How to Enjoy Your General Education Classes in College

How to Actually Enjoy Your General Education Classes in College

Kinda sucks, doesn’t it?

You enter college thinking it’s about taking courses on topics you want to study, not more general education requirements.

In reality, most of your first two years of college are spent taking these mandatory classes (aka your “gen ed” courses). Like most things in life, there are pros and cons when it comes to these required subjects.

For example, when you’re undecided on your major general education can help you figure out what classes interest you. Sometimes the topics we think we’re passionate about–or think we should be passionate about–don’t really interest us at all.

Either way, since gen eds are a must-do for graduating from college let’s talk about what you can do to make the most of them.

 

How to Enjoy Your General Education Classes in College

How to Actually Enjoy Your General Education Classes in College

 

Find Out Who Teaches the Class (Before You Sign Up)

If you haven’t already heard of it, Rate My Professors is the website that will become the game-changer to your college experience. You just plug in the name of a professor into their search box (or the name of your school) and you’ll find reviews/ratings of their classes from your fellow students.

Obviously, you should use your best judgment with the reviews. Not every review is reflective of the professor. The students’ effort affects their experience in class too. However, it’s great for getting a rough idea of the experience. If every single rating for a professor is 1 out of 5 or you discover all of the reviews mention an impossible grading system, you probably don’t want to take that class.

I always used Rate My Professors when it came to my gen eds. What did I get out of it? I met some professors that I genuinely loved learning from because they made the class fun.  


Choose Topics that Grab Your Attention

Even though they’re required courses, you get to choose which classes to take. There is still a lot of wiggle room when it comes to general education. Not a fan of geometry? Take a statistics class to fulfill your math requirement. Don’t want to take another American History 100 class? Consider a class in art history or an area of history that interests you.

The more engaged you are in the topic, the better you’ll do in class. It’s just easier when you like what you’re learning. Who knows, you might even decide to switch majors after taking. That’s why colleges recommend you don’t put off these courses. You might discover a new opportunity or passion in life…or discover your current major isn’t the path you wanted to take after all.

If you take these classes early on, there’s still plenty of time left to change your major or figure out what industry excites you.

 

Don’t Make it Too Hard on Yourself

Not a morning person? Think carefully before you sign up for that 8 am MWF class. Like I mentioned earlier, you should choose your classes based on what subject matter interests you. Not on the convenience, availability, or how easy you think it will be.

Some courses might fit better into your schedule, but that doesn’t mean they’re a good fit. If you think about it, each class costs you hundreds of dollars in tuition. Why take something that is a total bore and waste of your time?

In order to make the most of your general education, don’t take a class that will make you miserable. Or if you take the class and realize it’s not for you, drop it ASAP before the cutoff date.

 

Talk to Your Classmates

Your gen eds are a great place to meet people outside your major. Engage with your classmates!

You can find amazing new friends and create relationships with people. Once you get to your junior year of college, the rest of your classes will mostly be with the same group of people. General education courses can introduce you to cool friends you may not have met on campus otherwise.

4 Reasons Why You Should Do an Internship in College

Why You Should Do an Internship

You’ve heard the advice a bazillion times.

Get experience before you finish school and you’ll have a better shot at getting hired when you graduate. Everyone makes it sound so easy…as if your schedule wasn’t already packed with exams and studying.

Here’s the thing:

Internships are a stepping stone that can launch your entire career. Sound too good to be true? It’s not. Formers interns report higher rates of employment and higher salaries than recent graduates who didn’t complete an internship.

But you know what else? Internships can offer you a ton of advantages when it comes to your future work (and personal life).

Let’s look at four reasons why you should do an internship.

 

#1 You’ll Discover What Things Are Really Like

To begin with, college internships let you see what it’s really like in the trenches. You get the opportunity to experience the reality of working in a particular role, or what it looks like to work for a specific company.

Why should you care? Believe it or not, your dream job isn’t always what it seems. I’ve been there myself. An internship lets you test out your dreams before you’re 3-years-deep into a career you absolutely hate.

If you find yourself on a career path you despise, you have to start all over again. This might not seem like a big deal. However, you might realize you can’t stand to work another minute at your stupid job at a time in your life when you want to focus on other things. Like your personal life. Or earning a higher income.

