Browsing Tag

college life

Student Life Uncategorized

Pros and Cons of Having a Car on Campus

June 25, 2019

When you arrive on campus there are many difficult decisions to make. One decision that many students grapple with is whether or not to bring their car to school. There are many factors to consider such as the distance of your school from your home, the climate where your school is located, and the price of gas. Here are some pros and cons to consider before bringing your car to campus.  

Pros

Freedom to travel where you need to go

Having a car will make it easier to go off campus and travel. You won’t have to rely on public transportation or have to ask other people to get around. It can be helpful to be able to drive to the grocery store or have the ability to go on a short trip.

Cut down on flight costs

If you have a car on campus you will not have to purchase plane tickets when you want to go back home. This, of course, depends on whether or not you are going to a school that is close to where you live. A car will allow you to travel home without paying a hefty flight price.

Ability to transport your possessions

It can be difficult to move in and out of your residence when in college and having a car may assist with this process. The ability to drive to college with your possessions is very valuable. You can cut down on the cost of a storage unit and won’t have to worry too much about shipping your items.

Cons

You might get taken advantage of

If you are the person in your friend group who has a car, some people may start treating you like their personal taxi service. If you create boundaries you may avoid this issue but there is always the risk of others using you for your car.

You need to pay for parking and gas

A burden of having a car on campus is that you typically have to pay a hefty fee just to park it. This varies among different schools but this added expense can be bigger than expected. Another thing to consider is the price of gas. This may be a high cost depending on your location.

Weather conditions

If you are going to school somewhere with harsh winters, it may not be the best conditions for having a car. The snow can be an issue for college students who have cars on campus, especially if the student is not used to living in that type of climate.

The decision of whether or not to bring your car to campus is contingent on the different factors presented. It’s a choice that some students are happy with and other’s regret. No matter your decision, it is important to be prepared and to be aware of all the conditions.

GradGuard is a great resource for students who want to be prepared for any surprises that life may present them with. Follow GradGuard on social media to stay up to date on valuable advice and tips for your first year of college.

Transition Uncategorized

Top 5 Things to Buy for Your First Apartment After Graduation

June 13, 2019

Sure, you had a bunch of stuff to take home from your college residence after graduation. But now that it’s been a couple months and you’re getting ready to rent a place of your own, things are starting to look a little drab and that stain from when your roommate spilled their dinner on your rug isn’t going to go away.

Whether you’re starting your first job or pursuing another degree, college graduation is an important life transition that should be treated and celebrated as such. Reward yourself for all of your hard work and start accumulating a collection of adult-worthy home goods with the top five things to buy for your first apartment after graduation.

New Sofa

Your college sofa probably won’t withstand the test of time. Not to mention all of the dust, bacteria and other random substances that have built up. Just think about all of the people you have entertained, allowed to sleep on or all the meals you have devoured on that couch.

It’s definitely time for an upgrade; not only for your newly developed value in the home but also for sanitary reasons. Keep things affordable by looking for a sofa from a discount furniture store.

A/C Unit

Sometimes, apartment rentals don’t always come with optimal air conditioning. Don’t endure the heat this upcoming summer as it could have negative impacts on your sleep patterns, in turn affecting your career or school performance. Consider browsing popular second-hand sites or even Facebook marketplace for A/C units that are much cheaper than store-bought options yet are still completely functional.

Office Desk

Having a dedicated workspace is vital no matter what path you take after graduation. Resist the urge to get things done from the comfort of your bed especially if you end up working remotely.

Instead, purchase an effective office desk where you can increase your productivity one assignment at a time. Explore styles that offer different amenities, like drawers or shelving to accommodate still useful college textbooks or reading materials.

Smart TV

With all of the popular new technology being rolled out, there’s a huge selection to choose from. Smart TVs come with all sorts of functions to integrate any interests you may have. Although 24-hour streaming binges of the latest and greatest show aren’t usually recommended during the week, there’s also the opportunity to bump some Beethoven for an amazing study or work session.

A Nice Frame

Finally, invest in a nice frame to hold your college diploma and display it proudly! You worked hard for this achievement and it’s time to show it off. If your diploma doesn’t always remind you of this impressive undertaking, your student loan payments certainly will.

For more tips on student life, paying for college and life after college, check out the GradGuard blog. And, of course, remember to get renters insurance for your new apartment! GradGuard offers coverage for students even after they graduate. Visit our website for a quote for your new apartment today!

