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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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The Best Jobs to Have While You’re in College

May 12, 2020

College is an exciting time of learning, growing, and experiencing your first taste of the “real world”. Unfortunately, a four-year public college can cost over $28,000 each year and a private institution averages over $32,000 a year. 

So, while your studies should be your top priority while you’re in school, it’s not uncommon for many college students to look for some type of employment to start paying off student loan debt, to open a savings account, or just to have some spending money and freedom. 

It’s been reported that about 40% of undergraduates work at least 30 hours a week while in college. That can burn you out quickly if you’re not careful. So, what are some of the best jobs for students, and how can you start preparing now for your future career? 

Finding a Part-Time Job

There are plenty of part-time job opportunities that won’t force you to take too much time away from your studies. Some of the highest-paying jobs are actually more “gig-based” like nannying/babysitting, dog walking, or tutoring. You can choose to take on these jobs as it works for your schedule, which means you won’t have to miss something important in school in order to work. 

If you want a more structured, hourly position that ensures a certain amount of pay each week, some of the best options for college students include the following: 

  • Bank teller
  • Barista
  • Cashier
  • Bookkeeper
  • Warehouse worker
  • Medical receptionist

There are even some temporary job opportunities if you’re having a slow semester or you need some extra cash. The U.S. Postal Service, for example, hires “casual workers” twice a year for 90 days during peak mail periods. 

Use different resources for finding a job including LinkedIn, your local newspapers, and job sites like Monster.com. You might think there aren’t any active part-time opportunities available, but they’re out there if you’re diligent in your search! You can even check out flyers or advertisements posted around campus for companies that might be hiring and looking specifically for college students. 

Starting Your Own Business

Do you want to bring in some money but you don’t want to work for someone else? College can be a great time to start your own business. Many college students who have skills in things like graphic design or writing take on freelance jobs. It’s a great way to make money on a per-gig basis, and it can also help to boost your resume and build your career while you’re still in school if you provide consistent work to reputable clients. 

The more you network and build your client base, the easier it will be for you to grow your business. You can even start a service-based business in your collegiate town, such as a cleaning company, a pet-sitting business, or landscaping. 

If you get enough regular clients, that can lead to positive marketing opportunities and people sharing strong reviews. When you graduate, you’ll already have established a strong business, and you may be able to expand it to different locations. 

Kickstarting Your Career

Most people go to college to learn more about the career path they have chosen, but there’s no rule that says you can’t kickstart that career in college. If you know what your passion is, you can make the transition to life after college easier on yourself by having a career-focused mind now. 

One great way to do that is to sign up for an internship. Internships allow you to work for whatever industry you’re interested in and get hands-on, real-world experience that you simply can’t get in a classroom. For example, if you want to go into the marketing field or work in developing content marketing strategies for companies, interning at a content marketing agency can help you to hone in on skills like social media, analytics/data, personalized content, and design, which you can use to boost your resume and land a job faster after you graduate. 

Internships are also a great way to make connections and network with people already in the business world. College grads often make the mistake of presenting themselves only online when they’re looking for jobs instead of going out into the world and networking with people. While searching for jobs online has its place, there’s nothing like face-to-face interaction for someone to think positively of you and to connect you with the right people. 

If you’re knee-deep in your studies but you also want to start making money, you have several options depending on how much you want to work. Whether you decide to be your own boss, work a part-time job, or intern somewhere that may clear a path for a brighter future, making money while you’re still in college can end up saving you a lot of extra financial stress once you graduate.

Student Life Uncategorized

Benefits of Extracurricular Activities for College Students

April 29, 2020

With the increasing pressure of getting good grades and the overall task of completing academics, ever wonder why our schools and parents prioritize extracurricular activities so much?

According to the US Census Bureau, a survey of school-aged children showed that 42% of these children were involved in sports, 30% were engaged in lessons, 28% were involved in clubs and a significant 9% of an over-enthusiastic bunch was involved in all three of these extracurricular activities.

