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10 Things Nobody Tells You About Life After College

June 1, 2020

College is all fun and games until you graduate and find out what really happens. Without any doubt, post-graduation life is not as carefree as college. Star-eyed graduates expect their dream jobs to fall in their lap as they set foot into the real world. However, the truth is that the adult-world has more challenges than anyone prepares students for. 

People often advise students on how to survive college and reach the finish line, but how many people tell you the next step after you cross it? 

Here are 10 things no one tells you about life after college:  

  1. Getting Your Dream Job Is Not Easy

Not to scare you, but getting your dream job right out of college is not easy. You are competing against thousands of other applicants who graduated with you and possess the same knowledge and expertise. 

Wanted to work in Fantasy Sports Software Development? There is a high chance that it may not happen for a few years or at all. We recommend you stay adaptive and flexible; get what you can and work for the rest.  

  1. Post-Graduation Depression Is Real

Between all your bills, college loans, and societal pressure, it is very easy to succumb to depression. But you got to trust yourself and hang on. There is so much left out there in the world for you to explore and experience. Don’t give up without righting for what you really want!

  1. It’s Time To Update Your Closet

What do you mean I can’t be in my sweatpants all the time? Time to buy a perfect blazer, and maybe a couple of new button-down shirts as well. You got to look the part to get the part. 

  1. People Will Ask You About Your Job… Pretty Much All The Time

It’s not really the worst thing on the planet, but it will undoubtedly feel like it when you are constantly asked about your job. Your friends and family will ask this question every time you meet, and new people won’t spare you either. 

  1. Hanging Out With Friends Requires Planning And Effort

Seeing your friends frequently is one of the best parts of college, hands down. But once college is over, people scatter to different parts of the globe and hardly see each other. Once all your college friends find jobs and get busy with work, you will need a lot of planning to hang out. 

  1. A Workday Is Longer Than A School Day

Even a jam-packed day at school will seem shorter than a workday. Even a typical day at work can drain you, so be prepared to be exhausted by the end. 

  1. Summer Vacation? What’s That?

Remember your college spring break or summer vacation? Unless you become a teacher, those are almost non-existent after graduation. Consider going on a big trip right after graduation before you start a new job instead. 

  1. College Does Not Teach Anything About Personal Finance

If you are a finance graduate, this may not apply to you, but for others, it’s a different story. The debit/card cycles are never-ending, and you will feel trapped. Be careful about how you spend money!

  1. Brace Yourself For More Parental Expectations

Finishing college means you are an adult, which naturally comes with a lot of family expectations. Prepare yourself for questions regarding work, living space, marriage, etc. 

  1. The Real World Does Not Care About Your GPA

It’s true! No one cares about your GPA in the real world, and it hardly matters when landing the right job. On the other hand, your skills and networking capabilities will take you a long way.

It is ok to be unsure about what to expect after graduation, but we hope these 10 tips gave you some idea. Welcome to the other side!

Bio: Nouman Ali provides ghostwriting and copywriting services. His educational background in the technical field and business studies helps him in tackling topics ranging from career and business productivity to web development and digital marketing. He occasionally writes articles for Dynamologic Solutions.

Other Transition

Do Standardized Tests Measure Educational Quality?

May 28, 2020

Standardized tests play a key role in today’s education system. They can take the form of aptitude tests that measure scholastic readiness or achievement tests that measure subject-specific knowledge. But how well do standardized tests measure educational quality?

Arguments in Favor of Standardized Tests

There are various arguments in favor of standardized tests. Here are the main reasons why they are good for measuring educational quality.

Standardized Tests Enable Consistent Assessment

Every teacher grades pupils differently. When college admissions committees only see overall grade point averages, nuances between teachers with higher and lower expectations are lost. So, standardized testing can act as a balancing force. Standardized tests can provide colleges with objective data with which they can compare prospective candidates.

Standardized Tests Prepare Students for College

If students attend high schools that do not offer advanced placement courses or a large number of extracurricular activities, standardized testing can enable students to set themselves apart from their high schools. Tests like the ACT and SAT give students the chance to show they are smart and motivated, so they will not be judged on their high schools when applying for college. And passing some specific standardized tests is required to gain entry to some degree programs. For instance, passing the Law School Admission Test is vital for prospective law school students. As for LSAT dates and deadlines, the test is held four times a year, in February, June, September or October, and December, and the registration deadline is about one month before the test date.

