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6 Ways To Save Money In College

Money Mistakes

The cost of college is not what it used to be 20 years ago.  College is expensive, and there are not many signs pointing towards an upcoming decrease in tuition.  Not only does tuition cost a pretty penny, but you have to support yourself during college.  

In addition to the cost of tuition, the cost of living shows no signs of falling either.  Stuck in a world where it costs a whole lot of money to get an education, it is vital that you compile a bag of usable, money-saving tricks to combat your financial stress.  

Grocery shop and cook your own meals

It is not typically a good financial decision to pay for the campus meal plan.  Most of the time, students end up spending money on fast food and other eateries.  The money spent on a meal plan could be better spent.  

Try grocery shopping and cooking your own meals.  Not only will it cost you less to cook your own food, overall, but grocery shopping provides the opportunity to eat healthier.  If you want to take it a step further and be green, purchase your tote bags in bulk, and save even more green.  

Buy used or rent your textbooks

Purchasing brand new textbooks every semester is crazy and very expensive.  Anyone second-year student could tell you that purchasing your books brand new is twice as expensive as renting or buying used.

Make the most of your student discounts

Take advantage of all the different ways to grab a student discount, but be careful not to spend money on things you would not otherwise have purchased.  You don’t save money when you buy a $50 plastic tree for half off.  You don’t need a plastic tree in the first place.  

Work hard and graduate faster

The best way to save a large chunk of money, in the long run, is to be a good student.  Work hard, and graduate on a strict 4-year plan.  Don’t drop or fail your classes, so you don’t have to pay to retake them.  

Leave your car at home with the parents

Leave your car out of the mix.  Sustaining a vehicle is expensive, and paying for parking on or off campus is horrendous.  Take the bus instead.  Most college id’s are a ticket to free public transportation.  Buy a bike, and combat the freshman 15.  Paying to drive and sustain a car is far more expensive than “hoofin’ it.”

Take full advantage of campus resources

When the student center has free food available for some sort of demonstration or display, take full advantage of the yumminess.  Pay attention to campus events.  They always have cool stuff for the free.

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Lifestyle

3 Ways to Practice Safe Drinking While In College

The Adicts Party

Once you make it college, many students feel that it’s their time to try new things and see how they can handle living life without constant parental supervision. And while some students can safely manage this time to themselves, others often take things too far and end up having major problems for themselves, especially when it comes to drinking alcohol. So to help ensure that you’re able to be successful as school and not harm yourself or others, here are three ways you can practice safe drinking while in college.

Stay Hydrated

One great way to keep yourself from getting too drunk too quickly and to avoid getting a hangover the next day is to make hydration a priority while you’re drinking. According to PreventionLane.org, a strategy you may want to try is switching between an alcoholic drink and water while you’re partying at night. This will ensure that you’re not drinking too much alcohol too quickly and that you’re keeping your body properly hydrated as well. While you don’t have to always choose water to drink between alcoholic drinks, simply drinking something that isn’t alcoholic will help you body better metabolize the alcohol you are drinking.

Don’t Drink On An Empty Stomach

In addition to staying hydrated while you’re drinking alcohol, another way to not get drunk as quickly is to ensure that you’re never drinking on an empty stomach. According to Julia Bush, a contributor to the Huffington Post, drinking alcohol without having any food in your stomach can cause you to get drunk very quickly. However, it can also cause you to crash very quickly as well. Not only this, but drinking on an empty stomach can also cause the alcohol to be more damaging to your liver, cardiovascular system, kidneys, and digestion than if you were to eat food either before or during your drinking.

Be Careful With What You Drink

When you’re drinking, your judgement can become very clouded. If this happens, you may put yourself in situations that you otherwise wouldn’t. So to make sure you’re safe even if you’re been drinking a little too much, TheOdysseyOnline.com recommends being very careful with what you drink. Never leave your drink unattended and don’t accept open drinks from people you don’t know. Also, be careful when drinking something you didn’t see get mixed, as you can’t know what alcohol or how much is actually in that drink.