Without interning, you won’t really know what your vision looks like until you accept the position. Then you’re kinda stuck until you figure a way out.

 

#2 You Can Break Into Ultra-Competitive Industries

Want to break into an industry with fierce competition? You’ll need experience. There’s no other way around it unless you have some powerful contacts.

Internships lead to the chance to build an incredible network, spice up your resume, and learn the realities of your potential career path. These are all golden opportunities. You’ll be able to beef up your resume with your accomplishments, new job, and technical skills, giving you job experience that employers are seeking out today.

But let’s back up a little bit. Why does networking matter so much?

You often hear that finding a job is about who you know. This is often portrayed in a negative light; people sometimes look down on a candidate who landed a job based on their connections. But there’s more to the story than what it seems.

Networking doesn’t have to be sleazy.

It’s simply about having contacts in the industry who know the type of work you’re capable of producing. These are people who can trust you. These types of referrals can get you far, so stay in touch with your industry network! It’s easier than ever keep contact with these connections online, via email or a social network like LinkedIn.

Why You Should Do an Internship

#3 You’ll Learn How to Handle Situations

When you work as an intern, you get a glimpse into “the real world” of professional environments.

You see, there are many different departments within an organization or company. You learn how each of these departments interact with each other. Ultimately, you see how your job role affects other departments. You’ll learn more about how your work benefits your future employers–which helps you sell yourself as the perfect candidate–and learn how to climb the ladder to reach your end-goal.

You also gain experience working under pressure. Yes, you’re learning this in college, but it’s a lot different at your job. You get to make decisions and show your boss what you’re truly capable of.

But there’s one small catch. You might also get a first-hand glimpse into office politics. While you hope to avoid workplace drama, it’s inevitable sometimes. As much as it sucks, you want to learn how to handle these situations like a pro (so you can avoid them in the future).

 

#4 It Can Lead to a Full-Time Offer

While there’s no guarantee, you might get hired on as a full-time employee after your internship is finished.

I’ve seen it happen over and over again with my peers. Many companies will hire from their intern pools. It’s just easier that way because they’ve already devoted their time and energy into training you. Hiring for a job is a long process and these positions need to be filled!

Plus, once employers know how amazing your work is and can see with their own eyes how much value you add to their team, they won’t ever want you to leave.

 

So When Should You Start Looking?

If you’re looking for a summer internship, February is the best month to apply. It doesn’t hurt to start searching for what’s out there in the meantime. That gives you time to work on your resume and portfolio too.

But I’m going to let you in on a secret. Another option is applying for a fall or spring internship: there’s far less competition.

This is especially important if your field is in a hyper-competitive industry. For instance, I have a friend who attends one of the best schools in this country. She couldn’t find a summer internship, even though she applied to dozens. What did she do? Even though she felt discouraged, she kept searching over the summer.

By July, she landed the fall internship of her dreams.

Some programs require an internship before you can graduate. Other programs don’t make it mandatory but will offer credits toward your degree. If it’s not required, the choice is yours…but I think it’s worth it.

Resource:

How To Land Your Dream Internship: Proven Step-By-Step System To Gain Real World Experience by Tam Pham

Why is Crazy Rich Asians Important? Here are 5 Reasons to Read the Novel.

It’s already crushed tons of records over the last month, but Crazy Rich Asians shows no signs of slowing down its box office domination yet.

The mainstream rom-com has become the biggest summer hit in this genre since 2015. Why all the buzz? Why is Crazy Rich Asians important? Well, it’s significant for two reasons. In the first place, Crazy Rich Asians is the first Hollywood studio film with an all-Asian cast in over two decades.

Not to mention, it’s an opportunity for us regular folk to indulge in the lush, over-the-top fantasy lifestyle of the mega-rich.

How can you pass that up? It’s pure, fun escapism.

If you haven’t had a chance to catch the movie, go see it! Meanwhile, you should also check out the bestselling novel by Kevin Kwan. If you enjoyed the movie, you’ll love reading the books. Just be warned: they’re highly addictive.

If you aren’t familiar with the novel yet you probably want a little backstory, right?

The plot follows a young couple, Nick and Rachel. They’ve been dating for two years in the States, but Nick wants to bring Rachel to stay with his family in Singapore for the summer. When they arrive in Singapore, Rachel discovers her boyfriend is crazy rich.

