Archive for January, 2017

Michael Kirst on Accomplishments and Unfinished Business in California State Education Policy

January 31st, 2017

One Third Of Millennials Regret Going To College Because of Loan Problems

January 31st, 2017

By Malia Keirsey

One-third of students have so much debt that they regret college. Here are some strategies that you can use to belong to the other 2/3rds and make a life that is ultimately debt free.

A few years ago a study by Wells Fargo revealed that a third of millennial students regretted going to university. Why? One word: Debt. The debt that they received was so big and the time it took was so crippling that these students felt that they would have been better off going to work straight away, even though it would have reduced their earning powers for their whole lives.

Scary, no?

Of course, if 1/3rd of students regret going to college, then 2/3rd don’t. So what’s the difference?

They ignore the advice to pursue their dreams

Dreams are wonderful things. They keep you going at the end of the day. They give you something to live towards. They do not, however, make most of us make very good university choices. Let’s face it, there are more than enough arts majors out there and the direction of psychology has probably received a little bit too much attention as well.

Instead of focusing on fulfilling some flighty fancy, try to focus on filling one of the many areas where companies are desperate for employees. According to payscale.com some of the best-paying degrees are:

  • Petroleum engineer
  • Systems engineer
  • Actuarial Science
  • Chemical Engineer
  • Computer Sciences.

(check out the site for more ideas).

Remember, just because you spend some time doing something that pays well doesn’t mean that you have to do it for the rest of your life. You can always become a painter, or find ways to help abused children later in life. Reject the instant gratification mindset. Work towards your dreams.

They don’t decide to worry about their debt later

The tricky thing about debt is that if you don’t pay attention to it, it will keep on growing. For that reason, you’ve got to pay attention to it from day one. That means finding loans that have low-interest rates (even ½ a percent lower can make a huge difference in the long run due to the nature of compound interest) and finding any chance you can to pay at least some of it back, so it doesn’t have a chance to grow out of proportion.

They also take steps to restructure their debt whenever possible and aren’t afraid to ask for financial assistance from friends, family, and the corporations that are out there.

They continue to live like students for a little longer

Now, I understand that once you’re done with university and you’re starting to earn a bit more money, it can be very tempting indeed to splash out. Buy a new car. Get a house. Maybe buy those shoes you wanted.

There are two things to consider before you follow that dream. The first is, debt is debt. It means you owe money and should pay it back – the sooner the better so that you’re out from under that debt mountain.

The second is, once you take a step upwards in your spending habit, taking a step the other way is very hard indeed. You get used to spending more money quickly and it really hurts to downgrade again.

So don’t take the step up! Or only take a small one and spend all the other money on paying down your debt. If you really focus on spending down your debt for the first year or two, then you can take a big debt out of the mountain. That not only means the mountain is smaller, but also that the interest is smaller as well. That’s a double win.

They don’t take a year off right after college

Yes, of course, you want to see the world. Yes, of course, it’s all a great adventure. The thing is, you don’t have to go and see the world when you freshly graduated. You can actually wait a few years, get rid of your debt and then head off into the big wide world.

There are plenty of people who only start traveling when they’re in their late twenties or possibly even their early thirties. Yes, I know. Disappointing isn’t it? But then, so is struggling with debt until you’re 35. And one year of not paying off your debt can add years of struggling down the road.

They work while they’re in college

There are so many ways that you can earn money while you’re at college. It doesn’t even have to take all of your free time. Even just having a job that you do a couple of hours a week that gives you a bit of income can make a huge difference.

That means doing some bar work. Or it can mean using your degree and joining a writing site like Writing judge. When you’ve got a job you’ll end up with a lot less debt for three reasons.

  • The first one is because you’ll (obviously) make more money.
  • The second is that you spend less time spending money, which is also a useful way to keep yourself from going too deeply into debt.
  • And thirdly, it will give you a lot more experience, which in turn will make the job that you’ll get coming right out of college that much better paid.

So bite the bullet. Join the working world before you quit the college life!

Embrace experiences instead of things

Sell what you don’t need. When you need something for a little while only, rent it and then return it. Live a minimalist life. Focus on enriching your mental life instead of your physical one. Not only will it be much easier to control your spending (leaving you more money to pay off your debt) but it will make you much happier besides.

