Posts Tagged ‘College Life’

College is Almost Here! Are you Prepared?

Thursday, April 25th, 2013
Know Your Laundry

Know Your Laundry

As your senior year is winding down, your life is probably full of graduation parties and tearful parents.

But in the middle of the hustle and bustle, you might want to devote some time to preparing for college life!

Preparing for College

We don’t mean you need to start packing, but it will help if you don’t save every little thing for the last minute. And if you can, get into the mindset that even though a lot of things are going to change, you are gearing up for an amazing time of your life!

Learn to Do Laundry — It sounds so silly, but many college freshmen don’t have too much practice doing their own laundry. If your whites are suddenly pink, you might want to take over your own laundry duty to make sure that you are prepared later.

Set Your Own Alarm – Are your parents still waking you up in the morning? It’s time for you to take control and get used to getting up on your own. Once you get into that dorm room, your roommate will not appreciate your alarm going off fifteen times every morning. Get up and get going!

Time Management — How are you juggling your time right now? Do you have a hard time handling multiple things? Figure out how to group your day and your tasks into manageable chunks. It will really come in handy later when you need to balance writing research papers, studying and long-term projects in your college classes!

Keeping in Touch – Friendships are going to change and that’s okay! Thanks to social networks and email, you can still stay in touch with friends. It might be a good idea to get a head start on creating a phone book full of the addresses, phone numbers, and emails of close friends and family so you have a hard copy just in case you lose your phone or your computer crashes.

Boil Water — Okay, we are guessing you know how to at least boil water! But can you cook any easy meals? Even if you have already decided on a college meal plan and know you will hit up the cafeteria most days, it’s still a good idea to know how to whip up a few simple meals before leaving home for the first time. You just never know what the future holds!

Moving On Up!

There are plenty more tips where that came from! Stay tuned as we share more useful ideas to help you get ready for college as painlessly as possible!

Image Credit: Flickr, Average Jane

Who We Are: Information you can trust. For 20 years My College Guide has produced an annual magazine chock full of free college info for high-achieving high school sophomores and another edition just for high-achieving juniors! Check out our participating colleges.

Subscribe to our blog via RSS or email and stay on top of everything college!

How To Tell Your Parents You are Taking a Gap Year

Thursday, April 18th, 2013
Gap Year Travel

Gap Year Travel

In some countries, the gap year, or bridge year as it is sometimes called, is part of a normal pattern of events for students just out of high school. Here in the United States, however, it’s not quite as common, but it certainly has merit!

If you aren’t quite ready for college, you want to see more of the world before buckling down for another few years of school, or you just want to get a better feel for your intended career choice, a gap year could be right for you. And once you’ve decided to take a gap year, you might be wondering how to tell your parents.

How To Tell Your Parents You are Taking a Gap Year

It might not be as difficult as you think. If your parents have been very involved in your college search, they have probably already read about a gap year. Your goal is to make sure they understand the reasons you’re considering it, that you aren’t going to waste a year of your life, and that you are hoping to grow as a person before tackling your college career.

Stay on the College Path – Don’t ditch your SAT test or ACT test. Remember to prepare as if you are going to college. In fact, you should still apply! If you get in to your dream school, that’s great! Just ask for a deferment. If not, know that some schools (including Ivy League schools like Harvard and Princeton) actually encourage students to take a gap year before digging in!

Prepare a Budget — Let your parents know that you are serious by presenting them with a budget that outlines your monthly expenses. Account for expenses both obvious and hidden, and don’t forget to add in entertainment. Think about the cost of gas as well as maintenance, housing, and expenses to consider if you are going to be part of a gap year group or if you are branching out on your own. Whatever your gap year plan is, be sure to put it down in dollars and cents to give your parents a better understanding of what you are expecting from them and how you plan to help.

Have a Back-Up Plan — If you don’t get into college (or your first or second choice college) this time around, know that a gap year can help you get in. How you spend your gap year can help college admissions get a better feel for the person you are becoming. Some gap year programs include options for extensive travel opportunities or community service projects. That kind of year off can really make you stand out to college admissions and may even help you get in to a school that originally turned you down!