Here are 5 reasons why you should read Crazy Rich Asians (and the rest of the trilogy).

 

1. RICH CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT

There are a bazillion characters to keep track of in this book. But they’re highly entertaining! Nick comes from a huge family, but as you get further along in the book you start to recognize everyone by their personality and how they’re all connected.

The novel digs deeper into the character development–it really fills in those gaps that weren’t fleshed out in the movie. While I personally enjoy Nick and Rachel’s love story, his family members are what make the story hilarious.

 

2. YOU’LL GET SUCKED IN BY THE DRAMA

If you think your family is out there wait until you meet Nick Young’s circle of relatives. They’re unwelcoming toward Rachel, to say the least. Nick’s family believes she’s in it for the money– they refuse to accept her because she’s an American. This leads to a whole lot of drama and entertainment from everyone.

And if you have trouble keeping up with the zillion characters in his family? There’s a family tree to help you follow along.

 

3. PEEK INTO ANOTHER CULTURE

The author, Kevin Kwan, includes snippets of Malay language throughout the book. This is one reason why I highly recommend the print version of this novel: He offers translations via footnotes throughout the book. On the Kindle version, these notes can appear of out of order.

Not only is the book rich with language, but you get to look at another culture. One that I didn’t previously know much about. Crazy Rich Asians lets you imagine the beautiful landscapes, mouth-watering food, and designer clothing of the wealthy elite in Singapore.

 

4. RICH AND DESCRIPTIVE DETAILS

Crazy Rich Asians paints an impressive portrait of opulence and culture. Seriously, you’ll be dying to taste all of the food he describes. You can see the exotic, vivid landscapes come to life across the pages. The glitz of luxury makes this book the perfect escape.  

 

5. IT’S AN EASY AND LIGHTHEARTED READ

Whether you need a break from the whirlwind of school or just want to read something amusing, this novel is a breeze to get through. You could easily read this in a day. Between the fantasy and drama, I couldn’t put it down.

It’s perfect to take along as a vacation read or you can save it for a rainy Saturday. And once you finish? Trust me, you’ll have questions. It gets even better with the sequels, China Rich Girlfriend and Rich People Problems.

So what are you waiting for? Check out the movie while it’s still in theaters and grab a copy of the book today!

Is College Worth the Cost in 2018?

Is College Worth the Cost in 2018?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Want to know whether college is still worth it in 2018?

Here’s a crazy fact: If you add up all of the student loan debt in the US, it reaches over $1.4 trillion dollars. It’s hard to visualize just how much a trillion dollars is.

But here’s an idea:

A trillion dollars laid out next to each other would reach the sun. Likewise, a trillion dollars is nearly the amount of money currently in circulation in the entire country.

Currently, the average college student graduates with $31,000. Paying off the burden of student loans can take decades, depending on what field you work in post-college and how much total debt you take on. For one thing, graduate, law, and medical degrees rack up significantly more tuition than a 4-year undergraduate degree.

If you add up the costs, is college really worth the debt today? Let’s weigh in.

College is Expensive

While the costs for tuition and books have steadily increased over the last 30 years, so has the value of a college degree.

How so?

Well, the average starting salary for a college grad has never been higher. According to Time, the average pay for new college graduates is right around $50,000.

(Want to find out how much the Class of 2018 is really earning? Click here to find out.)

So this means that yes, we’re paying more to attend college. But we’re also getting more opportunity from it than our parents or the generations before us.

A recent study conducted by Georgetown University found that people who graduate from college earn around $17,000 more per year than high school graduates. That adds up to a million more over your lifetime. Considering we need between $1 million to $1.5 million saved up to retire, attending college can help secure your future.

Is College Worth the Cost in 2018? Unemployment rate chart by level of education.

This graph from the Bureau of Labor Statistics compares the average weekly pay and unemployment rates based on your level of education.

College is a Gamble

We already know that some college degrees will pay off faster than others. The average salary in technology, medicine, or science is going to much higher than a starting salary in arts or humanities.

That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t pursue arts if that’s our passion. But should we go the route of student loans in that case?

It’s a gamble.

If you decide to pursue one of these routes–like sociology, arts, psychology, or political science–consider how much you’ll realistically earn in 5-10 years before you take out student loans. In this case, it’s probably wiser to seek financial aid in the form of scholarships. The debt isn’t worth it.  

