on, and you will get in some extra studying. Now, the lectures will be more like reviews instead of introductions to new ideas.
  3. Take Plenty of Notes – All students know that it is important to take lots of notes. But, not all students take notes the right way. Be sure to take notes both during and after lectures. The notes you take during the lecture will get the ideas into your head, and later notes will help you to expand on those ideas.
  4. Work Hard – You really do need to bring your A-game when you are managing a heavy course load. Always be sure to get assignments completed at least a few days before they are due. That way, you won’t end up stressing out because you have to cram in order to get things done.
  5. Practice Makes Perfect – When you learn new things, try to put your new-found knowledge to use in everyday situations. Practice really does make perfect, and the more you use your knowledge, the better you are going to be at it. Look at your textbooks for the chapter review sections you can use to test yourself, re-do old exams, etc.
  6. Learn how to Relax – In order to be able to study and learn, you need to be relaxed. Take some time for yourself. Read books, articles, etc. that have nothing to do with what you are studying. Some cool sites to check out during your rest and relaxation periods include BuzzFeed, Prettymotors, and Upworthy and Cracked.
  7. Don’t Overextend Yourself – Many students have the tendency to stretch themselves way too thin, and they end up getting stressed out because they have taken on more than they can handle. Don’t do this to yourself. If you don’t think you can handle a heavy course load, cut back on the classes you are taking.
  8. Find Out the Core of the Problem – If you are having trouble keeping up with your course load, you need to figure out why. It may be that you are not dividing up your time properly for each course. Once you know what the problem is, you can work on ways to eliminate it.
  9. Fix the Problem – Solving the problem mentioned above is often easier said than done. It may be that you have to lighten your course load a bit in order to be able to excel in your studies. This doesn’t mean that you can’t handle the work. It just means that you are smart enough to know what you need to do in order to get the best grades.
  10. Get Organized – This is a pretty obvious tip, but an important one. Set aside certain times each day for study, recreation, rest, etc. The better organized you are, the better you are going to be able to handle a heavy course load.


Jane Hurst has been working in education for over 5 years as a teacher. She loves sharing her knowledge with students, is fascinated about edtech and loves reading, a lot. Follow Jane on Twitter

5 College Interview Questions and The Answers (Part 2)

October 21st, 2016

By Patrick Cole

In the last article we dealt with some of the more common questions. Here we’re going to look at a few more – particularly the more tricky ones. Before we start, however, let me again remind you that you shouldn’t get too stressed out about the interview.

You see, the interview at a university is not just supposed to find out if you’re a good fit for them, it’s also supposed to convince you that they’re the right fit for you. And that means they’re not going to ask difficult questions or be horribly unfair to you. Hopefully that will take some of the weight off your shoulders.

Have you been a leader or demonstrated leadership qualities

This is a question that often comes up. Universities like leaders. Leaders are more likely to make a mark for themselves and earn accolades. And accolades reflect well on the university that nurtured this rising star.

For that reason, sit down and think a moment about where you might have demonstrated leadership skills. This could be in sports, or if you were valedictorian. It can also be in a club, in a charity, or even in some group that you’ve created yourself.

Now, to really score well on this one, make sure you talk about some of the difficulties of leadership. What was it about leading people that you didn’t realize beforehand but understand now? Is there something that you would do differently with the knowledge you have? You see, if you can demonstrate what you’ve learned you don’t just show leadership capacities, you show that you can grow. And that is real leadership material.

If you could have done one thing differently in high school what would it be?

Some people take this question as an opportunity to spit venom and slander people. They’ll talk about how they wouldn’t have made a friend, how they regret certain a certain choice or how they’d lament their fate.

That is not the point of this question. Instead, what you’re trying to do here is to demonstrate how much you’ve learned since you started high school and how that wisdom would make you make better choices.

In effect, this question is once again exploring whether you’ve got the ability to learn and grow. If you can demonstrate you can do that, you’re well on your way to nailing it.

Tell me a challenge you overcame

This question is very similar to the one above. It again offers two paths for you to choose. The first one is to dwell on the challenge and how hard it was. The second path is all about how you overcame that challenge and managed to make yourself better as a person.

The first path is pessimistic, while the second one is optimistic. When you look at it like that, it isn’t hard to figure out which one you should choose.

