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Student Life Transition

Must-Know Tips for Incoming College Freshmen

September 27, 2021

Heading off to college is one of the most thrilling times for many young adults. With a brand-new environment, exciting new experiences, new friendships and your future ahead of you, there are plenty of things to be excited about; however, for many, this can also be an intimidating experience. If you want to enjoy your first few weeks of college and put yourself on the path to a successful future, here are a few must-know tips.

Develop a Healthy Diet Plan

Freshman fifteen is a worrisome experience for many new incoming students. You may suddenly have a whole new sense of control over what you eat and when you do. If you want to enjoy your first year at college, you need to have a plan for a health-friendly diet, which means getting the right nutrients and avoiding processed foods. Once you know your schedule, consider what a nutritious meal plan can look like and set some guidelines for yourself. Don’t forget vitamins and supplements to help keep you on track!

Explore the Campus

Another common plight of first-year students is getting lost on campus. Due to the vast exponential size of many college campuses and the newness of the territory, it can be easy to get lost and confused. The last thing you will want to do is be late or unable to find your way. If you want to make for a smoother transition, take time to explore the campus and get acclimated. Not only can this help you be on time, but it can also help you find the best eateries and cool spots to hang out on campus.

Get Organized

If you are accustomed to adults keeping you organized, college may present numerous challenges. With you being on your own for the first time, you need to learn how to get organized. Whether this is organizing your class schedule, assignments, laundry schedule or even just your room, there are plenty of areas that you need to learn how to manage on your own.

Get to Know Your Advisor

One of your greatest resources on campus is your advisor. This person is meant to help guide you and offer advice as you take on your college experience. Your job is to know when and how to ask for help. You can use this person as a sounding board and another source of support, so make sure that you prioritize cultivating a relationship with them.

Be Open to Trying New Things

College is a time of massive transition. This adjustment can take time and at times feel uncomfortable; however, if you want to make the most of your college experience, you should be open to trying new things. Introducing yourself to strangers, joining a new club or trying a new class may change your life, and all you need to do is be open to the experience. The exciting and reassuring part of this is that you can know that everyone else is experiencing the same thing.

Venturing into the collegiate experience can hold boundless opportunities and exciting experiences. With a bit of planning, preparation and intention behind your decision-making, you can assuage all of your anxieties and open yourself up to this wondrous new opportunity.

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.

Adulting Career

How to Aim For a Six-Figure Job After College

September 24, 2021

Some folks assume you need a postgraduate degree and years of experience to land a job that pays a high salary. That’s one way of earning well, but it’s not the only way. You can aim for a six-figure job relatively soon after college—and it’s possible to do so with a bachelor’s degree.

Look at a few interesting statistics and examples of well-paying jobs and learn salary negotiation tips below.

What the Statistics Show

A National Association of Colleges and Employers study found that the average graduate earns $45,478 after graduation. Of course, some majors attract bigger average salaries. Look at engineering graduates, for example. Their average salary after graduation is $64,367, which is 42% higher.

Hang on—those are five-figure salaries. Are six figures possible, or are they just a fantasy? The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) says it is. According to BLS, the average worker with a bachelor’s degree earns $60,112 per year, while the highest-paying bachelor’s degree jobs offer six-figure salaries.

Examples of High-Paying Jobs

The following jobs require a bachelor’s degree or higher, and they offer annual salaries of more than $100,000. Some positions listed below may also require professional certification.

1. Actuary

Actuaries assist individual clients and businesses to create policies that reduce the cost of risk. This involves the use of financial theory, mathematics, and statistics to assess potential risks and to calculate their financial costs. Most actuaries have a bachelor’s degree in actuarial science, mathematics, statistics, or another analytical field, as well as professional certification. You could make around $108,350 per year.

2. Computer Hardware Engineer

Computer hardware engineers research, design, develop, and assess memory devices, networks, processors, and other computer components and systems. While many engineers have a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering, some have computer science or electrical engineering degrees. According to BLS, you can make around $117,220 per year.

