Category: Education

7 College Majors With a More Human Touch

Are you trying to find your college major? Maybe you’re hoping to find something that lets you give back to humanity in a meaningful way. There are a number of majors you can choose from to fulfill this desire. Though they might not be obvious at first, here are seven college majors that have a more humanitarian approach and make the world a better place.

Social Worker

People who want to directly help others can get a degree in Social Work. Social workers offer others life advice and help them find work. They might provide a bit of counseling, and teach others how to navigate life better. Social Work degrees take about four years to earn.

Counseling

Counseling focuses on improving people’s mental or emotional state. Counselors may be able to work one-on-one with their clients to provide tools to better their lives. A good counselor can bring someone from the brink of sorrow and despair to a place where they become a happy and functional human being. While there are many challenges a counselor will face, it can be greatly rewarding when a client makes progress and turns their life around for the better. A Bachelor’s in counseling can be earned in four years, but counselors can go on to get a Master’s degree or Ph.D.

Sociology

Sociologists study social organization, human behavior, and how human behavior affects culture. All of this helps them understand people as a whole much better. Sociology degrees take four years, and you can get a Ph.D. in as little as eight years.

Nursing

Nursing is one of the first majors many people consider when they want to help people. Is there a better image of care and kindness than that of a nurse? People who wish to earn their nursing degree can do it in as little as four years while attending a university or college. Those who already have an associate’s degree can get it in two to three years. Some of the benefits of being a nurse are directly helping people feel better and cared for and about. Seeing a smile on a patient’s face and knowing you helping inspire that is one of the best gifts ever.

History

What could be more human than learning about human history? History majors get their Bachelor’s degrees within four years but often continue on to get a Master’s degree or Ph.D. They usually end up teaching, passing along the past’s mistakes and successes to future generations.

Physical Therapy

Much like a nurse, physical therapists work with their patients to make their physical life better. Physical therapists can work with clients one-on-one or in groups. A degree takes around seven years to complete, so it’s about three years longer than most Bachelor’s degrees. The reason for this is that on top of a Bachelor’s degree in a related health field, physical therapists must also complete a Doctoral program. They must also pass a state licensure exam.

Performing Arts

Performing arts is one of the most humanistic fields in existence. Performing artists evoke emotions in people and sometimes get very involved, emotionally, in the work they’re doing too. A performing arts degree can take up to four years depending on which performing art you choose.

Wrap Up

If you want to work in a field dedicated to humanity that’s also rewarding, any of the above college majors would fit your needs. If no particular one stands out to you, take a few classes in various fields to see if you like one area more than another. College is about discovering yourself just as much as it’s about learning for your career. Find who you are and do what you love.

Sources
http://www.apta.org/For_Prospective_Students/PT_Education/Physical_Therapist_(PT)_Education_Overview.aspx
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/daniel-little/college-sociology-major_b_1641546.html
https://www.wgu.edu/online_health_professions_degrees/bachelor_science_nursing
https://www.socialworkguide.org/

5 Test Taking Strategies You Probably Didn’t Think Of

When it comes to taking tests, everyone has a different way of preparing that works best for them. Some people spend weeks studying and some people hold a massive cram session the night before the test. It’s important to try different things to figure out what will work best for you, so here are five things that you may not have thought of that you can try to help you with your next test.

Take Plenty of Breaks

It’s tempting to sit down and study for hours or try to cram everything in at once. But no matter how dedicated you are and how great your memory is, your brain can only handle so much information at a time. To help you absorb the information better, take regular breaks from your studies. Get up, walk around, and clear your head. This won’t make you forget what you have studied, but it will help you refresh your mind and move the knowledge out of your short-term memory and into your long-term memory.

Chew a Unique Flavor of Gum or Candy

Human memory is tied most strongly to the sense of smell. An easy trick to remember what you’re studying is to choose an unusual flavor of candy or gum to eat while you are studying. When you go to take the test, have some of that gum or candy on hand to eat and jog your memory of your studies. This will take a little time to work, so start doing it a couple days before your test. If candy or gum won’t work for you, try using a perfume or essential oil that you can also use in the classroom.