Now I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t sound like much of a sacrifice does it? So make sure that you focus on the right things. If you find it doesn’t work for you and you really want a bit car, then you can always do so after you’ve tried out minimalism and paid down your debt.

Last words

It is possible to live debt free much sooner than you may think. Here’s the story of one guy paid down 90k in debt in three years. So it is very possible. And yes, it might not be exactly comfortable, to begin with, but the act of actually getting your debt under control can be highly motivating. It can make you feel like you’re finally getting your problems under control.

And after you’ve paid down your debt, You’ll not just have a huge amount more freedom, you’ll also have financial discipline – and that is nothing to sneeze at. It’s something you need to run a household and a company.

So, fight the debt demon. It’s not an easy battle – but then nothing life that’s worth having is ever easy. The good stuff is the tough stuff. That’s because it isn’t just something you’ll end up having, but also something that will help you build character. And that is, in the long run, far more valuable than anything that you can hold in your hand.

 

 

About author:

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.

8 Tips to Learn a Foreign Language in College

January 30th, 2017

BY LAURA MCKINNEY

It is never too late to learn a new language, and while in college, it is the perfect time to do so. Thanks to the Internet and a variety of language-learning websites, you don’t even have to take any special classes in college or spend extra money to learn a new language. Not only is learning a second language going to make you well-rounded, it can also help to open doors when you are looking for employment. If you are considering learning a foreign language while you are in college, here are a few tips that will help.

  1. Choose the Right Language – Sure, learning Farsi may seem like fun, but is it really going to do you any good in the long run? Choose a language that is in-demand. For instance, there is a huge demand for those who can speak Arabic for government contracting positions. Chinese and Indian are also both languages that are in high-demand at the moment.
  2. Do More than Necessary – If you are taking an actual foreign language class in college, go well above and beyond what is expected of you. Obviously, there are going to be minimum requirements to pass the course. Take your studies to the next level. Don’t just make the minimum requirements, or take the lowest course level just to make it easier.
  3. Watch Your Grammar – No one really enjoys learning about grammar, but when learning a new language, it is important to know how it works. You will have a much better understanding of the language if you take the time to study the grammar, and compare it to English grammar. This is going to make speaking a foreign language much easier in the long run.
  4. Travel a Lot – The more you travel, the better your chances are of getting chances to speak any new languages that you’ve learned. Don’t forget to learn about local slang as well, because it can serve you well in some areas. For instance, you may be looking for directions in the Dominican Republic. By knowing some Dominican slang words and phrases, it will be easier to talk to locals.
  5. Read a Lot – The more you read in a foreign language, the more you are going to understand it. When you are reading in a foreign language, look at the big picture and not each word. Look at the context, and understanding that context. When you are just trying to learn new words, you are not actually learning how to use those new words. When you are reading them, you are understanding them better.
  6. Write a Lot – Writing in a foreign language can be a bit of a struggle, especially in the beginning. It takes a lot of practice to be able to do this. But, the more you practice, the easier it will come to you, so keep practicing. Write in the language you are learning at every opportunity, and then have someone who does speak that language review your writing and make suggestions, while explaining why they are making suggestions.
  7. Speak with Natives – Engaging in conversation with someone who speaks a foreign language is one of the best ways to pick it up. Just one hour of conversation with natives is better than weeks of study at school. Be prepared with lots of questions to ask, and be prepared to have eyes rolled at you a lot while you are still learning. After a while, you will be speaking their language fluently with them.
  8. Create Your Own Classes – Not everyone does well in a classroom setting. Everyone learns differently, and at a different pace. If you are learning a foreign language on your own, your classroom can be any place you choose. Look at how you learn the best, and how you like to learn, and then find the best place to sit down and take online classes, practice, etc.

Lorraine McKinney is an academic tutor and elearning specialist.

 

3 Common College Roommate Conflicts and Solutions

January 27th, 2017

By Jimmy Rohampton

Being in college is one of the most enjoyable and important phases of anybody’s life. One of the highlights is living in your own space, but if your roommate and you don’t see eye to eye, life in college can be uncomfortable and awkward.

While it’s inevitable that people who are put into confined spaces and placed under pressure are going to clash, some problems between people escalate into serious issues. Here are 3 common roommate conflicts and solutions to keep them in check.

