Tag Archives: money

Are Summer Jobs Realistic Anymore?

With the school year winding down and summer break almost upon us, a lot of students are starting to make plans for their summers. Some have vacations, some will simply be going home for the summer, and many will be looking for a summer job. College and life, in general, are expensive and we could all use a little extra cash in our pocket. People have been doing this for years, so it is no big deal, right? Not exactly.

starbucks worker
“Most businesses are not looking for part-time summer help anymore; most places want someone who is willing to work part-time year-round.” Photo from: http://cdn.thesimpledollar.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/starbucks-barista.jpg

The world is changing and progressing rapidly and things aren’t the same as they were 20, 10, or even five years ago. Most businesses are not looking for part-time summer help anymore; most places want someone who is willing to work part-time year-round, at the very least. And working year-round is not a very plausible option for most college students. First of all, most college students go home for the summer which is usually not very close to college. It can be two hours away, four hours away, or six or eight hours away. So even if a college student wanted to, the idea of having a year round job is not a possibility. And with that option gone, the job opportunities dwindle. Most places of business do not want to hire someone only to replace them after three months; that is just bad business.

If a college student lives near their college campus and does stay in the same area year-round, they will still run into similar problems. While it is not impossible to keep a job and go to college at the same time (plenty of college students do exactly that), it is difficult and not something that everyone can do. Any college student can tell you that college is hard and that it takes a lot of time and effort; many have to spend the vast majority of their time working on school work. It is not uncommon for them to have very little spare time left and it’s hard to work at a job when you only have a few spare hours. College is intensive, and the whole point of summer break is to give you an actual break, not spend it begging for a job that you’ll likely have to quit in a few months.

High School Lunches Need Improvement

Many of us remember what our high school lunches were like, and they are probably not fond memories. Many school lunches were rather lackluster and little more than a small sandwich, a carton of milk, and a sub-par side. With the recent budget proposal by Donald Trump that would cut funding to many food programs quite a few rely on, a drastic improvement to school lunch programs is needed.

school lunch
“The portions are also often small, so even if the food itself has not gone bad, students are still hungry after they have finished their lunch.” Photo from: http://mybrownbaby.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/school-lunch.jpg

There needs to be a good balance between lunches that are healthy and lunches that have plenty of food. Often times, the food available to high school students is clearly not fresh; buns are stale, fruits have those tell-tale soft spots, and milk is expired. The portions are also often small, so even if the food itself has not gone bad, students are still hungry after they have finished their lunch. Many high schools are known to reuse leftover food for the sake of cutting costs, which leads to the bigger issue that schools face: lack of funding.

It is not uncommon to hear about a high school having trouble with getting sufficient funding for all sections of the school. Since public schools receive their funding from the government, they often have to spend a specific amount of the funding on a specific department within their school. For example, the athletic department is often known for getting the lion’s share of the funding for a variety of reasons. Sports teams are a big crowd pleaser and they draw good publicity for the school and the school systems, ergo they receive more funding than most. While the athletic department of a school shouldn’t be underfunded, a portion of the excessive amount of money it receives could go to the school lunch program to help provide fresh food for the entire student body. Students deserve fresh fruit, fresh meat, and larger portions. This is a program that benefits all of the students, not just a specific subset of them. Thus, it deserves more funding, especially given that soon many students will be receiving less food thanks to federal budget cuts.

Is the Renovation Needed Now?

WhittHall
“Maybe the university should focus more on maintaining what is already here rather than advancing one area and leaving another lacking.” Photo from: http://i1.wp.com/www.andassoc.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/WhittHall.png?fit=476%2C305

Anyone who has been on Radford’s campus has seen the various renovations that have been happening across the campus. Whitt Hall has been under reconstruction for the entirety of this academic year, and the old apartments that used to be home to several humanities departments are long gone and are being replaced with a new parking lot. Just this year, the new College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences building, or CHuBS, opened up after several years of construction. Several of the dorms in Moffett Quad were reopened after renovations last academic year. In fact, it seems like as soon as one construction project is finished, a new one begins. All of these new improvements are very nice and provide great facilities for both students and staff, but is all of it really necessary right now?