Now, that’s not to say you should downplay the challenge. Give its due. Just make sure that the interviewer understands that the challenge has been overcome and is largely behind you.

Also, this is not the best place to speak about love lost. Yes, that’s very important, but that’s more something you want to discuss with friends and family. The interviewer doesn’t really want to know that somebody doesn’t love you anymore.

What three adjectives best describe you

Okay, the first thing you need to know when heading into this question is what is an adjective. If you don’t, you’re going to look slightly silly. An adjective are words like ‘intelligent’, ‘hardworking’, ‘passionate’ and so forth.

This is a good question to talk over with your friends, family and your favorite teacher. You see, the point of the question isn’t that you find the best adjectives you can come up with. It is that the person you’re talking to actually thinks there is some basis for them. If you say you’re meticulous, while your hair is slovenly and you’ve got ketchup on your collar, that isn’t going to impress anybody.

Accuracy is key.

How do you define “success”?

You could roll out a dictionary definition and hope that satisfies them. If you do that, however, then you’re wasting a fantastic opportunity to impress the interviewer. You see, this isn’t a question for textbook definitions. This is a question where you demonstrate character.

What do I mean with that? I mean that everybody has a different idea of success. Some people want money. Some people want fame. Some people want something truly worthwhile. To score the most ‘points’ on this question, the last one is what the interviewer is looking for.

An answer like, “helping make the world a little bit more equal” or “creating something that makes the world better” are good places to start. Obviously, you’ll have to expand on it. Maybe sit down and write out an answer, or get a custom writing job done where you work together with somebody. The goal is to demonstrate that you’re not just thinking about yourself. The world (and universities) can always use more people who think less about themselves.

What do you want to get out of the college experience?

They’re asking you to tell them about what you want to learn and how you want to grow. Your plan might be to break the beer bong record, but that’s something that you might not want to take into the interview with you.

Demonstrate that you’re thinking about the future and how this university can help you get there and you’ll be doing well with this question.

What is the most important thing you learned in high school

You could talk about the theory of relativity, or iambic pentameter. If you can pull it off and really explain why it is indeed the most important thing that you learned, then you’re no doubt going to impress the interview. After all, in so doing you demonstrate a fantastic understanding of an important theory and thereby show you’re miles ahead of your potential classmates.

You don’t have to go down that route, however. You can also talk about values, which is really what the question is about. So you can discuss community, friendship, hard work, discipline, organization or similar ideas. You don’t even have to restrict yourself to one.

If you find it really hard to choose one, then talk about two, or even three. Of course, in the end you should probably choose one as the most important. That, however, doesn’t erase what you said about the other concepts.

Last words

Here is a final piece of advice for you to consider. A lot of people spend a lot of time on what they’re going to say. That’s not the only thing that matters, however. You should also focus on how you’re going to say it.

The goal in any interview is to come over as relaxed, calm and with a clear idea of what you’re trying to get across. You see, even the smartest professors aren’t going to remember what you said word for word. Instead, what they remember is the gist of what you said as well as the way you said it.

For that reason, even if your concepts aren’t all that complicated and your ideas aren’t all that advanced, if you manage to say them with conviction and manage to get your ideas across clearly and succinctly, you’re going to probably do better than somebody who constantly loses their train of thought and won’t meet the interviewer’s eye.

So don’t just focus on content, make sure you’ve got the presentation down as well. The best way to do that is to practice a few times with people you trust. Set up a camera and run through these questions a few times.

It might sound like a lot of work, but you’ll thank yourself for taking the time when you’re sitting across from the interviewer.

: Patrick Cole is a passionate writer and contributor to several websites. Loves to write about education and self-realization. You can connect with him via Twitter


15 College Interview Questions and Suggested Answers (Part 1)

October 20th, 2016

By Patrick Cole

Of course you’re nervous. You’ve got an interview at a great university and you really don’t want to mess it up. The first thing you should know is that the university’s questions aren’t meant to trick you. You see, the university isn’t just trying to find out if you’re a good fit for them, they’re also trying to show you that they’re a good fit for you. And they don’t do that by being mean.

For that reason, don’t assume they’re out to get you. Don’t think that the idea is to make your life miserable and to trap you into making some sort of negative admission. That’s not what it’s about. It’s a conversation where you’re trying to get a feel for each other. Just like a first date, I guess. You’re both hopeful. You’re both there to see if it might be something more.

