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college student

Health Other

How More Music, Theater, and Dance Boosts Students’ Writing Scores: Top Secret Tricks

April 17, 2020

Writing assignments are an inevitable part of education, but they prove to be too stressful for many students. Multiple factors influence the writing scores including stress levels, understanding of the subject, creativity, the level of critical thinking, among other things. If you are looking to improve writing scores then music, theater, and dance could help you out. How? Let’s see.

Visible results

Students measure their results and success by things they see and although this seems obvious, writing doesn’t provide that. How? Writing assignments involve developing an argument or composing a paper on a given subject. Then, the student submits the paper to the teacher and waits for the results. For students who struggle with writing it can be difficult to assess their success and the level of progression until they get the score. Dancing, singing, and performing arts are different. The student can immediately see how well she or he is doing. How does this translate to writing you wonder? Well, doing well in performing arts gives confidence boost they need to express their thoughts, opinions, and emotions in the paper and develop or improve writing skills. 

Self-evaluation 

Performance of any kind calls for a great deal of self-evaluation. Whether it’s music, dance, theater, or something else the student will always assess the strengths and weaknesses looking for something to improve. The habit of self-evaluation can also serve in the improvement of writing scores. It teaches a student to take a look at the paper from a different angle and identify parts where improvement is necessary. Habits developed with performing arts can easily apply to the writing skills and their development and better scores ensue. 

Stress relief through conquered challenges

One of the biggest advantages of theater, dance, and music is their ability to manage stress and anxiety. Academic life is stressful and, as you already know, stress harms overall performance. When engaging in performing arts students learn how to manage and relieve stress levels which can help them feel calmer when writing and composing their assignments.

Enhanced cognitive abilities

Performing arts such as music lessons, dancing, theater, and others can boost cognitive skills in students. For example, studies show that music lessons can enhance language-based reasoning, short-term memory, planning, and inhibition in students. Stronger cognitive function improves how students express themselves, sharpens critical thinking, and makes them overall more creative. All these factors are necessary for great writing scores. 

Conquering fear

Students tend to worry a lot about their teacher’s reaction to the paper. They are scared to express themselves out of fear it might lead to negative remarks. However, writing scores don’t work that way. Engaging in dancing, music, or joining drama group helps students conquer the fear and focus on themselves and their performance only. You learn how to be the best you can be without constantly thinking about someone else’s reactions. The freedom you experience when performing arts can help you conquer fears in writing assignments as well. 

Better writing scores is what most students want, but aren’t sure how to achieve it. The answer is simple; join a drama group, sing, play an instrument, and perform arts in some other way. Confidence boost, stress management, enhanced cognitive functions are some of many reasons why performing arts can help improve writing skills and contribute to better scores. They teach us how to feel free to express ourselves and evaluate the performance to keep doing better and better each time.

BIO: Kathrin Garner is an enthusiastic journalist and writes articles on social issues. As an activist, she takes part in the FV KASA program, which is a discussion platform on relevant cannabis topics. She searches for current issues and writes about it to a wide range of readers.

Other Student Life

Where to Store Your Stuff

March 27, 2020

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

Start Winnowing Possessions

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

Consider the Next Semester

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

Taking It Home

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

Packing Up

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

Using a Storage Facility

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

Shop Around

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

Student Deals

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

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

Career Other

The World is My Classroom: Strategies for Online Learning Success

February 11, 2020

Learning never ends. It may be an old saying, but it’s one that’s taking on new resonance in today’s technological age. We now have more information at our fingertips than ever before in human history. Whether you are 20, 40, 60, or older, if you want to keep up and remain professionally relevant and cognitively sharp, you have to continually refine your existing skills and work to develop new ones.

That may sound intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. The great news is that today’s technology makes it easier than ever to advance your education or pursue new professional certifications no matter where you are or how busy you may be. There are online courses and academic programs, for example, at most every level, from basic skills to Ph.D. and Ed.D.

However, before you decide to enroll in an online course, it’s important to remember that e-learning is every bit as rigorous as a traditional, on-campus study. In fact, the time commitment may be even greater because you don’t have the benefit of attending a physical class to prove your participation. If you’re self-motivated and ready to commit, though, online courses can be the ideal solution, especially for busy working adults with families. However, to thrive in online courses, you need a bit of strategy.