Consider an Internship —  If you aren’t sure what you want to do after high school, maybe it would help you to test the waters with an internship. Not only can you gain valuable skills and determine whether or not the major you’re considering will be a good fit, but you will also stand out to college admission officers who are looking for future movers and shakers.

Stick to the Plan

Don’t get angry. Don’t become confrontational. Take to heart whatever they have to say. The bottom line is that you will most likely need your parents’ help to make the most of your gap year! Making them a part of the process and listening to their advice can go a long way in helping achieve your gap year goals!

Image Credit: Flickr, katerha

Who We Are: Information you can trust. For 20 years My College Guide has produced an annual magazine chock full of free college info for high-achieving high school sophomores and another edition just for high-achieving juniors! Check out our participating colleges.

Subscribe to our blog via RSS or email and stay on top of everything college!

5 Tips for Tackling Online College Classes

Thursday, February 28th, 2013
Mastering Online Classes

Mastering Online Classes

If you are at a college that allows students to combine online and on-campus courses, you may be wondering how it will all work out.

Have no fear. My College Guide is here to give you the advice you need to successfully manage an online course.

Taking Online Courses

OrganizationAs an on-campus student, you’ve got a lot on your plate already. You are probably involved in your campus and you’ve got clubs, activities, and volunteer work on top of your regular college coursework. When you enroll in an online course, there isn’t anyone to remind you to turn in your work or complete your reading. You need to be organized. Whether you turn to your smartphone for organizational help or you go “old school” and write it all down, you need to find a method that works for you.

Proofread, Proofread, Proofread — This goes for your on-campus classes, too! Always take the time to proofread. Whether you are typing out an answer to an essay question, writing a long term paper, or just sharing your thoughts on the class message board,  take the time to correct your errors. For those major assignments, many colleges have writing centers where you can get a second opinion on your work. Take advantage of the help! Don’t miss points because you used “their/there” wrong.

Don’t Procrastinate — When you’ve got a packed schedule, it’s easy to push things aside. But in an online course (like many on-campus courses) there is no extra credit or make-ups. If you miss the deadline to turn in an assignment, you won’t get another opportunity.

It’s Not a Blow Off Class — You might think that “online” equals “easy” but don’t fall into that trap! There is a whole lot of work involved in an online course. There can be a lot more reading, weekly essay questions and follow-up student responses, as well as term papers and even Powerpoint projects. Treat it like you would any other college course and be prepared to work hard!

Creating Community – It can be difficult to feel like a part of the class and not just a number on a screen. Many online courses have a forum area where you can shoot the breeze or discuss the course with other students. It can be very helpful to get involved. It helps you connect to the course and, since you probably aren’t the only on-campus student taking the class, you may share a class in the future with some of these same students. And it’s always nice to know someone right off the bat,  right?

Online College Classes: The Truth

It’s a whole different experience to jump from a traditional on-campus course to an online course.

Keep our tips in mind, however, and you are sure to stay on top of everything and make your GPA shine!

Image Credit: Flickr, tamburix.

Who We Are: Information you can trust. For 20 years My College Guide has produced an annual magazine chock full of free college info for high-achieving high school sophomores and another edition just for high-achieving juniors! Check out our participating colleges.

Subscribe to our blog via RSS or email and stay on top of everything college!

You Aren’t in High School Anymore — 5 Unusual College Classes

Thursday, February 21st, 2013
Are You Ready for Tree Climbing Class?

Are You Ready for Tree Climbing Class?

After years of taking high school courses with names like “Algebra I” and “Intro to Chemistry,” you may be worrying that college is four more years of the same.

We’re here to tell you that in college, all the rules change! Check out five very unusual college classes and prepare to be amazed!

Unusual College Classes

Basic Slot MathWhat happens at the University of Nevada’s Basic Slot Math class stays at the University of Nevada’s Basic Slot Math class. Kidding, kidding. While it may seem like a fun way to pass the day, this course is aimed at uncovering the secret behind the question, “How does a casino game make a profit?”

