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Career Student Life

What Internship Is Right For You?

June 24, 2021

A key factor in getting the most out of your education is to gain as much experience as possible. It is important to remember that no experience is a bad experience, which is why procuring an internship during one’s college career is both important and exciting. An internship might seem intimidating, especially when you are going to be new and probably inexperienced, but that is exactly the point. You are meant to be learning as many new things as possible, and overcoming both obstacles and fears is what makes an internship worthwhile. Going through this process and gaining experience is great for not only building a resume, but also for making connections with the career world. With all of this on the horizon, the first step to getting experience under your belt is to decide which internship is right for you. 

Why An Internship?

Getting a job is definitely a great form of gaining experience, but most jobs that are available for students won’t provide work for the skillsets you are trying to enhance. Internships are a great way to find a passage that will ease you into a professional workplace. Whether an internship is paid or unpaid, the focus is to enhance what you are learning in your education as well as develop your understanding about a potential career. The experience you gain from being an intern is transferable to any job experience, therefore making it worthwhile. 

What Kind of Internships Are Out There?

There are many different types of internships out there. One is not worse than the other, but it is up to you which one fits best with what you are trying to achieve. Some internships are paid where others are not. When you are not getting paid, whomever you are working for will have big goals for you and give you projects to make your time meaningful, which can help with both your growth and the company’s. With a paid internship, you are able to gain both monetary and work-space experience. Learning about what to do with your money and getting into a position where you can be involved in budgeting as well as learning is a great way to get knowledge under your belt. Either way, focusing on your involvement and skill development is the most important aspect of an internship to look for, but don’t miss out on being assertive and responsible. Startup companies versus long term companies is a debate that differs for each situation, but there are advantages to both. Startups are smaller companies where there is more room for each employee to work on many different tasks and projects that are important to the company’s success. Big corporate companies may provide you with a specific task for your time. Startups are more open to taking different types of students with various majors, whereas corporate companies tend to focus on particular skill sets. 

Your Objective

Getting an internship is for your benefit, so it is important to keep your goals and objectives for the experience and the top of your check list. What are you trying to achieve? What skills are you trying to develop? As much as your company will be directing your projects, you are able to do the most with your experience and create opportunities to do as much as you can. When you are looking for internships and being interviewed, make sure to ask what your experience will look like, and don’t be afraid to go after the positions where you will be benefited most. 

There are so many opportunities throughout an educational career to explore and experience. An internship is a prominent path to take when looking for a balance of educational and work experience while in school. Take advantage of this opportunity, and keep in mind that this is a chance to enhance your skills and talents. Remember what you are looking for in an internship as it is a way to help you grow and learn how to help a company grow. All experiences are for your advantage!

BIO: Alessandra Gluck is currently a student at the Honors College at Arizona State University. She is double majoring in English Creative Writing and Journalism and Mass Communication. She is also a Member Intern at Grad Guard Insurance Company. Alessandra enjoys writing and plans to pursue this passion throughout graduate school.

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. 

Student Life

How to Balance Wellbeing, Social Life and Academics in Your First Year of College

June 22, 2021

Finding that perfect balance in life can be hard enough, let alone finding balance in college as a student juggling the stress of getting perfect grades and maintaining an involved social life, all while staying on top of personal well being. 

Having gone through my first year of college and experienced first hand maintaining this balance, I will be sharing with you in this post what has worked for me. 

Placing high priority on both physical and mental health as well as school work and social life is crucial. Recognizing that the key to maintaining a balance between all three of these things consists of properly managing your time and learning how to say no when the time is right.

As both semesters went on, the importance of saying no to distractions grew increasingly more obvious, whether that meant getting ahead on some work or getting in a few extra hours of sleep. It is not easy to say no to friends when they propose a fun plan to go out, but deciding that a night to yourself would be more beneficial is what allowed me to maintain a healthy mind and body. 