  1. Study Schedules

People come from all over the world to follow their dreams at America’s finest colleges, and they bring with them unique quirks, superstitions, and study techniques.

It’s common for people to require absolute silence to study, or to prefer cramming for days ahead of exams in a mad frenzy. If you love loud music and preparing in advance, then you will not have the ideal study environment.

It might not seem like a serious issue, but clashing study methods can have a negative impact on even the friendliest roommates.

Instead of letting a difference in approach drive you both crazy, have a honest discussion about the way you like to do things when you first meet up. College is built for knowledge, so find out where else you can study – study halls, libraries, even an open lawn can be favorable to retaining information.

Once you’ve got an idea who is going to study where, work out a fair schedule so that your routine lets you both prepare adequately without one of you living your life outside of your room.

  1. Smoking

Although studies suggest that the number of smokers is in decline, there are still a large number of college students who smoke – maybe as they learn about themselves.

Smoking is an uncomfortable habit at the best of times, but sharing your room with a smoker if you don’t smoke is almost impossible.

From the smell and the danger of fires to the harmful effects of second-hand smoke, you are going to need to come up with a solution if you live with a smoker.

Vaping is a popular option among younger smokers.  It’s safe to vape indoors and there are none of the lingering scents or flames of smoking normal cigarettes.

If you’re rooming with a smoker, then ask them to try an e-cigarette as an alternative that suits you better.

  1. Cleanliness

College is a messy time in a lot of ways, but keeping your personal space clean is essential in making your situation as comfortable as possible.

If you’re a bit of a neat freak, then try and divide cleaning chores with a schedule so the room doesn’t get out of hand. If that seems a little formal, set up a fines system for roommates who leave laundry on the floor or pizza boxes everywhere.

Final Word

Whether its smoking, studying or dealing with a slob, you can overcome these common conflicts and make sure that college is as exciting and educational as it should be.

 

 

Jimmy Rohampton is a freelance writer, business consultant and the creator of HowToCreateABlog.org, where he empowers people to gain digital skills.

Lack Of College Education Hurts Rural USA

January 26th, 2017

By Danika McClure

America’s rural cities have been shrinking over the past few decades, both in population size, and in college educated workforce, as educated students are choosing to abandon their rural homes after graduating, opting instead to move to cityscapes and urban areas.

 

Goutham Menon, who directs the Social Work program at the University of Nevada, Reno attributes this problem to what he calls a “Brain Drain”, in which students from rural communities attend college, but upon completing their degrees don’t return to the rural towns they grew up in. This leaves a dearth of qualified workers in areas that may need those professionals the most.

 

Outward migration from small towns in the U.S. has been increasing over the past few years, especially for students between the ages of 20-29. This means that young people’s most productive years are spent in new cities, and not spent building their former communities up, which is especially problematic–given the ways that millennials have changed and invigorated the workplace.

 

Although this trend is troubling and seems to be unchanging overall, recent studies note that graduates from rural communities would often prefer to stay in those communities. Many prefer the open spaces, sense of community, and pace of life that comes with living in a rural area. But unemployment in rural areas along with economic stagnation force many students to leave and advance their careers elsewhere.

 

Part of the problem lies in the way that rural education is funded. Today, federal funding for rural schools is even lower than it was in 2010, and has remained stagnant since 2013. Beyond that though, ‘brain drain’ of rural areas has been a problem for nearly five decades, argues Patrick Carr, an associate professor of sociology at Rutgers University, whose expertise lies in the hollowing out of rural American towns.

 

This has disastrous consequences for rural public schools, whose technology is far behind those of their urban counterparts. In some cases, rural elementary schools have one dial-up modem for an entire school.

 

“In terms of rural economic development, it’s really important for communities to identify the talent of the people that live in rural communities and figure out how to leverage those talents,”says John Hill, president of NREA and a clinical professor in the College of Education at Purdue University. Furthermore, students need to have the economic opportunities available once they graduate from college.

 

It’s a major part of what Carr addresses in his book, Hollowing Out the Middle, where he argues that rural towns will have to adapt to a new way of thinking about education.

 

“How should they do this? First, by changing their attitudes toward high-school graduate,” Carr writes. “Small towns traditionally put all their efforts behind the smart students, pushing them out to four-year universities in cities, where they are much more likely to succeed and, unfortunately for the town, much more likely to stay. Students who are less accomplished or driven are given little support, but they are also the ones who are most likely to remain in their small towns post-graduation.”

