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10 Things that can Make College Life a Whole Lot Easier

10 Things that can Make College Life a Whole Lot Easier

So, you have enrolled in college and now you are a freshman. The worst is probably behind you, since you’ve passed your entrance exam, right? Well, not exactly. College holds many trials for freshmen students. Getting good grades on your midterms and finals, managing your finances, having a decent social life, and getting some shut eye are just some of the challenges you’ll face.

Since I went through all this, and discovered some efficient tactics for college life management, I can tell you that it’s not too difficult to find a good balance. So, without any further delay, here are the 10 things that will come in handy during your college years.

1. Recording device

Alright, it appears that you are not allowed to record lectures, and some professors might have an issue with it, so make sure they don’t know you have a recording device. You can place it in some sort of a casing or in a bag and leave it on the desk in front of you. Try to find a seat in the front row, in order to get the best audio quality possible, and try not to make too much noise to mitigate the interference.

Once you have your lectures, you can transfer them to your PC or laptop, and when you start studying you can transcribe them, and have the highest quality notes possible when the midterms draw near. Furthermore, simply transcribing the lectures will etch them into your mind, so the whole studying process will be a lot easier.

2. Mastering holistic learning

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    One of the major adaptations you’ll have to go through when you are a college student is learning to cope with higher expectations. You see, in elementary and in high school, your teachers could let you slide even if your knowledge was not sufficient for a particular grade. After all, we are not able to be really good at everything so it’s natural that some subjects will give us a harder time. Considering how this was the case, our teachers had the tendency to reward good effort, even when our knowledge was lacking.

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    College professors are a different story. You chose this path and you want to become a specialist, so do not expect to be applauded for your efforts and will to learn – you need to give concrete, elaborate and correct answers. So, it would be for the best if you could master holistic learning.

    Holistic learning means that you are able to retain a lot of information and make connections between them, so you need to be fully invested and constantly think about what you are learning. When you learn, divide your text into questions, or to be precise, as you read think about the questions your lesson answers, then learn the lesson as a set of answers to those questions.

    Use all of your senses to remember things and to create more solid memories. In other words, see if there are videos or pictures that exemplify what you are studying.

    Try to find patterns as you learn, and constantly ask yourself if you’ve already heard something similar so that you can try to make connections. These are all of the necessary techniques to answer exam questions elaborately because your professor wants to see that you understand what you are talking about and that you know how that knowledge can be applied.

    3. Study group

    In all honesty, this is a double-edged sword. My study group was great and they were really diligent and both eager to learn and to explain things if you were having any trouble. We knew how to have fun as well, but whenever we were running on a tight schedule, learning was a number one priority. On the other hand, I was also a part of different groups, and just like me, these different members were easily distracted and they would often digress from the topic at hand.

    So, even though we all had a good time and some great conversations, the amount of work done was insufficient. In other words, each of us individually would have finished the whole group project faster than the amount of time it took us to finish it all together because we were only a distraction for one another.

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    4. YouTube

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      As we have already mentioned, in order to truly study for serious exams, you needed to understand your materials and get some good additional sources of information.

      With videos, our retention capacity is far stronger, and there are so many bloggers now who covered specialised niches, that a variety of different academic topics are covered in YouTube videos. So, when you are having trouble and struggling with some concepts, see if there is a video that explains it, this will really help you a lot.

      5. Activity

      College will require immense mental strength and willpower, so learning how to handle hard work would be wise. The best way to learn to power through a tough task is physical exercise.

      Since you’ll be stuck at lectures for a long time, and then either learning or having fun with friends, you’ll need some exercise to add a bit of healthy lifestyle to the equation. It is a bit tough to squeeze in workouts in your schedule, but after a few months you get used to it and it really benefits you.

