5 Useful Websites for College Students

You’ve met your roommate. You’ve said goodbye to your high school friends. You’ve packed the moving truck and you can’t wait for freshman year to begin. Once you get to college, however, it’s not all dining halls and dorm parties. Navigating the world of higher education can be tough sometimes. Luckily, there’s every college student’s greatest resource: the Internet. Here are some of the most useful websites around for college students.

RateMyProfessor.com

RateMyProfessor.com is definitely one of the most useful sites on the Internet for college students. The site is a professor review portal that works the way Urbanspoon or Yelp work for restaurants. Let’s say you’ve got to take a basic math class this fall and there are two classes that fit into your schedule. Head to RateMyProfessor.com and check out the reviews for each professor to see which one sounds like a better match for you. Some professors are notoriously easy, some are notoriously tough. You’ll learn which have plentiful extra credit opportunities and which professors never use the expensive textbooks. Your professors will make or break your academic experience: choose them wisely.

Half.com

Forget about your overpriced college bookstore. Half.com is a division of eBay that specializes in college textbooks. You’ll find the exact same textbook your teacher requires on sale for severely discounted prices. You’ll pay shipping and handling, of course, but the prices are usually drastically different than even your college bookstore’s used books. Vendors range from college students to massive bookseller companies, so be sure to check out a seller’s rating before you buy. Amazon also sells used textbooks, so check both sites to make sure you’re getting the best prices.

BibMe.org

Bibme.org is the best thing to happen for students since Facebook. No more fighting with Microsoft Word to format your bibliography – simply go to BibMe.org, enter in your source’s information when prompted and watch BibMe format it for you. Either copy and paste the completed bibliography or download it to your computer.

Project Gutenberg

You may be able to skip purchasing that heavy Norton Anthology or Complete Works of William Shakespeare. Thousands upon thousands of free e-books are available online for you to download to your laptop or e-reader. Browse through over 36,000 online titles. Project Gutenberg also has a long list of affiliates and partners that expands the site’s library to over 100,000 titles.

There you have it: five websites to help make your life as a college student a little easier- there are tons of other online student resources out there though (especially in the online learning avenue) Don’t forget about online resources to help make your social life a little easier too- Facebook, Twitter and your student email are great tools to help you connect with your classmates.

Elysabeth Teeko is the Martha Stewart of online. She enjoys writing about anything and everything, and you can find her tweeting and sharing at Twitter.com/Elysateek

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Creative Ways to Save Money in College

The stereotype of the starving college student didn’t come from nowhere. With beaucoup bucks going towards tuition and books you probably don’t have a lot left over for extras like, say, living expenses.

This means you’re balancing a tight monthly budget that has very little wiggle room. And yet, you likely have plenty of ideas about how to spend the little bit of money that you have. Not only are there necessities to cover, but you also want to have some fun!

You might not be able to get everything on your list while you’re in school, but by finding ways to cut back you can definitely save up for the things you really want. Here are just a few areas that offer ways to save.

  1. Food. You may not be too keen on the cafeteria food, but the campus eating plan is probably one of the cheapest options for food you’re likely to find. Of course, if you like fruits and veggies you can probably discover great deals on fresh produce at a local farmer’s market (where haggling is accepted and expected). But likely you can find fresh and healthy choices for a balanced diet at the school cafeteria, especially if you request the addition of such items.

  2. Transportation. Having a car in college may not be the best idea. Even if you own the vehicle you’re going to have to pay associated costs like registration, insurance, parking, and gas (not to mention maintenance). And if you live on campus this is a total waste of money. Even if you have a house or apartment you can ride a bike or utilize public transportation for a lot cheaper than owning and operating a vehicle.

  3. Events. Are you interested in purchasing Foo Fighters, Lady Gaga, or Adele tickets? Perhaps you like to attend sporting events. Or maybe musical theater is your bag. Whatever you want to go see in the way of entertainment, you probably know that it’s going to cost a lot (more than your meager budget will allow, in any case). But there are ways around paying an arm and a leg for your tickets. You can try to win them for free from a radio station, but that’s a long shot. Instead, consider becoming a member on the station website or the Facebook page of the band, team, or venue you like so that you can take advantage of presales (where attendance will cost you the price that’s printed on the ticket) and special events.

  4. Rent. Living in the dorms means that you’re paying a set price. Unfortunately, there’s not a lot you can do about that. But once you move off campus you can definitely find ways to cut the cost of putting a roof over your head. Of course you can look for low-rent options like studios, converted lofts, or rooms for rent. But if you want a house with a yard (and no upstairs neighbors) you should get a few friends together to rent a place. Just make sure the people you choose are compatible and reliable with the rent money.