If you’re worried about being safe while drinking at college parties, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you create some safe habits for yourself that will help to ensure you come out of every college party unscathed.

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Lifestyle

4 Reasons You Should Limit Partying In College

college party_

Everyone has heard about the epic parties that the college years have to offer.  It seems to go along with the territory the more stories that you hear about people dancing on tables, jumping into pools,  and beer bonging.

Although it can be an experimental period of time in your life, it’s important to also remember to reel it in.  If you go too out of control you may risk putting yourself in a seriously unfortunate position. Therefore, if you are thinking about all of the wild parties you want to attend in college, here are some reasons to reconsider.

Vanity

At the end of the day staying up late and putting harsh substances into your body will start to age you quickly.  You will start to see changes in your body if you push it too hard.  

Staying up late alone starts to create bags under your eyes and makes your skin dry.  Whereas getting a good night’s rest and eating a diet which is full of wholesome ingredients will keep you younger much longer.

So if you aren’t motivated by health, at least let your vanity motivate you.  You can rest assured that heavy partying certainly starts to wear on your physique.

Your Grades

Your grades will start to slip quickly when you aren’t getting enough sleep or waking up the next day ready for your exams.  Although it may seem like harmless fun at first, you will start to see that you aren’t as focused on your studies and feel sluggish and tired.

It’s important that your main focus is on your studies rather than your social agenda.  Not only are you paying a significant amount of money for your degree, but you have your entire life to have fun.  Do yourself a favor and buckle down now and save the fun for later.  You’ll have a much more successful and enjoyable life overall.

Finances

Alcohol and substances are quite pricey.  As a student, it’s typical to have a rather small budget since your schedule doesn’t allow you the freedom of being able to work full time to make a full salary.

You will find that you can make your dollar stretch much further by avoiding spending money on alcohol and partying.  Why not invest in self-care rather than self-destruction with the small amount of money that you have to work with.

Safety

Getting into trouble while under the influence of alcohol is an easy thing to do.  Not only can you make a fool of yourself but you can also find yourself in danger.

Since pressure can be high to not only drink but drink a lot in college, many people find themselves taken advantage of or injured.

Always practice moderation and you find you have much fewer run-ins with precarious situations.

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Lifestyle

3 Tips for Maintaining Health and Hygiene While In College

college students

With everything going on for a college student, it can be easy to forget about taking care of yourself and maintaining your own health and hygiene. At times, studying for your tests or spending time with your friends might seem like the most important thing. But when you have to sacrifice your health for these things, you might soon realize just how important it is to be healthy and hygienic. So to help those in college who are struggling with finding the right balance in their life, here are three tips for maintaining health and hygiene while in college.

Know The Biggest Risks

While forgetting or not doing small things every once in awhile likely won’t have a detrimental effect on you, there are certain areas of health and hygiene that can be very risky to overlook. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, some of the biggest physical risks to college students include sexual pressures, substance abuse, lack of sleep, and managing stress. Knowing that these four areas are the biggest risks for a college student sacrificing their health or hygiene, it’s important that you do what you can to make these four areas a priority in your life.

Make Time For Hygiene

Although many people recognize that their health is important, sometimes we forget that our personal hygiene is part of our overall physical health. Especially for busy college students, it can be easy to let certain aspects of your physical hygiene slide either due to a lack of time or resources. But according to Trent Hamm, a contributor to the Simple Dollar, investing in yourself is one of the most important things a college student can do. This means that you take pride in the way you care for yourself and don’t neglect the more tedious parts of personal hygiene, like cleaning your earrings or flossing.

Prioritize Sleep Whenever Possible

College students are notorious for staying up late, stretching themselves too thin, and not getting enough sleep. But to be the healthiest version of yourself, Christina Stiehl, a contributor to Thrillist.com, it’s important not to view sleep as something that’s optional. Getting too little sleep can severely affect your bodily functions, make it harder for you to think clearly, increase feelings of anxiety and depression, and slow your reflexes and coordination. So with all that’s riding on you having a successful experience at college, you really can’t afford to be missing too much sleep on a regular basis.