There’s no arguing that many of the new renovations and additions to Radford campus are needed; many of these buildings are very old and are in desperate need of an upgrade. But the real question is whether or not these renovations are the best option right now. After all, there have been instances of various departments around campus lacking in funding and supplies. So far, none of these instances have been a real issue, but maybe the university should focus more on maintaining what is already here rather than advancing one area and leaving another lacking. This is not to be ungrateful for the new facilities that we have (they are very nice and very helpful) but more so for the idea of spreading the help around and making sure every department gets what they need first before we spend more money. Not to mention that sometimes all of the construction going on can cause a bit of trouble for students as it often closes off pathways people typically use.

How Much Will That College Degree Actually Help?

Nowadays it is pretty normal and almost expected for people to go to college. It is just what is done, and those who either go straight into the workforce or the military are the outliers (not that there is anything wrong with that). This is a pretty significant change from the generation of most college student’s parents. It used to be that you could go straight into the workforce without worrying about college; in fact, most people did and got along fine. However, it seems that everyone needs a college degree to get any job beyond basic retail or the fast food industry. But does a degree really help?

Almost any medium or high-level job requires at least a basic four-year degree to even be considered, which is a large part of the problem. A bachelor’s degree has become the new status quo, and it is the minimum requirement. Going to a basic four-year college is no longer enough to stand out. It’s expected that you have at least that much if you are even going to consider applying for a job. This has made finding a job, stable employment, and most importantly financial security much more difficult. This is extremely concerning for most college students because of the massive debt that they rack up just to get those four-year degrees.

job app
“Many employers want several years worth of work experience as a minimum requirement. It is extremely hard to get work experience when you are in college.” Photo from: http://allthatglitterspawn.com

Another issue is that for most starting positions, many employers want several years worth of work experience as a minimum requirement. It is extremely hard to get work experience when you are in college. Any college student will tell you that they are already extremely busy with their school work. Many will tell you that they aren’t able to have a job and still manage their school workload. And yet, we are expected, at a minimum, to have this work experience along with our four-year degree straight out of college.

A college degree is always a good thing to have, but recently it seems like students have to go above and beyond just to stand a chance. You either have to pursue even higher levels of education (and rack up more debt) or somehow manage to work at least a part-time job within your field of study while juggling an ever-increasing workload from school, which is not easy (and in fact a quite daunting) task.

Money jar

You can make your jar fun and pretty too! Photo from blog.quizzle.com

Over the past year or so, I’ve realized how important money is. I don’t mean that in the superficial “money buys happiness and being rich is all that matters” kind of way. I mean that having money is truly the only way to survive. Money buys food, shelter, clothes, and education. Without those four necessary things, we as humans can’t survive. However, despite the basic needs for survival, money also buys things that differentiate surviving from living. Anyone can survive, but not everyone truly lives.

Money can’t buy happiness, that I agree with. However, money can help. I consider living to be defined as experiencing new things, enjoying what life has to offer, and doing these things with people you love. Money can purchase concert tickets, amusement park tickets, gas for road trips, plane tickets that allow you to explore the world. Without money, you’re left with what your hometown has to offer, the same movie theaters and outlet malls that you’ve been accustomed to your entire life. I wouldn’t consider continuing to go to those places as experiencing or learning new things. Although money can encourage living, you have to work hard and save up to be able to experience what the world has to offer.

Money jars are pretty self explanatory. I’m sure you’ve seen them on tumblr, pinterest, and maybe even instagram. Money jars are jars that contain money that you’ve saved up. When you receive your paycheck or whatever type of money you receive from working, you can take a fraction of your earnings and place it into the jar. I’m choosing to put 20 dollars every month into the jar. By doing this, eventually, you’ll have enough money saved up to be able to travel, to buy tickets to wherever or whomever you want to see. This method allows you to continue to pay rent, buy food, or other responsibilities you might have to survive, while also saving up so you can live. Because what is surviving without living?

By having a physical object to look at, containing money that you have worked hard for, it allows you to see the bigger picture, to see why you work those long hours, working yourself to the bone. It gives you a reminder of why you work and do the things you do. Money jars are a physical reminder of the fun experiences the life has in store for you. It reminds you to never give up because living is more important than simply surviving.

