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college student life

Other Student Life

How To Be Financially Smart Before and During Study Abroad

July 8, 2021

Before Study abroad 

Most students will want to take advantage of the opportunity to study abroad in college. It is such an exciting opportunity that we can tend to get ahead of ourselves by daydreaming about the places we will travel to, planning out our Instagram poses, and begging our friends to come out and visit us. But what we can sometimes forget to do is start budgeting and saving up money for our travels before the semester abroad rolls around.

Summer work

If you are financing your study abroad, try to have at least three months prior where you can work consistently and set aside the money you make. Many students already know a year or so in advance that they are going to study abroad. Utilize the summer before the fall or spring term that you are studying abroad to work as often as you can so that you are able to save up as much as possible . Some days might be difficult if you are working 5-6 days a week and eight hours a day, but set your phone background as a picture of Europe, and remember that all the long hours will pay off when you are traveling the world for a semester.

Cutting out unnecessary expenses

In order to save as much as you can before getting on your plane to start your travels, there are a few expenses you can limit that we do not realize make a dent in our bank account: 

  • $5 dollar daily coffee 
  • Takeout/Eating out 
  • Limit your spending on social outings to twice a month instead of once each week
  • Shopping. You might feel like you need new clothes for your travels, but you will probably buy plenty in the countries you visit 

Apply for scholarships 

Schools like to show their support for study abroad programs by providing ample scholarship opportunities to their students. Look into your specific school program and try to apply to as many scholarships as you can.  There are many different amounts that students may receive, and any opportunity for aid should not be passed up. Even being awarded $200 will pay for a  fun experience, such as a weekend airbnb in Italy and most scholarships will award you more than that. 

During Study Abroad 

Budgeting is a long-term necessity. Saving your money while you are traveling is just as important as saving it before you go out and explore. It is easy to drain your wallet in the excitement that comes with being abroad, but following a few easy steps can help you be financially responsible. 

Create a budget 

During the week, give yourself a limit on the amount of money you spend going out to get food and drinks. Eating out and getting drinks tends to be a daily activity and can add up quickly, so make sure to keep track of this so that you avoid draining your travel money on things such as fancy pasta for lunch everyday.

Fly smart 

There is no need to book with expensive airlines, Although it may seem too good to be true, there are flights that will get you to the same location for as low as $30. RyanAir, for example, is a popular airline in Europe with competitive prices. Another practice to avoid expensive flights is to try and fly on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays as these days tend to be cheaper. 

Book airbnbs or private hostel rooms 

Many students do not love the idea of staying in a hostel and so they think they will be spending more on hotels. This, surprisingly, is not the case. Airbnbs are safe and inexpensive options all over Europe. Look into any reviews and check the location with popular tourist spots. Also, hostels have the option of private, two person rooms, which is an option people are more comfortable with rather than spending more on a private hotel room.

Saving money both before and during study abroad can be done easily and efficiently if you keep in mind these simple tips. It is important to always remember why you are saving money as staying focused on your goal can motivate you to keep up your progress. These budgeting tips and other methods of saving money for school programs and activities can also be applied throughout your life in many different areas. 

Safe travels and happy saving!

BIO: Elie Corbett is a senior at Northern Arizona University majoring in Marketing. She is interning at GradGuard for the summer. She loves to spend time with her friends,  travel, and go to concerts!

Student Life

How To Find The Best Discounts For College Students

May 17, 2021

Being a college student can be expensive. Beyond the costs of tuition itself, the expenses relating to housing, food, computers, books and miscellaneous supplies can really stack up – and that’s before you throw in any entertainment, travel and the odd coffee or late-night pizza. When it comes to attending college, there can be a whole host of hidden fees.

Whatever can be done to minimize these ‘out of pocket’ expenses, the better. That’s where knowing how to make the most of college student discounts comes in.

Every 10% saved here and there can really add up, as can utilizing offers for free services or products both on and off campus. But, finding these deals and discounts isn’t always easy, so here is a guide to help you.

Here are some of the best discounts that students can access to make their college years a little more affordable.

Tech deals

Tech giants Microsoft offer a variety of discounts and even freebies to students wishing to access their software. For example, for a start, any available Microsoft product can be purchased by a student at a discount of 10%.

