Author: Guest Contributor

Planning a Great Camping Trip with Your Friends

Just imagine spending a wonderful evening under the stars. You and your closest friends are sitting at a campfire and just enjoying being together. Going camping with your closest friends is one of the best things in the world. However, one of the problems with a camping trip is that someone has to plan it in order for it to happen.

There is some good news. Planning your camping trip will not be hard after you read the following tips. In fact, chances are that you can get a tripped planned in really no time at all.

Choose a Date

Perhaps one of the trickiest parts of planning a camping trip with friends is finding the time that you all can go. There are some easy ways to pick a date that works for everyone. Try using an online poll site that will allow everyone to put in the dates that work best for them and within no time you will have the time set for your friendly camping adventure.

Research Places

Once you choose a time, the next thing is to choose where you are going to go. Check out reviews of different campsites in your area. If you are looking for seclusion choose a primitive site. Make sure that you check the rules of the park as well.

Pooling Resources

When you are going on a group camping trip it is a good idea to pool resources. While everyone is going to need a good sleeping bag and their own tent, you do not need ten camping stoves or everyone to bring their own meals. Create a list and coordinate who is going to bring what. Make sure that your less experienced camping friends know the important necessities to bring along.

Carpooling

Part of the adventure is the drive to the campsite. Carpooling is efficient and very fun, but it can be a bit tricky. Plan a spot to meet up and then load up. Also, make sure that you map out directions ahead of time. When you head out to the woods cell signals are not always reliable, so having a downloaded or paper copy of the directions can really come in handy. Also, make sure that you bring some great snacks and a good playlist for the journey.

Leave the Phones at Home

If it is possible, try to leave all of the tech behind. One of the absolute best things about going camping is letting go of technology for just a it. Immerse yourself in what is in front of you. Take the time to communicate face to face with your friends. We are all so busy these days, taking a moment to just be. Turn the phones off once you hit the campsite and just enjoy all that nature and your friends have to offer.

Divide and Conquer

When you arrive at the campsite there is going to be a lot to do. If you divide up all the chores that need to be done it is going to be much easier and relaxing. Almost every group of friends has one person who will want to build the fire and another who wants to put up the tents and another who doesn’t mind cleaning up. Tap into the strengths of each of you.

A camping trip with your friends is something that you are going to remember forever. If you take the time and plan ahead, your camping trip will be simply amazing.

7 Life Hacks for Every Teenage Student to Work Smarter

Being a student can be challenging. There are so many new things changing in your life and so many responsibilities that you can’t even find time for yourself. Instead of procrastinating or trying to change the system, you’d better find some shortcuts that’ll help you work smartly. While, working hard is necessary to win in life, working smartly on the other hand can help you accomplish even more.

 

If finding a balance is a problem for you too, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we are going to discuss a few tips that will change your school experience for the better – and most of them are quite easy to do.

Record Lectures

If you want to simplify your studying process, here is what you could do:

• Record classroom lectures (make sure you professor agrees)
• Download the recorder on your laptop or tablet
• Play it loud and make sure you understand the content
• You can edit audio quality using QuickTime Pro or Audacity
• Play the recordings again, at twice or triple the speed
• Start learning

Voila! Now you don’t have to spend hours looking through your old notes and various textbooks. All you have to do is press play!

Set Your Schedule as Your Wallpaper

Its hard to remember your schedule and room numbers the first few days of class. One tip is to take a picture or type out your schedule and take a screenshot of it. Set it as your phone, tablet, or laptop wallpaper and you will have it available at a moment’s notice.

Use Google Translate as an Essay Checker

Writing essays can be boring. There’s so much structure, and so much work to do. Professors can be pretentious, and deadlines can be a pain in the bum. Shorten your time spent at your desk by using Google Translate.

• Write down your essay
• Copy the first paragraph
• Paste it into Google Translate
• Press “Translate”
• Close your eyes, and let Google read your essay out loud for you
• When you hear a grammar mistakes or spot a typo, correct it in your oroginal paper
• Repeat with the following paragraphs

Why not use this free tool to improve your writing — and your grades?

