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Other Student Life

4 Motivational Commencement Speeches to Get You Through Finals Week

December 10, 2018

As college students, there is one day that everyone universally looks to; graduation day. The day where you finally get to leave those history papers, group projects, and exams behind to start your life in the real world. What you’re not told, is that everyone is going to take that culture shock differently, and maybe your last set of inspiration before you leave for good is that final speech given by your commencement speaker. We’ve put together a few of our favorite college graduation commencement speeches to get you excited and hyped up for that new chapter of your life.

Ben Nemtin, University of Utah 2018

Holy cow. This speech is one of the most impactful addresses to come out of college commencement. Ben Nemtin is known for a show that was on MTV a while back called The Buried Life. Almost 10 years ago, he and 3 of his hometown friends came together on a whim to make a movie about crossing things off of their far-fetched “buried” lists. They left their jobs and lives in Canada, got a contract with MTV, and hit the road. As they crossed off items one by one, they helped strangers cross items off of their own lists. They began with 100 items on that list and now only 9 remain. They’ve accomplished things such as playing basketball with President Obama, escaping from a desert island, and writing a New York Times best-selling novel. Regardless of your place in life, this is commencement speech you NEED to watch.

Admiral William H. McRaven, University of Texas – Austin 2014

If you are at all currently in the military, came from a military family, or have interested in entering the military, this is a great speech for you. Though it does speak to everyone. Through countless experiences and words of wisdom, he talks about the simple things that happen day to day that can change the lives of those around you. He gives the 10 lessons that he learned in his basic Navy Seals training that helped him change his outlook on life and to move forward to change the world. Simply put, make your bed and thank me later.

Will Ferrell, University of Southern California 2017

Those first two were a little on the serious side, how about something a little more lighthearted? Will Ferrell’s address tells us about his times at USC, how he has earned his honorary doctorate degree, and how he became the comedic actor that he’s known as today. He goes on about how, though he was scared while going through those times, he was more scared of the “what if” statement if he did not try. Will talks about how he spent much of the beginning of his career “throwing darts at a dartboard hoping that one of them would stick,” but how most of his success stems from his family and giving back to the community. “Trust your gut, keep throwing darts at the dartboard, don’t listen to the critics, and you will figure it out.”

Shonda Rhimes, Dartmouth College 2014

Shonda. Rhimes. Does more really need to be said? Before her thriving career as a TV writer for popular shows such as Grey’s Anatomy, Station 19, and Private Practice, and staple movies like The Princess Diaries, she was a dreamer at Dartmouth College back in 1991. She was hungover on her graduation day because she was grieving the loss of her college years and was nowhere near excited about entering adulthood. She speaks of doing and not dreaming, and what it takes to be a strong single mother in addition to a successful career woman. Shonda gives you advice in a very real way and explains that anyone who tells you that they are perfect in life is lying to you; that it’s okay to lie on the floor of your dorm room and cry because you do not know what comes next. If this speech doesn’t give you the same emotions as an episode of Grey’s does, then you need to watch it again.


Next time you are feeling down and need something to pick you up or make you feel like you are not alone with what you are going through in your life, remember that these speeches will have your back; much like GradGuard when it comes to protecting your investment in higher education.

Other Student Life

10 Tips to Help Boost Your College Budget

December 5, 2018

The broke college student subsisting on instant ramen noodles and mooching off their parents may be a tired cliché, but it still carries a kernel of truth: college isn’t cheap, and money is often very tight as a result. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be that way. If you’re having a hard time keeping your finances in the black during college, there are plenty of steps you can take to improve your situation. With a little bit of planning and ingenuity, the ten tips below can help ease your budget crunch and make sure that you’re getting the very most out of your college experience.

  1. Cut Costs on School Supplies

As any college student can attest, textbooks and other supplies can burn a hole in your wallet in a hurry. Rather than buying new books at the campus bookstore, consider looking for used books online, at local bookstores and even from friends and acquaintances. Alternatively, many modern textbooks can be purchased digitally and downloaded to a tablet or laptop for a much lower price than their physical counterparts. Many other supplies can be bought in bulk for big savings, and again it’s best to avoid campus bookstores and their inflated prices.

