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Common Problems Faced By College Students Today

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Transitioning from high school to college involves a number of variables.  You’re moving from being a kid to an adult. You’re moving to a more difficult curriculum, and you’re radically changing your daily environment.  

For some, these changes can be overwhelming to absorb all at once.  It’s important to arm yourself with as much knowledge and preparation as possible, so as to place yourself in a good position to succeed.  

Take some time to read over a few of the common problems faced by college students today, and face your future head on.  

Time management

College doesn’t provide that same strict structure you’re made to follow in high school, and sometimes the freedom is a bit too much for a young person to handle.  You will undoubtedly juggle a busy schedule in college, and time management is critical for success.  

If you already know you’re not the best at managing your time throughout the day, find positive ways to keep yourself on track.  Use a handy scheduling app on your smartphone, or take the time to do it the “old fashioned” way. Maintain a student planner by hand.  

Money management 

For a majority of college freshman, it is the first time they’ve ever been responsible for their own finances.  If you have college grants and loan disbursements, you’ll have a large sum of money all at once in your bank account. 

Paying for food, lodging, and all of the other necessities of life is more expensive than you think.   You’ll also need to consider the cost of auto insurance and renters’ insurance. If you are caught without insurance in an accident with an uninsured motorist, you could lose your vehicle and a whole bunch of money in the process.  

Most college students are on a very rigid budget, and they only have a specific amount of money to get through each semester.  Don’t be the kid that runs out of money early, and stay on top of your money management tactics.  

Overworking yourself is a concern

Effectively juggling all the things that college brings about is a challenge all in itself.  When you’re taking a full load of credits, working a job, and trying to keep up with interpersonal relationships, you can easily feel overwhelmed.  

It’s important that you protect your ability to get sleep.  Sleep deprivation will add an element of chaos to your life that you don’t have to battle.  Go to bed at night, and learn to prioritize.  

Substance abuse runs rampant

College provides the perfect environment for partying, and the kids have always partied.  The trick is to not get too caught up in the scene. It’s easy to pickup an alcohol or drug addiction when you’re living a life of chaos.  Go easy on the partying, and be cognizant of your alcohol and drug use.

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Lifestyle

3 Tips For Creating Your Own Safety Plan While Away At College

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When you were living at home, you likely depended on your parent or guardian to take care of things if there was ever an emergency situation. But once you’re off on your own in college, you’ve got to be the one ready to take on the responsibility.

Safety issues can be brought up for any number of reasons, so it’s wise to have thought through a few potential situations so that you have a plan in the event that something unsafe takes place around you. To help you in doing this, here are three tips for creating your own safety plan while away at college. 

Know How To Best Defend Yourself

One issue that may arise while you’re off on your own at college is that your physical safety could be in danger. Whether you’re being attacked or just needing to defend yourself against physical threats, it’s important that you know the best ways to do this.

According to Melissa Darcey, a contributor to SafeWise.com, everyone on a college campus should take self-defense classes, regardless of gender. By doing this, you’ll be able to feel what it’s like to be in a physical altercation with someone else and learn what some of the best strategies are for you to personally defend yourself. The skills that you can learn from these types of classes could really save your life. And at most universities, self-defense classes are readily available.

Create An Emergency Disaster Kit

Depending on where you’re going to school, the area you’re living in could be vulnerable to various types of natural disasters. Because of this, you should always have certain emergency supplies readily available for you to use if the situation arises.

Ideally, FEMA shares that a college student would keep a backpack of emergency supplies always ready on-hand. In this emergency disaster kit, you’ll want to have items like a flashlight, extra batteries, a first aid kit, clean water, and some non-perishable food. You should also have a stash of cash that you can use if you’re no longer able to use debit or credit cards due to power outages. 

Be Smart In Social Settings

Much of the danger college student experience happens while they’re out in a social setting. So to reduce your chances of putting your safety at risk, RAINN.org suggests that you always make a plan when you’ll be out at a party or in other social settings.

When going out, make sure you’re with people you trust and that you commit to watching out for one another. Determine that you’ll never leave someone stranded somewhere where they might be unsafe. 

To help you create workable plans that will keep you safe in all types of situations, consider using the tips mentioned above if you’re a college student.