 

In order to help those students succeed, rural students need to be better trained in areas that will benefit the global economy, as well as the communities they grew up in. Furthermore, cities may need to more heavily invest in technology to attract young graduates.

 

“There are people that are going to leave, and I don’t think there’s anything that’s going to stop them from leaving,” Carr’s coauthor Maria J. Kefalas tells Newsweek. “But there are people with  young families or who tried urban living and wanted to opt out and try something else, who could be lured to the region…thinking, ‘This is great. I can raise my kids, I can buy a gigantic house. And as long as I have the digital infrastructure, I can telecommute. I can have a very good quality of life.’”

 

By investing in their own students, as well as prioritizing technological infrastructure, rural towns can continue to push forward in a digital, more educated world.
Danika McClure is a writer and musician from the northwest who sometimes takes a 30 minute break from feminism to enjoy a tv show. You can follow her on twitter @sadwhitegrrl

10 Best Tips For Success in Online College Classes

January 25th, 2017

By Kerry Creaswo0d

 

So, you’ve decided to take an online course. Maybe you’ve decided to take all of your classes online. There are certainly many great reasons for doing this. If your chosen school is to far away for you to attend in person, or your schedule requires more flexibility than on campus courses offer, online classes are a great alternative.

 

Unfortunately, many students begin taking online courses only to realize that it takes more time and effort than they expected. If you want to get the most out of your online, learning experience, check out the ten tips below.

 

  1. Start With a Solid Game Plan

 

Being prepared and knowing what to expect is key. When you receive your syllabus read it thoroughly. Mark important dates on your calendar. Pay special attention to any group meetings, test dates, supplies that you will need to pick up, and other important information.

 

Once you have that information, you can create a bit of a master schedule for the term. You can also set reminders for upcoming due dates, and plan extra study time when big projects will be hot and heavy.

 

  1. Don’t Miss Group Chats

 

Depending on the nature of the course you are taking, you might be required to participate in group chats, live discussions, or online lectures. Don’t underestimate the importance of these, and don’t skip them.

 

Because of the nature of online learning, it’s very difficult to catch up after you have missed out on important discussions. You might also find that instructors are much less likely to excuse missing a class that doesn’t require that you leave your home.

 

  1. Schedule Enough Time

 

Many students make the mistake of underestimating the amount of time they will need to dedicate to each online class that they take. This is largely because there is a bit of a perception that online courses are easier than their on campus counterparts.

 

The truth is, you will need to put in just as much time, and in some cases more. Here are a few suggestions for calculating the amount of study time you should plan on for an online course.

  1. Use Technology And Online Resources to Help You Succeed

 

Here is some good news! There are a huge number of websites, apps, and other tech based solutions that you can use to ensure you complete your online courses successfully. Here are just a few that many students use:

 

  • Evernote: For taking and organizing notes, sharing with others, and organizing projects.
  • Google Docs: A free alternative for MS Office and other that is accessible anywhere.
  • Review: review of the most popular services by customers
  • Khan Academy: Online learning to help you master a variety of subjects
  • StudyBlue Flashcards: Enhance your studying by creating sets of flashcards

 

  1. Find a Comfortable Place to Work

 

Before classes begin, try to identify a couple of places where you can comfortably work. Your environment should be physically comfortable and well lit. You’ll also want to make sure that you can feel comfortable participating fully in your class.

 

For example, the coffee shop down the street might be perfect for working on homework and doing research. However, it might not be the best place to take a class that involves video conferencing.

 

  1. Remember That Office Hours Are For You as Well

 

Keep your instructor’s contact information on hand, and jot down their office hours. If you have questions, or simply want to introduce yourself, call or send an email. The fact that you may not ever meet your instructor in person does not mean that they aren’t willing to help you outside of class.

 

  1. Get Help When You Need It

 

Another one of the dangers of taking online classes is that it’s easy to convince yourself that you can catch up when you fall behind, or that you will eventually understand a topic that is difficult for you. When that happens, you might need more help than you can get on campus.