5 ways to lose all your money

When it comes to money, I’m the worst at knowing what’s best. I want to spend every cent I have on things that I know I don’t need, or things that I need to survive but could potentially purchase cheaper alternatives. Even though I don’t make a lot of money, the money I do make never stays in my bank account long enough to gain interest or to gain more than 50 dollars at one time. Here are the 5 reasons I never have any money:

Don't waste your money on daily McDonald's trips. Graphic from JP Koning
Don’t waste your money on daily McDonald’s trips. Graphic from JP Koning

1. Food

Food is my worst enemy when it comes to spending all of my money. When I’m hungry, I have to eat as soon as possible, or I might explode with rage. I become the definition of “hangry” and, as you know, there is only one cure. My go-to when I’m dying of hunger is McDonald’s. I began eating McDonald’s when I was probably 4 or 5, and I’ve never looked back. However, McDonald’s can be pretty expensive when you’re not eating from the dollar menu, which of course, I usually don’t, unless I’m scrounging for change in my car. For some reason, I think eating at home is the worst idea ever and refuse to do it, until I’m out of money and crying on my couch eating Ramen. What I should be doing is only eating out once or twice a week, while eating at home the other 5 days, but that will never happen. My addiction to McDonald’s is too far gone. Save yourselves.

2. Gas

Gas is so expensive. I will never get over having to spend 25 to 30 dollars on gas every four days. My car literally eats my money and then poops it out over the course of a few days, then has the audacity to ask for more. Stupid car. Being a commuter and having to drive to and from Radford, from Blacksburg, multiple times a day, obviously doesn’t save any gas. In the long run, I’m sure it’s cheaper than living on campus, but my debit card sure feels sad and lonely at the end of the day.

3. Cigarettes

You don’t need to tell me how to save money with this one. I get it.

4. Significant Other

Relationships can be expensive, especially when expensive to me means more than 15 dollars. But your significant other deserves to have money spent on them, to have new things, but only every now and then. If you’re struggling with money like I am, then things like food, rent, gas, and other essentials tend to have a higher priority on the list. Just don’t forget about them. Nice things every once in awhile are good, but keep it to a minimum.

5. Clothes

Buying clothes can be a tricky situation. When you actually need clothes, it makes sense that you would go to a store, and buy your clothes. However, when you convince yourself that you need clothes, that you genuinely need new jeans or shirts, even though you really don’t, that’s when money and spending choices need to be questioned.

The bottom line here is spend your money wisely. If you can, save as much as possible so you can have it when you really need it. Try not to buy things you don’t need or spend money when you could eat or use things you already have.
Okay, time to get McDonald’s.

Radford University will eliminate tuition fees for the next three years

For the next three years, Radford University has decided to eliminate all tuition fees for all students! They realized the tuition was way too expensive, and students who want to attend here but can’t because of money issues should be able to, no matter what. They received enough complaints from students and parents, making it the easiest decision they’ve ever made. They’re also going make one day a week free food day, where all food on campus will be giving away free food to anyone and everyone!

Ever since Trump came to the campus, and the new president has been chosen, Radford has really tightened up on their beliefs and values, and how they want to affect their student population. The new president has come out, publically, as a Bernie Sanders supporter, and the first thing he wanted to do to prove that was to make college free, and food on campus somewhat free. The president of RU knows what it’s like to be a broke college student, to not be able to afford food everyday or even afford college at all. So that’s why he has made college free for three years, and he intends on continuing free college as long as students continue to apply and keep up their grades.

Ever since RU’s new president announces his support of Bernie Sanders, all of social media has been raging, in happiness of course. One student was so ecstatic, she tweeted Bernie Sanders and he tweeted back! He told her that he would love to come to Radford University and clean up what Donald Trump left behind. This was the best news I’ve heard all year, to hear Bernie Sanders speak to the Radford campus will be an even I never forget. I can’t wait to write an article on the rally and the amount of peace and happiness it will bring.

This last week has been the most exciting week of my life. To hear college will be free, one day a week on campus food will be free, and Bernie Sanders is coming to speak at RU, it’s literally the best news I could ever hear. I don’t know how this year will get any better!
April Fool’s bitches. This article is entirely satire.

New “Reactions” to Facebook

Some of us spend countless hours on Facebook while simply scrolling through our timelines. We stop to read posts, shared witty articles, and even leave a “like” or comment on statuses.

The future of Facebook is nigh folks, and it’s looking more enchanting than ever.

