You remember the moment you laid eyes on as if it were yesterday. You had just received your acceptance letter in the mail, concluding one of the most anxious two to six weeks in your young existence. Elated and beaming with pride, your mother drove you to the college bookstore, furnished you with her credit card, and told you to “pick a few things out”. Alongside the baseball cap with the school’s initials embroidered in Old English and the overpriced binders with the official university seal on the front, you chose this item as well, thus beginning one of your most valuable relationships. To your classmates and teachers it was a just hooded sweatshirt but to you, it was a dauntless declaration of your upcoming future. Once you made it to campus, you were rarely seen without it. You wore it when you assisted in tearing down the goalpost after the “upset of the century”. It was on your back the night you first snuck into the campus bar. It kept you warm as you rode on the back of a wagon at your first sorority hayride. While you relished in its casual side, the effortless way it complemented your jeans and sneakers, you also found it had a fashionable side as well on the day you paired it with an oxford, rep tie and chinos. Through years of dinnertime pizza runs to the student union, tailgates and autumns watching the leaves cascade in the quad, it was a utility player in your wardrobe; always ready for service in a moment’s notice. As you now live your business casual life, listening to Vampire Weekend in your cubicle while daydreaming about a short time that was so long ago, you can’t help but wonder; which girlfriend’s dorm room did you leave it in.
It’s a well known fact that college students aren’t usually the most financially stable people around. Tuition is expensive and time is short for working full time. Put those two together and you’ve got a recipe for a ramen noodle budget. There are some things you can do to make sure you’re making the best financial decisions for yourself no matter how strapped for cash you may be.
1. Document expenses
Keep track of everything you spend money on, no matter how small the cost may seem. For example, if you spend $3 on coffee every week day, that adds up to $780 per year. Make sure you account for even the smallest expenses or you could come up short in your budget. Which brings me to my next point:
2. Make a budget
And stick to it. That second part is the hardest but also the most important. Making a plan for your spending and accounting for every dollar is the best way to stay on top of your financing.
3. Use loans and credit sparingly
Borrow the very minimum amount that you’ll need for school even though you may be offered a higher amount. Talk to your financial aid advisor when you receive your award letter to ask for a smaller amount. Only borrow what you need. Similarly, only use credit cards when you are sure you can pay off the balance at the end of the month. No one wants to graduate with a load of debt.
When we were kids, watching television programs and movies was less user friendly than it is today. There were too many steps involved. You had to physically go to Blockbuster, or your nearest rental store, to rent a new movie only to find it unavailable because too many people had already taken it out. If you wanted to view a movie on Pay-Per-View, you had to wait for the movie time to be available in order to call and order it. This seems absurd nowadays due to how easy it has become to watch whatever you want, when you want.
As technology progresses, the internet becomes more than just a place to do research. It becomes a domain for apps, games, movies, books and so much more. We have just merely scratched the surface on the potential of the digital world. The revolutionary movie streaming programs, such as Netflix and Hulu, offer instant gratification for whatever mood you’re in.
What can attest for the future of digital programming? With the way technology is evolving these days, it would seem that everything will go digital; making DVDs, video game discs, and even paper books obsolete. There’s no way of telling what’s going to happen to these companies that supply us with our entertainment needs today; either they’re doomed or they’re going to embrace the digital age and evolve with it. Only time will tell.
When faced with the financial burden of college tuition and fees, one must stretch their budget elsewhere. There no getting around paying your college fees or textbooks, but you can stretch a dollar (or dollars) in other ways.
1. Chose meals that have a long shelf life.
If you dorm, this may be especially useful. You may not always have the time to prepare a meal with fresh ingredients and they may spoil before you find that time. In this case, you risk losing your hard earned money. Meals that have a long shelf life are usually canned good, such as soups, certain fruits, vegetables and beans or prepackaged foods such as pasta, instant oatmeal and rice. Also, they are relatively inexpensive, costing no more than a few dollars for each item
2. Pasta, Pasta, and More Pasta
Not only can you buy a package of pasta for no more than two dollars but you can make a meal out of it to last two or three days. It also falls under the list of non-perishable foods so there’s no worry of spoil before it’s cooked. Pasta can also give you that much needed energy as its high in carbohydrates. Ramen noodles has become a staple in many dorm rooms due to its versility and cheap price tag. A package can cost no more than 50 cents.
3. Quick Pick Me Ups
Mothers always tell us to eat our fruits and vegetables and we should always follow their advice for they know best. Certain fruits and vegetables are expensive, especially if you may be searching for organic types. Bananas and apples, the loose variety not the bundles, are relatively cheap, readily available and easily consumed on the go. Just make sure it’s washed before consuming. Celery and carrot sticks in a to-go package is usually no more than 3 dollars.
