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Back to School

Back to School: Getting Around Campus

The first year at college is particularly exciting; for many students, this is their first home away from their parents, and with that brings a huge sense of freedom. But campus life in those first few weeks of semester can prove to be confusing, too. Learn to navigate your new campus and get settled in quickly with our top tips.

Orientation day

Most colleges offer orientation days when new students go back to school at the beginning of the fall semester. This day is a perfect opportunity to register, sign up to classes, learn about general rules and policies and get to know new peers and faculty. Not only this, new students will be given a guided group tour of the campus and the opportunity to explore independently so that when the first day of class arrives, students are more adequately acquainted with their new surroundings.

Map it

Maps, whether they be printed or downloaded and interactive, are a basic essential for a new student’s campus pocketbook. Familiarize yourself with the major locations situated on the map and keep it with you during the first weeks of college to easily locate classes, the library, the school’s health center and the student union. Alternatively, if you are unsure ask older students or members of staff for directions.

Public transport

Public transport for college students tends to be very reliable, frequent and (perhaps best of all) affordable. Check the campus’ bus terminal for routes around your new city and their scheduled times. You will likely need a student identification card for travel discounts, so make sure this stays in your purse or wallet at all times. Some universities also provide park and ride shuttle services so you can park your car outside of college grounds and get into campus easily.

Campus security

Colleges across the nation are upping their security measures amidst recent reports of attacks and crimes on campus—according to rainn.org, an astonishing 11.2 percent of all students in the US experience sexual assault alone. Prior to starting classes, find out who your campus security personnel are and take note of their contact details. Always try to walk in groups where possible when traveling across campus grounds (particularly in the dark, winter months) and endeavour to plan ahead by telling your roommates where you are going and when they should expect you home.

Back to school checklist

Do you have:

  • ƒ Campus map?
  • ƒ Campus security contact?
  • ƒ Student identification card?
  • ƒ Classroom locations/numbers?
  • ƒ Student Union location?

Further reading: Exploring Campus

College Football 2018

College Football 2018: Players to Watch

The college football 2018 season is set to be a sizzler; keep your eye on College News’ top 10 favorites to watch on the pitch this year

Damien Harris: RB, Alabama Crimson Tide

21-year-old Alabama Crimson Tide running back, Damien Harris, is more than worth his salt. Incredibly, Harris was eligible for the 2018 NFL draft but chose to remain a member of the prestigious college football team instead. After rushing for 1,000 yards last year and with a touchdown count reaching 11 (up from two the previous year), the Kentucky-born player is no doubt an asset to the team. 247Sports said of the running back, “Harris is so talented, his hold on Alabama’s RB1 status nearly led to five-star Najee Harris’ transfer after his freshman season last fall.”

N’Keal Harry: WR, Arizona State Sun Devils

The Arizona State Sun Devils wide receiver N’Keal Harry shows deep promise in the game despite his modest record of rushing for 659 yards and five touchdowns last season. Sports outlets everywhere applaud the player’s ability to catch the ball with exceptional precision. This, combined with his tactful use of running speed variations, makes Harry a strong candidate for the 2018 college football season. NFL.com said that Harry is “one of the most talented receivers in college football.”

Cam Akers: RB, Florida State Seminoles

Cam Akers already boasts an impressive portfolio in his so far short career, having achieved a whopping 13,243 yards and 149 touchdowns to date. The Florida State Seminoles running back was named MS Gatorade Player of the Year in 2016 and won the US Army Player of the Year Award in the same year. Holding the grand record for rushing 1,024 yards last season (beating Dalvin Cook’s 2014 record of 1,008 yards), Akers is cementing his reputation as a leading player in the game and one to put your bets on.

Drew Lock: QB, Missouri Tigers

Missouri quarterback, Drew Lock, has been making waves in the college football scene since 2015; that same year he was ranked by Rivals as a four-star recruit and the number six best pro-style quarterback in the 2015 class. According to seccountry.com, Lock is “considered one of college football’s premier NFL prospects heading into the 2018 season.” In an interview with FOX Sports, draft analyst Mike Detillier said, “I’ve never seen a quarterback more accurate throwing the football than Drew Lock from Missouri. He’s the best. The best quarterback here on this campus.”

 Justin Herbert: QB, Oregon Ducks

Quarterback Justin Herbert’s star is rising in the college football landscape and his place in the Oregon Ducks college football team is well-deserving. Herbert has long been applauded for his deft precision when it comes to throwing and catching the ball, with the NFL stating that, “Herbert’s arm and mobility will entice scouts, as well as help Oregon overcome the loss of head coach Willie Taggard after only one season at the helm.”