      6. Home remedies

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        During your lectures and breaks, you are going to be surrounded by a lot of different people, which is not a bad thing, of course. However, during seasonal illnesses or during any sickness outbreak, this is not the best place to be, since no one is safe. There are numerous conditions when the illness is dormant and can still be transmitted even if the symptoms haven’t manifested yet. In other words, you can easily get sick.

        As mentioned it is good to exercise and live a bit healthier just to maintain our immune system, however, there are things you should do and things you should buy, just in case everything doesn’t go so well and you start feeling sick. Here is a list of illnesses that you are likely to get as a student, and some ways of preventing them.

        In short, you should always remember to wash your hands, take your vitamins, eat fruit, get flu shots etc. Make sure you go through the link, since it has a detailed description of the most common diseases and illnesses and how to treat them effectively.

        7. Sleep

        This is actually one thing I did not have enough of, and in retrospect, my life would have been a lot easier back then, now that I think about it. The fear of missing out is what kept me awake, and why I always opted for some fun rather than a good night’s sleep. It was as if I thought something epic was going to happen and I wouldn’t be there to see it, but would definitely hear about it tomorrow.

        It was really foolish, since nothing that amazing happened that was worth the exhaustion. The reason why we enjoy nights out is because we are with people we care about, and that can always be arranged, no need to sacrifice countless hours of sleep.

        So, if you want to have a pleasant time in college and not be under constant stress or suffer headaches, learn how to rest and recover. Eat some food that can help you fall asleep easier and turn off your computer a bit earlier since those memes will be there tomorrow as well.

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        8. Apps

        Apps are awesome! They help you remember things, they can help you get organised, they can even help you earn some money and kill some time as you are waiting for the exam results. I use apps today as well, but they have started to become a trend during my freshman days. I used them as reminders for my daily tasks, I used them to help me organise my budget and save money and to help me wake up.

        Turns out your alarm clock can be so much better if you have something that monitors your sleep cycle and can wake you up during a sleep phase when it doesn’t feel so painful. Now there are even better versions of these apps for both android and iPhone. Moreover, here is an awesome list of apps that will help you save and earn some cash, which I found incredibly useful since I always had trouble making ends meet during my student days.

        9. Coupons and discounts

        To quote “War and Peace” by Leo Tolstoy — “The strongest of all warriors are these two — Time and Patience.” Turns out he was completely right, if you wait long enough there will always be some sort of discount in some store or supermarket. Moreover, there are all kinds of incentive plans to secure customer loyalty so, if you just ask around or wait enough, chances are you can get almost anything you want and need a lot cheaper.

        You can also monitor these things online and find which brands or stores are offering discounts or coupons. Like I said all it takes is a little research and you can easily save 30% of the money you would otherwise have spent on a monthly basis.

        10. eBay

        Finally, to continue our finance management tips, you need to have an eBay account. You can both get items cheaper, and earn money by selling things you no longer use. Sites like Amazon and Etsy can also be your useful allies. On Amazon, you can find tons of audio books, which will come in handy if you have literature classes. Audio books can help you go through materials quicker, if you have focus problems and if you read at a slower pace.

        I hope you will have a really exciting and fun time while you are going through college. There are a lot of stressful and amazing days ahead of you, and it is truly a time of life you will always remember and cherish. Use these tips if you can, they can definitely come in handy, and may you reach mastery in your passion.

        Featured photo credit: https://www.pexels.com/u/unsplash/ via pexels.com

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        Vladimir Zivanovic

        CMO at MyCity-Web

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        Last Updated on March 14, 2019

        7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

        7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

        Recruiters might hold thousands of interviews in their careers and a lot of them are reporting the same thing—that most candidates play it safe with the questions they ask, or have no questions to ask in a job interview at all.

        For job applicants, this approach is crazy! This is a job that you’re going to dedicate a lot of hours to and that might have a huge impact on your future career. Don’t throw away the chance to figure out if the position is perfect for you.

        Here are 7 killer questions to ask in a job interview that will both impress your counterpart and give you some really useful insights into whether this job will be a dream … or a nightmare.

