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student tips

Adulting Student Life

Essential Apps for College Student Survival

October 7, 2021

If you’re a student who’s constantly multitasking, college can seem like a difficult endeavor. It’s especially true if you rely on a part-time job to make ends meet. But at the same time, you’re always trying to balance out other activities and engagements, such as meeting friends, gaming, and relaxing. Managing social and academic life, in this regard, requires that you’re fast and super productive.  

As the education sector integrates more and more technology, students can find new innovative ways to balance their academics and social life. So whether you’re a college freshman or in your senior year, you’re probably looking for apps that can make it easier to survive college. 

Here is a list of some essential apps you can use to manage time and improve your productivity. 

Evernote

A big part of college life entails “note-taking.” How about having an app that allows you to take notes by entering text and ideas?

Evernote can do just that. This amazing app is a “must-have” for every student. From note-taking, organizing them to managing tasks, everything becomes a piece of cake with Evernote. It allows you to take comprehensive notes by adding images, audio, PDFs, text, and documents. 

Even better, the app includes a wide variety of tools that enable students to recall learned material saved as personalized notes. 

Plus, Evernote has an effectively integrated search engine to help you trace phrases within your notes, providing faster notes retrieval. It not only hastens your revision sessions but also allows you to incorporate material relevant to your concepts.

Grammarly

It’s not uncommon for students to turn in fantastic assignments, only to lose marks because of poor grammar or lackluster vocabulary. Sure, it seems unfair, but you can’t deny the importance of good grammar when it comes to writing quality assignments. In this case, apps like Grammarly can be a huge help. This app can significantly improve sentence structure and boost your work’s readability and clarity.  

In addition to this, Grammarly offers numerous suggestions for different errors to help you understand your grammatical weaknesses. The app is compatible with many other applications to enrich your communication.

Turnitin

Turnitin, like the former, is an important service for writing quality papers. The app catches plagiarism in the work and allows you to correct all the plagiarized parts of your essays.

Prezi

College presentations are challenging and can be time-consuming. Use Prezi to add a wow factor to your text while reducing the effort and time spent making a presentation. With Prezi, you can keep your focus on research and deliver a comprehensive and appealing research presentation. 

Another thing that makes Prezi even better is its easy-to-use feature. You don’t need to have video editing expertise or graphics to use Prezi.

Microsoft Office Lens

Microsoft Office Lens is an excellent app that has revolutionized note-taking. It provides students an easy way to scan material for conversion to Word, PDF, PowerPoint, and save to the cloud or local device. It helps students to concentrate on their revision instead of spending time taking notes.  

Dropbox

Dropbox is a popular app that ranks high as a cloud storage solution. The app allows students to access all documents easily. With Dropbox, students can seamlessly access documents and files across numerous devices. 

Mint

Finances are some of the tricky elements in the life of a student. Mint is a smart app that helps students keep track of their expenses, thus enabling them to develop healthy spending habits. Besides this, Mint offers suggestions to create financial goals to help college students balance their accounts.

In a nutshell, campus life is hard. But for all your student-life challenges, there is a comprehensive app to reduce the burden. The given apps are the top picks to help you make stellar essays, manage time, and boost productivity.

BIO: Lyle Solomon has considerable litigation experience as well as substantial hands-on knowledge and expertise in legal analysis and writing. Since 2003, he has been a member of the State Bar of California. In 1998, he graduated from the University of the Pacific’s McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento, California, and now serves as a principal attorney for the Oak View Law Group in Rocklin, California.

Student Life

The Skills Every Student Needs to Succeed in College

May 5, 2021

Learning how to learn can transform mediocre students into academic superstars. The skills required to succeed in college don’t come naturally to everyone, but they can be taught and encouraged. University professors and administrators put a lot of effort into designing curriculums that progressively develop their students’ intellectual faculties. Here are the skills students should learn to further their education.

Oral and Written Communication

Expressing oneself clearly and concisely is crucial to success in higher education. Fortunately, most schools emphasize writing and speaking skills, so students should take advantage of courses that involve writing papers and giving presentations.