David Sills: WR, West Virginia Mountaineers

David Sills returned to West Virginia University in 2017 to take the post as the team’s wide receiver. The 22-year-old has lauded much critical acclaim in sports circles, with Sports Illustrated anointing him one of the greatest prospects ever. 247Sports said, “Sills led college football last fall with 18 touchdown receptions and averaged 16.3 yards per grab”—no mean feat at all.

Devin Bush Jr: LB, Michigan Wolverines

Linebacker Devin Bush Jr helps lead a fantastic defense unit for the Michigan Wolverine’s college football team. The 20-year-old has made it onto several players-to-watch-out-for lists so far this year, and it’s easy to see why. Chad Reiter at NFL.com said, “Bush is the new prototype for Linebacker in college and the NFL—not necessarily big, but fast and aggressive. He can blow through the A-gap to wrap up quarterbacks, attack gaps on stretch plays to bring down running backs in the backfield, and get out to the hash to cover receivers.”

Shaq Quarterman: LB, Miami Hurricanes

Shaq Quarterman was rated a four-star prospect by 247Sports, had scholarships offered to him for his exceptional sportsmanship prior to committing to Miami and was named Freshman All American by ESPN—it’s easy to see why this linebacker is one to watch out for this season. NFL.com said of Quarterman, “He’s fast, instinctive, and a terrific tackler. An NFL team will give him the keys to defense not long after he arrives.”

Ed Oliver: DT, Houston Cougars

Defensive tackle for the Houston Cougars, Ed Oliver, has been the focus of many sports journalists across the nation this year. In March, Oliver announced (before his final college season even begins) that he intends to enter the draft for the NFL in 2019. The six-foot-two athlete was rated a consensus five-star recruit, ranking as one of the top players in his class. 247Sports said, “No one in college football, at this size, moves like Oliver…The closest player to a ‘sure-thing’ in next year’s draft, Oliver has a chance to make serious noise on the Heisman race as a junior even if his team isn’t elite.”

Clelin Ferrell: DL, Clemson Tigers

“The headliner up front on the Tigers’ freakish defensive line, [Clelin] Ferrell is a monster pass rusher,” says NFL.com. This Defensive End player was a four-star recruit straight out of high school and rated the number five prospect in Virginia. Just last year, this player was even named the team co-defensive player-of-the-game, too, making Ferrell College News’ last, but by no means least, favorite to watch on the pitch this year.

Further reading: Playing College Sports: All You Need to Know

Student Loan Debt

Dealing with Student Loan Debt

The most recent data suggests that US student loan debt is soaring at a dizzying pace. This past year, figures have shown that it now currently sits at around $1.4 trillion—yes, trillion. Shockingly, college tuition fees have increased almost 400 percent in the last 30 years while the average household income growth certainly has not, says news site theatlantic.com. Yet, while the nation places great importance on college education for a sustainable and thriving economic future, yearly university fees are still climbing, forcing people to take out giant student loans and some would-be students to forget about college altogether. According to The Washington Post, some four in 10 people who have attended college in their lives have taken out a loan to facilitate their studies. A report by the College Board released in 2016 found that the average debt attributed to those who took out a student loan to complete a bachelor’s degree was $28,400, but the reality is often much higher for many students. What is even more egregious about this situation, is that it is largely students from the least affluent backgrounds who take on the most student loan debt. Around a fifth of people who have student loan debt are also “falling back” on their payments, incurring penalties and sky-rocketing interest rates on top of an already huge sum.

Some think tanks are now arguing that the US government should eliminate student loan debt completely, saying that, in the long-term, these crippling bills will do nothing to bolster the country’s economy later down the line, and may actually damage it. But, unless this happens and college is still your goal, it is key to take into account all of the financial options available to you to help keep costs down as much as possible throughout your studies. Financial aid in the form of scholarships or non-repayable grants can slash student loan debts down by a considerable amount, and there are also many universities across the country who offer significant financial aid packages which cover up to 100 percent in tuition fees.

Five colleges with great financial aid packages

There is a wealth of colleges throughout the US—including major Ivy League universities—who offer financial aid to those who need it the most.

  1. Columbia University

One of the most expensive schools in the states, Columbia University’s tuition and fees reach $55,056 per year. Thankfully, the college offers a very attractive financial aid package, which comes to an average of $55,521.