Make It Work

If you’re considering taking online courses, there are a few study habits you need to embrace to get the most out of your learning experience and save yourself a lot of stress. Here are some highlights:

  • Get your tech in order: There is nothing worse than enrolling in an online course, only to find you don’t have the kind of equipment you need to use all functions of the online course effectively. While many online learning management systems (LMS) will enable you to access all course features from a cell phone or tablet, that’s not always the case, so make sure that your tech is compatible with your online course.
  • Check your access: You can’t very well be successful in an online course if you don’t have reliable internet access, so make sure you always have a Plan B, such as access to a local Wi-Fi hot spot should your internet go out. Many libraries, coffee shops, and fast-food restaurants provide free Wi-Fi but are careful about the security of the network. Have a reliable and efficient way to send and receive documents and other files without losing the formatting you need. Various kinds of PDF converters are available online to make sharing well-formatted documents a breeze.
  • Study every day: When you are taking an online course, it can be easy to put off until tomorrow what you need to be doing today. After all, you don’t have regular class meetings and your teacher’s appraising stare to keep you on schedule. In an online course, though, the work can mount up very, very quickly. To manage an online class without becoming overwhelmed, it’s better to study a bit every day than to try to cram it all in a once or twice week panicked study session.
  • Do NOT isolate: One of the most dispiriting and detrimental things an online student can do is isolate. It can be easy to feel lonely when you are taking online courses but remember you are NOT alone. There is an entire classroom full of students on the other side of the computer screen, not to mention your professor and advisors. Reach out to them early and often. That is why they’re there!

Learning should always be constant and consistent. So whether you are wanting to get a new degree, or simply trying to learn a new language through an online course; as long as you follow these tips from GradGuard, you will definitely be set up for success.

Other Transition

5 Tips For Succeeding In College As A Veteran

February 10, 2020

Current and newly transitioning service members who assume control of their college careers may initially find it a challenge. When you’re accustomed to following a regimented schedule, it can be tough managing study sessions, test preparation, assignments and interaction with new peers. Yet, the discipline and training that you’ve honed during your service — such as time management, attentiveness, and organization — can give you an edge in succeeding as a student.

As a veteran, you’re also empowered in a unique way. You have a singular worldview as a result of your experience and access to benefits that other students aren’t eligible for, such as the GI Bill. If you’re ready to pursue your degree, here are five tips for succeeding in college as a veteran.

1. Develop a Plan

Planning is key when preparing for military operations, and taking the next steps in your education is no different. Prospective students should contact their schools of choice for academic advising. An advisor can help answer questions about a particular area of study or degree plan. This ensures that you take the proper subjects in order to earn your degree. To be a successful student, consult with your professors and advisors about your course options before registering for classes.

2. Connect With a Veteran’s Administrator About Your Benefits

If you’ve been on active duty for at least two years, you’re entitled to certain benefits through the GI Bill. The bill provides students with a direct monthly payment they can use to cover fees, tuition, books, and other costs. Be sure to find the veteran’s office on campus, where you can connect with an administrator to discuss your unique situation. A veteran’s administrator can guide you through the process of claiming your benefits and the various documents you need to complete.

3. Create a Network

College is the ideal place to begin building a network of peers and future professionals. These connections, made both in and out of the classroom, can help you with your career trajectory. Networking is also a great way to find mentors who can provide valuable advice for your goals and point you in the right academic direction. A mentor could also help reduce culture shock, open the door to new opportunities and introduce you to new people.

4. Utilize Military-Specific Student Groups

Connecting with a military community on campus can help new veterans relate to the challenges of transitioning into college and civilian life. Many institutions of higher learning offer veteran-specific orientations, classes and organizations, which can serve as a support system and source of comfort. Bonding with peers from similar backgrounds can also make a veteran student’s academic career more rewarding.

5. Get Involved

While a strong support network is important, don’t let your military group be the only individuals you interact with on campus. Daily contact with new people from various backgrounds can help enrich your experience. Getting involved in organizations such as sports leagues, honor societies, fraternities or sororities and civic or cultural groups is a great way to meet new people, discover your passions and unwind from the stresses of school.

College doesn’t have to be an unfamiliar, foreign ordeal after your time in the military. Today’s universities offer veterans convenient ways to gain the education they desire. By taking the right steps and utilizing the resources available, a veteran can successfully transition into life as a student.

Bio: Jeremy Silverstein is Vice President of Operations and Vehicle Dispatching at Veteran Car Donations. During the years he’s been with the organization, he has become quite an expert in the industry and has handled tens of thousands of donated vehicles.

Health Other

How to Keep from Being Overwhelmed Your First Semester

December 6, 2019

College is an exciting time, and it can really open your eyes to a variety of new experiences and ideas. It’s a time to really figure out who you are and what you want to do with the rest of your life. 

But when you first arrive, it can feel a little overwhelming. That initial jump from high school to college can be so jarring. About 30% of college freshmen drop out after their first year. While a variety of reasons contribute to this dropout, it’s safe to assume that many students withdraw because college isn’t what they were expecting or they felt overwhelmed by the pressures, schedules, and responsibilities. 

