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Five Creative Things To Explore While You’re In College

creative in college

College is a time for learning and exploring, but it doesn’t always have to be about exploring drugs and alcohol or the opposite sex. While it may be your first time away from home, you want to do what you can to get the most out of your experience. That may mean you want to learn some new things, even things that might not be along the lines of your degree plan.

Use college as a time to learn and explore all of the creative and amazing things life has to offer. Instead of going to a party after class, start a sewing project. Instead of going on your third date of the week, stay home and work on some poetry.

Learn To Play An Instrument

Spend your time between classes working on guitar or ukulele lessons. These are both instruments that are very portable. Even if you aren’t going to school for music you can great benefit from learning to play.

Not only does music give you something creative to focus on, keeping your brain happy and active and not on thoughts of drugs and alcohol, but learning to play an instrument can even make you smarter. You might even do better in college!

Start Writing Creatively

You could take some time to hone your writing skills. You are going to be doing a lot of writing (or typing) for classes, so being good at it can be extremely beneficial. If you enjoy creative writing you may find yourself submitted poetry to literary magazines or working on the next best novel.

You could also use a love of writing as a way to make some extra money. There are plenty of websites online that pay writers, to write articles of all kinds.

Take An Art Class

Consider taking an art class, whether it’s offered through your college or it’s at a local gallery or library. You may find a love for a new medium even if you’re already into art. You could also learn some art techniques on your own. All you need is a laptop, YouTube, and some art supplies.

Start Taking Pictures

You could get into photography. If you’re like millions of other college students, you have a thing for taking selfies. Go beyond that and use your smartphone to take pictures of the quad. Get creative with anything, from nature to the stuff in your dorm room. You could make money on stock photographs if you really enjoy taking pictures.

Pick Up A Craft

You could start doing some crafting. If you get good at it, you could start selling your crafts, to fellow college students or even online. Pick up sewing, knitting, or even crocheting. You could even make your own clothes and be the talk of the campus!

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Lifestyle

4 Tips For Being a Better Student

better student

Being a good student is something that seems to come naturally to some people.  It is easy to look at our peers who have 4.0-grade averages and wonder how they magically came out of the womb as a perfect genius.

The truth is, however, that intelligence doesn’t mean you are a good student.  In fact, sometimes it is the most intelligent people that seem to fall behind the most in classes as they get bored and easily distracted by the world around them.

Being a good student is a skill which involves putting your best foot forward and applying yourself to broaden your mind and take on new concepts.  People who succeed in school succeed because they work hard.  Here are some of the best tips you can apply to becoming a good student yourself.

Study Things You Care About

One of the biggest mistakes students make is forcing themselves to study things that do not interest them.  Sometimes this can be unavoidable when you have certain classes are that required for your degree. Nursing Students at Maryville University, for example, are required to have certain prerequisite classes.  While not all of these prerequisites are exactly your dream subjects, it is part of the path that you have chosen in order to attain your bigger goal.

By devoting your life and time to something you truly have an interest in, it will make the work much more easier to get through.

Listen In Class

Make sure that you are actively listening in your courses.  If you are focusing on other things while your teacher is lecturing, then you will not retain the information and you will find yourself working much harder after class to get your hands on the information.

Instead, listen closely and take notes.  Of course eating a gelato in Rome or laughing on a yacht would be more fun, but that isn’t the point.  Sacrifice this moment of your time to truly be present in where you are and commit to it.

Talk To Your Teacher More

Try to interact with your teacher before, during, and after class.  If your teacher is a good one, you will start to build a rapport and the lessons they give will be that much more interesting.

Always Try Your Hardest

If you are always trying your hardest to do the best you can very do, then if you are aiming for the moon, you may not hit it, but you’ll at least hit the stars.  And that is a heck of a lot better than a cloud. Constantly striving to do our best doesn’t mean that we are aiming to be perfect.  It means that we are putting our best forward which will always yield positive results.

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Lifestyle

5 Tips For a Safer Freshman College Experience

fun college

Your freshman year at college can be one of the most exciting times of your life, but there’s also a lot of uncertainty involved, especially if you’re younger. It can potentially be the first time you’ve been living out on your own, the first time you’re financially responsible for yourself, and the first time you’re completely on your own schedule and on your own merit.

