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life decision

Health Other

5 Perfect Dog Breeds For Students

October 15, 2019

You may have had a dog all your childhood and are considering bringing one into your life as a student. Not surprisingly, you’re wondering which breeds are best to suit your lifestyle.

Before we get into the personalities and temperaments of some truly impressive dogs, as a student, you must consider whether you have the time and budget to care for a new addition.

Tips For Students Adopting a Dog

How Much Time Do Dogs Take?

Most dogs need around 60 minutes of exercise per day and certain breeds have high grooming requirements, taking at least 30 minutes of your day, every day.

All dogs require training. If you are opting for a puppy, this will be a large portion of your time, along with socialization.

Will you be prepared to head out on the mid-night toileting ventures? And is it viable to let your puppy out every 1-2 hours during the day as part of their toilet training routine?

Be Realistic

Being a student is stressful at the best of times, you have essays, mid-terms and are often trying to juggle a part-time job along with a social life.

You must be realistic, how does a dog or puppy fit into that? 

Can You Afford A Dog?

Can you also afford their care? Dog’s eat, a fair amount if they are a large breed. 

They also need routine veterinary care like shots, boosters, flea/worm treatments, annual check-ups, etc. This doesn’t include the monthly insurance costs to cover in an emergency or if your dog suffers a significant health issue. 

Then there are the small things, that soon add up, like bowls, leashes, collars, bedding, blankets, toys, chews etc. Puppies have a tendency to chew so you may find yourself replacing items sooner than planned! We’re not even talking about your roommates’ shoes that you need to replace as pup chewed them.

Which Breeds Are The Best?

If you are sure you can meet the care needs of your puppy, without leaving them alone for too long between lectures, study sessions and your part-time job, then there are a few breeds who are better suited to student living than others.

Chances are, your student accommodation is going to be on the smaller side, so a smaller breed would be more appropriate.

5. The Bedlington Terrier

Docile and laid back, these guys are super-adaptable and renowned for simply going with the flow. 

Despite them being a terrier, they aren’t as feisty as most. They are lively and energetic when out on walks, and always up for the next adventure. The Bedlington is also low shedding which means it won’t cause too much mess in your student digs! 

They are happy with upwards of 60 minutes exercise per day but are more than happy to curl up in a ball on their return! They come in quite high on grooming requirements, so budget regular visits to the salon when deciding if you can take one on!    

4. The Chug

The adorable cross between the Chihuahua and Pug, this small little guy won’t take up much room at all. They are super-friendly and confident, so having plenty of roomies milling around won’t phase them in the slightest. They aren’t the most active breed, and they struggle to regulate their temperature in the heat, so shorter walks are generally better for these guys. 

Be mindful if you are in a warm part of the state though, and your budget won’t cover the AC costs – these guys are prone to heatstroke. 

3. Beagle Lab Mix 

If you’re athletic and into sports, you’re more than happy spending your time outdoors and exercising. You’ll certainly need to if you take the Beagle Lab Mix on! 

This guy is super friendly and playful, but thanks to the determination of the Beagle, he’ll certainly keep you on your toes. Beagles need to be busy – so take up agility or scent work with this dog! If he’s not kept occupied he can become destructive, so you need to think long and hard before you take this guy on.

2. The Patterdale Terrier

These intelligent and feisty guys are perfect companions for those active students. They can be quite aloof, so providing their exercise needs are met, they are more than happy chilling on their own for a couple of hours. 

They are incredibly loyal, so be mindful if you have plenty of new people visiting regularly – they may take a liking to barking! Stubborn as they come, you need a solid understanding of dog training to get to grips with this guy!

A huge personality in a small body – one to certainly keep you on your toes. 

1. Golden Retriever or Labrador

A slightly bigger dog for those in more spacious accommodation, a Golden Retriever or Labrador is super friendly and sociable – they will happily accept every visitor you have!

Upwards of 60 minutes of exercise per day will keep these guys happy, but they are more than happy to come back home and chill out afterward. Super trainable and eager-to-please, this pup will be the firm favorite on campus!

Before you decide to take a dog on as a student, you must consider whether you have the time and budget to fully care for his needs. If so, consider one of our top breeds for students and don’t forget to give them a great name too! Considering pet insurance is never a bad idea either.

As always, remember to choose a breed that will suit your lifestyle and experience as a handler, as your studies should always come first. However, having a furry friend around can help boost your spirits and encourage you to be more social at college.

BIO: Robert Woods is an avid fish keeper and advocate for all things fish related, including the many mental health benefits which can be derived from keeping fish.

Health Other

The Three S’s of College

July 9, 2019

School, social life and sleep; the three S’s of college. These three aspects tend to be the main focal points of a college student’s life and how a student manages these three aspects can determine the amount of success a student obtains during their college career. More often than not one of the three S’s is sacrificed due to a student focusing more on the other two.

Sleep 

Sleep tends to be the S that is sacrificed the most by students. Students can get so caught up in school work that a two-hour homework/study session turns into a 6 hr shift. Other times students will succumb to the fear of missing out going to parties or just hanging with friends. In this case, even when they are dead tired, they will still stay up just to see if anything interesting happens. Then they believe that caffeine can be used to supplement the lack of sleep, which for a short term fix will work only to bring on a harder crash later. 

School

Many students can say that they have slept through a class or two during their time in college. Often what will happen is students will go out knowing that they have class early the next day. Some students fall into the trap of staying out too late and sleeping through their morning class. This S can be put on the backburner for some students if it is seen as less important. It is important for students to prioritize school. Make sure to attend class and put in the hard work to make the most out of your college experience!

Social life

For the average student social life is sacrificed the least. It is important to be socially active by making friends and building connections but it should not take precedence over the other two so much that you are left in a difficult situation. Have fun and enjoy college life but do not forget about the reason you are in college in the first place! 

Finding the balance

Finding the right balance of the three S’s can be difficult, however, it is not impossible to achieve. It takes time, effort and discipline to work out a schedule that allows you to fulfill all three areas while not taking away from one at the expense of the other two. Some students believe that putting weekly tasks on a whiteboard or calendar setting blocks of time to work on those tasks allows them to effectively manage their time. It is important to figure out the methods that work best for you!

Remember to check out GradGuard on social media for all your college tips and tricks to prepare you for the fall semester!

Career Other

It’s OK to be Doubtful About Your College Major Choice

August 4, 2016

Some obvious and rather scary thoughts you may feel when you step foot onto your new digs for the next four years of your life may consist of fear, panic, excitement, joy, and/or doubt. As a matriculating sophomore, I understand your position and you should know that it’s okay

Keep these tips in mind when deciding on a major:

  • Remember: you are not married to your major! If you have room in your schedule, make sure to take classes that correspond with your interests and hobbies. These classes may help you understand what direction you’d like your career to go. Alternatively, if you’re already on a set path, these classes may give you a mental breather during the week.
  • Understand the college or university you’re deciding upon. A liberal arts education is “an approach to learning that empowers individuals and prepares them to deal with complexity, diversity, and change.” A college that focuses on this type of approach typically facilitates a “close interaction with faculty and students.” Whereas STEM majors are becoming an “ever-present part of life throughout the world,” those fields are becoming more and more important. Which means career opportunities for students will be unlimited in any of these fields.
  • Strive to make a wise decision when choosing a college major. There is more than enough opportunity to change your major or pursue other careers in the future. A recent study conducted by CareerBuilder suggests “that plenty of Americans never work in the field that they prepared for in college.” This statistic may seem alarming, but reminding yourself of it can help take some of the pressure off.
  • Make sure you take you time in your decision, understanding yourself and what you want before choosing a major. Put your happiness and passions first.