Use Amazon Prime for Free

Laila Johnson, freelancer worker at Essay Geeks service and former Manager at Amazon, shares her advice:

“Did you know that if you are a student, Amazon Prime is free for you? For every e-mail ending in ‘.edu,’ Amazon gives out amazing advantages.”

You can:

• Download Kindle books for free
• Read unlimitedly
• Get instant videos in a second
• Benefit from two-day shipping, and many others

Since you are already a student, open up an account with your school’s e-mail, and benefit from unlimited options!

Use Noise Down

The new intelligent App application called Noise Down automatically detects the noise level in your home, class, or wherever you are. All you have to do is tune your app to suit your needs. If the background noise exceeds your own settings and preferences, an alarm will sound. This is an amazing way to realize whether you need to change study environments or not.

For instance, studying in a café is only a great choice as long as others don’t distract you from your work, right? Know where that boundaries lay by using Noise Down.

Learn How to Use Photoshop

We all know that being a student means living on a tight budget. As technology is developing as such a fast pace, learning how to use Photoshop will always be of great use to you to create presentations, posters, and funny memes of course. Why not start learning, while still young? Not only will it help with your graphics for school, it might even help you get a job down the line! Adobe offers Photoshop to students at a discount as part of its Creative Cloud.

Create a Special Playlist to Stay on Time

This life hack is one of my favorites! Because who doesn’t like listening to music in order to figure out time?

• Choose your favorite pumped songs
• Set up a special Playlist on Spotify
• Listen to it a couple of times
• Start playing it early in the morning, and try to finish your routine by the end of your playlist

Great music while showering, great music while taking breakfast, great music while preparing for your day. Could you ask for more?

Conclusion

If you decided to work smart, here is your opportunity. Record your lessons, set your schedule as your phone’s background screen, use Google Translate to correct your writing mistakes, use Amazon Prime for free, try out Noise Down to focus better on your work, learn how to use Photoshop, and create a special Spotify playlist to always be on time.


Chris Richardson is a journalist, editor, and a blogger. He loves to write, learn new things, and meet new outgoing people. Chris is also fond of traveling, sports, and playing the guitar. Follow him on Google+.

 

The Effects of Late-Night Phone Use on Adolescent Health

It’s not a crime to stay up late playing on your phone, but there are definitely some very well-documented deficits to your health when you regularly engage with smartphones close and during bedtime.

While some adolescents in your household might think so, they aren’t exempt from the shortfalls in health as a result of using mobile phones late at night. If they needed some proof of the bad effects that come from not putting the phone down at certain times, we have a collection of informative and factual reasons that will serve to point them in the right direction.

Using a smartphone can interrupt good sleep

You can fork out all the money in the world for bedroom furniture that will give your teens the best night’s sleep, but if they’re glued to their phones, then the blue light will act to disrupt the production of melatonin; this is the hormone that regulates the body’s sleep cycle.

The standout negative effects of this will result in increased sleepless nights, which is never a good thing when younger members of the family are still developing. Fatigue is also bad for their overall mood, not to mention the potential for the onset of depression and anxiety.

Using a smartphone can damage your eyes

The blue light that’s emitted from your mobile phone is one element of the full light spectrum. This is something that we are exposed to via the sun’s rays; however, when humans, particularly adolescents are exposed to this at nighttime, it can be damaging to their vision.

Direct exposure to blue light can also damage your retinas over time. This might not be an instant concern for younger members of the family, but loss of vision should not be taken lightly, therefore, making them aware of the dangers they are faced with is important.

Using a smartphone can affect attention spans

Your teens might be alone when they are using their phones at night, but this doesn’t mean that the effects stay in the bedroom. You might think that they don’t listen at the best of times, but just imagine if their attention spans are lessened due to smartphone use at bedtime.

Let’s be honest, we’re all guilty of using our phones too much, especially at night, but you’ve got to lead by example because adults are more likely to be aware of the fact that the simple presence of a smartphone causes a distraction.

Using a smartphone might cause electromagnetic radiation problems

At present, there’s no concrete evidence on the matter, scientists claim that radiation from smartphones has been said to be connected to health problems.