It was possible to maintain a strong GPA both fall and spring semester of freshman year while working out five days a week and getting to experience the social scene. In fact, freshman year is the year in which you will meet more people than ever before regardless of how intimidating living on campus can be. It is possible to go out and experience every new club and organization while remaining on top of your academics.  

One of the major steps to first year success is to join clubs and organizations in your first year in order to meet a wide variety of people and have as many new experiences as possible. As many new and different things as possible! It is through all these extracurricular activities that freshmen are able to meet some of the most like-minded people and figure out what sparks their interest. 

As far as maintaining a good GPA, it is necessary to be consistent with your studies and learn right away that doing well in college requires a different effort than what would have allowed you to do well in high school. Succeeding in college means studying the material you have learned as you go along through each semester. Cramming for an exam the night before was no longer sufficient for success solely because the material was far too difficult and dense to grasp all at once. Make sure to not be too hard on yourself when it comes to perfecting individual assignments, but remain consistent with your study habits and have a high degree of academic diligence. 

Prioritizing yourself comes first when it comes to mental and physical health. It becomes more difficult to accomplish academic goals and maintain a social life when you do not feel secure and confident in your own mind and body. Setting specific goals for yourself to workout every morning ensures that your day is set up for success. Working out in itself is a productive task. Therefore, this tricks your brain into wanting to continue to be productive if you are able to get in a workout for that day. Not only does working out set you up to be constructive, it releases endorphins in your body that help you to feel better and give you more energy (which you can utilize to fulfill other tasks, either academically or socially related!).

These tips might seem like a lot at first, but with practice and time, finding the right balance in college comes much easier than you would think. 

BIO: Mira Camunez is a Sophomore at Barrett the Honors College at Arizona State University. She is studying Business Entrepreneurship and is a summer intern at GradGuard.

Student Life

The Biggest Problems Remote Students Are Facing

June 11, 2021

More than one year into the COVID-19 pandemic, there are certainly some things we can look back on and learn from. Although many of us have had to deal with numerous sacrifices and life changes, students have probably had to adjust to some of the biggest. Not only are many of them being forced to learn remotely and online without in-person support from an educator, but they are also limited socially during one of the most important stages of social development in life.

Remote learning in and of itself has led to some challenges that students are struggling to work through effectively. Many are looking forward to getting back to being in the classroom, but for now, addressing some of the issues is one of the best things schools and local governments can do for them. 

Getting Connected

It probably isn’t too great of a surprise, but many families with school-aged kids aren’t exactly rolling in funds. Stay-at-home orders with remote work and education has put an even greater strain on family finances. For many students, not having a computer available to complete school work from home is the first issue they run into when trying to keep up with the rest of the class.

Some students have had to resort to sharing the family’s one computer with siblings, meaning not everyone can be online for class at the same time. This can present challenges when it comes to making sure each child is getting a quality educational experience. There is also growing evidence that this was a struggle students and teachers were dealing with long before the pandemic started.

Staying Engaged

Anyone who has been working from home during any point of the pandemic can testify there are far more distractions at home than in the office or classroom. This is equally, if not more so, truer for young students. Not only are there things to do around the house that aren’t school work, but it is also easy to get distracted online. Internet safety concerns amongst parents are on the rise as their kids spend more and more time connected to a screen.

It can also be hard for students to focus for other reasons. The pandemic hasn’t been easy and many students are working through trauma and stress associated with the dramatic changes in their lives over the past year. It can be hard to accomplish any school work effectively when dealing with mental health issues. For this reason, some schools are striving to make online counseling available to students who may be struggling; unfortunately, these services are the exception and not the norm.

For college students who have had to return home after living in dorms, living with family again has presented its own problems. The distractions of college life are not the same as those at home, where parents and siblings may demand more immediate responses. One way college students can be successful at learning remotely is by taking a cue from remote workers: set specific office hours and make them public — then no one is allowed to disturb you during your office hours.

