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college student success

Career Student Life Transition

The Reality of How to Find a Job After Graduation

April 28, 2022
College Student in Cap and Gown

Classes have finished, graduation is over, your stuff is all packed, and a little taste of reality has finally started to set in.

You’ve probably seen at least half a dozen articles about how to find a job after college. Those tips and tricks may help you get your foot in the door of what may be your dream job! After all, going to college to get that degree to eventually work in the field you worked toward is the goal, right?

Take it from a recent college grad: the job hunt can be tricky and overwhelming when first out of college. It’s not as easy as applying to as many jobs as possible. Read on for some tips on how to navigate the job hunting world in ways not a lot of people talk about.

Keep a supportive and encouraging inner circle.

Similar things tend to gravitate to one another, and it’s important to find comfort in those who are empathetic and understanding about what you are going through. Graduating without a role lined up is a challenge all on its own, let alone dealing with people who aren’t supportive.

Being unemployed isn’t easy, especially with a degree. It can feel hopeless and frustrating to watch your peers quickly start their careers while you are still getting yourself set up. It can feel like a swift kick in the gut when your inner circle of those you trust does not support you when you are feeling down. Be mindful of who you are speaking with when sharing your insecurities and fears.

It’s crucial to make sure your close friends lift you up, not down, supporting your aspirations and motivating you, not discourage you. You’ll need their positive energy if the search doesn’t go quite as you planned. Phases of self-doubt when looking for your first role out of college will come, and it may be hard to talk to some of my friends who just don’t understand what you are feeling – and that’s okay! Just let them know that you require some encouragement or look elsewhere for some.

Evaluate how you’re spending your free time.

It may be very tempting to want to put off finding a job at all after graduation. You finished classes and deserve a break! But time is valuable and many employers look to recent college grads to fill positions in May, June, or July. If you delay this, you may have to wait to find a job with winter grads.

Don’t turn into a lump on a log, wasting away watching hours of TikTok in your PJs. You are capable of so much more than you may realize- you have a degree, you have dreams, and you can start chasing them! Get strong both mentally and physically to get the best position for you.

It’s okay to take a short break to recoup after finishing your degree, but don’t let yourself develop bad habits. It can be tough on your mental and physical health if you let yourself wander too far off the beaten path of structure that college provides. But a self-care day is needed every once in a while.

Spend your time doing things you love and learning more about your passions; never stop learning and growing. Read, write, paint, or exercise to keep your body and mind active. You will feel better, be more alert, and more prepared to take on opportunities when they come to you.

Work toward your dreams, no matter how big they are.

Dreams and goals are not supposed to be easy or obtained overnight. It’s okay if they are a little scary or seem too far out of reach.

Sure, it may seem like the odds are against recent grads, but the good news is that you won’t be a recent grad forever. The journey will be tough with roadblocks you never saw coming, but in the end, it will all lead you where you are meant to go. If you clearly define the goals you have for yourself and believe in them, the struggle will all be worth it!

Dreams take time. Whether it’s getting an internship, starting out at the very bottom, or realizing a role you took was just not meant for you, you’ll get there. With one foot in front of the other, take steps towards your goals, starting at the beginning and working your way up. If your dream is to be a VP at a company, that job title won’t come right away, or even for several years. But know that even entering the company as

You are your biggest fan and fiercest advocate.

No one has your back like you do, so learn to be your biggest cheerleader. Even if you think it’s impossible, never stop believing in yourself because you can do far more than you think you can. Never stop working on getting better; in life, work, your hobbies, everything! We are our worst critics and letting doubt and fear of failure hold us back most of the time.

The only thing in the way of you going to the next level is you.  Be the person you dreamed you could be, and don’t stop until you get there. Even if it seems like it may be too hard, never stop fighting for yourself. You owe yourself that much after spending years of your life working and learning to earn that degree.

Life after college is a whole new ball game. With new things happening simultaneously, it can get overwhelming. It’s okay to take time to get your footing and make a plan as you start this new phase in life. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, so understand that life is a process and everything will work out. You got this!

Career Student Life

3 Things Every Student Should Do Before Graduating 

March 29, 2022
Things to do before graduation

The months following graduation can feel a little odd. Maybe you didn’t have a job lined up after college like some of your friends did. It’s difficult to keep in touch when you’re not bumping into each other on campus or in the residence halls anymore. As a result, many recent grads struggle to adapt to life outside of college.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. You can make your transition from college into post-grad life a little easier by planning ahead and preparing for all that life has to offer. Here are 3 things every student should do before graduating and heading into the workforce.