Facebook's new Reactions. Graphic from adweek.com
Facebook’s new Reactions. Graphic from adweek.com

Facebook will soon be releasing a new way to connect with friends’ posts and statuses, called Reactions. Soon users will be able to be “angry” and “sad”, or shout “yay” or “wow” — you’ll even be able to finally “love” a comment, photo or video posted on the social media giant.

The social media site is hoping these additional Reactions will boost the amount of time spent on Facebook, and more people will share their thoughts more at regular intervals during the day.

Facebook began testing the wide range of new expressions last October in Chile, the Philippines, Portugal, Ireland, Spain, Japan and Colombia.

Facebook will soon roll out a wider range of reactions to posted items than “like.”

Soon its users will be able to be “angry” and “sad,” or shout “yay” or “wow” — or simply “love” a comment, photo or video posted on the social media site.

On Wednesday January 31, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, our lord and creator, said ”We want people to be able to share all of the things that are meaningful to them, not just the things that are happy and that people are going to like when they see it”. He added that the release of the new expressions will come “pretty soon.”

Additionally on Wednesday, Facebook released its earnings report. The company reported that during the last three months of 2015, Facebook brought in $5.8 billion — a growth of 52%. Making $1.6 billion in profit — an increase of 123% from 2014.

Facebook is now making more money off it’s users than ever before. There are now 1.59 billion people who use the site each month. Facebook makes more than $13 per user, a 50% increase from the $9 they made per person in 2014.

Other changes made to the site, like live video and collages, more tailored notifications, the ability to hide your exs and a more powerful search tool, keep people on the site for longer, and allows Facebook to learn more about its users — using advertising to target people much more effectively.

Facebook may be making more money off of us, but they are giving much more back to us in return. The new Reactions added to the site will generate so much more money, and may mean a huge increase in Facebook’s earnings report of 2016.

Main Street Night Life–One Student’s Opinion

At bigger schools and universities, the students normally go out on the weekends. They have a main street that’s lively with people, bars, restaurants, and small music venues. However, when people come to visit Radford they ask what bars we go to or where they are, if it’s a long walk to them, et cetera.

What they don’t know is, we only have two or three “bars”, if you can even define them as such, that people will venture to and actually have fun at.

 

The bar scene in Radford is definitely not like the bigger university. Graphic from Brightest Young Things
The bar scene in Radford is definitely not like the bigger universities. Graphic from Brightest Young Things

BT’s is the closest and is within manageable walking distance. There’s Sharkey’s, which is further, but you can still walk there without much trouble. The last bar is Macado’s, which you would probably want to drive to since it’s sort of out of the way of everything else happening on the weekends.

So, I would definitely say that Radford does not have a bar scene or a street specifically for students on the weekend.

Although we do have a main street that has a decent amount of shops, no one bothers to remember the names of them, let alone visits them. What would be beneficial to our students, our community, and our school would be to renovate our main street and start to build a nightlife scene.

Students would be excited about the new bars, they would make a lot of money off of the students especially on the weekends, and it would give Radford something that it doesn’t have yet. Radford is already growing significantly, and has big plans for the next several years on expanding.

This would bring in a lot of wanted and needed revenue and give students another option for the weekends. It could also make it safer for students if there were police down there to help deal with traffic and helping students walk across the streets. Radford would thrive off of a main street nightlife and I see it happening sometime in our school’s future!

 

What smoking means today

Smoking hasn’t always had a huge stigma in society. It use to be something everyone did. In the office, the bars, in restaurants, everywhere really. It was something that everyone just did, regardless if they wanted to or not.

Back in the 1950s, smoking was at an all time high because it was cool and cheap. Actors like James Dean and Audrey Hepburn were never seen on screen without a cigarette in their hands or mouths.

Everyone was influenced by famous people in the 1950s and 1960s and because smoking cigarettes was cheap, cool, and socially acceptable, everyone did it.

Nowadays, however, smoking is much more controversial and stigmatized. Most people think smoking is disgusting, a habit that will kill you the second a cigarette hits your lips.

I think this change occurred because more medical information was released about cigarettes, telling consumers that cigarettes can cause cancer, heart disease, lung disease, and many more effects. However, what most people don’t seem to take into account are the effects of that alcohol can have as well.