These figures highlight and answer our question as to why extracurriculars are so essential apart from academics.

5 Essential Reasons Why Extracurricular Activities Are Great

However, here are five amazing reasons why extracurricular activities are totally worth your time and energy if you are still confused about investing in your academic resources.

  1. Exploring hobbies, passions, and interests

Extracurricular activities are separate from your academics. It is why you have the power to choose whatever you are passionate about. You can explore your interests and hobbies like art, pottery, gardening, and any other activity. You are not bound like in academics to study and pass your exam with flying colors. Your motives are purely driven by passion. You succeed and thrive to do it because you choose to and you might even find a newer interest that you can take up as your career in the future.

  1. Contributing to higher self-esteem

Acing studies is really tremendous, but doing well in extracurricular is an automatic self-esteem booster. Choosing what you love to do because you do it well is different. But doing something well because love to do it and you were passionate about is a groundbreaker. Not only will it help you get higher self-esteem and self-satisfaction, but it is a highly motivating, contributing factor to having a better life ahead.

  1. Better opportunities for socializing

Extracurricular activities are a great way to socialize and make new friends. Not only do you get to have a social circle, but those friends share your interests with you too. You get to talk about your interests, share thoughts, and create a community based on what you all do best and create a connection over your mutual passion.

  1. Fun apart from studies

As mentioned earlier, extracurricular activities are fun apart from studies. It is a healthy and constructive way of spending time doing something you like and are actually passionate about. It helps you take time out for yourself whenever you are stressed about studies and other responsibilities of your life.

  1. A valuable addition to your resume

Extracurricular activities add value to your resume. Nowadays, transferable skills that are learned from your outside hobbies and passions can be more relevant than academic achievements, not to mention making you stand out from the crowd of applications they have. Adding any kind of additional activities can only help you when it comes to your resume.

All in all, extracurricular activities are fun and engaging! Remember, when posed with the idea of being able to integrate hobbies and passions with real life, you should always take the opportunity and remember these 5 things, but don’t forget to put your academics first.

Bio: Claudia Jeffrey is currently working as a Content Strategist at Crowd Writer and Premium Jackets, excellent platform for dissertation editing service UK. She herself is heavily involved in sports and was an active participant in other extracurricular activities during her high school years. You can read her blogs at WordCountJet as well.

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Are You a College Student? It’s Time to Control Your Finances

April 2, 2020

Getting an education is one of the best things you can do for your financial future. However, it’s just part of the success equation and it’s easy to make financial decisions that complicate things. It’s best to take control of your finances as early as possible and it’s never too early. The tips below can help any college student take charge of their finances.

Establish a Savings Account

Saving money is something that some college students don’t think about because there’s usually a limited amount of money available. Even if that’s the case, it’s best to set aside a small amount of money to serve as an emergency fund. Things happen and you don’t want to end up in a financial bind without a solution.

Avoid Debt When Possible

The biggest debt that most college students incur is student loans. That’s because college is expensive and sometimes it’s hard to pay for tuition and the cost of living without a loan. If there is ever a way to avoid getting a student loan or any other debt, you should definitely steer clear. Some people struggle for a lifetime to pay off student loan debt. If you decide to get a loan, make sure you do so wisely by consulting with a financial aid advisor.

Monitor Your Spending

A simple financial rule that should always be followed is to spend less money than you make. It’s easier to spend more money than you actually earn by using credit cards. This is rarely a good idea and it’s usually something that people end up regretting for many years.

Limit Credit Card Use

Credit cards are surprisingly easy to get when you’re a college student, which can be unfortunate because you’re still learning about finances. Sometimes what happens is the credit cards are maxed out and not paid on time. As a result, a good number of college students end up having to repair their credit later. If you end up getting a credit card, make sure you get one with a low interest rate and pay off the balance monthly.

