Browsing Tag

dorm life

Health Uncategorized

5 at Home (or in the Dorms) Cold Remedies

November 20, 2018

Living in a dorm where everyone is right in close proximity can open you up to a lot of things. Unfortunately, one of those things happens to be colds. And while there is not yet a cure for the common cold, there are simple things you can do at home to get you feeling better and back on your feet in time for finals week.

1. If you have a sore throat, strange as it sounds, it’s a good idea to gargle warm salt water. Adding a 1/4 tablespoon of salt to 8 ounces of warm water, and gargling it in the back of your throat can help relieve the pain. The salt helps wash away the nasty things in your throat that cause inflammation and swelling, thus cutting down on the pain in your throat.

2. A cup of tea with honey, while not actually possessing any medicinal qualities, can be a huge relief when you’re all stuffed up and sniffly. Hot tea loosens up your nasal passages and allows air to flow through them again, much in the same way as a nice bowl of chicken noodle soup.

3. Vitamin C is a big one for the prevention and treatment of colds, or really any minor illness. Found in things like citrus fruits, and many fruit juices, it helps cut down on inflammation and mucous and speeds up the production of white blood cells, which in turn speeds up healing. You can also take Vitamin C in pill form as a supplement – Airborne was our savior my freshman year – but many foods, including strawberries, peaches, and broccoli, have a surprisingly high supply.

4. Of course, the classic Vick’s VapoRub always helps clear a stuffy nose and congestion. Applying it liberally to your chest or feet before bedtime can work wonders, and at the very least, ensure you’ll get a good night’s sleep, and not stay up half the night blowing your nose or unable to breathe. If you don’t like the messiness of the rub on stuff, they now have patches you can place on your clothing that have about the same effect.

5. And of course, the most obvious one of all: sleep. In order to fight the infection in your body, lots of sleep is a necessity. Shut your door and close the curtains, and you’ll be asleep in no time. Chances are, your roommates will leave you alone for fear of getting infected themselves so you can nap for hours in peace.

College students are susceptible to illnesses, as well as other mishaps, so it’s important to take the proper precautions. Visit GradGuard for more information!

Student Life Uncategorized

What to Ask Your Renters Insurance Agent

November 15, 2018

Being an adult can mean so many different things; first, you have to do your own laundry, second make your own coffee, and third purchase your own renters insurance policy. This can honestly be super daunting to those who still have issues making their own dentist appointments, but we’ve made a simple list of things that you should be sure to ask your renters insurance agent when the time comes!

How do I know what my coverage limits should be?

Most renters insurance policies come with both personal property coverage and personal liability coverage. Personal property coverage is the limit that protects your personal items that are inside of your residence, and personal liability coverage is what protects the actual structure itself. Be sure to talk to your university or rental property to see if they require any specific limits while you are living there.

How much is the policy?

See if your renters insurance agency is charging you monthly, annually, semi-annually, or another billing option. Talk through it with them to see if there is a benefit to one billing option as opposed to another.

How long does the policy last?

This depends on the company that you are purchasing through and what you opted to pay for the policy. If you paid annually, then the policy likely lasts for a full 12 months from the date that you chose your coverage to begin. If you are only needing the insurance for a certain amount of time, be sure to ask your agent about their cancelation process and what is required to terminate the coverage.

What does this policy cover?

This is SUPER important to ask and have an understanding of. For example, if you want to have renters insurance in case someone breaks in and ransacks your apartment, just be sure that theft and burglary is a covered peril under the policy you are wanting.

How does the claims process work?

This is a general question with an important answer. Most people have no idea how to make an insurance claim if needed and it should be one of the top questions to ask your renters insurance agent. The claims process can be different for each agency, so just to be sure you clarify it if needed.

When it comes to purchasing renters insurance, questions are important to ask! We want you to ask questions and have a full understanding of what you are getting. It is so important to know that we are here to help you. Much like a doctor, you should be asking your renters insurance agent as many questions as possible and do not feel like any question you have is too small or too silly. GradGuard has your back and encourages you to ask whatever questions you think are necessary. We are there when you need us and will help you with all of your adulting needs.