Surviving the Coming Zombie Apocalypse: Catastrophes & Human BehaviorAre you always planning how you’ll survive the zombie apocalypse? Do you eagerly anticipate every episode of The Walking Dead and ponder how you could have handled things better? The School of Social Work at Michigan State University may have a class that can finally help you answer just how well you would do. The center of the course, according to the coursebook, is this: “How do humans behave in catastrophic times?”

Tree Climbing ClassesWant to get away from it all? For a PE credit at Cornell University, you can escape to the treetops while learning about tree climbing safety in the process. The class ends with an overnight in a hanging tree hammock! It’s like being a child all over again–if you ever wore a safety harness and gear while climbing trees, that is.

Stand-Up Paddling Board ClassSummer school was never so fun! For the first time, the College of Charleston offered a two credit hour class in this unusual water activity. Picture it: pushing yourself along on a surf board with a long paddle. It’s supposed to be an amazing workout and a really challenging time!

The American VacationIt’s the social history of vacations at the University of Iowa! The “why” and the “where” behind our family vacations. This class may delve into how the experience is shaped by gender, race, and class. Sounds like a great time!

Unique College Courses

College isn’t all work and no play.

Did you know that incorporating a fluff course into your college class schedule can actually free up your time for your harder courses and improve your GPA in the process? While we can’t vouch for each of the courses above, we welcome the change of pace!

Image Credit: Flickr, Ella’s Dad.

Who We Are: Information you can trust. For 20 years My College Guide has produced an annual magazine chock full of free college info for high-achieving high school sophomores and another edition just for high-achieving juniors! Check out our participating colleges.

Subscribe to our blog via RSS or email and stay on top of everything college!

Greek Life: The Pros and Cons of Going Greek

Thursday, February 14th, 2013
Considering Greek Life?

Considering Greek Life?

Are you considering going Greek at college? You’re not alone!

Thousands of students across the country will vie for a chance to make it into a Greek house. We’ll share the pros and the cons of Greek life.

The Pros of Going Greek

Make New Friends – But you won’t only make new friends (and create a bond that could last lifetime) but you’ll also be establishing fantastic networking benefits. If you ever have a problem or need help, you’ll know just where to turn! Joining a Greek house could also put you closer to that dream job than you think.

Fancy Digs — Not a huge fan of your college roommate? That’s not a problem if you have the chance to move in with your sorority sisters or fraternity brothers! Greek housing accommodations can be a welcome improvement over the typical college dorm room.

Community Service – A big part of sorority and fraternity life is often found in helping others. Whether you are cleaning up trash along a riverbank, tutoring elementary school children, or hosting a food drive for the local food pantry, Greek houses are often very committed to making a difference. And that’s something that you can feel very proud of indeed.

Academic Achievement — While this may not hold true in every Greek house, many are very concerned with academic achievement. In fact, Greek fraternity brothers and sorority sisters may be a source of encouragement and academic assistance to help you improve your GPA.

The Cons of Going Greek

Exclusivity — Since not just anyone is allowed in, being invited may make you feel a bit privileged and entitled. Will you let your ego take over? Once you leave college, rest assured that your Greek association will offer no special treatment in the workplace!

It’s a Matter of Time – When you join a Greek house, there may not be time for much else! If you were planning to be involved in a variety of other campus clubs and organizations, you may have to think again! Although every Greek house is different, some are so busy with party planning, group meetings, community service, and committing to on-campus volunteer work that it just doesn’t leave room for much else, even on weekends.

Money Matters – Unfortunately, Greek life isn’t free. If you don’t have the ability to pay the dues, you may be out of luck! They can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars. It’s an important factor to consider.

Greek Life at College

It all comes down to one thing: you’ll never know unless you try!

If you are curious about Greek life, then why not give it a go? At the very least, you will realize it’s not for you and you can continue on to something else. But if it is, you may make friends and enjoy experiences that will last your whole life.

Image Credit: Flickr, phault.

Who We Are: Information you can trust. For 20 years My College Guide has produced an annual magazine chock full of free college info for high-achieving high school sophomores and another edition just for high-achieving juniors! Check out our participating colleges.

Subscribe to our blog via RSS or email and stay on top of everything college!

Websites that Rank College Professors

Thursday, January 31st, 2013
College Professors: How Do You Find a Good One?

College Professors: How Do You Find a Good One?