Online learning, no matter the level, has the potential to open up a lot of opportunities for the right students in the right situations. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic was not one of those situations and many students are struggling in numerous ways. Connection issues, distractions, and mental health are major factors that can limit student engagement and that need to be addressed for long-term success.

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.

Health Safety Student Life

How to Stay Healthy When Heading Back to Campus

June 9, 2021

The thought of returning to campus after spending the last year learning from home is exciting, but might also seem a little overwhelming. It’s easy for flu and cold viruses to spread in school environments. How can you stay healthy when making your return?

Go Back Prepared

Travel-sized hand sanitizer can be beneficial. Hand sanitizer is great to have around if you use a bathroom that is out of soap or touch something in a heavily trafficked space and there’s no sink nearby. Also stay vigilant about washing your hands. Staying in this practice will keep you from spreading germs and keep you healthier overall.

Take Your Vitamins

Vitamins and supplements can do a lot to help you maintain good health year round.  USANA Health Sciences offers supplements that include important antioxidants and immune-boosting vitamin D and core minerals that your body needs for cell health. Antioxidants give your body the ability to protect against free radicals, which build up when your body breaks down food or takes in tobacco smoke. 

Develop an Exercise Routine

Exercise plays a huge role in keeping you healthy and your immune system strong. Exercise causes change in antibodies and white blood cells that affects the immune system in a positive way. Exercising regularly also helps keep you at a healthy weight which can fight disease. 

Plus, being active keeps you outside in fresh air, where viruses don’t spread as easily. To reap the benefits of exercise, you should workout three to five times a week for 30 minutes a day. This might seem tough when you’re busy with classes and extracurriculars, but it’s important to make exercise a priority. 

Make an Effort to Eat Healthy

It’s no surprise that in addition to adding exercise to your regime, a healthy and balanced diet will help keep you well as you head back to campus. You should eat a variety of foods and avoid processed foods. Processed foods are more likely to be high in saturated fats. Research shows that diets high in saturated fats may contribute to a less healthy immune system. 

Also eat plenty of veggies and fruits of all different colors. Eating greens like spinach have huge benefits to your health and wellness. Spinach is rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, so you get double the effect in giving your body the nutrients you need. Foods like bell peppers, garlic and broccoli also have positive effects on health. 

Sometimes you’ll have to eat fast food or eat out. Try and look for healthy options on menus and make a point to add in greens. Green smoothies are a great way to incorporate a quick, healthy meal on the go.

As you head back to campus, there are many habits you can incorporate into your daily life to support your health. Being mindful of your mental health is just as important as taking care of your physical health. It’s smart to protect yourself from an unexpected medical withdrawal with tuition insurance. Keep these tips in mind as you prepare for the fall!

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.

Other Student Life

Why It’s Important to Always Learn New Things

June 3, 2021

Lifelong learning is a self-initiated education focused on personal growth and development. There are no pre-set standards as to how lifelong learning should be. It can take place within or beyond the four walls of the classroom and should be voluntary for the purpose of achieving personal fulfillment.

Learning is becoming more and more critical in the workplace since tech innovations continuously redefine and create jobs in the labor market. Companies have favored massive open online courses (MOOCS) to assist in their employees’ professional development. MOOCS are getting a fair share of popularity in terms of education modality. This platform is comprised of online distance-learning courses that are aimed at delivering the curriculum at your own pace. Technology, business, design, personal development, and language courses are enjoyed by people of all ages and professions in this modern and convenient learning program. 

Knowledge is everywhere. Even the simplest hobby of collecting stamps is putting learning into practice — from finding where to buy stamps, acquiring, organizing, cataloging, displaying, storing, maintaining them in their original form, and studying each stamp’s history. Learning a new musical instrument strengthens your memory and forms reading habits, practices your multitasking skills, increases blood flow in your brain, allows for a mind reset, and reduces feelings of stress and depression. Books are timeless pieces of knowledge source. Reading a book can increase empathy, build your vocabulary, prevent cognitive decline, and alleviate mental strain. With many book sales and cheap ways to ship books, this is not so hard to do. 

