Tag: college

Steps Anyone Can Take to Feel Prepared for College Courses

College courses can be a unique challenge, especially if you’ve never taken one before. Whether you’re just out of high school and moving onto secondary education, or an adult furthering their education later in life, here are five tips you can follow to feel prepared and ace those courses!

Tip #1: Time-Management Skills

Take the time now, before you get fully immersed in the college experience, to sharpen your time-management skills. A major part of the anxiety and stress of college courses is the workload. Balancing any given class’s material with other courses’, as well as your personal life is essential. Buy a calendar and start using it. Set reminders on your smartphone, computer, or tablet. It might take a bit of refining to find what system works for you, but once you know what is due when, you’ll have a better idea for how to plan the rest of your week, month, and year. Allot yourself enough time, daily, to complete your assignments and still have personal time.

Tip #2: Focus on Technical Skills

Being comfortable working with technology is so important to college readiness. Find out what programs and applications your courses will be using and become familiar with them now. If you are taking an online course, you should review what programs and software might be needed for each course. You should also practice typing and making accurate searches online to reduce research time. As the lines between technology and the traditional college experience blur, this will become ever more important not only in school, but in most professions.

Tip #3: Establish Prerequisites

Making sure you have the necessary requirements to succeed in any given college course is a great way to feel prepared. It would be unwise to attempt a rigorous course without the building blocks needed for succeed. If you’re still in high school, this is not the time to slack off! Work hard and make sure you’re ready for the more challenging courses you’ll take. If you’re an adult and haven’t been to school for many years, make sure you’re brushing up on your core foundations as well. If you are starting a specialized course or degree, be sure you have the background and prerequisite classes ready to go.

Tip #4: Don’t Neglect Social Skills

Social skills, or soft skills, are how you will navigate with other people you interact with in school and in work. Being able to communicate effectively with your professors and fellow students, leadership skills, and the ability to collaborate are very important.

Tip #5: Take Care of Yourself

Above all else, you have to take care of yourself. Do things that make you happy, be around people that make you happy. Take necessary time to refocus on your goals after a failure or setback. Get enough sleep and give yourself the important vitamins and nutrients you need to be healthy. And, be confident. You made it this far, don’t stop now.

How to Find the Right College: Tips for Prospective Freshmen

Picking a college is a major step. The right choice can help new students on the road to academic success, which paves the way for advancement later in life. On the other hand, even a good student can struggle if they pick a college that is a poor fit for their personality and goals. Picking the right college involves looking at a variety of different factors, but there are a few broad things that every prospective student should keep in mind.

Environment Matters

Every university has its own unique culture. Some are known as party schools, while others tend more towards strict study and austerity, while some have religious components. A poor cultural fit will lead to discomfort and distraction that can cause a student’s grades to suffer. It will also ruin their social life if they can’t make friends outside of the school.

The best way for students to get a good fit is to understand their goals and the sort of environment that they like before making their choice. Visiting the school and talking with students there can also help with finding a good fit.

Consider Digital Options

Almost every college has some digital presence, but some rely much more on digital resources than others. In some cases, students can take entire classes over the Internet, or access learning tools through a digital platform rather than buying expensive textbooks. In some cases, people even get their degrees digitally. Some people thrive in that environment, while others struggle with it, so it is important for potential students to know themselves and decide if the level of digital integration in the college’s classes suits them. You can also find universities that exist only online. These courses tend to take less time and money, so this may be a good option if you want to earn your degree quickly.

Check for Courses

Students who know what they want to study should take the time to make sure that all of their potential choices offer good courses on that topic. Most schools excel in one or two areas and are only adequate in the others, so this can be an important step.

It’s also vital to check for elective courses outside of that field. Many people find their interests changing as they learn more, and picking a school with plenty of different classes offers the best opportunity to pursue emerging interests. This is especially important for people who don’t go to college with a firm study plan in mind, but it can be useful for any student.

Look for Connections

Networking is often the key to finding a job after college. In many cases, people make valuable connections at their school, either through their teachers and fellow students or networking events with graduates. It can be hard to predict where students will meet somebody valuable, but it is best to pick a school that has a reputation for graduates who find success in the student’s field of interest. Not only is that a sign of a good education, but it increases the chance that student will make connections that are valuable in that field.

