Funny Bernese mountain dog on color background

Is it Time to Get a Christmas Pet?

The holidays are a time for family, friends, and fun.

Funny Bernese mountain dog on color background

For some families, that also includes getting a new pet. If you’re considering adding a furry friend to your family this Christmas, there are several questions to ask first! Pets are a long-term commitment and should not be taken lightly.

Here are some questions to ask before you get a family Christmas pet. If everything lines up, you’ll experience heartwarming memories you and your family will never forget!

Is There Room for a Pet?

When deciding whether or not to get a pet, one of the most important things to consider is whether or not you have enough space. The type of pet you choose can be heavily impacted by the size of your home and yard.

For example, if you live in a small apartment, it might not be feasible to get a large dog. Conversely, if you have a large house and yard, you might have more flexibility when it comes to choosing a pet. In either case, it’s important to ensure that you have enough space for your pet to be comfortable and happy.

How is Your Budget?

If you’re thinking of adding a furry (or scaly) friend to your family, it’s important to make sure you can afford to take care of them. Beyond the obvious expenses of food and treats, there’s also the cost of medical care to consider.

Many pet owners opt to get insurance for their furry friends, which can help offset some of the costs of unexpected illnesses or injuries. It’s also important to factor in the cost of routine care, such as vaccinations, check-ups, and routine teeth cleanings.

You may also need to update your home insurance to include liability coverage for your pet. If you’re concerned about rates, don’t be afraid to shop around.

For example, Freeway Insurance has a reputation for helping customers find affordable rates on both home and car insurance.  You can also find pet insurance if you need it.

By doing your research and budgeting carefully, you can ensure that you’re ready to provide your new pet with the love and care they deserve.

Who Will Care for the Pet?

Pets can be a great addition to any family, but it’s important to consider who will take care of the animal. In some cases, kids volunteer to take responsibility. But what happens if they lose interest or are no longer able to take care of the pet?

If you’re not sure you’re up for the task of taking care of a pet full-time, it may be best to wait until your children are a little older and more reliable.

With a little planning and forethought, you can ensure that everyone in the family is prepared to take on the task of caring for a new pet.

Is a Pet Right for Your Family?

Now that you’ve asked yourself the tough questions, you have a better idea of whether or not a pet is right for your family at this time. If you’ve decided to get one, congratulations! Pets bring so much love and companionship into our lives.

Be sure to do your research ahead of time so you can find the perfect match for your lifestyle and personality. And most importantly, enjoy your new furry (or scaly) friend!

Poker chips and cards

Playing Poker in College

Video games and board games may have their time in the spotlight, but card games are eternal –– and for good reason. Card games keep your mind sharp. A recent study on brain activity found that playing card games or solving puzzles can even delay the onset of Alzheimer’s dementia by up to five years. Now, as college students, you may not feel the need to try cognitively stimulating hobbies just yet. However, it’s worth thinking about how these kinds of games can sharpen memory, improve analytical skills, and provide opportunities to socialize.

Poker chips and cards

Poker is an incredibly popular card game partly for these very reasons, which also explain why it has endured as a pastime on college campuses around the world.

Collegiate Poker Culture

Many prestigious universities and colleges actually have thriving poker scenes. To give one example, the analytical minds at Harvard University recently started an undergraduate poker club with the goal to become an inclusive space for students of all skill levels to learn the game’s fundamentals. Historically, Harvard’s poker sphere has existed in the underground for men since the ’60s, but it has now grown and attracted great interest from diverse students.

Students were drawn in by the complexities of the game, and most club members enjoy learning how to stay calm, deal with uncertainty, and manage risk — with the bonuses of meeting new people and having some fun. The club offers workshops, runs games, and even invites poker champions like Maria Ho to speak about experiences at the professional level.

Harvard is not the only campus with a thriving poker culture; UC Berkeley and Yale likewise produce a number of gifted poker players. The idea of establishing a poker society is quite popular across different schools, although they execute concepts differently (in part to adhere to laws that vary from state to state). Commonly, these clubs go over poker theory, try out variations of the game, and host tournaments with prizes that even casual players can enjoy.

Tips on Playing Poker as a Student

Students may be a little skeptical or wary of joining in with the poker fun, but the right approach can help you stay grounded and keep you having fun. Here are three tips to follow, if you want to play poker regularly in college:

Work on your time management skills:

Research shows that mastering time management skills can enhance our overall wellbeing and life satisfaction. Between classes, extracurricular activities, part-time jobs, and social activities, college teaches you plenty about time management already. But you’ll benefit even more if you plan to take on a hobby like poker, which requires a lot of practice and study. Play only in your spare time, and finish all your work beforehand. For beginners, it helps to start short, then gradually join longer sessions. This will help you to fit the game into your busy schedule, which in turn will help you to get the most out of it.

