How to Write a College Paper (In Under an Hour!)

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So you completely forgot / procrastinated about your college paper and now you are under a time-crunch to finish it. What is the best way to get it done as soon as possible?

First Step: Start Writing

Getting started is the hardest step. Start with the first sentence and move on from there.

Creating an outline or complex structure is great when you have time, but right now you don’t! Just start writing immediately. Write the first sentence of each paragraph first, then move on from there. Do some free association writing about anything related to your topic and you can always remove what is not relevant later.

The most important thing is to make sure your paper at least hits the minimum page requirement. If you have more time at the end, you can make things better.

Step 2: Write More

Once you hit your minimum page requirement, keep writing. It is going to be much easier to cut down your paper if you are above your minimum page requirement. Keep writing a couple pages more than what you need. Don’t think, don’t read, just keep writing.

Step 3: Read

Once you are past your minimum page requirement, it is time to read your paper. Read it and decide if the general direction makes sense. Don’t worry about editing right now. Delete only what you need to.

If you need to delete enough content that you are below the minimum page requirement, go back to step 2. If you are still over your page requirement, move on.

Step 4: Edit (and Citations)

The most important thing to edit is going to be obvious spelling and grammar errors. Fix those first. Make sure you are using a program like Word or LibreOffice that has an internal spell- and grammar-checker.

If your paper is for a humanities, writing, or language class, you need to spend more time on this part.

If your paper is for science (and sometimes in humanities too), you need to make sure to insert some citations to scientific papers. Do some Google Scholar searches on your topic, read only the abstract of the papers, and be extra sure to write the conclusions into your own words.

It is important that anything you find online, you put into your own words. Most college professors will run your paper against plagiarism checkers and that will be the first thing it checks for.

Final Step: Read, Edit, Delete

The more you wrote, the more flexibility you will have during this step. Read your paper again, making sure to check for any additional spelling or grammar errors. Delete anything not relevant, including filler words like “however”, “thus”, and “therefore”. The only thing to keep in mind is your minimum page requirement.

If you have time, reread your paper a couple more times. Possibly, you can even change the structure of your paper if you find it works better another way. Everything else is optional, but will make your paper better. Do what you can. Good luck! Get started!

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Having a Baby while in College – Difficult or Impossible

Well, it’s not impossible, but being a parent while in college will certainly be a difficult thing. Having a baby takes up a lot of time and so should your studies. At the end of the day, your baby should come first, but it is important to keep up with your studies so that you (and your child) will have a successful feature.

Here are some tips on how to be a good Mom or Dad while still working on your studies in college:

Making Time for Study

Studying and keeping your grades up will be difficult but it is important to plan time in your day to study and keep up with your classes or else it will be impossible. Your child will always take up some unexpected time, but that is okay when you try to keep to your schedule as much as possible. Just go with the flow and do your best.

If you are struggling ask for help or consider hiring a tutor if you have the spare cash. The time you will save struggling over something silly will be very much worth it!

Making Time for Baby

Studying too much can be a bad thing Click to continue reading…

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How to get people to ignore you

Not everyone is interested to stay and play in the limelight. Others (read: me) love to hide in the shadows, sulk and not engage in any undertaking. Unfortunately, several activities require our presence – assemblies, club meetings, seminars, and so on.

For such scenarios, I have with me my trusty list of Ignore-me tactics. Use them well and you’re guaranteed to keep anyone at bay.

1. Stay absorbed with your playlist. Picture yourself sitting comfortably in the side, ears trapped with earphones or enormous headphones. You can either listen to real music, or pretend taking pleasure in your jam.

This works best with resistant eye-contact (means you avoid eye-contact at all cost as this attracts conversation).

2. Bring with you a book. Of course, if you’re no bookie, magazines or other reading materials will do. You see, when you’re occupied in your reading, other people tend to be reluctant in disturbing you.

A relaxed reading posture won’t just do; you need to really project a body language that says, “Back off, I’m reading!”

3. Study the detailed patterns. This is highly applicable to places imbued with interesting architecture features, as well as, mundane particles. You can do this ‘intense’ observation with the floor tiles, Persian carpet, the hung portrait or painting, intricately designed furniture, and so forth.

For an upgraded tactic, you can also bring pen and paper. Scribble and act like a real inspector or design connoisseur. (You may appear snob, but artistic nevertheless!)

4. Sport the ‘out of the zone’ look. Think of Luna Lovegood in the Harry Potter films. She has this über confident out-of-this-world expression that manages to repel any other student (save for good ol’ Harry, of course).

Mimic her trance-like expression or make your own version. Look at the trees or the skies with child-like wonder.

Warning: If taken to such extremes, your peers could actually freak out!

5. Appear to be so engrossed. Say, there’s a presentation, discussion or activity commencing in front. To ensure that your seatmates won’t have to include you in their whispered conversations, strain your neck and focus on the event.

To make for a convincing front, wear a body language that shows how intent you are at becoming the ultimate audience. (You can turn the notch higher by hushing them when they chatter).

6. Make farting sounds. No one ever wants to sit next to any farting machine, right? Then go and download some farting ringtones. Adjust the volume, so that only those near you can hear it. Aim for a good timing; for instance, some fellow students were on their way to approach you, and then press…

Of course, you can’t just snicker while doing this. You also have to act your part; wear that funny expression or try to look like you’re really straining to stop it. You can even bend a bit, and rub your poor tummy.

