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Stephanie

Health Other

Online Games to Play with Your Friends

March 16, 2020

In the midst of recent events, many college students are advised to stay inside and keep to themselves. Now, this can be great for introverts who have been waiting for this kind of thing to be socially acceptable their whole lives, but for those who will start to miss human interaction, here are a few games you can play online with your friends to pass the time!

Crash Team Racing

One of the best on the market, obviously. A revamp from the late 90’s, this is a great racing game to play with a friend or seven.

Dead By Daylight

If you are interested in survival games with a strategic twist, go for this one! You can get it on Steam, Nintendo Switch, and just about anything else! Play with 3-4 extra other friends for the best experience. Though this one is not for the faint of heart. You’ll see what I mean.

World of Warcraft

I know, I know. This can be a trigger for some, but this is a great one to play with a friend or two, PLUS it takes a long time. It can be easy to get sucked into the world of Orcs and magic, so give it a shot! Best played on Steam.

League of Legends

Let’s ignore the salt factor of the community and focus on the fact that it is a fun MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) game to play with up to 9 other friends! If you get that many you are able to start a party and play against each other. It’s a PC game that is usually downloaded from their website.

Super Smash Bros

This one doesn’t even need a description. Use it to get all that anger and frustration out! Mainly played on Nintendo systems.

Fortnite

Another survival meets combat game that most of us know about. I know that things can be a little iffy when it comes to these well-known games (you either love them or you hate them), but take this time to try out something you might not usually go for!

Man of Medan

Not much should be said about this one because it’s more fun to work and play on your own. It’s a game that is solely based on the idea of the butterfly effect and you choose the direction your characters go down. It can be played with up to 4 friends.

You can also go for classic games like Call of Duty, Halo, and Left4Dead as they are always options to play with your friends. Regardless of the game you choose, be sure you get Discord and a good headset to chat with your friends on! You can even use it just to talk to each other instead of just doing the regular group text.

There you have it. Staying inside and keeping healthy is key over the next few weeks, but it doesn’t mean you have to eliminate communication with people! Try out some of these online games to play with your college friends and stay safe.

Health Other

The Best Spotify Playlists for Students

October 7, 2019

We all like that rhythm and blues, right? Whether it’s studying, walking to class, or working out at the gym, having the right tunes is essential to any college student depending on your mood and activity! Here are a few of our favorite playlists on Spotify that are perfect for students!

Lo-Fi Beats

This playlist is perfect for the student that needs a little noise to study but doesn’t need the distraction of actual voices singing. Lo-Fi Beats adds that little something to your ears to drown out other things around you and helps you chill out and focus a little more. Other playlists like this one include Lo-Fi Cafe, Study Beats, and Sunny Beats.

Headbanger Halloween

Now, don’t get wrapped up in the title of this one. It’s perfect for workouts, hangouts, or the Halloween party you said you weren’t planning to throw this year. Filled with upbeat tunes with a “creepy” undertone or lyrics. This is the perfect playlist for fall! Don’t disregard it as it will bring up your spirits and get yourself into that spooky fall mindset.

Mellow Drive

This is a go-to for anyone who thrives on those late 90’s-early 2000’s classics; lot’s of Matchbox Twenty, Train, and Jack Johnson. This could be a good station for some light studying or walking to class on-campus. It picks up your spirits and lightens your mood, but be careful, you will probably end up singing out loud.

Your Daily Drive

If you commute to school, this is definitely one you want to look into. This is a station that is completely catered towards you and is handpicked for your taste in tunes. It is a completion of the music you like on Spotify, combined with news stories to keep you up to date with what is going on in the world. If you commute to school via car, bus, or train, this is a good one to help pass the time.

Confidence Boost

The ultimate playlist for the gym or a run around campus is Confidence Boost! Filled with upbeat songs to keep you motivated and going, this playlist is ideal for anyone needing that instant pick me up. You will be belting at the top of your lungs to hits from Kelly Clarkson, Pink!, and of course, Lizzo. Dance your way around the gym with this playlist and definitely give your confidence the boost that it needs.