Practice self-reflection:

Poker is not only a test of mental agility, but also of your emotional and psychological maturity. To this end it’s best to follow a popular next-level poker tip to manage your mindset, which is to let go of the belief that bad hands are the only reason you’re losing. This way of thinking essentially holds you back from improvement. After every game, skilled players will instead take some time to think about what they did correctly, and what they could have done better. Practicing this self-reflective mindset can help you grow and overcome challenges in other aspects of life as well.

Manage your bankroll well:

Bankroll management is something that poker instructors try to drill into players all the time. If you want to play like a professional (and you are in fact playing for real money), set aside a reasonable amount of money you can afford to lose. Keeping your poker money separate from the rest of your cash lets you stay on top of your other responsibilities, without letting the game become a problem. Budgeting is a key financial consideration for college students already, so factoring in a poker hobby should be easy enough! By spending time evaluating your expenses, you can better understand and optimize the way you spend your money.

In the end, remember too to play the game responsibly. So long as you keep that important tip in mind, you may just find a new hobby that you enjoy, and that helps you with everything from socializing to keeping your mind sharp.

Traveler with suitcase in airport concept.Young girl  walking with carrying luggage and passenger for tour travel booking ticket flight at international vacation time in holiday rest and relaxation.

What to Pack for a Winter Road Trip

“Over the river and through the woods…”

Most people don’t look forward to traveling during the winter months, but it’s common to convene at a family member’s home for holidays. That means you’ll probably be taking at least one road trip this winter.

Ensuring that you have the right supplies can give you better peace of mind and help you stay safe if anything goes wrong. Here are the essentials you need before you leave on your winter road trip.

Traveler with suitcase in airport concept.Young girl  walking with carrying luggage and passenger for tour travel booking ticket flight at international vacation time in holiday rest and relaxation.

The Essentials: Gas, Charger, Phone

You never want to leave for a road trip in winter without the essentials. So first, make sure you have a full tank of gas before you leave. It’s also a good idea to fill up more often than you usually might — when you get to a half tank, start looking for a gas station. You don’t want to run out of fuel in the winter!

Next, double-check to make sure you have your phone and a phone charger. That will help you navigate and give you a way to call for help if you get stranded.

Of course, you’ll want to make sure you have affordable car insurance from a company like Freeway Insurance, and then you’ll be ready to hit the road!

In Case of Emergency: Battery Pack, Sand, Flashlight

If you get stranded in the middle of winter, you want to have the right equipment so you can get going again. It’s a good idea to have a battery pack car jumper, so you don’t have to rely on another motorist to jump-start your car.

If you get stuck in the snow, having a shovel and some sand or kitty litter can help get you moving again. Tire chains are another good idea. These can ensure you aren’t in a dangerous situation for hours on end. Getting back on the road keeps you moving toward your destination.

Finally, if you get stuck at night or have to change a tire, a flashlight with new batteries can be a lifesaver. You may also decide to pack flares in case you need to signal for help.

Stay Warm and Safe: Blankets, First Aid, and Sunglasses

You might think of sunglasses as a summer need, but they are even more important in the winter. The sunshine bouncing off the snow can blind you, leading to a serious accident. Make sure you wear sunglasses as you drive on a snowy day!

If you do need to spend time in your car awaiting help, it’s important to stay warm. Blankets are a great start, and you can add in hot packs or hand warmers to get an extra dose of warmth as needed. If you’re traveling with someone else, snuggle together for warmth until help arrives.

Finally, in case someone is injured during your road trip, be sure to carry a first-aid kit. From simple adhesive bandages to a life-saving tourniquet, having the supplies you need helps you stay safe as you travel.

Drive Safely on Your Road Trip!

Hopefully, your road trip will be uneventful, and you won’t need any emergency supplies. However, it pays to be prepared.

As long as you take it slow and plan for shorter driving days, you should have fun on your winter road trip!

Choosing the Best Car Insurance for New Drivers

To drive legally in every state, you need to have financial responsibility or proof of car insurance. Every state has a minimum level of insurance coverage for drivers. However, to be adequately protected, experts recommend that you purchase more than the minimum coverage.

There are many factors that insurance providers look at to determine the cost of your auto insurance. First, let’s look at who is considered to be a “new” driver. According to insurance companies, you are a new driver if you fall under one of the following categories:

  • Teen drivers who recently got their license
  • Immigrants and foreign nationals
  • Older drivers, driving for the first time
  • Drivers of all ages with a long-time gap in driving and insurance coverage

Do New Drivers Pay Higher Rates for Auto Insurance?