There are plenty of reasons to keep learning and you should start today. Make your time useful, allot room for intellectual conversations, grow your small business and reduce stress through a learning experience. Here are other initiatives worth engaging in:

  1. Trying out a new skill. You might just find the fun in cooking, baking, bartending, or gardening.
  2. Self-taught learning. Researching on any topic of interest or learning a new language.
  3. Plunging into a new sport or activity. Taking a zen moment for yoga, increasing your adrenaline with martial arts, or just finishing an exercise.
  4. Getting in touch with tech. Discovering new smart devices and navigating software applications.
  5. Learn a course through MOOC. Business management or technology, take your pick.

Learning something new makes us updated on trends and technological changes. In these modern times, what you do not know makes you left behind. If you are fully unfamiliar with what you want to learn, look back and revisit moments in your life when you wanted to do something but had to defer for a variety of reasons. Whether it is for personal, passion, or professional education, you can definitely lean towards learning new things for personal fulfillment and satisfaction. Humans have a natural desire to explore, learn, grow and find ways to improve their quality of life, sense of self, self-esteem, and worth. When we are fully aware of the possibilities to improve ourselves, only then will we be able to see our true potential.

BIO: Bash Sarmiento is a writer and an educator from Manila who writes laconic pieces in the education, lifestyle, and health realms. His academic background and extensive experience in teaching, textbook evaluation, business management, and traveling are translated into his works.

Student Life

Finding Balance While Living With Roommates

June 1, 2021

Going off to college is an exciting part of life. However, the experience also comes with a lot of challenges. For many, this will be the first time living outside of home. While living with a roommate comes with many perks, such as lower cost of living, it’s not always an easy task. We’ve all heard those terrible roommate stories that make us cringe and feel afraid of what to expect.

Whether you’re planning on living on-campus or off-campus, here are a few tips that will make your roommate experience a positive one.  

Communicate openly

 As obvious as this seems, being out of our comfort zone puts us in a vulnerable position and can cause us to clam up, especially when we’re nervous or upset. If you’re living with someone you’ve never met before move-in day, it may take some time for you to adjust! Try looking for common ground. Maybe you’re both into the same sports or have similar music taste. Whatever it is, it’ll break the ice and have you bonding right away. A great tip would be bonding while decorating your new place, making it feel much more like home to everyone involved. 

 As time passes, you’ll become more aware of your habits and theirs. If something bothers you, make sure you talk to them about it first. Ensure you don’t complain to others about it, which may find itself back to them and create unnecessary tension. For example, if you notice your roommate is leaving their dirty clothes on the floor, you could tell them you’d appreciate it if they put their dirty clothes in the hamper. They’re more likely to do so than if you make them feel attacked by exposing others to what they do.

Learn to share and also set clear boundaries

Sharing is a big part of living with someone. After all, you’re likely sharing a common area and/or bathroom, and perhaps even a bedroom. Make sure you distribute chores evenly, whether you’re living in a dorm, apartment, or house. Some colleges require first-year students to spend their first year on campus, which will make it easier on your finances. However, living with a couple of roommates in an affordable home may end up costing you the same, and it’ll free you from dorm rules and curfews.   

If all else fails, it’s essential to know when to ask for help. If your roommate is making you feel uncomfortable or affecting your health to a point where communicating with them didn’t solve the problem, it might be time to seek help. If you’re living on campus, you can reach out to your resident assistant to facilitate resources to resolve conflicts or help you switch roommates if necessary. If you’re living off-campus, make sure to communicate your concerns to your roommate first. Most issues can be easily solved through conversation. If that doesn’t work out, make sure you read through your lease before moving out and talking with your landlord about the situation, chances are they’ll either step in or be willing to have someone take your place and print out a new lease. 

