Category: Education

3 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Gap Year

Many high school students are deciding to delay their college education for a year in order to take a gap year. There are many reasons for people to opt for a gap year, and there is no right or wrong way to do it. Whether you are looking to travel or just get a head start on your educational and career aspirations, this time to regroup can prove to be extremely beneficial before launching into your next educational journey. Here are three tips designed to help you get the most out of your gap year:

Job Tips

Many students decide to use their gap year to get ahead on their finances before heading into college. Paid internships are an ideal way to make some extra cash while gaining relevant work experience. If you have your heart set on a particular out-of-state school but want to gain the coveted in-state tuition status, getting a job in that state will help you to achieve residency status and qualify for the lower rates.

Traveling Tips

While some students use the gap year to prepare for college, many enjoy traveling and seeing the world. This travel time helps teenagers to mature and gain more life experience before going to college. Before you take off on your global adventure, it is important to be prepared for the logistics of travel. While some places will rent a car to 18-year-olds, these rentals usually come with a separate fee. It is important that you take care of your rental car so that you do not incur even more costs.

Mindset Tips

It is possible that you will never again have the freedom in life that you have during this gap year. To make the most out of this flexibility, be sure to go into the experience with an open mind. Having an open mind will allow you to truly embrace the people and cultures that you encounter along the way. Whether it be through traveling the world or simply settling into the place that you plan on attending college, this time should be free of rigid parameters that you set on yourself.This gap year can be a great time for you to explore a new place, earn some money for your further education, or find a cause to champion. Make sure that you experience all that this gap year has to offer you in order to make the most out of it. But at the same time, make sure that you do all you can to prepare and pay for for the next four years of your college career.

3 Methods of Paying for College

If you’re a senior about to graduate and go to college, you’re probably wondering how you’re going to pay for it. Paying for school can be very stressful and expensive, but if you play your cards right, you’ll be able to find the funds to make it work. Take a look at these three methods you should consider when trying to figure out how to pay for college.

Work

Many people need to work while attending school. The key to accomplishing this is time management. Seek out a counselor who can help you prepare by teaching you the skills you will need in order to balance work and school. When job searching, look for a company that offers tuition reimbursement. Many firms offer this, even for part-time employees. Some downsides are that you may have to stay with the company a certain amount of years after graduation, or you may need to pay tuition upfront before you are reimbursed. That being said, getting tuition reimbursement through your work is a beneficial and efficient option.

Student Loans

A student loan is in the category of money you do need to pay back. Additionally, these loans come with interest, which means you are paying back more than you initially borrowed. You may want to consider a loan with terms that allow you to pay the interest while you are in school. When shopping around, keep in mind that interest rates can vary as well as the terms. How much you can borrow for a student loan depends on factors such as the type of loan, your status as a student, and how much financial aid you are already receiving. Try to view loans as a supplemental form of tuition payment and borrow as little as possible.

Scholarships

A scholarship is in the category of money that you do not need to pay back. Scholarships come in varying amounts, and the guidelines for who can apply can vary greatly. Some scholarships are attached to the school you are attending, and other scholarships allow you to use the money toward any school of your choice. When searching for scholarships, beware of scams and only use government websites and sources approved by your current or prospective school. You might be surprised to find out about the many different types of scholarships that are available.

All of these school tuition payment options can be used in conjunction with one another—and they often are. Figuring out how to pay for school can seem like a job within itself. Try to borrow as little money as possible, but, in the end, do not let money get in the way of pursuing your education.

Practical Writing Tips: Ways To Get Higher Grades on Your Papers

Some students find writing a horrible task, mostly because they don’t know where to start and fail to organize properly. Experts at a leading writing service have provided some practical tips to help improve your grades.

Review Instructions Carefully

All academic work and tests come with precise instructions and grading rubrics. Failure to follow instructions is likely the leading cause of unneccesary grade reductions — not poor writing itself.

Instructions will differ from one paper to the other. They will capture the kind of formatting required, language to be used, length of your paper, and reference materials to be used, among others. If the paper fails to meet these standards, your score will be low. In case instructions provided are not clear, you are required to seek clarification before starting. Commencing work following the wrong instructions will only lead to failure.

PRO TIP: use the grading rubric and instructions as a checklist which you mark off once your paper meets each requirement.

Plan things out

Develop a plan that captures your introduction, body, and conclusion of the paper. Planning involves creating an outline for the task ahead. The outline should capture the order of points or ideas, materials to refer, and different sections based on the expected structure of your paper, among other writing elements.

