Category: Teen Life

Car Accidents: What to Do, and What Not to Do

Being involved in a car accident can range in their severity. Sometimes they can be simple and easy to resolve, more of an inconvenience than anything else. Other times, unfortunately, can be a much more traumatic experience. Car collision accidents are quite common today and chances are particularly high that you have been involved in such an accident in the past, or will be in one in the future. According to DKB LLP, “here is a list of some of the most common factors that lead to car wrecks: improper lane changing, failure to yield, texting while driving, speeding, distracted driving, poor road conditions, roadside construction sites, and defective car or motorcycle parts.” That’s quite a lot of small actions that can lead to terrible consequences.

Whether you are the one at fault, or the other motorist is to blame, many people do not know how to respond or act in the period after the collision. One of the most critical elements that you need to know when responding to accidents revolves around reacting well under pressure that comes with the thought of the damage, losses, and injuries that you may have suffered in the accident. It is important, therefore, to know the appropriate actions to take or not to take after a crash.

Stop your car and get out

The first thing that you should do after getting engaged in an accident is stopping your car. NOLO cautions that it is a crime, in almost all countries in the world, to drive off in the aftermath of an accident, irrespective of how minor it may be. After stopping, get out of the car and reach out to the other party that was involved in the collision. Staying in the car could pose additional risks upon your life as a car may explode into flames due to the flammable vapors that spill out of the fuel tank. Reaching out to the other party to determine their condition would help save their lives in case they have been badly injured.

Guard the scene and call the police

If the accident has occurred in the middle of the road, chances are that other motorists would not get to see the wrecks on time to avoid further collisions. It is therefore essential to guard the scene by taking numerous steps including setting the hazard signals on, lighting some flares and placing the lifesavers appropriately on the front and rear of the wrecks. This prevents further accidents by warning other motorists. After setting up, reach out to your phone and call the police on 911 to report your location, injuries, and other details that the police may inquire from you. This sets the police and ambulance on their way to attend to the accident. And according to Lawyers.com, this helps make the police report clearer and easier to use in the future.

Preserve evidence appropriately

The next measure you need to take involves protecting whatever evidence possible from the scene. DMV.org suggests, you can do this by taking pictures of the position of the two cars involved in the accident, taking a close photo of each of the cars to reveal the extents of damage, and the presence of any tire skid marks on the tarmac. Also, in case you have a car dashboard camera, take it and save the last few seconds leading up to the crash. Such evidence ensures that the police are appropriately advised on what happened and who was at fault.

Report to the insurance company

Make a phone call to your insurance company to inform them of the accident and brief them accordingly on any proceedings or evaluations from the police on site. The Balance explains, filing your claims with immediacy ensures that the insurance company can secure for you medical treatment arrangements to ensure that you are treated and released on time. It also sets in place the process of securing post-accident activities such as car repairs or reimbursement. The police would also write you a report which you can take to the insurance company for a follow-up on insurance claims, depending on the insurance company policies and the package you have secured.

You should not, however, settle for any payments made by the other party relating to the accident. This is because the payments may fall below the repair requirements that would be required of your car. You should also avoid signing any agreements or reports other than that which would be provided by the police.

Any accident scene can be scary and pose an immense pressure on you. Reacting well under pressure is perhaps the most important attribute that you should employ under such conditions. Under composure, you would be able to act accordingly to give the authorities an easy time to process the scene and issue a verdict.

If you’re looking for some more information, check out some of our other articles on similar topics from our blog! You can find those here and here.

Small Things, Big Consequences

Ever hear ‘A stitch in time saves nine’ or ‘It’s the little things that matter’? You know you could have fixed that little rip in your fav T-shirt and regretted later that you didn’t stitch it up before it made the entire shirt into something you could only wear to bed. There are, however, some seemingly small daily details that can produce very unfortunate outcomes when ignored too long.

“It Doesn’t Really Matter If I Skip Brushing Sometimes, Does It?”

Even when you don’t eat very much on a given day, bacteria still flourish in your mouth and eat away at your tooth enamel. Once that enamel is worn down enough, the interior of your teeth is under constant attack. The only thing standing between your teeth and that bacteria is your regular practice of brushing, flossing and rinsing with a fluoride mouthwash, combined with regular dental care. Leaving all those food particles on your teeth leads to plaque formation, cavities and ultimately, many reasons a root canal may be necessary. Root canals are never a pleasant experience and almost always are a far more expensive process than the simple practice of keeping your mouth clean on the regular.

“80 Percent of Sun Damage Occurs Before Age 18, So Why Worry About It Now?”