  5. Tuition and books. These two items take up a huge chunk of your budget, but they don’t have to be ongoing expenses. Just because you didn’t nab a scholarship or grants as a freshman doesn’t mean you should stop applying. There are tons of options available for students seeking funding for school, especially on the internet, so try to apply for one or more scholarships each week; you’re bound to hit at least one and even $500 could provide a welcome windfall.

This guest post was written by Leon Harris, a contributing writer to College Being.

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6 Ways to Avoid the Freshman 15 (Without Actually Working Out)

Image by Tony Alter

What’s the Deal..?

Do people really gain 15 pounds during their freshman year at college? Or is the Freshman 15 actually more myth than it is fact?

In a 2006 study done by the University of Oklahoma, 137 female freshmen were poked and prodded with the end result being they gained 2 pounds over the year’s time. A 2006 study by the University of Guelph found that female freshman gained, on average, only five pounds during the year. And a Cornell study in the mid-2000’s offered a 4.2 weight gain figure for first year students during their first three months on campus.

No matter what the truth – and for each person it will be different – there are ways to stay as healthy as possible on campus. For everyone in their first year at college here are 6 ways to avoid the freshman 15 (or 2) without actually having to work out…

Laziness

With an average school program lasting 30 weeks, the student would have to eat an additional 1,750 kcals per week in order to gain 15 pounds in a year. Kcals measure the amount of energy produced by food – A kilocalorie is 1 food calorie, or 1,000 energy calories. So, one would have to eat almost an extra day’s worth of calories every week to gain 15 pounds per year. If you’re lazy, don’t like exercise, use a pizza box as a pillow, and take a Segway scooter to class, this may describe you. If so, make some changes please. Try the salad bar and some fresh fruit instead of the box of donuts.

Unhealthy Cafeteria Food

Donuts, pizza, pasta, nachos, sandwiches, pie, cake, and everything your little heart desires is right inside the cafeteria’s doors. The 1,750 kcals above – You might just be able to add that amount of calories to your diet with this cornucopia of food. Fortunately, for you – at least at my school this is true – the first time you actually taste the food, not just look at it, you realize it could be the worst thing since Spam or that fake peanut butter from Australia. It’s kind of like the first time your dog tries to drink salt water from the ocean – That’s the collective face people make at college during cafeteria time. No hints needed here… You might actually save yourself the pounds by choosing your local Subway instead.

Late Night Snacks

Two Rockstars, one Redbull, a dozen donuts, and an extra large pizza from Domino’s have just been sucked into your open mouth like a malfunctioning vacuum. It’s you and the remains of your second dinner at three in the morning finishing that paper you forgot to do because you were watching Smallville and writing about how you just made yourself an absolutely fantastic ham sandwich (your first dinner) on Twitter and Facebook. Hint: Nobody cares. So, how not to be up at 3 in the morning sweating through a project that’s due in less than four hours..? TiVo Smallville, throw Twitter out the window, let your friends in Facebook know you’re going to be gone for a few minutes so they can plan accordingly, and finish that paper earlier in the day. Your brain will feel better and so will your belly.

Playing Wii

Is this categorized as actual exercise? In Webster’s Dictionary, under the term exercise, I don’t think they have a picture of you wildly swinging your arm back, looking like an uncoordinated mental patient, yelling with vigor as you smash an imaginary ball back at your opponent. But who knows..? Maybe they do.

Listen. Get a group of your friends together. Fit them into your prison like dorm room with less space than a mini-cooper and pop in Wii Sports. Before no time, you will have burned off a quarter of one of the six dozen donuts you had last night while writing that nearly due mid-term paper at the last moment.

Excess Drinking

Nearly 73% of college students drink at least occasionally. One in four students – ages 18-34 – binge drinks on a regular basis, according to a recent survey. Have you seen Charlie Sheen recently..? Need we say more? Everything in moderation! Emilio is the talented one now. Think about that!

Exercise without Actually “Exercising”

Walk. Climb stairs, don’t take the elevator. Play a light game of Frisbee. Do any number of these things. You’ll get out, breathe the fresh air, get active, and get the heart rate thumping.

As with anything, moderation is the key. Exercise, drinking, eating, Wii, sleeping, class time, Twitter, Facebook, and any of your other college activities you choose to partake in. Live by these guidelines and you’ll be set – For college and beyond.

Stephanie Phillips blogs at CreditDonkey, where you can compare student credit card offers.

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What is online dating and what’s in it for you?

The expansion of the internet and the online world has affected and improved people’s lives in a number of fantastic ways. The internet today provides everybody with useful knowledge about a variety of different topics, but more than that it has helped friends and family remain in contract throughout the world. One of the internet most recent uses, which has dramatically improved a large number of people lives, is online dating.

