What to Know When You Rent

If you are headed off to college this fall, there are a lot of exciting things to look forward to. Not only are you going to better your education, you also have the chance to move out on your own! Getting your own place is a very exciting time, but it can also be very challenging. Unfortunately, there are many landlords and roommates out there that will take advantage of a newbie if not careful. When choosing a rental, make sure to follow these simple tips to avoid any possible problems.

Choose Wisely

One mistake that many first-time renters make is that they rent a place that they cannot afford. While the big apartment looks the best, your life will be much easier if you can easily afford your monthly payment. You are at college to learn, not to spend all of your time working to try to pay your rent. If you insist on living in a larger apartment or home, find some roommates to split the cost with you or browse the web for some great deals.

If you do live with roommates, your roommates will have access to all of your mail and private documents. A company like Lifelock can guard your personal information and keep an eye out for any suspicious activity in your info. Keeping all your personal information intact will take a load of stress off when adjusting to college life and your new home life.

Document Everything

When moving into your new rental, it is vital that you document everything. ValleyNewsLive.com even suggests taking pictures of any pre-existing damage just in case the landlord denies it upon move out. You should also do a thorough walk through with the landlord to make sure you are both aware of the condition of the home on your arrival. You do not want to be responsible for damage caused by previous tenants. You need to also get any promises from the landlord in writing. If he says he will fix something for you, have him write it down and sign it. Many landlords will conveniently “forget” many of the promises they made if they are not documented.

Set Rules With Your Roomies

If you do have roommates get everything in writing with them. It does not have to be a formal document, but all details should be written down and signed by each roommate. This document should include what each roommate is expected to pay every month, and how the payments are going to work. Will all of you give your money to one person, and he makes the payments, or will you each be responsible for paying the bills directly to the different companies? By setting out these guidelines ahead of time you will prevent a lot of strain in your living.
When moving out on your own, it is important that your emotions do not get in the way of your common sense. Always take time to make any major decision, such as where to live. Do your research to make sure you are getting the best place your money can buy. And remember, if you document everything you should not run into any problems. What other tips did you find useful when moving out for college?

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MSOL: Better than an MBA?

A Masters in Organizational Leadership (MSOL) is a degree offered by many colleges and universities all over the world that is designed to create effective leaders. It is considered to be an alternative to the ever-popular Master of Business Administration (MBA).

A master’s degree in organizational leadership focuses on philosophy and psychology as it relates to employee and organizational activities, whereas an MBA focuses more on the analytical aspects of leadership. While a MSOL is by no means a substitute for an MBA, but it is an alternative for students who wish to pursue a different managerial approach.

According to Drew Hansen, contributing writer for Forbes that specializes in leadership and entrepreneurship, MSOL programs have shown to produce higher quality leaders than MBA programs, due to their heavy emphasis on organizational leadership.

Organizational leadership degrees provide the skills required to function in administrative roles throughout any type of organization. Due to the similarities in organizational roles, a degree in organizational leadership can lead to Click to continue reading…


The Rise of Cocktail Culture: Not Just for Mad Men

Cocktails have been a staple of bars in America for years. Whether it is a classic drink, like a Manhattan or martini, or an easy combo of rum and coke or 7 and 7, ordering a cocktail is typically a straightforward affair. But much like the foodie and craft beer cultures, cocktails are now getting the special treatment. A new pedigree of bartenders, dubbed “mixologists,” are adding new life to cocktails by acting as both drink historians and alcohol scientists, perfecting their craft in bars and lounges styled after speakeasies. Cocktail culture is on the rise, so let’s take a look at what’s fueling the resurgence of the mixed drink.

Cocktails have a long, storied history dating all the back to the early 1800s. By the early 1900s, the classic drink of whiskey, sugar and bitters became known as the “old fashioned,” deemed such because of all the new styles of complicated cocktails being created at the time. So at the start of the 21st century, there had already been a vibrant, experimental cocktail culture, with bartenders creating new drinks and methods of mixing them for nearly 200 years.

Mixologists distinguish themselves from your everyday bartender with the effort they take in their ongoing search to mix you the perfect drink. They read up on the classic cocktail procedures and study the history of cocktails, searching out long lost cocktail recipes from famous bars or recipe books. They also train themselves in the standard methods of combining sugars, fruit, juices, bitters and spirits. They create their own signature mixed drink recipes, using shaved ice or even adding essential oils.

Such expertly crafted cocktails surely need to be imbibed in a fitting atmosphere, so many retro-styled speakeasies have opened in major cities. Outside of the occasional food and dining section in the local paper or gourmet magazine, the speakeasies rely on word of mouth and somewhat out of the way locales to generate buzz and curiosity. Many are built out in old storefronts, warehouses or industrial businesses, and the bar owners will keep the original facade of the buildings while hanging a simple, well-placed neon “BAR” sign to give a clue about their location to patrons in the know. Some speakeasies even have a prohibition-style secret entrance and password.