  1. Harvard University

Harvard University is considered one of the most elite schools in the world, and the privilege of attending is reflective of its mammoth yearly fees which reach $47,074. But, like Columbia, it offers a great financial aid page of $51,308 to cover this—and then some. 100 percent of students who were eligible for this package’s needs were met.

  1. Yale University

Annual tuition and fees at this Ivy League school reach $49,480. Yale offers an average of $52,894 in their financial aid package, and 100 percent of students who utilized the financial aid package’s needs were met.

  1. Princeton University

With annual tuition and fees costing $45,320, Princeton University offers an attractive financial aid package which sits at an average of $49,502.

  1. University of Richmond

While annual tuition fees for the University of Richmond are around $50,910, the university offers a financial aid package is $45,784, making the remaining $5,000 or so a lot easier to cope with when it comes to paying fees.

It’s safe to say that student loan debt may be an inevitable part of studying, but there are options available to help alleviate financial pressures during your school years. Make sure to research the universities you might like to attend before applying. Some schools may offer substantial non-repayable grants to help cover the ever-increasing fees attached.

Further reading: Applying for a Post-Graduate Degree

Staying Safe on Vacation

Bon Voyage! Staying Safe on Vacation

With nature beginning to bloom and the sun bright in the sky, summer is quickly approaching. Summer fills our minds with dreams of vacation on the crystal-clear, white beaches of Cancun, in the snow-peaked mountains of Switzerland or in the mind-blowing skyscrapers of New York. Many people have already planned vacations or are beginning to do so, but in the midst of all the hustle and bustle, many forget the most crucial ways to stay safe on vacation and traveling. For those of you lucky enough to turn those vacation dreams into reality, here are our top tips for staying safe on vacation:

Before arriving at your destination

Before heading out on that trip you’ve been planning for months, don’t forget to pack all of your important documents like passports or IDs in a waterproof container (especially if you’re headed to those crystal-clear beaches in Cancun!) or somewhere they won’t get lost or left behind.

Do some research before you book that cheaper hotel. Read the reviews online and ask around about the area where the hotel is located before making a decision.

Before leaving home for your trip, notify your bank that you will be vacationing in another state or country. Save yourself the anguish of trying to make a purchase while abroad before realizing the bank froze your debit card due to “fraud”.

Arriving at your destination

When you travel somewhere unknown, stay together with the people you are traveling with to ensure you are staying safe on vacation. Getting lost is way easier than it sounds, even with our modern GPS in hand. The number of times a phone dies exactly when you most need it is astounding.

While you may be itching to explore your holiday spot’s nightlife, remember: You’re in a strange, unfamiliar place, so think twice before hopping into whatever taxi appears first. Tourists tend to stick out to natives, making you an easy target for theft. Only use well-known transportation methods like Uber or Lyft. These companies perform background checks on their drivers, making them a safer option.

If you are traveling in your own vehicle, make sure to complete a full inspection on the car before heading to your vacation destination. There’s nothing worse than getting a flat tire 200 miles from home and realizing you don’t have a spare.

While out & about

Nothing goes better together than drinks and fun while on vacation. Remember to watch those drinks like you would with any other outing with friends. Don’t accept drinks from strangers if they’re open or if you didn’t watch them pour it.

If you’re in a sunny climate, don’t pass on the sunscreen. Those UV rays are hitting you hard even though you’re having too much fun to feel it. If, on the other hand, you traveled to those beautiful mountains in Switzerland, remember to keep Chapstick and lotion handy so your skin doesn’t dry up from the cold.

Watch out for pickpockets in big cities by keeping your phone and wallet in your front pockets. With the old habit of putting your phone in your back pocket, you may think someone is squeezing past you, but they might be taking your phone or cash.

Wherever life takes you this summer, make sure to enjoy yourself by staying safe on vacation. You want to make safe, happy memories—not an experience you’ll regret!

Further reading: 6 Surprising Travel Destinations for 2018

 

College Experience

How to Learn More from Your College Experience

College isn’t just a stepping stone towards the start of a fulfilling career, it can be one of the most exciting times of your life. During your time there, you’re given multiple opportunities to cultivate a deeper understanding of an area of study as well as explore additional interests, meet interesting new people, and get to know yourself a little bit more—but you need to actually take those opportunities in order to make the most out of college.

