Here’s Proof That Good Dorm Food Is Not an Oxymoron

You’ve got all your college catalogs and literature in one neat stack. You’ve tentatively started your list of top college choices. As you stare at your list, a nagging question keeps replaying over and over in your mind:

Sure, it’s got a great computer science program, but how’s the food?

It’s not a frivolous question. You’ll be in dining halls quite a bit during college much more than you may realize. Why spend that time wrinkling your nose at food options, while planning to blow more money on a vending machine sandwich or a nearby food truck? There are certain dining halls in this country that could double as a four-star restaurant. But where to find them?

Look no further for the real scoop on good eats. Check out our brand new 2015 Cappies™.

Cappies-BestCollegeFood

The Cappies™ are a compilation of more than a million student reviews of over 2,000 U.S. colleges. These students haven’t been shy when it comes to what is the best college food, and The Cappies™ have taken this feedback and created a list of the top 25 schools when it comes to delicious breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

You can find the full list here. No limp, “wiltey” lettuce or strange odors will be found anywhere. But if lobster rolls, organic gardens with fresh produce, and vegetarian food options are your thing, by all means read on!

Best College Food is just one category that The Cappies™ will cover. We’ll also announce student rankings for the following categories: Campus Safety, Bang For The Buck, Academic Rigor, Clubs And Activities, and Dorm Life. Stay tuned for announcements soon.

In the meantime, happy reading ­and happy eating!

Original Post Date: September 18th, 2014

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5 Easy Mental Hacks that Instantly Boost Your Productivity

productivityIn the pursuit of being successful and making dreams come true, productivity is the lifeblood. In the age of social media and the 24-7 digital distraction machine, productivity is a big issue with even the most ambitious students. How do you get past the urge to procrastinate? Most of us love to laugh at videos on YouTube, chat it up on Facebook, or simply daydream about not having to do what’s necessary, but before you know it, 40 minutes have passed and you’re doing anything but the task you set out to do. With technology continuing to offer more and more interesting means of instant gratification, what can we possibly do to drop those distractions and maintain focus and productivity?

There are many great ways to boost your productivity, but we’ve put together a list of the five best ways to give you impenetrable momentum and powerful focus that will help you plow through even the stickiest and most mundane tasks.

1. Listen to Background Music

Some music simply sets the mood for getting things done. In a recent New York Times article, Dr. Teresa Lesiuk, assistant professor of music therapy at the University of Miami, found that those who listened to music completed their tasks more quickly and came up with better ideas than those who didn’t, because the music improved their mood. Listening to music during your times of serious work and focus can make a notable difference. You might be tempted to play your favorite tunes, but for this purpose, it’s best to choose music with no words or at least words that you cannot understand, such as classical, atmospheric, opera, jazz, new age, etc. If you’re stressed out, try listening to nature sounds or calm, meditative music to help reduce your stress so you can focus better and get more done.

2. Get a Productivity Accountability Partner

HacktheSystem.com, a popular blog on entrepreneur lifestyles, recently started connecting their blog readers with each other as accountability partners to get their personal tasks done. They used actual money as a penalty if the task wasn’t completed. This is an extreme example, but simply having someone else who can hold you accountable for your tasks can really keep you on track to getting things done. Reach out to your classmates or use social media to find someone you can work with to keep each other accountable for anything from daily homework assignments and studying to research projects and papers. Establish times to check in with each other on the status of whatever you’re working on. Knowing that someone else will be checking in on your progress can provide great motivation to get started on — and ultimately finish — that project.

3. Positive Affirmations

Before it all comes out, it starts from within. We can change what is within by telling ourselves in advance what we can accomplish. Many people use the power of positive affirmation to start their day off right. Simply beginning your day by telling yourself that you’re going to have a great and productive day puts your brain in the right mode to do just that. Apps like Singulaa allow you to record your own voice over soothing music so you can play those positive messages back to yourself. Write down your best and most powerful ideas, speak them into existence using the app, and listen to them daily or whenever you find yourself in need of a productivity boostEventually, your mind will absorb the positive messages and you will find yourself working more efficiently and with greater purpose.

4. Identify and Destroy Bad Habits

Take some time to sit down alone in a room or somewhere else private to do a simple self-assessment and identify any bad habits that you’d like to change. Charles Durhigg, author of “The Power of Habit,” says that with every habit is a cue, an action, and a reward. Put some thought into identifying what cues your bad habits and why you do each one. What is the reward? Why do you continue that action over and over? Through this exercise, you can identify patterns and learn how to change your bad habits while keeping the same rewards and cues, thereby creating a more productive lifestyle.

5. Accomplishment Journal

At the end of each day, write down everything that you accomplished that day. Take note of all the big things (finally finished that big paper, received a scholarship, got an internship, etc.) and all the small things (got your laundry done, tried a new food in the cafeteria, made it to the rec center to work out, etc.). Giving yourself recognition for and being excited about what you did each day can create a habit of looking forward to all that you can do the next day, giving you more purpose and reason to be productive.

This is an amazing time to live in. We have more access to powerful and positive resources that can give us the type of life we want to have. Using these five clever mental hacks will not only allow you to boost your productivity, but will also improve your general outlook on life.

Russel Cooke is a journalist and business consultant based in Canyon Country, CA. and Louisville, KY. He thoroughly enjoyed his time spent in college, and considers it his best series of learning experiences to date. You can follow him on Twitter @RusselCooke2.

Original Post Date: September 10th, 2014

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Announcing the Diversity + College Access Fair!

Categories: Uncategorized

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The Diversity + College Access Fair is a free online event for high school students who are preparing to apply for college. By holding the event online, students can meet with college admissions representatives from all over the country from the comfort of their home, school, or after-school program.

At the Diversity + College Access Fair, students can:

  • Earn a chance to win a $1,000 scholarship just for attending
  • Watch live presentations from experts in admissions and financial aid
  • Learn about campus life from current college students
  • Have all their college and financial aid questions answered
  • Connect with colleges who are looking for students just like them

Please join us on Wednesday, October 1st, from 3pm – 7pm Central Standard Time (CST) to let us help you find your dream school!

Register for free by clicking here!

Participating colleges include:

American University, Washington D.C.
Carleton College, Northfield, MN
Earlham College, Richmond, IN
Liberty University, Lynchburg, VA
Lincoln Memorial University, Harrogate, TN
Manhattan College, Bronx, NY
Oregon Tech, Klamath Falls, OR
Princeton University, Princeton, NJ
Union College, Schenectady, NY
University of Denver, Denver, CO
Virginia Military Institute, Lexington, VA
Yale University, New Haven, CT

Original Post Date: September 3rd, 2014

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