At colleges and universities, writing focused classes are general education requirements and make up most of the program for liberal arts and social science majors. For business majors who want to know what to talk about from a business, sales dashboard examples can give minute-to-minute updates about businesses.

Students are not expected to be expert oral and written communicators right from the start. College courses start with the basics of composition and public speaking and then successively build upon one another to develop students’ expertise.

Students can become even better writers by visiting their university’s writing center to receive extra instruction from graduate students and writing coaches. To become better public speakers, students can get more experience by joining their local Toastmasters club, a nonprofit educational organization that teaches public speaking and leadership skills all over the world.

Writing and public speaking aren’t easy skills for most people. However, with practice, students can improve, and in turn, these skills can open doors to more education opportunities.

Critical Thinking and Analysis

Approaching a problem objectively and analyzing it to arrive at a reasoned perspective is a highly valued skill in academia. As with writing and public speaking, professors do not expect new students to arrive at college with perfectly developed critical thinking and analytical abilities. In fact, many introductory courses aim to nurture these talents so that they can be applied to higher-order issues as students advance through their studies.

Critical thinking works because the thinker learns to take his or her own preconceptions out of the equation. This way the problem is seen clearly and evaluated without bias. Analysis takes a problem one step further and divides it into parts to discern how each part influences the whole.

Critical thinking and analysis can become even more specialized and refined by applying theories and methods. Philosophers and scientists have developed ways of approaching problems built upon either intentional basic assumptions or knowledge taken to be true.

As students become more sophisticated critical thinkers, they need to be able to approach issues from both a clear perspective and one informed by theory. In this way, critical thinking and analytical skills can enhance a student’s educational experience.

Curiosity and Reading

Curiosity can take a student far on their educational journey. Being curious about the world, its peoples, cultures, and history are a prerequisite for serious learning. Without this trait, students can’t sustain the attention and interest necessary to flourish in higher education.

What’s more, curiosity cannot be taught; however, it can be inspired. Therefore, professors bear even more responsibility for how well their students respond to their assignments.

Whether their curiosity is inherent or acquired, students must take the initiative to seek out knowledge on their own. Developing the habit of reading for pleasure or for information is a great way to sustain a curious mindset. Since the advent of the internet, finding interesting subjects to read about has never been easier.

Much of the world’s knowledge is at everyone’s fingertips, from newspapers to academic journals. Furthermore, the internet never closes, so a curious student focused on their education can access their passion anytime from almost anywhere.

Learning the skills necessary to meet one’s educational goals is a talent in and of itself. Most teachers and professors understand how difficult learning to learn can be and devote much of a curriculum to teaching these foundational skills. The world changes quickly, so curious students can take these skills and apply them to their next educational endeavor.

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.

Career Student Life Transition

10 Powerful Tips For Graduates Entering The Workforce During COVID-19

April 29, 2021

Across many industries, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have caused uncertainty, affecting employment and experience opportunities for new graduates entering the workforce. As one example, a growing number of candidates are now interviewed virtually, impacting the opportunity to build relationships with the people involved in recruiting.

On the extreme side of things, many of today’s recent graduates will also be required to start their professional careers from home. Here are some insights for successfully entering the workforce during COVID-19. 

#1: Don’t Stop Learning 

Graduating from college doesn’t mean you are done with learning. While the knowledge and certificate or degree you acquired are valuable possessions, they are not the only things that lead to success. Beyond academic knowledge, there are a lot of things left to be learned that will put you ahead of others in finding, achieving, and being successful in your work life.

#2: Look For Internships First 

Though it is good to have aspirations for high-paying jobs, it’ hard to go from graduate into lucrative roles without taking a few other steps first. The number of open vacancies for recent graduates is now limited than in the past. Businesses are still trying to figure out how COVID has impacted their company and the industry in general, and they aren’t willing to make financial commitments or take the same risks they did in the past. If entry-level positions are slim, check out internships. One could even land you a full-time position once it’s completed!

