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Health Uncategorized

Freelance vs. Office: Which is Better for Your Mental Health?

November 5, 2018

Freelancing is a diverse, exciting world. But what impact does it have on psychological well-being, and is it a better option for those with mental health problems? If you are trying to weight it up – here are a few factors to consider:

Benefitting from flexible working hours:

One of the major perks of freelancing is that you can set your own hours. This allows you to attend doctors’ appointments and take a mental health day from work if needed.

It also allows you to work fewer hours until you feel better.

On the other hand, it requires discipline. It can be hard to summon the motivation to sit down and get on with a task. This is a way that an office job can help you stay productive, which in turn will boost your self-efficacy and self-esteem.

Having finances to cope with job insecurity:

You can’t deny the fact that a freelancers’ income is irregular. Clients can hire and fire you at will, while a traditional office job offers greater job security, which is better for your mental health.  If your financial situation is shaky, the stress that comes with finding enough work each month can be considerable.

The need for communication:

Social interaction is important to maintain a good mental state. On the other hand, many people find office environments to be quite stressful places.

If you choose to work for yourself, be sure to cultivate and keep a social life. You could also rent shared workspaces with other freelancers and join business networks to exchange support and ideas.

Being comfortable with marketing and networking:

It’s common for freelancers to work online, but you will still need to market yourself via social media, and have some difficult conversations about pricing, projects, and deadlines.

Ask yourself whether you have these skills. If this makes you feel stressed out and it isn’t a barrier you want to overcome, freelancing may not be the best option for you.

Benefitting from employee assistance program (EAP):

As a freelancer, you’d likely need to pay for your own health insurance, but if you can find a traditional job with good benefits this may be a better option for you. So if you have a choice, consider choosing a company based on the support they offer employees.

Drawing boundaries and “switching off” outside of working hours:

Worrying about projects can lead to heightened levels of stress, which may worsen mental health conditions. Office time is more structured and it can be easier to leave your work at the door when you leave. This should definitely be a consideration when you are deciding between freelance and office.

So, is it better to be a freelancer or office worker?

“The right answer for you will depend on your personality, circumstances, and mental health status” –   mentions Mary, a freelance translator of The Word Point. If you still aren’t sure, be open-minded and try a few different arrangements.

Be prepared to experiment to find what works for you. Whatever you do, always put your mental health first and seek support if you start to feel overwhelmed. 

Remember that GradGuard is here to help you with all of your college hacks and insurance needs!

Student Life Uncategorized

Best College Campus Halloween Traditions

October 31, 2018

Halloween on a college campus is different than anything you’ll ever see.  Students bobbing up and down city streets dressed as villains, princesses, and miscellaneous personalities.  It is the one time of year that it is perfectly acceptable to run down campus dressed as Walter White, Nicki Minaj, James Bond or whomever you aspire to be.

So where are the best Halloween traditions taking place?  Clearly, it is in the eye of the beholder, but in an attempt to avoid the college bias, here are 5 of the best college traditions and campuses to celebrate Halloween:

Case Western Reserve University

Cleveland’s Case Western Reserve knows how to do Halloween.  Their annual traditions include the physics department’s The Great Galileo.  The staff drops pumpkins from the top of the physics building in honor of Galileo’s role during the Scientific Revolution while bystanders enjoy pumpkin pie and cider from down below.  MIT celebrates in a similar pumpkin dropping fashion.

Fordham University

A few years ago, Fordham students began a tradition of making a trek to downtown Manhattan for the Greenwich Village Halloween Parade.  The parade has been a New York tradition for almost 40 years and the not-for-profit festivity is committed to “the cultural and imaginative life of New York City,” according to their mission statement.  While some students hit Manhattan, other Fordham traditions include celebrating through their on-campus Haunted House that is partnered with a Bronx soup kitchen (POTS—Part of the Solution organization).

University of California-Santa Barbara

UC-Santa Barbara is notorious for their Halloween bashes.  The school is celebrating 12 days of Halloween this year, thanks to the holiday landing on a Wednesday.  Parties and festivities run rampant for nearly two weeks and while security is heightened for the sake of the students, Halloween madness is prevalent and at an all-time high.