If students are enrolled in highly competitive high schools, standardized testing can also be beneficial. That is because it enables students to show they are intelligent and qualified, even if being in a class of many high-achieving students prevents them from being top of their classes.

Arguments Against Standardized Tests

Opponents of standardized tests typically say the test promotes a teaching-to-the-exam study method, meaning students only learn-and-repeat what is required by the curriculum. The opponents say that undermines students’ abilities to innovate and critically think. They, therefore, believe that standardized tests are not the best way of measuring student performance.

Teaching to the Test

Standardized testing means the main focus is on obtaining high grades. That means teachers feel compelled to teach students solely so that they can pass the tests. And in some schools, teachers spend less time teaching the arts and social sciences because they feel it is more important to prepare students for standardized tests in areas like math and English. That can lead to a less-rounded education for students.

Multiple Choice Tests

Standardized tests consist of multiple-choice questions or open-ended questions, and some feature both. Opponents of standardized tests that only use the multiple-choice format say the tests are too simplistic and do not reflect accurate student intelligence. On the other hand, tests that feature open-ended questions enable students to show their knowledge and apply critical thinking, often through extended responses.

Final Thoughts

Standardized tests are good because they are quantifiable and enable comparisons. But, as noted above, there is a negative side to standardized testing. There are other measures that can show how well schools and students are performing, such as graduation rates, enrollments in advanced placements and other college prep courses, and college remediation rates for recent high school graduates.

So, do standardized tests measure educational quality? Yes, they do. However, if they are used as the sole source of measuring educational quality, they are not wholly reliable. Standardized tests should be just one of many measures that are used to evaluate students’ abilities and their readiness for college or a career.

Career Other

8 Opportunities to Take Advantage of at Your First Job Out of College

May 28, 2020

So, you’ve finished college. Welcome to the real world! Your first job out of college is more than just a paycheck. It’s an opportunity for growth and stepping stones towards the future you’ve always dreamed of. Here are a few ways to make sure you’re getting the most out of your new job.

Be Smart with Your Paid-Time Off

Make sure you know the difference between your company’s sick leave, vacation, and paid-time-off policies so that you can get the most of your time away from the office. Even if you don’t get sick often, you can still take advantage of your sick days if you ever find yourself in a funk and just need a break. And while some companies let you roll your PTO over into the next year, others might not, so make sure you read the fine print before booking your next getaway.

Get Life Insurance

Take advantage of any life insurance your company offers. Funeral costs can really add up, so it’s best to be prepared. Plus, if you invest in life insurance early on, your investment can be used for other things. Some life insurance policies have cash value, which means you can use the money like a savings account in case you find yourself in need of an extra push on a rainy day.

Don’t Do it For the Money

Let’s face it: you’re probably not going to be raking in your dream salary when it comes to your first job after college. Instead of focusing on how much (or little) you’re making, look at your first post-college job as an opportunity to grow through new experiences. Find things to motivate you throughout the day that aren’t based on money. You’ll be more likely to open yourself up to opportunities that you may have otherwise turned down, which can help you open valuable professional doors down the line.

Health and Wellness

Health benefits can go beyond health insurance. Many companies offer perks such as gym memberships, counseling services, or discounts on services like massages. Doing what you can to balance both your physical and mental wellbeing is a simple way to get the most out of your job, while also taking care of yourself.

Network

Whether you’re just shy or like to play lone-wolf, it’s time to realize how vital building relationships can be. Every single person you meet will know something you don’t, and networking is the ultimate way to tap into that potential. Take the time to get to know people, and show genuine curiosity. Then take it one step further by branching out of who you would normally interact with to expand your network. Just remember that this is a two-way street, so remember to be authentic and don’t expect any favors.

Switch Up Your Commute

Save money and the planet by taking advantage of alternate commuter options. Some companies offer public transportation packages. Instead of driving, you can use the extra time to unwind or focus on the sights along the way or gather your thoughts before work. If that isn’t an option for you, consider looking into carpooling or ride-sharing. Carpooling can save you money and time. It’s also a great way to curb vehicle maintenance costs by prolonging the life of your car.

