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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 December 2, 2018

7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

When giving a presentation or speech, you have to engage your audience effectively in order to truly get your point across. Unlike a written editorial or newsletter, your speech is fleeting; once you’ve said everything you set out to say, you don’t get a second chance to have your voice heard in that specific arena.

You need to make sure your audience hangs on to every word you say, from your introduction to your wrap-up. You can do so by:

1. Connecting them with each other

Picture your typical rock concert. What’s the first thing the singer says to the crowd after jumping out on stage? “Hello (insert city name here)!” Just acknowledging that he’s coherent enough to know where he is is enough for the audience to go wild and get into the show.

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It makes each individual feel as if they’re a part of something bigger. The same goes for any public speaking event. When an audience hears, “You’re all here because you care deeply about wildlife preservation,” it gives them a sense that they’re not just there to listen, but they’re there to connect with the like-minded people all around them.

2. Connect with their emotions

Speakers always try to get their audience emotionally involved in whatever topic they’re discussing. There are a variety of ways in which to do this, such as using statistics, stories, pictures or videos that really show the importance of the topic at hand.

For example, showing pictures of the aftermath of an accident related to drunk driving will certainly send a specific message to an audience of teenagers and young adults. While doing so might be emotionally nerve-racking to the crowd, it may be necessary to get your point across and engage them fully.

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3. Keep going back to the beginning

Revisit your theme throughout your presentation. Although you should give your audience the credit they deserve and know that they can follow along, linking back to your initial thesis can act as a subconscious reminder of why what you’re currently telling them is important.

On the other hand, if you simply mention your theme or the point of your speech at the beginning and never mention it again, it gives your audience the impression that it’s not really that important.

4. Link to your audience’s motivation

After you’ve acknowledged your audience’s common interests in being present, discuss their motivation for being there. Be specific. Using the previous example, if your audience clearly cares about wildlife preservation, discuss what can be done to help save endangered species’ from extinction.

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Don’t just give them cold, hard facts; use the facts to make a point that they can use to better themselves or the world in some way.

5. Entertain them

While not all speeches or presentations are meant to be entertaining in a comedic way, audiences will become thoroughly engaged in anecdotes that relate to the overall theme of the speech. We discussed appealing to emotions, and that’s exactly what a speaker sets out to do when he tells a story from his past or that of a well-known historical figure.

Speakers usually tell more than one story in order to show that the first one they told isn’t simply an anomaly, and that whatever outcome they’re attempting to prove will consistently reoccur, given certain circumstances.

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6. Appeal to loyalty

Just like the musician mentioning the town he’s playing in will get the audience ready to rock, speakers need to appeal to their audience’s loyalty to their country, company, product or cause. Show them how important it is that they’re present and listening to your speech by making your words hit home to each individual.

In doing so, the members of your audience will feel as if you’re speaking directly to them while you’re addressing the entire crowd.

7. Tell them the benefits of the presentation

Early on in your presentation, you should tell your audience exactly what they’ll learn, and exactly how they’ll learn it. Don’t expect them to listen if they don’t have clear-cut information to listen for. On the other hand, if they know what to listen for, they’ll be more apt to stay engaged throughout your entire presentation so they don’t miss anything.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm4.staticflickr.com

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