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GradGuard Staff

Student Life

Why Tuition Insurance is an Essential Consideration for College Families

July 19, 2021

For many college families, the expense of higher education is one of the largest investments they will ever make. With so much money at stake, it’s important for college parents to make  a plan for the unexpected, in case their student is forced to withdraw from school due to a severe injury or illness. 

What is Tuition Insurance?

For most of the 20 million college students and their families, the financial loss of an entire semester of college is a burden big enough to break the bank. Tens of thousands of dollars are on the line and college families are smart to consider purchasing tuition insurance before the start of the semester. Tuition Insurance provides a refund for tuition, room and board, and academic fees when schools may not in the event of a covered medical withdrawal. It’s not drop out insurance and students must completely withdraw from classes due to a covered injury or illness. 

College is a fun time to meet new people, create memorable experiences, and of course, learn. That’s not to say it doesn’t come without risks. Knowing some of the biggest financial risks will prepare you for the unexpected. 

Tuition Insurance: What’s Covered?

Tuition insurance may not have been essential for all families to consider 30 years ago, when college was more widely affordable and school refunds were more generous. But things have changed. Given the high cost of college and less generous refund policies, tuition insurance is an important benefit that colleges and universities can offer to protect their students. 

Coverage for Major Injuries and Illnesses, Including Covid-19

Even before the pandemic, ordinary medical conditions, not just Covid-19, are a source of large financial losses for both students and schools. GradGuard is the only major provider in the country to cover withdrawals due to becoming ill with Covid-19. 

The 2020 National Student Health Assessment from the American College Health Association data reveals some of the ordinary risks college students and their families face today, and the impact it has on degree completion:

  • Concussion: 2.2% 
  • Mononucleosis (mono): 56.9%
  • Stress: 43.7%
  • Death of a friend/family member: 40.5%
  • Influenza (flu) or flu-like illness: 50:4%
  • Orthopedic injury (broken bone, fracture, sprain, etc): 2.5%
  • Cold/virus or other respiratory illness: 42.1%

Many students arrive at college with on-going and chronic conditions that may interfere with their studies, such as anxiety and depression. GradGuard’s Tuition Insurance covers controlled pre-existing conditions for students who are medically cleared to attend school. 

Mental Health Coverage Included

Last fall, college families and experts alike were most worried about students becoming ill with Covid-19. This year, the focus is on how the pandemic has greatly impacted the mental health and wellbeing of college students. 

GradGuard became the first and only program in the country to cover mental health as a condition. The growth in student mental health concerns looms as another risk to the investments families make when paying for college. 

Among the troubling trends:
  • 2020 report by the American College Health Association found more than half of nearly 9,000 students surveyed experienced anxiety or depression
  • A nationwide study published by the Journal of Adolescent Health found that rates of moderate to severe anxiety and depression among U.S. college students rose substantially over the last few years — from 18% and 23%, to 34% and 41%, respectively.
  • 2020 survey by the American Council on Education found 68% of college and university presidents say student mental health and well-being is top concern

Room and Board and Academic Fees are Also Covered

Tuition Insurance covers more than just the cost of tuition. GradGuard’s plans can also cover room and board and academic fees. Most higher education institutions only provide a partial refund of tuition during the first five weeks of a semester, and virtually no schools provide refunds for academic fees or housing. 

Conclusion

More than 20 million college students are getting ready to head to campus in the fall. After an extraordinarily challenging year due to the pandemic, families are looking for ways to protect their investment from the unexpected. 

By working with more than 400 colleges and universities nationwide, GradGuard is able to offer students and their families comprehensive and affordable coverage for up to 100% of the cost of college including student housing, tuition and academic fees. Each policy also includes Student Life Assistance, which helps families through the logistics that may accompany an unexpected student withdrawal. GradGuard’s mission is all about helping more students graduate. With Tuition Insurance, students who are forced to withdraw are given the rare opportunity for a do-over

Major or chronic illnesses, accidents and injuries happen frequently, even to young and healthy college students. The good news is that college families can protect their investment in higher education by purchasing tuition insurance. Visit GradGuard.com/Tuition to see the plans available on your campus. 