Wrong! Try 25 percent, which means the earlier you begin protecting your skin with good quality sunscreens, the less likely that you will be dealing with the damage associated with cumulative sun exposure, such as skin cancer (melanoma), wrinkles, thinning skin, dark spots, and ‘broken’ capillary veins on the skin.

“What’s So Important About A Good Night’s Sleep?”

Getting your daily rest is more important than most of us realize. When we are genuinely exhausted, it can lead to such serious issues as heart disease, lowered immune response, inflammation, erratic moods and inappropriate behavior, forgetfulness, and irritability. Cutting your sleep short over time can contribute to things like poor motivation, being unable to crush it at the gym, and an irresistible craving for high-fat, high-carbohydrate foods, due in part to a rise in cortisol, the stress hormone. Chances are, you’re staying up late because you’re looking at your phone, which can add a whole bunch of other issues as well.

To avoid all these significant problems, try this simple recipe: good dental hygiene, sunscreen SPF 30, and seven hours of sleep a night. For more health tips, check out our other articles!

Dr. Luke/Kesha drama shows how the News can be used as a weapon

In the world, money and power can cause people to behave poorly. Its hard to accept when adults tell young people to behave and be decent, honest people when adults display terrible behavior all the time — even so called role models like pop stars, attorneys, and news outlets.

The Dr. Luke/ Ke$ha drama which has played out in the media is a great example. Now, I don’t have a clue about Dr. Luke’s treatment of artists and the truth of the matter. The point of this article is to show how when powerful people in show business and the media want to destroy someone, they can coordinate and do so by putting out “news” that tells the story they want you to believe. They play with your emotions so you feel sympathy, even though they themselves might be guilty of doing wrong themselves (like Asia Argento, one of the leaders of the #metoo movement who supposedly sexually abused a 17 year old boy herself. Kind of a hypocrite maybe?)

Image: Mingle Media TV – https://www.flickr.com/photos/minglemediatv/14651683346

 

Here is a statement from Dr. Luke’s legal team regarding the Kesha matter. Notice how, in the screenshots of the emails provided, there was no mention of getting justice for Ke$ha for supposedly being raped, but it was all about destroying Dr. Luke. I will leave it up to you to decide whether everything you heard about this case in the news, and all the crying and performances and all that was all just smoke and mirrors or whether it was true. But here is some evidence that maybe shows there was more behind the story than we were told. TEENS HAVE TO BE CAREFUL WHO THEY BELIEVE–YOU ARE THE FUTURE!

The statement follows in full:

——————————

In 2014, Kesha filed a bogus Complaint against Dr. Luke – which she has voluntarily dismissed – falsely claiming that he drugged and raped her in 2005. Now, after four years of litigation, it is Dr. Luke’s defamation claim that remains. Evidence is now publicly available to show that Kesha’s Complaint was filed pursuant to a “Press Plan” and PR media blitz, designed to create the maximum negative public pressure on Dr. Luke in order to get him to give in to her contract demands.

Having done all of the damage publicizing her false claim of rape for years, Kesha now has asked Dr. Luke to not speak publicly about the evidence just being revealed… even though this is the first time Dr. Luke has the opportunity to do so with some of the actual facts. Ironic, indeed.

This is the true story Kesha did not want you to know.

By 2012, Kesha was a superstar with smash-hit records and huge success working with Dr. Luke. That year, Kesha wanted a new deal, and demanded more money and better contract terms.

When Dr. Luke did not agree to her contract terms, Kesha maliciously plotted to destroy Dr. Luke’s business and reputation to pressure him to give in. Kesha’s powerful managers, Jack Rovner and Ken Levitan, along with Irving Azoff, discussed in emails their “jihad” to “ruin” Dr. Luke “in the press” and “take down his business”. These documents obtained in litigation speak for themselves:

By 2014, Kesha was ramping up, changing entertainment lawyers and hiring litigator Mark Geragos to threaten Luke. They orchestrated a plan to create further pressure on Dr. Luke to change the terms of her deal. Kesha’s team created a self-titled “Press Plan” to give TMZ a Complaint accusing Dr. Luke of rape – which would thereafter be filed publicly. Kesha hoped that Luke – faced with these scandalous accusations – would promptly cave to her wishes. Kesha did not expect to have to prove her claim of rape – as she could not.

In the “Press Plan”, Kesha’s team embarked upon a self-described mission to “incit[e] a deluge of negative media attention and public pressure” to achieve the “maximum amount of negative publicity” against Dr. Luke. Kesha fought to conceal these documents in Luke’s defamation case, but she lost. These documents also speak for themselves.