The Final Choice

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when picking a college, but it’s important to power through that feeling, research as much as possible about the options, and make a rational choice based on that information. A lot of your choice depends on the individual student’s goals, so it is also important for them to think carefully about what they want to achieve while they are in college. Those who do so will often find that their choice gets much easier, and they are the ones who are most likely to be happy with their choice once they start their academic careers.

How to Compromise with Your Future College Roommates

Getting ready for college is one of the most exciting times in a young person’s life. As you move out of your parent’s home and settle into your own place, you need to remember the importance of getting along with your new roommate. Sometimes people starting college have the luxury of sharing a dorm, apartment or house with someone they know, but more often you end up paired with strangers. Sometimes, these strangers might become good friends, but that will only happen if you know how to compromise. Sharing a living space with anyone can be challenging, but it’s important you make the most of your experience.

Finances

Sharing the financial responsibilities with your roommates is key to having a successful experience in your new adventure. It is best to decide who is responsible for what bills upfront to make sure there is clarity and bills do not go unpaid. You also want to make sure that everyone feels they were treated fairly. Rent and utilities are easy enough to split up.

When unexpected bills pop up, such as damage that occurred during a party, you may have to compromise with your roomie on who should incur the expense. Just be fair, and everything should work out. If you are proactive, you can avoid some of those surprise bills. For example, changing the filters out on a furnace and air conditioning maintenance can prevent significant costs from popping up that you were not expecting. Just communicate with each other ahead of time on what areas in which you want to be proactive.

Noise and Space

If you ever shared a room with a sibling growing up, you may understand the importance of compromise already. If you are a night owl and your roommate likes to go to bed early, you need to agree on a solution that is fair to both sides. You might have to compromise on having friends over late on a school night, or what door you come in through when you get home from that late night party. There is usually limited space in your first college housing unit, so compromising on who gets what space will also likely come up.

Compromise is all about give-and-take and shouldn’t be viewed as sacrificing. You can work out a solution that suits both sides; it just might take a little work. Communication can solve any problem, so be open-minded and solution-oriented, and all will be well!

Resources
https://hellobeautiful.com/2792284/roommate-problems-compromise-living-situation/
http://www.provincialheating.ca/
http://blog.credit.com/2017/06/tips-for-splitting-bills-with-roommates-175596/
https://www.usnews.com/education/articles/2010/08/13/5-tips-to-getting-along-with-your-roommate

If You Haven’t Checked Off These High School Milestones are You Really a Senior?

High school often seems like a lot of hard work, boring classes, and time wasted. While it can seem long and grueling in the moment, most people look back on their high school memories fondly. While academic work is important, memories made with these milestones will last a lifetime. Have you cleared all these senior milestones?

 

College Tours

One perk of being a high school senior is that many schools will excuse absences for college tours. This as an opportunity to travel to any school you plan to apply to, visit the campus, learn about classes, and check out any extras the school offers such as recreation centers or campus organizations. These are usually offered in the fall or spring. Talk to your academic advisor to see what campuses they might recommend.

Prom

It’s in almost any movie that features high school students. Prom may be the absolute symbol of American high school. You get dressed, go to dinner, dance, take pictures, and make lifelong memories. Even for students not interested in dancing, prom is an opportunity to have a night of extravagance unlike any other in your high school career.

Getting a Driver’s License

For many teenagers, a car equals freedom. Most students are old enough to get their driver’s license during sophomore or junior year of high school. Some wait a little bit longer, but most have their driver’s license before they graduate. You’re often required to take a high school class in driver’s education and will also have to pass the exam at the DMV. Being able to drive means being able to go places without your parents, which can make high school memories even more special.

Senior Trips

Some lucky seniors get to go on a senior trip with their friends or family. This can happen over spring break of senior year or after graduation. Some of the most popular destinations are Florida, California, and New York. This is an opportunity to get away with the senior class and bond in a new environment. If an organized senior trip is not a possibility, it can be fun to get away with a small group of friends or close family as well.

