6 Must-Have Tech Gadgets for College Students

6 Must-Have Tech Gadgets for College Students

Seriously, why do college checklists have so much stuff on them?

When some of them have upwards of 150 items, how do you know what you actually need to bring along to school?

Obviously, you need school supplies, textbooks, clothing, and shower gear. But to be 100% honest, outside of your basic living essentials…you probably need less than you think.

Especially when it comes to school supplies–I didn’t use half of the things that I first brought along to college.

Your dorm room or apartment will be small and you won’t have a lot of room to store these things. The less you bring, the less clutter you have (which means less time you spend on cleaning).

However, there are a few tech items that will make your life WAY easier away from home. Let’s take a quick look.

6 Best Tech Gadgets for College Students in 2018

 

1. Portable Phone Charger

Let’s be real–we’re on our phones all the time. It doesn’t take long to drain the battery. The only problem is, your schedule tends to be all over the place in college.

You could have some days with back-to-back classes and then you’re heading to work straight from your last class. Even if you DO have breaks in between your classes, your dorm room or apartment might not be anywhere close.

You’ll end up stopping for food in between classes or hanging out the library to study. It just might not make sense to go back to your room during the day.

That’s where portable chargers come in. This one is lightweight and charges your phone incredibly fast.

 

2. Lap Desk

My parents gifted me a lap desk before I went off to college. At first, I kind of laughed at it. The lap desk didn’t really seem necessary because I already had a desk in my room. However, it turned out to be a total game-changer.

Sometimes you just don’t want to get out of bed.

Or it could be the total opposite.

Maybe you’re getting major cabin fever and need to escape your room for the common area. I frequently met up with my neighbors and friends in the commons space to study together or work on homework. My lap desk offered a sturdy surface so I could get work done from anywhere. This lap desk is less than $20, holds your laptop, and has a space for your tablet.

 

3. Portable Speaker

Whether you have friends over for a movie night or want to hang out with some background music, you want a compact, portable speaker for your room.

Do yourself a favor and get a speaker that’s compatible with most mobile devices via Bluetooth, in case you want to let somebody else play DJ for the night.

This speaker is small, shockproof, and water-resistant. Perfect for your new shared space. (It’s built to withstand outdoors and the elements, if that’s your thing!)

4. Noise-Canceling Headphones

Because nothing is worse than going to the library to study and being forced to listen to your neighbor’s loud conversation. Be in your own little world instead.

Noise canceling headphones are perfect for blocking out distractions. You can also listen to your favorite music, hit the gym, tune out your roommate, or watch videos at a normal volume–and eliminate any background noise.

 

5. Roku Streaming Stick

Your dorm room or new apartment doesn’t come with cable? Not a problem if you have a Roku Streaming Stick.

If you’re not familiar with Roku, it’s a remote device that allows you to stream  content from sites like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon and more. they’re super affordable.

The only thing you have to do is connect your Roku stick into your Wi-Fi and to your TV. Before you buy this, double check to make sure that your TV has an HDMI port. That’s how you’ll connect the Roku to your TV.

Most TVs today come with this, but it just depends on how old your TV set is.

 

6. Kindle Tablet

While you can certainly get away without owning a tablet in college, it definitely has some advantages. Especially the Kindle. Here’s why.

You can save a TON of money on textbooks. Use a textbook search engine like Textbook Nova to find the cheapest version of your assigned textbooks. Another way to save is to use Amazon Textbook Rentals.

Their textbook rental service allows you to rent textbooks for an entire semester OR for however many weeks you think you’ll need it.

The great part about having a Kindle or Fire tablet is that you can immediately download these text books onto your tablet. Amazon also allows you to extend your rentals for 30 days or renew them again for another semester, in case you need to keep the textbook around for a little longer.

 

5 Practical Digital Photography Books for Beginners

5 Best Photography Books for Beginners

Want to learn how to capture that perfect snapshot?

From shooting portraits to getting the most out of your lighting, these books will provide the novice photographer with an awesome foundation.

Already have some experience? You’ll get an excellent refresher on how to take your shots to the next level.

 

5 Best Photography Books for Beginners: Learn How to Take Photos Like a Pro

 

The Perfect Portrait Guide – How to Photograph People  by Michael Busselle

5 Best Photography Books for Beginners

What’s your favorite subject for shooting photos?

If you’re like us, your camera roll is full of photos of your friends, families and…selfies (of course). This book is an awesome introduction to capturing better photos of people.

The Perfect Portrait Guide covers everything from snapping casual photos to taking shots in different light settings. Although, I want to note something. This book was written a little over 15 years ago, so it covers film camera and not digital cameras. However, I thought the advice still applied to shooting great portraits with digital photography.

You’ll find inspiration in the stunning examples of composition, whether you’re an experienced amateur or total newbie.

 

Better Photo Basics: The Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Taking Photos Like a Pro by Jim Miotke

5 Best Photography Books for Beginners

The author, Jim Miotke, created this guide based on his experience as a professional photographer and teaching photography online. This book offers the perfect introduction for those of you who are new to photography. 