Transition Uncategorized

Things That Cost More Than Renters Insurance

October 4, 2018

Chances are you’re bringing quite a few things along to college with you this year. Some of those things, such as your bike, laptop, and X-Box are big-ticket, expensive items that you need to make it through the semester as a sane human being. So, what would happen if those items were stolen or damaged? You’d be out a lot of cash just trying to replace them.

On a college student budget, replacing a laptop could be disastrous. In addition to being diligent about your stuff, students should also consider protecting their stuff with GradGuard Renter’s Insurance!

Renters insurance provides valuable financial protection for your stuff and personal liability. According to the Insurance Information Institute, the average annual cost of a renters insurance policy is $184; that is less than $16 per month! That doesn’t seem out of reach even on a student budget. Actually, $16 per month is just 53 cents a day!

There are some things you spend more on in college like…

  • Coffee (just a plain black drip coffee costs more if you are getting one every day)
  • Going to the movies with your friends. Even if you just see 1-2 movies a month it will cost more than renters insurance.
  • Newspaper
  • Dorm laundry facility
  • Bus or subway rides
  • Your cell phone
  • A pack of gum/mints
  • A bottle of water
  • Late night pizza
  • Late night Jimmy John’s
  • Making copies at the library (they can get expensive!)
  • Gas for your car (if you are commuting or want to go home every weekend)

Some of these things might not apply to you, but when you think of the things that can happen in college where something of yours might need to be replaced due to covered damage or theft, having renters insurance is definitely worth the price! Make the smart buy and get protection with the only renters insurance that contains an exclusive college student endorsement – with unique features and coverage designed for college life- from GradGuard.

Safety Uncategorized

10 Crucial Campus Safety Tips

September 24, 2018

The yearly return to college each fall is an exciting and significant time for students, but it isn’t entirely without risks. This year, as classes beckon you back to campus, consider what you can do to ensure your own safety as well as that of others. September is National Campus Safety Awareness Month! Here’s a quick list to help you promote safety throughout your time at school.

Walk With Purpose

It’s no secret that anyone who appears to be new in town or otherwise unsure of themselves makes an easy target. Don’t be one of those people! Wherever you go, whether on campus or around town, be sure to walk with confidence and a purpose. Be aware of your surroundings at all times, and don’t be afraid to excuse yourself from any situation that makes you feel uncomfortable. Go with your gut: when it comes to your personal safety, you are your own greatest ally.


Be the Leader of the Pack

It’s an immutable law of nature: there’s safety in numbers. Traveling with friends is one of the best ways to keep yourself protected, particularly if you’re a young woman who may be at greater risk. This is of critical importance when attending social events or traveling in unlit areas. Whether on or off campus, attend events as part of a group and make a pact to look out for one another. Most importantly, never leave someone alone in a vulnerable or uncomfortable situation. If necessary, leave as a group and make other plans instead.

Be Social Media Savvy

Today our digital personas are just as real as our offline lives, and what happens on the Internet doesn’t necessarily stay there. So in the interest of safety, it’s best to keep the personal details to a minimum. First and foremost, be sure to disable location services so that no one can track your whereabouts as you post. Next, think twice before making any posts that include “sensitive” information. Over 80 percent of Internet-initiated crimes – crimes in which the criminal first identifies or tracks a target online – begin through social media, making your profiles excellent resources for any would-be criminals to find your location, daily routines and nearly anything else they might want to know.

“I’ll Be Back”

Whenever you venture out and about, make sure that someone knows where you’re going and when you expect to be back. It only takes a few moments to text friends or family members and inform them of your plans, and if something should ever go wrong, you’ll be glad that you did. If you don’t show up when and where you’re expected, having someone who can check in on you can make all the difference.

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Transition Uncategorized

Packing the Car For College

September 11, 2018

Whether you are driving to a local school or making a cross-country trek, you will need to be prepared for your journey.