Bucknell University

Zombie walks are part of the norm at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania.  This consists of armies of zombies jaunting down Market Street as they are accompanied by police personnel.  A few years ago, zombies assembled on campus, gooning their way through town to a screening of the class film, “Night of the Living Dead.”

University of Rochester

University of Rochester’s Scare Fair is a definite claim to fame: For over 80 years now, the Rush Rhees Library has played home to various campus ghost stories thanks to its dark, mountainous collection of literature hidden in the library’s passageways.  Librarians transform the Rhees Library into a haunted house for the biggest of book lovers each year.  The school also offers a brass concert performing various Halloween hits by the school’s band and choir.

GradGuard wants to wish you a very happy and safe Halloween this year! Dress up, eat some candy, and get your spook on!

Student Life Uncategorized

3 Tech Trends For College Students

October 23, 2018

Since college students are actively studying competing for a place in the job market, it’s no surprise new tech trends often appear among them first. The latest in digital communication and security hardware can help you improve the way you access information, experience new ways of learning, and even protect your dorm and belongings. If you’re looking for upcoming technology in education, these trends are on the bleeding edge.

E-texts

The rising cost of textbooks (or the inconvenience of heavy backpacks) is driving up the use of e-books at almost every university. A four-year study conducted by Aimee deNoyelles and John Raible at the University of Central Florida found e-text use was up to 66% of students in 2016, growing year over year. As students get more familiar with digital technology, e-books are becoming a preference.

Many institutions are jumping on the bandwagon. Florida recently launched a $656,000 program to drive up the use of e-texts in state universities. The University of Indiana reports that e-texts saved its students $3.5 million in the 2016–2017 academic year, making information access more affordable and more convenient.

Video Learning and Virtual Reality (VR)

Video has been in classrooms for decades, but developing technologies in video communications are opening new doors for students in 2018. Video education tools like Google Expeditions already provide advanced VR-powered learning tools for teachers across the globe, offering digital tours of far-off historical sites and ecological hotspots. VR in college classrooms provides new ways for students to learn and experience the material.

Video also continues to enable distance learning. Video lectures allow professors to teach in a more engaging way to students taking online courses, which has increased the effectiveness of these types of courses. With distance learning, a college education is more accessible and affordable, especially to people in countries that lack wide offerings of higher education.

Dorm Room Security

Students in universities have already adopted AI techs like Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri. Now, the latest in home security is making the jump to college dorms. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, there were 27,500 criminal incidents at universities in 2015, an increase from 2014. The risk of losses to personal property is enough to push many students to install security cameras in their dorms.

New smart security cameras offer advanced features like smartphone compatibility and cloud storage that allow you to stream the feed to your phone when you’re not in your dorm room. Voice controls and IFTT compatibility let them link up with other smart devices as well. Remember to do your research and find the system that works best for you.

The Next Big Trend

A lot of our modern digital world traces back to university laboratories and messy dorm rooms. The next big trend in the tech world at large might start somewhere on your college campus this week. But for now, these technological tools are shaping the college experience—at least until next semester. Who knows what innovations might be waiting right around the corner.

Remember to check out GradGuard on social media for all of your college tips and hacks.

Career Uncategorized

Stepping into the Professional World on the Right Foot

October 22, 2018

Planning for the future can be confusing at times, but who says it has to be a struggle? From standing out at your internship to planning your post-grad plans, there are plenty of easy changes you can make to look and feel your best in order to succeed. Having the confidence to thrive in the professional world will position you to excel in whatever you do. Here’s what you should be doing to ensure you start off on the right foot:

Update Your Resume Frequently

It never hurts to get a second, or even a third, opinion on your resume. Rather than talking about your day-to-day duties on your resume, it’s best to demonstrate the skill set and benefit that you personally brought to a company/organization, and to have your desired company in mind while doing so. This can and should be, a process that it is completed regularly before applying to any job. Also as you engage in volunteer events, clubs, internships, and other extracurricular activities.