Choose an Instrumental Music Playlist

Music is a powerful tool for helping your brain learn and retain knowledge, but not all music is created equally. You may love fast pump-up music, but that isn’t going to help you settle into a studying mood, and it isn’t going to help you remember anything. Research has found that music without lyrics, that includes nature sounds, and that you like but aren’t obsessed with is the best kind of music to listen to when you are trying to focus. You also want to make sure that you aren’t playing your music too loudly. Experiment with a few different kinds of music to figure out what works best for you and create a playlist that you use each time you study.

Dress Well

How you look has a direct impact on how you feel and how you feel has a direct impact on how you perform. It can be tempting to wear sweats and super comfy clothes when you are taking a test, but dressing well has actually been proven to help you test better. It’s important to dress nicely in clothes that help you feel your best. This doesn’t mean that you can’t be comfortable. Make sure you have clean clothes that fit properly. If you are wearing layers, such as an undershirt, make sure that it isn’t going to get bunched under your other clothing and create an uncomfortable situation. Taking a little extra time to make sure that you feel good is well-worth it.

Take Notes in Different Colors

Sometimes a visual cue can help your brain organize information and categorize it in ways that are easier to remember. Pick up a pack of multi-colored highlighters and then organize your study based on different color schemes. Pick one color for each type of idea, then always use that color for that idea. Eventually, your brain will associate the information with that particular idea and color, making it easier for you to remember things in larger segments.

These few simple strategies can help you remember course content and be able to improve test scores without too much pain. Get enough rest, take advantage of familiar scents or tastes, make and use a study playlist, color coordinate your notes, and make sure you look great on test day. None of these things take too much time or effort, but they can make a huge difference.

How Do I Become a Teacher? 4 Steps to Take Now

Teaching is a highly rewarding career path. If you are considering a career in education, now is the perfect time to start working to make that dream a reality. While you will still have to go to college and spend several years of study to get your teacher’s certification, there are some important things that you can do right now to figure out if this is really the path for you.

Volunteer Your Time

One of the best ways to figure out if you are going to like working in a school is to get a taste of what it is like. Most schools are looking for volunteers to help in classrooms or with tutoring. While this isn’t the exact same thing as being a teacher, it can give you a small idea of some of the things that teachers do. You can also try out various different experiences to figure out which one is best for you. For instance, you can volunteer as an assistant in an elementary classroom or you can be a teacher’s assistant for one of your periods at school. Not only will this help you get a good idea of how a school operates, it will also look good on your resume, which can help you get into a better school and a better teaching program.

Speak with Teachers

Another important step you can take is to actually talk to your teachers. No one knows more than them about how to get to where they are. They have the experience as a teacher and as your teacher in particular, so they can also help point you to the teaching positions that you are likely to enjoy. When it comes to talking with your teachers, make sure you pick the best ones to talk to. You want to find someone who will be realistic about both the good and bad parts of their job and someone who won’t discourage you from your dreams. If you are interested in teaching elementary school, go talk to teachers at your local elementary school. If you have younger siblings, try talking to their teachers. If you don’t know any of the teachers, you can ask the front office if they know any teachers who would be willing to talk to you.

Look Up Educational Classes

It’s also a good idea to look up what kinds of classes you might have to take should you decide to become a teacher. In order to enter the classroom, you will need to complete classes in specific subjects. You might have to take classes in educational psychology, teaching methods and the teaching of kids. Look through a college catalog. Many have detailed descriptions about the kind of classes they offer. You can then look up the subject matter on the internet. You might even be able to access specific course materials. Having access to this information will help prepare you for the college classes that you will be taking after you graduate.

Pick a College

When it comes to picking a university to get your teaching degree at, the most important thing that you need to look at is their accreditation and reputation. It doesn’t matter if the university is an online university or a traditional one, they need to be certified or your teaching certificate will be a huge waste. To learn more about the teaching programs at the universities you are considering, visit their website and look at what they prioritize. You can also look up their reputation and ranking on various websites.

