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Five Ways to Improve Your Memory

The demand for ways to improve your memory is higher in students than it is in adults. Students often come across new knowledge in different areas that they need to store to remember during exams and in future tasks. Some students suffer with memory problems and information retention like remembering instructions in class and directions they have just been given. Here are five effective ways to improve your memory as a student.

1. Use visual images when learning

Teachers should be teaching their students how to use visual images to improve their memory. One strategy that makes use of visual cues involves word substitution. This system is applicable in scenarios where a student cannot visualize information and make meaning out of it. You can turn a difficult word such as “”occipital”” into something familiar that can be visualized. For instance, the word “”occipital”” can be converted visually into an open space like a “hall.” The students can then visualize it in real-time. This can help to enhance the vocabulary stored in your brain.

2. Distribute learning

Research shows that learning activities that take more than two hours without a break are counterproductive when compared to those that take one hour or 30 minutes. Students are likely to retain things they learn over a short period of time. This is because the brain can only retain a limited amount of information at any one time; bombarding it with a lot of information only reduces its retention capacity. Make sure you take breaks between learning sessions to help improve your memory. Some students can take up to 50 minutes while others cannot go beyond 30 minutes.

3. Try to relax

Relaxing should be an integral part of your learning process. Scientists have proven that stronger and lasting memories can be achieved when a person relaxes. You need to use different relaxation techniques in order to improve your memory. Deep breathing is one of the most popular relaxation techniques. Establish a quiet environment in an open place and find a comfortable position with your back straight. Then go through a deep breathing process, akin to meditation, for at least 15 minutes.

4. Train the brain

Students should give their brains a workout in order to improve their memory. At times, the brain needs the right stimulation to keep growing and developing. Like a muscle, memory can stretch and grow with a workout. You need to come up with a brain-boosting activity that is suitable for you and must involve learning something new, be challenging and rewarding in the end.

For instance, you can prepare a list of items and try to memorize them. After some time, try to repeat the items you have memorized. Make the items as challenging as possible for optimal results. Print some words in different colours and try to name the colour each word is printed in. Write a short story and then try to use seven to nine words to describe it. You can also do games and puzzles to help improve your memory. 

5. Brain foods that improve your memory

The foods the students eat have a lot to do with their brain power. The foods can either take a toll on their brain or improve its functionality. You should try to change your diet and eat foods that enhance your brain power. Foods such as oily fish and walnuts have been proved to enhance the memory capacity in both kids and adults. You should research and learn about the impact of brain-boosting foods to help improve your memory.

In summary, a good memory is an important asset to any student who wants to improve his or her grades. The techniques discussed above will help you to improve your memory significantly.

You might also enjoy: Brain Food: Eating for Concentration

7 Books You MUST Read While You're Still in College

Ask anyone and they’ll tag college days as the best days of their lives without blinking even once; everything about college is dreamy, from friends to hangouts and even classes. During this phase, let books be your trusted companions because they are not only great sources of knowledge and entertainment, but they also expand your horizon by engendering better creativity, good vocabulary, and imaginative thinking.

When you’re in college, you’re getting ready to face the real world. Move over from the books you read in school and create space for the books you must read that help you prepare for life ahead.

Here are books you must read that can actually make a difference:

1) This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald

This book is a perfect example that states that age doesn’t define the limit of imagination. This cult classic was written by Fitzgerald when he was only 23 years old. Chronicling the life of Amory Blaine, the book captures the romance, struggles, and realizations of his life brilliantly. Once you’ve finished reading the book, you know that you don’t want to be that wealthy Princeton student, who had to look at himself differently because of the situations arising from his choices. His post-graduation disillusions are captured interestingly. The book grips you further when the protagonist finally realizes the hard way that life is different outside the secure walls of college.

2) Don’t Say Yes When You Want to Say No: Making Life Right When It Feels All Wrong by Herbert Fensterheim Ph.D., Jean Baer

An ideal read for every phase of life, this amazing book you must read teaches the importance of using the simplest, yet the hardest word: No. This must-read teaches you to “say what you mean and mean what you say.” By the end of the book, the author literally trains you to develop self-control that often gets overpowered in a dominating atmosphere. Sound familiar? The book promises to help you develop the ability to grab the best from life. Get your copy for a compelling read!

3) Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami

Most describe the author’s creativity in writing this book as mysterious and prismatic. Though the book can be categorized as dark, it has people drooling over and hailing it as a poignant study of memory, morality, and mortality. Although the author has woven the book around love, it’s not just a love story. Set in early 1960s Japan, the book elicits a universal emotion and those who identify with it, never want to put it down. The book is also adapted into a motion picture.