  1. Use Credit Cards Responsibly

When it comes to credit cards, there are two common and equally troubling approaches. Some people are tempted by the ability to simply flash some plastic and buy anything they wish, while others are scared away from using them entirely. In reality, there’s no reason to fear credit cards – if they’re used responsibly. In fact, using a credit card for routine purchases and paying off the balance in full each month is a fantastic way to begin building a strong credit history. Just be aware that interest rates are often exceedingly high, so don’t buy something you can’t pay for except in the event of a true emergency.

  1. Cook for a Week

Food is an expense that most college students simply don’t think about, but it can add up quickly. Eating out or signing up for a meal plan isn’t cheap, and relying on cold pizza and Hot Pockets isn’t very healthy. Instead, consider making your own meal plan by devoting a few hours on the weekend to cook meals for the entire week. Simply plan out whichever meals you’d like to eat, make a list of all the necessary ingredients and buy them all at once. Cook the meals, place them in containers and stick them in the freezer. When you’re ready to eat, all you need to do is take your chosen meal out and heat it up. Voila!

  1. Start a Savings Account

It’s never too early to start saving for a rainy day, and a savings account is a great way to do it. Even if you can only afford small, irregular deposits, you’ll be building a financial cushion and earning interest while you’re at it. Most importantly, you’ll begin developing the good saving habits that you’ll need to prepare yourself for the future. Take time to do your research and find the best interest rates available, but be sure to avoid accounts that require a monthly fee.

  1. Use Your Student ID

You may not realize it, but your student ID can be a major money-saving tool. You’ll find a variety of fun activities on nearly any college campus, and your student ID can often snag you a serious discount or even free admission. It’s a great way to stay engaged and enjoy yourself without shelling out much money. Your ID can also earn you savings from a wide range of other stores, venues and websites, so keep your eyes peeled for student discounts wherever you go.

  1. Use Alternative Transportation

If you’re accustomed to driving to and from class, you may not notice how much money you spend on gas and other transportation-related expenses. Whenever possible, consider using alternative means of transportation to save some extra cash. If your commute is short enough, walking or riding a bike is free and can help to keep you in shape. Public transportation is another cost-effective option, and it can even give you an opportunity to sneak in some extra work or studying.

  1. Do Your Homework on Student Loans

Student debt is a massive problem in the United States and managing it poorly can cripple your finances for years to come. Easing that burden begins before you borrow a single cent, as choosing the right loan can make all the difference. It pays to do your research, comparing all available options in search of lower interest rates and payment terms that suit your particular situation. In most cases, federal loans will be the most affordable option, as well as providing fixed rates and more flexibility. It’s also important to determine the smallest loan amount you realistically need, which will keep your balance lower and allow you to repay your debt more quickly.

  1. Work Smarter

Balancing work and school is no easy task, but it’s a financial necessity for many students. If possible, try to find a job that naturally fits into your typical schedule. Many employers near college campuses are willing to provide flexible hours for students, but it’s important to keep your employer updated on your schedule to avoid conflicts. You may even consider taking a job that pays slightly less if it affords you time to do schoolwork.

  1. Make the Most of Your Education

While it may not directly put money in your pocket, staying focused on your education will ensure that you’re getting the best bang for your buck. You’ll be paying for your schooling for quite some time, so it’s important that you get as much out of it as you can. If you go to classes, work hard and set yourself up to succeed in whatever you choose to do after graduation, it’ll be worth every penny that you spend. As an added bonus, spending your time on schoolwork means you’ll have less time to waste money on frivolous things. It may not be as fun in the moment, but your bank account – and your future – will thank you.

  1. Adopt Money-Saving Habits

College is a time to receive an education, but it’s also a time to learn valuable lessons that will serve you for the rest of your life. One of the most important lessons you can learn is how to manage your money, and in particular, how to develop good money-saving habits. Set aside some time every week to review your budget and look for opportunities to save some cash, whether it’s opting for generic brands and using coupons at the grocery store or making your own coffee in the morning instead of paying for an expensive cup at the coffee shop. Learning how to save a few dollars and cents now can make a big difference in staying financially healthy in the long run.

As you begin to “adult” a little more in your daily life, remember to check out GradGuard’s blog for all your college hacks!