Terms, conditions, and exclusions apply. Plan(s) underwritten by BCS Insurance Company or Jefferson Insurance Company. AGA Service Company is the licensed producer and administrator of these plans. Plans include insurance benefits and assistance services. Contact AGA Service Company at 800-284-8300 or 9950 Mayland Drive, Richmond, VA 23233 or customerservice@allianzassistance.com.

Health

How to Better Manage Your Sleep

July 15, 2021

Sleep is a vital part of success in life as well as an educational career. Many students fail to acknowledge or regard this fact when going about their day, and they can feel the consequences. Having a regular sleep schedule and getting enough sleep contributes to improved memory, happier moods, better coordination and higher academic performance. Without consistency in sleep, people tend to be in worse moods, have short tempers, be more susceptible to illnesses and more. If someone is experiencing trouble falling asleep and staying asleep, not being able to get up with an alarm, requires caffeine to stay awake, feels exhausted or takes long naps, they may be experiencing lack of sleep. Luckily, there are many different options to try and get a sleep schedule back on track.

There are a lot of things anyone can do leading up to bedtime to secure a better sleep pattern. A large influence of sleep deprivation is having caffeine in the afternoon. Even if someone does not feel the effects of the caffeine or feels that they will be okay if they don’t have it too late at night, consuming it at any point in the afternoon is detrimental to getting rest. Another contributing factor is an excessive use of electronic devices and looking into blue light. Blue light is what the eyes absorb when looking at electronics, and seeing too much of this before bedtime can affect the body’s circadian rhythm and disturb sleep. Avoiding falling asleep to the TV and using electronics about an hour before bedtime is a great way to steer clear sleep deprivation. Instead, one can read, journal or meditate before bedtime. Having an overly hot or cold room can cause a person to have trouble staying asleep at night. Making sure to cool off a warm room and have adequate heat in the winter time is beneficial to keeping the body comfortable and undisturbed. Decluttering the bedroom is also a small but important step in decreasing stress and distractions

It may be hard at first to start getting up early, but being awake in the morning increases productivity and sets one up to go to bed at an earlier hour. Staying up late doing homework is less effective than waking up earlier to get it done, so it is good practice to switch the habit of cramming work into late hours. Along with waking up early, it is important to establish a set sleeping schedule that can be maintained throughout most of the week. Going to bed and waking up at the same time, and at more reasonable hours, is best for the body’s rhythm and the brain’s productivity. Napping has both positive and negative effects depending on how people take them. Napping for less than an hour and before midday is the healthiest option, whereas napping for more than an hour and late into the day can decrease one’s ability to sleep and stay asleep. 

If these and other methods don’t seem to help, it is not a bad idea to consult a doctor about sleep medication or to try natural supplements. Melatonin is a common and useful natural supplement that helps people sleep well and establish a better sleeping pattern, however it tends to weaken the body’s natural production of melatonin if used too long and comes with some small side effects. 

When going through life and pursuing an education, keeping the body healthy is crucial to maintaining a balanced lifestyle. Getting enough sleep and having a set and habitual sleep schedule is one of the most important contributors to being happy and healthy. There are many simple methods to trying to improve one’s sleep, and the best reason to try any of them is that sleep plays into every other aspect of life, so why not make it better?

BIO: Alessandra Gluck is currently a student at the Honors College at Arizona State University. She is double majoring in English Creative Writing and Journalism and Mass Communication. She is also a Member Intern at Grad Guard Insurance Company. Alessandra enjoys writing and plans to pursue this passion throughout graduate school.

Adulting Student Life

College Students and the Economy

July 13, 2021

The state of the economy has an enormous impact on the way that everybody spends their money. This impact both indirectly and directly affects college students in many ways. 

A weakened economy might make it harder for a student who supports themself because maybe they won’t be able to find a job that offers the right pay or the right hours to cover all of their bills and still have some fun. If a student sacrifices their school work for a job that allows them one or all of those things, then their academic performance is likely to decline. If this same student also has a work study job or is involved on campus in extracurriculars such as clubs, organizations or social events, they will likely be forced to enjoy less of these things so that they can decrease the likelihood of academic shortcoming. 