Polish Your Social Media Accounts

Your social media accounts will serve a very different purpose once you graduate. Social media was a great way to connect with new friends and learn about events or parties in college. But when you graduate, your social media account can be a risk to your personal and professional growth.  

Nowadays, most organizations will look you up on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram before hiring you. Anything that was considered cool in college, such as underage drinking, or posting photos by the pool every Saturday may come back to haunt you if your future employer saw it. Just because your profile settings are set to private, doesn’t mean it’s completely blocked off.

This doesn’t mean you have to delete every social picture from your profiles. You just have to be savvy about what you leave up and what you take down. Try to untag yourself from anything that might be misinterpreted. What happens online, stays online!

Update Your Resume

When was the last time you updated your resume? For most college students, it was probably either in high school or when you applied for a recent part-time position. These versions of your resume simply won’t cut it in the professional world, where you need to put forward a solid resume to make it to the interview stage. 

Fortunately, most colleges have a career services department to help you create the best version of your resume. Usually, the folks who work in these offices have plenty of experience, so it’s worth checking them out and listening to their suggestions. 

You can start writing a killer resume by researching successful resumes online. This will give you an idea of the industry standard and help you choose between design templates and layouts. Regardless of the template you choose, you must first share the most essential information. This depends on the job you are applying to and your experience, but it should always display your strongest achievements and accomplishments first.  Make sure to mention your anticipated graduation month and year, and if you’re open to relocating after graduating.

Write a Will and Advanced Directive

Many people mistakenly believe that will writing is only for the elderly or those with life-threatening conditions. The reality is that all adults need to have a will to make things easier for loved ones if tragedy does occur. 

However, if it’s your first time writing a will, it can be hard to know what to include. Typically, your will should tell your loved ones what you want to happen regarding your health care, property, and assets. Your parents will likely be able to help you out with writing your first will. You can always update it down the line after big life events, such as getting married or having a child.

Takeaways

Transitioning from college to the workforce is always going to be tricky. But you can make the process a little smoother by planning ahead and setting a clear direction for your life after graduation. Start by assessing your social media presence and resume materials, as these will play a significant role in your job hunt. Then, consider writing a will and advanced directive, so you can move into life beyond college with peace of mind. 

Adulting Student Life

Books That Every Twenty-Something Should Read

March 17, 2022
Books to read in your 20's


Many people believe that your twenties is the best time of your life; not many obligations and the freedom to shape your future. Others couldn’t disagree more, feeling that this decade builds a solid foundation through hard work and hustle. Regardless of the type of experience you have, we can all agree that our twenties are a time of change, transition, and challenges.

There is an overwhelming pressure to have everything “figured out” by the time you reach your 30s. Everyone thinks that somehow you can magically figure out how to land your dream job or become financially independent before then as if it were instinct.

In this day and age with TikTok, Instagram, and Podcasts, it’s easy to think most twenty-somethings don’t read anymore. But many still do! Reading is not only good for your mind but also your soul. GradGuard’s leadership and marketing teams helped contribute to this list of essential books for all twenty-somethings to read.

20 Books Everyone Should Read in Their 20s

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

The Alchemist is a classic masterpiece that journeys with the reader through struggle and hardship while illustrating the importance of pursuing your dreams by following your heart. There is a lesson to learn during the young boy’s journey with each passing obstacle and hurdle that he encounters.

White Oleander by Janet Fitch

White Oleander is the unforgettable story of Astrid’s journey through a series of foster homes and her efforts to find a place for herself in impossible circumstances. With perseverance and wit, Astrid faces the challenges of loneliness and poverty. She aims to understand who a motherless child in an indifferent world can become.

Recommended by Jeff Hitchens – Chief Operating Officer, GradGuard

This beautifully written story takes the reader through the journey of self-discovery. It examines how a mother-daughter relationship can shape our lives.

Jeff Hitchens – COO at GradGuard on White Oleander

Money Ball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis

Even if you aren’t into baseball or sports in general, this book still has much to offer. A well-told “sports” story introduces the reader to the value of thinking outside the box and looking beyond traditional success metrics. Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game is the tale of the 2002 Oakland Athletics and their general manager, Billy Beane. Beane constructs a winning team with almost non-existent funding using an analytical approach to determine each player’s contributions.

Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck, M.D.

Life is difficult. The first line is a crucial lesson to learn in your twenties. This book has answers and valuable discussions on how people of all ages can find meaning in their relationships or careers as they build a life. The book asserts that we each have a spiritual life and conscience that needs attention. Building awareness of caring for our spirit is vital to our mental and physical health.