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Lifestyle

3 Tips To Protect Your Eyesight As A College Student

eyesight

When you’re a college student, you’ve always got a lot on your mind. From dealing with your classes to worrying about finances to balancing your social life, it’s easy for things that might seem unimportant to slip through the cracks.

However, one thing you should never allow to slip through the cracks is your physical health. As part of this, it’s important that you’re taking steps to ensure that you’re taking care of all aspects of your body, including your vision.

To help make this task a little easier on you, and show you how not taking care of your vision can be harmful, here are three tips to help you protect your eyesight as a college student.

Be Smart About Good Lighting

As a college student, a lot of your time is going to be spent learning in classes and studying outside of classes. You’ll have a lot of papers to write, books to read, and flashcards to memorize. And in order to do all of these things, you’ve got to be using your eyes.

With all this work your eyes are doing, it’s important that you make things as easy for them as possible so they don’t get burnt out too quickly. To help with this, Academiia21.com advises that you always complete your work in good lighting. This means that you’re careful about how backlit your computer screen is when you’re using it and you always use adequate lighting when reading papers. Otherwise, you could put a lot of undue strain on your eyes.

Give Your Eyes Regular Breaks

Since your eyes are going to be doing so much during your role as a student, it can be very helpful if you give them strategic breaks throughout the day.

To show you how this can best be done, Kendall Bitonte, a contributor to USA Today, shares that you should let your eyes rest for at least fifteen minutes for every two hours of intense work you’re doing. So whether you’ve been working on a paper, reading a textbook, or researching online, make sure you avert your eyes for a while to give them a break from using those exact muscles constantly.

Wear Eye Protection When Appropriate

Although you might be spending the majority of your time in college doing school work, there’s always time for other activities as well.

When participating in things like sports, Beatrice Shelton, a contributor to AAO.org, advises that you always wear the appropriate eye protection. Even if others aren’t, it’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to things like your ability to see.

To help you make the most of your time at school, consider using the tips mentioned above to protect your eyes during this mentally and physically stressful time in college.

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Lifestyle

Navigating Your Early Years In College

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After high school, a person can really thrive if they choose to embrace education and move toward the pathway of going to college. However, because the early college years, in particular, are often full of new and unexpected events, activities, and situations, there is the potential for trouble to happen if you aren’t prepared. Because of this, there are all sorts of preparatory conferences and initiatives that adults put forward to teenagers moving into a more responsible realm, but lots of these youngsters don’t heed the warnings very well.

Because of this, it’s essential to put as much information out there as possible so that new college students understand what they’re getting into. A few examples will indicate just how important it is to pay attention during this period of your life. You should listen to your advisors when it comes to choosing classes. You should pay attention to traffic patterns at your campus. You should establish your food and exercise routines early. And you should do everything possible to stay out of debt. Following those four simple pieces of advice will take you a long way.

Listen To Advisors

Going to school is expensive. If you don’t want to waste that money, you should listen to your academic advisors. They have talked to hundreds if not thousands of students to get them successfully on their way. They know the mistakes that you’re going to make an advance. Because of this, even if you think you know better, you should at least take into account what these advisors are telling you, specifically when it comes to course loads and academic pathways.

Pay Attention To Traffic

Part of the college experience is being on campus, whether you are just going to class there or whether you live in the dorms. It is incredible how many people struggle with issues concerning traffic their first years on campus. If you choose to drive on campus, how likely do you think it is that you will get a traffic ticket? People are always trying to impress their friends, or they are trying to rush around because they are late. Those two things, in particular, mean there are lots of chances for younger and newer college students to get in trouble with the law.

Establish Your Food and Exercise Routines

As soon as you are away from home, you are on your own when it comes to eating right and exercising. You will hear horror stories of new college students gaining a lot of weight or otherwise becoming very unhealthy very quickly without their parents and their regular routines around. Avoid the freshman 15 by paying attention to your food and exercise habits earlier rather than later.

Stay Out of Debt

Especially if you have just acquired a credit card, it may seem simple just to buy whatever you want knowing that you don’t have to pay for it until later. This is a tragic mistake that a lot of college students make, and they can end up paying for it for years.