3. Chemical Engineer

Chemical engineers use biology, chemistry, math, and physics to design equipment and processes involving chemicals, drugs, food, and fuel. You’ll need a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering, and to complete an engineering co-op or an internship. It’s possible to make an average of $108,770 per year.

Your chances of finding better-paying entry-level positions or of moving up the pay-scale quickly improve if you specialize and study further. The size of your salary may also depend on your negotiation skills.

Salary Negotiation Tips

Use the following tips when negotiating your salary.

1. Know your level’s salary range—Research the higher and lower ends of the salary range for your level to keep your negotiations realistic.

2. Don’t take the first offer—Employers usually have additional funds available, so don’t accept the first offer after acing your interview. Keep negotiating until they make a final offer.

3. Let prospective employers know why you want more money—Offering reasons for your desired increase can support your negotiations.

4. Let prospective employers know what other important factors would motivate you to accept an offer—This can include non-salary investment, such as relocation assistance or additional leave days that allow you to take a break and regain focus.

5. Don’t be greedy—Keep your demands in line with what others in similar jobs earn.

Only a very lucky few graduates walk into six-figure jobs after graduation. Others strive to reach that pay level early in their careers, which is possible. Let the tips above inspire you.


How to Be More Mindful of Your Skin

September 21, 2021

As a student, your skin doesn’t always get the attention it needs. Studying, assignments, and your social life all tend to take priority.

But your skin is important, and looking after it when you’re young makes all the difference in the future. Clear, healthy skin is also a confidence booster, and as you make your way through college and into the working world, you’ll want all the confidence you can get.

One way of keeping your skin clear, clean, and healthy is to practice mindfulness.

What Is Mindfulness?

Practicing mindfulness is a concept that’s made waves in recent years. It encourages you to be fully aware of what you’re feeling and sensing in the moment. It focuses on doing things in the present wholeheartedly. Being more mindful of your skin means being aware of how you treat your skin, and the results of those actions.

Skin mindfulness is also known to assist in reducing stress levels that cause acne and other issues.

Know What You Put into Your Body

It’s no secret that what you put into your body reflects on your skin. Skin and diet are intrinsically linked, and practicing mindfulness means being fully alert of the type of food you eat.

For students, it’s not always easy to make healthy dietary choices, but it’s important to try.

When you eat:

●  Focus on how the food tastes and smells

●  How your skin reacts to specific food

●  The nutrients and minerals in the food

Check The Ingredients In Your Products

Learning about what your beauty products contain is an essential aspect for skin mindfulness.

Mindful skincare incorporates products that are:

●  Made from natural/non-harmful ingredients

●  Cruelty free

●  Packed in eco-friendly packaging

Certain products contain harmful ingredients that pose a threat to your health. Researching your skin products tells you what to avoid and steers you towards products that are best suited to your skin type.

Be Intentional About Your Skin Care Routine

The secret to having beautiful looking skin is incorporating a regular, thorough skin care routine. Skin care routines are often forgotten as students race to class in the morning or head to bed at the end of a long day. However, if your aim is to improve on mindfulness, don’t rush the process.

Take it easy and think about how you are feeling during your routine. Are you feeling happy, anxious, nervous, or excited about something? How does your skin look today? Does it look dry, oily, dehydrated?

Think about what your skin goals are.

Are you trying to hydrate your skin, shrink pores, clear up acne, or lighten dark spots? Having a relaxed routine helps you discover more about what you want, and what your skin requires.

Act Now For The Future

Cultivating awareness of your skin is key to practicing mindfulness, and part of this means preparing for the future. When you’re young, your skin is elastic and wrinkle free, but as you age this changes.

If you spend lots of time in the sun, enjoy outdoor sports like running, or love getting a golden tan, be mindful that this comes with consequences. Make applying sun block and moisturizing part of your routine. The way you look after your skin now will reflect in years to come.

Love The Skin You’re In

Creating a mindful skin care routine is a great way to look and feel healthy, even when you’re facing the stresses and pressures of studying.

You’ve only got one skin. Establishing good habits now will set you up for a lifetime.

