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Health

 Walking For Your Wellness: A Student’s Guide to Mindful Exercises

June 7, 2022

While college provides its fair share of challenges, there are many ways that you put your mind at ease and improve your focus and general mental health. In addition to speaking to a counselor or calling a loved one, you also improve your wellness by taking a walk.

It’s true. While regular exercise can help you maintain a healthy body and strong bones, mindful practices can also help you strengthen your mind and fight the stress that college life can bring. Let’s talk more about what you can add to your health regimen.

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Adulting Student Life Transition

How to Plan Now for Homeownership Later

May 24, 2022

The dream of homeownership is well within your reach! In 2021, 65% of US residents owned their own homes, and you can, too. While the median age of first-time homebuyers has been increasing—for a variety of reasons—16% of homeowners are members of the Gen Z or millennial set. How did they get there? Usually, by careful financial planning. The sooner you start planning, the sooner you’ll have the keys to your first home. Here are a few tips on how to set out on the path of homeownership both before and after graduation.

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Health Student Life

Strategies for Prioritizing Mental Health in College

May 16, 2022
five young students sitting together outside

College is a wonderful time in your life. You meet new people, grow beyond your existing ideas, and are constantly working towards the goal of self-improvement. 

But, there’s no doubt that college is stressful, too. Socializing, learning, and developing a career is hard, and accumulating debt can feel overwhelming. 

Combine these stressors with the past few years’ events, and you are sure to feel a little frazzled. 

But, in the long run, college is undoubtedly worth it. You make friendships that last a lifetime and add serious value to your career potential. You’ll also learn to appreciate life in new and novel ways, as that elective in literature might just spark a love of reading and critical thinking. 

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Student Life

Handling the Stress and Anxiety of Being a Student-Athlete

April 6, 2022

Teens and college-aged students have a lot to deal with every day. There’s a lot to handle, from homework and studying for exams to having a social life and preparing for the future. Student-athletes, however, have another layer of mental strain placed on them. They have to train, practice, manage what they eat, and balance their schedules to make sure they can get everything done. 

So, it should be no surprise that student-athletes often struggle with issues like depression and anxiety more than students who don’t play sports. 

If you’re a student-athlete and struggling with your mental well-being, let’s cover some of the added stressors sports can cause and how you can find healthy ways to cope. 

Are Sports Too Stressful?

Being a student-athlete can be an enriching experience, and there are plenty of benefits to playing sports and staying active. But, they can also negatively impact your mental health if you’re focused so much on the competition that it becomes an obsession. If you lose, it might affect your self-esteem. 

You might even feel excluded at times, from your teammates or from other friends who don’t play sports but think you don’t have time for them because of your busy schedule. It’s hard to balance everything when you already have a full schedule. Combining those factors with the physical exhaustion playing a sport can cause, and it’s easy to feel down and depressed. 

What Can You Do?

With so many other stressors in the life of an average student, how can you handle the stress and anxiety of being a student-athlete? 

First, make sure you still love the sport you’re playing. Even if you’re in a high level of competition, you should still be having fun. If you dread going to practice or resent the way your sport has impacted your life, it might be time to reconsider if it’s right for you. 

If you want to keep playing, the best thing you can do is find ways to manage your stress. Some of the easiest ways to do that include

  • Prioritizing sleep
  • Creating a schedule and honing your time management skills
  • Making time for social activities away from sports
  • Practicing self-care every day


Don’t be afraid to try different things to reduce your stress. Things like mindfulness and meditation are great for relaxation. Even if you’ve never tried them before, it’s not too late to make them a part of your daily routine. When you try new techniques, you’ll eventually find something that works well. 

If you find that you’re really struggling, reach out to your resources. Most college campuses across the country have a mental health and wellness program. Some even have on-campus therapists or counselors that can help you work through your struggles and offer effective coping solutions. 

You don’t have to give up being a student-athlete to deal with stress and anxiety. But, finding ways to manage it while you’re trying to balance everything in your life is important. Take the time to understand the source(s) of your stress, and use the suggestions listed here to handle it in healthy ways. 

Career Student Life

3 Things Every Student Should Do Before Graduating 

March 29, 2022
Things to do before graduation

The months following graduation can feel a little odd. Maybe you didn’t have a job lined up after college like some of your friends did. It’s difficult to keep in touch when you’re not bumping into each other on campus or in the residence halls anymore. As a result, many recent grads struggle to adapt to life outside of college.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. You can make your transition from college into post-grad life a little easier by planning ahead and preparing for all that life has to offer. Here are 3 things every student should do before graduating and heading into the workforce.

