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Adulting Student Life

Overcoming the Challenges of Parenting While In College

July 28, 2021

While our kids are everything to us, it doesn’t mean that the world completely stops when our family grows. Parents still have hobbies, work, and some are eager to continue their education. If you are attempting to fit in schooling along with your busy family life, then you know all too well the struggles that can arise.

From finding the funds to pay for your education to finding the time to study, there is a lot to juggle, but it isn’t impossible. To help you out, we have compiled common challenges and how parents can overcome them.

Lack of Time

Poor time management can sink your educational career, and the fear of not having time to spare can stop some prospective students from even trying. Just remember that you don’t have to go to a full-scale university to get the schooling you desire.

Online programs are gaining major steam, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only can you learn everything that you would at a brick-and-mortar institution, but you can do so in your own home, on your schedule, and you get the chance to network with students around the world. Before you commit to a school, complete some research and find those that are flexible to your parenting needs and have the exact programs you are looking for.

You will really want to work on your time management during this period, as you never know what else life will throw at you. As adults, you may be faced with family and travel emergencies, or you may be selling your home for the first time, which requires some extra prep. All of these events can take time and be stressful, so you want to be ready. Cut yourself some slack and remember that you are only human.

Lack of Funds

Another challenge is learning how you can afford the cost of schooling while also raising a family. Just remember that when there is a will, there is a way, and although money may be tight, there is always something you can put to the wayside.

The best way to gauge how much money you have to spend on parenting and schooling is to create a budget. Take the time to notate all of your incoming funds and then think about every bill and recurring event that you pay for each month and determine what you can eliminate. Do you need to buy coffee and lunch every day, or can you make both at home and save money? What about all of those cable channels? Can you get rid of anything that you watch less often?

Also, remember that schooling is very important for the betterment of you as a person and the life you provide for your children, so don’t be afraid to ask for help. Ask the school of your choice if they have grants for parents. You can also apply for government grants and look to local charitable organizations.

What to Do With the Kids

The other challenge is figuring out what to do with the children while at school or completing school work. You need to find a happy medium between giving school the focus it requires while also providing proper care for your family.

One option is to put your kids in daycare, preschool, or even a camp during the weekdays to keep them occupied. Now that pandemic restrictions are being lifted, there is a chance for kids to get together again and learn new things themselves while you are in class. Just remember to create a smooth transition for your kids by practicing your leaving routine of putting on shoes, gathering backpacks, and saying goodbyes.

When it comes to studying, you may have to get creative. One option is to create a designated study time when you and your kids can do your homework at the table all at once. You should also prioritize your assignments by doing the largest projects during the family study time and sneaking in smaller work when you get the time between your parenting duties.

No one said that parenting and going to school is easy, but it is possible. Follow the steps above and you can have a promising educational career while raising a family.

BIO: Sam Bowman has a passion for learning. As a seasoned professional writer, he specializes in topics about people, education, tech and how they merge. In his spare time he likes running, reading, and combining the two in a run to his local bookstore.

Adulting Student Life

College Students and the Economy

July 13, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Adulting Student Life

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

July 9, 2021
Students unpacking boxes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Adulting Student Life

Best Practices to Clean Your Dorm Room On Move-In or Move-Out Day

June 23, 2021

With summer break on the horizon, most students and parents aren’t thinking about the upcoming fall semester. But with the way COVID disrupted the lives of so many over the past year, and things starting to resume normalcy in the coming months, freshmen are as excited as ever to move into their dorm rooms. But that also means freshmen leaving their dorms are just as eager as ever to get out of their dorms (and probably not in the cleanest manner either). 

Despite things getting back to the way they were, predictably parents are going to be more concerned for their children’s safety, and that starts with where most freshmen are living: the dorms. Universities will typically clean dorm rooms and common areas, but with our collectively heightened sense of awareness about hygiene and cleanliness, you can never be too safe. 

It’s better to spend a little more time on the front-end to give yourself and your family peace of mind about your safety. So with that being said, read our tips below for best practices to clean your dorm room on move-in or move-out day. 