It’s jam-packed with gorgeous photos. Even better, Miotke includes a chapter of these photos and demonstrates the camera settings used to take them.

He’s a great teacher. The book is simple and easy to follow, breaking down the basic settings on your digital cameras (like the various modes and other automatic settings). The best method for improving your photography skill is to practice, right? You’ll discover that Better Photo Basics includes assignments so you can get out there and use his advice.

 

Picture Perfect Posing: Practicing the Art of Posing for Photographs and Models (Voices That Matter) by Roberto Valenzuela

5 Best Photography Books for Beginners

Written by Roberto Valenzuela–the author of Picture Perfect Practice–this photography guide is loaded with useful tips and tricks. Valenzuela wrote it based on his philosophy. Deliberate practice is what leads to photography skills and achievement (not talent). Therefore, you can become a great photographer too–if you work at it over time.

Picture Perfect Posing is incredibly detailed and you’ll have to read it more than once to fully absorb it. He shares his specific methodology for getting expression out of your models, positioning the body, and using emotion to capture jaw-dropping images.

In fact, Valenzuela even includes photos he took in the early days of his career. They demonstrate examples of bad posing techniques (so you can spot them when you’re shooting photos yourself).

 

Essential Elements of Portrait Photography: Lighting and Posing Techniques to Make Everyone Look Their Best by Bill Israelson

5 Best Photography Books for Beginners

This book lays down a solid foundation for photography, teaching the core skills for shooting better photos of people. Bill Israelson explains everything from your equipment basics to shooting inside a studio.

He offers a step-by-step process for capturing that perfect shot. Even if you’re a practiced amateur photographer, you’ll gain a lot of useful advice from here. Israelson breaks down those complicated photography methods and theories into simple, practical steps.

Inside this book, you’ll discover how to approach lighting based on different situations. You’ll learn how to handle light sources in every setup, which will instantly make people look better in your photos.

 

Understanding Exposure: How to Shoot Great Photographs with Any Camera by Bryan Peterson

5 Best Photography Books for Beginners

Getting better at photography is ALL about experimenting with your camera.  

If you’re ready to take your photos beyond the automatic settings, this is the book for you. Bryan Peterson breaks down the complexities of your camera and teaches you how to take powerful, beautiful images in manual mode.

You’ll want to come back to this book over and over. I’m a hobby photographer who never really understood exposure settings before I read this book. I just edited it afterward! But now I know exactly what the exposure triangle is capable of capturing.

Peterson is a great teacher. He shares many stories in the first half of the book while offering insights into more practical concepts in the last half. I’d recommend this to anyone learning photography (especially if you’re scared of manual mode).

Remember:

The best method for improving your photography skills is to keep practicing. Now let’s get out there and create something awesome!

 

When Is It Too Late to Change Your College Major?

Is It Too Late to Change My College Major?

So you want to study a different field. When is it too late to change your college major?

Want to know a secret?

The truth is more than 75% of all students change their majors at least once during college. I changed my major three times! And the degree I graduated with was in the field of my dream career–it was definitely worth it.

Check this out:

Most advisors suggest that you change your major after your first year. This gives you a chance to take some of the core “introduction” classes and you’ll have an idea of whether or not you enjoy your chosen field.

What if you’ve stuck out that first year and it still doesn’t feel right?

Maybe it’s not a matter of whether or not you like the subject matter in your courses. It’s just not a fit. Sometimes students go into majors in college because we think it will lead to the best jobs or we were following the advice of our parents.

But what should you do when do you find yourself wondering if you’re in the right program?

Let’s take a look.

 

Is Changing Majors Bad?

Is It Too Late to Change My College Major?

The downsides to changing your major:

  • It can take longer than you planned to earn your degree
  • You’ll end up paying more tuition if you stay in school longer
  • If your parents support you financially they’ll probably want a say in the decision

Here’s another side of the matter.

College is big-time expensive. But what’s the point in spending thousands of dollars on your education if you don’t LIKE what you’re studying? If you find no meaning in your classes, you’ll probably feel the same way about a career in the same field.

Trust me.

You don’t want to spend your entire life in a job that makes you feel miserable. We spend the majority of our lives at work. I’m not saying you have to be in love with your jobs to live a happy life because that’s not realistic. Some of our dreams just can’t support us financially.

But imagine waking up every single day with a feeling of dread about what lies ahead. It’s not a great way to live.

There are no right or wrong reasons to switch majors.  

Students make the change because:

  • They weren’t interested in the coursework
  • The classes were too difficult
  • Their courses led them to discover a new area of interest
  • They found out about potential opportunities in another field

Let’s consider the ramifications of changing your major in school and what that looks like during each year.

 

When Is It Too Late to Change Your College Major?

Is It Too Late to Change My College Major

Changing Majors Freshman Year:

If you’re like me, you started having second thoughts about your major immediately.

