Tag Archives: Students

Survive Another Semester With These Dorm Room Gadgets

At the start of the semester, you can fool yourself into believing you’ll be spending all your spare time between classes in the library. With your nose in a book, it’s easy to ignore how utilitarian your dorm room is. What do you care if it’s ugly? You’re only there to sleep, right?

If you’re lucky, you get about a week into this routine before you realize you can’t keep it up. At which points, you trade a trip to the library for staying in on your bed.

If you’re going to be spending a lot of your time in your dorm room, you might as well do everything you can to make it time well spent. This list will help you curate the best dorm experience possible. From the hilariously extravagant to the surprisingly practical, these gadgets will elevate your dorm room to the next level.

A robot maid

Raise your hand if you like cleaning. When neither hand even twitches, you know you can’t claim this activity as a preferred hobby. There’s just too much going on around campus for you to want to waste your time cleaning up.

In 2018, that doesn’t mean you have to live like a slob. You can “hire” a robotic maid to vacuum your dorm room. Though the Roomba is synonymous with the robot vacuum, the most well-known brand isn’t always the best. The iLife A4 is a cute little addition that keeps on top of dirt without emptying out your student wallet. It’s relatively affordable addition to your dorm room that saves you a fight with your roommate about whose turn it is to vacuum.

Noise cancelling headphones

Few residences could be confused for the Ritz. You’re going to be dealing with a lot of people in a small space. As a result, you’re going to be hearing a lot of stuff — whether you want to or not. Someone somewhere is always going to be making noise, even if it’s the middle of the night. Come midterms, it’s likely more than one person will take of up the Nordic tradition of wailing in the middle of the night.

If you’re sensitive to your surroundings, you’ll want to pack a pair of noise-cancelling headphones. While Sony’s WH-1000XM2 make it to the top of Tech Radar’s list, you may not have the budget to drop roughly $400 on a set of headphones. The Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC offer an affordable alternative that offers NoiseGard ™ to filter out the sounds of college life.

Portable speakers

When you’re done cancelling the noises other people make and are ready to make some noise yourself, you’re going to need a set of speakers to help you make an impact. The UE Boom 2 offers considerable sound quality in a small, lightweight package. It’s small enough to fit anywhere in your room and light enough that you won’t regret owning it when it comes time to move out. Check out CNET’s review to see why it’s the portable speaker to blast your mid-semester playlist.

Nintendo Switch

If you’d rather skip the party to explore Hyrule, then a Switch would better serve your dorm room this year. As Nintendo’s first 2-in-1 console, it’s the perfect system for campus. It offers excellent single player games when you want to kill some time on your own, and it has a library rich with multiplayer (both co-op and competitive) games. You can dock it and play on the big screen or throw it in your bag and take it along to class.

A Switch skin

You’ll just want to wrap it up in a Nintendo Switch skin before it’s ready to mix and mingle in your backpack. This accessory protects your console from pens, keys, and other sharp objects in your bag that could damage it. When you shop from a company like dbrand, you’ll get a Switch skin that’s made out of 3M vinyl. Because of their partnership with 3M, these skins leave residue on the Switch’s unique surface material — or any other tech you want to decal. That means you can protect and customize your devices with multiple skin designs and switch it up whenever you’re feeling bored.

A power strip

Last but not least, you’re going to need a surge-protecting power strip to make sure you don’t blow the breakers once you plug in the rest of the gadgets on the list. The Dynex Surge Protector comes with 8 outlets and two USB charging ports, so you’ll never have to fight with your roommate over a chance to charge

Despite your best intentions, you’ll be spending more time in your college dorm room than you might expect. If you expect to enjoy all the time you log in this tiny room, you’ll need a few gadgets to help improve your quality of life. Once you have the right ratio of space to tech, you’ll never regret staying in your room. Your grades, on the other hand, might miss the library!

The Main Reasons Why Alcohol & Drugs Will Affect Your Academic Performance… Badly

I drink too much. Last time I gave a urine sample, it had an olive in it.”