Students are also eligible to use their Office 365 software suite for free. This suite includes the most popular applications such as Word, PowerPoint and Excel. This alone is a saving of $70 per year. Simply head to Microsoft Student Education and have your college email details handy.

Entertainment

There are so many opportunities to save money with college student discounts when you take the time to uncover what’s available. Most movie theaters offer discounts to college students, including National chains like AMC, Regal Cinemas and Cinemark. A college ID is as good as a ‘get in free’ pass for many music venues and museums. New York’s Lincoln Center and Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Museums are just some examples of the cultural institutions that offer greatly discounted or free admissions. 

Major League Baseball also offers discounts to students in around a dozen cities, including the Chicago cubs, the Boston Red Sox, the Atlanta Braves and more.

Commerce king Amazon offers a truckload of products favorable to students, and a good deal of discounts, too. These include free books, video and music downloads, free one-day shipping, discounts of books, music and movies, and up to 80% off items like mobile phone cases, USB adapters, packs of ramen noodles, granola bars, and more.

Amazon also offers students a six month free trial and a further 50% of their membership when the trial has ended. Prime Student subscribers can also access Amazon Music Unlimited for just .99 cents a month – a massive saving from what is usually $9.99 per month. 

Transportation deals

There is certainly no shortage of great deals for students when it comes to both public and private transport.

Regarding rail, Amtrak offers a 10% discount on tickets for students who have signed up to their Student Advantage Discount Card. Rail Europe also offers a 23% discount to students taking a semester in Europe, although this does only refer to second class travel.

If you like the bus, the Student Advantage Discount Card gives you 15% off of any Greyhound tickets, for an annual fee of $30. Many college towns also offer low-cost annual or seasonal passes to take subway trains and buses across town. Contact your local town or city’s transport page or ask at your college about local train and bus deals.

Clothing, food, and more

Aimed exclusively towards college students, Unidays offers discounts to members on over 150 brand name products and services. These include companies like Apple, Samsung, American Eagle, Adidas, and more.

Simply by signing up, you automatically qualify for some amazing deals, like a free $20 Costco gift card, $20 off Apple products, and 20% of food deliveries ordered through GrubHub. This one-stop-shop allows you to select the deals you like best when you sign up – and there are plenty to choose from.

Final thoughts

Taking a moment to shop around and source great deals and discounts can save you a surprising amount of your precious student budget – leaving you feeling a little more relaxed and able to save or spend on things that have previously been a little out of reach.

Other

The Most Influential Professors in Recent History

March 8, 2021

Professors influence the world around them in several different ways. They instruct and guide students through classroom lectures and career advice. They also advance general knowledge of how the world, the universe, and human societies work through their research. Often, they influence others in both ways at the same time, although either research or instruction typically occupies a majority of a professor’s time. Professors of the past have been responsible for breakthroughs that irrevocably changed the way that people live, and today’s professors are constantly seeking new innovations and discoveries. The following are important professors in all different fields who deserve respect and appreciation for their important work and the benefits it offers.

Marie Curie

Marie Curie helped set the stage for future scientific professors, such as Berkeley chemistry professor John Arnold. While many professors today specialize in only one field, Marie Curie studied both chemistry and physics. Through her research on radioactivity, she discovered two elements, radium and polonium.

Despite operating in what was considered at the time to be a man’s field, she broke new ground as the first woman awarded a Nobel Prize. She is still the only woman to receive two Nobel Prizes and the first person of any gender so honored. Not only did she help advance scientific understanding but she also helped promote equal opportunities for women through her work. However, her accomplishments came at a price, and she died in 1934 of a sickness believed to be related to radiation exposure.

Noam Chomsky

Noam Chomsky is considered the founder of modern linguistics, which is the study of language development and acquisition. Today, he is better known to many for his political activities, but he revolutionized linguistics with an influential theory that the human brain is hard-wired from birth to learn to speak and write. According to the theory, the brains of young children are more receptive to language acquisition, and as they get older, this receptiveness goes away and learning language becomes more difficult.