When a student is supported by an elder, the same effects of a weakened economy are likely to occur in the student’s life. A student that was not used to working before may need to now. Also, someone in this situation may receive less support from their financial supporter than they are used to, which can lead them to the same situation as one who supports themself. 

With a student’s academic career on the line, it is important that students know where to find information on the economy, and what to do with such information. Here are some resources that can help even students who are not majoring in business or economics understand how the economy may affect them and those close to them: 

  • We The Economy: This Youtube channel is dedicated to explaining economics and current events through short videos. 
  • TEDEd: This is a website that contains compelling talks about current events… often economics related! 
  • Econedlink: Students K-12 can find both economic and personal finance resources from this website for free. 
  • American Economics Association: Providing information on everything from economics to plausible career opportunities, this website is a great resource for students looking to learn more about finance, economics and the workforce all in one place!
  • The New York Times: Staying up to date with current events in the news is a great way to track the economy and gauge how one’s financial situation could possibly change. 

The White House: With this resource, one can find ample information on current events as well as different social issues and topics, including economics, climate change, foreign policies, defense and more. 

BIO: Darique Williams is a senior at Arizona State University. He is studying Economics and is currently a summer intern at Grad Guard Insurance Company.

Adulting Student Life

3 Reasons Why Renters Insurance is a Smart Buy for College Students

July 9, 2021
Students unpacking boxes

Think about a few of your favorite things you own. Some items that probably come to mind first are electronics such as your cell phone, laptop, and your wireless earbuds. What about those designer jeans you love to wear, or the mountain bike you just got for your birthday?

Now add everything up and determine what all of your stuff is worth. You might be surprised at how quickly everything adds up! College students often have thousands of dollars worth of stuff in their dorm or apartment. What would happen if your stuff was stolen or damaged, and you had to replace it all tomorrow?

It’s no secret college costs a lot. On top of financial stress, taking classes while juggling an internship and a part time job can be a lot to think about. One thing you you shouldn’t have to stress about is if the unexpected happened, and how you would pay for your damaged or stolen stuff.

Here are 3 reasons why renters insurance is a smart buy for college students:

If you can’t afford to replace your damaged or stolen stuff.

Picture this: You’re studying for midterms in the library when you get up to go to the bathroom. You leave your laptop at the desk you were working at, thinking it’d be fine if you just left it for a few minutes. But when you return, your laptop is now missing. Now what? Would you be able to afford a replacement? If not, that’s how GradGuard can help. The majority of schools don’t replace stolen or damaged student property, even if the incident happened on-campus.

Although college campuses might feel like one big protective bubble, crime happens. Crimes such as burglary, sexual assault, hazing, and theft are some of the most common crimes that occur on or near college campuses. According to Clery Act Campus Safety Reports, more than 37,000 criminal offenses happen on college campuses each year.

“Adulting” is part of college, and that includes knowing how insurance can provide confidence and peace of mind. If you can’t afford to replace your backpack, laptop, bike, or other items, renters insurance can GradGuard has worldwide property coverage so even if you’re back home for the weekend, or studying abroad and your phone is stolen, GradGuard can help.

Don’t assume your parents’ homeowners insurance policy will automatically cover you and your stuff.

Many college families think renters insurance isn’t necessary because their student should be covered with their homeowners insurance policy. While it may seem like you’re saving money by not buying a separate policy, you may run into unexpected and expensive coverage gaps depending on the circumstances. Homeowners insurance policies tend to have much higher deductibles, and your policy may not offer the extent of coverage you need in the event of theft or other losses. GradGuard’s Renters Insurance is an affordable option for college students living away from home.

GradGuard is designed for college student with features like a $100 deductible, no credit checks, and monthly payment plans.

If you accidentally damage your dorm room, could you afford to pay for the damages?

