college life

Why “Doing it All” Isn’t Always “Doing it Well

More than ever, students feel the pressure to be absolutely perfect. We are bombarded with countless opportunities to get involved, support a cause, or enhance our resume. The era of FOMO (fear of missing out) is upon us. All hope is not lost! With a little effort, even the busiest among us can find ways to start doing a few things well instead of doing all the things. At eCampus.com, we pride ourselves on specializing in one thing: textbooks. Read ahead to learn a few things from the “doing one thing well” pros..

Invest Your Time

Instead of cramming your schedule full of stuff that won’t matter in 5 years, focus on doing something that will have a long-term benefit. Consider picking up an internship at a local business in place of taking an extra course in Underwater Basket-Weaving. Your hands-on experience (even if it’s unpaid) can help make you a standout candidate for a future job!

When eCampus.com was created in 1999, (See?! We’re a millennial too!) we decided that saving college students thousands on textbooks would create a long-term ripple effect. When you’re able to save on that Math 105 textbook – you’re able to invest in your other hobbies and interests.

Care About It

A foundation in doing a few things well is to make sure that you actually care about them. Take a few minutes to sit down and think, journal, meditate on the things that matter to you. That’s your starting point. Design your schedule and life around the things that make you tick! This will ensure that you stay motivated and focused on achieving your goals. Plus, it will help you weed out the opportunities that may not be suited for your personality.

Residing in the heart of Kentucky, eCampus.com knows the value of having a culture that cares about what we do. Our main focus has always been, and always will be, college students of all kinds. We want to be the most trusted and efficient textbook retailer in the country – and that’s what we try to do every single day!

Relax!

Last but not least, a key to doing a few things really well is to know when to chill. out. Millennials are doing a lot better than their parents in knowing how to self-care, but we aren’t perfect. There is no way that you will be able to do much of anything if you live in a constant state of stress. Take a few minutes out of every day to be present in the moment… think about yourself and what you need at that moment, and go get it.

This point drives us eCampus.com to make our website and process as simple as possible. Don’t waste time scrolling through pages of search results from a website that sells books as a side gig. Make it easy, fast, and cheap by sticking with the company that knows one thing really well: eCampus.com

College Students (Like You) Could End Child Poverty

Today marks National Red Nose Day! What is it you may ask? Well, it’s a day dedicated to raising money for children in poverty in America and around the world. This national fundraising campaign is run by the non-profit Comic Relief USA with the goal of helping to end child poverty through the use of comedy. Since 1988, National Red Nose Day has managed to raise over 1 billion dollars!  As college students, you may wonder what you could possibly do to help raise money when you yourself are struggling to keep up with college funds. That’s perfectly fine! There are multiple ways you can help raise money with little to no money. Even donating some of your time can not only help others, but in turn, benefit you as well in the long run. Here’s how you can do it:

How can you help?

1. You can stop by your local Walgreens or subsidiary Duane Reade and purchase a red nose for $1. Donning the red nose symbolizes a kid-friendly air that both entertains and brings awareness to child poverty. Just donating $1 can help provide 11 meals for hungry children through your local Feeding America Food Banks.

2. You can get onto the Red Nose Day website and donate money using either PayPal or card. Even small donations help!

3. You can either find or start your own fundraiser to aid children in poverty without having to spend any money. If you choose to start your own fundraiser, you have the choice of either fundraising on your own, joining a team, or starting a new team. At the Red Nose Day website, they provide you with a list of ideas on how you can start up a fundraiser.

4. You can tune into NBC from 8:00 pm-10:00 pm on Thursday, May 24th and watch three different shows “Celebrity Ninja Warrior for Red Nose Day”, “Running Wild with Bear Grylls for Red Nose Day” and finally the live broadcasting of the “Red Nose Day Special”. Each show is tied together to celebrate Red Nose Day. Throughout the three shows, you will be entertained, learn about the programs supported by Red Nose Day, and provided with the opportunity to donate to the charity through phone calls. To learn more about the programs, click here.

5. You can spread the word! Making others aware if this campaign increases the chances of others donating their time or money to help!

How can you benefit from volunteering?

As a college student, volunteering for a non-profit organization not only helps out your community, but also keeps your skills up-to-date, expands your network, and provides yourself with the opportunity to get a potentially paying job.

Putting your volunteer work in your resume helps you showcase your skills, experience, and expertise. When employers look through a resume, they tend to only look at one for 6-10 seconds. In order to make it count, you need to have something that stands out. Red Nose Day or any other volunteer work is a great way to do so.