Here’s the thing. In my case, it was good that I realized my first instinct wasn’t right for me. Just because I was interested in something didn’t mean the potential jobs in that area were the right fit.

The only problem? I chose to declare a new major after the first quarter of school. My new major was based on another course I was taking that I happened to enjoy. I hadn’t given it enough practical thought, which led to me changing majors again later in the game.

 

Changing Majors Sophomore Year:

Switching majors after your first year of college is pretty common. in fact, this is when most students change their major.

Why’s that? You could have known right away that you didn’t like the classes that you were taking. but still wanted to give it a full year to decide. Plus, you had time to get away from the routine of day-to-day life on campus and think about school over the summer. It’s not too late yet. Even if you’re halfway through your sophomore year.

 

Changing Majors Junior Year:

This is where it starts to get a little tricky. If it’s the beginning of your junior year and you spent the first two years focusing on gen ed requirements, it’s not too late to rethink things.

Once you’re halfway through or reaching the end of your junior year, it’s time to consider that it may not worth it to change your major.

Why? It makes more sense financially to attend grad school rather than extending your time in an undergraduate program.

 

Changing Majors Senior Year:

Changing majors in your senior year of college doesn’t make sense. You’ve stuck it out this long–keep pushing through. There’s always post-grad school if you need more education to pursue another career path.

Because the truth? Most college grads aren’t working in their field of study after school. According to the Washington Post, only 27% of college grads have a job related to their degree.

In Conclusion

All in all, there’s no specific year where it’s considered too late to change your college major. However, if you want to spend less money on your education and get out of school faster, it’s best not to change you’re major after junior year.

7 Good Travel Books That Will Give You Wanderlust

7 Good Travel Books That Will Give You Wanderlust

Looking to escape into another world?

Travel can transform your view of the world. Even if you don’t intend to drop everything to travel the world, getting out of your bubble is an eye-opening experience. If you love books like Eat Pray Love, keep reading.

Get ready to be inspired by these 6 good travel books.

1. Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel by Rolf Potts

7 Good Travel Books That Will Give You Wanderlust

Have you ever felt like traveling around the world is one of those far-fetched dreams?

It’s a fantasy that can feel out of reach for most of us. Maybe you’ve even daydreamed about leaving home but you’ve accepted it’s totally out of your budget.

Vagabonding dispels the myth that long-term travel isn’t possible for everyone. The biggest lesson I learned from this book is that it doesn’t matter what your age is or how much money you make. If you want to board that plane and explore the world–you CAN make it happen.

The author shares his perspective on what makes long-term travel so fulfilling and how it can transform your perspective on life. The only downside? I guarantee you’ll catch the travel bug after reading this book.

 

2. Eat Pray and Love Made Me Do It: Life Journeys Inspired by the Bestselling Memoir 

7 Good Travel Books That Will Give You Wanderlust

Eat Pray and Love filled thousands of women with hopes of finding their own spiritual journey in life. This book is a collection of essays inspired by the famous memoir.

In fact, it features nearly 50 stories of women who took action towards changing their lives after finishing Elizabeth Gilbert’s book. Whether they followed similar steps or were inspired to find their own path, you’ll find short stories of people who felt unfulfilled in life and decided to change things.

What’s great about this book is that the essays are all pretty short. On the other hand, this means you won’t build a deep connection to any of the writers, but you do get to see how people from all different backgrounds transformed their lives in search of happiness.

 

3. Wild by Cheryl Strayed

7 Good Travel Books That Will Give You Wanderlust

At age 26, Cheryl Strayed was completely lost. After her mother died, she turned to drugs and impulsive sex to fill the void in her life. Once Cheryl realized she had fallen down a dangerous path, she decided to turn to the wild to find herself again.

I first discovered this book through the movie starring Reese Witherspoon, But if you enjoy travel inspired books like Eat Pray Love, I think you’ll want to check this one out too.

Cheryl decides to hike the Pacific Crest Trail alone. Without any hiking or backpacking experience to fall back on, her journey becomes extremely dangerous. It challenges her strength, willpower, and ultimately her spirit.

 

4. Life Nomadic by Tynan

7 Good Travel Books That Will Give You Wanderlust

 

Don’t have any experience with travel but want to get started? You need this book. It’s a quick read–one that you can finish in less than a day.

The author, Tynan, shares practical tips on how to travel around the world and live in multiple countries. He wrote it for the novice traveler, making it easy to digest.

Tynan is a nomad and shares advice geared towards his lifestyle…but that doesn’t mean that in order to enjoy this book you must want to ditch your home to live in another country. He shares a lot of great advice on simply how to travel cheaper and get out there to explore the world.

 

5. No Place Like Home: A Memoir In 39 Apartments by Brooke Berman

7 Good Travel Books That Will Give You Wanderlust

Okay, this memoir doesn’t seem to really be about traveling right off the bat. However, I thought I would include it on this list because it’s the story of a journey toward finding a home. If you’re a new graduate or young adult trying to find your way in life, this book is for you.

