Category Archive: College Tips and Advice

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5 Ways to Choose Your College

With colleges and universities everywhere you turn, it can be difficult to decide which college is the right one for you. Should you earn your degree in a different state? How about a different country? Or maybe you should earn your college degree online? There are pros and cons to every big life decision you make, especially in college. That’s why we’ve created this checklist – to help make your decision an informed and easy one.

Colleges & Universities

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Scenery
You should earn your college degree from a school in which you feel comfortable. Some students question how they’ll know what they do or don’t like about a school. How can you predict if you are going to enjoy the colleges and universities you’re interested in or not? Simply. Do you like rural or urban environments? Do you want to attend a small or big school? How safe is the campus? Once you figure out the environment you want to earn your college degree at, plan a visit and see for yourself.

Connections
As you earn your college degree, you will make connections with peers, professors, and employers. You may work as an intern and make professional connections that could land you a full-time career. The college or university you consider attending could be the location you end up living in for a large portion of your life. If you earn your degree in a city you hate, you may have to learn to love it, which is why you should visit and research the colleges and universities you’re interested in before earning your college degree there.

College students choosing college

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Obligations
Although the thought of moving out-of-state or out of the country may be appealing to some, is it practical? You may have children, close friends and relatives, and a career where you currently live. It is important to consider colleges and universities that will not cause you to give up your life to earn your degree. With online degrees and many colleges and universities to choose from, earning your college degree shouldn’t be as much of a sacrifice as it once was.

Reputation
Let’s say you are interested in earning your degree in Art. Before earning your college degree from just any art school, research the colleges and universities you’re interested in. Use search engines to research which art schools are the best in the nation or the best in the state you live in.  You don’t have to attend the #1 art school, but you should shoot as high as possible.

Accreditation
Unfortunately, there are many colleges and universities that are not accredited. You don’t want to earn your college degree only to find out you can’t use it. Do your research and find out which colleges and universities are accredited and which aren’t accredited. There are many colleges and universities that will try to scam students, don’t be one of them.

Earning your college degree could take several years to complete depending on the program in which you’re enrolled. Don’t you want to spend those years in an environment you enjoy? And an environment that works for you and possibly your loved ones? Remember to focus on these 5 things when choosing which colleges and universities you want to earn your college degree from. Sure, this may take some time and effort but in the end it’ll be worth it.

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5 Tips for an Effective Graphic Design Portfolio

Any graphic design degree graduate knows how important a portfolio is when landing a job. Not only should graphic design degree holders have a portfolio, but it should be aesthetically appealing. Find out what your portfolio should have.

Graphic Design degree portfolio

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1. Selection

Surely, you completed a number of projects as you worked through graphic design school. As your skills and experience grew you realized that some of the projects you completed were better than others. When crafting your portfolio, it’s important to only include your best work and not everything you’ve ever done. The years of experience you have will inform employers of how long you’ve been in the industry, so you won’t need to include everything you’ve done, but just your best work.

2. Arrangement

When you read a book, it’s the first page that determines whether you’ll turn to page 2 or not. You think to yourself “do I want to keep reading this?” Think of your portfolio in a similar way. The first page should impress the viewer so much so that they continue to flip through your portfolio. Arrange the rest of your pages in a similar order. The last page of your portfolio should stand out just like the first page. You will want to leave a lasting impression on the viewer.

3. Options

Clients that you work with will sometimes prefer to view your portfolio online. Others will want a hard copy to review. Having both an online and hard copy of your portfolio will be ideal so that you can cater to all of your clients’ needs in order to land the job.

4. Test 1-2-3

After earning your graphic design degree, it’s important to test out your portfolio with people you know including professors from your graphic design school and professionals in the field. Ask them to give you constructive criticism. And most importantly, use their suggestions to improve your portfolio.

5. Design

Make sure that the design of your portfolio stands out among other portfolios you’ve come across. You’ll want to make sure that the design you choose reflects your work. Although it is important to be unique, you will not want the design to outshine the work within the portfolio. This may take several attempts to achieve the perfect portfolio.

Once you’ve created the perfect portfolio that highlights your work in just the right way, it’s time to put it to use. Use your portfolio to show your work to employers and clients that may be interested in you. Soon, all the hard work it took you to earn your graphic design degree and create your portfolio will pay off!