Stick with a Budget

Having a budget is far more important than you may realize. That’s because knowing how much money you have to spend and sticking with your commitment not to exceed your budget can help you achieve your financial goals. If you need to earn more money, consider a side gig like Uber if you have a vehicle. You’ll be considered a contractor and you can work whenever you want. Instead of receiving Form W2, Uber will use a 1099 generator and send you the information by email or regular mail.

Start Investing

If you’re working a full-time job and they provide a retirement account, make sure you take full advantage of that benefit. It’s easy to think you have plenty of time to invest in a retirement account, but that time will go by quickly. By starting at a young age, you’re more likely to achieve your retirement goals.

Maintain Insurance

Health and disability insurance are two types of insurance that most people should have. If you don’t know whether or not you have these insurance plans, check with your employer. If you don’t have them, it’s time to get them. Not having insurance is something that can have devastating consequences when it comes to your finances.

Being a college student doesn’t mean you don’t have to be diligent about your finances and the financial decisions you make now will impact your future. Since you will probably have a learning curve like most people, it’s best to read as much as possible about personal finances. You’ll be glad you did.

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.

Student Life Uncategorized

Where to Store Your Stuff

March 27, 2020

As finals approach, each hour is precious for those college students who will be going home for the summer. Some of them could simply pack their suitcases and drive home, but others might have an apartment or a dorm room full of furnishings. Being able to retain their belongings without making it into yet another hassle can take time and planning, and it can cut into valuable study time. Here are a few suggestions that might help ease the mind and leave plenty of time for study.

Start Winnowing Possessions

When the last semester begins, it is time to start winnowing possessions into what should be kept and what should not. For those who have a dorm room with mostly clothes and personal belongings, it can be a simple matter to decide what they really want to keep. Others will find they have to start making choices about items of furniture that really matter, and they need to consider what can be easily replaced.

Consider the Next Semester

Living in a dorm room is relatively easy when it comes to limiting possessions, but those who want to continue living off-campus will need to consider the next semester. If they will be renting another apartment, furniture will likely be important. Even a partially furnished apartment has room for a few items any student might find necessary, so making decisions now about the next semester should figure into what to keep and what to give away or toss out.

Taking It Home

Parents are a good resource for college students, and many return home for the summer months. Their family is often ready to welcome them with open arms, but it might become an issue when moving back home. Being able to pack and load everything into a moving van will be the easy part, but is there enough storage in the basement or attic to accommodate everything is something that should be considered. Taking it home might sound great, but it is only good if there is enough storage room available.

Packing Up

Whether it will take only a few suitcases or a moving van, packing up is part of the process. For those who will be able to easily move, labels and lists are not necessary. Those storing their possessions at home or in a facility over the summer will need to make sure they pack their items in good boxes and label them. Even furnishings should be wrapped during the move, and it should remain on them until they are secure in the new dorm room or apartment.

Using a Storage Facility

It might not be feasible to take everything home, but students who wish to keep their possessions could consider using a storage facility. It might also be less expensive to rent a unit for a few months than packing everything up and bringing it home. There are plenty of good options available, and small units can be very affordable. Making sure to use all the available space in a small unit can keep the cost low, and it will avoid the need for renting a vehicle to move a long distance. For those who were considering the time it takes to load and unload, it could be just as easily done while moving into a storage unit than moving it all home.

Shop Around

The cost of storage can vary even within a small geographical area, so it is important to shop around for the best deal. Some facilities offer discounts for students, and others have rental specials at certain times of the year. Most of the information can be found online, and even taking the time to call and ask about multiple rentals for several students might garner a discount or two.

Student Deals

The need for summer storage has long been an issue, and there are a few colleges offering students help in this area. Contact the Student Union on campus for possible assistance, and ask them if they have a discount deal with any local storage facilities. For those seeking more options, there are some storage facilities that cater to students such as SMARTBOX.