Brooke Berman is an 18-year old who left her hometown of Detroit and moved to New York City in pursuit of a common dream in the city: a successful career in theater.

Brooke doesn’t have much money but she’ll do anything to make her dreams work–even if means crashing on people’s couches and becoming a nomad in the city of New York.

 

6. How to Travel the World on $50 Per Day by Matt Kepnes

7 Good Travel Books That Will Give You Wanderlust

How can you travel the world on a college student budget? The author behind Nomadic Matt took the advice from his popular travel blog and transformed it into this book.

It packs a ton of advice that’s excellent for beginner OR experienced travelers. Heading to Europe? Want to take a backpacking trip? Matt Kepnes will show you how to hack your way to cheaper flights, discover low-cost accommodations, and explore other tips and tricks for saving money around the world.

 

7. This Book Is About Travel by Andrew Hyde

7 Good Travel Books That Will Give You Wanderlust

Andrew Hyde traveled to 15 countries in less two years.

While the title of this book implies it’s a guide, it’s really more of a collection of stories on his travel experiences. But that doesn’t mean you won’t catch the travel bug after reading it!

Andrew explains the significance of why we should all travel. Not to mention, he also shares how to decide what places to travel to (and how to budget for them).

Nonetheless, the most interesting chapters are where he shares the tales of entertaining yourself in an unknown country. (Wait until you read about what happened when he found himself with literally no money.)

Why You Should Use Social Media to Find a Job

Don’t Know Where to Look for Jobs? Try Social Media.

You’ve probably heard the warnings.

“Be careful what you share on social media. The things you post can affect your future.”

Maybe your parents or well-meaning teachers have been telling you this since you first got a cell phone. While they’re not wrong in exercising caution with what you share online–controversial posts can kill your job search–there’s another side to it.

Don’t know where to look for jobs?

Get this:

Social media can HELP get you a job.

Want to know how? I’ll explain:

  • Why LinkedIn is more than just a home for your resume
  • How to take advantage of your network on LinkedIn
  • The reason Instagram can make or break your job search
  • Why social media isn’t a waste of your time after all

Here’s how to make your online presence work for you.

 

How to Find a Job Using Social Media Platforms

Don’t Know Where to Look for Jobs? Try Social Media.

Make LinkedIn a Priority Before You Graduate

Haven’t created your LinkedIn profile yet?

Even if you don’t have tons of job experience (or any) at this point, it’s still worth it to get started on LinkedIn. After all, it’s the #1 place hiring managers and recruiters go to look for candidates.

Simply creating a profile on social media offers more opportunities because you become more visible and appear more credible.  

 

Stand Out with Your Headline & Summary

It’s easy to let your headline go to waste on LinkedIn. Our instincts are to make our headline our current job title…but that’s what everyone else is already doing! In order to stand out, use terms that people are searching for.

For example, if I search for “software engineer student” in the Washington, D.C. area, these are the results:

Don’t Know Where to Look for Jobs? Try Social Media.

These engineer students use their headline to explain they’re actively seeking internships. Which candidates would grab your attention–someone with a descriptive headline or someone who only lists their job title?

Your summary is also another to introduce yourself. Keep it short and sweet, but don’t be afraid to let your accomplishments shine. This is the place where you should brag.

 

Ask for Pro Recommendations

The “Recommendations” section can add a LOT of value to your LinkedIn profile.

Haven’t worked a job yet? That’s okay, you can still use recommendations to your advantage!

Ask your professors if they can write up a brief recommendation on LinkedIn. The classroom counts. Your professors can share their experience with your work performance and most teachers would be happy to help you out as a reference.

You’ve also worked on team projects in the classroom. Ask one of your classmates to provide a recommendation on what it’s like to work with you. Word-of-mouth recommendations are powerful.

(Don’t be like me. For a while, my one recommendation on LinkedIn was from my mom. Super embarrassing. 😳)

For more on how to write an awesome LinkedIn profile, check out this book: Linkedin: Tell Your Story, Land the Job. It breaks down the steps and explains how to get started with networking on the platform.

Want to know more about using social media like Instagram on your job search?

Keep reading.

 

How to Use Instagram to Land a Job After College

Don’t Know Where to Look for Jobs? Try Social Media.

Think using Instagram is all about pretty images?

It’s not. Browsing your feed is a lot of fun but you can also use Instagram to boost your professional image. How’s this? By building your “personal brand” on the platform–especially if you’re in an industry that runs heavy on aesthetics.

When people refer to your personal brand, it just means the way you market yourself online. In this case, you’re marketing yourself to potential employers.

Here are some things to keep in mind:

 

Keep Your Username and Bio Professional

That means it shouldn’t be @xoxo_sarahhh17.

There’s nothing wrong with a cute username, but it probably won’t impress pros who come across your profile. In fact, I’d recommend you create a second account for your personal life and professional image. It’s really easy to switch between profiles inside the app by adding a new account.

Your bio should also include a short statement about the work you do (or are looking to do!)