All of these steps can help you prepare for the career in teaching you want. When you get a good overview of the profession, you’ll take your first steps towards standing in front of a classroom.

References:

Talk to a Teacher

Career: Elementary, Middle, and High School Teachers

WGU Online Teaching Degree

5 Great Reasons for High School Students to Volunteer

How to Focus in Class When it’s so Boring!

So you’re having a hard time paying attention in class….You’re teacher is boring, the information you’re learning is boring and you just can’t stop thinking about your plans later! Staying focused in class can be difficult but you are definitely not alone! Follow these 6 helpful tips on how to focus in class when it’s so boring.

Sit in the front of the class

I know you probably don’t want to sit in front of the class and have your teacher be literally a foot away from you, but this does help. When you’re sitting in the front, you aren’t staring at anyone’s head and you’re not seeing the class as a whole like if you were to sit all the way in the back. When you’re in the front, you’ll definitely want to try to stay awake so your teacher doesn’t call you out during the lecture.

Where you sit matters! It makes a big difference on your learning! This will help you engage eye contact with your teacher and will also show him/her that you’re interested in learning. If you’re lucky, they won’t call on you for an answer…but this shouldn’t be a problem because you’ll be focused.

how to focus in class

Stay away from your distractions

We’re constantly distracted, and that’s okay. As human beings, anything can be a distraction — especially in a boring class! Avoid sitting next to your friends because we all know you’ll be talking, doodling, passing notes and playing tic tac toe on the sides of your assignments.

Stay away from your phone. Texting and Snapchatting can wait. Instagram will be there when you get home but the notes on the board won’t!

NOTE: Ask your teacher if you can take pictures of the whiteboard/blackboard or record his lecture. That way your phone is actually being put to good use.

Take notes/participate

Taking notes and participating is a great way to stay focused! To take good notes you need to actively listen. And to listening actively, you need to be focused. Engage yourself in the lecture by asking questions. Organize your notes and really pay attention to what your lecture is about.

Don’t look at the clock

Staring at the clock only makes time go by even slower so don’t do it! Quit counting by the second. Do your work, actively listen, participate and next thing you know, class will be over.

Find ways to be motivated

Motivation can be easy when there’s a reward for you waiting at the finish line. Find ways to motivate yourself. For example, ask your parents for something if you get an A on your next exam – maybe some extra cash or an extra hour past curfew. Not only that, but better grades in general will open doors to scholarships, recognition and more! Come on, who doesn’t want to succeed?

Practice good habits

Sometimes we lose focus because we didn’t get enough sleep last night or we didn’t eat a well-balanced breakfast. Get into the habit of making minor changes to your lifestyle. Sleep better, eat better and get ahead in your workload. Study your current class topics before you go to class. Play a game by not taking out your phone during the entire lecture and reward yourself with a sweet snack!


Kristen_MarquezBy Kristen Marquez.

Kristen Marquez graduated with a B.A. in Cinema & Television Arts from California State, University Northridge with an emphasis in Television Production. She is a social media coordinator by day and a content creator by night. With her great imagination, she knows she will create the next big thing whether it’s a script, a product or a simple idea that will fill people’s hearts with joy and entertainment. She blogs for a hobby and loves spending time with her golden retriever Lily.

Instagram: @lexikris
Twitter: @krisiza10

5 Ways to Protect Your Belongings in Your First College Dorm Room

Leaving home and moving into your very first dorm is a huge step in your life. Being around all kinds of new people in a new environment means new responsibilities. Throughout your childhood, your parents have always had the security in your home covered, but now it’s up to you to keep you and your meager possessions safe. Here are 5 tips to help you protect your belongings in your dorm room.

Always Lock Your Door

It’s a super basic rule, but you’d be surprised how many people forget to do it. This isn’t just about locking your door when you leave to go to classes. Any time you walk out your door, lock it. Even if it’s just a quick run down the hall, to do a load of laundry, or to hang out in the common room, lock your door.  It’s better to be safe than sorry—especially when sorry could mean someone stole your Mac and you lost most of your class notes.