The scientists who conducted the study have called on the World Health Organization and governments and the UN, to introduce rigorous regulations concerning mobile phones that produce electromagnetic fields.

What can you do to overcome these issues?

If you are concerned with the problems associated with adolescents in your family using their smartphones at night, there are ways that you can approach the subject to help them reduce their nighttime usage.

Obviously showing them the points raised above will help but talk with your teen about their phone use is also a really effective method too.

It could do more harm than good if you were to lay down a new set of stringent rules in regard to mobile phones use in the bedroom, so have a chat with them and see if they are aware of the health issues themselves.

Put the ball in their court and give them choices, explain how scrolling through social media right throughout the night can have negative effects on their health and wellbeing.

Another informed choice you can opt for is to form a regular bedtime routine that the entire family can/will realistically adhere to.

Bedtime routines for young children are frequently talked about, but bedtime rituals are also just as important for the adolescents in the family, too.

Promote quiet activity in the two hours leading up to before bed, whatever that may be. You can show that you are practising what you preach by having a certain room, or spot in the house where each member of the family can deposit their phones within an allotted time period before you tuck yourselves into bed.

You can also adopt, the use of mindfulness apps or listening to soothing music to aid in relaxing their minds and bodies before bed.

These are just a couple of the ideas you can use to help your teens to understand how to overcome the negative effects associated with using a smartphone at night. Essentially, there isn’t a stock, black-or-white answer that works for each family, it’s about finding a balance and bringing awareness on the matter.

5 Ways to Avoid Plagiarism in High School Writing

Plagiarism is using in writing someone else’s text published in paper or electronic form, without full reference to the source or even with a reference, if the volume and nature of borrowing provoke questions regarding the independence of the work performed or one of its main sections.

It is the worst sin in the academic world, and it can cost you pretty much. We are sure you are not intended to plagiarize, but anyway, too many students suffer from the accusation of plagiarism every year. Even if you are in high school, you can use these five ways to avoid plagiarism and stay on the safe side.

WAY #1. Using Direct Quotes

Put someone else’s text in quotes and mention the reference to the source of the text in a link or square bracket (a must for the academic text). In this case, citation is necessary when:

  • A genuine formulation has a special meaning;
  • The original phrase so faithfully conveys a meaning that it is impossible to surpass it;
  • When you want to mention  significant statements of a political leader or a universally recognized researcher on this issue.

When quoting, be very accurate and bring it unchanged. When quoting is not borrowed from the source, but from a secondary source, mention this in a footnote (if applicable according to the chosen formatting style), for example, cit. by: …, is given by: … and indicate the primary source itself. When adding something to the citation, you should indicate this in square brackets. Your explanations in the quotes themselves should also be enclosed in square brackets. It is allowed to single out individual passages in the quotation, but then it should be noted in the same place or at the end of quoting [highlighted by me]. To avoid doubt, it is customary to specify [highlighted in the source], even when the selection already exists in the source itself.

Quotation, the volume of which does not exceed four lines or two sentences, should be enclosed in double quotes. A longer quote is given in a separate paragraph by expanding or narrowing the margins on both sides of the text. In this method of quoting, there is no need for double quotes.
When quoting, it is allowed to remove not relevant extracts from the text, but only on condition that they do not contain meaningful content. The place of seizure should be indicated by adding this sign […] regardless of whether one word or the whole passage was withdrawn.

WAY #2. Paraphrasing

For the reasons mentioned above, do not use a lot of direct quotes in the text and preferably lead the arguments of authoritative researchers through paraphrases with reference to the source. In order to describe the author’s ideas, it is necessary to rephrase his statements, and not to rewrite them from this source. Thus it is necessary to be guided by two principles:

  • The paraphrase should express the essence of the author’s ideas, do not distort and do not violate their meaning;
  • The paraphrase should be directly related to the topic under discussion.