Employee Assistance Programs

Many companies offer programs that are designed to help employees in a crisis. These programs could range anywhere from substance abuse help, legal counsel referrals, or financial counseling. There are even some with help for things like daycare, veterinary services, and other personal or work-related problems.

Be Upfront

At the end of the day, one of the best things you can do is be upfront in the hiring process. Stay in touch with your human resources department, and let them know that you’re interested in benefits. They’ll appreciate the honesty, and be more than happy to do what they can to help you stay healthy.

Other Transition

5 Perks of Graduating College in the Winter

May 27, 2020
5 Perks of Graduating College in the Winter

Graduating in December means finishing all your classes and requirements mid-school year, and getting your diploma just in time for the holidays. It might not come with wrapping paper and a bow, but it’s a pretty impressive gift. If you’re a winter grad or are thinking about graduating next winter, take a look at this list of perks that can come with finishing college in December.

It can be a money saver.
If you’re graduating early, that’s one less semester’s worth of fees and costs that spring up between classes. Dealing with student loan payments after college is tough, and this can help cut some of those costs you’ll be faced with.

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Adulting Other

Packing Tips for College Move Out Day

May 27, 2020
Packing Tips for College

How bittersweet this time of year is – summer is approaching, meaning no more classes or exams or deadlines, but you have to say goodbye to your friends, professors, clubs and parties. Although this can be a fun time to get distracted and get ready for the warm weather and summer fun again, it’s also a time to make sure you’re prepared to be on time for your flight or ride when moving out of your dorm or apartment.

Between finals, nice weather and saying goodbye to friends, it can be difficult to get everything packed in an organized and timely manner. However, it helps to do a little bit over time, so the whole task never seems too overwhelming. What do you need to do before you leave? Where should you begin? Check out this list!

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Other Student Life

The Top Five Reasons You Should Join Clubs on Campus

May 27, 2020

So now you’re in college and you can forget all about joining clubs to boost your resume, right? Wrong! Just because it’s no longer required doesn’t mean that you should give it up all together. Maybe you were involved in so many organizations in high school that you burnt yourself out or maybe you just never knew how to get involved in the first place but getting involved in college can benefit everyone. Here are the top five reasons why you should join clubs on campus.

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Health Other

6 Things You Might Not Know About Mono

May 27, 2020

Mononucleosis, more commonly known as “Mono” is relatively common among college students. It is caused by the spreading of the Epstein-Barr virus through saliva, mucus, and sometimes even tears. Many call Mono “the kissing disease”, because it is notoriously spread through kissing, but here are some facts you might not know about the disease.

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Other Student Life

How to Catch Up In a Class When You’ve Fallen Behind

May 27, 2020

It’s inevitable at some time during your college career, you may fall a bit behind in a class. Despite your best intentions, you may have missed one too many lectures, jumbled up your notes, or just can’t grasp the concepts properly.

But not to worry! Just because you’ve fallen a bit behind momentarily doesn’t mean you have to stay there. There are some easy ways to catch back up in a class if you give it your best effort.

1. Go to class. Even if you’ve missed several class periods before this, the first thing you can do to turn yourself around is to attend class. This will help ensure that you don’t miss any more important information while you’re working hard to catch up with your classmates.

2. Take notes. Even if you don’t quite understand what’s going on in a class, take good notes as much as possible. This will help you later when studying, or going back over the information. And if you get help from a classmate, tutoring center, or another resource, it will help them to help you if you have good notes in front of you.

3. Make friends. You don’t have to hang around outside of class or really talk much otherwise, but it’s a good idea to make nice with a couple people that sit around you in your class. This way, if you need to miss class for whatever reason, you can get notes from them later. Also, you can potentially form a study group with them when it comes time for tests or examinations. Having someone to bounce ideas off of can be a big help, and they’re always available if you’re assigned a group project.

4. Go to office hours. Believe it or not, your college professors really want to see you succeed. Whether you have a class of 15 or a lecture hall of 300 students, your professor is there to help you out. Go to office hours, regardless of if you’re ahead or behind in the class. But especially go if you’re behind; explain to them what the problem is, and ask them if there are any extra credit options, or what they suggest you do to get caught up again. If you’re having troubles understanding the material, ask them to explain it again. Often speaking to someone one on one and being able to ask whatever questions pop into your head can help to clear it up. If not, ask them what other resources are available to you.

