5 Essentials for Every College Freshman


Congratulations on your graduation! While high school may have felt like an eternity, it was really a stepping stone to bigger and better things. College life is an exciting time for every young teenager, and preparing to leave home can prove thrilling and terrifying simultaneously. Packing up to set up a new life may be overwhelming, but there are a few basics every freshman should include. Included here are the essentials for incoming college freshman leaving home behind for the first time.


If first impressions were important in high school, they are doubly so in the big leagues of college life. You are going to be meeting friends, future colleagues, professors and potential employers. Make sure you are presenting yourself as a confident, capable young person. While style can vary widely by individual and campus, you should always be hygienic and in tidy-looking clothes.

School Supplies

While elementary school may have demanded nothing more of you than crayons and notebooks, college is going to be a bit more spendy. You will likely need a personal laptop, as well as calculators and textbooks. Depending on your major, you may need even more expensive supplies as your college career progresses. Try to begin your college life with as many of these necessities as possible, to save yourself the stress of securing them later.

Creature Comforts

Dorm life is nothing like living at home. Say goodbye to hot home-cooked meals and folded laundry, the only person responsible for you is you. On some campuses, you may be able to have a mini fridge in your dorm as well as a hot plate for cooking. This can help ease the food expenses you face at college.

Other campuses may have completely unfurnished dorm rooms, meaning you will need to supply the bed, desk and office chair as well as any extra lamps or rugs. Make sure you have enough bedding sets and towels that you don’t have to run laundry too often.


If you have a mini fridge, you should be set to supply your own food, and prepare it. Many campuses have a meal plan that will allow you to eat in the cafeteria for 3 meals a day. However, meal plans can be extremely pricey, a few thousand per quarter in some colleges, and you will need to be prepared to foot the bill.


The most important thing any incoming freshman will need is a strong support system. This can come from good friends, loving family members or a significant other. College is certainly a shock to the system for young teens and should be buffered with plenty of loving support. Be sure you have someone you can call when the going gets tough, and know that dropping some classes to stay afloat is always an option.

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3 Tips For Better Financial Management As A College Student

As you all know, getting a collegiate education is expensive. From living on your own to paying for books and class fees to tuition itself, a lot of college students feel that coming out of school with money to their name is even more difficult than obtaining a degree. But while college is a great time to learn how to live off little to nothing, there are certain things you can do to have better control over your money and your financial freedom. To help you see how, here are three tips for better financial management as a college student.

Take Advantage of Personal Finance Tools

Even if all your money is going out and none is coming in, it can still be super beneficial to use personal finance tools to see where you’re spending all your cash. To get a handle on your money, think of your personal finances like business finances: you must track everything. However, tracking your personal finances is a little simpler than tracking business financials.

To help on this front, Alan Henry, a contributor to, shares five of the best personal finance tools available today. Depending on how detailed you want your tracking to be or what other financial features you’re looking for, one of these five tools may be the perfect financial fit for you. They can all help you to be knowledgeable about your accounts, see how your money is moving, and understand where your spending is going.

Create a Workable Budget Based Off Wants and Needs

While creating a budget doesn’t sound like a ton of fun, it’s exactly what you need to do if your funds seem to be getting out of control, or even if you’d just like to have better control over your spending. But the key to creating a budget that you can actually work with and stick to is understanding what your wants and needs are.

According to Scott Halliwell of, a person’s “needs” include the basic food, clothing and shelter, but they also include things like insurance, phone, personal care items, transportation and utilities. Almost everything that falls outside these few items should be considered a “want”. With needs, you have to spend your money. With wants, spending money is not necessary. When creating your budget, make sure you have all your needs accounted for before you even begin thinking about your wants—like getting those Hunter boots or pre-ordering Star Wars tickets for you and all your friends.

Use Credit Cards Wisely

When money is nowhere to be seen, credit cards can appear like your knight in shining armor, offering you access to all your wildest dreams. But when the time comes to pay your credit card bill, you can be hit with a wave of regret that could bring even the strongest to tears. In fact, according to, 60 percent of college students say they’re surprised at how high their credit card bills have reached and 45 percent say they experience high anxiety about paying the money back.

To avoid from being in this situation, use credit cards wisely. Try to pay off as much of your balance as possible each month to avoid fees and other charges. And whenever possible, try to either spend money you know you have or go without. You’re already going to have a lot of debt from going to school, there’s no use in adding to it with significant, yet unnecessary credit card debt.