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Lifestyle

Tips For Purchasing A Home As A College Student

peacefulhome

Some people choose to wait until after college to get into a home of their own, but there’s no shame in shooting for the stars.  Stay ahead of the curve, and purchase your first home while you’re still in college. It may seem like a lofty goal, but it can be done.  

If you have the drive but not the direction, all you need is a little knowledge.  Take the time to read through this brief overview, featuring some useful tips for purchasing a home as a college student.  Start planning your future today.

Establish and build some credit

One of the highest hurdles to clear as a young person purchasing a home is the credit requirements.  You’re young, so you may not have an extensive credit history. The good news is that college will give you at least four years to get your credit up to par.  

You will have to actively build your credit.  Get one of your parents to name you as an authorized user on their credit card.  Invest in your own secured credit card, and always pay your bills on time.  These steps will help you move closer to a high credit score.  

Learn everything you can about the process

The process of obtaining a home is one of the most complicated things you’ll do in your life.  It will take a bit of studying to pass this test. Take the time to really dig into the steps you’ll take to purchase a home, so nothing hits you as a surprise. 

Go into the process with your eyes wide opened, and make sure you get the best deal for your individual situation.  You may even want to consider hiring a lawyer to shadow you throughout the process.

Start saving money now

It’s true that a mortgage loan will pay for the majority of your home, but you still need money to buy a house.  Depending on your personal financial history, you could pay anywhere from 3.5 to 20 percent down on a home.

Take the time to consider all of the various ways that owning your own home will cost you money, before you decide that you can handle a mortgage payment.  Your monthly mortgage payment is only the foundational monthly cost of home ownership.  

The trouble you may encounter

One issue you should be ready to conquer is making sure your front-end ratio is up to par.  Front-end ratio refers to the method lenders use to calculate whether or not you are suited for a loan.  

Your front-end ratio is calculated by dividing your projected payment by your monthly income.  The number needs to be 28 or less, if you hope to get a decent deal on a mortgage loan.  

Consider finding a qualified co-signer

If you find that you are encountering several stifling issues along your journey to purchase a home, try finding a qualified cosigner.  When you have another adult that has really great credit sign on the mortgage loan, you’ll have more options. The trick is finding someone who trusts you enough to put their name on the line.

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Lifestyle

3 Things To Do This Summer To Prepare For Going To College In The Fall

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Whether it’s your first year going to college or your last few semester before you graduate, it’s a smart idea to take your summer break from school to ensure that you’re prepared for the next year you’ll be spending on campus. Not only do you need to prepare for the rigors of your education, but you also need to make sure that you’re able to keep yourself alive and well during this time. So to help you get everything in order by the time your new school year rolls around, here are three things to do this summer to prepare for going to college in the fall.

Visit Your Family Doctor

Depending on your health insurance situation, it’s likely a good idea for you to visit your family doctor while you’re still at home before you head off for your next semester of college. While your college campus likely gives you access to some medical assistance, it’s often easier to just get everything taken care of while you’re close to your family doctor and can get everything covered by your insurance. While at your appointment, Jeremy S. Hyman and Lynn F. Jacobs, contributors to U.S. News and World Report, recommend that you get any prescriptions that you might need. Additionally, it’s a good idea to get your eyes checked so you can get prescription glasses or blue light glasses to help protect your eyes while at school.

Brush Up On Some Life Skills

For many people, going off to college is going to be the first time that they’re living on their own or without immediate parental supervision. Because of this, it can be a very steep learning curve as you have to take care of all of your needs completely on your own. To ensure that you’re ready for all this new responsibility, Walter Glenn, a contributor to LifeHacker.com, advises that you spend some of your time at home brushing up on some life skills you’ll need while at school. This should include things like learning how to do your own laundry, managing your finances, basic car maintenance and more.

Prepare For Your Upcoming Classes

As soon as you can, Kelsey Mulvey, a contributor to the Huffington Post, recommends that you get yourself registered for your classes. By doing this, you’ll ensure that you get the classes you want at the times that work best for you. Additionally, by knowing what classes you’ll be taking as soon as possible, you’ll be able to take your time finding your required books at the best prices and catching up on any summer reading or homework that you need to have done before the first day of classes.

If you’re heading off to college in the fall, consider doing some of the things mentioned above to help you prepare for this next chapter in your life.