Wiping Down Surfaces

Different surfaces require different cleaners, so it’s not a bad idea to have a couple of different options at your disposal. If your desk and bed frame is wooden, it stands to reason that wood cleaner is your best best to get them clean. If your furniture is slightly older, and made of metal, then traditional cleaners should work just fine. Opt for a multipurpose cleaner for nearly all of your surfaces, sans wood.

Because there’s a difference between cleaning and disinfecting, if you want to exercise caution, use commercial-grade disinfectant on surfaces to ensure that all germs and pathogens have been eliminated. You should also use this disinfectant on your mini-fridge, and throw a small box of baking soda in there so it does not develop a poor smell. 

Cleaning the Floors

Once you’ve rid the room of all the physical matter on the floor, it’s time to break out the vacuum and mop and apply a little elbow grease! Most college dorm room floors have taken on years of abuse from shoes, spilled alcohol, and food, so there’s likely to be a few tough stains to get out. Consider a cleaning solution with bleach for your tile or hardwood floors, but make sure there is open airflow to the room while you are cleaning. Most dorm rooms are 200-300 square feet, and too many bleach particles in the air could make you light-headed. I always went over new floors twice to ensure everything is purged, for nothing other than the peace of mind. 

Giving attention to the floors is as simple as three steps: sweep, vacuum, and mop. Give special attention to corners and alleys where dust and crumbs can collect (under beds, desks and your mini-fridge) when sweeping to ensure there is not any fodder for roaches or mice to get comfortable in your room. A handheld vacuum should do the trick.

Don’t Forget About the Bathroom

While some college freshmen are mature enough to keep a regimented cleaning schedule, many are not, and that fact is made evident when you look at the bathrooms. This is probably the room that will require the most cleaning time, when you consider the toilet, showers, floor, sink, and mirror. As for cleaning supplies, you’ll need bleach, disinfectant, gloves, a scrub brush, a mop, and either cleaning wipes or a rag. 

Tackle the shower and sink first. If a college shower isn’t properly cleaned, it could give way to spreading funguses or viruses like athletes foot or staph infection. So wipe down all surfaces and appliances including walls, floors, and the shower head.

Make sure you disinfect and polish the shower and sink head as well to give it that shine. From there you can transition to the mirror. A simple glass cleaner and wipe should keep it clean for a few weeks. Next, I’d tackle the toilet and toilet bowl. Wipe down the exterior with disinfectant and tackle the inside with bleach and a toilet scrub. After you’ve cleared out any mold, it might be a good idea to leave a disinfecting pod to help maintain cleanliness in-between cleaning days. 

Experts recommend doing the floors last, so you don’t track dirt or mud after you’ve cleaned them. Follow the same routine for your common area floors for best results: sweep, vacuum, then mop.

Develop a Cleaning Schedule

Now that you’ve done the hard part, and had your first deep clean of the year, the easy part is just maintaining the cleanliness. While it can feel a bit daunting at first, college is all about building, curating, and tweaking a routine that makes you happiest. At first glance, cleaning doesn’t sound like a task that brings joy, but the satisfaction of walking into a clean dorm room after a long day in the library or with your friends is immense. So you could break your cleaning tasks down into three buckets: daily, weekly, and monthly. 

Daily tasks include things like picking up clutter and washing dishes. Meanwhile, you can save things like laundry, sweeping, and taking out the trash as a weekly task. But the bigger projects, like dusting, mopping, and wiping down appliances should be completed once a month. The easiest way to keep yourself honest is by marking it in your planner or calendar and sticking to it. It only takes 30 days to build a routine, so if you are diligent early on, you’ll thank yourself down the road. Additionally, it’s always nice to give your room a nice deep clean before long breaks so you come back to school to a clean home. 

Conclusion

Cleaning is never fun. But it doesn’t have to be dreadful! But being confident and proud of yourself for building a strong routine and completing tasks can be rewarding enough to be fun. It’s also part of the growing process associated with college. If you have a roommate, have the conversation early and delegate responsibilities. Most importantly, hold up your end of the bargain so there is no chance for friction to develop. 