Well, there you have it! Five playlists that are perfect for students depending on your mood or activity. Be sure to follow them now and it will surely be music to your ears. Pun intended.

Other Transition

Living Off-Campus: What You Need to Know

April 12, 2019

Now that you are ending that “dreadful” year of living on-campus, I’m sure you are considering living off-campus. You’re sick of the small space, the hovering of the RA’s, having to use your keycard every time you go in and out of your residence hall, the limited amount of guests you can have over at any given time–the list goes on and on. The only logical thing you’ve been thinking about for awhile is “when can I finally move off-campus?”

Don’t worry, we all have this thought and are excited for what that entails, however, life is very different off-campus opposed to on-campus and there are definitely a few things you need to consider when making that decision.

Can You Afford It?

This is huge honestly. Though you are stoked to be living on your own with the ability to have get togethers whenever you want to, there is a pretty large price tag to come along with that. Living off-campus you need to consider what your rent will be, how much your bills are going to cost, whether your apartment comes furnished or not, how much your groceries will be each week, etc. Sometimes, the cost of living off-campus exceeds the cost of living on-campus. Be sure you consider all of these expenses first before moving.

Are you living with roommates or by yourself?

It can be tempting to live by yourself, but that experience should be saved for when you are finished with school. Living with roommates will probably be your best bet, as long as you pick and choose them wisely. It takes a certain human(s) to be a good roommate to share the expenses properly, understand your weird habits, and do their fair share of the cleaning. There wasn’t a need to worry about those things when living in the dorms, but outside of them, it is a whole new world.

How are you going to get to campus?

Commuting is something that we sometimes forget when moving off-campus. How are you going to get to class when you move off-campus? Hopefully, you find a place with good rent at a good size that is close enough to campus for you to walk or bike, but if not, you definitely need to think about the cost it will be for you to get a parking pass for your car or what the bus schedule is and the route it takes to get to campus. These can really be deal breakers depending on the location of the apartment/house you’re looking at.

Changes in your renters insurance

If you move off-campus, there can be some changes in your renters insurance coverage. The premium price might change, your landlord could want you to get higher limits, you have more stuff to cover so you might want to get higher limits anyway, etc. Regardless of your living situation if it is on-campus or off-campus, renters insurance is a must, but definitely for off-campus housing. You don’t want to be stuck with having to replace a bunch of stuff on your own if you come home from class one day to see that you were robbed and all of your stuff missing.

GradGuard offers renters insurance to students living off-campus as well as on-campus! You still get all the benefits like low deductibles and worldwide personal property coverage, so don’t forget to update your address or purchase a new policy when moving.

We hope this has helped you with your decision making! Remember that college is the time of your life and living off-campus is a great experience, just be sure you are prepared for it.

Other Student Life

Why International Students Need Renters Insurance

March 21, 2019

Going away to college for the first time can be a scary thing to anyone, but what if you were going to a different country? International students are not only smart but incredibly brave for making the journey to a foreign country to further their education. However, that transition is not always seamless. There are many thing international students can do to make that transition a little easier and safer; a major one is being sure to have renters insurance.

“Why Do I Need Renters Insurance?”

As a college student in general, renters insurance is a must; even more so for international students. When you travel to a foreign country, something you might not always think about is “What would I do if something of mine gets stolen?” or “What if there’s a fire in my dorm room and I lose everything I brought with me?” That’s where renters insurance comes in! GradGuard is the leading renters insurance agency on the market for college students, and especially international students. Here are some of our benefits:

  • Low deductibles! This benefits the insured because they are paying less out of pocket when something gets damaged or stolen. With most other companies, your renters deductible can be upwards of $500-$1000. That doesn’t do you much good if your $600 iPhone gets stolen.
  • No background or credit check! With many companies, they require you to provide your social security number to get a proper quote for renters insurance. Not us! We do not run a background or credit check on our customers. Most college students have little to no credit history. We do not increase your rates due to this because we understand your situation and hardships as a student. We want to make things easier, not harder.
  • No raising of rates! A huge pain of insurance is that rates usually increase if you need to file a claim, even if the claim doesn’t pay out! That doesn’t seem fair. Not with GradGuard! We do not raise your rates regardless of the result of the claim. Just another way we are marketing towards those college students who are needing to be more money-conscious.
  • Worldwide personal property coverage! Every GradGuard policy comes with worldwide personal property coverage! So if you’re at the library or traveling home for spring break and your phone gets stolen, that’s covered! Definitely a must for every international and college student.

