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Organization Tips for School

September 10, 2012

Summer is over–it’s time to get ready to head back to school! Whether you’re a freshman or rising senior, it always pays to be organized. Here are several things you need to know in order to stay on top of your workload while in school.

  • Always use a planner. Planners are the best things for any college student, regardless of your major. If you stay up-to-date with your homework, clubs, organizations, sports and jobs, there’s no way you’ll miss out on an activity or forget an assignment. It’s a good idea to update your planner after every class or meeting so you’ll be 100% sure of deadlines, projects and meetings that are approaching in the future.

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5 Things Every Senior Must Pack

August 24, 2012

Senior year is approaching fast for college students across the country. It’s an exciting time full of emotional endings and new beginnings. By senior year, you have the know-how to really enjoy the rest of your time at school, no matter where you are. Here are some of the best things to bring with you as senior year begins:

  1. A book of recipes: It’s senior year, so you’ll most likely be living in an on or off-campus apartment complex. If this is your first time with a kitchen, don’t sweat it. Run out to a bookstore or order a recipe book for your e-reader or tablet. You’ll be amazed at how many different types of books there are to make cooking easy, cheap and enjoyable. Be sure to host lots of dinner parties to show off your new cooking skills, too!
  2. Creative, cozy fixings for your living space: Whether you’re living in a dorm or an apartment, it’s important to make it really feel like home. Long gone are the days of posters and whiteboards–now it’s time for fun photo frames, cool lamps, funky rugs and other attractions that show off your personality. If you’re not used to a bigger space, hit up the closest megastore to find lots of cheap apartment or dorm fixings for you and your roommates and split the bill. Your place will look amazing and you’ll feel right at home.
  3. The beginnings of a professional wardrobe: It may seem pretty far off, but (trust me!) you’ll be interviewing for jobs in no time. Many colleges schedule career fairs for the spring and fall, so make sure you have plenty of professional outfits to choose from, depending on the season. If you think you’re the only person who will be dressed to impress come senior year, think again. Your roommates, colleagues and friends will also be job hunting. Don’t have a professional wardrobe yet? Spend the beginning of senior year saving up to buy some high-quality pieces, like a suit or a nice blazer. They’ll be worth it in the long run.
  4. A great camera: Senior year is full of laughter, fun and lots of good times. If your college or university hosts senior activities throughout the year, go to them! And don’t forget to bring a camera! If you aren’t happy with your current camera (or if you’re just using a camera phone), consider an upgrade. Senior year only happens once and it never hurts to have something tangible from your memories. It may seem cheesy, but you’ll appreciate printing out those photos when the year is over.
  5. A positive attitude: Your senior year may not be all fun and games. You still have classes, homework, and perhaps a part-time gig on campus–but on top of that, now you have to look for a job. During your senior year, you may get a little overwhelmed and that’s okay. It’s totally normal to dread the day you leave your home for the last four years. If you get stressed out, just remember that it’s a completely okay reaction to everything going on. Have lots of fun by creating all sorts of new memories with your friends and remembering to think positive as the year goes on!

I hope these senior year essentials are things you’ll take with you as you head back to school. GradGuard wishes you a safe and successful year!


The Best Smartphone Apps for Summer

June 25, 2012
Best Summer Apps

Summer is finally here! It’s time to hang out with friends, work at a job or internship, and spend your days outdoors. If you have a smartphone, there are several applications that will help you have an even better summer than what you have planned. Give these apps a look:

Instagram: Instagram is the insanely popular photography application for smartphones. With Instagram, you take a photo and then pick a customized filter to show off your picture in the best possible way. A normal picture instantly turns into a vintage snapshot that’s beautiful to view. Instagram also uploads instantly so that you and your friends can see your best summer pictures as soon as possible.

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The Best Schools by the Beach

June 7, 2012

The Beach!

With the month of June finally here, it’s time for many of us to start hitting the beach instead of the books. Summer is here! At some colleges and universities in the U.S., it feels like summer almost year-round. Here’s a quick list of some of the best schools located on the beach.

Coastal Carolina University: This university in South Carolina is home to over 9,000 students who can enjoy the sunshine as much as they want. Coastal Carolina is conveniently located nine miles away from Myrtle Beach, one of the most popular seaside areas in America. There, they can surf and hang out in the sun as much as they please. The university also has it’s very own golf course, The Hackler Course in Conway, S.C. The course is operated by the school’s Golf Management program. At Coastal Carolina, it’s easy to have fun in the sun.

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How to Be a Great Intern

June 4, 2012

2011 Summer Intern Poster Session

As summer approaches, it’s almost time for internships to start. No matter what field you’re working in, it’s important to know that internships are the perfect opportunity to learning more about a job you may want someday. Internships offer insight to what you may (or may not) want to do for the rest of your life.

Your first internship is a huge professional learning experience. In order to prepare for an internship, here are a few pointers to make sure you do the best possible job!

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Study Abroad: Why I’d Do it Again

June 1, 2012
Study Abroad: Why I'd Do it Again

Study abroad is a mix of emotions for a student. First of all, it involves leaving behind friends, family, professors, mentors and the university you’ve become to call home. Study abroad is not for everyone–it involves lots of adaptation, change and challenges. The money is different. The language can be different. The culture is definitely different. So with all of these things considered, would I have done study abroad the same (or at all)?