Limit Access to Your Room

Even the most secure dorms are hectic at times. Residents come and go, as do their guests. While it would be nice if you could secure your dorm room with a system like ADT Pulse, that’s a little impractical for most college students, and it’s also not completely necessary. A little vigilance about who has access to your room goes a long way. If there’s no good reason for someone to be in your room, take the conversation to a common area instead.

Don’t Leave Things Out

At home, you don’t think twice about leaving your laptop, money or textbooks out in the open. In your dorm, however, it’s a little different. Many college thefts are crimes of opportunity, so don’t give anyone lingering around your space the opportunity to make off with your stuff. Put valuable items out of sight in a drawer or in your closet. Want to be even more safe? Get a footlocker and stash valuables away. Don’t forget to keep it locked.

Follow the Dorm’s Rules

They might not be very fun, but rules are there for a reason and following them can save you a lot of stress. Pay particular attention to the rules about not loaning your keys to others, not letting strangers into your dorm and not propping locked doors open for temporary convenience.

Make Sure Your Roommate Complies

None of the previous tips work if you and your roommate(s) aren’t on the same page. Make sure they lock the doors, keep their stuff put away and aren’t letting someone neither of you know well have access to your room. Open and honest communication about things like this with your roommates will enhance the relationship and lead to a positive dorm experience.

Living away from home is a new and exciting chapter. You’re experiencing life for the first time not under your parents’ roof. Don’t make it more stressful than it needs to be, though. If you remember these 5 easy tips, you’ll be on your way to having a great college experience.

How to Choose Your Major

With all the different college majors available, choosing between them can be overwhelming. Some students find that there are several potential major choices they like, whereas others struggle to find just one that feels right.

You don’t want to stress out too much from choosing a major, but it’s also not a decision to take lightly. There are a few solid strategies for deciding what your major will be.

Basing Your Major on the Career You Want

If you already have an idea of what your dream career is, you can look up what degree you’ll need for the best chance of success in that field. Not every career will have a specific major you need to get, but many will, and if your chosen career is one of them, it makes it much easier to pick your major. Look for professional degrees such as a law, teaching, or healthcare program.

Colleges have expanded their course offerings quite a bit, making it more likely yours will have a major to fit your career. Be careful, however, that you are not pursuing a career with no real marketplace value. Universities will use all kinds of marketing ploys and catchphrases like “lifelong learning” and “broadening your horizons” to shoehorn you into a degree that may or may not yield any economic return. Always look up average earnings and underemployment statistics for your chosen field of study. You’re obviously set if you’re getting into a traditional career path, such as finance, but you can also major in newer fields, such as software development or graphic design.

Going with a Major That Has the Potential for High Earnings

If you don’t have a specific career path in mind but earning a large income is one of your chief concerns, you can focus on developing your marketable skills by choosing a major with the potential for high earnings. Some of the highest-paying majors include computer science, statistics, finance and nursing. Majors related to engineering, including electrical engineering, mechanical engineering and chemical engineering, also tend to be high paying.

The potential drawback with this method is that you could find yourself majoring in something that doesn’t interest you. This will make it harder to do well and stay engaged during your classes. You also don’t want to end up in a career you dislike, which means you should still make sure you can live with any major you choose.

Choosing a Major Related to Subjects You Enjoy

This is the “follow your dreams” approach. While you’re completing your general education requirements, you’ll get the opportunity to check out a variety of classes. You could opt to major in a subject that you feel drawn to. The main benefit of this method is that you’ll be majoring in something you like, which makes it much easier to learn the material and get good grades. Again, however, be sure that your “passion” isn’t leading you down an educational path that will result in years of underemployment in an unrelated field.

There can be a bit of a stigma surrounding certain majors which others view as wastes of time. Although you shouldn’t let anyone else’s opinion change your major, it is in your best interest to consider life after college when you make your decision. Being a major that interests you is great, but make sure you have an idea of how you can use that degree in the working world.

