Published September 16, 2014 by

trail-mixHaving food to snack on in your dorm is always a plus. Some people have massive stores of food — cup of noodles, ramen, cookies, crackers, chips, soda — and others just have a small supply. Even if you have the dining hall food to count on, having food around your room is convenient and (sometimes) more tasty.

Earlier in the school year, my roommate brought up a box of raisins to snack on. Later on, I brought up a bag of M&Ms from Christmas. The next weekend, my roommate brought some peanuts.

As we were snacking, we realized that it would make far more sense to just combine them and make some trail mix. And what a hit it was! Ever since then, we’ve been bringing up more M&Ms, peanuts, and raisins to keep it going. Read More Trail mix: the ultimate dorm food?


Published September 12, 2014 by


Published September 10, 2014 by

 If you’re used to sleeping like a king or queen at home, that’s going to change when you arrive to your college dorm. Dorm mattresses are notorious for being uncomfortable because colleges use cheap durable mattresses to cut costs. Even though you’re living away at home, there’s nothing quite like sleeping on a comfortable bed, and you’ll be glad if you take the time to make your new bed as comfortable as you can. Even if you got a student loan for a car and your car is your favorite thing right now, you might want to spend some money on making your dorm bed comfortable  Most dorm beds are extra long twins. So, when you buy things for your bed, bear this in mind so that it will actually fit.

How to make your bed more cozy:

  • Buy a mattress pad. Mattress pads add an initial layer of padding that not only feels better for you, but helps protect the mattress.
  • Use diced foam. Also known as egg carton foam, diced foam creates a great padding that molds to your body.
  • Make sure your sheets fit snugly. My bed sheets were very loose for a while, which meant I was constantly laying on uncomfortable wrinkles and feeling the sheets slide under my body.
  • Bring your pillow from home. Or, if you don’t want to risk it, buy a new pillow. Make sure the pillow’s size and firmness is ideal for you — using a pillow that’s too large or too flimsy is never any fun.
  • Don’t buy cheap/durable sheets. Some sheets are cheap and/or meant to be especially durable. Chances are, your bed isn’t going to go through much wear and tear in one year, so you won’t need extra durable sheets. Finding something comfortable will be worth the money.
  • Bring soft blankets. I recommend avoiding Afghan blankets or anything with polyester covering unless you especially like that — these usually aren’t too soft.
  • Bring as many blankets/pillows as you want. If you like to sleep with a zillion pillows and ten blankets, then do so! If you only like the top sheet and that’s it, then don’t bother bringing a lot.
  • survive-college

Read More How to make your dorm bed more comfortable


Published August 16, 2014 by

It’s no secret that the senior year in high school is the best of the four. Finally, you’re at the top of the tower and all of the lower grades look up to you. This is your last year of required education, and afterwards you’re free to do with your life as you please. I know people who quit the last year of high school, my friend Scott for example took GED prep in Bronx college  and got his GED diploma pretty fast. So, he saved some time but why do that?

Why Senior Year Of High School Is ImportantBy senior year, you’ve probably already found your ideal set of friends and have made many new ones. Now that you have the traditionally tough junior year out of the way, be happy — senior year rocks!

So what’s so important about your senior year?

Basically, making the most out of high school. I can’t stress this enough. After this year’s over, this whole part of your life is over, and you won’t get it back. High school is awesome because of the balance between responsibilities and freedoms. You have more privileges than you’ve had before (driving, etc.), but you still don’t (always) have as many responsibilities like work and bills. If you’re going to be a senior, you’re already through with 3/4ths of your time there. Make the most of the last bit.

Academics are King

As a general rule colleges mainly look at your junior year academics. By the time you’ve turned in your college applications, it’s too much early to tell what your grades are going to be for your senior year, so these usually aren’t as big of a deal. If you did well your junior year, you just need to keep it up. So in your senior year, take classes that are consistent with what you’ve been taking. If you’ve been taking a lot of college prep classes, keep it up and take some your senior year too — don’t just drop down to a bunch of PE and art classes, this looks awful. If you used to take 5 or 6 honors/AP classes, you should be fine if you drop down to 3 or 4 honors/AP classes (unless you’re aiming for the most prestigious of schools).