Transition Uncategorized

Why You Should Relocate After Graduation

June 13, 2019

Changing locations after you graduate might be the best move for your career, your social life, and your wallet. There are some benefits to staying in the network you built while you were in school, but the benefits of starting fresh in a new area can make it well worth the move. With your degree in hand, you’ll be ready for the challenge.

Relocating Jump-Starts Your Career

Relocating before starting your first post-college job offers several advantages over settling for something nearby. For starters, launching your career is much easier when you’re not tied to one location. Shopping your skills around to companies across the country, or across the globe, broadens your prospects for that critical first job.

If you’re currently in a rural or suburban area, a move to a big city can significantly increase your lifetime earnings. One study looked at the short- and long-term benefits of an urban relocation and found a significant boost to valuable job experience. That experience resulted in higher lifetime pay, even when the subjects of the study left their city later in life. The cost of rent in cities may be high, but the financial advantages down the road can make it worth the investment.

Relocating Lets You Experience a New Culture

Every place on the planet has its own unique cultural fingerprint. Joining a new community can broaden your perspective of the world, even if you’re only moving to a different town in the same state. If you’ve been living in your college town for a while, a change in atmosphere can be very rewarding.

When you’re looking to make new connections in a new place, start by joining clubs, organizations, or associations that interest you. It’s ok to be a tourist in your new home—get out there and experience the people, history, or attractions your new town has to offer. A move is an opportunity to see the world from a fresh new perspective, and this eye-opening experience can help you see yourself in a new light as well.

Relocating Saves You Money

A change in location can have a big impact on your bottom line. Depending on where you currently live, you could significantly lower your cost of living or significantly increase your potential earnings by moving to a more favorable location.

A relocation can also help you cut other costs. For instance, you can shorten your commute by choosing an apartment that is closer to your next job. You can also save a lot of money on rent by sharing a place with roommates or downsizing your current living situation. There are even ways to make the move itself as cost-effective as possible, like comparing moving truck companies before committing to one.

In the end, a relocation might be stressful, but the years after your graduation can be a time of incredible opportunities for growth and positive change. Don’t miss out on what the world has to offer with the perfect opportunity to discover your potential and your path in life.

Check out more of our posts on life after graduation and follow @GradGuard to stay informed on any future advice.

Health Uncategorized

Finding That Drive to go to the Gym

June 13, 2019

Another week passes by and you didn’t go to the gym once. Maybe you are starting to reconsider paying $20/month to feel guilty every time you sleep in. Most of us want to go to the gym. But we also want to avoid academic probation. And watch New Girl. And sleep for more than four hours. Actually getting yourself to the gym as a college student can feel impossible at times, but these tips will make it easier.

Find a Gym Buddy

Having someone to go to the gym with is crucial. Knowing that someone is expecting you to meet them at the gym at 5:00 am might be just the push you need to get out of bed. Odds are they need that push too. Having a gym buddy creates a symbiotic relationship where you and your workout partner can motivate each other to “get jacked” (or do yoga).

Put it in Your Calendar

Saying “I’ll go when I have time” is not an effective strategy for making it to the gym. You’re a college student; you never have time! Plan a time, put it in your calendar, and stick to it. If you don’t know what time of the day you are going to the gym then you will never go.

Note: Most gyms are going to be crowded early in the morning and later at night. If working out in a full gym bothers you then try to go between 11a-4p.

Create a Workout Schedule

Don’t overcomplicate this part. Maybe you know you want to do cardio on Monday and Wednesday and weights on Tuesday and Thursday. Your workout schedule does not need to be overly specific, but it does need to exist. One of the main reasons we don’t go to the gym is because we have no idea what we are going to do when we get there. If you have no idea how to create a workout schedule, Google it. Thousands of workout programs are available for free online, so find one that will work for you.

Find Something to Listen to

Whether it’s tunes, podcasts, or audiobooks, having something to entertain you while you are at the gym will help motivate you a little more. Try finding a podcast or audiobook you enjoy and then commit to only listening to it at the gym; that way you will feel more inclined to go and have something specifically set for when you are there.

Though getting that gym motivation isn’t always the easiest, it is a great stress reliever for college students. With these wellness tips from GradGuard, you will be on your way to a healthier, less-stressed you!