It wasn’t easy getting into college: you’ve worked long and hard and want to make sure that you can find professors who are the best in their field…at least at your school.

My College Guide has discovered websites that rank college professors so you have some idea of what to expect before you ever set foot inside the college classroom.

Ranking College Professors

Rate My Professors This established site is super popular for a reason: it’s chock full of student reviews! They boast over 7,500 schools and more than 14 million student-generated comments and ratings. It’s easy to use and easy to rate.

MyEdu(formerly Pick A Prof) – Though this site has undergone a name-change and a bit of a reformat, it’s also less focused on the attractiveness of a professor and instead covers the really important stuff, like how good of a professor he or she is based on student-submitted reviews!  You may find out what the average grade is in the course (among those who visit the site, of course) as well as any professor recommendations that can include study tips or exams.

Professor Performance It’s a college professor review site with a twist: verified students actually leave reviews! Okay, anyone can leave a review, but knowing that a student is actually for real can be a big bonus! They may be more likely to stick to the facts and not let their emotions run rampant. In other words: we wonder if it may lead to more credible reviews.

Your Professor, Graded

At the end of the day, it’s all up to you. Take into consideration what others say, but also remember that it’s far easier for some folks to complain than it is to post something nice. Everyone has his or her own definition of what makes a great teacher.

Without knowing the back-story, it’s not always easy to tell if a review is written because a student slacked off and their grade suffered for it or if a professor truly maintains a difficult course schedule. At the very least, you can always switch classes that first week if a course is not what you thought it would be.

Image Credit: Flickr, pasukaru76.

Who We Are: Information you can trust. For 20 years My College Guide has produced an annual magazine chock full of free college info for high-achieving high school sophomores and another edition just for high-achieving juniors! Check out our participating colleges.

Subscribe to our blog via RSS or email and stay on top of everything college!

Student Advisers: Who They Are and What They Do

Thursday, January 24th, 2013
Need Direction? Meet Your Student Adviser!

Need Direction? Meet Your Student Adviser!

A student adviser, also known as a student services adviser, has a very important job: to help you make the best decisions about your college courses!

His or her primary goal is to ensure that you know all of the different opportunities available to you on campus. Read on to learn more about student advisers and how they can help you.

What is a Student Adviser?

A student adviser could become one of your greatest resources! Think of them as your mentors or as your key to knowing all that you can about your school and what it has to offer.

They are your guide to selecting the classes that will help you fulfill your college major requirements. Every student will be assigned an adviser. Your adviser will meet with you and may discuss your goals and what you want out of the semester and from school in general.

At some schools, your adviser will change each year. At others, once you declare a college major, you may keep the same adviser throughout your college career. But if you do switch, don’t worry–that just provides you with a different perspective!

What Does a Student Adviser Do?

The goal of your adviser is to provide you support however they can. They can help guide you in your college courses decisions. They can answer your questions about the campus. If you are not enrolled in a four year college or university, they can help prepare you for that transfer, too.

If you have any issues or problems along the way, whether academic or personal, they can provide support by directing you to campus resources to resolve the issue.

Their job is to be directly involved in campus activities so they know everything about your school and are more than happy to help you learn all about it, too!

Campus Resource

For first dibs on your college courses, you’ll want to schedule a time to talk and get planning. The earlier that you can get in to meet with your campus adviser, the better!

Whether your adviser changes through the years or stays the same, one thing remains clear: they are your go-to person to learn about the campus resources that can help you succeed in school and better enjoy college life.

Image Credit: Flickr, OliBac

Who We Are: Information you can trust. For 20 years My College Guide has produced an annual magazine chock full of free college info for high-achieving high school sophomores and another edition just for high-achieving juniors! Check out our participating colleges.

Subscribe to our blog via RSS or email and stay on top of everything college!

Online and In-Class: Campus Options at a College Near You

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013
What Learning Method Works for You

What Learning Method Works for You

Many colleges and universities not only offer unusual college classes in subjects like wine making and Star Trek, but they have another feature: online courses.

For a new college student, it’s hard enough to decide where you fit it in. Here are the facts when it comes to blending your courses online and off!