Polish Your Social Media Accounts

Your social media accounts will serve a very different purpose once you graduate. Social media was a great way to connect with new friends and learn about events or parties in college. But when you graduate, your social media account can be a risk to your personal and professional growth.  

Nowadays, most organizations will look you up on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram before hiring you. Anything that was considered cool in college, such as underage drinking, or posting photos by the pool every Saturday may come back to haunt you if your future employer saw it. Just because your profile settings are set to private, doesn’t mean it’s completely blocked off.

This doesn’t mean you have to delete every social picture from your profiles. You just have to be savvy about what you leave up and what you take down. Try to untag yourself from anything that might be misinterpreted. What happens online, stays online!

Update Your Resume

When was the last time you updated your resume? For most college students, it was probably either in high school or when you applied for a recent part-time position. These versions of your resume simply won’t cut it in the professional world, where you need to put forward a solid resume to make it to the interview stage. 

Fortunately, most colleges have a career services department to help you create the best version of your resume. Usually, the folks who work in these offices have plenty of experience, so it’s worth checking them out and listening to their suggestions. 

You can start writing a killer resume by researching successful resumes online. This will give you an idea of the industry standard and help you choose between design templates and layouts. Regardless of the template you choose, you must first share the most essential information. This depends on the job you are applying to and your experience, but it should always display your strongest achievements and accomplishments first.  Make sure to mention your anticipated graduation month and year, and if you’re open to relocating after graduating.

Write a Will and Advanced Directive

Many people mistakenly believe that will writing is only for the elderly or those with life-threatening conditions. The reality is that all adults need to have a will to make things easier for loved ones if tragedy does occur. 

However, if it’s your first time writing a will, it can be hard to know what to include. Typically, your will should tell your loved ones what you want to happen regarding your health care, property, and assets. Your parents will likely be able to help you out with writing your first will. You can always update it down the line after big life events, such as getting married or having a child.

Takeaways

Transitioning from college to the workforce is always going to be tricky. But you can make the process a little smoother by planning ahead and setting a clear direction for your life after graduation. Start by assessing your social media presence and resume materials, as these will play a significant role in your job hunt. Then, consider writing a will and advanced directive, so you can move into life beyond college with peace of mind. 

Adulting Transition

Ultimate Guide to Getting Your First Car

March 4, 2022

Your first car could be one of your first major investments, and an important one at that. Having a personal car is a necessity nowadays because it is more convenient than commuting, especially if you are the type of person who has a lot of errands to do. But what should you consider when purchasing your first car? 

Type and model of the car

The type and model of the car are the first things you should weigh on because this one is a personal choice apart from being a practical one.

  • What type of car do you prefer?
  • Do you want a sedan or an SUV?
  • Do you need to use it for yourself only or do you have a family to consider?
  • Is it going to be for personal use or are you going to use it for a business?

These questions could lead to the type and/or model of the car you are going to get. If you still don’t have an idea of what you should buy, there are news articles that suggest the best practical cars in this season. For instance, here’s a US News article that suggests the most practical car options for the year 2021. But apart from practicality, this could also be just a personal preference. Would it be a dream car? It’s your decision to make. And after considering these, you can proceed to the next one—the price.

Price range and amortization

After choosing the type or model of the car that you want to purchase, it’s time to look around and check its price. You can go research different car dealerships near you and check if the vehicle you want is available there and how much they are selling it for. You may also review the car loan process beforehand to get all the details needed.

The best thing to do is to personally inquire and sort of get a customized deal that would suit your budget. Some car dealers try to adjust their rates depending on the capacity of the customer, considering other factors such as the amount of downpayment to be made, the length of the term, and the amount of amortization you could afford. It’s not bad to haggle sometimes.

Just remember that this is a major financial commitment and it could affect your credit score in the future. So you better make sure that you can commit to whatever deal you are going to get for your new car. 

Insurance and tax

Apart from monthly payments, your vehicle is also subject to tax. But there are vehicles that are exempted from tax such as old cars. There are also a few states that do not impose a tax on cars such as Delaware, Alaska, Oregon, New Hampshire, and Montana. You can purchase your car in these states, but you may still have to pay car tax if you move the vehicle into a state that imposes a tax on cars.