If you’re a college student who feels that the balance of your life has gotten a little out of whack, consider how you could change your health and hygiene habits to make a more positive impact on your life.

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Lifestyle

3 Ways To Avoid College Weight Gain

college classroom

It is very common for students to enter college only to find that they rapidly start feeling their pants get tighter.  This can often be referred to as the “Freshman Fifteen” referring to an average of fifteen pounds weight gain the first year of college.

Some people are able to shed this weight off fairly easily and dismiss this as simply a short chapter of their lives, however, some people are never able to get the weight back off and have an extra 15-20 pounds to carry around for the rest of their lives.  

If you are hoping to avoid this common weight gain, here are some of the best tips to make sure that it doesn’t happen to you.

Be Active

One of the best things that you can do to avoid any sort of weight gain is to make sure that you are staying active.  This means not sitting around on your phone when you have free time, but instead, using it to do something which gets your body moving.

Being active doesn’t necessarily have to mean going for a jog or joining a gym.  Sometimes being active is as simple as going for a walk, or doing an activity which involves some sort of movement, like going bowling, or even going dancing with friends.  By keeping an active lifestyle rather than a stagnant one, you will ensure that you are much less likely to gain weight.

Avoid Processed Foods

One of the biggest reasons that people are prone to weight gain during this period of their lives is because of their limited budgets.  With the time restraints of school as well as still being in the process of learning a skill which will earn them a living, students are often limited to a very small amount of money to be able to do their shopping.

Therefore, sometimes the cheapest options happen to be things which are processed and have very little nutritional content.  Try to look for some options which are still affordable yet fewer calories and don’t come out of a plastic container.  Many vegetables are very affordable and have a high amount of nutrition which will not only avoid weight gain but also serve as brain food in order to be a better student overall.

Limit Beer Consumption

The college years are known for wild parties and drinking beer.  Although this is part of the territory, it’s important to remember that not only can beer lead to a big belly and poor nutritional choices, but it can distract you from your studies and potentially put you in dangerous situations.

Try to limit beer consumption and opt for something lighter if you must drink.  And as always, remember to drink responsibly without getting behind a wheel.

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Lifestyle

5 Ways To Make The Dean’s List And Stay There

deanslister

Making the Dean’s List is an astute goal for college students.  Only the top percentage of students (based on academic performance) make the cut, and an even smaller proportion of those stay on the list throughout their education.  

The requirements for making the Dean’s List varies depending on the institution you attend, but it typically requires students to keep a high grade point average.  Here are a few tools to get (and keep) your name on the Dean’s List at your school.

Organization could save the world

Organization may seem like a tedious concept to adopt, but it will make a difference.  Admittedly, organization probably cannot save the world, but it will save your education.  

College can be an overwhelmingly busy time in your life, and it can get pretty hard to keep all your due dates and obligations in order.  Get a planner, and use it.  

Be ridiculously organized.  The act of organizing your notes and things will help you to build a more significant connection to the material.  

Take advantage of every moment

The hustle and bustle of college life leaves little time for chill.  To make a more efficient use of every moment, drag your textbooks along.  When you have some downtime, read and study.  

The doctor’s office makes you wait, so study.  When you can obtain audiobooks, it is even more convenient to bring your studies along for the ride.  

Do not hesitate to ask questions

In life and in college, it pays to ask questions.  The old saying still stands true, “No question is a stupid question.”  Probing your professor for more information will not only help you gain a more thorough grasp on the material, it will get you participation points with the teacher.  

Professors award students that actively engage themselves in learning.  Typically, participation is even a part of your overall grade.  

Learn how you learn best

Everyone has their own style of learning.  Some of us learn best by hearing the material.  Some people are visual learners, and some of us need to physically interact with something to get the point.  

Whatever the case may be, you should learn your learning style.  There are plenty of different quizzes online to test your way of learning.  Take advantage of those free tools, and use the information they provide to your advantage when you study.  

Show up to every class session

Attendance is crucial.  If you are not in class, you will miss something.  That is a certainty.  Also, some professors award perfect attendance with a pass on the final exam.  