 

Use All the Hashtags

Hashtags can transform Instagram into a search engine. You can add hashtags to your posts in order to help your profile get found by people AND to hunt for jobs.

You can look for jobs by searching hashtags like:

  • #hiring
  • #nowhiring
  • #jobopening
  • #jobsearch

If you pop in any hashtags into the search on Instagram the app will also suggest several related hashtags, so you can easily find other hashtags that might be useful.

Want additional insight into how to use Instagram for your career? Instagram for Marketing ebook is available and will cost you less than a cup of coffee from Starbucks.

So what does this all mean?

Odds are that you’re already on social media every day. Sometimes all it takes is knowing where to look for jobs and a little creative thinking to stand out. What’s stopping you?

If you need more help, leave us a comment below.

Resources

5 Books to Help You Jumpstart Your Dream Career

5 Books to Help You Jumpstart Your Dream Career

Why is choosing a career so hard?

Even if you think you have it figured out before you get to college, there’s a good chance you’ll change your mind along the way–and that’s totally okay!

The path to success looks different for everyone. If you need help deciding what to do with your life, here are 5 books you should check out to help your career.

 

Now What?: The Young Person’s Guide to Choosing the Perfect Career by Nicholas Lore

5 Books to Help You Jumpstart Your Dream Career

Most of us don’t have everything figured out by the time we get to college. Not to mention, college seems to offer endless options that make it even harder to figure out what path we want to take.

According to Nicholas Lore, only 30% of college graduates are satisfied with their careers. His book aims to change that.

Now What? Is a guide written to help you decide what you want to do with your life. The author designed the guide to be 100% interactive with charts, worksheets, and quizzes. (Who doesn’t like taking quizzes?)  The idea behind this being that the more we connect with the book, the more actionable the advice become.

It’s a solid read for a wide range of young adults, from high school students to college students to brand new graduate who’ve already begun their career.

 

Cracking the Tech Career: Insider Advice on Landing a Job at Google, Microsoft, Apple, or any Top Tech Company by Gayle McDowell

5 Books to Help You Jumpstart Your Dream Career

Want to work in tech? Not just any tech company but the TOP ones:

Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Snapchat…

The list goes on. But the point is, it’s not easy to make it into these companies. However, with the right approach, you can become a standout applicant.

Gayle McDowell previously wrote another book on how to break into the tech industry back in 2004. She discontinued it and published this version to keep the advice up to date. As an insider to the tech industry herself, the author gives you real-life examples with a straightforward glimpse into the tech culture.

This book provides the advice they don’t teach you in class:

  • How to write your resume
  • What to include in your cover letter
  • The best way to prepare for an interview
  • How to handle your job offer
  • The details on salary negotiation
  • How to map out your long-term career path

Cracking the Tech Career is best suited for current students or brand new graduates. (If you already work in tech, you probably know a lot of the information!)

 

Roadmap: The Get-It-Together Guide for Figuring Out What to Do with Your Life by Roadtrip Nation

5 Books to Help You Jumpstart Your Dream Career

Written by the team behind the documentary Road Trip Nation, this book is a really unique career guide.

The authors acknowledge that it’s totally fine to not understand what we want out of our futures yet–but the main idea behind the book is taking action. Oftentimes, we fail at achieving our dreams only because we take any action on TRYING to accomplish them.

What makes this practical guide so awesome is how they provide you with inspiration with a lists of projects for you to try out. These projects are designed to help you figure out where to start, which is why I love it.

The authors take this big idea–what do you want to do with your life–and explain how we just have to start with baby steps. Those first baby steps will help us figure out what the next baby step is. They offer tons of quotes and examples, but the overall mood of the book is 100% positive.

 

You Majored in What?: Designing Your Path from College to Career by Katharine Brooks

5 Books to Help You Jumpstart Your Dream Career

Not sure what kind of job you can get with that English degree? There are more opportunities out there besides just teaching.

(Not to say teaching isn’t an incredible field–it definitely is–but you don’t have to feel boxed into that career if it’s not the right fit for you.)

We don’t walk away from college knowing everything. Actually, we don’t walk away from ANY job knowing everything, even with years of experience. Therefore, landing a new job is all about how to market yourself to potential employers.

The author teaches you how to make your education a selling point in job interviews. She explains you simply make your experiences, both personal and professional, relevant to whatever job you’re interviewing for.

This book was written with current college students in mind–students who might not even have their major figured out yet. The questions and exercises here are designed to get you exploring the themes and interests of your life to define your true dreams.

 

Pivot: The Only Move That Matters Is Your Next One by Jenny Blake

5 Books to Help You Jumpstart Your Dream Career

Jenny Blake is the author of The Life After College and runs a podcast also titled pivot. This read also includes exercises (Are you sensing a pattern? Take action!) but they’re grouped into a 4-step method that’s easy to follow. The author fills the book with detail, anecdotes, and interviews.

A lot of us get started in a career that we thought we wanted, and we realize that the reality wasn’t a part of our dreams. but it’s tough to figure out what we want to change.