As a college student, you likely never intend to cause any damage to your dorm room or off-campus student housing, but accidents happen. What if you fall asleep with a candle burning and that sparks a fire? Or, a pipe bursts in your dorm room and all your stuff is soaked? These are just a couple of examples of costly incidents that could happen in student housing. According to Clery Act Campus Safety Reports, there are nearly 2,000 fires on college campuses each year. College students are smart to have renters insurance that can help pay for unintentional damages when they cannot. If your place is damaged and you need somewhere to temporarily live, GradGuard’s renters insurance also includes loss of use coverage.

Insurance is something you hope you never have to use. But when you do have to use it, you’re glad you have it! GradGuard’s Renters Insurance costs on average just $11 per month. That’s less than what you probably pay in streaming subscriptions, and a small price to pay if you had to unexpectedly replace your $1200 laptop!

College is an exciting time full of new experiences and people. Don’t wait for a sprinkler system to ruin your dorm room, or for your laptop to go missing before you start thinking about how you might pay for that. With so much money at stake, college students and families are smart to make a plan in the event the student t is a victim of theft, their property is damaged by a fire or water damage or if they are found responsible for damages they may cause. Whether you live on or off-campus, get started with a free quote for GradGuard’s Renters Insurance today.

Other Student Life

How To Be Financially Smart Before and During Study Abroad

July 8, 2021

Before Study abroad 

Most students will want to take advantage of the opportunity to study abroad in college. It is such an exciting opportunity that we can tend to get ahead of ourselves by daydreaming about the places we will travel to, planning out our Instagram poses, and begging our friends to come out and visit us. But what we can sometimes forget to do is start budgeting and saving up money for our travels before the semester abroad rolls around.

Summer work

If you are financing your study abroad, try to have at least three months prior where you can work consistently and set aside the money you make. Many students already know a year or so in advance that they are going to study abroad. Utilize the summer before the fall or spring term that you are studying abroad to work as often as you can so that you are able to save up as much as possible . Some days might be difficult if you are working 5-6 days a week and eight hours a day, but set your phone background as a picture of Europe, and remember that all the long hours will pay off when you are traveling the world for a semester.

Cutting out unnecessary expenses

In order to save as much as you can before getting on your plane to start your travels, there are a few expenses you can limit that we do not realize make a dent in our bank account: 

  • $5 dollar daily coffee 
  • Takeout/Eating out 
  • Limit your spending on social outings to twice a month instead of once each week
  • Shopping. You might feel like you need new clothes for your travels, but you will probably buy plenty in the countries you visit 

Apply for scholarships 

Schools like to show their support for study abroad programs by providing ample scholarship opportunities to their students. Look into your specific school program and try to apply to as many scholarships as you can.  There are many different amounts that students may receive, and any opportunity for aid should not be passed up. Even being awarded $200 will pay for a  fun experience, such as a weekend airbnb in Italy and most scholarships will award you more than that. 

During Study Abroad 

Budgeting is a long-term necessity. Saving your money while you are traveling is just as important as saving it before you go out and explore. It is easy to drain your wallet in the excitement that comes with being abroad, but following a few easy steps can help you be financially responsible. 

Create a budget 

During the week, give yourself a limit on the amount of money you spend going out to get food and drinks. Eating out and getting drinks tends to be a daily activity and can add up quickly, so make sure to keep track of this so that you avoid draining your travel money on things such as fancy pasta for lunch everyday.

Fly smart 

There is no need to book with expensive airlines, Although it may seem too good to be true, there are flights that will get you to the same location for as low as $30. RyanAir, for example, is a popular airline in Europe with competitive prices. Another practice to avoid expensive flights is to try and fly on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays as these days tend to be cheaper. 

Book airbnbs or private hostel rooms 

Many students do not love the idea of staying in a hostel and so they think they will be spending more on hotels. This, surprisingly, is not the case. Airbnbs are safe and inexpensive options all over Europe. Look into any reviews and check the location with popular tourist spots. Also, hostels have the option of private, two person rooms, which is an option people are more comfortable with rather than spending more on a private hotel room.

