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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 January 2, 2019

                        Better Alternatives to New Year’s Resolutions to Reduce Your Stress

                        Better Alternatives to New Year’s Resolutions to Reduce Your Stress

                        The end of the year is the time when everyone tries to give you advice on how to live healthier, look better, and earn more money.

                        It’s understandable if you find yourself lost among all the tips and opinions. Sometimes you no longer know what you truly want to achieve next year – and what’s just imposed by society.

                        To help you out, we’ve made this article about the things you should remove from your new year’s resolution list – instead of adding to it – to make your daily life more harmonious and peaceful.

                        So just make sure you cross these off your New Year’s to-do list – your body, mind and soul will be thankful.

                        1. Stop Buying Meaningless Gifts

                        We all know the sense of obligation – when we have to buy a gift for an event or celebration that’s already tomorrow, but we still have no idea of what to give.

                        Take these tips close to heart for all upcoming holidays, including birthdays, weddings, graduations, etc.:

                        Stop focusing on the material objects

                        Instead of focusing on what material object to give, think about the emotion you want to evoke[1] in the gift recipient, and then pick a symbolic gift that can support or represent that emotion. For example, you can gift coziness by presenting a “comfort set” with warm socks, tea, candles, etc. Or give motivation by presenting a beautiful planner or notebook.

                        Plan gifts in advance

                        We know this is easier said than done. But if you try to plan which gifts you’ll need in the upcoming months (try making a list three or four times a year), ideas will more likely come to mind and you’ll avoid that last-minute shopping. Not to mention, you’ll be able to keep an eye on sales to get the best prices.

                        Suggest a better way

                        If you’re tired of exchanging gifts for birthdays and holidays, initiate a different approach. For example, draw names among family members and agree that each one only buys a present to that one person they got. Alternatively, you can agree not to share gifts among adults, and only give presents to kids of the family. Or, ask friends to donate to charity instead of buying a gift for you.

                        Go for common experiences instead of exchanging gifts

                        You can agree (with your partner or the extended family) to go on a common trip, dinner or another activity, instead of spending money on gifts.

                        Sometimes you’ll have to be the one who initiates breaking the rules that have been accepted in the family for years. But if you suspect that you’re not the only one in the group who’s tired of gift-hunting, you’ll surely find support for your suggestions.

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                        2. Don’t Exaggerate with Diets and Fitness Resolutions

                        It’s no secret that TV shows, article headlines, and ads (not to mention our healthy diet-obsessed friends) make us feel like we need to look better, slimmer and younger than we actually are. But going on yet another diet or starting a fitness plan with the wrong motivation rarely leads to great results.

                        If you are like many people, you have probably signed up for an annual gym membership at least once in your life – only to drop it one month later.

                        How do you balance a good resolution for a healthier life without pushing yourself into commitments that won’t last?

                        Here’s what you can do:

                        Set a healthier pattern

                        For example, do meat-free Mondays or reduce meat consumption to three days per week (less saturated fat for you and better for the environment). Or choose to eat only healthy food at least three days a week or only on weekdays (e.g. make sure your meals contain vegetables, fruits, whole grains, dairy products, and protein). This way you’ll already have a healthier diet while still being able to treat yourself with a snack on weekends or parties.

                        Get a fitness watch

                        Fitness watches like Fitbit or MiBand are tiny accessories that will count your steps, calories burnt and will serve as an excellent motivator to move – or to take the stairs instead of the elevator.

                        Find a physical activity that you enjoy

                        Even if you are not that fond of doing sports, you can definitely find an activity that you’d do with pleasure. Think about what you’d like – from taking up Nordic walking to pilates or even exercising at home.

                        Try intermittent fasting

                        This is an alternating cycles of fasting and eating. For example, stop eating at 8 pm and restart not sooner than 12 hours later. This approach has been proven to have numerous health benefits, in addition to weight loss.

                        Skip cabs or driving to work and opt for cycling or walking instead

                        You’ll burn calories, breathe some fresh air, and save money – win-win!

                        3. Put a Cap on Your Daily To-Do List

                        In today’s busy world, planning your day in a stress-free way is actually an art in itself. It’s natural to want to be a loving parent, a diligent employee, an active member of the local community and probably several other individual roles.

                        But playing all these roles requires energy and meticulous planning. How not to lose yourself amidst all the appointments and responsibilities? And – most importantly – how to still find time for relaxing and recharging yourself?

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                        These daily planning tips will help you have more stress-free days:

                        Leave bigger intervals between meetings

                        If you schedule too many appointments or chores in a day, you’ll probably end up late at some point, and as a result – more stressed. There are many different reasons why people are late, but poor planning is a major factor too.

                        Plan time to relax

                        As weird as it may sound, you should try and schedule your resting time. For example, if you only have one free evening this week, and a friend tries to squeeze in a meeting, feel free to say no. Don’t feel obliged to specify the reason for your refusal, just say that you are busy.