Even being a part of some form of Greek life on your campus can benefit you greatly. By being associated with a sorority/fraternity, you get involved in some shape or form of volunteer work. Employers will most likely take notice of this on your resume. According to the New Jersey Institute of Technology, the Greek system is the largest network of volunteers in the US, with members donating over 10 million hours of volunteer services each year.

If you want to find other non-profit volunteer organizations near you, click here.

Top 20 Mobile Apps College Students Need

Top 20 Mobile Apps College Students Need

If you are a college student, then you know the everyday struggles one goes through. Trying to balance school, work, and a social life seems like a nearly impossible task, but there are millions of apps out there that’ll aid you in keeping everything together. We compiled a list of 20 mobile apps that we found to best suit college students needs, ranging from study aids all the way to health, fitness, and more!

 

1. Venmo

Venmo is a secure digital wallet app that allows you to transfer money over to another Venmo user. All you have to do is link the app to your bank account and you’re good to go! It’s very convenient for college students who owe friends money.

Cost: Free on iOS and Android

 

2. Dashlane

Dashlane is a secure password storing app. You can sync your data safely between an unlimited number of devices. It’s a must-have app for those who forget all their passwords and have many accounts.

Cost: Free on iOS and Android

 

3.  Scholly

Scholly is a scholarship finding app. All you have to do is enter 8 parameters, and Scholly will narrow down and give you a personalized list of scholarships you are eligible for. It will even track your application progress and manage deadlines.

Cost: Free on iOS and Android

 

4. iResumes

iResumes is the perfect resume building app. Create professional resumes using a step-by-step wizard. You’ll even be guided through the thank you letter and cover letter process. You can create multiple resumes and send them as an email or download them into a PDF.

Cost: Free on iOS and Android

 

5.  Alarmy

Alarmy is an alarm clock that makes it impossible for you to go back to sleep. You can adjust your settings to where you’ll either have to shake your phone for a certain amount of time, solve a math problem, or even get out of your bed to go take a picture of a specific spot in your house. Say goodbye to the snooze button!

Cost: Free on iOS and Android

 

6. EverNote

Evernote is a note-taking app full of different features. You can bookmark pages, make to-do lists, sketch and take pictures, share notes with friends, and a lot more. This is a perfect alternative to using a pen and notebook.

Cost: Free on iOS and Android

 

7. LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a business and employment aimed service used for professional networking. On LinkedIn, you can find jobs and become connected to the right people, which will aid in your credibility as a confident worker. This app is good for college students looking for an internship or a career.

Cost: Free on iOS and Android

 

8. iStudiez

iStudiez provides college students with the best time management app. With this app, you can create daily or weekly tasks, have your class schedule on hand, know your grades, and more! You can either download iStudiez Lite which is free, or you can download iStudiez Pro with no limitations.

Cost: $2.99 on iOS and Android

 

9.  Duolingo

Duolingo is an app that aids your learning of a foreign language. You can test yourself, play games to aid your learning, and more. The best part is that the app is free!

Cost: Free on iOS and Android

 

10. Quizlet

Quizlet is a mobile and web-based study app. You can create your own quizzes, flashcards, and more. It’s the perfect study tool for upcoming exams.

Cost: Free on iOS and Android

 

11. EasyBib

Instead of writing out your citations, the EasyBib app generates your sources into APA, Chicago, and MLA style for you! You’ll save more time and have to conduct less research.

Cost: Free on iOS and Android

 

12. Wolfram Alpha

Wolfram Alpha is both a knowledge computational engine and an answer engine. It differs from other search engines due to its ability to answer questions, perform computations, generate analysis, and prepare reports. It’s the best research engine for everything!

Cost: $2.99 on iOS and Android

 

13. Dropbox

Dropbox is a file hosting service that offers iCloud storage, client software, and file synchronization. It keeps all files up to date on each platform a user has. It’s a great app for college students who need backup folders for all the papers they write.

Cost: Free on iOS and Android

 

14.  RealCalc Scientific Calculator

Have you ever left your calculator at home? No problem. Just download the free app RealCalc Scientific Calculator and you’re all set!

Cost: Free on Android

 

15. TED

TED is an app full of inspirational talks from people of all professions. You’ll see TED talks from educators, musicians, Nobel Prize winners, and more! The app is a great way for college students to become informed on current ideas going on around the world.

Cost: Free on iOS and Android

 

16. Pandora

Pandora is a music app that allows you to create your own stations, your own playlists, and stream radio stations. You can choose from thousands of artists, genres, songs, and more.