Transition Uncategorized

Why Should You Have Renters Insurance in College?

June 6, 2019

How much stuff are you bringing with you to college?

In today’s day and age, students are packing up their entire childhood room and bringing it with them when they go to college. With gadgets and appliances getting more expensive, the average student doesn’t have the means to replace their belongings for school right away if they get stolen or ruined. Imagine if your laptop gets stolen while you are at the library; are you able to just go out an buy a new one to replace it?

That’s where GradGuard™ College Renters Insurance comes in! It can be there to help students when the unexpected happens. With useful features such as worldwide personal property coverage and low deductibles, GradGuard College Renters Insurance can help students get back to what matters: their education.

Watch the video below to learn about why GradGuard is a must for college students:

Health Uncategorized

The Impact of Technology on Education and Study Habits

June 4, 2019

Over time, technology has been evolving and has opened up a whole new world that didn’t exist a couple of years ago. Amazingly, the world has become a place where people can learn what has been hidden in books, through a virtual experience.  

Gone are days when students used to stress over exams, due to their lack of preparedness. Today, you can watch a step-by-step video and learn the toughest concepts easily through online tutorials.

From taking online classes with Clutch, an academic lifesaver, to studying for your organic chemistry exam, you can be sure to face your exams with confidence. Through this article, we will look at some of the biggest changes in the industry.

  • Being Entertained While Studying

Do you like the act of burying your head in books for hours? Do you even like the idea of looking at papers constantly without a break? The answer is probably no.

With content creators looking for ways to create engaging posts, academia posts are amazingly created with a twist of fun. Educational content is created with the learners’ needs in mind.

For example, you can learn about Los Angeles by watching YouTube videos about fun facts about LA or even listening to a lecture by a renowned travel expert. There is a whole new world of learning materials outside of books and Wikipedia.

  • Gamification of Learning

Isn’t it crazy that you can learn through gaming? The idea of gamification of lectures is strongly supported by educational experts.

This started way back with classroom Jeopardy for review sessions. The only difference is that now, as opposed to a classroom exercise, you will enjoy online games created purposely to teach and instruct.

Educational videos prove to boost student retention. There are also game apps used to improve studying with puzzles, logic and general intelligence.

  • Improved Speed

The traditional habits of looking into books index to access resources is now a thing of the past. Thank God you’re born in the 21st century, where you can now gain access to information speedily. On arriving at a resource, you just search the document though typing a keyword.

Additionally, mathematical programs that took decades to finish can now be completed in far quicker ways through special programs. Mathematical graphs are also plotted pretty quickly.

  • Divided Attention Disorder–DAD

While using technology for educational purposes, you will barely overcome the urge to check at your social pages. Most likely, you will be easily distracted from work, an affliction dubbed DAD (divided attention disorder).

Most temptations associated with DAD include the temptation to download a file, check bank balances, comment on a friend’s post/update, or speak to someone on a smartphone. Just Imagine how long then it will take to finish an essay or some informative read up.  

  • Change of roles

Technology is changing the roles of both teachers and learners. For example, in traditional learning set up, a teacher is the source of information and student the receiver.

This has for long been the practice, but, with access to lots of educational information through tech, shifting the role of a teacher to the “guide on the side”. On the other side, students take more responsibility for their own learning—without a supervisor. Additionally, you will realize that schools and universities all over the world are rolling out their learning programs to foster more use of technology.

Technology and education are always advancing; be sure you follow GradGuard on social media for all the tech updates within the industry!


Career Health Uncategorized

How to Effectively Juggle Work-Study and College

June 3, 2019

Whether you’re a freshman stepping on to campus or a senior getting ready to walk the stage at graduation, balancing work-study and academics is definitely a tough act. As these are the two biggest time commitments for any college students, it can seem almost impossible at times to match working a job and studying for a test. It doesn’t have to be this way. Here are a few times to help relieve the stress!

1. Stay organized and think ahead with your money

The key to having effective organization skills is to use every resource you can to keep track of your day-to-day. In terms of time management, calendars and planners are always great ways to stay on top of both your work-study and school work. Tons of online calendars and apps can help too, and can even send push notifications with reminders and more.

For financial organization, try out different online banks that offer different benefits that can help you pay off your tuition while you work-study, or if you’re a senior, can help pay off your loans once you graduate.