Barack Obama

Many people may not be aware that Barack Obama was a college professor prior to his landmark presidency. Obama attended Harvard Law School where he broke barriers as the president of the Harvard Law Review. Following graduation, he went on to teach at the University of Chicago Law School where he taught constitutional law.

Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking was a theoretical physicist who overcame a nearly lifelong struggle with ALS, a neurodegenerative disease, to become a renowned professor of mathematics. He was also respected in popular culture, in part because of an appearance on the science fiction series “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” On a tour of the set, Hawking looked at the warp core, which gives the fictitious Starship Enterprise the power of faster-than-light travel, and remarked that he was working on making it a reality.

Judith Butler

Butler teaches in the Department of Comparative Literature at the University of California, Berkeley but has been influential in a wide range of fields beyond literary theory. Her work has been applied to queer activism, ethics, and political philosophy, to name a few.

Albert Einstein

Einstein is not only one of the most influential professors of all time but also one of the most iconic, instantly recognizable even to people who have only the barest understanding of his theories. Einstein was something of a Renaissance man who explored different philosophies and had a deep love for music. Raised in the Jewish faith, Einstein emigrated to the United States in 1933 to flee Nazi persecution. He was a complicated individual who described himself as a pacifist, yet also lent his considerable talents to the Manhattan Project, the purpose of which was the development of nuclear weapons, out of concern that the Nazis might develop it first. His involvement in nuclear weapons development would be a source of inner conflict for him for the rest of his life.

Of course, there have been many influential professors going back through history, such as Sir Isaac Newton and Galileo. Even Socrates could be considered a professor, though the term wasn’t in use during his time. Professors of the past and present continue to inspire the thinkers of the future.

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

Student Life

Essential Items to Take to College

February 22, 2021

Heading off to college is an exciting time. There are plenty of articles and advice columns listing everything you need to transition successfully. Most students, though, end up with too much stuff. It may be fun to decorate your dorm in September, but you’ll be wishing you had spent your money on different things when you’re trying to pack it all up in May.

Food

Even if you’re on a meal plan, it’s best to bring food with you to college. There are various reasons why. The first is that you are bound to miss open hours of the cafeteria at some point because you took a nap, stayed out too late or were studying too hard to take a break. Most cafeterias keep shorter hours on the weekend. If you haven’t settled into a friend group yet and don’t have a car, you may find yourself at loose ends on a Sunday night. Sure, you can walk a few blocks to a fast-food restaurant, but what if it’s raining? It’s just smart to have some ramen, peanut butter crackers or Power Life to add to a smoothie. There will be times you will get hungry when everything is closed, so be prepared.

First Aid Kit

Speaking of being prepared, be sure to bring a first aid kit with you when you go to college. Your mom won’t be around to bring you ibuprofen and water when you have a headache. Nor will she be there to put her hand on your forehead to check your temperature. You will have to do these things yourself. If you think there is a possibility that you might overindulge one weekend, keep antacid handy. A box of bandages is a great purchase too because you will probably be doing more walking than you have ever done in your life.

Water

Disposable plastic water bottles are frowned upon on college campuses. Water stations to fill up your own reusable water bottles are the norm. Plus, you’ll save money in the long run. Water bottles are also easy to lose, so bring a couple just in case you set yours down somewhere and forget it. Staying hydrated is extremely important. Keep a couple chilled in your dorm fridge so you always have a cold one handy.

Laptop

If you made it through high school on a shared family computer, now is the time to purchase a really nice laptop with your college graduation money. Many universities offer deals to college students if you buy the computer through them. Figure out a way to get the most powerful computer you can afford. You will be expected to complete almost all work electronically, and you will need a computer that doesn’t crash.

Backpack

Besides your computer, your backpack will get the most use while you’re in college. Choose a sturdy one with extra padding. Attach a luggage tag to the outside and the inside. Backpacks are THE fashion accessory for college students, but they are also a necessity.

Instead of focusing all your attention on color coordinating your throw pillows and hanging beading around your bed, skip the extra decoration in favor of spending money on what you’ll really need. Hang a single flag over your bed for a simple decoration and put your money towards more important purchases.

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.

