Beware of Loan Sharks

Loan sharks are simply awful and should be avoided at all times.  Everyone knows that basic fact but, when one is desperate, it seems like it can be forgotten.  Unfortunately that is when the loan sharks strike and students are often especially vulnerable to being financially in strife. There’s just the most basic advice here, in fact instruction:  don’t do it.  Don’t be suckered in. It’s never going to help your situation and it will only make things worse.  No matter how badly you are off financially, going to a loan shark will just  make things worse.  Go to a bank, to family, to friends, but never a loan shark.  Speak to a student counselor (pretty much everyone and their dog has gone through financial strife while studying) and don’t let things get on top of you.  But if you do go to a loan shark, just know that you will never get out of paying back huge amounts of money and if you fail to meet these demands, your life will become hell. So just remember this rule:  do anything BUT go to a loan shark.

Getting Along with Roommates

Getting along with roommates can often be a very difficult task.  Especially if this is the first time you are sharing with people you don’t know and haven’t chosen.  Indeed, even if you know the person ahead of time but still are not accustomed to sharing such a confined space, it can be challenging at best.  So what should you do to make this as positive an experience as possible?  Or, some might ask, how do you ensure you don’t kill each other by the end of the first semester?  Here are some tried and tested tips:
1)    Set up some ground rules:  you have to sit down at the start of your time together to establish a few ground rules, such as will you be allowing partners to stay overnight?  How is the cleaning going to be managed?  Who is going to be in charge of buying basic supplies?  In a shared room, is there going to be a time for lights out and quiet time? Etc.
2)    Suggest a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly review:  you might not necessarily know 100% what you want right from the start.  So it could be a good idea to set out some basic ground rules but then come back for a review so that nothing is set in stone.
3)    Prioritize:  ask your roommates what’s the most important thing to her about sharing her space and you tell her the same for you.  Make sure you are on the same page.
4)    Always be considerate:  remember that you have no more right to the space than she does and be careful never to abuse that.
5)    Set up some alone time: if it’s important to you not to be crowded the whole time and to be able to spend some time completely alone, ask her if you could each have one afternoon a week in which the other person vacates the room to allow for alone time.  Try to set something up that is mutually beneficial.
6)    Split the room:  if possible (without seeming petty) try to split the room so that you can still maintain your independence and create your own private space.
These are just some basic tips.  The most important piece of advice however is to ensure that the lines of communication stay open at all times; you make sure you are open to hearing her voice and then hopefully she will accord you the same respect.

Pacing Yourself

Students can get very overwhelmed at times. When they first go to college, they are all too often bombarded with tons of papers and reading lists.  Because they are new, they are desperate to keep up and fit in. But what so many of them fail to realize is that everyone is in the same boat and feeling the same way and that in reality, there is no reason to panic.  You’re just getting your reading list from a lot of different lecturers and tutors, all at the same time.  This doesn’t mean you have to go out, purchase the book, read it and make notes on it before the end of the week.  College is a time for all sorts of education, both in and out of the classroom.  And that is why it is essential to pace yourself. You would thus be well advised to pace yourself.  Yes, glance over the reading list and maybe try picking up one or two books that look interesting to you, but don’t go nuts.  Speak to other people on your course and get a sense of how much they are doing too.  Make sure you don’t miss out on all the other culturally fun things to do while on campus rather than sitting in each night with your nose in a book.

Keeping Parents in the Know

In as tempting as it may be to completely move away from your parents – both geographically and emotionally – the time you spend at college can often be very hard for them. While they probably won’t say anything (since they don’t want to ruin it for you), chances are they are suffering somewhat from empty nest syndrome.  Of course, college is a time for you to really enjoy your independence and you should definitely make the most of that.  Still, there are some easy ways you can keep your parents in the loop without divulging too much information that will stab at that first taste of freedom. Here are some basic tips:
1.    Tell them your weekend plans; if you are planning an interesting excursion, this might be something that they will enjoy hearing about.
2.    Let them know about your lectures; talk to them about the subject matters and what is most interesting to you.
3.    If you’ve started a new sport since you began at college, talk to them about that.
4.    Ask them what they’ve been up to over the weekend; if you still have siblings at home, make sure to keep up the connection with them too. Despite any sibling rivalry you’ve experienced in the past, there is a good chance that now you’re out the house they’ll be missing you.
5.    Tell them what you miss about home; home cooking, chatting to them, it doesn’t matter what it is.
Remember to keep it vanilla. You don’t want to rock the boat. The beginning of your college experience can certainly be fun and exciting for you but at the same time, it can be a rather difficult transition period for all those you’ve left behind.

Creative Designs

For the fashion student who wants to succeed, try out your latest designs on your friends.  Why not organize a party or gathering for a group of friends where they play dress up?  This way they get a great evening of entertainment (for free or relatively cheap depending on what you decide) and you get free publicity for your designs.  It is a good way for everyone to get something they want.  It makes sense for people who are beginning in the design/fashion world to find a way to start off in this world which can often be very difficult to get into.  Use your imagination and see just how far you can go; you’d be surprised how easy it can be if you have good designs but are lacking a stage through which to display them, this is a perfect solution.

Finding Ways to Make Extra Money

Students always seem to be in the need of extra money.  But how does one go about making extra money without wasting too much of their precious student time?  The trick is, to work out what you are good at and see how that can be applied to what other students need.  For example, if you are a language buff, offer to do translations at a good price. If you are good on the computer, you could be the local network fixer.  Perhaps you fancy yourself as a guru in the kitchen; in that case you can offer to make special dinners for fellow students at an attractive price.  Whatever it is, you must have some skill that can be applied to make money.  Just follow through with it and you’ll find a great way to make money that shouldn’t be too difficult.