Do we have you convinced yet? GradGuard is always here to help you when it comes to the hard times that college brings, especially to international students who seem to be taking a larger leap than others. Remember that college is the time of your life! Though you are there to get an education, don’t forget to have a little fun and protect yourself properly. Worry about your homework, not your stuff. Get the peace of mind that you need and deserve with GradGuard.

Other Safety

Online Dating in College

February 26, 2019

So here’s the thing. Dating in college is fun and all, but it can also be an absolute pain. You’re usually on a completely different page than the person you’re interested in, and sometimes a totally different book. Let’s face it, that person you met at the frat party last week is probably not texting you back any time soon, so let’s try something else. Online dating? It’s actually a really common thing now and makes things a lot easier; you can see what the other person is interested in via their profile, and what they are looking for. Simple right? Wrong. Here are some tips you can follow to remain safe and get the most out of online dating in college.

Do Your Research

You know what I mean. Put those FBI Facebook creeping skills to use and find the person you’re talking to on social media. Be sure that everything checks out. Make sure that they have friends, a solid following on Instagram, and add them on Snapchat. Snapchat is going to be your go-to window for seeing if the person you met through your dating app of choice is who they say they are. Talk to them on the phone too. Someone’s voice says a lot about them, so it’s always a good idea to sneak in a few phone calls before meeting. If these things don’t line up, then move on to the next one. Date smart and don’t set yourself up for a Catfish situation.

Meet Up in a Public Place

You really can’t be too careful when meeting up with someone that you met on the internet. Once you’ve been chatting with them for a while, done the Snapchatting, meet up with them at the campus coffee shop, ask them to grab lunch in a dining hall, or make a study date in the library. Don’t ask them to come over to your dorm room or apartment or go to theirs where no one else is at. Publicity is key!

Keep Your Friends Informed

If you’re making the step to meet up with someone that you met online, just keep at least 1 of your friends in the loop. Let them know that you are meeting up with a new person and tell them where you will be. It also isn’t a bad idea if you decide to have them on standby if you need an out. Give them a code word that you can text them if you are not having a good time, getting a bad vibe, etc. That way your friend can give you a call with an excuse for you to leave. Remember, you don’t need a solid reason to leave if you are uncomfortable.

Date Around, But Also Be Selective

The great thing about “dating” is that you are not really committed to one person. Don’t worry, they probably aren’t committed to you right away either. Really just take some time to play the field, but play it well. You’ll likely have a lot of options, but be sure that you are selective with your suitors. Don’t feel pressured to meet up with someone just because you’ve been talking to them. If you aren’t ready to or don’t want to, then don’t. Just don’t be mean and ghost someone. Be honest about how you feel and offer an alternative if you are feeling up to it. At the same time, be sure you put yourself out there enough for the new experiences. It can be a little daunting at first, but it gets easier as time goes on.

Have Fun!

You’re young and this is your chance to have the time of your life! Meet new people, even if it isn’t for the sake of dating them, plenty of friendships develop from online dating apps as well. Sometimes you meet someone who you don’t click with romantically, but still have fun with. So instead of going on dates, you just get together to drink coffee and play League of Legends. Like I said, strive for the new experiences and the fresh faces! If you meet someone you want to keep around for a while, that is an added bonus.

Online dating is fun while you are in college, just be sure that you do it wisely with these tips from GradGuard as you go forth with your suitors. Do your research, be open minded, keep your friends informed, and meet everyone in a public place first. Stay safe and have a good time!

