Guest Post | Practical College Tips
After finishing a year of college, I’ve experienced great successes, as well as some terrible mistakes. People always give new students tips on what is right and wrong for a college student, yet so few of us follow through. My first mistake was not getting enough sleep, which is vital to receiving a great education, and ultimately it affected some of my grades in the end. Without sleep, it is much more difficult to retain information and the motivation to study. For example,I had a friend in the honors program who maintained a 4.0 all year, and not once did he grant his body less than eight hours of rest. Being well rested, he was able to have the energy to exercise and eat three meals a day, both of which I failed to do as well. It isn’t that I, or any of my similar friends, wanted to deprive ourselves of a healthy lifestyle, but simply lack of effort in factoring health into time management. Studying and sleeping are two of the most important aspects of college life, both of which it seems there is never enough time for. There is also so much pressure on freshmen college students to join clubs, make friends, and get spectacular grades, making it difficult to maintain a healthy balance of sleep and exercise.
Another huge issue that I had in college, as did my roommate, was in the area of spending. Since I attended a school close to Providence during my first year, my friends and I always wanted to go into the city and do new things. The problem with that is the fact that eating multiple meals in the city is not quite as financially-friendly as eating on the designated meal plan. While it may seem tempting to go out and do tons of new things with the credit or debit card that many students are using for the first time, it is important to remember that eventually the funds will be depleted or the balance will have to be paid off. To avoid this problem with food, I suggest always sticking to the meal plan if it is an option. Your bank account and parents will thank you.
Here are a couple more tips for new students:
- Rest. Get a solid eight hours of sleep every night. Although it may seem impossible to manage friends, studying, eating, and basic hygiene, giving your body a break should not be the victim of your schedule. Sleep well and try to exercise on a regular basis.
- Studying. The rule of thumb is to study three hours outside of class for every credit hour spent in class. For example, a student taking a 3-credit course should spend 9 hours per week studying for the class. Even if there is no homework due, dedicate this time to review. Spending this much time per course will help you to retain the material and avoid burning out from cramming the day before exams.
- Dorm Life. Your roommate does not have to be your friend, but that doesn’t mean being disrespectful is acceptable. Set boundaries and agreements on day one to avoid future conflicts, posting the rules of the room on the wall. As long as roommates respect each other’s needs, there is rarely a problem.
- Parties. College is meant to be fun, so know how to party if you’re going to do it. The worst thing that you can do at a party is drink too much. Remember that you do not have to drink a lot at any party, though if you do plan on it, your best bet would be to alternate between alcohol and another substance. It takes three hours for your body to digest one drink, so overworking your liver to prevent hangovers and potentially dangerous situations.
- Finances. Avoid spending money if you don’t have to; colleges offer meal plans for a reason, so take advantage of them! Most college students do not work during the academic year, and are generally better off not doing so. Keep track of what you spend and set a weekly budget so that you don’t run out of money on your debit card or max out your student credit card.
*This was a guest blog post. If you are a college student and would like to become a contributor to Postify’s blog, please email email@example.com.
Here are a few highlights over the past few months:
- Our URL is official :) hellopostify.com
- Postify is ready to say hello! Our facebook, twitter, G+, and blog are all up and running!
- Legal work is finished (Thanks to Patrick Richard for all the legal assistance!)
- Creating some buzz! Check out our latest post on Top Finance Blog!
- Clean & simple design
It’s time to pull classifieds out of 1995 and into the year 2012. We have streamlined the classifieds experience to make it easier for you to buy and sell items online!
- Mobile App
These days everything you need in life fits in your pocket (well your smartphone to be exact). We want you to have access to Postify wherever you are in the world through iPhone and Andriod apps!
You will use a book or two in college (as well as some Sparknotes) Buying, selling, and renting books is super easy on Postify. Just enter the textbooks ISBN and you are done. Really will take care of all the heavy lifting.
There are like a bajillion things you need for college! Say goodbye to the old pen and paper and hello to our simple watchlist. Easily save and track all the items you need!
How Important is a Business Internship?
Internships have never been so important. The job market is still flooded with people with years of experience, and businesses can hire whoever and at whatever price they want. There are still a lot of good opportunities for recent graduates, but it is vital to stand out from the many other graduates. The best way to do this is through relevant work experience.
You may ask, “How can I get a job out of college that requires experience, when its my first real job and therefore don’t have experience?” This is a question that frustrates many soon to be college grads when applying for jobs. The answer is through internships.
Most large businesses will have jobs and internships posted online. Search job websites like indeed.com for some of the more obscure ones. Talk to friends and find where you have connections. Simply knowing someone at a business is often the difference between having your resume thrown out and getting an interview.
If you’re not having luck with the large amount of competition flooding the big businesses’ job boards, and you’re running out of time during your spring semester, don’t worry. Take Spring Break and send out your resume to local businesses to see if they have any interest in you. Following up with a phone call is highly suggested, because it shows that you really want the internship and are willing to work hard to get it. Make sure you mention you are a student; everyone wants to help an ambitious student succeed.
Calling businesses should get you good leads on some non-advertised internships, but if you’re still having trouble by the end of the semester, go visit some businesses in person. Make a list of every local business, then go around with copies of your resume & cover letter, handing them out at each location. If possible, ask to speak with a person in charge of the department you’re interested in working in. (i.e. marketing majors ask for the marketing manager, etc.) Employers like it when prospective employees show initiative.
Never underestimate the power of experience on your resume, and good referrals from previous bosses. Summer internships often turn into full-time employment upon graduation. Start looking today for an internship on Postify’s job board.
Creative Ideas to Make Money with Postify
“Ok, you’ve convinced me… Postify is a great way to sell my used textbooks and even my roommate’s old TV, but can I actually make some money on here?”
My friend, where have you been?? I’ve been waiting for someone to ask me this question! Here are some ideas for you to make money on Postify.
1. Textbook arbitrage! Don’t let the big word scare you; it means to find something cheaper in one place, and resell it for more in another. Buy it on Postify, sell it on Amazon.
Do some research on Amazon for the textbooks floating around your campus. Sometimes a particular textbook is very popular on one campus, but there aren’t a lot on the market outside. For example, one time a friend and I noticed our bookstore had tons of a certain textbook for $10, but on Amazon it was going for about $30! We bought a number of them and resold them for an easy $20 profit on each.
2. Talk to graduating seniors and buy their textbooks!
Most seniors won’t be in the area to sell their textbooks next semester, and don’t want to bring them home. Offer them a price better than what the bookstore will, but less than what you’ll get next semester. Who knows, some might even give you their textbooks for free. Once you’ve organized your book inventory, start posting them on Postify.
3) Buy up a bunch of the used textbooks for a particular class and list them on Postify!
The bookstore won’t have many used versions, and once those are gone students will be banging down your door. No one wants to be the sucker who paid full-price for a new version.
Some of these techniques take more skill than others, but practice makes perfect. If you have any additional ideas for how to make money with Postify, let us know!
Free College Textbooks? Yes, Please!
What if you never had to pay for ridiculously overpriced textbooks ever again? Boundless Learning is a new startup based in Boston that is aiming for that very goal. They are currently in the Beta stage, but will be launching shortly.
How it works:
- You as a student select the textbook you were assigned for a class
- Boundless pulls similar text and images from free & open sources around the web
- Voila! A textbook with nearly identical information.. for free!
Hopefully this start-up takes off and saves college students a lot of money! If interested, go to their homepage to sign up for email updates for the latest news.
Also, if you are a current student or even a college graduate, and you have a lot of old textbooks laying around, please use Postify to give away your textbooks, exchange, rent or sell them!