Volunteer

Some schools require students to log a certain number of volunteer hours during their high school careers. However, even if it’s not required, it is a good idea to put in some kind of volunteer activity to include on a college resume. Volunteering can be very rewarding and have a big impact on the local community. Local homeless shelters, animal shelters, and nursing homes are great places to start getting involved.

Not everyone will have a typical high school experience, but there are certain things every senior should do to make the most of their time and make memories that will last forever.

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.

5 Ways to Avoid Student Loan Debt

Let’s have a moment of real talk real quick. Student debt is absolutely crippling young people in this country. Up-and-coming members of the workforce suffer from massive amounts of debt that will keep them from truly relaxing for decades upon graduation—constantly struggling and worrying about making that next payment. What’s worse – while a chapter 13 can help you avoid a foreclosure or repossession (Want A Fresh Start, LLC), student loans are not bankruptible. They’re not going away.

We’ve compiled the best strategies for avoiding debt—you know debt, it’s the kind of crippling thing that makes a grown man cry himself to sleep every night.

1- Look for Alternative Education Options

The easiest and most effective way to avoid debt, at least of the student loan variety, is to just not go to college in the first place. I went to college, so maybe that’s why I’m a little bit jaded. So let me preface this by saying – I believe in the importance of education! Education is the single most important investment you can make in yourself. However, it is simply not the case that a 4-year degree from a liberal arts university is the only or even the best kind of education for you.

If you’re going to spend money on educating yourself, the education MUST come with useful, marketable skills in the workplace. If you’re passionate about history, philosophy, or lesbian dance theory – I’m very happy for you. A library card is free. Unless you know almost for certain what you want to do as a career, then college may just be a waste of time and money if you’re going just to go, and have no real sense of direction as to what to do with your degree once you actually graduate with mountains of debt and no job prospects (CBS News).

When deciding between a trade school, a traditional university degree, or self-teaching the skills you need, it’s important to follow the opportunities, rather than your passions. Passion is definitely an asset, but it’s entirely possible there is no marketplace value for the thing you are passionate about. Look at the unemployment statistics, growth prospects, and average earnings for each degree, certificate, or program. Research the jobs you think you want to train yourself for. You don’t need to do something you hate, but you need to have a realistic understanding of the opportunities available. Chances are high that the avenue you pursue doesn’t require a PHD in lesbian dance theory.

2- Scholarships

I didn’t apply for scholarships, and boy, what a regret that was. Perhaps if I had been a more diligent student, then maybe I would have looked at all of the dozens of scholarships my university offered, not to mention the several that the state offered in part of its education funding. Sure, I got by with my Pell grants and federal loans, but dang, I wish I could go back and apply for any of the literally hundreds of scholarships available to pretty much every single person who goes to school because there are one easy way to avoid debt.

3- Fellowship Aids

These are almost the same thing as grants and scholarships, but mostly come from the universities themselves. I know that the MFA and MBA programs that my university offered supported students by providing grants to all students enrolled to help stipend their tuition costs. Every school is different, so the one you may want to go to might not offer any fellowship grants to its students, so it might be wise to look into schools that do to avoid serious debt.

4- Student Teaching and Interning

Being provided with your own class and canvas to teach is perhaps one of the best ways for education students to step into the role of the master and begin to hone their craft of teaching. That, and it also helps that most universities offer teaching positions for most of their graduate students as a way to help pay for their tuition, pay for their books, and provides stipends for them to live on while they go to school and immerse themselves in whatever they’re majoring in. Similar programs exist for other professional degrees like healthcare, where you can sign up to work for a specific hospital or clinic for a number of years, and in return they furnish partial or whole tuition reimbursement.

5- Work Your Ass Off

Somehow in our culture we’ve become allergic to work – especially college students. Some young people think they are owed a “college experience” – which pretty much means getting wasted six nights a week at a frat party and waking up in the tub of an unattractive stranger. Not that I’m speaking from experience or anything. The truth is, students who work at least 20 hours a week actually see a slight bump in GPA, and typically report higher levels of satisfaction with their educational experience despite higher levels of stress (Bureau of Labor Statistics). Besides that, having some work experience under your belt when you graduate will have a more significant impact on your job placement than your GPA.

So there you have it. Some pretty self-explanatory options, but all almost certain ways to help you avoid going in debt to go to college.