Adulting Career Transition

4 Tips for Finding Your First Job After College

September 18, 2021

Though you may have been able to follow a clearly defined path towards graduation throughout your college experience, at a certain point, that path ends, and another begins. As you finish your degree, the time comes to embark on the search to find your first job. This can be intimidating, but a basic knowledge of some of the best practices for first-time job seekers can make the initial search much smoother. Here are a few tips and suggestions to help you prepare for finding your first job after college.

Perfect Your Application Tools

It can be helpful to hone a variety of different skills that can make the application process smoother while simultaneously increasing your chances of landing a job.

One critical element of the modern recruiting landscape is a solid, polished online presence. Ideally, this is something you should be working on far in advance of your first application via cultivating a positive, professional manner throughout all of your social media interactions. Past behaviors, comments, and attitudes can all haunt candidates as recruiters scour their online profiles to learn more about them.

Even if you haven’t taken the time to do so yet, it is never too late to start cleaning up one’s online presence. Make sure to clean up your typical social media profiles and take time to create a fully filled-out LinkedIn profile to facilitate your communication with other professionals in your field as well as potential workplace recruiters.

It’s also crucial to prepare your resume ahead of time. While you may not have a plethora of past experiences to populate it with, a well-thought-out resume that properly represents your professional and academic experience and any other relevant skills are important.

When you apply, ensure that every application is uniquely crafted for the position you’re applying for.

Network, Network, Network

Whether you’re an industry leader with a dozen years of experience or a fledgling college graduate, the power of networking cannot be underestimated. While readers of this article will likely still be in the early stages of their careers, it is still absolutely worth the time to invest in networking with professionals within your industry. Great avenues for networking include attending professional organization meetings for those in your field and reaching out to a potential mentor on social media. Whatever avenue you choose, finding ways to network is an excellent way to quickly increase your chances of finding a job.

Use the Resources You Have Available

College graduates typically have various resources available to aid them in their search for employment. If your institution has a good alumni network, it can be beneficial to tap into it. Another option is to take advantage of your school’s career center and meet with a career counselor to discuss ways to go about your job search. This can help refine your search, perfect your resume, and help to work through any other questions you might have.

Making It Through the Interview

There’s nothing more exciting (or nerve-wracking) than getting your first interview. Naturally, you’re going to want to do everything you can to prove you’re the best candidate for the job. Here are a few tips for successful interviews:

First and foremost, you need to dress the part. Even if the job you applied for has a casual dress code (or you’ll be working from home in your pajamas), you must dress professionally for your interview. First impressions are everything! 

Second, it’s always good to practice your answers to common interview questions. You don’t want to find yourself tongue-tied or coming up blank when potential employers ask questions you should have expected. It’s practically inevitable that you’ll be asked the old chestnut “Tell me about yourself,” so be ready with a professional, authentic answer.

Finally, whatever you do, don’t speak negatively about your previous employers. Prospective employers will think you aren’t capable of resolving problems with your managers through negotiation and diplomacy. You may be perceived as a gossip, complainer, or simply unprofessional. If you’re asked why you left previous jobs, have constructive answers that don’t put the blame on a specific person (i.e., “there was no room for advancement.”)

Accepting a Job

Once you begin to hear back from recruiters, you’re going to want to prepare for job offers that could follow. If you decide to accept a job, be thoughtful and respectful in your acceptance to maintain a professional demeanor as you prepare to join the ranks of your new employer.

Typically, a job will first be offered over the phone or in person. If you accept, a formal job offer letter will follow. Don’t be afraid to ask if you need time to consider the offer. In fact, rushing to accept a job can often be a mistake. Just make sure your request for time is made respectfully. Once accepted, make sure you understand when you are to begin working. The one thing you should absolutely avoid doing at this point is negotiating over the salary. This should be done earlier in the process and can appear dishonest if done after an offer has been made.

As a final note, once you receive the formal job offer letter itself, make sure to respond appropriately in turn. There is more than one way to accept a job offer, and you’ll likely accept the offer initially over the phone. However, whether you accepted on the phone or asked for additional time to make your choice, once you have reached a conclusion, it is essential to confirm your acceptance of the job offer in writing. An official job offer thank you letter typically reiterates the primary details of the offer, the start date, and a personal acknowledgment of your interest or excitement in starting at the company.