The financial habits you set up for yourself in college will stay with you for the rest of your life. To have the most secure financial future possible, consider implementing the tips mentioned above to better manage your finances today.

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A Guide To Being A Good College Renter

You’re in college and dorms just aren’t your thing, so you decide to rent an apartment, or a room in a house with some other college students. It’s this time in your life, your first time living out on your own, that you need to start learning the true meaning of responsibility. Your rental record with even this first home or apartment can affect whether or not you can find a decent rental in the future, and it can also affect your overall credit.

It’s really not that difficult to be a good renter. Some rental places will refuse to rent to college students, thinking they will have parties and leave the place trashed when they move out. You just need to make sure you do the following things.

Always Pay Your Rent On Time

Paying rent on time shows that you are a responsible adult. Even if they money that is paying your rent is coming from your parents, making sure it is in on time is key to being a great renter and getting a good reference from your landlord when you are ready to move into a new place after school is done.

If you don’t pay your rent on time you risk getting evicted, which could mean a trip to court and you may still owe all of the rent due on your entire lease. If you don’t pay it, it can end up on your credit record and make it difficult to get loans, credit cards, and more.

Leave The Place Cleaner Than When You Moved In

When it is time for you to move out, make sure you clean the place well. Don’t leave anything behind that you brought in and don’t take anything with you that was there when you moved in. The best rule to leave by is to leave it cleaner when you move out that it was when you moved it.

That means sweeping, vacuuming, maybe event having the carpet professionally cleaned. Clean the inside and outside of the stove, and make sure to clean the walls. If you were given permission to paint the walls, but told you needed to paint them back to the original color, don’t forget to do it!

Never Break A Lease

Last, but not least, if you want to have a good rental history, never break a lease, for any reason. If you need to move, find out if you are allowed to find a subleaser. Otherwise you are very likely to find yourself in court owing the rest of your lease and you will lose having a good rental reference, which will make it difficult to get another renter to trust you.

College students are wise to search out rental places with short term leases, rather than signing on for a whole year. You don’t want to be stuck in a place in a town you don’t want to stay in after graduation, just because you have a lease and want to stay in the good graces of the rental universe.

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Top Three Careers For Compassionate People



When you’re in college, it can be difficult to know what career path you should be on, especially if you have multiple interests that span the gamut. Even after being in school for two years and taking numerous classes, you may still feel like you have no idea what type of career is best suited for you. If you find yourself in this situation, you may want to look more at your personality and who you are rather than just what interests you.

For those who have a dominantly compassionate personality, there are hundreds of different career paths you can go down that will result in you having a life of happiness and accomplishment. So if you feel best when you’re helping someone else, consider going into one of the three following careers while obtaining your college education.


Because many people love their pets just as much or more than they love the humans in their lives, vets have to be compassionate toward both their patients and owners. This amount of compassion requires a level of care and attention that many can’t handle. This is especially true in difficult situations where the prognosis doesn’t look good. But if you can muster up the compassion to treat your patients with kindness and their owners with gentleness and respect, a vet may be the perfect job for you.

According to, most vets also make between $70,000 and $90,000 a year, making this a relatively lucrative career option. And with job prospects looking like they’ll only increase in the coming years, becoming a vet can appeal to anyone with a compassionate personality and a love for animals.


Therapists spend the majority of their time listening to others and attempting to help them either solve or come to terms with their problems. And luckily for those who feel the compassion to help others make a better life for themselves, there are plenty of career options even within the therapy umbrella.

According to Marjorie Hansen Shaevitz, contributor to the Huffington Post, therapy can include counseling, social work, marriage and family therapy, mental health counseling and more. If you’re a compassionate college student who enjoys listening to others and helping them navigate their life, becoming a therapist may be just right for you.

Medical Assistant

While the above two career options have a little more emotion tied to them, medical assisting can be great for those who feel the compassion to help those around them yet may find some aspects too emotional to deal with on a regular basis. As a career in the healthcare industry, being a medical assistant is perfect for those who have a desire to heal the bodies, hearts, and minds of others.

According to, the job growth rate for medical assistants is at 31 percent, meaning that there is a growing demand for people who can accomplish medical assisting tasks. This could be the perfect career for someone who wants to be in the field of medicine, helping other members of society, but doesn’t want to spend ten or more years going to school.