Utilizing the knowledge of classmates, professors, and your career center can help you to compile the best of what you have to offer, and showcase what is most important. Accepting constructive criticism, updating your vocabulary, and finding new ways to create a quality, eye-catching resume will put you ahead of the game.

Don’t be afraid to get creative when structuring your resume, as some employers like to see out-of-the-box interpretations, but use your best judgment. If you’re applying for a position at a young, creative company, for example, consider tailoring your resume to fit the company’s mission, values, and overall aesthetic. As you would tailor a cover letter to fit the job you are applying for, you should always do the same with your resume. Having a strong skill set on paper can help you emulate the confidence you need to score the job of your dreams.

Dress the Part

A big part of being the best version of yourself in the professional world is dressing the part. This doesn’t mean you have to dress business professional every day, but elevating your style to look more put-together, and especially well-dressed during important moments, is a great first step. For ladies, it’s easy to be stylish by pairing trendy loafers with dark wash jeans and a button-down top. Swap the jeans out for a pencil skirt and add a cute suit jacket for a more professional twist. Purchasing staple pieces that you can alternate from ultra-casual to business is a great way to elevate your look. For men, try renting a great suit for a big interview or networking event. In your everyday wear, get some stylish dress shoes to pair with dark jeans or khakis and a nice shirt or sweater.

Of course, you’ll still have days where wearing sweatpants in public is fine, but try to limit it to the weekends or for running quick errands. You never know who you’ll see on a grocery store run or in class, so it’s important to always be on your A-game and grow more comfortable dressing professionally.

Network

Networking is an important step to take when positioning yourself for success. No matter how far along you are in your collegiate career, it is never too early to take advantage of networking opportunities. When it comes to events, showing up in your best professional attire with a resume and business card in-hand can give you the confidence to interact with anyone. Work on your elevator speech, build an off-paper resume that you can speak to, and work on some speaking techniques to command the room and exude confidence.

The most important thing to remember about excelling at networking is maintaining the connections you make. Reach out to your connections on LinkedIn, offer to meet them for coffee when you’re in their area and don’t be afraid to ask for advice or insight when the opportunity presents itself. If you keep these connections into your career, it may turn into a mutually beneficial connection down the road.

 

Be sure to look to GradGuard for all of your Motivational Monday posts!

Health Uncategorized

4 Ways to Perform Your Own Smartphone Detox

October 16, 2018

As a young adult, your whole life probably revolves around your smartphone. But to avoid its adverse impact, you must consider going on a smartphone detox. Did you know that nearly 60% of teenagers look at their smartphones 110 times a day? For some, the number could even go as high as 900 times. 

We live in a time where there’s an app to solve even the smallest issues and it can be hard to stay away from smartphones. However, smartphone dependence could turn out to be a cause of concern for your overall health. That’s why you should consider a detox process so that you can get over this dependence.

Don’t set unattainable targets

In order to cut down on your smartphone dependence, it would be best for you to start by setting smaller goals for each day. Whether it’s during studying, having dinner with your family, or when you’re performing a chore, if you gradually remove technology from your daily life (like, not checking social media or using instant messaging apps or making/receiving video calls), your detox will be all the more effective. These small but significant changes will help you achieve our target, but only when you set attainable objectives.

Delete your social media apps

The whole process of a smartphone detox would be incomplete without having these apps removed. Hence, get rid of these apps if you want to be free from the spell of checking your phone every 5 minutes. Now even though the process of detox is only for a limited span of time, and you might consider being back on the social network, but you would definitely notice a considerable reduction in your smartphone dependence.

Switch off cellular data completely when away from home, studying or at school

Switching off your cellular data not only helps your wallet but also gives your idle internet browsing a rest. However, it’s not too difficult to find places where there’s free Wi-Fi, thus taking away from your valuable downtime. Now, it all boils down to, having a little self-control. Exercising self-control will allow you to thwart any negative impact smartphones may have on your overall health.

Make sure turn the ‘airplane mode’ on before retiring for the night.