4) The Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Filled with insights, the book changes the way you perceive challenges and define your ambitions, and makes you more dedicated towards your goals. The book is known to profoundly change or fortify the way one looks at life and happiness. It allows readers to achieve a consecrated state of ‘flow’ under any situation.
The book is known to have broadened the perspective of life for many and helped others in realizing a clear vision of their goals and ways to achieve them. In the words of renowned Psychologist Howard Earl Gardner, “the book documents a set of scientific discoveries about human nature that actually illuminates the life experiences of all persons.”

5) Wings of Fire: An Autobiography by Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam

“”We are all born with a divine fire in us. Our efforts should be to give wings to this fire.””
The book inspires you effortlessly. You don’t necessarily have to be an Indian to identify with the story of an extremely poor Muslim boy growing up to be the President of India, the largest democracy in the world. The story of a man, who continues to be an inspiration even posthumously, the autobiography is not preachy, yet caters to the subjects we know of, but don’t give much thought to. The book has the power to change the way you look at life and maintain the sanctity of your inner self.

6) The Art of Happiness by The Dalai Lama

It doesn’t matter whether you’re religious or identify with the philosophy of the Dalai Lama; this book brings you peace and calms you. It teaches you to value the little things in life and care about what really matters. This book is insightful but has nothing that’ll scare you away. The beauty of the book lies in its ability to make readers think of ‘happiness’ as a state of mind rather than a result of external events.

7) The Stranger by Albert Camus

Exploring the numerous possibilities of life, you must read this laudable book at least once in your lifetime. It is philosophical, yet different from the common rational reads. The short plot of this exemplary book leaves a lot to your imagination and much to be desired. It is a novel everyone should read as it leaves a mark on your consciousness.
When you’re in college, everything about life appears to be a bed of roses. But, what lies ahead depends greatly on the choices you make. These books help you stay rooted as they have a practical approach. As life continues to be a roller coaster, these books provide a much-needed breather and allow you to soak in some really good lessons.

You might also enjoy: 10 Best Books of 2016

Author Bio
Korie Cantor is a writer who writes about living and lifestyle. She possesses a great sense of style and loves to share her thoughts about fashion and its latest trends. Follow her on twitter at @koriecantor


Donald Trump's First Days as President

January 20th saw business tycoon Donald Trump become the 45th president of the United States—for better or worse. Anticipation of Donald Trump’s first days as president has been building since the election process, being the catalyst to emotionally charged coverage in the press and conflicts around the globe.

From which celebrities refused invitation to play at the inauguration and Trump’s relationship with Russian president Vladimir Putin, to controversial cabinet choices and threats to women’s rights, the last few months have been eventful to say the least.

Trump and his wife had tea with the Obamas before the transition of power in Washington’s Capitol Hill. While the White House admits that Trump did not write the speech, his was delivered powerfully with patriotic and nationalist tones that he promoted throughout his campaign. “We will bring back our jobs. We will bring back our borders. We will bring back our wealth. And we will bring back our dreams,” Trump said. Fittingly, after the oath was taken Trump’s first dance with his wife was to Frank Sinatra’s “My Way”.

Changes to the White House website

The transition of power from Obama to Trump extended to the White House website with previous information archived so that all digital properties were fresh for the new Trump administration. Pages on the website that were once exclusive for LGBTQ rights and climate change policies have disappeared. Considering the Republican’s vocal lack of belief in climate change, this move seems a threat to the progression of climate change science and the future of LGBTQ rights.

A statement that replaced the information on the climate change page said: “”For too long, we’ve been held back by burdensome regulations on our energy industry. President Trump is committed to eliminating harmful and unnecessary policies such as the Climate Action Plan and the Waters of the US rule.””

You might also enjoy: The LGBTQ Community in Schools


The women’s march

On the day after the inauguration and Trump’s first day as president, women, men and children marched for the protection of fundamental women’s rights and the “safeguarding of freedoms threatened by recent political events”. The march stemmed from the controversy surrounding women’s rights to abortion and the president’s casual bragging about sexual assault; the most famous quote being “grab them by the p****”. If a man with this attitude is now the president of the United States, what does this mean for women? Are we about to step back 30 years?

The Guardian reported that an estimate of two million women rallied in solidarity in the women’s march across America and around the globe, including Canada and the UK, with numbers still rising.

Trump responded to the women’s march with a surprisingly mature tweet:
“Peaceful protests are a hallmark of our democracy. Even if I don’t always agree, I recognize the rights of people to express their views.”

First days

In his first days as president, Trump has already signed an anti-abortion executive order, also known as the global gag rule, which prevents US dollars funding organizations that “perform or actively promote” abortions. The witnesses for this signing were all male, unsurprisingly, sending a powerful message about the patriotic rule that men hold over women. This ruling severely impacts the lives of millions of women in underdeveloped countries, whose healthcare systems rely on US funding to deliver high standards of healthcare to its people. Activists have described the ruling as an “assault on women’s rights.”