4. Cheap Foods with a Short Shelf Life
Keep in mind that the body needs a whole array of nutrients in order to sustain itself. With that being said, some foods may need to be consumed that do not have a long shelf life but will be relatively cheap nonetheless. Eggs for protein and versatility in salads or sandwiches, and fresh leafy greens for antioxidant and immune support such as Spinach, can be found for a few dollars per bundle.
1. Get a wall calendar.
You can find a wall calendar with anything you can think of! Get one to go with your décor, of your favorite animal, or of your favorite TV show… the possibilities are endless! Once you put up your wall calendar, mark down all the important things: exams, breaks, paper and assignment due dates, advising appointments, career fairs, etc. This will help you keep track of everything you have going on each month in an orderly and easy way!
2. Pick up some baskets/desk organizers.
You can use baskets anywhere: on top of your dresser, on shelves, on your nightstand, under your bed, etc. Use them to organize your school supplies, electronics, chargers, toiletries, hairbrushes and accessories, jewelry, and anything else you’re not sure where to store! Desk organizers are great for storing pens, pencils, markers, scissors, and other desk essentials!
3. Get a whiteboard and put your upcoming assignments/to do list on it.
This is a great way to keep track of your weekly assignments, chores, and errands. Hang it somewhere in your room that you will see it all the time! You can color code by categories for added organization. And check off things as you get them done, it’s really satisfying to see your list get smaller and smaller!
4. Set alarms/calendar alerts on your phone for important events and appointments.
If a new event or appointment comes up, put it into your phone’s calendar and set an alert/alarm for it to make sure you don’t forget. The little reminder can really come in handy and save the day when you’re out and about! This is a great tool if you make an appointment when you’re not home and can’t immediately write in on your wall calendar or white board.
5. Get a lanyard and/or key chain for your student ID, keys, and other essential cards.
Keeping your ID and keys in the same place will make things so much easier for you day to day. You can keep them in your bag or around your neck when you leave so you don’t have to worry about losing or misplacing these very important items. Eventually you’ll get in the habit of grabbing for your lanyard/keychain and it will become second nature; goodbye to the days of getting locked out of your room or apartment!
We have seen the word “nominate” a lot recently on social media. Between dumping ice on our heads to harmlessly posting three things you are positive about today, Facebook and other social media sites have become tools to do good.
I don’t know about anyone else, but I was personally terrified of getting the notification that would inform me that I had been nominated to pour freezing water on myself. I don’t know if I should say this online (for fear someone out there might actually nominate me) but thankfully, I was never nominated. But, should I be thankful I wasn’t nominated?
We have all been warned about the dangers that social media holds. People use social media to bully others in ways that didn’t exist, let alone happen, in our parents’ generation. “Be careful what you say online.” “Don’t post anything you wouldn’t want your grandma to see.” “Treat others online the way you want to be treated online.” Social media seems like a scary place with all these warnings.
But recently, these social media initiatives have taken advantage of the global platform of sites like Facebook and Twitter to try and make the world a better place. We are now doing things like raising awareness for diseases that require research, and greatly improving the proceeds that go to this research. We are creating initiatives that require people to be thankful for what they have and put them in a better mood for the day. We are nominating people to go out and do some random act of kindness they wouldn’t otherwise do. And then, we publicize this to the world, showing the good we, as a global community, can do.
So, as thankful as I am to not have been doused in ice water, I am excited that our global platforms, that can sometimes cause a lot of harm, can also do a lot of good.
Studying is probably one of the least exciting tasks in college. But it doesn’t have to be as bad as it seems when you apply these 5 healthy studying tips. These habits can not only help produce higher grades, but can have you understanding the information better. This is a viable trait for applying this knowledge to real world situations.
1. Take Notes of All Important Aspects in Each Class
The basis of healthy studying starts with what you do in the classroom. In-depth notes will cover all materials that were discussed in class. This will help produce a more well-rounded understanding of the topic at hand. This could get intense so be wary of writer’s cramp.
2. Make Your Voice Heard in the Classroom
Involving yourself in the material, whether that be open discussion or simply asking questions, gets you to fully engage with the subject at hand. This clears up any confusion you may have before you start studying and provides you with more comprehensive knowledge of the topic.
3. Use the Textbook
Professors usually do not follow the book word for word. They combine different elements of similar topics that your textbook may highlight. In most cases, the textbook is used a guide or companion to the lesson. But don’t ignore the textbook. It is recommended you purchase it for a reason. Many key concepts from class will be mentioned in the text, even if the examples given are different.