Just don’t bring flowers.

Tell me something about yourself

Man, what a question to start off with! Where do you start? How long are you supposed to talk? How can you summarize yourself in a few sentences?

And yet, the question – and it’s cousin ‘tell me something unique about yourself’ aren’t half as nasty as you might take it to be. They’re not asking for a life summary. They’re not asking for a biography in brief. They’re asking for ‘something’ not ‘everything’. So tell them something. Pick out something that you feel is important in your life.

Did you go on an Elvis tour last year and really feel that you connected with his legend? Are you a star ping pong player and like to practice for hours? Do you dream of joining Elon Musk on his mission to Mars?

Try to find something that’s special about yourself and that will make you more memorable. Then talk about it with gusto and you’ve answered this question correctly.

Why are you interested in our college?

There is a wrong answer to this question and it’s where you tell them that it’s all about because the university is prestigious and you want to make a lot of money. That’s a bit like telling somebody on a first date you want to date them because doing so will make other people think you’re cool.

It might be true, but that’s something you leave between the lines.

Instead, talk about spiritual and intellectual growth. Talk about some aspect of the college that really impressed you. It could be a specific program. It could be a specific feature that the college has. Are you really impressed with a specific faculty and its achievements? Well that’s a good thing to talk about, then.

This is your opportunity to show how much you know about the university. So use it to that end.

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

This is a question that leaves many people floundering. How can you talk about a weakness without appearing weak? It isn’t as difficult as you may think. You see, the point here is not actually to talk about a weakness at all.

Instead, you first tell them a few of your strengths, while not blowing your own horn too much. Then you tell them about a weakness that you’ve got. Maybe you can get too single-minded. Maybe you’ve got a stubborn streak.

That done, you turn it around and say how you’ve turned that weakness into a strength. The single-mindedness has gotten you through hard periods by letting you get things done when others couldn’t. The stubbornness is the reason you got a GPA of 4.0.

What is your proudest achievement so far?

Sure, you’re young. You don’t feel you’ve achieved that much. I get it. I used to struggle with this question as well. Then I realized the structure of the sentence. It’s not asking if the world would be proud of your achievement. It asks what you’re proud of.

And there has to be something that you’re proud of, at least inside.

Now note the ‘inside’. We’re not looking for you to think about what other people would say is your proudest achievement, we’re talking about what you think is your proudest achievement. This is your chance to show character and maturity. Sure, you can talk about winning that essay prize, or how you wrote that awesome cover letter that got you employed.

Those aren’t your only options, though. You could also talk about how you took care of your mom and your brother while she was sick, while still maintaining your grades. Or you could talk about how you started a club in high school and it grew to become quite the phenomenon.

Who in your life has most influenced you?

This is your moment to demonstrate that you know that nobody is an island and that you can’t go through life alone. We’ve all had important people in our lives, be it our teachers, our parents, a friend, or a family member. This is where you give them the credit that they’re due.

But that’s not all you should do.

You should also use this moment to talk about what you learned from them and how important those lessons are for. Now, don’t let that mean that you should talk about yourself. Talk about the lesson instead. The fact that you’ve learned the lesson will reflect well on you.

What will you contribute to our campus community?

Sure, the relationship is a bit unequal. The university is an establishment with thousands of people working there and decades (if not centuries) of history. Still, that doesn’t mean it all has to be a one way street. It isn’t just about what they can do for you. It’s also about what you can do for them.

No, ‘pay tuition’ is not the right answer to this question.

Instead, dream a little. Talk about all the clubs that you’re considering joining. Discuss how you’d like to make a difference. After all, they’re not going to ask you to sign a contract. They’re just having a conversation.

What do you see yourself doing 10 years from now?

Like the question above, they’re not asking you to be realistic or even pessimistic. The right answer is not, “stuck in middle management up to my eyeballs in debt because I couldn’t stop myself from buying that sports car that I couldn’t afford.”

Instead, say where you’d like to be. What’s the dream? What do you see as your perfect life? Even better, what do you think the university would see as your perfect life? Again, nobody is asking you to sign a contract, so be playful, be optimistic and use this opportunity to show your commitment to making the world a better place.

Recommend a good book to me

This question is trying to demonstrate if you’ve got some cultural awareness. Have you actually read books outside of your curriculum? Can you put yourself in the shoes of a university administrator and decide on something that would interest them?