Confidence is Key

If you take the time to prepare for your job search, you are much more likely to find success quickly. Not only that, but a professional approach to your search and a polished, pulled-together demeanor as you go through the hiring process will enable you to start your new job with confidence and likely create an added level of respect from your new employer as well.

BIO: Sam Bowman has a passion for learning. As a seasoned professional writer, he specializes in topics about people, education, tech, and how they merge. He likes running, reading, and combining the two in a run to his local bookstore in his spare time.

Career Student Life

How Students Can Make Some Extra Cash In Real Estate

September 15, 2021
Hand holding up money

If you are a college student looking to make extra money, there are plenty of ways for you to do so. From driving with Uber or Lyft to working for your university, many opportunities are available if you know where to look. One area you might not have thought to look at, however, is real estate. How can a full-time student make any money in the real estate business? Well, that’s exactly what we are going to explore in this post!

There is plenty of money to be made, and all you need is the attitude and planning to get a piece of it!

Have You Considered Becoming a Part-Time Realtor?

There are several steps you need to take before you can become a realtor, but — once completed — this job offers flexible hours. A realtor that works 20 hours/week makes $24,556 a year on average. That means you can choose when to work and easily schedule around class time. You’ll need to take an online prep course and then pass your state’s licensing exam, but after that, you can apply to a brokerage near your school.

If you have a free summer, then you should take the course and licensing exam then, as you wouldn’t want the licensing process to get in the way of your studies. Plus, it doesn’t take three months to complete, so you can use the rest of the summer to get comfortable with the job before resuming your studies.

Suppose you are going to school for finance, business, or hospitality and management. In that case, this job is a perfect resume builder because it involves negotiating with buyers and sellers, keeping track of accounts, numbers, and spreadsheets, and requires that you develop and maintain a schedule. If you can pull it off, this is a lucrative way to make money while in school and develop many sought-after skills in the job marketplace.

Have You Considered Investing in Real Estate?

Investing in real estate sounds like something your parents might bring up with their friends as you awkwardly engage in conversation at a family party. However, it has never been easier for retail investors, a.k.a. you, me, and everyone who isn’t a full-time investor, to enter the real estate investment market.

Many traditional investment businesses have followed Robinhood’s lead and opened up real estate investments to the masses through REITs publicly traded on the stock market. REITs, short for real estate investment trusts, are publicly traded companies that exist solely to invest in real estate. It is an indirect way to invest in real estate, as you are removed from direct investments, but the return on investment can undoubtedly be direct!

If you have extra cash, you may want to consider investing in a REIT through Robinhood or any similar investment app. A smart plan would be not to order out once a week and instead put that money toward a REIT investment. Similarly, you could look at any extraneous expense, like coffee or pizza, and reallocate that money into your investments.

The Takeaway

There are many ways to tap into the predicted growth when it comes to massive markets – like real estate. Whether you tap into it directly by getting involved in a brokerage as a realtor or indirectly through real estate investments, there are opportunities to be had and money to be made.

The critical thing to remember is that opportunities are abundant if you know how and where to look for them.

BIO: Veronica Baxter is a writer, blogger, and legal assistant operating out of the greater Philadelphia area. She writes for Chad Boonswang, a successful life insurance lawyer in Philadelphia.  

Student Life

7 Top Budgeting Tips for College Students

September 12, 2021

Going to college is an exciting period in your life. You’ll likely experience more freedom than at any prior point in your life. While spreading your wings is fun and amazing, one area that can get you in trouble is money.

Without a thorough understanding of basic finance, new college students often find themselves in trouble very quickly. College can be a great place to learn how to budget your finances, a skill that will benefit you for the rest of your life.

1. Start by Adding Up Your Expenses

Before you can budget anything, you need to know what you are working with. Total up the amount of money you have coming in each month. Start with any full or part-time jobs you may be holding while in college. If your hours fluctuate each week, you can look at the last several months and figure out the average.