Has the latest trend in artisan delicacies sparked your interest? Well then, there are plenty of new sites out there dedicated to the study and art of mixology, like dipsology.com. The media has taken note and claimed interest as well, as seen in this Rachel Maddow clip:

There’s even a YouTube video tribute to the mixologist by the San-Francisco-based duo Fog and Smog:


Is The Internet The New Cupid?

There was a time when meeting someone was something that happened by chance and almost always in person. You would run into someone on the street, in a bar or club, or at a club where you share common interests. Most couples would have ended up meeting in high school, college, graduate school, or even at work. However, the world has changed so much and in many ways we are busier and living our lives at a faster pace than ever before. This is why the modern world needs a new alternative to meeting people of the opposite sex. That is where dating sites come into the picture. While many people scoff and think that meeting someone online is beyond ridiculous, there are plenty of examples of happily married couples who met for the first time by chatting on the internet.

The Top Sites:

The top dating sites out there, such as Match.com, OKCupid, and eHarmony all have certain aspects in common. Then again, they also have very fundamental differences that provide for a very unique experience of being matched with people. The first dating sites that were introduced a few years ago simply had search criteria’s that you could use to sort out people who you were interested in. That is no longer the case. Click to continue reading…

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Meet New People: The 5 Largest College-Age Meetups in the U.S.

Starting your first year of college is a difficult task in and of itself; moving to an entirely new city to do so can be even more stressful. Finding your way around, meeting new people and becoming generally accustomed to a new way of life requires both courage and commitment, but even when you don’t know a single person in your local area, help is always just around the corner!

The internet is many things to many people but one area where it shines for each of us is in its ability to help us to meet like-minded people and moving to a new town for school offers an excellent reason to take advantage! Give your efforts a boost by attending any of these five largest U.S. meetups helping college students get accustomed to a new place:

1. 20- and 30-Somethings in San Francisco

This large group of young adults in the San Francisco area offers newcomers and long-time residents alike the opportunity to mingle and socialize while getting to know the city and what it has to offer. The group gets together in order to take in local events at a variety of venues, bringing together a wide array of personalities and making it easy to start a conversation and make a new friend.

If you’re interested in taking your participation up a notch, the group welcomes anyone who would like to help organize events, giving you a close-up window into the very heart of San Francisco and its attractions.

When and Where: The 20- and 30-Somthings in San Francisco group meets several times each month during the summer with the cooler months of winter slowing things down only a little! With a wide variety of events and locations on the itinerary, there is no better group to help a young newcomer to become a Bay Area expert.

2. Fun Times Soccer NYC

New York City is a huge and sometimes intimidating town, often overwhelming newcomers with its sheer size, in both area and population. This can sometimes leave those new to the Big Apple feeling more disconnected than ever despite the mass of people around them, but, thankfully, the Fun Times Soccer NYC social group is an excellent way to get to know your urban neighbors while giving your body a vigorous workout as well!

While scores are kept and a competitive spirit is encouraged, this soccer group is more interested in bringing people together than turning out professional athletes, making the atmosphere of teamwork one that works directly towards making new friends.

When and Where: The Fun Times Soccer NYC group meets in various areas of New York City, often several times per week, bringing together several different groups in locations that work best for each of them. Use this search for lodging help

3. L.A. Adventurers

California coastal areas offer a unique location for adventure and make for an exciting way for those new to the City of Angels to get to know one another outside of school. Focusing on general outdoor activities such as urban biking and weekends camping trips, this group extends to embrace general culture venues as well, ensuring that you’ll be taking part in all activities with a group of well-rounded, fun individuals.

When and Where: Events planned by the L.A. Adventurers group take place in and around Los Angeles, typically once or twice per month depending on what is going on in the city.

4. Austin Coalition for Youthful Merriment

Embracing anything and everything that offers fun and excitement, the Austin Coalition for Youthful Merriment invites those freshly arrived in Austin to take part in a variety of experiences meant to be enjoyed in a group setting, helping you to make new friends while enjoying the best of what the city has to offer.

When and Where: The city of Austin, Texas plays host to this particular band of merry men and women, with events organized several times each month for anyone interested in taking part.

5. Seattle College-Age Social Group

Join others your age in Seattle at meetups of the College-Age Social Group, a combined force of students between 18-26 years old that get together for good times and good conversation in and around this renowned and rainy Washington city. Activities include dining, outdoors activities, movies, bowling – whatever promises to be fun and interesting!

When and Where: Members of the Seattle College-Age Social Group get together on an irregular basis, meeting a few times each month as time and events allow.

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