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Things to know about sharing a home with other students

Sharing a home with other students can be fun, but it is also filled with potential conflict

Photo by CC user artinstituteofportland on Flickr

So, you have just left home for the first time, and you are about to spend your first semester at your chosen college or university. Unless you are staying in the dorms on campus, you will soon be sharing a home with other students.

Here’s what you need to know to keep things running smoothly, avoid animosity, and a build a sense of community within your new home away from home.

The kitchen

Of all the areas in the house, it is the kitchen where there is the greatest potential for conflict. The creation of dishes is the biggest issue, as it only takes the actions of one laggard to spawn resentment. Left unaddressed, this situation can lead to the refusal of others to keep up the cleanliness of this common space.

Another concern is food storage security. According to a recent survey commissioned by Data Label in the United Kingdom, anywhere between 14% and 37% of students had reported their food or leftovers had gone missing from communal fridges and food storage spaces. This study was also featured on  We Are Homes for Students.

By carefully vetting roommates before allowing them to rent in the house, and then taking a proactive approach if food goes missing, these incidents can be avoided or quickly resolved.

Divvying up chores

If you hope to have a house that is at least respectably clean, it is imperative that you establish a schedule for chores at the start of the semester.

If everyone knows who is supposed to clean the kitchen, vacuum the floors, take out the trash/recyclables, and perform other tasks on given weeks, you will have an environment that feels more like a home rather than a place to sleep.

Paying the bills

The lights, water and internet won’t keep themselves on. In order to keep all these services running smoothly, the bills will need to be paid on time. Make sure that all bills are posted on the fridge as soon as they are received, with a complete breakdown of what is owed by everybody.

Though it may be uncomfortable to chase after your fellow housemates for money, it is vital that no one falls behind in their bills without a valid excuse, as it will give others a reason to be tardy on their payments as well.

Respecting each others needs

It can be difficult to share space with other human beings, but this task is made all the more tricky when the people involved are very young adults. Everyone must make an effort to respect each others need for privacy and quiet, especially during the week and at exam time.

On the other hand, if it’s the weekend, or early on in the semester, lighten up a little and respect your other housemates need to unwind, blow off steam, and have fun. So long as everyone has an understanding of the magnitude of a planned social gathering, and when they will begin and end, there should be no issue with having friends over every once in awhile.

We Are Homes for Students?

Useful points to consider when you are planning for college

When planning for college, how do you get into places like this?

Photo by CC user Ericci8996 via Wikimedia Commons

If you are thinking about taking a college course you need to plan to make sure you make the right choices. Of course, you can change from one course to another but that is not the best options. It’s far better to settle on the right course for you initially. This way you can make sure that you concentrate all of your efforts on studying, and gaining your qualification, rather than on thinking about making changes.

It does not matter whether you are considering college for the first time, or you are looking at gaining additional qualifications so you can change career, there are some things which potential students all need to consider when planning for college.

Which college is right for you?

It’s never too early to start considering which college you should attend. Your choice could involve several factors. One of these factors will always be the availability of the course you want to take. You also need to take a look at things such as the reputation of the college, where it’s located, what its previous results look like and what wider activities are available.

For some potential students online study with providers such as Upskilled may be the best option. If you study online you have the flexibility of being able to shape your study around your life. This is especially useful if you are working and you want to study to gain an additional qualification.

How are you going to finance you study?

No matter what college option you choose you need to figure out how you are going to pay for your course of study. Do not forget that if you attend a traditional college, as opposed to studying online, you may also have to pay for accommodation and/or travel costs. This is why studying online can turn out to be the most financially viable option.

There are options available for you to potentially gain financial assistance with the cost of your study. If you receive a loan to help with your study then you obviously need to factor in what this is going to mean for you, when it comes to paying it back.

What does the future hold?