And this means, to a degree, you should be thinking about safety first when it comes to things like alcohol, drugs, sleep schedules, the rules of the road in the college experience, and even things as basic as copyright issues (don’t plagiarize!).

Watch Out For Alcohol

Struggling with alcohol is a perpetual problem for people fresh onto the college scene. It can be such a draw because if feels good and exciting, is a way to bond with other people, is a way to get rid of some of those early inhibitions. But, too much of a good thing, especially when you mix it with concerns about legal drinking age, can lead to extremely unsafe college experiences that you hear about all the time on the news. Having to go to rehab can really adjust your college timeline.

Be Aware of Drug Laws

For many people, drugs are available to them for the first time when they hit a college campus. This is a natural result of lots of different types of people coming together, especially because college towns are more concerned with academic pursuits than physical work more often than not, so taking drugs doesn’t have as many immediate consequences. But getting caught with a scheduled drug can quickly mean the end of your college experience, so be safe and be careful.

Get Some Sleep

One thing that lots of freshman in college tend to do is to stop sleeping as much as they should. There are so many things to do, so much noise, and so much studying they want to accomplish, that their sleep patterns take a hit. The thing about this is that losing sleep makes the rest of your life more hazy and unclear.

Talk To Upperclassmen

Though it might be scary to talk to people who seem older, bigger, and more experienced than you, if you want the safest possible freshman experience, make it a point to talk to upperclassmen. They’ll be able to fill you in on some of the pitfalls that others have experienced that you can avoid.

Don’t Copy and Paste

Want to safely keep yourself out of academic trouble? The absolute best way to do that is to never plagiarize anything. Don’t copy and paste. Don’t borrow. Make sure every single thing that you write is completely your own set of words, and you’ll be fine with your reports.

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Lifestyle

7 Things Every New College Student Needs

college freshman

Transitioning to college life is easier for some students than for others, but a bit of comfort is always welcomed.  College is about more than what is taught from books.  College teaches kids to become adults by providing a chance to manage finances and time as well as school work and a social life.

Life is a balancing act, and college is the first step to learning to manage that act.  Being well prepared is important.  Check out a few essentials necessary for a smooth transition to college life.

Bed risers with additional outlets are a must.

There are never enough outlets in a college dorm room.  Laptops, cell phones, and many other helpful gadgets all seem to die at the same time.  With bed risers that have additional outlets built into them, there will be no shortage of power and a little extra storage space underneath the bed.

Clip on lamp light will help illuminate any situation.

Roommates need sleep and sometimes studying keeps a student up all night.  With a flexible clip on lamp, illuminate a dark situation and get through those eight thousand chapters of English Literature.

Comfortable clothing for studying.

A flexible wardrobe is an essential part of being a freshman.  Stock up on comfortable pajama pants and extra long hoodies to stay warm when the dorm is freezing.  Also, make sure to bring plenty of under clothes to make it through the week without doing laundry.

A donut is warming coffee mug for breakfast on the go.

The most brilliant coffee mug design ever offers a nice little spot for a donut on top.  There are a couple of holes in the top for drinking and to evenly distribute the warmth of the coffee to the day old donut sitting in the Krispy Kreme box.

Wireless alarm clock to wake up.

Every college student needs an alarm clock to wake up for a class in the morning.  Late nights are inescapable in college, and it will be a challenge to wake up at times.  A wireless alarm clock will free up an extra outlet.  There are also alarm clocks that will shake the bed if the sound is not very effective.

A large jar of coconut oil is useful for many things.

Now, do not let the mind wander.  Coconut oil is perfect for dry and unruly hair, dry or itchy skin, cooking, growing healthy fingernails, moisturizing dry and cracked cuticles, and a million other things.  Coconut oil is the world’s best-kept secret.

Keurig coffee maker is perfect for a morning brew.

Even if a person is not a big coffee drinker, a Keurig can still offer enrichment.  Brew only a single cup of tea, hot chocolate, or coffee with this genius little machine.

