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spring break

Student Life

How to Create the Perfect Midterm Study Plan

March 8, 2022
How to study for Midterms

It’s hard to believe that it’s already time for many college students to start preparing to take their midterm exams and unfortunately, all the stress that goes along with them. However, fear not, for we have the perfect study attack plan to make sure you nail midterms just in time to relax and enjoy spring break!

Develop a Strategy

  1. First, try to keep up on things in your classes. Write things down in a planner or notebook, plan out assignments, and don’t start tasks the morning before it’s due. If you had a challenging couple of days, missed a few classes, and now are behind; Don’t panic – there’s still hope! If you find yourself falling behind in classes, then it’s time to get chatty. Talk to your fellow classmates, ask what you’ve been missing, and set up times to study with your classmates. Take it one step farther by visiting your professor’s office hours, ask what you can do to get caught up, and then do it. That part is essential.
  2. Now that you’re caught up, you’re going to want to stay that way! Try to keep organized and create a to-do list of your upcoming assignments and study sections. Stay on top of readings and other smaller assignments that can get away from you; Every point counts. It helps to put due dates from the syllabi into your phone calendar or planner.
  3. Finally, don’t save studying until the very last minute and think you can write your essay the night before. While cramming information is a better alternative to doing nothing at all, it’s even better to get a head start and work on it for a week or two in advance. Taking it in small increments helps reduce stress about the event itself. It also has a habit of making you feel refreshed and on top of other things in your life with less strain on your mental health. 

Use Tools or Techniques

If you have trouble remembering terms or concepts, try to find a tool or system that will aid your study efforts. Try an online platform, such as Quizlet, also available as an app that allows you to create flashcards of terms or information from your classes and review them on the go. You can even utilize other study sets and flashcards from other people in your class or similar courses at other schools.

Relax

Breathe! Yes, midterms can be stressful, but a lot of it is from the pressure to do well, the organization, and staying on top of things. After all, you have spend the last few months learning this information so you should be off to a good start. Preparation is half the battle, and you’ll feel much more confident walking into your first exam knowing that you’ve spent the last few weeks studying. You’ve got this in hand, believe in yourself, and ace your tests!

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!

Other Safety

Spring Break Safety Tips

February 16, 2022

After a few months of studying and mid-terms are out of the way, it’s time to kick back and relax for a little something that we like to call spring break. Of course, when we think of spring break, we think of partying or big expensive oversees trips, but there are other options! Whether you’re traveling to somewhere tropical abroad, or have plans to stay in the United States, that’s one essential thing to keep in mind: Safety.

Essential Safety Tips

Keep Your ID on You

It isn’t unusual for students to travel while on spring vacation. Make sure you keep your driver’s license or state-issued identification card on you at all times when you are traveling. If you end up taking an international spring break trip, you’ll want to keep your passport tucked away and out of sight; an inner jacket pocket is a great spot for this. It’s a good idea to bring a paper copy of your passport and safely keep it at your hotel if the original gets lost.

Don’t Travel Alone

The buddy system is crucial when traveling in an unfamiliar place. Staying in a group is one of the simplest ways to avoid becoming a victim of a crime. It’s beneficial for preventing encounters with pickpockets or others who have bad intentions.

It doesn’t matter if you’re going out for a stroll on the beach or are heading to the club; make sure to travel with a friend!

Even if you think someone may be trustworthy, you should still be cautious when making new friends on your trip.

Be Careful with Money and Expensive Items

Traveling with expensive jewelry or handbags is unfortunately another easy way to become a target for crime. Be mindful of what you’re wearing or what electronics you bring with you on your trip. Flashy tourists are easy to spot, especially for thieves waiting to strike.

Try to only carry small amounts of cash on your trip, and don’t keep money out where a pickpocket can reach, like a back pocket or small purse. You will need to be mindful of where your debit card is when you are out to ensure that you don’t lose it, leading to identity theft or lots of expensive charges. Consider leaving the debit card at home and traveling with a credit card instead, since those have better fraud and theft protections in place.

If you really need to travel with a high-value item or a lot of cash, lock it in the trunk of the car during your trip or another place out of sight to keep it safe when your not using it.

Tips for Drinking Responsibly

If you have plans to drink alcohol over spring break, it’s important to know how to do so responsibly. Moderation is key.

Keep these tips in mind to stay safe while drinking:

  • Don’t have more than one drink in an hour. That is a 12 oz beer, 5 oz wine, or 1.5 oz shot. Stick to having less than 2–4 drinks throughout the night. 
  • Eat before you drink and stay hydrated throughout the evening.
  • Stay away from binge drinking, which means consuming four or more drinks in two hours as it can lead to alcohol poisoning and even death.
  • The sun can intensify the effects of alcohol, be extra careful about how much you drink if you’re outside on a sunny day.
  • Be careful if you are in the ocean, a pool, or a hot tub while drinking; Hot tubs will dehydrate you quickly and make the effect of alcohol stronger. 