Your Major Isn’t Set in Stone

Especially at the beginning of your college career, remember that you can change your major later if you want. There’s also the option to say “Undecided” when you’re first asked to select a major.

Being unsure of your major is okay, particularly early on, when you’re completing the required general education courses anyway. As you move further along with higher education, it’s smart to finalize your major so that you can take the courses you need and it doesn’t take you longer than necessary to get your degree.

Since your major could affect you for the rest of your life, there’s nothing wrong with taking some time on the decision. Think about all your options, and when in doubt, trust your instincts.

Six Study Tips to Ace Your Next ACT

If you are planning on taking the ACT (American College Testing) for your college entrance, you’ll want to be ready ahead of time rather than going into the testing blind. Knowing the sections of the test and what is expected is important for college admission, and having a jump start is always a good idea when going from high school to college. Taking the ACT is one way to prepare for the changes that occur with higher education.

This test is divided into four mandatory sections with multiple choice questions, which include English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science tests. Also included is an optional Writing section for a total of five different sections. With these test subdivisions, it is fairly easy to structure study sessions that incorporate each area, as breakdowns for each test are given through study tips for acing the ACT. Here are six that should help.

Start Sooner than Later

Test preparation takes time and a three to six month period for study should be sufficient for most students. In order to ace the test, a full six months should probably be considered to understand the intricacies of the test as well as study for the individual sections. Learning to navigate the test(s) in general is an accomplishment in itself.

Practice Questions

To orient yourself to the kinds of questions asked on the ACT, you’ll want to actually access the practice questions and familiarize yourself with the structure, format, question types, question difficulty, and time limits involved with each test section. There are practice questions as well as preparation guides for the overall test that can be of significant help in preparing for the exam.

Understand the Structure

One of the most important aspects of the ACT is understanding how the test is structured and how to maneuver through it. As in the previous tip, you’ll want to examine how the test questions are configured in order to pinpoint the right multiple choice answers. There are, again, explanations through online guides and prep materials for this process. For example, the ACT English questions appear to be formatted in a confusing manner, and finding the immediate answer can present problems, so the fastest way to complete the answers is to skim through the reading passage to understand the content and context of the passage. From there, go back through any underlined sentences that will help determine final answers.

Eliminate the Obvious

Another effective tip with the ACT is eliminating the obviously wrong answers within any of the test divisions. You always want to look for answers that are blatantly wrong and quickly discard them. To find the correct answer, you want to be very precise about what makes the answer the right one. For example, if you are looking at questions in the English and Reading sections, you want to find evidence that supports an answer selection. The key is if you don’t find the evidence, eliminate the answer choice.

Monitor Time

This aspect of the test is critical, as certain time limits are placed on each test section. Pacing your time is important as you don’t want to linger over one question while there are easier ones to answer. Spending too much time on any question can harm your score. If you are completely puzzled or stymied over one question, move on. Answering easier questions should always take priority. If there is enough time left, go back to the tricky ones. Again, going through ACT practice questions will help you to learn how to pace yourself for each test section.

Know the Content

Within each of the test areas, there will obviously be questions that are less difficult because of the content being familiar and more easily understood. Any subject area that presents problems should be examined for weaknesses. For example, within the Math section, it would be wise to know formulas that relate to algebra and geometry as well as conversions for basic math problems that involve percentages, fractional parts, decimals, etc. The same is true of the English section that requires reading comprehension ability, grammar, and punctuation expertise. Say you’re college plans are focused on getting a degree in business management, which would mean you should probably concentrate on problem solving, critical thinking and number crunching. These general areas will likely appear in some form or fashion in the corresponding test sections.

Taking the ACT involves advanced planning and preparation, particularly if you want to ace the test and present impressive scores to a prestigious college or university, or apply for a scholarship or other higher education financing. Test anxiety and apprehension can be alleviated when the right information and tips are incorporated in an overall strategy to tackle and ace a test like the ACT.