What really happened on the night of October 5, 2005:

Kesha and Dr. Luke each attended a birthday party for Nicky Hilton at a nightclub in Hollywood, followed by an after-party at Paris Hilton’s home.

Kesha admits she voluntarily had at least four drinks while partying. Because she drank too much, she got sick, and threw up in Paris Hilton’s closet. Kesha was kicked out of the after-party because of her behavior. Dr. Luke was asked to help bring Kesha out of the party. As an act of kindness and to help Kesha, since Kesha had just vomited and was intoxicated, he escorted her out and offered to allow her to sleep in his hotel suite, which was only a few blocks away. Kesha slept on the bed in the hotel suite, while Dr. Luke separately slept on the couch. Dr. Luke testified, under oath and in great detail, that he did not have any sexual or physical contact with Kesha.

Kesha herself now testifies that she has absolutely no memory of engaging in any sexual activity with Dr. Luke or even of Dr. Luke being in the hotel room that night. Kesha has no memory of Dr. Luke engaging in inappropriate contact because it did not happen.

In her bogus Complaint against Dr. Luke, Kesha falsely claimed that Dr. Luke gave her a so-called “sober pill” supposedly causing her to “black-out”. She also claimed she told her mother about allegedly being drugged right away, in 2005. Her mother, however, testified Kesha did not tell her about any supposed “sober pills” until 2013/2014. That was when Kesha had begun plotting the press plan and lawsuit and threatening Dr. Luke to go public with her false rape allegations. Dr. Luke testified that he did not give Kesha any kind of drug that night.

The next day, Dr. Luke woke up on the couch and left the hotel suite, while Kesha kept sleeping on the bed. After waking up, Kesha spent hours in the hotel suite and even ordered room service.

Other critical documents and testimony remain under seal at Kesha’s insistence. When released, they will further reveal the fiction that Kesha created.

Kesha used to tell the truth about what happened on this night.

In a 2010 interview, Kesha recounted how she threw up in Paris Hilton’s closet due to mixing champagne, whiskey, and sushi.

Shortly after the night in question, Kesha and her mother co-wrote a zany comedy song about that night titled “Paris Hilton’s Closet.” That the Seberts made light of that night speaks volumes about what actually happened.

In 2011, Kesha was sued by a former manager and both Kesha and her mother testified in that case. They were each asked under oath about Kesha’s relationship with Dr. Luke, and their testimony establishes that Dr. Luke never made any sexual advance to Kesha – let alone raped her.

The truth about Katy Perry that Kesha didn’t want you to know….

The false narrative Kesha created about being raped became widely accepted, damaging Dr. Luke’s reputation irreparably. Compounding this malicious act, in 2016, Kesha told Lady Gaga that Dr. Luke raped Katy Perry, which is outrageous and untrue. Katy Perry testified under oath in this case that Dr. Luke never raped her. Regardless, Kesha refused to apologize. Instead, she issued a press release which again irresponsibly suggested that Katy Perry was actually raped by Dr. Luke. It seems that Kesha wanted to perpetuate the falsehood that Dr. Luke raped Katy Perry.

There is nothing worse than abuse and sexual assault. Dr. Luke supports any woman or man who seeks to address sexual abuse in the legal system. That is not what happened here. It is also horrendous to falsely accuse someone of a heinous act. That is what has happened here. Kesha’s voluntarily dismissed rape claim has caused great harm to Dr. Luke, his family, and his businesses.


What do you think? Was there a deliberate campaign by powerful people to ruin Dr. Luke that had nothing to do with sexually assaulting anyone?

 

Understanding The Opioid Crisis And Why It’s a Big Deal

You might have heard about the ongoing opioid crisis and the devastation it’s had on communities across America. However, if you don’t know someone coping with opioid addiction, it can be difficult to realize the immense toll it takes on people. This information will help you understand the opioid crisis better.

Prescription Gateway

When you think of opioids, you might just think of heroin. However, many opioids are given as legal prescriptions by doctors. What often occurs is patients will be given strong painkillers following a significant injury. They will develop a dependence on these substances but be unable to keep taking them when their prescription runs out. So, they will turn to use heroin, which seems affordable but becomes more expensive the further they come to rely on it. Over-prescribing of pain medications is definitely a factor in the current opioid epidemic.

Getting Clean

Getting sober from opioids can be incredibly difficult. Dependence can shape an addict’s mind and body in the worst ways. It is definitely possible to get sober, but it needs to be done responsibly and with medical supervision. There are two treatments right now, methadone and suboxone, what’s the different? Methadone primarily helps with opioid addictions (as well as chronic pain), while suboxone helps with opioid dependence. Deciding between methadone vs suboxone (big difference in volume) is, of course, going to be up to the attending physician.  