They hold the belief that if you participate in every single meeting, then you most likely learned the material to the highest degree.  Capitalize on the attendance perks.  You will not be sorry.

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Lifestyle

4 Biggest Reasons People Gain Weight In College

college class

Often students gain weight when they get to college regardless of how thin they were in their younger years.  Some students tend to gain 5 pounds on the lower end while others gain as many as 15 to 20.

Some people never see it coming and before you know it they’re buying pants three sizes bigger.  In order to avoid it happening to you, take a look at some of the biggest reasons new students gain weight their first year of college.

Lack Of Exercise

As a student, your schedule can start to fill up quite quickly.  Between having to go to classes, possibly work a part-time job, homework, and your social life, it can be hard to find a workout program which fits into their time restraints.

Getting even just 30 minutes a day of moderate exercise can make a huge difference in your body’s overall condition.  This small amount of effort can keep your weight gain in check during this potentially risky time for weight gain.

Poor Nutritional Choices

When your budget is a bit pressed during your student years this can lead to having to buy cheaper foods which aren’t necessarily nutritional.  This can result in weight gain quickly since you are reaching for what’s easy rather than wholesome foods.

What many students don’t realize, however, is that they can still make healthy choices on a budget.  All it takes is knowing how to cook some basic recipes.When you know how to cook vegetables and meats then you can cut out a considerable amount of calories that you would have otherwise consumed in something processed.

Increased Alcohol Consumption

Often college has a considerable amount of parties.  With these parties comes a lot of alcohol and in alcohol comes a lot of calories. When students start going to several parties a week then the calories can start to add up quickly.

In addition to the extra calories which are in alcohol, it can also cause people to eat more food when under the influence.  Minimizing the intake of alcohol can drastically cut back calories which are associated with causing weight gain in students.

Stress

With the new load in work as well as additional pressures which come along with the new social circles of college, this can lead to eating more because of stress.

Stress eating is common for students and can be a huge cause for gaining a significant amount of weight quickly.  It’s important for students to find other outlets for their stress.  Exercising, taking up a hobby, or meditating can be great alternatives for people who are prone to stress eating. Trying these rather than reaching for a bag of chips can make all of the difference.

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Lifestyle

College Keggers: Understanding The Full Scope Of Host Liability

Pour Alcohol Tap Keg Bartender Drink Beer Brew

For the majority of college students, parties are just another staple of life.  Every weekend, there is a kegger to be conquered, and most attendees think nothing of the possible negative consequences.  

When you choose to host a party, you automatically assume a long list of responsibilities.  The average college student has no idea of the possible consequences of hosting a party gone wrong.  

Though partying is a seemingly essential part of young life, there are safer ways to congregate.  Take a second to check out just what could happen if your celebratory kegger ends badly.  

Social host liability laws

Social host liability laws vary from state to state, but some states hold the host of a party liable for a whole slew of possible circumstances.  It is safer to understand the full scope of responsibility before you assume the role of host.  

In some states, if an intoxicated person leaves a party and kills someone, then the host of the party could be held liable for the wrongful death of that individual.  You could face some very serious charges.  

Spend time researching the social host liability laws in your state.  Educate yourself on what COULD happen, and avoid possibly making a life-altering mistake.

Supplying alcohol to minors

It is safe to assume that supplying alcohol to minors in any situation could lead to some negative legal consequences.  Just because you did not buy the beer specifically for a minor, the fact that they are allowed to drink under your hosting makes you liable for their actions.  

People tend to forget that college students are still underage for most of their college career if they are attending straight out of high school.  Checking IDs at the door is the best way to rule out any underage consumption penalties.

Your lease, landlord, and neighbors

Before the law ever gets involved with a party, there are an array of concerns to consider.  You should consider the rules and regulations laid out in your lease agreement before choosing to host a party.  Your landlord and your neighbors may not appreciate the noise and commotion stirred up by a bunch of drunk college students.  

A long list of possible charges

Here is just a short-long list of possible charges you could accrue if your celebratory kegger gets out of control.  