If you have a compassionate personality, there are many jobs that could fit your way of life and temperament. Consider trying one of the above careers to find a place in this world that will help you to make a difference while making yourself a better person.

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Avoiding The “Freshman Fifteen” – Stay Fit In College


Everyone’s heard of the dreaded “freshman fifteen” – the weight college students supposedly put on after the first few months of all you can eat cafeteria food for every meal. That’s in addition to the cheap beer and late night Xbox sessions!

It’s possible to stay fit in college, but it takes discipline and hard work. If you’ve got what it takes, these tips will help you stay in shape while you’re in college. What’s more, the self control you will learn by keeping a regular exercise schedule will help you to stay on top of homework and other college obligations.

Eat Right

The campus dining hall is dangerous – unlimited pizza, chicken wings, and desserts as far as the eye can see! Often, students who are away from Mom’s cooking for the first time will spring for these items, stuffing themselves on fatty, greasy food and avoiding the vegetables entirely.

It’s true that most cafeterias don’t offer great vegetables. Cooking for yourself on occasion is a great solution to this. You may find you prefer your own cooking to what’s available in the dining hall.

Look at your portions when taking food. Vegetables should cover about half your plate. If meat takes up more than a third of your meal, put it down. Try to alternate your proteins – fish, nuts, and eggs all contain protein, and it’s healthier than eating red meat all the time.

Find Your Community

Your campus might have a gym, but if it doesn’t, a college student can’t be expected to pay for an expensive membership at a local gym. Try doing simple exercises instead. Running is a free way to get exercise. You can also do bodyweight exercises like pushups in your dorm.

Finding other people who are interested in working out can help to keep you motivated. Find a running buddy who will get you up in the morning even on days you don’t want to go. Or consider joining a club at your school – most colleges offer free yoga and other classes after hours, and anyone can go.

Track Your Progress

Keep track of your progress so that you can see how far you’ve come! It can be very motivating to see the time it takes you to run a mile dwindle down, or to realize that you can now do twenty pushups when before you could barely do one.

Find a fitness tracker, such as the popular FitBit, that will track your cardio and report how much exercise you get per month on a calendar. These trackers can even monitor your sleep and help you understand why you don’t feel rested in the morning.

Feel Great!

Follow these simple tips and you won’t be gaining the freshman fifteen – you’ll be getting stronger. Good, honest exercise feels great, and by staying fit, you’ll be more able to fight off college problems like the dreaded “dorm flu”. College is a time to try new things, so use this opportunity to turn daily exercise into a lifetime habit.

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The Importance Of Taking Care Of Yourself In College

college student

College life is a busy one and you can easily forget to eat right and even to wash your face. That’s why it is important to make a habit of staying healthy while you are in college. It’s all about scheduling a routine so that you don’t even have to think about it, you just do it.

To start your healthy routine you may want to write down all of the steps you’ll need to take to be healthy, but once you get used to it it will be like breathing. After a couple weeks of routine it will become second nature and you’ll be on the way to a happier and healthier college life, and you may even feel like you have more time.

Start Your Morning Clean

If you start each morning by eating a clean breakfast, washing your face and brushing your teeth, you will quickly be on your way to a far healthier life. Eating clean means it fresh foods, such as having a medley of fruit for your breakfast. You can include an organic egg with some fresh seasoning to get some protein, or have some nuts with your fruit.

If you never washed your face you’d have some trouble. Not only does washing your face, and the rest of your skin, help remove dirt and grime, it also helps hydrate your skin. Just like you need to drink water to replace what you lose each day, using it on your skin is hydrating as well.

Snack Healthy

You may miss meals as you run from class to class, but you need to be smart when you are grabbing snacks on the go. Don’t grab a potato chip and a candy bar. Instead, eat fresh fruits and vegetables. Throw together a healthy mix of nuts, dried fruit, and seeds for a snack that can go anywhere with you.

Drink water instead of soda, and definitely skip the energy drinks. Sipping cold water can help you stay awake and helps your insides too.

Think Healthy

You don’t just want to take good care of your inside, but your outsides too. Invest in great products for your shower, your face, and your skin. Look into items that can help remove toxins, moisturize, and keep you looking fresh and young, even when you’re stressed.

End Your Day Clean

Wash your face again and brush your teeth before you go to bed. You rinse off all the dirt of the day, which can help keep you from pimples and other skin issues. You should be brushing your teeth for two minutes twice every day.