College Campus Options

Class is Full? No Problem — Sometimes, traditional college courses that you need are completely full. You could either wait until the next semester or you could join the multitude of other students at your campus, and hop online! You may have a broader age-range, which could provide a more diverse perspective in a course that’s designed for virtual forums with loads of interaction.

Hit the Books — Online courses can seem tempting to those who think they are less intense and are hoping for an easy grade…but in fact, it’s often the opposite! Online courses tend to pile on the reading with plenty of mandatory discussion. Compare the class syllabus if you can and see what you think. What you may have hoped would be a time-saver could turn out to be a time-sucker!

Time Management – There are already plenty of things for you to get used to as a new student, so do you really want to completely trade in the traditional classroom format? If you aren’t so good at working independently and can’t seem to stay on-task without a professor to nudge you along, you may want to stick with the usual on-campus courses. And while introverts may really love the idea of bypassing direct interaction, you don’t want to end up isolating yourself! But, if you are driven, a great self-motivator, and don’t mind tacking on an online class or two, it could save you some money and knock out a couple of the harder-to-get-into courses earlier!

Traditional Student or Blended Schedule

Ultimately, the choice is yours. Think about what you feel comfortable with and consider your learning style. Speak with your college adviser and find out more about what to expect from online courses as compared to traditional classes.

Nothing says you have to jump online, but for some students, it may be the answer for which they have been searching!

Image Credit: Flickr, baddog_

Who We Are: Information you can trust. For 20 years My College Guide has produced an annual magazine chock full of free college info for high-achieving high school sophomores and another edition just for high-achieving juniors! Check out our participating colleges.

Subscribe to our blog via RSS or email and stay on top of everything college!

Pre-College Program at Emory College: A Preview of College Life

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012
Pre-College Program at Emory University

Pre-College Program at Emory University

Want to ease those college jitters? My College Guide knows that a pre-college program can help you get prepped for college in ways you may not have thought possible. Get the feel of a campus, make new friends, and see what college life is all about before you even leave high school!

For those who don’t yet know, a pre-college program is a summer program of varying length that many colleges and universities offer as a way to take a college course (sometimes even for credit!) while you are still in high school. Plus, it looks great on a college admissions application.

We got in touch with Elizabeth Elkins, the senior program associate at Emory College, to learn more about their pre-college option. If you’ve been looking for a way to stand out during the college admissions process and get a head-start knocking out those college credits, this may very well be something that you want to consider.

Read on and see what Emory College’s pre-college program is all about!

Pre-College Program at Emory College

Emory College doesn’t just have one pre-college program to choose from, you’ve got two programs of different length that encompass a variety of fields! Can you tell me a bit more about them?

Emory’s pre-college program has two options: two-week, non-credit courses, and six-week credit courses. Two-week courses give you a taste of college life in a class taught by an Emory professor.

Classes include the Neuroscience of Technology, Writing the Personal Essay, Law and Litigation, Psychology of Creativity, Infectious Diseases: Causes and Cures, and many others. Six-week courses are taken for full college credit, which is transferable to the college of your choice.

In a six-week class, you will be in the classroom with regular Emory college students. Classes in the six-week program are regular college classes such as Biology 120, Introduction to Sociology, etc. Emory opens a number of its summer courses up to qualified high school students each year.

Students in either program have the option to live on campus, or commute from home if they live in the Atlanta area.

Students live on campus in an actual dorm?

Yes, students live in Turman Residence Hall, one of the campus’ brand new buildings.

What are some courses that really stand out for you?

Pre-College Program at Emory University

Pre-College Program at Emory University

Dr. Marshall Duke’s Psychology of Creativity is regular each summer, and it is one of our most popular courses. Dr. Duke is a favorite among Emory students as well. In this class, students pick a famous creative person and look closely at how their personality traits made them successful. Past students have studied Lady Gaga, Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey and 50 Cent.

Law and Litigation is another great course. It is taught by an Emory Law School professor and includes field trips to behind-the-scenes corporate law boardrooms.

So, would you consider a pre-college program at Emory College a great preview of actual college life?