College Hacks Every Student Should Know

COLLEGE HACKS

The college experience often consists of living on a very tight budget, staying up late and struggling to make it that 8am class on time. With so many new aspects of adulthood to juggle, it’s important to learn some shortcuts to optimize your day. Whether you’re going to online college, living on campus or studying abroad, you can use a combination of these tips to make your life much easier.

Use Your Schedule as a Phone Background
How many times a day are you looking at your phone? It’s okay, I know you can’t count that high. Take advantage of your lock screen by setting a photo of your schedule as the background. No more wandering around, hungover from the night before, wondering what building you’re supposed to be in next.

Organize With Toilet Paper Rolls
There are tons of uses for toilet paper rolls! A couple of fan favorites include using them as a way to keep your cords organized. Or you can sit them upright for a nifty pencil holder. Worried about the decor? Grab some Washi tape or scrapbooking paper to upcycle them in a more hip way.


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Take Online Courses
Colleges aren’t the way they used to be. Now, you can easily access your courses and assignments online. Those who must work to pay for schooling should consider enrolling in some online courses, or an online program. Click here for more information about online programs available to busy students.

Rent Textbooks (or purchase online)
Textbooks costs thousands of dollars for you to use for maybe a year (if you’re lucky). For a struggling college student, this is an extra stress. You can save yourself the costly expense by renting your textbooks from sites and apps like Google Play, Amazon and Kindle. These rentals are available as a hardcopy and an e-book. If you must have a physical copy of the book, check out Amazon. They have Amazon Prime for students; which provides you with 2-day shipping and many other cool features at half the price of regular Prime.

Chew Gum to Trigger Memory
Whether you’re taking an online test or braving the stress of a classroom, it’s important to increase your memory abilities. One of my favorite tricks is to chew a memorable flavor of gum while studying for the test. Then, when the big day comes, chew the same piece of gum. Because taste is tied to memory, this hack can help you recall important information. Pass your tests and make your Mom proud.

There you have it! Some college hacks every student should know. Make sure to share this article with your friends so their lives can go smoother too!

Homework Tips for Teenagers

 

Even though there are very few teens in the world that enjoy doing homework, it still exists, teachers still assign it, and above all, it still needs to be done! It also seems that nowadays high school and college students have more homework than ever before, which makes them overwhelmed, especially when you take in mind all those extracurricular activities that are needed to achieve a solid academic career. On that note, I am willing to share with you some of the tips that really used to help me with my homework when I was a struggling teenager:

Make a timetable

Set aside a specific amount of time each day that you will devote to doing your work depending on the amount of homework for that day. Divide that time into 45-50 minute sessions with 10-minute brakes. Keep in mind that you are only human and It is very important to give your mind a rest.

Set the Mood

Make sure that you have everything that you need and then pick a quiet and isolated spot that is free from any distractions. If you can’t find that place in your home, good alternatives are public places such as public libraries and study rooms. Turn off your cell phones and gadgets and focus on your homework. Some kinds of music, like classical music or smooth jazz, can also help you with your concentration.


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Use writing service

In an emergency, you can find different kinds of writing services that have proven themselves as a capable homework helper for those students who need help in an emergency. These services offer 24-hour support for desperate students whether they are in need for someone to help them understand their homework or provide a template or “starter draft” to use in preparing the final work. Either way, a writing service it is a great option to save time and help you on your path to achieving academic greatness, as long as you don’t abuse the service and have it do your entire homework for you (which is called cheating and unethical).

Keep it organized

Keep your homework materials organized using the color-coding system with colored folders, stickers, highlighters and markers. For instance, you can use a specific color for each subject. Checklists are also a good way to keep things organized and to keep track of your progress.

Prioritize

Try to set your priorities and work on more difficult and valuable homework first, then you can move on to easier tasks that you can complete more quickly. In that way, you will have more time and energy to tackle your frightening algebra or science homework before you can rest your mind with other, less challenging assignments.