Finally, do not EVER leave your drink unattended. Unfortunately, date rape drugs are not uncommon among college party scenes — and they are tasteless and odorless. Don’t accept drinks from a stranger or drink out of punch bowls and open pitchers, which could contain extreme volumes of alcohol or spiked with dangerous drugs.

Practice Safe Driving

If you plan on taking a long road trip with friends, arrange to rotate drivers frequently, so everyone stays well-rested. Try to have someone in the passenger seat awake to keep the driver company. Falling asleep at the wheel can be just as dangerous as driving drunk.

Another idea you should consider is to have roadside assistance, whether it’s through a third party like AAA or your car’s warranty. Before setting out on your journey, ensure the vehicle has a spare tire, jack, and other tools needed to change a tire along with the appropriate oil levels and other fluids to function correctly. Hopefully, someone going on the trip knows how to change a tire!

Finally, this goes without saying: Don’t drink and drive. Do not allow your friends to drive if they have been drinking, and you should never get into a car with an impaired driver. There are plenty of ways to travel around and get back home, such as Uber or Lyft. 

Not traveling for Spring Break? No problem!

There are many alternatives to the traditional spring break beach party if you don’t feel like traveling. You can use this time to job shadow, do community service, visit national parks, or even take a staycation.

It can be easy to throw caution to the wind as a college student while on your break, but knowing steps to take to stay safe is important. Being safe doesn’t have to put a damper on your fun, but know that there is such a thing as too much fun, especially when involving drugs and alcohol. 

It might also be a good idea to consider getting travel insurance if you have invested a lot of money into your trip in case something happens. If you have GradGuard Renters Insurance, your belongings will also be safe if they get stolen while you are out of town with our worldwide property coverage!

Safe Travels and have FUN!

Student Life

5 Perfect College Break Destinations

August 27, 2020

Feeling weighed down by the stress of college life? A memorable vacation may be just what you need to take a break from the books and clear your mind. Whether you’re looking to relax on the beach or explore a little bit of history, the following destinations are ideal for any college student craving a much-needed break.

1. Dubrovnik, Croatia

Croatia is a European destination gaining popularity among travelers due to its gorgeous beaches and cultural landmarks. Walk along the famous streets of Dubrovnik, Croatia, to encounter impressive architecture dating back to the Middle Ages. Consider taking a Croatia cruise to experience the beauty and history of this unique country.

2. Tamarindo, Costa Rica

Visit beautiful Tamarindo, Costa Rica, to enjoy one of the world’s most stunning beaches. The beaches here feature crystal blue waters and calm waves. A visit to this area’s beaches may even allow you to get up close and personal with local wildlife, as the great Leatherback Sea Turtles nest near Tamarindo between November and April. Spend your days taking in the natural wonders of the region, then head out for a night on the town to enjoy the vibrant local culture. If you’re looking to experience nature and nightlife, Tamarindo could be a great option.

3. Panama City, Florida

Florida has long been the go-to destination for spring breakers. In recent years, Panama City has solidified itself as a college break hotspot. After a day spent enjoying the sunny beaches, dance the night away in one of the many local nightclubs. Don’t forget to stop and have a meal and a drink at the famous Margaritaville. No matter when you visit Panama City, you’ll find yourself with endless options to relax and have fun.

4. New Orleans, Louisiana

Though the city is known for its Mardi Gras celebrations, New Orleans is a great destination to visit any time of the year. This historic city features unique architecture, delicious food, lively music and interesting local culture. The French Quarter is the center of all the action, with must-see destinations including Jackson Square, Decatur Street shopping and the raucous party atmosphere of Bourbon Street. No matter where you go in the French Quarter, you’re surrounded by a medley of interesting sights, sounds and smells. It’s clear that a trip to New Orleans is a great option if you’re looking to take a break from the stresses of college.

5. Niagara Falls, New York

For those looking for a more laid-back escape from the college grind, consider visiting Niagara Falls. For centuries, people have flocked to this unique natural landmark to experience the beauty and power of nature. Get an up-close look at the Falls by taking an afternoon cruise on the iconic Maid of the Mist, then continue your exploration of nature by visiting the Botanical Gardens or take a hike at Niagara Glen Nature Reserve. Spend a few days at the natural wonder that is Niagara Falls to take advantage of the healing properties of time spent in nature.

As a busy college student, you deserve a rest from your studies to relax and recharge. Check out each of these locations to take a break from the books and enjoy life.

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

Other Safety

Spring Break Tips from Packing to Protection

March 1, 2018

Spring break.  The much-needed college break.  If you are like many college students we know, you have just rushed thru mid-terms and are excited about a week with friends.  Yet – you haven’t given much thought to what to pack or what could go wrong.  So here are GradGuard’s tips for making the most of spring break.