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Lifestyle

3 Tips For Transitioning Your Relationship With Your Parents As You Become An Adult

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When you were younger, you needed your parent’s help for almost everything. But as you got older and learned from them, your grew in both size and independence. For many people, by the time they reach 18-years-old, they’re ready to spread their wings and try living life on their own. But although you might feel ready for this, your parents might still see you as their little baby who needs them for every little thing. Because this way of thinking is so common, on both the parts of the young adults and their parents, many young adults struggle with knowing how to get their parents to start treating them like an adult rather than as their child anymore. So to help you in this area, here are three tips for transitioning your relationship with your parents as you become an adult.

Act Like A Fellow Adult

To get your parents to see you as an adult, you have to start acting like one. According to the editors of Reader’s Digest, it can be helpful to start viewing your relationship with your parents in the same way you’d view any relationship with another adult of their age. Then, when you interact with them, do so as if you were interacting with one of their friends. While this might seem strange at first, it can be very helpful in getting both parties to think about their relationship in a new light.

Create Clear Boundaries When You Need Them

One of the biggest complaints that many young adults have about their relationship with their parents is that they still try to be too involved in their life. To combat this, Susan Newman, a contributor to U.S. News and World Report, recommends that you set clear boundaries with your parents when you need them. For example, if you don’t want your parents to comment on your academic life or your romantic relationships, let them know that these topics are off-limits and that you won’t talk about them. While you can change these boundaries in the future, they can be very important to help your parents to know what’s not okay anymore when interacting with you.

Don’t Ask For Advice Unless You’re Ready To Receive It

It can be very hard to adjust the parent-child dynamic, even when you become an adult yourself. For many children, they still feel the need to counsel with their parents or get their advice about things. If this is something you’re still wanting, Maud Purcell, a contributor to PsychCentral.com, recommends that you only ask for their advice if you actually want it and will use it. So if you don’t actually want your parents to know why you got in that car accident last week, don’t call them asking about how to handle your issues with your insurance carrier.

If you’re ready for your parents to start seeing you as the adult you are, consider using the tips mentioned above to help your relationship move into this next phase of life.

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Lifestyle

3 Tips For Maximizing Your Time in College Classes

As part of being a college student, you’ll wind up taking a bunch of classes. At times, these classes will be supremely interesting and enlightening. At other times, you might really struggle to stay awake throughout the entire hour. But regardless of how you feel about your class, your ultimate academic success will largely depend on how you handle these classes and learn the materials presented. So to help ensure you’re able to do this effectively, here are three tips for making the most of the time you spend in your college classes:

Sit Near The Front Of The Classroom

To give yourself the best chance of success in the classroom, you have to set yourself up to listen well and pay attention. As part of this, GetSchooled.com recommends that you sit in the front of the classroom or lecture hall. Not only will this allow you to see the board or screen more clearly, but it will also put you sitting closer to your professor. And while this might not be something you’re particularly excited about, being right up from will encourage you to keep quiet, stay awake and alert, and limit your distractions. So rather than sitting in the back row with your phone in your hand for the entire class, move yourself forward and actually pay attention to what the professor is trying to teach you.

Get To Know Your Professor

Speaking of your professor, it can be insanely helpful and beneficial to you as a student if you get to know the professors that you’re taking classes from. Getting to know your professors, either through your class participation or from scheduling meetings during their office hours, will help you stand apart from the rest of their students. The benefits to this include feeling more invested in their class and their subject matter as well as building connections that you can use well into the future of your academic or professional career. But when trying to get to know your professors better, Carolyn Cutrone and Melissa Stanger, contributors to Business Insider, recommend you start from the very beginning of your class time with them, as the stresses of the semester can quickly build and make relationship building with staff members much harder.

Be Smart About How You Take Notes

To actually do well in your classes, meaning that you learn and understand the material and can perform well on tests, it’s often vital that you can take good notes during class. To help you with this, Elizabeth Lundin, a contributor to College Info Geek, advises that you take notes by hand rather than on a laptop or tablet. By doing this, your brain will more easily absorb the information and convert it into your memory. Additionally, you’ll need to find an effective way for you to take notes, as this can vary drastically from person to person.

If you’re wanting to do well in your college classes, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you get the most out of the time you spend in classes or lectures.