Also consider any other sources of income, such as money from your parents, student loans, gifts from relatives, anything that brings in money. Add all those income sources to calculate your monthly net income. This is what you use to budget your expenses.

2. Add Together Your Expenses

Now you’ll want to total up all your expenses. Are you living in an apartment? You want to write down your rent (or your share of it if you have roommates). What about transportation? Do you have a car, or do you use public transportation?

If you rent an apartment, what about your utilities such as gas, electricity, water, parking, and anything else associated with it? Living in an apartment means you’re probably responsible for your food, too. Add that in.

What about gym memberships, going to the movies, books, clothes, cell phone, and other materials? It’s important to sit down and go through your month day by day and write down any time you spent money.

When totaling your expenses, you may need to calculate an average once again. If you are renting an apartment, chances are your rent is fixed, the same amount month to month. But expenses like food may vary greatly from month to month. Total your expenses for several months. Divide the total by that number of months. There’s your average for those expenses that may fluctuate every month.

3. Divide Your Expenses into Needs VS Wants

Here’s where you have to get real. If you are struggling to make ends meet each month, you may need to make some cuts. Start by tracking your expenses and deciding if you need them or if they are expendable.

If you live in your own apartment, that’s probably a need. You may be able to find additional roommates to help shoulder the cost. You might be able to find a cheaper apartment. Or you may consider moving into your college’s dorms.

Other expenses can be adjusted, too. What about your cell phone? Do you really need it? If you do, maybe you can move to a more affordable plan. Consider your food. Learn a few simple cooking techniques, buy some groceries, and you’ll be amazed at how much money you can save.

Many online services are subscription-based. These services rely on customers forgetting about them and they roll over month to month. Look at any subscriptions you may have. Are there any you’ve forgotten? Of the ones you have, are you really using them enough to warrant the expense?

4. Saving Money Where You Live

Most financial experts will say living in a dorm is better for your bottom line. Your heat, water, electricity, and meal plan are often all rolled up in one expense. This makes it much easier to keep track of your money and what you need to pay.

Unless you are living in your parents’ home, try to get an apartment close to school. Instead of dumping all your money into a used car that may break down at the worst time, walk to school. You’ll be healthier and save a lot of money.

If you own a dog or cat, you may be able to get pet surcharges in your apartment dropped by getting your pet certified as an emotional support animal. Getting an ESA letter is easier to get now than in years past.

5. Watch the Economy

Pay attention to the global, national, and local economies. Like it or not, the economy affects college students, too. If the economy is doing well, you may be able to find a better paying part-time job while you are in college. However, if the economy is doing poorly, you might want to hang onto that job you were thinking about quitting until things get better.

6. Look for Online and Offline Savings

There are many opportunities to save when shopping online. One well-known tactic is using credit cards to rack up rewards points, cashback, or airline miles. Another way to save is by using an online shopping extension, like the one from Capital One Shopping or Honey.

Another simple way to save money while shopping is using your student ID. That little card opens a world of savings to you. There’s only one catch. Many times, you must ask if a business offers student discounts. Many do, but they don’t advertise it. Carry your student ID with you everywhere you go. It’s that simple.

7. Compare Investing with Paying Off Student Loans

Yes, investing and planning for your retirement as early as possible is smart. Paying off student loans is also a great move. The key to deciding which to do and how much depends on interest rates.

How much money will you save by paying off your college loans early? How much money will you make in your investments? Comparing your student loans and investment goals will begin to give you an idea of where to put your money.

Summing Up

Going to college is an important step in your journey into adulthood. The best part? Many important life lessons are the ones you don’t learn in a classroom. Simply by being proactive, you can save a lot of money, reduce the pressure on yourself, and enjoy college even more.

Student Life

How to Support Students During Online Learning

September 6, 2021

The shift to online learning didn’t start during the pandemic. But lockdowns and closures of schools did accelerate its adoption. The unscheduled switch to online classes affected 90% of the world’s students and didn’t allow schools much time to plan and restructure learning and teaching approaches. As most of the world is still cautious about opening school doors, kids and their parents need a reliable and easily accessible source of information and help – the school website. Not only that, schools need to ensure that they all have a positive experience during these stressful times. Below are some useful tips that schools can implement to promote the love of learning to their students whether they’re digital or offline.