#3: Start Building A Portfolio 

A portfolio is documentary evidence of what you are capable of doing. When other candidates compete for the same jobs with traditional resumes and cover letters, having a portfolio will help to differentiate you as a valuable resource. When desirable opportunities are not available, consider starting private projects related to the types of jobs you’ll love to be doing in the future. Or, consider volunteering in similar roles to show your strengths.

#4: Commit To Proactive Networking 

Being proactive about networking will put you ahead of other people that are usually waiting in a reactionary mode. You might have heard that your net worth is directly related to your network.  And, most people are holding back interacting with others because of the pandemic….now is the time to stand-out and shine when others are waiting! If your LinkedIn profile isn’t already in top shape, spend some time to do and use it as one of your greatest networking tools.

#5: Embrace A Relentless Drive

For you to move from being a graduate into the world of work, you need a relentless drive. More than anything else, this characteristic will empower you to withstand inevitable obstacles you may discover along the way. And, you can share those learning experiences with potential employers. A strong work ethic can land you just about any job, regardless of experience.

#6: Be Adaptable To Change 

When you are entering the workforce as a graduate, you are bound to experience a lot of opportunities that don’t match your expectations. At that moment, your best bet is to be open and adaptable to change. All employers want people who can adapt and change course during challenging times. This goes along with your drive. Work hard and be relentless!

#7: Try New Things 

Both in terms of learning and networking, you must commit to trying new things. Another way to look at this is that you have to embrace going outside of your comfort zone. The world works differently because of COVID-19 and you need to learn how to adapt. This might mean taking the time to learn how to use the new software the company is using for all of its virtual meetings. Or, figuring out the ins and outs of a project management tool that seems confusing now, but will be instrumental in organizing your team’s projects down the line.

#8: Define Your Meaning of Success

The big question is this – what does career success mean to you? Once you clearly identify what success means to you, convey that to others in a way that relates to your personal values, vision, and life purpose. Once this is communicated clearly, others can understand how they can help you achieve this, and how it fits with their goals for recruiting the right talent.

#9: Set Measurable Goals 

Having a goal is important. But if you don’t have a way to measure progress towards accomplishment of your goals, achieving them is difficult. As important as it is to set goals, measuring progress, and modifying your strategy when needed, are also important. Don’t aim unrealistically high nor sell yourself short and aim too low.

#10: Find Your Internal Motivation 

Motivation is the fuel that drives people to accomplish their goals. Without it, life will seem like a challenge. However, people need to find what drives them and satisfies their sense of self-worth and purpose. External sources can motivate you to achieve some things for a little while; however, they’re limited in helping you attain long-term, sustained success.

Spend time gaining self-awareness about your strengths, your goals, your measures of success, and what can get in the way of attaining these things.  Once you understand yourself better, you’ll know what you need for continuous growth, and which career roles will be best for you.

Student Life

Paying for College on Your Own? Here’s Some Advice

November 14, 2020

It’s no secret that college can be one of the most costly journeys in life. Considering tuition, fees, books, room and board, traveling back home, and gas for those students who have a car, the amount of money spent on education can add up quickly! Some students have family and others to help with these expenses which can make life as a college student a little easier. But many others are paying their own way through college with little to no assistance.

Here are a few tips for students to consider if they’re paying for college on their own:

Don’t forget to fill out the FAFSA before each semester.

FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Whether you have help from family or you’re pushing through college on your own, all students should fill out their FAFSA each semester. This federally funded program provides grants and loans for college students. It is always best to research the requirements and criteria before filling out this application because it can be a little hard to understand at some points. Always remember that grants and scholarship money generally do not have to be paid back. Loans must be paid back so it’s important to get as many grants and scholarships as you can!

Get a part or full-time job with a flexible schedule.

While some students work while in school for extra cash, others have to work in order to pay for all of their education expenses. Those students who must work in order to pay for their education should find a job that is willing to work with their school schedule. Sometimes, this is easier said than done. Use your best judgement when making the choice to work part-time or full-time. Remember that the most important goal is to graduate and keeping yourself physically and mentally healthy. So if you’re already taking 18 credits this semester, adding on a full-time job would be really difficult.

Make sure the school that you choose is affordable. 