Saving money both before and during study abroad can be done easily and efficiently if you keep in mind these simple tips. It is important to always remember why you are saving money as staying focused on your goal can motivate you to keep up your progress. These budgeting tips and other methods of saving money for school programs and activities can also be applied throughout your life in many different areas. 

Safe travels and happy saving!

BIO: Elie Corbett is a senior at Northern Arizona University majoring in Marketing. She is interning at GradGuard for the summer. She loves to spend time with her friends,  travel, and go to concerts!

Student Life

Why Tuition Insurance?

July 6, 2021

Endless stress from the unknown alongside having to pay a heavy price tag can make college feel incredibly daunting. This is why you should think about protecting your investment in your education, and put “tuition insurance” at the top of your college to-do list. Insurance protects all aspects of your life, from your car to your home, so why wouldn’t you also want it to cover your pursuit of higher education?

GradGuard offers a Tuition Protection Plan that can put you and your parents’ mind at ease by providing coverage for your tuition, academic fees and housing in the event that you need to fully withdraw from school due to a covered medical condition, injury or illness. 

Sounds too good to be true? Just wait until you learn more. 

Protection From the Unexpected

There are many unexpected events that happen while in college, which is exactly why it is vital to be proactive and plan for those occurrences. Tuition insurance provides a safety net for families to feel secure in the investment of their student’s education.

It Can Give You A Second Chance

No one should be afraid of losing out on their education due to a medical reason. Whether it be injury, illness or a mental health condition, ensuring that you can bounce back after withdrawing from school can be beneficial. Tuition insurance grants you that second chance at college by allowing you to incur little to no financial loss.

Your School’s Refund Policy Isn’t Generous

You might be thinking that tuition insurance is “unnecessary” because your school will refund you your money in the event of a complete withdrawal. The reality is that this is not always the case. In fact, most colleges do not offer any money back after the fifth week of classes, and if they do, it will not cover any additional expenses paid on your behalf. Tuition insurance closes these gaps and protects not only your tuition but also your housing, academic fees and more at any point during your covered term.

Still sound too good to be true? Read some testimonials from families who have benefited from having a Tuition Protection Plan at blog.gradguard.com and to learn more about how tuition insurance can protect you. 

BIO: Morgan Kubasko is going to be a freshman at Barrett, the Honors College, at Arizona State University. She is majoring in Journalism and Mass Communication. She is currently a summer intern with GradGuard.

Safety Student Life

How to Stay Safe in College

July 1, 2021

College can be a crazy and scary new step in every incoming freshman’s life. Whether attending college in your hometown or 6+ hours away, it is important to stay safe on and off campus. A new location and responsibilities can leave you vulnerable. Below are tips that new college kids need to remember on how to be safe during the school year.

Tips:

  • Stay aware and travel in groups.
  • Save the phone numbers of campus police and town police.
  • Be aware of the safety and mental health services provided on campus including rides, hotlines and blue safety lights.
  • Join the local/campus safety Facebook for look-outs and warnings.
  • Share schedules with friends and roommates. 
  • Learn about any dangerous parts around town

College is a time for you to meet new people, gain an education and learn new experiences. Have fun and get the most out of your time in college but remember that safety is really important when going out. Most stories you might hear occur when girls are going out in the middle of night. You may also hear stories where people say they had a really an unpleasant feeling before something bad happened. Don’t be afraid to leave if you’re uncomfortable in a situation. Sometimes your gut knows more than you. The best thing you can do is learn from your mistakes and the experiences of others. Below are good tips to remember when going out.

Tips:

  • Always have a designated driver or call an Uber/Lift.
  • Go out with people that you can trust and will take care of you.
  • Never take a drink offered by someone unless you saw them make it. 
  • Share plans or locations when going out or on a date.

If you are left with one piece of information before you go off to college, it should be:

Be aware, use your common sense, but most importantly go live your life at college!

BIO: Emily Bruchmiller is a Senior at Texas Tech University. She is double majoring in Marketing and Management. She is interning at GradGuard for the summer. She loves to spend time with her friends, hiking, and going to new places in her free time.