What Do You Care What Other People Think? by Richard P Feynman

One of the greatest physicists of the twentieth century, Richard Feynman, possessed an unquenchable thirst for adventure and an unparalleled ability to tell the stories of his life. Feynman’s autobiography is filled with stories of a life well-lived by someone who dared to think differently and creatively. Key lesson: Do not let your life be constrained by what other people think.

The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

Bestselling author Don Miguel Ruiz uncovers the source of self-limiting beliefs that steal joy and create unnecessary suffering. Based on ancient Toltec wisdom, The Four Agreements offer a robust code of conduct. He believes they can rapidly transform our lives into a new experience of freedom, true happiness, and love, which landed the book on our list.

Recommended by John Fees – Co-Founder, GradGuard

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

Covey believes the way we see the world is entirely based on our own perceptions. In order to change a given situation, we must change ourselves, and in order to change ourselves, we must be able to change our perceptions.

Habits 1, 2, and 3 focus on self-mastery and moving from dependence to independence.

Habits 4, 5, and 6 focus on developing teamwork, collaboration, and communication skills, and moving from independence to interdependence.

Habit 7 focuses on continuous growth and improvement and embodies all the other habits.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

This is a combination of a young girl’s coming-of-age story and a look into the dark side of racism and prejudice. Scout Finch lives with her brother Jem, and father, Atticus in Maycomb, Alabama during the Great Depression.

“I first read to Kill a Mockingbird in middle school and immediately fell in love with the characters. It wasn’t until further into adulthood, after rereading the novel repeatedly, that I fully appreciated its recognition of key issues such as race, sexual assault and violence, unjust political systems, and class status and the issues that result.”

Derrick Shy – VP of Business Development, GradGuard
Recommended by Derrick Shy – Vice President of Business Development, GradGuard

What I Wish I Knew When I Was 20 by Tina Seelig

Tina Seelig is a Stanford professor whose class on creativity helps students recognize problems as great opportunities. This book shows us the importance of not becoming overwhelmed by the world’s problems. Whether it’s affordable energy, clean water, global warming, or hunger, all significant problems need attention and effort. It includes a helpful series of experiments that also help readers consider constraints, and how big issues can also become significant financial opportunities.

When – The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing by Daniel H. Pink

Life is not a race, nor is any day, month, or year. This book helps frame time more productively and demonstrates that timing is a science — an emerging body of multifaceted, multidisciplinary research that offers fresh insights into the human condition and valuable guidance on working smarter and living better. At the end of each chapter is a ‘Time Hacker’s Handbook,’ a collection of tools, exercises, and tips to help put the insights into action.

“Entrepreneur and NYU Marketing Professor, Scott Galloway offers some useful insights into how to find happiness in the modern world. Keep life simple. Complexity can kill love and meaning and make success more difficult to find.”

John Fees – CO-founder at GradGuard

The Algebra of Happiness by Scott Galloway

Scott Galloway regularly offers hard-hitting answers to the big questions: What’s the formula for a life well lived? How can you have a meaningful career, not just a lucrative one? Is work/life balance possible? What are the elements of a successful relationship? Whether it’s advice on if you should drop out of school to be an entrepreneur or discovering what the most critical decision in your life is, Galloway entertains, inspires, and provokes.

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

For most of the lives of all twenty-somethings, Afghanistan has been in the news and this novel helps illustrate how the intersections of culture, conflict, and caste shape the human condition. The Kite Runner is a powerful cultural story of a man who struggles to find forgiveness and love amidst a war-torn Afghanistan and his subsequent immigration to America. It’s a work stuffed with florid prose and subtle depictions of small beauties throughout.

Recommended by John Fees – Co-Founder, GradGuard

Think and Grow Rich by Napolean Hill

As one of the very first books ever written in the field of self-help, it includes valuable insights on how to achieve your goals. With over 100 million copies sold worldwide, it’s worth reading as the ideas can be applied in all areas of life, even if the book’s focus is on wealth. One great idea for all twenty-somethings is to surround yourself with a group of people who share your vision and push you toward your goal. This group needs to be in harmony with you and must have a different skill set that compliments yours.

The Defining Decade – Why Your 20’s Matter and How To Make The Most of Them by Meg Jay

As a clinical psychologist, Meg Jay tells of real conversations she has had with 20-somethings and their struggles. While this book doesn’t always provide practical answers or a formula, it does deliver advice and observations that are useful as twentysomethings shape their own lives. Lesson: Aim to complete your formal education before you turn 30.

“She shares stories from her patients, how they woke up one day and felt like they just wasted away their 20’s and thought their 30’s would be ‘when they figure stuff out’, but that’s not the case. You can have a good career, good relationship, and be successful. NOW.