People like to lecture smokers how on they can kill you, but don’t take a second to step back and look at themselves and the bad habits they have. Cigarettes may have more short-term effects, but alcohol can kill you in the long term.

Smoking, since the 1950s, has also become much more expensive. In the 1950s, a pack of cigarettes cost 25 cents. Today, on average, a pack of cigarettes cost $5.25.

No wonder people don’t smoke as much anymore;it’s way too expensive.

People rather spend that $5.25 on the dollar menu at McDonald’s, killing their arteries and increasing their risk for heart disease, than buy a pack of cigarettes. See what I did there?

Just because cigarettes are more direct with their health risks doesn’t mean that fast food or alcohol is any better for you. Fast food is a silent killers in a way, since they don’t tell their consumers out right what the effects of their products can have.

Simply because cigarette companies are legally bound to tell their consumers about the effects, people think cigarettes are the killer of all things when in fact they are just honest with their side effects.

1950s cigarette packaging Photo from Vintageadbrowser
1950s cigarette packaging
Photo from Vintageadbrowser

The stigma around cigarette smokers is mostly judgement and false opinions on those who smoke. People think that smokers are scary, rude, disgusting, and many other negative adjectives when that simply isn’t true for everyone.

Everybody smokes for different reasons whether it be to handle stress, anxiety, depression, or whatever reason, and this is personal to the smoker. People judge too quickly and don’t think about the reasons behind the actions of people. Think before you judge someone and get rid of the stigma. It is unnecessary and simply unjust.

Better safe than sorry

Everyone gets excited when they feel like they are finally where they want to be financially. Your bank account looks good and you feel confident, so whatever it is you’ve had your eye on you go out and buy.

You tell yourself you have enough money and that this may be the only time you will be able to buy that expensive dress you saw last week or the pair of shoes you’ve been eyeing. Your friends all ask you out to lunch a couple times a week and you say yes because you want that delicious food from that fancy restaurant. You deserve to eat at that fancy restaurant and you think your bank account can take a few hits.

Just when you spend money, it seems you lose money from other places. Graphic by Katie Gibson
Just when you can afford to spend money, it seems you lose money from other places. Graphic by Katie Gibson

What you don’t know is that next week your car will get towed because you didn’t see the “no parking” sign. The following week your washing machine will break and you will have to pay to have it fixed or buy a whole new one.

Your bank account will take a couple hard losses in the next couple weeks and after you spent a lot of your money on clothes and food you don’t know how you will pay for all of these incidents and still have money left over for groceries and necessities. This is where the dreaded yet true concept better safe than sorry comes in.

Everyone has heard the saying and probably doesn’t think much of it. I didn’t give it a second thought until I ran into similar problems and was stuck in a rut after I blew the majority of my money on food and things I wanted but didn’t need. Try to restrain from things you want and spend money only on the things you need in your life.

Groceries, toiletries, rent, and books for school; these are necessities and what you should be spending your money on.

The rest of the time you should try to save your money as frequently as you can just in case something comes up and you need the extra in your bank account!

The pros to having a swipe all 4 years of college

When you’re a freshman in college one of your requirements is to have a meal plan.  You live in the dorms and you can’t really cook anything besides popcorn and ramen noodles. So, your swipe is your gold key to all the food places on campus.

As a freshman, you’ll probably have the biggest meal plan that has a lot of money so you can have enough to get you through both semesters.

image2
Photo By: Danielle Byrd

However, when you get to be older, some people just stop buying a meal plan because they live in an apartment or house where they can make dinner every night. Sophomores might have a less expensive meal plan, but often still have one because they are not sure what it’ll be like in their apartment or house.  They don’t know whether or not they will or can make breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day.  When you get to be a junior or senior, though, it seems as if having a meal plan isn’t worth the money anymore. I, however, think that it’s worth it and is beneficial to anyone who wants to purchase one.

You don’t have to buy the most expensive plan, there are pretty cheap ones and then there are the more expensive ones most commonly used by freshman. I am a junior and I have a block meal plan so I get 65 swipes per semester. I use my swipe constantly throughout the week. Whether I use it to get coffee after my early classes or get lunch on the way home from the gym, I get a lot of use out of it. It’s convenient for when I am in a rush or just want food from on campus.  If I don’t have time to make dinner I can just grab something from on campus, already made. Having a meal plan throughout college has helped me survive until my next home cooked meal with my family.

