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11 Best Colleges In America You Need To Know

11 Best Colleges In America You Need To Know

There are thousands of colleges in the United States. Each one has something different to offer prospective students, and each has successful graduates who speak with pride about their alma mater. However, there are a few schools that stand out because they provide an educational experience that is tailored to the needs of students who are seeking more than just a standard 4-year degree. Each college in this list stands out because it has something unique and original to offer.

Webster University: to Earn Your Degree While Studying Abroad

Webster Sign 1915

    The flagship campus of Webster University is located just outside of St. Louis, but the college has campuses on four continents. This makes it an ideal choice for students who want the experience of studying abroad while maintaining a continuity in their education. The Global Citizenship Program prepares undergraduates to work, compete, and contribute on the global stage.

    Bard College at Simons Rock: To Get a Jump Start on Your Dreams

    Bard College

      Every year, there are so many bright students who either drop out of high school, or who simply coast until graduation. Bard College at Simons Rock gives these students an alternative. The average incoming freshman is a young 16.5 years of age. Keep in mind though, that not every high school student can bypass their last two years of high school and head into this school. The students (also known as rockers) at Bard College must demonstrate a track record of being curious learners with serious academic goals. Once they do make the cut, there is no babying involved. Students are treated as capable adults who have something valuable to contribute.

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      Reed College: to Join an Alumni Class of Excellence

      Reed College

        Reed college is one of the most intellectually rigorous liberal arts colleges in America. Reed was the first college in the United States to add fine arts requirements to its liberal arts programs. Reed college alumni have gone on to win major international awards. It also has an impressive list of other accomplished graduates including:

        • Pulitzer Prize Winner Gary Snyder
        • Author Janet Fitch
        • Wikipedia Co-founder – Larry Sanger
        • Television Chef – Steven Raichlen
        • Apple Co-founder – Steve Jobs

        Bennington College: To Design Your Own Future

        Bennington College

          The founders of Bennington College believe that students are responsible for their own education. Because of this, the curriculum at Bennington is self directed. Each student works with an adviser to plan their education, and then evaluates their own progress and receives feedback from instructors on their achievements as well.

          Blackburn College: To Learn and be Debt Free

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            Every student at Blackburn College participates in a work program that allows them to gain work experience, and help offset the cost of their education. Not only is this work program nationally recognized, it is entirely run and staffed by Blackburn students. This is a great school for anybody who wants to reduce or limit their student debt. Students hold jobs on campus, at local businesses, with local law enforcement, and at nearby schools.

            Cornell College: To Tackle Higher Education One Class at a Time

            Cornell College

              Imagine attending college and being able to focus on one course at a time. Students who attend Cornell college are able to do just that. Because they are able to focus on one discipline at a time, students gain a much deeper understanding of the subject matter. Just 18 days after a student starts a class, they are finished and have earned their credits. In addition to this, all students adhere to the same time schedule. This gives each student plenty of time to spend with their peers and to participate in on and off campus activities.

              Earlham College: To Learn and Become a Better Person Through Quaker Values

              Earlham College

                Quakers believe in pacifism, activism, service, and that the pursuit of truth is a virtue. One of their mottos is that all truth is God’s truth. If you are interested in a global education that focuses on strong personal morality, peace, and equality, Earlham University might be the perfect choice. Students who graduate from Earlham are very active in the social justice movement, politics, and charitable works.

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                Green Mountain College: To Earn a Degree and Save the Planet

                Green Mountain College

                  Most colleges and universities have begun incorporating an earth friendly philosophy in their policies and classes over the last few years. Green Mountain College has been doing this for decades. In fact, the Princeton Review has voted this college the greenest in the nation. Students who attend this college, located in beautiful rural Vermont, can choose from a variety of majors. However, they will also be required to complete 37 hours of Environmental Liberal Arts coursework.

                  American University: To Become a Great Modern Day Journalist

                  American University

                    American University has become the school of choice for students who are interested in modern journalism. Students who attend the school of communication who wish to become journalists will learn about interactive journalism, take classes in social media, and attend workshops in investigative reporting. This excellent school combines the longstanding rules of ethical journalism while also embracing new technology and new communication media.

                    University of Washington: To Become a Great Healer

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                    University of Washington

                      Students who make the grade for admission into medical school have accomplished something that most of us never dream of. Students who get into the University of Washington’s School of Medicine have accomplished something even more amazing. They have been accepted into the nation’s top medical school program, and will have the opportunity to work with and learn from some of the brightest minds in the medical field.

                      Vanderbilt University: To Learn to Teach

                      Vanderbilt University

                        Students who long to teach future generations should take a look at this prestigious school in Nashville, TN. It is nationally recognized as one of the top schools for teachers. Students attending Vanderbilt to become teachers, school counselors, school administrators or educational policy makers attend the school’s Peabody college where they will work hand in hand with nationally renowned instructors.

                        Of course, you can skip going to college, but only if you are talented enough to master the skill of self-learning and can succeed in life without any assistance.

                        Featured photo credit: Dave Meier via picography.co

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                        Last Updated on September 20, 2018

                        8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

                        8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

                        You go to the gym to train your muscles. You run outside or go for hikes to train your endurance. Or, maybe you do neither of those, but still wish you exercised more.

                        Well, here is how to train one of the most important parts of your body: your brain.