WAY #3. Using Online Plagiarism Checkers

You can’t trust them fully, but they are rather helpful when it comes to the unintentional plagiarism and online sources. All free online checkers work only with open data, it means they can’t find the same piece of text in someone else’s paper which was submitted and added to the database uniting colleges and universities. However, the possibility that you will write something that was written before is rather theoretical, isn’t it? Paid online plagiarism checkers dig deeper — they have a database of journal articles and books, they are mostly also connected to the bases of the peer reviewed journals, which means the search will be truly deep and intense. It takes more time, but it is worth it. When it comes to some serious assignments it is better to use paid plagiarism-checkers. If you have such a necessity not more than once or twice a month it is better to pay for a single check, but if you want to check every paper, it is more beneficial to buy monthly account or even an annual one.

WAY #4. Using Only Valid Sources

Pay attention to the list of sources you are allowed and required to use when writing your paper. Such lists are often provided by your professor in the syllabus to the particular course. Avoid using any kind of “wiki” articles, blogs and other sources which can hardly be named academical. Of course, there are even some tweets which have changed the history, and you can definitely quote them, however, in other cases it is better to stick to the conventional academic sources: books, peer-reviewed journals, academic journals, etc.

WAY #5. Paying Attention to the Citation Style

Failure to use the citation style properly often is the reason why students get accused of plagiarism. It is only normal because if you don’t cite something the way you should, it means that you might be willing to conceal the fact that you used someone else’s work. Use sources like Purdue Owl and similar to hone your formatting and to speed the process up find some free citation generators. Make sure that all the names mentioned in the text are mentioned in the “works cited” part — for this, use Ctrl+F first starting from the top to the bottom, then reverse.

It is not too much difficult to avoid plagiarism if you are writing your academic paper diligently and fast, but it is better to be extra cautious regarding this issue.

 

X Plan for Teenagers Provides Life Saving Ways Out of a Dangerous Situation

Teenagers find themselves in a variety of dangerous situations. It’s nothing new. Drugs, alcohol, sexual promiscuity — and now Tide Pods! The teen years are notorious for risky behavior, experimentation, and as a result, accidents. Quite often, those accidents lead to death.

The saving grace is that more and more teenagers are deciding to break out of this stereotype of risky behaviors. The problem with this is that excusing yourself from the activities of friends can cause social ridicule. The last thing a kid wants is to be outcast from his or her only social group for saying “no.”

X Plan

The X Plan provides a way out of that social ridicule. Teacher, speaker, and lay minister Bert Fulks has devised a plan to help kids save face while also saving their lives.

If you are a teenager, and you find yourself in a sticky situation, you simply send a text.

Text your parents with the letter X, and your parents then know to call you. You simply answer the phone, and your parents will say that they need you home immediately for some family emergency, and that they’ll be over to pick you up in five minutes.

Apologize to your friends, let them know a family emergency has arisen, and get the heck outta there.

Why It Works

The X plan is a life-saving strategy not only for the obvious reason – that you get to save face and get out of a scary situation at the same time. This is of course the face of the situation. The real genius behind the plan is that it gets inside of a teenage head.

Here’s the thing: the social pressure placed on kids is enormous. It can be debilitating to the point of convincing kids that what their friends want is what they want too. In fact, kids may find themselves encouraging and reinforcing bad behavior just because they think it is what the entire group wants.

Mob Mentality

Individuals become emboldened in a group. One person may come up with a crazy plan he or she never would have acted out on alone. But because he or she is in a group setting, the idea becomes a spoken thought, the thought becomes an action, and the action leads to a reality, which leads to… accidents.

The X Plan provides a release valve for the mob. Over time, kids can feel safer and safer using an exit strategy like the X Plan. If teenagers believe they have options, if that becomes the reality in their heads, then they are less likely to give in to the mob. In the end, this can prevent many harsh tragedies from occurring.

Use It

So if you are a teenager, all you have to do is know the X Plan exists, and be sure you tell your parents about it. And if you are a parent, talk to your kid about this. It could save lives.


The above was  guest post from Aron James, founder of StubblePatrol.com.  Stubble Patrol is a site on male grooming. He loves to write about his personal experiences.  He feels that his tips and tactics will help his readers to enhance their level of self-confidence and their overall appeal. Changing your overall look can do wonders for anyone, so be sure to visit his site soon.