Author: Carson Eggers

Why College Students Should Have a Public Library Card

As a college student, you will be spending a large of time studying in the campus library. When you get done with your homework, going to another library is probably the last thing on your mind. It seems useless to have a public library card when you already have access to the universities’ library, but you would be wrong to assume. Here are four reasons why you should get a public library card.Library Books available with card

Entertainment

Most university libraries limit their selection of materials to things needed for academic purposes. They typically do not stock very many books for entertainment purposes. At the public library you’ll find a wide selection of fiction books and new release DVDs. When you finish your homework, you’ll have everything you need to relax and enjoy your free-time.

Free Services

Most public libraries offer a wide range of free or nearly free services to their patrons. Some of the most common services are:

  • Notary
  • Research help
  • Passport applications and pictures
  • Tax filing information
  • Resume evaluation
  • Computer and technology help

If you need a service that the library does not offer, the staff is happy to help you find a place that does provide the service you need.Free Events available with library card

Free Events

Another great reason for visiting public libraries are free events. Libraries frequently have free events going on for the public to enjoy. Traveling speakers and other special guests are always entertaining to go and see. They also offer classes about topics like technology and cooking. You can join different book clubs throughout the year. It is important to note that while almost all public library events are free,  many require you to reserve your place in advance. If you see something that interests you, make sure to secure your spot early.

Community Engagement

Libraries are the heart of a community. When you get involved at your local public library, you are supporting your community as a whole. College students often get a bad reputation for not taking part in matters beyond their college campus. Signing up for a library card is an easy way to get involved in the community!

A public library card is a great resource for college students. Have any more reasons why students should get a public library card? Leave them in the comment section below!

Five Tips for Efficient Class Registration

The semester feels like it just started yesterday, but it’s already time to start planning next semester’s classes. Most colleges start enrolling for classes several months in advanced and competition for the best teachers and time slots is fierce. Registration can be the difference between a great semester and a nightmare. Here are five tips to help make your class registration quick and efficient.

Create a Graduation Guide

One of the best ways to plan your registration is to create a graduation guide. A graduation guide is a semester-by-semester plan of the classes you need to take in order to graduate. This can be a very daunting task, especially early in your college career. However, this is one of the most beneficial things to have when planning to register for classes. Begin by setting aside an evening to sit down and make your graduation plan. Be sure to include classes for all your majors and minors and arrange them so all pre-requisites are met. College graduation may seem a lifetime away, but with a plan in hand you can know the exact semester of your graduation – and that is a great feeling!

Meet With Your Adviser

Its not always fun, but it is always necessary. Your adviser is the guide that will take you from confused freshman to confident graduate. Schedule an appointment with your adviser several weeks before registration so that you have your plan in place when it comes time to enroll. You can take your graduation guide to your adviser for feedback as well. They can double check that your plan is correct and will complete all the requirements for you to graduate.

Check and Clear Registration Holds

Some colleges will place a hold on your account that prevents you from registering for classes if you owe money. Check your hold status in advanced so that when you are able to enroll, you don’t find any surprises. The best way to prevent getting a hold on your account is to pay off fees as soon as they incur. Parking tickets, health center visits, and dorm room damages can all be a factor in your ability to register.

Select Classes and Backups in Advanced

Any college student can tell you that not all professors are equal when it comes to teaching and testing. To make sure you get the professors and class times you want, look through the course offerings in advanced and create the schedule that will work best for you in the upcoming semester. This does not guarantee you will get the classes you want, but having your preferences in advance will save you precious time when you are finally eligible to register. Speaking of time . . .

Register Immediately!

Most colleges use an elevated system of registration. Seniors are able to register earlier than juniors and so forth. This is a great system because it allows upperclassman to get the last classes they need before graduation. However, it can create a bit of a war when it comes time to register for underclassman. Classes have a limited number of seats and the best ones fill up fast. For the greatest chance of getting your preferred course schedule, you should register as soon as possible. If this means setting an alarm to wake up a 6 a.m. when you become eligible to register, then so be it! Get registered and get excited for another great semester!

Class registration is an exciting time every semester, and with a little planning it can be simple. Have any more tips to help register for classes? Leave them in the comments section below!

Laptop Purchasing Guide for College Students

Colleges are becoming more and more integrated with technology everyday. Class registration, assignments, and tests can all be completed from a computer. Most colleges have a computer lab available for student use, but with limited equipment and restrictive hours it may not be possible to exclusively use the campus computer lab. Having a personal laptop is becoming critical to student success in college, but deciding which one is right for you is tough. If you are currently looking to purchase a laptop here are a few things to keep in mind.

Laptop

Performance

When choosing a laptop it is important to keep in mind what your goals are. Certain majors, such as architecture and graphic design, require specific computer programs to complete assignments. Some of these computer programs (Revit, Photoshop, etc.) will require a high-performance device in order to run properly. If you are looking into a major that involves these types of programs, ask an adviser or professor what minimum standards they recommend. Performance indicators include:

  • Processor type
  • System memory size
  • Hard drive size
  • Graphics card

Mobility

The main reason I recommend a laptop over a desktop computer is the ability to carry it to class. Being able to do homework on campus during breaks is extremely convenient. However, some devices are more mobile than others. Make sure you check the weight and size of a laptop before purchase to make sure it is small enough and light enough to carry back and forth to campus. Also, no matter how careful you are, it is going to get banged up a bit while traveling. Check the reviews to see if people complain about it breaking easily. You are going to want something durable that will last you throughout your time in college.