Come Up With Effective Teaching Methods

It’s impossible to engage everyone while you’re teaching a face-to-face class. It’s even more problematic when the teaching is done online. There are plenty of distractions at home that can easily take away their focus. It’s also much easier for them to get away with it. Moreover, switching to remote learning is not easy

Obviously, you have to keep your students interested in what you’re sharing with them. You need to have a clear understanding of who they are individually and what interests they have. More importantly, you need to adopt various teaching methods to ensure that everyone is benefiting from their online class. 

To help you figure out which strategies will work on your students, here are some effective online teaching methods that have made online learning much more engaging to students this past year:

  • Game-based teaching. Increase student engagement and learning by utilizing games. 
  • Use an online whiteboard or mind map. Allow your students to brainstorm ideas, take interactive quizzes, and draw diagrams and charts to share with the rest of the class.
  • Ask your students to create content. Allow them to work together or individually in creating digital stories about lessons you’ve discussed using various software such as Powerpoint.

Make Learning Materials Accessible

Every child has a right to an education, whether it’s done face-to-face or online. Schools need to ensure that all their students are able to access educational materials. The switch to remote learning has been a struggle for most students, but it has been extremely challenging for nearly 7 million of them who have a disability. It’s not easy for this group to get the same access to instruction and support online. They are faced with unique barriers such as a lower level of comfort with using technology. It’s the school’s responsibility to ensure that their transition is as easy as possible. 

One way to provide disabled students access to information and educational materials is to ensure ADA compliance for school websites. To make their website accessible, schools can:

  • Provide text alternatives for audio and visual content.
  • Ensure keyboard functionality.
  • Make text readable and understandable.
  • Make the website compatible with assistive technologies such as screen readers.

Provide in-Depth Feedback

It’s important that our students are provided constant and meaningful feedback, especially when they’re feeling isolated from their teachers and peers at home. Consistent communication about what they need to learn, how they are progressing, and what they can do to reach their goal. 

Good feedback is not just about giving your students their grades or telling them they did a “good job.” In order to be effective, you need to have a clear understanding of the target that your student needs to reach. What do you want your students to achieve? More importantly, the goals you set need to be actionable. 

Assess Your Students’ Progress

The first step to providing your student with feedback is to see if your students are on track to meeting the goal/s you have set for them. You need to assess how much they have mastered the lesson, whether it’s learning how to write or having a clear understanding of algebraic equations. How are they doing in class, particularly during discussions? How well does he meet the class requirements? What are his test scores? 

Identify any Potential Obstacle

After the assessment, you need to get specific insight on what obstacles are preventing them from reaching their goal. What is stopping him from mastering the lesson? Is it the teaching method used? Is he getting bored during online classes? 

Suggest Solutions if Necessary 

For feedback to be truly effective, you need to provide your students with solutions. Value-based statements such as “needs improvement” or “good job” will not help them understand what they can do to progress and achieve their goal. Effective feedback requires concrete, descriptive information that can help your students improve their work. If they don’t know how to improve, it will be easy for them to give up. So, how can he do better?

Future of Education

Traditional education has been undergoing a radical change over the past few years. The switch to remote learning isn’t going to go away even after the pandemic ends. Online education is here to stay. While some students may go back to the traditional classroom experience, others may choose online education because it suits their needs and goals. Schools need to make sure that all their students, whether learning in school or out of it, are able to access the same support and instruction.

BIO:  David Gevorkian started Be Accessible because of his passion for website accessibility and ADA compliance. He spent much of his career working for financial institutions creating websites and mobile applications. He earned his Master’s in Business Administration from Salve Regina University in Rhode Island. David is an advocate for creating web interfaces usable by all people. He enjoys recording music and playing soccer with friends.


Tips for Your First Post-Grad Home

September 3, 2021

According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, about 4.5 million college diplomas are issued each year. If one of them is yours, congratulations! You’ve put in the time, effort, and dedication to get your degree and officially start your life.