The excitement of finally packing up your favorite belongings and new coordinated bedding, shower caddy, etc. for the trip to school comes with the stress of not wanting to forget anything.

If you’re driving, here are a few tips to add to your checklist:

  • Make sure you have your navigation necessities covered. Depending on the length of the drive, map out some interesting places to stop and sightsee to break it up and enjoy the last of your vacation. Don’t be afraid to try some hole in the wall restaurants instead of chowing down on fast food for every meal. Use apps like Waze to your advantage to avoid lengthy traffic jams and maybe even try the scenic route if you have the chance. National and State Parks/Monuments always make for a nice stop to stretch your legs on a trail or learn about your new region at the visitor center.
  • Be sure to book hotel rooms prior to the trip. You don’t want to have to drive an extra 50 miles to get to the next hotel with vacancy.
  • Double check that you packed that aux cord if you do not have Bluetooth. Music, podcasts, and audiobooks help to pass the time. Remember to have those car chargers handy and playlists loaded.
  • It’s recommended to have your car checked before you leave. Get some roadside service (AAA). Even if your trip is short, it’s good to have essential items handy (jumper cables, flashlight, first aid kit, and snacks). You might just make a friend on move-in day who needs some help!
  • Don’t pack too much, you need to be able to see out the back. You definitely want to make sure you and your stuff arrive safely. Utilize all of the small compartments in the car. Trunks of newer cars have small secret cubbies for extra small items like those awkward closet hangers. If needed, add a roof rack instead of overstuffing and vacuum bags can be extremely useful if the car is small. Put the heavier boxes and items on the ground in the middle of the car to reduce unsafe sagging in the back, but beware not to weigh your car down TOO much; you don’t want your car handling or fuel economy to suffer.
  • Also, touch base with roommates before packing large items or planning a shopping trip. You probably don’t need two microwaves or area rugs. You don’t have to make all of your dorm room decoration purchases before you drive. You can always buy more stuff later, so if anything, make sure you aren’t over-packing when it comes to dorm decor. A friendly reminder that you have to clean it all out at the end of the year.
  • Take some time to think about what you will realistically use in the first few months, you can always buy more underwear or have your parents/guardians send you supplies. Evaluate items like bulky sweaters. Can you wait until you go home for winter break to bring them back to school with you?
  • Make sure your personal belongings are covered with your GradGuard College Renters Insurance plan. 


Adulting Uncategorized

The 5 Dorm Items You Absolutely Need.

August 3, 2018

This is it. This is the day you move out. Your mom might not be ready to be an empty-nester, and let’s face facts, you might have never done your own laundry before. Maybe you’ve never moved before either. You’ve lived in the same house, in the same town, and went to the same barber all your life. Well, finding a new barber is likely going to be the least of your worries when starting this new chapter. Moving to college for the first time can be a bit scary, but we have 5 things you absolutely need to survive in the dorms this year (Results may vary).

Laundry Hamper: This is a MUST. Sorry to say but having clothes strewn about your room is not a “fun quirk.” Also, have you ever tried to carry an armload of clothes to and from the laundry room without dropping more socks than you knew you had? Pro Tip: The mesh folding hampers made a great space saver and are easy to deal with.

Bedding: Chances are, your dorm room employs an extra long twin and unless you have an older sibling who went to college, you do not have those sheets with the extra length. Be sure to get a few sets and alternate them. Pro Tip: In a pinch, use queen, and just let the slack hang down.

Storage Containers: Whether your taste is a trunk, totes, or folding cardboard boxes, you will need to store all your misc. items that you couldn’t bear to part with but have no actual use. They are also good for storing extra clothes or books. Pro Tip: Plastic 3 drawer containers are also great for storing books, documents, and ramen.