We all have different ideas of what is considered affordable and what isn’t. If you are a college student that is paying for your education out of pocket, be sure that the school you attend is the right choice for your wallet. Students often hear that in order to excel in your career you must attend the best or the most elite college or university. Some of the more highly recognized and notable universities often have higher tuition costs as well as room and board. Don’t fall into peer pressure! Always do your research on the schools that you are interested in and if the cost and atmosphere are right for you, making the right choice will be simple.

If you are a college student paying for college on your own, know that you are not the only one. Remember to always fill out the FAFSA before each semester and get as many grants and scholarships as you can. When looking for a job, whether it’s part or full time, make sure they are willing to accommodate your schedule and keep your physical and mental health a priority as well. Most importantly, find a college that is affordable for you and within your means! College will always be costly, but you don’t have to strain yourself in order to achieve your goals.

Health

How To Make Connections in the Era of Covid-19

August 1, 2020

It is no surprise that in the face of Covid-19, countless changes have had to be made to maintain the goals of the different facets of university life. Changes of learning, changes in teaching and most importantly, changes in community are being formed to better supplement the lack of in person connection. 

In all of this chaos, especially for students entering college for the first time, meeting people and finding friends can feel like an impossible task but luckily there are ways to quickly and effectively not just meet, but actually connect with others. 

Find Gateways

The first way is not a destination but more of the first steps and gateways that can lead to the end goal and these are the school sponsored or facilitated conversations. These can take the form of a discussion on Canvas, a school sponsored app like ZeeMee or in the classes themselves. While the conversations within these settings are most often stale, they provide an area where you can meet people and then form separate group chats aside from that. 

Social Media

The second area of importance are the various social media platforms available. Things such as finding roommates by going to instagram and looking for people that are the same year and college as you, snapchat group chats, twitter, or reddit, the possibilities on these sites have the doors, you just need to open them. 

Make Yourself Accessible

The third way is the thing that people get wrong most often and that is because they forget that they need to make themselves easier to find as well. Hardly anyone has a large group of friends going into a University so by making yourself easier to find on any of the mediums above, and doing things like listing or showing your interests will help others that are in the same position find you.

At the end of the day, all it takes is some effort and information to be able to make friends easily and quickly in this unknown environment so while this post is meant to help students with the information, it is only half of the solution to solve this complex problem students are facing. 

Career Other

Considering Freelance: What Recent Grads Should Know

June 17, 2020

How healthy is freelancing in the US?

Freelancing is an area of the economy that is growing steadily year over year. According to the Freelancing in America Study for 2019 that was conducted by Edelman Intelligence for Upwork, there are more than 57 million Americans freelancing. This is over a third of the US workforce, up from 53 million just 6 years ago. The value of freelance work is almost a trillion US dollars, some 5% of GDP.

Of those that said they have undertaken freelance work, 28% consider themselves as full time freelancers up from 17% back in 2014. The most likely group to freelance are those in the younger age brackets, with 53% of 18-22 year olds doing freelance work and 40% of millennials.

So if you are about to graduate, should you be looking for a traditional and comfortable “job” or should you be looking to enter the freelancing market?

What should you be asking yourself before you freelance?

Recent graduates should not simply leap into freelancing, after all there are some real benefits to working with a company, such as health care and pensions. So what else should you be asking:

  • What are your long term career goals? If your long term goal is to one day be the CEO of a company, freelancing may not offer you the career progression you may need.
  • What are you looking to earn? Freelancers on average earn more per hour than non-freelancers, even for non-skilled workers. However, finding very high paying freelance gigs may be a little harder.
  • What is motivating you to work as a freelancer? Many freelancers take this style of work for the flexibility that it offers. So you need to consider your reasons with care.

What can freelancers earn?

Whether you are working in mobile website development or walking dogs, the salaries that you can earn through freelancing are often higher. The median salary for unskilled workers that freelance is $20 per hour, higher than the US median salary of $18.80. While for skilled freelancers the median is $28 an hour which is better than 70% of the workforce.