Whether you decide to pack everything up and take it home or leave it in a storage unit, remember that GradGuard offers worldwide personal property coverage as an automatic added endorsement with their renters policies! Be sure to have your items protected whether they are traveling home for the summer or locked up in a storage box.

Student Life Uncategorized

5 Best Opportunities in College

December 16, 2019

These days, if you hear the word “college” it’s likely followed by the word “debt.” It’s easy to feel like the benefits of college aren’t worth the costs. That said, you don’t want to undervalue the opportunities you have while at college, and you certainly should take full advantage while you have the chance. 

Get Outside Your Comfort Zone

College is a chance to get outside your comfort zone, both academically and literally. For many people, it’s the first chance they have to live away from home, but that’s just where the difference starts. The relative freedom of being on campus at a university compared to being in high school offers many chances for you to study outside your usual sphere and learn many new things. Try classes that aren’t part of your major, join clubs you wouldn’t normally or pick up a new sport. 

Make Friends

Part of getting outside your comfort zone is making new friends. If you’re going to college away from your old friends from high school, you’ll have to build a whole new social sphere, which can teach you a lot about how to interact with a new group of people. Even if you are going to school with a lot of your old friends, you’ll likely be taking different classes from them, and will have a chance to branch out and bring new people into your life. Embrace it! The friends you make in college often stay with you the rest of your life. 

Travel

You might be wondering, why study abroad? It would mean taking on more expenses, and it would take you away from the friends you’re making and the relationships you’re forging with teachers. The whole point of college is to expand your horizons and experience new things. Studying abroad is an incredible opportunity to do just that. You’re unlikely to get the chance to really experience life in another country the way you will as a study abroad student. You can make connections overseas that will stay with you the rest of your life, learn a whole new culture and make unforgettable memories. 

Do an Internship

Internships can be a wonderful opportunity to earn college credits while gaining job experience. Obviously not all internships are created equal, and there are a lot of problems with internships — especially unpaid internships — that cannot and should not be ignored, but it is still an opportunity worth considering.

Network

Part of the value in an internship is the chance to network. That is an opportunity that you can find elsewhere at college too. Whether you’re making sure that your favorite professor has a letter of recommendation on file for you, making friends that are going to be in the same industry as you going forward, or going to a job fair to meet potential employers, college provides ample opportunity for networking that shouldn’t be ignored or undervalued. Obviously, the most important part of college is doing well in your classes and getting your degree, but there are many other opportunities that aren’t so easily quantified.

Remember that college is supposed to be the best time of your life, so be sure you make the most of it with these opportunities.

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.

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6 Things No One Ever Tells You about Keeping Dogs at College

December 16, 2019

If you’ve grown up with dogs and have never been without one, it will be a very strange thought to think about moving away to college without taking your dog. 

Unfortunately, the vast majority of colleges don’t allow you to take your dog with you; however, there are some exceptions to the rule. 

In this article, we’ll talk you through some general rules for keeping dogs at college, and also take a look at some case examples of unique pet policies at certain colleges. 

#1: Only 4% of Colleges Allow You to Keep Dogs at College

If you’re worried about getting into college, imagine how your dog must feel! A recent survey found that only 40 out of 1000 colleges are pet-friendly. That means, that unfortunately, the vast amount of colleges won’t allow you to bring your four-legged friend with you. There are some exceptions that will be covered below. 

#2: You Can Keep a Dog to Cope with Depression or For Emotional Support 

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, schools have to allow service animals on their campus and this includes dogs that are trained as emotional support dogs. Emotional support pets can be brought to college by students who need them to cope with day-to-day life. To prove that your dog is an emotional support animal, the college may ask you for evidence from your doctor. 

Note that not every animal can be trained as an ESA and making fraudulent claims that your animal is used for emotional support is against the law.

#3: Some Colleges Only Allow Certain Breeds 

If you’re lucky enough to find a college that will allow you to have pets on campus, you will probably find that some breeds are exempt and not allowed under any situation. For example, Alfred State College of Technology, New York, allows pets that are under 40 pounds, and do not allow certain breeds such as Alaskan Malamutes, Bull Dogs or German Shepherds. 