                        When you train your brain, you will:

                        • Avoid embarrassing situations. You remember his face, but what was his name?
                        • Be a faster learner in all sorts of different skills. No problem for you to pick up a new language or new management skill.
                        • Avoid diseases that hit as you get older. Alzheimer’s will not be affecting you.

                        So how to train your brain and improve your cognitive skills?

                        1. Work your memory

                        Twyla Tharp, a NYC-based renowned choreographer has come up with the following memory workout:

                        When she watches one of her performances, she tries to remember the first twelve to fourteen corrections she wants to discuss with her cast without writing them down.

                        If you think this is anything less than a feat, then think again. In her book The Creative Habit she says that most people cannot remember more than three.

                        The practice of both remembering events or things and then discussing them with others has actually been supported by brain fitness studies.

                        Memory activities that engage all levels of brain operation—receiving, remembering and thinking—help to improve the function of the brain.

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                        Now, you may not have dancers to correct, but you may be required to give feedback on a presentation, or your friends may ask you what interesting things you saw at the museum. These are great opportunities to practically train your brain by flexing your memory muscles.

                        What is the simplest way to help yourself remember what you see? Repetition.

                        For example, say you just met someone new:

                        “Hi, my name is George”

                        Don’t just respond with, “Nice to meet you”. Instead, say, “Nice to meet you George.”

                        Got it? Good.

                        2. Do something different repeatedly

                        By actually doing something new over and over again, your brain wires new pathways that help you do this new thing better and faster.

                        Think back to when you were three years old. You surely were strong enough to hold a knife and a fork just fine. Yet, when you were eating all by yourself, you were creating a mess.

                        It was not a matter of strength, you see. It was a matter of cultivating more and better neural pathways that would help you eat by yourself just like an adult does.

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                        And guess what? With enough repetition you made that happen!

                        But how does this apply to your life right now?

                        Say you are a procrastinator. The more you don’t procrastinate, the more you teach your brain not to wait for the last minute to make things happen.

                        Now, you might be thinking “Duh, if only not procrastinating could be that easy!”

                        Well, it can be. By doing something really small, that you wouldn’t normally do, but is in the direction of getting that task done, you will start creating those new precious neural pathways.

                        So if you have been postponing organizing your desk, just take one paper and put in its right place. Or, you can go even smaller. Look at one piece of paper and decide where to put it: Trash? Right cabinet? Another room? Give it to someone?

                        You don’t actually need to clean up that paper; you only need to decide what you need to do with it.

                        That’s how small you can start. And yet, those neural pathways are still being built. Gradually, you will transform yourself from a procrastinator to an in-the-moment action taker.

                        3. Learn something new

                        It might sound obvious, but the more you use your brain, the better its going to perform for you.

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                        For example, learning a new instrument improves your skill of translating something you see (sheet music) to something you actually do (playing the instrument).

                        Learning a new language exposes your brain to a different way of thinking, a different way of expressing yourself.

                        You can even literally take it a step further, and learn how to dance. Studies indicate that learning to dance helps seniors avoid Alzheimer’s. Not bad, huh?

                        4. Follow a brain training program

                        The Internet world can help you improve your brain function while lazily sitting on your couch. A clinically proven program like BrainHQ can help you improve your memory, or think faster, by just following their brain training exercises.

                        5. Work your body

                        You knew this one was coming didn’t you? Yes indeed, exercise does not just work your body; it also improves the fitness of your brain.

                        Even briefly exercising for 20 minutes facilitates information processing and memory functions. But it’s not just that–exercise actually helps your brain create those new neural connections faster. You will learn faster, your alertness level will increase, and you get all that by moving your body.

                        Now, if you are not already a regular exerciser, and already feel guilty that you are not helping your brain by exercising more, try a brain training exercise program like Exercise Bliss.

                        Remember, just like we discussed in #2, by training your brain to do something new repeatedly, you are actually changing yourself permanently.

                        6. Spend time with your loved ones

                        If you want optimal cognitive abilities, then you’ve got to have meaningful relationships in your life.  Talking with others and engaging with your loved ones helps you think more clearly, and it can also lift your mood.

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                        If you are an extrovert, this holds even more weight for you. At a class at Stanford University, I learned that extroverts actually use talking to other people as a way to understand and process their own thoughts.

                        I remember that the teacher told us that after a personality test said she was an extrovert, she was surprised. She had always thought of herself as an introvert. But then, she realized how much talking to others helped her frame her own thoughts, so she accepted her new-found status as an extrovert.

                        7. Avoid crossword puzzles

                        Many of us, when we think of brain fitness, think of crossword puzzles. And it’s true–crossword puzzles do improve our fluency, yet studies show they are not enough by themselves.

                        Are they fun? Yes. Do they sharpen your brain? Not really.

                        Of course, if you are doing this for fun, then by all means go ahead. If you are doing it for brain fitness, then you might want to choose another activity

                        8. Eat right – and make sure dark chocolate is included

                        Foods like fish, fruits, and vegetables help your brain perform optimally. Yet, you might not know that dark chocolate gives your brain a good boost as well.

                        When you eat chocolate, your brain produces dopamine. And dopamine helps you learn faster and remember better. Not to mention, chocolate contains flavonols, antioxidants, which also improve your brain functions.

                        So next time you have something difficult to do, make sure you grab a bite or two of dark chocolate!

                        The bottom line

                        Now that you know how to train your brain, it’s actually time to start doing.

                        Don’t just consume this content and then go on with your life as if nothing has changed. Put this knowledge into action and become smarter than ever!

                        Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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