Beth Kotz is a contributing writer for A graduate of DePaul University in Chicago, she has also been featured as a writer and editor for numerous energy, entertainment, and home blogs.

Other Student Life

Top 5 Ways to Boost Your Motivation to Study

December 3, 2018

Top 5 Ways to Boost Your Motivation to Study

Motivation is a well-known problem that many students experience, but most don’t know how to motivate themselves.

Students not only struggle with motivation to study and excel academically but, according to Delta Discovery, 69% of them drop out of colleges because of lack of motivation. This statistic shows how serious this problem is and urges us to find immediate solutions.

Luckily, there are some tips you can follow to boost your motivation to study. They are easy to follow and take little to no time, which is perfect for high-school or college students, who are always in a rush.

So here are top 5 ways to boost your motivation to study.

  1. Organize a Studying Space

According to a study performed by Harvard University, students who study in a clutter-free workplace are able to work 7.5 minutes longer. So, before you start with your assignments, find some time to tidy up your desk or any other space you’ll work in.

Multiple studies have proven the connection between clutter and stress. Your desk is the place where you spend most of your time studying, so you need to make it as tidy as possible. You’ll see how fast it will help you think more clearly and make you more motivated to study.

Tip! If you don’t have time to de-clutter, go to a place where you can concentrate, like your school library. It’s always quiet and peaceful, and the workspace is clutter-free.

  1. Eliminate Distractions

Procrastination is how our brain reacts to irritants such as stressful situations, however, it can be difficult to break the habit of constant procrastination.

Psychology Today singles out 5 major reasons why we procrastinate:

  • No structure. If there’s no direction, it’s hard to concentrate. To be productive, your brain needs elaborate steps to follow.
  • Unpleasant or boring tasks. Unpleasant tasks can unwillingly force us to procrastinate.
  • Lack of vision of the result. If you can’t envision being rewarded for performing the task, you’re more likely to delay doing it.
  • Feeling of anxiety. Fear of failure is a real reason why people procrastinate. Knowing that you’ve done everything you could to achieve the best result will help you feel more confident.
  • Weak self-confidence. The same as with the previous reason, weak self-confidence causes the feeling of being unworthy or fear of failure.

Tip! To avoid procrastination and find the motivation to study, you can use different smartphone or browser apps, like Tomato Timer, based on Pomodoro technique, as well as Forest app to help you concentrate.

  1. Imagine the Result

Several years ago, there was a real buzz around the visualization technique. The movie called “The Secret” had so many supporters and haters that everyone got interested, whether the power of visualization actually works.

A study by Texas State University, performed on athletes, has shown that 51% of participants improved their free throw after visualizing the successful results, which is a very impressive statistic.

Tip! Take 5 minutes before you start studying, take a comfortable position in a chair or lay down, close your eyes and start imagining the successful results of your work. You’ll feel more motivated right away.

  1. Take a Power Nap

Taking a nap before studying can help you feel refreshed and motivated. A report posted by NBC News shows that a short nap before working/studying results in an immediate alertness and increased cognitive performance for almost 3 hours.

Tip! You can combine your power naps with guided meditations. Downloading apps like Headspace or Calm can help you put your mind to rest and have a power nap to recharge and get motivated.

  1. Exercise

It’s also a well-known fact that exercising can help your body recharge and get energized. A quick workout can help you get motivated immediately. Your brain gets filled with oxygen, which helps you think clearly.

Tip! Try a simple 7 to 10-minute workout to get motivated quickly.


Motivation is Easy to Find

The only thing you need is persistence and desire to find it. Hopefully, the tips mentioned in this article will help you get energized and motivated to achieve success in studying.



Tom Jager is a professional blogger. He works at A-writer.  He has a degree in Law and English literature. Tom has written numerous articles/online journals. You can reach him at G+  or  Facebook.

Other Student Life

Rock Your Notes; A Beginners Guide to Note-taking

November 27, 2018

Young students who have just entered a college almost never pack an art of note taking when they attend their first lecture. Studies show that almost 40% of listeners fail to put down an important or consistent summary. This leads to forgetting the material altogether. 

The drawback is missing out on significant items for the term papers and turning in written assignments that significantly stay clear from the requirements. 