Steal some time

You will probably be surprised how much work can be done if you could just make yourself to use that “hidden” time that all of us encounter during the day. For instance, on that long bus ride home, you can place your headphones to cancel the noise and get on it. Also, if you have an hour or so to kill before your practice it is a perfect time to steal some minutes that can come in handy later on.


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If it gets too hard, ask for help

Sometimes homework can be too challenging for you to finish on your own, and in that case, do not hesitate to ask for help! The first and foremost person you need talk to is, of course, your teacher because he assigned it. You can also ask your parents, especially if it has something to do with their line of work. At the end, you can always turn to your friends and classmates or school organized study groups to give you that necessary geometry homework help.

Reward yourself

Motivate yourself by deciding on a reward for a job well done. It can be anything you like: a piece of your favorite candy, a new episode of a show that you like or an hour or two on your video game console. Either way, it should be something small but enjoyable. It is a great way to create an atmosphere where you feel that you practically get paid to do homework.

With a bit of help and good organization you will be on your way to use homework for what it was originally intended. To help you understand and learn the required material better and ultimately get a better grade!

 

Things to Do Before Moving Into an Off-Campus Apartment for School

If you decide to live off campus at a college or university, there are factors many students fail to consider before signing an apartment lease for school and moving in. In the end, these considerations can wind up costing you a great deal of money and aggravation.

Here are some tips for your first college apartment rental.

off-campus-apartrment

Talk with the Neighbors

Before you sign a lease for an off-campus apartment, talk with nearby neighbors. You may see some people coming and going from the building when you are visiting, or simply knock on some doors. This is a great way to gain information about the area, the apartment building and your potential new home. You will also find out pretty quickly whether your neighbors are the helpful and friendly sort or not!

Check Yelp reviews as well. You will sometimes find that there are serious maintenance issues or problems with rowdy residents which are never disclosed on the slick apartment websites.

Read the Fine Print

A lease is a legal document. This means you can be evicted and/or sued if you violate what is written its clauses. Most of the clauses are there to protect the property, but many are in place so the renters themselves can enjoy living there without undue disturbance.

Expect restrictions on noise, pets, use of common areas (schedules), trash disposal, number of days guests may stay — things which you might have taken for granted when living with mom and dad. Now that you are in college, expect to be treated like a responsible adult (and act like one!)

college-apartment-lease

Document the Flaws

When you move into an apartment, before you unload any boxes, hang any pictures or take your first shower, you need to go around with your camera, turn on all of the lights in the apartment and begin looking for damage. This is the time that you need to be OCD about every single flaw that is present, no matter how tiny it may be. Both video and stills should be taken and stored on a site such as Google Photos which handily keeps things organized by date.

Each stain, crack, hole, dent and scratch should be recorded and documented. Just because the landlord seems to be a nice person, it does not mean that they will not charge you for any issues that are present when you move out. If you have documentation of its presence when you moved in, you can avoid the sometimes huge fees that go along with these problems.

Be Sure Everything Works

Light switches, garbage disposals, toilets – it is important to go around the apartment and be certain that every single fixture and feature works, and works well. Take something with you that you can plug into every electrical outlet as well, because if many of them do not work when you move in, it can create a seriously frustrating problem, such as not being able to charge your phone while lying in bed.

Turn in a written report and keep a copy (just take a picture of the form with your form). Again, video and still pictures should be taken of any issues to avoid your landlord charging you for “broken electrical outlets” or other nonsense.

Check Inside the Cabinets

It is important to check inside the cabinets, but probably not for the reasons that you are thinking. While you need to ensure that there is plenty of room for your food and cups, it is also important to determine if there are any unwelcome guests residing inside of these cabinets. In addition to looking for the actual critters themselves, you should also look for signs that they have been there – droppings, spider webs or any other issues.

Report anything you find to the landlord in order to schedule a fumigation.

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Renting your first apartment is not something to be taken lightly. Take time to consider the factors here to ensure that you find a clean, healthy and safe place to live.

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Rubbermaid 3H89 Configurations 4-to-8-Foot Deluxe Custom Closet Organizer System Kit, Titanium