Natalie Tarangioli – Director of Marketing and Communications
Recommended by Natalie Tarangioli – Director of Marketing and Communications, GradGuard

As A Man Thinketh by James Allen

This book presents that “thoughts” are things, and we are what we repeatedly think about. The book shows us how each man holds the key to every situation that enters into his life, good or bad. He may remake his life and transform his circumstances by working patiently and intelligently upon his thoughts. Learn to create the life you want in your mind, then manifest its reality through your hard work and actions.

Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard by Chip and Dan Heath

We have all heard “change is hard.” But why is it so hard to make enduring changes in our businesses, communities, and our own lives? The biggest obstacle is a battle created in our minds. Psychologists have discovered two different systems rule our minds: the rational mind and the emotional mind, competing for control. The rational mind desires a great beach body, while the emotional side wants another slice of cake.

Mindset – The Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D.

After decades of research, world-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D., discovered a simple but groundbreaking idea: the power of mindset. In this book, she brilliantly shows how success in school, work, sports, the arts, and almost every area of our lives can be dramatically impacted by how we think about our talents and abilities.

Recommended by Brianna Bell – Marketing Coordinator, GradGuard

“People who believe that their capabilities cannot be changed in a fixed minset will not grow like those who think their abilities aren’t limited and can be developed with a growth mindset.”

John Fees – Co-Founder at GradGuard

Influence – The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini

This is an essential read whether you want to resist other people’s possible manipulation or learn how to influence others for your purpose. The book shows us that in a world where people are overloaded with more information than they can deal with, they fall back on a decision-making approach based on stereotypes. These develop because they allow people to act correctly with little thought and time. However, they can be exploited and effectively turned into weapons by those who know them to influence others to act in specific ways.

The Art of Not Giving a F*ck – by Mark Manson

This is the second book by popular blogger and author Mark Manson. In this book, he points out that life’s struggles are what give it meaning. The senseless positivity of ordinary self-help books is neither realistic nor worthwhile.

This was one of the best books I have read.”

Rob Kubasko, Creative Director, GradGuard

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Born into poverty on a small farm in Missouri, Dale Carnegie built a successful career as a traveling salesman before becoming one of the modern-day best self-help gurus and prolific authors. How to Win Friends and Influence People has become an iconic bestseller by helping us achieve important life goals, discover new ambitions, and get things done and done well.

Recommended by Rob Kubasko, Creative Director, GradGuard

Our minds are a powerful tool. Reading is the best way to expand our horizons and exercise our brains, ultimately one of our most important muscles. These stories and books serve as a needed reminder that we’re not alone as we learn to face all life has to offer once we leave the nest.

Career Student Life

Starting College Undeclared and Thriving

March 15, 2022

You have high hopes and big dreams when you head off to college, but things don’t always go according to plan. Sometimes when you start college, you may start to change and find that what you thought you wanted is no longer the case. Maybe you don’t even know what you want to do in the first place. Either way, it is alright if you don’t have a major picked out right away, or start college undeclared.

With many majors and specializations offered, choosing which major to pursue your bachelor’s degree can be challenging. It is okay to feel uncertain at first, and many students are open to the chance to explore different fields to discover what interests them most. There are often many negative feelings surrounding being undeclared at the beginning of your college career; however, it can actually be a good thing to not have a major picked right away.

Benefits of Being Undeclared

Enrolling with an undeclared major allows you to explore your options and give you the chance to take a variety of courses on different topics to see what you would like to pursue further. You will need to check your universities requirements or with your academic advisor to see how long you can be undeclared. Most universities will allow you to remain undeclared for up to one year or two semesters.

Starting your college career undeclared can also save you some hassle later on down the road. According to Frank.org, at least 80% of college students change their major during their college career. If you start out undecided and take the time to look through the different options by taking courses and speaking with an academic advisor, you can make a well-informed choice. The later in school you change your major, the more significant the implications could be.

Although taking this route may be helpful to you, it’s important to note that not picking a major may push your expected graduation date back. That could affect any scholarships or other financial aid you might have, so it would be good to talk it over with someone before making any significant changes.

Picking a Major

For an incoming freshman, our best piece of advice is not to stress about picking a major right away. Now that you have taken some time to look over the different options offered at your university, you can begin narrowing your options.

Make a list

We make lists for all sorts of reasons; why would picking a major be any different? Writing things down can help you visually and logically think through them.

When deciding your major, there are many factors that you should think about:

  • What courses are involved?
  • What are the graduation requirements?
  • What job could I get after I graduate?

Now that you have your list of options you’ve explored, which ones would you like to seriously consider?

What Did You Like?