Other Student Life

Ways to Keep Your Dorm Warm and Cozy This Winter

January 22, 2019

With the winter chill freezing our bones on our walks around campus, the best part about coming back to your residence is feeling cozy and warm with the decor around your room! Here are a few ways you can keep toasty and feel nice and comfy in your dorm room this winter.

Hang Christmas Lights

That overhead lighting is less than stellar most of the time. However, hanging a strand or two of Christmas lights gives your dorm a completely different feel! The warm, staggered lighting is easier on the eyes and great for watching movies, reading a book, or listening to music.

Make Warm Drinks

Using your microwave or that new Keurig you got for the holidays makes for great hot drinks such as cider, tea, coffee, and hot chocolate! Wander around the grocery aisles and find something that really speaks to you and use your favorite mug to warm your insides after a cold day of walking around campus.

Get a Space Heater

Sometimes the dorm heater is not all it’s cracked up to be. Getting a small space heater can help add a little extra warmth to your small space! Be sure to plug it directly into the wall instead of a surge protector and turn it off when you leave for any reason, but it is a perfect addition to keep you warm on frigid days.

Invest in Fuzzy Slippers or Socks

Keeping your feet warm can make all the difference during the winter! Get yourself a few pairs of thick fuzzy socks and some new slippers to keep your feet happy this winter. Slip them on right when you get back to your dorm and you surely won’t regret it!

Hopefully, these things will keep you toastier as the winter keeps on keepin’ on. Spring is just around the corner so there is light at the end of the tunnel, but until then, stay warm with these tips from GradGuard!

Health Other

Achievable Resolutions for the New Year

December 31, 2018

As yet another year comes to a close, it is time to reflect on and remember the last 12 months. You remember your milestones, your proudest achievements, and probably a few failures. Think back to December 31st of last year… Did you make any resolutions? Did you stick to them? Did your goals shift as the year went on? The answer is probably yes to all of those things and that’s okay! Life is all about how you handle Plan B, but it’s nice to have some ideas in mind for how you want things to go. Here are a few simple and achievable goals you can set for yourself in the new year!

Train For And Run A Race

Whether this means a 5K or a full marathon, training for/running a race for distance is a huge accomplishment no matter your age. There are so many different programs you can follow to cross that finish line and get that medal; not to mention running is a great mind-numbing activity that helps relieve a lot of stress for college students. Try a Couch to 5k plan or even a marathon schedule if you’re feeling adventurous! Also, so many races are fun and exciting! For example, there are Monster Runs, winery races, and of course the Rock’n’Roll Series! Remember, running is 80% mental and 20% physical. If you think you can, you’re right; if you think you can’t, you’re right.

Read More

Reading more is both simple and beneficial. It doesn’t matter if you are reading the next great American novel or the newest Marvel comic, as long as you are giving your brain a new kind of workout. Heck, even turn on the subtitles of the current video game you are playing for a different twist. I’d recommend doing the first resolution in tandem with this one and downloading audiobooks! Get yourself something you want to read/learn more about, download the audiobook, then only listen to it when you are training! Believe it or not, this helps a lot. It’s a win/win for you to workout your brain and your body! We suggest some of these books for college student reading.

Join A New Club

This one can be a bit daunting to those who are not keen on social events, but it is basic enough that anyone can do it. Everyone has hobbies right? Why not join a group of people who have the same hobbies as you! Universities have dozens of clubs and organizations of all kinds for students to take part in. Don’t be afraid to join a club for a hobby that is not currently active for you either; maybe you will find a new passion to join you in the new year.

Vow To Do Something More Or Better

Here I am referring to just making simple notes to do something a little more or a little better. For example, doing the dishes or keeping your apartment clean. Vowing to spend more time with your friends and less time watching Netflix by yourself. Maybe you want to rekindle a relationship with an old friend or family member. Anything that is going to just be something you can improve on or do more of which you think is going to help you within your daily life.