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Lifestyle

3 Ways In Which Pop Culture Influences The Everyday Lives of Young People

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For most people, we become a product of the things and people that we surround ourselves with. In previous decades, this included your family, your circle of friends, and what some clever marketing executives could convince you to think when you saw their ads. But today, there’s so much more sponsorship and branding and celebrity anywhere we look that it’s almost impossible to not have this pop culture seep into every aspect of your life, especially for teens or young adults. To show you just how pervasive this can be, here are three ways in which pop culture influences the everyday lives of young people.

Their Own Self Image and Self Worth

While modern technology has made many things easier in life, it’s also created bigger problems where they didn’t exist in the past. For example, it’s natural to spend some time comparing yourself to those around. However, with pop culture influences, young people now find that they’re comparing themselves to people who aren’t even all that real. It takes teams of people hours and hours to create the looks that we see on the red carpet or on our phone screens. But despite this, Bethany of ParentingInProgress.net reminds us that so many young adult—and adults alike—find their own self image or self-worth wrapped up in how they compare to these people they see on tv. While this can be helpful if you look up to someone who’s real and honest, it can be harmful if the person is manipulating their own image that the public sees.

Make Choices In Order To Replicate Celebrities

So much of people’s fashion choices or personal style can be attributed to what they’ve seen done in recent pop culture. According to Audrey Tramel, a contributor to LiveStrong.com, many young adults will see a celebrity they admire wearing a certain brand of clothes, dress in a particular style, or change their appearance in some way and will then want to replicate what that celebrity is doing in their own life. Sometimes, this mimicking is so subtle that people don’t even realize they’re doing it. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it can stunt young adults from discovering who they really are without these influences.

Finding Others With Similar Interests

On a more positive note, pop culture can also really help to bring people together who have similar interests but might not have naturally been drawn to one another. Thanks to both the ubiquity of certain parts of pop culture and the prevalence of social media, it’s now easy to find people all over the world who appreciate the same cultural phenomenons as you. According to Sre Ratha, a contributor to Medium.com, things like Comic-Con are proof that pop culture can turn from being something enjoyed on your own to something you’re able to share with other people.

To help you have a better understanding of how pop culture might be affecting your life, consider how you can see the information presented above in the ways you think and act.

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Lifestyle

3 Things You Should Do To Stay Safe On Campus As A College Student

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While college is ideally meant to be a time where you further your education and experience things that will prove to be beneficial to you later on in life, sometimes things on a college campus can get out of hand. With so many young people in such a small area, it’s easy to see how various safety issues can arise that require students to be careful and learn how to best protect themselves. So to help ensure that you don’t run into any trouble or scary situations while you’re going to school, here are three things you should do to stay safe on campus as a college student.

Be Extra Careful At Night

Although you might enjoy spending time by yourself occasionally, you should be careful when doing this at night in your college town. While you might be perfectly safe when other students are walking the halls or strolling down the sidewalks, being on your own could make you a target for nefarious behavior. According to Melissa Darcey, a contributor to Safewise.com, you should try to walk with another person or ask to be escorted by campus security if you’re going to be moving around campus by yourself at night. There’s always safety in numbers, and traveling with another person once the sun goes down can help you stay safe.

Practice Party Safety

At many colleges, there are going to be opportunities for you to attend parties. While you should be drinking before you’re of legal age, it’s still important to know how to stay safe at a party no matter when or where you plan to go to one. According to Zia Sampson, a contributor to CollegeExpress.com, some rules you should following when going to a party include always having a designated driver so you don’t wind up behind the wheel while drunk, as well as never accepting drinks from a stranger. In fact, always opening your own drinks or watching them be made for you is going to be the best way for you to ensure that you’re not consuming something that you didn’t intend.  

Know The Safety Procedures At Your School

Sadly, emergencies can take place at college campuses regardless of what school you’re attending, so it’s important to know what procedures are in place to keep you safe and what you should do if and when an emergency event takes place. According to Jeff Rosen and Joe Enoch, contributors to Today.com, you should save the campus security phone number into your phone so you can report anything that you think looks suspicious as well as get information if there’s an emergency taking place on campus.

If you’re wanting to find ways that you can be safer when on your college campus, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you do just that.

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