With disregard to the proficiency of the topic, taking college notes is crucial to any follow-ups and activities. Moreover, it facilitates the process of getting ready for tests and exams. Sometimes, the test is based on the data provided only in class. 

Tips to Develop Note-taking

Use Highlights to Activate Your Brain

Visualizing activates different types of memory and your study methods become more effective. Highlighting draws the attention to what’s on the paper. Draw a flow and create an outline. If you miss the beginning of the new subtopic and put it as a bullet point, then further you can highlight the subtopics in the same color so you will know when the new stage of the discourse begins. 

Timeline for Events in Order

The lectures on the history of anything generally present the data in a form of the time flow of the events. This is a solid clue on how to follow what you hear. Prepare to draw a timeline of the events in your notebook. The focus here should be on the events presented in the classroom. Meaning that it’s better to draw a vertical flow to the left of your notebook leaving enough space on the right for the peculiarities of the events that might not be accessible elsewhere.

Mind Maps

This is a helpful tool that has found its way in most workplaces today. It helps to study too. Use the free online websites that allow creating the mind maps. With a little practice, you will develop this key skill that will aid you throughout the career. Start with placing the core of the map in the very center of the page and spread the items sideways. A mind map is a very flexible scheme of relations, interactions, and organization of notions

Graphic Organizer

Use easy hand-drawn graphs, pie charts, and schemes. Copy them from the tutor’s presentation. Don’t worry if they are not perfect at the beginning. As you train visualizing skills, you will improve note-taking strategies.

Journey Methods and Prompts

If you are engaged in a repeated daily activity, like commuting on the bus or train, cycling or running, connect the things you see daily by tying them to the facts you’ve learned recently. 


Put a name of the object of studies on the card then put prompts about the object on the reverse side of it. Draw a small doodle as a cue for efficient memorizing. 

If you are not into writing, at first, the recorder will help. But it may never plant a seed if you don’t write it down. The professors also provide additional materials from the lecture to the emails of attendants. Some even send the materials on the eve of a lecture or event. Whatever the case, these Tuesday Tips will help you excel! Remember that you heard it from GradGuard first.


Susan Wallace is an expert writer. She is passionate about both writing and education. She has been able to assist students and businessmen develop their writing skills both academically and professionally. 

Other Transition

College Students Over 25, is it Too Late?

November 26, 2018

When we think of college, we can often think of young people at the cusp of late teen years and early adulthood. With many lifestyle changes happening today, more and more adults are going back to college or even starting school in later adulthood. This means older students who often have full-time jobs, life experience, and even children of their own are attending college. According to the National Student Clearinghouse, as of March 2018, more than one-third of college students are currently over 25 years of age. With such an increase in numbers, more and more colleges and universities are providing resources for older students.

The Primary Concern of Cost

College and financial aid tend to go hand in hand. For many older college students past the “traditional” college age of 18-22, resources such as parents or high school scholarships like Bright Futures are not available to them. Fortunately, there are many other financial options out there for non-traditional students. For older college students who work, many companies offer full or partial tuition reimbursement upon successful completion of their courses. Some states offer state scholarships for non-traditional students. Loans are another option, and some lenders offer flexible payment plans for students.

Fitting College into a Busy Schedule

Returning students or students beginning college may feel some apprehension balancing busy lives with academic workloads. For older students with established jobs, careers, families, and other commitments, they may feel they don’t have adequate time for college and might ask younger students to help them with their homework. With this in mind, many colleges and universities have created supportive programs and assistance specifically geared toward these students. More institutions offer night courses for those who have full-time jobs as well. Some schools even have weekend options and most offer online courses. Online classes can be very effective and offer useful tools for students including webcasts, tutorials, and discussion boards.

Life as an older college student can be fulfilling and exciting. Aside from the normal concerns such as time and cost; college has many benefits. From those seeking to expand their education and land a more promising career, to those starting out for the first time ten or twenty years past the “traditional” age of college students, the benefits of attending school are significant. Older students can pace themselves while they are in college. Unlike their younger peers, older students may be established enough that they can take fewer courses at a time and still work toward their degree at a more suitable pace (Lumina).

Having passed the traditional college age, many older college students are actually able to appreciate, truly absorb, and instantly apply their college knowledge to their lives, which can make the journey even more rewarding. With more and more students either returning or beginning college later in life, a new wave of experienced and professional students is emerging. There is such a bright turnout and many agree that it is never too late to go to college.