#4: Some colleges run programs which offer you the chance to train a service dog

Stetsons University is one of the colleges which has a great pet-friendly policy. Not only do they allow animals in two of their residence halls, but they also encourage staff and faculty to bring well-behaved pets to work with them. 

This University also gives students the opportunity to train future foster and service dogs which is a great extra-curricular activity for students. 

#5: Some colleges have pet-friendly dorms

Washington and Jefferson College have a pet-friendly dorm called the Pet House which allows 32 students to keep pets. 

Eckerd College and the University of Washington also allow students to bring their dog to college with them. They both have a small number of pet-friendly building in which both students and dogs can live.  

#6 Students are responsible for all damage

If you choose to take your dog to college with you, it will be your responsibility if they cause any damage. This will include chewing any furniture, scratching doors, or any accidents they might have. This can get quite expensive if your dog isn’t trained properly. 

Remember you also probably won’t be able to take them along to classes so you’ll need to make sure they have plenty of toys to keep them entertained while you’re out.

Having a dog at college is a lot of fun, but it can also have its limitations. If you’re considering taking your furry friend to college with you, be sure you take these tips into account when making your decision.

Bio: Thomas Woods, is the chief editor and creator of Perfect Dog Breeds, a website which helps to educate people worldwide about dog training and behavior. 

Student Life Uncategorized

Rate My Professor

December 6, 2019

One of the best pieces of advice often given to incoming college students is to “take professors, not classes.” Having good professors makes all the difference in college which is why Rate My Professor is an absolute must-use site.

RMP is a website that allows students to, well, rate their professors. Students rate professors and the difficulty of their class on a scale from 1-5. Students are also asked whether they would take the class again and are forced to leave a written review. This is an extremely useful tool when deciding which professors to take classes from and can make a huge difference in your college success. However, there are a few things you should keep in mind when using RMP. Here are five tips to help you use RMP to its full potential:

Number of Reviews

First, it is very important to keep in mind the sample size that a certain professor has on RMP. If a professor only has 10 reviews, then RMP might not be an extremely useful resource in this case. Pay attention to the number of reviews a professor has!

Consider the Rating

Students that leave reviews are typically on one extreme end of the spectrum: a vast majority of reviews on RMP are by students that either absolutely love or absolutely hate the professor. This means that a lot of professors have an overall ranking of around 3. This does not necessarily mean that they are a bad professor! When this is the case, you need to do a little deeper research.

Read the Reviews Carefully

Third, you must read the reviews that students leave. This is where you will find out if the professor favors homework or exams. You will learn whether his lectures are engaging or monotonous. Former students will tell you if attending class is necessary or if you can get by without going. Every student has a preferred style of learning, and it is important to choose professors that match your style.

Read Reviews for the Right Class

Pay attention to which class students leave reviews for. Every review will show which class the student took. Some professors are good at teaching one class and not so good at teaching other classes. This might mean that a professor has a relatively average overall rating while still excelling in one of the classes they teach. For example, an economics 110 professor can have great ratings from his Econ 110 students and less than average ratings from his 400 level students.

Leave a Review!

Make sure to pay it forward by leaving a rating on RMP after you take a class. RMP has helped all of us immensely, so it’s really the least we can do. Be honest in your review and write something that will be useful for future students considering your professor.

Choosing classes for the next semester can be a little daunting, but definitely be sure to use Rate My Professor to make that decision just a little easier.

Student Life Uncategorized

6 College Campus ‘Lifehacks’ that Often Slip Under the Radar

November 21, 2019

College can be an overwhelming experience. Class schedules, living in a dorm for four years, and generally setting up a life away from home can be an intimidating prospect. If you’re preparing for life on campus, here are some less-well-known tips to give you a leg up on the challenges.