This is how to learn more from your college experience:

Drop by events and seminars on campus

Guest speakers are always invited to college campuses, and a majority of the time they talk about some pretty thought-provoking topics! Whether a speaker is giving a lecture or an informative seminar about a social cause, you will unquestionably walk away from their event having learned something new and enlightening. Professors often offer extra credit for attending seminars as well, giving you the chance to boost your grade, too.

Study abroad if you have the chance

You can read a thousand books on a different country and come to learn everything about it, but doing so can never compare to the enriching experience of actually living there. Not only do you get to embrace a different culture when studying abroad, you can learn a new language, become more open-minded to another society, and even leave with a pen pal or two. Furthermore, living in a different country forces you to be independent and adapt to unexpected challenges, which can be very rewarding for your personal development.

Take classes you’re curious about

Besides dedicating most of your time to major studies, take classes that ignite your curiosity or simply sound fun. College is a time of self-exploration and discovery, and doing so through classes outside your major is a great start. You never know what might become a favorite new passion or an area of study that perfectly complements your major. Who knows, you might even switch to an entirely different major!

Talk to professors during office hours

A professor can be one of the coolest people you meet during college. You would be surprised at what life knowledge they can share besides helping you out with last week’s lecture. These people were once students like you and can offer insight on how to tackle the college years and even direct you to possible internships and professional opportunities. If you’re beginning to network, start with building the foundation of it with your professors.

Interact with different groups of people outside your social circle

Your main social circle shouldn’t be the only group of people you hang out with during college. Don’t be afraid to become friends with foreign exchange students, join campus groups who share your same interests, and network with classmates – these are individuals who can become your lifelong friends, teach you important lessons, or help you take steps forward in your career.

Act responsibly

Parties are going to be a big thing in college, and they may become events you attend every other weekend or so. Have fun by all means! But act responsibly and aware during your time at one. Watch your alcohol intake if you’ll be drinking, be cautious when exposed to drugs, and keep an eye out for your friends if you get separated. What matters the most at a party is the fact that you are safe, comfortable, and having a great time! By acting responsibly during a party, you learn how to take care of yourself, watch out for your friends, and develop good judgment skills.

During college, you will meet an incredible diversity of people and learn about their different backgrounds, be given endless opportunities to learn more about this world, and come closer to knowing who you are. At the end of the day, you are the one who determines whether or not college can be an amazing experience – so make it count!

Further reading: Exploring Campus

Trevor McDonald is a freelance content writer, currently writing on behalf of Ohio Addiction Recovery Center. He’s written a variety of education, travel, health, and lifestyle articles to share his experiences with the world. In his free time, you can find him playing his guitar or outside enjoying about any type of fitness activity imaginable.
Type of Learner

What Type of Learner Are You?

Have you ever tried to process a new piece of information but find that you simply can’t get a grasp on understanding it? You may need to approach it with a different method.

Everyone learns differently—some people will want things shown to them, while other people need information written down. Some people like to listen to explanations while others will need to physically study it in order to soak it in. Schools tend to apply different methods of teaching during classes in order to accommodate all kinds of learners, but when you’re studying at home, it may be beneficial for you to figure out what type of learner you are and apply it to your personal work.

Reader/writer

Reading and writing is a combo that makes up a very traditional style of learning. If you are a reading or writing type of learner, then you will be able to learn best by reading text and rewriting it. For example, if you were learning a language, you would find it easiest to study the vocabulary by reading the words on a page, then copying them out yourself.

Visual

Graphs, infographics and dioramas are a visual learner’s bread and butter. It helps this type of learner to see the information in context and be able to visualize it in their mind. If you are a visual learner, then you’ll find colors helpful. When trying to remember a point, you will try to form an image of it in your head. When learning a language, creating charts and maps to link vocabulary and learn conjugations is hugely helpful to visual learners.

Auditory

Auditory learners will flourish when they are able to listen to information in order to learn it. If you’re an auditory type of learner, you will be a whizz at learning in lectures and will find podcasts incredibly useful. Auditory learners tend to process information by repeating it to themselves either out loud or in their heads. They will be the ones to be able to commit language to memory by listening to others speak it.

Kinesthetic

A more tactile approach is favoured by kinesthetic learners when studying. This type of learner will enjoy reading the information aloud, acting through problems and practical work. A kinesthetic learner tends to prefer picking up a language by conversing with native speakers.

Don’t try to punish yourself by studying in “traditional” ways. Everybody learns differently and at different paces, so try different methods to find one that works for you.

Further reading: Writing an Essay: The Process