Car insurance is also important because accidents could always happen and it’s better to be secured rather than having to spend more later on. There are different types of car insurance and they vary depending on the state you are in. There is mandatory car insurance that covers your liability when accidents happen, and some options are for the damages your vehicle could get. There is also gap insurance where you get covered if the car gets stolen — basically, it prevents you from paying the whole amount of the car after it was stolen. 

These are just a few, basic pointers you need to remember when getting your first car, and again, just be reminded that purchasing a vehicle is a major decision and you should not be too quick when deciding what to buy and where to buy it from. Take your time and try to always look for the pros and cons before purchasing.

Career Student Life

Diversity Encouragement Strengthening STEM Disciplines

March 1, 2022

A STEM career may prove to be a great choice for you. For instance, you can earn a degree in astronomy, biology, or another STEM field. From here, you can gain the skills you need to become a key contributor in a STEM role. In addition, you can help foster diversity among STEM disciplines. 

You can simultaneously build a rewarding STEM career and promote diversity in STEM disciplines. And doing so may have far-flung effects on yourself and many others long into the future. 

Why STEM Studies Are Crucial 

Sparking interest in STEM studies drives diversity among STEM disciplines. To understand why, consider what can happen if you pursue a STEM degree. 

In this instance, you’ll use hands-on and classroom training and exercises to build your skill set in science, technology, engineering, and math. Next, you can use your STEM skills to solve problems and take your creativity to new heights. 

At this point, your STEM skills can make you an attractive candidate for top jobs from STEM companies. They can even help you earn a great salary. 

Let’s not forget about the unique contributions you’ll be able to bring to a STEM company, either. Your contributions may lead others to pursue STEM careers. As a result, you’ll foster diversity in STEM disciplines. 

How Educators Encourage Diversity in STEM Disciplines 

If you’re on the fence about a college major, meeting with educators can provide a great starting point. Teachers have your best interests at heart and can address any doubts you have about choosing a college major.  

Many teachers possess cultural awareness that is vital to the enjoyment and pursuit of learning. These teachers can help you explore career interests you previously might not have considered. And they may help you find a STEM degree program that suits you perfectly. 

Ultimately, earning a degree in a STEM discipline can provide a viable career path. There are many degrees you can pursue in STEM studies. Thus, you can find one that interests you and make a career out of it. You can help make STEM disciplines more diverse than ever before, too. 

How to Build a STEM Career and Promote Diversity

Once you’re ready to earn a degree in a STEM field, you’ll need to find the right degree program. You can look for STEM studies at colleges and universities close to home. Or, you can enroll in an online degree program.

Search for degree programs that align with what you want to accomplish in your career. Oftentimes, it helps to list out your career goals. You can then use your goals to figure out what degree programs can help you build your ideal STEM career. 

Take advantage of any opportunities to gain experience, too. Sign up for workshops on various STEM topics. You can also explore internship and apprenticeship opportunities. 

Remain on the lookout for opportunities to grow your STEM career as well. If you are open to learning about new STEM topics, you can continuously enhance your skillset. Over time, you may establish a cultural awareness that helps you get the most out of learning about STEM topics as well.  

Launch Your STEM Career

Pursue STEM studies in areas that interest you. In doing so, you can build a rewarding STEM career and foster diversity in STEM disciplines. 

Adulting Career Transition

Best Jobs for Introverts

February 8, 2022
Introvert Jobs in College

It can be difficult enough to find a job. Finding one that you, as an introvert, can thrive in is even more difficult. It can seem like the world is built for extroverts, and large portions of it can be. However, in these modern times (especially during the pandemic) finding a job where you can limit your social interactions—or even work from home—is a lot easier.

Money isn’t the only thing you should be considering when looking for a new job. It is important, but you may find out that even if a job pays well, it isn’t the best for you. Here are 4 jobs that an introvert like yourself may enjoy.

1. Architect

Architects mostly work independently, planning and designing a variety of different buildings. If you like to solve problems and have a creative mind, being an architect may be the right pick for you. 

2. Librarian

This one may seem self-explanatory. A library is a quiet setting, one that many introverts can be drawn to. Being a librarian involves helping people find and check out books, as well as being responsible for the library’s upkeep and possible events. This job has more social interaction than you may think, so make sure you know what you’re getting into before accepting any position.

3. Social Media Manager

If you are knowledgeable and passionate about social media but don’t want to post about yourself, being a social media manager could be perfect for you! Social media managers create posts for clients, as well as plan and market larger campaigns. This is a job that can allow a lot of freedom and opportunities to work from home.