Adulting Health Student Life

How to Learn to Cook When Moving Off Campus

February 12, 2021

Moving off-campus is an exciting time for a college student. It is a step closer to adulthood that can be very liberating but also challenging at times. For many off-campus students, this change means they are saying goodbye to eating at their school’s dining hall. It can be tempting to start a diet of fast food, ramen, and PB&Js but there is a much healthier option that will leave you much more satisfied. Learning to cook!

Here are 5 tips on how to teach yourself to cook when moving off-campus!

Stock Your kitchen

It is important to stock your kitchen full of essentials such as rice, pasta, beans, and spices that you can have on hand when putting together a meal. It can also be helpful to invest in some basic kitchen equipment such as quality pans, pots, spatulas, and a blender. Here is a list of some kitchen supplies that can be purchased on a budget.

Conquer the Basics

When first approaching learning to cook, it can be helpful to focus on some basic meals that you can have in your arsenal on busy school nights. Learning to master some basic recipes can provide a good foundation for when you want to get a bit more sophisticated with your cooking.

Getting Started:

  • Eggs: Scrambled, fried, over easy, omelet
  • Meat: Chicken or turkey breast/thighs/drumsticks, ground beef or patties
  • Whole Grains: Pasta, rice, potatoes

Try New Recipes to Keep it Interesting

It can be easy to fall into a routine of making the same types of meals every week. It is important not only for your health but also for your well-being to diversify the foods you eat. Food blogs are a great resource to find new and exciting recipes. Blogs such as Minimalist Baker, ScheckEats, and Budget Bytes provide fun recipes for a variety of dietary needs.

Meal Prep to Save Time and Money

As a college student, life can become very hectic and it can be hard to find time to cook. Meal prepping is a great way to enjoy home-cooked meals throughout the week without having to spend too much time in the kitchen. If you take a couple of hours on the weekend to prepare your food, you can have days of healthy meals to enjoy!

Meal Prep Necessities:

  • Food storage containers – Opt for glass, it’ll last longer than plastic.
  • Baking sheets – Great for roasting large amounts of vegetables.
  • Crockpot, Instant Pot or Air Fryer – These appliances cut down on meal prep and clean up time.

Remember Balance is Key

Nutrition is all about balance. Falling into patterns of restricting your food too heavily or not eating any nutrient-dense foods can be harmful to your mental and physical health. It is important to prioritize foods that leave you feeling nourished while also enjoying the foods that bring you joy. You can enjoy just about anything (yes, even chocolate) when it’s in moderation.

Hopefully these tips will help you kickstart your cooking journey! Check out more of our posts for more information on how to manage your wellbeing in college.

Student Life Transition

Here’s How to Pick a College During Coronavirus

February 10, 2021

There’s no doubt that the pandemic has changed the lives of everyone, but what about the students who are supposed to start their college journey? Because of the shift to online learning, the meaning of the college experience has changed for a lot of people.

When it comes to picking out a college, the decision can be overwhelming. During these uncertain times, second thoughts about your future might make you question this decision. Nearly every high school student looks forward to the full college experience, but due to the pandemic, the future is unknown.

To deal with such a nerve-wracking task, it’s important to narrow down your choices. There are several things you can keep in mind to make this decision easier for you and help you see what college you want to go to during coronavirus.

Here are some of them:

Plan Out Your Entire College Admission Process

There’s nothing more crucial than creating a whole plan for your entire college process. You can collect all the required materials in hardcopy or soft copy. The process can be very tiring, but if you’re following all the necessary steps, you’ll be fine.

  • Do thorough research about the colleges in your mind and find out what majors and courses they are offering.
  • Get in touch with any current students or alumni to get any insight about the academic offerings.
  • Figure out any goals you have and try to find a path that resonates with your intentions.
  • Make a pro and cons list about the colleges.

Consider All Your Options

The future might seem grim at the moment because of the global pandemic. However, that doesn’t mean you should settle for just any college. You still have a lot of options, so keep all of them in mind. You might think there’s no hope because the times are uncertain, but with online learning, you have more options than you think.

If you’ve recently graduated from high school, you might be considering taking a gap year and delaying starting college in person or altogether. The pandemic turned all our lives around, so it’s okay to take time to make a decision.

Look for Variety

Almost every student has a college of their dreams, but it’s healthy to seek out variety and consider multiple options. The pandemic might be the best time to adapt to openness, as we can never be sure about anything.