A Fatal Disease

There were approximately 64,000 deaths due to drug overdoses in 2016. Of that number, over half can be contributed to opioids. Opioid addiction isn’t just a matter of being well or unwell. It’s a matter of life and death. The number of people who die from opioids is unquestionably significant.

It Can Happen To Anyone

When you don’t know anyone experiencing opioid addiction, it can be easy to distance yourself from it. It’s important to remember that no one plans to become addicted to opioids and that addiction can happen to anyone. It doesn’t discriminate based on age, race, gender, or class. Take a moment to think about the people you know and love. It could be family members, friends, or coworkers. People just like them are dealing with opioid addiction.

Even if you have never dealt with opioid addiction, it’s important to understand the dramatic effects of this disease. With this knowledge, you can help your peers focus instead on health and fitness by reminding them of the impact of the opioid crisis in American today. Remember this information and just how severely addiction can take over someone’s life.

References:

Right Path Addiction Treatment Center

The New York Times

Health Line

What Do Colleges Look at In High School Students?

High school is a time for students to get serious about their future. If they are planning on getting into a good college, they need to start the process of looking for one as early as the ninth grade. However, what do colleges look at in high school students? It is conduct, grades, and career goals.

Having Good Conduct

Having good behavior is important. When an Ivy League university looks into your background and transcripts, it needs to be squeaky clean. There should be no suspensions, assaults, theft, or even arrests sitting on your records. Some colleges may accept you, but a prestigious university will not. Your arrest record might not be something that may come up in college admissions talk often, but it’s highly critical for your future success in higher education. Practice safe driving, if you need to

Extracurriculars

To be a well-rounded student, you need have been involved in other things than just school. Whether it’s a sport or some sort of artistic activity, it’s going to look good on your applications. If you’re not big on either of those types of activities, and want to highlight your leadership abilities, look at starting a club (particularly one focusing on bettering the lives of others or serving a community). You should also look into student council and being a member of the honor society. These might not seem as significant as your grades or the classes you take, but they show that you are above the rest.

Having A Good Grade Point Average

The Honor roll is the most important reward a high school student really should attain to achieve. Not only should you make the honor roll, but you should also stay there. Being valedictorian, salutatorian, magna cum laude, and cum laude can help you get good scholarships. That means less student loan debt, if any, to deal with. It is always good to check your high school ranking and improve upon it as much as possible.

If you’re wanting to go to an Ivy League, you’ll need perfect grades. They have the best degree programs and only want the students who are top achievers attending their schools.

Choosing Career Goals

Whatever your career goals are, there is a university to match them. There are schools that have excellent nursing programs and internships available to help you get that high paying job you want if you know that you want to do that. So knowing what your career goals can help you save money in the future, and help you make a more specific college choice, as not all the top colleges will have the best programs for your specific goals.

At the end of the day, try your best at school, get good grades, and keep out of trouble.

References and Resources:

My Experience with Adderall as a Teen

Growing up I had what appeared to be the picture perfect family. I lived in a beautiful home in the suburbs of Detroit with both of my parents and my younger brother Brandon. I was given every opportunity in the world, attended private schools, and was on the honor roll. I was also involved in dance, theatre, and many of the schools sports teams.  Being the first of twelve grandchildren I always felt a lot of pressure to be perfect and to be the best at everything I did which gave me terrible anxiety from about the age of five.

When I was 15, the perfect little world I thought I was living in was shattered into a million pieces.  My mom told me that her and my dad were getting divorced. Due to a court order, we all lived under the same roof for the next year until the divorce was finalized.  During my Junior year of High School I switched to a public school for the first time. I had no idea where I fit into any part of my life or where I belonged. I felt absolutely lost and had no control over anything around me.  At the time the only thing I could control in my life was food. I began restricting my eating and, later realized, that this was the beginning of my battle with an eating disorder.

I had always stayed away from using drugs or drinking because I knew it would interfere with school and extracurricular activities.  Even though my friends all drank, I was adamant that was not the road I was going to go down. Everything changed New Years Eve when I gave in and had my first drink.  I do not remember much from that night except getting violently sick up until the next morning. I absolutely hated the way alcohol tasted, but it took me out of myself and the chaos around me in that moment.  My grades began to plummet, I was skipping school and getting in trouble at home. My mom had no idea what to do with me.

Towards the end of that year, I had a final paper due in my English class that I was struggling to finish it in time.  A girl in my class offered me one of her Adderall and told me it would help me. I had no idea what Adderall was or what it was used for, I just knew I needed to finish my paper or I would not pass the class… so I took it.  I had no idea the impact on my life that one moment, that one decision would make. I stayed up all night writing my paper and went to school the next day without getting any sleep still fueled by the drug I had taken. I felt completely out of my mind.  I was talking too much and too fast, I couldn’t sit still, my anxiety was through the roof, and my entire body hurt.