The key here is to set yourself up for success and set obtainable goals and not ones that are so far out there that you won’t stand a snowballs chance in H-E-Double Hockey Sticks of accomplishing. Always remember that this is a new year and you never know what is coming for you! Stay happy, healthy, and safe with these tips from GradGuard to set some new resolutions.

Other Student Life

4 Motivational Commencement Speeches to Get You Through Finals Week

December 10, 2018

As college students, there is one day that everyone universally looks to; graduation day. The day where you finally get to leave those history papers, group projects, and exams behind to start your life in the real world. What you’re not told, is that everyone is going to take that culture shock differently, and maybe your last set of inspiration before you leave for good is that final speech given by your commencement speaker. We’ve put together a few of our favorite college graduation commencement speeches to get you excited and hyped up for that new chapter of your life.

Ben Nemtin, University of Utah 2018

Holy cow. This speech is one of the most impactful addresses to come out of college commencement. Ben Nemtin is known for a show that was on MTV a while back called The Buried Life. Almost 10 years ago, he and 3 of his hometown friends came together on a whim to make a movie about crossing things off of their far-fetched “buried” lists. They left their jobs and lives in Canada, got a contract with MTV, and hit the road. As they crossed off items one by one, they helped strangers cross items off of their own lists. They began with 100 items on that list and now only 9 remain. They’ve accomplished things such as playing basketball with President Obama, escaping from a desert island, and writing a New York Times best-selling novel. Regardless of your place in life, this is commencement speech you NEED to watch.

Admiral William H. McRaven, University of Texas – Austin 2014

If you are at all currently in the military, came from a military family, or have interested in entering the military, this is a great speech for you. Though it does speak to everyone. Through countless experiences and words of wisdom, he talks about the simple things that happen day to day that can change the lives of those around you. He gives the 10 lessons that he learned in his basic Navy Seals training that helped him change his outlook on life and to move forward to change the world. Simply put, make your bed and thank me later.

Will Ferrell, University of Southern California 2017

Those first two were a little on the serious side, how about something a little more lighthearted? Will Ferrell’s address tells us about his times at USC, how he has earned his honorary doctorate degree, and how he became the comedic actor that he’s known as today. He goes on about how, though he was scared while going through those times, he was more scared of the “what if” statement if he did not try. Will talks about how he spent much of the beginning of his career “throwing darts at a dartboard hoping that one of them would stick,” but how most of his success stems from his family and giving back to the community. “Trust your gut, keep throwing darts at the dartboard, don’t listen to the critics, and you will figure it out.”

Shonda Rhimes, Dartmouth College 2014

Shonda. Rhimes. Does more really need to be said? Before her thriving career as a TV writer for popular shows such as Grey’s Anatomy, Station 19, and Private Practice, and staple movies like The Princess Diaries, she was a dreamer at Dartmouth College back in 1991. She was hungover on her graduation day because she was grieving the loss of her college years and was nowhere near excited about entering adulthood. She speaks of doing and not dreaming, and what it takes to be a strong single mother in addition to a successful career woman. Shonda gives you advice in a very real way and explains that anyone who tells you that they are perfect in life is lying to you; that it’s okay to lie on the floor of your dorm room and cry because you do not know what comes next. If this speech doesn’t give you the same emotions as an episode of Grey’s does, then you need to watch it again.

 

Next time you are feeling down and need something to pick you up or make you feel like you are not alone with what you are going through in your life, remember that these speeches will have your back; much like GradGuard when it comes to protecting your investment in higher education.

Other Student Life

What to Ask Your Renters Insurance Agent

November 15, 2018

Being an adult can mean so many different things; first, you have to do your own laundry, second make your own coffee, and third purchase your own renters insurance policy. This can honestly be super daunting to those who still have issues making their own dentist appointments, but we’ve made a simple list of things that you should be sure to ask your renters insurance agent when the time comes!

How do I know what my coverage limits should be?

Most renters insurance policies come with both personal property coverage and personal liability coverage. Personal property coverage is the limit that protects your personal items that are inside of your residence, and personal liability coverage is what protects the actual structure itself. Be sure to talk to your university or rental property to see if they require any specific limits while you are living there.