The answer? Yes. In a heartbeat.

I chose to stay with my own university, Boston University, for my study abroad in Madrid, Spain to ensure that I would receive the proper credits I needed for my minor in Spanish Language. Recently, Boston University’s study abroad program made headlines when three students were killed in a tragic automobile accident in New Zealand. These three students were part of a large trip that rented vans and drove the coast of New Zealand to visit the location where the Lord of the Rings movies had been filmed. This tragedy hit Boston University hard, and the three students who died will never be forgotten by the caring community at my alma mater.

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The Most Expensive Schools in the United States

April 25, 2012

Boston College

Going to college is a fun, exciting time for both students and parents. But when it comes to education, things can get a little pricey. Private and public universities are becoming more and more expensive each year–even while the economy continues to struggle. Last year, the United States College Board identified 123 as costing more than $50,000 a year. So which schools serve as some of the most expensive in the country? Take a look to find out:

Harvey Mudd College: This school, located in Claremont, CA, is one of the country’s most expensive finds–tuition, room and board topped $56,000 in 2011. The college prides itself on state-of-the-art research centers, specializing in the sciences, math and engineering. Students have the opportunity to experiment with model rockets due to their revised courses that take place in their new labs.

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Choosing the College for You

April 17, 2012
Choosing the College For You

College. It’s the amazing time in your life when you learn so much–not just about a particular area of study, but yourself. You get the chance to go anywhere you’d like. You could move across the country or even to the other side of the world.

Going to college is really exciting, but choosing the right one can take a lot of meditation and time. So how do you figure out what’s the perfect college for you? Follow these guidelines for a look:

Put your researching skills to the test. One of my biggest fears is regretting things. If you’re anything like me, then picking a college can be a huge task because you never want to feel like you’ve missed out on any one option. Make sure to go online, buy some “college books,” (the bigger, the better!) and really immerse yourself in researching the types of schools you like.

Priorities, priorities, priorities! When you’re selecting a school, prioritize what’s important to you. Not feeling a rural school? Then don’t even think of applying to one! City schools seem intimidating and they’re something you’re not ready for? Then avoid touring them. Make sure you factor not just academic reputation but how likely you’ll get in to a certain college or university. Also know its size, location, proximity to home and all the opportunities (like study abroad, internships, etc.) that come with the school–then you’ll feel like you really did your homework!

Enjoy the view. Visiting colleges is awesome. Trust me, you’ll never have so much fun in your academic life. You have the chance to visit someplace totally amazing and really envision yourself there for the next four years. For me, I knew I’d visited my dream school when I took a tour. Be sure to take a tour and enjoy what the campus has to offer. Of course, ask lots of questions, too! Current students are your best resource when it comes to choosing a place to go to school. Usually they’ll be relatable and honest so don’t by shy!

Test the waters. While you’re visiting a school, test out what it’s like to really be a student there! Ask the admissions office if there’s any way you can sit in on classes or visit a residence hall while you’re touring the school. Be sure to also take a peek into whatever department you’re interested in–if you’re interested in engineering, stop by the Science Center. Same thing goes for an interest in any other major! Schools love curious prospective students and you may stand out when you express your interest to those sitting in the admissions office.

Be flexible and open. You may find your dream school but when you get there on the first day of classes you could realize it’s not the place for you. You could also have your options limited by acceptances and financial aid. On each college tour, make sure to really absorb the school community, feel and student body, even if its one your parents made you go on. You never know where you may end up, and it may all turn out for the best. Make a list of the qualities you want in a school and resources you feel you need to get the best education, then see how your list of schools stack up. You be surprised by which schools fulfill the most of your wish list, regardless of how you felt about the school while on a tour.

Have fun! Remember to enjoy the whole college experience. College really is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to grow as an adult and person. Pick a place that plays to your strengths and run with it! You’ll meet so many amazing people in the process and learn a lot about yourself and others.

Good luck in your college search from all of us at GradGuard!



Prevent Theft in Your Apartment

April 3, 2012
safeguard your apartment from theft

208 E. 28th Street Apartment Door

Moving off campus is a huge step for a college student. It signifies responsibility and independence – having your own house or apartment is an important move towards the real world. An apartment can be a fun place to call home, but for many, an apartment is very different from a dorm room surrounded by campus security and hundreds of other students.

If you plan on moving to an apartment off campus in the near future, check out these useful tips to prevent your apartment from unnecessary theft:

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Brand Yourself!

March 27, 2012

Imagine you’ve just finished applying for the perfect job or internship. You want to stand out in a pool of hundreds–possibly thousands–of applicants and an interviewer asks you, “What makes you unique?” A good enough answer could solidify the job and a bad one means you may not have a shot at the position anymore.

In my college career, nothing has helped me more than creating a personal brand for myself. What exactly does that mean?

Creating a personal brand means focusing on your unique, creative skills and interests and applying them to your everyday life (especially when it comes to searching for a job or internship). Personal branding is not always easy. Here are some suggestions for developing your own unique brand and utilizing (and loving!) it:

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