Planning your college career is not just about planning for those years when you will actually be studying; you also have to take into account the years following college. This is why it’s generally a good idea to know what sort of career you want to have, so that you can shape your study around gaining the qualifications you need. You do not want to choose a field of study simply because it sounds like fun and then find out that you do not have access to the career options you want with that qualification. You should always choose your college course with an eye on the future.

Deciding on your options for college study is very important and we have taken you through just three of the important aspects that need to feature. One of the most important things to remember is that you should never rush the decision; always give yourself plenty of time.

How to Write Killer Essays!

Writing killer essays

Writing killer essays

It is usual to hear huge audible sighs of exasperation in any classroom when instructions are given to “Write an essay about ….” and those are the most familiar words any student would hear as long as they are still in school, college, or university. There are sites available on line that can help with college papers such as essay writing, other school project papers or any other document requirements.  Referring to such sites can be a big help and also free your time to study or deal with other school matters that are just as important. However, for those who prefer to attempt writing their own killer essays, these are some points to consider if you want to know about writing killer essays.

Essays are a way of telling stories with facts

An essay can be any topic in a school curriculum and though some of them may seem dull and mundane, the composer of the essay may have some points of interest that they would like to highlight. Facts are the core of an essay and presenting them in the most interesting way is what makes the difference between a mediocre essay and an essay that tops the score. Successful killer essays captivate their readers that makes them read line after line, without a thought that it is long or tedious to read. The best essays are the ones that tell a good story which contains facts, relevant arguments and a conclusion to the subject.

Turn thoughts into simple sentences

An essay has a plot with an introduction, a beginning, a body and a conclusion. Start by arranging the r facts in simple point forms, rearranging them into the order that it should flow and gather momentum for the reader’s attention. Don’t be too concerned about how it sounds at this point, as it still requires polishing and several read through before it has a good reading flow. Important point to note here is the flow of the facts, they should make sense and be in proper sequence.

Drafting the story line

This is where the fun begins. Once all the facts are on paper in a rough draft, it is time to craft a plot to the entire story. Essays are not just limited to words alone, make clever use of pictures that may that helps emphasise on the facts. Keep the language simple, bombastic words can turn a reader off. The best use are good descriptive verbs combined with great graphics and a good story flow. Graphics also makes an essay look more interesting and helps the reader relate the facts to the entire essay paper without losing track of the story flow. It makes the essay look and feel more cohesive and breaks the monotony of just having words describing paragraphs of texts.

Keep track of a good conclusion

Nothing spoils a great killer essay than a lame conclusion so be sure to watch the concluding lines of the essay. Does it sound interesting or is there a twist? Education essays can also have great plot twists, dramatic end results and a memorable end that will leave the reader an impression that is hard to forget. This means that the subject of the essay has to be well researched. Writing an essay is not much different from writing a story so spend more time on research and look for examples of great endings to an essay. Style plays an important role to a great killer essay so develop a style that makes the essay outstanding!

Student panic over possible Brexit

Students are worried about a possible Brexit

Photo by CC user jeffdjevdet on Flickr

A current hot topic in the UK is the EU Referendum vote, there are two campaigns the ‘In’ campaign which obviously wants the UK to remain in the EU and the ‘Out’ campaign which wants the UK to leave the EU. Both sides have been working hard to persuade the UK electorate to get out and vote, whether it’s to remain in or go out. However one group feel like their concerns and questions have not been answered by either campaign nor do they feel like both sides are giving a lot of miss information.

University students are feeling maligned by the EU referendum, research conducted by My Voucher Codes shows that 64% worry about what will happen if we leave the EU, whether it will be harder to travel and work around Europe and what effect it will have on jobs in the UK. Students also felt that there has not been enough information from either campaign on key issues, nor has either campaign shown any thought out arguments and most importantly students felt that neither campaign cares about the views of the younger generation nor engage with them. You can read the full results from the survey of students here.