                        Try to be a little pessimistic

                        We’re often packed with plans or running late for errands because we tend to be overly optimistic – about the traffic, the time it takes to do things, etc. Instead, try an opposite tactic — assume you’ll hit traffic or the meeting will take longer.

                        Try waking up earlier

                        Sometimes even waking up 30 minutes earlier can give you the much-needed head start for several errands of the day. But remember to get enough sleep every night, even if it means going to bed earlier.

                        Plan your day the day before

                        Chances are your day will be much better organized if you pack a lunch and lay out an outfit before going to bed.

                        Designate a time for checking emails and social messages

                        If you start checking your messages between appointments, you risk getting lost in a sea of messages that need replies. Designate a time for this activity or do it in case you arrived early to a meeting.

                        4. Let Go of Unhealthy and Time-Consuming Habits

                        If there’s one thing we should get rid of in the new year, it’s the habits that steal our time, provide instant gratification but don’t offer any value in the long term. Or even worse, leave a negative impact on our health.

                        Here are some common (and pointless) habits along with tips on how to get rid of them:

                        Binge-watching TV series

                        Even if most online television platforms offer you lists of “Best TV Shows to Binge Watch”, being addicted to series is a major time-waster.

                        You can manage this addiction in several ways, for example, watch one episode per day (or a few per week) as a reward, only after you’ve finished an assignment or done a house chore. Or try replacing this habit with exercise or reading a book – this will be hard at first but should stick after a few weeks. You can also try to track how much time you spend on TV or movies – seeing how much of your life you are wasting might urge you to do something about it.

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                        Running on coffee

                        Being a coffee addict is kind of a stylish addiction nowadays, but it’s not that innocent as it may initially seem. Besides addiction being a problem in itself, drinking too much coffee (more than 500-600 mg of caffeine a day) may lead to nervousness, insomnia, an upset stomach, a fast heartbeat, and even muscle tremors.[2]

                        As a solution, try switching to tea or edible coffee – a more sustainable, healthy, and productivity-enhancing alternative. For example, Coffee Pixels are solid coffee bars that generate a more even energy kick throughout the day without the coffee-induced abstinence and dehydration.

                        Procrastination

                        Fighting procrastination requires some serious willpower. If it is a problem in your daily life or work, try ”eating the frog” in the morning – get over your biggest or hardest tasks first, then tackle everything else.

                        Alternatively, use time tracking software to monitor exactly how much time you waste on unproductive actions, websites or apps. Once you know exactly how much time you’re spending unproductively, try to limit your time on social media, for example to just 20 minutes per day.

                        If nothing else works, try bribing yourself — promise yourself to do something fun or pleasant when you finish your assignment.

                        Whichever habit you want to give up, consider using some habits building tools to make a contract with yourself and reward yourself for milestones achieved.

                        5. Stop over-consuming

                        We live in the age of consumerism – huge manufacturers with their promise of a comfortable life on the one hand, and growing environmental threats – that are the direct result of our modern lifestyle – on the other hand. There’s only one solution – try to consume less whenever and wherever you can.

                        Before making additional purchases, ask yourself these questions:

                        • Do I really need it? Did I need it yesterday?
                        • Can’t I buy it used or borrow it from friends?
                        • Can I rent it?
                        • Can I make it myself?
                        • Am I buying the most sustainable version of this product?

                        For example, check if the brand you chose is conscious about the environment, for example, are the products they manufacture energy efficient? Do they try to use less packaging?

                        Also, if you often find yourself buying too many groceries, promise to buy only the amount that fits in one shopping bag (that you bring along). If you often forget to take your shopping bag with you, get yourself a 2-in-1 wallet with a built-in shopping bag for more eco-friendly shopping.

                        6. Learn to Unplug from Your Phone

                        Today’s world is crammed with information, and many people struggle to keep focus on what’s truly important. There’s just too much going on in the world – too much to read, to watch, to know, too many conversations to participate in.

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                        But how to refuse the temptation to check the phone and start using social media in a controlled, not a compulsive way?

                        Some tips for managing your phone-dependency:

                        Spend only a limited amount of battery per day

                        For example, start your day with 50% battery life, and manage your phone usage so that you’ll make it till the evening.

                        Block distracting apps and notifications on your phone and computer

                        Choose one-hour, two-hour or longer blocking sessions and enjoy the positive impact this will have on your mood and productivity.[3]

                        Set your phone on flight mode

                        When you start doing an important task that requires full focus, set your phone on flight mode so that nobody can disturb you.

                        Leave your phone at home or in the office when you go for lunch

                        You’ll see that the feeling of being unreachable for a moment is actually very liberating.

                        The Bottom Line

                        As a new year begins, we’re all excitedly looking forward to what adventures await ahead of us.

                        But this year, promise yourself this:

                        Instead of having a never-ending list of tasks and commitments, focus on the truly meaningful ones. And cross-out all the rest without feeling guilty.

                        Less is more. Make this year count. We’re all rooting for you.

                        Featured photo credit: Brooke Lark via unsplash.com

                        Reference

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