Now it’s a common excuse for teenagers (or for that matter adults) to keep their phones turned on through the night because they need to set the alarm for the next morning. But having a phone next to you compels you to check it repeatedly, and in the process, you disrupt your precious sleep and makes you prone to mindlessly scroll through the social media sites. That’s why the eminent therapists recommend that you should keep your phone on the airplane mode as it will starkly improve the quality of sleep and make you feel well-rested throughout the day.

When you religiously follow these tips, you will definitely notice the positive outcomes of your smartphone detox.

Remember to follow GradGuard on social media for all of your Tuesday Tips!

 

Author Bio: Marceline Joseph is an online educator, programmer and an academic writer associated with Assignment Help Company. Besides being associated with the education and teaching industry, Marceline is a passionate stamp collector and chess player.

Adulting Uncategorized

5 Sneaky Things That Could Be Draining Your Bank Account

October 10, 2018

As college students, most of whom aren’t independently wealthy, the last thing we need are useless things draining our funds. But you might be surprised at the things that you don’t really need to be paying money for! Here we break down five things that could be draining your bank account.

1. ATM fees. You probably know that if you use an ATM that your bank doesn’t own to get cash out of your account, you could be incurring fees of up to $3 a pop. While that may not seem like much, it adds up after a while, especially when tacked onto the money you’re already withdrawing. For some of us, however, it may not be much of a choice if there isn’t a branch of our bank near campus. An easy fix for this problem is to simply ask for cash back when purchasing something at any store. That way you can leave any unnecessary fees behind you!

2. Bottled water. We know what you’re thinking – water?! How could that be an unnecessary cost, I need it to live! But think about it: you’re paying upwards of $2 or $3 several times a week for something that ought to be free! Even if the taps in your dorm or apartment aren’t exactly drinking friendly, it’s more than likely that there are several drinking fountains on your school’s campus where you could fill up a reusable water bottle (you probably have one from your school that they gave you for free at some point – I have at least four!) and have a thirst quenching beverage for next to nothing. Plus, it’s more eco-friendly!

3. Your daily coffee/energy drink habit. I know, I know, you can’t function without your caffeine. But have you ever done the math on how much that little habit is costing you per month? What about per year? And we won’t even get into how bad it is for your health! Assuming that each drink is around $4, by cutting your consumption from five times a week down to three, you could be saving nearly $40 a month. That’s almost $500 per year! Let that one sink in for a moment.

4. Vending machines. A lot of these money drains seem to revolve around food and drink! If you go down to the vending machine or run to the gas station or convenience store every time you’re hungry, you’re going to end up way overpaying. Instead, you should go to the local grocery store or supermarket and buy multiple serving snacks, in bulk size. That way you’re getting a better deal per serving and paying less money less often (plus you’re more apt to buy healthier snacks).

5. Parking meters. Yes, sometimes these are necessary evils, but when you do the math, in the long run, it might make more sense (or cents?) to purchase a parking pass for your school. While it may seem like a large expense at one time, breaking it down will reveal that it’s more cost efficient to just spend the money upfront, instead of pumping in gallons of quarters each day.

 

Be sure to check out GradGuard for all of your life and college hacks!

Career Uncategorized

Discovering Efficient Strategies to Learn New Skills

October 9, 2018

As a student, it is important to be able to learn new skills. The ability to retain information is an important part of your education. You don’t need to be a genius to be at the top of your class. These strategies will help you retain and master new skills.

Learn by Doing

You will have better results when you actually try out the things you’ve learned. If you focus solely on retaining the information, you will likely forget that information after you’ve finished exams. Instead, if you put the information you are learning into practice and use other aspects of your knowledge to relate the information to, you are more likely to permanently retain that information and be able to use it in your future career.

Move From One Place to Another

A common mistake that most college students make while studying is staying in the same place all day. Your brain will make connections between what you study and the things that surround you. Therefore, if you spend hours on end in your room studying, your creativity will suffer. So, try studying in various places like the park, a coffee shop, the library, or places around campus. 