 

Why you should invest in a Scentsy

 

For those of you who don’t know what a Scentsy is, it’s wax warmer that is magical, wonderful, and totally worth the money. They aren’t sold in stores but they have a website that you can visit and purchase what you need from their consultants. (https://scentsy.com) Basically, instead of having an online ordering system, they have consultants throughout the country to sell to people around them. It’s really easy and just like ordering online but you get it from a person who’s near your area. You don’t have to directly contact the person, Scentsy does that for you and you will have your scents or warmer sent to you within the week.

 

IMG_3197
“They have a huge selection of scented waxes and even sections like holiday scents, summer scents, classic scents, and so on.” Photo By: Sydney Crawson

Once on the website, you can buy anything from an actual warmer to different waxes to warmer covers. The warmers range wide in price from $30-$60 so if you don’t want to spend a lot you don’t have to but if you want to, and can, that’s available for you also. The warmers come in different patterns, shapes, and sizes. They even have a nightlight version of the warmer you can plug into a wall outlet!

The fun part starts when you get to pick out which waxes you want to put in your Scentsy dish. They have a huge selection of scented waxes and even sections like holiday scents, summer scents, classic scents, and so on. The waxes are only $5 and they are re-usable! All you have to do is heat up the wax in your dish and then when it becomes a liquid you dump it back into its plastic shell and wipe out any excess wax still stuck to your dish. Then you can put whatever other scent you want and keep re-using them as many times as you wish!

Scentsy’s are cute, fun, and mess free. They won’t burn your apartment down if you leave them on by accident. They smell stronger than candles too. Scentsy’s are a great investment and will bring joy and great scents to your humble abode.

 

A hacker’s worst nightmare

Do you ever feel afraid that your credit card information will get stolen? Have you ever had hundreds of dollars stolen by hackers online? Hopefully, this new technology will help you sleep better at night.  

On Thursday, October 1, 2015, a new chip-embedding credit card was released in Florida. This state is a bit behind the rest of the country, but at least they’re catching up. Europe, of course, is a step ahead of America and have already had this technology for years. This new credit card involves a computer chip being implanted into the credit card, allowing for the magnetic strip to become unnecessary. Each chip has a unique code per transaction, making it harder for hackers and criminals to copy the card information.

Will this new credit card chip keep your money safe? Graphic from How To Geek
Will this new credit card chip keep your money safe? Graphic from How To Geek

Instead of walking up to the registers and swiping the card, one would put the card into the bottom of the register. The machine will scan the card, ensuring all the information is correct by authenticating it with the user’s bank. Unfortunately, it’s not a guarantee that all credit card theft is over.

Updating to the new chip-embedded credit card seems to be more common among business people and corporations. It’s understandable because of the high amounts of money that these types of people and organizations have. It would be detrimental to their careers if money were to be stolen from their accounts.

Although it’s more common, the average day person is also updating their magnetic strips to chips. Most of the people, so far, who have upgraded did so because they had their information and money stolen from them while using the magnetic strip. Forty percent of Americans have switched their cards out with the newer model and there have only been positive reviews.

Although the technology was released on Thursday, not all companies across the country have jumped on board with the idea. Places such as gas stations and grocery stores have until 2016 to update their registers, showing that this new invention is not optional.

Many corporations find it naïve for other companies not to upgrade, simply because it is safer and smarter to protect oneself ahead of time, especially with the somewhat recent hacking of customer information from Target. It’s said that by the time the rest of the country upgrades, hackers will have figured out how to crack the chip.

You have a year to protect your money, so do it.

Highlanders Anonymous: The how-to edition

“How can I spend less money?”

The number one way to save money (according to no real statistics) is to make a budget. I’m not just talking about a yearly or monthly budget either. No. I mean a weekly and daily budget. If you want to have control over your hard-earned money, you’ve got to strategize.

You can be strict with your budget and have fun too. The best way is to be realistic. If you know you’re going to buy food at school and go shopping every Friday,factor those things in. Making a plan doesn’t mean you can’t do things. What you can do is be more informed, so you’ll know how much you can spend at the mall. Budgeting is smart, no matter how old you are. This will reduce a lot of stress in your life. Knowing your limitations is important.