You might decide to attend online classes through a local community college or four-year university knowing that when the virus dies down, you can transfer to another school.

Don’t just think about the academic departments; go online and check out campus life, social activities, food, and so much more. Make sure you know what kind of routine you want because you’re going to be spending a lot of time at college.

See How They Handled Covid-19

This might be a huge deciding factor in this entire process, so keep in mind how the college has dealt with the pandemic.

Most colleges have shifted to online learning, but some of them are letting students come back to campus with half the strength, so is the campus safe for you? What are the instructions regarding the virus in the dorm rooms and the classrooms? Will your degree require more in-person classes?

Get a peek inside your future if you choose a particular college and get the answers to all your concerns.

Take a Look around the Campus

If you’ve formulated an entire college plan and have landed on a few options, it’s important to go and take a look for yourself. Your campus is going to be your home for the next four years, so it will be helpful to see where you are going to be living.

Even if they have resorted to online learning, driving to the campus will make you realize how living there might feel. A college is a turning point for most people, so moving to an unknown environment can feel strange.

If virus restrictions allow you to visit the campus, check it out so you can feel comfortable and be prepared. Before making any decision, it’s important to see if your campus will have everything you want.

Research Your Top Choices

So, you have finally landed on a few choices, and now you’re getting closer to your decision. But before settling on a final choice, make sure to do background research about your top colleges. No amount of research can be enough!

If you have a major in your mind, then find out the post-grad and job prospects of your respective field. Do the courses and degree requirements look interesting to you? Does the college have good professors you can count on? Find out everything you can.

Takeaways

Settling on a choice about the college you’re going to be attending can be difficult when you’re surrounded by vulnerable and uncertain times. But, with a lot of exploring and research, you can come down to a few choices that help you achieve the dream you want. You can learn a lot about every university and how they handle a crisis. Therefore, these tips might help you settle down for a college and make a decision considering all your interests.

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

Student Life

6 Tips for Success in College

January 28, 2021

Your college years will be characterized by immense growth and a newfound sense of personal responsibility. Many students are surprised to discover that getting good grades in college involves a lot more than studying hard.

A successful college student establishes good habits that spell success later on. Make the most of your experience through these tips.

Personal Health

In order to keep up with the demands of college life, your body and mind need to function optimally. Maintaining a clear, sharp mind is impossible when you’re drained or undernourished. Staying healthy can be difficult when you’re in charge of making your own meals and getting to bed on time, especially on top of everything else on your list.

Outsource some of your personal health tasks by adopting sure-to-work nutritional habits. Look to diets that emphasize plant foods. Many diets, like the one designed by former cardiac surgeon Dr. Gundry, reduce inflammation and optimize physical performance so you can work and study harder.

Time Management

Through your college experience, you’ll get your first taste of personal freedom. That freedom, however, comes with a cost. From class schedules and work hours to managing your social calendar, keeping up with everything you have to do can be challenging when you’re the one in charge of setting your own schedule.

Proper time management will permit you to get it all done with minimal stress. A balanced schedule that prioritizes both studying and relaxing will keep your school performance up. Make a list of the most important tasks, along with their due dates, and arrange each responsibility in order of importance.

Goal-Setting

You’re in college in the first place because your larger goals and determination guided you there. You have an idea of what you want out of life and are taking the first steps to make it happen. Now that you’re there, it’s time to return back to some of those guiding principles and decide where they’ll take you next.

Take time to identify what your objectives are and determine what steps you need to take to get there. Think bigger than just good grades. You may want to get volunteer experience, make a lot of friends, build connections or overcome fears. Whatever the goal, break it down into both large and small steps to make it a reality.

Teamwork

Success in college is found not only by studying hard on your own, but learning to work as a team with your peers, too. College assignments often require group work, both inside and outside the classroom. After class hours, the need for cooperation continues as you learn to find a routine in your dorm with roommates.

It’s important to adopt a mindset that stresses strength in numbers. Study groups are a great way to collaborate with your classmates to ensure academic success. By learning how to better work with others, you will be more fully prepared for the demands placed on your and your future coworkers in the workplace.