 

Not All Debt is Bad

Having a little bit of debt can actually be beneficial.

After all, taking out student loans, car payments, or credit cards is how you start to build your credit history.

If you’ve never borrowed money, you don’t have any credit. This makes it harder to take out a loan for large purchases in the future–like when you’re ready to buy a house

When you make on-time payments on your debt, you’re demonstrating you can borrow money responsibly and pay it off. I saw this happen first hand when I paid off my first car and my credit score jumped up to excellent!

I still have a significant amount left on my student loans, but my credit has never looked better.   

However, I wish I had known exactly what I was getting myself into when I borrowed money in college. Nobody really explained student loans to me, they just let me rack up debt with no questions asked. The Graduate Survival Guide: 5 Mistakes You Can’t Afford To Make In College is a fantastic resource for high school seniors or any students who want to understand their financial decisions better.

 

In Conclusion

Is college worth it today? That is ultimately your call to make, but I think it’s absolutely worth every penny. If I could do it all over again, I’d still go back to college.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.

Resources

The Graduate Survival Guide: 5 Mistakes You Can’t Afford To Make In College by Anthony O’Neal

Student Loan Planning: A Borrower’s Guide to Understanding and Repaying Student Loan Debt by Ryan H Law

Paying for College Without Going Broke, 2018 Edition: How to Pay Less for College (College Admissions Guides) by Princeton Review

 

5 Inspirational Books for College Students: Freshman to Senior Year

5 Inspirational Books for College Students: Photo of two women studying

Between classes, studying, work and a personal life–college is a serious balancing act. No matter what year you’re in.

For instance, everything feels foreign during freshman year. You’re encountering new situations and the exhilarating experience of being on your own for the first time. It’s exciting…but you probably have a lot of questions.

But what about when you reach your junior or senior year? Once more, you’re close to a huge life transition. Now you’re faced with thoughts about your potential future path.

Here are 5 inspirational books every college student should have around for those times when you need a pick-me-up.

 

Shame Nation: The Global Epidemic of Online Hate

5 Inspirational Books for College Students

We’re all connected online in today’s world. In fact, most of us are on at least 1-2 social media networks (if not more). Social media is fun, entertaining, and an excellent way to stay in touch with your friends.

Especially since college can mark the first time you’ve ever lived away from your hometown.

But what about the flip side of social media? Like cyberbullying. Privacy concerns. Safety threats.

It can happen to anyone if you’re not careful. Shame Nation covers some pretty groundbreaking territory. The authors, Scheff and Schorr, explore the intense backlash and nastiness people can face on social media.

She uses incidents like the 2016 presidential election and high-profile tragedies in recent years to demonstrate how we communicate has changed.

And it’s powerful.

 

The Naked Roommate: And 107 Other Issues You Might Run Into in College

5 Inspirational Books for College Students

Are you the new kid on campus? Pick up a copy of this book.

Moving into your dorm is thrilling, but once your parents leave? It hits you. You’re alone in a (tiny) room living with a total stranger. It’s totally normal to feel a little homesick in this moment, even if you get along perfectly with your roommate.

The Naked Roommate contains letters, stories, and advice from students who’ve been in your shoes before. Some of the advice might seem obvious but most of the tips are great reminders–they cover just about any topic or challenge you could run into at school.

 

How to Win at College: Surprising Secrets for Success from the Country’s Top Students

5 Inspirational Books for College Students

Imagine a straight-A college student. What do you think of first?

Many of us picture someone with their head down in a book, studying in every moment of free time. Or we think of a high-achiever in school on a full scholarship. Someone who is obsessed with their GPA.

These scenarios might be true for many people. But what if the key to success in college was simply thinking outside of the box?

Inside this book, you’ll find the strategies used by real-life students to become standout students. Their advice is unique, no-fluff, and unpredictable.

 

Freshman Year of Life

5 Inspirational Books for College Students

Picture your first year of life away from school. For good.

It’s an exciting thought, but let’s be real–it’s a little intimidating too. You’re trying to find your place in a new professional environment. Maybe you’re moving to a new city. And dating? It can get pretty complicated.