On this list of possible majors, which ones do you like? Do any of them have the chance to help you get a job that you would enjoy? Let yourself be a little more creative to explore all the things you’re passionate about to see if you can visualize yourself in a particular role or field using the major. While some of the classes you take might not lead up to being aligned with your major, they can help you navigate your way to something involving different things you are passionate about.

What Were You Good At?

To narrow down the list, even more, think about all the classes from your major list that you were good at. And if you’re up for it, include the ones you think you weren’t so fond of.

How will this be helpful? When you compare the two, it can help you make an informed, logical choice. It may seem weird, but just because you are good at something doesn’t mean that you would end up enjoying that major or a job in that related field.

For example, if you are good at math and performed well in your first accounting class but did not enjoy the coursework involved, you might not want to consider accounting as a major moving forward.

Talk to a Professional

Although we have mentioned it before, a great way to get a sense of what major you might want to pursue further is speaking with an advisor. They will better understand what the coursework will look like moving forward and can help with any questions or hesitations you have.

You can also try speaking with someone who got a degree in a field you’re considering. It could be a parent, family member, friend, or acquaintance, but getting advice from someone with experience in the field can give you valuable insight into if you would enjoy this major or career path.

You could ask about what it’s like getting into the industry, the work-to-life balance, pay range, and possible career growth. Knowing this information can give you a sense of whether or not careers within this degree path are suitable for you.

Picking a major and a career path can be scary, but know that you are not alone! There are many different options out there to help you make this decision. Although it may feel overwhelming, it is okay to start school not exactly sure where you are headed or change your direction halfway through.

Safety Student Life

Spring Break: A College Student’s Guide to Risks

March 7, 2022

Nationwide, nearly 20 million college students are preparing to take their midterm exams before heading off to enjoy spring break. With dropping Covid-19 case numbers and an overall better outlook on the pandemic, many students are extra eager to escape from hectic college life. 

Before students leave campus, GradGuard, the nation’s leading authority on helping protect college students and their families from the risks of college life, recommends students consider the following tips so they are prepared if something goes wrong. Here are five tips for college students as they embark on long-awaited spring break adventures.  

Protect your health

Be sure you have your health insurance card, and if applicable, your COVID-19 vaccination card, with you and confirm your student health insurance will work while traveling.  

Protect personal belongings

Be sure to consider purchasing GradGuard’s renters insurance, which is specifically designed for college students. It provides coverage for students’ belongings not only while on campus but also while they are traveling worldwide.

Protect your identity

Be prepared with backup identification cards by taking photos of all your personal IDs and payment cards. If your wallet is stolen, you can quickly restore your life and return home easily.

Protect your trip

If you are leaving the United States, travel insurance can be a smart purchase and can include valuable services to help you overcome a financial loss and also help you return home in case something goes wrong on your trip.

Protect your dorm or apartment

Remember you are likely responsible for damages that may occur at your campus residence while you are away.  Be sure to turn off all electronics and appliances before leaving.  But if something happens, GradGuard’s renters insurance can provide coverage for damages that occur while you are away from school.

It’s important to understanding the risks of college life and to consider these tips before spring break. Students and families may be surprised that they will likely lose hundreds, if not thousands of dollars if their semester is disrupted by a theft, unintentional damage to their student housing or a medical condition forces them to withdraw.

GradGuard’s renters insurance enables students and families to easily replace a bike, laptop, cell phone, or other items that are stolen or damaged, not only while the student is on campus, but also while they are traveling to and from school or away on vacation.  In addition, GradGuard’s industry-leading tuition insurance program allows families to get a refund if they are forced to withdraw from school for covered medical conditions including COVID-19.

While students have diverse goals for spring break, students are smart to be prepared and to protect themselves from a financial loss that could disrupt their semester or create greater financial stress. Have a happy and healthy spring break!

Career Student Life

Diversity Encouragement Strengthening STEM Disciplines

March 1, 2022

A STEM career may prove to be a great choice for you. For instance, you can earn a degree in astronomy, biology, or another STEM field. From here, you can gain the skills you need to become a key contributor in a STEM role. In addition, you can help foster diversity among STEM disciplines. 

You can simultaneously build a rewarding STEM career and promote diversity in STEM disciplines. And doing so may have far-flung effects on yourself and many others long into the future. 

Why STEM Studies Are Crucial 

Sparking interest in STEM studies drives diversity among STEM disciplines. To understand why, consider what can happen if you pursue a STEM degree. 

In this instance, you’ll use hands-on and classroom training and exercises to build your skill set in science, technology, engineering, and math. Next, you can use your STEM skills to solve problems and take your creativity to new heights. 

At this point, your STEM skills can make you an attractive candidate for top jobs from STEM companies. They can even help you earn a great salary. 