7. Wear the tiger-level ‘back off’ look. There are certain facial expressions that effectively wards off even the friendliest students. If you got it or know how to make it, you’re lucky.

Using this ‘tiger-level’ back-off expression, people will not just ignore you. They will feel kind of intimated, too. Try not to overplay it, or else, someone might actually call the university police.

8. Do all of the above. Of course, this collective tactic is only applicable for those whose Ignore-me performance is above par.

Before you strut to use these tactics, be warned. Some of these tactics may get you to unimagined trouble (specifically, numbers 4 and 7). If not properly conducted, these tactics could also backfire.

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4 Things to Consider when Picking your First Apartment

One of the most exciting things about college is finding that first apartment. The parents are gone and what better way to celebrate your independence than living with your closest friends? It becomes your home away from home, sanctuary, and your space to relax when college gets too crazy. However, it can easily become your hell if not careful. One bad apartment experience can end up affecting your academics, personal health, and relationships. Before you sign that lease, take a look at this list of things to consider that will help prevent potential problems from arising.

1. Friends don’t always make the best roommates

Everyone has heard those awful roommate stories – slobs, brings random people home, etc. Eliminate the risk of becoming part of the bad roommates club by choosing a roommate based on common values. A few topics you should discuss include apartment cleanliness, alcohol consumption, and their social life (will there be people over every night). You should also consider talking to their current roommate. Being friends is different from living with someone, so it will give you a different perspective. Then, prepare a list of pros/cons or at least a mental list that make you aware of potential issues that could happen when you live with this person.

2. Location

I made the mistake of living farther from campus, and it sucked. I had to rely on the bus to get to class, and I felt very disconnected from the rest of my friends. So, when apartment hunting keep in mind the distance from town and college life.

3. Have you met my neighbor?

Although it is difficult to figure out until you move-in, take preliminary measures to ensure your apartment is in a safe area. Read reviews from websites such as apartmentratings.com to figure out if the area has a high level of crime, sexual predators, and if the complex is geared towards college students. I find that apartment complexes filled with students help with the transition as well as eases the parents mind. Parents are much more accepting to cosign for an apartment where you will be living with fellow peers than with 50 year olds.

4. Take Precaution of Building Construction Issues

Although I researched apartment complexes near campus and read reviews, I didn’t take into consideration the construction of the building itself. When I read reviews of pest infestations or thin walls, I thought that won’t happen to me. As you can probably guess, it did. Within a week of move-in, we had cockroaches popping up and I could hear everything my neighbors were saying. The sad part was that they weren’t even yelling. So, when going through the process, take everything into consideration – the good and the bad.

Overall, try not to get overwhelmed and write pros/cons for every apartment you see. Keep yourself organized to avoid these common mistakes, and take your time with the process. This could be the apartment for the rest of your college years, so what’s the hurry?

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When to start thinking about Retirement?

Today, people are starting to retire earlier and earlier. When is it a good time to start thinking about retirement? How much super do you need to retire?

Money

You will need enough money to allow you to live comfortably for the rest of your days. How do you calculate this? Well it will depend on a few factors.

How comfortable do you want to be? Do you want to stay at home with your wife watching Netflix and gardening or would you rather go travelling multiple times each year? Do you want to own a vacation home? Do you want to have expensive hobbies? You will need to take all that into consideration in order to figure out how much money you will need every month.

How long do you expect to live? Medicine is improving every day. Just because the average life expectancy is 78.64 years for the average American (80.93 for Canadians, 80.75 for the Brits, and 81.85 for our Australian friends), does not mean that you can plan on dying at that specific age. Life expectancy is heavily influenced by young people who have met unfortunate ends due to disease, accidents, and violence. Count on living a few decades beyond the average life expectancy, maybe more!

Can you count on any social benefits? Many countries have social retirement programs. These often won’t let you live a life of luxury, but they could help pay some of your bills. It is important to take this extra money into account, but it is also important to not plan you life around them as your country’s political client may affect things.

What about your retirement accounts and investments? The most important of all. If you manage your finances well, you will be able to live the life you want to well into old age. Be sure to set-up retirement accounts right away and take advantage of any tax benefits or investment-matching your company may offer. Investing a little now can make a big difference down the line.

Career, Hobbies, and Friends

One question you really need to ask yourself is, When do you think you will be ready to retire and not work any more? For some, the answer is immediately. Others will never be able to give up their job. Neither option is bad. You just need to choose which is right for you.

Picking up a couple of hobbies is really a necessity. You will not want to be retired and have nothing to do. Be sure to think a little about what you want to do based on the age you plan on retiring at. Maybe golf will be your thing, maybe it will be skydiving.

You may have a different group of friends when you retire. Thinking about your current friends and what kinds of friends you want to have is really important. If you retire at 30, many of your friends will still have full-time jobs and it will be difficult to see them often. It is good to keep this in mind even if you have enough money to retire early.

No matter when you choose to retire, it is always best to plan ahead. Planning ahead will lead to you having a more comfortable life and being able to do more, and at worst, it will give you more options. So start thinking about it!

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