Cost: Free on iOS and Android

 

17. Groupme

Groupme is a very useful group messaging app. Once the app is downloaded, it will sync all your contacts. This allows you have a group of up to as many people as you want. You can also search people by name and add them to a group if you don’t already have their number.

Cost: Free on iOS and Android

 

18. Wholesome-Healthy Eating

Wholesome is a personalized nutrition tracking app. Not only does it track calories, but it also helps you make sure you are getting the proper amount of vitamins and nutrients along with tips on particular food items you choose.

Cost: Free on iOS. Wholesome is currently in development for Android

 

19. Sworkit

Sworkit is a personalized workout app that gives you a variety of options. You can practice with bodyweight workouts, cardio, yoga, and more. The app keeps track of all your progress and will give you a personalized list of workouts based off of it! College students who can’t afford to pay for a gym membership will love this at-home workout guide.  

Cost: Free on iOS and Android (Premium upgrades available as well).

 

20. RetailMeNot

RetailMeNot is an app chock-full of coupon websites. You can find in-store and online store coupons that range from anything including accessories, food, health, toys, travel, etc. If you are a college student on a budget, try using this app the next time you hit the grocery store.

Cost: Free on iOS and Android

 

 

Time Flies – How to Slow Down & Enjoy It

Is it just me or is time moving way too fast?! Yet another semester over and another begins. Gretchen Rubin famously wrote, “The days are long, but the years are short.” Every day has a monotonous undertone and this is due to the fact that I know my schedule like the back of my hand. I am unconsciously going about the week as it is a good schedule, but a familiar one. Maybe you can relate, but I am here to tell you there are ways to perceive time more slowly. We do not have to be time’s hostage in this life. We are human and we will use our humanity as a tool to deliberately manipulate time. Here are some easy tricks to assist you in your life if you feel time slipping by too briskly.

Appreciate the little things

It is no secret that as we grow older, we take things for granted. Our computers, phones, cars, home, and even friends and family. You cannot blame us either as it is due to hedonic adaptation: the phenomenon where humans have a tendency to quickly return to a relatively stable level of happiness despite major positive or negative events or life changes. When you receive a new phone, it feels like the most ingenious device ever invented by man. Then after a month or two goes by, you are back to your “it’s just a phone” mindset. Could you imagine your life without a phone? This piece of metal and glass that connects you with most anyone and has all of the information published thus far in history, but you still throw it around to fidget with.

The point is, to welcome novelty into your life. Remember when you were a child and everything was mind blowing to you? Induce a little childlike wonder into your day-to-day. Darwin said, “Attention, if sudden and close, graduates into surprise; and this into astonishment; and this into stupefied amazement.” Take just about anything into your hands and really focus on it. Think about how much work has gone into making this thing, what it can do for you, and if it did not exist. You will quickly learn to be thankful for this object and see it differently every time you see it again. A little bit of gratitude goes a long way.

Plan for things

Do you remember the month of December as a child? Did it not feel like an eternity until winter holidays? Anxiously awaiting your gifts as you see presents begin to slowly appear under a tree in your living room. We can use the same principle as a tool in our lives. Plan for a trip or some event way in the future. Make it something you really want to do to be enthusiastic for it. Have a countdown timer that you can always refer to to shorten your patience. It is similar to if I asked you to close your eyes and not say anything. Then, tell me when you believe three minutes have passed. Minutes would drag on as when you focus on time, it slows down.

Don’t plan for other things

Planning a fun trip is a great way to slow time and have an adventure by the end of it, but how can I slow time down even more every day? Being spontaneous is an enjoyable tactic that you can perform with the free time you possess. Instead of binge watching Netflix shows, go for a walk or a bike ride in your area. If one sat down and watched shows all day versus taking a leisurely stroll through town, who would you say had a longer and more enriching time? It is important to shake up the routine often to be a more well-rounded person. When you feel yourself apart of your own familiar agenda with free time, this should be a cue to do something different. Go visit a new coffee shop and read a book or take a drive and bring along a coin to decide which way you turn. An added plus is when you are more spontaneous, you are going to be a better time to be around. We all like the person that flips the script when you are with them.

Learn a new hobby

Last time I ask you to think back to your childhood. Remember learning an instrument or practicing a sport? How long did it take you to learn cursive? Learning is a process and while it should be fun, it is also taxing on your mind. We can use this for our benefit to elongate the fourth dimension. Pick up a new skill be it drawing, gardening, cooking, photography, coding, or dancing. As a personal preference, it is good to pick a hobby that has a tangible result so the progress you make is clearly shown. This will make your motivation to stick with it more difficult to diminish. There is also no need to be hard on yourself with learning a new hobby. Remember that you are doing this to make your life more interesting and vivid.