 

Hiring a tutor is always an option. You could even consider joining or creating a study group. If things get too difficult, you may find that it is your writing assignments that are holding you back. Fortunately, there are services that help you polish up your writing with editing, proofreading, and other help. If you use this option, do your research.

 

  1. Take Some Time to Get Familiar With The Tools And Websites You’ll be Using

 

Before you can begin your class, you may be required to take some of the following steps:

 

  • Create an Online Account
  • Download Materials
  • Install Software or an App
  • Learn to Navigate a New Website

 

Don’t make the mistake of waiting until the night before or the morning your new class begins to do all of this. Make sure that you get this done ahead of time so that you can identify any issues. If you wait until the last minute, university tech support may not be able to help you in time to get started on your first day.

 

  1. Consider Taking a Mix of Online And on Campus Courses

 

If you are able to, it can be a good idea to take both online and on campus classes. The online courses can help you to maximize your credit hours while allowing you to save gas or enjoy the other benefits of learning online.

 

On the other hand, if you mix in one or two campus based classes, you will be able to socialize with other students, get face time with your instructors, and enjoy some of the experiences you can only have by being on campus.

 

  1. Get Rid of Tempting Distractions

 

If you continually flip over to social media or play games when you should be focusing on your class, your grade will probably suffer. This is especially true if you are taking a class in real time. You’ll want to find a way to avoid these distractions.

 

One method is to download software that simply blocks access to apps or websites that could be distracting for you. All you have to do is indicate what you want to avoid and when.

 

Another option you have is to have one device that is ‘dedicated’ strictly for school, work, and household and personal management related tasks. If you have your games, social media apps, and other ‘fun’ things stored on an alternate device, you won’t have to worry about temptation.

 

 

Conclusion

 

Ultimately, the path to getting the most out of your online classes includes planning, self discipline, time management, and using all of the resources that are available to you. Hopefully the ten tips listed above will help you reach your goals.

 

Kerry Creaswood is a successful writer and blogger. Her topics of interest are blogging and education. To find more about Kerry – check her Twitter

 

How Students Can Combat Seasonal Depression

January 24th, 2017

By Robert Parmer

This winter has already proven to be particularly extreme, as many parts of the country are facing unusually low temps and record snowfall. Aside from the obvious inconveniences associated with excessive snow, an often overlooked consolation to extreme winter weather presents itself when our mental health is hindered.

Seasonal depression also known as SAD (seasonal affective disorder) hits students hard when winter is in full force. Many people don’t even realize that their levels of depression are greatly increased, but this is a very real occurrence.

This means a huge number of students will face seasonal depression this winter. And a major seasonal challenge is not letting the frigid temperatures and inclement weather affect scholastic success.

I was motivated to research ways in which students can defeat SAD before it defeats them, primarily due to the fact that I myself struggle with seasonal depression. The following tips will help you combat SAD. If you take this advice to heart, you’ll be more armed with the tools to stop depression in its tracks this year and beyond!

Avoid Indoor Isolation: Get Outside However You Can

Winter sports and activities such as skiing, snowboarding, sledding, snowshoeing, and even winter surfing, are all unique ways to get outside and stay active. For a more mellow approach to outdoor activity consider hiking and scouting out natural hot springs to soak in.

Even if getting outside just means going on a walk during breaks in snowstorms or building a snowman in your front yard, do something to get outside and avoid isolating yourself indoors.

Don’t Feel Ashamed For Seek Counseling or Mental Health Services

There are many negative stigmas in the world that may backtrack efforts to addressing mental health. Do not let these stigmas impact your individual mental health needs because there is simply no shame in seeking help.

I can speak from personal experience when saying that persistence is key in addressing mental health, especially during the winter season. It’s not always going to be easy to seek help and oftentimes requires visits to both general and mental health specific health practitioners.

An article by Regis College points this out and elaborates on the current state of the mental health field:

“In the United States, mental health practitioners are in short supply, where almost one in five American citizens seek mental health treatment annually. Due to the Mental Health and Addiction Parity Acts of 1996 and 2008, there is an increase in patients pursuing treatment for mental illnesses.”

While seeking professional help for depression is immensely important, it can be a daunting and overwhelming task. Stay determined and dedicated to putting your mental health first. Remind yourself that you are worth this effort, and you are not being selfish in any way by prioritizing these needs in your life.