You might also be interested in: Women’s Rights: Abortion


Trump is also likely to push forward with the Dokata pipeline that threatens to contaminate local waters and destroy sacred Native American sites. The $3.8billion plan garnered huge recognition around the world as hundreds of thousands of people—including Native Americans and celebrities—took to Sioux Rock to protest the introduction of the pipeline. The US Corps of Engineering had initially denied a permit to lay the pipeline with the support of Obama, but it is now likely that Trump will rescind. While Trump has shares in Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), he denies any personal interest and implores that the ruling will be to create jobs for the American people and to boost economic growth.

Trump’s first days as president have set a precedence for a Republican future in America. While it seems gloomy now, whether this future will benefit the everyday American remains to be seen.


Coping with Exam Anxiety

Exam anxiety is extremely common in students across the nation, included with around 40 million American adults who suffer with general anxiety each year. Anxiety can have a detrimental effect on your health with physical problems including headaches, fatigue and muscle tension. In some scenarios, severe anxiety can lead to depression.

While mild exam anxiety can be a stimulus for change which encourages us to study more efficiently, sometimes it can spiral out of control, making students avoid the study process altogether.

With many students suffering in silence, College News explores ways to help you overcome exam anxiety, before the big test day arrives.

Identify what exactly is making you anxious

Identifying the root of your anxiety puts you in a prime position to resolve it. Anxiety comes in many forms; fear of failure, fear of falling short next to your peers or pressure from parents, to name a few.

If the root of your anxiety stems from falling short next to your peers, resolve it by studying with them. Studying with classmates means you will be working on the same material, and anything you’re struggling to understand can be discussed as a group to help you clarify the details. Working with others in this way may help to reduce exam anxiety.

If pressure from your parents is causing exam anxiety, then talk with them about your concerns—you might be surprised at how supportive they can actually be! Ultimately, this learning experience is entirely yours and you should work with your own future in mind.

Eating a balanced diet

A healthy body makes for a healthy mind. Caffeine has been shown to impede the levels of serotonin (the neurotransmitter responsible for feeling happy) that the brain produces. Lack of serotonin is what makes us irritable and low. Prevent this by cutting down on coffee, sugary drinks and food and make sure to get enough sleep to improve your mood and sense of wellbeing.

Read: Get More Greens In Your Diet


Talk to a tutor or therapist

Vocalizing your concerns helps you to solve the problem at hand. You’ll find that a tutor or school therapist can give you advice or might be able to further aid you in your progress—such as giving you a more private room to take your exam in, or extra time to do it in.

Organize yourself

Heidi Hanna, PhD and CEO of Synergy said “When we have chaotic surroundings or a fragmented mind set, the brain can perceive this as a sign that there is more demand for energy than our current capacity, which triggers the stress response,” in an article by dailyburn.com.

This is where organization tactics come in. Being organized connects you with your sense of control which ultimately reduces stress and anxiety. Make a timetable that divides revision needs into achievable chunks and reward yourself for every completed session. Rewards can be little, like a square of chocolate or an hour break outside, for example. Sticking to a timetable gives you an idea of when you are able to take in the most amount of information, so you can work towards a routine best suited for you.

What are your go-to ways to reduce exam anxiety? Let College News know!

You might also enjoy: Unsuccessful People vs. Successful People

Dear College Football: Stop Playing Playoff Games on New Year's Eve

As near as I can remember the timeline, it took the NCAA about 60 million years to finally agree to host a four-team playoff in college football. And as soon as they finally got it going, it was the best thing ever.

But after only one year of success, they managed to start screwing things up. In 2015, the NCAA held the national semifinals on New Year’s Eve, and cost themselves millions of viewers in the process. They did the same thing in 2016, although slightly improving things by having the games start at 3pm and 7pm eastern time to ensure they were both over before it was party time.

I’m a family guy who has two kids under the age of five and a host of relatives from all over place plus far-flung friends who try and get together over the holidays. Plus, my wife and I try to get out of the house once every two or three months for an actual date night.
So why, oh why, dear NCAA, must you continue to hold the best games of the year on New Year’s Eve?

You might also enjoy: Super Bowl 50 Recap

The TV ratings plummeted from 2014 to 2015 because of this scheduling glitch. Sure, people in bars across the country might have been watching the second game as they rang in the New Year, but the Nielsen numbers for home viewership titled under 10 million people, a staggering decline considering how many college football fans there are across the country.