You also want to get good sleep each night. It not only helps you get through the next day rested and refreshed, but it also helps you to heal, inside and out. As a college student, you should embrace sleep since it also helps improve your memory!

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Tips For Furnishing Your College Dorm Room

dorm room interior

Getting ready for college means more than just getting signed up for your classes and picking up your books. It also means that you need to start thinking about other things you are going to need, like furniture and decor for your college dorm room. College is going to be your home away from home, so you have a few things to consider when it comes to purchasing what you’re going to live with during this time of your life.

Consider Your Roommate

There are many things you need to know and learn when it comes to sharing a dorm room, like respecting your roommate’s time and space. You can set up rules of the dorm room with your roommate once you meet each other, but there are some things you want to consider when it comes to fitting all your belongings in that room and keeping it tidy.

Make sure that you have items that you can use to keep your part of the room clean and organized. That means have trash cans, maybe a filing cabinet, and a night stand with drawers. Make sure that all of your belongings have a place.

Consider Your Space

Dorm rooms are fairly small as it is, and you’ll be sharing it with someone else. That means that you want to own as many space saving pieces of furniture as you can in order to stay organized. Look at great room dividers and wall shelves for holding your books, entertainment items, and more.

If you are used to sleeping on a queen bed at home, keep in mind that your dorm room bed won’t be that big, so you can leave all of your extra throw pillows at home. You won’t be at college indefinitely, so remember that it is OK to leave some stuff at your parents.

Consider Your Bank Account

In order to save money on your dorm room needs and furnishings it helps to know what you’ll need ahead of time. Once you have a list of your dorm room must haves you can start shopping, and not worry about going over budget as much. If you simply shop without a clue you’ll likely spend more.

Take some time to research prices on the stuff you need, and start early. You may find ordering something online is the cheapest route, but it will take longer to get to you. Don’t be afraid to do price comparisons either! You’ll be spending enough on books and college in general, it helps to save on furniture.

College is a time for learning about yourself, exploring your future, and getting ready for the unknown. You don’t have to make it about stressing over decorating your dorm room, if you just know how to save and assure that you get exactly what you need to survive those college years.

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Pros And Cons Of Owning A Pet In College

college pet

Most campuses don’t allow pets. Opinions are divided on whether they’re good or bad, healthy or unhealthy, safe or unsafe. People have petitioned schools to be allowed to keep them for medical reasons.

No, we’re not talking about bongs. Pets on campus are a controversial topic, one that some modern students are taking a stand on. This article explores the pros and cons of owning a pet in college.

Pro: Stress Relief

Studies show that owning a pet reduces stress levels, enough that older people who own pets have been shown to live longer. Colleges have already taken advantage of this great pet benefit – some colleges have brought therapy dogs on campus during exam week to help students relax.

College students are known for experiencing high levels of stress. In high pressure schools, it has even reached the point of suicide. Could this be a solution?

Con: Property Damage

Pets cause wear and tear on even the most responsible pet owner’s home, and college students are experts at wrecking a dorm room. Some colleges protest to pets on the basis that they will damage the college’s property.

Perhaps this could be addressed through an extra fee to pet owners to cover any potential damages.

Pro: Learning Responsibility

College is a time when students are expected to take responsibility for their own studies and learn to manage their schedules. While high school organizes things for students, college is a time to take on adult responsibilities.

Owning a pet can teach a person a lot about responsibility. On the flip side, if a student is not mature enough to save money for pet food or take care of the animal, it could end up being neglected.

Con: Allergies

If another student on the dorm floor is allergic to animal dander, someone owning an animal could be dangerous to them. Getting fur and dander out of the room could incur expensive cleaning fees, and even more expensive medical fees if it’s done incorrectly.

Choose The Right Time

If you are a student who loves animals and misses your pet at home, you may be tempted to sneak an animal on campus. This could result in serious consequences if your college doesn’t allow animals, so wait for the right time. If you are living in a dorm, you don’t have to wait until you’re done with college to get an animal – just wait until you’re living off campus, where the landlord, not the college, will be in charge.

College students often have a busy and social lifestyle, so pick an animal with a temperament to match. For example, a midsize or “pocket” dog is probably best if you don’t have a large yard for it to run around in. Choose a dog that will be comfortable with strangers and won’t mind being walked between classes.