Use Specialized Lighting In Your House

‘Light Therapy’ has proven to be helpful in alleviating SAD symptoms. Sitting in front of sunlamps, which replicate sunlight through the use of special fluorescent tubes, greatly elevates mood and gives your body essential vitamin D that it’s missing out on in the winter time.

These types of lights are widely available and are a simple way to help your subconscious mind steer away from depression.

Focus on Self-Care

Focus on yourself this year and especially this winter. When depression gets in the way of life, it can often distract people from recognizing and addressing their own self-care needs. Start by identifying what exactly is self-care.

An article by Case Western Social Work titled Social Work and Self-Care gives a fantastic definition of self-care:

“Self-care is not selfish or self-indulgent. We cannot nurture others from a dry well. We need to take care of our own needs first. Then we can give from our surplus, our abundance.”

Creating a self-care checklist can be an excellent way to combat seasonal depression and ensure that your self-care needs are being met. Either write it down or simply ask yourself a series of these types of questions. The following are some common examples of self-care questions to ask yourself:

 

  • Do I feel comfortable and warm enough? Have I taken a hot shower or bath recently?
  • Have I eaten today, or in the last couple of hours?
  • Have I been drinking enough water to stay properly hydrated?
  • What are the emotions that are detracting from my mental health? Could it be that I’m experiencing depression or anxiety, or something else?
  • Do I feel well enough to exercise? Would I benefit from exercising today?
  • What can I do to feel more safe and secure?
  • When did I feel excited last, and what was I excited about?

Budget A Healthy Diet

The old adage of ‘you are what you eat’ certainly pertains to a person’s mental health as well.

In the past, I’ve written about ways to maintain a healthy diet and focused on how save money while doing so. These tips are evergreen and overarching to college students. Preparing refined, healthy meals in advance, avoiding over-eating-out at restaurants, and shopping in the bulk section and at discount grocery stores are all gateways in achieving this.

It’s important to remember that a healthy diet doesn’t necessarily look the same for everyone. However, planning and consistency typically goes a long way and will likely help most people when it comes to making healthy choices on a budget.

Additional Tips for Fighting Anxiety and Depression

Looking for even more tips in addressing and combating seasonal depression? The previous College Puzzle article, How to Fight Anxiety and Depression in College Students may offer you some crucial extra support in the battle of overcoming seasonal depression.

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

Don’t Just Exist At College, Live!

January 23rd, 2017

By Mikkie Mills

Attend classes, take detailed notes, write papers, study hard, and pass exams. Doesn’t it feel like you are cramming information into your head every second of every day? Though you may enjoy your curriculum, your coursework can feel demanding and overwhelming. College is like a beautifully decorated hallway, and at the end is a doorway to a fulfilling life with an awesome career. But sometimes you find yourself drowning in and consumed by the length of the hallway, unable to appreciate the walk you are taking and the decor around you.

While college requires a great deal of your time, commitment, and attention, you do not have to put your life on hold. You matter, and it is important to not let this amazing time of your life be replaced with memories of books and caffeine!

Tip 1: Don’t forget about yourself.

You want to please your professors, your significant other, your family, and your friends. But what about you? Selfishness and egotism do not need to be ingredients of a satisfying life, but you cannot put yourself on the back burner because you think other aspects of your life are more important. Take the time every day to appreciate who you are and what you stand for.

Tip 2: Strive for a positive environment.

Stress and other negative factors in life suck and are often unavoidable. Have you ever noticed when a happy person walks into a group, you suddenly feel happy too? Positivity is contagious. Surrounding yourself with negative people and negative influences can bring you down. In this state, the complex flavors of life are dulled and uninspiring. Keeping your environment positive and healthy can help you enjoy every bit of your experiences.

Tip 3: Get off your chair and go outside!

No, this isn’t an excuse to put down the books! But think about it: you spend a lot of your time indoors under fake sunlight and a thick ceiling. By confining yourself indoors, you may forget that there is a huge world out there. You don’t have to travel around the globe to take a breath of fresh air! Go outside, take a walk, and notice the little things that nature has to offer. A leaf floating in the wind or a bright green blade of grass growing in a cement crack might make you appreciate how precious life is.

Tip 4: ‘member relaxing? Perhaps you should take up this hobby once again!