“How can I learn to cook for myself?”

There are many ways to learn how to cook. I suggest finding the most fun way for you. You can watch cooking shows, if you’re a visual learner and want some inspiration. Another way is to buy a cookbook or look at recipes online. Follow the instructions exactly if you’re not sure what you’re doing. You can improvise after you’ve got the basics down. Cook alone or with friends, whichever suits you.

“How do I get a good night’s sleep?”

Be aware of your health and state of mind. It may be harder to fall asleep if you have a lot on your mind. To wind down, you should get away from electronics and bright screens that stimulate your brain and keep you awake. I suggest reading a book, conveniently placed near your bed. Also, make sure not to eat too close to bed–it’s not good for your metabolism! Make yourself comfortable and relaxed.

“How do I learn a new language?”

To learn a new language, there’s nothing better than practice. The more time you put into learning the basic structure of a language and practicing  vocabulary, the better results you’ll see. Although it can be a struggle at first, try and integrate this new language as a part of your daily life. The more the language is used practically in your day to day, the easier it’ll be to remember to go back and work on your weaknesses and get better. Another really helpful thing is to speak to native speakers of the language. You can do this through language-learning sources, online or you can even get a pen pal.

Highlanders Anonymous: Diets, Netflix, and so much more

How do I even diet?

To start a diet, you need a good reason  and a clear goal. Once you have those, you can plot out the course to success. The closer  track you keep of your progress, the more motivated you will be. There are a variety of  free online resources to help you diet in a safe and healthy way.

food weight
“Diet in a safe way that’s healthy.”

 

How much Netflix is too much?

Once you’ve started flaking out on commitments or become buried alive in an avalanche of dirty laundry. At that point, you may be escaping from reality a bit too much.

What’s the best way to keep from falling behind in my classes? I’m just trying to make it to spring break.

First of all, it’s good that you have something to look forward to. Hang in there, okay? The best way to keep from falling behind is to keep track of when everything is due. Also, keep in close contact with your professors to avoid confusion. Turn in assignments early if possible. Then you can cruise by until you finally get to relax over break.

I’m so over being stuck inside the house during snow days. How do I keep myself from going crazy?

Enjoy the snow to its fullest–go outside and be active. You can always study and spend some quality time with your roommates. There are many conventional types of entertainment to enjoy, too.

Dust off the old board games from the closet or switch the PS2 back on. Better yet, do some actual dusting. That will help you burn off all that excess energy that you’ve built up from being stuck around the house. Get your spring cleaning done way early. It’s helpful to get things done in a more zen environment. There isn’t much of a downside to cleaning your house or going the extra mile to clean things you usually ignore. After all, you have all the time in the world.

I feel like I’m stuck in my major. Am I just wasting my money going on this way?

If you feel like you’re stuck in your major, maybe you should be exploring other options. If that’s a big or expensive leap for you, talk to people in your field that already have the job you want. Speaking to those professionals will help you get some perspective and direction on what you need to achieve your goals.

Work it, girl!

Ramen: the basic diet for a college student. Even though the sodium explosion that is ramen can be quite a treat every once in a while, it’s not the best means of sustenance. To prevent the fate of a constant ramen diet, one must seek out funds. These can’t always be a given; sometimes they must be sought out.

One form of money-making for students is right on campus: work study. This offer is exclusively for undergraduate and graduate students that have been accepted for financial aid benefits through the federal government. To gain that eligibility, you must fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). If approved, those students are allowed to apply for part-time jobs. Those jobs may also include community service like tutoring kids off-campus.

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“One form of money-making for students is right on campus: work study.” Photo of: Student Danielle Johnson

Students who receive the work study opportunity make minimum wage and generally have a set amount of hours that they’re allowed to work per week in order to adhere to their budgets. The budgets depend on the how much the college can afford. Keep in mind that graduates and undergraduates are paid at different rates. There are cases where you might not be paid exactly by the hour.

This year students may work up to 180 hours each semester, working 12 hours a week and earn $7.25 an hour. Not only does this time help you earn some extra pocket money, but it will look great on your resume–as long as you use the opportunity wisely. This offer gives you real work experience and can help you get closer with departmental connections at the school that are able to further your career.