If you do decide to go back to college, know that GradGuard has you covered with both insurance and all your need-to-know hacks.



Christine is a professional essay writer who writes on several different subjects. Due to her experience with essay writing, she has helped many people land their difficult tasks doing what she loves.

Other Student Life

Friendsgiving 101: A step-by-step guide to hosting

November 21, 2018

With spooky season behind you and cozy season upon you, it’s time to remind your besties how thankful you are to have them in your life. What better way to practice gratitude towards your friends than with Friendsgiving? Whether your feast is inspired by Pinterest or a host of different family traditions, your friends will be sure to indulge. Pour yourself a cup of hot apple cider and start planning your very own Friendsgiving with these simple steps.

Step One: Create a Facebook Event

Weeks prior to Friendsgiving, send out a Facebook event invite. This allows for a guesstimated headcount. Be sure to plan the time around college football or NFL games for the fans among us. If you are in an apartment complex with a community center, be sure to reserve it in advance as it can fill up around the holidays.  Remind your friends to secure a designated driver or take an Uber or Lyft if they plan on having libations.

Step Two: Make a Google Sheet to coordinate dishes

Seven bowls of mashed potatoes? Let’s hope someone remembered to bring the gravy.

Avoid duplicated dishes by creating a Google Sheet. Divide the sheet into categories and provide staple dishes with corresponding columns for guests to claim the dish with their name. Share this by providing the link in your Facebook event summary.

Step Three: Prepare 

A college budget doesn’t put Friendsgiving off limits. Stores like the 99 cents only and dollar tree have plenty of utensils fit for a crowd. Feeling green? Encourage your guests to bring their own glass containers for leftovers and reusable utensils like these that GradGuard hands out at conferences.

Be sure to empty out your fridge to make room for all of the dishes. Make note of how long each dish will need to heat up and where it can be heated (oven, stovetop, or microwave). Set up stations for appetizers and drinks, the main feast, and dessert. Designate bins for trash and recycle.

Step Four: Clearly label the turducken from the vegducken

It’s not uncommon these days to transform Grandma’s classic green-bean casserole into a vegan-friendly recipe. When your guests arrive with their dish, hand them an allergen card. Here they can label the name of the dish and they can circle if its considered gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free, or nut-free.

Step Five: Give thanks

Once all of your guests are seated with a mountain of food in front of them, it’s time for a toast. Remind your friends how grateful you are for having each one of them in your life. Give a cheers to the midterms being behind you and wish your friends luck in the remainder of the semester. They may think it’s corny, but have each person go around and say one thing about your collective friendship that they are most thankful for.

Step Six: Send your guests away with leftovers 

After everyone has loosened their belts a notch, have them get in line for one last round to fill their containers with leftovers until the pans are empty. Offer to clean the pan there or set a reminder to bring it back to them next time you see them.

GradGuard’s employees celebrate the company of one-another each year during a Friendsgiving with their sister company Bindable. From a Bindable Agent’s famous butterscotch bread to GradGuard QA Manager’s mac and cheese, the feast is an event to look forward to. We encourage you to bring Friendsgiving to your university dorm room or internship office, too!

Health Other

5 at Home (or in the Dorms) Cold Remedies

November 20, 2018

Living in a dorm where everyone is right in close proximity can open you up to a lot of things. Unfortunately, one of those things happens to be colds. And while there is not yet a cure for the common cold, there are simple things you can do at home to get you feeling better and back on your feet in time for finals week.

1. If you have a sore throat, strange as it sounds, it’s a good idea to gargle warm salt water. Adding a 1/4 tablespoon of salt to 8 ounces of warm water, and gargling it in the back of your throat can help relieve the pain. The salt helps wash away the nasty things in your throat that cause inflammation and swelling, thus cutting down on the pain in your throat.

2. A cup of tea with honey, while not actually possessing any medicinal qualities, can be a huge relief when you’re all stuffed up and sniffly. Hot tea loosens up your nasal passages and allows air to flow through them again, much in the same way as a nice bowl of chicken noodle soup.