Let’s not forget about the unique contributions you’ll be able to bring to a STEM company, either. Your contributions may lead others to pursue STEM careers. As a result, you’ll foster diversity in STEM disciplines. 

How Educators Encourage Diversity in STEM Disciplines 

If you’re on the fence about a college major, meeting with educators can provide a great starting point. Teachers have your best interests at heart and can address any doubts you have about choosing a college major.  

Many teachers possess cultural awareness that is vital to the enjoyment and pursuit of learning. These teachers can help you explore career interests you previously might not have considered. And they may help you find a STEM degree program that suits you perfectly. 

Ultimately, earning a degree in a STEM discipline can provide a viable career path. There are many degrees you can pursue in STEM studies. Thus, you can find one that interests you and make a career out of it. You can help make STEM disciplines more diverse than ever before, too. 

How to Build a STEM Career and Promote Diversity

Once you’re ready to earn a degree in a STEM field, you’ll need to find the right degree program. You can look for STEM studies at colleges and universities close to home. Or, you can enroll in an online degree program.

Search for degree programs that align with what you want to accomplish in your career. Oftentimes, it helps to list out your career goals. You can then use your goals to figure out what degree programs can help you build your ideal STEM career. 

Take advantage of any opportunities to gain experience, too. Sign up for workshops on various STEM topics. You can also explore internship and apprenticeship opportunities. 

Remain on the lookout for opportunities to grow your STEM career as well. If you are open to learning about new STEM topics, you can continuously enhance your skillset. Over time, you may establish a cultural awareness that helps you get the most out of learning about STEM topics as well.  

Launch Your STEM Career

Pursue STEM studies in areas that interest you. In doing so, you can build a rewarding STEM career and foster diversity in STEM disciplines. 

Student Life

Best Student Discounts for 2022

February 25, 2022

We all know that college is expensive and this is the first time that many students are responsible for their finances. It can be difficult or even overwhelming to get your money in order, but there are some deals and discounts that make it easier on your wallet!

Some students aren’t aware of the many exclusive discounts that are available to students while enrolled in college. Some subscriptions are made available just by registering using a .edu email address. Not only will students be able to save a few dollars (or maybe more than a few) by registering as a student, but will they receive exclusive benefits most of the time. Being aware of these discounts can be beneficial for college students that are learning to be more financially independent. 

Here are some of the best student discounts available in 2022:

Amazon Prime

As a student, Amazon Prime offers a free six-month subscription. After that free six-month trial is over, it costs only $6.49 per month for as long as you are a student. With this subscription, you’ll receive a catalog of their TV shows and movies, free unlimited photo storage with Prime Photo, and the usual perks of two-day shipping. This discount extends beyond Amazon as well, like offering exclusive deals to GrubHub, the Calm App, discounts on flights from StudentUniverse, and help from Course Hero. As if that isn’t enough for the perks of Amazon Prime, there are add-ons to this plan, including access to premium video channels Like Showtime, Epix, Sundance Now, and more for just $0.99 a month each for up to 12 months. What a deal!

Spotify Premium

As for Spotify, students are able to buy access to both TV and music streaming options. For as low as $4.99 a month, students have access to ad-free listening to Spotify Premium, Hulu, and Showtime all in one. That’s half the price of regular memberships and without the extra perks of Hulu and Showtime. For the first month of access, all listening and watching is completely free! It should be noted that this plan has to be renewed annually and you can only use it for up to four years.

YouTube Premium 

Students have access to watch ad-free videos on the go with YouTube Premium. The option to download and watch offline viewing is only $6.99 a month. You’ll have complete access to Youtube music if your other streaming platforms are not cutting it for you. You have the option to try out Youtube Premium for a one-month free trial.

Apple Music and Apple TV+

When students sign up for Apple Music, they also get access to AppleTV+, all for only $4.99 a month! This subscription will not only allow students access to over fifty million songs but will also allow students to watch original movie pictures. This discounted rate is available for up to 4 years. 

Audible

Students have the option to purchase audiobooks, for either school or for entertainment through a discounted rate using Audible. New members are able to join for as low as $9.95 a month. Students are able to save over 30% and receive a $10 Amazon.com credit.

Notion

Are you having trouble organizing all your notes for all your different classes, projects, and assignments? Organize your personal tasks and notes with Notion’s free Personal Pro plan. Unlimited pages & blocks, file uploads, and version history. Just sign up with a school email address. The best part is there is no credit card required to sign up!

UNiDAYS

UNiDAYS is a discount website founded in 2011 that is available for free to students worldwide. Current students in higher education can sign up with UNiDAYS to get discounted deals on products and services.