The next day when I woke up I was absolutely exhausted and very depressed so I asked my friend for another Adderall. This became my life and within a couple of weeks I was buying them off of other students and realized how many of my classmates were also abusing these “study pills”.  Buying them was getting too expensive at the rate I was taking them so I found a doctor who I convinced I had ADHD and would prescribe them for me. I had convinced myself that because they were a prescription medication it was ok, man was I so incredibly wrong.  

At first I thought it solved all of my problems in life.  For me though I would take so many I would be up for days at a time trying to get everything “just perfect”, only to completely crash for days after, falling into a deep depression.  This cycle continued over and over again for months and it became very clear to everyone around me that I had a problem. I was not sleeping or eating. I was 5’7 and had dropped down to just 95 lbs.  I looked sick. My brain was completely fried due to the lack of sleep. Because my assignments no longer made sense, my grades plummeted.

My life was in shambles and I was on the verge of not being able to graduate High School. I knew I needed help, but didn’t know how to ask for it. I had lost all of my friends, and pushed my entire family away.  My anxiety and depression were unbearable and I just didn’t want to go on. I was in complete despair, lost in the world, and my addiction.

When I was 17 I attempted to take my own life because I did not see any other way out. I thank God every day that he saved me and showed me a new way of life.  I entered a dual diagnosis treatment center that summer where I learned about the disease of addiction and began to heal.  Through AA and the support of everyone around me I began to put my life back together as a young person in sobriety.  I could not have done this without the strong women of AA who took me in and loved me until I could love myself. I began working with a sponsor who took me through the twelve steps of the program.  Through prayer and mediation I found a God of my understanding, and turned my will and my life over to him. Through this my obsession to use, and my anxiety and depression I had been fighting my entire life was lifted.  I was happy and healthy in mind, body, and spirit for the first time in my life!

That following school year I was able  finish my senior year of high school and was accepted into college.  I went on to earn my bachelors in Elementary Education and have been teaching first grade for 6 years now… all in sobriety.  I do not want to say any of it was easy, especially getting sober at such a young age, but it was all so worth it! My passion in life is to now help others, especially teens who are struggling, and to tell them there is another way of life.  A beautiful, happy, and healthy life in sobriety!


Crystal Hampton, 29 years old, with 5 years sober.

I work for Recovery Local, a digital marketing company that advocates spreading awareness on the disease of addiction. Our company was founded by and staffed with recovering addicts cultivating recovery resources through sharing our own experience, strength, and hope.

 

Should I go to college in 2018 or skip it? College admission expert weighs in.

Roughly 60 percent of undergraduates between ages 18 and 24 enrolled in a four-year bachelor’s degree program that have taken out student loans say they are responsible for covering more than half of the total cost of their education, a new survey from student loan company Ascent found. However, more than half (51.7 percent) said they do not think the “value of a college education has kept up with the cost.” 47.2 percent also said they will need to cover more of their college costs than they originally thought.

We did a Q&A with Tom Barry, one of the experts at Collegewise, a company started by one of the founders of the Princeton Review which has helped more than 10,000 students gain admission to hundreds of universities. Former Counselors and Admissions Officers from Yale, Harvard, Cornell, Stanford, University of Chicago, MIT, and Caltech (to name a few) are part of the Collegewise team.

Today, how much does an average student have to pay out of pocket for a four-year bachelor’s degree program?

The actual cost of a college education is obviously a nebulous one, and you’ll get a lot of different answers depending on how complicated you want to make the economics of the question. There’s the price on the check for tuition. There’s that price plus foregone earnings for the time that the student is in school and not in the workforce. There’s the price on the check plus foregone earnings, minus potential future earnings based on the degree that a student is seeking which is almost always a negative number. This is because despite what makes headlines, on the whole, there is still a real and unquestionable return on investment on higher education over a lifetime.

But students still need to be savvy. Many families fall into a category where, based on financial aid formulas and methodology, they can technically afford a large percentage of the cost of attendance at a particular school, but doing so might require parents to push retirement back several years or to borrow against their home or other assets. Or they might fall into a category where they can afford only a small amount of the tuition, but the gap between what they can pay and the college’s cost of attendance is covered mostly by loans that need to be paid back and that could limit the student’s options when they graduate. So how much families shell out in the short term might be a pretty simple number, but the impact of that price will vary in the long term from family to family.

Is it still worth it to pursue a college education then?

