Auto Maintenance Basics Every College Student Should Know

Guest Post

You looked forward to the freedom that moving away to college represented, but you didn’t consider how many sacrifices you’d also have to make in the name of independence. Grocery shopping, laundry and taking care of your own auto maintenance were all things that you had completely taken for granted. While this newfound freedom is totally worth all of the extra responsibilities, there’s a learning curve to it all.

Here are the auto maintenance basics you need to know to prevent getting stranded on the roadside and keep your vehicle running well.

car maintenance for college students

Taking your car to college? Here’s what you should know.

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Update on The Secrets of Top Students: First Translation!

I’m excited to announce that my book, The Secrets of Top Students: Tips, Tools, and Techniques for Acing High School and College, is now available in Chinese!  It’s being sold in Taiwan and you can find it here.  According to Google Translate, the title is “Gifted students do not stay up late! To get into elite precision Learning: time management, note and sit secret.”  I’m sure in Chinese it sounds a little more elegant.

The Secrets of Top Students in Chinese!

The Secrets of Top Students in Chinese!

In other news, my book is now available on the Staples website.

I’d also like to thank The Study Dude for highlighting my book in The Voice Magazine.

How to Embrace College Culture As a Long Distance Learner

Guest Post

Thirty years ago, the thought that people could someday experience higher education schooling on a personal computer without ever stepping foot in a physical class room would have been unfathomable. It has been transformative in a time when cost and convenience are both matters which would otherwise inhibit one’s ability to access education.

However, some might argue that a great part of the experience can be lost in translation. Many people who attend online universities tend to be uninterested, or feel out-of-touch, with college culture since these people tend to be later-in-life students or have limitations in regards to physical access to an institution – and that’s okay.

But for those who want the social and cultural experiences of college from the comforts of a strictly online education, it can be difficult to do without extracurricular activities on your schedule. If you are unable to attend school at a physical campus and you would like to be more involved in the college lifestyle, here are four ways to do that from a distance.

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Yes, It’s Possible. Decorate Your Dorm Room on a Budget

By Stephen Collins

When headed off to college for the first time, there’s nothing more exciting and scary than getting your very first dorm room. Moving away from home, meeting and making new friends, even possibly sharing your living space with a roommate; all of these things can make a huge impact on your college life. But, the unfortunate truth is that most college freshman don’t have a huge budget for anything beyond school supplies and basic necessities. So, the question becomes, how can you decorate your new living quarters on a budget?

dorm room

Rearrange

It may sound small, but doing something as simple as changing the arrangement of the current furniture can have a huge impact on the room. Dorm furniture is usually pretty sparse, so moving things into a non-standard layout can both mix things up and create a unique flair and unexpected space. For example, try pushing beds against the walls instead of sticking into the middle of the room to make extra floor space.

Multitask

Dorm rooms aren’t known for their space. One of the best ways to overcome this deficiency is to make sure that nothing in your living area is just one thing. The back sides of doors make great storage spaces as do the spaces below beds. Companies like DormCo specialize in making the most of all the space in your dorm closet with items like hangers and shelf liners. For additional storage in the corner or under the bed, Dorm Trunks has a variety of trunks that can provide storage, security and—with a little design and creativity—additional seating.

Accessorize

Nothing is more boring that white walls, bare windows and plain floors. Consider mixing things up with a unique rug from Dorm Rugs. Add posters, pictures or easy-to-remove wallpaper to cover plain walls. Or, pick up custom blinds from The Shade Store to add add a personal flair to your windows. These also can provide lighting control and privacy for you and any possible roommates.

Personalize

Finding little ways to personalize your living space can add some style while continuously re-energizing you as you face the everyday struggles of college life. Custom bulletin boards from The Container Store can be regularly updated with your dreams and goals or pictures from home to keep you focused when times get difficult. And, for that additional little touch, consider putting a message board on the outside of your door for fun communication with all of your neighbors.

Illuminate

Lighting can make a huge difference on the personality of your dorm and doesn’t have to take a bite out of your wallet. Using Christmas lanterns and lights can highlight various wall decorations or add a unique flair to your ceiling and furniture. Plus, companies like IKEA have a huge selection of inexpensive lamps to fit every style and room decoration.

Whatever you do, keep it uniquely you. You are going to be living in this space, so make sure it is somewhere you want to go at the end of the day.

About the Author: Stephen Collins was born in Phoenix, Arizona and has spent most of his life in the Southwestern United States, playing among the cowboys and aliens. This admitted lover of sci-fi and fantasy developed a passion for the written word early in life and began writing at a young age, mostly for the thrill and joy of the experience. He is currently working on his second book while continuing to weave his wordsmithing magic as a freelance writer.


Heading off to college?  Give yourself the gift of good grades with The Secrets of Top Students!

Should You Choose a Vocational School Over College? 4 Things to Consider

By Ray Holder

The popularity of vocational schools is on the rise. In the past, once you were done with high school, you had two options.

1 – Get into college
2 – Get a job

In most cases the ones who went to college were the lucky ones who could afford to do so either by means of scholarships or their own financial reserves. The few who weren’t so fortunate were forced to get minimum wage jobs as a way of earning a small income. Today, things are much different.