3. Vitamin C is a big one for the prevention and treatment of colds, or really any minor illness. Found in things like citrus fruits, and many fruit juices, it helps cut down on inflammation and mucous and speeds up the production of white blood cells, which in turn speeds up healing. You can also take Vitamin C in pill form as a supplement – Airborne was our savior my freshman year – but many foods, including strawberries, peaches, and broccoli, have a surprisingly high supply.

4. Of course, the classic Vick’s VapoRub always helps clear a stuffy nose and congestion. Applying it liberally to your chest or feet before bedtime can work wonders, and at the very least, ensure you’ll get a good night’s sleep, and not stay up half the night blowing your nose or unable to breathe. If you don’t like the messiness of the rub on stuff, they now have patches you can place on your clothing that have about the same effect.

5. And of course, the most obvious one of all: sleep. In order to fight the infection in your body, lots of sleep is a necessity. Shut your door and close the curtains, and you’ll be asleep in no time. Chances are, your roommates will leave you alone for fear of getting infected themselves so you can nap for hours in peace.

College students are susceptible to illnesses, as well as other mishaps, so it’s important to take the proper precautions. Visit GradGuard for more information!

Other Student Life

Everything You Need to Know About Assessment Days

November 19, 2018

Being invited to an assessment center can be scary because you don’t know how your day will unfold or what kind of tests you have to go through. Assessment days are being used more often in the graduate recruitment process to simulate the kind of activities that applicants would be doing once they get hired. They are an effective way to assess the suitability of candidates because they are much more accurate than a single interview.

The activities undertaken during an assessment day will vary depending on the specific employer and the job role being filled.

The day usually follows a similar structure to this:


When you arrive, you may listen to a presentation about the company from a member of the management team or a key person connected with the business. Listen carefully to the information you are provided in this session as you may be asked to use it later in the day.


An icebreaker activity usually follows, and this is designed to ease your nerves and will be an opportunity to introduce yourself and learn about the other candidates. Just a tip: participate enthusiastically during icebreakers and show genuine interest in fellow candidates.

Aptitude and/or Psychometric Test

These tests are a crucial part of the selection process. Even if you have already taken one or more aptitude tests earlier in the recruitment process, you may be asked to re-take them. Aptitude and/or psychometric tests are statistically examined, are unbiased and have the ability to accurately predict which applicants were likely to be successful if hired.

In tray or e-tray exercise

During an in tray or e-tray exercise, you will be presented with a series of tasks which are typical for the opportunity you are applying for. Tasks such as email messages, reports or briefing documents will be given and applicants need to prioritize a certain task and provide an explanation of why they chose to accomplish that task first.

Group Exercise

This activity can take many forms. Some businesses will ask applicants to complete a group presentation, a group discussion based on a case study or a task that involves solving a problem.

Individual or Group Presentation

This could be based on a topic provided in advance or on a case study from earlier in the day. Presentations are used to gauge how you communicate and/or deliver a message. To be successful in this phase, you have to make sure you present your ideas in a clear and coherent manner.


There could be one or more interviews over the course of the day which could involve a one to one or a panel interview or both. The key is to be prepared and do your own research about the company and the role you’re applying for. You also need to make sure that you are well-rested and not physically or mentally exhausted.

Throughout the day there will also be social breaks. Although not formally assessed, they are a great opportunity to demonstrate how effective your people and interpersonal skills are.

Again, the best way to succeed during an assessment day is to prepare thoroughly. Complete as many practice aptitude tests as you can, and carefully read through the correspondence that the recruiter sends you. The assessment day is what you make of it. If you go with an optimistic outlook and really carry yourself well, there is no reason why your assessment day can’t result in an offer of employment.

Follow GradGuard on social media for more motivational and tip-worthy posts!


Edward Mellett is the founder of Practice Reasoning Tests. After failing employer’s assessment tests many times before getting a graduate job in 2005, he created PracticeReasoningTests to teach the lessons he learned along the way. Edward has created numerous in-depth guides about psychometric testing and other types of job tests.

Other Student Life

What to Ask Your Renters Insurance Agent

November 15, 2018

Being an adult can mean so many different things; first, you have to do your own laundry, second make your own coffee, and third purchase your own renters insurance policy. This can honestly be super daunting to those who still have issues making their own dentist appointments, but we’ve made a simple list of things that you should be sure to ask your renters insurance agent when the time comes!