5. Do your homework. Even though some days you just aren’t feeling it, you need to complete the assigned work as much as possible. Whether it means cutting down your internet time or multitasking when you watch television, get down to work!

This article was originally published in Feb. 2013 and has since been updated.

Other Student Life

5 Ways to Stay Focused in College

May 27, 2020

Keeping up with the college life can mean keeping your mind moving in a hundred different directions. Classes, friends, work, activities, student organizations, events — there’s always a lot going on at once, which means there’s always a lot to think about any given time. That can make it tough when it comes time to get things done. Everyone feels scatterbrained and overwhelmed from time to time, but luckily there are some great tips that can help keep you focused. Below, are five:

1. Get into a routine
A great way to stay focused is to be in the habit of staying focused. Sound like a catch-22?  Don’t worry, it’s actually pretty doable—you just have to find a routine that works for you. Figure out how and when you work best.  Even take note of where you seem to concentrate the most effectively.  Are you focused the most in the morning in your room, at night in the library, or after class drinking coffee? Look ahead and set a schedule for yourself so that you always have a time and place to be productive.

2. Eat well, stay hydrated, and sleep
You probably think you don’t need to be reminded to do this; after all, you have to eat, drink water, and sleep to live. However, in college, not everyone does these things properly.  Staying hydrated is good for your overall health, but it also helps improve your concentration. The same goes for eating well. If your throat feels parched or your stomach starts growling at you, your focus is bound to suffer. Have a small, healthy snack before getting to work, and keep water on hand.  And never forget about the importance of sleep! Most college students know the feeling of being in class the morning after a particularly late night. Not catching sufficient Z’s is a sure way to make you feel spacey and unmotivated.

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Career Other

What Skills Can Students Learn to Appeal to Tech-Savvy Companies?

May 12, 2020

Graduation is approaching and if you haven’t thought about companies you want to work for, now might be the time to start. 

Do you want to work for a progressive company? Do you want to reap the benefits of remote and flexible work? Maybe you’re interested in having advanced technology and an engaging office environment. If this sounds appealing, you should consider adding tech-savvy companies to your list. 

As you can probably guess, it’s not as simple as applying to companies you want to work for. Oftentimes, you have to take steps to make yourself and your application more attractive to specific companies in order to score the position you want. 

Here are some of the top skills you can learn to appeal to tech-savvy companies. 

Cloud Computing

Cloud computing has become popular in many companies, as it enables safer storage of company data, along with remote access to company platforms. The popularity of the product means that the field will only continue to grow. 

Even if you don’t want to work directly with cloud computing, showing an employer that you understand how to safely manage your devices and company information will make you a desirable job candidate. You can look for certification courses online, many of which are now offered entirely online through virtual courses. Some of the most popular certifications include AWS and Azure. 

Adding these certificates to your application will separate you from the competition and increase your chances of working for a tech-forward company. 

Automation Testing

With software like robotic process automation (RPA) becoming common in most companies, there will be a need for human involvement to manage and test the platform. 

A common misconception is that automation is out to get jobs, but in reality, software like RPA needs to be monitored consistently to ensure that the technology is performing correctly. This means with growing automation implementations comes the need for more new employees skilled in testing and monitoring automation. 

Working with automation doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be programming or directly monitoring the software, but having a deeper understanding of your role alongside automation can make you a valuable asset to any company. 

Most automation companies have online training courses that end in certification for their programming and managing their product. Not only will they teach you how to manage the software, but some also teach you how to build RPA bots. Some popular options include IQ Bot and IBM’s Build a Bot tutorial. 

Coding

Learning to code is one of the top-ranked hard skills to develop in 2020. Before learning to code, it’s important to decide what programming language is most relevant or interesting to you.

The majority of companies use Python or JavaScript as their primary coding language, yet there are others that are as important, if not more, depending on the job you want. For example, HTML is considered to be a beginner language when learning to program, but it’s essential for anyone building websites or doing website optimization at their company.

Start by determining what programming language is most relevant to your job interests and sign up for classes, online certification programs, or a tutor to improve your skills.

These skills are sure to boost your resume and make you more valuable to any company. Even more importantly, they’re all skills you can learn online, at any point. Adding just one of these skills to your resume is sure to help you land a job at a tech-savvy company!