Keep your grades at a consistent level as well — taking hard classes means nothing if your grades aren’t what they used to be. In your second semester, once you’ve decided your school, it is okay to take it a bit easier, but make sure you’ve checked your school’s admission requirements first. Some will revoke your admission if your grades aren’t at a certain level. One girl at my school lost her admission to UC Berkeley because she let everything go! Don’t do that. Read More The importance of senior year in high school

High school

Published August 1, 2014 by

Short answer


Long answer:

As I mentioned earlier, colleges primarily look at your junior year academics when making a decision about you. But that doesn’t make your senior year unimportant at all.

Let’s put it this way. Say you’re an employer trying to decide who to hire. You look at one person’s application and see that he was a great worker at his current job, but you find out that once he had the prospect of being hired by you, he stopped working as hard and kind of turned a blind eye to things. The other person kept on working strong, even with a decent chance of being hired by you. Who would you hire?

Colleges are likely to do the same thing. Depending on how competitive the school you’re trying to get into is, having a shorter day your senior year can hurt you, especially depending on what you do with it.

If you shorten your school day to getting out at twelve noon and you decide to take really simple and easy classes, then that’s definitely not going to look good for you, even if you get all A’s. If you take four really hard classes and then go home, that’s still not as good as if you took four classes and then filled the spots with electives.

The only way I could see having a reduced day not being a penalty is if you do something productive with the time, like taking college classes, working a lot of hours at a job, community service, etc. Rebecca for example signed up for researching MBA schools and compile the MBA rankings of business schools that are more affordable. This was a great thing to do and it looks good on here resume.

But if you’re just going home to sleep and sit around, that’s not going to look great for you.

Read More Do colleges look down on half days in your senior year?

High school

Published July 26, 2014 by

So you’ve finally made it to your senior year, and you’re a bit curious about how it will be different. I remember before my senior year I used to wonder how much it would be like the rest of the years.

More respect from teachers.

start-up1aWhile every teacher is different, in general most teachers who always have seniors in their classes are more lax than teachers who have younger students. This is because seniors are usually more mature and able to handle more responsibilities.

If you have a more lax teacher, you’ll likely have looser classroom rules. Maybe you can eat in class now. Maybe it’s okay if you’re late every once in a while. You can use the bathroom when you need to. Generally, as long as you aren’t causing a problem, you’ll be given more freedoms. A lot of these teachers are the excellent choices to ask for a letter of recommendation from.

Of course, this does vary from teacher to teacher. Some teachers remain strict no matter what grade level they have. Don’t push the limit too far if you’re unsure.


be-differentOh yes. It’s weird: most people look forward to school being over, but as it gets close it becomes hard to say goodbye. Don’t worry, this is normal, but it is still tough. This is your last year of mandatory education, and after this you’re on your own in a lot of ways. As it begins to sink in, be ready to feel a bit sad and anxious. You can lessen these feelings by trying to buddy up with more people. Try to be patient and play nicely, my friend sadly dropped out in the last year of high school because he found a job. I know that he got GED after following online classes and traditional GED classes in the community college but still I think it’s a waste.

As a whole, senior year is very fun and by far the best of your four years. The freedoms and opportunities you have here can be a good way to start preparing for the real world, and the friendships you can forge now can last a lifetime, so make the most of it!

Read More What to expect from your senior year of high school

High school

Published June 16, 2014 by

A few of my friends who are going to be seniors next year have asked me if it’s worth taking AP classes during the senior year.

Now, my old high school always had us pick classes the year before, so we already knew what classes we would be taking come fall of the next year. I would imagine most other schools do it the same way, so by now you probably at least know what subjects you’re going to be taking next year.

But most schools also allow you to switch.

A good rule of thumb is to always sign up for tougher classes at first, then change out to an easier class. Harder classes are always offered less and it’s harder to get into them once they are full. Easier elective classes are plentiful, and you can switch between them easily.

So, assuming you’ve already at least signed up for some AP classes, you’re wondering if it would be worth your trouble as a senior to stay in them. The answer to that depends on your goals and what you’ve already worked towards. As I’ve said, senior year is important too, and so you definitely want to make the right choice.