Having a pet is a very rewarding experience, one that everyone should have. Just be prepared for the added responsibility (and the poop!)

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Back To School On A Budget


It’s back to school season, which means one thing for college students – you’re going to spend a bundle on textbooks, new clothes, and supplies for your dorm room.

It’s easy for these expenses to get out of hand, especially when you’re living on a college student’s budget. Here are a few simple ways to afford everything you need, without having to go back on the all-Ramen diet.

Shop The Sales

Seeing a massive markdown can get your card-swiping fingers itching, but you have to be smart about the sales you take. A sale shouldn’t be an excuse to buy something frivolous. Instead, it’s a great opportunity to stock up on essentials at a decent price.

Take advantage of a good sale to buy essentials like a warm winter coat or a pair of boots that will last a few seasons. Try to buy your laptop (definitely a must for college) on a good sales weekend like Cyber Monday. Don’t get suckered in by sales and buy things you don’t really want or need, no matter how awesome the deal is.

Compare Prices

The Internet is your friend whether you are shopping for textbooks or a new laptop. Textbooks are often drastically overpriced in the school store, so be sure to check online before you buy! Sometimes students who are done with their textbooks will sell them online for rock-bottom prices.

Comparing prices is especially useful when buying electronics. Some stores will price match Internet vendors, so you can avoid paying shipping costs and still get a great deal.

Use the Internet to see if you’re being overcharged for any expensive, big-ticket item before you spend a ton on it.

Coupon Coup

Coupon clipping calls to mind suburban moms buying bulk toilet paper. It may not seem glamorous, but a few simple coupons can save you hundreds of dollars – and after a few weeks in your dorm, you might realize bulk toilet paper is a better deal than you expected!

The Internet can help you find coupons for practically anything you could want. Websites such as Couponsleap find coupon codes from all over the web. Whether you are going grocery shopping or looking for a big TV for the dorm, be sure to Google coupon codes for it. It will only take a few minutes at the most, and you could end up saving a huge percentage off your final total.

Shop Smarter, Not Harder

Follow these easy tips to pay for your college expenses without breaking the bank. Every dollar you save can go towards your tuition, a meal outside of the dining hall, or – don’t tell mom – beer money.

Many college students struggle with budgeting, but by taking care of the necessities, you can save big bucks while still living in comfort. And, best of all, you won’t have to eat Ramen every night to do it.

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5 Ways to Generate College Funds

college fund

college fundEveryone knows attending college can be bank-breakingly expensive. While some people are able to attend on their parent’s dime or through financial aid, more often than not you will be looking at a few loans and some penny pinching. Before heading off to your new-to-you dorm room, take some time to get your finances in order and understand how you will balance expenses while away at college. Included here are a few tips to generate funds for those normal college costs like tuition and books.

Start an Online Fundraiser

You know how your Grandma has always told you to come to her in a time of need? Well, that need may just have arisen with the high cost of tuition and books. Create an online donation center where friends and family can help you get on your feet in college. This can easily be distributed within a graduation announcement and can help make a big dent in those student loans.

Cut Costs

As fun as penny-pinching is, it’s surprising more people don’t live that way! Unfortunately, cutting costs can be an un-fun part of being an adult, as are college expenses. By learning to curb your spending in the entertainment sector, you may be able to save big bucks for books. Consider cutting down on coffees, movie nights out and unnecessary shopping sprees. Keep your eye on the prize, which is getting out of college with as little debt as possible!

Take a Summer Job

You know how you planned on spending the summer before college living it up? Well, as a new adult it is necessary to prioritize, and this could mean the unfortunate choice of working all summer instead of playing. Fortunately, taking the time to pick up extra work in the summer could greatly pay off during the school year if you save your money.

Work Part-time

While everyone thinks it would be wonderful to simply study and party their way through college, sometimes working throughout can help pay-off as well. Being laden with astronomical student loans after finishing college can just increase stress while you are seeking your dream job. Consider working part-time, at least, throughout the school year to offset your living expenses and college costs.

Buy Used Books

A great way to save huge amounts in college is by planning ahead. This could mean everything from cooking your weekday meals on Sunday to buying your books online in advance. If your professors make your book choices known to you before the school year begins, take the time to purchase them online. They will be far cheaper than even the used options within your school bookstore and, if you are feeling particularly industrious, you will be able to study before you start the quarter.

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