So what can you earn as a freelance mobile website designer or within another role? The following are few figures for expected web development salary and what you can aspire to earn within other areas of the freelance economy from The Balance:

  • Web development: $45 per hour
  • IT and programing: $49 per hour
  • Mobile developer: $50 per hour
  • ERP and CRM software developer: $60 per hour
  • Marketing and sales: $44 per hour
  • Design and product development: $45 per hour

What do you really need to know about freelancing before you start?

Before you jump straight out to earn your freelance developer salary there are a few areas that you need to consider before you get started:

  • Networking: most freelancers do not get their clients from online marketplaces. After previous clients, most freelancers working today get work through networking with friends and family which accounts for 38%, while others rely on professional contacts, 37%.
  • Building a portfolio: showing what you are capable of is vital no matter what area you are going to work within. Clients will want to know that you are going to be able to deliver what they are looking for.
  • Handling multiple projects: as a freelancer you will often find yourself in a situation where you will need to juggle multiple clients and projects. So learning soft skills such as time management and communication are vital to your future earning potential.

Is Freelancing right for you?

If you are looking for work with a huge amount of flexibility and the ability to pick and choose what projects you will work on, then freelancing could be for you. It offers an excellent salary no matter where your skills lay. However, it is not an area in which you will be able to relax and just expect work to come to you. You need to work hard on filling your pipeline to ensure a constant supply of work.

Career Other

What Skills Can Students Learn to Appeal to Tech-Savvy Companies?

May 12, 2020

Graduation is approaching and if you haven’t thought about companies you want to work for, now might be the time to start. 

Do you want to work for a progressive company? Do you want to reap the benefits of remote and flexible work? Maybe you’re interested in having advanced technology and an engaging office environment. If this sounds appealing, you should consider adding tech-savvy companies to your list. 

As you can probably guess, it’s not as simple as applying to companies you want to work for. Oftentimes, you have to take steps to make yourself and your application more attractive to specific companies in order to score the position you want. 

Here are some of the top skills you can learn to appeal to tech-savvy companies. 

Cloud Computing

Cloud computing has become popular in many companies, as it enables safer storage of company data, along with remote access to company platforms. The popularity of the product means that the field will only continue to grow. 

Even if you don’t want to work directly with cloud computing, showing an employer that you understand how to safely manage your devices and company information will make you a desirable job candidate. You can look for certification courses online, many of which are now offered entirely online through virtual courses. Some of the most popular certifications include AWS and Azure. 

Adding these certificates to your application will separate you from the competition and increase your chances of working for a tech-forward company. 

Automation Testing

With software like robotic process automation (RPA) becoming common in most companies, there will be a need for human involvement to manage and test the platform. 

A common misconception is that automation is out to get jobs, but in reality, software like RPA needs to be monitored consistently to ensure that the technology is performing correctly. This means with growing automation implementations comes the need for more new employees skilled in testing and monitoring automation. 

Working with automation doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be programming or directly monitoring the software, but having a deeper understanding of your role alongside automation can make you a valuable asset to any company. 

Most automation companies have online training courses that end in certification for their programming and managing their product. Not only will they teach you how to manage the software, but some also teach you how to build RPA bots. Some popular options include IQ Bot and IBM’s Build a Bot tutorial. 

Coding

Learning to code is one of the top-ranked hard skills to develop in 2020. Before learning to code, it’s important to decide what programming language is most relevant or interesting to you.

The majority of companies use Python or JavaScript as their primary coding language, yet there are others that are as important, if not more, depending on the job you want. For example, HTML is considered to be a beginner language when learning to program, but it’s essential for anyone building websites or doing website optimization at their company.

Start by determining what programming language is most relevant to your job interests and sign up for classes, online certification programs, or a tutor to improve your skills.

These skills are sure to boost your resume and make you more valuable to any company. Even more importantly, they’re all skills you can learn online, at any point. Adding just one of these skills to your resume is sure to help you land a job at a tech-savvy company!

Other Student Life

The Best Jobs to Have While You’re in College

May 12, 2020

College is an exciting time of learning, growing, and experiencing your first taste of the “real world”. Unfortunately, a four-year public college can cost over $28,000 each year and a private institution averages over $32,000 a year. 

So, while your studies should be your top priority while you’re in school, it’s not uncommon for many college students to look for some type of employment to start paying off student loan debt, to open a savings account, or just to have some spending money and freedom. 

It’s been reported that about 40% of undergraduates work at least 30 hours a week while in college. That can burn you out quickly if you’re not careful. So, what are some of the best jobs for students, and how can you start preparing now for your future career? 

Finding a Part-Time Job

There are plenty of part-time job opportunities that won’t force you to take too much time away from your studies. Some of the highest-paying jobs are actually more “gig-based” like nannying/babysitting, dog walking, or tutoring. You can choose to take on these jobs as it works for your schedule, which means you won’t have to miss something important in school in order to work. 

If you want a more structured, hourly position that ensures a certain amount of pay each week, some of the best options for college students include the following: 

  • Bank teller
  • Barista
  • Cashier
  • Bookkeeper
  • Warehouse worker
  • Medical receptionist

There are even some temporary job opportunities if you’re having a slow semester or you need some extra cash. The U.S. Postal Service, for example, hires “casual workers” twice a year for 90 days during peak mail periods. 

Use different resources for finding a job including LinkedIn, your local newspapers, and job sites like Monster.com. You might think there aren’t any active part-time opportunities available, but they’re out there if you’re diligent in your search! You can even check out flyers or advertisements posted around campus for companies that might be hiring and looking specifically for college students. 

Starting Your Own Business

Do you want to bring in some money but you don’t want to work for someone else? College can be a great time to start your own business. Many college students who have skills in things like graphic design or writing take on freelance jobs. It’s a great way to make money on a per-gig basis, and it can also help to boost your resume and build your career while you’re still in school if you provide consistent work to reputable clients. 

The more you network and build your client base, the easier it will be for you to grow your business. You can even start a service-based business in your collegiate town, such as a cleaning company, a pet-sitting business, or landscaping. 

If you get enough regular clients, that can lead to positive marketing opportunities and people sharing strong reviews. When you graduate, you’ll already have established a strong business, and you may be able to expand it to different locations. 

Kickstarting Your Career

Most people go to college to learn more about the career path they have chosen, but there’s no rule that says you can’t kickstart that career in college. If you know what your passion is, you can make the transition to life after college easier on yourself by having a career-focused mind now. 

One great way to do that is to sign up for an internship. Internships allow you to work for whatever industry you’re interested in and get hands-on, real-world experience that you simply can’t get in a classroom. For example, if you want to go into the marketing field or work in developing content marketing strategies for companies, interning at a content marketing agency can help you to hone in on skills like social media, analytics/data, personalized content, and design, which you can use to boost your resume and land a job faster after you graduate. 

Internships are also a great way to make connections and network with people already in the business world. College grads often make the mistake of presenting themselves only online when they’re looking for jobs instead of going out into the world and networking with people. While searching for jobs online has its place, there’s nothing like face-to-face interaction for someone to think positively of you and to connect you with the right people. 

If you’re knee-deep in your studies but you also want to start making money, you have several options depending on how much you want to work. Whether you decide to be your own boss, work a part-time job, or intern somewhere that may clear a path for a brighter future, making money while you’re still in college can end up saving you a lot of extra financial stress once you graduate.

Other Transition

Helpful Advice When Applying to College

April 29, 2020

The college application process is an exciting time. This is an opportunity for high school students to figure out where they are going to go next. There are a number of hurdles that high school students must cross and one of them is the college application process. There are a few tips that students need to keep in mind as they are applying to college.

Know the Deadlines

This is at the very top of the list when thinking about 10 Tips When Applying to College. It is critical for everyone to remember that college is competitive and schools receive thousands of applications from qualified applicants every year. They are not going to bend the rules just because one person missed the deadline. Make sure to know the deadlines and get all of the materials in on time. Furthermore, when a student misses a deadline, this shows a lack of maturity, preparedness, and time management skills. Know the deadlines and get everything in on time.

Read the Instructions Carefully

Not every college application is going to be the same. There are going to be some differences from school to school. Particularly when it comes to essay prompts, it is important for students to read the instructions carefully. If students submit an essay that doesn’t address the prompt at the top of the page, this is not going to look good for the school. Therefore, every student must read the instructions along with each individual application. While this might sound like a lot of work, it is important to put the best foot forward.

Proofread All Submissions

Students have plenty of time to complete their college applications. Therefore, there is plenty of time to proofread. Spelling and grammar mistakes on college applications exude a sense of carelessness. This does not reflect well on the applicant. It is helpful to get another set of eyes on every essay. Sometimes, it is hard for students to pick up mistakes in their own work. Having someone else read it is a good idea. This way, all spelling and grammar mistakes are caught before they reach the desk of the committee.

Think About Recommendations Carefully

One of the most important parts of every college application is the letters of recommendation section. This is an opportunity for the committee to get to know each applicant on a personal level. Think about who is going to present the applicant in the best light possible. Try to get letters of recommendation from different areas including academics, athletics, and other extracurriculars. Each letter should show a different side of the student. Not much is going to come from three letters that all say the same thing about the student. Try to create a well-rounded picture with the letters of recommendation.

Tips for Applying to College

These are a handful of the most important tips that everyone needs to remember during the college application process. Keeping these tips in mind will set up every student to be successful in the future.

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 Transition

The Top College Towns of 2020

April 22, 2020

Choosing a college is no small feat. There are a ton of factors that come into play, from academic programs to athletics. One factor that definitely shouldn’t be overlooked is location. The town or city a school is located in can play a big part in both your college experience not to mention your life and work after graduation.

When making our choices, we considered several factors, including student life and culture, available recreational activities, nearby attractions, and availability of high-speed internet and other college necessities. Here are our picks:

1. Gainesville, FL

Gainesville houses the University of Florida, known for its research programs, athletics, and parties. Gainesville was, at one time, one of the fastest-growing cities in the US, thanks in part to its excellent climate, beautiful landscape, and large number of entertainment options. 

When it comes to living in Gainesville, there’s plenty to do, including several state parks and museums to check out, and the Gainesville Raceway is a popular spot. The town also has a growing startup culture, so if building businesses is your thing, you’ll be in good company once you graduate.

2. Berkeley, CA

Located across the Bay from San Francisco, Berkeley has a long reputation as a great place to live. The weather is beautiful, the atmosphere is electric, and creativity and activism are everywhere. The University of California is regularly ranked as one of the best in the country, and the area has a rich history dating back to the late ‘60s and the hippy movement. What more could you want in a college town?

Berkeley also has another major advantage: it’s situated only an hour or so away from Silicon Valley. This makes it an ideal candidate for folks in the tech space, as well as potential founders looking to fund startups.

3. Boulder, CO

Boulder has a reputation as one of the best places to live in the US, with gorgeous surroundings, excellent art and food cultures, and the popular University of Colorado providing a backdrop. Like Berkeley, Boulder has a bit of a hippy past, and between that and the beautiful natural landscape make it an ideal spot for adventurous students and adults alike.

There’s a ton to do in Boulder, especially if you like outdoor activities. The entire area is surrounded by nature preserves, recreational land, and climbable mountains. The city also regularly makes lists of the best places to live in the US, including “Happiest City,” “Brainiest City,” and “Best City to Raise an Outdoor Kid.”

4. Athens, GA

Home of the University of Georgia, Athens rounds out the list of best college towns. Unlike some of the other towns on the list, rent in Athens actually falls below the national average, making it an affordable town both during school and after graduation. Music is a big part of the culture, with several national acts, including R.E.M. and Widespread Panic, coming out of Athens. The University of Georgia is home to the Georgia Bulldogs, and their games are a big part of life in Athens.

One downside to living in Athens is that you may have a harder time finding reliably fast internet here, especially if you’re living in the more outlying areas. If that’s the case for you, there are rural internet options available that might help.

These four college towns have something for almost everyone, whether you’re a football fan itching to get on down to Georgia or a budding software engineer looking to make it big in Silicon Valley. Just don’t forget to squeeze in some studying and secure your college renters insurance upon move in!