Headphones: This one is very important. PSA: Your roommate may or may not want to listen to what you are listening to 24/7. The headphones are also great when you roommate is talking to their mom for the third time that week about every minor tragedy that’s happened. As much as you love hearing about how the dressing on their kale salad was too sweet, sometimes you need a break. Also great when it is 2am and your roommate is asleep, but you NEED to watch that next episode on Netflix. Pro Tip: Noise-canceling headphones are recommended for maximum success.

Cleaning Supplies: You would be shocked at how many people are totally fine living in filth. A few crumbs on the carpet is acceptable. A little iron and lime buildup around your sink and shower are ok. But when your toilet starts to darken in tint and develops a ring around the toilet bowl, it’s time to clean up. You also need to clean your floor occasionally, and, sadly, the trash fairy is never coming; take it out instead of stacking everything to create the next great modern art piece. It won’t be so bad if you stay on top of it. Pro Tip: All-purpose cleaner will solve the majority of your cleaning problems, make sure you have a bottle (or three).

We hope this list makes packing for school a little easier! Along with these essential dorm room items, be sure that you have the essential renters insurance! GradGuard protects your items in and out of the dorm room. With the new year approaching be sure you are prepared and cover all of your bases. Let us know your dorm necessities in the comments below.

Safety Uncategorized

Growth In Campus Fires & Crimes Confirm The Value Of Renters Insurance For College Students

July 25, 2018

According to Clery Act reports, in 2017-2018, the number of fires that occurred in on-campus student housing facilities was down 12.3% from 1,938 to 1,726 fires. In addition to fires, the number of reported criminal offenses decreased by around 1% from 38,000 to 37,573. The data for criminal offenses is based on reports from nearly 6,000 institutions and the data for fires is based on reports from 686 institutions and 701 campuses.

According to Bob Soza, President of College Parents of America, “We recommend families consider renters insurance because college students and their parents are often caught unprepared, and these unexpected incidents can also disrupt a students’ education.”

In fact, a majority of state insurance commissioners recommend college students consider renters insurance.

With so much money at stake, John Fees, co-founder of GradGuard, suggests that “college parents make a plan in case their student is a victim of theft, their property is damaged by a fire or water damage or if they are found responsible for damages they may cause.”

The Top 3 Reasons Renters Insurance is a Smart Decision for College Students:

1. If you can’t afford to replace your backpack, bicycle or computerRenters insurance can replace your stolen or damaged property. Renters insurance can cover those costs and help you get back to classes, without the added stress of a financial loss.

2. If your school does not replace stolen or damaged property – In a 2017 survey of student housing leaders, 98% of schools report that they do not replace stolen or damaged student property. Be sure to check with your school to see what their policy is and how much money is at risk.

3. If you can’t afford to pay for damages you cause – True renter’s insurance includes personal liability protection and can help pay for unintentional damages when a student cannot.

Fees added, “college students and their families are smart to consider purchasing renter’s insurance before the start of school. For about $12.00 a month, students can secure protection against financial losses making renters insurance a must have consideration for college families.”

Adulting Uncategorized

Moving in with a Roommate: Insights and Advice

July 12, 2018

Living with roommates is a rite of passage experience for those who are in college and in post-grad life. When you move in with another person, there will always be challenges and disagreements, but there is also the potential for friendship and mutual respect. Every roommate is different, however, there are ways that you can make your experience run smoothly so that you enjoy your living space and those you share it with.

Roommate Agreement

Even if you are best friends with your roommate, before you move in and get settled you should fill out a roommate contract or agreement. You can’t expect anyone to read your mind, so being upfront from the start about your expectations for your shared space will open the lines for communication. Discuss issues that might come up–like using each other’s belongings or who will be responsible for the trash. Write down your preferences with your roomie’s, and keep a shared document in a place you can both access it if you want to add to it or reference it in the future.

The Decor Discussion

Decorations and furnishings are an important part of making your place feel like home. Before you move in, start a checklist with your roomie to keep track of what furniture pieces that you have and what you might need to get. Even if you aren’t ready to invest in big furniture pieces from a brand like Arhaus, you can check out their social media profiles, such as Instagram, for decor inspiration and then recreate their designs using different items. To ensure all roommates are involved, start a joint Pinterest page and start sending ideas back and forth. You might even find some DIY ideas that you can create together, or find ways to celebrate your shared interests or photos in your common-rooms. You can also check out our previous post to get ideas on how to decorate your dorm on a budget.

