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5 Reasons To Choose A College Away From Home

5 Reasons To Choose A College Away From Home

Finishing high school is such a great accomplishment but before you’re out the door you’re bombarded with college applications and constantly pressured to jump right into college after high school. Everyone from your parents, your high school teachers and even your friends are pushing higher education down your throat and it has left a sour taste in your mouth. Sound familiar?

A gap year after high school isn’t uncommon. For a lot of us the threat of disappointing our parents or possibly losing funding for college is scarier than making the jump into a college when all we want is to go out on our own for awhile before falling in line for another four or more years.

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Luckily there is a middle ground that will be sure to quench some of your thirst for wanderlust. Choosing a college away from home satisfies the parentals and the distance creates a space for growth, freedom, and a chance to find out who you are without the influence of friends and family. Here are 5 reasons why I think making the choice to leave home for college was the best choice for me.

1. Distance Makes The Heart Grow Fonder

I grew up in a family of five. I could not wait to get away. I couldn’t wait to have my own space, my own things, my own schedule that didn’t revolve around anyone else. After a while being away wasn’t just good for my need for freedom and wanderlust it gave me a chance to miss those I care about. I had a chance to reflect and appreciate the quirks that make my family and friends so special. When I came back to visit, it seemed like I was not the only one either because it was always the best catching up face to face.

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2. New Culture

The culture from state to state and especially coast to coast is so different. Choosing a school out of your comfort zone is necessary if you are looking to create unique memories of your own and meet new people. Going to a school with the same cultural ideals and ethnicities that you’ve been used to is not going to do the trick. Choose somewhere that will give you the opportunity to experience things in a whole new way.

3. Ability To Travel

Granted it’s not Europe or South America but it is still not the same town you grew up in with the same people you grew up with. If you took my advice you’ve chosen a school that has the atmosphere and people that will open your eyes to a whole new world of foods, traditions and people anyway.

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4. Networking Is Key

Towards the end of your college career every advisor and professor will stress how important networking is in the professional world. Of course you need to be qualified for the job but if you have a reference from someone the likelihood of you landing that job rises exponentially. Leaving your hometown to go to college elsewhere creates an even larger umbrella of people you know that you can potentially use as future references.

5. Tuition Breaks

There is a common misconception that out-of-state tuition is more costly than in-state. Granted sometimes that is true, but not always. There are a lot out-of-state options that are cheaper and offer out of state scholarships.  Like Walsh said, “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone,” so push boundaries, experience life in new ways with new interesting people, and create a space of self growth for yourself. Regardless of what people tell you, it is possible, do the research, make a choice and get the grades all on your own.

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Last Updated on September 28, 2020

How To Study Effectively: 7 Simple Tips

How To Study Effectively: 7 Simple Tips

The brain is a tangled web of information. We don’t remember single facts, but instead we interlink everything by association. Anytime we experience a new event, our brains tie the sights, smells, sounds and our own impressions together into a new relationship.

Our brain remembers things by repetition, association, visual imagery, and all five senses. By knowing a bit about how the brain works, we can become better learners, absorbing new information faster than ever.

Here are some study tips to help get you started:

1. Use Flashcards

Our brains create engrained memories through repetition. The more times we hear, see, or repeat something to ourselves, the more likely we are to remember it.

Flashcards can help you learn new subjects quickly and efficiently. Flashcards allow you to study anywhere at any time. Their portable nature lends them to quick study sessions on the bus, in traffic, at lunch, or in the doctor’s office. You can always whip out your flashcards for a quick 2 to 3 minute study session.

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To create effective flashcards, you need to put one point on each flashcard. Don’t load up the entire card with information. That’s just overload. Instead, you should dedicate one concept to each card.

One of the best ways to make flashcards is to put 1 question on the front and one answer on the back. This way, you can repeatedly quiz yourself into you have mastered any topic of your choice.

Commit to reading through your flash cards at least 3 times a day and you will be amazed at how quickly you pick up new information.

As Tony Robbins says,

“Repetition is the mother of skill”.

2. Create the Right Environment

Often times, where you study can be just as important as how you study. For an optimum learning environment, you’ll want to find a nice spot that is fairly peaceful. Some people can’t stand a deafening silence, but you certainly don’t want to study near constant distractions.

Find a spot that you can call your own, with plenty of room to spread out your stuff. Go there each time you study and you will find yourself adapting to a productive study schedule. When you study in the same place each time, you become more productive in that spot because you associate it with studying.

3. Use Acronyms to Remember Information

In your quest for knowledge, you may have once heard of an odd term called “mnemonics”. However, even if you haven’t heard of this word, you have certainly heard of its many applications. One of the most popular mnemonic examples is “Every Good Boy Does Fine”. This is an acronym used to help musicians and students to remember the notes on a treble clef stave.

An acronym is simply an abbreviation formed using the intial letters of a word. These types of memory aids can help you to learn large quantities of information in a short period of time.

4. Listen to Music

Research has long shown that certain types of music help you to recall information. Information learned while listening to a particular song can often be remembered simply by “playing” the songs mentally in your head.

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5. Rewrite Your Notes

This can be done by hand or on the computer. However, you should keep in mind that writing by hand can often stimulate more neural activity than when writing on the computer.

Everyone should study their notes at home but often times, simply re-reading them is too passive. Re-reading your notes can cause you to become disengaged and distracted.

To get the most out of your study time, make sure that it is active. Rewriting your notes turns a passive study time into an active and engaging learning tool. You can begin using this technique by buying two notebooks for each of your classes. Dedicate one of the notebooks for making notes during each class. Dedicate the other notebook to rewriting your notes outside of class.

6. Engage Your Emotions

Emotions play a very important part in your memory. Think about it. The last time you went to a party, which people did you remember? The lady who made you laugh, the man who hurt your feelings, and the kid who went screaming through the halls are the ones you will remember. They are the ones who had an emotional impact.

Fortunately, you can use the power of emotion in your own study sessions. Enhance your memory by using your five senses. Don’t just memorize facts. Don’t just see and hear the words in your mind. Create a vivid visual picture of what you are trying to learn.

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For example, if you are trying to learn the many parts of a human cell, begin physically rotating the cell in your minds eye. Imagine what each part might feel like. Begin to take the cell apart piece by piece and then reconstruct it. Paint the human cell with vivid colors. Enlarge the cell in your mind’s eye so that it is now six feet tall and putting on your own personal comedy show. This visual and emotional mind play will help deeply encode information into your memory.

7. Make Associations

One of the best ways to learn new things is to relate what you want to learn with something you already know. This is known as association, and it is the mental glue that drives your brain.

Have you ever listened to a song and been flooded by memories that were connected to it? Have you ever seen an old friend that triggered memories from childhood? This is the power of association.

To maximize our mental powers, we must constantly be looking for ways to relate new information with old ideas and concepts that we are already familiar with.

You can do this with the use of mindmapping. A mind map is used to diagram words, pictures, thoughts, and ideas into a an interconnected web of information. This simple practice will help you to connect everything you learn into a global network of knowledge that can be pulled from at any moment.

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Learn more about mindmapping here: How to Mind Map to Visualize Your Thoughts (With Mind Map Examples)

Featured photo credit: Alissa De Leva via unsplash.com

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