The short answer is yes, and here is why. One of the factors insurance companies look at is driving experience or driving history. Most new drivers don’t have that; therefore, the insurance companies consider them as high risk.

Foreign nationals might have experience driving in their respective countries, but the driving rules are not usually the same. For example, if they are from a country with left-hand driving, such as England, and have chosen to live in America, where right-hand driving is the norm. This means that it is their first-time right-hand driving, and the driving risk is higher. Your driving history in your current country is what matters, so you are considered a new driver if you do not have any.

What Information do You Need to Get Insurance for the First Time? 

Insurance providers will need your personal information, and if someone else is listed on the policy, they will need their personal information.

  • Driver’s license
  • Date of birth
  • Address
  • Occupation
  • Marital status
  • Education level
  • Driving history
  • Insurance history
  • Vehicle identification number (VIN)
  • Date of purchase of the vehicle
  • A licensed person who is legally registered to drive the vehicle
  • Year, make, and model of your car

You should know that some cars have higher insurance rates than others. Having the year, make, and model of your vehicle will help you get a more accurate insurance policy.

How to Choose the Best insurance for You

Do Your Research 

There are numerous auto insurance companies to choose from, and it can be overwhelming to pick one as a first-timer. Before rushing to make a choice, take your time to research various companies near you. You can do an online search of the best auto insurance companies in your area or ask your friends and family for recommendations. You can always get help from an insurance agent if the process is too complicated for you. 

Compare Quotes 

As you already know, car insurance for new drivers is more expensive. However, that does not mean that you can’t find one with affordable rates. It is advisable to compare quotes of at least three companies before you decide on one. Fortunately, you don’t have to visit every office. Most insurance companies can give you a quote online. In fact, many end up choosing Freeway Auto Insurance as they are known for exceptional insurance at affordable rates. 

Consider Staying on a Family Auto Insurance Policy

Do you have the same permanent address as your parents? If so, it might be cheaper to stay on that insurance policy rather than getting a stand-alone policy. Lucky for you, even if you decide to get a stand-alone policy, there are affordable options

Take Full Advantage of Discounts

As a new driver, there are several discounts that you may be able to take advantage of, such as:

  • Student discount
  • Safety equipment discount
  • Student away from home discount
  • Military or occupation discount
  • Multipolicy discount if you have homeowners or renters’ insurance
  • Young drivers discount if you take a defensive driving course

These discounts can significantly reduce your policy’s cost.  It is wise to familiarize yourself with them to fully understand how they can help you get affordable insurance coverage.

Factors that Affect the Price of Your Insurance

  • Personal characteristics – Including age, marital status, and sometimes your occupation
  • Your car – Besides the make, year, and model of your car, insurers also consider the likelihood of it being stolen
  • Where you live – Apart from the minimum coverage required by the state, insurers look at crime rates in your neighborhood and population density
  • Type of coverage – The more coverage you have, the higher the cost of insurance. For example, you will pay more if you add liability and collision coverage
  • Your credit score – Some insurers look at your credit-based insurance to know the probability of you filing for a claim. Note that credit-based insurance is not the same as your typical credit score. Also, if you have poor credit, you are likely to pay higher car insurance rates. In some states, like Hawaii and Massachusetts, using credit scores to determine policy rates is banned.

With these tips, you are now ready to start shopping around for the best and most affordable car insurance for you.

Online College Student Tips to Maintain Focus

Attending college online from home can be a difficult transition for students that are used to going into a classroom and physical campus with other students. To be successful with college online it is important to establish good study and class habits. This blog posts lists helpful tips for attending college online from home and staying productive.

Keep Up Normal School Routines

One of the most important things that an student can do when making the switch to working from home is keeping up school-related routines. One routine that can keep students in the “study mindset” is dressing up for school. That doesn’t mean they need to dress in a suit to attend online class, but changing out pajamas can help get the creative and productive juices flowing.

Have a Designated Study Space

Just like it’s important to maintain school-related routines, it’s crucial to keep a designated school workspace. Establishing a workspace at home will help students maintain their focus and stay productive. If they don’t keep a rigorous distinction between their home study area and the rest of their houses, students might see their productivity and work quality suffer.

Have a Clear Class and Study Schedule

This is an easy one to forget. Even though online students attend school while at home, they’re not off the clock. It’s important to stay on-task and working throughout school hours. That might mean instituting some other rules, like “no TV during the day” or staying off social media until night time. It’s easy to fall into an internet holes when the teacher isn’t monitoring students web browsing – don’t let that happen!

nu-x® Products for Students Attending School Online from Home

To help students stay productive these products may improve alertness.