Packing Efficiently

The key to packing smart is bringing reusable options.  Only bring multiples when necessary.  For instance, a weeklong spring break trip to a warm destination will require several swimsuits, as you’re not going to want to wear the same one all week.  However, you can save room by bringing bikini tops and bottoms that you can mix and match, creating more options without taking up extra room.  This same philosophy applies to the rest of your wardrobe.  Instead of bringing a completely separate outfit for each night you are going to go out on the town, bring pieces you can easily restyle.  

Remember The Little Things

There are several items which, if forgotten, can put a major kink in your travel plans. You may be able to buy them once you’ve arrived, but take the hassle out of your trip by remembering to pack them in the first place.  However, make sure you bring several forms of identification, cash, and your insurance cards. Hopefully, you won’t need it, but in case something happens, you need to be prepared and have necessary documentation with you.

Protect That Bag & Trip

Given the cost of travel and the stuff you have with you, it can be smart to also purchase travel insurance to cover the cost of your trip if you get sick or in some cases travel insurance can replace your baggage in the event it gets lost or stolen. Another option to consider is packing light and bringing just a carry-on, to eliminate the chances that your baggage will get on a plane to the wrong destination without you. If you do decide to check a bag, pack smart in your carry on – be sure to stash your essentials for the week in your carry on so if your bag does get lost, you’ll have what you need on hand.

Protect your stuff at home & while traveling

Of course, your parents will remind you about protecting your belongings in your hotel room and keeping a close eye on your purse.  But what about everything you’ve left back at college? Remember that renter’s insurance to help protect your things both on campus and beyond.  Purchase a renters insurance policy is smart for college students because it can protect your property both on and off campus – even when you are traveling.

Happy Travels!

Other

Insurance for College Spring Break

March 11, 2013
Spring Break Insurance

College spring break is a week for fun, sun and feeling carefree. However, life does come with risks, as does traveling. Insurance can help mitigate those risks, but with so many different kinds, what are the plans that are most beneficial for spring break? Whether you’re a student looking to protect the cash you’re spending on your trip, or a parent worried about your student’s safety while they’re away (and possibly abroad!), here are a few plans you may want to consider to make your spring break more carefree.

Travel Insurance

Well… this one’s pretty obvious. It’s easy to skip over travel insurance and opt-out when buying your flights or booking your hotel – I mean… what are the odds that your trip logistics will get that interrupted? You can never know in advance, but you may want to consider travel insurance for spring break for several different reasons. Travel insurance can help protect you from reimbursement restrictions, can help provide you with extra protection in case of a medical event during your travels (like medical evacuation), and provide you with assistance services you may not have access to elsewhere while traveling. For a relatively low cost, travel insurance can help take care of the odds and ends if your travels hit a snag.

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Packing for Spring Break

March 7, 2013
College Spring Break Packing Tips

One Suitcase, Two Gays

For many college students across the country, spring break is looming ever nearer, or has already, well,  sprung. While most people only have thoughts of relaxing away from the stresses of college life on their mind, there are still plenty of things that need to happen before leaving for the week.

Whether you’re jetting off to a tropical locale to relax and rejuvenate for a week, or just heading home to spend time with friends and family, you’re going to need to pack enough things for a week to get you through.

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10 Ways to Make a Spring Break at Home Fun

March 5, 2013
10 Ideas for Spring Break at Home

day 80

Spring break is coming! But not everyone is heading to a Miami beach party or embarking on a tropical getaway with their friends. Are you bummed out to be staying at home this spring break? Don’t be! Make the best of it by trying these 10 ways to make your spring break at home fun.

1. Rearrange / redecorate your room
You’ve probably changed a little since you first left for college, especially if you’re an upperclassman now. If your bedroom at home doesn’t really seem “you” anymore, then redecorate it! Donate old clothes and books you don’t want anymore, rearrange furniture, update the photos in your picture frames, and even paint the walls. It will be a fun project, and it’ll be nice to come home to a spiffy new room the next time you visit.

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6 Cheap Spring Break Ideas

February 27, 2013
College Spring Break Ideas

 

Depending on where you go to school, spring break may feel like a long ways away, but considering we’re just weeks away from March, the countdown begins now.  The 9-day break from school is considered a college prime time as it symbolizes all that college breaks are about: relaxation before the real world.  However, what we often forget to remember is how pricey these breaks can get—trips to Florida, Cancun and elsewhere can really throw off your finances.

Looking to have a great time this spring break for an affordable price? Consider these options:

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Top 5 Spring Break Destinations: Rewards and Risks

March 2, 2012
Top 5 Spring Break Spots

For many of us, Spring Break is right around the corner. We’re pushing through these last couple of days or weeks of assignments, meetings, and internships so that we can feel the wind in our hair and be free for an entire week.

Whether you’re still searching for a destination or just want to see if your Spring Break location made the cut for the top five, we’ve got the top 2013 Spring Break destination spots for you with all of the details. Check it out!

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