Archive for the ‘College Life’ Category

7 Ways to Survive Summer School

Back when you signed up for summer school you were probably patting yourself on the back. Now with the warmer weather and longer days, you might be second guessing that decision. You don’t have to dread the hours you’ll have to spend indoors, because your first instincts were right — the benefits of summer school far outweigh the cons.


Summer school is a great way to get ahead, possibly giving way to a lighter course load your last few semesters of college or, even better, obtaining your degree early! Another benefit of summer school is that it gives you the opportunity to succeed in a tough course requirement. Without a full schedule, you’ll have more time to focus your brainpower on the topics at hand, and possibly receive a better grade than you would during the regular academic year.

The summer semester is shorter, with sessions typically lasting from five to eight weeks or less; however, this means each class session will be several hours in length, making you highly susceptible to cabin fever. Stay focused. The class is only temporary, remember? Here are some survival tips.

1. Before the semester begins, turn to social networks to see if anyone has had a class with the professor you’ll have. Some professors might have a rigorous syllabus and be very critical on grading. Easier professors may dismiss class early and grade on a curve.

2. Go to class. This should be obvious, but attendance is critical in summer terms; missing a single day of summer school can be the equivalent of missing two weeks of regular school.

3. Energize by bringing snacks to recharge, and use class breaks as an opportunity to walk around outside to stretch your legs and get fresh air.

4. If the course material is really dry, sleeping in the back of class won’t help you. Engage by participating in class, asking questions, and getting to know the professor.

5. Complete your readings and other assignments as early as possible so you can enjoy fun summer activities.

6. Use on-campus resources like the library instead of taking work home. You can easily get distracted by roommates and friends, especially if they aren’t enrolled in class too.

7. Stay on top of upcoming exam dates and when projects are due. Put your smartphone’s calendar to good use by inputting all the important dates.

Do your best not to let summer distractions affect your work. Classes will be over before you know it, and you’ll be that much closer to graduation.

Are you taking a class this summer? Share your survival tips in the comments below.

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7 Great DIY Mother’s Day Gift Ideas for Any Student on a Budget

In a time crunch for a unique Mother’s Day gift, but working with limited funds? Nothing says “I love you ” more than something handmade and from the heart. You don’t need to be crafty to creatively show your mother how much she means to you with one of the simple and inexpensive DIY gift ideas below:


1. Bath Scrub

Creating a homemade bath scrub  is incredibly quick and easy. All you’ll need is white or brown sugar, table salt, or epsom salt  and something to hold everything together, such as olive, coconut, or almond oil. Mix the ingredients together and present the finished scrub to your mom in a decorative mason jar. To give the scrub an aroma, add a few drops of an essential oil of your choice, honey, or flower petals.

2. Customized Glassware, Mug, or Teacup

Flex your creativity and use a paint pen or chalkboard marker to give a personalized touch to your glassware gift. Paint pens come in a variety of colors, are quick drying, and you can use them on virtually any surface. Whether you choose to draw designs or write a short phrase (“World’s Best Mom!”), your effort won’t go unnoticed.


3. Spray-Painted Planters or Vases

Give your mom something that will hold all those flowers she’ll receive! Re-purpose old bottles, jars, tin cans, or vases of various shapes and sizes and spray-paint them in bright or metallic colors (include your mom’s favorite). You can make several in just a few hours.

4. Handwritten Letter

For this one, all you’ll need is a blank card, sturdy card stock paper, or just a simple sheet of notebook paper. In this letter, take time to write a note thanking your mom for all the things she’s done for you – try to include specific examples of how she provided you support, praise, and advice. The result is a sincere and meaningful expression of appreciation beyond a store bought “Happy Mother’s Day” card.

5. Framed Photograph

Photographs always make great gifts – framing a nice photograph or a series of family photographs will allow your mom to display them at home or work. While picture framing can be expensive, there are many DIY frame ideas that will save your wallet.

6. Special Video

Perhaps you’re more technical than “crafty.” If you have a few memories of or with your mother that you were able capture on film, create a special mother’s day video. If you don’t have any old footage, put together a video with a reel of several photos  and record yourself expressing your thanks and appreciation. Funny or sentimental, record something your mom would enjoy.


7. Note Jar

Fill a jar with little notes that each feature a unique reason why your mom is the best. Find a glass jar of any size at home or the dollar store and insert colorful notes, each featuring a sweet note about what make’s her awesome. Invite her to read them one day at a time.


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You’ve Made Your College Decision…Now What?

So you’ve made your final college decision, sent in your deposit to secure your place, and celebrated. Now what? Here are a few things you should be focusing on now that you’ve made your big decision.

Register for Placement Testing

Almost all schools require you to take a few placement tests before enrolling. Don’t stress yourself out preparing for them, though! These tests, usually in general subjects like math and English, simply provide you and your school with an idea of where you are at academically. Then you can enroll in the appropriate level classes for your first semester and start your college career on the right foot. If you’re not sure how to register for placement testing at your school, check out the Admissions website or contact the Admissions department directly.


Register to Attend Orientation

Find out how to register to attend an orientation session at your school over the summer. If you are having trouble finding the information you need to get registered, check out the Admissions website or contact the Admissions department directly.

Research More Financial Aid Options

If you need to take out a student loan, start researching your options now. Carefully review your award letter to get an idea of how much you’ll need to borrow. If you need assistance, contact the Financial Aid office at your school. Don’t forget to keep applying for scholarships! Scholarships are available year-round, and they’re not just for high school seniors either. There are just as many scholarships available for college students as there are for high school students, so don’t pass up all those opportunities for free money!

Start Thinking about Living Arrangements

Most schools require incoming freshmen to live in on-campus housing or dorm rooms. If you have more options, however, look into them and start thinking about what would work best for you.


Begin Purchasing College Items

Make a list of the items you’re going to need for your dorm and and college life in general. Begin purchasing these items little by little. Smaller purchases over the course of the summer is a much more manageable approach than going on one big, expensive shopping trip.

Enjoy Your Summer

Lastly, make the most out of your summer! Spend time with your family, hang out with your friends, and take time to do a few things that make you happy and relaxed. Once you start college, your life will change in big ways, so slow down and enjoy this time.

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