Student Life

5 Ways for Creative Students to Make Money

June 29, 2021

Starving artist and broke college student? This trope almost feels impossible to avoid as a student wanting to pursue your creative strengths. However, in the age of the internet, there are plenty of opportunities for young artists to not only establish themselves but also to make some money.

  1. RedBubble

If you are a busy, on-the-go student, then RedBubble might be the best money-making option for you. This website focuses on helping to simplify the selling process for artists. All you have to do is upload your artwork, select what products you want to sell and then promote your shop! RedBubble allows for you to bypass any shipping or printing hassle without any out-of-pocket costs. All in all, RedBubble is the perfect starting point for artists who want to begin selling their creations.

  1. Etsy

Etsy might be up your alley if you are more crafty and have some time and resources on your hands! Etsy is an e-commerce company that provides a platform for artists to sell handmade items and crafts. If you love making jewelry, clothing or home decor pieces, you can find a home to sell your creations on Etsy.

  1. Skillshare

You might be interested in sharing your creativity and talents by teaching others. If you are, then selling your own classes on Skillshare might be the best option for you! Skillshare provides a platform for anyone to teach. You do not have to be accredited or a professional in your field, all you need is to be passionate about what you do and willing to help others. Start by creating your own class, and then as your following builds, you’ll earn money!

  1. Artfinder

If you are drawn to selling more traditional pieces, and you have a more solid idea of who you are as an artist, then Artfinder might be the best fit! Artfinder is a marketplace of independent artists who sell their own original works. Whether it be printmaking, sculpture, photography or another medium, you can sell your art among other creators who are just as passionate about their craft as you!

  1. ShutterStock

You are probably familiar with ShutterStock if you often work on producing presentations, videos or promotional pieces. ShutterStock is a platform that provides stock images, videos and vectors around the world, and it allows for anyone to contribute. If you have high-quality pieces that you are willing to share for others to download and use, then submit them to ShutterStock. Everytime one of your uploads is downloaded by a user, you will receive payment.

These are just a few of the opportunities that exist for artists to make money. Not only are they user friendly and customizable to you, but they are also great ways for students to enter the art world while pursuing an education. Good luck and happy creating!

BIO: Morgan Kubasko is going to be a freshman at Barrett, the Honors College, at Arizona State University. She is majoring in Journalism and Mass Communication. She is currently a summer intern with Grad Guard Insurance Company.

Career Student Life

What Internship Is Right For You?

June 24, 2021

A key factor in getting the most out of your education is to gain as much experience as possible. It is important to remember that no experience is a bad experience, which is why procuring an internship during one’s college career is both important and exciting. An internship might seem intimidating, especially when you are going to be new and probably inexperienced, but that is exactly the point. You are meant to be learning as many new things as possible, and overcoming both obstacles and fears is what makes an internship worthwhile. Going through this process and gaining experience is great for not only building a resume, but also for making connections with the career world. With all of this on the horizon, the first step to getting experience under your belt is to decide which internship is right for you. 

Why An Internship?

Getting a job is definitely a great form of gaining experience, but most jobs that are available for students won’t provide work for the skillsets you are trying to enhance. Internships are a great way to find a passage that will ease you into a professional workplace. Whether an internship is paid or unpaid, the focus is to enhance what you are learning in your education as well as develop your understanding about a potential career. The experience you gain from being an intern is transferable to any job experience, therefore making it worthwhile. 

What Kind of Internships Are Out There?

There are many different types of internships out there. One is not worse than the other, but it is up to you which one fits best with what you are trying to achieve. Some internships are paid where others are not. When you are not getting paid, whomever you are working for will have big goals for you and give you projects to make your time meaningful, which can help with both your growth and the company’s. With a paid internship, you are able to gain both monetary and work-space experience. Learning about what to do with your money and getting into a position where you can be involved in budgeting as well as learning is a great way to get knowledge under your belt. Either way, focusing on your involvement and skill development is the most important aspect of an internship to look for, but don’t miss out on being assertive and responsible. Startup companies versus long term companies is a debate that differs for each situation, but there are advantages to both. Startups are smaller companies where there is more room for each employee to work on many different tasks and projects that are important to the company’s success. Big corporate companies may provide you with a specific task for your time. Startups are more open to taking different types of students with various majors, whereas corporate companies tend to focus on particular skill sets. 