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Stress Reducing Techniques During Tests

It may have been awhile since you’ve taken a test. But chances are you still remember the scene. You see the timer ticking, 10 minutes stands between you and the finish line! You’re sweating. You’re scared you’re going to be the last one finished. You’re mind is drawing a blank on every question. HELP! We have solutions for you to clear your mind and fill in the bubble with confidence and ease.

Adult Learning TechniquesChange the way you study- A lot of the stress you experience when taking a test may stem from the way you study. If you cram the night before- this may be the cause of your anxiety. Your brain cannot possibly remember all of the information you expect it to in one night. Instead, try to study a little bit each day before a test and you will know the information like the back of your hand. If you’re wondering how this technique can reduce stress during a test, the simple answer is: if you know the information, and have seen it day after day, there’s a lesser chance of you completely blanking!

 

Take deep breaths- In, out, in, out.. you know the drill! This may seem basic and even obvious for reducing stress in any situation but it works like a charm! When you start feeling anxious before or even during the test, take deep breaths! It will help your body calm down so that you can focus, plain and simple!

 

Don’t over-think – If you’re stuck on a question or two, don’t spend too much time on it. Instead, just skip it! You can always go back and try again. With the time you waste on a tough question, you could be answering easier questions correctly. So instead of using the saying ‘don’t sweat the small stuff’,’ we’re saying don’t sweat the big stuff. Relax, and just go back to the tougher questions when you feel more comfortable.

 

Don’t pay attention to other people- Normally, this isn’t the best advice. If you didn’t pay attention to other people when you drove, you’d crash. But the rules are different when taking a test. So don’t pay attention to the person next to you who won’t stop coughing, or the one behind you that’s flipping page after page about to turn it all in. Worry about yourself and what’s in front of you.

 

Mark it up – If your professor allows you to write on your test- take advantage! This way you can circle and underline words that will help you find the right answer. It will help you feel less overwhelmed with the question and the answers. So if a question asks, ‘what are not the best stress reducing techniques during a test‘ you would want to underline the word ‘not’ and keep that in mind when answering the question.

 

After using all of these handy tips you’ll be taking tests with ease! Remember, sometimes it’s not about what you do, but how you do it. So if you can change the way you take tests, maybe, just maybe, your results will change too! And that sounds A okay to us.

 

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How to Make the Most Out of Your Education

Whether you’re 18 years old or you’re old enough to get senior discounts at your favorite restaurants, you can learn to take advantage of your education. Here’s how:

 

Network, network, network- If you excelled on a project in your Biology course with Suzy, connect with her! No, we’re not saying you need to spend quality time together. What we’re saying is – you never know if Suzy will become president one day, or the owner of a company you want to work for. So keep in contact with your peers and professors. It will only help you.

 

Shop around – No, we don’t mean actual shopping. Unless of course, you need to resupply your pencil drawer. We mean shop around for the right degree so you’re happy with the courses you’re taking. There’s nothing worse than being unhappy- we all know that! So choose the right degree for you, and be happy with the coursework needed to earn it. If you hate writing, you may want to reconsider a degree in English or Journalism because the process will be painful. Choose something you will enjoy, something you will look forward to learning more about. Just like actual shopping, try some degrees on for size and choose one that brings out the best in you.

 

Feed the hungry- By being a student there are so many opportunities to get involved, on campus and off. So take advantage. Did you know that getting involved doesn’t just help others, but it can also help you? Because it’s great for your resume! So volunteer – for them and for you!

 

Go above and beyond- If you’re required to read half of a chapter, read the rest of it. Research topics discussed in class. Come prepared for discussion. Do the necessary work to fully absorb the education you’re receiving. If your education is important to you, then prove it!

 

Show up – You know how disappointing it is when a friend plans on getting together with you and as you pull up to the coffee shop you get a text saying: ‘sorry running late‘ or ‘reschedule?‘. It’s frustrating and disappointing but you’re their friend and you forgive them. But do your teachers forgive so easily? Remember that by not showing up to class, or showing up late, you are showing your teachers how much interest you have in their course. And keep in mind that they hand out the grades, so why not impress them by showing up to every class in a timely fashion? If that’s not enough to convince you to go to class, remember that you’re paying for it. If you bought concert tickets, you’d go and you’d probably even be there early. If you bought movie tickets, you’d go with popcorn in your right hand and an extra-large drink in your left. So go to class, not just because you have to but because you want to.