1. Get the Right Cooking Gear

It’s common knowledge that cooking your own food can save money on campus, but who has time for that every day? Besides, you can’t install an oven in a dorm room. If you want to keep your food costs down, consider getting an Instant Pot or a slow cooker to help make mealtimes quick and easy.

2. Wield Your Student Loans Wisely

Student loans are for more than just classes and books. In fact, you can use them for pretty much any of life’s necessities. The keyword here is necessities. Entertainment and spring break trips don’t count. However, if you’re in a financial pinch, consider using your loans to cover:

  • Student housing
  • Meal plans
  • Groceries
  • Rent
  • Utilities
  • Transportation
  • Miscellaneous school fees

3. Record Lectures

Sometimes lectures are recorded for you. Other times, it’s not allowed at all. For every other situation, you may want to use your smartphone to record your professors, especially during classes with information you know you’ll want to reference in the future. This is an underutilized option that can be invaluable when it comes time to study later on. Many times questions on the test are pulled directly from a lecture, so listening to lectures during commutes or during study time allows you to be more freshly prepared than if you had just taken notes.

4. Take a Parking Stroll

It can be easy to buckle under the pressure to pay for that outrageously priced parking pass. However, you may be able to work around it. Take a preliminary stroll around campus and look for places where you may be able to cash in on some free parking. You may even get a little exercise out of the trek.

5. Don’t Limit Your Study Spots

Even if you’re a creature of habit, it’s good to take time to scout out a variety of ideal studying locations, like:

  • The campus library
  • A local community library
  • A coffee shop
  • Your dorm room
  • The student union
  • The great outdoors

If you have several different places available, you can tailor each study session depending on things like the weather, your mood, what you’re studying, and your study buddies.

6. Space Out Your Study Time

For students, cramming is common. So is burning the candle at both ends. In fact, unhealthy academic studying behaviors are stereotypical and too often praised by college students. Don’t fall victim to the hype. Make sure to space out your study time as much as possible. Your brain will thank you for the opportunity to rest in between sessions.

Surviving the College Experience

College is full of challenges. Just when you think you have everything figured out, you encounter a professor on a bad day, run into financial issues, or upend your schedule at the end of a semester. 

Arming yourself with lesser-known lifehacks like these can make a world of a difference as you try to go with the flow. They can help you keep your grades up, your professors happy, your finances in order, and your brain sane.

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.

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Finding Community in College

August 15, 2019

Starting a new school can be frightening, especially if you are moving far away from the friends and family you are so accustomed to seeing. There are many things you can do to feel settled on campus, but one of the most important is finding a community. When you have your own “college family”, the transition to college life is much smoother. Here are five tips that will help you to find community in college:

Attend a Pre-Orientation Program

A great way to go into college with some friends under your belt is attending a pre-orientation program. Many colleges are offering this as an option to incoming freshmen. It is a great way to connect with people who have similar interests as you and are also new to the university. This is also a great way to become acquainted with the university before campus becomes busy. 

Introduce Yourself to People in Your Dorm Hall or Apartment

You never know if your new best friend is living in the dorm right next to you! It can be a great idea to keep your door open when you are in your dorm and go around and say hi to your neighbors. 

Join Clubs!

Clubs are obviously a great way to meet others who have similar interests. There are so many different options for clubs that students can join. There are many clubs that specialize in different interests and cultural backgrounds. You can feel more at home if you can connect with people who come from similar backgrounds.

Volunteer

Another way to make connections is through volunteer work. Volunteering is a great way to get out into your community and meet new people. Many universities provide opportunities to do service on campus and in the surrounding area. 

Make the First Move

When you are starting out in college, it is important to put yourself out there. If you are proactive about meeting new people are fostering friendships, you should have no problem finding your community on campus.

With the new year beginning, be sure to remember these tips from GradGuard and get comfortable with your new home! It truly is the best time of your life so be sure to enjoy it.