Absolutely. So many of our students come to the program to find out if Emory is the right fit for them. We make sure the program is similar to life on campus. You live in a dorm, eat your meals at the student center, have a Resident Advisor, and have to learn how to balance your course homework with the many extracurricular options available.

There are also College 101 sessions that tell you more about different offices and activities on campus. These sessions also offer advice on writing college entrance exams, picking a major and studying abroad.

Is the Emory pre-college program all work and no play?

Downtime is up to the student. You can study, go to the gym, explore campus or hang out with your new friends. There are also many fun excursions planned during each session – including trips to Braves baseball games, the World of Coca-Cola, the Georgia Aquarium and Six Flags over Georgia.

This sounds like a great program, and one that could be tough to get into! When should a student think about applying for the pre-college program to ensure a better chance at snagging a spot?

Pre-College Program at Emory University

Pre-College Program at Emory University

We start accepting applications January 1 of each year. We encourage students to apply early to get the course they want. If a student needs financial aid, they should note the April 1 financial aid application deadline. Another advantage is to complete your application on time, and make sure your teacher/counselor submits their recommendation letter on time.

Otherwise, be a strong and dedicated student!

Is there anything a high school student can do now to help them gain an advantage in Emory pre-college admissions?

We look for students who would gain admission to Emory College. You should have strong grades, solid test scores and a great recommendation from your counselor or teacher. We love to see students who are involved in extracurricular activities as well.

Pre-College Prep

There’s a lot of reasons to consider a pre-college program! To get a better feel for the program: browse the website, watch the Emory College pre-college program videos, and plan ahead if you want to snag a spot for yourself!

To find out more, request free information from Emory College today!

Who We Are: Information you can trust. For 20 years My College Guide has produced an annual magazine chock full of free college info for high-achieving high school sophomores and another edition just for high-achieving juniors! Check out our participating colleges.

Subscribe to our blog via RSS or email and stay on top of everything college!

5 iPhone Apps to Help You Succeed in College

Thursday, October 18th, 2012
iPhone Apps for College

iPhone Apps for College

When it comes to making the transition to college, your iPhone can do more for you than help you stay in touch with friends! There are a slew of phenomenal and fun iPhone apps that can help you get organized, learn to manage your money, and brush up on a little grammar.

The best part of all? Many of the following iPhone apps are free! Take your time, pick and choose, and think about the way you work. Your smartphone has become such a part of your every day life, it only makes sense to have it close at hand when it comes to beginning your college career!

iPhone Apps to Help You Succeed in College

Evernote Evernote is an extremely popular iPhone app. So popular, in fact, that it’s likely you already have it installed on your iPhone! Its simple note-taking ability is what makes it particularly useful for the college bound set. If you have an Apple iPad, EverNote Peek could be a great fit! This app takes your Evernote clips and turns them into a very efficient way to study. Utilizing your iPad’s cover, or a virtual one, you can easily put yourself to the test!

Mint.com Living on your own and away from mom and dad means that you need to get a handle on what you spend. Mint.com is a free way to keep tabs on where your money is really going! Emailed reminders alert you when you go over-budget–which could help you avoid the Ramen noodle diet!

iStudentPro Stay on top of your schedule, manage your assignments, and even keep tabs on your GPA! With its cloud-syncing ability, it’s easy to switch from tablet to iPhone and back again! The timer feature is particularly useful. Set it to remind you of a homework assignment or class time–and never oversleep again!

My Grammar — Instead of yet another round of Angry Birds, put that spare time to good use with the My Grammar app. Learn the correct grammar rules with short multiple choice quizzes. Don’t lose points on your papers because of your grammar mistakes. Brush up on your skills and have a little fun, too.

Wi-Fi Finder — Ever notice how you can’t find Wi-Fi when you really need it? Take the guesswork out of finding free Wi-Fi on campus with this handy app. Oh, and it’s free!

And Then?

Are there any iPhone apps that helped you make the most of college? Please share them in the comments below!

Image Credit: Flickr, Tony Buser.

Who We Are: Information you can trust. For 20 years My College Guide has produced an annual magazine chock full of free college info for high-achieving high school sophomores and another edition just for high-achieving juniors! Check out our participating colleges.

Subscribe to our blog via RSS or email and stay on top of everything college!