Have your Own Space

Within the space you’ll share with your roommate, try to have a place to retreat to if you need some personal time. This might be tough if you are sharing a smaller apartment or even just a dorm room. This “personal space” might have to be somewhere outside your living space, like your favorite coffee shop or a choice seat in the library. You should also be honest with your roommate if you ever feel like you need more space. They may not even realize that you feel the space isn’t being shared equally, so don’t be afraid to speak up.

Be Patient

It might take a little while to get used to your roommate, and for them to get used to you. It’s important during this time to be patient and understanding as you begin to understand each other’s personalities and habits on a deeper level. Even if you aren’t best friends with your roommate, take the time to learn a few things about them and ask them how their day was. If you understand why they do certain things, you might be more willing to forgive their more bothersome tendencies.

It is also important that you and your new roommate are covered by the proper renters insurance! GradGuard caters toward college students and offers low deductibles, student endorsements, and worldwide coverage. Learn more about our insurance offers on our website.

Health Uncategorized

How You Can Reduce End of Semester Waste

July 5, 2018

Whether you’re still attending college, or recently graduated, chances are you’ve seen and possibly contributed to the trash generated by students leaving for the summer months. From uneaten food and unused school supplies, to textiles and even furniture, the average college student generates 640 pounds of waste annually, the bulk of which is accumulated upon move-out day. However, as humans of the Earth, we have the responsibility to address our faults, and find alternative ways to reduce the waste we generate at the end of the semester.

As everyone rushes to leave for the summer and you start noticing the overflowing trash cans lining your hall, consider the ways in which you can avoid contributing your unused items to the pile. Giving your used textbooks, school supplies, clothing, and furniture a second life is a great way to reduce waste, keep them out of landfills, and potentially earn you money in the process. Although it’s nice to start fresh with brand new decor, clothing, and furniture, chances are the items you’d be throwing away could have been stored, donated, sold, or recycled. So, to put an end this cycle, we’re sharing strategies you can use to collect fewer items, and contribute less to the end of semester waste pile.

Practice minimalism – Adopting a minimalist lifestyle in college is becoming increasingly popular among individuals interested in reducing their consumption, waste production, and overall dependence on items. Keeping items that are essential to college life, and disposing of duplicate or unused items, allows individuals to become organized and efficient. Purchasing less with more intent is a great strategy and can be easily applied to many different aspects of your life. Take your wardrobe, for example: instead of buying many new items each semester, consider investing in more durable, sustainably-made textiles from manufacturers like Pact that produce durable and transitional apparel, opposed to conventionally produced fast-fashion textiles that don’t last.  

Donate or Recycle – Many student-led organizations within the academic community are collecting new and unused items from students clearing their dorms. The sustainable move-out program, successfully adopted by The George Washington University in Washington D.C., managed to eliminate 50,000 pounds of food, clothing, school supplies, textiles, and furniture from being sent to the landfill. Instead, the collected goods were donated to local charitable organizations within the greater Washington D.C. area. However, if your school doesn’t have a program like this, suggest one. Either way, by donating or recycling your unwanted or unused goods a week in advance before you move out, you’ll not only beat the rush, but you’ll also be doing your part to help reduce end-of-semester waste!

Store or Sell – Storing your goods could be another option. Not only does it make moving easier, it’s also more sustainable than throwing everything away and starting from scratch. Many schools offer storage, however, if you’re friends are local, you could always ask if they’d be willing to store your items over the summer. When it comes to things like textbooks and large furniture, try selling them through online forums, social media, or even school bulletin boards are great places to post your unused items. Not only do you make some money, you’ll be guaranteeing those items get a second life.