Unfortunately we can’t go back to the time where we could come home to video games and mom’s freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. If it takes us hitting the store to grab a carton of cookies and us putting aside a couple hours for a game or two, maybe its worth the effort! We get so wrapped up in working hard and giving other people attention that we forget to give ourselves a break. Whether you take a long bubble bath or go see a movie, allow yourself to relax and unwind from life’s obligations.

Tip 5: Treat your body well.

Parents aren’t there to tell us to take a shower or come to the kitchen for dinner. We have to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps like adults! Guess what? It is actually fairly fun too! Exercise releases chemicals that can make us happy and feel accomplished. Savory, healthy, lean meals not only fuels our bodies, but it can teach us to find enjoyment and pleasure in the things we once overlooked. If we take care of ourselves, we are in a better state of mind and can truly open ourselves up to the satisfactions of life.

There is no reason why you have to close yourself off from the world just because you are in college. Though your focus may be directed towards classes and your chosen field of study, you shouldn’t let academics smother you! Your life is too important to let it pass you by, so relish every moment! You deserve to be happy!

Mikkie is a freelance writer from Chicago. She has a passion for advanced learning, reading, and health and fitness. She is also a mother of two who loves sharing her ideas on education, learning, health, fitness and yoga. When she’s not writing, she’s chasing the little ones around or can be found at the local climbing gym or doing yoga.

Creating a Healthy Campus Lifestyle And Community

January 20th, 2017

By Lorraine McKinney

 

A lot of people think that being a college student gives them an excuse to live an unhealthy lifestyle. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. If you are not healthy, your studies are going to end up suffering. Your health is something that you need to take care of, and so do your fellow students. That is why so many college campuses are setting up a variety of health and wellness programs. Here are a few ideas that you can run with to help make your campus community a healthy one.

 

  1. Smart Choice Menus – Many campuses offer nutritional meals that are low in calories and high in nutrients our bodies need. The menus are often written up by student nutrition interns, and each menu also shows the calorie counts for each food item on the menu. This program can be vamped up by having an accompanying website that offers nutritional resources for students that includes information for restricted diets, articles about diet and exercise, tips, and more.
  2. Farmers Markets – Another way to make sure that you are eating healthy is to shop at your local farmers market. Some schools are even setting up their own farmers markets, which ensures that students are going to be getting fresh, healthy produce on a regular basis, at prices they can actually afford. Local farmers supply the produce, and in some cases, the students actually grow their own produce through agricultural programs that they receive credit for.
  3. Outreach Events – At many campuses you will find outreach programs and workshops that revolve around health topics, including diet and exercise, sleep disorders, safe sexual practices, smoke-free campaigns, wellness workshops, and a lot more. These programs and workshops can help students to learn a lot about a variety of health issues and take better control over their own health.
  4. Campus Websites – If your campus doesn’t already have a health and wellness website, it is time for you to suggest it, or even create one yourself. West Palm Beach SEO services will help make sure it gets good rankings on search engines. This may seem like something for a business to get publicity, but if no one knows about a health and wellness site for your campus, no one is going to use it.
  5. Relationship Workshops – Relationships can affect our health in a variety of ways. Relationships can be stressful. Some relationships are violent. Some are controlling. If you or someone you know is having difficulties in a relationship, see if your campus offers programs that help people deal with relationship issues. If not, find out if the campus is tied to any community services, or if they can recommend services off campus.
  6. Health Counselling – There are a lot of health issues that are related to students, including alcohol and drug abuse, preventing sexually transmitted to students, etc. It is important for college campuses to offer counselling services to those who have questions about these and other important health issues. Many campuses are linking up with community-based programs to ensure that students have full access to health care and information about health related issues.
  7. Designated Driver Program – Let’s face it. You are a student, you are on your own for the first time, and you are going to do your fair share of partying. This is fine, as long as you do it safely. Always have a designated driver so you can get home safely. Check to see if your campus has a designated driver program. If not, see what you can do to get one started. You may just save a life.

 

Lorraine McKinney is an academic tutor and elearning specialist. 

 

America’s Best Colleges For Low Or Middle Income Students Economic Outcomes

January 19th, 2017

Colleges’ economic benefit

Public schools dominate in a list of top 10 colleges that channel kids from low- or middle-income families to the top 20 percent of American wage earners in a study co-authored by economist Raj Chetty.