Establish rules early on

Being clear on the house rules from the beginning will save you a lot of stress and problems in the long run. Think about all the small details of daily life and talk with your roommate about how you will go about dealing with them. Are you sharing kitchen items, such as plates and silverware? What about bathroom necessities? How are you splitting the costs on shared food items? Remember that you are living with a person who may have different habits than your own. Be clear about things such as expenses, food, parties, and overnight guests. 

Living with roommates with be an adjustment if this is completely new for you. Keep these tips in mind for finding balance!

Other Student Life

How Online Learning Increases Approachability for Disabled Students

May 28, 2021

There are eight sections in which impaired students are categorized according to their conditions – medical disorder, mental disorder, cognitive impairment, hearing problems, language disability, visual deficiency, acquired brain impairment, and intellectual disability.

Because certain people are physically and emotionally deficient, this does not rule out their ability to succeed in school or the workplace. Education is no longer an arduous task for disabled students, thanks to the introduction of eLearning. Technology which plays a vital role in delivering ideal learning solutions for disabled students.

Disabled students who study online find it more rewarding and less challenging to get knowledge. Disabled students may find it challenging to access a traditional education school, but this is not the situation when they use online learning platforms.

Remote working is getting a lot of spark in recent days. It’s convenient to work from home without having the hassle of moving around and dealing with the morning commute. Working from home also allows disabled people the convenience of operating from home with their ease. They can apply for the desired job from home and can get free resume reviews from online platforms.

Many universities and colleges have begun to provide online learning tools. The idea of virtual campuses is increasingly expanding these days, and thus more disabled students are enrolling. Technology also plays an integral part in delivering ideal learning solutions for disabled students. Students nowadays have the option of choosing their locations for coursework and research.

Furthermore, disabled students choose to learn online because it allows them to have more time to finish homework and allows them to sit, relax, or exercise anytime they need to. For disabled people, there are several advantages to eLearning that they can take advantage of without difficulty. We will mention below that how online studying increases convenience for these students.

Learning at your own pace and location

As a critical forum for online learning, the Internet provides disabled students with the ease of getting educated. Students who are mentally or physically impaired no longer have to drive long distances and struggle with the issues that come with it, such as being pressured for time and continually coping with pressures, thanks to computer-based learning. According to studies, 90 percent of disabled students don’t attend schools. Many individuals, rather than disabled students, do not have the ability or resources to drive long distances.

One of the critical reasons attending college or university is daunting for disabled students is the inconvenient commute. Every day tasks become quite hectic and special students need assistance from others. Simple activities like using the toilet may be a mild hassle for college-bound students who live with their disability. Imagine them commuting long distances to and from school every day! With physical disabilities, going to university for many years to get a degree seems like a lot of effort.

Benefits of online learning for disabled students

When physical disabilities prohibit you from doing what everyone else: like gaining a degree, it’s possible to get frustrated. This mindset is flipped via online learning, promoting the mentality of “I can do it!”

There are many ways in which students with disability who are studying online does not feel discouraged or do not mind any inferiority complex. Online studies remove any kind of discouragement and complexity from the disabled student’s minds.