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Being an Adult in a College World

There are many factors for adults to consider before attending college. Research in many

Adult Student Colleges & Universities

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areas such as different degrees, schools, or online vs. traditional learning is common and important for adults to consider. Adults should weigh all the benefits of attending college, and hope that the positives outweigh the negatives. It is important to keep in mind that each student has different goals, hopes, and dreams in regards to their college education. Students, especially adult students, are different than the traditional young adult student receiving a college education. There are obstacles that they need to overcome as adult students before earning their degree. By figuring out what the obstacles are before attending college, adult learners will be able to complete their college degree in a timely manner with ease.

 

Some adult students are parents, and therefore have a wide range of home responsibilities. Before receiving a college education an adult student may need to seek additional help with the care of their children. Some schools offer daycare services, or adult students may want to consider other options such as online education. After the student has figured out how their children will be cared for during the time they will be in school, there are areas that need to be explored. It may be hard for parents to find time to study, but adult students must make time for themselves at least every day to study their course materials. Whether it’s family obligations or work that occupies an adults time, they need to devise a way to clear their schedule enough to successfully earn their college degree.

 

Once children are taken care of, it is important for the adult learner to decide which route they are going to take in their education. This can be a tough process, because of the many options available. Students can choose anywhere from an associate’s degree to a PhD in a particular area of study. If the adult student makes reasonable goals for themselves regarding how much time they are willing to commit to earning a college degree, the process becomes much simpler. If an adult learner can only commit to a 2-year degree, it’s important for the student to figure that out before planning to earn a 4-year bachelor’s degree. For the adult learner it is important to have reasonable, attainable goals.

 

Furthermore, adult learners may find it difficult to figure out which degree to earn. There are many options whether in education or the sciences, or both. One simple method to decide which degree an adult learner should seek is to find out where their passions are. It is important for adult students to think of their college degree as a certificate of passion. They should put more focus on what they are interested in, and less about what careers can stem from the college degree they choose. Passion in a particular subject will make earning the degree worthwhile and enjoyable.

 

Earning a college degree is one step of many. One step towards a potential career, one step in your adult life, and one step towards a successful future. It is a meaningful accomplishment, especially as an adult. In today’s world, it’s possible for adults to earn their college degree in a much simpler way than in the past. Online degree options are one way that technology has integrated with education to create a learning environment for everyone, especially adult students. With the resources that adult students now have, earning a college degree is more achievable than ever before.

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Adults in College: Survival Guide

Going back to college as an adult may be a little intimidating. Especially when you’re sitting in a classroom with young adults that may be 20 or 30 years younger than you. But don’t fret, you can be a great asset to the class by using the knowledge you have gained from your life experiences. With that being said, adult learners make a great asset to class discussions. With their ideas stemming from a different point of view than the younger students, discussions become more interesting, and enlightening.

Adult student compass

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Another popular option for adult learners are online classes. Working from home, creating your own schedule, and having more free time for family, and your career, are just a few benefits of online classes. However, earning an online degree requires motivation and self-control. For a busy adult, this path is ideal, as long as time for studying, reading, and other class requirements are met on-time.

This may sound surprising, but online classes also provide students with social interaction, just like a traditional classroom does. With online discussion boards, group projects, and e-mail exchanges between other students and professors, online education will feel a lot like traditional education. Pod casts and live chats are also available for some online classes. This can help you with any questions you may have, and you can also get to know other students.

With the growing number of jobs requiring degrees, many adults are going to college to become more successful, and more intelligent. The amount of adult learners is on the rise and is continuing to grow. Remember, it is never too late to go back to school, no matter how busy you may be.

Finally, here are some tips for adult learners taking the leap into education:

  1. Motivation- get it, use it, follow it.
  2. New schedule- Make a new schedule, and learn to adapt to it. At first it may seem overwhelming adding to your already busy schedule, but like anything in life you will adjust with time.
  3. Multitasking- kids big game? Bring your work with you. How about relaxing in the tub with your textbook, or chilling at the beach with your laptop.
  4. Quiet study- head to a coffee shop with your laptop. You can join classmates and work together. Plus, you can get away from the house in order to focus more clearly.