        1. What are some challenges I might come up against this role?

        A lesser candidate might ask, “what does a typical day look like in this role?” While this is a perfectly reasonable question to ask in an interview, focusing on potential challenges takes you much further because it indicates that you already are visualizing yourself in the role.

        It’s impressive because it shows that you are not afraid of challenges, and you are prepared to strategize a game plan upfront to make sure you succeed if you get the job.

        It can also open up a conversation about how you’ve solved problems in the past which can be a reassuring exercise for both you and the hiring manager.

        How it helps you:

        If you ask the interviewer to describe a typical day, you may get a vibrant picture of all the lovely things you’ll get to do in this job and all the lovely people you’ll get to do them with.

        Asking about potential roadblocks means you hear the other side of the story—dysfunctional teams, internal politics, difficult clients, bootstrap budgets and so on. This can help you decide if you’re up for the challenge or whether, for the sake of your sanity, you should respectfully decline the job offer.

        2. What are the qualities of really successful people in this role?

        Employers don’t want to hire someone who goes through the motions; they want to hire someone who will excel.

        Asking this question shows that you care about success, too. How could they not hire you with a dragon-slayer attitude like that?

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        How it helps you:

        Interviewers hire people who are great people to work with, but the definition of “great people” differs from person to person.

        Does this company hire and promote people with a specific attitude, approach, worth ethic or communication style? Are the most successful people in this role strong extroverts who love to talk and socialize when you are studious and reserved? Does the company reward those who work insane hours when you’re happiest in a more relaxed environment?

        If so, then this may not be the right match for you.

        Whatever the answer is, you can decide whether you have what it takes for the manager to be happy with your performance in this role. And if the interviewer has no idea what success looks like for this position, this is a sign to proceed with extreme caution.

        3. From the research I did on your company, I noticed the culture really supports XYZ. Can you tell me more about that element of the culture and how it impacts this job role?

        Of course, you could just ask “what is the culture like here? ” but then you would miss a great opportunity to show that you’ve done your research!

        Interviewers give BIG bonus point to those who read up and pay attention, and you’ve just pointed out that (a) you’re diligent in your research (b) you care about the company culture and (c) you’re committed to finding a great cultural fit.

        How it helps you:

        This question is so useful because it lets you pick an element of the culture that you really care about and that will have the most impact on whether you are happy with the organization.

        For example, if training and development is important to you, then you need to know what’s on offer so you don’t end up in a dead-end job with no learning opportunities.

        Companies often talk a good talk, and their press releases may be full of shiny CSR initiatives and all the headline-grabbing diversity programs they’re putting in place. This is your opportunity to look under the hood and see if the company lives its values on the ground.

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        A company that says it is committed to doing the right thing by customers should not judge success by the number of up-sells an employee makes, for instance. Look for consistency, so you aren’t in for a culture shock after you start.

        4. What is the promotion path for this role, and how would my performance on that path be measured?

        To be clear, you are not asking when you will get promoted. Don’t go there—it’s presumptuous, and it indicates that you think you are better than the role you have applied for.

        A career-minded candidate, on the other hand, usually has a plan that she’s working towards. This question shows you have a great drive toward growth and advancement and an intention to stick with the company beyond your current state.

        How it helps you:

        One word: hierarchy.

        All organizations have levels of work and authority—executives, upper managers, line managers, the workforce, and so on. Understanding the hierarchical structure gives you power, because you can decide if you can work within it and are capable of climbing through its ranks, or whether it will be endlessly frustrating to you.

        In a traditional pyramid hierarchy, for example, the people at the bottom tend to have very little autonomy to make decisions. This gets better as you rise up through the pyramid, but even middle managers have little power to create policy; they are more concerned with enforcing the rules the top leaders make.

        If having a high degree of autonomy and accountability is important to you, you may do better in a flat hierarchy where work teams can design their own way of achieving the corporate goals.