Money Management

From student loans to grocery budgets, college is simply expensive. To make matters more challenging, the temptation to splurge on weekends out with friends or expensive meals is nearly always there. Prioritize setting a budget and always use student loan funds wisely.

You don’t have to pinch pennies or decline every social invitation. Carve space in your weekly budget for a few indulgences. Just becoming aware of your financial system can relieve a great deal of stress and set up clear parameters for your bank account.

Confidence

No matter what the college experience throws your way, you’ll surely find a way to make it all work. Your hard work and dedication got you this far. The very same diligence will stand by you when the going gets tough.

Millions of college students make it out alive, and you’re no different. You deserve to be there. Believe in yourself that you can not only survive your college experience, but you can thrive all along the way.

A successful university experience looks different for everyone. Armed with these tips, and with the right mindset, success in college will never be out of reach — whatever that means to you.

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

Testimonial: Tuition Insurance Can Give You a Do Over for College

December 8, 2020

Most colleges and universities don’t provide full refunds for tuition and academic fees. It’s something many students and families don’t find out about until after it’s too late, and their investment in college is lost. That’s how GradGuard’s Tuition Insurance can help in the event of an unexpected medical withdrawal.

Kara first learned about GradGuard’s Tuition Insurance when her son, Andrew, was an incoming freshman at Marist College. She said she wanted to make sure that if anything were to happen that was one of the covered reasons, their big investment in his education wouldn’t be lost. Marist is one of the nearly 400 colleges and universities that rely on GradGuard to protect students from preventable financial losses.

College students and families are smart to have GradGuard

Looking ahead, Kara and Andrew’s decision to purchase tuition insurance was smart. She said her son struggled a little bit the first semester.

“When he went back in the beginning of the spring semester, it became clear that he was not going to be successful, for a variety of mental health issues,” Kara said. “Our first priority was to bring him home, which we did.”

Andrew completed a medical withdraw from school. It was early in the semester, so the family was able to get a partial refund from the school. Then they contacted GradGuard and filed a claim for the balance.

GradGuard provides a refund when schools may not

“The amount that we paid at the beginning of the semester, minus what the school refunded — we got every other cent back from GradGuard,” Kara said. “We were thrilled. That money is for him to pursue his education when he’s ready.”

GradGuard was able to give this family the opportunity for a do over. That’s not something that happens a lot, let alone in college. But when the unexpected happens, GradGuard can help you get back on track. Learn more about how to buy Tuition Insurance for your school using GradGuard’s college search tool.

Questions to ask your college or university:

What will happen to my tuition payment if my college student is forced to withdraw from school due to an illness or even COVID-19?

What is the school’s refund policy?

Do you offer tuition insurance?

Safety Student Life

Campus Crime and Student Safety

November 24, 2020

When you think about college, it’s typical to think of all the positive experiences and encounters you will have as a student. Whether it’s getting excited about your major, dorm life, making new friends, and gaining independence, most college students are ready for all the new adventures college has to offer. Unfortunately, campus crime becomes a part of the conversation too. Crimes such as burglary, sexual assault, hazing, and theft are some of the most common crimes that occur on or near college campuses. Here are ways to minimize the chances of being a victim of campus crime and what to do if it does happen to you. 

Protect valuable items.

  • If you have jewelry, designer clothes, shoes, or other items that may put a target on your for thieves, consider leaving those items at home.
  • Look into buying a renters insurance policy to protect the stuff you do decide to bring with you to campus, such as your backpack and laptop.
  • Be mindful of who you invite over. Make sure valuables are hidden or locked away safely.
  • Take pictures of your stuff in case you do become a victim of theft or malicious damage. That will help you file a claim for reimbursement through your renters insurance policy.

Travel in pairs or groups with people that you know. 

  • Use the buddy system when attending an event or a party. This is especially important if you’re a young woman who may be at greater risk.
  • Share your location with friends and let someone know when you plan to return.
  • Never leave someone alone in a vulnerable or uncomfortable situation. If necessary, leave as a group and make other plans instead.

Be smart on social media.

  • Don’t share when you’re away from your dorm or residence hall.
  • Avoid geotagging and sharing your location on photos, videos, and other posts that would reveal your current location.
  • Think twice about sharing any sensitive information online, including any revealing details about where you live or work.