Adulting Transition

3 Tips to Help You Plan for Home Ownership in College

May 26, 2021

Many younger Americans say they are in no rush to become homeowners, and instead want to focus on enjoying life experiences. However, on the flip side, there is also a growing percentage of younger adults working towards homeownership before 35. In fact, many of them are planning to buy their first home while they’re still in college. If you’re thinking of homeownership, you will need to be careful to avoid making common money mistakes in college. Planning ahead gives you ample time to prepare – if you know where to start.

Weigh The Pros And Cons Of Early Homeownership 

College graduates spend three to six months after graduation job hunting. They are also very occupied with setting up their lives, either renting an apartment or focusing on paying off student loan debt. Adding a monthly mortgage to that list can be tough, and should only be undertaken with proper planning. Renting after college also comes with less financial commitment, which can be a good thing. If you haven’t decided where to live or your career path, it may be difficult to stick to a long-term decision like buying a home.

There are also great perks to getting on the property ladder instead of renting. Depending on the location you choose, a mortgage can sometimes be cheaper than renting. If you’re in a good credit position after college and have little debt, it increases your chances of getting a mortgage in the long run. Lastly, if you purchase a home while you’re in college, you could be better off financially by saving on dorm costs. Renting out your home can be a stable income stream. Consider all of these pros and cons before making your decision to become a homeowner.

Narrow Down The Location Early

The earlier you know where you want to own a home, the better prepared you can be to do so. If you choose to, you can buy a home close to your college and skip the boarding costs on campus. Alternatively, you could rent it out to fellow students to help with paying your mortgage. Another reason to choose your location early is that it helps you track home prices and how much you need to save before applying for a mortgage.

Work On Reducing Your Debt 

Many young people are delaying homeownership because of student loans. In a survey by Clever, half of undergraduate students said they would have to put off buying a home to repay their student loans. Around 43 percent of Americans who attended college have some sort of student loan debt to their names, along with credit card or personal loan debts outstanding. When it comes to credit cards and students, starting earlier is always better. 

To make money, consider getting a part-time job while you’re in college, or launching a side business. There are many earning opportunities for college students, including tutoring or on-campus jobs. Also, learn to stick to a budget. If you are not familiar with budgeting and money management, a great place to start is inquiring if your college offers personal finance classes.

Bottom Line

There are many reasons why buying a house in college makes sense. Equally, there are many reasons against it. While real estate can be a great investment in the long term, it’s not universally applicable. The area you choose, your personal finance habits, and the additional expenses that come with homeownership should factor into your decisions. For some, it may be a great dream. For others, it may be too much too soon.

Adulting Student Life

How to Prioritize (Not) Paying Off Your Student Loans During the Moratorium

May 24, 2021

Student loans have been in the news recently as there has been buzz surrounding some sort of government relief soon. If you are a borrower looking for relief, you may be wondering what your best move is regarding repayment. How you act now could help you gear your finances up for any upcoming legislation on the matter.

What you are about to read will seem counterproductive – but stick with it till the end.

Hold Off On Repayment Until the Moratorium Expires

It may seem crazy not to take advantage of our current relief period to pay down some of those federal loans, but, instead, consider taking what money you would be paying, interest included, and putting it into a separate savings account.

This interest-free period means that the total amount you have to pay back won’t increase in the interim. By putting the money you would typically use for loans aside, you can create a pool of funds that will amount to a significant sum whenever the moratorium is allowed to expire.

The Political Future of Student Loans is Uncertain

President Biden has stated that he is open to $10,000 of blanket student loan forgiveness, eliminating some of the economic strain for many borrowers. However, there is reason to believe that the relief will be much broader.

The last major stimulus bill extended the moratorium until March 2022 and made any future loan relief tax-exempt. Though we are not quite sure what will happen, there is strong evidence that lawmakers are gearing up for some type of comprehensive action regarding student loans. We also know that student loan relief has some bipartisan support, though disagreements exist.