The Freshman Year of Life is a light-hearted and entertaining read. It’s full of short essays from young college graduates, making it a great book to have handy when you need a quick pick-me-up for inspiration.

Their stories are honest and relatable. Each essay offers practical advice that’s perfect for any current students, those who are about to graduate, or recent graduates about to enter the “real world” for the first time.

 

The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter–And How to Make the Most of Them Now

5 Inspirational Books for College Students

Your 20’s is a rollercoaster ride.

You get to share the fun experiences of your twenties…but it can also be a little overwhelming. Sometimes we feel a little lost in the world or unsure of ourselves.

According to author Dr. Meg Jay, your twenties mean something. In fact, they’ll change your life. In a world where we’re constantly told to live in the moment, this book offers a different perspective on life as a twenty-something today.

What’s her point? While we’re still very young in our twenties, we have the chance to build the foundation for the rest of our lives. Dr. Jay covers that in terms of our career and personal lives.  

Why Are College Textbooks So Expensive?

Why Are College Textbooks So Expensive?

Are you sick of tired of paying hundreds of dollars for a textbook you might only crack open once all semester?

Yeah, I thought so.

We all know textbooks are expensive by now. That part doesn’t really come as a surprise to us anymore. On the other hand, that awareness still doesn’t ease the sticker shock of adding up your book costs for one semester.

So why DO textbooks cost a small fortune? Let’s find out.

 

Why Are College Textbooks So Expensive? 

According to the College Board, the average college student in a four-year program pays $1,250 per year on textbooks. That’s a serious obstacle for students who are already dealing with rising tuition costs.

Why Are College Textbooks So Expensive?

The American Enterprise Institute also investigated the rising prices of textbooks. They found that the cost of recreational books, like novels, has gone down.

While college textbooks have gone up nearly 200%. Who’s to blame? There are a number of factors.

 

College Professors Level of Awareness

Professors frequently assign book titles without considering how much the text cost the students…or how much their students will actually USE the books that semester.

It’s not that professors are out to get us. They just might not be aware of how expensive the book really is–or they don’t think about the price at all.

Book publishers pressure educators too. They have sales reps that come onto campus and push the latest edition, bundled with software. At the end of the day, you professor really has no reason to keep the costs of their book down.

In this case, we have to educate our professors as well.

Ask them at the beginning of the semester (or prior to the start of it) if you REALLY need the latest edition of the textbook–or if you can get through the semester with a used copy. Explain to them that you want to do well in their class but the cost of the textbook is holding you back.

 

Book Publishers Want Profits

Publishers play the main role in driving up book costs.

Did you know there are only 5 major book publishers that run the textbook market? That’s right, 80% of the market is controlled by these 5 textbook publishers.

And they’re hungry for profits. They bundle textbooks with software and unique codes that forces students to buy the latest edition.

These traditional publishers don’t make money off you purchasing used books–so they do everything in their power to make those older editions “out of date” and useless.

Why Are College Textbooks So Expensive?

Campus Bookstores Markup Retail Prices  

Your campus bookstore wants to make money too. Book publishers are hungry for profit…but so are universities.

Campus bookstores usually mark the retail price of a textbook up by 25-28%. Depending on how much your book costs, this markup can be significant. That means a $200 textbook becomes $250 at the bookstore.

Look closely at your college bookstore website. You’ll probably come across a pricing policy section that explains what their current markup is.

However, this isn’t to vilify your campus bookstore. It costs them money to run the bookstore–they have overhead like paying their employees. To be honest, many campus bookstores are owned by Barnes & Noble anyway.

 

It Depends on Your Field of Study

Information changes rapidly depending on what field you’re studying. If you’re in a field like medical or science? They’re constantly discovering new information and the textbooks have to be updated as a result.

However, if you’re studying a field like math, you’ll find the information doesn’t really change. With this in mind, you can most likely get away with an older textbook version.

 

Search via Textbook Nova

Fortunately, the internet is changing the textbook industry. Website search engines like ours–TextbookNova.com–can save you money.

Search for your assigned text via the ISBN. The ISBN is the bar-code number for the textbook; it should be 10 digits or 13 digits. Why is this so important? Well, it lets you know that you’re getting the right version/edition of the book.

Once you’ve the right textbook, you’ll see options for buying it full price, used, or renting it (usually the cheapest). If you want to go with a used edition, you can price compare multiple price range options based on the condition of the book.