You might have a career lined up, or at least a pathway toward what you really want to do. But, that’s only half the battle after you’ve graduated. You also need a place to stay. Moving into your first home, post-grad can be an exciting transition. It also might be the first time you’re officially out on your own and not in a dorm.

So, there are some things to consider.

Buying a home is a long-term investment. Thinking about the financial aspects as well as establishing a sense of permanency should be at the top of your priority list. Thankfully, the experience can be a positive one if you know a few tips about what to expect. Let’s cover a few.

Determine What You Want

The first step in buying (or renting) a home is to decide what you want. Consider things like:

●  Location

●  Safety

●  Accessibility

●  Type of home

If you have a job lined up already, consider yourself lucky – 45% of 2020 grads are still looking for work, but that’s largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Maybe you’ve just been able to land a post-grad job for the first time and you’re looking for the right place to live. Finding a home near your place of work will make life much easier. If you don’t want to live too close to a city, you’ll at least want to make sure you have an easy commute. 

Having goals when it comes to what you want will help you to stay focused throughout your home-buying experience. With that in mind, understand that it doesn’t need to be a “buying” experience at all. Whether you don’t have a job lined up or you’re not ready to commit to something permanent, you might want to consider renting.

Renting has become a popular option. Over 44 million people in the U.S. rent their homes. It’s a great way to save money without any long-term commitments. Plus, many rental agreements allow you to decorate the way you want, which can help turn any space into a real home – especially when you’re on a budget.

Figure Out Your Finances

The financial side of homeownership can be the most stressful. Many graduates are stacked with debt after college, which can make it hard to get a loan. Even if you’re approved, you have to make sure you can afford to live in a house. There’s more to factor in than just a mortgage payment, including:

●  Utilities

●  Homeowners insurance

●  Repairs

●  Maintenance

You may want to take some time to save up for a house before deciding to make a purchase. Most mortgage companies will recommend having at least 20% to put down on a home. While there are exceptions, it’s a good idea to have at least some money “socked away” for your future home. Consider moving back home for a while to save money and establish credit.

There are plenty of ways you can save along the way. Cut back on dining out, get rid of some subscription services, or even sell a few belongings that you don’t want or need. Having a yard sale is an easy way to declutter and make some money to put into savings or to use while you’re searching for a job. If you’re too busy to set up a traditional sale, consider hosting one online to make your life easier. Get creative with your saving and budgeting techniques, and you’ll have your down payment in no time!

Make a Permanent and Professional Space

Once you’ve finally moved into your first post-grad home, there are still a few things to keep in mind. First, it’s important to make the space your own as soon as possible. This is a place of permanence, but also the first place where you’ll be starting a professional lifestyle. So, be sure to hang that diploma somewhere prominent in a quality frame and be proud of it!

It’s also important to feel comfortable in your new space. That’ll boost productivity and reduce stress levels, so your home can feel more like your own personal sanctuary. There are plenty of ways to make any house feel more like a home, including:

●  Hanging artwork

●  Keeping it clean

●  Displaying items that bring you happiness

●  Adding natural light

●  Give it a “signature scent” with candles or plug-ins

It can take about six weeks to really feel “at home” in a new space. Adding personal touches everywhere will make that process easier on you. In just a few weeks, you’ll be able to look back on the entire post-grad home-buying/renting experience and feel even more excited for the next chapter of your life.

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.


Is Coding a Basic Life Skill and Essential for the Future?

August 31, 2021

Coding is the process of writing or creating instructions for computers to follow using programming languages. It’s used to program technologies used every day like websites, apps, and other computer software. People are becoming more exposed not only to more gadgets powered by code, but the modern world is becoming more reliant on the internet and code-powered software, making computer literacy essential.

Learning, or at least understanding the basics of how to code will come in handy not only if you pursue a degree in software development or computer engineering, but also as a skill to have in your toolbox. Coding is a skill that can be taught and picked up by kids as young as 5 years old, and with technological advancements, teaching kids basic coding hasn’t been easier. Here are a few other reasons coding is a basic life skill and essential for the future. 