Caffeine “Awake” Shot with CBD

The nu-x® mango-flavored Awake shot features a caffeine boost tempered by the relaxing vibes of CBD. With a special formula that prevents caffeine jitters, it’s the perfect way to maintain momentum at during online college classes without inducing the dreaded crash typical of coffee or energy drinks..

nu-x awake caffeine and cbd shot

The Awake shot offers 150 milligrams of caffeine and 30 milligrams of CBD in every bottle. Nu-X® Awake shots also feature a delicious tasty mango flavor that compliments the powerful, earthy natural flavor of hemp.

Nu-X® CBD-infused shots are tested by third-party labs to determine their chemical makeup and have no detectable levels of THC. If you’re interested in learning more about the complete breakdown of nu-x® CBD-infused shots, check them out here:

Caffeine Inhaler with B12

The nu-x® Caffeine Inhaler with B12 offers a quick and easy puff of focus for students who need to sharpen their senses in the middle of the day.

nu-x caffeine inhaler pen

Each nu-x® Caffeine Inhaler offers 200 puffs of silky-smooth vapor charged with the power of caffeine. They offer a portable, reliable way to keep your caffeine on-the-go in a low-mess package. Additionally, they each contain zero calories and are vegan-friendly, adhering to even the strictest dietary needs. Learn more about nu-x® caffeine pens here

Relaxing with a CBD Tincture

Finally, while it’s important for college students to stay productive during the day, it’s just as critical for them to relax once the school day is over. For some chilled-out vibes after schools ends, nu-x® designed a CBD Flora Tincture for those 21 years+ old. Each 30-milliliter bottle is sourced from American-grown hemp plants. They’re the perfect way to kick back and get ready for the next day.

Find your Rhythm

Attending college online from home can be tough to get used to. However, with a few adjustments to your routine and schedule, you may find that online school has some advantages over going into class every morning. We hope that you find this information helpful and you are successful.

*You must be 21 years of age or older to purchase CBD products.

Living Off Campus: Tips to Help You Get Started

Renting your first apartment is definitely an exciting moment and a threshold in most people’s lives. These are your first steps towards adulthood, and it’s the perfect opportunity for you to learn about financial independence and responsibility. It also comes with a lot of fun moments and decisions you’re in charge of, such as organizing and decorating your apartment.

Yet, it takes a lot of researching and preparing, in order to not only get a good deal, but avoid rental scams and losing money. So, to help you out, we’ve put together a list of tips you can use to get started with renting your first apartment off campus. Here’s what you should know.

Finding an Apartment

The first thing you should do is write down a list of things you need from your apartment, some conditions for you to have a basis in your search. This should include how many rooms you need, a location that you prefer, amenities whose absence would be a deal breaker, etc. Make sure to prioritize the items on the list, in order to know where you can compromise and where you can’t.

Then, draft your budget. Apart from deciding on how much you can spend each month on rent and utilities, you should also consider budgeting for the upfront, one-time costs, such as application fees, security deposit, processing fees, etc. Depending on the list you’ve just drafted, you can use a rent calculator tool to see how much you will likely pay for your requirements in the city you’re moving to.

And now it’s time to find an apartment. First of all, choose a website with 100% verified listings, to make sure you stay away from possible scams. Start by filtering according to your budget and space needs, and then browse through the apartments you like. During these times, it’s probably not going to be easy to view the apartment in person, so try to get in touch with the property manager or landlord to discuss your criteria and to ask them all the necessary questions. Then, ask if they offer the option of a self-guided tour, so that you make sure the apartment is what you need.

Moving In

After you’ve found the apartment you love, it’s time to sign the lease. For this step, you’ll want to prepare a list of questions regarding the apartment and your stay there. You should focus on discussing which utilities are included in the rent, what kind of changes lead to the loss of your security deposit, how are repairs managed and where can you submit maintenance requests, how are the payments handled and are there any late fees, etc. Remember to write them all down and have the list with you; in the excitement of the moment, you might forget some of the questions you need to know the answer to.

After signing the lease, it’s time to get ready for moving in. You should create a checklist for your college apartment with all the essentials you need, from furniture to cleaning supplies. Try to prioritize items and be careful not to overpack. A lot of the things you might think are necessary can actually be bought from anywhere, once you’ve moved in. Get moving supplies and check whether a moving company is the best fit for you or whether you can move with the help of your family. Before unpacking, clean the apartment thoroughly, to make sure you get a fresh start. Don’t forget to check the non-physical necessities such as your internet, and take a look at some of the best wifi for college students to ensure that you are getting the best wifi at the best cost in your new apartment.

Living in the Apartment

After unpacking and arranging your rooms, you are now living in your first apartment. It’s important to know how to be safe and secure, so consider investing in a renter’s insurance to make sure you’re covered in case of accidents. Also, familiarize yourself with the renter legislation in your state and city, as you should be aware of your rights and obligations. Update your address for subscriptions and make sure the important people in your life have your new address as well.