It’s probably more important than ever for students to ask themselves why they are pursuing college and what their aims are after they finish.

If you look at national data, there is clearly a long-term financial benefit for students who pursue tertiary education, even after considering the expense of loans. This is especially true in the STEM fields, which is why you see so many students and families clambering toward computer science and engineering programs.

But there’s more to it than that. A student who hates math and science in high school probably isn’t going to fall in love with calculus all of a sudden when they get to college. And then they’re stuck having to do a job they’re not excited about for the rest of their lives rather than something they’re actually passionate about. In that case, one might turn the question around and ask whether the increased income is worth the education.

What do you think schools should do to increase the value they provide compared with the tuition they receive?

Many colleges are already doing a lot to reinforce the marketability and job placement results of their graduates, in large part due to demand from students and parents to see tangible results from their college educations. Frankly, though, I’m not convinced that it is – or even should be – the college’s job to increase their value to students. Rather, it’s the student’s job to maximize the opportunities available to them, whatever those happen to be.

It doesn’t matter how fancy a college’s career services portal is or how many resume workshops they run if you, as a student, aren’t willing to take ownership of your own future and put in the time to take advantage of the college’s offerings.

How can students select a school that will provide an education equal to its costs?

Most colleges release earnings reports of graduates immediately upon graduation or within five years of graduation. Practically speaking, those reports typically rely on self-reported data that is only collected from the graduates who are interested in responding in the first place, so they can be rather inflated and misleading. (People who are doing well for themselves are usually more excited to share information about their earnings than those who are not.) But these statistics provide an actual, concrete number to latch onto, so it’s not unrealistic for students to view those numbers as a solid indication of how they might fare after graduation.

But just like so many other aspects of a student’s college experience, you get out what you put in. So rather than just asking “What’s available?” or “How have other people done in the past?”, try to reframe the question so that instead you’re asking “What am I going to take advantage of at this particular school?” Because in the end, while colleges are institutions of learning, it’s not realistic to think that someone else is going to do the learning for you. It’s the student’s job to seek out resources and take advantage of the ones that will help them to be successful.

What less expensive options are there?

Community colleges and two-year institutions are fantastic ways for students to try out higher education at a lower price. And many public four-year universities, particularly in California and Washington (the two states with the education systems that I happen to know best), are quite explicit that when reviewing transfer applications, priority goes to students looking to transfer from a two-year college rather than to students already enrolled at a four-year university.

In addition, we’re seeing a lot of growth in apprenticeship and on-the-job training programs that can provide an education that focuses more on the skills of the trade. And for kids interested in the military, there are also service academies, the GI Bill, and a few community programs that can provide stipends that count toward the cost of higher education or even cover the whole thing.


Tom Barry served for four years as an assistant director of admissions at his alma mater, Colorado College, home of the beloved Block Plan where students plunge into one course at a time for three-and-a-half weeks before moving on to a new subject. After earning a master’s degree in international education administration from Stanford, Tom worked as a global programs manager for the African Leadership Academy before migrating to the Pacific Northwest to join Collegewise in June 2014.

A budding master chef who can flip food in a pan with only the rare catastrophic floor drop, Tom won first place in the “Took a Risk and Totally Nailed It” category of a recent pie baking competition for his original creation, The Burrito Pie. When he’s not counseling or cooking, Tom enjoys traveling, spending time in the great outdoors, and writing the occasional product review for USA Triathlon Magazine.

Education & Experience

  • M.Ed., Stanford University
  • Former Assistant Director of Admissions, Colorado College

How To Stay Safe In A Long Distance Relationship

Around 44 percent of all U.S. adults are currently single, and approximately 40 million adults use internet dating websites. For teens, online dating and long distance relationships are even more so the norm. Now more than ever, it’s important for teenagers and young adults to understand how to stay safe in long distance relationships.

Risks Associated with Online Dating

Since 2013, the proportion of 18 to 24-year-olds using online dating has increased from 10 to 27 percent. However, meeting someone from over the internet for the first time does pose some risks. Around 53 percent of all users lie about their physical appearance on their online dating profile. Over 40 percent of women and over 15 percent of all men say they’ve had a bad experience dating online.

Nearly 30 percent of users dating online say they’ve been harassed or made uncomfortable by how someone contacted them through a dating app or website online. The number of dating scams or confidence fraud cases increased from 2,500 in 2015 to 15,000 in 2016, amounting to $230 million in losses. The average losses in these online dating scams range from $5,000 to $10,000.

Researchers have also determined that around 10 percent of all sex offenders use online dating for meeting victims. Teenagers and young adults like to be independent, but when it comes to meeting someone for the first time, parents and friends should always be aware of your whereabouts. Fortunately, there are red flags to watch out for, and different tips teenagers can rely on to help make long distance relationships safer.