Skillshare

College can be a really busy time and can be hard to find a way to decompress or learn a new skill. Skillshare is an online learning community of educational videos for a variety of different topics. Normally, Skillshare offers free one-month trials of their premium service. After that, it’s $15/month ($8.25/month if you pay annually).

Adobe Creative Cloud

Students can get the full suite of Adobe products such as Illustrator, Photoshop, and After Effects for just $19.99/month. That’s a 60% savings over the usual price of $52.99/month!

If you just want access to Photoshop, you can get the Photography Plan for just $9.99/month (whether or not you’re a student). This gives you access to Photoshop and Lightroom, plus 20GB of cloud storage.

Office 365

Although you might already get access to the Microsoft Office Suite for free through your college, if your school doesn’t offer it for some reason, you can still get free access to Office 365 Education if you’re a student. This includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and Microsoft Teams. Just like most of the offers above, all you need is a valid student (.edu) email address to sign up!

Merchandise and Food Discounts

When you’re a student, often times local businesses in your town or city will offer a discount, anywhere from 10 to even 25% off. Many restaurants and store chains offer a deal for students such as Chipotle and Chick-Fil-A and even movies theaters. The twist to getting these discounts compared to most of the digital resources, is you need to do is show them your student ID.

College can be stressful for many different resources, but subscriptions and tools shouldn’t be on that list. We hope that this helps you save some money while you are in school and make some of your resources more affordable!

Other

Valentine’s Day: College Relationships

February 14, 2022

Happy Valentine’s Day! What will you be doing this year to celebrate? Maybe you’ve got a great date planned, a girls’ night, an intramural game, or a night of lots of studying for midterms. Whatever your plans are, there’s no wrong way to celebrate! Valentine’s Day is undeniably the most popular date night of the year, and whether you are single, in a relationship, or somewhere in-between, you’ll probably be thinking a bit about love today.

Although love is sweet, college can be an awkward time for relationships. We are still figuring out who we are, who we want to be, what we want to do, and where we want to go. There are many changes throughout college, even just from one semester to another. A hectic class schedule, raucous party scene, semesters abroad, and summers spent at home can put stress on stress college relationships. However, the inclusive community on campus, being surrounded by people who share your interests in your classes and clubs, and the freedom of independent living are all significant factors that help create lasting and fulfilling relationships.

Whether you are single or currently in a relationship, here are some facts and resources about college relationships:

Long Distance

When you left for college, you probably brought your favorite pillow and some new clothes, but had to leave your high school sweetheart behind. If your partner stayed at home or went to a different school, you’re not alone.

  • 75% of college students have a long-distance relationship at one point during their college career. Long-distance relationships are generally no worse off than relationships with nearby partners.
  • 37% of long-distance couples split up in the first 3 months compared to 21% of traditional relationships.
  • Although, if a long-distance couple lasts the first year, only 8% break up after the first year compared to 25% of conventional relationships.

If you can handle the separation, long-distance relationships can have some benefits, such as viewing each other more positively and being happier with the communication in the relationship. It may take a little bit of extra effort to maintain this relationship with your partner, but can easily be done these days through texting, FaceTime, and Zoom.

New Relationships

College is an exciting place to be for all sorts of reasons, and meeting new people is one of them. There are endless opportunities to expand your group and form new relationships, both personal and romantic. While many students are not looking for a serious relationship in school, there is actually a 28% chance of finding true love on campus, data shows. The most successful romantic relationships are formed with a strong foundation and excellent communication.

Dealing with Break Ups

Break-ups are common in the first year of college for many different reasons. Maybe your relationship from home fizzled out, or a new college relationship just didn’t end well. No matter the circumstances, break-ups can bring up negative emotions and cause you to feel less sure of who you are. But it may not be as bad as you think.

  • In fact, over 41% of college students view their break-ups as a positive experience or that a partner was holding them back.
  • According to a study, break-ups are most likely to happen on spring break, April Fool’s Day, summer break, two weeks before Christmas, Christmas Day, and, shockingly, Valentine’s Day.
  • To help you deal with a break-up, try writing down the positive aspects of the relationship and break-up experience. You can also rely on support from friends to avoid getting back together with a former partner who wasn’t allowing you to grow as a person.

If you feel a little lost after the end of a relationship, spend some time alone and focus on yourself rather than jumping right back into a relationship. Having a clear sense of who you are will lead to better relationships down the road.