4. Stay Organized
Nothing is worse for an upcoming exam than notebooks full of different information from a whole array of subjects. You have enough stress; managing your notes and information at the last minute shouldn’t be one of them. Use a notebook, laptop or tablet and section off subjects. If you use a binder or folders, make sure to keep papers together by subject and date only.
5. Do Not Procrastinate
The worst thing is to study for an exam the day before. Not only will you be scrambling to memorize concepts and formulas, but you may not be able to retain it all. The best possible way to memorize notes and other work would be to study a few hours each week until the exam arrives. Less stress, more sleep, and peace of mind on test day will be one of the benefits of this method.
Between early morning paper writing and late night study sessions, a good night’s sleep often comes as an afterthought to many college students. Before you grab that energy drink or espresso to pull another all-nighter, take the consequences into consideration.
1. Cognitive and Memory Problems
Don’t let all your studying go to waste by missing out on sleep! Lack of sleep has been linked to memory problems and difficulty with problem solving. These issues can be permanent and brain deterioration can occur if sleep deprivation is long term.
2. Pre-Mature Aging
Those dark under-eye circles you get after pulling an all-nighter are doing more damage than you may think. Human growth hormone, which is responsible for strengthening skin, bones, and muscles, is produced during slow-wave sleep. If you never reach this form of deep sleep, your body has less of a chance to produce this hormone. Lack of sleep also causes your body to increase production of cortisol: a hormone that breaks down collagen. This causes skin to lose its elasticity.
2. Weight Gain
Your hormones also get thrown off kilter when you don’t get enough shut-eye. Production of the hunger hormone ghrelin is increased when you get less than six hours of sleep causing you to have a larger appetite than normal.
3. Heart Problems
Lack of sleep has also been linked to several other heart problems such as irregular heartbeat, heart disease, and high blood pressure as well as diabetes and stroke.
While the occasional late night is sometimes unavoidable, proper time management could help you add on a few more precious minutes (or hours) of sleep. How do you make sure you get a good night’s sleep? Let us know in the comments below!
Feature, Camille. “10 Surprising Effects of Lack of Sleep.” WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 27 Aug. 2014. <http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/excessive-sleepiness-10/10-results-sleep-loss>.
Klein, Sarah. “Sleep Deprivation Effects: 8 Scary Side Effects Of Too Little Shut-Eye.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 6 Mar. 2013. Web. 27 Aug. 2014. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/06/scary-sleep-deprivation-effects_n_2807026.html>.
College and high school are almost two different worlds. High school provides you with the tools for acting and behaving appropriately and college is where you put all that you have learned to the test. One thing that is certain is that mostly all decisions made will be made by you alone. This is part of life as a young adult. But don’t be fearful; family and counselors will be present if extra help is needed.
You should expect to do more things on your own. Navigating the school, picking classes or even making sure you wake up in time for that early 8 am class will fall on you. Make the most of it because this is the time you prove to yourself and to others that you can handle all the responsibility bestowed upon you.
You will no longer be told what is expected of you. You should already know. As far as assignments go, some professors will only tell you once and it is up to you to write it down and prepare. If you miss an assignment, a high school teacher will most likely let you make it up without penalty (unless you are notorious for always missing assignments). In college, professors treat assignments much differently. You are expected to do the work and understand the material, but the professor may not always check if the work had been completed. Do not think you’re off the hook skipping assignments. The material will most likely be used for a future exam.
If you miss a day in high school, you can retrieve all the work you missed from your teacher. Professors in college will not tell you what you missed; all the work you missed will have to come from classmates.
If you chose to dorm, you will have to compromise with all the schedules and habits of your roommates. Sharing such small quarters with someone you barely know can come as a challenge. Some roommates may be the exact opposite of what you are used to dealing with back at high school. Make sure you handle conflict with ease and always talk things out.
Staying on top of your studies is important. Making sure you spend time with your friends is just as important. Maintaining a social life, taking breaks from your school work- these things will keep you from going insane and getting burnt out too quickly.
There are always things to do with your crew on and around campus. Activities such as bowling, ice-skating or a trip to the zoo are always fun. You could also find an interesting museum nearby or festival happening in the vicinity.
Find a movie theater nearby campus and see the next big blockbuster with a bunch of friends (Mockingjay: Part 1 comes out in November, people!). See if there are any concerts coming up in the nearby area. Maybe your favorite sport’s team is playing nearby.
You could also gather a group to go shopping. It can be for school supplies, for furniture you may need, for clothing you may have forgotten or just for the heck of it.
Last resort? You could invite your friends to come watch a movie in your dorm room or find a lobby and watch the season premiere of that show you can’t believe ended in that INSANE cliffhanger last spring!!
Spending time with your friends in college is important for your sanity. You should make time to hang out and do things other than sit on a quiet floor of the library all semester!