How do I know what my coverage limits should be?

Most renters insurance policies come with both personal property coverage and personal liability coverage. Personal property coverage is the limit that protects your personal items that are inside of your residence, and personal liability coverage is what protects the actual structure itself. Be sure to talk to your university or rental property to see if they require any specific limits while you are living there.

How much is the policy?

See if your renters insurance agency is charging you monthly, annually, semi-annually, or another billing option. Talk through it with them to see if there is a benefit to one billing option as opposed to another.

How long does the policy last?

This depends on the company that you are purchasing through and what you opted to pay for the policy. If you paid annually, then the policy likely lasts for a full 12 months from the date that you chose your coverage to begin. If you are only needing the insurance for a certain amount of time, be sure to ask your agent about their cancelation process and what is required to terminate the coverage.

What does this policy cover?

This is SUPER important to ask and have an understanding of. For example, if you want to have renters insurance in case someone breaks in and ransacks your apartment, just be sure that theft and burglary is a covered peril under the policy you are wanting.

How does the claims process work?

This is a general question with an important answer. Most people have no idea how to make an insurance claim if needed and it should be one of the top questions to ask your renters insurance agent. The claims process can be different for each agency, so just to be sure you clarify it if needed.

When it comes to purchasing renters insurance, questions are important to ask! We want you to ask questions and have a full understanding of what you are getting. It is so important to know that we are here to help you. Much like a doctor, you should be asking your renters insurance agent as many questions as possible and do not feel like any question you have is too small or too silly. GradGuard has your back and encourages you to ask whatever questions you think are necessary. We are there when you need us and will help you with all of your adulting needs.

Health Other

7 Ways to Combat Homesickness

November 12, 2018

There have been plenty of studies that show that homesickness is common among freshmen. More than 58% of students in the United States feel moderately homesick after spending a few months away from home, while around 33% feel highly homesick during their first school year. We’ve got some advice on how to overcome homesickness and cope with the loneliness you can feel at college, but first – remember to keep your head up and heart strong no matter what happens!

Get out of your room

The first step you must take is leaving your room and searching for new experiences. You have completely changed your environment, so feelings of loneliness are normal to pop up. Even when you pursue your daily activities, try to do it outside – read your book in a public place or study at the university’s library. There’s a higher chance you’ll meet cool people this way!

Learn something new

Ever wanted to learn how to row, play basketball, or become a chess expert? College is very good at helping you transition from one environment to another – so make sure you take advantage of the opportunities you’re offered. Pursue the activities that you like, and you’ll soon meet more people than you could’ve imagined!

Create a new comfort zone

Everyone has their own personalized comfort zone. Whether it’s your bed, desk, garage, or park bench, there’s always that one place where you feel utterly safe. Here, you can unwind and be yourself, regardless of what others think. Finding that comfort zone in college is a necessity! So go out and find one today if you don’t have one yet.


Even though you’ve moved out of the city, be sure you make time for old friends and family. Keeping in contact with them is crucial, especially when you miss them. If you can visit them, that’s even better. Remember though – if your hometown is located close to the school, you’ll be tempted to visit them too often. Try to designate only one weekend per month for this activity just to make sure you still integrate on campus and make new friends.

Go to a party!

Parties are a part of the true college experience. Just remember to be safe while also having a good time. Try to go with some friends from class or who live in the same residence hall as you. There is always safety in numbers and it will also help you expand your social circle.

Get involved on campus

Joining or opening a new club is an excellent activity to pursue in college. People with common interests should meet up and become friends, shouldn’t they?

Study hard

When you are part of numerous clubs and party endlessly, school grades tend to get shaky. Make sure you are always on top of your assignments. Attend office hours and go tutoring if you need to. Always reach out to your professors and be active in class! Staying focused on your studies leaves less time for your mind to wander 

Just always remember that homesickness is normal. Worries are normal. Parties are normal. Making new friends is normal. Just go with the flow, enjoy the process, and have some fun!

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Scott Mathews is a professional content writer at and writes about topics such as education, school & college development. Scott’s biggest passion is blogging and traveling. He regularly takes part in different conferences and contributes his posts to different websites. Contact him on Facebook and Twitter.