College Goals

ChiCollegeCollageWhat kind of college do you intend to go to? If you plan on going to a local community college, then it won’t really matter what you take since your admissions won’t be at stake. Take what you would like to take, but keep in mind that passing the AP test can prevent you from wasting time (and money) after high school.

If you’re going to a less-competitive four year university, think about it carefully. take into account what you’ve done the past few years of high school. If you’ve been very solid at the top of the class, then dropping a few honors/AP classes won’t slay your chances. As long as your schedule as a whole is at least somewhat rigorous and your past few years stack up, dropping a class or two shouldn’t really matter. Read More AP classes during senior year

High school

Published June 10, 2014 by

In San Antonio, Texas, a school is trying out new ankle bracelets for students who have been caught ditching class or who have had discipline problems, it seems. The bracelet will monitor them using the GPS system, so authorities will be able to track where the kids are round-the-clock. Students will not be able to remove the bracelet for up to six months.

what-importantThis is terrible. What right does the school have to know where a kid is all hours of the day? Everybody needs privacy, and being forced to be monitored around the clock for something as tame as skipping a day of class is just pathetic. Privacy is valuable to everyone, and to know that someone could be watching you all the time just shows the sad direction we’ve been heading in discipline for some time now.

Not only is it a civil liberty question, this policy also won’t really benefit the student. What happens when these kids go to college or get a job? They aren’t going to have an ankle bracelet there, and they’ll be free to skip class or bail on work whenever they want to. Read More School becomes more like prison: Ankle bracelets to keep track of kids who ditch class?

High school

Published June 5, 2014 by

online-learning-cover3If you still have a year left of high school to go, at some point you’re going to need to choose your classes for next year. Picking classes can be a bit tricky when you have to try to strike a balance between classes you’d like to take and classes you should take, as well as trying to fit in all the classes you want to take.

A lot can depend on the classes you take — the choices you make for next year could affect what you can take in the years after that, they could affect how appealing you look to colleges, and they could help determine what field you’d like to (or not like to) have a career in. Finally, you might want to ditch the last year of high school as my friend did, instead of spending another year he went into business, follow some online programs  and got his high school equivalency diploma.

So where do you begin in deciding? I recommend starting with a course catalog, if you can find one from your school.

Once you have a course catalog, hunt through it and make a list of classes you think would be interesting and classes you think you should take (for whatever reason — to look good for college, to fulfill graduation requirements, etc). Only add classes you can get into — don’t bother with classes that you don’t meet the requirements for.

After you’ve made a list, try to narrow it down. Cross out the classes that you know aren’t a good choice. Start by asking yourself these questions: Read More How to choose high school classes for next year

High school

Published June 1, 2014 by

When you first set up a business, costs can put you off hiring any but the most essential staff. All too often you can end up picking up administrative duties that take away from your ability to concentrate on the areas of your business where your skills and insight are most needed. If you’re wondering whether it’s time to hire an office manager, see if these scenarios sound familiar. Who is a perfect candidate for the office manager? is a academic degree important to you? Is enough that your new employee has a GED certificate or do you require a college degree? Obviously somebody with college degree will cost you more than a holder of GED diploma. We talked with the CEO of the Educate The USA a GED Preparation program and she says many people with a few years of office work experience are perfect candidate for the position of the office manager. Especially if somebody has the experience in working on the computer, for example she invited people interested in office manager position to create a full list of GED classes in Las Vegas, so they need to conduct the research and also be able to write well :

If somebody understands how to create this kind of webpages he/she is a good candidate.


Well, apart from the required qualification, the most important issue is personality. Your office manager should be able to manage daily tasks and make your life easier. Even new businesses can be busy from the very beginning and your phone may seem like it rings all day long. One of the many things your office manager can help you with is answering the phone and taking messages. This keeps you from having to handle the phone throughout the day and focus on other aspects of running your business. When it comes to the office job, it’s not that much about education but about ability to organize yourself, says Kate. Many employers tell us, “GED is the SAME as the high school diploma, don’t worry about it!”. Just because you have a GED don’t mean that you lazy, she continues. Read More Second Chances

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