4. Editor

Like language? Have a passion for reading and writing? Consider becoming an editor. Editors mostly work alone and a good number work from home. They spend most of their time reading and looking over content to make sure it’s ready to be published. An editor could edit content for a variety of different mediums and subjects.

Conclusion

These were just 4 jobs that introverts may be attracted to. Remember, money isn’t everything when it comes to a job or career. It certainly is important, however. If you’re looking for a job that will pay you enough, Mint’s salary tool can help you see the salary range for a number of different jobs and locations.

BIO: Ray Alonzo is an avid writer from Phoenix. He focuses heavily on research to provide the most accurate information possible to readers.

Adulting Student Life Transition

Addressing Finances as a Student

February 4, 2022

College is one of the best times of your life: you’re always meeting new people, are regularly exposed to new and revolutionary ideas, and will make memories that last a lifetime. 

However, college can also be challenging. As a student, you’re continuously juggling responsibilities and are constantly aware of the costs like school fees, books, food, and accommodation. 

These responsibilities can lead many to put their head in the sand during their college years and ignore their finances. But this approach is unlikely to alleviate any financial anxiety you might feel and will only inflate your debts when you graduate. 

Instead, try a forward-thinking approach to budgets, expenses, and income — here are a few tips to help you along the way.  

Setting-up Your Budget

First things first – you can’t address your finances properly without a clear budget. 

You can create a realistic budget by adding up your income and looking at your expenses. This can be tricky, especially if you work hourly, which might fluctuate around seasonal shifts and finals and your income is inconsistent. You can account for these fluctuations ahead of time or should set a “minimum income” amount, so you don’t reach beyond your means. 

Next, divide your expenses into essential and non-essential expenses. Essential expenses should cover any non-negotiable fees like rent or food, and non-essential expenses should include cash for good times (we’ll get to that later!). 

Once you have a clear picture of how much you expect to earn and spend every month, you should start to think about how you can make your money work for you through investments and interest on savings — but only after you’ve established a healthy emergency fund. 

Pro-Tip: Take a look at your bill due dates to ensure you never miss a payment and that you will have enough money in your accounts when you need it!

Emergency Fund

An emergency fund protects you from unexpected medical bills or car maintenance fees. This isn’t the most fun way to handle your money, but it’s essential if you wish to have financial security and peace of mind. Emergencies can happen anytime, and being prepared for the unexpected ensures you will be okay.

Determining the size of your emergency fund depends on your current financial situation. However, an excellent point to start is budgeting to cover at least three months’ worth of expenses if you lose your source of income or are hit with an unexpected bill. 

Transportation

Without proper care and attention, cars can be money pits. You can easily spend hundreds, if not thousands, on simple repairs, and cars require consistent tax and insurance payments. As a student, you should seriously consider ditching a car until you have a reliable full-time income source that can support your vehicle without putting an extra strain on your budget. 

It’s hard to know if life without a car is right for you, and you should consider factors like your proximity to campus and access to public transport before you list your vehicle on craigslist. However, there are profound health benefits to going without a car, as you’ll likely cycle or walk far more than you ever did before. 

Good Times

A budget isn’t a spreadsheet that exists to make you feel guilty. A reasonable budget should allow for small fund to allow traveling, eating out, shopping, and activities with your friends. It’s important to set some money aside to for good times and memorable experiences, but as long as it doesn’t put you in a hard spot. You need to remember that your budget every month may not allow for fun activities if you

As a student with fewer commitments, you should seriously consider spending the money you budget for good times on summer travel plans. Summer vacation will help you see the light at the end of the spring semester tunnel and will give you a chance to make meaningful connections with the people you’ve met while studying. 

Conclusion

You can’t achieve financial independence overnight, but that shouldn’t stop you from making proactive financial choices based on a clear budget and some forward-thinking. That might mean you need to ditch the car for a few years, but it will also allow you to spend a little extra on summer vacations or road trips with your new friends. 

Health Student Life

The Mental Health Benefits of Exercise

February 2, 2022
Working out in college

Exercise is about so much more than just physical strength. While it’s primarily your body that benefits from regular exercise, your mind is greatly uplifted by frequent movement, too.

You can think of exercise as a way to kill two birds with only one stone—physical strength and mental strength. College students are almost always in need of a boost to keep them going throughout their studies, which is why exercise is so important.

Exams, all-nighters, night shifts, and extracurricular activities all require a significant amount of mental and physical energy.

If you’re feeling bogged down and foggy-headed with a mountain of work to overcome, consider hitting the gym or park. It’ll give you a performance boost that stretches through the classroom and into all areas of life.

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