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Lifestyle

Signs To Look For If You Think Your Roommate Has A Drug Addiction

roommate

The great thing about being in college is the freedom and self-discovery it can bring.  You are meeting new people and trying new things.  Often times a college roommate can quickly become a best friend or at least someone you get to know really well.

Unfortunately, college is an experimental time too, and some college students can take their partying ways too far or start to use drugs.  So when do you know if your roommate is simply basking in the fun of college or when they have a legitimate drug addiction?  If you suspect that your college roommate has a drug addiction, here are some signs to look for.

Excessive Partying

Obviously, the most blatant sign is excessive alcohol or drug use.  There is a huge difference participating in weekend festivities versus drinking every day or daily drug use.  According to Jen Rini, contributor of The News Journal, it can be very hard to tell when college partying becomes a problem considering how many college students do engage in alcohol and marijuana use.  If your roommate’s drinking comes to the point where they start blacking out or making bad decisions, you may want to voice your concerns.

Skipping Classes

When people are battling drug addiction it soon starts to consume their entire lives.  They sleep more, drop all other responsibilities and soon center their whole world around their addiction.  If you start to notice your roommate skipping classes and sleeping more, they may have an issue with drugs.

Money Or Personal Property Of Yours Goes Missing

One of the signs of using is that they will do anything to get their next fix, including stealing whatever they can in order to get ahold of their drug of choice.  If you are noticing that money or items that can be pawned (jewelry, tech devices, etc.) is missing from your dorm room or apartment and are suspecting your once reliable roommate stole them, it may be a sign that they have a drug addiction.

Change In Physical Appearance

One of the most telling signs of drug use and abusing drugs is the change in physical appearance. Drugs can wreak havoc on both skin and hair.  Some drug addicts even start to smell, drop weight and stop taking care of their physical appearance.  If you notice that your once well kept roomie now looks disheveled and you notice a vast difference in their appearance, it may be time to talk with them about your concerns.

If you see any of these signs, your college roommate may be suffering from addiction.  It may then be the time to confront them about your concerns or stage an intervention with other friends to get them the help they need.

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Lifestyle

3 Tips for Decorating Your College Dorm or Apartment On A Budget

dorm decor_

For most college students, there isn’t a lot of money to go around that could cover totally decking out a dorm room or apartment. However, since it’s the place where you’re going to be living for the foreseeable future while you get your education, the least you can do is outfit it so it’s comfortable, cozy, and reflects your personality. Luckily, you don’t actually have to spend a lot of money to do that. To show you how, here are three tips for decorating your college dorm room or apartment on a budget.

Don’t Shy Away From Hand-Me-Downs

One of the best ways to get what you need for your dorm or apartment at a discounted price is to pool your resources and find a way to get things second-hand. Especially if it’s something you’re going to be sharing with roommates, like a microwave or couch, you may not want to spend a lot of money because you can’t always monitor how it’s being used or cared for.

For this reason, Kelsey Sheehy, a contributor to U.S. News and World Report, recommends asking your friends or relatives if they have items they’re no longer using or were thinking of getting rid of that they wouldn’t mind sending your way. This can be a great way to get what you need without having to pay full price for anything. Or, if you’re lucky, you may even be able to get a lot of this stuff for free this way.

Break Out The Washi Tape

Once you have all the essentials in your new living space, it’s time to make things a little more beautiful. The only problem with this when you’re renting space is that you don’t always have the freedom to paint or make other cosmetic improvements that you might like to. But according to Kate Thorn, a contributor to Brit.co, you can get super creative with some washi tape and design your own wallpaper, frames, and other decorations all with just a few rolls of this easy to use, easy to remove decorative tape. This type of improvement is also so easy to change if you decide you’re ready for a new look in your space.

Bring In Some Natural Elements

A fun and simple way to bring some life into your dorm decor without spending a lot of money is to take advantage of natural elements. Gabby Noone, a contributor to Buzzfeed, suggests bringing in some plants, flowers, or other forms of greenery to take the sterile edge off of your dorm room or college apartment. Try to steer clear of plants that require too much attention or are too expensive up front to avoid wasting your money on something that’s hard to maintain and may die sooner than you’d like.