Now the fun part begins. After covering these issues and double checking that you’re all set up, it’s time to live the exciting life of a first-time renter and take your first steps towards adulthood, responsibility and financial independence. Good luck!

college student planning calendar

Balancing Your Days: College, Work, and Your Social Life

It can be difficult to work and go to school, not to mention enjoy the benefits of college with an active social life. Anyone who has had to work their way through school knows how challenging it can be, especially when compared to friends and classmates who have the luxury of partying all night and going to class in the day, without a care in the world.

There are some key ways you can balance your days in order to do it all: spend time with your friends, go to class, and even bring in a paycheck. There isn’t a secret to it, just some good old fashioned hard work and planning.

Organization is Key

The number one thing to do is get organized. A wall calendar, a planner, even alarms on your phone can all be effectively leveraged to help you plan your days and use your time wisely. Using a planner that has the time divided into hours may work for some people, allowing you to assign time throughout the day to different activities. Time is of the essence when you’re looking at balancing work, school, and play, so you want to make sure you have everything you need lined up. Consider listening to the AdultFluent podcast on Anchor, Spotify or Apple Podcasts for more tips on essential life skills during your college years.

Have a Study Space

Designate a study space where you can keep your school work and immediately get into the mindset of studying when you enter it. It doesn’t need to be a separate room, a desk or table and chair are just fine. You’ll want to have any supplies you need readily accessible. This prevents you from needing to stop and go buy a pack of paper when you’re busy working on a term paper.

Take Good Care of Yourself

When you wearing three different hats, it can be hard to find the time to really take care of yourself. Pulling an all nighter once is one thing, but planning to do it regularly can wear you down. Couple that with all of your classmates in close proximity, and you’ve got a recipe for illness.

Get Sleep!

Going without sleep is a recipe for disaster. When you sleep, your body is able to repair itself, something it can’t do when you are burning the candle at both ends. When you are sleep deprived, you also have more trouble focusing, so you can’t be as productive as you will be when you are well-rested.

tired college woman sleeping

Work with your Body’s Natural Rhythm

Taking care of yourself also means learning what you can do effectively. You will want to leverage your tendencies in order to get the most things done. If you know you’re a morning person, wake up, eat a nice breakfast, and spend some time studying before you go to class.

Find a Job Related to What You Want to Do

You’ll have time in the evenings for work. Finding a job that leverages your coursework can also be beneficial. If you are looking at going to veterinary school, working in a veterinary practice will allow you to earn some money as well as get needed experience that looks great on an application.

Take Time for Yourself

Another thing to do is to take a little time for yourself. Yes, you need to work to pay the bills; it’s probably how you’re paying for your education. Take a break from time to time. Spend a few minutes sitting on a park bench or reading a chapter in a novel you wanted to read purely for fun. Maybe your friends want to go to the movies. Two hours and the latest Tom Cruise flick may be just what you need to recharge your batteries.

Ask for Help

If you have trouble, don’t be ashamed or afraid of asking for help. Everyone needs help at some point, and when you’re busy doing it all, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. Embrace opportunities such as study labs or tutoring sessions. Maybe there’s a test review coming up before your midterm. If you need to work through some of these opportunities, you might consider talking to your professor or teaching assistant about other opportunities. You may find someone who understands how busy you are and can make some time to go over difficult concepts with you.

College is Stressful. Just Take your Time, Stay Organized & Ask for Help

Attending college is an exciting time, but it can also be stressful. In these economic times, many students need to work as well as go to class, and no one wants to miss out on some of the fun activities that college offers, whether it be a concert or a showing of The Princess Bride out on the university’s quad. Just remember to take your time, stay organized, and ask for help when you need it, and you’ll have the chance to experience it all.

Classrooms with a View: Educational Travel Destinations

For students who want to expand their knowledge and their world

Interested in getting an education with a view? Educational travel destination tours and study abroad programs are both great options to combine education with travel. There are many fun ways you can experience a classroom with a view; waking up with Big Ben, the Athens ruins, or the Eiffel tower just outside your window, may be just the motivation you need to succeed in your college career.

After all, St. Augustine did say, “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.”

We offer you a few ways to explore travel as an educational option:

• Education First College Study Tours

EF College Study Tours is an educational travel company offering a multitude of travel destinations for college students. From Barcelona, Spain to London, England, you can plan an all-inclusive study tour that includes round trip air fare, hotel accommodations, transportation, meals, and of course, free time to study and explore your exciting new surroundings. With all this moving around, make sure you get the best luggage sets before your trip. They also pride themselves on being an affordable option for students, knowing that college can be a financial challenge for many.