Coding Helps With Problem-Solving

Learning to code helps you approach problems logically since it’s essentially giving a computer a task to accomplish based on a series of steps you’ve created. These instructions can range from simple to complex, where more complex tasks or codes are a collection of simpler codes just put together. Knowing the basics of coding helps you break down a big problem into smaller pieces and be able to analyze or look at things from a different perspective.

Demand and Earning Potential for Coding-Related Jobs

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates that careers in computer and information technology will grow by 11% between 2019 and 2029, faster than the 4% average projected growth rate for other occupations. Some job opportunities that use coding include website and software developers, software engineers, data analysts, database and system administrators, and data scientists. According to the BLS, in 2019, the average median salary for coding and programming-related professions was $39,810.

While these jobs may increase in demand over the next few years, some skills needed for these jobs include a mastery of front-end and back-end programming languages, tools, and structures, as well as strong analytical ability, and problem-solving skills.

Practical Application

Most people have the impression that coding or learning to code comes in handy for technical professions, but there are other practical applications of coding knowledge as well. For instance, some projects may involve working with a team or coordinating with other developers, experience from working on these projects may translate into better teamwork or dynamics with others in the future. Coding also entails having keen attention to detail, critical thinking skills, and patience since coders should be able to notice the smallest mistakes in a code and be able to work through any issues that may come up while working on a project. These skills are not only valuable to coders but can also be useful in one’s personal life as well.

Coding Resources

There are numerous free resources available online once you decide to learn to code. Sites like Coursera, Udemy, Codecademy, AGupieWare, and edX offer free coding courses, and multiple Youtube videos and blogs are available to watch or read through as well, depending on your learning preference.

People are only becoming more exposed to technology every day, and knowing how to code as a skill can not only help you navigate and use these technologies better but help you maximize these and make the most out of them as well.

BIO: Arleen Atienza has been writing for several organizations and individuals in the past six years. Her educational background in Psychology and professional experience in corporate enable her to approach a wide range of topics including finance, business, beauty, health and wellness, and law, to name a few.

Student Life

How to Alleviate the Stress That Comes With Being Undecided in College

August 29, 2021

Let’s face it. There is an unrealistic amount of pressure for young adults to “know” what they want to do with the rest of their life. Before they know it, students are sitting in a college counselor’s office deciding on a major at only eighteen years old, a decision that could determine their entire future. It’s important to know that you are not alone if you feel lost about what path to follow toward your future. There will be people you meet in your careers that, at any age, will tell you they are still exploring different careers and trying to figure out what they truly want to do. Here are a few things to note that will help alleviate the stress and pressure you can feel from being undecided in college. 

Many Students Will Change Their Major

Almost 75% of students will change their major at least once. Even if you feel like all your friends have it figured it out and are confident in the major they chose, chances are they will change it or adjust their emphasis before graduating. With this in mind, focus on taking your prerequisite courses that will be needed regardless of the major you choose. 

Your Major Does Not Limit You to a Single Career Path

Many students believe that the major they pick will lock them down into a field where they will never be able to venture out. This is not true at all as there will be multiple career opportunities presented to you regardless of your major. A large percentage of people do not have a career in the field where they have a degree. This is not to say the knowledge that they learned from their undergraduate and graduate programs is not being utilized (as there are many ways in which those skills are valuable), but there is a sense of comfort in knowing that, for example, you can study psychology and still work in the business field.

There is No Rush in Figuring Out What to Do 

There is a lot of stress put onto figuring out what to do and not enough emphasis on the importance of figuring out what we don’t want to do. Explore different jobs and internships, take unique elective class courses, and start crossing things off the list that you decide don’t feel right. Don’t get discouraged by taking up opportunities that you end up not liking, it is still a step in the right direction.

With figuring out what you want to do, looking at other students and rushing to explore your educational and future careers, it can be a lot to handle all at once as an undergraduate student. It is important to keep in mind that there is no rush to success, and everything you do is leading you towards the best path for your future.