Making the Long Distance Relationship Work

When you’re starting out in a long distance relationship, it’s important to establish boundaries and discuss what each expects and wants out of it. If you’re transitioning from being together to staying together over a long distance, it’s essential to have this discussion before the move. The goal here is to try and avoid confusion or jealousy from ruining things later on.

You’ll want to discuss whether or not the relationship is exclusive and where it could be headed in the near future. Take the time to get to know the person well before committing to anything or getting carried away with ideas of what could be.

Staying Safe When Dating Online

You should keep personal information about your home and family private until you’ve verified their identity and gotten to know them better. You should also be cautious of anyone trying to curry your favor with money or gifts. If someone you’ve never met before is trying to get this information or entice you with gifts, they should be reported to the website’s operators and your parents.

Avoiding Online Dating Scams

There are a number of con artists that are solely interested in victimizing and exploiting people who are looking for love online. Being cautious of compliments given over the internet and keeping real friends close by is how many people can avoid making disastrous decisions while dating online. If not, people and their loved ones can be conned out of their entire savings within a few years’ time. It’s happened before.

In some cases, people have been victimized for close to a decade, being conned out of money by online users, disillusioned by what feels like a meaningful long-distance relationship. These romance cons are not just for the desperate or naive; the average person can full victim to these traps if they don’t have friends or family to counter the ploy. Romance con artists want to isolate their victim so all their time and resources are focused on the online relationship.

Many authorities consider this to be criminal activity classified as advanced fee fraud where the perpetrator cons victims in providing payments upfront for services or goods that never materialize. Despite all the connectivity we do have, it’s clear that many people still feel isolated and yearn for some form of companionship. There are currently international criminal organizations operating through online dating websites attempting to target and exploit these types of people.

Experts say that people with few friends to confide in are the perfect target for the online dating scammers. These people tend to have fewer people and limited networks that can help warn them or vet new profiles. It’s vital to cautious of overly complimentary acquaintances who may be putting on an act to present themselves as the ideal person they believe you’re looking for. With many of the scammers, there’s a proven formula that they will use to manipulate their victim.

The fake profile often has a career related to the military, finance or engineering. Many times they will say they are inconveniently overseas or have a heartfelt story about being a caretaker or a single parent. If meeting in person is not an option, then you should at least be able to video chat on occasion. If they continue to make excuses or put an image up instead of the video, this should be a huge red flag.

Playing it Safe with Long Distance Relationships

Even if they’re likely to disapprove, parents should always be informed about any long distance relationships or potential meets. Anytime your meeting someone online for the first time, it’s important to be cautious. You should also try and verify that the person is who they say they are before agreeing to get into any relationship. Finding mutual friends or running an image search on Google is an easy way to check up on someone online.

For many people, being scammed in a long distance relationship can be devastating. Victims often become isolated and may give up on interacting with others altogether. Long distance relationships can be a great thing when they are done right, and you take the proper precaution. You can go in with an open mind and still protect your financial, emotional and physical welfare.

Getting input from the people you trust and being honest with them about how things are going does help you stay safe in long distance relationships.

References:

Romance On The Internet – Beware The Dating Scammers | Psychic2Tarot.com

10 Ways to Catch out a Catfish | eHarmony.com

What You Need To Know Before You Get Your First Dog

Getting your first dog is a huge responsibility. Frequently, aspiring dog owners do not give it enough consideration. They rush into buying or adopting a dog, only to be caught unprepared for what dog ownership entails. Owning a dog is similar to having your first human baby. You have to walk them, train them, feed them, and make sure they are happy and content. Before going out to your local pet shelter, here are five things you need to know before you get a canine companion:

Breed

If you are adopting a dog, it is much trickier to know exactly what breed he/she is compared to when you are purchasing one from the store. Of course, the latter is ill-advised as it encourages and supports the ongoing operations of puppy mills. Either way, the dog breeds are essential to know as it helps determine what health complications they are prone to as they get older. Mutts, or mixed breeds, usually have fewer health issues than pedigree or purebred dogs. Smaller breeds, such as pugs and bulldogs, are prone to breathing problems, especially in the summertime, while larger and bonier dogs, like greyhounds and African ridgebacks, are more prone to hip dysplasia.