There are so many different options out there to use, so don’t be afraid to experiment with something until you find one that fits your workflow and lifestyle. Everyone is undoubtedly different, but a little organization can go quite a long way!

2. Find a job you like

Although this can sometimes be out of your control, if you are able to choose a job that you’ll actually like and enjoy spending time at, it can be a nice stress reliever from your school work. In fact, in some cases, it can serve as something to look forward to in your day or week to give you that little break you may need in between class and homework.

Try finding something that interests you, that will help you in your career path, or something that will get you out and socializing with others. Whether it’s working at the library, swiping cards at the campus gym, or becoming an assistant or intern in your related major, these can all be great ways to get a work-study job you’ll actually desire.

3. Separate work time and school time

One of the most important parts of balancing your commitments might actually be separating your time allocated to each. If you know the time you have to work every week is the same, it will be relatively easy to plan time for your academics. If this changes every week however, it can get trickier and might need a little more coordination on your end.

Being sure to separate these will be important though, especially so you can be mentally focused on each task. While at work, try to enjoy your shift. Socialize with others, work hard and try not to think about your other obligations. Reversely, while studying or doing homework, focus solely on that and completing it to your best abilities.


By focusing on one task at a time, it can not only prevent becoming overwhelmed but also increase productivity. Remember these tips from GradGuard when the stress begins to creep in. You’ve got this!

Career Uncategorized

Preparing for Your First Professional Job Interview

May 30, 2019

Have you just started your first job search? Are you about to go on your first professional job interview? You may be feeling nervous and unsure of how to prepare. Here are a few tips to help make the interview a success.

Do your research

Before your interview, take some time to research the company so that you have a good understanding of how they operate. Typically, most organizations offer a lot of company information online so be sure to check out their website. You may be asked what you know about the company in your interview, so spend some time on the “About Us” section of their website as well as any other relevant pages. Don’t forget to browse through their social media pages as well to get a good feel for the company’s current focus and culture.

Learn about the position

Find out as much as you can about the position you’re applying to. Read through the job description and ask yourself, “Why am I the best person for this job?” Go through the list of responsibilities and think of how your skills fit into the role. If you know someone who works at the company you’re applying to or interviewing at, ask them about the job, the interview process, and the company. The more you know, the easier it will be to answer questions about why you’d be a good fit.

Practice interviewing

Review common interview questions and answers, then get a family member or friend to ask you some questions so you can practice. Read through the job description and come up with a few questions that you think they may ask you and prepare answers. You don’t want to come off sounding like a robot during your interview, so don’t worry about memorizing your answers. The reason for practicing is to feel more comfortable speaking and organizing your thoughts prior to your actual interview.

Dress appropriately

Even if you know that the company’s dress code is more relaxed, you should still dress professionally for your interview. Choose simple, but appropriate attire. If you’re unsure what to wear, ask an adult family member, professor, or advisor. As a college student, your budget is probably pretty tight, so don’t worry about splurging on professional attire.
Shopping secondhand is a great alternative, especially for college students. Try online consignment stores like thredUP which offer top name brands like Madewell that you can choose from without leaving your dorm!

With these tips from GradGuard, you are bound to knock that first job interview out of the park!

Career Uncategorized

6 Tips For Nailing a Skype Interview

May 21, 2019

Job interviews are nerve-wracking enough, but having to sit in front of your webcam can make them even scarier.

Job interviewers are increasingly relying on Skype interviews as an intermediary step between a phone interview and an in-person interview. If your college semesters are coming to an end and you’re prepping for a video interview, these tips will help you make the perfect impression.

1. Perform Some Background Research

Preparing for a Skype interview should be no different than preparing for any interview. You can easily stand out from other applicants by learning as much as you can about the organization you’re applying to. Research the position through the organization’s website or through tools like Career Search, Vault.com, or Glassdoor.

2. Curate Your Space

Pick a clean, well-lit space with simple furniture or decorations, and angle your camera parallel to the wall behind you. If you live with roommates or pets, make arrangements before your interview to keep them out of the background.

3. Dress to Impress

First impressions matter—and this might be the truest in an interview. Dress professionally from head to toe. By dressing up for your interview, you’ll also be mentally preparing yourself to present your most professional side. Caring about the details will stand out and help you feel more confident.