Ratings were up during the semifinals this year, despite both being fairly one-sided games with both Alabama and Clemson holding Washington and Ohio State at arm’s length, respectively. The games paled in comparison to several of the lesser college football bowls, in particular the Rose Bowl, which were played on Monday, January 2, which, while a holiday recognized by banks and government offices, was back to work for millions of professionals and school districts meaning: streaming the game on your computer while your boss wasn’t looking instead of sitting on the couch devouring nachos and beer.

You’d think it would be hard to screw up something like what days to play the bowl games on, but this is the NCAA we’re talking about. Their biggest problem this year was a morbid fear of stepping on the NFL’s toes, since January 1 was a Sunday, the last week of the regular season for the NFL. In that instance, the logical thing to do would have been to play the other bowl games all day Saturday—with the late games being the sacrificial New Year’s Eve lambs. NFL games would follow on Sunday, allowing the NCAA to get the whole stage to itself by putting one game Sunday night and the other on Monday night, doubling their ratings and giving everyone a chance to see both winning teams in actions, thus driving the hype up for next week’s title game.

What the NCAA and the TV networks failed to recognize here is that as much as people like watching football, they like going out and consuming alcohol much, much more. Football is a niche sport, college football even more so since 99 percent of the viewing audience didn’t go to any of the four schools involved. But ringing in the New Year? Everybody can participate in that.

Further reading: Johnny Manziel’s General Maturity Brought into Question


Eccentric Gifts Perfect for College Students

Finding college students the perfect gift is one of the most time-consuming and stressful activities that almost everyone has experienced at some point. A great way to avoid giving a boring gift is to go for something eccentric, unique and extraordinary.

The unexpected and unconventional gift will be loved and cherished far more than an uninteresting one. Here is a list of eccentric gifts tailored mainly towards college students, but can be presented to anyone who appreciates uniqueness:

1. Unicorn-themed gifts

The unicorn is a mythological creature which resembles a horse and has a horn on its forehead. Called unicornis in Latin, one of the first descriptions of this magical creature is found in Greek literature. It is described as a single-horned animal with a white body, purple head, blue eyes, and a long horn on its forehead. A unicorn is thought to ward off evil and protect people from all types of poisons. In certain parts of the Bible, it is mentioned as the creature re’em.

In modern times, the creature is associated with magic and unicorn-themed gifts are perfect for anyone with a good sense of humor. These gifts range from gin made from “unicorn tears” to unicorn snot glitter gel and even canned “unicorn meat”. Regardless of the occasion, you can’t go wrong with a unicorn-themed present.

2. Visiting Vantablack

In 2014, Surrey Nanosystems created the darkest matter known to man and named it Vantablack. Vanta is the acronym for “Vertically Aligned Nanotube Arrays,” which refers to its structure made up of millions of small carbon nanotubes. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, it is the world’s darkest man-made substance and absorbs up to 99.9 percent of radiation in the visible spectrum. It will be used for improved visibility in outer space in satellites and telescopes. Artist Sir Anish Kapoor announced in late 2016 that he had acquired exclusive rights to use this material, which led to the creation of this fascinating piece of art.

Currently, schools, universities and museums can order the substance for educational purposes and the sample will be sent in a sealed, crinkled-foil display-unit. The substance is said to be so black that the human eye is unable to see its exact shape and form. Although you can’t buy clothes or merchandise made from the material, you can visit the museum that houses it (UK). The visit will make for an eye-opening gift, especially for a science geek. It is said that staring at Vantablack is like staring at a black hole in outer space!

3. Body pillow

This is a large pillow, also known as ‘Dakimakura’ in Japanese, which translates to “hug pillow.” Popular among Japanese youth, these polyester-filled pillows have been around for centuries. Before the 90s, they came in simple prints with no images on them. However, with the rapid rise of anime and manga fans during the 90s, production of body pillows with illustrations of various anime characters on the front and back became common. An anime body pillow will be a unique gift for anyone, regardless of whether or not they are fans of anime, manga, or comic books.

4. Out of this world

Outer-space fans will love these perfect eccentric gifts. You can buy a galaxy umbrella, which comes with a high-resolution photo of the galaxy printed on it, so you are always under the stars. Another option is an infinity-mood cube; a mood light that creates amazing outer-space optical illusions. Jet black in color and cubical in shape, it is a rotating LED that will mesmerize anyone. Heat-sensitive mugs are another perfect gift idea. When you pour hot liquid into these innocuous-looking mugs, they light up in a range of patterns, showing the various constellations, a galaxy, the world map, or more.

You can also find a range of outlandish outer-space themed food products including donuts, cakes, wallpapers and even lollipops. A word of caution —avoid buying a gift where you pay to name a star after a loved one because this is essentially pointless. It will only be named in the company’s books where you buy this service from.