 

What’s Next?

All in all, today’s textbook publishing model and the rising costs won’t last. It just isn’t sustainable. Open-sourced material is spreading online and the internet has given students far more options for price shopping.

The more we understand about why we’re paying so much for a textbook, the more can do to influence the current system.

 

How to Do Well in College: 5 Tips for Student Success

How to Do Well in College: 5 Tips for Student Success

So you want to learn how to do well in college?

Whether you’re new to campus or want to take things to the next level this semester, here are 5 tips for student success.

Let’s jump into it.

1. Get 7 Hours of Sleep

It might seem like stating the obvious, but getting enough sleep each night is the key to student success.

Why? When you get 7-8 hours of sleep each night, you’ll perform better at school. Rest keeps you alert, focused, and motivated. On the other hand, sleep deprivation can lead to increased anxiety and stress.

But who doesn’t want to sleep more, anyway?

Well, college isn’t exactly known for its downtime. Late night sessions at the library and all-nighters during exam time aren’t exactly news here. And to be 100% honest, there likely will be times where you find yourself up WAY later than planned to finish working on a project or writing the rest of that paper.

Hey, nobody’s perfect.

But if we’re being real, those late night study sessions can usually be prevented with better planning. Yes, you’re juggling a lot in school. You’re busy running from class to class and balancing homework with extracurricular activities or jobs—but you probably have a little more time than you realize.

So how can you find enough time to get in those zZz’s and stay on top of your studies? Keep reading to find out.

How to Do Well in College: 5 Tips for Student Success

2. Break Up Your Tasks

This student productivity idea has two steps. First, find pockets of time where you can complete some work.

Then break up your major projects into smaller chunks. Instead of trying to cram in 150 pages into one study session, you could read a couple of chapters while you’re waiting for your next class to start.

You might need to reorder your to-do list.

I’ll bet that if you find yourself with 10 minutes to kill, you probably spend it on social media. However, keep in mind those few minutes will add up big time throughout the day. What are some other ways you can squeeze in a small task during that time?

I know you can find some pockets of time in your day if you try hard enough. Because the truth is, another benefit of breaking down your tasks is the big assignments become less overwhelming. For example, when you’re working on a paper. Have you ever found yourself staring at a blank page, struggling to get started? Writer’s block is pretty common.

What if you could cut the amount of time you spend on writing in half by turning that 15-page term paper into a step-by-step process?

Start with gathering research, put it into a thorough outline, and then turn it into a paper. If you flesh out your outline, the paper will nearly write itself. (Seriously, try it out and let us know how it goes!)

When you start using your time more efficiently, you can improve your performance.

How’s that? Let’s go back to the cram session. If you’re trying to read 150 pages in one session, it’s tough. You’ll probably rush through the material and skim through a lot of it, missing out on a lot of information.

At the time same, when you know you only need to read 1 or 2 chapters you’ll feel less pressure to rush through the material.

 

3. Participate in Class

Believe it or not, your professors want you to learn.

Participating during their lectures will actually help you retain the material better. This is because it forces you to think critically and analyze what your professor is teaching. What’s more, participation makes the class more interesting.

When your professors know you want to learn, they’ll naturally try to help you in any way they can. Class discussions offer you the opportunity to receive feedback from your professors that will help you improve and grow as a student.

Plus, starting conversations leads to a mentor relationship. If something ever DID come up or you made a mistake, your professor will probably be more understanding with a student they know is hard-working.

How to Do Well in College: 5 Tips for Student Success

4. Get Organized

Now, you don’t need a ton of supplies to stay organized. An accordion binder (labeled for each class) and a planner are a great place to begin.

Take these with you to every single class so they’re always handy. Pencil in assignments, exams, and other major due dates into your planner as soon as you find out about them.

Then, take time at the beginning of each week to (roughly) plan things out.

In this case, you’ll be able to see what’s on your agenda ahead of time and go into each week with a game plan.

 

5. Take Notes (Lots of Them)

You already know you’re supposed to take notes–but I want to offer you one particular piece of advice on note-taking.

Physically write them out. In a notebook during class. Even if your professor gives out printed notes or study guide…take your own. According to NPR, handwriting out notes seems to help your brain retain what you’re learning better than note-taking on a laptop or tablet.