The Scenario You Want to Avoid:

Let’s say you owe $15,000, and pre-COVID, you were paying $300 a month, including interest. You decided to make monthly payments throughout the pandemic even though the interest was frozen and payments were paused.

Now we’re over a year into the pandemic, and the moratorium on student loan repayment is extended until at least March 2022. Let’s imagine that the progressive wing of the democratic party can convince Joe Biden to raise the initial offer of $10,000 to $25,000 of loan forgiveness.

You’ve essentially wasted all the money you’ve been paying back throughout the moratorium because your loans were forgiven.

If you had put that money aside, you’d have a significant amount of cash.

What If Nothing Gets Forgiven?

If there is no action taken to combat the student loan crisis, then we can assume payments, as usual, will resume in March 2022. If you had been saving your monthly payment amount, then in February of 2022, you can make a large lump sum payment that puts you back on track as if nothing happened.

Why Not Paying Right Now Makes Sense

Because we know something will likely happen regarding the student debt crisis, and because we don’t know exactly what that something will be, the best course of action is to save that money you would normally use for repayment.

You either have some (or all) of your loans forgiven and have a large sum of money available, or you resume payments like nothing ever happened. By not paying during the moratorium, it’s a win. However, by paying, there is a chance you’ll lose.

BIO: Veronica Baxter is a writer, blogger, and legal assistant operating out of the greater Philadelphia area. She writes for the Law Offices of David Offen, who is a successful bankruptcy lawyer in Philadelphia.

Adulting Other

Easy Ways to Start Investing

May 14, 2021

As a college student, you have some unique challenges. There’s a lot on your plate between attending classes and homework, but also studying and balancing a social life, too. You should also devote time to your own wellness.

In this post though, we are not talking about physical or social wellness. Instead let’s focus on a more neglected wellness aspect – financial wellness.

Here are five easy ways to achieve that glow in your investments while being sensitive to a college student’s lifestyle.

Open an Interest Generating Savings Account or CD

Got some cash? Here are two easy, super safe ways to earn some interest:

  • High yield savings account from a bank that pays you a variable interest rate.
  • CD (certificate of deposit) guarantees you an interest rate if you leave your money in for a certain amount of time.

Both offer some return for your money, so they do count as investments. Be prepared to let this money sit in these accounts for a while. After a few years, you will start to see some real return, more than you would see if you let it sit in a standard bank. Work for your money, then let your money work for you!

Modern Brokerage Account

Back in the day, brokerage firms were stodgy and cumbersome to deal with. You had to physically call a broker or use a desktop computer. Not to mention the fees that came along with it.

That’s changed. The internet is not just for cat websites or eating challenges. In today’s investment landscape, there’s a plethora of free online brokers with slick interfaces that work on phones, tablets, or desktops.

Names like Robin Hood, Webull, or M1 Finance come to mind. These apps have truly introduced a large group of “retail” investors to the markets.

Index Funds

Now armed with a modern broker app, you can start diving into the more “traditional” investments like stocks and funds – the kind of stuff you hear about on CNBC (but never paid attentioned to).

For a busy student, simple is best. And the simplest is to buy an index fund, a fund that holds ALL the stocks in a given market. This is less volatile since you are well diversified and exposed to many stocks. Over the long term, America’s stock market only goes up.

Basically, if you are not interested in individual stocks or sectors of the market, just investing in the whole market is the way to go. It’s generally a safer way to get your start in investing. But again, this won’t make you a lot of money quickly, unlike how you may be able to make a quicker profit through riskier, more volatile trades.

Retirement Account

“Retirement accounts” once made my eyes roll. I know the last thing on your mind is 40 years from now.

But hear me out. Basically, IRA’s and Roth IRA’s are just accounts or vehicles that your investments live in. You contribute to these accounts, then decide what funds or stocks to buy from there.

With a Roth, you contribute money you’ve already paid taxes on, and when you withdraw, it’s tax free! With an IRA, you contribute pre-tax dollars, then pay taxes on it when you withdraw.

For a busy college student, there are two things to set up. First is an automatic monthly or quarterly withdrawal from your checking or savings into one of these. Second is to reinvest dividends from that fund back into the fund. Something to look forward to in the future is to look for employers who match employee 401K contributions. That’s something you’ll definitely want to take advantage of — it’s basically free money.

That way, time and compound interest helps grow your account, hassle-free. Even contributions of a couple hundred dollars a month, over 30 years, end up massive!

In Closing

When I started “adulting,” my knowledge of financial products was minimal. I freely admit I did not know the difference between a checking and savings account, much less investing.

Now with modern apps, investing is easier and more accessible. Get started with a few of the top tips above!

Adulting Student Life

Creative Ways to Map Out Financial Goals as a Student

May 7, 2021
Hand holding up money

As a student, you probably have plenty of financial goals in mind for your future. Having goals is a good thing, and it can keep you on the right responsible track to saving money and having enough to cover your expenses.

But, if your goals feel more like dreams or you haven’t thoroughly thought them out, you could have a harder time achieving them. 

Thankfully,  with a little creativity, you can map out your money goals and take charge of your finances from a young age.

With that in mind, let’s look at a couple of creative ways to map out those goals and how you can use them on your financial journey.

Have Fun With Budgeting

You might think of the word “budget” and groan. But, budgeting doesn’t have to be a tedious or boring practice. That’s especially true when you break down your budget into different categories to achieve your short-term, mid-term, and long-term goals.

You can separate your budget into these different areas by putting a bit away into each of them. Visualize it as having three jars set out on your counter. How much of your budget do you want to use right now? What about in a year or so? What about in 20 years? As a student, it can be hard to think about your life after retirement, but imagine how much you could have saved up if you do think about it now.

Some other examples of long-term financial goals include:

  • Paying off debt
  • Saving for a car
  • Striving for homeownership
  • Paying for college

Those goals might sound closer to home for a student. So, as tempting as it might be to use all your budget in the here and now, think about your future and all you can do with what you save. If you’re having trouble figuring out just how much you should be putting away, don’t be afraid to try a budget calculator. You’ll be able to play around with numbers to determine what will work for you.

Try Mind Mapping

If you’ve never heard of mind mapping, it focuses on having a central goal, then using different “branches” toward achieving it.

Sound confusing? It doesn’t have to be.

When you have a main goal, you can add “branches” to your map in different directions. Each branch will be another tactic you can use toward achieving that goal. For example, if your goal is to save up enough money for a car, one area of your map might include things like working extra jobs, selling some of your unwanted items, or taking on “gig work.” Another section might include giving up things like going out to eat or entertainment until you have enough.

Mind mapping is even easier when you use software to build your map. Visualization is important when it comes to achieving your goals. It gives you something concrete to look at and focus on while you put in the work.

It’s never too early and you’re never too young to create financial goals for yourself. Doing so now can set you up for a much more comfortable future. Keep these creative ideas in mind as you start to work through those goals as effectively as possible.

BIO: Dan Matthews is a writer with a degree in English from Boise State University. He has extensive experience writing online at the intersection of business, finance, marketing, and culture.

Adulting Career

The Best Options for You After High School

April 27, 2021

When graduating high school, many people assume that the next obvious step is going to college; however, this is not the only option available to graduating seniors. There is an endless number of positive experiences and opportunities at your fingertips. Whether you want to explore, venture out into the professional world or learn more about yourself, there are boundless choices and paths in front of you. As you think about your next steps, here are a few of the best options for you to consider.

A Gap Year

If you want to take time to reflect, grow and learn, gap years can be a great option. Gap years have gained popularity in recent years due to the invaluable and incomparable lessons and opportunities for reflection that are difficult to replicate. You have the wondrous experience of venturing out into a new community and visiting new places within the structure and format of the gap year experience. You can learn from others their reasons on why take a gap year, so don’t be afraid to ask around to help you decide if a gap year is the best next step for you.

Volunteer

If you find yourself wanting to do something positive and productive with your time after graduating high school, volunteering can be a marvelous move. Keep in mind that volunteering won’t pay the bills; however, it can be a formative and impactful experience. Not only will you inevitably learn about the community that you are supporting, but you likely will learn a lot about yourself and benefit greatly through the process.