For those of you looking to make your dorm or college apartment feel like home without spending too much of your little money, consider using some of the tips mentioned above.

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Lifestyle

Avoid Addiction Problems In College With These Helpful Hints

college-hobby

College is a time in the lives of many where chaos runs rampant.  Though it is also a time for education and personal growth, our college years are often full of stress, peer pressure, and strained relationships.  Unfortunately, these three variables tend to get the best of most young people, and substance abuse ensues.

However, college does not have to be a place to acquire a life-long addiction.  There are several ways in which a young student can work to avoid falling into the traps of addiction.  Take a few minutes and read up on a few helpful hints for avoiding addiction issues in college.

Arm yourself with knowledge.

Armed with knowledge of the epidemic taking over college campuses nationwide, it is easier to maintain sobriety (or some semblance of such).  The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reports these shocking stats:

  • Four of every five college students drink, and half binge drink.
  • Nearly 2,000 students die every year from alcohol use.
  • Close to 100,000 are sexually assaulted or raped while drinking.
  • An average 600,000 college kids are injured while intoxicated

Do not underestimate the power of peer pressure.

Peer pressure may seem like an elementary concept, but even the best of us battle the urge to “fit in” with surrounding groups.  It is human nature.  Social identity theories are key to understanding how peer pressure works. Due to the social nature of humans, we often base our self worth in the hands of those around us.  The undeniable urge to be one of the group often drives students to use drugs or alcohol as this is the “cool” thing to do in college.

Stress management is key.

The stress of balancing family, school, and a social life can be overwhelming for young people.  College is a hustle and bustle kind of lifestyle and stress management is the key to maintaining a level disposition.

Be meticulous about scheduling time during the week and on weekends.  Idle hands do not help to relieve stress caused by mounting papers and projects.  Keep busy with constructive activities rather than destructive parties.

Learn how to have fun without drinking or drugging.

It may seem like the only fun to be had in college is to drink excessively, but there are so many other activities in which fun can be found.  Learn to have a good time without getting “faded.”  Try throwing a sober party with board games, card games, and other alternate forms of entertainment.  Dance.  Talk.  Create.  Share college war stories.  Believe it or not, alcohol is not the only way to relieve the stress of a long day’s work.  So, learn how to have fun in other ways.

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Lifestyle

How To Find A Lifelong Hobby While In College

college-student-on-sidewalk

Hobbies are a great way to boost your mood, kill time, and find something you enjoy and are good at. Some people do hobbies simply for fun while some people turn their hobbies into profitable, or at least part-time, businesses. Hobbies can sometimes cost a bit of money too, depending on your hobby of choice, but the benefits they add to your life can be worth it/

If you hadn’t already found a hobby in your high school years then college time is a great place to get one. It can be an excellent way to unwind from a busy day of classes. Here are some hobbies to consider, and ways to find one that works for you.

Test Out Some Fun Things

When it comes to looking for a hobby you enjoy it can be fun to test out a few things. Hit up the air gun or paint gun range with a group of friends, go play golf with your dad, or invest in a cheap fishing rod and test out the waters. Find friends or family members that are into different hobbies and hang out with them or have them show you the ropes before you invest a bunch of money.

Testing the waters is a great way to save money. You don’t want to invest in all the fly fishing gear available only to find out you don’t like standing knee deep in a rushing river. You may even want to save some money when you do find one you like by buying used gear online or at garage sales and thrift stores.

Try Being Creative

Try something creative, from writing to making art. You can write for free, all you need is paper and a writing utensil. Creating art or doing crafts will take some monetary investment, but it’s a good way to relax and relieve stress, and you don’t even need to be good at it if you’re doing it for yourself.

Join A Club Or Two

If you want a hobby that actually gets you out of the house and allows you to meet other like-minded people you might want to join a club or meet up. You could also join a team of some sort, like a bowling league.

If you like reading consider joining a book club. If art is your thing maybe you want to attend local art meetings or take an art class that lasts a few weeks or couple months.

Start Reading

If you don’t feel like you’re the creative type, you don’t want to do things outside the home, and you want to do something that doesn’t take a ton of effort, consider reading for a hobby. You can get books the old fashioned way or do eBooks. And it opens up a huge creative world for you.