Student employment on campus doesn’t happen without a little bit of work. To gain one of these positions, you must contact a supervisor listed under the available job you’re looking for. From there, you can discuss potential employment. Those positions are listed on RU’s website and whenever a new one’s available, it’s listed again.

The jobs usually list what requirements the employee must fulfill and the daily functions they would have to carry out. Some of the positions listed are: Geology Department Opportunity, McConnell Library Opportunity, Technology Assistance Center Opportunity, and Women’s Basketball Operations. Usually, these jobs are the most fruitful when they relate to what your major is.

It’s okay to be angry at the world

It’s easy to get frustrated with the world nowadays. So many claim to be open-minded, but in reality, they live in a small little bubble that protects them from things that make them uncomfortable. There’s so much chaos, hatred and conflict in the world between nations, between leaders and between friends. No matter where you go there are political debates about the economy and social issues, even when sometimes it’s unnecessary to even debate certain issues.

I’ve found myself to be more aggressively angry at the world as I’ve gotten older. There are so many things that I wish weren’t even an issue. I wish people could mind their own business and let others do as they please as long as they aren’t affected. For example, I’ve seen a lot of conversations centered around abortion, virginity and gay marriage taking place on various social media. Many people center their arguments around debating these rather personal issues.

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“It amazes me how people’s priorities have shifted so much since I’ve been alive.”

I’ve said it a million times and I’ll probably shout it until my voice is hoarse and I’m light-headed. If someone wants an abortion, let them get it. It doesn’t affect or hurt you. If someone wants to have sex, let them. Their sex life has no affect on you or the morality of the world. If someone wants to get married to someone of the same sex, let them. Their sexual orientation doesn’t affect you or make heterosexual relationships more or less significant. People are too afraid to let their pride go and say, “you know what? Do what you want, as long as it doesn’t hurt me.” Politics have become a childish game where it’s the blue team against the red team and the pissing contest is never-ending.

It amazes me how people’s priorities have shifted so much since I’ve been alive. I remember growing up, I never thought about money- then again, what kid does? Even now, although I know money can provide comfort and happiness, I don’t like to think about money. I don’t like worrying that I’m not going to have a roof over my head or that I’m going to have debt. I just want to be happy, that’s my ultimate goal on this planet.

What’s astonishing to me is how many people have put money before environmental health. Yes, it sucks that coal miners are losing their jobs rapidly. However, we need to look at the bigger picture. We only have one Earth (as far as we know), and it’s deteriorating every single day. Oil spills, sludge, runoff from mines, rising temperatures, melting ice caps…the list of “illnesses” the Earth is facing goes on and on. Beautiful rain forests that once fed the imaginations of American children in National Geographic are becoming scarce as their cleared to make way for logging and businesses, and here we are worried about a little green piece of paper.

We no longer live in a world of mystery and wonder, where rain forests and streams were once real-life settings for fairy tales. We’ve gotten bored with the Earth so we abuse it and are letting it slip from our fingers. I’m terrified to have children and see them be so disappointed in the world. I don’t want my kids seeing so much hate and having to worry that one day they’ll be hated too. I want my kids minds to be filled with wander and excitement to see the beautiful things the world has to offer, much like I’ve always been.

Finally, the main reason I’m angry with the world is that I know how much it sucks to be a girl with so much passion and fiery energy in this world. Since I was young I’ve been called “bossy,” I’ve been told I let my emotions get to me too much, I’ve been told I can’t make a difference. I don’t buy that. It’s incredible what one person can do with their two hands. If I ever have a daughter, I hope she never buys into that either. I hope she has as much fiery passion for the world as I do. I hope she’s smart and brave enough to put herself on the line in order to make even the smallest difference.

The world isn’t any worse than it’s ever been. Religious wars have been waged for centuries and I fight it sickening that we only point our fingers at certain religions when Christians, Catholics, Jews and even Buddhists have all been guilty of waging religious wars at some point in time. Media nowadays just let’s us see more of the bad. Bad news gets clicks and shares, while good stories are usually covered in a thin layer of dirt.

Being a Media Studies major, I’ve seen the bad and good media can do. Although it lets us know what’s going on around the world, many times it’s nothing good. However, there is good in the world. As a matter of fact, there may be way more good in the world than there’s bad. We all just need to spread positive words, actions and stories more often than we do bad. Maybe then, the world would truly be a better place.