Over the past decade there has been a significant rise in vocational training institutes. People are slowly realizing that they have a lot to offer. In fact, students are now leaning more towards vocational schools than colleges even though they seem to have the money to be able to pay for a college education. And here’s why:

Time to be Safe

1. Vocational schools save time

If you decide to take the traditional route and get a college degree, you would have to spend 4 years on learning the basics of your area of interest. After 4 years, you are free to study further if you wish to specialize. Depending on what you choose to study, you will end up spending 6 odd years on just getting educated.

On the other hand, should you choose to go with a vocational school you would have quite the opposite experience. Vocational courses last for anywhere between 4 and 18 months, depending on what you wish to study. By the end of the course you are more than ready to land a job. There is never any need for further specialization because vocational courses by design are specialized courses.

2. Vocational schools save money

Since vocational schools don’t go on and on for 4 years they don’t cost as much as college. On an average a vocational course from an accredited vocational training institute would probably cost between $14,000 and $20,000. Don’t be daunted by this figure. This is an estimate of total educational costs taking into account all additional costs. Besides, if you enroll in an online vocational school, you will not have to worry about additional costs like cost of living and accommodation.

College tuitions are through the roof nowadays. In addition to tuition you have to consider living costs and accommodation as well. So all in all, it is cheaper and a lot more convenient to attend a vocational school.

Saving-Money

3. Get hands-on experience and be job-ready

Vocational courses are highly specialized courses. They are designed to do one thing and one thing only—prepare you for your vocation. There are no additional irrelevant classes that you are mandated to take. The entire duration of a vocational course is spent in training and preparing students to ensure that they are job ready by the time the course is complete.

You are given a whole lot of training along with practice time and plenty of opportunities for hands-on experience. You needn’t worry about gaining experience in order to land a decent paying job. Vocational courses will give you all the experience you need.
GetHired

4. Land a job easily

Because vocational courses are so specialized and produce highly skilled and well trained individuals, there is a high demand for vocational school graduates in the job market. Also, a lot of vocational schools have placement programs that set their students up with interviews which always result in employment. Some schools also have ties with companies so a certain percentage of students are hired by those companies after every course. Porter and Chester Institute, a vocational training school that is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC) is one such institute that has a placement program for all students who are interested.

With college, there is never a guarantee that you will land a well paying job or any job at all for that matter. Students struggle to gain experience and this puts them at a disadvantage when it comes to finding employment.

So there you have it, the 4 reasons why you should pick a vocational school over a college education. If you are interested in saving time and money and landing a job in as little as 18 months, you know just what to do!

Resources:

http://lifehacker.com/trade-school-might-be-a-better-choice-than-college-her-1484086007

http://www.porterchester.com/

http://www.educationcompass.com/advice-central/top-5-reasons-to-choose-a-vocational-education/

http://www.school-directory.net/career-options/trade-school-vs-traditional-college.html

 

What It’s Like to Work in an Office in India

Wondering what it’s like to work overseas? Check out these useful tips about office life in India.

By Prasad Joshi

Work culture in India is a reflection of the various norms and standards followed by its people. Indians have several cultural yardsticks, which extend to their work culture as well. Thus, it is important that a person who is looking to work in India have some basic ideas regarding business ethics and customs followed here. In India many job seekers prefer online job portals for job search as it eliminates geographical barriers and communicates multiple job vacancies.

Working hours:

Indians work a minimum of eight hours a day, excluding lunch and coffee breaks. However, many Indians spend more than ten hours at work or work on weekends in order to follow the deadline. Only a few multinational companies allow working in flexible working hours.

Nidhi

Decision making:

In India, companies follow the hierarchical system and decision-making is usually from the top to bottom. Some companies invite suggestions from their employees on important decisions or policies, but the opinions of superiors are usually the dominating factor.

Time management:

Though not in personal life, Indians are punctual when it comes to their work life. Arriving to work on time is a must. But, in the case of time management, the mindset of Indians differs from that of Americans. Meetings and seminars can be postponed or rescheduled at a very short notice.

Office Environment:

Indians are friendly and helpful. In India discussing things like one’s academic background and previous work experience is very common and not considered as personal.

Employees spend their 30-50 minute lunch breaks in the lunchroom or cafeteria. It is rare to see anyone eating lunch at their desk.

Following rules and procedures is another important factor while working in India.

Hierarchy:

The relationship between the boss and subordinates is believed to be more formal and hierarchical in India. People in power openly display their ranks according to which importance is given. Subordinates generally do not criticize ideas of their superiors even if they feel so. A clear ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to show disagreement is avoided as it can be considered as rude, instead people show their disagreement indirectly. For instance instead of saying ‘I don’t think this idea will work’, people say ‘The possibility that this idea will work is less’ or ‘We need to do more research to check whether it will be a success’.

While this varies from company to company, the relationship between boss and subordinate is rarely close.

Change:

In the Indian work-culture, people do not accept change easily. Usually a lot of resistance is encountered in order to accept and implement change.


A great career calls for good grades.   The Secrets of Top Students can help you get there!

Looking for Money for College? Check Out These Suggestions

By Ruth Ann Monti

Unless you never take your earbuds out, you’ve no doubt heard the horror stories about student loan debt. The average college graduate left school in 2012 with $29,400 in student loan debt, according to the Institute for College Access & Success. That’s a lot of debt for people just starting out. If you’re entering college or considering it, think about how you will pay for tuition without going into (much) debt. It is possible, but you need to research and plan.

money picture

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