And finally and most importantly: Can you actually explain why you think this book is a good choice for the interviewer to read? This is where you show your capacity to reason, construct an argument and defend a position – all vital skills when you go into a university.


So that covers the first eight questions of this series. Be sure to check in with the next installment where we’ll cover the rest of the important questions that you could expect and what they’re really asking. In the meantime, think about the underlying concepts explored here.

Their goal is to get a glimpse at your character and your dreams. They know you haven’t lived sixty years, travelled to the moon and won a Noble Prize. That’s not the point. So don’t be afraid to talk about what moves and motivates you. That’s what the interview is really about.

: About the author: Patrick Cole is a passionate writer and contributor to several websites. Loves to write about education and self-realization. You can connect with him via Twitter


Not Enough Time For Everything Needed in College: Use 80/20 Rule

October 19th, 2016


The Rule of 80/20 was coined by an Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto in 1906, and since that time it has helped thousands of people manage their lives more efficiently. Also known as the Pareto principle, today it’s one of the most popular techniques used by successful people. The secret of its efficiency lies in the fact that applying this rule can help you achieve the best results with minimal effort.

It’s a dream come true for any student who has so much to do and only 24 hours in the day. Using the 80/20 Rule will enable you to boost your productivity and generally change your life to become a healthier and happier person. You just need to find the 20% of actions that yield 80% of results.

10 Original Ways to Apply the 80/20 Rule

  1. Rearrange your study schedule.
    Studying is a complicated process that consists of dozens tasks, such as reading books, studying news in scientific journals, interviewing sources, compiling notes, etc. Write down a list of every task you complete to prepare a particular project and choose which provide most information/best results. Eliminate the least efficient tasks and simplify your study process as a whole.
  2. Increase the income from your website.
    Running your own website offers great opportunities for every student. You can make money off it through affiliate programs, like Amazon’s or through ads if you have a blog. Whatever you choose, you need to make your page popular, which means filling it with great value. You can create top-quality content with the 80/20 Rule. Offer 80% of reliable information and 20% of personal input, and your readers will appreciate your posts much more.
  3. Waste less time online.
    Create a log of your online activities. Which of them are most rewarding? Mercilessly cut out 80% of the stuff that has no real value and you’ll free up a huge amount of time. Then, apply the same principle to your daily schedule and you’ll free even more hours to spend on doing the things that bring you 80% of your happiness.
  4. Sort your relationships.
    Assess how much time and energy you invest in every relationship in your life. Then think how much joy each of them brings you. Be honest with yourself and weed out the people who monopolize your time without making you happy in return.
  5. Improve your eating habits.
    What are 20% of the foods you eat 80% of the time? Are they healthy? Analyzing your diet using this principle and adjusting it accordingly will help make your meal plan better, without the stress that comes from cutting off the ‘bad’ foods entirely.
  6. Become a better person.
    Identify 20% of your qualities that are responsible for 80% of your success. Now, focus on improving those and developing them to become even better. This application of the 80/20 Rule will help students who can’t decide on which career they should choose.
  7. Make your life less stressful.
    Analyze your life as a whole and find 20% of things that cause the majority of your stress. It can be relationships, beliefs, habits, or even the lack of knowledge on some subjects. This list would be a roadmap to improving your life and becoming a happier person in general.
  8. Get rid of the unnecessary stuff.
    The 80/20 Rule is perfect for spring cleaning everything, from your closet to your hard drive. Take a toll of all the things you surround yourself with and remove the 80% you don’t really use. You can sell them making some extra money or just give them away to charity. With your house/wardrobe/table/computer de-cluttered, you’ll find it easier to focus and work. This kind of analysis will also help you choose the right kind of stuff to buy in the future.Melissa Burns graduated from the faculty of Journalism of Iowa State University in 2008. Nowadays she  is an entrepreneur and independent journalist. Her sphere of interests includes startups, information technologies and how these ones may be implemented.


Internet And Common App Have Huge Impact On Admissions

October 18th, 2016

The Atlantic, 10.17.16
How the Internet wrecked college admissions

The Rich and the Poor: Impact Upon Higher Education Opportunity

October 17th, 2016

By Victoria Klochkova

The question of how the level of a family’s income affects children’s performance at school has been researched most thoroughly. However, even numerous studies from different countries cannot answer this question with 100% accuracy. The majority of data clearly states that lower income equals lower test scores. However, there are some exceptions to this rule, and it’s their unpredictable nature that baffles most researchers. Luckily, today this difference matters little as higher education has become available to everyone.

Who Gets Better Education Today: Rich Vs. Poor

In the US, about 79% of students born to high-income families get their degrees, and only 11% of those who come from the low-income part of the society. In the year 2010, 55% of the bachelor’s degrees were awarded to those whose family income was above $98,875, and only 9.4% of the bachelor graduates had the family income lower than $33,000.

This data indicates that it’s not race, religion, or gender that have the biggest impact on a person’s ability to receive higher education. In the end, it all boils down to money, so thousands of talented individuals miss out on their chance to progress academically.

Just how many of potentially successful scholars are lost to our world due to the harsh financial imbalance?

A recent survey on the impact of income on test scores indicates that students who come from families with the income per capita lower than $19,999 show better results on test scores when compared to those with income per capita over $30,000 by 2%.

It’s these children who get a chance at the better future due to the inception of numerous scholarship programs as well as more affordable student loans.

Is It All About the Money?

Detailed studies show that test scores are definitely influenced by a variety of factors, and the level of income is only one of them. Some of the factors you also need to consider are:

  • Percentage of rentals as opposed to owner-occupied dwellings
  • Percent of college-educated adults in the community

Surprisingly, it’s the rentals vs. owner-occupied homes that have the highest impact on school test scores, according to the same survey that shows children from low-income families do better on tests. This study shows that the peak of academic achievement comes from communities with the level of owner-occupied housing ranging between 70% and 79%. This might indicate that a sense of stability associated with home is one of the factors that affect a student’s performance deeply.

How Do Scholarships Help?

Nowadays, schools realized the loss of potential caused by financial obstacles. This prompted the creation of numerous scholarship programs. They extend even to the Ivy League, which was the home of the elite for generations.

The opportunities offered by scholarships are truly impressive and hundreds of students seize them to the best of their ability. However, once they do get to the elite schools, they face another kind of problem, namely discrimination.

It appears that colleges, especially those of the highest level, like Harvard and Yale, don’t pay enough attention to the socioeconomic discrepancy of the student body. Therefore, they don’t have effective programs for integrating poor students into their academic community.

While discrimination on the faculty level is not an issue, as students are evaluated based on their academic performance, it’s a different case with the peers. Many of the so-called ‘first generation’ Ivy League students claim feeling inadequate, underprepared, or outright discriminated by their dormmates and classmates.

The good news is that steps are taken to improve the situation, such as the establishment of the Inter-Ivy First Generation College Student Network. Similar organizations pop up in other universities as well. They make the journey to better education for students coming from low-income families much smoother. Most importantly, they help fight the injustice that has prevailed in the education system for so long, turning campuses into hospitable places for every individual, regardless of their bank account.

Victoria is a passionate entrepreneur and marketer. She runs a digital agency and writes for several blogs on the web. She loves sharing knowledge about innovation and technology!


College Students Should Take Advantage Of These 13 Resources

October 14th, 2016

By Malia Keirsey

College students are incredibly busy – classes, assignments, essays and papers, friends, part-time jobs, exams, and, once in a while, sleeping and doing laundry. It’s easy to get so caught up in the rigors of every day, and students often miss many of the resources that they can and should take advantage of. They may know they exist, especially if they have attended orientation as a freshman or a new transfer student. But they may not take the time to explore the details of those resources. Here is a list of 13 resources and what students can expect to gain from their use.

  1. Student Discounts

College costs a chunk of change. Anything you can get in terms of a discount will be welcomed by your wallet.

  • Explore the town in which your college resides. You will be amazed how many merchants offer discounts just for showing your student ID – restaurants, retailers, movie theaters, hair salons, dry cleaners, etc.
  • Explore online as well. You may find great discounted prices on textbooks, computers, cell phones, clothing, and more. Start with com for a huge list of national chains and businesses that offer student discounts. This is a great resource.
  • When you go to a store or restaurant, etc., do not be shy. Ask if they have a student discount – you don’t get what you don’t ask for.


  1. Academic Advisors

Every student is assigned an academic advisor and usually meets with this individual at least once a year. You may want to meet more often, just to be sure that you are on track with your academic program. Many students fail to continually check on their progress and end up having to do an extra semester or add summer school. This is costly.

In addition to the academic advisor, it is a good idea to establish a relationship with at least one professor in the department of your major field. S/he can act as a mentor as you go through the program and also help to ensure that you are on track to finish the required courses within your four years of undergraduate work.

An additional resource that academic advisors can hook you up with is a tutor if you are really struggling in any of your courses. And they are usually well aware of internships and can provide you with a letter of recommendation.

  1. Career Services

The biggest mistake is for a college student to think that career services are only for 2nd-semester juniors and seniors. Here are the types of resources from this office.

  • If you need a part-time job, they usually have lists of openings, both on and off campus, as well as some online resources if you have some special skills.
  • They can give you valuable projections on the job prospects in your major and expected entry-level salaries. Lots of students change their majors very early on, because of the information they have received from the career services office.
  • This office also has information on internships, and it’s a good idea to check out the possibilities early on. You can even start volunteering with an organization with which you hope to land an internship later on. But first, you have to know that it is there.
  • This office also plans and manages job fairs and provides workshops on resume and CV development.


  1. Entertainment

Every campus has opportunities for some forms of entertainment – concerts, plays and musicals, athletic events, movies, guest speakers, etc. Because these are free or pretty low cost, you should take advantage of them. Large universities usually get some pretty big name entertainment so keep your eye on the school calendar – events will always be publicized.

  1. Financial Aid Advisors

Just because you have been awarded your grants/loans for the year doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use this resource at other times. This office is permanently on campus for a reason – to offer resources all the time. Here are some of those:

  • You may qualify for some scholarship money that you weren’t aware of. Or you may have declared a major and now be eligible because of the field you have chosen.
  • These advisors can steer you in the direction of loans with the lowest interest rates and that will have long-term loan forgiveness and/or re-financing options.
  • They can answer any questions you have about your loans
  • Most of these offices have personal finance assistance. If you are a student who must design and function with a tight budget, and if you don’t have budgeting experience, these advisors can show you how it’s done.


  1. Join Some Clubs/Organizations

Even as a new freshman, you should take advantage of campus clubs and organizations. Find the equivalent of organizations you participated in secondary school. If you like to write, see how you can get involved in the campus newspaper, for example. If you were involved in plays or musicals, seek out those campus groups. If you join early on, you will most likely have leadership roles by the time you are an upperclassman, and these things look great on a resume.

  1. Academic Labs

Free help is available if you take advantage of it. Most campuses have labs where students can go and get assistance with coursework. If you are struggling in any course, take the initiative to locate help and get it. Staying current on assignments and mastering skills and concepts mean better grades, and your GPA will be important to you. There are online resources for help as well:

  • Online Study Groups: There is no lack of sites that offer participation in one or more study groups. Do a quick search, find one that fits your needs, and join.
  • If you are struggling with writing assignments, there are lots of online writing resources that can give you tips and guides, that can review and edit your work, and that can assist you in meeting deadlines when you are overwhelmed.


  1. Professors


One of the biggest myths about professors is that they are not too approachable. Most professors, in fact, have office hours and you can make an appointment to meet with them. Sometimes, communicating with professors when you are struggling in their classes can make a huge difference. They will be willing to give you tips and strategies, career advice, and even point you in the direction of capable students and/or study groups. Having a good relationship with a few professors in your major field also means that you can use them as references down the line.

  1. Fellow Students

One of the best things about college life is interacting and developing friendships with others who come from many diverse backgrounds. If you only stick with the same types of students who were you friends in secondary school, you are missing out on developing a much wider view of this world. Learning to relate to a variety of ethnic and socio-economic groups will serve you well when you enter the world of work.

  1. Fitness Resources

Your need to “move.” Sitting in class, eating and snacking, and then spending your evenings at your computer means you are becoming sedentary. You will gain weight and get out of shape. If there is a fitness center on campus, find it and use it. Get a buddy to go with you – it motivates you. Participate in intramural sports. If there is no campus fitness center, see if there is a local one that gives discounts to students.

  1. Resident Assistant

Another myth. That resident assistant exists to “police” the dorm and comes down on you if you are too noisy. This person can actually be a great resource. Suppose you want to throw a floor party – s/he will help plan and execute it. Suppose you are having roommate issues – the resident assistant has seen it all before and will be able to give advice. If the resident assistant cannot solve your problems, they will now where to go for that help.

  1. Health Services

Most every student knows where the health clinic is. If you have a terrible cold or the stomach flu, here is where you will go. But health services also include counseling services. If you are homesick; if you are stressed; if you are having relationship issues, there is no shame in reaching out to the counseling services that are available. Much better to do that than to ignore such issues until you reach a crisis point.

  1. Finding that Perfect Spot

The library is often full of others you know who will distract you; the computer labs are noisy; your roommate is entertaining a significant other or playing video games with friends. All in all, there are times when you just need to find a spot to chill or to study, especially at exam time. Look for spots where you can be more by yourself. It might be a local coffee shop; it could be in more specialized libraries (law and medicine are good options), or an open building that has empty classrooms. Once you find your spot, don’t publicize it. Use it when you have the need.

Your Job? – Take Some Initiative

Resources are not just going to come calling on you. You have to seek and find. A college is a complex place, and that complexity can sometimes be an issue. If you know where to go to find what you need, you have taken the proactive steps that will help you navigate these four years more successfully.


Malia Keirsey is an enthusiastic writer and guest contributor. She has finished the University of Chicago with master’s degree in Sociology. Now she’s working as freelance web designer and blogger. Her main topics of interest are writing, digital marketing and education. Follow @MaliaKeirsey on Twitter.






A Simple Path to Keeping A College Journal

October 13th, 2016

By Pat Fredshaw

College is an amazing time.  You’ll make new friends, push your boundaries, and learn things that you’ll help you for years and years after you’ve graduated.  It’s also a place that can force you to face more stresses than you’ve ever had to before and that in turn can get your mind spinning in ways that inhibit your happiness and productivity.

And that’s why incorporating a journal into your day-to-day collegiate life is a great way to assist you in organizing your thoughts, overcoming obstacles, or to simply prioritize on paper what your values are so you can stay focused on what matters.

However, while it’s one thing to thing about starting a journal, it’s another to actually get started with it.  So if you need a little help getting going, have no fear.  Here’s a series of steps to bringing journaling into your life when you’re in college.

Find Yourself The Right Journal

Journaling is a very personal thing, so finding the proper journal or journals that inspire you to write is crucial.  You want a journal that’s not only a place to record your innermost thoughts, but also one that sparks you to do so.   One that excites you and visually reflects who you are so that you’ll be all the more motivated to stick with your new journaling habit.

With almost countless styles and designs out there, including plenty of inexpensive journals that you can design yourself, you should have no problem finding a journal that matches what you’re looking for.

Figuring Out Want You Want To Write

Being in college, you should have plenty of stimuli to work from and you could very well want multiple journals to help organize your varying thoughts and moods.  Each journal will then serve its own purpose which should make your writings as therapeutic and constructive as possible.  Here are some examples of things you can write about while you’re away at school:

  • Your life prior to college – While it might seem strange to focus on things that happened before you got to school, doing so can help you better understand who you are and help keep you grounded as you take in more and more college life experiences.  And when things start to feel a little too crazy or overwhelming, your writings in this will be something that you can go back to and reflect up to improve your level of calmness and feeling one with yourself.
  • Things You Feel Fortunate To Have – With thousands of students around you it can be really easy to feel insecure or even unlucky, and writing about the stuff you’re grateful for can help you keep a healthy sense of perspective and your mood elevated.  This shifts your mind to focusing on what makes you happy, thus knocking out worrying or troubling thoughts which can drain your energy and interfere with your schoolwork and social life.
  • Your Ideas – You can have cool and brilliant things bouncing around your head all day long, but if you don’t write them down it’s real easy for them to slip out of your mind forever.  Journaling about your ideas is not only an awesome way to get those flashes of brilliance down on paper but tapping into your mind’s creative side without having to filter anything is also an amazing way to release tension and generate a sense of calm.
  • Root Out Your Worries – Although there are sites like Essay Supply that are one of the best writing sites for help, between research papers, exams, labs, and just the stresses of dealing with life and other students, it’s pretty easy for nagging, worrying thoughts to sneak into your subconscious to start creating all sorts of disruptive havoc.  Thanks to journaling, though, you can stop worrisome thoughts from spiraling through your mind by getting them out in the open on paper.  This allows you to objectively look at what’s bothering you in a clear, calm light which can have a tremendous benefit for your sense of well-being.
  • Make Your Dreams Realer –  By creating a college journal for your goals and dreams, you take them from just being abstractions flowing in and out of your mind and make them much more concrete.  This lets you focus your power and intention on them so you can take serious steps toward achieving them.  Even better, once you accomplish what you’ve set out to do, you can look back at your journal to see where the road to success all began.