How much is the policy?

See if your renters insurance agency is charging you monthly, annually, semi-annually, or another billing option. Talk through it with them to see if there is a benefit to one billing option as opposed to another.

How long does the policy last?

This depends on the company that you are purchasing through and what you opted to pay for the policy. If you paid annually, then the policy likely lasts for a full 12 months from the date that you chose your coverage to begin. If you are only needing the insurance for a certain amount of time, be sure to ask your agent about their cancelation process and what is required to terminate the coverage.

What does this policy cover?

This is SUPER important to ask and have an understanding of. For example, if you want to have renters insurance in case someone breaks in and ransacks your apartment, just be sure that theft and burglary is a covered peril under the policy you are wanting.

How does the claims process work?

This is a general question with an important answer. Most people have no idea how to make an insurance claim if needed and it should be one of the top questions to ask your renters insurance agent. The claims process can be different for each agency, so just to be sure you clarify it if needed.

When it comes to purchasing renters insurance, questions are important to ask! We want you to ask questions and have a full understanding of what you are getting. It is so important to know that we are here to help you. Much like a doctor, you should be asking your renters insurance agent as many questions as possible and do not feel like any question you have is too small or too silly. GradGuard has your back and encourages you to ask whatever questions you think are necessary. We are there when you need us and will help you with all of your adulting needs.

Other Student Life

Halloween Tricks and Treats

October 30, 2018

As Halloween approaches (arguably the best time of the year) there are always fun crafts and treats that can be done! Here are a few suggestions from the GradGuard team to have a fun and safe Halloween!

Ghosts in the Graveyard

Always a fun no-bake dessert! Get yourself some vanilla pudding, Oreo cookies (look for the tombstone Halloween ones!), gummy worms, and some Ghost Peeps and you are set to make this fun Halloween treat for your whole floor! Just start by following the instructions on the instant pudding and put it in a glass/metal pan to chill in the fridge. Then crush up some Oreos and cover the top of the top of the pudding with the crumbs to create a “dirt” effect. Once that is completed, just add the ghost Peeps, gummy worms, and Tombstone Oreo cookies to make your own creepy, delicious design. Definitely a Halloween favorite!

Roasting Pumpkin Seeds

Everyone knows this one! Sometimes the best part of having to carve a pumpkin is getting those yummy seeds! Once you finish gutting your pumpkin, be sure to clean the seeds and place them on a cookie sheet covered with foil. Once they’ve had a chance to dry (3-4 hours) you’re welcome to add a few spices and pop them in the oven for about 45 minutes at 300 degrees! This is a great, healthy snack for all diets and eating lifestyles! Not to mention they are perfect for the fall weather.

Making Gingerbread “Haunted” Houses

This could be a good one for those that are already in the Holiday spirit but aren’t ready to bust out the Christmas lights yet. Start with your favorite Gingerbread mix/premade cookie squares that you can find at the store, then load up on all of the funky fixings that you can find (gummy worms, gummy hands, candy eyeballs, candy spiders/bones, etc.) and go to town! Build your structure then add all of the fun additions that you picked out. You can use your favorite frosting as “glue” to add on the treats and keep everything together. This is a fun tradition you can start with your family or friends!

Witchy Apple Heads

Witchy apple heads are a cute craft that is simple, yet a little more time-consuming. Start with shaving an apple of the skin, then carve your own funky face into it. It can be scary, silly, or simple and then insert a popsicle stick in the bottom of it and leave it on a paper plate to dry. Give it a few days to wilt and become really wrinkly before adding your own artsy flare to it! Once the apple is dried, you can give it a witch hat, some yarn hair, a cloak, and maybe a little witches broom. This is not one to be eaten, but a cute little centerpiece for your coffee table.

As the witching hour approaches, put on a scary movie or podcast and gather your friends to create something cute this Halloween season! Remember, GradGuard is spooky this week! Be sure to check us out for fun Halloween posts!