An outline or plan ensures that you do not repeat any idea and thus render some of the sections of your work redundant. You also have an overview of the ideas you have to discuss in the paper. The plan alerts you in case you miss the point.

Look at Writing Samples

Gather quality samples of the type of paper you are writing and use them as reference points. Sample papers on just about any topic are available online, but ensure they are good quality — poor quality samples may affect your performance.

A word of warning: DO NOT COPY SAMPLES WORD FOR WORD! This is called plaigiarism and is a serious offense in school. Your work must be your own.

Set aside distractions

Create an environment where you can work without disruption or disturbance. The library is one of the best places to work on any paper because you are forced to focus on what you are doing.

If you prefer to work at home, switch off anything which distracts you, such as the television, radio, or cell phone. Some people do well with something on in the background, but others cannot handle it — which sort of student are you?

Use Quality Reference Materials

The strength of the ideas you discuss in the paper will depend on the quality of reference materials you’re using. Look for high-quality reference materials from different sources, including the library, reputable websites and academic databases. Your teacher will usually recommend reliable reference materials to help you. Using inferior references, such as Wikipedia, usually leads to rejected papers or failing grades.

Avoid procrastination

Plan your work and time in a way that allows you to meet the submission deadline. Failure to meet the deadline comes with penalties, some of which are punitive. Thus, develop a schedule that will enable you to complete the paper before the deadline to provide enough time for editing.

Edit Your Work

Spare some time at the end of your drafting stage to edit the paper. Editing helps to eliminate little errors that are overlooked the first time you write something. If you are doubtful of your editing skills, get a friend or tutor to help (or even a parent).

PRO TIP: Finish your draft, then don’t look at your paper for several hours before you edit. This will help you look at your work with a fresh set of eyes.

Get help

Some instructions or topics will be difficult to handle, no matter how much you try. You are allowed to seek help from different places to avoid compromising on your grades and performance. This help should come from a person who understands the topic and will not mislead you.

Consult your teacher regularly in the course of writing. Most teachers relish the chance to assist you whenever you are stuck, and this shows you are a motivated student. Your teacher knows what he or she is looking for from the assignment, and is therefore one of the best sources of writing help with your school work.

Also, there are professional writing assistants who are trained in different areas and ready to offer tips and examples whenever it is required. You have to pay for their help, but they should NOT write your entire paper for you — that is cheating!

4 Education Tracks You Can Pursue to Enter the Medical Field

As the old saying goes: There is more than one way to skin a cat. Of course, you won’t actually need to skin any cats in the medical field, but the old wisdom still applies. As you consider your future after high school, you need to be aware that there is more than one road that leads to your destination. In this article, we will take a brief look at four of those paths that lead to careers in the medical field.

majors for medicine

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

For those who want to go into nursing, this is almost a requirement. You can choose to get an associate degree in nursing, but students with a BSN are usually going to be preferred. Johns-Hopkins and Duke University are known for their excellent BSN programs, but there are many potential options. The only downside is that you can expect to spend four years in school and this education will not be cheap. Your student loan debt will be significantly greater with a BSN, so you’ll need to get a job lined up as soon as possible after graduation. The most important qualities for a BSN student are critical thinking, professional conduct, and communication skills.

Associate Degree in Medical Assisting

An associate degree in medical assisting prepares students for careers in places such as hospitals, surgical centers, clinics, and medical offices. As you might guess from the name, this degree will prepare you to be an assistant to some other medical professional. This might sound kind of lame but bare in mind that you can always obtain additional certification at a later date. This degree gives you an excellent way to earn a living in the meantime. This degree takes only 1-2 years to obtain, so it’s a good option for those who are in a hurry to get out in the field and gain experience. You can get these kinds of degrees online with relative ease, but it’s probably not a good idea. In terms of education costs versus earning potential, this is a very good choice.

Healthcare IT Professional

If you want to get into the medical field, but don’t want to deal with blood, pus, and other such unpleasant things, you might consider a career in healthcare information technology. Hospitals are required by both law and common practice to keep records of virtually everything. This practice is unlikely to change anytime soon, which means that there will always be a significant demand for this kind of work. Educational requirements for this field are much less stringent than other medical professions. An associate degree in any IT-related field (medical or otherwise) should be sufficient. However, those who are considering this career should take at least a few medical courses to make themselves a more appealing hire.

Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)

Becoming an EMT is a much more hardcore option than the others, but it has several advantages. First of all, EMTs don’t have to worry about long-term care, making the job a little easier. As an EMT, your job would focus on rapid and efficient stabilization treatment. However, you also have to be able to handle the trauma and stress that naturally come with an emergency. Not everyone can handle this kind of thing, which creates more opportunities for those who can. You will only need about two years of school, and the pay is moderately good.

The above is only a small sampling of the many jobs that make up the medical field. Before setting your mind on any one profession, it pays to do your research and make sure that you have chosen the place where you will do your best work. We hope that this article has inspired you to do exactly that, and we wish you success in whatever career you choose.

If you’re graduating high school in the next year or so and are continuing your education, you’ll want to develop some good habits now before you start. Check out this article with some great habits you can start now to prepare!

3 Fields of Study for Science- and Solution-Oriented Students

Are you just about to graduate high school and panicking about what you’re going to study? Are you a person who loves science and solving problems? There are so many career paths to pursue—it’s no wonder you’re still undecided. But luckily for you, there are quite a few career fields that use science and problem solving all the time. Here are just three of these career fields you should consider:

teen science careers study

Public Health

Public health is an excellent field to be in if you like to study science and solve problems. Jobs like occupational therapy, nursing, working for the health department, and working for water treatment facilities all fall under the public health category. If you choose this career path, you will need to study sciences such as biology, chemistry, physics, and even human anatomy. These are all important areas of study because careers in public health all deal with the safety of people, animals, and the earth.

To get an entry-level job in public health, you’ll need to get a bachelor’s degree in an area such as public health, environmental science, biology, or engineering. You will find that each of these degrees requires a lot of science and some math in order for you to graduate. However, if you really want to move up in this field, you should consider going to graduate school to get a master’s degree in public health (MPH) or, if you really want to move up, your DPH (Doctor of Public Health) or PhD degree.

Civil Engineering

Civil engineering is a job that is easily forgotten in a world with so many cars and roads. Oftentimes, we forget why a road curves the way it does or why a stoplight is placed where it is. Civil engineers are responsible for designing roads, bridges, railways, parking lots and more so that transportation can run smoothly every day. According to NJIT, some civil engineers apply their knowledge of science and technology to fix and improve many facets of transportation, such as dangerous intersections or unsafe bridges. Knowledge of various sciences (such as physics and physical science) and types of math (such as geometry and calculus) are all useful in these situations.

There are lots of specialty areas you can focus on in civil engineering, such as environmental engineering, architectural engineering, and engineering project management. A bachelor’s degree in civil engineering can get you general civil engineer training and some education in these specialty areas, but getting a master’s degree in civil engineering (MSCE) will help you to focus more directly on them and allow you to move up into more management positions (such as being an engineering manager).

Marine Biology

Marine Biology is a very fascinating field to study. According to EnvironmentalScience.org, the job of a marine biologist is to study the ocean and its inhabitants to make sure that everything is working together. They are responsible for researching and discovering new species of plants and animals as well as coming up with solutions to problems like species extinction. Making new discoveries is just one of the experiences you will have working in this field. If you love the ocean, animals, and science, then becoming a marine biologist may be what you are looking for.

To become a marine biologist, you don’t necessarily need to get a bachelor’s degree in marine biology. Some examples of good degrees that can help you get into marine biology are biology, zoology, physics, chemistry, and mathematics. A bachelor’s or master’s degree can usually get you a decent job doing marine biology research, but if you want to pursue your own independent research, you should get a doctorate degree.

Science keeps the earth working and its inhabitants safe from potential harm. Whether you are figuring out a career path or simply love science, use this list as your guide. Find a specific area of study, then decide the career of your choice.

Still can’t decide what you want to study? Check out these other college major ideas.

Time-Tested Tactics for Tackling Tough Tests

test taking life hacks tips tricks

Preparing for exams can be stressful. After all, there is a lot of material to learn and remember for the test. Doing your best is important, especially for finals or AP exams that carry a heavier weight on your academic record. Here are three time-tested tactics to help you master exam season.

test taking life hacks tips tricks

Make a Study Schedule

When it comes to studying, scheduling your time is a must. Otherwise, it is too easy to put off studying until the last minute. The flip side of that issue is that you might worry that you have to spend every waking moment studying. There is a balance to be had, and building a study schedule will help ensure that you have enough time to review everything while still having time for guilt-free fun.

To make a study schedule, start from your test date and count back to today to determine how many days are left. On a calendar, block out any events or commitments that you already have, like classes, work or extracurricular activities. Then, break the subject down into individual topics and schedule specific topics into each study day. Alternatively, you can use an online tool or mobile app to create a study schedule.