  • Since online learning is more convenient, students feel freer to engage more than if they were in a loud or distracting environment. Fear of loss or judgment is also reduced because there is no peer pressure or rivalry. Online students now have quick access to the services they need, which impacts their overall results. It’s also worth mentioning that online educators are actively knocking down walls to promote online student engagement.
  • The ability to “study within their own tempo” is a crucial factor in disabled graduate’s progress. The ability to plan their own timetable relieves the undue burden that most students in traditional universities experience. Disabled and regular students can take breaks whenever they want or prepare for as long as they wish in certain college classes. They follow the correct principles to prevent mental or emotional exhaustion.
  • Disabled students who study online have more time and space to work. They will check the content and watch lectures however many times as they like with eLearning. Students with visual processing disorder or dyslexia can modify digital text using IT programs and software by changing the font type or scale, which helps them interpret information more efficiently.
  • Students with hearing loss may benefit from technological advancements. They can watch lectures with subtitles, something they cannot do in the classroom. Since the text is the primary means of contact for teachers and other pupils, it can be a more convenient way to communicate through platforms and emails.
  • Students with psychiatric disabilities can practice and learn in their settings. Since it is challenging for them to deal with the circumstance and distress, their familiar environment would aid them in learning by eLearning.
  • At any step, two key factors are helpful to disabled students: persuasion and versatility. Distance learners will benefit from online learning because it is more versatile than conventional schooling approaches.

BIO: Grace Griffin is a member of the writer’s team on Research Prospect. She has Bachelor’s in Law, Masters in Literature, and a PhD in Economics. Grace is a technical writer and loves reading articles, blogs, magazines, newspapers and books.

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.

Other Student Life

8 Tips for Eco-Friendly Apartment Living

May 21, 2021

Many college students find living on or off campus as part of the college experience. Student-tenants benefit living away from their families, they gain a sense of independence, financial management strategies and an opportunity to pick a lifestyle of their own. Nowadays, many students have turned to the eco-friendly lifestyle and prefer environmentally-friendly products. This only proves that students have an environmental conscience and are aware of their social responsibility.

Here are a few ways to up your eco-friendly apartment life:

Conserve electricity

Every bit of it. You can start by knowing when to switch off appliances or using the self-timer feature of your television and air conditioner. Cut down electricity usage by switching off lights you do not need. There are many ways to practice conservation of energy. With this, you are reducing your carbon footprint and saving more money. For lights you use frequently, opt for LED bulbs. You will pay more money up front for them, but you’ll quickly see the savings in your electric bill over time.

Eco-friendly technology

When you have the opportunity to make a switch to more energy efficient products, do so. It is much like paying forward to the environment. Solar-powered lights, radio and calculators help you save money and reduce your energy output. You can also buy rechargeable batteries, which will save you money in the long run.

Don’t waste food

Not only is this waste of money but also a waste of landfill space. You can do composting if food waste is really unavoidable. Reduce your food waste by smart shopping. Buy less than enough perishables that you will be able to eat. Sometimes, less is more than enough. 

Recycle

As a student, there are many ways to practice recycling. Separate recyclable and non-recyclable materials. Reuse your shopping bags. You can also buy recycled paper and reuse by printing on both sides.

Try to fix stuff before ditching it

Throwing things away should be your last option! If you have a broken lamp, furniture or kitchenware, try to see if it can still be repaired. The internet can be your guide in practically fixing anything as there are tutorial videos for each household item, you just have to find it. Or, if it’s not broken but it’s not suiting you and your needs anymore, see if you can give it to a friend or selling it online. Remember, one man’s junk is another man’s treasure!

Skip the plastic

On your next trip to the grocery store, don’t forget to bring a canvas reusable bag with you. Avoid single-use plastic bags or buying bottled water. Opt for an insulated water bottle instead. At your favorite coffee shop, give the barista your reusable mug. There are so many ways to cut down plastic usage. Many cities and counties have banned plastic bags from stores altogether. And if you forget your reusable bags, you’ll be charged for a paper bag.

Visit your local sustainable retail store

This can be an eye-opener for you if you’ve never done this before. In a sustainable store, you are required to bring your own reusable canisters and canvas bags to put in your coffee, sugar, rice and other grocery items that are not in their usual plastic packaging. Items might cost a little more, but produce and products here are mostly non-GMO and organic so you can feel extra good about what you’re consuming.

Make earth-friendly decisions

The next time you are asked to jot down notes, use your laptop or your smartphone instead of paper. Try riding your bike or walking to classes instead of driving your car. Or if you must drive, try to carpool with a friend!