We hope these tips give you some insight into new ways that you can reduce your waste at the end of the semester and of course don’t forget to get the proper renters and tuition insurance through GradGuard! GradGuard prides themselves on being very eco-friendly and refuses to waste anything unnecessary. Get covered by GradGuard today by visiting our website.

Career Uncategorized

10 Ways College Students Can Be More Energy Efficient While Living On-Campus

June 19, 2018

As a college student, you probably roll your eyes every time someone talks about “boring” stuff like energy conservation. But, come to think of it, being more energy efficient will make our planet (and your school) a better place and even save you some money! Here’s how you can be more energy efficient in your own small way:

Unplug Electronics When Not In Use

Did you know that even switched off devices can consume up to 27 watts of “vampire power”? So, next time when you’re done using your laptop or phone charger, try unplugging the cables from the socket and you might save a few dollars per year.

Give Your Thermostat a Rest

Yeah, we get it – nobody wants to stay indoors with heavy jumpers and scarves on during winter. When working with a student’s budget, however, it makes sense not to use the thermostat every single winter day. Sometimes, just put on your heaviest jumper, a pair of mittens, add a hot cup of coffee and probably a duvet then get busy with a movie and your best college friends.

Use Programmable Thermostats

If you can’t avoid it, at least use a thermostat that can be programmed not to consume much power when you are not around.

Use a Fan In Place of AC 

We all love our air conditioners, especially in the hot nights of the summer but they are not cheap to maintain on a college student budget. On the contrary, an average electric fan consumes about 75 watts per hour, which dwarfs the 1000+ watts a regular conditioner uses in the same period. Yes, fans may not cool your room effectively, but you can always put on some shorts and a tank top when it gets too hot.

Watch the Lights!

As a rule, only turn on your lights when it’s necessary; that is when the darkness is too much. Early morning and evenings are dark but don’t necessitate keeping the lights on. Also, when watching a movie or playing on your phone, you can keep the overhead lights off as the electronics produce enough light. When the electric bill comes, guess who’ll be celebrating?

Be Economical With Hot Water

As a college student, long hot baths are fun and all at the end of a stressful day, but they significantly balloon your electric bill and waste a lot of heat; that is not good for the wallet. It’ll do you and our planet some good to take short hot showers and use gas instead of electricity to heat water any other time.

Buy Efficient Appliances

For instance, energy saving bulbs use 10%-30% less energy and last longer than ordinary bulbs. For the outdoors, motion sensor lighting will save you a few bucks when it’s time to pay the bills.

Share Appliances

There’s no need for you and your roommates to have multiple TVs or refrigerators. Sharing major appliances (with boundaries, of course) saves time, energy and space.

Sun-dry Your Clothes

Avoid using your dryer unless the weather is terrible and you desperately need particular clothes. Every other time, hang your clothes out in the sun and give them time to dry. During winter, you will conserve energy and reduce carbon emissions from the dryer if you first air-dry your clothes until they lose excess wetness before putting them in the dryer.

Washing Machine

Washing machines use relatively less power when running on cold water with no effect on cleanliness. Also, cleaning the lint filter before loading will keep your machine in peak condition and reduce energy consumption.

Living a green life should be the ultimate aim of everyone on our planet, particularly college students who are regarded as more informed and educated. Hopefully, this post inspires you to live a greener, cheaper and more efficient life!

Which of these ten methods can you apply in your college life right away?

A great way to get your renters insurance and remain the green lifestyle is through GradGuard! Did you know that we are a paperless company? Even more, GradGuard enables our college and university partners to easily implement its student benefit programs through the most affordable and green enrollment processes possible.  As a result, GradGuard stresses sustainability and that it’s smart to work green. Smart for business. Smart for colleges and universities who trust us to deliver our benefits to their students. Smart for the customers who we commit to serve. And most importantly, smart for the environment.



Bio: Jake Lester is an experienced essay writer that is currently writing for The most recurring themes he covers are education, writing, and marketing. He has his own writing style and this is why he is appreciated by readers. You may look through Facebook, Twitter & Google+.