No Judgement

A key aspect of journaling is to just let the thoughts and words flow.  The last thing you want to do is to stifle yourself which will only spike your anxiety and defeat a major purpose of journaling in the first place.  Put on some relaxing music if it helps you.  Shut off any distractions.  Breath deep.  Remember, journaling is a tool for getting in touch with yourself and is for you and you only.  You might sometimes be stunned at what you put onto paper and other times you’ll be amazed, but as long as you’re not blocking yourself you’ll find you have plenty of insightful, uplifting moments.

Pat Fredshaw is a freelance writer and contributing blogger from Oakland who works for Essay Supply and writes her own book. Her articles related to such areas as blogging, psychology, personal growth, and education.




5 Solutions Sudden Student Financial Problems

October 12th, 2016


Most people find themselves neck-deep in sudden money problems at least a couple of times in their lives – and students, with their traditionally precarious financial situation, find themselves in a pinch more often than average. So, how to get yourself out of the dire straits once you land there? Here are five possible solutions.

1.    Cut Back on Expenses

The first thing you should think about if you want to get out of the pit soon enough is making adjustments when it comes to your expenses. If you already keep track of your expenses and incomes, good – you will have a starting point. If not, start doing so immediately. Try to remember all of the more or less important expenses of the recent past. Think about all the things you usually tend to spend money on. Then go through them point by point and ask yourself if you can eliminate each, or at least severely reduce it.

Make use of your status as a student – most colleges provide a lot of not immediately obvious bonuses to their students: free access to gyms, swimming pools, libraries and suchlike. Many businesses provide discounts and special offers if you can prove you are a student – it can help you save on food, clothing, electronics and much more.

2.    Short Term Loans

Usually short term loans tend to have a rather dubious reputation due to lenders often charging exorbitant interests and making use of the debtor’s extreme situation in other ways. However, not all lenders are the same – if you look hard enough, you can find short term loans provided on reasonable terms and giving you an opportunity to deal with the problem that forced you to borrow money in the first place before repaying the debt at your own pace. Show your student ID and you have a high chance of getting a preferential treatment.

3.    Negotiate with Your Current Lenders

If you are already in debt, another priority goes to contacting your lenders. You may believe them to be ungodly bloodsuckers out to make you suffer, but in the long run, it is in their best interests to keep you financially afloat so that you can keep on making your payments. Quite often, they will be ready to tweak the conditions a bit, lowering the interest rate or extending the terms. Don’t wait until you get severely behind the payment schedule before contacting them – in this case the lender really won’t be eager to meet you halfway.

4.    Sell Clutter

Every person accumulates an enormous amount of what is, when all is said and done, useless trash that doesn’t add anything to one’s life. The problem is in identifying what things belong to this category. Ask yourself: have I used this item at least once over the last year? Do I really need it? If not, go ahead and sell it. Use eBay, Craigslist or a less well-known Decluttr to find buyers – you will be amazed how many people will be willing to buy what you want to get rid of. Or just plain run a sale aimed at other students at your dorm.

5.    Use Any Legal Opportunity to Get Money

If your current income isn’t enough to get you out of the woods, consider getting additional part-time jobs or trying your hand at one of many online methods of earning: freelance writing, taking surveys, hedge betting and so on. Most of these methods won’t get you much (at least not over a short period of time), but in your situation every little bit counts.

The most important thing to do when you find yourself in a personal financial crisis is to avoid panic and depression. If you maintain positive mental attitude and clear thinking, you will be able to get back on track – perhaps not immediately, but soon enough!

David Gutierrez has worked in the field of web design since 2005. Right now he started learning Java in order to get second occupation. His professional interests defined major topics of his articles. David writes about new web design software, recently discovered professional tricks and also monitors the latest updates of the web development.