There is an overarching theme throughout these tricks and that is to be mindful of yourself and anything not yourself. Taking in the world with a fresh pair of eyes can be the difference between a life of banality or a life of excitement. Living life to the fullest while we can, is the only fulfilling option we hold. Be grateful for our friends and family for being people we can trust and knowing that they trust us. To beat eternity is to stretch every moment into an eternity.

5 Ways to Survive the Stress of College

College is the best of times and the worst of times. Close friends, bad food, and memories to last a lifetime. College is also a ton of work whether it is yet another essay, pages of homework, or staying up all night finishing a group assignment that you have not started until that night, the workload is more than enough to cause stress. Here are five easy and helpful tips to see next semester with gratitude instead of attitude.

Organize and Plan

Keeping everything clean and easy to find is a simple way to experience less stress. Buy a binder or folders to keep the classes separate and to have a central location to put all of the papers. It also may be worthwhile to buy a planner or to use the calendar on your phone to remind you of assignments. Find what works best for you and invest in organizing yourself. Same goes with your computer. Create folders on your computer to have a location to save to when you are working on something digital. No more putting everything in your downloads and searching for the date modified instead of the arbitrary title you named it.

Studying can be boring and monotonous at times but try different studying methods to boost your morale. The Pomodoro Technique is the one I use which is to put a timer for 25 minutes and with zero distractions, you start your work. Go at your own pace but make sure you have everything on do not disturb so nothing will tempt you to sway away from work. After the timer goes off, you have five minutes to do what ever you need to do and then set another 25 minutes to work. This allows you to be efficient with the time you are offering yourself and still have some time for cat videos.

For your own mental sanity, set aside time to work and play every day. Have a goal in mind and when that is complete, go reward yourself with doing something you love. Psychologically, a reward system to finishing work provides the great benefits and little residual damage from the labor.

Exercise

Getting the heart pumping can be a great way to relieve stress when college has you down. Going for a run, lifting weights, or dancing for a period of time can help to reset your mind and body to attack the day with relentless optimism. Not to mention it regulates your sleep cycle, metabolism and energy. Would it not be great if you did not have to drink four cups of coffee throughout the day? Exercise may just be the answer you are looking for to obtain more energy for your day.

Meditation

Simply breathing can make a world of difference for your mindset. Meditating every day can provide positive benefits such as an increase in happiness, self-awareness, and concentration. It also decreases stress, anxiety, and aging. “Meditation is mind without agitation,” Narasimhan says. When it comes to stress, we could all use a mind without unnecessary turbulence. Reminding yourself what your purpose is and aligning your values through breathing often can make your motivation unstoppable.

If you do not have time for simple meditation, get credit for it. Most Universities have stress management courses offered in their curriculum. The class is an easy three elective credits and truly does assist you in your college journey. Look for it under the social work category of classes.

GET MORE SLEEP

I know this sounds a little counter-intuitive. Getting less time to do more work? Sleep holds amazing benefits that we have grown to forget. The simple method here is to be more productive, sleep more. When we lack sleep, our quality of work decreases. You may be doing a lot of work but probably not a lot of quality work. There are serious health problems with sleep deprivation such as trouble concentrating, high blood pressure, risk for diabetes, risk of heart disease, weakened immunity, and weight gain. Basically throwing all the benefits of meditation and exercise away because you are not sleeping enough. Take the time needed each night and get a full eight hours (or as close to as you can) of sleep. Tiredness is not a trophy and it is something we should not be striving for.

Do Something Creative

This one is easy. Every person has their form of art be it painting, drawing, playing an instrument, cooking, or underwater basket weaving. Setting time aside every day to mastering your craft is a fun way to relieve stress and increase overall well-being. According to a 2016 study published in the Journal of Positive Psychology, engaging in just one creative activity each day can make you more likely to feel “energetic, enthusiastic, [and] excited.” It goes on to say, “Overall, these findings support the emerging emphasis on everyday creativity as a means of cultivating positive psychological functioning.” There you go, science has now supported the idea of creating art for clear benefits. Get working and create something beautiful.

College is an adventurous odyssey filled with self-discovery and a metric ton of ramen noodles. It is a lot of seemingly unnecessary work and stress but it is all worth it in the end. Hopefully with these simple methods of stress management, college will be more of a positive experience.