Jenny Blake acknowledges that it’s okay for us to change our minds and take a step back before we figure out what’s next.

These exercises are designed to motivate you to take the first step toward deciding where to go next. The action steps push you to do more than just read the book. She wants you to actually take the next step, however small it is.

7 Good Beach Reads for Summer 2018

7 Good Beach Reads for Summer 2018

Ready to escape the “real world” this summer?

Whether you’re prepping for your next beach vacation or headed to your friend’s backyard pool, nothing beats resting by the water with a good book in hand.

We’ve rounded up some brand new releases (and a couple of classics) to take along with you this year on summer vacation.

Let’s take a look at some of the best summer reads of all time.

 

1. The Perfect Couple – by Elin Hilderbrand

7 Good Beach Reads for Summer 2018

Elin Hilderbrandoften referred to as “The Queen of the Summer Beach Read”is releasing her latest novel just in time for your summer break this year.

The story starts out with your typical wedding season in Nantucket. But right before the ceremony starts? The soon-to-be bride is murdered and suddenly everyone in the wedding ceremony has become a potential suspect. Hilderbrand’s new book has it all, from mystery and suspense to romance.

 

2. The High Season – by Judy Blundell

7 Good Beach Reads for Summer 2018

Looking for a book full of laughs? Judy Blundell’s new release is packed with both drama and entertainment.

(If you’re an Elin Hilderbrand fan, you’ll probably enjoy unwinding with this book as well.)

The story follows Ruthie Beamish, a divorced mom with a house in the Hamptons. She rents her beach house to guests each summer so she can continue to afford her beloved home.

Meanwhile, a new guest arrives this year that threatens to steal Ruthie’s entire lifeincluding her friends, family, and ex-husband.

 

3. The High Tide Club – by Mary Kay Andrews

7 Good Beach Reads for Summer 2018

This book became an immediate New York Times bestseller when it was released last month.

Are you intrigued by scandal and tales from the glamorous era of dinner parties in the 1940s? You’ll definitely want to take this one along with you on your next trip. Nothing beats the fabulous stories from this bygone era.

Mary Kay Andrews is known for her great summer beach reads, and the story of Josephine Warrickthe eccentric 90-year-old heiressis no exception.

 

4. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine: A Novel – by Gail Honeyman

7 Good Beach Reads for Summer 2018

Eleanor Oliphant doesn’t care who it isshe doesn’t want to socialize with anyone.

And she’s perfectly okay with that.

The protagonist of Gail Honeyman’s novel is a relatable character for anyone who has ever felt like they’re the epitome of awkward moments or saying the wrong thing.

Reese Witherspoon is a huge fan of this one! You’ll notice she recommended the novel for her book club pick, but Reese loved it some much she’s planned to turn it into a major movie release.

 

6. When Life Gives You Lululemons – by Lauren Weisberger

7 Good Beach Reads for Summer 2018

Remember the hit The Devil Wears Prada? Lauren Weisberger authored the infamous book that became the wildly popular filming starring Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway.

She’s back this summer with her latest book…and it follows one of Lauren’s favorite characters from The Devil Wears Prada: ex-assistant Emily Charlton.

Emily has moved on from the world of Vogue to run a PR firm in Hollywood, but she’s run out of clients and needs to sign a new one. Fast. Except after she signs up to represent A-list supermodel Karolina, Emily discovers her latest client is full of shocking behavior and scandal.

 

7. Surprise Me – by Sophie Kinsella

7 Good Beach Reads for Summer 2018

Ever felt like you’ve been in a relationship rut? That’s what happens to Sylvie and Dan.

They’ve been married for 10 years when they start to realize their relationship has is sliding down the slippery slope of TOO comfortable territory.

Fearing they’re at the beginning of a boring marriage, Sylvie and Dan decide to start surprising each other. This light-hearted novel is packed with silliness and humoronce their little surprises start to backfire.

 

7. Tell Me Lies – by Carola Lovering

7 Good Beach Reads for Summer 2018
Excited to finally break free from the home where she grew up, Lucy Albright decides to embrace the wild rollercoaster ride of college life.

It’s everything she had been hoping for…but things quickly turn chaotic when she meets Stephen DeMarco.

They fall for each other fast. However, Lucy knows he’s hiding something. What could Stephen’s big secret be? You’ll have to take this book with you to find out.

Photo: by rawpixel

The Best Summer Jobs for College Students in 2018

Best Summer Jobs for College Students in 2018

Can I be totally honest with you?

Getting good grades in college isn’t THE most important goal for an undergraduate student.

Look, graduating with honors is an incredible achievement. If you plan to apply to grad school or continue your education, earning high grades is your main focus. But you know what else is equally valuable, yet less discussed?

Having work experience.

If you’ve never gained any work experience before graduating, you’ll find the job search to be pretty tough. According to the NACE’s Job Outlook 2017 survey, more than 90% of employers prefer to hire candidates with work experience. 65% of that group prefer candidates to have relevant work experience to the job they’re applying for.   