Study Smarter

There are two main types of studying: passive and active. Passive studying involves activities like reading, highlighting or copying notes–essentially any activity where you are taking in the information that you are trying to learn. Active studying requires you to recall information without it being in front of you. This is the more effective method of studying as it reinforces neuron connections in your brain.

There are a lot of active studying techniques. Some common ones are drawing mind maps from memory on a piece of blank paper or using flashcards and practice tests. A practice test will help you identify any major weaknesses that you might have so you can study smarter. Instead of continuing to review everything, you can spend the rest of your study time focusing on any material that you are weak on.

Beat Test Anxiety

A major obstacle preventing a lot of students from doing their best on exams is test anxiety. One of the most common tips for reducing anxiety is to start studying early, which a study schedule will help with. It is also important to remember that a test does not define you nor dictate your entire academic future. Applying positive thoughts to the exam scenario can help alleviate some exam anxiety.

There are many resources available to help with reducing anxiety, including guided meditation. You can find resources online or through your school’s counseling office.

Applying these tips to your next exam preparation routine can help you excel and achieve your academic goals. Make sure to devote enough time to studying for the best results.

Resources:

How to Graduate College with Zero Debt – Infographic

how to graduate college with zero debt

One of the biggest challenges regarding going to college is figuring out how to pay for it. For most teens, this means student loans. And unfortunately, this can also means living with massive debt for many years. Now, you can avoid this by going to more affordable trade schools (with great-paying jobs) or becoming a YouTube star so you can just pay your tuition all at once in cash (yeah, right), or you can just get smart about the whole deal and strategize.

OneClass has put together a massive infographic with a lot of great tips for avoiding the stress of student loans once you graduate. Its below…and is worth the scrolling to read all the information so you can have a debt-free future while still getting a great education.

how to graduate college debt free

4 Tips on How to Stand Out as a Leader in High School

high school teen leader

High school is a very important time in everyone’s life. This is often a period of time in which life skills, work ethic, and the foundation for confidence are built. This is also a great time in which someone can learn the skills that it takes to be a leader. Here are four things that can be done to can help you stand out as a leader among your classmates and develop leadership skills that will serve you well later in life.

high school teen leader

Help Out Others

One of the great parts of being in high school is that you’ll be surrounded by many different people in a variety of different settings. Whether it’s in the classroom, on the athletic fields, during part-time jobs, or any other setting, you’re bound to find yourself in a situation in which someone is struggling to succeed. Those who are willing to go the extra mile and to try and help others out will always stand out as a leader. They’ll also leave a lasting positive memory for everyone they helped.

Improve Processes Around You

A leader needs to be able to identify areas of improvement in projects and processes and be able to figure out ways to implement these changes. There are methodologies and techniques you can employ that could allow you to implement change with a smooth transition. For example, one source recommends using TIMWOOD as a helpful acronym to help remember a specific set of seven different wastes that can be applied to business as well as school.

Get Involved

In high school, there are many different activities you can participate in. According to ScholarshipPoints, if you want to stand out as a leader, you need to get involved. Further, he or she needs to be involved in an active way and seek out development and leadership opportunities in all of his or her activities.

Have a Positive Attitude

If you’re going to be a leader in high school, then having a positive attitude is extremely important. As a leader, you need to be someone that people can look up to and also be a role model. The last thing you want to have is a negative attitude or not be willing to put in the work. As one leadership development service points out, having a positive attitude will be contagious.

Ultimately, building leadership skills takes time. While some people are natural leaders, others need to work more on their leadership skills. It’s important that people in high school recognize leadership opportunities when they arise and that they act on these opportunities.

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5 Habits You Can Begin Now to Give You a Head Start in College

college head start

College is something that a lot of people do, but it isn’t for everyone. If you choose to take this path, it will be a time in your life between high school and your career. This can be a time of confusion, but it can also be a great time to learn and meet new people.

All in all, college is going to be a lot of work. It is much different than high school, and it is vital to prepare for it so that you do well. If you are nearing the final years of high school and planning to further your education, this is a good article for you to read. Here, we are going to discuss five habits you can use right now to give yourself a head start in college.

college head start

Develop Time Management Skills

Time management is something that a lot of college students struggle with. This is partly because students are on their own a lot, but it is also because classes are structured very differently. Unlike high school, your teacher won’t remind you every day about an assignment that is due. It is your job to figure out when things are due and when you are going to have time to work on them. StraighterLine explains, “You need to establish your priorities. School needs to be a primary concern, not a secondary one. You also need to sleep and be healthy in general.” Without time management skills, college can quickly become overwhelming and stressful.