Dietary Restrictions

A dog’s diet can vastly differ. While you can get away with feeding your dog store-brand dry food or kibble, you’ll want to make sure they are getting the right and enough nutrition from their diet. Moreover, some dogs become allergic to some food, such as chicken or beef, in which case you will need to adjust his or her diet accordingly. The amount of food and the number of times you feed your beloved pup will invariably change. Due to biological and physiological differences in the design of a dog’s body compared to that of a human’s, dogs are also not allowed certain foods, such as grapes, chocolate, onions, bread, etc., as their digestive system cannot process it.

Vaccination

Whether you decide to adopt a puppy or a dog in his/her retirement years, you’ll need to make sure they have all the required vaccinations. Not only is this important for his/her health and the health of other dogs that he/she socializes with, but it’s also mandated by most if not all states, and failure to comply could lead to hefty fines. Between six to eight weeks, a puppy should be given vaccines for distemper, measles, and parainfluenza. Between 12 to 24 weeks, your puppy gets his/her rabies shots. Some vaccines are administered in multiple stages while others are required for re-administration every one to three years.

Socialization

Just like how humans need to socialize to function appropriately, dogs also require time with other dogs to achieve holistic health and growth. Without regular and positive social interactions, your dog can start forming aggressive habits and behaviors. As his/her owner, it’s your responsibility to make sure he/she gets enough time outside to socialize with people and other dogs. And because puppies still have high energy reserves, be prepared to invest an hour or two at the local dog run or public park.

Costs

The costs of owning a dog are similar to raising a child. Food alone can cost anywhere between $200 to $600 per month, more or less depending on what your dog’s diet is, such as kibble or human-grade food. To add to that, you will also be shelling out money for vaccinations and pet insurance. It makes sense to get pet insurance as your dog gets older as that’s the time when they start developing health complications and require regular checkups. The cost of pet insurance can range from $25 to $100 per month, depending on coverage. Supplies, such as poop bags, pee pads, and treats, can also rack up a steep bill over time.

Training

You can train your dog in basic commands, such as sit, stay, and come, either on your own or with the help of a professional trainer. The latter is a much faster way of training your puppy, especially if you don’t have the experience or the patience to do it yourself. However, keep in mind that it costs anywhere between $50 to $150 per hour to get a personal dog trainer. A healthy and happy dog requires structure and discipline that comes from regular training exercises.

Getting your first dog is a huge commitment. You’ll want to make sure you are mentally, physically, and financially prepared to take on the responsibilities that come with pet ownership.

References:

https://www.puppyjoy.net/breed

https://www.naplestopdogs.com/the-four-cornerstones-of-positive-dog-training

https://www.caninejournal.com/adopt-dont-shop/

4 Secret Fears You Have That Are More Common Than You Think

Everyone has fears; some of them are well-known, common fears and some are secret fears which are far less common. Secret fears are interesting because they are generally unique to each individual. The secret fears can arise from a traumatic experience during your upbringing or simply from a story you heard that has haunted you throughout your life. Here are four secret fears that are more common than you would think.

Going to the dentist

The dentist’s office is a place that many people dread going to for a whole slew of reasons. There is the fact nobody wants people shoving pointy metal objects in their mouth for an hour, the pain aspect, and lastly, the judging dentist. Dentists totally judge you for your flossing habits. Murfreesboro Dentistry explains that “Sometimes people tell us that they’re flossing on a daily basis. But we can just tell that it’s not getting done quite as efficiently or as effectively as they say that they are.” So don’t try to fool your dentist. They can tell by looking at your teeth whether or not you brush and floss the recommended amount.

Having your car break down

Now some people might be used to this occurrence, but the majority aren’t. Having a car break down anywhere just plain sucks, but doing it in a crowded intersection or busy stoplight might just be the worst possible scenario imaginable. People are awkwardly driving past you imagining where you went wrong in life for you to end up in a broken down car. You are an inconvenience to literally everyone.

Public speaking

When you are called upon to speak or answer something suddenly in front of a group of people and don’t have the answer or misspeak, it can be a really embarrassing and uncomfortable situation for everyone. You stumble upon your words, your face gets all red, and your voice shakes. That is why, according to Psychology Today, “Surveys about our fears commonly show fear of public speaking at the top of the list.  Our fear of standing up in front of a group and talking is so great that we fear it more than death, in surveys at least.” Death, one of the greatest fears of all, falls short of the dread that most people get when they are asked to give a presentation or appear on a stage.

Choosing the wrong career path

Now, this fear is a bit mundane, but it definitely has a few serious implications. It is a very common secret fear that isn’t talked about as much. When an individual chooses a career path, it doesn’t necessarily have to be what they stick with for the rest of their life. Many people fear what is ahead, and choosing a line of work that you will dedicate your life to is a matter that weighs heavily on many young minds. Although many people fear the future, pursuing your passions and the opportunities that come along will take you on an adventure.