5. Carnivorous plant

Bored of seeing the same harmless house-plant in every home? Then gift the carnivorous Venus Fly Trap plant instead. Called Dionaea Muscipula in Latin, it feeds itself by luring and capturing prey, such as flies, inside traps that are lined with tiny hairs.

6. Caffeinated soap

Calling all coffee-addicts! If you want to give a coffee-lover the perfect eccentric gift, look no further. Even after gulping down a mug or two of their morning cuppa, they can continue to get their caffeine-fix from this caffeinated soap as they shower!

7. Souvenir from Hobbiton

If you know a huge Lord of the Rings fan, then get them a pair of shire slippers. These fluffy slippers are designed to look like hobbit feet—notoriously large and hairy. They’re funny, quirky and make for a great gift for a college student who is a Tolkien fan.

8. Nothing

Do you know someone who has everything? Then this is the perfect gift for them, the gift of nothing! Ingenious and strange, itis sure to be appreciated. Perhaps a last-resort option, choose this if you are unable to find anything at all.

The next time you go looking for the perfect eccentric gift for college students or loved ones, take a look at these weirdly wonderful options. There is no need to rely on tired options like socks, because now you can take your pick from dark matter, outer space and even unicorns! These gifts show that you put a lot of thought into them and will stand out from the rest, making you the king or queen of gift-giving!

Need some more ideas?: Eight Best Gifts for College Students


Nicola Reynor is a passionate blogger who loves to blog about fashion, beauty, travel, health, fitness, wedding and lifestyle trends. When in leisure time, she prefers to spend time in traveling with friends and family.

10 Ways Being a Couch Potato is Detrimental to Your Health

Are you a couch potato? Here’s some bad news for you.

Studies have shown that besides the intrinsic lack of physical energy and mindless eating coining the phrase “couch potato”, this extra lazy behavior could actually encourage obesity. Sitting for long hours and watching your favorite TV shows has negative effects on your body from organ damage to problems with your back. Here are 10 ways being a couch potato is detrimental to your health.


1. Heart disease
Your muscles burn less fat when you sit idle for a long time. Blood flows more sluggishly, ultimately allowing the fatty acids to clog your heart.
Moreover, sitting for long periods of time can cause high blood pressure and higher cholesterol. People spending their time inactively are more likely to have cardiovascular diseases than their active counterparts.

2. Colon cancer
Extra sitting time increases chances of getting colon, endometrial and breast cancer, studies have revealed. The reason is that sitting for prolonged periods of time builds up excess sugar and insulin levels which can be detrimental to health.

3. Over-productive pancreas
The pancreas produces insulin, the hormone that carries glucose to cells for energy. But cells in idle muscles don’t respond as readily to insulin as in active muscles. As a result, the pancreas produces an excess of insulin which increases the chances of diabetes and other harmful diseases.


4. Vague brain
When you are in a state of motion, your body is able to drive fresh oxygen and blood through the brain which triggers the release of endorphins, including dopamine and serotonin—the pleasure and happiness receptors.
But idle muscles slow all bodily functions which can damage the brain. With a lack of endorphin produce, there’s a chance that sitting for a long period of time may increase levels of anxiety.

5. Regular pain in shoulders and back
Slumping forward overextends the back and shoulder muscles, especially the trapezius, which connects the shoulder and neck.

6. Stressed neck
If you are sitting for a long time, craning your neck forward strains the cervical vertebrae and this leads to everlasting imbalance.

You might also enjoy: Easy Steps to Get in Shape in the New Year



7. Limp glutes
Sitting idly will slow the proper functioning of your glutes. Soft glutes will negatively affect your stability and maintenance of a powerful stride.

8. Mushy abs and tight hips
When you slump on a chair, tight back muscles and wimpy abs form a posture-wrecking alliance that affects your spine’s natural arch posture and you could suffer from swayback condition—pain in the lower back.
Couch potatoes rarely extend the hip flexor muscles which cause them to become tight and short which ultimately limits your range of motion.


9. Poor blood circulation to legs
One of the primary symptoms of leg disorders is poor blood circulation that occurs because of fluid retention from idle sitting. Problems range from swollen ankles and varicose veins to dangerous blood clots (deep vein thrombosis).


10. Disk damage & inflexible spine
Being a couch potato means there is a greater risk of developing a lumbar herniated disc. The muscle psoas, is a muscle that travels through the abdominal cavity and, if tightened, pulls the upper lumbar spine forward. This can be harmful as a result because the weight of the upper body is totally on the sitting bones with half of your weight supported along the arch of your spine. Spines that do not move become inflexible and susceptible to damage in mundane activities.

So the detrimental effects of being a couch potato are clear. From organ damage to disk damage & inflexible spine, these above-mentioned evidences are enough for couch potatoes to get up and lead a healthy and active life.