4. Prepare Your Equipment

At least an hour before your interview, take some time to set up your computer so you’re ready to go before the interviewer calls. Test your internet speed to make sure your video call won’t drop or have to buffer. And ask a friend or family member to help you test your sound and video before the day of your interview.

You can also place the Skype chat window directly below your computer’s webcam so that it’s easier to look into the camera while still seeing your interviewer’s face. This will help the conversation feel natural on both sides.

5. Use Confident Body Language

Body language can make or break a remote interview. Avoid looking stiff by sitting up straight while relaxing your shoulders. Leaning in slightly when your interviewer is speaking shows your interest and engagement. And finally, focus on keeping your arms relaxed at your sides.

6. Send a Follow-Up Email

Once your interview is over, it’s important to follow up. A good follow-up email is polite, direct, and brief enough to leave another positive impression. Confirm that you’re ready to take the job by gently requesting an offer, or simply state outright that you hope to be hired for the position. Finally, make sure to include any follow-up materials promised during the interview.

Skype interviews may not be your favorite activity, but they’re quickly becoming a fact of life, especially if your degree means you’re applying for jobs across the country. Make the best of the opportunity by leveraging these tips from GradGuard, and you’ll soon be a video conferencing expert.

BIO: Victoria Schmid enjoys writing about technology for the “everyday” person. She is a specialist in online business marketing and consumer technology. She has a background in broadcast journalism.

Safety Uncategorized

5 Safety Apps Every College Student Should Know About

May 14, 2019

The college years are some of the most exciting years in a person’s life. They’re all about exploring interests, experiencing life, and learning from mistakes. As fun as college can be, there’s also a great deal of responsibility that comes with being on your own for the first time. One of the most important aspects of this responsibility is ensuring your personal safety.

As a college student, you’re likely to face a unique set of dangers being on a campus setting. Whether it’s theft, assault, drugs/alcohol, or cybersecurity threats, they will all present themselves in different ways. It’s likely that you’ll encounter one or more of these issues, but it’s how you handle the situation that will help you emerge from it safely. Being both educated and prepared are some of the best ways to stay safe. Thankfully, there have been significant advancements made in technology that have been developed to help protect today’s college students.

Whether you’re going off to college for the first time or already have a few years under your belt, you’ll want to check out these five safety apps that every college student should be aware of.

Circle of 6

This app is the perfect way for college students to feel safe when walking home at night. Just simply download the app and set up your “circle” which is essentially your six emergency contacts who will be notified in an emergency. If you are in any form of danger, you can tap the icons inside the app twice and your circle will be sent a notification alerting them to the situation. Based on the icon you chose the app will send one of three texts to the circle:

  • GPS icon: “Come and get me. I need help getting home safely.”
  • Phone icon: “Call and pretend you need me. I need an interruption.”
  • Chat icon: “I need to talk.”

Rave Guardian

This app has been backed by many universities who have instilled this app on their own campuses. By sending out a simple message or anonymous tip you can be connected to your local university police station who will assist you with your situation. The app also has a feature to virtually assist you on your walk home. Simply notify the app when you leave and where you’re going, if you don’t notify them of your arrival after a set time period, the app will send someone to check on you.

Norton Secure VPN

Cybersecurity threats have become a growing concern for college campuses over the last decade. Between viruses, breaches, and phishing scams there can be a lot to protect your devices against. Having a virtual private network on your mobile devices can help safeguard your devices by encrypting your connection, making you invisible to outside cybercriminals. This can be invaluable in keeping your personally identifiable information from ending up in the wrong hands, or worse, becoming a victim of identity theft.

KiteString

While this application is more of a text-based service, it’s been praised as highly as other competing apps. The simplicity of this program is that you can text them when you’re going to be walking alone or in an uncomfortable situation with the amount of time that you’d like them to check in on you after. They’ll send you a check in text and you just simply reply that all is alright. If you don’t respond after that time, KiteString will send your emergency contacts a notification.

Revolar

As is true in most emergency situations, you don’t always have the time to open an app and respond immediately. Revolar’s app is connected through a wearable device that you can attach to a backpack or purse. Its simplicity makes it easy to press in a panic to have help sent to your location immediately. You can customize your alerts, messages, and contacts easily through the mobile app keeping the device seamlessly connected.

Be sure you stay safe out there with these apps from GradGuard and be sure to follow us on social media for more!