Online dating is one of the biggest phenomenons in the modern world in creating and building romantic relationships, simply through various websites. There are a number of ways individuals can date online. One of the most popular option for a large number of people around the world is to use a variety of different social networking sites to match profiles and create new friends or relationships, but while social networking sites are a fantastic way of meeting new people, one of the best ways of utilising online dating is through dating websites.

There is a staggering amount of dating sites available online, with a number of the best dating sites offering free dating to those who register. The process for using these free dating sites or for those which require a small fee for registering is very similar. Every dating site requires individuals to register; registering on dating sites can be a little complex, with a large number of sites requiring individuals to divulge numerous amounts of details.

In particular, most of the best dating sites require an individual to create an in-depth profile about themselves. To create this profile you may be required to enter your name, age, sex, geographic location, sexual preference, as well as upload a photo for your profile page. The best dating site will also require you to enter more detailed, personal information, for example any hobbies you enjoy, your likes and dislikes, some may even require personality questions. All of these questions are used to help create ideal matches that accurately match your personality and preferences.

Upon registering and creating an in-depth profile, most dating sites will offer other profile suggestions as well as allow you to search through the numerous profiles alone until you find a possible match. If you find an individual that interests you, you can contact the person by sending a message and beginning an online relationship, until you feel ready to meet.

The premise of online dating is simple, although the best dating sites operate a more complex website that will offer individual more viable and suitable options. Although many people are sceptical about dating sites they are a fantastic way of meeting new people who may share similar interests and possess a high success rate for helping like-minded people begin a relationship. Understanding the success rate and how easy they are to use will help you to understand what online dating is and why dating sites are the best way to begin online dating.

This guest post was written by Ron Turner of datingsites.org.uk, a website with reviews for online dating.

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Wardrobe Tips for the Broke College Student

Looking fashionable in college can be difficult. With all your money going towards tuition, fees, books, housing, and occasionally, food, you probably have little left over for filling out your wardrobe with the latest styles of the season. And yet, you don’t have to tour campus looking like a pauper for the next four (or more) years. With a little effort and a lot of ingenuity you can have the fantastically fashionable aesthetic you desire. All you need are a few tricks up your sleeve. So here are some great tips to get you started on the road to a fabulous wardrobe.

  1. Shop discount stores. Shopping can be pretty depressing when you’re on a budget, but you’ll get a lot more bang for your buck if you opt for discount warehouses instead of pricy department stores. And you’ll be amazed by the excellent selection you’ll find at retailers like Target, Ross, Kohl’s, and TJ Maxx (just to name a few). Many of these stores collaborate with big-name designers (Vera Wang, Zac Posen, Lauren Conrad, and more) to bring you label outfits at a fraction of the cost.

  2. Stay on trend. Use fashion magazines and websites to your advantage. Find looks that you like and then emulate them with less expensive pieces. Of course, you’ll have a hard time mimicking one-of-a-kind pieces like formal gowns, but for everyday items like tops, bottoms, and accessories you can almost always find the trickle-down effect (low-cost alternatives that look a lot like the real deal). So you can easily sport “the look” you see in the media without buying the brand-name versions.

  3. Reclaim. Okay, nobody really likes to buy second-hand clothing, but if you want to look amazing without breaking your budget you’re going to need to embrace alternatives. The trick is to do thrift-store shopping the right way. You don’t want to go to the bad side of town to check out the wares at the Goodwill or Salvation Army. Instead, take a bus to the shops that are near high-end neighborhoods. The people who donate there are bound to leave a few treasures with their bag of castoffs. And find out what day delivery trucks come in so you can get a first look at new arrivals.

  4. Nip and tuck. There is no better way to get the wardrobe you want than with a talent for sewing, since fabric itself is far less expensive than ready-to-wear clothing. But if you’re not quite at the level where you can sew your own, then simply improve on the work of others. Find inexpensive pieces that are close to what you want and then tailor them. A loose jacket can easily become fitted, and if you can’t find a killer vest, just take a jacket you like and remove the sleeves. Loose shirts can easily become fitted with a nip of the seams and hemlines on pants and skirts are a simple fix if you know how to whip-stitch.

  5. Try DOTD. If you find that you’re looking for a special piece but you just don’t have a ton of money, sign up for memberships at a fashion deal-of-the-day site like Hautelook, Beyond the Rack, and Gilt Groupe. You’ll find amazing deals on the labels you covet, with new additions on a daily basis.

This guest post was written by Leon Harris. Find out more about the t-shirt printing site he works with.

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