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Lifestyle

How to Fit Hunting into Your College Lifestyle

hunting2

Hunting is a hobby enjoyed by many. For some, it’s more than that. It’s a lifestyle. Everything revolves around going out to get that next kill. It’s not about the kill alone, it’s about the entire experience. The experience is what makes people addicted. The act of packing up your gear and your rifle scopes and your guns and spending time in the untamed wild, becoming one with the landscape and stalking your prey is special and those who start never stop.

It can be a challenge when you’ve grown up hunting to go off to college and take time away from it. The year is filled with different seasons for different animals, but often you’re going to be in the middle of a semester when hunting season is in full swing. So for the hunting fanatic, here are some ways you can fit your love for hunting into your college lifestyle:

Attend A College Close to the Woods

If you have a passion for hunting and you don’t want to have to put it on hold for 4 years, you’re not going to want to go to a college that is located smack dab in the middle of a city. You’re also not going to want to go to a college in the desert or one that’s located on the ocean. If you love hunting, find a school that is close to a territory that you can hunt in. Otherwise, you’re going to find yourself having to travel long distances over the weekends with all of your gear, which cuts into the amount of time you could have spent actually hunting if you were closer.

Become Good At Time Management Early On

People who are good at managing their time, especially during college live with much less stress and much more time to do what it is they actually want to do. If you want hunting to fit into your college lifestyle, you’re going to have to manage your workload and your homework and do it during the week so that you have the option to go hunting during the weekends.

If you have a way to drive to get to your hunting location, bring your course work on the road with you and while somebody else is driving, complete what you need to complete.

Get Appliances For Your Room

If you love to hunt, that probably means that you also love to eat meat. When you’re at school, you tire of cafeteria food and you would like to eat what you spend so much time stalking, killing, and cleaning. To solve this dilemma, get some appliances for your room. A mid-sized fridge would be great to have and you should get an electric skillet or stove of some sort that plugs into the wall or works off of propane. This way you’ll be able to cook in your room and enjoy the feast from your labor.

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Lifestyle

What To Expect From Dorm Living As a College Student

One of the bigger shocks to the system that occur when a student goes from living at their parent’s house and going to high school to starting the college experience is going to be dorm living. And there are as many different types of dorm experiences as there are people living in the world. But, a few things you can always rely on in terms or organization and adjustment are listed below.

These points of interest in include the types of lodging in dorms, the culture that comes with them, the noise you’ll be dealing with, the hours of sleep and activity, and the opportunities that present themselves within the mediated hive mentality that comes with signing that first lease.

The Lodgings

For the most part, college dorms aren’t going to equate to the Ritz hotel. And though you won’t be charged for it, dorm rooms will often need window repairs, door repairs, and even things like new carpets. If that last occupants were particularly rowdy, you may end up even having to figure out ways to brush up some holes that may have been put in the walls. All in the course of normal, homework-centric days, of course.

The Culture

It’s difficult to explain dorm room culture in general, and it’s even harder to pinpoint what kind of cultural phenomenons you’re going to experience in specific buildings at specific colleges during specific times. The one thing that’s for certain is that especially your first time around in any dorm room experience, there’s going to be a culture shock that you’d better be prepared to handle!

The Noise

If you’re used to sleeping and living in a quiet environment, you’re going to be in for a bit of a transition period when you move into your first dorm room. Even though there are certain places that are often designated as quiet areas, it’s important to understand that because of the amount of activity going on around you, the idea of sleep in college is going to take on an entirely new meaning.

The Hours

If you’ve only lived by yourself or with your parents before, then you’re pretty used to making your own hours when it comes to your sleeping and waking arrangements. However, once the college experience starts, you’ll quickly have to adapt to the people around you. The better your attitude about this arrangement, the better your experience will be.

The Opportunities

One thing that living in a dorm brings to the equation that can often be overlooked with all of the perceived negatives of the situation, is the fact that there are so many more opportunities to connect with people than you’d have otherwise. Dozens if not hundreds of people will be available within walking distance for you to share ideas with, and that in itself is a reason to choose dorm life in the first place.

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