How to Get Started: EF College Study Tours offers two ways for you to become a part of any tour. You can check on campus to see if there is a professor who has already started a tour or as a student they will help you start your own tour on campus. Either way, it’s well worth the time and planning to expand your world view and learn through other cultural experiences. (

• Global Explorers

Global Explorers is a non-profit organization that offers travel opportunities that are custom designed to your travel and educational needs. They also offer travel programs for individual students interested in traveling on their own, which makes it unique compared to other organizations that offer similar educational experiences. With Global Explorers you can visit such exotic destinations as Tanzania, Cambodia, or the sacred mysterious land of Machu Picchu, Peru. Programs for individual students vary from treks through the Amazon Forest to journeys through the Grand Canyon. Trips are also offered for those with physical disabilities. Global Explorers makes sure nothing will stop you from having the learning adventure of a lifetime.

How to Get Started: Depending on whether you are traveling with a group or as an individual, Global Explorers makes it easy to get started. If traveling with a school group or other organization, your teacher, professor, or leader will be the main contact for making arrangements for your tour. They become the liaison between Global Explorers and your group. If you desire to venture out on your own, just contact Global Explorers and they will tell you what trips are being offered for individual students during that time period. (

• Seamester

Seamester is one of the most unusual study abroad programs offered. This company helps you to sail through a college semester, literally. Seamester offers a variety of sailing voyages across the globe for students interested in a bit more adventure than the normal study abroad experience. Offering sailing trips from the British Virgin Islands to Antigua and Tahiti to Australia, these are definitely not options for those seeking the standard educational journey. Even with all the adventure, Seamester assures that academics play a most integral role in these voyages. According to Seamester you, “…study marine biology and oceanography by conducting research diving on reefs. Acquire knowledge of geology trekking through mountainous terrain. Master meteorology and navigation as you plot your course across seas. And develop leadership and communication skills working together with your team.” (

How to Get Started: Seamester’s application process is a little more extensive than applying for the other programs mentioned above but if you truly desire a unique study experience, visit the site, fill out the application, get your transcripts ready, and then hopefully upon acceptance, wait for your ship to sail in

There are so many great reasons to travel and study abroad, you gain not only college credits but you also gain invaluable life experience that is difficult to obtain in a standard college classroom. If you do choose a program outside of your current university, like Seamester, just make sure that your college will accept the transfer of credits. Also if you are receiving financial aid, discuss your options with your financial aid advisor to see if you will be covered for your educational voyage or if there are other financial options available to you. As long as you make certain that all the details are in order, you can have a learning experience that you will not soon forget

If none of the adventures above interest you, you can always go directly to your advisor at your school and express your interest in a study abroad program. You can easily find one more suited to your needs and your financial status.

Bon voyage and smooth sailing!


Is it Time for Your Wardrobe to Grow Up?

Transforming your look from college to career

After spending semester after semester in shorts and a hoodie, it seems like a daunting task to even think about putting on a dress and heels or a suit and tie. But there are ways to blend comfort and your own unique sense of style into your new adult wardrobe. This transformation becomes especially important when you enter the world of job interviews and internships. You certainly can’t sit in front of your future boss in what you’ve been wearing to class. Here are some helpful tips on how to dress like a grown-up and still ‘keep your cool’ and some money in your pocket.

Dress Appropriately For the Environment

Whether you’ve been invited to a fun networking event or you’re headed to your first job interview, it’s important to dress the part. You don’t want to wear a black cocktail dress to a job fair or a stuffy business suit to an after-work event. The key to successful dressing is to know where you’re going and what is expected of you. If the venue is upscale, you will definitely want to pull out your finest attire while still keeping in mind that you are representing the ‘adult professional’ version of yourself. Nightclub party dresses are usually never a good idea at any event where you are mingling with potential employers or colleagues. Stay true to your personal style, so you feel confident in what you are wearing.  Don’t just run outside and ruin your nice new clothes, pack a rain jacket like an adult. If you are the casual comfortable type, you can find natural fabrics like cotton and linen to give you that mature but relaxed look. If form fitting attire is your usual style, try wearing a structured blazer or an elegantly tailored wrap dress that flatters the figure in a more professional and conservative way.

Spend Money Wisely

Needless to say, college is expensive. This is probably not the wealthiest time period in your life. And if you are just graduating, it can be even more economically challenging, because usually that means you’re jobless at least until you find one. Rarely is there a lot of money for buying a new wardrobe. The best thing to do is to first look at what you have that can be transformed into work attire, such as blouses, sweaters, the forever versatile black dress, and any neutral colored items like khakis or a white shirt. After you have salvaged any decent clothing items from your existing wardrobe, it’s good to spend whatever money you do have or borrow from the parents, on a couple well-made blazers, a nice pair of pants, a tailored skirt, a few nicely made blouses or shirts. Try to choose a color palette and stay within that, it’s cheaper and easier because everything matches and your wardrobe appears larger for less money.

Forget the Fads

Leaving college behind and entering a whole new world where you are judged by completely different rules can be very difficult. The hardest transition can be the process of taking your style from trendy to classic. Forget about always trying to keep up with the latest style fads that come and go. Save that for your nightlife. Once you decide on a career, take a look around at what successful people in that type of industry are wearing and follow suit. Find classic timeless pieces of clothing that won’t look weird or outdated when the next fashion season rolls in. You can also save money by leaving the fads behind and buying clothing that doesn’t go out of style. You will need to make more careful purchasing decisions but in the end you will spend much less money not having to keep up with every passing style trend.

Confidence is a Key Accessory

No matter what you wear or what career path you choose, confidence in yourself and your decisions is always the best accessory. Now is the time to follow your dreams and passions and get to know who you really are. Tailor your fashion decisions to match the career path of your choice and you will walk into any interview feeling as if you already belong there and your potential employer will be more inclined to see you as a part of the company and the environment. Whatever you wear, wear with confidence and you will appear ready for any job you choose.

College life can be challenging, so reward yourself by looking the part of the professional adult you have been working so hard to develop over the last few years. Following some simple guidance can make the transition from college to career, fun, easy, and economical.

Leaving Home for College

Making the transition can be a lot smoother by following a few simple steps.

For most of us, leaving home for college and living independently for the first time is one of the most exciting times in our lives; but it can also be one of the most daunting. Where will I live? Will I have a roommate and will we get along? How much will I miss home? And will I be able to afford it? Let’s face it, not all of us have parents that are able to take on all of our financial responsibilities, tuition, room and board, food, books, furniture, clothing, and let’s not forget about the social life. But there are ways that you can prepare for college life and living on your own without experiencing so much separation anxiety. This new stage of your life should be enlightening and full of adventure with as little stress as possible. We offer some key advice that will help you to make a smooth transition from home to your new college life.

Research and Planning Ahead is Fundamental

Visit the campus more than once – Make sure you and your family go at least twice, if travel permits, to view the campus environment, school grounds, and surrounding neighborhoods. This will help you to become more familiar with the area and a sense of familiarity can bring a lot of comfort when you are on your own for the first time away from family and friends. Get to know the neighborhood supermarkets, convenience stores, and public transportation routes, if needed. Get a cleaning service Manhattan right out of the gate, keeping your place tidy will make your experience so much better. This will also give you a feel for the safety of the neighborhood, learning where it is safe to travel and where it is not.

Note: If the campus is too far away from home to visit in person, make use of the internet; using something like Google maps ( and Google Earth ( can give you a live view of most areas. When you get there ask the school for brochures, menus, and a list of local businesses that can serve you during the school year.

Think about the career you want – When selecting a college to attend, you need to think long-term about the type of career you envision yourself taking up. For instance, if you want to go into nursing, taking a bachelor of nursing is the sensible route. By knowing what you want to do, you can find the specific course that can fast-track you to your career. However, don’t worry if you don’t know what you want to do and end up doing a more generic course. There are ways that you can transition your career later on. For instance, if you only later realize that you want to go into nursing, you don’t have to start from scratch. You can use your existing bachelor’s degree in whatever subject you studied – it could be a completely different field to nursing – and use it to propel your next career.

Know your long-term plan – While researching the best colleges to go to and the courses on offer, don’t be afraid to look into potential options after graduating with a bachelor’s. If you know that you want to be a nurse, it pays to think long-term. For instance, if you have aspirations of being an FNP, then you will need more than just your bachelor’s degree.  You will need to look into post master’s FNP courses. Such courses could expect you to hold a degree from an NLN (National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission) or CCNE (Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education) accredited program. This means the first degree you pick is very important if you have long-term aspirational goals and want to reach them a lot faster. For those that aren’t worried so much about speed, it doesn’t matter as much.

Is Living On or Off Campus Right for You?

Depending on your personality and your home life, on-campus living may be the ideal solution for you. Living on-campus can provide you with a feeling of community. It offers easy travel to classes, on-site facilities, such as laundry, cafeteria, and study areas. If you come from a big family with siblings, you may feel better being in a close knit community of students. However, if you prefer a more realistic experience of what life may be like after graduation, off-campus living may be just the thing for you. You have an opportunity to live among the locals of the area and enjoy a more independent adult experience.

Note: There are pros and cons to living off-campus. It can provide a sense of privacy, independence, and can often be cheaper than living on-campus; but you may also feel lonely and disconnected from the other students and college activities. Living on-campus may be more suited for those who prefer to feel a part of a community.