– Rodney Dangerfield, U.S. comedian

Ask your parents if they drank too much alcohol during their time at college, and their replies will vary somewhere between the complete, swear-on-the-Holy-Bible and God’s honest truth kind of answer, and the blatant, downright lie. Ask them if they did drugs, however, and, chances are, pretty much all those responses would probably get thrown out in a court of law, with the judge threatening contempt.

Hey, Mom, you ever get stoned? Were you a pothead in college, Dad?

Not the conversation to be had at the evening dinner table at the end of a long day, unless your Mom and Dad are going through a period of enlightened California-style parenting. For many parents of kids in college, it wasn’t that they drank or did drugs during their time. It’s more a case of they got through college in spite of them. Perhaps, just like what you’re doing.

I’ll be honest. College, when I was younger, was a blur. My memory of it now is just a retail collection of moments like old polaroids – putting them together in some semblance of order is the problem.

Allow me to introduce myself.

My name is Andy, I’m a mid-thirties digital marketing entrepreneur, running a successful agency, who, for over 9 years now, has lived a completely clean and sober life. No alcohol, no drugs, no nada. Just abstinence.

However, for the vast majority of my adolescent years, I was an alcoholic and a drug addict, saved only my own Mom and Dad finally threw me on the backseat of the family car, drove me to the next state over, and deposited what was left of their son, hopeless addict, physical and mental wreck, and an ex-con to boot, on the steps of a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center.

Get busy living, Andy, and all that. So I did, and I gave rehab everything.

6 months later, I emerged, clean, sober, physically and mentally the fittest I’d ever been or felt, and now with a decent education. I had majored in addiction, and in rehab, I learned as much as I could about this chronic, sometimes fatal disease that nearly took my life – it’s amazing what you can do with a clear head.

If you want to know how drugs and alcohol will negatively affect your academic performance, read on. If you’re reading this, and thinking, “You know what, Andy? You seem like a nice guy, and I’m glad you turned your life around, and all that. To be honest, though, I don’t really care,” then what follows will make you care.

Let’s look at the 2 most popular substances used, and often abused, on any U.S. campus, and why they will affect your academic performance… badly:

  • Alcohol, and
  • Marijuana

The intoxication from both will continue to have a detrimental effect on a student’s cognitive function – primarily, attention, concentration, and memory – for around 48 hours afterward. In other words, get drunk on the Friday night, because you’ve got exams on Monday to study for, and the weekend is your only revision time left, and you’ve just shot your academic self in the foot.

Serious abuse of both can lead to the spiral of addiction, and I’m sure you don’t want to have that conversation with Mom and Dad…

Alcohol

Memory: As described above, heavy drinking will affect cognitive function long after you wake up with the obligatory hangover, and will probably mean you start the day with a positive blood alcohol level as well as your pounding head. This alcohol still present in your system directly affects your ability to process and store new information – to fully understand it, and then to successfully retain it in its entirety.

For the biology students out there, “intoxication is produced by a temporary impairment of brain receptors key in creating long-term memories in the hippocampus“, says Duke University’s Jeff Georgi, an Alcohol and Addictions Program coordinator at the school. “If you study for four hours…then go drinking, it affects this anchoring process.”

Sleep: Alcohol messes with your sleep too. Normal sleep cycle interference results in irritability, fatigue, and an increase in anxiety, all of which will directly affect a student’s learning ability for up to 48 hours.

Stress: As the old joke goes, alcohol is only a solution if you’re a chemist. In reality, alcohol doesn’t stop stress, or “academic success-anxiety,” just the symptoms of it – temporarily. By actually not self-medicating with alcohol or drugs, you are giving yourself a far better chance to naturally resolve what is causing the stress.

Marijuana

Memory, Concentration, & Attention: As described above, marijuana use (well, pretty much all drug use) will affect cognitive function long after you wake up, directly affecting your ability to simply pay attention and, indeed, concentrate in the classroom, and then being able to store that information in your memory.

Sleep: When used in the evening and at night time, marijuana is pretty much the same as alcohol when it comes to your sleep cycle, resulting in increases in irritability, fatigue, and anxiety, again, directly affecting learning ability. 