Test Yourself

An important part of studying is ensuring that you are retaining the information. While studying, quiz yourself at the end of each chapter to make sure you are understanding the material. Most textbooks will include a section at the end of the chapter to test your knowledge. You can also test yourself with flashcards alone or with a friend.

Take Notes

A good strategy to help retain information is to take notes. Summarizing the information into your own words and typing it or writing it down with help with memory recall when you need it. Another plus side to notetaking is you will have easy access to this information in you need it in the future.

Start Small

It’s normal to be ambitious and want to take on everything at one time. However, this can cause you to lose your concentration and become overwhelmed. In order to stay on track, it is better to focus on one or two strategies at a time, and split these into smaller, more achievable goals. Once you’ve met the first goals, you can move on to the next and progress down your list to success!

Self-improvement will help you to develop new skills that you will utilize long after you graduate. Of course, learning strategies will vary from one person to another. You can try the different methods above and see which ones will help you to master new skills and obtain better results in college and your future career.

Be sure to check out GradGuard‘s social media for new content every week!

 

Kristin Savage nourishes, sparks and empowers using the magic of a word. She does her voodoo regularly on the Pick Writers blog and occasionally contributes to other educational platforms. Along with pursuing her degree in Creative Writing, Kristin was gaining experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in marketing strategy for publishers and authors.

Career Uncategorized

How to Find Your Dream Job as a Student

October 8, 2018

The best time to start preparing yourself for your dream job is undoubtedly in college. During your studies, you should strive to gain new skills and knowledge that will help you achieve that goal.  

We’ll take a look below at a few of the different ways you can get your dream job as a college student.

Sign Up to Clubs and Societies

Clubs and societies are great ways to boost your career prospects and meet like-minded people. Not only will you learn about new skills and networking, but you’ll also be able to learn how to build these skills and use them in practical situations. It’s a great opportunity to be a part of something that interests you while gaining valuable industry experience. Some students may even leverage their society memberships or enrollments to be considered for their dream jobs.

Look into Starting an Internship

An internship, even in a junior position, can be a stepping stone to your dream job by getting your foot in the door of a certain industry or company. Take a little initiative and go on the search for an internship in a field you really love and are passionate about and you’re sure to learn a lot. You might even have the chance to be employed in that role by the end. This is by far the most seamless way you can get into the field you’ve always dreamed of working in.

Use All Tools Available to You

Job Searches

If you’re looking for your dream job, you should always utilize as many job searching tools as you can. Websites like Indeed and Jora are going to be key to finding suitable jobs for your skillset and gaining more experience in your field.

Tutoring

In college, good grades show employers that you’re serious about getting a degree in your field. One way to achieve great marks is to make sure you are always up to speed with your class content, which an online tutor can help you with.

Online Learning

Take advantage of all of your college’s online platforms. You might have access to external classes or streamed lectures that you can connect to if you’re unable to go to class on a certain day. These online platforms will keep you in the loop at all times and make sure you’re engaging with all the content.  

Match Future Employers to Your Moral Code

Working somewhere that reflects your own values is important. You need to feel a sense of pride and achievement for your company. If your employer goes against your morals or values, then this will reflect in your work.  

When applying or searching for your dream job, be sure to research the company and choose those whose moral codes align with your own.

Give Yourself a Chance to Grow

At the beginning of your career, you’ll need a job that allows you to grow and enhance your skills, not one that only uses the skills you already have. This way you have the chance to develop your skills and you’ll learn new skills that will ultimately open up more opportunities for you.  

Have Faith

Finally, it’s always good to remember that no one knows as much as they pretend they do. That friend or family member who looks like they have it all sorted may not really know what they’re doing. Simply have faith in yourself, get a hold of the skills you need and be confident and you’ll soon find an avenue into your dream job.

 

Be sure to check out GradGuard‘s social media for new content every week!

Transition Uncategorized

Things That Cost More Than Renters Insurance

October 4, 2018

Chances are you’re bringing quite a few things along to college with you this year. Some of those things, such as your bike, laptop, and X-Box are big-ticket, expensive items that you need to make it through the semester as a sane human being. So, what would happen if those items were stolen or damaged? You’d be out a lot of cash just trying to replace them.