Professional Ventures

For those who want to test the waters of the professional world, don’t be afraid to start working following high school and delay further schooling for the time being. Whether you need to pay bills and as a necessity or you are looking to explore the startup world, there are plenty of reasons and opportunities to start work right away. Professional experience can also be a great way to set you up for success in college and leave you more prepared than you would have otherwise been.

Road Trips

Another quintessential high school graduate experience is a road trip. If you have never had a chance to truly explore the country, consider packing up your car and a few friends and taking a long road trip. Whether you schedule this before college or your gap year, this can be an exhilarating way to experience the world. Regardless of the length of your trip, don’t be afraid to take an adventure once you graduate high school.

College or University

You can always take a traditional path after high school and go to college. This is not just a chance to venture out from home. Whether you choose community college or a four-year college or university, the reality is that college can be challenging, and you need to be prepared and know what to expect. Whatever you choose, you should make sure that you select the option that best suits your needs, goals and next steps.

As you reach this pivotal point in life, don’t be afraid to take a detour or alter your path to find the best fit for your next chapter. Once you graduate high school, you have the world at your feet.

Adulting Student Life

Tips to Save Time in College

April 20, 2021

Going to college is all about learning new things and expanding our horizons toward new opportunities. Many college students falter in the early semesters because they don’t have a plan of action to help them transition from a child’s world to a grown-up world. You can waste a lot of time in college if you don’t approach it with the right frame of mind. And wasting time in college generally equals wasting money.

Learn How to Send Email

One of the most grown-up things you can learn in college is how to send an email. You may have gotten through high school sending emoji-filled texts, but that’s not going to fly when you get into your 20s. If you’re interested in getting internships or applying for work-study programs, you need to be able to craft an email that makes you sound intelligent. In other words, check your spelling, watch your format and use capital letters found in standard English. Take a tip from a successfully written sales email and learn how to stick to the point and send emails at a time when they’re likely to be noticed, i.e., not at 2 AM. If you are sending emails in the late night hours, Gmail and other email platforms typically have a feature to schedule them for later.

Keep Up With Paperwork

Another big time-waster is hunting for lost paperwork. Create a clearly labeled filing system to keep track of your most important papers. This can include course syllabi, university programs you’re interested in, car maintenance and health care records and membership cards. Papers that get lost most often are the ones that you don’t need all the time. It costs you time to have to hunt through piles of paperwork, and it will sometimes cost you money to replace what you’ve lost. The sooner you get organized, the quicker you can find what you need and move on to another activity. 

Create a Routine

Every semester in college will probably look different from the one before it. The college years are a great time to learn about flexibility. However, within each semester, it’s important to create a routine, even if it changes every couple of months. Add your classes to a calendar and then start looking for chunks of time to mark off for studying and whatever else you need to do such as working or exercising. If you don’t have it written into your calendar, you are more likely to view it as free time. Too much free time can lead to too little study time. Poor grades might mean you have to retake a class. In other words, by wasting time, you’ve wasted money. To make sure that doesn’t happen, check out Truliant’s College Savings Calculator that is specific to helping college students save money.

Get Help

If you’re struggling with a particular class or concept in college, don’t spend too much time trying to figure it out on your own. By the time you understand, it may be too late to save your grade. It’s far better to seek help early either with a private tutor or through your university. If it’s early in the term or semester, you can probably drop the class without penalty or losing money, to take it at a later time or another class altogether. Many campuses offer writing centers or low-cost math and science tutors. Don’t be shy or too prideful to ask for help! Use what’s available to give yourself an advantage before you have to play catch-up.

There is much to learn when you go to college. There is plenty of content knowledge you will need for your post-graduation job, but there are also basic time-management skills that will be invaluable to know for your future. 

BIO: Brett Clawson has a degree in Business Management and has started a couple of small businesses. When he’s not focusing his time on those, he spends time with his wife and two sons. His oldest son has entered the wonderful realm of college, and he now enjoys sharing tips that he and his son have found essential for college life.