Further reading: Four Basic Yoga Poses


Author Bio
Katey Marsh is a health consultant at Essay Writing Service firm and a nutritionist in hospital. Many celebrities are leading a healthy and fit life by following her diet plan. If you also want to stay fit, then you can contact her on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

How to Decorate Your Dorm on a Budget

It can be very exciting to leave home and go to college. Though it might seem like a tightly packed space with not much room between two people, your first dorm will become host to plenty of great memories. In order for your dorm to feel as much like home as possible, you’ll need to decorate it properly. If you’re worried about the cost, don’t be! There are plenty of ways to decorate and furnish your dorm without breaking the bank.

1. Make a List (and check it twice!)

Think about everything you’ll need when you move into your dorm and write it down. It shouldn’t be too hard; just think of everything essential that could reasonably fit into a modestly-sized room. Most colleges offer beds, desks and dressers in their dorms, so that takes care of some major items.

2. Talk to your roommate

If you know your roommate but haven’t met them formally yet, reach out on social media to discuss plans for your shared dorm. This doesn’t need to be too in-depth; just consult with them about what they plan on bringing. This can help you save a good deal of money; for instance, you might be thinking about buying a brand-new TV for the room, but you could find out that your new roommate already has one they’re bringing.

3. Scavenge

No, we don’t mean you should root through garbage cans or at the dump for furniture or other dorm room essentials. However, it never hurts to ask around. Check out your house or the homes of relatives and see if there’s anything taking up space that you could take off their hands to decorate your dorm on a budget. Additionally, you should also visit thrift shops in your area for possible hidden treasures.

4. Determine what tech gadgets you buy

Are you someone who lives off of ramen noodles and other microwave meals? If so, you should invest in a microwave. Or if you need a caffeine fix in the morning, a simple coffee maker too. While both these items range in price depending on the model, your best bet is to get one that is cheap but reliable.

There is a good chance you’ll be writing a lot of papers in college, so a printer is a great investment. Check out the list of the top 10 most economical printers for students to find a printer that’s right for you. You should also keep your eye out for discounts on gadgets such as tablets and laptops.

5. Buy multipurpose furniture

If you can’t decide between buying a coffee table or a bookshelf when you come to decorate your dorm, compromise. Maybe you can store your books on the coffee table without much intrusion and find that everything works out better that way. You’ll end up saving money as well as space.

You’ll also enjoy: College Life Hack: Earn Extra Money on the Side


6. Talk to experienced dorm decorators

If you have a sibling or older friend in college (or know anyone who recently graduated), talk them about your plans for decorating your dorm and see what they think. They should be able to offer some good advice based on experience. It is very likely that they made some mistakes in decorating they want to help you avoid.

We hope this has been helpful for you as you prepare your journey into dorm life. There’s no absolutely right or wrong way to decorate, which means you can do it however you want (provided your roommate is okay with it!). It might seem strange, exciting and scary all at once. But if you can find some great decorations and furnishings, you’ll be thinking “”dorm, sweet dorm”” before too long.

Do you have any ideas on how to decorate your dorm on a budget? Let College News know!

Get ready for summer: Summer Décor for Your Dorm


College Life Hack: Earn Extra Money on the Side

I’m Erin Feldman, and I am a college drop-out.

I’m not ashamed of telling people what I am—I’d like to motivate college students on the verge of dropping out because their student loans are taking a toll on them to earn extra money.

Dramatics aside, I know how it feels to hit rock-bottom. A $100,000 student loan was taking its toll on me. I was the type who liked to tackle things one at a time. However, loans wait for nobody, and before I knew it, I had to pay for 100,000 dollars worth of education.

This may not be setting a good example, but I dropped out to keep myself sane. I couldn’t continue with such a large amount of debt. When I was starting out in college, I was very optimistic—I was hell-bent on following my passion; that’s the whole point of college anyway, right? I had to rely on student loans to make it in college. When my passion changed in the middle of the first term, I resolved to still follow my passion, because I knew I could just pay this off once I got to my dream destination. Even if my lunch had become breakfast-lunch-dinner and was composed of grilled cheese (or sometimes, just “grilled” toast), I had to follow my heart.

I’m not discouraging anyone; I’m not saying you shouldn’t follow your dreams. But, a well-thought plan could help you avoid the situation I found myself in. I didn’t think through things, I didn’t consider that my parents were at a frail age. I was young, wild and free. I played hard, I didn’t work hard. I was living a life just like in any teen movie.

Before you scroll down and check how to earn extra money and rid yourself of that loan, I want you to heed my lifehack advice.