With this in mind, summer is the perfect time to find a seasonal job. Plus, it never hurts to earn some extra cash!

So what type of work should you look for as a student? Here are 6 summer jobs suited for college students in 2018 (even if you have no experience).

6 Summer Jobs for College Students

Best Summer Jobs for College Students in 2018

1. Tutoring

Tutoring is awesome work for a student. It’s flexible and can pay pretty well for a part-time gig, especially depending on your location. To make your summer job even more beneficial, tutor students in a subject that’s related to your studies.

Tutoring companies are often looking for K-12th grade tutors, and the pay usually starts at $25 per hour. You can also seek tutoring positions for the ACT or SAT exams–these can pay up to $50-60 per hour!

2. Office Temp Job

While working in an office doesn’t sound like a fun summer job, you get the opportunity to add valuable experience to your resume.  Especially if your field will likely lead you to an office job.

There are a ton of positions in any company that works out of an office, but without any experience, you should be looking for temp jobs for entry level positions, like data entry, administrative assistant, or receptionist. You can search for temp agencies in your area or apply to temp jobs on your own search using Indeed, LinkedIn, or even Craigslist.

3. Student Research Assistant

Want to learn on the job and keep your brain refreshed over summer break? Research assistant positions can pay anywhere from $10-18 per hour. You develop skills like communication, critical thinking, and how to analyze data.

If you plan to continue your education after undergrad school, student research assistant jobs look great on your resume.

4. Retail Job

Unless you’re a fashion major, you might be wondering how retail applies to your future. But don’t knock it right away. Retail jobs offer a lot of flexibility, and the summertime is a major hiring season for retailers. Plus, you can quickly move up the ranks in a retail job.

For example, I know a grad student who took a part-time sales position during the semester. She was a hard worker and quickly earned a small promotion. Not even two months later she was offered a temporary management position for the summer.

Retail doesn’t have much to do with this student’s future path, however, she can show growth in a company while speaking to leadership and other transferable skills management offers you.

5. Tech Job

The tech industry is booming–get your foot in the door! Tech jobs don’t have to be about web development and programming (though those are great skills for any graduate to have).

They can vary across a wide range of industries, including marketing, social media, and software engineering. Breaking into the tech industry is a worthwhile opportunity for every job candidate.

6. Internship

It’s not too late to still get that summer internship…if you act fast. Companies are still posting internship opportunities, even though we’re in the first week of June. Check out Indeed.com and LinkedIn.

The upside to this is the hiring process will likely be faster because they’re looking to fill these internship spots–and you win the oppotunity to gain direct experience in your field.

5 Cheap Summer Vacation Trips for College Students

5 Cheap Summer Vacation Trips for College Students

Summer is here. Have you made any vacation plans yet?

While Netflix binges might seem irresistible, you won’t create memories or lasting friendships on the couch. Make this summer your most exciting one yet and build your own adventure!

Don’t think you can afford to take a vacation? I know the feeling, but sometimes a small adventure can become a thrilling experience. You can plan that graduation trip or weekend getaway with your friends, even if you don’t have tons of money to spend.

Here are 5 summer vacation ideas for college students in the US.

 

1. Go Camping

Take a camping trip with your friends for a getaway that everyone can afford. And the best part? You won’t even have to travel far. Every state has national parks you can take advantage of for a short road trip.

Check out the rules for the park you want to visit because each one will vary on the their rules and pricing. I’ve gone camping for as little as $3 for a 3-day parking permit! Of course, major parks like Yellowstone can cost between $30-50 for a parking fee, but split between a group of friends it’s still way cheaper than booking a hotel or cabin.

Borrow a tent or invest in a lightweight tent, like this Amagoing tent (it fits up to 4 people). Tents can get pricey, but if you’re not a serious camper there’s no need to invest in an expensive option. You don’t need much to enjoy the camping experience. Just being surrounded by nature and relaxing with your friends is enough to refresh you from a long semester.

 

2. Tour Your Own City

Chances are, even if you live a major city you’ve never experienced everything it has to offer. It’s easy to put off local activities when you tell yourself you can just visit on another day, or maybe the novelty of some attractions wear off when they become overrun by out-of-towners.

But playing tourist in your own town IS actually cool and budget-friendly. (Not from the city? Take a short road trip to the closest city in your state!)

Make it a weekend escape. You can book a cheap hostel or pitch in on a hotel room with your friends–staying away from home will make the experience feel even more special. Plus, it helps you avoid further procrastination on the idea. You’re not going to waste the money you spent on booking a place to stay…

Afraid some well-known tourist spots might be too expensive? Don’t worry, most attractions offer student discounts.

5 Cheap Summer Vacation Trips for College Students

3. Spend the Day Hiking

Looking for some excitement with your crew this summer? Go on a hike!

Hiking makes an awesome day trip. It’s also an incredible workout…made even better by the fact you barely realize you’re working out. Hiking is practically free. The only tools a beginner needs to bring along are comfortable shoes, water, snacks, and sunscreen.