Learn to Study Properly

Learning to study is another important skill that you need to learn before heading to college. Above-average students may not have had to study much in high school, but a lack thereof in college can be devastating to your grades. Studying will be necessary, so make sure that you learn how to have a productive study session with minimal distraction.

Stay on Top of your GPA

Unlike high school, your teachers won’t be as lenient with your grades. At the end of the semester, your grade is your grade, and your teacher won’t give your bonus points just to help you out. Start off the year right and keep your grades up because it will be hard to catch up if you let them drop early on. GPA Calculator explains, “staying on top of your GPA in college is also important for other reasons. If you land a scholarship or grant that depends on you to maintain a GPA above a certain threshold, then not meeting your GPA requirements could mean you lose your financial backing for college.”

Learn to be independent

College is going to be a time where you spend a lot more time alone than you did in high school. You will need to learn to take care of yourself in various ways. Stay on top of your mental and physical health, get sleep, eat healthily, learn to do laundry, etc. There might not be anyone there to help you, so you should learn to be independent so that college isn’t a total shock. That, of course, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t check up with your parents here and then. Being so suddenly disconnected from familiar surroundings can be shocking, and keeping in touch with loved ones can be a huge help.

Beat procrastination

With so much free time in college, you might feel like you have a lot of time to lie back and relax. In reality, any event that you have downtime you should probably take a look at upcoming assignments. Use your time wisely and don’t put things off until the day they are due because it causes a lot of stress and even low grades.

Hopefully, reading this article has given you a better understanding of the ways that you can get a head start for college. Even if you were the smartest person in your high school, there will be a plethora of people just as smart as you in college. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t feel as highly about yourself. You just need to prepare to work harder and continue to be the best student that you can.

 

Graduating from High School Early: Fact or Fiction?

As you head off to high school, you can’t believe you have four more years of school. It seems to stretch on for an eternity. You’re bright and have big ideas. You tend to think outside the box. The thought of being tied down to the same routine is frustrating. For someone who wants to spread their wings and move on more quickly in life, it can be tough to wait it out in senior high. However, you don’t have to follow the traditional path. Be a mover and a shaker. Some students have graduated high school before they’re 13 years old. By graduating from high school early, you can get a jump on college and even work.

How are Students Graduating Early from High School?

Students are earning their ticket out the door earlier by planning ahead. They’re organized. They talk to their academic advisers to find out how many credits they need to complete all of their course requirements earlier than the norm. To reach their goals, they have to be really motivated. Every period is filled, eliminating study halls. Independent studies, online courses, and summer school provide students with more opportunities to shorten the length of their stay in high school.

Many choose to graduate a semester early. Others manage to shave off a year. Jennifer Lawrence, the movie star, managed to graduate at the top of her class after only two years in high school. Actor Penn Badgley really broke the mold. At the age of 14, he completed his high school requirements by passing the California High School Proficiency exam. He was so fired up about pursuing an acting career that he enrolled right away in college.

Graduating early from high school can be even easier if you are homeschooled, because you can work ahead.

Why Do Students Choose to Graduate Early?

Students who choose to graduate early typically have big goals for the future. They know exactly what they want to get out of life and they are eager to move on. For some, they simply just don’t like school. They’ll do anything possible to finish their requirements early to get out in the real world. Others are bored by traditional schooling or are so advanced that they are ready for higher learning. Online schools allow students to proceed at their own pace, which means the truly motivated can easily get ahead in their studies.

What Options are Available to Advance for Students Who Don’t Graduate Early?

The fast track out of high school isn’t for everyone. However, students still have options that can help them to get a kick start to college while they are in high school. Taking online college courses, college courses that are offered through their high schools, and advanced placement classes can help them to earn college credits.

Earning credits in high school is also possible through dual-enrollment, where you are still in high school (public, private, or home school) and take community college classes — even for free in many cases! So you could do finish your AA while still in high school, thereby getting two years of college without paying for them–and then graduate with your Bachelor’s in only two more years because you finished all your prereqs while getting the AA. SWEET!

Graduating from high school early is not all roses. We know of a couple of extremely bright kids with good upbringings who graduated high school early, but were unfortunately introduced to drugs and other harmful things by their community college student peers. Being immature and freer from parental and teacher supervision (in college you are on your own), they fell prey to the peer pressure, and to this day are suffering from their bad choices–including substance abuse, suicidal tendencies, and even imprisonment. So make sure you are mature enough to handle life outside of high school because it can be a jungle out there.