Most importantly, you should look forward to your new education and experience. You can do it, and you will reap the benefits from all your hard work. Good luck on your venture into success, you’ll do great!

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Adult College Life

Adult woman student

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When you were 18 years old, going to college was all about freedom, decorating your dorm room, parties, and sleeping till noon. These days, whether it’s the random gray hairs you’ve seen lately or the fact that you can’t remember the last time you slept till noon, we both know you’re not 18 anymore. So what’s it like to be an adult in college? As an adult going to college you have different concerns such as:

  • Does the school have a daycare program?
  • How much will going to college cost me?
  • Does the school have special housing for adult students?
  • What is the teacher-student ratio?
  • How many years will it take me to complete this degree?
  • Does the school offer evening or online courses?

It is important to write down the concerns you have as an adult student. This way you can contact the school with these questions. Or you can check out their website for information such as student housing.  As an adult student, it is important to decide what you want from your education. And then go after it.

After you’ve figured out what questions you have about going to college, there’s one more step. Here’s what you should do once you get there to make your college experience the best it can be.

  • Make friends with classmates
  • Connect with your professor
  • Keep on track with your schoolwork
  • Get a lot of rest before exams
  • Make study groups
  • Make goals for yourself

It’s important to have a picture of what going to college will look like. We’ve already discussed how the picture is different for an 18 year old student. But it’s time to make your own picture. You’re the artist; create the world you want to live in. This is a new journey, allow yourself to enjoy it!

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10 Tips to Fight Distraction While Earning an Online Education

Computers are enchanting with their ability to draw our attention for hours on end. You may start doing your homework but somehow you find yourself surfing Facebook, YouTube, or your favorite news site two hours later with no idea where the time went. To help combat these diversions, we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 ways to fight distractions online. Try them out next time you find yourself surfing rather than working.

 

Distracted Online student

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  1. Turn off the internet.
    Most modern computers will allow you to turn your internet service on (or off) at will. It might serve you well to simply turn off your connection to the internet while you focus on composing that essay. If you need to do research, try to compile the sites you need before shutting down the internet as you work.
  2. Chunk your work.
    An extremely effective method for getting work done without distractions is to divide your time into chunks. Tell yourself that you will work for the next thirty minutes without interruption. Once those thirty minutes are up, you’re free to check your email and any notifications you have for ten minutes before you do another thirty minutes of focused work.
  3. Stay focused.
    You’re not the only person to have trouble with distractions online. It may be hard to believe, but it is a common occurrence. For that reason, people have designed computer programs you can use to keep distractions to a minimum while you work on that big project due next week.
  4. Listen to one song on repeat.
    This is a tip that I’ve used countless times. Find a song you enjoy that you can also work to without distraction. Now put that song on repeat. After a few repetitions, the song will fade into the background and you’ll be totally in the zone to work distraction-free.
  5. Get off the computer.
    Sometimes the best way to limit distractions is to get off the computer completely. Print off notes or PowerPoint slides and study them on the couch. Any task that can be accomplished without the computer is fair game. Distraction will be a thing of the past.
  6. Get up early.
    You’d be amazed how few distractions there are early in the morning. None of your friends will be up texting you. If you have kids, they might still be asleep. You’ll be alone to focus on the work you need to get done.
  7. Write in full-screen mode.
    It’s hard not to click on things when you’re bored with a paper. Eliminate that possibility by going into full screen mode. Nearly every word processor will have a full screen mode. Make your life easier by writing in full screen whenever possible.
  8. Rescue time.
    This is another handy computer program that you can use to eliminate distraction. This program runs in the background on your computer and records everything you do. At any time you can log on to your account and see a record of your activity. Look for majorly distracting activities and try to eliminate them from your daily routine.
  9. Go to a new place.
    If your house is the culprit of distraction, pack your school books and computer and head out to a nearby library or coffee shop. There are far less distractions in quiet places with other people working.
  10. Be consistent.
    No matter which of my tips you choose to put into practice, make sure you are consistent with their application. They say it takes 21 days to build a habit. Use these tips for the next 21 days. You’ll be amazed at how much you get done and how easy it is to continue the new habit.
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