Regardless of where you choose to live, whether on campus or off, there are some great tips that you can take on board to help you settle in when you arrive. You will need to do everything you can to help you settle in, especially if this is your first time leaving home. For instance, make your room as unique to you as possible. Most rooms on campus will look exactly the same, but if you want a cozy and homely place, then make sure you decorate it in a style you love. While you won’t be able to paint walls and make structural changes, you can bring in home comforts like pillows and throws, posters, wall art, and photos, and once you have your belongings in the room, too, it will feel more like home.

Full-time Student; Part-time Job?

Discussing your financial reality before you head off to school is highly important. Knowing what may be required of you ahead of time will ease the stress of dealing with your money issues. If you are one of the fortunate few who will not need to contribute to your well-being while in school, that is awesome. However, many are not so fortunate and have to share expenses with their parents along with receiving some form of financial aid. This is probably the most adult conversation you will have during this time. Can you be a full-time student that spends your leisure time at campus parties or will you have to rise to the occasion and combine work and school? If so, there are ways to ease the strain. Make sure that you get a job that works well with your school schedule and also make sure that you leave time for proper rest. Be realistic about how many hours you can work and let your employer know that you are a student so they can be more flexible with your schedule. Learning time management skills is the key to making this process successful. You must make a study schedule and adhere to it or else you will find yourself overwhelmed.

Note: Seek help from your financial aid advisor and your academic advisor to make things easier. A financial advisor can tell you if you qualify for more financial assistance and your academic advisor can help you rearrange your class schedule if needed.

If you are looking at being more flexible at work, there are multiple options that you have. For instance, you could cut back on how many hours you do a week. However, this will, of course, affect your paycheck. If you can’t afford to do this, can you work the same number of hours, just over fewer days? Compressing your hours is possible, and you are allowed to ask your employer to do this. You will need to say that this is a statutory request, but then you can state the changes you would like to be made, so exactly what days and hours you want to do, and date this document. If you can explain how this change can positively impact you, then this can help. Of course, your employer can always say no, so do bear this in mind, especially if they are concerned about how it would affect work, re-organizing other staff members days and hours, the cost, and whether there would be enough work for you during the hours that you are requesting.

If you find yourself facing this situation and are concerned about juggling work and studying, can you assess your studying hours instead? If you opt for an online course, for example, you may be granted a little bit more flexibility. Although this does depend on the course and school itself, many schools offer flexibility to their students to fit in their studies when possible for them. When researching colleges, make this a key consideration. If you can’t see it on their website, why not ask them? They will be more than happy to answer any queries that you have. Most schools understand the importance of their students earning a living while studying due to rising costs.

Getting a more accommodating job to your studying hours could also be an option if your current employer isn’t willing to make any changes.

When it comes to working and studying at the same time, everyone will find themselves facing a slightly different solution. Some may even find themselves actually staying at home to complete their studies as a result.

Staying in Touch While Creating New Social Circles

Your connection with your loved ones, family and friends you may have left at home, are important to keep you encouraged and motivated to succeed. Stay in touch on a regular basis.

However, you want to make sure that you don’t visit home too early after moving away. You need to give yourself plenty of time to get used to your new situation, and going home too early can make it even harder, as those familiar home comforts will greet you and make it appealing not to go back. Although the idea of not going back in at least the first six weeks can feel extremely daunting, there are other ways that you can keep in contact without needing to head back home for a weekend.

We live in a world that makes it easy to bridge the gap that long distances may cause. Besides calling, Skype, Facebook, and other social online tools can lessen the stress of being apart. If you don’t want to constantly reach out to your loved ones at home, the key thing here will be making friends on campus and your course. Remember, everyone will feel the same and be looking to form friendships. So make sure to strike up a conversation with as many new people as you can in those first couple of days. While it may be scary, if you make the first move and introduce yourself to someone, you could find a close ally and make the settling-in period a lot easier. One great way to get to know people is to cook and eat together. Ask your roommate if they want to make food with you or a group of people from your course if they would like to grab some lunch while waiting for the next lecture. This is a great way to bond and learn more about one another. Another great tip is to form study groups. And if you reach out to campus social groups to find others who have things in common with you, you will be certain that you will find friends in no time. You can keep the ties at home while also creating new circles of friends at school.

Note: It is good to find out what social groups are active on your campus before you leave home, this way you will have some direction in knowing how to connect with like-minded individuals once you arrive

Yes, leaving home and familiar surroundings for the first time can be challenging but with planning and preparation you will be able to look back on one of the most exciting and memorable times of your life. Remember to always seek assistance and support from those around you whether at home or at school.

College Living Advice

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