Have a plan.

  • When going out, especially at night, let someone know where you’re going and when you plan to return.
  • Walk with confidence, and avoid looking confused even if you’re going somewhere you haven’t been before.
  • Don’t use headphones or keep your head down looking at your phone when you’re walking.
  • Download safety apps to turn your phone into a pocket-sized security guard.

From making new friends to becoming independent, there are a lot of positive things to look forward to as a new college student. Overall, it should be fun. Bt with this comes the responsibility of staying as safe. Sometimes college students think campus is one big protective bubble. But that’s not always the case, unfortunately. Remember these tips for staying safe!

Adulting Student Life Transition

7 Tips For Living in Your First Off Campus Apartment

November 4, 2020

Making the transition from living on-campus to a nearby apartment brings many responsibilities. While it comes with more independence, it’s worth knowing if your complex is catered to students like yourself, or not. You can have friends over without worrying about dorm hours, or have the freedom to stay in your college town during the holidays or summer when the dorms are closed. However, you need to make sure you take proper responsibilities like paying your bills on time and sticking to your budget so you can enjoy your new apartment lifestyle.

Here are some tips for living in your first off campus apartment:

Have Everything in a Written Contract

When you live in your first off-campus apartment, it’ll most likely be your first opportunity to understand the importance of having everything in a written contract, and before signing it, you should read it through entirely. It also doesn’t hurt to have a parent or another adult read it through too since they most likely have more experience with renting. If you were promised something when you toured the facility or saw something in an advertisement, like a rent adjustment, you need to be certain that it is well-documented in the rent contract. And of course, don’t forget renters insurance.

Keep a Consistent Cleaning Schedule

Living in your first off-campus apartment means that you’re in charge of cleaning it. Whether you live alone or have roommates, you need to make a cleaning schedule and be consistent about making it happen. You don’t have to vacuum every day, but you should make a habit of wiping the kitchen and bathroom counters, taking out the trash, cleaning out the fridge regularly.

Pay All of Your Bills On Time

It might not seem like much, but paying your bills late will affect your credit score and result in late fees. To avoid having late bills, you can set auto-draft payments or simply write bill due dates on a calendar. If you’re collecting money from your roommates to pay the bills, you should start collecting at least a week before the money is due to make sure you have it on time.

Always Lock Your Doors

It’s easy to think that nothing will ever happen especially in your college town, but you should always lock your apartment door even if you’ll just be gone a few minutes. This includes running to your car really quickly or taking out the trash. If you’re uncomfortable with someone in your apartment, such as roommates or guests, you should lock your bedroom door when you aren’t home.

Think Carefully About Your Roommates

If you have roommates, you need to think long and hard about who you choose to live with. Will they be respectful of the complex’s rules? Will they be quiet if you need to study? Will they help clean up in the kitchen? Will they pay their part on time? These are all just a few of the questions you need to think about before agreeing to be roommates with someone. Just because they’re your close friend doesn’t mean they would make an ideal roommate. If you’re going the random roommate route, make sure to vet them thoroughly. Your complex may also have a roommate matching program to find you someone with similar qualities. Make sure you and your roommates each have your own renters insurance policy.

Create a Budget

Now that you’re living off-campus, you’ll be responsible for more expenses, and they can add up quickly. On top of rent and utilities, you need to create a budget for items such as groceries, entertainment, transportation (gas, bus card, subway pass, etc.), and clothing, and stick to it! You need to budget for the entire semester so you aren’t stuck eating sandwiches for the last 3 months of the semester because you spent all of your money the first month. Look into using a budgeting app to simplify the process.

Feel Free to Decorate

The apartment won’t feel like yours without a few personal decorations. Simple decorations like a team banner, throw pillows, picture frames, or movie posters will go a long way in making the place feel like your very own. Since this is your first off-campus apartment, you probably want make sure it feels like your own place, and bringing in decor items that show your personality will help.

Living in your first off-campus apartment is an exciting time full of new adventures! But don’t let the new found freedom get in the way of staying on top of the responsibilities that come along with it. Stick to these tips and you’ll be sure to be successful.