Research the trails in your area. You might be surprised to discover there are scenic hiking spots right in your backyard. Plan out your route ahead of time to convince your friends to join you on the trail.

4. Plan a Road Trip

Some of my favorite memories from college are linked to roads trips my friends and I took, even if it was just overnight or a 2-day getaway.

Here’s why you should take a road trip:

  • You find new places you probably wouldn’t discover otherwise.
  • Spending hours in a car encourages bonding and fun conversations.
  • You have the opportunity to become more spontaneous.

Still seems expensive? It doesn’t have to be a month-load road trip across the country. There are plenty of destinations in every region. Your road trip can be in your own state or just a few hours down the road. If there’s a group of you, pitch it on a hotel room.

If you’re traveling with one friend? Cut costs by camping out in your car with an air mattress that inflates to fit across the backseat of a car. I used this air mattress for a road trip through Colorado and we loved it.

Just keep in mind one thing. While last-minute decisions and stops along the way are part of the action, you should at least map out some road trip destinations in your region first.

5 Cheap Summer Vacation Trips for College Students

5. Go on a Food Tour

Who doesn’t love good food?

Plan a local “cheap eats” food tour this summer for a cheap trip. You can make one big run of it or spread it out over the summer. A good friend of mine loves the TV show Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. We made it a point to try as many food destinations from the show as possible in our area a couple of summers ago. Most of them were totally new to us and it felt good to support mom-and-pop restaurants.

Guy Fiere has a bestselling book series based on his show. This edition of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives is great to have on hand for traveling–the print version comes with a pullout map of the US that features every restaurant location.

5 Upcoming Movies Based on Books in 2018

5 Upcoming Movies Based on Books in 2018

Do you feel the books is always better than the adaptation?

Books have always been a source of inspiration for Hollywood. However, book-to-screen adaptations have exploded on the screen lately. In movies AND tv shows. Your favorite character on that new show you’ve been binge-watching? Their story might have started as a novel first.

And it’s always fun to watch that story come to life…even if you like the book better.

If you’re on the lookout for some summer reading material, here are 5 upcoming movies based on books to add to your list.

Check them out before they hit the theaters this year.

 

1. Where’d You Go, Bernadette? By Maria Sample

5 Upcoming Movies Based on Books in 2018

15-year-old Bee lives in Seattle with her unconventional family. Bee is a straight-A student and considers her mom, Bernadette, to be her best friend. The family is in the middle of planning a vacation to Antarctica when Bernadette suddenly goes missing.

This quirky story is told through the eyes of Bee, who is determined to find her mom. The author explores the use of emails, text messages, letters, bills, and medical reports to narrate the story alongside Bee.

Movie release date: October 17, 2018

Starring: Cate Blanchett, Judy Greer, and Kristen Wiig

 

2. The Black Hand: The Epic War Between a Brilliant Detective and the Deadliest Secret Society in American History by Stephen Talty

5 Upcoming Movies Based on Books in 2018

Want to hear how the mafia emerged? The Black Hand is based on the true story about the beginning of the mob. It dates back to 1903, where there was a clash between Italian and Irish immigrant in New York City.

Even though the book offers a ton of historical context, it reads like a powerful fiction novel. I have to admit, I can’t wait for this one to hit theaters–if the film is anything like the book, it’s guaranteed to thrill viewers.

Movie release date: TBD 2018

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio

 

3. Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

5 Upcoming Movies Based on Books in 2018

This international bestseller is perfect as a beach read. Especially if you’re interested in fashion…there are a TON of designer names dropped in here. The book follows Nick and Rachel, as their two-year-long relationship is put to the test by Nick’s family.

They travel to Singapore to visit his elite, wealthy family and what follows is a satire of the mega-rich lifestyle in Singapore. However, the movie version is also drawing a ton of buzz due to it’s all Asian-American cast (which is a first for Hollywood).

Movie release date: August 17, 2018

Starring: Constance Wu, Henry Golding

 

4. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

5 Upcoming Movies Based on Books in 2018

Most of us struggle through the beginning of adulthood because we’re overwhelmed with the number of choices in front of us. This classic novel makes this aspect of entering life relatable, whether you’ve ever suffered from depression or not.

I read this book during high school–and plan to revisit it this year before the movie release–and many years later the vivid language still stands out in my mind.

Movie release date: TBD 2018

Starring: Dakota Fanning, Patricia Arquette

 

5. Boy Erased by Garrard Conley

5 Upcoming Movies Based on Books in 2018

This compelling memoir describes the ordeal Garrard Conley endured after he came out to his parents at age 19. Born in rural Arkansas, Garrard is the son of a Baptist pastor and was essentially raised in the church.

His parents pressure him to a gay conversion therapy program, rooted in their church beliefs. If he doesn’t complete the program? He’ll lose everything he’s known in life, including his relationships with his friends family.  

Movie release date: September 28, 2018

Starring: Lucas Hedges, Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe