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Other Transition

Advice for Transfer Students: 5 Ways to Adapt to a New College

January 9, 2020
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Depending on your outlook, transferring to a new college can be an exciting opportunity or an intimidating experience. From learning the campus to making new friends, transferring can be a challenge, but, we have some secrets that will make it a smoother adjustment. With these tips, it shouldn’t be hard at all.

If you’re a transfer student, here are five ways to adapt to your new college so you feel right at home!

1. Attend Orientation

The first thing you need to do is learn the layout of the campus, so make sure you attend your orientation! You’ll get a guided tour with current students who can answer any questions you have. It’s a great opportunity to learn about campus life, academics, and social activities.

Orientations are for new students only, so it’s also a chance to meet other students who are new to the school just like you!

2. Meet With Your Advisor

Schedule a meeting with your advisor as soon as possible. They will be able to tell you what classes you need to take, what credits transferred from your old school, and what you need to do to graduate on time.

College advisors are a great source of other information too. They can provide guidance on career paths and connect you with professors who specialize in your field. Advisors are there to help you succeed before and after graduation.

So don’t be shy! You can ask your college advisor questions regarding anything you want to know about your new school!

3. Get Involved in Campus Activities

Graduating on time should be your main focus, but you can’t study all the time. You also need to have some fun! Join clubs, teams, or other campus organizations that interest you. This is a great way to make new friends that are passionate about the same things as you.

Technically, classes are campus activities. So make it a point to get involved in class discussions as well. Being active in class is a good way to connect with other students and impress your professors at the same time.

Don’t assume that everyone on campus already knows each other. Especially if you’re on a big campus, most people won’t even know that you’re new. As long as you put yourself out there, you’ll make new friends in no time!

4. Attend Campus Events

Most colleges provide lots of free (or inexpensive) activities for students. So attend football, lacrosse, or basketball games. Check out performances from the campus theater group, orchestra, or jazz band. Go to art exhibitions or networking events for professional development. Head to a yoga class or sign up for a fitness course at the campus rec center.

These are just a few of the ways that you can expose yourself to new things and meet new friends in the process. Be sure to take advantage of every opportunity to do fun things with new people. You’re going to have a blast!

5. Live on Campus

If possible, live in an on-campus dorm. It will be much easier to assimilate into the campus culture if you eat, sleep, and hang out there. Plus, it’s the best way to get the full college experience.

It’s tempting to want to live in an off-campus apartment, but as a transfer student, you run the risk of isolating yourself, especially if you don’t know anyone at school. Living in a dorm will instantly put you amongst other students. As long as you make a point to introduce yourself and start conversations, you’ll quickly become a part of the scene. Some of these people just might become your new best friends!


If you want to make your transfer as easy as possible, start by attending orientation. Then, meet with your advisor to make sure you’re on the right track academically. Add a few clubs and organizations that interest you, start to take advantage of campus resources and events, and live on campus if you can. It will help you get the most out of your college experience.

With these tips and tricks in mind, it shouldn’t take long before your new school feels like home! 

Bio: Elaine Chavez is the Business Manager at 625 Broadway. With over 8 years of experience in the industry, she begins and ends each day loving what she does. She is passionate about helping people find the perfect place to call home and shines at building a community that everyone is proud to be a part of.

Other Student Life

6 Things No One Ever Tells You about Keeping Dogs at College

December 16, 2019

If you’ve grown up with dogs and have never been without one, it will be a very strange thought to think about moving away to college without taking your dog. 

Unfortunately, the vast majority of colleges don’t allow you to take your dog with you; however, there are some exceptions to the rule. 

In this article, we’ll talk you through some general rules for keeping dogs at college, and also take a look at some case examples of unique pet policies at certain colleges. 

#1: Only 4% of Colleges Allow You to Keep Dogs at College

If you’re worried about getting into college, imagine how your dog must feel! A recent survey found that only 40 out of 1000 colleges are pet-friendly. That means, that unfortunately, the vast amount of colleges won’t allow you to bring your four-legged friend with you. There are some exceptions that will be covered below. 

#2: You Can Keep a Dog to Cope with Depression or For Emotional Support 

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, schools have to allow service animals on their campus and this includes dogs that are trained as emotional support dogs. Emotional support pets can be brought to college by students who need them to cope with day-to-day life. To prove that your dog is an emotional support animal, the college may ask you for evidence from your doctor. 

Note that not every animal can be trained as an ESA and making fraudulent claims that your animal is used for emotional support is against the law.

#3: Some Colleges Only Allow Certain Breeds 

If you’re lucky enough to find a college that will allow you to have pets on campus, you will probably find that some breeds are exempt and not allowed under any situation. For example, Alfred State College of Technology, New York, allows pets that are under 40 pounds, and do not allow certain breeds such as Alaskan Malamutes, Bull Dogs or German Shepherds. 

#4: Some colleges run programs which offer you the chance to train a service dog

Stetsons University is one of the colleges which has a great pet-friendly policy. Not only do they allow animals in two of their residence halls, but they also encourage staff and faculty to bring well-behaved pets to work with them. 

This University also gives students the opportunity to train future foster and service dogs which is a great extra-curricular activity for students. 

#5: Some colleges have pet-friendly dorms

Washington and Jefferson College have a pet-friendly dorm called the Pet House which allows 32 students to keep pets. 

Eckerd College and the University of Washington also allow students to bring their dog to college with them. They both have a small number of pet-friendly building in which both students and dogs can live.  

#6 Students are responsible for all damage

If you choose to take your dog to college with you, it will be your responsibility if they cause any damage. This will include chewing any furniture, scratching doors, or any accidents they might have. This can get quite expensive if your dog isn’t trained properly. 

Remember you also probably won’t be able to take them along to classes so you’ll need to make sure they have plenty of toys to keep them entertained while you’re out.

Having a dog at college is a lot of fun, but it can also have its limitations. If you’re considering taking your furry friend to college with you, be sure you take these tips into account when making your decision.

Bio: Thomas Woods, is the chief editor and creator of Perfect Dog Breeds, a website which helps to educate people worldwide about dog training and behavior. 

Other Transition

5 Budget Tips for Decorating Your First Home or Apartment

November 21, 2019

Whether you’re moving into off-campus housing during college or settling into a new place post-graduation, the independence of living in your own space is exciting! Turning a new house or apartment into a home is one of the many tasks to complete once you move in. However, decorating can be costly, especially if you’re strapped for cash. Here are some decorating tips that are not only budget-friendly but will enhance your new home. 

Dual-Storage

Directly following your move, finding the time to unpack can be difficult. Figuring out where everything should go is often challenging, and you need time to rearrange furniture and items to find their ideal place. Utilizing household storage containers that are also dual-purpose furniture will go a long way in consolidating and decorating at the same time. With the functionality of keeping things orderly and put away, you can also use something like this for a side table, stacked shelf, or even a seat when sitting room is tight. 

Thrifting

Thrifting for clothes is fun and cost-effective, but have you ever looked at the furniture section of your local thrift store? You’d be surprised at the amount of couches, armchairs, and coffee tables that are available for a fraction of the price as opposed to a regular furniture shop. Most thrift stores will check to ensure that items are in good condition to sell, but you’ll be able to test it for yourself when you’re there. 

Inexpensive Accessories

There are lots of accents that are economical that will enhance your home. Colorful pillows will stand out against a couch, or a soft throw blanket draped over the back of an armchair will provide texture in the room. Pieces with different materials such as these will give visual depth, and will also add to the space instead of making it feel flat. Color coordinating your accents will make your area feel complete, drawing the eye around the room!

DIY/Repurpose

DIY is a popular trend- as it should be! Finding new ways to reuse items can save money and expand your creativity. Look through every room and see where you can find inspiration to repurpose items. One cool project is making potted plants in tea tin containers that have magnets to be able to hang on your fridge, or glass jars that can double as makeup brush holders. For wooden furniture items, refurbishing them with peel-and-stick wallpaper can be a mess-free way to add a patterned design without having to paint!

Moving into your new home is fun, but having to worry about pricey decor items isn’t. With these tips, your space can be upgraded easily and effectively. Let us know some other budget decoration ideas you’ve used in your own place!

Other Student Life

6 College Campus ‘Lifehacks’ that Often Slip Under the Radar

November 21, 2019

College can be an overwhelming experience. Class schedules, living in a dorm for four years, and generally setting up a life away from home can be an intimidating prospect. If you’re preparing for life on campus, here are some less-well-known tips to give you a leg up on the challenges.

1. Get the Right Cooking Gear

It’s common knowledge that cooking your own food can save money on campus, but who has time for that every day? Besides, you can’t install an oven in a dorm room. If you want to keep your food costs down, consider getting an Instant Pot or a slow cooker to help make mealtimes quick and easy.

2. Wield Your Student Loans Wisely

Student loans are for more than just classes and books. In fact, you can use them for pretty much any of life’s necessities. The keyword here is necessities. Entertainment and spring break trips don’t count. However, if you’re in a financial pinch, consider using your loans to cover:

  • Student housing
  • Meal plans
  • Groceries
  • Rent
  • Utilities
  • Transportation
  • Miscellaneous school fees

3. Record Lectures

Sometimes lectures are recorded for you. Other times, it’s not allowed at all. For every other situation, you may want to use your smartphone to record your professors, especially during classes with information you know you’ll want to reference in the future. This is an underutilized option that can be invaluable when it comes time to study later on. Many times questions on the test are pulled directly from a lecture, so listening to lectures during commutes or during study time allows you to be more freshly prepared than if you had just taken notes.

4. Take a Parking Stroll

It can be easy to buckle under the pressure to pay for that outrageously priced parking pass. However, you may be able to work around it. Take a preliminary stroll around campus and look for places where you may be able to cash in on some free parking. You may even get a little exercise out of the trek.

5. Don’t Limit Your Study Spots

Even if you’re a creature of habit, it’s good to take time to scout out a variety of ideal studying locations, like:

  • The campus library
  • A local community library
  • A coffee shop
  • Your dorm room
  • The student union
  • The great outdoors

If you have several different places available, you can tailor each study session depending on things like the weather, your mood, what you’re studying, and your study buddies.

6. Space Out Your Study Time

For students, cramming is common. So is burning the candle at both ends. In fact, unhealthy academic studying behaviors are stereotypical and too often praised by college students. Don’t fall victim to the hype. Make sure to space out your study time as much as possible. Your brain will thank you for the opportunity to rest in between sessions.

Surviving the College Experience

College is full of challenges. Just when you think you have everything figured out, you encounter a professor on a bad day, run into financial issues, or upend your schedule at the end of a semester. 

Arming yourself with lesser-known lifehacks like these can make a world of a difference as you try to go with the flow. They can help you keep your grades up, your professors happy, your finances in order, and your brain sane.

Bio:  Dan Matthews is a writer with a degree in English from Boise State University. He has extensive experience writing online at the intersection of business, finance, marketing, and culture.

Health Other

The Best Spotify Playlists for Students

October 7, 2019

We all like that rhythm and blues, right? Whether it’s studying, walking to class, or working out at the gym, having the right tunes is essential to any college student depending on your mood and activity! Here are a few of our favorite playlists on Spotify that are perfect for students!

Lo-Fi Beats

This playlist is perfect for the student that needs a little noise to study but doesn’t need the distraction of actual voices singing. Lo-Fi Beats adds that little something to your ears to drown out other things around you and helps you chill out and focus a little more. Other playlists like this one include Lo-Fi Cafe, Study Beats, and Sunny Beats.

Headbanger Halloween

Now, don’t get wrapped up in the title of this one. It’s perfect for workouts, hangouts, or the Halloween party you said you weren’t planning to throw this year. Filled with upbeat tunes with a “creepy” undertone or lyrics. This is the perfect playlist for fall! Don’t disregard it as it will bring up your spirits and get yourself into that spooky fall mindset.

Mellow Drive

This is a go-to for anyone who thrives on those late 90’s-early 2000’s classics; lot’s of Matchbox Twenty, Train, and Jack Johnson. This could be a good station for some light studying or walking to class on-campus. It picks up your spirits and lightens your mood, but be careful, you will probably end up singing out loud.

Your Daily Drive

If you commute to school, this is definitely one you want to look into. This is a station that is completely catered towards you and is handpicked for your taste in tunes. It is a completion of the music you like on Spotify, combined with news stories to keep you up to date with what is going on in the world. If you commute to school via car, bus, or train, this is a good one to help pass the time.

Confidence Boost

The ultimate playlist for the gym or a run around campus is Confidence Boost! Filled with upbeat songs to keep you motivated and going, this playlist is ideal for anyone needing that instant pick me up. You will be belting at the top of your lungs to hits from Kelly Clarkson, Pink!, and of course, Lizzo. Dance your way around the gym with this playlist and definitely give your confidence the boost that it needs.

Well, there you have it! Five playlists that are perfect for students depending on your mood or activity. Be sure to follow them now and it will surely be music to your ears. Pun intended.

Other Transition

84% of State Insurance Commissioners Recommend College Students Consider Renters Insurance

July 31, 2019

Over the last decade that GradGuard has worked to protect college students and their families, we’ve tracked the guidance that state insurance commissioners provide regarding the value of renters insurance.

Starting in 2013, 28 insurance commissioners suggested college students consider renters insurance. In 2019, 42 insurance commissioners made such a recommendation. 

The 150% growth in recommendations is likely a result of the real financial losses students experience while living both on and off-campus. In fact, an analysis of campus safety and crime data provided by more than 6,000 schools Clery Act reports, reveals an average of more than 37,000 campus crime and safety incidents. Furthermore, on average 1,726 fires are reported in on-campus student housing.

States Recommended Renters Insurance
Alabama – AL Yes
Alaska – AK Yes
Arizona – AZ Yes
Arkansas – AR Yes
California – CA Yes
Colorado – CO Yes
Connecticut – CT Yes
Delaware – DE Yes
Florida – FL No
Georgia – GA Yes
Hawaii – HI No
Idaho – ID Yes
Illinois – IL Yes
Indiana – IN Yes
Iowa – IA Yes
Kansas – KS Yes
Kentucky – KY No
Louisiana – LA Yes
Maine – ME Yes
Maryland – MD Yes
Massachusetts – MA Yes
Michigan – MI Yes
Minnesota – MN Yes
Mississippi – MS Yes
Missouri – MO Yes
Montana – MT Yes
Nebraska – NE Yes
Nevada – NV No
New Hampshire – NH Yes
New Jersey – NJ Yes
New Mexico – NM Yes
New York – NY Yes
North Carolina – NC Yes
North Dakota – ND Yes
Ohio – OH Yes
Oklahoma – OK Yes
Oregon – OR Yes
Pennsylvania – PA Yes
Rhode Island – RI Yes
South Carolina – SC Yes
South Dakota – SD Yes
Tennessee – TN Yes
Texas – TX No
Utah – UT Yes
Vermont – VT No
Virginia – VA No
Washington – WA Yes
West Virginia – WV No
Wisconsin – WI Yes
Wyoming – WY Yes

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 computer – Renters insurance may be able to 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 it would cost for you to replace your property. 

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.

Students can protect their belongings against losses for about 50 cents a day.

“That makes renters insurance a must-have consideration for college families,” John Fees, the co-founder of GradGuard said. “Whether you are living on or off-campus, college students and their families are smart to consider purchasing renters insurance before the start of school.”

This article was updated in July 2020

Health Other

The Impact of Technology on Education and Study Habits

June 4, 2019

Over time, technology has been evolving and has opened up a whole new world that didn’t exist a couple of years ago. Amazingly, the world has become a place where people can learn what has been hidden in books, through a virtual experience.  

Gone are days when students used to stress over exams, due to their lack of preparedness. Today, you can watch a step-by-step video and learn the toughest concepts easily through online tutorials.

From taking online classes with Clutch, an academic lifesaver, to studying for your organic chemistry exam, you can be sure to face your exams with confidence. Through this article, we will look at some of the biggest changes in the industry.

  • Being Entertained While Studying

Do you like the act of burying your head in books for hours? Do you even like the idea of looking at papers constantly without a break? The answer is probably no.

With content creators looking for ways to create engaging posts, academia posts are amazingly created with a twist of fun. Educational content is created with the learners’ needs in mind.

For example, you can learn about Los Angeles by watching YouTube videos about fun facts about LA or even listening to a lecture by a renowned travel expert. There is a whole new world of learning materials outside of books and Wikipedia.

  • Gamification of Learning

Isn’t it crazy that you can learn through gaming? The idea of gamification of lectures is strongly supported by educational experts.

This started way back with classroom Jeopardy for review sessions. The only difference is that now, as opposed to a classroom exercise, you will enjoy online games created purposely to teach and instruct.

Educational videos prove to boost student retention. There are also game apps used to improve studying with puzzles, logic and general intelligence.

  • Improved Speed

The traditional habits of looking into books index to access resources is now a thing of the past. Thank God you’re born in the 21st century, where you can now gain access to information speedily. On arriving at a resource, you just search the document though typing a keyword.

Additionally, mathematical programs that took decades to finish can now be completed in far quicker ways through special programs. Mathematical graphs are also plotted pretty quickly.

  • Divided Attention Disorder–DAD

While using technology for educational purposes, you will barely overcome the urge to check at your social pages. Most likely, you will be easily distracted from work, an affliction dubbed DAD (divided attention disorder).

Most temptations associated with DAD include the temptation to download a file, check bank balances, comment on a friend’s post/update, or speak to someone on a smartphone. Just Imagine how long then it will take to finish an essay or some informative read up.  

  • Change of roles

Technology is changing the roles of both teachers and learners. For example, in traditional learning set up, a teacher is the source of information and student the receiver.

This has for long been the practice, but, with access to lots of educational information through tech, shifting the role of a teacher to the “guide on the side”. On the other side, students take more responsibility for their own learning—without a supervisor. Additionally, you will realize that schools and universities all over the world are rolling out their learning programs to foster more use of technology.

Technology and education are always advancing; be sure you follow GradGuard on social media for all the tech updates within the industry!