  • Noise violations can draw charges.
  • Disorderly conduct may apply if there is fighting.
  • Underage consumption and possession can be charged to the host.
  • DUI and other criminal charges could be filed if someone is involved in an accident after leaving your party.  
  • Civil lawsuits may arise if someone is injured at your party.
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Lifestyle

Don’t Let Your Credit Get Out Of Control

College Credit_1

College time is the time to get your life on track and under control, which means you don’t want to mess up your credit. Once you are out of college you want to be able to get a good job so you can pay back your college loans, and then you want to buy your first home, and if your credit is whack that’s not going to happen.

The key, as a college student, to staying away from debt is ensuring, aside from your college tuition, you aren’t spending money you don’t have. If you want to get out of college without any debt, here are some things you should probably try to do.

Get Help

If you’re already in over your head, get help. There is help out there to repair your credit, no matter what the status of your debt is (a lot or a little). Even if you can only make small payments some payments are definitely better than none.

Consider borrowing money from your parents, if you need to. The money they loan you won’t give you bad credit, and you can usually take longer to pay them back. Of course, they may still prefer to charge you some interest (depending on what type of parents you have).

Don’t Abuse Credit Cards

Do not get any credit cards unless you have the steady income coming in to allow you to pay them off on a regular basis. Credit cards are not free cash, and due to the interest rates on them you end up paying more back the more you spend, and the longer you take to pay them off.

Credit cards can be helpful to increase your credit rating, but if you’re not going to be able to keep them paid off on a regular basis they will get you into trouble. It may be a better bet, as a college student that may not have a steady income, to get a debit card from your bank so that you can only spend money you already do have (but more conveniently).

Start Paying Off Your Loans Immediately

It can be in your best interest to start paying your college loans off as soon as possible. Interest being the operative word since those rates can get out of control the more you borrow. At least make interest payments so that your loan amount is growing larger continually.

Your loans could start off something like forty-five thousand and if you don’t interest payments they could quickly (within a few years) be over sixty thousand. Make payments whenever you can, even using your tax refund each year to get a chunk taken care of, above the interest payments you’ve been making.

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Lifestyle

Tips For Keeping Your Expenses Low During College

saving money in college

College can be an extremely busy time when you are focused completely on just trying to keep your head above water and take care of passing all of your classes.  Since you don’t have time to work full time and make a full salary while focusing on all of your credits, it is important to try to keep your expenses low.

The last thing you want to do is get out of school only to find yourself in loads of debt and spend your first 5 years of paychecks on paying off those debts.  Instead, live modestly and remember that this is a time of focusing on your studies, not living lavishly. Here are some of the best tips for keeping your expenses low.

Don’t Go Crazy On Your Credit Cards

Your credit cards aren’t magic squares that you should use to get whatever you want at whatever time you want it.  They are tools which should be used for emergencies or for establishing your credit score in order to build a solid financial future for yourself and be able to do things like buy cars and property.

Instead of running your credit card bills high, try to live with only what you have.  This means spending only the money that you have instead of the invisible money provided with a credit card which only adds instant gratification and a whole lot of interest.

Live With Family If You Can

Try to stay with your parents and live rent free if you can.  This way you can eliminate the biggest expense of all: rent!  Just make sure that all of you feel comfortable with this situation and it will be a good living space for all of you.

If it is a place where you don’t think you will be able to get your homework done or be able to get proper sleep for your classes the next day, then you may want to re-think a better place even if it costs a little bit of money.

Cook At Home

Eating out in restaurants starts to add up quickly.  Eliminate this expense altogether and cook at home when you can.  If culinary skills just aren’t your thing, try buying frozen prepared foods from places like Trader Joe’s.

Often these places have frozen vegetables or re-heatable items which aren’t processed or full of terrible ingredients.

Create a Budget

The most effective way to keep your finances in check is to create a guideline for yourself which creates boundaries for your spending habits.  This means giving yourself a specific amount of money for your bills and expenses as well as leisurely expenses like self-care or clothing.

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