So what can you do to avoid feeling so overwhelmed during your first year of college? Finding ways to manage your stress can make the experience easier for you. Let’s look at a few ways you can enjoy your college experience as soon as it starts, rather than letting it completely overwhelm you. 

Plan Ahead to Avoid Surprises

If you’ve never been much of a planner, college is the perfect time to start. You’re likely going to have a busier schedule than ever before, and it’s your responsibility to stay on top of it. Organizing your schedule and writing it down is a great way to avoid unnecessary stress and to make sure you’re never “surprised” by anything that comes of. 

Of course, it’s also important to plan ahead when it comes to taking time for yourself. Schedule in some time with friends, plan a trip to go home to your family or go one step further by planning ahead for a great Spring Break trip to de-stress. Heading to the tropical beaches of Punta Cana or skiing the slopes in Aspen can be a great way to unwind with your new college buddies. 

Simply put, staying organized and efficient will make it harder for things to “sneak” up on you. You’ll feel less overwhelmed when you know what’s coming. 

Blow Off Some Steam With Sports

If you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed, one of the best ways to blow off some steam is to stay active. Many colleges across the country have on-campus gyms or athletic facilities where you can work out almost any time of the day. Exercise is a natural mood-booster and can help to combat stress. 

In addition to exercising on your own, you can choose to join an intramural sports team on campus. These teams are usually a lot of fun and can get you involved in unique activities like flag football, volleyball, or even ping pong! 

A survey of 850 students found that those who participated in sports had better overall mental health than those who did not. Making your mental health a priority in college can mean the difference between whether or not you stick with it. You don’t have to be a star athlete to have fun and get active. 

Form Healthy Relationships

One of the best ways to make college easier on yourself is to form solid relationships. The friendships you develop in college will be the ones that last a lifetime! Whether you find common ground by playing sports, joining clubs, or becoming best friends with your roommate, don’t be afraid to put yourself out there to find people you can connect with. 

Finding your “community” in college will make you feel like you’re a part of something bigger. You’ll also have a built-in support system, so when things do start to feel overwhelming, you can turn to that support for help. 

It’s true that the initial shock of the college experience can feel a little bit overwhelming. But, by staying organized, getting involved in things, and finding people to connect with, you can live out that experience to the fullest and enjoy the next few years of your collegiate career. 

Career Other

3 Ways to Stay Curious and Inspired at College

November 14, 2019

Let’s face it—college is a grind. You’re going to class for hours each day, homework assignments are multiplying, and you might even have a job on top of that. There’s no doubt that you’re exhausted, and you may start to feel a little uninspired and unmotivated. But you don’t always have to feel that way—here are a few ways to spark curiosity and inspiration while you’re at college.

Learn about what interests you outside of class

You’ve been in class all day, you’ve done your homework, and the last thing on your mind is learning about something else. But you don’t need to learn about anything directly related to your classes. You can learn about the things that interest you and may provide inspiration.

Plenty of educational resources are available, like online magazines, podcasts, YouTube videos, and streaming services that offer exciting articles, documentaries, and factual stories. According to a survey by MagellanTV, 57% of millennials felt inspired by a documentary they watched. You, too, can feel motivated by learning about something you love.

Make time for Hobbies

It makes sense to push your hobbies to the side and do them when you have “free time.” But that free time is scarce in college, and you may find that you don’t do any of your hobbies at all. If you don’t prioritize your hobbies, you may become increasingly frustrated that you aren’t able to spend time on them, or you may lose interest in them over time. Furthermore, a Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology study found that those who participate in creative activities have higher overall performance in work.

You must make time for your hobbies and the things that excite you. Even if you only set aside an hour or two each week, this can help you de-stress, stay motivated, and perform better in classes. Hobbies help you foster creativity and curiosity, whether you realize it or not.

Take a Break

Like hobbies, it’s easy to say you’ll take a break later—once you’ve finished your homework, taken a test, or the semester is over. But we all know how that ends in college. There’s always something else you can work on, like another test, another homework assignment, or another semester. If you don’t take a break, you may get burned out and lose motivation.

Get away from the campus or your apartment. Schedule a weekend away, take a day trip, or just spend a couple of hours doing something fun. Breaks can even lead to increased productivity, so you’ll be doing yourself a big favor. Take a one-night camping trip, explore a nearby city, or take a drive along a coastline or into the mountains and enjoy nature. Just get out there where you can be inspired by new experiences.

You’re responsible for keeping yourself motivated, curious, and inspired in college, so take charge! Try one or all of the things mentioned above to renew your excitement while you’re in college. Although college is always a grind, you’ll find that you can still be inspired to enjoy life while successful in school.