Your Objective

Getting an internship is for your benefit, so it is important to keep your goals and objectives for the experience and the top of your check list. What are you trying to achieve? What skills are you trying to develop? As much as your company will be directing your projects, you are able to do the most with your experience and create opportunities to do as much as you can. When you are looking for internships and being interviewed, make sure to ask what your experience will look like, and don’t be afraid to go after the positions where you will be benefited most. 

There are so many opportunities throughout an educational career to explore and experience. An internship is a prominent path to take when looking for a balance of educational and work experience while in school. Take advantage of this opportunity, and keep in mind that this is a chance to enhance your skills and talents. Remember what you are looking for in an internship as it is a way to help you grow and learn how to help a company grow. All experiences are for your advantage!

BIO: Alessandra Gluck is currently a student at the Honors College at Arizona State University. She is double majoring in English Creative Writing and Journalism and Mass Communication. She is also a Member Intern at Grad Guard Insurance Company. Alessandra enjoys writing and plans to pursue this passion throughout graduate school.

Student Life

How to Balance Wellbeing, Social Life and Academics in Your First Year of College

June 22, 2021

Finding that perfect balance in life can be hard enough, let alone finding balance in college as a student juggling the stress of getting perfect grades and maintaining an involved social life, all while staying on top of personal well being. 

Having gone through my first year of college and experienced first hand maintaining this balance, I will be sharing with you in this post what has worked for me. 

Placing high priority on both physical and mental health as well as school work and social life is crucial. Recognizing that the key to maintaining a balance between all three of these things consists of properly managing your time and learning how to say no when the time is right.

As both semesters went on, the importance of saying no to distractions grew increasingly more obvious, whether that meant getting ahead on some work or getting in a few extra hours of sleep. It is not easy to say no to friends when they propose a fun plan to go out, but deciding that a night to yourself would be more beneficial is what allowed me to maintain a healthy mind and body. 

It was possible to maintain a strong GPA both fall and spring semester of freshman year while working out five days a week and getting to experience the social scene. In fact, freshman year is the year in which you will meet more people than ever before regardless of how intimidating living on campus can be. It is possible to go out and experience every new club and organization while remaining on top of your academics.  

One of the major steps to first year success is to join clubs and organizations in your first year in order to meet a wide variety of people and have as many new experiences as possible. As many new and different things as possible! It is through all these extracurricular activities that freshmen are able to meet some of the most like-minded people and figure out what sparks their interest. 

As far as maintaining a good GPA, it is necessary to be consistent with your studies and learn right away that doing well in college requires a different effort than what would have allowed you to do well in high school. Succeeding in college means studying the material you have learned as you go along through each semester. Cramming for an exam the night before was no longer sufficient for success solely because the material was far too difficult and dense to grasp all at once. Make sure to not be too hard on yourself when it comes to perfecting individual assignments, but remain consistent with your study habits and have a high degree of academic diligence. 

Prioritizing yourself comes first when it comes to mental and physical health. It becomes more difficult to accomplish academic goals and maintain a social life when you do not feel secure and confident in your own mind and body. Setting specific goals for yourself to workout every morning ensures that your day is set up for success. Working out in itself is a productive task. Therefore, this tricks your brain into wanting to continue to be productive if you are able to get in a workout for that day. Not only does working out set you up to be constructive, it releases endorphins in your body that help you to feel better and give you more energy (which you can utilize to fulfill other tasks, either academically or socially related!).

These tips might seem like a lot at first, but with practice and time, finding the right balance in college comes much easier than you would think. 

BIO: Mira Camunez is a Sophomore at Barrett the Honors College at Arizona State University. She is studying Business Entrepreneurship and is a summer intern at GradGuard.