Remember how we said participating in class helps make it more interesting? So does taking notes.

In fact, professors seem to LOVE throwing in extra credit on exams that came directly from lectures. It’s their reward for attending class. It never hurts to take advantage of extra points, right?

 

In Conclusion

Overall, college is learning time management skills. Getting enough rest, organizing your deadlines, and following along in class (through participating and note-taking) are all ways to boost your performance in school.

And breaking down huge projects into smaller tasks will make everything more manageable–and less overwhelming.

Find Out the Average Starting Salary for College Graduates in 2018

Find Out the Average Starting Salary for College Graduates in 2018

I remember it so vividly.

Watching my parents smile proudly at me. Snapping hundreds of selfies with my classmates. Walking across the stage and shaking the dean’s hand.

You never forget the day you graduate from college.

Graduation day is packed with emotion. There’s the rush of excitement, accomplishment, and awe.

The next day? Reality sinks in. It’s time to start your job hunt. You’re thrilled to take the next steps in “the real world” but there’s still a lot of uncertainty.

How long will it take me to find a job? How much will it pay? Where do I even WANT to work?

LendEDU decided to investigate what it’s really like for brand-new college grads entering the workforce this year. They polled 1,000 graduates from the Class of 2018 to see how their job search has gone over the last couple of months (and how much they’re really making).

So what’s the starting salary for a new college graduate?

Let’s look into their results.

 

How Much New College Graduates Should Expect to Make

Good news: LendEDU found that nearly half of the former students they surveyed already found their first full-time job this summer. When asked how they would describe their current situation, they responded:

  • 41.3% of 2018 graduates have landed a job
  • 34.4% are still on the search for a job
  • 24.3% are taking summer off to figure out their next steps

Find Out the Average Starting Salary for College Graduates in 2018

In less than two months, many recent graduates have already ended their job search with success! 20% of those who found a full-time job listed that it wasn’t in a field like tech, health, education, engineering, or in media.

If you’ve ever felt unsure about your job future due to your college major–rest assured that there is still a lot of potential work out there for you.

What’s the Average Starting Salary for College Graduates in 2018?

According to The Class of 2018 Career Report, most students expect to make between $36,000-50,000 per year in their first job out of college. But does this expectation match the job market today?

While over ¼ of new graduate ARE making that much in an entry-level position, 33.4% are actually earning below $35,000.

You might be thinking, “But wait–I went to college to make a good living!”

I know the feeling.

But this study matches my experience with my first job out of college, where I was making $30,000. It wasn’t easy. I was living in a metropolitan city where my rent took up the majority of my income.

However, it wasn’t a major difference from life in college. I knew how to stretch my budget in order to get by. I even saved some money in the first year! It turns out, I wasn’t stuck at that salary for long either–I started searching for jobs after a year of getting experience in my field.

Flash forward 6 months. I had landed my DREAM job and my salary jumped up to expectations. Was it worth sticking out that first year being broke? I definitely think so.  

Here’s a closer look at the results from Salary Expectations vs. Graduates Actual Salary:

Find Out the Average Starting Salary for College Graduates in 2018

As you can see, some graduates are earning over $50,000 but it’s the exception. In this case, their job duties probably involve some specialized skill set or they have work experience under their belt.

 

So How Did These Graduates Find Their First Job?

One of the biggest challenges new graduates face when they’re looking for their first full-time job is knowing where to look.

Then again, it’s never been easier to search for jobs today. You can search online through job boards like Indeed and Glassdoor–or look directly on a company website to find out what roles they’re currently hiring for.

At the same time, don’t ignore your personal network. It turns out nearly 30% of recent college graduates found their job through connections.

Find Out the Average Starting Salary for College Graduates in 2018

Don’t think you have the right connections? Reach out to your friends and family, anyway. They have years of experience (in work AND life) where they’ve built connections. You never know which connections could be valuable.

As you can see from the chart above, there are plenty are ways to find a job outside of your network too.

All in all, it’s safe to say future salary projections are on the minds of every college student. If you’re a current student or soon-to-be graduate, you can prepare for what’s next by gaining some “real world” work experience, an internship, and building your network.

Want to get the full scoop on the rest of the survey results? Check it out here on the LendEDU blog.

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!