The students spoke of their concerns:

Both campaigns seem inherently biased and it’s difficult to access impartial views”

There has been a lot of scaremongering however there has been no clear statistics as to what will happen with both sides using ambiguous stats to support their own argument”

Mudslinging campaigns that feel designed to discredit the other rather than reinforce their own argument although the in campaign feels more credible”

As the cost of attending university and forging ahead with further education increases, it’s understandable that students are worried about the effects if we left the EU, there would be loss of funding from EU grants that universities receive, also collaborations between UK and EU universities could also be complicated or stopped. In addition foreign students studying here in the UK could also suffer as well as British students studying abroad who could easily see higher fees.

Looking after university students were also worried about job prospects and workers’ rights. Currently worker’s right protection laws in the UK have come from EU ruling such as the working time directive and holiday, maternity and sickness rights, however the out party have not said whether these will be kept or if the government will pander to big business and scrap worker protection. Prospects for jobs in the UK isn’t easy either whether you hold a degree or not and with mounting debts leavers will not want to see a loss of jobs if we leave the EU.

5 Ways Smartphones Are Changing the College Experience

It’s hard to miss the ubiquity of smart devices when walking through modern cities. And if you walk across the campus of any university in America, you are sure to see hordes of students interacting with their phones as they hurry from building to building. They are likely doing more than just looking at funny cat videos on YouTube, however: Smartphones are transforming education. Here is a list of some of the most important ways that is happening.

person-woman-hand-smartphone

Education Apps

Many students now use apps on their phones to prepare for class and enhance their learning. Specialized apps like Coursera offer free or low-cost online classes and course materials, though wise students use these apps to supplement, not replace, their efforts in the classroom. Other apps let students take notes and record sound and video in their classes. Of course, the teacher might have something to say about that; most instructors don’t want students distributing recorded lectures, whether to their peers or to the wider Internet. Be sure to ask before you record, then respect your teacher’s wishes.

Storage Apps

One variety of app deserves closer examination: cloud storage solutions. Rather than worrying about keeping track of memory sticks and other physical hardware to transfer and manage data, users of apps like Dropbox move files between devices with minimal worry about compatibility and other issues. Modern students often access their work across many platforms, including school-owned desktops and their own laptops, tablets, and smartphones. With information stored in the cloud, students can always rest easy knowing that their notes, projects, papers, and other vital information are safe and available to them on any computing device.

Books and e-Books

College education means textbooks, and textbooks mean a big pain in the bank account. Many professors think little of asking students to buy hundreds of dollars’ worth of pricey books, which is rough on a student budget. Online shopping services like Amazon are a great way to track down discounted versions of the course materials, but smart devices can let you go a step farther. Rather than buying a physical book, you can get an electronic version and just read it from your devices. E-readers work best with this kind of content, of course, but any table or smartphone such as the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, will work. Indeed, the Galaxy’s large HD display lets users read large blocks of text without sideways scrolling. Since many professors are now posting articles and other supplemental materials online as well, a good e-reading solution is convenient and can save you a lot of money.

Course Communications

New technologies bring new ways to communicate, and those channels of communication are useful for imparting class-related information. Social media outlets such as Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter make it easy to stay in touch with members of group project teams and others among their classmates, coordinating work and meetings and getting notes for missed sessions. Some classes even have their own pages or forums on social platforms or proprietary school software, giving students a space to discuss and plan. Smartphone technology gives students access to this information without having to set up a laptop and find a Wi-Fi signal.

Social Life

But coursework isn’t the part of college most students are looking forward to. Prospective students are often more interested in social life on campus. Here smartphones are also useful, letting you tap in to social calendars of organizations on campus and make sure you can attend any event of interest. Using social apps like Facebook, you can follow your favorite clubs and get notifications of anything they have going on during the week. This applies to nonacademic activities as well as official school clubs. Organizations like fraternities, sororities, and the school athletics department put out invitations and information through their social feeds, so if you are following, you’ll always be in the know.

Smart devices are changing every segment of American life, and higher education is no exception. Find the best smart device for you and tap in to the power of pervasive mobile computing to make your school and social life the best they can be.

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