USB

Connections

As mentioned above, certain majors require specific technological capabilities. It may be necessary to connect a printer, monitor, or scanner to your laptop during college. Make sure your laptop has the connection ports necessary to work with all these devices. It is also helpful to have multiple USB ports on your device so you can use more than one memory storage drive at a time.

Warranty

Most major laptop brands include a warranty for the first few days after purchase. If you feel that your device will be undergoing more strain than a normal laptop, you may want to consider purchasing an extended warranty. They are usually available either from the manufacturer or the store where you purchased it. Also, it is possible to get laptop insurance for if the device is stolen, although that is only recommended for extremely specialized laptops valued at over $1,300.

Price

Most college students are on a tight budget when it comes to large technology purchases. Take the time to research multiple sellers to ensure you are getting the best price possible for the laptop you want. Places like Best Buy offer occasional discounts to college students on popular brands and styles.

Purchasing a laptop is a challenging but necessary part of going to college. Have any other tips for purchasing a laptop? Leave them in the comment section below!

Cleaning Guide for Dorm Rooms

Living in a dorm is a wonderful experience. Having meals prepared for you is a luxury every college student misses when they move out of the dorms and into their own apartment. However, just because dorms are meant to be low maintenance living does not mean you can get away with doing nothing. It is important to clean and care for your dorm room so that you don’t lose your security deposit. Having a clean room also keeps you and your roommates healthier and creates a more positive atmosphere. Here is cleaning guide to help you keep your dorm room in top shape!

Supplies

Dorm rooms are typically not very big. You don’t need a whole arsenal of cleaning supplies to get a proper clean. A few staples that are good to have on hand include:

  • Disinfecting wipes
  • All purpose cleaning spray
  • Duster
  • Dish soap
  • Old towels designated for cleaning
  • Air freshener spray (make sure to check with your roommates first to make sure they are okay with the use of air fresheners)

You will also need a vacuum or mop depending on the type of floor in your dorm room. However, most dorms will have these available for check-out at the front desk.

Cleaning

Cleaning is not a very fun or exciting activity, but it is necessary. Taking the time once a month to thoroughly clean everything in your dorm room will keep your place neat and save you time in the long run. A thorough cleaning includes:

  • Dusting all decoration items and knick-knacks
  • Using disinfecting wipes to clean surfaces such as desks, side tables, and cabinets
  • Washing the bedding including sheets and pillow cases
  • Using all purpose spray to clean heavily used or dirty items such as sinks and door handles
  • Vacuuming or mopping the floor depending on the floor type your room has

Other Things to Consider

A once a month clean up is the best way to keep your dorm room in shape. With help from your roommates it can be completed fairly quickly. You should stay proactive between cleanups to keep your room fresh for as long as possible. Wash dishes immediately after you use them. Take out the trash and do laundry as needed to keep piles of dirty objects from building up in your room. Clean up any spills or messes immediately.

With a little work you can keep your dorm room clean and fresh all year long. Have any tips for keeping a dorm room clean? Leave them in the comment section below!

How to Create a Schedule for Success

create a schedule to-do

It’s almost the end of the semester which only means one thing: deadlines! With teachers adding last minute work, semester-long projects approaching their due date, and finals right around the corner, these last few weeks of school can be some of the hardest of the semester. Keeping up with work while staying sane is quite the challenge, but it can be done. The best way to manage these last few weeks is by creating a schedule. Here is a simple guide on how to create a schedule:

1. Make Your Schedule Template

A simple way to do this is by using Excel or another spreadsheet program. Label columns with the dates of the remaining school days and label rows in hourly increments.

2. Block Out Time Slots

It is extremely important to go to class during these last few weeks so make sure you put those into your calendar first. You will also add things like club meetings and appointments that you absolutely have to be at. You should make these events a bold color like red on your schedule so you know they are important and that time isn’t available for other activities.

3.  Add Optional Events

Add events that you want to go to but don’t have to. Things like parties, sporting events, and concerts are more enjoyable than school work, but not as important. If you are running out of time these events are the ones that can be missed for the sake of your grade. Make these events a different color on your schedule than mandatory events so you can tell them apart.

4. Add School Assignments/Projects/Tests

The fourth step will take the most time, but it is also the most important. Go through all of your syllabuses for all of your classes and make a list of the assignments, projects, and tests that you will have for the remainder of the semester. Next, estimate how long each task will take and block out the allotted amount of time on your schedule. Be realistic when estimating task times. You are not going to complete that 20 page report in 30 minutes. Don’t forget to set aside time to study for finals!

5. Add Necessary Personal Tasks

Finally, add time for necessary tasks such as sleeping, eating, and showering. It may seem like overkill to schedule sleeping time, but knowing that you have plenty of time to finish your work and still get a full nights sleep will reduce stress and allow you to sleep without worrying that you are behind. Any time that is not blocked out by these five steps is free time for you to enjoy.

Keeping up with the end-of-semester rush is a daunting task, but it can be accomplished. Making and sticking to a schedule will help you complete your work while still being able to enjoy your last few weeks. Finish strong and good luck! Have a good end-of semester survival tip? Leave it in the comment section below!