Planning can get boring, planning ruins the spontaneous fun. But I realized that in this world, a slight change in course can lead to a different set of events.
Stick to that plan, or change the plan. Make sure you’ve weighed out the pros and the cons. Are you studying for a degree because your potential salary is better than that of your passion? If you stick with your passion, will it be enough to get you through?
Always think of the future. If you cannot make ends meet, at least meet halfway. In today’s “adulting”” challenge, learning how to compromise is a must. That’s why, if you want to earn extra money and pay off your debts, you need to learn how to juggle your time for work, play, and study. Note that these tips aren’t exactly your easy way out, but as young adults, we need to learn more about responsibilities, too. Here are some tips on how to make it out of college, alive:


There are lots of ways that you can make money online. Instead of watching videos, or wasting time on social networking sites all day long, why not spend your online time for something useful? This can potentially save you from dropping out of college so consider one or more of the following:

1. Selling on eBay, Amazon
Especially if you have collectibles, or just extra stuff that you don’t use anymore, selling items on online market places such as eBay or Amazon, can help you. You can sell your old books, clothes, shoes, or toys for some extra money. I did this during my pre-departure days from college. I met a few friends during my night-outs, and they helped me supply my online store. Eventually, I got out of eBay and decided it was time for me to build my own brand.

2. Filling out surveys
There are some sites that will pay you to fill out online surveys. Register for the following online survey sites and they will contact you in case your profile meets the requirement for their survey:

• Cross Media Panel
• Digital Reflection Panel
• Harris Poll
• MyPoints
• Opinion Outpost
• Pinecone
• Pinecone 18-24
• Points Club
• ProOpinion
• Reward TV
• Survey Junkie
• Survey Spot
• Swagbucks Surveys

3. Freelancing
Online freelancing offers a lot of opportunities. There are also lots of online freelance work out there for those looking to earn extra money. UpWork is one of the most popular sites for online freelancers. However, take note that some of the tasks here require dedication. Working full-time whilst studying isn’t exactly the best route, especially if you’re studying on a more theoretical degree that requires you to read and research.

4. Selling Stock Photos
If you like taking pictures, you might want to consider selling them online. Some sites like iStockPhoto will purchase a photo they like. Make use of your photography skills to earn some extra money!

5. Selling clothes online
For our fashionistas out there, follow your inner juju and start selling clothes online. There are numerous ways to do this, but one of the easiest and probably the cheapest way to showcase your items is through social media; Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Oftentimes, people look here first before rushing to their favorite online store. What can you do to increase chances of selling your garments? Here’s what I did when I started out: Put up a style guide! Dress for the occasion! It’s already winter in most places; hold a quick photoshoot of trendy outfits this winter, and mention your items for sale. That’s how you create demand; you fuel their need with their desire to look cool in your effort to earn extra money.

6. Blogging
Although not an easy way to make a lot money, blogging can still help you out. Once you have garnered a decent amount of followers, you can earn by advertising, by becoming an affiliate marketer, or by selling your own products.

7. User testing
There are sites like UserTesting.com that will pay for you to rate and give feedback on websites. All you have to do is to rate the usability of a site and provide feedback to earn extra money.

8. Becoming a virtual assistant
There is also an opportunity in becoming a virtual assistant for someone. You can help someone run a site or social media account in your free time.

9. Doing gigs on Fiverr or Mechanical Turk
Fiverr is a microsite where you can sell a lot of random projects. Amazon also has a microsite called the Mechanical Turk where you can be paid for doing tasks that usually take seconds to do. There are different gigs that you can do to earn some money.

10. Selling on Etsy.com
You can sell crafts and earn extra money on Etsy.com. So if you are a on the creative side, you can make money selling cards, invitations, or other unique crafts.

11. Publishing an e-book
If you have a knack for writing, then writing an e-book may be the right side hustle for you! You can then sell it to Amazon or Barnes and Noble. Make use of your talent to help you get through college!

Read: First Day at a New Job



If you don’t see the right side hustle for you on our list above, then you might be better off with our list of offline ways to make money.

1. Tutoring
You could earn some money by tutoring younger students and helping them with their studies. This is a good way to stay sharp while you earn money. Aside from being an academic tutor, you can also teach skills. I found peace in yoga, that’s why in my spare time, I am teaching anyone interested to learn how to find their “inner peace”. If you know how to play the ukulele, use a sewing machine, or play jazz music with the piano, then it’s one of the opportunities you can capitalize on.

2. Catering
There are lots of catering companies that need a lot of help, especially during the weekends. You won’t need to work full-time so you can still have time for your studies.

3. Baby-sitting
A lot of families are in need of baby-sitting services. If you are good with kids, baby-sitting can help you get decent amount of extra cash.

4. Cleaning services
You can offer cleaning services to neighbors, especially those busy families with not much time to do tedious housework.

5. Selling recyclables
You can also make some extra money by selling recyclables. Ask your friends and relatives to store recyclables for you. Or better yet, do this in combination with cleaning services.