Motivation: Now, if you’re sat there reading this, and you’re a little surprised by the use of the word “motivation,” oh, please… Seriously, there is mounting evidence that marijuana use affects your motivation, likely due to a combination neuronal suppression (the hippocampus, again), the blocking of nutrients through cells, and fatigue following disturbed sleep.

Anxiety: Although not an academic reason, it’s worth mentioning that marijuana use increases heart rate, weakens the heart muscle, and increases blood pressure – all of which should concern someone already diagnosed with anxiety. However, as with self-medicating with alcohol, marijuana does nothing to resolve the issues creating your anxiety and stress.

No Lecture

There you have them – the main reasons why alcohol and drugs will affect your academic performance… badly. Forego the alcohol consumption (if you’re binge drinking, and college students have been known to do that on a regular basis, please cut it out of your life – it’s seriously dangerous), and forego getting stoned in the belief it will only do you good. You’ll feel better, and perform better academically without them.

Without these substances, you’ll feel so much better, you’ll be naturally happier, you’ll be more attentive, you’ll be able to concentrate fully, and you’ll enjoy a better memory. As a college student striving for academic success, it makes sense, doesn’t it?

How does alcohol or marijuana use affect your academic performance, or do you believe it doesn’t? Let us know by sharing a comment below.

How College Students Can Supplement Their Income

If you are a college student you probably already know the woes of college life all too well. Not only do you have to spend most of your time studying, but also you probably end up living off noodles and canned food. This is unless, of course, your parents are just filthy rich, but this is probably not the case. Even with the economy being what it is today, most wealthy people have to cut back as well. However, you might be surprised to learn that just because you are in college it does not mean that you have to be broke. In fact, there are tons of different methods that you can take to acquire money while attending college. Below you will learn about some of the different methods and opportunities that college students have available to them to supplement their income.

Use Your Writing Skills Online

Seeing that you are in college, you are probably pretty well educated, which means you know how to write very well. There are a wide variety of writing services online that are always looking for individuals that can write and speak English proficiently. Not only will this give you a chance to earn a little extra income, but you might be able to learn something new and educational in the process.

Take On A Tutoring Job

Is there a subject that you just find extremely easy and excel at? Well, not everyone has it as truly as easy as you when it comes to this subject. In fact, there are probably a lot of students that are suffering and lacking in this particular field. You have the advantage of setting up your own tutoring services and charging students that need a little extra help in the field in which you excel.

Donating Plasma

Donating plasma might not seem like the sexiest option on the table, but if you aren’t afraid of needles and can handle getting your blood drawn, this just might be the opportunity for you. Most centers will allow you to donate a certain amount of plasma once a month, and you can make anywhere from $30 to $50 dollars each pop. Not only this, but you will actually be helping someone else out. There are a lot of people out there that need your plasma.

Take Advantage of Moving Opportunities

You would truly be surprised to learn about all the moving services that are looking for young, strong college students to help them move. They know you are in college, so they will be willing to work around your schedule. Not only will you be able to make a few bucks moving, but also this will truly be a different change of pace than just sitting in your room with your nose buried in a book.

Find A Teaching Assist Job Or Work Study Program

Not everyone will qualify for this type of opportunity, but there are a lot that will. Teaching assistant jobs and work study programs are available through most colleges, and they can be truly useful, because you will not only supplement your income, but you will also earn college credit at the same time.

Go Digging Through The Garbage For Recyclables

Have you ever really looked inside the garbage cans or dumpsters at a college? Probably not, but you would be surprised at all the soda and energy drinks that you will find. These aluminum cans can be hawked at the recycling center for a pretty penny. Of course, you will have to collect quite a few and you might end up looking like a bum, but at least you will be making some money in the process.

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.

Microsoft Office 365 is a Student’s Best Friend!

 

Brought to you by Microsoft Office

Whether you’re preparing for college this upcoming fall or you’re a current student, Office 365 makes for a great partner to help you study smarter, stay organized and to manage your social life conveniently and efficiently. Microsoft Office gives you the ability to access all of your info whenever and wherever – you’ll always be set up for success.

You can find out more about  Office 365, including how eligible students can qualify for special pricing through Microsoft Office 365 University by clicking here: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-office-365-university-FX102918415.aspx.

 

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