On a college student budget, replacing a laptop could be disastrous. In addition to being diligent about your stuff, students should also consider protecting their stuff with GradGuard Renter’s Insurance!

Renters insurance provides valuable financial protection for your stuff and personal liability. According to the Insurance Information Institute, the average annual cost of a renters insurance policy is $184; that is less than $16 per month! That doesn’t seem out of reach even on a student budget. Actually, $16 per month is just 53 cents a day!

There are some things you spend more on in college like…

  • Coffee (just a plain black drip coffee costs more if you are getting one every day)
  • Going to the movies with your friends. Even if you just see 1-2 movies a month it will cost more than renters insurance.
  • Newspaper
  • Dorm laundry facility
  • Bus or subway rides
  • Your cell phone
  • A pack of gum/mints
  • A bottle of water
  • Late night pizza
  • Late night Jimmy John’s
  • Making copies at the library (they can get expensive!)
  • Gas for your car (if you are commuting or want to go home every weekend)

Some of these things might not apply to you, but when you think of the things that can happen in college where something of yours might need to be replaced due to covered damage or theft, having renters insurance is definitely worth the price! Make the smart buy and get protection with the only renters insurance that contains an exclusive college student endorsement – with unique features and coverage designed for college life- from GradGuard.

Career Uncategorized

Why Was My Resume Rejected? 4 Mistakes You Can Correct

October 2, 2018

Writing a resume is not exactly rocket science, but creating an effective one for the first time can be a real struggle. We’re lucky to find almost everything on the internet nowadays so we can have some guidance while writing it.

Sometimes, even if you make sure everything was on point, you might still have your resume rejected. Here are 4 common reasons why your resume has failed to bring you your desired job.

Improper Proofreading

Believe it or not, this is one of the most common reasons people get their resume rejected. It’s easy to misplace a comma, add an extra letter on an essential word, or to fail to align all the bullet points, and your resume will be left unread by the recruiter.

Be sure to proofread as most recruiters use ATS software to tailor the resume first, so they can check out the best of the best. Fortunately, there are a few ways to “beat” most of today’s ATS software that your recruiters might leverage.

Too Long

Usually, a good resume has one page; no more, no less. It can be hard to fit all your relevant information, skills, and experience in just one page, but sending a 3 to 4-page long resume is too much for potential employers.

Hannah Johannes, HR manager of the company that’s considered to be the best essay writing service in the UK, suggests that “The purpose of a resume is to show your competencies but also your ability to synthesize and prioritize only the most essential information about your professional life. If you succeed to do it wisely, you’ll get the chance to get into details during the interview.”

Bad Formatting

When you write your resume, you should keep everything as simple as possible. There’s no point in choosing a “diverse” or unusual font as you don’t want to make it hard to read and digest. Stay away from fonts like Comic Sans and use Arial or Calibri instead. Try to keep the font point between 10 and 12.5 as well.

Along with font choice, you’ll want to make sure that your formatting stays intact. When it is moved to another platform (say from Word to PDF), its formatting might be altered. If you fail to take care of this aspect, this could be the reason why your resume was rejected. Just save it as a PDF – it will spare you all the trouble.

Lies, Lies, Lies

Do you ever lie on your resume? You might think that nobody will take their time to check all the information you wrote in your resume, but someone is fact-checking. Employers don’t want to risk hiring an incompetent candidate. Most resume lies are about scores on important exams, about their education, or about how long they’ve been working for a company. Always remain honest and eliminate any of those white lies that have accumulated.

If you want to stand a chance against the competition, next time you write your resume make sure you avoid all these common mistakes. Your resume is your only shot to get the interview, that’s why it’s crucial to be flawless when it reaches the recruiter’s hands. Just pay attention to details, give your best, and if you’re still not confident about your work, ask for some professional advice. 

Be sure to check out GradGuard‘s Blog for weekly tips and tricks to help transform you into your best adult self. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest for all your college hacks!