        5. What’s the most important thing the successful candidate could accomplish in their first 3 months/6 months/year?

        Of all the questions to ask in a job interview, this one is impressive because it shows that you identify with and want to be a successful performer, and not just an average one.

        Here, you’re drilling down into what the company needs, and needs quite urgently, proving that you’re all about adding value to the organization and not just about what’s in it for you.

        How it helps you:

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        Most job descriptions come with 8, 10 or 12 different job responsibilities and a lot of them with be boilerplate or responsibilities that someone in HR thinks are associated with this role. This question gives you a better sense of which responsibilities are the most important—and they may not be what initially attracted you to the role.

        If you like the idea of training juniors, for example, but success is judged purely on your sales figures, then is this really the job you thought you were applying for?

        This question will also give you an idea of what kind of learning curve you’re expected to have and whether you’ll get any ramp-up time before getting down to business. If you’re the type of person who likes to jump right in and get things done, for instance, you may not be thrilled to hear that you’re going to spend the first three months shadowing a peer.

        6. What do you like about working here?

        This simple question is all about building rapport with the interviewer. People like to talk about themselves, and the interviewer will be flattered that you’re interested in her opinions.

        Hopefully, you’ll find some great connection points that the two of you share. What similar things drive you head into the office each day? How will you fit into the culture?

        How it helps you:

        You can learn a lot from this question. Someone who genuinely enjoys his job will be able to list several things they like, and their answers will sound passionate and sincere. If not….well, you might consider that a red flag.

        Since you potentially can learn a lot about the company culture from this question, it’s a good idea to figure out upfront what’s important to you. Maybe you’re looking for a hands-off boss who values independent thought and creativity? Maybe you work better in environments that move at a rapid, exciting pace?

        Whatever’s important to you, listen carefully and see if you can find any common ground.

        7. Based on this interview, do you have any questions or concerns about my qualifications for the role?

        What a great closing question to ask in a job interview! It shows that you’re not afraid of feedback—in fact, you are inviting it. Not being able to take criticism is a red flag for employers, who need to know that you’ll act on any “coaching moments” with a good heart.

        As a bonus, asking this question shows that you are really interested in the position and wish to clear up anything that may be holding the company back from hiring you.

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        How it helps you:

        What a devious beast this question is! On the surface, it looks straightforward, but it’s actually giving you four key pieces of information.

        First, is the manager capable of giving you feedback when put on the spot like this? Some managers are scared of giving feedback, or don’t think it’s important enough to bother outside of a formal performance appraisal. Do you want to work for a boss like that? How will you improve if no one is telling you what you did wrong?

        Second, can the manager give feedback in a constructive way without being too pillowy or too confrontational? It’s unfair to expect the interviewer to have figured out your preferred way of receiving feedback in the space of an interview, but if she come back with a machine-gun fire of shortcomings or one of those corporate feedback “sandwiches” (the doozy slipped between two slices of compliment), then you need to ask yourself, can you work with someone who gives feedback like that?

        Third, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about before you leave the interview. This gives you the chance to make a final, tailored sales pitch so you can convince the interviewer that she should not be worried about those things.

        Fourth, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about period. If turnover is keeping him up at night, then your frequent job hopping might get a lot of additional scrutiny. If he’s facing some issues with conflict or communication, then he might raise concerns regarding your performance in this area.

        Listen carefully: the concerns that are being raised about you might actually be a proxy for problems in the wider organization.

        Making Your Interview Work for You

        Interviews are a two-way street. While it is important to differentiate yourself from every other candidate, understand that convincing the interviewer you’re the right person for the role goes hand-in-hand with figuring out if the job is the right fit for you.

        Would you feel happy in a work environment where the people, priorities, culture and management style were completely at odds with the way you work? Didn’t think so!

        More Resources About Job Interviews

        Featured photo credit: Amy Hirschi via unsplash.com

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