Unhealthy Relationships

Dating violence is growing more prevalent and occurs in approximately 1 out of 3 college relationships. However, people in abusive relationships typically believe that the abuse in their relationship is normal and happens in most relationships. This is not the case. There are signs that you can try to steer clear of in a partner that may turn into abuse, such as:

  • High levels of dependency
  • Control issues
  • Alcohol abuse

32% of college students report dating violence by a previous partner, and 21% report violence by a current partner. If you or a friend experiences relationship abuse, seek help from resources on campus or a counseling center. The JED Foundation also offers resources on how to identify and report abuse. Remember, abuse is never your fault.

If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, call National Domestic Violence Hotline 800-799-SAFE (7233).

Bottom Line

Every relationship is much more than a statistic, and there are exceptions to every rule. If you’re spending this Valentine’s Day alone, you can still enjoy it! College is a great place to meet someone and is a fun and exciting place to be. If you are dealing with a break-up or post-break-up, remember life goes on, and part of life is learning from experiences, good or bad. As Carrie Bradshaw says, “After all, computers crash, people die, relationships fall apart. The best we can do is breathe and reboot.”

There are many resources on campus to go if the stress of love is taking its toll. Most schools offer counseling or support groups that are available should you need them; just reach out to your school’s student health center to learn more.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Adulting Student Life Transition

Addressing Finances as a Student

February 4, 2022

College is one of the best times of your life: you’re always meeting new people, are regularly exposed to new and revolutionary ideas, and will make memories that last a lifetime. 

However, college can also be challenging. As a student, you’re always juggling responsibilities and are constantly aware of the costs like school fees, books, food, and accommodation. 

These responsibilities can lead many to put their head in the sand during their college years and ignore their finances. But this approach is unlikely to alleviate any financial anxiety you might feel, and will only inflate your debts when you graduate. 

Instead, you should take a forward-thinking approach to budgets, expenses, and income — here are a few tips to help you along the way.  

Budget

You cannot address your finances properly without a clear budget. 

You can create a realistic budget by adding up all of your income and expenses. This can be tricky, as most students who are also working are on hourly contracts which might fluctuate around seasonal shifts and finals. You can either account for these fluctuations ahead of time, or should set a “minimum income” amount so you’re never caught out. 

Next, you should divide your expenses up into essential and non-essential expenses. Essential expenses should cover any non-negotiable fees like rent or food, and non-essential expenses should include cash for good times (we’ll get to that later!). 

Once you have a clear picture of how much you expect to earn and spend every month, you should start to think about how you can make your money work for you through investments and interest on savings — but only after you’ve established a healthy emergency fund. 

Emergency Fund

An emergency fund protects you from unexpected fees like medical bills or car maintenance fees. This might sound boring, but it’s essential if you wish to have financial security and peace of mind. 

Determining the size of your emergency fund depends on your current context. However, in general, you should budget to cover at least three months’ worth of expenses in case you lose your job or are hit with an unexpected bill. 

Transport

Cars are money pits. You can easily spend hundreds, if not thousands on simple repairs, and cars require consistent tax and insurance payments. As a student, you should seriously consider ditching a car until you have a reliable source of full-time income that can support your vehicle without putting an extra strain on your budget. 

It’s hard to know if life without a car is right for you, and you should consider factors like your proximity to campus and access to public transport before you list your vehicle on craigslist. However, there are serious health benefits to going without a car, as you’ll likely cycle or walk far more than you ever did before. 

Good Times

A budget isn’t a spreadsheet that exists to make you feel guilty. A good budget should allow for a little flexibility around travel, food, shopping, and socialization. As such, it’s a good idea to set an affordable amount aside to pursue good times and memorable experiences. 

As a student with fewer commitments, you should seriously consider spending the money you budget for good times on summer travel plans. Summer vacation will help you see the light at the end of the spring semester tunnel, and will give you a chance to make meaningful connections with the people you’ve met while studying. 

Conclusion

You can’t achieve financial independence overnight — but that shouldn’t put you off from making proactive financial choices that are based on a clear budget and some forward-thinking. That might mean you need to ditch the car for a few years, but it will also give you the flexibility to spend a little extra on summer vacations or road trips with your new friends. 

Health Student Life

The Mental Health Benefits of Exercise

February 2, 2022
Working out in college

Exercise is about so much more than just physical strength. While it’s primarily your body that benefits from regular exercise, your mind is greatly uplifted by frequent movement, too.

You can think of exercise as a way to kill two birds with only one stone—physical strength and mental strength. College students are almost always in need of a boost to keep them going throughout their studies, which is why exercise is so important.

Exams, all-nighters, night shifts, and extracurricular activities all require a significant amount of mental and physical energy.

If you’re feeling bogged down and foggy-headed with a mountain of work to overcome, consider hitting the gym or park. It’ll give you a performance boost that stretches through the classroom and into all areas of life.

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