6. Walking dogs
Some families are so busy that they don’t have time to even walk their dogs. Offer dog walking services to earn extra money.

7. Pet-sitting
If your pet-loving neighbors or friends don’t have active dogs but still want someone to look after them when they’re gone, you can offer pet-sitting services for them

8. House-sitting
The easy-peasy job of just staying in a neighbor’s or a friend’s house while they’re away is als a great way to earn money. Although this won’t be a regular gig, it could still earn you some decent amount of money, especially during the holidays.

9. Modelling
For those lucky enough to have dashing good looks, modelling can be the right way to earn money for you to help get you through college! You can go for shoots during the weekend and have enough time for studying during the week.

10. Gardening Services
Do you know about the couple of entrepreneurs that started a business by moving  lawns? Who knows, you may also have the same fate if you start now.

I am a college dropout and I want to save those who are about to be like me. I hope that you can find a way to earn extra money to get you through college. I wish all the best for your studies. Hustle ‘til you graduate!

You’ve made it—now what? Read: What to Do After Graduation

12 Christmas Dinners Around the World

Merry Christmas to all of our CN readers!

The big day has arrived and no doubt you’ll all be salivating, waiting for your Christmas dinner to be served. While the smell of roasted turkey and ham fills the home, we thought we’d make you even hungrier with this list of traditional Christmas dinners around the world. Happy Christmas to all, and to all, a good night!

1. Norway

The Norwegians treasure tradition and this is especially true at Christmas. This country celebrates in style on Christmas Eve with roasted pork ribs or belly with sauerkraut and boiled potatoes accompaniments. Sauerkraut is fermented cabbage, just FYI—would you eat this classic Norwegian dish?

2. Poland

The Polish tend to feast on their most important meal of the year on Christmas Eve. This meal is served with fish, with no red meat in sight. The dinner is traditionally known as “Wagilia”.

3. England

Much like Americans, the British love a big roast dinner and are not shy with the trimmings. Turkey is most popular but other meats on the table include gammon and “pigs in blankets”—little sausages wrapped in bacon, in case you didn’t know!

4. Mexico

It might be difficult to imagine Christmas being celebrated in anything other than a snowy environment, but Christmas is a huge deal in Mexico with a huge Christian population. The Mexican Christmas dinner is varied and includes Tamales, Bacalao (salted fish) and Pozole—a hominy soup made with chicken or pork., with the celebration beginning on Noche Buena (Christmas Eve).

5. Italy

Definitely a Christmas dinner for meat lovers, Italian Natale (Christmas) dinner comprises of a huge spread of different meats including braised beef, roasted veal and roasted chicken. The meal starts with an antipasto spread including cured meats and fine cheeses—decadent indeed!

6. Russia

This eastern European country celebrates their Christmas feast grandly by often presenting a stuffed pig’s head as the table’s centerpiece. The meal also includes goose, hare, venison and fish—be sure to wear your loosest jeans for this one.

7. Germany

Christmas, or Weihnachten as they say in Germany, is celebrated with succulent roast goose and roasted carp often served with potatoes, cabbage and Brussel sprouts. Not the bratwurst dish you were expecting, huh?

8. France

The French are widely known for their exquisite tastes and Christmas is no exception. If you’re lucky enough to join a French family over the holidays, expect to see the table laden with dishes such as foie gras, chapon and Bûche de Noël for pudding; a Christmas cake shaped like a log. No, we hadn’t heard of these foods until just now, either!

9. Romania

Christmas dinner in Romania may be one of the most unique meals you might encounter on the big day. The family gather together and feast on roast gammon and pork chops which is also served with a sour soup made up of fermented bran and pork meatballs—delicious?

10. Australia

While we’re mostly used to warming up by the fire on a snowy Christmas day, needless to say, the weather is, shall we say, slightly better down under. Australians will feed on cold food on Christmas day, or, as one might expect, they will celebrate with a barbeque eating fresh seafood’s such as shrimp.

11. Egypt

With Christianity arriving in Egypt around 1AD and making up to 20 percent of the Egyptian population, Christmas is a a big celebration. After a Christmas church service, families eat a special meal called “fatta”, a traditional meat and rice dish. Children are given small amounts of money by family members so that they can buy sweets and toys.

12. Brazil

Another country on our list that serves its main meal on Christmas Eve, is Brazil. The table will be laid with platters of ham and turkey; and in some parts of the country, expect to see fish, too. Instead of the all too familiar roasted potatoes, the meal is usually accompanied with kale, nuts, rice and fruit!

Would you try any of these traditional Christmas dinners from around the world? Let College News know!

You might also enjoy: 11 Ways to Celebrate Christmas